Who is satan? isn`t he the only main enemy for the whole mankind?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
who is satan? isn`t he the only main enemy for the whole mankind?
what are his physical properties,capabilities,strengths & weaknesses?
how does he affect a man reosoning(thinking)?
how a normal human being recognize that he is being seduced in the wrong direction?
how can one take preventive steps?
can he take the form of a human being(flesh&bone)?
The quran mentions about satan worshippers.who are these in todays world?
Can humans and satans conspire together for selfish ends?
any instances in hadith & islamic history about how satan affected pious people, rulers, poor people, rich people?
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Who is shaytaan?
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Q-1: who is satan?
The literal meaning of the Arabic term Shaytaan is one who transgresses the boundaries of Allah, or is a consistent disobedient or denier of the Truth.
The leader of all the Shaytaans is the accursed evil one who is named Iblees, the literal meaning of which means one who constantly doubts and despairs.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 18 Surah Kahf verse 50: Behold! We said to the Angels "Bow down to Adam": they bowed down except Iblis. He was one of the Jinns, and he broke the Command of his Lord. Will ye then take him and his progeny as protectors rather than Me? And they are enemies to you! Evil would be the exchange for the wrongdoers!
Iblees is the name of one amongst the Shayateen, and is mentioned in the Glorious Quran by name in the episode of the creation of Hadrat Adam (a.s.). All those amongst the Jinns and the human beings who follow the mission of disobedience of Iblees are all termed Shaytaans by Allah Subhanah.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 112:
And so have We (Allah) always set against every Prophet enemies from among Shaitaans of men and Shaitaans of jinns, who inspire one another with flowery discourses by way of deception.
Whenever Allah Subhanah refers to As-Shaytaan (The Shaytaan) it refers to the accursed leader of the Shayateen, Iblees; and whenever the general term shaytaan or plural shayateen is used, it refers to all those amongst the men and the jinn who follow the mission of disobedience of the accursed Iblees.
Q-2: isn`t he the only main enemy for the whole mankind?
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 208: O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of The Shaytaan (Iblees); for he is to you an avowed enemy.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 142: Eat what Allah hath provided for you and follow not the footsteps of The Shaytaan (Iblees): for he is to you an avowed enemy.
There is absolutely no doubt that Allah Subhanah refers to the leader of the Shayateen, the accursed Iblees, as the biggest enemy of mankind. Any amongst the jinns and the humans who follow the footsteps of the Iblees, are also enemies to mankind.
Q-3: what are his physical properties,capabilities,strengths & weaknesses?
If the Shaytaan is one from amongst the Jinn, then all his physical properties, capabilities, strengths and weaknesses will be the same as the creation of jinns. If the Shaytaan is one from amongst mankind, then all his properties will be exactly the same as the creation of mankind.
The literal meaning of the term Jinn means something which is hidden; thus it is not possible for a human being to see a jinn; thus their exact physical properties are kept unknown to man and known only by their Lord and Creator, Allah Subhanah.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 7 Surah Aaraf verse 27: O ye children of Adam! Let not the Shaytaan seduce you in the same manner as he got your parents (Adam and Hawwa) out of the Garden stripping them of their raiment to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the shayateen friends (only) to those without faith.
To understand the capabilities, strengths and weaknesses of Iblees and his followers amongst the Jinn, it is important to understand the concept of the creation of the Jinns. Amongst all the creation of the Lord, Allah Subhanah bestowed upon the Jinns and man two things which He did not bestow upon any in His supreme creation; and thus involved them to a test.
Intelligence or the Power of Reasoning
A free will for a limited period of one life-time to choose whatever path one wishes to live his life.
Whoever amongst the jinn and mankind study and ponder over the innumerable wonders and Signs in the various creations of the Majestic Lord, and uses his bestowed intelligence and power of reasoning to understand his mission of creation, recognize His Supreme Lord and Creator, and of his own free will chooses to submit his will to the Will of his Creator, and chooses to live his life in accordance with the guidance of his Creator, passes the test of life and is promised the Eternal Mercy, Grace, and Rewards of Allah Subhanah.
