PART 2 - THE SATAN
14. The Satan promises you poverty (if you spend for Allah’s Sake) and bids you indecency. Allah (on the other hand) promises you absolution and a generous reward. Allah is Vast and Knowing (2: 268)
C. The Satan puts into your head arithmetical calculations of your holdings, earnings, your real or unreal or at least inflated needs and warns you about the supposedly bad consequences of being generous to those in need or those with rights on you. He does not stop at that: He also suggests to you that to live a worthwhile life you must dare to break both law and taboo when opportunity looks you in the face. If you listen to Allah and act charitably He in His Vastness and Knowingness rewards you rightly and abundantly as none can. He opens for you unknown gates of earnings and savings whereby less money you have can buy more for you, for example.
15. So is the Satan an enemyfor you; he inspires fear in his friends (for the cost of piety). Do not fear him but fear Allah instead if you are believers (3: 175)
C. Listeners to the Satan live in constant fear of the cost and consequences of following Allah and His Messenger sws. They fear losing their illicit or unjust pleasures. Transfer your fears to Allah and see how much security as well as sensory satisfaction it will confer on you.
16. The trap of the Satan is flimsy (as far as a true believer is concerned) (4:76)
C. The Devil’s trap traps only those who are far from Allah in their hearts. They cannot resist his tempting promptings and once they succumb they find it impossible to break free from the habit the Devil got them into. With faith in one’s heart, the Satan’s temptings look ridiculous and any lapses are quickly remedied with the strength of the faith. For example as a young man I never gave a second look to drink or cigarette or any other abomination like gambling or womanising which prove so irresistible to the majority of youths. I found such exercises intolerably ridiculous and have always wondered how on earth people could fall for such stupidities. Their dead serious and worshipful regard for such items looked incredible to me. I watched with incredulous amazement a boy or girl take out a cigarette from a pack, place it between his or her lips with awed seriousness and respectfully light it and take a grateful puff and then emit a victorious smoke swirling out of both nostrils and then the mouth. All looked so stupid to me. Thanks to Allah very much, He protected me hermetically sealed from such abuses. In retrospect I explain this my total disinterest in bad habits as my fullness of heart and mind with the noble things and thoughts Allah represents and inspires which items keep you too busy too happily to need consolation from tobacco smoke or the both pleasurable and painful heart-palpitations caused by flirtations with the opposite sex. Why should I pursue objects with open-ended and never safe prospects I said to myself.
17. The Satan promises them and gives them illusions- what the Satan promises them are nothing but deception (4: 120)
C. Complements the previous verse. All devilish promptings are packed with empty promises which soon evaporate and are replaced by dire consequences. From fraud to adultery things begin with rosy hopes and end with bloody consequences. How many throats have been cut or bellies stabbed in the course of pursuing illicit palpitations and illegal bravados! At the end only the Satan rubs his hands with glee.
18. Were it not for Allah’s grace on you and His mercy all except few of you would have followed the Satan (4: 83)
C. Allah’s grace always accompanies Him Almighty in whatever heart He chooses to shine and His mercy is always next to His grace. Only this Divine shine in the heart of a man or woman can seal him or her from the Satan’s dangers; without it all are bound to commit moral errors and all sorts of unspeakable abominations. All crime follows from the lack of God’s Presence in hearts; the more Presence the less likelihood of a criminal act.
19. Whoever takes the Devil as friend instead of Allah he registers a complete and explicit loss to himself (4: 119)
C. Definitely so. For the Satan is the morally and psychologically worst possible in man and a man who descends to his worst possible mentality can only hate and be hated, harm and be harmed. Even a devil hates another devil and even when devils make common cause for convenience they may cooperate in their pursuits but once the project is over they turn on each other in the matter of sharing the ill-gains. Among devilic associations are criminal gangs and unwilling, mutually suspicious allies. Nothing in life can be more uncomfortable, and dangerous than being a party to a devilic alliance. Gamblers are a good example. They sit around a table from the evening into the early hours of the next day, tensed up, grimacing with greed and then sullen with disappointment and on rare occasions devilically euphoric with a win and overall horrible to look at both then and later.
