Mankind And Satan


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  • Mankind And Satan


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    Chapter Two

    The Sin Of Satan

    Before relating the
    story of Satan’s hostility against Adam (peace be upon him) and his offspring, and
    how he whispers evil to them and lures them into sin, we have to study in depth
    the sin of Satan, that sin that incurred upon him the Curse of Allah till the
    Day of Judgment.

    When Satan refused
    to obey Allah’s Command of prostrating to Adam (peace be upon him) he never
    tried to repent or revert to truth. He never said, “O Lord, Your Word is the
    Truth and Your Command is the Truth, but O Lord I could not subdue myself, so
    please forgive me”
    , he did not awake and fell down prostrating, but pride
    filled him and he persisted in sin. Allah, all glory is to Him, narrates to us
    in the Noble Qur’an what means:

    “[Allah] said,
    ‘What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?’ [Satan] said, ‘I am
    better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.’”
    (Al-A‘râf, 7: 12)

    Thus, he rejected
    the Command of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him. As if Allah, The Exalted
    and Ever-Majestic, forgot that He created jinn from fire and mankind from clay!
    That was enough to cast Satan out of Allah’s Mercy and out of the place wherein
    he lived together with the angels. Concerning this Allah, all praise and glory
    is to Him, says what means:

    “[Allah] said,
    ‘Descend from it, for it is not for you to be arrogant therein. So get out;
    indeed, you are of the debased.’” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 13)

    The Command: “Descend”
    signifies that Satan was at a high honorary place before sin, for getting down
    can only be from a place high to one that is low.

    Some people think
    of descent only in terms of distance, but it can also signifies a moral fall.
    For example, if man is a chief or a ruler and then he is expelled from his
    position, he will sink in estimation, though still living in his same house. In
    other words he did not fall down from a place high to one low with regard to distance,
    but he sank into a state of disgrace, and after once enjoying an honorary
    status he is now worth nothing.

    Also, falling down
    can be in appreciation. As when you believe that someone is a highly esteemed
    person, you see him respectable and truthful, but suddenly he commits an
    offense that makes him sink in your estimation. Thus, you no longer respect or
    esteem him.

    Thus, descent is
    not necessarily physical, in terms of distance, but can also be a fall in value
    and status. Therefore Satan did not necessarily live at paradise or a high
    place in heaven and then he descended from it as some interpreters say but it
    is possible that it was a moral fall by becoming worth nothing. A depreciation
    of rank for he no longer deserved to be present among the angels; he lived
    among them because he abided by obedience, while having the free will to obey
    or disobey. But when he forsook that attribute he no longer merited such an
    honorary status, because angels do not disobey Allah in what He commands
    them but do what they are commanded
    . (At-Tahrîm, 66: 6) Therefore, “Descend”
    signifies and indicates that the fall is moral, meaning that he is unworthy
    of this high status or rank, then followed the Command of “Get out” of
    the place itself.

    Pride Belongs to Allah Alone

    When Allah, all
    praise and glory is to Him, said “Descend” He gave us its reason in His
    Saying, “It is not for you to be arrogant therein”. It means that Satan
    was puffed up with pride and arrogance and Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty
    and Might, loves not the arrogant. Whoever was taken by pride and wrongly
    believe that he himself, by his own power, can achieve anything independent of
    the Power of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, will incur upon himself the
    Wrath of Almighty Allah…. why?

    Because action in
    this universe belongs solely to Allah, The Exalted and Ever-Majestic, no one
    has the power of doing except Allah. For every action there is an adverb of
    time and place to happen and you neither possess the time nor the place. No one
    has the power to keep himself alive for a moment and no one has the power to
    move from one place to another except by the Leave and Will of Allah. Man may
    even die before he stirs or he may fall sick and lose his ability to move, so
    how can man or any creature of Allah be proud, when he neither has might nor
    power except by the Will of Allah.

    Allah, all praise
    and glory is to Him, expelled Satan from the place or status he once occupied
    because he acted arrogantly and insolently and imagined that he possesses
    self-given power. Therefore, the Truth, Blessed and Exalted is He, said, “Get
    out; indeed, you are of the debased.”
    It means that had you any power of
    your own then stay where you are, but you will get out humiliated and
    disgraced. You will get out against your will and you cannot stubbornly contend
    nor claim that you have a power that will defend you or make you act contrarily
    to the Command of Allah, you will get out abjectly in disgrace.

