The Friend and the Enemy of Shaytan

Harith al-Ash’ari relates from the prophet ﷺ:

One day Yahya ﷺ met with Shaytan the accursed. Yahya ﷺ said to Shaytan, “tell me, who is your friend, and who is your enemy?” Shaytan said, “my friend is he who is mean and stingy at heart, even though he is a believer. My enemy is one who is big-hearted and generous, though he may disbelieve.” Yahya asked, “and why is that?” Shaytan replied, “it is because I have hope of deflecting the stingy believer from his belief through the tightness of his heart and his meanness. But the generous unbeliever is my enemy, for in spite of his evil-doing he possesses an important virtue: that of generosity. This quality may in the end lead him to faith. The stinginess of the believer is enough to make him mine, but the generosity of the unbeliever makes me afraid that one day he will repent of his unbelief, and the Lord will accept his repentance, and make him His friend. And another thing: if tit hadn’t been you, Yahya, asking me this question, never would I have given an answer.”

From Lore of Light vol 3 page 216

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