Ayat no. 60-61

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Did I not charge you, O children of Adam! that you should not serve the Shaitan? Surely he is your open enemy, And that you should serve Me; this is the right way. (36:60-61)

Reply to the sinners’ objection

After the command to get separated is issued it is said, “O devil worshippers! O passion worshippers! Be apart. Your place is in the pit of hell. Today, honor is only for God worshippers.” Of course, those who are guilty become unhappy. They raise an objection that their faults were not pointed out to them in the world but it is said to them, “We had made a covenant with you in the world. We had reminded you that you should not worship Satan.”

God’s covenant with man is mentioned in three stages: First in the stage at the beginning of creation, secondly relating to Adam the father of entire mankind, and thirdly, which is mentioned above, through the messengers who took promise from people that they would not worship the devil; that they must not follow Satan because “he is your open enemy.”

We recommended that you must worship Only One God, as the straight path is to worship the Beneficent, not the Satan. Before you, he has misguided many and has destroyed many.

Will you not then understand? Will you not realize how Satan destroyed them? We have concluded arguments for you so that you may not say, “O God! We did not know what are the divine books and where are the covenants with God?”

There are some points in this Holy verse, which demand deep reflection. Firstly, what does worshipping Satan mean? Secondly why is Satan inimical to man? And thirdly, how to protect ourselves from this open enemy?

Satan is one of the limitless creations of God

First, Satan is a creation like all other creations. God’s creations are innumerable. We have yet not known even a millionth of that number. They put a drop of water under a microscope and find that there are millions of living organisms moving about in it, which were not visible to the naked eye.
One of the creations of God is Satan. In man, his earth related nature is overpowering and in Satan his fire related nature, which is full of heat.

So if they open up our graves some years after our death, they will witness the overpowering nature related to earth and will see that the rest of all natures have perished. Satan has an overwhelming fiery nature, and hence he throws no shadow and is not visible to the physical eye.
The Holy Quran says:
O children of Adam! let not the Shaitan cause you to fall into affliction as he expelled your parents from the garden, pulling off from them both their clothing that he might show them their evil inclinations, he surely sees you, he as well as his host, from whence you cannot see them… (7:27)
The physical eye cannot see a fine and a subtle body. Secondly he, like humans, has reproduction and procreation. It is mentioned in narrations that three satans are born against each human being. It is not known how they copulate and procreate. May be they are a forced creation.

Why is he inimical towards man?

His enmity towards man is merely due to jealousy and pride. For example, whenever Satan rewards generously one of his two slaves without taking anything from the other slave he raises an objection saying, “Why did you give him more?

This is ungratefulness (Kufr). It is an objection against the giver and the authority. Such is the jealousy between satanic co-workers. Has anything been decreased from your wealth and given to him?

Satan saw that God has given more benefits to the earthy man, Adam and His progeny. He understood that man can rise to such a position where even angels become his servants; that man has become the best creation. In order to confirm this God commanded that all must bow down before this best creation, viz. man. The jealousy and pride within Satan revolted and he objected to God’s command.

I was an angel and the highest Paradise was my residence

Formerly Satan had a very high rank. Rather, it is narrated that he was the teacher of angels. He had a very high rank in the upper world, and an honorable position. He had many followers. Despite this, jealousy and pride pushed him to eternal misfortune. “I am created of fire, which is higher.”
He said: What hindered you so that you did not make obeisance when I commanded you? He said: I am better than he: Thou hast created me of fire, while him Thou didst create of dust. (7:12)
He said, “I should be nearer to you, not Adam who is created of dust.” Objection against the divine decision is disbelief. When he announced his denial, came the angry command: Such haughtiness or jealousy in the House of God? Get out of here. You are among the mean and degraded ones.
He said: Then get forth from this (state), for it does not befit you to behave proudly therein. Go forth, therefore, surely you are of the abject ones. (7:13)
Whosoever raises his head in this Court becomes degraded. Everyone who thinks that he is something is one of the most unworthy fellows. What is desired in the House of God is meekness and humility.

You should be so lowly before God that you may not care for anyone other than Only One God. You must never believe in the greatness of anyone except Only One God. Who are you to say: I am noble, knowledgeable, pious of a high rank?

Such announcements of I, I, have no real value. The first man in the world of creation, Muhammad (‘s) says, “Poverty is my dignity, I am poor and I sit among the poor.” It is related from Ali (‘a) also that he said, “Neediness before God is my pride. I am needy and I sit with the needy.”

In his Dua Arafah, Imam Zainul Aabedeen (‘a) submits: I am the tiniest of the tiny. Rather I am smaller than even an atom. Anyone who has any air of greatness or highness is equal to Satan from this aspect.

It was on account of Adam that the wings of Satan burnt down. He was rejected and turned away forever. He had worshipped God for six thousand years in the heaven. His six- thousand-year worship went with the wind due to a single show of pride and jealousy.

