In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Follow not the footsteps of Satan

Satan or Iblis rather is our open, most blatant and deceiving enemy; such an enemy that we cannot see with the power of sight Allah the Most Gracious has bestowed upon us, a favor of favors. Yet many of us fear him, and that itself is a form of shirk (likening or worshipping something or someone other than Allah), for as Allah (SWT) states in Qur'an:

Surah Maryam, chapter 19 verse 44; Ibrahim (May Allah bestow upon him His peace and blessings) argues with his idolatrous father, telling him what Allah (SWT) commands of him, which says: 

“O my father! Serve not Satan: for Satan is a rebel against (Allah) Most Gracious!"

Satan – after rejecting and asking for respite from Allah (SWT) – did not bow down to the will of the Lord Allah (SWT), and Satan’s terms of respite were that he would lead Allah’s servants away, from the truth i.e. stopping them also from bowing down to the will of Allah (SWT). Yet Allah has warned us Muslims with reference to the ways which Satan has shall and will deceive men/women from the truth.

The greatest thing that can be used as a defense against devils is sticking to the Book and the Sunnah, by one's knowledge and by one's actions. The Book and the Sunnah present the straight path, and it is Satan who struggles to steer us from this straight path. Allah says in the Qur'an,

"Verily, this is My Way leading straight: follow it; Follow not (other) paths: They will scatter you about from His (great) Path; Thus doth He command you, that ye may be righteous." (al-Anaam 6:153)

If the person follows what has come from Allah in his beliefs, actions, words, worship, law, and so on, and avoids what He has forbidden, then he will be protected from Satan. Allah says in the Qur'an,

"Oh ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of Satan; for he is to you an avowed enemy." (al-Baqarah 2:208)

Whoever does not follow some part of Islam has, in fact, folllowed in some of the footsteps of Satan. Therefore any kind of prohibition is a following of Satan. Eating any forbidden and foul foods is all part of following in the footsteps of Satan that has been declared prohibited for us.

"O ye people! Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of the Satan. For he is to you an avowed enemy." (al-Baqarah 2:168)

Sticking to the Book of Allah and his Sunnah in one's words and actions will rebuke Satan and will greatly infuriate him.

On the authority of Abu Huraira that the Prophet said,

"When the son of Adam reads a verse of prostration and then prostrates, Satan departs from him and cries, saying, 'Woe to me. The son of Adam was ordered to prostrate and he did so and, therefore, he will be granted paradise. I was ordered to prostrate and disobeyed and, therefore, I will get the hell-fire." (Sahih Muslim, Hadith no. 32)

 What we, as the targets of the devil’s deception, need to acknowledge and understand is, what is the difference between Satan’s footsteps and straight forward following Satan?

Following Satan

Allah (SWT) states in Surah Al-Hajj chapter 22 verse 3, that:

22:3 And yet among men there are such as dispute about Allah, without knowledge, and follows every evil one obstinate in rebellion!

There are such people whose hearts have been sealed from the truth, weather they have any knowledge or not. They – for the sake of it – follow whatever Satan decrees, giving not a single ounce of thought to it; whether it is morally wrong or against the law. These people don’t just give any thought, but agree to whatever dire thing they hear, and uphold it as though it be the truth. Their souls are blacker than the night itself, and they are the ones who uphold Satan’s regime of blasphemy and praise ignorance as if it be the savior of the world. They follow their nafs, (soul or self) and care not what their heart and conscience tell, which in time becomes tainted itself to feel nothing when evil has been committed. They feel no happiness in this life nor will they in the hereafter, (unless they change their ways). 

Following Satan Manners.

People who follow without thought are straight forward followers of Satan. Following Satan in this manner is likened to the most beautiful man or women coming in front of you and asking, “Come spend a night with me in the hotel across the road, it’ll be nothing!”, or one of your mates says, “We’re having a lager down at the pub tonight, we’ll also watch the match. I bet you 20 quid England’s going to lose. Hah".

Fornication (sexual intercourse before marriage), consuming alcohol and betting are all prohibited in Islam; they destroy societies and moral values.

The thoughtless people I have mentioned above will accept without a word, for they have no set purpose or aim in life, yet a person with a little Iman will turn the offer down. Avoiding following Satan directly is easily cast off, that is why Allah (SWT) constantly reminds us of Satan’s footsteps, the more deadly and undetectable ploys of the rejected.

Satan’s Footsteps

Allah (SWT) commands in Surah Al Baqarah, chapter 2 verse 208 that:

"Oh ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of Satan; for he is to you an avowed enemy." (2:208)

Satan’s footsteps are subtlety designed, so that even the believer will give in. He first gives the suggestion which he makes out not to be harmful. Through various processes, Satan the accursed carries on making suggestions, but at a slightly higher level of immorality, but since the process has been on going, the person does not see any sin in his actions; thus becoming ensnared in a lofty degree of sin. Satan’s goal is to make a person perpetrate a sinful action of such a high degree, that because of that sin, the persons whole life before and after him has and is ruined, placing no value to it, and ultimately bringing the person down with him (Satan) to the depths of hell. And the ultimate goal of Satan to make a person commit shirk.

