Iblees does not have power on the vicegerents of Allah on the earth
The Almighty Allah has informed us in Surah Hijr that Iblees (Satan) does not have any power upon His righteous servants (Prophets, Messengers and Imams). The conversation between Allah and Iblees is mentioned in the following verses:
"So the angels made obeisance, all of them together, But Iblees (did it not), he refused to be with those who made obeisance.
He said: O Iblees! What excuse have you that you are not with those who make obeisance?
He said: I am not such that I should make obeisance to a mortal whom Thou hast created of the essence of black mud fashioned in shape.
He said: Then get out of it, for surely you are driven away.
And surely on you is curse until the Day of Judgement. He said: My Lord! then respite me till the time when they are raised.
He said: So surely you are one of the respited ones, till the period of the time made known.
He said: My Lord! because Thou hast made life evil to me, I will certainly make (evil) fair seeming to them on earth, and I will certainly cause them all to deviate except Thy servants from among them, the devoted ones.
He said: This is a right way with Me:
Surely, as regards My servants, you have no authority over them except those who follow you of the deviators." (Surah Hijr 15:30-42)
Similarly, the Almighty Allah has explained how He has protected his righteous servants from satanic deviations. In Surah Yusuf is mentioned such an incident involving Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) and Zulekha:
"And certainly she made for him, and he would have made for her, were it not that he had seen the manifest evidence of his Lord; thus (it was) that we might turn away from him evil and indecency, surely he was one of Our sincere servants." (Surah Yusuf 12:24)
We must know that this is also a necessary quality of Imamat. In Surah Baqarah we have the following ayat in connection with the Imamat of Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.):
"And when his Lord tried Ibrahim with certain words, he fulfilled them. He said: Surely I will make you an Imam of men. Ibrahim said: And of my offspring? My covenant does not include the unjust said He." (Surah Baqarah 2:124)
We also must know that those whom Allah has appointed as the Imams are those who guide the people by His command. As mentioned in Surah Anbiya:
"And We made them Imams who guided (people) by Our command, and We revealed to them the doing of good and the keeping up of prayer and the giving of the alms, and Us (alone) did they serve." (Surah Anbiya 21:73)
In the same Chapter we can read about the details of various Prophets also, like Nuh, Ibrahim, Lut, Ismail, Ayyub, Zulkifl, Yunus, Musa, Haroon, Dawood, Sulaiman, Zakaria, Yahya and Isa, peace be upon them all.
We realise that in the above ayats the people associated with the exalted status of Imamat are the prophets, the messengers, the vicegerents and the legatees. Therefore, it becomes clear that the Almighty appoints as Imams only those who are just.
Allah has informed that these are the vicegerents of Allah upon the earth. In Surah Saad Allah says to Dawood (a.s.):
"O Dawood! surely We have made you a ruler in the land; so judge between men with justice and do not follow desire, lest it should lead you astray from the path of Allah; (as for) those who go astray from the path of Allah, they shall surely have a severe punishment because they forgot the day of reckoning." (Surah Saad 38:26)
Similarly Quran says in connection with the appointment of Hazrat Adam (a.s.):
"And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a Khalif, they said: What! wilt Thou place in it such as shall make mischief in it and shed blood, and we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness? He said: Surely I know what you do not know."
Let us study the meaning of the terms used in the above ayats:
Explanation of Terms:
(a) Aghwaitani (Deviation):
This word with its variations denote the state of being astrayed from the straight path or to wander away into disbelief etc. The deviators also denote those who have been cursed by the Almighty. For example the words preceding this ayat are: "and surely on you is curse till the day of judgement."
Satan was cursed for to his disobedience in prostrating before Adam (a.s.). Due to this disobedience the Almighty had deprived him from His mercy.
It is mentioned in Surah Baqarah:
"He causes many to err by it and many He leads aright by it! but He does not cause to err by it (any) except the transgressors." (Surah Baqarah 2:26)
(b) Le-uzaiyyanannalahum (To make fair-seeing)
This term describes how the Satan defrauds people by showing evil deeds in a favourable light. The Satan suggests to the wrong doers that their sinful acts are some kinds of good works. The phrase is also used in other verses of the Holy Quran. For example, Surah Anfal, Verse No. 48; Surah Nahl, Verse 24; Surah Ankaboot, Verse 37; and Surah Taubah, Verse 37.
