(It wouldn’t have been possible for Iblis to deceive Adam and his progeny by force, but he used and continues to use deceptive methods to achieve his goals. These methods are plenty, and each of them comes to people decorated with false promises, tempting desires, and false hopes, along with threats as and when required. It is essential to study these methods, which are exposed in the Book of Allah, to protect ourselves from Iblis and his army. This article discusses one of his most common methods, ‘deception through beautified words’ to which many people, including Muslims, fall prey to the cunningness of the Devil.)

“And so We have made for every Prophet enemies—devilish humans and jinn—whispering to one another with Elegant Words of Deception (zukhraful qawlal ghurur’). Had it been your Lord’s Will, they would not have done such a thing. So leave them and their deceit.” [Surah Al An’am: 112]

The above verse presents many cautionary notes along with reasons:

  1. There are enemies of every Prophet from men and jinns. It is a struggle of the Prophets and their followers against falsehood.
  2. These enemies of truth will inspire each other with deceptive words that are beautified.
  3. Allah has allowed it to happen so that those who defy truth and those who support it will be distinguished from each other.
  4. Discard such deceptions and keep away from such deceptive words, temptations, and the people who make use of them.

Deceptive Words Tickle Temptations

Iblis has many ways of deceiving the children of Adam. He began by deceiving Adam, the father of humanity. He promised the first couple an ever-lasting life if they ate from the forbidden tree. He pretended to share the alleged secret that Allah was hiding from them, which was that if they ate from the tree then they would turn into angels. He even presented himself as their well-wisher.

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“Your Lord has forbidden this tree to you only to prevent you from becoming angels or immortals. And he swore to them both that he was their sincere advisor, So by deceit, he brought about their fall.” [Surah Al Araf: 20]

The Quranic term for the devil’s deception in the above ayat is ghuroor, derived from the root word ر- ر- غ which appears 27 times in the Quran in three different forms, and each means deception through fakery. Deception through fakery is so effective that even people with high education and other superlative skillful qualities fail to identify it, and thereby tempted to fall into it.


Deceptive people who are friends of the Devil, come as sincere advisors to lead us to disobedience to Allah.

The Mustabsiroon

The people of Aad and Thamud were mustabsiroon, highly skilled, yet they fell to the deception of the devil. Allah says,

“The people of  Aad and Thamud met a similar fate, which must be clear to you from their ruins. Satan made their evil deeds appealing (zayyan) to them, hindering them from the Right Way, although they were (mustabsiroon) capable of reasoning.” [Surah Al Ankabut: 38]

Mustabsiroon means people of excellent skills and high Intelligence. Despite their intelligence, why did they fall into shirk and kufr? The above verse gives the reasons: Satan made their sins alluring to them! In other words, they found their sins to be good and enjoyable. He beautified their sins, so there was no question of repentance, but gave an arrogant response when they were cautioned.

The Arabic word used by the Qur’an in the context is zayyan which means to beautify or to decorate. Fazayyanalahumus Shaytano a’amaluhoom (so Satan beautified their sinful misdeeds). Zayyan refers to beautification even in other Surahs.

“We have surely sent Messengers to communities before you, but Satan made their misdeeds appealing (zayyan) to them.” [Surah Nahl: 63]


“I found her and her people prostrating to the sun instead of Allah. For Satan has made their deeds appealing (zayyan) to them—hindering them from the Right Way and leaving them unguided.” [Surah Naml: 24]

Hasan Basri said that this refers to Bilkis, the Queen of Saba. (See Tafseer Ibn Kathir, Surah Naml:24)

Beautification of sins through deceptive words has brought ruin to huge empires, and seeing their deceptive ways has saved other empires. Pharaoh was doomed because he defied the Prophets, but the Queen of Saba was saved because she accepted to be on the side of the Prophets.

Beautification of sins can make you so power-hungry or intoxicated and extremely arrogant that you rush to your destruction.

Beautification of sins is one of the smart moves of Satan. Since he has no power over us to force us, he allures us and invites us. He cannot drag us to commit fornication, but he will try to make us commit it through lucrative video clips and promos so beautifully that one is tempted to act upon it. He applies the same deceptive tactics with many other sins, from shirk to gambling, but on the Day of Judgement, he will exclaim,

“And Satan will say when the matter has been concluded, ‘Indeed, Allāh had promised you the promise of truth. And I promised you, but I betrayed you. But I had no authority over you except that I invited you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me, but blame yourselves.’” [Surah Ibrahim: 22]

