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Shayṭān (Arabic: شيطان, plural: شياطين shayāṭīn) is the term for the figure of Satan or a devil in Islamic theology and mythology. Surah 6:112 collectively refers to the "shayatin" among mankind and the jinn,  fallen angels, idols, demons and demonic offspring. When used with the definite article Al-, Shaitan refers to Satan, head of the shayatin (devils) and also known as Iblis. In Islamic cosmology the shayatin are an ontological reality manifesting itself in evil and ugly things.
The word Šayṭān (Arabic: شَيْطَان) originates from the Hebrew שָׂטָן (Šāṭān) "accuser, adversary" (which is the source of the English Satan). However Arabic etymology relates the word to the root š-ṭ-n ("distant, astray") taking a theological connotation designating a creature distant from divine mercy. The term "Shaitan" may either be translated as "demon" or as "devil". In pre-Islamic Arabia this term was used to designate an evil jinn. With the emergence of Islam the meaning of shayatin moved closer to the Christian concept of devils.
As jinn, the shayatin share the characteristics of invisibility. Some scholars put them merely under one category of the supernatural. However the prevailing opinion among the mufassirs distinguish between the jinn and shayatin as following:
- While among the jinn, there are different types of believers (Muslims, Christians, Jewish, polytheists, etc.), the shayatin are exclusively evil.
- The jinn are mortals and die, while the shayatin only die, when their leader ceases to exist.
Since the shayatin are limited to "evil", they lack free will and are inaccessible to the "good." A hadith emphasizes the impossibility for the shayatin to access salvation: "One kind of beings will dwell in Paradise, and they are the malaikah (angels); one kind will dwell in the Hellfire, and they are the shayatin, and other kinds will dwell [such that] some are in Paradise and some in the Hellfire, and those are the jinn and the naas (mankind)."
While the Quran remains unclear about the origin of the shayatin, most commentators identify them with Iblis' progeny by referring to hadiths. Some exegetes, such as Zakariya al-Qazwini, even elaborated a more extensive account on the shayatin, based on hadith traditions. Accordingly, the shayatin are generally hermaphrodite, unable to marry, and reproduce by laying eggs. For their creation it was suggested that the shayatin were created from the smoke of fire, while the jinn from its blaze and angels from its light.
The existence of shayatin is generally affirmed in Islam. Commonly the shayatin are just tempters inciting the mind of humans with "whisperings" (waswās). However the characteristics of the shayatin in folk Islam is far more extensive than in standard Islamic theology and although it is impossible to find unified depictions among local traditions, some characteristics given to the shayatin appear frequently, such as the cause of misfortune and saying basmala could ward off shayatin attacks. Witchcraft is also traced back to the shayatin (compare with the Christian understanding), since the Quran states in 2:102 that it was not Solomon who practiced witchcraft but rather the shayatin, who also taught it to the people. According to Islam, it is recommended to recite a certain du'a (supplication), like the Suras "An-Naas" or "Al-Falaq" to protect oneself from the shayatin. Supported by hadiths from Sahih al-Bukhari and Jami` at-Tirmidhi, the shayatin can not harm the believers during the month of Ramadan, since they are chained in Jahannam (Gehenna (hellfire)).
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