We have come across this letter and have seen it in many chatrooms. It is known as the “Counsel of Iblees” or “My advice before I am chained up” or “The Letter of Iblees.” It is written as if it is words of the Shaytaan addressing mankind before he is chained up in Ramadaan, in which he urges the devils among mankind to undertake his missions. We will quote this letter and make whatever comments we can on it.
The text of the letter is as follows:
“Iblees says in this letter: I send you my best wishes and greetings a few hours before I am put in chains, which I am certain of and everyone knows about that.
“Thirty days in which I will be far away from you, after having been with you throughout the year. My consolation is that there may be among you those who will make up for my absence.
“You are all aware of what happened last Ramadaan. Despite all the efforts I made with you, and all the thoughts that I whispered into your ears, we saw millions of people in all lands going to the mosques, millions putting on hijab. At that time I was tied up in chains and burning with the fire of anger.
“The efforts of a whole year were wasted with that lost girl on Laylat al-Qadr, and that man whom I caused to fall into every major sin, and now tears are falling from his eyes that extinguish his Lord’s wrath and open the door of repentance to him.
“O devils among mankind, when your leader is absent, you have a great role to play, so do as you are commanded. I want them in Ramadaan to know nothing but staying up all night until morning, and sleeping until it is time for a delightful iftaar, until their rounded bellies are filled. Then complete it with the blessing of TV programs. We want dancing, we want music, we want desires and provocation, we want devilish ideas. But do not forget to close it with deceit by including recitation of Qur’aan.
“O devils of mankind, include many interviews with actresses and dancers and all attractive and beautiful women who will tell them about the spirit of Ramadaan and the efforts they make on stages and dance floors. We want all the people to talk about those daily soap operas, weekly movies and monthly plays. We want soccer matches, Arabic songs, satellite channels. I do not want to see any one of them stopping, not even for a second. As you know, our time is precious and our goals are cheap.
“O devils of mankind, do you want them to enter Paradise which has been denied to us, even its beautiful fragrance? Do you want them to have moments of repentance where decades of our efforts will be wasted? Did I not warn you that whoever among them lives to see Laylat al-Qadr, his past and future sins will be forgiven? No, a thousand times no! You will be doomed and lost if you do that.
“I will replace you, you cheap devils. Do you not want dwellers for Hell and inhabitants for its lowest degrees? Is there no one who would like to go to Hell and eat from the tree of Zaqqoom? Where are your dead hearts and devilish minds?
“As for you, O woman, your role in the ummah is very important. You are the strongest drug for man, and I have great hopes in you. You are the answer to every question. We want soirees, we want dancing and laughter, in brief, we want provocation and pleasure. Forget about Taraweeh, forget about the reward of the one who spends the night in prayer. Is it not enough that you are fasting?
“O sons of Adam, listen to me, for I am nothing but a sincere adviser to you. Do not worry about anything in Ramadaan but all that is delicious. Forget about praying to the Lord of the Worlds, and beware of reading the verses of the Qur’aan; it is bad and sinful in the eyes of the dwellers of Hell. “Ramadaan will come back year after year, so you will have plenty of opportunities to repent to a merciful and oft-forgiving Lord. But for now spend your time in glorifying Bush and Binyamin (Netanyahu), upon whom be the mercy of the devils.
“Signed by the accursed Iblees.”
We have several comments to make on this letter, as follows:
1 – This is an innovated form of da’wah and exhortation. Daa’iyahs and preachers can write letters to sinners telling them of their sins and to obedient worshippers encouraging them to increase their worship, with no need for such a silly, joking letter that contains all kinds of ignorance and unrealistic nonsense.
2 – This way of exhorting and reminding opens the door to putting words into the mouths of others besides Iblees, such as the angels, Prophets, martyrs, the Dajjaal, Paradise, Hell and so on. This is something that would lead to chaos and open the door to any fool who wants to attribute such letters to whomever he wants. Thus the da’wah would turn into a fiction-writing competition and exhortations would turn into a contest to choose a figure to whom to attribute words.
3 – We are certain that the author is not a scholar or a seeker of knowledge. We have only seen this letter in chatrooms that are frequented by ordinary people. One of the conditions of calling people to Allaah is that the speaker should have knowledge of what he is saying, because he is speaking on behalf of the Lord of the Worlds and speaking in the name of Islam, so this is not the field for those with colourful imaginations.
4 – This letter does not contain any verse or hadeeth, so it distracts people from exhortation that is based on the Qur’aan. It is as if there is nothing in Islam that could move people such as clear verses, saheeh ahaadeeth or clear shar’i rulings.
5 – This letter contains a kind of respect towards the Shaytaan, as if he is the speaker and the people are listening to him, and transmitting messages that are signed by him. Undoubtedly this is a kind of honour to the one who has been cursed and who is too despicable to have his messages conveyed by Muslims in their chatrooms and on their mobile phones. Any daa’iyah or seeker of knowledge could write an essay explaining how the Shaytaan deals with sinners and with worshippers, comparing and contrasting the two, and explaining that with verses and ahaadeeth, without making the speaker the Shaytaan himself. Thus he could reach the same goal as that for which this letter was written.
6 – This letter contains ignorance of Islamic rulings and lies about Islam, such as when it says, “Did I not warn you that whoever among them lives to see Laylat al-Qadr, his past and future sins will be forgiven?” This sentence reveals ignorance on two counts. Firstly, it is well known that merely living until Laylat al-Qadr comes brings no virtue. The saheeh hadeeth states that virtue is found in spending Laylat al-Qadr in prayer, not just living to see it. Secondly, the virtue attained by the one who spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer is that his previous sins are forgiven, not his future sins. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever spends the night of Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1802). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not mention future sins.
7 – This letter says that all the devils among the jinn are chained up, but it seems that the ones who are chained up are the strong ones (maarid), as it says in some saheeh reports. We have discussed this in the answer to several questions, such as 39736, 12653 and 14253. In some of those answers it states that the fact that those strong jinn are chained up does not mean that they cannot whisper (waswaas), which proves that this letter is completely baseless.
We do not think that it is permissible to spread this letter, because it goes against sharee’ah and because it is silly and foolish. We think that such means distract people from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and that their supposed benefits are limited to style only, and do not include the meaning and content.
And Allaah knows best.