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Adam Who? But, son of Adam i.e. you and me – At least According to Quran

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Adam Who? But, son of Adam i.e. you and me – At least According to Quran

Prelude: The reader is encouraged to preview the chapter ‘Adam’ in the book “History of the Prophets” by Maulana Muhammad Ali.1 The Maulana combs through Quran and concludes that: “The story of Adam as narrated in the Holy Qur'an, is really the story of man as also the story of the superman, the prophet. It is really a picture of human nature. The Holy Qur'an does not state when Adam was born or how he was born; it does not even state that he was the first man.” Verses from Quran that emphasize in generality and particularity that every human is created from the extract of dust are quoted by the Maulana. The human evolves into an intelligent being, possessing not merely the organs but the intellectual faculties of the heart, eyes and ears. Such intelligent composition is the receptacle of Godly faculties that are imbued into it. With this entire physical, spiritual and physical wherewithal, the Adam, the human, has the capacity to understand and acquire knowledge, both material and moral. Iblis, the proper name for devil/satan in Quran, represents all baser instincts and obstacles that are impediment to human progress and must be subdued. The Maulana goes on to explain the parable of Adam in Quran where any human, including Adam, is in a content state, the paradise. The deceptions of Iblis shadow him till he stumbles, loses the paradise, and through remorse and corrective actions by following the Divine light of the time that he receives either by direct inspiration or from the scripture of the reigning prophet, or both, is able to return to the lost paradise.

Adam, instead of a symbol of humankind, is considered as the first human of our civilization. This myth is centered on the Biblical narrative of Genesis, not Quran. Before we try to understand Adam as the symbol rather than the first human it begets us to read the Bible.

In summary, according to Bible,2 Adam was created from dust after God breathed into him through his nose and he dwelled in the Garden of Eden, the fertility of which was created for him, the land of four rivers – Tigris and Euphrates among them. Adam worked therein and took care of the Garden. He was allowed to benefit from the fruits with the exception – “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

To avert Adam’s loneliness and to help him, birds and animals too were created from the dust and they all gathered in his presence whom Adam gave names. None of the animals was a suitable helper, hence a female was created from Adam’s rib while he was asleep, and whom he named as ‘woman’ because – “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” While living in the Garden of Eden and being innocent – Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

Enter the serpent, who woos the woman into eating the forbidden fruit with the logic – “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Thereafter, the woman eats the forbidden fruit and Adam too partakes of it and – “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

After that, God arrives in the Garden from whom Adam is hiding due to his nakedness and shame, the blame for which he attributes to – “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” God turns towards the serpent and curses it forever. To the woman, and by implication all women, God punishes her – “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” God turning towards Adam, and by implication all men were punished and ordains death for humanity – “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

“Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.” Thereafter, God makes clothes of animal hides for Adam and Eve. Both are banished forever from the Garden of Eden for the mere fact that – “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” To prevent their return back into the Garden, God – placed on the eastern side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Quran in one of its premises makes the claim for itself of a guardian of truth of previous scriptures – And We have revealed to you this perfect Book comprising the truth and wisdom, fulfilling (the prophecies of) the Scripture which was present before it and stands as a guardian over it… (5:48).3 In this guardian role Quran corrects the myth of Genesis. In Quran, Adam symbolizes humanity. In the parable of Adam, various aspects of humanity come to fore, the human cognitive abilities, disposal of good forces at his hands and the threats of counter forces that he must endure, his vacillation between vice and virtue and the ever-present divine guidance and acceptance of repentance to restore the Garden of Eden for the lost souls.

The parable of Adam is repeated in various places in Quran. We will traverse through each of the verses and try to understand the parable while using Quran itself and the common knowledge of science as its exegesis. When this parable is read in full context of Quran, instead of a vertical read where it might remain as an unsolved story, each verse acts as a gateway into the depths of Quran, and ideas thus triggered at times are unfathomable. In our approach, the verses of the parable in Quran will act as the main stem of the discussion below and nested paragraphs and other verses are laid out in an effort to explain the parable in context of Quran.

Verses 2:26-384

The early verses below consecutively lead up to the parable of Adam and they should all be read in context. Stripped of verses 2:26 to 2:29, the parable of Adam can easily deteriorate into a fantasy.

