Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Seeking Refuge With Allah From The Shaitan|
|11/19/00 at 04:33:05|
|The Shaytaan is our enemy, and one of the aspects of his enmity is his whispering insinuating thoughts [waswaas] to the worshipper at prayer so as to take away his khushoo' and confuse him in his prayer.|
Waswaas is a problem that befalls everyone who turns to Allah with dhikr and other kinds of worship; it is inevitable, so one has to stand firm and be patient, and persist in the dhikr or salaah, and not give up. His sticking to it will ward off the Shaytaan's plots from himself. [i]"... Ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shaytaan."[/i] [al-Nisaa' 4:76-interpretation of the meaning].
Every time the slave wants to turn his thoughts towards Allah, thoughts of other matters come sneaking into his mind. The Shaytaan is like a bandit lying in wait to launch an ambush: every time the slave wants to travel towards Allah, the Shaytaan wants to cut off his route. For this reason, it was said to one of the salaf [pious predecessors]: [i]"The Jews and Christians say that they do not suffer from the problem of waswaas."[/i] He said, [i]"They are speaking the truth, for what would the Shaytaan want with a house that is in ruins?"[/i] [Majma' al-Fataawa, 22/608].
This is a good analogy. It is as if there are three houses: the house of a king, filled with his treasure and savings, the house of a slave, containing his treasure and savings, and an empty house with nothing in it. If a thief comes to steal from one of the three houses, which one will he choose? [al-Waabil al-Sayib, p. 43].
When the slave stands up to pray, the Shaytaan feels jealous of him, because he is standing in the greatest position, one that is closest [to Allah] and most annoying and grievous to the Shaytaan. So he tries to stop him from establishing prayer in the first place, then he continues trying to entice him and make him forget, and [i]"making assaults on him with his cavalry and infantry"[/i] [cf. Al-Isra' 17:64], until he thinks of prayer as less important, so he starts to neglect it, and eventually gives it up altogether. If the Shaytaan fails to achieve this, and the person ignores him and starts to pray, the enemy of Allah will come and try to distract him, by reminding him of things that he did not remember of think of befoe he started praying. A person may have forgotten about something altogether, but the Shaytaan will remind him of it when he starts praying, so as to distract him from his prayers and take him away from Allah, so that his heart will no longer be in his prayers, and he will lose out on the honour and reward of Allah turning toward him, which is only attained by the one whose heart is really in his prayer. Thus he will finish his prayer no better off than when he started, with his burden of sins not reduced at all by his salaah, because prayer only expiates for sins when it is done properly, with perfect khushoo', and the person stands before Allah in body and soul. [Al-Waabil al-Sayib, p. 36].
The Prophet [sallallahu 3alayhi wa sallam] taught us the following methods of combating the wiles of Shaytaan and getting rid of his waswaas: [i]Abu'l-'Aas [may Allah be pleased with him] reported that he said, "O Messenger of Allah, the Shaytaan interrupts me when I pray, and I get confused in my recitation." The Messenger of Allah [sallallahu 3alayhi wa sallam] said, "That is a shaytaan whose name is Khanzab. If you sense his presence, seek refuge with Allah from him, and spit [dry spitting] towards your left three times."[/i] [Reported by Muslim, no. 2203].
The Prophet [sallallahu 3alayhi wa sallam] also told us about another of the Shaytaan's tricks and how to deal with it. He said, [i]"When any one of you gets up to pray, the Shaytaan comes and confuses him - i.e., mixes up his prayer and creates doubts in his mind - so that he does not know how many [rak'ahs] he has prayed. If any one of you experiences that, he should do two prostrations whilst he is sitting."[/i] [Reported by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Sahw, Baab al-Sahw fi'l-Fard wa'l-Tatawwu'].
By Ismail Abu Muneer, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
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