Al-Haram Mosque in Makkah The Prophet's Mosque in Madinah . Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Al-Quds (Jerusalem)

Islam: A Scientific Voew of God's Message to Humanity

By Hassan Ali El-Najjar

Table of Contents  

I. Introduction: Basic Information  

1. Islam: A Brief Introduction    

2. Three Levels of Faith: Islam, Iman, and I'hsan    

3. The Scientific Evidence That God Exists and the Holy Qur'an Is His Message to Humanity    

4. Creation and Evolution in the Holy Qur'an   

5. Humans, As God's Caliphs on Earth   

6. Adam's Contest With the Angels, and Getting Out of Paradise  

7. Worshippers By Choice Or Forced Slaves?    

8. The Relationship Between the Spiritual and the Physical in Islamic Teachings

9. Spirit, Soul, Mind, Self, and Happiness from an Islamic Perspective  

10. Heart-Mind Relationship in the Holy Quran

II. Islam: The Five Pillars of the Faith Structure  

11. Islamic Proclamation of Faith

12. Performing Islamic Prayers

13. Giving Zakat, Charity, The Third Islamic Duty  

14. Fasting and Ramadhan, Great Gifts from Allah to Muslims  

15. Haj, Pilgrimage, the Fifth Pillar of Islam

III. Iman: Allah, His Angels, Messengers, Messages, Latter Day, and Qadar  

16. Allah, As He Described Himself in the Holy Quran    

17. Angels  

18. Noo'h, Noah, in the Holy Quran  

19. Ibrahim, Abraham, in the Holy Quran

20. Moussa, Moses, in the Holy Quran  

21. 'Eissa, Jesus Christ, in the Holy Quran    

22. Muhammed in the Holy Quran  

23. Prophet Muhammed's Night Journey and Ascent to Heavens, Al-Issra Wal Mi'raj  

24. The Last Day, The Hour, Resurrection, Reckoning, and Judgment

25. God's Precise Measurement and His Just Decree, Al-Qadar Wal Qadha

IV. I'hsan: Watching Allah in What We Say and What We Do  

1. Introduction to Islamic Law, Shari'a, Part I, Prohibition, Don't Do, and Do Commands in the Holy Quran

2. The No (La) Commands  

3. The Imperative Commands  


Articles with Islamic Perspective:

Health Care Crisis in the US: An Islamic Perspective

"Terrorism" & "Islamo-Fascism" Propaganda Campaigns: An Interactive Lecture

Six Questions About Islam, Muslims and Jews

Five Islamic Issues: Predestination and choice, position toward other religions, angels, and the End of Days

Food Islamic Rules and Teachings

Are Muslim women second-class citizens  

The French Ban on Islamic Headscarf, an Interview with

Links to Islamic Topics 2007-2010

Links to Islamic Topics 2007

Links to Islamic topics 2006

Links to Islamic topics 2005

Links to Islamic topics 2004

Links to Islamic topics, 2003

2002 Links to Islamic topics



A Scientific View of God's Message to Humanity


Adam's Contest With the Angels, and Getting Out of Paradise

By Hassan Ali El-Najjar

Updated on the 1th of Shawwal, 1441 H, 11th of June, 2020







ۡ ٱ ٱٰۡ ٱ


I seek refuge with God from the stoned Shaytan (Satan)

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful





This Chapter addresses the story of Adam, God's will to make him and other humans His caliphs on Earth, his contest with the angels, living in Paradise, and getting out of it. However, a necessary background for this Chapter can be found in the previous three chapters. 

Chapter 3 provides a background about the creation of the universe, including heavens and Earth. The verses used involve scientific facts just recently discovered. Thus, these facts provide The Scientific Evidence That God Exists and the Holy Quran Is His Message to Humanity. 

Chapter 4, "Creation and Evolution in the Holy Quran," tells the Quran story of how Allah (God), praise to Him, created life on Earth, let it evolve, and intervened to improve His creation.   

Chapter 5, "Humans, As God's Caliphs on Earth," is a continuation of the topic of creation and evolution but with focus on humans as God's caliphs on Earth, due to reaching the climax of the five stages of creation. As Allah, praise to Him, saw the human ability to learn, construct, and choose, He willed that they became worthy of His decision to make them His caliphs , or successors, on ruling this planet, following His commands.  

Thus, He declared to His angels that he had decided to give humans that mandate. They were surprised for His decision due to their knowledge of humans as corruptors of the Earth and shedders of each-other's blood. They asked their Lord about why He would do that for such a creature. He answered them that He "knows that which they do not know." Then, He brought Adam, as a representative of humanity, to a contest with the angels, to show them that human beings deserve the honor He accorded them.[1]



Who Was Adam? 

The following seven verses from the Holy Quran tell us that Adam, peace be upon him, was the best of God's human creation. Allah, praise to Him, CHOSE him to represent humanity in the contest with the angels, because of his ability to learn, build, and choose, as explained in Chapter 5.

First, Verse 7: 11 clearly states that Allah, praise to Him, created humans (khalaqnakum, in plural), then fashioned them in the image He wanted (sawarnakum, also in plural form). These two verbs refer to the first and fourth stages of the first creation, as mentioned in Chapter 4 of this Book. The use of the word "then" indicates the passage of a long period between the two stages.

( 7: 11). 

And We created you (humans, in plural form), then fashioned you (made you in the image you are, also addressing humans in plural form), then said to the angels: Prostrate to Adam! And they prostrated, all except Iblis (another name for Satan), who was not of those who made prostration (Al-A'araf, 7: 11).  

When Allah, praise to Him, decided that humans have reached the level of being trustworthy of the mandate to be His caliphs on Earth, He chose Adam to represent them in front of the skeptical angels. When he won the contest, the angels were ordered to prostrate to him, as an acknowledgement of his winning and his worth to receive Gods mandate.

Second, Verse 3: 59 states that both of 'Eissa (Jesus) and Adam, peace be upon them, were alike in that they were created of the Earth soil. We know for sure that Jesus was created in his mothers womb, which means that the verse is referring to the first creation of life on Earth, out of clay (which is water and soil together). The verse tells us that this also applies to the creation of Adam, which is another reference to Adam as one of the humans, not the first of them.