2:26. Indeed, Allâh does not disdain to cite a parable of (a thing) even (as small as) a gnat or (of something) smaller than that. (Be it as it may) those who have believed know that this is a true (parable) from their Lord. As for those who disbelieve say, `What could Allâh mean by (citing) such a parable?' Many does He adjudge to be erring because of these (parables) and many does He guide through them. Yet it is only the transgressors whom He adjudges to be erring because of them.

2:27. (Transgressors are the people) who break the covenant (they have made) with Allâh after its solemn binding, and sever the ties which Allâh has bidden to be joined and create disorder in the land. It is they who are the losers.

The readers usually miss out on the preceding verses 2:26-28. The prelude in these verses clearly categorizes Adam as a ‘parable’ rather than the ‘story’ that follows in 2:26-38 and elsewhere. Additionally, these verses give out the reason for citing the parable of Adam which is directed towards the transgressors to draw a lesson from the template of Adam, the central character of the parable. Adam in the parable represents the whole human race which each reader can relate to, individually, and collectively as a family or a nation.

2:28. (O people!) how can you deny Allâh? When you were without life He gave you life, then He will cause you to die and again raise you to life and you shall be made to return to Him.

Creation of every living thing, including humans, follows the prevalent laws of nature in both physical and moral domains. Adam’s story is also the story of the early Israelites after Moses. The Israelites, similar to Adam, were living in paradise, consuming Manna and Salwa, became morally inept, lost the paradise for two generations, before they were revived, and given the kingdom. The following verse is about the Israelites losing their paradise, so to speak. This is a repetition of the story of Adam, once again bolstering the argument that Adam represents human race in general.

2:243. Have you not considered the case of those (Israelites) who (in their exodus) fled from their homes (in Egypt with Moses) and they were (a congregation of) thousands, for fear of death? Then Allâh said to them, `Die', (with the result that this generation perished while wandering in the wilderness for forty years). Then (from the next generation) He revived them, (and made them inherit the Promised land). Allâh is Munificent to people; but most of the people give (Him) no thanks.5

2:29. It is He Who created for your benefit all that is in the earth. Moreover He turned Himself towards the space and fashioned seven heavens perfect (- denoting the multiplicity of cosmic system). He has full knowledge of all things.

This verse, in the same series of verses leading up to Adam, brings the parable of Adam in line with our general understanding of life and the universe. It is a clear indication that creation of life on the earth is on a continuum of an evolving universe with a hint of multiverses.6 Qur’ân not only endorses the evolution of the species but takes evolution further into the lifespan of the member of the species; this includes the moral and spiritual evolution that continues beyond life, thus giving control to the individual on the otherwise purposeless life and death cycle. Thus Qur’ân bridges the theist and atheist divide – Do those who disbelieve not see that the heavens and the earth were (once) one mass all closed up, then We rent them apart. And it is from water that We created all life [in the universe]. Will they not believe (in the face of all this)(21:30).7 It is Allâh Who has created seven [-countless] heavens and (He has created) as many earths (65:12).8 And it is He Who drew forth the earth (from another heavenly body) and made it productive and fertile by means of particles (of other planets)…. (13:3).9 And Allâh has created every animal from water (24:45).10 All things therein (in the Universe) are ever changing (55:26).11 There did pass over a human being a while of a long space of time when he was not a thing worth mentioning (76:1).12 It is We that have ordained death for all of you. And We cannot be stopped from (it), From replacing you with beings similar to you, (or from) evolving you into a form which is unknown to you (at present). And you certainly know of the first evolution. Then, why do you not reflect (56:60-62)?13

2:30. And (recall) when your Lord said [–Arabic: qala]14 to the angels, `I am (according to My usual practice) going to appoint a supreme religious head [–Arabic: khalīfatan] in the land (to convey My Message to human beings and to execute My will in the universe).' They said, `Will You create (also) therein such (people) as will cause disorder in it and shed blood while we already glorify You with Your true praise and extol Your holiness.' He (- God) answered, `I know that which you do not know.'

