Mankind And Satan


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  • Mankind And Satan


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    IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST MERCIFUL,
    THE EVER-MERCIFUL

    Chapter One

    Who Is The Devil

    Who is the devil? A question that always
    crosses our minds, finding no answer to it. The devil is unseen to us, he sees
    us but we cannot see him. He whispers in our ears and insinuates evil
    (thoughts, doubts, fears, suggestions..) into our minds without knowing where
    is he? Or what does he do? And the question persists, who is the devil?

    Allah,
    all praise and glory is to Him, out of mercifulness to our minds told us who
    the devil is, and the story of his enmity against mankind and how can we
    confront him and defeat him and defeat all the seen and the unseen powers in
    the entire universe.

    Allah,
    Blessed and Exalted is He, orders us to seek refuge with Him from the devil
    because Allah, Whose Majesty reigns supreme, is The Omnipotent, highly above
    all His creatures, whether believers or disbelievers, obedient or disobedient,
    those given free choice or those without power of free choice. All are
    subjected to Almighty Allah as nothing in the Universe of Allah is beyond His
    Will, Word or Command. Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, says (what means):

     

    “And He is the subjugator over His servants. And He is the Wise,
    the Acquainted [with all].” (Al-An‘âm, 6: 18)

     

    Nothing
    in the universe is beyond the Decree of Allah, but those whom Allah, The
    Exalted and Ever-Majestic, has given the power of free choice may violate the
    Law of Allah, that of ‘Do and Do Not Do.’ But their transgression
    against His Divine Law is nonetheless by the Choice of Allah because He is the
    One Who created mankind capable to obey and disobey. Had Allah, Blessed and
    Exalted is He, wanted to create them all compelled to obey, He would have
    easily done it. A meaning that we perceive in the glorious Ayah saying (what
    means):

    “Perhaps, [O Muhammad], you would kill yourself with grief that
    they will not be believers. If We willed, We could send down to them from the
    sky a sign for which their necks would remain humbled.” (Ash-Shu‘arâ’, 26: 3-4)

    This
    glorious Ayah addresses the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless and grant him
    peace) who was deeply grieved over those who rejected Islam. The reason behind
    his killing grief and sorrow was that he perfectly knew the mortifying eternal
    torment awaiting them in the Hereafter, and being a mercy sent to all that
    exists he wished to save them from such an end awaiting them.

    In
    this glorious Ayah Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, is telling us that if
    these rejecters of faith have violated the Divine Law which dictates their
    belief in Him and their adoption of His Course, they certainly did not violate
    His Will, because if He wants He can easily compel them all to obey. But Allah,
    be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, willed that they should have freedom of
    choice, to believe or not to believe, to obey or disobey. Thus, He gave them
    the free will of whether ‘to do or not to do’, a freedom willed by Allah, all
    praise and glory is to Him. Were it not for this Divine Will these rejecters
    would not have a choice whether to obey or disobey. Indeed, nothing in the
    Universe of Allah happens against His Will, all glory is to Him.

    The Description of The Devil

    Before
    we proceed we have to differentiate between the description of the devil and
    the devil himself. The devil in a general sense is whoever pulls people away
    from obeying Allah and from truth, whoever lures into sin and whoever pushes
    people to evil. Anyone of these is a DEVIL.

    We
    have to know that there are devils from among both the jinn and mankind, who
    are unified by one description, same as they are unified in their mission:
    spreading sin and corruption on the earth. The devils from jinn are those who
    disobey from among the jinn; who hinder from truth and call to disbelief, and
    the devils from mankind execute the same mission.

    Thus,
    the word here describes a specific mission and not a specific being; for
    whoever calls to disbelief, polytheism, atheism and disobedience is a DEVIL.

    As
    to Satan, he is a devil from the jinn, who once enjoyed a high status. It is
    even reported that he used to live with the angels. He is one of the creatures of
    Allah but he differs from angels in being created having the power of free
    choice. He cannot revolt against the Decree of Allah even if he is given the
    authority of free choice but he can only revolt against obedience. Therefore,
    Satan’s disobedience to Allah was not a mutiny against the Decree of Allah, his
    disobedience to Allah did not overstep the Will of Allah, who chose to create
    him having the power of free choice, capable of obeying and also capable of
    disobeying.

