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.

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.