In the name God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful…
I heard my local imam talk about Shaytaan’s 6 Traps a few weeks ago and found it very intriguing…
Here is something written by Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah rahimahullaah.
Traps of Iblees
It is not possible to encompass one of Iblees’ evils, let alone all of them. Since Iblees’ evil is of six types, Iblees remains behind the son of Adam until he gets him to do one or more of these six evils.
THE FIRST EVIL IS THE EVIL OF KUFR AND SHIRK
THE FIRST EVIL IS THE EVIL OF KUFR AND SHIRK and enmity to Allâh and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. If he gains this from the son of Adam, his moaning is eased, and he rests from his ordeal with this man. Further, this is the first thing Iblees wants from al-‘Abd (the worshipper). If Iblees gains this, he makes this person part of his army, one of his soldiers, and he appoints him as a deputy or agent against other human beings. Then, this person becomes one of the deputies or callers of Iblees.
SECOND CLASS OF EVIL. THIS IS BID’AH
If he despairs of enticing him with the first evil, and if this person is one of those for whom it was written that he would be a Muslim in his mother’s womb, Iblees tries the SECOND CLASS OF EVIL. THIS IS BID’AH (innovation). Iblees loves Bid’ah more than debauchery and disobedience because the harm of Bid’ah is in the essence of the religion. Moreover, it is an unrepentable sin and is against the call of the messengers and is a call to a message different from the one conveyed by Ar-Rasool. Bid’ah is a gate to Kufr and Shirk. Therefore, if Iblees gains the performance of Bid’ah from a person and makes him one of the people of Bid’ah, he also becomes one of his agents and a caller of his.
THIRD CLASS OF EVIL (MAJOR SINS)
If Iblees fails and is unable to trap Al-‘Abd at this class, and if he is one of those who were granted by Allâh the gift of As-Sunnah and hatred of the people of Bid’ah and error, he proceeds to the THIRD CLASS OF EVIL, which is the class of MAJOR SINS in their various forms.
Iblees is very covetous of letting a person fall into major sin, especially if he is a scholar who is followed. Iblees is covetous of that, so that he may repel people from him and spread his sins and disobedience amongst the people. He uses some people as his agents to spread this person’s sins under the false pretence that this will help them to get closer to Allâh. But in fact this person is the deputy of Iblees without knowing it. For those who would like abomination to be spread amongst the believers there is a great torment in this life and in the Hereafter especially if they take charge of spreading about enormities, not out of advice, but by obeying Iblees and being his agent. All this is to repel people from the Scholar and from his benefit.
Furthermore, the sins of this person (scholar), even if they reach the sky, are less to Allâh than the sins of those who would like to spread his sins about. The scholar’s sins are wrongdoing to himself. If he seeks forgiveness from Allâh and repents, Allâh will accept his repentance, and He will change his bad deeds to good deeds. However, the sin of those who spread about abominations are doing wrong to the believers by looking for their mistakes and by intending to expose them. Allâh is in close observation, and He knows about this ambuscade. Nothing hidden in the chest or soul is hidden to Allâh.
FOURTH CLASS (MINOR SINS)
If Iblees is unable to snare Al-‘Abd at this degree he moves him to the FOURTH CLASS, or the MINOR SINS. These sins may ruin a person if they accumulate. That is why Ar-Rasool sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, Be aware of the minor sins, because the simile of the minor sin is like the people who went to a desert. Then he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentioned a Hadeeth the meaning of which is that every one of them brought a stick of wood until they had kindled a huge fire (just as the minor sins add up little by little until they become a major sin). The person continues taking the matter of minor sins easily until he considers them inconsequential. Therefore, a person who commits major sins but fears their effect is in a better condition than he is.
FIFTH LEVEL IS TO OCCUPY HIM WITH PERMISSIBLE THINGS
If the Al-‘Abd has prevented Iblees from trapping him at this level, he moves him to the fifth level. The FIFTH LEVEL IS TO OCCUPY HIM WITH PERMISSIBLE THINGS that do not gain him reward or punishment. However, the punishment of this level is caused by passing the reward missed by being occupied with these deeds. If Al-‘Abd has kept Iblees from succeeding at this level, and if he is careful about his time, being covetous with it, knows the value of moments, and knows the value of what comes of comfort or torment, Iblees transfers him to the sixth level.
