Allah’s (swt) Different Forms of Creation

 

Al Khaliq- the creator

                                                           Image Courtesy www.voqonline.com

 

There is an important point that is ignored by those who believe in evolutionary creation- which is Allah’s (swt) different forms of creation. Allah (swt) has produced living things that differ significantly from humans and animals, such as angels and the Jinn. This matter will be discussed in the following lines.

 

Two-, three-, and four-winged angels

 

Angels are beings that always obey Allah’s (swt) commands. The Quran describes their creation as follows,

“All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the (only) Originator (or the (only) Creator) of the heavens and the earth, Who made the angels messengers with wings, – two or three or four. He increases in creation what He wills. Verily, Allah is Able to do all things.”

(Fatir 35:1)

As we can see from this description, the forms of angels differ considerably from those of human beings. Allah (swt) draws attention to the different forms of creation in the above verse.

 

Verses also show how angels are at Allah’s (swt) command and obey Him,

“And to Allah prostate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the live moving creatures and the angels, and they are not proud [i.e. they worship their Lord (Allah) with humility]. They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.” (An-Nahl 16:49-50)

“The Messiah will never be proud to reject to be a slave to Allah, nor the angels who are near (to Allah). And whosoever rejects His worship and is proud, then He will gather them all together unto Himself.” (An-Nisa’ 4:172)

“O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.” (At-Tahrim 66:6)

 

In addition, angels were created before man. In fact, Allah (swt) told the angels when He was going to create Adam (as), the first human being, and commanded them to prostrate before him.

 

At the same time, Allah (swt) gave Prophet Adam (as) knowledge that was different from that of the angels, and taught him the names of things. Angels do not possess that knowledge. As the Quran states,

 

“And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: “Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generations after generations on earth.” They said: “Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood, – while we glorify You with praises and thanks (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners) and sanctify You.” He (Allah) said: “I know that which you do not know.”And He taught Adam all the names (of everything), then He showed them to the angels and said, “Tell Me the names of these if you are truthful.”They (angels) said: “Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise.”He said: “O Adam! Inform them of their names,” and when he had informed them of their names, He said: “Did I not tell you that I know the Ghaib (unseen) in the heavens and the earth, and I know what you reveal and what you have been concealing?”And (remember) when We said to the angels: “Prostrate yourselves before Adam.” And they prostrated except Iblis (Satan), he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers (disobedient to Allah).” (Al-Baqarah 2:30-34)

Jinn are created from fire

 

Like angels, the Jinn’s appearance also differs from that of man. The verses below show that man was created from clay, while the Jinn were created from fire,

“And indeed, We created man from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud. And the Jinn, We created aforetime from the smokeless flame of fire.” (Al-Hijr 15:26-27)

“He created man (Adam) from sounding clay like the clay of pottery. And the Jinns did He create from a smokeless flame of fire.” (Ar-Rahman 55:14-15)

In the Quran, Allah (swt) also reveals His purpose for creating man and the Jinn,

“And I (Allah) created not the Jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).” (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)

 

It is clear from this that although man and the Jinn are very different beings; they both were created to worship only Allah (swt) by living by the values He prescribed. He has revealed in many verses that both angels and the Jinn have some characteristics that differ from human characteristics. For instance, both can transport matter,

 

“He said: “O chiefs! Which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me surrendering themselves in obedience?”

He said: “O chiefs! Which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me surrendering themselves in obedience?” An Ifrit (strong) from the Jinns said: “I will bring it to you before you rise from your place (council). And verily, I am indeed strong, and trustworthy for such work.” (An-Naml 27:38-39)

The Quran also says that the Jinn, just like the angels, were created before man. When He created Prophet Adam (as), Allah (swt) commanded the angels and the Jinn to prostrate before him. After that, He reveals that Satan is one of the Jinn,

“And (remember) when We said to the angels; “Prostrate to Adam.” So they prostrated except Iblis (Satan). He was one of the Jinns; he disobeyed the Command of his Lord. Will you then take him (Iblis) and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me while they are enemies to you? What an evil is the exchange for the Zalimun (polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc).” (Al-Kahf 18:50)

Creation is a simple matter for Allah (swt), Who can create from nothing and with no previous cause. Just as He created the angels and the Jinn in different forms from nothing, He also created man as a separate being from nothing, and with no need for evolution

. The same applies to other living things, such as animals and plants. Allah (swt) created all of these spontaneously out of nothing, and without having them evolved – in other words, without turning one species into another. As we saw earlier, the stages Allah (swt) uses in this creation- which we mentioned before- have nothing to do with evolutionist coincidence, or random events; for each is the product of the flawless system Allah’s (swt) might and sovereignty brought about.

 

How the bird created from clay by the Prophet ‘Isa (as) came to life?

 

Allah (swt) endowed Prophet ‘Isa (as), with metaphysical properties in the life of this world, as seen in,

 

“…the Messiah ‘Isa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah.” (Al `Imran 3:45)

 

He came into the world with no father, spoke while still in the cradle, and cured the sick in a miraculous way.

 

Moreover, when Prophet ‘Isa (as) made a clay object in the shape of a bird, and breathed into it, the bird came to life by Allah’s (swt) will. This fact is related in the Quran,

 

“And will make him (‘Isa (Jesus)) a Messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s Leave…” (Al `Imran 3:49)

 

“(Remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection).”O ‘Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Remember My Favour to you and to your mother when I supported you with Ruh-ul-Qudus (Jibrael (Gabriel)) so that you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and when I taught you writing, Al-Hikmah (the power of understanding), the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel); and when you made out of the clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My Permission, and you breathed into it, and it became a bird by My Permission…” (Al-Ma’idah 5:110)

 

Allah (swt) can spontaneously create a living thing in that way. This is one of His miracles, and an important truth that evolutionist Muslims should not ignore.

 

A similar example mentions Prophet Ibrahim (as), and reveals how Allah (swt) endows inanimate things with life,

 

“And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) said, “My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” He (Allah) said: “Do you not believe?” He [Ibrahim (Abraham)] said: “Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in Faith.” He said: “Take four birds, then cause them to incline towards you (then slaughter them, cut them into pieces), and then put a portion of them on every hill, and call them, they will come to you in haste. And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”” (Al-Baqarah 2:260)

 

How Prophet Zakariya’s (as) barren wife had a child

 

One example of miraculous creation concerns the joyous tiding received by Prophet Zakariya (as),  that his barren wife would give birth to a child,

(Allah said) “O Zakariya (Zachariah)! Verily, We give you the glad tidings of a son, His name will be Yahya (John). We have given that name to none before (him).”He said: “My Lord! How can I have a son, when my wife is barren, and I have reached the extreme old age?”He said: So (it will be).” (Maryam 19:7-9) As the verses reveal, creation is a simple matter for Allah (swt), Who requires no previous cause to create. He endowed this Prophet with a child, and by commanding that it should “Be!”- This Prophet’s wife spontaneously became pregnant. Our Lord reveals in the continuation of the verse,

“… He said: “So (it will be). Your Lord says; It is easy for Me. Certainly I have created you before, when you had been nothing!”” (Maryam 19:9)

From Ms. to Mrs. – Expectations Versus Reality

Vol 4-Issue 3 Muslim WeddingsI’m getting married -Yay! There is so much to be done- designer dress, jewellery, footwear, bags, make-up artist, salon etc. How many days will the wedding celebrations continue? How many functions? Theme of the day? What about the dance preparations? Do we have enough time to rehearse the dances in-sync? Oh wait- I almost forgot, the photographer! ‘Capturing memories that will last for a life-time.’ I want my wedding album to be the most creative. I’ll update my face book profile pictures and cover photos every day. Why not share my happiness with the world?

