Satanâ€™s Efforts to Drag Believers into Unawareness
One of satanâ€™s major goals is to divert people from the Way of Allah and lead them to Hell. He busies their minds with false apprehensions in an attempt to confuse them and prevent sound thought.
All sincere believers have an open mind and thus are aware of reality and can consider all of the details necessary to reach a sound decision. Their moral character, which is reflected in their behavior, comes from their faith, fear, and respect of Allah. But sometimes satan can take advantage of their momentary forgetfulness, carelessness, or lack of knowledge to draw them into unawareness.
Allah warns believers about this danger: â€œDo not let satan bar your way. He truly is an outright enemy to you.â€ (Surat al-Zukhruf: 62) and â€œThose who believe fight in the Way of Allah. Those who disbelieve fight in the way of false deities. So fight the friends of satan! Satanâ€™s scheming is always feebleâ€(Surat an-Nisaâ€™: 76). He announces that satanâ€™s devious plans will not affect sincere believers. Satan knows this and, when he vows to lead people astray, does not include Allahâ€™s sincere servants:
He (satan) said: â€œBy Your might, I will mislead all of them, except for Your chosen servants among them.â€
Despite this knowledge, satan nevertheless tries to confuse their minds during times of difficulty, illness, or some other personal hardship, if only for a moment, to prevent them from earning an even greater reward and rising to an even higher place in Allahâ€™s Sight. For example, if someone is about to do a good deed, satan may insert thoughts about postponing it until later so that, hopefully, the person will forget all about it. Or, as we read in Surat an-Nisaâ€™ 95: â€œThose believers who stay behindâ€“other than those forced to by necessityâ€“are not the same as those who strive in the Way of Allah, sacrificing their wealth and themselves. Allah has given those who strive with their wealth and themselves a higher rank than those who stay behind. Allah has promised the best to both, but has preferred those who strive over those who stay behind by an immense reward.â€ Satan wants to prevent believers from striving in His Way and from earning greater dignity in His Sight.
Satan makes intimations to believers during difficult times of sickness or in the heat of battle in order to take advantage of a momentary weakness.
Of course, Allah tests individuals with periods of difficulty, pressure, and distress so that they will reveal their true natures. Such testing is very important. For example, during the time of our Prophet (saas), some individuals who were constantly by his side on the battlefield became unaware in the heat of battle:
â€¦ when they came at you from above you and below you, when your eyes rolled and your hearts rose to your throats, and you thought unworthy thoughts about Allah.
Allah gives the good news that sincere believers who fall into momentary unawareness will be forgiven if they repent. Repentance is thus one of His great gifts. In fact, He tells us in the Qurâ€™an how He forgave three sincere believers who regretted their failure to fight:
And (He turned) also toward the three who were left behind, so that when Earth became narrow for them, for all its great breadth, and their own selves became constricted for them and they realized that there was no refuge from Allah except in Him, He turned to them so that they might turn to Him. Allah is the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful.
Satan can whisper to people until they become immersed in despair, thinking that everything is lost and that the situation is irremediable. But believers know that such thoughts are no more than satanic deceptions, and so ignore them. They immediately turn to Allah, repent, and take refuge from unawareness in Him:
As for those who guard against evil, when they are bothered by suggestions from satan, they remember and immediately see clearly.
Taking refuge in Allah from the empty apprehensions that can lead them into unawareness, they are careful to remember Him at all times, read and ponder the Qurâ€™an, and pray constantly. So, by His will, they are saved from even a moment of unawareness.
A warning to unaware people
â€¦ so that you may warn a people whose ancestors were not warned and who are therefore unaware.
Ya Sin: 6
Throughout history, Allah chose prophets and messengers, upon whom He bestowed light and understanding, to warn all people who, for whatever reason, had rejected or had lost their earlier awareness of true Islam. Allah chose our Prophet, Muhammad (s), to warn his own people, to bring the true religion to them, and to instill in them fear and respect due to Allah:
Warn them of the Day of Bitter Regret, when the affair will be resolved. But they take no notice. They have no faith.
These prophets and messengers told their people about Allah, His infinite power, and the Hereafter; showed proofs on Earth and in the heavens of His existence; and, through various means, called their people to faith in Allah and obedience to Him. But most people, in spite of the wondrous order in all that they could see, did not appreciate His power properly and so continued to turn their backs on Him:
When Our Signs came to them in all their clarity, they exclaimed: â€œThis is downright magic!â€ And they repudiated them wrongly and haughtily, despite their own certainty about them. See the final fate of the corrupters.
Allah warns people in different ways. This book, a believerâ€™s words, a personâ€™s own conscience, or even an informative report in the press or some other publication can all serve to warn people. Everything a person sees and hears actually occurs through Allahâ€™s choosing and, if evaluated in the knowledge that they come from Him, can be understood as warnings to turn to Him. Allah has sent us various warnings and reminders, and in the Qurâ€™an He commands us to correct their behaviors and find the right path.