Confronting our Worst Enemy – Shaytan

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا ادْخُلُوا فِي السِّلْمِ كَافَّةً وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ

[2:208]

سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ

وَسَلَامٌ عَلَى الْمُرْسَلِينَ

وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

[37:180-182]

In the month of Ramadan,many of us may have heard that Allah swt chains up all of the Shayateen and many of us may have felt in the month of Ramadan that in addition to many many reasons this certainly was a major reason why we felt closer to Allah swt, why we had the ability to engage in more ibadah and then this brings the question that since the month of Ramadan has ended and that Shaytan and the Shayateen have been unchained and unleashed and again they are being musallat; are coming upon us – how is it that we can protect ourselves from Shaytan.

In the month of Ramadan, Allah swt Gave us 29 or 30 days of training how we can control and subdue are Nafs. Those of us who spent that month properly you would now be much stronger viz-a-viz our Nafs – now we should think how to make ourselves stronger viz-a-viz Shaytan. Anycase, in the Deen of Islam,  the second the month of Ramadan ends the month of Shawwal begins. from the 1st of Shawwal begins what are known as the “Ash-har-ul Hajj – the months of Hajj. A person can make niyyah and leave their home from the very first of Shawwal and make the journey for Hajj. Originally before the Muslim Ummah was blessed with the invention of Airplanes or airtravel, when people would travel for Hajj they would leave weeks or months in advance. And, one of the ultimate features of Hajj is Rami which means the pelting and stoning of Shaytan and one of the climaxes of Hajj is this repudiation of Shaytan. So, it means that in these months of Hajj, this month of Shawwal we should think how we should protect ourselves from Shaytan.

Now Shaytan is unseen; the unheard. Normally people don’t like to talk about him; but any good strategist knows that you should know your enemy; you should study your enemy

And Allah swt has said this in the Qur’an-e-Karim,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا ادْخُلُوا فِي السِّلْمِ كَافَّةً

that O you who believe! you should enter the Deen of Islam entirely

وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ

And you should not follow the whisperings – mechanisms of Shaytan

 إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ

that Indeed his is a clear/open/manifest/die-hard enemy to you!

[2:208]

Shaytan’s Enmity for us

The way we normally explain this to people is that we don’t appreciate and understand how much enmity Shaytan has. Imagine if there is someone who you think is your enemy or somebody who you think is your family’s enemy or perhaps you think that hitler was the enemy of Jews – infinitely more than any of the enmities that have ever existed between any two human beings; infinitely more than that is Shaytan’s enmity for each and every believer. The enmity that Shaytan has for a mo’min is more than the enmity that hitler had for the Jews; more than – had for the cambodians; more than slovedon Milošević had for the Bosnian Muslims – more than anyone you think alive on this earth have enmity for the Muslims – infinitely more than any human being can have anmity – Shaytan has enmity for the mo’mineen.

And how long has he had this enmity for?

He has had this hatred and hasad; enmity and jealousy; spite and malice for millions of years! Allahu akbar kabira

Now, in this day and age if someone has an dushman [enemy] – they think and talk to their friend to plan some defensive strategy. So why not plan some defensive strategy against the biggest Dushman that we have which is Shaytan.

So it is important for us to reflect upon – Who is Shaytan? How did he become Shaytan? What exactly is his relationship with us? And how can we protect ourselves and preserve ourselves from Shaytan.

All of you are very familiar of the famous story of how Iblees became Shaytan. I would just highlight a few points of that. Allah swt has Mentioned this story in many different places in the Qur’an-e-Karim, but most importantly Allah swt has Mentioned a lengthy dialogue that takes place between Him and Shaytan in three places in the Qur’an – Surah Suaad, Surah Al-Hijr and Surah A’raaf.

The Story of Shaytan

As all of you know Allah swt Created Sayyidina Adam alayhisalaam and then He called all of the angels  to witness that act of creation  and make Sajdah to Adam a.s. then Allah swt also called one representative from the Jinn whose name was Iblis. He was called so that he could be an ambassador of all the Jinns and also because he had spent so many years prior to this  event in ibadah in worship that Allah swt  had Let him hang out with the angels. Sometimes he is referred to in Arabic as “Taoos-ul-Malaika – Companion/Likeness/Comrade of the angels”. And as all of you know Allah swt Commanded all of those present in that gathering to Make Sajdah to Adam a.s.

The angels, because its not in their ability to disobey a direct command – certainly when  Allah swt Created Adam a.s. the angels  asked that O Allah what are you doing? this is some type of creation that is going to create fasaad on earth! this is a creation that also has the propensity and potential for evil in it, why would You Create such a creation when You have us the angels who have only good! this is a type of creation whom You are Giving and endowing with freewill and the freedom to disbelieve and disobey in You – why would You want to create such a creation when You have us who always believe and obey You – so certainly they asked these questions but when Allah swt’s Direct Order and Command came to make Sajdah – all of the angels, because that is the way they are they have the freedom to think and to ask and question but they don’t have the freedom to disobey Allah swt – so automatically they obeyed and fell into Sajdah.

