Shaitan is the Greatest Enemy of the Human Beings
By: Ayatullah Dastghaib Shirazi
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Did I not charge you, O children of Adam! that you should not serve the Shaitan? Surely he is your open enemy, And that you should serve Me; this is the right way. (36:60-61)
Reply to the sinners’ objection
After the command to get separated is issued it is said, “O devil worshippers! O passion worshippers! Be apart. Your place is in the pit of hell. Today, honor is only for God worshippers.” Of course, those who are guilty become unhappy. They raise an objection that their faults were not pointed out to them in the world but it is said to them, “We had made a covenant with you in the world. We had reminded you that you should not worship Satan.”
God’s covenant with man is mentioned in three stages: First in the stage at the beginning of creation, secondly relating to Adam the father of entire mankind, and thirdly, which is mentioned above, through the messengers who took promise from people that they would not worship the devil; that they must not follow Satan because “he is your open enemy.” We recommended that you must worship Only One God, as the straight path is to worship the Beneficent, not the Satan. Before you, he has misguided many and has destroyed many.
Will you not then understand? Will you not realize how Satan destroyed them? We have concluded arguments for you so that you may not say, “O God! We did not know what are the divine books and where are the covenants with God?”
There are some points in this Holy verse, which demand deep reflection. Firstly, what does worshipping Satan mean? Secondly why is Satan inimical to man? And thirdly, how to protect ourselves from this open enemy?
Satan is one of the limitless creations of God
First, Satan is a creation like all other creations. God’s creations are innumerable. We have yet not known even a millionth of that number. They put a drop of water under a microscope and find that there are millions of living organisms moving about in it, which were not visible to the naked eye.
One of the creations of God is Satan. In man, his earth related nature is overpowering and in Satan his fire related nature, which is full of heat. So if they open up our graves some years after our death, they will witness the overpowering nature related to earth and will see that the rest of all natures have perished. Satan has an overwhelming fiery nature, and hence he throws no shadow and is not visible to the physical eye.
The Holy Quran says:
O children of Adam! let not the Shaitan cause you to fall into affliction as he expelled your parents from the garden, pulling off from them both their clothing that he might show them their evil inclinations, he surely sees you, he as well as his host, from whence you cannot see them… (7:27)
The physical eye cannot see a fine and a subtle body. Secondly he, like humans, has reproduction and procreation. It is mentioned in narrations that three satans are born against each human being. It is not known how they copulate and procreate. May be they are a forced creation.
Why is he inimical towards man?
His enmity towards man is merely due to jealousy and pride. For example, whenever Satan rewards generously one of his two slaves without taking anything from the other slave he raises an objection saying, “Why did you give him more? This is ungratefulness (Kufr). It is an objection against the giver and the authority. Such is the jealousy between satanic co-workers. Has anything been decreased from your wealth and given to him?
Satan saw that God has given more benefits to the earthy man, Adam and His progeny. He understood that man can rise to such a position where even angels become his servants; that man has become the best creation. In order to confirm this God commanded that all must bow down before this best creation, viz. man. The jealousy and pride within Satan revolted and he objected to God’s command.
I was an angel and the highest Paradise was my residence
Formerly Satan had a very high rank. Rather, it is narrated that he was the teacher of angels. He had a very high rank in the upper world, and an honorable position. He had many followers. Despite this, jealousy and pride pushed him to eternal misfortune. “I am created of fire, which is higher.”
He said: What hindered you so that you did not make obeisance when I commanded you? He said: I am better than he: Thou hast created me of fire, while him Thou didst create of dust. (7:12)
He said, “I should be nearer to you, not Adam who is created of dust.” Objection against the divine decision is disbelief. When he announced his denial, came the angry command: Such haughtiness or jealousy in the House of God? Get out of here. You are among the mean and degraded ones.
He said: Then get forth from this (state), for it does not befit you to behave proudly therein. Go forth, therefore, surely you are of the abject ones. (7:13)
Whosoever raises his head in this Court becomes degraded. Everyone who thinks that he is something is one of the most unworthy fellows. What is desired in the House of God is meekness and humility.
You should be so lowly before God that you may not care for anyone other than Only One God. You must never believe in the greatness of anyone except Only One God. Who are you to say: I am noble, knowledgeable, pious of a high rank? Such announcements of I, I, have no real value. The first man in the world of creation, Muhammad (‘s) says, “Poverty is my dignity, I am poor and I sit among the poor.” It is related from Ali (‘a) also that he said, “Neediness before God is my pride. I am needy and I sit with the needy.”
In his Dua Arafah, Imam Zainul Aabedeen (‘a) submits: I am the tiniest of the tiny. Rather I am smaller than even an atom. Anyone who has any air of greatness or highness is equal to Satan from this aspect.
