Friday, 30 September 2016

Sujuud as Sahw - Prostration of Forgetfulness. 

Sujuud as Sahw refers to the prostrations of forgetfulness. There are instances in our Salat when we commit some errors or forget to do something (which is supposedly a part of Salat); such cases are dealt with Sujuud as Sahw.
Let us find out the correct way of dealing with such cases, according to Sunnah.
1. If we forget any part of raka’at or a whole raka’at during Salat
Narrated Abdullah bin Buhaina (RA): Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) once led us in Salat and offered two raka’at and got up (for the third raka’at) without sitting (after second raka’at, for At-Tahhiyat). The people also got up with him, and when he was about to finish his Salat, we waited for him to finish the Salat with Taslim, but he said Takbir before Taslim and performed two prostrations (of Sahw) while sitting and then finished the Salat with Taslim.(Hadith No. 1224, Book of As-Sahw, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2).
This hadith tells us that if we forget to pray At-Tahhiyat in second raka’at of any prayer consisting of more than two raka’at (i.e. Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib or Isha), we should do Sujuud as Sahw in last raka’at before finishing the prayer with Taslim.
On similar lines, if someone forgets a whole raka’at or more than a raka’at, then again Sujuud as Sahw has to be performed. Refer to following hadith:
Narrated Shu’bah from Sa’d bin Ibrahim, that he heard Abu Salamah bin Abdur-Rahman, from Abu Hurairah (RA) that the Prophet (PBUH) prayed Zuhr and said Taslim after two raka’at. It was said to him: Has the prayer been shortened? So, he prayed two raka’at, then prostrated twice.(Hadith No. 1014, Book of Salat, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 1).
In other similar narrations it is mentioned that he performed prostrations after Taslim.
2. If we pray additional raka’at in a Salat
Narrated Abdullah (RA): Once Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) offered five raka’at in Zuhr prayer, and somebody asked him whether there was some increase in As-Salat. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “What is that?” He said, “You have offered five raka’at.” So, Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) performed two prostrations (of Sahw) after Taslim. (Hadith No. 1226, Book of As-Sahw, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2).
This narration tells us that the Prophet ((Peace be upon him) performed Sujuud as Sahw in this case after Taslim. The reason is simple, by the time he came to know that he has prayed additional raka’at, he had completed his prayer. So he performed Sujuud as Sahw as soon as he came to know about his forgetfulness.
3. What to do when in doubt about how many raka’at we have prayed while in Salat?
Forgetfulness is a normal thing which can happen with any human being. Shaitan leaves no stone unturned to keep our attentions diverted and distracted from good deeds. This is also one of those efforts of Shaitan, and a Muslim is supposed to be well versed with the technique of combating these tactics of Shaitan.
If during a prayer any of us forgets which number of raka’at is he/she is praying (or how many raka’at he/she has completed by that time), then he/she is supposed to act according to following advice from our beloved Prophet (PBUH):
It was narrated that Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (RA) said: Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said, “If one of you is unsure when in prayer and does not know how many (raka’at) he has prayed, whether it is three or four, let him ignore what is uncertain and proceed on the basis of what is certain. Then let him prostrate twice before saying the Taslim. Then if he has prayed five (raka’at) that will make his prayer even; and if he has prayed it properly with four (raka’at), it will annoy the Shaitan.” (Hadith No. 1272 (571), Chapters on Masajid & Places of Prayer, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2; Hadith No. 1204, Book of Salat, Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 1).
Therefore, in case of doubt, one should act upon whatever is certain. For example, if one is not sure how many raka’at he has performed, two or three and four or five, he should take the lesser number as the basis. Based on the number, he should proceed to perform the remaining raka’at and complete the prayer by performing two prostrations (of Sahw).
4. Sujuud as Sahw is to be done before Taslim or after Taslim?
After going through all the narrations mentioned above, we come across two scenarios: in one case we come to know that Rasool-Allah (Peace be upon him) performed two prostrations before Taslim, while in other case he performed two prostrations after Taslim. Although, I see no point of confusion, still different views prevail about whether one should perform Sujood Sahw before or after Taslim?
Imam Shafi’s view is that the prostrations should be performed before Taslim. However, this view cannot be made universal as there are narrations which prove that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) performed it after Taslimas well.
According to Imam Ahmad, whatever is reported from the Prophet (Peace be upon him) about the prostrations for As-Sahw, is to be acted upon. It can be before Taslim or after Taslim, depending upon the cases as done by our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him). In cases where it is reported that the Prophet (PBUH) performed Sujuud as Sahw before Taslim, we should follow that way. For cases where it is reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) performed Sujuud as Sahw after Taslim, we have to follow that way. In cases where nothing is reported about, then two prostrations should be followed before Taslim.
And I am more comfortable with second opinion.
5. Sujuud as Sahw is accompanied by Takbir.
If we revert back to the hadith mentioned in Section 1, we see that there is mention of Takbir (saying Allah-o-Akbar). Therefore, Takbir is to be said before performing Sujuud as Sahw.
6. Tashahhud is not recited after performing Sujuud as Sahw.
It is mentioned on authority of Qatada in Chapter 4, Book of As-Sahw, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2 thatTashahhud (i.e. saying At-tahhiyat and Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah….) is not to be recited after prostrations of Sahw.
7. Sujuud as Sahw should be performed for Nawafil prayers also.
It is mentioned in Chapter 7, Book of As-Sahw, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2 that Ibn Abbas (RA) used to perform two prostrations (of Sahw) after Witr prayers. Therefore, Sujuud as Sahw should be performed if we commit an error during Nawafil prayers too.
8. How many prostrations are to be performed for forgetfulness?
No. of prostrations for forgetfulness are two. Some schools of thoughts state that only one prostration is done for forgetfulness. However, almost all the narrations regarding the Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) action in this context refers to two prostrations (refer to all narrations mentioned in this discussion). Hence, two prostrations are to be performed.
9. It is wrong to say that Sujuud as Sahw cannot be performed if the person has talked after Salat.

