The Orders Given by Satan to Distance People From The Qur'an
In previous sections of this book we stated that the true leader of people who resist religion is Satan. In the following sections we will speak of the orders given by Satan to the deniers and how these orders distance them from the Qur'an. However, first it is necessary to emphasize that Satan only influences his own followers.
Satan has no power whatsoever over people who scrupulously direct themselves towards Allah with all their hearts, who conform to His instructions and advice, who sincerely engage in good deeds to earn the pleasure of Allah and who are aware that they will be rewarded in the hereafter for everything they do. Satan has influence upon those people that reject Allah. All Satan's efforts to divert them from the true path, his whispered flatteries and his deceptive words have no effect on the faithful. In the verses of the Qur'an, Allah tells us:
He (Satan) has no authority over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord. He only has authority over those who take him as a friend and associate others with Allah. (Surat an-Nahl: 99-100)
Satan's situation is also described in another verse:
But as for My servants, you will not have any authority over them. Your Lord suffices as a guardian. (Surat al-Isra': 65)
For this reason Allah invited believers in the Qur'an as follows: "It was only Satan frightening you through his friends. But do not fear them—fear Me if you are believers." (Surah Al 'Imran: 175) Satan may, perhaps, cause people to fall into momentary errors with a variety of stratagems, but when a Muslim falls into any error he notices this immediately, repents and takes refuge in Allah. Surat al-A'raf instructs the faithful like this:
If an evil impulse from Satan provokes you, seek refuge in Allah. He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. As for those who perform their duty, when they are bothered by visitors from Satan, they remember and immediately see clearly. (Surat al-A'raf: 200-201)
However, if a person turns again to Satan, they have made him their guardian. He places his yoke upon them with fear, threats, all kinds of deceptions concerning the life of the world, blandishments and promises, and they reach a point of listening to his every word. Every one of Satan's words becomes an order for them. The only thing they need to do is to obey his orders.
As the Qur'an tells us by saying, "They are like Satan when he says to a human being, 'Disbelieve' …" (Surat al-Hashr: 16) Satan first instructs people to deny the existence of Allah. Later they follow his other orders: Don't Think! Don't Learn! Be Proud! Don't Listen! Stay Away from Believers! Don't Read! Mock the Believers! Conform to My Way of Life!
Satan's Command: "Don't Think!"
The ability to think is one of the greatest blessings granted to people because only by thinking can people be aware of Allah's boundless power and the beauty of the universe He created. Only a thinking person realizes that the world has been created by divine wisdom in every detail, that death is near, and that there are certain obligations that are required to be met in this life. We are told in a large number of Qur'anic verses that only thinking people can heed advice and that they alone are capable of seeing the proofs of Allah's existence. Indeed, the very purpose of the revelation of the Qur'an is for people to think carefully about its verses, as is stated here: "It is a Book We have sent down to you, full of blessing, so let people of intelligence ponder its Signs and take heed." (Surah Sad: 29)
However, a large proportion of humanity regards thinking as a hardship. These people even believe that thinking is damaging to their lives and their set ways. According to this opinion, "the greatest damage" lies in reminding people of their responsibilities in this life and taking them out of the slumbering, empty minded state of heedlessness in which they find themselves. Like a kind of magic spell, this sleep makes people forget why they exist, that there is a purpose in life, and that one day they will die. Another form of this sleep is to be inundated by the daily routines. Perhaps these people feel they spend a great deal of time thinking, making decisions and finding answers, but in fact what they think about does not go beyond the details of their day-to-day needs and impulses. Their thoughts are not related to the purpose of human creation, how the world came into being or the fact that one day every living thing will be buried in the ground. Actions, statements and behaviour learned by rote, taught, and become accustomed to, have such a hold on these people that they do not even feel a need to think about more fundamental realities.
Just as they evade thought, so too do these people escape hastily from warnings given by others; they turn their faces from belief in Allah, thinking about the verses of the Qur'an, and living by His guidance.
But nothing and nobody has been put on the face of the earth for an empty purpose. Allah created every detail in the universe for people to think about. In fact in the Qur'an, Allah announces that he created "… death and life to test which of you is best in action…" (Surat al-Mulk: 2) In this fleeting life, one is put to the test by all his or her deeds. A person has a great responsibility towards Allah Who created him and will resurrect him after death and call for an accounting for his deeds. Reading the Qur'an, taking heed of it, thinking about the verses and comprehending and applying them are amongst every person's principal responsibilities. Allah draws attention to this truth with the verse which reads, "Do they not ponder these words? Has anything come to them that did not come to their ancestors the previous peoples?" (Surat al-Mu'minun: 68)
Thinking people will conclude that such fine detail in the universe and its examples of flawless design mean that it cannot have come into being by accident and that there exists a Creator of all things. By thinking deeply about the miracles created around them and other proofs of Allah's existence, and observing the divine wisdom in the details which He has created, they will give themselves over to Him and live solely for the purpose of earning His approval. Aware of this truth, Satan wants them to live their lives in heedlessness, keep away from Allah's verses and hence to refrain from thought. Allah describes this purpose of Satan's in a verse of the Qur'an:
[Satan said], "… I will lie in ambush for them on your straight path. Then I will come at them, from in front of them and behind them, from their right and from their left... (Surat al-A'raf: 16-17)
In order to achieve this ultimate aim, Satan prepares very special situations to sink people into a state of heedlessness. For this purpose, he makes plans using people's weaker aspects, and attempts to make evil deeds attractive to people's egos. Unlike the faithful, people distanced from religious morality can end up in a state of spiritual heedlessness by forgetting Allah and not thinking about their purpose in life.
