What About Iblis?
By: Khalid Alkhaja
The narcissist asks arrogantly, the damaged could ask in anger and the ignorant could ask innocently about the world of the unseen:
Why did Iblis (Satan) revolt against the order of the Omnipotent and Omniscient Allah? Why did Allah create Iblis (and Human) if He knew he would turn evil? Did Allah want Iblis to turn evil and wanted him to misguide humans? Is Iblees simply a pawn in Allah’s game? Couldn’t free-will cause revolt of believers in heaven? Or will Allah take away their free-will? Couldn’t Allah have spared us this pantomime by only creating the believers right from the start? Is Allah incapable of doing that?
Ask as Angels
First and foremost, my dear believer, let me comfort you for probably feeling pain and ashamed of asking such questions. Will don’t, especially if you ask them politely and humbly, because we all do have such questions about the world of unseen. In fact, the Angels were the first to ask such questions politely and humbly as reported in Quran 2:30:
“و َإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌۭ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةًۭ ۖ قَالُوٓا۟ أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ ٱلدِّمَآءَ وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّيٓ أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ” سورة البقرة الآية 30.
“˹Remember˺ when your Lord said to the angels, “I am going to place a successive ˹human˺ authority on earth.” They asked ˹Allah˺, “Will You place in it someone who will spread corruption there and shed blood while we glorify Your praises and proclaim Your holiness?” Allah responded, “I know what you do not know.””
So, it’s normal to ask questions about what you don’t know and about the world of unseen, and the answers are most probably offered by Allah (ﷻ) or his prophet Mohammed (ﷺ), as demonstrated in this article. But if you couldn’t find or get to an answer, remember that no one (except Allah ﷻ) knows all the answers in this universe, so be patient, humble and follow Quran 2:1-3 that requires those seeking the right path (the truth) to realistically believe in the world of unseen, as the very first demanding character of those mindful of Allah (ﷻ):
“الٓمٓ (1) ذَٰلِكَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًۭى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ (2) ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱلْغَيْبِ وَ يُقِيمُونَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَ مِمَّا رَزَقْنَـٰهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ” الآية 3 من سورة البقرة .
“Alif-Lãm-Mĩm (1) This is the Book! There is no doubt about it, a guide for those mindful ˹of Allah˺ (2) Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and donate from what We have provided for them (3)”
Gods Questioning the God
But before answering the above questions, we need to address the following compelling question: How could a non-believer who can’t even create a tiny known ant, question the Omnipotent and Omniscient Allah (ﷻ), the creator of the infinite, ever-expanding and mysterious universe?!
The logical answer is: That’s only possible when a damaged person in anger or a narcissist (feeling like a god) gets to question and criticize another god! That is when a non-believer asks questions with a narcissistic and godly breath, as in the case of Iblis.
As mentioned in my article titled, “Religion & Humanity”, religion invites you to look beyond the world that is witnessed, to learn about the world of the unseen, to reveal the truth of existence, the mystery of creation, the love of the Creator, and to expand the dimensions of human existence. Therefore, although such questions are genuinely tough, their answers are fairly easy and clear, as offered by the religion of Islam, to those who seriously and genuinely seek the truth, but not to the narcissistic who act and talk as a god, such as Iblis!
So, this is my humble attempt to offer the model Islamic answers to the above-mentioned questions. I offer these answers to the serious, sincere, ignorant and angry non-believers and believers. These answers are not for the narcissistic non-believers who act and talk like a god. So:
1) Why did Iblis revolt against the order of the Omnipotent and Omniscient Allah?
Let’s examine this question under the lens of Quran chapter 38:
“إِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةِ إِنِّي خَـٰلِقٌۢ بَشَرًۭا مِّن طِينٍۢ (71) فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُۥ وَ نَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِي فَقَعُوا۟ لَهُۥ سَـٰجِدِينَ (72) فَسَجَدَ ٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةُ كُلُّهُمْ أَجْمَعُونَ (73) إِلَّآ إِبْلِيسَ ٱسْتَكْبَرَ وَ كَانَ مِنَ ٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ (74) قَالَ يَـٰٓإِبْلِيسُ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَن تَسْجُدَ لِمَا خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَيَّ ۖ أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ أَمْ كُنتَ مِنَ ٱلْعَالِينَ (75) قَالَ أَنَا۠ خَيْرٌۭ مِّنْهُ ۖ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍۢ وَ خَلَقْتَهُۥ مِن طِينٍۢ (76) قَالَ فَٱخْرُجْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّكَ رَجِيمٌۭ (77)” سورة ص.
