The Children of Satan



Did Satan have a child who was martyred in the Battle of Ṣiffīn fighting alongside the Commander of the Faithful ʿAlī? If he did, please explain this event, and cite the textual sources from where the narration comes from.


From some of the traditions (aḥādīth) we come to the conclusion that a majority of the Devils from among the Jinn are actually the biological children of Iblīs; and from those children of his – only one of them accepted true faith (in religion) and that was Hām ibne Haym ibne Lāqīs ibne Iblīs [هام بن هیم بن لاقیس بن ابلیس].[1] The acceptance of true faith of this individual has been mentioned in both the Shīʿa and also the Ahl as-Sunnah sources.

It has been mentioned in many traditions, with slight variations in them[2] in regards to an event which transpired with Hām ibne Haym ibne Lāqīs ibne Iblīs. In one source that relates to the discussion at hand, specifically in regards to the exegesis of the verse of the Qur’ān which states: وَ الْجَانَّ خَلَقْناهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ مِنْ نارِ السَّمُوم [whose translation is], “And as for the Jinn, We created them before [the creation of the human being] from a smoke-less fire”[3], the following incident has been narrated through a chain of narrators.

Imām as-Ṣādiq said, “The Messenger of God, prayers of Allāh be upon him and his family, saw an individual standing on the mountain of Tihāmah[4], with a long staff, whose length was that of a date tree, in his hand.” The Prophet [upon hearing a noise] said, “This is the sound of a Jinn.”

The Jinn replied, “I am Hām ibne Haym ibne Lāqīs ibne Iblīs.”

The Prophet asked him, “Are there two generations separating you from Iblīs (Satan)?”

The Jinn replied, “Yes.”

The Prophet then asked him, “Tell me a little about what you have seen.”

The Jinn replied, “I have spent a lot of my time in idleness, except for a small portion of my life. I have been around since the days when Cain (Qābīl) killed [his brother] Abel (Hābīl). [When that event transpired] I had the ability to speak out and say something, however at that time in my life, I did not have a firm grasp to the rope of Allāh, and as such [when I saw this act take place], I ended up roaming around in the groves, going through the hills and began to invite people to sever all ties with their close family members and encouraged people to consume impermissible wealth.”

The Prophet then asked, “What a disastrous path to choose in your life! [This is the] way an elderly person who in his old age, sits and reflects [on how he spent his life], and the ways of a youth who in his adolescence, spends his days and nights drowned in yearnings and aspirations [but does not work to attain them].”

The Jinn then said, “However, I have repented [to Allāh]. I actually rebuked Noah during the time when I was on his ark, and he made supplication against his own nation. At that time, Prophet Noah also advised me to seek forgiveness. After him, I was with [Prophet] Hūd and along with him was someone else who had believed in him and his message. I was in the masjid with him and witnessed him make supplication against his own nation and I also rebuked him. I was also alongside Ilyās in the sandy desert. Similarly, I was with Ibrāhīm when his people began to deceive him and prepared to throw him into the fire [that they had kindled]. I was between the catapult and the fire at that particular time when Allāh made the fire cool and a means of comfort for him. After this, I was alongside Yūsuf when out of sheer jealousy; his brothers threw him into the well. I delivered him into the depths of the well and gave him food and interacted with him as a friend would do [with another friend]. After this, I was his close and cherished friend while he was in prison, until the time that Allāh granted him freedom from there. After this, I was alongside Mūsā and he even taught me a portion of the Torah and said to me, ‘If you live until the time of Prophet ʿIsā, then convey my regards to him.’” I also met ʿIsā and as requested, I conveyed Mūsā’s regards to him and remained with him for some time until he taught me portions of the Evangel and said to me, ‘If you live until the time of Prophet Muḥammad then convey my regards to him.’ So then, O Messenger of Allāh! I am conveying the regards of Prophet ʿIsā to you!”

The Messenger of Allāh then said, “Peace be upon ʿIsā, the Spirit of Allāh (Rūḥullāh) and His Word, from that day that he ascended into the events until the day he returns back to the Earth, and also upon you be peace, O Hām, who has conveyed the salutations from all of those previous individuals. If you have anything you wish to ask from me, then go ahead and ask.”

Hām then said, “My own wish and desire is that Allāh protects you for your nation and that they (your nation) becomes virtuous, worthy and righteous and that they are granted fortitude to stand firm so that they are able to stay strong and determined alongside your successor, as the previous nations were destroyed due to their turning away from their Divinely appointed successors. My only longing is that, O Messenger of Allāh, you teach me a chapter of the Qur’ān which I may recite in my ṣalāt.”

The Messenger of God turned towards Imām ʿAlī, peace be upon him, and said, “Teach Hām (a chapter of the Qur’ān)and be compassionate with him.”

