There are many references to the devil in both the Quran and the Bible. In the Quran, the devil is known as Iblis and is said to be made from fire. Iblis disobeyed Allah. When he was ordered to bow down to Adam and was punished by being cast out of heaven. In the Bible, the devil is known as Satan and was also cast out of heaven for disobeying God.
The real origin of the devil: the devil in the Quran and the Bible
The story of Lucifer is known to all, it is so ingrained in Christianity that many take it for granted.
Who doesn’t know the story starring the angel Lucifer, the brightest of all angels, who rebelled against God.
However, in Christian literature there is no reference to this particular event. Either in the Old or in the New Testament.
There is a derivative literature that repeatedly mentions the expulsion of Lucifer from Paradise.
For example, for Dante Hell is the abyss caused by the fall of Lucifer from the heavens.
Christopher Marlowe’s “The Tragical History of Doctor Faust” also contains a quote from the famous story of Lucifer.
John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” places the figure of Satan and his rebellion against God’s authority at the center of the book.
However, in no sacred text of Christianity is the story we all know told. Let’s see how the Devil has been described in the Quran and the Bible.
The Devil in the Quran
A very similar, if not identical, account of Satan’s rebellion is found in the Qur’an.
Precisely in the verses ranging from 11 to 18 of the seventh Sura we read:
Verily We created and shaped you, therefore We said to the angels: “Prostrate yourselves before Adam”. They prostrated themselves with the exception of Iblis, who was not among those prostrated.
He said [Allah]: “What prevents you from prostrating yourself, despite My order?”. He replied: «I am better than him, you created me from fire, while you created him from clay».
“Get out! – said Allah – You cannot be proud here. Street! You will be among the abject.”
“Give me a delay,” he said, “until the Day they will be resurrected.”
“Be it,” said Allah, “the reprieve is granted to you.”
He said, “Since Thou hast led me astray, I will ambush them in Your straight path,
and I will pursue them from the front and from the back, from the right and from the left, and most of them will not be grateful to You”.
“Go away,” said [Allah], “driven out and covered with abomination. He will fill Hell with all of you, you and those who follow you.”
This tale is as close to the classic story as we know.
Iblìs in this case represents Lucifer and his pride, he is to all intents and purposes the devil for Muslims. Not having wanted to prostrate himself in front of another creature of the Lord that he considered inferior. He disobeyed the order received thus becoming a sinner and thus being driven out of Eden.
Iblìs for revenge claims that he will try to lead human beings to the path of sin by setting “ambushes” for them.
But does this mean that Satan is a concept that comes from Islam?
Satan in the Bible
In the Bible there are no direct and detailed references to the figure of Lucifer or to his expulsion from Paradise.
The only biblical passages that contain references to Lucifer or Satan are much debated.
One is present in the book of Isaiah, more precisely in chapter 14 at verse 4:
- Then you will sing this song about the king of Babylon and say: the arrogance is over!
then continues in verses 11 to 15:
- Your splendor has fallen into hell, the music of your harps; under you there is a layer of rot, your blanket are the worms.
- How come you fell from heaven, Lucifer, son of the dawn? How come you were laid down, lord of peoples?
- And yet you thought: I will ascend to heaven, on the stars of God I will raise my throne, I will dwell on the mountain of assembly, in the farthest parts of the north.
- I will ascend to the upper regions of the clouds, I will make myself equal to the Most High.
- Instead you were cast into hell, into the depths of the abyss!
In this part of the book of Isaiah, reference is made expressly to the king of Babylon, not to an angel.
Furthermore, in these verses the Underworld and the fall into the Abyss are mentioned. But if one reads well there is also the will to rise to heaven (verse 13). Which implies the fact that the protagonist does not belong to the divine kingdom but to the earthly one.
The second passage that possibly contains a reference to Satan, or at least a fallen angel. Is found in the book of Ezekiel in the 28th chapter at verse 12:
- Son of man, he sings a lament over the prince of Tire and says to him: Thus says the Lord God: full of wisdom, perfect in beauty;
The subsequent part of the text therefore refers expressly to the prince of Tyre.
The following verses contain references to the expulsion from Eden and to the arrogance of a creature. Who, due to his trades, began to use violence and commit sins. Later this creature is compared to a cherub with outstretched wings.
- in Eden, the garden of God, you were covered with every precious stone: rubies, topazes, diamonds, chrysolites, onyxes and jaspers, sapphires, carbuncles and emeralds; and of gold was the work of your settings and bindings, prepared in the day you were created.
- You were like a cherub with wings spread in defense; I placed you on the holy mountain of God and walked among stones of fire.
- Perfect were you in your conduct, from the time you were created, until iniquity was found in you.
- As your trade grew, you filled yourself with violence and sins; I drove you out of the mountain of God and destroyed you, protecting cherub, among the stones of fire.
- Your heart was proud of your beauty, your wisdom was corrupted because of your splendor: I threw you to the ground and set you before kings to see you.
- With the seriousness of your crimes, with the dishonesty of your trade you have profaned your sanctuaries; therefore I have kindled a fire in the midst of you to devour you. I have reduced you to ashes on the earth under the eyes of all who look at you.
- Those among the peoples who knew you were amazed at you, you became an object of terror, finished forever.
Actually it is thought that Lucifer was a cherub and therefore in these verses. We tend to see the figure of the devil expelled from paradise.
In these same passages there is no reference to a rebellion but only to sins attributed among other things. To the prince of Tire mentioned a little earlier.
Satan in the New Testament
According to many, even in the New Testament book of Revelation there is a reference to the Devil.
In chapter 12 in verse 3 we read:
- Then another sign appeared in the sky: a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns and seven diadems on its heads;
So no fallen angel is mentioned, only a dragon, a monster that appears during Armageddon.
From verse 7 to 10 the battle with the Beast is described:
- Then a war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon fought with his angels,
- but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
- The great dragon, the ancient serpent, the one whom we call the devil and satan and who seduces the whole earth, was cast down to earth and his angels were cast down with him.
- Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying: Salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ, for the accuser of our brethren has been cast down, the one who accused them before our God day it’s night.
In verse 9 we can clearly read that this dragon, this ancient serpent is called Satan or Devil. This dragon is defeated and crashed to Earth. Along with all the angels of him as it is handed down to us by the stories.
However, there is no reference to the fact that he was an angel in the past. There is only talk of the battle against a monster called Satan. But nothing is said of his rebellion, of his pride.
The interpretation of sacred texts
From the previous disquisitions we can deduce. That it was the interpretation of the Bible that gave birth to the concept, the legend of Satan.
Although there is nothing concrete written that directly concerns the existence of the devil. The fathers of the Church have extrapolated the idea of the fallen angel. From the aforementioned and quoted biblical passages.
Is the devil good?
However, there is an alternative interpretation to the facts narrated in the Koran. This other way of looking at things could perhaps cause us to change our judgment on Satan.
According to some, Iblìs would not have wanted to bow down. In front of human beings because it would have been idolatry.
Prostrating in front of a creature generated from clay. Would have been like venerating as divine something that has nothing divine. Iblìs, in order not to commit this sin. Does not carry out the orders of Allah, however committing another sin and thus renouncing Paradise.
From this point of view, therefore, Satan is good, or at least he could appear as such. If one does not pay attention to the fact that he claims that he will try to lead men on the path of sin. But this is only an alternative view.
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Vogue Health Team