كَذلِكَ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ أَنْبَآءِ مَا قَدْ سَبَقَ وَقَدْ آتَيْنَـكَ مِن لَّدُنَّا ذِكْراً – مَّنْ أَعْرَضَ عَنْهُ فَإِنَّهُ يَحْمِلُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وِزْراً
Thus We relate to you some information of what happened before. And indeed We have given you from Us a Reminder. Whoever turns away from it, verily, they will bear a heavy burden on the Day of Resurrection.
Allah, the Exalted, is saying to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, We relate to you the information of the past just as it happened, without any increase or decrease. We also gave you a remembrance from Us, the Mighty Qur’an, no falsehood comes to it from before it or behind it.’ It is a revelation from One Most Wise, Most Praiseworthy. No Prophet was given any Book like it or more complete than it, since the time of the previous Prophets who were sent, until their being sealed off with the coming of Muhammad . No Prophet was given any Book containing as much information than the Qur’an about what has past and what would be.
So in this series we will learn about the Stories of the Prophets and also look into the Lessons that are to be taken from these stories.
When Allah the Almighty decided to create Adam: He addressed His angels and told them to prostrate before him. Allah the Exalted told them that He was going to create a vicegerent on the earth who would have children and grandchildren who would corrupt the earth and shed each other’s blood. That is why the angels said to Allah the Almighty: “Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood!” (Chapter 2:30 Quran).
Abi Musa al Sha’arai narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Allah created Adam from a handful of dust taken from different lands, so the children of Adam have been created according to the composition of the land. Therefore from mankind we have white, red, black and yellow ones; we have good and evil, ease and sorrow, and what comes in between them.” (Sahih al Bukhari).
Ibn Masud and other companions of the Prophet (PBUH) said that Allah sent the Angel of Death, and he took clay from the face of the earth and mixed it. He did not take from one particular place, but rather he took white, red, and black clay from different places.
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Allah created Adam from dust after He mixed the clay and left him for some time until it became sticky mud, after which Allah shaped him. After that Allah left him till it became like potter’s clay. Iblis used to go past him saying ‘You have been created for a great purpose.’ After that Allah breathed His spirit into him.
The first thing into which the spirit passed was his eye and then his nose. He sneezed. Allah said: “May your Lord have mercy upon you, O Adam! Go to those angels and see what they would say.’ So Adam went and greeted them. they replied saying: “Peace be upon you and the mercy and blessings of Allah.” Allah said: “O Adam! This is your greeting and that of your offspring.” (Sahih al Bukhari).
The Meaning of the Angel’s Prostration
Adam opened his eyes and saw all the angels prostrating before him except one being who was standing at a distance, Iblis.
Almighty Allah recounted the story of Iblis’s refusal to prostate before Adam: “Remember when your Lord said to the angels, ‘I am going to create a man (Adam) from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud. So when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him then fall you down prostrating yourselves unto him’. So the angels prostrated themselves all of them together, except Iblis, he refused to be among the prostrators. Allah said: ‘O Iblis! What is your reason for not being among the prostrators?’ Iblis said: ‘I am not the one to prostrate myself to a human being, whom You created from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud.’ Allah said: ‘Then get out from here for verily you are Rajim (an outcast or cursed one). Verily the curse shall be upon you till Day of Recompense (Day of Resurrection)‘”. (15:28-35 Quran).
Ibn sirin said Iblis tried to compare himself to Adam. He believed that he was more honourable than Adam. Therefore he abstained from prostrating even though Allah had commanded him to do so. “Shall I prostrate to one whom You created from clay?” Iblis said: “See? those whom You have honored above me, if You give me respite (keep me alive) to the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring (by sending them astray) all but a few!” (17:62).
Almighty Allah granted Adam the power to know the natures of all things and to summarize them by names; that is a bird, that is a star, that is a tree, etc After Adam had learned the names of all things, along with their properties and uses, Allah presented them to the angels and said: “Tell Me the names of these if you are truthful.” (2:31)
The angels admitted their inability: “Glory be to You, we have knowledge except what You have taught us. Verily it is You the All Knower, the All Wise.” (2:32)
Allah Almighty then turned to Adam: “O Adam! Inform them of their names,” and when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the unseen in the heavens and the earth, and I know what you reveal and what you have been hiding?‘” (2:33).
Adam Sees Eve
When Iblis was sent out of Paradise and Adam was accommodated therein, Adam was alone in Paradise and did not have a partner from whom he could get tranquility. He slept for some time and when he woke up, he saw a woman whom Allah had created from his ribs. So he asked her, “Who are you? She replied, “A woman” He asked: “Why have you been created?” She said :”So that you could find tranquility in me
“It is he Who has created you from a single person (Adam) and then He created from him his wife (Eve), in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her.”(7:189).
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “O Muslims! I advise you to be gentle with women, for they are created from a rib, and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper part. If you try to straighten it, it will break and if you leave it, it will remain crooked, so I urge you to take care of the women.” (Sahih Bukhari).
Allah commanded Adam to dwell in Paradise: “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 Zalimeen (wrong doers).“(2:35)
Adam and Eve understood that they were forbidden to eat the fruit of that tree. Adam was however a human being and man tends to forget. His heart changes and his will weakens. Iblis summoned all the envy within him and took advantage of Adam’s humanity to exploit him. He started to whisper to him day after day, coaxing him: “Shall I guide you to the Tree of Immortality and the Eternal Kingdom?” He said to them: “Your Lord did not forbid you this tree save you should become angels or become of the immortals.” He (Satan) swore by Allah to them both saying: “Verily I am one of the sincere well wishers for you both.” (7:20-21)
Years went by, and Adam and Eve were preoccupied with thoughts of that tree. Then one day they decided to eat of its fruit. They forgot that Allah had warned them not to approach it and that Iblis was their sworn enemy. Adam stretched out his hand, picked one of the fruits and offered it to Eve. They both ate of the forbidden tree.
