The Pride of shaytaan
The story of Nabee Adam Alayhi Salatu Wasallam is the story of mankind. As Muslims, we must study the creation of Nabee Adam Alayhi Salatu Wasallam as Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala has narrated in the Most Holy and Noble Qur¹an; that Nabee Adam Alayhis Salaam was the first man created; the very first prophet; and the first human being to whom Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal gave guidance. Yet, despite that guidance which Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala had given him, he was still deceived.
Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala tells us that Shaytaan was commanded to submit but he rebelled out of pride and in his rebellion he went straight ahead and refused to repent; he was resolute, as opposed to Nabee Adam Alayhi Salatu Wasallam who turned and repented.
Shaytaan was firm in that course to which he had committed himself. So Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala left him astray. And, on the basis of being left astray, he asked Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala for time, and in so doing, he promised that he would lead mankind astray.
Verse 30 of Surah Al-Baqara is the principal verse in which Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala speaks of Nabee Adam Alayhis Salaam's creation:
"Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth."They said: Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief and sheds blood? Whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy Holy (Name)? He said: "I know that which ye know not."
It would seem that the Mala¹eeka though holy and pure, and endued with power from Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala, yet represented only one side of Creation. We may imagine them without passion or emotion, of which the highest flower is Muhabbat.
If man was to be endued with emotions, those emotions could lead him to the highest and drag him to the lowest. The power of will or choosing would have to go with them, in order that man might steer his own bark. This power of will (when used aright) gave him to some extent a mastery over his own fortunes and over nature, thus bringing him nearer to the God-like nature, which has supreme mastery and will.
We may suppose the Mala¹eeka had no independent wills of their own: their perfection in other ways reflected Almighty Allah¹s perfection but could not raise them to the dignity of vicegerency. The perfect vicegerent is he who has the power of initiative himself, but whose independent action always reflects perfectly the Will of his Glorious Creator.
The Mala¹eeka in their one-sidedness saw only the mischief consequent on the misuse of the emotional nature by man; perhaps they also, being without emotions, did not understand the whole of Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala¹s nature, which gives and asks for Muhabbat.
In humility and true devotion to Almighty Allah, the Malaa¹eeka remonstrate: we must not imagine the least tinge of jealousy, as they are without emotion. This mystery of Muhabbat being above them, they are told that they do not know, and they acknowledge not their fault (for there is no question of fault) but their imperfection of knowledge.
The particular qualities or feelings which were outside the nature of the Mala¹eeka were put by Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala into the nature of man. Man was thus able to love and understand love, and thus plan and initiate, as becomes the office of vicegerent. The Mala¹eeka acknowledged this. Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala declares in verse 11 of Surah Al-A¹raf:
"It is We Who created you and gave you shape: then We bade the Mala¹eeka to Prostrate to Adam, and they prostrated, not so Iblis; he refused to be of those who prostrate."
It was after Nabee Adam Alayhi Salatu Wasallam (as standing for all mankind) had been so taught that the Mala¹eeka were asked to prostrate to him, for, by Almighty Allah¹s Grace, his status had actually been raised higher than that of the Mala¹eeka. The conversation between Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala and Iblis is beautifully outlined in verses 12 to 18 of Surah Al-A¹raf:
Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata'ala said:
"What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee"?
"I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay"
Almighty Allah said:
"Get thee down from it: it is not for thee to be arrogant here:
Get out, for thou art of the meanest (of creatures)."
Iblis then says:
"Because Thou hast thrown me out (Of the Way), lo! I will lie in wait for them on the Path of Seerathal Mustaqeem (The Straight Way)"
"Then will I assault them from before them and behind them,From their right and their left: Nor will Thou find In most of them Gratitude (for Thy Mercies)."
Almighty Allah said:
"Get out from this, despised and expelled. If any of them follow you I will fill Jahannum with all of you".
This incident marks the externment of Iblis from the Garden owing to his rebelliousness born out of arrogance. Another instance of Iblis¹s subtlety and falsehood is that he waits till he gets the respite then he breaks out into a lie and impertinent defiance.The lie is in suggesting that Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala had thrown him out of the Way, in other words,misled him: whereas his own conduct was responsible for his degradation. The defiance is in his setting snares on the Straight Path to which Allah directs mankind.
Our first parents as created by Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala (and this applies to all of us) were innocent in matters material as well as spiritual. They knew no evil. But the faculty of choice which was given to them and which raised them above the Mala¹eeka, also implied that they had the capacity of evil, which by training of their own will, they were to reject. They were warned of the danger. When they fell, they realized the evil. They were (and we are) still given the chance, in this life on a lower plane, to make good and recover the lost status of innocence and bliss.
Nabee Adam Alayhi Salatu Wasallam recognized his state of error; he turned to Almighty Allah. And this is the whole concept of repentence or Taubah, the turning. It is the quality that Almighty Allah has put into those who have Imaan as opposed to the quality of Shaytaan, or those who deny faith. It is the ability to recognize the state of error and to turn and to ask for Allah¹s forgiveness for so declares Allah in verse 17 of Surah An-Nisaa:
"Allah accepts the Taubah of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will Allah turn in mercy; for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom."
Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala tells us to repent and to turn to Him in repentence. We start out as Muslims, in complete submission to Almighty Allah Alone; we deviate and lose our way for a time; then we turn to Allah in repentence?And Allah is most forgiving, turning to us in Mercy.
Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala warns mankind against our arch-enemy,the Chief Deceiver, who, on the basis of his deception, also deceives us in this life, because it is one of his weapons. He seduces and tempts us on the basis of what we may want to achieve or obtain in this life at the expense of the Aghirah.
Iblis not only refused to bow down: he refused to be of those who prostrated. In other words, he arrogantly despised the Mala¹eeka who prostrated as well as man to whom they prostrated and he was in rebellion against Almighty Allah for not obeying His order. Arrogance, Jealousy, and rebellion were his triple crime.
The characteristic of righteousness is being able to say, "I am sorry?" of being able to say, "I have made a mistake." One must be able to say, first to Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala, and then to those amongst us, "Will you forgive me?"
Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala accepts our Taubah because He is dealing with the soul, the inner quality, the spirituality of man. But, it is on the basis of the worldly life that Shaytaan deceives us and tells us that we do not have to apologise because we are much better than the next person, or because of our knowledge.
Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala also reminds us that repentence and Taubah raises and elevates us; it does not lower the esteem. It disciplines and trains the soul because the soul must endure a certain kind of humiliation because the soul has developed a logic, or illogic, that it does not want to be exposed.
This present reality deceives us; it will change. How will we be able to relate to it, to understand it and to perceive the change? It depends upon how well we relate to Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata¹ala. We must establish regular Salaat; we must give of what we have in abundance; we must abstain from our constant desires; and we must seek our Glorious Creator in truth.If we don¹t take our Din seriously, the same kinds of plagues that Almighty Allah sent upon the deniers of truth will affect us.
Clear vision and prudence are essential today. We must be able to perceive what is best for us, based on a standard higher than what the society offers. As the favoured Ummah of His Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam, we must reach a level where, on the basis of inspiration sent to us via the Most Holy Qur¹an and the Sunnah, we train our hearts to receive guidance by doing exactly what Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal has commanded.
By Moulana Abdul Hamid Lachporia(Canada)
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