An effort in f a c i l i t a t i o n

Three Different Natures

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

In the creation of Allah the Almighty there are three different types: the first is that given to absolute obedience and complete self-surrender whose role is completed with its submission and is manifested in the angels prostrating, one and all, to Adam as commanded by their Lord. The second type is that of absolute disobedience and spiteful arrogance, while the third is that of human nature. We will concentrate on the characteristics of the latter two types and how they work.

Allah the Almighty says

{And [Allah] said: “What has prevented you from prostrating yourself when I commanded you? He [Iblis] answered: “I am nobler than he: You created me out of fire, while You created him out of clay.”}(Al-A`raf 7: 12)

Here Iblis claimed for himself a private opinion and a right of discretion to consider whether or not to comply with an order given by Allah the Almighty. He wanted to base the justification of his action on what was apparent to him. Needless to say, when a clear order is given by Allah the Almighty no one has the right of discretion. The only thing that remains is complete obedience and perfect compliance.

However, fully aware that Allah isthe Creator and Sustainer of all creation who controls the universeto the extent that nothing takes place without His permission andconsent, Iblis refused to comply, justifying his disobedience by hisown logic:(“I am nobler than he: You created me out of fire, while You created him out of clay.”)(Al-A`raf 7: 12)

Immediately, he received the correctanswer to his arrogance:

{He [Allah] said: Off with you hence! It is not for you to show your arrogance here. Get out, then; you will always beamong the humiliated.) (Al-A`raf 7: 13)

Neither Iblis’s knowledge of Allah the Almighty nor his belief in His existenceand attributes were of any benefit to him. The same applies to anyonewho receives a divine order and claims for himself a degree ofdiscretion about whether to accept or refuse that order, or claims theright to refuse the ruling of Allah the Almighty on any question whatsoever; for thisentails disbelief in spite of knowledge and certitude.

Iblis was not atall lacking in either his knowledge of Allah the Almighty or his certainty of Hisattributes. He was expelled from Heaven and deprived of the grace of Allah the Almighty.He incurred the displeasure of Allah the Almighty and was condemned to permanenthumiliation.

Evil and obstinate as he is, Iblis does not forget the cause of hisexpulsion and the fact that Allah the Almighty is displeased with him. This cause was Adam. Iblis doesnot want to accept his miserable fate without trying to avenge himself.Furthermore, he wants to fulfil his task in accordance with the evilnature that he has come to symbolize, according to the words of Allah the Almighty

{He [Iblis] said, “Grant me a respite until the Day when all will be raised [from the dead].” Allah replied: “You shall indeed be among these granted respite.” He [Iblis] said, “Since You let me fall in error, I shall indeed lurk in ambush for them all along Your straight path, and I shall most certainly fall upon them from the front and from the rear, and from their right and from their left; and You will find most of them ungrateful.”) (Al-A`raf 7:14-17)

His attitude, then, is one of complete determination to follow the path of evil, and absolute insistence on trying to lead people astray. Here we see his nature revealing its main characteristic; that of a deeply entrenched,deliberate evil, and not a passing or temporary one.

We also see here a concrete outline of thoughts, concepts and reactions that are all portrayed with exceptional vividness. Iblis requested his Lord to give him respite until the Day of Resurrection. He knew that what he was asking could only be granted by the will of Allah the Almighty who granted his request and gave him respite until the{Day of the appointed time}as it is described in another surah (i.e., Sad 38: 81).

As he has been granted prolonged life, Iblis announced with wickedarrogance that he would concentrate his efforts in leading astray the verycreature on whom Allah the Almighty bestowed His honor and who was thecause of Iblis’s own tragedy and rejection. His endeavor to tempthuman beings away from the right path is shown here by drawing thepractical import of what he declared

{Ishall indeed lurk in ambush forthem all along Your straight path, and I shall most certainly fall uponthem from the front and from the rear, and from their right and fromtheir left.}(Al-A`raf 7:16-17)

He always wants to be close to the straight path watching forAdam and his offspring, trying to turn away any human being whotries to pass along this way. The way to Allah the Almighty cannot be a concrete one, becauseAllah the Almighty is above being confined to a certain place. It is, then, the road offaith and obedience which leads to His pleasure. Iblis, then, willhave to come at human beings from every direction.

{I shall mostcertainly fall upon them from the front and from the rear, and from theirright and from their leftand You will findmost of them ungrateful.}(Al-A`raf 7:17)

His constant aim is to continually seek to prevent them from believing in Allah the Almighty and obeying Him. This is a very lively portrait of Iblis falling upon human beings. He continually endeavors to tempt them away from the path of Allah the Almighty so that they cannot believe in Him or show their gratitude to Him, except for a small number of them who manage to escape his evil efforts:{“You will find most of them ungrateful.”) (Al-A`raf 7:17)

In this verse we find the reason for the lack of gratitude on the part of human beings. Its real cause is Iblis’s endeavor and the fact that he lurks in ambush for human beings to prevent them from believing in Allah the Almighty. Human beings are then alerted to the designs of their enemy who constantly try to stop them from following divine guidance.They should be on their guard, since now they know the reason for their ingratitude.

Iblis’s request has been granted because Allah the Almighty has willed human beingsto find their own way since their nature is susceptible to both good and evil.Furthermore, the human being has been given a mind to think, reflect and choose,and has been given reminders and warnings through the messengers of Allah the Almighty. Furthermore, human beings have been given the means to control andcorrect themselves.

It is the will of Allah the Almighty that human beings receive signals of right guidanceand error, and that goodness and evil should have their conflict within them so that their faith is determined in accordance with the law Allah the Almighty hasset in operation. Thus, the will of Allah the Almighty is accomplished by testing humanbeings. Whether they follow right guidance or go astray, the law of Allah the Almighty isthus accomplished.

The verses quoted above do not state clearly that any permission has beengiven to Iblis to put his threat into effect. At least not in the sameway; as the verses clearly state his request to be given respite has beengranted. We are not told the result of that threat; however, we areinformed of Iblis’s humiliating expulsion and that he had fallencompletely from grace.

Furthermore, these verses tell us that Allah the Almighty haswarned that He will fill Hellfire with Iblis’s offspring along with all those humanbeings who follow him into error:{He [Allah] said: ‘Get out of here,despised, disgraced. As for those of them that follow you, I shall fillHell with you all.}(Al-A`raf 7:18)

His followers among human beings may simply follow him in his knowledge of Allah the Almighty and his belief that Allah the Almighty is the supreme deity andoverall Lord, but they may, nevertheless, reject His sovereignty andlegislative authority. They may follow Iblis in claiming that they havediscretion to look into the orders of Allah the Almighty and determine whether or not toimplement them. On the other hand, Iblis’s human followersmay simply follow his footsteps and thus, be turned away fromguidance altogether. Both situations represent following Iblis and bothearn Hellfire as a reward.

Allah the Almighty has granted Iblis and his offspring the chance to lead peopleaway from the right path. At the same time, He has also given Adam and human beingsin general, freedom of choice so that He can put them to the test.It is this choice that makes man a special type of creation: he belongsneither to the realm of the angels who obey Allah the Almighty in all situations nor to the world of the devils who disobey Him all the time. Man has a totallydifferent role to play.

Courtesy:  iIslamOnline

June 26, 2010 - Posted by | Reflections | , , , , , , , , ,

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