20. What the Satan wants with wine and gambling is sowing enmity and aggression among you (5: 91)
C. According to recent police reports drunken brawling inside and in front of drink-houses (called ‘pubs’ in Britain) are increasing at phenomenal rates as among youths (many as young as 15) hard drinking habit is spreading like an epidemic. In fact everything once dubbed by religion a sin and by medicine a harmful habit are exploding among the new generations; younger and younger persons are joining the ranks of promiscuous as well as perverted sexual actors, hard drinkers and substance abusers. Family as an institution is on the decline and in decay and all authority, be it parental, tutorial, police or governmental… are more and more resented and challenged by the members of newer and newer generations. Against this crime and delinquency rates, detection and arrest rates are falling as the severity of sentences handed down by the courts are also doing. A recent argument by the higher judiciary is that prison sentences should be drastically cut down and for example, a murderer should only serve a mere ten years. Why? At least two reasons: Prisons are bursting at their seams on the one the one hand (despite the falling crime detection and arrest rates) while on the other streets are increasingly claimed by offenders making them unsafe in many cases for both young and the old. Increasing numbers of people are finding substance abuse irresistible and to obtain the substances they are becoming more and more willing and daring to exploit every criminal opportunity to get their fix which criminal opportunities create criminal competitions in which ultimately guns say the last word. That is the price of living from the devil in you instead of living from the (working image of) True God in you.
21. We indeed sent messengers to nations before thee and in order to make them submit caused them hardships and harms. They should at least submit seeing these sufferings but unfortunately their hearts had become too hardened and the Satan was embellishing in their eyes their (habituated) deeds (6: 41- 42)
C. Complements and explains our above commentary in general terms. Allah raises warners to indicate to morally degenerating communities their mistakes and the dangers awaiting them. They usually ignore the messengers at best or persecute them at worst. To support verbal warnings with factual warnings Allah then inflicts various forms of sufferings on the unruly, rebellious community. Yet they often keep offending simply because their moral sense (hearts) are too hardened with too much willingness for the continuation of their indulgences which the Satan in them is busy embellishing for them and making them to look indispensable. Hence the Westerns demand that others adopt their values and lifestyles if they want to be accepted in the Western society. Among these values are their indifference to religion and hallowed traditions like family values and ties, especially their sexual laxity which cause them so many problems and especially intractable diseases. There can be little doubt that this present trend, like their analogues in Roman times for example, will end in something utterly ruionous but when and how only God knows.
22. (To Adam and Eve in the Garden) the Satan inspired into them funny ideas in order that they expose to them their shame (tempt them by awakening in them the lusts all animal bodies are heir to) “Allah did not ban you from this tree for the fear that you become two angels or become permanent residents (of the Garden)… When they tasted the tree their bodily shame opened to them and they rushed to cover themselves with the leaves of the Garden (7: 20- 23)
C. Although it looks there is an unmistakeable sexual innuendo here that is not the point in fact, at least not the entire point. ‘Innocent existence in the Garden where all needs are met effortlessly’ is a metaphor for perfect pious life in which the needs of the body are met as much as necessary and not more. The rest of the human effort goes to attaining higher spiritual maturation. Because each man or woman is happy with what is just enough for him or her in life they do not have to fight over material things. Suppose then that a crafty and malicious seducer moves in and begins to draw their attention to the hedonistic possibilities of their bodies telling them that their Creator was not being honest with them and instead was trying to keep them down and eventually even stop them having what little He had given them and expel them. Hit for the first time by suspicion and anxiety as well as curiosity about the pleasurable potentialities of their animal sides men and women forget about their promise to their Gracious Creator and accept the lead of the arch rebel Satan who causes them the exact opposite of what he promised them- expulsion from the Garden altogether instead of increased joys.
But in actual fact the Satan, unkown to him, was becoming a tame instrument of the Gracious Creator, because the result of an expulsion followed by a repentance were going to be much more glorious for the victims of the foolish rebel Satan. What the Satan did not know was that Allah was using him to get Adam and Eve into sin and shame and send them down to a lower and painful existence not to delight the Satan but to reinstate man and woman, after some well-meaning trials and tribulations, back in heavenly existence on the incredibly great merits of their repentance and travails to the utter devastating chagrin of the Satan. Moving from the metaphor to human experience and as regards sex we may see that sex is a double edged sword: It is a curse if indulged without Allah’s legal permission and a blessing when Allah’s permission is there. It should not be attempted on the instigation of an impious, irresponsible voice talking to our heart but only after securing both Divine and social approval and blessing. In a recent example two young men, posing as civilian policemen ‘arrested’ a 14 year old girl for truancy from school ‘to take her to her family’. Driving her to a desolate place abused her in many ways and then dropped her almost dead somewhere near her home. They were caught and were given life imprisonment.
This is how Satan destroys people if they are not careful and attentive to God in them if they have any God in them. Many don’t. They had a hundred ways of quenching their lust, most notably and honourably through marriage but chose the worst! Under Satan’s influence they ignored the many trees available to them and instead ate from the wrong tree so markedly pointed out by their Creator and were expelled from the comfortable and ‘prospectsful’ garden of the society into their rubbish bin and cesspit called prison and that for life! Foolishly they took their bodies’ lust too seriously and paid the ultimate price. Imagine how much happier they could be had they been more decent and wise.
