Shaitan is a arabic word, it mean "enemy" or "adversary" or "evil".
According to the Qur'an (the basic source of Islamic belief), when God created Adam (pbuh) and directed the assembly of angels to prostrate before Adam (pbuh), Iblis - a Jinn - was also present in the court. All the angels obediently prostrated before Adam (pbuh). However, Iblis - the Jinn - arrogantly refused to do so. This, obviously, was a transgression on the part of Iblis. It was this transgression of Iblis that made him deserving of the name 'Al-Shaitaan'[The Arabic word 'Al-Shaitaan' means 'the transgressor'] (the Satan). As a result of this transgression, God turned Iblis out of His court and sentenced him to punishment. However, Iblis asked God for respite till the Day of Judgment and declared that because God had turned him out of his court and had sentenced him to punishment because of man, he would therefore always be an enemy to man. He, and those who become his agents, would do all that they can to turn man away from the path of God and as a consequence, suffer the everlasting punishment of hellfire..
Thus, according to the Islamic belief, Iblis - the Satan - is neither a fallen angel, as the Christians believe, nor an agent of God. Islam introduces Iblis as a Jinn, who by his freewill opted to disobey God and transgress. God allowed Satan respite from punishment till an appointed time and gave him the authority only to the extent of suggesting evil to man. Iblis and his agents[ Those who, by their freewill, have opted to live a life of evil and transgression] - from among jinn as well as men - cannot force man into evil. They, however, can incite man to do what is against God's commandments and thereby lose the path of eternal success.
It should be kept in mind that the basic scheme of things in giving man life, according to the Qur'an, was to test him by giving him authority to choose between 'good' and 'evil'. It is, in fact, the incorrect use of this authority, which results in evil. It seems that the Jinn are also given the same authority. Iblis became 'the Satan' for no other reason except for using this freedom of choice for the wrong end.
In Islam, Allah created everything in pairs. The pair for a human is a jinn; two beings of higher intelligence created with free will. In between the pair of jinn and human there could be many other creations with higher intelligence like jinn and human. Qu'ran tells us that the jinn race was created long, long before the human race and, for a long time, humans were nothing, not even mentioned.
Has there not been over human a long period of time, when he was nothing - (not even) mentioned? (verse 1) chapter 76.
Allah created al-Ins (human) from sounding clay like unto pottery (14), and Allah created al-Jinn (jinn) from fire free of smoke (15): Then which of the favors of Rabbkum (your Sustainer and Nurturer) will you deny? (verse 16) chapter 55.
Iblis was of the jinn race and was supposedly a devoted servant of Allah. He attained a very high status and was brought close with the Angels. But Allah knew Iblis and the intentions of Iblis well, and therefore the Shayn was named Iblis (meaning "desperate"). The angels do not have free will and do not sin, because they do not know how to sin. When Allah created humans, Allah commanded all the angels to prostrate (sujood) to Adam. All angels did so, except Iblis, who refused Allah's direct command.
Iblis was proud and considered himself superior to Adam, since Adam was made from clay and Iblis was created from smokeless fire. For this act of disobedience, Allah cursed the Shayn to the Lake of Fire for eternity, but gave the Shayn respite until the Day of Judgment at his request. Iblis obtained permission from Allah and vowed that he would use this time to lead all men and women astray to be devoured in the Lake of Fire. Allah grants the request, but warns the Shayn that it would have no authority over Allah's sincere abd, devoted servants.
How Shayn is described in Qur'ran:
It was We (Allah) Who created human, and We (Allah) know what dark suggestions the human psyche makes to him: for We (Allah) are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein (16) chapter 50, Qur'an.
Chapter 114, Verses 6
With the name of Allah, the unconditional Mercy, the eternal Mercy!
Say, "I seek refuge with the Rabb (Cherisher) of humans (1), the King of humans (2), the Elohim of humans (3); -
"From the mischief of the whisperer (of evil), who withdraws (after its whisper) (4), - (The same) who whispers into the hearts of humans (5), among the jinns and among the humans" (6), Qur'an.
The concept in both Judaism (Yahudianism) and Islam of 'the satan' is the same. Basically, this evil and/or adversary only has the "power of suggestion" and/or "power of whisper". One should not underestimate this so-called "power of suggestion".
The shayn is the devil that is stoned by stoning the three pillars on the hajj. This takes place in Mina.
THE DAYBREAK OR DAWN
Chapter 113, Verses 5
With the name of Allah, the unconditional Mercy, the eternal Mercy!
Say, "I seek refuge with the Rabb (Master) of the dawn (1). From the mischief of created things (2); from the mischief of darkness as it overspreads (3); from the mischief of those who practice secret arts (conniving) (4); and from the mischief of the envious one as he practices envy" (5), Qur'an .
