References: Alam al-Jinn wal-Malaikah by Shaikh Umar al-Ashqar,
Informational answers given by Shaikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid, Shaytan:
Khutuwatihi wa-Gayatihi by Wail Umar Ali Basheer, Adawatush-Shaytan lil-Insan by
Muhammad Mutawalli ash-Sha'rawi, Kitab at-Tawheed by Shaikh Salih al-Fawzan,
Tafseer Ibn Katheer and others.
Allah, the Exalted, has
informed us in the Qur’aan that
Shaytan has the power to lure, persuade and insinuate mankind.
So, how does he enter the human soul and
drive it towards sins and transgression?
What are the deceptions and tricks that he plays on man
and how he abandons his victims
After indulging them in wrongdoings?
Allah has given Shaytan the ability to flow in the body of man
in a way, which we do not know or understand. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu
alaihi wa-sallam) said, ‘Shaytan
flows through the sons of Adam like blood.’ [Mishkaat al-Masaabih] Shaytan may
reach a man’s heart and mind and whisper or tempt him to listen to or look at
haraam things or to commit immoral actions. This is called waswaas. Shaytan may
also sometimes appear in human forms, and directly speak to a person or he may
choose a person (whom they call medium) and speak on his tongue.
However, Shaytan does not directly approach humans and ask them to abandon their
religion, for no sane person would willingly disobey Allah choosing to follow
Shaytan instead and share in his dreadful fate! So, Shaytan has his own ways of
distracting mankind from the religion of Allah and deceiving them into
committing evil deeds. What follows is a brief look into the tricks and plots of
In order to ease the path of sin for the people, Shaytan
tempts mankind little by little; beginning with a few steps and eventually
leading them to their final downfall. Allah warned us in the Qur'aan saying,
'follow not the footsteps of Shaytan. Verily! He is to you a plain enemy.'
[Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 208]
The first to commit Shirk amongst mankind were the people of
Nooh (alaihis-salaam). Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) explains how Shaytan lead them to worshiping idols in
stages, 'Indeed these five names of righteous men are from the people of Nooh.
When they died, Shaytan whispered to their people to make statues of them and to
place these statues in their places of gathering as a reminder of the people, so
they did this. However, none from amongst them worshiped these statues, until
when they died and the purpose of the statues was forgotten. Then (the next
generation) began to worship them.' [Agreed upon] Abu Ja'far (radhi allahu anhu) said, 'Those from
the later generation saw what the (previous generation) had done and considered
that... to the extent that they took him (i.e., the righteous man) as an ilah
(deity) to be worshiped besides Allah.' He then said, 'This was the first idol
worshipped other than Allah, and they called this idol, Wadd.' [Saheeh
In the same way, Shaytan in a gradual manner misled Adam and
Hawa to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. When Allah commanded them, 'O Adam!
Dwell you and your wife in Paradise and eat both of you freely with pleasure and
delight of things therein as wherever you will, but come not near this tree or
you both will be of the Zalimoon (wrong-doers).' [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 35] It
is worth pondering that Allah did not say, 'do not eat from this tree' but He
commanded them to stay away from the tree saying, 'but come not near this tree.'
This is because if they strolled near the tree or sat in its shade, there was a
greater possibility for them to be lured in eating its fruit. So, Allah
commanded them to keep away from the tree completely. This is the Sunnah of
Allah, the Exalted, where He closes the door to evil by forbidding anything that
could lead His slaves to committing that sin, for example, it is forbidden to
build mosques, domes or any structure on graves, it is prohibited to pray in the
graveyards, or light lamps on graves. All this in order to stop the avenues to
magnifying or worshiping the deceased as what occurred amongst the people of
Having known that Allah has prohibited Adam and Hawa from
approaching the forbidden tree, Shaytan first enticed them to come near the
tree, then beautified for them its fruits, their color and fragrance, and then
finally caused them to eat from it. So, Shaytan fooled them into disobeying
Allah in a gradual way. He uses the same ploy with the children of Adam and this
necessitates extra precaution on our part that we not only refrain from
committing sins but also keep away from every path that may lead to disobedience
of Allah, including visiting places and gathering where the limits of Allah are
not respected, keeping bad company, or participating in innovated celebrations,