Battling Your Sworn Enemy
bismillaahi walhamdulillaahi was-salaatu was-salaamu ‘alaa rasoolilaah wa ‘alaa aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallam, ‘amma ba’d:
When we think of the enemy, for many of us, our focus turns to people who oppress us and we very easily forget the one who Allaah described as being an ‘adww (an enemy) that is mubeen (clear and open) and whom He has instructed: “..fattakhidhoohu ‘adwwa.” – “..so take him as a enemy.”
This ‘adww – his aim is to lure as many of the children of Aadam to the Eternal Abyss as possible. This enemy – the one who utilises the tools of: doubt, making falsehood appear attractive, laziness and procrastination, extremism and exaggeration, negligence, and false promises is constant in his attack, an attack that is gradual, leading man to misguidance.
The human being is in a constant battle with someone who he must know and understand is his sworn enemy in front of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) and he is none other than Iblees, the Devil, ash-Shaytaan.
Our discussion is about winning the battle against Iblees and in it we will focus our attention on two main points:
Firstly: knowing and understanding that with every human being there is a Shaytaan that is trying to misguide him – trying to inspire him to say evil, or to do evil, or to look at evil, or to listen to evil.
Secondly: how do we free ourselves? How do we protect ourselves, our families and our children from the Shaytaan?
So let us begin, inshaa’Allaah, by understanding that the Shaytaan has made an oath in front of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) by saying:
قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لَأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ – ثُمَّ لَآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَائِلِهِمْ ۖ وَلَا تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ
“He (Iblees) said: “Because You have sent me astray, 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 thankful ones (i.e. they will not be dutiful to You).” [Al-A’raaf (7):16-17]
Because you have sent me astray, O Allaah, I will sit in waiting for them (meaning the humans) – I will sit in waiting for them on Your straight path, I will try to push them off, I will come to them from every angle, in front of them and from behind them, and from their right and from their left and You will surely find that most of them will not be thankful to You, O Allaah. This is the promise that Shaytaan took upon himself.
And let us read the hadeeth of Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu anha) where she tells us:
The Messenger of Allaah left her (apartment) one night
She said, “I felt jealous over him, and he came and saw what I was doing.”
He said, “What is the matter with you, O, Aaishah? Do you feel jealous?”
I said, “Why would one such as me not feel jealous over one such as you?”
He said, “Has your devil come to you?”
I said, “O Messenger of Allaah, is there a devil with me?”
He said, “Yes”
I said, “And with every person?”
He said, “Yes”
I said, “And with you too, O Messenger of Allaah?”
He said, “Yes, but my Lord helped me to deal with him until he became Muslim.” 2
And let us read the hadeeth:
“The Shaytaan runs through the bodies of the children of Aadam just like how blood runs through their veins.” 3
Let us now move to the second point which is: how to protect ourselves from the Shaytaan?
Firstly: There is nothing more blessed and more powerful as a protection and a weapon against the Shaytaan than the Book of Allaah, al-Qur’aan.
Because Shaytaan has promised that he will try to misguide us but Allaah has said about the Qur’aan that it is the guidance! That the Qur’aan itself is your guide. Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says:
الم تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ الْحَكِيمِ هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّلْمُحْسِنِينَ
“Alif, Laam, Meem, Verily these are verses from the Wise Book – the Qur’aan – it is a guidance and a mercy for those who do righteous deeds.”
The Qur’aan is “hudan” (a guidance) and one of the most powerful weapons to protect yourselves with from the Shaytaan.
Secondly: As-Sunnah. Implementing the Prophetic traditions of the Rasool (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) for we see that he has said:
“O mankind, I am leaving two things with you, if you cling to them you will never go astray. The Book of Allaah and my Sunnah.” [Al-Haakim and Al-Baihaqi]
I have left with you – my Ummah – two things – if you are steadfast and hold onto and hang onto and implement you shall never be misguided – the Book of Allaah and my Sunnah. Also we see that Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has said:
مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ
“Whoever obeys the Messenger, he has indeed obeyed Allaah.”
And you must know that it is a requirement to enter the Jannah that you must be a follower of rasoolullaaah’s (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) sunnah, for he said:
“All of my Ummah will enter Paradise, except those who refuse.”
“They (the Sahaabah) asked: “O Messenger of Allaah, who would refuse?”
He said, “Whoever obeys me (obeys my orders, my sunnah) will enter the Jannah
and whoever disobeys me, he refuses (to enter it).” 4
Whoever rejects or does not implement or scorns my sunnah or my order then he has refused his ownself. He does not wish to go to the Jannah.
