Skip to main content
qāla
قَالَ
(Allah) said,
مَا
"What
manaʿaka
مَنَعَكَ
prevented you
allā
أَلَّا
that not
tasjuda
تَسْجُدَ
you prostrate
idh
إِذْ
when
amartuka
أَمَرْتُكَۖ
I commanded you?"
qāla
قَالَ
(Allah) said,
anā
أَنَا۠
"I am
khayrun
خَيْرٌ
better
min'hu
مِّنْهُ
than him.
khalaqtanī
خَلَقْتَنِى
You created me
min
مِن
from
nārin
نَّارٍ
fire
wakhalaqtahu
وَخَلَقْتَهُۥ
and You created him
min
مِن
from
ṭīnin
طِينٍ
clay."

Qaala maa mana'aka allaa tasjuda iz amartuka qaala ana khairum minhu khalaqtanee min naarinw wa khalaqtahoo min teen

Sahih International:

[Allah] said, "What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?" [Satan] said, "I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay."

1 A. J. Arberry

Said He, 'What prevented thee to bow thyself, when I commanded thee?' Said he, 'I am better than he; Thou createdst me of fire, and him Thou createdst of clay.'

2 Abdul Haleem

God said, ‘What prevented you from bowing down as I commanded you?’ and he said, ‘I am better than him: You created me from fire and him from clay.’

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Allah said: what prevented thee, that thou shouldst not prostrate thyself, when I bade thee? He said. I am better than he; me Thou createdest me from fire, and him Thou createdest from clay.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

(Allah) said; "What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?" He said; "I am better than he; Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay."

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Allah said: 'What prevented you from prostrating, when I commanded you to do so?' He said: 'I am better than he. You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.'

6 Ahmed Ali

"What prevented you" (said God), "from bowing (before Adam) at My bidding?" "I am better than him," said he. "You created me from fire, and him from clay."

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Said Allah, “What prevented you, that you did not prostrate when I commanded you?” Answered Iblis, “I am better than him; You created me from fire whereas You created him from clay.”

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Said He, ‘What prevented you from prostrating, when I commanded you? ’‘I am better than him,’ he said. ‘You created me from fire and You created him from clay.’

9 Ali Ünal

He (God) said: "What prevented you from prostrating, when I commanded you to do so?" Iblis said: "I am better than he, for You have created me from fire, and him You have created from clay."

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

(God) said, `What prevented you from submitting when I commanded you (to submit)?´ (Iblîs) said, `I am better than he (- the human being). You created me from fire whereas You created him from clay.´

11 English Literal

He (God) said: "What prevented/stopped/forbid you, that you not prostrate when/if I ordered/commanded you?" He (the devil)said: "I am better than him, You created me from fire, and You created him from mud/clay ."

12 Faridul Haque

Said Allah, "What prevented you, that you did not prostrate when I commanded you?" Answered Iblis, "I am better than him; You created me from fire whereas You created him from clay."

13 Hamid S. Aziz

He (Allah) said, "What hinders you from prostration when I command you?" He (Iblis) said, "I am better than he; you have created me from Fire, and him you have created out of Clay."

14 Hilali & Khan

(Allah) said: "What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you?" Iblis said: "I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay."

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And We indeed created you, then We fashioned you, then We said to the angels: Make submission to Adam. So they submitted, except Iblis; he was not of those who submitted.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

He said: What hindered you so that you did not prostrate when I commanded you? He said: I am better than he: Thou hast created me of fire, while him Thou didst create of dust.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

He said: What hindered thee that thou didst not fall prostrate when I bade thee? (Iblis) said: I am better than him. Thou createdst me of fire while him Thou didst create of mud.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

God asked, "What made you disobey Me?" Satan replied, "I am better than Adam, for You have created me out of fire and Adam out of clay."

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

He (Allah) asked: 'What prevented you to prostrate, when I commanded you' 'I am better than he' he replied. 'You created me of fire and You created him of clay'

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

(Allah) said: "What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you" Iblis said: "I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay."

21 Wahiduddin Khan

God asked, "What prevented you from prostrating yourself when I commanded you to?" He replied, "I am better than he is; You created me from fire, while You created him from clay."

22 Talal Itani

He said, “What prevented you from bowing down when I have commanded you?” He said, “I am better than he; You created me from fire, and You created him from mud.”

23 Tafsir jalalayn

He, exalted be He, said, `What prevented you from falling prostrate (all is [made up of] an-l, the l being extra) when I commanded you?' He [Ibls] said, `I am better than him. You created me from fire, while him You created from clay'.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Allah tells,

قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ قَالَ أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ



(Allah) said;"What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you"

Iblis said;"I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay."

مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ

(Allah) said;What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate!

According to Ibn Jarir, meaning,

what stopped and hindered you from prostrating after I ordered you to do so,

This meaning is sound, and Allah knows best.

Iblis, may Allah curse him, said,
أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ
(I am better than him (Adam)),

and this excuse is worse than the crime itself! Shaytan said that he did not obey Allah because he who is better cannot prostrate to he who is less.
Shaytan, may Allah curse him, meant that he is better than Adam, "So how can You order me to prostrate before him!" Shaytan said that he is better than Adam because he was created from fire while, "You created him from clay, and fire is better." The cursed one looked at the origin of creation not at the honor bestowed, that is, Allah creating Adam with His Hand and blowing life into him. Shaytan made a false comparison when confronted by Allah's command,
فَقَعُوا لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ
(Then you fall down prostrate to him) (38;72). Therefore, Shaytan alone contradicted the angels, because he refused to prostrate. He, thus, became `Ablasa' from the mercy, meaning, lost hope in acquiring Allah's mercy. He committed this error, may Allah curse him, due to his false comparison.

His claim that the fire is more honored than mud was also false, because mud has the qualities of wisdom, forbearance, patience and assurance, mud is where plants grow, flourish, increase, and provide good. To the contrary, fire has the qualities of burning, recklessness and hastiness. Therefore, the origin of creation directed Shaytan to failure, while the origin of Adam led him to return to Allah with repentance, humbleness, obedience and submission to His command, admitting his error and seeking Allah's forgiveness and pardon for it.

Muslim recorded that Aishah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

خُلِقَتِ الْمَلَيِكَةُ مِنْ نُورٍ وَخُلِقَ إِبْلِيسُ مِنْ مَارِجٍ مِنْ نَارٍ وَخُلِقَ ادَمُ مِمَّا وُصِفَ لَكُم

The angels were created from light, Shaytan from a smokeless flame of fire, while Adam was created from what was described to you.
Iblis was the First to use Qiyas (Analogical Comparison)

Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Hasan commented on Shaytan's statement,
خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ
("You created me from fire, and him You created from clay)."

"Iblis used Qiyas (analogy), and he was the first one to do so."

This statement has an authentic chain of narration.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Sirin said,

"The first to use Qiyas was Iblis, and would the sun and moon be worshipped if it was not for Qiyas"

This statement also has an authentic chain of narration