Many of us start considering these things as soon as the wedding bells start ringing in our head. The fairy-tale we had been reading, watching and dreaming of since our childhood is finally becoming true. So what do I do to prepare myself for this life-altering event? Yes! I Know! I need the wedding glow. I can’t be a dull bride. Manicure, pedicure, whitening facial, skin treatments, weight-loss plans, gym programs (Obviously, I can’t be a fat bride. What will people say?)

But….What happens once we say ‘Qubool Hai’? The fairy-tale wedding, the excitement of the events, the food, the glittering dresses, and need not mention the never ending laughter. What happens when all of this comes to an end and a new chapter in our life begins? What happens when the first time we get into an argument with our husband? What happens when someone from the in-laws says something that hurts you deeply? What happens when misunderstandings arise? This is the time when it truly hits us that the fairy-tales always promised a happily-ever-after, but this is not what we had imagined. What does this ‘happily-ever-after’ mean anyway?

We are so focused upon the fairy tale wedding events and the preparations that we forget to make preparations for the real life drama that would follow-on later.

Expectation vs. Reality

  • Expectation: My husband will come home every day with a smile on his face.
  • Reality: Girls, sorry to burst your bubble, but this is not true for an everyday routine. Your husband is a human. He goes through different stressful routines and tasks in a day at his work. He gets tired, he has hunger pangs, he is uncomfortable with the work-place politics and there could be a number of other reasons which you are unaware of. At times, he would want solitude for a little while. Try to calm him down. Ask him about his problems, strike a light conversation to divert his attention, give him a light snack to eat, dress-up adequately for him and be empathetic. Don’t take it personally. His mood will eventually become better.

 There will be times when you face criticisms and you will feel that you aren’t appreciated for your efforts.

  • Expectation: I will live the way ‘I’ like.
  • Reality: Once you get married, for some initial months, you are new to the in-laws and your in-laws are new to you. Learn their living habits, likes/dislikes and make sincere efforts to adjust to the new lifestyle. Pray to Allah (swt) for an increased level of patience and Taqwa. In times of turmoil, recite the Quran and the burden will be lifted from your heart Insha’Allah. Seeking permission wouldn’t mean the end of your freedom. Your husband would like it when you seek his permission and value his opinion in every matter.
  • Expectation: I will be showered with compliments
  • Reality: There will be times when you face criticisms and you will feel that you aren’t appreciated for your efforts. This is the time when you require patience the most. Keep doing good anyway. Keep a clear heart and try to improve your short-comings. Allah (swt) is the All knowing and All seeing. Allah (swt) is the turner of hearts.
  • Expectation: I will never get into a disagreement with my spouse
  • Reality: You and your husband are two different people with two different minds. There are going to be many occasions when you would not agree with a certain behaviour of your husband, or when your husband doesn’t agree with your opinions or conducts. Satan becomes the happiest when there is disagreement between the husband and wife. So, whenever you see yourself lose control of your patience, remember to seek refuge in Allah (swt) from the Satan. Even the Holy Prophet (sa) once had misunderstandings with Hazrat Aisha (ra) due to the malicious rumours spread by certain slanderous people, while on an expedition against Banu-Al-Mustaliq (Ref: Book Enjoy your life- Deduced from a study of the Prophet’s (sa) life by Dr. Muhammad Al-‘Areefi) Have the utmost faith in the judgement of Allah (swt). Try to finish the disagreements as soon as possible. Don’t prolong them. Be courteous and respectful even in the state of anger.
  • Expectation: I will spend my husband’s money as I like
  • Reality: You are now the lady of the house. It is your responsibility to make sure that the house expenditures run efficiently. Well, who doesn’t like shopping? But, set priorities and be a helpful and considerate spouse, rather than a shopaholic spendthrift. Make efforts to strengthen your Iman and do not indulge too much in the worldly desires.  In Surah Al-Araf, we are told, “O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes), while praying and going round (the Tawaf of ) the Kabah, and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifun (those who waste by extravagance).” (Al-Araf 7:31)

The Satan gives a big reward to the subordinate who has created differences and distances between the husband and the wife in the form of arguments, disagreements and fights.

My dear sisters, the relation of a husband and wife is the first relation to come into existence i.e. that of Hazrat Adam (as) and bibi Hawa (as). The Satan gives a big reward to the subordinate who has created differences and distances between the husband and the wife in the form of arguments, disagreements and fights. We, at times, have such high expectations from our marital lives that even a slightest issue disrupts the harmony which we had imagined; and we tend to give up hope. Marriage is a relationship upon which you and your spouse have to work coherently. Learn to adjust, learn to give-in, to forgive, understand each other and above all respect one another. May Allah (swt) guide us to the best of knowledge and Iman.

Ibn Qayyim said: “The (path) always starts with trials and tests, then comes the period of patience and reliance (upon Allah (swt)), and the end is enlightenment, guidance and victory.” (Shifaa’ Al-Aleel)

A Deliberate Choice – Hip Hop or the Word of Allah (swt)?

quran_musicAllergic reaction to a dead soul

No no no, his eyes were like scorching sun.

“Stop it! Just shut it up! I can’t take it!” said Huzaifa in an irritable tone to his mother.

“Sigh! All my life I sang lullabies for you to fall asleep. Your ears are now immune to the beat that the word of Allah (swt) can no longer enter your heart. It is only Satan who flees when the Quran is recited. What have I done to you my child? I have caused your heart to rust. It is now covered with a thick layer of melody and filthy words.”

Is it not horrifying? How can you tolerate it as a mother that your child- the apple of your eye- gets closer to the extreme torture of hell fire?

Unintentional impact- little things, weigh more!

The other day, I was going somewhere where an obnoxious filthy song struck my ears. Astaghfirullah slipped from my mouth the very moment, and I put fingers in my ears to block it. But to my surprise, the lyrics captivated my heart and tongue for a week or so. The moment we come across any beat- our fingers tap, legs and head move with the rhythm, waist twists and shakes to the beat. It is the trap of Satan that he glitters dirt, so it may appeal our eyes; thus, makes us closer to the wrath of Allah (swt).