“˹Remember, O Prophet˺ when your Lord said to the angels, “I am going to create a human being from clay (71) So when I have fashioned him and had a spirit of My Own ˹creation˺ breathed into him, fall down in prostration to him (72) So the angels prostrated all together (73) but not Iblîs, who acted arrogantly, becoming unfaithful (74) Allah asked, “O Iblîs! What prevented you from prostrating to what I created with My Own Hands? Did you ˹just˺ become proud? Or have you always been arrogant?” (75) He replied, “I am better than he is: You created me from fire and him from clay.” (76) Allah commanded, “Then get out of Paradise, for you are truly cursed (77)”
So, the issue is in a behavior that is wrapped by the statement, “I am better than he is”. This statement clearly shows that Iblis revolted against the order of the Omnipotent and Omniscient Allah (ﷻ), due to his narcissistic and godly behavior. Although the statement, “I am better than he is”, does sound racist, it isn’t enough to turn Allah (ﷻ) against Iblis. After all, Iblis is entitled to feel superior to Adam (ﷺ), as we all are entitled to feel superior to one another. The real problem with statement, “I am better than he is”, is that Iblîs believed that the order given to him by Allah (ﷻ) was wrong and should not have been issued to him in the first place, as he is better than Adam (ﷺ)! His narcissistic and godly behavior made him believe that he is more knowledgeable than the Omnipotent and Omniscient Allah (ﷻ). Any Human with such a narcissistic and godly character deserves to be cursed, and Iblis is not the only one who feels equal to Allah (ﷻ), questioning his decisions and creations. That’s when a god (Iblis or Human) gets to question and criticize Allah (ﷻ)! That is when a non-believer questions Allah’s (ﷻ) decisions and creations with a narcissistic and godly breath, as in the case of Iblis, asking in criticism: Why did Allah create Iblis and Human? In other words, he is saying: Allah (ﷻ) should not have created Iblis and Human! In other words, he is saying: Allah (ﷻ) was wrong!
Allah (ﷻ) Verifies.
Before answering the next question, let’s remember that Allah (ﷻ) cursed Iblis only after he verified Iblis’s intent, justifications and insistent on his revolt by asking him: “O Iblîs! What prevented you from prostrating to what I created with My Own Hands? Did you ˹just˺ become proud? Or have you always been arrogant?” (75)”. By this question, Allah the most equitable and merciful, gave a chance to Iblis to swallow his narcissistic and godly pride and seek forgiveness, but he didn’t. Instead, he confidently challenged Allah (ﷻ) and insisted on his narcissistic and godly revolting act, as many Human do.
So, it’s important to remember that Allah (ﷻ) offered Iblis a scape rout, but he choose not to take it. Let’s also remember that being in presence of Allah (ﷻ), as in the case of Iblis, will not stop the narcissistic and godly Human from questioning Allah’s (ﷻ) decisions.
2) Why did Allah create Iblis (and Human) if He knew he would turn evil? Did Allah want Iblis to turn evil and wanted him to misguide humans? Is Iblis simply a pawn in Allah’s game?
First and foremost, instead of blaming Allah (ﷻ) for your creation, remember that it’s your parents who willingly brought you to this world, and that it’s you who willingly brought your children to this world. Using your free-will, you could have avoided that as many couples do. Criticizing Allah (ﷻ) for something that you practice is hypocritic and narcissistic.
Furthermore, it is not the CREATION that turned Iblis or Human evil, but it’s their desired “FREE-WILL”. All other creations of Allah (ﷻ), such as Angels and animals, can’t turn evil because, by choice, they don’t enjoy the free-will. As a result, Angels and animals are creations that are not tested and they neither end up in Heaven nor in hell. Hence, there is no reason for the skies, the Earth, the Angels or the animals to complain about their creation. The fact is that Allah (ﷻ) created Iblis, Human, Angels and the entire universe to worship him, as reported in Quran chapter 51, and as reported in Quran 21:16, the creation was not a game.
“وَ مَا خَلَقْتُ ٱلْجِنَّ وَ ٱلْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ (56) مَآ أُرِيدُ مِنْهُم مِّن رِّزْقٍۢ وَ مَآ أُرِيدُ أَن يُطْعِمُونِ (57)” سورة الذاريات.
