Umm Sulaim's Thoughts

Thoughts Lead To Appreciation


PROPHET ADAM VERSUS HAWWAWho is primarily responsible for the sin of our ancestors Prophet Adam and his spouse Hawwa (Eve)?  Who – Prophet Adam or Hawwa – was explicitly blamed by Allah for the disobedience of eating from the forbidden tree?

Let us find out from Allah’s Words the Qur’an.

When Allah created Adam, He taught Adam the names and identities of all creatures and created entities.  Adam was able to differentiate Angels from Jinn [1].  He knew Angels and Jinn have different traits than his.  He was not concerned about that.

He had no reason to be worried.  At his disposal were an ample supply of food, nature, and an assortment of pleasure.

We said “Oh Adam!  You and your wife should live in Jannah (Paradise) and freely enjoy, as you both wish, the consumption of the delicious items found within.  However, neither of you should approach this tree, for you will both be among those who do wrong.” [2]

One tree was out of bounds for Adam and his wife Hawwa: just one tree.  Adam and Hawwa were not bothered about the prohibition.  He was contented with the wealth and freedom from stress which Allah bestowed on him.

In Jannah, you will never be hungry or naked.  Moreover, you will not suffer from thirst therein or from the sun’s heat. [3]

Allah further promises Prophet Adam that his comfort is well taken care.  The pronoun you is the masculine singular, as a reassurance to Prophet Adam that he had no cause for concern.

We said “Oh Adam!  This (shaytan) is a vehement enemy to you and your wife.  Do not give him the opportunity to get you both out of Jannah, and become miserable as a result. [4]

Adam was aware he had one enemy: Iblis, the chief of shayaateen (satan/devils among Jinn) and by extension all shaytan (satan). Adam had to observe two prohibitions: One enemy and one forbidden tree.  Allah had forewarned Adam of the enmity and hatred which Iblis and his gang harboured against Adam and his family.

That warning was more of emphasis, for Adam saw the disdained which Iblis demonstrated towards him when Allah ordered Iblis to prostrate to Adam.  In fact, Allah issued the same instructions to Angels, and as Iblis was present at the time, the instruction extended to him.

Angels obeyed Allah’s Command; Iblis did not.  Iblis was incensed he was expected to prostrate to a mere human.  “I am better than he” [5] was Iblis’ outburst when Allah enquired the reason for Iblis’ disobedience.  “I am not the one to prostrate myself to a human being.” [6]

For violation of Allah’s Instructions, Iblis earned deserved punishment.  Still indignant, Iblis swore he would mislead Adam and his progeny.  Allah made clear Iblis understood that humanity was capable of resisting the deception, but only a limited few would make the right choice against deception.

To implement his devilish oath, Iblis paid our ancestors Prophet Adam and Hawwa a visit.  To camouflage his reputation as an enemy to humanity, Iblis presented himself as the good person with good intentions.

“I am certainly a sincere adviser and a well-wisher to both of you,” [7] Iblis assured Adam and his spouse.  This has since been the typical mode of operation of individuals whose purpose is to deceive others: a feigned presentation of self-righteousness and a claim of what is good for others.

The response to such pretentiousness may be any of “Sure you are, after showing you hate us”, “Oookay!  You must suffer from acute bipolar disorder.  Well, you are in a good mood now”, “We will listen, just on the hope that you truly have changed”.

However, which of Adam or Hawwa was the precise target of the deception of shaytan?

Shaytan whispered to him, saying : “Oh Adam!  Shall I lead you to the tree of eternity and to a kingdom that will never perish?” [8]

This Ayah is self-explanatory.  Adam is clearly mentioned as the one whom shaytan addressed.  This is emphasised with the pronouns him and you.  The Arabic term used for you is the masculine singular “ka”.  Prophet Adam was lured by shaytan with false promises, false promises of eternity, immortality and more affluence.

In the result, they both ate of the tree, and so their nakedness appeared to them.  They began to sew together leaves from Jannah to cover themselves. [9]

Prophet Adam was enticed by the words of shaytan.  Adam sold the plan to Hawwa.  They both fell into shaytan’s trap and immediately learned that modesty was a requirement even when there was no other human around.  They had to stitch some leaves together to cover up their sensitive parts.

Thus, did Adam disobey His Lord, and allow himself to be seduced. [10]

We previously made a Covenant with Adam, but he forgot, and We found on his part no firm resolve. [11]

Allah reprimanded Prophet Adam for his behaviour.  Note there is no explicit censure of Hawwa.  Both Adam and Hawwa consumed of the forbidden tree.  Both earned Allah’s Anger.  As Prophet Adam had the extra obligation to abide by his Covenant with Allah, Adam was specifically criticised.

Then Adam received some Words from his Rabb (Lord and Cherisher), and his Rabb pardoned him.  He certainly is the One Who forgives, the Most Merciful. [12]

Allah gave Prophet Adam the means to rectify his misdeeds.  Adam learnt to seek Forgiveness in an appropriate manner and with effective and efficient Words.  Prophet Adam shared those Words with his spouse Hawwa.

They said “Our Lord!  We have wronged ourselves.  If You do not forgive us, and bestow upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be among the losers.” [13]

Both Prophet Adam and his wife Hawwa repented of their actions, sought Allah’s Forgiveness and were pardoned.  So that Prophet Adam and his descendants learn to value free benevolence, humanity were relegated to this earth to earn a livelihood through hard work.

Oh children of Adam!  Let not shaytan deceive you, as he got your parents [Adam and Hawwa] out of Jannah, stripping them of their garments to show them their private parts.  Shaytan and his tribe certainly see you from where you cannot see them.  Indeed, We made the shayaateen (devils) friends of anyone who disbelieves. [14]

[1] Jinn are created beings in an unseen world parallel to ours.  Just as humans, there are believers and disbelievers among jinn; the disbelievers are specifically referred to as shayaateen (devils).  Jinn have certain capabilities, such as their possession of humans and their ability to appear in the form of a dead person – hence the belief of some humans in reincarnation.  In reality, the dead is dead and cannot return to this life at all.

[2] Surah Baqarah: Ayah 35 (Chapter 2: Verse 35)

[3] Surah Ta Ha: Ayah 118-119 (Chapter 20: Verse 118-119)

[4] Surah Ta Ha: Ayah 117 (Chapter 20: Verse 117)

[5] Surah Saad: Ayah 76 (Chapter 38: Verse 76)

[6] Surah Al-Hijr: Ayah 33 (Chapter 15: Verse 33)

[7] Surah Al-A’raf: Ayah 21 (Chapter 7: Verse 21)

[8] Surah Ta Ha: Ayah 120 (Chapter 20: Verse 120)

[9] Surah Ta Ha: Ayah 121 (Chapter 20: Verse 121)

[10] Surah Ta Ha: Ayah 121 (Chapter 20: Verse 121)

[11] Surah Ta Ha: Ayah 115 (Chapter 20: Verse 115)

[12] Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayah 37 (Chapter 2: Verse 37)

[13] Surah Al-A’raf: Ayah 23 (Chapter 7: Verse 23)

[14] Surah Al-A’raf: Ayah 27 (Chapter 7: Verse 27)


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