The wise person is he who studies his enemies’ strategies and takes the precautions and measures to defeat them.
Your Lord has warned, “Indeed Satan is an enemy to you, so take him as an enemy…” Qur’an 35:6
THE TRAPS OF SATAN
DISBELIEF IN THE ONENESS OF Allah
The foundation of Islam is the belief in the Oneness of Allah – having no partner, equal, son or rivals. Conversely, the greatest sin is to ascribe partners or equals with Allah.
Directing worship to other than Allah (e.g. Surrendering or Supplicating to other than Allah).
Delegating some of Allah’s attributes to other objects or beings (e.g. idols/lucky charms).
Claiming that God has a son, mother or any other partner.
Thus, tempting mankind into disbelief is Satan’s main focus. However, if Satan cannot mislead people to commit clear acts of disbelief, he resorts to more subtle means, such as the belief in superstitions, good luck charms, astrology and fortune telling. Such beliefs contradict the fact that Allah alone has power and knowledge over all things, and is the Only One Who can bring benefit or harm.
INNOVATION IN DEEN (SYSTEM)
“…I have perfected for you your Deen…”Qur’an 5:3
Satan will lure a person to invent wrong beliefs and practices into Islam which were not ordained by Allah. In fact, the belief that Islam is incomplete or imperfectly revealed by Allah, thus requiring innovation, is considered disbelief; because it is a rejection of what Allah has revealed.
Many innovations are implemented with the same meticulous care as a religious observance, and viewed as being just as significant as what Allah revealed. Herein lays danger, as the people who follow innovations believe their acts are accepted, although in reality they are committing a sin. These innovators will feel no need for repentance, as they do not recognize their wrong doing.
“…Indeed, Salat prohibits immorality and wrongdoing…”Qur’an 29:45
Satan wants to “…avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from Salat.” Qur’an 5:91
Satan seeks to make us neglectful of Salat so that we fall further into sin. Therefore we must be mindful of Allah’s commandments which protect us from immorality and wrongdoing.
GRADUAL DECEPTION (FOOTSTEPS OF SATAN)
Allah explained to us how idol worship originated, which highlights the gradual and patient approach of Satan. After a group of righteous people died, Satan inspired those around them to erect statues in their honor and as reminder of their righteousness. When that generation passed away and the people had forgotten why the statues were erected, Satan deceived them into believing that their forefathers used to worship them, and that through them, the rains were brought forth. People then began worshipping these statues.
This gradual deception is used in many ways. For example, Satan tricks people into committing forbidden sexual acts: it begins with a look, which leads to a thought, then a smile, then a seemingly innocent conversation, then seclusion and eventually, the sin itself.
BEAUTIFYING EVIL DEEDS
“…And Satan made attractive to them that which they were doing.” Qur’an 6:43
Satan presents sins to people in a favorable light, such as how he deceived Adam and Eve into eating from the tree.
Satan whispered to Adam, saying, “O Adam! Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that will never waste away?’ ” Qur’an 20:120
“ ‘Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become of the immortal… Indeed, I am to you from among the sincere advisors.’ So he made them fall, through deception. And when they tasted of the tree… their Lord called to them, ‘Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is to you a clear enemy?’ ” Qur’an 7:20-22
Although Adam was surrounded by many permissible foods, Satan convinced him to eat from the tree which was forbidden. Similarly, Satan tricks people into forbidden acts instead of those which are permitted, such as fornication over marriage, following the Man Made Hadiths instead of the Qur’an, haram income over halal, and prohibiting food and drink which are not prohibited by the Quran.
“Satan promises them and arouses desire in them. But Satan does not promise them except delusion.” Qur’an 4:120
Every human has desires and temptations. Satan plays on this and convinces man to indulge in instant gratification without considering the consequences. This inevitably leads to regret and humiliation, either in this life or on the Day of Judgement.
If Satan cannot trap someone into sinning, he keeps them busy with trivial acts which have no benefit. Instead of using our time wisely, fulfilling our priorities and reaching high goals, Satan occupies us with useless actions.
HOW TO DEFEAT SATAN
“Indeed, Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy…”Qur’an 35:6
The first step is to recognize Satan as our enemy: if you know your enemy, you can defeat him. Satan’s power consists principally in his ability to deceive, so we need to understand his cunning tactics and approach, in order to better protect ourselves.
SEEK HELP WITH ALLAH
To ask Allah for His protection and to rely on Him alone for help, is a tool in defeating Satan.
23:97 And say: “My Lord, I seek refuge with You from the whispers of the devils.”
23:98 “And I seek refuge with you O Lord that they should come near.”
We must realize that as long as we are alive, Satan will never give up attempting to mislead us. We must always be on our guard and constantly ask Allah for guidance and protection.
“Say: O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls. Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Qur’an -Al-zumar- 39/53]
For repentance to be accepted, it must be sincere, with the intention of never committing that same sin again.
AVOID SINFUL ENVIRONMENTS
When Allah forbade Adam from one particular tree, He did not say, “do not eat from this tree” but rather, “do not come close to this tree.” Qur’an 2:35. We must therefore distance ourselves from anything that may lead to committing sin.
KEEP GOOD COMPANIONSHIP
The company you keep strongly influences your decisions and actions. Good companions will remind you about Allah and encourage you to do good, whereas bad company will lead you into the arms of Satan.
DO GOOD DEEDS
Keeping busy with religious deeds, especially Salat, is an excellent means of defeating Satan. If one occupies their time with good, they are less likely to be influenced by Satan’s tricks.
“And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed, He is Hearing and Knowing.”Qur’an 7:200
The battle against Satan can only be won if we are aware of his traps, and if we apply the strategies to defeat him. On the Day of Judgement, Satan will confess to his sins and mischief. He will declare before all of creation that Allah is the One who tells the truth and that he (Satan) is a liar.
We ask Allah by His most beautiful attributes to forgive our sins and grant us refuge from the traps of Satan.