A person once got angry when he saw people worshipping a tree. He grabbed hold of an axe and intended to cut it down. On the way, he met Shaytaan. He told Shaytaan that he intended to cut the tree down. The Shaytaan told him to leave it and let the tree worshippers face the consequences. Due to this disagreement, the pair wrestled twice. Shaytaan being beaten each time.
As Shaytaan soon realized this person is strong in his belief, he began to change his approach by saying that if you leave this tree, you will find 4 dirhams under your pillow. The person hesitated for a while and thereafter agreed.
The person returned home and found 4 dirhams daily under his pillow every morning. Once, for two consecutive days, he never found the dirhams that were meant to be under his pillow. He proceeded again to the tree in a fit of anger. On the way, he met Shaytaan. Shaytaan asked, “Where are you going?” He replied, “To cut the tree down.”
Iblees (Shaytaan) then told him to return back as he was not going to allow him to proceed. Iblees said, “On the first occasion, you wanted to cut down the tree for Allah, I couldn’t have stopped you but this time you are going due to the 4 dirhams i.e for yourself, I will stop you.”
The moral to this story is that the actions which are done for Allah are difficult for Shaytaan to obstruct. When actions are done for yourself i.e. worldly things, then Shaytaan can win easily.
‘..Actions are according to intentions’
May Allah grant us the ability to maintain good intentions. Ameen