Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Devil
(2,225 words)

The fallen angel (q.v.) or jinn (q.v.) known by two names in the Qurʾān, Iblīs (q.v.) and Shayṭān. The ambiguities present in the English word “devil” (themselves a result of early Christian translation activities; see Jeffrey Burton Russell, The devil. Perceptions of evil from antiquity to primitive Christianity, Ithaca 1977) are precisely those reflected in the Qurʾān, such that the heritage of the Greek demon “accuser” and the Hebrew “adversary” are brought together in one character.

The word shayṭān is used 70 times in the Qurʾān in the singular form, including six t…

Cite this page
Rippin, Andrew, “Devil”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 05 August 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00115>



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