    That
    power of choice was the inlet of Satan and every sinner to disobedience. This
    is an important issue which we must understand before we continue the
    discussion about mankind and Satan. Definitely, nothing whatsoever in the
    Universe can revolt against the Decree of Allah, but Allah has created some
    creatures compelled to obey (as the Angels) and has created others free to
    choose whether to obey or disobey (as jinn and mankind). Thus sinning emanated
    on earth as a result of such will that Allah has given to part of His
    creatures, whom He created capable of obeying or disobeying.

    There
    is a long discussion about the disobedience of Satan, some say: how can
    Satan be judged for refusing to prostrate to other than Allah? That Allah
    ordered Satan to prostate himself to Adam (peace be upon him) and Satan refused
    to prostrate to other than Allah!!!

    To
    those atheists and others who spread such idle talk we say that you certainly
    did not understand the meaning of worship. Worship is the obedience shown by
    the creature to the Commands of his Creator. Based on this rule when Allah,
    Blessed and Exalted is He, has commanded that we should offer five Salat (Prayers)
    each day, Salat becomes both an act of worship and obedience; similarly,
    the Zakah (Obligatory Charity), the Sawm (Fasting), the Hajj
    (Pilgrimage to Mecca) and all the Commands of Allah. Worshipping Allah is
    obeying Him and disobeying the Command of Allah is sinning against Him.

    We
    must not argue against the Command of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him,
    but we should readily obey Him. For instance, we must never ask why should we
    offer five Salat and not four, three or two. We must never reject the
    Command of Allah, but we must obey even if we did not know the wisdom. Because
    the essence of worship is that it is from the Decreer and Master, Allah, all
    praise and glory is to Him.

    Our
    duty is to verify that the Command is from Allah, and since it is a Command
    from Allah, then that should be the sole reason for fulfilling it: it is Allah
    who ordered so. Other than that is not open to discussion.

    The
    role of the human mind is to deduce that this universe has a God Who has
    created and originated it. That this God is the One Who created us and
    originated a highly exact and magnificent system and a universe infinitely
    marvelous that could not have existed without a Great Creator.

    If
    we reach this point then this is the birth of faith. But our minds are limited
    and have reached thus far and cannot go further. For instance, they cannot know
    Who is that Great Creator? What is His Name? What does He want us to do? Why
    has He created us?

      

    Here
    starts the role of messengers to complete everything. Allah, all praise and
    glory is to Him, sends a messenger whom He supports with a miracle from Heaven
    that go beyond all the laws of the universe. This messenger informs people that
    Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, is the Creator of this universe
    and He is the One Who subjected it entirely to the service of mankind. Even the
    mighty universal powers that surpass the power of man million times, as the
    sun, the seas, the stars and others, all these powers are subjected to serve
    man.

    Everyday
    the sun shines and never can disobey and say: “I will not rise today.”
    Water evaporates from seas which then falls as rain, they never have one day
    disobeyed and said that their water will not evaporate! Nor can they prevent
    the evaporation process and prevent rain from falling down on the earth
    .

    Thus,
    the duty of the messengers is to tell us that Allah has created all existence
    and subjected it to us, and wants us to worship Him and to perform certain
    duties.

    The
    messengers convey to us the law of worshipping Allah, and Allah, all praise and
    glory is to Him, support them with miracles that go beyond all human powers, to
    assure people that they are truly the Messengers of Allah. And also to close
    the door on any imposter or devil who might claim prophethood to mislead
    people.

    Once
    we learn what the Truth [Al-Haqq: one of the Beautiful Names of Allah]
    wants from us, we must hear and obey, because the Commands are from Allah, be
    ever gloried His Majesty and Might. With His Infinite Knowledge He knows
    everything and we do not, and with His Wisdom He knows the well-being of the
    universe, but with our foolishness we commit evil and think it goodness.