Some schools of thoughts are of the view that Sujuud as Sahw can be performed only till we have not talked after Salat. This is not correct, as several of the narrations mentioned above (in Section 1 & Section 2) tell us that Rasool-Allah (Peace be upon him) was reminded by others of his forgetfulness after he had completed his Salat and he talked to the persons who reminded him, confirmed his forgetfulness and then performed Sujuud as Sahw. Therefore, one is allowed to perform prostrations of forgetfulness even if he/she has talked after Salat.
Concluding remarks
To err is human. Therefore, it is natural that one may make mistakes; it can happen during Salat too. However, as discussed above, a Muslim should be well versed about how to amend his/her mistake during a prayer so as not to let the prayer be affected. We have discussed the actions of our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) which all of are supposed to follow.
Remember, Sujuud as Sahw compensates for minor mistakes / errors / forgetfulness, like those mentioned in different narrations above. Bigger mistakes (like not reciting Surah Fatiha, or starting pray without Wudu etc.) should not be (or rather cannot be) compensated by Sujuud as Sahw.
Also, more than one error during a prayer does not require additional prostrations. One set of prostrations for forgetfulness is enough.
So, next time, when anyone of us commit any mistake (among those mentioned above), then he/she should not worry. Rather remember the procedure(s) for Sujuud as Sahw for each case and be assured.
And Allah knows best.
May Allah forgive me if I am wrong and guide us to the right path…Ameen.
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How To Become A Muslim

