• Why did Allah, the Omniscient, create satan, earthly desires and Hell?
• How do satan, earthly desires and Hell bestow depth on a person?
• What is the wisdom behind the creation of difficulties?
As revealed in verse 30 of Surat Al-Baqara, “When your Lord said to the angels, ‘I am putting a successive authority on the earth,’ they said, ‘Why put on it one who will cause corruption on it and shed blood when we glorify You with praise and proclaim Your purity?’ He said, ‘I know what you do not know’,” Allah created conscious entities, human beings, even though angels were already in existence. This is because Allah loves human beings according to their piety, who harbor a fervent love and fear of Him, who know and praise His might, who love and appreciate His creations, who know and are content with all the beauties He creates and who delight in all these things. The reason why Allah loves human beings more than the angels is that angels simply obey Allah’s commands, while human beings strive against satan and earthly desires and believe in the mysteries without seeing Him.
“Who could have a better faith than someone who submits himself completely to Allah and is a good-doer, and follows the religion of Abraham, a man of pure natural belief? Allah took Abraham as an intimate friend.” (Surat An-Nisa, 125)
In verse 125 of Surat An-Nisa’, our Lord expresses His love of those who have faith by speaking of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh) as an “intimate friend.”
Allah created satan, earthly desires and Hell
Allah loves all fine things, including virtuous people. He has sent down the verses of the Qur’an with a delightful, melodious and magnificent harmony. Had He wished, He could have sent them down without that harmony. Had He wished, He could have created man in Paradise, without creating the Earth and Hell at all. But if human beings had been created directly in Paradise, they could never have known the deficiencies of this world and the torments of Hell, and could never have compared them and attained the fervor, depth and submission desired by Allah. As revealed in verses of the Qur’an, Allah created the Prophet Adam (pbuh) and his wife in Paradise. Despite being a Prophet, Adam (pbuh) fell into error because he knew nowhere else other than Paradise. Indeed, verses reveal that the sorrow the Prophet Adam (pbuh) felt when he descended to earth stemmed from his comparing this world with that of Paradise. This regret is described as follows in verses:
But Satan caused them to slip out of it and removed them from that (condition) in which they had been. And We said, “Go down, [all of you], as enemies to one another, and you will have upon the earth a place of settlement and provision for a time.” Then Adam received from his Lord (some) words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.” (Surat Al-Baqara, 36- 37)
The beauty of anything can only be appreciated in comparison with what is unpleasant and ugly, and virtue can only be appreciated when compared with vice. One can compare the glorious variety and beauty of life by putting good and bad, attractive and ugly side by side and thus come to appreciate all the blessings one possesses. Otherwise, one cannot give thanks for or appreciate the value of one’s blessings, and one would not wish to strive against one’s earthly desires in order to attain the infinite delights of Paradise. One can only appreciate delights in this world and enjoy Paradise in the Hereafter by making comparisons. But in that event, by Allah’s will, Paradise and all of its delights become a true blessing.
Striving against satan and his supporters
In the verse “Mankind! Eat what is good and lawful on the earth. And do not follow in the footsteps of satan. He truly is an outright enemy to you.”(Surat Al Baqara, 168) Allah reveals that satan is the enemy of man and commands man to strive against him. Had our Lord not created satan, there would be no struggle between him and his supporters and Muslims, and no preaching of the word.
Allah gives Muslims the impression that the innocent are suffering for the test. They appear to be suffering and dying. But they do not suffer at all. Our Lord says this of martyred Muslims, “They are alive and well provided for in the very presence of their Lord,”(Surat Al-‘Imran, 169) thus making their condition in His presence perfectly clear. But by creating troubles and martyrdom in this way, Allah increases Muslims’ feelings of zeal and eliminates apathy and monotony.
Striving against earthly desires and difficulties
Striving against satan and earthly desires allow one to reflect very deeply. Allah loves a servant who thanks Him deeply, finds him very beautiful, and at the end of his life in this world He will reward the believer with the eternal life of Paradise.
One who fails to see the marvels and details that Allah creates in this world will also fail to see them in Paradise. Someone who acts in the light of earthly desires, who gives in to troubles and fails to strive against them can take no pleasure from paradise if Allah places him there. The glorious life of Paradise and all its delights will mean nothing to him because he has not striven to earn Paradise, has made no comparison between deficiencies and beauties and has acquired no spiritual depth. But in the face of satan, Hell, and earthly desires one acquires a glorious depth and never forgets one’s struggle for all time. One’s endeavors in the face of these tests created by Allah give one a profound mind and soul. That is when Paradise becomes delightful for the believer. As commanded in verses:
“O self at rest and at peace, return to your Lord, well-pleasing and well-pleased! Enter among My slaves! Enter My Garden. (Surat Al-Fajr, 27- 30)
Adnan Oktar's piece on Arab News: