Prayer Time

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All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, Who created man from clay, and prayers and peace be upon the leader of the pious and the most honorable of mankind, prophet Muhammad.

Shaitan’s (also referred to as Satan) enmity with man started when Allah (SWT) created the first man, Adam (peace be upon him). Satan was from amongst the “jinn” who have been created with the ability to obscure themselves from human sight, and who constitute a world of their own. Allah says in the Holy Quran:

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ الْجِنِّ فَفَسَقَ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِ

" Behold! We said to the angels, "Bow down to Adam": They bowed down except Iblis. He was one of the Jinns, and he broke the Command of his Lord.."(Q18:50)

Hence, the example of the heart is like that of a fortress, and Satan is an enemy who seeks to storm this fortress, to take control of it, and to rule over it. Moreover, any fortress cannot be said to be secure from the enemy except when its entrances are guarded, and the gaps in its walls are vigilantly watched over. Therefore, he who is not wholly familiar with his fortress walls cannot guard them.

There is no doubt that the best defense against Satan’s raids on one’s heart may be achieved by recognizing the heart’s entrances that Satan takes to deliver his venom. Knowing these ways and entrances is the first line of defense against Satan.

Therefore, this knowledge becomes an obligation upon every Muslim who is mukallaf (a legally competent person from the standpoint of Shariʿah) – as it is stated in the well-known fiqh principle that: That which is indispensably connected with fulfilling an obligation is itself obligatory. Yet, a person who is unacquainted with the structure of the fortress, particularly its access points, cannot adequately defend it.

The entrances of Satan are in effect the qualities or traits of man, and they are many. But we shall in the following refer to the principal ones:

1 . Anger and desire(Lust): Anger is the ghoul of the psyche; when it weakens the guards of one's mind, Satan's soldiers immediately seize the opportunity to attack. Furthermore, when a person becomes enraged, Satan toys with him in the same way children play with a ball.

It is related that a saint once asked Satan: “Show me how you overcome a person.” He replied: “I take him while in anger or desire.” In another story, it was said that Satan appeared to an ascetic who asked him: “What qualities of the sons of Adam are most helpful to you?” Satan answered: “Quickness of temper; for if a man is quick-tempered, I can turn him upside down just as lads toss a ball.

 2 . Envy and greed: No matter how careful man is, his covetousness makes him deaf and dumb. The light of insight reveals the gates of Satan; when envy and greediness mask this light, man becomes at risk and , as a result, Satan’s hand is strengthened. He adorns, in the eye of the greedy one, everything that leads to the realization of this desire, even if it be condemned and immoral.. Hence, Satan seizes that opportunity and adorns for an acquisitive person whatever leads to his or her desires, even if it is heinous and evil. The Prophet(peace be upon him) spoke of avarice: "If two starving wolves were left in a flock of sheep, they would not be as harmful [to them] as a person’s hunger for money and status is to his [or her] faith."  [At-Tirmithi, Hasan Saheeh]

3 . Satiety of Food: Another great way Satan takes to men’s hearts is satiety of food, even when it is lawful and pure. Satiety strengthens the lusts, and lusts are weapons that come in handy for Satan.

It is related that Satan appeared to Prophet Yaḥya ibn Zakariyah who saw hooks of every sort attached to him (i.e. Satan). Therefore, Yaḥya asked: “What are these hooks on you?” Satan replied: “These are the lusts by which I hunt the son of Adam.” Yahya asked: “Do I have any of them?” Satan answered: “Perhaps you become surfeited with food and so I make Salah and thikr (remembrance of Allah) a burden to you.” Yahya asked: “What else?” Satan answered: “Nothing other than what I told you.” So Yahya said: “By Allah! I shall never eat my fill again.” Satan replied: “And, by Allah, I shall never again give a sincere advice to a Muslim.”

It is said that there are six blameworthy qualities in overeating: First, it banishes fear of Allah from one’s heart. Second, it rids one’s heart of compassion towards humankind, for he supposes that they are all satiated. Third, it makes ibada (worship) a burden. Fourth, if he hears wise speech, he finds nothing graceful in it. Fifth, if he speaks in admonition, it makes no impression on his listeners. Sixth, it stirs up disease within him.

4 . Love of Adornment: Also of Satan’s great entrances to believers’ hearts is the love of adornment in furnishings, attire, and residence. When Satan sees this quality dominant in one’s heart, he sets up his camp in that heart and indwells it, and keeping on bidding him to make the house more adorable, to adorn its ceiling and walls, and to extend its walls. He invites him also to adorn his apparel and his mounts, and seeks to enslave him therein his whole life long. In addition, when man succumbs to Satan in this, the latter will have no need to busy himself with him again; for, like a vicious circle, one phase of this leads on to another until he meets his death embroiled in the wicked snares of Satan.

5 . Miserliness and fear of poverty: They prevent a person from giving in charity, instead justifying hoarding, which only leads to a painful punishment. 
6 . Hastiness : Also of Satan’s great doors is haste and lack of resoluteness in affairs. Allah says:
خُلِقَ الْإِنسَانُ مِنْ عَجَلٍ
 Man is created of haste. [Q21:38] and again:
وَكَانَ الْإِنسَانُ عَجُولًا
And man was ever hasty. [Q17:12] . Also the Prophet œ said: Haste is from Satan and calculated action is from Allah. (Tirmithi) This is because actions should follow insightful understanding (tabṣira) and experiential knowledge. Insightful understanding requires reflection (ta’ammul), and unhurried action (tamahhul),  but haste precludes this. For when man seeks to make haste, Satan readily dispenses to him his own evil from whence the man knows not.
A person may now ask: “How can one ward Satan off? Is it enough to be in constant remembrance of Allah the Almighty or to utter [phrases like] ‘Laa hawla wala quwwata illaa billaah (There is no power or strength except in Allah)’?” The answer is that you must know that the course of treatment to save one's heart from the whispers of Satan is to block the gateways [he takes] and to purify the heart from the aforementioned bad characteristics.
his needs to be further elaborated. The remembrance of Allah the Almighty should indeed suffice in stopping Satan from passing by or whispering in one’s heart. However, that cannot happen unless the heart itself is already of a pious nature and purified from evil characteristics. If not, words of His remembrance will be no more than mere thoughts without any impact on the heart or substance to deflect Satan. Allah the Almighty Says :
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا إِذَا مَسَّهُمْ طَائِفٌ مِّنَ الشَّيْطَانِ تَذَكَّرُوا فَإِذَا هُم مُّبْصِرُونَ
{Indeed, those who are pious - when an impulse touches them from Satan, they remember [Him] and at once they have insight.} [Q7: 201].
 Therefore, since this is only confined to the pious, once a person manages to uproot evil traits from within, Satan may pass by or whisper, but will never be able to reside in the heart.
One can see, Satan is like an approaching starved dog; if a person has neither bread nor meat, it will move away just by your voice which commands it to “go away”. However, if you have meat in your hands and the dog is hungry, it will attack the flesh and your mere words will not be enough to keep the animal at bay.
Finally, one can only recapture his heart by purify it from the nutrition of Satan and is supported with the remembrance of Allah the Almighty, which is the haven of angels.
We ask Allah, the Most High to save us, our children and our family from the evil and wickedness of Shaytan.


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