January 10, 2022

ADAM – The First Muslim

Background and Purpose

Adam being the first human being on the earth, his story starts from his creation by Allaah (1) Subĥanahu Wa Ta‘ala (2) (SWT). Although the Islamic perspective on creation as well as parts of the Adam’s story have already been given in the other articles by the author, some of that information will be repeated here briefly to give the whole story from beginning to end.

1  Usually spelled as Allah
2  God, the glorified and the exalted

Allaah SWT had created the universe with natural laws that were to sustain the universe and everything in it exactly the way Allaah SWT wanted. In addition to natural laws, He also created angels to carry out certain duties to fulfill His plans. Angels did exactly and only what Allaah SWT commanded them to do. As per Allaah’s plans executed through the natural laws and angels, life appeared wherever he wanted in His universe. One such place was earth where different life forms came into being as Allaah SWT willed. Allaah SWT also created Jinns who enjoyed freedom of choice in what they did. They could be Muslim or Kaafir, good or bad. One of the Jinns named Iblees was very prominent.

Allaah SWT decided to create another creature that would also have freedom of making decisions. Human beings were not only to have freedom of making choices and decisions in their social affairs but also a quest to discover, know and learn. This new creature would be known as Adam and his progeny would be called human beings. Allaah SWT also decided to appoint Adam and his progeny, collectively, as His vicegerents (viceroys) on the earth – a small part of His huge universal kingdom. As His vicegerents, they were to be given some limited authority and dominion over their immediate surroundings and over other creatures of the earth. In other words, Allaah SWT was to delegate a bit of His authority to Human beings.

Every creation of Allaah SWT, except for Jinns and human beings, obeys the laws and commands of Allaah SWT and performs as it is destined to perform (3). Thus all those creations are fully obedient to Allaah SWT. It is only because of the continuous, consistent obedience of all the creations to Allaah SWT that the universe is functioning well and is in balance and equilibrium. Had that not been the case, there would have been chaos and destruction. The universe would not last or sustain itself and life would be impossible. None of these creations, however, have any choice but to follow the laws of Allaah SWT. They do not have the freedom to make choices. Their purpose is defined and so is their fate to fulfill that purpose. Their obedience is predestined, not chosen.

3  Submitting to and obeying the laws of Allaah is called Islam in the Qur-aan terminology. The fact that everything in the universe submissively obeys Allaah’s laws is mentioned in the verses such as: Is it then other than Allaah's Deen that they seek while everything else in the universe submits to Him in obedience (as a Muslim), willingly or unwillingly; and to Him shall they be returned? (Aali-Imraan 3:83)

The purpose of human creation was, as Allaah SWT himself has told us through his prophets and messengers, to have a creature that would worship and obey Him (4) on its own accord and by its own choice (5) without being pre-programmed to obey through the laws of nature and/or instincts as other creatures have been. Thus, through voluntary obedience to Allaah, people will be able to live with balance and justice, despite having freedom to be otherwise.

4  “I did not create the jinns and the humans except to serve Me as My slaves.” Adz-Dzariyaat 51:56
5  “Verily, We created man from a mingled bit of fluid, evolving him stage by stage, thus We made him hearing, seeing. 3 Surely We showed him the Way, whether he be grateful or disbelieving.” Ad-Dahr 76:2-3

Allaah SWT informed the angels of His decision. To signify this important appointment and to ensure that human dominion was accepted and recognized, Allaah SWT told the angels and Jinns to prostrate to Adam as soon as his creation was completed and his formation was perfected (6). This would symbolize that the natural environment and forces of nature on the earth would work compatibly with the human beings to help them achieve their goals they would want to achieve through the exercise of their freedom and dominion.

6  Al-Ĥijr 15:29

Angels' Worry

Although angels do not and cannot question the commands of Allaah SWT. However, they were surprised by Allaah’s decision. They could logically see that the power, authority and freedom when combined with strong desires, limited knowledge and imperfect wisdom of human beings will result in sub-optimal decisions and irresponsible use of authority, which will cause imbalances, problems, exploitation, wars, bloodshed, ecological disasters and chaos on the earth. They could also see the strong possibility of humans misusing their freedom and disobeying Allaah SWT in pursuit of their desires. They could not understand why Allaah SWT would care for human worship and obedience by choice, which was as probable as they opting to disobey instead, when all of the angels and the whole universe were worshipping and glorifying Him, without any exception or any probability of disobedience.

