Was Satan (Iblis) from the jinn, if so why was he among the angels?
Satan is not an angel but a jinn. Like the human beings, the jinn have been given the freedom of obeying or disobeying by their will.
He explains why Satan was also included in the command of “Prostration before Adam” together with the angels although he was not one of the angels, as follows: “When Allah Most Exalted commanded angels to prostrate before Adam, Satan was also included in this command. For although he was not of their kind, he resembled them and performed their deeds. Therefore, Satan was also counted as addressee to this command which was directed to angels. And he was condemned because he did not fulfill the command.” (36)
Ibn Kasir, 1/133.
Iblis, the Ancestor of the Jinn and the Satans
Several opinions have been put forward about who the ancestor of the jinn and the satans was. As it was mentioned before, it was stated that “Jann” mentioned in the surahs (chapter of the Holy Qur'an) ar-Rahman and al-Hijr, was the name of the being who was the ancestor of the jinn, and Iblis was also from his descendants. People having this opinion stated that in terms of the jinn and the satans, Iblis was at the status of Noah (peace be upon him) as regards to the humans. Namely, as all people were destroyed after the Deluge of Noah except his generation and he virtually became the second ancestor of the human beings, mainly according to some narrations from Israeli sources, because of their extreme disobedience, when the jinn were killed by the armies of angels, Iblis, who had not rebelled yet, became the second ancestor of the jinn and the subsequent jinn came into existence from his generation.
However, it is not the commonly accepted opinion. As we have indicated briefly while mentioning the meanings of those names, as we take the related ayahs (verses) of the Qur’an and the hadiths (sayings or traditions of the Prophet Muhammad)as a base, the opinion that Iblis is the ancestor of the jinn and the satans is more acceptable. Therefore, we named the heading as “Iblis, the Anchestor of the Jinn and the Satans” and we will discuss the subject from that point of view. In addition, so to speak, we will follow a chronological order while we discuss the subject.
A) THE CREATION OF IBLIS
In two places in the Noble Qur’an, it is stated that Iblis was created from fire(1). When he was commanded to prostrate before Adam (peace be upon him), he indicated his essence, namely the thing he was created from and said “You did create me from fire, and him from clay.” (the Qur’an, The Heights (Al-Aráf); 12 (7: 12) and Sad; 76 (38: 76)) as the reason of why he had not prostrated before Adam. Those words, which Almighty Allah narrates us as the words of Satan, inform us about the creation of Iblis.
In two places in the Qur’an, it is stated that “Jann” was created from fire. The ayah “And he created the jinns from maarij of fire” (Qur’an, The Most Beneficient (Ar-Rahman); 15 (55:15)) informs that the creation is from “maarij”. Maarij means both fire mixed with smoke and smokeless-pure fire. However, the fact that ayah also mentions the word fire indicates that is smokeless-pure fire. Thus, it is comprehended that Jann was created from pure- unadulterated fire (2). According to Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that expression means “the most beautiful and the pure fire.” According to Mujahid, it is the yellow-greenish flame rising when a fire is candled(3). Alusi explains it as “the smokeless pure flame”(4). If it is noticed, all of those signify almost the same meaning.
“As Almighty Allah stated that He had created human from dry clay, that is, pure, juicy mud. He also stated that Jann had been created from pure fire. If it is asked how the word maarij can be said to have the meaning “mixed” although it also has the meaning “pure”, the answer is as follows: “When the fire is strong, its flames rise and mix with each other to the upmost level and they become one-piece just like well mixed mud whose pieces are blended with each other in a favorable and harmonic way and can not be distinguished from each other. That situation can also be observed in a well flamed oven. If some woods are thrown into the fire, it ignites them immediately. In the same way, the “maarij” that the jinns have been created from is a fire whose parts have been mixed with each other and have become one piece and the smoke of that fire, flame and parts burning on the ground cannot be distinguished from each other.”(5)
In the second ayah about this subject, Almighty Allah states the creation of the two kinds of beings and He says: “We created man from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape. And the jinn We created before, from the fire of samum.” (the Qur’an, The Rocky Tract (Al-Hijr); 26,27 (15: 26,27)). As it is comprehended from the ayah, Jann was created before the human beings (6). If the creation of the human beings is considered to be the last ring in the creation of the universe, Jann has been created as the penultimate ring (7).
About “the samum fire” mentioned in the ayah, some said, “It is the flame of the fire.” And some others said, “It is the simoom which is hot at the perishing degree”(8). With the help of the previous ayah, that is understood to be a kind of fire. However, since it penetrates through the pores of the skin of the body, it is called as “samum”. The wind penetrating into human is also called as “simoom” because of that (9). In a relation, it is declared: “Samum is the smokeless fire and the stars are also created from that fire” (10) and it shows that “the samum fire” and the “maarij of the fire” mentioned in the previous ayah are the same. According to it, one of those words telling the same thing declares that fire is a pure and smokeless fire and the other declares that it is burning and parching. Alusi points to it while he is explaining the “samum fire” as “the supremely fervent fire”(11). In some hadiths, it is informed that the fire Jann was created from is much hotter than the fires we know. According to a hadith Abu Dawud at-Tawalisi relates from Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him), “The fires (we see in the world) are seventy degrees lighter than the fire Jann has been created from.”(12)
Putting a new approach forward about our subject in his book, Ahmad Khulusi states that the “samum fire” in the ayah may be rays and he puts the following ideas forward: “In the Noble Qur’an, taking the level of the comprehension of the time it was revealed into consideration, it was not explained as “We created jinn from such and such rays”; but by an allusive expression, it was described as “the smokeless fire” and “the fire penetrating through the most subtle pores” and it was left to the comprehension of the people and their sciences to come to a level that they will cover that subject.”(13)
In the last two ayahs, the subject was the creation of Jann and in the first two ayahs, it was the creation of Iblis. It was discussed whether Iblis and Jann were the same. As it was mentioned before, while Hasan Basri said “Jann is Iblis, who is the ancestor of the jinns”, Mujahid said “He is the ancestor of the jinn, but he is not Iblis.” Some others say, “Jann is the name of a kind including all of the jinn.”(14) According to it, as the word human is a name including all of the humans and their ancestor Hazrat Adam, Jann is also an appellative name including all of the jinn and their ancestor, Iblis. Actually, if it is noticed, in the last ayah, as the creation of man from clay and the creation of Jann from fire are explained as if two kinds of beings are mentioned.
Like Hasan Basri, Tabari is of the opinion that Iblis is the ancestor of the jinn and Jann here refers to Iblis.(15) Some important commentators such as Muqatil, Qatada and Ata are also of the same opinion. Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) is also of the same opinion and the relation coming from him “Jann is the ancestor of the jinn”(16) does not put a different opinion forward; it shows that Jann is Iblis at the same time. With a different opinion, although some persons say “Jinn are a different kind from satans”, as it is seen, the true opinion most of the scholars accept is that satans are of the same kind with jinn and the unbelieving jinn are called as satans(17).
We can adduce some hadiths as proofs for the sameness of Iblis and Jann: In a relation coming from Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “The angels were created from light, Jann was created from the flame of fire and Adam was created from the thing that was told you (in the Qur’an)”(18). In the hadith Ibn Marduya related from our mother Hazrat Aisha, it was told “Allah created the angels from the light of the Throne; Jann from the flame of fire; and Adam from the thing told you (in the Qur’an).”(19) In the hadiths like that, as Adam, the ancestor of the humans, was substituted instead of “human”, then Iblis, who was the ancestor of that kind and who was mentioned with his clear name in the previous ayahs, can be used instead of “Jann”(20). Actually, in the Qur’an where Hazrat Adam is mentioned, Iblis is mentioned just beside him as the kind opponent to him. The situation is the same also in the hadiths. However, as it is seen, it happens sometimes by the name Iblis, sometimes by the name Jann and sometimes by the attribute satan.
Those explanations discussing the creation of those two kinds in a comparative way also seem to be interesting: “In terms of the jinn, Jann is like Adam in respect to the humans. As the former of our kind was created from “salsal”, namely, from pure, dry clay and the ones coming after him were created from his offspring; the first jinn was created from fire, and his descendants coming after him were created from “maarij”, namely from pure fire.”(21) B) THE FIRST REBELLION OF IBLIS AGAINST ALLAH
Iblis, who had been created before man, as it can be comprehended from the ayahs, began to live in the heavens and in Paradise with the angels and he must have been charged with some orders which did not injure his pride. Some relations coming from Israeli sources also support it. Just then, when Almighty Allah informed the angels about the creation of Adam and the important authority he would bestow him, as we have explained widely in the section of the angels, we can not know what kind of an attitude Iblis, who was probably near them, displayed when the angels asked the reason of it with the purpose of understanding the wisdom of it because, the related ayahs do not mention about it. Perhaps with the angels, the same questioning was also the same for Iblis. There was not any problem in respect to Iblis in that point. If there had been, he would have rebelled just at that time.
When Almighty Allah created Adam (peace be upon him) and fashioned him, He commanded His angels to prostrate before him (Qur’an, The Heights (Al-Aráf); 11 (7: 11)). That command also included Iblis who had been created before and who was with the angels. Iblis was aware of it. All angels obeyed Allah’s command and prostrated before Adam. However, Iblis did not obey Allah’s command and he rebelled. Almighty Allah reminds it and He states: “And when We said unto the angels: Fall down prostrate before Adam and they fell prostrate all save Iblis,”(theQur’an, The Journey By Night (Al-Isra); 61 (17: 61)) “He refused“ (the Qur’an, Ta-Ha); 116 (20: 116)).
The rebellion of Iblis is repeated and emphasized in seven parts in the Noble Qur’an because it is a very important event in the history of the created things and for the human beings:
The verses “Behold thy Lord said to the angels: I am about to create man, from sounding clay from mud molded into shape; when I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of my spirit, fall you down in obeisance unto him. So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together: Not so Iblis: he refused to be among those who prostrated themselves.” (the Qur’an, The Rocky Tract (Al-Hijr); 28-31 (15: 28-31); Sa’d; 71-74 (38: 71-74)) show that Almighty Allah told the command of prostration before the creation of Adam (peace be upon him). Therefore, it was not an instantaneous command that the addressees did not have the chance to think about. It shows that the rebellion of Iblis was not a sudden action but a minutely aforethought action.