At this point, Hām said, “O Messenger of God! Who is this person whom you are entrusting me [to teach me the Qur’ān]? We the assembly of the Jinn are not permitted to follow anyone other than a prophet or his Divinely appointed successor.”

The Prophet of God replied, “O Hām! Whom did you find in The Book, to be the successor of Adam?”

Hām replied, “Sheeth.”

The Prophet then asked, “And the successor of Noah?”

Hām replied, “Sām.”

The Prophet asked, “And the successor of Hūd?”

Hām replied, “Yūḥnā ibne Ḥannān – his cousin.”

The Prophet continued and asked, “And the successor of Ibrāhīm?” Hām replied, “Ismā’īl and his successor was Isḥāq.”

The Prophet asked, “And the successor of Mūsā?”

Hām replied, “Yūsha the son of Nūn.”

Then the Prophet asked, “And the successor of ʿIsā?”

Hām replied, “Shimon the son of Ḥamūn Ṣafā – the cousin of lady Mariam.”

The Prophet then asked him, “How do you know that these were the rightful successors of the prophets?”

Hām replied, “As they were the most ascetic people in the world during their era and the most desirous of attaining the next world.”

The Prophet then said, “In The Book, who did you find to be the successor to Muḥammad?”

Hām replied, “In the Torah, I found his name to be Ilyāst.”

The Prophet then told him, “This Ilyāst whom you refer to is ʿAlī – my successor and my brother. He is the most ascetic of people in the temporal world and the most desirous of meeting Allāh and attaining the next world.”

Hām conveyed his regards to ʿAlī and said, “O Messenger of God! Does he [ʿAlī] have any other name [that he is known by]?”

The Messenger replied, “Yes, he is also known as Ḥaydar.”

After this, ʿAlī proceeded to teach Hām various chapters of the Qur’ān.

Hām then said, “O’ ʿAlī! O successor to Muḥammad! Is this what you have taught me from the Qur’ān sufficient for me [to use] in my ṣalāt?”

Imām ʿAlī replied, “Yes, [know that] even a little bit of the Qur’ān is abundant.”

In addition to this event, there is another time that Hām came to the Messenger of God greeted him, and bade him farewell and then returned back to where he had come from, and after this he never again saw the Noble Prophet until the Prophet left this world.[5]

In other traditions, the above mentioned event continues and mentions that on the evening known as Laylatul Harīr (the night when the Prophet made his migration from Mecca to Medina), Hām came to Imām ʿAlī B[6] and in yet other traditions, it has been stated that he fought alongside the army of Imām ʿAlī and was martyred in the battle.[7]

As for the chain of narrators of this tradition, the report which is contained in the book Baṣā’ir al-darajāt fī faḍāil āl Muḥammad[8], contains the most complete chain and it is as follows: Ibrāhīm ibne Hāshim, Ibrāhīm ibne Isḥāq, ʿAbdullāh ibne Ḥammād, and ʿUmrū ibne Yazīd Bayyāʿ al-Sābirī, all of whom have been regarded as reliable and trustworthy and some of them are even considered as being highly respectable and reliable individuals.

From another aspect, the text and content of this tradition does not hold any theological problems and it does not go against the sources and foundations of the Shīʿa creed.

In addition, generally speaking, we know that the Jinn can sometimes play a role in the life of the human being; and there are some humans who can also affect the life of the Jinn; and according to other traditions which have been narrated, they (the Jinn) were in contact with the Prophets and the A’immah – and this was but one such example.

Thus, the Jinn are able to be contact with some human beings just as we have seen in this tradition.

We also see that Hām ibne Haym ibne Lāqīs ibne Iblīs – who was one of the Jinn and was from the off-spring of Satan – had repented (to Allāh) through the intervention and assistance of Prophet Noah and eventually met the Noble Prophet and Imām ʿAlī and was in touch with them.[9]

In a tradition from the Noble Prophet it has been narrated that Hām ibne Haym ibne Lāqīs ibne Iblīs will be one of the inhabitants of Paradise.[10]

[1] Al-Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir, Ḥayāt al-qulūb, vol. 3, pg. 635, Surūr Publications, Qum, Iran, 6th edition

[2] Ibne Ashʿath, Muḥammad ibnee Muḥammad, al-Jaʿfariyāt (al-Ashʿaththiyat), pg. 175 & 176, Maktabat al-naynawā al-ḥadīthiyyah, Tehran, Iran, 1st edition; al-Bayhaqī, Abū Bakr Aḥmad ibne Ḥusayn, Dalā’il al-nubuwwah wa maʿrifat aḥwāl ṣāḥib al-sharīʿat, researched by ʿAbdūl Muʿṭī al-Qalaʿchī, vol. 5, pg. 418 – 420, Dar al-kutub al-ʿilmiyyah, Beirut, 1st Edition; al-ʿAsqalānī, Aḥmad ibne ʿAlī ibne Ḥajr, al-Iṣābat fī tamīz al-ṣaḥābah, researched by ʿAbdul Mawjūd, ʿĀdil Aḥmad, Muʿawiḍ and ʿAlī Muḥammad, vol. 6, pg. 408, Dar al-kutub al-ʿilmiyyah, Beirut, 1st edition

