Summary: This article describes a number of peculiarities relating to Satan and his relationship with mankind.
The description shows that Satan is not what he thinks, or what his adherents think, he is. He is much less than that. He deceives as much himself as others.
The article focuses on the following themes: Satan and Iblis; Satan did not thwart Allah’s plan; Satan as the source of all, including sophisticated modern, evil; Satan as man’s sworn enemy; Satan’s few strengths and many weaknesses; the nature of Satan’s strategies; Satan’s cowardice and fear; Satan and shooting stars; Satan and mankind’s time and space.
The following are nine amazing truths about Satan, which can help us understand him and his world better. They should also make us better prepared to face him and his onslaughts.
First: Satan and Iblis
Satan is a title, or a designation. Iblis is a name. The Quran uses the former 88 times and the latter 11 times.
Iblis was of the Jinn and was somehow affected by Allah’s command to angels to prostrate before Adam (about this we cannot say, nor speculate, more, as the only source for this knowledge is the revelation).
However, Iblis refused to follow angels and prostrate before Adam, claiming that he was better than him because he was made of fire and Adam of clay.
At this point, Iblis became Satan, which means “rebel” and “arrogant”. He exercised his freedom and chose to be satan(ic). He was not created evil – indeed nothing is – but chose to be so.
Iblis was proud and self-centred. He rebelled against Allah and became of nonbelievers. He became the chief of all the Jinn that were likeminded with him.
There are many satans, but only one Iblis. Iblis as Satan is capitalized – because of him being the epitome as well as source of all evil and mischief – whereas other satans are in lower case.
The relationship between the two is one of a leader (godfather) and followers.
It is truly enlightening to study how precisely the Quran uses the words Satan and Iblis, recognizing the contexts and giving each word its exact meaning and role.
For example, when a discourse is about prostration before Adam, the Qur’an uses the word Iblis, because solely in his personal capacity did he refuse to follow divine orders and to prostrate.
However, when the discourse moves to the acts of deceiving Adam and his wife and causing them to fall, the Quran employs the word Satan, because thus he acted in his capacity as the avowed deceiver.
In the latter scenario, Iblis was plying his trade, so to speak.
Second: Satan Did Not Thwart Allah’s Plan
By refusing to prostrate before Adam and by causing Adam and his wife to be expelled from Jannah, Satan in no way disrupted Allah’s heavenly plan.
Positively, nobody can upset the will and plan of Allah, even in the slightest.
He is the Creator and Master; all other beings are His creations and servants.
Whatever Satan did, and whatever Adam and his wife subsequently did, was within the framework of their God-given freedoms and powers.
Their respective actions connoted an aspect of the range of their potential choices. They chose what they chose and acted as they acted, so everybody had to live with the foreseeable consequences.
If hypothetically they did not choose what they chose, they would then have chosen something else, which again could not exceed the parameters of their assigned freedoms and competences.
Everything was part of Allah’s infinite knowledge, wisdom and power. It was yet part of His design for His creation and its existence.
Absolutely nothing happens unless sanctioned by Allah. No will or action can come to pass without the authorization of His divine will and grace.
Even before the prostration and Jannah incidents, Allah declared that He was going to create man as His vicegerent on earth.
Man was temporarily placed in Jannah only to be subjected to a learning process and to undergo a test. What happened afterwards was a part of the intended learning procedure and the test.
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