The Eleventh Talk
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَواْ إِذَا مَسَّهُمْ طَائِفٌ مِّنَ الشَّيْطَانِ تَذَكَّرُواْ فَإِذَا هُم مُّبْصِرُونَ
The topic of discussion is Isti’adha. Isti’adha is the way of the pious. Those who are not pious have Satan dwelling within them. All their thoughts and actions are at the instance of Satan. Then what is the need for their seeking Allah (S.w.T.)’s protection against the influences of Satan.
Escape from Satan will naturally be sought by those who are men of piety and whenever Satan creeps near their hearts, they busy themselves in the Dhikr or Remembrance of Allah (S.w.T.). When Satan realizes this he escapes from them.
The men of piety are always wary that they don’t commit prohibited actions and don’t miss the legitimate and obligatory practices. Whenever any satanic entity comes near their hearts, intuition warns them and, they busy themselves in Isti’adha. When Satan notices this, he slinks away.
When the persons of piety are busy remembering Allah (S.w.T.), their vision and knowledge manifests to them the trap Satan has set for them.
My intention is to dwell in today’s talk on the word ‘mubseroon’ in the verse under reference. The men of piety are endowed ‘baseerat’ or vision by Allah (S.w.T.) to perceive the trap laid by Satan with their own eyes. When Satan realizes that his game was over, he flies away. It is very felicitous that a mu’min has the vision of the fears and doubts that Satan can create. These fears and doubts could be in the matters of faith or about morals etc.
Certain fears and doubts created by Satan pertain to matters of belief and in this aspect he doesn’t refrain from influencing even the hearts of the prophets.
It is narrated that Satan came to Hadrat ‘Isa (a.s.) when he was standing on the peak of a hill. Satan addressed ‘Isa (a.s.) saying, “O Spirit of Allah! If you fall from this peak, can Allah save your life!” He replied, “I can tell you with my vision and Understanding that Allah would most certainly save me.” Satan added, “If you are so certain, dive down from here that He saves you!”
Hadrat ‘Isa (a.s.) understood that Satan was up to his tricks. Therefore he said, “O accursed one! Do you intend to put Allah to test! My Faith is strong. Allah is Omnipotent and has control over every thing. You have come here with the purpose of testing whether saving me is possible or not.” Hadrat ‘Isa (a.s.) also added, “My Creator has commanded me not to do such things. Purposely falling from the top of the hill will be an attempt at suicide that is Haram. If one falls from the hill accidentally, and Allah wishes him to live on, then He will save him!”
It is narrated that once Satan came to Hadrat ‘Isa (a.s.) and said, “O Spirit of Allah! You are yourself the Omnipotent and Omniscient God.” Hadrat ‘Isa (a.s.) reprimanded him for this talk and said, “I am Allah’s creation and slave on whose prayer He brings back the dead to life!”
When Hadrat ‘Isa (a.s.) tried to remove doubts of Satan in this manner, he ran away from there crying.
Satan puts such doubts and fears in the minds of the pious persons. But they understand his tricks with the light of piety that they are only satanic doubts. For example; sometimes he puts a doubt in the heart of a mu’min that a particular person, despite being young and strong, has resorted to begging. Why has he turned a beggar? Satan’s purpose of creating such doubts is to create apprehensions in the minds of believers about the will of Allah (S.w.T.). But if the person is a mu’min aware of Allah (S.w.T.)’s Greatness he will say, “Astaghfirullah! How can I dare to question the Will of Allah? My Faith is that His acts are all replete with wisdom beyond our comprehension.”
Every pious person strives to perform good deeds and Satan tries his best to dissuade him from doing so. If a person performs a good deed, Satan tries to neutralize its good effects through his tricks. For example; he will encourage the person to express pride after doing some good turn. Satan is thus the sworn enemy of all good deeds.
Here the example of one of the elite prophets of Allah (S.w.T.) will be appropriate.
You must have heard of Hadrat Ibrahim (a.s.) that when he was taking his beloved son Ismail (a.s.) to mina to sacrifice him under the Commandment of Allah (S.w.T.), Satan was flabbergasted. He knew that if Ibrahim (a.s.) was able to fulfill this task, he would get a very elevated place in the consideration of Allah (S.w.T.). He thought of stratagems to prevent Ibrahim (a.s.) from achieving this.
