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The Tricks of Shaytaan

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Listen Here: The Tricks of Shaytaan (Devil) and How to be Safe  by Shaykh Omar Hussaini

I thought it would be a good idea to do this lecture since Shaytaan has been roaming free ever since Eid. It gets a little tough in Ramadan though, realizing that it’s actually your Nafs that loves to play games…

The Main Tricky Tricks:

  • Shaytaan tries to trick us into believing that we don’t have to preform any supererogatory good deeds. If you try to wake up for Tahajjud, Shaytaan will whisper that you always pray the mandated prayers and that there’s no need for more: you have work in the morning!
    • How to be safe: Anytime you want to buy some commodity, you need currency. Remind yourself that you need the currency of good deeds to attain Paradise. You cannot get it for free. Everything we do is part of our effort to earn Jannah, that is our full time job.
  • He tries to make you procrastinate. He makes you think that you will have more time tomorrow. But in reality, your busyness changesbut never ends (i.e I will do this or that when I get out of college, but then you have a stressful job and kids taking up your time). You will never be completely free, something will always come up.
    • How to be safe: You never know if you will live to see another day. People think they have time, but how many people do you know that died in their youth? Anything can happen, you cannot leave your Jannah to chance by living in the delusion of eternal time.
  • He tells you to rush salah so you can get to your other duties. Even though salah can’t be much prolonged, Shaytaan gets you to finish it in as few minutes as possible.
    • How to be safe: Realize that worrying and being in a hurry will never get you anywhere. The deen emphasizes controlled and conscious acts of worship. To Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎, a few quality actions are better than a lot of actions done without any quality.
  • You do something initially for Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ but right after it, you get the urge to share it with others. The Shaytaan convinces you tell others so they can “benefit.” Sometimes you do sincerely want to benefit others by detailing some aspect of worship, like when trying to rub off on children. However…
    • How to be safe: If there is some sort of inner debate in your mind as to your intentions for sharing, then all your hard work likely went down the drain. Remember to keep the reward with Allah. The One who should know about your deeds, already knows.
  • You hide your good deeds hoping someone will find out later.
    • How to be safe: This is similar to the last one in the sense that you are doing things for people. Remind yourself that people can’t give you anything. Seek reward with the Creator, not the creation.
  • Once you start becoming somewhat religious, Shaytaan puts the seed of arrogance in your heart by highlighting all the people who are not doing everything you’re doing.
    • How to be safe: When you meet someone and you immediately think yourself better: know that Shaytaan is creeping in your heart. Once you realize that any righteousness you have comes from Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎, you will never be arrogant. We have no greatness in ourselves.
  • The last tricky trick of Shaytaan is that he manipulates the concept of destiny and oversimplifies it so that you begin to think, “What’s the point?” He makes you think that your actions don’t matter and that you cannot control where you end up.
    • How to be safe: Even if that were true, a person destined for hellfire would only benefit from good deeds and one destined for paradise would be hurt by bad deeds. Recognize that Allah has given us free will, his knowledge of events does not compel us to act in a certain way. And Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ is just. He does not do anything except what is just. He is even looking for excuses to put us in paradise.

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Signs and Effects of Our Sins

December 18, 2011 1 comment

Listen Here: “Signs and Effects of Our Sins” by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad

This was truly a great lecture that benefited me the way most talks on sins do: It scared me, made me analyze myself, and motivated me to be better.

Shaykh Zulfiqar started the talk by discussing the first sin ever committed by the infamous Iblees, or Satan. He refused to prostrate to Adamعليه السلام  justifying it by claiming his own superiority. In doing so he committed the following sins:

  • Went against the direct command of Allah
  • He tried to present justifications for his sin
  • He did not seek forgiveness from Allah and shut himself completely from His mercy
The person who commits a sin and seeks forgiveness is forgiven by the All Merciful. The worst thing Iblees did was to make justifications and not seek forgiveness. The person with true ilm (knowledge) is he who can refrain himself from sin. There are no small or big sins, “Don’t look at the sin but look at who you are disobeying.”

