38 - Saad

4 Tafsir(s) related to verse 38.75

Al-Jalalayn

He said, ‘O Iblīs! What prevents you from prostrating before that which I have created with My own hands?, in other words, whose creation I [Myself] have undertaken. This [in itself] is an honour for Adam, as God has [Himself] undertaken the [unmediated] creation of all creatures. Are you being arrogant, now, in refraining from prostrating (an interrogative meant as a rebuke); or are you of the exalted?’, of the proud, and have therefore disdained to prostrate yourself, because you are one of them?

Ibn Al Kathir

The Story of Adam and Iblis

Allah mentions this story in Surat Al-Baqarah, at the beginning of Surat Al-A`raf, in Surat Al-Hijr, Al-Isra', Al-Kahf and here. Before creating Adam, peace be upon him, Allah told the angels that He was going to create a human being from sounding clay of altered smooth black mud. He told them that when He finished creating and forming him, they were to prostrate to him as a sign of honor and respect, and out of obedience to the command of Allah, may He be exalted. All of the angels obeyed this command except for Iblis, who was not one of them. He was one of the Jinn, and his nature betrayed him at his time of greatest need. He refused to prostrate to Adam, and he disputed with his Lord about him, claiming that he was better than Adam, because he was created from fire while Adam was created from clay, and fire was better than clay, or so he said. He made a mistake by doing this, and he went against the command of Allah, thus committing the sin of disbelief. So Allah exiled him, humiliated him, and cast him out of His mercy and His sacred Presence, and called him "Iblis'' symbolizing that he had Ablasa min Ar-Rahmah (despaired of mercy) -- that there was no hope for him of mercy. He cast him down from the heavens, disgraced and rejected, to the earth. Iblis asked Allah to give him a reprieve until the Day of Resurrection, so the Forbearing One, Who does not hasten to punish those who disobey Him, gave him a reprieve. When he knew that he was safe from destruction until the Day of Resurrection, he rebelled and transgressed.

فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لأغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَإِلاَّ عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِينَ

(Iblissaid: "By Your might, then I will surely mislead them all, except Your true servants amongst them.'') This is like the Ayat:

أَرَءَيْتَكَ هَـذَا الَّذِى كَرَّمْتَ عَلَىَّ لَئِنْ أَخَّرْتَنِ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ لأَحْتَنِكَنَّ ذُرِّيَّتَهُ إَلاَّ قَلِيلاً

(Iblissaid: "See this one whom You have honored above me, if You give me respite until the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring all but a few!'') (17:62). These few are the ones who are excepted in another Ayah, which is:

إِنَّ عِبَادِى لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَـنٌ وَكَفَى بِرَبِّكَ وَكِيلاً

(Verily, My servants -- you have no authority over them. And All-Sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian.) (17:65)

قَالَ فَالْحَقُّ وَالْحَقَّ أَقُولُ

لاّمْلاّنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنكَ وَمِمَّن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

((Allah) said: "The truth is -- and the truth I say that I will fill Hell with you and those of them (mankind) that follow you, together.'') Some of them, including Mujahid, read this as meaning, "I am the Truth and the truth I say.'' According to another report narrated from Mujahid, it means, "The truth is from Me and I speak the truth.'' Others, such as As-Suddi, interpreted it as being an oath sworn by Allah. This Ayah is like the Ayat:

وَلَـكِنْ حَقَّ الْقَوْلُ مِنْى لاّمْلأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ

(but the Word from Me took effect, that I will fill Hell with Jinn and mankind together.) (32:13), and

قَالَ اذْهَبْ فَمَن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ فَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ جَزَآؤُكُمْ جَزَاءً مَّوفُورًا

((Allah) said: "Go, and whosoever of them follows you, surely, Hell will be the recompense of you (all) - an ample recompense.) (17:63).

