Translated by Shaykh Saleem Bhimji and edited by Arifa Hudda, this work looks at 30 topics through the supplications taught by Prophet Muhammad, prayers of God be upon him and his family, to be recited in the Blessed Month of Ramadan. In this installment, the topic of "Safety from the Evils of the Devilish Forces" is elucidated upon.
Allahumma ja’alli fihi ila mardhatyka dalila, wa la ta'jalli ash-shaytani fiha 'ala sabilan, wa ja’ali al-Jannata li manzila wa maqila, ya qadhia hawa'ij at-talibeen.
O Allah, on this day, show me the way to win Your pleasure and do not let Satan have a means over me and make paradise an abode and a resting place for me. Oh, the One who fulfills the requests of the needy.
'A'udhu billahi min al-Shaytan al-rajim, Bismillah, al-Rahman, al-Rahim. Assalamu alaykum, wa rahmatullahi, wa barakatuh. We're now at the final stretch of the blessed month of Ramadan. This is the twenty first day of the month and that means we have ten days or less left to make the most of this golden opportunity of submission and surrender to the will of Allah.
As we continue in our journey through Ramadan reflections, our topic for today is on safety from the evils of the devilish forces. How to keep away from Satan? What are his traps, what are his snares, and how can we as believers do the utmost that we can within our meager means to keep away from this enemy of humanity?
The Qur'an has spoken about Satan in many different ways, and one of the understanding that we have, contrary to this society that we live in, is Satan is not a little individual with horns and a tail trying to push us from performing the rules of Allah, but rather that Satan can manifest himself for itself in many forms.
We're told in the Qur'an that Satan or the Devils are of many types; two specifically, we have the devils from amongst the jinn, the unseen creation of Allah; but we also have devils in the form of humanity. There are many men and women out there running around the world today who are satanic individuals; they are devilish in their ideology, in the way that they carry themselves and Islamically speaking, we are told to do our best to avoid these two types of devils.
When we look in the Qur'an to see how Allah speaks to us about this enemy of ours, we see the following in chapter number 13, Surah Yusuf, verse number 2, we're told: "inna sh-Shaitaana lil insaani 'aduwwum mubeen' (12:5) Indeed, Satan is the open enemy to humanity'; this shows us and when we look at the history of Satan, which we don't want to go in today, but when we look at his history, we see that from the first day where he disobeyed the orders of his Creator, Allah, he swore an oath by the Honour and Majesty and Glory of the Creator that he would seek to misguide all of humanity from the straight way.
This is what we see in the Qur'an, in the particular verse from surah Sa'ad, chapter 38, verses number 82 and 83, where Satan says the following: "Qaala fa bi 'izzatika la ughwiyannahum ajma'een Illaa 'ibaadaka minhumul mukhlaseen"(38:82-83). 'He (Satan) said "then by your might, Allah, I will surely make them live an evil life. All of them, except for Your servants from among them, the purified ones.'
Here, Satan takes an oath by the Greatness and the Majesty of Allah, showing us that he recognized Allah to be the Supreme Creator. He believes in the oneness of Allah. He believes in the characteristics of Allah. He believes in the prophethood, the prophets, Allah sends. He believes in the Imamate to the divinely appointed legislators after the death of the prophet of Islam, and yes, he also believes in the Day of Resurrection.
In this verse (38:82-83), he clearly tells Allah, he warns Allah, and indirectly, he warns us that he will try to misguide all of humanity. But he mentions that there is one group that he can never infiltrate. Those are what the Arabic terms as 'Al-Mukhlaseen', the purified ones.
Now, just a side track this discussion for a minute. We see a difference in the Arabic in the Qur'an, a 'Mukhlass' and a 'Mukhless'. A 'Mukhlass' literally is one who has been purified by Allah, who is kept away from impurities, from sins, from rebellion, and this includes the prophets and the imams who have been appointed by Allah; the Mukhless, on the other hand, are people such as yourself who strive hard to worship Allah, to obey the rules of Allah and to not break the ordinances which Allah has laid forth; so here Satan tells us that he will not be able to infiltrate into the mind and heart of those who have been purified by Allah which are the infallibles that Allah has set for our guidance.
Another verse of the Qur'an, chapter number 16, verse 99, tells us the following. Innahoo laisa lahoo sultaanun 'alal lazeena aamanoo (16:99) 'Indeed, he (Satan) does not have any authority over those who have true faith.' We have to accept the fact and we have to accept our own actions; we cannot blame Satan, and on the Day of Judgment, we will try to blame him and he will actually turn around and reprimand us. We cannot say that we had no control over ourselves and Satan made me do it, that the devil made me do it. No, we have full control and volition over ourselves. And as the Qur'an says, he has no authority over us, except if we allow him into our hearts to alter our perceptions.
We close with a beautiful but lengthy tradition from the commander of the faithful, Imam Ali, may God's peace and blessings be upon him; in which he spoke about Satan in the following fashion, he says in the tradition, 'Satan has said there are five things over which I have no control or influence' meaning people who have these traits: 'However, the rest of humanity are within my grasp. The first is the person who increases his glorification of praise of Allah by night and day. The second is the person who wants for his believing brother or sister, that what he wants for him or herself. The third is that person who does not fall into despair at the time of a tribulation. The fourth and the final is a person who is content with what Allah has apportioned to him, and he does not show sorrow over his sustenance and what has been allotted to him.'
We see that if we are being tempted by Satan, that we have to keep this hadith in mind that, are we somehow faltering in our submission to Allah? Are we allowing Satan to get the best of us? And in this blessed month of Ramadan, as these last days and nights are upon us, let us do our best to avoid Satan, to avoid temptation, to avoid the dramas that he casts into our lives.
Wa assalamu alaykum, wa Rahmatullahi, wa barakatuh.