Allah (swt) says in the Quran,

And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks (i.e. music, singing, etc.) to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah without knowledge, and takes it (the Path of Allah, the Verses of the Quran) by way of mockery. For such there will be a humiliating torment (in the Hell-fire).” (Luqman 31:6)

A painless hit

Laghw (vain words and actions) includes anything that is unnecessary and diverts mind from serious thinking and takes you far from the remembrance of Allah (swt). For instance, when you are endorsed in a romantic novel, you tend to forget everything around. Be it your five obligatory prayers. Is it acceptable?

Prophet Muhammad (sa)  mentioned fifteen things which when acquired by Ummah will lead to disaster. Singing and dancing is one of those fifteen habits.

Music and its repercussions

Music has horrific effects on its listeners. It is like passive smoking- causes a menace to the listener, and others to whom it is audible. Thus, it creates a chain of sinners from the producer, writer, singer, composer and listener. For those, who undermine the truth of this sin, and are addicted to songs and music- they cannot deny the unhealthy biological effects that it has on human body. It takes you closer to heedlessness, shamelessness; takes away humanity and makes you view woman as a sex object, a tissue paper that you use and throw.

Biological effects

Social effects

Music stimulates sympathetic nervous system.  Becomes unaware of surroundings.
It causes excitement and mental tension- which contribute to madness (mania- sudden laughter or non-sensical talks), ulcers, and heart diseases. Children get immune to suggestive moves and sex appealing lyrics.
It disturbs digestion and causes ulcers. Dale Carnegie said that violence, anger and mental tension cause ulcers. Gives rise to lust or illicit thoughts about the opposite gender.
Leads to abnormal secretion of hormones such as- adrenalin which causes blood clots that leads to a heart attack. It leads to adultery. The Holy Prophet (sa) said: “Singing is a ladder to adultery.”
Can cause rheumatisms- temporary/ permanent deafness. Supported by doctor Charles Lebo, of the Pacific Medical Centre. Causes crime rates to rise.
Mental stability is affected.
It may create insomnia (lack of sleep).

 

Music is to the soul, what words are to the mind

Singing gives rise to lust in man, which ultimately gives out bad consequences. Not only he who sings, but also, the one who listens attentively to it becomes negligent towards Allah (swt) and is ready for immoral deeds.(For more: Read the biological reactions of excited hormones, music is one of the causes- http://raymondinegypt.tripod.com/articles-04/love-chemistry.htm)

Music is an intoxicant- it makes one forget one’s surroundings; and one does not know what is happening to him or her. The following episode is a good example of the effect of music: Frank King is reported in ‘Reader’s Digest’ as saying:

“I returned home one evening and noticed a large red mark that looked like a burn on my wife’s right cheek. When I asked her what had happened she sheepishly told me the story. She set up the iron-board in the living room, so that she could watch a favourite television programme while doing the ironing. The telephone table was also near. As she was intently watching TV, the phone rang, and she reached out automatically and answered the iron.”

Music alters and tunes your thinking ability and cognition. It trains your mind to think and behave in a specific manner. They are spending millions and billions each year to promote filth, pollute minds and keep hearts away from the word of Allah (swt).

Moreover, some researches advocate that lyrics and tones have contributed to nefarious crimes such as rape and massacre. A known Indian singer YoYo Singh has been criticized on his lyrics as they depict molestation and fiendishness after the incident of December 2012 gang rape.

Check http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-22520583.

Play the moments, pause the memories, stop the pain

The above known quote explains why we opt for music. People choose music to nullify their pain and agony. What does it contain? It comprises of an unsuccessful lover and a lost love, description of a woman’s bodily parts, words that may easily unbalance your emotions and sexual desires. It has a tendency to alter your moods in a second. A sad song will land you in a state of sadness.  Highly motivated lyrics will make you live and die for the esteem of your country.

Silence will not protect you

Some people rigidly try not to nourish their souls by any such bash. Suppression and compression are their tools. They become silent when they encounter any musical gathering. Putting finger in your ears is not the solution. It is a slow poison that ruins our spiritual roots and character. Taming of Nafs is important on an individual level as well as communal level. It needs a whole white wash. You cannot pretend that you have controlled the extraneous factors that will dirty your soul. You may strictly ban music in your home. But, what about shopping malls, restaurants and wedding ceremonies? Will you do a social boycott? Will this influence the massive turnover generated from these instruments and songs? Might not!

A big win!

A mediocre way is to channelize the Nafs and not to tether it. Nafs is a stubborn horse- you need to train it, not leash it. It is like a rubber band- the more you stretch it, the stronger it will come back to you. This way it will hurt you harder. For instance, you might have witnessed a toddler moving along with the beat or any other rhythmic sound. It is very natural to feel angry on that. But, it would be wise to control and not to shout your head off. A better tactical approach is to distract the kids towards Islamic Nasheeds and Muslim rhymes which has no music (like Madinah Tunnabi, kids land Al-Huda). It is but natural to feel good listening to soft voices, chirping of birds or the melodious whistling of water. It is innate. It attracts you and it is a fact. Try to divert this craving to lawful things. We can opt for good Quran reciters who recite the verses and do not sing them.

Body Modifications: The Pursuit of Desires

Vol 6 - Issue 1 Body modifications copyThe first time I directly witnessed a case of body-piercing was in the 90’s when a childhood friend returned from England after a few years stay. With jaw dropped, I beheld her pierced abdomen, adorned with a sickle-shaped, diamante-studded ‘contraption’ nestled in her navel. The Quran states that Satan will try to trick humans into body modification:

“Verily, I will mislead them, and surely, I will arouse in them false desires; and certainly, I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allah.” (Al-Nisa 4:119)

Body modification is also, as Satan himself promised, a means of following one’s desires, in order to change whatever one wants in one’s natural physical form created by Allah (swt). Furthermore, it’s not just the human body that is modified to suit desires; plants and animals are also now subjected to special fertilizers and hormone treatments to make them meet new standards of consumption and higher profit rates. Highlighted below are some of the creation-modification methods used today.

Body Piercing

Body-piercing is a modern-day trend, in which metal rings or other ornaments are worn in openings pierced in the body. The ears, eyebrows, nose, abdomen, chest, or navel could be pierced in several areas. Reasons behind this phenomenon could be a desire to stand out, to imitate an idol or celebrity, or to rebel. In addition, hair is dyed an unnatural color such as purple, blue or green, with several areas of the head shaved off to create ‘designs’. Some people take this so far that their original face is lost amid the designs. It is a clear example of how Satan has led humans to alter Allah’s (swt) creation.

Allah warns us in the Quran: “Surely, Shaitan (Satan) is an enemy to you, so take (treat) him as an enemy. He only invites his Hizb (followers) that they may become the dwellers of the blazing fire.” (Fatir 35:6)

Plastic Surgery and Liposuction

In order to fix sagging skin, fat-rolls, wrinkles – marks of age or excess weight – more and more people are rushing to the plastic surgeon’s scalpel. Procedures include facelifts, tummy-tucks, nose-jobs and breast augmentation. All these procedures involve improvements made to the body, driven by a passionate desire to stay beautiful, look more feminine, or ‘improve’ a specific body-part.

