4 Rabi al-Awwal 1444

Traps of Shaitan

By admin
In Articles
Feb 22nd, 2015

The brothers requested me to talk about the traps of Satan, and the funny thing is that almost all of us know the traps of Satan. We all know everything about him in terms of knowledge, in terms of evidence and in terms of theoretical information. However, when it comes to practice, we are the most ignorant people on earth. Let me give you an example. If someone was ill, he went to the physician, and the doctor told him to refrain from certain types of food and to go on a diet, otherwise, he will deteriorate. The doctor specifies what foods he should avoid.


The man memorizes the list by heart and he says that he is not going to have any of these foods. In addition, the doctor instructed him to take certain types of medication and he memorizes them by heart. However, neither does he take the medication, nor does he refrain from the food that he was supposed to avoid, will he ever recover from his illness? Of course, he will not. This is exactly what is happening with the Satan and us.
Satan, as we know him, is our fierce enemy. Allah azza wa jal told us in the Qur’an that he is our enemy, and not only that, you should take him as an enemy as well. Allah says, “Surely, Satan is an enemy to you, so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his followers to become the dwellers of the Blazing Fire.” Satan, as we know, is our enemy. However, do we treat him as an enemy? The answer is probably ‘No’. Why is that? It is because we do not see him. If he were a person in front of me, I probably would have wrestled with him, pinned him to the ground, maybe have a chokehold on his neck and break his neck. It would be very easy for me because I can see him face to face. So many times, we say to him to be a man and to come and face us, face to face.


Nevertheless, he never comes face to face. Allah describes him in the Qur’an as being able to see us, him and his tribe, though we are unable to see them. If someone comes and tells you, “Yesterday, I saw Satan, he was talking to me, and I have the ability to see Jinn.” Then know that he is not telling the truth or that he is imagining these things.
So, how do we take the Satan as an enemy? You have to learn about him. You have to know everything about Satan, not to respect him, but to be aware of him. If you look at the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, he explained to us all the bad things and the things that we should avoid and stay away from, but he never tried any of these things, {salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam}. He told us not to consume alcohol and intoxicants in general. Did he ever try it or taste it? I have seen some brothers trying these things. I asked them what they were drinking and they said, “Gin and tonic”. I asked them, “Why?” The reply was, “So I can give Da’wah to people by telling them about its bad effect.” Some people go to the nightclubs, dance, and have fun; I ask them why, they say, “When I talk to the youth, I’d like to know where they are coming from.” This is not the way. Allah azza wa jal, who created us, told us what is good for us and what is not, because He knows His creation. If you buy a Sony Playstation, you would not get the Nintendo manual to operate it, you would take the Sony manual, because they created it and they know how it works. Likewise, Allah {who has the higher example} created us and He knows what works for us and what does not.
Allah azza wa jal created Satan from fire and the Angels from light. Satan, as the scholars say, is the father of all the Jinn. Among the Jinn, there are two groups: devils and righteous [believing] Jinn. We cannot see them but we know that they exist and that they fear us more than we fear them. However, the minute we start fearing them, they take control over us; that is why a Believer does not fear the Jinn. He is not afraid of the Jinn, or of dark places, or of things possessing him. He has his full trust in Allah. If someone says, “Listen, I am a sorcerer and I am going to put a spell on you”, the Believer says, “Give it your best shot, I have Allah with me.” People are always afraid of the Jinn and they say that the Jinn will possess you if you do this or do that. Why are you afraid of the Jinn when Allah is with you?
The Satan is the father of all devils and all the Jinn. His relationship with us started before Allah created Adam. When Allah created Adam, He instructed Satan to prostrate to him [to Adam]. Did he comply? He refused. Satan did what all of us are doing nowadays, which is one of the means of leading people to Hell Fire; that is, using our logic against the Quran and the Sunnah, against the commands. Allah commands Satan to prostrate to Adam, and he says, “Why? I am better than he is. You created me from fire and him from clay [definitely fire is better than clay]. I will not prostrate.” This is exactly what is happening with the Muslims nowadays. You get people coming and rejecting Verses of the Quran, rejecting the Sunnah, because they think that it is not logical. If you reject this, you cannot accept Islam. Islam is total submission to Allah, and, by rejecting a single Ayah, you are not submitting your will to Allah the Almighty. If you know Satan and his enmity towards us, you know that he will do all that he can to make us accompany him in Hell Fire. We know for sure that he is the most experienced being on earth. When you try to get a job, you present your CV. You have your résumé and you give it to the employer. All the education and experience you have, and all the courses you took will fill a maximum of three or four pages. Satan’s CV has a gazillion pages, it comes from Adam’s time until today.
How many people has Satan managed to lead astray? How many people has he managed and succeeded in throwing in Hell? How many people has he managed to convince to fornicate, to consume intoxicants, to kill, to loot, to beat people, to disobey their parents, to cut the ties with their kinship, to lie, to backbite, to have a heart full of grudges and hatred with every single person on earth? All of these things are the handiwork of Satan. He is quite experienced in this sense. If we know this, we know that to avoid Satan we have to know from where he comes to us. Where does Satan come to us from? The scholars say that there are many places from where he comes through to us, but Allah azza wa jal has put the heart in a very concealed place. Therefore, it is difficult to reach the heart straight away. Yet Satan can reach the heart through passages. There is the sight, so he reaches your heart through the things you see. There is the hearing, so he reaches the heart through the things you hear. There is the mouth, so whatever you eat and consume and drink, he goes in and penetrates your heart. There are also your private organs, the private parts, which define a person’s enjoyment and sexuality. All these are the main ways through which Satan comes into a person’s heart, trying to corrupt his heart.