23. “O children of Adam, let not the Satan deceive you as he caused the expulsion of your parents by stripping them off their garments. He and his partisans see you from where you do not see them. We appointed devils as the ‘caretakers’ of the unbelievers (7: 27)
C. How glaringly obvious becomes the dangers of recklessness in sexual matters in the light of
our above commentary! Sexual sins are the standard and routine way of corrupting morals and disorganising the society. It must not be for nothing that secularism’s first point of attack on religious society has always been sexual seduction. A devil of a man can convert a conventful of naively pious monks and nuns into a brothel population at no time if he knows how to tempt the inmates. One of the most effective ways of seducing otherwise chaste people is exposing them to sexually enticing objects, like some strategically arranged nakedness. Sexual sins are very seriously promoted by immodest dressing and enticing body language, hence the Qur’anic command that both men and women dress modestly and avoid gazing at each other with lustful intent. Because sex is such a strong instinct perhaps the deliberate curbing of sexual appetite outside marriage is the single most effective ascetic practice conducive to increasing spiritual sublimation. Some other religions misunderstood this procedure and saw in total sexual abstinence the most effective way to sanctity.
The fact is that it is not absolute sexual abstinence which helps spiritualization more but the far more difficult process of keeping sexual activity within a marriage. What is more and as another sign of Islam’s superior realism and utility, the Islamic confinement of sex to marriage kills two birds with one stone: One the one hand it trains persons to limit their sexuality to a fully responsible context and resist all temptations outside this context despite having gained a strong liking for the sexual act, and, on the other it enables pious people to procreate and pass their genes on to the next generation instead of allowing only the impious to procreate and people with genes for high piety to die out. For example it is said that Jesus did not procreate- what a pity! His genes could fill the world with thousands of great saints over the so many centuries.
Muhammad sws did procreate and since then thousands of his excellent descendants blessed our world. To this day only very many descendants of his are identifiable and all without exception are excellent characters no matter what their political opponents or jealous enviers slander them with. True, there are some false claimants but the truth is that we have enough true claimants with enough good character to rejoice at the fact that Muhammad’s sws procreating has been a great blessing for Islam in particular and for the whole humanity in general. Many great Sufi saints are also from his seed and they look the part only too convincingly. To keep such good generations we need sexual modesty and that is most helped by modest dressing and acting. Hence Allah’s primordial admonition about dressing properly in these verses.
Lastly, so long as we are not believers enough we are handicapped by an inability to discern any devils around us while the devils see us all too well. In fact devils permanently claim the unbelievers for themselves and take care that they are always in some error and trouble. All these are not tangible physical things as we understand physical things but energetic, physiological and psychological things conspiring to goad us into mishap and trouble. It is not for nothing that Allah reveals jinn (both demon and devil) to be made of smokeless penetrating fire. Smokelessness ensures fire’s invisibility while the quality of penetration ensures a devil’s infectivity. Like a virus a devil can invade, misguide and bring down a man.
23. If the Satan provokes you with a temptation take refuge in Allah- He hears and knows all (7: 200)
C. Even the most pious people are not entirely secure from the Satan’s access to them. The good-news for them however is that unlike the impious they have Allah very strongly represented in their hearts and a prayer of refuge in Allah sees the Satan off.
24. (As regards) those who maintain piety, when a suggestion from the Satan enters them they remember (Allah’s worth as against the Satan’s filth) and see (the trap clearly)
C. Reinforces the above. They send away the poor Devil empty-handed
25. The Satan made him (the released prison mate of Joseph) forget to remind his Lord (the King of Joseph’s unjust stay in prison) and he had to stay in prison some years more (12:42)
C. Prophets and saints are often hardest hit by afflictions simply because Allah tests them hardest among His servants and that is for their steeling up more and maturing and attaining higher heights of spiritual achievement. Let us look at Joseph AS. He was unlucky with his very brothers to begin with who eventually treacherously saw him off the family. His good luck once sold in Egypt was short lived: He soon ended up meanly accused of attempted rape and was cast into prison for life. In the privations of the prison life (which in olden times could only be called dungeons or torture chambers) he matured into a saint and then a prophet. Still and very humanly and naturally he longed for freedom and exoneration. A chance came when one of his prison mates, namely the ex-butler of the King, who had become a grateful admirer of so Godly Joseph who had foretold his release and had asked him to remind the king that an innocent man was wrongly in prison. The butler, like most fickle men who find themselves out of the woods and back to good fortune forgot to remind the king of Joseph’s innocence and the need for his release and the reason for this forgetting was the Satan’s influence on the butler: Ordinary people may temporarily become pious when in narrow straits but once they attain safety and prosperity they drop their piety more or less and re-launch their less pious habits.