Liposuction is a surgical procedure, in which incisions are made at key areas in the body to suction fat from it in fluid form. It results in fat reduction mainly on the hips, thighs and abdomen.

Sheikh Salih Al-Munajjid, a scholar at Islam-QA.com, states in his ruling on plastic surgery: “There are cosmetic surgical procedures which are Haram and are not considered to be excusable; these are seen as tampering with the creation of Allah (swt) for the sake of beauty. Examples include: breast enlargement or reduction, and procedures aimed at reversing the signs of ageing, such as face-lifts, etc. The Islamic view is that these are not permitted because there is no urgent need or necessity for them; rather, the aim is to change and tamper with the creation of Allah (swt) for reasons of human vanity. This is Haram and the one who does it is cursed, because it involves two things mentioned in the Hadeeth: pursuit of beauty and changing what Allah (swt) has created.” (Sheikh Salih Al-Munajjid, Islam-qa.com, verdict number 1006)

The exception to this ruling is removing abhorred scars or natural deformities from one’s body through plastic surgery, so that one does not suffer the psychological trauma of being spurned off by people. Such physical faults could include beard-like stubble on a woman’s face, burn-scars caused by an accident or skin lesions caused by leprosy.

Tattooing

Tattoos are designs embedded under the skin, using needles to infuse coloured dye into the skin’s colour-pigment. They do not get washed off in normal life unless one has them removed because the skin pigmentation is physically changed. Tattooing is a body-marking practice that is thousands of years old. Nowadays, a tattoo depicts a person’s devotion to something.

Abdullah Bin Masood (rta) has narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “May Allah curse the women who do tattoos and those for whom tattoos are done, those who pluck their eyebrows and those who file their teeth for the purpose of beautification, and alter the creation of Allah.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Thinning of Eyebrows

Pencil-drawn, thin eyebrows have always been fashionably ‘in’. Fashion models on runways and in glossies promote changing the shape of female eyebrows to look more beautiful and to provide space under the brow for accentuating eye makeup. I know ladies who shave, pluck, wax or thread more than half of their eyebrows to leave just a millimeter-thin line which they accentuate with a brow pencil. What are we actually doing? Wiping off Allah’s (swt) creation and replacing it with our own ‘creativity’?

In rushing to modify the natural brows which Allah (swt) has bestowed us with – simply because the fashion world, beauticians and socialite friends tell us we cannot look beautiful unless we do so – we defiantly ignore and disobey the warning given to us by Allah’s Messenger (sa) in the above Hadeeth.

Transgender Surgery

Several famous people have had sex-change surgery in order to become a woman (if they were born a man) and vice versa. This is not to include those who were tested by Allah (swt) by being born with both types of genitals, then had one surgically removed to eliminate the ambiguity, rather, what is abhorred is the act of having one’s sex changed solely due to a strong desire or whim to do so.

Transsexuals have body-parts surgically added and/or subtracted, in order to achieve their gender transition. They also consume male or female hormones. A transsexual, who recently made news, is an American, Thomas Beatie. Previously a woman, she chose to keep her reproductive apparatus after her transition and gave birth to a daughter because ‘his’ wife was barren.

Artificially Enhanced Meat and Genetically Modified Plants

Certain hormones and chemicals are now routinely added to cattle and poultry fodder in order to make them grow bigger and meatier at a much faster rate. These chemicals are passed on to the humans who consume these animals, causing increased heart disease. Similarly, the DNA or genes of plants are altered by genetic engineering so that these plants become resistant to certain pesticides. Such organisms are known as GM (genetically modified).

Indonesia’s leading authority on Islamic affairs has given the go-ahead to Muslims to consume GM Foods. The reason is the absence of any fatwa that indicates that GM Food is actually Haram. However, consumption of GM Foods (meat or plants) is another thing and the actual action of modifying the basic DNA of plants and animals to produce more meat or perennial fruit is another issue altogether. It goes without saying that it is a way of tampering with the creation of Allah (swt). When man tries to change the creation of Allah (swt), it produces side-effects and negative repercussions.

Conclusion

Some people might think that there’s nothing wrong with changing the creation of Allah (swt) by the above methods. Some term it as ‘scientific progress’ or ‘human ingenuity’. We must remember, though, that Allah (swt) is the One Who created us and He knows best what is good for us. His wisdom is more profound than ours, and we must abstain from disobeying His commands and following the insinuations of our avowed enemy:

“Did I not command you, O Children of Adam, that you should not worship Shaitan (Satan). Verily, he is a plain enemy to you. And that you should worship Me [Alone – Islamic Monotheism, and set up not rivals, associate-gods with me]. That is the Straight Path.” (Yasin 36:60-61)

Know Your Enemy

Vol 6 - Issue 1 Know your enemyHistory of Satan

The word ‘satan’ is derived from an Arabic word which means ‘the far thing.’ It also implies the meaning of ‘being on fire with hatred’ and ‘worthless.’ Iblis (or Diabolos) leads all satans and satanic activities. The word ‘Iblis’ means ‘to be peevish, despairing of any good or happiness’ and ‘to be desperate and miserably sorry.’

After Allah (swt) created Adam (as), He commanded the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam (as). All angels obeyed Allah (swt) except Iblis, as a result of which he earned Allah’s wrath and was driven away from Allah’s (swt) mercy:

“(Remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ‘Truly I am going to create a man from clay. So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then fall down prostrate to him!’ So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them: except Iblis (Satan): he was proud and was one of the disbelievers. (Allah) said: ‘O Iblis (Satan)! What prevents you from prostrating yourself to one whom I have created with Both My Hands. Are you too proud (to fall prostrate to Adam) or are you one of the high exalted?’” (Sad 38:71-75)

To this, Satan responded with pride that since he was created from fire and the man from clay, it naturally made him a superior being. In truth, however, this was a figment of Satan’s imagination, lacking any reasoning or reality; even worse – he went into a head-on confrontation with the Lord (swt).

Allah (swt) drove Satan away from Paradise. Now, Satan blames human beings for his inevitable end, thus becoming our worst imaginable enemy. Instead of asking for Allah’s (swt) forgiveness, Satan chose heedlessness.

“Allah (swt) said: ‘Then get out from here; for verily you are outcast. And verily My Curse is on you till the Day of Recompense.’ [Iblis (Satan)] said: ‘My Lord! Give me then respite till the Day the (dead) are resurrected.’ (Allah) said: ‘Verily! You are of those allowed respite. Till the Day of the time appointed.’ [Iblis (Satan)] said: ‘By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, except Your chosen slaves amongst them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism).’ (Allah) said: ‘The Truth is – and Truth I say – that I will fill Hell with you [Iblis (Satan)] and those of them (mankind) that follow you, together.’” (Sad 38:77-85)

“For thousands of years now, Satan has been working to achieve his goal. He will continue his stealthy activities until the Day of Judgement, when the life of this universe will come to an end.” (Harun Yahya)

Purpose of Satan’s Creation

Allah (swt) created Satan and his cunning wiles as part of a mechanism by which He (swt) determines those who are faithful to Himself. He tests and trains His (swt) slaves in this earthly life. Allah (swt) has also distinctly defined the difference between truth and falsehood through His Holy Books and His messengers. Our Lord (swt) has not left us unequipped or unaided. He (swt) has clearly stated the consequences of both paths: one leading to eternal damnation and the other to eternal success. Allah (swt) knows that His faithful servants will choose guidance, instead of being misled by Satan. In case they ever fall into his nefarious traps, the guided believers will immediately resort to repentance and revert to Sirat-e-Mustaqeem (the Straight Path).

