Why can Satan not approach from above and below?

The Details of the Question

- It is stated in a verse that Satan will approach from the right, left, back and front. However, above and below are not mentioned in the verse; why?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

When Satan did not prostrate before Adam, he was driven away from divine mercy. When he was sentenced to such a punishment because of man, he asked Allah for permission to deal with man and lead him astray. When he was given the permission, Satan said,

“Because thou hast thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on thy straight way: Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: Nor wilt thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for thy mercies).” (al-Araf, 7/16-17)

The first thing that can be understood from the above statement of Satan is that he tries all kinds of ways to turn people from the path that leads to Allah. Satan is ambitious and determined in this regard. And the Satan is the biggest obstacle on the way leading to Allah.

“Satan sits in the path of Islam for the son of Adam and says to him, ‘Will you leave the religion of your forefathers?’ He disobeys Satan and accepts Islam. Then, he sits waiting for him on the path to migration and says to him, ‘If you leave your homeland, you will be alone.’ The believer disobeys him and migrates. Then he sits, waiting for him, on the path to jihad and says to him, ‘If you go to war, you will be killed and your wealth will be shared by others; your wife will marry someone else.’ However, he overcomes this last obstacle and proceeds.” (Nasai, Jihad, 19)

Fakhruddin Razi stats the following in his tafsir:

The angels took pity on man in the face of Satan’s determination. They said, “How can this man get rid of Satan when Satan has surrounded him in four directions?”

Allah Almighty said to them,

“There are two aspects left, above and below. If a person raises his hands with khudu (humility) and asks from me or if he prostrates with khushu (awe), I will forgive his sins of seventy years.” (see Mafatih, the interpretation of the verse in question)

In that case, in order to be protected from the harms of Satan and people who are like Satan, we must perform our prayers and other deeds of worship on time and properly.

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