Section 7: Satan and His Tribe
وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلآَئِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لاِدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلآَّ إِبْلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ الْجِنِّ فَفَسَقَ عَنْ أَمْرِرَبّـِهِ أَفَتَتَّخِذُونَهُ وَذُرِّيَّتَهُ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِي وَهُمْ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ بِئْسَ لِلظَّالِمِينَ بَدَلاً
50. “And (remember) when We said to the angels: ‘Prostrate to Adam,’ So they (all) prostrated except Iblis; he was of the jinn, and he rebelled against his Lord’s command. Will you then choose him and his seed as your protecting friends instead of Me, when they are enemies to you? Evil would be the exchange for the unjust!”
Prostration is of three definite categories. The first is the prostration of worship which is only for Allah (s.w.t.), like the prostration in prayer. The second is the prostration of obedience like the prostration of angels to Adam which was for the sake of the obedience of the command of Allah. The third is the prostration of honouring and grandeur, like Jacob’s prostration to Yusuf.
Of course, the story of the creation of Adam and the angels’ prostration to him and disobedience of Satan has repeatedly been stated in the different verses of the Qur’an, but, as we have formerly pointed out, these repetitions contain some different points, so that each of which refers to a particular matter.
And in view of the fact that in the former explanations, the circumstance of the tyrant haughty rich people before the poor, the oppressed, and their end, had been illustrated, here, in this verse, the words are upon the Satan’s disobedience from prostrating to Adam in order that we know the fact that, from very beginning, pride has been the cause of infidelity and insolence.
In addition to that subject, this story defines that aberrations usually originate from satanic temptations.
At first, the Qur’an says:
This exception may bring this misconception into being that Iblis was among the kind of angels, while the angels are immaculate, and then how did Iblis pave the path of disobedience and infidelity?
That is why, immediately after that, the Qur’an adds:
Satan was not of the kind of the angles, but because of servitude, submission and proximity to Allah, he was placed in the row of angels, so respectfully that, perhaps, he was even as a teacher of them. But, as a result of haughtiness and pride, he became the most accursed and hatred creature of divine portal.
Then, the verse continues saying:
They are your harsh enemies who have made an oath to be against you, and have decided to lead all of you astray and make you miserable.
Obeying Satan and his progeny, instead of obeying Allah, is an evil exchange for the wrong doers.
The verse says:
How a wise person may choose an enemy, who has taken a decision to destroy him and has sworn upon this enmity, as his guardian, leader, and support?
مَّآ أَشْهَدتُّهُمْ خَلْقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالاَرْضِ وَلاَ خَلْقَ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَمَا كُنتُ مُتَّخِذَ الْمُضِلّـِينَ عَضُداً
51. “I did not make them to witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor of the creation of their selves, nor choose I misleaders for (My) helpers.”
Allah is absolutely free from any want and He needs no helper even in creation. Then, if He (s.w.t.) refers some affairs to others, like referring the subject of guardianship to the angels, it is not because of powerlessness, but it is because of wisdom, and it is alongside the path of teaching and development of humankind.
Thus, He announces in this verse that for the creation of the heavens and the earth and the creation of Iblis and his progeny, He did not summon them and He did not want them to come to help. Therefore, His power is complete and He is not in need of the help of Satans, and none should obey Satans instead of Allah.
The verse says:
Never Allah calls Satans, who are the misleaders of human beings, to help Him, nor does He take them as His assistants.
The verse continues saying:
It has been narrated that Hadrat Ali (as) was told that until the settlement of his government he might keep Mu‘awiyah fix in office and, after becoming powerful, he could dismiss him. Then, in answer to them, he (as) said:
“And I do not choose misleaders for (my) helpers.”1
وَيَوْمَ يَقُولُ نَادُوا شُرَكَآءِيَ الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُمْ فَدَعَوْهُمْ فَلَمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا لَهُمْ وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُمْ مَّوْبِقاً
وَرَأَي الْمُـجْرِمُونَ النَّارَ فَظَنُّوا أَنَّهُم مُّوَاقِعُوهَا وَلَمْ يَجِدُوا عَنْهَا مَصْرِفاً
52. “And (remember) the Day (of Judgment) when He will say (to the polytheists): ‘Call on those whom you considered to be My partners.’ So they shall call on them, but they will not answer them, and We will cause between them a valley of perdition.”
53. “And the evildoers will see the Fire, then apprehend that they are falling into it, and will find no escape from it.”
Those who separate from Allah will wander and resort to everything. They appeal to men down to matters and animals, from sun and moon in the sky down to cow and calf on the earth, from immaculate angles down to the evil Satans. But whatever the more they call, the less they hear an answer, while if they call Allah (s.w.t.) they will surely be answered.
Therefore, this verse warns them again, saying:
You were boasting of them for a lifetime. You used to prostrate before them. Now that the waves of punishment and retribution have surrounded you from every side, you may call on them to help you at least for an hour.
It seems that they have still the kind of thoughts of this world in mind, so they call on them, but these imaginary deities do not even respond to their call, much less they haste to help them. Therefore, Allah makes a place of perdition between these two groups.
The verse says:
The end of the followers of Satan and polytheists is stated in the verse, as follows:
The Fire, which they had never believed, will appear before their eyes. It is in this condition that they comprehend their mistake in the past.
So the verse says:
And they shall also apprehend in certainty that they will find no way of escape from that blazing Fire.
The holy verse continues saying:
Neither do their simulated deities come to help them, nor are the intercession of the intercessors useful for them, nor can they relieve from the grasp of the Fire of Hell, the blazing Fire which their own deeds have lighted by means of telling lies and falsehood, and by having recourse to wealth and force in this world.
Then, at the end of the verse, the holy Qur’an implies that the sinners will not have any chance of escape from the punishment in Hereafter, because deliverance is either under the shade of correct belief, or because of the Divine forgiveness based upon repentance and righteous deeds, which are not available for them; or because of intercession which their idols are not able to obtain. Thus, Hell is certain for them.
- 1. Tafsir-i-Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, vol.3, p. 268