6. Distress And Fear Of The Satan
Praying for early reappearance is a source of increase in the distress of the accursed Satan and it will cause him to go further away from the person who prays. The proof of this claim rests on two aspects:
First: Logic/Reason: The detail of this is that without any doubt, this noble deed is a valuable worship act – as will be explained, if Allah wills – it is a cause of the perfection of faith and gaining proximity to the Lord. And it is absolutely clear that as much man becomes proximate to the court of the Lord, the Satan goes as much away from him and becomes more aloof from him because whatever is there in this world, is inclined to that which is similar to it.
All the particles that are present in the earth and the sky
Are attracted to their kind, like the straw is to chaff.
Once man becomes perfect from every aspect in grades of worship and obedience and makes efforts to obtain the best morals and qualities he comes closer to the spiritual world and numerous realities are exposed to him. Therefore it is mentioned in traditions that:
“If Satan had not surrounded the hearts of men, they would have seen the heavenly world.”1
In the same way, he becomes distanced from satanic instigations, selfish desires and animal sensualities. And he goes away from destructive circumstances and reaches a stage mentioned in the following statement of Allah quoted by Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as):
“No servant of Mine obtains proximity to Me except through obligatory deeds most liked by Me and which I have made incumbent on him. And he seeks proximity to Me through the Nafila Prayers till I make him My friend. And when he becomes My friend I become his ears through which he hears and his eyes through which he sees and his tongue through which he speaks and his hands through which he works. If he asks from Me, I give him and when he calls Me, I respond to him…”2
I say: Two aspects are seen in the explanation of this matter:
1. When man attains that lofty grade and high station he has no aim except Allah and he forgets everything else. Ears, eyes and tongue are mentioned by way of examples. That is: There would be nothing except Allah, thus he would become his ears, eyes and tongue.
The Fourth Imam, the chief of the worshippers, Ali Ibne Husain (as) has indicated the same thing when he said in one of his Munajaat (confidential supplication) to the Almighty Allah:
“My aspirations have stopped in Your realm. And all my desires are aimed at You. Only You, no one except You is my desire. And I am only for You and not for anyone else, in my sleep and awakened state…”
2. Or that it implies that when man attains that lofty status, whatever he desires, happens. And no door is closed for him. Thus the meaning of that Allah, the Mighty and the High becomes his ears, eyes and hands is that he can hear all that is possible to be heard, he sees all that is possible to be seen and he does whatever what he wants. Thus he hears, sees and does what others cannot hear, see and do. And these are divine qualities that the Almighty Allah has bestowed to me by taking him as His friend. Therefore it is said: If man obeys Allah, everything obeys him. That which proves this is the statement of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime in Hadith Qudsi:
“If he asks Me, I give him and when he calls Me, I respond to him…”
In the book of Layali there is an anecdote narrated by Ibrahim bin Adham:
I passed by a cattle-herd and asked him: Do you have water or milk that you can give me? He asked: Which would you prefer? I replied: Water. Thus with his staff, he strikes at a hard stone that had no crack and water burst forth from it. I drank from it. It was colder than ice and sweeter than honey which astounded me. The cattle-herd said: Do not be surprised, if man obeys the Lord, anything that he orders, happens.
After being inspired by divine grace and mercy, I referred to the Sharh al-Arbaeen of Shaykh Bahai, Sharh Usool Kafi of the divine scholar, Mulla Salih Mazandarani and Miraat al-Uqool of Allamah Majlisi. In the statements of the first two gentlemen I obtained the matter that applies to the first aspect and in the statements of Allamah Majlisi there was support to the second aspect. There is another aspect also of the opinion of Allamah Majlisi that applies to both the aspects – even though his method is different – it does not remain hidden that these discussions are such that steps waver in them and the Almighty Allah is the guide and protector.
From the past discussion the meaning of the following verse is also learnt:
إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ
“Surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil.” (Qur’anb Surah Ankaboot 29:45)
That apparently – though Allah knows better – this statement mentions two matters and the second is higher than the first:
First matter: From the aspect that Prayer is the Me’raaj of the believer and a cause of proximity of man to the court of the Almighty Allah, if man performs it in the way the Almighty Allah has commanded, this prayer would take him away from Satan and it would necessarily make him shun evils and bad deeds. Numerous traditional reports also confirm this matter. For example:
In Tafseer Majmaul Bayan it is narrated from the Holy Prophet (S) that he said:
“One whose prayer does not take him away from sins and evils would not get anything except that he would be distanced from Allah.”3
I say: That is he has not fulfilled perfectly the rights of Prayer, therefore the effect of Prayer is not seen upon him, and Allah knows best.
In Wasailush Shia, it is narrated from Imam Ali Reza from his forefathers (as) that the Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“Satan is always afraid of the believer as long as he observes the daily prayers with punctuality. Thus if he misses the Prayers, Satan dares to approach him and make him commit greater sins.”4
I say: Every worship act is same; that if the believer performs it in the way Allah has commanded – from the view of the requirements of worship – it takes him closer to Allah and further away from Satan. And every worship act that in the view of religious law is more important and greater, there are more requirements in it, for example: Prayer, Zakat, Wilayat, recitation of Qur’an, praying for an early reappearance of the Master of the Time etc. And every worship act that is performed fulfilling most conditions of its acceptance, would give more swift and better results. By this we come to know the reason of praying for an early reappearance of the Master of the Time.
