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