“I did not create jinn and humans except to worship Me (56) I seek no provision from them, nor do I need them to feed Me (57)”
“وَ مَا خَلَقْنَا ٱلسَّمَآءَ وَ ٱلْأَرْضَ وَ مَا بَيْنَهُمَا لَـٰعِبِينَ (16)” سورة الأنبياء.
“We did not create the heavens and the earth and everything in between for sport (16)”
So, the following and the aforementioned question is wrong: Why did Allah create Iblis (and Human) if He knew he would turn evil? Instead, the right question that deserves an answer is: Why did Allah give Iblis (and Human) free-will, if He knew he would turn evil? Quran 33:72 answers this question:
“إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا ٱلْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَ ٱلْأَرْضِ وَ ٱلْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَ أَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَ حَمَلَهَا ٱلْإِنسَـٰنُ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ ظَلُومًۭا جَهُولًۭا” سورة الأحزاب.
“Indeed, We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they ˹all˺ declined to bear it, being fearful of it. But humanity assumed it, ˹for˺ they are truly wrongful ˹to themselves˺ and ignorant ˹of the consequences˺”
Ibn `Abbas said, may Allah (ﷻ) be pleased with them: Trust (Al-Amanah) means obedience. This was offered to them (to the skies and the earth and the mountains) before it was offered to Adam (ﷺ), and they could not bear it. Then Allah (ﷻ) said to Adam (ﷺ): “I have offered the Trust (Amanah) to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they could not bear it. Will you take it on?” He (Adam ﷺ) said” O Lord, what does it involve? He (Allah ﷻ) said: “If you do good, you will be rewarded, and if you do evil, you will be punished.” So, Adam (ﷺ) took the Trust (Amanah) and bore it.
It is obvious from the above report that Trust (Amanah) is “If you do good, you will be rewarded, and if you do evil, you will be punished”, which is the formula of FREE-WILL. So, it was you (the Human) who asked for the free-will, that could turn you evil. Not only it was never forced onto Human or Iblis, as reported above, Adam (ﷺ) was informed (cautioned) that other creations had refused to take it on. Yet, Human accepted to be rewarded for doing good and punished for doing evil, in order to enjoy free-will, and Allah (ﷻ) simply allowed Human to do good or evil. It’s their call and free-will. In fact, it’s crystal clear from the above verse that Allah (ﷻ) didn’t want Adam (ﷺ) to accept the Trust (Amanah) when he says: “But humanity assumed it, ˹for˺ they are truly wrongful ˹to themselves˺ and ignorant ˹of the consequences˺”.
Someone may now rightfully ask: Then why did Allah (ﷻ) offer the Trust to Adam (ﷺ)? This is an excellent question that requires further research from me, but my current and humble opinion is that, most probably Iblis had asked for it and Allah (ﷻ) granted him. Accordingly, Allah (ﷻ) offered Trust to all other creations as a sign of fairness and justice.
But the compelling question that needs an answer is: why Iblis and Human asked for free-will and desired it? That’s what we will answer next.
The Bliss of God ship
Obviously, because free-will is a precious and attractive godly attribute and an authority that only Allah (ﷻ) has been enjoying before there was time or a space. Free-will is a bliss that enables a narcissistic non-believer to feel the ecstasy of talking and acting freely as a god, as in the case of Iblis (the ever-first non-believer) who enjoyed the ecstasy of doubting Allah’s (ﷻ) decisions, and as is the case with the non-believing Human who similarly enjoy the ecstasy of judging Allah (ﷻ) by asking the aforementioned questions.
So, no! it’s not Allah (ﷻ) who wanted Iblis to turn evil and wanted him to misguide Humans. As reported in Quran chapter 72, jinn are not all non-believers and evils, and Iblis is one of them who turned evil by choice and his free-will. Allah (ﷻ) simply allowed Iblis to turn evil.
“قُلْ أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ أَنَّهُ ٱسْتَمَعَ نَفَرٌۭ مِّنَ ٱلْجِنِّ فَقَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّا سَمِعْنَا قُرْءَانًا عَجَبًۭا (1) يَهْدِيٓ إِلَى ٱلرُّشْدِ فَـَٔامَنَّا بِهِۦ ۖ وَ لَن نُّشْرِكَ بِرَبِّنَآ أَحَدًۭا (2) وَ أَنَّهُۥ تَعَـٰلَىٰ جَدُّ رَبِّنَا مَا ٱتَّخَذَ صَـٰحِبَةًۭ وَ لَا وَلَدًۭا (3) وَأ َنَّهُۥ كَانَ يَقُولُ سَفِيهُنَا عَلَى ٱللَّهِ شَطَطًۭا (4)” سورة الجن.
“Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “It has been revealed to me that a group of jinn listened ˹to the Quran,˺ and said ˹to their fellow jinn˺: ‘Indeed, we have heard a wondrous recitation (1) It leads to Right Guidance so we believed in it, and we will never associate anyone with our Lord ˹in worship˺ (2) ˹Now, we believe that˺ our Lord—Exalted is His Majesty—has neither taken a mate nor offspring (3) and that the foolish of us used to utter ˹outrageous˺ falsehoods about Allah (4)”
And as reported by Quran chapter 15, Iblis can only misguide those who have the potential to be misguided. Allah (ﷻ) simply allows Iblis to misguide and allows Human to follow him. In fact, as reported by Quran 6:112, Iblis is not the only source of misguidance, as non-believing Human could also play evil and cause misguide. Nevertheless, it’s their call and their free-will, to follow Iblis and the devilish Human or not, thus either being a servant of Allah (ﷻ) or a deviant.
“قَالَ رَبِّ بِمَآ أَغْوَيْتَنِى لَأُزَيِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ فِي ٱلْأَرْضِ وَ لَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ (39) إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ ٱلْمُخْلَصِينَ (40) قَالَ هَـٰذَا صِرَٰطٌ عَلَيَّ مُسْتَقِيمٌ (41) إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَـٰنٌ إِلَّا مَنِ ٱتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ ٱلْغَاوِينَ (42) وَ إِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ لَمَوْعِدُهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ (43)” سورة الحجر.
“Satan responded, “My Lord! For allowing me to stray I will surely tempt them on earth and mislead them all together (39) except Your chosen servants among them (40) Allah said, “This is the Way, binding on Me (41) you will certainly have no authority over My servants, except the deviant who follow you (42) and surely Hell is their destined place, all together (43)”
“وَ كَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِىٍّ عَدُوًّۭا شَيَـٰطِينَ ٱلْإِنسِ وَ ٱلْجِنِّ يُوحِي بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍۢ زُخْرُفَ ٱلْقَوْلِ غُرُورًۭا ۚ وَ لَوْ شَآءَ رَبُّكَ مَا فَعَلُوهُ ۖ فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُونَ (112)” سورة الأنعام.
“And so, We have made for every prophet enemies—devilish humans and jinn—whispering to one another with elegant words of deception. Had it been your Lord’s Will, they would not have done such a thing. So, leave them and their deceit (112)”
The Goodness in Free-Will
So, free-will won’t necessarily lead to evil. To the contrary, and as reported in Hadith, free-will will equally lead to goodness, allowing the believers to feel the sweet ecstasy of being obedient to Allah (ﷻ). You can easily experience such a sweet ecstasy in the eyes of new revert to Islam. The following Hadith offers examples for the sweetness (delight) in faith:
“ثَلاَثٌ مَنْ كُنَّ فِيهِ وَجَدَ حَلاَوَةَ الإِيمَانِ: أَنْ يَكُونَ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْهِ مِمَّا سِوَاهُمَا، وَأَنْ يُحِبَّ الْمَرْءَ لاَ يُحِبُّهُ إِلاَّ لِلَّهِ، وَأَنْ يَكْرَهَ أَنْ يَعُودَ فِي الْكُفْرِ كَمَا يَكْرَهُ أَنْ يُقْذَفَ فِي النَّارِ” صحيح البخاري 16.
“Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of faith:
1. The one to whom Allah and His Apostle becomes dearer than anything else.
2. Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake.
3. Who hates to revert to Atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fire.” Sahih al-Bukhari 16.
Once again, it’s important to remember that being in presence of Allah (ﷻ), as in the case of Iblis, will not stop the narcissistic and godly Human from revolting and questioning Allah’s (ﷻ) decisions, just as a leopard cannot change its spots. The following verse of Quran testifies that nothing, not even miracles could change their narcissistic and godly behaviors:
“وَ مَا مَنَعَنَآ أَن نُّرْسِلَ بِٱلْـَٔايَـٰت إِلَّآ أَن كَذَّبَ بِهَا ٱلْأَوَّلُونَ ۚ وَ ءَاتَيْنَا ثَمُودَ ٱلنَّاقَةَ مُبْصِرَةًۭ فَظَلَمُوا۟ بِهَا ۚ وَ مَا نُرْسِلُ بِٱلْـَٔايَـٰتِ إِلَّا تَخْوِيفًۭا” سورة الاسراء الآية 59.