Angel’s concern did have some validity. If all humanity would follow Allaah’s commands being in total servitude (worship) to Allaah SWT, their actions would be moderate, balanced, fair and equitable just like the rest of the universe. In that case, the human society would be a peaceful and content society in harmony with its environment and the nature. The environment on the planet Earth would remain in equilibrium and the whole universe, the Kingdom of Allaah SWT, would continue to function perfectly as per Allaah’s designs. Obviously, with freedom of choice being available, not all human beings would follow the lifestyle decreed by Allaah SWT. The actions of the disobedient people would, thus, be unbalanced, excessive, extreme and exploitive. If a majority of human beings would disobey Allaah’s commands, it would result in the lack of peace, harmony and fairness in the human society and unsustainability of its natural environment due to human excesses. If Allaah SWT were to give permanence to human beings just as they were, the disobedient people would create problems and chaos in His universe by their bad behaviour.

What angels did not know was the complete plan of Allaah SWT. Allaah SWT would not want the order and peace of His universal kingdom disturbed by the disobedient people forever. Allaah’s plan was to put human beings first in a temporary world so that each human being could be tested for his/her preference for the path of obedience or that of disobedience. A system of birth, growth and death was to be put in place so that each person had an opportunity to prove whether he/she could responsibly handle the authority afforded by free choice or he/she would resort to disobedience when given freedom. People would be born for a temporary stay on this earth as a test period. This would continue until the Day of Judgment when the existing solar system along with all its inhabitants would be destroyed and re-created with new natural laws. On that day, the people - every one of them since inception - would be brought back to life and segregated according to their lifestyle of obedience or disobedience. From that day onwards, an eternal life would start where only the obedient people would have total freedom in the Gardens of Paradise. There, they would have a very rewarding and luxurious life. The people who abused their God-given freedom by choosing the path of disobedience in this life will be imprisoned and punished in Hell (7). The abusers of their freedom having been put away, there would be eternal peace and order in the whole universal kingdom of Allaah SWT including the newly re-created earth.

7  “We presented the trust (delegation of responsibility and consequent accountability) to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it, while the man undertook it. Indeed, he was unjust (to himself), ignorant (of the implications). The objective was that Allaah punish (weed out) the hypocrites and the Mushriks (those who do not serve Allaah solely and purely) and accept the repentance of the believers. Allaah is really the Most-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful.” Al-Ahzaab 33:73

The angels also did not think of another possibility: while some human beings may choose to disobey and misbehave, others may pursue excellence in obedience to Allaah and excel in their conduct. Preprogrammed creature can behave only at an average level; whereas freedom allows people both to misbehave and to excel. Preprogrammed creations do not need any knowledge because they are already preprogrammed to perform as they should. With freedom comes the need to acquire more knowledge and learn better ways.

Angels also did not know of all the messengers and the pious Muslims who would be obedient to Allaah SWT; who would establish peace, fairness, and justice in the world; who would excel in their conduct, and who would conserve the resources and ecology. They could not even fathom all the useful knowledge Adam and his progeny would acquire. Hence, when angels wondered about Allaah’s decision:

And when Your Lord said to angels, “Verily, I am going to appoint a vicegerent on the earth”. They said, “are You going to appoint one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? While we glorify You with Your praise and sanctify You.”

Allaah swt simply responded,

“I know what you do not.” (Al-Baqarah 2:30).

The Creation and the Villain

When Allaah SWT wants something to happen, He just commands 'Be', and it happens. That is how He created this magnificent universe. Thus, as a result of Allaah’s command, somewhere in the universe beyond the earth (8), Allaah’s laws of nature worked according to His Will and Plan to start the creation of human beings. The process began with an extract from sticky mud that had rotted and dried up (9). It passed through improvement phases and culminated in the bestowal of spirit to Adam, the first human being.

8  “And We said, ‘O Adam! You and your wife live in the Gardens (heavens).” Al-Baqarah 2:35
9  Al-A’raaf 7:11-12; Al-Hijr 15:26; Al-Mouminoon 23:12; As-Sajdah 32:7; As-Saafaat 37:11

Then, Allaah SWT taught Adam all the knowledge he needed to function well in the world as Allaah’s vicegerent. Allaah SWT taught Adam names of the things he needed to know. He also taught him the names of the prominent Muslims, prophets and messengers who will be fully obedient to Allaah SWT on their own choice and who will be able to establish Islamic society of peace, justice, generosity and moderation (Kingdom of God) on the earth. Allaah SWT asked Adam to present those names to the angels who were astonished by human capacity to learn and by the number of Muslims-by-choice that would be born in the progeny of Adam.