The first thing he did was to go to Hadrat Hajra and create doubts and fear in her mind. He told her, “I have seen an aged person guiding a handsome youth by hand. Who is he?” Hadrat Hajra said, “That is my spouse Ibrahim (a.s.).” Satan asked, “Are you aware of his intention as to why he is taking your son along with him? His intention is to cut the head of his son Ismail (a.s.)” Hadrat Hajra replied, “Ibrahim (a.s.) has not harmed even his sworn enemies. How is it possible that he will sever the head of his own son.” Satan said, “He is thinking that Allah (S.w.T.) has commanded him to do so!” The great lady immediately understood that the person talking to her was Satan and was trying to create doubts in her mind. She said, “O accursed creature! Run away! If what he is doing is under Allah’s Command then we abide by it.”
The purpose of the creation of Satan is to judge on the Day of Reckoning as to who was steadfast in keeping to the right path and who veered away from it under his evil influence. Therefore Allah (S.w.T.) says in the Holy Book:
وَمَا كَانَ لَهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّن سُلْطَانٍ إِلَّا لِنَعْلَمَ مَن يُؤْمِنُ بِالْآخِرَةِ مِمَّنْ هُوَ مِنْهَا فِي شَكٍّ
Although Hadrat Hajra is a woman but the strength of her faith is such intense that she agreed to sacrifice her only son in the Way of Allah (S.w.T.) without a whimper of doubt or fear.
Now Satan went to Hadrat Ibrahim (a.s.) and said, “What are you trying to do?” He replied, “I shall sacrifice my son, Ismail (a.s.) Satan said, “What crime has he committed?” Hadrat Ibrahim (a.s.) said, “This I am doing on Allah’s Command!” Satan said, “If you kill your own son for the good will of Allah, it will be a bad example for your followers to emulate in the future!” Hadrat Ibrahim (a.s.) again reiterated that what he was doing was under the command of Allah (S.w.T.).
Satan said, “Is it not possible that what you are doing is not Allah’s Command.” At this moment Hadrat Ibrahim hit Satan with a stone. This is why there is the practice of the Hajjis throwing stones at Rami Jamarat during Hajj as an emulation of Hadrat Ibrahim (a.s.)’s action.
Now the accursed Satan turned his attention towards Hadrat Ismail (a.s.) who was walking behind his revered father. He said, “Young lad! Do you know where you father is taking you?” Ismail (a.s.) said, “I don’t know!” Satan added “Your father intends to kill you.” Ismail (a.s.) asked, “How could he do such a thing?” Satan said, “He thinks that Allah has commanded him to do it!” Hadrat Ismail (a.s.) said, “If he is acting on Allah’s orders, then my life is a small sacrifice for that purpose!” But, despite this rebuff Satan persisted in trying to create doubts in the mind of the young Ismail (a.s.). Then Hadrat Ismail (a.s.) protested to his father, “O father! See who is this person who is pestering me?” Hadrat Ibrahim (a.s.) said, “This is Satan the accursed!” Then Hadrat Ismail (a.s.) too hurled stones at him.
Now I address the revered Hajjis in this gathering! In emulation of Hadrat Ibrahim (a.s.) you have done the rite of Rami Jamarat during the Hajj. Jamarat is not only a rite to be performed during the Hajj, but throughout our lives we have to spurn and chase away Satan.
Where are those people who throw stones at Satan whenever he tries to create fears and doubts in their minds. They confront him with boldness and exercise control over themselves in times of anger and fury. When the wish to do prohibited acts asserts itself, they shake it away with determination.
Sometimes it happens that a person wishes to do a good turn, then Satan brings forth a doubt that perhaps some other deed would be more appropriate. The person thus falls in doubt and is unable to act.
It is narrated that now the father and son determined to comply with Allah (S.w.T.)’s Command; the father to sacrifice his son; and the son too to offer himself in sacrifice to Allah (S.w.T.). The old father put the son’s head on the ground and put the sharp knife on his throat. At this moment the angels were surprised and asked each other, “Who is greater, the father or the son!” The father is great because he is willing to sacrifice his son who is the fruit of much prayer and supplication. The son is great because he is offering himself in sacrifice to Allah (S.w.T.) without a whimper of protest!
Both have come out successful in their test. But Allah (S.w.T.)’s Wish was that Ismail (a.s.) should live.
It is narrated that when Hadrat Ibrahim (a.s.) felt that the knife was not cutting, and that the command for the sacrifice has been rescinded by Allah (S.w.T.), he cried. Hadrat Jibril (a.s.) came to him and asked, “Why are you crying?” He said, “I think I am not fit enough that my sacrifice was not acceptable to Allah!” Jibrīl (a.s.) said, “You have successfully gone through all the stages of the sacrifice. Your heart even then cries that it has not reached its conclusion.” Then Hadrat Jibril (a.s.) told Hadrat Ibrahim (a.s.) about the hardships and the supreme sacrifice in store for Imam Husayn (a.s.)!