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ePeshawar Blog

By Muhammad Afraz Abdur Rahman

Abdullah reported that on one occasion Allah’s Messenger drew a line in the dust with his hand and said, “This is the straight path of Allah.” Then he drew a series of lines to the right and to the left of it and said, “Each of these paths has a devil at its head inviting people to it.” (Ibn Majah, Authenticated by al-Albanee in Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah). The Prophet (PBUH) after saying that, recited, “Verily this is my straight path so follow it and do not follow the (twisted) paths.” (Chapter 6: 163)
Also, The Almighty Allah tells us about His dialogue with the Satan in His Book in which the Satan says:


“………i will sit in wait against Your people on Your Straight Path. Then I will come from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left and You will not find most of them as dutiful to You.” Allah the Sustainer said, “Whoever of them (mankind) will follow you, then surely I will fill Hell with you all………….” (Chapter 7: 11-25)

If we analyse the words of The Almighty Allah and His beloved Messenger (PBUH), we see that they are preventing us to follow the twisted paths (right and left) as both courses belong to the devil. The word “left” is understandable by everyone as this is considered as the bad line and all the righteous deeds are preferred to be done from the right side or right hand. Also, in the Hadith mentioned above where the beloved Prophet (PBUH) drew lines to the right and left of the straight line, a person reading it can immediately get the meaning by the drawn lines at the “left” that these belong to major sins which clearly show deviation from the path of Allah and Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH). But why the Prophet (PBUH) called the lines drawn at the “right” also, the path of devil? And why Allah the Almighty says to the Satan that I will fill hell with all of those who follow you even when he (Satan) says that I will come from their right?
The reason is that the path to the “right” leads to Extremism. Extremism in religious affairs, which means exceeding the optimal level. This “right” path of the devil makes the religion doubtful for us, showing that it is very difficult, which in actual, isn’t. In the explanation of the words “….I will come from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left....,” “from before” means telling the mankind that Heaven and Hell and the Day of Judgement are nothing, “from behind” means telling the people that this world and its contents are so beautiful, “from right” means showing that Deen is very difficult, and “from left” means showing that sins are so pleasurable. (See Tafsir Ibn Katheer, Sura Anam: 11-25)

Satan’s nature is very dubious and indecipherable. We should be aware that just compelling us to go for the major sins is not the only path of Satan, rather making us as extremists in the path of Allah The Almighty and His Prophet (PBUH) is also one of his tricks. We come across such activities numerous times in our daily lives.

For instance, in performing Wudu (ablution), some people use excess of water with the intention that the more if we use water, the more better would be the ablution and the more we can make our organs wet. This though looks full of faith, showing that it’s your love with the Prophet (PBUH) in doing that, but it’s nothing more than a Satanic waswasah (whispering of Satan).


It has been reported that once the Prophet (PBUH) passed by Sa’d (RA), as he was performing ablution, and said: “Do not be wasteful.” Sa’d (RA) said: “Is there even wastefulness with water?” He (PBUH) replied: “Yes, even if you were performing ablution from a flowing river.” (Musnad Ahmad)



Anas bin Malik (RA) said: “The Prophet (PBUH) used to perform ablution with a Mudd of water, and ghusl with one Saa’, equivalent to three Mudds of water.” (Sahih Bukhari/Sahih Muslim). (One Mudd is equivalent to 750ml and one Saa’ is equivalent to 3 litres)

This is only one aspect, what can be said about countless others. One other activity which is very common in us is the intention (niyyah) before performing the salaat (prayer). Now intention (niyyah) is something which is present in your heart whether you utter it through mouth or not. No doubt uttering the intention through tongue is a good act but it should not be seen as a pre-requisite before performing prayer and is not compulsory, for if you are getting ready for a prayer, Allah is watching you. I have seen some people in the mosque that even after the Imam has called the takbeer for the prayer, they seem busy in uttering the intention through tongue because from their vantage point, the prayer would be considered incomplete. Some people even utter the intention before performing wudu (ablution). This is absolutely wrong and such people are under the waswasah of Satan which keeps on telling them that this is the practice of the Prophet (PBUH) and this is must before performing prayer. There is no such authentic hadith showing that the Prophet (PBUH) did this always.

Our religion is based on moderation and does not want us to be extremists even in worship. Similarly, those who think that the reward of a deed is equivalent to the hardship involved is not correct, rather it is the intention which matters the most and the good which the deed brings but devil will whisper continuously in your ears that go for hardship for it shows your love for the Prophet (PBUH) and you will become closer to him. In actual, our Prophet (PBUH) has taught us the opposite.

Anas bin Malik (RA) reported that some companions of the Prophet (PBUH) inquired from his wives about his devotions at home. Then one of them said, “As for me, I will fast (every day) and will not eat.” Another said, “I will pray all night and will not sleep.” The third said, “I will not marry any woman.” The fourth said, “I will not eat meat.” When the Prophet (PBUH) came to know this, he said, “What is the matter with these people who are saying such things? I pray and I sleep; I fast and I eat; and I marry and eat meat. Now, if anyone deviates from my way (Sunnah), he is not of me.” (Sahih Bukhari/Sahih Muslim).

Allah the Almighty also revealed an ayat soon after this incident:

“You who believe! Make not unlawful the good things which God had made lawful for you, and commit no excess; for God loves not those who are given to excess” (Chapter 5: 87).

Now if we look at this hadith, none of the companions is doing a wrong act, rather they are showing their enthusiasm and love for the Deen, yet the Prophet (PBUH) didn’t like their behaviour because Islam doesn’t preach us to hurt your own self for the Deen.

Similarly, restricting yourself from performing activities which the Prophet (PBUH) himself did or vice versa also shows deviation from the Sunnah. Some of the people would be amazed to know that we can offer salaat (prayer) even wearing shoes. Again there’s no doubt that offering prayer barefooted is very sacred but I’m just showing that we should be aware that our Prophet (PBUH) did offer his salaat wearing shoes and we can also do so if needed.

Anas bin Malik (RA) reported that the Prophet (PBUH) performed Salaah with his shoes on. (Sahih Bukhari/Sahih Muslim).


So if someone offers his/her prayer wearing shoes, we should not be taken aback by his/her such act because it’s not that person who is ignorant, rather it is we who are, and are under the whispering of Satan preventing us from doing it.

My dear brothers and sisters, by going through these instances you can realize that our religion is how much easy but regrettably it is WE who have made it difficult ourselves. Satan needs a way to deviate you from the true path of Allah The Almighty and His Prophet (PBUH) in one way or the other. If he (Satan) is unable in persuading you to commit major sins (the left side), so DO NOT think that you are safe of him, he will attack you from the right side, making you an extremist in your own religious affairs and yet you’ll be unaware of his grip over you, like a few from the ocean I just mentioned. The only way to get rid of this bipolar attitude and devilish insinuations of him is to get acquainted with the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of our innocent Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It’s just our lack of knowledge which makes Satan to dominate us. Being an extremist in religious affairs or performing activities which neither our Prophet (PBUH) nor his companions (RA) ever did means you want to say that our Prophet (PBUH) was short of performing such activities or that you know more than the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions (RA). Either way, it’s a very grave sin to even think like that.

Just follow that straight path of Allah The Exalted and His Prophet (PBUH) without going on any of the twisted paths and leave the rest on Him, for He is aware of you more than your own self.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, the nights."

May Allah give us the knowledge and faith to follow His true path and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH). Aameen….


# Riaz Uddin Ahmad 2013-02-16 01:16
Dear Afraz, you have surely putted light on shaping the behaviors of worship and i pray people get a righteous message out of it. Be clean by heart and you will get the answer.
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