It was on account of Adam that the wings of Satan burnt down. He was rejected and turned away forever. He had worshipped God for six thousand years in the heaven. His six- thousand-year worship went with the wind due to a single show of pride and jealousy. It is thus known that his enmity against Adam and his progeny is due to anger. Satan will never be your friend. He is your deadly enemy. You must also treat him as your enemy.
Surely the Shaitan is your enemy, so take him for an enemy… (35:6)
Do not follow him. He is a sure enemy of yours. By all means keep a safe distance from him.
These youths queuing up in this hot sun near a cinema house are following Satan. He will never leave you until you are totally destroyed.
The business of Satan is to rob you or destroy your deeds
I want to make it clear what Satan’s enmity towards Adam and his progeny means. The aim of his enmity is that, he should try his utmost so that nobody from the progeny of Adam attains nearness of the Lord of the Worlds. If he can, he wants to take away and pull out the root of faith from everyone right from the first day of creation till the Day of Judgment. If it is not possible then he would do something whereby he may weaken one’s faith. If he does not succeed in the matter of faith he tries his intrigues to spoil man’s deeds. The worship of Satan is to obey him. So, never lend your ear to the voice of Satan and oppose him. Opposing Satan is worshipping God, the Beneficent.
And that you should serve Me; this is the right way. (36:61)
The Divine Law consists of obligatory and optional duties and recommended and detestable acts. To observe these matters is the right path. Satan is he who deviates man from this path, that is, he creates doubts and misgivings etc. He leads you to the prohibited things and/or makes you miss what is obligatory. Compromising with Satan means sin, guilt or crime. Whenever you indulge in a sin, if the curtain is lifted up, you would see that you have prostrated before Satan.
So do not worship the Satan. Satan is your enemy who would love to see you should die faithless. He does not leave you unless and until he fulfils his aim. Here is a story in this connection.
Satan replies to his slave
At the end of the book, Muntakhabut Tawarikh, it is quoted from a great scholar of Isfahan that he said: In one of the villages of Isfahan, a man was passing through the last moments of his life. I was called at his bedside. So I went and told him to say, “There is no god except Allah”. The bedridden man repeated it. Suddenly came a voice from the left side of that room, “My slave tells the truth.” I asked the man to recite “O Allah!” again came the voice, “Here I am, My servant.” There was someone who replied to the bedridden person and when I asked, “Who are you?” The reply was, “This man was my slave all his life. He was serving me. He is my devoted servant.” Then he was asked, “Who are you?” “I am Satan,” came the reply.
Thus when this man said, “My God”, he actually meant the one he had worshipped all his life, that is the Satan. May dust fall on the head of the one who calls his enemy his deity.
What does Quran say:
And when they are cast into a narrow place in it, bound, they shall there call out for destruction. (25:13)
What do you recite in the supplication of dawn in Ramadan? You desire that you should not be yoked by Satan; that you should not obey his suggestions; that you should not worship and obey him. At the time of anger, you are mostly a slave of Satan. Your tongue becomes loose. You speak out indecent things, make false allegations, insult others and reveal secrets etc. Do not hand over your control to Satan. How pitiable! One should never be such that even though he has a Merciful and Kind Lord he turns his face away from Him! And towards whom is he turning? Towards his own enemy! God Almighty, the Messengers, and the Imams tell you: Be inimical to Satan. Oppose Satan. Is it proper that while he is inimical to you, you befriend him? How will you raise your head on the Day of Resurrection? The truth tellers told you: Treat him as an enemy. But, instead of treating him as your enemy, you obeyed his orders!
Weapons to fight the Satan
It is narrated that the last Messenger, Muhammad (‘s) said, “Fasting is the weapon of a believer”, “Fasting blackens the face of Satan.” Such is the spiritual situation. “Charity breaks his (Satan’s) back.”[ Safinatul Bihar, vol.2, pg. 64].
If you want to suppress satan completely you should know that friendship in the path of God stifles him. You must love and befriend even your life partner and your children for the sake of God. Love your friend and companion for the sake of God, not for your own personal interests because they are the bounties of Allah. When you die, they will pray for you (on your behalf). They will say: “O Allah” and you will benefit from it. You should likewise, love your husband for the sake of God, as He secured and protected your honor and Faith through him. Similar is the case of man with regard to his wife.
A repenting heart cuts down Satan
O the one who wants to fight this enemy! Which is the other weapon? The Holy Prophet (‘s) practically instructs you how to cut the main artery of Satan. Repentance cuts off the main artery of Satan’s heart. So powerful is repentance that this weapon brings down Satan.
Who is one among us, who has not obeyed Satan? Probably at the moment of quarrelling, we almost worship Satan through anger against one another. Cutting off relations is also same. So come on. Let us, before its too late, compensate for our past misdeeds. Come and let us listen to our Lord. Let us make a real prostration before God Almighty. An alarm is being sounded for you from the divine throne. You must become a companion of the messengers, the martyrs, the pious ones and the virtuous.
