Obedience and Submission to God

(Keywords: First Sin, Adam and Satan, Adam and Eve in Paradise, Obedience to God, Ta’ah, Consequences of Disobedience, Concept of Obedience in Islam)

 

      In the Qur’an, God the Almighty describes in detail the story of the creation of Adam and Eve, their first encounter with Satan, their stay in Paradise, and then their descent to Earth. God the Exalted says:

قال الله سبحانه وتعالى: { وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ صَوَّرْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآَدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ لَمْ يَكُنْ مِنَ السَّاجِدِينَ (11) قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلَّا تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ قَالَ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِنْ نَارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِنْ طِينٍ (12) قَالَ فَاهْبِطْ مِنْهَا فَمَا يَكُونُ لَكَ أَنْ تَتَكَبَّرَ فِيهَا فَاخْرُجْ إِنَّكَ مِنَ الصَّاغِرِينَ (13) قَالَ أَنْظِرْنِي إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ (14) قَالَ إِنَّكَ مِنَ الْمُنْظَرِينَ (15) قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لَأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ (16) ثُمَّ لَآَتِيَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَنْ شَمَائِلِهِمْ وَلَا تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ (17) قَالَ اخْرُجْ مِنْهَا مَذْءُومًا مَدْحُورًا لَمَنْ تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ لَأَمْلَأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنْكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ (18) وَيَا آَدَمُ اسْكُنْ أَنْتَ وَزَوْجُكَ الْجَنَّةَ فَكُلَا مِنْ حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا وَلَا تَقْرَبَا هَذِهِ الشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُونَا مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ (19) فَوَسْوَسَ لَهُمَا الشَّيْطَانُ لِيُبْدِيَ لَهُمَا مَا وُورِيَ عَنْهُمَا مِنْ سَوْآَتِهِمَا وَقَالَ مَا نَهَاكُمَا رَبُّكُمَا عَنْ هَذِهِ الشَّجَرَةِ إِلَّا أَنْ تَكُونَا مَلَكَيْنِ أَوْ تَكُونَا مِنَ الْخَالِدِينَ (20) وَقَاسَمَهُمَا إِنِّي لَكُمَا لَمِنَ النَّاصِحِينَ (21) فَدَلَّاهُمَا بِغُرُورٍ فَلَمَّا ذَاقَا الشَّجَرَةَ بَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْآَتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِنْ وَرَقِ الْجَنَّةِ وَنَادَاهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا أَلَمْ أَنْهَكُمَا عَنْ تِلْكُمَا الشَّجَرَةِ وَأَقُلْ لَكُمَا إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمَا عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ (22) قَالَا رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنْفُسَنَا وَإِنْ لَمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ (23) قَالَ اهْبِطُوا بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ وَلَكُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ مُسْتَقَرٌّ وَمَتَاعٌ إِلَى حِينٍ (24) قَالَ فِيهَا تَحْيَوْنَ وَفِيهَا تَمُوتُونَ وَمِنْهَا تُخْرَجُونَ (25) يَا بَنِي آَدَمَ قَدْ أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ لِبَاسًا يُوَارِي سَوْآَتِكُمْ وَرِيشًا وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَى ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ ذَلِكَ مِنْ آَيَاتِ اللَّهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ (26) يَا بَنِي آدَمَ لَا يَفْتِنَنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ كَمَا أَخْرَجَ أَبَوَيْكُم مِّنَ الْجَنَّةِ يَنزِعُ عَنْهُمَا لِبَاسَهُمَا لِيُرِيَهُمَا سَوْآتِهِمَا إِنَّهُ يَرَاكُمْ هُوَ وَقَبِيلُهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا تَرَوْنَهُمْ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا الشَّيَاطِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ} سورة الأعراف 11- 27.

English Translation:

God the Almighty says: 

11.  And We have certainly created you (O mankind) and given you (human) form.  Then We said to the angels, “Prostrate to Adam”, so they prostrated, except Iblees (Satan), he refused to be of those who prostrate.

