The Story of Prophet Adam (A.S)
Updated: Jan 27
The story of the prophets is certainly always a good example for our life today. So learn to understand the various wisdom of their life would be very useful for us.
Prophet Adam (A.S.) was the first man descended by Allah to earth, along with his wife named Hawwa (Eve). Adam belongs to the 25 prophets mentioned in the Quran.
According to different narrations by different Islamic Scholars, Adam lived for about 1000 years after creation. Prophet Adam has been mentioned in The Quran in several Verses, among them Verses from 30 to 38 of Surah Al-Baqarah (2nd Surah of Quran) and verses from 11 to 25 of Surah Al-A'raaf (7th Surah of Quran). The children of Adam and Eve were born twins, that is, every baby boy was born together with a baby girl.
Informing the Angels about creation of the Prophet Adam (A.S.):
Allah told the angels about the creation of Adam as the human and would become Allah’s vicegerent (successor or deputy, khalifah in Arabic) who served to prosper the earth. Allah Has mentioned this conversation in the Quran.
Remember, when your Lord said to the angels: "I have to place a successive authority (Khalifah) on the earth," they said: "Will You place one there who would create disorder and shed blood, while we intone Your litanies and sanctify Your name?" And Allah said: "Indeed, I know that which you do not know." (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:30)
The statement the angels uttered was not a form of disputing neither with Allah’s decision, nor out of envy for the Children of Adam or as some mistakenly thought. Allah has described Angels as those who do not precede Him in speaking, meaning that they do not ask Allah anything without His permission. When Allah informed them that He was going to create a creation on the earth and they had knowledge, angel’s only concern was that this creation (human) would commit mischief on earth.
In this verse, Allah’s words "Indeed, I know that which you do not know" means, "I know the benefit of creating this type of creature outweighs the harm that you mentioned, that which you have no knowledge of. I will create among them Prophets and send Messengers. I will also create among them truthful, martyrs, righteous believers, worshippers, the modest , the pious, the scholars who spread their knowledge to humble people and those who love Allah and follow His Messengers.''
Virtue of Prophet Adam (A.S.) over the Angels:
Prophet Adam (A.S.) was created directly from the hands of Allah from clay and his soul was immediately blown by the Almighty Himself. In addition, the Prophet Adam (A.S.) was also equipped with the intellect that makes him able to learn, observe and understand things. The same is evident from the following verses of Quran:
Then Allah gave Adam knowledge of the nature and reality of all things and everything, and set them before the angels and said: "Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful." (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:31)
And they (Angels) said: "Glory to You (O Allah), we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise." (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:32)
Then Allah said, "O Adam, inform them of their names." And when he had informed them of their names, Allah said, "Did I not tell you that I know the unknown of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed." (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:33)
Allah stated the virtue of Adam above the angels, because He taught Adam, rather than them, the names/knowledge of everything, that is, the names that people use, such as human, animal, sky, earth, land, sea, including the names of the other species. This occurred after Angels prostrated to Adam. This discussion proceeds only to show the importance of Adam’s position, and the absence of the angel’s knowledge about creating the Khalifah when they asked about it. This shows the Adam's superiority over Angels in knowledge.
Adam was very Tall:
Upon his creation, Adam was very tall. As the same is evident from following Hadith:
Narrated by Abu Huraira: The Prophet (S.A.W.) said, "Allah created Adam, making him 60 cubits tall” (Al-Bukhari: 3326)
It is stated in the hadith above that Prophet Adam was 60 ziras (about 40 meters) tall when he was created by Allah. However, some scholars like Ibn-e-Khaldun (1332-1406) accepts that this is his height in Paradise and upon being sent to the Earth with Eve, he was given a height appropriate to the standards of Planet Earth.
Angel’s prostration before Adam and Satan’s disobedience of Allah’s Command:
There are many Verses in Quran, alogwith number of Ahadiths, verify that after creating Adam, Allah commanded the angels to prostrate before him.
And when Allah said to the angels, "Prostrate before Adam"; so they prostrated, except for Iblees (Satan/Devil/Shaitan). He refused and was arrogant and so became a disbeliever. (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:34)
When Allah commanded the angels to prostrate before Adam, Iblis (Shaitan/Devil/Satan) was included in this command. All Angels complied with Allah’s command except for Iblis as he was too arrogant to prostrate before Adam. He said, “I am superior than him. You created me from the fire and created Adam from the clay/mud.” So this act of arrogance by Iblis was the first ever act of disobedience/error/misdeed committed by any of Allah’s creatures. Because of Satan' arrogance and disobedience to prostrate, Allah punishes him by expelling him from heaven.