The word "Muslim" means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. Becoming a Muslim is a simple and easy process that requires no pre-requisites. One may convert alone in privacy, or he/she may do so in the presence of others. If anyone has a real desire to be a Muslim and has full conviction and strong belief that Islam is the true religion of God, then, all one needs to do is pronounce the "Shahada", the testimony of faith, without further delay. The "Shahada" is the first and most important of the five pillars of Islam.
With the pronunciation of this testimony, or "Shahada", with sincere belief and conviction, one enters the fold of Islam.
Upon entering the fold of Islam purely for the Pleasure of God, all of one's previous sins are forgiven, and one starts a new life of piety and righteousness. The Prophet said to a person who had placed the condition upon the Prophet in accepting Islam that God would forgive his sins:
"Do you not know that accepting Islam destroys all sins which come before it?" (Prophet Muhammad (pbuh))
When one accepts Islam, they in essence repent from the ways and beliefs of their previous life. One need not be overburdened by sins committed before their acceptance. The person's record is clean, and it is as if he was just born from his mother's womb. One should try as much as possible to keep his records clean and strive to do as many good deeds as possible.
The Holy Quran and Hadeeth (prophetic sayings) both stress the importance of following Islam. God states:
"...The only religion in the sight of God is Islam..." [Quran 3:19]
In another verse of the Holy Quran, God states:
"If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (their selves in the Hellfire)." [Quran 3:85]
In another saying, Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Prophet of God, said:
"Whoever testifies that there in none worthy of being worshipped but God, Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Prophet, and that Jesus is the Slave of God, His Prophet, and His word[1] which He bestowed in Mary and a spirit created from Him; and that Paradise (Heaven) is true, and that the Hellfire is true, God will eventually admit him into Paradise, according to his deeds." (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet of God, may the blessing and mercy of God be upon him, also reported:
"Indeed God has forbidden to reside eternally in Hell the person who says: "I testify that none has the right to worship except Allah (God),' seeking thereby the Face of God." (Prophet Muhammad (pbuh))
The Declaration of the Testimony (Shahada)
To convert to Islam and become a Muslim a person needs to pronounce the below testimony with conviction and understanding its meaning:
I testify "La ilah illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah."
The translation of which is:
"I testify that there is no true god (deity) but God (Allah), and that Muhammad is a Messenger (Prophet) of God."
When someone pronounces the testimony with conviction, then he/she has become a Muslim. It can be done alone, but it is much better to be done with an adviser. Contact Us so we may help you in pronouncing it right and to provide you with important resources for new Muslims.
The first part of the testimony consists of the most important truth that God revealed to mankind: that there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God. God states in the Holy Quran:
We sent all messengers before you with this revelation: There is no deity save Me, so worship Me alone. [Quran 21:25]
This conveys that all forms of worship, whether it be praying, fasting, invoking, seeking refuge in, and offering an animal as sacrifice, must be directed to God and to God alone. Directing any form of worship to other than God (whether it be an angel, a messenger, Jesus, Muhammad, a saint, an idol, the sun, the moon, a tree) is seen as a contradiction to the fundamental message of Islam, and it is an unforgivable sin unless it is repented from before one dies. All forms of worship must be directed to God only.
Worship means the performance of deeds and sayings that please God, things which He commanded or encouraged to be performed, either by direct textual proof or by analogy. Thus, worship is not restricted to the implementation of the five pillars of Islam, but also includes every aspect of life. Providing food for one's family, and saying something pleasant to cheer a person up are also considered acts of worship, if such is done with the intention of pleasing God. This means that, to be accepted, all acts of worship must be carried out sincerely for the Sake of God alone.
The second part of the testimony means that Prophet Muhammad is the servant and chosen messenger of God. This implies that one obeys and follows the commands of the Prophet. One must believe in what he has said, practice his teachings and avoid what he has forbidden. One must therefore worship God only according to his teaching alone, for all the teachings of the Prophet were in fact revelations and inspirations conveyed to him by God.
One must try to mould their lives and character and emulate the Prophet, as he was a living example for humans to follow. God says:
"And indeed you are upon a high standard of moral character." [Quran 68:4]
God also said:
"And in deed you have a good and upright example in the Messenger of God, for those who hope in the meeting of God and the Hereafter, and mentions God much." (Quran 33:21)
To truly adhere to the second part of the Shahada is to follow his example in all walks of life. God says:
"Say (O Muhammad to mankind): 'If you (really) love God, then follow me.'" [Quran 3:31]
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Thursday, 1 September 2016

Who Invented the Trinity?

The three monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - all purport to share one fundamental concept: belief in God as the Supreme Being, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Known as Tawhid in Islam, this concept of the Oneness of God was stressed by Moses in a Biblical passage known as the "Shema" or the Jewish creed of faith: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord." (Deuteronomy 6:4)

It was repeated word-for-word approximately 1500 years later by Jesus when he said:

"...The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord." (Mark 12:29)

Muhammad came along approximately 600 years later, bringing the same message again:

"And your God is One God: There is no God but He, ..." (The Qur'an 2:163)
Christianity has digressed from the concept of the Oneness of God, however, into a vague and mysterious doctrine that was formulated during the fourth century. This doctrine, which continues to be a source of controversy both within and without the Christian religion, is known as the Doctrine of the Trinity. Simply put, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity states that God is the union of three divine persons - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - in one divine being.

