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Who is Iblis (shaytaan)?
Posted by: "moosalq moosa" moosalq@yahoo.com moosalq
Date: Tue Jul 8, 2008 6:14 pm

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Mu` meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
(May Allah`s Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

The sayings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

I heard Allah`s Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying:

'The throne of Iblis is upon the ocean and he sends detachments (to different parts) in order to put people to trial; and the most important figure in his eyes is one who is most notorious in sowing the seed of dissension (between a husband and wife).'

Sahih Muslim Hadith 6754
Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah


Q&A
Islamhelpline

Mu` meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

(May Allah`s Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Assalamu Allikum,

I would like to clarify the concept of IBLIS/Devil in Islam.Who is iblis? and how come he or she got such high status to be with Allah along with Angels when he created Adam & Eve? If he is a Jinn how come other Jinns don`t have the power like iblis? When Allah created Adam & Eve he allowed them to dwell in Paradise forever and only becuze of iblis we are now on earth? Why did Allah punish us for iblis`s wickedness and deception. Why should iblis the deciding factor among good and evil if human beings are crated with their own free will to decide right and wrong?Plz expailn with quranic quotes. JZK .Thank you

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

Answer:

Who is Iblis (shaytaan)
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

Your Question: I would like to clarify the concept of IBLIS/Devil in Islam.Who is iblis?
Ref: Jinn: the literal meaning of the Arabic term 'jinn' is something which is hidden or cannot be seen, thus it is not possible for a human being to see a jinn and their exact physical properties are kept unknown to man and known only by the Lord and Creator, Allah Subhanah.

The 'Jinn' race, like the human race created after them, is a creation of Allah; whom like the humans, Allah Subhanah created and bestowed upon them limited intelligence and a limited free will and involved them in a test for a period of one short and transitory life; and like the human race, they too will be gathered in the Presence of the Majestic Lord on an Inevitable Day of Judgment to give a full accounting of their deeds.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 55 Surah Rahmaan verses 14-15:
14 He created man from sounding clay like unto pottery.
15 And He created Jinns from fire free of smoke.

The Jinns are a complete different and distinct creation of the Lord whom He created from a smokeless flame of fire before He created man; they have their own lives, their own laws, families, emotions of joy, happiness, love, anger, and grief; and they too like the human beings can choose obedience or disobedience of their Lord as they will, for a period of one life time.

Ref: Iblees: the literal meaning of the term 'Iblees' is one who constantly doubts and despairs. The name 'Iblees' is given to that one particular and specific Jinn who chose to disobey and challenge Allah Subhanah during the episode that occurred as related by Allah Subhanah in His Quran during the creation of Hadrat Adam (a.s.).

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 18 Surah Kahf verse 50:
50 Behold! We said to the Angels "Bow down to Adam": they bowed down except Iblis. He was one of the Jinns, and he broke the Command of his Lord. Will ye then take him and his progeny as protectors rather than Me? And they are enemies to you! Evil would be the exchange for the wrongdoers!

Ref: Shaytaan or (plural 'Shayateen'): The literal meaning of the Arabic term 'Shaytaan' is one who transgresses the boundaries of Allah, or is a consistent disobedient or denier of the Truth.

A 'Shaytaan' can be one amongst the human beings or amongst the Jinns, for these two races alone have been bestowed a 'free will' to choose between obedience and disobedience of their Lord amongst all His creation. All those amongst the Jinns and the human beings who follow the mission of disobedience of 'Iblees' are all termed 'Shaytaans' by Allah Subhanah.

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 112:
And so have We (Allah) always set against every Prophet enemies from among Shaitaans of men and Shaitaans of jinns, who inspire one another with flowery discourses by way of deception.

Whenever Allah Subhanah refers to 'As-Shaytaan' (The Shaytaan) in the Glorious Quran, it refers to the accursed leader of the Shayateen, Iblees; and whenever the general term 'shaytaan' or plural 'shayateen' is used, it refers to all those amongst the men and the jinn who follow the mission of disobedience of the accursed Iblees.