  1. God said: “What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?” Iblees (Satan) said: “I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire and created him from clay.”
  2. God said: “(O Iblees) Descend from Paradise, for it is not for you to be arrogant here. Get out; indeed, you are of those humiliated and disgraced.”
  3. Satan said: “Allow me respite till the Day they are resurrected.”
  4. God said: “You are of those allowed respite.”
  5. Satan said: “Because You have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait for them (human beings) on Your Straight Path.
  6. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful (to You).”
  7. God said: “Get out from this (Paradise) disgraced and expelled. Whoever follows you among them, then surely I will fill Hell with you, all together.”
  8. “And O Adam, dwell you and your wife in Paradise, and eat from wherever you both wish, but do not approach this tree, lest you be among the unjust and wrongdoers.”
  9. But Satan whispered suggestions to them both (Adam and Eve) in order to uncover that which was concealed from them of their private parts. He said: “Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become of the immortals.”
  10. And Satan swore by God to them both (saying): “Indeed, I am one of the sincere well-wishers for you both.”
  11. So he misled them through deception. Then when they tasted of the tree, their private parts became apparent to them and they began to stick together the leaves of Paradise over themselves (in order to cover their shame).  And their Lord called out to them (saying): “Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you: Verily, Satan is to you an open enemy?”
  1. They (Adam and Eve) said: “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be among the losers.”
  2. God said: “Descend, being enemies to one another (man and Satan). And on Earth there will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment, for a time.”
  3. God said: “Therein (the Earth) you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought forth (resurrected).”
  4. O Children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as an adornment. But the clothing of righteousness – that is best. That is from the signs of God that perhaps they will remember (i.e. leave falsehood and follow truth).
  5. O Children of Adam, let not Satan deceive you, as he got your parents (Adam and Eve) out of Paradise, stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Verily, he (Satan) and his soldiers see you from where you cannot see them. Verily, We made the devils allies for those who do not believe} (Surah 7, verses 11-27).

 

         In these beautiful verses, God the Almighty describes to us the creation of Adam and Eve and their descent to Earth.  God the Exalted mentions that after He created Adam, the Almighty God honored Adam by asking the angels to prostrate to him.  All angels obeyed the command of God and immediately went into prostration to Adam.  But Satan, who used to worship God in the company of the angels, disobeyed and refused to prostrate.

Almighty God asked Satan why he had not prostrated to Adam, and Satan replied: ‘I am better than him; You created me from fire and created him from mud.’  Almighty God banished Satan for his flagrant disobedience, cursed him for his pride and arrogance, and promised him severe punishment in Hell-Fire.  Upon learning his fate, Satan asked for a reprieve until the Day of Judgment.  When God granted him that, Satan promised to do everything in his power to take as many of the progeny of Adam with him to Hell-Fire.

Satan started his campaign right away with Adam.  After Satan was banished, God allowed Adam and Eve to dwell in Paradise and enjoy its bliss and innumerous blessings.  God warned Adam and Eve not to eat from a certain tree.  But Satan, who had become the sworn enemy of Adam and his progeny, plotted and planned.  Satan whispered to Adam and Eve that if they ate from the tree, they would become one of the angels or become immortal, living forever.  Eventually, Adam and Eve ate from the tree, and as soon they did that their garments fell off and they tried to cover themselves using the leaves of the trees of Paradise.

In response to their eating from the tree, Almighty God asked Adam and Eve to descend from Paradise to Earth.  Both Adam and Eve showed great remorse and repented to God – unlike Satan who showed arrogance and refused to prostrate even later. It is even related that when Adam was placed on Earth, he stayed in prostration for forty days, crying and asking God’s forgiveness. God granted both Adam and Eve His forgiveness, but decreed that they would stay on Earth and struggle with the living there.

In these verses in the Qur’an, Almighty God then admonishes the Son of Adam and forewarns him against Satan, the sworn enemy of Adam. God tells the humans to be wary of Satan, lest he should mislead them and cause them pain and loss just like he did with their parents, Adam and Eve.

