Procrastination and Saying 'Soon'
Another one of Shaytaan's favourite tricks is to to make people think and say: I will do such and such soon, in a little while, maybe tomorrow, no next week and so on. He makes them delay their actions making them feel secure and happy with the present. Some people have named this 'The Great Obstacle'.
A person will place in front of himself a matter such as studying. Then he will say: When I have finished studying, then I will repent, learn my religion and practise it. When he finishes his studies he says: When I receive that job I will repent. He does not. Then he says: When I have performed Hajj, when I am married and so on.
He is constantly putting obstacles in front of himself, delaying things and delighting in his current situation of ease and happiness. He will continue in this way until he dies and yet his real, true life will not even have begun (i.e. that of faith and righteous actions).
What Shaytaan really intends is to completely prevent you from a matter or at least to delay you from it.
Ibn al-Qayyim (RA) said: And how many people of firm intent and resolution are there, whom Shaytaan has delayed by causing them to say 'Soon'. And how many of those who strive has he stopped. Maybe a Faqeeh (scholar of fiqh) intends to return to his studies and Shaytaan will say to him: Relax for an hour. Shaytaan will not stop in making laziness and inactivity attractive and appealing to a person so that he keeps delaying his actions. He will say to the servant who worships at night: Time does not stop, the night is long. Until the morning arrives and he has not even prayed.
How excellent is what the poet said:
You sleep for time - woe be to you the while you snore…
Until when you die then will you have truly awoken...
~ Taken from the book, “Shaytan, His ways of Misleading” ~