How Does Shaytan Get You?
You’ve been fooled.
You’ve been led to believe you really don’t have to worry about the devil. You’ve been told Satan is easy to beat.
Hollywood has turned the devil into a charicature. He’s been made into some cutesy little bugger with tails and a pitchfork. He’s nothing to really worry about.
You’ve been told he’s cool. He’s misunderstood. He’s a fallen angel.
They’ve made movies about the Devil. They’ve made cartoons about the devil. They’ve made songs about the devil.
Hey, they’ve even got food named after the devil!
But they, along with most of us, have been fooled.
And the irony is…we’ve been fooled by the Devil himself.
Have you ever seen that movie The Usual Suspects? One of the best lines from that movie is:
The greatest trick the devil pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist.
And most of the world have fallen for this trick.
Yes, even Muslims have fallen for this trick. Even Muslims seem to deny that the devil exists. Which is why you should learn How to Protect Yourself From Jinn and Shaytaan.
How can Muslims say they believe Shaytan, Iblis, is real when they refuse to avoid his traps? How can we ask Allah for refuge from the Rejected Satan, when we keep running to the Devil?
Does that make any sense?
I have a duty to you, my reader, to teach you whatever I know of Islam that can help protect you. If I know a dua that might benefit, I’ll teach it to you.
If I’ve learned a lesson that might help you, then I’ll teach it to you.
If I see danger that can hurt and I know how you can avoid it, I’ll teach you that too.
There is danger out there. The traps of Shaytan are real. And you’re walking right into them day after day after day.
Therefore, I’m going to show you the traps of Satan. Once you recognize his traps, you’ll be much better equipped to avoid them and protect yourself.
But remember, for any of this to work, you must put your trust in Allah. I’m just showing you the door. It is up to you to walk through it and only Allah can allow either one of us to benefit from it.
Shirk (Associating Partners With Allah)
This is Shaytan’s favorite and biggest trap. It is the one most of the world falls into (including a good portion of the Muslim world).
Shirk is the ultimate sin. The biggest hole. The killer of all good deeds.
If you’re reading this blog, then hopefully you’re safe from this trap. You should already know that there’s no deity worthy of worship except Allah (i.e. The Shahada).
But just in case you need a refresher, read this article on Tawheed, or Islamic monotheism. Inshallah, this will help you understand just how important and dangerous this trap can be.
I haven’t written much about bid’ah, or innovation, on this blog, mostly to avoid controversy. Very often, what many Muslims think is part of Islamic practices, are actually innovation.
Innovation (bid’ah) is any religious practice that wasn’t sanctioned by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) or isn’t mentioned in the Quran.
This is a favorite trap of Shaytan because it’s often so confusing for Muslims. The worst part is, that Muslims delve in bid’ah thinking they are doing good and earning rewards when they are actually earning sins.
Even more destructive is the fact that whenever we begin to practice some sort of innovation, we tend to leave off one of the Sunnahs (authentic traditions of the Prophet).
Here’s one simple example.
It was a practice of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to manually straighten the rows when his companions lined up for Salaah.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) used to straighten our rows as it lie were straightening an arrow with their help until he saw that we had learnt it from him. One day he came out, stood up (for prayer) and was about to say: Allah is the Greatest, when he saw a man, whose chest was bulging out from the row, so he said: Servants of Allah, you hint straighten your rows or Allah would create dissension amongst you.
Nowadays, almost every Masjid has lines drawn or cut into the floor. Or they use carpeting that has lines woven into the design.
You might say this is not a big deal, but consider this. Now that we use these lines to straighten our rows, no one does what the Prophet used to do. This authentic Sunnah has almost completely disappeared from the Muslim world.
As you can see, many of us have fallen into this trap of Shaytan. It is one of the Devil’s deceptions.
If Satan is not able to get you to commit Shirk, and he can’t get you to fall into innovation, then he tries to make you do one or more of the major sins.
There are many major sins, but it might be difficult for you to know what exactly is a major sin. It’s a major sin if:
- There is a prescribed punishment (Hudud) eg. cutting off the hands of the thief or flogging the fornicator
- Allah or Prophet Muhammad have forbidden them or said those who do it will be punished in the next life eg. givin false testimony.
- Persistence in the minor sins can become a major sin.
Here is a link to a common list of the major sins. Allah knows best if this is a complete list.
Minor sins are a little harder to clarify as there are so many of them and all of them are not specifically mentioned in the Quran or sunnah.
But I did ask one of my teachers at the Islamic School I attended many years ago what could be classified as a minor sin. He essentially said it is for Allah to judge, but an example of a minor sin may be something we do out of forgetfulness or rage or neglect.
For instance, we might be surfing the net, and may see a haram (forbidden) picture online. Allah knows best if this would be considered a sin because only He knows how long we actually looked at it, how much enjoyment we got from it, and whether our gaze was truly accidental.
But it may be a minor sin that we are forgiven for if we immediately repent (even if we did look a little too long), and never go back to it again.
However, if we continue to look for such pictures and continue to gaze at them, or continue to “accidentally” look at these things (say for instance by deliberately visiting websites that have these pictures) then that minor sin may descend to a major sin.
Which is why I included Persistence in minor sins as one of the major sins above. And this is one of the ways Shaytan tricks us into falling into his traps.
Persisting in the Hateful Things (Makruh)
According to Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) Makruh (the hated actions) are those things which we are not punished for if we do them, but we are rewarded for them if we do not do them.
One common example is eating garlic or onions before prayer. It is not a sin to eat these foods; but it is disliked because the smell can bother people when they pray. This is basic Islamic Studies.
If Satan cannot get us to fall into the major sins or the minor sins without repenting to Allah” for them, then he tries to get us to consistently do the Makruh. Can you imagine if a person continues to eat garlic before prayer, and is heedless of how much it bothers other people?
It is easy to see how continuously doing this deed can eventually lead to committing a minor sin and perhaps even a major sin.
Leaving the Sunnah
This is the Devil’s final trap. If he can’t get you anywhere else, then this is his last option.
Unfortunately, he gets a lot of Muslims with this one.
- If he can’t make you commit shirk;
- If he can’t make you practice innovation;
- If he can’t make you commit a major sin;
- If he can’t make you commit a minor sin;
- If he can’t make you persist in the hated things…
Then he tries to get you to abandon the Sunnah, the practices and traditions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which we learn from the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
In Fiqh, the Sunnah are those things that Muslims are encouraged to do. We get rewards if we do them, but there is no punishment if we do not do them.
You can’t do them all, and you aren’t expected to. But you should show your love of Allah and His messenger (pbuh) by doing whatever is easy for you.
The thing is, if you abandon all or most of the Sunnah, then you aren’t going to be too far off from engaging in a lot of Makruh (hated actions).
And from there, you’ll fall into the minor sins. And then the major sins. And so forth and so on.
You should sit down and think if there are any sunnah actions that you should be doing that you aren’t. There’s no better time than the present to make the necessary changes.
These are the traps of Shaytan and too many of us have been fooled into thinking they are easy to avoid. On the contrary, it takes constant vigilence and continual self-improvement to avoid these traps.
And it all starts with practicing the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.