The Lord of the worlds created the fire of Sammun. From this Fire of Sammun He created the Jinn. And the Jinn created us before fire flaming (Al-Hijr.27). The first of the Jinn was named Marij and the Lord created second one to be his wife, and she was named Marija. They had a son and they called him Jinn. From them derived all the clans of the Jinn, including Iblees. And the Lord gave them the earth to dwell therein. And they lived and worshipped there for a long time. So much did they worship that the angels grew amazed, and said to the Lord of the Heavens and Earth; Oh our Lord, raise them up to heaven, so that we might learn from them and follow their good example. So the Lord brought Iblees, then Azazil, up to be among the angels and he lived with them in the first heaven. Others remained living on earth and, remained righteous, while a number of them became sinners and transgressed the law, as did the children of Adam (A.S) after them. And the earth began to complain of them to the Lord. Oh my Lord, have you created me that I should be peopled by disobedient-folk? The Lord answered. Oh earth, be patient, I shall send prophets among them to lead them back to the straight path. Until that time no prophets had appeared among the Jinn. The Lord sent to them 800 prophets and they killed each one. At last the Lord spoke to Azazil in the first heaven. And He said to him Go Azazil. Go and fight the unbelievers of your people living on earth. Azazil obeyed and descended onto earth and fought the unbelievers, vanquishing them then the Lord sent down a fire from the skies and it consumed them, so not a trace remained. The only Jinn left alive were the believing and worshipping Jinn. Again Azazil prayed so eagerly that he was raised up into the first heaven, or according to one narration, he worshipped so much in the first heaven that he was raised up through all the seven heavens and above them. He worshipped on the earth. He worshipped on the heavens, until Adam (A.S) was brought into existence. Then the Lord ordered all the angels to bow down before Adam (A.S).and all the angels obeyed except Iblees. Prostration was ordered not for Adam (alaihis-salam), but for Allah. That is, it was ordered that prostration be made for Allah in the direction of Hadrat Âdam (A.S). We, too, are making prostration for Allah in the direction of the Kaaba. We do not fall prostrate for the Kaaba itself. The angels and Iblees were commanded that they fall prostrate for Allah in the direction of Adam (alaihis-salam). Shaitan, however, refused to make prostration by saying that this command was wrong. From Hassan Al Basri (R.A): Iblees worshipped above the seven heavens for more than 70 000 years, until he was raised to the station of Ridwan which is very high station, Ridwan being the guardian of Paradise. Iblees was the guardian of Paradise for 1000 years. Once he read an inscription on the gates of paradise, and it read: There is a servant among the most highly favoured servants of the Almighty Lord, and for a long time he will be obedient and serve his Lord well; there will come a day, however, on which he will oppose his Lord and disobey, and he will be driven from His gates and be cursed. Iblees, who was then still called Azazil, read and wondered at this prediction. How can that be?. Oh Lord, he pleaded. Give me permission to curse that rebellious one, whoever he may be. The Lord gave him permission, and Iblees showered curses upon that future sinner for one thousand years, knowing not that it was to be himself. There is a conflict of opinion between people as to whether Iblees was of the Angels or of the Jinn. But it is written in the Holy Quran, he was one of the Jinn and committed ungodliness against his Lord’s command. Because of his extreme virtue and the intensity of his prayers, The Lord raised him up into the heavens to live among the angels. When the Lord ordered them all to bow down and prostrate before Adam (A.S), he refused and his hidden disobedient was exposed. In the Qur’an, “Satan” is the term applied to those beings who will strive until the Last Day to divert mankind from the path of Allah. Iblees enmity with man started when Almighty Allah (SWT) created the first man, Adam (alaihis salaam). Allah says in the Holy Quran: “And (remember) when We said to the angels: ‘Prostrate yourselves unto Adam.’ So they prostrated themselves except ‘Iblees’ (Satan). He was one of the jinn; he disobeyed the command of his Lord” (Quran, Al-Kahf: 50). “….And they prostrated except Iblees (Satan), he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers (disobedient to Allah)” (Quran, Al-Baqarah: 34). Satan’s arrogance – reinforced by his false logic, and jealousy – prevented him from obeying Allah’s command. As Allah tells us in the Quran, Satan said, “I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay” (Quran, Al-Aaraf: 12). When Satan refused to obey Allah’s commands, Allah asked him for the reasons of disobedience of the Lord of the worlds. Allah says in the Quran: (Allah) said: “O Iblees (Satan)! What is your reason for not being among the prostrators?” (Iblees (Satan)) said: “I am not the one to prostrate myself to a human being, whom You created from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud” (Quran, al-Hijr:32 – 33). The subsequent dialog stated in the Quran is as follows: (Allah) said: “Then, get out from here, for verily, you are Rajeem (an outcast or a cursed one).” (Tafseer At-Tabaree). “And verily, the curse shall be upon you till the Day of Recompense (i.e., the Day of Resurrection)” (Quran, al-Hijr: 34 – 35). Then Iblees asked for a respite until the Day of Resurrection, and Allah granted him that. When Iblees was certain that he was doomed, he resolved to mislead whomever he could from the slaves of Allah, so that they would be with him in Hell. Allah says: (Iblees (Satan)) said: “O my Lord! Because you misled me, I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them (mankind) on the earth, and I shall mislead them all. “Except Your chosen, (guided) slaves among them” (Quran, al-Hijr: 39 – 40). After Allah gave him the reprieve until the Day of Judgment, he made misleading man as his primary goal. Allah told us about that in the Quran, “(Iblees) said: ‘Because You have sent me astray, surely, I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your straight path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e., they will not be dutiful to You)’” (Quran, Al-Aaraf: 16,17). He has such confidence in ensnaring his victims that he openly declares his strategy of approaching them from all sides and making them succumb to his temptations. The first victims of Satan were Adam (alaihis salam) and Hawwa. [Allah said,] “Adam, live in the Garden, you and your wife, and eat of it wherever you like. But do not go near this tree lest you become wrongdoers.” Then Satan whispered to them, disclosing to them their private parts that had been concealed from them. He said, “Your Lord has only forbidden you this tree that you not become like the angels or achieve immortality.” He [Satan] swore to them, “I am a sincere counselor to you.” So he enticed them to commit the act by means of deception. Then, when they tasted of the tree, their private parts were disclosed to them, and they began to stitch together leaves of the Garden that they may cover themselves. Their Lord called out to them, “Did I not forbid you this tree and say to you, ‘Satan is an avowed enemy to you?’ ” They said, “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves. If you do not forgive us and have mercy on us, we will be among the deceived.” He said, “Go out from here as enemies to each other! You will live on Earth and have enjoyment for a time.” He said, “On it you will live, and on it die, and from it you will be brought forth.” (Surat al-A`raf, 19-25).
