How Satan tricks us
by Umm ‘Eesa
Think about this: When you talk to your mother or father, sister or brother, friend, spouse, son or daughter, teacher, and boss, do you talk to them all in the same way? Or, is there a distinct way you communicate with them? Overall, your mannerisms and style might be the same, but you know how to talk to each person.
What about when you were little? You knew exactly who to ask for that bar of chocolate or that trip to the shopping centre. You knew just how you could convince that person. You would not apply the same approach of persuasion with every other person. Imagine, at such a young age, you knew how to approach different people!
Sounds a lot like sales marketing, doesn’t it?! Except that you get the product itself.
We all know Satan’s aim is to lead people to Hell Fire. Does he carry out his plan in an explicit manner, so you recognize it is him? Or, does he tell you to sin in a very subtle manner, hinting that moving away from Allah is the pleasurable and right way? Undoubtedly, it’s the second. If we as little kids got what we wanted from our parents by secret plans, then imagine Satan’s way, the very devil who is considered the most evil and wicked!
As for the disbelievers, Satan has already led them astray by making them worship other than Allah. When someone is already on the wrong track, one need not try hard to make him indulge in more sin. He might just do it anyway. But, what about the believers in Allah? They are on the right track, they follow the right way. Satan constantly pokes them, tempting them to sin. Doing what is wrong is easy. Its doing what is right that requires effort. It’s like a slide. If you want to sin, you just have to slope down. But, if you want to do good deeds and earn Paradise , you have to climb up till the top of the slide. Climbing up is definitely more difficult than sloping down.
Satan is accomplishing his purpose as far as the disbelievers are concerned. But, he is not getting his way with the believers. Those who remember Allah often, who strive to worship Him, who read the Qur’an, who learn the religion of Islam; they are the ones whom Satan tries very hard to lead astray. It is very difficult to lead these astray, as compared to others, because of their deep faith in Islam. So, Satan tries harder and harder.
Satan tells Allah “By Your might, I will surely mislead them all, except Your chosen slaves among them” (Qur’an 38:82-83)
When you learn religion, read books or attend Islamic talks, Satan comes and whispers to you “Do you really believe that? Does that sound logical?”
You may also have many friends who are either non Muslims or are Muslims who are away from Islam. They may insert evil thoughts into your minds, trying to develop negative thoughts about Islam, and make your faith weak. Those who succumb to these thoughts eventually fall into destruction. Yet, there are others, who do the right thing: they keep away from such company and hold on even firmer to Allah’s religion. These are the ones who are successful.
Satan has his ways of getting you away from eternal happiness. He attacks you where you are weakest. If you are generally a submissive person, and lend a ear to everything that people say, you will find it very hard to be a strong Muslim because the majority in this world are mischief mongers. If you are lazy, Satan will make you miss your Salah. If you are emotional by nature, he might lead you to love affairs and adultery.
Another plot of Satan is that he makes sin look attractive to us.
Satan says “I will surely make (sin) attractive to them on earth” (Qur’an 15:39)
We want to watch movies and listen to music, date, we want to be seen with the famous and trendy, and we want to wear ‘fashionable’ clothes. You can make a list of at least 50 such items. So make one now. Not to follow it, it’s in order to know how Satan is trying to lead you astray.
Another vulnerable group are reverts who have newly embraced Islam. Leaving a way of life and moving on to another is a commendable thing. Reverts tend to love Islam dearly and have a strong attachment to it. However, having left old culture and tradition, and newly moving into a new one, they may be prone to Satan’s assault. This group should be especially careful in keeping the right company, regularly attending authentic Islamic talks, and making friends with good Muslims. It is dangerous when Satan inserts so many doubts into our minds that we may even consider leaving the religion that Allah guided us to. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: When Allah wants good for a person, He guides him to the religion.
Let’s be thankful to Allah for the good, let’s preserve it, and strive hard to grow in faith. The beginning may be a period of struggle, but if you are truly dedicated to your religion, InshaAllah, within a year or two, you will see your faith grow into a firm mountain, and any hardship will not be too tough on you. That’s the effect of true faith in Allah.
What is the cure, and what are the means to keep oneself safe from Satan’s assaults?
As mentioned before, keep learning Islam, as Allah says in the Qur’an, that it is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah. Secondly, keep good company, have good friends, and discard all bad influences. Anything that might affect your faith should be kept at bay. Also avoid sin, because sin envelops the heart like a dark blanket, till the heart is unable to decipher the right from the wrong. Be regular with your prayers, for prayers helps avoid sin. As Allah states in the Qur’an: “Salah prevents you from evil deeds and sin”
When you are tempted to sin, first acknowledge and accept that it is Satan’s trick. Say “Aoodhu billaahi minash shaytaanir rajeem” (I seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the accursed)
We are told to do Dawah (inviting others to Islam) with non Muslims. However, at times, this Dawah does not stay Dawah anymore. Rather, the other person tries to brainwash you into believing what he/she thinks is true. When we are unable to defend and argue back, we feel we are wrong. This, in turn makes our faith very weak. You start with the intention of teaching another about Islam, but end up in the firing line. What’s the solution? When you are unable to reply, get the answers from scholars. If you do not clear it out, and leave it just like that, the question marks will grow bigger and bigger and erode your faith. You will then start doubting the truthfulness of the Qur’an. So don’t be lazy, march forward and ask someone of knowledge.
Even after providing the answers, if the person is still unwilling to listen; rather, he/she is hostile and adamant, you may part ways.
The same may be applied to a person from whom you face more harm than providing benefit. That is because it is first important to save your faith before preaching. If you are unable to put on your own oxygen mask, you won’t be able to help save another. What will this result in? Death of both. So don’t let this happen to you.
In the end, it’s all got to do with Allah’s help, and then your will power. Your will power will determine how you spend your life. At times those who have faith don’t have the will to stop and correct themselves. We are all sinners, but the best of us are those who repent often. Islam acknowledges this. We are fallible. What we should do is to refresh our minds and hearts with the verses of the Qur’an, and be aware and alert of our being. Don’t let the tide drift you away, swim hard even in the face of strong currents. Allah is watching you, He is taking account of your efforts.
Allah says “We will not let the efforts of the believers go in vain”
If you are really interested in Allah’s religion and are serious about following it, there is no doubt that Allah will help you accomplish your goal. But if you are ‘too occupied’ to take time off for religion, I’m sorry to say you are Satan’s fresh target.