And whoever obeys Allah and the Apostle, these are with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favors from among the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good, and a goodly company are they! (4:69)
O believing lady! You must become a companion of Zahra (‘a). O Gentleman! You should become a truly liberated man.
Men whom neither merchandise nor selling diverts from the remembrance of Allah and the keeping up of prayer and the giving of poor-rate; they fear a day in which the hearts and eyes shall turn about; (24:37)
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Did I not charge you, O children of Adam! that you should not serve the Shaitan? Surely he is your open enemy, And that you should serve Me; this is the right way. And certainly he led astray numerous people from among you. What! could you not then understand? This is the hell with which you were threatened. (36:60-63)
Meaning, “Did We not command you from Adam till the last Messenger? Did not all the messengers warn you, awakened you, and alerted you that you must never worship Satan who is your open and severe enemy? You should regard him as your enemy. If you befriend and follow him he will lead you to a very bad place. O Children of Adam! Beware and do not follow the paths of Satan. Do not walk on the footsteps of Satan, as he is your deadly foe.”
…and do not follow the footsteps of the Shaitan; surely he is your open enemy. (2:168)
We have already discussed something about the enmity of Iblees (Satan) and now we shall deal with the rest of this subject.
How to avoid the unknown enemy?
If someone asks, “How shall we flee from an unknown and unrecognized enemy?” The reply is, “Take him as a foe.” Well then, let us know some of his signs so that we may oppose him. First, I will give an example and thereafter, the aim will be explained. If a true believer informs you that today an armed gang will invade the town and hence the door of every house, the gate of every shop should be closed, common sense demands that precaution should be taken and all houses and shops must be closed down fast so that they may not be plundered.
Now, the one who is senseless and ignorant says, “This is either imagination or simplicity. Let us first find out whether they are Turk or Lor (from Loristan)? Are they Arab or non-Arab? Have they weapons or not?” What is the use of such questioning? This is stupidity; first of all you must lock up your houses and shops irrespective of whosoever the invaders may turn out to be. By the time you wait for details about their nationality, you will be destroyed.
Whether you know the whereabouts and type of enemy or not, you should get ready and stand up to face the situation so that you may not fall in his trap and be ruined. Is Satan alone or does he have helpers? How does he suggest evil? What is his army like? Now, do you want to be like that fool who had gone to Sho’ba?
Is Satan male or female?
A man went to Sho’ba who was one of the famous scholars of his time, and said, “I have a problem. Please solve it for me.” “Sure,” said the scholar. The man asked, “Does Satan have a wife?” Sho’ba remembered a verse of the Holy Quran, which establishes Satan’s offspring. So he replied, “Satan does have children. It is likely that he marries and has wives also.” The fellow further asked, “What is the name of his wife?” The scholar said, “Was I present in his marriage ceremony that I should know it?”
The fact is that you must remain alert in every possible way because he may overpower you. Block his path by worship of Allah:
And that you should serve Me; this is the right way. (36:61)
If you have adopted the path of Faith you rely on God, Satan will have no power on you.
Surely he has no authority over those who believe and rely on their Lord. (16:99)
But if you deviate from God’s path, sins will make you fall in the trap of Satan. So beware. His trap means discarding your obligatory deeds and even leaving the traditions of the Holy Prophet (‘s). Whatever God and His Messenger dislike is very dear to Satan. Satan hates prayers, Ramadan, fasts, charity, humility and every good deed. Satan also dislikes that there should be reconciliation between two persons who have had a disagreement.
O followers of Quran! Indeed Our Apostle has come to you explaining to you all this, lest you say, “There came not to us a giver of good news or a warner,” so indeed there has come to you a giver of good news and a warner; and Allah has power over all things.
The Shaitan only desires to cause enmity and hatred to spring in your midst by means of intoxicants and games of chance, and to keep you off from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. (5:19)
Satan is entirely displeased by every good deed. He orders everything that is prohibited by God and prohibits whatever God commands.
God says, “Spend for the poor in the path of God,” and Satan suggests, “You will become old. You will be weak. You may become poor.”
Shaitan threatens you with poverty and enjoins you to be niggardly… (2:268)
Then how do people fall in his trap even after recognizing him?
If it is asked, “How can a man knowing his enemy, accept his suggestions?” A Muslim believes and possesses the Quran. He knows that Quran is the Word of God. The Holy Quran says, “Satan sees you and you do not see him”, as mentioned earlier.
Then how is he deceived and indulges in sins while he has already known the enemy and also his trap?
The reply is that the Satan’s traps are commensurate with desires of the heart. The cause is that Satan has ability to put a cap of his choice on a man’s head if man likes it. Whatever the Messenger of God asks for is against the selfish desires.
