Iblīs (translit: Eblis, Iblees), also know as the Shaytaan (Satan), and the Devil. Similarly to Adam the Father of Mankind, some have referred to Iblis as The Father of the Jinn[1] , and the arch enemy of mankind.

The Story of Adam and Iblis

Ibn Kathir summarizes in his Tafsir how Iblis fell from a position of status due to his envy of Adam. Iblis became disobedient to Allah because of his hubris, rather than repent, he chose the doom of Hell and the goal of taking as many of the children of Adam along with him.

“Allah mentions this story in Surat Al-Baqarah, at the beginning of Surat Al-A`raf, in Surat Al-Hijr, Al-Isra’, Al-Kahf and here. Before creating Adam, peace be upon him, Allah told the angels that He was going to create a human being from sounding clay of altered smooth black mud. He told them that when He finished creating and forming him, they were to prostrate to him as a sign of honor and respect, and out of obedience to the command of Allah, may He be exalted. All of the angels obeyed this command except for Iblis, who was not one of them. He was one of the Jinn, and his nature betrayed him at his time of greatest need. He refused to prostrate to Adam, and he disputed with his Lord about him, claiming that he was better than Adam, because he was created from fire while Adam was created from clay, and fire was better than clay, or so he said. He made a mistake by doing this, and he went against the command of Allah, thus committing the sin of disbelief. So Allah exiled him, humiliated him, and cast him out of His mercy and His sacred Presence, and called him “Iblis symbolizing that he had Ablasa min Ar-Rahmah (despaired of mercy) — that there was no hope for him of mercy. He cast him down from the heavens, disgraced and rejected, to the earth. Iblis asked Allah to give him a reprieve until the Day of Resurrection, so the Forbearing One, Who does not hasten to punish those who disobey Him, gave him a reprieve. When he knew that he was safe from destruction until the Day of Resurrection, he rebelled and transgressed.”

” ﴿فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لأغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَإِلاَّ عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِينَ ﴾

(﴿Iblis﴾ said: “By Your might, then I will surely mislead them all, except Your true servants amongst them.) This is like the Ayat:

﴿أَرَءَيْتَكَ هَـذَا الَّذِى كَرَّمْتَ عَلَىَّ لَئِنْ أَخَّرْتَنِ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ لأَحْتَنِكَنَّ ذُرِّيَّتَهُ إَلاَّ قَلِيلاً﴾

(﴿Iblis﴾ said: “See this one whom You have honored above me, if You give me respite until the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring all but a few!) (17:62). These few are the ones who are excepted in another Ayah, which is:

﴿إِنَّ عِبَادِى لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَـنٌ وَكَفَى بِرَبِّكَ وَكِيلاً ﴾

(Verily, My servants — you have no authority over them. And All-Sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian.) (17:65)

﴿قَالَ فَالْحَقُّ وَالْحَقَّ أَقُولُ ﴾

﴿لاّمْلاّنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنكَ وَمِمَّن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴾

((Allah) said: “The truth is — and the truth I say that I will fill Hell with you and those of them (mankind) that follow you, together.) Some of them, including Mujahid, read this as meaning, “I am the Truth and the truth I say. According to another report narrated from Mujahid, it means, “The truth is from Me and I speak the truth. Others, such as As-Suddi, interpreted it as being an oath sworn by Allah. This Ayah is like the Ayat:

﴿وَلَـكِنْ حَقَّ الْقَوْلُ مِنْى لاّمْلأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ﴾

(but the Word from Me took effect, that I will fill Hell with Jinn and mankind together.) (32:13), and

﴿قَالَ اذْهَبْ فَمَن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ فَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ جَزَآؤُكُمْ جَزَاءً مَّوفُورًا ﴾

((Allah) said: “Go, and whosoever of them follows you, surely, Hell will be the recompense of you (all) – an ample recompense.) (17:63).

﴿قُلْ مَآ أَسْـَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ وَمَآ أَنَآ مِنَ الْمُتَكَلِّفِينَ – إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَـلَمِينَ – وَلَتَعْلَمُنَّ نَبَأَهُ بَعْدَ حِينِ ﴾

(86. Say: “No wage do I ask of you for this, nor am I one of the Mutakallifin.) (87. “It is only a Reminder for all the creatures.) (88. “And you shall certainly know the truth of it after a while.) Allah says: `Say, O Muhammad, to these idolators: I do not ask you to give me any reward from the goods of this world in return for the Message which I convey to you and the sincere advice I offer.’

﴿وَمَآ أَنَآ مِنَ الْمُتَكَلِّفِينَ﴾

(nor am I one of the Mutakallifin.) means, `and I do not add anything to that which Allah has told me. Whatever I am commanded to do, I do it, and I do not add anything or take anything away. By doing this I am seeking the Face of Allah and the Hereafter.’ Sufyan Ath-Thawri, narrated from Al-A`mash and Mansur from Abu Ad-Duha that Masruq said, “We went to `Abdullah bin Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him. He said, `O people! Whoever knows a thing should say it, and whoever does not know should say, `Allah knows best.’ It is part of knowledge, when one does not know, to say “Allah knows best. For Allah said to your Prophet :

﴿قُلْ مَآ أَسْـَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ وَمَآ أَنَآ مِنَ الْمُتَكَلِّفِينَ ﴾

(Say: “No wage do I ask of you for this, nor am I one of the Mutakallifin.) This was reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

﴿إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَـلَمِينَ ﴾

(It is only a Reminder for all the creatures.) means, the Qur’an is a reminder for all those who are held accountable, men and Jinn. This was the view of Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him. This Ayah is like the Ayat:

﴿لاٌّنذِرَكُمْ بِهِ وَمَن بَلَغَ﴾

(that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach) (6:19), and

﴿وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِهِ مِنَ الاٌّحْزَابِ فَالنَّارُ مَوْعِدُهُ﴾

(but those of the sects that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place) (11:17).

﴿وَلَتَعْلَمُنَّ نَبَأَهُ﴾

(And you shall certainly know the truth of it) means, `you will see confirmation that what he says is true.’

﴿بَعْدَ حِينِ﴾

(after a while.) means, soon. Qatadah said, “After death. `Ikrimah said, “It means, on the Day of Resurrection. There is no contradiction between the two views, because whoever dies comes under the rulings of the Day of Resurrection. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Sad. All praise and gratitude is due to Allah, and Allah may He be glorified and exalted, knows best.”[2]

His Goal

Iblis declared he would use any means necessary to lead the children of Adam astray.

  • targeting the nature of mankind through our whims and desires
  • claims of sincerity
  • fortune-tellers and soothsayers
  • promises of protective amulets to ward of harm and the jinn


  1. Jump up↑ The World of the Jinn & Devils, In the Light of the Qur’an and Sunnah by Umar S. al-Ashqar: The Islamic Creed Series v3, pg.13
  2. Jump up↑ Tafisr Ibn Kathir