May 29, 2024 06:42 UTC
  • Why does God give Satan an opportunity?

Pars Today - The Qur’an tells us that Iblis became arrogant and disobeyed God's command to prostrate before Adam, and was expelled from the Divine Presence. However, since he had worshipped for many years, God, in accordance with His justice and wisdom, agreed to his request to remain and continue to exist.

According to the Qur'an, Iblis is considered one of the jinn devils. "Satan" refers to any being that is mischievous, corrupt, rebellious, and disobedient, whether human or non-human, and Iblis is the name of that satan who deceived Adam and now, with his army, lies in wait for humans.

But why was Iblis created, and is it compatible with God's justice and wisdom to create such a being that deviates humans beings? The purpose of this discussion is to answer this question:

The conflict of Satan with God

First: God did not create Iblis as a Satan; rather, according to the Qur'an, he was one of the jinn and had free will in his actions, just like humans: "He was of the jinn, and he disobeyed the command of his Lord." Therefore, the creation of Satan was not for the purpose of misleading and deviation, but rather, as Imam Ali (PBUH), the successor of the Prophet Muhammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny) and the first Shia Imam, said in one of his sermons (Sermon 192 in Nahj al-Balagha): "Iblis worshipped for 6,000 years, years whose nature is unknown, whether they were from this world or the hereafter, but he destroyed them all due to an hour of pride."

He misused his freedom and said a false analogy, claiming that God created him from fire and humans from clay, and fire is superior to clay: "I am better than him, You created me from fire and created him from clay." 

Therefore, he became arrogant and disobeyed God's command to prostrate before Adam, and was expelled from the Divine Presence. However, since he had worshipped for many years, God, in accordance with His justice and wisdom, agreed to his request to remain and continue to exist. Iblis also declared that he would use this opportunity to challenge and strive to mislead humans. God also wanted to ensure that Iblis, despite being expelled from Paradise after all his worship and servitude, would have no excuse, and that he would be a tool for testing humans, which was one of God's goals.

The importance of contradiction for growth

Two: From the perspective of the creation system, the existence of Satan is not harmful to individuals with faith and those who want to follow the right path; rather, it is a means of their progress and perfection. This is because progress, growth, and perfection always occur amidst contradictions.

To put it more clearly: A person will never mobilize and utilize their inner strengths and talents unless they face a powerful enemy. The existence of a powerful enemy causes movement and motivation in humans, ultimately leading to their progress and perfection.

One of the great philosophers of contemporary history, Toynbee, says:

"No brilliant civilization has emerged in the world unless a nation was attacked by an external force, and as a result of this invasion, it mobilized its genius and talents, and established a brilliant civilization."

 We should also know that humans understand the meaning of good and choose it when they see evil and are aware of it. Therefore, according to this theory, the existence of Iblis is one of the pillars of the human world system, and his existence can be considered evil only when one follows him; but opposing and fighting against him is good and leads to strength, growth, and elevation.

The acceptance of Satan

Thirdly, Satan never enters our soul and spirit without our permission, and he does not cross the borders of our spiritual kingdom without a visa. His attack is never sudden, and he only enters with our consent. It is we who open the door to him. 

As the Qur’an says in Surah Nahl, verses 99-100: "He has no authority over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord... His authority is only over those who make friends with him and those who associate others with Him." 

Also, in Surah Hijr, verse 42, it is written: "You will have no authority over My servants, except those who follow you among the misguided."

 According to these verses, Iblis and other devils never have permission to enter the realm of human spirit and heart unless humans themselves give them permission, and that is by following them.

Another point is that although we may not see Satan and his companions, we can see their footprints. Wherever there is a gathering of sin, and wherever the means of disobedience are prepared, and whenever the glamour of the world and idolatry appear, and when the fire of anger and wrath is ignited, Satan's presence is certain. It is as if, in such cases, humans hear Satan's whispers with their heart and see his footprints with their own eyes.

Finally, humans are not forced to do anything in their actions. God has created them free and responsible, so that they may grow and approach Him in the best way possible. And in the face of Satan and his ignorance, God helps them with His grace, through the prophets, books, reason, innate nature, and daily reminders.

Key phrases: Who is Iblis, what is Satan, Satan in the Quran, why does Satan exist, why did God give Satan an opportunity?

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