Satanic Tactics: Satan’s Objective

Walking the path to Allah is a type of war and its battlefield is the heart. To win, we must strengthen our army – our soul, and weaken the enemy – our lower-self and the devil. This is the fifth in a series of articles on Satanic Tricks: Seven Tricks of the Devil.

Allah tells us about Satan’s objectives in a few different verses: 

إِنَّ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّۭ فَٱتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّا ۚ إِنَّمَا يَدْعُوا۟ حِزْبَهُۥ لِيَكُونُوا۟ مِنْ أَصْحَـٰبِ ٱلسَّعِيرِ

“Verily the Devil is an implacable foe to you all, so take him as a foe: He but summons his faction to be of the denizens of the fiery blaze.” [Quran, 35:6; tr. Keller, Quran Beheld]

He invites his followers to enter the blazing fire. That is his only goal. His only call to the people is so that they can join him in the Hellfire.

The Sermon of Satan

Satan gives a sermon. Everyone is gathered and Satan speaks to all of them. Allah says:

وَقَالَ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنُ لَمَّا قُضِىَ ٱلْأَمْرُ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ ٱلْحَقِّ وَوَعَدتُّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُكُمْ ۖ وَمَا كَانَ لِىَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن سُلْطَـٰنٍ إِلَّآ أَن دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَٱسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِى ۖ فَلَا تَلُومُونِى وَلُومُوٓا۟ أَنفُسَكُم ۖ مَّآ أَنَا۠ بِمُصْرِخِكُمْ وَمَآ أَنتُم بِمُصْرِخِىَّ ۖ إِنِّى كَفَرْتُ بِمَآ أَشْرَكْتُمُونِ مِن قَبْلُ ۗ إِنَّ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌۭ

“The Devil shall say when all is done: ‘Verily Allah made you a promise of the Truth; and I promised you, but played you false. Nor had I the slightest authority over you, save that I called you and you heartily answered me: So blame not me, but blame yourselves; I cannot answer your cries or help, nor you men; I utterly renounce your taking me as a partner in worship the whole time before: Verily doers of idolatrous wrong have a painful chastisement.’” [Quran, 14:22; tr. Keller, Quran Beheld]

His goal is to get people with him on that day. He knows where he’s going. He wants to take as many as he can. He actually declared this war to Allah. In addressing Allah, he tells Allah that that is his goal. Allah says:

قَالَ فَبِمَاۤ أَغۡوَیۡتَنِی لَأَقۡعُدَنَّ لَهُمۡ صِرَ ٰطَكَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِیمَ

ثُمَّ لَـَٔاتِیَنَّهُم مِّنۢ بَیۡنِ أَیۡدِیهِمۡ وَمِنۡ خَلۡفِهِمۡ وَعَنۡ أَیۡمَـٰنِهِمۡ وَعَن شَمَاۤىِٕلِهِمۡۖ وَلَا تَجِدُ أَكۡثَرَهُمۡ شَـٰكِرِینَ

“He said, ‘Now because You have led me to to vilely stray, I swear to sit in ambush for them the whole length of Your straight path; ‘Then, and worse, I shall have at them from before them and behind, and on their right and left; And You shall not find most of the very grateful.’” [7:16-17; tr. Keller, Quran Beheld]

There is wisdom in having Satan there. The true believers manifest much greater once there is opposition involved. Humans can become greater than the angels because despite those obstacles, they choose Allah and they choose sincerity to Allah and devotion to Allah, even if that means abandoning their desires. 

Paradise is surrounded by undesirable things, whereas Hellfire is surrounded by desirable things. 

Refusal and Rebellion

قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلَّا تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ ۖ قَالَ أَنَا۠ خَيْرٌۭ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِى مِن نَّارٍۢ وَخَلَقْتَهُۥ مِن طِينٍۢ

“He said, ‘What prevented you, that you bowed not when I bade you?’ He said, ‘I am better than he: You created me of fire, and created him of clay.’” [Quran, 7:12; tr. Keller, Quran Beheld]

Some scholars said that the first two sins in all of existence were racism and arrogance. It is the same satanic theory up until today. Thinking oneself better than the other. On what basis? Due to color and origin. 

So after that happened, Allah expelled him from Paradise. Satan blamed Allah. Where is Satan waiting for us? On the straight path itself. 

Many people lose hope because of whispers, Satan and doubts. There is a hadith of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that the companions came to him and said, “O Messenger, verily we have thoughts and doubts that we would be too ashamed to mention them to anyone,” and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) asked, “Do you really experience that?” They said, “Yes,” and he said, “That is pure faith.”

Why are their doubts a sign of pure faith? There is one of two reasons. One is that their regret for those thoughts even occurring to them, is a sign of pure faith. Thoughts are kind of like visitors from the outside. We are only accountable for what we entertain of those thoughts and accept. They regretted it, they disliked it, and that is seen as an expiation for those thoughts. 

Despair Breeds Despair

The second interpretation is that because of their pure faith, righteousness, closeness and steadfastness on the straight path, Satan sees them as a more urgent matter, so he casts all these doubts. He is trying his best, his last resort. Had they gone astray, Satan would not waste his time. 

Satan will attack us from the front, from the back, from the right and the left. One of the early Muslims explained this: “from the front” means that he will try to delude people into thinking that there is no resurrection, no life after death, no heaven, and no hell, so they reject that, as did the polytheists of Mecca. They refused to believe the Hereafter or to reduce their certainty in that. 

His attack from behind is that he will adorn to them worldliness. He’ll make worldliness seem very delightful, beautiful and adorned. Something to make a priority in life, something to make our goals, the large mansion and that nice fiberglass car. 

From their right side means, he makes them procrastinate on good deeds because good deeds are seen as good. The people of the right are the righteous on the Day of Judgment. His attacking from the right side is attacking them from their good deeds. This applies to many different things. 

From the left side, the commentator says that he will beautify for them the sins because the left side is corrupt on the Day of Judgment. They will get their book in their left hand. He’ll beautify for them sins and disobedience.