Thirdly: al- Isti’adhah – seeking refuge in Allaah. The rasool (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) has taught us to say:
“Aoodhu billaahi minash-Shaytaanir-Rajeem”
(I seek refuge in Allaah from the accursed Shaytaan)
“Aoodhu billaahis-samee’il ‘aleem minash-Shaytaanir-Rajeem”
(I seek refuge with the All-Hearing and All-Knowing from the accursed Shaytaan).
Why? Because Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has said:
وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
“If the Shaytaan comes to you and tries to incite some evil things inside you, seek refuge in Allaah.” [Al-A’raaf (7):200]
Seeking refuge with Allaah is the best way of seeking protection from Shaytaan and his troops because Allaah is Able to grant that and if He takes His slave under His protection, then the Shaytaan has no means of reaching him.
In the Sunnah specific times are mentioned to seek refuge from the devils:
b) At times of anger by saying: Aoodhu billaahi minash-Shaytaanir-Rajeem (I seek refuge in Allaah from the accursed Shaytaan). [Agreed Upon]
c) When having intercourse by saying: Bismillaahi, Allaahummah jannibnash- Shaytaan wa jannib ash-Shaytaan ma razaqtanaa (In the name of Allaah, O Allaah, keep the Shaytaan away from us and keep the Shaytaan away from what You may bless us with). [Agreed Upon]
d) When going down into a valley or stopping to rest on a journey by saying: A’oodhu bi kalimaatillaahit-taammah min sharri ma khalaqa (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allaah from the evil of what He has created).5
e) When hearing the braying of a donkey 6 or the barking of a dog at night.7
f) When reciting the Qur’aan based on the saying of the Most High:
فَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ
“So when you want to recite the Qur’aan, seek refuge with Allaah from Shaytaan, the outcast (the cursed one).” [An-Nahl (16):98]
And you must know that seeking refuge in Allaah is one of the greatest forms of worship a muslim can do because it is a form of du’aa – it is showing Allaah that you are in need of His protection from the Shaytaan and anything else. This is why the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) has said: “Du’aa is the worship.” That calling, asking Allaah supplicating unto Him is the worship. And Allaah says:
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
“Guide us to the Straight path.
صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ
The Path of Those whom you have favoured.
غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ
Not (the path) of those who earned your anger, nor of those who went astray.” [Al-Faatihah (1):6-7]
The basis of your salaah (prayer) is du’aa – everything you do as a Muslim is praising Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) and supplicating to Him. This is also why the rasool (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) has said:
“Whosever does not ask Allaah, Allaah becomes angry with him.” 8
For not asking Allaah, Allaah becomes angry with you because you are being arrogant for not asking Allaah for more of His ni’mah and blessings and His mercy upon you.
Fourthly: To be in constant remembrance of Allaah using the Sunnah – using the things that have been prescribed by rasoolullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) to keep the Shaytaan away from you. From these are that:
b) You recite the 3 Quls (last 3 surahs of the Qur’aan) and blow in your hands and wipe the parts of your body that are not covered by clothing.
This is to be done only before you go to sleep. The rasool (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said that this is a protection for you and when you wake up the Shaytaan would not have touched you.
c) You say bismillaah (in the name of Allaah) before you eat and oppose the Shaytaan by eating, drinking, taking and giving with your right hand.9 And oppose him by drinking sitting down, taking a Qayloolah,10 not being extravagant and a spendthrift. And to say bismillah before taking your clothes off, putting your clothes back on by starting with the right side, all of these are ways of keeping the Shaytaan away in your daily life.
d) You are careful not to be hasty 11 as it causes man to make many mistakes and that you suppress yawning [Agreed Upon] which is a sign of laziness. Hastiness, yawning and laziness are all beloved to the Shaytaan.
Fifthly: at-Tawbah – repenting to Allaah. It may seem strange to you – you may ask: “How is tawbah going to keep the Shaytaan way from me?” It is because the rasool (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) has said that all of the children of Aadam make mistakes – everyone of us will make a mistake – and the best of those who make these mistakes are those who repent.
Repentance gives you hope that the Shaytaan – even if he tricks you once you can have this evil deed turned into good. For Allaah has said:
إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا فَأُولَٰئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا
“Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, for those, Allaah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Al-Furqaan (25):70]
So for those who repent, and believe and do good deeds, Allaah will take their evil deeds and make them into good – your evil sayyiah will be transformed by Allaah into hasanat – into a blessed deed, because you repented, believed and afterwards worked righteous deeds, and Allaah is full of mercy and Allaah is the Most forgiving.
O Allaah, we ask you to protect us from the Shaytaan and his troops, from the jinn and mankind, from their evil insinuations, suggestions and whispers. Indeed you are our True Protector. Aameen.
Wa aakhiru da’waana ‘anil hamdulillahi Rab al ‘Alameen, wa subhaanak Allaahumma wa bihamdika wa nash hadu’an laa ilaaha illa ant
nastaghfiruka wa natubu ilayk.