‘Patience to Refrain from Prohibitions’
Certainly the soul and its inclinations, Satan’s allurement and bad company all invite and encourage one to sins. Therefore, by the strength of one’s patience, one is able to leave them. Some of the salaf said: “Good actions are carried out by both the good-doer and evil-doer but no one is able to leave sins except the truthful one.”
Amongst the most difficult types of patience is patience in refraining from committing wrong actions of speech and sexual wrong actions. Wrong actions of speech – such as backbiting and slander, telling lies to create trouble between people, and praising oneself explicitly or implicitly, and insulting people one does not like and praising those whom one does like – are all entertaining and enjoyable. There is a strong motive to commit these wrong actions, and it is so easy to move one’s tongue and speak, so the patience required to abstain from them is particularly difficult. Therefore the Prophet ﷺ told Mu’adh, “Control your tongue. ” Mu’adh asked, “Are we accountable for what we say?” The Prophet ﷺ answered, “Is there anything other than the wrong actions of speech that cause people to be thrown in Hell on their faces?“
Once the wrong actions of speech have become a habit, patience becomes even more difficult.
Prohibitions set by Allah S.W.T.
It is well-known that some of those who follow their desires, who are weak at heart and have little knowledge, become irritated when they hear lists of prohibitions. They grumble and mutter, “Everything is haram, you haven’t left us anything that is not forbidden! You make our lives boring and miserable. You don’t talk about anything but what is haram, but religion is supposed to easy, not strict, and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”
In response to such remarks, we say:
Allah, may He be glorified, rules as He wills and there is none to put back His judgement. He is All-Wise and Aware, and He allows whatever He wills and forbids whatever He wills, may He be glorified. One of the basic principles of our being His slaves is that we should accept whatever He decrees and submit fully to it. His rulings stem from His knowledge, wisdom and justice, and are not the matter of frivolity or foolish whims, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His words. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (al-An’aam 6:115)
Allah has explained to us the governing principle behind the allowing and prohibiting of various things (interpretation of the meaning): “. . . He allows them as lawful al-tayyibaat [(i.e., all good and lawful) as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.], and prohibits them as unlawful al-khabaa’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons and foods)” [al-A’raf 7:157]”
1. The Prevention of Knowledge: Knowledge is a light which Allaah throws into the heart and disobedience extinguishes this light.
Imaam Shaafi’ee said: I complained to Wakee’ about the weakness of my memory So he ordered me to abandon disobedience And informed me that the knowledge is light And that the light of Allaah is not given to the disobedient
2. The Prevention of Sustenance: Just as Taqwaa brings about sustenance, the abandonment of Taqwaa causes poverty. The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: ‘A man is deprived of provision because of the sins that he commits.’ (Ibn Maajah, classed as hasan by al-Albaani)
3. Sense of alienation that comes between a person and his Lord, and between him and other people. One of the righteous predecessors said: “If I disobey Allaah, I see that in the attitude of my riding beast and my wife.”
4. Things become difficult for him, so that he does not turn his attention towards any matter but he finds the way blocked or he finds it difficult. By the same token, for the one who fears Allaah, things are made easy for him.
5. The sinner will find darkness in his heart, which he will feel just as he feels the darkness of night. So this darkness affects his heart as the physical darkness affects his vision. For obedience is light and disobedience is darkness. The stronger the darkness grows, the greater becomes his confusion, until he falls into innovation, misguidance and other things that lead to doom, without even realizing, like a blind man who goes out in the darkness of the night, walking alone This darkness grows stronger until it covers the eyes, then it grows stronger until it covers the face, which appears dark and is seen by everyone.
6. Deprivation of worship and obedience. If sin brought no punishment other than that it prevents a person from doing an act of worship which is the opposite of sin, and cuts off access to other acts of worship, that would be bad enough.
7. Sin breeds sin until it dominates a person and he cannot escape from it.
8. Sin weakens a person’s willpower. It gradually strengthens his will to commit sin and weakens his will to repent until there is no will in his heart to repent at all… so he seeks forgiveness and expresses repentance, but it is merely words on the lips, like the repentance of the liars, whose hearts are still determined to commit sin and persist in it. This is one of the most serious diseases that are most likely to lead to doom.
9. He will become desensitized and will no longer find sin abhorrent, so it will become his habit, and he will not be bothered if people see him committing the sin or talk about him.
For the leaders of immorality, this is the ultimate shamelessness in which they find great pleasure, such that they feel proud of their sin and will speak of it to people who do not know that they have done it, saying, “O so and so, I did such and such.” Such people cannot be helped and the path to repentance is blocked for them in most cases. The Prophet ﷺ said: “All of my ummah (followers) will be fine except for those who commit sin openly, and that includes cases where Allaah conceals a person’s sin, but the following morning he exposes himself and says, ‘O So and so, I did such and such last night, so he shamelessly exposes himself when all night his Lord had concealed his sin.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5949; Muslim, 2744).