    When Satan realized
    that pride that swelled within his soul was fake and that in reality he, on his
    own, is worth nothing his heart was filled with malice against Adam. He
    believed that he is the cause of all what has happened to him: his expulsion,
    his sinking to the lowest of the low and the Divine Wrath he incurred upon
    himself. The spite and malice that filled the heart of Satan pushed him to the
    attempt of taking revenge on Adam and his offspring. Just as his rejection to
    submit to Allah’s Command of prostrating to Adam cast him into Hellfire, he
    wants to drive Adam and his offspring to Hellfire, a revenge for what befell
    him. And just as Satan was expelled from Allah’s Mercy, he wants to expel Adam
    and his offspring from Allah’s Mercy. He wants to avenge himself on Adam for
    being the cause of all what befell him, from damnation and expulsion, him and
    whoever follows him. He does not want to enter Hellfire alone! But he wants to
    cram therein whomever he can lead astray from mankind.

    Therefore, when
    Satan got out abjectly disgraced from the place he once dwelt, he addressed
    Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, saying as narrates the Noble Qur’an,
    what means: 

    “[Satan] said,
    ‘Reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.’” (Al-A’râf, 7: 14)

    Thus, Satan
    returned to servility, asking Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, to keep
    him alive till Resurrection Day, after being blown-up with pride. Had this
    pride been real and not fake and had he really possessed a power of his own he
    would not have asked Allah to keep him alive till Resurrection Day and he would
    have kept himself alive, but he neither has power nor might except by the Will
    of Allah, thus he turned to Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, to grant him
    his request.

    But why did Allah,
    Blessed and Exalted is He, respond to the call of Satan when He could have
    destroyed him instantly? Why did Allah, Whose Majesty reigns Supreme, says what
    means:

    “[Allah] said,
    ‘Indeed, you are of those reprieved.’” (Al-A’râf, 7: 15)

    Also in Surah
    Al-Hijr:

    “[Allah] said,
    ‘So indeed, you are of those reprieved, until the Day of the time well-known.’”
    (Al-Hijr, 15: 37-38)

    Allah answered his
    demand – though he is the one outcast from His Mercy – because only with it the
    wisdom behind creating worldly life is complete. Allah, all praise and glory is
    to Him, created worldly life as an abode of trial and the Hereafter as an abode
    of recompense. Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, wants to test His
    servant in the life of this world, to put them to trial before being requited.
    Recite the Saying of the Truth, Blessed and Exalted is He, which means:

    “Or do you
    think that you will enter Paradise while Allah has not yet made evident those
    of you who fight in His cause and made evident those who are steadfast?”
    (Âl-‘Imrân, 3: 142)

     

    And His Saying, all
    glory is to Him, which means:

    “So that Allah
    might test what is in your breasts and purify what is in your hearts. And Allah
    is Knowing of that within the breasts.” (Âl-‘Imrân, 3: 154)

      

    Had Allah, all
    praise and glory is to Him, willed to create all His creatures compelled to
    obey as the angels, He would have easily done it. And had Allah willed that all
    the people of the earth obey His Law and that all of them be glorifiers and
    worshippers again He would have easily done it. But Allah, be ever gloried His
    Majesty and Might, has chosen creatures that come to Him compelled, as angels
    and others from His creatures, and has chosen mankind and jinn exclusively to
    come to Him willingly out of love. They are both capable of sinning, but they
    forbear because they love Allah. And they are both capable of disobedience, but
    they obey to draw near Allah. Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, wants
    creatures who comes to Him willingly and lovingly in a period of trial limited
    by the lifetime of every person.

