Iblis (Satan)

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Iblis (إبليس), also known as al-Shaytan (الشيطان) or "The Devil" (as opposed to other, lesser devils, or shayatin, who are not The Devil), is the Islamic equivalent of Satan who is responsible for Adam and Eve's fall from Heaven as well as for the perennial temptation of humankind to sin. Iblis is understood to be the specific name of the being who eventually becomes The Devil after disobeying Allah's order to prostrate to Adam, the first human. The classical Islamic tradition was divided as to whether Iblis is a fallen angel or merely a jinn who, after having been so devout as to rank among the angels, became jealous of Adam, arrogant, and then irredeemably evil. Today, however, Iblis is almost universally held to be a uniquely corrupt jinn.[1] The Qur'an reads, "And (remember) when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, and they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He was of the jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord's command."[2]

Iblis is also known as "The Cursed Devil", or al-shaytan al-rajim (lit. "the stoned Devil" - perhaps an inspiration for the relevant Hajj ritual)[3], and "Enemy of Allah", or aduww Allah[4].

Descriptions in scripture

In the Quran

His story

His species

In the hadith


Other descriptions


Theological significance


Species of Iblis (angel/jinn)


  1. B. Lewis; V.L. Menage; Ch. Pellat et al., eds, (1986), "Iblis", Encyclopaedia of Islam, 3 H-IRAM (New Edition [2nd] ed.), Leiden: E.J. Brill, pp. 668-669, ISBN 90 04 08118 6, 1986 
  2. Quran 18:50
  3. Quran 3:36
  4. Quran 8:60 contains the phrase "enemy of Allah", although it is unclear in context whether this referring to Iblis in particular or some other individual or "unbelievers" in general.