And Allaah taught Adam all the names and then asked the angels, 'Describe the people represented by these names if you know the truth.” They said, “Glorified You are! We do not know anything except what you have taught us. You are All-Knowing, All-Wise'. Then He said, 'O Adam! Describe them about all those names.' When he (Adam) informed them of those names, Allaah said, 'Didn’t I tell you that I know the unseen in the heavens and the earth and I know what you reveal and what you have been concealing!' (Al-Baqarah 2:31-33).

When it was time for angels and Jinns to acknowledge the human dominion by prostrating to Adam. Angels immediately followed Allaah's orders, but Iblees (The head of the Jinns) rebelled and refused (10). He took it as an insult (11). He was arrogant and considered himself better than Adam, (12) hence did not want to accept human dominion. He thought human beings did not deserve the status they were given.

10  Al-Baqarah 2:34; Al-Kahf 18:50; Ŧaa Haa 20:116
11  Al-Israa 17:61-62
12  Ŝaad 38:75-76

But the command for prostration was from Allaah SWT, how he could dare disobey Allaah SWT, the Lord and the King of the Universe! When questioned about his disobedience, Iblees started arguing that he was right rather than feeling remorseful for his rebellion against Allaah SWT, his Master. He tried to justify his wrong-doing. So, Allaah SWT condemned Iblees and regarded him as Shayŧaan (13) (Satan). He was told that he would be thrown into the Hell because of his rebellious behaviour (14).

13  Also spelled as Shaytaan, Shaytan and Shaitan.
14  Al-Hijr 15:33-34; Al-Israa 17:63

Iblees got more upset and became Adam's and his descendants' enemy. He vowed to make them fall from Allaah’s grace. He sought Allaah’s permission to be allowed to live until the Day of Judgment, to tempt human beings to disobey Allaah SWT and to lead Adam and his descendants away from Allaah's obedience (15). In this way he wanted to prove his point that human beings did not deserve the freedom and the vicegerency they were given and that they were inferior to Jinns. Allaah SWT granted him life until the Day of Judgment as requested. He also allowed Iblees to tempt people and to put bad ideas in their minds, but did not give him power to force anyone to do the wrong (16). Following are two examples of its mention in the Qur-aan:

And surely We created you and then gave you shape; then We told the angels to prostrate to Adam. They prostrated but Iblees did not become one of the prostrators. (Allaah) asked, ‘what prevented you from prostrating, when I had commanded you?’ He said, ‘I am better than him. You created me from fire and him from clay.’ Allaah said, ‘Get down from here! You cannot be arrogant here. Get out! You certainly will be disgraced.” Iblees said, ‘Allow me respite till the day when they will be raised.’ Allaah said, ‘You are hereby one of those respited.’ Iblees said, ‘Because You have condemned me, surely I will lurk in wait on Your straight path. Then I will come to them from their front and their behind, and their right and their left. And you will not find most of them thankful to you. (Al-A’raaf 7:11-17).

Remember when your Lord said to the angels, “I am going to create a human being from clay. So once I have improved him to be in due proportion and breathed into him of My spirit, then fall down in obeisance to him. So the angels prostrated -- all of them, but Iblees did not, he showed arrogance and became one of the disbelievers. Allaah asked, “O Iblees! What prevented you from prostrating to him whom I created with My hands? Did you just show arrogance or are you one of the highly exalted ones?” He claimed, “I am better than him. You created me from fire, and created him from clay.” Allaah said, “Then get out from here; for surely you are outcast, accursed. And surely My curse is on you till the Day of Judgment.” Iblees requested, “My Lord! Give me then respite until the Day when they will be resurrected.” Allaah said, “You are then surely one of those respited, until the Day of the Appointed Time.” He said, “Then, by Your Might, I will certainly mislead them all, except those of Your slaves among them whom You have chosen.” Allaah said, “The truth then is, and the Truth I speak, that I will certainly fill Hell with you and with those among them who follow you, everyone all together. (Saad 38:71-85).