    After death we will
    be compelled to submit to the Will of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him,
    because while dying man’s power of free will completely ends, and he loses even
    his willpower over his own body. Volition is in worldly life only; at the hour
    of death and during the life of Barzakh [the grave as the barrier or
    the intermediate realm that separates between this world and the other world
    from the time of death till the time of Resurrection
    ], and on Resurrection
    Day, none will have a will of his own. The disbeliever shall be driven to the
    Hellfire and he will try to stop his legs from walking but they will not. He
    will try to push away the fire by his hands but they will not push. He will try
    to escape from standing before Allah, and to flee from torment but he will not
    be able to. All the might and power he once had in worldly life will end. The
    Noble Qur’an depicts this picture saying what means:

    “If those who
    disbelieved but knew the time when they will not avert the Fire from their
    faces or from their backs and they will not be aided....” (Al-Anbiyâ’, 21: 39)

    Worldly Life…an Abode of Trial

     

    To make the life of
    this world an abode of trial it must include temptation and allurement,
    therefore Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, kept the life of Satan as part
    of the temptation that man will face in his worldly life. A trial from Allah to
    test the love for Him within the hearts of His servants. Thus, whoever loves
    Allah, Almighty Allah will protect him against the temptation and misguidance
    of Satan. But whoever loves sin – Allah forbid – Allah, Blessed and Exalted is
    He, will empower against him the devils to increase him in sin and disbelief.
    Recite the Saying of Allah, The Most Exalted (which means):

    “Do you not see
    that We have sent the devils upon the disbelievers, inciting them to [evil]
    with [constant] incitement?

    So be not impatient over them. We
    only count out to them a [limited] number
    (5).” (Maryam,
    19: 83-84)

    So, Allah, all praise and glory
    is to Him, keeps man with those whom he loves. If man loves Allah, Blessed and
    Exalted is He, he will surely be with Allah and Allah will save him from all
    evil and will drive the devils away from him and will protect him against sin
    and will open before him the doors to goodness. But if man loves Satan, Allah
    will leave him to the devils that are His enemies, driving him to sin and
    making his life a continuous misery and man will heap more sins upon his sins
    and in the end he will only take with him his evil deeds.

    Thus, temptation by Satan was
    necessary to complete the life experience on the earth, so that Allah puts His
    servants through a true trial of faith and tests what is within their hearts.
    There had to be a true experience that man goes through in his life and not
    just a theoretical one. Talk is one thing and reality is another. For you may
    say “I will surely do such and such things” and when the time of doing
    comes you do nothing.

    When man shouldered the trust
    of showing obedience to Allah, he promised to fulfill it perfectly but when
    came the time of performance he was attracted by worldly life and its
    temptation and allurement, and he followed Satan and forgot his promise to
    Allah and forgot His Law.

    Therefore, no one should think
    that Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, just answered an invocation of
    Satan, but it was for sake of the law that Allah had decreed for worldly life
    and the trials and tests He prepared for the worldly life of mankind He thus
    willed to prefect the whole picture.

    Thus, the answer agreed with
    the Will of Allah, all glory is to Him, and was not in response to Satan’s
    demand of living till Resurrection Day so that worldly temptation continues to
    the last moment and the trial mankind is put through continues till Resurrection
    Day.

    When Allah, all praise and
    glory is to Him, decreed that Satan should remain till Resurrection Day, pride
    filled him once again and he felt that this was his chance to revenge on Adam
    and his offspring. The Truth [Al-Haqq: one the Beautiful Names of
    Allah
    ], be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, relates to us in the Noble
    Qur’an what means:

    “[Satan] said,
    ‘Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your
    straight path.’” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 16)

    But how did Satan enter the
    door of tempting mankind? And with what did he enter? We learn how by reading
    the glorious Ayah that quotes Satan’s words to the Lord of Majesty saying (what
    means):

    “[Iblees] said,
    ‘By your might, I will surely mislead them all.” (Sâd, 38: 82).

    He entered through the door of
    the Might of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him; that Allah is All-Mighty
    and superbly beyond need of any of His creatures. In other words, Satan said: O
    Lord, if you needed them to be obedient, I could not have led astray any of
    them, but You are All-Mighty, richly above all Your creatures. Their obedience
    adds nothing to Your Kingdom and their disobedience detracts nothing from Your
    Kingdom, thus by Your Might I will lead them all astray, I will adorn for them
    evil and I will sit in wait against them on every straight path
    . As to
    crooked paths no need for the devils to sit on them. For instance, the devil
    does not sit at the doors of bars nor at the dens of vice, for the people who
    frequent such places have already become the soldiers of Satan, and thus in no
    need of further temptation or evil whispering.

