Meaning of the Ayah “…and follow not the footsteps of Shaitan” – Permanent Committee

The Ayah “…and follow not the footsteps of Shaitan”

The second question of Fatwa no. 20703

Q 2: Allah (Exalted be He) says: and follow not the footsteps of Shaitan (Satan). What are the footsteps of Satan? Is looking at non-Mahram women (not a spouse or unmarriageable relatives) in real life or on satellite channels or talking to them on the phone or in the markets or flirting with them considered as following the footsteps of Satan? Is reading romantic books and art and fashion magazines with pictures of actresses and beautiful and charming celebrities considered as following the footsteps of Satan? What is our duty towards a person who does so? May Allah benefit us and you!

A: Following the footsteps of Satan as Ibn Kathir mentioned in his book in which he explained the meanings of the Qur’an (Tafsir Ibn Kathir vol. 1, p. 204) that Qatadah and Al-Suddy said,

“All sins are footsteps of Satan.”

`Ikrimah said,

“They are the incitements of Satan.”

Mujahid said,

“Satan’s footsteps are his mistakes and sins.”

Abu Mijlaz said,

“Satan’s footsteps are vows involving sins.

Al-Qurtuby (in Tafsir Al-Qurtuby vol. 1, P. 308) said, “I said:

The correct view is that the utterance is general and covers all the sins and Bid`ahs (innovations in religion) but not the acts of Sunnah (commendable acts) nor the rulings of Shari`ah (Islamic law).”

Subsequently, it is clear that the footsteps of Satan apply to all the acts that involve disobedience to Allah (Exalted be He). So, whoever disobeys the orders of Allah (Exalted be He) and His Messenger (peace be upon him), violates the rulings of Shari`ah, and commits things which Allah (Exalted be He) has prohibited is disobeying Him.

All that is mentioned in the question is considered as footsteps and tricks of Satanabout which Allah (Exalted be He) says: He [Shaitân (Satan)] commands you only what is evil and Fahshâ (sinful), and that you should say against Allâh what you know not. Anyone who commits any such sins has to turn to Allah (Exalted be He) in sincere repentance and never do any such evil deeds again. Whoever knows any person who commits any such deeds has to advise them gently and leniently and explain the evil consequences of their bad deeds and encourage them to do good deeds and draw closer to Allah (Exalted be He) through supererogatory acts of worship and performance of Salah (Prayer) in congregation as Allah (Exalted be He) and His Messenger have ordered; because Salah prohibits immorality and wrongdoing.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

Member     Member     Member     Deputy Chairman     Chairman
Bakr Abu Zayd     Salih Al-Fawzan     `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan     `Abdul-`Aziz Al Al-Shaykh     `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz

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