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15:17 And (moreover) We have guarded them from every cursed devil

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And (moreover) We have guarded them from every cursed devil:

The term shaytan (“satan”) – derived from the verb shatana (“he was [or “became”] remote”) –
denotes in the Qur’an a force or influence remote from, and opposed to, all that is true and good
(Taj al-‘Arus, Raghib): thus, for instance, in 2:14 it is used to describe the evil impulses
(shayatin) within the hearts of “those who are bent on denying the truth”. In its widest, abstract
sense it denotes every “satanic force”, i.e., every impulsion directed towards ends which are
contrary to valid ethical postulates. In the present context, the phrase “every satanic force
accursed (rajim)”- like the phrase “every rebellious (marid) satanic force” in a similar context
in 37:7 – apparently refers to endeavours, strongly condemned in Islam, to divine the future by
means of astrological speculations: hence the preceding reference to the skies and the stars. The
statement that God has made the heavens “secure” against such satanic forces obviously implies
that He has made it impossible for the latter to obtain, through astrology or what is popularly
described as “occult sciences”, any real knowledge of “that which is beyond the reach of human
perception” (al-ghayb).


Asad, Muhammad (1980). The Message of the Quran.

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