The Description of The Devil


Before we proceed we have to differentiate between the description of the devil and the devil himself. The devil in a general sense is whoever pulls people away from obeying Allah and from truth, whoever lures into sin and whoever pushes people to evil. Anyone of these is a DEVIL.

 We have to know that there are devils from among both the jinn and mankind, who are unified by one description, same as they are unified in their mission: spreading sin and corruption on the earth. The devils from jinn are those who disobey from among the jinn; who hinder from truth and call to disbelief, and the devils from mankind execute the same mission. 

Thus, the word here describes a specific mission and not a specific being; for whoever calls to disbelief, polytheism, atheism and disobedience is a DEVIL.

As to Satan, he is a devil from the jinn, who once enjoyed a high status. It is even reported that he used to live with the angels. He is one of the creatures of Allah but he differs from angels in being created having the power of free choice. He cannot revolt against the Decree of Allah even if he is given the authority of free choice but he can only revolt against obedience. Therefore, Satan’s disobedience to Allah was not a mutiny against the Decree of Allah, his disobedience to Allah did not overstep the Will of Allah, who chose to create him having the power of free choice, capable of obeying and also capable of disobeying.

 That power of choice was the inlet of Satan and every sinner to disobedience. This is an important issue which we must understand before we continue the discussion about mankind and Satan. Definitely, nothing whatsoever in the Universe can revolt against the Decree of Allah, but Allah has created some creatures compelled to obey (as the Angels) and has created others free to choose whether to obey or disobey (as jinn and mankind). Thus sinning emanated on earth as a result of such will that Allah has given to part of His creatures, whom He created capable of obeying or disobeying.

 There is a long discussion about the disobedience of Satan, some say: how can Satan be judged for refusing to prostrate to other than Allah? That Allah ordered Satan to prostate himself to Adam (peace be upon him) and Satan refused to prostrate to other than Allah!!!

To those atheists and others who spread such idle talk we say that you certainly did not understand the meaning of worship. Worship is the obedience shown by the creature to the Commands of his Creator. Based on this rule when Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, has commanded that we should offer five Salat (Prayers) each day, Salat becomes both an act of worship and obedience; similarly, the Zakah (Obligatory Charity), the Sawm (Fasting), the Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca) and all the Commands of Allah. Worshipping Allah is obeying Him and disobeying the Command of Allah is sinning against Him.

We must not argue against the Command of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, but we should readily obey Him. For instance, we must never ask why should we offer five Salat and not four, three or two. We must never reject the Command of Allah, but we must obey even if we did not know the wisdom. Because the essence of worship is that it is from the Decreer and Master, Allah, all praise and glory is to Him.

Our duty is to verify that the Command is from Allah, and since it is a Command from Allah, then that should be the sole reason for fulfilling it: it is Allah who ordered so. Other than that is not open to discussion.

The role of the human mind is to deduce that this universe has a God Who has created and originated it. That this God is the One Who created us and originated a highly exact and magnificent system and a universe infinitely marvelous that could not have existed without a Great Creator.

If we reach this point then this is the birth of faith. But our minds are limited and have reached thus far and cannot go further. For instance, they cannot know Who is that Great Creator? What is His Name? What does He want us to do? Why has He created us?

Here starts the role of messengers to complete everything. Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, sends a messenger whom He supports with a miracle from Heaven that go beyond all the laws of the universe. This messenger informs people that Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, is the Creator of this universe and He is the One Who subjected it entirely to the service of mankind. Even the mighty universal powers that surpass the power of man million times, as the sun, the seas, the stars and others, all these powers are subjected to serve man.

Everyday the sun shines and never can disobey and say: “I will not rise today.” Water evaporates from seas which then falls as rain, they never have one day disobeyed and said that their water will not evaporate! Nor can they prevent the evaporation process and prevent rain from falling down on the earth.

Thus, the duty of the messengers is to tell us that Allah has created all existence and subjected it to us, and wants us to worship Him and to perform certain duties.

The messengers convey to us the law of worshipping Allah, and Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, support them with miracles that go beyond all human powers, to assure people that they are truly the Messengers of Allah. And also to close the door on any imposter or devil who might claim prophethood to mislead people.

 Once we learn what the Truth [Al-Haqq: one of the Beautiful Names of Allah] wants from us, we must hear and obey, because the Commands are from Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might. With His Infinite Knowledge He knows everything and we do not, and with His Wisdom He knows the well-being of the universe, but with our foolishness we commit evil and think it goodness.

Allah, all glory is to Him, with His Gracious Attributes of absolute perfection should be worshipped and if man is to argue, it is self-evident that he should only argue with a compeer. A doctor or an engineer can argue with a fellow-worker, but a doctor cannot discuss medicine with a carpenter or a plumber, it would be futile. To have a fruitful argument it must be between coequals and who among us is equal to Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, in Knowledge or Power, to argue with Him regarding what He commands or forbids? Recite the Saying of Almighty Allah in His Noble Book, which means:

“It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.” (Al-­Ahzâb, 33: 36)

And His Saying which means:

“The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], ‘We make no distinction between any of His messengers.’ And they say, ‘We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination.’” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 285)
  
Beginning of Sin

So, worshipping Allah is to obey His Commands and disobeying His Commands is sin and vice, and is surely the way to disbelief, Allah forbid. Hence, worship is the obedience of the creature to the Commands of his Creator. Satan disobeyed the Command of Allah so there is no longer worship, but sin and disbelief.

 Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, relates in the Noble Qur’an the beginning of Satan’s rebellion, saying what means:

 “And [mention] when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate before Adam’; so they prostrated, except for Iblees (Satan). He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 34)

That was the beginning of sin; the beginning of Satan’s denial and infidelity was his rejection of the Command of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, by refusing to prostrate himself to Adam. Indeed, Satan did not refuse to prostrate to other than Allah, but he refused to prostrate himself to the Command of Allah and that is the difference. For truly the rejection of any Command of Allah is sin and infidelity.

 But still some people claim that the Command here was given to the angels and not to Satan, so how does Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, hold Adam accountable for a Command not given to him?

 We answer by saying that though Satan was from the jinn he also refused to obey the Command. Concerning that Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, says what means:
  
 “And they prostrated, except for Iblees (Satan). He was of the jinn and departed from the command of his Lord.” (Al-Kahf, 18: 50)

 Also the Ayah in which Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, addresses Satan saying what means:

 “[Allah] said, ‘What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?’ [Satan] said, ‘I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.’” (Al-A‘râf, 7: 12)

And His Saying:

“[Allah] said, ‘O Iblees, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My hands? Were you arrogant [then], or were you [already] among the haughty?’” (Sâd, 38: 75)

Therefore, we can clearly see on the strength of the Qur’anic passages that the Command of prostration was given to Satan too, and that the Command definitely included him.

  
From the book:
Mankind And Satan
By Muhammad Mitwaly Ash-Sha‘râwy


No comments:

Post a Comment