    Allah,
    all glory is to Him, with His Gracious Attributes of absolute perfection should
    be worshipped and if man is to argue, it is self-evident that he should only
    argue with a compeer. A doctor or an engineer can argue with a fellow-worker,
    but a doctor cannot discuss medicine with a carpenter or a plumber, it would be
    futile. To have a fruitful argument it must be between coequals and who among
    us is equal to Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, in Knowledge or
    Power, to argue with Him regarding what He commands or forbids? Recite the
    Saying of Almighty Allah in His Noble Book, which means:

    “It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah
    and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any
    choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has
    certainly strayed into clear error.” (Al-­Ahzâb, 33: 36)

    And
    His Saying which means:

     

    “The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from
    his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and
    His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], ‘We make no distinction
    between any of His messengers.’ And they say, ‘We hear and we obey. [We seek]
    Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination.’”
    (Al-Baqarah, 2: 285)

    Beginning of Sin

    So,
    worshipping Allah is to obey His Commands and disobeying His Commands is sin
    and vice, and is surely the way to disbelief, Allah forbid. Hence, worship is
    the obedience of the creature to the Commands of his Creator. Satan disobeyed
    the Command of Allah so there is no longer worship, but sin and disbelief.

    Allah,
    all praise and glory is to Him, relates in the Noble Qur’an the beginning of
    Satan’s rebellion, saying what means:

    “And [mention] when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate before
    Adam’; so they prostrated, except for Iblees (Satan). He refused and was
    arrogant and became of the disbelievers.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 34)

    That
    was the beginning of sin; the beginning of Satan’s denial and infidelity was
    his rejection of the Command of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, by
    refusing to prostrate himself to Adam. Indeed, Satan did not refuse to
    prostrate to other than Allah, but he refused to prostrate himself to the
    Command of Allah and that is the difference. For truly the rejection of any
    Command of Allah is sin and infidelity.

    But
    still some people claim that the Command here was given to the angels and not
    to Satan, so how does Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, hold Adam accountable
    for a Command not given to him?

    We
    answer by saying that though Satan was from the jinn he also refused to obey
    the Command. Concerning that Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, says what
    means:

    “And they prostrated, except for Iblees (Satan). He was of the
    jinn and departed from the command of his Lord.” (Al-Kahf, 18: 50)

    Also
    the Ayah in which Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, addresses Satan saying what
    means:

     

    “[Allah] said, ‘What prevented you from prostrating when I
    commanded you?’ [Satan] said, ‘I am better than him. You created me from fire
    and created him from clay.’” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 12)

    And
    His Saying:

     

    “[Allah] said, ‘O Iblees, what prevented you from
    prostrating to that which I created with My hands? Were you arrogant [then], or
    were you [already] among the haughty?’” (Sâd, 38: 75)

    Therefore,
    we can clearly see on the strength of the Qur’anic passages that the Command of
    prostration was given to Satan too, and that the Command definitely included
    him.

    The Reality of Satan

    Now
    we shall resume our talk about who is Satan. Satan was from the jinn and not
    from the angels, because angels never disobey the Commands they receive from
    Allah and secondly because the jinn has a free will exactly like mankind.

    Some
    scholars classify the creatures who have free choice into three classes:
    devils, jinn and mankind. We say to them that this is a wrong division because
    the only two classes that have the power of free choice from among the
    creatures of Allah are jinn and mankind alone. Concerning this, Allah, Blessed
    and Exalted is He, says in Surah Ar-Rahmân what means:

    “We shall attend to you, O you two classes (jinn and men)!”
    (Ar-Rahmân, 55: 31)

    We
    also read in Surah Al-Jinn the Saying of The Most Exalted, which means:

    “And among us are Muslims [in submission to Allah], and
    among us are the unjust. And whoever has become Muslim – those have sought out
    the right course. But as for the unjust, they will be, for Hell, firewood.”
    (Al-Jinn, 72: 14-15)

    Thus,
    we can see that among the jinn are those who are righteous and also those who
    are rebels against Allah’s Command, and that the rebellious among the jinn are
    called devils. Therefore, regarding what is said about a third or fourth class
    other than those that Allah has informed us about we say to them “No”, there is
    only jinn and mankind who are free to choose, just as Allah has declared.

