Why did Allaah The Almighty create evil? Why did He create the devil? Are there clear answers to these questions in the Quran and the Sunnah (Prophetic tradition)?

Why did Allaah The Almighty create evil? Why did He create the devil? Are there clear answers to these questions in the Quran and the Sunnah (Prophetic tradition)?

All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

There was enormous wisdom behind the creation of Satan, disbelievers, sinners and evil.  Ibn Al-Qayyim, the  Hanbali scholar, may Allaah have mercy upon him, mentioned some of the reasons :


1-      To perfect the rank of the Prophets and the righteous servants of Allaah The Almighty as much as possible, and to give them blessings in this world and in the Hereafter through fighting the devil and his party and causing them to become better, and in seeking refuge with Allaah The Almighty against their schemes.

2-      Strengthening the fear of Allaah The Exalted in the hearts of believers and angels, as they ponder over what happened to Satan because of his sin and his removal from the rank of an angel to that of a devil.  There is no doubt that once angels see this, their worship of Allaah The Almighty becomes more sincere, and their fear of Allaah The Exalted becomes stronger, just like when a master humiliates a servant before others, their fear of him will be stronger.

3-      Allaah The Almighty provided Satan as an example to those who violate His commandments and insist on disobeying Him, while Aadam, may Allaah exalt his mention, was given as an example to those who commit sins and then repent to Him.  In other words, Allaah The Exalted tested the father of men and the father of the Jinn through sin. The father of the Jinn persisted in his disobedience, thus he was set as an example to those who persist in sin.  As for the father of men, he repented to Allaah The Almighty and admitted his sin and was given as an example to those who repent to Allaah The Almighty. Certainly, this reflects the wisdom of Allaah The Almighty.

4-      The creation of evil and the devil is a test through which Allaah The Almighty distinguishes wicked people from good, for He created man from the earth, which contains both good and evil, the plain and the rough, thus it is necessary for humans to bear the qualities of the substance from which they were made.

Indeed the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said that Allaah The Almighty created Aadam (Adam, may Allaah exalt his mention,) from a handful of dust taken from different lands, so the children of Aadam were created of various kinds: good and evil, plain and rough, and in between.  [At-Tirmithi] Thus Allaah the All Wise commanded these different natures and inclinations to be uncovered through the creation of Satan and the sending of the Messengers, may Allaah exalt their mention, which represent the standard according to which good people are distinguished from wicked people. 

Allaah The Almighty Said (what means): {Allaah would not leave the believers in that [state] you are in [presently] until He separates the evil from the good.} [Quran 3:179].  Consequently, good people follow the good (the Prophets), while evil people follow the evil (Satan).  Allaah the All Wise also decreed that the two types would live together in this world.  However, He will distinguish between them in the Hereafter, that is: good people will go to Paradise, while evil people will go to Hell. 

5-      Showing the ultimate power of Allaah The Exalted through the creation of Jibreel (Gabriel, may Allaah exalt his mention) and the other angels, who have a nature that contradicts that of Satan and the other devils.  This is considered one of the strongest indications of the ultimate power and unconquered will of Allaah The Almighty, who creates opposites such as sky and earth, light and dark, Paradise and Hell, water and fire, warmth and coldness, and good and evil. 

6-      Creating things with opposite natures clearly identifies their qualities, i.e. if ugly things had not been created, beautiful things would not have been identified and appreciated.

7-      Allaah The Almighty likes to be truly thanked in every possible way, so through the creation of Satan and his soldiers Allaah The Almighty provided His true servants with ways to thank Him. Certainly, the way Aadam, may Allaah exalt his mention, used to thank Allaah The Almighty while he was in Paradise differs from the way he used to thank Him after he was tempted into sin by Satan and was forgiven by Allaah The Almighty, who accepted his repentance.

8-      There are certain acts of worship that Allaah The Almighty loves the most, including loving Him, returning to Him, placing one's trust in Him, showing patience and satisfaction with Him and the like. These acts of worship can only be materialized through Jihaad (struggle) -- sacrificing oneself for the sake of Allaah The Almighty and loving Him more than anything else. Jihaad is the highest of all acts of worship, therefore the creation of Satan and his followers means that this act of worship will be performed in the best way, along with its subsequent benefits that only Allaah The Almighty knows.

9-      The creation of those who fight the Messengers of Allaah and oppose them demonstrates His power, might and wisdom. There were reasons for the different miracles through which Allaah The Almighty supported His Messengers, including the flood, the staff of Moosa (Moses, may Allaah exalt his mention), his hand and the splitting of the Red Sea, the protection of Ibraaheem (Abraham, may Allaah exalt his mention) when he was thrown into the fire and various other miracles that prove the knowledge and wisdom of Allaah The Almighty. 

10- The element of fire (from which Satan was created) contains the power of burning and destruction as well as the power of light and illumination.  Allaah The Exalted  created from fire creatures with the same variant natures. The same applies to the element of earth (from which man was created), which contains red, black and yellow substances - good and evil, the plain and the rough.  This is a clear sign and indication of the fact that was mentioned in the verse where Allaah The Almighty Said (what means): {There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.} [Quran 42:11]

11- There should be matters through which the names and attributes of Allaah The Almighty are revealed and manifested.  These names and attributes refer either to His mercy and benevolence (e.g. the Merciful, the Sustainer, etc.) or His might and power (e.g. the Abaser, the Exalter, the Giver of Honor, the Humiliator, the Arbitrator, the utterly Just, etc.).

