Sunday, January 17, 2010

Iblis - Shaitani Jinn

We all know about the devil in Christianity, the Lucifer or the fallen angel. In Islam the fallen angel is Iblis. According to Islamic belief Allah created three classes of creatures, the angels, the djinn and the humans. The Angels can be grouped in 14 categories with 4 archangels, though we will not get into that now, I would like to mention that Gabriel (Jibrayil) is the greatest of all and he is the messenger who revealed Quran to Muhammad. Djinn or the jinn are lesser creature than angels, and higher than humans in the hierarchy of power and closeness to Allah, this can be seen in the creation theory of Islam. Allah created Angels with light, Djinns with Fire and humans with clay.

Djinn and Humans are given the freewill, to choose and to differentiate between the good and evil. Angels do not have the privilege to think on their own, they are loyal servants to god. In the beginning, there was a djinn named IBLIS who was made of fire without smoke and was god’s favourite and was very proud about that. He was a loyal servant, once god said to his creations that one of them will turn against him. On hearing this, the angels came to Iblis, Iblis prayed to god to not let any of the angels be the one to turn against Allah and he granted his plea. In this plea, Iblis did not add himself, because he thought he was high in god’s eyes.

God created Adam and ordered the angels and djinns to prostrate to Adam as god considered Adam to be the best of creation. Angels did as was said to them obediently, but Iblis didn’t, he considered himself superior to Adam.

And we created you (humans), then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who made prostration.

He said: "What hindered thee that thou didst not fall prostrate when I bade thee?" (Iblis) said: "I am better than him. Thou createdst me of fire while him Thou didst create of clay".

It is seen here that Iblis was proud of his being created by smokeless fire and Adam a being of clay. God cursed Iblis to hell till the judgement day, however Iblis who wanted his revenge from Adam (human) got permission that he will lead men and women astray to hell. From here on Iblis was called Shaitan (the root word for Satan). After this Iblis misleads Adam and eve, who later repent to god. God forgives them and warns them about the plans of Iblis.

Iblis or shaitan as such does not have any power over reality. They can create arrogance in humans and can mislead them to self-destruction. Iblis is also referred to as the sneaking whisperer, that is he would only whisper into the humans, which is considered as the root of all sin. On the day of resurrection (yaum-ul-qiyama) or qayamat(judgement day) , everyone who were deceived by Iblis and gave into their arrogance and deception of senses will be burned in the fires of hell. So we humans are to fight (jihad) against the temptations from shaitan. Those who fight this temptation and be righteous in the life time are promised a place in jannath (paradise).

The word Iblis could mean the one who causes despair. It is also believed that it is a variant of Diabolos (Greek for devil). For more about the Christian Devil (Lucifer) read my previous post

Blessed be.


IblisSjemTov said...

Iblis is, in his own words, a djinni:

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