Devil, The

Posted on 03/24/2012 by marina

Wikis > Dictionary of Islam > Devil, The

DEVIL, The. The devil is believed to be descended from Jann, the progenitor of the evil genii. He is said to have been named Azail and to have possessed authority over the animal and spirit kingdom. But when God created Adam, the devil refused to prostrate and adore him, and he was therefore expelled from Eden. The sentence of death was the pronounced against Satan; but upon seeking a respite, he obtained it until the Day of Judgment, when he will be destroyed. (Vide Qur’an, Surah vii 13.) According to the Qur’an, the Devil was created of fire whilst Adam was created of clay. There are two words used in the Qur’an to denote this great spirit of evil (1) Shaitan سيطان, the Arabic word derived from shatu, “opposition”, ie “one who opposes”; (2) Iblis ابليس, “devil”, from balas, “a wicked or profligate person, ie “the wicked one.” The former expression occurs in the Qur’an fifty-two times, and the latter only nine, whilst in some verses (eg Surah ii 32-34) the two words Shaitan and Iblis occur for the same personality. According to the Majma’ l’-Bihar, denotes one who is far from the truth, and Iblis one who is without hope.
The following is the teaching of Muhammad and the Traditions concerning the machinations of the devil (Mishkat, book I c iii) : –
“‘Verily, the devil enters into man as the blood into this body.”
“‘There is not one amongst you but has an angel and a devil appointed over him.’ The Companions said, ‘Yes for me also; but God has given me victory over the devil, and he does not direct me except in what is good.”
“There is not one the children of Adam, except Mary and her son (Jesus), but is touched by the devil at the time of its birth, hence the child makes a loud noise from the touch.”
“Devil rests his throne upon the waters, and send his armies to excite contention and strife amongst mankind; and those in his armies who are nearest to him in power and rank, are those who do the most mischief. One of them returns to the devil and says, ‘I have done so and so’ and he says, ‘You have done nothing’; after that another comes and says, I did not quit him till I made a division between him and his wife’; then the devil appoints him a place near himself, and says, ‘You are a good assistant.”
“The devil sticks close to the sons of Adam, and an angel also; the business of the devil is to do evil, and that of the angel to teach him the truth; and he who meets with truth and goodness in his mind, let him know it proceeds from God, and let him praise God; and he who finds the other, let him seek for an asylum from the devil in God.”
“Then the Prophet read this verse of the Qur’an; ‘The devil threatens you with poverty if ye bestow in charity; and orders you to pursue avarice; but God promises you grace and abundance from charity.”
“Usman said, “O Prophet of God! Indeed the devil intrudes himself between me and my prayers, and my reading perplexes me’. Then the Prophet said, ‘This is a demon called Khanzab, who casts doubt into prayer; when you are aware of it, take protection with God, and spit over your left arm three times.’ Usman said, ‘Be it so’; and all doubt and perplexity was dispelled.”

Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam