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Where did the story of Satan (not prostrating to Adam) come from? Would you kindly clarify me with authentic reference?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I am always curious about Satan. I mean who is Satan, how he has been created, was there any other Satan before the Satan we know now, etc etc! I try to read Quran and Hadiths and also I used to ask people in this regard. But so far I did not get any satisfactory answer. Lets say, more or less we all know that Allah bade Iblis to prostrate to Adam but he refused to do so. Then the story we all know. When I was reading Quran I stumbled at the verse 7:11. You can take a look carefully. I can see that according to this verse, Allah bade only to Angels to prostrate to Adam. Allah did not bid Iblis to do so. Therefore, Iblis was not supposed to prostrate to Adam. Iblis was one of the Jins, as we know. Angels and Jins are different. If it is, then where did the story of Satan (not prostrating to Adam) come from? Would you kindly clarify me with authentic reference?


The Almighty Allah states in the Qur?an: ?And surely, We created you and then gave you shape then We told the Angels ?prostrate yourselves to Adam? and they prostrated themselves except Iblis (Satan), he refused to be of those who prostrated. Allah said: What prevented you (Oh Iblis) that you did not prostrate yourself when I commanded you?? (7: 11, 12)

In the above verse, the words ?when I commanded you? clearly indicate that Allah commanded Iblis also to prostrate.

Allah Ta’ala also states in Surah Baqarah: ?Except Iblis, he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers.? (2: 34)
He also states in Surah Hajar: ?Except Iblis, he refused to be amongst the prostrators? (15: 31)

The above verses also indicate that Iblis was also commanded to prostrate because the word ?refuse? is used for rejection and denial of a certain command.
Furthermore, when the Almighty Allah asked Satan with regards to the reasoning behind his refusing to prostrate, the Satan did not reply by saying You did not command me, in fact he replied by saying that ?I did not prostrate because I am better than him? as mentioned in verse no. 12 of Surah A?raaf:
?Iblis said: ?I am better than him (Adam), Thou created me from fire and him from clay? (7; 12)

From this verse it is also understood that Satan too accepted the fact that he was also commanded to prostrate.
The verses of the Qur?an explain each other, therefore after putting all the abovementioned verses together and analyzing them it is clearly understood that Satan was also commanded to prostrate before Adam (A.S.) which he refused to do.
The question that still remains is that why Satan is not clearly made mention of with the angels in the commandment of the prostration. Different answers are given to this question. One of the answers is that it is a known fact by the elite and the kings that when both, the lower and the higher classes are intended to be addressed in a particular command, only the higher class is made mention of which includes the lower class indirectly. In this case the angels are of a higher class than Iblis.

Conclusively, it should be understood that the Qur?an is a kingly speech in which it is clearly mentioned that the Satan was proud and refused to prostrate. This indicates that he was also commanded to prostrate although it is not distinctively mentioned in the Qur?an. Therefore it will be inappropriate to be doubtful and uncertain regarding this matter.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Muhammad Ashraf


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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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