“Never did We send a Messenger or a Prophet before you, (O Muhammad), but that whenever he had a desire, Satan interfered with that desire. Allah eradicates the interference of Satan and strengthens His Signs. Allah is All-Knowing, Wise.”

(Al-Qur’ān – 22:52)

The Arabic word tamannā in the text of this verse bears two meanings: (i) to wish and yearn for something, and (ii) to recite. Taken in the former sense of the word, the verse means that Satan obstructs the fulfilment of the wishes of Prophets and Messengers, but God fulfils them despite Satan’s efforts. Taken in the latter sense, it would mean that whenever the Prophet recited the Word of God to people, Satan sowed doubts in their hearts, dressed it up with weird meanings, and prompted people to misconstrue the Qur’ān in every possible sense other than the right one.

According to the former meaning, the import of the statement is that notwithstanding Satan’s obstructions, God will see to it that the Prophet’s wish is fulfilled. And, quite obviously, what can a Prophet wish for other than the successful accomplishment of his mission? God subsequently confirmed the truth of His promise made to His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) when his mission was indeed fully accomplished.

If, however, the word is understood in the latter sense, the statement would suggest that God removes all the doubts Satan planted in people’s minds and that He repels all the incriminations made about the teachings of the Prophet.

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