Satan (Hebrew: הַשָּׂטָן ha-Satan, "the opposer," Arabic: شيطان Shayṭān) formerly known as Azazel (Hebrew: עֲזָאזֵל, Azazel; Arabic: عَزازِيل, Azāzīl) personifies evil and temptation, and is known as the deceiver that leads humanity astray. He was a jinni who fell out of favor with God when refusing to honor the creation of Adam, then seducing humanity into the ways of sin, and who now rules over the fallen world.
Jinni of the First Sphere, this twelvewinged Seraphim created by God has been credited as being the serpent who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, the evil that delivered misfortunes onto Job, and the devil who tempted Jesus in the desert.
Satan is primarily understood as an "accuser" or "adversary", and is not necessarily the personification of evil that he would become. Satan is a name that refers to a decidedly malevolent entity (devil) who possesses demonic-like qualities. In Theistic Satanism, Satan is considered a positive force and deity who is either worshipped or revered. In LaVeyan Satanism, Satan is regarded as holding virtuous characteristics.
The primary characteristic of the Devil, besides hubris, is that he has no power other than the power to cast evil suggestions into the chests of men, women, and jinn, although the Qur'an does mention appointing jinn to assist those who are far from God in a general context. "We made the evil ones friends (only) to those without faith."
According to Arabian lore El-Harith was a young jinni taken prisoner by the angels and raised by them; he went on to become one of their chiefs. After the creation of Adam, God commanded his angels to worship him but El-Harith refused and became a sheytan or devil, and he became the father of the sheytans.
Namings and etymology
The nominative satan (meaning "adversary" or "accuser"), and the Arabic shaitan, derives from a Northwest Semitic root šṭn, meaning "to be hostile", "to accuse". In the New Testament, Satan is a proper name, and is used to refer to a supernatural entity that appears in several passages.
The most common synonym for Satan, "the Devil", entered Modern English from Middle English devel, from Old English dēofol, from Latin diabolus, from Late Greek diabolos, from Greek, "slanderer", from diaballein, "to slander" : dia-, dia- + ballein, "to hurl"; which ultimately derives from PIE gwel-(meaning "to throw"). In Greek, the term diabolos (Διάβολος), carries more negative connotations, meaning "slanderer", or "one who falsely accuses". Iblīs (Arabic: إبليس, plural: ابالسة abālisah) or Shayṭān (Arabic: شيطان, plural: شياطين shayāṭīn). Islam traditionally derived the name from the Arabic verbal root balasa بَلَسَ, meaning 'he despaired'; therefore, the meaning of Iblīs would be 'he/it that causes despair'.
In popular Islamic culture, "Shaytan" (Arabic: شيطان), is often simply translated as "the Devil," but the term can refer to any of the jinn who disobeyed God and followed Iblīs.
The Act of Rebellion
The reason behind the enmity, its history, and its severity. The enmity between humans and Satan is rooted in an incident that took place a long time ago. One must go back to the day that God formed Adam, before he breathed His spirit into him. Satan went around him and said, "[Adam] if you are given mastery over me, I will surely disobey you. And if I am given mastery over you, I will destory you."
It is recoreded in Sahih Muslim, on the authority of Anas that the Prophet Muhammad said, "When Allah fashioned Adam in Paradise, He left him as long as He wished to leave him. Then Iblis roamed around him to see what he actually was and when Iblis found him to be hollow from within, he recognized that the new creature had been created with a disposition such that it would not have control over itself."
In Surat Al-'A`rāf 11-17 it is said: "And I have certainly created you, [O Mankind], and given you [human] form. Then I said to the angels, 'Prostrate to Adam'; so they prostrated, except for Iblis. He was not of those who prostrated.
[God] said, 'What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?' [Satan] said, 'I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.'
[God] said, 'Descend from Paradise, for it is not for you to be arrogant therein. So get out; indeed, you are of the debased.'
[Satan] said, 'Reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.'
[God] said, 'Indeed, you are of those reprieved.'
[Satan] said, 'Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path.
Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You].'"
Shaytan as a "whisperer"
Shaytan and his minions are "whisperers," who whisper into the chests of men and women, urging them to commit sin. This is where the desire to sin comes from.
The Quran provides a supplication for mankind, aimed at fighting the tempting of Satan and his minions:
Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind, The King (or Ruler) of Mankind, The god (or judge) of Mankind,- From the mischief of the Whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws (after his whisper),- (The same) who whispers into the hearts of Mankind,- Among Jinn and among men.
—Quran, sura 114 (Al-Nas), ayat 1–6
He had seven hairs on his chin and was blind in his right eye. His eye was put out by the prophet Idris (or Enoch), who was a tailor. Shaitan once came to him with an egg in his hand and told him that God had shaped the world like an egg. Idris was enraged by this blasphemous talk and answered, ‘No, God made the world like the eye of this needle, look here.’ When Shaitan looked at the needle the prophet thrust it into his eye.
An old scribe told Westermarck that Shaitan had a penis on the inner side of his right thigh and a vulva on the inner side of his left, and that to produce off spring he needed only to close his thighs, and this he did all day long, which explained why there were so many shayatin in the world. Other scribes told Westermarck that Shaitan has a wife named Shaitana.
The ugliness of Satan
Satan has a very ugly appearance. This is something well accepted by the mind. God compares the branches of the tree of Zuqqum in Hell to the heads of the devils. God says,
- "Is it better as a welcome, or the tree of Zaqqum? Lo! We have appointed it a torment for wrong-doers. Lo! It is a tree that springs in the heart of hell. Its crop is as it were the heads of the devils" (al-Saaffaat 62-65).
Christians of the Middle Ages used to picture Satan as a black man with a pointed beard, raised eyebrows, a mouth that emits flames, horns and hoofs and a tail.
