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50. Satan

Allah, the Wise, has said:

إَنَّ الشَّيْطاَنَ لِلإِنْسَانِ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ

“Surely the Shaitan is an open enemy to man.”1

Imam Sadiq (a.s) had said:

لَيسَ لِإِبلِيسَ أََشَدُّ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَ الْغَضَبَ.

“Iblis does not possess weapons more dangerous than woman and anger.”2

Short Explanation

In opposition to Divine guidance, there exists satanic deviation. Within the human, there is a continuous and persistent combat between the divine forces, meaning intellect, and the satanic forces, meaning ignorance.

It is only when the human gains a cognizance of the weapons of the Satan and his forces, and protects himself from their whisperings that he can escape from their snares. And if, at times, the Satan happens to overcome him, he should turn to Allah in repentance and plead for His forgiveness lest his heart gets imprinted with a black blemish, and seek refuge in Him from his evils.

1) Prophet Nuh and Satan

After Prophet Nuh (a.s) had disembarked from his ark, the Satan approached him and said: “You have greatly obliged me and so I wish to thank you for your obligation and give you something in exchange!”

Nuh (a.s) said: “I am indisposed to the fact that I oblige you and you recompense me for it. Anyway, go on and tell me the truth.”

Satan said: “Indeed I have to strive hard and exert myself before I can lead one person astray, but you cursed the people and all of them were destroyed and so, at least at present, I am at ease till another community is born and reaches the age of responsibility before I invite them towards disobedience (of Allah)!!

Now, in reciprocation of your good deed, I shall give you a word of advice. Stay away from three attributes: Firstly - never exhibit arrogance, for it was because of this vice that I did not prostrate before your father, Adam and was expelled from the presence of Allah. Secondly - stay away from greed, for it was this due to this that Adam consumed the wheat and was deprived of Paradise. Thirdly - distance yourself from envy, for it was because of this vice that Qabil killed his brother Habil and eventually perished as a result of Divine punishment.”3

2) Prophet Musa and Satan

Once, Satan approached Prophet Musa (a.s) and said to him: “You are the Prophet of Allah while I am one of His sinning and disobedient creations. It is my desire that I repent before Him, so request Him to accept my repentance.”

Musa (a.s) agreed and prayed for him, whereupon Allah said: “O' Musa! I shall accept your intercession for him. Tell him to prostrate upon Adam's grave in order that I accept his repentance.”
Musa (a.s) met Satan and said: “Prostrating upon Adam's grave shall cause your repentance to be accepted.”

Hearing this, Satan said: “I did not prostrate before Adam when he was alive, how can I prostrate upon his grave now that he is dead? I shall never do such a thing!” Then continuing, he said: “O' Musa! Since you interceded for me before Allah you have obliged me. I shall advise you to be wary of me in three places in order that you do not face damnation and ruin. First: During anger; for in that state my soul is in your heart and my eyes into yours. Second: During a battle (jihad); for in that state I cause the soldiers to bring their wives, children and relatives to mind in order that they turn back from the battle and flee away. Third: Never sit with a non-mahram woman in one place for I shall whisper temptations into both of you.”4

3) Firawn

Once, an inhabitant of Egypt brought a bunch of grapes before Firawn and asked him to transform them into pearls.

Firawn took the grapes inside his chamber and sat down pondering as to how he could transform them into pearls. In the meantime Satan arrived and knocked at his door. Firawn asked: “Who is it?” Satan replied: “Woe unto that Allah, who knows not who stands behind the door.” Having said this he stepped into the chamber, took the grapes from Firawn and recited one of the Holy Names of Allah upon them whereupon they were immediately transformed into pearls.

Then, turning to Firawn, he said: “O' Firawn! Judge with fairness and justice! Despite possessing such virtues and powers I am not worthy of being worshipped, but you, with the ignorance that you possess, claim Allah-ship for yourself and say: 'I am the great Allah of the people?'”

Firawn inquired: “Why did you not prostrate beforeAdam so as not to be expelled from the presence of Allah?”

Satan retorted in disgust: “Because I knew that a dirty entity like you would come into existence from his loins.”5

4) Muawiyah

It has been reported that Muawiyah had been asleep in his palace when he was suddenly awakened by someone. When Muawiyah looked towards him, the person immediately concealed himself behind the curtains.

Muawiyah shouted: “Who are you that have entered the palace without my permission and exhibited such impertinence?”

The man said: “I am Satan.”

Muawiyah asked: “Why did you wake me up?”

He replied: “It is time for prayers and I have aroused you so that you can proceed to the mosque in time for the prayers!”

Muawiyah said: “You are Satan, and Satan is an entity who never desires any good for the people. Is it correct to accept a thief's claim that he had come to the house for the purpose of guarding it?”
Satan said: “I woke you up lest you continue to sleep and your prayers become lapsed thereby causing you to sigh in regret and your heart to grieve that the time for prayers had passed away and you did not go to the mosque for offering your prayers! This sigh is more significant and important than hundreds of prayers and I did not want you to engage yourself in such sighing and lamentations, for then you would have been graced by Allah's mercy.”
Having heard this Muawiyah attested the veracity of his words.6

5) Prophet Yahya and Satan

Once, the accursed Satan manifested himself before the Prophet Yahya Ibn Zakariya (a.s). Observing that he had in his possession numerous ropes, Yahya (a.s) inquired: “O' Iblis! What are these ropes that you hold in your hand?”

Satan replied: “These ropes are the various attachments, inclinations and lusts that I have found in the children of Adam.”

Yahya (a.s) asked: 'Does there exist a rope for me too?'

Satan said: 'Yes. When you satiate yourself with food, you experience weightiness and it is for this reason you become disinclined with respect to your prayers, dhikr and supplications.'

Hearing this, Yahya (a.s) vowed: 'By Allah! Never shall I eat to my fill, ever again.'

Iblis responded by pledging: “By Allah! Never shall I advise anyone, ever again.”7

  • 1. Surat Yusuf (12), Verse 5
  • 2. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 78, pg. 246
  • 3. ‘Unwan al-Kalam, pg. 167
  • 4. Shanidaniha-e-Tarikh, pg. 258; Mahajjatul Baidha, vol. 5, pg. 59
  • 5. Pand-e-Tarikh, vol. 1, pg. 23; Anwar al-Nu’maniyyah, pg. 80. This incident has been narrated slightly differently, in the book, Jawame’ al-Hikayat, pg. 21
  • 6. Dastanha-e-Mathnawai, vol. 2, pg. 15
  • 7. Iblis Nameh, vol. 1, pg. 35; Mahasin Barqi, pg. 439

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