“And when We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever.” (Qur’an, The Cow (Al-Baqara); 34 (2: 34); Sa’d; 74 (38: 74)), namely, he was one of those whose rebellion and unbelief in the future have been known in Allah’s pre-eternal knowledge or he was from that unbelieving nation that had lived on the earth before the creation of Adam and had been destroyed since they had plotted mischief on the earth.”(22). According to another strong commentary, “Although he had not been an unbeliever before, he became from the unbelievers by getting proud and not prostrating.”(23) Thus, according to most of the scholars, he was the first one who rebelled against Allah and showed unbelief, namely, who acted ungratefully (24) because, his rebellion by disobeying Allah’s command and his becoming haughty and arrogant before Allah was infidelity(25).
Was Iblis an angel?
Was Iblis one of the angels, namely, was his disobedience to that command directed to the angels regarded as a rebellion due to the fact that he was an angel? It is one of the subjects on which different opinions have been put forward by the Islamic scholars.
The related ayahs show that all the angels were commanded to prostrate; all of them obeyed and only Iblis did not obey and he was “exceptional” from the ones who obeyed the command. If we consider the clear meaning of the ayahs, Iblis should be regarded as an angel regarding that “exception” as “continuous exception” with the technical expression(26). That is, for example, if you say “Humans are serious sinners except the prophets…”, you emphasize that the prophets are also inclusive of humans but they are at a different rank. Thus, in that way, if the things excepted and the things not excepted are from the same kind, it is called “continuous exception”. According to it, when you say “The angels prostrated except Iblis..”, at the first glance, it means “So, Iblis was from the angels”.
In the Surah Kahf, Almighty Allah says “And (remember) when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, and they fell prostrate, all save Ibis. He was of the Jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord's command…” (the Qur’an, The Cave (Al-Kahf); 50 (18: 50)) and shows that such a meaning is wrong; again by the technical expression, the exception here is “separated exception”, namely, the thing excepted and the things not excepted are two different kinds of beings. For example, it is from the kind of the exception in the sentence “The villagers came but their donkeys did not come.”
Likewise, in that verse, it is stated that Iblis broke the command of Allah. In other verses about the angels, it is informed that the angels never break Allah’s commands. Besides, the last sentence of the verse already indicates the source of his disobedience against Allah’s command.
Islamic scholars have made several explanations about that subject and they have interpreted the ayahs differently since some of the words have different meanings at the same time: While some of them stated that Iblis was the ancestor of the jinn kind, some others stated that “He was an angel but he became an unbeliever by rebelling Allah”, “A man becoming an unbeliever does not get out of the nature of being a human; similarly, Satan did not get out of the angel nature which was made of fire.”(27)
According to a relation coming from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), “Iblis was from a clan of the angels. It was a clan that was called as jinn and was created from the burning fire. The name of Iblis was “Haris” then and he was one of the guards of Parasadise. The angels except that clan were created from light.” Again, according to another relation from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), “The name of Iblis was “Azazil” and he used to live on the earth. He was one of the strongest of the angels in terms of knowledge and intelligence.”(28)
The first residents of the earth were the jinn. The jinn stirred up trouble on earth and they shed blood. Almighty Allah sent Iblis in the leadership of an army from the angels against them. Iblis defeated that unruly beings with his army and exiled them to the islands and foots of the hills. Iblis and his army consisting of the angels settled down on the developed and productive places of the earth (29). After performing that action, he became proud of himself by thinking “I succeeded something that nobody has succeeded before.” Certainly, Almighty Allah was aware of his pride. However, the angels with him did not know about it.
When Almighty Allah told the angels that he would make a caliph on the earth, they asked “Will you make a being who will make mischief and shed blood there as before the jinns did? We were sent against them before because of that.” Almighty Allah said “I know what you do not know.” Namely, He said “I know that arrogance and the proud existing in the heart of Iblis which you do not know.” Then, Almighty Allah ordered the dust of Adam to be brought. The dust was brought and Allah created Adam… Adam waited for forty nights as a lifeless statue thrown to a place. Iblis approached his lifeless statue several times, he kicked it with his foot and produced sound from him; he blew inside him as if puffing inside a reed; he entered inside him from his mouth and came out from his back; he was entered inside him from his back and came out from his mouth. He said to that dry clay “You are nothing. If I pester you, I bring to ruin you. If you pester me, I will not listen you”…(30)
In a relation reported by Ibn Abbas and Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with them), it is stated “Iblis was charged of the management of the first heaven and the earth and he belonged to a clan of the angels called jinn. That clan was named as “jinn” since they were charged of guarding Paradise. For this reason, Iblis was one of the guards of Paradise.”(31)
In those relations, it is expressed that Iblis is from the jinn and jinn are a kind of the angels. Although those relations solve the problem of the apparent contradiction between the expression “He was of the Jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord's command” which was shown as the rebellion reason of Iblis and his being an addressee of the prostration command directed to the angels, they do not seem to be strong enough since they strain the related ayahs very much.
We want to introduce the different explanations and the result from the point view of Fakhruddin Razi:
“In that ayah, Almighty Allah said that Iblis was from the jinn. The scholars have three explanations about the issue:
1) Iblis was from the angels. His being from the angels is not contradictory to his being from the jinn at the same time… because a clan from the angels was called as jinn… moreover, the jinn were called so since they could not be seen by eye. Angels cannot be seen, either. Consequently, they also belonged to the jinn class. Moreover, Iblis was from the guards of Paradise and for this reason, he was related to Paradise (Jannah) and it was said “He was from the jinn.” Furthermore, according to a relation, he was from the clan of the angels called “Jinanees” who used to mold the adornments of the persons deserving of heaven since their creations.
2) According to the second explanation about that subject, Iblis was from the jinn satans created from fire and he was the first ancestor of them.
3) According to the third opinion, he was from the angels but he was transformed into a satan. The main thing pointing out that Iblis was not from the angels was the fact that Almighty Allah stated that Iblis had offspring by stating the following in that ayah, namely, at the end of the 50th ayah of surah al Kahf: “Will you choose him and his offspring for your protecting friends instead of Me, when they are an enemy unto you?” However, offspring and generation, namely, having offspring by procreation is out of question for the angels. So, Iblis can not be from the angels.”(32) Having that opinion, Ibn Zayd states, “As Adam (peace be upon him) is the ancestor of the humans, Iblis is the ancestor of the jinn”(33) However, no living things are mentioned as the ancestor of the angels. If they had procreation, they also would have an ancestor like the humans and the jinn. So, Allah creates them directly, not in the way of procreation and springing up.
Again, people claiming that Iblis is not from the angels adduce the following proofs: In the Qur’an, Almighty Allah states that He has created Iblis from fire; but He does not inform us from what He has created the angels. Moreover, in the Qur’an, there is no information relating to Iblis that he has been created from the substance that the angels have been created from. Besides, it is also stated that Iblis is from the jinn. Therefore, it is not right to say that it is permissible to relate Iblis to something except Almighty Allah relates him to.”(34)
Tabari objects to those evidences and he says: “Those evidences arise from the weakness of the knowledge of their owners. It cannot be denied that Almighty Allah might have created some of the different kinds of the angels from light, some of them from fire and some of them from anything He wishes. Actually, there is no information about what the angels have been created from and stating what Iblis has been created from does not show that he is not from the angels. In the same way, it is not an obstacle for the possibility that Iblis might be from an angel kind that Almighty Allah has created from fire. Likewise, the existence of the offspring of Iblis does not necessitate that he is not from the angels. When Almighty Allah willed him to commit sin, He gave him a sense of pleasure and a feeling of appetite which did not exist in the angels. Also, Almighty Allah’s informing that Iblis is from the jinn is not an obstacle for him to be an angel. Not only Iblis but also the angels are called so since they cannot be seen by humans and every invisible thing is called as “jinn.”(35)
As it is seen, Tabari is of the opinion that although Iblis was an angel actually, he became a satan since he did not obey the command of Allah. However, Ibn Kathir is not of the same opinion. He explains his being the addressee of the command of “prostrate before Adam” with the angels although he is not from the angels as follows: “When Almighty Allah commanded the angels to prostrate before Adam, Iblis was regarded to be inclusive in that command. Although he was not of their kind, he was like them and he was performing their deeds. Because of that, Iblis was also regarded as the addressee of that command directed to the angels. And he was condemned since he did not obey that command.(36)
Like Tabari, Alusi also lists the evidences of the ones telling that Iblis is not from the angels and replies them, and he agrees with Tabari. According to his determinations, some scholars state that “Iblis is from a kind called jinn which is different from the angels” by putting forward the ayah “He was of the jinn” (Qur’an, The Cave (Al-Kahf); 50 (18: 50)); and that Iblis is arrogant in contrast to the angels, who are not arrogant and that Iblis is created from fire unlike angels, who are created from light as it is stated in the hadith.
In that point, Alusi says: “All of the scholars of the sahabis (companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)) and the next generation succeeding them stated that Iblis was from the angels by putting forward “the exception” part showing that Iblis did not obey that command in the verses telling the angels to prostrate before Adam, was the separate exception.”(37) I do not know how Alusi reached such a result. If it was so, the opinion that Iblis was from the angels would be accepted by the following generations of the ummah (community) without any objection.
Alusi, seeming to accept the opinion that Iblis was from the angels, responds to the counter evidences as follows: the fact that Iblis becomes haughty although the angels are not haughty is not an obstacle for Iblis to be from the angels. It is either because there are some which are not innocent among the angels, or Almighty Allah has taken the angelic attributes away from Iblis and has given him the devilish attributes. According to it, Iblis rebelled after he had taken the devilish attributes … The fact that Iblis has been created from fire in contrast to the angels, who have been created from light is not an obstacle to that situation, either. Because, fire and light are the same in essence…Still, Almighty Allah knows the truth.”(38)
Considering the subject of the creation of the living things from a different point of view, some Sufis discuss the creation of the angels and Iblis, too. However, it is quite different to determine the trustworthy, reliable sources of those interpretations.(39)
Both kinds of narrations have reached us form the predecessors about the subject whether Iblis is from the angels or from the jinn. Similar interpretations were mentioned before; the following is a relation coming from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him):
“There was a clan of the angels called jinn. Iblis used to belong to that clan and he used to go and return between the heaven and the earth previously. When he rebelled, Allah became angry with him and He transformed him into a satan and He cursed him. If he had not been from the angels, he would not have been commanded to prostrate.”
