The Obstacles

    Everybody's Journey

    The Obstacles

    God has said:

    Surely, Satan is your enemy, so take him on as an enemy. Indeed, he invites his party to become the companions of the inferno. [11]

    We know that the Road to the eternal garden of bliss has traps and obstacles have been laid by our arch enemy, the unseen entity who we know by the name of Shaytan. To vanquish any enemy, we need to know his strategy so that we can effectively counteract his evil designs. God has given us the necessary means and intelligence to defeat him, but first we must be fully aware.The enemy’s strategy is geared towards accomplishing one objective: Diverting us from the straight path of God. From the beginning of the conflict, Shaytan has been implementing the same tactics to achieve his evil objective – to mislead mankind. Looking back at the story of Adam and his wife is a reminder of the major weakness which affects all humanity – gullibility; our susceptibility to lies. Shaytan did not ask Adam and Eve to disobey God directly; instead he fabricated a nice-sounding lie to mislead them. Another device Shaytan used to influence Adam and Eve was to bring out their natural inclination to want more than they already had – in other words, Greed. We all have weaknesses and that’s the way human beings are made. But we are in serious danger if we have no counterbalance to those weaknesses; no virtues.

    Here is a list of the deadly weaknesses, or obstacles, used by the arch deceiver to remove us from the path of Grace and ultimate happiness:

    Pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities, which interferes with a person’s appreciation of God’s grace. It has been called the sin from which all others arise and it is why Iblis refused to bow before Adam and became Shaytan.

    Envy is the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation; again it was why Iblis became so infuriated with the creation of Adam.

    Anger is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury, a tool used by Shaytan to get one human being to try and eliminate or murder another.

    Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, which leads a person to believe that the blessings of God are limited, so he endeavors to grab as much as he can for himself and forget about others.

    Laziness is the avoidance of physical or spiritual endeavor or work, making progress towards self improvement, impossible.

    Humility (opposite: pride and arrogance)

    Generosity (opposite: envy and miserliness)

    Patience (opposite: anger and haste)

    Charity (opposite: greed and selfishness)

    Diligence (opposite: laziness and carelessness)

    These are all antidotes to the weaknesses within us. In order to develop these virtues, we must increase positive personalities, which flow naturally from a heart-consciousness.

    Faith, Hope, Gratitude and Love
    Without Faith, a person may not see the need to please anybody but himself and thus he would easily lose his way and fall into the weak, broken cracks on life’s road.

    Without Hope, a person may not be able to face the trials of life and look beyond his immediate problems to the future, where all things come right through God’s Justice and endless Mercy.

    Without Gratitude, a person cannot worship and thank God, or appreciate the basic purpose of his existence.

    Without Love, he may consider tasks to be too burdensome, like carrying a heavy rock. Down the road and he may give up because he is not driven by the strongest motivator available in this universe.

    Thus, We have given each prophet enemies, human and jinn’s devils, who inspire to each other fancy sayings to deceive. Had your Lord willed, they would not have done it, so disregard them and what they fabricate. [12]

    11 The Qur’an, Fatir (The Creator) 35:6
    12 The Qur’an, Al-An’am (Livestock) 6:112