Before Allah (SWT) created mankind Jinn were already in existence. Allah (SWT) had created them before humans and for few thousand years they had inhabited this world. And before Jinn, there existed Angels. The difference between Angels and Jinn is that the Angels were created with light whilst the Jinn were created with smokeless fire and whilst Allah (SWT) had given the Jinn free will, the Angels were created to obey Allah (SWT) without any objection or question. The Jinn, over time had become so corrupt that Allah (SWT) sent an army of Angels to earth to fight the Jinn. The Angels won the war and by the order of Allah (SWT) pushed the Jinn off the land into the sea where they still live to this very day.
Amongst these Jinn was a very pious, very righteous Jinn named Iblis. Iblis in fact, was so pious, so great a worshiper that Allah (SWT) had raised his status and allowed him to be amongst the Angels on the first heaven only because he chose to worship Allah (SWT) out of free will. He had been up there in first heaven for many years. This superiority that Allah had granted him over Angels had made him proud of himself. He thought of himself to be the best of the creations.
One day Allah (SWT) called the Angels and told them,
“We are going to create a being of clay and inhabit the world with it.”
The Angels sought, ” Oh! Mighty lord, why create a being that would stain the world with corruption and bloodshed, when we glorify your name?”
“You do not know that which We know”, Allah (SWT) told them.
Whilst this conversation was happening, Iblis was on the first heaven praying when he heard the Angels seeking this knowledge from Allah (SWT) and started thinking about what the Angels had just asked Allah (SWT).
“What if this new being is better than me?”, he thought to himself, growing curious all the while, “Why does Allah want to create a new being, why?”
Iblis thought so much about the new being, becoming so obsessed that a strange feeling developed inside him. A feeling he had never felt before. A feeling about which he did not know. A feeling of rage, anger and hatred towards the creation.
On the day of creation Allah (SWT) collected clay from different parts of the world and created a body using that clay and left it there on the first heaven, lifeless and soulless. Iblis came to see this new creature that Allah (SWT) had crafted. When he saw the body soon to become Adam (A.S), it was just a statue. He started inspecting the body by walking circles around it, looking at it from head to toe, front, back and sides. Out of curiosity he knocked on it and kicked it as the body made an echoing ringing sound. He flew through the body and found it to be hollow.
“This new creature, this thing is no competition for me”, he thought to himself unimpressed of this statue of clay that stood before him. But for some reason, every time he looked at that statue he felt anguish, fright and envy all at the same time. He felt ‘HASSAD’.
Until one day when Allah (SWT) blows life into the body of Adam (AS), brings him in front of the angels and commands the angels and Iblis to bow down to Adam (AS), not to worship him but to show their respect. Immediately every single one of the angels bow down to Adam (AS) in unison except Iblis.
That very moment Allah (SWT) asked him, “What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when We commanded you?”
“I am better than him (Adam). You created me from fire and him, you created from clay”, arrogantly replied Iblis
“Are you adamant that you are not going to prostrate?” asked Allah (SWT) giving Iblis one more chance to rethink what he had done.
But Iblis was very obstinate. Then Allah (SWT) finally spoke, “We created Adam (AS) and we commanded you to bow before him but you disobeyed. You have become arrogant”.
“I swear by all your might and all your power, I shall lead them all astray”, answers Iblis.
“Very well. Climb on top of any one of them that you can and try and delude them away with your voice, with materialism, with wealth and associate with them”.
“O my lord, keep me alive until the day they are resurrected”.
“We shall grant you time but you shall not escape death. You shall have until the end of the world. And when the day comes you shall die with them as well. But you shall have no power over my loyal servants”.
“Okay. I shall lead all astray except those who are your sincere servants”, replies Iblis.
“Very well. You are now an outcast and shall be labelled as Shaitaan”, ordered Allah (SWT).
And so began the animosity between the children of Adam (AS) and Shaitaan.
“And (remember) when We said unto the angels:
Fall prostrate before Adam. And they fell prostrate, all except Iblis.
He was of the Jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord’s command.”