Sa’id b. Musayyab, from the next generation of the Sahabis, states: “Iblis used to be the head of the angels of the lowest heaven previously.” According to Qatada, Iblis took the name of “jinn” having the meaning “hiding the obedience”, namely, “not performing” since he turned away from obeying Almighty Allah and hid the obedience. Another scholar of the next generation of the sahabis, Hasan Basri, states: “Iblis has never been from the angels even for a moment”(40) ”because, he was created from fire and the angels were created from light. The angels never refrain from worshipping Allah, they never become haughty, and they never get tired and never rebel. However, Iblis is not so. He rebelled and became haughty. The angels are not from the jinn. However, Iblis is from the jinn. The angels are the messengers of Allah but Iblis is not so… When Iblis was commanded to prostrate with the angels, Allah excluded him. The name of Iblis used to be something else. However, when he rebelled against Allah, Allah called him with that name. He used to be a believer and used to worship in the heavens till he rebelled against Allah. When he rebelled, he was brought down to the earth.”(41)
As it is seen, both of the opinions take place at the predecessors. The correctness of the relations about that event is not precise, either. Calling out attentions to that, Ibn Kathir states, “A lot of relations have come from the predecessors, namely, from the sahabis and their next generation about the first times of Iblis. Most of them are the relations coming from Israeli sources narrated to attract people’s attentions.”(42) That information Alusi narrates has almost the same situation: “There used to be jinn before Iblis, too. However, they were destroyed and only Iblis remained from them. Therefore, the jinn and the satans of our age are his descendants. According to it, the status of Iblis among the jinn is like the status of Noah (peace be upon him) among the humans.”(43)
As it will be seen from our explanations from the beginning, both sides have evidences and counter defenses. However, the opinion that Iblis is not an angel but a different kind predominates (44) and it is more compatible with the verses and the clear meanings of the hadiths(45). One of the most important evidences of that issue as Razi also calls our attentions are (46) the 40th and 41st ayahs of the surah Saba’. In those ayahs, it is informed that, in the Day of Judgment, in response to the question of Almighty Allah about the unbelievers “Did those worship you?”, the angels will answer, “Glory to You, our (tie) is with You as Protector, not with them. Nay, but they worshipped the Jinn.” That clear expression shows that the angels and the jinns are two different kinds.
Lastly, it is necessary to answer the following question briefly:
Question: The word “Kana” is used in the meaning of “it was, it became” in the Quran. Although the expression “Kane min al kafirin” is translated as “He became from the unbelievers” in Baqarah 34, the expression “kane min al jinn” is translated as “He was from the jinns”. However, if it were translated as “He became from the jinns”, a meaning that Iblis used to be an angel previously, but when he revolted against Allah’s command, he was overthrown from being an angel and became a jinn would be understood. Why was such a translation made, then?
Answer: The exception in the ayah “Fe sajadu illa Iblis= They all prostrated except Iblis”, -as it was explained before- is not continuous but separated. In the separated/ discrete exception, the exception is not from the kind of the one it was excepted from. For example, in the sentence “Jaal qawmu illa baqarah= the entire of the community came except a cow”, the word cow is exceptional from the community but is not from their kind. So, from that verse, -in terms of grammar- there is no obligation to say that satan is from the angels.
The fact that the translation of kana is sometimes as “it was” and sometimes as “it became” is because of a rule of the Turkish language besides the wide meaning of the word. The word can be understood as “it became later” besides it can be understood as ”it has been like that all along.”
For that reason, even if it is translated as “he was of the jinn”, it is wrong to get the meaning “Iblis used to be an angel formerly but when he disobeyed Allah’s command, he was overthrown from being an angel and he was made join to the jinn”. Because, the terms jinn and angel do not express a rank, an attribute or a character – gained later- but express a generation and a kind -existing naturally-. Whatever its form, attribute, obedience or disobedience of it be, neither of the angels can become a jinn and neither of the jinns can become an angel. Which of the prophets, who obey Allah as much as the angels, has become an angel? Or, many pharaohs have passed by and which of them has been involved in the jinn kind? The surah an-Nas’ separating the human satans and the jinn satans from each other has shed easiness and light to comprehend the subject.
However, the terms “unbelief-belief” are not attributes rising from the kind but are attributes gained afterwards. Therefore, the expression “kana min al kafirin” expressing the unbelief gained later should be translated as “he became from the unbelievers.”
(1) Razi, 19/117.
(2) Razi, 21/88.
(3) Tabari, 27/74; Ibn Kathir, 6/487.
(4) Alusi, 14/34.
(5) Razi, 21/88.
(6) Alusi, 14/34; Razi, 14/92; Ibn Qutayba, al-Ma’arif, p.8..
(7) Tabari, 14/21.
(8) Tabari, 14/21; Ibn Kathir, 4/160; Alusi, 14/34.
(9) Alusi, 14/34; Elmalili, 5/3059.
(10) Alusi, 14/34.
(11) Alusi, 14/34.
(12) Ibn Kathir, 4/160. Elmalili, 5/3059.
(13) Hulusi, Ahmad, p.22.
(14), Alusi, 27/105.
(15) Tabari, 14/21.
(16) Razi, 14/92.
(17) Razi, 14/92; Alusi, 14/35.
(18) Muslim, zuhd, 61(4/2294).
(19) Ibn Kathir, 3/149.
(20) Razi, 19/117.
(21) Razi, 21/88.
(22) Alusi, 1/231.
(23) Alusi, 23/225.
(24) Razi, 2/385.
(25) Tabari, 23/119.
(26) Alusi, 8/87.
(27) Behiy, p.150.
(28) Tabari, 1/178.
(29) Ibn Qutayba, al-Ma’arif, p.8.
(30) Tabari, 1/158.
(31) Tabari, 1/178.
(32) Razi, 15/200.
(33) Tabari, 1/179-180.
(34) Tabari, 1/180.
(35) Tabari, 1/180-181.
(36) Ibn Kathir, 1/133.
(37) Alusi, 1/229.
(38) Alusi, 1/230.
(39) Alusi, 1/230-231.
(40) Tabari, 15/169-170.
(41) Razi, 10/299-300.
(42) Ibn Kathir, 4/397.
(43) Alusi, 15/292.
(44) Razi, 2/337-342.
(45) Ibn Hazm, 4/34.
(46) Razi, 2/338.
Why does Allah allow Satan to live until the Doomsday?
After rebelling against Allah, the devil asked for a respite and he was granted respite till the Day of Resurrection. Actually, that wish of him is also a punishment for himself. He made a wish which causes his torment in the Hereafter to increase as he is the cause of all evils perpetrated until the Doomsday. That way, he preferred a life full of shame and abasement to death.
His being granted respite:
The Satan, who despaired of Divine mercy and was left completely alone because of his haughtiness as regards the command of prostrating before Adam, peace be upon him, started to doubt about his life, too. He implored Allah, saying: “-Grant me respite till the Day when they are raised from the dead.” (The Qur'an, Al-A'raf, 7:14). What is meant with the Day when they are raised from the dead is the time when The Trumpet will be blown for the second time (The Qur'an, Az-Zumar, 39:68; Al-Mutaffifin, 83:6). By asking for such a respite, he knew that after the Resurrection, there would be no more death and he assumed that he would thus be saved from death. That wish for immortality was answered as “You shall be among the ones granted respite.” (The Qur'an, Al-A'raf, 7:15) with the condition “Until the Day of the appointed time known.” (The Qur'an, Al-Hijr, 15:38). And what is meant with the appointed time is the time when The Trumpet is blown for the first time (The Qur'an, An-Naml, 27:87). Thereby, he preferred a life full of shame and abasement to death. And that was his real downfall.
As is understood from above, not only did Satan not deny Allah and the Resurrection after death, but he also knew that Adam would have generations, and after living on the earth for some time, they would die and one day they would be resurrected. So, his unbelief does not arise from his denial of Allah and the Hereafter, but is about not carrying out what is necessitated by the command and is a kind of rebellion. (Yazir, the work mentioned, III, 2135).
His duty:The Satan, who was granted respite until a certain time, did not try the way of asking for forgiveness by accepting his fault and repenting. On the contrary, he became even more ferocious. He chose for himself an aim with which he could busy himself till the Day of Resurrection. And that aim was the human being who was the reason why he was driven away from Divine mercy. He was conquered by feelings of avenge. In a daring fashion, he explained those feelings of his to Allah: “My Lord! Because You have allowed me to rebel and go astray, I will indeed deck out to be appealing to them on the earth (the worldly, material dimension of human existence and the path of error), and I will surely cause them all to rebel and go astray.” (The Qur'an, Al-Hijr, 15:39)
As is seen, Allah Almighty did not immediately drive the Satan away from His presence because of his rebellion, He firstly gave him the permission to talk and granted him the opportunity to understand his mistake and to repent of it, but when he insisted on his obstinacy and rebellion, Allah drove him off from the rank where he was then and limited the plans he devised this way: “My servants-you shall have no authority over any of them, unless it be such as follow you being rebellious (against Me, as you are).” (The Qur'an, Al-Hijr, 15:42). “Get out from there, disgraced and disowned! Those of them that follow you, surely I will fill Hell with youall!” (The Qur'an, Al-A'raf, 7:18). So, whoever obeys the Satan will be his follower and will face the same end he will face. As is understood from those verses, the Satan was not given any power with which he can affect the sincere servants of Allah. Therefore, one who is against the Satan in his thoughts, lifestyle and disposition, will keep the quality of being “Allah's servant”. And the person who has a quality of the Satan then bears a trait of the Satan. (Yazir, the work mentioned, 111, 2138)
The wisdom in his creation: Our scholars have said that there are certain pearls of wisdom and aims in the creation of the Satan.
a- Allah created things with their opposites so that they can be distinguished from one another and that the differences between them can be perceived by humans. Similarly, the Satan was created in opposition to the existence of the angels, who are among the purest and noblest creatures and who advise what is good and just.
b- Another pearl of wisdom in the Satan's creation is the necessity for a being on which the names of Allah which refer to His greatness are reflected, such as Al-Qahhar (The All Compelling Subduer), Al-Muntaqim (The Avenger), Al-Adl (The Utterly Just), The One with Severe Punishment, The Fast Reckoner, Al-Hafiz (The Preserver), Ar-Rafi‘e (The Exalter), Al-Mu‘ezz (The Giver of Honor), Al-Mudhell (The Giver of Dishonor). For those names are the names of perfection which necessitate a being on which they will reflect. If the human and the jinn were in the nature of the angel, the work and result of those names could not realize.
c- If the Satan were not created, then it would not be possible for Allah's names and attributes of perfection which include such points as protection, forgiveness, mercy, covering and forgiving sins, to be reflected. Our Prophet articulates that concisely: “If you did not commit sins, Allah would certainly remove you, and would bring a people whose individuals commit sins and pray for forgiveness and to whom Allah would show forgiveness.” (Muslim, Tawba, 2; Tirmidhi, Jannat, 2; Daavat, 98; Ahmad b. Hanbal, I, 289, II, 309).
d- If the Satan were not created, it would not be possible to speak of worship and obedience to Allah. For certain deeds can be defined as worship, good and righteous only through the existence of their opposites. And it is the Satan who shows the way to humans in evil deeds. (Seyyid Sâbık, the work mentioned, p. 155-156; A. Saim Kılavuz, Anahatlarıyla İslâm Akâidi ve Kelâm'a Giriş, Istanbul 1987, p. 196)
Could you give detailed information about delusion? How can I get rid of it?
