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By Imaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah


It is essential to know that sins and acts of disobedience are, necessarily, very
harmful. Their harm effects upon the heart are akin to the harmful effects of
poison upon the body, though the effects vary in their levels and intensities.

So is there any evil or harm in this world, or in the Hereafter, except that it is
due to sins and disobedience?

So what was it that expelled the two parents [i.e. Adam and Eve] from Paradise;
the home of delight, bliss, splendour and joy; to the home of pain, sorrow and
misfortune?

What was it that expelled Iblees [i.e. Satan] from the heavenly realms, causing
him to be rejected and cursed; transforming him both inwardly and outwardly,
so that his form became ugly and hideous - his inner form more hideous than his
outer - replacing his nearness with remoteness, mercy with curse, his beauty
with ugliness, from being in Paradise to being in the blazing Fire, from having
faith to being an unbeliever, from having the patronage and friendship of Allah,
the Praiseworthy Guardian, to being the greatest enemy and opponent, from
glorifying and praising Him to committing acts of unbelief, shirk, lies,
deception and shamelessness, from being adorned with faith to being clothed in
the garment of unbelief, sinfulness and disobedience, causing him to reach the
deepest depths of despicability, plunging down in the sight of Allaah as far as it
is possible to plunge; causing the anger of Allaah the Exalted to be upon him,
making him an outcast - despised and humiliated - so that he became a leader
for every sinner and criminal, becoming pleased with leadership for himself,
after having reached the station of worship and nobility?

O Allah, we seek refuge in You from opposing Your command and falling into
what You have forbidden.

What was it that caused the people of the earth to drown, to the extent that the
water rose above even the mountaintops?

What was it that caused the violent winds to overcome the people of µAad, such
that it flung them down dead upon the face of the earth - as if they were lopped-
off palm trunks - and it destroyed whatever dwellings and crops it came across,
thus making them an example for nations until the Day of Resurrection?
What was it that caused the piercing shrieks to be set loose upon the Thamood
people, such that their hearts were severed within their very bodies, by which
they all perished?

What was it that caused the town of the homosexuals to be raised up and turned
upside down, such that they were all destroyed? Then stones from the sky pelted
down upon them so that they suffered a combined punishment, the like of which
was not given to any other nation! And for their brothers will be its like; and it
is not far off from the transgressors!

What was it that caused the clouds of punishment to overcome t he people of


Shu¶ayb, such that when these clouds were above their heads it rained scorching
fire upon them?

What was it that caused the Pharaoh and his people to be drowned in the ocean,
and caused their souls to be transported to the Hellfire, so their bodies drowned
and their souls burned?

What was it that caused Qaaroon, his dwelling, wealth and family to sink down
into the earth?

What was it that caused the destruction of those generations after Noah, and
how they were afflicted with various punishments that caused their
annihilation?

What was it that caused the destruction of the companions of Yaa Seen, with the
clamorous shout, which destroyed them?

What caused there to be sent against the Children of Israa¶eel enemies of great
strength and might, plundering their homes, killing their men, enslaving their
women and children, burning their dwellings, seizing their wealth, and the n
returning again a second time, destroying what was rebuilt after the first
onslaught?

What was it that caused the various types of punishments to be set loose upon
the Children of Israa¶eel? Killing them, enslaving them, destroying their land
and at times causing them to be oppressed by kings, whilst at another time
causing them to be transformed into apes and swines - and finally the Lord took
an oath that: ‰ 
     




  
 
   


  


 
 [Soorah al-A¶raaf 7:167]
Imam Ahmad said: al-Waleed ibn Muslim related to us; that Safwaan ibn ¶Amr
related to us; that µAbdur-Rahmaan ibn Jubayr ibn Nufayr related; from his
father, who said:

³When Cyprus was conquered and its people were dispersed and they started
weeping to each other, I saw Abud-Dardaa sitting alone and weeping. So I said
to him: O Abud-Dardaa! What makes you weep on this day that Allaah has
granted strength and honor to Islaam and its people? So he said: Woe be to you
O Jubayr! How insignificant the creation becomes to Allaah when they turn
away from His command. In front of us is a nation who were evidently
powerful and who had dominion, yet they abandoned Allaah¶s command, so
look what has become of them.´

[2] µAlee ibn al-Ja¶d said: Shu¶bah ibn µAmr ibn Murrah informed us; I heard
Abul-Bukhtaree say:I was informed by someone, who heard the Prophet
(sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) saying:

‰  
 

   
 


[3] Imaam Ahmad reports in his Musnad, from the hadeeth of Umm Salamah,
who said: I heard Allaah¶s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa -sallam) saying:

‰  
        
   
   
 
    So I said: 0 Allaah¶s
Messenger! Even if there are righteous people amongst them that day? So he
replied: ‰! " So I said: How will that be? He replied: ‰ 
 


  


 
  


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by Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah rahimahullaah

from At-Tafseer Al-Qayyim of Shaikh Ibn Al-Qayyim [Al-Hijra magazine]

It is not possible to encompass one of Iblees' evils, let alone all of them. Since Iblees' evil is
of six types, Iblees remains behind the son of Adam until he gets him to do one or more of
these six evils.