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From the above incident, we can learn four important and essential lessons:

First Lesson:

      First, Almighty God states in the above divine verses that it is He, God, Who created Adam from clay, and gave him his upright human shape and discerning mind.  Indeed, Adam was directly created in the shape of a human being, and never evolved from primitive forms as some now tend to claim.  In another verse, God the Exalted says:

قال الله سبحانه وتعالى: { إِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي خَالِقٌ بَشَرًا مِنْ طِينٍ (71) فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِنْ رُوحِي فَقَعُوا لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ (72) فَسَجَدَ الْمَلَائِكَةُ كُلُّهُمْ أَجْمَعُونَ (73) إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ اسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ (74) قَالَ يَا إِبْلِيسُ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَنْ تَسْجُدَ لِمَا خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَيَّ أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ أَمْ كُنْتَ مِنَ الْعَالِينَ (75) قَالَ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِنْ نَارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِنْ طِينٍ (76) قَالَ فَاخْرُجْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّكَ رَجِيمٌ (77) وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ لَعْنَتِي إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ (78)﴾ } سورة ص 71-78.

God the Almighty says: {

71. (Remember) when your Lord said to the angels: “Indeed, I am going to create a human being from clay.”

  1. “So, when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then fall down to him in prostration.”
  2. So, the angels prostrated – all of them entirely.
  3. Except Iblees, he was proud and became among the disbelievers.
  4. God said: “O Iblees, what prevented you from prostrating to one whom I have created with Both My Hands. Are you too proud or are you one of the high exalted?”
  5. Iblees said: “I am better than he. You created me from fire, and You created him from clay.”
  6. God said: “Then get out from here; for verily, you are outcast.”
  7. “And verily, My curse is on you till the Day of Recompense”} (Surah 38, verses 71-78).

 

Thus, God states directly that He created Adam directly from clay, and with His Most Honorable Hands.

Abdullah b. Umar said: “God the Almighty created four things with His Most Honorable Hands: The Throne, the Paradise of Eden, the Pen, and Adam.”

These verses and reports refute the false claim that Adam evolved from any other form. Once the son of Adam realizes this fact, he should submit and surrender to his Creator, and try his best to do whatever pleases his Lord.

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Second Lesson:

Second, God the Exalted has set rules and guidelines and commanded the son of Adam to observe those rules and never violate them.  The son of Adam is instructed to follow those rules and keep by those limits.  Whoever disobeys God and breaks any of those rules subjects himself to punishment.  We see in the above true story how Satan was banished and cursed because of his great disobedience.  And when Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree, they were taken out of Paradise and bliss and placed on Earth and hardship.

The Ten Commandments are one example of the commands and rules of God; whoever fulfills them then he shows obedience to God, and whoever violates any of them then he has violated the covenant of God.  God mentions the Ten Commandments in Qur’an:

قال الله سبحانه وتعالى: { قُلْ تَعَالَوْا أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ أَلَّا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ مِنْ إِمْلَاقٍ نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْ وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُمْ بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ * وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ وَالْمِيزَانَ بِالْقِسْطِ لَا نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا وَإِذَا قُلْتُمْ فَاعْدِلُوا وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَى وَبِعَهْدِ اللَّهِ أَوْفُوا ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُمْ بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ * وَأَنَّ هَذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَنْ سَبِيلِهِ ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُمْ بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ} سورة الأنعام 151-153.

God -the Exalted- says: {Say (O Muhammad): “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you:

Do not join anything in worship with God (partners or son);

Be good and dutiful to your parents;

Do not kill your children out of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them;

Do not come near to shameful indecent deeds, whether committed openly or secretly;

And do not kill anyone whom God has forbidden (to be killed), except for a just cause and Islamic law: thus does He command you, that you may use wisdom.

And do not come near the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he attains the age of full maturity;

Give full measure and full weight with justice – We do not burden any person but that which he can bear;

Whenever you speak (testify), speak justly even if a near relative is concerned;

And fulfill the Covenant of God: thus does He command you that you may remember.

