Lessons from Shaytan’s Disobedience

I recently was sent an amazing khutbah given by the awesome Bayyinah instructor “rockstar” as he is known by his colleagues, Hafidh Wisam Sharieff.  Coincidentally, this khutbah was given at none other than my home masjid in SoCal and a true gem of the region, Masjid Omar Al Farouk, IIOC.

There are 2 reasons why you should watch this video,

  1. This is one of the only khutbahs where I have heard a running translation and explanation, phrase by phrase, of what the first/opening part of every khutbah means.  We hear it Friday after Friday, and of course it’s in Arabic….but have we ever gotten a chance to sit down and find a translation of what is recited?  Or if we have once or twice before, do we still remember it?  This is an excellent source of understanding what the opening of the khutbah means, not simply its translation, but Br. Wisam also expounds upon the meaning so that we can get a  deeper understanding of this opener in a way that is very impressionable, easy to remember, and hard to forget!   If we hear this in the khutbah every Friday, why do we continue to zone out during the beginning of every khubah?  What are we waiting for, why haven’t we taken this issue on and why don’t we know what it means?!
  2. The content of this khutbah gives us a very hard-hitting reminder and reality check.  It is derived directly from the Qur’an (Surat al Araf) and is about one of my favorite stories in the Qur’an and one that I find myself coming back and thinking about over and over again, the disobedience of Shaytan when he refused to make sajdah to our Father, Adam (AS).   It talks about the reasoning of Shaytan while he was disobeying Allah and how we might follow in his footsteps and adopt that same thinking, which is very dangerous.  This khutbah has an outstanding structure with points that are extremely relevant and implementable in our lives.

Here are my own reflections of what one of the take-home messages of the khutbah means to me.

We think that once we start wanting to become more religious, start caring about religion and God and others, and become more practicing that things are gonna get easier and easier. However, we have to realize that Shaytan wants to derail us more than any other kind of person and he will be trying harder and harder to take us off of the Straight Path…by SITTING on it and attacking us from all sides. If you’re a traveler of the Straight Path, the road is dangerous so be on high alert at all times, and know that Shaytan gets more and more creative with the ways he tries to deceive us.\

Ayah 16
First, Shaytan wrongfully accuses God of making him disobey Him

قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي

[Satan] said, “Because You have put me in error, 

and then Shaytan goes on to say

لَأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

I will surely FOR SURE sit in wait for them on Your straight path.

not only the Straight Path, Allah’s Straight Path…wow!  Even though it sounds like Shaytan is challenging Allah to a duel, we still get to learn from what Shaytan says that there is only one Straight Path, and it belongs to Allah.

Ayah 17
And then Satan assures Allah (and us) that he will come at us from all directions

ثُمَّ لَآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَائِلِهِمْ ۖ وَلَا تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ

Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You].”

…but he doesn’t include*just one* direction: UP/ABOVE (فَوْقَ), as Ustadh Nouman pointed out to us one day in class. Shaytan, yes even Shaytan, knows his place and God puts him in CHECK because only God can claim the vertical direction/the one that goes up to the heavens. That is reserved only for God and even Shaytan knows that he can’t interfere with that.  What a mercy from Allah!  Although we’re getting some scary news, Allah is telling and assuring us that we always have that one escape route open, the one that goes directly to Him: UP.

Another thing that continues to astound me is how aware Shaytan is of Allah, we have a lot to learn from him!  Of course, before Shaytan became “Shaytan” and was Iblis, he was a devoted worshiper from amongst the jinn (fire-creatures), so much so, the most even, that Allah had honored him by putting him in the ranks of the malaa’ikah (angels/light-creatures) by elevating his rank and improving his beauty/appearance to that of the angels.  When I took the AlMaghrib class From Darkness to Light, Shaykh Yasir Qadhi discussed the “aqeedah” of Shaytan and where there are differences in the way that various sects of Islam define “what is true aqeedah, iman, or belief.”  He asked us questions like, is belief in Allah enough to make you a Muslim?  If it is, wouldn’t Shaytan be considered a Muslim………..?  It was very interesting and very thought-provoking and it reminds me of one of the craziest, deepest, most intense lines of poetry that Br. Boonaa Mohammed has said thus far…

Even the Devil believes in God, so…what does that make you…?

**And as a parting note and tangent, I gave a lecture to the youth group that I work with on “Qur’an Appreciation” and it was about ways that any average Muslim can go through the Qur’an and build their relationship with it and find the beauty in it.  I opened the lecture by showing them the video of this poem, and then I asked them to (on their own time) find the places in the Qur’an where all of the different signs/ ayaat (or as Ustadh Nouman likes to define them, “miraculous signs”) that Br. Boonaa mentions in his poem.  I did it myself, it is very fun and they found it fun, too!  So maybe you should give it a try as well!

May we all continue to increase in our understanding of the Qur’an and our ability to fight off the Shaytan and turn to Allah and seek refuge in Him from all of our inner evils and all of the outer evils that exist. Ameen!

Some pictures from my week-long visit back home, and this time they’re all of LA!

Flying into LA

Exhibit at the California Science Center

the best part about the museum! 🙂


2 Responses to “Lessons from Shaytan’s Disobedience”

  1. January 6, 2012 at 4:43 am

    I love it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. 2 Bintwadee3
    January 6, 2012 at 6:16 am

    MashaAllaah, great points. Shaytaan has millenia of experience deviating people from His Path. I’m pretty sure he’s come up with new tactics along the way. It also reminds me of Imam Ash-Shafi`ee (I believe…) who, on his death bed, was saying “not yet! Not yet!” Shocked, his son asked him why he was saying that, and he said that Shaytan had come to him and told him that he (mam Ash-Shafi`ee, may Allaah have Mercy on him) had evaded him. Since he hadn’t died, he was saying “I haven’t escaped you yet.” SubhanAllaah, we never know what might happen… Ya Muqallib alquloob, thabbit quloobuna `alaa deenak. Ameen.

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