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Why Shaytan Targets Muslims in Particular

About Shaytan, Vol 3

Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani

14 August 2012 Fenton Zawiya, Michigan

Ramadan Series/Suhbah after Fajr

A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem.

Nawaytu 'l-arba`een, nawaytu 'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu 'l-khalwah, nawaytu 'l-`uzlah,

nawaytu 'r-riyaadah, nawaytu 's-sulook, lillahi ta`alaa fee haadha 'l-masjid.

Allahumma salli `alaa Sayyidina Muhammad.

In the previous session, we explained “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem” and that we have to seek refuge in Allah (swt) from Shaytan, who can take on any form to trick human beings, even the form of a cat. Therefore, we must be very careful and make sure when we say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem,” that we are saying it on Shaytan and on the bad desires we struggle against, at the moment of “I will do it” or “I won’t do it.” Sometimes at the end you say, “Never mind, I will do a little bit and then make istighfaar,” so you either go along with the bad desire or you resist it.

The Sahaabah (r) asked Prophet (s) about waswasatu ‘sh-shaytaan, the whisperings of Shaytan. “Yaa Rasoolullah! What must we do to stop Shaytan from whispering?” Shaytan is going to whisper and he will not stop. You are not a Prophet, all of whom are ma`soom, infallible! Besides, Shaytan can also whisper in the ears of Prophets. If Allah (swt) wants someone to be a wali, even if he is falling into bad desires, Allah (swt) will change him into a wali, and can anyone say ‘no’? Although Shaytan is whispering in his ears, Allah (swt) can dress him with sainthood.

Allah (swt) made the Sahaabah (r) to be Companions, which is an honor granted to them alone, but Shaytan whispered to them as we know by how many of them fought each other. There is also evidence that Shaytan whispers in the ears of Prophets, although Allah (swt) granted them infallibility, but they are ma`soom, infallible. Iblees even came to the Prophet (s) and the Prophet (s) gave him what he deserved, as he is the Seal of Messengers, Sayyid al-Awaleen wa ’l-Akhireen, he has the Knowledge of Before and After!

Shaytan also whispered in the ears of Sayyidina Yusuf’s brothers who are all Prophets, ten of whom wanted to kill him, but they ended up throwing him in the well and leaving him there. Nevertheless, they are all infallible as Allah (swt) granted them Prophethood, about which no one can argue. If Allah (swt) wills, even if Shaytan makes you do something by listening to him, Allah (swt) will give you the protection and guarantee you need, raghman `an anf shaytan, in spite of the nose of Shaytan! So when they listened to him, Shaytan thought he had won but in reality he didn’t. Allah broke his pride, as he thought, “Allah let His Prophets listen to me!” but Allah (swt) didn’t bother! He said, “Do what you want! I made them Prophets and My Wisdom is for them to put Sayyidina Yusuf (a) in the well because his father, Sayyidina Ya`qoob (a) put two loves in his heart!”

Allah (swt) doesn't like shareek any partner, as He is Allah. Yaghaar, He likes to possess the heart of His Servant exclusively! Sayyidina Ya`qoob (a) put Yusuf (a) there, which is why Allah (swt) sent Shaytan, who thought he was bluffing the brothers of Sayyidina Yusuf (a) when they listened to him. However, were it not for Allah’s Will, Shaytan would never be able to do that. Allah (swt) mentioned in the Holy Qur'an, “You have no right or power over My Pious Servants! If I protect, they are protected!”

إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ لَهُ سُلْطَانٌ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

Innahu laysa lahu sultaanun `ala-Lladheena aamanoo wa `alaa rabbihim yatawakkaloon.

No authority has he over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord.

(Surat an-Nahl, 16:99)

Grandshaykh (q) explained that when the Prophet (s) was asked about the whispering of Shaytan, he (s) replied:

السارق لا يدخل بيتاً ليس فيه متاع أو مال

as-saariqu laa yadkhulu baytan laysa feehi mata`un aw maal

The thief does not enter a house that contains nothing in it.