And verily, this is My Straight path, so follow it and do not follow (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His path; thus does He command you, that you may become righteous”} Surah 6, verses 151-153.

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Third Lesson:

Third, Satan is the staunchest and worst enemy of the son of Adam, and man has to consider and treat Satan as such.  After his banishment, Satan swore in front of God to mislead as many of the children of Adam as possible, and employ as many soldiers and tools as he possibly could to achieve that mission. God the Almighty tells us exactly what Satan said in that occasion.  Almighty God recounts in Qur’an:

قال الله سبحانه وتعالى: { قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لَأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ (16) ثُمَّ لَآَتِيَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَنْ شَمَائِلِهِمْ وَلَا تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ} سورة الأعراف 16-17.

قال الطبري: ( معنى الكلام: لأصدنّ بني آدم عن عبادتك وطاعتك، ولأغوينهم كما أغويتني، ولأُضِلّنهم كما أضَللْتَني.

عن ابن عباس، قوله {ثُمّ لاَتِيّنّهُمْ مِنْ بينِ أيْدِيهِمْ} يقول: أشككهم في آخرتهم، وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ أرغبهم في دنياهم، وَعَنْ أيمانِهِمْ أشبه عليهم أمر دينهم، وَعنْ شَمائِلِهِمْ أشهّي لهم المعاصي.

وعن قتادة، قوله {ثُمّ لاَتِيَنّهُمْ مِنْ بينِ أيْدِيهِم}: أتاهم من بين أيديهم فأخبرهم أنه لا بعث ولا جنة ولا نار، ومن خلفهم من أمر الدنيا فزينها لهم ودعاهم إليها، وعن أيمانهم من قِبَل حسناتهم بطّأهم عنها، وعن شمائلهم زيّن لهم السيئات والمعاصي ودعاهم إليها وأمرهم بها. أتاك يا ابن آدم من كلّ وجه، غير أنه لم يأتك من فوقك، لم يستطع أن يحول بينك وبين رحمة الله).

God the Exalted says in Qur’an: 

16.  Satan said: “Because You have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait for human beings on Your Straight Path.

  1. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful (to You)” (Surah 7, verses 16-17).

 

Al-Tabari said in his exegesis: “The meaning of Satan’s statement ‘Surely I will sit in wait for human beings on Your Straight Path’ is: ‘I will dissuade the children of Adam from Your worship and obedience, misguide them and mislead them.’

Ibn Abbas said: ‘Satan’s statement: ‘Then I will come to them from before them’: means, I will raise doubts in them concerning the Hereafter; ‘From behind them’: means, I will make the worldly life appealing to them; ‘Come on their right’: means, I will cause confusion in their religion; ‘And on their left’: means, I will lure them to commit sins.’

Qatadah said: ‘Satan’s statement: ‘Then I will come to them from before them’: means, I will make them deny resurrection, Paradise, and Hell;  

‘From behind them’: means, I will make the worldly life appealing to them and beguile them with it;  

‘Come on their right’: means, I will discourage them from doing good deeds;  

‘Come on their left’: means, I will urge, invite and tempt them with sins and misdeeds. 

Therefore, O Son of Adam, Satan comes to you from every direction, except from above for he cannot come between you and the mercy of God.’ ”

One of the greatest aides for Satan in his evil quest and malicious endeavor is the evil-inclined Self.  Satan uses natural human instincts for his advantage to mislead the son of Adam.  Thus, Satan uses natural human instincts like hunger to make people eat unlawful and forbidden foods and drinks; love of wealth to make people steal and rob others; love of power and dominance to make people oppress and kill each other; love of women to make people commit adultery and all kinds of debauchery; pride and other vices to make people turn away from religion and follow their desires; and various traps and temptations in order make people disbelieve one way or another.

Therefore, the Almighty God instructed the son of Adam and forewarned him to take Satan as an enemy.  The Almighty God says in Qur’an:

قال الله سبحانه وتعالى: { يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ فَلَا تَغُرَّنَّكُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَلَا يَغُرَّنَّكُم بِاللَّهِ الْغَرُورُ * إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّا إِنَّمَا يَدْعُو حِزْبَهُ لِيَكُونُوا مِنْ أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ} سورة فاطر 5-6.

