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Section 3: Man’s Creation – Satan’s Arrogance

Surah Al-Hijr – Verses 26 - 27

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الإِنسَانَ مِن صَلْصَالٍ مّـِنْ حَمَأٍ مَّسْنُونٍ

وَالْجَآنَّ خَلَقْنَاهُ مِن قَبْلُ مِن نَّارِ السَّمُومِ

26. “And certainly We created man of raw clay, of black mud moulded.”
27. “And the jinn We created before, of intensively burning fire.”

The Arabic term /sals al/ refers to a dry and raw kind of clay in which once blown, the sound of whistling comes out of it. 1

The Qur’anic term /hama’/ refers to dark mud, and the word /masnūn/ means varying and moulded. The Arabic word /sumūm/ refers to a hot wind which infiltrates into the depth of one’s entity like poison.

This verse either makes allusions to the creation of the first man, namely Hadrat-i-Adam, or the objective is the process of creation of all human beings in which case, the materials within the earth are transformed through food and sperm into human beings.

As Qur’an in Surah Al-Kahf, No. 18, verse 37, implies that man was first in the from of dust, then it was turned into semen (sperm-drop) and it was finally turned into a (complete) man.

In the Qur’anic literature, ‘jinn’ is a responsible being which has been addressed by Allah:

“O’ assembly of the jinn and mankind!…”2

And Jinn understands the Qur’an:

“…a party of the jinn listened, and they said: Verily we have heard a wonderful Qur’an.”3

Jinns also have passions like human beings.

According to this verse, the creation of jinn took place before man and it was created out of fire.

Allah says:

Iblis is also one of Jinns:

“…he was of the Jinn…”4

and Iblis will go into Hell like other evil Jinns.

“…Certainly I will fill Hell with the Jinn and the mankind together.”5

In conclusion, the Qur’an implies that Allah has created man out of raw and dry clay (like tile or ceramic) which is extracted out of a kind of black clay. Prior to this, He had created Jinns out of hot and burning fire.

The verse says:

“And certainly We created man of raw clay, of black mud moulded.”

“And the jinn We created before, of intensively burning fire.”

Surah Al-Hijr – Verses 28 - 31

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلآئِكَةِ إِنّـِي خَالِقٌ بَشَراً مّـِن صَلْصَالٍ مّـِنْ حَمَأٍ مَّسْنُونٍ

فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِي فَقَعُوا لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ

فَسَجَدَ الْمَلآئِكَةُ كُلُّهُمْ أَجْمَعُونَ

إِلآَّ إِبْلِيسَ أَبَي أَن يَكُونَ مَعَ السَّاجِدِينَ

28. “And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ‘Verily, I am about to create man of raw clay, of black mud moulded’.”
29. “So when I have completed him and I have breathed into him of My Spirit, fall you down, prostrating yourselves unto him.
30. “So the angels fell prostrate, all of them together,”
31. “Except ’Iblis; he refused to be with those who prostrated (in obedience).”

The statement of the Qur’an returns to the issue of creation of man once again and continues Allah’s speaking with the angels which took place before the man’s creation.

It says as follows:

“And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ‘Verily, I am about to create man of raw clay, of black mud moulded’.”

Addressing the Divine angels, He continues: And when I completed the creation process and I blow into him a noble, clean and splendid soul out of My Own, all and each one of you prostrate before him.

The verse says:

“So when I have completed him and I have breathed into him of My Spirit, fall you down, prostrating yourselves unto him.”

The creation of man then was over and man was provided for with whatever of body and soul was required for him. Everything was accomplished: At this moment, all angels prostrated without any exceptions before him.

The Qur’an says:

“So the angels fell prostrate, all of them together,”

The only one who did not obey this order was ’Iblis. Therefore, it adds:

“Except ’Iblis; he refused to be with those who prostrated (in obedience).”

Note Two Issues with Respect to This matter

The objective meaning of the blowing of Allah’s spirit into man is not the state of being alive and to breathe, for animals also do the same thing. However, the purpose is the bestowal of such qualifications as creativity, will, and knowledge from the part of Allah accorded to human beings.

The attributing of spirit to Allah is for the sake of elevation of the position of spirit, such as the words as /bayt-ul-lah/ (House of Allah) and /šahr-ul-lah/ (the month of Allah).

