Khalid Zaheer
“I am convinced about the veracity of my opinions, but I do consider it likely that they may turn out to be incorrect. Likewise, I am convinced about the incorrectness of the views different from mine, but I do concede the possibility that they may turn out to be correct.” — Imam Shafa’i

Satan's temptations and Man's desires

We hear a lot about Satan's attacks on human beings. There are different ways of explaining the hadith related to Satan being imprisoned during Ramadan. Javed Ghamidi Saheb says that our intentions are the main culprit, and when our desires surge, Satan uses the opportunity and makes an attempt to overwhelm us. Fair enough. But then the Qu'ran tells us that Hazrat Adam and Hazrat Hawwa were expelled from Jannah through the machinations of Satan. If we apply Ghamidi Saheb's reasoning here, it would mean that Adam and his wife had to leave Jannah because of their actions spurred on by their own intentions. Please explain this contradiction.

What Ghamidi Sahib has mentioned means that Satan does influence us by his evil whispering which puts further pressure on our already existing inclination towards evil. So Satan plays a role even though it may not be a decisive one. When during Ramadan we are able to exercise better control on ourselves, the same efforts of Satan to incline us towards evil does not bear fruit because our soul does not lend itself to being influenced. In other words, the evil whispering of Satan becomes the cause of evil only when human soul is inclined towards it. The more it is inclined, the more Satanic whispering would be effective.

An additional dimension that Satan adds to his plan is at times to make an evil act appear morally acceptable through frivolous but smartly presented arguments which when added to human inclination to do evil become doubly effective. It was the latter strategy that was employed by Satan to entice Adam and his wife towards sin which became effective because the two of them were impressed by his persistent argument that the act of eating from the prohibited tree would transform them into angels or enable them live for eternity.

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