10. When there are many sins they leave a mark on the heart of the person who commits them, so he becomes one of the negligent. As one of the salaf said, concerning the aayah (verse)– “Nay! But on their hearts is the Raan (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn” (al-Mutaffifeen 83:14 – interpretation of the meaning) this means sin after sin.
How this starts is that the heart gets stained by sin, and if the sin increases then the stain grows bigger until it becomes the raan (covering of sin and evil deeds), then it increases until it becomes a seal, and the heart becomes covered and sealed. If that happens after a person had been guided and had understood, then his heart is turned upside down, and at that point the Shaytaan gains control over him and directs him as he wants.
Have Taqwa of Allah
Taqwa means consciousness, awe or fear of Allah, which inspires a person to be on guard against wrong action and eager for actions which please Allah and stay away from those actions which displease and anger him.
the skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. “ [39:23]
Seeking Refuge with Allah
Allah has instructed us to seek refuge with Allah from the Shaytan and his evils in the Qur’aan,
Islam teaches us to seek refuge with Allah in certain situations, such as those mentioned in the following:
Dispelling Shaytan anytime of Day or night
The Messenger of Allah said,“ Whoever says in the morning (the below), …has indeed gained the reward of freeing ten slaves from the children of Isma’eel and ten of his sins are wiped away and he is raised ten degrees and he has found a safe retreat from the Shaytan until evening. Similarly, if he says in the evening, he will be protected until the morning.” [Saheeh Ibn Majah]
لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ، وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ، وَهْوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
La ilaha ill-Allah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shayin qadeer (one hundred times in the day)
“None has the right to be worshiped except Allah alone. He has no partners. To Him belongs the Dominion, to Him belongs all praise and He is over all things Omnipotent.”
Dispelling Shaytan from the House
Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said,
Dispelling Shaytan before food & drink (recite the Duas)
One should drink whilst sitting because Shaytan drinks with a person, who drinks standing up. It is narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet ﷺ saw a man drinking standing up. He said to him, “Hah!” The man asked, “What’s the matter?” He said, “Would you like it if a cat drank with you?” He said, “No.” He said, “Someone worse than that was drinking with you, the Shaytan.” [As-Saheehah (1/175)]
“When you are about to eat, you should say (the below),
‘In the Name of Allah (I begin)’
…and if you forget to say it before starting, Then you should say when you remember should say…
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ فِي أَوَّلِهِ وَآخِرِهِ
Bismillahi Awwalahu Wa Aakhirahu
‘In the Name of Allah in it’s beginning and the end.’
Dispelling Shaytan before going to bed.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “When you are about to sleep recite ayat alkursi (Soorah 2: 255) till the end of the verse for there will remain over you a protection from Allah and no Shaytan will draw near to you until morning.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee]
ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلۡحَىُّ ٱلۡقَيُّومُۚ لَا تَأۡخُذُهُ ۥ سِنَةٌ۬ وَلَا نَوۡمٌ۬ۚ لَّهُ ۥ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِۗ مَن ذَا ٱلَّذِى يَشۡفَعُ عِندَهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا بِإِذۡنِهِۦۚ يَعۡلَمُ مَا بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِيهِمۡ وَمَا خَلۡفَهُمۡۖ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَىۡءٍ۬ مِّنۡ عِلۡمِهِۦۤ إِلَّا بِمَا شَآءَۚ وَسِعَ كُرۡسِيُّهُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَۖ وَلَا يَـُٔودُهُ ۥ حِفۡظُهُمَاۚ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَلِىُّ ٱلۡعَظِيمُ ( ٢٥٥ )
“ Allâh! Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber, nor sleep overtake Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter . And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His Kursî extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.” [This Verse 2:255 is called Ayat-ul-Kursî.]— (255)
Dispelling Shaytan before entering the Washroom. (Recite the dua)
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “These places are inhabited by devils, so when any one of you enters the washroom, let him say, (the below dua) [Saheeh Sunan Abu Dawood (1/4, no.4)]
أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنَ الْخُبُثِ وَالْخَبَائِثِ
‘A’oodhu Billaahi min al-khubthi wa’l-khabaa’ith
“O Allah I see refuge with you from the male and female devils.”
Dispelling Shaytan upon leaving the house.
Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “Whoever says when he leaves his house (the below dua), It is said to him, “You have been sufficed, you have been protected and you have been guided.” Then one of the devils turns to another and says, “How can you get to a man who has been sufficed, protected and guided.” [Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhee (hasan saheeh)].
