Allah the Almighty revealed: “And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: “Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generations after generations on earth.” They said: ‘Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood, – while we glorify You with praises and thanks (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners) and sanctify You.” He (Allah) said: “I know that which you do not know.” And He taught Adam all the names (of everything), then He showed them to the angels and said: “Tell Me the names of these if you are truthful.”
They (angels) said: “Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise.” He said: “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 Ghaib (unseen) in the heavens and the earth, and I know what you reveal and what you have been concealing?”
And (remember) when We said to the angels: “Prostrate yourselves before Adam.” And they prostrated except Iblis, he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers (disobedient to Allah).” 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 Zalimeen (wrong-doers)
.”Then the Satan made them slip therefrom (the Paradise), and got them out from that in which they were. We said: “Get you down, all, with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time.” 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. 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 Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) such are the dwellers of the Fire, they shall abide therein forever.”Surah 2: 30-39
Almighty Allah also revealed: “And surely, We created you (your father Adam) and then gave you shape (the noble shape of a human being), then We told the angels, “Prostrate to Adam”, and they prostrated, except Iblis, he refused to be of those who prostrate. (Allah) said: “What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you?” (Iblis) said: “I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.” (Allah) said: “O Iblis, get down from this (Paradise), it is not for you to be arrogant here. Get out, for you are of those humiliated and disgraced.” (Iblis) said: “Allow me respite till the Day they are raised up (i.e. The Day of Resurrection).”
(Allah) said: “You are of those allowed respite.”
(Iblis) said: “Because You have sent me astray, 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, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. they will not be dutiful to You).” (Allah) said (to Iblis): “Get out from this (Paradise) disgraced and expelled. Whoever of them (mankind) will follow you, then surely I will fill Hell with you all.” “And O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in Paradise, and eat thereof as you both wish, but approach not this tree otherwise you both will be of the Zalimeen (unjust and wrong-doers).” Then Satan whispered suggestions to them both in order to uncover that which was hidden from them of their private parts (before); he said: “Your Lord did not forbid you this tree save you should become angels or become of the immortals.”
And he (Satan) swore by Allah to them both (saying): “Verily, I am one of the sincere well-wishers for you both.” So he misled them with deception. Then when they tasted of the tree, that which was hidden from them of their shame (private parts) became manifest to them and they began to stick together the leaves of Paradise over themselves (in order to cover their shame). And their Lord called out to them (saying): “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 (i.e. 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 (i.e., resurrected). ” Surah 7: 11-25
We imagine when Allah the Almighty decided to create Adam: He addressed His angels and told them to prostrate before him. He did not mean to ask their opinion or take their advice, for He is above that. Allah the Exalted told them that He was going to create a vicegerant 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!”” Surah 2: 30
There are old traditions about the angels before the creation of Adam. According to Ibn Qatadah, it was said that the angels were informed about the creation of Adam and his progeny by the jinn who lived before Adam. ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar said that the jinn had existed for about two thousand years before Adam and then shed blood. Therefore, Allah sent on them an army of angels that drove them out to the depths of the seas. Ibn Abi Hatim narrated from Ali Ja’far Al-Baqer that the angels were informed that man would cause wickedness and shed blood on earth. It was also said that they knew that no one would be created on earth who would not be wicked and shed blood.
Whether or not these traditions are correct, the angels did understand that Allah would create a vicegerant on earth.
Allah the Almighty announced that He was going to create a human being out of clay, that He would mold him and blow His spirit into him, and then the angels should prostrate before him.
Abi Musa Al-Sha’ara’i narrated that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 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 Mas’ud and other companions of the Prophet (PBUH) said that Allah the Almighty sent Gabriel onto the earth to get Him clay therefrom.
The earth said: “I seek refuge in Allah from your decreasing my quantity or disfiguring me.” So Gabriel returned and did not take anything. And he said: “My Lord, the land sought refuge in You, and it was granted.” So Allah sent Michael for the same purpose, and the land sought refuge with Allah and it was granted. So he went back and said to Allah what Gabriel had said before him. Then Allah sent the Angel of Death, and the land sought refuge in Allah. The angel said: “I also seek refuge with Allah from returning without carrying out His command.”
So 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). The Angel of Death ascended with it, and He (Allah) soaked the clay till it became sticky. Then Allah 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.” Surah 38: 71-72
So Allah shaped Adam into a human being, but he remained a figure of clay for forty years. The angels went past him. They were seized with fear by what they saw, and Iblis felt this fear most. He used to pass by the figure of Adam, buffetting it, which would make a sound like pottery. Allah told us: “He created man (Adam) from sounding clay like the clay of pottery.” Surah 55: 14 When the time drew near to breathe the spirit into Adam, as Allah the Almighty decreed, He commanded the angels: “When I breathe My spirit into him prostrate before him” Allah breathed His spirit into Adam and when it reached his head Adam sneezed. The angels said: “Say all praise belongs to Allah.” Adam repeated: “All praise belongs to Allah.” Allah said to him: “Your Lord has granted you mercy.” When the spirit reached his eyes, Adam looked at the fruits of Paradise.