This is like another story of Grandshaykh (q), when an unbeliever came to the Prophet (s) and said, “When Muslims pray, why does Shaytan come in their prayers and whisper all kinds of things to them? When they say ‘Allahu Akbar’ their mind goes everywhere, but when we pray we can concentrate on our prayers.” As Grandshaykh (q) related, the Prophet (s) said, "Yaa Abu Bakr, you answer!" because the Prophet (s), who is diplomatic and gentle, didn’t want to insult anyone; Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r) is his “buffer zone,” authorized to convey Prophet’s harsher messages.

Similarly with Mawlana Shaykh Nazim, may Allah give him long life, when someone asks him a question which he doesn’t want to answer, he says, “You answer!” It’s okay if they get upset at me or whoever the person is who answers because then Mawlana Shaykh Nazim (q) can fix the problem, but first he needs someone to figuratively “punch” the person so that he can knock down their ego.

So Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r) replied, “Does a thief go to a palace or to a shack? Our hearts are not a shack like yours, our hearts are palaces!” Such are the hearts of the Sahaabah (r), to whom the Prophet (s) gave jewels! Sayyidina Abu Bakr continued, “That is why Shaytan is after us, but your hearts are dirty so Shaytan says, ‘I can come to these people at any moment as they are an easy target, but those who are with Prophet Muhammad (s) are my enemies. The unbelievers are not my enemies, they are my friends and supporters, so I can get them later. I will postpone dealing with them, as now I need to get the big fish!’ and then he attacks.”

That is why the Prophet (s) said in a very eloquent form, as-saariqu laa yadkhulu baytan laysa feehi shay’un fa dhaalika mahbat al-imaan, because the house, which is the heart, is full of imaan and why would Shaytan enter a house in which there is no imaan? So he runs after those who have imaan, which is why he whispers in our hearts whenever we say, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ because we are in-between the Hands of Allah (swt). Shaytan wants to destroy us, but Allah (swt) says, “Don’t worry, make salawat and I will accept, and when you make dhikr you are with Me.”

أَنَا جَلِيْسُ مَنْ ذَكَرَنِي

Anaa jaleesu man dhakaranee.

I sit with him who remembers me. (Suyuti, Ahmad, Bayhaqi)

Allah (swt) is saying, “Say ‘Allah!’ and I am with you!” What is better than that? Even if Shaytan comes to you and whispers not to say it, say it! Are you losing anything? If Shaytan says makes you doubt the benefit of saying “Allah,” tell him, “Is there anyone other than Allah (swt) to remember? Are you going to tell me to remember Iblees or Hubal? No need!”

The Hubble Telescope was named after the biggest enemy of Islam, who the idolaters worshipped as a god and who Muslims deny the existence of! They intentionally gave the name “Hubal,” as Shaytan wanted to make that name famous. Do you think they don’t know “Hubble” is the same as “Hubal”? It was given intentionally, because they thought the statue Hubal could see far away, so they said, “This telescope can also see far away.” Don’t they know that if Allah (swt) wants them to see that they will see and if He doesn't want them to see they will not? Do you think they are really seeing through the Hubble Telescope? Perhaps Allah (swt) is showing them something different from Reality. Don’t believe in everything they tell you. If Allah wants to change anything, can anyone prevent it?

For example, when Sayyidina Adam (a) was in Paradise, he didn’t need to cover himself as Allah (swt) covered him with a heavenly cover for no one to see his nakedness. The proof of this is when that heavenly dress was taken away when he ate from the Forbidden Tree, he immediately became naked and ran to cover himself with fig leaves, but before he sinned, Allah (swt) veiled him and made everyone only see his heavenly dress. Therefore, can Allah not cover what they see as being Reality, when actually it is not? So that is why you have to seek refuge in Allah (swt) from Shaytan, as he comes and whispers whatever he likes in your ears (and it may confuse you).

