Statement of Shaytan regarding sinners

Oct 16, 2023 | Aqidah (Belief)



I have come across a narration stating that when a sinful person constantly begs Allah for forgiveness and tries to atone for the sin by doing good – to the extent that Shaytan says, ” I wish I had not made him fall for that sin”.

Can you please check this statement of Shaytaan, and provide a reference for it?

JazakAllahu Khairan


While I could not find the exact statement that you are mentioning, there is a statement that is close to it in meaning found in the Hilyat al-Awliya’ of Abu Nu’aym al-Asbahani. He quotes one of the successors, Shumays al-Adawi, as saying, “The angel of the right hand side is the leader (or supervisor) of the angel of the left hand side. So when the son of Adam commits a misdeed, and the angel of the left hand side intends to write it down, the angel of the right says to him: Don’t hasten, perhaps he will do a good deed. So if he does a good deed, he (the angel of the right) cancels out the single bad deed with the single good deed, and he writes for him ninety-nine good deeds. So shaytan says: Woe to him, who can catch up with the multiplication of the son of Adam.”

The above transmission from the successor shows that shaytan expresses regret as the good deeds of the son of Adam outweigh his bad deeds many times over and so it is very difficult for shaytan to make him do sufficient bad deeds to make up for the multiplication effect of a single good deed.

It should be noted that the chain of narration stops at Shumays who is a successor, not at the Messenger (peace be upon him) or a companion. However, since this statement it a matter of the unseen and not something that can be logically deduced, Shumays will have likely obtained it from a higher source or from the isra’iliyat (biblical transmission).

Also note that while the concept in the narration is in line with the Qur’an in that good deeds are multiplied and wipe out bad deeds, the chain of transmission going up to Shumays is at the least weak. Additionally, another narrator Jasr Abu Ja’far has been deemed weak by many of the scholars of narrator criticism.

In conclusion, the meaning of the statement is sound but it cannot be said with certainty that shaytan makes such a comment since the chain itself is weak.

حلية الأولياء وطبقات الأصفياء (2/ 255) – حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللهِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ جَعْفَرٍ، وَعُبَيْدُ اللهِ بْنُ يَعْقُوبُ قَالَ: ثنا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، قَالَ: ثنا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَمْرِو بْنِ الْعَبَّاسِ، قَالَ: ثنا سَعِيدُ بْنُ عَامِرٍ، قَالَ: ثنا جَسْرٌ أَبُو جَعْفَرٍ، عَنْ أَبِي مَسْعُودٍ الْجُرَيْرِيِّ، عَنْ شُوَيْسٍ الْعَدَوِيِّ، وَكَانَ، مِنْ أَصْحَابِ الدِّرْهَمَيْنِ قَالَ: ” إِنَّ صَاحِبَ الْيَمِينِ أَمِينٌ أَوْ قَالَ أَمِيرٌ عَلَى صَاحِبِ الشِّمَالِ، فَإِذَا عَمِلَ ابْنُ آدَمَ سَيِّئَةً وَأَرَادَ صَاحِبُ الشِّمَالِ أَنْ يَكْتُبَهَا قَالَ لَهُ صَاحِبُ الْيَمِينِ: لَا تَعْجَلْ لَعَلَّهُ يَعْمَلُ حَسَنَةً فَإِنْ عَمِلَ حَسَنَةً أَلْقَى وَاحِدَةً بِوَاحِدَةٍ وَكُتِبَ لَهُ تِسْعُ حَسَنَاتٍ فَيَقُولُ الشَّيْطَانُ: يَا وَيْلَهُ مَنْ يُدْرِكُ تَضْعِيفَ ابْنِ آدَمَ؟ “

تفسير ابن رجب الحنبلي (1/ 571) – قال شويسٌ العدويُّ – وكان من قدماءِ التابعينَ -: إنْ صاحبَ اليمينِ أمير – أو قالَ: أمين – على صاحبِ الشمالِ، فإذا عَمِلَ ابنُ آدمَ سيئةً، فأرادَ صاحبُ الشمالِ أن يكتبها، قالَ له صاحبُ اليمينِ: لا تعْجَلْ لعلَّه يعملُ حسنةً، فإن عمِلَ حسنةً، ألقى واحدةً بواحدة، وكتبَ له تسعَ حسناتٍ، فيقولُ الشَّيطانُ: يا وَيلَه، من يدركُ تضعيفَ ابنِ آدمَ.

Answered by:
Ifta Research Fellow

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel