Satan Comes Upon Man From Different Directions
We read in the Holy Book that (7:17) when God cursed Satan because of his haughty disobedience, Satan asked God to give him respite until the Day of Judgment and allow him to try to seduce human beings. When God gave him permission to try to seduce man for the reasons we have just discussed, Satan retorted:
“Then I shall came upon them from before them and from behind them and from their right and from their left, and you will not find most of them grateful.”
The verse means that Satan does everything he can to seduce man. Man is a very complex being: as was pointed out before, God has manifested on him all His Names. The world is an arena of testing for him. He is sent to the world to be trained so that he can be a mirror to God and earn eternal happiness. God has endowed him with innumerable feelings, faculties and potentials, which must be trained and developed. If certain in these feelings and faculties, like intellect, anger, greed, obstinacy and lust, are not trained and directed to lofty goods, and are used in wrong ways for disagreeable purposes, and if man’s natural desires and animal appetites are not restricted and satisfied in lawful ways, they will be perilous for man with respect both to his worldly and his eternal life, causing him to be reduced to ‘the lowest of the low’. Satan approaches man from his left and tries, making use of that animal aspect of his and working on those feelings and faculties of his, to tempt him to commit all kinds of sins and crimes. When he approaches man from before him, he drives him to despair of his future and whispers to him that a day of judgment will never come, and whatever religions tell about the Hereafter is mere fiction. He also suggests that religion has long been a thing of the past and therefore no longer has anything to say for the present or the future. When he comes upon man from behind him, he tries to make him deny Prophethood and other essentials of belief, like God’s existence and Unity, Divine Scriptures and angels. Through such whispers and suggestions, Satan tries to cut all the connections of a man with religion and tempt him to all kinds of sinful acts.
By M. Fethullah Gulen