The prostration of the angels before man was not a ceremonial kind of prostration. It was meant to present the modesty of angels when confronting man himself and the human generations. That is, the angels are also at the service of man and submissive to him. 6

Surah Al-Hijr – Verses 32 - 35

قَالَ يَآ إِبْلِيسُ مَالَكَ اَلاَّ تَكُونَ مَعَ السَّاجِدِينَ

قَالَ لَمْ أَكُن لاَسْجُدَ لِبَشَرٍ خَلَقْتَهُ مِن صَلْصَالٍ مِنْ حَمَأٍ مَّسْنُونٍ

قَالَ فَاخْرُجْ مِنْهَا فإِنَّكَ رَجِيمٌ

وإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ اللَّعْنَةَ إِلَي يَوْمِ الدّ‌ِينِ

32. “He said: ‘O’ Iblis! What is your reason for not being with those who prostrated (in obedience)?’”
33. “(’Iblis) said: ‘I am not such that I prostrate myself unto a man whom You have created of raw clay, of black mud moulded’.”
34. “He said: ‘Then get out of it, for verily you are driven away accursed’.”
35. “And, verily, the curse will be on you until the Day of Judgment.”

It was on this occasion that ’Iblis was interrogated, in the course of which he was addressed as follows:

“He said: ‘O’ Iblis! What is your reason for not being with those who prostrated (in obedience)?’”

’Iblis who was selfishly engaged in matters of pride and egoism, so much so that he had lost his wisdom, responded to the Lord in a rude way, as the verse says:

“(’Iblis) said I am not such that I prostrate myself unto a man whom you have created of raw clay, of black mud moulded’.”

He who had not been kept in touch with the secrets of creation due to his pride and egoism, and who fell down suddenly from the climax of his position, was no more eligible to be among the ranks of the angels.

Therefore, he was immediately addressed by Allah, as such:

“He said: ‘Then get out of it, for verily you are driven away accursed’.”

And Satan was warned to beware that his arrogance served as the source of his disbelief. This disbelief made his cast off for ever.

The verse says:

“And, verily, the curse will be on you until the Day of Judgment.”

Surah Al-Hijr – Verses 36 - 38

قَالَ رَبّ‌ِ فَاَنظِرْنِي إِلَي يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ

قَالَ فَإِنَّكَ مِنَ الْمُنظَرِينَ

إِلَي يَوْمِ الْوَقْتِ الْمَعْلُومِ

36. “(’Iblis) said: ‘O’ Lord! Respite me then till the day when they are raised?”
37. “Said He: ‘Then verily you are of the respited ones’.”
38. “Till the day of the appointed time.”

As ’Iblis found himself an outcast from the threshold of the Allah’s court and felt that man’s creation caused his misfortune, the flames of hatred started within him so as to take vengeance on the sons of Adam.

It was why, as the verse says:

“(’Iblis) said: ‘O’ Lord! Respite me then till the day when they are raised?”

This the Satan asked not for the sake of repenting, or for the sake of regretting as to what he had done, seeking to compensate for everything, but rather in order to continue his obstinacy, hostility, and his stiff-neckedness.

So did Allah accept this request of ’Iblis.

The verse says:

“Said He: ‘Then verily you are of the respited ones’.”

However, this respite does not extend in time as far as the Day of Judgment on which all mankind will be raised, as ’Iblis requested, but for ‘a definite time’.

The verse says:

“Till the day of the appointed time.”

The objective in mind when mentioning

Till the day of the appointed time.”,

is the end of this world and the rolling up of the designated duration of the duties.

Surah Al-Hijr – Verses 39 - 40

قَالَ رَبِّ بِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لَأُزَيِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

إِلاَّ عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْـمُخْلَصِينَ

39. “(’Iblis) said: ‘O’ Lord! because You have left me to stray, certainly I will adorn (evil) to them on the earth, and certainly I will cause them all to go astray’.”
40. “Except Your chosen servants among them.”

Here we find ’Iblis revealed and exposed his true hidden intention, though nothing was hidden from Him, when ’Iblis answered Allah implying that He refused him and it was this ‘man’ who paved the ground for his misfortunes, ’Iblis should be engaged from then on in attracting them to the material blessings of this world by decorating and vanishing them, thus seeking to make them engaged in them.

Therefore, ultimately, he would cause them all to be misled.

The verse says:

“(’Iblis) said: ‘O’ Lord! because You have left me to stray, certainly I will adorn (evil) to them on the earth, and certainly I will cause them all to go astray’.”

Nevertheless, he knew well that his mischief would never leave any impact on the devotee servants of Allah.

Therefore, he soon made an exception to his saying, and said:

“Except Your chosen servants among them.”

These are those who have attained the highest levels of Faith and practice which have been brought about after going through a thorough educational curriculum and struggle against their ‘egotistic selves’.

There are two points raised in here which are worth mentioning:

Allah never leads anyone astray. However, if someone seeks willingly to accept the deviant path, Allah may leave him alone. This abandoning is the utmost case of the Divine punishment and outrage. As ’Iblis also willingly selected the path of arrogance and obstinacy, Allah left him to his own means.

Then the objective in saying /’aqwaytani/ (you have left me to stray) is meant in the same sense. That is, now that You no longer locate me within the reach of Your blessings and You left me alone to my own devices for the sake of my obstinate behavior, I will then do this and that.

