The Lure of Shaytaan Reply
Hadhrat Shaykh Asif Hussain Farooqui
Alhamdulillah, all thanks are due to Allah who gave me this opportunity to sit amongst pious people such as yourselves. I pray that Allah raises your status and forgives me through your attending this gathering of dhikr. The fact that you have taken steps towards this nawaafil act of worship is indeed a sign of love for Allah. I ask you to pray that I too may acquire such love in my heart, and I in turn pray that He increases the love that already exists in your hearts.
My friends, life is so short that when it is over it will only seem like a few days. Truly, your effort, your sacrifice of your time for rest and not being deterred by the weather are all signs of Allah's love and blessing. However we must be aware that Shaytaan is always waiting to pounce upon us as he sits hiding on the street corners and footpaths.
Once a friend of Allah was walking through a street when he stumbled upon a Shaytaan. He addressed the Shaytaan, saying, "What are you doing here?" "Why? Can't you see what I am up to?" he replied. The Shaykh replied, "Well, it looks like you are knitting something." He said, "Yes you are right. I am making some nets, with which I intend to trap and capture people who walk past me. When they walk past me, they will be unaware of my presence and I will catch them by throwing this net over them."
No doubt Allah has given us the tawfeeq to do His dhikr and pray Salaah, but we should always be on our guard against these nets of Shaytaan and be vigilant and aware that he can attack us at any time. A person should always cross-examine himself to see how much he practices the Deen, check his steadfastness and determine how much sincerity there is in his actions. Do not be offended by what I say; I know that you are pious people, but a person should never get complacent regarding his Deen. This is a journey that needs much care. This life we are living is a journey and our destination is the hereafter. This journey requires more care than any other.
Whenever we undertake a journey in this Dunya, we take many precautions; we check our cars for oil and water and make sure we have everything we need. My friends, the journeys of this world are nothing compared to the journey of the Akhirah. This is a journey that requires extreme caution. On this journey we cannot rely on our knowledge, actions and worship. The only thing we can rely on is the hope that Allah will accept us. We should pray to Allah saying, "O Allah, we depend on Your Mercy. We depend on You to give us a life with Iman, for otherwise we are lost." We should recognise how weak we have become when facing our enemy Shaytaan and seek Allah's help to defeat him.
Abdullah Ibn Masood radhiallah anhu narrates that a believer sees his sins as a mountain under which he is sitting, afraid that it may fall on him (Bukhari). So virtuous is the Qur'an and the sayings of Allah's Nabi sallallahu alayhi wa sallam that even by pondering over just one Hadeeth, a person can discover the essence of the whole Deen.
Many people study books to increase their knowledge, and then get involved in discussions and debates, and in many cases they get caught off-guard and Shaytaan traps them with his net. The truth is that if a person is sincere then just by understanding a single Hadeeth of Allah's Messenger sallallahu alayhi wa sallam he can comprehend the whole Deen.
You may have read this Hadeeth before, and have probably heard it several times from the scholars, but if we reflect carefully, we will find that the concept of our whole Deen can be understood from it, providing that a person is willing to act upon what he hears. You may have noticed that it is my habit to mention a Hadeeth to you and then say, "Subhanallah, the whole Deen seems to be laid out in this one Hadeeth."
In this Hadeeth we are told that a believer sees his sins as a huge burden, so much so that it is as if he were sitting under a mountain that is floating in the air above him and could crush him at any moment.
If you look carefully, this Hadeeth not only praises the believer, but also tells us of a characteristic that a believer should have. Without this characteristic, a person cannot be a believer; it is a foundation of belief. In the light of this Hadeeth, we can judge where we stand in terms of the strength of our Iman. It answers so many questions regarding the state of a believer. In fact it tells us that belief is based on one very important thing which is 'fear of Allah'.
A believer is someone who fears Allah. Do we? We can only be successful if we fear Allah and regret our sins so much that they feel like a burden - indeed, as mentioned in this Hadeeth, like a mountain that could fall on us at any moment. We should fear that these sins might destroy us, and it is for this reason that the believers try their best to stay clear of sins. Fear of Allah increases a person's Iman, it makes him a believer, takes him closer to Allah and helps him to overcome the hurdles of the hereafter. And this fear of Allah is the vital ingredient for one's worship to be accepted by Allah subhana wa ta'ala.
If our worship, prayers and pilgrimages are not accompanied by fear of Allah, then the only other thing that can be with them is fear of Dunya, or show and other worldly intentions. The 'fear of Allah' endows worship with its true colour.
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