“Nothing keeps Us from sending the ˹demanded˺ signs except that they had ˹already˺ been denied by earlier peoples. And We gave Thamûd the she-camel as a clear sign, but they wrongfully rejected it. We only send the signs as a warning.” Quran 17:59.
Quran chapter 6 further reports that experiencing the life-after wouldn’t change the non-believers and their deviant narcissistic and godly behavior. They would always follow their deviant free-will.
“وَ لَوْ تَرَىٰٓ إِذْ وُقِفُوا۟ عَلَى ٱلنَّارِ فَقَالُوا۟ يَـٰلَيْتَنَا نُرَدُّ وَ لَا نُكَذِّبَ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ رَبِّنَا وَ نَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ (27) بَلْ بَدَا لَهُم مَّا كَانُوا۟ يُخْفُونَ مِن قَبْلُ ۖ وَ لَوْ رُدُّوا۟ لَعَادُوا۟ لِمَا نُهُوا۟ عَنْهُ وَ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَـٰذِبُونَ (28)” سورة الانعام.
“If only you could see when they will be detained before the Fire! They will cry, “Oh! If only we could be sent back, we would never deny the signs of our Lord and we would ˹surely˺ be of the believers (27) But no! ˹They only say this˺ because the truth they used to hide will become all too clear to them. Even if they were to be sent back, they would certainly revert to what they were forbidden. Indeed, they are liars! (28)” Quran chapter 6.
3) Couldn’t free-will cause revolt of believers in heaven? Or will Allah take away their free-will?
Instability causes revolt, and free-will if used well, is a tool that can achieve stability. Fee-will and revolt are not required after achieving stability. Quran informs us that Adam & Eve (ﷺ) were created stable in Heaven, thus will never go hungry or unclothed, nor will they ever suffer from thirst or the sun’s heat, nor they will ever get sick or grow old … etc. But they got expelled from Heaven due to their pursuit for eternal stability in Heaven (becoming angels or immortals) when they got deceived by Iblis (an unstable being) who even falsely swore to them, a crime that Adam and Eve (ﷺ) never expected anyone could commit and lie on behalf of Allah (ﷻ)!
“وَ يَـٰٓـَٔادَمُ ٱسْكُنْ أَنتَ وَ زَوْجُكَ ٱلْجَنَّةَ فَكُلَا مِنْ حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا وَ لَا تَقْرَبَا هَـٰذِهِ ٱلشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُونَا مِنَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ (19) فَوَسْوَسَ لَهُمَا ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنُ لِيُبْدِيَ لَهُمَا مَا وُۥرِىَ عَنْهُمَا مِن سَوْءَٰتِهِمَا وَ قَالَ مَا نَهَىٰكُمَا رَبُّكُمَا عَنْ هَـٰذِهِ ٱلشَّجَرَةِ إِلَّآ أَن تَكُونَا مَلَكَيْنِ أَوْ تَكُونَا مِنَ ٱلْخَـٰلِدِينَ (20) وَ قَاسَمَهُمَآ إِنِّي لَكُمَا لَمِنَ ٱلنَّـٰصِحِينَ (21) فَدَلَّىٰهُمَا بِغُرُورٍۢ ۚ فَلَمَّا ذَاقَا ٱلشَّجَرَةَ بَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْءَٰتُهُمَا وَ طَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَقِ ٱلْجَنَّةِ ۖ وَ نَادَىٰهُمَا رَبُّهُمَآ أَلَمْ أَنْهَكُمَا عَن تِلْكُمَا ٱلشَّجَرَةِ وَ أَقُل لَّكُمَآ إِنَّ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنَ لَكُمَا عَدُوٌّۭ مُّبِينٌۭ (22)” سورة الاعراف.
“˹Allah said,˺ “O Adam! Live with your wife in Paradise and eat from wherever you please, but do not approach this tree, or else you will be wrongdoers (19) Then Satan tempted them in order to expose what was hidden of their nakedness. He said, “Your Lord has forbidden this tree to you only to prevent you from becoming angels or immortals (20) And he swore to them, “I am truly your sincere advisor (21) Thus did he lead them on with pride. And when they tasted of the tree, their nakedness was exposed to them, prompting them to cover themselves with leaves from Paradise. Then their Lord called out to them, “Did I not forbid you from that tree and ˹did I not˺ tell you that Satan is your sworn enemy? (22)” Quran chapter 7.
