Know Your Enemy’s Weaknesses
In the last article, I explained the importance of knowing the enemy and staying away from the things and characteristics he loves in order to defeat him, forever! In this article, I will discuss some of the things he (Shaytan, the enemy) hates.
In order to truly defeat him, we have to also figure out characteristics and qualities he hates for us to have and work hard to develop them. Now, let’s take a look at the ten things or characteristics that the enemy hates so much, and Allah the almighty loves.
1. Worship of any kind, especially salaah (prayer)
We can worship Allah in many different ways but the most beloved to Allah is the five obligatory duties, namely the five pillars of Islam. In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah, the Prophet, peace be upon him, tells us the most beloved acts in the sight of Allah:
… My servant does not grow closer to me with anything more beloved to Me than the duties I have imposed upon him.
(This was a long hadith, and I’ve shortened it) In another hadith, Mu’adh ibn Jabal narrated that he (Mu’adh) asked the Prophet,
O Messenger of Allah, tell me about a deed that will enter me into Paradise and keep me away from the Fire.” And Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him responded by saying, “You have asked about an enormous matter, yet it is easy for whom Allah makes it easy. Worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him; establish the prayer; give the charity; fast the month of Ramadan; and perform pilgrimage to the House.”
Notice how the Prophet listed the five pillars? The Prophet continued, saying,
Shall I not tell you about the gates of goodness? Fasting is a shield; charity extinguishes sins just as water extinguishes fire; and the prayer of a man in the late night.
From these two hadiths alone, we can understand the importance of defeating our nafs’ (false desires) and the Shaytan through praying, fasting and giving charity, all of which are obligatory. So, one of the best characteristics to develop is to be a worshiper.
Worship Allah by completing the obligatory duties in the best way possible. That means praying on time, never missing a day of fasting in the month of Ramadan without a valid reason, and never skipping zakah and performing the hajj if you can. By doing this, you will definitely make the Shaytan sad, and Allah happy.
2. Having Ikhlas (doing things just to please Allah and no one else, in hopes of earning His Love and Mercy)
There is nothing that the Shaytan hates more than Ikhlas. When you do good deeds for the sake of the Almighty, hoping and yearning to get closer to Him, your heart will become clean from one of the worst diseases there is: Ar-riya (showing off).
Showing off is considered a minor shirk in Islam. The Prophet, peace be upon him, feared for us, his ummah, and warned us to be careful about falling into the minor shirk better known as Ar-Riya.
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri narrated that the Prophet said, “Shall I not inform you of what I fear for you more than the Masih ad-Dajjal? It is the hidden shirk. It is when a man stands up for prayer, then beautifies his prayer for another to look at.” Ibn Majah
We are humans; sometimes we appreciate the praise and thanks we get from people. However, we should never ever do good deeds to be praised and thanked by people. It’s important to only seek Allah’s pleasure when doing something good.
3. Keeping a clean heart
The person who has a clean heart is someone who forgives often and never holds grudges. Since holding grudges and building enmity between people is probably one of Shaytan’s favorite weapons to use against people, once a person cleanses his/her heart from envy, hatred and all grudges, shaytan is shunned away.
Not only that, the person who’s heart is free from bad feelings and hatred for people is loved by Allah; whoever is loved by Allah will most certainly be loved by many people.
4. Maintaining the Ties of Kinship
The benefits of maintaining the ties of kinship are too much to list. But more important than that, it is obligatory to keep ties with family, both immediate and extended if we want to please Allah.
Again, the Shaytan usually loves to divide people and he usually starts with those who are close. Here are some Quranic verses and hadiths showing us the importance of family in Islam:
- O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer. (Sura Nisa, verse 1)
- But those who break the covenant of Allah after contracting it and sever that which Allah has ordered to be joined (bond of kinship) and spread corruption on earth – for them is the curse, and they will have the worst home. (Sura Ra’ad, verse 25)
- Abdullah ibn ‘Awfa reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Mercy does not descend on a people when there is someone among them who severs ties of kinship.” Bukhari
- The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever would like his rizq (provision) to be increased and his life to be extended, should uphold the ties of kinship.” Bukhari, and Muslim.
5. Being Productive
OK, this is one of the best ways to really defeat the enemy. Being productive means not wasting time! And when we don’t waste time, we can benefit not only ourselves and families, but we can benefit our neighbors, communities and the Muslim ummah at large.
It doesn’t matter if you are single, married, young or old, there are some ways you can always be productive. If it’s not actually going out there and being productive by doing something to help the community or those in need, you can sit in your house and still be productive.
How? You might ask.
- Well, why not do dhikr as much as possible? That’s productive!
- And how about reading the Quran? That’s super productive!
- Even better, how about praying salaat?
My point is, be productive in some way. Do not waste time on useless entertainment especially movies that are disgusting and of no benefit to you or anyone else.
The more productive you are, the more you’ll please Allah.
How wonderful it is to be clean! The Muslim is encouraged, actually commanded, to be clean.
Before we worship Allah, what do we do?
We cleanse our bodies, our clothes and the place where we’re praying. This shows us the significance of being clean. Shaytan of course, hates cleanliness and Allah loves those who love to clean and purify themselves.
Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves (by taking a bath and cleaning and washing thoroughly their private parts, bodies, for their prayers, etc.).” Sura Baqara, verse 222.
7. Sleeping early and waking up early
I guess this goes well with productivity.
Besides the obvious health benefits of sleeping and waking up early, it’s the sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him.
Regarding the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), Abu Barzah al-Aslami (radhi allahu anhu) narrated:
He liked to delay the Isha prayer, and he did not like to sleep before it or talk after it.
Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him had the best sleeping habits—he would sleep early, right after isha prayer so that he would wake up again before for fajr for the night prayer.
The more of the sunna we practice, the more the shaytan will be defeated.
So, turn that computer, radio, phone, iPod, iPad, Kindle, and light off and go to sleep!
8. Forbidding Evil
Unfortunately, forbidding evil is something that is ignored more and more these days. The enemy somehow convinced the majority of us that we should just mind our business and not correct those who are not following Allah’s commandments.
May Allah give us the courage to forbid the evil around us to the best of our abilities. Allah discusses the importance of forbidding evil in numerous verses in the Quran.
The believing men and the believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have Mercy on them. Verily Allah is Mighty and Wise.
Surah Tawbah, verse 71.
One of the best qualities to develop as Muslims is selflessness. Selflessness is good for the heart and protects it from becoming too stingy.
And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful.
Sura Hashr, verse 9.
10. Making du’a for others
As Muslims, we are brothers and sisters in faith. That means we should love each other and help each other when one or some of us need help and support.
Sometimes du’a is all one can afford to help his brother.
Du’a, as we know, is the weapon of the believers. So help your brothers and sisters – especially those who are in war zones and facing calamities – by making du’a for them. Allah hears your du’as and will accept them, inshaaAllah.
There’s also benefit for the one who makes a du’a for his brother or sister in their absence—the angels will supplicate to Allah for him!
Hope you’ve enjoyed the article and thank you for reading! May Allah protect us and our children from the accursed Shaytan, Allahuma Amin.
Sister Um Ibrahim Ali is a regular contributor on Islamic Learning Materials. You can follow Sister Um Ibrahim Ali and her adventures as a Muslim mother on her blog Sweet Mama Loves You.