Quranic Perpectives on Adam and Eve

Question from email:

Why dont you put story of Adam on Quranic perspectives into science research?

I’m not an expert on Muslim thought, but as I understand it:

  1. Many moderate branches of Islam accommodate evolution without much debate. I don’t think there is, for example, a universal descent doctrine in Islam.

  2. Fundamentalist Islam takes essentially a non-negotiable anti-evolution YEC point of view, with the modifications that (1) Adam and Eve were initially heavenly beings and (2) no concern about a global flood.

  3. There isn’t much dialogue to reference in either #1 or #2 between theology and science, and Adam isn’t really the flash point.

I certainly invite correction on these points, and I want to learn more. However, with this in mind, it isn’t clear how a Quranic perspective needs much engagement on Adam and Eve, except to explain (perhaps) the precise evidence for common descent.

I do a lot of Veritas Forums. It is common that a muslim student will come up to me to discuss all the “scientific prophecies” in Islamic Scripture. You can see what I mean here:

The fact is that the Holy Quran abounds with facts which were impossible to know 1400 years without the aid of a microscope or telescope.

There are a range of these prophecies, that all posthoc interpret the Quran to recapitulate scientific discoveries. In these conversations, I usually ask the student:

So where does the Quran predict evolution, that we share common ancestry with the great apes?

This immediately shifts the conversation. It is pretty remarkable to watch. Immediately it becomes clear that this brand of Islam is selective about how it engages with science, and is totally opposed to evolution. From there I explain the evidence for common descent (if I had not already in the presentation), and see what happens.

Often in these conversations, I have Christian YEC onlookers in tow, and their heads are spinning at this point. They just heard a talk explaining that Christianity can accommodate evolutionary science, that it is no threat. Now they have an Islamic friend of theirs insisting that Islam is not compatible with evolutionary science, and they don’t agree with his arguments. This certainly makes everyone rethink their presuppositions.

All this is to say that I’m happy to engage with Quranic perspectives on Adam and Eve, but I need to know more about what those perspectives are, and what the rules are too. It is likely some of the work we’ve done engaging Christians will help them too, but we can’t tune it for them without more information.


Co-authorship (or other) collaboration on a book AND a selected part of it on human evolution with scientific, linguistic, historical and religious (mainly Islamic) perspectives.

Dear Interested Author

I hope this finds you well.

I am writing to you enthusiastically as I hope you are interested in participating in the publishing of an original interdisciplinary book and a selected part of it on the fascinating story of Adam and Eve:

I have written more than 400 pages in English with the original Arabic citations on evolution with scientific and religious (mainly Islamic) perspectives. The presented manuscript is different from what was already published and introduces for a new theory. A considerable part of these pages is in the form of hundreds of Koranic Verses in English and Arabic and their interpretations, citations and quotations, readings, scriptures, …etc.

This manuscript can be the fresh and rich raw material for a whole book and/or selected papers. I will be honored if you are willing to collaborate on this material. Otherwise, I will be grateful for indicating a serious colleague or a student (preferably native or excellent in English) who could be interested!

My work is based on hundreds of references (many of which are entire books) and thousands of working hours !

This manuscript is original and is expected to impact millions of people in many countries and cultures notably those that are still hostile to the theory of evolution.

To have an overlook, I attached the “Contents”.

I think, however, that it is preferable for my work to be reviewed, edited and “polished” with COMPUTATIONAL additions for publication on a co-authorship basis!

hope this will be the first successful collaboration project as I have similar projects! For example, extraction (from Koranic scripts) of a simple and validated mathematical formula for conversion between Gregorian and lunar calendars!

Once you, hopefully, agree to collaborate, my institution (AAUP) will be formally informed.

Waiting to hear from you…


A New Vision of Adam, Theory of a Gradually-Created Homo sapiens (Scientific and Religious Mainly Islamic-Based Evidence)


The matter of the appearance of Adam is discussed in an exciting and original work still surrounded by suspicions and prejudices!

Among others, the following items are put in a coherent and original model reconciling Darwinism with religions and supported by scientific as well as scriptural pieces of evidence:

  • Homo sapiens dates back to at least 195,000 years ago.

  • Adam according to religious scripts in Judaism, Christianity and Islam appeared just a few thousands of years ago.

  • MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor) of humanity lived also a few thousands of years ago in the light of recent scientific evidence.

  • The chemical composition of human beings does not support a direct fashioning from the soil.

The presented model of evolutionary creation of life represents a fresh and exciting understanding of life in a coherent context reconciling science with history and religion in general.



Chapter I:


Understanding of Scripts and Science.

Compatibility of Islam and Science.


Role of Religion in Science.

Truth, Regardless of Pre-acquired Ideas.

No Absolute Approval of Darwin Particularly When Contradicted with Sense, Science, or Authentic Scripts.

No Relevant Script or Scientific Evidence are Neglected!

The Absolute Scripts.

How can we approximate the age of a fossil?

How can we approximate the evolutionary time?

Chapter II:

Nature, “Coincidence and Chance” Are Unable to Compose Life:

Coincidence, Chance and Faith.

Trials to Mimic the Appearance of Molecules of Life.

The complexity of Life and the Materialistic Vicious Circle.

Neither Eukaryotic Nor Prokaryotic DNA Could Have Been Synthesized Coincidently.

Chapter III:

Chronological Parameters in Science vs. Scripts:

Chronology of Appearance of Adam in Science and Religion.

Sirat Ibn Hisham.

The 195,000-years-Fossil of Homo sapiens.

Ten centuries Between Adam and Noah and Ten Centuries between Noah and Abraham.

Chronology of Appearance of Adam and the Most Common Recent Ancestor (MRCA).

Qualitative Creation.

Chapter IV:

The Theory of Evolution and its Mechanisms:

Theory of Evolution.

Evolution, Microevolution and “Modern Synthesis” or “Neo-Darwinism.

Speciation “Mystery of Mysteries”

Evolution Forces.

Can Mutations Be Beneficial?

Modern Synthesis, Lamarck and Inheritance of Acquired Traits.

Muslims’ Societal and Intellectual Attitudes vis-à-vis Evolution.

Chapter V:

Darwinian and Pre-Darwinian Evolution.

Chapter VI:

The Inevitable Creation in Science and Religion.

Chapter VII:

Evolution, Faith, Ethics, Society and Islamic Thinkers:

Mechanisms and Faith.

Beautiful and Wonderful Names of God

Creation, Evolution, and Miracles.

The attitude of Contemporary Islamic Scholars vis-à-vis Evolution and Darwin.

Darwin’s Belief or Disbelief, Ethics and Politics: Fluctuations and Relevance to “Theory of Evolution”.

Evolution, Racism, and Islam.

Evolution, Fascism, Communism and Colonialism.

Evolution: Principle and Practice.

Chapter VIII:

Evolution, a Creational Editing Innovative Mechanism.

Chapter IX:

Homology and Inferences:

Common material Origin in Science and Religion.

Five Possibilities Explaining Similarity.

Structural Homology.


Chapter X:

Successive Creational Stages:

The succession of Life Forms and Fossil Record.

The dilemma of Lack of Transitional Forms.

An Islamic View of the Dilemma of lack of Transitional Forms.

Hominins (Hominids).

Chapter XI:

The Recently-Discovered Ardipithecus ramidus , Ardi (Truths and Illusions):

Ardipithecus ramidus , Ardi, The Newly Discovered Hominin.

Where Can Adam be Situated in Hominins?

Comparative Interpretations and an Intra Qur’an Comparative Study of Al-Sajda, Verses 5-9.

Long or Short-Term Creation.

Originality and Controversy of Sayyed Qutob.

More Traditional Interpretations of Al-Sajda, Verses 4-9.

Hominins (Hominids) and Misconceptions.

Successive Creation of The Universe as a Whole, Including Humans.

Chapter XII:

Development or Evolution in the Scripts?

Creational Spirit Accorded to Adam vs. Developmental Spirit Accorded to fetuses.

