The Story of Adam asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him"

There have been few people in the world that have been known so widely as the Prophet Adam asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". Believed by billions of people to be their first father, Adam asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" enjoys recognition from Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. But since his time of advent was in the earliest pages of human history, much of the truth about his life has been clouded by false conjecture and irrationality. This article will explore the true story of Adam asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", the Prophet of God.

The story in Islam

The story of Adam asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" in the Holy Quran has been mentioned multiple times in the Holy Quran in different contexts. The story takes place in a place that the Quran called paradise(Jannah), mainly because of the fertility of its soil and the abundance of its verdure. God has told Adam asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" and his wife Eva, that they are allowed to eat from the fruits of the place as much as they want, as long as they stay away from one specific tree. Knowing this, Satan tried to deceive them by tempting them with a kingdom, and eternal life. He was successful and caused them to fall into disobedience. Their shame became manifest to them, and they started to cover themselves with the leaves of the garden. Allah asked them, Have I not told you that Satan is an open enemy to you and that you should stay away from the tree? So they prayed to God for his forgiveness, and Allah told them to leave the Garden.

When reading this story, does not seem much different from any other fairytale. So why is this mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, and what is the point in mentioning such a story?

When reading the Holy Qur’an, we must keep in mind that some verses need to be interpreted to be understood correctly and that their apparent text might not be exactly what some would think it is. Allah the Almighty states:

هُوَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ

He (Allah) it is Who has sent down to thee the Book; in it, there are verses that are firm and decisive in meaning – they are the basis of the Book – and there are others that are susceptible of different interpretations.

The Holy Quran (3:8)

When looking at the story of Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", it is clear that these verses should not be taken literally and interpreted, because otherwise, the story would have no value.

The story explained

Before I explain the story, there is one important point that should be mentioned. There is a misconception that Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" was the first man on earth. Before Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", other humans had passed, but Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" was the progenitor of the current humans. The Qur’an has given testimony to this by saying “I (Allah) am about to place a successor in the earth.” This does not mean that humankind was wiped out before Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". Most likely, there had remained a small degenerated remnant of the old race and Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" was one of them. 

This new race of humans was the first to live in proper societies, the people that lived before Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" lived in caves and mountain fastnesses. This new race of humans was the first able to be a recipient of divine revelation. The Qur’an teaches us that mankind did not only have a physical evolution, but also a spiritual one. The Humans before Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" were not spiritually developed enough to increase in spirituality, but when they finally reached a stage where they were able to be taught spiritual teachings and live in societies. So, God the Almighty made Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" his messenger, and he taught the people some basic moral principles and how to live in a society. Allah the Almighty said that at the place he lives, there will be no hunger, thirst or nakedness. This points toward the society he lives in because the authorities will be responsible for keeping everyone fed, and clothed Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" lived in an exemplary, peaceful and ideal society, hence why it was called paradise, but all Prophets  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" have some enemies, and the enemies of Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" were another tribe that wanted the downfall of Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". When God told Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" to stay away from the tree, he was telling him to stay away from this other tribe who was trying to disrupt the peace of Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". Here, ‘tree’ is used in the sense of a family tree.

Adam asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" lived in an exemplary, peaceful and ideal society, hence why it was called paradise, but all Prophets asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" have some enemies, and the enemies of Adam asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" were another tribe that wanted the downfall of Adam asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". When God told Adam asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" to stay away from the tree, he was telling him to stay away from this other tribe who was trying to disrupt the peace of Adam asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". Here, ‘tree’ is used in the sense of a family tree.

Like every Prophet has an adversary, the adversary of Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" has been named Satan by the Holy Qur’an. This does The Story Explained not mean that he was some kind of evil spirit living there, it means that the person had evil characteristics and was trying to create disorder. The Holy Prophet  saabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" has said that his name was Harith. He went to Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" and said, that the reason that it was forbidden for him to have to do anything with the tribe was that the members of the other tribe wanted to see the ruin of Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" and that they would have conspired to bring about his downfall if he had then contracted intimate relations with them. But now they only have a friendly view of Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him", and there was no danger anymore, in fact, the other tribe would be a source of strength for Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". Satan said that God’s prohibition wasn’t meant for all time. So Satan was successful in beguiling Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him". Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" thought that the cause of the prohibition has come to an end so the prohibition must have ended as well. This was a misjudgment of Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him".

Every person has some kind of weakness that does not get known to them until they have been put in a situation where that weakness is trialed, for example, some people are cowardly, but they don’t normally realise it. So when they are put in a situation of danger, they will realise their weakness. In the same way, when it is said that “their shame became manifest to them”, it means that some of their weaknesses have become manifest to them. It does not mean that all of their clothes were suddenly gone. Before he fell into this error, he was helped and aided by divine grace, but when he allied with the other tribe, he realised how weak he is.

