The Religion of Islam  

Video Categories

Intro E-Books

Guest Book

Recommend Us
| More

The Original Sin (part 1 of 2)

Description: Is humanity guilty for the sin of Adam?  The Christian and Islamic concepts of sin, repentance, and sacrifice compared.
By M. Abdulsalam (© 2006
Published on 16 Jan 2006 - Last modified on 08 May 2014
Viewed: 66099 (daily average: 17) - Rating: 4 out of 5 - Rated by: 17
Printed: 1459 - Emailed: 26 - Commented on: 1

Category: Articles > Comparative Religion > Christianity

“…No person earns any (sin) except against himself (only), and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another…” (Quran 6:164)

“The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” (Deuteronomy 24:16)

None can reject that in these two verses, the first from the Quran and the second from the Bible, is an allusion to the same meaning: that the Just God will never punish people for the sins of others.

Christianity alleges that God created humans to live eternally in Heaven, and that when Adam ate from the tree from which he had been forbidden, God punished him through death and banishment from Heaven.  They further assert that as death was inherited by his progeny, so too was the sin of their father, which was a permanent stain on the hearts of humanity, never to be removed except through a sacrifice so great that it would oblige God to forgive humanity.  This sacrifice would be nothing other than the sacrifice of God himself, incarnate in His “son” Jesus.  Therefore Christianity deems all of humanity as damned to Hell for the sin of Adam from which they could never be cleansed, except through the belief that God became incarnate and died for Adam’s sin, ritualized as Baptism, through which Christians are ‘born again’ into the world, but this time free of sin.[1]  So we see that the theory of ‘Original Sin’ forms the basis of various Christian beliefs, from the crucifixion of Jesus to the concept of salvation and savior from Hell.  It forms the very basis for the mission of Jesus himself.

So the questions arise, is humanity guilty for the sin which Adam committed by eating from the tree he was forbidden?  Must we all repent from that great sin?  In what way is one to repent?  And if so, what is the fate of those who did not?

Islam strictly promotes the notion that the punishment of sins will only be faced by those who commit them.  Sin is not a hereditary trait or ‘stain’ passed to one’s progeny one generation to another.  All people will be accountable to what only they themselves did in this life.  Therefore, even though the Quran mentions the sin of Adam and how he was banished from the Garden, it places no responsibility on the shoulders of his progeny.  None of the Prophets before Jesus were known to have preached this concept, nor were any other beliefs or rituals based upon this belief.  Rather, salvation from Hell and attainment of Paradise was achieved through the belief in One God and obedience to His commandments, a message preached by all Prophets, including Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, as well.

The Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful

As for the sin of Adam, the Quran tells us that he repented for his sin.  God revealed to him words with which to repent, which He then accepted from him.

“Then Adam received Words (of forgiveness) from his Lord, and He accepted his repentance.  Verily, He is the One Who repeatedly accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.” (Quran 2:37)

Through God’s acceptance of Adam’s repentance, Adam was cleansed of the sin which he committed.  God in the Quran repeatedly ascribes to Himself attributes of mercy and forgiveness.  He also mentions that from His Names are The Oft-Forgiving, The Most Merciful, the Accepter of Repentance, and others, all of which emphasize the All-Encompassing Mercy of God.  Even to those who have sinned much and may lose hope in the forgiveness of God, He says:

“Say: ‘O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)!  Despair not of the Mercy of God, indeed God forgives all sins.  Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’” (Quran 39:53)

If a person sins, all they need to do is truly repent from their heart, and they will find God Ever Merciful.  Adam did sin, and the sin did stain his heart, but it was removed through his repentance.  The Prophet Muhammad said:

“Indeed if a believer sins, a black spot covers his heart.  If he repents, and stops from his sin, and seeks forgiveness for it, his heart becomes clean again.  If he persists (instead of repenting), it increases until it covers his heart…” (Ibn Maajah)

Even if we were to say that Adam did not repent, that stain is not passed on to further generations.  Therefore, we see that God does not need any physical sacrifice in order to forgive sins, and that no sin is too great for His Mercy; to say so would be to ascribe deficiency to His Excellence and Perfection.  The Prophet Muhammad relates to us that God said:

“O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind.  O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you.  O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

God says in the Quran in regards to sacrifice, that it is the intention of the person when offering the sacrifice which is of importance, and not the actual sacrifice itself.

“It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches God, but it is piety from you that reaches Him...” (Quran 22:37)

If we were to implement this verse in regards to the original sin and God incarnate sacrificing himself in order to forgive all of humanity, we see that even without seeking repentance for Adam’s sin, God forgave human beings due to His Own Sacrifice. Could He not have forgiven them without such a sacrifice?