For example, Satan can easily waylay people in places of entertainment, because such places are conducive to wasting time and not thinking about anything. In these places what assumes the most importance are the clothes and accessories people wear, the money they spend, and the people around them. With the music so loud that people cannot hear one another, the air so full of smoke they cannot see one another, exploding flashbulbs, loud conversation and yelling, an environment is formed in which people who have no fear of Allah certainly cannot concentrate their attention or think.
Of course it is a great blessing for people to enjoy themselves and come together with others they enjoy talking to. But these days places of entertainment are not those where the name of Allah is mentioned and where people recall their purpose in life. The purpose of creation is entirely forgotten. People who feel no fear of Allah in their hearts and spend their time in such places experience an atmosphere of heedlessness and are left in no condition to consider or understand warnings. In fact, one of the reasons why such people prefer these places is to forget everything and avoid thought, and they often say so. While a person who comes to such a place to, as he expresses it, escape from the troubles of the world, may have been behaving sensibly ten minutes earlier, now he starts to regard any excess as normal. In the name of enjoying themselves, these people see immorality of all kinds as reasonable and become insensitive to what is happening around them. In fact, in environments of this type, breaking plates, overturning tables, throwing napkins, attacks on others with obscene language, and fights reflect only a small part of the kind of heedlessness and immorality into which people can sink.
Concert arenas, football stadiums and other places where large crowds gather only magnify this effect of heedlessness. A large number of people go to such places not to enjoy themselves or to watch an entertaining game or to listen to a beautiful voice but to shout, to fight and to cause trouble, in short to display ugly behaviour of every kind. In such environments, it is utterly impossible for people with no fear of Allah to extract from their minds a single useful thought. It only remains to be said that people in such an uncontrolled environment that encourages violence and immorality, are wide open to the whisperings of Satan so that the obedience of people to Satan's "Don't think!" order is ensured. Allah draws attention to this method of Satan's with this verse: "Stir up any of them you can with your voice and rally against them your cavalry and your infantry and share with them in their children and their wealth and make them promises!.." (Surat al-'Isra: 64)
People whose lives are filled with work and going out to such places of entertainment, where heedlessness reigns, forget that one day they will meet the angel of death. And when they do, it is too late, because this person has passed his worldly life in pursuit of empty practices and has fled from consideration of the verses of the Qur'an. For a person who thinks about death, the transitory nature of life and his responsibilities towards Allah, it is impossible ever to accept such a heedless state. A person who knows that Allah can take his life at any moment and that there will be a reckoning for his every word, thought and action never lets these realities slip his mind in any environment whatsoever and does not surrender to heedlessness.
For a person to continue a life of heedlessness resembles his seeing a truck with brake failure hurtling towards him and failing to get out of the way—even though this is possible—while being fully aware that it is going to hit and crush him. During his life, a person can indulge in excess hundreds or thousands of times, can even spend his entire life in this way, but when death takes him, everything he has experienced is left behind. If a person has passed his time in heedlessness of the existence of Allah, he will realize on the day of his death that this way of life, described in ignorant societies as "making the best of life," has brought him nothing but loss. He will feel regret for all the excesses he indulged in because he forgot Allah and the Day of Judgement. But heedless people ignore Allah's warnings:
Mankind's Reckoning has drawn very close to them, yet they heedlessly turn away. No fresh reminder comes to them from their Lord without their listening to it as if it was a game. Their hearts are distracted... (Surat al-Anbiya': 1-3)
The "Thinking Harms People" Deception
In ignorant societies the superstitious belief that thinking harms people is prevalent. This great deception is another tactic employed by Satan to prevent people from thinking about Allah's verses. Because of his idea, the work of Satan, that thinking will place them in difficulties, they remain distant from the Qur'an. In ignorant societies it is even believed that too much thinking drives people mad. This belief is one more deception, like Satan's other games. On the contrary, people experience far more problems when they do not think, than when they do.
Actually, not thinking about death and the Day of Judgement is an illusion that deceives people into believing they will not be accountable for their deeds. Whether a person thinks about them or not, responsibilities are neither reduced nor altered, because Allah holds everybody responsible for having faith and living according to Qur'anic morality. Everybody is tested in this life and sooner or later will face previously ignored realities.