And whoever amongst the jinn and mankind uses his bestowed intelligence and power of reasoning to do everything else but does not recognize or denies his Supreme Creator, refuses to submit his will to the Will of His Creator, and of his own free will chooses to live his life in accordance with any guidance other than that of His Supreme Creator, miserably fails the test of life and will have a severe accounting in the Presence of His All-Mighty and Majestic Lord on an Inevitable Day.
Thus in essence, the Jinns just like the human beings, are involved in a test by their All-Knowing, All-Wise Lord.
Regarding their strength and capabilities, one must understand and believe with conviction that All Strength and All Power lies with none except Allah Subhanah Alone. Nothing, and we repeat nothing in the universe can happen, not even a leaf can fall from its place without the Precise and Distinct Permission of the Lord Most Majestic! Just like the human beings, the Jinns have their own distinct boundaries prescribed by their Lord, and they live and do deeds within their prescribed natural boundaries.
Thus in truth, physically the shayateen amongst the jinn are incapable of doing anything without the permission and Will of Allah Subhanah. Their capability when interacting with mankind is absolutely limited to their whispering evil thoughts into the hearts of mankind; no more, and no less!!! They have absolutely no power or capability to physically force man to do anything; the absolute maximum they can do is try to make the doing of evil fair-seeming in the hearts of men, and/or try to instill fear when one amongst the men wishes to do some good! Thus other than whispering evil into the hearts of mankind, the shayateen amongst the Jinn have absolutely no power or capability to do absolutely anything to mankind!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verses 120-121:
120 Shaytaan makes them (mankind) promises, and creates in them false desires; but Shaytaan's promises are nothing but deception.
121 They (his dupes) will have their dwelling in Hell and from it they will find no way of escape.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 43: When the suffering reached them from Us why then did they not learn humility? On the contrary their hearts became hardened, and Shaytaan made their (sinful) acts seem fair-seeming to them.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 14 Surah Ibraheem verse 22: And Shaytaan will say when the matter is decided (on the Day of Judgment): "It was Allah Who gave you a promise of Truth: I too promised but I failed in my promise to you. I had no authority over you except to call you but ye listened to me: then reproach not me but reproach your own souls. I cannot listen to your cries nor can ye listen to mine. I reject your former act in associating me with Allah. For wrongdoers there must be a Grievous Penalty."
Thus in essence, the Jinn have absolutely no strength regarding their interaction (if any) in relation to mankind: physically they cannot do anything for man, neither can they get anything for man, nor can they take anything from man, nor can they give anything to man, they have absolutely no knowledge of the future, etc. They are an independent creation of Allah Subhanah giving their test of life within their prescribed boundaries laid upon them by their Creator. The only interaction the evil amongst them have with mankind is that they try to whisper something evil into mans heartand absolutely not an iota more!
The weakness of the shayateen amongst the Jinn are similar to the weaknesses of mankind: hope, fear, death, hunger, worry, family, Hereafter, etc.
Q-4: how does he affect a man reosoning(thinking)?
The shayateen does not have the power to affect mans thinking in the least! The absolute maximum they are permitted to do is to whisper something of the evil into a mans heart and invite and inspire mans heart towards the disobedience of Allah Subhanah. Under no circumstances can the shayateen affect mans thinking or his deeds, because these faculties are under the responsibility of the individual who commits the deed, and that is the precise reason man himself will be accountable for his deeds alone.
Q-5: how a normal human being recognize that he is being seduced in the wrong direction?
Every person is born with a conscience, which the Quran terms nafs. This nafs can either inspire us to do good deeds or bad deeds. The nafs that inspires us to do good deeds and condemns us when we do evil deeds, is termed nafs-e-lawwama in the Holy Quran. The nafs that inspires us towards evil deeds and makes it fair-seeming to us is termed nafs-e-ammara.
Allah says in the Holy Quran describing the two types of nafs Chapter 91 Surah Shams verse 7-8: And (I swear) by the nafs and He who balanced it. Then inspired the nafs with its wickedness and its piety.