Let us have a look around us: let mountains, stones, plants, animals, the moon, the sun and stars cross your imagination one by one. All of them are physical beings; yet how different they are from each other!
And then let us think of the realm of rays, gravity and the attraction of the sun which we cannot see. And take notice of the fact that they are all very different from each other, too.
And let us continue with this:
Satan must be different from human beings as much as fire is different from earth. The Jinn must be as different from angels as darkness is different from light.
There are two species of beings which are tested by Allah: Human beings and the jinn.
There are believers and unbelievers amongst both of them. There are both good and evil individuals amongst both of them. Both species have got righteous ones and seditious ones. Here is the evilest member, who rebelled against Allah, of the Jinn: Satan.
Human body was created from earth, and the spirit is being hosted in that body. The jinn, on the other hand, were directly created from fire. Indeed, this difference of creation was the very reason of the first and the greatest test which Satan failed; and he was expelled from the presence of Allah and was cursed because he refused to prostrate before Adam claiming that he was superior to human beings as he was created from fire.
As Satan is from the Jinn species, his lifespan is eventually longer than that of human beings. In addition, this rebellious jinni was given a long lifespan as he wanted and indeed as a punishment, and he was permitted to pester human beings until the Day of Judgment.
Allah can test human beings only through their lower-selves and the worldly life too, without Satan, and give them their deserved bliss or deserved punishment. The fact that Satan is employed in this process is indeed a punishment given to Satan because more is added to his sins with every single person he leads to evil deeds and it causes his punishment to grow so severe that one cannot comprehend. Eventually, he became exposed to the most advanced level of the name of al-Qahhar.
“There are evil spirits from the jinn which do not have physical bodies as certainly as there are evil souls from human beings which have physical bodies yet serve as demons.” (The Flashes, p.82).
You see someone who is trying to instill some false thoughts to people. When talks, he looks directly in his addressee’s eyes, not at his arms or feet. He tries to get into his souls through his eyes and to instill some ideas in him. If you remove the physical bodies of these two people in your imagination, two different souls will appear. And one of them wants to deceive the other. In this case, it should not seem irrational that Satan tries to pervert human spirit and lead him astray.
We see some people denying the existence of Satan. According to the author of the Nur Collection, it is “the greatest trick of Satan”. The only ground for this denial is that Satan cannot be seen with human eyes.
Now, let us ask that person:
With which organ of yours do you deny the existence of Satan? That is, is it your hands that deny him, or your ears, or your body or your legs?
He will find the question nonsense and will answer “with none of them”. It is my mind which cannot accept his existence.
Then, what does not accept the existence of Satan is that person’s mind. Something invisible is denying the existence of another invisible thing and its evidence is that “it is invisible.”
The mind thinks with words, yet all works of the heart happen without words. One loves a flower or a scent without “words.” He does them without words. However, when he wants to explain that love to others, he uses words.
Satan talks without words to the human heart, which loves, fears and believes without words, and instills some suggestions to it like whispers. That whispering of Satan is called “delusion.” Talking of delusion, I would like to mention some tactics Satan uses to deceive people:
Satan’s first aim is to make people unbelievers. If he fails at it, he steps back and tries to prevent him from worshipping. He struggles to keep Allah’s servants away from this honorable duty. He whispers evils into their hearts and they become disturbed thinking that these evil ideas come from their hearts. This time, Satan starts another trick:
Satan says, “You cannot worship Allah with such a complicated heart (such complicated feelings)”. If one believes this delusion, Satan wins. However, everyone admits that nobody can find the peace, which he could not find in worship, by leaving worship. One who quits worshipping and obeying Allah gradually grows away from divinity. The only solution is continuing worshipping.
In a friends meeting, I was talking with a young friend who was exposed to that trick of Satan’s. He said “Whenever I start performing a prayer, I think of evil things. When I stop praying, they go away.” And he was looking for a solution. First of all, I offered him the following perfect recipe of the author of Nur Collection:
“Those abominable words are not the words of your heart because your heart is affected and grieved by them.” (The Words, p.275).
Then I continued my talk as follows:
If you saw a man slapping his own face and crying, would you not say “Why is this man crying although he is slapping himself in person? Or is there an invisible hand which is making his hand slap on his face?” Your situation resembles it.
According to the recipe of the author of Nur Collection; your crying shows that those words do not belong to your heart. You will see, for instance, when you go to a casino, that those words will stop. That means, the one who says those words is someone who is an enemy of prayer and friend of gambling. And why should Satan give delusions to someone who gambles?... If he does, that person may remember that gambling is haram and it is something which Satan would never favor. Leaving him alone as he is, is the best option for Satan.
Then I read him the following paragraph from Nur Collection:
“And that kind of delusions can neither harm the Divine Truth, nor your heart. Yes, if one looks through a dirty observation port at the Sun and the stars in the sky, or the roses and flowers in Heaven, the dirtiness of the observation port makes neither the beholder nor what is looked at dirty. And it does not cause any evil effects.” (Mesnevi-i Nuriye, 96).
Again, I asked a person in such situation the following question:
Have you ever read an Islamic Catechism book?
“Yes” he replied.
I asked my second question:
Is “delusion” listed amongst the things which invalidate prayers?
He answered my question with surprised smile on his face.
I said: “Then, continue your prayers. Whatever may cross your mind while praying, when you hear the call “Rise up for prayer! Rise up for Salvation!” you should hurry to prayer with the consciousness that Allah is calling you to His presence. Some abominable things may cross your mind at that time. However, whatever they may be, you will have obeyed that order by going to the mosque for the prayer. If you do not perform your prayer because abominable things cross your mind, you will have rebelled and such an excuse cannot save you from being guilty. What matters is following the order and hurrying to perform the prayer. Having the ideal peace in our hearts during prayers is another matter.
An assessment and a consoling statement on the issue from Nur Collection are as follows:
“As distortion and negative currents are at their zenith nowadays, God-consciousness (taqwa) is the most effective weapon against the distortion. One who performs fard worships and does not commit major sins finds salvation. With such major sins, good deeds are sincerely less likely to succeed. And a little amount of good deeds is indeed many under such difficult circumstances.” (Appendix of Kastamonu, 148)
The expression of “nowadays” is explained in the same letter as follows:
“As human beings face a hundred sins in every moment in today’s social life style, of course, they are considered to have performed a hundred good deeds if they are God-conscious and if they tend to refrain from those sins.”
When these two assessments are considered together, a battlefield is animated in our imagination. Bullets are pouring like rain from every corner and we are searching for peace in this violent atmosphere. It is obvious that we cannot find it. However, we are not supposed to join the enemy side just because we cannot find peace.
So, sins resemble bullets. And the social life of this age resembles a battle field. A person who is attacked by hundreds of enemies from every corner can hardly succeed in performing prayers peacefully and sincerely. However, this hardship earns him a special value; keeping guard in wartime and in battlefield and keeping guard in peacetime in towns are not the same. The statement “And a few good deeds are indeed regarded as many under such difficult circumstances” consoles and gives us the good news.
There is some other good news in the same letter: One will have performed hundreds of wajib worships by avoiding hundreds of sins, as avoiding one sin is wajib. People who were not exposed to even one percent of hundred sins could not perform those wajib prayers a few centuries ago. Instead, they advanced in performing good deeds and increased the amount of their nafilah (supererogatory) prayers. However, it is now difficult to perform good deeds. The statement “One who performs fard worships and refrains from major sins finds salvation” is a description of the awe of this age, besides being good news.
Let us deal with our own lower-selves and try to keep them away from Satan instead of wasting our time judging the age. As the ones who succeed in it increase in number, the age will also have to comply with those blissful people.
Alaaddin Başar, Ph.D.
Delusion is a work of Satan; it is a trouble caused by Satan. It is Satan confusing one’s heart. Satan’s only target is the heart. His only aim is to distort hearts and make them worthless and useless.
Why is the heart Satan’s target board? Let us take the answer from the Quran:
“…know that Allah cometh in between a man and his heart.” (1)
“…if any one believes in God, (God) guides his heart (aright).” (2)
“…without doubt in the remembrance of God do hearts find satisfaction.” (3)
“It is He Who sent down Tranquility into the hearts of the Believers, that they may add Faith to their Faith” (4)
“God has endeared the Faith to you, and has made it beautiful in your hearts.” (5)
“Believers are those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts.” (6)
We learn the following features of the heart from the verses which we translated, amongst hundreds of verses about the heart:
1. Allah is close to the heart.
2. Allah guides the heart to righteousness.
3. The heart finds peace in mentioning Allah.
4. Allah gives tranquility and safety to the heart.
5. Allah makes the heart adopt faith.
Yes, the heart is the center of faith, the center of invocation, the center of righteousness, the center of tranquility and peace and the center of our all feelings. And Satan is the enemy of all of those beauties in believers. He does whatever he can and he makes all kinds of tricks, traps and wiles in order to deprive believers of them. Therefore, the only solution is to keep one’s heart away from Satan’s trickeries. Otherwise, when the heart goes astray for once, all of the body and feelings go astray as well. As it is stated in a hadith, “Behold! There is a piece of flesh in the body; when it is right, the whole body is right; when it is distorted, the whole body becomes distorted as well.”
