Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Creation of Prophet Adam

The Creation of Prophet Adam 'Alaihis Salam


1. The Creation of the First Human

All of the human on the face of the earth have originated from a single person named Adam Alaihis Salam. From him his wife Hawa' (Eve) was created. The decendants of the couple spread to all parts of the world forming many races and talk in different languages. The Quran confirms this with this verse:

(i) An-Nisa' 4:1

"O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;- reverence Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (That bore you): for Allah ever watches over you."  (Yusuf Ali Translation)

"O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah , through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer." (Sahih International Translation)

The story of Prophet Adam began when Allah created him in the Heaven. Allah told the angels as follows:

(i) Al-Baqarah 2:30

"Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." They said: "Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?- whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?" He said: "I know what ye know not." (Yusuf Ali Translation)

"And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority." They said, "Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?" Allah said, "Indeed, I know that which you do not know."" (Sahih International Translation)

2. Adam was created from soil taken from earth (al-ardz)

Although Adam was created in the Heaven, the materials used to create him was taken from th earth by the angels.  It was told that the angels took the soil from all corners of the earth and brought it the Heaven.

(i) An-Najm 53:32

"Those who avoid great sins and shameful deeds, only (falling into) small faults,- verily thy Lord is ample in forgiveness. He knows you well when He brings you out of the earth, And when ye are hidden in your mothers' wombs. Therefore justify not yourselves: He knows best who it is that guards against evil."  (Yusuf Ali Translation)

"Those who avoid the major sins and immoralities, only [committing] slight ones. Indeed, your Lord is vast in
forgiveness. He was most knowing of you when He produced you from the earth and when you were fetuses in the wombs of your mothers. So do not claim yourselves to be pure; He is most knowing of who fears Him." (Sahih International Translation).

When human die, their bodies are returned to the soil:

(i) As-Sajdah 32 : 10-11

"And they say: "What! when we lie, hidden and lost, in the earth, shall we indeed be in a Creation renewed?Nay, they deny the Meeting with their Lord."" "Say: "The Angel of Death, put in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls: then shall ye be brought back to your Lord."" (Yusuf Ali Translation)

"And they say, "When we are lost within the earth, will we indeed be [recreated] in a new creation?" Rather, they are, in [the matter of] the meeting with their Lord, disbelievers"""Say, "The angel of death will take you who has been entrusted with you. Then to your Lord you will be returned."" (Sahih International Translation)

In the Old Testament it is said, "..... For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return." (Genesis 3 : 19)

3. Adam was created from clay taken from earth (tteen)

Several verses of the Quran describe Adam creation from a type of soil called clay, which is mentioned in the Quran as "ttenn".  It is noted that the word "tteen" for soil is found in general statements about creation without any reference to the "process" of the creation itself.  The followig verses illustrate the point.

(i) Al-An'aam 6 : 2

"He it is created you from clay, and then decreed a stated term (for you). And there is in His presence another determined term; yet ye doubt within yourselves!"  (Yusuf Ali Translation)

"It is He who created you from clay and then decreed a term and a specified time [known] to Him; then [still] you are in dispute." (Sahih International Translation)

(ii) Al-Israa' 17 : 61

"Behold! We said to the angels: "Bow down unto Adam": They bowed down except Iblis: He said, "Shall I bow down to one whom Thou didst create from clay  (tteena)?" (Yusuf Ali Translation)

And [mention] when We said to the angles, "Prostrate to Adam," and they prostrated, except for Iblees. He said, "Should I prostrate to one You created from clay?" (Sahih International Translation)

(iii) As-Sajdah 32 : 7

"He Who has made everything which He has created most good: He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay (tteen)." (As-Sajdah 32 : 7) (Yusuf Ali Translation)

"Who perfected everything which He created and began the creation of man from clay." (Sahih International Translation)

(iv) Saad 38 : 71

"Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I am about to create man from clay (tteen);""  (Yusuf Ali Translation)

