The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist – Baudelaire, Charles.
Okay don’t take the title of this post literally, I just used that to get your attention. It’s just word play with the quote “ignorance is bliss”. Anyway, Ramadan is over and if there’s one thing you definitely get out of it from a personal development perspective, it’s the ability to identify your own weaknesses/demons. That becomes more obvious because the devils are chained up, which allows us to become more aware of where we’re slacking.
What I realized in Ramadan was many of us, myself included, were joking and hyped up about how Shaytan is getting locked up. Who has the last laugh? on the DOJ, we can’t blame no one but ourselves for our shortcomings. The ayah from the Qur’an below says it all.
“And Satan will say when the matter has been concluded, “Indeed, Allah had promised you the promise of truth. And I promised you, but I betrayed you. But I had no authority over you except that I invited you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me; but blame yourselves. I cannot be called to your aid, nor can you be called to my aid. Indeed, I deny your association of me [with Allah ] before. Indeed, for the wrongdoers is a painful punishment.” – Qu’ran 14:22
This ayah really hits the heart, when it comes down to it, we can’t play the blame game. So long as Allah (swt) has given us the consciousness and freewill to make our own decisions when it comes to choosing between halal and haraam, then we need to take full responsibility. I continue to struggle with my own weaknesses, and undeniably Shaytan definitely try’s to exploit them.
That’s the personal battle and while each of us may not necessarily have the same battles, our source of help is ultimately the same. Alhumdulilah.
Most importantly, we can’t let our shortcomings get in the way of going back to Allah (swt). I hear stories all the time of brothers and sisters who feel depressed that they’ve committed a certain sin and often times Shaytan whispers into their hearts/minds that they’ve screwed up so bad, Allah (swt) won’t forgive them. That right there is a problem and it’s critical we provide the support so they don’t lose hope in Allah (swt)’s mercy.
To bounce back to the title, being ignorant is not iblis. Well unintentional ignorance at least. Iblis knew and disobeyed Allah (swt) out of his arrogance. Knowledge doesn’t mean nothing unless Allah swt out of his mercy guides us. That doesn’t mean we avoid seeking knowledge, that’s the first step in doing good.
As for the quote of Charles Baudelaire, iblis and his crew will continue to manipulate us by taking advantage of our weaknesses as means to getting us to slip up. Without being vigilant, having Taqwa and being in the company of the righteous, it’s tough. So let’s do what we gotta do insha’Allah.
One key lesson to take away today: “Indeed, there is for him (iblis) no authority over those who have believed and rely upon their Lord.” – Qur’an 16:99
We pray that Allah (swt) keeps us on the straight path, protects us from the whispers of Iblis, and gives us the strength to turn back to him no matter what situation we’re in. Ameen!