Class07-Tricks of Shaitaan

Class 7

‘Tricks of Shaitaan’

Allah has given Shaytan the ability to flow in the body of man in a way which we do not understand.

Allah’s Messenger said, “Shaytan flows through the sons of Adam like blood.” [Mishkaat al-Masaabih]

Shaytan may reach a man’s heart and mind, and whisper or tempt him to listen to or look at haraam things or commit immoral actions. This is called waswaas.

Shaytan, however, does not directly approach humans and ask them to abandon their religion. No sane person would willingly disobey Allah while choosing to follow Shaytan instead and share his dreadful fate! Shaytan has his own ways of distracting mankind from the religion of Allah and deceiving them into committing evil deeds.

Strategy of Shaytaan

To achieve his goal of dragging mankind with him into Hell, Shaytan first lures mankind into committing Shirk and Kufr through invoking the dead, practicing magic, etc., because Shirk (associating partners with Allah) is the greatest sin. Anyone who dies upon Shirk will not be forgiven, nor will he ever be taken out of Hell-fire.

So, if Shaytan overwhelms the son of Adam by causing him to commit Shirk, then he is satisfied and pleased. “Like when Shaytan says to man, ‘Disbelieve in Allah.’ But when (man) disbelieves in Allah, Shaytan says, ‘I am free of you, I fear Allah…” [Soorah al-Hashr (59): 16]

If he cannot manage to deceive people into committing Shirk and Kufr, he does not give up. He causes people to follow bidah (innovations in the religion) the actions that have no basis in the religion.

Sufyan ath-Thawri said, “Bidah is dearer to Shaytan than sin, for, one may repent from sin, but not from bidah.” One who sins, knows that he is disobeying Allah and some time, he may turn to Allah and seek forgiveness and be pardoned. But he, who practices Bidah, deems his action to be a form of worship to Allah and thus, never even thinks of repentance! “Say (O Muhammad), ‘Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect to (their) deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds!’” [Soorah al-Kahf (18): 104] meaning, they performed deeds that were not in accordance with the prescribed way and thus not acceptable.

If Shaytan fails at causing people to follow innovations, he will move on to calling them to major sins like abandoning prayers – particularly, if the person is a respected personality, because huge number of people will follow his example.

If the believer keeps steadfast, Shaytan is still not discouraged, he calls them to minor sins because even minor sins can have devastating effect on one’s Hereafter. Allah’s Messenger warned us concerning minor sins by giving an example of how a great fire can be kindled by means of small wooden sticks collected in a place. Similarly, minor sins if allowed to accumulate, might destroy the sinner. He said, “Beware of the insignificant sins, like a people who stayed (abode) in a valley, then this one brought a stick, that one brought a stick and others brought sticks too, until they cooked their bread (meal). Verily, the person who commits these (minor) sins will be seized by these sins and be destroyed.” [Musnad Ahmad]

If the believer still emerges safe from his traps, Shaytan seeks to keep him occupied with permissible matters, like sleeping, eating, pursuing worldly affairs, etc. Spending time and effort in these will neither earn him reward nor bring punishment. He will, however, miss the rewards he would have gained if he had spent his time in performing good deeds.

If the believing slave is still not deceived and manages his time well, Shaytan keeps him busy with less virtuous deeds instead of what is more preferable and rewarding in order for him to miss the reward of the best and most virtuous deed.

If after employing all kinds of temptations and deceptive arguments, Shaytan still does not succeed in diverting the son of Adam from his religious commitments, he resorts to corrupt his acts of worship and deprive him from the rewards. He stirs up doubts and makes the person anxious and uncertain. In Saheeh al- Bukharee, it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “When the call to prayer is pronounced, the Shaytan runs away breaking wind loudly, so that he will not hear the adhaan. When the call to prayer ends, he comes back, but when the iqaamah starts, he runs away. And when the prayer begins, he comes back until he whispers into the heart of the person, and says to him, ‘Remember such and such, remember such and such – things that he did not remember before the prayer until he does not know how many raka’ahs he has prayed.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee (608)]

If the person still remains undefeated, Shaytan’s next step is to harm the person, for example, by causing him to be persecuted, or by distorting his reputation. By this trick Shaytan intends to discourage the person from his religious commitment. How many scholars have been tortured or killed in prison because of their commitment to Islam!

Shaytaan Never Tires!

The above discussion shows the persistence of Shaytan in achieving his goal! If he fails at one stage, he does not give up and keeps trying, and lies in wait along the path of goodness as he had avowed,

…surely I will sit in wait against them on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones.” [Soorah al-A’raf (7): 16-17]

Ibn Abbas commented, “Then I will come to them from before them,” (means) raising doubts in them concerning their Hereafter, “and (from) behind them”, making them more eager for this life, “from their right”, causing them confusion in the religion, “and from their left” luring them to commit sins.” This is meant to cover all paths of good and evil. Shaytan discourages the people from the path of good and lures them to the path of evil. [See, Tafseer Ibn Katheer]

The Shaytaan lies waiting for a person in all his paths.

  • In the path of Islam, he will tell him, ‘Will you become a Muslim and leave the religion of your fathers and grandfathers?’
  • If the person disobeys him, and becomes a Muslim, he will meet him on the path of Hijrah. He will tell him, ‘Will you leave your land and your sky? It is not wise.’
  • If the person does not submit and continues on his way, Shaytan will wait for him on the road to striving in the path of Allah, saying, ‘Will you go to struggle putting yourself and your wealth at risk?
  • Even at the verge of death, Shaytan does not leave the believer alone without making one last attempt to ruin his life’s worship.