Delusion shows itself in the form of doubts firstly. Satan puts doubts into the hearts first. However, the heart shows reaction right away and resists. Yet if it quits resisting and accepts doubts, it is the first victory of Satan. However, if the heart rejects, they leave a trace, which eventually turns into a taint and blemish in the heart. After a while, disgusting thoughts start to be reflected on the mirror of imagination and some images which are inappropriate for morals are formed. Those images and taints in the heart have already been enough for it to cry out and become disturbed. Finally, it catches the first microbe of the disease and becomes hopeless. One who catches the microbe of delusion thinks he is behaving immorally against his Lord and becomes anxious, trembles and anxiety surrounds his whole body suddenly. All of his feelings have been wounded; the window of the heart has become clouded and images have lost their clearness. He struggles in order to get over this state. However, he feels hollow for a while and eventually escapes from peace to heedlessness since he has not listened to the true voice of his heart, that is, the angelic inspiration in his heart.
Well, the microbe has now covered the whole heart. At that time, he is helpless and hopeless. He searches for a way to salvation and cure. What is the cure to this disease?
And here is the cure:
First cure: The most essential matter in this case is not to give in to anxiety. One suffering from such delusion should not become anxious and worry. Something which causes anxiety and worry must be real. However, thoughts crossing the mind and the heart are nothing but only imagination. Abominable things in imagination are worthless and unimportant. Moreover, they cannot harm humans.
For this reason, neither imagining things which lead to unbelief leads one to belief nor is thinking of something immoral to immorality because imagining and thinking something is not a judgment and decision. One is not responsible for it or it is not an evidence of being evil. However, putting immorality and abominable words into practice is a judgment. As one who imagines unbelief and abominable words has not uttered them really, he is not responsible for it.
Second cure: abominable, ugly words and immoral thoughts in the heart do not come from inside the heart indeed; so they do not belong to the heart. The heart is disturbed by them; it gets bored of and worried about them. As they do not belong to the heart, they are nothing but groundless fears and thoughts. And as they do not come from the heart, they come from Satan and maybe from Satan’s headquarter (lammah) which is near the heart.
The Headquarter of Satan is defined in a hadith as follows:
The hadith in question is narrated by Abdullah bin Mas’ud. The Messenger of Allah said:
“Satan has got a headquarter and angel has got a headquarter in humans. Satan’s headquarter is to encourage evil (unbelief, sin and cruelty) and to deny the truth. Angel’s headquarter is to inspire good and appreciate the truth. Whoever feels the latter one in his heart should know it is from Allah and give thanks to Him. Whoever feels the former one in his heart should know it is from Satan and seek refuge with Allah from it.” (7)
Then the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) cited the following verse: “The Evil One threatens you with poverty and bids you to conduct unseemly. God promises you His forgiveness and bounties. And God cares for all and He knows all things.” (8)
The notion of Satanic headquarter mentioned in the hadith is explained as “Satan’s closeness, touching and delusion” while angelic headquarter is explained as “inspiration.”
Lammah is the headquarters, base, center and control rooms of Satan and angel. These two are very close to each other. Satan tries to lead people to deny the truth and invites them to unbelief, rebellion and sins by throwing arrows of delusion into their hearts. And angel counter-attacks in order to stop Satan’s attacks and invites people to good deeds, thawab and truth through inspiration.
So those abominable words in one’s heart and imagination come from the control room of Satan’s.
The fact that Satan’s headquarter and angel’s headquarter are so close to each other in heart resembles the following situation: a mirror has got both a bright face and a matte face. In other words, it is like a good book and a bad book that are next to each other in a bookcase.
In this sense, the fact that the inspiration of angel and the delusion of Satan are close to each other does not harm a person.
So how can one be harmed by delusion?
If one thinks that delusion will harm him, he will be harmed. Therefore, he causes hardship to his own heart and makes it suffer because he mistakes the imagination for reality. He thinks delusion comes from his heart. That is to say; he thinks delusion is harmful, so it becomes delusion. He thinks it is dangerous and it becomes dangerous. This is already what Satan wants and he gets what he wants. What should be done to get over it? As it is stated in the hadith, one should seek refuge with Allah from the evil of Satan’s.
Shaytan (Satan), who gave up the hope of divine mercy, and completely became alone as a result of assuming self-importance when he was commanded to prostrate for Hazrat Adam (peace be upon him), started to worry about his life. Then he begged Allah as follows: "Give me respite till the day they are raised up." (Qur’an, al-A'raf, 7/14). What is meant by “till the day they are raised up” is the second blowing of the Sur (the trumpet of the day of Judgement)by the angel Israfel. (Qur’an, Az-Zumar, 39/68) (Qur’an, Al-Mutaffifin, 83/6).
As he knew that after resurrection there will no more be resurrecting, he was thinking that by asking for a respite he would be saved from death. His begging for immortality was answered as "Be you among those who have respite." (Qur’an, Al-Araf, 7/15) with the condition “Till the Day of the Time Appointed." (Qur’an, Al-Hijr, 15/38). What is meant by “Till the Day of the Time Appointed.", is the first blowing of the Sur (Qur’an, An-Naml, 27/87).
With this, he (Shaytan) preferred a life full of abasement and insult to death. And it became the real descent for him.
As it can be understood from the explanations above, as a matter of fact Shaytan did not deny Allah and resurrection after death. He also knew that Hazrat Adam (peace be upon him) will have generations on the earth, that they will live there for a while, that they will die
and that one day they will be resurrected. So then, his blasphemy was not because he denied Allah and lfe after death, but because he did not perform the given command and objected to it. (Yazır, Elmalılı,III, 2135).
According to a hadith narration, Satan states that it is enough to read ayah al-kursi in order to be protected from the evil of Satan from the night until the morning. Can what Satan said be true?
The narration regarding the issue is as follows:
Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) said,
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) appointed me to protect the sadaqa al- fitr, which is the zakah of Ramazan. Somebody came and started to take handfuls of food. I caught the man and said to him,
“By Allah, I will take you to the presence of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).” The man said,
“I am a needy person; I have children and I need a lot of things.” Thereupon, I let the man. In the morning, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,
“O Abu Hurayra! What did your captive do last night?”I said,
“O Messenger of Allah! He said he was needy and that he had children; so, I felt pity for him and let him go.” The Messenger of Allah said,
“He told you a lie; he will come again.”Upon this sentence of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), I understood that he would come again; so, I started to wait for him. The man came again and started to take handfuls of food. Thereupon, I said,
“I will take you to the presence of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).” The man said,
“Release me; I am really in need. I have children. I will not come again. I felt pity for him and released him. In the morning, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to me,
“O Abu Hurayra! What did your captive do last night?”I said,
“O Messenger of Allah! He said that he was needy, that he had children and that he would not come again; so, I felt pity for him and let him go.” The Prophet said,
“He definitely told you a lie but he will come again.” I waited for him to come for the third time. Indeed, he came again andstarted to take handfuls of food. I got hold of him again and said,
“I will take you to the presence of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh); this is your third and last coming. You promise not to come again but you come. This time, he said to me,
“Release me! I will teach you some words that Allah will make useful for you. I said,
“What are those words?” He said,
“When you enter the bed, read ayah al-kursi. If you do so, there will be a guard sent to you by Allah and Satan will not be able to approach you until the morning. Thereupon, I released him. In the morning, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to me,
What did your captive do last night?”I said,
“O Messenger of Allah! He said he would teach me some words that Allah would make useful for me; therefore, I released him. The Prophet said,
“What are those words?”He said to me,
“When you enter the bed, read ayah al-kursi, “Allahu la ilaha illa huwa’l-hayyu’l-qayyum…” from beginning to the end;there will always be a guard sent to you by Allah and Satan will never be able to approach you until the morning.” Thereupon, the Prophet said, “Behold! He is a liar but he told you the truth this time. O Abu Hurayra! Do you know who you were talking to for three nights? I said,
“No, I don’t.” The Messenger of Allah said,
“He is Satan.”(Bukhari, Wakalah 10, Fadailu’l-Qur’an 10, Bad’u’l-khalq 11)
Bukhari mentioned this hadith in three different places in his Sahih. However, he mentioned it fully as narrated above in Wakalah and summarized in the other two parts. We will point out some issues mentioned in the hadiths.
We understand from this hadith that sadaqa al-fitr was gathered in a place and then was distributed to the poor. There are many examples in hadiths that Hazrat Prophet was given the knowledge about ghayb (unknown) but in this hadith, the Prophet says what the man did although he did not witness the event and says what he will do.
That Abu Hurayra saw Satan and caught him proves that he takes various shapes. It is also a clear indication of the blessing and extraordinary state of being subject to the Prophet on Abu Hurayra. Sadaqa al-fitr is the right of the poor and the needy; so, the person who came to Abu Hurayra introduced himself as a poor person.
According to what Bayhaqi narrates, Allah secures the house of a person who reads ayah al-kursi when he enters the bed at night and the house of his neighbor and the houses in his street.(Ali al-Kari, al-Mirqat, IV, 632).
Abu Hurayra knew that the person who came was a liar due to the warning of the Prophet. Therefore, he wanted to catch him and take him to the presence of the messenger of Allah. However, it is understood that Satan’s useful words for man that are also accepted by Allah made Abu Hurayra change his mind. He had the idea that the person regretted what he had done and repented. Therefore, he released the person.
Besides, it was impossible for the person to come again. Since the Messenger of Allah said, “The person who came to Abu Hurayra told the truth”, Abu Hurayra started to read ayah al-kursi every night from then on and to keep Satan away from him until the morning.
In fact, the news that Satan gives is falsified news because, as the Prophet states it, the characteristic of Satan is telling lies. However, a liar sometimes tells the truth. The Prophet pointed out that aspect.
As a matter of fact, it is stated in the following verse that Satan cannot harm sincere and purified people: “(Iblis) said: "Then by Thy power, I will put them all in the wrong― Except Thy Servants amongst them, sincere and purified (by Thy grace)."(Sad, 38/82,83) It is confirmed by Allah in the following verses that that word of Iblis is right “(Allah) said: "Then it is just and fitting― and I say what is just and fitting―That I will certainly fill Hell with thee and those that follow thee--every one."(Sad, 38/84,85)
That is, Satans from jinn and Satanic people can tell truth even though it is very rare. They might have done so as a necessity of their own interest, in order to be protected from a harm or to add a thousand lies to a true statement. Or, Allah might have made them serve good people through their tongue.