Another result of the failure to think is that people do not draw lessons from events occurring around them or from their own personal experiences. The events that Allah creates to make people think and amend their behaviour have no effect on these people at all. By convincing themselves that all events occurring in the world are accidental, they fail to appreciate the reason for events that might teach them a lesson. Allah refers to such behaviour like this:
Do they not see that they are tried once or twice in every year? But still they do not turn back. They do not pay heed. (Surat at-Tawba: 126)
In truth, major disasters, serious problems, and this-worldly troubles are extremely important occurrences that direct people towards thought, but rejecters of the faith have made these events the subject of argument. They begin by claiming that events are accidental and so evade thinking about them. They say, as Allah says in the Qur'an, "… Our forefathers too underwent both hardship and ease..." (Surat al-A'raf: 95) and continue their heedless lives. They feign ignorance about disasters which happen to them by saying, "It's just accidental," "a major natural disaster," "this was only to be expected," "such things happen in any society," and "a great misfortune." With such words, they provide themselves with their own explanation. They are incapable of saying, "This is a warning Allah sent to us," and are even afraid of expressing the possibility of such a thing. This is another tactic of Satan's.
All disasters, misfortunes, problems and events which befall people and remind them of the pain of hell are opportunities Allah provided for them as a kindness. Allah sends people difficulties so they can learn from them and so correct their behaviour. In a verse of the Qur'an, Allah explains the reason behind worldly troubles:
We will give them a taste of lesser punishment before the greater punishment, so that hopefully they will turn back. Who could do greater wrong than someone who is reminded of the Signs of his Lord and then turns away from them?... (Surah as- Sajda: 21-22)
Here Allah is reminding people that they are close to death, that a person is responsible for his or her every action, and that they therefore need to conform to His orders and prohibitions. But because of their extreme arrogance, the deniers turn all reminders into a laughing matter and increase their resistance still further. Indeed, they respond defiantly to prophets who warn them to conform to Allah's verses by saying, "… When will this promise come about if you are telling the truth?" (Surat al-Mulk: 25) or exhibit an ugly courage by using expressions such as, "We and our forefathers were promised this before. This is nothing but the myths of previous peoples!" (Surat al-Mu'minun: 83) In Verse 95 of Surat al-A'raf, Allah responds to this taunt by saying "…We seized them suddenly when they were not expecting it," and of their deserving great torment. In Surah Al 'Imran, He invites people to consider what their spiritual state will be on the Day of Judgment:
On the Day that each self finds the good it did, and the evil it did, present there in front of it, it will wish there were an age between it and then. Allah advises you to beware of Him. Allah is Ever-Gentle with His servants. (Surah Al 'Imran: 30)
Satan's Command: "Ignore the Signs of Creation"
The universe and the systems of nature are flawless, down to the last detail, and are magnificently ordered. When we examine any part of the universe, from the smallest to the largest, we see that each one sets forth proof of a deliberate creation. Within an unchanging order, there are thousands of details which we cannot categorize in full, from the heavenly bodies moving in their orbits, to the balance of gases in the atmosphere which is necessary for life to continue, from the human body specially designed to allow people to live, to the smallest elements such as cells, protein, DNA and atoms—all of which require a different design expertise. All of these were created in the most wonderful way and continue their existence faultlessly.
However, those who resist the faith ignore countless proofs of Allah's existence and oneness, and try to explain the creation of living things in terms of uncontrolled coincidences. They connect the faultless design of the human body, the miracles of creation in the bodies of living things, the taste of cherries, strawberries and oranges, the smell of violets and honeysuckle and their splendid appearance and the unique characteristics of the stars, the sun and the moon in the heavens, to blind chance and resort to every method to reject the fact of creation. The basic claim of these people is that every detail in the universe is the end product of a series of mere coincidences lasting millions of years and occurred through the unconscious mingling of atoms. The chief proponents of this are the evolutionist scientists, who blindly defend the theory of evolution, while overlooking that the universe is filled with millions of proofs of creation.
This theory, propounded in the nineteenth century by Charles Darwin, an amateur biologist who was not even aware of the structure of the cell, has suffered a great defeat at the hands of contemporary scientific developments. However, the most important aspect of this theory is that it prepares quasi-scientific grounds for supporting materialist ideologies which reject religion. For this reason—despite its defeat by scientific knowledge—materialist scientists seek to keep the theory of evolution alive. These scientists ignore scientific facts in order to reject the truth of creation and refuse to recognize its proofs. What makes them most uncomfortable is reference to signs of creation and the scientific exposure of difficulties, deficiencies and errors in the theory of evolution. The attachment of evolutionist scientists to this theory has gone beyond being a scientific approach and has become an obsession and a blind devotion.
