Shaytan, Satan, Iblees, the Devil, Lucifer—these are all synonymous for the one ultimate enemy. The tempter, the doomed one, the damned one—the one that can take you to hell.
A while back, the image below was circulating, suggesting that Shaytan missed one sajda (prostration), which got him kicked out of heaven. The message was: do not miss your prayers which, although a good message, can be misleading all the same.
See: Shaytan, formerly known as Iblees, was a Jinn. He was made from fire and, like humans, had free will. Iblees was so devoted to God and his prayers that he was brought up to the same rank as the angels (who do not have free will and submit to the commands of Allah), so the question was not: Did Iblees miss a prayer? — it was: Did he obey God?
When Adam, the first man, was created, God blew His spirit into Him and ordered all those around Him to bow down in sajda. All complied except for one—Iblees—who refused to, because he was created with fire and Adam was created with clay (or mud).
He said: “What hindered you so that you did not make obeisance when I commanded you? He said: I am better than he: Thou hast created me of fire, while him Thou didst create of dust.” (7:12)
Iblees did not refuse to bow down to God, but he did refuse to pray to God the way He wanted him to.
And thus God, because of Iblees’s arrogance and claims of superiority, banished him from Heaven and he was then referred to as Shaytan (which comes from the word “impure” and is used to refer to someone or something as evil or rebellious).
Do we have that same arrogance where we think we are better than someone because we are a certain race or color? If so, it is a dangerous to path to follow.
That introductory story of how Shaytan became the tempter has many lessons nestled for our benefit and one that I think we should unravel is how we treat those around us based on our differences. Do we have that same arrogance where we think we are better than someone because we are a certain race or color? If so, it is a dangerous to path to follow.
Remember in the last sermon of the Prophet Mohammed (SAW), he said:
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.”