Quran Inconsistency

Does Allah or Satan Entice People to Sin?

Sam Shamoun

The Quran, in a number of passages, says that Satan entices unbelievers to sin by making evil appear quite alluring:

When the suffering reached them from us, why then did they not learn humility? On the contrary their hearts became hardened, and Satan made their (sinful) acts seem alluring to them. S. 6:43

Remember Satan made their (sinful) acts seem alluring to them, and said: "No one among men can overcome you this day, while I am near to you": But when the two forces came in sight of each other, he turned on his heels, and said: "Lo! I am clear of you; lo! I see what ye see not; Lo! I fear God: for God is strict in punishment." S. 8:48

By God, We (also) sent (Our apostles) to Peoples before thee; but Satan made, (to the wicked), their own acts seem alluring: He is also their patron today, but they shall have a most grievous penalty. S. 16:63

(Remember also) the 'Ad and the Thamud (people): clearly will appear to you from (the traces) of their buildings (their fate): the Evil One made their deeds alluring to them, and kept them back from the Path, though they were gifted with intelligence and skill. S. 29:38

Thus far, these passages do not pose a problem since every monotheist who believes in a Satan would agree that the enemy of our souls does try to mislead mankind from the path by making sin look attractive.

The problem is not with Satan enticing man to sin, but with these other references that say that it is actually Allah who makes sin alluring to people:

Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides God, lest they out of spite revile God in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did. S. 6:108

As to those who believe not in the Hereafter, We have made their deeds pleasing in their eyes; and so they wander about in distraction. S. 27:4

With the foregoing in mind, who exactly is to be blamed for enticing and alluring mankind away from the guidance? Should we blame Satan or Allah?

There is more to the problem since the confusion doesn’t end here. The Quran says that if Allah wanted to he could have caused everyone to embrace the guidance and even stopped men from committing heinous crimes:

How is it with you, that you are two parties touching the hypocrites, and God has overthrown them for what they earned? What, do you desire to guide him whom God has led astray? Whom God leads astray, thou wilt not find for him a way. S. 4:88 Arberry

If their spurning is hard on thy mind, yet if thou wert able to seek a tunnel in the ground or a ladder to the skies and bring them a sign, - (what good?). If it were God's will, He could gather them together unto true guidance: so be not thou amongst those who are swayed by ignorance (and impatience)! S. 6:35

Even so, in the eyes of most of the pagans, their "partners" made alluring the slaughter of their children, in order to lead them to their own destruction, and cause confusion in their religion. If God had willed, they would not have done so: But leave alone them and their inventions. S. 6:137

And unto God leads straight the Way, but there are ways that turn aside: if God had willed, He could have guided all of you. S. 16:9

If God had willed, He would have made you one nation; but He leads astray whom He will, and guides whom He will; and you will surely be questioned about the things you wrought. S. 16:93 Arberry

This is an admonition: Whosoever will, let him take a (straight) Path to his Lord. But ye will not, except as God wills; for God is full of Knowledge and Wisdom. He will admit to His Mercy whom He will; But the wrong-doers, - for them has He prepared a grievous Penalty. S. 76:29-31

Doesn’t it become obvious that Allah is the culprit and the one to be blamed for misleading mankind from the true path? After all, if Allah wanted to guide everyone then Satan wouldn’t be able to entice anyone away from the truth.

In fact, Allah takes personal responsibility for ordaining that specific individuals have certain companions enticing them to do evil:

And We have destined for them intimate companions (of like nature), who made alluring to them what was before them and behind them; and the sentence among the previous generations of Jinns and men, who have passed away, is proved against them; for they are utterly lost. S. 41:25

Clearly, Allah is at fault for deceiving and enticing mankind away from the truth.

Interestingly, even the unbelievers realized that it was Allah who wanted them to sin or to associate other gods with him since he could have prevented them from committing these acts if he didn’t!

Those who give partners (to God) will say: "If God had wished, we should not have given partners to Him nor would our fathers; nor should we have had any taboos." So did their ancestors argue falsely, until they tasted of Our wrath. Say: "Have ye any (certain) knowledge? If so, produce it before us. Ye follow nothing but conjecture: ye do nothing but lie." S. 6:148

It is amazing that the Quran accuses the unbelievers of speaking falsely when so many of its passages, such as the ones we cited above, agree that Allah could have guided these disbelievers away from their wickedness if he so desired. In fact, this is precisely what the very next verse says!

Say: "With God is the argument that reaches home: if it had been His will, He could indeed have guided you all." S. 6:149

Talk about confusion and contradiction!

That they continued doing evil shows that Allah didn’t want to guide them, which basically means that it was his will for them to disbelieve. Thus, the unbelievers were right in blaming Allah for their sins!

In light of the above, it is rather hard to avoid the conclusion that the Allah of the Quran is really Satan himself masquerading as God. But if Muslims want to keep insisting that Allah is the true God then they must wrestle with the fact that he acts just as wickedly and deceptively as Satan, if not more so. If anything, Satan is actually helping Allah to accomplish his purpose of deceiving and enticing mankind away from the truth, which makes the devil his partner in crime, his very own accomplice! Why, then, does Allah blame Satan for helping him to pervert people from the truth?

We will leave that for Muslims to answer.

Unless stated otherwise, all quranic verses taken from the Abdullah Yusuf Ali version.

Further Reading


Contradictions in the Qur'an
The Incoherence of the Qur'an
Answering Islam Home Page