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On the Ways of Satan in Leading Humans Astray

Imâm Ibn al Qayyim al Jawziyyah

Excerpted with slight modifications from: al-Ashqar, Umar Sulaiman, ‘The World of the Jinn and Devils’ translated by Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo © Al-Basheer Company for Publications and Translations


One of the ways Satan leads human beings astray is by making evil look good.

On this point, ibn al-Qayyim wrote the following:

‘From his stratagem is that he always bewitches the mind until he can deceive the person. No one is safe from his bewitching except whomsoever Allâh wills. He makes good looking to him what harms him the most, until he imagines that it is the most beneficial act for himself. And he makes him flee from the most beneficial act until he thinks it is something harmful to him. Certainly, there is no god but Allâh. How many humans have been tested by such sorcery. How many hearts have been kept from Islâm, faith and goodness [by such sorcery]. And how many support and present falsehood in the best form and hate truth and present it in the worst form [because of his deception]. And how much falseness is adorned and shown in a desirous manner to the alert. And how much falseness is spread among the wise. He is the one who bewitches the mind until it follows different desires and various evil opinions. He makes them follow every path of misguidance. He leads them to actions, one after another, that cause their destruction. He makes appealing to them the worship of idols, the breaking of familial relationships, the killing of daughters, marrying one’s mother and so on. And he promises them the victory of paradise with their infidelity, wickedness and acts of disobedience. He presents to them polytheism in the most honorable fashion. And he presents rejection of Allâh’s attributes, of His transcendence and of His speech in the guise of anti-anthropomorphism of Allâh. He presents abandoning ordering good and eradicating evil in the guise of having mercy for others, behaving with others in a good manner, and applying the verse, “O believers, you are in charge of your own souls” (al-Mâ’idah: 105). And he presents turning away from what has come from the Messenger in the guise of blindly following the Imams (taqleed) and the sufficiency of following one who is more knowledgeable. And he presents hypocrisy and compromising with respect to Allâh’s religion in the guise of being flexible and mixing admirably with the people.’

[Ighâthatul-Luhfân, Vol. 1, p. 130.]

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