American Islam: The Story of Adam and Eve

According to a tractate distributed by AMANA (the American Muslim Association of North America), the story of Adam and Eve is similar to the other stories with only a few differences. These differences, however, give the entire story a completely different spin than the Christian version. Like the Jews, Muslims do not believe in the notion of original sin. The Christians stand alone when it comes to this. Assuming that most people are familiar with the basic story of Adam and Eve from the Jewish and/or the Christian perspective, here’s what happened to our grandparents according to Islam:

Prior to the creation of Adam and Eve, Islam believes that G-d had already made the angels, and a different species called the Jinn'”which had been formed of fire. Satan was a jinn, not an angel. The angels had not been given free will, the jinn did have free will. G-d announced to the angels and the jinn that he was going to create a vicegerent (king) to place upon the earth.

Adam was created from his wife Eve, who was molded from clay, and they were placed in the garden. All the angels were standing around while this was going on, and Satan, the jinn, was there at the time too. When G-d had finished creating Adam, He ordered the group to bow down to Adam. All of the angels, having no free will, did as they were told to do. Satan was very prideful and refused to comply with G-d’s command. Satan said that he was better than Adam because he had been made from fire where-as Adam had been made from mud.

G-d condemned Satan for his disobedience, but Satan asked G-d to give him until the Day of Judgment to prove that Adam and his descendants were not worthy. G-d granted him this wish. So, Satan set about the task of proving that humans are unworthy. Not much later, he got his first chance.

Adam and Eve, according to the version in Islam, were placed in the garden and given of every tree to eat except for one. Satan came to Adam and Eve and told them that the only reason G-d forbade them from eating of the certain tree was that they would gain immortality and be like G-d. So, Adam and Eve ate of the tree. Immediately, Adam and Eve became ashamed of their nakedness, and turned to G-d in repentance. G-d forgave them, but removed them from the paradise and placed them on the earth.

It is important, according to Islamic belief, to understand that placing Adam and Eve on the earth was not a punishment. According to Islam, G-d had always intended to put them on the earth'”it just so happened after they ate the fruit.

Another important difference between Islam and Christianity is that Satan is not viewed as the enemy of G-d in Islam. He has no super-human G-d like powers, other than the fact that he is a spirit made from fire, where-as humans are mortals made from clay. Both were created by G-d, and both serve the purpose of G-d. Satan’s purpose in Islam is to tempt people until the Day of Judgment. According to Islam, without G-d’s permission, Satan could do nothing. If G-d wanted him gone, poof, he-d be gone; where-as Christianity tends to put Satan on a sort of equal but opposite footing with G-d, pitting them against each other as the ultimate enemies of one another. Islam believes that Satan is the enemy of man, not of G-d. When Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the garden, he had G-d’s permission to do it.

Islam does not blame woman alone for the first sin ever, in the garden, as other faiths do either. According to Islam, Adam and Eve both ate of the fruit, making them equally responsible. Islam also rejects the notion of original sin. No person can ever be responsible for the sin of another. According to Islam, every person is born free from sin. By resisting the temptation of Satan, through free will, every person has the ability to attain an honor higher than the angels.