If that concept, put in basic terms, sounds confusing, the flowery language in the actual text of the doctrine lends even more mystery to the matter:

"...we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity... for there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Ghost and all is one... they are not three gods, but one God... the whole three persons are co-eternal and co-equal... he therefore that will be save must thus think of the Trinity..." (excerpts from the Athanasian Creed)

Athanasius, the bishop who formulated this doctrine, confessed that the more he wrote on the matter, the less capable he was of clearly expressing his thoughts regarding it.

How did such a confusing doctrine get started?

References in the Bible to a Trinity of divine beings are vague, at best.

In Matthew 28:19, we find Jesus telling his disciples to go out and preach to all nations. While the "Great Commission" does make mention of the three persons who later become components of the Trinity, the phrase "...baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" is quite clearly an addition to Biblical text - that is, not the actual words of Jesus - as can be seen by two factors:

1. Baptism in the early Church, as discussed by Paul in his letters, was done only in the name of Jesus; and

2. The "Great Commission" found in the first gospel written, that of Mark, bears no mention of Father, Son and/or Holy Ghost - see Mark 16:15.

The only other reference in the Bible to a Trinity can be found in the Epistle of I John 5:7, Biblical scholars of today, however, have admitted that the phrase "...there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" is definitely a "later addition" to Biblical test, and it is not found in any of today's versions of the Bible.

It can, therefore, be seen that the concept of a Trinity of divine beings was not an idea put forth by Jesus or any other prophet of God. This doctrine, now subscribed to by Christians all over the world, is entirely man-made in origin.

The Doctrine Takes Shape

While Paul of Tarsus, the man who could rightfully be considered the true founder of Christianity, did formulate many of its doctrines, that of the Trinity was not among them. He did, however, lay the groundwork for such when he put forth the idea of Jesus being a "divine Son." After all, a Son does need a Father, and what about a vehicle for God's revelations to man? In essence, Paul named the principal players, but it was the later Church people who put the matter together.

Tertullian, a lawyer and presbyter of the third century Church in Carthage, was the first to use the word "Trinity" when he put forth the theory that the Son and the Spirit participate in the being of God, but all are of one being of substance with the Father.

A Formal Doctrine is Drawn Up

When controversy over the matter of the Trinity blew up in 318 between two church men from Alexandria - Arius, the deacon, and Alexander, his bishop - Emperor Constantine stepped into the fray.

Although Christian dogma was a complete mystery to him, he did realize that a unified church was necessary for a strong kingdom. When negotiation failed to settle the dispute, Constantine called for the first ecumenical council in Church history in order to settle the matter once and for all.

Six weeks after the 300 bishops first gathered at Nicea in 325, the doctrine of the Trinity was hammered out. The God of the Christians was now seen as having three essences, or natures, in the form of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The Church Puts Its Foot Down

The matter was far from settled, however, despite high hopes for such on the part of Constantine. Arius and the new bishop of Alexandria, a man named Athanasius, began arguing over the matter even as the Nicene Creed was being signed; "Arianism" became a catch-word from that time onward for anyone who did not hold to the doctrine of the Trinity.

It wasn't until 451, at the Council of Chalcedon that, with the approval of the Pope, the Nicene/Constantinople Creed was set as authoritative. Debate on the matter was no longer tolerated; to speak out against the Trinity was now considered blasphemy, and such earned stiff sentences that ranged from mutilation to death. Christians now turned on Christians, maiming and slaughtering thousands because of a difference of opinion.

Debate Continues

Brutal punishments and even death did not stop the controversy over the doctrine of the Trinity, however, and the said controversy continues even today.

The majority of Christians, when asked to explain this fundamental doctrine of their faith, can offer nothing more than "I believe it because I was told to do so." It is explained away as "mystery" - yet the Bible says in I Corinthians 14:33 that "... God is not the author of confusion..."

