Most of us have seen or at least heard of the insect known as the praying mantis, but how many of us have heard of its cousin, the orchid mantis? Allah Ta‘ala has created this insect in such a unique manner that it very closely resembles the flower of an orchid plant. In this manner, it attracts many bees and butterflies towards itself, as they think that they are approaching an orchid flower to gather some nectar.

In fact, Allah Ta‘ala has given the orchid mantis such beauty and attraction that it attracts more bees and butterflies than the actual orchid flower itself! However, as soon as these unsuspecting and unwary bees and butterflies come close – the orchid mantis grabs hold of them, turning them into his own version of a ready-made meal.

In the very same way, Shaitaan has laid many traps for the people of imaan, and has baited them and disguised them in a very attractive and enticing manner. Music, movies, illicit behaviour, the fashions and styles of the disbelievers – these are all among the traps of Shaitaan that ensnare a believer and then pull him towards Jahannam.

At present, we are in the midst of the holiday season – the period of the year when the disbelievers pull out all the stops in order to party and make merry. Hence, this period, around Christmas and New Years, is perhaps the period of the year when evil abounds to the highest degree and sin is committed to the greatest proportion. Therefore, it is essential, during this fitnah-filled period, that we and our children stay far away from all places of fitnah, as one can easily become ensnared and fall into sin. Similarly, we should refrain from such company that can influence us towards fitnah.

In one hadeeth, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) made mention of certain fitnahs that will be witnessed in the Ummah before Qiyaamah. In regard to the severe danger of these fitnahs, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “The one who peeps at the fitnah – it will pull him in. Hence, the one who finds a sanctuary or place of safety from them – he should seek refuge in it.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #7081)

When we examine the fitnahs of today – the music, the drugs, the movies, the parties, the zina, the kaafir lifestyle, etc. then they resemble the fitnahs described by Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in the hadeeth above. Such is the danger of these fitnahs that if one merely peeps at them or is exposed to them for even a short while, there is a great fear that he will be sucked in and will become engulfed by the fitnah.

However, together with describing the severity of the fitnah, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also prescribed the solution – to find a place of safety where we can seek refuge and remain safeguarded from sin and evil. During the holiday season, that place is the home – provided it is a home which is free of TV, music and other similar evils. Hence, in order to safeguard our Deen and imaan, and remain safe from fitnahs and evils, we should content ourselves with remaining at home and avoiding all places of sin.

Furthermore, we should not even risk ‘peeping’ at the fitnah. At this time of the year, to safeguard our ears, eyes, hearts and limbs from sin, we should do our best to avoid driving past the beach and frequenting the malls, and should stay far away from all places of amusement and entertainment frequented by the disbelievers (e.g. holiday resorts, etc.).

If we exercise a little bit of patience in this world, and safeguard our Deen and the Deen of our children to please Allah Ta‘ala, then Allah Ta‘ala will reward us in the Hereafter with such delights and wonders which are beyond our comprehension.

May Allah Ta‘ala guide us all, aameen.