Satan arrogantly accepted the punishment of Allah and he only begged Him to be given the opportunity for eternal life until the Day of Judgment. Allah approved his petition and Satan was allowed eternal life until the day of resurrection. Satan was not grateful for the granting by Allah but instead he threatened to mislead Adam and his descendant from all directions to persuade them to leave the straight path, invite them to forbidden things, tempting them to abolish the religious orders and influence them not to be grateful to Allah for good deeds.
Then Allah spoke to the cursed Iblis:
"Go with your followers who will be the fuel of hell. You will not be able to mislead My servants who have believed in me with all their heart and have a steady faith which will not be roared by your appeal."
Satan was removed from the ranks of angels and he became Allah’s biggest enemy till the Day of Judgment.
Eve’s Creation, their entrance in Paradise and Allah’s Warning to them:
After commanding the angels to prostrate before him, Adam was given a place by Allah in heaven/paradise and for him created Eve to accompany him and become his life friend, eliminating his loneliness and completing his natural needs to develop offspring.
And Allah said, "O Adam, both you and your spouse live in the Paradise, eat freely to your fill wherever you like, but approach not this tree or you will become transgressors/wrongdoers.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:35)
This Ayah indicates that Hawwa was created before Adam entered Paradise.
According to many Islamic Scholars, after Allah finished criticizing Satan, Adam fell asleep. Then Allah took one of Adam's left ribs and made flesh grow in its place, while Adam was asleep and unaware. Allah then created Eve from Adam’s rib and made her a woman. Adam woke up and saw Eve next to him. When Allah married Adam to Eve and gave him comfort, Allah said to him directly, "O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Paradise and eat both of you freely with pleasure and delight of things therein wherever you will, but come not near this tree or you both will be of the wrongdoers.” The Allah’s statement was basically a test for Adam and Eve. There are different opinions over the nature of the tree mentioned here. Some said that it was the grape tree, barley, date tree, fig tree and so forth (neither Allah has mentioned anything in the Quran nor there is any authentic Hadith about the nature of this tree). The point here is that Allah forbade Adam and his wife from eating from a certain tree in Paradise.
Devil’s deceit with Adam and their eating from the forbidden tree:
Adam and Eve understood that they were forbidden to eat the fruit of that tree. Adam was, however, human and man tends to forget. Satan summoned all the envy within him and took advantage of Adam’s humanity to exploit it. He started to whisper to him day after day “Shall I guide you to the tree of immortality and the eternal kingdom”.
But Satan whispered to them to make apparent to them that which was concealed from them of their private parts. He said, "Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become of the immortal." And he swore [by Allah] to them, "Indeed, I am to you from among the sincere advisors." (Surah Al-Arraf 7:20 – 21)
Years went by but both of them were preoccupied with the thoughts of that tree. Then one day, they decided to eat the fruit of this tree. Both forgot about Allah’s warning about that tree. Adam picked one of its fruit and offered it to Eve. They both ate the forbidden fruit of the tree. As Quran says:
So he made them fall, through deception. And when they tasted of the tree, their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten together over themselves from the leaves of Paradise. And their Lord called to them, "Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is to you a clear enemy?" (Surah Al-Arraf 7:22)
Adam hardly finished eating when he felt his heart contract and he as filled with pain, sadness and shame. He discovered that he and his wife is naked so they both started cutting tree leaves to cover themselves.
Adam repents and supplicates to Allah:
At this time, Allah called out to them: "Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you: Verily, Satan is an open enemy unto you.'' In reply, Adam said:
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." (Surah Al-Arraf 7:23)
After realizing that they both have violated the Allah’s warning/command, they started to repent and sought forgiveness of Allah by reciting the words mentioned above.
Acceptance of Adam’s supplication and sending them both down to earth:
Allah accepted their supplication and gave His forgiveness to them. As mentioned in Quran:
Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and Allah accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is Allah who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:37)
Ibn Asakar reported that Adam wept for 60 years for his loss of paradise and 70 years for his mistake. Allah accepted their repentance because it was sincere but also deprived them from the blessings of paradise/heaven. Both Adma and Eve left paradise and descended upon the earth. Allah told them that the earth would be their realm and origin where they would live and die. As mentioned in Quran:
[ Allah ] said, "Descend, being to one another enemies. And for you on the earth is a place of settlement and enjoyment for a time." He said, "Therein you will live, and therein you will die, and from it you will be brought forth."(Surah Al-Arraf 7:24 – 25)
When downgraded to Earth, Adam and Eve were then separated in two different places. Ibn-e-Abi Hatim recorded Ibn-e-Abbas saying that Allah sent Adam to earth to an area called “Dahna”, between Makkah and At-Taif. Al-Hasan-Al-Basri said that Adam was sent down to India, while Eve was sent to Jeddah. They both searched for each other. It took them 40 days to see them on a hill in the Arabian Peninsula called Jabal Rahmah of Arafat (situated in Saudi Arabia near the city of Makkah). Adam and Eve eventually gathered and reunited like in heaven. Allah then made Adam the first prophet on earth.