Authentic Hadiths Describing Fetal Phases.

The terms ثُمّ )then with relaxation( and فَ )then with immediate succession(.

Spirit of Adam and Spirit of Jesus.

E’jaz (Scientific Miracle) in Fetal Development.

Chapter XIII:

Are the Classical Six Days of Creation that Simple?

Chapter XIV:

Creation and Honoring of Humans:

The soil in the Creation of Adam in the Qur’an.

The soil in the Creation of Adam in Hadith.

Elemental Composition of Human Body.

Chemical Composition of Soil.

Contrasting Chemical Composition of Soil with Man.

Variation of Soil in the Creation of Adam in Hadith.

Variant Soils in the Creation of Human and Skin Color.

Evolution of Skin Color.

Sticky Soil (Clay) in the Creation of Adam.

Soil is the Beginning and the End, However.

Soil, Adam and the Linguistics of the Name.

Arsenic (As) Instead of Phosphorus §.

Honoring of Humans.

Image of Adam.

Chapter XV:


God taught Adam the Names of Everything.

Language is an Honor.

Subtlety in the Languages of Adam and His Sons. Origin of and Evolution of Language.

The evolution of spoken human language.

Genetics of Language.

Great Apes Communication.

Larynx and Language.

Hyoid Bone and Hypoglossal Nerve.

The First to Talk.

Chapter XVI:

Were Adam and Eve in Heaven or in a Terrestrial Garden?

Arguments in Favor of Heaven as an Initial Habitat of Adam and Eve:

“Going Down”.

Description of Habitat.

Amplitude and Impact of Expulsion.

Confession of Adam the Day of Resurrection!

Becoming Naked After Disobeying.

Arguments in Favor of the Terrestrial Initial Habitat of Adam and Eve:

Stewardship on Earth.

Creation From Soil.

Intraterrestrial “Going Down”!

Garden(s) or Janna(t) are Not Necessarily Heaven(s).

Was Heaven Ever Seen?

Eternity in Heaven!

No Orders in Heaven.

No Sin Nor Frivolity in Heaven.

The Dilemma.

A Third New Hypothesis!

Chapter XVII:

The Angels Vision of Creation:

Mischief and Shedding of Blood.

An interesting possibility.

Angels Were Right!

Different Interpretations of “Mischief and Shedding of Blood”.

Chapter XVIII:

The Enigma of Adam’s Height.

Chapter XIX:

Eve, Enigmas of Origin and Sexual Reproduction:

Dependant Appearance of Adam and Eve.

Independent Appearance of Adam and Eve.

Chapter XX:

The Deluge and the Ark of Noah

Importance of the Deluge

What Did Noah take on Board?

Was the Deluge Global?

Did Other Nation Co-exist with Noah’s Nation?

Chapter XXI:

Scripts Mistakenly Considered As Evolutionary!

Chapter XXII:

Applications of the Theory of Evolution.

Chapter XXIII:

Status of Animalia:

Animals and Humans!

Animalia are Nations Like Yourselves!

Extra-Materialistic Behavior in Animals!

Chapter XXIV:

Stewardship of Humans on Earth.

Chapter XXV:

Conclusions and Perspectives.



1 Like

Maybe start by telling us a bit how about Islam sees Adam and Eve.

The perspectives are simple. We will read some verses from 6236 ayah (verses) in Quran, for the beginning, only verses that contain some information about Adam and Eve (could be science information or could be not).

The rule is simple. We will use this tafseer for the verses interpretation, Message of the Quran by Muhammad Asad, one of the best tafseer for thinker.

Message-of-Quran-Muhammad-Asad-Islam-Translation.pdf (3.7 MB)

1 Like

Can you quote all the references to Adam and Eve from the Quoran?

References about Prophet Adam PBUH and Eve in Quran:

  1. Al- Baqarah (The Cow); 2:30-39
  2. Al-Imran (The Family of Imran, The House of Imran); 3:59
  3. Al-A’raf (The Heights, The Elevated Places); 7:11-25
  4. Al-Hijr (The Rock, Stoneland, Rock City); 15:28-44
  5. Al-Isra’ (The Israelites, Children of Israel, Night Journey); 17:61-65
  6. Al-Kahf (The Cave);18:50
  7. Ta-Ha; 20:115-124
  8. Sad (The Letter Sad); 38: 71-85
  9. An-Nisa (Woman); 4:1
  10. Al-Maidah (The Table, The Table Spread); 5:27-32

5. Al-Isra’ (The Israelites, Children of Israel, Night Journey); 17:61-65

wa-idh qul’nā lil’malāikati us’judū liādama fasajadū illā ib’līsa qāla a-asjudu liman khalaqta ṭīna

AND LO! We said unto the angels, “Prostrate yourselves before Adam” - whereupon they all
prostrated themselves, save Iblis.75 Said he: “Shall I prostrate myself before one whom Thou hast created out of clay?”

75 For an explanation of the allegory of Adam and the angels, see 2:30-34, 7:11-18 and 15:26-41,
as well as the corresponding notes. In the present instance, as in Al-A’raf and Al-Hijr, the accent is on the contempt of Iblis for Adam (which is obviously a metonym for the whole human race): hence, this passage apparently connects with the end of verse 53 above - “verily, Satan is man’s open foe!” The stress on man’s dignity - expressed in God’s commandment to the angels to “prostrate themselves before Adam” - links this allegory with verses 70-72.

qāla ara-aytaka hādhā alladhī karramta ʿalayya la-in akhartani ilā yawmi l-qiyāmati la-aḥtanikanna dhurriyyatahu illā qalīla

[And] he added: "Tell me, is this [foolish being] the one whom Thou hast exalted above me? Indeed, if Thou wilt but allow me a respite till the Day of Resurrection, I shall most certainly cause his descendants - all but a few - to obey me blindly!"76

76 Cf. 7:16-17. The verb hanaka denotes, literally, “he put a rope around the lower jaw (hanak)
[of a horse]”, i.e., in order to lead it; hence, the form ihtanaka means “he made [another being] follow him submissively” or “obey him blindly”.

qāla idh’hab faman tabiʿaka min’hum fa-inna jahannama jazāukum jazāan mawfūra

[God] answered: "Go [the way thou hast chosen]! But as for such of them as shall follow thee -behold, hell will be the recompense of you (all], a recompense most ample!

wa-is’tafziz mani is’taṭaʿta min’hum biṣawtika wa-ajlib ʿalayhim bikhaylika warajilika washārik’hum fī l-amwāli wal-awlādi waʿid’hum wamā yaʿiduhumu l-shayṭānu illā ghurūra

Entice, then, with thy voice such of them as thou canst, and bear upon them with all thy horses and all thy men,77 and be their partner in [all sins relating to] worldly goods and children,78 and hold
out [all manner of] promises to them: and [they will not know that] whatever Satan promises them is but meant to delude the mind.79

77 This is an idiomatically established metaphor, signifying “with all thy might”.

78 An allusion to possessions acquired by sinful means or spent on sinful purposes, and to the
begetting of children through fornication or adultery. (It must, however, be pointed out that in the ethics and the canon law of Islam no moral stigma and no legal disability whatever attaches to the child thus begotten.)

79 Cf. 4:120 and the corresponding note 142

inna ʿibādī laysa laka ʿalayhim sul’ṭānun wakafā birabbika wakīla

“[And yet,] behold, thou shalt have no power over [such of] My servants [as place their trust in Me]: 80 for none is as worthy of trust as thy Sustainer.”