"[So mention] when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I am going to create a human being from  (Sahih International Translation)

(v) Saad 38 : 76

"(Iblis) said: "I am better than he (Adam): thou createdst me from fire, and him thou createdst from clay.
(tteen).""  (Yusuf Ali Translation)

"He (Iblis) said, "I am better than him (Adam). You created me from fire and created him from clay."  (Sahih International Translation)

4. More Detailed Description of the Creation of Adam

Some verses revealed that Allah goes to the extent of telling the type of clay that was used to create Adam.
There is some degree of specification in verses that describe the "process" of the creation of Adam. The verses tell about the specific steps of the creation as well as the complexity of the creation process:

4.1. The type of Soil used is Sticky clay (TTeenil laazib)

(i) As-Sāffāt 37:11

"Just ask their opinion: are they the more difficult to create, or the (other) beings We have created? Them have We created out of a sticky clay!"(Yusuf Ali Translation)

"Then inquire of them, [O Muhammad], "Are they a stronger [or more difficult] creation or those [others] We have created?" Indeed, We created men from sticky clay."" (Sahih International Translation)

"ask those [unbelievers]: Are they more difficult to create, or the other beings We have created? Them have We created out of a sticky clay." (In The Shade of Al-Quran Translation)

In this verse, the clay being used was having sticky texture. In the Tafsir Ibnu Kathir it is mentioned that Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Ad-Dahhak (Sahabah of the Prophet) said, "This is the useful kind of mud which sticks to itself.'' Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and `Ikrimah said, "It is sticky and useful.'' Qatadah said, "It is that which sticks to the hand."

The Shade of Al-Quran Translation is a more recent translation and interpretation by Syed Qutb. In his transltion Syed Qutb explained this verse as follows: At the beginning of the Chapter 37, The Quran discusses the complexity of His creations including the stars in the unvievrse and other beings such as jinn and the angels. The Prophet is then instructed to question them about whether they considered their own creation to be more difficult or the creation of the heavens, earth and all creation in the universe? If they agree that man’s creation is less difficult, why should they then disbelieve in resurrection, meeting it with derision and considering it impossible, when it is nothing compared to creating the universe? Then, Allah tell them that the substance from which they were created from soft, sticky clay made of material from this earth, which is itself one of God’s creatures. If Adam was created created from the earth, surely creating him is less difficult than creating the earth. Therefore, to return the dead to life at the day of Resurrection is a very simple and very possible process.

4.2. Extract or Concentrate (sulalatim) from Clay (tteen)

An addition to clay, extract or Concentrate (sulalatim) of clay were added to the processed clay (salsalim). The extracts might have caotained various minerals of the soil which could have lost when the clay was heated to high degrees (salsalim). It could also meant the minerals in the clay was low and have to be added with  concentrate.

(i) Al-Mu'minuun 23:12

"Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay);" (Yusuf Ali Translation)

"And certainly did We create man from an extract of clay." (Sahih International Translation)

"And indeed We created man out of an extract of Tin." (Ibnu Kathir Translation)

"Indeed, We create man out of the essence of clay." (In The Shade of Al-Quran Translation)

Ibnu Kathir in his translation, said: "Allah tells us how He initially created man from an extract of Tin. This was Adam, peace be upon him, whom Allah created from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud. Ibn Jarir said, "Adam was called Tin because he was created from it.'' Qatadah said, "Adam was created from Tin.'' This is the more apparent meaning and is closer to the context, for Adam, upon him be peace, was created from a sticky Tin, which is a sounding clay of altered black smooth mud, and that is created from dust (turab). (

According to Syed Qutb this statement implies the presence of stages in the creation of human beings, without specifying them. The implication is much clearer in the Arabic’ original where the term sulālah, given in English as ‘essence’, also connotes a chain of development. (Refer to :

To be continued, Insha Allah.

4.3. Created from dried of heated Clay (salsalim)

4.4. Created from clay processed into "Turab"

5.  Significance of the Way Adam Was Created  

6. Conclusion

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