Now, if you try to go through a list of the ways through which Satan manages to come through to us or of the things he tries to do, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam tells us, “Satan (the devil) runs through our veins like blood.” That is, he is with us all the time. Not only that, but it is to the extent that Satan may even come to the most righteous person. As mentioned in the Sahih, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam was once with our mother Safiyyah. Of course, you all know Safiyyah. She was the wife of the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam. She was the daughter of a Jewish enemy of the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam. Her name was Safiyyah bint Huyaiyy ibn Akhtam.{This is the problem with us nowadays, we do not know our own Islamic history, whereas if someone asks us about the top soccer players or the top ten RNB songs or top ten movies of Hollywood, we know all the answers by heart.


When it comes to our Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam or his wives or when it comes to the Qur’an or the Sunnah, we fail to deliver the answers. We know nothing about our religion! Will it not be a problem when Allah azza wa jal, with His Grace and Mercy, admits us into Paradise and someone introduces us to someone in there and says, “This is Abu Bakr. This is Omar. This is Abdullah Ibn Zubair. This is Abdur-Rahman Ibn Awf.”, and we would be like, “I know they are pious people but I do not know any of them!” However, if someone shows us the people of Hell, we will probably say, “Oh, I know all of them, these are my friends. These are the people I know!” This is a big problem. This might sound funny but it is true. If we ask, “Who do you want to be friends with?” people would say, “This celebrity, that movie star!” What about the Companions of the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam? Most of the people do not even know them. Even in Saudi Arabia, the Arabs who study Islamic studies in their primary school, middle school, high school and college, when I used to ask them, “Which Hijri year did the battle of Uhud take place?” someone would say, “Five!” Wrong. “Four.” Wrong. Some people might even respond, “What is Uhud?” Unfortunately, this is the state of our Ummah today. You have to know your history, your heritage; you have to know your religion. If you love the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam and you do not know anything about him or his Companions, then you have a BIG problem!}
Anyway, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam was once walking at night with his wife Safiyyah. Two of the Ansari men were coming from the opposite direction. When they saw him, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam with a woman, they immediately changed direction. They did not want to encounter the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam while he was with a female companion. Now they definitely did not think anything negative about the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam yet the Prophet called them and said, “You so and so and you so and so, this is my wife Safiyyah!” She was ‘covered’ {Hijab} from head to toe, but just to inform them that this is his wife Safiyyah. They stopped and said astonishingly, “Do you think we are going to doubt you?” then the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Well the Shaitan goes through your veins like blood, I was afraid that he might cast some doubt about me in your hearts that would nullify your Islam! So I had to clarify this for your sake and also for safeguarding my reputation.”
If you see someone doing something bad, he has to clarify and purify his reputation. For example, if you saw me going down the stairs in a big hotel and down in the basement there is a nightclub. I am lost and I do not know the hotel so well, you saw me down there, what would you think? “Ohhh, now I know the Sheikh! This is what he does!” I have to stop and tell him, “Listen brother, I came here by mistake, I wanted to go to the parking lot, I lost my way so don’t take me wrong!” I have to defend my reputation and clarify things. It is not proper just to say, “Who cares about what people think about me, I know myself!” This is exactly what the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam did; clarified himself.
Not only does the Shaitan run through our veins but he also eats and drinks with us. Imagine inviting Shaitan to eat with you, “Welcome and grab a bite with me!” This is what many of the Muslims do. Whenever you eat or drink and you do not say Bismillah, Shaitan eats and with you. My second youngest daughter who is 4 years old, whenever we sit on the table, in the middle of the meal when everyone is eating, she says, “Who forgot to say Bismillah? If you forgot then say ‘Bismillah, awwalihi wa akhirihi!” the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam told us that whoever forgets to say Bismillah in the beginning and says ‘Bismillah awwalihi wa akhirihi, the Shaitan throws up whatever he already ate.’ Many Muslims, unknowingly, invite Shaitan to eat with them. Shaitan also sleeps over in our houses. Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam told us that if someone gets into the house and forgets to mention the name of Allah, Satan calls his companions, “Come, we are sleeping over in this house tonight, he forgot to say Bismillah when he entered his house.” And if he eats without saying Bismillah, the Devil tells his companions, now we have lodging and we also have food in this house!”
Whenever you wake up what is the first thing you do according to the Sunnah? You must wash your hands first. Many Muslims do not do this. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam told, “You do not know where your hands have spent the night.” You might have touched something that was impure but even if you knew where your hands were, you still have to wash them. Meaning that if someone says, “I will trick Shaitan by putting my hands in gloves and when I wake up I will just take them off, do I still have to wash my hands if I did something like that?” Yes, you have to. “But I know where my hands were {in the gloves}.” You should still wash your hands because the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam told you to do so.
Hence you wash your hands 3 times and then you sniff the water up your nostrils, take the water out again three times. “Why?” The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said that the devils sleeps in your nostrils. “I do not see the devil sleeping in my nose!” Well we do not see devils anyhow so you have to believe what was told by the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam. We all should do this because this is part of the Sunnah and we believe in the unseen. We have not seen Allah, have we? We believe in Allah because there are overwhelming evidences around us. Only a fool would say, “There is no God!” (Some scholars say that the Atheists are close to us because they say, “There is no God….” and we only have to help them complete, ‘except Allah.’ They are half way up in their Shahadah.) The Shaitan sleeps in our nostrils; therefore, we have to sniff water in and out three times when we wake up.