Allah says in the Holy Quran describing the nafs-e-lawwama in Chapter 75 Surah Qiyamah verse 2: And I (Allah) swear by the nafs-e-lawwama (the conscience which condemns man when he does evil).
Allah says in the Holy Quran describing the nafs-e-ammara in Chapter 12 Surah Yusuf verse 53: .for the nafs-e-ammara incites one to evil, except of the one to whom my Lord may show mercy.
Thus, although it might seem that the Shaitaan is everywhere, the fact is that the nafs-e-ammara is placed in our conscience (nafs) and this nafs-e-ammara is always inclined towards Shaitaan who inspires us towards disobedience of Allah and makes it fair-seeming to us.
Thus a true believer or Mumin will always have his good nafs stronger, and the more good deeds he does in the obedience of Allah, this nafs will overpower the bad nafs.
Conversely, if a person lives his life in the disobedience of Allah, his bad nafs will overpower his good nafs, and make this disobedience of his, look fair-seeming to him.
And the tactic of Shaitaan is to make the bad nafs strong and overpower the good nafs. The Shaitaan thus tries to disguise and lie about the bad deed, and makes it look good and fair-seeming to the doer, in order to overpower the good nafs of every individual. Take the example of adultery or any other vice. No nation, no religion, no society, has ever claimed that adultery is good. But Shaitaan tries to make it fair seeming by inspiring statements like, whats the harm? Or, We are both consenting adults, arent we? Or, who is going to find out? Or, just this once, and we will never do it again! This is how Shaitaan lies and tries to make the evil deed fair-seeming to the doer. Or take the example of bowing down in Sajdah to a person or a grave and thus inspire him to commit shirk. He whispers: what is the harm? We dont do sajdah as worship, but only in respect! Everybody is doing it, so it cant be wrong! We only worship Allah, but sajdah is not worship, is it? Can you imagine the harm that will come to you if you do not do sajdah here? If you do sajdah now, this pious person can intercede for you on the Day of Judgement! The sajdah or even to look at the face of this pious person is more sawaab than 100 Hajj and 100 Umrahs put together! etc. This is how Shaitaan lies and tries to make shirk fair-seeming to the doer.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 29 Surah Ankaboot verse 38: Shaitaan made their deeds fair-seeming to them and misled them from the right path, although they were sensible people.
Your Question 5 (again): how a normal human being recognize that he is being seduced in the wrong direction?
Whenever one does any evil, the good conscience or nafs-e-lawwamma will immediately inform the person that he has done wrong! Whenever one feels incited or inspired to do anything that would bring about the slightest disobedience of the boundaries of Allah, it is a guarantee that the Shaytaan is inspiring them towards evil!!!
Q-6: how can one take preventive steps?
Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2337 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah
Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "When a believer sins there is a black spot made on his heart, and if he repents and asks pardon his heart is polished; but if he does more (sin), the black spot increases till it gains the ascendancy over his heart.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 1.49 (part) Narrated by An Numan bin Bashir
I heard Allah's Messenger (saws) saying, Beware! There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good, but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt: and that is the heart.
There is only one thing in the Universe which can prevent one from saving oneself from the clutches of temptations from the accursed enemy of mankind, the Shaytaan:
The constant Fear of standing absolutely alone in the Majestic Presence of the Lord All-Mighty on that Inevitable Day of Resurrection!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter Aaraf verse 201: Those who fear Allah, when a thought of evil from shaytaan assaults them, bring Allah to Remembrance when, lo! They see (aright)!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 79 Surah Naziat verses 34-41:
34 Therefore when there comes the Great Overwhelming (Event, The Day of J udgment!)
35 The Day when Man shall remember (all) that he strove for
36 And Hell-Fire shall be placed in full view for (all) to see
37 Then for such as had transgressed all bounds
38 And had preferred the life of this world
39 The Abode will be Hell-Fire;
40 And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord's (Tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from Lower Desires
