Differences among scholars concerning Iblis


A: Scholars have differed as to whether Iblis (Satan) was an angel or a Jinn? Some scholars have said that he was an angel who was created from fire and that Allah created other angels from light. They argue that if Satan had not been an angel, he would not have been commanded to prostrate and then Allah would not have denounced him for his refusal to prostrate to Adam. Grammatically, if something is excluded from a group, it means that it is of the same type as the group a thing is excluded there from. Allah (Exalted be He) says: And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate yourselves unto Adam." So they prostrated themselves except Iblîs (Satan). As Iblis was excluded from the angels, this indicates that he was one of them. However, other scholars said that Iblis was not an angel; he was a Jinn, as Allah (Exalted be He) says: (Part No. 3; Page No. 508)  And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate yourselves unto Adam." So they prostrated themselves except Iblîs (Satan). He was one of the jinn; he disobeyed the Command of his Lord. In addition to this, Iblis was created from fire and the angels from light and he has offspring that reproduce, whereas angels do not reproduce or have the ability to choose. Ibn Jarir Al-Tabary held the first view. He refuted the second view saying that as some angels were created from light and some of them were created from fire, Iblis could have been one of the angels that were created from fire. He also said that there is no evidence as to whether the angels were created from fire or reproduce or not. In addition, when Allah says about him: ...except Iblîs (Satan). He was one of the jinn this indicates that he was an angel from the tribe that were called the Jinn. It is also said that Iblis was described as one of Jinn that was unseen, just as Allah describes other angels when He (Exalted be He) says: And they have invented a kinship between Him and the jinn because they are unseen beings. This is according to the view that says that Iblis was included in Allah's Order to the angels to prostrate to Adam, because he was among them at the time. Anyway, as no scientific benefit will be derived from this matter disputing it is of no value.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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