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The Fall of Adam (Part 3: Conclusion)

In the prior two posts of this topic respectively, I commented on the story of Adam in two parts. I described that these two parts were:

  1. Before the creation of the Universe
  2. After the creation of the Universe

As I mentioned in post #2, there is no place in the whole of the Quran and Hadith which describe the nature of Adam’s descent from Paradise to Earth. Thus, this is an area of comment and differentiation. The reason why I chose to interpret the story of Adam this way is that it does not contradict the text of the Quran and Hadith. The problem I faced as a student of knowledge was reconciling the hadith literature with the theory of Evolution (not Darwinian evolution by the way). The problem I faced was, since biology and paleontology has established that some sort of Evolution has undeniably occurred, including human beings, then how do I understand the hadith talking about the literal creation of Adam and various other issues such as Adam’s 60 cubit tall height, the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib, and other issues? One way to solve the problem is simply that these statements are allegorical versions of the real event; that is, they are relaying a hidden truth, and thus these narrations are not literal. This is one possibility. The other alternative suggested by me in post 1 and 2 of this topic is another possibility. However I found that this second possibility is more broad. With it I can reconcile all of the hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) while at the same time accept modern scientific discoveries such as the Big Bang and the Evolution of life. Interpreting the story this way does not contradict the facts, as well as the narrations of the prophet (pbuh).

The Fall of Adam (part 2: After Creation)

As established in the previous post (The Fall of Adam: part 1 [Before Creation]), the story of Adam can be told in 2 parts:

  1. Before Creation
  2. After Creation

After Creation:

The purpose of the prior post was to establish that Mankind had existed in a prior plane before creation, was tried in that plane, and was ultimately removed from it due to his own mistake. Mankind in this case was represented by the prophet Adam (peace be upon him), who was defined as the first man (in this sense). When God banished Adam to the Earth he was removed from this spiritual plane and sent to the physical plane of the Earth.

Now, what is unique is that at no place in the whole of the Quran nor the Hadith of the prophet (peace be upon him) does it describe the nature in which Adam descended to the Earth. Thus, it could have been that Adam was not created in the physical Paradise, but in a separate and sacred temporal realm existing sometime prior to the creation of the Universe. When Adam was ‘banished’ from Paradise, it could mean that his essence was transferred from this temporal realm to the physical realm in the proper order of Creation. Thus, the things which scientists have observed as natural phenomena, as the Big Bang and Concept of Evolution can be all valid understandings; however, every creature’s destiny has been pre-determined. The Story of Adam is talking about humankind’s destiny. In the previous realm, man existed in a state of innocence, sinned against this innocence, and was thus removed from it but redeemed. However, this redemption had a condition, he must now earn his way back to the eternal realm i.e. the Paradise (Firdaus). And so, he was born in this world with the current conditions and must strive and attain the stature willed to him by God. The natural consequence of this destiny is fault, and thus God being the All-Merciful, Most-Kind, has also created the guidance to help this creature succeed in his mission. Thus, the Prophets are raised, the devout are firmly established, the signs are known; all that point towards the truth of Allah are known, so that man has no excuse whatsoever on the Day of Resurrection.

Finally, the events of the story of Adam are re-created in this Earthly realm in order to establish man’s rightful inheritance of this world. All human beings, from the time of Adam all the way to the Day of Resurrection have a physical body with an immaterial soul; the same soul which testified of knowing Allah as explained in part 1 of this topic. This soul (Adam) is told:

“Dwell O Adam, you and your mate (the whole of the human race) in Paradise (the Earth) and eat of its fruits from wherever you will, but do not approach this tree (signifying the limits placed on mankind, limits if they were to cross, would harm them), lest you be wrong doers.” (Quran 2:35)

Thus, the trial is active; those who follow the guidance of God, given to the prophets, are successful and have fulfilled their purpose and will God willing attain the best of both worlds; while those who stray only harm themselves here and earn punishment in the hereafter.

The Fall of Adam (part 1: Before Creation)

I have borrowed the following ideas from the book:

Sadiq, Ali Abubakar. Science and Scriptures: Friends or Foes?: Marrying science and religion in the quest for meaning . Kindle Edition.


The story of Adam can be told in two main parts:

  1. Before Creation
  2. After Creation

Before Creation:

According to “Science and Scriptures: Friends or Foes?”,

‘Prior to the physical conception of life on this planet, God created every individual soul and existing in a different plane (The immaterial plane) As God says Q7:172 “When thy lord drew forth from the children of Adam from their lions-their descendants and made them testify concerning themselves (Saying) “Am I not your lord (who cherish and sustains you? They said “yea! We do testify” So every individual soul had collectively testified to the sovereignty of God in their former plane.’

