In the name of Allah
Most Gracious, Most Merciful
All praise is for Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings of Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala be upon the last prophet Habeebuna (our beloved) Mohammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam...
This life of ours is very precious and we need to be extremely alert in this journey. We cannot reach far if we our soul is weak, tired and always an easy prey for Shaitaan may Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala’s curse be upon him.
To undertake any journey
(and our journey is to Aakhira i.e. hereafter)
it is extremely important that our soul is protected and healthy
and that our time is not wasted.
This article is presented before us to ponder over it and to live by it so that we are protected and well prepared to take this journey by the will of Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala and there is no strength, ability and power except from Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala. The following text is an extract from Tafseer Al-Mu'awwidhatayn (Sura Khalaq and Sura Naas) by Imam Ibn-Qayyim Al Jawziyyah RA.
The Seven Obstacles set by Satan to Mankind
It is not possible to put together all of Satan's evil, because all the wickedness in the world is caused by him. However, his evil can be listed as seven main types, which persist on a believer until he/she is affected by one of them.
First Level of obstacle
Polytheism and enmity towards Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala and His Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. If Satan achieves this evil in man, he cools down, as this is his main objective in life, and then he recruits him/her in his army to be his voice among the children of Adam.
Second Level of obstacle
If Satan realizes that he cannot achieve the first evil (polytheism) in a person, because the latter happens to be born in a Muslim family, he tries to take him/her into the world of bid'ah (innovation in religion), which is more beloved to him (Satan) than sins, as bid'ah corrupts the basics of one's religion, since it opposes the Mission of the Prophets.
Third Level of obstacle
If Satan feels (he is) unable to get a person to adopt a life of bid'ah, because he/she is a strong adherent to the Sunnah of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, then Satan strives to take him to the third evil, which is the world of various great sins.
Satan is always keen to make people fall victim
to this category of sin (Bidah),
especially the religious scholars in order to distance
other people from them...
Satan broadcasts whatever sin a scholar may have committed, using his army, who pretend to be simply raising people's awareness about that scholar, but in fact are delegates of Iblis.
Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala has said:
Verily, those who wish that Fahishah should be propagated...
among those who believe
they will have a painful torment in this world and in the Hereafter!
[Fahishah - the crime of illegal sexual intercourse]
Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala promises a painful torment to those who love to spread fahishah; so what about those who decide to propagate fahishah. Not of their own will but in obedience to Satan or on his behalf? They take all this trouble to drive people away from a scholar, whose personal sins, whatever level they have reached, are less significant to Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala than the sins of those evil people.
Fourth Level of obstacle
If Satan cannot make a believer commit great sins, he leads him/her to small ones, which once they gather upon a Muslim, could probably ruin him/her. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: "Avoid (even those) sins which are considered insignificant."
Fifth Level of obstacle
If Satan feels unable to take a believer to the world of sins, he distracts him/her with legal matters, which neither lead to reward nor punishment, but instead to missing good rewards by doing other activities.
Sixth Level of obstacle
If the faith of a believer is too strong to be distracted by trivial things, as he/she spends his/her time in obedience to Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala, then Satan tries to influence the good activities of a believer by making him/her devote his time to the superfluous, so as to miss out on excellence, which would gain him/her even higher rewards.
Few people are aware of this level of Satan's evil, as they assume that all good motives must be from Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala, and could never be from Satan, who only calls for evil. They may be forgiven for thinking so, because they do not yet know that Satan himself can call them to perform seventy good deeds just to get them to do one of evil, or to make a someone miss out on a blessing or abenefit, which is even greater than those seventy.
This cannot be achieved except with the Light of Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala, which He Subhana Wa Ta'ala plants into the heart of His Beloved Believer. Many people are unaware of this, but it is the Grace of Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala, which He bestows on whomsoever He wills among His Servants.
Seventh Level of obstacle
If Satan feels unable to achieve anything with the believer at all these levels, he sets his party, among the Jinn and mankind, to accuse him/her of all kinds of abuse, such as takfeer, misguidance, innovating in religion. So they warn people agains him/her, to prevent them from learning his/her knowledge.
There are about ten ways to achieve this protection
First Way Of Protection
Taking refuge with Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala against Satan
Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala said: (If an evil whisper from Satan tries to turn you away, then seek refuge in Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala. Verily, He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.) and in another Verse: (He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.)