“فَقُلْنَا يَـٰٓـَٔادَمُ إِنَّ هَـٰذَا عَدُوٌّۭ لَّكَ وَ لِزَوْجِكَ فَلَا يُخْرِجَنَّكُمَا مِنَ ٱلْجَنَّةِ فَتَشْقَىٰٓ (117) إِنَّ لَكَ أَلَّا تَجُوعَ فِيهَا وَ لَا تَعْرَىٰ (118) وَ أَنَّكَ لَا تَظْمَؤُا۟ فِيهَا وَ لَا تَضْحَىٰ (119) فَوَسْوَسَ إِلَيْهِ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنُ قَالَ يَـٰٓـَٔادَمُ هَلْ أَدُلُّكَ عَلَىٰ شَجَرَةِ ٱلْخُلْدِ وَ مُلْكٍۢ لَّا يَبْلَىٰ (120) فَأَكَلَا مِنْهَا فَبَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْءَٰتُهُمَا وَ طَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَقِ ٱلْجَنَّةِ ۚ وَ عَصَىٰٓ ءَادَمُ رَبَّهُۥ فَغَوَىٰ (121)”سورة طه.
“So, We cautioned, “O Adam! This is surely an enemy to you and to your wife. So do not let him drive you both out of Paradise, for you ˹O Adam˺ would then suffer ˹hardship˺ (117) Here it is guaranteed that you will never go hungry or unclothed (118) nor will you ˹ever˺ suffer from thirst or ˹the sun’s˺ heat (119) But Satan whispered to him, saying, “O Adam! Shall I show you the Tree of Immortality and a kingdom that does not fade away? (120) So, they both ate from the tree and then their nakedness was exposed to them, prompting them to cover themselves with leaves from Paradise. So, Adam disobeyed his Lord, and ˹so˺ lost his way (121)” Chapter 20.
As a result, Human being will continue to be unstable on Earth until they return to Heaven. Therefore, Allah (ﷻ) will not need to take away believer’s free-will after be granting believers stability, which is the ultimate goal of free-will, and human beings can only realize stability in the Heaven. So, why to revolt in a stable place and in absence of Iblis and devilish Human?!
Free-Will in Heaven
But as reported in the following Hadith, Human beings will continue to exercise their free-will in Heaven:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضي الله عنه ـ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ (ﷺ) كَانَ يَوْمًا يُحَدِّثُ وَ عِنْدَهُ رَجُلٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْبَادِيَةِ “أَنَّ رَجُلاً مِنْ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ اسْتَأْذَنَ رَبَّهُ فِي الزَّرْعِ فَقَالَ لَهُ: أَلَسْتَ فِيمَا شِئْتَ؟ قَالَ: بَلَى وَلَكِنِّي أُحِبُّ أَنْ أَزْرَعَ. قَالَ: فَبَذَرَ فَبَادَرَ الطَّرْفَ نَبَاتُهُ وَ اسْتِوَاؤُهُ وَ اسْتِحْصَادُهُ، فَكَانَ أَمْثَالَ الْجِبَالِ فَيَقُولُ اللَّهُ: دُونَكَ يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ، فَإِنَّهُ لاَ يُشْبِعُكَ شَيْءٌ”. فَقَالَ الأَعْرَابِيُّ: وَ اللَّهِ لاَ تَجِدُهُ إِلاَّ قُرَشِيًّا أَوْ أَنْصَارِيًّا، فَإِنَّهُمْ أَصْحَابُ زَرْعٍ، وَ أَمَّا نَحْنُ فَلَسْنَا بِأَصْحَابِ زَرْعٍ. فَضَحِكَ النَّبِيُّ (ﷺ). صحيح البخاري 2348.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Once the Prophet (ﷺ) was narrating (a story), while a Bedouin was sitting with him. “One of the inhabitants of Paradise will ask Allah to allow him to cultivate the land. Allah will ask him, ‘Are you not living in the pleasures you like?’ He will say, ‘Yes, but I like to cultivate the land.’ ” The Prophet (ﷺ) added, “When the man (will be permitted he) will sow the seeds and the plants will grow up and get ripe, ready for reaping and so on till it will be as huge as mountains within a wink. Allah will then say to him, ‘O son of Adam! Take here you are, gather (the yield); nothing satisfies you.’ ” On that, the Bedouin said: The man must be either from Quraish (i.e., an emigrant from Mecca) or an Ansari (from Madinah), for they are farmers, whereas we are not farmers. The Prophet (ﷺ) smiled (at this). Sahih al-Bukhari 2348
Stability and Nature
The constant pursuit of nature for stability is something that modern science acknowledges as well. It informs that Iron is made inside stars (not on Earth), specifically the red super-giant stars. The elements form together inside a star during fusion (the process of causing a material or an object to melt with intense heat so as to join with another). When the supernova occurs (a star suddenly increases greatly in brightness because of a catastrophic explosion that ejects most of its mass), the iron fragments are blasted into the space. This is how Iron came to Earth millions of years ago. Glory to Allah, 1400 years ago Quran 57:25 has miraculously reported that Iron was sent down to Earth.
