A Lesson from Shayṭān (by Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah (رحمة الله)

A Lesson from Shayṭān – Advices of Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah (رحمة الله‎)

Shayṭān has left us an exemplary lesson! He has not
done anything for himself. Whatever transgression he
committed is a different issue. However, he has left us a
very huge lesson, in that he has proclaimed:

‘Oh you group of scholars! Oh you group of worshippers! Just
look at me! Was I in any way deficient in knowledge?
Why do scholars become overawed with my knowledge?

Why are they terrified? Did I lack in knowledge in any
way? I had abundant knowledge!

Did I lack in any way as far as ʿibādat is concerned?

My ʿibādat was unlimited! You cannot possibly make as much ʿibādat!
Thousands of years I prostrated with my head in sajdah!’

Yes, he had even performed ʿibādat for thousands of
years. So, what was lacking?

The answer is: There was no tarbiyat (character reformation)!

And the factor that was an obstacle to tarbiyat was takabbur (arrogance)!
That is why I am saying that he has left us a lesson and
has shown us that it is impossible that merely through
teaching and learning, arrogance will go away and that
through more and more ʿibādat, arrogance will go away.
This just cannot happen. ‘Just look at me!’ is what
shayṭān is telling us.

As more and more ẓāhirī (outer) means arise for carrying
out good actions, so too does takabbur increase; as there
is progress in ʿilm, so too does takabbur increase; as
ʿibādat increases, so too does takabbur increase; as the
means of worldly progress increase, so too does
takabbur increase. As long as the special and specific
measures are not adopted to remove the intoxicating
effects of the sins of the inner self, this intoxication will
not disappear. This nisbat (connection) is weak. This
nisbat is a feeble connection.

It is not jā’iz (permissible) to be proud or boastful of any
excellence that one may possess. That excellence is not
self-generated: it is a gift from Allāh طائلة. If such a gift
can be snatched away without a person transgressing,
what chances are there that the gift remains if one
deliberately does wrong? The fear of a decline in that
excellence should be ever present.

(Majālis Masīḥul ʿUmmah: For Friends – Vol. 1, page 194)