The Quran

Commentaries for 17.61

Bani Israil (The Israelites) - الإسراء

17.61 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And when We said unto the angels) who were on the earth: (Fall down prostrate before Adam) a prostration of greeting (and they fell prostrate all save Iblis, he said: Shall I fall prostrate before that which Thou hast created of clay?)
17.61 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And, mention, when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate yourselves before Adam’, a prostration of salutation, by inclining oneself, and so they [all] prostrated themselves, except Iblīs: he said, ‘Shall I prostrate myself before one whom You have created from clay?’ (tīnan, is in the accusative because the operator of the oblique [min, ‘of’] has been omitted, in other words [it would normally be] min tīnin).
17.61-62 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Story of Adam and Iblis
Allah mentions here the enmity of Iblis, may the curse of Allah be upon him and his progeny. This is an ancient hatred, dating from the time that Allah created Adam, when He commanded the angels to prostrate to Adam, and all of them prostrated except Iblis, who was too arrogant and he haughtily refused to prostrate to him. He said in a tone indicating contempt:
قَالَ أَءَسْجُدُ لِمَنْ خَلَقْتَ طِينًا
(He said: "Shall I prostrate myself to one whom You created from clay'') According to another Ayah, he said:
أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ
(I am better than he. You created me from fire, and You created him from clay.) 7:12 He also said, speaking to the Lord with disbelief and insolence, but the Lord bore it patiently:
قَالَ أَرَءَيْتَكَ هَـذَا الَّذِى كَرَّمْتَ عَلَىَّ
(He said: "See this one whom You have honored above me...'') `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "He is saying, `I am going to dominate his offspring, all but a few.''' Mujahid said (it means), "I am going to surround them.'' Ibn Zayd said (it means), "I am going to lead them astray.'' All of them are close in meaning, and the meaning of the Ayah is, "Do You see this one whom You have honored and made greater than me If You give me time, I will lead his descendants astray, all but a few of them.''
17.61-65 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Please also refer to II: 30-39, IV: 117-122, VII: 11-25, XIV: 22, XV:26-43
This story has been cited here to impress upon the disbelievers that their attitude of arrogance and indifference towards Allah is exactly the same as was adopted by Satan; As a matter of fact, they were following Satan who is the avowed enemy of man, and were being entangled in the snare spread by him who had challenged the progeny of Adam at the very beginning of human history that he would allure and ruin them.
That is, "I will uproot them from the high position of Divine Vicegerency which demands steadfastness in obedience. Their removal from that high position is just like the tearing of a tree from its roots."
The literal meaning of the Arabic Text is, "You may sweep away those whom you find superficial and weak-minded."
Here, Satan has been likened to that robber who assaults a habitation with horsemen and footmen, and orders one to rob this thing add the other to plunder that thing and so on-The horsemen and the footmen of Satan are those jinns and human beings who are engaged in numerous forms and positions in carrying out his mission.
This is a very meaningful sentence which depicts a true and perfect picture of the relationship between Satan and his followers. On the one hand, Satan becomes a partner with the one who follows him in the earning and spending of his money without putting in any labor in it; on the other, he does not become a partner in bearing the consequences of his error, crime and sin. But his foolish dupe follows his instructions as if he were a partner, nay, a stronger party. Again in regard to the children of such a man, the father himself bears the whole burden of bringing them up, but under the misguidance of Satan he trains them in wrong and unmoral ways as if he alone was not their father but Satan as well was a partner in it.
Satan entices them with false promises of success and entangles them in the snare of false expectations.
It has two meanings: (1) "You will have no power over human beings to force them to follow your way. What you are allowed to do is that you may delude them by false counsel and entice them by false promises, but they will have the option to follow or not to follow your counsel. You will not have the power over them to force them to follow your way against their will. " (2) "You will not succeed in 'alluring My righteous people. Though the weak-minded will be enticed by you, My righteous people who are steadfast in My obedience will not succumb to you."
That is, "Those who will trust in Allah and believe in His guidance and help, will not stand in need of any other support in their trial by Satan for Allah will guide them, protect them and help them to be safe from his allurements. On the other hand, those people, who will place their trust in their own power or that of any other than Allah, will not come out successful in their trial by Satan."