Shaytan thus never despairs from diverting people away from the path of Allah. For this reason, he has appointed one devil for each person, the Prophet said, “Every single person has a companion from the jinn, and a companion from the angels.” They said, “Even you, O Messenger of Allah ?” He replied, “Even me. But Allah has supported me, and my jinn companion has become a Muslim. He only encourages me to do good.” [Saheeh Muslim]

Shaitaan Leads to sins gradually & eventually to the Ultimate disobedience of Allah

In order to ease the path of Shirk for the people, Shaytan tempts mankind little by little; beginning with a few steps and eventually leading them to the final downfall. Allah warned us in the Qur’aan, “follow not the of Shaytan. Verily! He is to you a plain enemy.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 208]

While speaking about the idols that were worshiped by the Arab Pagans in the days of Jahiliyah, Ibn Abbas explained that these idols were first worshiped by the people of Nuh, before whom there was no Shirk in the world. Ibn Abbas further elaborated how Shaytan persuaded the people of Nuh into worshiping these idols in stages, he said, “Indeed these five names of righteous men (that have been given to those five idols) are from the people of Nuh. When they died, Shaytan whispered to the people to make statues of them and to place these statues in their places of gathering as a reminder of the people, so they did this. However, none from amongst them worshiped these statues, until when they died and the purpose of the statues was forgotten. Then (the next generation) began to worship them.” [Agreed upon]

Similarly, in a gradual manner, Shaytan had persuaded Adam and Hawa into eating the forbidden fruit.

Allah commanded, “O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in Paradise and eat both of you freely with pleasure and delight of things therein as wherever you will, but come not near this tree or you both will be of the Dhalimoon (wrong-doers).” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 35]

It is worth pondering that Allah did not say, ‘Do not eat the fruit of this tree,’ rather He commanded them to stay away from the tree itself saying “but come not near this tree.” If they strolled near the tree or sat in its shade there was a greater possibility of them being tempted into eating its fruit. So Allah commanded them to keep away from the tree absolutely! This is the Sunnah of Allah in all matters. He closes all doors that lead to evil by forbidding the means that can lead His slaves into committing greater sin or evil.

Knowing that Allah prohibited Adam and Hawa from approaching the forbidden tree; Shaytan first enticed them to come near the tree. He then beautified for them its fruits, their color and fragrance, and finally caused Adam and Hawa to eat from it. So, Shaytan enticed them into disobeying Allah in a gradual way.

Shaytan uses the same ploy with the children of Adam and this necessitates extra precaution on our part. We not only have to refrain from committing sins but it is also necessary to keep away from every path that may lead to disobeying Allah, including visiting places and gatherings where the limits of Allah are not respected, keeping bad company or participating in innovated celebrations etc.

Shaitaan enters a person’s heart through his weakness

We know that Shaytan gradually misguides mankind through waswaas (whisperings to commit acts of disobedience to Allah) but he does not use the same approach for everyone. People differ in their nature, personality and ways of thinking; what appeals to one, may not appeal to another. So Shaytan may seek to conquer someone by exploiting his love for money, while he may subdue another by his lust for fame, or might delude another by emotion. Shaytan has different ways to enter a man’s soul and misguide it; these doorways to a person’s heart are referred to as, ‘weakness.’

It is mentioned in Tafsir Ibn Katheer, that the shaytaan overpower the son of Adam and seize him at times of anger and times of desire.

Imam Ibnul-Qayyim said in Igaathat al-Lahfaam (1/32), “The Shaytan flows through the son of Adam like blood, until it is as if he becomes part of him, so he finds out what he likes and prefers; once he knows that, he uses it against a person and enters into him through this door. He also passes this information on to his brothers and allies among mankind, so that when they want to achieve their nefarious aims against one another they do so through means of that which people love and desire. Whoever tries to enter through this door will gain entry, and whoever tries to enter through any other way will find that the door is barred to him and he will not get what he wants.”

It is thus not the way of Shaytan to openly call one to disobedience. He will encourage negligence in prayers by whispering to the person to complete his worldly work before he leaves for prayers. After he has completed his work, Shaytan will remind him of food, and after that he will remind him of something else until the time of prayer has perished.

Similarly, if a person runs a business, Shaytan whispers to him that if he goes for prayer, he might miss some customers. However, if Shaytan finds man to be zealous in performing Salaat, he comes to him through different means in which he is weak. He whispers to him concerning his wealth and encourages him to unlawfully usurp the wealth of others and forbids him from paying Zakaat while telling him that this will bring him poverty. Whereas, Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “By spending in Zakaat, wealth does not decrease…” [Saheeh Muslim]

Furthermore, if he finds the believer to be strong in his Salaat and Zakaat, he will beautify women for him, until he causes him to commit adultery. Also, if he is strong in all these Shaytan lures him to intoxicants and so on:

Ignorance, Ingratitude, Argumentativeness, Overstepping the limits, Carelessness, Pride, Doubt, Suspicion, Despair, Hopelessness, Recklessness, Haste, Inappropriate joy, Selfadmiration, Wrong-doings, Oppression, Negligence, Miserliness, Covetousness, Extreme hostility in cases of dispute, Panic, Fear, Rebellion, Tyranny, Love of wealth are doorways of Shaytan into a man’s heart.

Link to Urdu Lecture by Sheikh Abubakar Mukhtar
Note: –The Lecture can have more or less details from the that what is written here in English. The Tests will ONLY be from what is written here in English. The Lectures are provided to have give better understanding of the matter.