    On The Doors of Masjids

           

    The devil sits on the doors of
    Masjids (mosques) and at the places of worship and remembering Allah. He tries
    to seduce people not to offer Salat, and when the Azan [the
    Call to Prayer
    ] is pronounced he strives to allure mankind with every lure
    to divert them from going to Salat. He reminds man of worldly concerns
    and keeps whispering to him evil insinuations. He frightens him by insinuating
    that perhaps if he went to Salat he might lose a good bargain or money
    or benefit, suggesting that work is also an act of worship…etc. till he diverts
    him from remembering Allah and from Salat.

    There is a story narrated on
    the authority of Imam Abu Hanifah (may Allah be pleased with him) who was known
    by issuing fatwas (legal rulings) concerning legal problems, thus a man once
    came to him and said: “I have lost my money, I buried it somewhere in the
    earth but the torrents poured down and hid the place of the money and removed
    the rock I have put as a sign to the place and I do not know what to do?”
     Imam Abu Hanifah said: “How can I
    give you a legal opinion concerning this matter?”
    But the man insisted, so
    Imam Abu Hanifah said to him: “Go tonight after the ‘Isha’ Prayer
    [Evening Prayer] and stand before your Lord and spend the night in prayer until
    the crack of dawn…. and then tell me what has happened.”

    At the time of the Fajr [Dawn]
    Prayer the man came cheerful and said: “I have found my money.” Abu Hanifah
    asked him: “How?” The man said: “I was just about to stand up for
    Prayers when I remembered the place of the money and when did the flood pour
    down and how did it proceed. Thus I measured the distance and estimated it and
    thus I learned the location of the money.”
      So, Abu Hanifah (may Allah be pleased with him) smiled and
    said: “By Allah I knew that the devil will never leave you spend the night
    in the company of Your Lord.”

                    

    Thus, when the devil learned
    that this man would spend the night offering Prayers before his Lord he hurried
    to guide him to the place of the money to prevent him from continuing his
    prayers and from keeping himself engaged in remembering Allah, and that is one
    of the meanings of the Ayah saying (what means):

    “[Satan] said,
    ‘Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your
    straight path.’” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 16)

    And that is what we shall
    discuss in the next chapter, if Allah wills, when talking in detail about the ways
    the devil employs in tempting mankind and how he waylays them in the Masjids
    and places of worship to distract their attention and hinder them from
    remembering Allah and from performing Salat.  

    The Noble Qur’an continue to
    cite Satan’s words, who said what means:

    “Then I will
    come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on
    their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You].” (Al-A‘râf,
    7: 17)

    On contemplating this glorious
    Ayah we will find that the devil has specified four directions from which he
    can come to man: right and left, in front and behind. But directions are six:
    right and left, in front and behind, above and below (man), so why does the
    devil come to man from all directions and leaves two directions: from above and
    below?

    The answer is that “above
    is towards heaven, the place of the ascent of supplications and good deeds to
    Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, whereas “below” is the place of
    prostration and submission to Allah, The Most Exalted and Ever-Majestic, and
    Satan can never get near both. For Satan can never approach the place of
    prostration before Allah and submission to Him and also the place of the
    ascension of prayers and good deeds. For these are the two blessed places of every
    believer, surrounded by angels and are never approached by devils.

    But we must pause before the
    part of the Ayah saying what means: “And You will
    not find most of them grateful.” 

    Who told Satan that most of the
    people will not be thankful to Allah for His Blessings and Grace upon them?
    Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, says what means:

    “And Allah is
    full of bounty to the people, but most of the people do not show gratitude.”
    (Al-Baqarah, 2: 243) 

     

    Was Satan given knowledge of
    the Unseen which made him learn that most of people would not be thankful? Or
    was he so sure of himself that he said such words?

    Satan certainly does not know
    the Unseen nor was he given of knowledge what made him say that most of the
    servants of Allah would not be thankful. He also did not have the mastery that
    made him absolutely confident that this would happen because of his temptation
    of mankind.