Persistence in their refusal to believe despite all proofs to the contrary is a common characteristic of deniers. In the Qur'an, people who continued their resistance to the faith even when signs of Allah's existence were presented to them because of their attachment to their ancestors' religion are held up as examples. Allah draws attention to this aspect of their behaviour in a number of verses of the Qur'an:
We destroyed generations before you when they did wrong. Their Messengers brought them the Clear Signs, but they were never going to believe. (Surah Yunus: 13)
At the present time, deniers of creation persist in their belief, just as did the previous generations referred to in the above verse. In spite of the clearest scientific signs, these people can still claim that the universe and all living things resulted from a series of coincidences. They further claim that, since this world is a product of coincidence, people have no responsibility towards anyone, and so they set their faces against the Qur'an. While the number of those who marvel at the magnificence in Allah's creation grows rapidly by the day, these materialists remain so blind that they cannot see the evidence. Undoubtedly this is a result of their distancing themselves from Allah's holy book, and blinkering their consciences.
The secret reason behind people's ignoring the truth is Satan, who makes great efforts to persuade them to resist. As the Qur'an states, Satan diverts people from the true path: "If someone shuts his eyes to the remembrance of the All-Merciful, We assign him a satan who becomes his bosom friend—they debar them from the path, yet they still think they are guided." (Surat az-Zukhruf: 36-37) While Allah's faultless planning and design encompass everything, Satan distances the deniers from the truth and causes them to overlook the proofs of this by diverting them with worldly preoccupations.
People Satan has captured in this way violently oppose others who tell them the truth. This situation causes them to become angry with believers and feel hatred and loathing of them. Allah describes the discomfort felt by the deniers when proofs of His existence are shown and explained to them:
… Their Messengers came to them with Clear Signs, but they put their hands to their mouths, saying, "We reject what you have been sent with"… (Surah Ibrahim: 9)
Moreover, there is a group of deniers that is deliberately ignoring the truth—that there are signs of Allah's existence and that the Qur'an is a holy book. Such people knowingly deny these truths and do not want to think about them. As Allah puts it in this Qur'anic verse, "… a group of them heard Allah's Word and then, after grasping it, knowingly distorted it" (Surat al-Baqara: 75) they recognize the truth of creation, then refuse to accept it, even though it does not require long hours of thought or research to see the matchless artistry of Allah. If a person expends a little care with a pure heart while listening to the voice of his conscience and thinks for a few seconds, it is impossible to deny the truth of creation. The only thing necessary is to lend an ear to the voice of conscience and beware of the methods of Satan.
Satan's Command: "Be Proud"
Another of the common characteristics of those who have no faith in Allah's verses and do not obey His orders and prohibitions is conceit and admiration of their own intelligence. By giving people a sense of pride, Satan diverts them from submitting themselves to Allah and heeding the verses of the Qur'an.
People turn their faces from the scriptures because of arrogance, as Allah tells us in this verse: "When Our Signs are recited to such a person, he turns away arrogantly as if he had not heard, as if there was a great weight in his ears. So give him news of a painful punishment." (Surah Luqman: 7)
By giving people a powerful sense of pride, Satan makes them believe that everything they think they know is correct and complete. Because of this such people are closed to warnings, advice and criticism from those around them and give pompous and haughty answers. They will not even abandon things that they see are wrong because of stubborn determination not to give up their beliefs. Their personality prevents them from being persuaded on any matter, and they are obstinate, fixed in their own ideas and their own rules. If they felt even a little doubt about certain deficiencies and mistaken aspects of their thinking, they might even be able to see the truth.