Second matter: As mentioned in the blessed verse of the Holy Qur’an, and it is higher than the first. It is that Prayer is only and only the remembrance of Allah and it is forgetting that there are heavens and earth and this matter would be achieved by the fact that one should spend every moment of his life in the worship of Allah and that he does not see anything else. And he pays no attention to anything else. And the same thing is learnt from the statement of the Fourth Imam (as) quoted above and other words of His Eminence. On the basis of this, if one performs his Prayer with perfection, fulfilling all the conditions, Satan goes so far away from him that he does not come near him.
One day a scholar asked me about the meaning of the tradition that: Prayer is having 400 rules. I told him: Total sins number 400 according to some scholars. It is possible that it implies that these are limits that the true worshipper could not trespass. It means that the proof of his having performed the Prayer perfectly is that he has abstained from every sin. Thus whoever does not avoid sins, has not performed the Prayer in the true sense and he has trespassed the divine limits. That scholar liked this reasoning.
That which proves this is a tradition mentioned in Majmaul Bayan from the Messenger of Allah (S) which we have quoted previously.5
Also it is narrated from Ibne Masood from the Holy Prophet (S) that he said:
“One who does not obey the Prayer, has not prayed. And obedience of Prayer means keeping away from all sins and evils.”
Shaykh Tabarsi says:
“It means that since Prayer prevents from sins, one who performs it, but does not keep away from sins, it will not be the Prayer that Allah has described. But if after sometime he repents and keeps away from sins, it would imply that his Prayer has benefited him.”
He also said:
Anas has narrated that a young man from Ansaar prayed with the Messenger of Allah (S) but at the same time he used to commit sinful acts. This matter came to the attention of the Holy Prophet (S). He said: One day his Prayer would restrain him from his sins.
It is narrated from Jabir that he said: The Messenger of Allah (S) was asked:
“So-and-so prays in the days but steals during the night. He (the Prophet) said: His Prayer would restrain him.”
Our companions have narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) that he said:
“One who wants to know whether his Prayer has been accepted or not should see whether his Prayer restrains him from sins? As much as it restrains him from sins as much it is accepted.”6
I say: All the statements we have quoted are with the aim that no one should say: If praying for an early reappearance keeps the Satan away, then should not most people be keeping away from sins? As in reply we shall say: This noble deed is like Prayer and whatever we have stated about it is also applicable to this.
Second: It is quoted in Amali of Shaykh Sadooq that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) reports from his forefathers from the Holy Prophet (S) that he said to his companions:
“Should I tell you about something that if you perform it, the Satan will keep away from you, like the east is away from the west? They said: Yes, (please do). Fasting blackens his face, Sadaqah breaks his back, loving for the sake of Allah and cooperating in good deeds cuts off his tail, seeking forgiveness cuts off his life-vein. And Zakat is applicable on everything and the Zakat of the body is fasting.”7
I say: The point of evidence in this tradition for the above statement stops at the introductory explanation that:
Love is having grades and levels and each of its grades have a particular effect. The first grade of love is the love of the heart which in Persian is termed as ‘dost daashtan’ (liking).
Faith on this grade is subject to love and for becoming eligible for mercy of the Lord and entering Paradise, this level is necessary. Thus if one is not able to openly express his heartfelt love and devotion to Allah and His Awliya, only this much is sufficient according to the Holy Qur’an which says:
إِلَّا مَنْ أُكْرِهَ وَقَلْبُهُ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالْإِيمَانِ
“…not he who is compelled while his heart is at rest on account of faith.” (Qur’an, Surah Nahl 16:106)
And different effects develop from this position, so that people will be of the second level, the second grade in Persian is termed ‘dosti kardan’ (affection). In Arabic it is called ‘Tahaabab’ and ‘Mawaada’ and sometimes it is called loving for the sake of Allah.
A number of traditions have been recorded about the merits of having affection. Quoting them all here would prolong the discussion. Among the effects mentioned in those traditions are keeping away of the Satan from that person and it is the best divine gift.
Now that you have studied this introduction it is necessary to say that: The implication of ‘Loving for the sake of Allah’ according to the method of the first tradition that says: If you do that which is visible in the physical actions of man it is the same ‘loving and affection’. That is expression of love towards elders and believing brothers through physical actions.
Without any doubt, the greatest of the believers, that is our Master, the Imam of the Time (aj) is superior to all the people for expressing love and the fruits of loving him – which keeps away the Satan – by praying for an early reappearance of His Eminence would be achieved sooner than the fruits of loving anyone else. And in the same way to have regard through other acts other than supplicating, has the same quality. And also love with regard to the Holy Prophet and the Noble Family of His Eminence (aj) and the believers have different effects depending on the level of love.