Thus in simple layman terms the 'Jinn' like the human race are a creation of Allah Subhanah whom He has bestowed with a free will for a limited period of one life time as a test to choose between obedience and disobedience of their Lord.

The 'Iblees' is one amongst the Jinn who chose to disobey and challenge the Lord; and all amongst the Jinns and the human race who choose to follow the mission of disobedience of the Lord are all termed and known as the 'shayateen'.

Your Question: '.and how come he or she got such high status to be with Allah along with Angels when he created Adam & Eve?
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 15 Surah Hijr verses 26-27:
26 We created man from sounding clay from mud molded into shape;
27 And the Jinn race We had created before from the fire of a scorching wind.

In light of the guidance of the Quran and the authentic and established Sunnah, it is evident that the Lord Most High created Jinns before He Decreed the creation of man. And contrary to popular belief that the jinn 'Iblees' was a very devout and pious worshipper of Allah, and that is why he was present in the heavens when Allah created Adam (a.s.)'.the truth is that just as Allah Subhanah has Decreed the domain of man as this earth, the domain of the Jinns (and the Angels) was the earth as well as the heaven'.and when the Lord Creator Decreed the initiation of His 'best' creation (man), He Willed and Declared to the Angels as well as the Jinns to witness it and Commanded that they bow down unto him.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 15 Surah Hijr verses 28-31:
28 Behold! Thy Lord said to the Angels: "I am about to create man from sounding clay; from mud molded into shape;
29 When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit fall ye down in obeisance unto him."
30 So the Angels prostrated themselves all of them together:
31 Not so Iblees: he refused to be among those who prostrated themselves.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 34:
34 And behold, We said unto the Angels: "Bow down to Adam"; and they bowed; down not so Iblees; he refused, and was haughty, he was of those who reject faith.

Your Question: If he is a Jinn how come other Jinns don't have the power like Iblis?
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 18 Surah Kahf verse 50:
50 Behold! We said to the Angels "Bow down to Adam": they bowed down except Iblis. He was one of the Jinns, and he broke the Command of his Lord. Will ye then take him and his progeny as protectors rather than Me? And they are enemies to you! Evil would be the exchange for the wrongdoers!

Without an iota of a doubt, the accursed 'Iblees' is one amongst the Jinns. 'Iblees' being a jinn, has the exact same characteristics of every Jinn in creation, the only difference being that he has a specific reprieve from Allah Subhanah to create his mischief until the Day of Resurrection!

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 7 Surah A'raaf verses 12-18:
12 (Allah) said: "what prevented thee (O Iblees) from bowing down (to Adam (a.s.)) when I commanded thee?" He (Iblees) said: "I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire and him from clay."
13 (Allah) said: "Get thee down from this: it is not for thee to be arrogant here: get out for thou art of the meanest (of creatures)."
14 He (Iblees) said: "give me respite till the Day they are raised up."
15 (Allah) said: "be thou among those who have respite."
16 He said: "because Thou hast thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them (mankind) on Thy Straight Way.
17 Then will I assault them from before them, and behind them, from their right, and their left: nor wilt Thou find in most of them gratitude (for Thy Favors).
18 (Allah) said: "Get out from this disgraced and expelled. If any of them follow thee, Hell will I fill with you all!'

The scholars in Islam have differed in their opinion regarded whether the specific one Jinn, the accursed Iblees alone has been given respite'.or was the respite of the Lord given for the evil 'mission' which the accursed Iblees presented. The scholars of both opinions have presented evidence for their opinion from the Glorious Quran, and both scenarios are probable. And Allah Alone Knows Best.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 14 Surah Ibraheem verse 22:
22 And the Shaytaan will say when the matter (on the Day) is decided : "It was Allah Who gave you a promise of Truth: I too promised, but I failed in my promise to you. I had no authority over you except to call you, but ye listened to me: then reproach not me but reproach your own souls! I cannot listen to your cries nor can ye listen to mine. I reject your former act in associating me with Allah. For wrongdoers there must be a Grievous Penalty."