[3] Sūratul Ḥijr, verse 27. Refer to ʿAlī ibne Ibrāhīm Al-Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, researched and edited by Mūsawī Jazā’irī, and Ṭīb, vol. 1, pg. 375, Dar al-kitāb, Qum, 3rd edition; Muḥammad ibne ʿAlī Sharīf Lāhijī, Tafsīr Sharīf Lāhijī, researched by Muḥaddith Mīr Jalāl al-Dīn Armawī Ḥusaynī, vol. 2, pg. 667-668, Dād Publishing House, Tehran, Iran, 1st edition.

[4] In Dehkhuda Dictionary it is mentioned Tihāmah is the flat coastal plain region which stretches from its northern tip of the Sinai Peninsula all the way down to the southern area of Yemen and covers the cities of Mecca, Najran, Jeddah, and Ṣafā, and it is for this reason that the Grand city of Mecca is also referred to as Tihāmah. There were many different tribes which inhabited this region in the pre-Islamic days and this area also contained many mountains and as such, this locality is also well-known by the name of the Mounts of Tihāmah. Also refer to Muḥammad ibne ʿAbdul Munʿim al-Ḥumayrī, Al-Rawḍ al-maʿṭār fī khabar al-aqṭār, pg. 141, Maktabat Lubnān, Beirut, 2nd Edition; Shihāb al-Dīn Abū ʿAbdullāh Yāqūt al-Ḥumayrī, Muʿjam al-buldān, vol. 2, pg. 63-64, Dar Ṣādir, Beirut, 2nd print

[5] Al-Ṣaffār, Muḥammad b. Ḥasan, Baṣā’ir al-darajāt fī faḍāil āl Muḥammad; Researched and Corrected by Muḥsin ibne ʿAbbās ʿAlī Kuchebāghī, vol. 1, pg. 98&99, Published by the Ayatullah Marʿashi Najafī Library, Qum, 2nd Printing; Quṭb al-Dīn al-Rāwandī, al-Kharā’ij wa al-Jarā’iḥ, vol. 2, pg. 856-858, Imam al-Mahdi Publishers, Qum, 1st Print

[6] Tafsīr al-qummī, vol. 1, pg. 376; al-Kharā’ij wa al-Jarā’iḥ, vol. 2, pg. 858; Abū al-Faḍl ibn Jibra’īl ibn Shādhān al-Qummī, al-Rawḍah fī faḍhāil Amīr al-Mo’minīn ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, peace be upon him; Researched and Corrected by ʿAlī Shikarchī, pg. 223, al-Amīn Publications, Qum, 1st print; Muḥammad ibn Shāh Murtaḍā Faiḍh al-Kāshānī, Tafsīr al-Ṣāfī, Researched and Corrected by Ḥusayn Aʿlamī, vol. 3, pg. 107, as-Ṣadr Publications, Tehran, 2nd edition, ʿAbdul ʿAlī ibn Jumʿah al-ʿUrūsī al-Ḥuwayzī, Tafsīr Nūr ath-Thaqalayn, Researched and Corrected by Hāshim Rasūlī Maḥalātī, vol. 3, pg. 8, Ismāʿīliyān Publications, Qum, 4th Edition

[7] al-Rawḍah fī faḍhāil Amīr al-Mo’minīn ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, peace be upon him, pg. 223

[8] This book was written by Muḥammad b. Ḥasan Al-Ṣaffār (d. 290h) and was one of the Shīʿa Imāmiyyah scholars and a companion of Imām Ḥasan al-ʿAskarī, peace be upon him, and this work was written to give an overview of the A’immah and the specialities of each of the Imams.

[9] For further details on this, please see Iʿdād Walī Zārbin Shāhzāldīn, al-Jinn fī al-kitāb wa al-sunnah, Dār al-bashā’ir al-islāmiyyah, Beirut, First Edition; ʿAbdul Amīr ʿAlī Mahannā, al-Jinn fī al-kitāb wa al-sunnah, al-Aʿlamī Publishers, Beirut, First Edition, ʿAbdul Raḥmān Muḥammad al-Rifāʿī, al-Jinn bayna al-ishārāt al-qurāniyyah wa ʿilm al-fīzīyā’, Marbūsī al-ṣaghīr Publishers, First Edition; ʿAlī Riḍā Rijālī Tihrānī, Jinn wa Shaytān, Nubugh Publishers; Abū ʿAlī Khodakaramī, Stories about the Jinn

[10] al-Jaʿfariyāt (al-Ashʿaththiyat), pg. 176; al-Iṣābah fī tamīz al-ṣāḥabah, vol. 6, pg. 408

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