It is also mentioned in the bible:

“To what purpose (is) the multitude of your sacrifices unto me?  Saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.  When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?  Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; (it is) iniquity, even the solemn meeting.  Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear (them).  And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.  Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”[2]


[1] Apol., I, Ixvi.

[2] Isaiah 1:11-18

  Next: The Original Sin (part 2 of 2)
Parts of This Article
The Original Sin (part 1 of 2)
The Original Sin (part 2 of 2)
View all parts together
Article Tools
PoorBest  Rate this article Rate it
Back to top Back to top
Print Print Save this article Save E-mail this article to a friend E-mail PDF Format PDF Format
Add a comment on this article Add a comment View or hide comments on this article View comments(1 comment) Add this article to your favorites on this site Site favorites Add this article to Explorer favorites Explorer favorites
| More
Other Articles in the Same Category
Category: Articles > Comparative Religion > Christianity
Trinitarian Verses (part 1 of 4): “A Child Will Be Born To Us…Eternal Father, Prince of Peace”
Trinitarian Verses (part 2 of 4): “His Name Shall Be Immanuel”
Trinitarian Verses (part 3 of 4): Alpha and Omega
Trinitarian Verses (part 4 of 4): Alpha and Omega
Pauline Theology
Who Invented the Trinity? (part 1 of 2)
Who Invented the Trinity? (part 2 of 2)
The Historical Fallacy of Atonement (part 1 of 2): Paul of Tarsus and the Concept of Salvation in Christianity
The Historical Fallacy of Atonement (part 2 of 2): The Ultimate Sacrifice and Original Sin
Original Sin
A theoretical dialogue between a Muslim and a Christian (part 1 of 2)
A theoretical dialogue between a Muslim and a Christian (part 2 of 2)
Christian Healing Miracles – An Exposé (part 1 of 2): What is a Healing Miracle?
Christian Healing Miracles - An Expos? (part 2 of 2): TheBusiness of Healing
Hijab in the Bible and Torah (part 1 of 2): Hijab in Christian Denominations
Hijab in the Bible and Torah (part 2 of 2): Hijab in Torah
Idolatry (part 1 of 5)
Idolatry (part 2 of 5)
Idolatry (part 3 of 5)
Idolatry (part 4 of 5)
Idolatry (part 5 of 5)
Videos in the Same Category
Category: Videos > Comparative Religion > Christianity
The Real Salvation for Mankind
Christmas and Islam
Christianity vs. Islam (Beauties of Islam series)
Was America Founded As A Christian State?
Constants Between Islam and Early Christianity
Islam and Christmas
Valentines Day in Islam
The Concept of the Holy Spirit
Doctrinal Comparison Between Christianity and Islam (part 1 of 2)
Doctrinal Comparison Between Christianity and Islam (part 2 of 2)
James E. Jones, Ex-Christian, USA
The Quran and the Bible Scientific and Historical Introduction - Comparative Study (part 1 of 4)
The Quran and the Bible Scientific and Historical Introduction - Comparative Study (part 2 of 4)
The Quran and the Bible Scientific and Historical Introduction - Comparative Study (part 3 of 4)
The Quran and the Bible Scientific and Historical Introduction - Comparative Study (part 4 of 4)
Islamic belief on Jesus and Salvation
The Doctrine of the Trinity: Divinely Revealed or Man-Made?
Muhammad the Prophet of Islam
The Original Sin: An Islamic Perspective
Ask and Challenge
The Origins of Valentines Day
The Similarities and Differences between Islam and Christianity
Questions about Islam (part 1 of 2)
Questions about Islam (part 2 of 2)

The Religion of Islam Home Page Home Page

Contact Us Contact Us


El artículo / video que has solicitado no existe todavía.

The article/video you have requested doesn't exist yet.



The article/video you have requested doesn't exist yet.


The article/video you have requested doesn't exist yet.

The article/video you have requested doesn't exist yet.


요청한 문서 / 비디오는 아직 존재하지 않습니다.

The article/video you have requested doesn't exist yet.


המאמר / הסרטון שביקשת אינו קיים עדיין.

The article/video you have requested doesn't exist yet.

  Live Help by Chat  
Online daily:
From  to 
(according to your computer time)

Remember me
Forgot your password?
No account? Register & Why?

  Most Popular  

  List Articles  

  Your Favorites

Your favorites list is empty.  You may add articles to this list using the article tools.

  Your History

Your history list is empty.

Disable recording my history