Often times we think that our greatest enemy is shaytan or the devil since he tempts us away from God and towards sin. We like to him for all our troubles and think that if we could build up stronger resistance to him, that we would be able to resist his charms. We think that the enemy lies outside and don’t realise that our greatest enemy is ourselves and our desires.
We like to blame Shaytan or Satan for all our troubles and think that he leads us astray. And indeed he does, but only by preying on our deepest and darkest desires, the ones we want to fulfill no matter what. But the things we want aren’t always the most pure or good or noble or honourable and in our deepest of hearts, we know that they’re wrong. But there is still a longing that we are unable to ignore. And it’s that longing for our desires that Shaytan preys upon.
I’m not saying that it’s bad to have desires. We all have them. Allah made us that way, and indeed none of us are without fault. It’s one thing to have desires that you know are unpermissable, but another to act on them. And the road to acting on those desires isn’t usually filled with thorns or thunder and a guide with devil horns. No, acting upon your desires might feel good, freeing even. But it’s later that the consequences of your actions will catch up to you. For you know that these desires aren’t in accordance with Islam, but you do them anyway.
So keep those desires in check. Know yourself. Know what you want. Know your weaknesses. Know the things that are struggles for you and stay away from them.
If you don’t know yourself, then when Shaytan or Satan leads you down a rose-filled path, you’ll have no idea that he is just using the desires that you have failed to keep in check, the longings that you are itching to act upon. So pray for strength, not against Shaytan but against your desires.
A reminder for myself before anyone else.
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