Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: What are some of tricks the devil (shaytan) use against us to make us fail in our fulfilling what Allah has commanded us to do? I would like to know so I dont fall into them.
Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.
This is a very good question, Masha’ Allah. A great West African scholar and reviver of the deen, Shaykh Uthman Dan Fodio, wrote about this:
As for the tricks of Shaytan against you they are seven.
1. He obstructs you from doing acts of obedience . Repel him, if Allah protects you, by realizing that you are in need of these acts of obedience in order to gather provision from this life for the next life which will have no ending.
2. He commands you to procrastinate in acts of obedience . Repel him , if Allah protects you, by realizing that your appointed time is not in your hands and that you could die at any moment.
3. He commands you to rush in acts of obedience by suggesting to you , ” Hurry! In order that you can do so-and-so!” Repel him, if Allah protects you, that realizing that few acts of obedience done with perfection is better than many done incompletely.
4. He commands you to perfect your worship in order to be seen of men. Repel him, if Allah protects you, by realizing that the sight of Allah is enough for you over the sight of men.
5. He whispers arrogance and pride in your heart by saying, ” Who is greater and more precise than your obedience?” Repel him, if Allah protects you, , by realizing that your acts of obedience to Allah is a blessing from Allah, not from yourself. If it were not for the bounty of Allah, you would not be able to establish any act of obedience , which are nothing next to the blessing of Allah Ta`ala.
6. This is the greatest of his tricks, he says to you, ” Make strenuous effort in keeping your obedience of Allah secret. Soon He will make your acts manifest before the world!” Repel him, if Allah protects you, that you are a slave of Allah and that He alone is your Master. If He wills , He will manifest you and is He wills He will keep you concealed. If He wills, He will make you important and if He wills He will make you insignificant. That is for Him to decide, and you should not care whether He manifest your good deeds to people or not, because there is nothing in thier hands worth seeking after.
7. He suggest in your heart, ” There is no need for you to perform acts of obedience to Allah. Truly, if you were created and destined to be among the people of bliss, then there is no danger in you neglecting the acts of worship. And if you were created and destined to be among the people of wretchednedd, then there is no benefit in doing them. Repel him , if Allah protects you, that realizing that you are a slave . And that it the duty of a slave to obey the commands as is the rights to slaveness (`ubuudiyya).
Allah is the Rabb, and He knows the rights of Lordship (rubuubiyya). Thus these acts of obedience will benefit you in every way if you were created and destined to be among the people of bliss. It will benefit you by increasing your reward. And if you were not created and destined for bliss, then in no way Allah will punish you for acts of obedience. These acts of obedience will not harm you. For to be entered into the fire while you are obedient to Allah is more precious to you than you being entered into the fire while you are disobedient.
And how is it possible for you to enter the fire when the Promise of Allah is true and His Words are Truthful. For He has promised a tremendous reward for acts of obedience. Whoever meets Allah Ta`ala while he has faith and obedience will never enter the fire and he has dully earned the Paradise by the Promise of Allah the Truthful and not by any act. It is in that Allah has informed us by His saying, ” Allah`s praises are due to Allah who made good to us His Promise and has made us inherit the earth and we may abide in the Paradise whenever we please. Excellent is the Reward of those who work. [39:74]
Therefore my brothers, wake up! It is as He said. So seek the aid of Allah alone and seek refuge with Him. All matters are in His hands and from Him alone is success. And there is no power nor might except with Allah the Exalted the Great.
[`Uthman Dan Fodio, Tareeqah al-Jannah Bab Muhaarabatush-Shaytan]