7 Attacks of Satan – Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazzali


It should be borne in mind that there are seven methods to know the cheatings and deceptions of Satan with which he snares mankind:

Firstly, Satan stops man from worship altogether. If Allah’s mercy overtakes that man and he does not listen to Satan’s reduction and insists on his worship for the sake of the Hereafter, Satan beguiles him to postpone his worship for sometime. This is his second attack on the man. If the man saves himself from this attack by Allah’s mercy and by his own arguments in favour of his insistence on worship, Satan launches against him third attack. He instigates the man to expedite and complete such and such job in order to gain full freedom for sincere worship.

If Exalted Allah saves His servant from this attack also and he does not succumb to Satan’s deception, the latter makes his fourth attack on the man by involving him in show business and ostentation by suggesting that the worship should be offered very nicely and attentively, so that the people may take him to be a devout worshipper.

If the man somehow saves himself, by the mercy of Allah from this attack also, Satan launches on him the fifth attack by involving him in Pride and arrogance that he is a great worshipper and a very righteous being.

With the help of Allah the man tries to save himself by arguing that he is a very sinful man and his worship and devotion are due only to Allah’s mercy, despite his sins. In this way he gets out of Satan’s clutches.

Now Satan makes on the man the sixth attack and this is a very dangerous attack from which only very wise and cautious men can remain safe. Satan very cunningly suggests to the man that however secretly he may worship Allah will make his worship and devotion known to the public and he will thus become renowned automatically. In this way Satan tries to involve the man in show and ostentation.

If by Allah’s help and mercy the man is able to protect himself from this attack also by arguing that, being a servant of Allah he has to submit himself to Allah’s will who has the power to disclose or conceal his deeds and his worship. He therefore does not care at all for a Satan’s misleading whispering.

Being frustrated in his efforts so far, now Satan directs his seventh attack towards the man. Satan suggests that those good or bad deeds have no effects on man’s fate, because everything has been finally settled and decreed in the very beginning of creation. So a man’s being good or bad has no effect at all. If, with the help of Allah, the man saves himself from this attack also by saying that being a servant of Allah he has to be obedient and submissive irrespective of what has been decreed for him. If he has been ordained as an unfortunate person, he is more in need of good deeds. He must continue his righteous deeds, because it is much better to appear before Allah as a devout servant than as a disobedient servant.

Again these are all only possibilities and probabilities. Allah has promised to reward those who will go to Him with Iman (Faith) and good deeds. Allah does not break His promise. Allah will, by His infinite mercy admit into Paradise all who are obedient, God-fearing devout and righteous. Allah has said in the Holy Qur’an:

Praise be to Allah who has fulfilled His promise to us… (39:74)

May Allah the Exalted have mercy on all of us. You should be careful to remain safe from the attacks and cheatings of this accursed Satan. This is indeed a very serious and risky situation. You must always seek Allah’s help and refuge. He alone is All-Powerful. All help comes from Him alone.

-Hujjatul Islam, Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazzali, The Best Way for the Worshippers (Minhajul ‘Abideen)


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