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FAQ

afkar 100

Question:

Assalamualaikum SS Dato’ Seri Mufti. What is the difference between the whispers of desire and the whispers of shaytan?

 

Answer:

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

In answering the above question, among the characteristics of the whispers of desire is it leads us towards the evildoings in a specific and precise manner. Sheikh Muhammad Mutawalli al-Sha’rawi explained: “Among the characteristics of whispers of desire is it strongly attracts us to evildoings which are specific and precise. This is in accordance with the saying of Allah SWT in the Quran:

إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لَأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ إِلَّا مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّي

Indeed, the soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil, except those upon which my Lord has mercy.

Surah Yusuf (53)

Imam al-Tabari explains: “Indeed, desire meant here is the desire of a servant which directs towards all of his wants, even towards matters prohibited by Allah SWT.” (See Jami’ al-Bayan ‘an Ta’wil Ay al-Quran, 13/209)

While al-Baghawi mentioned that directing towards evildoings (السوء) in this verse is towards sin. (See Ma’alim al-Tanzil, 4/249)

Sheikh al-Sa’di mentioned that desire will consistently direct people towards evildoings as well as sinning. This bad desire becomes the ride for shaytan to mislead humans. And from this path of desire, shaytan will enter except for those whom Allah SWT bless. (See Taisir al-Karim al-Rahman fi Tafsir Kalam al-Mannan, 3/408)

While Sheikh al-Maraghi in commenting on this verse states that this verse is the closing statement of the wife of al-‘Aziz the same as the opinion of Abu Hayyan in the book al-Bahr. Then, he states: “Indeed, the desire of humans always directs them towards evildoings because there are encouragements of one’s physical and heart’s desires as they are instilled in it, all sorts of strength and means to attain pleasure including the tendency whispersed by the shaytan.” (See Tafsir al-Maraghi, 7/3380)

In a du’a, the Prophet PBUH combines between the evil of desire and shaytan. The Prophet PBUH said:

اللَّهُمَّ فَاطِرَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ عَالِمَ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ رَبَّ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ وَمَلِيكَهُ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ نَفْسِي وَشَرِّ الشَّيْطَانِ وَشِرْكِهِ

O Allah, Creator of the heavens and the earth, Who knowest the unseen and the seen, Lord and Possessor of everything. I testify that there is no god but Thee; I seek refuge in Thee from the evil within myself, from the evil of the devil, and his (incitement to) attributing partners (to Allah).

Sunan Abu Dawud (5067), Jami’ al-Tirmidhi (3392), Sunan al-Nasa'ie (7699) and Musnad Ahmad (7961)

Sheikh al-‘Azhim Abadi explains that the meaning of “شر الشيطان” is the whisperss of doubt as well as its deviance, while the meaning of syirkah (شرْكه) is whatever leads to shirk to Allah. It may also be recited with syarakah (شركه) which are shaytan’s ropes and traps to enjoin humans towards evildoings. (See Aun al-Ma’bud, 13/276).

In another du’a of the Prophet PBUH, which is narrated by Imran bin Husain RA, the Prophet PBUH once taught Imran’s father. Two phrases recited in it are:

اللَّهُمَّ أَلْهِمْنِي رُشْدِي وَأَعِذْنِي مِنْ شَرِّ نَفْسِي

O Allah, inspire me with my guidance and protect me from the evil of my soul

Jami’ al-Tirmidhi (3483), al-Tabarani in al-Du’a (1393), al-Bazzar (3580) and al-Baihaqi in al-Asma' wa al-Sifat (894)

Sheikh al-Mubarakfuri explains, it means ‘bestow taufiq to me towards al-rusyd which is guidance to do good. And protect me from the evildoings of myself, in which it is the place where evildoings grow. (See Tuhfah al-Ahwazi, 9/455)

Imam al-Qushairi states that striving to fight the self (desire) and manage it is by blocking what is usually done, as well as commanding our-self to constantly fight the desire at all times.

According to Junaid al-Baghdadi, when desire wants to encourage towards evildoings, it will constantly influence and brings towards it until it succeeds. He said: “Desire when asking something from you will make constant seduction and constantly influence you until its requests are fulfilled and purposes are achieved. Unless when it is failed by a true constant mujahadah (personal struggle). Then, it will try to influence again.”

This differs from the shaytan’s. When it fails to seduce people towards an evil act then it will seduce to do other evil acts. Junaid al-Baghdadi also said: “When shaytan calls you towards certain wrongdoing, but you refuse, they will go to other wrongdoings. This is because all wrongdoings towards Allah SWT’s teachings are the same for them. They intend to call towards any wrongdoing at all times. And they never specify the wrongdoings in one matter or another.”

Conclusion

The characteristic of desire is said as something specific towards an evil act. It will constantly seduce and influence towards it until the evildoing is achieved.

While the characteristic of shaytan’s whispers is something not specific only towards one wrongdoing only. If they do not succeed towards any wrongdoing, they will go to another wrongdoing as all wrongdoings are the same for them.

We close this discussion with a du’a:

اللَّهُمَّ فَاطِرَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ عَالِمَ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ رَبَّ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ وَمَلِيكَهُ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ نَفْسِي وَشَرِّ الشَّيْطَانِ وَشِرْكِهِ

O Allah, Creator of the heavens and the earth, Who knowest the unseen and the seen, Lord and Possessor of everything. I testify that there is no god but Thee; I seek refuge in Thee from the evil within myself, from the evil of the devil, and his (incitement to) attributing partners (to Allah).

اللَّهُمَّ أَلْهِمْنِي رُشْدِي وَأَعِذْنِي مِنْ شَرِّ نَفْسِي

O Allah, inspire me with my guidance and protect me from the evil of my soul