Was Satan (Iblis) from the jinn, if so why was he among the angels?

Details of the Question
Assalamu Alaikum, Almighty Allah stated that He has created only the humans and the jinn for testing. However, when He commanded the angels to prostrate to Adam, Iblis, who was from the jinn clan, opposed him. Although the jinn are subject to testing, what is the wisdom of a jinn being among the angels, then?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Satan is not an angel but a jinn. Like the human beings, the jinn have been given the freedom of obeying or disobeying by their will.

He explains why Satan was also included in the command of “Prostration before Adam” together with the angels although he was not one of the angels, as follows: “When Allah Most Exalted commanded angels to prostrate before Adam, Satan was also included in this command. For although he was not of their kind, he resembled them and performed their deeds. Therefore, Satan was also counted as addressee to this command which was directed to angels. And he was condemned because he did not fulfill the command.” (36)
Ibn Kasir, 1/133.

Iblis, the Ancestor of the Jinn and the Satans

Several opinions have been put forward about who the ancestor of the jinn and the satans was. As it was mentioned before, it was stated that “Jann” mentioned in the surahs (chapter of the Holy Qur'an) ar-Rahman and al-Hijr, was the name of the being who was the ancestor of the jinn, and Iblis was also from his descendants. People having this opinion stated that in terms of the jinn and the satans, Iblis was at the status of Noah (peace be upon him) as regards to the humans. Namely, as all people were destroyed after the Deluge of Noah except his generation and he virtually became the second ancestor of the human beings, mainly according to some narrations from Israeli sources, because of their extreme disobedience, when the jinn were killed by the armies of angels, Iblis, who had not rebelled yet, became the second ancestor of the jinn and the subsequent jinn came into existence from his generation.
However, it is not the commonly accepted opinion. As we have indicated briefly while mentioning the meanings of those names, as we take the related ayahs (verses) of the Qur’an and the hadiths (sayings or traditions of the Prophet Muhammad)as a base, the opinion that Iblis is the ancestor of the jinn and the satans is more acceptable. Therefore, we named the heading as “Iblis, the Anchestor of the Jinn and the Satans” and we will discuss the subject from that point of view. In addition, so to speak, we will follow a chronological order while we discuss the subject.   

A) THE CREATION OF IBLIS

In two places in the Noble Qur’an, it is stated that Iblis was created from fire(1).  When he was commanded to prostrate before Adam (peace be upon him), he indicated his essence, namely the thing he was created from and said “You did create me from fire, and him from clay.” (the Qur’an, The Heights (Al-Aráf); 12 (7: 12) and Sad; 76 (38: 76)) as the reason of why he had not prostrated before Adam. Those words, which Almighty Allah narrates us as the words of Satan, inform us about the creation of Iblis. 
In two places in the Qur’an, it is stated that “Jann” was created from fire. The ayah “And he created the jinns from maarij of fire” (Qur’an, The Most Beneficient (Ar-Rahman); 15 (55:15)) informs that the creation is from “maarij”. Maarij means both fire mixed with smoke and smokeless-pure fire. However, the fact that ayah also mentions the word fire indicates that is smokeless-pure fire. Thus, it is comprehended that Jann was created from pure- unadulterated fire (2). According to Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that expression means “the most beautiful and the pure fire.” According to Mujahid, it is the yellow-greenish flame rising when a fire is candled(3). Alusi explains it as “the smokeless pure flame”(4). If it is noticed, all of those signify almost the same meaning. 