God -the Exalted- says: { O mankind, verily, the Promise of God is true. So let not the worldly life deceive you, and let not the Chief Deceiver (Satan) deceive you about God.

Surely, Satan is an enemy to you, so take him as an enemy. He only invites his followers that they may become the dwellers of the blazing Fire} Surah 35, verses 5-6.

     Thus, the son of Adam is instructed to beware of Satan’s traps and tricks, be careful of Satan’s temptations and misleading ways, and be wary of Satan and the Self lest they should lead him astray.

The son of Adam must be on guard against Satan and develop ways and strategies to overcome this centuries-old foe.  The son of Adam must fight off this enemy-from-within and be on guard all the time. 

The son of Adam must struggle against this unyielding foe until death, and must use all tools available to him to defeat this invisible bitter opponent.  Not only that, but the son of Adam must bring his unruly Self under control, lest it becomes an aiding ally for Satan which he directs as he wishes.

 

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Fourth Lesson:

      The fourth and perhaps the most important lesson is that God always accepts true repentance.  The most important lesson from this story is that man is not perfect and is prone to slips, lapses, mistakes, falls and misdeeds.  But this is part of human nature which Satan promised to take advantage of this weak side. God, with His Perfect Wisdom and Justice, has created mercy and forgiveness to counter that weak side.  

Thus, when Satan made a promise before God to mislead as many of the sons of Adam as possible, God promised that He would forgive as many of them in return provided that they seek God’s forgiveness, show regret and remorse for their misdeeds, and repent of their sin.

 

This is indeed one of the great morals of this story, and that is: The Muslim should never despair of the Great Mercy of God, but instead should seek it all the time. 

When the Muslim commits a sin, then he should immediately remember the mercy of God and repent to Him by first showing regret and remorse and second by staying away from that sin.  Whoever does that, then God will forgive him just like He forgave Adam and Eve.  But whoever insists on major sins, or even worse, disbelieves, then God has promised him punishment and Hell-fire. 

God the Exalted says in Qur’an:

قال الله سبحانه وتعالى: {قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ * وَأَنِيبُوا إِلَى رَبِّكُمْ وَأَسْلِمُوا لَهُ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يَأْتِيَكُمُ الْعَذَابُ ثُمَّ لَا تُنْصَرُونَ * وَاتَّبِعُوا أَحْسَنَ مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يَأْتِيَكُمُ الْعَذَابُ بَغْتَةً وَأَنْتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ * أَنْ تَقُولَ نَفْسٌ يَا حَسْرَتَا عَلَى مَا فَرَّطْتُ فِي جَنْبِ اللَّهِ وَإِنْ كُنْتُ لَمِنَ السَّاخِرِينَ * أَوْ تَقُولَ لَوْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ هَدَانِي لَكُنْتُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ * أَوْ تَقُولَ حِينَ تَرَى الْعَذَابَ لَوْ أَنَّ لِي كَرَّةً فَأَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ * بَلَى قَدْ جَاءَتْكَ آَيَاتِي فَكَذَّبْتَ بِهَا وَاسْتَكْبَرْتَ وَكُنْتَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ * وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ تَرَى الَّذِينَ كَذَبُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ وُجُوهُهُمْ مُسْوَدَّةٌ أَلَيْسَ فِي جَهَنَّمَ مَثْوًى لِلْمُتَكَبِّرِينَ * وَيُنَجِّي اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا بِمَفَازَتِهِمْ لَا يَمَسُّهُمُ السُّوءُ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ} الزمر 53-61.

God the Exalted says in Qur’an: {

53. Say: “O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins), do not despair of the Mercy of God. Indeed, God forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

  1. And turn in repentance to your Lord and submit to Him, before the punishment comes upon you, then you will not be helped.

  2. And follow the best of that which is revealed to you from your Lord (i.e. this Qur’an), before the punishment comes upon you suddenly while you do not perceive!