15  Al-Hijr 15:36-39
16  Al-Hijr 15:42

Iblees indicated that he would lead people astray through false hopes, wishful expectation, baseless worries, arts and peer pressure. He also declared that he will be enticing people to devote big portions of their time, efforts, energies, wealth and off-springs on useless pursuits (17). 

17  “Allaah cursed him. And he said: Certainly, I will mislead them and surely I will arouse in them false desires…” An-Nisaa 4:119; Also see Al-Israa 17:64

To give human beings fair chances of succeeding and to counterbalance the temptations of Shayŧaan, Allaah SWT planned to raise special human beings as prophets and messengers who would selflessly call people to Allaah SWT and His obedience. Allaah SWT knew that good Muslims would reject Shayŧaan's bad ideas (18). They will persist in following the commands of Allaah SWT. Even if they slip, they will repent and come back to the obedience of Allaah SWT.

18  Al-Israa 17:65

Creation of Ĥawwa (EVE)

Allaah SWT also created Ĥawwa (19) (Eve) to be Adam's wife. Just as the Qur-aan does not mention the process through which Adam was created, for the same reasons, it does not elaborate on the creation of Ĥawwa either. Following is the only verse in the Qur-aan where creation of Ĥawwa is alluded to:

19  Also spelled as Hawa, Hawwa and Hawwaa

O people! Adopt Taqwa (20) of your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from its own (kind) created its mate and from both of them produced many men and women. (An-Nisaa 4:1).

20  The mindset of making day to day decision with consciousness of Allaah and accountability to Him so that His displeasure is avoided and His pleasure is maximized

Under the influence of Judaeo-Christian traditions, some Muslims have opted to interpret this verse as if Ĥawwa was created from Adam’s rib. This interpretation is, however, against the style of the Qur-aan. For example, the Qur-aan says:

And Allaah created your mates from your own selves. (An-Nahl 16:72).

Naturally, it does not mean that everyone’s wife is created from that person’s rib. What these verses mean is that the women and men are one and the same kind. As human beings, they are the same. None of them has any superiority over the other. The first verse, in particular, is setting the stage for universal human equality by emphasizing the same origin of the whole humanity. It is the first verse of the Soorah (Chapter) An-Nisaa where it sets the stage for the rights and responsibilities of human beings to each other which have been mentioned in that chapter.

Obviously, then, the subject matter of these verses in the Qur-aan is not how Ĥawwa was created, but that all humanity is creation of Allaah SWT created from the same substance by a single process, hence, all people are absolutely equal as human beings. As for the question about how was Ĥawwa created, the Qur-aan has not mentioned the process for the same profound reasons as Adam’s creation was not elaborated upon, which have been discussed in detail in our other writings.

The Training Period

After creation, Adam and Ĥawwa were initially kept in Jannah (Paradise) (21). Before being sent down to the earth, they had to be taught some important lessons which would guide them during their sojourn on the earth.

21  Al-Baqarah 2:35

Allaah SWT kept both Adam and Ĥawwa in Jannah and told them that they were free to enjoy all the bounties of Jannah except one particular tree (22). They were advised that tasting from that tree would be an act of disobedience to Allaah SWT and that the disobedience to Allaah SWT would cancel their privilege to enjoy the bounties of Jannah. They were also warned that Shayŧaan (Iblees) was their enemy who would try to persuade them to taste from that tree in disobedience to Allaah SWT and thus prove them to be unworthy of the status of vice-regency granted to them. Thus, they should be wary of him if they did not want to lose their privilege to stay in Jannah.

22  Al-Baqarah 2:35; TA-Ha 20:117-119

Among the purposes of this exercise was to show Adam and Ĥawwa that the exquisitely beautiful place called Jannah was where they and their progeny belong. It was to teach them that Allaah’s obedience would make people deserve Jannah to live in there forever, while listening to Shayŧaan and disobeying Allaah SWT would cause them to lose that magnificent place. It was also to show them the animosity of Shayŧaan who they should beware of at all times because he was their sworn-enemy who wanted to see them lose Jannah, freedom and vice-regency in their eternal life in the Hereafter.