Not only that, there is a Hadith {the Hadith is in the Sahih Al Bukhari} in which someone pointed out to the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, “This man overslept until the time of Fajr elapsed.” (Some scholars say that he did not pray Witr as well but if we give the benefit of the doubt, we say that he did not pray Fajr until the sun rose.) What did the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam say? He salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “That was the man in whose ear the devil urinated!” This is so hard to accept! If I skip the Fajr prayer, does Shaitan urinate in my ear? Yes, if you oversleep until the sun has risen, Satan urinates in your ear. However if it is by accident, then it is ok in sha Allah because Allah knows that this is not your habit, but if you deliberately set your alarm to go off at 7:00am when the Fajr is, say, at 2:30am in the summers, then this is wrong.
By the way, who is the one who wakes up for Fajr at 2:30am? Who believes, to begin with, that Allah is the Provider! Partly, many people believe that the boss is the provider who pays their checks. People skip Fajr prayer for the work, for the schools, for anything for that matter, because it is too early to get up and pray! This is the person that Satan takes as his public’ toilet; he urinates every single morning in his ears! You cannot see his urine and you cannot see him but you can definitely feel the negative impact on your heart. So many times these people complain, “We have a dead heart, our heart seems like the heart of a stone; why can’t we understand the Qur’an, why don’t we feel the passion to learn about Islam, why don’t we fear Allah?” Well, simply because of the blockage caused between your senses and your heart due to this urine of Shaitan, {may Allah protect us all.}
The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam also told us that the Shaitan goes through our mouths whenever we yawn. When we open our mouths, he goes in and he laughs at us. Hence, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said that whenever you have the urge to yawn, try to oppress it and if it is overwhelming then put your hand on your mouth. This is what the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam instructed us to do.
Devils have specialization in their respective fields; they have different departments that they work on. They too have job descriptions, and they have an excellent network unfortunately. There is a specific devil for Wudu and whenever you go to the washrooms and perform ablution according to the Sunnah, you will finish in like 20 seconds. However, you find people who spend 5/7 minutes doing ablution, rubbing and scrubbing and what not; you cannot help but wonder what the person is doing! I remember once when I was in Syria, I went to the washroom to do my Wudu. In front of me was a man soaked in water, he was obsessed in rubbing and washing his hands and trying to do Wudu. We left the washing room together; we came in to Salah and started to pray. He was right next to me and he kept on disturbing me by going back and forth to the washing room to do his Wudu repeatedly. My whole Khushu’a was lost! Even after the Salah was over, he kept on paying visits to the washing area for 20 or something more minutes. This is some kind of OCD. Some other people have another related problem. They tell you, “Sheikh, when I go to urinate, I get a feeling like a drop or two is still inside.

Therefore, I squeeze myself and try everything to get it out but like half an hour later, I still have this feeling so I do not pray in the Masjid. I go change my underwear and pray at home and sometimes the prayer time elapses. This has been going on for years now!” These people are suffering. What are they suffering from? This is from Shaitan. This is his specialty; a Shaitan designated for Wudu, his name is Al Walhan. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam informed us about his name.
There is a Shaitan specialized for prayer, his name is Khanzab. This Shaitan’s job is, whenever you try to pray, he tries to remind you, “Oh, your mobile is in the car, somebody is going to break the window and steal it.” Khalas, your whole prayer is gone. While you are in your prayer, he reminds you of everything, the things that you have almost forgotten, he reminds you even of those things in the Salah. A man came to Abu Hanifa {May Allah have mercy on his soul} and said to him, “Sheikh, I buried my savings somewhere in the desert with a mark on it but now I have completely forgotten where I put that. My whole life’s savings are in there.” Abu Hanifa said, “Don’t worry, when you go home tonight, in the last third of the night, pray 10 Rakahs and try to be as perfect as you can in the prayer (like prolonging the Surahs and completely giving your heart to Allah azza wa jal).” When the man went home and started to pray, just in the second Rakah the Shaitan made him remember where he had buried his savings. He quickly wrapped up the prayer, went to the place and found his savings. He took it, went back to Abu Hanifa, and asked how he knew this. Abu Hanifa said, “This is because the one who had made you forget was Shaitan.” As Allah said, “None but Satan made me forget to remember it.” {The minister’s servant said this to Moosa alaihissalam and Allah recorded it in the Qur’an}. Abu Hanifa continued, “So, when Satan saw your first Rakah, he thought to himself, ‘If this guy is going to pray 9 other Rakahs this good, Allah is going to forgive all of his sins! I think I had better compromise.’ So, Satan whispered, ‘Listen, the place is here’” and the man went and found his savings there. Therefore, this is his role, to destroy your Salah.
In Saudi Arabia, many of these incidents happen. I do not know about here, but so many times in Saudi Arabia, people come to me and say, “Sheikh, I cannot pray in the Masjid anymore.” When I ask why, they reply with things like, “Sheikh, the smell of the people’s socks that are in front of me kills me when I prostrate!” Okay, do not breathe when you are prostrating. You can hold your breath. More complaints go like this, “Sheikh, the man next to me is always picking his nose and playing with his clothes and the other one is always coughing and the air conditioning is too hot (or too cold)!” At the end of the day, Satan takes over and the man does not pray.
I had a cousin, may Allah have mercy on his soul. He was one of the people giving Da’wah at the time of Jaheeman. This was about 32 years ago, when a group of extremists, terrorists had overtaken the Haram and they had these weird, violent ideas. They had spread terror in the Haram, in the Masjid of Makkah. They prevented people from doing Tawaf, from praying. They were not devious but they were misguided and they did one of the major sins of Islam. Yet, the result of this was that interrogators collected all the men who had beards for interrogation. One of them was my cousin, who was a peaceful person and down-to-earth. However, when they interrogated him and he came back, he got things confused. He used to give lectures, used to give Nasiha but he was not a Student of Knowledge. He was just an enthusiastic person. He started to pray in the Masjid without talking for a while. Then he started retreating to the back rows and then he stopped coming to the Masjid.

