When compares the character and nature of Allah and Satan as described in the Quran, one is left in utter confusion as to whether both these are one entity with different names or not? Hope our Muslim friends will take some time to answer the following questions from Quran itself, writes Noble.
International Dawwah preacher Shabir Ally had raised “101 Clear Contradictions’ from the Bible (http://www.answering-christianity.com/101_bible_contradictions.htm). Jay Smith, Alex Chowdhry, Toby Jepson, and James Schaeffer had refuted each and every charge of Shabir Ally in their response ‘101 Cleared Up Contradictions in the Bible’ (http://debate.org.uk/topics/apolog/contrads.htm).
However, these 101 contradictions keep appearing in the Islamic websites across the world.
The first so-called contradiction that appears in the list is – 1. Does God incite David to conduct the census of his people (2 Samuel 4:1), or does Satan (1 Chronicles 21:1)? This has been answered thoroughly from the Holy Bible itself Satan can act only if God allows (Job 1 & 2, Luke 22:31-32). In other words, Sovereignty of God is clearly in display here.
The irony (or is it typical) of a Muslim asking this question is that Quran goes beyond the Sovereignty of God and equates the actions and characters of Allah and Satan at many places.
I hope that Muslims would take time to answer the following similarities between Allah and Satan. Or we may have to conclude that as per Quran both these entities are one and the same.
I will begin what Allah and Satan does for unbelievers of Allah. Later, I will also point out what Allah and Satan does to believers of Allah.
Satan (Surah 31: 21):
YUSUFALI: When they are told to follow the (Revelation) that Allah has sent down, they say: "Nay, we shall follow the ways that we found our fathers (following). "What! even if it is Satan beckoning them to the Penalty of the (Blazing) Fire?
PICKTHAL: And if it be said unto them: Follow that which Allah hath revealed, they say: Nay, but we follow that wherein we found our fathers. What! Even though the devil were inviting them unto the doom of flame?
SHAKIR: And when it is said to them: Follow what Allah has revealed, they say: Nay, we follow that on which we found our fathers. What! though the Shaitan calls them to the chastisement of the burning fire!
Allah (Surah 28: 41) YUSUFALI: And we made them (but) leaders inviting to the Fire; and on the Day of Judgment no help shall they find.
PICKTHAL: And We made them patterns that invite unto the Fire, and on the Day of Resurrection they will not be helped.
SHAKIR: And We made them Imams who call to the fire, and on the day of resurrection they shall not be assisted.(2) Who Makes Unbelievers Deeds Appear Fair to Them?
Satan (Surah 6: 43, 29: 38)Surah 6: 43
YUSUFALI: When the suffering reached them from us, why then did they not learn humility? On the contrary their hearts became hardened, and Satan made their (sinful) acts seem alluring to them.
PICKTHAL: If only, when Our disaster came on them, they had been humble! But their hearts were hardened and the devil made all that they used to do seem fair unto them!
SHAKIR: Yet why did they not, when Our punishment came to them, humble themselves? But their hearts hardened and the Shaitan made what they did fair-seeming to them.
YUSUFALI: (Remember also) the 'Ad and the Thamud (people): clearly will appear to you from (the traces) of their buildings (their fate): the Evil One made their deeds alluring to them, and kept them back from the Path, though they were gifted with intelligence and skill.
PICKTHAL: And (the tribes of) A'ad and Thamud! (Their fate) is manifest unto you from their (ruined and deserted) dwellings. Satan made their deeds seem fair unto them and so debarred them from the Way, though they were keen observers.
SHAKIR: And (We destroyed) Ad and Samood, and from their dwellings (this) is apparent to you indeed; and the Shaitan made their deeds fair-seeming to them, so he kept them back from the path, though they were endowed with intelligence and skill.
Allah (Surah 27:4)
YUSUFALI: As to those who believe not in the Hereafter, We have made their deeds pleasing in their eyes; and so they wander about in distraction.
PICKTHAL: Lo! as for those who believe not in the Hereafter, We have made their works fair seeming unto them so that they are all astray.
SHAKIR: As to those who do not believe in the hereafter, We have surely made their deeds fair-seeming to them, but they blindly wander on.(3) Who Drives/Leads Unbelievers to Hell?
Satan (Surah 22.4)YUSUFALI: About the (Evil One) it is decreed that whoever turns to him for friendship, him will he lead astray, and he will guide him to the Penalty of the Fire.
PICKTHAL: For him it is decreed that whoso taketh him for friend, he verily will mislead him and will guide him to the punishment of the Flame.
SHAKIR: Against him it is written down that whoever takes him for a friend, he shall lead him astray and conduct him to the chastisement of the burning fire.Allah (Surah 19: 86, 4: 169) Surah 19: 86
YUSUFALI: And We shall drive the sinners to Hell, like thirsty cattle driven down to water,-
PICKTHAL: And drive the guilty unto hell, a weary herd,
SHAKIR: And We will drive the guilty to hell thirsty.
YUSUFALI: Except the way of Hell, to dwell therein for ever. An
d this to Allah is easy.
PICKTHAL: Except the road of hell, wherein they will abide for ever. And that is ever easy for Allah.
SHAKIR: Except the path of hell, to abide in it for ever, and this is easy to Allah.(4) Who Comes to Unbelievers from Behind?
Satan (Surah 7: 17) YUSUFALI: "Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: Nor wilt thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for thy mercies)."
PICKTHAL: Then I shall come upon them from before them and from behind them and from their right hands and from their left hands, and Thou wilt not find most of them beholden (unto Thee).
SHAKIR: Then I will certainly come to them from before them and from behind them, and from their right-hand side and from their left-hand side; and Thou shalt not find most of them thankful.Allah (Surah 85: 19-20) YUSUFALI: And yet the Unbelievers (persist) in rejecting (the Truth)! But Allah doth encompass them from behind!
PICKTHAL: Nay, but those who disbelieve live in denial and Allah, all unseen, surroundeth them.
SHAKIR: Nay! those who disbelieve are in (the act of) giving the lie to the truth. And Allah encompasses them on every side.(5) Who Leads Unbelievers Astray?
Satan (Surah 36: 62, 4: 120)Surah 36: 62
YUSUFALI: "But he did lead astray a great multitude of you. Did ye not, then, understand?
PICKTHAL: Yet he hath led astray of you a great multitude. Had ye then no sense?
SHAKIR: And certainly he led astray numerous people from among you. What! could you not then understand?
YUSUFALI: Satan makes them promises, and creates in them false desires; but satan's promises are nothing but deception.
PICKTHAL: He promiseth them and stirreth up desires in them, and Satan promiseth them only to beguile.
SHAKIR: He gives them promises and excites vain desires in them; and the Shaitan does not promise them but to deceive.Allah (Surah 4: 143) YUSUFALI: (They are) distracted in mind even in the midst of it,- being (sincerely) for neither one group nor for another whom Allah leaves straying,- never wilt thou find for him the way.
PICKTHAL: Swaying between this (and that), (belonging) neither to these nor to those. He whom Allah causeth to go astray, thou (O Muhammad) wilt not find a way for him:
SHAKIR: Wavering between that (and this), (belonging) neither to these nor to those; and whomsoever Allah causes to err, you shall not find a way for him.(6) Who Encompasses Unbelievers?
Hell (Surah 29: 54)YUSUFALI: They ask thee to hasten on the Punishment: but, of a surety, Hell will encompass the Rejecters of Faith!-
PICKTHAL: They bid thee hasten on the doom, when lo! hell verily will encompass the disbelievers.
SHAKIR: They ask you to hasten on the chastisement, and most surely hell encompasses the unbelievers;Allah (Surah 2: 19) YUSUFALI: Or (another similitude) is that of a rain-laden cloud from the sky: In it are zones of darkness, and thunder and lightning: They press their fingers in their ears to keep out the stunning thunder-clap, the while they are in terror of death. But Allah is ever round the rejecters of Faith!
PICKTHAL: Or like a rainstorm from the sky, wherein is darkness, thunder and the flash of lightning. They thrust their fingers in their ears by reason of the thunder-claps, for fear of death, Allah encompasseth the disbelievers (in His guidance, His omniscience and His omnipotence).
SHAKIR: Or like abundant rain from the cloud in which is utter darkness and thunder and lightning; they put their fingers into their ears because of the thunder peal, for fear of death, and Allah encompasses the unbelievers.(7) Who Makes Unbelievers Plot?
Satan (Surah 4: 76)YUSUFALI: Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject Faith Fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.
PICKTHAL: Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil. Lo! the devil's strategy is ever weak.
SHAKIR: Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Shaitan. Fight therefore against the friends of the Shaitan; surely the strategy of the Shaitan is weak.Allah (Surah 6.123) YUSUFALI: Thus have We placed leaders in every town, its wicked men, to plot (and burrow) therein: but they only plot against their own souls, and they perceive it not.
PICKTHAL: And thus have We made in every city great ones of its wicked ones, that they should plot therein. They do but plot against themselves, though they perceive not.
SHAKIR: And thus have We made in every town the great ones to be its guilty ones, that they may plan therein; and they do not plan but against their own souls, and they do not perceive.Regarding Believers:
Now, things get even worse. We are very clearly told that Satan has authority only over unbelievers. Yet we see that Satan frightens Muslims and makes them forget also. Worse still, Allah employs the same strategies.
Satan has no authority over believers:
YUSUFALI: His authority is over those only, who take him as patron and who join partners with Allah.
PICKTHAL: His power is only over those who make a friend of him, and those who ascribe partners unto Him (Allah).
SHAKIR: His authority is only over those who befriend him and those who associate others with Him.(8) Yet Satan frightens Muslims (Surah 3: 175) YUSUFALI: It is only the Evil One that suggests to you the fear of his votaries: Be ye not afraid of them, but fear Me, if ye have Faith.
PICKTHAL: It is only the devil who would make (men) fear his partisans. Fear them not; fear Me, if ye are true believers.
SHAKIR: It is only the Shaitan that causes you to fear from his friends, but do not fear them, and fear Me if you are believers.
However a few verses above, we read:
And Allah too frightens people (Surah 3: 151)
YUSUFALI: Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be the Fire: And evil is the home of the wrong-doers!
PICKTHAL: We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve because they ascribe unto Allah partners, for which no warrant hath been revealed. Their habitation is the Fire, and hapless the abode of the wrong-doers.
SHAKIR: We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, because they set up with Allah that for which He has sent down no authority, and their abode is the fire, and evil is the abode of the unjust.(9) Yet Satan Makes Muslims Forget:
Surah 6.68YUSUFALI: When thou seest men engaged in vain discourse about Our signs, turn away from them unless they turn to a different theme. If Satan ever makes thee forget, then after recollection, sit not thou in the company of those who do wrong.
PICKTHAL: And when thou seest those who meddle with Our revelations, withdraw from them until they meddle with another topic. And if the devil cause thee to forget, sit not, after the remembrance, with the congregation of wrong-doers.
SHAKIR: And when you see those who enter into false discourses about Our communications, withdraw from them until they enter into some other discourse, and if the Shaitan causes you to forget, then do not sit after recollection with the unjust people.
And Allah Too Does the Same:
YUSUFALI: But none will keep it in remembrance except as Allah wills: He is the Lord of Righteousness, and the Lord of Forgiveness.PICKTHAL: And they will not heed unless Allah willeth (it). He is the fount of fear. He is the fount of Mercy.
SHAKIR: And they will not mind unless Allah please. He is worthy to be feared and worthy to forgive.(10) Satan Commands Shameful and Wrong: Surah 24:21
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! follow not Satan's footsteps: if any will follow the footsteps of Satan, he will (but) command what is shameful and wrong: and were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you, not one of you would ever have been pure: but Allah doth purify whom He pleases: and Allah is One Who hears and knows (all things).
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Follow not the footsteps of the devil. Unto whomsoever followeth the footsteps of the devil, lo! he commandeth filthiness and wrong. Had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy unto you, not one of you would ever have grown pure. But Allah causeth whom He will to grow. And Allah is Hearer, Knower.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! do not follow the footsteps of the Shaitan, and whoever follows the footsteps of the Shaitan, then surely he bids the doing of indecency and evil; and were it not for Allah's grace upon you and His mercy, not one of you would have ever been pure, but Allah purifies whom He pleases; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
Allah Allows Shameful Deeds Though Small:
Surah 53: 32
YUSUFALI: Those who avoid great sins and shameful deeds, only (falling into) small faults,- verily thy Lord is ample in forgiveness. He knows you well when He brings you out of the earth, And when ye are hidden in your mothers' wombs. Therefore justify not yourselves: He knows best who it is that guards against evil.
PICKTHAL: Those who avoid enormities of sin and abominations, save the unwilled offences – (for them) lo! thy Lord is of vast mercy. He is Best Aware of you (from the time) when He created you from the earth, and when ye were hidden in the bellies of your mothers. Therefor ascribe not purity unto yourselves. He is Best Aware of him who wardeth off (evil).
SHAKIR: Those who keep aloof from the great sins and the indecencies but the passing idea; surely your Lord is liberal in forgiving. He knows you best when He brings you forth from the earth and when you are embryos in the wombs of your mothers; therefore do not attribute purity to your souls; He knows him best who guards (against evil).
As if all these were not sufficient enough, both Satan and Allah changes their words.(11) Who Changes or Fails in their Words?
Satan (Surah 14:22)
YUSUFALI: And Satan will say when the matter is decided: "It was Allah Who gave you a promise of Truth: I too promised, but I failed in my promise to you. I had no authority over you except to call you but ye listened to me: then reproach not me, but reproach your own souls. I cannot listen to your cries, nor can ye listen to mine. I reject your former act in associating me with Allah. For wrong-doers there must be a grievous penalty."
PICKTHAL: And Satan saith, when the matter hath been decided: Lo! Allah promised you a promise of truth; and I promised you, then failed you. And I had no power over you save that I called unto you and ye obeyed me. So blame not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can ye help me, Lo! I disbelieved in that which ye before ascribed to me. Lo! for wrong-doers is a painful doom.
SHAKIR: And the Shaitan shall say after the affair is decided: Surely Allah promised you the promise of truth, and I gave you promises, then failed to keep them to you, and I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you obeyed me, therefore do not blame me but blame yourselves: I cannot be your aider (now) nor can you be my aiders; surely I disbelieved in your associating me with Allah before; surely it is the unjust that shall have the painful punishment.
Allah (Surah 17: 86)
YUSUFALI: If it were Our Will, We could take away that which We have sent thee by inspiration: then wouldst thou find none to plead thy affair in that matter as against Us,-
PICKTHAL: And if We willed We could withdraw that which We have revealed unto thee, then wouldst thou find no guardian for thee against Us in respect thereof.
SHAKIR: And if We please, We should certainly take away that which We have revealed to you, then you would not find for it any protector against Us.
Noble is the author of the Malayalam book Islamic Vision: Facts and Crit
icismsand a member of Sakshi Apologetics Network, Kerala. This article is an adapted excerpt of the forthcoming translation of this book.