There is an infinitely long line of spiritual evolution between the ranks of the greatest Prophets and saints down to those of people like Pharaoh and Nimrod. Therefore, it cannot be claimed that the creation of Satan is evil. Although Satan is evil and serves various important purposes, God’s creation involves the whole universe and should be understood in relation to the results, not only with respect to the acts themselves. Whatever God does or creates is good and beautiful in itself or in its effects. For example, rain and fire are very useful. But they also can cause great harm when abused. Therefore, one cannot claim that the creation of water and fire is not totally good. It is the same with the creation of Satan. His main purpose is to cause us to develop our potential, strengthen our willpower by resisting his temptations, and then rise to higher spiritual ranks.
To the argument made by some that Satan leads many people to unbelief and subsequent punishment in Hell, I reply:
First, although Satan was created for many good, universal purposes, many people may be deceived by him. But Satan only whispers and suggests; he cannot force you to indulge in evil and sin. If you are so weak that Satan’s false promises deceive you, and you allow yourself to be dragged down by him, you earn the punishment of Hell by misusing an important God-given faculty that enables you to develop your potential and raise to the highest rank. You must use your free will, which makes you human and gives you the highest position in creation, properly and to further your intellectual and spiritual evolution. Otherwise, you must complain about being honored with free will and therefore about being human.
Second, as quality is much more important than quantity, we should consider qualitative, as opposed to quantitative, values when making our judgment. For example, 100 date seeds are worth only 100 cents as long as they are not planted to grow into palm trees. If only 20 out of 100 seeds grow into trees due to the other 80 being destroyed by too much water, can we argue that it is an evil to plant and water seeds? I think all of us can agree that it is wholly good to have 20 trees in exchange for 20 seeds, since 20 trees will produce 20,000 seeds.
Again, 100 peacock eggs may be worth 500 cents. But if only 20 eggs hatch and the rest to do not, who will say that it is wrong to risk 80 eggs being spoiled in return for 20 peacocks? On the contrary, it is wholly good to have 20 peacocks at the expense of 80 eggs, for those 20 peacocks will lay even more eggs.
It is the same with humanity. By fighting Satan and their evil-commanding self, many “worthless” people have been lost in exchange for hundreds of thousands of Prophets, millions of saints, and billions of men and women of wisdom and knowledge, sincerity and good morals. All of these people are the sun, moon, and stars of the human world.
Evil thoughts, fancies, and ideas that occur to us involuntarily are usually the result of Satan’s whispering. Like a battery’s two poles, there are two central points or poles in the human heart (by “heart” we mean the seat or center of spiritual intellect). One receives angelic inspiration, and the other is vulnerable to Satan’s whispering.
When believers deepen their belief and devotion, and if they are scrupulous and delicate in feeling, Satan attacks them from different directions. He does not tempt those who follow him voluntarily and indulge in all that is transitory, but usually seeks out those sincere, devout believers trying to rise to higher spiritual ranks. He whispers new, original ideas to sinful unbelievers, in the name of unbelief, and teaches them how to struggle against true religion and those who follow it.
This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.