ٰ ۖ ( 3: 59).

The example of Eissa (Jesus) for Allah is as that of Adam. He created him from the earth soil. Then, He said to him: "Be". And he was (Al-'Imran, 3: 69).   

Third, Verse 3: 33 states that Allah, praise to Him, CHOSE (Istafa in Arabic) Adam, Noah, the family of Ibrahim (Abraham), and the family of 'Imran above people of all the worlds (throughout the centuries). This means that Adam was chosen as the best human of his time, just like the others were in their times. If he were the first and only human being, then there would be no choice. Thus, the use of the verb chose in this verse is a piece of evidence that Adam was the best human, not the first one.

ٰ ( 3: 33).

Allah chose Adam, Noah, the family of Ibrahim (Abraham), and the family of 'Imran, above the worlds (Al-'Imran, 3: 33). 

The same Arabic verb (Istafa), used in Verse 3: 33 is also used in Verse 3: 42, in reference to Maryam, the mother of 'Eissa (Jesus), peace be upon both of them. Allah, praise to Him, mentions that He CHOSE her from among the women of all the worlds. For sure, there were many women in the world for Allah, praise to Him, to choose from, to be a mother for 'Eissa (Jesus). This further explains the use of the same verb in Verse 3: 33, which confirms that Allah, praise to Him, CHOSE Adam, to represent humanity in the majestic contest with the angels.

ۡ ٱٰۡٓٮٕڪ ٰۡ ٱ ٱۡٮٰ ٱۡٮٰ ٰ ٓ ٱٰۡ ( 3: 42).  

And (mention) when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you, purified you, and chosen you above the women of the worlds (Al-'Imran, 3: 42).

Fourth, the reference to immortality, in Verses 20: 120 and 7: 20, gives more support for the interpretation that Adam was not the first human. The verses show that he knew that humans were mortals. He could not know that if he never saw other humans dying at his time.    

ۡ ۡ ٱٰۡ ٰٓٔ ۡ ٰ ٱۡۡ ۡ۬ ٰۡ (ٰ  20: 120).

Then, the Shaytan (Satan) whispered to him, saying: O Adam! Shall I lead you to the tree of eternity and a dominion that does not decay? (Ta Ha, 20: 120)

ۡ ٱٰۡ ۡ ۡ ۡٲ ٮٰ ۡ ٰ ٱ ٓ ۡ ۡ ٱٰۡ  (ٴ  7: 20).

Then, the Shaytan (Satan) whispered to both of them, in order to manifest to them that which was hidden to them of their shame (nakedness), and he said: Your Lord forbade you from this tree to prevent you from becoming angels or becoming of the immortals (Al-A'araf, 7: 20). 

Finally, Verse 38: 75 mentions God's direct intervention in the creation of Adam (and humanity in general, in the stages of the first creation), with His Own Hands. This was mentioned in an exclamatory rebuking style, to emphasize the Iblis (Satan) disobedience abomination.

   ( 38: 75).

(Allah) said: O Iblees (Satan), what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My Hands? Were you arrogant, or were you among the haughty? (Saad, 38: 75).   


The Story of Adam  [2]

The story of Adam started with God's decision to give humans a mandate to be His caliphs (successors) in ruling the Planet of Earth, as stated in Verse 2: 30.

ۡ ٰۡٓٮٕ ۬ ٱۡۡ ۬ۖ ٓ ۡ ۡ ۡ ٱٓ ۡ ۡ ۖ ٓ ۡ ۡ  ( 2: 30).

"And when your Lord said to the angels: I am making a caliph on the Earth. They said: Are You making therein one who corrupts it and sheds blood, while we hymn Your praise and sanctify You? He said: Surely I know that which you do not know(Al-Baqara, 2: 30).

To  show the angels that Adam was worth His trust, Allah, praise to Him, prepared him for a knowledge contest with them. He asked them about names of things that they did not know about. When they acknowledged their lack of knowledge, He asked Adam to tell them about what they did not know. As a result, Allah, praise to Him, told the angels to make prostration to Adam, in acknowledgement to his winning of the contest. All angels prostrated in obedience to God's command, except Iblis (Satan), who refused to do so in arrogance and disobedience, as stated in Verses 2: 31-34. 

ٰ ﴿٣١

 ۖ ﴿٣٢

 ۖ ﴿٣٣

ٰ ﴿٣٤﴾  (  2: 31-34).

 And He taught Adam the names - all of them. Then He showed them to the angels and said, "Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful." (31)

They said, "Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise." (32)

He said, "O Adam, inform them of their names." And when he had informed them of their names, He said, "Did I not tell you that I know the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed." (33)

And [mention] when We said to the angels, "Prostrate before Adam"; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers. (34) (Al-Baqara, 2: 31-34).


How did Allah, praise to Him, teach Adam?

The Holy Quran tells us that Allah, praise to Him, has taught humans what they did not know (2: 239), including reading (55: 4) and writing (2: 282).

   ( 2: 239).

And if you fear (an enemy, pray) on foot or riding. But when you are secure, (pray) mentioning Allah, as He has taught you that which you did not know (Al-Baqara, 2: 239).

ٰ ﴿١ ﴿٢ ﴿٣ ﴿٤﴾ ( 55: 4). 

The Beneficent (1) Taught the Quran, (2) Created the human, (3) taught him clear speech (4) (Al-Ra'hman,

 ( 2: 282).

Let no scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him (Al-Baqara, 2: 285).

Verse 42: 51 tells us that humans cannot receive communication directly from God. Rather, this has to be by inspiration to their minds, or behind a barrier, or through His angelic messengers who inspire to humans, with permission from Him, as we read in Verse 53: 4.

 ۚ   ( 42: 51). 

A human could not handle that Allah speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a barrier (veil), or by sending of a messenger (an angel) to inspire, with His permission, what He (Allah) wills, for He is Most High, Most Wise (Al-Shoora, 42: 51).

ٰ ﴿٤﴾ ٰ ﴿٥﴾ ( 53: 4-5). 

It is an inspiration sent down (to him), 

taught by one mighty in power (Jibril) (Al-Najm, 53: 4-5). 

