It is an established fact that there subsists an opponent who being a devoted threat, wishes eternal torments and dedicates his entire existence to that end. That sworn enemy of mankind: Satan whom ALLAH SWT the greatest has cursed and expelled from HIS presence. Nor is he a mere myth or legend, but a real being who constantly conspires and diverges humans thereby leading them astray on road to Hell. His promise made to ALLAH SWT is compelling. Iblees (Satan) proclaimed: “By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, except Your chosen slaves amongst them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism). ALLAH said: “The Truth is – and the Truth I say – That I will fill Hell with you [Iblees (Satan)] and those of them (mankind) that follow you, together.” [Sad 38: 82-85].
The Iblees engages humanity into entrapment by employing his unique processes. Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, renowned scholar of Islam, discusses Satan’s modus operandi in greater detail in one of his essays. A humble effort is attempted to simplify the same to enlight the audience.
Fundamentally Iblees strives to his best to ambush mankind within the shackles of kufr and Shirk. If this is successful, his goal of deviating mankind is accomplished. The affected being becomes a part of his army and he deploys him as his agent to mislead others.
If despaired by default, Iblees concentrates in engaging the slaves of ALLAH SWT in bidah (innovations). He loves bidah more than impiety and disobedience as the harm of bidah is in the essence of religion. The holy Prophet PBUH mentioned “Every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance goes to Hell fire.” [Sahih Muslim]. Bidah is undoubtedly a gate to kufr and shirk.
If defeated in trapping the slaves of ALLAH SWT by his two basic methods, Iblees ensures to corrupt them by involving in various forms of major sins. This is the bracket in which most of the common Muslims fall in. Heinous sins like lying, back biting, eavesdropping, deceit and usury (riba) are the common vices to which most succumb. ALLAH SWT says “Those who avoid great sins (Al Kabair) and Al-Fawahish (illegal sexual intercourse) except the small faults, – verily, your Lord is of vast forgiveness.” [Al-Najm 53:32].
When overpowered by the worshipper in spite of the above means, Iblees snares believers into minor sins. The holy Prophet advised, “Be aware of the minor sin.” These sins may destroy a person if they accumulate.
If still not able to taste success, Iblees moves on to occupy his targets in permissible acts that do not garner reward or punishment. However, the damage of this level is caused by surpassing the reward missed by being occupied with these deeds.
Finally when Iblees is flattened by all of his operations, he sways the worshippers in engaging in deeds of lesser rewards so as to keep virtue away from them and to prevent them from attaining the rewards of the preferred acts.
We may find ourselves helpless in thwarting away the treat from Satan, but ALLAH SWT the most merciful has promised protection from Satan for the slaves who are Taqwa complaint (Benefits of TAQWA ). Pray ALLAH SWT guides us to sirat-ul-mustaqheem. Aameen