It is the evil within us who is our adversary and with whom we are in constant struggle (jihad) to overcome. It is the jihad within our own selves to overcome our adversary and avoid evil. One can make a connection in the Old Testament to Israel (Jacob) who struggles (jihads) to please Elohim. Iblis is evil (the satan), who defied Allah's direct command.
After their creation, Adam and Eve were allowed to dwell freely in the Paradise of God meaning the Garden of Eden (al-jannah, ), but Allah forbade them to go near a tree. Again, this was Allah's command to Adam and Eve; the tree may not have been the significant factor in Adam and Eve's punishment. According to the Qur'an, Iblis tricked Adam and Hawwa' into eating from the forbidden tree. Allah then expelled all of them (including the Shayn) from the Paradise of God and onto earth, with enmity between them, but promised His Guidance will come to all of them. And if they are righteous, then they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve. Adam sought repentance from Allah, and Allah gave Adam inspiration. Allah forgave Adam and aww' and told them "Get you down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Qur'n 2:38)"
The jinn we know as Satan was created from fire. Before his obedience and sincerity were tested through Adam, he had been in the company of angels, acting and worshiping as they did. Unlike angels, however, who cannot rebel against God (At-Tahrim 66:6), Satan was free to choose his own path of conduct. When God tested him and the angels by commanding them to prostrate before Adam, the seeds of his self-conceit and disobedience blossomed and swallowed him. He replied in his vanity, (I am better than him. You created me from fire, whilst him you did create of clay) (Saad 38:76).
Why was Satan created? Satan was created for important purposes. If Satan, who continually tries to seduce us, did not exist, our creation would be meaningless and futile. God has innumerable servants who cannot rebel and thus do whatever they are told. In fact, the existence of an absolute Divine Being Who has many beautiful names and attributes requires, not because of some external necessity but because of the essential nature of His names, that His names be manifest.
God gave us free will so that we could know good from evil. In addition, He gave us great potentials. Our development of these potentials and our struggle to choose between good and evil make us experience a constant battle in our inner and outer worlds. Just as God sends hawks upon sparrows so that the latter will develop their potential to escape, He created Satan and allowed him to tempt us so that our resistance to temptation will raise us spiritually and strengthen our willpower. Just as hunger stimulates human beings and animals to further exertion and discovery of new ways to be satisfied, and fear inspires new defenses, Satan’s temptations cause us to develop our potentials and guard against sin.
There is an infinitely long line of spiritual evolution between the ranks of the greatest prophets and saints down to those of people like Pharaoh and Nimrod; therefore it cannot be claimed that the creation of Satan is evil. Although Satan is evil and serves various important purposes, God’s creation involves the whole universe and should be understood in relation to the results, not only with respect to the acts themselves. Whatever God does or creates is good and beautiful in itself or in its effects. For example, rain and fire are very useful but can cause great harm when abused; therefore, one cannot claim that the creation of water and fire is not totally good. It is the same with the creation of Satan. His main purpose is to cause us to develop our potential, strengthen our willpower by resisting his temptations, and then rise to higher spiritual ranks.
Allaah says in Soorat al-Naas (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say: I seek refuge with (Allaah) the Lord of mankind,
The King of mankind —
The Ilaah (God) of mankind,
From the evil of the whisperer (devil who whispers evil in the hearts of men) who withdraws (from his whispering in one’s heart after one remembers Allaah)
Who whispers in the hearts of mankind.
Of jinn and men.”[al-Naas 114:1-6]
Muslim (132) narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: “Some of the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to him and said, ‘We find things in our hearts that none of us would dare to utter out loud.’ He said, ‘Do you really find that?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘That is clear faith.’”
Muslim (3203) narrated that ‘Uthmaan ibn Abi’l-‘Aas came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allaah, the Shaytaan is coming between me and my prayer and making me confused in my recitation.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “That is a devil called Khanzab. If you feel his presence, then seek refuge with Allaah from him and spit drily to your left three times.” [‘Uthmaan] said: “I did that and Allaah took him away from me.”
Al-Bukhaari (3276) and Muslim (134) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The Shaytaan comes to some of you and says, “Who created such and such? Who created such and such?” – until he says, “Who created your Lord?” If that happens, then let him seek refuge with Allaah and stop thinking about that.’”
Al-Bukhaari (1231) and Muslim (389) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘When the call for prayer is given, the Shaytaan runs away, breaking wind loudly so as not to hear the adhaan. When the adhaan ends, he comes back. When the iqaamah is made, he runs away, then when the iqaamah ends, he comes back to distract a man from his prayer, saying, “Remember such and such,” things that the man did not remember, until he does not know how many rak’ahs he has prayed. If one of you does not know how many rak’ahs he has prayed, whether it is three or four, then let him do two prostrations whilst he is sitting.”