Shayŧaan did not waste any time to start upon his mission to incite and persuade them to taste the fruit of the forbidden tree. He approached them in a friendly way. He suggested to them that it was in their best interest to taste from that wonderful tree. He told them that if they tasted from it, they would never die, would enjoy Jannah forever, and they would become angels (23). Although he knew that the consequences of their disobedience will be the exposure of their private parts to each other and their losing of their stay in Jannah, he misled them about the results. He even swore that he was just their sincere well-wisher (24). At first Adam and Ĥawwa (Eve) resisted, but Iblees did not give up. He continued working on them, slowly bringing them closer and closer to his way, one little deviation at a time and thus gradually weakening their resolve and determination to stay away from it (25). They were slowly giving in to Shayŧaan's friendly pressure, being overtaken by their desires incite by Iblees, and moving dangerously closer to the break-down threshold. Finally, they reached a point where they could not resist anymore and tasted what they should not have.

23  Al-A’raaf 7:20; TA-Ha 20:120
24  Al-A’raaf 7:21
25  Ta-Ha 20:115

Immediately, their privacy hidden so far was now exposed to each other. They felt embarrassed and started covering their bodies with tree leaves (26). Their nakedness was the first sign that they do not deserve the provisions of Jannah anymore. Then they realized that they had been deceived. They felt sorry, cried to Allaah SWT for forgiveness and promised not to disobey him again (27). Allaah SWT accepted their repentance and forgave them (28). They could not, however, be allowed to live in Jannah any longer. They had to live on the earth in a test mode and come back to Jannah only on passing the test. This experience had underscored for them the importance of complete obedience to Allaah SWT to deserve for stay in Jannah, had also identified their enemy and his tricks to them and taught them their lesson at the hands of that enemy. Immediately after this incident, they were sent down to earth to live their remaining lives and to have children. Shayŧaan was also sent down along with them. Earth became the battlefield for a continuous struggle in which stakes are high for the winners and the losers (29). The Qur-aan concisely puts it as follows:

Then Shayŧaan whispered suggestions to them in order to uncover that which was hidden from them of their private parts. He said, ‘Your Lord has forbidden you from this tree only so that you do not become angels or immortals’. He repeatedly swore to assure them, ‘Certainly, I am your sincere well-wisher’.

Thus, he misled them with deception. As soon as they tasted from the tree, their hidden shame of their private parts was exposed to each other and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise (Jannah). And their Lord called out to them, ‘Did I not forbid you that tree and did I not warn you that Shayŧaan was your open enemy’?

Both of them exclaimed, ‘Our Lord! We have abused ourselves. If you do not forgive us and have mercy on us, we certainly shall be losers.

(Allaah accepted their request and forgave them). He (Allaah) said, ‘Go down you enemy of each other (the human couple and Shayŧaan). On earth will be your residence and sustenance for a predetermined time. Therein you shall live, therein you shall die, and therefrom you shall be brought out’. (Al-A’raaf 7:20-25)

26  Al-A’raaf 7:22; TA-Ha 20:121
27  Al-A’raaf 7:23
28  Al-Baqarah 2:37
29  Al-Baqarah 2:36-37; Ta Ha 20:123-124

The Covenant

Allaah SWT made a covenant with the couple and through them with all the human beings that all those who live by the guidance of Allaah SWT during their sojourn on the earth will come back after their death to a worry free life in Jannah forever. Those who turn away blindly from this guidance and follow the ways of Shayŧaan by disobeying Allaah SWT will have a life of continuous discontentment and mental distress. That will be caused by their wrong priorities. Their measure of success being the maximum acquisition of worldly resources and gratification of their desires, they will develop an insatiable longing for more and more all the time, for which they will continue to transgress all limits they can. Preoccupied with their passions, they will be blinded from the virtues they should adopt to please Allaah SWT for their success in the Hereafter. For the reason of their blindness towards the Hereafter, they will be raised blind on the Day of Judgement and no attention will be paid to their plight and they will be punished in the fire of Hell (30). They will never get any reprieve from these punishments because they will be everlasting.

30  Al-Baqarah 2:38-39, Ŧaa Haa 20:124-127

Adam and Eve started living in the world according to the way their Lord, the one and only God, had instructed them to live. They were obedient to Him. They lived an Islamic life, a life of obedience. They were Muslims. Not only were they the first human couple but also the first Muslim couple.

Adam got his instructions about how to live in this world from God. He taught his wife and children the teachings and commandments of Allaah SWT. He also encouraged them and educated them towards the obedience of Allaah SWT. In this way, he was the first prophet of Allaah SWT.

Shayŧaan did not give up. He is still trying to lead human beings away from the path of the obedience to Allaah SWT. He has been joined by other bad Jinns and misguided human beings. All these Shayaaŧeen (devils) are out there to get us. They want to take us to the Hell with them. Our challenge is not to be deceived by their good sounding, friendly temptations.

