Shaytaan is a Strong External Reason which causes Eemaan to Decrease – Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaak al-‘Abbaad

Bismillaah

Shaytaan

He is held to be a strong external reason, which causes eemaan to decrease. Shaytaan is a vehement enemy to the believers. He awaits calamities to afflict them. He has no desire or goal other than to jolt the eemaan in the hearts of the believers and to weaken and corrupt it. Whoever submits to the whisperings of Shaytaan, complies with his notions and does not retreat to Allaah for refuge from him, his eemaan weakens and decreases. Indeed, it may disappear in its entirety depending on the Muslim’s response to such whisperings and notions.

It is for this reason that Allaah has warned us of Shaytaan in the sternest sense and He has clarified his dangers, the detrimental consequences of following him as well as the fact that he is an enemy to the believers. Allaah ordered the believers to take him as an enemy and therefore deliver themselves from him and his whisperings.

Allaah says:

…يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ وَمَن يَتَّبِعْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَإِنَّهُ يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ

“O you who believe! Do not follow the footsteps of Shaytaan, and whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaytaan, then, verily he (i.e., Shaytaan) commands Fahshaa’ (i.e., to commit indecency and lewdness, etc.) and al-Munkar (i.e., disbelief, shirk, to do evil and wicked deeds, to speak or to do what is forbidden in Islaam, etc.)…” [Soorah an-Noor (24):21]

Allaah also says:

إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّا ۚ إِنَّمَا يَدْعُو حِزْبَهُ لِيَكُونُوا مِنْ أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ

“Surely, Shaytaan is an enemy to you, so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his hizb (followers) that they may become the dwellers of the blazing Fire.” [Soorah Faatir (35):6]

Allaah says:

إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لِلْإِنسَانِ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ…

“Verily! Shaytaan is to man an open enemy!” [Soorah Yoosuf (12):5]

Allaah also says:

اسْتَحْوَذَ عَلَيْهِمُ الشَّيْطَانُ فَأَنسَاهُمْ ذِكْرَ اللَّهِ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ حِزْبُ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ أَلَا إِنَّ حِزْبَ الشَّيْطَانِ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

“Shaytaan has taken hold of them. So he has made them forget the remembrance of Allaah. They are the party of Shaytaan. Verily, it is the party of Shaytaan that will be the losers!” [Soorah al-Mujaadilah (58): 19]

Ibn al-Jawzee says:

“Hence it is an obligation upon the sane person to be on his guard against this enemy, who has manifested his enmity since the time of Aadam. He has sacrificed his life and self in corrupting the circumstances of the children of Aadam and Allaah has ordered one to be cautious of him…” He then mentioned a number of such texts and then said: “The like of this in the Qur’aan is abundant.” [Talbees Iblees, pg. 23]

Aboo Muhammad al-Maqdasee says in the introduction of his book Dhamm al-Waswaas:

“To proceed, Allaah has indeed made Shaytaan an enemy to man. He sits in wait against him along the straight path and comes to him from every direction and way, as Allaah has related from him that he said:

قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لَأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ ثُمَّ لَآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَائِلِهِمْ ۖ وَلَا تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ

“Surely I will sit in wait against them on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as being grateful ones (i.e., they will not be dutiful to You).” [Soorah al-A’raaf (7):16-17]

Further, Allaah has warned us against following him and commanded us to possess animosity towards him and to oppose him, He said:

إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لِلْإِنسَانِ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ…

“Verily! Shaytaan is to man an open enemy!” [Soorah Yoosuf (12):5]

He also said:

…يَا بَنِي آدَمَ لَا يَفْتِنَنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ كَمَا أَخْرَجَ أَبَوَيْكُم مِّنَ الْجَنَّةِ

“O Children of Aadam! Do not let Shaytaan deceive you, as when he brought your parents (i.e., Aadam and Hawwaa’) out of Paradise…” [Soorah al-A’raaf (7):27]

Allaah informed us of what he did with our parents as a way of cautioning us from obeying him and also to cut short any excuse for having followed him and Allaah commanded us to follow the straight path …” [Dhamm al-Waswaas, pg.46. Also refer to Ibn al-Qayyim’s introduction of his own book Ighaathah al-Lahfaan, 1/10]

Thus, Shaytaan is an enemy to man. His desire is to corrupt the beliefs and to wreak havoc on one’s eemaan. Whoever does not fortify himself from him through remembrance of Allaah, resorting back to Allaah and seeking refuge with Him, will become a breeding ground for Shaytaan, who will lure him to actions of disobedience, entice him to perpetrate prohibited matters and push him to embark upon lewd sins. What a perish of his religion and what a corruption of his eemaan will it be if man submits to him!

Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, says:

“Beware of enabling Shaytaan to establish himself in the very home of your thoughts and intentions, as he will corrupt them in such a manner that will make difficult its correction thereafter. He will cast all sort of whisperings and harmful thoughts at you and he will prevent you from thinking about what may benefit you and it is you who have aided him against yourself by empowering him over your heart and thoughts and he then placed you in the possession of such thoughts.” [Al-Fawaa’id, pg. 309]

He, may Allaah have mercy upon him, put forward an excellent similitude in this regard, which lies in total agreement. He says in another excerpt from his book:

“If you would like a consistent example for this, then his parable is that of a dog that is extremely famished; between you and the dog is a piece of meat or bread. He looks attentively at you and sees you not opposing him and he is so close to you. You drive him away and yell out at him and yet the dog refuses but to hover round you in circles and to try to deceive you with regard to what you possess in your hand.” [At-Tibyaan fee Aqsaam al-Qur’aan, pg. 419]

His intention, may Allaah have mercy upon him, behind this parable is to demonstrate the scope of Shaytaan’s danger to man if he does not seek refuge with Allaah from him and fails to retreat back to Allaah for refuge from his evil, through beneficial words of supplication and blessed forms of remembrance.

However, whoever turns away and is instead averse to that, Shaytaan will cling to him in this way in which he will tempt and dictate to him until he eradicates his eemaan. Allaah says:

وَمَن يَعْشُ عَن ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطَانًا فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِينٌ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَصُدُّونَهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءَنَا قَالَ يَا لَيْتَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكَ بُعْدَ الْمَشْرِقَيْنِ فَبِئْسَ الْقَرِينُ

“And whosoever turns away (blinds himself) from the remembrance of the Most Beneficent (i.e., this Qur’aan and worship of Allaah), We appoint for him a shaytaan to be a Qareen (i.e., an intimate companion) to him. And verily, they (i.e., shaytaans) hinder them from the Path (of Allaah), whilst they think that they are guided aright! Till, when (such a) one comes to Us, he says (to his qareen), ‘Would that between me and you were the distance of the two Easts (or the East and West), a worst (type of) companion (you are indeed)!”[Soorah az-Zukhruf (43):36-38]

Posted from  the Book: Causes Behind the Increase and Decrease of Eemaan, by Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaak al-‘Abbaad. Al-Hidaayah Publications

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