It is this loss of piety which the Satan is accused of causing to them. A less pious person will have less interest in remembering and helping old friends he has been indebted to, for example. According to some insightful ulema and mashayikh another reason why Joseph was let down once more was that he had momentarily lost his full tawakkul (sense of exclusive trusting dependence) on Allah and the Satan was for that reason allowed by Allah to make the butler forget. My humble additional inspiration is that the butler’s unconscious/deeper heart had noticed Joseph’s slight degradation of his tawakkul, he therefore lost some of his respect for were left with insufficient sense of loyalty as a result. Which means a saint should never beg for himself anything from a lesser person however justified but always beg from Allah or from those closer than him to Allah for any help. Yet the whole thing was more than compensated for Joseph when his spiritual rank took another heavenwards soar as a result of his disappointment. Then the king had to send for him and make him his favourite minister!
26. (Joseph said to his family when they arrived at Egypt to live with him who was then the glorious minister of the king) “He (Allah) brought you from the desert after the Satan put discord between me and my brothers” (12: 100)
C. Allahu Akbar! Look at the gnosis and adab (good manners) of a prophet! He only holds responsible the Satan for all the evils caused to him by his brothers and bears towards them no grudge as a physician would not bear a grudge towards a mentally ill patient doing him some harm, if he is a good clinician and a mature soul to begin with. So must be all who aspire at sainthood.
27. And We have protected it (the sky/heaven) from each and every accursed devil (15:17)
C. This theme of devils attempting to listen to the angelic dialogues in the heaven but being driven away by fiery missiles is severally stated in the Qur’an. As also expanded on by Hadith the devils only briefly and occasionally succeed to steal a few crumbles from the heavenly secrets which they then bring to their human masters the witches and fortune-tellers who then exaggerate and embellish their receipts and sell them on to their customers inflated with many adulterations. Ordinary commentaries take these explanations a bit physically stating that the physical upper space which to ordinary man looks like a blue, vaulted and star-studded area is where angels roam and execute Divinely ordained business while devils of jinn try to trespass and burgle the area as best as they can etc. Although this is an adequate level of understanding for the unsophisticated believer a deeper and rather and startlingly realer and more practical understanding is also possible. As always in advanced Sufism and also modern depth psychology (like the Jungian) which takes myths and their metaphors very seriously and try to translate them into practical moral and spiritual truths accessible by finer minds the term earth represents the material, rational world where science is the best tool of investigation and utilisation while the term sky or heaven represents the values-laden and emotions-driven spiritual side of man. When correctly and properly cultivated and developed this spiritual side advances to the Divine Essence of existence whose spiritual secrets begin to unfold to him.
This department of the human mind is nearly walled-off from the other department which deals with the material and the rational life. The material-rational side creates its own ideas and theories of existence which ideas and theories are largely atheistic or at least agnostic and lay the foundations of science. Unfortunately for some persons with a magical bent of mind the spiritual side of their minds are infected and infested by devilic jinn who try on the host’s behalf steal spiritual secrets from the angels who occupy and are busy with affairs closer to God’s purer worlds. All magic-obsessed people (and some of them are ostensibly ‘religious’) and especially the members of magic-based cults (hence the European terms ‘magus’ and magic and the Qur’anic terms ‘majus’ and ‘majusy’) among which many Hindu and other Far Eastern cults make up the bulk. To the scientist, especially the medical doctor these interests and practices appear as psychiatric personality disorder cases while to the sociologist they are superstitions but that is another matter. That man is not a simple soul as he ordinarily looks and feels himself but a very composite and sophisticated bag of many a time conflicting mentalities is a fact quite obvious to true mystics which true Sufis are. With this basic background knowledge we can also interpret the above verse as follows: Spiritual secrets dwell and are discoverable only in the spiritual side of the mind and the materialistic, purely scientific side of the mind working on its own scientific terms can make little headway in any investigations into the spiritual side. So let too scientific people beware; they either explore the spiritual on its own terms or stick to their agnosticism.
28. (The travelling companion of Moses AS said to Moses when the latter asked for the salted fish they had taken with them for their lunch that at one particular location on their seaside path the fish had suddenly come alive and jumped into the sea and swam away) “I indeed forgot (despite your instructions, to report you the coming alive of) the fish; only the Satan made me to forget mentioning it (18: 63)
C. In the minds of not perfected enough men there is an amount of resentment for and resistance to the manifestation of the supernatural including the success of a prophet or a saint. This devilic residue keeps throwing a spanner in many arrangements the blessed person may benefit from. Can we imagine! The whole point of the travel of Moses AS was locating Khidr and learning the special gnosis Khidr was given and the sign of Khidr’s presence was the coming alive of dead things. But the young servant accompanying Moses AS would forget just that! Additionally this mishap in the enterprise of Moses AS was an indication that his aim was not to be realised: He eventually proved not capable of learning the gnosis. It is like this throughout our lives: What Allah wants us to have He makes the way easy and the means forthcoming while when He does not want to give us something our desire for it has a desperate flavour and obstacles and mishaps litters its path. In all cases though He has our good in mind and no less.