For this reason they do not evaluate invitations made to them with sincerity; they misunderstand them and are misled into thinking that the faithful are trying to attain superiority over them by this means. They absolutely do not want to believe that the faithful explain Qur'anic morality to people solely to earn the pleasure of Allah, expecting no other reward. On this general attitude of the deniers, a verse of the Qur'an concerning the leaders of a past people is striking:
The ruling circle of those of his [Nuh's] people who were disbelievers said, "This is nothing but a human being like yourselves who simply wants to gain ascendancy over you. If Allah had wanted He would have sent angels down. We never heard of anything like this among our ancestors, the earlier peoples." (Surat al-Mu'minun: 24)
However, it must not be forgotten that arrogant and proud people will suffer great losses. Those deniers who carry on their meaningless war against the faith are losing a vital opportunity to distinguish truth from falsehood and turn back from the mistakes they are making and to reform themselves. Since they do not accept that it is possible for them ever to make a mistake, they have no opportunity of overcoming their deficiencies and developing themselves because they slam the door on any invitation right away. They do not even think about evaluating whether advice given them is beneficial or not. They are so certain of the correctness of their own ideas, thinking and beliefs that they do not even grant the possibility that somebody else may be more intelligent than they are. In short they do not recognize the authority of anybody other than themselves over their own ideas, attitudes and behaviour. That pride can drive a person to sin is referred to in this verse:
When he is told to have fear of Allah, he is seized by pride which drives him to wrongdoing… (Surat al-Baqara: 206)
Also in the past, Pharaoh was unable to overcome his pride in the face of the honourable station of Musa (peace be upon him) and his inviting him to submit to Allah. He thought himself much worthier of such an honorable post in terms of both power and financial resources. In empty pride he opposed Allah and did not listen to what he was told and because of his arrogance he set his face against Allah's verses. As we mentioned above, he also compelled his people to ignore the Prophet Musa. As Allah describes in the Qur'an:
Pharaoh said, "Do you believe in him before I have authorised you? He is your chief, the one who taught you magic. I will cut off your hands and feet alternately and have you crucified on palm trunks. Then you will know for certain which of us has the harsher and longer lasting punishment." (Surah Ta Ha: 71)
Pharaoh, remembered for the bullying and cruelty that arose from his arrogance and pride, was in this sense a man who came fully under the influence of Satan and carried out Satan's orders to the letter. In a verse of the Qur'an Allah describes Pharaoh's character like this: "… he was haughty, one of the profligate." (Surat ad-Dukhan: 31)
Satan is the one who directs people towards this arrogant behaviour, but he is not satisfied by their obeying his command that they should "Be proud!". He desires his advocates to struggle against Allah alongside him. In this verse, Allah informs us of Satan's real purpose:
He said, "My Lord, because You misled me, I will make things on the earth seem good to them and I will mislead them all, every one of them." (Surat al-Hijr: 39)
Certainly in order to achieve this aim, Satan tries to make denial attractive in the eyes of the unbelievers. Because of this the deniers demonstrate extremely refractory behaviour towards the faithful who call on them to conform to Allah's instructions and prohibitions, and they do not accept the possibility that their own ideas may be flawed. In the Qur'an, Allah describes the Pharaoh's conceit-filled reply to the call of Musa (peace be upon him) like this:
Then he [Musa] showed him the Great Sign. But he denied it and disobeyed, and then he hastily backed away. But then he rallied and called out, saying, "I am your Lord Most High!" (Surat az-Nazi'at: 20-24)
In short the deniers want to believe that the most superior people in every respect are themselves. As we can see in the example of Pharaoh, their pride prevents them from accepting that they are impotent servants of Allah. A sense of pride, which they cannot abandon, pushes them into disobedience. Indeed, as can be seen in the verse, "When Our Signs came to them in all their clarity, they said, 'This is downright magic,' and they repudiated them wrongly and haughtily, in spite of their own certainty about them…" (Surat an-Naml: 13-14), proud people, even if they see the signs of Allah's existence, under Satan's influence, continue to reject it. Those who rebel against Allah and follow Satan's orders will, on the Day of Judgment fall into degradation and be forced to give an accounting for their behaviour.
But as for those who reject Our Signs and are arrogant regarding them, they are the Companions of the Fire, remaining in it timelessly, for ever. Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents lies against Allah or denies His Signs?... (Surat al-A'raf: 36-37)
Satan's Command: "Don't Listen"
Satan is never in favour of people hearing the true and the good, because by following the voice of his conscience, a person who hears and heeds the Qur'an, may cross to the side of righteousness and may begin to apply, live and encourage what is right. So, Satan's priority is to keep his followers away from the Qur'an, and also from Muslims who expound the Qur'an. While Allah invites people to live their lives in a blessed state by earning His favour, most people obey Satan's orders and do everything in their power to avoid hearing what Allah tells them. With the verse, "Those who do not believe say, 'Do not listen to this Qur'an. Drown it out so that hopefully you will gain the upper hand' " (Surah Fussilat: 26), Allah warns of the approach adopted by such people.
The deniers of the faith resort to various demagogic methods so that the Qur'an may not be heard: they argue against it with loud voices and try to shut others down, change the subject and aggressively prevent the reading of the verses. If these methods do not work, then they may resort to violence, threats and various pressure tactics to silence the faithful. The reason for their acting in this way is that they are afraid that the truths they hear will affect them, that their consciences will be brought into play and that they will realize how wrong some of their ideas are. It is possible to observe these fears right away from their facial expressions and their behaviour, and also to understand that they are suddenly filled with panic when the verses of the Qur'an are read and the truth of creation explained.
