As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 6


Iblees was among those ordered to prostrate before Adam, though He was not an Angel

‘When Allah commanded the Angels to prostrate before Adam; Iblees was included in this command. Although Iblees was not an angel, he was trying and pretending to imitate the angel's behavior and deeds and this is why he was also included in the command to the angels to prostrate before Adam.' [Tafseer Ibn Katheer under Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 34]

Al-Hasan al-Basree also said, 'Iblees was not one of the angels, not even for a second. He was the origin of Jinn just as Adam was the origin of mankind.' This was narrated by Ibn Jareer with a Saheeh chain. [See, at-Tabaree (18: 506)]

Allah says in Soorah al-Kahf (18): 50, 'And (remember) when We said to the angels, 'Prostrate to Adam.' So they prostrated except Iblees (Shaytan). He was one of the jinn...' Thus, Iblees refused to prostrate to Adam, and disputed with his Lord about him (i.e., Adam alaihi as-salaam), '(Allah) said, 'What prevented you that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you?' Iblees said, 'I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.' [Soorah al-A'raf (7): 11-12] He made a mistake in doing this, and he went against the command of Allah, thus committing the sin of disbelief. So, '(Allah) said, 'Get down from this (Paradise), it is not for you to be arrogant here. Get out, for you are of those humiliated and disgraced.' [Soorah al-A'raf (7): 11-13] Thus, Allah exiled him, humiliating him, and cast him out of His mercy and His sacred Presence, and called him, 'Iblees,' symbolizing that he had Ablasa min ar-Rahmah (despaired of mercy) that there was no hope of mercy for him. See, Tafseer Ibn Katheer

Ibn Abbas said, 'Before he undertook the path of sin, Iblees was with the angels and was called Azazil. He was among the residents of the earth and was one of the most active worshipers and knowledgeable persons among the angels. This fact caused him to be arrogant. Iblees was from a species called Jinn.' [at-Tabaree (1: 502)]

Iblees asked Allah to give him a reprieve until the Day of Resurrection. So, the Forbearing One, Who does not hasten to punish those who disobey Him, gave him a reprieve. '(Iblees) said, 'Allow me respite till the Day they are raised up (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).' (Allah) said, 'You are of those allowed respite.' [Soorah al-A'raf (7): 14-15] When Iblees knew that he was safe from destruction until the Day of Resurrection, he rebelled and transgressed, '(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).' (Allah) said (to Iblees), 'Get out from this (Paradise) disgraced and expelled. Whoever of them (mankind) will follow you, then surely I will fill Hell with you all.' [Soorah al-A'raf (7): 11-18]

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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