An example of Gods communication with humans is His revelation to His Messengers and Prophets, whether as awake or during their sleep. The Messenger of Allah, Mu'hammed, received revelation (18: 27) while being awake. Sometimes, he may hear a bell-ringing sound, at the start of a revelation session,  and he would sweat heavily, even in a very cold day. In other times, he would see the angel Jibril (Gabriel) as a man, speaking to him. [3]

He would also receive revelation during his sleep (8: 43), as Ibrahim, Abraham (37: 102) and Yousuf, Joseph (12: 4) did. However, Gods revelation is not limited to His Messengers and Prophets. Rather, He has communicated with other humans to guide them to the good of humanity, such as His revelation to the Egyptian Pharaoh about the seven cows, during his dream (12: 43). He even communicates with other creatures, such as bees (16: 68). Moreover, many discoverers and inventors mentioned that they reached their discoveries or inventions during their sleep. [4]  

Further, Allah, praise to Him, has facilitated learning, by granting humans the peace of mind, the blessings of stability, and the abundance of resources necessary to satisfy their basic needs. Then, these blessings made them ready to learn by adaptation to their different environments and to each other (Allah knows better). 


All Angels Prostrated to Adam Except Iblis (Satan)  


There are nine verses in the Holy Quran, which state that all angels obeyed God's command to prostrate to Adam except Iblis (Satan). This theme is confirmed and emphasized well  in these verses, which are 2: 34, 7: 11, 15: 31, 15: 32, 17: 61, 18: 50, 20: 116, 38: 74, and 38: 75. Linguistically speaking, the nine verses show that Iblis was an angel as all verses state that he was the exception of the angels who disobeyed God's command.

﴿٣٠﴾ ٰ ﴿٣١﴾ ( 15: 30-31).

So, the angels prostrated, all of them entirely, (30) Except Iblis. He refused to be with those who prostrated. (31) (Al-Hijr, 15: 30-31).

The main reason of the Shaytan's (Satan's) disobedience to God was his arrogance, which made him think that he was better than Adam and humans, as a whole. Verses 61: 17, 12: 7, and 18: 50 (below) tell us about the sources of his arrogance. He believed that God created him from a more superior material (fire) than the clay He created Adam from.

ۡ ۡ ٰۡٓٮٕڪ ٱۡ ٓ ٓ ۡ ۡ ۡ ۡ ۬ (ٕ 17: 61). 

And We said to the angels: Prostrate to Adam, and they prostrated except Iblis (Satan). He said: Do I prostrate to whom You have created of clay? (Al-Issra, 17: 61).

  ۖ ( 38: 75).

(Allah) said, "O Iblis (Satan), what prevented you from prostrating to (that) which I created with My Hands? Were you arrogant, or were you among the haughty? (Saad, 38: 75).

ۡ ۡ ۡۖ ۟ ۡ۬ ۡ ۡ ۬ ۡ ۬ (ٴ  7: 12).

(Allah) said: What prevented you to prostrate when I commanded you? (Iblis) said: I am better than him. You have created me of fire while You created him of clay (Al-A'araf, 7: 12).

Verse 18: 50 refers to Iblis (Satan) as a Jinn (Jinni), which is a category of invisible angels, as mentioned by early Muslim interpreters.

ۗ ( 18: 50).

And (mention) when We said to the angels, "Prostrate to Adam," and they prostrated, except for Iblis. He was of the jinn and disobeyed the command of his Lord (Al-Kahf, 18: 50).

The dominant meaning of the word Jinn, which is mentioned in verse 18: 50, is that it refers to a distinct species, other than angels. This is the main opinion provided by the three early interpreters of the Holy Quran (Al-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi, and Ibn Katheer), and many contemporary interpreters. It follows that Iblis was a Jinni, not an angel. The core of this interpretation is that the angels are created as obedient creatures while the Jinn, like humans, have the freedom of choice to believe in and obey their Creator or disbelieve in and disobey Him. So, if Iblis was an angel, he would not be able to disobey his Creator. He would have prostrated to Adam, like the rest of the angels.

This interpretation depends on the meaning contained in the verse, which describes the custodian angels of the Hell Fire as harsh and severe, who do not disobey Allah in what He commands them (Al-Tahreem, 66: 6).  However, this interpretation maybe countered with another competing interpretation. Basically, this verse applies to the hereafter, which is about the execution of Gods judgment but during the first lower life, angels may be different from each other in their behaviors. This may be understood from several verses of the Holy Quran, such as verse 21:29, which includes a warning for angels not to claim that they are Gods. Verse 4: 172 warns them of reckoning if they disdain worshipping Him. This meaning may also be conveyed from and Verse 39: 75, which states that Allah will judge among them rightly on the Last Day. Moreover, verse 2: 102 mentions that there were two angels, who taught magic to people in Babyl (Babylon), while knowing that this is a form of disbelief. Finally, Verse 17: 95 mentions that if there are angels walking on Earth, then Allah, praise to Him, will send down an angel Messenger to them. This means that angels are in need of guidance by Messengers of Allah, just like Jinn and humans. [5]    

However, the three renowned interpreters also mentioned a different interpretation provided by Ibn Abbas, mAbpwt both, for the word Jinn, which is mentioned in verse 18: 50. Basically, Iblis was from a category of angels called Jinn.

Within this context, this interpretation of the word Jinn maybe supported in the following ways. First, it may describe their job as custodians of Al-Jannah, the name of Paradise in Arabic. Second, it may describe their ability to be invisible, as it is a derivative of the verb Janna, which means to become invisible, as explained in Verse 6: 76 of the Holy Quran. Third, Al-Qurtubi mentioned that Iblis had four wings, which is a characteristic of angels, who may have two, or three, or four wings, as stated in verse 35: 1. Fourth, while the Jinn were created from the flames of fire, as mentioned in verse 55: 15, the angels were created from light, as mentioned in a Hadith narrated by Aisha, mAbpwh. Apparently, there is a clear relationship between the two categories of creatures, as Light is a product of fire anyway, like the sun light, which is the product of its fire (God knows better). Finally, this relationship is also mentioned in the Holy Quran. Verses 37: 149-157 are about angels and mention them by name. However, in verse 37: 158, the word Jinn is used to refer to them, instead of the word angels. [6]    

Anyway, whether Iblis was a Jinni or an angel, he was cursed and banished from Gods mercy because of his arrogance and disobedience to his Creator, not because of the material from which he was created.

