All stories in the Qur’an have lessons that we can learn. What can we understand from the dialogue between Iblis (satan) and Allah (God)? Learning from Iblis is a way to help us understand that obedience is crucial in gaining the ultimate happiness. Let us start with Qur’an chapter 7 verse 11-13:
(11) And We have certainly created you, (O Mankind), and given you (human) form. Then We said to the angels, "Prostrate to Adam"; so they prostrated, except for Iblis. He was not of those who prostrated.
(12) (Allah) said, "What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?" (Satan) said, "I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay."
(13) (Allah) said, "Descend from Paradise, for it is not for you to be arrogant therein. So get out; indeed, you are of the debased.”
God created the first human being, Adam, from clay and God created him in the best shape. God has destined that human being is the best form of creation. Yet, Iblis was created long before Adam.
When God asked Iblis to bow down to Adam, Iblis refused to do it. The reason is: Iblis felt that he was better than Adam as Iblis was made of fire and Adam was out of clay. However, if we think more deeply, that’s actually not the only reason we can derive. Before Adam was created, Iblis was already in heaven and Iblis worshipped God and devoted himself to God. But suddenly, God created a new creation called human being and God suddenly asked Iblis to prostate to the new creature whose devotion to God wasn’t yet known. If I were Iblis, I wouldn’t want to bow down to Adam as well.
Furthermore, since Iblis was created earlier than Adam, Iblis was senior and Adam was junior. If I were Iblis, I would argue, how come I have to bow down to my junior? It’s just not fair.
Superiority, seniority, and proven devotion are all very logical and acceptable excuses or reasons. But, why God still expelled Iblis from heaven and cursed him? What went wrong? Are the reasons wrong? No, the reasons are correct. What had gone wrong was that Iblis DID NOT obey the command of God. That’s the mistake. So, from the verses above we can learn that no matter what the reason or excuse is, if we end up disobeying God’s command, it is wrong and it is sinful.
In daily life, we often become Iblis, providing many reasons or excuses for disobeying God’s rules.
God commanded human being to pray five times a day, yet, many of us have many ‘logical’ and ‘acceptable’ reasons for not doing it. Some say, “I’m so tired today, I don’t feel like praying. Well, I think it’s alright. God is Merciful, though. God knows how tired I am…” and the excuse continues endlessly. Well, no matter how powerful the excuse is, if a person ends up NOT praying or disobeying God’s command, he is sinful.
God does not allow human being to drink alcohol. But many people end up drinking it with many excuses:
“My friend offered me that drink, I feel bad if I refused it, I was just being polite.”
“Oh well, one or two sips is alright. It won’t make me drunk.”
“Drinking wine moderately is good for our health, you know…”
And the list of excuses continues… Yet, please remember, no matter how good or noble his excuse is, if he ends up drinking alcohol (disobeying God’s rule), he is wrong, he is sinful.
God does not allow people to kill other people, except during the war in which there are God’s rules about war that must be followed. God says in the Qur’an, chapter 5 verse 32: “Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption (done) in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, (even) after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.”
Then in the Qur’an chapter 4 verse 93, “But whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.”
Also, Prophet Muhammad said the following:
“Whoever kills a person who has a truce with the Muslims will never smell the fragrance of Paradise.”
“Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.”
Many people who judge Islam by the followers think that muslims are terrorists because few of them do the act of bombing or killing innocent people. Those people call themselves the fighter of Islam and they claim that what they do is in accordance with Islamic teachings. They have many reasons to justify their actions and for some of us the excuses sound justifiable. Yet, killing innocent people is wrong, it is against God’s will, and it is a big sin. So, there is no excuse that killing innocent people is correct.
The dialogue between Iblis and God also conveys the message that human being have limited knowledge meanwhile God is The All Knowing. All God’s commands in the Qur’an, such as praying five times a day, not drinking alcohol, not eating swine, fasting, honesty, sincerity, generosity, modesty, believing God’s destiny, and so on, are for the sake of human being and we have to obey them without doubt. But we, people, often follow our ego and desire in our action, thinking that our desire is the right thing to follow. We, human being, often provide more excuses than Iblis did. We therefore often ‘beat’ Iblis in transgression. Corruption in every aspect, crimes, immoral behavior, ruining the environment are all forms of disobeying God’s commands in which people have many excuses in doing those things.
So, let’s stop following Iblis as it will ruin our souls and leads to total unhappiness in this world and in the hereafter.
Related post: Satan The Eternal Enemy
Twitter: Maharani Hasibuan