The Reason Iblis was Distanced from Allah’s Mercy – Ibn Al Qayyim

Allaah (The Most High) said:

قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلَّا تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ ۖ قَالَ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ

(Allah) said: “What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you?” Iblis said: “I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.”

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said, “It has been stated that the reason behind Iblees being distanced (from the Mercy of Allaah) is because of false interpretation; for indeed he made an analogy with the text and gave precedence to the analogy over the text. He made a false representation about himself and that that (so called) rational analogy takes precedence over the command (given to him to) to prostrate (to Aadam); for indeed (Allaah informed us that Iblees) said: [أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ  – I am better than him (Adam)]; and that a virtues one cannot humble himself to the one who has been given precedence over him; so he quickly mentioned (as Allaah informed us that Iblees) said: [خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ -You created me from fire, and him You created from clay].   So he thought that this rational analogy that resembles the truth, even though it is false, will benefit him in his false interpretation. So that which happened to him happened and he became the leader of everyone- until the day of judgement – who makes a false interpretation of the texts of the revelation. How many a people in this world are followers of this cursed leader! And if you contemplate on the majority of those doubts that are made to resemble the truth by the false interpreters of the texts and seeking to nullify them, you will find that it is similar to the doubts of Iblees which he seeks to portray as truth.

So a person says: If the intellect and the text oppose each other, then give precedence to the intellect; this is where this principle (i.e. false analogy) is derived from and he (i.e. this person) use it as fundamental principle by way of which to reject those texts of the revelation he claims is in opposition to the intellect, just as his leader Iblees claimed that a (so called) rational evidence opposed the command to make Sujood. This doubt (which he sought to portray as truth) came to him due to pride, which prevented him from submitting to the clear text of the revelation.  Likewise, you find that every false disputer against the texts of the revelation does so due to pride. Allaah (The Most High) said:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي آيَاتِ اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ سُلْطَانٍ أَتَاهُمْ ۙ إِن
فِي صُدُورِهِمْ إِلَّا كِبْرٌ مَّا هُم بِبَالِغِيهِ ۚ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

Verily, those who dispute about the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, without any authority having come to them, there is nothing else in their breasts except pride [to accept you (Muhammad) as a Messenger of Allah and to obey you]. They will never have it (i.e. Prophethood which Allah has bestowed upon you). So seek refuge in Allah (O Muhammad from the arrogants). Verily, it is He Who is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. [40:56]

[Source: Badaa’i At-Tafseer al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim’ Vol 1. Page 377. Abridged and slightly paraphrased]

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The Quran and Sunnah Upon The Understanding of The Salaf