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أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا ٱلشَّيَاطِينَ عَلَى ٱلْكَافِرِينَ تَؤُزُّهُمْ أَزّاً
-Maryam ( مريم )

Tafsir al-Tustari

Have you not seen that We unleash the devils against the disbelievers to urge them on impetuously?He said:They arouse them, stirring them up to acts of disobedience (maʿāṣī) and they call them to those transgressions by means of that which their lower self desires, due to the abandonment of God’s protection, just as God, Exalted is He, has said in the story of the Accursed One [Satan] (al-Laʿīn): I had no power over you except to call you, and you responded to my call [14:22]. His calling is at different levels. It may be to what is evil or it may be to what is good, just as the Prophet said, ‘Truly Satan will show one of you seventy doors to goodness just in order to make him enter one door to evil and thereby ruin him.’He [Sahl] continued:Indeed, the Accursed One whispers to all those who perform acts of worship (ahl al-ʿibādāt) and strive [for the good] (aṣḥāb al-jahd), but he has no concern for them; his concern is rather for the one who does not enter into anything without knowing whether it is [spiritually] to his benefit or detriment. It is only with regard to knowledge that worshippers and renunciants (zuhhād) fall into errors, not because of their striving, for [regarding the latter] they do not possess a state in which they might discern [errors] in their relationship with God. When God, Exalted is He, calls a servant to account on the Day of Resurrection, his intellect will remain firm with regard to every action that was done with the knowledge of whether he was in a state of obedience or transgression. However, he will fall into confusion (taḥayyur) and bewilderment (dahsha) on account of whatever he did in a state of ignorance (jahl). This is because, when he knows what state (ḥāl) he is in, his obedience and repentance (tawba) will be acceptable through God’s proof (ḥujja). However, if he does not know [his state] he will fall into confusion and bewilderment, because he acted without anything that could act as proof [for him before God]. Sahl was asked concerning the man who is in a state of remembering God, and the thought (khaṭar) ‘God is with you’ occurs to his heart. He said:It [the thought] is one of three things: it is either an enemy who wishes to cut him off [from God], or his lower self wanting to betray him, or his lower self trying to deceive him. In this case, he should not pay any attention to such thoughts (khawāṭir). His words, Exalted is He:

Tafsīr al-Tustarī, trans. Annabel Keeler and Ali Keeler
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