Moreover,

‘If we look into the narratives of both the Old Testament and the Qur’an we will realize the creation story is being told in two versions, before the fall (spiritual/immaterial) and after the fall (physical/material).

Prior to fall, the two forces of good and evil were in rivalry, as God said in the Qur’an 38:69 “Also say: “I have no knowledge of that time when the exalted chiefs disputed among themselves”

The crisis only reached climax when Man was created. God (representing good) warned the spiritual side of man to be wary of Satan (The king of evil). Q20:117-9 “Then we said” O Adam! Verily this Satan is an enemy to thee and thy wife. So let him not get you both out of the garden, so that you are landed in misery. There is therein (enough provision) for thee not to go hungry, nor naked, nor suffer from thirst, nor from the suns heat”

Man was given a limited free will, to choose from the two and Satan began to campaign: Q20:120 “But Satan whispered evil to him he said “0 Adam shall I lead you to the tree of eternity and to a kingdom that never decays” (40) And in the Bible it was like this: Genesis 3:4-5 “And the serpent (Satan) said unto the woman, ye surely shall not die: for God know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened and you shall be as gods knowing good and evil” (41) God has forbidden the collective soul from approaching the evil tree, but cunningly Satan is here telling the collective souls the aroma of eternal life. Seduced, man became the victim of the power play between God (The absolute creator) and Satan (the challenger). God decided to expel them both from the garden down to earth to see if Satan can uphold his claim as being able to be God himself. The ability to do good means nothing without the freedom to do evil. The Earth becomes the battle field between God, Satan and Man, but God made it a level playing field by bestowing us (Human’s) through the evolutionary process consciousness to be able to distinguish between right and wrong and choose freely. On the other hand Satan became the architect of evil as he, at every turn commands our souls to do and act evil in defiance of God.’

The Plane

God says Q20:117-9 “Then we said” O Adam! Verily this Satan is an enemy to thee and thy wife. So let him not get you both out of the garden, so that you are landed in misery. There is therein (enough provision) for thee not to go hungry, nor naked, nor suffer from thirst, nor from the suns heat”

Here the Lord is addressing Adam in the former plane before his expulsion and condemnation to the lower plane. The former plane is immaterial thus it is not governed by all the physical laws. In that plane Adam need not eat for there is no hunger, had no physical body to suffer nakedness, will not get thirsty and being not existing in physical plane the sun’s heat is out of the question. The provisions in the Garden provides for perpetual spiritual contentment and endless bliss. In that plane, man existed in his pure state with pristine qualities devoid of any evil tendencies. God warns him to keep on like that and be not prone to any evil or it may cause his fall into the lower plane (the physical plane). The advice was unheeded and man succumbs to Evil forces (Satan), which led to his expulsions to the lower plane, where if he purges the evils by restraints it will earn him re-admittance into the original station. Contrary to popular belief by some Jewish, Christian and Muslim the Garden of Eden was not a physical sensuous garden somewhere in the Middle East. It is a spiritual state beyond the temporal. Q47: 15 “Here is a parable of the garden which the righteous are promised. In it are rivers of water incorruptible; Rivers of milk of which the taste never changes. Rivers of wine joy to those who drink and rivers of honey pure and clear. In it are for them all kinds of fruits”

It is part of our nature to visualize things that we don’t know or cannot understand to those that we know (Imagine yourself trying to explain to a young boy who is blind all his life, the brightly colored pattern of a peacock).What God is trying to tell us is, the collective soul of all human beings was created and living in a spiritual garden. Adam is not a man but rather is the symbol of all men,

Adam represents the fountain of our dual existence viz spiritual and physical. That is why God told us in Q7:11 “It is we who created you and gave you shape; then we bade the angels Bow down to Adam, and they bowed down” In this verse God, interchangeably, used the pronoun “you” in the plural meaning all beings and the word “Adam” representing them. It is after the spiritual creation of all soul that God calls the collective souls as Adam. These collective souls were living in an immaterial plane, not the sensuous paradise as depicted by religious scholars.

