Aviva Directory » Faith & Spirituality » Spiritual Entities » Satan & the Devil

Satan is a character found in each of the Abrahamic religions. In Judaism, Satan is viewed as the adversary, and identified with evil inclination; a term for one who leads man astray, only to then turn around and bring accusation against him. Satan, in Judaism, is completely under G-d’s control, and carries out his mission with divine approval, as best characterized in the Book of Job, where Satan plays the role of an adversary testing Job’s faith. Rabbinic literature holds that Satan’s job is to strengthen man’s moral character by leading man toward temptation. Judaism does not recognize Satan as a proper name belonging to a particular being who is a rival to G-d. Rather, they view Satan as a noun that can be applied to any adversary who opposes and obstructs, and one that can be applied to human adversaries. Christianity views Satan as a synonym for the devil. Although the specifics vary among Christian denominations and sects, a common belief is that Satan was once Lucifer, the highest of all angels, who rebelled against God, and that the angels who allied themselves with him in rebellion are the fallen angels. Satan is also viewed as the serpent who seduced Eve in the Garden of Eden, leading to the fall of man. Islamic belief is that Satan is a djinn that was created from smokeless fire, just as all of the djinns were created. Being created with the power of free will, Satan chose to sin. In the Qur’an, Satan is known as Iblis and, similar to Christian belief, he was said to have been raised in heaven with the angels, but eventually sinned against Allah and was expelled from heaven. His chief purpose is to tempt mankind in order for mankind to become spiritually stronger. In the Bahá'í faith, Satan is not regarded as an independent evil power, but as a metaphor for the lower nature of human beings. Theistic Satanism views Satan as a deity to be worshipped but atheistic Satanism, as exemplified by LeVeyan Satanism, holds that Satan is merely a symbol.

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