Why do we listen to Satan, when we know he is a clear enemy? How does he convince us to stop using our wisdom?
We saw in the last article that Satan gets at us by jamming our minds so that we can’t make wise choices anymore.
Look closely at the following verse of the Quran:
Surely shaytan is an enemy to you, so take him to yourselves for an enemy. Surely he calls his party only that they may be among the companions (i.e., inhabitants) of the Blaze. (35:6)
Allah tells us that Satan is an enemy, which should have been enough to warn us against him. But then He goes on to say “take him as an enemy”, or “consider him an enemy”.
Perhaps because despite knowing very well he’s our enemy, we often treat him like our best friend.
When he tells us to do a sinful act, we listen to him. When he wants us to go to sleep without praying Fajr, we go to sleep. In fact, sometimes we find it much easier to obey Satan than to obey Allah. That’s why we have to actively try all the time to take him as an enemy, to treat his suggestions as the tricks of an enemy.
Moreover, it is not natural for us to obey Satan. Human beings are programmed to obey Allah. Our natural tendency is to do good, and it’s abnormal behavior when we obey Satan.
How does Satan achieve this feat of making us go against our nature and obey him?
1- He is Persistent.
He never gives up, never rests or takes a break. He keeps whispering. Not in a continuous monotone. No, he never makes it boring. He comes and goes at planned intervals. The last chapter of the Quran says:
Say, ‘I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind, the Sovereign of mankind. the God of mankind, from the evil of the retreating whisperer — who whispers [evil] into the breasts of mankind — from among the jinn and mankind.’
He is an experienced scientist. He keeps coming back and alters his strategies according to our reactions. He keeps whispering different negative, distorted thoughts and observes our reactions. And he keeps doing this until we give in.
2- He Utilizes Our Weak Points.
Allah Almighty says:
Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return. (3:14)
Every human being has desires lurking in their chests. Things that I desire the most might not be what you desire. When our greatest desires are aroused, it fogs our minds. We can’t think properly anymore. That’s what Satan utilizes to make us do hateful things we wouldn’t have done if we had control of our minds.
We refuse to think or act wisely. All we want at that moment is to fulfill our desire. That’s why the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
The adulterer is not a believer while he is committing adultery, and the thief is not a believer while he is stealing, but there is a chance for repentance; (if he repents, Allah will accept the repentance). (At-Tirmidhi 2625)
3- Once You Let Him in, He Gains Power Over Your Mind.
In Bram Stoker’s famous novel Dracula, the vampire is not able to enter into a house, unless one of its residents let him in willfully. Once he gets an entry, now he can come and go freely.
That sounds to me exactly the way Satan gets entry into our minds. When we give in to our desires or laziness and obey him, he gets power over our minds.
How Do You Know When Your Mind is Controlled by Satan?
Things always look bleak. You become pessimistic of your future. You only see problems in your life, and life seems devoid of blessings. You don’t see what Allah has done for you that you should be grateful to Him.
2- Laziness in doing good deeds:
You don’t feel like getting up for Fajr or fasting in Ramadan. You might even feel angry that Allah has made all these rules to make your life hard.
3- Feeling compelled to sin:
You just can’t control it. You just have to watch that video. Anyway, all your friends are doing it, then why not you?
4- Feeling no connection with Allah during prayer:
Prayer has simply become a physical exercise. You don’t feel anything in your heart when you pray. You don’t feel the presence of Allah. Sometimes you aren’t even sure if He exists.
What does Satan do once he gets power over our minds? What defenses do we have against Satan? How do we extricate our minds from Satan’s control? How do we unlock our wisdom? We’ll see about these issues in the following article in sha Allah.