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Islam / Theology /
Arabic: 'iblīs

In Islam, the individual force representing evil, the devil.
Iblis is sometimes called shaytan (see Satan), although technically this is the word for the phenomenon of evil. Iblis is also referred to as ¢aduww allāh, "God's enemy" or simply ¢aduww, "enemy".
In Islamic mythology, Iblis was one of the original angels falling from grace. It happened upon the creation of Adam, the first human being, from clay. God instructed all angels to bow down before him, but Iblis thought it beneath his dignity to pay homage to something made from earthly material. In anger over Iblis' disobedience, God banished him from heaven. With this, Iblis emerged as his adversary, the tempter and deceiver of human beings. The completion of the punishment has yet to happen, awaiting Judgment Day, when Iblis will have to face the eternal fires of Hell together with the damned among men.
Koran sura 7: The Heights
10 and we created you, then we fashioned you, then we said unto the angels, ‘Adore Adam,’ and they adored, save Iblis, who was not of those who did adore. 11 Said He, ‘What hinders thee from adoring when I order thee?’ He said, ‘I am better than he; Thou hast created me from fire, and him Thou hast created out of clay.’
12 Said He, ‘Then go down therefrom; what ails thee that thou shouldst be big with pride therein? Go forth! Verily, thou art of the little ones.’
13 He said, ‘Respite me until the day when they shall be raised.’ 14 He said ‘Verily, thou art of the respited;’ 15 Said he, ‘For that Thou hast led me into error, I will lie in wait for them in Thy straight path; 16 then I will surely come to them, from before them and from behind them; and most of them Thou shalt not find thankful.’ 17 He said, ‘Go forth therefrom, despised, expelled; whoso follows thee, I will surely fill hell with you altogether.
As angels in Islam are defined as unable to commit sin, Iblis may not be considered an angel. Still, his qualities rise above that of a jinn, placing him between angels and jinns into a category that is usually undefined by Islam. There are several accounts presenting different ideas concerning this. Some discussions handle shaytans as an own category of beings.
The function of Iblis in Islam is not the very same as with Satan in Judaism and Christianity as Iblis appears to operate within regulations fitting the plans of God: he is prevented from tempting any true believer. But even this is confusing from the Islamic mythology: he tried to persuade Ali from washing the feet of Muhammad upon his death.
Koran sura 34: Saba
19 And Iblis verified his suspicion concerning them, and they followed him, save a party of the believers.
20 Yet had he no authority over them, save that we might know who it was that believed in the hereafter from him who amongst them was in doubt; for thy Lord guards everything.

By Tore Kjeilen