    Thus,
    Satan is from the jinn, he disobeyed Allah’s Command of prostrating to Adam.
    About this incident the Noble Qur’an relates what means:
     

    “And they prostrated, except for Iblees (Satan). He was of
    the jinn and departed from the command of his Lord.” (Al-Kahf, 18: 50)

    This
    was Satan’s sin: refusal of submission to the Command of Allah, Blessed and
    Exalted is He, and prostration before Adam. But was Satan’s rebellion against
    Allah’s Command just negligence or a guilt that he regretted afterwards? Or was
    his rebellion born out of the arrogance and pride that swelled within his inner
    self and heart?

    Satan’s
    sin was pride, arrogance and tenacious persistence in sin. Because of his
    conceit and pride he rejected the Command of The King, Allah, all praise and
    glory is to Him, as the Noble Qur’an relates to us what means:

    “He said, ‘Should I prostrate to one You created from
    clay?’” (Al-Isrâ’, 17: 61)

      

    Satan
    also said as the Noble Qur’an relates what means:

    “[Satan] said, ‘I am better than him. You created me from
    fire and created him from clay.’” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 12)

    As
    though Satan rejected the Command, saying: How do You want me to prostrate
    myself to a human created from clay when I am created from fire
    . He wants
    to justify his disobedience and rebellion by claiming that fire is a component
    higher than mud, because it possesses transparency and that creatures from fire
    excel those created from clay in many things. They are endowed with fast
    movement, agility and are invisible, for humans cannot see the jinn. They can
    also ascend to high altitudes, traverse walls and enter closed places which men
    cannot.

          

    No Superiority of a
    Component Over Another

    Satan
    by his ingratitude and arrogance made the component of creation the pretext of
    claiming superiority. As such his pride made him think and he believed himself
    the one superior. He forgot that all these privileges are not self-given; gifts
    he did not attain by himself, but Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, is the
    One Who placed all these properties in the substance from which the jinn are
    created. Had not Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, originated these
    properties in the creatures from fire, they would not have existed. Each
    component has its role and none is superior over the other, for fire has its
    mission and clay as well and neither can perform the role of the other, for you
    cannot plant in fire.  

    Thus,
    excellence should not be ascribed to the component from which Satan was created
    but to The Originator of these specifications in the fire element. Whenever
    Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, decides, He can easily remove all these
    factors from fire and Satan become the most abject creature of Allah.

    This
    was the first step in the capital sin of pride and arrogance committed by
    Satan, for he ascribed the favor to himself, of being created from a component
    higher than clay, which is fire, exactly as Qârûn (Korah) did as relates to us
    the Noble Qur’an what means:

    “He said, ‘I was only given it because of knowledge I
    have.’” (Al-Qasas, 28: 78)
     

    And
    his punishment was that Allah caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling.

    Satan
    tenaciously persisted in sin as relates to us the Noble Qur’an what means:

    “[Satan] said, ‘Because You have put me in error, I will
    surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path.’” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 16)

    Here
    we must pause a little to contemplate the words of Satan: “Because You have
    put me in error”
    , by it Satan wants to impute his straying into wrong to
    Almighty Allah. Satan wants to blame Allah for his sin. And we say: “No, our
    Lord did not send you astray, for the Truth, all praise and glory is to Him,
    only guides and never sends astray.”

