Why does Satan misguide man though he knows that he will go to Hell?

Details of the Question

Why does Satan misguide man though he definitely knows that he will go to Hell on the Day of Judgment? When people are heedless or when they deny the religion, they may do bad things. However, why does Satan act hostilely against Allah though he knows that Allah and Hell exist and that he will go to Hell? I really wonder about it.

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

- Satan became conceited and proud first. As a being that was created out of fire, he could not accept to prostrate before Hz. Adam, who was created out of dust. It is understood that the conceit and pride of Satan prevented him from thinking about the result of this disobedience. 

There are millions of evidences showing that it can happen like that.

As a matter of fact, millions of people believe in Allah but they still commit sins because some feelings overwhelm them and they prevent the mind from thinking about the consequences. This fact is underlined in the following verse: “Those who love the life of this world more than the Hereafter...” (Ibrahim, 14/3)

That is, most people believe in the existence of an eternal paradise and hell but they prefer the ephemeral and temporary worldly life to the hereafter. They virtually forsake Paradise for some temporary pleasure of the world; they overlook the trouble of Hell so that they will not confront any trouble in the world.

“Man is a creature of haste.” (al-Anbiya, 21/37) As it is understood from the verse, some feelings of man are addicted to immediate pleasures.

- Everybody has the feeling of thinking of his own interest.

The form of satisfying this feeling develops based on the spiritual faculties of man.

For instance, if somebody aims eternal pleasures and if he thinks that the way to attain those pleasures is through abandoning the pleasures of this world, he will definitely abandon them. For, according to the belief of that person, the real place of pleasure is the hereafter.  

Similarly, the only aim of some people who want to succeed in the hereafter and to live a life accordingly is to be saved from Hell. Those people who regard being saved from hellfire as the greatest interest have no time to think about life in Paradise as it is valid for life in the world. For, they concentrate on being saved from punishment; they cannot think about an interest and pleasure greater than that.    

On the other hand, it is inevitable for a person who aims an immediate pleasure and payment even if it is ephemeral to be interested in the worldly life and to ignore the hereafter.

For, according to the thought of this person, the greatest worldly interest is worldly pleasures and desires.These pleasures are variable. According to some people, theft is the greatest pleasure while murder, being drunk and cheating is the greatest pleasure according to others. Satan becomes very happy when he deceives people. This sensual and demonic pleasure prevents him from being interested in life in the hereafter, which is regarded as something to be given later. 

As it is known, a person’s feelings, thoughts and mental activities concentrate on an issue based on his degree of concentration on it.

For instance, some people concentrate on their sheikh so much that they see him everywhere and think of him everywhere. They become "fana fish-sheikh" (disappear in their sheikh). We know that the concepts "fana fir-rasul" and "fana fillah" are used similarly.

Likewise, Satan is so busy withdoing evil deeds, deceiving man, producing delusions, deviating man and setting traps that all of his mental facultieshave become fana fish-sharr.

His deep occupation with doing evil to sons of Hz. Adam, who is his pre-eternal enemy, prevents him from thinking of his own state.

In addition, Satan harmed his essence with his own will; therefore, he has lost his ability to repent and to believe, like a spoiled seed that cannot be a tree and coal that cannot be transformed into diamond.

This state does not show that the will of Satan is weak; it shows that Satan uses his will in the wrong way.

It means the will has not been produced in the wrong way; it has been used in the wrong way.

The same thing is valid for human beings. A saint who ascended the level of “Fana fillah” will not think of anything but Allah; Satan, who has become “fana fil-ghurur” (a master of deceiving others), will not be busy with anything else.  

That the word “Gharur=the one who deceives a lot” is used in the Quran shows that he has immersed in it and that he has no time to think about other things.

This is the reason why the people who are the slaves of their evil-commanding souls prefer the way of deviation. That is, the soul likes to serve the evil-commanding soul, which is addicted to immediate pleasures. The owner of this soul follows Layla; therefore, he starts to take pleasure from deviation, which is a hard way, like Majnun.   

Satan is a Majnun of his own way; he does not think of anything else but to act in accordance with his way.

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