It’s a fact that shaytan is to man an open enemy. He’s sworn to tempt him till he deviates from the right path. After being banished, Shaytan promised in Suratul-Nisa’ 4:119 “And I will mislead them, and I will arouse in them [sinful] desires, and I will command them so they will slit the ears of cattle, and I will command them so they will change the creation of Allah.”
In fulfilling his mission of disorderliness, he makes sin alluring to man; believing the world is the sole purpose of existence. The world becomes a sex driven society and corruption becomes the order of the day. Abnormal things are now seen as norms. Murder, enmity, homosexuality, immorality, alcoholism, gambling, smoking, shirk and all the major sins are now executed with pride.
Shaytan also promised to sow a seed of discord and promote enmity as revealed in Suratul -Ma’idah 5:91
“Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So, will you not desist?”
He makes the unbelievers hostile to the believers, discriminating and marginalizing them till they lack confidence in submitting to ALLAH. Being stigmatized makes the believers feel like prisoners and confused individuals. This confusion toils in their heart till their faith swerves just as the Prophet explained the nature of the heart. He (saw) said: “The heart of the child of Adam is more volatile and quicker to change than the completely boiling pot.” (Imam Ahmad)
The heart becomes an oven that incubates shaitan’s whisperings, doubts and flimsy desires. The heart becomes a battlefield for man to make right decisions. It fluctuates in thoughts and emotions. At some point, it’s spiritually connected and gets disconnected at other times.
The only way a Muslim can win the battle against Shaytan and free his heart from this ugly deceit is through the belief in Allah and remaining steadfast. Steadfastness is the ability to remain firm, to never relent, give up and nor desist from servitude to Allah. This was well exemplified in the following hadith:
On the authority of Sufyan bin Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about Islam which I can ask of no one but you.’ He (peace be upon him) said, ‘Say “I believe in Allah” — and then be steadfast.'” [Muslim]
There are several means to being steadfast and not swirling around. Let’s examine a few practical ways here:
- Supplicating to Allah
We can always make Dua to Allah to make us Steadfast since He is the only one who has the power to control the heart. Shahr bin Haushab reported: I asked Umm Salmah (May Allah be pleased with her), O mother of believers! Which supplication did the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him) make frequently when he is in your house? She said: He supplicated frequently, ” Ya muqallibal- qulubi, thabbit qalbi ‘ ala dinika. (O controller of the hearts, make my heart Steadfast in your religion)” (At-Tirmidhi).
Also, Mu’adh bin Jabal (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him) held my hand and said, “O Mu’adh , by Allah I love you and advise you not to miss supplicating after every Solat (prayer)saying “Allahumma ainni ‘ala dhikrika was shukrika was husni ibadatika” (O Allah, help me to remember you, expressing gratitude to you and worship you in the best manner.) (Abu Dawud and An-Nasai).
- Reading the Quran and Pondering over its meaning
Another means of remaining steadfast is to understand the purpose of life and how best to serve Allah. When a Muslim has the proper understanding of the purpose of his existence, he will be constant in submitting to Allah. This can only be discovered through the Glorious Quran which makes it important for Muslims to read, reflect and ponder over its meaning. The best medication to remain connected to Allah and keep the soul revival is the Quran.
Allah referred to the Quran in Suratul Luqman 31:3 “As guidance and mercy for the doers of good”
- Remembrance of Death
Another means of remaining steadfast is to always remember “death” and the final abode of mankind which could be hell or paradise. The remembrance of death as a divine will and universal law that moves man’s soul from one world to another aid steadfastness. This terminator of worldly pleasures is enough to make man steadfast. More so, the consciousness of paradise being a place of merriment and satisfaction gives hope to excel in good deeds. Likewise, the description of hell being the worst abode for evil doers is enough to tame the heart from swirling back and forth.
Allah says in Suratul Imran verse 185:
“Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So, he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.”
We should be foremost in pleasing our maker and strengthening our connections with Him. We should be prepared for the gift that turns all heart to its Lord. As the day turns into night and night turns into day, our days on earth are numbered.
- Constantly Doing Good
No matter the level of trials we encounter, we must keep glowing in righteousness by constantly doing good deeds, no matter how small. What this does is that it instills in people the act of goodness. Do not be shaken by pressure nor wallow in depression. We must constantly keep up with good deeds and a sole intention to please our Lord.
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.”
Source: Sunan Ibn Majah 4240
Our duty isn’t only to do good but to encourage others to be good as well. The benefit of admonishing people towards Goodness is that it awakens the souls of both the caller and listener. This is a form of purification to the soul.
In Suratul -Imran 3:104, Allah says:
“And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.”
- Being in the Circle of the Righteous
We can’t over emphasize this as it’s a sure catalyst to steadfastness. We need to be cautious of the kind of gathering we attend and friends we keep. A man is often on the path of his companion as he can be easily influenced to do good or sway towards evil.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) was reportedly asked: “Which of our companions are best?” He replied: “One whose appearance reminds you of God, and whose speech increases you in knowledge, and whose actions remind you of the hereafter.”
- Patience in times of Difficulties
Muslims must bear in mind roads are not always smooth and there will be so many difficulties in life. We need to be ready to welcome challenges with a positive mindset. Patience is then required so as not to lose control and focus. Hence, be calm while striving on this sojourn called life. Approach things with determination and endurance as this will propel you to endure pain and hardship. Perseverance is the ability not to give up or break down when life tosses you around. You need patience with yourself in overcoming depression and worries. This is the ability to suppress your emotions during your times of trial and remain steadfast.
Allah made a promise to those who are patient in Suratul -Baqarah 2:153
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.”
There’s a popular adage that says: “contentment is the core of Richness”. When you possess it you become wealthy, powerful, and satisfied. It helps you live a simple life filled with positive thoughts. It promotes tranquility, peace and happiness. It eliminates jealousy by not making you envious of what others have. Contentment breeds gratitude as it makes you thankful for what’s in your possession.
Lack of contentment fills the heart with sadness and greed. This negates steadfastness and makes one ungrateful.
It is reported by Abu Huraira that the Prophet of Allah said: “when a person sees a person who has wealth and beauty, let him look at ones who have less than him”. (Bukhari)
May Allah make the best of our deeds the last of our deeds. We ask Allah to grant us steadfastness upon the truth and help us die as truthful servants of His. Ameen!