The Prophet Adam (A.S) had repented to Allah and was forgiven by Him. Nevertheless, Iblees continued with his war on humanity (Qur’an, Surat al-Ma´ida). Once, Satan approached Prophet Musa (A.S) and said to him: “You are the Prophet of Allah while I am one of His sinning and disobedient creations. It is my desire that I repent before Him, so request Him to accept my repentance.” Musa (A.S) agreed and prayed for him, whereupon Allah said: “O’ Musa! I shall accept your intercession for him. Tell him to prostrate upon Adam’s grave in order that I accept his repentance.” Musa (A.S) met Satan and said: “Prostrating upon Adam’s grave shall cause your repentance to be accepted.” Hearing this, Satan said: “I did not prostrate before Adam (A.S) when he was alive, how can I prostrate upon his grave now that he is dead? I shall never do such a thing!” Then continuing, he said: “O’ Musa! Since you interceded for me before Allah you have obliged me. I shall advise you to be wary of me in three places in order that you do not face damnation and ruin. First: During anger; for in that state my soul is in your heart and my eyes into yours. Second: During a battle (jihad); for in that state I cause the soldiers to bring their wives, children and relatives to mind in order that they turn back from the battle and flee away. Third: Never sit with a non-mahram woman in one place for I shall whisper temptations into both of you.” (Shanidaniha-e-Tarikh, pg. 258; Mahajjatul Baidha, vol. 5, pg. 59) After Prophet Nuh (A.S) had disembarked from his ark, Shaitan approached him and said: “You have greatly obliged me and so I wish to thank you for your obligation and give you something in exchange!” Nuh (A.S) said: “I am indisposed to the fact that I oblige you and you recompense me for it. Anyway, go on and tell me the truth.” Shaitan said: “Indeed I have to strive hard and exert myself before I can lead one person astray, but you cursed the people and all of them were destroyed and so, at least at present, I am at ease till another community is born and reaches the age of responsibility before I invite them towards disobedience (of Allah)!! Now, in reciprocation of your good deed, I shall give you a word of advice. Stay away from three attributes: Firstly – never exhibit arrogance, for it was because of this vice that I did not prostrate before your father, Adam (A.S) and was expelled from the presence of Allah. Secondly – stay away from greed, for it was this due to this that Adam (A.S) consumed the wheat and was deprived of Paradise. Thirdly – distance yourself from envy, for it was because of this vice that Qabil killed his brother Habil and eventually perished as a result of Divine punishment.” Shaitan (Satan) has decided to make the world appear beautiful and attractive and works on ways to lure man, limit his perspective to the gains, pleasures and enjoyment of this world alone, and make him forget the path that Allah (SWT) has chalked out for all human beings during their stay here. Satan’s ultimate goal is to make people go astray and eventually to turn them into disbelievers, or polytheists at a minimum. The manner in which Satan pursues that goal varies in accordance with the interests and inclinations of his victims. For example, he uses piety to attack the pious; scholarly disciplines to attack scholars; false reasoning and logic for those who take pride in being knowledgeable, and ignorance to attack the ignorant. On the Day of Judgment – when we are all made to account for what we had done in this life, we won’t be able to blame Satan for the bad deeds that we did because of how he had incited us. Rather, this is what Satan will say on the Day of Judgment (as Allah tells us in the Quran): “And Shaitan (Satan) will say when the matter has been decided: ‘Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, and you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Satan) as a partner with Allah (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers)’” (Quran, Ibraaheem: 22). The confidence Satan expressed in his success to mislead people, stems from his assurance that most people are ungrateful to their Creator, Lord and Master Allah the All Mighty. So one of the antidotes to Satanic whispers is to be in a state of constant consciousness of Allah (SWT), and thankfulness for all His Blessings upon us. If man succeeds in saving himself from all of Iblees’s strategies and he becomes a problem for Iblees, then Iblees deputes a group of his Jinns and human over that man who try to harm him in different ways, such as, making people mistrust him, tarnishing his reputation by calling him a deviant and innovator and by advising people to be wary of him. The purpose of doing all this is to weaken his morale and to disturb him psychologically. Iblees employs these tactics to confuse that person and to bewilder him and he does not allow others to benefit from that person. Moreover, Iblees provides his whole-hearted support to those jinns and humans who are protectors of lies and falsehood against that person. In this way a Mumin (true believer) is in a state of war until his death. To conclude, let’s remember that when we fall prey to our temptations and commit the wrong, let’s remind ourselves that even Satan knows the truth, yet he is determined to make us earn Allah’s anger on the Day of Judgment, he will simply say. “…So blame me not, but blame yourselves…”
(The authors write regularly on Islamic topics exclusively for the opinion pages of “Kashmir Horizon”. Views are their own)