Iblis, also known as Eblis or Ibris, is considered by many to be the Islamic equivalent of the Christian Satan and can be found in multiple mentions in the Quran. Both Iblis and Satan share a similar backstory – they were once angels that committed a sin and were cast out of heaven and away from the grace of God or Allah.
There are some very strong similarities and equally strong differences between Satan and Iblis that are very important to understand in order to fully understand who or what Iblis is. While both Iblis and Satan are considered angels that were cast out of heaven, they were both sent away for very different reasons. Satan is believed to have led a revolt or even open war against God in heaven, leading other angels down a path of destruction that saw them all cast out of the heavens. Iblis, however, was cast out of heaven for committing a great sin, the sin of refusing to do what Allah commanded and bowing to Adam. Iblis is described in the Quran as a Jinn, or a being made of smokeless fire. This is in stark contrast to humans which the Quran says were made of mud and clay. Thinking himself far better than a being made of dust, Iblis refused to bow when Allah commanded. Instead he argued with Allah that forcing angels to bow to humans was inappropriate and wrong. For this he was thrown out of heaven and Allah can forgive and welcome him back at any time.
Iblis is not capable of creating evil in the world, unlike Satan. Instead, their similarities when it comes to our struggles here on earth are limited to being tempters that take advantage of the weakness of the human spirit in order to guide us away from the path that God, or Allah, has laid out for us. Another core difference is that Iblis has been given permission by Allah to try and drag as many humans into Hell with him as possible. He is allowed to tempt and test mankind as much as he wishes in order to corrupt as many humans as possible.
In order to successfully make it to paradise, followers of Islam must ignore the temptations of Iblis and his army of demons that are determined to corrupt as many humans as possible. They have been given a finite amount of time to corrupt and confuse as many of Allah’s humans as they can before Iblis, his army, and all the souls foolish enough to fall for their temptations are cast into eternal torment.
The different sects of Islam all have slightly different variations on the story of Iblis but the main core of the story remains. Whether an angel or Jinn, whether he was undergoing re-education or was just plainly prideful, he remains the great tempter of Islam. Make sure that you do not listen to his lies. Stay faithful to Allah and his word.