You see that, for getting a cinema ticket, you line up in hot sun and stand there for long so that you may pass some time as desired by your heart. But, at the time of prayer, the caller from the minaret of the mosque cries: Hasten towards prayer. Masjid is the house of God, so come towards God.
But that place (cinema house) is according to the inclination of heart (one runs to it) despite knowing that it is the abode of Satan. One knows that it will surely end in harm; that there is destruction in it and it is likely that one may have to suffer a lifelong disappointment and weakness thereafter. His eye falls on a woman or a girl. Various kinds of problems and corruptions arise from such senseless entertainments and from gambling and drinking. On the other hand, there is a program of Majlis, supplications and remembrance of God, which is full of true friendship and amity. They know this and yet follow the heart’s passions and despite certainty of destruction.
One prefers death to thirst
It is said that when the Umayyad caliph, Abdul Malik captured Kufa he fell in a big calamity. He developed the terrible illness of ‘extreme thirst’. It seemed as if there was fire inside him. The more water he drank, the thirstier he became. The doctor said, “You should not take any water for 24 hours. The problem is serious because if you drink more water, you will die.” The caliph was also very afraid. He decided not to take any water for the next 24 hours. But how long could he remain like a camel in waterless desert? So after a few hours he called for water even if it meant death. Thus he drank water and died since he could not bear the thirst.
Man can understand that he will have to suffer for entire life, but since the suggestion of Satan is agreeable to the heart, he follows the devil. Think of any sin. Satan has no ability to force man to indulge in it. Satan only creates doubts and inclination. He only invites and creates hopes of happiness.
But he can never compel man to commit a sin forcibly.
And the Shaitan shall say after the affair is decided: Surely Allah promised you the promise of truth, and I gave you promises, then failed to keep them to you, and I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you obeyed me, therefore do not blame me but blame yourselves… (14:22)
It is man himself who is following the inclinations of his heart. How does man commit a sin despite certainty of destruction? There have been people who having certainty about the Divine punishment did not stop disobeying God.
Let us pray: O Lord! Be Thou my friend and my helper so that I may subjugate my own heart and the Satan.
How to overpower Satan
It is narrated that the Messenger of God said, “Whenever a calamity befalls you, Satan ignites fire into you.” Suppose your deceased son was still young, he suggests, “What a pity! Had he been alive he would have become a doctor or an engineer. He would have been a great support for his father.” He goes on murmuring thus until you can bear it no more and say something against the divine Will. In this way, Satan wants you in trouble. Therefore you must at once say, “Indeed we all belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.”
Let us be rational. Who in this world has remained forever, that your son should? All are dying, one earlier and another later. So, oppose the satanic suggestions soonest otherwise many people have become lunatic due to such losses. (Impatient) people fall in mental illness and become psychiatric cases.
Secondly the Prophet says that if someone has ill-treated you and Satan instigates you saying: See, what he has done to you. He insulted you. Why do you not retaliate? Why are you silent? You must say: I myself have done worse than this to others. Do not always look at the wrongs committed by others on you.
Thirdly whenever you lose money; for instance a thief stole it and you suffered. If Satan makes you restless you must say: I thank God, Who lifted a burden from me. My responsibility has decreased.
More wealth means more responsibilities. If a rich man does not give Khums (even to the extent to one dirham) he has usurped the property of the orphans of Aale Muhammad (‘s). Yes, those who do not pay Khums are worthy of curse. Or, for example, your relatives or kinsmen are in trouble or your neighbor is in distress and you are able to help them but you don’t. Then you will be held responsible. But if your wealth is lost you will not be responsible any more.
Moreover, reply the Satan saying, “O devil! I myself have to go to the grave. What if I have lost my house? It was not my personal property. It was like a rented house. My life is but a short one.” You must definitely fight the Satan when he makes wrong suggestions to you. Otherwise, he worsens the mental condition of people.
In Shiraz, there was a businessman who became bankrupt. He took to a corner of his house and sold out whatever he had and began to spend. One day, sitting his house, he calculated, “If I sell a thing today, how long can I subsist on its income?” He realized that it would be for three years. He slapped his forehead and said, “What would I do after three years? Would I sit on the road begging?” So he committed suicide by consuming poison. Thus Satan makes man submissive. Are you sure to live for another three years? Even if you do, your sustenance is with God. How many ups and downs will there be during this period? Thus Satan does not leave man until he becomes a denier or an ungrateful disbeliever. Such troubles befall everyone. We must accept the admonition of the Holy Prophet and Satan must be opposed in a proper way and he should never be followed or obeyed.
The Holy Prophet (‘s) says that after every act of charity the Satan says, “You have lost your money. You are at loss. There are many wealthy persons having more than you but they do not spend on charities.” Say to yourself at once, “What I spent is less than what I have,” and look at those who gave away all their wealth.
