Man's greatest enemy, since the Prophet Adam, peace be upon him, has always been Satan. Satan pledged himself to lead people astray when the Prophet Adam was created, and has committed himself to this cause by devising schemes that make the world appear charming and alluring to mankind. The Qur'an also informs us that his scheming is feeble and that he can exercise no authority over people:
Those who believe fight in the Way of God. Those who disbelieve fight in the way of false gods. So fight the friends of Satan! Satan's scheming is always feeble. (Surat an-Nisa': 76)
Diabolis (Iblis) was correct in his assessment of them and they followed him, except for a group of believers. He had no authority over them except that We might test those who believe in the hereafter from those who are in doubt about it. Your Lord is The Preserver of all things. (Surah Saba': 20-21)
In fact, that Satan's scheming is feeble and that he has no power over people is God's making things easy for mankind. Satan is the only negative power against religion and His weakness implies that believers will not experience any difficulty in living by the values of the Qur'an. However, for this to happen, sincere faith is essential. In the Qur'an, God informs us that those with sincere faith will not be affected by the tricks of Satan:
He (Satan) said, 'My Lord, because You misled me, I will make things on the earth seem good to them (mankind) and I will mislead them all, every one of them, except Your servants among them who are sincere.' (Surat al-Hijr: 39-40)
In other verses, God has revealed that Satan will have no power over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord:
He has no authority over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord. He only has authority over those who take him as a friend and associate others with God. (Surat an-Nahl: 99-100)
THE SECRET OF HOW TO ESCAPE FALSE HOPES AND THE WHISPERINGS OF THE SATAN
Despite Satan's inefficacy on the believers, he may sometimes attempt to bother them with his whisperings because of a deed they have committed.
Another important secret God reveals in the Qur'an is how to escape the whisperings of Satan. This is a very important subject for believers who fear God and hope to attain paradise, because the whispers of Satan are misleading words that divert man from God's way and keep him occupied with vain and trivial issues. Satan tries to inject feelings of sorrow, fear and distress to people, to sow discord amongst them, to cause them to feel doubts about God, the Qur'an or the religion (deen). He fills them with false hopes. Some of the verses that describe Satan's whisperings to man are as follows:
"I will lead them astray and fill them with false hopes. I will command them and they will cut off cattle's ears. I will command them and they will change God's creation." Anyone who takes Satan as his protector in place of God has clearly lost everything.
He (Satan) makes promises to them and fills them with false hopes. But what Satan promises them is nothing but delusion. (Surat an-Nisa': 119-120)
(The insidious whisperer) who whispers in people's breasts (hearts) (Surat an-Nas: 5)
No matter what Satan whispers to believers, he will not be able to distract them from God's guidance as long as they follow the path that God shows. God reminds believers of the following against Satan:
If an evil impulse from Satan provokes you, seek refuge in God. He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. As for those who have fear of God, when they are bothered by visitors from Satan, they remember and immediately see clearly. (Surat al-A'raf: 200-201)
As can be understood from the verse, believers remain alert to the whisperings of Satan. They lose no time on thinking about his whisperings, and, aware that it would not please God, they never allow themselves to be carried away by pessimism, fear or sorrow, which are all negative feelings shunned by believers. When believers are troubled with something not in compliance with Qur'anic morality, they immediately recognise it to be a noxious whisper from Satan that would not please God. They dismiss the whisperings of the Satan through the remembrance of God and the verses of the Qur'an.