Why is Satan called Harith?

Details of the Question

- Which Harith?
- What are the two different Arabic spellings of the word Harith?
- Which one is written with sin, tha or sad? Will you give the spelling and meaning of them?
- According to a narration from Ibn Abbas,
“Iblis was from the tribe of angels. It was a tribe called jinn created from flame of fire. The name of Iblis was 'Harith' then; and he was one of the guards of Paradise. All of the angels except this tribe were created from light.” (Tabari, 1/178)
- “The names dearest to Allah are Abdullah and Abdurrahman, the truest are Harith and Hammam – in terms of meaning of humans – , and the worst are Harb and Murrah.” (Abu Dawud, Adab, 69)
- Harith means the one that sows, works and gains. This is true for man. For, man is and should be busy with trying to earn something related to the world or the hereafter all the time and sow the field of the world or the hereafter.

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

- According to what Tabari and Ibn Abid-Dunya report from Ibn Abbas, when Satan was together with the angels, his name was AZAZIL. Then, it became Iblis. (see Ibn Hajar, Fathu’l-Bari,6/339)

One of the names of Satan was al-Harith (الْحَارِثُ). (Ibn Hajar, ibid)

- The information quoted from Tabari in the question is in 1/455 in the copy that we have. The word الْحَارِثُ  is used there.

- The words “Harith” means, the one who sows, cultivates, gains, farms and gardensThis meaning is valid for man.

In addition, “Haris” means the one that lights a fire, ignites, moves the fuel, wood, etc. so that it will catch fire, the one who is very intelligent and the one who inspects everything in his area of interest. (see Sihah, Qamus, Lisan, HRS item)

Those meanings are appropriate for Satan. For, he was created from fire and he causes people to enter fire. He is the one that ignites all fires of mischief and that puts people in various fires of mischief.  

The word “mihras” derived from the same root is used for “tongs”, which is used for stirring fire.

The name “haris” given to Satan indicates his body of fire, intelligence, mischief, that he will put people in fire and that his end will be in fire.

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