Whenever you worship or pray he (devil) wants that you should feel proud of it. Say at once, “My sins are more than my good deeds.” Whenever you recite Ziyarat of Ashura, he (Satan) wants that you should be proud. You must at once remember how many prohibited things have been spoken by this mouth; like lies, backbiting, false allegations, slander, insults….
Are these things not against the commands of the Holy Quran? Sometimes it so happens that Satan defrauds people in such a way that one is unable to understand until it is too late and then there is disbelief. So it is absolutely essential that we should seek refuge of God Almighty. Here is a tradition, which is both a story and a sure way to show Satan’s deceit and the Kindness and Grace of God.
Worshipper deceived by false piety
It is mentioned in the fourteenth volume of Biharul Anwar: In Bani Israel, there was a worshipper always busy in prayers. Day and night, he used to remain engaged in prayers, fasts and late-night vigils. Satan did his best to decrease the worshipper’s faith but failed. So he called out and a number of little satans gathered around him and asked, “What happened?” The Satan replied, “This worshipper has made me helpless. I have tried very much to deviate him from God worship but he has remained unshakable.” One of the small devils got up and said, “I am prepared to deviate him by lust.” The big Satan said, “You are mistaken, he is not a man of that type.” Another one said, “I may deceive him by wealth.” The Satan said, “You are also mistaken.” Yet another small Satan said, “I will deceive him by piety.” The big Satan said, “Yes, if there is any way, this is the one.” Thereafter, he will be drawn towards allowed things, then towards the prohibited and finally he will be dragged into disbelief. Yes, you will be able to deal with him successfully.”
So the Satan arrived, spread his prayer mat and began to worship by the side of that worshipper. He remained engaged in prayers without eating, drinking or sleeping for days at length. The worshipper was astonished and he expressed his desire to speak to him but the devil signaled, “Please do not disturb me.”
The worshipper made repeated requests to speak to him and finally the devil said, “All right, what do you want?” The worshipper asked, “How could you attain this rank? You are engaged in worship without food or sleep. Don’t you get tired?”
The Satan said, “First I sinned and then made such a repentance, that it made me much stronger in worshipping.” “Please teach this unlucky fellow also,” requested the worshipper. Satan told him, “Take these three dirhams, go to the town and enter such and such street and step in such and such house. Give this money to the prostitute living therein and sleep with her. Then make repentance and you will also achieve proximity to God as I have.”
The silly worshipper lacking in knowledge could not understand that sinning can never bring one near to God. He was neither a scholar himself nor did he approach one to seek knowledge.
He came down from his hilltop, went to the town and sought directions to the prostitute’s house. People wondered what business a worshipper had with a prostitute. However they justified that maybe he wants to reform her and make her repent.
The worshipper went to the woman’s door who also wondered why a famous worshipper had come to her!
It seems this woman had Faith, because she asked, “What has brought you here? This is not a place for you!” The worshipper said, “It is none of your business. Take this money and do your job.” The woman said, “No. You must tell me what the matter is?” At last when the woman insisted too much, the worshipper told her everything. He said, “A man worshipping more rigorously than me has guided me to visit you.” The woman said, “O worshipper! Don’t you know that avoiding a sin is better than committing it and then repenting over it? Is it proper to tear and then mend or it is better not to tear at all? How did you know that after committing this sin you would be able to repent and succeed? Suppose you succeed in making repentance, how do you know God would accept your repentance? How will you regain your honor and rank? That fellow was a Satan who wants to spoil your fortune and degrade your position.”
The worshipper did not believe her till she said, “I am here. You go back and see if that man is still there. If you find he is still there, you may return and I would be ready for you.”
By the way, whenever Satan is disgraced, he runs away immediately. When the worshipper came to his synagogue, the impostor was nowhere to be found.
God is kind to those who show kindness to others
The rest of this story is also interesting. That night was the last one in that woman’s life for she died the next morning. The messenger of that time got revelation from God: You should attend the funeral of that woman. When the Prophet was astonished, came the voice from unseen: We have forgiven her because she retrieved one of My misguided servants. She did not allow My servant to commit a sin.
This lady was kind to the worshipper and she saw that if he commits a sin he would be doomed. God is the Kindest of all those who are kind. He showed kindness to that lady and pardoned her. God wants that His servants should come to His house and keep away from Satan.
So, as far as possible, make reconciliation between the creation and the Creator. Let not Satan assume power. God will be kind to you and to them also.
Satan’s advises Nuh
A narration in Khisal of Sadooq says: After Prophet Nuh (‘a) cursed and the entire community, except those who had put faith in him, were drowned, Satan came to him and said, “O Nuh! You have done a great service to us. You have reduced our workload and sent them all to hell. In return of this I intend to give you some advice.”
Nuh (‘a) initially drove him away but a voice from unseen urged, “Just see what he says. His word is true,” that is, now he does not have any adverse aim to delude you.
