Do you know that you have an enemy who wants to destroy you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? This enemy of yours knows your weaknesses and will use them against you with every opportunity he gets.
He works day and night, plotting against you, never taking a rest even for a minute. He waits patiently for the times when you are the most vulnerable just to take advantage of your emotions.
He constantly and consistently pushes you to engage in evil deeds that will not only harm you but your family and those around you as well.
This enemy is not only your enemy; it is also my enemy, your family’s enemy, and every human being’s enemy no matter what religion or race they are.
I’m sure you know by now the enemy I’m referring to — the shaytan, of course.
Shaytan in the Quran
Shaytan is repeatedly mentioned in the Quran. Allah informed us that the shaytan is our true enemy and that we should take him as such — “O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy” (2:168).
In another verse, Allah says: “O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy” (2:208).
And yet in another verse, Allah warns us that shaytan is our biggest enemy: “And of the grazing livestock are carriers [of burdens] and those [too] small. Eat of what Allah has provided for you and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy” (6:142).
The verses are too many to list, but here is yet another verse I would like to bring to your attention where Allah explains the shaytan’s enmity and ultimate goal for us — “Indeed, Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be among the companions of the Blaze” (35:6).
Understanding our enemy’s tricks and tactics
As you can see, shaytan has been described in the Quran very well by Allah. Allah warned us that the shaytan is arrogant, rebellious, filthy, and loves all filthy deeds. Therefore, whatever the shaytan likes, we need to keep far away from it.
But to stay away from him and his temptations, we must understand the tricks and tactics the shaytan uses to lure us into his traps and illusions.
The shaytan made a promise to Allah to mislead us from Allah’s path and invites us to every evil and sinful deed:
“‘And I will mislead them, and I will arouse in them [sinful] desires, and I will command them so they will slit the ears of cattle, and I will command them so they will change the creation of Allah.’ And whoever takes Satan as an ally instead of Allah has certainly sustained a clear loss” (4:119).
The Quran also tells us:
“[Satan] said, ‘Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path. Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You]’” (7:16-18).
From these verses, we can clearly see that the shaytan is on a mission — a mission to destroy us and our future in the hereafter, if we let him that is.
How much power does our enemy have over us?
Shaytan doesn’t have much power unless you give him power over you. Allah says about the shaytan:
“Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the cause of Taghut. So fight against the allies of Satan. Indeed, the plot of Satan has ever been weak” (4:76).
Yes, he knows our weaknesses, therefore he beautifies for us the sinful things our nafs like, but it is up to us to refuse his callings or to accept and commit sin.
His main weapons are only tricks and lies. He whispers evil things once he realizes that you will never accept kufr. So ultimately, it is only these whispers and temptations that we must refuse in order to defeat the shaytan.
With all of that said, here are the top ten things the shaytan loves and Allah hates that we should all strive hard to stay from:
1. Loving this world too much
Loving this world and life will make us forget our main purpose in this world — that is, to worship and obey Allah. And once you forget that, well…that’s exactly what the enemy wants, right?
2. Never remembering death
This one is similar to the first one. It is important to think about death. When we remember death, we will realize how temporary this life is. Thinking about it also makes us patient in the hardships of this life. So when a person rarely ever thinks about death, his/her heart becomes hardened and his/her love for this world grows every day, something which will definitely make the shaytan happy.
3. Being Stingy
Do you ever get that nagging question in your mind every time you want to give charity, you wonder to yourself, “can I really afford to pay this much?” Guess who’s planting that question in your head…yup, definitely that devil! The more you stack-up, the more Allah’s blessing will be removed from your wealth. We all love money and wealth but it is something we must overcome as it brings the love of shaytan.
4. Having kibr
(Meaning of kibr is pride, arrogance, haughtiness, conceit etc.)
“Anyone who possesses half a mustard seed of kibr in his heart will not be granted admission to paradise” (Sahih Muslim). This hadith sums up the danger of having kibr. Kibr is the main cause of racism and oppression. Kibr is also one of the main characteristics of Iblees. It was his kibr which got him to be cursed and kicked out of heaven. So this is one of the most important characteristics we need to cleanse our hearts.
Showing-off will most certainly earn a person the displeasure of Allah and the love of the shaytan. For this reason, we need to always check our intention.
6. Not accepting the decree of Allah
Being Muslims, we will be tested and tried. This is when many people will ask “Why me? Why did I ever have to go through this tragedy or this calamity?” This is dangerous. When you ask the question ‘why’ not as a reflection of your actions and deeds but out of anger and frustration at Allah, you are not having patience and you are questioning Allah’s decisions. This will only get the shaytan to control your mind and push you further until you do something crazy.
7. Following one’s own desires
Following desires and giving the nafs everything it wants will bring much corruption. If we allow our nafs everything it likes, that means no waking up in the morning for fajr, watching or listening to everything whether it is haraam or not, gossiping, and backbiting.
8. Always thinking negatively
Thinking negatively about everything in life brings misery and ingratitude for what Allah has blessed one with; one of the goals of the shaytan is to make us ungrateful so this is a trait that is loved by the shaytan and hated by Allah. Thus, we should always aim to be grateful to Allah for everything, no matter how big or small.
9. Belittling sins
This is one of the most dangerous things we can do. The more we belittle our sins the more the shaytan becomes our close and intimate companion.
10. Arrogance (different from kibr)
Arrogance is thinking one is safe from the punishment of Allah in this world and in the hereafter. Shaytan convinces some people that because they do such and such great deeds, they are the best and will definitely go to jannah. We can never be so sure of ourselves and our deeds. We do not know in what condition we will die. We need to humble ourselves and always rely on Allah and make du’a and hope for His mercy to let us enter jannah, InshaaAllah.