Why do Allah and Satan show bad people the deeds that they do as embellished?

The Details of the Question

- There are verses stating that Allah and Satan show bad people the deeds that they do as pleasing, embellished and alluring.

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

As you also state, there is a difference of purpose between Allah’s making something embellished and Satan’s doing it. However, it will be more appropriate to consider some verses as concrete examples and express opinions accordingly:

“…And make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their course seems pleasing to them. But Allah guideth not those who reject Faith.” (at-Tawba, 9/37).

- According to Abdullah b. Abbas and Hasan al-Basri, the subject (doer) of “pleasing” is Satan. It is Satan who made changing the months seem pleasing to them. (see Razi, the interpretation of the verse in question)

“Remember Satan made their (sinful) acts seem alluring to them, and said: ‘No one among men can overcome you this day, while I am near to you.’” (al-Anfal, 8/48).

- It is clearly understood from the verse above that Satan’s making things alluring means suggesting bad deeds as good deeds to people - through delusion. His purpose is to harm people both materially and spiritually.

“As to those who believe not in the Hereafter, We have made their deeds pleasing in their eyes; and so they wander about in distraction.” (an-Naml, 27/4).

In the verse above, Allah’s making their deeds pleasing means that He brings their minds to a position where they see evil as good. (cf. Ibn Ashur, the interpretation of al-Anam 6/108)

We can explain the difference between those two embellishing (making ... seem pleasing) as follows:

Allah’s embellishing means creation. Satan’s embellishing is only a suggestion. Allah does not make anything seem bad unjustly to a person and mislead him from the right path.

“...By it (the similitude), He (Allah) causes many to stray, and many He leads into the right path; but He causes not to stray, except those who forsake (the path).” (al-Baqara, 2/26)

That fact is emphasized in the verse above. As for Satan, he tries to show evil as good to both good people and bad people.

Allah does not lead those who voluntarily take the wrong path, disobey Allah and insist in their unbelief and disobedience from the wrong path they are in to the true path in order to give the penalty they deserve, making that path seem pleasing to them - as a punishment. That is, He blinds their sensing devices and they no longer see the truth. And that is justice.

When those who drink, steal and murder people turn their bad tendencies into actual attempts, Allah makes them see those acts as pleasing as a punishment for their bad tendencies; and He creates those deeds.

The purpose of Satan is to mislead all people, whether they deserve it or not as a result of the enmity that has been going on since the Prophet Adam, the first human being.

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