The absolute maximum the 'Shayateen' (Iblees and his party) from amongst the Jinn and/or mankind may ever do is to invite or call one to disobey their Lord and do their evil bidding'and not an even iota more! If one amongst man is beguiled by their evil invitation and call, and corrupts his own soul by listening to their call, then he alone is responsible for his response to the evil invitation of the Shaytaan.

The evil and accursed enemy of man, the Iblees, will himself declare his absolute and total lack of power and authority over anyone on the Day of Judgment! All he could ever do and did was to invite and call people towards falsehood, and the deniers and weak of faith fell for his false promises! In the Court of Allah on the Day of Judgment, this evil and accursed Iblees will try to absolve himself of any wrongdoing and tell those who followed his evil bidding to reproach their own souls in disgust, dismay, regret and sorrow and put no blame on him whatsoever, for he had absolutely no power or authority over any one in the least!

Your Question: When Allah created Adam & Eve he allowed them to dwell in Paradise forever and only because of Iblis we are now on earth? Why did Allah punish us for iblis`s wickedness and deception. Why should Iblis the deciding factor among good and evil if human beings are crated with their own free will to decide right and wrong?
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 30:
30 Behold thy Lord said to the Angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." They said "Wilt thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? Whilst we (the Angels) do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy Holy (Name)?" He (Allah) said: "I know what ye know not."

Dear and beloved brother in Islam, even before the Lord Most Majestic created Adam (a.s.), He Declared unto the Angels that He will create a 'vicegerent' on EARTH!!!

Allah says in the Holy Quran in Chapter 67 Surah Al Mulk verse 2:
He (Allah) created death and life that He may test you, to see which of you is the best in deeds.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 21 Surah Anbiyaa verse 35:
35 Every soul shall have a taste of death: and We test you by evil and by good (only) by way of trial: to Us must ye return.

The Will and Plan of Allah Subhanah was always to send man on earth to try him in good and evil conditions for a period of one life-time, to see who amongst them is the best in deeds. Thus Iblees or no Iblees, man would have been sent to earth as a vicegerent of the Lord Most Majestic, and put through a test period of one life time in good and evil conditions ordained by the Lord Most Wise, so that the Lord may honor those who passed the trial and take retribution from those who failed. Thus, first and foremost, know and believe with absolute conviction that Iblees is not the reason why man was sent on this earth!

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 7 Surah A'raaf verses 19-23
19 (Allah Subhanah said): 'O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden (of Eden ) and enjoy (its good things) as ye wish: but approach not this tree or ye run into harm and transgression."
20 Then began the Shaytaan to whisper suggestions to them bringing openly before their minds all their shame that was hidden from them (before): he (the Shaytaan) said "Your Lord only forbade you this tree lest ye should become Angels or such beings as live for ever."
21 And he swore to them both that he was their sincere adviser.
22 So by deceit he brought about their fall (from the Favor of their Lord): when they tasted of the tree their shame became manifest to them and they began to sew together the leaves of the Garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: "Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you that the Shaytaan was an avowed enemy unto you?"
23 They said: "O Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: if Thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy mercy we shall certainly be lost."

It is absolutely clear from verse 30 of Surah Baqarah quoted above that Allah Subhanah Decreed and created man to live on this earth; but in His Supreme Wisdom, the Lord Decreed that the parents of man be put through a 'small' test in Paradise before man is sent to the earth to give his full and final exam'. so that they may see and realize the guile, deceit, and lies their avowed enemy, the Shaytaan, will use and utilize against them to fulfill his described mission of taking a portion of man away from the Straight Path of their Lord Creator.