Two of several Qur'anic verses which tell us that although the Qur'an is a mercy and a blessing for people and contains all the information needed to ensure their salvation in this world and the next, the deniers still turn away from the truth are the following:
A Book whose verses have been demarcated for people who know as an Arabic Qur'an, bringing good news and giving warning; but most of them have turned away and do not hear. (Surah Fussilat: 3-4)
They are told, "Heed what lies before you and behind you so that hopefully you will have mercy shown to you." Not one of your Lord's Signs comes to them without their turning away from it. (Surah Ya Sin: 45-46)
The people of the Prophet Nuh are cited as examples of this in the Qur'an. As did all prophets who tried to make Allah their only God and advised a fine moral life, the Prophet Nuh encountered resistance from his people:
He said, "My Lord, I have called my people night and day but my calling has only made them more evasive. Indeed, every time I called them to Your forgiveness, they put their fingers in their ears, wrapped themselves up in their clothes and were overweeningly arrogant." (Surah Nuh: 5-7)
This verse shows that the Prophet Nuh invited his people to faith in Allah in various ways but the people tried everything to avoid listening to him. It is important to emphasize that those who turn away from these invitations of the prophets and stop up their ears to avoid hearing the word of Allah do so because of prejudices and the powerful whisperings of Satan. The deniers immediately reject what they are being told, without even listening to a single word. In the 101st verse of Surat al-Kahf, Allah tells us of those "… whose ears were unable to hear." Because these people are conditioned not to abandon their lack of faith, they say "Even if I listen, I won't abandon it," and turn their faces away right from the beginning.
In fact, in such a situation the rational thing to do is to listen to the invitation made, obtain detailed information about what is explained and read Allah's holy book carefully. But the deniers follow Satan's "Don't listen!" order and turn their backs on it from the outset. Satan knows very well that if people listen to the Qur'an with a sincere heart, the state of heedlessness in which they find themselves will be removed and with an open mind they will come to realize the truths the Qur'an contains.
Those who fall into this trap and close their ears to the Qur'an should know that on the Day of Judgment they will feel very great regret. On that day all that Satan's factions will want will be for death to be the end of everything:
But as for him who is given his Book in his left hand, he will say, "If only I had not been given my Book and had not known about my Reckoning! If only death had really been the end! My wealth has been of no use to me. My power has vanished." [Allah will say] "Seize him and truss him up. Then roast him in the Blazing Fire. Then bind him in a chain which is seventy cubits long. He used not to believe in Allah the Magnificent, nor did he urge the feeding of the poor. Therefore here today he has no friend nor any food except exuding pus which no one will eat except those who were in error." (Surat al-Haqqa: 25-37)
Satan's Command: "Do Not Approach the Faithful, Stay Away"
Another order given by Satan for the purpose of preventing people from reading the truths contained in the Qur'an is, "Do not approach the faithful, stay away." He tries to keep those who serve him separate from anybody who reads the Qur'an, speaks about it, lives by its rules and invites others to follow it. He believes that being in their company will have, from his point of view, a very negative effect on his faction, because due to their submission to Allah they remind others of Him with their every act and their every word, positively affecting those around them with their steadfast morality. People who are in the company of the faithful are affected positively, whether they want to be or not, and their hearts warm towards Islam. This is exactly what Satan does not want. Because of this, he orders those who reject faith to stay away from believers and have no relationship with them. On the contrary, he wants them to display antagonistic, aggressive and mocking behaviour towards the faithful because this reduces the possibility of a positive relationship developing between them.
Those who resist faith because of this powerful satanic influence take care to stay away from people who believe in Allah. A person's faith and awareness of living for Allah is sufficient to distance the deniers from him or make them feel malice against him because the faithful, due to their pointing out the truth, represent a spiritual danger to the deniers whose lives are far removed from moral living. In the Qur'an, the behaviour of deniers towards the faithful who invoke the name of Allah or remind others of Allah is described in this way:
Those who do not believe all but strike you down with their evil looks when they hear the Reminder and say, "He is quite mad." But it is nothing less than a Reminder to all the worlds. (Surat al-Qalam: 51-52)
When Our Signs are recited to them—Clear Signs—you can detect denial in the faces of those who do not believe. They all but assault those who recite Our Signs to them!.. (Surat al-Hajj: 72)
These verses describe how the sole reason prompting mockery and violent enmity from deniers toward the faithful is reciting Allah's signs.
One of the principle aims of those who defy faith is to keep other people away from a moral life and to divert them from the true path. They do their utmost to keep apart anyone who may feel sympathy for the faithful and want to talk with them and listen to their ideas. In this way they prevent people from entering into the circles of those who remind others about Allah and His signs, who think about the proximity of death and who exercise their consciences. They prefer everybody to be like them and shy away from the verses of the Qur'an, living their lives without thinking about the purpose of their creation.
