Satanic Defence Mechanisms(Shaitan’s Whispers)

Maqsood Ahmed, OBE

Maqsood Ahmed, OBE

Hereunder we will explain three related dimensions. First of all, what is a psychological defence mechanism, secondly the excuses people make to justify deviation and wrongdoing as akin to psychological defence mechanisms albeit at times unconsciously and thirdly the role of Satan who is the declared enemy and has vowed to misguide the human beings to revenge his downfall:
Defence Mechanism:

Humans are engaged in multifaceted behaviour, which at times is not as straightforward as it appears. We say something, but actually, we mean something different. Our actions do not correspond with sincerity if the intentions are adulterated.
In psychological terms, such behaviour, performed by certain individuals to protect their self-esteem is called a defence mechanism. There is a long list of such mechanisms. Still, we will only mention a few that impact the behaviour of supposed believers who defend their unacceptable bad deeds and make excuses for their wrongdoing and deviation. Characteristics of such individuals, some stories and parables are detailed in various Suras e.g. Munafiqeen, al-Baqra, al-Imran and others, in the Qur’an.
We will endeavour to relate such behaviour to the deliberate efforts of Satan (Iblis) who has sworn to misguide human beings till the day of resurrection. Still, those who get allured tend to deny or justify their wrongdoings hence the Satanic defence mechanism. The creation and the role of Satan are also given in various Suras: details appended below.
Some of the defence mechanisms, appropriate for advancing the argument are
i.Denial as a defence mechanism is most commonly employed by individuals to deny facts or reality or the existence of specific feelings, beliefs, perceptions or thoughts and behaviour.
ii.Rationalisation happens when an individual or group of people attempt to create excuses for an event or action. Some people may attempt to explain undesirable behaviours with their own set of “facts” and interpretations. In the false sense, rationalisation and justification fabricate excuses and vindications for one’s behaviour, beliefs and opinions, to substitute the real intentions and motives.
iii.There are countless other defence mechanisms e.g. projection, displacements, regression, suppression and so forth.
With regard to justification and rationalisation of deviation and wrongdoing, the person does not accept any wrongdoing, but rather, tries to justify the wrong, as being good deeds. This is explained in verse 7 of Surah al-Imran (chapter 3 of the Holy Quran):
Then as for those in whose hearts there is perversity, they follow the part of it which is allegorical (fictional), seeking to mislead and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation (3:7).
And when it is said to them, “Do not cause corruption on the earth,” they say, “We are but reformers.” Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive it not (2:11–12).
Similarly in Sura al-Baqra (Ayats 8 to 20), Allah describes these people and their characteristics who have a disconnect between what they say and what they believe in. They say but they do not believe in Last Day (2:8), they try to deceive Allah and those who believe, but they do not realise (2:9) because their hearts are diseased (2:10).
These are the ones who have purchased errors in exchange for guidance. This bargain has brought them no profit and certainly, they are not on the Right Way (2:16)
Creation and Role
of Satan:

Having described some examples of defence mechanisms and attributing to Satanic influences, it is important to understand the role Satan (or Iblis as called in Qur’an as well) plays, by various means and tactics to misguide
Allah (SWT) says:
[Satan] said, “Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them [i.e., mankind] on Your straight path. I will come at them- from their front, and their back, from their right and their left- and You will find that most of them are ungrateful (7:16-17)
Regarding the role of Satan, Allah SWT says further in the Quran:
Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing (2:268).
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 (35:6).
We need to watch out that Satan is very persuasive, persistent and opportunist to allure people for wrongdoing. He requested Allah (SWT) to “give him respite until the day of resurrection (15:39) so that he glamorised (evil) for humans on earth.
Allah granted Satan his request for respite (15:36-37) until resurrection day for him to make things on earth seem attractive to them and lead all of them to error, “except those of Your servants whom You have singled out for Yourself” (15:40).

Allah Almighty responded that:

Over My true servants, you will be able to exercise no power, your power will be confined to the erring ones, those who choose to follow you (15: 42).
Allah (SWT) warned the children of Adam not to be tempted by Satan (15:27), but instead:
If Satan should prompt you to do something, seek refuge with God; He is all-hearing, all-knowing. Those who are aware of God think of Him when Satan prompts them to do something and immediately they can see; the associates of devils are led relentlessly into error by them and cannot stop (7: 200-202).
We should always supplicate to seek protection from ‘Satan’s whispers and waswasa’ as Allah Almighty guides in Sur Al-Nas ((114:1-6)
Say, ‘I seek refuge with the Lord of people, the King of people, the God of people, against the harm of the slinking whisperer, who whispers into the hearts of people, whether they be jinn or people’(114:1-6).

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