80 I.e., “thou shalt have no real power over them”, as brought out in 14:22 and 15:42.

6. Al-Kahf (The Cave);18:50

wa-idh qul’nā lil’malāikati us’judū liādama fasajadū illā ib’līsa kāna mina l-jini fafasaqa ʿan amri rabbihi afatattakhidhūnahu wadhurriyyatahu awliyāa min dūnī wahum lakum ʿaduwwun bi’sa lilẓẓālimīna badala

AND [remember that] when We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam,"52 they all
prostrated themselves, save Iblis: he [too] was one of those invisible beings,53 but then he turned away from his Sustainer’s command. Will you, then, take him and his cohorts54 for (your], masters instead of Me, although they are your foe? How vile an exchange on the evildoers’ part!55

52 This short reference to the oft-repeated allegory of God’s command to the angels to “prostrate themselves before Adam” is meant, in the above context, to stress man’s inborn faculty of conceptual thinking (see 2:31-34 and the corresponding notes) and, thus, his ability and obligation to discern between right and wrong. Since man’s deliberate choice of a morally wrong course - of which the preceding passages speak - is almost invariably due to his exaggerated attachment to the allurements of worldly life, attention is drawn here to the fact that this attachment is the means by which Satan (or Iblis) induces man to forgo all moral considerations and thus brings about his spiritual ruin.

53 Denoting, in this instance, the angels (see Appendix III).

54 Lit., “his offspring” - a metonym for all who follow him.

55 Lit., “for the evildoers”. As regards Satan’s symbolic “rebellion” against God, see note 26 on
2:34 and note 31 on 15:41.

4. Al-Hijr (The Rock, Stoneland, Rock City); 15:28-44

wa-idh qāla rabbuka lil’malāikati innī khāliqun basharan min ṣalṣālin min ḥama-in masnūni

And lo! Thy Sustainer said unto the angels: "Behold, I am about to create mortal man out of sounding clay, out of dark slime transmuted;

fa-idhā sawwaytuhu wanafakhtu fīhi min rūḥī faqaʿū lahu sājidīn

and when I have formed him fully and breathed into him of My spirit, fall down before him in prostration!"26

26 Cf. 2 : 30-34 and the corresponding notes, as well as 7:11-18. The allegorical character of all the passages bearing on the creation of man and on God’s command to the angels to prostrate themselves before him is brought out clearly in God’s saying, “I am about to create mortal man… ; and when I have formed him fully…”, etc.: for it is obvious that, in reality, no lapse of time is required for God’s completing His creation - since, “when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, ‘Be’- and it is” (cf. 2:117, 3:47 and 59, 6:73, 16:40, 19: 35, 36:82 and 40: 68). God’s “breathing of His spirit” into man is obviously a metaphor for His endowing him with life and consciousness: that
is, with a soul.

fasajada l-malāikatu kulluhum ajmaʿūn

Thereupon the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together

illā ib’līsa abā an yakūna maʿa l-sājidīn

save Iblis: he refused to be among those who prostrated themselves.27

27 See note 10 on 7:11. For the deeper meaning of this “rebellion”, see note 31 below.

qāla yāib’līsu mā laka allā takūna maʿa l-sājidīn

Said He: “O Iblis! What is thy reason for not being among those who have prostrated

qāla lam akun li-asjuda libasharin khalaqtahu min ṣalṣālin min ḥama-in masnūni

[Iblis] replied: “It is not for me to prostrate myself before mortal man whom Thou hast created out of sounding clay, out of dark slime transmuted!”

qāla fa-ukh’ruj min’hā fa-innaka rajīmu

Said He: "Go forth, then, from this [angelic state]: for, behold, thou art [henceforth] accursed

wa-inna ʿalayka l-laʿnata ilā yawmi l-dīn

and [My] rejection shall be thy due28 until the Day of Judgment!"

28 Lit., “is upon thee”

qāla rabbi fa-anẓir’nī ilā yawmi yub’ʿathūn

Said [Iblis]: “Then, O my Sustainer, grant me a respite till the Day when all shall be raised
from the dead!”

qāla fa-innaka mina l-munẓarīn

Answered He: "Verily, so be it: thou shalt be among those who are granted respite

ilā yawmi l-waqti l-maʿlūm

till the Day the time whereof is known [to Me alone]."

qāla rabbi bimā aghwaytanī la-uzayyinanna lahum fī l-arḍi wala-ugh’wiyannahum ajmaʿīn

[Whereupon Iblis] said: "O my Sustainer! Since Thou hast thwarted me,29 I shall indeed make [all that is evil] on earth seem goodly to them, and shall most certainly beguile them - into grievous error -

29 See surah 7, note 11

illā ʿibādaka min’humu l-mukh’laṣīn

(all save such of them as are truly Thy servants!"30)

30 Lit., “Thy sincere servants”: i.e., those who are so deeply conscious of God that no “blandishment of Satan” can lead them astray. (See also note 32 below.)

qāla hādhā ṣirāṭun ʿalayya mus’taqīmu

Said He: "This is, with Me a straight way: 31

31 I.e., “this is what I have willed” - namely, that Iblis (or Satan) should tempt man, but should have no power to seduce those who are truly conscious of God. Thus, the Qur’an makes it clear that despite his ostensible “rebellion” against his Creator. Satan fulfils a definite function in God’s plan: he is the eternal tempter who enables man to exercise his God-given freedom of choice between good and evil and, thus, to become a being endowed with moral free will. (See in this connection 19:83, as well as note 26 on 2:34 and note 16 on 7:24.)

inna ʿibādī laysa laka ʿalayhim sul’ṭānun illā mani ittabaʿaka mina l-ghāwīn

verily, thou shalt have no power over My
creatures - unless it be such as are [already] lost in grievous error and follow thee [of their own will]:32

32 Lit., “except him who shall follow thee from among those who are lost in grievous error”. (Cf.14:22, according to which Satan will thus address his erstwhile followers on Judgment Day: “I had no power at all over you: I but called you - and you responded unto me.”) This phrase constitutes the essential difference between the above passage and the similar one in 7:l1-18.

wa-inna jahannama lamawʿiduhum ajmaʿīn

and for all such, behold, hell is the promised goal.

lahā sabʿatu abwābin likulli bābin min’hum juz’on maqsūmu

with seven gates leading into it, each gate receiving its allotted share of sinners."33

33 Lit., “it has seven gates, [with) an allotted share of them for each gate”. This probably means “seven degrees” of hell, i.e., of the suffering which, in the life to come, awaits the “followers of Satan” in accordance with the gravity of their sins (Razi; a similar explanation is given by
Qatadah, as quoted by Tabari). It should also be remembered that the concept of “hell” as such is referred to in the Qur’an under seven different names, all of them metaphorical (necessarily so, because they relate to what the Qur’an describes as al-ghayb, “something that is beyond the reach
of human perception”): namely nar ("fire, which is the general term), jahannam (“hell”), jahim (“blazing fire”), sa’ir (“blazing flame”), saqar (“hell-fire”). laza (“raging flame”), and hutamah (“crushing torment”). Since. as I have mentioned, these designations of other-worldly suffering are obviously allegorical, we may also assume that the “seven gates of hell” have the same
character, and signify “seven approaches [or “ways”] to hell”. Furthermore. it is well known that in the Semitic languages - and most particularly in classical Arabic - the number “seven” is often used in the sense
of “several” or “various” (cf. Lisan al-'Arab, Taj al-'Arus, etc.): and so the above Qur’anic phrase may well have the meaning of “various ways leading to hell” - in other words, many ways of sinning.

9. An-Nisa (Woman); 4:1

yāayyuhā l-nāsu ittaqū rabbakumu alladhī khalaqakum min nafsin wāḥidatin wakhalaqa min’hā zawjahā wabatha min’humā rijālan kathīran wanisāan wa-ittaqū l-laha alladhī tasāalūna bihi wal-arḥāma inna l-laha kāna ʿalaykum raqība

O MANKIND! Be conscious of your Sustainer, who has created you out of one living entity, and out of it created its mate, and out of the two spread abroad a multitude of men and women.1 And remain conscious of God, in whose name you demand [your rights] from one another, and of these ties of kinship. Verily, God is ever watchful over you!

