Does the human being have an independent or dual nature? How can we understand the relation between humans and the accursed Satan?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

The relationship between humans and the accursed Satan is one of an ongoing struggle and challenge that started long ago, when Satan was commanded to prostrate to our father, Aadam . However, Satan refused and was arrogant, as related in the Quran.

Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And [mention] when We said to the angels, "Prostrate to Aadam," and they prostrated, except Iblees (Satan); he refused.} [Quran 20: 116]

Subsequently, he promised and swore by the might of Allaah that he would do his utmost to mislead the sons of Aadam .

Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {[Iblees] said, "By Your might, I will surely mislead them all. Except, among them, Your chosen servants."} [Quran 38: 82-83]

According to the Quran, his attempts to mislead the sons of Aadam will continue until the Day of Judgment. However, he has no influence over those who believe and are pious.

Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Indeed, there is for him no authority over those who have believed and rely upon their Lord. His authority is only over those who take him as an ally and those who through him associate others with Allaah.} [Quran 16: 99-100] 

Allaah The Almighty informs us that despite the means of enticement that Satan possesses, his plot is very weak. In this regard He Says (what means): {So fight against the allies of Satan. Indeed, the plot of Satan has ever been weak.} [Quran 4: 76] 

However, when the Muslim truly adheres to the commands of Allaah The Almighty, Satan stays away from him. It was reported that the Prophet , told ‘Umar that whenever Satan encountered him on a road, he would immediately take another. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim] This was due to ‘Umar’s steadfastness on the path of the truth and his sincerity in following the way of his Lord. 

Every individual Muslim is obligated to beware of Satan, for Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): 

· {Indeed, Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be among the companions of the Blaze.} [Quran 35: 6]

· {O you who believe, do not follow the footsteps of Satan. And whoever follows the footsteps of Satan - indeed, he enjoins immorality and wrongdoing.} [Quran 24: 21] 

Adherence to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah, and obedience to Allaah The Exalted and His Messenger , are the only means that protect man from the misguiding deviated ways of the devil. Therefore, dear brother, you have to seek useful knowledge, recite the Quran, keep in the company of scholars and righteous people, intensify your remembrance of Allaah The Almighty, regularly recite the Athkaar (mentionings and remembrances of Allaah) of the morning, evening and before sleeping and other similar righteous deeds. If you manage to do so, Satan would have no authority over you.

It is worth mentioning that it was Satan himself who directed Abu Hurayrah to recite the verse of Al-Kursi (The Chair) [Quran 2: 255] before going to sleep. It was reported that he told Abu Hurayrah to recite this verse before going to sleep because it would be the means of protection of Allaah The Almighty for him and would safeguard him from any devil throughout the whole night. When Abu Hurayrah related the words of Satan to the Prophet , his answer was: "He told you the truth though he is the worst of liars." [Al-Bukhaari]

You asked if the human has an independent or dual nature, and the answer is that he has an independent and free nature. Allaah The Almighty has provided him with senses in order to realize, reason and distinguish between what is good and what is bad, and He warned him against evil. In this regard Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Indeed, We guided him to the way, be he grateful or be he ungrateful.} [Quran 76: 3] 

However, if you mean by duality that man is compelled and has no will or freedom of choice, then this concept can never apply to man's relationship with Satan. The latter is weak and, as we stated before, his plot is very weak. Had there been duality with Satan in man's nature, there would have been no righteous and pious people as well as no Sharee‘ah obligations and in fact no Sharee'ah at all. However, as it was stated by the Prophet , Satan is a lurking enemy and he is ever present with man just as blood is ever circulating in his veins. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim] However, when he hears the mention of Allaah The Almighty, he immediately retreats and goes away. In another Hadeeth, the Prophet , said that when Satan hears the Athaan (the call to prayer), he retreats to a distant place. [Muslim]

On the authority of Anas the Prophet , said that Satan puts his nose on the heart of the son of Aadam, and when the latter mentions Allaah The Almighty, Satan immediately retreats and moves away; but if he forgets (to mention Allaah The Almighty), Satan tightens his grip on his heart. [Abu Ya‘laa and Al-Bayhaqi]

Consequently, it is the obligation of a Muslim to safeguard himself by constantly remembering Allaah The Almighty. If he does so, Allaah The Almighty will protect him from Satan and his whispers.

Allaah Knows best.

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