Is Iblees a jinn or an angel?

Iblees a jinn or an angel?
I was just wondering if Iblis was actually a jinn or an angel. This particular issue recently sparked my curiosity when it was presented to me by a person I know.
If he is an angel, then how is it he disobeyed Allah, when Angels have no will of their own and follow only Allah's command. If he is really a jinn, then it would better explain his disobedience as then he actually had the choice to obey or disobey Allah. I would appreciate a response, even if it is a brief one.


Praise be to Allaah. 

Ibless – may Allaah curse him – is one of the jinn.
He was not an angel for a single day, not even for an instant. The angels
were created noble; they never disobey Allaah when He commands them to do
something and they do what they are commanded. This is clearly stated in
the Qur’aanic texts which indicate that Iblees is one of the jinn and
not one of the angels. These texts include the following:

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

(remember) when We said to the angels: “Prostrate yourselves unto
Adam.” So they prostrated themselves except Iblees (Satan). He was one
of the jinn; he disobeyed the Command of his Lord. Will you then take him
(Iblees) and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me while
they are enemies to you? What an evil is the exchange for the Zaalimoon
(polytheists, and wrongdoers, etc).” [al-Kahf 18:50]

Allaah stated that He
created the jinn from fire, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

the jinn, We created aforetime from the smokeless flame of fire”
[al-Hijr 15:27]

the jinn He created from a smokeless flame of fire” [al-Rahmaan 55:15]

it was narrated in a saheeh hadeeth that ‘Aa’ishah said: the Messenger
of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The
angels were created from light, the jinn were created from smokeless fire
and Adam was created from that which has been described to you.”
(Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh, no. 2996; also narrated by Ahmad, no.
24668; by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan
al-Kubra, no. 18207 and by Ibn Hibbaan, no. 6155).

One of the
attributes of the angels is that they were created from light, and the
jinn were created from fire. It was mentioned in the Qur’aan that Iblees
– may Allaah curse him – was created from fire. This is what Iblees
himself said when Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, asked him the
reason for his refusal to prostrate to Adam when Allaah commanded him to
do so. He – may Allaah curse him – said:

‘I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You
created from clay’” [al-A’raaf 7:12; Saad 38:76 – interpretation
of the meaning]. This
indicates that he was one of the jinn.

Allaah has described
the angels in His Book, where He says (interpretation of the meaning):

you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire
(Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels
stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they
receive from Allâh, but do that which they are commanded” [al-Tahreem

they say: ‘The Most Gracious (Allaah) has begotten a son (or
children).’ Glory to Him! They [whom they call children of Allaah i.e.
the angels, ‘Eesaa (Jesus)

son of Maryam (Mary), ‘Uzair
(Ezra)], are but honoured slaves. They speak not until He has spoken, and
they act on His Command” [al-Anbiyaa’ 21:26-27]

“And to
Allaah prostrate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth,
of the moving (living) creatures and the angels, and they are not proud
[i.e. they worship their Lord (Allâh) with humility]. They fear their
Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded” [al-Nahl 16:49-50]

it is not possbile for the angels to disobey their Lord, because they are
protected from sin and they are naturally inclined to obey Allaah.

The fact that Iblees
is not one of the angels means that he is not compelled to obey Allaah. He
has freedom of will just as we humans do. Allaah says (interpretation of
the meaning);

We showed him the way, whether he be grateful or ungrateful” [al-Insaan

are also Muslims and kaafirs among the jinn. It says in Soorat
al-Jinn (interpretation of the meaning):

(O Muhammad): ‘It has been revealed to me that a group (from three to
ten in number) of jinn listened (to this Qur’aan). They said: ‘Verily,
we have heard a wonderful Recitation (this Qur’aan)! It guides to the
Right Path, and we have believed therein, and we shall never join (in
worship) anything with our Lord (Allaah).’” [al-Jinn 72;1-2]

the same soorah, it states that the jinn said:

indeed when we heard the Guidance (this Qur’aan), we believed therein
(Islamic Monotheism), and whosoever believes in his Lord shall have no
fear, either of a decrease in the reward of his good deeds or an increase
in the punishment for his sins.  And
of us some are Muslims (who have submitted to Allaah, after listening to
this Qur’aan), and of us some are Al Qaasitoon (disbelievers

those who have deviated from the Right
Path)’…” [al-Jinn 72:13-14]

Ibn Katheer
(may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Tafseer:

al-Basri said: Iblees was not one of the angels, not even for a single
moment. He is the father of the jinn, just as Adam (peace be upon him) is
the father of mankind. This was narrated by al-Tabari with a saheeh
isnaad (part 3/89).

Some of the
scholars said that Iblees was one of the angels, that he was the peacock
of the angels, that he was the one among the angels who strove the hardest
in worship… and other reports, most of which come from the Israa’eeliyyaat
(stories and reports from Jewish sources), and some of which contradict
the clear texts of the Qur’aan.

Ibn Katheer
said, explaining this:

A lot of
these reports were transmitted from the Salaf,
and most of them come from the Israa’eeliyyaat,
which may be been transmitted in order to be examined [i.e., as opposed to
being accepted as is]. Allaah knows best about the veracity or otherwise
of many of them. Some of them are definitely to be rejected, because they
go against the truth which we hold in our hands. In the Qur’aan we have
sufficient so that we have no need of previous reports, because hardly any
of them are free of distortions, with things added or taken away. Many
things have been fabricated in them, for they did not have people who had
memorized things precisely by heart (huffaaz) who could eliminate the
distortions created by extremists and fabricators, unlike this ummah which
has its imaams, scholars, masters, pious and righteous people, brilliant
critics and men of excellent memory who recorded the hadeeths and
classified them, stating whether they were saheeh (sound), hasan (good),
da’eef (weak), mawdoo’ (fabricated), matrook (to be ignored). They
identified the fabricators and liars, and those about whom nothing was
known, and other kinds of men (i.e., narrators). All of this afforded
protection to the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him), the Seal of the Messengers and the Leader of Mankind, so that
nothing would be attributed to him falsely and nothing would be
transmitted from him that he did not say or do. May Allaah be pleased with
them and make them pleased [by rewarding them], and make the Paradise of
al-Firdaws their eternal abode. (Tafseer
al-Qur’aan il-‘Azeem, 3/90).

And Allaah
knows best.

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