Adam and Eve left Paradise and began their life on
earth. God had prepared them in many ways. He gave them the experience of
struggling against the whisperings and schemes of Satan. He taught Adam the
names of everything and instructed him in its properties and usefulness. Adam
took up his position as caretaker of the earth and Prophet of God.
Adam, the first Prophet of God was responsible for
teaching his wife and offspring how to worship God and seek His forgiveness. Adam
established the laws of God and set about trying to support his family and
learning to subdue and care for the earth. His task was to perpetuate,
cultivate, construct and populate; he was to raise children who would live
according to God’s instructions and care for and improve the earth.
Adam’s First Four Children
Adam and Eve’s first children, Cain and his sister, were
twins,; Abel and his sister, another set of twins, soon followed. Adam and his
family lived in peace and harmony. Cain ploughed the earth while Abel raised livestock.
Time passed and the occasion came for the sons of Adam to marry. A group of
the companions of Prophet Muhammad including Ibn Abbas and Ibn Masud related that
inter-marriage of the male of one pregnancy with the female of another had been
the practice among Adam’s children. Therefore we know that God’s plan to fill
the earth included each of Adam’s sons marrying the twin sister of the other.
It seems that beauty has played a part in the attraction
of men and women since the beginning. Cain was not pleased with the partner
chosen for him. Cain began to envy his brother and refused to obey the command
of his father and, in doing so, he disobeyed God. God created man with both
good and bad tendencies, and the struggle to over come our baser instincts is
part of His test for us.
God commanded that each son was to offer a sacrifice. His
judgement would favour the son whose offer was the most acceptable. Cain
offered his worst grain, but Abel offered his best livestock. God accepted
Abel’s sacrifice, so Cain became enraged, threatening to kill his brother.
“And (O Muhammad) recite to them (the Jews) the story of the
two sons of Adam (Abel and Cain) in truth; when each offered a sacrifice to God,
it was accepted from the one but not from the other. The latter said to the
former; ‘I will surely kill you.’” (Quran 5:27)
Abel advised his brother that God would accept good
deeds from those that fear and serve Him, but reject the good deeds of those
who are arrogant, selfish and disobedient towards God.
“The former said: ‘Verily God accepts only from those who are
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 God; the Lord of mankind, jinn, and
all that exists.’” (Quran 5:27-28)
The First Murder
“So the self (base desires) 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.” (Quran 5:30)
Prophet Muhammad informed us that Cain became angry and
hit his brother over the head with a piece of iron. It was also said in
another narration that Cain hit Abel over the head while he was sleeping.
“God 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.” (Quran 5:31)
Adam was devastated; he had lost both his first and second
born sons. One had been murdered; the other was won over by mankind’s greatest
enemy – Satan. Patiently, Adam prayed for his son, and continued to care for
the earth. He taught his many children and grandchildren about God. He told
them of his own encounter with Satan and advised them to beware of Satan’s
tricks and schemes. Years and years passed, and Adam grew old and his
children spread out across the earth.
All of mankind are the children of Adam. In one narration,
the Prophet Muhammad informed us that God showed Adam his descendants. Adam saw
a beautiful light in Prophet David’s eyes and loved him, so he turned to God
and said: “Oh God. Give him forty years from my life.” God granted Adam his
request, and it was written down and sealed.
Adam’s life span was supposed to be 1000 years but after
960 years the Angel of death came to Adam. Adam was surprised and said “but I
still have 40 years to live”. The angel of death reminded him of his gift of
40 years to his beloved descendant Prophet David, but Adam denied it. Many,
many years later, the last Prophet Muhammad said: “Adam denied so the
children of Adam deny, Adam forgot and his children forget; Adam made mistakes
and his children make mistakes.” (At-Tirmidhi)
In Arabic the word for mankind is insan and it
comes from the root word nisyan to forget. This is part of human
nature, mankind forgets, and when we forget we deny and reject. Adam forgot
(he was not lying), and God forgave him. Adam then submitted to the will of God
and died. The Angels descended and washed the body of Prophet Adam an odd
number of times; they dug the grave and buried the body of the father of
Before his death Adam reminded his children that God
would never leave them alone or without guidance. He told them God would send
other Prophets with unique names, traits and miracles, but they would all call to
the same thing – the worship of the One True God. Adam appointed as his
successor his son Seth.