So Nuh said, “All right what do you want to say?” The Satan said, “There are three instances when I don’t leave a man until he commits a sin. One is staying with an alien woman in privacy.” For example in a house or a closed room where none else can enter. Unless they are husband and wife they should never be alone like this, because the third of them is Satan who does not leave them until they succumb to temptation.
“Secondly in the condition of anger, which is very much liked by us. Third is in adjudicating or giving a decision.” If the judge inclines towards one of the parties in dispute, he is ruined. In Islamic judiciary, utmost effort must be made to remain just.
Impartiality with contending parties
It is mentioned in the events of Amirul Mo-mineen (‘a) that, in the time of Umar Ibne Khattab, a man went to court against Ali (‘a). It was decided to approach Umar, the judge. Then Amirul Mo-mineen, along with the complainant, went to Umar. Umar called up the name of the complainant. For example he said: O Zaid! Please sit. But addressing Ali, he said: O Abal Hasan! Imam Ali (‘a) looked rather harshly at Umar who asked, “What happened?” Imam Ali said, “Why did you discriminate between us? You gave more respect to me by addressing me by my title, whereas you addressed him by name. You should have addressed both either by their names or by their titles.” In a court case, it is not permissible for the Judge to give preference to one of the disputing parties. Likewise in greeting he should get up for both or for neither.
Women demanding rights have objected saying why they are deprived of the position of a judge when they have taken so much trouble, studied deeply and know all about the law?
Now in Islamic law, it is not allowed for a woman to be a judge. This is so because the woman is full of emotions and sentiments. Her perceptions are in beautification and making herself attractive.
What! that which is made in ornaments… (43:18)
A woman is not qualified to be a judge as it is impossible for her to judge a matter without involving her emotions.
Similarly rulership and Wilayat (authoritative sanctity) is also prohibited for woman as she cannot do full justice to the position.
Our jurisprudence is needless. We do not need to take orders from either east or west.
Understand the job of Satan
If someone asks, “Since I have not seen, nor do I see Satan, then how shall I not be deceived by him? How will I not follow him?” It is true that you don’t see him, but surely you can understand his technique. You know that creating doubts and making inner suggestions is the main job of Iblees. When he wants to mislead he drops a suggestion in the man’s heart in the words of others also, like for example, an improper friend. Come, we may go to such and such place and see how people opposed to Islamic revolution engage in idle talks of irreligiousness and communism. Let us observe the working of Satan. He either suggests himself or through the tongue of others.
How will you know that it is a Satanic suggestion? Well whatever is against Shariat is prohibited and who is it that orders against the commandment of God? Only Satan. So, in such circumstances, you must always remain alert. Some say, “If Satan is an enemy of man, then how does man obey him?”
Satan’s instigation is accompanied by heart’s inclination
Yes, this enemy has his traps. Passions and desires of heart are the traps of Satan. The heart is pleased with all that is prohibited by God. So the devil also inspires from there.
Here there is another test to understand this problem. Is this thought satanic or not? Just see if it is pleasing to your heart?
One of the shorter sayings of Ali (‘a), in Nahjul Balagha says: Paradise is surrounded by good and generous deeds and hell is surrounded by passions.
According to a narration, after the creation of Paradise Jibraeel asked, “O Lord! Who that would not come to this great house?” A voice said, “Look at the path that leads to it.” He saw that there were pits, thorns, straws and ghouls and so on. That is, how many deprivations one must bear? One must control hunger for fifteen hours and control the tongue also. In short nights it is nice to sleep and very difficult to wake up early and yet one must pray the dawn prayer. Such is the path leading to Paradise. Money must be given less importance. A fifth of the profits must be spent in God’s path. Jibraeel said, “If this is the path to Paradise then indeed there would be few buyers.” It demands courage and requires self-control.
Likewise when hell was created, Jibraeel asked, “O God! Who is it that would willingly step towards this terrible torture?” Again came the voice, “Look at the paths leading to it.” He saw that the ways were smooth and according to the desires of the heart. Its forms are gambling and adultery, overeating and all the things palatable to the heart, attractive and deceiving…Jibraeel said, “O God! Many would opt for this.”
By God! Hell is so fearsome that it should not be exchanged with worldly pleasures. Think of the hour, which separate man from all relations, think of the grave, Barzakh and Resurrection. What more should I say!
Even if a single flame is reduced
Lessening of harm from any angle is always better. If fire burns one’s hand but the legs are saved, it is better than getting the whole body burnt. Or if the body is burnt but the head is spared, it is better again. Even if only one flame is turned away, it would be a lot better. A degree of heat makes a lot of difference. The lesser the sins the better it would be. In the Dua of Imam Zainul Aabedeen (‘a) you recite: O My Lord! I am making a condition with You. You also make a condition with me. Clear me of my past. From today, I will not turn towards any sin. I will not proceed on the path of hell. I will not turn away my face from the Beneficent. My Lord! I make this condition but the fulfillment of this covenant is not possible unless You help me. My heart wants to fulfill my covenant. But what to do, I am powerless. I have made a pledge but please kindly help me. Please save me.