“’And befool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice (i.e. songs, music, and nay other call for Allah’s disobedience), make assaults on them with your cavalry and your infantry, share with them wealth and children (by tempting them to earn money by illegal ways – usury, or by committing illegal sexual intercourse), and make promises to them.’ But Satan promises them nothing but deceit.” (Al-Isra, 17:64)

In a later verse, Allah (swt) informs Satan: “Verily, My slaves (i.e. the true believers of Islamic Monotheism) – you have no authority over them. And All-Sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian.” (Al-Isra 17:65)

People of faith have little to lose in the face of Satan. However, those who willfully choose to stay away from the remembrance of Allah (swt) and don’t repent are entrusted to Satan’s company. “And whoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious (Allah) (i.e. this Quran and worship of Allah), We appoint for him Shaitan (Satan – devil) to be a Qarin (a companion) to him. And verily, they (Satans / devils) hinder them from the Path (of Allah), but they think that they are guided aright!” (Az-Zukhruf 43:36-37)

Knowing our enemy

In the Quran, Allah (swt) has revealed various characteristics of Satan and his followers. Their analysis is of pivotal significance if we want to understand our own wayward behaviour and immediately identify whom we are emulating when demonstrating the following qualities.

· Epitomizes Arrogance

Quran reveals in numerous verses that the prime factor that led Iblis to disobey Allah (swt) was his pride and arrogance. He considered a mere human being to be inferior to himself. His insistence that he was a superior creation of Allah (swt) reflected his conceited attitude. He said: “I am better than he. You created me from fire, and You created him from clay.” (Sad 38:76)

Well, the logical explanation to this is that since Allah (swt) is the Creator of the entire universe – including human beings, angels, Jinn and Satan – He simply creates what He wills in the shape and form He chooses. And every creation is bound to honour its Creator with profound respect. It demonstrates inane ungratefulness to refuse to serve the One Who brought us to life from nothing.

Allah (swt) states in the Quran of such arrogant behaviour: “…there is nothing else in their breasts except pride [to accept you, Muhammad (sa), as a Messenger of Allah and to obey you].” (Ghafir 40:56)

· Comprehends Human Nature

Satan’s greatest success is his understanding of human nature. He has sincerely taken the mankind to be his enemy and makes conscious efforts to destroy it regardless of age, status, culture, race, etc. Satan understands our ideologies and points of view. He is particularly well-acquainted with the desires and weaknesses of humans.

Human beings, in their nonchalance, seldom think meaningfully about his existence, let alone prepare to overcome him. We all know what happens to a warrior who defies his commander and goes to war unprepared. So it should not come as a shock to witness the sinful heedlessness around us today. Satan is getting the better of us.

· Fakes Independence

Harun Yahya explains: “One of the most common errors people make about Satan is assuming that Satan is a power wholly independent of Allah and that he is in a struggle with him. (Surely Allah is beyond that!) This is also one of the Satanist’s greatest errors: thinking that Satan is a separate power; and so they regard his rebellion and disobedience as an example for them to follow. When they in turn rebel against order and virtue, they believe that they are supporting Satan in his own struggle.”

In fact, Satan is a creation of Allah (swt) and subordinate to Him. His rebellion against Allah (swt) was pre-determined in his destiny by Allah (swt). Moreover, Satan does believe in Allah (swt) and fears Him deeply. He knows that the time allotted to him is only until the Day of Judgement, and after that, he will have to pay the penalty for his deeds.

· Strikes upon Weaknesses

Satan lures to sleep all those who feel that they are not morning persons, thus making them miss their Fajr prayer. He coaxes all those who fancy their looks into displaying and flaunting themselves. Satan leads all spendthrifts into wasting their money and resources.

After having done all that, he will not rest in peace. And if any one of the above starts to feel even a bit remorseful, Satan will come back to prompt things like: “Just do it!” “Don’t worry, be happy,” “You deserve it,” “You live only once,” “You are too weak to give it up.”

Satan appeals to the lower self (Nafs): “…Shaitan (Satan) made fair-seeming to them that which they used to do.” (Al-Anam 6:43)

· Implants Hopelessness

The weapon Satan thrives on is his triumph in leading mankind from one sin to another. Once a person stumbles and starts adopting the evil ways of life, he subconsciously knows that his connection with Allah (swt) gets weaker. Some hypocrites even manage to offer religious rituals for satisfying their ego, but do not give up sinning. This is when Satan persuades them that since they have disobeyed Allah (swt) for so long, there is no U-turn any more. So they might as well proceed on the highway of disobedience.

Conversely, Allah (swt) states: “Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.” (Al-Baqarah 2:160)

The doors of repentance are open for all, till the angel of death appears before them, after which repentance is not accepted. People who have wronged themselves should never despair and seize the first opportunity to repent, lest it’s too late. Don’t hold yourself back!

Satan’s End

Allah (swt) has distinctly informed us about the doomed end of all those who wish to follow Satan, make pacts with him, take his counsel, take him as a deity or live according to his incitements. “…and they invoke nothing but Shaitan (Satan)” (An-Nisa, 4:117)

“Did I not command you, O Children of Adam, that you should not worship Shaitan (Satan). Verily, he is a plain enemy to you.” (Yasin 36:60)

“Whoever of them (mankind) will follow you, then surely I will fill Hell with you all.” (Al-Araf, 7:18)

The greatest danger for the humankind is their indifference to the existence of Satan. They do not realize that he prompts them into doing evil, influences them and draws them towards the worst possible end. Such people do not comprehend the purpose of creation of this universe and their significant part in it. They lead empty lives and depart.

Through the Quran and the Sunnah, Allah (swt) has revealed the purpose of His creation, the proper ways of worship and the moral behavior that pleases Him. Nobody will escape death and accountability before his Lord (swt). A person’s thoughts and actions in this world will determine where he will spend eternity.

Let us recognize our true enemy and prepare against him today – the enemy that will try to prevent us from salvation and a profitable end. Let us defeat him with Allah’s (swt) chalked-out strategy for us. A true believer has nothing to fear or lose, for Allah (swt) is always leading the way.

Satanism Movement through the Years

Vol 6 - Issue 1 Satanism movement through the years copyThe Satanism movement, established somewhere in the 1700s, accepts Satan and all his qualities as a guide or model for daily living. The Satanism movement associates Satan with values like pride, independence, individuality, knowledge, achievement, self-centredness and exploration of the unknown and forbidden realms. It regards nature as cruel; therefore, human beings must be cruel as well. Its twisted ideology revolves around materialism, atheism and social Darwinism.