I visited him and asked him, “What are you doing?” He said, “I thought about it and I think that Allah wants us to pray with contemplation, with concentration and with submissiveness. In today’s Masjids, I am not able to do this. Kids are playing in the background, the Imam’s voice is awful, the people next to me do not put perfume, they do not wear deodorant, and they are smelly. People eat garlic and this guy smokes and this guy does that and that guy does this.” He looked only at the negative side and said, “I think this entitles me to pray at home.” He started to pray at home and after a while, his mom told me that he is now praying in a room, a special room. The reason he said, “I want to make sure that this room is clean, is pure, that there is no Najasah and no impurities and nobody comes in.” Then, he went to Phase 3. He started turning off the AC in 50 degree Celsius and turning off the lights. His reason was, “I get closer to Allah azza wa jal when I do this.” After a while, he stopped praying altogether. He quit praying, khalas, he did not offer Salah anymore and he died in this condition. May Allah have mercy on his soul’, because I believe that he was not sane. Meaning, I believe that he did not leave the prayer because he was convinced that it is okay, rather I think that he lost it. Hence, this is where Satan comes through; one of the means that he uses.
Allah azza wa jal tells us in the Qur’an, “Do not follow the footsteps of Satan.” This means that Satan does not come bluntly to us. He does not come and directly say, “Do this’ do that.” He has steps, and this is very smart of him. Now, if Satan wants to lure me and seduce me, he would not say, “Sheikh Assim, how about going and fornicating? Take your chance, you are in the UK, come on. Look for some woman and get down!” What would I say? I would say, “Astaghfirullah! Are you crazy? After all these years, come on! I fear Allah azza wa jal. Get out of here!” Hence, Satan does not come like this. He comes and says, to a Sheikh for example, “Sheikh, for Da’wah purposes, why don’t you surf the net and try to see what is going on. Check the top 10 movies. It is okay, you are talking to the youth, so you have to know these things.” Next, when the person is looking at the movies, he says, “This is a nice title. Sheikh, looking is okay. It is a family movie. It is okay, you can watch this.” When he watches it, he says, “What about listening to music? You have tension, how about chilling down a little bit. Listen to a song.” While the person is listening to the news in the radio, a song comes and he whispers, “What is wrong in listening to it? Come on. It is okay.” The person listens to it, for a while, without noticing, these things infest the person’s heart, bit by bit. Then there comes another opportunity. A woman comes and says, “Hi! I would like to know about Islam,” and she extends her hand. The person thinks, “Okay, I have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. For the sake of Islam, I think it is okay.” He shakes hands with her, “Hi! Please sit down.” They talk; they mix (‘for the sake of Islam’). The person then asks the woman, “How about having dinner tonight? We can discuss this over dinner.” Bit by bit by bit, you find all the red tape is becoming purple, then pink and then white (meaning, the person does not consider the prohibitions as prohibitions any more. He starts considering them to be okay. {We seek refuge in Allah from Satan and his tricks.}) There is no red tape anymore and this is when Shaitan comes (to entice the person to commit fornication or adultery).
In Surat al-Hashr, Allah azza wa jal mentions three verses, and the people of Tafseer backed the explanation of these verses by stories from Bani Israel from some Hadiths. Though these Hadiths are not authentic, we are instructed to mention them if they do not go against our beliefs and practices. Hence, if the Hadiths are not against our beliefs and practices, it is okay to comment on them and talk about them. Allah azza wa jal gives us an example of Satan, in one of the stories from Bani Israel. Satan came to a righteous person, a Monk, who was in his prayer hall where he used to isolate himself and meditate. This monk was worshiping Allah for many years and everyone thought him to be the best among the whole community. Satan tried many times to lead him astray but to no avail. Hence, Satan thought of a very devious plan. He went to three brothers who were warriors and they were going off to battle. They had a sister and they tried to find a safe place to keep her while they were gone off to the battlefield but they could not find any. Finally, they went to this monk and told him to take care of her while they were gone. The monk was not ready to accept this request and he told them that he does not socialize and that he is always busy worshiping the Lord; he does not have time. The brothers pleaded with him saying that their sister would be helpless and unprotected when they were gone and they really want him to help them. Satan whispered {this is Satan’s step no. 1} to the monk, “Listen, you live on top of the hill, let them put her in a cottage at the bottom of the hill, far away from you. You just oversee the cottage occasionally to see if everything is all right. You just put food once a day in the middle of the road and go away and she will pick the food from there and she will take care of herself.” Finally, the monk agreed and he did exactly that after the brothers left; no contact with her at all.
After a while Satan came back to the monk {this is his step no. 2} and told him, “Look, you put the food in the middle of the road, the beasts might come and eat it or someone else might take it away. The least you can do is, just put the food in front of her doorstep.” This seemed logical to the monk {as it seems to us as well!} this happened for some time, she used to take the food from the front door, without any contact with the monk. After a while, Satan whispered to the monk again, “Listen, when she opens the door, she will be exposed to men walking down the street, therefore you take the food inside and then leave immediately.” He did exactly that and a few days later Satan whispered again, “She is lonely and it is best for you to give her guidance. She does not have anyone to guide her, so give her some Da’wah.” Hence, he started teaching her about the Deen. After a while, they started eating together and later on, the inevitable took place!