However, the most important point to take into consideration is thatthe words of such evil being need to be confirmed by Allah as it is stated in the verseor by His Messenger as it is statedin the hadith. In that case, we will be regarded to have followed the confirmation by Allah and His Messenger. Therefore, it is not appropriate to act in accordance with what those Satans of people and jinn and to follow them based on the truths that they sometimes tell.
We will understand those issues from the event in this hadith, which is supported by revelation and informed by the Prophet, and we will not change our direction due to some truths that are rarely told by Satanic forces. We will continue walking straight on the path shown to us by the Book of Allah and the sunnah of His Prophet.
We understand the following from the hadith mentioned above,
- Ayah al-kursi has many virtues.
- God Almighty protects a house in which ayah al-kursi is read sincerely at night from the evil of Satan that night.
- To read ayah al-kursi before sleeping at night is an act that complies with the sunnah.
- The Prophet had information about the unknown by the permission of Allah.
- The characteristic of Satan and some jinn is telling lies; therefore, it is not appropriate to believe in them.
How can we get rid of delusion (waswasa)?
Delusion is nothing but instilling. You can end it within your mind. That is to say; when one realizes that he has got delusions, he has to end them; because when we are unaware of delusions we think that we are committing sins and making mistakes. And for this reason, delusions continue to exist by increasing. However, when you realize that this situation does not stem from you, but it is the instilling of Satan and that you are not responsible for it and eventually you are not sinful, delusions will go away by themselves. You should not overrate delusion. Satan’s tricks are weak.
Abu Huraira narrates: Some people from the Companions of the Prophet asked him: “Some of us have got delusions in our minds; we think that it is sin to voice them normally.” The Prophet asked: “Do you really feel such apprehensiveness?” They answered “Yes!” and he said: “This (apprehensiveness) stems from faith (delusion is not harmful).” Muslim, Faith 209 (132); Abu Dawud, Adab 118 (5110).
In another narration, he said: “Praise be to Allah who turns Satan’s tricks into delusions.”
Another narration which Muslim narrated from Ibnu Mas’ud is as follows:
They said: “O Messenger of Allah! Some of us hear such inner-voices that they would rather be burnt until they turn into coal or thrown down to earth from the sky than saying them. (Can these delusions harm us?)” The Prophet answered: “No, this apprehensiveness of yours is the sign of true belief.”
Does Allah let Satan (the devil) pervert human beings? Can you explain it? If Satan approaches us with the permission of Allah, why does Allah let Satan do it?
Satan was given the permission to commit sins just as man was. If they had not been given that permission, then, there would not have been any testing. Satan was dismissed from the presence of Allah and damned when he did not prostrate to Adam. Then, Satan asked the following from Allah:
"O my Lord! Give me then respite till the Day the (dead) are raised."
(Allah) said: "Respite is granted thee― Till the Day of the Time Appointed."
(Iblis) said: "O my Lord! because Thou hast put me in the wrong, I will make (wrong) fair-seeming to them on the earth, and I will put them all in the wrong― Except Thy servants among them, sincere and purified (by thy grace)." (al-Hijr, 36-40)
We want to attract your attention to some issues about the desire of Satan:
- The reason why Satan was given that permission and respite is due to testing. If Satan had not pestered people, the rank of the people would have been stable like those of the angels; they would not have been able to develop. However, man, who is tested through Satan can fall down to the lowest levels and rise to the highest levels.
- Satan only tries to delude human beings, he tries to persuade them into committing sins; he cannot force them to do anything. If he had had a power like that, man would not have been responsible for what he had done.
- Satan presents evil like something good just like the poison being served in golden bowls or inside honey. For instance, he says to a young man, “You are too young to fulfill the commands of the religion. Live every moment of your life. Travel and play!”
He says to the person who tries to get up for the morning prayer: “It is too cold now. You are a bit ill. You can perform the prayer later.”
He says to the people who work for Allah: “Are you going to save the nation? Although you have so many troubles yourselves, you are trying to solve the problems of the nation; take it easy…”
-Although Iblis is so deceitful and tricky, it cannot do anything to the mukhlas (purified or having been given sincerity) slaves of Allah. He cannot make them go astray. He will even cause them to elevate their ranks.
Satan believes in Allah, Does he love Allah?
Indication of loving Allah (SWT) is obeying His orders.
As the Satan did not obey Allah, He does not love Him.
As a matter of fact, in the Qur’an, the following is stated, “Say: ‘If ye do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins; for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’" (Surah Aal-e-Imran, 3/31)
The verse includes this certain following comparison:
“If you love Allah (SWT), you shall follow Prophet Muhammad (SWT). If not, it means you do not love Him”
The opposite is as follows: “I love Allah, However I do not obey His orders, I do not love what He loves. It means that I do not love the ones who love Him and who show His way and His prophets” that is, “I love nothing but myself; and I do not want to follow the way of tawhid*”.
* (The Divine Unity, unity in its most profound sense. Allah is One in His Essence and His Attibutes and His Acts. The whole universe and what it contains is One unified event which in itself has no lasting reality. Allah is the Real, Al-Haqq. Although Allah is indivivisible and beyond conception, Tawheed can be viewed from four distinct perspectives: I. Tawheed Al-Rububiyah - Unity of Lordship. To percieve that there is only one Lord, the Master and Creator of the Universe, Who oversees and orders it in every moment, and that He is Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala. II. Tawheed al-uluhiyah - Unity of Worship. To realize that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah "Wahdahu la Shareeka’lah ("Alone without partner"). III. Tawheed al-Asma wa Sifaat - Unity of names and Attributes of Allah Ta’ala. To comprehend that: None can qualify or name Allah except as He or Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, have named or qualified Him. None can be named or qualified with the Names or the Attributes that belong only to Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala. For example, none may be called "Al-Muhyee" ("the Giver of Life") except Allah subhana wa Taa’ala Himself. We Must accept all the Ayat and Ahadeeth (Sahi) regarding the Attributes of Allah without altering their meaning in any way whatsoever. For a full list of the Attributes of Allah Ta’ala: IV. Tawheed all-Itabaa- Unity in following the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. To believe in and recite the words "Ashadu anna Muhammadar-Rasoolullah" ("I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah") and to follow the way of the Prophet Muhammad, as much as one is able, in life and worship. It is only by following the way of Islam tha the true nature of Tawhid becomes apparent. Another name for Suratul Ikhlas.
Why Satan has lost?
Satan has lost eternally because of five reasons.
1. For not accepting his sin
2. For not regretting
3. For not condemning his nafs (self) which led him to rebel
4. For not repenting
5. For losing his hope from the Divine Mercy (Ibn-i Hacer, Munehibbat, 73)
Hence, a believer should always accept his sins; regret his mistakes; criticize his nafs (evil-self) and condemn it; often repent and should not lose his hope from Divine Mercy.
Will you give information about the tricks of Satan (devil)?
Satan is a kind of creature that cannot do good deeds and that only commits evil. 'It was created from nar as-samum, that is, smokeless and scorching fire. (al-Hijr, 27) The real name of Iblis was Azazil. He was given the names “Iblis” and “Satan” after he rejected to prostrate Hazrat Adam (pbuh) and became conceited and rebelled due to the order of prostration.
All of the activities and efforts of Satans aim at making people exit belief, making them committing sins and making them unbelievers. The greatest obstacle in the spiritual development of humanity and in fulfilling the duty of worshipping is Satan. Satan is described as “aduww mubin” (enemy avowed ) in the Quran. God Almighty asked people to take shelter in Allah from Satan in many verses in the Quran.
As a matter of fact, Satan has no power on his own. His delusions and tricks are weak. However, what he does involves destruction and breaking down; so he causes great harms with delusion and deception. Therefore, he appears strong. To construct a building is difficult but to demolish it is very easy. What Satan does and makes others do are related to destruction. Muslim always takes shelter in Allah from Satan because it causes great destructions despite his weak power and delusions.
The soul of man and his feelings like lust and wrath are always receptive to all kinds of delusions and suggestions of Satan; therefore, a small delusion and trick of Satan affects man quickly and leads him to great spiritual disasters and harms. That is why the evil of Satan is presented as something big to believers and they are repeatedly warned against being deceived by him. In fact, Satan has no power in terms of inventing and doing things and intervening in the sovereignty of Allah.
Satan resorts to many tricks to deviate man. The most important ones of those tricks are as follows:
1. Lust and fury: They are the greatest means of Satan to influence man. Therefore, the following is stated in a hadith: “Satan enters the body of man like the blood circulates in the body. Narrow his ways through hunger (fasting)” because the greatest means of Satan’s entrance to human body is lust. Hunger weakens lust.
2. Jealousy and ambition: An ambitious person becomes too blind to see the truth too deaf to hear the truth.
3. Greed: Satan makes a person love the things that he is greedy about so much that the thing he is greedy about becomes his god.
4. Haste: Man cannot have the opportunity to think when he is in a hurry. Satan can make him get delusions at that time.
5. Stinginess and fear of poverty: This fear prevents man form charities and makes him pile goods.
6. One of the doors that Satan penetrates into the heart is the fanaticism of denomination and school in the service of the religion. Thus, Satan makes a person feel hatred against and despise those who are not in the same denomination and school as he is. It is a very dangerous state. It causes the destruction of both sinners and righteous people. It is a bad trait to despise people and to try to find their mistakes. However, Satan makes a person regard those bad traits as good under the disguise of serving the religion. That person thinks that he is working to serve the religion and feels happy. However, he is in the trap of Satan.
7. Another means that Satan uses to deceive people is keep them busy with the disagreements among denominations and schools, and the rumors about them.
8. Another door that Satan penetrates into the heart is making some people whose minds narrow due to their ignorance and committing sins constantly think about issues of belief that they will not be able to understand and making them have doubts about the religion.
9. Having bad (negative) thoughts about others: If a person starts to have negative thoughts about somebody, Satan causes that person to backbite him or Satan does not make that person show respect to his rights and makes that person despise him.
The ones we have mentioned do not include all of the tricks and delusions of Satan. They vary depending on people, periods and conditions.
Are we regarded to have committed sins due to evil things in our imagination?
We are not regarded to have committed sins due to evil things in our imagination. However, we believe that we should be careful because these willingly imagined thoughts can cause us to waste our blessing of imagination and can lead us to make various mistakes. At least, it is a waste of time and imagination.