This figurative conversation highlights a fundamental question – how did the angels know in the first place that such (people) as will cause disorder in it and shed blood? They could not have stated unless they had witnessed such human cycle(s) before as well. Lo and behold, Quran gives us the pointer to other earths populated with implicit intelligent life forms, perhaps each with their own Adam, if those earths have water on them:

65:12. It is Allâh Who has created seven heavens and (He has created) as many earths. The (divine) law permeates through them. (He tells this to you) so that you may know that Allâh is Possessor of all power to do every desired thing and Allâh encompasses everything in His knowledge.15

21:30…And it is from water that We created all life…16

24:45. And Allâh has created every animal from water. 17

25:54. And it is He Who created human being from water…18

If Adam indeed signifies start of humanity, then Quran also prophesizes the end of our own earth, and by implication humans:

14:48. Beware of the day when this earth will be changed into another earth and the heavens (as well shall be superseded by other heavens) and they (- all people) shall appear before Allâh, the One, the Most Supreme.19

Incidentally, it will be a mistake to take Adam as the only khalīfatan – supreme religious head in the land. There are others in Quran as well, implying that Adam in Quran was possibly both a head of his own tribe and/or is a figure representing all of humanity:

38:26. (We said,) `O David! verily We have made you the [khalīfatan –] ruler in this land…20

10:14. Then We made [the ordinary people like –] you [khalāifa –] inherit the land after these (generations) that We might see how you would act.21

2:31. And He taught Adam the names, all of them, then He presented (the objects of) these names to the angels and said, `Tell Me the names of these (things) if what you say is right.'

Verse 2:31 points to earlier stages of language development, both, in the evolutionary stages of human species and in the life of everyone:

55:3. He created human being;

55:4. And taught him (the art of) intelligent and distinct speech.22

A child learns nouns, the names, first before verbs, adverbs and adjectives take hold. Verse 2:31 also points out the fundamental human quality to acquire knowledge, which is recognized by the very first sentence of Quran that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad:

96:1. Read in the name of your Lord Who creates.23

Once the language took hold the human species moved on to the next stage of communication and acquiring knowledge by reading and writing:

96:4. Who taught by the pen,

96:5. taught man what he did not know.24

Once the knowledge is acquired, yet the achievement is in its infancy. It is at that pivotal evolutionary moment when skepticism takes hold and humankind starts disassociating itself from the source spring of its spiritual nurturance. It is this crack between humanity and God that Iblis, the rebellious, exploits, finds a foot hold and the drives a wedge between baser and godly instincts of mankind that we find very clearly in the parable of Adam:

96:6. Nay! (it is not at all as these people think), this human being does indeed indulge in transgression,

96:7. Because he thinks himself to be independent (of God).25

2:32. They said, `Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except that which You have given us; You, indeed, only You are the All-knowing, the All-wise.'

This verse outlines the passive role of Angels.

2:33. He said, `Adam! tell them (- the angels) their names (- names of the objects).' So when he had told them their names He said, `Did I not tell you that, indeed I know the unseen things of the heavens and of the earth, and I know what you reveal and what you conceal.'

This is a paramount stage of evolution of human species when it had developed the language. This stage was achieved after a very long time of hundreds of millions of years before human species was even worth mentioning:

76:1. There did pass over a human being a while of a long space of time when he was not a thing worth mentioning.26

It is to this evolved faculty of speech that Quran alludes to in the debating nature of humans, which represents the progression of language from its early form which apparently was confined to names/nouns and now into full speech:

16:4. He has created human being from a mere drop of fluid, (a small life germ) then look! what a perspicuous and sound debater he has turned out to be.27

2:34. And (recall) when We said to the angels, `Make obeisance [–Arabic: us’judū] to Adam.' So they obeyed [–Arabic: fasajadū] except Iblîs, he refused stubbornly and waxed proud, and he was already one of the disbelievers.

