Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What Is The Islamic Perspective on Adam and Eve?

Do you believe that humans evolved, or do you believe in the 'Adam and Eve' story? (or equivalent)

Allah created Adam with His hand and breathed into him his soul created by Him, and told His angels to prostrate to him.

Allah created Adam from dust, as He says:

“Verily, the likeness of ‘Eesa (Jesus) before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: ‘Be!’ — and he was” [Al ‘Imran 3:59]

When Allah had completed the creation of Adam, He commanded the angels to prostrate to him, so they prostrated, except for Iblees [Satan... he was living among the angels because he used to be very righteous], who was present but he refused and was too arrogant to prostrate to Adam:

“(Remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ‘Truly, I am going to create man from clay. So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him.’ So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them, Except Iblees (Satan), he was proud and was one of the disbelievers” [Saad 38:71-74]

Then Allah told the angels that He was going to place Adam on earth and make generations after generations of his offspring, as He said:

“And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ‘Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generations after generations on earth’” [al-Baqarah 2:30]

Allah taught Adam all the names:

“And He taught Adam all the names (of everything)” [al-Baqarah 2:31]

When Iblees [Satan] refused to prostrate to Adam, Allah expelled him and cursed him:

“(Allah) said: ‘Then get out from here; for verily, you are outcast. And verily, My Curse is on you till the Day of Recompense’” [Saad 38:77-78]

When Iblees [Satan] knew of his fate, he asked Allah to give him respite until the Day of Resurrection:

“[Iblees (Satan)] said: ‘My Lord! Give me then respite till the Day the (dead) are resurrected.’ (Allah) said: ‘Verily, you are of those allowed respite Till the Day of the time appointed’” [Saad 38:79-81]

When Allah granted him that, he declared war on Adam and his descendents, made disobedience attractive to them and tempted them to commit immoral actions:

“[Iblees (Satan)] said: ‘By Your Might, then I will surely, mislead them all, Except Your chosen slaves amongst them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism).’” [Saad 38:82-83]

Allah created Adam, and from him He created his wife, and from their progeny He created men and women, as He says:

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women” [al-Nisaa’ 4:1]

Then Allah caused Adam and his wife to dwell in Paradise, as a test for them. He commanded them to eat of the fruits of Paradise but He forbade them to eat from one tree:

“And We said: ‘O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Paradise and eat both of you freely with pleasure and delight, of things therein as wherever you will, but come not near this tree or you both will be of the Zaalimoon (wrong-doers)’” [al-Baqarah 2:35]

Allah warned Adam and his wife against the Shaytaan, as He said:

“O Adam! Verily, this is an enemy to you and to your wife. So let him not get you both out of Paradise, so that you will be distressed” [Ta-Ha 20:117]

Then the Shaytaan (Satan) whispered to Adam and his wife, and tempted them to eat from the forbidden tree. Adam forgot and could not resist the temptation, so he disobeyed his Lord and ate from that tree:

“Then Shaytaan (Satan) whispered to him, saying : ‘O Adam! Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that will never waste away?’ Then they both ate of the tree, and so their private parts became manifest to them, and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of the Paradise for their covering. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray” [Ta-Ha 20:120-121]

Their Lord called to them and said:

“Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you: Verily, Shaytaan (Satan) is an open enemy unto you?” [al-A’raaf 7:22]

When they ate from the tree, they regretted what they had done, and said:

“Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers” [al-A’raaf 7:23]

The sin of Adam stemmed from desire, not from arrogance, hence Allah guided him to repent and He accepted that from him:

“Then Adam received from his Lord Words. And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful” [al-Baqarah 2:37]

This is the way for Adam and his descendents: whoever sins then repents sincerely, Allah will accept his repentance:

“And He it is Who accepts repentance from His slaves, and forgives sins, and He knows what you do” [al-Shoora 42:25]

Then Allah sent Adam and his wife, and Iblees [Satan], down to the earth, and He sent down Revelation to them and He sent the Messengers to them. So whoever believes will enter Paradise and whoever disbelieves will enter Hell:

