Based on my lecture at Youth Club Lahore Halaqahs.
Audio can be grabbed from bit.ly/yclhalaqas
It was a beautiful, calm morning , when suddenly, there was the screaming of jet planes followed bythe big bang of a bomb. In a few minutes, the battleships at the harbor were destroyed in the deadly strike at Pearl Harbouron Dec 7th, 1941.
Later, it was revealed that Japan had planned long before the actual attack. They created models of the US naval base in Hawaii and conducted numerous practice strikes before finally sending hundreds of jet fighter planes to attack the base when everyone was asleep. If you study the story, you realize how easy it is to eliminate a target if the enemy has planned and prepared while the target is unprepared and caught unawares.
Similarly, Satan, who is a plain enemy to humankind, is constantly plotting to trap us while we sleep unawares. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy upon him) identified the following traps of Satan:
1. The Evil of Kufr and Shirk
2. Bidah – Innovation
3. Major Sins
4. Minor Sins
5. Occupying oneself in permissible things
6. Occupying oneself in deeds of lesser reward
7. Causing harm through Jinn and human beings
The Evil of Kufr and Shirk
This is the most effective trap of Shaytanas he wants us to lose everything by committing acts of Kufr (disbelief) and Shirk (polytheism).
Allah says in the Quran:
“Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases…”[Surah Nisa 4:48]
Shirk is something that will not be forgiven and we need to make sure we are not involved in the following activities of Shirk:
- Believing thatsome other created being can listen to your secret prayers besides Allah
- Believing that some other created being is watching our deeds besides Allah
- Believing that Allah has delegated His powers of forgiveness in this world or in the Hereafter to someone else
- Sacrificing for someone else other than Allah
Bid’ah – Innovation
Now come Shaytan’s camaflouged soldiers, crawling in the grass, who are always difficult to locate. They creep in our lines and attack when we are most inactive. So you better keep your eyes open against such deadly soldiers. Read the following hadith:Narrated Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her): Allah’s Messenger (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “If somebody innovates something which is not from our religion, that thing is rejected.“ [Bukhari 2697 – Ibn e Majah Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 14 – Muslim Book 18, Hadith 4266 English version]
The drink of Al Kawthar and Innovators:
In another narration, Allah’s Messenger (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) mentioned the Lake Fount (Al Kawthar) which has been gifted to him by Allah as follows:
Narrated Anas: The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Some of my companions will come to me at my Lake Fount, and after I recognize them, they will then be taken away from me, whereupon I will say, ‘My companions!’ Then it will be said, ‘You do not know what they innovated (new things) in the religion after you.“ [Bukhari 6582]
Major sins are Shaytan’s finest artillery. They are big, mighty and can easily rip of the good deeds of a person. It is reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace be upon him) observed:” Avoid the seven noxious things.”
It was said: “What are they, Messenger of Allah?”
He (the Prophet) replied: “Associating anything with Allah, magic, killing one whom Allah has declared inviolate without a just cause,consuming the property of an orphanandconsumingusury,
turning back when the army advancesand slandering chaste women who are believers, but unwary.” [Sahih Muslim]
Go over your life and see if there are any sins you’ve committed from this list. Ask Allah’s forgiveness right now, as He promises to forgive all the sins if one repents. Indeed, He is Ar-Rahman and ArRaheem.
Are you feeling bad that you have committed so many sins and don’t know if Allah will forgive you or not? Look at the following hadith:
Suhaib narrated that he heard Abu Hurairah and Abu Sa’eed say: “The Messenger of Allah addressed us one day and said:
‘By the One in Whose hand is my soul’ three times then he lowered his head, and each of us lowered his head, weeping, and we did not know what he had sworn that oath about. Then he raised his head with joy on his face, and that was dearer to us than red camels. Then he said: ‘There is no one who offers the five (daily) prayers, fasts Ramadan, pays Zakah and avoid the seven major sins, but the gates of Paradise will be opened to him, and it will be said to him: Enter in peace.”‘ [Sunan an-Nasa’i 2438]
Minor sins are Shaytan’s infantry! They have comparatively lesser impact than the cavalry that is why they are always greater in number. Just think: what is the value of a simple stick of wood if it is set on fire? It is easy to handle that small fire. However, if we accumulate such simple sticks of wood in hundreds and set them on fire, it will be very difficult to handle it.
Beware of the small sins that are greater in number.
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah said, “If anyone performs Wudhu’ properly, then comes to the Friday prayer, listens to the Khutbah (sermon talk) attentively and keeps silent, his (minor) sins between that Friday and the following Friday will be forgiven, with the addition of three more days; but he who touches pebbles has caused an interruption. ” [Muslim Book 9, Hadith 1148 ]
Occupying oneself in permissible things
Doing things that have neither a reward nor sin is also a trap of Shaytan. He wants you to waste your time by NOT earning any reward. Remember, all your deeds are going to be weighed in the end, the good ones as well as the bad ones. If you are failing to do good and wasting your time, how will the balance go up?
Occupying oneself in deeds of lesser reward
You might ask, “Isn’t itbetter to do something good even if it is small, instead of nothing?”.
I say, “Yes it is. But would you rather have silver if gold is available for the same price?”
Some examples of this:
- Giving da’wah to friends instead of parents and family members, which is of primary importance. Allah Says in the Quran in Surah Tahreem:
O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones. [66:6]
- Praying Qiyamul-Layl at night and crying, sleeping late and missing Fajr
- Reciting 10 pages of Quran daily, but not studying one page of Quran daily with Tafsir
- Praying at home instead of the masjid and missing 27 times more reward
Causing harm through Jinn and human beings
Allah has given Shaytan some powers in the Unseen (Ghayb). He will definitely come to us in the form of nightmares and other such things in order to stop us from following Islam. You might even feel very tired and physically/emotionally unfit to perform a certain duty that is enjoined on you by Allah but beware this is only a trap of Shaytan. Do not fall prey to it.
Some examples through which Shaytan overtakes us:
- Going to people who pretend to be religious to cure your ailments or because you are unable to have a baby
- Not doing proper Taharah (ritual purification).Jinns love dirty things and places andShaytan would never want you to make proper Taharah so that the Jinn can attack you
- Thinking ill about your brothers and having bad feelings about them in your heart? This will make a spiritual void in your heart towards everyone and you won’t be able to think good about anyone.
We pray to Allah Subhan wa Ta’la to protect us and enable us to save ourselves from Shaytan and his army (Ameen).