’Iblis knows that a group of people are among the Divine selected ones. (That is, he has also accepted the legitimacy of ‘Prophethood’ and ‘Imamate’ as one can conclude from the clause:

“O’ Lord! because You have left me to stray”

that he has also accepted Allah. And as one also concludes from his prayer to be given a second chance “…till the day when they are raised”, he has also accepted the principle of Resurrection.

Therefore, ’Iblis was right in his ideological principles. However, his main fault was his arrogance and his not having a spirit of submission and servitude.

Thus, it is not enough to embrace merely the Faith and to have knowledge of something; but also practice, submission to the Will of Allah, and servitude are necessary.

Surah Al-Hijr – Verses 41 - 42

قَالَ هَذَا صِرَاطٌ عَلَيَّ مُسْتَقِيمٌ

إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ إِلاَّ مَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ

41. “Said He: ‘This is for Me a straight path (which I have undertaken)’.”
42. “Verily, (as regards) My (devoted) servants, there is not for you over them any authority, except those who follow you of the deviators.”

In the previous verse, ’Iblis announced that he would mislead all except the selected devotee individuals. In this verse, Allah remarks: The reason as to why ’Iblis does not have the power to dominate His servants is because of His Straight Path and His way of treatment.

That is, Allah’s way of treatment is such that He Himself guarantees their protection, and this does not imply that ’Iblis would have nothing to do with them. On the contrary, he might not be in a position to exercise any power over them.

The verse says:

“Said He: ‘This is for Me a straight path (which I have undertaken)’.”

Thus, the Satan has got no power over those who are devoted to Allah and are submissive to Him. If we can enter the circle of Allah’s servants through our worshipping and virtue, we may be insured and can be rest assure.

The verse says:

“Verily, (as regards) My (devoted) servants, there is not for you over them any authority, except those who follow you of the deviators.”

Incidentally, the Satan’s job is engaging man in mischief and not exercising or exerting his domination:

“…there is not for you over them any authority…”.

In the resurrection day, the Satan, answering the people’s protests, will say:

“I only invited you; I did not put you under any obligation or domination.”

Anyway, in order to despise the Satan and to reinforce the position of the truth-seeking individuals and those who are the followers of the path of monotheism, He said that the straight path which He has undertaken is His usual way of treatment and that Satan will have no authority or domination over His servants except on those misled ones who may voluntarily follow his footsteps.

That is, it is not indeed Satan who is able to seduce people. Rather, it is the deviants who willingly accept Satan’s call and follow his footsteps.

Surah Al-Hijr – Verses 43 - 44

وإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ لَمَوْعِدُهُمْ أَجْمَعينَ

لَهَا سَبْعَةُ أَبْوَابٍ لّـِكُلّ‌ِ بَابٍ مّـِنْهُمْ جُزْءٌ مَّقْسُومٌ

43. “And verily Hell is certainly the promised place of them all.”
44. “It has seven gates, for every gate there shall be a (separate) party of them assigned.”

Allah has directed His most explicit threats towards the followers of the Satan, saying:

“And verily Hell is certainly the promised place of them all.”

Let them not conjecture that they can escape punishment or their accounts would not be scrutinized. It is the same Hell which has got seven gates, and each of which is allocated to one category of the followers of Satan.

The verse says:

“It has seven gates, for every gate there shall be a (separate) party of them assigned.”

These are, in fact, the gates of the sins through which men will be led into Hell. As is the case with those categories of people who enter Paradise, having with them a bag back of righteous deeds and struggles, which qualify them for entering Paradise.

The seven gateways of the Hell probably signifies that the number of the factors for those going to Hell is abundant. That is, there are numerous ways which predispose one to go to Hell.

Like verse 27 of Surah Luqman No. 31 which says:

“And were every tree that is in the earth (made into) pens and the sea (to supply it with ink), with seven more seas to increase it, the words of Allah would not come to an end…”

This means that they cannot write out all Allah’s words, and here an allusion is made to the fact that Allah’s creatures are so enormous in quantity that they are not to be accounted.

Messages

Each of the Paradise and Hell has some doorways.

“It has seven gates…”

(We read in Nahj-ul-Balaghah that the strugglers in the path of Allah will have got a particular entrance to Paradise.)

Hell, just like Paradise, has also got different levels and grades, and each person will be punished in it according to his own offence.

  • 1. Tafsir Al-Mizan
  • 2. Surah Al-’An‘ am, No. 6, verse 130
  • 3. Surah Al-Jinn, No. 72,verse 1
  • 4. Surah Al-Kahf, No. 18, verse 50
  • 5. Surah Hūd, No. 11,verse 119
  • 6. Tafsir Al-Mizan, vol. 12, p. 165

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