Abu’l-Faraj Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, in part of a longer discussion on repentance, wrote the following insightful words on a great difference between our father Adam (‘alaihis salaam) and the Shaytaan.
سبحان من إذا لطف بعبده في المحن قلبها منحاً, وإذا خذل عبداً لم ينفعه كثرة اجتهاده, وعاد عليه وبالا. لُقِّنَ آدم حجَّتَه وأُلقي إليه ما تُتَقبَّلُ به توبته : ( فَتَلَقَّىٰ آدَمُ مِن رَّبِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ).
Exalted is He who, if He is kind to His slave in tribulation He bestows a blessing upon his heart, and if He abandons a slave, then no large amount of effort will be of benefit to him, and this effort will turn upon him [i.e. he will be punished for his misguided efforts]. Adam was inspired with his plea and received what would lead to the acceptance of his tawbah (repentance), “Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance.” [2:37]
وطرد إبليس بعد طول خدمته فصار عمله هباء منثورا (قَالَ فَاخْرُجْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّكَ رَجِيمٌ وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ اللَّعْنَةَ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ). إذا وضع عدله على عبد لم تبق له حسنة, وإذا بسط فضله على عبد لم تبق له سيئة
يُعْطِي وَيَمْنَعُ من يشاء كما يَشَا وهِباتُهُ لَيْسَتْ تُقارِنُها الرُّشا
And Iblees was expelled (from Jannah) after he prolonged his dispute, so his deeds all came to nothing, “[Allah] said, ‘Then get out of it, for indeed, you are expelled. And indeed, upon you is the curse until the Day of Recompense.” [14:34-35]. When Allah executes His justice on a slave, then no good remains for him, and when He extends His favor to a slave, then no sins remain for him.
Allah gives and withholds to whom He wills, as He wills
And a donation is not to be compared to a bribe
[Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif pg. 123]
See also: “All of you are astray except whomever I guide”: Explanation of Ibn Rajab
See also: Allah created His creation in darkness: Sharh al-Mubaarakfoori
See also: The purpose of Allah’s creation: Imam al-Shinqitee