Satan's Guile and Deceit
Arabic couplet: -
The eternal enemy of man is Satan. Satan first of all tries to keep man deprived of, or deprives man of, faith (iman). Then if Allah Most High bestows the wealth of faith on any one and also Himself makes arrangement for its protection, Satan tries to prevent such a man from performing acts of faith. Sometimes he tells the man. "Allah is oft forgiving and most Merciful. Whether you do anything or not you'll be forgiven. Then why do you take the trouble unnecessarily?" Sometimes he brings the mountain of man's sins before him and asks: "After having done so much, even now you cherish hope of forgiveness?" In this way he disappoints man and stops him from doing good deeds. But if anyone of Allah's slaves extricates himself from Satan's fraud and deceit and is bent over backwards to do good deeds, then Satan tries to deflect him from Allah' s and the Prophet's methods and seduces him to follow his own methods.
There is in this world no one more unfortunate than the one whom Satan entangles in his stratagem, guile and deception. Assiduously the poor fellow has been tiring himself with satanic acts in the hope of receiving Allah's mercy and recompense. But in the end receives instead of the Holy Prophet's companies in Heaven, he will have to be the damned Satan's companion in the fire of Hell. And in the world Satan will make fun of him before his own retinue that he (Satan) so ensnared the fellow that he neither received the religion nor the material world; and in the end, too, pointing out this action of his to his followers, he will try to acquit himself. As such, Allah Most High states this in the Quran: -
“And Satan will say when the matter is decided: It was God who gave you a promise of truth: I too promised but failed in my promise to you. I had no authority over you except to call you but you listened to me: then reproach me not, but reproach yourselves. I cannot listen to your cries, nor can you listen to mine. I reject your former act in associating one with God. For wrongdoers there must be a painful torment.” (XIV: 22).
Hence Allah Most High in the Quran and the Holy Prophet in the Hadith have warned at several places that Satan is your own enemy. If you take after him, you will go astray. And Satan misleads people in several ways. Allamah Ibn al-Jauzi has written a book entitled Talbis-e-Iblis on the various stratagems and methods Satan employs for misleading Sufis, merchants and professionals of every kind. He does not drive all, with one and the same stick, but he uses different tricks and frauds for different people. The Talbis-e Iblis is a matchless book on this topic.