1 Out of the many meanings attributable to the term nafs - soul, spirit, mind, animate being, living entity, human being, person, self (in the sense of a personal identity), humankind, life-essence, vital principle, and so forth - most of the classical commentators choose “human being”, and assume that it refers here to Adam. Muhammad 'Abduh, however, rejects this interpretation (Manar IV, 323 ff.) and gives, instead, his preference to “humankind” inasmuch as this term stresses the common origin and brotherhood of the human race (which, undoubtedly, is the purport of the above verse), without, at the same time, unwarrantably tying it to the Biblical account of the creation of Adam and Eve. My rendering of nafs, in this context, as “living entity” follows the same reasoning - As regards the expression zawjaha (“its mate”), it is to be noted that, with reference to animate beings, the term
zawj (“a pair”, “one of a pair” or “a mate”) applies to the male as well as to the female
component of a pair or couple; hence, with reference to human beings, it signifies a woman’s mate (husband) as well as a man’s mate (wife). Abu Muslim - as quoted by Razi - interprets the phrase “He created out of it (minha) its mate” as meaning “He created its mate [i.e.,its sexual counterpart] out of its own kind (min jinsiha)”, thus supporting the view of Muhammad 'Abduh referred to above. The literal translation of minha as “out of it” clearly alludes, in conformity with the text, to the biological fact that both sexes have originated from “one living entity”

2. Al-Imran (The Family of Imran, The House of Imran); 3:59

inna mathala ʿīsā ʿinda l-lahi kamathali ādama khalaqahu min turābin thumma qāla lahu kun fayakūn

Verily, in the sight of God, the nature of Jesus is as the nature of Adam, whom He created out of dust and then said unto him, “Be” - and he is.47

47 Lit., “The parable of Jesus is as the parable of Adam…”, etc. The expression mathal (rendered above as “nature”) is often metaphorically employed to denote the state or condition (of a person or a thing), and is in this sense - as the commentators have pointed out - synonymous with sifah (the “quality” or “nature” of a thing). As is evident from the sequence, the above passage is part of an argument against the Christian doctrine of the divinity of Jesus. The Qur’an stresses here, as in many other places, the fact that Jesus, like Adam - by which name, in this context, the whole human race is meant - was only a mortal “created out of dust”, i.e., out of substances, both organic and inorganic, which are found in their elementary forms on and in the earth. Cf. also 18:37, 22:5, 30:20, 35:11, 40:67, where the Qur’an speaks of all human beings as “created out of dust”. That “Adam” stands here for the human race is clearly implied in the use of the present tense in the last word of this sentence.

7.Ta-Ha; 20:115-124

walaqad ʿahid’nā ilā ādama min qablu fanasiya walam najid lahu ʿazma

AND, INDEED, long ago did We impose Our commandment on Adam;102 but he forgot it, and
We found no firmness of purpose in him.

102 The relevant divine commandment - or, rather, warning - is spelled out in verse 117. The present passage connects with the statement in verse 99, “Thus do We relate unto thee some of the stories of what happened in the past”, and is meant to show that negligence of spiritual truths is one of the recurrent characteristics of the human race (Razi), which is symbolized here - as in many other places in the Qur’an - by Adam

wa-idh qul’nā lil’malāikati us’judū liādama fasajadū illā ib’līsa ab

For [thus it was:] when We told the angels, “Prostrate yourselves before Adam!” - they all
prostrated themselves, save Iblis, who refused [to do it];103

103 See 2:30-34 and the corresponding notes, especially 23, 25 and 26, as well as note 31 on
15:41. Since - as I have shown in those notes - the faculty of conceptual thinking is man’s outstanding endowment, his “forgetting” God’s commandment - resulting from a lack of all “firmness of purpose” in the domain of ethics - is an evidence of the moral weakness characteristic of the human race (cf. 4:28 - “man has been created weak”): and this, in its turn, explains man’s dependence on unceasing divine guidance, as pointed out in verse 113 above.

faqul’nā yāādamu inna hādhā ʿaduwwun laka walizawjika falā yukh’rijannakumā mina l-janati fatashq

and thereupon We said: "O Adam! Verily, this is a foe unto thee and thy wife: so let him not drive the two of you out of this garden and render thee unhappy.104

104 Lit., “so that thou wilt become unhappy”. Regarding the significance of “the garden” spoken
of here, see surah 2, note 27

inna laka allā tajūʿa fīhā walā taʿr

Behold, it is provided for thee that thou shalt not hunger here or feel naked,105

105 Lit., “be naked”: but in view of the statement in verse 121 (as well as in 7:22) to the effect that only after their fall from grace did Adam and Eve become “conscious of their nakedness”, it is
but logical to assume that the words “that thou shalt not… be naked” have a spiritual significance,
implying that man, in his original state of innocence, would not feel naked despite all absence of clothing. (For the deeper implications of this allegory, see note 14 on 7:20.)

wa-annaka lā taẓma-u fīhā walā taḍḥ

and that thou shalt not thirst here or suffer from the heat of the sun."

fawaswasa ilayhi l-shayṭānu qāla yāādamu hal adulluka ʿalā shajarati l-khul’di wamul’kin lā yabl

But Satan whispered unto him, saying: "O Adam! Shall I lead thee to the tree of life eternal; and [thus] to a kingdom that will never decay?"106

106 This symbolic tree is designated in the Bible as “the tree of life” and “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis ii, 9), while in the above Qur’anic account Satan speaks of it as “the tree of life eternal (al-khuld)”. Seeing that Adam and Eve did not achieve immortality despite their tasting the forbidden fruit, it is obvious that Satan’s suggestion was, as it always is, deceptive. On the other hand, the Qur’an tells us nothing about the real nature of that “tree” beyond pointing out that it was Satan who described it - falsely - as “the tree of immortality”: and so we may assume that the forbidden tree is simply an allegory of the limits which the Creator has set to man’s desires and actions: limits beyond which he may not go without offending against his own, God-willed nature. Man’s desire for immortality on earth implies a wishful denial of death and resurrection, and thus of the ultimate reality of what the Qur’an describes as “the hereafter” or “the life to come” (al-akhirah). This desire is intimately connected with Satan’s insinuation that it is within man’s reach to become the master of “a kingdom that will never decay”: in other words, to become “free” of all limitations and thus, in the last resort, of the very concept of God - the only concept which endows human life with real meaning and purpose.

fa-akalā min’hā fabadat lahumā sawātuhumā waṭafiqā yakhṣifāni ʿalayhimā min waraqi l-janati waʿaṣā ādamu rabbahu faghaw

And so the two ate [of the fruit] thereof: and thereupon they became conscious of their
nakedness and began to cover themselves with pieced-together leaves from the garden. And
[thus] did Adam disobey his Sustainer, and thus did he fall into grievous error.107

107 Regarding the symbolism of Adam and Eve’s becoming “conscious of their nakedness”, see note 105 above as well as the reference, in 7:26-27, to “the garment of God-consciousness”, the loss of which made man’s ancestors “aware of their nakedness”, i.e., of their utter helplessness and, hence, their dependence on God

thumma ij’tabāhu rabbuhu fatāba ʿalayhi wahad

Thereafter, [however,) his Sustainer elected him [for His grace], and accepted his repentance, and bestowed His guidance upon him,

qāla ih’biṭā min’hā jamīʿan baʿḍukum libaʿḍin ʿaduwwun fa-immā yatiyannakum minnī hudan famani ittabaʿa hudāya falā yaḍillu walā yashq

saying: "Down with you all108 from this [state
of innocence, and be henceforth] enemies unto one another! None the less, there shall most certainly come unto you guidance from Me: and he who follows My guidance will not go astray, and neither will he be unhappy.

108 See surah 7, note 16

waman aʿraḍa ʿan dhik’rī fa-inna lahu maʿīshatan ḍankan wanaḥshuruhu yawma l-qiyāmati aʿm

But as for him who shall turn away from
remembering Me - his shall be a life of narrow scope;109 and on the Day of Resurrection We
shall raise him up blind."

109 I.e., sterile and spiritually narrow, without any real meaning or purpose: and this, as is indicated in the subsequent clause, will be a source of their suffering in the hereafter.

