I assume Jinns have a lifespan just as humans do (they may have a longer or a shorter lifespan but nevertheless they do have a lifespan); if that is the case then is Iblees dead and now the only “shaitaan” is basically within ourselves? i.e. our own “nafs”? OR has God given him special powers and capabilities until the Day of Judgment to test humans?
I fully agree with you that Jinn – like humans – is a mortal creature. Nevertheless, the Qur’an tells us that when God condemned and sentenced Iblees to punishment, he asked God for respite till the Day of Judgment. The Qur’an tells us that God granted this respite.
If the referred narration of the Qur’an is taken in its literal sense, then one may ascribe to the opinion that God granted Iblees life till the Day of Judgment. Thus, even though Jinn indeed have a limited lifespan, yet through a special permission of God, Iblees – one of the Jinn – was granted permission to live and to carryout his mission till the Day of Judgment. On the other hand, one may ascribe to the opinion that the respite granted by God was symbolic for Iblees’ mission, rather than his person1. In such a situation, God granted Iblees the permission to try to seduce people into straying from the right path, through his associates and followers – from among the Jinn as well as men – till the Day of Judgment.
I hope this helps.
August 30, 2001
- Maulana Amin Ahsen Islahi, in his commentary on the Qur’an – Tadabbur-e-Qur’an – has preferred this opinion over the former. [↩]