/ib"lis/, n. Islamic Myth.
an evil spirit or devil, the chief of the wicked jinn.
[ < Ar iblis < Gk diábolos (see DEVIL); di- lost by confusion with Aram di- of]

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In Islam, the personal name of the Devil.

Iblīs, one of God's angels, refused to venerate Adam at creation. He and his followers were thrown down from heaven and await punishment at the Last Judgment. Until then he is allowed to tempt everyone but true believers to do evil. Referred to as Shayṭān (Satan) in this context, it was he who purportedly tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and caused the Fall. Iblīs has long been a figure of speculation among Muslim scholars because of his ambiguous identification in the Qurān as either an angel or a jinnī.

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      in Islam, the personal name of the devil, probably derived from the Greek diabolos. Iblīs, the counterpart of the Jewish and Christian Satan, is also referred to as ʿadūw Allāh (enemy of God), ʿadūw (enemy), or, when he is portrayed as a tempter, ān (shaitan) (demon).

      At the creation of man, God ordered all his angels to bow down in obedience before Adam. Iblīs refused, claiming he was a nobler being since he was created of fire, while man came only of clay. For this exhibition of pride and disobedience, God threw Iblīs out of heaven. His punishment, however, was postponed until the Judgment Day, when he and his host will have to face the eternal fires of hell; until that time he is allowed to tempt all but true believers to evil. As his first demonic act, Iblīs, referred to in this context as shayān, entered the Garden of Eden and tempted Eve to eat of the tree of immortality, causing both Adam and Eve to forfeit paradise. Disguised as the hātif, the mysterious voice of Arab mythology, Iblīs also tempted ʿAlī, Muhammad's son-in-law, unsuccessfully trying to keep him from performing the ritual washing of the Prophet's dead body.

      Iblīs has long been a figure of speculation among Muslim scholars, who have been trying to explain the ambiguous identification of Iblīs in the Qurʾān as either angel or jinnī, a contradiction in terms, as angels are created of light (nūr) and are incapable of sin, while jinn are created of fire (nār) and can sin. Traditions on this point are numerous and conflicting: Iblīs was simply a jinnī who inappropriately found himself among the angels in heaven; he was an angel sent to Earth to do battle with the rebellious jinn who inhabited the Earth before man was created; Iblīs was himself one of the terrestrial jinn captured by the angels during their attack and brought to heaven. See also shaitan.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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