Iblis being Jinn had that freedom to disobey and he chose to exercise that freedom and he didn’t make sajdah to sayyidina Adam a.s.

How did Allah swt Express this act of Iblis not making Sajdah, He swt said in Qur’an:

أَبَى وَاسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ

[2:34]

أَبَى

the first word means: he rejected; he denied; he refused the commandment of Allah swt

 وَاسْتَكْبَرَ

And then he had takabbur on top of that – very important – many times people think that Shaytan refused the commandment because he had takkabur. No.

– Shaytan refused the command because he had hasad; he had envy for sayyidina Adam a.s.

– After refusing, Allah swt Mentions that he had takabbur – this is a particular type of takabbur and this is that type of takabbur that when a person disobeys Allah swt they feel justified in doing so; they feel they have a valid reason and excuse in doing so and therefore they feel absolutely no shame; remorse or regret whatsoever in that act of disobedience.

– If someone were to ask them that why are you doing this when Allah swt Wants you to do it otherwise? Why are you doing this when the Quran and the Sunnah say otherwise? They give their reasons and they feel justified in doing so! this is a particular type of takabbur

First lesson derived from this verse:

– Many times the most common lesson that people mention in this ayah is that Shaytan was worshipping for millions of years and those millions of years of ibadat didn’t help him at all and that doesn’t make such an impact on our hearts because we are not people who worship millions of years anyway! so if that is the lesson to be learnt that if you have a lot of ibadah even that wouldn’t help you – most of the young men and women would think that oh i don’t even have lots of ibadah anyway 

– The Second Lesson:

What is going to happen to us if we choose to reject and deny the commandments of Allah swt and we feel justified and remorseless in doing so. That is the  asl link that Shaytan is trying to make; Shaytan wants that human beings should become like him – that means that not only should they become disobedient and distant from Allah swt, they should feel justified and proud in doing so. Whether they do so in the name of Modernism; they do so in the name of Reformism/Secularism/Liberalism/Nationalism/Marxism, they go all the way and do so in the name of Agnosticism and Atheism – but they should feel absolutely content and proud and firm on their disobedience! They should have a deep, intellectual philosophical grounding for their disobedience – which makes them absolutely disobey Allah swt without any hesitation and without any regret – thats what Shaytan wants because that is his Satanic Attribute.

So, Allah swt Says in the ayah that:

أَبَى

that he denied and rejected the commandment of Allah swt

 وَاسْتَكْبَرَ

And he had takabbur.

So, what was the result of that?

 وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ

And, interestingly Shaytan does not disbelieve in Allah swt at this moment. Its not that he becomes an Atheist; he is looking at Allah swt, he cannot be in a state of Atheism or agnosticism because he is in the ro’iyyat, deedaar of Allah swt but he is called among the kafireen because knowing Allah swt exists and disobeying Him is the ultimate type of Kufr – its even more ultimate than Atheism and Agnosticim! This is the kind of Kufr that Shaytan wants the mo’min to fall into. Because the mo’min believes that Allah swt Exists, just like Shaytan knew Allah swt Exists!

So, the Shaytanic Kufr is to know Allah swt Exists, but to disobey Him. And that is what Allah swt Mentions in this Ayah:

 وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ

that he became eternally, permanently amongst the Kafirs.

Then, lets look at these different conversations and dialogues that take place between Allah swt and Shaytan

Dialogues between Allah swt & Shaytan

So, first in Surah Suad, Allah swt Asks Iblis:

أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ أَمْ كُنْتَ مِنَ الْعَالِينَ

[38:75]

Is it that you have adopted takabbur or are you amongst the people who view themselves to be higher and exalted – a’ali

So, Shaytan responds:

 أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِنْهُ

that I am better than him

[38:76]

i.e. he gives a justification. What you say in Urdu, “thak jawab deina” . Now can you imagine, Allah swt ko thak jawab deina? Shaytan did it with his words, me and you do it with our lives.

– Allah swt has the Muazzin call out, ‘As-Salatu khairun min an-naum’, hum thak jawab deitey hain, we keep sleeping!

– Allah swt Says in Qur’an,

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ

[33:21]

that you have in the Prophet  صلى الله عليه وسلم  a beautiful example, hum thak jawab deitey hain – we like to adopt a different type of lifestyle. We have our own views as to what is beautiful; we have our own dictates and mandates of Fashion, culture and society

Atleast Shaytan was honest about it; atleast Shaytan verbally said it.

