When Allah commanded Iblees to prostrate before Adam, he refused
and was arrogant. So Allah expelled him from Paradise, and cursed him until the
Day of Judgment for his disobedience. '(Allah) said, '(O
Iblees) 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): 13] Iblees, however, obtained a promise from Allah to stay alive until the
Day of Resurrection, '(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]
Imam Ibn Katheer writes, 'Allah gave Shaytan what he asked for out of His
wisdom, being His decision and decree that is never prevented or resisted.
Surely, none can avert His decision, and He is swift in reckoning.' [Tafseer Ibn
Katheer] So, what is the wisdom behind Shaytan, who is banished from Allah's
Mercy, being granted his request?
This is because the wisdom behind the creation of this world does not complete
except with this. The world is a place of performing deeds and the Hereafter is
a place of recompense. Allah, the Exalted, willed for His slaves to go through
tests and trials in this world so that they can be a witnesses over their deeds
on the Day of Judgment, 'Do you think that you will enter
Paradise before Allah tests those of you who struggle (in His Cause) and (also)
tests those who are as-Sabireen (the patient ones, etc.)?' [Soorah aal-Imran
Discussing the wisdoms why Iblees will remain alive until the end of time, Imam
Ibnul-Qayyim (rahimahullah) described the following reasons (mentioned in
a) Shaytan is a test and trial, in order to
sort the good from the wicked, Allah's friends from His enemies. Therefore,
Allah's Wisdom decreed that he (Shaytan) should remain alive, in order to
fulfill the aim for which he was created; if He caused him to die, this aim
would not be met. His wisdom decreed that the father of mankind should be
tested, and that his children after him should be tested as well, so that those
who went against and fought against him would achieve salvation, and those who
agreed with him would take his side.
b) Iblees was given respite as a reward for some of the
good deeds that he had done in the past because Allah is not unfair
to anyone who has done a good deed. In case of the believer, He rewards him in
this world and the Hereafter. But in the case of the disbeliever, he rewards him
for his good deeds in this world and he will have nothing in the Hereafter, as
is proven in a saheeh hadeeth.
c) He was given
respite in order to increase in sin. The fact that he will remain
alive until the Day of Resurrection is not an honor. In his case, death would be
better for him, and would reduce his punishment and evil. However, since his sin
was extremely serious in that he persisted in disobeying and questioned His
wisdom - the punishment for his sin will be the greatest of punishments. He is
the leader and foundation of evil and disbelief, and he should, thus get the
punishment of all evil in the Hereafter.
d) He was left to be the ally of the evil doers. Because Allah Knew that among
Adam's offspring would be those who were not fit to dwell in Paradise, and who
only would be fit for hellfire, He left those people to be misguided by
Iblees and decreed them to be his friends and companions. So (Iblees may) lie in
wait for them and every time one of them passes by Shaytan, he does what he
likes with them.