“We said: ‘Get down all of you from this place (the Paradise), then whenever there comes to you Guidance from Me, and whoever follows My Guidance, there shall be no fear on them, nor shall they grieve. But those who disbelieve and belie Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) — such are the dwellers of the Fire. They shall abide therein forever’” [al-Baqarah 2:38-39]

When Allah sent them all down to the earth, the conflict between faith and kufr [disbelief], between truth and falsehood, between good and evil, began, and it will continue until Allah inherits the earth and everyone on it:

“(Allah) said: ‘Get down, one of you an enemy to the other [i.e. Adam, Hawwa, (Eve), and Shaytaan (Satan)]. On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time’ [al-A’raaf 7:24]

Allah is Able to do all things. He created Adam with no father or mother, and He created Hawwa (Eve) from a father with no mother, and He created ‘Eesa (Jesus) from a mother with no father, and He created us from a father and a mother.

Allah created Adam from dust, then He made his descendents from semen of despised water, as He says:

“Who made everything He has created good and He began the creation of man from clay. Then He made his offspring from semen of despised water (male and female sexual discharge). Then He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him the soul (created by Allah for that person); and He gave you hearing (ears), sight (eyes) and hearts. Little is the thanks you give!” [al-Sajdah 32:7-9]

How man is created in the womb, and the stages which he goes through, is a wondrous thing. Allah mentioned this in the ayah (verse):

“And indeed We created man (Adam) out of an extract of clay (water and earth). Thereafter We made him (the offspring of Adam) as a Nutfah (mixed drops of the male and female sexual discharge and lodged it) in a safe lodging (womb of the woman). Then We made the Nutfah into a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So Blessed is Allah, the Best of creators” [al-Mu’minoon 23:12-14]

Copyright Islam Q&A

Basically, as Muslims, we do not blame Eve nor Adam for what they did, because they did not know... and Allah has forgiven them, so who are we to not forgive them? We also don't believe that it was Eve's fault...

Could you clarify for me these things?

“Verily, the likeness of ‘Eesa (Jesus) before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: ‘Be!’ — and he was” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:59]

Does this verse mean Jesus was there at the time of the creation?

No. This verse is referring to how Jesus was created from Mary only. We believe that Mary was a virgin, and was a righteous woman who was touched by no man. The angel Gabriel came to her and told her that Allah will grant her a son. When she asked how that happened, Gabriel said that Allah just says to a person “Be!” and he is. This is just a comparison between how Adam was created without any parents and Jesus was created without a father.

Does the part about Allah is the likeness of Adam mean that Allah has a human form ? Give me your description of Allah so I don't just assume and use my reference points as yours.

No. Allah does not have human form because we are told:

“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, All-Seer.” [al-Shoora 42:11].

Is there more to the story.. Is there any part of the Adam and Eve story that is unique to Islam that I may not see without being familiar with Islam?

Well... we believe that Satan took an oath to misguide as many of the children of Adam as possible. We don’t believe he took angels with him because the angels never disobey Allah... they are created without free will, and just obey Allah.

I think the unique aspects of the creation story are mainly that we do not put any extra blame on Eve and we do not believe the concept of original sin (due to the mistake of Adam and Eve) and we do not believe that Jesus died for our sins, or is a saviour.

One VERY important distinction between Islam and other faiths is that NONE of the creation is a part of Allah... Allah is separate and above all things.

There might be more differences, but these are the ones I can think of... If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask =)


  1. 1. If angels never disobey Allah, then what is the deal with Satan?

    2. If Adam and Eve had obeyed and never ever eaten the fruit, would they have been able to have children?

  2. 1) Satan was not an angel. He was a jinn (another creature that is given free will, like humans)but he was so righteous that he went to live amongst the angels. He was too proud to accept that the angels would bow down to Adam (out of respect)and that is how he turned into what he now is.

    2) Allah knew that they would make a mistake, and knew that they would therefore have children. I know it doesn't answer your question, but in Islam, we don't really ponder on what ifs.