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In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful          

Reality Vs Illusion

Salamun 'Alaykum,
Peace be unto you,

Satan sells the illusion, while God grants us the reality. When Satan duped Adam and his wife to eat from the tree, his main goal was the following.

[7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness. These are some of GOD's signs, that they may take heed.

[7:27] O children of Adam, do not let the devil dupe you as he did when he caused the eviction of your parents from Paradise, and the removal of their garments to expose their bodies. He and his tribe see you, while you do not see them. We appoint the devils as companions of those who do not believe.

The above two verses give us a very important clue into understanding the spiritual war we are living today. In the first verse [7:26] God associates the physical garments that covers our bodies with the spiritual garment of reverence that covers our soul, then in the following verse [7:27] God tells us that the goal of Satan was to "expose their bodies" through removing their garments.

The verse doesn't only refer to the physical garment but points also to the spiritual garment of reverence (or righteousness) , how?

Before this tragic incident in Heaven, all of us as souls were dwelling happilly in Paradise enjoying God's provisions, for we had a promise from God that ALL our needs will be met and more, as long as we don't transgress (by violating His commandment, e.g: eating from the forbidden tree).

[20:117] We then said, "O Adam, this is an enemy of you and your wife. Do not let him evict you from Paradise, lest you become miserable.

[20:118] "You are guaranteed never to hunger therein, nor go unsheltered.

[20:119] "Nor will you thirst therein, nor suffer from any heat."

[20:120] But the devil whispered to him, saying, "O Adam, let me show you the tree of eternity and unending kingship."

[20:121] They ate from it, whereupon their bodies became visible to them, and they tried to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise. Adam thus disobeyed his Lord, and fell.

Note that in Quran, when God speaks about Heaven or hell, it is all allegorical, since the spiritual unseen dimension is very difficult for us to understand, that's why God uses allegories for us to reflect upon, the righteous will feel the real meanings behind the allegories (e.g: the fire of hell, the gardens of  paradise..etc).

The tree actually represents all the "visible" creatures, our dimension. Satan always promotes the "visible" since he is blocked, along with his followers from feeling the unseen (meanings).

The righteous can see the unseen:

[2:3] who believe in the unseen, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and from our provisions to them, they give to charity.

The wicked see only the visible:

[30:7] They care only about things of this world that are visible to them, while being totally oblivious to the Hereafter.

So in order to gather followers, in order to enslave the human being, Satan must use the creatures, he sells his product (the powerless creatures) through lying, he said to Adam and his wife that the tree will grant them (on its own) eternal life and kingship.

So Adam, his wife (and all of us as souls) had a choice, either to believe Satan, accept his idea that the creatures can grant benefit or harm independently of God, and follow his command, or to remember God's warning and hold fast to Him as the only god and Lord to be followed.

God's warning that we should have remembered:

[2:35] We said, "O Adam, live with your wife in Paradise, and eat therefrom generously, as you please, but do not approach this tree, lest you sin."

Once we ate from the tree, we committed these crimes:

1- Disbelieved God's warning.
2- Believed Satan's lie.

Which means that we chose Satan over God, this violated the covenant we all made with God,

[36:60] Did I not covenant with you, O Children of Adam, that you shall not worship the devil? That he is your most ardent enemy?

However, the Most Merciful accepted our repentance for this particular incident, but we had to prove that this repentance is for real, God gave us two choices, either to do submissive roles for a specific period or to come to earth, see a live demonstration of Satan again and make our minds.

All the creatures in the heavens and the earth (from the largest planet to the tiniest atom) accepted this offer to do submissive roles for a specific period and then go back to Heaven, except we the arrogant humans, we still wanted to watch what would Satan show us.

[33:72] We have offered the responsibility (freedom of choice) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they refused to bear it, and were afraid of it. But the human being accepted it; he was transgressing, ignorant.

Before we ate from the forbidden tree, we were living in a spiritual dimension based on the unseen, which means that the provisions granted by God were more felt than seen (e.g: mercy, love..etc). When we ate from the tree, we lost our garment of reverence that protected us from being blocked by the visible, all the visible dimension (the earth and the creatures) became visible to us, and from there the test started.

The test entails that the visible will constantly overshadow the unseen, thus the looks, beauty, skills..etc will act as veils hiding the reality behind them. So what is the reality? the reality is the unseen, the righetous feelings and meanings, e.g: absolute values, justice, freedom, love..etc.

For example, the adulterer puts the visible (the body) over the unseen (love), thus he is totally blind, following a physical lust, Satan lies to him, he tells him that the physical relation alone will grant him satisfaction (on its own). While in reality, God is the one who grants the unseen love, without which the physical relation will be incomplete, bringing misery and despair on the adulterer.

Same happens with the thief or the gambler, Satan dupes him by selling the lie that money by itself can grant security and satisfaction, yet God teaches us that without an honest means of getting that money, it will only bring misery upon its owner.

And so on, goes the test, God or Satan? the unseen or the visible? and everyday we meet this question over and over again, the winners are those who remember God, seek refuge in Him from Satan and steafatly persevere infront of the temptations.

[James 1-12] Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will recieve the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

The winners along the history made the right choice, they held fast to the rope of God, the unseen absolute values, they never compromised, they said no to their sinful lusts.
The losers on the other hand followed their desires, the visible blinded them, they followed Satan to hell. The choice is yours!.

[2:3] who believe in the unseen, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and from our provisions to them, they give to charity.

[2:4] And they believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you,* and with regard to the Hereafter, they are absolutely certain.

[2:5] These are guided by their Lord; these are the winners.

[4:120] He promises them and entices them; what the devil promises is no more than an illusion.

[40:58] Not equal are the blind and the seer.
Nor are those who believe and work righteousness equal to the sinners.
Rarely do you take heed.