‘Shaytaan – The Clear Enemy’
Literally, Shaytan means, ‘rebellious’, and it describes anyone who is disrespectful and seeks to divert people away from the obedience of Allah, whether he be from the Jinn or humans. Qatadah commented on Allah’s statement, “Shayateen (pl. of Shaytan) among mankind and Jinn…” “There are Shayateen among the Jinn and Shayateen among mankind, who inspire each other.” [See, Tafseer Ibn Katheer for the verse, (6): 112]
In general, this term refers to Iblees, who is from the Jinn and created from fire. Jinn are a creation of Allah, and are subject to His Commands and Prohibitions and like humans they will be held accountable for their deeds on the Day of Judgment.
In the beginning, Iblees used to worship Allah alongside Angels. In His Glorious Book, Allah, the Exalted, has informed us – the children of Adam, about the enmity between Shaytan and mankind that has continued since the day Adam was created.When Iblees (the Satan) refused to prostrate to Adam, Allaah expelled him from heaven and the curse of Allaah is upon him until the Day of Resurrection. Allaah said to him:
Then he asked Allaah to grant him respite until the Resurrection, and He granted him that:
When Iblees felt safe from destruction, he rebelled and transgressed:
When Iblees said that, Allaah said to him:
Hence the Shaytaan declared his evil and his enmity towards the children of Adam, so he started to make sin attractive to them and to tempt them with haraam (unlawful)and evil things, and to enjoin evil and immoral actions upon them. Thus most of the people were deceived by him and they fell into those sins and haraam things:
“And indeed Iblees (Satan) did prove true his thought about them, and they followed him, all except a group of true believers (in the Oneness of Allaah)” [Saba’ 34:20 – interpretation of the meaning]
So Iblees refused to prostrate before Adam and this rebelliousness caused him to be expelled from the heavens and to be cursed by Allah. Thereupon, Iblees avowed to lead mankind astray and, ever since, he seeks to take each one of us into Hellfire with him. He is thus, mankind’s greatest enemy.Allaah tells us to beware of him and to declare war on him and to show enmity to him, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
Kibr & Kufr of Shaytaan
Kibr (pride/arrogance) leads to Kufr (disbelief). Such was the case of Shaytan, “And (remember) when We said to the Angels, ‘Prostrate yourselves before Adam.’ And they prostrated except Iblees, he refused and was and was one of the (Kuffar).” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 34]
The Prophet described Kibr saying, “Kibr is dissatisfaction with the truth, and belittling the people.” [Saheeh Muslim]
Iblees openly expressed his Kibr (pride) when he did not contend himself with obeying the Command of Allah. He showed dissatisfaction with His Wisdom and belittled Adam. Allah questioned Iblees, “What prevented you that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you?” Iblees said, “I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.” [(7): 12] So, Allah dismissed Iblees, He said, “(O Iblees) get down from this (Paradise),”
Imam Ibnul-Qayyim said while explaining the categories of Kufr, “The major Kufr is of five kinds* in it he mentioned , Kufr of arrogance and pride, which was the Kufr of Shaytan because he did not deny the Command of Allah, or reject it but he met it with pride and arrogance. The same was with the Bani Isr aelSo, the reason behind the expulsion of Iblees from Paradise was pride. A proud person considers himself self-sufficient and in no need of Allah, the Exalted. Each additional thing that one becomes proud of, builds his ego which is detestable to Allah, Who says in a Qudsi Hadeeth,
“Pride is My Cloak, and Glory is My wrap, so he who competes Me in either of these, I will cast him into the Fire.” [Musnad Ahmad and Abu Dawood]
Why is Shaytaan eager to Mislead Mankind?
Pride returned to Iblees after Allah Willed for him to stay alive until the Day of Resurrection. He sensed that this was an ideal way to take revenge on Adam. He hates mankind, who are the children of Adam. He is hostile towards them because he is cursed and has been banished from the Mercy of Allah due to his refusal to prostrate to their father, Adam. So, “he (Iblees) said to Allah, ‘I will take an appointed portion of your slaves; Verily, I will mislead them…” [Soorah an-Nisa (4): 118-9]
Iblees knows that his destination is the Fire and he is eager to mislead and corrupt mankind, so as to increase the number of his followers to share in his fate. He hopes to take everyone with him to Hell, out of envy, hatred, Kufr and stubbornness. “Surely, Shaytan is an enemy to you, so take (treat) him as an enemy. He only invites his Hizb (followers) that they may become the dwellers of the blazing Fire.” [Soorah al-Fatir (35): 6]
May Allah make us amongst the saved sect, the ones who are not mislead by the Shaytaan.
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