By Ruhie Jamshaid
The home is our sacred abode. It is a place away from the hustle and bustle of life that we retire to, in order to mend our souls and ‘recharge our batteries’. Home is a place of calmness and reflection, where we can be who we are and get in touch with our innermost selves. Therefore, our home, more than any other physical entity that we possess, needs to be protected from the lure of Satan.
Allowing Satan’s presence in our homes can strip our mental peace and undermine our faith and closeness to Allah (swt). Therefore, it is important to shield the four walls of our hearth and home from the presence of Satan. To do so, we need to recognize the characteristics of homes which openly invite his evil.
Homes Devoid of the Remembrance of Allah (swt)
When Allah (swt) ceases to exist in our hearts and minds, Satan finds a place to be in it. It is important to continuously remember Allah (swt) through Dhikr. The remembrance of Allah (swt) can take many forms: with the heart and mind, through prayers, reading of the Quran or other Islamic literature or simply by discussing certain Islamic issues. Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “The example of a home, in which Allah is remembered, and the example of a home, in which Allah is not remembered, is like comparing the living and the dead.” (Muslim)
Homes, where Salah is not performed regularly, open their doors to evil. Indeed, Salah is the first line of defense against the evil whisperings of Satan. Praying together as a family has a manifold effect against Satan. It is a good idea for family members to pray together in Jamah, even with the servants joining in.
The amazing power of Quranic recitation, especially a few designated Surahs, cannot be underestimated. Surah Al-Baqarah and Ayat-ul-Kursi have been specifically cited as the keys to keeping Satan away. The Prophet (sa) said: “Recite Surah Al-Baqarah in your houses, for the Satan does not enter a house in which Surah Al-Baqarah is recited.” (Jami)
He (sa) also said: “When you go to your bed, recite Ayat-ul-Kursi: ‘Allah! There is no god but Him, the Ever-Living, the One Who Sustains and Protects all that exists,’ to the end, for then there will remain over you a guardian from Allah, and Satan will not come near you until morning.” (Bukhari)
Having Allah (swt) continuously in our consciousness within the folds of the home dishevels Satan and his evil devices. It is important to have Islamic audiotapes, visual CDs and books within easy reach for every family member, including children. Easy access to Islamic knowledge ensures the seepage of Allah’s (swt) words into our consciousness, thereby upsetting Satan. Un-Islamic programmes on television or mindless music serve the contrary – inviting Satan to be a part of our home.
We must also inculcate the habit of remembering Allah (swt) regularly in the little, daily things we do. Doing so lays down barriers to Satan’s entry into our lives at every little step.
Homes Devoid of Practicing Sunnah
Nowadays, western pop stars and Hollywood actors are looked upon as examples to emulate. For the believing Muslim, there isn’t and there shouldn’t be anyone more ideal than the Prophet (sa) to follow. His every action was for pleasing Allah (swt) and ‘upsetting’ Satan. Therefore, it is important to emulate the Prophet (sa) as closely as we can within our homes to avert Satan’s grip on those that dwell in our abodes.
One of the dictates that the Prophet (sa) abided by strictly within his own home was that of kindness. He said: “When Allah wills some good towards the people of a household, He introduces kindness among them.” (Ahmad)
He (sa) also said: “Allah is gentle and loves gentleness. He gives for gentleness what He does not give for harshness nor for anything else.” (Muslim)
The Prophet (sa) showed kindness towards his family in several ways. For example, he would help his wife Aisha (rta) with housework or be playful and gentle with his grandchildren. The acts of consideration and kindness serve to sow the seeds of love and peace within our homes, thereby expelling Satan’s influences of anger, hatred and discord.
The Prophet (sa) also advocated certain rules for safeguarding the home. They included guarding the secrets of the home, seeking permission before entering rooms, especially the parents’ room, and avoiding staying overnight away from one’s own home to safeguard the morals of members of one’s family.
Ibn Umar reported that the Prophet (sa) forbade being alone and said that a man should not stay overnight alone or travel alone. (Ahmad) Not only will he be alone, but his wife and children are likely to be left alone in the home, without any protection or companionship.
Homes Conducive to Evil and Evil Deeds
A home, where every member of the family seeks to practice righteousness and justice, alienates Satan. Every household member should be encouraged by the head of the house to be fair and just towards others, including the servants, because just behaviour lessens reason for discord, thereby discouraging Satan from sowing his seeds of evil.
Mingling with and inviting only righteous people into our homes is also a good strategy for expelling Satan. We greatly benefit practically and spiritually from the company of righteous people. Our Prophet (sa) said: “Keep company with a believer only, and let your food be eaten only by the righteous.” (Abu Dawood and At-Tirmidhi) Therefore, it is important to ‘invest’ in meaningful friendships that invite Allah’s (swt) pleasure and Satan’s displeasure.
It is also wise to pay attention to decorations in our homes. It has become fashionable to display strange aesthetic idols and to make our homes modern in design. Instead of incorporating photos and statues in our homes, it is a better idea to decorate our homes and hearts with beautiful calligraphy of Surahs and Allah’s (swt) names. If the accursed Satan meets Allah’s (swt) words at every nook and corner of our home, he is sure to be disheartened!
A home is built by the people living within – by their actions and deeds. If a house has dwellers that have united in marriage with the sole intention of building an Islamic home, it has already laid the first ‘brick’ in the foundation of closing its doors to Satan. Due to his evil disposition, Satan will be persistent in diverting believers from the path of Allah (swt) and the battle to shut our doors to his mischief will be an ongoing one. However, if we, Insha’Allah, guard the sanctity of our abodes by following the dictates of our religion, we will overcome the evil and bring blessings to our homes.