Actually, this topic is very interesting to me. However, it is really confusing ones who know it at first. Essentially, if the ones believes that in the Al-Quran is no contradiction inside, then it is totally enough to check our minds because it could be error or mistaken understanding therein.

Because, Allah azza wa jalla had said:

أَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْءَانَ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلاَفاً كَثِيرًا

“Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradictions.”[1]

Islam is a pure religion brought by the Prophet Muhammad shalallahu ‘alaihi wassalam. However, Islam will be constantly preserved by Allah azza wa jalla from everything that can spoil it.

Allah azza wa jalla had said in surah Al-Hijr: 9

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

“Indeed, it is we who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, we will be its guardian” [2]

To uncover fallacy in understanding related to this issue, we must correctly know and deeply understand two opinions which seems to contradict each other.

Opinion 1: which say that Iblees was an angel

They was using surah Al-Baqaroh verse 34 to sustain their opinion.

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآَدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ أَبَى وَاسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ

“And [mention] when we said to the angels, “Prostrate before Adam”; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers.”[3]

Opinion 2: which say that Iblees was a Jinn

Otherwise, they was using surah Al-Kahfi verse 50 to sustain their opinion.

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآَدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ الْجِنِّ فَفَسَقَ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِ

“And [mention] when we said to the angels, “Prostrate to Adam,” and they prostrated, except for Iblees. He was of the jinn and departed from the command of his Lord” [4]

There are a dilemma and confusing matters due to the textual meaning of those verse show a contradiction therein. The confusion is around two question.

Firstly, If Iblees is an angel, then how it is he disobeyed Allah, when angels have no will of their own and follow only Allah’s command. Secondly, if he is really a jinn, then it would better explain his disobedience as then he actually had the choice to obey or disobey Allah. It is so flurried to think.[5]

Walhamdulillah, in my point of view, these are no contradiction but indeed two Qur’anic verse above was corroborating each other. I am really irradiated by third opinion than clearly explain as if it concatenated two quarrel statements above. Third opinion that I mean as follow:

البغوي في تفسيره (1/81):

((واختلفوا فيه فقال ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما وأكثر المفسرين : كان إبليس من الملائكة وقال الحسن : كان من الجن ولم يكن من الملائكة لقوله تعالى { إلا إبليس كان من الجن ففسق عن أمر ربه } ( 50 – الكهف ) فهو أصل الجن كما أن آدم أصل الإنس ولأنه خلق من النار والملائكة خلقوا من النور ولأن له ذرية ولا ذرية للملائكة والأول أصح لأن خطاب السجود كان مع الملائكة وقوله { كان من الجن } أي من الملائكة الذين هم خزنة الجنة وقال سعيد بن جبير : من الذين يعملون في الجنة وقال : قوم من الملائكة الذين يصوغون حلي أهل الجنة وقيل : إن فرقة من الملائكة خلقوا من النار سموا جنا لاستتارهم عن الأعين وإبليس كان منهم والدليل عليه قوله تعالى { وجعلوا بينه وبين الجنة نسبا } ( 158 – الاصافات ) وهو قولهم : الملائكة / بنات الله ولما أخرجه الله من الملائكة جعل له ذرية))

[6] They (many scholars) differ in this matter. Ibnu Abbas radhiyallahu ‘anhuma and most of exegetes said: Verily, Iblees comes from angel. But Hasan said: Formerly, Iblees was a Jinn, He was not an angel at all. As Allah azza wa jalla mentioned [except for Iblees. He was of the jinn and departed from the command of his Lord]. To response this different, so we say, the origin of Iblees was a Jinn as the origin of Adam was a human. However, because of that, Iblees was created from fire and Angel was created from light. Ibless has offspring and Angel doesn’t.

So, the first opinion was true (who said Iblees was an angel) due to command to prostate Adam had been specialized for Angel, whereas the meaning of [He was of the jinn] is He was of the Angel. He (Angel) is with treasury of Heaven (means, its inhabitant and so on, because in advance Iblees was in Heaven). It was said that indeed there is a group of Angel which created from fire, it was named Jinn and Iblees was part of them.

To support this argument, there is a Qur’anic verses indicate this exegesis.

Allah azza wa jalla said in surah Ash-Shafaat verse 158

وَجَعَلُوا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْجِنَّةِ نَسَبًا ۚ وَلَقَدْ عَلِمَتِ الْجِنَّةُ إِنَّهُمْ لَمُحْضَرُونَ

And they have claimed between Him and the jinn a lineage, but the jinn have already known that they [who made such claims] will be brought to [punishment] [7]

This verse explain that they (idolaters) say Angel as child of God and when Allah azza wa jalla expel him -Jinn- (it is part of Angel) then Allah made him have an offspring.
To support exegesis of tafseer in this verse, we can look at tafseer Ibn Katsir.

Mujahid had commented related this verse that formerly idolators said that Angel was a daughters of Allah. Then Abu Bakar radhiyallahu anhu commented, “so, who is the mother of them? They (idolators) answered, girls from respectable Jinn“. [But the jinn have already known that they [who made such claims] will be brought to [punishment]], it means Jinn who ascribed as mother of Angel have already known that they [who made such claims] will be brought to [punishment] due to their (idolators) claim and falsehood regarding Angel was a daughters of Allah azza wa jalla. Nasalullaha salamatan wal afiyah

In conclusion, term الْجِنَّةُ refers to Angel as mentioned in that tafseer, so it is clearly explain us that actually it is no contradiction on those verses. Even it is corroborating each other. Wallahu a’alamu.

Alhamdulillahilladzi bi ni’matihi tatimmush sholihaat, wa shallallahu ‘ala nabiyyina Muhammad wa ‘ala alihi wa shohbihi wa sallam.


References :

[1 ] Surah An-Nisa verse 82.
[2 ]
[3 ]
[4 ]
[5 ]
[6 ] البغوي في تفسيره (1/81)
[7 ]
[8 ] I freely translate to juxtapose the meaning of this tafseer
[9 ] Taisiru al-Aliyyul Qadir li Ikhtishari Tafsir Ibn Katsir, Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rifai. Chapter 4. Pg 51-52. Gema Insani Press.

Reviewed by:  Ismail Kamdar (Tutorial Assistant Tafseer 101)

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Kamis, 11 Syawwal 1435H / 7 Agustus 2014
Deni Setiawan

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