As Almighty Allah stated that He had created human from dry clay, that is, pure, juicy mud. He also stated that Jann had been created from pure fire. If it is asked how the word maarij can be said to have the meaning “mixed” although it also has the meaning “pure”, the answer is as follows: “When the fire is strong, its flames rise and mix with each other to the upmost level and they become one-piece just like well mixed mud whose pieces are blended with each other in a favorable and harmonic way and can not be distinguished from each other. That situation can also be observed in a well flamed oven. If some woods are thrown into the fire, it ignites them immediately. In the same way, the “maarij” that the jinns have been created from is a fire whose parts have been mixed with each other and have become one piece and the smoke of that fire, flame and parts burning on the ground cannot be distinguished from each other.”(5)

In the second ayah about this subject, Almighty Allah states the creation of the two kinds of beings and He says: “We created man from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape. And the jinn We created before, from the fire of samum.” (the Qur’an, The Rocky Tract (Al-Hijr); 26,27 (15: 26,27)). As it is comprehended from the ayah, Jann was created before the human beings (6). If the creation of the human beings is considered to be the last ring in the creation of the universe, Jann has been created as the penultimate ring (7). 

About “the samum fire” mentioned in the ayah, some said, “It is the flame of the fire.” And some others said, “It is the simoom which is hot at the perishing degree”(8). With the help of the previous ayah, that is understood to be a kind of fire. However, since it penetrates through the pores of the skin of the body, it is called as “samum”. The wind penetrating into human is also called as “simoom” because of that (9). In a relation, it is declared: “Samum is the smokeless fire and the stars are also created from that fire” (10) and it shows that “the samum fire” and the “maarij of the fire” mentioned in the previous ayah are the same. According to it, one of those words telling the same thing declares that fire is a pure and smokeless fire and the other declares that it is burning and parching. Alusi points to it while he is explaining the “samum fire” as “the supremely fervent fire”(11). In some hadiths, it is informed that the fire Jann was created from is much hotter than the fires we know. According to a hadith Abu Dawud at-Tawalisi relates from Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him), “The fires (we see in the world) are seventy degrees lighter than the fire Jann has been created from.”(12)

Putting a new approach forward about our subject in his book, Ahmad Khulusi states that the “samum fire” in the ayah may be rays and he puts the following ideas forward: “In the Noble Qur’an, taking the level of the comprehension of the time it was revealed into consideration, it was not explained as “We created jinn from such and such rays”; but by an allusive expression, it was described as “the smokeless fire” and “the fire penetrating through the most subtle pores” and it was left to the comprehension of the people and their sciences to come to a level that they will cover that subject.”(13)  

In the last two ayahs, the subject was the creation of Jann and in the first two ayahs, it was the creation of Iblis. It was discussed whether Iblis and Jann were the same. As it was mentioned before, while Hasan Basri said “Jann is Iblis, who is the ancestor of the jinns”, Mujahid said “He is the ancestor of the jinn, but he is not Iblis.” Some others say, “Jann is the name of a kind including all of the jinn.”(14) According to it, as the word human is a name including all of the humans and their ancestor Hazrat Adam, Jann is also an appellative name including all of the jinn and their ancestor, Iblis. Actually, if it is noticed, in the last ayah, as the creation of man from clay and the creation of Jann from fire are explained as if two kinds of beings are mentioned.       

Like Hasan Basri, Tabari is of the opinion that Iblis is the ancestor of the jinn and Jann here refers to Iblis.(15) Some important commentators such as Muqatil, Qatada and Ata are also of the same opinion. Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) is also of the same opinion and the relation coming from him “Jann is the ancestor of the jinn”(16) does not put a different opinion forward; it shows that Jann is Iblis at the same time. With a different opinion, although some persons say “Jinn are a different kind from satans”, as it is seen, the true opinion most of the scholars accept is that satans are of the same kind with jinn and the unbelieving jinn are called as satans(17).
We can adduce some hadiths as proofs for the sameness of Iblis and Jann: In a relation coming from Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “The angels were created from light, Jann was created from the flame of fire and Adam was created from the thing that was told you (in the Qur’an)”(18). In the hadith Ibn Marduya related from our mother Hazrat Aisha, it was told “Allah created the angels from the light of the Throne; Jann from the flame of fire; and Adam from the thing told you (in the Qur’an).”(19) In the hadiths like that, as Adam, the ancestor of the humans, was substituted instead of “human”, then Iblis, who was the ancestor of that kind and who was mentioned with his clear name in the previous ayahs, can be used instead of “Jann”(20). Actually, in the Qur’an where Hazrat Adam is mentioned, Iblis is mentioned just beside him as the kind opponent to him. The situation is the same also in the hadiths. However, as it is seen, it happens sometimes by the name Iblis, sometimes by the name Jann and sometimes by the attribute satan.
Those explanations discussing the creation of those two kinds in a comparative way also seem to be interesting: “In terms of the jinn, Jann is like Adam in respect to the humans. As the former of our kind was created from “salsal”, namely, from  pure, dry clay and the ones coming after him were created from his offspring; the first jinn was created from fire, and his descendants coming after him were created from “maarij”, namely from pure fire.”(21)
B) THE FIRST REBELLION OF IBLIS AGAINST ALLAH