God's Punishment to the Shaytan (Satan)

When Iblis (Satan) disobeyed his Creator and insisted on his disobedience by stating his reasons for that, Allah, praise to Him, banished him, ordering him to descend, or get out of Paradise, and out of His mercy, as mentioned in Verse 7: 13.

ٱۡۡ ۡ ٱۡۡ ٱٰ (ٴ  7: 13).

(Allah) said: Then go down (descend) from it. It is not for you to show arrogance in it. So, get out,  you are of the degraded (Al-A'araf, 7: 13).

The early Muslim interpreter of the Holy Quran, Al-Qurtubi, explained it as descending out of an Earthen Paradise to other parts of the Earth. This interpretation is consistent with the development of Adam's story, but Allah knows better. 

Then, Iblis (Satan) asked Allah to give him (and his offspring) the opportunity to show that humans do not deserve His trust, saying that he would derail them from the right path. Allah, praise to Him, accepted the challenge and delayed Satan's punishment, which would also apply to humans who follow him, as stated in the following Verses.

ۡٓ ٰ ۡ ۡ  (ٴ  7: 14).

He said: Reprieve me (delay my punishment) till the day when they are resurrected (Al-A'araf, 7: 14).

To prove him wrong, Allah praise to Him agreed to delay his punishment until all humans die, following to the first Blow of the Trumpet, but not until they are resurrected as he requested.

ٱۡ  (ٴ  7: 15).

 ٰ   ( 38: 81).

(Allah) said: You are of those reprieved  (Al-A'araf, 7: 15).

Till the day of the appointed time" (Saad, 38: 81).

After securing God's approval of delaying his punishment, the Shaytan (Satan) revealed his evil plan of derailing as many humans as he can from the straight path of their Creator, by sitting on that path in order to block it for them.

ٓ ۡۡ ۡ ۡ ٲ ٱۡۡ  (ٴ  7: 16).

(Satan) said: Now, because You have sent me astray (to destruction), I shall sit for them on Your straight path (Al-A'araf, 7: 16).

The cursed Iblis (Satan) continued saying that he would come to humans from all directions trying to tempt them away from God's straight path, by telling them to focus on the pleasures of this life and forget about the hereafter, and he predicted that most of the humans would not be thankful to God.

ۢ ۡ ۡۡ ۡ ۡۡ ۡ ٰۡۡ ٓٮٕۡۖ ۡۡ ٰ  (ٴ  7: 17),

Then, I shall come to them from between their hands and from their back, and from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful (Al-A'araf, 7: 17).

Allah, praise to Him, then ordered Satan out of Paradise, and out of His mercy, promising to punish him and his human followers in the Hell fire, as stated in Verse 7: 18.

ٱۡۡ ۡ ۡ۬ ۡ۬ǝۖ ۡۡ ۡ ۡ ۡ  (ٴ  7: 18).

(Allah) said: Get out of it, disgraced, expelled. As for those of them who follow you, I will fill Hell with all of you (Al-A'araf, 7: 18).

Satan's request to have his punishment delayed is also mentioned in verse 17: 62, in which the cursed Shaytan announced his intention to control and misguide the vast majority of Adam's offspring.

ۡ ٰ ٱ ڪۡ ٮٕۡ ۡ ٰ ۡ ٱٰۡ ۡ  ۥۤ ۬  (ٕ  17: 62).

(Satan) said: Do You see this whom You have honored above me, if You reprieve me until the Day of Raising (Resurrection), I will seize his offspring, except a few (Al-'Issra, 17: 62).

Allah, praise to Him, as also mentioned in 7:18, replied to the Shaytan (Satan) that He accepted the challenge, and that He would punish him and his human followers, in the Hell fire. 

ٱۡۡ ۡۡ ٓۡ ٓ۬ ۡ۬  (ٕ 17: 63).

(Allah) said: Go, and whosoever of them follows you, Hell will be the ample reward for all of you (Al-Issra, 17: 63).

In verse 17: 64, Allah praise to Him, mentioned His acceptance of the Shaytan's challenge, forwarding a warning to humans not to follow him and to beware of his deceptive tools, methods, and promises.

ٱۡۡۡ ٱۡۡ ۡ ۡ ۡۡ ۡ ۡ ۡۡ ٱۡۡٲ ٱٰۡۡ ۡۡۚ ٱٰۡ   (ٕ 17: 64).

And fool any of them whom you can with your voice, and bring your horse and foot (soldiers) against them, and be their partner in wealth and children, and promise them. And whatever the Shaytan (Satan) promises them is no more than deception (Al-Issra, 17: 64).

In reply to Satan's announcement of his evil intention to derail humans from the straight path, Allah praise to Him announces that no matter what the devil does he has no power over God's faithful worshippers, who will be guarded by Him.

  ۡ ۡۡ ٰۡ۬ۚ ٰ ڪ۬  (ٕ 17: 65).

(As for) my worshippers, you have no power over them, and your Lord is (their) sufficient Guardian (Al-Issra, 17: 65)



God's Warning to Adam


Then, Allah, praise to Him, turned to Adam to warn him to beware of the deceptive methods of his enemy, Iblis, who aimed at getting him and his wife out of Paradise. He told him that if this happens, it will cause him to toil in earning his living (20: 117). He also reminded him that, while living in paradise, he is guaranteed to have food, water, clothes, and dwelling. Moreover, he does not need to work under the sun heat (20: 118-119). However, if he is expelled from it, he will be forced to toil, in order to earn his living.

ۡ ٰٓٔ ٰ ۬ ۡ ۡ ٱۡ ٰۡٓ ﴿١١٧

ٰ ﴿١١٨﴾

ٰ ﴿١١٩﴾ (ٰ 20: 118-119).

We said: O Adam! This is an enemy to you and to your wife. So, do not let him get you both out of Paradise, and cause you to toil (117).