Allah Almighty told us: “So he (Satan) misled them with deception.” (7:22)
Allah said: “Thus did Adam disobey his Lord so he went astray.” (20:121).
Adam had hardly finished eating when he felt his heart contract, and he as filled with pain, sadness and shame. At that moment, their eyes were opened to the fact that they were naked, and they took the leaves of the fig tree to cover themselves.
Allah the Almighty addressed him: “Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you: Verily Satan is an open enemy unto you?” They 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.” Allah said; “Get down, one of you an enemy to the other (Adam, Eve, and Satan etc). On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment, for a time.” He said: “Therein you shall live and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out (resurrected).” (7:22-25).
They left Paradise and descended upon the earth. Adam was sad and Eve was crying. Allah accepted their repentance because it was sincere and He told them that the earth would be their realm and origin where they would live and die and whence they would come on the Day of Judgment.
Adam’s Life on Earth
Adam knew he bade farewell to peace and he left Paradise. On earth he had to face conflict and struggle. No sooner had one ended than another began. He also had to toil to sustain himself. He had to protect himself with clothes and weapons and protect his wife and children from the wild beasts.
Above all, he had to struggle with the spirit of evil. Satan, the cause of his expulsion from Paradise.
The First Four Children
The pinnacle of earthly bliss was reached when Adam and Eve witnessed the birth of their first children, a set of twins. Adam was a devoted father and Eve a contented mother. The twins were Qaabil (Qabil) and his sister. Later Eve gave birth to a second set of twins, Haabil (Habil) and his sister. The family enjoyed the bounties and fruits of the earth provided by their Lord. The children grew up to be strong and healthy young adults. Qabil tilled the land while Haabil raised cattle.
The time arrived when the two young men desired life partners. This was part of Allah’s plan for mankind, to multiply and form nations with different cultures and colors. Allah revealed to Adam that he should marry each son to the twin sister of the other. Adam instructed his children according to Allah’s command, but Qaabil was displeased with the partner chosen for him, for Haabil’s twin sister was not as beautiful as his own.
Qaabil’s Jealousy of Haabil
Adam was in a dilemma. He wanted peace and harmony in his family, so he invoked Allah for help. Allah commanded that each son offer a sacrifice, and he whose offering was accepted would have right on his side. Haabil offered his best camel while Qaabil offered his worst grain. His sacrifice was not accepted by Allah because of his disobedience to his father and the insincerity in his offering. This enraged Qaabil even further. Realizing that his hopes marrying his own beautiful sister were fading, he threatened his brother. “I will kill you! I refuse to see you happy while I remain unhappy!”
Haabil feeling sorry for his brother, replied, “It would be more proper for you, my brother to search for the cause of your unhappiness and then walk in the way of peace. Allah accepts the deeds only from those who serve and fear Him, not from those who reject His Commands.”
The First Death
Haabil was intelligent, obedient, and always ready to obey the will of Allah. This contrasted sharply with his brother who was arrogant, selfish and disobedient to his Lord. Haabil did not fear his brother’s threats, but neither did he want his brother to be hurt, Allah had blessed Haabil with purity and compassion.
Qaabil struck his brother with a stone killing him instantly. This was the first death and the first criminal act committed by man on earth. When Haabil had not appeared for some time, Adam began to search for him but found no trace of his beloved son. He asked Qaabil about Haabil’s whereabouts. Qaabil insolently replied that he was not his brother’s keeper nor his protector. From these words his father understood that Haabil was dead and Adam was filled with grief.
The First Burial
Meanwhile Qaabil did not know what to do with his brother’s corpse. He carried it on his back wandering from place to place trying to hide it. His anger had now subsided and his conscience was saddled with guilt. He was tiring under the burden of the corpse which had started to have a stench. As a mercy, and to show that dignity could be retained even in death, Allah sent two ravens that began fighting, causing the death of one. The victorious bird used its beak and claws to dig a hole in the ground, rolled its victim into it and covered it with sand.
Witnessing this, Qaabil was overcome with shame and remorse. “Woe unto me!” he exclaimed. “I was unable to do what this raven has done, that is to hide my brother’s corpse.” Qaabil then buried his brother. This was also the first burial of man.
Abdullah Ibn Al Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal narrated that Ubai Ibn Kab said: “When Adam’s death was near, he said to his children: “O my children, indeed I feel an appetite for the fruits of Paradise.”So they went away searching for what Adam had requested. They met with the angels, who had with them his shroud and what he was to be embalmed with. They said to them: “O Children of Adam, what are you searching for? What do you want? Where are you going?”
They said: “Our father is sick and has an appetite for the fruits of Paradise.” The angels said to them: “Go back, for your father is going to meet his end soon.” So they returned (with the angels) and when Eve saw them she recognized them. She tried to hide herself behind Adam. He said to her. “Leave me alone. I came before you; do not go between me and the angels of my Lord.” So they took his soul, embalmed and wrapped him, dug the grave and laid him in it. They prayed on him and put him in his grave, saying: “O Children of Adam, this is your tradition at the time of death.”
LESSONS LEARNT FROM THE STORY OF ADAM AS