We have previously mentioned that the "Hearing" referred to in the above verses is that of responding (to the supplication of thebeliever), and not just the process of hearing.Sulaiman bin Sarad RA said: "Two men abused each other, in front of the Prophet while we were sitting with him. One of the two abused his companion furiously, and his face turned red.The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: "I know a word (sentence), the saying of which would cause this man to relax, if he says it. Only if he says: 'I seek refuge with Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala from Satan, the outcast,' would he will be relieved from his fury."
Second Way Of Protection
Reciting the Mu'awwidhatayn (AI-Falaq and An-Nas)
These have an amazing effect in repelling evil and being shielded from it, and are the best possible way for anyone to express his wish to take refuge in Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala.
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam used to...
Take refuge in Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala with Al-Mu'awwidhatayn...
every night before going to bed, and had advised
Uqbah RA to recite them after the end of every prayer!
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam also said: "He who recites Surat al-Ikhlas and the Mu 'awwidhatayn, in the evening and in the morning, it would make everything suffice him."
Third Way Of Protection
Reciting the Verse of "Al-Kursi" (the Chair)
Muhammad bin Sirin reported that Abu Hurayrah RA said: "The Messenger of Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala ordered me to guard the Zakat revenue of Ramadan. Then somebody came to me and started stealing of the food stuff.
I caught him and said: 'I will take you to the Allah's Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam!' Then Abu Hurairah described the rest of the narration and finally said: "That person said (to me): 'Please don't take me to Allah's Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, for I will tell you a few words by which Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala will benefit you.
When you go to your bed, recite Ayat-al-Kursi, (Quran 2: 255) for then there would be a guard from Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala, who would protect you all night long, and Satan would not be able to come near you till dawn.' When the Prophet heard the story, he told me: 'He who came to you at night told you the truth, although he is a liar; for it was Satan."
Fourth Way Of ProtectionSuhail reported from his father that Abu Hurayrah said: "The Messenger of Allah Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala said: 'Do not turn your houses into graveyards. Satan runs away from the house in which Surat al-Baqarah is recited."
Reciting Surat al-Baqarah
Fifth Way Of ProtectionAbu Mas'ud AI-Ansari RA said: "The Messenger of Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala said: 'If someone recites the last two Verses of Surat al-Baqarah at night, that would be sufficient for him. ''
The Last two Verses of Surat al-Baqarah
An-Nu'man bin Bashir reported that Allah's Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: "Two thousand years before creating the Creation, (in the Hadith of At-Tirmidhi: 'Before creating the heavens and the earth'), Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala inscribed a book of which He Subhana Wa Ta'ala sent down the two verses with which He Subhana Wa Ta'ala concluded Surat al-Baqarah. The Devil would not come near a house in which they are recited for three nights."
Sixth Way Of ProtectionAbu Hurayah RA reported that the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: "If anyone recites, in the morning, Ha-Mim al-Mu'min to (to Him is the final return), and the Verse of Al-Kursi, he would be guarded by them till the evening, and if anyone recites them in the evening he would be guarded by them till the morning."
Reciting the beginning of Surat "Ha-Mim" (AI-Mu'min)
Up Until (To Him is the final return),
Along with the Verse of Al-Kursi
Seventh Way Of Protection
Saying a hundred times"La ilaha illalalahu wahdahu la shareeka lahu, lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu, wa huwa 'alakulli shay 'in qadeer"
None has the right to be worshipped except Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala, Alone, without associate, to Him belongs Sovereignty, and to Him belongs all Praise, and He is over all things Wholly Capable.
Abu Hurayrah RA reported that the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala, Alone, without associate, to Him belongs Sovereignty, and to Him belong all Praise, and He has Power over all things (i.e. is Omnipotent)",
One would get ther reward of manumitting ten slaves, and a hundred good deeds will be written in his account, and a hundred bad deeds would be wiped off (or erased) from his account, and on that day he would be protected from the morning till evening from Satan, and nobody would be superior to him, except one who has done more than that which he has done."
Eighth Way Of Protection
Remembering Allah, constantly...
It is the greatest precautious measure against Satan.
AI-Harith AI-Ash'ari RA reported that the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: "Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala commanded Yahya AS, son of Zakariya AS, to do five things, and to order the 'Children of Israel' to observe them.
