Going Astray Part 2
بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
أَلَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ يَا بَنِي آدَمَ أَن لَّا تَعْبُدُوا الشَّيْطَانَ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ
Did I not enjoin on you, O you children of Adam, that you should not worship Satan – since, verily, he is your open enemy
Going Astray Part 2 - The Enemy
In order for us to 'Cross The Rubicon', there are three things we need to know, essential knowledge. We need to know ourselves, we need to know our Lord(s.w.a), and we need to know our enemy. About our enemy, we first need to understand that in fact, there are two enemies, there is the internal enemy, which is our desires which stand in opposition to the will of Allah(s.w.a) for us. These are called sometimes the 'Nafs Al Ammara' in Islamic theology or the lower self. This is the self that invites us to evil, as stated in the Holy Quran
وَمَا أُبَرِّىءُ نَفْسِي إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ إِلاَّ مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّيَ إِنَّ رَبِّي غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
And yet, I am not trying to absolve myself: for, verily, man's inner self does incite [him] to evil, and the saved are only they upon whom my Sustainer bestows His grace. Behold, my Sustainer is constantly forgiving, and constantly merciful !" - Quran 12:53
This is the enemy that is always within us, which flows with our blood. This enemy is normally very weak and docile and has very little power over us. The way that it gets activated and starts to control us is when it is activated or stimulated by forces outside of us, in our environment. It is like furnace with a pilot light. The pilot light is always on, but the furnace doesn't get hot until fuel is added from outside in order to make combustion happen. This fuel comes in a variety of forms. It could be other people, jinn, sound, images, ideas, products, etc that incite us to ignore or go against the clear commands of Allah(s.w.a). All these things that push us in the direction away from Allah, Rasoulallah,Quran, Ahl Al Bayt are collectively known as 'Shaitan' or Satan. The other meaning for 'Shaitan' is an actual being, a jinn, with the name of 'Iblis'. The name of Iblis comes from the root word LaBaSa(verb form) meaning 'he gave up all hope'. LaBaSa became Iblis(noun form) meaning 'The one who gave up all hope', i.e. gave up all hope of being forgiven by Allah(s.w.a). Regarding Iblis, here are a few verses from Quran
وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلاَئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ أَبَى وَاسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ
And when We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam!" -they all prostrated themselves, save IBLIS, who refused and became arrogant: and thus he became one of those who deny the truth. Quran 2:34
قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ قَالَ أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ
[And God] said: "What has kept you from prostrating thyself when I commanded you?" Answered [IBLIS]: "I am better than him: You have created me out of fire, whereas You have created him out of clay." - 7:12
قَالَ فَأَنظِرْنِي إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ
Said [IBLIS]: "Grant me a respite till the Day when all shall be raised from the dead." - 7:14
قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
[Whereupon IBLIS] said: "Now that Thou has thwarted me, I shall most certainly lie in ambush for them all along Thy straight way, - 7:16
Prior to this event, Iblis, who is one of the jinn, was a great worshipper of Allah(s.w.a). He had reached such a high spiritual stage and closeness to Allah(s.w.a) that he was in the company of the angels. He never disbelieved in Allah(s.w.a), but his jealousy toward Prophet Adam(a.s) led him to disobey a direct order from Allah(s.w.a) and to not seek forgiveness for this disobedience, and then to actually stand in opposition to the truth, thus becoming kafir. And he vowed to misguide all the children of Adam.
In the current stage, Iblis and his main followers, the jinn, who live much longer than human beings, have had centuries or millennia to observe human behaviour and to test and see what are the most effective strategies to misguide human beings. They have come up with many strategies to misguide human beings. The main force in their way are the Prophets of Allah(s.w.a), and the Imams of Ahl Al Bayt(a.s) who are the ones who stand in opposition to Iblis and the Satanic forces and attempt to 'undo' these forces of misguidance. They have been given truth by Allah(s.w.a) and have been helped and strengthened by Allah(s.w.a) and Allah(s.w.a) has promised, in the Holy Quran that anyone who follows this clear guidance as conveyed by the Prophets of Allah(s.w.a) and Ahl Al Bayt(a.s) will surely have hearts that will be relieved from the stress and burdens of this world. Although they may be under physical distress, poverty, etc, their hearts and their souls will be cleaned and they will enjoy true happiness and satisfaction in the world as well as the next.
قُلْنَا اهْبِطُواْ مِنْهَا جَمِيعاً فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُم مِّنِّي هُدًى فَمَن تَبِعَ هُدَايَ فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
[For although] We did say, "Down with you all from this [state]," there will most certainly come to you guidance from Me: and those who follow My guidance need have no fear, nor shall they grieve; - 2:38
This is the verse regarding the exit of Prophet Adam and Hawa(Eve)(peace be upon them both) from the Garden. Upon exiting the garden, they were given hope that Allah(s.w.a) would continue to guide them and their children despite the fact that they were now on earth, and that they, and their children, all of us, had a way back to the Garden by following this guidance.
Our Enemy are those individuals and forces that attempt to prevent us from going back to the Garden, which is the embodiment of Allah(s.w.a)'s mercy and compassion for us. We should work to recognize who those enemies are, first, then how to effectively fight against them so they do not prevent us from our goal. InShahAllah, we all suceed. Salam.
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