It is thus known that his enmity against Adam and his progeny is due to anger. Satan will never be your friend. He is your deadly enemy. You must also treat him as your enemy.
Surely the Shaitan is your enemy, so take him for an enemy… (35:6)
Do not follow him. He is a sure enemy of yours. By all means keep a safe distance from him.
These youths queuing up in this hot sun near a cinema house are following Satan. He will never leave you until you are totally destroyed.

The business of Satan is to rob you or destroy your deeds

I want to make it clear what Satan’s enmity towards Adam and his progeny means. The aim of his enmity is that, he should try his utmost so that nobody from the progeny of Adam attains nearness of the Lord of the Worlds. If he can, he wants to take away and pull out the root of faith from everyone right from the first day of creation till the Day of Judgment.

If it is not possible then he would do something whereby he may weaken one’s faith. If he does not succeed in the matter of faith he tries his intrigues to spoil man’s deeds. The worship of Satan is to obey him. So, never lend your ear to the voice of Satan and oppose him. Opposing Satan is worshipping God, the Beneficent.
And that you should serve Me; this is the right way. (36:61)
The Divine Law consists of obligatory and optional duties and recommended and detestable acts. To observe these matters is the right path. Satan is he who deviates man from this path, that is, he creates doubts and misgivings etc. He leads you to the prohibited things and/or makes you miss what is obligatory. Compromising with Satan means sin, guilt or crime. Whenever you indulge in a sin, if the curtain is lifted up, you would see that you have prostrated before Satan.

So do not worship the Satan. Satan is your enemy who would love to see you should die faithless. He does not leave you unless and until he fulfils his aim. Here is a story in this connection.

Satan replies to his slave

At the end of the book, Muntakhabut Tawarikh, it is quoted from a great scholar of Isfahan that he said: In one of the villages of Isfahan, a man was passing through the last moments of his life. I was called at his bedside. So I went and told him to say, “There is no god except Allah”. The bedridden man repeated it.

Suddenly came a voice from the left side of that room, “My slave tells the truth.” I asked the man to recite “O Allah!” again came the voice, “Here I am, My servant.” There was someone who replied to the bedridden person and when I asked, “Who are you?” The reply was, “This man was my slave all his life. He was serving me. He is my devoted servant.” Then he was asked, “Who are you?” “I am Satan,” came the reply.

Thus when this man said, “My God”, he actually meant the one he had worshipped all his life, that is the Satan. May dust fall on the head of the one who calls his enemy his deity.
What does Quran say:
And when they are cast into a narrow place in it, bound, they shall there call out for destruction. (25:13)
What do you recite in the supplication of dawn in Ramadan? You desire that you should not be yoked by Satan; that you should not obey his suggestions; that you should not worship and obey him. At the time of anger, you are mostly a slave of Satan. Your tongue becomes loose. You speak out indecent things, make false allegations, insult others and reveal secrets etc.

Do not hand over your control to Satan. How pitiable! One should never be such that even though he has a Merciful and Kind Lord he turns his face away from Him! And towards whom is he turning? Towards his own enemy! God Almighty, the Messengers, and the Imams tell you: Be inimical to Satan. Oppose Satan.

Is it proper that while he is inimical to you, you befriend him? How will you raise your head on the Day of Resurrection? The truth tellers told you: Treat him as an enemy. But, instead of treating him as your enemy, you obeyed his orders!

Weapons to fight the Satan

It is narrated that the last Messenger, Muhammad (‘s) said, “Fasting is the weapon of a believer”, “Fasting blackens the face of Satan.” Such is the spiritual situation. “Charity breaks his (Satan’s) back.”1
If you want to suppress satan completely you should know that friendship in the path of God stifles him. You must love and befriend even your life partner and your children for the sake of God. Love your friend and companion for the sake of God, not for your own personal interests because they are the bounties of Allah.

When you die, they will pray for you (on your behalf). They will say: “O Allah” and you will benefit from it. You should likewise, love your husband for the sake of God, as He secured and protected your honor and Faith through him. Similar is the case of man with regard to his wife.

A repenting heart cuts down Satan

O the one who wants to fight this enemy! Which is the other weapon? The Holy Prophet (‘s) practically instructs you how to cut the main artery of Satan. Repentance cuts off the main artery of Satan’s heart. So powerful is repentance that this weapon brings down Satan.

Who is one among us, who has not obeyed Satan? Probably at the moment of quarrelling, we almost worship Satan through anger against one another. Cutting off relations is also same. So come on. Let us, before its too late, compensate for our past misdeeds.

Come and let us listen to our Lord. Let us make a real prostration before God Almighty. An alarm is being sounded for you from the divine throne. You must become a companion of the messengers, the martyrs, the pious ones and the virtuous.
And whoever obeys Allah and the Apostle, these are with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favors from among the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good, and a goodly company are they! (4:69)
O believing lady! You must become a companion of Zahra (‘a). O Gentleman! You should become a truly liberated man.
Men whom neither merchandise nor selling diverts from the remembrance of Allah and the keeping up of prayer and the giving of poor-rate; they fear a day in which the hearts and eyes shall turn about; (24:37)

  • 1. Safinatul Bihar, vol.2, pg. 64