I begin with the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
“(Iblis) said: “Because You have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. they will not be dutiful to You).” (Allaah) said (to Iblis) “Get out from this (Paradise) disgraced and expelled. Whoever of them (mankind) will follow you, then surely I will fill Hell with you all.” Qur’an 6: 16-18
From inception, man has always been faced with the assault of a clear enemy who has repeatedly vowed to lead him astray. The presence of this open enemy makes the world a battleground for man. He joggles between being a winner and a loser. Sometimes he wins, some other times the devil wins. The existence of Satan is a reckoning force that distinguishes the obedient servants of Allaah from the disobedient ones. Suffice to say that, those who respond to the whisperings of this open enemy become from amongst the losers, while those who, through the help of Allaah, are able to flush down the drain these whisperings by responding to the angelic inspirations within them, become successful.
From among the numerous verses regarding the open enmity declared against man by Satan is what Allaah the Exalted, says; “(Iblis) said: “Because You have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. they will not be dutiful to You).” In commenting on this verse, Abu Ja’afar ibn Jarir At-Tabari (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, “What this means is: Then I shall come to them from all directions, from the direction of truth and the direction of falsehood; I shall bar them from the truth and I shall make falsehood fair-seeming to them.” Jaami’ul Bayaan (5/445)
Undoubtedly, Satan only has the ability to beguile and make sin and falsehood fair-seeming to man, but he does not have the power to force anyone into making the wrong decision of disobeying Allaah. Apparently, Satan seems to be ahead of the sinners in trying to lure them into sinful and abhorrent acts, he attacks man from ways he never could have imagined. There is no single sin or act of disobedience to Allaah that is not from among the handiwork of Satan. From disbelief, to hatred, to envy, to enmity, to zina (adultery and fornication), to theft, to promiscuity, to lies, to betrayal, to wanton display of women’s beauty, to shirk (associating partners with Allaah), all sins are the work of Satan.
Satan did indeed make a vow and Allaah the Exalted, says: “And indeed Iblis (Satan) did prove true his thought about them, and they followed him, all except a group of true believers (in the Oneness of Allaah).” Qur’an 34:20
Consequently, the devil lures and destroys man with the best arsenal at his disposal relevant to the generation man lives in. Apparently, this particular generation nay, “civilization” has been subjected to the onslaught of satanic warfare, perhaps, the like of which has never been recorded in history. With all the misdeeds of previous nations that attracted Allaah’s wrath instantaneously, this present nation is guilty of all.
Allaah, the Exalted has warned mankind against following the footsteps of Satan in the following words, “O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Satan. And whosoever follows the footsteps of Satan, then, verily, he commands Al Fahshaa’ (indecency, illegal sexual intercourse) and Al Munkar (disbelief and polytheism).” Qur’an 24:21
Unfortunately, in modern times, man has wittingly or unwittingly got himself caught up in the web of Satan. Satan whispers to man to abuse the time that Allaah has gifted him with. Time wastage is one of the deadliest weapons in the arsenal of Satan. The modern slogan inspired by Satan, with respect to time wastage is, YOLO (you only live once). Man spends more than half of his day in futile endeavors, from the Internet through social media platforms, to discussing irrelevant issues. Allaah the Exalted, says: “ And they say: “There is nothing but our life of this world, we die and we live and nothing destroys us except Ad-Dahr (time). And they have no knowledge of it, they only presume.” Qur’an 45:24
Another trap of Satan is his beguiling of the evil act of spreading of lies and falsehood amongst people. Everyday people wake up to one falsehood or the other and they spread them widely like wildfire. The vice of gossiping and backbiting no longer requires physical journey but through chat rooms, this sinful act has been made easy and glorified as well. Innovations (bid’ah) in the act of worship, lies against the Prophet (peace be upon him) tend to gain more attention than the truth.
Yet another dangerous and destructive trap of Satan is that of bringing immorality to the doorsteps of people even the pious ones. The command is clear in Qur’an 24:30-31 regarding lowering of the gaze which is the most effective barrier against all doors that lead to immorality. Alas! If Allaah the Exalted was to hold modern man responsible for the sin of abusing of the sight, hardly will anyone survive the scrutiny.
Furthermore, vanity has been made the norm in most societies. With the advent of social media platforms such as twitter, instagram, snapchat, facebook, people tend to appear deceitful and more of show-off than humble.
Undoubtedly, the solution to this spiritual and social quagmire is to LIVE Islam. In the final analysis, it is clear that depending on how people approach it, he modern trap of Satan lies in the Internet. Today, people refer to these chat rooms as ‘streets’ and this brings this article to a conclusion.
Bukhari recorded in his Sahih that Abu Saeed, may Allaah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allaah said, “Beware of sitting in the streets. They said, “O Messenger of Allaah, we have no alternative but to sit in the streets to converse with one another.” The Messenger of Allaah said: “If you insist, then give the street its rights.”They asked, “What are the rights of the street, O Messenger of Allaah,” He said, “Lower your gaze, refrain from harming people, return the greeting of Salam, enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil.”
In one concise and comprehensive statement, the Prophet (peace be upon him) introduced humanity to the rights of Allaah over an individual, the rights of an individual upon himself and the rights of other individuals over a person. Indeed, these three rights are those over which Satan set traps for people in order to destroy them. May Allaah be pleased with us.
Mr Abdul (Penabdul), an architect, is the Chairman/CEO of Sustainable Project Works (SPW) Ltd & a Lecturer at Baze University, Abuja. Twitter: @Penabdull Instagram: @Penabdul