Literally, Shaytan means, ‘rebellious’, and it describes anyone who is disrespectful and tries 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. After having breathed soul into Adam, Allah commanded
the Angels to prostrate before Adam as a sign of honor. Although Iblees was not an angel, he was included in the command to prostrate because he was striving to imitate the Angels in their behaviour and deeds. However, Iblees thought too highly of himself and was arrogant. Ibn Abbas said, “Before he undertook the path of sin, Iblees was with the Angels and was called Azazil. He was among the residents of the earth and was one of the most active worshipers and knowledgeable persons amidst the Angels. This fact caused him to be arrogant...”
[See, Tafseer Ibn Katheer for (2): 34]
So Iblees refused to prostrate before Adam and said, “I am better than him [Adam], You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.” [Soorah al-A'raf (7): 12] 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.
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26-09-2013 PM 09:23