Lessons from Holy Qur'an

Iblis said: I am better than Adam

Lesson # 829 from the Noble Quran

Iblis said: I am better than Adam

Surah ‘A’-‘RAAF (The Heights) – Chapter – 7)–Stage – 2

Verse – 12 & 13 of 206, Sections – 2 of 24 (Part – 8)


In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

12.  He said: What hindered thee that thou didst not fall prostrate when I bade thee? He (Iblis) said: I am better than him; Thou created me of fire while him Thou didst create of mud.


13.  He said: Then go down hence! It is not for thee to show pride here, so go forth! Lo! Thou art of those degraded.        

12.  Qaala  maa  mana-‘aka  ‘allaa  tasjuda  ‘iz  ‘amarTuk.  Qaala  ‘ana  khay-rum-minh.  Khalaq-Tanii  min-naarinw-wa  khalaqTahuu  min-tiin.


13.  Qaala  fahbit  min-haa  famaa  yakuunu  laka  ‘an-  tatakabbara  fiihaa  fakhruj  ‘innaka  minas-saagiriin.    



‘Ihbit – (Go down), it is from habuut, which means “to go down – from a higher place or rank, to be transferred from one place to any other”.

‘As-saagiriin – (those people who are disgraceful, degraded, contemptible). It is plural of Saagir, which has been derived from Sagaar. Sagaar means “disgrace, insult, infamy, ignominy”. This word “Sagaar” has come – in Suratul ‘An-‘aam too.


Iblis (Satan) did not fall prostrate before Adam (peace be upon Him) when Allah Almighty ordered to do so and began to think. The aim from falling prostrate was that: I shall remain submissive and obedient to Adam (peace be upon Him). The Angels (peace be upon Them) comprehended immediately that it is the Will of Allah Almighty. Satan forgot the Creator and began to see himself. This explanation has been described in this verse.


It is commanded that Allah Almighty asked the reason of falling not prostrate and said: While it was My Order, then why did you not fall prostrate. He (Satan) replied: I am better than him. You (Allah Almighty) created me of fire and him of mud. It is astonishing; what is comparison among fire and mud? Hereupon, Allah Almighty commanded: You (Iblis) disobeyed Our Order. Now you have no rank in Our Court, so you should go down. This place where you are – is not the place of living for them who consider themselves superior (proud) to others. You cannot show pride while dwelling here. Therefore, go forth. You are included in those now who are degraded.


These Angels (peace be upon Them), who were commanded to fall prostrate before Adam (peace be upon Him), are those, who are given responsibility of service of the works of the earth; anyone of them is appointed to control the air, someone is responsible of water, while charge of fire has been given to any other.


These are the Angels (peace be upon Them), who fell prostrate, but Iblis, who was made of fire, denied to fall prostrate. He forgot bowing before the Order of Allah Almighty and thought: Actual thing is mud in the body of Adam (peace be upon Him), which lies at the lowest place. How can it be that I fall prostrate before it?


The religious commentators have explained that the fire has fastness and lightness. Its specific signs are anger, inflammation, pain, heat and rage. Looking at Adam’s rank and dignity (peace be upon Him), Satan’s fire of envy broke out and he began to be burnt in his heart.


It was the punished that He was kicked out being disgraced from the Court of Allah Almighty. The root of anger and rage is pride and these are tokens of haughtiness. Iblis considered himself superior and at that time He could not think that His actual duty was to obey the Command of Allah Almighty too like other entire creatures. So humiliation infamy, disgrace and ignominy were gotten by Him.


Transliterated Holy Qur’an in Roman Script & Translated from Arabic to English by Marmaduke Pickthall, Published by Paak Company, 17-Urdu Bazar, Lahore, Lesson collected from Dars e Qur’aan published By Idara Islaah wa Tableegh, Lahore (translated Urdu to English by Muhammad Sharif)