Iblis, who had been created before man, as it can be comprehended from the ayahs, began to live in the heavens and in Paradise with the angels and he must have been charged with some orders which did not injure his pride. Some relations coming from Israeli sources also support it. Just then, when Almighty Allah informed the angels about the creation of Adam and the important authority he would bestow him, as we have explained widely in the section of the angels, we can not know what kind of an attitude Iblis, who was probably near them, displayed when the angels asked the reason of it with the purpose of understanding the wisdom of it because, the related ayahs do not mention about it. Perhaps with the angels, the same questioning was also the same for Iblis. There was not any problem in respect to Iblis in that point. If there had been, he would have rebelled just at that time. 

When Almighty Allah created Adam (peace be upon him) and fashioned him, He commanded His angels to prostrate before him (Qur’an, The Heights (Al-Aráf); 11 (7: 11)). That command also included Iblis who had been created before and who was with the angels. Iblis was aware of it. All angels obeyed Allah’s command and prostrated before Adam. However, Iblis did not obey Allah’s command and he rebelled. Almighty Allah reminds it and He states: “And when We said unto the angels: Fall down prostrate before Adam and they fell prostrate all save Iblis,”(theQur’an, The Journey By Night (Al-Isra); 61 (17: 61)) “He refused“ (the Qur’an, Ta-Ha); 116 (20: 116)). 

The rebellion of Iblis is repeated and emphasized in seven parts in the Noble Qur’an because it is a very important event in the history of the created things and for the human beings: 

The verses “Behold thy Lord said to the angels: I am about to create man, from sounding clay from mud molded into shape; when I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of my spirit, fall you down in obeisance unto him. So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together: Not so Iblis: he refused to be among those who prostrated themselves.” (the Qur’an, The Rocky Tract (Al-Hijr); 28-31 (15: 28-31); Sa’d; 71-74 (38: 71-74)) show that Almighty Allah told the command of prostration before the creation of Adam (peace be upon him).  Therefore, it was not an instantaneous command that the addressees did not have the chance to think about. It shows that the rebellion of Iblis was not a sudden action but a minutely aforethought action.

And when We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever.” (Qur’an, The Cow (Al-Baqara); 34 (2: 34); Sa’d; 74 (38: 74)), namely, he was one of those whose rebellion and unbelief in the future have been known in Allah’s pre-eternal knowledge or he was from that unbelieving nation that had lived on the earth before the creation of Adam and had been destroyed since they had plotted mischief on the earth.”(22). According to another strong commentary, “Although he had not been an unbeliever before, he became from the unbelievers by getting proud and not prostrating.”(23) Thus, according to most of the scholars, he was the first one who rebelled against Allah and showed unbelief, namely, who acted ungratefully (24) because, his rebellion by disobeying Allah’s command and his becoming haughty and arrogant before Allah was infidelity(25).

Was Iblis an angel?

Was Iblis one of the angels, namely, was his disobedience to that command directed to the angels regarded as a rebellion due to the fact that he was an angel? It is one of the subjects on which different opinions have been put forward by the Islamic scholars.

