In our previous meditation, we discussed the 111th ayat of Surah-at-Taubah when Allah (SWT) said that he would personally buy the souls of ‘minal-mumineen’ and, in return for their souls, would give us jannah.
In this meditation, we will build upon this knowledge and contemplate on a very simple question, if Allah (SWT) is willing to give us the greatest reward for just our soul, why do so few people follow this path towards ‘minal-mumineen’ and sell their soul for much less?
Before we can answer such a question, it is important to understand the very nature of this world. Imam Jaffar-us Sadiq (AS) described the six worlds that we all pass through and this world is the fourth of these six worlds. This world is called Alam-ul-Shahada and it is the only world in which the Shaitan (LA) can influence us. Indeed, this world is the realm of the Shaitan (LA) and it is only in this world that Iblees (LA) can tempt us.
When we look throughout history, we see just how the Shaitan (LA) has tempted people away from the true path. Adam (AS) fell because of the Shaitan (LA) and, as the children of Adam (AS), we are tempted away from the true path because of Iblees (LA).
During the time of Adam (AS), this temptation started. There were many great people who were alive in the time of Adam (AS) and when they died, the Shaitan (LA) tempted them to build likenesses of them in wood, so that they could remember them. These idols were kept outside in the Summer and in the Winter were bought inside.
Over time, the Shaitan (LA) began to influence the future generations and the original reasons why these likenesses were created, was lost. As a result of this, these generations began to worship them as idols and built even larger idols of stone, moving away from the true path of Allah (SWT).
We can see from this example that one way that the Shaitan (LA) tempts us away is through our ignorance, where he can then cause us to believe a false truth.
Following the death of Adam (AS), people would do tawafs around his grave. When Nuh (AS) was sent by Allah (SWT), he stopped the people from doing so. This angered many people and the Shaitan (LA) tempted them to create idols instead and, as a result, many moved away from the true path. Many of these idols were then submerged and lost during the great flood of Nuh (AS), but they resurfaced in the period of ignorance before Ibrahim (AS).
We can see from this example that they Shaitan (LA) can also tempt us away when we are angry and, as such, we should control our anger so that Iblees (LA) cannot tempt us away then.
When Ibrahim (AS) came, he rebuilt the Kaaba. The son of Ibrahim (AS), Ismail (AS) and his people lived by the Kaaba but when they moved away, they took stones to remember the Kaaba by. The Shaitan (LA) again came and influenced them and caused them to start to worship these stones.
We can see here that the Shaitan (LA) can also influence us greatly when we are feeling a lack in our life or feel that something is missing, as Iblees (LA) can cause us to replace that with something which may do us more harm.
From these examples, we see that the Shaitan (LA) has just tempted away the general population. However, when we look at the Quran, we see that Iblees (LA) has also tempted away many great souls, which shows just how threatening he can be to our own soul.
In the Quran Majid, Allah (SWT) mentions that many great souls have been tempted away from the path of Allah (SWT). When we study the tafsir of these ayats, we see that one of these men was alive during the time of Musa (AS).
This man was a very pious and religious man and, as a result, Allah (SWT) had given him healing powers. Throughout his life, many people would come to him and through his dua, they would be cured.
On one occasion, a family who had a person who had a mental issue came to this man and asked if he could cure them. The man said that he would and requested that he left her to stay with him whilst he prayed for her.
After the first day, the family returned and asked the man if she was cured and the man replied that she had not been cured yet. On the second night, the same result happened. On the third night, there was also no cure, but the Shaitan (LA) convinced the family to make the man open the door and to show that she was there.
When the man opened the door, they saw that there was a hole in which the man had buried her, as she had died.
The family demanded justice for this and the man was tried. It was ordered that this man would be put to death. When he was about to be executed, with his hands and his legs tied, the Shaitan (LA) came to him and said that if performed sajda to him, then Iblees (LA) would see that he would not be executed.
The man said that he was tied and could not perform sajda to him and, instead, could he bow his head to Iblees (LA) as if he was performing sajda. Iblees (LA) agreed and the man bowed his head.
From this example, we see that even pious souls who had been blessed by Allah (SWT) and had spent their whole life doing good deeds can also be tempted away by Shaitan (LA). We see how the Shaitan (LA) comes to tempt us when we are most in need and, in return for temporary relief, we often sell our hereafter.
When we look towards the events of Karbala, we see just how easy it is to sell our souls to the wrong buyer. We see that only a handful were with Imam Hussein (AS) compared to the 40,000 who were against our Imam (AS) and the message of truth that he represented.
When we examine the motives of what they had sold their souls for, we see that it was so little compared to what the shohoda of Karbala were rewarded with by Allah (SWT).
During these days where we remember Imam Hussein (AS), we must contemplate within ourselves as to who the true master of our soul is. The Shaitan (LA) tempts us in many ways, through wealth, through the ego, through the lower desires of this world and in ways that are very subtle that we may not realise.
It is during these days that we have the opportunity to ensure that the true master of our soul is Allah (SWT), our creator, as he is the only one who can grant us the highest level of jannah.
May Allah (SWT) protect us from the Shaitan (LA), especially in the situations where we are most vulnerable, when we are ignorant, when we are angry, when we are feeling a loss and where we need that loss to be filled. May we never underestimate the power of the Shaitan (LA), who has tempted souls that are much greater than ours. May the events of Karbala serve us as our inspiration in this battle for our soul, the greatest that we will ever fight.
May the shahadat of Imam Hussein (AS) always protect us in this world, Alam-ul Shahada. Aamin.