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March 13th, 2016

Satan or Satanic – The Devil is in the Details

Satan or Satanic – The Devil is in the Details

In Nature things become energetic when facing their antagonists, so do we need some enemy to arouse our moral forces which otherwise would remain dormant. Thus Satan clearly ranks on the moral plane with the toxins of the physical plane. We find in the Qur’ân the same functions assigned to him as are allotted to toxins in the physical kingdom. Like them he introduces himself within us from outside. He acts as an enemy, and weakens our sense of morality and tries to destroy it. But if our moral nature asserts itself strongly enough and we follow the laws of God we become immune from all sin. The Devil, then, like toxins sub-serves a moral end. The two poisons, I mean toxins and Satan, assail our health and spirit on identical lines. Evil works on the same lines as those adopted by Satan according to the description of the Qur’ân. They are, indeed, one and the same. The only thing left to decide is whether it is the perversity of our own mind that we call Satan or is it some personality existent in the external world, who invites the mind to evil. In other words is Satan a mere faculty or a being who inspires us to use our faculties for evil?1

A human being lives in a physical, emotional, natural and social environment, interacting with it every moment of his or her life, and thus being exposed to a constant onslaught of foreign elements. Physically, the body has an immune system that provides a defense against such foreign elements. If the host defenses are strong then the outward outcome of this interaction is commonly noted as fever and allergies; otherwise the body will be consumed by these elements.

Similarly, on the psychological plane, we possess ego-defenses. When the human psyche is challenged by external reality, immature psychological defenses result in a state of anxiety, depression or, in extreme cases, psychosis and its accompanying distress. Mature defenses create humor, altruism or sublimation where negative influences are converted into positive outcomes and a blissful state.

On the moral plane, events or opportunities in one’s environment challenge the moral defenses. If the moral defenses are firm, the outcome is virtue and godliness of man. Otherwise satanic ideas, intentions, impulses and behaviors set in that work to one’s detriment, affecting one’s psyche, physical, and social environment. Qur’ân addresses these opposite moral extremes:


91:7. And the (human) soul and That (Mighty Lord) Who made it perfect,


91:8. Then He revealed to it (– the soul, the ways of) its evil and its righteousness,

91:9. (All these are cited to witness that) one who purifies it (– his soul), certainly succeeds,

91:10. And he indeed is ruined who corrupts it.2

Satanic attributes emanate from weak moral defenses. The satanic attributes and their manifestations are mentioned in Qur’ân under the collective name Satan or Iblis. Satan:

Abolishes an inherent happy state of man:

2:36. After sometime the satan caused them both to slip from this (order of not going near evil) and thus brought them out of (the happy state) which they were in…3 [both allude to Adam and his female companion. Of note is that in Qur’ân, Adam is a template representation of man]

Incites evil:

2:169. He (– satan) only bids you to indulge in evil and to (do) things foul and obscene and that you say against Allâh things you do not know.4

22:3. …every satan (who is) devoid of all good.5

Is the antithesis of spirituality:

2:208. …and do not follow the footsteps of satan, verily he is your enemy, severing (you from Allâh).6

6: 142. …and do not follow in the footsteps of satan, for he is indeed an enemy disuniting you (from Allâh).7

19:44. `My dear sire, do not serve satan, surely satan is disobedient to the Most Gracious (God). 8 [sire is Nimrod, who is being addressed by Abraham]

35:5. … so do not let the present life deceive you, and do not let the avowed seducer seduce you away from Allâh.9

36: 60. `O Children of Adam! did I not enjoin on you never to worship satan, for he is to you an enemy severing (your) ties (with Me).10

36:62. `Yet he (– satan) has certainly led astray a number of people from among you. Why do you not even then make use of your understanding (so as to rectify your error)?11

43: 62. Do not let the satan turn you away from following it, for he is your an enemy cutting off (your) ties (with God).12

Is hypocritical by its very nature:

59:16. Again, (the case of the hypocrites is) like (that of) satan. Behold! he says to a human being, `Disbelieve!’ But when he disbelieves, he says, `I have nothing to do with you. I fear Allâh, the Lord of the worlds.’13