Satan has two horns
In Sahih Muslim, it is recorded from Ibn Umar that the Prophet Muhammad said,
- "Do not seek to pray when the sun is rising or when it is setting, verily it rises [and sets] between the two horns of a devil."
In al-Bukhari and Muslim, it is also recorded that the Prophet Muhammad said,
- "If the sun is setting then leave the prayer until it disappears. And do not wait for your prayer until the sun is rising, nor while it is setting. For verily it sets and rises between the two horns of Satan."
These hadith are referring to the polytheists of the pagans who used to worship the sun and would prostrate to it when it would set or rise, for that reason Satan would establish himself in that direction so that their worship could be directed towards him.
The Prophet Muhammad has forbidden prayer during that time. Actually, the correct opinion is that prayer during that time is permissible if there is some reason for it, such as the prayer upon entering the mosque. It is not allowed, though, if there is no reason for it, such as simply a supererogatory prayer.
The meaning of the Prophet's words is that one should not intentionally set that time for prayer.
And from among the other narrations that mention the horn of Satan is the following hadith that is recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari: Ibn Umar related that he saw the Prophet Muhammad pointing to the east and state,
- "Verily, the trial will come from here, the calamity will come from here, where the horn of Satan rises."
The latter statement is referring to the East.
The gatekeeper of his palace Sinjab (سنجاب).
Children of Iblis
As Adam had three sons, Habil or Abel, Qabil or Qabil Cain, and Shis or Seth, so Satan had nine: Zu-l-baisun, who with his host occupies bazars, and all the wickedness done there is his work; Wassin, ruler over grief and anxiety; Awan, the companion of kings; Haffan, patron of wine-bibbers; Marra, superintendent of music and dancing; Laqis, lord of the worshippers of fire; Mazbut, master of news, who causes people to circulate malicious and false reports; Dasim, lord of mansions, who causes hatred between man and wife. When people return from their journeys he prevents them from thanking God for their safety, and causes wars and contentions. Some say that he is the lord of the table-cloth (dastarkhwan), and does not allow people to say the Bismillah or grace when they sit down to meals, and after eating he causes them to forget to return thanks (shukr, ihsan). Last of the nine is Dalhan, whose abode is in places of ablution and prayer, where he defeats the object of the pious by throwing difficulties in the way of the performance of their duties. These nine sons of the undaunted, the infernal Satan, are the mortal enemies of the race of Adam. They never allow them to do a good action, but exert all their influence in causing them to sin. He has nine children added to his family for every one born among men.
Iblis has many children. The most famous of them are of course the seven jinn kings. There are other prominent sons such as Halal (هلال) and Balal (بلال). Sons with minor influence include the following:
- Hafaf (هفاف): Specializes in inflicting harm and terror among the people.
- Zalenbor (زلنبور): Encourages deception in all forms of business trade.
- Wellha (ولها): Causes negative thoughts during prayers.
- Theber (ثبر): All kinds of maladies and afflictions
- A‘war (اعور): Sexual desire and fornication
- Dasem (داسم): Conflict in households
- Maṭrash (مطرش): Spreading false news
- Dahhar (دهار): Nightmares
- Tamrīḥ (تمريح): Distraction from spiritual practices
- Maqlaṣ (مقلاص): Encourages gambling then sows conflict between them
- Aqbaḍ (اقبض): Plants vortexes in the East, West, and center of the Earth that spawns Jinn that have animosity toward mankind.
In Greek mythology the chief-Titan Cronus was the son of Uranus (the male personification of the sky) and Gaia (the female personification of the earth), who usurped his father by castrating him with a sickle. After this he married his sister Rhea, and became the ruler of the world. At some point she became pregnant. He eventually heard of a prophecy, according to which his own children will one day usurp him, the same way he usurped his own father. Rhea gave birth to five children: Poseidon, Hades, Hera, Demeter, and Hestia, and Cronus devoured all of them. Rhea, who was upset with this, gave birth to a sixth child, Zeus, whom she hid on the island of Crete, where he raised in secret. Cronus was fed a large stone in a swaddling cloth.
Eventually Zeus grew up and managed to free his siblings by secretly feeding him a potion that caused him to vomit Poseidon, Hades, Hera, Demeter, and Hestia. Zeus and his siblings the waged war against Cronus and the Titans (the Titanomachy), in which Zeus and his side were eventually won. Cronus and his followers were banished into Tartarus, and the newly appointed Olympians became the ruling gods of the world.
In Roman mythology he was seen as Saturn, who was the god of agriculture, though he was more revered than his Greek counterpart.
Geb was the Egyptian god of the earth, vegetation, fertility, and of earthquakes, who was also seen as the son of Shu, the god of peace, lions, air, and wind, and Tefnut, the goddess of moisture, moist air, dew and rain.
He married his sister Nut, with whom he had four children: Osiris, the god of fertility, agriculture, the afterlife, the dead, resurrection, life, and vegetation, Isis, the goddess of creation, motherhood, royalty, fertility, magic and health, Set, deserts, storms, disorder, violence, and foreigners, and Nephthys, night/darkness, temple service, childbirth, the dead, protection, magic, health, embalming, and beer.
He and his wife would eventually be separated by their father Shu, forming the flat-earth-dome-cosmology that was common in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean world (similar to Anu and Ki or Gaia and Uranus).
Rank: Chief Standard Bearer of the Infernal Army Gender Associated: Neutral Zodiac Sign: Capricorn Season: All Seasons Direction: West Day: Saturday Planet: Saturn Metal: Iron Gemstone: Blue Sapphire Element: Air Animal: Snake and Goat Color: Black/Blue Taste: Astringent Food: Sesame Body Part: Muscles Tarot Card: The Devil