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

This is the explanation of the dispute referred to about, and the dispute implies Satan's dispute with God, as becomes evident from the verses that follow. In this regard, one should bear in mind the fact that "the exalted ones" implies the angels, and the dialogue between Allah and Satan was not direct but it took place through some angel. Therefore, no one should have the misunderstanding that Allah also was included among the exalted ones. This story has already been narrated at the following places about: Al-Baqarah: 30-39, AI-A'raf: 11-25, Al-Hijr: 26-44, Bani Isra'il: 61-65, Al-Kahf: 50, Ta Ha: 116-126.

Lexically, bashar means a gross body whose surface is bare and uncovered by anything else. After the creation of man this word has been used for man himself, but mentioning him by the word bashar before his creation and making him from clay clearly means: "I am about to make an image of clay, which will be without any feathers and hair, etc., whose skin will not be covered by wool or hair or feathers like the skin of other animals.

For explanation, see Al-Hijr: 29-30, and E.N. 16 of Surah As-Sajdah.

For explanation, sec Al-Baqarah: 34, Al-A'raf :11 and the E.N.'s thereof.

For explanation, see Al-Baqarah: 34, AI-Kahf: 50 and the E.N.'s." thereof.

These words have been used to point out the honor, rank and glory bestowed on man by his Creator. In other words, Allah did not get man created through his angels but created him Himself because his creation was a highly noble task. Therefore, what is meant to be said is: "What has prevented you from prostrating yourself before him whom I have made directly Myself?"

The words "both hands" probably are meant to refer to the fact that this new creation combines in itself two important aspects of Allah's power of creation: (1) That man has been given an animal body on account of which he belongs to the animal kingdom; and (2) that on account of the Spirit breathed into him, he has been characterized with qualities which place him in honor and merit above all earthly creations and creatures.

"From here": from the place where Adam was created and where the angels were commanded to bow down before Adam, and where Iblis committed disobedience of Allah.

Lexically, the word rajim, as used in the original, means "cast off" or "smitten"; in common usage it is used for the person, who has been thrown down from a place of honor and humiliated. In Surah AI-A`raf, the same thing has been expressed thus: "Get out: you are indeed one of those who wish themselves ignominy." (v. 13).

This does not mean that there will be no curse on him after the Day of Judgment, but rather it means: "He will remain accessed till the Day of Judgment because of his disobedience, and after the Day of Judgment he will be punished for the sins which he will have committed from. the creation of Adam till Resurrection. "

This does not mean "I will not lead Your chosen servants astray," but this: "I shall have no power over Your chosen servants."

"With you" is not only addressed to Iblis but to the whole species of satans; that is, Iblis and his whole army of the satans who will be joining him in misleading mankind till Resurrection.

This whole story has been related in answer to this saying of the chiefs of the Quraish: "Was he the only (fit) person among us to whom Allah's Admonition should have been sent down?" Its first answer was the one given in vv. 9-10, saying: "Are you the owners of the treasures of the mercy of your Mighty and Bounteous Lord? And does the kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs to you, and is it for you to decide as to who should be appointed God's Prophet and who should not be appointed?" The second answer is: In this the chiefs of the Quraish have been told: ¦Your jealousy, your pride and arrogance against Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) arc similar to the jealousy and arrogance of Iblis against Adam (peace be upon him). Iblis also had refused to acknowledge the right of Allah to appoint anyone He pleased His vicegerent, and you also are refusing to acknowledge His right to appoint anyone He pleases as His Messenger: he disobeyed the Command to bow down before Adam, and you are disobeying the Command to follow Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace). Your resemblance with him does not end here, but your fate also will be the same as has been pre-ordained for him, i.e.. the curse of God in the world and the fire of Hell in the Hereafter. "

Besides, in connection with this story, two other things also have been stressed: (1) Whoever is disobeying Allah in this world, is in fact, falling a prey to Iblis, his eternal enemy, who has resolved to mislead and misguide mankind since the beginning of creation; and (2) the one who disobeys Allah on account of arrogance and persists in His disobedience is under His wrath: such a one has no forgiveness from Him.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

(He said) Allah said to him: (O Iblis!) O wicked one! (What hindereth thee from falling prostrate before that which I have created with both My hands) what prevented you from prostrating before that which I have shaped with My hands? (Art thou too proud) to prostrate before Adam (or art thou of the high) or are you of those who disobey My command?