In the tribe of Bani Israel, there once lived a pious worshipper. One day, the people informed him that at a certain location, there existed a tree that was being worshipped by a tribe. When he heard this, the man flew into a rage, picked up his axe and set out to cut down the tree.
Shaitan, appearing before him in the form of an old man, asked, "Where are you headed for?" Pious worshipper replied, "I intend to cut down the tree, which is being worshipped so that the people worship Allah (SWT) instead."
"Hold yourself till you hear what I have to say," said Shaitan to him.
The pious worshipper urged him to carry on. Shaitan continued, "Allah (SWT) has His own Prophets and if it had been essential to cut down the tree, He would have sent them to perform the task."
However, the pious worshipper did not agree with Shaitan and continued on his way.
"There is no way I shall let you do it," said Shaitan angrily, and he began to wrestle with the pious worshipper. In the ensuing contest, the pious worshipper hurled Shaitan onto the ground.
"Wait! I have something else to say to you", pleaded Shaitan.
"Listen! You are a poor man. If you could possess some wealth by means of which you could give alms to the other worshippers it would be much better than cutting the tree. If you refrain from cutting the tree, I shall place two dinars beneath your pillow everyday."
The pious worshipper said thoughtfully, "If you speak the truth, I shall give one dinar in charity while the other dinar I shall put to my use. This is better than cutting down the tree; in any case, I have neither been ordered to perform this task nor am I a Prophet to burden myself with unnecessary grief and anxiety."
Thus, pious worshipper acceded to the request of Shaitan who left him alone. For two days, he received the two dinars and utilized them, but on the third day, there was no sign of the dinars. Upset and distressed, he picked up his axe and set out to cut down the tree.
On the way, pious worshipper encountered Shaitan, who asked him: "Where are you headed for?"
"I am going to cut that tree." Replied pious worshipper
"There is no way you are going to do it," said Shaitan
Once again they began to contest, but this time Shaitan overcame him and hurling him to the ground, ordered, "Turn back or I shall sever your head from your body."
The pious worshipper said, "Leave me alone and I shall return, but tell me, how was it that I had managed to overcome you on the previous occasion?"
Shaitan answered, "On that occasion, you had set out only for Allah (SWT) and you were sincere in your intention as a result of which, Allah (SWT) subjugated me for you, but this time you were angry for your own self and for your dinars and so I could overpower you."
He (the Shaitan) said, 'By Your Glory, I shall seduce all of them (children of Adam) except Your sincere servants among them'. Noble Qur'an (38:82-3)
Lesson to learn from this Real Life Story, Sincere Worship and Faith:
Before any action we take, we must be clear in our minds that the action is in accordance with the commands of Allah (SWT). This can be done by constant thinking and true understanding of the aim of our life. We have to understand what Allah (SWT) really wants from us.
Say. Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Noble Qur'an (6:162)