How is he better? he said:

خَلَقْتَنِي مِنْ نَارٍ

that You Made me from fire

 وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِنْ طِينٍ

and You Made him from the elements of the earth –

You made me from the elements of Fire – thermal energy; and he’s made up of the elements of earth – Calcium in his bones and iron in his blood and magnesium and zinc and copper and all of that – So, I’m better

قَالَ

then, Allah swt Responded

 فَاخْرُجْ مِنْهَا

that Exit from My Company! Leave My Presence! Leave My Auspicious Court!

 فَإِنَّكَ رَجِيمٌ

Indeed you are repudiated!

Then, Allah swt added:

وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ لَعْنَتِي

that Indeed upon you is My Curse – means that I Pick you up and Put you outside the reach of My Mercy! Never ever will My Mercy Ever Focus itself upon you again

 إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

Until the End of Time; until the Day of Judgment

Then, Shaytan responded:

قَالَ

رَبِّ فَأَنْظِرْنِي إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ

that O my Rabb! Give me some respite until that Day in which You will Resurrect all of humanity

[38:76-79]

The Mufassiroon write that since at that moment Shaytan used the word, “رَبِّ” – my Rabb – that is why his dua was accepted. He made dua the same way the Ambiya made dua – with the word “rabb” and saying Rabbi, My Rabb. A lot of duas of the Ambiya-e-karaam have been mentioned in the Qur’an-e-Karim and they all called upon Allah swt with this word ‘Rabb”.

So, this is such a word that even Iblis, when he uses it, Allah swt Grants his dua – this is also a lesson for us – the mo’mineen – that Ya Allah swt, hum bi toh bil aakhir Aap ko Rabb ke hi naam se pukaartey hain; agar iblis ne ‘ain nafarmani ke waqt aap ko Rabb se pukaara Aap ney usko bi mohlat dia; tu agar hum gunah ke baad aap ko Rabb se pukaartey hain, hamein bi muaaf kerdein – this is the power of the word Rabb!

Iblis called upon Allah swt with this word Rabb and Allah swt Said:

قَالَ فَإِنَّكَ مِنَ الْمُنْظَرِينَ

you are amongst the people who have  been given respite; stay – you will not be touched – until the Day of Judgment

إِلَى يَوْمِ الْوَقْتِ الْمَعْلُومِ

[38:80-81]

until that Day whose time has been appointed and known to Allah swt

But, Iblis was Iblis – almost like a spoiled child when they get what they want from their parents they go back to their naughtiness! So, he called upon Allah swt with this Dua; he got what he wanted; Allah swt said okay you have been given respite.

Then, Shaytan said:

قَالَ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ

He swore by the Izzat of Allah swt! Allahu akbar – this is the most level of Kufr that you can imagine! Me and you could never dream like this  – that we would disobey Allah swt and then looking at Allah swt, invoke Allah swt’s Izzat – the Honour and Sanctity and Maqam of Allah swt. Iblis looks at Allah swt and says  فَبِعِزَّتِكَ

لَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

I will distract and destroy and despoil all of humanity!

So, if you want to understand how much of any enemy he is, this is his moment of declaring his enmity for me and you! Looking at Allah swt, and swearing by the izzat of Allah swt! Allahu akbar

Then, Shaytan even said, a strange thing:

إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِينَ

Except those who are

عِبَادَكَ

Your Ibaad, who are Your worshipful servants

 مِنْهُمُ

from all of that humanity

الْمُخْلَصِينَ

those who have Ikhlaas

[38:82-23]

Even he knew, at that ultimate moment of enmity that he won’t be able to distract and lead astray those people who have two characteristics – Ibadat and Ikhlaas. Anybody who has that, even Shaytan felt that he wouldn’t be able to distract them.

Another Conversation between Allah swt & Shaytan

In another conversation, very similar to this, Allah swt Mentions in Surat-ul-Hijr. I will just mention to you the extra part of this conversation, most of the conversation is the same. Here, after Shaytan mentions this, the same thing:

لَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِينَ

that I will distract all of them, except those among them who are your worshipful servants and those who are people of Ikhlaas.

The exact same words. One ayah later, Allah swt Responds to him:

إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ إِلَّا مَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ

[15:42]

إِنَّ عِبَادِي

(that, Know Shaytan that) Indeed! My servants

لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ

that you will not have any ability or power over them

إِلَّا مَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ

إِلَّا

Except from those human beings;

مَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ 

those who will follow you

مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ

from those who are distracted and astray and deluded

And, then Allah swt Says, for those people who follow you:

وَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ لَمَوْعِدُهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

(15:42)

And, I will Make a place called Hellfire to be the dwelling place for all of those who follow you!