10. Al-Maidah (The Table, The Table Spread); 5:27-32

wa-ut’lu ʿalayhim naba-a ib’nay ādama bil-ḥaqi idh qarrabā qur’bānan fatuqubbila min aḥadihimā walam yutaqabbal mina l-ākhari qāla la-aqtulannaka qāla innamā yataqabbalu l-lahu mina l-mutaqīn

And convey unto them, setting forth the truth, the story of the two sons of Adam 35- how each offered a sacrifice, and it was accepted from one of them whereas it was not accepted from the other. [And Cain] said: “I will surely slay thee!” [Abel] replied: "Behold, God accepts only from those who are conscious of Him.

35 I.e., the story of Cain and Abel, mentioned in Genesis iv, 1-16. The pronoun in “tell them” refers to the followers of the Bible, and obviously connects with verse 15 of this surah, “Now there has come unto you Our Apostle, to make clear unto you much of what you have been concealing [from yourselves] of the Bible”, the meaning of which has been explained in note 28 above. The moral of this particular Biblical story - a moral which the followers of the Bible have been “concealing from themselves” - is summarized in verse 32.

la-in basaṭta ilayya yadaka litaqtulanī mā anā bibāsiṭin yadiya ilayka li-aqtulaka innī akhāfu l-laha rabba l-ʿālamīn

Even if thou lay thy hand on me to slay me, I shall not lay my hand on thee to slay thee: behold, I fear God, the Sustainer of all the worlds.

innī urīdu an tabūa bi-ith’mī wa-ith’mika fatakūna min aṣḥābi l-nāri wadhālika jazāu l-ẓālimīn

I am willing, indeed, for thee to bear [the burden of] all the sins ever done by me as well as of the sin done by thee:36 [but] then thou wouldst be destined for the fire, since that is the requital of evildoers!"

36 Lit., “my sin as well as thy sin”. It is evident from several well-authenticated ahadith that if a person dies a violent death not caused, directly or indirectly, by his own sinful actions, his previous sins will be forgiven (the reason being, evidently, that he had no time to repent, as he might have done had he been allowed to live). In cases of unprovoked murder, the murderer is burdened - in addition to the sin of murder - with the sins which his innocent victim might have committed in the past and of which he (the victim) is now absolved: this convincing interpretation of the above verse has been advanced by Mujahid (as quoted by Tabari)

faṭawwaʿat lahu nafsuhu qatla akhīhi faqatalahu fa-aṣbaḥa mina l-khāsirīn

But the other’s passion37 drove him to slaying his brother; and he slew him: and thus he became one of the lost.

37 Among the many meanings attributable to the noun nafs (primarily, “soul”, or “mind”, or “self”), there is also that of “desire” or “passionate determination” (Qamus; see also Zamakhshari’s Asas); in this context, the best rendering seems to be “passion”.

fabaʿatha l-lahu ghurāban yabḥathu fī l-arḍi liyuriyahu kayfa yuwārī sawata akhīhi qāla yāwaylatā aʿajaztu an akūna mith’la hādhā l-ghurābi fa-uwāriya sawata akhī fa-aṣbaḥa mina l-nādimīn

Thereupon God sent forth a raven which scratched the earth, to show him how he might conceal the nakedness of his brother’s body. [And Cain] cried out: “Oh, woe is me! Am I then too weak to do what this raven did,38 and to conceal the nakedness of my brother’s body?” - and was thereupon smitten with remorse.39

38 Lit., “to be like this raven”.

39 Lit., “became of those who feel remorse”. The thought of burying his dead brother’s body, suggested to Cain by the raven’s scratching the earth, brought home to him the enormity of his crime.

min ajli dhālika katabnā ʿalā banī is’rāīla annahu man qatala nafsan bighayri nafsin aw fasādin fī l-arḍi faka-annamā qatala l-nāsa jamīʿan waman aḥyāhā faka-annamā aḥyā l-nāsa jamīʿan walaqad jāathum rusulunā bil-bayināti thumma inna kathīran min’hum baʿda dhālika fī l-arḍi lamus’rifūn

Because of this did We ordain unto the children of Israel that if anyone slays a human being unless it be [in punishment] for murder or for spreading corruption on earth - it shall be as though he had slain all mankind; whereas, if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind.40 And, indeed, there came unto them41 Our apostles with all evidence of the truth: yet, behold, notwithstanding all this, many of them go on committing all manner of excesses on earth.42

40 This moral truth is among those to which the first sentence of verse 15 of this surah alludes, and its succinct formulation fully explains the reason why the story of Cain and Abel is mentioned in this context. The expression “We have ordained unto the children of Israel” does not, of course, detract from the universal validity of this moral: it refers merely to its earliest enunciation.

41 I.e., to the followers of the Bible, both the Jews and the Christians.

42 The present participle la-musrifun indicates their “continuously committing excesses” (i.e., crimes), and is best rendered as “they go on committing” them. In view of the preceding passages, these “excesses” obviously refer to crimes of violence and, in
particular, to the ruthless killing of human beings.

Transliteration from here: https://www.islamawakened.com/

1. Al- Baqarah (The Cow); 2:30-39

wa-idh qāla rabbuka lil’malāikati innī jāʿilun fī l-arḍi khalīfatan qālū atajʿalu fīhā man yuf’sidu fīhā wayasfiku l-dimāa wanaḥnu nusabbiḥu biḥamdika wanuqaddisu laka qāla innī aʿlamu mā lā taʿlamūn

AND LO!21 Thy Sustainer said unto the angels: "Behold, I am about to establish upon earth one who shall inherit it."22 They said: “Wilt Thou place on it such as will spread corruption thereon and shed blood - whereas it is we who extol Thy limitless glory, and praise Thee, and hallow Thy name?” [God] answered: “Verily, I know that which you do not know.”

21 The interjection “lo” seems to be the only adequate rendering, in this context, of the particle idh, which is usually - and without sufficient attention to its varying uses in Arabic construction - translated as “when”. Although the latter rendering is often justified, idh is also used to indicate “the sudden, or unexpected, occurrence of a thing” (cf. Lane 1, 39), or a sudden turn in the discourse. The subsequent allegory, relating as it does to the faculty of reason implanted in man, is logically connected with the preceding passages.

22 Lit., “establish on earth a successor” or a “vice-gerent”. The term khalffah - derived from the verb khalafa, "he succeeded [another] " - is used in this allegory to denote man’s rightful supremacy on earth, which is most suitably rendered by the expression “he shall inherit the earth” (in the sense of being given possession of it). See also 6:165, 27:62 and 35:39, where all human beings are - spoken of as khala’if al-ard.

waʿallama ādama l-asmāa kullahā thumma ʿaraḍahum ʿalā l-malāikati faqāla anbiūnī bi-asmāi hāulāi in kuntum ṣādiqīn

And He imparted unto Adam the names of all things;23 then He brought them within the ken of
the angels and said: "Declare unto Me the names of these [things], if what you say is true."24

23 Lit., “all the names”. The term ism (“name”) implies, according to all philologists, an expression “conveying the knowledge [of a thing] … applied to denote a substance or an accident or an attribute, for the purpose of distinction” (Lane IV, 1435): in philosophical terminology, a “concept”. From this it may legitimately be inferred that the “knowledge of all the names” denotes here man’s faculty of logical definition and, thus, of conceptual thinking. That by “Adam” the whole human race is meant here becomesobvious from the preceding reference, by the angels, to “such as will spread corruption on earth and will shed blood”, as well as from 7:11.

