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Last Updated: 2013/12/05
Summary of question
Why is Shaitan an enemy of mankind? Has man done anything wrong to man?
question
Why is Shaitan inimical to human being? Has man done anything wrong to Shaitan?
Concise answer
There are many verses in the Holy Quran that make clear reference to enmity between man and Shaitan (the devil).[1] It is for the same hostile relations that human beings have been alarmed and warned to protect themselves against its temptations and tricks. The Holy Quran says: "Surely the Shaitan is your enemy, so take him for an enemy."[2] Also, in another verse, the Quran says:  "Did I not charge you, O children of Adam ! that you should not serve the Shaitan? Surely he is your open enemy."[3] However, the principal question is, why does Shaitain behave with man so inimically? What is really the reason?
The story of Shaitan's or Iblis' behavior originates in the creation of man. After God, the Almighty created Adam, man's father, He congratulated Himself for creating such a creature saying: "Then We made the seed a clot, then We made the clot a lump of flesh, then We made (in) the lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, then We caused it to grow into another creation, so blessed be Allah, the best of the creators."[4]
Then God ordered all angels to prostrate themselves before this new creature. All of them prostrated except Iblis.[5] Iblis' disobedience started from that very time. He refused to prostrate himself before Adam.  God says that Iblis did submit to the will of Allah due arrogance and egoism.[6] Iblis considered himself superior to human being and that was why when he was asked as to why he did not prostrate before Adam, he answered: "I am better than he: Thou hast created me of fire, while him Thou didst create of dust."[7] Iblis was arrogant and proud of himself and that was why he disobeyed God.
After Iblis was expelled from the grace of God when he disobeyed Him by choosing not to pay homage to Adam, he was cursed by God.[8] Satan who was in Paradise along with angels worshipping and glorifying Allah for several thousand years was suddenly expelled from the divine grace. In spite of that, he did not repent for his disobedience. Instead he started to become an enemy of human being and he sought a respite from Allah so as to be able to make humankind deviate from the right path and to make him disobey God in the same way as he himself did.
"He said: My Lord! then respite me till the time when they are raised."[9] He said: My Lord! because Thou hast made life evil to me, I will certainly make (evil) fair-seeming to them on earth, and I will certainly cause them all to deviate."[10]
In a conversation mentioned in the Quran between him and God, Iblis makes mention of a point which perhaps indicates the reason behind his hostile behavior toward mankind:
"He said: My Lord! Because Thou hast sent me astray, I verily shall adorn the path of error for them in the earth, and shall mislead them every one."[11]
Indeed, Iblis having disobeyed God's command to prostrate himself before Adam saw himself expelled from divine grace. He started to hate man and to become an enemy of him. He endeavored to mislead God's servants. From the very beginning, he tried to deviate man from the right path.  He was the main cause of man's descent from Paradise to earth.[12] As long as he has the respite, he continues to mislead man. But God, the Almighty, says that Shaitan does not have control over God's servants[13] and he can only invite people to abominable actions.[14]
 

[1] Al-A'raf, 22; Yusuf, 5; Al-Isra, 53.
[2] Fatir, 6.
[3] Ya-Seen, 60.
[4] Al-Mumenoon, 14: «ثُمَّ خَلَقْنَا النُّطْفَةَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْعَلَقَةَ مُضْغَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْمُضْغَةَ عِظاماً فَکَسَوْنَا الْعِظامَ لَحْماً ثُمَّ أَنْشَأْناهُ خَلْقاً آخَرَ فَتَبارَکَ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخالِقینَ»
[5] Al-Baqarah, 34. «وَ إِذْ قُلْنا لِلْمَلائِکَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلاَّ إِبْلیسَ أَبى‏ وَ اسْتَکْبَرَ وَ کانَ مِنَ الْکافِرین»
[6] Al-Baqara, 34, "He refused and he was proud, and he was one of the unbelievers."
[7] Al-A'raf, 12, «قالَ ما مَنَعَکَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُکَ قالَ أَنَا خَیْرٌ مِنْهُ خَلَقْتَنی‏ مِنْ نارٍ وَ خَلَقْتَهُ مِنْ طین»
[8] Al-Hijr, 34: "He said: Then get out of it, for surely you are driven away."
[9] Al-Hijr, 36 قَالَ رَبّ‏ِ فَأَنظِرْنىِ إِلىَ‏ یَوْمِ یُبْعَثُون
[10]  Al-Hijr, 39 قَالَ رَبّ‏ِ بمِا أَغْوَیْتَنىِ لَأُزَیِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ فىِ الْأَرْضِ وَ لَأُغْوِیَنهَّمْ أَجْمَعِین
[11] Al-Hijr, 39.
[12] Al-A'raf, 27: "O children of Adam! let not the Shaitan cause you to fall into affliction as he expelled your parents from the garden, pulling off from them both their clothing that he might show them their evil inclinations, he surely sees you, he as well as his host, from whence you cannot see them; surely We have made the Shaitans to be the guardians of those who do not believe."
[13] Al-Hijr, 42, "Surely. as regards My servants, you have no authority ,over them except those who follow you of the deviators."
[14] Ibrahim, 22, Surely Allah promised you the promise of truth, and I gave you promises, then failed to keep them to you, and I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you obeyed me, therefore do not blame me but blame yourselves: I cannot be your aider (now) nor can you be my aiders; surely I disbelieved in your associating me with Allah before."
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