41 Their abode will be the Garden.
Only if one can bring oneself to remain constant in fearing the standing in the Majestic Presence and Tribunal of the Lord on the Inevitable Day of Justice, one would bring oneself to constantly remember Allah their Lord, truly believe in Allah their Lord, truly trust Allah their Lord, and thus be worthy of being the true believers in Allah Subhanah, the Lord of the Worlds; and it is the promise of Allah that the Shaytaan will never have any authority of such true believers!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 16 Surah Nahl verse 98-100:
98 When thou dost read the Qur'an seek Allah's protection from Shaytaan, the rejected one.
99 No authority has he over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord.
100 His authority is over those only who take him as patron and who join partners with Allah.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 15 Surah Hijr verses 42-44:
42 (Allah tells the Shaytaan): "For over My servants no authority shalt thou have, except such as put themselves in the wrong and follow thee."
43 And verily Hell is the promised abode for them all!
44 To it are seven Gates: for each of those Gates is (special) class (of sinners assigned).
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Israa verses 62-65:
62 He (Shaytaan) said "Seest Thou? This is the one (Adam) whom thou hast honored above me! If Thou wilt but respite me to the Day of Judgment I will surely bring his descendants under my sway all but a few!"
63 Allah said: "Go thy way; if any of them follow thee verily Hell will be the recompense of you (all); an ample recompense.
64 "Lead to destruction those whom thou canst among them with thy (seductive) voice; make assaults on them with thy cavalry and thy infantry; mutually share with them wealth and children; and make promises to them. But Shaytaan promises them nothing but deceit!
65 As for My servants no authority shalt thou have over them." Enough is thy Lord for a Disposer of affairs.
Q-7: can he take the form of a human being(flesh&bone)?
The Jinns have absolutely no power to take the form of a human being!!! One can only imagine the fitnah it would create in the test of life of the human beings if Allah Subhanah had granted the Jinn such power! The whole test of man would be in jeopardy!!!
If the Shayateen amongst the Jinn would take the form of a human being and steal something and none could find him!
If the Shayateen amongst the Jinn would take the form of a human being and commit zina with a mans wife; and there would be no sanctity of the sacred institution of marriage!
If the Shayateen amongst the Jinn would take the form of a human being and kill someone; and there would be no sanctity of life!
Every evil person would claim in a court of law that it was not him who committed the sin, but rather it was a Jinn who took his shape and form and did the evil!
Even simple logic and common-sense dictates that the Jinns absolutely cannot take the form of a human being; or the whole test of life would be in absolute disarray!
Q-8: The quran mentions about satan worshippers.who are
these in todays world?
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 36 Surah Yaa Seen verses 59-64:
59 (Allah will Say:) And O ye in sin! Get ye apart this Day!
60 Did I not enjoin on you, O ye children of Adam, that ye should not worship Shaytaan; for that he was to you, an enemy avowed?
61 And that ye should worship Me (for that) this was the
62 But he did lead astray a great multitude of you. Did ye not then understand?
63 This is the Hell of which ye were (repeatedly) warned!
64 Embrace ye the (Fire) this Day, for that ye (persistently) rejected (Truth)."
There is no system, or belief, or religion, or structure on earth whereby any sane human being states that the Shaytaan is his creator, or provider, or sustainer, etc.; nor does any one claim that one follows the books or guidance revealed to them by the Shaytaan!
Thus in light of the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah, the essence and truth of the worshipping of the Shaytaan is related to anyone who is constant in the disobedience of Allah Subhanah! Because it was indeed the Shaytaan who inspired some amongst mankind to disobey or deny Allah, or associate other gods with the One and Only Lord in worship; in effect, Allah Subhanah refers to such who follow the inspiration of the Shaytaan as his worshippers.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 208: O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of The Shaytaan; for he is to you an avowed enemy.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 142: 142 Eat what Allah hath provided for you and follow not the footsteps of The Shaytaan: for he is to you an avowed enemy.
Q-9: Can humans and satans conspire together for selfish ends?