We are not responsible for the images which we unwillingly think of and which come to our minds. Responsibility is in question for willing actual deeds. In other words, people are held responsible for the deeds which they choose to do at their own will. Nevertheless, the will is not in question on evil thoughts that come to the mind. That is, you have not decided to think of evil things and have committed them. For this reason, you are not held responsible for them. It is best to ignore them considering as delusions of satan.
Satan can impose his delusions to people’s hearts from the place called “sign of devil” next to the heart. The proof that these words and thoughts implied are not the products of the heart is the heart’s becoming nervous due to them. For example, even if a person observes the beauty of the sky through a dirty telescope, the dirt does not smear on neither the observer nor the observed. So, such words and thoughts are those of satan and they do not harm us. The real damage is to trying to get rid of it in vain or becoming afraid, thinking that it is dangerous.
Although Satan had no any doubt about the existence of Allah (SWT), he rebelled Allah and did not obey His order of prostrating to Hz. Adam; then, how can people be accused of not believing in Allah without seeing Him?
First of all, it is necessary to believe that it is possible to comprehend the existence and oneness of Allah in real sense with the equipments that He has given to us such as reasoning and revelations that support these equipments. The belief of billions of people throughout human history is a proof of this truth.
Even in this materialistic age, the belief of billions of people in Allah (SWT) depending on divine religions shows that the test of humanity is very equitable. Even the belief of people who are not in the category of divine religions in the existence of an infinite power in any way and their worshipping a void God though it is false, shows that it is an undeniable proof that the nature of human contains a belief in Allah.
It is clear that humans are creatures that think and have a free will. The testing of such an equipped living creature shows that those equipments are given for this test. As man who has a capacity for easily distinguishing the profit-loss, good-evil, architect-architecture, art-artist, building-builder, and author-book, it is necessary to accept that he also has a capacity for thinking that this palace of universe has a builder; this book of universe has an author, this art of creation has an artist. That is why Imam Maturidi said; “even if prophets had not been sent, people would have been responsible for knowing the existence of Allah (SWT) with their minds”. However, along with the mind, lots of human mechanisms such as the nature of man, his conscience and feelings; weakness-poverty, fear-love are a kind of windows which are open to Allah, He sends prophets with miracles and also books as a guidance by not limiting only to those natural guide mechanisms.
Despite these visible truths, there is no doubt that it is Satan’s trap of showing us issues whose nature we do not know like comparing them with Satan or closed doors whose keys we do not have.
Is it not better to mind our own business instead of trying to learn all of the secrets of the test with our small mind? Is it not an easy thing to consider the capacity of our mind and free will and trying to make our heart and reason accept that Allah (SWT) is a just creator who never oppresses and that the present test is just?
If Allah had not aimed to distinguish between people who use their mind and those who do not, who listen to their conscience and those who do not and between the good and the bad, to carry out a test with an equitable purpose like rewarding those who were hardworking and passed the test and punishing those who were lazy and failed it, why would He have given that test. Who could have opposed Him if He had sent everybody to Hell without giving any tests?
According to the narration from Ibn Hajar, Satan lost the test eternally because of five reasons.
1. For not accepting his sin
2. For not regretting
3. For not condemning his nafs (self) which led him to rebellion
4. For not repenting
5. For giving up hope from the Divine Mercy (Ibn Hajar, Munabbihat, 73)
Hence, a believer should always admit his sins, regret his mistakes, criticize his nafs (evil-self) and condemn it; often repent and should not give up hope from Divine Mercy.
Is it true that Satan appears with water at the time of death?
It is necessary to put some water constantly into the mouth of a person who is in deathbed since his mouth will go dry. For, at the time of death, Satan approaches with a glass of water.
Islamic scholars say that it is sunnah to utter kalima at-tawhid near a person who is in deathbed. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,
"Say, 'Lailaha illallah' near the Muslims who are in deathbed."
The following is stated in another hadith:
“A person whose last word before death is 'Lailaha illallah' goes to Paradise."
It is good to recite the Quran near a dead person. The Messenger of Allah stated the following regarding the issue:
"The chapter of Yasin is the heart of the Quran. If a person reads it with the intention of Allah and the hereafter, Allah will forgive him. Read it for your dead people."
(see Prof. Dr. Süleyman TOPRAK, Ölümden Sonraki Hayat)
Is it Satan's qadar (destiny) to have rebelled?
Yes, Satan underwent testing and failed. He did not repent because of his mistake. Everything is related to qadar but it is necessary to understand qadar truly. Qadardoes not force anybody to do or not to do a certain thing.
If the Satan had not been created, would we all have been in Paradise?
One of the incidents that man thinks about is Adam’s (PBUH) having been driven out of Paradise, having been sent to the world, and Satan's having caused that. The following question comes to the mind of some people:
- If Satan had not been created, would Adam (PBUH) have stayed in Paradise, and would we all have stayed there too?
Before answering this question, let us pay attention to Allah Almighty's dialogue with angels before He created Adam (PBUH). This event is expressed in Surah Al-Baqarah:
“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 do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?" He said: "I know what ye know not.”(Surah al-Baqara, 2:30)
As is clear from the translation of the verse, Allah Almighty announces that He would create humankind on earth before He created Adam (PBUH). That is, He (SWT) announced that humankind would live in the world not in Paradise. That Satan deceived Adam (PBUH) only became a cause for man's having been sent to the world.
On the other hand, unlike angels, man has been given self-appetites and carnal feelings. For the reflections of these feelings to be seen, it was necessary for man to be given responsibilities and be tested so that at the end of this test and experiment, he would either become worthy of Paradise or deserve Hell.
What are the incidents that made Satan scream?
Satan screamed when he was damned and was driven away from divine mercy, when he was pushed and sent down from the rank where he was, when the Prophet (pbuh) was born and when the Quran was sent down. (Suhayli, Rawdul-Unuf, II/149; Ibn Sayyid, Uyunul-Athar, II/27; Abul-Fida, al-Bidaya wan-Nihaya, II/266-267)
(M. Asım Köksal, İslam Tarihi)
Why were devils and evil beings created? Is it not bad to create what is bad and is it not evil to created what is evil?
In fact, ”no one can question Allah for His acts’’( al-Anbiya 21/23). However, as a necessity of being humans, “we want to be satisfied”(al-Baqara, 2/260) like Abraham (pbuh) in this issue, as it always happens. That is why these questions come to our mind unintentionally.
- Why did Allah create devil and evil things and set them on us then? Is it not bad to create what is bad and is it not evil to create what is evil?
We should state immediately that it is not evil to crate evil. It is evil to commit evil deeds. For, Allah does not create things so that they will be bad but so that they will be good. We transform what Allah creates as good into evil. For instance, Satan was created from fire and fire is the best example regarding this issue. It is not evil to create fire but it is evil to touch it. If man controls fire, he will benefit from it. Otherwise, he will be harmed.
Another example is rain. There are thousands of results of rain. All of them are nice. If some people are harmed by rain due to imprudence, they cannot say, "the creation of rain is not God’s mercy" ; they cannot decree that ‘’it is evil’’.
Allah created angels that cannot commit sins and animals that have no liability. Other than these two beings, Allah created man who can be so perfect as to be better than angels but who can also be so bad as to be worse than animals. At this point, Allah gave a chance to devil to improve man and gave man an evil-commanding soul.
The world is field of the hereafter. Heaven and Hell, which are two destinations of the hereafter, will be fruits of people’s beliefs and deeds. Therefore, man is subjected to a kind of test. The people that spend their lives on faith and doing righteous deeds by doing all their work on the right way, become worthy of Heaven. The people that follow the contrary way become the people of Hell.
If man does not obey his soul and does not heed Satan, he advances spiritually and can reach a degree higher than that of angels. If he does the opposite, he can fall down to a level lower than that of animals.
As it is known, the base of diamond and coal is carbon. However, they are different from each other because of the difference of array. Likewise, the base of people is the same. All of them have been equipped with the same material and spiritual devices. However, differences occur among people because of using them rightly or wrongly; in the community, people with a coal spirit appear along with people with a diamond spirit.
Another aspect of the issue is that man is harmed when he obeys Satan but Satan is also held responsible in accordance with the rule "the one who has causes something is like the one who does it", his torment Hell will increase. The opportunity that devil wants to deviate people from their paths will be a trouble for him and the same amount of the torture of the people that he deviated will be inflicted on him too.
If Allah had wished, he might not have given this chance to Satan. In that case, human soul would have undertaken his task; and the result would not have changed. Satan will incur a lot of loss with the opportunity given to him to deviate people. So to speak, he was punished for his insolence like that.
Why does Satan misguide man though he knows that he will go to Hell?
- Satan became conceited and proud first. As a being that was created out of fire, he could not accept to prostrate before Hz. Adam, who was created out of dust. It is understood that the conceit and pride of Satan prevented him from thinking about the result of this disobedience.
There are millions of evidences showing that it can happen like that.
As a matter of fact, millions of people believe in Allah but they still commit sins because some feelings overwhelm them and they prevent the mind from thinking about the consequences. This fact is underlined in the following verse: “Those who love the life of this world more than the Hereafter...” (Ibrahim, 14/3)
That is, most people believe in the existence of an eternal paradise and hell but they prefer the ephemeral and temporary worldly life to the hereafter. They virtually forsake Paradise for some temporary pleasure of the world; they overlook the trouble of Hell so that they will not confront any trouble in the world.
“Man is a creature of haste.” (al-Anbiya, 21/37) As it is understood from the verse, some feelings of man are addicted to immediate pleasures.
- Everybody has the feeling of thinking of his own interest.
The form of satisfying this feeling develops based on the spiritual faculties of man.
For instance, if somebody aims eternal pleasures and if he thinks that the way to attain those pleasures is through abandoning the pleasures of this world, he will definitely abandon them. For, according to the belief of that person, the real place of pleasure is the hereafter.
Similarly, the only aim of some people who want to succeed in the hereafter and to live a life accordingly is to be saved from Hell. Those people who regard being saved from hellfire as the greatest interest have no time to think about life in Paradise as it is valid for life in the world. For, they concentrate on being saved from punishment; they cannot think about an interest and pleasure greater than that.
On the other hand, it is inevitable for a person who aims an immediate pleasure and payment even if it is ephemeral to be interested in the worldly life and to ignore the hereafter.
For, according to the thought of this person, the greatest worldly interest is worldly pleasures and desires.These pleasures are variable. According to some people, theft is the greatest pleasure while murder, being drunk and cheating is the greatest pleasure according to others. Satan becomes very happy when he deceives people. This sensual and demonic pleasure prevents him from being interested in life in the hereafter, which is regarded as something to be given later.