24 Namely, that it was they who, by virtue of their purity, were better qualified to “inherit the earth”.

qālū sub’ḥānaka lā ʿil’ma lanā illā mā ʿallamtanā innaka anta l-ʿalīmu l-ḥakīm

They replied: “Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! No knowledge have we save that which Thou hast imparted unto us. Verily, Thou alone art all-knowing, truly wise.”

qāla yāādamu anbi’hum bi-asmāihim falammā anba-ahum bi-asmāihim qāla alam aqul lakum innī aʿlamu ghayba l-samāwāti wal-arḍi wa-aʿlamu mā tub’dūna wamā kuntum taktumūn

Said He: “O Adam, convey unto them the names of these [things].” And as soon as [Adam] had conveyed unto them their names, [God] said: “Did I not say unto you, ‘Verily, I alone know the hidden reality of the heavens and the earth, and know all that you bring into the open and all that you would conceal’?”

wa-idh qul’nā lil’malāikati us’judū liādama fasajadū illā ib’līsa abā wa-is’takbara wakāna mina l-kāfirīn

And when We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam!"25 - they all prostrated
themselves, save Iblis, who refused and gloried in his arrogance: and thus he became one of
those who deny the truth.26

25 To show that, by virtue of his ability to think conceptually, man is superior in this respect even to the angels.

26 For an explanation of the name of the Fallen Angel, see surah 7, note 10. The fact of this “rebellion”, repeatedly stressed in the Qur’an, has led some of the commentators to the conclusion that he could not have been one of the angels, since these are incapable of sinning: “they do not bear themselves with false pride… and they do whatever they are bidden to do” (16:49-50). As against this, other commentators point to the Qur’anic phrasing of God’s command to the angels and of Iblis’ refusal to obey, which makes it absolutely clear that at the time of that command he was indeed one of the heavenly host. Hence, we must assume that his “rebellion” has a purely symbolic significance and is, in reality, the outcome of a specific function assigned to him by God (see note 31 on 15:41).

waqul’nā yāādamu us’kun anta wazawjuka l-janata wakulā min’hā raghadan ḥaythu shi’tumā walā taqrabā hādhihi l-shajarata fatakūnā mina l ẓālimīn

And We said: "O Adam, dwell thou and thy wife in this garden,27 and eat freely thereof, both of you, whatever you may wish; but do not approach this one tree, lest you become wrongdoers."28

27 Lit., “the garden”. There is a considerable difference of opinion among the commentators as
to what is meant here by “garden”: a garden in the earthly sense, or the paradise that awaits the righteous in the life to come, or some special garden in the heavenly regions? According to some of the earliest commentators (see Manar I, 277), an earthly abode is here alluded to - namely, an environment of perfect ease, happiness and innocence. In any case, this story of Adam is obviously one of the allegories referred to in 3:7.

28 This tree is alluded to elsewhere in the Qur’an (20: 120) as “the tree of life eternal”, and in the …

fa-azallahumā l-shayṭānu ʿanhā fa-akhrajahumā mimmā kānā fīhi waqul’nā ih’biṭū baʿḍukum libaʿḍin ʿaduwwun walakum fī l-arḍi mus’taqarrun wamatāʿun ilā ḥīni

But Satan caused them both to stumble therein, and thus brought about the loss of their erstwhile state.29 And so We said: "Down with you, [and be henceforth] enemies unto one another; and on earth you shall have your abode and your livelihood for a while!"30

29 Lit., “brought them out of what they had been in”: i.e., by inducing them to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree.

30 With this sentence, the address changes from the hitherto-observed dual form to the plural:
a further indication that the moral of the story relates to the human race as a whole. See also surah 7, note 16

fatalaqqā ādamu min rabbihi kalimātin fatāba ʿalayhi innahu huwa l-tawābu l-raḥīm

Thereupon Adam received words [of guidance] from his Sustainer, and He accepted his repentance: for, verily, He alone is the Acceptor of Repentance, the Dispenser of Grace.

qul’nā ih’biṭū min’hā jamīʿan fa-immā yatiyannakum minnī hudan faman tabiʿa hudāya falā khawfun ʿalayhim walā hum yaḥzanūn

[For although] We did say, “Down with you all from this [state],” there shall, none the less, most certainly come unto you guidance from Me: and those who follow My guidance need have no fear, and neither shall they grieve;

wa-alladhīna kafarū wakadhabū biāyātinā ulāika aṣḥābu l-nāri hum fīhā khālidūn

but those who are bent on denying the truth and giving the lie to Our messages - they are destined for the fire, and therein shall they abide.

8. Sad (The Letter Sad); 38: 71-85

idh qāla rabbuka lil’malāikati innī khāliqun basharan min ṭīni

[For,] ~ thy Sustainer said unto the angels:
"Behold, I am about to create a human being out of clay;55

55 See nole 24 on 15:26

fa-idhā sawwaytuhu wanafakhtu fīhi min rūḥī faqaʿū lahu sājidīn

and when I have formed him fully and breathed into him of My spirit, fall you down before him in prostration!"56

56 See 15:29 and the corresponding note 26

fasajada l-malāikatu kulluhum ajmaʿūn

Thereupon the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together,

illā ib’līsa is’takbara wakāna mina l-kāfirīn

save Iblis: he gloried in his arrogance, and [thus] became one of those who deny the truth.57

57 See note 26 on 2:34 and note 31 on 15:41

qāla yāib’līsu mā manaʿaka an tasjuda limā khalaqtu biyadayya astakbarta am kunta mina l-ʿālīn

Said He: "O Iblis! What has kept thee from prostrating thyself before that [being] which I have created with My hands?58 Art thou too proud [to bow down before another created being], or art thou of those who think [only] of themselves as high?"59

58 Cf. the metaphorical phrase “the things which Our hands have wrought” in 36:71, explained in the corresponding note 42. In the present instance, the stress lies on the God-willed superiority of man’s intellect - which, like everything else in the universe, is God’s “handiwork” - over the rest of creation (see note 25 on 2:34).

59 This “question” is, of course, only rhetorical, since God is omniscient. The phrase interpolated by me (“to bow down before another created being”) reflects Zamakshari’s interpretation of this passage.

qāla anā khayrun min’hu khalaqtanī min nārin wakhalaqtahu min ṭīni

Answered [Iblis): “I am better than he: Thou hast created me out of fire,60 whereas him Thou hast created out of clay.”

60 I.e., out of something non-corporeal and, therefore (in the view of Iblis), superior to the “clay” out of which man has been created. Inasmuch as “fire” is a symbol of passion, the above “saying” of Iblis contains, I believe, a subtle allusion to the Qur’anic concept of the “satanic forces”(shayatin) active within man’s own heart: forces engendered by uncontrolled passions and love of self, symbolized by the preceding characterization of Iblis, the foremost of the shayatin, as “one of those who think only of themselves as high” (min al-'alin)

qāla fa-ukh’ruj min’hā fa-innaka rajīmu

Said He: "Go forth, then, from this [angelic state] - for, behold, thou art henceforth accursed,

wa-inna ʿalayka laʿnatī ilā yawmi l-dīn

and My rejection shall be thy due until the Day of Judgment!"

qāla rabbi fa-anẓir’nī ilā yawmi yub’ʿathūn

Said [Iblis):
“Then, O my Sustainer, grant me a respite till the Day when all shall be raised from the dead!”

qāla fa-innaka mina l-munẓarīn

Answered He: "Verily, so [be it:] thou shalt be among those who are granted respite

ilā yawmi l-waqti l-maʿlūm

till the Day the time whereof is known [only to Me)."61

61 The grant of “respite” to Iblis implies that he would have the power to tempt man until the end of time.

qāla fabiʿizzatika la-ugh’wiyannahum ajmaʿīn

Whereupon Iblis) said: "Then [I swear) by Thy very might: I shall most certainly beguile them all into grievous error -

illā ʿibādaka min’humu l-mukh’laṣīn

[all) save such of them as are truly Thy servants!"

qāla fal-ḥaqu wal-ḥaqa aqūl

[And God) said: "This, then, is the truth!62 And this truth do I state:

62 Cf. 15 41 - “This is, with Me, a straight way” - and the corresponding note 31

la-amla-anna jahannama minka wamimman tabiʿaka min’hum ajmaʿīn

Most certainly will I fill hell with thee and such of them as shall follow thee, all together!"

