How to Keep Free of Satanic Suggestions?
In fact, the guile of Satan is ever feeble (4:76).
It is like a cobweb appearing before you—it cannot prevent you from going forward, and you do not have to attach any great importance to it. Satan only suggests or whispers, gilds sinful acts and presents them in falsely ornamented wrappers. Believers must never accept his invitations. When Satan resorts to whispering, we should realize that he is using his weakest strategy and ignore him. If we pay attention to these whisperings, we may be defeated. Like a commander whose fear causes him to hallucinate and then dispatch his soldiers to the wings, thereby leaving the center exposed, believers who listen to Satan weaken their ability to resist both him and their carnal selves. In the end, such believers are defeated.
Believers who want to avoid this trap should remain far away from sins, all of which Satan tries to make attractive. Heedlessness and neglect of worship are invitations to Satan’s “arrows”:
If anyone withdraws himself (or herself) from remembrance of the All-Merciful, We assign unto him (or her) a devil as a comrade (43:36).
Remembering the All-Merciful, thinking about noble or sacred phenomena, and living a religious life protect us from Satan’s attacks:
If a suggestion from Satan occurs to you, then seek refuge in God. He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. Those who fear God and ward off (evil), when a passing notion from Satan troubles them, they remember, and behold, they see (7:200–1).
The Messenger advised: “If you become angry while standing, sit down; if you are sitting, lie down or stand up and do abolition’.” Once while returning from a military expedition, the Prophet called a halt at a certain place. They were so tired that they slept through the dawn prayer. When they woke up, the Prophet told them that they had to leave immediately, for “Satan rules here.” The Prophet also says that Satan flees when the call to prayer is made.
Satan also uses obscene scenes to lead believers astray. He torments us with calls to illicit pleasures. On such occasions, we must remind ourselves that indulging in any illicit pleasure will engender remorse and may endanger both our present and future lives. We must never forget that the life of this world is but a passing plaything, a comforting illusion, and that the real or true life is that of the Hereafter.
When Satan whispers evil thoughts, believers should realize that he is using his weakest strategy and that it can be ignored. Dwelling on such thoughts only exaggerates and aggravates our weakness or susceptibility. We also must avoid heedlessness and make sure that we do not neglect of worship, for such oversights attract Satan’s attention. If we remember the All-Merciful, focus on noble or sacred phenomena and living a religious life, we will be able to resist Satan.
By M. Fethullah Gulen