(It is ordained for you that) you will neither be hungry in it nor be without clothes (118),


And that you will neither get thirsty in it, nor get exposed to the sun heat (119) (Taha, 20: 117-119). 

In explaining the last word of Verse 20: 117 (fatashqa), the early Muslim interpreters mentioned that it meant "to toil in earning your living," as contrasted with the easy and comfortable way of life in Paradise, where food, water, clothes, and dwellings were available without work.  

Thus, when Adam was deceived by Iblis (Satan), he was forced out of Paradise. Then, he had to toil in earning his living. Al-Tabari and Al-Qurtubi mentioned that he had to plow, using a red bull. Al-Qurtubi added, mentioning Said Bin Jubairs interpretation, that he had to work under the heat of the sun, throwing the seeds, tending the crop, harvesting, carrying the harvest home, grinding the wheat seeds to make flour, and baking the flour dough on fire to make bread.  

This description of Adams lifestyle, after getting out of Paradise, applies to the characteristics of the horticultural society, which appeared in Egypt and West Asia (Palestine, Syria, and Iraq), about 15,000-14,000 years ago. That society was characterized by the domestication of plants and animals. It was preceded by the hunting-gathering society. Then, it evolved to intensive agriculture about 8,000-5,000 years ago, when more sophisticated methods were used, such as irrigation, construction of roads, building dams and canals, as well as using wagons on wheels. This led to the appearance of the agricultural civilizations on the banks of the great rivers in Egypt, Iraq, and other regions of the world. [7]


God's Covenant With Adam 

Allah, praise to Him, offered Adam and his wife to stay in Paradise, enjoying its comfort and its abundance of food, in return for obedience to His commands, which aimed at their welfare and well-being. He told them that they could eat anything in Paradise except from one tree. He further warned them not to be even near that tree. If they did, they would be unjust to themselves because they would cause themselves to be expelled from Paradise. This meaning was conveyed in verses 2: 35 and 7:19. However, verse 2: 35 alone included the word "raghadan," which may be translated as "freely," describing how much they could eat.

ۡ ٰٓٔ ٱۡۡ ۡ ٱۡ ۡ ۡ ۡ ۡ ٰ ٱ ٱٰ ( 2: 35).

And We said: O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in Paradise, and eat from it freely wherever you will, but do not come near this tree. Otherwise, you will be unjust (to yourselves) (Al-Baqara, 2: 35).

ٰٓٔ ٱۡۡ ۡ ٱۡ ۡ ۡ ۡ ۡ ٰ ٱ ٱٰ (ٴ  7: 19).

And O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in Paradise and eat from whatever you will, but do not come near this tree. Otherwise, you will be of the unjust (to themselves) (Al-A'araf, 7: 19)

The Holy Quran does not tell us what kind of tree was that but the early interpreters mentioned that it could be the wheat plant, grapevine, or fig tree. However, nobody knows for sure.


Adam Forgets his Covenant with God


Verse 20: 115 tells us that Adam forgot his covenant with Allah, which allowed him to enjoy living in Paradise as long as he did not eat from that tree. He did not persist in rejecting the Shaytan's whispering and was not firm (strong) enough to repel his temptations, that if he ate from that tree, he would be immortal, with permanent dominion (20: 120).

ۡ ۡٓ ٰٓ ۡ ۡ ۡ  ۡ۬  (ٰ  20: 115).

And We did make a Covenant with Adam beforehand, but he forgot, and We found no firmness in him (Taha, 20: 115).   

ۡ ۡ ٱٰۡ ٰٓٔ ۡ ٰ ٱۡۡ ۡ۬ ٰۡ  (ٰ  20: 120).

Then, the Shaytan (Satan) whispered to him, saying: O Adam! Shall I lead you to the tree of eternity and a dominion that does not decay? (Taha, 20: 120)

The Shaytan continued to whisper to Adam and his wife, that if they ate from the tree they may become angels or immortals. The reference to immortality, in verses 7: 20 and 20: 120, gives more support for the interpretation that Adam was not the first human. He could not know that humans were mortals if he never saw other humans dying before him. 

ۡ ٱٰۡ ۡ ۡ ۡٲ ٮٰ ۡ ٰ ٱ ٓ ۡ ۡ ٱٰۡ  (ٴ  7: 20).

Then, the Shaytan (Satan) whispered to them both, in order to manifest to them that which was hidden to them of their shame (nakedness), and he said: Your Lord forbade you from this tree to prevent you from becoming angels or becoming of the immortals (Al-A'araf, 7: 20). 


The Shaytan intensified his pressure on them, shifting from whispering to swearing to them, saying that he was just advising them for their best interest. Because of their innocence, they could not believe that the Shaytan would deceive them by swearing falsely, as mentioned in Verse 7: 21.

ٓ ٱٰ  (ٴ  7: 21).

And he swore to them (saying): I am a (sincere) adviser to you (Al-A'araf, 7: 21).


Breaching the Covenant

Then, Adam and Eve breached their covenant with their Lord, when they disobeyed him and went astray, away from His guardianship. As soon as they ate from that tree they lost their innocence and realized that they were naked. They were ashamed of their nakedness and started to cover themselves with leaves from the Paradise trees, as related in Verse 20: 121. At that moment, their Lord called them asking about why they did forget his warning to them, not to eat from that tree, and not to listen to the Shaytan, their clear enemy? (7: 22). 

ڪ ۡ ۡ ۡٲ ۡ ۡ ٱۡۚ ٰٓ  ۥ ٰ  (ٰ  20: 121).

At that moment, their Lord called them asking about why they did forget his warning to them, not to eat from that tree and not to listen to the Shaytan, their clear enemy?

ٮٰ ۬ۚ ٱ ۡ ۡٲ ۡ ۡ ٱۡۖ ٮٰ ٓ ۡ ۡ ۡ ٱ ٓ ٱٰۡ ۬ ۬  (ٴ  7: 22).  

Thus, he led them on with deception. And when they tasted (of) the tree, their shame (of nakedness) became manifest to them, and they began to cover themselves with leaves of Paradise. And their Lord called them, (saying): Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that the Shaytan (Satan) is to you a clear enemy? (Al-A'araf, 7: 22).

