PROPHET ADAM (a)
by late Syed Haider Hussain Shamsi
An excerpt from his book, " The Prophets of Islam ".
THE CREATION OF ADAM
The most widely held belief about the origin of Adam has been that Allah
created him from non-existence by His Will using the earth materials.
This did not involve the biological processes of evolution or
reproduction. Allah created Man and Woman from clay in the form and
shape, the way they are today. Any belief or controversy to the
contrary is only a speculation.
Different peoples in the world have stories concerning the origin of Man,
which point towards the spontaneous arrival of the patriarch with his
The Hindu believe that man's original parents were Mahadev and Parwati and
that they looked like human beings, but were the image of Parinishwar (God
Himself). The Jews and the Christians also believe that God created
Adam in His own image.
Most people believe that God has no physical form, then how could He
create Man in His own image!
This riddle was solved by the last Prophet of Islam when he said
"Allah had created Adam with His quality, not His form. "
Allah can be recognized by His qualities alone. So the saying of the
Prophet makes it clear that the image of Allah refers to His qualities.
The Prophet further said "Adopt the qualities of Allah."
This becomes clear from the Qur'an where Allah says that He created Adam
on this earth as His representative. A representative follows
orders. Only one who can execute the orders properly can be a true
representative or vicegerent, otherwise there would be efforts.
Thus, according to the Prophet, assuming the responsibilities of a worthy
representative requires the acquisition of the
conduct of the master. This, then is what is meant by "God
created Man in His image."
ADAM, THE CALIPH OF ALLAH
When Allah desired to create Adam He addressed the angels and said
that He was going to create Man and appoint him as His representative on
earth. As soon as the creation was accomplished and He had bestowed
Adam with His spirit, He told them to bow down in obedience to Adam.
The angels who considered themselves to be superior to Adam on account of
their closeness to the Creator Himself, were surprised at this instruction
to bow down in obedience to a creature that was molded from earth
materials. They said to Allah, "You are appointing a being as
your vicegerent who would bring unrest and blood shed on earth, whereas
we, who have been immersed in your worship were more deserving to receive
Allah said to them that what was known to Him could not be in their
knowledge, and that Adam was specifically suited for the position He had
designed for the earth. He offered them a chance to compete in an
open contest of knowledge and wisdom with Adam. The angels failed in
the contest and Adam emerged superior to them in knowledge and wisdom.
All of them except Iblis (Satan) obeyed Allah's commandment and bowed down
in obedience to Adam.
IBLIS & ADAM
It is said that before the creation of Adam, the earth was inhabited by
Jinn, a creation from the elements of fire. They were mutually
disruptive and indulged in senseless bloodshed. The angels had refereed
to their mischief.Iblis was also a Jinn. He was knowledgeable about
matters of the earth. By virtue of his devotion and service to
Allah, he had secured a high position in the Celestial existence.
Iblis had started living with the angels. When Allah ordered all of
them to prostrate before Adam, he refused. When asked why he had
refused the divine ordinance, he said that he was superior to Adam on
several counts. Firstly, his creation came from finer elements.
Secondly, he had been in proximity to the Creator in direct servitude.
He had vast work experience on the earth where the novice Adam was being
sent as a representative. He
contended that this was his coveted position and should have been given to
him instead to an undeserving novice.
Allah rebuked and down graded Iblis for his disobedience and told him to
immediately remove himself from His divine presence and his eternal abode
will be reserved in hell inferno. Iblis said that Man was a poor
choice for such an important position. He said that he would take
every opportunity to haul all mankind with him to hell. He would
like to be granted eternal opportunity to test and tempt this
representative and prove that Man may not be such a worthy khalifa.
Allah said that only He commands eternity, but He will give him his
desired opportunity to the Time known only to Himself. He said that
His obedient servants will remain steadfast in all his' tough tests and
temptations throughout Time, and prove that He created a wise and
knowledgeable khalifa on earth.
Allah warned Adam about the evil designs of Iblis against him and his
progeny throughout Time. But He also assured that those that remain firm
in their faith on Truth shall be victorious and will return to Him on the
Day of Judgment for a Life of Contentment in close proximity to the
The Garden of Eden
Allah brought Adam to the Garden of Eden and gave him education towards
carrying out the intended functions of Khalifa on Earth. Allah
created Eve from the substance of Adam as his partner in life and gave
them total freedom to enjoy the benevolence of the Provider and Sustainer
of Life with prohibition only for a particular tree. The two were
not even to go near the tree let alone to taste of its fruit.
Iblis saw his opportunity to tempt Adam and Eve and invoke their curiosity
to get closer to the prohibited tree and taste its fruit. No sooner
they had done what had been prohibited by the Lord, the Innocence of the
Garden of Eden changed to the reality of Life. They heard the voice
of their Lord calling. He reminded them of the prohibition He had
invoked, which they had clearly transgressed. He reminded them of
the open enemosity of Iblis towards them. They were to leave the
Garden of Eden and make their abode on the Earth till the end of a period
of Time known only to Him. The Almighty said," There you will
procreate of your kind in numbers and will colonise the land provided, and
eat and drink from that you will procure from the bounties of your Lord.
This is where you will spend your lives, and die, and be raised on the Day
of Judgement on your conduct on the Earth. Beware of the damaging
evil counsel of Iblis who will continue to attempt rift between bretheren,
disrupt your lives, cause death and destruction on Earth through those who
will listen to him. " Both Adam and Eve felt sorry for what
they had done, and begged for their forgiveness. Allah reminded them
of their role in Life and said that they will return to Him once again to
enjoy His bounties in paradise upon their successfully
completing the mission on the earth. Thus Adam descended to the
earth as a representative of Allah.
The Life and Progeny of Adam
In the beginning, Adam had two sons from Eve named Habeel (Abel) and
Qabeel (Cane) followed by Sheeth and others. It is said that Adam
lived for almost 930 years.
References: al Qur'an: Surah Baqrah, Maidah, Aaraf, Hajj, Bani
Israel, Kahaf, Taha, Sabaa, Yaseen, Jinn and Hajrat.
THE STORY OF HABEEL AND QABEEL
It is said that from their first harvest, the two sons of Adam, Habeel and
Qabeel, each offered a sacrifice to Allah. The offering of Habeel
was accepted for his being " the first among the muttaqeen (the God
fearing). " A fire descended from the heaven and consumed the
offering of Habeel. The offering of Qabeel was spared. He
thought that his offering was rejected. This made him jealous of
Habeel and he murdered him.
Qabeel felt deep remourse over this act and carried the dead body of his
brother over his shoulder, not knowing what to do with it. Then he
saw a crow burying a dead crow in the ground. Qabeel followed suit
and buried his brother's dead body by digging a hole in the ground.
This was the first criminal act on Earth and it was caused by jealousy.
Jealousy is the root cause of many sins, including the murder of fellow
human beings. It therefore behoves mankind to avoid this terrible
emotion which leads to a lot of sins.
References: al Qur'an: Sura Maidah
This is an excerpt from Dr. Syed Haider Hussain Shamsi's book, " The
Prophets of Islam ", available for online reading in the " Book
Section " of this website.