3. Al-A’raf (The Heights, The Elevated Places); 7:11-25

walaqad khalaqnākum thumma ṣawwarnākum thumma qul’nā lil’malāikati us’judū liādama fasajadū illā ib’līsa lam yakun mina l-sājidīn

Yea, indeed,
We have created you, and then formed you;9 and then We said unto the angels, “Prostrate yourselves before Adam!” - whereupon they [all] prostrated themselves, save Iblis: he was not
among those who prostrated themselves.10

9 The sequence of these two statements - “We have created you [i.e., “brought you into being as living organisms”] and then formed you” [or “given you your shape”, i.e., as human beings]- is meant to bring out the fact of man’s gradual development, in the individual sense, from the embryonic stage to full-fledged existence, as well as of the evolution of the human race as such.

10 As regards God’s allegorical command to the angels to “prostrate themselves” before Adam,
see 2:30-34, and the corresponding notes. The reference to all mankind which precedes the story
of Adam in this surah makes it clear that his name symbolizes, in this context, the whole human race.

Western scholars usually take it for granted that the name “Iblis” is a corruption of the Greek word diabolos, from which the English “devil” is derived. There is, however, not the slightest evidence that the pre-Islamic Arabs borrowed this or any other mythological term from the Greeks - while on the other hand, it is established that the Greeks derived a good deal of their mythological concepts (including various deities and their functions) from the much earlier South-Arabian civilization (cf. Encyclopaedia of Islam I, 379 f.). One may, therefore, assume with something approaching certainty that the Greek diabolos is a Hellenized form of the Arabic name for the Fallen Angel, which, in turn, is derived from the root-verb ablasa, “he despaired” or “gave up hope” or “became broken in spirit” (see Lane I, 248). The fact that the noun diabolos (“slanderer” - derived from the verb diaballein, “to throw [something] across”) is of genuinely Greek origin does not, by itself, detract anything from this hypothesis: for it is conceivable that the Greeks, with their well-known tendency to Hellenize foreign names, identified the name “Iblis” with the, to them, much more familiar term diabolos. - As regards Iblis’ statement, in the next verse, that he had been created “out of fire”, see surah 38. note 60.

qāla mā manaʿaka allā tasjuda idh amartuka qāla anā khayrun min’hu khalaqtanī min nārin wakhalaqtahu min ṭīni

[And God] said: “What has kept thee from prostrating thyself when I commanded thee?”
Answered [Iblis]: “I am better than he: Thou hast created me out of fire, whereas him Thou hast created out of clay.”

qāla fa-ih’biṭ min’hā famā yakūnu laka an tatakabbara fīhā fa-ukh’ruj innaka mina l-ṣāghirīn

[God] said: “Down with thee, then, from this [state] - for it is not meet for thee to show arrogance here! Go forth, then: verily, among the humiliated shalt thou be!”

qāla anẓir’nī ilā yawmi yub’ʿathūn

Said [Iblis]: “Grant me a respite till the Day when all shall be raised from the dead.”

qāla innaka mina l-munẓarīn

[And God] replied: “Verily, thou shalt be among those who are granted a respite.”

qāla fabimā aghwaytanī la-aqʿudanna lahum ṣirāṭaka l-mus’taqīm

[Whereupon Iblis] said: "Now that Thou hast thwarted me,11 I shall most certainly lie in
ambush for them all along Thy straight way,

11 Or: “allowed me to fall into error”. The term aghwahu denotes both “he caused [or “allowed”]
him to err” or “he caused him to be disappointed” or “to fail in attaining his desire” (cf. Lane VI, 2304 f.). Since. in this case, the saying of Iblis refers to the loss of his erstwhile position among the angels, the rendering adopted by me seems to be the most appropriate.

thumma laātiyannahum min bayni aydīhim wamin khalfihim waʿan aymānihim waʿan shamāilihim walā tajidu aktharahum shākirīn

and shall most certainly fall upon them openly as well as in a manner beyond their ken,12 and from their right and from their left: and most of them Thou wilt find ungrateful."

12 Lit., “from between their hands and from behind them”. Regarding this idiomatic expression and my rendering of it, see the similar phrase in 2:255 (“He knows all that lies open before men and all that is hidden from them”). The subsequent phrase “from their right and from their left” signifies “from all directions and by all possible means”.

qāla ukh’ruj min’hā madhūman madḥūran laman tabiʿaka min’hum la-amla-anna jahannama minkum ajmaʿīn

[And God] said: "Go forth from here, disgraced and disowned! [And] as for such of them as follow thee - I will most certainly fill hell with you all!

wayāādamu us’kun anta wazawjuka l-janata fakulā min ḥaythu shi’tumā walā taqrabā hādhihi l-shajarata fatakūnā mina l-ẓālimīn

And [as for thee], O Adam, dwell thou and thy wife in this garden, and eat, both of you, whatever you may wish; but do not approach this one tree, lest you become evildoers!"13

13 See 2:35 and 20:120, as well as the corresponding notes.

fawaswasa lahumā l-shayṭānu liyub’diya lahumā mā wūriya ʿanhumā min sawātihimā waqāla mā nahākumā rabbukumā ʿan hādhihi l-shajarati illā an takūnā malakayni aw takūnā mina l-khālidīn

Thereupon Satan whispered unto the two with a view to making them conscious of their nakedness, of which [hitherto] they had been unaware;14 and he said: "Your Sustainer has but
forbidden you this tree lest you two become [as] angels, or lest you live forever."15

14 Lit., “so as to make manifest to them that of their nakedness which [hitherto] had been imperceptible to them”: an allegory of the state of innocence in which man lived before his fall from grace - that is, before his consciousness made him aware of himself and of the possibility of choosing between alternative courses of action, with all the attending temptations towards evil and the misery which must follow a wrong choice.

15 Lit., “or [lest] you become of those who are enduring”: thus instilling in them the desire to live forever and to become in this respect, like God. (See note 106 on 20:120.)

waqāsamahumā innī lakumā lamina l-nāṣiḥīn

And he swore unto them, "Verily, I am of those who wish you well indeed!16

16 Sc., “from this state of blessedness and innocence”. As in the parallel account of this parable of the Fall in 2:35-36, the dual form of address changes at this stage into the plural, thus
connecting once again with verse 10 and the beginning of verse 11 of this surah, and making it
clear that the story of Adam and Eve is, in reality, an allegory of human destiny. In his earlier state of innocence man was unaware of the existence of evil and, therefore, of the ever-present necessity of making a choice between the many possibilities of action and behaviour: in other words, he lived, like all other animals, in the light of his instincts alone.
Inasmuch, however, as this innocence was only a condition of his existence and not a virtue, it gave to his life a static quality and thus precluded him from moral and intellectual development. The growth of his consciousness - symbolized by the wilful act of disobedience to God’s command - changed all this. It transformed him from a purely instinctive being into a full-fledged human entity as we know it - a human being capable of discerning between right and wrong and thus of choosing his way of life. In this deeper sense, the allegory of the Fall does not describe a retrogressive happening but, rather, a new stage of human development: an opening of doors to moral considerations. By forbidding him to “approach this tree”, God made it possible for man to act wrongly - and, therefore, to act rightly as well: and so man became endowed with that moral free will which distinguishes him from all other sentient beings. - Regarding the role of Satan - or Iblis - as the eternal tempter of man, see note 26 on 2:34 and note 31 on 15:41.

fadallāhumā bighurūrin falammā dhāqā l-shajarata badat lahumā sawātuhumā waṭafiqā yakhṣifāni ʿalayhimā min waraqi l-janati wanādāhumā rabbuhumā alam anhakumā ʿan til’kumā l-shajarati wa-aqul lakumā inna l-shayṭāna lakumā ʿaduwwun mubīnu

  • and thus he led them on with deluding thoughts.
    But as soon as the two had tasted [the fruit] of the tree, they became conscious of their nakedness; and they began to cover themselves with pieced-together leaves from the garden. And their Sustainer called unto them: “Did I not forbid that tree unto you and tell you, ‘Verily, Satan is your open foe’?”

qālā rabbanā ẓalamnā anfusanā wa-in lam taghfir lanā watarḥamnā lanakūnanna mina l-khāsirīn

The two replied: “O our Sustainer! We have sinned against ourselves - and unless Thou grant us forgiveness and bestow Thy mercy upon us, we shall most certainly be lost!”

qāla ih’biṭū baʿḍukum libaʿḍin ʿaduwwun walakum fī l-arḍi mus’taqarrun wamatāʿun ilā ḥīni

Said He: "Down with you,16 [and be henceforth] enemies unto one another, having on earth your
abode and livelihood for a while:

qāla fīhā taḥyawna wafīhā tamūtūna wamin’hā tukh’rajūn

there shall you live" - He added - “and there shall you die, and thence shall you be brought forth [on Resurrection Day]!”