Then, Allah praise to Him, addresses children of Adam, who would come after him, telling them that covering themselves with righteousness and piety is better than false ways of covering their wrongdoing. He, praise to Him, uses the analogy of what happened to Adam and Eve after losing their innocence. They were ashamed of realizing their nakedness before God, and started to cover themselves with leaves from the Paradise trees.

ٰٓ ۡ ۡ ۡۡ ۬ ٲ ۡٲۡ ۬ǝۖ ٱٰۡ ٲ ۡ۬ۚ ٲ ۡ ٰ ٱ ۡ  (ٴ  7: 26).

O Children of Adam! We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your shame, and feathering, but the clothing of piety (righteousness) is better. That is of the revelations of Allah, so that they may remember (Al-A'araf, 7: 26). 

In his interpretation of Verse 7: 26, Al-Qurtubi referred to the agricultural society, saying that Allah, praise to him, caused rain to fall down so that children of Adam (by inspiration from Him) could grow cotton and linen, from which they made clothes to cover their nakedness. However, He praise to Him reminds children of Adam that the best clothing is that of piety (righteousness), which is explained as fear of God, faith in Him, doing good deeds, shyness, obedience to God, and observance of His commands.


Getting Out of Paradise

Thus, as a result of breaching their Covenant with their Lord, He, praise to Him, ordered Adam and Eve out of His Paradise to other parts of the Earth, where they would live, die, and be resurrected on the Last Day. From that moment on, they would toil to earn their living. Their offspring would compete for the possession of resources, which leads to enmity and hostility among them. The Shaytan (Satan), their enemy, would also be there, doing his best to derail them from God's straight path, as verses 2: 36, 2: 38, and 7: 24-25, and 20: 123 tell us.

ٱٰۡ ۡ ۡ ۖ ۡ ٱۡ ۡۡ ۡ ۬ ۡ ٱۡۡ ۡ۬ ٰ ٰ ۬ ( 2: 36). 

So, the Shaytan (Satan) caused them to err, (thus) slipping them out of it (Paradise), away from the (happy state in) which they were. And We said: Descend (get down), some of you are enemy to others. There shall be for you on earth a habitation and belongings (or enjoyment) for a time (Al-Baqara, 2: 36). 

   ( 2: 38).

We said: Descend (get down) from it, all of you. And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve (Al-Baqara, 2: 38).

ٱۡ ۡۡ ۡ ۬ ۡ ٱۡۡ ۡ۬ ٰ ٰ ۬ (ٴ  7: 24).  

(Allah) said: Descend (get down)! Some of you are enemy to others. There will be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a while (Al-A'araf, 7: 24).

ۡۡ ۡ ۡ (ٴ  7: 25).   

(Allah) said: On it (on Earth), you shall live, and on it you shall die, and from it you shall come out (Al-A'raf, 7: 25).

ۖ ۖ ٰ ( 20: 123).

(Allah) said, "Descend (get down) from it - all, (your descendants) being enemies to one another. And if there should come to you guidance from Me - then whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray nor suffer (Ta Ha, 20: 123).

Al-Tabari interpreted the verb "descend" (ٱۡ), in verse 2: 36, by using the same verb in Verse 2: 61, mentioning that it means coming to a valley, land, or a place to live in it. Al-Qurtubi was more specific in that it means coming down, from a higher place to a lower one.

In his interpretation of the same verb used in the above Verses, Ibn Katheer summarized two interpretations from his two predecessors and other scholars before him. He mentioned that the first meaning was descending from Heavens to Earth, and the other was descending from the Earthen Paradise to other parts of the Earth. However, Ibn Katheer was more supportive of the latter interpretation. He added that Paradise could not be in heavens because Iblis (Satan) was already banished from heaven when he disobeyed God (7: 13). So, he could not enter it again. [8]

This author adds more support for Ibn Katheers interpretation that Paradise in the Adam story was on Earth, for two main reasons. First, this interpretation is consistent with the main Caliphate Verse (2: 30), which states that humans would be God's caliphs on Earth (not in heavens). Second, from a linguistic perspective, researching the verb "descend" (ٱۡ) in the Holy Quran shows that it is used in seven verses. These include the four verses mentioned above in relation to the Adam story (2: 36, 2: 38, 7: 24, and 20: 123). It is also used in a fifth verse (7: 13), in reference to driving the Shaytan (Satan, Iblis) out of heavens, after his disobedience of God, by refusing to make prostration to Adam.

( 7: 13).

(Allah) said, "Descend from it, for it is not for you to be arrogant therein. So get out; indeed, you are of the debased" (Al-Araf, 7: 13).

The sixth verse which includes the verb descend () is 11: 48. It is used to describe Nooh's (Noah's) disembarkation from the ship (Ark), after the flood, which happened without any doubt on Earth (see verse 11: 44), not in heavens.

( 11: 48).

It was said, "O Noah, descend in peace from Us and blessings (Hood, 11: 48).

The seventh verse which includes the verb "descend" (ٱۡ) is 2: 61, which is related to the story of the Israelites when they were in the Sinai Peninsula desert, after fleeing Egypt.

Allah, praise to Him, provided for them with sustenance from Him, in the form of "Manna and quails" (Taha, 20: 80). However, they complained, demanding to get the vegetables they used to eat in Egypt. Then, Allah, praise to Him, replied to them saying: "Descend (get down) to Egypt and you will have what you asked for" (Al-Baqara, 2: 61). 

Thus, the verb "descend" (ٱۡ) is used in this verse to mean leaving a place to another, or leaving a higher place to another which is lower, but both of the two places are for sure on Earth, as the Sinai Peninsula desert is part of Egypt. So, the use of this verb should not necessarily be understood to mean descending from heaven to Earth. Rather, it is simply descent from a place to another, here on Earth, and Allah, praise to Him, knows better.  


Repentance and Forgiveness


When Adam and 'Hawa (Eve) realized that they disobeyed their Lord, they wanted to ask Him for forgiveness and for acceptance of their repentance. To help them do that, He conveyed to them the words with which they could plead with correctly, as mentioned in verse 2: 36. So, they used these words in their calling on Him (Dua), which are contained in verse 7: 23. Then, He forgave them and accepted their repentance, as He is the Forgiver and the Merciful.

