In comparing Christian literature and Islamic literature in regard to Satan, there appears to be a clear dichotomy as to how each faith treats Satan in relation to both God and man. As it would seem, Islam lessens the stature of Satan, demeans him whereas Christianity elevates him to quite a lofty status. To most, this wouldn’t be noticeable but when the Islamic view and the Christian view of Satan is considered, the outcome can be quite disturbing.
Satan in Islam
Who is Satan a rival to in Islam? As the Qur’an teaches, he is a rival to mankind, to humans not to God:
“O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good on the earth, and follow not the footsteps of Satan. Verily, he is to you an open enemy.” – 2:168.
Satan is subordinate to God. Who is the all powerful deity that is Lord over all Creation? Allah is. He has no rivals, He is Lord of everything in creation (الْعَالَمِينَ):
“All praise is to Allah, the Lord Of The Creation.” – 1:2.
Does sin restrict God’s mercy in Islam? No, God forgives all sins.
Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” – 39:53.
Satan in Christianity
Who is Satan a rival to in Christianity? As the Bible teaches, he is a rival to God:
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” – Matthew 4:1.
In this episode in the wilderness and on the mount, Satan has the ability to directly tempt Jesus, directly challenge him and the power to take Jesus wherever he wills:
“Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.” – Matthew 4:7-8.
Here we have Jesus who Christians claim to be God, telling Satan not to put him to test and what does Satan do? He puts Jesus or God, to test. Not only that, Satan then proceeds to take Jesus or God from one place to another thus demonstrating his power and will are on par with Jesus’/ God’s.
Is the God of Christianity, Lord of all Creation? It isn’t. The God of Christianity has a rival in the Lord of this world, who is Satan:
“(Satan) In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” – 2 Corinthians 4:4.
Does sin restrict God’s mercy in Christianity?
“but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” – Mark 3:29.
As one can see in Christianity, Satan is the rival to God. He rivals God on His Lordship (power, stature, ability) and the sin which Satan spreads (blasphemy) cannot be forgiven by God, He (God) is restricted by Satan’s spreading of sin. Whereas in Islam, Satan cannot rival God, he is a rival to mankind. Only God is the true Lord of all creation, nothing is equal in power, stature or ability to Him (God) and He can forgive all sins, regardless of whom Satan misguides. Satan is subordinate to Allah (God), whereas in Christianity this is not the case. Therefore, it stands to reason that Christianity elevates Satan to a pedestal whereas Islam declares him lowly in God’s sight, subordinate to God.
and Allah knows best.