Incites fears of poverty:

2:268. Satan threatens you with poverty and incites you to niggardliness…14

Encourages monetary exploitation:

2:275. Those who practice usury and interest, (their condition is such as) they will not be able to stand except like the standing of one who has lost his reason under the influence of satan.15

Acts in cohorts:

3:175. (Now you have come to know that) it is satan, in fact, who merely threatens through his friends…16

35:6. Surely, satan is an enemy to you, so treat him as an enemy. He calls his party only (to follow him) …17

Nurtures selfishness:

4: 37. Regarding those who practise niggardliness and advocate to be niggardly and conceal that which Allâh has given them out of His bounty and grace, We have in store a humiliating punishment for such thankless people;

4:38. As well as for those who spend their wealth for public show and do not believe in Allâh and the Last Day. And whoso has satan for his companion (let him bear in mind that) an evil companion he is.18

Sustains tyranny:

4:75. What (excuse) have you (to offer) that you would not fight in the cause of Allâh and for (the rescue of) the weak and the down-trodden men and women and the children who all say, `Our Lord! take us out of this town of which the people are tyrants, and grant us a defender who comes from You and a helper by Your Own grace.’

4:76. Those who believe fight in the cause of Allâh, and those who choose disbelief fight in the cause of the transgressor; fight you, therefore, against the friends of satan, surely, the stratagem of satan is ever weak.19

Rumor mongering:

4: 83. And when there comes to them news (a mere rumour), be it a matter of peace or of fear, they spread it around. … And had it not been for the grace of Allâh upon you and His mercy you would all have followed satan, excepting a few.20

Arouses vain desires

4:119. `And certainly, I will lead them astray and assuredly I will arouse vain desires in them, and I will incite them (to polytheistic practices)…21

Sets in moral decay:

4:119. and I will most assuredly make them change (for the worse,) the things created by Allâh.’22

Evokes false hopes:

4:120. He (– satan) holds out promises to them and arouses false hopes in them. But satan promises nothing but vain things to them.23

17:64. …Indeed, satan promises them nothing but mere fraud.24

Incites hate and squander:

5:91. Satan only intends to precipitate enmity and hatred between you by means of intoxicants and games of chance and to stop you from the remembrance of Allâh and from (observing your) Prayer…25

17:27. Certainly, the squanderers are like satans and satan is always ungrateful to his Lord.26

Imbues arrogance:

6: 43. … (It was for the fact that) their hearts had hardened and satan had made their deeds seem fair to them.27

27: 24. … And satan has made their deeds fair-seeming to them (so that they take pride in their practices), and has thus hindered them from the right way, so that they do not follow true guidance.28

29: 38. …Satan made their (evil) deeds fair-seeming to them and (by making them take pride in their doings) turned them away from the right way, though they were enlightened and sagacious people.29 [them are the tribes of Ad and Thamud]

Creeps up unaware and incessantly:

7:6. (Iblîs) said, `Now, since You have adjudged me to be perverted and lost, I will assuredly lie in wait for them (– the Children of Adam) on the straight and exact path that leads to you.30

7:17. `There will I come upon them from their front and from their backs and from their right and from their left so that You will not find most of them grateful (to You)’.31

7:27. …Verily, he (– satan) sees you, he and his tribe, in such a way as you see them not…32

7:202. And their brethren (the human associates of satan) draw them into error and they do not relax (in their evil designs).33

17:62. …If You grant me respite till the Day of Resurrection, I will most certainly bring his progeny under my sway, having overpowered them, I shall destroy them for sure, except a few.’34

Sows discord:

7: 200. Should any imputation from satan (who spreads reports for sowing dissension) afflict you…35

7:201. Verily, (as for) those who (really wish to) guard (against calamities) when some (enraging) suggestion from satan assails them…36

12: 5. He said, `My dear son! relate not your vision to your brothers lest they should intrigue against you, for satan is to a human being an enemy disuniting’.37[Here Jacob is conversing with his son Joseph]