ٰٓ ۦ ٰ۬ ۡۚ   ٱ ٱ ( 2: 37 ). 

Then Adam received from his Lord words, and He accepted his repentance. He is the Acceptant of Repentance, the Merciful (Al-Baqara, 2: 37).

ۡٓ ۡ ۡۡ ۡۡ ٱٰۡ (ٴ  7: 23).  

They said: Our Lord! We have oppressed (wronged, or did injustice to) ourselves. And if You do not forgive us and have no mercy on us, surely we will be of the losers" (Al-A'araf, 7: 23). 

Then, Allah, the Merciful, praise to Him, not only accepted their repentance, but also guided them to the straight path (20:122). Moreover, He promised followers of His guidance (His Messages) neither to get lost in this life nor be distressed in the hereafter (20: 123), and neither to have fear from the hereafter nor sadness about what they miss in this life, as expressed in Verses 20: 123 and 2: 38.

ٱٰۡ  ۥ ۡ ٰ (ٰ  20: 122).

ٱۡ ۡ ۢǝۖ ۡۡ ۡ ۬ ۡڪ ۬ ٱ ٰۡ (ٰ  20: 123).

Then his Lord brought him back to Him, accepted his repentance, and guided him (Ta Ha, 20: 122).

He said: Descend of it, both of you. Some of (your offspring will be) enemy of each-other. When guidance comes to you from Me, then whoever follows My guidance will neither get lost nor be distressed (Ta Ha, 20: 123).

ۡ ٱۡ ۡ ۬ǝۖ ۡ ۬ ۡ ۡۡ ۡ ۡ ( 2: 38 ). 

We said: Descend of it, all of you. When guidance comes to you from Me, then whoever follows My guidance no fear shall come upon them, and they shall not be saddened (Al-Baqara, 2: 38).

Finally, just as Allah, praise to Him, extends His mercy for those who repent of their wrong doing, He warns those who reject His revelations (messages of guidance brought to them through His Messengers) to be everlasting in the Hell Fire, as stated in verse 2: 39.

ٱ ٰٔٓ ٰٓٮٕ ٰۡ ٱۖ ۡ ٰ ( 2: 39 ). 

But those who reject and disbelieved in Our revelations, such are companions of the Fire. They are everlasting in it (Al-Baqara, 2: 39).



This Chapter is about the story of Adam's contest with the angels and his expulsion from Paradise, as a result of falling as a prey for the Shaytan deception. It has also included God's glad tiding to the believers, who follow His guidance, that they will be rewarded with an everlasting life in His Paradise.

Its a continuation of the topics addressed in the previous three chapters, which attempted to provide answers to some of the fundamental questions about the universe, origins of life, and how humans came into being on Earth, reaching the climax of ruling this planet, as Caliphs of God.

Though the verses, which have been selected as references for the addressed topics in these four chapters, are from different Suras (chapters) of the Holy Quran, the coherence cannot be denied by any person with an open mind and reasoning. These verses were revealed to Prophet Mu'hammed, pbbuh, more than1400 years ago. However, only in the 19th century and on, human scientists were able to start thinking with an evolutionary perspective, particularly in biology and anthropology. Their accounts can get a lot of support from the basic facts mentioned in these verses.

Thus, we are absolutely led to one striking conclusion: The author of the Holy Quran is not a human being. He is the Ultimate Scientist, Who knows everything about Planet Earth and its inhabitants, as well as the heavens and what's in them.

He, praise to Him, called himself "Allah" (See Chapter 16, "Allah, His Good Names, Who Is He? What Does He Want for Humans? As He Described Himself in the Holy Quran").  He also described Himself as the Beneficent and the Merciful to His creation, particularly human beings. His pleasure is to see them happy in this life and in the hereafter. In order to lead them to happiness, He has prescribed to them a lifestyle that protects them from self-inflected misery, as will be discussed in Chapter 9, "Mind, Self, Soul, Spirit, and Happiness from an Islamic Perspective."        



[1] The verses related to the topics of this book, like the rest of the verses of the Holy Quran, are very concise and each word has a specific meaning within a certain context but it may have different meanings in other contexts. That is why the linguistic translation from Arabic is not enough. It has to be complimented with facts from the sciences, particularly Anthropology and Biology in this case, as well as with the interpretations of prominent early Islamic scholars, may Allah reward them for their great efforts, such as Al-Tabari, who died in 310 Hijriya (about 922 AD), Al-Qurtubi, who died in 671 Hijriya (about 1272 AD), and Bin Katheer, who died in 774 Hijriya (about 1372 AD). Their interpretations have been used throughout this book. Though this author consulted with various translations and interpretations, the translation of the meanings of the Quran verses as well as the interpretations related to them, in this book, are his sole responsibility.

[2] The verses addressing the topic of Gods will to make humans as His successors, or caliphs, on Earth, including the story of Adam, are narrated in several Suras (Chapters) of the Holy Quran. In particular, this topic is addressed in Al-Baqara (Chapter 2), Verses 30-39; Al-Imran (Chapter 3), Verses 33 and 59; Al-Araf (Chapter 7), Verses 11-26; Al-'Hijr (Chapter 15), Verses 26-43; Al-Isra (Chapter 17), Verses 61-65; Al-Kahf (Chapter 18), Verse 50; and Taha (Chapter 20), Verses 115-123. 

[3] The verse and the 'Hadith about receiving revelation while awake are as follows:

And recite, (O Muhammad), what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord. There is no changer of His words, and never will you find in other than Him a refuge (Al-Kahf, 18: 27). 

ۖ ( 18: 27).

The Mother of Believers, Aisha, mAbpwh, also said that (Companion) Al-'Harith Bin Hisham, mAbpwh, asked the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh: How does the revelation come to you? The Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, said: "Sometimes, like the bell-ringing, which is the hardest on me. When it stops, (I feel that) I have understood that which he (Jibril) said. In other times, he comes to me as a man. He speaks to me and I understand that which he has said."

The Mother of Believers, Aisha, mAbpwh, added: I saw (the Messenger of Allah) at the end of a revelation (session), in a very cold day, with sweat flowing from his forehead" (Ibn Khuzayma: 358/1, Al-Tirmidthi: 3634, Ibn 'Habban: 38, and authenticated by Al-Albani, with little difference between them). 

