Did Satan know that humans would die and be resurrected, that is, did he know the future?

The Details of the Question

- There is something that confuses my mind in the chapter of al-Araf. When the Prophet Adam and his wife were in Paradise, Allah ordered the angels to prostrate man but Satan refused; thereupon, Allah cursed Satan and expelled him. Satan said, “Give me respite till the day they are raised up.” However, Adam was in Paradise and it was not known by Satan that he would be expelled from Paradise and sent to the earth. Did Satan know that humans would die and be resurrected, that is, did he know the future?
14. He (Iblis) said: “Give me respite till the day they are raised up.”
15. He (Allah) said: “Be thou among those who have respite.”
19. (Then, Allah addressed Adam): “O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and enjoy (its good things) as ye wish: but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression.”

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

- We can learn about such issues only from the Quran and hadiths. Whether Satan knew the day of resurrection is not something that we can understand with our minds. It means that we can only learn from the Quran that Satan has such knowledge. Since the Quran gives that information, we understand that Satan knew it.

- In this regard, the following may be asked: Where did Satan get this information?

We could not find the answer to it clearly in the verses and hadiths. However, we can say that Iblis learned that information from Allah.

As a matter of fact, Allah states the following: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.” (al-Baqara, 2/30). Being a vicegerent means being in a responsible position. It shows that the world is a place of testing. Since there will be a result of the testing, there must be a resurrection day. It is possible for an intelligent being like Satan to understand it from this sign.

- Besides, the expulsion of Adam’s family from Paradise due to the sin committed by them shows that every crime has a punishment. It means resurrection. We can say that Iblis, who took an active role in this incident himself, drew a conclusion from it.

- However, the angels knew - thanks to Allah’s informing them - that the world was ephemeral, that it would be destroyed one day and that there would be a resurrection. Iblis may have learned this information from the angels with whom he lived for a while.

- In addition, Iblis certainly knew that Allah was everlasting. He also knew that Allah, who was everlasting, would have an everlasting place because it is unthinkable for him not to know the realities called the principles of belief in the period when he lived with the angels. That he addressed Adam as follows while giving him delusions shows that he had knowledge regarding the issue:   

“O Adam! shall I lead thee to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that never decays?” (Taha, 20/120)

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