“وَ أَنزَلْنَا ٱلْحَدِيدَ فِيهِ بَأْسٌۭ شَدِيدٌۭ وَ مَنَـٰفِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَ لِيَعْلَمَ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُۥ وَ رُسُلَهُۥ بِٱلْغَيْبِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ قَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌۭ” سورة الحديد الآية 25.
“And We sent down iron with its great might, benefits for humanity, and means for Allah to prove who ˹is willing to˺ stand up for Him and His messengers without seeing Him. Surely Allah is All-Powerful, Almighty.”
Iron ores are rocks from which metallic iron can be economically extracted. These rocks (Iron oxide or rust) can be converted to a pure iron by heating it in a furnace till molten. Therefore, when Iron rusts, it’s reverting back to iron oxide, because iron oxide is the more stable form of iron than pure iron (or steel) itself. Therefore, pure Iron needs continuous treatment to prevent it from reverting back to its stable form.
Stability and Human
Similarly, on Earth, Human beings are also in unstable condition. That’s why they get hungry and thirsty, and without eating, drinking, cleaning … etc., Human will decay, trying to return to its stable condition (die and return to Heaven). That’s because Human beings are from Heaven, and that is where they reach stability, and that is where they don’t feel hunger, thirst, diseases, and don’t need to eat, drink, get treated … etc., as reported by Quran. Therefore, Allah (ﷻ) will not need to take away believer’s free-will after be granting believers stability, which is the ultimate goal of free-will, and human beings can only realize stability in the Heaven. So, why to revolt in a stable place and in absence of Iblis and devilish Human?!
4) Couldn’t Allah have spared us this pantomime by only creating the believers right from the start? Is Allah incapable of doing that?
First and foremost, I feel compelled to ask back: What have we done to deserve putting an end to this pantomime? why couldn’t the non-believers simply become believers? Are non-believers incapable of becoming obedient believers? If Allah (ﷻ) had only created the believers from the beginning, what would have prevented the narcissists in their unstable nihilistic state from complaining and appealing to Allah (ﷻ) and demanding stability and entering Paradise?
End of Pantomime
In this life, no one deserves to see or to talk to Allah (ﷻ), not even the believers, and not until we grow, mature and purify through obedience. To see and talk to Allah (ﷻ), jinn and Human have to struggle using their free-will, to please Allah (ﷻ) by being obedient. As reported in Quran chapters 75 and 2, the pantomime will come to an end in the after-life, and only when the believers complete integrating, developing, growing and purifying their souls through obedience, thus earning the right of return to Heaven and the honor of talking to and seeing Allah (ﷻ).
This kind of honor must be earned through the process of pain, struggle and fee-well, to groom godly beings, and it’s not given through the process of programing Human beings, as in the case of life-less and soul-less Artificial intelligence (AI).
“وُجُوهٌۭ يَوْمَئِذٍۢ نَّاضِرَةٌ (22) إِلَىٰ رَبِّهَا نَاظِرَةٌۭ (23)” سورة القيامة.
“On that Day ˹some˺ faces will be bright (22) looking at their Lord (23)”
“رَبَّنَا وَٱبْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًۭا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـٰتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ (129)”
“Our Lord! Raise from among them a messenger who will recite to them Your revelations, teach them the Book and wisdom, and purify them. Indeed, You ˹alone˺ are the Almighty, All-Wise (129)”
Glorious to Allah the Merciful
Remember Quran 33:77, wherein Allah (ﷻ) called Human “wrongful to themselves and ignorant of the consequences”?