Satanists often identify themselves via frightening make-up (as in case of some heavy metal rock bands) and attire. The media reports their bloody rites, slaughter of animals, torture of humans, rape and suicide. And they insist that their perverse way of life and thinking is a religion in itself.

One might think that Satanism is the creation of some psychologically unbalanced young people. On the contrary, evidence shows that it is the very philosophy of Satanism that makes them unbalanced. People brought up outside the morality of religion, especially the young, are an easy prey for this movement.

Another popular misconception about Satanists is that economic distress and poor familial relations force people to join this movement. The truth is there are two types of people who join the Satanist movement:

(1) those who knowingly choose to be misled and later mislead others to Satanism;

(2) some uneducated, ignorant and troubled individuals who are in the news or on talk shows craving for attention. They may want to clear a position for themselves in society, to make friends, to satisfy their obsessions, to forget their failures, etc.

Among Satanists there are different practices. Though Satanists are not united in one single organization, their basic beliefs are essentially the same.

History of Satanic Worship

According to Harun Yahya: “Satanists have long been associated with the Cabbalists, Rosicrucians, other secret, mystical orders of the Middle Ages.”

It was Aleister Crowly at the beginning of the twentieth century, who founded the concept of what was to become the Satanism movement. Crowly, known as ‘The Beast 666,’ gained popularity for his evil spells, liberal use of drugs and animal sacrifices. His philosophy was ‘Do what thou wilt.’

He wrote a book titled “The Book of Law” which he claimed was inspired by Satan. This perverse publication says that a person must follow his impulse, no matter what disaster of evil may ensue. For example, if someone feels like having some excitement, he shouldn’t restrain himself. If he believes he needs to kill someone, he should not let reason hold him back.

Modern, organized Satanism first appeared in California in the 1960s. Anton Szandor La Vey established the Church of Satan in 1960, despite many lawsuits from protestors. La Vey initially founded an anti-Christian group called ‘The Magic Circle.’ Later, he established the Church of Satan, which still has approximately 10,000 adherents throughout North America. He has also written publications promoting his satanic philosophy.

Humanism

“Satanism is a philosophy that leads its followers to divinize and to honour and worship their own selves and to think that attaining their own desires is their only goal in life. In this Satanism is much akin to the philosophy of humanism. Contrary to what most people think, humanism is not a philosophy of love, peace and brotherhood, but an anti-religious way of thinking that focuses on the concept of humanity of simply being human and nothing more as a person’s single goal.” (Harun Yahya)

Humanism is also an atheistic movement which advocates that man and the universe spontaneously came into existence and that there was no deliberate plan of creation behind them. Man is the most essential being and no entity is more important than him.

Since man lives on the Earth only once in a life-time, he should fulfill all his desires and obtain maximum benefits for himself. This also eliminates the concept of accountability, so it is easier to feed the self-ego and work in self-interest at literally any cost.

Atheism and Materialism

A great many Satanists are atheists who entirely reject the existance of Allah (swt) and the reality of angels and Jinn. They don’t even believe in Satan as an actual being. For them, he is merely a symbol of hostility toward any kind of organized religion.

The nineteenth century idea that this world is no more than an aggregation of material elements drove people to a spiritual void, where the concept of good and evil became blurred. People who earn more, spend more and exploit more find acceptance in society and are looked up to. Their self-interest is paramount. Only after they have served themselves they might think about others. Qualities like sacrifice, compassion and mercy are regarded as hindrances to success in a materialistic society.

A combination of atheism and materialism floats slogans like “nothing to answer to, other than the consequences of our actions” or “we worship ourselves.”

Social Darwinism

In the nineteenth century, an English economist, Thomas Malthus, presented solutions to population control. This theory greatly influenced Charles Darwin, who further presented the theory of evolution.

Satanism has direct relations with the concept of social Darwinism. According to La Vey, “the devil is a symbol of man’s carnal nature – his lust, greed, vengeance, but most of all, his ego.” So, according to Satanism, human evolution has produced a species of animal (humans) that must survive as other animals do.

Darwin’s theory of all life being a result of blind chance has been proven illogical and nonsensical. Scientifically it has been discredited and buried in the annals of history. However, Satanism thrives on the survival of the fittest just as in a jungle.

Fascism

The affinity Satanists felt for Darwinism led them to a natural alliance with fascism. According to fascism, the world is an arena of conflict between various races in the struggle for survival – hence, bloodshed, wars and inflicting pain on others is a sacred duty as well as a pleasure.

The nineteenth century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who called himself the Anti-Christ, published many hateful writings against true religions. His publications were against virtues and morality.

The Nazis were the most inspired group of people who adopted his principles. Today, it’s the neo-Nazis who follow Friedrich Nietzsche. Satanists openly admit their collaboration with fascist groups in Europe and America.

Communism

In the past century, more than 120 million people have lost their lives due to communism. This was nothing but a product of self-styled Satanist ideology. The founder of communism Karl Marx was known to be hostile to any kind of religious expression. He also indulged in virulent form of ceremonial Satanism. Michael Bakunin, the founder of anarchism (a radical version of communism), was also a Satanist. He created the ideology of anarchism to destroy state, religion, the family and social values. Satanists greatly admire two of communisms’ bloodiest dictators: Stalin and Mao.

Conclusion

Harun Yahya states: “Satanism has deep roots and rests on a dark philosophy. It has designs upon the future of the world, and its dark church with its thousands of members, together with its publications, make it one of the most dangerous organizations in the twenty-first century.”

Allah (swt) warns us about the one who responds to Satan’s call: “And among mankind is he who disputes concerning Allah, without knowledge, and follows every rebellious (disobedient to Allah) Shaitan (devil) (devoid of every kind of good). For him (the devil) it is decreed that whoever follows him, he will mislead him, and will drive him to the torment of the Fire.” (Al-Hajj 22:3-4)

Greatest Fitnahs of Satan

Vol 6 - Issue 1 Greatest FitnahsThe word ‘Fitnah’ has many connotations in the Quran and Sunnah. The most common meaning of this word is ‘trial’ that is, any situation or object that makes it difficult for a Muslim to obey the command of Allah (swt), abstain from sin or safeguard his faith. A Fitnah is a distraction that deflects a believer’s attention from Allah’s (swt) worship.

Ibn Al-Arabi summed up the meanings of Fitnah when he said: “Fitnah means testing, Fitnah means trial, Fitnah means wealth, Fitnah means children, Fitnah means Kufr, Fitnah means differences of opinion among people, Fitnah means burning with fire.” (Lisan Al-Arab by Ibn Manzoor)

Satan uses diverse Fitnahs to make Muslims deviate from the path of righteousness. It is easy for him to lead most of the mankind astray. For the more devout and knowledgeable Muslims, however, his plots are more subtle.