12: 100. And he took his parents to the royal court and they all fell down prostrate (before God) because of him and he said, `My father! this is the real fulfillment of my vision of old. My Lord has made it come true. He has been gracious to me, indeed, when he released me out of the prison and brought you from the desert. (This all happened) after satan had stirred up discord between me and my brothers. Surely, my Lord is Benignant to whomsoever He pleases. He it is, Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.’38[he is Joseph addressing his father Jacob about his brothers]

17: 53. …for satan (is keen to) provoke discord among them. Satan indeed is an enemy to the people, disuniting (one another).39

Seeds forgetfulness of moral obligations:

12: 42. And of the two, he knew to be the one who would be released, he said, `Mention me to your lord.’ But satan made him (-the released person) forget to mention (Joseph) to his lord so that he (– Joseph) remained confined in the prison for a few years.40

Is transgressor by its nature:

16: 36. shun the transgressor (– satan).’...41

Is a source of deceit, misery and vice:

20: 120. But satan made an evil suggestion to him. He said, `Adam! shall I direct you to the tree which leads to eternal life and a kingdom which never decays.

20:121. So they (Adam and his wife) ate from that (tree), so that their shortcomings became unveiled to them and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of the garden. Adam did not observe the commandment of his Lord, so he became miserable.42

24: 21. …he (– satan) surely enjoins immorality and indecency…43

Hinders pursuit of virtue:

22: 52. And We have sent no Messenger, nor a Prophet before you but when he longed (to attain what he sought), satan (interfered and) put hindrances in the way of what he sought after…44

25: 29. `He indeed led me astray from this source of rising to eminence (– the Qur’ân) after it had come to me. And satan is ever a deserter of [a] human being (in the hour of need).45

There is longitudinal satanic experience by humans and the human suffering because of it:

7:27. O Children of Adam! do not let satan put you in trouble (in the same way) as he turned your parents out of the garden, stripping them of their raiment (of innocence) with the result that their shortcomings were made manifest to them both…46

Like any creation of His, Satan actually has a purpose and that is refinement of man on spiritual plane:

22:53. (Allâh permits the interference of satan) so that He may make (the hindrance which satan puts in the way of the Messengers) serve as a trial for those whose hearts carry disease (of hypocrisy) and for those whose hearts are hardened (because of disbelief). In fact the wrongdoers have gone far (in their antagonism).47

Practice makes it perfect; even to ingrain the satanic nature in man:

19:45. `My dear sire, if you went on serving satan, I fear lest some punishment from the Most Gracious (God) should seize you so that you should become an associate of satan.’48 [sire is Nimrod being addressed by Abraham]

22:4. About whom it is decreed that whoever makes friends with him, he will invariably lead him astray…49 [Satan is addressed as him]

Remorseless and repeated transgressions become self-perpetuating vices that seed and nurture satanic nature into man, becoming part of his persona. Therefore, to break His Laws is a sin against oneself:

43:36. As for him who forsakes the admonition of the Most Gracious (God), We appoint for him a satan who then becomes an intimate companion for him.

43:37. These (satans) turn the people away from the right path and the people think (about themselves) that they are following the right course of guidance;

43:38. Till when such a person comes before Us (on the Day of Judgment) he will say (to his respective satan), `Would that there had been the distance of the east and the west between you and me. What an evil companion is he!

43:39. (It will be said to the satanic people that Day,) `Now, when (it has been once proved) that you have acted unjustly, (the fact) that you are sharers in the punishment (with those who misled you) will be of no use to you at all this Day.

43:40. (In this state of theirs, Prophet!) would you make the deaf to hear, or guide the blind and him who is (engrossed) in glaring error.50

When the Law-breaker faces the consequences of his transgression the vices that he was attracted to and submitted to will disown him. For example, intoxicants cannot be blamed for acts committed under the influence, but the person who becomes intoxicated by his free will.

