What was the name of iblis before his disobedience?
I was wondering if one of the learned moulanas could clarify what was the name of iblis before his disobedience?
Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem.
Alhamdulillaahi was salaatu was salaamu `alaa Rasoolillaahi wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi wa man waalaahu, wa ba`d:
His name was `Azaazeel, it is Hebrew in origin, like the names of the angels, Jibreel, Meekaa’eel etc.
The “Eel” part is Hebrew for “Allaah”, “Jibr” means “slave” and “Eel” is “Allaah”, therefore “Jibreel” means “Slave of Allaah“.
Imaam At-Tabari Rahimahullaah reports in Jaami`ul Bayaan Fee ta’weelil Qur’aan that `Ikrimah Rahimahullaah said: “’Jibr’ means ‘slave’, ‘Eel’ means ‘Allaah’.” [i]
Likewise with `Azaazeel, the “Eel” part means “Allaah”, while “`Azaaz” means “Strengthened”, so “`Azaazeel” means “Strengthened by Allaah“.
Imaam Ibn Abiz Zamanayn Rahimahullaah says in Tafseerul Qur’aanil `Azeez: “It has been said that his name was `Azaazeel, but when Allaah cursed him and became angry with him he (Iblees) lost hope in His mercy, that is: He (Iblees) lost hope, so He named him “Iblees”.” [ii]
The name “Iblees” means “One who has lost hope”, in the case of iblees he lost hope of Allaah’s Mercy hence why he became known as Iblees.
And Allaah knows best.
Ubaidullah Ibn Adam Aal-Ebrahim.
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Rashid Ahmed Moosagie.
Monday 18th Shawwaal 1434 – 26th August 2013.
[i]عن عكرمة في قوله: (جبريل) قال:”جبر” عبد،”إيل” الله. – رواه الإمام الطبري رحمه الله في كتابه جامع البيان في تأويل القرآن.