THE EVIL OF ONE’S SOUL
Seek the Protection of God
AHADITH of the Prophet Muhammad contains a dua or prayer to God thus: “O God, guide me to the right path and protect me from the evil of my own self.” (Sunan at-Tirmidhi). This Hadith refers to the path of guidance, a path by treading which a person will find success in both this world and the Hereafter.
This path has been clearly explained in the Quran and Sunnah. To know the path of guidance or the right path and to walk on it is not something difficult for us. Then, what is the evil of the soul that is referred to in the above-cited dua? What is meant here is that whilst knowing the truth a person changes its meaning by giving it a wrong interpretation.
Wrong interpretation always happens because of the evil of one’s own self. There is enormous room for misinterpretation, and even a very clear commandment can be twisted to supposedly mean something completely different.
We should beseech God for His help to protect us from Satan, to enable us to recognize Satan’s deceptions, and to protect us from Satan’s evil suggestions.
For instance, the Quran commands the believers ‘to establish prayer’ (2: 43). If one is free from evil, one can very easily understand the meaning of this commandment. But if a person is under the influence of evil promptings, that is, if his intention is not right, he can give an absurd interpretation and make this commandment appear to mean something entirely different. Thus, he could claim that by establish prayer is meant ‘to establish a political system’, or that it means ‘to do social reform or social work’.
It is for each one to save themselves from such evil. We cannot save ourselves from such wrongdoing simply by reciting some words of dua or supplication. Actually, in this matter, fifty percent of the work here is the individual’s, and the remaining fifty percent is the work of praying to God. In this regard, the proper approach is to discover the right path, motivated by sincere intention. We must have true enthusiasm for this task. And then, we should pray to God to help us to remain steadfast on the right path. We should beseech God for His help to protect us from Satan, to enable us to recognize Satan’s deceptions, and to protect us from Satan’s evil suggestions.
Source: Spirit Of Islam