So, Allah jalla wa ‘ala says in al-Nas, 1-3:
“Say, ‘I seek refuge with the Lord of men, the King of men, the God of men.'”
It’s only when you study the last two Surahs of the Qur’an do you realise that from all the enemies we have out there in the world, there is little that compares to the enemy within.
Reflect on how in the previous Surah – al-Falaq – how we seek refuge with Allah *once* from three types of evil/enemy:
“Say, ‘I seek refuge with the Lord of daybreak.
From the evil of what He has created,
From the darkness when it gathers,
From the evil of witches who blow on knots.”
But in Surah al-Nas, we are told to seek refuge in Allah *three* times by using three of His different magnificent and mighty Names and Attributes, but now from *one* enemy: OURSELVES.
“Say, ‘I seek refuge with the Lord of men,
The King of men,
The God of men,
From the evil of the withdrawing whisperer.”
Reflect on how the focus isn’t even so much on the whisperer himself, and whether it is just Shaytan himself or indeed other humans (hence, “Who whispers in the breasts of men, from Jinn and Men”), and indeed the focus isn’t even so much on the waswas/ideas/desires themselves either, but rather the *evil* of those whisperings.
And that evil, or that lack of control, or lack of knowledge, or weakness that allows even the simplest thought to become a bad one that leads to the consequence of being played out through a statement or an action, is something entirely from *you*. You won’t be able to blame Shaytan for that later. That is the human condition. That is the human reality. And that is our true enemy: our enemy within.
Ramadhan is a great example: with all the devils still merrily chained up, we all failed so many times to control our anger, or suppress our feelings, or do the right thing, all because we succumbed to our desires or waswas in our hearts and minds. The end of the month and what we said to each other in trying to establish Eid whilst still fasting is proof enough.
How we express our thoughts, words and actions every single day is a *direct* result of how successful our refuge in Allah has been from our desires or evil being elicited within ourselves. Allah jalla wa ‘ala made this abundantly clear in the Surah He chose to complete His Book with, and what every person who practises Islam will end up memorising.
That’s because Allah knows what we should repeat to ourselves every single day: our enemies are many, but none deserve more focus than the enemy within.
-Sh. Abu Eesa