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Iblis is not an equal to Allah

As Muslims, we know that Iblīs (Satan) is not equal to Allah in power,[1] authority or might. By the very definition of Allāh’s name, Allāh is not comparable to anything; there is none like Him.[2]

Allāh is the Greatest; a definitive statement which is affirmed – absent of any need or validation – by believers around the world through the prescribed daily prayers. It is an act that encompasses the clock as well as the globe.[3]

Sometimes, though, we forget the simple Truth that Allāh is far greater than our biggest open enemy, Iblīs. This article was written with the intention of reminding you, our beloved readers, of the insignificance of Shayṭān when we have Allāh on our side.[4]

Contextualising Iblīs

 Iblīs is a creation of Allāh from the Jinn-kind.[5] He is an active and negative agent in the creation, and one whose role forms an important part of the puzzle of our lives. Allāh tells us that Iblīs is our biggest open enemy and represents evil; for he did not adhere to the Will and Command of Allāh.

“And tell My servants to say that which is best. Indeed, Satan induces [dissension] among them. Indeed Satan is ever, to mankind, a clear enemy.”[6]

Iblīs’s intents and purposes are to direct us away from The Almighty’s straight path, aṣ-Ṣirāṭ al-Mustaqīm, to a most regretful one. He is the retreating whisperer who calls us away from goodness to immorality; who closes our eyes to the Nūr of Allāh;[7] and draws us away from the right way. Although we find somewhat of a dichotomy between Shayṭān and Allāh as being on opposite ends of a scale, we would be greatly mistaken to conflate Good and Evil to God and The Devil.

Our view as Muslims is not as arbitrary as other world-views that present an on-going cosmic battle between two equal and opposed forces, both propagating Good and Evil in equal proportion, using the Earth as the centre stage for their epic bout. Rather, ours is a religion that understands and validates that Iblīs is nothing more than a mere creation of Al-ʿAzīz, The Almighty. Iblīs, like all of creation, is unworthy of any comparison to the imperceptible Might of Allāh.

The basic premise that Iblīs is evil does not signify he is an equal opponent to our Creator. Shayṭān is neither the source of Evil nor does he create Evil. This concept is one of the bigger distinctions of Islām from other faiths. Where there is the struggle to understand the problem of Evil, it is clear in Islām that Evil is also a creation from Allāh. We find in the attributes of Allah both rigour and mercy; a balance that is of great import to mankind in this worldly life. He is Al-Muntaqim, The Avenger. He is also Al-Wadud, The Loving One. This balance gives believers both hope and fear which are essential in walking the straight path. Nevertheless, we tend to forget that the trials we experience from the whispers of the Devil are just a part of the test of life. The Devil and his army of evil-doers are a necessary evil and a direct consequence of the Will of Allāh.

How does Iblīs affect us?

In his recent article,[8] Yahya Aqeel analyses the very real psychological tropes Shayṭān employs to avert us from the Truth. Shayṭān attempts to take mankind down the ‘rocky-road’ of immorality in the forms of negligence, alcohol, idolatry, gambling, witchcraft, fortune-telling, belittling of sins and the list goes on.[9] The starting point of his fitna,[10] however, is found in his whispers which sometimes manage to instil within us doubts, suspicion, the stirring of passions and desires, fear, anger, forgetfulness, false promises, and wishful thinking.[11]

Aqeel offers us four practical tips that one can use to protect against such fervent attacks; all of which are valid and well-considered, and sourced from the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). Beyond these suggestions, I would also remind the reader of the sheer Greatness of Allāh, His Will and His Raḥma which are diametrically opposed to the worthless efforts of Iblīs.[12] Shayṭān is destined to occupy the deepest, darkest depths of Hell-fire for eternity for what he has earned in disobeying Allāh, and for his futile attempts to mislead mankind.

Remembering the Mercy and Authority of Allāh

 We must remember that the source of everything that has happened and that will come to pass is Allāh alone. Our history is the unfolding of Allāh’s Knowledge and Will; He says ‘Be’ and it is, and the purposes of Allāh are always good.[13] We must therefore reflect that everything that happens is intrinsically good. It is Shayṭān’s plan to divert one’s faith away from accepting the Divine Decree of Allāh and from accepting that whatever happens is indeed good.

We must not let Shayṭān convince us that what is happening in our lives and the world today is not a direct consequence of Allāh’s Will. In fact, believing the contrary could impugn and infringe on our acceptance and understanding of Tawḥīd (the Oneness of Allāh). Shayṭān’s influence extends to the domain of whispers; it is we who decide to take moral or immoral actions, which in turn affects the world and our experiences in it. Ultimately, though, it is Allāh who is in control of the Dominion, and Shayṭān has no effect whatsoever except in what Allāh Wills. It is important that we reflect on this, and turn back to our Lord; holding firmly to His rope in a state of Riḍā, perfect contentment with His divine decree.

Do not despair of the Mercy of your Rabb (Lord)

 It is important for us as Muslims to remind one another of the role Iblīs plays in our lives. He is our open enemy, but at the same time, we have been gifted mercy with the test. We have the blessing of revelation; the Qur’ān and the beautiful Sunnah of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam); and we have Allāh with us in our daily prayers to safeguard us from the Evil that He has created. With Allāh’s help, Shayṭān’s effect on us can be reduced to nothing but minor whispers. He is in no way a powerful or equal opponent to Allāh– nothing and no one is.

Turn to Allāh in a state of serene acceptance of His Will. Be pleased and content with Allāh’s Plan. Have faith, dear brothers and sisters, that Allāh is with you – so long as you are with Him.

Remember, too, that ‘Evil’ is a creation of Allāh and He is far greater than His creation.

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] Arabic: Satan, The Devil

[2] Qur’an: Surah Ikhlas, 112

[3] Qur’an: Surah An-Nisaa’ 4:131 – Allah is Self-Sufficient

[4] Arabic: Satan, The Devil

[5] Arabic: Spirit-beings made from smokeless fire

[6] Qur’an: Surah Al-Isra 17:53

[7] Arabic: Light

[8] 4 Shields Against Shaytaan: https://www.islam21c.com/spirituality/four-shields-against-shaytan-2/

[9] https://www.islam21c.com/spirituality/four-shields-against-shaytan-2/

[10] Arabic: Sedition

[11] https://www.islam21c.com/spirituality/four-shields-against-shaytan-2/

[12] Rahma – Mercy

[13] Qur’ān, 36:82

About Zarrar Butt

Zarrar studied English Literature at Brunel University in London, UK before commencing a professional career in Cloud Computing. In his work, he has provided business and technology consultation to businesses that range from emerging startups, to some of the largest corporations in the world. Zarrar is currently studying the foundational Islamic sciences with Sabeel.

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