Did Allah wish Satan’s denial and not prostrating before Hz. Adam?

The Details of the Question

Did Allah wish Satan’s denial and not prostrating before Hz. Adam?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Satan did not prostrate based on his own will, not with the force of Allah. Satan is from jinn and jinn are also beings that are tested like human beings. When the order to prostrate Hz. Adam was given, he became haughty and disobeyed this order of Allah; thus, he became an unbeliever.

The Quran states clearly that Hz. Adam was created from clay and that he was given spirit; then, he became a living being.

“Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: ‘I am about to create man from clay: When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.’ So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together: Not so Iblis: he was haughty, and became one of those who reject Faith. (Allah) said: ‘O Iblis! What prevents thee from prostrating thyself to one whom I have created with my hands? Art thou haughty? Or art thou one of the high (and mighty) ones?’ (Iblis) said: ‘I am better than he: thou createdst me from fire, and him thou createdst from clay.’”(1)

Similarly, it is emphasized that Satan is from jinn. This issue is narrated as follows in the Quran:

Satan regarded being created from fire as a reason for being superior. When fire touches other things, it burns and melts them. Water and hard substances like sand and soil extinguish it. This difference, which seems to be a reason for being superior, drove Satan into lifelong loneliness. The main principle for superiority in the eye of Allah was obedience to Him. Since Iblis avoided it and regarded himself superior, he was dismissed from mercy and was called “Satan”. Regarding the fact that fire burns soil and being created from fire a means of superiority and hence becoming conceited caused Satan to be dismissed from divine presence as an unbeliever.

It is stated in the Quran that jinn were created from fire:

“And the Jinn race, We had created before, from the fire of a scorching wind.” (al-Hijr, 15/27)

“And He created Jinn from fire free of smoke.” (ar-Rahman, 55/15)

Some scholars say what is meant by the word “jaann” in the chapter of ar-Rahman is Iblis, is the father of jinn. Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır does not hold the same view and states the following:

"The whole human species was created from salsal (hard red clay); so, what is meant by man is not only Adam but the whole human species; similarly, what is meant by Jaann is the species of jinn."(3)

Then, we can say since Iblis, that is, Satan, is of jinn, he was also created from fire, from smokeless and scorching fire. Besides, the verses mentioned above indicate this clearly.

Bursalı İsmail Hakkı interprets the verse "He was one of the Jinn" as "He was originally a jinn created from fire. He was not of angels."

He says that Iblis is excepted from jinn in the following verse:

"Behold! We said to the angels 'Bow down to Adam': They bowed down except Iblis." (al-Kahf, 18/50)

He made the following explanation as an answer to a probable question like the following: "Since Iblis is not an angel and is a jinni, how can he be excepted from angels?" For, Iblis was ordered to prostrate together with them. Then, he was excepted like one of them was excepted just like the following example: "All of them left except such and such a woman." The person excepted here is a woman among men. According to a view, what is meant by the sentence "He was one of the Jinn", is the indication that he is the first jinni. Similarly, Hz. Adam is of human beings because Hz. Adam is the first human being. (4)

This jinni called Iblis "disobeyed his Lord's order." He avoided obeying Allah. In fact, we know that, "Angels do not disobey Allah's orders; they do whatever He orders." (5) Besides, human beings and jinn have the responsibility of servitude; therefore, they will be punished or rewarded for what they do through their will. However, angels are not like that. They are protected from making mistakes; they cannot want to commit evil.

In that case, Satan cannot be from angels.


(1) see Sad, 38/71-78; al-A’raf, 7/12.
(2) see Hak Dini, IV /20.
(3) see ibid, VII/369.
(4) see Muhtasar Ruhu’l-Beyan, V/122.
(5) see ibid, V/123.

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