To repeat in a way to get the lesson: O dear reader, the sign that something is both achievable and good for you is that its obtainment or attainment are made easy for you. You simple happen to be at the right place at the right time in the right company and the good thing almost jumps into your lap. When something we may desire and pursue is not good for us obstacles, delays and disappointments follow each other and even if we obtain or attain the desired objective after heroic efforts it proves not as happy and blessed we would like. It may be a disappointment and perhaps a gate to some disaster as well. May Allah in His Infinite Mercy never lead us into directions where only failure awaits us but keep us happily advancing towards aims He blessed and will be facilitating for us and we would like very much as well. Lastly, as we have seen in the Qur’anic Studies Part 2 under Surat al Kahf the story of Moses and Khidr contains great fundamental metaphors for which the dear reader may consult the Surat.
29. And the Satan instilled in him a vainly intriguing idea by saying “O Adam, shall I guide you to the Tree of Eternity and a kingdom which shall never fail?” (20: 120)
C. Living in Paradise in unappreciated comfort and security the curious and insatiable nature of Adam/Man gave the Devil the chance he needed to subvert Adam. He talked to Adam and Eve put a suspicion and resentment in their heart the prohibition of eating from a particular tree in Paradise. He in effect claimed that that very Tree was key to the couple’s eternal life with an unfailing power and prosperity as if they were not already eternal and prosperous in Paradise Allah had put them. Rather than allowing Adam to live with Eve an eternal and perfectly comfortable life the Satan offered them to move home to the material existence whereby man’s eternity is achieved not by personal survival but by as a species only through procreation. Hence the sexual awakening the eating from the Tree precipitated. The unfailing kingdom the Devil promised was this lower world which is anything but unfailing. All in all Adam and Eve lost the real eternal world with the real full comfort and prosperity and ended up facing certain death after a toilsome and troublesome life where their only consolation could only be producing new men and women who could then survive on their behalf or in their stead. Great metaphor for the necessity of motivation for a more spiritual life despite living in this material world if we want real personal eternity on a higher plane of existence. Personal eternity is not a pie in the sky but the birthright of every soul. The reason why it goes against rational instincts and scientific habits is that there is far more to reality as it is than we can deduce from reality we wrongly think is the whole reality. An ape is excused for not contemplating the possibility of something like mathematics or space travel. Its mind is too small to go beyond the exploration of natural food sources and finding sexual mates and the development of some small social skills.
30. And from among people are one who, without knowledge, keeps fighting on the subject of Allah and (in this respect) follows every obstinate devil (22: 3)
C. Despite being non-believers or at best only pretending believers some persons are obsessed with the idea and belief in God and cannot stop raising the issue or jumping into any theological debate going on. Persistently or pathologically unorthodox in their views they argue in any possible way often with no awareness let alone concern for consistency which indicates the fact that in each instance they think like the last unorthodox person they talked to or the writer they read. Such get nowhere except to spiritual disaster. The message is this: Do not waste time on any who only wants to talk and talks so recklessly that he cannot maintain any consistency. All about Allah is in the Qur’an as interpreted by the Prophet sws and that should be both the limit to and the last word on the subject.
31. We have not sent any messenger or prophet but when he recites (the revelation) the Satan casts into his recitation something foreign whereupon Allah erases what the Satan cast and reconsolidates his verses. It (the allowing of Allah the Satan to interfere) is for putting in some trouble those with a disease in their hearts (22: 52- 53)
C. According to many reporters and commentators among whom is Ibn Ishaq who is the earliest main biographer of the Prophet sws, these verses came on the occasion of the Satan squeezing a few false verses into the Surat al Najm when it was being read out by the Prophet sws to his big and mixed Meccan audience (see our commentary on that Surat in ‘The Qur’an Lights up’).