3 Effects of Sins:

  1. If a person doesn’t seek forgiveness right away, he will experience immediate retribution for his sin in this life. The punishment will be enough so the person comes back to Allah.
  2. The effect of the sin will not be apparent. Allah will let the person keep committing sins and opens the door to every blessing. The person starts believing he is right and then there will be sudden and swift recompense, in this life or the next.
  3. The punishment is delivered but the person does not realize there is any punishment. For example, a person did a sin and Allah keeps him from praying tahajjud prayer. The person will think it’s his own fault that he is not praying, but it’s really because Allah does not want to see his face. Only those closest to Allah get to reap the blessings of tahajjud and Allah prevents that person from being close to Him.
3 Signs of Sinful Heart: 
  1. The person no longer hesitates before committing the sin. He has no worries, no modesty, no qualms. There is nothing in his heart that tries to stop him
  2. He doesn’t have the desire to do good. Allah takes away his love and desire to perform good deeds (like the times when you have high energy and read every prayer in the mosque and recite Quran throughout the day)
  3. He hates getting advice. If a father tells his son he shouldn’t be doing something, the son doesn’t even consider the advice at all but rather worries about who told the father. He is more concerned with how the news was spread or why it was discussed.

If you cannot stop yourself from committing a sin, then beg Allah to stop you. Turn yourself over to Him and constantly seek forgiveness. NEVER make justifications for your sins! It’s common for us to reason our way out of a sin (“I don’t really need that much, but I have have a wife and kids to feed so I had no choice but to do it).

My thoughts: Effect #3 is scary, if Allah punishes you by preventing you from being close to Him, then I cannot fathom a worse consequence. In this scenario, you don’t even realize what’s going on and you’ve lost the greatest pleasure of this world while thinking you still have it. I was listening to this lecture on my way home and I thought to myself that if Allah ever had to punish me in some way, let it happen immediately in this life so I can go back to being close to Allah. And readers, I kid you not, my CAR BROKE DOWN. If I had a bed at that point, I would hide under it. [Update: I was told not to think this way, and I never do, it was just an odd passing thought. But we should always pray for forgiveness and pardon rather than retribution from the All-Merciful and Ever-Forgiving]

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Enemies of the Heart

October 3, 2011 4 comments

First of all, I’m sorry for the complete abandonment of my blog, especially to the 2-3 people who read it. Never again. I’ll try not to do it again.

On to the next lecture…

Listen Here: “Enemies of the Heart” by Shaykh Khalid Abdul Sattar

In this lecture Shaykh Khalid Abdul Sattar details the two enemies of the heart: the inner enemy (the nafs) and the outer enemy (the shaytaan). When a person commits a sin, a black dot appears on his heart and this darkness keeps growing as the person keeps sinning. However if he repents, it is cleared like it never existed.

  • The Shaytaan (devil): A tricky manipulator who makes the sins we commit lesser and lesser in our eyes. He makes us lose our understanding of the gravity of the sin. He makes us think our sins are “not that bad,” and even makes us blame others for our actions (My parents keep annoying me, I had to speak disrespectfully to them). He also puts doubt in our minds (Did I do wudhoo?) When he whispers the idea of a sin and the person does not do it, the shaytaan will keep coming at the person with different variations and temptations.
  • The Nafs: The nafs is the seat of our inner desires. It is not an inherently evil thing, it’s simply our most human desires. The nafs needs to be controlled and our desires need to be fulfilled in halal ways. When the nafs desires a sin, it will hold on to it firmly and no distraction will calm it.

Purity of heart will be the only thing that combats these enemies:

  • Our silence should be for Allah, our speaking should be for Allah. We usually don’t know much about anything but we will be the first to speak about it. The constant use of “I think this…”
  • “Speaking much without the mention of Allah is a sign of a hard heart and the one furthest from Allah is the one with the hard heart” – Ibn Umar
  • Umar al Khattab (ra) said ” The one who speaks the most will have the most sins.
  • The  Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said “The one who guarantees me [the purity] of his mouth and private parts, I guarantee him paradise”
  • There is great power in words, our outer and inner language should revolve around the remembrance of Allah Most High.

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