Reflection No. 3:12 on Q 7:201 – Whisperings of the Shaytan
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا إِذَا مَسَّهُمْ طَائِفٌ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ تَذَكَّرُوا فَإِذَا هُمْ مُبْصِرُونَ
Innaladheenat-taqaw idhaa massahum Taa’ifum minash-shayTaani tadhakkaroo fa-idhaa hum mubsiroon.
Surely those who are God conscious, when a visitation from the Shaytan afflicts them they remember [Allah] and, behold, they perceive. Suratul A’raaf (No. 7), Ayat 201
This verse shows how believers can defeat the whisperings of the Shaytan who keeps trying to lead them astray. When they realize that Shaytan is attacking them with his whispers (and insinuations), they remember Allah and His many blessings, and they think of the consequences of sinning. These thoughts dispel the dark clouds that the whispers have formed around their minds, and they are able to see and choose the right way clearly.
The word Taa’if in the above verse actually comes from the word tawaaf, showing that Shaytan and his forces are constantly circling the believer, trying to find a way in to influence him. Taqwa or God consciousness is the armor which prevents them from entering, and repels the spiritual harm intended. Satanic whisperings have been likened to germs that invade a body. If the immune system is strong, the germs are rendered harmless. But a weak immune system succumbs to the germs and falls sick. Taqwa is the protection that renders whisperings of Shaytan harmless.
Shaytan is a clear enemy of the believer, and has vowed to lead him astray. But for all his efforts, a believer who is God conscious is stronger than him and can easily defeat him. Imam Musa al-Kazim (a) says in his advice to Hisham: so let your opposition to him [shaytan] be strong, and let him not be more persistent in his efforts to destroy you than you are in your efforts to fight him. Because for all his strength, he is weaker than you, and for all his evil, he is less harmful, if you hold on to Allah for then you are guided to the straight path . . .
Put on the armor of God consciousness in your battle with the whisperings of Shaytan. You will surely be victorious.
Tafsir Namune, Aytaullah Nasir Makarim Shirazi (ed).
Mizanul Hikmah, Muhammadi Rayshahri