Please can you clear me of some ideas that have been causing me confusion? What role does satan play in tempting mankind through worldly desires. For example if a man finds a woman attractive, surely, it is Allah, Who has made this attraction. My confusion arises from reading information saying that the devil makes a man find a woman attractive, but surely this view is an act of perversion.
Can you clear this issue for me?
I can fully appreciate the confusion that the stated idea must have caused you. The whole idea is based on a refutation of the natural attraction that exists between a man and woman, which in turn is one of the irrefutable bases of the institution of marriage and the growth of societies. The Qur’an clearly states that God created the two – man and woman – of the same species so that each can be comforted by the other and for this purpose, God placed in their hearts love and care for the other (Al-Room 30: 21). It is the same love and attraction, between a man and a woman – which on the positive side has laid the foundations of marriage, family and society – that can sometimes induce man to cross the limits set by God and to disregard the likes of His Lord1.
The role of Satan, as an eternal enemy of man2 is to entice him into disobedience toward his Lord. In this regard, Satan takes advantage of all of man’s natural abilities, instincts and inclinations and, thereby, tries to seduce man into disobeying and showing disregard toward the commandments of God.
Thus, the role of Satan is not to attract a man toward a woman, as this is a part of man’s natural instincts and inclinations that God, with His absolute wisdom and mercy, has placed within man. On the contrary, Satan’s role is to seduce man into converting this attraction into an action, which is against the likes of the Lord.
One may ask, how does Satan seduce man into doing anything. The answer to this question is not precisely known, yet it is clear from the Qur’an that this seduction is limited to tempting man and prompting evil thoughts in his mind.
September 26, 2000
- It may be mentioned here that during the test of this life, every ability of man and everything of value can be a virtue, if man uses it to his advantage, or a vice, if man loses sight of what is good and what is bad. Intellect, ambition, love, wealth, education, strength each of these things can be a virtue or a vice, depending upon how man decides to use it. The love and attraction between a man and woman is no exception. [↩]
- The enmity and hatred that Satan has for man is because, according to the Qur’an, Satan accuses man for his being rejected and cursed by God and for being driven out of the great blessings, which he was bestowed by God. [↩]