In order to ease the path of hell for the people, Shaytan tempts mankind little by little; beginning with a few steps and eventually leading them to the final downfall.
Shaytan had persuaded Adam and Hawa into eating the forbidden fruit. Allah commanded, “O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in Paradise and eat both of you freely with pleasure and delight of things therein as wherever you will, but come not near this tree or you both will be of the Dhalimoon (wrong-doers).” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 35]
It is worth pondering that Allah did not say, ‘Do not eat the fruit of this tree,’ rather He commanded them to stay away from the tree itself saying “but come not near this tree.” If they strolled near the tree or sat in its shade there was a greater possibility of them being tempted into eating its fruit. So Allah commanded them to keep away from the tree absolutely!
This is the Sunnah of Allah in all matters. He closes all doors that lead to evil by forbidding the means that can lead His slaves into committing greater sin or evil.
Knowing that Allah prohibited Adam and Hawa from approaching the forbidden tree; Shaytan first enticed them to come near the tree. He then beautified for them its fruits, their color and fragrance, and finally caused Adam and Hawa to eat from it. So, Shaytan enticed them into disobeying Allah in a gradual way.
Shaytan uses the same ploy with the children of Adam and this necessitates extra precaution on our part. We not only have to refrain from committing sins but it is also necessary to keep away from every path that may lead to disobeying Allah, including visiting places and gatherings where the limits of Allah are not respected, keeping bad company or participating in innovated celebrations etc.
May Allah protect us from the traps of Shaytan.