The Friends and Enemies of Satan


Imam El Hajj Khalil Markham

AsSalaamu Alaikum my dear brothers, sisters and children in Islam. 

Allah, subhana wa ta’ala (Glorified and Most High is He), in His Infinite Mercy and Wisdom, gives us knowledge and guidance through various means. Two major sources of  this knowledge and guidance are the Qur’an and the sunnah of our holy Prophet, Muhammad ibn Abdullah, sallallahu alaihi wa sallim which is obtained from sound ahadith (narrations of the Prophet).

Allah (SWT) tells us in His Qur’an: “Surely, Satan is an enemy to you; so treat him as an enemy.” Surah 35, verse 6. This portion of  the verse contains two elements: some knowledge and a command from Allah (SWT) Himself!! We might ask ourselves who are the friends and enemies Satan. For this knowledge, we look to the ahadith (plural of hadith).

In a hadith narrated by Anas ibn Malik, the Prophet and some of his sahaba (companions) were sitting in the house of Abu Ayyub when they heard a ugly voice calling from outside, asking permission to enter. When the Prophet told them it was Satan, Umar (RA) rose to smash his skull but the Prophet stopped him and reminded him that Satan was given respite from Allah (SWT) until the Day of Judgement.

When given permission to enter, Satan explained that he had been commanded by Allah (SWT) to come and to answer any questions the Prophet asked of him under threat of constant torment as long as he was on the earth. The Prophet (SAW) asked Satan, “Who are your enemies?” Satan replied, “My enemies are fifteen groups of people. The first of which are you, O’ Prophet, and all the other prophets .The Prophet said; “You have spoken the truth.” Satan continued his list naming righteous scholars, reciters of Qur’an who model their character on what they read, those who announce the call to prayer, the poor who are satisfied with their lot, the compassionate, the generous, those who make Fajr prayer for Allah’s sake, those who give sincere advice and call people to reform, those who abstain from unlawful food and sex, those who maintain a state of wudu, the modest, those who put all their trust in Allah (SWT), helpers of  the poor and needy, and those who are pious and devout.

Essentially, Satan listed certain qualities of those who worship – qualities that every Muslim man, woman and child should strive for. May Allah (SWT) make it easy for us – Amin. 

Our Holy Prophet  then asked Satan, “Have you any friends among my community? What are their traits?” Satan replied, “O’ Prophet, ten classes of people are my friends.

First, tyrannical rulers and princes who oppress the people, the arrogant, scholars who are lackeys, dishonest tradesmen, those who take strong drink, confidence tricksters , backbiters and slanderers, those who deal in interest liars and blasphemers, informers and intriguers who stir up quarrels and enmity between people.”

Now each one of us should ask ourselves are we friends or enemies of Satan. This requires real honesty and self evaluation. Our Prophet (SAW) has said, “Iman increases and decreases.” When our ibada (worship) is up, our iman is up; when our ibada is down, our iman is down. As Muslims, as human beings, we should know that, at times, we are Satan’s enemy, and unfortunately, at times, we are his friends.

Allah (SWT) says in Surah YaSin(36), verses 60-61, “Did I not enjoin on you, O’ you children of Adam, that you should not worship Satan for that he was an avowed enemy to you? And that you should worship Me, this is the straight Way (sirat al mustaqeem).”

When we find ourselves in this predicament, we ask Allah’s forgiveness and offer two rakats of repentance. Allah (SWT) is Most Forgiving, He forgives again and again.

Remember Allah (SWT) tells us in Surah Nahl (16) verses 99-100, “No authority has he (Satan) over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord. His (Satan) authority is only over those take as patron and who join partners with Allah.

I pray this message does not offend anyone, that is not the intent. My intention is to give back to the Ummah what Allah (SWT) has given me. AsSalaamuAlaikum.

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