We may perhaps generalise this to apply to all words of truth Allah inspires to all holy men. On the one hand this may explain why we have so many forged ahadith which pious ulema as Allah’s agents tried to identify and label as such and also that in its existing state the Qur’an is in its perfect original form despite some obscure murmurings from some ever-diminishing fringe quarters. Lastly many unsavoury Sufi sayings about Allah (not to be generalised to far many more Sufi sayings which are in great good taste and very illuminating and ennobling) may be the products of bending the statements of Sufi masters alleged to have said something about the subject or adding forged reports to the bulk of Sufi lore. The most notorious by far is the saying of Hallaj “Ana’l Haqq” for which he was executed. He was certainly not quite at his best by saying it. As almost all great masters point out he was a drunken type of Sufi which means like the alcohol-drunk he could not control his thinking and emotions but had to break down into confusion and error. His real sin was ‘drinking’ in the sense that Muslims, under both the Qur’an and the Sunna, are not allowed to use any means which can derange their minds. He should be given the eighty lashes in public and warned not to ‘get drunk’ again. Allah knows best. This brings to my mind a pleasant hadith. One of the companions of the Prophet sws was an alcoholic who had to be flogged repeatedly each time he was caught drunk. When some companions cursed him for being so incorrigible the Prophet sws stopped them doing that and explained that this man loved Allah and His Messenger sws and was loved back by them! Which means alcoholism as well as Sufi drunkenness are equally haram, punishable by lashings, perhaps treatable by medical and psychological methods but not a sign that the sufferer does not love Allah and His Prophet sws. In fact he may be a great lover of them. The ultimate lesson is: TRUST THE QUR’AN FIRST where it is EXPLICIT and hadiths which agree with the Qur’an and only then evaluate other reports- whether claimed to be hadith or not- about Allah and lastly never get drunk on the pretext of Sufism. Allah knows best.
32. And Moses punched him (the Pharaonic Egyptian quarrelling with a Jew) and finished him off. (Surprised by the catastrophic effect of his blow) he said “This must be the work of the Devil” (28: 15)
C. A saint and future prophet like Moses- in full confirmation of our previous commentary- killed an Egyptian on the impulse simply assuming that a Jew can only be right simply for being a believer in Allah while an Egyptian can only be in the wrong by simply being an idolater. But as the uninvestigated Egyptian fell dead the Divinely installed loving mercy (rahmat) in the heart of Moses was stirred and gave him a bad conscience. Hence his shocked and surprised remark. What is more, as we already saw in our commentary proper on this Sura in Qur’anic Studies Part 2, another Egyptian arrived on the scene and gave Moses another ‘bloody nose’ of a valid lesson from a non-Muslim. He in effect said “Why did you not try to be a peacemaker?” Let all vain and arrogant Islamic boasters beware who may do to fellow Muslims worse than what Moses did to an Egyptian and yet rather than seeing their act as from Satan they will boast of downing another infidel posing as a Muslim!
33. The Satan is an enemy for you, so take him for an enemy (35: 6)
C. Yes, the only and real enemy of man is THE DEVIL in him first and the devils in others after that. Man must always be on his guard against that mean sub-personality hiding in shadows inside his system and variously insinuating or demanding evil action from him. When he learns to detect and identify his resident devil when that devil prepares to have another go at inciting him to evil he also becomes able to detect any stirring devil in others. That is why we find in the Gospel Jesus sometimes accusing one of his disciples for being a devil and neither our own prophet nor Allah Himself shied away from calling some persons whether a disbeliever or lapsing believer a devil or one moved by the Devil. See below.
34. Those (Muslims, thy companions) who turned their backs after Guidance being obvious to them it was the Devil who made flushed them away and gave them (vain) hopes (47: 25)
C. These were the hypocrites some of whom had made a debut as believers how sincerely only Allah knows. But because they could not cope with their devil they inwardly lost any faith they could initially achieve and hoped to profit from their reservations, hopes like benefiting from pagan and Jewish friendships in case Muhammad sws failed.
35. Secretive counsel (about the risk-profit analysis of Islam) is from the Devil in order to demoralise the believers. However the Devil cannot harm believers except by Allah’s leave. Let the believers put their trust in and depend on Allah (58: 10)
C. No Muslim community can consist of fully formed believers but lukewarms and doubters also always exist and may perhaps even make up the majority. These weaker elements cannot stop recklessly or idly opining and gossiping about Islam’s qualities and demands or the worth of the apparently more committed Muslims. All these leave a nasty taste in the hearts of believers of whatever level and Allah’s warning them as above is very necessary. True believers can escape the poison in circulation by keeping Allah in mind as best as they can. When Allah is in a mind the Devil dares not approach that mind.
36. The Devil put them under his spell and made them forget Allah’s remembrance: Such are the party of the Devil; Beware that it is the party of the Devil who are the losers (58: 19)
C. The Devil dominates only those who are too much infatuated with this world’s joys. Because unbelief releases them from the fear of being punished for their selfish acts of irresponsible indulgence they welcome the Devil’s leadership who they hope will take them from new pastures to new pastures irrespective of how many victims suffer to what extents as a result of the devilish self-indulgences. Two of the worst examples of this Devilism are prostitution (whereby every year millions of women are deceived or stolen to be recruited in this path) and organ-theft whereby every available vulnerable person is deceived or stolen for his or her organs to be removed and sold to the medical wing of the organ mafia. From the hefty proceeds of such incredibly unconscionable actions the culprits live fabulous lives of hedonic enjoyments only marred by the risks and disasters arising from turf and leadership wars.
