believed there was a creator of good in the universe, called Yazdan, and a creator of evil, called Ahriman.1 However, the imaginary god of evil they called Ahriman was Satan, who causes evil through the power of choice and the power to act, which has no ability to create.
O people of belief! Your most effective weapon and equipment for repairs in the face of this awesome destruction of Satan is seeking forgiveness from God, and declaring “I seek refuge with God,” to have recourse to Him. And your stronghold is the Prophet’s (UWBP) practices.
In the revealed scriptures Almighty God points out to mankind great rewards like Paradise and terrible punishments like Hell, and He gives guidance, many admonishments and reminders, and threats and encouragement. But despite there being so many means guiding the people of belief to the straight path, they are defeated in the face of the feeble, unrewarding, repellent stratagems of Satan’s party. At one time this caused me much thought. How is it, I wondered, that although they believe, they disregard Almighty God’s severe threats? Why isn’t their belief enough? They are carried away by Satan’s baseless wiles and rebel against God, although according to the verse, “Feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.”(4:76) Some of my own friends, even, although they sincerely affirmed the teachings about reality they had heard from me a hundred times and had an excessively good opinion of me and relations with me, they were carried away by the trite and hypocritical compliments of a corrupt person, and took up a position in favour of him and against me. “Glory be to God!,” I exclaimed, “How can a person fall so low? What a deceitful man he was.” I slandered him and committed a sin.
Later, the truth explained in the previous Indications became clear and illuminated many obscure points. Thanks be to God, through its light I understood both that the All-Wise Qur’an’s powerful encouragement and assurances are completely in place, and that the people of belief being deceived by Satanic machinations is not due to a lack of belief or weakness of faith. I understood too that someone who commits grievous sins is not an unbeliever, and that the Mu‘tazilites and some Kharijite sects are in error by stating: “The person who commits a grievous sin is either in a state of unbelief or is between belief and unbelief,”2 and that that unfortunate
See, al-Shahristani, al-Milal wa’l-Nihal, i, 232-3; al-Iji, Kitab al-Mawaqif, iii, 65; Tahir ibn Muhammad, al-Tabsir fi’l-Din, i, 91, 113, 142.
See, al-Iji, Kitab al-Mawaqif, iii, 548; Ibn Abi’l-’Izz, Sharh ‘Aqida al-Tahawiyya, i, 356-62.