Wealth
“Your wealth and your children are only a Fitnah (trial), whereas Allah! With Him is a great reward (Paradise).” (Al-Taghabun 64:15)
Having wealth in any form – money, land, or possessions – gives a person the ability to do impermissible things, which they could not have done in poverty. They can afford more means of enjoyment and worldly pleasures. They also acquire friendship of the society’s influential elite, which leaves them little time for worship or remembrance of Allah (swt).
Even if he’s pious and devout, a rich person finds it difficult to restrain himself from what is Haram, and if he is able to do that, then he occasionally slips, by being extravagant in what is Halal. Calculating his yearly Zakah and keeping track of expenses becomes a tedious task. He is also consumed by thinking of ways to sustain his wealth and status.

Spouses and Offspring
Children are one of Allah (swt)’s greatest blessings. However, if one gets so involved with their children that the latter cause them to deviate from their duties towards Allah (swt), they become a Fitnah for them. Nowadays, Muslims are obsessed with providing the highest standard of living for their children. Luxuries become necessities, and parents allow extravagance under the guise of ‘love’: exorbitantly-priced food outlets, entertainment, designer couture and private-school tuition. I was flabbergasted when I recently read about a Pakistani lady’s 15-year-old son arguing with her to let him go on a skiing vacation to Europe!
Whenever Muslim couples are advised to hasten in performing Hajj or to serve their own aging parents instead of living away from them in foreign countries, or to be more active in Dawah activities, they answer: “First, we have to think of our children’s future.”

Disputes and Divisions in the Ummah
The Prophet (sa) said: “Those of you, who will live after me, will see many differences. Then you must cling to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Caliphs. Hold fast to it and stick to it.” (Abu Dawood)
Whether it’s a group of bearded ‘Alims’ interrupting each other in heated debates on TV or scholars issuing Fatwas against religious organizations over trivial differences, dissensions among Muslims have increased so much that the Ummah cannot even unite on starting Ramadan fasting or celebrating the Eid together!
Consequently, when people are invited towards Islam, they respond by saying: “How can I know which school of Fiqh is right? If I become religious, I’ll be forever confused about whom to follow. No, thanks; I’m fine the way I am.”

Women – the Greatest Fitnah for Men
“My brother recently said that he might have an accident while driving,” commented a friend of mine, “he keeps getting distracted by the pictures of women on billboards.”
The Prophet (sa) said: “I have left behind no Fitnah more harmful to men than women.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
A young woman’s body and her engaging conversation is the greatest Fitnah for men. Men can ably fight battles, but have no protective armor against the charms of a woman. Even the sway of a woman’s gait, the softness of her voice or the look in her eye can make them falter from grace. The women of one’s family can engage a man so thoroughly that he might neglect his religious duties or acquiesce to earn money unlawfully to fulfill their desires.
Prophet Muhammad (sa) said: “I have not seen any one of deficient intellect and Deen, who is more destructive to the intelligence of a cautious man than you, women.” (Bukhari)

Obscenity, Nudity and Adultery
Uncovered thighs, midriffs and arms; tantalizing eyes and mouths pouring out from advertisement hoardings; explicit and life-sized intimate acts visible at the click of a mouse or a flick of the TV remote. Fahsha (obscenity), which was physically restricted a few decades ago, is just the press of a button away now. On cell phones, computers, television or even fruit-vendors’ push-carts, marketers use carnal imagery to promote any product, be it a deodorant or biscuit. As a result, illicit relationships and adultery are on the rise – one of Satan’s most destructive Fitnahs that gnaws at society’s family structure.

Killing
According to Abu Hurairah (rta), the Prophet (sa) said: “The Hour will not come until 30 Dajjals appear, each of them claiming to be a messenger from Allah, wealth increases, tribulations appear and Al-Harj increases.” Someone asked: “What is Al-Harj?” He said: “Killing, killing.” (Ahmad)
Suicide bombings, ‘terrorist’ attacks and civilian air strikes have reduced the value of human blood to nothing, particularly in the Muslim-majority countries of the world.
Abu Hurairah (rta) has narrated that the Prophet (sa) said: “There will be Fitnah (civil strife), which will render people deaf, dumb and blind regarding what is right. Those, who contemplate it, will be drawn by it, and giving rein to the tongue during it will be like smiting with the sword.” (Abu Dawood)

Conclusion

The only defense a Muslim has against Satan’s modern-day Fitnahs outlined above is to adhere fast to the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sa); to guard his tongue; to abstain from voicing his views; and to neither take sides nor point fingers when killing takes place and to safeguard his religion by even fleeing to the mountains, if the need for doing so arises.

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri (rta): The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “A Muslim’s best property will soon be sheep, which he takes to the top of mountains and the places where the rain falls, fleeing with his religion from Fitnah (civil strife).” (Abu Dawood)

Essentially this means that Muslims will ultimately need to isolate themselves from the mainstream life by taking to the mountains (as rural life is more private and slow). Rain and sheep are mentioned to indicate that these would be the source of their livelihood in the mountains, where there is not much other civic life.

The need to take such a measure would be to enable the Muslims to safeguard themselves from the prevalence of rampant Fitnahs in the mainstream city life. These include dissensions and divisions among Muslims, among others, which would result in the Haqq becoming obscurely mixed with Batil, so that involvement in the Fitnah might make a person lose sight of what is right and what is wrong, and eventually, his Iman.

Are you Welcoming Satan into your Home?

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!

Conclusion

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.

Red Alert

Vol 6 - Issue 1 Red AlertBy Hafsa Ahsan

How many of you, when you were getting married, got endless lectures and advice? And out of all those lectures, how many married people cautioned you not to let Satan come between you and your spouse?

Interestingly, this piece of advice is hardly ever given to the brides or grooms, as they embark on their journey through marital life. Most of the lectures they get centre on how to keep house, balance budgets and, of course, deal with in-law politics (on both sides).

However, it is equally important to remember that it is Satan’s most cherished job to create rifts between married couples at all times. It is then up to the couple to watch out for his evil whispers and safeguard themselves.

So what is it that Satan does? How does he operate to create these rifts between two people who are, after all, soul-mates in the truest sense? Here are a few examples.

“You aren’t good enough”

Any time you start feeling that something is inadequate in your spouse, immediately realize that it’s Satan egging you on. He might urge you that your spouse isn’t handsome enough or rich enough, or classy enough. So the next time you want to buy something, which is out of the household budget, you pick a fight.

For husbands the feelings of inadequacy arise, when their wives either cannot match the models they see on television or an impossible ideal they believe they deserve. Once this idealism translates into feelings of inadequacy, every petty issue seems enormous.

What to do: Any time you start feeling that your spouse isn’t good enough for you, or something he/she does doesn’t match up to your ideal, try to remember all the positive points of your spouse. It is characteristic of Satan that any time you feel a grain of resentment at your spouse, he ensures that you forget each and every good thing your spouse has ever done for you. And then your superlatives begin thus: “You never dress up for me,” “You never take me out,” “You never pay attention to me.”

The key is to remember that ‘never’ is an exaggeration. Focus on the positive – try to remember the good parts, and the negative ones will eventually fade.

