Satan Strives To Lead You Astray 1
Did I not make a contract with you, tribe of Adam, not to worship Satan, who truly is an outright enemy to you, but to worship Me? That is a straight path. He has led numerous people among you into error. Why did you not use your intellect? (Surah Ya Sin: 60-62)
You have an enemy whose only aim is to keep you far from Allah, His religion and the Qur'an. He does not relent from his plot even for a moment; lying in ambush, he awaits the opportunity to fulfil his task. He is able to see you from where you cannot see him and tries thousands of methods to entrap you. One of his characteristics is that he is stealthy. His methods, tactics and tricks may vary from one person to next. The tactics he employs may also depend on the time, place and conditions. This enemy of ours is Satan, the being who was driven from the sight of Allah.
Contrary to what the majority of people think, Satan is not an imaginary being. As a part of the test in this world, one needs to be always watchful against Satan. Because, revolting against Allah, Satan swore to lead His servants astray. Allah relates the rebellious behaviours of the devil in the Qur'an as follows:
We created you and then formed you and then We said to the angels, "Prostrate before Adam," and they prostrated—except for Iblis. He was not among those who prostrated. He (Allah) said, "What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you to?" He (Satan) replied, "I am better than him. You created me from fire and You created him from clay." He (Allah) said, "Descend from Heaven. It is not for you to be arrogant in it. So get out! You are one of the abased." He (Satan) said, "Grant me a reprieve until the day they are raised up." He (Allah) said, "You are one of the reprieved." He (Satan) said, "By Your misguidance of me, 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. You will not find most of them thankful." He (Allah) said, "Get out of it, reviled and driven out. As for those of them who follow you, I will fill up Hell with every one of you." (Surat al-A'raf: 11-18)
As is made clear in the above verses, Satan is the most avowed enemy of mankind. This being will also try to mislead you by arousing in you sinful desires. However, an important point should be noted here; as is stated in the verses above, the major goal of Satan is to make you, along with the rest of mankind, follow him. The accursed Satan will not relent until you enter Hell.
There is yet an even more important fact to remember: Satan does not possess any power independent of Allah. Allah created him, and he is completely under His control. He is a servant of Allah, and can only act with His permission. He is charged with the task of helping to distinguish those who truly believe from those who do not. He can only act under Allah's Will. When the time granted to him expires, he will be thrown into Hell together with those he had led astray:
(Allah said): I will fill up Hell with you and every one of them who follows you. (Surah Sâd: 85)
Therefore, Satan does not actually have any power over believers. As Allah stresses in the following verse, he has power only over those who do not truly and sincerely believe:
He (Satan) 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, except Your servants among them who are sincere." (Surat al-Hijr: 39-40)
Satan cannot lead a man, whom Allah created as a believer, to go astray from the right path. Of course, believers are always prone to make mistakes. However, they never despair of Allah's mercy, but immediately take refuge in Him and repent with sincerity. Allah informs us in the Qur'an of those over whom Satan can exert his power:
He 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 wishes to lead you to become insolent, arrogant and disobedient to Allah, just as he himself is. He commands you to do evil, to perform acts that are not pleasing to Allah and to say of Allah that about which you have no knowledge. He tries to hinder you from assessing Allah's true grandeur and might. Allah draws attention to this danger in the Qur'an as follows:
Mankind! Eat what is good and lawful on the earth. And do not follow in the footsteps of Satan. He truly is an outright enemy to you. He only commands you to do evil and indecent acts and to say about Allah what you do not know. (Surat al-Baqara: 168-169)
His main endeavour is to fill mankind with constant fear of poverty, a goal which he is able to accomplish once he has made them forget about the hereafter. Unaware that everything is under Allah's control, and that no one can prevent any good if Allah wills it, these people live completely irresponsibly, leading them to commit all sorts of offences against Allah:
Satan threatens you with poverty and enjoins you to be niggardly, and Allah promises you forgiveness from Himself and abundance; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing. (Surat al-Baqara: 268)
Satan's primary tactic is deviousness. Indeed, Allah describes this stealth "... the insidious whisperer who whispers (evil) in people's breasts." (Surat an-Nas: 4-5) As the verse makes clear, Satan, who approaches people deceptively, busies people with idle and trivial matters and makes their wrongdoings seem fair to them:
If only they had humbled themselves when Our violent force came upon them! However, their hearts were hard and Satan made what they were doing seem attractive to them. (Surat al-An'am: 43)
More importantly, these people, whose hearts are hardened and who assume themselves to be on the right path, though in fact they are misled, lead themselves still further from Allah's revelations. Forsaking Allah, they hold Satan dear, follow his path, and thus, grow even more insolent.