Sayyidina `Ali (r) said, al-farqu bayna salaatinaa wa ‘s-salaati ahli ‘l-kitaab, waswasatu ‘sh-shaytaan li annahum faragha min `amaal kuffaar li-annahum waafaqoo, “The difference between our prayers and that of the People of the Book is the whispering of Shaytan.” We have Shaytan whispering in our hearts, but they don’t. Why, are they better? Shaytan doesn’t whisper in their hearts because they don’t have true imaan, they only believe what is false!

The Holy Qur'an contains all the Divine Books: the Zaboor (Psalms), Tawraat (Old Testament) and Injeel (New Testament). The first Bible was written three-hundred years after it’s revelation. Hasn’t anything changed over the years? Allah knows best!

The unbelievers went along with Shaytan by saying Sayyidina `Isa (a) is the ‘Son of God,’ because he whispered in their ears. (...) Doesn’t a Prophet have clothes? Had they believed he was a Prophet, they would have seen clothes on him, but what is even worse, they make it as if God has no clothes (and their image of Jesus on the cross is without clothes).

Now African-Americans fight with non-African-Americans, saying, “Is `Isa black or white? We have to see his father and his mother (to know for sure)!” Astaghfirullah! This shows you racism within Christianity. In this country he is portrayed with blue eyes and no beard, in Middle Eastern countries he has black eyes, and African-Americans here want him to be black, because they get angry and want to show they are better than white people. He was created by Allah (swt), whether or not he is black or white!

An African-American once said, “Why do they call us ‘colored’ when white people are also colored! When they get angry they turn red, when sick they turn yellow, and when they go to the beach they turn brown (tanned). We are always the same color, so how are we ‘colored’?” Shaytan wants to make fitna with such thinking, because he hates to see human beings submit to one another and relax.

Allah (swt) mentioned in the Holy Qur'an:

فَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللّهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيم ِإِنَّهُ لَيْسَ لَهُ سُلْطَانٌ عَلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

Fa idhaa qaraat al-Qur’an fasta`idh billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajeem. Innahu laysa lahu sultaanun `alaa alladheena amanoo wa `alaa rabbihim yatawakaloon.

Now whenever you read this Qur’an, seek refuge with Allah from Shaytan, the Accursed. Behold, he has no power over those who have attained faith and who in their Sustainer place their trust.

(Surat an-Nahl, 16:98-9)

When you want to read the Holy Qur'an or perform a good deed that Allah (swt) loves, seek refuge in Allah from the cursed Shaytan, who will not leave you and who will come to you in any form in order to make you fall! Shaytan was cursed, yet he reentered Paradise and appeared in front of Sayyidina Adam (a) in the form of a snake, as he is a snake! He covered himself as a snake to trick Sayyidina Adam (a) and bring him down, and he was successful.

Now a question comes to mind: if Allah (swt) cursed Shaytan, how did He let him re-enter Paradise, which cannot carry sinners? How did Paradise accept Iblees to re-enter for even a short time and make Adam (a) disobey? On this matter, scholar’s opinions are weak while the opinion of Ahlu ‘l-Tasawwuf is strong. People of Tariqah believe there is both Iraadatullah, Allah’s Will, and Amrullah, Allah’s Order. His Order might come, but His Will can override the order. Allah (swt) might order a thing while in reality His Irada wants something else. So His Will was for Sayyidina Adam (a) to go to earth for human life to flourish.

Shaytan was an angel, so he understands this issue and he used it to trick Adam. That’s why he said to Allah (swt), “Aghwaytanee! You made me sin and because of that I’m going to trick them all, so give me that power!” Allah (swt) gave him life, and they say Shaytan will not die until Sayyidina Israfil (a) blows the trumpet, and until then he can reach everyone at the same time.

