Seeking Refuge in Allah


The Salah Series

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII | Part XIV | Part XV | Part XVI | Part XVII | Part XVIII | Part XIX | Part XX | Part XXI | Part XXII | Part XXIII | Part XXIV | Part XXV | Part XXVI | Part XXVII | Part XXVIII

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Do you know that shaytan (satan) becomes extremely envious when a person is standing in prayer before his Lord? And thus he does everything he can to get the worshiper out of that elevated state- by distracting him or her to think about other things. And all too often, unfortunately, we accept the invitation. The likeness of shaytan is to that of a fly – every time one pushes him away, he comes back.

Shaytan

We have been taught to seek refuge with Allah from the accursed devil before we begin to recite the Qur’an in salat. The devil’s impact is substantial – when we come to pray we remember things that previously escaped our memory and we think of solutions to our biggest problems. By the time we say “salaam” at the end, we do not remember what we have said in the prayer or even how many rak`ahs we prayed. If this description fits us, Ibn Al-Qayyim says that this person leaves the prayer the same way he entered it – with all of his sins and burdens unexpiated. If this is how it is in this life, can we imagine how it will be in the next? In the Qur’an, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala – glory be unto Him) tells us of the scenario on the Day of Judgment:

14:22
“And Satan will say when the matter has been concluded, “Indeed, Allah had promised you the promise of truth. And I promised you, but I betrayed you. But I had no authority over you except that I invited you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me; but blame yourselves.” (14:22)

Imagine- being duped and distracted and then having that sealed with remorse on the Day of Judgment. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

إن الرجل لينصرف وما كتب له إلا عشر صلاته ، تسعها ، ثمنها ، سبعها ، سدسها
خمسها ، ربعها ، ثلثها ، نصفها

“A person may pray and have nothing recorded for it except a tenth of it, or a ninth, or an eighth, or a seventh, or a sixth, or a fifth, or a quarter, or a third, or half.” (Abu Dawud)

So the shaytan wants to decrease our reward by stealing what he can from our prayers. It is as though we have already been given up all of our rewards but we must guard them- every time we become heedless the shaytan steals some of it. And for some of us, he keeps on stealing until we are left with nothing.

The Solution

Sheikh Al-Shinqiti tells us that Allah  (swt) has shown us how to guard ourselves from the human demons and from the demons of the jinn. Allah (swt) says:

41:33
41:34“And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, ‘Indeed, I am of the Muslims.’ And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.” (Qur’an, 41:33-34)

Thus to protect ourselves from the human demons, we should do the above – repel evil with good. This will not only protect us but it might make that enemy a warm friend. This is not easy, which is why Allah (swt) says straight afterward:
41:35“But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted it except one having a great portion [of good]” (Qur’an, 41:35).

But what about the demons from the jinn? We cannot use the same method above. So what do we do? Seek refuge in Allah (swt), as Allah (swt) tells in the verse directly following the one mentioned above:

41:36“And if there comes to you from Satan an evil suggestion, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” (Qur’an, 41:36)

It is related that an old man asked a young lad what he would do if he saw shaytan.

“I would hit him,” the young man said.

“And if he came back?”

“I would hit him again,” he replied.

And the old man asked the same question, and the young man gave the same response.

Shaking his head, the old man said, “If you were walking on a road and a ferocious dog came to you, how often would you hit him to make sure he doesn’t come back? Rather the smarter way is to ask the master of the dog to remove it from your path.”

And this is why we seek refuge in Allah when we begin the prayer. Ibn Al Qayyim said that it is narrated that when we commence the prayer, Allah orders for the barrier between us to be lifted and we are directly facing our Lord, yet if we turn away (i.e. get distracted) the barrier is brought back down. And it is in these moments of heedlessness that the shaytan tries to make one thought lead to another but when the barrier is removed, shaytan does not dare to distract us.

Thus, let us seek refuge in Allah from the shaytan, truly think over the meaning of that supplication, and guard ourselves from shaytan throughout the prayer.

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8 Comments

  1. Blogger says:

    Jazakallah khair for such a amazing series..
    Just wanted to bring something to your notice…
    Part2 Part3 and Part 4 are directing to same URL link .. can you please correct this… readers are getting confused.

    Thanks
    tariq

  2. Aliya Zafar says:

    Jazak Allah khair…v informative article

  3. Amarah says:

    hmmm… does beautiful cover it… no definetly not… awsome… no still not the rite word… amazing… yea i guess but it still dosnt do justice….

    but still JazakALLAH khair for sharing
    <3 the article and the website
    and love salat

    May ALLAH guide you and everyone who reads this article in maintaining proper/timely salat.
    Amin

  4. keza says:

    Thank you beloved of allah, you have pointed out bismillaa revenge prayer is not the right way ,if allah is most merciful and forgiving then allah has shown us the way, amin . I am a new muslum and you dear brother in islam have lifted my burden, in shallah by the will of allah. Allah bless you for your good works of pease and goodwill. Assalaamu alaikum warahma tullaah

  5. Anthony Lumpkins says:

    Very good and informative article. May Allah reward you

  6. abdullahi says:

    assalamu alaikum.pls i heard they is a particular dua nabihi(salaallahu alaihim wa salaam) thougt and then one should spite three times by his left hand side.

  7. Amal Najeeb says:

    Assalamu alaykum.
    Jazak Allah khair. Thanks for sharing your article. It is detailed and in simple language.
    May Allah Guide us in the right way
    ameen

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