12- Allaah The Almighty is the absolute Ruler who rewards and punishes whom He wills, honors and humiliates whom He wills, and is just and benevolent to His creatures.  Therefore, there should be subjects that experience each of these characteristics. 

13- The ‘Perfectly Wise’ is one of the names of Allaah The Almighty. His wisdom means everything is placed in its proper position, so He created things with opposite natures and gave everything distinguishing characteristics, qualities and rulings.  This proves the absolute wisdom and power of Allaah The Almighty.

14- Allaah The Almighty is perfectly praised for all that He does and decrees, that is: He is praised for his justice, deprivation or revenge on His wicked creatures and humiliation of them.  He is also fully praised for his benevolence, honor and generosity.  Allaah The Almighty praises Himself for all that, as do His angels, Messengers, righteous servants and all people on the Day of Judgment. Thus, creating anything that is considered a reason for praising Allaah The Almighty perfectly is an absolutely wise decree for which Allaah The Almighty is perfectly praised.

15- Allaah The Almighty likes to show His mercy, forbearance, patience and benevolence to His servants. This means He created those who disbelieve in Him, associate partners with Him, oppose His judgments and strive to violate His commandments, while He bestows all blessings on them, sustains them, answers their supplication, helps them in difficulties and treats them kindly and leniently. Considering this, it becomes clear the extent to which Allaah The Almighty is wise and the extent to which He deserves praise. 

It was narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said that none is more patient than Allaah The Almighty: He hears people associating partners with Him and alleging that He has children, nevertheless He sustains them and grants safety and health to them. [Al-Bukhaari]. 

It was also narrated in a Qudsi Hadeeth (sacred narration) that Allaah The Almighty said that the son of Aadam ‘…abuses Me, though he has no right to do so,’ and belies Him, though he has no right to do so. As for abusing Him, it is the saying that Allaah The Almighty has fathered children, while He is the One, the Self-Sufficient master whom all creatures need, He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none like Him. As for belying Him, it is the saying that Allaah The Almighty will not recreate and resurrect him as He created him the first time. [Al-Bukhaari].

Allah The Almighty provides even for the person who abuses Him and lies about Him, grants him safety and health, defends him, invites him to enter His Paradise, accepts his repentance, replaces his evil deeds with good ones, treats him with leniency, sends Messengers to him and commands them to call him kindly (to the true path) and to treat him leniently.  Al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh, may Allaah have mercy upon him, mentioned that every night Allaah The Almighty says that none is more benevolent than Him, that is: His creatures disobey Him while He protects and provides for them, even during their sleep, as if they had never disobeyed Him.  Allaah The Almighty is very generous even to wrongdoers and sinners, to the extent that He answers whoever supplicates Him and gives, whoever asks Him, what he asks for something. He even gives without being asked. Why then do sinners disobey Him?

Allaah The Almighty said in a Qudsi Hadeeth that it is strange how man and Jinn are against Him; He created them but they worship others and supplies them with provision while they thank others.  [Al-Bayhaqi in Shu‘ab Al-Eemaan and Al-Haakim in Al-Mustadrak]

In another Hadeeth it was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, reported that Allaah The Almighty said if you were not to commit sins, Allaah The Almighty would sweep you out of existence and replace you with a people who committed sins and sought forgiveness from Him, and He would forgive them. [Muslim]

Given the fact that Allaah The Almighty loves His names and attributes perfectly, His wisdom and praiseworthiness necessitated creating creatures to be subject to the influence and rulings of these names and attributes.

In other words:

-        Allaah The Almighty loves forgiveness, therefore He created creatures to treat leniently and patiently

-        Allaah The Almighty loves to pardon, therefore He created beings to pardon

-        Allaah The Almighty loves justice and wisdom, thus He created beings to treat according to His wisdom and justice and

-        Allaah The Almighty loves generosity and benevolence, thus He created beings to treat generously and benevolently, notwithstanding their sin.  Had Allaah The Almighty not created beings who commit sins and disobey Him, none of the previous rationales and benefits would have been seen or revealed.  Indeed, blessed is Allaah, Lord of the worlds and the Most Just of judges!

Finally, you should know that praising Allaah The Almighty implies all of this, since He is perfectly praised for all that He created and decreed, that is: His praiseworthiness reaches as far as the extent of His creation and commands. This praise must include love for Him, satisfaction with Him, and acknowledgment of His absolute wisdom in all that He creates or decrees, because denying His wisdom means denying His praiseworthiness.  In other words, the fact that Allaah The Almighty is praised means that He is wise, that is: His praise and wisdom are connected as are His knowledge and power. 

The life of Allaah The Almighty is a requirement for His being and the absence of the manifestations of the names and attributes of Allaah The Almighty is considered a deficiency, which contradicts His perfection, greatness and supreme pride. [Quoted from Ibn Al-Qayyim]  

Allaah Knows best.

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Last modified onFriday, 18 September 2015 10:54
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