Someone asked the Imam, “If a believer makes a pledge not to sin but thereafter breaks that vow, what should he do?”
Imam said, “He must return and repent again.”
“What if he repeats the breach?”
Imam said, “He should return again.”
The questioner wondered and asked, “Sir, how many times such repentance is allowed after sinning?”
The Imam replied, “Even if one has broken Tawbah a hundred times he should again come with a true heart for repenting. God does forgive.”
The questioner asked, “Will such attitude not decrease God’s mercy?”
Imam replied, “It is wrong to think in this way. You must always have a good opinion about God. Come back, even if you have broken the Tawbah.”
Man, by nature is prepared and inclined for God-worship. The slave is obedient and humility is his instinct but he is on a crossroad. He will be the slave or servant of either the Beneficent or of Satan. He has no third option. He cannot say, “I will obey neither God nor devil.” He has to choose between this world and the Hereafter. He will obey either his desires (Satan’s suggestions) or God’s Commandments. He would be either near God or near Satan.
Considering death near, is a sign of coming under God’s guardianship
There is a narration in Wafi about one of the sermons of the Holy Prophet. In a sermon of either Friday or Eid, the Holy Prophet (‘s) said, “O People! When someone goes in the guardianship of Satan, he forgets his death. Then he can see only his aspirations and desires. But if one enters the guardianship of the Beneficent Lord and of the Aale Muhammad (‘a) his eyes are constantly on his death and he pushes back his aspirations and desires.”
Such a person says, “Perhaps this is the last month of Ramadan in my life.” He sees his death near.
In short it is to be either with God or Satan. Either you are connected to God related things or with Satan related things. There is no third way. If you did not prostrate before God, if you did not lower yourself before God then you have bowed before others than God, be that money, passion, power or fame. Everyone who is not a servant of God is a servant of his desires and passions. It is mentioned in prophecies for the people of the last period of time that their women are their qibla (to bow to).
While God’s path is:
And that you should serve Me; this is the right way. (36:61)
It comprises of performing obligatory acts and giving up the prohibited things. Satan’s way is opposed to it. It consists of giving up commanded deeds and indulging in the unlawful. One has to be either obedient to God or obedient to satan. Either one is worshipping or sinning. When you worship you are the servants of Allah and when you are sinning you are slaves of Satan. If you arrive in masjid early for Maghrib prayers, you are God’s servant. If you turn your face towards the cinema house, you have obeyed the Satan. One of the Satan’s sirens attracts his followers. What is his whistle or siren?
And beguile whomsoever of them you can with your voice… (17:64)
They are the sensual and obscene pictures displayed at the cinema houses, which attract the followers of the devil into the theatre.
Bigger ropes of Satan for Shaykh Ansari
It is mentioned in the events of Shaykh Ansari that once a student-scholar participating in discussions with him said, “I have seen a dream about you but I feel ashamed of relating it.” The Shaykh said, “Do relate it.” He said, “Last night I saw the Satan in my dream, carrying different kinds of thin and thick ropes. I asked him, ‘For whom is the thick rope?’ He replied, ‘It is for your teacher, Shaykh Ansari. He requires much strength to pull him. Yesterday, I had applied much force to drag him to the bazar but he broke my ropes and ran away.’ Now I do not know whether this dream has any truth in it or it is merely a disturbed vision (jumble of dreams)?”
The Shaykh smiled and said, “The cursed one has told the truth. Yesterday, some lady guests had been to my house. It was suggested to me that I should purchase some fruits for the guests while I did not have enough money for this purpose. Since I had a copy of Quran, I thought I would take it to the bazar and pawn it with the fruit seller in exchange of fruits so that I can take it later when I have the money. But when I approached the shop a thought came to me, “If you die, O Murtaza! How will you repay your debt?” So I retreated immediately and that was the breaking of that thick rope.”
More noteworthy is the last part of this dream. That respected scholar says, “When I asked the devil, ‘Where is my rope?’ He just looked at me and replied, ‘You do not require any rope.’”
On my word! You have no strength to restrain yourself if you see a picture at the cinema house or just hear a melodious song.
In the cinema hall, there is a gathering of beasts—What do you get from that gathering? But it you enter a masjid, with the total intention of remembering God and Aale Muhammad (‘a) how many bounties you take from there? Pleasure of the heart is in Allah’s remembrance. So sit for a while with those who have hearts so that you may understand the meaning of true happiness. If possible, right from the hour you wake up in the morning till you go to sleep at night, remain only on the path of God.
Tranquility and peace in the servant of God, restlessness in the path of Satan
But who is there such that he never deviates from the straight path of God worship and always runs away from Satan, the devil who is forever the internal enemy of every soul? The way of Satan is full of excitement and apprehension. Contrary to it, the path of God is all peace and security.
