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Adam is an Arabic word for 'man'. He was the progenitor of human race. He is reckoned to be the first Prophet by the Muslims. He was also the first man whom The Almighty had created from the elements of clay. The Holy Qur'an affirms:
"O mankind! Surely We created you from dust." (Qur'an 30:20)
The gradual process of man's physical development has been referred to in the following verses of the Holy Qur'an:
"He began the creation of man from dust. Then He made his progeny of an extract of water held in light esteem. Then he made him complete and breathed into him of His spirit and made for you ears and eyes and heart." (Qur'an 32:7-9)
According to the latest scientific research, the man has been created from clay with all its elements and their inherent properties. It is discovered by a chemical analysis of the human body that a defect occurs in its normal functioning when the quality of any of these elements gets diminished. In such case vitamins are used to supplement the deficiency and restore normal health.
Before the creation of mortal, The Almighty directed all the angels to assemble. Thousands upon thousands of angels (created from light) and Jinns (created from fire) gathered in groups. They bowed respectfully in the presence of The Almighty. The Creator of the universe declared that He intended to create the man. The angels and Iblis (Satan) disapproved the idea and pointed out that human beings would cause disorder on the earth. They would make mischief and shed blood indiscriminately. The Holy Qur'an gives a description of this even in the following verses:
"And when your Lord said to the angels: I am about to appoint a vicegerent in the earth. They said: Will you place therein such as will cause disorder in it or shed blood? We celebrate your praise and extol your holy names. He answered: I know what you know not." (Quran 2:30)
The Almighty taught Adam the names of all things and inculcated into his mind the knowledge of their properties. The Holy Qur'an says:
"And He taught Adam the names of all things; then presenting them to the angels, He said: Tell Me the names of these if you are right." (Quran 2:31)
The angels did not know their names and said:
"Glory be to You. We have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Surely, You are the Knowing, the Wise." (Quran 2:32)
After that, The Almighty questioned Adam in the presence of all angels about the names of different objects. He gave correct answers. On the basis of this superiority, The Almighty asked all the angels to bow as a mark of respect to Adam who was created so miraculously. The Holy Qur'an affirms:
"O angels! Fall down making obeisance to Adam." (Quran 15:29)
When the angels heard the commandment of The Almighty, they all complied without hesitation. They bowed with respect and admiration to the new creation and that was Adam. However, Iblis (Satan) did not surrender on various pretexts and stood still. They Holy Qur'an says:
"And when We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam, they did obeisance, not so Iblis, he refused and was haughty and he was of the rejecter." (Quran 2:34)
Iblis disobeyed The Almighty and became defiant. He arrogantly refused to accept the authority of a creature who was made of rubbish. Iblis thought himself superior to human being. As a result, The Almighty expelled Satan from the Garden of Bliss and deprived him of all Divine favors. Satan requested The Almighty to allow him to exist until the Day of Judgment. "I would bring most of the descendants of Adam under my sway. I would lead them astray from the Right Path." Allah gave him respite. The conversation between God and Iblis has been narrated in the Holy Qur'an as follows:
"Iblis said: Give me respite till the Resurrection Day. The Almighty said: Be you among those who are given respite. He said: I will certainly lie in wait for them on Your Straight Path. Then I will assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, not will You find most of them grateful." (Quran 7:14-18)
Devil is, in fact, an evil spirit which tempts the man to indulge in sins. It invites the heart to do bad deeds and disobey The Almighty. It tries to weaken our sense of morality but if we are spiritually too strong to yield to its temptations, we become immune from all sins. Those who follow the Commandments of The Almighty, invite God's grace to protect them. On the other hand, those who deliberately follow the wrong way, are responsible because they put themselves into the hands of Evil Spirit.
In order to remove the lonesomeness of Adam, a female mate named Hawwa (Eve) was created. The Prophet Adam (A.S.) and his wife Hawwa were given a place in the Garden (of Bliss) to reside. The Holy Qur'an affirms:
"And O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Garden (of Bliss) and eat therefrom wherever you will; approach not this tree, lest you should be among the wrong-doers." (Quran 7:20)
The Prophet Adam (A.S.) and his wife Eve continued enjoying each others company and carefully avoiding that specific prohibited tree. Iblis became very jealous when he saw the favors of The Almighty on the Prophet Adam (A.S.) and began to devise ways and means to humiliate them. He kept on making evil suggestions to the couple in a sneaky way. He tried to persuade them to approach the prohibited tree. One day, Iblis sympathetically said to them:
"Your Lord has only forbidden you this tree lest you should become angels or immortals, and he swore to them saying: Surely, I am a sincere counselor unto you. So he beguiled them by deceit." (Quran 7:22)
On healing this both, Prophet Adam (A.S.) and Eve, became curious. They started wondering as to why The Almighty did not want them to approach the specific tree. This temptation gradually became stronger, but The Almighty guided them aright and warned them not to be taken in by the evil suggestions of Iblis. The Holy Qur'an says:
"Then We said: O Adam! Verily, this Iblis is an enemy to you and your wife, so let him not get you both out of the Garden so that you are landed in misery." (Quran 20:117)
The Prophet Adam (A.S.) and his wife used to live happily in the Garden of Bliss. They were endowed with the knowledge to discriminate between good and evil. They were also warned of the power of evil. They overpowered all sorts of evil temptations at first and tried hard to ward off the influence of Satan. But he made numerous attempts to misguide them off and on.
Finally, Satan succeeded in his mission and made them approach that specific tree. Instantly, evil consequences appeared. The Holy Qur'an says:
"When they both tasted of the tree, their private parts became manifest to each other and they both began to cover themselves with the leaves of the trees (in the garden), and their Lord called them saying: Did I not forbid you both from that tree and tell you that Satan was your avowed enemy. They said: Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not and bestow not upon us Your mercy, we shall surely be of the losers." (Quran 7:23-24)
The Prophet Adam (A.S.) and Eve followed the temptations of Iblis and were deprived of the heavenly bliss. They were, however, overflooded with grief. They requested The Almighty to forgive them. The Almighty, the Most Merciful accepted their repentance and chose them for His mercy. At the same time, He dispelled them from the Garden of Bliss. They became ordinary people. They had to live like us for only a certain span of life on this earth. They would be recreated again to be judged for their actions on the Day of Judgment.
They lived for many years. The Almighty sent directions and guidance to the Prophet Adam (A.S.). He taught others about the religion of The Almighty. He advised his descendants to do good and avoid evil. He told the people to act upon The Almighty's Commandments and follow His guidance. It would serve the purpose of shield to do away with the attacks of the devil. The Almighty says:
"Whoso shall follow My Guidance, on them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve. But those who will disbelieve and treat Our Signs as lies, they shall be the inmates of the fire and they shall abide therein." (Quran 2:39-40)
The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186