He Yahya AS was about to convey them, then 'Isa (Jesus AS) said: "Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala has commanded you with five things to do, and to order the Children of Israel to do; so either you command them or I will do it myself." To which Yahya replied: "I fear that if you precede me with it, I would be punished.'
Yahya AS called people to gather in Bait Al-Maqdis (the Holy Mosque in AI-Quds) and they filled the mosque.
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said
I command you to do five things
to maintain the community, to listen, to obey, to emigrate
and to fight in Allah's Cause!
He who secedes from the community as much as a span has cast off the tie of Islam from his neck, unless he returns, and he who summons to what the pre-Islamic people believed, belongs to the assemblies of Jahannam, even if he fasts, prays, and asserts that he is a Muslim."
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam informed us in this Hadith that a person cannot shield himself from the devil, except with the remembrance of Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala, which is exactly what is conveyed in the surah: (Say: I take refuge with Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala, the Lord of mankind).
Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala described the devil in this Surah as the one who withdraws when the name of Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala is mentioned. But when a person neglects remembering Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala, the devil pounces on his/her heart and fills it with all his evil whisperings, which are the introductory steps to all kinds of evil.
Ninth Way Of Protection
Performing Wudu' (ablution) and Salah
This is one of the greatest means of protection against the devil especially in moments of intense anger or lust... which are like a burning fire within a person's heart.
Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri RA reported that the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: "Beware of anger, for it is a live coal in the heart of the descendant of Adam. Do you not notice the swelling of the veins of his neck and the redness of his eyes? So when anyone experiences anything of that nature he should lie down and cling to the ground. "
In another Hadith: "The devil was created of fire, and fire is extinguished with water". There is nothing better to extinguish the live coal of anger and passion than Wudu' and Salah. The water of Wudu quenches the fire of the live coal, while Salah, when performed with submission and humiliation before Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala removes all effects of anger.
Tenth Way Of Protection
abstention from excessive and curious gazing, talking, eating
and mixing with all types of people
Satan attacks a person, influencing him/her through these four ways:
The first kind Of Companion
People for whom their company is essential, just as one's need for food. One may take whatever one needs from them, and then leave them, and when one needs them again, one returns to their company in a habitual cycle.
This essential type of people represents the scholars who know about Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala and the evil nature of Allah's Enemy; they are aware of the ailments of the heart and their cure; they call people to Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala, His Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. There could only be success in the company of these people.
The second kind Of Companion
This type is to be treated like medicine when it is needed to heal from a sickness. When one recovers and feels he is in good health, he does not need it anymore. Still, this type of people is essential to have for one's life benefits to consult for different daily affairs.
The third kind Of Companion
Keeping company with this type of people is an ailment of different types, levels, strengths and weaknesses. One type whose company is like a continuous incurable disease, and could lead one to losing one's world and religion.
Another type whose company is like a headache; once he/she leaves, the pain goes away! Yet another type causes a fever in one's spirit, because of his/her heaviness and his/her loathsome mind.
He/she neither speaks well to benefit you, nor listens well to benefit from you. He/she is not aware of his low standard, and his/her speech is irritating to most listeners, yet he/she is pleased with himself.
The fourth kind Of Companion
The company of this type of people leads to one's destruction; it is like poisonous food. There are too many of this type (may Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala stop their increasing number and their influence!) They are the people of innovation (in Religion) and misguidance, who stand against the Sunnah of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam 'They hinder men from the Path of Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala and seek wickedness therein. They may turn a bid'ah (innovation in religion) into Sunnah, and turn a Sunnah into a bid'ah.
Therefore, I call on everyone to be strongly determined to please Allah and resent the enemies of the Sunnah of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. When you ignore their censure, and do not waste your time in censuring or blaming them, you display the perfection of your path.
Whoever should adopt the ten above mentioned precautious against Satan, he/she has indeed taken his/her share of success from Allah. He/she has closed all the doors to Hell and opened up all doors of Allah's Mercy for him/herself. In fact, there is no success, except with Allah and there is no other deity, but Him, Alone. May the Prayers of Allah be upon His Prophet, Muhammad the Companions RAA and those who follow them with perfection until the Last Day. And all Praise is due to Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala.
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