“Iblis was the first False Salafi, a literalist whose obsessive misunderstanding of monotheism and of the avoidance of idolatry took him far from spiritual wisdom.”
Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad
Iblis refused to bow to Adam, seeing the act of bowing to other than God, to a form made of clay, as unacceptable, akin to idolatry. As if he understood Tawhid better than the One who commanded him.
There is also the pride aspect. The False Salafi assumes he is better than those he denounces, so the accusation of shirk etc., is just an excuse for this arrogance. Similarly, Iblis could have argued that he was the true monotheist, but Allah made it clear in the Quran that it was his pride and arrogance that led him astray.
- Commentary on the Eleventh Contentions, Contention No. 4, Pg. 7