    Satan
    deserved straying into wrong because of what his hands have earned (by his
    guilt). Pride filled his soul and he imagined that what he possesses, be it
    excellence of the elements of his creation or his knowledge, are self-given;
    thus Allah left him to his pride and Satan strayed from the right path. Satan
    started evil, therefore he deserved that Allah should desert him to his unjust
    self and his arrogance and thus infidelity arouse. Allah, Whose Majesty reigns
    supreme, says in the Noble Qur’an what means:

    “And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.”
    (Al-Mâ’idah, 5: 108)

    And
    the Saying of The Most Exalted which means:

    “Indeed, Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.”
    (Al-Mâ’idah, 5: 67)

    Satan
    has rebelled and disbelieved; rebelled by disobeying the Command of Allah
    regarding prostration. Al-Fasuq in Arabic means detachment from the
    Divine Law. Fasqat is used to describe the dates when they are ripe.
    When the fruits of date palm are red their peel is stuck to the fruits and it
    cannot be peeled off, but when ripe the peel is detached from the fruit and it
    can be easily peeled off. Therefore, in Arabic we say “the dates fasqat
    meaning the peel became detached from the fruit. Thus, Fasuq is detachment from
    the Law. Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, informs us that Satan fasq and
    disbelieved, in the Ayah saying what means: “And they prostrated, except for
    Iblees (Satan). He was of the jinn and departed
    (4)
    from the command of his Lord.” (Al-Kahf, 18: 50)

    Allah,
    Blessed and Exalted is He, abandoned Satan to himself, thus Satan went astray
    and fell into sin and infidelity. Allah treats no one with injustice,
    but injustice is from oneself.
    When the creature wrongs himself and follows the path of disbelief, Allah leaves
    him to the path he has chosen. Since he has preferred ingratitude, infidelity
    and denial, Allah is All-Rich (Free of all wants) and stands in no need of him,
    because Allah is superbly beyond need of any of His creatures.

    And He fell into Sin

    When
    Satan fell into sin and he realized that by his rebellion he was expelled from
    Allah’s Mercy and was doomed to eternal torment He asked Allah to reprieve him
    till the Day of Judgment and not to take his soul until the Trumpet is blown as
    narrates the Noble Qur’an what means:

    “He said, ‘My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are
    resurrected.’” (Sâd, 38: 79)

    It

    is noted here that Satan used the words “My Lord” and not “My God” because he
    is addressing Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, as the Lord of all
    mankind, meaning the Lord of all what He created, believers and disbelievers.

    Allah,
    all praise and glory is to Him, has two ways of bestowal: bestowal by Rububiyyah
    [Lordship] by being the Lord of all mankind. He is the One Who created
    them and brought them into being, therefore by His Lordship He gives those who
    believes in Him and those who disbelieves in Him, Allah forbid. But this
    bestowal is only in this world, where He gives both the believers and the
    disbelievers, for the Hands of Allah are ever stretched out with means of
    subsistence on the earth giving believers and disbelievers alike. Thus, whoever
    adopts the means will have fruits. For whoever cultivates well the land using
    the best equipments, the land will give him abundantly whether he is a believer
    or a disbeliever. Whoever adopts the means of development, study and search,
    means will let him achieve the progress he worked for…but this is in worldly
    life only.

    As
    for the bestowments of Uluhiyyah [Godship], they are conferred
    only on those who have believed that Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, is
    the One and Only True God, Who has no partner. These are the bestowments of
    Godship that shall be bestowed by Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, in the
    Hereafter upon the believers in Him when the world of giving through means and
    causes ends and everything is directly taken from the Giver, directly from
    Allah to His believing servants. Once a thing crosses the believer’ minds they
    shall find it before them…without means, without effort.

    The
    devil is whoever invites to the desertion of worshipping Allah, and pulls away
    from the truth and incites to sin whatever be his kind. Satan is one of the
    creatures of Allah, who rebelled against the Law of Allah by the power of free
    choice to obey or disobey that Allah has given him, thus he rejected the
    Command of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, and by that act of
    disobedience he disbelieved and he persisted in disbelief and asked Allah, all
    praise and glory is to Him, to keep him alive till the Last Hour befalls.

    But
    why did Satan ask that? And what did he harbor in mind against mankind? 


    (4)
    Fasq is translated in this Ayah as departed. [Trans. Note]

     

     

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