And this beautification of the world leads to turning away from the religion and mocking at the believers,

“Beautiful is the life of this world for those who disbelieve,and they mock at those who believe. But those who obey Allah’s orders and keep away from what He has forbidden,will be above them on the Day of Resurrection. And Allah gives (of His Bounty,Blessings,Favours,Honours, on the Day of resurrection) to whom He wills without limit.  Suraat Al-Baqarah 2:212

In other words this is a false happiness or a false sense of security. This deception is from Shaytaan who  beautifies falsehood and he makes sins appear attractive by calling forbidden things with beautiful names.

Shaytan made the idea of eating from the forbidden tree appear attractive to Adam by giving it a beautiful and attractive name. He kept claiming to Adam that the forbidden tree was ‘the tree of eternal life,’ and that eating from it would make him live forever in Paradise, or would make him one of the angels, ‘Your Lord did not forbid you this tree save you should become angels or become of the immortals.’ [(7):20] – until Adam obeyed Shaytan, and was subsequently expelled from Paradise.

This has been the way of Shaytan with every nation as Allah says, ‘By Allah, We indeed sent (Messengers) to the nations before you (O Muhammad), but Shaytan made their deeds fair-seeming to them. So he (Shaytan) is their Wali (helper) today (i.e. in this world), and theirs will be a painful torment.’ [ (16): 63]

This is why I find it so disheartening when Muslims mock, slander, and judge more observant Muslims for not following in the footsteps of shaytan and reminding them of what Allah says, His Messenger says, and how the companions, our pious prederseccors and the rightly guided scholars of Islam have understood this.

‘And whosoever turns away from the remembrance of the Most Beneficent (i.e. this Qur’aan and worship of Allah), We appoint for him Shaytan to be a Qareen (an intimate companion) to him. And verily, they (Shayateen) hinder them from the Path (of Allah), but they think that they are guided aright!’ [(43): 36-37]

Imam Ibnul-Qayyim said in this context,

‘One of his (Shaytan) plots is that he always bewitches people’s mind until they are deceived. No one is saved from his sorcery except those whom Allah Wills. He makes attractive to the mind that which will harm it, until a person thinks of something as most beneficial, and he (Shaytan) discourages him from that which is the most beneficial, until he thinks that it will harm him. La ilaaha illAllah, how may people have been tempted by this sorcery!’ [Quoted from, ‘Aalam al-Jinn was-Shayateen by Umar S. Al-Ashqar]

This is not surprising and one should not think that they are far above it happening to them and I seek refuge in Allah from Shaytaan and his evil influence.

(Iblees) said: ‘Because You have sent me astray, surely, I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your straight path.

Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones

[al-A’raaf 7:16, 17]

Ibn al-Jawzi (r) said [in Talbees Iblees (p. 52)]:

Iblees tricks people in whatever way he can, and his power over them increases and decreases according to their alertness or negligence, their ignorance or knowledge.

One of the ways Shaytan corrupts people’s heart and souls,  is through singing and music. I do not what to discuss the Islamic ruling on singing and music, if you are interested – google it. I am mentioning this to reinterate the tricks of Shaytan and to give an example of how he adorns, beautifies, and makes fairseemingly forbidden things.

Imam Ibnul-Qayyim (rahimahullah) writes in Igaathat al-Lahfaan (1/242),

‘Among the plots and traps of the enemy of Allah, with which he seeks to trap those who posses little knowledge, reasoning and religious commitment and trap the ignorant is the listening to whistling and clapping of hands and singing accompanied by forbidden musical instruments, which closes people’s hearts to the Qur’aan and makes them devoted to immorality and sin. This is the ‘qur’an’ of the Shaytan, an impenetrable barrier which blocks them from the Most Merciful. This is the means that leads to sodomy and fornication, by means of which the Shaytan ensnares the hearts of those who follow falsehood and makes it appear attractive to them by way of deceit and trickery. He inspires them by means of specious arguments to regard it as something good, so they accept this idea and for the sake of argument to regard it as something good, so they accept this idea and for the sake of singing they forsake the Qur’aan…’

