We are in this world because we committed a horrendous crime, and this life is our chance to redeem ourselves, denounce our crime, and rejoin God’s kingdom.
It all began a few billion years ago when “a feud arose in the Heavenly Society” (38:69). One of the high-ranking creatures, Satan, entertained supercilious thoughts that his God-given powers qualified him to be a god besides God. He thus challenged God’s absolute authority. Not only was Satan’s idea blasphemous, it was wrong – only God, and no one else, possesses the qualifications and ability to be a god. Consequent to Satan’s blasphemy, a division occurred in the Heavenly Society, and all constituents of God’s kingdom became classified into four categories:
- Angels: Creatures who upheld God’s absolute authority.
- Animals: Rebels (animals, trees, stars, etc.) who took advantage of God’s offer to repent and re-enter His kingdom. [From Introduction.]
- Jinns: Creatures who agreed with Satan; that he is capable of being a “god.”
- Humans: Creatures who did not make up their minds; they failed to make a firm stand with God’s absolute authority.
The Most Merciful
The angels expected God to banish the creatures who did not uphold His absolute authority (2:30). But God is Most Merciful; He decided to give us a chance to denounce our mistake, and informed the angels that He knew what they did not know (2:30). God knew that some creatures deserved a chance to be redeemed.
If you claim the ability to fly a plane, the best way to test your claim is to give you a plane and ask you to fly it. This is precisely what God decided to do in response to Satan’s claim. God created seven vast universes, then informed the angels that He was appointing Satan as a god on the tiny mote called “Earth” (2:30). The Quranic accounts related to appointing Satan as a temporary “god” (36:60) confirm the previous scripture.
|You, Lucifer, said in your heart:|
“I will scale the heavens.
Above the stars of God.
I will set up my throne.
I will take my seat
on the Mount of Congregation,
in the recesses of the North.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will be like the Most High!”
The devil then took Jesus up a very high mountain
and displayed before him all the kingdoms of the world
in their magnificence, promising:
“All these will I bestow on you
if you prostrate yourself in homage before me.”
At this, Jesus said to him,
“Away with you, Satan!
Scripture has it:
`You shall worship the Lord your God;
Him ALONE shall you adore.’”
[Matthew 4:8-10] & [Luke 4:5-8]
God’s plan called for creating death (67:1-2), then bringing the humans and jinns into this world. Thus, they start over without any biases, and exercise full freedom to uphold God’s absolute authority or Satan’s polytheistic theory. To make this crucial decision, every human being receives a message from God advocating His absolute authority, as well as a message from Satan pushing his polytheistic principles.
To give us a headstart, the Most Merciful gathered all the human beings before Him, prior to sending us to this world, and we bore witness that He alone is our Lord and Master (7:172). Thus, upholding God’s absolute authority is a natural instinct that is an integral part of every human being.
After putting the rebels to death, the souls of humans and jinns were placed in a special depository. God then created the appropriate bodies to house the souls of jinns and humans during the test period. The first jinn body was made from fire, and Satan was assigned to that body (15:27). The first human body was created from earthly material, clay (15:26), and God assigned the first human soul to that body. The divine plan called for the angels to serve the humans on earth – guard them, drive the wind and rain for them, distribute provisions, etc. This fact is stated in the Quran allegorically: “Your Lord said to the angels, `Fall prostrate before Adam.’” Satan of course refused to have anything to do with serving the human race (2:34, 7:11, 17:61, 18:50, 20:116).
While Adam’s body remained on earth, the real person, the soul, was admitted into Heaven in the outermost universe. God gave Adam certain commandments, represented by the forbidden tree, and Satan was appointed as Adam’s companion to deliver to Adam his satanic message. The rest is history.
Every time a human being is born, a human person is assigned to the new baby from the depository of souls. God assigns the souls in accordance with His knowledge (28:68). Every soul deserves to be assigned to a certain body, and live under certain circumstances. God alone knows which souls are good and which souls are evil. Our children are assigned to our homes in accordance with God’s plan.
An independent jinn soul is also assigned to the new human being to represent Satan’s point of view. While the physical body of any jinn is reproduced from the parent jinns, the jinn soul is that of an independent individual. Jinns are descendants of Satan (7:27, 18:50). The assigned jinn remains with the human being from birth to death, and serves as the main witness on the Day of Judgment (50:23). A continuous debate takes place in our heads between the human soul and the jinn soul until both of them are convinced of one point of view.
The Original Sin
Contrary to common belief, the “Original Sin” was not Adam’s violation of God’s law when he ate from the forbidden tree. The original sin was our failure to uphold God’s absolute authority during the Great Feud. If the human person convinces his or her jinn companion to denounce that original sin, and uphold God’s absolute authority, both creatures are redeemed to God’s eternal kingdom on the Day of Judgment. But if the jinn companion convinces the human being to uphold Satan’s idolatrous views, then both creatures are exiled forever from God’s kingdom.
To promote his point of view, Satan and his representatives advocate the idolization of such powerless creatures as Muhammad, Jesus, Mary, and the saints. Since we are here due to our polytheistic tendencies, most of us are easy prey for Satan.
Satan’s incompetence as a “god” has already been proven by the prevalence of chaos, disease, accidents, misery, and war throughout his dominion (36:66). On the other hand, the human beings who denounce Satan, uphold God’s absolute authority, and refrain from idolizing powerless and dead creatures like Jesus and Muhammad, are restored to God’s protection – they enjoy a perfect life here in this world and forever.
Because our life in this world is a series of tests designed to expose our polytheistic ideas, idol worship is the only unforgivable offense (4:48, 116). The world is divinely designed to manifest our decision to uphold either God’s absolute authority, or Satan’s idolatrous views (67:1-2). The day and the night change constantly to test our willingness to uphold God’s laws by observing the Dawn Prayer and fasting during the hottest and longest days. Only those who are totally certain about God’s absolute authority are redeemed (26:89).