Thursday, 29 December 2016

Tempted to Sin

Each time, my heart fills up with regret and my shoulders hang in shame. I know he is laughing at me. I know it!

After a few hours he starts to tempt me again. Over the next few days he he builds up my temptation until I cave in. I sin. I realise he's done it again. I regret. And the cycle continues.

Shaytaan! You are so determined to influencing me into sinning.

Shaytaan was not always like this. There was a time when Shaytaan made Ibadah. There was a time when Shaytaan was a scholar of the Deen. There was a time when Shaytaan taught the Angels. He looked at his Ibadah and knowledge and it made him proud of his achievement. He felt that he had reached the pinnacle. What he did not realise was that Ibadah should be done to please Allah Taala, and should not be treated as a trophy to display on the mantle. That is the difference between sincerity and pride. 

Allah Taala informed the Angels that He was going to create a new creation which would become the ruling representative on earth. This creation was Man and the first man to be created was Nabi Aadam alayhis salaam. Once he was created, each angel had to prostrate towards him. 

Shaytaan was upset. He felt that he did so much of Ibadah; why should Man be the ruling representative on earth? As Nabi Aadam alayhis salaam was being created, Shaytaan poked fun at him. When the time came for the Angels to prostrate towards Nabi Aadam alayhis salaam, Shaytaan refused.

Shaytaan took a vow of proving that the new creation, mankind, was not worthy of being the ruling representative on earth. After refusing to bow to Nabi Aadam alayhis salaam, Shaytaan vowed, Surely I will deceive them concerning the the world and I will make them sin, altogether. (Surah Hijr v 39)

We thus find that daily we are faced with Shaytaan tempting us to sin. Sometimes we fall prey to his suggestions and sometimes we resist. To Shaytaan, each time we sin, he proves his case that man is not worthy of being the ruling representative on earth. To Shaytaan, each time we sin, is justification for him not having bowed towards Nabi Aadam alayhis salaam. 

But it's not all doom and gloom.  There are some humans who do not sin and therefore prove Shaytaan wrong.  After Shaytaan vowed to misguide man, Shaytaan conceded, Except Your sincere worshippers. (Surah Hijr v 40)

These sincere worshippers have the protection of Allah Taala, which saves them from sinning. To understand it further let's look at a Hadith recorded by Imam Bukhari radi Allahu anhu.

RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam said that, one is not made a ruling representative except that he is under two innate influences, one of which incites him to doing good one incites him to doing evil, he is safeguarded from sin (Ma'soom) whom Allah has safeguarded from sin. (Sahih Bukhari)

Haafidh alAsqalani says that those who are Ma'soom through the 'Asm of Allah Taala, are protected against certain bad characteristics and they adhere to Allah Taala.

Haafidh alAsqalani goes on further to say that the 'Asmah (innocence) of the Anbiya means that they are protected against any imperfection and defects and they have been given exclusivity over others by virtue of their perfection.

Haafidh alAsqalani also explains that the protection against sin that the Anbiya have, is one of their essential characteristics as Anbiya and non-Anbiya are protected from sin as a matter of privilege. (Fatthul Baari Sharah Bukhari)

This means that Allah Taala blesses his sincere worshippers with protection from sinning. It is a typical characteristic of the Anbiya alayhimas salaam to be free from sin and defects. Whilst other worshippers are selected by Allah Taala and are granted His protection from sinning.

The Quran particularly highlights the sinlessness of RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam in Surah Najm. Allah Taala says, By the Star when it descended your companion had not been on misguidance and nor did he infringe. -alQuran 51:1&2-

Regarding 'The Star', Imam Mujaahid and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal radi Allahu anhuma say, it refers to the Quran. (Radduz Zanaadiq) The 'companion' refers to RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam . (Tafseer Qurtubi) So we can understand this passage as, By the Quran when it descended, the Messenger had not been on misguidance and nor had he infringed.

Imam Raazi explains that the words 'misguided and infringed' are two different things. Misguided refers to having wrong beliefs, and infringed refers to doing wrongful deeds. In this verse both these are in the past tense, meaning that even before the Quran was revealed, RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam did not have wrong beliefs and he did not commit any loathsome acts. (Tafseer Mafatihul Ghayb)

Thus the Quran highlights to us that RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam was free from sinning even before the revelation of the Quran. This fact and this passage of the Quran oppose Shaytaan's mission for he took it upon himself to try to misguide every human being.

This fact irks Shaytaan, so he tries to hide this wonderful quality of RasoolAllah sallAllah alayhi wasallam.  Shaytaan tries by all means to deny that RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam is free from sin, but Allah Taala has publicized it; making it very clear in Surah Najm, as explained above.

RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam being sinless is also a very important fact for the purity of the Shariah. Bear in mind that there are two main sources of the Shariah, viz the Quran and the Sunnah. 

Allah Taala says, Oh Believers if a sinful one comes to you with information then enquire (about its accuracy) (Surah Hujaraat v 6)

The Quran was brought to us by RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam. If (hypothetically) he was sinful, then Surah Hujaraat v6 tells us that we should not readily accept the Quran, because the authenticity of information that a sinful person brings should questioned. Thus the incorrect idea that RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam can sin, would lead to us doubting the Quran, and without the Quran we would have no Islam.  (Arbaeen fi Usool Id Deen by Imam Raazi - derived)

The idea that RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam can sin, also affects the other source of Islamic Shariah, namely the Sunnah. The Sunnah refers to the practices and actions of RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam. Following the Sunnah is an essential part of Islam.  If (hypothetically) RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam did sin, then that sinful act would be Sunnah and we, his followers, would be doing a sinful act thinking that we are doing a Sunnah. The truth is that because RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam is free from sins, each and every practice of his (Sunnah) is blessed and it is a basis of Shariah and Islam. If he was a sinful person, then following the Sunnah would become questionable.

We can now understand why Allah Taala safeguarded His Beloved Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wasallam from sin. The pure sinlessness of RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam stands against Shaytaan's plot (in his own words): 'I will make them sin, altogether.' The sinlessness of RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam also guarantees us the purity of the Quran and Sunnah that we received from him. Without this our entire Islam would crumble. 

Let us use the sinlessness of RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi wasallam to motivate us to also oppose Shaytaan's plot of tempting us to sin. May Allah Taala make us from amongst those whom He protects from sin. Certainly His protection is sufficient against sinning. Ameen. 

Islam South Africa

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