Short Answer: Satan is invisible to humans, as he is from among the jinn. Also, let’s not forget there are many satans, not just their leader, formerly called “Iblees”. Each person seems to have a shaytan assigned to him or her. He is, and they are, creatures of God. So, whatever power he has, or they have, there is only one God Who is the Ultimate source of all this Power.
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Dr. Shabir Ally from Let the Quran Speak addresses this question in the video below.
Safiyyah Ally: Dr. Shabir Ally, here’s a question, or a series of questions about Satan—or Shaytan as we say in Arabic—I’ll ask you them in order.
So, the first one is: where exactly is Satan?
Dr. Shabir Ally: Well, asking that is like asking where the angels are.
Human beings are affixed to a certain place.
So, we can see here is the human being, but not there.
With angels, it seems are a different sort of creature and Satan is too.
Or Satan is said to be one of the jinn kind, according to the seventeenth chapter of the Quran the 50th verse.
And some interpreters think that jinns are a type of angel, a subset of angels.
But whether they are or not, in any case jinns are an unseen kind of creature.
And that’s why they are called jinn.
They’re kind of a hidden from human view.
And we should speak not of just one Satan alone, but a whole clique of them.
Sometimes we speak simplistically as if there’s only one satan, one shaytan.
But the Quran speaks about him having a kareen, a whole troop or clique that goes with him.
Safiyyah Ally: So, this follow-up question is: how does he misleads six billion people around the world at the same time?
So, I guess, you know, is that your answer?
That he has a clique of people that help him?
Dr. Shabir Ally: It could, that’s part of the answer.
In fact, it could be many. We don’t know how many.
But, in fact it is said that each person seems to have a shaytan assigned to him or her.
And it is also said that Satan runs in the veins of human beings like their blood.
So, it seems to be very pervasive that shaytan is like this or the many satans are like this.
But even if there was one Satan that has tremendous power, this should not give rise to any confusion.
Because there is only One God Who has the ultimate power.
But He can give power to some of these great creatures.
Like, for example, the Angel Gabriel is a great angel.
The angel of death is also very great in his powers.
And it is said that he can reach around the world and the whole world is almost to him like an open buffet table from which we choose whatever we want to eat.
So, for him to take the soul of an individual here and in another part of the world is quite easy for him.
But again, he’s a creature of God.
So, if Satan has such massive power to be around the world, this does not give rise to any confusion.
There is only one God Who is the Ultimate source of all this Power.
I hope this helps answer your question. Please keep in touch.
(From AboutIslam’s archives)