The related ayahs show that all the angels were commanded to prostrate; all of them obeyed and only Iblis did not obey and he was “exceptional” from the ones who obeyed the command. If we consider the clear meaning of the ayahs, Iblis should be regarded as an angel regarding that “exception” as “continuous exception” with the technical expression(26). That is, for example, if you say “Humans are serious sinners except the prophets…”, you emphasize that the prophets are also inclusive of humans but they are at a different rank. Thus, in that way, if the things excepted and the things not excepted are from the same kind, it is called “continuous exception”. According to it, when you say “The angels prostrated except Iblis..”, at the first glance, it means “So, Iblis was from the angels”. 

In the Surah Kahf, Almighty Allah says “And (remember) when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, and they fell prostrate, all save Ibis. He was of the Jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord's command…” (the Qur’an, The Cave (Al-Kahf); 50 (18: 50)) and shows that such a meaning is wrong; again by the technical expression, the exception here is “separated exception”, namely, the thing excepted and the things not excepted are two different kinds of beings. For example, it is from the kind of the exception in the sentence “The villagers came but their donkeys did not come.”

Likewise, in that verse, it is stated that Iblis broke the command of Allah. In other verses about the angels, it is informed that the angels never break Allah’s commands. Besides, the last sentence of the verse already indicates the source of his disobedience against Allah’s command.    

Islamic scholars have made several explanations about that subject and they have interpreted the ayahs differently since some of the words have different meanings at the same time: While some of them stated that Iblis was the ancestor of the jinn kind, some others stated that “He was an angel but he became an unbeliever by rebelling Allah”, “A man becoming an unbeliever does not get out of the nature of being a human; similarly, Satan did not get out of the angel nature which was made of fire.”(27) 

According to a relation coming from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), “Iblis was from a clan of the angels. It was a clan that was called as jinn and was created from the burning fire. The name of Iblis was “Haris” then and he was one of the guards of Parasadise. The angels except that clan were created from light.” Again, according to another relation from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), “The name of Iblis was “Azazil” and he used to live on the earth. He was one of the strongest of the angels in terms of knowledge and intelligence.”(28)

The first residents of the earth were the jinn. The jinn stirred up trouble on earth and they shed blood. Almighty Allah sent Iblis in the leadership of an army from the angels against them. Iblis defeated that unruly beings with his army and exiled them to the islands and foots of the hills. Iblis and his army consisting of the angels settled down on the developed and productive places of the earth (29). After performing that action, he became proud of himself by thinking “I succeeded something that nobody has succeeded before.” Certainly, Almighty Allah was aware of his pride. However, the angels with him did not know about it.  

When Almighty Allah told the angels that he would make a caliph on the earth, they asked “Will you make a being who will make mischief and shed blood there as before the jinns did? We were sent against them before because of that.” Almighty Allah said “I know what you do not know.” Namely, He said “I know that arrogance and the proud existing in the heart of Iblis which you do not know.” Then, Almighty Allah ordered the dust of Adam to be brought. The dust was brought and Allah created Adam… Adam waited for forty nights as a lifeless statue thrown to a place. Iblis approached his lifeless statue several times, he kicked it with his foot and produced sound from him; he blew inside him as if puffing inside a reed; he entered inside him from his mouth and came out from his back; he was entered inside him from his back and came out from his mouth. He said to that dry clayYou are nothing. If I pester you, I bring to ruin you. If you pester me, I will not listen you”…(30)

In a relation reported by Ibn Abbas and Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with them), it is stated “Iblis was charged of the management of the first heaven and the earth and he belonged to a clan of the angels called jinn. That clan was named as “jinn” since they were charged of guarding Paradise. For this reason, Iblis was one of the guards of Paradise.”(31)

In those relations, it is expressed that Iblis is from the jinn and jinn are a kind of the angels. Although those relations solve the problem of the apparent contradiction between the expression “He was of the Jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord's command” which was shown as the rebellion reason of Iblis and his being an addressee of the prostration command directed to the angels, they do not seem to be strong enough since they strain the related ayahs very much.