This is the way of Satan; this is how he works, {gradually, systematically}. Not only that, but she got pregnant. Now Satan came to him and said, “Now you have a problem; when the brothers come to know of this, you will be in deep trouble! The best thing would be for you to wait until she delivers and then dispose of the baby and they will never know.” After 9 months, she gave birth to a baby boy. The monk took the boy, beheaded him, threw him in a hole and buried him. Then Satan came back and told him, “The mother won’t keep quiet about this thing, after all it was her baby. She is heartbroken and she will tell her brothers what you did.” What to do, “Well, get rid of the woman.” Hence, he killed the woman, buried her alongside her child, put a big rock on the hole, went back to his mountain, and started worshiping Allah as if nothing had happened. Months later, the brothers came back. They asked about their sister and he wept and cried and told them, “She was a very pious and righteous woman, may Allah forgive all her sins. She got ill and she died and I buried her.” They believed him, felt sorry and went home. When they went to bed, Satan came to each of them and said, “Do you believe this man? He did such and such with your sister, killed and buried her in a hole.” They woke up feeling sad, depressed, and annoyed but they did not talk about it. The middle brother opened the discussion, “I saw something really weird last night in my dream.” The eldest and the youngest brother said that they also had a weird dream. When they discussed it, they discovered that it was the same dream. Hence, they went to the location, removed the rock, dug the grave and found the remains. They went to the authorities, they handcuffed the monk, they dragged him on his face to be crucified’ and killed. Then Satan came to him and said, “Now listen, I am your friend, I am the one who made you do this and this and your only means of salvation, if you want to be saved, is that you prostrate to me.” The monk said, “If I prostrate to you, will you save me?” Satan said, “Definitely because I made you do all that you did.” So the monk prostrated to the devil and then the devil said, “I have nothing to do with you!” and he left the monk and ran away.
This is exactly what is happening to a lot of us: Steps of Satan. Take for example drugs. If a person were like 16 or 17 years old, would he try drugs without going through phases? He has to smoke first, right? No one starts doing marijuana, hash, or any hard drugs without smoking cigarettes first. After you smoke then you go to step two, may be have a beer or two. After you do this then you go to something that is more degrading; these are the steps of Satan and it happens like this, for everything in our lives. You will not find someone robbing a bank, before he robs an apple from a vegetable store next door! This is how he deteriorates and goes on and on’.
If you look at individual basis, Satan is always in the places where the Angels are not present; this is a fact because devils are afraid of Angels. In our houses what are the things that prevent the Angels from coming in? ‘Statues, dogs, images, musical instruments, things that are Haram, swearing.’ In a hadith where Abu Bakr, {may Allah be pleased with him,} was in the company of Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, there was a man who started saying bad things to Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr was looking at the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam and did not respond to the man who was accusing him of doing this and that. Abu Bakr, we know was amongst the first ones who accepted Islam. He is the best second person after the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam. After a while Abu Bakr got agitated and answered him back, he did not do anything wrong, he just answered the person back who was accusing him. At this the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam left, so Abu Bakr said, “O, Prophet of Allah, you heard the man say what he said and you did not leave but when I answered him back you left!” The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam told him, “When the man was saying what he was saying, there was an Angel defending you {if the man said, “You are a dog”, the angel was telling him, “No, YOU are a dog”; “you are this,” the angel was saying, “no, YOU are this.”} Therefore, the angel was defending you but when you replied to him and answered him back, the angel left. And when the angels leave, I cannot sit in that place because the devil would be present there.” This Hadith proves that ‘swearing’ would make the Angels leave the place and go away.
We have to protect our houses. If it has instruments that would draw Angels away, we must remove such things. I went to some of the brothers houses, which had big speakers and statues. When you ask them about this, they say, “O, Sheikh, you haven’t seen my car, it has huge speakers for music at the back.” I know that you want to listen to music; listen on your own, {which is Haram in itself} but if you want to propagate the sin so that everybody else is sharing the Haram with you, then you are an advocate of the devil. You are working for Satan; you are one of his greatest tools in luring people to him.
How does Shaitan get hold of us? When do you find yourself defenseless against his attacks? This happens when you are alone. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said that when a man is alone, he is most vulnerable to the attacks of Shaitan because Satan is closer to the lonely person than he is with someone who is in a company. When a wolf attacks, it does not attack the whole herd. It waits until one of the sheep is isolated and then takes it away, off guard. How about when you are in the state of rage’? Do you feel Shaitan is there, do you feel his presence? He is there, because this is when he plays with the people, as the kids play with football. In a hadith in Sahih Bukhari, it is mentioned’ that once there were two men arguing, one of them had his eyes red and his face was swollen and he was shouting and you could see all his veins. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said to his companions, “I know a word, if he had said it, all this anger would go away: A’uzu billahi minash Shaitan nir rajeem” {I seek refuge in Allah from the outcast Shaitan}. One of the companions thought, “I should go and give this good advice to him.” {he shouldn’t have because the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam would have said this to that man if he wanted to or he would have instructed him to do this, but the man thought to do well of his own.} He went to that man who was angry and told him, “The Prophet said, ‘Say A’uzu billahi minash Shaitan nir rajeem.’” Did this man say, “O, JazakAllah khair; this is what I was waiting for!” No, the man became angry with him as well and started another fight with a person who was giving him good advice. When anger and rage controls a person, Satan is in the driver’s seat; he takes control of that person.
