ISLAM

Shaitan [Haram]

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Have we ever wondered who is the Shaitan? Have we ever asked ourselves where did the shaitan come from? How can we work aganist the whisperings of the shaitan?

The Shaitan, or the devil in English, is a character that has been present with us since the creation of mankind by Allah (SWT). The true nature, history and actions of this character has amazed many non-Islamic scholars around the world. For Muslims however, the clear indications given by the Holy Quran and the noble Ahlul Bait (AS) have provided a definite picture.

One, however, may ask about the importance of Shaitan and the relevance of understanding his methods. The answer to this question lies partly in understanding the fact that the Shaitan is our number one enemy in this life, and just like any war, we must know our enemys aims, and strategies. The Holy Quran describes numerous battles en-countered by the Shaitan with our holy prophets.

In the Quran, the world Shaitan or evildoer is used to refer to Iblis, one of the most worshippers of Allah of the Jin. Due to this characteristic, Iblis was at the highest ranking of the angels. Our philosophers have long indicated however that Allah (SWT) knew the nature of Iblis before, but wanted to reveal his story of disobedience as a true lesson for all mankind.

This defiance was in show when Allah (SWT) ordered his angels to bow to Prophet Adam (AS). The only entity to disobey was Iblis, who was then asked by the Almighty for the reason:
"He (Iblis) said: I am better than he: thou hast created me of fire, while him thou dist created of dust." (7:12)
Consequently, the Shaitan, due to this ignorance and pride, was deprived of Allahs mercy and blessings. From that day, with Allah (SWT)s permission, the Shaitan set out his plan to be mans number one enemy in this world.

This important event, which signaled the start of a conflict between man and the Shaitan, has been described four times in the holy Quran. This shows the true significance of the event and the early indications of the threat and danger of the Shaitan.

This story of disobedience, as described in the Quran, is followed by the story of the first act of revenge by the Shaitan. Allah (SWT) had ordered Prophet Adam (AS) and his wife Hawaa (Eve) to live in paradise and to eat from it plenteous food, but not to approach a specific tree. But the Shaitan, pouncing at the first opportunity of revenge, made whisperings to Adam and his wife, assuring them that the tree would them power and prosperity:
"O Adam, shall I guide you to the tree of immortality and a kingdom which decays not?" (20:120)
When the prophet and his wife ate from the tree, Allah banished them from heaven to earth where they asked forgiveness for several years and were granted Allahs mercy. Iblis, on the other hand, having achieved his first evil act, assembled an army of both Jin and humans. These Shaitans implement the desires of Iblis on every single human being through whisperings or mis-guidance.

Imam Jaffer As-Sadiq (AS) said:
"The Shaitans on a believer are greater than the number of flees and insects on a used piece of meat."

The desires of Iblis, implemented through his army, is very clear: to use every possible way in distracting humans from the remembrance of Allah and performing His required acts in this life. This can be achieved by several methods, some of which are mentioned in the Quran:
"The Shaitan only desires to cause anger and hatred to spring in your midst by means of intoxicants and games of chance, and to keep you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer." (5:91)
The general aims and entrances of the Shaitans are through life matters such as alcohol and money.

Firstly we have the Jin Shaitans, who with their whisperings, encourage humans to perform munkar, and to concentrate all efforts on enjoying this life and forgetting about the hereafter. The Human Shaitans, on which our philosophers have placed special emphasis on, are said to play a vital role as well. However importantly, emphasis is placed on the issue that we have control over our own aims and actions, and so we must try to defend ourselves from the temptations and whisperings of the Shaitan. The methods are many, but here are some important actions to take. Firstly, we must mention and remember Allah (SWT) at all times and seek His protection from the Shaitan, as mentioned in the following ayeh:
"And if an interference of the Shaitan should cause you mischief, seek refuge in Allah, surely He is the Hearing, the knowing."(41:36)

Secondly, prayers and recitation of the Holy Quran is a strong weapon against the Shaitan. One of the well known characteristics of the Shaitan is whisperings and distractions during prayer and recitation of the Quran, and so one must take extra pre-caution and ask for the protection of Allah during every prayer and acts of worship.

Thirdly is prevention from areas where the Shaitan would be strong and would be more influential. These situations include entering into arguments and non-beneficial discussions with others. Increasing our Iman and belief in Allah Taala and our knowledge in Islam is also very recommended, as is donations to the needy and the poor.

Our prophet (PBUH) has said that:
"Charitable donations breaks the Shaitans back, good acts stops his entrance, and istighfar breaks his head."

In addition to this, Imam Ali (AS) encourages us to increase our recitation of dua and supplications, especially du a kumail recited on Thursday nights. The dua is a message with rich words that are enlightened with the glory and majesty of Allah (SWT), of his mercy and kindness, his retribution and punishment, and of a mans desperate need for Him and thankfulness for His Being.

If in the event of a believer falling into the trap of the Shaitan, the believer must remember to perform istighfar and tasbeeh, asking for the forgiveness and blessings of the Almighty Allah (SWT).