As it is known, a person’s feelings, thoughts and mental activities concentrate on an issue based on his degree of concentration on it.
For instance, some people concentrate on their sheikh so much that they see him everywhere and think of him everywhere. They become "fana fish-sheikh" (disappear in their sheikh). We know that the concepts "fana fir-rasul" and "fana fillah" are used similarly.
Likewise, Satan is so busy withdoing evil deeds, deceiving man, producing delusions, deviating man and setting traps that all of his mental facultieshave become fana fish-sharr.
His deep occupation with doing evil to sons of Hz. Adam, who is his pre-eternal enemy, prevents him from thinking of his own state.
In addition, Satan harmed his essence with his own will; therefore, he has lost his ability to repent and to believe, like a spoiled seed that cannot be a tree and coal that cannot be transformed into diamond.
This state does not show that the will of Satan is weak; it shows that Satan uses his will in the wrong way.
It means the will has not been produced in the wrong way; it has been used in the wrong way.
The same thing is valid for human beings. A saint who ascended the level of “Fana fillah” will not think of anything but Allah; Satan, who has become “fana fil-ghurur” (a master of deceiving others), will not be busy with anything else.
That the word “Gharur=the one who deceives a lot” is used in the Quran shows that he has immersed in it and that he has no time to think about other things.
This is the reason why the people who are the slaves of their evil-commanding souls prefer the way of deviation. That is, the soul likes to serve the evil-commanding soul, which is addicted to immediate pleasures. The owner of this soul follows Layla; therefore, he starts to take pleasure from deviation, which is a hard way, like Majnun.
Satan is a Majnun of his own way; he does not think of anything else but to act in accordance with his way.
Will you give information about the creation of satans and jinn and their nature?
Satans were not created as satans.Afterwards, they used their wills in the wrong way and became satans. Satan is of the species of jinn. The Quran clearly states that Hz. Adam was created out of clay, that he was given spirit and that he was made a living being. Similarly, it is stated that Satan (Iblis) is of jinn. The issue is narrated as follows in the Quran:
"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)
Is "being created from fire", which Satan regarded as a reason of superiority and a drawback to prostration, a reason of superiority? It is disputable. For, it is not easy for fire to contact other beings. It cannot make use of them a lot. It burns and melts them. Water and solid matters like sand and soil extinguish it. Therefore, this difference, which is basically seen as a reason of superiority, pushed Satan to loneliness throughout his life. Allah was definitely conscious of it and would give the ones He wished superior characteristics. In His eye, the basic principle for superiority was obedience to Him. Since Satan avoided it and regarded himself as superior, his claims of superiority were of not good and caused him to be dismissed from mercy and called "Satan". Maybe, he was superior with his previous rank because there is nothing better than being in Paradise and near Allah Almighty all the time. However, the disobedience of Satan and regarding being created from fire as an imperishable superiority since fire could burn clay and feeling proud because of it prevented this and caused him to be expelled from divine presence and Paradise as an unbeliever. It should be added that the unbelief of Iblis is not because of denying Allah but because of "denying and arguing the order and responsibility and the necessity of the deed." (2)
However, according to Satan, being created from fire was a reason of superioritybecause fire could burn clay. Those who follow Satan are usually in pursuit of this power: To reject others, to be powerful all the time and to satisfy themselves by exerting it on others.
It is stated in the Quran that jinn were also 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 accept that what is meant by "Jaann" that is, "father of Jinn" in the chapter of ar-Rahman is Iblis, the father of jinn, while other scholars say it is not Iblis but father of jinn. Yazır says that he 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."
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 the following verse includes a "joined exception":
"Behold! We said to the angels 'Bow down to Adam': They bowed down except Iblis." (al-Kahf, 18/50)
The rule explains joined exception as 'both the main noun and the excepted noun representing the same kind'. In the verse, Iblis was excepted from the angels. He made the following explanation in the form of a footnote to answer a probable question like the following: "Since Iblis is not an angel and is a jinni, how can he be excepted from angels?"
Bursalı writes: "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. Jinn come from him. Similarly, Hz. Adam is of human beings because Hz. Adam is the first human being. (4)
According to another view, there was another species that Allah created before Adam and sent to the world. The name of this species was jinn. They shed blood and angels fought against them.
Baghawi writes the following: His name in Assyrian is Azazil and in Arabic Harith. When he rebelled, his name and shape was changed; he was called Iblis. For, he lost his hope of mercy. (at-Tahrim, 66/6)
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 do not have any responsibility regarding the issue; therefore, they do not have will and they are protected from making mistakes.
Characteristics of Satan:
1.He tells lies and vows. 2. He has no power of sanction. 3. He is hypocritical. 4. He makes use of literature and philosophy. 5. He is the sliest enemy of man. 6. He is a bad friend. 7. He is the closest friend of those who are away from the Quran. 8. He sees man from everywhere and tries to deceive him.
Was Iblis one of the Angels?
Whether Iblis was an angel or jinni is a debatable issue. However, it is not such a complicated issue. For, Iblis is one of jinn because he was created from the material that jinn were created. The special name of the first satan that met Hz. Adam is Iblis. He is also one of the jinn and was created from the fire from which the jinn were created. Satan is the name given the type of them that seduce and misguide people; that is, the name of a different type of that species.
The view that Iblis is one of the angels or is their "teacher" or "leader" emerges from Christianity, not from Islam. The concept of angel is clearer in Christianity compared to Judaism but it is not very clear. For, According to Christianity, Iblis was the leader of the angels and he rebelled against Allah with the angels under his command; then, they were all dismissed. The following statement in Matthew Bible seems to confirm it:
"(On the Day of Judgment) Then he (the king) will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" (Matthew, 25:41)
This issue is so clearly explained in the Quran that there is no doubt about it:
"Behold! We said to the angels 'Bow down to Adam': They bowed down except Iblis. He was one of the Jinn, 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!" (al-Kahf, 18/50)
The phrase "Kana min'al-jinni (He was one of the Jinn)" in the verse is clear. The topic is prostration and the rebel is Iblis. His rejecting prostration is expressed in the previous verses.
The prostration mentioned here is not the prostration meaning worshipping but meaning greeting and respect showing appreciation of the person to be greeted and the one who made him valuable. This prostration was legitimate during the time of the previous nations but it was later abolished. (6) When Hz. Yusuf's mother, father and brothers found him in Egypt, they greeted him like that.
What is the purpose or benefit of Satan in wanting to deviate man until the day of judgement?
- The existence of Satan is a part of the test human beings have to take. It is indispensable. For, man needs the power of angels that will help his mind, which is an important guide for man to follow the positive or negative way in the test; similarly, he needs the existence of devils that will help the desires of his soul that tends to deviate him from the right path.
Therefore, one side of the heart is home for angels and the other for devils. When man distinguishes between the good and the bad, and the right and the wrong, and he uses his free will, he is exposed to the advice of the angels and the suggestions of Satan. If he is lucky, he listens to the orders of revelation, suggestions of good sense and the advice of the angel; and, he makes his preference accordingly. However, if he is unlucky – God forbid - , he is affected by the desires of his soul and delusions of Satan; and he makes the preference that is against him.
- This is the real duty of Satan but he makes use of any opportunity since he is the enemy of man. Since his job is suggestions, he does not have to make an extra effort and spend extra energy. It is a fact that is seen clearly that even some people in the world take pains and work very hard to harm their enemies.
“Then did Satan make them slip from the (garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been. We said: "Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood - for a time." Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord Turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.” It is indicated in the verse above (al-Baqara, 2/36-37) that human beings and devils will remain in the world until the Day of Judgment and that their enmity will continue.
It means devils will live until the Day of Judgment just like human beings.
- The reason why Iblis (the ancestor of devils/satans) will live until the Day of Judgment unlike Hz. Adam is explained as follows: in the Quran:
“(Allah) said: ‘What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?’ He said: ‘I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay.’ (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).’ He said: ‘Give me respite till the day they are raised up.’ (Allah) said: ‘Be thou among those who have respite.’ He said: ‘Because thou hast thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on thy straight way: 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 mercies).’” (al-Araf, 7/12-17) According to what is understood from the verses above, the reason why Satan is so hostile to man is that he was dismissed from divine presence due to those creatures, whom he despised. He thinks that he was damned in the world and was led to the rebellion that condemned him to Hell because of human beings; therefore, he decided to make – so to speak- a lot of sacrifices for this enmity.
- It seems that the continuation of Satan and his species, which Allah regarded as part of the test and the desire of Satan to undertake this duty willingly for the sake of enmity corresponded. Allah gives a test in accordance with His wisdom. Satan tries to make man fail in this test.
- According to the view of Islamic scholars, the conceit, obstinacy and enmity settled in Satan’s thought is so big that he has no time to find the truth or to work in order to return to it.
- However, as it is mentioned in the verse above, the wisdom behind Allah’s saying, “Be thou among those who have respite” not “I gave you respite” when Satan asked for respite is as follows:
If Allah had said, “I gave you respite”, it would have meant a positive response to Satan’s wish. It is not in question for Allah to give a positive response, which means valuing him, to Satan, whom He dismissed from His presence. With the expression “Be thou among those who have respite”that is preferredand Satan being among those who have respite (like the four archangels and the carriers of the Throne) it is indicated that Satan is one of those who were given respite with the pre-eternal decree, before he committed that crime and that he was not given respite due to his wish. (Ibn Ashur, the interpretation of verse 15 of al-Araf)
How does Satan pervert people though he knows that his torture will increase?
“Satan lost the test eternally because of five reasons:
1. For not accepting his sin,
2. For not regretting,
3. For not condemning his nafs (self) which led him to rebellion,
4. For not repenting,
5. For giving up hope of Divine Mercy.” (Ibn Hajar, Munabbihat, 73.)
Some people know Allah's torture but they commit sins and continue committing sins throughout their lives. From this viewpoint, knowing that something is bad and harmful does not mean that it will definitely be abandoned.
However, some people, especially believers, understand their mistakes and repent. Nevertheless, Satan did not do so due to his conceitedness. Hence, a believer should always admit his sins, regret his mistakes; criticize his nafs (evil commanding soul) and condemn it; often repent and should not give up hope of Divine Mercy.
Did Allah wish Satan’s denial and not prostrating before Hz. Adam?
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.