So many times, I get calls on my mobile, “I have a huge problem; I divorced my wife. Now I am sorry.” He starts weeping. ‘Why did you divorce your wife?’ “She said, ‘you are not a man!’” Some other woman would call and say, “Sheikh, my husband divorced me.” ‘Why, what did you do?’ “Nothing, I was talking with him and I got carried away as I was angry and asked him to divorce me several times and I kept nagging him for 6 hours and at night he divorced me! Can you imagine this Sheikh, he divorced me!” What do you expect him to do after 6 hours of nagging him! If you ask the husband, “Why did you do this brother?” He would say, “Sheikh, she took the keys of the house and locked me in, she took my glasses off. When I was in the room, she turned the air conditioner on full, she turned off the lights, she was nagging and screaming and shouting; what do you want me to do?” Hence, when anger overtakes you, you do not see, it blinds you and this is exactly what every Muslim should avoid {getting angry}.
A man came to the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam and said, “Advice me, O Prophet of Allah.” He salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Do not become angry.” The man said, “Ok, give me another advice.” The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam kept on repeating this same advice, ‘Do not become angry.’ This means that it is an extremely important thing, ‘not to get angry’.
Another way that Shaitan gets into our hearts is ‘Envy’. When you see someone having something and you say to yourself, “Aaah, he doesn’t deserve this, I am more worthy of having this. Why does he have such a beautiful car, he is not worthy of it, he cannot even drive properly. I am better than him!” This destroys the heart. If some knowledgeable person sees another scholar, he goes, “Come on, look at him! He doesn’t even workout at the gym, why is everybody respecting him, I am better than him!” You see someone with a lot of money and you say, “Subhan Allah! Why does Allah give him this money? I have been praying here for so many years and Allah did not give me as much.” I heard this with my own ears. I was visiting an old man, who was about 65 years old. He is a pious person, he prays five times in the Masjid, Masha Allah. One day he got sick so I went to him, to comfort him and said, “In Shaa Allah, my uncle, Allah will forgive your sins because of your tolerance and your patience.” He said, “My son, the only thing that bothers me is that I have been praying for forty years, not missing one Salah for Allah azza wa jal. I have been trying to be as good as possible and look how it ended, look at this illness. And my neighbor never prayed one single prayer in the Masjid and he is as strong as a bull.” I said, “Uncle, you are nullifying all of your good deeds by one word. You are objecting to Allah’s ruling?” Look at the way that envy comes and corrupts ones heart. Instead of accepting what Allah has bestowed upon you {you should say, “Khalas, Allah decreed it upon me, I am accepting it”}, you are rejecting AND objecting about it!
This is what happened in the case of Qabil and Habil, when Allah accepted the first brother’s sacrifice and He did not accept the other’s sacrifice. The second brother felt envious and he killed his brother. What had Yusuf alaihis salaam faced? His brothers threw him in a well. His own brothers wanted to kill him at first. They were envious. Why, was it because of his degree? Was it because of his wealth? No, it was because his father favored him more than he favored the other brothers. Moreover, his father was a Prophet. Yusuf alaihis salaam was the son a Prophet who was the son of a Prophet, who was the son of a Prophet {Yusuf alaihis salaam, Yaqub alaihis salaam, Is’haq alaihis salaam, Ibrahim alaihi salaam.} When the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam was asked, “Who is the most honorable person?” he replied, “Yusuf ibn Yaqub ibn Is’haq ibn Ibrahim.” Yusuf alaihi salaam was the son of a Prophet, the grandson of a Prophet AND the great grandson of a Prophet. Yet his siblings, who were the sons of the same Prophet, took him and threw him away. Why, this is all because of envy. Hence, when people get envious of one another and look at each other and instead of appreciating Allah’s gifts, they envy each other and they will let Satan come in their way.
One of the easiest ways in which Satan can come through our hearts is the companionship. By looking at who your companion is, I can determine whether you are on the right path or the wrong path, because Satan comes with the bad companion. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam told us that a good companion is like a person who sells perfumes. If you go to a place that sells perfumes, you will either buy perfume {which means that you will get a good smell} or you will just try it on yourself. You know how some cheap people, instead of buying perfume, they say, “How much is this?” When the seller tells them, “So-and-so pounds” they say, “Can I just smell it?” and they start applying it on themselves saying, “Ohhh yeah, that is good.” They thank the seller and leave. Therefore, either you buy it from them or you get a gift, a good fragrance. This is how a good companion is; he teaches you or you learn his manners or he corrects you when you do something that is wrong. A bad companion is completely the opposite. Satan comes to our hearts through bad companions. Take for example, peer pressure. A person is at school and he is a good person and his parents are good, but then look at his companions.

In the break, a friend comes and says, “Fancy a cigarette?” When he says, “I do not smoke”, he says, “Aren’t you a man? Come on try it. It is not going to kill you. If it is going to kill you, it will kill you later on, not now!” Everybody is smoking and you are the only person who is not, so you try it. You might cough for a while but then eventually this becomes part of your ‘Manhood’, you start feeling ‘Macho.’ Next they tell you, why do you not do this, why do not you do that? Then you feel that there is a benchmark; a bar that you have to live up to and you start to go downhill from there. On The Day of Judgement, these very friends will be your enemies as Allah azza wa jal said, “On The Day of Judgement, the best of friends will be the fierce enemies except those who were righteous in this world.” Because on that day you will start to show enmity to that person who made you do bad things and who taught you how to sin. However, that person will wash his hands off you and will say, “I did not teach him all that, he came to me and asked me.” Hence, they will become enemies, therefore you have to choose your companions wisely, you have to choose your friends, who would guide you, lead you and accompany you to Allah, instead of choosing someone who would lead you to a prison cell in this Duniya or worse, to hellfire in the Hereafter. Therefore, you have to choose someone who shows you the light, guides you to it; who gives you good advice and whom you would feel good being with’. There are many other things to be covered’ about this topic but I will stop now. Finally, I pray to Allah azza wa jal that He keeps us away from Shaitan and keeps Shaitan away from our path. Aameen
Questions and Answers
Q1. Who are Kane and Abel?
