I think one of the central questions to be answered in addressing our problems nowadays is: are we worshiping money or worshiping God? Muslim is and should worshiping God. Indeed, materialism is the fundamental problem of our time. This was the case of people before us, such as Fir’aun, ‘Ad, Tsamud, etc., as explained in the Qur’an, unfortunately, it is still our problem right now. We are still repeating the same mistake. Why is this so? Is it just too tempting that we can’t control ourselves? Or should we just blame syaithan for their continuous effort in misleading us? Or maybe both? we (human) and syaithan worth the blame.
Allah said in Qur’an Surah Al-Imran ayah (verse) 14, Which means “Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return.”
So those are several materialistic things which are beautified in our eye as a test from Allah. Allah mentioned that what besides Allah are much much more better than this temporary-unsatisfactory things. Regarding syaithan’s role, Allah had also mentioned this in the Qur’an, when there was conversation between Allah and Syaithan. Qur’an surat Al-Hijr ayah 32-42 of which the translation is the following:
32: [ Allah ] said, O Iblees, what is [the matter] with you that you are not with those who prostrate?”
33: He said, “Never would I prostrate to a human whom You created out of clay from an altered black mud.”
34: [ Allah ] said, “Then get out of it, for indeed, you are expelled.
35: And indeed, upon you is the curse until the Day of Recompense.”
36: He said,”My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.”
37: [ Allah ] said, “So indeed, you are of those reprieved
38: Until the Day of the time well-known.”
39: [Iblees] said, “My Lord, because You have put me in error, I will surely make [disobedience] attractive to them on earth, and I will mislead them all
40: Except, among them, Your chosen servants.”
41: [ Allah ] said, “This is a path [of return] to Me [that is] straight.
42: Indeed, My servants – no authority will you have over them, except those who follow you of the deviators.
I think from ayah (verses) above, we can clearly see that the one which can survive syaithan’s misguidance is the one that is chosen by Allah to be sincere (mukhlashin). It seems that then we are passive; because it is the chosen one. Nonetheless, the way I understand it is we have to work or move towards the guidance itself. In worldly life, when we want to get a pay rise or promotion from our boss, I believe we should show him that we’re worth of the bounty. Similar thing also applies here, I think. May we are among the mukhlashin and may Allah forgives all of our mistakes.