Shaytan a.k.a. Satan is the enemy of mankind. He is Iblees and is one of the jinn. We learn about Shaytan so that we can be aware of who he is and we can learn how to avoid him. What is the wisdom behind the creation of Shaytan? This wisdom includes the idea that struggling with Shaytan and his allies is an example of completing one’s servitude to Allah (SWT). For example, saying Audhubillah when we get an evil thought from Shaytan is a form of worship. The creation of Shaytan is a test and a manifestation of Allah’s complete power. We now appreciate the opposite more. We fear sin now because of Shaytan as Allah’s complete control and ownership is demonstrated. The creation of Shaytan is a manifestation of Allah’s complete wisdom and we should praise Allah for suppressing the Shaytan and showing His Patience.
We may be wondering what is the wisdom behind Iblees’s prolonged life?. Possible answers could include the fact that with Iblees present, it is harder for humans in this life. Therefore, the reward for doing good will be multiplied many times over. Additionally, with a prolonged life, Iblees will be able to accumulate many more sins over time. Considering this, the punishment for Iblees in the Hereafter will be greater and equal to the amount of sins he created. One more explanation on why Iblees has a prolonged life is due to Allah’s Justice. Iblees was very righteous and committed before he refused to bow down to Adam. Therefore, Allah (SWT) has prolonged Iblees’s life so that he is not able to have any leeway on the Day of Judgment (opinion of Ibn Taymiyyah). The story of Iblees refusing to bow down to Adam is a proof to show that jinn were created before humans. The Holy Quran says, “When we said to the Angels, ‘Bow down to Adam,’ they bowed down except Iblees. He was one of the jinn” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 18:50).
Ibn Taymiyyah held the opinion that Iblees is “the father” of all jinn just as Adam is the father of mankind. Furthermore, from all jinn is produced a qareen for every human. A qareen tries to seduce his subject by giving one evil thoughts or bad dreams. Even Rasoolullah (SAW) had a qareen as he told Aisha (ra) in Sahih Muslim. However, Rasoolullah (SAW) was protected from his qareen as his qareen helped him in doing good. The Holy Quran says, “If anyone withdraws himself from remembrance of (Allah) the Most Merciful, We appoint for him a Shaytan, to be an intimate companion to him” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 43:36).
Indeed, Shaytan is the enemy of mankind. “Verily, Shaytan is an enemy to you so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his adherents that they may become dwellers of the blazing Fire.” (Translation of the Meaning of the Holy Quran, 35:6). Iblees will never become Muslim. We must treat him as our enemy and not friend him. Shaytan will always try to deceive us as this is his ultimate goal. His promise can be found in the Holy Quran (Surat al-Araf, 7:16-17 & Surat al-Israa, 17:62-64). We must be aware of Shaytan at all times. We need to make sure that we never make Shaytan our enemy in public, yet he is our best friend in private. Shaytan tries to hurt us the most at the moment of death. If we cannot withstand Shaytan when he is not fully focused on us in our everyday life, then how do we expect to withstand him at our moment of death? Therefore, let us understand the evils of Shaytan and do our best to avoid him. We should always say Audhubillah when we receive an impure thought.