Lessons to be Learned:

Adam's story has been told to:

  • Identify the source and the purpose of our creation;
  • Specify our place, status and role in the universe;
  • Clarify the limits of our dependence and independence;
  • Underscore our potentiality towards both goodness and evil;
  • Highlight the temporary nature of our sojourn on the earth and the way it determines our permanent life in the Hereafter;
  • Stress the animosity of Shayŧaan towards us and our need to be on guard from his attacks; and,
  • Illustrate the human need for the guidance from Allaah SWT.

It teaches us that:

  1. Allaah SWT is our Creator who has created us to be His vicegerents on the earth. As His vicegerents, we must follow His commands and be accountable to Him.
  2. Jannah is a place only for people who strive for a total obedience to Allaah SWT. We have been created to live in Jannah, but have been temporarily put in this world to demonstrate if we are worthy of that place. We demonstrate our worthiness by committing unequivocally to the obedience of our Master and our Creator, Allaah SWT. In other words, the worldly life is a test for us. If we obey Allaah SWT in this life, we will live in the Jannah in the Hereafter forever.
  3. Obedience of Allaah SWT is not a heavy burden that we cannot carry. Just as Adam was restricted from one tree only, so have we been prohibited from only a handful of the things from amongst plenty of the things for us to enjoy. He could have put a lot of restrictions on us or could have required us to do enormously difficult things. Being our Creator and Master, it would have been His right. We being His creation and servants would still have to follow His orders and do our duty. He, however, is very Merciful. Out of His mercy, He has restricted us from only those few actions and behaviours that are not good for us and commanded us to perform a few obligations that are beneficial for us collectively.
  4. Shayŧaan, just as he deceived our ancestors in Jannah, makes those few restrictions or obligation appear to us extremely burdensome and spoilers of all our joys and pleasures in life.
  5. The guidance provided by Allaah SWT to us through His Messengers is the only reliable determinant of the good or evil in the metaphysical affairs of life. Human opinion, regardless of how good or innocuous it may sound, may be satanic in nature.
  6. By nature, we are good people, unless satanic temptations lead us astray from the path of goodness. Messengers are a mercy of Allaah SWT to help us purify our ways from satanic influences.
  7. Shayŧaan is our avowed enemy who has sworn to lead us astray so that he can prove us unfit for Jannah and fit for the Hell. We must recognize and remember him as our enemy and we must watch out for his attacks. If we are not always on our guard and extremely careful, we may be snared. To help him in his undertaking, he has recruited a whole army of agents from among Jinns and human beings.
  8. Jealousy and arrogance are deadly sins. Iblees erred because of them. We must avoid such feelings in our social affairs. For example, we must not let pride and/or jealousy stop us from accepting the leadership that evolves through the normal functioning of our Islamic communities, even if someone feels oneself really better than the said leadership.
  9. Disobeying Allaah SWT is a very serious matter. It displeases Allaah SWT; it disqualifies us from Jannah; it exposes us to the torments of Hell; and, it hurts us and our society. In short, it destroys our future.
  10. People usually sin because of a lapse in determination under the influence of Shayŧaan, peer pressure or our own temptations and aspirations. Allaah SWT being kind and merciful does not condemn us immediately to punishment. He gives us a chance to repent. If we are truly sorry, ask for His forgiveness and promise not to repeat the act of disobedience, He graciously forgives us -- just as He forgave Adam.
  11. Instead of feeling sorry, if we try like Iblees to justify our bad behaviour or to find excuses for our mistakes, it invokes the wrath of Allaah SWT. The sins born of arrogance and jealousy are usually the sins people insist upon.
  12. Because the original sin was forgiven, we do not have to worry about it. Besides, sin is not inherited. Everyone carries only one's own burden of sins.
  13. Regardless of how long we have been disobedient in our life, as soon as we repent, Allaah SWT welcomes us with beneficence and forgives our previous sins.
  14. Irrespective of the instigator of our bad behaviour, we are responsible for our actions. The inducement or persuasion may come from Shayŧaan, a friend, a spouse or a relative, but it is our decision to listen to them and disobey Allaah SWT. We cannot transfer the blame to the source of bad idea.
  15. Because we are responsible for the sins we commit, only we can repent and seek the forgiveness of Allaah SWT for ourselves. No one else can do it for us.
  16. Shayŧaan and his followers always pretend to be our friends and well-wishers. They want us to believe that it is good for us to follow their evil suggestions. They always suggest as if following the commandments of Allaah SWT and teachings of Islam is a backward, regressive, ignorant and improper thing to do and as if their suggested un-Islamic behaviour is the most progressive, development-oriented, modern behaviour that will solve all our problems and bring happiness and prosperity all over. The truth is totally opposite to what they suggest. The fact is that our welfare, happiness, progress and betterment lies only in the Islamic behaviour. Any non-Islamic theories are deception of Shayŧaan, just like his promise of first couple’s becoming angels and immortals.