THE FIRST EVIL IS THE EVIL OF KUFR AND SHIRK and enmity to Allâh and His
Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. If he gains this from the son of Adam, his moaning
is eased, and he rests from his ordeal with this man. Further, this is the first thing Iblees wants
from al-'Abd (the worshipper). If Iblees gains this, he makes this person part of his army, one
of his soldiers, and he appoints him as a deputy or agent against other human beings. Then,
this person becomes one of the deputies or callers of Iblees.
If he despairs of enticing him with the first evil, and if this person is one of those for whom it
was written that he would be a Muslim in his mother's womb, Iblees tries the SECOND
CLASS OF EVIL. THIS IS BID'AH (innovation). Iblees loves Bid'ah more than debauchery
and disobedience because the harm of Bid'ah is in the essence of the religion. Moreover, it is
an unrepentable sin and is against the call of the messengers and is a call to a message
different from the one conveyed by Ar-Rasool. Bid'ah is a gate to Kufr and Shirk. Therefore,
if Iblees gains the performance of Bid'ah from a person and makes him one of the people of
Bid'ah, he also becomes one of his agents and a caller of his.

If Iblees fails and is unable to trap Al-'Abd at this class, and if he is one of those who were
granted by Allâh the gift of As-Sunnah and hatred of the people of Bid'ah and error, he
proceeds to the THIRD CLASS OF EVIL, which is the class of MAJOR SINS in their
various forms.

Iblees is very covetous of letting a person fall into major sin, especially if he is a scholar who
is followed. Iblees is covetous of that, so that he may repel people from him and spread his
sins and disobedience amongst the people. He uses some people as his agents to spread this
person's sins under the false pretence that this will help them to get closer to Allâh. But in
fact this person is the deputy of Iblees without knowing it. For those who would like
abomination to be spread amongst the believers there is a great torment in this life and in the
Hereafter especially if they take charge of spreading about enormities, not out of advice, but
by obeying Iblees and being his agent. All this is to repel people from the Scholar and from
his benefit.

Furthermore, the sins of this person (scholar), even if they reach the sky, are less to Allâh
than the sins of those who would like to spread his sins about. The scholar's sins are
wrongdoing to himself. If he seeks forgiveness from Allâh and repents, Allâh will accept his
repentance, and He will change his bad deeds to good deeds. However, the sin of those who
spread about abominations are doing wrong to the believers by looking for their mistakes and
by intending to expose them. Allâh is in close observation, and He knows about this
ambuscade. Nothing hidden in the chest or soul is hidden to Allâh.

If Iblees is unable to snare Al-'Abd at this degree he moves him to the FOURTH CLASS, or
the MINOR SINS. These sins may ruin a person if they accumulate. That is why Ar-Rasool
sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, Be aware of the minor sins, because the simile of the minor
sin is like the people who went to a desert. Then he sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam mentioned a
Hadeeth the meaning of which is that every one of them brought a stick of wood until they
had kindled a huge fire (just as the minor sins add up little by little until they become a major
sin). The person continues taking the matter of minor sins easily until he considers them
inconsequential. Therefore, a person who commits major sins but fears their effect is in a
better condition than he is.

If the Al-'Abd has prevented Iblees from trapping him at this level, he moves him to the fifth
level. The FIFTH LEVEL IS TO OCCUPY HIM WITH PERMISSIBLE THINGS that do
not gain him reward or punishment. However, the punishment of this level is caused by
passing the reward missed by being occupied with these deeds. If Al-'Abd has kept Iblees
from succeeding at this level, and if he is careful about his time, being covetous with it,
knows the value of moments, and knows the value of what comes of comfort or torment,
Iblees transfers him to the sixth level. The SIXTH CLASS is to OCCUPY HIM WITH
DEEDS OF LESSER REWARD to keep virtue away from him and to prevent him from
attaining the reward of the favoured deed.

Therefore, he orders him to do a good action with less reward if that includes leaving a better
action. Very few people are aware of this. Because if a person feels a strong urge to some
kind of obedience, he does not doubt that it is true obedience and that he is getting closer to
Allâh. He never thinks that this call is from Iblees because he believes that Iblees never calls
one to do good. Therefore, he thinks that this call is from Allâh. Actually he is excused
because he never knew that Iblees would call one to seventy doors of good deeds either to get
him to one door of evil or to let a better deed than these seventy deeds pass away from him.

This cannot be known except by a light from Allâh, a light he instils i n the heart of Al-'Abd.
The source of this type of knowledge is following the way of Ar-Rasool sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam and taking care of the levels of deeds with Allâh, the deeds of His favoured ones,
the deeds more pleasing to Him, and those more beneficial to Al-'Abd, and deeds that have
more Naseehah (guidance) from Allâh, His Rasool, His Book, and His believing worshippers.
No one has this type of knowledge except the inheritors of Ar-Rasool sallallaahu 'alayhi wa
sallam, his deputies in the Ummah, and his successors on earth. In addition, most of the
creation is screened from this. This call does not come to their hearts. Allâh gives His favour
to whomever He wills from among His worshippers.

If Al-'Abd prevents Iblees from trapping him at any of these six levels, and if it becomes
difficult for Iblees, he empowers his party of jinn and human beings with different kinds of
harm, IMPUTING DISBELIEF TO HIM, CALLING HIM MISGUIDED AND AN
INNOVATOR, WARNING PEOPLE AGAINST HIM, and intending to weaken him and to
disturb his heart. Iblees, by using this method, tries to confuse this person's thinking and tries
to PREVENT PEOPLE FROM BENEFITING FROM HIM. Therefore Iblees expends his
utmost effort to empower the defenders of falsehood, from human beings and from jinn,
against him. Then the believer is at war until death. Whenever he gives up, he is hurt or is
taken captive. Hence the believer is in Jihad until he meets with Allâh.