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Is Satan Evil?

12 June, 2017
Q In some other faith traditions Satan is not considered an evil figure but simply a entity doing God's bidding. So what is the Islamic view of Satan? Is he evil?


Asalamu Alaikum,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Dr. Shabir Ally addresses this question in the video below:


Safiyyah Ally: OK, Brother Shabir, here’s a question about Satan. And the question is comparing, I guess, Judaism and Islam on Satan.

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And the person is saying, Jews believe that Satan is not evil. He was only doing what God told him to do and that was to tempt people and test men. So how do Muslims view Satan?

Dr. Shabir Ally: I can understand why the question comes from that direction. Or why Jews would have that view.

Because in the Bible it is mentioned in The Book of Job that the sons of God were there, obviously the heavenly Court, and Satan is described as the adversary who is now sent to tempt Job.

And, of course, the story of Job unfolds with his remarkable patience. Now in the Islamic tradition, Satan is represented a little differently.

In the Quran itself, it is shown that when God created Adam, Satan was together with all of the angels required to bow down to Adam to show the greatness of Adam and the humility of angels before him.

But Adam refused to bow … sorry Satan refused to bow. And when God challenged him about that, he said: God, you created me from fire, [you] created him from clay. And this was an obvious display of haughtiness or pride in the heavenly court.

And this was not allowed. And Satan from that point became an outcast. And in fact, he chose that for himself, saying okay, give me reprieve and I will tempt human beings so that I will take many of them away from you.

And God said, okay, go. But you will not be able to despite all you do to take away my sincere servants. And so, it is left that Satan is, yes, an adversary as well an enemy of human beings, trying the best he can, but he will not be able to mislead those who sincerely choose to serve God.

Safiyyah Ally: Is he considered evil, then?

Dr. Shabir Ally: Well, yes. He has chosen a life of evil, a life of disobedience to God. But no matter what he does, he still falls into God’s overall plan.

I hope this helps answer your question. Please keep in touch.

Walaikum Asalam.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

A Lesson from the Life of Satan

Strongest Weapon Against Shaytan

Know More About Your Worst Enemy