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Islam provides us with the astonishing details of the creation of Adam  عليه السلامand Hawwa عليه السلام. Adam عليه السلامis the first human being and a Prophet of God on the face of the earth. And Hawwa was the second person on the face of the earth. Adam عليه السلامand his wife Hawwa(Eve) عليه السلام, both were born without father and mother.


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This ayath is recited during Friday and marriage Sermons, Allah 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 and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you. Quran Surah Nisa 4:1


The Creation of Hawwa(Eve )

Adam عليه السلامopened his eyes and looked into the beautiful face of a woman gazing down at him.  Adam عليه السلامwas surprised and asked the woman why she had been created.  She revealed that she was to ease his loneliness and bring tranquillity to him.  The Angels questioned Adam عليه السلام.  They knew that Adam عليه السلامpossessed knowledge of things they did not know about and the knowledge mankind would need to occupy the earth.  They said ‘who is this?’  and Adam عليه السلامreplied ‘this is Eve’.


Eve is Hawwa in Arabic; it comes from the root word hay, meaning living.  Eve is also an English variant of the old Hebrew word Havva, also deriving from hay.  Adam عليه السلامinformed the Angels that Eve was so named because she was made from a part of him and he, Adam عليه السلام, was a living being.


Both Jewish and Christian traditions also maintain that Eve was created from Adam عليه السلام’s rib, although in a literal translation of the Jewish tradition, rib is sometimes referred to as side.


“And God said: ‘O Mankind!  Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam عليه السلام) and from Him (Adam عليه السلام) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women.’” Quran Surah Nisa 4:1


The traditions of Prophet Muhammad relate that Eve was created while Adam عليه السلامwas sleeping from his shortest left rib and that, after sometime, she was clothed with flesh.  He (Prophet Muhammad) used the story of Eve’s creation from Adam عليه السلام’s rib as a basis for imploring people to be gentle and kind to women.  “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.”Saheeh Al-Bukhari 5185, 5186 (Vol.7: 114)


Dwelling in Paradise

Adam عليه السلامand Hawwa عليه السلامdwelt in tranquillity in Paradise.  This, too, is agreed upon by Islamic, Christian and Jewish traditions.  Islam tells us that all of Paradise was theirs to enjoy and God said to Adam عليه السلام, “eat both of you freely with pleasure and delight of things therein as wherever you will...”(Quran Surah 2:35) The Quran does not reveal the exact location of where this Paradise was; however, commentators agree that it is not on the earth, and that the knowledge of the location is of no benefit to mankind.  The benefit is in understanding the lesson from the events that took place there.


God continued his instructions to Adam عليه السلامand Eve by warning them “...come not near this tree or you both will be of the wrongdoers.” Quran surah 2:35  The Quran does not reveal what type of tree it was; we have no details and seeking such knowledge also produces no benefit.  What is understood is that Adam عليه السلامand Eve lived a tranquil existence and understood that they were forbidden to eat from the tree.  However, Satan was waiting to exploit the weakness of mankind. Stories of the Prophets by Ibn Kathir


The Role of Satan

Satan was there in the Paradise of Adam عليه السلامand Eve and his vow was to misguide and deceive them and their descendents.  Satan said: “…surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path.  Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left…” Quran surah 7:16-17  Satan is arrogant, and considered himself better then Adam عليه السلام, and thus mankind. He is crafty and cunning, but ultimately understands the weakness of human beings; he recognises their loves and desires. Sheikh ibn Al Qayyim in Ighaathat al Lahfaan.


Satan did not say to Adam عليه السلامand Eve “go eat from that tree” nor did he out rightly tell them to disobey God.  He whispered into their hearts and planted disquieting thoughts and desires.  Satan said to Adam عليه السلامand Eve, “...Your Lord did not forbid you this tree save that you should become Angels or become of the immortals.” Quran surah 7:20  Their minds became filled with thoughts of the tree, and one day they decided to eat from it.  Adam عليه السلامand Eve behaved as all human beings do; they became preoccupied with their own thoughts and the whisperings of Satan and they forgot the warning from God.