One of the examples of this given by the Qur'an is that of the Companions of the Cave. The Companions of the Cave, who are a group of young believers, are forced by extreme pressure from deniers to take refuge in a cave. Surat al-Kahf tells us:
We fortified their hearts when they stood up and said, "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and We will not call on any god apart from Him. We would in that case have uttered an abomination. These people of ours have taken gods apart from Him. Why do they not produce a clear authority concerning them? Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents a lie against Allah?" [The youths said to one another:] "When you have separated yourselves from them and everything they worship except Allah, take refuge in the cave and your Lord will unfold His mercy to you and open the way to the best for you in your situation." (Surat al-Kahf: 14-16)
Those who would prevent the prophets from receiving support from the community have, throughout history, employed various calumnies and pressures. The sole reason for these slanders is to ensure that people shun the prophets and distance themselves from them. But the deniers—just like the people of the Prophet Nuh—are only destroying their own souls by doing this:
They keep others from it and avoid it themselves. They are only destroying themselves but they are not aware of it. (Surat al-An'am: 26)
Satan's Command: "Do Not Read Books Explaining Qur'anic Morality Or Let Others Read Them"
One of the principal stratagems used throughout history by those who want to keep others away from religion is to prevent them from reading books or other materials that teach religion and good morality. In fact, countless books have been burned and destroyed for this purpose, or their printing and distribution have been prevented. In modern times, in particular, communist and materialist regimes have tried to prevent the reading and teaching of books that point to the signs of the existence of Allah and Qur'anic morality.
They attack books which deal with the fact of creation, and the truths of the Qur'an, as harmful and unscientific, and try to damage the respect in which people who invite others to believe in Allah are held within the community.
All these are the efforts of Satan to prepare fertile ground in which to sow the seeds of the denial of Allah. His tools are a group of irreligious people, who try to prevent others from reading and learning and being aware of the truth. While these operations have been carried out openly in communist countries such as Russia and China, they are also encouraged by governments that have a materialist concept of life. One of the reasons lying behind communist Russia's changing of the alphabet and later taking control of all book publication in the Muslim Turkic Republics was to prevent people from learning about their own religion and hence to ensure that they lost their identity. In the same way, the Chinese government has prohibited reading the Qur'an and books commentating on the Qur'an in order for the Muslim people of Eastern Turkestan to lose their Islamic identity.
Not only do these irreligious people prevent others from reading books about creation, so too do they avoid them themselves, because they are afraid that when they read works explaining Allah and His religion, they will start to doubt their own philosophy and lose the belief in the ideas they propound. For this reason the communist leader Lenin's warnings, made years earlier, to the effect that "if people are not to surrender themselves to religion, they must stay away from it" were so effective, that those deniers who came after him applied his ideas scrupulously, handing on the legacy one to another. Their nightmare is to see the destruction of the atheist philosophy on which they have based their lives. Because of this, just like others before them, they flee from submitting to Allah and do not make use of the holy book Allah has sent them as a blessing. But this flight produces nothing but loss.
Satan's Command: "Mock"
Mockery is one of the most frequent methods resorted to by those who resist faith. In the Qur'an, Allah tells us this moral defect is handed down from one person to another:
Not one of their Lord's Signs comes to them without their turning away from it. They deny the truth each time it comes to them but news of what they were mocking will certainly reach them. (Surat al-An'am: 4-5)
This is also described in another verse:
But when he came to them with Our Signs, they merely laughed at them. (Surat az-Zukhruf: 47)
Their mockery conceals the fact that they do not want to listen to what they are told, because they are afraid that their consciences will heed the reminder of the Day of Judgment, death and their responsibilities in this life. So, they draw cartoons on the subject, write humorous articles and try to find comedy in it, with the evil intention of mocking Allah's religion.
The deniers' sarcastic attitude brings them great respect from others in Satan's faction. They regard mockery as a virtue, so they respect those who practice it and try to imitate them. But their greatest mistake is to think that the believers will suffer harm and loss of morale from their actions. Since they see mockery as an indicator of wittiness and superiority, they certainly cannot comprehend the believers' point of view on this. The truth is that mockery is the sign of impotence and weakness. Mockery is a method used by people who have no evidence they can produce to contradict the idea with which they are confronted, and in order to cover up their own weaknesses and complexes. Because Allah calls special attention to this subject in the Qur'an, aware that mockery is a method employed by unbelievers against believers, Muslims counter this behaviour with the enjoyment of worship. But because a person who engages in mockery does not know this, he thinks what he has done is very effective. Since he has persuaded himself with his mockery, he thinks he has succeeded in persuading others.
Nowadays, making religion the subject of jokes and anecdotes, and by mocking the Qur'an and the faithful, the deniers are trying to provide their denial with an air of superiority and justify their denial. As Allah has pointed out with the verse, "But Allah is mocking them, and drawing them on, as they wander blindly in their excessive insolence" (Surat al-Baqara: 15), those who try to justify their denial through mockery will only be able to continue doing so for a short time for when they come up against death "… what they used to mock at will engulf them." (Surat az-Zumar: 48)
In the Qur'an, Allah describes the situation in the face of the torment of hell of those who used to mock His verses in this way:
No wonder you are surprised as they laugh with scorn! When they are reminded they do not pay heed. When they see a Sign they only laugh with scorn. They say, "This is just downright magic. When we are dead and turned to dust and bones will we then be raised up again alive? And our earlier ancestors as well?" Say: "Yes, and you will be in a despicable state." There will be but one Great Blast and then their eyes will open. They will say, "Alas for us! This is the Day of Reckoning!" This is the Day of Decision you used to deny. (Surat as-Saffat: 12-21)
Satan's Command: "Conform To The Majority"
One of the main reasons that people are ignorant of the Qur'anic truths and for resisting Allah's verses is that Satan deceives them with the claim that the deniers are in the majority. This is a wonderful excuse for someone who wants to avoid Allah and His commandments for a religious way of life. He resorts to pat answers such as, "Everybody does it that way, they reject the faith too, I have seen them behave this way also!" Because of this mindset, independent, free thinking becomes impossible.
