Quran: 2:34 Sahih International

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.

I am just wondering what is the true meaning of this ayah is, does it imply that Iblis (may Allah(swt) curse him) is an angel?


Wa alaikum salam. No, Satan is a djinn.

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. Then will you take him and his descendants as allies other than Me while they are enemies to you? Wretched it is for the wrongdoers as an exchange. (Surat Al-Kahf 18/50)

Angels don't have free will, thus are not capable to antagonise (resist) Allah's orders. They have to obey by their nature. Djinn and Mankind have free will and choice.

Angels are created from light, while djinns are created from smokeless fire.

And He created the jinn from a smokeless flame of fire. (Surat Ar-Raĥmān 55/15)

[ Allah ] 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." (Surat Al-'A`rāf 7/12)


For example there is a class with 30 students. 28 of them are very successful and 2 of them are just average. If you claim that this class is successful, would it wrong? This is called generalization.

Lets say you are a teacher and the class has 30 students. They are not listening to you, if 29 of them are male and just 1 is female, if you shout them as "Guys, listen to me!", does this sentence give the permission to talk to the female one?

My point is, this is not a mistake, it just a way of talk. Its more like Allah says in some verses "We did...". There is no multiple gods and Allah points in that sentence to himself (not he, but whatever). As in this sentence Allah uses "royal we (meaning me)", in your question he uses generalization. In that moment, there are probably thousands (maybe millions) of angels and there is 1 djinn. Should Allah say "I said to the angels and Iblees, ..."? He might had, but this way is not a mistake.

By the way, apart from all of this, when Iblees didn't prostrate, Allah asked for the reason. This means, he is expected to follow this order. Furthermore, he didn't replied as "I am not an angel, so I didn't realize that I should prostrate too." But, in Surat Al-Kahf 18/50, it is very clear that he is not an angel, but a djinn.

  • Thanks for your answer. However, the ayah I have mentioned says "And when we said to the angels, "Prostrate before Adam" ". As Iblees (may Allah curse him) is not an Angel, rather, he is a Djinn, does this mean it is required for him to prostrate?
    – Dinar
    Mar 2 '15 at 19:04

In Christianity, Iblis is a fallen angel. There are no two opinions about it in any outfit of Christianity. "Kana" in the Qur'an also means "became" instead of "was" (i.e "kana min al-djinn" mmeans "he became one of the djinn"). There are many examples in the Qur'an itself. One obvious example is about the Iblis who is described in the same context as "kana min al-kaagireen". If we translate it as "He was among the kaafireen", it would mean that he was already a kaafir before the disobedience. This would be wrong. But if we translate the sentence as "he became one of the kafireen", it would make sense. Interestingly, most translations do say "He became one of the kaafireen or rejecters!" Let me ask "we find in the Qur'an that the djinn were created out of smokeless fire, we we do not see any ayah telling us what substance the angels were created out of (it is in Hadith, not the Qur'an). Since the Qur'an is fully detailed (6:114), this information that angels are made of light, can be easily deduced if we assume that both angels and the djinn are fashioned from "naar". Since both heat and light are interconvertible forms of energy "naar" (naar and noor), we can now easily understand that one angel (Iblis) was converted from "noor i.e angels" to "naar" (heat i.e djinn) by Allah when Iblis disobeyed Him! The word "naar" in the context of "noor" has been used clearly in the Qur'an in Sura al-Naml (boorika man finnaar) where "naar" has been described as "blessed". I hope it helps.


Iblis position at that time , is same as Angels on higher sky ( Seventh Sky ) , remember is just position . Because of he is very obeyed Allah. So Allah up iblis into higher sky. Closer to Allah and Angel's who are on the higher sky.
And Allah ordered Angel's to prostrate to Adam , because Angel's is higher creation on that time.
Example, if your position is just normal staff in some company, and your boss bring the new Staff, and ask the Manager, CEO, and other higher level staff to give him Handshake, and your position at that time is on your Boss Room because your boss want to gift you reward of your hard work. Will you Handshake the new Staff ?
And if you not gift the new staff the handshake, will your boss ask you ? Why you not gift the Handshake like other higher staff ?
Will you better from CEO, Manager, and others ?
Same like iblis ( Laanatullah Alaih ), Did the iblis feel he's better than angel ? From Light ?
If not, why not prostrated when the better creation ( Angel's ) is prostrated ?
Sorry for bad English guys ,Hope my answer was understood by yours and May Allah always give you Hidayah. Aamiin..

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