37. Whoever opts out of the remembrance of the Most Gracious (Al Rahman) We make a devil to harass him; such devils mislead them away from the Path while they keep believing that they are being well-guided (43: 36- 37)
C. Many people either never give a second look at the thought of the All-Gracious being their soul companion or once began on a life of keeping Allah in their hearts and on their tongues they over time cool off and begin live on supposedly happily thereafter. Such fugitives from the inner Presence of the All-Gracious become such spiritual deserters that only a devil can keep company with them. This to him jolly-looking evil adviser constantly prods him on to many acts of harm, abuse and waste all of which the Godless fellow finds very amusing and clever. Many major sinners and criminals chuckle with satisfaction as they succeed in commititing another wrong against others and in fact may feel at the top of the world for a while until the consequences of their sins and crimes cath up with them with increasing horror and ferocity. Mafia ‘gods’ like Al Capone and Dillinger, Faschist criminals Hitler and Mussolini, Communist thugs like Beria and Honecker are some of the modern examples.
38. The wasteful are the brothers of the devils (17: 27)
C. For when they waste good assets they help the Devil’s agenda of causing poverty to others or preventing relief to the poor. THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER THAT HAD RICH NATIONS OF TODAY GIVEN AWAY TEN PER CENT OF THEIR NATIONAL WEALTH MERELY BY WASTING LESS, WITHIN A FEW YEARS NO SINGLE POOR NATION COULD BE FOUND ON EARTH. On a smaller scale many prosperous citizens prefer wasting their wealth or income on utterly silly luxuries while their very next of kin may be struggling for a most frugal existence- and that for years! There is an ironical saying among Muslims: One father looks after and raises ten children but these ten children cannot look after one father! When the old man is broke and frail his children ignore him or excuse themselves from their obligations towards their father, except perhaps one or two more decent of them.
39. Don’t you see that We send devils on to the unbelievers and they provoke them to evils with incessant provocations (19: 83)
C. Unbelief is itself is a kind of belief in one’s own all-consuming selfish importance and priority in the service of which own self no wrong is wrong but the rightest thing to do. The selfish person is so full of himself that in his inner space there is no room for anybody else but infinite room for all possible personal possessions and hedonistic joys. All the advice and exhortation he gets in this direction are given by devils dwelling in him like a battery of bats in a dark and desolate barn all of which bats like and can only perceive and operate in darkness. I have seen people who live alone, earn well, hold large savings and spend their lives outside working hours on most gourmet food, most gorgeous sex pests or victims, for music from most expensive home music centres, for obscenely luxury holidays in the most exotic and expensive places where sex at its dirtiest and most perversely nastiest is the chief prize… while some of their near relations, despite back-breaking hard but little earning work they are capable of finding simply starve day in and day out hardly managing to stay sane and perhaps die prematurely from simplest maladies because they cannot afford simplest medical attention.
I know a case in which the son of a starving mother, a mother who worked at anything for a pittance and looked to the day his son would get a good education, get a good job and giving a rest to his only too tired mother and look after her did nothing of the sort when he got a job but bought a luxury car on which he had to spend most of the salaries he was beginning to earn, eat out and leave his mother to fend for herself! Another such devilish person boasted that any food packet, say a packet of exquisite cheese, he only opens once, after eating as much as he wants the remaining part, often far greater part he throws away. He wears any clothing item (all designer clothes) a few times only and then throws them away without a twinge of conscience. HE WILL NOT GIVE ANYTHING TO ANYBODY ELSE! That is what worshipping one’s ego as the only god is and the tutors and directors of such undiluted evils are the devils infesting and infecting the person in question.
No wonder there is so much envy and indignation in this world about which neither the deprived nor the depriving are doing anything. The deprived are not seeking solace in God or succour through prayer which would most certainly arrive while the deprivers allow no badness of conscience to trouble them; instead they gloat with their wasteful and abusive prosperity and look down and despise the needy. Don’t we see devils flying towards such inhuman self-worshippers and prod them on constantly to indulge their vanities more?
40. Devils did not bring it (the Qur’an) down; (210) they are neither worthy nor capable of doing it. (211) Shall I tell you on whom the devils come down? (221) They come down on each and every liar and sinner. (222) They (the latter then) give ear and most of them are themselves liars” (223) (26: 210-211 & 221-223).