We want to introduce the different explanations and the result from the point view of Fakhruddin Razi:

In that ayah, Almighty Allah said that Iblis was from the jinn. The scholars have three explanations about the issue:

1) Iblis was from the angels. His being from the angels is not contradictory to his being from the jinn at the same time… because a clan from the angels was called as jinn… moreover, the jinn were called so since they could not be seen by eye. Angels cannot be seen, either. Consequently, they also belonged to the jinn class. Moreover, Iblis was from the guards of Paradise and for this reason, he was related to Paradise (Jannah) and it was said “He was from the jinn.” Furthermore, according to a relation, he was from the clan of the angels called “Jinanees” who used to mold the adornments of the persons deserving of heaven since their creations.

2) According to the second explanation about that subject, Iblis was from the jinn satans created from fire and he was the first ancestor of them.
3) According to the third opinion, he was from the angels but he was transformed into a satan. The main thing pointing out that Iblis was not from the angels was the fact that Almighty Allah stated that Iblis had offspring by stating the following in that ayah, namely, at the end of the 50th ayah of surah al Kahf: “Will you choose him and his offspring for your protecting friends instead of Me, when they are an enemy unto you?” However, offspring and generation, namely, having offspring by procreation is out of question for the angels. So, Iblis can not be from the angels.”(32) Having that opinion, Ibn Zayd states, “As Adam (peace be upon him) is the ancestor of the humans, Iblis is the ancestor of the jinn”(33) However, no living things are mentioned as the ancestor of the angels. If they had procreation, they also would have an ancestor like the humans and the jinn. So, Allah creates them directly, not in the way of procreation and springing up.        

Again, people claiming that Iblis is not from the angels adduce the following proofs: In the Qur’an, Almighty Allah states that He has created Iblis from fire; but He does not inform us from what He has created the angels. Moreover, in the Qur’an, there is no information relating to Iblis that he has been created from the substance that the angels have been created from. Besides, it is also stated that Iblis is from the jinn. Therefore, it is not right to say that it is permissible to relate Iblis to something except Almighty Allah relates him to.”(34) 

Tabari objects to those evidences and he says: “Those evidences arise from the weakness of the knowledge of their owners. It cannot be denied that Almighty Allah might have created some of the different kinds of the angels from light, some of them from fire and some of them from anything He wishes. Actually, there is no information about what the angels have been created from and stating what Iblis has been created from does not show that he is not from the angels. In the same way, it is not an obstacle for the possibility that Iblis might be from an angel kind that Almighty Allah has created from fire. Likewise, the existence of the offspring of Iblis does not necessitate that he is not from the angels. When Almighty Allah willed him to commit sin, He gave him a sense of pleasure and a feeling of appetite which did not exist in the angels. Also, Almighty Allah’s informing that Iblis is from the jinn is not an obstacle for him to be an angel. Not only Iblis but also the angels are called so since they cannot be seen by humans and every invisible thing is called as “jinn.”(35)

As it is seen, Tabari is of the opinion that although Iblis was an angel actually, he became a satan since he did not obey the command of Allah. However, Ibn Kathir is not of the same opinion. He explains his being the addressee of the command of “prostrate before Adam” with the angels although he is not from the angels as follows: “When Almighty Allah commanded the angels to prostrate before Adam, Iblis was regarded to be inclusive in that command. Although he was not of their kind, he was like them and he was performing their deeds. Because of that, Iblis was also regarded as the addressee of that command directed to the angels. And he was condemned since he did not obey that command.(36)

Like Tabari, Alusi also lists the evidences of the ones telling that Iblis is not from the angels and replies them, and he agrees with Tabari. According to his determinations, some scholars state that “Iblis is from a kind called jinn which is different from the angels” by putting forward the ayah “He was of the jinn” (Qur’an, The Cave (Al-Kahf); 50 (18: 50)); and that Iblis is arrogant in contrast to the angels, who are not arrogant and that Iblis is created from fire unlike angels, who are created from light as it is stated in the hadith.