Thus brother, rest absolutely assured that neither was man created to live forever in Paradise before he gave his test of life on the earth, nor is man sent to the earth as a punishment for the transgression of their parents in Paradise'. for Allah Subhanah Declares in Truth in His Glorious Quran that after the incident of eating from the tree in Paradise, Adam (a.s.) and Hawwa sought forgiveness from their Lord, and their Lord Most Merciful turned towards them in Mercy and forgave them their error, and only after forgiving them did He send them to earth to give their test ordained for a period of one life-time.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verses 37-39:
37 Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration and his Lord turned toward him; for He is Oft-Returning Most Merciful.
38 We said: "Get ye down all (Adam, Hawwa, and Iblees) from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from Me, whosoever follows My Guidance on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.
39 But those who reject faith and belie Our Signs, they shall be companions of the Fire; they shall abide therein."

Your Question: Why should iblis the deciding factor among good and evil if human beeings are crated with their own free will to decide right and wrong?
Allah says in the Holy Quran describing the two types of 'nafs' Chapter 91 Surah Shams verse 7-8:
' And (I swear) by the 'nafs' and He who balanced it. Then inspired the 'nafs' with its wickedness and its piety.

Allah says in the Holy Quran describing the 'nafs-e-lawwama' in Chapter 75 Surah Qiyamah verse 2:
' And I (Allah) swear by the 'nafs-e-lawwama' (the conscience which condemns man when he does evil).

Allah says in the Holy Quran describing the 'nafs-e-Ammara' in Chapter 12 Surah Yusuf verse 53:
'.for the 'nafs-e-Ammara' incites one to evil, except of the one to whom my Lord may show Mercy.

The truth is brother, neither the 'Iblees' nor the Shayateen are the deciding factors of the good and evil done by man, but in the very creation and nature of man has the Lord All-Wise placed the 'nafs' or conscience'. one of them is inclined towards the good (Nafs-e-Lawwama) and the other is inclined towards evil (Nafs-e-Ammara).

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verses 120-121:
120 Shaytaan makes them (mankind) promises, and creates in them false desires; but Shaytaan`s promises are nothing but deception.
121 They (his dupes) will have their dwelling in Hell and from it they will find no way of escape.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 43:
43 When the suffering reached them from Us why then did they not learn humility? On the contrary their hearts became hardened, and Shaytaan made their (sinful) acts seem fair-seeming to them.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 208:
208 O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of The Shaytaan (Iblees); for he is to you an avowed enemy.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verse 142:
142 Eat what Allah hath provided for you and follow not the footsteps of The Shaytaan (Iblees): for he is to you an avowed enemy.

The role of the Shaytaan is merely to incite, inspire, and with flowery and colorful words invite one's 'nafs-e-ammara' towards the transgression of the Boundaries of the Lord, and make their evil deeds fair-seeming to them. Other than using deceit, lies, and deception to invite the conscience of man towards evil, the Shaytaan has absolutely no power over man to do his bidding' for every human being has been bestowed with intelligence and a free-will to do as he wills, and man alone will be responsible for his actions and his deeds in the Presence of their Lord All-Wise in the Hereafter.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 14 Surah Ibraaheem verse 22:
22 And the Shaytaan will say when the matter (on the Day) is decided : "It was Allah Who gave you a promise of Truth: I too promised, but I failed in my promise to you. I had no authority over you except to call you, but ye listened to me: then reproach not me but reproach your own souls! I cannot listen to your cries nor can ye listen to mine. I reject your former act in associating me with Allah. For wrongdoers there must be a Grievous Penalty."

Those who believe in the Guidance sent to them from their Lord Most Gracious, put their trust in the Power and Might of their Lord Alone, and strive to control their 'Nafs-e-Ammara' (evil Nafs), '.the Lord protects them from the guile and the deceitful invitations of the Shaytaan.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 16 Surah Nahl verse 98-100:
98 When thou dost read the Qur'an seek Allah's protection from Shaytaan, the rejected one.
99 No authority has he over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord.
100 His authority is over those only who take him as patron and who join partners with Allah.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 15 Surah Hijr verses 42-44:
42 (Allah tells the Shaytaan): "For over My servants no authority shalt thou have, except such as put themselves in the wrong and follow thee."
43 And verily Hell is the promised abode for them all!
44 To it are seven Gates: for each of those Gates is (special) class (of sinners assigned).

If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of being led astray.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,


Burhan


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