Adam and Eve The story appears in Genesis 2: 4 – 4: 1 in the Bible. It appears in many verses in the Qur'an: verses 30-39 of Surah 2: Al Baqarah



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Adam and Eve

The story appears in Genesis 2:4 – 4:1 in the Bible. It appears in many verses in the Qur'an: verses 30-39 of Surah 2: Al Baqarah (The Heifer), verses 11-25 of Surah 7: Al A'raf (The Heights), verses 26-42 of Surah 15: Al Hijr, verses 61-65 of Surah 17: Al Isra' (The Night Journey)/Bani Isra'il (The Children of Israel), verses 50-51 of Surah 18:Al Kahf (The Cave), verses 110-124 of Surah 20: Ta Ha and in verses 71-85 of Surah 38: Sad.

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  1. Biblical version

After God makes the heavens and the earth he decides to make a man, called Adam, out of dust on the ground. When this is done God breathes into the man's nostrils the breath of life, which makes him come alive. He then puts the man into a garden at Eden, which contains trees and fruit as well a river for watering. Also, in the middle of the garden there are two trees – the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. God tells Adam that he is to look after the garden and that he can eat from any tree he wants except the Tree of Knowledge, else he shall die. Later, God decides that Adam needs a companion and helper. He gets together all the animals, which Adam names, but they are all unsuitable. So God sends Adam into a deep sleep and takes out one of Adam's ribs. He makes a woman out of this rib, which he shows to Adam. They are both naked and without shame.

Now, in the garden there is a snake, who is craftier than all the other animals. The snake asks the woman if God really forbade the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden. The woman replies that this is correct: if they do eat it then they will die. The snake replies that she will not die if she eats the fruit, but that her 'eyes will be opened' and she will be like God, knowing good and evil. The woman then sees that the fruit looks good, and that it will give her wisdom. She eats some of it and gives some to Adam. They both realize that they're naked and they sew fig-leaves to cover themselves.

Meanwhile, Adam and his wife hear God's voice moving about in the garden and they hide. God then calls out, "Where are you?" Adam then comes out and says that he was afraid to see God due to his nakedness so he hid when he heard Him coming. God asks Adam, "Who told you you were naked?" He then asks Adam if he has eaten the fruit of the forbidden tree. Adam replies by saying, "The woman that you gave to me offered me some, so I ate." God angrily asks the woman what she has been up to. She says that the snake deceived her so she ate some of the fruit. God then turns to the snake and tells it that because of its evil deed it shall be lowered beneath all the other creatures. He tells the snake that it is consigned to crawl on its belly and 'eat dust' for all the rest of its life. There will also be enmity between snakes and men from now on. God then turns to the woman and tells her that because of her deeds her pains during childbirth shall be greatly increased, and that her husband shall rule over her. God then turns to Adam and tells him that because of his deeds he shall suffer through painful toil all his life in order to make food.

After this, Adam names his wife Eve and God makes clothes for them. God realizes that the Tree of Life is still a temptation and decides to banish Adam and Eve from the garden. He puts some cherubim to guard the entrance to the garden with a 'flaming sword'.

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  1. Qur'anic version

Allah tells the angels that he is going to create caretakers for the Earth, or 'Khalifa, stewards (as translated literally from Arabic) that would be endowed with the gift of freewill, from clay. The angels respond by asking why Allah is placing a creature that will 'make mischief' and spill blood on the earth, whilst the angels sing Allah's praises. Allah merely replies: "I know what you don't." Allah then creates a man, named Adam, from sounding clay moulded into shape and He breathes life into His spirit.

Now that Adam is alive, Allah teaches him the names of all things. Allah then goes to the angels and shows them some of these things, which they can't name. The angels realise now Allah's plan, and they profess His glory. Allah says that He knows the secrets of the heavens and the earth. Allah declared to the Angels and Jinns (it is important to note that jinns are creatures created from smokeless fire, and are capable of exercising freewill, unlike the angels who are made of light, and live to do Allah's bidding only) to bow (prostrate) before Adam. The Jinns who were also in the garden bowed before Adam as well - except one, the Chief of the Jinns, whose name was Iblis (translates as "frustrated" in english). An Argument then ensues as Allah demands that Iblis explain why he refuses to bow down. While Allah knows the answer to the question he does ask Iblis to explain himself and state his case in all fairness. Iblis responds by saying that he is better than this man as he's made out of fire and not mere clay. As such he believes himself of higher caliber and worth than this man. Some traditions say that Iblis did not prostrate to Adam for he refused to postrate -a sign of submittance- to anyone but his God, Allah. Allah is angered by Iblis' questioning of his decision and his refusal to accept a direct order from him. He tells Iblis he intends to throw him out. So Iblis begs for respite till the Day of Judgment to prove to Allah that this flawed creation, man, is not worthy as he is easily lured away from Allah and towards evil. Allah says that no righteous men will be lured by Iblis and his deception. To prove it he agrees to grant Iblis respite but tells him that he and any humans who willingly follows him shall be cast to spend eternity in the fire of Hell.



After this Allah puts Adam and his wife (traditionally called Hawa; she is not actually named in the Qur'an) in a garden, where there is no toil or pain and where there is more than enough food to eat. Allah tells them to eat of whatever they desire in the garden, except for one certain fruiting tree (not actually named). He also warns them of the lure of Iblis, and that they should not follow him as he is their enemy. Iblis nevertheless manages to whisper suggestions to the pair. He tells them that Allah only forbade the tree because if they eat of it then they shall become like angels and live forever. Encouraged by Iblis' lure, Adam and his wife both eat of the tree. As soon they do so, they become self aware, find themselves naked and make an effort to find coverings of leaves for themselves. Allah then reminds Adam that He told them not to eat of the tree, and that He warned them of Iblis' lure. While the blame for the disobedience is put on Adam, he begs Allah's forgiveness. Allah then teaches Adam words of repentance and tells him that he is to recite these words in the future should he succumb to Iblis' temptations and commit another transgression. Allah then sends Adam and his wife down to the earth, where they and their kind shall live for a while before the Day of Judgment. He tells them that from time to time He will be sending messengers who will deliver Allah's truth and message to their descendants and that those who chose to follow the messengers shall be saved and spared while those who refuse will suffer the punishments of Hell.




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