When it reached his abdomen Adam felt an appetite for food. He jumped hurriedly before the spirit could reach his legs, so that he could eat from the fruits of Paradise. Allah, therefore, said: “Man is created of haste.” Surah 21:37. And then: “The angels prostrated themselves, all of them together. Except Iblis – he refused to be among the prostrators. “ Surah 15: 31-32
Abu Hurairah narrated that 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 Allah the Almighty revealed: “And (remember) when you Lord brought forth from the children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (or from Adam’s loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): “Am I not your Lord?” They said: “Yes! We testify,” lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: “Verily, we have been unaware of this.” Or lest you should say: “It was only our fathers aforetime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will you then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practiced Al-Batil (i.e. polytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah)?” Thus do We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) in detail, so that they may turn (unto the truth).” Surah 7: 172- 174
Adam’s progeny declared: “Our Lord, we bear witness that You are our Lord; we have no other Lord but Allah.” Allah raised their father Adam, and he looked at them and saw those of them who were rich, those who were poor, those who had good forms and those who did not. Adam said: “O Allah! I wish You to make Your servants equal.” Allah replied: “I love being thanked.” Adam saw among the prophets like lamps among his progeny. Almighty Allah declared: “And (remember) when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from you (O Muhammad), and from Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus-son of Mary. We took from them a strong covenant.” Surah 33: 7 In another verse Allah the Exalted commanded:”So set you (O Muhammad) your face towards the religion of pure Islamic Monotheism Hanifan (worship none but Allah Alone) Allah’s Fitrah (i.e. Allah’s Islamic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in khalqillah (i.e. the Religion of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), that is the straight religion, but most men know not.”” Surah 30:30
Another version of the story relates that Allah took a handful of the dust of the earth and mixed into it the colors white, black, yellow, and red.
That is the reason why men are born different colors. When Allah mixed the dust with water, it turned into potter’s clay that makes a sound. It was fermented and had a smell. Iblis passed by, wondering what was going to be made of that clay. From the clay Allah created Adam. He molded his form with His own hands and blew His spirit into him. Adam’s body quivered as life was imbued into it.
“Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be!” – and it is!” Surah 37: 82 Allah the Almighty declared: “Verily, the likeness of Eesa (Jesus), in Allah’s Sight is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: “Be!”- and he was.” Surah 3: 59 Adam opened his eyes and saw all the angels prostrating before him except one being who was standing at a distance. Adam did not know what kind of creature it was that did not prostrate before him, nor did he know its name. Iblis was standing with the angels so as to be included in the command given to them, but he was not one of them.
He was a jinn, and, as such he was supposed to be inferior to the angels. What is clear is that this prostration was to show respect and did not mean that the angels were worshiping Adam. Prostrating, in worship is done only for Allah. Almighty Allah recounted the story of Iblis’s refusal to prostrate before Adam: “And (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 a cursed one). And verily, the curse shall be upon you till the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).”
Surah 15: 28-35
In another surah Almighty Allah recounted it thus: “And surely, We created you (your father Adam) and then gave you shape (the noble shape of a human being), then We told the angels, “Prostrate to Adam” and they prostrated, except Iblis, he refused to be of those who prostrate. (Allah) said: ‘What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you?” Iblis said: “I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.” Allah said: “(O Iblis) get down from this (Paradise), it is not for you to be arrogant here. Get out, for you are of those humiliated and disgraced.” (Iblis) said: “Allow me respite till the Day they are raised up (i.e. The Day of Resurrection).” Allah said: “You are of those allowed respite.” Surah 7: 11-15
Ibn Jarir reported that Muhammad Ibn Sirin said that the first one to reach a conclusion by reasoning was Iblis and that the sun and moon were not worshiped except through this method. This means that Iblis tried to compare himself to Adam. He believed that he was more honorable than Adam: Therefore, he abstained from prostrating, even though Allah had commanded him to do so, just as He had commanded the angels. If an analogy is made, we see that Iblis is vain. For indeed, clay is better than fire because in it can be found the qualities of calmness, clemency, perseverance, and growth; whereas in fire can be found heedlessness, insignificance, haste, and incineration. Iblis tried in vain to justify his refusal: “Shall I prostrate to one whom You created from clay?” (Iblis) said: “See? This one 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!” Surah 17: 62
Adam was following what was happening around him and had feelings of love, awe, and astonishment. Deep love of Allah, Who had created and glorified him and Who had made His angels prostrate before him. Awe of the Creator’s wrath when He excluded Iblis from His mercy.Adam was surprised by this creature, Iblis, who abhored him without even knowing him, and who imagined himself better than Adam without having proved that he was worthier. What a strange creature Iblis was, and how strange was his excuse for not prostrating! He imagined that fire is better than clay, but how did he get such an idea? Such knowledge is exclusive to Allah Who created fire and clay and Who knows which is the better of the two. From the dialogue Adam realised that Iblis was a creature characterised by cunning and ingratitude. He then knew that Iblis was his eternal enemy. He was greatly astonished at Iblis’s audacity and Allah’s tolerance.
