Friday, May 05, 2006

Iblis

Why do so many Sufis keep saying that Iblis was once an angel, Azazil.. and not just any angel, the most honored of all angels, who loved God more than any other angel, and worshipped Him more than any other... And this is not only limited to the Sufis who defend Iblis, like Hallaj.. even those who think of Iblis completely negatively still repeat this story.

And when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, and they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He was of the jinn, and he rebelled against his Lord's command... (Qur'an 18:50) **

So some say that he was at first an angel and then became one of the jinn but that is impossible for Iblis said that he was created from fire, which means that he was always jinn.

He said: "What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?" He said: "I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay." (Qur'an 7:12)

As for angels, they are made of light:

"Allah created the angels from light, created the jinn from the pure flame of fire, and Adam from that which was described to you." (Sahih Muslim).


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** The verse says that the command was made to the angels, but Iblis is mentioned as having rejected God's command. This is a feature in Arabic grammar called "Taghleeb", where a minority is not mentioned because it is included with the majority, even if they are different. So because Angels were the majority and Iblis (and maybe other jinn) were the minority, they need not be included directly in the verse when it refers to them. It is for the sake of brevity.

Another thing: Angels cannot disobey God's commands whereas Jinns can, and therefore Iblis must have been a jinn.

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