The extent of Satan’s knowledge
Fatwa No: 18027

  • Fatwa Date:11-11-2007 - Thul-Qi'dah 2, 1428
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Question

What is the extent that Satan has reached in the various branches of knowledge? Is there any mention of this in the Sunnah?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

 

To the best of our knowledge, nothing was reported on the authority of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, that may serve as corroborative evidence in this respect. There are only some citations reported by the scholars of Tafseer on the authority of some of the Companions, the Taabi’is and others in regard to this. For instance Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him stated that Satan was one of the angels before committing the sin and he was called ‘Azaazeel. He used to live on earth and be one of the most diligent and knowledgeable angels; this filled him with arrogance. He belonged to a group of angels called Al-Jinn.  

This kind of information was probably taken from the books of the People of the Book. In a narration on the authority of ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ordered Muslims to report everything they hear from him  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) even if it is so little. Moreover, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )  mentioned that it is permissible to listen to the citations and stories of the children of Israa’eel and to report them on their authority. [Al-Bukhari]

In another narration, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) mentioned that we should neither belie nor believe in all what we hear from the People of the Book. [At-Tabaarani]

These two narrations indicate the permissibility of listening to the People of the Book and transmitting their words without belying or believing in it, because their distorted books include both right and wrong, which means that they do not represent an authentic source of knowledge. Had they been so, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, would have ordered us to adhere to them in the same way we are ordered to adhere to  his Sunnah. Thus, not everyone is permitted to read their books because it is extremely dangerous to do so.

Finally, we advise our questioner not to preoccupy themselves with such matters, because no Sharee‘ah ruling can be built upon them.  

Allaah Knows best.

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