Do you have the versus that reference the story of Adam and Eve in English without commentary and without arabic? I would like to engage in a conversation about it, but I can’t find anything that reads in English properly without having to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what is scriptural text and what is opinion.

I don’t understand the chapters as you have laid them out or how to research them in English. The numbers don’t make sense to me either. Is there a version intended for a western reader in English?


Here you are Sir:
Message of Quran Translation

Without the interpretation of the Mufassir (Expert Tafsir), ordinary people will find it difficult to understand the meaning more deeply. Therefore every Muslim is obliged to learn the interpretation of the Al-Quran in this phase of his life, we used to call it (mengaji atau kajian: review tafsir) after initially trying to read and memorize the Al-Quran as a child.

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Hi @Roels_Major;

Aren’t there many such interpretations? Assad’s interpretation seems to avoid miracles and be more firendly to the western world view. Let me point yout o a positive review in goodreads:

I am an American born Muslim (Pakistani descent). I have been raised here, and schooled here, and so have a western perspective of events and history. What I like about Asad’s translation is that it is written by a “westerner,” who was formerly a Viennese Jew. As such, he carries the gestalt of the West (rationalism, the Enlightenment, evolution, etc.).

In contrast, Yusuf Ali, carries a certain cultural baggage derived from his experiences in India. The effects of British colonialism probably colored his world view, and my recollection (I read his translation many years ago) is that this coloring displays itself in his translation. I guess I would characterize his translation and commentary consistent with liberation theology-which is fine, but is of a certain view that many in the West may not identify.

Asad’s translation and commentary, on the other hand, incorporates many of our modern understandings of the world into his explanation. So for example, evolution is considered a natural process operating as part of the ordered universe just as the laws of gravity, electricity, etc. These are the signs of God, that Muslims are required to believe. Many Muslims who are not from the West, cannot reconcile modern understandings of science with faith. Just like the fundamentalist Christian community, they cannot integrate evolution (and its theological ramifications) into their faith (as a corollary, it is worthy to note that many scientists-call them darwinian fundamentalist- cannot integrate religion into science). In Islam, there is no separation between science and religion. All of your actions in physical reality are part of your Islam, and an expression of your religious faith. Obtaining knowledge through science is also part of your submission to God’s will-your Islam. Asad’s interpretation repeatedly affirms this.

Asad’s explanations and commentary are illuminating. He explains phenomenon, like miracles, in a way that don’t require the reader to suspend his belief in the normal physical laws of daily experience. You are not required to believe in phenomenon that run contrary to objective experience. For example, in the Bible, Jesus is said to have healed the blind and raised the dead to the living. Ordinary experience tells us that physically these things are impossible, but you are required to have faith that these suspended laws of physical reality actually occurred. Asad’s explanation is that in Islam, people who are closed to the God’s spiritual message as relayed through the prophets, are blind to the obvious truth of God. They are spiritually dead. Jesus’s miracle, was to pass his grace onto his followers, and make those whose hearts were hardened against God (blind and spiritually dead), to see the truth and to become spiritually alive. I find this explanation much more satisfactory than having to believe in a miracle. The explanation is far more simple and straightforward.

The same person also adds a postscript for why he prefers Assad’s interpretation to another one:

Post-script: while I have not ready Study Quran (http://www.discoverbooks.com/ProductD…), but merely thumbed through it, I find lacking compared to Asad’s translation. For example, in comparing Surah AlFalaq, the Study Quran commentary on the the passage on seeking refuge from those “who blow on knots”, i.e. practices of witchcraft, assumes witchcraft to be true. Asad on the other hand says that those who believe in witchcraft, or false gods, or in general shirk, are expending and wasting their mental and spiritual energy in shirk and believing in a false religion. And the mental fear we impose on ourselves by having false beliefs can be debilitating. Thus only truth and belief in Ultimate Reality of God can protect you from mental fear. This can be broadened to the concept that belief in superstition wastes mental energy and imposes false beliefs in a a rational orderly world. (less)

It doesn’t seem to me that the above interpretation would be representative of Islam as a whole (or even a majority). It seems similar to a concordist and liberal interpretation of the bible (i.e an interpretation held by a small group).
So, it would be better to look at the discussion as Assad’s perspectives on Adam and Eve as opposed to a quranic perspective.

If it is the word of God, I will understand it deeply without needing explanation, God will reveal the truth. If it is the word of men, I am not interested because men are inherently evil and self-seeking. I am not Muslim, I follow Jesus, so I am not obliged to read the Mufassir. However, I am interested in understanding the similarities in the scripture that connects the two faiths. The process is difficult when I can’t tell what is Quran scripture (and therefore claimed to be the word of God) and what is a man’s opinion. Can you supply a link to only the Quranic text in English?

It doesn’t seem to me that the above interpretation would be representative of Islam as a whole (or even a majority). It seems similar to a concordist and liberal interpretation of the bible (i.e an interpretation held by a small group).
So, it would be better to look at the discussion as Assad’s perspectives on Adam and Eve as opposed to a quranic perspective.

Many facets of interpretation from different comentators, still you can say this is a quranic perspectives in Assad mind.

An author of tafsir is a mufassir (Arabic: مُفسّر‎; plural: Arabic: مفسّرون‎, romanized: mufassirūn). According to Sunni Islamic scholar Al-Suyuti, mufassirs are required to master 15 fields from different disciplines such as linguistics, rhetoric, theology and jurisprudence before one can authoritatively interpret the Quran.

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Since the Quran is the word of God, on the contrary, we have to study it all the time from day to day so as to gain wisdom in the end. Like a child playing with toys to adulthood with something more complex, maturing over time. I think everything needs a process. Unfortunately, I don’t have an English translation without a book interpretation. But perhaps word-for-word translations can be found on this website: https://www.islamawakened.com/

I think it’s pretty good to start with.

I think that’s a fair and honest description.

How much do you think these quranic perspectives in Mr Assad’s mind would differ from those in the “prophet” Mohemmed’s mind?

Principally, a tafsir deals with the issues of linguistics, jurisprudence, and theology. In terms of perspective and approach, tafsir can be broadly divided into two categories, namely tafsir bi-al-ma’thur (lit. received tafsir), which is transmitted from the early days of Islam through the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his companions, and tafsir bi-al-ra’y (lit. tafsir by opinion), which is arrived through personal reflection or independent rational thinking.

In the beginning, when it was revealed in its pure form, words in the Arabic dialect were written on stones or sheets of paper and memorized. There are no fundamental differences until recently except in terms of dialect only. Then the Koran began to formally compile from memorized notes and written sheets to be recorded shortly after the Prophet’s death. Prophet Muhammad PBUH, for 23 years the revelation was sent down, carrying out Islamic practices according to the instructions of the revelations that were revealed, especially in the section of worship and social relations (muamalah). What the Prophet did and what the Prophet explained, were then conveyed through daily stories and recorded on paper as Oral Traditions (Sunnah). The commentators will undoubtedly underline their different interpretations from their predecessors, the early companions of the Prophet’s, and after him. Conclusion: Not much difference.