Make obeisance to Adam in no way, as commonly interpreted, implies Angels prostrating before Adam for the mere reason, only Allah is to be prostrated before and none else:

41:37. … Pay no homage to the sun or the moon, rather pay homage to Allâh Who created them, if it is Him Whom you really worship.28

16:2. He sends down the angels with the revelation by His command to such of His servants as He will, (saying,) ` Warn the people that there is no other, cannot be and will never be One worthy of worship but I, therefore take (only) Me as a shield. 29

Angles making obeisance to Adam signifies their service to humanity. Through Quran we know that Angles, the medium of execution of God’s will, do come to the aid of humanity. Prophet Muhammad, despite living among his blood thirsty enemies and their incessant scheming, plotting and inflicted battles, died a natural death, points to his angelic protection:

13.11. He (- the Messenger) has companies (of angels) successively ranged before him and behind him. They guard him by the command of Allâh…30

It is not only the angels, but there are many other elements that are subservient to Adam/humans, for example subjection of sun and the moon by modern technologies for solar energy and lunar mining proposals:

16:12. And He has made subservient to you the night and the day and the sun and the moon. And (similarly) the stars (too) are made subservient to you by His command. Surely, in that there are many a sign for a people who make use of their understanding.31

Iblis, the proper name of rebellious tendencies in an individual and collectively in the society, is a constant obstacle to harmony and peace. Exegesis of Iblis is pervasive in our individual experience which does not need any esoteric religious debates. Without much ado, every folklore, fairy tale, mythology, story, comic, novel, movie, chapter in a history book, news headlines, blog discussions, one and all are a constant reminder of the obstructive forces, the Iblis, which abounds and the consequent human struggles against it. If there were no Iblis, there would be no heroes. Thus, for human development, we need both the angels and the devil concurrently in the arena of life.

The phrase except Iblîs, he refused stubbornly and waxed proud, and he was already one of the disbelievers – separates Iblis from the category of angels. It is clearly pointed out at the beginning of this verse that God asked the angels for obeisance to Adam whereas the same verse also states that Iblis was already one of the disbelievers, which is opposite of Angels who by their very definition are ever submitting to God. This verse rejects the myth of ‘Fallen Angel’ of Bible.

2:35. And We said, `O Adam! dwell you and your wife in this garden and eat freely and plentifully from it as you will. But you shall not go near this tree (- evil) lest you should be of the unjust.'

This verse alludes to the natural state of human existence to adequately utilize provisions of food, clothing and shelter that Quran expounds in another place:

20:116. And (recall the time) when We said to the angels, `Make obeisance to Adam (and his sons).' They (all) made obeisance, but Iblîs (did not), he refused (to submit).

20:117. At this We said, `Adam! surely this fellow is an enemy to you and to your wife. Take care that he does not turn you both out of the garden (of earthly bliss) lest you fall into trouble.

20:118. `It is (provided) for you that here you shall not feel hunger, nor shall you go naked,

20:119. `And that here you shall feel no thirst nor will you be exposed to the sun.'32

Interestingly, in modern societies, those who due to mental defect cannot appropriately utilize food, clothing and shelter, the basic elements of the garden, are considered gravely disabled and even face forced banishment into mental asylums.33

The mention of a particular – this tree, in the parable of Adam frequently evokes Biblical understanding of it. Whereas, the Qur’ân distinguishes the good from the evil deeds by way of parables of trees:

14:23. And those who believe and do good are made to enter Gardens, in which rivers flow, abiding in them by their Lord’s permission. Their greeting therein is, Peace!

14:24. Do you not see how Allah sets forth a parable of a good word as a good tree, whose root is firm and whose branches are high,

14:25. yielding its fruit in every season by the permission of its Lord? And Allah sets forth parables for people that they may be mindful.

14:26. And the parable of an evil word is as an evil tree pulled up from the earth’s surface; it has no stability.

14:27. Allah confirms those who believe with the sure word in this world’s life and in the Hereafter; and Allah leaves the wrongdoers in error; and Allah does what He pleases.34

In the verse 2:35 above this tree is an allegorical reference to evil, which by its nature has no stability to keep one in his natural blissful state. In other places in Quran trees are allegorical references to bliss:

56:26. But (all that they hear on all sides will be) good and pure words (of salutation) – `Peace be, peace be.' [– Peace, that's what Islam means, seeks and provides]

56:27. Those that are blessed – how (lucky) the blessed will be!

