bismillah

Surviving our Enemy

Make no mistake about it. He is there and he is plotting!

What if you woke up this morning to find out that you and your family were under attack? What if an enemy- powerful, cunning and strong-had surrounded your home and was about to attack, lay siege to it?

His big guns and heavy artilleries are pointed directly at your front door, and his finger is on the trigger. What would you do? Who would you call? Well, it might surprise you to know that we, as Muslims, are under attack by a tremendous foe 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We tend to forget about him and his armies, because we don't see them camped out on our front lawns in tanks and battle fatigues, but make no mistake -they are there, and this is war. And our enemy is Satan.

Allah (SWT) says, "He [Satan] said: Give me respite until the day they are raised up. [Allah] said: You are among those allowed respite. He [Satan]said: Because You have thrown me out (Of the Way), lo !, I will sit waiting for them, on Your straight path, then I will come in from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left and you will not find most of them Gratitude (for Your Mercies) ." [Quran 7:14-171]

Allah (SWT) also says in the Glorious Qur'an, "He [Satan] said: O my Lord, give me respite until the Day the (dead) are raised up. He [Allah) said: You are of those allowed respite until the Day of the time appointed. He [Satan] said: Because You have put me in the wrong, I will make (wrong) fair-seeming to them on earth, and I shall mislead them all." [Quran 15: 36- 391]

These verses from the Qur'an tell us of Satan's intentions toward us; those who have chosen to take Allah's straight path. He has declared an all-out war against us, and his mission is to destroy us by taking us away from the truth and wrapping us in falsehood and evil. He has many weapons in his arsenal, and experience is on his side, but Allah, SWT, has not left the believers defenseless and without an extensive arsenal of their own. It is imperative that we know about him, his ways, and the methods he uses to trick us and lead us astray. It is only by knowing him that can successfully fight and ultimate defeat him. Allah says to us, "And do not follow the footsteps of Satan as he is to you an avowed enemy." [2:168]

Satan has many ways about him, to cause the believer to stray, some of these are:

* He causes us to forget. When the heart is weak and emaan is low, this is when Satan creeps into our souls, but as soon as we remember, we should strive to strengthen our positions. For Allah says, "If Satan ever causes you to forget, then after recollection, do not sit in the company of the wrong-doers." [Quran 6:68]

* He beautifies disobedience, and makes obedience ugly in our eyes.

* He incites fear of him and his cohorts in our hearts. As Allah (SWT) says, "It is only Satan that suggests to you the fear of his allies so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are true believers." [Quran 3:175]

* He causes us to procrastinate, and to put off doing good deeds. Apart from these, Satan also has different weapons or tools that he uses against the believers, such as:

* Argumentation and speaking about Allah without knowledge. Allah says, "And among mankind is he who disputes concerning Allah, without knowledge and follows every rebellious Satan." [Quran 22:3]

* Breeding discord between the Muslims.

* Making us call things by other than their proper names.

* Compelling us to nakedness.

* Changing the Creation of Allah.

Now that we know about the Satan, and his weapons, we must now become familiar with our own weapons, so that we can deploy them in the most effective manner. One of the, greatest weapons we have against the Satan is Ikhlas or sincerity. For Allah says, "[Iblis] said: Then By Your Might, then I will lead them all astray, except Your Servants among them, sincere and purified (by Your Grace)." [Quran 38:82-83]

Others include:

* Keeping with the jama'ah (group), for it is the lone sheep who gets devoured by the wolf.

* Seeking refuge in Allah from the whispers of Satan.

* Saying bismillah (in the Name of Allah) before starting every action.

* Reciting the Qur'an. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, "Do not turn your homes into graveyards, indeed Satan flees from a house where surah al-Baqarah is recited." (Muslim)

* Straightening the rows in the salah. Anas ibn Malik narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, "Stand close together, close the gaps and line up your shoulders, because by Him who has my soul in His Hands, I see the Satan coming into the gaps between the rows, like a missile." (Abu Dawud)

Know that Satan is our enemy and that we should treat him as such. We need to fight him as he fights us, and we must use all that Allah has given us to defeat him. Although time and cunning is on his side, as true believers we know that Allah is on ours, and that with Allah is the victory.

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The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186

December 2001
Ramadan 1422
Note from the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Islamic World News
Many in Hawaii
Turning to Islam
Surviving Our Enemy
Women in Islam
The Miracles of Zamzam
Islam is the Fastest Growing Religion
Dawah - Our Obligation
Wisdom in Islam
Stories of the Sahabah
Events Foretold
in the Quran
Math in the Quran
Letter From Mecca by Malik El-Shabazz
Why I Embraced Islam
Eating Together
Fasting
The Miracle
of the Ant
Sand and Stone
Ramadan Soup
Kid's Corner
Mother
Imagine When
You Die
Eid Stamp & Poster