To bring us to their way of thinking, the Shayŧaan and his human agents use techniques such as the following, as has been demonstrated by Adam’s story:

  • They make us believe we are under too heavy a burden and unfair restrictions. Just as Iblees made it appear to Adam and Ĥawwa that avoiding the forbidden tree was depriving them of wonderful benefits, they want us to believe we are missing all the fun in life by following Islamic restrictions on certain undesirable activities. They pose as if disobeying Allaah SWT is real cool and fun. They sympathize with us saying things like: don't be left out; you should not put up with this; it is not fair to you; i feel sorry for you; etc.
    A Muslim knows that the real joy and contentment of the heart is in serving Allaah SWT, the real success is in adopting the Islamic life style and any un-Islamic ideas are sure recipe for disaster.
  • Another tactic is to pressure us to try something once only, knowing once we break the barrier, we will be more likely to do it again. We will need less pressure next time. The pressure is put in numerous ways such as; ‘Come on ....just this time’, ‘Let us try ...just once…’, ‘Don't worry, you won’t regret it ...’, ‘Give us company ...’, ‘Don't you love me ...?’, ‘Trust me ...’, etc. Most of the bad habit or behaviours start with just trying it once.
    A Muslim has the courage and will power to say no and refuses to be taken in by the trap of ‘just once’ or ‘just once more’. They can walk away from such company or bad friends who play Shayŧaan with them.
  • To bring us slowly into the trap to commit an evil, they mislead us step by step. At first, they cause us to compromise a little, and then continue progressively a little more each time. Very soon, we are taken far astray. Telling Adam and Ĥawwa to go and eat would not have been possible. It was easier to persuade them to perform an innocuous step like getting closure to the tree and having a good look at it, then touching and feeling the fruit, then picking one just for the fun of it. After this stage, it was lot easier to persuade them to take just one bite to see the wonders the fruit will cause.
    Even the strongest barrier of resistance can be easily broken by chipping little by little at it. A person who does not want to do any Haraam sexual act, may end up in that situation by just starting to stare at the other person admiringly or just a friendly chat. A person who does not want to start taking bribes may be on track of doing it if he/she just accepts the invitation to chat about it. Most smokers start by being in smokers’ company, then handling the cigarettes, then pretending and trying a puff, etc.
    On the other hand, to keep us from doing good, Shayŧaan and his agents make us procrastinate until we miss the chance to do it. Even the strongest resolution evaporates once procrastinated. When the victim defaults once, they can easily build upon the earlier default. For example, even those who want to perform Salaah and to give charity cannot usually do so because of this tactics of Shayŧaan.
    A combination of both becomes a deadly weapon in Shayŧaan’s hand. A strong willed Muslim may be persuaded slowly step by step until he is willing to accept interest or get into gambling for giving into charity or a very noble Islamic cause (even though this is unacceptable in Islam). Once the person accepts it, procrastination keeps person from giving it to that good cause. Slowly it is consumed by the person himself and once it is done, the Shayŧaan suggests more justifications and the person ends up getting involved in Haraam financial activities.
    A Muslim avoids stepping into a situation that will make him/her vulnerable to commit something they would not like to do in normal circumstances. They do not test their resolve by experimenting in dangerous waters. The rather stop their very first step that may lead towards disobedience of Allaah SWT. They break the desire at the weakest link, i.e., at the outset.
    However, when it comes to doing good, they do it right away before the opportunity to do good is jeopardized by delay or their resolve is fizzled away by procrastination.
  • They give us false hopes. These are the hopes that keep us away from fulfilling our Islamic obligations. Adam and Ĥawwa were given the hope of eternity and of becoming angels. Some examples of the hopes shown to us are: ‘Because we believe in so and so, we are forgiven. Jannah will be ours no matter what.’ Or, ‘Such and such beloved of Allaah SWT will get us forgiveness from Allaah SWT.’ Or, ‘We are God’s chosen people, the fire of Hell will not touch us’. Even if it does, it will be only for a very short period.’ Or, ‘You have nothing to worry yet, there will be much time later on to repent and practise Islam.
    A Muslim is aware of the fact that the only hope there is, it is in following Islam fully, properly and consistently in all areas of life throughout one’s life, starting right away - today.\
  • They play on our fear, just as Shayŧaan played on first couple’s fear of losing the good life of Jannah. Shayŧaan arouses baseless worries and uses scare tactics to keep us away from Islamic work. For those who harbour the idea of charity, he suggests them all the other things on which they should rather be spending their money. Unnecessary desires of our children and spouses may suddenly start seeming important. He will remind us of the need to save for untold emergencies and poverty. He panics when someone intends to participate in Jihad in which case he incites all the fears a human mind can think of.
    A Muslim is not bothered by the worries and fears of the temporary life of this world. His concern is more towards preparing to get freedom from the fears and worries of the Day of Judgment.
    The consequences of first couple’s listening to Shayŧaan clearly indicate that the hopes and fears Shayŧaan suggests are baseless. The truth is opposite to satanic ideas. The true promises are Allaah’s promises.
  • As Adam and Ĥawwa’s story indicates, human beings by nature are ashamed of indecent exposure of their bodies. Covering body properly is the primary human motive for the dress while protection from weather and adornment are in fact secondary motives. However, this is the first and foremost area that Shayŧaan attacks to misguide human beings. He incites human beings in the name of fashion, progressiveness, liberty and freedom to expose their bodies more and more in attractive enticing ways. This in turn leads to moral decadence, sexual promiscuity and related problems.
    Islamic dress code saves the Muslims from this trap of Shayŧaan.