A1. They are the sons of Adam Alaihissalam {Habeel and Qabeel} Adam was ‘descended down to earth because of his sin. {Who made Adam eat the forbidden fruit? It is our enemy Satan} Satan made Adam eat from the forbidden fruit. Allah punished Adam and He made him live on earth and that is why we are living on earth, waiting for the time we die and go to paradise back again, depending on our good deeds; if we do well, we go to paradise and if we do bad, we go to hell.
Adam had two sons, Kane and Abel; because there were no humans at that time, Adam’s wife Eve used to have twins. The first twins were a boy and a girl and the second twins were a boy and a girl. The twins were not ‘allowed to marry each other because they were siblings but they could marry from the other twins. Kane and Abel were instructed to give sacrifice to Allah azza wa jal. Kane gave grass and fruits and vegetables as sacrifice, something that was not considered as worthy of giving in sacrifice to Allah azza wa jal. On the other hand, Abel gave a healthy Ram as his sacrifice. So Allah azza wa jal sent a fire and it took Abel’s sacrifice and Allah accepted his but He did not accept Kane’s sacrifice. Kane felt angry and envious and he killed his brother Abel.
Q2. Do Devils leave the place where there are Angels present?
A2. Generally speaking’ the Angels have stronger powers than Devils. The Devils fear the Angels, yet there are places {generally speaking the Angels do not come in the presence of Devils but this does not mean that they do not come in at all} on the contrary, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam tells us that whenever the Muezzin calls the Azan, the Devil runs away farting. {Usually someone does this when he is afraid of something} The minute the Azan is over the devil comes back. Hence, this is a special Shaitan for this occasion. One Shaitan does not leave us at all and his name is Qareen. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam was praying once at night; while he was prostrating, Ayesha, may Allah be pleased with her, woke up in the middle of the night. When she saw that Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam was not there, she thought he went to one of his other wives and she panicked. She could not see him in the room since there used to be no lights during that time; she accidently touched his feet while he was in his Sajda. When he finished his prayer, he said, “Ayesha did your Shaitan come to you?” because of what she had thought. She asked, “Do I have a devil?” he replied, “Everyone has a Devil.” She asked, “Even you?” He salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam replied, “Yes even I but Allah gave me power over him and he became a Muslim {therefore this Shaitan does not instruct me to do bad things}” There is another translation about this Hadith, which is more authentic, “I am safeguarded from his bad instructions, {Allah gave me power over him.”} Hence, generally speaking, the Devils are not in the places of Angels; whenever the Angels go, they come in and they fear Angels. However, not 100%, there are special cases where they never ever leave us and Allah knows best.
Q3. Do we have ‘Satans’ among humankind?
A3. Shaitan means a thing that excels in oppression, so there is Shaitan among the dogs for example. We are ‘instructed’ to kill black dogs and when the companions asked, “Why black dogs?” The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said that the black dog is the most fierce among its kind; it is the Shaitan. Meaning that it is the most powerful, the ‘strongest’ and the most evil among its kind.
The last chapter in the Qur’an: ‘I seek refuge in Allah from the evil of the whisperer who withdraws; who whispers in the hearts of the people; of jinn and humankind.’ Hence, the Shaitan can be from both Jinn and from people and we have people who are so devious that even maybe the devil would say, ‘He surpassed me a lot!’ and Allah knows best.
Q4. Question is not audible.
A4. We have fiercest enemies of Islam becoming the greatest Muslims. Whenever I read the story of Omar Bin Khattab {may Allah be pleased with him} I get chills, he was not among the first to embrace Islam. In fact, he was amongst the fiercest enemies of Islam, to the extent that when the companions decided to migrate to Abyssinia, Omar passed by one of the Muslim Women who was packing to leave. He felt softhearted and felt ‘these are my people, why are they leaving their own country!’ He said to her, “So, you are leaving?” she said, “Yes, you people did not leave room for us to pray and worship Allah so we are going to some other country.” Omar responded, “May Allah be with you.” He left and when this woman’s husband came, she told him that Omar passed by and he said this and that. He said, “Omar! Are you hoping that Omar would accept Islam? You are crazy. Omar’s donkey may accept Islam but Omar would never!”
To that extent Omar was against Islam, he also attacked Islam, and Muslims, but look what happened to him when he embraced Islam? Look at what level he jumped to’! Therefore, never ever underestimate anyone. People usually used to curse George Bush when he was in power; I used to tell them, “Don’t curse him, pray that Allah guide him.” they would say, “No way.” Why not, guidance is in Allah’s hands, not in ours, we can only do what we are supposed to do. If Allah wills that he be guided’ no one can stop him. Hence, never underestimate anyone or say that, ‘this man can never ever accept Islam.’ look at us, maybe we are worse than them’. Our hearts are full of corruption, diseases and illnesses; we are trying hard and struggling to purify ourselves, praying to Allah and asking for His guidance and forgiveness but never ever look down at people, because this is one of the ‘Traps of Shaitan,’ which I did not have time to discuss with you all. When you are on top, Shaitan comes to you and says, “You got it made, Khallas, you are in Paradise, it’s only a few centimeters and you are there!” So whenever someone talks to you, you are like, ‘Who are you, you just came out of the pub, I am a Muslim, I am a Sheikh, I am a Scholar, I am a Da’aee’a; what are you!’ This starts to corrupt your heart from inside; you look righteous, you look ok but from inside, you are corrupt. Therefore, always be modest, be humble, thinking that ‘I do not know if Allah will accept my deeds or not.’ We should try our best and hope for the best but at the same time if we look at sinful people, if we look at disbelievers, we shouldn’t look down upon them, who knows in a couple of years Allah might guide them and they would be miles and miles ahead of us in Islam. Hence, we should hope for the best, work hard and never look down on anyone.