Life of Adam on Earth:
Adam knew that on earth, he had to face conflict and struggle. He had to protect himself, his wife and children from earthly creatures and hardships but above all, he had to struggle with the spirit of evil. The battle between good and evil is continuous but Adam knew that those who follow Allah’s guidance and should fear nothing while those who disobey Allah and follow Satan will be damned alongwith him. As mention in Quran:
And Allah said to them: "Go, all of you. When I send guidance, whoever follows it will neither have fear nor regret.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:38)
Adam, alongwith Eve, started his life on earth. He knew that he was master of the earth and had to make it yield. He was the one who had to perpetuate, cultivate, construct and populate the earth. He was also the one who had to procreate and raise children who would change and improve the earth. Time on Earth went on, Prophet Adam grew steadily. Then Adam and Eve witnessed the birth of their children, a set of twins, Cain (Qabil) and his sister Iqlima. Later, Eve gave birth to a second set of twins, Abel (Habil) and his sister Labuda. Adam and Eve were blessed with many offspring.
Allah decreed the command to Adam to marry the children of the first couple with the second couple in cross, Cain with Labuda, and Abel with Iqlima. Adam then told the Allah’s command to his children. But Cain was displeased with the partner chosen for him as Abel’s twin sister was not as beautiful as his own.
Cain’s disobedience and first death:
Abel was intelligent, obedient and always ready to the will of Allah as Allah blessed him with purity and compassion. On the other hand, his brother Cain was arrogant, selfish and disobedient to his Lord. As Cain did not accept Allah’s command to marry Abel’s sister as he wanted to marry his own sister, Cain, in ager and hatred, struck his brother Abel with stone, killing him instantly. This was the first death and first criminal act committed by man on earth. Cain, then, buried his brother’s corpse. Allah has mentioned the story of Abel and Cain in (Surah Al-Maaidah 5: 27-31).
Adam’s Teachings to his children:
Adam was in grief as one of his sons is dead and other was won over by the Satan. At that time, Adam was a prophet and he started advising his children and grandchildren, telling them about Allah and calling them to believe in Him. Adam told them about Satan and warned them by describing his own experience with devil. Adam also told them how Satan tempted Cain to kill his own brother. Further, Adam also reminded them that humans have a real and eternal enemy that is a Satan. The devil will never stop and will never give up until the Day of Judgment to bring as many descendants of Adam on the misleading path.
After many years, Adam grew old. When Adam’s death drew near, he appointed his son Seth (Shiith), third son of Adam & Eve, to be his successor. Adam taught Seth appropriate acts of worship along with all commands/teachings of Allah.
Adam, the first human being and the first prophet, was also the first prophet to pass away from this world, after having lived for approx. thousand years. Before his death, Adam reassured his children that Allah would not leave man alone on earth but would sent His prophets to guide them. The prophets would have different names, traits and miracles but they would be united in one thing i-e the call to worship Allah alone. This was Adam‘s bequest to his children. Adam finished speaking and closed his eyes. Then the Angels entered his room and surrounded him. When Adam recognizes the Angle of Death among them, his heart smiled peacefully. Then Angels took Adam’s soul away. According to different narrations, the day Prophet Adam died was Friday. Then they washed and enshrouded him. They put scent on him and dug his grave. They put Adam in grave and then covered the grave with mud-brick. According to different narrations, Eve died one or two years after the death of Prophet Adam and was buried near him.
Burial Place of Adam and Eve:
There are various narrations in Islamic sources about where the grave of Adam and Eve are. According these narrations, grave of Adam is in the Abu Qubays cave in Makkah, which was the first mountain created by Allah. According to another narration, Noah put the coffin of Adam on the Ark and buried it in Baitul-Maqdis (Mosque Al-Aqsa), Jerusalem, after the deluge.
The teaching from Adam's story.
Pride and arrogance are always the result of loss and destruction. See Satan who deprived of his position among the angels and expelled by Allah from heaven with curses that will attach to him until the Day of Judgment because of his arrogance and his pride as he refused to prostrate before Adam despite being commanded by Allah.