The following story is from Khorasan, known today as Iran. One person from Khorasan went to Iraq and found one of its biggest scholars, who ended up teaching him four-thousand ahadith along and their sanad (chain of narrators) that go all the way back to the Prophet (s). Time came for that person to return to Iran, and when he asked his teacher for permission, the teacher said, “I will teach you something better than memorizing four-thousand ahadith and it will be better for you in the future.”

He asked, “What is it?"

The teacher said, “Can you find Iblees in your country?”

He replied, “Yes.”

The teacher asked, “Can you find Iblees in Iraq?”

Khorasan is two-thousand or three-thousand kilometers from Iraq, so how can Iblees be in both places? That means Allah (swt) gave him power to be in or reflect himself in many shapes at the same time. Here comes the question, although there can be no comparison: if we believe Iblees can be in Iraq, in Khorasan, in Saudi Arabia, in Egypt, in Tunisia, in America and in any other country at the same time, which we do believe, then why do they deny when we say that the Seal of Messengers (s) can be everywhere? Is Iblees better? They reject this because they have weak imaan and they hate to hear anyone say that Allah (swt) gave utmost, highest power to the Prophet (s). Can the highest not be everywhere?

We have just prayed Fajr, correct? Let us speakthe truth and not hide it: before entering the prayer, when we said “Allahu Akbar,” how many people here had whispers in their hearts (distracting them from prayer)? Waswasa comes from Shaytan, so how is he able to be with each one of us, whispering in our ears, while some disclaim that Prophet (s) can be with everyone? The Prophet (s) can be with every angel, every jinn, every human being and every creation as he is the one to whom Allah (swt) gave the responsibility of all creation!

ادْعُوهُمْ لِآبَائِهِمْ هُوَ أَقْسَطُ عِندَ اللَّهِ

Ad`oohum li-abaa'ihim huwa aqsatu `inda-Allah.

Call them to their fathers, that is more just with Allah. (Surat al-Ahzaab, 33:5)

He is the Father of Creation! Allah (swt) made creation through his Noor and created everything through him! This means Prophet (s) is the father of everyone, which is why we say, “Laa ilaaha illa-Llah Muhammadun Rasoolullah.” He can be with everyone with no differentiation or restriction! The Prophet (s) will take you to Heaven, to the Light, while Iblees will take you to Hellfire, to darkness, so choose!

Is it possible for the Prophet (s) to let Iblees steal anyone from his ummah? Can a general of an army let his enemy take any of his soldiers? No way! If one gets captured, they send MIG-23s, F-16s, submarines, military troops, and use all their power to save him.Won’t the Prophet (s) use all his heavenly power to save his ummah from Iblees? Of course he will, and the key of that is to recite, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem.”

Going back to the story, the teacher asked that person, “Can Iblees be in Iraq, Khorasan and every country all at once?”

He said, “Yes.”

The teacher asked, “Does Iblees whisper in your ear or in the ears of people?”

He said, “Yes.”

So the teacher asked, “What do you do when you get his waswasa, whispering?”

He said, “If he whispers I try to push him back and if he whispers a second time I do the same, and the third time I again try to throw him away.”

The teacher said, “Now that you have tried throwing him away three times, he will use a new technique with you. If Iblees harmed you, not only by whispering in your ears, but by making you disobey or distract you from worship, at that time don’t bother with his waswasa, but let him make it as that is like a small bullet! Let him be occupied with that small bullet, because if you begin fighting his waswasa he will begin using a powerful 50mm bullet! Iblees is a dog and you need to seek refuge in Allah from his danger, asta`eedhu billah, because if you continue to fight his waswasa after the first, second and third times, he will begin to use a higher power to distract you from obedience, so it best to ignore him and say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajeem,” and his methods will have no power on you at that time.”

Thus, the secret power of pushing Shaytan away is to say, “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajeem.”

This concludes this series about A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytani 'r-rajeem. Next, we will discuss “Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem,” of which some benefits we have already mentioned.

إِنَّهُ مِن سُلَيْمَانَ وَإِنَّهُ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Innahu min sulaymaan wa innahu Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem.