Because they drift with the flow of life without thinking, living out what they have learned by heart, such people never ask themselves questions like, "Why am I doing these things? Why am I with these people? Why do I imitate this person? Why do I act without thinking?" Without feeling any need to consult their minds and consciences, they accept both what is right and what is wrong from their community and live their lives accordingly. The sole excuse they can produce for their beliefs is that they are generally accepted by the communities in which they live.
Rejecting Allah's verses and adopting their own flawed logic and thinking deceives them into belief in "the power of the masses." A natural result of this deception is that the bigger the community in which the individual lives, the higher the power of sanction the masses over him. Acting in unison with a mass community makes independent thinking and decision making difficult. Because of the "conform to the majority" philosophy, even if they know what is right and true, they hold back from expressing it, and conceal their sincere opinions.
One of the most prominent examples of this is materialist scientists who promote the theory of evolution on a worldwide scale. Believers in evolution think that it is true because it has been expounded for many years. They proceed from the idea that if everybody believes in it, they must believe in it too and arrive at the conclusion that if everybody ignores scientific facts, then so should they. Thus collectively they take on the duty of defending the theory of evolution blindly and in spite of everything. To carry out a scientific struggle against this worldwide organized lie is to grapple with millions of people.
Many people may be planning to try and hide behind the excuse, "They were rejecting religion and I thought it was hardly possible for everybody to be wrong at once," but by declaring in the 116th verse of Surat al-An'am "If you obeyed most of those on earth, they would misguide you from Allah's Way. They follow nothing but conjecture. They are only guessing," Allah informs us that a person who conforms to the majority may fall into error. Therefore the fact that an idea is supported by a large number of people does not mean that it is definitely correct.
For this reason a person should listen to his conscience and give up acting according to the pre-judgments of the majority, otherwise the twisted logic will emerge that anybody who bands together a large number of people is on the right path and a misguided majority view will be accepted, instead of objective evidence.
Believing crowd psychology to be a strength, when he met the Prophet Musa, the Pharaoh also used the same method in a different way. When Musa (peace be upon him) arrived to present the clear proofs of the existence of Allah, the Pharaoh gathered all the people together and turned them into a mob.
In doing so, his primary purpose was his belief that he would be able to take pride in winning victory in front of a large crowd and that he would have a positive effect on the people. Secondly, he was deluded by the false belief that the strength of the mob would have a negative effect on the faithful. The same is true of the Prophet Ibrahim's tribe of idolaters. The leaders of the tribe gathered all the people together when the Prophet Ibrahim was about to speak. In the Qur'an, this incident is related in this way:
They said, "Who has done this to our gods? He is definitely one of the wrongdoers!" They said, "We heard a young man mentioning them. They call him Ibrahim." They said, "Bring him before the people's eyes so they can be witnesses." (Surat a-Anbiya': 59-61)
It is common practice for those who resist faith to prefer each other's company and to avoid being alone with a believer: they draw their strength from the unbelieving crowds, and are uncomfortable being alone with believers.
But the faithful, who accept Allah as their friend and guardian, are resigned to providence, and their faith remains unshaken at all times and under all circumstances. Allah tells us how the faithful proceed on the basis of the power of faith when they are greatly outnumbered by those opposing them:
Those to whom people said, "The people have gathered against you, so fear them." But that merely increased their Faith and they said, "Allah is enough for us and the Best of Guardians." (Surah Al 'Imran: 173)
Without any doubt the faithful are those who find their salvation in surrendering themselves thus to Allah. On the Day of Judgment, those who have adopted Satan and accepted him as their friend, are filled with regret and say that they have been left utterly alone. This shows the false path they followed.
The Kingdom that Day will belong in truth to the All-Merciful. It will be a hard Day for the disbelievers, the Day when a wrongdoer will bite his hands and say, "Alas for me! If only I had gone the way of the Messenger! Alas for me! If only I had not taken so-and-so for a friend! He led me astray from the Reminder after it came to me." Satan always leaves man in the lurch. The Messenger says, "My Lord, my people treat this Qur'an as something to be ignored." (Surat al-Furqan: 26-30)