“I’m the boss”

The ‘why should I do that’ factor often features in a marriage and sometimes becomes a big bone of contention. Consider all the times you have said the following to yourself or to your spouse:

“But why should I have to leave the PC, just because you want to play a game?”

“Why should we watch the sports channel when I want to watch a soap opera?”

“Why should I give up a visit to my friends to attend your cousin’s wedding?”
“Why do I have to be the one who always gives in?”

Such questions, and many other similar ones, creep into a marriage when there is a conflict of interests. Satan, of course, thrives on such conflicts, if they aren’t immediately resolved. He urges both spouses to remain firm on their stance and not budge an inch. Hence, each spouse feels injured and taken for granted.

What to do: Any time you start getting this ‘why do I have to be the one to give in’ feeling, remind yourself that it’s Satan who’s urging you to be rigid on your stance. Assure yourself that being flexible and giving in isn’t a sign of weakness – it is a sign of love for your spouse. So what if you cannot watch a soap opera because your husband’s friends turned up unexpectedly and you had to serve them? So what if you had planned to eat out, and your wife had to make an emergency trip to her mother’s home? Issues like these are never worth sulking over, and doing so only serves Satan’s ultimate purpose.

“She told me that you said this”

It is important to remember that Satan doesn’t always fuel marital conflicts through spouses themselves. He does that through third parties, too. Well-meaning friends and relatives can sometimes tell you very interesting things your spouse has said or done which may or may not be related to you directly. And this fuels your temper faster than anything else. Now you cannot wait to see your spouse and confront him/her about it.

What to do: Any time anyone tells you that your spouse has said so-and-so about you, take a deep breath and tell yourself that you trust your spouse above anyone else. If he/she has indeed done or said something, there must be a very good reason for it. Benefit of the doubt is the key phrase here. It is extremely important to ignore Satan’s urges to have a confrontation with your spouse, before you have clarified the matter in a more composed tone.

“It’s either me or your mom – take your pick”

Another very potent weapon of Satan is that he pitches the spouse against the in-laws. Stereotyping of in-law relations in the mainstream media hasn’t really helped to settle the matters. It’s true that there are households where it is very difficult to make one’s space amidst in-law politics. However, the worse thing a wife can do is to involve her husband in the petty disputes she has with his family. Sandwiched husbands, who find no peace at home and are forced to play referee, soon discover that their homes are no longer the haven they want to return to after a long day at work. Similarly, even a husband can put his wife in a difficult situation by preventing her from meeting those relatives of hers, with whom he has a dispute.

What to do: Never involve your spouse in the petty matters involving you and your in-laws. Handle these matters yourself. And in cases where you have to appeal to your spouse, do it in a non-accusing manner. Never try to prevent your spouse from meeting those relatives, with whom you have a problem. Wife versus mother is a man’s worse nightmare – you wouldn’t wish it for your own husband, would you?

“It’s MY child”

Once children come into the picture, Satan gets another weapon to strike with. The feeling of possessiveness, which every parent naturally feels for his/her children, takes new meaning if brought into marital conflicts. Children, of course, are highly affected whenever faced with this mom-versus-dad situation.

What to do: Just as you pledged to keep your spouses away from your disputes with your in-laws, this time tell yourself that you will keep your children away from your conflicts with your spouse. Never fight in front of children and certainly don’t involve them at any step.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, it is all about being aware – and going on a very high alert, whenever you feel even a slight resentment or irritation at your spouse, because that is when you are very vulnerable to Satan’s urges. Disputes are natural when two people are living together. However, it is all about how you resolve those issues that will ultimately determine whether or not Satan was successful in his aim.

Misguide ‘em Young

By Naureen Aqueel and Aisha Nasir

Youth may be crazy and wild, but they are also passionate, energetic and strong-willed. This is exactly what Satan realizes. Hence, he very cleverly schemes to add this ‘valuable human resource’ to his party. Because of strong emotions, desires and uncertainties that beset this stage of life, youth become vulnerable targets of Satan’s attacks. Therefore, it becomes ever more important for them to recognize some of the following avenues, by which Satan approaches them.

Deception: Sugar-coated Evil

Allah (swt) repeatedly mentions in the Quran that Satan deceives the mankind by making false promises and arousing false desires. He will promise you that no one will find out, if you sneak out; he will guarantee enjoyment, if you attend that college concert; he will promise you that there is nothing wrong with attending that dance party or hanging out with friends of the opposite gender. He will give you a thousand reasons, why it is just innocent fun, the ‘in-thing’, fashion and a means of getting a good message to different people. “Why not?” he’ll say, “you can do a lot of Dawah, while gossiping with non-Mahram friends or attending that concert!”

Allah (swt) describes these justification labels with the following words:

“… but Shaitan (Satan) made their deeds fair-seeming to them.” (An-Nahl 16:63)

Fear of People

Satan threatens you with loss of friends and your standing in society, if you obey Allah (swt). What will people say, if you don the Hijab? What will your friends and relatives say, if you decline that invitation to your cousin’s Dholki? Won’t your peers make fun of you, if you don’t have a girlfriend/boyfriend? Satan injects the fear of rejection and isolation, of being made fun of into the heart, feeding on it gradually, until it grows big enough to make you take several wrong steps, just because you are afraid of what people would say, if you didn’t.

Just Once

“What’s the harm of one puff of a cigarette? Or one puff of shisha? Once won’t harm you!”

How many times do you hear voices like these in your head? Put up your defenses – it’s Satan clean and clear! One song, one movie… one, one! And you won’t even notice, when that one becomes a few dozens more, turning into a habit. Allah (swt) calls this gradual process ‘following the footsteps of Satan’.

Carpe Diem

“Seize the day! Enjoy life! Make the best of this moment! You live only once!”

The theory behind this idea is that you should enjoy life to its fullest. Why? Because this is the only life you have! Wikipedia describes Carpe diem as ‘seize the day.’ Satan makes the youth feel that this is a time of enjoyment with no limits, and that this time will not come again, so one should enjoy it to the fullest. There’s plenty of time to be good in old age! Right? Wrong!

Allah (swt) likes the worship in the young age the best. Among the seven under the shade of Allah’s (swt) throne on the Day of Judgement will be the person, who worshipped Allah (swt) in his youth. Besides, who can be sure, when this life may end? So why should we delay being good for the old age?

Some of the other ways Satan approaches the youth includes causing one to forget Allah (swt) and other important things (Al-Mujadilah 58:19); causing one to backslide from their responsibilities, as he did to Muslims in the battle of Uhud (An-Nahl 3:155); inducing laziness; and causing one to dispute about Allah (swt) without knowledge (Al-Hajj 22:3).

However, Allah (swt) in His infinite mercy has taught us many ways to avoid the snares of Satan. It’s important to know the ways he comes to you, and then to seek refuge against him in Allah (swt). Satan had said: when he was expelled from the heaven, that he would not be able to misguide Allah’s faithful servants. So take up your most powerful defenses from today – Taqwa and Dua!