In that point, Alusi says: “All of the scholars of the sahabis (companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)) and the next generation succeeding them stated that Iblis was from the angels by putting forward “the exception” part showing that Iblis did not obey that command in the verses telling the angels to prostrate before Adam, was the separate exception.”(37) I do not know how Alusi reached such a result. If it was so, the opinion that Iblis was from the angels would be accepted by the following generations of the ummah (community) without any objection.

Alusi, seeming to accept the opinion that Iblis was from the angels, responds to the counter evidences as follows: the fact that Iblis becomes haughty although the angels are not haughty is not an obstacle for Iblis to be from the angels. It is either because there are some which are not innocent among the angels, or Almighty Allah has taken the angelic attributes away from Iblis and has given him the devilish attributes. According to it, Iblis rebelled after he had taken the devilish attributes … The fact that Iblis has been created from fire in contrast to the angels, who have been created from light is not an obstacle to that situation, either. Because, fire and light are the same in essence… Still, Almighty Allah knows the truth.”(38)

Considering the subject of the creation of the living things from a different point of view, some Sufis discuss the creation of the angels and Iblis, too. However, it is quite different to determine the trustworthy, reliable sources of those interpretations.(39)

Both kinds of narrations have reached us form the predecessors about the subject whether Iblis is from the angels or from the jinn. Similar interpretations were mentioned before; the following is a relation coming from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him):

There was a clan of the angels called jinn. Iblis used to belong to that clan and he used to go and return between the heaven and the earth previously. When he rebelled, Allah became angry with him and He transformed him into a satan and He cursed him. If he had not been from the angels, he would not have been commanded to prostrate.” 

Sa’id b. Musayyab, from the next generation of the Sahabis, states: “Iblis used to be the head of the angels of the lowest heaven previously.” According to Qatada, Iblis took the name of “jinn” having the meaning “hiding the obedience”, namely, “not performing” since he turned away from obeying Almighty Allah and hid the obedience. Another scholar of the next generation of the sahabis, Hasan Basri, states: “Iblis has never been from the angels even for a moment”(40) ”because, he was created from fire and the angels were created from light. The angels never refrain from worshipping Allah, they never become haughty, and they never get tired and never rebel. However, Iblis is not so. He rebelled and became haughty. The angels are not from the jinn. However, Iblis is from the jinn. The angels are the messengers of Allah but Iblis is not so… When Iblis was commanded to prostrate with the angels, Allah excluded him. The name of Iblis used to be something else. However, when he rebelled against Allah, Allah called him with that name. He used to be a believer and used to worship in the heavens till he rebelled against Allah. When he rebelled, he was brought down to the earth.”(41) 

As it is seen, both of the opinions take place at the predecessors. The correctness of the relations about that event is not precise, either. Calling out attentions to that, Ibn Kathir states, “A lot of relations have come from the predecessors, namely, from the sahabis and their next generation about the first times of Iblis. Most of them are the relations coming from Israeli sources narrated to attract people’s attentions.”(42) That information Alusi narrates has almost the same situation: “There used to be jinn before Iblis, too. However, they were destroyed and only Iblis remained from them. Therefore, the jinn and the satans of our age are his descendants. According to it, the status of Iblis among the jinn is like the status of Noah (peace be upon him) among the humans.”(43)     

As it will be seen from our explanations from the beginning, both sides have evidences and counter defenses. However, the opinion that Iblis is not an angel but a different kind predominates (44) and it is more compatible with the verses and the clear meanings of the hadiths(45). One of the most important evidences of that issue as Razi also calls our attentions are (46) the 40th and 41st ayahs of the surah Saba’. In those ayahs, it is informed that, in the Day of Judgment, in response to the question of Almighty Allah about the unbelievers “Did those worship you?”, the angels will answer, “Glory to You, our (tie) is with You as Protector, not with them. Nay, but they worshipped the Jinn.” That clear expression shows that the angels and the jinns are two different kinds.
Lastly, it is necessary to answer the following question briefly:

Question: The word “Kana” is used in the meaning of “it was, it became” in the Quran. Although the expression “Kane min al kafirin” is translated as “He became from the unbelievers” in Baqarah 34, the expression “kane min al jinn” is translated as “He was from the jinns”. However, if it were translated as “He became from the jinns”, a meaning that Iblis used to be an angel previously, but when he revolted against Allah’s command, he was overthrown from being an angel and became a jinn would be understood. Why was such a translation made, then?

