Ayat-al-Kursi and the devil — eventually it all does add up

Question/clarification:

Asalaamualaykum,

Alright, so I read [the following Hadith translated in English]. The end really shocked me because I don’t think I know what it means and I’m hoping you can explain it. I’m confused because I’m not sure why Shatyan would tell the guard to read “Ayat-al-Kursi” every night to prevent Shaytan from getting to people at night and such. That part doesn’t make sense to me.

WalaykumAsalaam

Narrated Abu Huraira (Radi-Allahu ‘anhu):

Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam) deputed me to keep Sadaqat(al-Fitr) of Ramadan. A comer came and started taking handfuls of the foodstuff (of the Sadaqa) (stealthily). I took hold of him and said, “By Allah, I will take you to Allah’s Apostle.” He said, “I am needy and have many dependents, and I am in great need.” I released him, and in the morning Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam) asked me, “What did your prisoner do yesterday?” I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! The person complained of being needy and of having many dependents, so, I pitied him and let him go.” Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, “Indeed, he told you a lie and he will be coming again.” I believed that he would show up again as Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu’Alaihi Wa Sallam) had told me that he would return. So, I waited for him watchfully. When he (showed up and) started stealing handfuls of foodstuff, I caught hold of him again and said, “I will definitely take you to Allah’s Apostle. He said, “Leave me, for I am very needy and have many dependents. I promise I will not come back again.” I pitied him and let him go.
In the morning Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam) asked me,”What did your prisoner do?” I replied, “O Allah’s Apostle! He complained of his great need and of too many dependents, so I took pity on him and set him free.” Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, “Verily, he told you a lie and he will return.” I waited for him attentively for the third time, and when he (came and) started stealing handfuls of the foodstuff, I caught hold of him and said, “I will surely take you to Allah’s Apostle as it is the third time you promise not to return, yet you break your promise and come.” He said, “(Forgive me and) I will teach you some words with which Allah will benefit you.” I asked, “What are they?” He replied, “Whenever you go to bed, recite “Ayat-al-Kursi”– ‘Allahu la ilaha
illa huwa-l-Haiy-ul Qaiyum’ till you finish the whole verse. (If you doso), Allah will appoint a guard for you who will stay with you and no satan will come near you till morning.” So, I released him. In the morning, Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam) asked, “What
did your prisoner do yesterday?” I replied, “He claimed that he would teach me some words by which Allah will benefit me, so I let him go.” Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam) asked, “What are they?” I replied, “He said to me, ‘Whenever you go to bed, recite Ayat-al-Kursi from the beginning to the end —- Allahu la ilaha illa huwa-lHaiy-ul-Qaiyum—-.’He further said to me, ‘(If you do so), Allah will appoint a guard for you who will stay with you, and no satan will come near you till morning.’ (Abu Huraira or another sub-narrator) added that they (the companions) were very keen to do good deeds. The Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, “He
really spoke the truth, although he is an absolute liar. Do you know whom you were talking to, these three nights, O Abu Huraira?” Abu Huraira said,
“No.” He said, “It was Satan.””

Answer: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

May Allah bless you for your insightful question. May He also keep us all firm on reciting this blessed ayah for our safety and security with genuine conviction, as requested in the Ahadeeth,  Ameen.

  1. Multiple points are derived from this hadith: Shaytan comes to us in multiple forms. Shaytan can place himself in a human form to create discord between persons. He can also take control of people who give themselves to him. Thus, the Quran states regarding unscrupulous persons: they are the brothers (agents) of shaytan! They are people who lie, double- deal, etc.
  2. Shaytan is viewed as the greatest scholar. This sounds strange to the innocent mind, but remember that Shaytan has been around for longer than man, and has accumulated a lot of knowledge in the course of his lifetime. He uses his knowledge to trick Muslims who are Allah-fearing.
  3. This hadith confirms that shaytan can never trick a prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), thus Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) mentioned that shaytan will be back, showing us the truthful nature of the prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) as well as the special insight Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) had given him (saw).
  4. The Ashaab kareem (radiAllaahu anhum) accepted the prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)  without question, resulting in Allah making the claim of Him being pleased with them.
  5. The 3rd strike forced shaytan to share the great bounty of AyatulKursi, shaytan knowing full well, if Rasulullah (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) got hold of him, he would have to give more information than AyatulKursi for the benefit of the ummah. Know well, shaytan is no fool. He is more knowledgeable on religion than all our scholars placed together. This as the ‘rope’ Allah had given him. Our ‘rope’ is the Quran and sunnah to counter shaytan’s mischief.  Knowledge does not mean admittance to paradise. Admittance to paradise is as a result of bringing imaan in Allah and His Messengers as He defines and requires it. Thus shaytan plea bargained with ayatulkursi instead of giving greater insight. (Criminals do this all the time with the help of shaytan as well)
  6. The Sahaba (radiAllaahu anhum) were strong with imaan. They were given special insight to unique occurrences. This in turn serves to show to humanity that if we become devoted, we too can gain special insight from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

Allah Certainly Knows Best.

p.s. The response of this question will best be understood if the ayahtulkursi is studied and recited, and the psychology of shaytan is also evaluated from the Quranic perspective.

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4 responses to “Ayat-al-Kursi and the devil — eventually it all does add up

  1. Asalaamualaykum,

    Thanks for the answer. I guess that this means ( hopefully I have this right) that you could literally have all the knowledge related to Fiqh and Deen in the world, but if you don’t actually act scrupulously, then you’re just no better than an evil person, correct?

    • You are absolutely correct.
      To add on: Abu Jahl had more knowledge regarding Islam than many scholars of today. Not only that, he saw Rasulullah (SAW) and heard His (saw) blessed words. Would this alone make him a great man? Likewise, many professors teach Muslims Islam, however, they refuse to accept Islam.
      You are correct, actions speak louder then words.

  2. Assalamu Alaykum,

    If an individual is a “scrupulous” and holds firm to their principles, then the more knowledge they seek to obtain, it will not hurt them, right? There’s a difference between the Shaitan’s knowledge which has evil intentions, and knowledge in general. Just like a knife can be used to kill or to chop carrots, knowledge can be a good thing or bad thing.

    • Waliakumussalam
      Regarding sentence one: you are correct
      Regarding sentence two: The agents of shaytan can be human as well, they too can have evil intentions. May Allah (SWT) save us, Ameen.
      Regarding sentence three: Better to eat carrots then kill. Carrots help the eyes (etc.) with the Will of Allah, inshaAllah, Ameen. Your subtle point is well taken.
      Knowledge that can help you in the hereafter is always supreme. Using all types of knowledge wrongfully is bad.
      We thank you for your cordial observations.
      #745
      (as dictated by the Imaam)