Sep 20, 2012

This Syaitan شيطان Satan has a name

The Messenger of Allah identified Syaitan’s name who attacks people of Solat
by M Salih Al-Munajjih

Syaitan is defined by Allah as our enemy, and one of the aspects of his enmity is his whispering insinuating thoughts (waswas) to the worshipper at prayer so as to take away his khusyu’ and confuse him in his prayer.

Waswas is a problem that befalls everyone who turns to Allah with zikir (remembering Allah) and other kinds of worship; it is inevitable, so one has to stand firm and be patient, and persist in the zikir or Solat, and not give up. His sticking to it will ward off the Syaitan’s plots from himself. “… Ever feeble indeed is the plot of Syaitan.” (translation of the Quran surah An-Nisa’: 76)

Every time the slave wants to turn his thoughts towards Allah, thoughts of other matters come sneaking into his mind. The Syaitan is like a bandit lying in wait to launch an ambush: every time the slave wants to travel towards Allah, the Syaitan wants to cut off his route.

For this reason, it was said to one of the Salaf (pious predecessor), “The Yahudi and Nasrani say that they do not suffer from the problem of waswas.” He said, “They are speaking the truth, for what would the Syaitan want with a house that is in ruins?” (Majma’ al-Fatawa)

This is a good analogy. It is as if there are three houses: the house of a king, filled with his treasure and savings, the house of a slave, containing his treasure and savings, and an empty house with nothing in it. If a thief comes to steal from one of the three houses, which one will he choose? (Al-Wabil al-Sayib)

When the slave stands up for Solat, the Syaitan feels jealous of him, because he is standing in the greatest position, one that is closest [to Allah] and most annoying and grievous to the Syaitan.

So he tries to stop him from establishing prayer in the first place, then he continues trying to
entice him and make him forget, and “making assaults on him with his cavalry and infantry” (the Quran surah Al-Isra’: 64), until he thinks of prayer as less important, so he starts to neglect it, and eventually gives it up altogether.

If the Syaitan fails to achieve this, and the person ignores him and starts to pray, the enemy of Allah will come and try to distract him, by reminding him of things that he did not remember or think of before he started praying.

Thus he will finish his prayer no better off than when he started, with his burden of sins not reduced at all by his Solat, because prayer only expiates for sins when it is done properly, with perfect khusyu’, and the person stands before Allah in body and soul.” (Al-Wabil al-Sayib)

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, taught us the following methods of combatting the wiles of Syaitan and getting rid of his waswas.

Abu Al-‘As, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that he said, “O Messenger of Allah, the Syaitan interrupts me when I pray, and I get confused in my recitation.”

The Messenger of Allah said, “That is a Syaitan whose name is Khanzab. If you sense his presence, seek refuge with Allah from him, and spit [dry spitting] towards your left three times.”

Abu Al-‘As said, “I did that and Allah took him away from me.” (reported by Muslim)

The Prophet also told us about another of the Syaitan’s tricks and how to deal with it. He said, “When any one of you gets up to pray, the Syaitan comes and confuses him – i.e., mixes up his prayer and creates doubts in his mind – so that he does not know how many (raka’at) he has
prayed. If any one of you experiences that, he should do two prostrations whilst he is sitting.” (reported by al- Bukhari, Kitab al-Sahw)

Another of the Syaitan’s tricks was described as follows. The Prophet said, “If any one of you is praying and feels some movement in his back passage, and is uncertain as to whether he has broken his wudu’ or not, he should not end his prayer unless he hears a sound or smells an odour.”

Indeed, his tricks may be very strange indeed, as the following hadith makes clear. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Prophet was asked about a man who thought that he had broken
his wudu’ when he had not done so.

The Messenger of Allah said, “The Syaitan may come to any one of you when he is praying and open his buttocks and make him think that he has broken his wudu’ when in fact he has
not. So if this happens to any one of you, let him not end his prayer unless he hears the sound of it with his ears or smells the odour of it with his nose.” (reported by Imam At-Tabrani in Al-Kabir)

Khanzab tries to distract those who perform Solat by making them think of acts of worship other than the prayer that they are performing, by making them think of some issues of da’wah or knowledge, so that they start to think deeply about those matters and stop focusing on the prayer they are performing.

He even confuses some of them by suggesting to them that‘Umar ibn Khattab used to make plans for the army whilst he was praying.

Ibn Taymiyah explain this matter and set the record straight in Majmu’ al-Fatawa, “With regard to what was reported, that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said, ‘I make plans for the army whilst I am praying’, this was because ‘Umar was commanded to engage in jihad and he was the leader of the believers (Amirul Mu’minin, i.e., the Khalifah), so he was also the leader of jihad.”

So in some respects he was like the one who prays the prayer of fear (salat al-khauf) whilst also watching out for the enemy, whether or not there is actual fighting. He was commanded to pray, and also to engage in jihad, so he had to carry out both duties as much as he could.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning), “O you who believe! When you meet (an enemy) force, take a firm stand against them and remember the Name of Allah much, so that you may be successful.”(surah Al-Anfal: 45)

It is known that one cannot achieve the same peace of mind during jihad as at times of peace
and security, so if it happens that a person’s prayer is lacking because of jihad, this does not mean that his faith is lacking.

For this reason, standards may be regarded as being slightly relaxed in the case of prayer at times of danger as compared with times of peace.

With regard to prayer at times of danger, Allah says (interpretation of the meaning), “… but when you are free from danger, perform Solat. Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” (surah An-Nisa’: 103)

So the one who is commanded to establish prayer at times of peace is not commanded to do so in the same manner at times of danger.

People always think during Solat about things that they do not think of at other times, and some of this could come from the Syaitan.

A man told one of the salaf that he had buried some money, but he had forgotten where he had buried it. He told him, “Go and perform Solat.” so he went and Solat, and he remembered where it was.

It was said [to the salafi], “How did you know that?”

He said, “I know that the Syaitan will not leave him alone when he prays without reminding him of something that matters to him, and there is nothing more important to this man than remembering where he had buried his money.”

But the good slave will strive to attain perfect presence of mind in prayer, just as he strives to do everything else properly that he is commanded to do. And there is no help and no strength except in Allah, the Most High, the Almighty.

Islam QA

My Source:
Islamia/The Brunei Times
Syawal 19, 1429

Speech about
Mufti Ismail Ibn Musa Menk 
of Zimbabwe

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