  3. Lest a person should say: “Alas, my grief that I was undutiful to God (i.e. I have not done what God has ordered me to do), and I was indeed among those who mocked [at the truth]”.

  4. Or (lest) he should say: “If only God had guided me, I would have been among the pious and righteous.”

  5. Or (lest) he should say when he sees the punishment: “If only I had another chance (to return to the world) then I should indeed be among the doers of good.”

  6. But indeed, there had come to you My verses (Ayat: proofs, evidences), but you denied them, and were proud and were among the disbelievers.

  7. And on the Day of Judgment, you will see those who lied about God, their faces will be black. Is there not in Hell an abode for the arrogant ones?

  8. But God will save those who feared Him by their attainment (to their places of success or Paradise). No evil shall touch them, nor will they grieve} (Surah 39, verses 53-61).

 

Thus, the Most Merciful God instructs the son of Adam to repent to Him and abandon his sin and God would forgive him.  In the above true story, we see that when Adam and Eve repented and showed remorse, God forgave them and promised them Paradise on the Day of Judgment. 

But Satan insists on his arrogance and pride and therefore he is never forgiven.  It is even related that Prophet Moses asked the Lord to forgive Satan, and God said to him: ‘Ask him to prostrate to Adam in his grave, and I will forgive him.’  But Satan, consumed with pride and jealousy, still refused to prostrate to Adam even later claiming: ‘I am better than him, I was created from fire, while Adam was created from clay.’  Thus, Satan is never forgiven and will abide eternally in Hell, we seek refuge from Satan and from that.

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While many people know about the above story, few enact its lessons. Many people believe that Satan is our enemy, but few act upon that belief in trying to oppose him.  Indeed, when faced with desires, temptations and lusts, man tends to forget this original true story and is only occupied with temptations and concerned with fulfilling the desires of his unruly self.  Man forgets Satan’s deception of Adam and Eve and how he got them out of Paradise.  This is despite the fact that we are warned time and time again that following the path of Satan only leads to loss, ruin and destruction.

     Satan spares no chance or opportunity but to tempt the son of Adam and try to mislead him in different ways and using various methods.  If one way doesn’t work, then Satan would try another.  If the direct approach doesn’t work, then Satan tries a more subtle way.  And once the son of Adam falls a little, it becomes easy for Satan to entice him further until the person is misled and disgraced fully.

 

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Thus, Satan uses false promises of wealth, possessions, pleasures and enjoyment to entice the son of Adam into committing sins and disobeying his Lord.  But the Muslim must realize that Satan is his worst enemy and must be on guard against him all the time.

The Muslim must consult the people of knowledge and read their books and learn about ways of avoiding the traps and snares of Satan.

The Muslim should always remember the first incident when Satan misled Adam and Eve and plotted to get them out of Paradise.  The Muslim should not be misled by transient temporary pleasures that bring the wrath of God, but rather try to please God and think of the eternal Bliss of Paradise.

The Muslim should always try to oppose Satan and try to resist Satanic thoughts and suggestions and try instead to do things made lawful by God.

Instead of adultery, the Muslim should think of marriage; instead of cheating and stealing, the Muslim should think of working and earning lawful money; instead of jealousy and malice, the Muslim should think of the blessings he enjoys; instead of anger and murder, the Muslim should think of mercy and forgiveness; instead of injustice and oppression, the Muslim should think of sharing and compassion toward fellow humans, and so on.

And finally, the Muslim should remember that one day he will die and will see the result of his actions; reward for good deeds and punishment for sins and evil deeds. The Muslim should always repent to God and return to Him by following His commands and avoiding things God has forbidden, and showing regret and remorse for his misdeeds.

Then as for those who obey God and struggle against Satan and the evil-inclined Self, then they are promised Paradise and eternal Bliss.  While those who disobey God, commit major sins with no regret or remorse, or even disbelieve in Him, then they are promised punishment in Hell-Fire.  But the door of repentance is wide-open, and the son of Adam is instructed to always return to God, seek His forgiveness, and trust his Most Merciful Lord.  And God knows best.

 

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