It is at this point that the Jewish and Christian traditions differ greatly from Islam.  At no point do the words of God – the Quran, or the traditions and sayings of Prophet Muhammad(S) - indicate that Satan came to Adam عليه السلامand Eve in the form of a snake or serpent.


Islam in no way indicates that Eve was the weaker of the two, or that she tempted Adam عليه السلامto disobey God.  Eating the fruit of the tree was a mistake committed by both Adam عليه السلامand Eve.  They bear equal responsibility.  It was not the original sin spoken about in Christian traditions.  The descendents of Adam عليه السلامare not being punished for the sins of their original parents.  It was a mistake, and God, in His infinite Wisdom and Mercy, forgave them both.


Words of Repentance

Many people misinterpret the words of repentance which Adam عليه السلامand Hawwa read for seeking forgiveness with Allah for their mistake. Quran describes it with clarity i: Then Adam عليه السلامreceived from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. Quran Surah Baqrah 2:37


The wordings of Dua are: Rabbana zalamna anfusana wa-il lam taghfir lana watarhamna la nakoonanna minaal khasireen


They said, "Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers." Quran Surah A’raf 7:23


Life on Earth

Adam عليه السلامand Hawwa عليه السلامleft Paradise and began their life on earth.  God had prepared them in many ways.  He gave them the experience of struggling against the whisperings and schemes of Satan.  He taught Adam عليه السلامthe names of everything and instructed him in its properties and usefulness.  Adam عليه السلامtook up his position as caretaker of the earth and Prophet of God.


Adam عليه السلام, the first Prophet of God was responsible for teaching his wife and offspring how to worship God and seek His forgiveness.  Adam عليه السلامestablished the laws of God and set about trying to support his family and learning to subdue and care for the earth.  His task was to perpetuate, cultivate, construct and populate; he was to raise children who would live according to God’s instructions and care for and improve the earth.


Adam’s and Hawwa’s First Four Children

Adam’s عليه السلامand Eve’s عليه السلامfirst children, Cain(Qabil) and his sister, were twins; Abel(Habil) and his sister, another set of twins, soon followed.  Adam عليه السلامand his family lived in peace and harmony.  Cain ploughed the earth while Abel raised livestock.  Time passed and the occasion came for the sons of Adam عليه السلامto marry.  A group of the companions of Prophet Muhammad including Ibn Abbas and Ibn Masud (May Allah be pleased with them) related that inter-marriage of the male of one pregnancy with the female of another had been the practice among Adam عليه السلام’s children. Therefore we know that God’s plan to fill the earth included each of Adam عليه السلام’s sons marrying the twin sister of the other.


It seems that beauty has played a part in the attraction of men and women since the beginning.  Cain was not pleased with the partner chosen for him.  Cain began to envy his brother and refused to obey the command of his father and, in doing so, he disobeyed God.  God created man with both good and bad tendencies, and the struggle to overcome our baser instincts is part of His test for us.


God commanded that each son was to offer a sacrifice.  His judgement would favour the son whose offer was the most acceptable.  Cain offered his worst grain, but Abel offered his best livestock.  God accepted Abel’s sacrifice, so Cain became enraged, threatening to kill his brother.


“And (O Muhammad) recite to them (the Jews) the story of the two sons of Adam عليه السلام(Abel and Cain) in truth; when each offered a sacrifice to God, it was accepted from the one but not from the other.  The latter said to the former; ‘I will surely kill you.’” Quran Suarh Maidah 5:27


Abel advised his brother that God would accept good deeds from those that fear and serve Him, but  reject the good deeds of those who are arrogant, selfish and disobedient towards God.


“The former said: ‘Verily God accepts only from those who are pious.  If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you, for I fear God; the Lord of mankind, jinn, and all that exists.’” Quran Suarh Maidah 5:27-28


See also

Adam; Cain or Qabil; Abel or Habil; Prophets in Islam;




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