Shaythan & His Tribe

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

This is an excerpt adapted from Irshad: Wisdom of a Sufi Master, by Shaykh Muzaffar Ozak al-Jerrahi (q.s.).

This is related by Anas ibn Malik (r.a.):

“One day, in the house of Abu Ayyub, we were sitting together in the company of our Master, the blessed Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.).  Suddenly, we heard a very ugly voice calling from outside.  ‘O Messenger of Allah, have I your permission to enter?’

Our Master (s.a.w.) asked us, ‘Do you recognize that voice?’

When we replied, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best,’ our Master (s.a.w.) said, ‘That is the voice of Shaythan.’

‘Umar got up and said, “O Messenger of Allah, by your leave, let me go and smash the deceiver’s skull.  Let me deliver the people from his mischief.’

But our Master (s.a.w.) told him, “It is not within your power to do so, ‘Umar, for he has been given respite until the Resurrection.  Nobody can touch him.’

We all fell silent, waiting to see what might happen.  Our Master (s.a.w.) said, ‘There is always an underlying reason for things.  Otherwise he would not have come here.’  He then gave permission for the devil to enter his presence.

In he came, his face very ugly, blind in one eye and with a few hairs on his chin.  He explained that he had come at Allah’s (s.w.t.) Command saying, ‘Had I not come, the Exalted Lord would have tormented me as long as I was on earth.  You are to question me, and I am to answer your queries.’

Our Master (s.a.w.) then asked Shaythan, ‘Who are your enemies?’

To this he replied, ‘My enemies are fifteen groups of people.  First of all, my chief foes are you and all the prophets.’

‘What you say is true,’ said the blessed Messenger (s.a.w.).  ‘Neither I nor any of the prophets have any love for you.  You are both my greatest enemy and that of all the prophets.’

Shaythan then proceeded to enumerate his other foes: ‘My second enemies are scholars who put their learning into practice.  They not only study and teach, but also act on what they learn.  My third enemies are the righteous, who recite the Holy Qur’an and model their character on what they read.  My fourth enemies are those who give the call to prayer for Allah’s (s.w.t.) Sake.  My fifth enemies are the poor who are satisfied with their lot.  My sixth enemies are the compassionate.  My seventh enemies are the generous.  My eighth enemies are those who perform the early morning prayer on time.  My ninth enemies are those who advise the people and call them to Allah (s.w.t.), those who reform the people.  My tenth enemies are those who abstain from unlawful food and avoid fornication and adultery.  My eleventh enemies are those who are always in a state of ritual purity, ready for worship.  My twelfth enemies are the modest.  My thirteenth enemies are those who place all their trust in Allah (s.w.t.).  My fourteenth enemies are those who give pleasure to the poor and needy.  My fifteenth enemies are those called pious and devout, who are always busy in the service of their Exalted Lord.’

Our Master (s.a.w.) asked, ‘Have you any friends among my Community?  What are the characteristics of your friends?’

To this, Shaythan replied, ‘O Messenger, ten classes of people are my friends: First, tyrannical rulers and princes who oppress the people.  Second, the arrogant.  Third, scholars who are the lackeys of tyrants, who cannot tell them the truth, but hide it and confirm their falsehoods.  Fourth, dishonest tradesmen who cannot be trusted in business.  Fifth, those who take strong drink.  Sixth, confidence tricksters and black marketers.  Seventh, backbiters and slanderous gossips.  Eighth, usurers, those who take interest.  Ninth, liars and blasphemers.  Tenth, informers, intriguers who stir up enmity and cause friends to quarrel and fall out with one another.’”

Here is listed all the friends and foes of Shaythan.  Those who worship are his foes, while those who do not worship are his friends.  Anyone who keeps people from their five daily prayers, who make them break their fast, is indeed an intimate friend, not of Allah (s.w.t.), but of Shaythan.  He is an enemy of the Exalted Lord.  We shall witness the true condition of such people on the coming Day of Resurrection.  They will have a hard time explaining themselves to their deluded and misguided disciples who will say to them, as they are cast into the fire:

They will all be marshalled before Allah together: then will the weak say to those who were arrogant, "For us, we but followed you; can ye then avail us at all against the Wrath of Allah?"  They will reply, "If we had received the guidance of Allah, we should have given it to you: to us it makes no difference (now) whether we rage, or bear (these torments) with patience: for ourselves there is no way of escape." (Surah Ibrahim:21)

False teachers will try to blame it all on Shaythan.  But when they start to shower their curses on him, Shaythan will emerge from the fire upon a throne, addressing them with these words:

And Satan will say when the matter is decided: "It was Allah Who gave you a promise of Truth: I too promised but I failed in my promise, to you.  I had no authority over you except to call you, but ye listened to me: then reproach not me, but reproach your own souls.  I cannot listen to your cries, nor can ye listen to mine.  I reject your former act in associating me with Allah.  For wrongdoers there must be a grievous Penalty." (Surah Ibrahim:22)


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