Q5. What is Ghulu?
A5. This was also one of the topics I had prepared’ but could not discuss because of lack of time. Shaitan comes in two ways; through Shubuhaat {doubts} or Shahawat {desires}. Shubuhat meaning that he comes to us through doubtful ideology, doubtful methodology and ideas’ and comes to people depending on the strength of their belief. Therefore, if generally speaking, the mass of the Muslims are weak in their belief, he comes to them when they are doing something wrong and tells them, “Allah is Kareem, Allah is The Most Forgiving, He is Merciful, carry on and don’t worry.” If someone is performing Wudu and he comes out with parts of his arms not washed properly and you tell him, “Brother your Wudu is incomplete, your prayer will be invalid.” He would say, “Come on, I washed majority of the arm, don’t be so extreme, Allah is Forgiving!”
If a sister is praying with her hair covered properly but with tight jeans and if some other sister tells her, “Sister, you have to cover the whole body with a long garment.” She would say, “I am covering my head, that is the most important thing, don’t be such an extremist, Allah is Kareem.”
If you tell someone, “Don’t eat Haraam food.” They would say, “It’s ok; I will ask Allah for forgiveness.” “Don’t deal in Riba, interest, usury, don’t do this, don’t do that,” but people seem to neglect and ignore, saying Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
There is a group that is strong in their faith, whenever Shaitan tries this on them, they will say, “No, we have to go by the Qur’an, by the Sunnah.” They are steadfast on the right track; Shaitan does not go to them and ask them to take things easy; he goes to them through the opposite direction. Therefore, you see some of them washing their limbs several times. Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam told us to wash 3 times, they say, “5 times is good, water is free.” After a while, they wash 7 times and end up taking shower for every prayer, saying this makes us cleaner. When you tell them, “but this is innovation in religion,” they would say, “come on, this is not innovation, I am doing this for the sake of Allah.” They end up going against the Qur’an and the Sunnah when they follow these extreme ways. Once when Abu Muhammad Sa’id Ibn Musayyib, may Allah be pleased with him, was in Madinah Masjid, between the Azaan and Iqama of Fajr, a man came and started praying 2 Rak’ahs after 2 Rak’ahs after 2 Rak’ahs and this is not permissible in Islam. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “it is not lawful to pray between Azan and Iqama of Fajr except 2 Rak’ahs only, which is the Sunnah. So Abu Muhammad came to this man and said, “My nephew, my friend, it is not allowed for you to pray more than 2 Rak’ahs because the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam forbade us from doing that.” This man used the same methodology of Satan: ‘Logic’ and said, “Come on Abu Muhammad, you think that if I pray to Allah, Allah would punish me?” Look at this weird way of thinking! Sa’eed Ibn Musayyib, may Allah have mercy on his soul said, “Allah will not punish you for praying but Allah would punish you for going against the Sunnah. Now you are defying the Prophet’s instructions.” It is like someone saying, “I am going to pray in the toilet!” “Why! You are not allowed to pray in the toilet.” “Do you think Allah is going to punish me for praying!” Allah is going to punish you for defying, doing it the wrong way. Therefore, Ghulu, which is ‘extreme’, is likewise. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam instructed us to always be smiling when you meet Muslims and he said that this is a charity. The Satan would come to a pious Muslim and say, “Ok, you are strong in faith and belief.” If he meets a brother in Islam and that man says, “Assalamu’alaikum!” this man would look at him and think, ‘Hmmm his thobe is below his ankle,’ he would just say to him, “How are you doing?” without responding to his Salam. Satan would convince him ‘this man is not a Muslim!’ so he starts labeling people. Whenever he meets people, he would look if his beard were long or not, if he has a Miswak and if he has a short thobe or not. Hence, Satan comes from this door, Ghulu.
Some people hit their mothers. A man, around 57 years of age came to my Masjid, started crying, and said, “My mother is very abusive. My father died 5 years ago and we were the top people in our village. My father was very generous and kind but my mother was very abusive. After my father died, she started abusing everyone in the village, cursing, backbiting’ and was tarnishing the name of our family. She was acting insane. We tried to amend things by going to everyone and apologizing, we even tried to give Nasiha to our mother by telling her that what she was doing was wrong. She wouldn’t listen and when she started talking bad even about my father, I got really mad and without realizing I slapped her in the face!” This man was crying like a baby and he wanted me to say, “Don’t worry, Allah will forgive you!” but no, I would not say that because it is a major sin. Even if she was abusive, even she gave bad reputation to your father; this does not allow you to do one single bad act to your mother. This is your mother; in Islam, you cannot even raise your voice to your mother. Even if she was a Kafir, you are not allowed’ to raise your voice.
Husain Ibn Ali Ibn Husain Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, once was in one side of the house and his mother was in another side of the house and she called her son and he replied. She could not hear her son’s response as he was at the other side of the house. She called him back and he raised his voice and responded, “Yes, mother!” After that Husain felt very bad about this because he raised his voice, not out of disrespect or arrogance but he wanted her to hear him but still he felt bad and he freed 2 or 3 slaves for the sake of Allah just to compensate for what he felt was a sin. Nowadays if a mom says, “Go get the groceries from the car,” the son would say, “Why me, why not him, he is always playing; you always pick on me, why!” People talk badly with their parents, kids talk really badly with their mothers, and there is no excuse for behaving badly with your mothers. This is part of the Ghulu from both sides. Hope this answers your question.
The quotations from the Qur’an and Hadiths in this article are a rough translation of the meanings of the original text!


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