No Jinn can of himself associate or conspire with a human being, nor can a human being of himself associate or conspire with a Jinn; unless and until they have the Precise Permission of Allah Subhanah, as was the case with Prophet Sulaimaan (a.s.) whom Allah Subhanah had blessed to have complete control over the Jinn community.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 34 Surah Saba verses 12-13:
12 And to Solomon (We made) the Wind (obedient): its early morning (stride) was a month's (journey) and its evening (stride) was a month's (journey); and We made a font of molten brass to flow for him; and there were Jinns that worked in front of him by the leave of his Lord, and if any of them turned aside from Our command We made him taste of the Penalty of the Blazing Fire.
13 They (the Jinns) worked for him (Sulaimaan (a.s.) as he desired (making) arches, images, basins as large as reservoirs, and (cooking) cauldrons fixed (in their places).
But of themselves, neither the Jinns nor the human beings have the power to conspire together for selfish ends in the least!
Q-10: any instances in hadith & islamic history about how satan affected pious people, rulers, poor people, rich people?
Dear and Beloved Brother in Islam, leave aside the history of mankind, even if one only looks at the happenings around him, one would see how the evil whisperings and inspirations of the Shaytaan affects the rich people, the poor people, the pious people, the rulers, etc.
Rulers, Kings, Leaders, etc. are affected when Allah Subhanah gives them power over the land and they become proud and arrogant and unjust at the inspiration of their avowed enemy, the Shaytaan!
The Rich are affected when Allah Subhanah blesses them with the good of this life, and they become proud and arrogant and claim, at the inspiration of the Shaytaan, that they created their wealth through their dedication and intelligence!
The Poor are affected when Allah Subhanah tests them with poverty, but instead of having hope and practicing patience, at the inspiration of the Shaytaan, they despair of Allahs Mercy and display impatience!
The Pious are affected when Allah Subhanah blesses them with knowledge, but instead of becoming humble, at the inspiration of the Shaytaan they become proud and arrogant at their bestowed knowledge and strive to show off and belittle and ridicule others less learned than them as ignorant and fools!
Sahih Muslim Hadith 6759 Narrated by Aisha
Aisha said: One day Allah's Messenger (saws) went out of her (Aisha's apartment) during the night and she felt jealous. Then he (saws) came and he saw me (in what agitated state of mind) I was. He (saws) said: O Aisha, what has happened to you? Do you feel jealous? Thereupon I said: How can it be (that a woman like me) should not feel jealous in regard to a husband like you? Thereupon Allah's Messenger (saws) said: It was your Shaytaan who had come to you, and I said: O Allah's Messenger (saws)! Is there along with me a Shaytaan? He (saws) said: Yes. I said: Is the Shaytaan attached to everyone? He (saws) said: Yes. I (Aisha) again said: O Allah's Messenger (saws) is the Shaytaan with you also? He (saws) said: Yes! But my Lord has helped me against him as such I am absolutely safe from his mischief.
The truth is brother, in this test of life of the good against the evil, Allah Subhanah has Decreed as a test towards mankind that none from the descendants of Adam (except the Noble Prophet of Allah (saws)) shall be safe from the evil designs, the whisperings, and the inspirations from their avowed enemy, the Shaytaan! It is only natural that only when the good and the evil, the Truth and the falsehood, the virtue and the vice, piety and sin are put together can the test of mankind be determined; who amongst them, of his own free will, chooses the good over the evil and attain success and who amongst them, of their own free will, choses the falsehood over the Truth and deserves failure!
May Allah Protect You and your family, us and our families, and the all the true believers and their families from the evil designs of the accursed enemy of mankind, the Shaytaan; and May Allah Subhanah always keep the believers in His Infinite Mercy and Sublime Refuge. Ameen.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 113 Surah Al-Falaq verses 1-5:
1 Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn (Allah Subhanah)
2 From the mischief of created things;
3 From the mischief of darkness as it overspreads;
4 From the mischief of those who practice secret arts;
5 And from the mischief of the envious one as he practices envy.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 114 Surah AN-Naas verses 1-6:
1 Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind (Allah Subhanah)
2 The King (or Ruler) of Mankind
3 The Allah (or Judge) of Mankind
4 From the mischief of the Whisperer (of evil, the Shaytaan) who withdraws (after his whisper)
5 (The same Shaytaan) who whispers into the hearts of mankind,
6 (Who are) from among Jinns and among Men.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,