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And the devil came calling (II)

Continued from last week

Shortly thereafter, Shaytan then told the Prophet how he profits from some habits and perverse ways of men. He said: “Do you know, O Muhammad, that lying is from me and that I am the first liar; liars are my best friends. I constantly tell them: “Surely I am a sincere advisor to you.” (Quran 7:21).

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Shaytan went on saying: “O Muhammad, let me tell you about my friends who abandon prayers or delay them. Whenever it is time for prayer, I make them imagine that there is still time, that they are busy. They should enjoy what they are doing, they can always pray later! I hope they will die before doing their next prayer. If I don’t succeed again, I enter into their prayers. I tell them, “Look to the right, look to the left! Think of the past, plan your future!” And when they do, I caress their cheeks and kiss their foreheads and take the peace from their hearts. You know, O Muhammad, that the prayers of those whose attention is outside of them or who are imagining things which do not belong in the presence of Allah are also rejected and thrown in their faces. And, if I am not successful in that, I order them to do their prayers fast and they look like hens picking at grain. If I still don’t succeed, I follow them to the congregational prayers and put bridles on their heads. I pull, and lift their heads from the prostration before the Imam, and I push their heads down before the Imam touches his head to the ground and I am overjoyed to remember that the Most High will turn those unruly heads into donkey’s heads on the Last Day of Judgment. If I am still not successful, I try at least to make them crack their fingers while they are making prayers. Then, they will be among those who seek my glory not that of their Creator. Or at least I will blow into their noses and make them yawn and, if they open their mouths, a little devil will enter into them through their mouths and increase their love and ambition of this world. The one who loves and is ambitious for this world becomes my soldiers; he obeys me and does as he is ordered.

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‘O Muhammad! how could you be certain of your people’s salvation and felicity? I have a trap at every corner for them. I go to the poor and tell them, “What has Allah done for you? Why do you pray to Him? Prayer is for those to whom He has given in abundance.” Then, I go the ones who are sick and tell them to stop praying, and remind them that even the Most High says: “There is no blame on the sick” (Quran 24:61).

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I hope that they will die having abandoned their prayers, so that the Most High will meet them with anger in the Hereafter”.

‘O Muhammad, if I have told a single lie, may scorpions bite me, and ask from Allah that He turn me into ashes. O Muhammad, do not be sure of your people. I have already converted a sixth of them, who have left their religion.’ Shaytan further told the Prophet that he has at least ten ‘bosom’ friends among men. These are tyrants and oppressors; the arrogant; servile scholars who hide the truth for the benefit of tyrants; dishonest tradesmen; drinkers of alcohol; dealers in fraud; slanderers; those who stir up trouble among friends. He said: “I asked the Most High to give me a house, and He gave me the public baths. I asked the Most High to give me a temple, and he gave me the marketplace as my temple. I asked the Almighty to give me a book. He gave me the book of poetry as my book. I asked for a call to prayer, and He gave me the dancing music.

I asked for someone to share my bed, and He gave me the drunkard. I asked Allah for helpers. The Most High gave me those who believe in free will. I asked the Almighty to give me brothers and sisters, and He gave me the squanderers, who spend their money on evil things. “Surely the squanders are brethren of the Devil” (Quran 17: 27). Then I asked Almighty to be able to see the children of Adam while they are unable to see me, and He accorded that to me. I wished that the very veins of the children of Adam be my routes, and it was given to me. So, I flow in their veins as I wish and enter their flesh. All these were given to me, and I am proud of what I have received. And, let me add, O Muhammad, that there are more with me than there are with you.’ Then the Devil started to complain. He said, ‘O Muhammad, in spite of all this, I have no strength to take away the faith of the faithful. I only take away their faith when they throw it away. If I were able, there would be no one on the face of this earth who could say: There is no Creator but the Almighty, Muhammad is His Messenger.” I would not leave a single one to pray or fast. All I can do is to give the children of Adam imaginations, illusions and delusions, make the ugly appear beautiful, the wrong, right; and the bad, good. Neither do you have the power to give faith.

You are only a proof of the Truth, because I know that, if you were given the power to give true faith, you would not leave a single non-believer on the face of this world. The fortunate one who is a believer is fortunate in his mother’s womb, and the rebellious sinner is a rebel in his mother’s womb. As you are the guide of the fortunate, I am only the cause of sin of the ones who are destined to sin. Allah is He who renders one fortunate and another rebellious.’

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