Verily it is from Sulayman and verily it begins with the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

(Surat an-Naml, 27:30)

The Ahnaf say the Basmala is an ayah of the Holy Qur’an, not part of every surah, and the Shawafi` say that it is part of every surah. One says yes and the other says no, but both are correct; one considers it an ayah, which is correct, and the other considers it as part of it, which is also correct. This is to show, “O My Servant! As long as you believe in the Holy Qur'an, in My Holy Words, that is sufficient!” as the differences within the ummah are Allah’s Mercy.

إِخْتِلاف اُمَّتِي رَحْمة

Ikhtilaaf ummati rahmah.

The difference of opinion among my nation is a mercy. (Bayhaqi)

So you can follow whichever school of thought you choose, and they gave you different possibilities to find your way through them. There are more than four schools of thought, but the consensus of scholars is the four major schools, so as not to have too many ot there would be chaos and confusion within the ummah.

Today there is too much confusion and chaos as now Signs of the Last Days are appearing. It has become a great difficulty on the ummah, so we hope that Sayyidina al-Mahdi (a) is coming soon. Intizhaar al-faraj `ibaadah, to wait for an opening is worship:

أفضل العبادة، انتظار الفرج

Afdal al-`ibaadah, intizhaar al-faraj.

The best of worship is to await an opening (relief) from difficulty. (Tirmidhi)

If you want to establish every moment of your life as worship, remember this hadith, intizhaar al-faraj `ibaadah, “To wait for farah, deliverance, is worship.” It means you are counted as a worshipper by not doing anything except saying, “O my Lord! I am waiting.” Look at the easy ways Allah (swt) has established for you to receive His Rahmah! Sinply say, "O my Lord! I am waiting for Your Deliverance." Allah is saying, “I will give you whatever you want, do you want My Rahmah and for Prophet (s) to be happy with you? I am giving it to you.”

What is the difficulty in saying that we are waiting for Sayyidina al-Mahdi (a), about whose coming the Prophet (s) gave good tidings and there are more than forty ahadith about it. Professor Muhammad al-Sabooni of Umm al-Qurrah University wrote a book on Sayyidina Mahdi (a), some of which I read, and it cites more than one-hundred ahadith. I was in Saudi Arabia for many years and was there in 1980, when al-Juhaymin declared himself “al-Mahdi al-Muntazhar” and smuggled weapons into the Ka`aba in coffins of the deceased and stacked them in the Haraam basement, which is why all the basements are closed now. That incident prompted people to ask if there is someone in Islam called ‘al-Mahdi,’ and they told Muhammad al-Sabooni, “You are not teaching us this and we don’t know anything about it!”[1] So he wrote a book titled al-Mahdi al-Muntazhir min al-Mahdi al-Muzayyan, The Real Mahdi versus The False Mahdi, in which he cited all the ahadith.

So if we say, “Yaa Rabbee, we are waiting!” that is like when Prophet (s) described the appearance of the Dajjal and the Sahaabah (r) anticipated it immediately and looked for him among the palm trees: that is `ibaadah. To say, “I will fight the Anti-Christ and stand with Mahdi!” is `ibaadah. When awliyaullah speak of Mahdi (a) coming tomorrow or next year (soon), that is wisdom, to keep you prepared and aware, as if they don't say that you will forget.

May Allah (swt) make our life intizhaar al-faraj `ibaadah, on the intention that we maintain preparedness and belief in “A`oodhu billahi min ash-Shaytaani 'r-rajeem. Bismillahi 'r-Rahmaani 'r-Raheem” every moment of our life, waiting as if we said it.

Wa min Allahi 't-tawfeeq, bi hurmati 'l-habeeb, bi hurmati 'l-Fatihah.


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[1] Sayyidina al-Mahdi’s appearance is not specifically mewntioned by name in Sahih al-Bukhari, but is mentioned in the other sahihs.