Here are some other traps Shayŧaan uses:

  • One of his favourite traps is to misuse the concept of maintaining a balance. Although ‘maintaining a balance’ is a very valid Islamic concept, it is not something people can find on their own. Balance can be shown and taught only by the prophets who know it from Allaah SWT. When people try to define their own balance, they fall into the trap of Shayŧaan. The concept is, then, misused to justify many undesirable indulgences. Shayŧaan uses it to keep people content with a very nominal level of Islamic practice, while indiscriminately indulging into non-Islamic lifestyle. People do as they please without worrying much about the propriety of the lifestyle from Islamic point of view, but to ‘balance’ their life they do perform some religious ritual once in a while. The religious activities in this so-called balanced life, usually, end up to be an infrequent visit to mosque, an occasional gathering to recite Qur-aan (Khatme Qur-aan), or fulfilling a few rituals of Bid‘ah (heretical) origins. Shayŧaan loves this ‘balancing’ trap because he succeeds in getting people out of the full-time servitude of Allaah SWT while maintaining their illusion that they are following Islam.
    The only way to protect ourselves from this trap is to accept the lifestyle of the Prophet and his companions as the only appropriate model of balance.
  • Hobbies, Art and Culture are his most successful traps (31). Although these things can be innocent and clean, many activities that are usually done in the name of art, culture and hobbies are in reality the techniques Shayŧaan uses to keep people away from Islamic activities. Any art depicting graven images or immodest exposures, love songs, romantic fiction, music, movies, and theatre are among the snares of this kind.
    Listening to sport commentaries and watching sports for long hours is another pastime Shayŧaan gets people addicted to.
    Keeping people absorbed in this sort of activities eliminates the opportunity for them to be concerned about more important things in life. People become preoccupied in these pursuits using up all their available time and attention, forgetting about their Islamic obligations and ignoring their duties to Allaah SWT.
    Not only that this is the most successful weapon he has in his arsenal, but also he recruits the overwhelming majority of his recruits through this channel. Although not all artists are followers of Shayŧaan, the staunchest of his disciples are mostly from among the artists.
    The Muslims who understand the demand on their time from the obligations to Allaah SWT and Islam have no time for useless hobbies, arts and culture. They are too busy in the service of Allaah SWT to even think of useless pursuits. They value their time and are thus protected from the machinations of Shayŧaan that come through this trap door.
31  Al-Israa 17:64; An-Nisaa 4:119

Posted in Prophets on January 10, 2022 by Ayub Hamid

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