Prophet Adam (PBUH)
Adams Life on Earth
Adam knew he bade farewell to peace when he left Paradise. On earth he had to face conflict and struggle. No sooner had one ended than another began. He also had to toil to sustain himself. He had to protect himself with clothes and weapons and protect his wife and children from the wild beasts.
Above all, he had to struggle with the spirit of evil. Satan, the cause of his expulsion from Paradise, continued to beguile him and his children in an effort to have them thrown into the eternal hellfire. The battle between good and evil is continuous, but those who follow Allahs guidance should fear nothing, while those who disobey Allah and follow Iblis will be damned along with him.
Adam grasped all of this, and, with the knowledge of this suffering, he started his life on the earth. The only thing that allayed his grief was that he was master of the earth and had to make it yield to him. He was the one who had to perpetuate, cultivate, construct and populate the earth. He was also the one who had to procreate and raise children who would change and improve the world.
The First Four Children
The pinnacle of earthly bliss was reached when Adam and Eve witnessed the birth of their first children, a set of twins. Adam was a devoted father and Eve a contented mother. The twins were Cain (Qabil) and his sister. Later Eve gave birth to a second set of twins, Abel (Habil) and his sister. The family enjoyed the bounties and fruits of the earth provided by their Lord. The children grew up to be strong and healthy young adults. Cain tilled the land, while Abel raised cattle.
The time arrived when the two young men desired life partners. This was part of Allahs plan for mankind, to multiply and form nations with different cultures and colors. Allah revealed to Adam that he should marry each son to the twin sister of the other. Adam instructed his children according to Allahs command, but Cain was displeased with the partner chosen for him, for Abels twin-sister was not as beautiful as his own.
Commentary: Cains Disobedience
It appears that since the beginning of time, physical beauty has been a factor in the attraction between men and women. This attraction caused Cain to envy his brother Abel. He rebelled against Allahs command by refusing to accept his fathers advice.
At first glance Cains rebellion might appear strange, but we should remember that, although man has a pure nature, the potential for dichotomy exists. In other words, he has both good and bad qualities. He can become greedy, covetous, possessive, selfish and even destructive. Man is, therefore, capable of seeking self-satisfaction even if it leads to failure in this life and in the hereafter. The path to goodness lies in harnessing the enemy within him, his baser self, by controlling evil thoughts and deeds and practicing moderation in his desires and actions. His reward then will be the delights of this world and the hereafter. Thus Allah tests us through our divided nature.
Cains Jealousy of Abel
Adam was in a dilemma. He wanted peace and harmony in his family, so he invoked Allah for help. Allah commanded that each son offer a sacrifice, and he whose offering was accepted would have right on his side.
Abel offered his best camel, while Cain offered his worst grain. His sacrifice was not accepted by Allah because of his disobedience to his father and the insincerity in his offering.
This enraged Cain even further. Realizing that his hopes of marrying his own beautiful sister were fading, he threatened his brother: “I will kill you! I refuse to see you happy while I remain unhappy!”
Abel, feeling sorry for his brother, replied: “It would be more proper for you, my brother, to search for the cause of your unhappiness and then walk in the way of peace. Allah accepts deeds only from those who serve and fear Him, not from those who reject His commands.”
The First Death
Abel was intelligent, obedient, and always ready to obey the will of Allah. This contrasted sharply with his brother, who was arrogant, selfish and disobedient to his Lord. Abel did not fear his brothers threats, but neither did he want his brother to be hurt. Allah had blessed Abel with purity and compassion. Hoping to allay the hatred seething in his brother, Abel said: “My brother, you are deviating from the right path and are sinful in your decisions. It is better that you repent to Allah and forget about your foolish threat. But if you do not, then I will leave the matter in the hands of Allah. You alone will bear the consequence of your sin, for the Fire is the reward of the wrong-doers.”
This brotherly plea did nothing to lessen the hatred in Cains heart, nor did he show fear of Allah’s punishment. Even familial considerations were cast aside. Cain struck his brother with a stone, killing him instantly. This was the first death and the first criminal act committed by man on earth.
