Then We said to the angels, “Prostrate to Adam”; so they prostrated, except for Iblis. He was not of those who prostrated. [Allah] said, “What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?” [Satan] said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.”[Allah] said, “Descend from Paradise, for it is not for you to be arrogant therein. So get out; indeed, you are of the debased. [Satan] said, “Reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.” [Allah] said, “Indeed, you are of those reprieved.” [Satan] said, “Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path. Surah Al Araaf-22
We know that Iblis, due to his exceptional worship was elevated to the high status of being with the angels. He had the ma’arifa(recognition) of his Creator. Despite that when Allah(subhanahu wa ta’alaa)commanded him to prostrate to Adam (alaihi salaam) he refused. What was his sin? It was his disobedience and rejection of Allah’s(subhanahu wa ta’alaa) command by not prostrating to Adam, whether or not his intelligence justified it.
Was his worship a true submission to his Creator’s will? True submission is worship, which implies obedience to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala’s) commands? Furthermore, did Shaitan believe that he was eminent because he deserved it.
Shaitan rejected the command of his Rabb mainly because he was arrogant. The proof of his conceit can be felt from his statement, “I am better than him (Adam)…” He deceived himself into believing that he had reached the wisdom to decide and determine whether someone were worthy of respect and honour, despite the command coming from Allah our Ilah, (The one to be obeyed and not disobeyed).
Another of his traits was jealousy towards Adam (alaihi salaam). Shaitan was not ready to accept that Allah had preferred to favour someone else. So where was that submission that he was so proud of? Where was the belief that Al Hakim (The Most Wise) will make the right decision? Where was that tawakkal (trust) that He would not forsake him? Where was that craving of acquiring His love by obeying Him? Did Iblis have all that? He was drowned in self-righteousness and self-worship.
Shaitan’s pride had blinded him to the extent that based on his limited knowledge he dared to contradict the decision of the Most Wise, the One who had gifted him this intellect that he was so proud of.
He further blamed The Most Just and said “Because You have put me in error….”. A righteous heart is humble and acknowledges its mistake and seeks forgiveness. Hadn’t Shaitan saw His Creator’s Compassion?
Instead of seeking His Mercy through repentance, Shaitan chose His Wrath by making a dua to increase his life span in disobedience. In his rage, Iblis fanned his false and wicked assumptions about his Sustainer. He turned back and away from Him…to whom, to what and to where? To eternal destruction.
Can you relate to it?
The reason I felt a need to discuss Iblis’s characteristics and now compare them with our attitudes is to understand our enemy better, so that we can avoid falling into his trap, which would result in following him to his destination, the fire of hell. He and his allies are working tirelessly to deviate us from our goal of attaining the eternal bliss and we need to be on our guard all the time.
Shaitaan’s refusal to do Sujood.
How many times have ‘we’ prevented ourselves from doing sujood to our Sustainer? Remember Shaitan chose to disobey Allah. We are no different in this respect; as we choose to miss, delay Salah, reject or procrastinate our obedience to Him by giving excuses, logically challenging and questioning them. Aren’t we turning away from our obligation(s)? So, what are we doing, dowe prefer to incur any of the above-mentioned loss upon ourselves?
Shaitan preferred his reasoning before Allah’s command.
Do we remember doing that? Yes.
Is that not pride? Arrogance is:
1. Rejecting the truth; implies reasoning against Allah’s commands.
2. And assuming one’s self better than others.
The former type of conceit is worse. Such attitude implies that one considers himself to be wiser than Allah (Ma’az Allah)by considering one’s own logic over the divine commands.
It also reflects one’s ungratefulness towards his Rabb. For e.g. when you give a gift to someone, the best way they can acknowledge you is by making use of your gift. Similarly, the biggest gift to us from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’alaa) is Islam and the best way we can acknowledge Him as our Rabb is by making use of this guidance (Islam) to His Pleasure, as per Quran and Sunnah, there is no other way except obeying Him eg. Following the trends, or etc.
Shaitaan was jealous of Adam.
Resembling Iblis, Jealously is another common characteristic practiced among us, when we witness someone being blessed with more apparent worldly blessings; we not only become envious but also are blinded towards the khair (goodness) that Allah has bestowed upon us. Consequently, we become rebellious towards our Sustainer by assuming evil thoughts followed by sinful actions encouraged by Shaitan.
Shaitaan relied on his own perception.
When we don’t see our plans work; we tend to lose hope and tawakkal (trust) in Allah, The Exalted. If not nipped in the bud, this defiance can fix one for eternal destruction. Like Shaitan, we too rely on our limited perception and logic and dare to disagree with the commands of the Most Wise, either secretly or openly, while being heedless towards the consequences of our actions. Nonetheless,the Most Forgiving leaves the doors of repentance always open.
Shaitaan blamed Allah.
“Because You have put me in error….”, was Shaitan’s another baseless argument; he accused Allah (subhanahu wa ta’alaa)instead of feeling remorse over his own sin. We too may not directly blame Allah, but we accuse people, situations and circumstances or worst, we hold the divine decree responsible for our sins. Thus, hindering us from embracing the reality of our wrongdoings and repent and reform our ways, as that would mean sacrificing our vain desires by preferring the Will of Allah above our own.
What we need to understand is that having a Muslim name will not lead us to Jannah, instead our righteous deeds backed with sincere intentions to seek Allah’s pleasure and done as per Quran and Sunnah will help become eligible for Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta’alaa) Mercy which will help us acquire the Eternal Pleasure. Insha’Allah.