    :     : "       . ." :              (    : 358/1   : 3634   : 38 ). ( : : ). 

[4] The 'Hadith and verses about receiving revelation while asleep are as follows:

The Mother of Believers, Aisha, mAbpwh, said: The first signs of (Gods) revelation to His Messenger, pbbuh, were in the form of good dreams, which became (clearly true) like the morning light (Al-Bukhari: 3, Muslim: 160).

:     .       (: 3 : 160).

(Remember, O Mu'hammed), when Allah showed them to you in your dream as few (Al-Anfal, 8: 43).

And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, "O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I (must) sacrifice you (Al-Saffat, 37: 102).

(Of these stories mention) when Yousuf (Joseph) said to his father, "O my father, indeed, I have seen (in a dream) eleven planets, and the sun and the moon; I saw them prostrating to me" Yousuf, 12: 4).

And the king said, "Indeed, I have seen (in a dream) seven fat cows being eaten by seven (that were) skinny (Yousuf, 12: 43).

   ۖ  ( 8: 43).

ٰ ( 37: 102).

  ( 12: 4).

ٰ ( 12: 43).

Revelation can be also to other creatures, such as bees, as we learn from verse 16: 68.  

And your Lord revealed to the bee, "Take for yourself of the mountains, houses, and of the trees and of that which they construct (Al-Na'hl, 16; 68).  

ٰ ( 16: 68). 

Moreover, many discoverers and inventors, in our time, mentioned that they reached their discoveries or inventions during their sleep. Examples of these are Niels Bohr, Elias Howe, Albert Einstein, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Otto Loewi, August Kekul, and Frederick Banting.  

[5] The texts of the five mentioned verses are as follows:

( 66: 6).

O you who have believed! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is (composed of) men and stones, over which are angels (who are) stern (and) severe, who do not disobey the Commands they receive from Allah, and do that which they are commanded (Al-Tahreem, 66: 6).

ٰ ٰ ۚ ٰ ( 21: 29).

And whoever of them (the angels) should say, "Indeed, I am a god besides Him (Allah)," that one We would recompense with Hell. Thus, We recompense the wrongdoers (Al-Anbiya, 21: 29).

ۚ ( 4: 172).

The Messiah does not disdain to be a worshipper of Allah, nor do the closest angels (to Allah). And whoever disdains His worship and is too arrogant (to worship Allah), He will gather them to Himself all together (Al-Nisa, 4: 172).  

ۖ ( 39: 75).

And you will see the angels surrounding the Throne, exalting their Lord with praise. And it will be judged between them rightly, and it will be said, "Praise to Allah, Lord of the Worlds" (Al-Zumar, 39: 75).

ۚ ٰ ( 2: 102).

that which was revealed to the two angels in Babyl (Babylon), Haroot and Maroot, they do not teach (magic to) anyone unless they say, "We are a trial. So, do not disbelieve (by practicing it) (Al-Baqara, 2: 102).

      ( 17: 95).  


Say, "If there were upon the earth angels walking calmly (securely), We would have sent down to them from the heaven an angel messenger" (Al-Isra, 17: 95).  

[6] Al-Qurtubi mentioned that most interpreters agreed that the word "jennah," in verse 37: 158, refers to the "angels."

(See: [ : 158] (

The texts of the Hadith and verses mentioned in this section are as follows:

: " ѡ ѡ " (: 2996 5448 ).

The Mother of the Believers, Aisha, mAbpwh, said that the Messenger of Allah, pbbuh, said: The angels were created of light, the Jinn of fire flames, and Adam was created of what was described to you (of clay) (Muslim: 5448, 2996, and authenticated by Al-Albani).

ٰ  ۖ  ( 6: 76).

ٰ  ۚ  ( 35: 1). 

( 55: 15). 

ۚ ( 37: 158). 

So when the night made things invisible (covered things with darkness), he saw a star (Al-An'am, 6: 76).

(All) praise is (due) to Allah, Originator (Creator) of the heavens and the Earth, (Who) made the angels messengers having wings, two or three or four (Fatir, 35: 1).

And He created the jinn from a smokeless flame of fire (Al-Ra'hman, 55: 15). 

And they have invented a kinship between Him and the jinn, but the jinn know well that they will be brought (before Him for reckoning) (Al-Saffat, 37: 158).

[7] The human society passed through six stages of development so far, which included hunting-gathering, pastoralism, horticulture, agriculture, industrial, and post-industrial (science and information) modes of production. Details about these stages can be found in anthropology and sociology textbooks, such as:  

Scupin, Raymond. "Cultural Anthropology: A Global Perspective," 9th Edition, Pearson, Printice Hall (2016: 134-141).  

Henslin, James. "Sociology," 13th Edition, Allyn and Bacon (2018).  

According to Grinin, the cultivation of cereals started somewhere in the Near East: in the hills of Palestine, in the Upper Euphrates area (in Syria and Iraq), and in Egypt. He argues that, in some cases, the traces of the first cultivated plants or domesticated animals' bones maybe dated to a period which started about 15,000 14,000 years ago. 

Grinin L.E. Production Revolutions and Periodization of History: A Comparative and Theoretic-mathematical Approach. / Social Evolution & History. Volume 6, Number 2 / September 2007.  

 [8] Here's the Arabic text of Ibn Katheers interpretation for the verb "descend" (ٱۡ) in Verse 2: 36:  

" : ǿ . ." 


About the Author and the Book:

* The author of this book has a Ph.D. in Sociology and a Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology. He was born in Gaza, Palestine, in 1369 Hijriya (1950), but he has been living in the United States since 1986.
The authentic Quran Arabic text is used as a reference for the translation of the meanings of the Quran verses, particularly from

The works of the three renowned Islamic scholars Al-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi, and Ibn Katheer, have been used throughout the chapters of this book, as these are the most credited interpretations of the Holy Quran, for their use of 'Hadith, companions' interpretations, and their thorough knowledge of the Arabic language.

  ( 61: 8).  

They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it (Al-Saff, 61: 8). 


Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah's.