All of this led to the community of Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" falling apart, and some weaker members of his society had gone out of his fold. So Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" collected all of the leaves of the garden to cover his shame, meaning, he collected the young people of his tribe, because young people are generally free from bias, and regardless of danger, follow the Prophets of God. Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" repented from his mistake, and God told him to migrate from his land because the abode they were living in was not the paradise it used to be because of all the hatred and enmity caused in his community.

The Story of the Bible

Our interpretation of the story told by the Holy Qur’an is not widely accepted by the majority, even by Muslims. The main reason for this is that the only other scripture that makes an explicit mention of the story of Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" is the Bible. Hence, it is important that we also analyse its account.

Garden of Eden, by Thomas Cole

The story of Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" is mentioned in the book of Genesis. God fashions Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" from his image and places him in the Garden of Eden. God has placed two trees in the middle of the garden: the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" is told that he can eat from the garden as much as he wants, except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil, because otherwise, he will die, even though there is the tree of life right next to it.

And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.’

Genesis (2:15-17)

Following this, God created Eve from one of his ribs so that she could be his companion. They were both walking unclothed, without any embarrassment or shame. Nonetheless, a talking serpent comes up to Eve, and convinces her to eat from the forbidden fruit, and she gave some to Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" as well. But they did not die, they just suddenly were able to separate good from evil and realised their lack of clothing.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

(Genesis 3:7)

God later curses the serpent and the ground. God prophetically tells the woman and the man what will be the consequences of their sin of disobeying God. Then he banishes them from the Garden of Eden.

Above is the summarised version of the story of Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" mentioned in the Bible. However, a closer look reveals that there are many contradictions that we have to reject.

The Bible mentioned that God created Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" in his image. And a few verses later it says that he should not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Does this mean then, that, God did now know good and evil? If so, how did God know that eating from the tree will have evil consequences? These two verses are contradictory.

There is another contradiction regarding the trees in the garden.

In Genesis 2:17, we read:

But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.

And in Genesis 2:9 we read:

The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

This can only mean two things, either that there was one tree capable of giving eternal life as well as knowledge of good and evil, or it means that there were two trees, one with life-giving powers, the other with the power of giving knowledge of good and evil

If this was just one tree, this would prove verse 2:9 to be false, because the same tree that will cause them to die will give them life-giving powers. But if we take it as two trees, then these two verses would be contradictory, because death was certainly not inevitable, because they could have also eaten from the Tree of Life. In fact, Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" had eaten from the Tree of Life, and it did not cause death.

How does this story affect our world today?

This story in the Bible has been the base of one of the principal teachings of Christianity today: atonement. Christians believe that the whole of humanity has been the inheritors of this one sin Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" did. They say that every person after Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" was born a sinner.

To free mankind from this inherited sin, God and his Son, Jesus  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" came up with a plan. Jesus  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" would take the punishment of the cross, atoning the sins of all the past sinners. Jesus  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" sacrifice himself for sins he never committed. After this, anyone who believes in the atonement would be forgiven for all the sins he has ever done, with the condition that he stays thankful.

How can one believe in all of this, and still call God just? If God is called just for letting Jesus  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" atone for everyone’s sins, why did let sins be inherited in the first place? Which Father would let his son suffer for something his own Son has never done? Islam has a simple answer to this:

وَلَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَى

No one can bear the burden of another.

The Holy Quran(17:16)

What a beautiful teaching of the Holy Qur’an! While Christianity has punished half of mankind for a sin their first father had done, Qur’an teaches this simple but powerful teaching that someone simply cannot take the sin of another person.

To add to this, Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" was a prophet. It is our sincere belief that Prophets do not sin, otherwise, how could they be the perfect example for mankind? However, they can make a mistake in judgement. When Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him" was tempted by Satan, he simply made an error in judgement. This is supported also by the Holy Qur’an:

وَلَقَدْ عَهِدْنَا إِلَى آدَمَ مِنْ قَبْلُ فَنَسِيَ وَلَمْ نَجِدْ لَهُ عَزْمًا

And verily, We had made a covenant with Adam beforehand, but he forgot, and We found in him no determination to disobey.

The Holy Quran (20:116)

As mentioned above, the story of the Bible contains a lot of contradictions as well, which has caused a lot of misinterpretation of the verses.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we must agree that Adam asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him"’s life has been told to us in metaphors. We must interpret the story, otherwise, the outcome would be similar to the teachings of atonement.

The most perfect book, the Holy Qur’an, has made several references to this story, which cannot be without reason. The mere mention of Adam  asabbreviation for "Peace be upon him"’s story without any meaning or prophecy of the future would be futile in the book of God Almighty who is the Best of Explainers, and Knower of the Unseen. Hence the metaphorical language gives us an insight into his real state and informs us of how the story is relevant today.

Disclaimer

This article was originally published in the Annual Printed Edition of Majallatul Jamia

Khakan Ahmad

Khakan Ahmad

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