The Unitarian denomination of Christianity has kept alive the teachings of Arius in saying that God is one; they do not believe in the Trinity. As a result, mainstream Christians abhor them, and the National Council of Churches has refused their admittance. In Unitarianism, the hope is kept alive that Christians will someday return to the preachings of Jesus: "...Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." (Luke 4:8)

Islam and the Matter of the Trinity

While Christianity may have a problem defining the essence of God, such is not the case in Islam.

"They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity, for there is no god except One God."

(Qur'an 5:73)

It is worth noting that the Arabic language Bible uses the name "Allah" as the name of God.

Christianity claims to be a monotheistic religion. Monotheism, however, has as its fundamental belief that God is One; the Christian doctrine of the Trinity - God being Three-in-One - is seen by Islam as a form of polytheism. Christians don't revere just One God, they revere three.
This is a charge not taken lightly by Christians, however. They, in turn, accuse the Muslims of not even knowing what the Trinity is, pointing out that the Qur'an sets it up as Allah the Father, Jesus the Son, and Mary his mother.

While veneration of Mary has been a figment of the Catholic Church since 431 when she was given the title "Mother of God" by the Council of Ephesus, a closer examination of the verse in the Qur'an most often cited by Christians in support of their accusation, shows that the designation of Mary by the Qur'an as a "member" of the Trinity, is simply not true.

While the Qur'an does condemn both trinitarianism (the Qur'an 4:17) and the worship of Jesus and his mother Mary (the Qur'an 5:116), nowhere does it identify the actual three components of the Christian Trinity. The position of the Qur'an is that WHO or WHAT comprises this doctrine is not important; what is important is that the very notion of a Trinity is an affront against the concept of One God.

In conclusion, we see that the doctrine of the Trinity is a concept conceived entirely by man; there is no sanction whatsoever from God to be found regarding the matter simply because the whole idea of a Trinity of divine beings has no place in monotheism. In the Qur'an, God's Final Revelations to mankind, we find His stand quite clearly stated in a number of eloquent passages:

"...your God is One God: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner."

(Qur'an 18:110)

"...take not, with God, another object of worship, lest you should be thrown into Hell, blameworthy and rejected."

(Qur'an 17:39)

Because, as God tells us over and over again in a Message that is echoed throughout All His Revealed Scriptures:

"...I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore, serve Me (and no other)..."
(Qur'an 21:92)

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What Does Islam Say About Mothers ?