Hearden Hearts – A Result of Falling to Beautiful Deceptions

When the hearts are hardened, no good advice, nor any reminders, will affect the sinners, not even hardships that Allah places upon the people, to make them humble. Before drowning Pharaoh, Allah placed him into small punishment as reminders, in the form of a swarm of insects, rain of blood, and popping up of frogs everywhere, but their hearts were hardened by succumbing to temptations of sins. Allah mentions,

“When the suffering reached them from us, why did they not learn humility? Rather their hearts became hardened and Shaytan made their sins seem alluring to them.” [Surah Al An’am: 43]

The same happened to the polytheists of Makkah when they faced the Muslims at Badr. Allah relates how Abu Jahl and his aides were deceived by Iblis with false assurance of victory, thus beautifying their sins for them. When the Quraish left Makkah for Badr they took along with them women singers, alcohol, and drums to celebrate a victory falsely assured by Iblis. He came in the form of Shuraqa ibn Malik, the chief of Bani Mudlij, and assured them of help.(Ar Rahiqul Makhtum: The Battle of Badr)

Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) said: On the day of Badr, Satan, his army and flag holders joined the army of Quraish and whispered into their hearts of an assured victory. That was zukhraful qawlal ghurur (deception through fake words).  But when they saw the angels descending to fight, he along with his army deserted the Quraish and fled. Allah has recorded this incident in His Book for us to be cautioned of such fake well-wishers.

“Do not be like those who left their homes arrogantly, only to be seen by people and to hinder others from Allah’s Path. And Allah is Fully Aware of what they do. And remember when Satan made their evil deeds appealing to them, and said, ‘No one can overcome you today. I am surely by your side.’ But when the two forces faced off, he cowered and said, ‘I have absolutely nothing to do with you. I certainly see what you do not see. I truly fear Allah, for Allah is severe in punishment.’ [Surah Al Anfal: 47-48]

The result was devastating for the pagans of Makkah who lost seventy of their chieftains in that battle and were routed by the truthful army.

The people of Prophet Lut were intoxicated by homosexuality and were unfazed by the repeated warnings of their Prophet, Pharaoh and the Makkan polytheists were intoxicated by their military might, and the people of Aad and Thamud were into self-wonder by their skills and physical strength. All of these were doomed because they were deceived by Satan through beautified sins that tempted them to rebel against Allah.

Beautified sins lead us to a way where we do not even mind others doing it and do not feel bad about it. Sins are glamorous even today, in the form of obscene entertainment, adultery is inserted into our homes through movies and series, showing homosexuality and live-in relations. There is not a sin which is not repeated by today’s society that was committed by the earlier people.

Allah has beautifully summed up the end of such people who give up on the temptation,

“Did I not command you, O  Children of Adam, not to follow Satan, for he is truly your sworn enemy, but to worship Me alone? This is the Straight Path. Yet he already misled great multitudes of you. Did you not have any sense?” [Surah Yasin: 60-62]

The Return is Also Simple and Easy But Disciplined

Ibnul Qayyim Al Jauziya said, “Know that the first deception of Iblees against the people is to turn them away from knowledge, because knowledge is light; so when he extinguishes their lamps, he strikes them in the darkness however he wishes.” (Talbees Iblis: 1/289)

Being in the company of people of knowledge is the safest way to preserve one’s hereafter from getting destroyed. Clinging to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet is the right way of salaf (pious predecessors), and so remains for us too.

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Nisaar Nadiadwala

Previously a visiting university faculty member in both Malaysia and Tanzania, Nisaar Nadiadwala is presently based in the UAE as a trainer in Public Speaking and Communication Skills. As a consultant and a coach in the field of Public Speaking, panel discussions, news debates, and in anchoring Radio-TV-Podcast shows, he has helped people to build their careers through polishing their skills in making presentations. Besides being an award-winning speech maker, he has received the honorable title of Top Writer on Quora in 2018 and continues to retain that position: https://www.quora.com/search?q=Nisaar+Nadiadwala In regard to his socio-religious contributions, Nisaar focuses on family issues from an Islamic perspective, trying to cover every segment of the family. His special attention remains the tarbiyah of teenagers, for which he is invited to many Islamic Schools as a consultant and as a speaker on the teenage period of life. He relates his work to the grooming of adolescents, motivating them to adopt the Islamic way of life through his TV series, articles and workshops in community schools. His latest release is an E-book Teen's Deen - a collection of short stories for teenagers - published by www.themuslimfamily.net He has hosted his Pre-Marriage Preparatory Workshop in many cities of India and abroad. His book, I want to marry, but …, is the talk of the community in the desi crowd. Mr. Nadiadwala trains both online and in person through his course packages. He can be contacted at: Nisaar Nadiadwala [mnisaar@gmail.com].

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