Muslim (571) narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, ‘If one of you is uncertain about his prayer and cannot remember how many rak’ahs he has prayed, whether it was three or four, then let him avoid doubt and act upon that of which he is certain, then let him do two prostrations before he says the salaam. Then if he prayed five rak’ahs then they will make his prayer even, and if he prayed four then that will annoy the Shaytaan.”
These aayahs and ahaadeeth show just how keen the Shaytaan is to lead the sons of Adam astray and stop them from worshipping their Lord, by means of the waswaas (whispers) which he instills in their hearts. But the way to save oneself from these devilish whispers is made clear. For some people the matter may go so far that they have doubts about every act of worship they try to do, whether they have even done it or not. The question here is not whether such a person is to blame, rather the question is whether a person will be rewarded for his striving against the Shaytaan and his efforts to resist these whispers, or not.
There is no clear statement from the scholars on this matter, but it may be understood from the words of the two Shaykhs, Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on them), that he will be rewarded for that. This is what is to be understood from the texts quoted above, as we shall see below.
In the first hadeeth, the Sahaabah asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about the waswaas that they felt in their hearts, and he said, “That is clear faith.” Shaykh al-Islam (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 7/282) said: “In other words, the fact that this waswaas was happening and they disliked it so much and pushed it away from their hearts is clear faith, like the mujaahid to whom the enemy comes and he resists him until he defeats him, and this is the greatest form of jihad. Clear (sareeh) means pure, like pure milk. It becomes clear and pure because they hated those devilish whispers and warded them off, so their faith became pure and clear.”
He also said (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 14/108):
“This waswasah is something that enters the heart not by a person’s choice, and if a person hates it and shuns it, this hatred of it is clear faith.”
He also said (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 22/608):
“Many of the scholars said: hating that, disliking it and shunning it is clear faith. Praise be to Allaah that the most the Shaytaan can do is whisper, for when the jinn-devil is defeated, it whispers (waswasa) and when the human devil is defeated he lies. Waswaas affects everyone who tries to focus on Allaah in his worship and dhikr etc. So one has to be steadfast and patient and persist in dhikr or prayer; he should not feel distressed because if he persists, that will divert the plot of the Shaytaan away from him, for the plot of the Shaytaan is weak.”
And he said in Dar’ al-Ta’aarud, 3/318:
“This waswaas may be gotten rid of by seeking refuge with Allaah and ignoring it, so that if [the Shaytaan] says, ‘you did not wash your face,’ you should say, ‘Yes, I did wash my face;’ if he thinks that he did not form the intention (for prayer) or say Allaahu akbar, he should say in his heart, ‘Yes I did form the intention and say Allaahu akbar.’ He should cling steadfastly to the truth and ward off the waswaas that goes against it, so that the Shaytaan will see how strong and steadfast he is in adhering to the truth, and will leave him alone. Otherwise when he [the Shaytaan] sees that he is influenced by doubts and responsive to waswaas, he will send him more waswaas until he will be unable to resist and his heart will become receptive to the seductive whispers of the devils of the jinn and of mankind, and he will move from one thing to another until the Shaytaan drives him to his doom.
Based on the above, we may say that a man will be rewarded for resisting this waswaas and for striving against the Shaytaan for a number of reasons:
1 – The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) praised the feeling of hatred towards the waswaas that had to do with doubts concerning belief (‘aqeedah), when he said, “That is clear faith.” One of things implied by the hatred of this waswaas is that one turns away from it and does not get carried away with it.
2 – Obeying the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Let him stop it.”
3 – The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said concerning the prostration of forgetfulness (sajdat al-sahw): “They will annoy the Shaytaan.” This implies encouragement to annoy and humiliate the Shaytaan. Annoying him here means turning away from this waswaas and not paying any attention to it. This is in addition to the fact that Allaah and His Messenger have taught us to seek refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan, etc.
4 – The difficulties and distress that the believer may suffer as a result of this waswaas may be included in the hadeeth of the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “No Muslim suffers tiredness, exhaustion, worry, grief, annoyance or distress, not even a thorn that pricks him, but Allaah will expiate some of his sins thereby.”
(al-Bukhaari, 2573; Muslim, 5642).
To the argument made by some that Satan leads many people to unbelief and subsequent punishment in Hell, I would reply with the following:
First, although Satan was created for many good, universal purposes, many people may be deceived by him. But Satan only whispers and suggests; he cannot force you to indulge in evil and sin. If you are so weak that his false promises deceive you and you allow yourself to be dragged down, you earn the punishment of Hell by misusing an important God-given faculty that enables you to develop your potential and raise to the highest rank. You must use your free will, which makes you human and gives you the highest position in creation, properly, and to further your intellectual and spiritual evolution. Otherwise, you must complain about being honored with free will and therefore about being human.