Do you know who your real enemy is and the ways in which he harms you? While revising my lesson, I came across this piece that tells us very clearly about our enemy. Get to know him!
واحذر من الشيطان أن ينقلك من روضة الدعاء والنصيحة إلى بـحر العداوة، وسكين الغيبة والنميمة، وسوء الظن، فتلدغ لدغ العقرب، وتلسع لسع الحية، وتنهش نهش الأسد
وتقذف بهذه السموم في مقال مقروء، أو بيان متلو، يوهمك الشيطان أنك ناصح، ويركبك وأنت لا تدري، ويسوقك إلى جهنم بعصا الكبر والخديعة، لتقول على لله بلا علم، وتذم الخلق بما ليس فيهم، فتزيد آثامك، ويأخذ الناس حسناتك، وتقدم على الله مفلساً نادماً
[Rough translation:] “Beware of the Shaitan that he takes you from the gardens of dua (calling people towards Allah) and naseeha (good advice) towards the sea of enmity, and the knife of backbiting and calumny, and evil thoughts (about others); so that it stings like the sting of a scorpion, bites like the bite of a snake and tears like a lion tears from its two front teeth.
You will throw poison in the articles and statements that are read. Shaytan would delude you that you are a naasih, and he would ride over you and you wouldn’t even know, and he would drive you towards jahannum (hell) with the stick of arrogance and deceit; so that you say about Allah what you know not, and you vilify the creation of which is not in them; so you increase in sin, and people take away your good deeds, and you proceed towards Allah penniless and regretful.”
These are the tricks of Shaitan that he employs on us and we should know about them.
That’s why the Shaykh says that save yourself from Shaitan. Why? Because he can take us out from the gardens of dua and naseeha toward the sea of enmity. As long as we keep on calling people and do naseeha in a proper way so as to soften their hearts, we’re good. And since we’re good, Shaitan hates it. He takes us towards hatred and ill will. And when we go in there, all the good is forgotten and in comes the knife of backbiting and calumny, and bad thoughts about others. So that knife then stings like the sting of a scorpion, bites like the bite of a snake and tears like a lion tears from its two front teeth. Isn’t that horrifying? We’re so afraid of snakes, scorpions and lions in our physical life and yet we let these things in figuratively into our very hearts and souls.
The outcome of all the above would be that you’ll write articles or give speeches full of poison. And the sad part is that Shaitan will keep you under the delusion that you’re a naasih (a good preacher), maybe what you’re writing or saying is right and true but the tone is so poisonous that it seems like an insult and discouragement. And Shaitan would ride over you and you wouldn’t even know. The enemy himself would tell you what to do, imagine someone invisible riding over you physically in the literal sense (I know it’s only figuratively here but the word must have come from the real word somehow so let’s imagine). What would you feel? A burden over your shoulders and you keep turning in the directions in which he tells you and you don’t even know why you’re doing that? Isn’t that a pathetic condition? I think not knowing is the worst part, because if you knew you could actually search for the means to throw him off and get rid of him.
And by riding over you, he’ll drive you towards hell with the stick of kibr (arrogance) and khadi’a (deceit). The two worst things!
Why would he do that? So you say things about Allah without knowledge and you vilify the creation of that which is not in them. And thus you would increase in sin and people would take away your good deeds and you’ll go in front of Allah bankrupt and regretful of your life and deeds. Allah u Akbar!
Let’s not go towards that end. Let’s counter now, first of all by recognizing that he is our enemy.
Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Indeed, Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy…..” [Fatir:6]
Then by making dua to Allah that he saves us from the accursed; and by calling people towards good in a good way too; and checking and countering if we’re involved in backbiting, calumny or bad thoughts about others.
Let’s just stop thinking and saying bad about people. We’ll definitely prosper in both worlds if we just follow this simple rule. Really!
May Allah protect us from saying things about Him that we know not and from people snatching away our good deeds when we’ll need them most and may He take us towards Him with our bank accounts loaded and without any regrets. Ameen.