Satan and Angels

What does the two terms really signify? Most people visualize Angels and Satan as creatures of fantasy. If one look at the various verses in the Scriptures will easily conclude they represent the two opposing forces of evil and good. As the former verse says all the angels agreed to bow down to us while Satan refused. The obedience of the angels by bowing down to us symbolizes their role in being the agency responsible for our protection and commanding our souls at every turn to do good. Angels are the inherent good nature of all beings, thus they represents the forces of good. That is why God told us in Q82:10-12 “But verily over you are appointed Angels to protect you, kind and honorable writing your deeds, they know and understand all that you do” This is virtually the picture of the roles of angels by being subservient to human spiritual development. On the other hand Satan refused to tow in line with his colleagues instead became the champion of evil deeds. Unlike the angels he is the inherent evil nature of all creatures thus representing the evil forces. God says in Q4:79 “Whatever evil happen to you, is from your own soul” (61) This verse is telling us that the king of evil is part and parcel of our souls. In one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad he said, “Satan runs through every person’s vein, the way blood runs through” After the creation of our collective souls, the two forces struggles to win us over. Man being created from the spirit of God is inherently good but Satan cunning misled him. At every turn the two opposing forces commands our souls to follow them as they are entwined in our own souls.

Man was given a limited free will, to choose from the two and Satan began to campaign Q20:120 “But Satan whispered evil to him he said “O Adam shall I lead you to the tree of eternity and to a kingdom that never decays” (63) And in the Bible it was like this Genesis 3:4-5 “And the serpent (Satan) said unto the woman, ye surely shall not die: for God know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened and you shall be as gods knowing good and evil” (64) God has forbidden the collective soul from approaching the evil tree, but cunningly Satan is here telling the collective souls.

God has forbidden the collective soul from approaching the evil tree, but cunningly Satan is here telling the collective souls the aroma of eternal life. Seduced, man became the victim of the power play between God (The absolute creator) and Satan (the challenger). God decided to expel them both from the garden down to earth to see if Satan can uphold his claim as being able to be God.

It is at this juncture that God told the Angels of his plans. Q2:30 Behold thy lord said to the Angels “I will create a vicegerent on earth” they said “will you place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? While we do celebrate your praises and glorify thy holy name?

it is obvious for the Angels that our collective souls, which were hesitant to the absolute authority of God in his presence at the Garden of Eden, what will make them be subservient to God’s will on earth? So God replied them 2:30-31 “He (God) said “I know what you know not” And he taught Adam the nature of all things; then he placed them before the Angels, and said “tell me the nature of these if you are right”.

God showed the Angels the blue print of all the creatures he has destined to emerge from Adam, It became apparent to the Angels that not all creatures will testify to the God-head of Satan, some will rank higher than anything before them. The Angels submit thus Q2:32 “They said “Glory to thee: of knowledge we have none save what you has taught us” (67) The Angels were not only convinced but were marvelled at the process they were shown that will transform this planet. In fact they were astounded.

Sadiq, Ali Abubakar. Science and Scriptures: Friends or Foes?: Marrying science and religion in the quest for meaning . Kindle Edition.

Creative Evolution

The Following excerpt is taken from “What is the Origin of Man?” by Maurice Bucaille pg. 79-84:

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Relations of Muslims with Non-Muslims – Views of the Scholars

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Tafsir al- Razi volume 1 – al- Fatiha

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The Cyclic Universe Model

The following excerpt is taken from “Astrophysics and the Holy Quran”

In 2001, Paul Steinhardt of Princeton and Neil Turok of Cormbridge proposed the Cyclic Universe Model. This model is the continuation of ancient Cosmic Mythologies (such as ancient Cosmic Hindu Mythology) and philosophies. According to the Cyclic Universe Model:

1. There is no beginning of space and time, but they exist forever.

2. The time does not start with the big bang; rather, the big bang is a bridge to a pre-existing contracting contracting era.

3. The Universe simply goes through countless cycles of creation and destruction, with trillions of years of evolution in between. During each cycle the universe contracts in a big crunch and re-emerges in an expanding big bang.

4. The temperature and density of the universe never become infinite at any point in the cycle. They never exceed a finite value (about a trillion trillion degrees).

5. The inflation does not take place since the big bang; the current homogeneity and flatness of space-time were created by events that occurred before the most recent big bang.

6. In every cycle, there is a prolonged period of accelerated expansion, which matches current observations.

In this cyclic model of universe, each cycle passes through a period of radiation and matter domination consistent with standard cosmology, producing the observed primordial abundance of elements, the cosmic micro-wave background, the expansion of galaxies etc. For the period of next trillion years or more, the universe undergoes a period of slow cosmic acceleration as observed recently and causes the events that lead to contraction and a big crunch. The “dark energy” explained as the potential energy, is not simply added on, but it plays an important role in the expansion of universe. The transition from big crunch to big bang automatically fills again the universe by creating new matter and radiation. Gravity and the transition from big crunch to big bang keep the cycles going forever.

Prof. Abdul Rashid Khan. Astrophysics & The Holy Quran . Darussalam Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Scientific Miracles in The Oceans and Animals

Adam: Our Foremost Father

Astrophysics and the Holy Quran

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