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Satanic Temptations and Consciousness

Whatever enters the human consciousness is either through the agency of the angels of mercy or the devil. If it is godly, it is called inspiration (ilham), and if it is caused by the devil, it is called temptation (waswasa). The human soul is a battlefield on which the army of angels and the army of devils are locked in battle, and man has the choice to confirm either of them. If the army of the devil is reinforced, he will become subject to demonic temptations, and his outward actions will mirror his internal condition. But if the Divine forces are strengthened, the individual becomes the embodiment of Divine attributes and characteristics.

The Holy Quran relates how the Satan swore to misguide mankind and lead them into sin:

He said: Now because Thou has sent me astray , verily I shall lurk in ambush for them in Thy Straight Path. Then I shall come upon them from before them and from behind them and from their right and from their left ... (7:16-17)

About the people who yield to the devil, the Holy Quran says:

... having hearts wherewith they understand not, and having eyes wherewith they see not, and having ears wherewith they hear not. These are as the cattle-nay, but they are worse. These are the neglectful. (7:179)

And about those who are not influenced by the devil, the Quran says:

As for those who believe in Allah, and hold fast unto Him, them He will cause to enter into His mercy and grace, and will guide them unto Him by a straight path. (4:175)

The way to fight demonic temptations by deliberating about the Hereafter. If one contemplates the consequences of following the advice of the devil and the future such obedience holds in store for him, he will find the right path and be liberated from satanic temptations. When he finds the righteous path, God, too, will come to his aid and guide him to ultimate happiness and felicity-as has been clearly stated in the above-mentioned verse.

Adapted from: "Jami' al-Sa'adat" by: "Muhammad Mahdi al-Naraqi"

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