That’s why in this grooming pantomime of pain, struggle and free-will, Allah (ﷻ) took it upon himself not to abandoned Human, starting from Adam and Eve (ﷺ). As a result, Allah (ﷻ):
1. Warned Adam and Eve of Iblis and forgave their first sin in Heaven.
2. Supports Human by sending them prophets (ﷺ) and offering them clear written direction (Holly Books).
3. Forgives minor sins, in return for their good deeds.
4. Forgives major sins, such as infidelity, in return for sincere repentance.
5. Saves believers from the Hell, once purified from their sins.
6. Only the demons of humans and jinn will be immortalized in the Hell.
Obedience, as beautifully summarized by Dr. Jeffery Lang in his speech titled “The Purpose of Life” (see the link below) is loving Allah (ﷻ) by adhering to his beautiful characters, such as: Compassionate, merciful, forgiving, just, protecting the weak, defending the oppressed, seeking knowledge and wisdom, generous, truthful, peaceful and love of our fellow man. If so, I wonder: why couldn’t the non-believers simply become obedient believers?!
Human and Integration
Dr. Islami, an Iranian
intellectual, in his talk titled, “Islam Believes in Integration and not Reincarnation”, further emphasizes on the process of Human integration, development, growth and purification, by saying:
One day we were all sperms in a three-day march, with a clear awareness and purpose. We ate and drunk to live and get to the egg. The sperms saw one of the sperms enter that big circle and disappear. The sperms said: the circle ate the sperm and died. But after three days, all the sperms died, and that sperm completed its life and turned into a fetus.
The fetus completes the journey in the mother’s womb and grows, eats, drinks, moves and builds relationships with the mother’s heart, lungs, liver and everything around him. The fetus is intelligent, it knows how long the hair of the head and eyebrows must be. After 9 months, some forces push the fetus out, but mother’s organs show opposition and hold on to their fetus. In the end, the fetus is pushed out, calling on the organs inside the mother’s body to grieve for his death, while those outside the mother’s body celebrate the child’s birth.
Death and birth are tools in the process of integration, as two sides of the same coin, and the difference depends on where we stand. Those on this side witness death and those on the other side witness birth. And so, the process of integration continues.
In this process, the spatial and temporal dimensions integrate in us. The spatial dimension has been integrating in us since we were a sperm, moving in an area not exceeding several millimeters, while the fetus in the womb moved his hand, and this movement was relatively much larger than the movement of the sperm. Then comes the man who travels between the continents of a larger planet, and his soul finally roams in the endless heavens. Similarly, the temporal dimension has been integrating since we were a sperm that lived only for 3 days, then a fetus that lived for 9 months, then a human being that lived 90 years and finally a soul that lives forever. And so, the process of integration continues.
When we were a sperm, we needed a tail to survive and succeed, and the fetus needed the umbilical cord to survive and succeed, and man needs hands and legs to survive and succeed. In this integrative process, the fetus does not need a tail like a sperm, the man does not need the umbilical cord like a fetus, and the soul does not need the body after death. The fact is that the tail, the umbilical cord and the human body are only temporary tools for the process of integration.
We should not lose sight of two important tools of the integrative process, namely the Physical Intelligence and the Moral Intelligence. Physical Intelligence takes care of the needs of the body, such as helping the human to run by providing sufficient amount of oxygen and by ordering the muscles to contract and expand and speed up the process of breathing by accelerating the heartbeat. The Moral Intelligence takes care of the spirit and prepares it for life after death, and develops in us by practice love, integrity, honesty and other good qualities. Physical intelligence provides prosperity not reassurance, and a bed not sleep.
So, what is the thing that is constantly integrated in my name? What is it that keeps on moving to maintain my identity?
Moral intelligence is what forms my personality, my identity and who I am, through the bonds that bind us to others, such as honesty, love or hatred and lies. Moral intelligence forms the spirit, and the goodness or corruption of the soul will determine your readiness for life after death.
And prayer is the hump of the moral bonds that shapes our relationship with the Creator, Allah (ﷻ). Therefore, we are required to pray several times a day so that we do not forget that our presence in this world is a preparation for the true birth. And we need the moral bonds for life after death. And the stronger those bonds (such as love, integrity and honesty), the more successful we will be after the true birth.
• Islam has model answers to questions of the world of unseen.
• The love of Allah (ﷻ) elevates mankind above all creatures.
• Obedience to Allah (ﷻ) completes mankind by connecting with people with his most beautiful qualities and connecting with Allah (ﷻ) with his most beautiful worships.
• Questioning Allah (ﷻ) by asking narcissistic questions degrades mankind.
• This article may convince the damaged (angry), but it will never convince the cocky narcissist.
• It’s your choice and your free-will.