14:22 Satan (their selfish desires) will disown them after the Judgment has been issued, “Verily God promised you a true promise; and I promised you and failed you. And I had no power over you except that I called unto you and you obeyed me. So blame me not, blame yourselves. Neither can I help you, nor can you help me. I refuse to accept that you worshipped me ever.” Surely, for those who displace trust with betrayal is a painful doom.51

Remedy to repel evil and distress from Satan:

41:33. And who speaks more fair than the person who calls people towards Allâh and (accordingly) does what is right and says, `I am invariably of those who submit (before God)’.

41:34. And good and evil are not alike. Repel (evil) with that (benign and graceful way) which is best, and lo, the person between whom and you there is enmity will behave as if he were your warm-hearted friend.

41:35. Yet it is only the steadfast and patiently persevering who are allowed this (grace) and it is only those who possess a large share of good who are allowed this (moral standard).

41:36. Should some sort of trouble from satan vex you, seek refuge in Allâh. For surely He, only He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.52

Qur’ân provides a moral vaccination against the lurking satanic nature that pervades humans, many a times without their awareness:

113:1. Say, `I seek refuge in the Lord of the day break, and the plain appearing and emergence of truth.

113:2. From the evil of that which He has created,

113:3. And from the evil (that usually prevails in the times) of darkness when it overspreads (at night), [darkness and night also include the moral impoverishment]

113:4. And from the evil of those who try (and whisper evil suggestions) to deter (people) from doing their duty,

113:5. And from the evil of the envier when he envies.’53


114:1. Say, `I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind,


114:2. The Sovereign, the Controller of all affairs of mankind,

114:3. The God of mankind,

114:4. (That He may protect me) from the evil (of the whisperings) of the whisperer, the sneaking one.

114:5. Who whispers evil suggestions into the hearts of mankind,

114:6. From among the jinn (– fiery natured haughty) and the (ordinary) people.’54

1 ‘Satan: A Moral Necessity’ by Khwaja Kamal-ud-din, pp. 6-7, Woking Muslim Mission and Literary Trust, The Shah Jehan Mosque, Woking, Surrey, England. This article is also attributed to K. Kudos in Islamic Review, pp. 324-5, Vol XX, No. 10, October 1932, Woking Muslim Mission and Muslim Literary Trust.

2 Al-Shams – The Sun: Nooruddin
3 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
4 ibid
5 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
6 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
7 Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
8 Maryam – Mary: Nooruddin
9 Fatir – Originator: Nooruddin
10 YaSin – O Perfect Man! : Nooruddin
11 YaSin – O Perfect Man! : Nooruddin
12 Al-Zukhruf – The Ornaments: Nooruddin
13 Al-Hashr – The Banishment: Nooruddin
14 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
15 ibid
16 Al-Imran – The Family of Amran: Nooruddin
17 Fatir – Originator: Nooruddin
18 Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
19 ibid
20 ibid
21 ibid
22 ibid
23 ibid
24 Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
25 Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
26 Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
27 Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
28 Al-Naml – The Tribe of Naml: Nooruddin
29 Al-Ankabut – The Spider: Nooruddin
30 Al-Araf – The Elevated Spaces: Nooruddin
31 ibid
32 ibid
33 ibid
34 Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
35 Al-Araf – The Elevated Spaces: Nooruddin
36 ibid
37 Yusuf – Joseph: Nooruddin
38 ibid
39 Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
40 Yusuf – Joseph: Nooruddin
41 Al-Nahl – The Bee: Nooruddin
42 Ta Ha – Perfect Man! be at Rest: Nooruddin
43 Al-Nur – The Light: Nooruddin
44 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
45 Al-Furqan – The Standard of True and False: Nooruddin
46 Al-Araf – The Elevated Spaces: Nooruddin
47 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
48 Maryam – Mary: Nooruddin
49 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
50 Al-Zukhruf – The Ornaments: Nooruddin
51 Ibraheem – Abraham: Shabbir Ahmed
52 Fussilat – Detailed and Clear in Exposition: The Spider: Nooruddin
53 Al-Falaq – The Daybreak: Nooruddin
54 Al-Nas – The Mankind: Nooruddin

One Response to “Satan or Satanic – The Devil is in the Details”

  1. Amazing Explanation, Jazakhallah