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I will continue to lead your servants astray, for as long as their souls are in their bodies.
~ Iblis to God.

Iblīs (or "Eblis"), also known as Shaitan or Shaytaan (which translates, roughly, into "He That Causes Despair"), is the chief spirit of evil in the Islamic belief system, and is the equivalent to Satan/The Devil from the Judeo-Christian Bible. However, there are differences in the being. In the Bible, Satan was a "fallen angel" whereas in Islamic texts, he was a "Jinn" (an entirely different being).

History

According to most branches of Islam, Iblis was a high-ranking jinn, and was created out of smokeless fire by God who reigns over Jannah (Heaven/Paradise in Islam). He committed a great sin when he refused to bow before the first human since he was born from fire, while Adam was made from clay and thinking himself superior to them. As punishment, God damned him and banished Iblis, who changed his name to "Al Shaytaan" (The Devil), to the fires of Jahannam (Hell in Islam), where he plots his revenge on mankind for his exile, and plans to ruin Paradise with his evil.

However, Iblis asked God to prolong the judgment until the End of Time, during which Iblis was granted permission to lead people astray from God, which he originally stated would be used to lead all humanity from Satan's path: however, God ultimately stated "As for My servants, no authority shalt thou have over them.".

Iblis is considered to have only one true power, namely the ability to cast evil suggestions into the hearts of men, women, and jinn. In addition, Iblis also had evil offspring, known as shaitan, and their crimes include planting zaqqum, a demonic tree, in Jahannam (hell). The zaqqum bore fruits that resembled the heads of shaitan and the sinners trapped in Jahannam were forced to eat them. Upon eating, their bodies tore apart and released bodily fluids. When the sinners became full from these fruits, their stomachs proceeded to churn and boil like oil and hot water. 

Iblis' ultimate fate (much like Satan's fate in the Bible) is said to be eternal destruction at the hands of God at the Day of Judgment.

Trivia

  • The term "Iblis" (Arabic: إِبْلِيس‎) may have been derived from the Arabic verbal root bls ب-ل-س (with the broad meaning of "remain in grief")[6] or بَلَسَ (balasa, "he despaired"). Furthermore, the name is related to talbis meaning confusion. Another possibility is that it is derived from Ancient Greek διάβολος (diábolos), via a Syriac intermediary, which is also the source of the English word "devil". However, there is no general agreement on the root of the term. The name itself could not be found before the Quran.
  • Although the name Iblis possibly derived from the same source as the English word "devil", the proper translation of Iblis would be Satan, while the term devil corresponds to the Arabic Shaitan.
  • In Islamic traditions, Iblis is known by many alternative names or titles, such as "Abu Murrah" ("Father of Bitterness"), "Abu Al-Harith ("Father of Plowmen") and "Al-Hakam" ("The Arbiter" or "The Judge").

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