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

The Pious Monk and Shaitaan


This story is from Israaeeliyaat which have their source in the books or tales of the Jews and Christians. We do not say it is true nor do we say it is false, but it is allowed to narrate them as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Narrate stories about the Tribe of Israel and there is no harm in that”.
Wahb ibn Munabbih has related the following lengthy story from the people of the Book.’ We present it here to show the way of Shaitaan in his attempt to mislead mankind. The story warns humans about Shaitaan’s “sincere advice”. One must oppose the thing that Shaitaan is calling to’.
Amongst the children of Israel, there was a pious monk who was unmatched in his piety. In his locality there were three brothers who had one sister. The brothers wanted to go for war but could not do so as their sister would be left unattended to. After much contemplation, the brothers agreed that it would be best if they left their younger sister with the monk. They approached the monk and said, “Let us give our sister to you so that she may live in peace until we return from Jihad.”

Being a God fearing believer, the monk refused and after a lot of persuasion, he agreed to the idea as Shaitaan had come to him and made the idea seem warming. However, he made it clear that she will not stay with him but in a house opposite from his place of worship.

Thus, this young girl lived in a house close to the monk while the brothers were away for a long period of time. The monk would make food, leave it outside the doors to his place of worship, call the girl and then return to his place of worship. Shaitaan then came again to soften the heart of this monk and he placed in his heart the mindset that, ‘What if a person sees her when she is coming out to get the food and then tries to harass her?’ The monk thought it would be better if he delivered the food to her house rather than giving her the trouble of revealing herself to the public.

The young girl kept on receiving her food like this for a long period of time until Shaitaan came to the monk once more. This time Shaitaan encouraged him to go and speak to the girl and to be affectionate as she is a lone sister with no family. Shaitaan then continued to encourage him till the monk left his entire place of worship and would often go sit with the girl. He would sit on one side of the door and she would be on the other, like this time went by till Shaitaan urged him to commit more into this relationship. And so, over a period of time, the relationship of these two became more and more intimate till the monk who was once as God fearing gained entry into the house of the young girl.

He would spend his entire day at her house and would speak continuously till the sun set. He would then return to his house and sleep there for the remainder of the night. Until, Shaitaan made the beauty of the woman apparent.

It is important now to note the hadith of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) “When a woman leaves her house, Shaitaan beautifies her”. This is not to say that a woman who wears what Shari’ah has prescribed for her is trying to become self alluring, rather it is indicating to the fact that Shaitaan will do as much as he can to compel man to the obvious beauty of women. This is what happened to the monk and he started a relationship with the young girl. Ultimately, they committed Zinah (illegal sexual intercourse) and the young girl became pregnant and gave birth to a boy.

Shaitaan then put the monk in a state of panic, he told him that the girl might tell her brothers when they return and he maybe disgraced in front of the public. As a result, Shaitaan continued to instigate his plans and instructed the monk.

“If people find out about this, you will be disgraced! And if her family members find out, they will beat you! So kill her and your son, and when her family come to collect her, tell them that she died due to her illness!”

The monk did as he was told and then returned to his place of worship to continue praying for a long period until one day, the brothers returned from Jihad.They came straight to the monk and asked about their sister to which the monk merely replied, “She died due to an illness.” He began to cry profusely and claimed to have made dua’ah for her every day. The three brothers were sad but satisfied with what they have heard and did not dare question the authority if such a ‘pious’ monk. They departed from the monk’s place of worship and returned to their house.

That night when the brothers were asleep, Shaitaan came to them in their dreams and enlightened them with regards to the fate of their beloved sister suffered. When they woke, they all surprised at what they had seen. When they met each other, they all said, ”I saw an amazing thing last night,” and they informed each other of what they had seen. The brothers went until they reached the door of the place where their sister stayed. They opened the door and looked for the place that was described to them in their dreams. They found their sister and her son buried in a ditch, as they were told.

They confronted the monk and it came into light that he had killed their sister and the brothers wanted justice. They took him to the judge of the town who duly gave the death penalty to him. Thereafter Shaitaan came to the monk at the time he was being executed and said,

“Look, it was I who strangled the girl and made her ill, it was I who had told the family to bring her to you, it was I who had influenced you to commit illegal sexual intercourse with her, and it was I who told you to kill her. I brought you into this and by me you will be able to get refuge from this problem... just prostrate to me.”

The monk had already committed all the major sins. The way to commit kufr (disbelief) was paved. So, he prostrated. At that juncture, the Shaitaan said to him plainly, “You were falling into my trap. I adopted all these guiles for you to commit kufr. I cannot assist you in any way.” At this point Shaitaan turned and left him. This is what is meant when Allah says in the Qur’an,

“(And the hypocrites are) as the likeness of the devil when he tells man, ‘Become a disbeliever!’ Then once he disbelieves, he says, ‘I disown you; I fear Allah, the Lord of the worlds.” [Surah Al-Hashr:16]

Many scholars related this story in their commentary to the following verse above, they mention that this verse refers to this monk (worshipper) and to others similar to him. Allah (swt) knows best.

From this story we can note one of the methods that Shaitaan uses to mislead mankind. He takes the human step by step, not all at one time, to misguidance. He neither over does it nor does he bore the person. Every time the person is pleased by a step, he takes the human to a greater act of disobedience. This continues until he can take him to the greatest sin and the person’s destruction. This is Allah’s pattern with respect to His slaves. If they deviate from Allah’s path, He allows Shaitaan to gain control of them.

..“So when they went astray, Allah sent their hearts astray”... [Qur’an 61:5]


If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him), one can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him), one can be assured of being led astray.
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 World of the Jinn and Devils by Dr. Umar Sulaiman al-Ashqar, Professor, College of Sharia, University of Jordan
  • Satan's Web by Sheikh Abdullah Faisal
  • Qur’an – Translation by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall (New Modern English Edition)

Last updated 30th October 2013


Want to know more about the 'footsteps and traps of Shaitaan' here



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