God created all things and all things were very good. Since God has such great power, why does he not destroy Satan so this world can be pure forever?
God is planning and preparing to destroy Satan. In Revelation 20 verses 1 – 2, we read that Satan will be bound for one thousand years while the Believers rule the earth for one thousand years under the Lordship of Christ. Then at the end of this time Satan is loosed again only to be once again defeated by God and cast into the lake of fire where he will be tormented day and night forever.
You may ask, why is Satan not destroyed now? The reason is this: God has not yet finished His purposes with mankind. In Revelation 12 verses 10 – 12 we read that God is preparing a people (the Believers) who will make an open show of the devil’s works and overcome him by the Blood of the Lamb (The blood of Jesus Christ), and the word of their testimony. Also, God is going to allow the devil to be loosed on the earth to execute judgement upon those who work evil. This will be to them a recompense for their evil deeds:
Let us do the work of God in preparation for these coming great days of God’s power by resisting the devil so he will flee from us (James 4:7). Thanks be to God who gives us the victory (1 Cor 15:57). The weapons of our warfare against Satan and his demons are mighty through God to the smashing of them and their work (2 Cor 10:4-5). He that overcomes Satan and his demons is he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:4).
Islâm teaches the history of the enmity between Satan (Iblis, Shaytaan – Arabic) and Mankind. The enmity between humans and Shaytaan is rooted in an incident that took place a long time ago. One must go back to the day that Allâh created the first man Adam. After Allâh fashioned Adam and breathed into him His spirit, He commanded the angels to prostrate to Adam. Iblis (Shaytan) was worshipping Allâh with the angels so he was included in the command. But he refused and was haughty and was not of those who prostrated. When Allâh asked him why he had refused to prostrate, he replied, ‘I am better than him. You created me from fire and you created him from clay.’ Iblis was arrogant and he was cast out of Paradise due to his pride but he took a promise from Allâh to be left alive till the Day of Judgement so that he could prove his superiority over mankind by leading them astray and plotting against them. Here is the hidden reason why there is an enmity between Satan and man. Allâh clearly warns man: ‘Verily, Shaytan is to man an open enemy!’ (Al-Qur’an 12:5). We can read about the story of Adam and Iblis in Surah 7 Al-’Araaf from ayah 11 onwards and in Surah 2 Al-Baqarah ayat 30-39, and there are other accounts in various other places in the Qur’an.
The goals of Shaytaan can be divided in two: a long term goal and a short term goal. Shaytaan’s long- term goal is to see humans thrown into Hellfire and that they are prevented from entering The Paradise. ‘He only invites his Hizb (followers) that they may become dwellers of the blazing Fire’ (Al-Qur’an 35:6). Satan’s short-term goals are to get the slave involved in disbelief and idolatry. This is done by calling people to worship beings or idols other than Allâh. Shaytaan calls the people to worship to disbelief in Allâh and to disobey His commands. The consequences of both goals are the same. People should die in a state of unbelief. If Shaytaan cannot involve the person in unbelief, he leads him to innovations and heresies. Sufiyaan Ath-Thawree stated, ‘Heresy is more beloved to Shaytaan than sins.’ This is because heresies involve disobedience towards Allâh as well as the firm belief that the person thinks he is doing something good. This is a very dangerous combination, as it then becomes very difficult to take that person away from that innovation. (Jamaal-al-Din Zarabozo: ‘Innovations and Islâm 1’): The meaning of Bid’ah’, Al-Basheer Magazine, (Vol.1, No.4, November 1987).
If he is not able to lead them to disbelief, he leads them to sins. If he is not able to lead the servant to idolatry or disbelief, Shaytaan does not despair. He then becomes pleased with things that are less than that, such as sins and disobedience to Allâh. He will cause enmity and hatred to occur between humans and he will incite them against each other. In Surah Al-Baqarah ayah 169 Allâh mentions that Shaytaan enjoins every evil. ‘He (Shaytaan) enjoins upon you only the evil and the foul, and that you should say concerning Allâh that which you know not’ (Al-Qur’an 2:169). Shaytaan hates any action that is loved by Allâh and Shaytaan loves every act of disobedience that is hated by Allâh The Merciful.
It is not sufficient for Shaytan to call people to disbelief, idolatry and evil deeds. He also tries to block the way to any good deed. There is no path of goodness that man may follow except that he sits there, lurking and waiting to turn mankind away. It is stated in a Hadith that Shaytaan sits in all the paths of the children of Adam. He sits in the path to Islâm and says, ‘ Will you embrace Islâm and leave the religion of your fathers and grandfathers?’ The man disobeys him and embraces Islâm. Then he sits in the path to migration (hijra) and says, ‘ Will you migrate and leave your native land? The emigrant is like one on an arduous journey.’ The man disobeys him and migrates. Then Shaytan sits in the path to jihad and says, ‘ The struggle is with your life and wealth. If you will be killed and your wives will marry others and your wealth will be distributed.’ He disobeys him and makes jihad. Whoever does that has the right upon Allâh to enter Paradise. And who is killed has the right upon Allâh to enter Paradise. And whoever drowns has the right upon Allâh to enter Paradise. And whoever has his neck broken by his animal has the right upon Allâh to enter Paradise. (Sahih Hadith, recorded by An-Nasai 3083, Ahmad 15392, and Ibn Habban). The above mentioned Hadith is confirmed by Allâh’s saying in the Qur’an concerning Shaytaan, a translation of which is below : ‘(Iblis) said: Because You have sent me astray, surely I shall lurk in ambush for them (human beings) on Your Straight Path. Then I shall come upon them from before them and from behind them, and from their right and from their left, and You shall not find most of them as thankful ones.’ (Al-Qur’an 7:16-17) The statement, ‘I shall sit for them on Your Path,’ could either mean, ‘I shall cling to Your Path (to misguide them),’ or ‘I shall keep them from Your Path,’ or ‘I shall make them deviate from it.’
The early scholars have explained the Straight Path in different ways but all of their explanations, though, are quite similar and consistent. Ibn Abbas said that it is the clear religion. Ibn Mas’ood said it is the Book of Allâh. Jabbir called it Islâm, while Mujahid said it is ‘The Truth.’ Shaytaan does not leave any path to good except that he sits there to turn people away from it. If Shaytaan is not able to block the way to acts of disobedience, then he will do his best to ruin the act of worship by making it such that the person will not receive any reward for that action. A companion came to the Prophet of Islâm and said, ‘Verily, Shaytaan comes between me and my prayer and my recitation of the Qur’an and confuses me.’ The Prophet said, ‘That is the Shaytaan called Khanzab. If you feel that occurring to you, seek refuge in Allâh from him and spit on your left side three times.’ The companion said he did so and Allâh took the devil away from him. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab us Salam. Hadith 4083).
When the Muslim begins his prayer, Shaytaan comes to him and whispers to him and makes his mind busy with the affairs of this life rather than obedience to Allâh. In Sahih Muslim (Kitab As-Salah. Hadith 585) it is recorded that the Prophet said, Definitely when Shaytaan hears the call to prayer, he turns his back and flees, noisily breaking wind in order not to hear the call. After the call is over he returns to those who are about to pray. When the second call is made, he again flees and noisily breaks wind in order not to hear the call. Again when the call is over, he returns to the people praying, and whispers to them to distract them from prayer.’
In Islâm there appears to be no help for Muslims from Allâh to resist Shaytan and his deception and attacks. The ultimate end of Shaytan is described in Surah 38 Saad ayat 77-78 when Allâh will deal with Shaytan on the Judgement Day. From the day of Adam till the Judgement day Shaytan remains cursed by Allâh.