    The Noble Qur’an reveals to us
    how did Satan say such words. Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, says what
    means:

    “And Iblees had
    already confirmed through them his assumption, so they followed him, except for
    a party of believers. And he had over them no authority except [it was decreed]
    that We might make evident who believes in the Hereafter from who is thereof in
    doubt. And your Lord, over all things, is Guardian.” (Saba’, 34: 20-21)

    Hence, what Satan said was only
    a conjecture for he certainly did not possess any knowledge of the Unseen nor
    knew what would happen in the future. Then came the Verdict of The Truth, all
    praise and glory is to Him, on Satan and those who follow him, as says the Lord
    of Honor and Sovereignty in His Noble Book what means:

    “[Allah] said,
    ‘Get out of it, reproached and expelled. Whoever follows you among them – I
    will surely fill Hell with you, all together.’” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 18)

     

    Thus, Satan
    was expelled from Allah’s Mercy and from paradise or from any place where he
    can be near Allah. He became humiliated and accursed. Not only him but also
    whoever follows him from jinn and mankind. The destiny of them all would be
    eternity in Hellfire. Allah, The Most Exalted and Ever-Majestic, has prepared
    for each of His servant, from mankind and jinn, a place in Paradise and another
    in Hellfire. So that if all creatures disobeyed Hellfire would contain them all
    and if all creatures obeyed Paradise would be spacious enough for them all. On
    Resurrection Day the righteous people would inherit – above what Allah has
    prepared for them in Paradise – the places that were allotted to those upon
    whom Allah has passed the sentence of torment in Hellfire on Resurrection Day,
    we seek refuge with Allah from such an end.

    After Allah has reprieved Satan
    till Resurrection Day, He wanted to fortify Adam and make him aware of the
    trial he was about to face. To show him how Satan is his foe and how he would
    lure him into sin, and how his promises are false and how he would never honor
    a promise. The Truth, Blessed and Exalted is He, willed to realize this through
    a practical experience that Adam and Eve (peace and blessings be upon them)
    would undergo, so that when they descend on the earth this experience would
    serve to immunize them against diabolic misleading and temptation. Allah, all
    praise and glory is to Him, says what means:

    “And We said,
    ‘O Adam, dwell, you and your wife, in paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and]
    abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be
    among the wrongdoers.’” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 35)

    Thus, Allah, Blessed and
    Exalted is He, has prepared the place of trial to Adam and Eve in a garden
    provided with all means of comfortable living, without fatigue or toil. He gave
    them abundant food from various kinds of fruits and abundant drink, and opened
    before them all the blessings they might wish for. Allah allowed them all the
    fruits of that garden except one tree, which He forbade them to come near.

    It was a comfortable life rich
    with endless lawful blessings and the forbidden was the least of all, only one
    forbidden tree. Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, warned Adam and Eve
    against their enemy Satan and asked them not to listen to him because he only
    wishes them evil and never wishes them any goodness. Allah warned them saying
    what means:

    “So We said, ‘O
    Adam, indeed this is an enemy to you and to your wife. Then let him not remove
    you from paradise so you would suffer.’” (Tâ-­Hâ, 20: 117)

     

    But what happened? In spite of
    all warnings and although the lawful things are many and the forbidden is only
    one tree, Satan succeeded by his temptation to cause Adam and Eve to fall into
    sin.

    Some interpreters say that Eve
    was the one who first fell into sin then led Adam into it. That she was the
    reason behind Adam’s departure from the garden, is that true? Was Eve the one
    who bore the first sin that led to Adam’s departure from the garden, or is it
    false? What is the truth? And what did truly happen?

    Before answering these
    questions we sum up what we have discussed in this chapter: Satan was blown up
    with pride and his conceited self made him reject the Command of Allah, all
    praise and glory is to Him, and he said: “You created me from fire, and You
    created him from clay.” (Sâd, 38: 76)
    by which he wanted to alter the
    Command of Allah, thus Allah cursed him and cast him out of His Mercy and made
    him one of the dwellers of Hellfire together with all who follow him. But Satan
    pursued a doorway to tempt Adam and his offspring. His doorway is that Allah,
    Blessed and Exalted is He, is All-Mighty, All-Rich, beyond need of all His
    creatures, neither those who stray into wrong harm Him nor those who believe
    benefit Him.

    Through that inlet
    Satan crept in to tempt the Children of Adam. Allah, all praise and glory is to
    Him, made worldly life an abode of trial therefore temptation is a must so that
    Allah tests true faith and they become witnesses over themselves on
    Resurrection Day.

    Allah willed that Adam should

    pass through a practical experience of satanic temptation and misguidance to
    warn him and teach him what he would confront in worldly life…so how did this
    experience go on?

     


    (5)
    Means: years, months, days and hours.

     

     

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