Immediately after his creation, Adam witnessed the large amount of freedom that Allah gives to His commissioned creatures. Allah knew that Iblis was not going to obey Him in prostrating before Adam. Allah could have totally annihilated him or turned him into a handful of dust or stifled the refusal in his mouth. Yet, Allah gives His commissioned creatures absolute freedom even to the extent that they can refuse Allah the Almighty’s commands. He grants them the freedom of denial, disobedience, and even disagreement with Him. His kingdom will not diminish if the disbelievers do not believe in Him, nor will it be extended if many people believe in Him.
On the contrary, the disbelievers will lose, and the believers will gain, but Allah is above all of that. There were many traditions about Iblis at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Ibn Mas’ud, Ibn ‘Abbas, and a group of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that Iblis had been the head of the angels in the worldly heavens.
Ibn ‘Abbas said in one narration that his name had been ‘Azazil, and in another narration he said it had been Al-Harith. Ibn ‘Abbas also said that Iblis was a jinn and that they had once been the keepers of Paradise, with Iblis the most honorable, the most learned and the most pious of them. Another tradition says that he had been one of the famous four possessors of wings (i.e. angels) before Allah transformed him into the accursed Satan. Allah Almighty recounts Iblis’s disobedience in another surah: “(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 Iblis, he was proud and was one of the disbelievers. (Allah) said: “O Iblis! What prevents you from prostrating yourself to one whom I have created with Both My Hands. Are you too proud (to fall prostrate to Adam) or are you one of the high exalted?” (Iblis) said: “I am better than he, You created me from fire, and You created him from clay.” (Allah) said: “Then get you from here, for verily, you are outcast. And verily!,
My Curse is on you till the Day of Recompense.” (Iblis) 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.” Iblis said: “By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, – except Your chosen slaves amongst them (faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism).” (Allah) said: “The truth is, and the truth I say, – that I will fill Hell with you (Iblis) and those of them (mankind) that follow you, together. ” Surah 38: 71-85
After this lesson about freedom, Adam learned another lesson, one about knowledge. Adam realized that Iblis was the symbol of evil in the universe and that the angels were the symbol of good. However, he did not yet know anything about himself. Then Allah made him perceive his true identity, the reason for his creation, and the secret of his glorification. Allah the Exalted said: “And He taught Adam all the names (of everything).” Surah 2:31
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, that is a cloud, etc. Allah implanted in Adam an insatiable need for and love of knowledge and a desire to bequeath knowledge to his children. This was the reason for his creation and the secret in his glorification. 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.” Surah 2:31. The angels admitted their inability: “”Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Verily, it is You, The All-Knower, The All-Wise.” Surah 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 Ghaib (unseen) in the heavens and the earth, and I know what you reveal and what you have been concealing?” Surah 2: 33
Allah wanted the angels to know that He knew of their astonishment when He had told them about the creation of Adam and that He also knew of their confusion which they had not revealed, as well as what Iblis had concealed of his disobedience and ingratitude. The angels realized that Adam was the creature who knew what they did not know and that his capacity to learn was his noblest quality. His knowledge included knowledge of the Creator which we call Faith or Islam, as well as the knowledge he would need to inhabit and master the earth. All kinds of worldly knowledge which are included in this. Adam knew the names of everything. Sometimes he talked to the angels, but they were preoccupied with worshiping Almighty Allah.
Therefore, Adam felt lonely. One day he slept and when he awoke he found, near his head, a woman gazing at his face with beautiful, tender eyes. Perhaps they had the following conversation: Adam: You were not here before I slept. She: Yes. He: From what…? She: I came out of you. Allah created me while you were asleep. Do you not desire to restore me to you while you are awake? He: Why has Allah created you? She: To be your solace. He: Thanks to Allah I was feeling lonely. The angels asked him her name. He replied: “Eve (Hawwa).” They asked: “Why did you call her Eve?” Adam said: “Because she was created of me, and I am a living being.” Ibn ‘Abbas and a group of the companions of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi vasallam) narrated that 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 tranquillity. 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 replied: “So that you could find tranquillity in me.” The angels, trying to find out the extent of his knowledge, asked him: “What is her name, O Adam?” He replied: “Eve.” They asked: “Why was she so named?” He replied: “Because she was created from something living.”Muhammad Ibn Ishaaq and Ibn ‘Abbas related that Eve was created from the shortest left rib of Adam while he was sleeping, and after a while she was clothed with flesh. That is why Allah the Exalted said: “O Mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam) and from him (Adam)
He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women.” Surah 4:1. Allah also said: “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.” Surah 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 Al-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).”” Surah 2:35