How to Repel the Evil Doubt of Shayṭān: “Who Created Allāh?”

Imām ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Nāṣir al-Saʿdī

The Muslims are advised to seek refuge from the accursed shayṭān and avoid dwelling upon his doubts and whispers.
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Narrated by Abū Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه) who said: The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

‘Shayṭān may come to one of you, saying: ‘Who created such-and-such? Who created such-and-such?’ Until he says: ‘Who created Allāh?’ If he reaches [this degree of question], then seek refuge in Allāh, and refrain [from further queries of this nature].’ In another wording: ‘Let him say: ‘I believe in Allāh and His Messenger.’

Narrated by al-Bukhārī and Muslim and in another wording:

‘Mankind continues to question one another until they say: ‘Who created Allāh?’’

The Prophet (ﷺ) has guided us in this great ḥadīth to the methodology of defending oneself from such questions through three matters: abstaining, seeking refuge from shayṭān, and īmān.

For these three matters successfully falsify that which is continuously rampant on the tongues of the godless. They reiterate it with an assortment of wordings. So he [the Prophet (ﷺ) orders that such baseless lines of questioning be ceased primarily. Then, that one should seek refuge [in Allāh] from shayṭān, the promoter of such confusions. Then, one should have correct īmān by which one is able to defend oneself from all false opposition. And all praise is due to Allāh.

  • By abstaining [from questions]: this evil is stopped immediately.
  • By seeking refuge: the means by which this evil is sowed is truncated.
  • Through [true] īmān: [there is] a protecting refuge by which the correct, assured creed is established that defends all opposition.

These three articles defend from all confusing matters that oppose one’s īmān. It is, therefore, incumbent [upon the Muslim] to pay due care and attention to this in defending himself from every obscure, indistinguishable matter encountered. The slave [of Allāh] must defend himself firstly through evidence that proves its falsity, through the confirmation of the truth after which there exists naught but misguidance. Then he must seek refuge in Allāh from shayṭān, the driver of the trials of obscure matters and false desires to the hearts [of the slave of Allāh], such that his īmān may waiver, and he may fall into the perpetration of disobedient acts. Thus, it is through patience [upon false desires] and assuredness [upon obscure matters] that the slave of Allāh is able to overcome the trials posed by false desires and obscure matters. And Allāh alone is the Granter of true guidance, the Sole Protector.

Source: Bahjah Qulūb al-Abrār: 30-2
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: January 2, 2023
Edited: January 3, 2023

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