Amongst the clearest examples of Islam's honoring women is the great status of the mother in Islam. Islam commands kindness, respect and obedience to parents and specifically emphasizes and gives preference to the mother as shall be shown in this article. Islam raises parents to a status greater than that found in any other religion or ideology.
The command to be good to one's parents begins right from the Qur'an. Allah says: "Worship God and join not any partners with Him; and be kind to your parents..." [Noble Quran 4:36]
The mention of servitude to parents follows immediately after servitude to God. This is repeated throughout the Qur'an. "Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility and say, "My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood." [Noble Quran 17:23-24]
The great scholar, Abu al-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawzî (d. 1201CE) explained: To be kind to one's parents is: to obey them when they order you to do something, unless it is something which Allah has forbidden; to give priority to their orders over voluntary acts of worship; to abstain from that which they forbid you to do; to provide for them; to serve them; to approach them with gentle humility and mercy; not to raise your voice in front of them; nor to fix your glance on them; nor to call them by their names; and to be patient with them. (Ibn al-Jawzî, Birr al-Wâlidayn)
The Qur'an emphasizes the great struggles the mother goes through for her child, to highlight the need for one to reciprocate their parents sacrifice for them:
"And We have enjoined on man [to be good] to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him and his weaning was over two years. Be thankful to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination."[Noble Quran 31:14]
The renowned exegete, Shaykh Abdur-Rahman As-Sa'di (d. 1956), says about this verse:
{And to your parents} meaning, be kind to your parents, shower on them love, affection and piety, both in words and deeds, treat them with tender humility, provide for them and never harm them verbally nor physically. [...] Then, Allah mentions the reason why we should be kind to our parents, when He says {His mother bore him in travail upon travail}, that is, the mother bore constant suffering; in pain and hardship from the first moment she felt the child moving in her womb to the worst pangs during the time of delivery. And {his weaning is for two years}, that is, during these two years the mother breast-feeds her child and looks after him/her. So after all the years of suffering, hardship, love and care, could we not, at least, compensate our mothers for what they have done for us and pay them back their rights? (Taysîr al-Karîm ar-Rahmân fî Tafsîr al-Kalâm al-Manân)
The Qur'an repeats its mention of the struggles of the mother in yet another passage:
"And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, "My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims." [Noble Quran 46:15]
In connection to this passage, the late Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Shaykh Muhammad Shafy (d. 1976) wrote:
Mother has more rights than father
Although the first part of this verse is a command to do good to both the parents, the second sentence refers only to the hardships suffered by the mother, because they are unavoidable, and no child can be born without them. Every mother has to go through the problems of pregnancy and severe pains of delivery. As against this, it is not necessary for a father that he suffers any hardship in bringing up and educating the child, if he can afford to pay somebody else for these services. This is why the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has given more rights to the mother than anybody else. According to a hadîth he has said,
"Do good to and serve your mother, then your mother, then your mother, then your father, then the near relatives and then those who come after them."[Mazhari]
"And his carrying and his weaning is in thirty months"[Noble Quran 46:15]
This sentence too describes the hardships suffered by the mother for her baby. It points out that even after suffering hardships during pregnancy and the severe labor pains, the mother does not get respite from toils, because the natural food of the infants is in her breasts, and she has to suckle them. (Shafy, Ma'âriful Qur'ân [Eng. trans.], vol. 7, pp. 795-796)
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) continually used to remind his followers of the status of the mother and the obligation of being good to one's parents. The following narration is a beautiful example of the noble position of the mother:
A man came to the Prophet and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: "Your mother." The man asked: Then who? So he replied: "Your mother." The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: "Your mother." The man then asked: Then who? So he replied: "Then your father." (Sahîh Bukhârî 5971 and Sahîh Muslim 7/2)
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Satan: Mankind's Worst Enemy

Unlike the descriptions of the devil in Christian doctrine, Shaytan (Satan:The Devil) is not a fallen angel; rather he is a Jinn (A creation of Allah that was created before humankind from smokeless flame. They are referred to at times as spirit beings, banshees, poltergeists, phantoms and so forth) who can think, reason and has free will.
Allah allowed him to reside amongst the Angels, but because of his pride and arrogance he despairs of ever knowing Allah's mercy and has vowed not to inhabit the depths of Hell alone. Satan's wish is to take as many human beings with him to the Hellfire as he can. Make no mistake about it; Satan is mankind's mortal enemy. He is cunning, crafty and supremely arrogant.
The Qur'an warns us of his enmity over and over "O children of Adam. Let not Shaytan deceive you..." (Quran 7:27)
"Surely Shaytan is an enemy to you so take him as an enemy..." (Quran 35:6)
"...And whoever takes Shaytan as a protector or helper instead of Allah, has surely suffered a manifest loss." (Quran 4:119)
It is important to understand that even Satan himself recognises the Oneness of Allah and His right to be worshipped. Allah has informed us that the promises of Satan are nothing but deceptions and lies, and Satan concurs, for he can offer nothing.
"And Shaytan will say when the matter has been decided: "Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me, but blame yourselves..." (Quran 14:22)
Every act of disobedience that is hated by Allah is loved by Shaytan, he loves immorality and sin. He whispers into the ears of the believers, he disrupts prayer and the remembrance of Allah. One of Islam's greatest scholars, Ibn ul Qayyim, may God have mercy on him, said: "One of his (Satan's) plots is that he always bewitches people's minds until they are deceived, he makes attractive to the mind that which will harm it".
Satan has wide-ranging experience in the field of deception; he has tricks and temptations and he whispers relentlessly. Satan is able to pinch and poke, implanting thoughts and desires. However Allah has not left humankind defenseless. He has provided us with weapons and one of the greatest is information. Satan is our mortal enemy and in order to combat his tricks and illusions we need to know him well. The long term goal of Satan is to deprive as many people as possible of Paradise and to lead them to Hell. To achieve this aim he has set many short term goals. Being aware of these goals means we are able to arm ourselves with weapons of defence.
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