That’s deep! Although Shaytan can show the worldly life as very attractive and beautiful, he has no authorty over you – so you will not be able to use this as an excus:

‘Satan was correct in his assessment of them and they all followed him, except for a group of true believers. He had no authority over them except to enable Us to know those who believe in the Hereafter from those who are in doubt about it. Your Lord takes cognizance of all things.’  (Qur’an, 34:20-21)

Allah, informs us on the contrary that Shaytan will have no effect on pious people:

‘He said, “I swear by Your might, that I will mislead all of them except for Your chosen servants among them.”  (Qur’an, 38:82-83)

In spite of this, the fate of those people who respond to Shaytan’s calls and befriend him is thus explained:

“He led me astray from the Reminder after it came to me.” Satan always leaves man in the lurch.  (Qur’an, 25:29)

 Deep huh? Allah tests every human being in this world. And according to the morals and faith people show in this world, He determines where their real life will be lived, either Hell or Heaven.

Whoever does right, whether male or female, and is a believer, We will make him live a good life, and We will award them their reward for the best of what they used to do.  (Quran, 16:97)

There can be no true happiness, nor any delight in this world and in the Hereafter, except through striving against your lower desires.

 “Trials and tribulations will be presented to hearts, as a reed mat is interwoven stick by stick. Any heart which absorbs these trials will have a black mark put in it. However, any heart that rejects them will have a white mark put in it. The result is that hearts will be of two kinds: one white like a white stone, which will not be harmed by trials as long as the heavens and earth endure; and the other dark and rusty, like an over-turned vessel; not able to recognise the good, nor reject evil, but rather being absorbed with its desires.” Related by Muslim (no. 144), from Hudhayfah (radiyallaahu ’anhu)

All this is no doubt a consequence of ignorance, weak faith and the influence of either a bad company or a group who are less serious with Islam and more inclined towards desire. On the contrary, a true Muslim is armed with knowledge and understanding of his/her religion, avoids bad company and their influences regardless whether they are Muslim or not, and is always conscious of doing an act or avoiding something for the sake of Allah.

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala says in Surah Al-Maidah:

“O you who have believed, whoever of you should revert from his religion – Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him [who are] humble toward the believers, powerful against the disbelievers; they strive in the cause of Allah and do not fear the blame of a critic. That is the favor of Allah; He bestows it upon whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.

O you who have believed, take not those who have taken your religion in ridicule and amusement among the ones who were given the Scripture before you nor the disbelievers as allies. And fear Allah, if you should [truly] be believers.

I shared with my husband last night an online discussion that I was involved in. He read the blog and all the comments in utter disgust. He said that the people in that discussion were clear examples of  ‘Bad Company’ :

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The example of the good and bad company is that of a musk-seller and an iron-monger. Even if you do not buy from the musk-seller the fragrance will remain with you and even if your clothers do not get burnt by being in close proximity to the iron-monger the bad smell will remain with you.”

So be zealous of keeping good company and remaining only with good Muslims, those who fear Allah much and strive to worship Him correctly.There is no doubt that the company of friends influences the formation of our characters. For this reason, Allah’s Messenger, said, “A person is influenced by his companions religion, so watch who your companions
(Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi)

As Muslims our aim in life is different from the rest, we want to get into paradise and to guard ourselves from Hell. We are here to worship and obey Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala). Allah Ta’ala has placed upon us an honourable duty, which is to be the leaders of the world by spreading the message of Islam.

Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) says in the Quran: “You are the best community evolved for mankind, you enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and you believe in Allah.” [surah ali’ Imran; 3:109]

Our friends and company could either be an obstacle in our way by being helpers in our downfall to Hell, or they could be a source of help and support by making it easier for us to reach Paradise, which is the true life, the eternal life and a life full of enjoyment.

Allah says in the Quran: “On the day when the wrongdoer gnaws his hands, he will say; Ah! would that I had chosen the straight way with the messenger of Allah! Alas for me! Would that I had never taken such one for a friend! He verily led me astray from the reminder after it had reached me. Satan was ever the deserter of man.” [surah Furqan; 27-29]

May Allah protect us from those of bad influence, and from the whispers of the Shaytaan; and may He not let us die except as Muslims… aameen!