When Abel had not appeared for some time, Adam began to search for him but found no trace of his beloved son. He asked Cain about Abels whereabouts. Cain insolently replied that he was not his brothers keeper nor his protector. From these words his father understood that Abel was dead and Adam was filled with grief.
The First Burial
Meanwhile, Cain did not know what to do with his brothers corpse. He carried it on his back wandering from place to place, trying to hide it. His anger had now subsided, and his conscience was saddled with guilt. He was tiring under the burden of the corpse which had started to have a stench.
As a mercy, and to show that dignity could be retained even in death, Allah sent two ravens that began fighting, causing the death of one. The victorious bird used its beak and claws to dig a hole in the ground, rolled its victim into it and covered it with sand.
Witnessing this, Cain was overcome with shame and remorse. “Woe unto me!” he exclaimed. “I was unable to do what this raven has done, that is to hide my brothers corpse.”
Cain then buried his brother. This was also the first burial of man.
The First Murder – from Quran
Allah the Almighty revealed: And (0 Muhammad) recite to them (the Jews) the story of the two sons of Adam Abel and Cain – Habil and Qabil respectively in truth; when each offered a sacrifice (to Allah), it was accepted from the one but not from the other. The latter said to the former: “I will surely kill you.”
The former said: “Verily, Allah accepts only from those who are Al-Muttaqeen (the pious). If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me, I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you, for I fear Allah; the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinn, and all that exists). Verily I intend to let you draw my sin on yourself as well as yours, then you will be one of the dwellers of the Fire, and that is the recompense of the Zalimeen (polyt heists, and wrong-doers).”
So the Nafs (self) of the other (latter one) encouraged him and made fair-seeming to him the murder of his brother; he murdered him and became one of the losers. Then Allah sent a crow who scratched the ground to show him to hide the dead body of his brother. He (the murderer) said: “Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother?” Then he became one of those who regretted. [Quraan 5:27-31]
Adam Preaches to His Children
Adam was utterly grief-stricken by the loss of his two sons: one was dead, the other was won over by the devil. Adam prayed for his son and turned to mundane matters, for he had to toil for his sustenance. At the same time, he was a prophet, advising his children and grandchildren, telling them about Allah, and calling them to believe in Him. He told them about Iblis and warned them by recounting his own experience with the devil and of how the devil had tempted Cain to kill his brother.
Adams Successor, Seth
Years and years passed, Adam grew old, and his children spread all over the earth. Muhammad Ibn Ishaq related: that when Adams death drew near, he appointed his son Seth (Shiith) to be his successor, and taught him the hours of the day and night along with their appropriate acts of worship. He also foretold to him the flood that would come.
Abu Dhar narrated that Prophet Muhammad said: “Allah sent down one hundred four psalms, of which fifty were sent down to Seth.”
Abdullah Ibn Al-Iman Ahmad Ibn Hanbal narrated that Ubai Ibn Kab said: “When Adams death was near, he said to his children: 0 my children, indeed, I feel an appetite for the fruits of Paradise.
So they went away searching for what Adam had requested. They met with the angels, who had with them his shroud and what he was to be embalmed with.
They said to them: 0 Children of Adam, what are you searching for? What do you want? Where are you going?
They said: Our father is sick and has an appetite for the fruits of Paradise.
The angels said to them: Go back, for your father is going to meet his end soon.
So they returned (with the angels), and when Eve saw them she recognized them. She tried to hide herself behind Adam. He said to her: Leave me alone. I came before you; do not go between me and the angels of my Lord.
So they took his soul, embalmed and wrapped him, dug the grave and laid him in it. They prayed on him and put him in his grave, saying: 0 Children of Adam, this is your tradition at the time of death.”‘
Before his death Adam reassured his children that Allah would not leave man alone on the earth, but would send His prophets to guide them. The prophets would have different names, traits and miracles, but they would be united in one thing: the call to worship Allah alone.
This was Adams bequest to his children. Adam finished speaking and closed his eyes. Then the angels entered his room and surrounded him. When he recognized the Angel of Death among them, his heart smiled peacefully.