C. Against the non-starter slander that it was devils who brought the Qur’an down on Muhammad sws Allah is explaining that devils are too dirty-minded, spiritually blind, and too uninterested in man’s salvation to be a party to the promotion of man’s felicity. They are interested in their human analogues the incorrigible sinners and liars who welcome them and readily lap up their lies and evil advice. What is worse these human clients of devils are themselves primary liars: If their devil do not bring them any dubious material they invent their own lies and evil suggestions to serve their clients or use to harm their victims. Don’t we see some notorious money-spinning media use every lie, slander and exaggeration in reporting and commenting upon news items featuring scandal and salacity to attract readers and line their pockets year in year out and leaving in their wake a string of social and moral victims. No wonder morals and manners of many moderns are turning from bad to worse! Nobody including royals are spared the nosy pursuit and persecution and the money-spinners and false moralisers care not a whit what harm they inflict on people big and small who cannot help being fallible. It is not for nothing that Islam bans all curiosity, gossip, backbiting and espionage on peoples’ private lives, for exposure can neither make people less fallible nor means responsible and beneficial behaviour on the part of the exposers. People are simply fallible and most, rather than mend their ways, try to do their wrongs more clandestinely than before. Only a thorough sense of shame and responsibility can save people from committing shameful acts and that requires strong religious faith complete with very well-developed moral sense. Dirty-minded exposures only create great heartbreaks as well as great tragedies (like suicide) for the exposed and even greater dirty profits for the exposers. All satanic!
41. Indeed the devils inspire (make wahy) to their friends to make them fight against you (believers) (6: 121)
C. Devils play god to their befrienders and inspire in them ideas and aims going against what Allah would like us believe and do. Which means all thinkers, preachers and actors who attack true faith and demand curbs on pious and licences for immoral acts are Devil’s servants. Remember: Devil, psychologically speaking, means what is worst in man while God means what is the very best.
PART 3 - AL TAGHUT- A SPECIAL NAME FOR OR ASPECT OF THE ARCH DEVIL
42. Whoever disbelieves the Taghut and believes Allah has grasped a handle which knows no snapping… Allah is the Guardian of those who believe. He takes them from the depths of darkness into Light. As for the unbelievers, their guardian is the Taghut. He takes them from (any) light (they may have) into the depths of darknes. They are the companions of the Fire to remain therein for good (2: 256- 257)
C. Deriving from the root ‘tghy’ the name al Taghut very well qualifies the Devil as the archetypal symbol of all man-made evil. ‘Tagha’ means to go overboard in the commission of evils having acquired great arrogant pride and a vicious taste for hurting others. Against this definition of Devil we have the most blessed symbol of goodness and benevolence which is Allah. Man is equally open to either of these opposite poles of morality. Some opt for the worst they are capable of becoming while others opt for the best they may become. Not that man can become God but it is that he can come near enough to attain all nobility and security he may ever need to become happy, to rightly love and be rightly loved. Those who opt for the Taghut end up in Fire which is both infinite shame and infinite suffering while those who opt for Allah end up happy beyond all their best hopes and dreams.
43. Don’t you see how those given a portion from the Scripture believe in idolatry and the Taghut and say about the idolatrous unbelievers “These are better guided than the (Muslim) believers”? (4:51)
C. Arabian Jews opposing Muhammad sws stooped to the level of declaring Arab idolaters as spiritually better guided than Muhammad’s sws followers. To demonstrate this they visited Mecca the capital of idolatry and bowed to the idols and endorsed the pagan rituals and habits of the idolaters. It was an act designed to persuade the pagans to attack Muhammad’s Muslim community in Medina which tactic worked. This politically-motivated impious elevation of all religions whether scriptural or pagan over Islam is still plaguing some Jews and Christians who love hating Islam no matter what. For example they appreciate Hinduism and Buddhim more than Islam! Thus the Taghut takes them out of any light they may have into the depths of darkness as the previous verse says.
44. Don’t you see those (Arab Jews) who claim they are believers in what is sent down on thee and in what was sent down before thee want to make the Taghut their arbitrator despite being asked to disbelieve it. The Satan just wants to lead them astray in a great way. When it is said to them “Come to what Allah has sent down and to the Messenger sws you (o Muhammad sws) see the hypocrites arduously diverting (people) from thee (4: 60- 61)
C. In collusion with their Jews of Medina the hypocrites of Medina tried to play games with the Messenger of Allah, protesting their Islamic faith on the one hand and taking every opportunity to utter discrediting remarks and asking for dubious arbitration methods for their differences with fellow Muslims in general. Their motives are again identified by their devotion to the Taghut, the Satanic principle- that motive of incorrigible lust for worldly advantage at any cost. Generalised, this means that greatest evils in this world are caused by people who follow the agenda of what is worst in their hearts and try to succeed by acting hypocritically.
45. Those who believe fight in the Way of Allah. Those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Taghut. Fight the friends of the Satan; the trap of the Devil is flimsy (4: 76)
C. True faith puts one running after self-ennoblement achieved by developing a better and better character and committing better and better acts as the time goes on. Abandonment of true faith makes one to run after more and more self-abasement in the belief that the lower he can stoop the more selfish joys he can grab. Believers should fight against these devilisers by any legitimate means at their disposal.