Answer: The exception in the ayah “Fe sajadu illa Iblis= They all prostrated except Iblis”, -as it was explained before- is not continuous but separated. In the separated/ discrete exception, the exception is not from the kind of the one it was excepted from. For example, in the sentence “Jaal qawmu illa baqarah= the entire of the community came except a cow”, the word cow is exceptional from the community but is not from their kind. So, from that verse, -in terms of grammar- there is no obligation to say that satan is from the angels.     

The fact that the translation of kana is sometimes as “it was” and sometimes as “it became” is because of a rule of the Turkish language besides the wide meaning of the word. The word can be understood as “it became later” besides it can be understood as ”it has been like that all along.”

For that reason, even if it is translated as “he was of the jinn”, it is wrong to get the meaning “Iblis used to be an angel formerly but when he disobeyed Allah’s command, he was overthrown from being an angel and he was made join to the jinn”. Because, the terms jinn and angel do not express a rank, an attribute or a character – gained later- but express a generation and a kind -existing naturally-. Whatever its form, attribute, obedience or disobedience of it be, neither of the angels can become a jinn and neither of the jinns can become an angel.  Which of the prophets, who obey Allah as much as the angels, has become an angel? Or, many pharaohs have passed by and which of them has been involved in the jinn kind? The surah an-Nas’ separating the human satans and the jinn satans from each other has shed easiness and light to comprehend the subject.

However, the terms “unbelief-belief” are not attributes rising from the kind but are attributes gained afterwards. Therefore, the expression “kana min al kafirin” expressing the unbelief gained later should be translated as “he became from the unbelievers.” 

 

Footnotes:

(1) Razi, 19/117.

(2) Razi, 21/88.

(3) Tabari, 27/74; Ibn Kathir, 6/487.

(4) Alusi, 14/34.

(5) Razi, 21/88.

(6) Alusi, 14/34; Razi, 14/92; Ibn Qutayba, al-Ma’arif, p.8..

(7) Tabari, 14/21.

(8) Tabari, 14/21; Ibn Kathir, 4/160; Alusi, 14/34.

(9) Alusi, 14/34; Elmalili, 5/3059.

(10) Alusi, 14/34.

(11) Alusi, 14/34.

(12) Ibn Kathir, 4/160. Elmalili, 5/3059.

(13) Hulusi, Ahmad, p.22.

(14), Alusi, 27/105.

(15) Tabari, 14/21.

(16) Razi, 14/92.

(17) Razi, 14/92; Alusi, 14/35.

(18) Muslim, zuhd, 61(4/2294).

(19) Ibn Kathir, 3/149.

(20) Razi, 19/117.

(21) Razi, 21/88.

(22) Alusi, 1/231.

(23) Alusi, 23/225.

(24) Razi, 2/385.

(25) Tabari, 23/119.

(26) Alusi, 8/87.

(27) Behiy, p.150.

(28) Tabari, 1/178.

(29) Ibn Qutayba, al-Ma’arif, p.8.

(30) Tabari, 1/158.

(31) Tabari, 1/178.

(32) Razi, 15/200.

(33) Tabari, 1/179-180.

(34) Tabari, 1/180.

(35) Tabari, 1/180-181.

(36) Ibn Kathir, 1/133.

(37) Alusi, 1/229.

(38) Alusi, 1/230.

(39) Alusi, 1/230-231.

(40) Tabari, 15/169-170.

(41) Razi, 10/299-300.

(42) Ibn Kathir, 4/397.

(43) Alusi, 15/292.

(44) Razi, 2/337-342.

(45) Ibn Hazm, 4/34.

(46) Razi, 2/338.

Questions on Islam

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