Refuting reports that Ibn Masʻood and Ibn ʻAbbaas said that Iblees was an angel
Fatwa No: 315529

  • Fatwa Date:27-2-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 19, 1437
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. There are reports that Ibn Masʻood and Ibn ʻAbbaas said that Iblis is an angel; are any of these reports authentic (as there are quite a few)? I know that Iblis is a jinn, so please do not send me the other fatwa as I already read that. I would just like to know in regards to these reports from Ibn ʻAbbaas and other salaf.

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 ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

Al-Qurtubi and some other commentators of the Quran stated this view on the authority of Ibn Masʻood and Ibn ʻAbbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them. However, after careful research, we could not find an authentic chain of narration that attributes this statement to either of them. Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him refuted this view and underlined that it is copied from the the Israa'eeliyyaat (body of narratives originating from Jewish and Christian traditions).

He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

A lot of these reports were transmitted from the righteous predecessors, but most of them were borrowed from the Israa'eeliyyaat, which were transmitted in order to be examined (as opposed to being accepted as it is). Allaah knows best about the veracity or otherwise of many of them. Some of them are definitely to be rejected because they contradict the truth that we hold in our hands. In fact, the Quran is sufficient for us so that we have no need for previous reports, because hardly any of them are free of distortion either by addition or omission. Many of these past reports and traditions have been fabricated given the fact the People of the Book do not have competent narrators to memorize the information precisely by heart, eliminating the distortions created by extremists and fabricators, unlike this Muslim nation, which has been endowed with its great imaams, scholars, leaders, pious and righteous people, brilliant critics, and men of excellent memory who recorded the ahaadeeth and classified them, stating whether they were saheeh (sound), hasan (good), dhaʻeef (weak), fabricated, or matrook (abandoned and rejected because the reporter was suspected of falsehood, was openly wicked in speech and action, or was guilty of carelessness or frequent wrong notions). They identified the fabricators and liars, the reporters who were declared majhool al-haal (whose trustworthiness could not be affirmed by hadeeth scholars), and other categories of narrators. All of this added protection to the statements of the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, the seal of the Messengers and the master of Mankind, so that nothing would falsely be attributed to him and so that nothing would be transmitted from him that he did not say or do. May Allaah be pleased with them and bless them (with rewards) and render Paradise their eternal abode.” [Tafseer Ibn Katheer]

Allaah knows best.

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