An Important Point To Remember

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A grave misconception persists among many misinformed Muslims under the influence of Christian thought that shaytan (satan), or iblis as he is also reffered in the Qur’an, was a ‘fallen angel ’. Nothing could be further from the truth. He was one of the jinn as the Qur’an makes clear:

“When We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate yourselves to Adam,’ They prostrated except for Iblis. He was one of the jinn and wantonly deviated from his Lord’s command.”
(Kahf, 18:50)

shaytan had attained such a high degree in knowledge and service to Allah that he joined the company of Angels and came to be called ‘Ta’us al-Mala’ikah’, ‘The Peacock among the Angels.’ How did he, then, come to commit such a suicidal error of blatant rebellion against Allah? Some scholars say that it was because of his pride and vanity that Allah took back from him the wealth of knowledge and understanding, and hence he came to act like an ignorant fool. Others have suggested that his error was due to self-love and egocentric ambition.

Nevertheless, shaytan was in fact from the jinn. The jinn are beings created with free will, living on earth in a world parallel to that of man, and are invisible to human eyes in their normal state. shayatin is the name given to the disbelieving jinns. The jinn are created from fire according to Allah’s statement in the Qur’an:

“The jinns were created from the fire of a scorching wind.”
(Al-Hijr, 15:27)

They are not ‘fallen angels’, as angels are made from light according to the following statement of the Holy Prophet Muhammad [s]:

“The angels were created from light and the jinn from a fiery wind.”

Furthermore, angels cannot disobey Allah according to the statement of the Qur’an:

“…angels stern and severe, who do not disobey Allah in what He orders them, but do whatever they are commanded.”
(At-Tahrim, 66:6).