From the morning, look at the people in markets and offices. They are running after money and position with much anxiety, fear and restlessness. You do not find anyone who is contended; who is happy with what God has provided; who is not greedy, who considers God as the provider of sustenance. They all rely on themselves and suffer restlessness. Visit the hospitals to understand this trouble better. This restlessness is from Satan. You left the path of God worship and thus fell in restlessness.
You must be a servant and slave of Only One God in every condition. When you fall ill, it is God Who cures. If your relative passes away, it was God’s will. It is He Who gives life and causes death. Objecting to God’s will is against God worship. One Who had given life has now taken it back.
In every circumstance, you should rely only on God. Know that God is with you. It is only God Who solves difficult problems. When you go out of your house you must utter God’s name and rely only on His decision. Whatever God wishes and whatever God did (must be accepted). This peace is the result of adopting God’s path. If you listen to the evil suggestions of the devil you will fall on the way of Satan. Do not remain alone in the house because when you remain alone, the suggestions of Satan will not leave you. Satan is always behind you. Excessive company of women results in immorality, therefore:
Men must guard women from slipping
Woman, due to her inclination to beauty and embellishments is mostly preoccupied with these matters, but man should reform her and makes her an obedient servant of God like he himself is. So fetch her out from the slavery of her self and of the Satan.
It is narrated that God praises a man who wakes up for night prayers and also wakens his wife for the same; that is to face and bow down before God.
In brief, to remain firm on God worship is very difficult. It is indeed hard not to fall in the trap of Satan day and night because the traps of Satan are very luring, hence the need of help from God.
Seek help from Prayer to repel Satan
The Holy Quran says:
Seek help from Prayer and fasting. (2:45)
God is kind to us even though we are made of dust. He has ordered that we must turn our face towards Him five times a day, to obtain the strength to evade the Satan. We must gain power from the presence of the Lord of the Worlds. We must offer Prayers so that our restlessness may decrease.
All are unlucky except those who pray. All have complaints and fears. They do not have enough power or strength to control themselves. They fall in greed due to fear of poverty. In how many prohibited things they indulge while saying: We worship only You and we seek help only from You. In every Prayer, we recite again and again: O My God! You be my helper and friend in every difficulty. If you offer two units of Prayer in every hardship, it becomes easy for you to bear it.
A nomadic woman and patience in calamity
In the book, Mustatarf, there is a story of a nomadic woman. A caravan of Hajj pilgrims arrived at her tent in the desert for taking some rest. So they sought permission and then entered her tent. The woman said, “O visitors to the House of God! You are welcome. My camels have gone to graze. I will host you when they return.”
The woman left the tent but after some time shepherds arrived weeping and crying and told her that when her camels approached a well they became rowdy and pushed her son into the well. “Since that well is very deep there is no hope of your child’s survival,” they added.
The lady rushed to them and said, “We have guests. Please do not speak loudly, otherwise they will become sad. Attending nicely to guests is a must for Muslims.” At once she ordered that a sheep be slaughtered to prepare food for the guests.
When the lady came to the guests they said, “We are extremely sorry that such a tragedy took place and we interrupted you at such moment.” The lady replied, “Respected pilgrims! I never wanted that you should know this and be sorry for it. But now, that you have already known, allow me to offer two units of Prayer, because God says in Quran: Seek help through Prayer. So I must also, to gain patience, at this moment of calamity, offer Prayer.” You see how the nomadic woman acted according to one verse of the Quran about Prayer.
Then the lady asked the pilgrims, “Who among you can recite the Quran?” One of them began to recite verses relating to forbearance. The lady said, “O God! If anyone in this world should have lived forever he would have been the Prophet (‘s). My Lord! You have, in Your Quran, asked us to be patient and have promised us a good reward for doing so. I am being patient at this moment of losing my son. You also make him a partner in this reward. Please forgive my son.”
Then she engaged herself in her routine work as if nothing had happened. This is the power of remembering God.
Inspire your children to offer Prayer
O the one who breaks down at every difficulty! You are catching fire. You begin to cry and shout. When someone harms you, what do you do? You have no ability to control yourself.
Surely man is created of a hasty temperament; being greatly grieved when evil afflicts him, and miserly when good befalls him, except those who pray, (70:19-22)
You are so weak that you cannot spend out of what God has given you. As you have no power, you fear that it will decrease. How disabled you are! Come, offer Prayer so as to get power and strength.
Come and make all efforts to make your children offer Prayer. Encourage your daughter from the age of seven and your son from twelve years. Inspire them. Do this, so that by the time they become responsible and answerable, they may themselves become regular in Prayer. If you show slackness in this matter, it will not be certain that, even after becoming major they would pray regularly. You must gradually explain to them the religious duties.