(c) Al- Mukhlaseen (Sincere)
The sincere servants of Allah are those whom Allah has selected for Himself after they had devoted themselves completely to Allah. They think of nothing except Allah.
(d) Ibtala (tried)
To test or to examine; subject someone to an examination. This test could be through goodness and evil or bounty and scarcity etc.
(e) Bekalemaat (Certain words)
The term "certain words" denote the different tests and trials that Ibrahim (a.s.) had to undergo; like the stars, idols, burning in the fire and sacrificing his son etc.
(f) Fa-atammahunna (Fulfilled them)
Performed the tests in a perfect way.
(g) Ja’eloka (I will make you)
It stands for creating, to bring into existence, to make, to order, to appoint etc. Here it is used in the sense of making.
An Imam is the one whom the people follow in words and deed.
(i) dhalemeen (the unjust)
Injustice denotes the action of putting a thing at other than its proper place. It also indicates the usurpation of rights. Injustice is of three types.
Firstly: Between man and his Lord. The chief of them are polytheism and disbelief. As mentioned in the ayat: "Most surely polytheism is a grievous iniquity (injustice)." (Surah Luqman 31:13)
"Who then is more unjust than he who rejects Allah’s communications....." (Surah Anam 6:157)
The second type of injustice is between men. For example the Quran says:
"… those who oppress men … unjustly;"
Finally when a person inflicts injustice on himself. The Almighty Allah says:
"And whoever does this, he indeed is unjust to his own soul." (Surah Baqarah 2:231)
Also in another ayat we have:
"and whoever goes beyond the limits of Allah, he indeed does injustice to his own soul." (Surah Talaq 65:1)
Every type of injustice, is ultimately an injustice upon ones own self. One who does an injustice at any stage of his life is a dhalim (unjust).
(j) Hammatbehi wa Hamma beha (She made for him and he made for her)
To make for something, it indicates an intention to perform an act before one actually performs it.
(k) Raa-a (he had seen)
Seeing implies looking with ones eyes or realisation through ones heart; understanding etc.
(l) Burhaan (manifest evidence)
An acceptable proof, an irrefutable argument. The "manifest evidence" seen by Yusuf (a.s.) was more clear.
Explanation of the Ayat:
Iblees said to the Lord of the Worlds: "My Lord, since You have cursed me and deprived me of Your mercy I will make fair-seeming to the people their evil acts."
Similar examples are to be found in the following ayats:
(a) "Most certainly We sent (apostles) to nations before you, but the Shaitan made their deeds fair-seeming to them." (Surah Nahl 16:63)
(b) "And when the Shaitan made their works fair seeming to them, and said: No one can overcome you this day." (Surah Anam 8:48)
(c) "I found her and her people adoring the sun instead of Allah, and the Shaitan has made their deeds fair-seeming to them and thus turned them from the way." (Surah Naml 27:24)
The Satan also said:
"I will make fair seeming to the people their deeds and mislead them all, except those of Yours servants whom You have selected for Yourself."
The Almighty Allah replied:
"You have no power except on those who follow you in a state of deviation and astrayal."
The Almighty says regarding His sincere servant Yusuf (a.s.): "And certainly she made for him, and he would have made for her, were it not that he had seen the manifest evidence of his Lord." (Surah Yusuf 12:24)
The incident involving Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) and Zulekha occurred when both of them were in a room alone. Zulekha was the wife of the ruler of Egypt and the most popular woman of her country. She was infatuated with Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) and tried to entice him. Her intention was to commit fornication, whereas Yusuf (a.s.) intended to kill her if she forces him to commit the sin. However, Yusuf (a.s.) saw the manifest evidence of his Lord and refrained from killing her.
Her murder would have been an evil as also the fornication. Since he was young and unmarried he would have fallen for the young woman who had been brought up in a royal family and there was no one to see them. But he saw the proof of his Lord and prayed for refuge from Allah. So Yusuf (a.s.) was from those who had been purified by Allah.
Then what was that proof which Yusuf (a.s.) saw and how he saw that? Yusuf (a.s.) perceived two effects upon himself. As we shall see in the following pages.