SIXTH CLASS is to OCCUPY HIM WITH DEEDS OF LESSER REWARD
The SIXTH CLASS is to OCCUPY HIM WITH DEEDS OF LESSER REWARD to keep virtue away from him and to prevent him from attaining the reward of the favoured deed.
Therefore, he orders him to do a good action with less reward if that includes leaving a better action. Very few people are aware of this. Because if a person feels a strong urge to some kind of obedience, he does not doubt that it is true obedience and that he is getting closer to Allâh. He never thinks that this call is from Iblees because he believes that Iblees never calls one to do good. Therefore, he thinks that this call is from Allâh. Actually he is excused because he never knew that Iblees would call one to seventy doors of good deeds either to get him to one door of evil or to let a better deed than these seventy deeds pass away from him.
This cannot be known except by a light from Allâh, a light he instils in the heart of Al-‘Abd. The source of this type of knowledge is following the way of Ar-Rasool sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and taking care of the levels of deeds with Allâh, the deeds of His favoured ones, the deeds more pleasing to Him, and those more beneficial to Al-‘Abd, and deeds that have more Naseehah (guidance) from Allâh, His Rasool, His Book, and His believing worshippers. No one has this type of knowledge except the inheritors of Ar-Rasool sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his deputies in the Ummah, and his successors on earth. In addition, most of the creation is screened from this. This call does not come to their hearts. Allâh gives His favour to whomever He wills from among His worshippers.
If Al-‘Abd prevents Iblees from trapping him at any of these six levels, and if it becomes difficult for Iblees, he empowers his party of jinn and human beings with different kinds of harm, IMPUTING DISBELIEF TO HIM, CALLING HIM MISGUIDED AND AN INNOVATOR, WARNING PEOPLE AGAINST HIM, and intending to weaken him and to disturb his heart. Iblees, by using this method, tries to confuse this person’s thinking and tries to PREVENT PEOPLE FROM BENEFITING FROM HIM. Therefore Iblees expends his utmost effort to empower the defenders of falsehood, from human beings and from jinn, against him. Then the believer is at war until death. Whenever he gives up, he is hurt or is taken captive. Hence the believer is in Jihad until he meets with Allah.
Here’s a video I found that talks about this issue:
Between what great scholar Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah rahimahullaah and the brother on the YouTube video said, there’s not much I can add. One thing I found very interesting and did not understand at first is that innovation to the religion is worse than major sin.
The way it was explained to me, that made me understand it, is that bid’ah ( innovation) it’s a crime against God because you are changing His religion and essentially claiming that you can make it better than He made it… Whereas major sins are a crime against other humans. It makes sense that an offense against THE CREATOR is more serious than an offense against HIS CREATION…
Many Muslim countries and communities take bid’ah very lightly and think there is such a thing as “good innovations to the religion”… Prophet (PBUH) was not allowing innovation in matters of deen (religion), nor was he opening the door to what some people call “bid’ah hasanah”…
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated repeatedly that: “Every newly-invented thing is a bid’ah (innovation), every bid’ah is a going astray, and every going astray will be in the Fire.” (Reported by al-Nisaa’i in al-Sunan, Salaat al-‘Eedayn, Baab kayfa al-Khutbah).
There is no room for new innovations in Islam. Everything is black and white and we have the perfect example in the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions! We have to be very careful not to fall into the trap of Shaitan by following cultural traditions that are presented to us as being part of Islam, when in fact they are nowhere to be found in the sunnah of the prophet (PBUH) and his companions.
Here’s a few Quranic verses dealing with Shaitan:
He [Satan] said, “Do you see this creature you have honored over me? If You reprieve me till the Day of Rising, I will be the master of his descendants except for a very few.”
He [Allah] said, “Go! And as for any who follow you, your repayment is Hell, repayment in full!” (Surat al-Isra´, 62-63)
“Stir up any of them you can with your voice and rally against them your cavalry and your infantry and share with them in their children and their wealth and make them promises! The promise of Satan is nothing but delusion.” (Surat al-Isra´, 64)
And one of my favorite verses of Quran:
He [Satan] has no authority over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord. (Surat an-Nahl, 99)
May Allah keep us and our loved ones protected from all innovations. May He make us followers of the sunnah of Muhammad (PBUH).