Faith and sincerity: our best survival tools

If you believe that there is an enemy tracking you day and night then obviously you would want to have knowledge about him so that you can be aware of his agenda, his intentions and his purpose. You would strive to know how he works… what are his tactics and what are the tools that he is using against you… because you cannot defeat an enemy whom you don’t recognize and understand…

But it doesn’t end here… rather the next step after acceptance and recognition is to find ways and means to fight back and get rid of this enemy.

That is why Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, has not just informed us about shaitan and his various tools of deception; but He has also laid out a complete plan of action for us to empower ourselves against this enemy. Now it is up to us to understand and implement these methods in our lives so that we can win this battle and become really successful in this test of life… In-sha-Allah…

If you have read all the preceding articles about the ways in which shaitan acts upon us then it might have caused you to think that how is it possible to save yourself from being misled by this treacherous and untiring enemy… because even if we manage to avoid being hit by one of his arrows, he will return with a thousand more weapons… so what are the steps that we need to take in order to be saved from the deceptions of shaitan… and be able to move forward towards the success which Allah has prepared for his true believers…

Step no-1……….. To Believe in Allah (exalted is he and most High)

As born Muslims we might not value our faith as much as it deserves because we got it without even asking it… but those of us who have accepted faith with a conscious choice know how precious it is to believe in Allah and be saved from the uncertainty of not knowing who you are living for…

True faith is the one thing which relieves a person from all sorts of anxieties and makes him most productive… this belief in Allah is like a shield which protects him because he is so sure that he is not alone… he knows he has a Lord who is so powerful and so merciful and caring…

This strong feeling of security is a big reason why the true believers are not affected by the lies and deceptions of shaitan and remain tranquil and at peace even if they are in the middle of most disturbing or troublesome situations… As Allah says in the Quran:

So whoever believes and reforms – there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. (Al-an’aam:48)

Step-2………… Being Pure and Sincere to Allah

Sincerity for Allah means that you do everything only for Allah’s appreciation and reward. Now we might think that we have no other motive for our good deeds except Allah’s pleasure but we should keep checking whether our level of goodness remains the same whether we are alone or among people? Because it is the favourite trick of shaitan to put defect in our intention and so outwardly we do something for Allah but in our hearts there is a hidden desire to seek appreciation from people. Obviously this is very dangerous because all good deeds become useless if they are done for getting recognition or appreciation from people.

Therefore protect your faith by making your intention pure only for Allah. In this regard a practical tip is to keep your voluntary acts as a secret which no one knows about… like giving sadaqah or praying at night etc. Because the pleasure you will derive from keeping something only between you and Allah will make you rise above the petty desire to be praised by people… In sha Allah

Just as an example of how the shaitan can mislead a believer there is an interesting story which goes like this:

A man saw some people worshipping a tree. He had a strong faith in Allah, so he was shocked and angry and vowed to cut off that tree. When he was about to cut it, the shaitan came to him in the form of a person and said what are you doing? The man said I want to cut off this tree because people have started worshipping it. The shaitan said to him why should you cut it? Why don’t I tell you something that is better? Just go back to your home and every morning you will find two gold coins under your pillow. The man said how is it possible? Shaitan said that is not your concern… just go.

So the man returned without cutting the tree and next morning sure enough he found two gold coins. So he was satisfied with the money and did not go after that tree. But the next morning there was no gold coin and so the man got angry and took his axe to cut the tree… On his way he was again obstructed by the shaitan who asked him where he was going. The man said I am going to cut that tree which people worship. Shaitan said you are lying! You don’t have any strength to cut it… But when the man insisted on going ahead to cut the tree, the shaitan got hold of him and pushed him flat on the ground… then asked him; do you know who I am? I am shaitan! When you first came to cut the tree, your anger was for the sake of Allah so I had no power over you due to your sincerity. But when I deceived you with the greed of the gold coins, you lost your sincerity and now your anger was not for Allah, so I was able to overpower you!

Therefore you see how important it is to safeguard our sincerity and not get tricked by the shaitan with his offers of instant gratification.

(More to follow in the next episode… In sha Allah)

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