The Qur’an states that Iblees is from the Jinn and he refused to obey God when HE ordered all creations to prostrate in front of Adam (ra). I assume prior to this incident, Iblees was a God fearing Jinn and understood who his Creator was and the powers of the Almighty. Why would Iblees then take a position that would for sure take him to Hellfire?
Men and Jinn are faced with a comprehensive test during the life of this world. For men as well as Jinn, this test continues till the end of their lives. As long as a person – whether a man or a jinn – lives, he has the potential of altering his/her ultimate destination in the hereafter. A pious individual may, through his sudden change of heart, knowingly stray from the right path, while a staunch disbeliever may, out of the blues, become completely devoted to God. There are innumerable variables and situations affecting our lives. An apparently pious individual may be faced with a situation, which rips apart his cloak of piety and brings to light his filthy and tarnished – yet real – personality. It seems that this was precisely the situation faced by Iblees. When faced with the strenuous test of bowing his ego to God’s directives, he miserably failed. His arrogance and haughtiness not only hindered him from carrying out what God had directed, but also led him proudly reject seeking forgiveness from his Lord.
The particular incident of the straying of Iblees teaches us the great danger of becoming a victim of our own arrogance, pride and haughtiness. A person may err after being overcome by his emotions or ego, yet a truly God fearing person must turn back in repentance, as soon as he realizes his mistake and must not let his arrogance hinder his return to the path of his Lord.
I hope this helps.
August 30, 2001