III. Another conversation between Allah swt & Shaytan

In a third place, Allah swt again Mentions the same conversation, here Shaytan adds another thing, Much of the words are the same, so just the extra words:

ثُمَّ لَآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَائِلِهِمْ

(Surah A’iraf 7:17)

Iblis is saying to Allah swt: that I will accost them, affront them, attack them from upfront, I will attack them from behind, and I will attack them from their right and I will attack them from their left,…

(and then, he says to Allah swt)

وَلَا تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ

and you will find (Allah swt) that the vast majority of them are ungrateful, unthankful of You, they won’t have Shukr

then, Allah swt Responded to him

قَالَ اخْرُجْ مِنْهَا مَذْءُومًا مَّدْحُورًا ۖ لَّمَن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ لَأَمْلَأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

” [Allah swt] said, “Get out of Paradise, reproached and expelled. Whoever follows you among them – I will surely fill Hell with you, all together. ” (7:18)

So, here we have three conversations between Allah swt & iblis where he has made clear his diehard enmity for us. So, if nothing else – that mo’min who wants to be the lover of Allah swt would take up Shaytan as an enemy because of the way Shaytan treated our Allah swt. So, you see if somebody talked to your father like this; if someone talked to your mother like this – you would become their enemy! Iblis talked to our Allah swt like this! this is even more offensive to us. Not to say, Iblis said this about us – that also offends us; that he said that he has his dastardly plans for us –but that Iblis talked to our Allah swt about this. We should feel upset with Iblis; we should feel enmity for Iblis.

This is why Allah swt Says:

إنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّا

“Indeed, Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy..”(35:06)

that you should take him as an enemy! Not only that he is an

عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ

(2:168)

open; manifest; diehard enemy of yours

فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّا

you should take him as an enemy!

you should have enmity towards him because of the way he talked to Allah swt. And, just like in this world we never want our enemies to succeed – we should never want iblis and shaytan to succeed in his mission and his quest — to make us astray! we should never want to be part of the people with whom he fulfills his pledge; we should never want to become from amongst those ungrateful ones lest Iblis take pride of us on the day of Judgment!

you see there will be some people Syeddina Rasoolullah saw will be proud of and there will be some mo’mineen on the Day of Judgment that Iblis will be proud of – he will say look(O Allah swt) these are the ones that I said I will distract; these are the ones who I said I will ignite against You; these are the ones who became like me – they disobeyed you Allah swt, and they felt completely justified in doing so.

So, we should never ever want that we should be such a person that on the day of Judgment Iblis should claim us, rather we should want that on the Day of Judgment Allah swt and Syeddina Rasoolullahi sallallahu alaihi wassalam themselves should claim us.

Powers that Allah swt has Given to Shaytan

Now, what are the powers that have been given to Shaytan and how is it that Shaytan goes about this business of dragging us astray.

Ahadith:

In hadith, it comes that Shaytan has been empowered with the following things:

  1. Shaytan does not need food or drink; Shaytan does not need to sleep

In other words, 24 hours unwaning energy – he does not tire, he does not fatigue, he does not sleep, he does not rest, he does not eat, he does not drink! 24 hours dedicated enmity to mo’mineen

2. He has been given extremely long life – he will be alive until the end of time, death will not overcome him

3. He has been made invisible – we cannot see him, we cannot hear him, we cannot feel him, we cannot smell him —illah MashaAllah! 99.99% of humanity will not be able to detect him in any way whatsoever

4. He has been given awlaad – just like Syeddina Adam alaihisalaam was given a progeny and descendants — just like that Iblis has been given a series of progeny. These are known as the Shayateen, who will help him; who will assist him.

The Muhaddiseen say that these could number in the thousands; these could number in the hundreds of thousands; these could number in the millions. And in one hadith, Syeddina Rasoolullahi sallAllahi alaiwassalam said that every human being  has a Shaytan, every human being has one Shaytan attached with them — so, what does that mean? If there are 6 billion human beings alive on earth, then there are atleast 6 billion Shayateen.

5. Shaytan has been given the power of waswasa – he is able to whisper and insinuate and plan a thought

…to be continued, inshaAllah

Download original talk HERE

This entry was posted in Acquiring Sacred Knowledge ['ilm], Nafs, Our Spiritual Enemies, Spirituality, Taqwa and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Confronting our Worst Enemy – Shaytan

  1. Samiah Khan says:

    A more-than moving horrific scene, one that we cannot even imagine but after reading this article we re-instate our own state now. We all do know that this shaytaan streams into our lives in one way or another, even if for the very blessed people, (although they themselves are protected) they have it in their vision right before them in presence of those around them, as it streams into their lives too but at that distance blessed. JazakAlllah khair & Alhamdulillah hai Rabbil aalameen, With the words in this lesson that you dear shaykh have given, you have brought us into the state of being more Allah Ta’aala-Fearing than we were before we read it.

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