Remember: One major sin in this temporary life is enough to bring about your destruction.

Shirk is the biggest sin in the sight of almighty Allah. As it is stated in Surah Al Luqman, chapter 31 verse 13, it commands:

Behold, Luqman said to his son by way of instruction: “O my son! Join not in worship (others) with Allah. For false worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing.” 

And Satan’s goal is to bring the servants of Allah (SWT) down with him to hell.

Al-Hijr 15:39 (Iblis) said: “O my Lord! Because Thou hast put me in the wrong, I will make (wrong) fair-seeming to them on the earth, and I will put them all in th wrong."

An example of Following Satan’s footsteps are;

A man starts to speak to a young, attractive women over the phone, thinking in his head, “What’s the harm, I’m only talking!” They then go out to meet each other, and watch a film together. It’s a film, what harm can that be! They then go out for dinner in a romantic restaurant and after sit down to watch the sunset together. Hence forth, they end up kissing and find themselves under the covers of a bed together in a hotel room they booked moments earlier.

Satan’s footsteps are the most deadly, and usually no one find any harm in the first stage which Satan puts the individual (s) through. This issue has to be addressed, as ignorance is what destroys societies, and it is ignorant to not know what the ploy/footsteps of the open enemy [1] is.

There is Hikmah (wisdom) in whatever Allah has created, made lawful and prohibited. If you create a car, you know it needs petrol, diesel or gas to run, so you cannot put water in the car and expect it to take you to your destination. So the petrol, diesel or gas is legal, but the water is prohibited. So do not you think that our creator – the creator of the whole universe, everything in it, universal laws and time – knows what is best for us, what should be legal and what should be prohibited for us people? A car will not run then and there, but we don’t realize that our “not running” or outcome will be on the day of resurrection. Do we “stop running”, i.e. go to hell or do we “keep running,” and go to heaven.

The following verses talk about the deception of Satan, what you should avoid i.e. is prohibited, and what Allah commands about the footsteps of Satan. Remember: Allah (SWT) did not create any verse in the Qur’an in vain, and volumes of books can be written on a single Ayat (verse). So a single word in a single verse has much more meaning then will immediately come to light. The more times you read the Qur’an, the more things, concepts and perceptions will be revealed to you. You should ponder over these extremely Holy verses for they contain everything, as Allah (SWT) commanded in Surah Muhammad, Chapter 47 verse 24:

Do they not then earnestly seek to understand the Qur’an, – or are their hearts locked up by them?

Remember: Satan’s footsteps are not to be followed in any case. His footsteps are a gradual build up to a higher, more unforgivable sin. Do not even let it start. Look around you and realize. Open your barriers of thought, and create a free thinking mind.

Also, remember, is Satan himself faced you, and commanded you to carry out a prohibited act, you would most definitely say “NO!” as you would understand and realize it is Satan. Yet if he gave you a gradual build up, starting with something minor, all the while keeping himself hidden, you might find yourself committing a great atrocity without even realizing it. Satan has been alive since before man, so he most definitely will be one of the greatest deceivers in history, which he undoubtedly is.

But keep in mind, Satan is not your friend as he makes it out to be. He only shows you the way; it is you who take it. You accept his call. You commit the sins. The footsteps are his, yet you follow them. He himself takes no responsibility of your actions – which he himself declares, as it is stated in the Qur’an:

Al-Anfal 8:48 Remember Satan made their (sinful) acts seem alluring to them, and said, “No one among men can overcome you this day, while I am near to you”: but when the two forces  came in sight of each other, he turned on his heels, and said, “Lo! I am clear of you; Lo! I see what ye see not; Lo! I fear Allah; for Allah is strict in punishment”

Al-Hashr 59:16 (Their allies deceived them), Like the Satan, when he says to man, “Deny Allah”: but when (Man) denies Allah, [Satan] says, “I am free of thee: I fear Allah, the Lord of the worlds!”


There are so many verses in the Qur'an that talk about Satan’s footsteps, what is prohibited and what should be looked out for and avoided. So, ponder over these verses...


May Allah the Almighty forgive us for our shortcomings and guide us to that which He loves and is pleased with. Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an, 11th edition 1429 AH / 2008 C.E with Revised English Translation, Commentary and Index by ‘Abdullah Yusuf ‘Ali.

Last updated 27th November 2013

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2 - The World of Jinn and Its Secrets.

3 - Follow not the footsteps of Satan.

4 - The Traps of Iblees.