بسم الله توكلت على الله، ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله
Bismillaah, tawakkaltu ‘ala Allaah, wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah
“In the Name of Allah, I place my trust upon Allah, There is no power, nor movement except by Allah.”
Recite the Qur’an with its meanings
We should read the Qur’an with its meanings and try to understand what Allah is telling us in the Qur’an. Contemplate and ponder over the meanings of the verses of the Qur’an and act upon what you learn for learning something beneficial without acting upon it is of no use. We should read each verse of the Qur’an with humility and submissiveness.
Keeping busy with Dhikr
A man cannot save himself from his enemy except by means of dhikr.
The Qareen of a believer, who keeps his tongue wet with the remembrance of Allah, is very lean, weak and hungry because the more the believer remembers his Lord, the more Shaytan suffers and is tormented.
Whereas the Shaytan accompanying an evil doer who does not remember his Lord, rests in peace and is therefore strong and powerful and thus more capable of overcoming Him.
Adhering to the Main Body of the Muslims (The Jama’ah)
Adhering to the main body of the Muslims (i.e., the Jama’ah) by living amongst believers and choosing righteous friends who will help him to do good. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever among you wants to attain the best part of Paradise, let him adhere to the main body of the Muslims, for the Shaytan is with the one who is alone but he is farther away from two.” [at-Tirmidhee (2254)]
It should be noted that the Jama’ah counts for nothing if it does not adhere to the truth, i.e., the Qur’aan and the Sunnah upon the understanding of the Sahabah.
Be with good company
The Prophet ﷺ said,
We are who our friends are, bad company is like poison so we MUST keep away from it. It is better to be alone than with bad company. we should avoid taking as friends those who speak too freely, who miss Salah, who do not dress modestly, who backbite, slander etc.
Instead we should seek out pious friends who fear Allah taala and who have the qualities of humility, charity, compassion, modesty and knowledge. If we sit with them we will always benefit and they will be a means for us to get closer to Allah!
Remember: “All friends will be enemies of one another on that Day (Day of Judgment) except those of the virtuous.” (al-Qur’an 43:67)
Knowing the Tricks of Shytaan & The means of defeating him
This is to know the plots of Shaytan mentioned in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and Shaytan’s conspiracies against the believers
For example, how he tempts people into committing sins, distracts one in his prayer and from good deeds, how he tries to make one think that his Wudhu is invalidated and how he plants discord between husband and wife, etc.
One, who recognizes these plots of Shaytan and their remedies, can effectively dismiss him and his whispers by implementing the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger .ﷺ
Try to acquire as much knowledge as is possible and act upon everything you learn for. Spend time with the learned and sit with them and take wisdom from them. Go to Islamic courses and involve yourself with learning about the deen as much as you can as we should continue to acquire knowledge of Islam until our very last breath.
A person without knowledge is like someone walking along a track in complete darkness. Most likely his steps will wander aside and he easily can be deceived by shaytaan. This shows that our greatest danger lies in our ignorance of Islamic teachings and in our unawareness of what the Qur’an teaches and what guidance has been given by the Prophet ﷺ. But if we are blessed with the light of knowledge we will be able to see plainly the clear path of Islam at every step of our lives. We shall also be able to identify and avoid the dangerous paths of Kufr, Shirk and immorality, which may cross it. And, whenever a false guide meets us on the way, a few words with him will quickly establish that he is not a guide who should be followed.
Allah said: “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you that you may become righteous”. (Qur’an, 2:183)
Fasting trains the will to avoid desires and keep away from sin; it helps a person to overcome his own nature and to wean himself away from his habits.
It is Sunnah to fast on Mondays & Thursdays (these two days the deeds are presented to the lord and Prophet ﷺ was born on Monday) or to fast three days (13th, 14th & 15th) of the Islamic months it equal to fasting all month.
Remember much the destroyer of pleasures: DEATH!
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:” Remember often the destroyer of pleasure.“ (Sunan al-Tirmidhi and Sunan al-Nasa’i)
Know that it can strike at ANY second and be aware that if it were to strike whilst you were committing a sin then how will you be raised in that state and what will be our state in the grave and on the day of judgement? What will you answer to Allah when you were fully aware of the implications and consquences of our actions? For man is heedless.
Therefore remember death much and make it a habit to visit the graveyard at least once a week so that you may be reminded of death and know that you may end up in the grave alongside the others at ANY second and the next grave dug could be yours or mine.
May Allah make us of the most fearful of him and of the pious and may he bring us closer to him and guide us to the straight path. May he save us from the torment of the grave and the fire of hell. Ameen
Other tips to attain Taqwa and stay away from Sins
Please join our free online certificate course(s) mentioned below , to learn to learn more about Major Sins, Sins Taken Lightly, their effects, repentance and more.
Note these are not part of the ongoing course, it is an independent course that can be done at your own pace and at your own convenience.