56:28. They shall abide amidst (the land of thornless) Sidrah (- Lote tree, a symbol of bliss);

56:29. And (in the Garden of) clustered bananas;

56:30. And (in) extended shades;

56:31. And (near) water falling from heights;

56:32. And (amidst) abundant fruit;

56:33. (The season of) which is not limited, and (they are) never forbidden.35

Yet it other places, trees symbolize knowledge, both material and spiritual:

31:27. And if all the trees in the earth were pens, and the sea with seven more seas added to it (were ink), the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.36

17:60. And (Prophet! recall the time) when We said to you, `Surely, your Lord has encompassed all people (for destruction) and has power over them (still they remained indifferent).' We made the vision which We showed you (being carried to Jerusalem from Makkah by night) and also the tree (- evil word; see 14:26) disapproved of in the Qur'ân, a means of distinction between the good and the bad for the people. (Despite the fact that) We have been warning them (by sending Our signs), this (warning from Us) only leads them to unrestrained inordinacy.37

2:36. After sometime the satan caused them both to slip from this (order of not going near evil) and thus brought them out of (the happy state) which they were in. And We said (to them), `Go forth, some of you are enemies of others and for you there is a sojourn in this land and a provision for a time.'

When this verse is read in toto, it becomes obvious that the stated banishment from paradise is not of a couple, but at least of a tribe, if not the whole human race.

Additionally, in the parable, Satan made Adam not to pay heed to what he had been instructed to by God. Such non-listeners, according to Quran, naturally then slide into a lower moral stage, the stage of animals who are devoid of understanding:

8:21. And be not like those who say, `We listen' while they do not listen and do not accept.

8:22. Surely, the worst of animal that walk or crawl in the sight of Allâh are those that are deaf and dumb and who are devoid of understanding.38

Further, the verse 2:36 also brings to attention that like parable of Adam, nations that following in the footsteps of Satan face a moral devolution into lower animalistic beliefs and behaviors that Quran refers to as ‘apes’ and ‘swine’:

5:60. Say, `Shall I inform you of those who shall receive from Allâh a recompense worse than that of those (who try to find fault with Us)? They are those whom Allâh has deprived of His blessings and upon whom He brought His displeasure and indignation and of whom He has made (as) apes and swine and who serve the transgressor (- the devil). It is these who are indeed worse-placed and farther astray from the right path.'39

7: 166. So when they insolently refused to keep away from that which they were forbidden, We condemned them to be (as) apes despised.40

In sum-total, according to Quran those not listening to Divine logic and reason, just like Adam, degrade themselves into the level of cattle:

They have hearts that they use not to understand. They have eyes with which they see not, and ears with which they hear not. They are like cattle. Nay, they are even worse. Such are the people who have chosen to live through life in total darkness of ignorance. (7:179).41

2:37. After that Adam received from his Lord certain (useful) commandments and He turned to him with mercy. He, indeed is Oft-returning with compassion, the Ever Merciful.

2:38. We said, `Go forth from this state, all of you [-i.e. humankind], and when there comes to you a guidance from Me, then, those who follow My guidance shall have nothing to fear and nothing to grieve at.'

In a nutshell, verses 2:30-38 are the allegorical story of every human and every couple where each one of us vacillates between hope and hopelessness, hate and love, remorse and forgiveness, misguidance and guidance. This is where it becomes obvious that the parable of Adam represents a template of human experience of paradise granted, lost and regained.

Verses 7:10-2542

Here is another set of verses of Quran that repeat the parable of Adam, but from a different angle. As the following verse reveals, Quran frequently repeats its message, but each time it touches upon a different aspect:

39:23. Allâh has revealed the best Message (the fairest discourse), this wonderfully coherent Book (the verses of which are mutually supplementing and) repeated, (narrating both sides of the case in various ways to drive home the divine injunctions to human minds…43

Quran uses different aspects of the story of Adam to highlight its own role as the spiritual guide for the entire human race. Whenever the story of Adam is repeated in Quran, it focuses on a different human trait. Keep in mind that Adam is not one specific individual, but personification of the entire human race. Thus, the story of Adam is sometimes narrated to emphasize the innate rebelliousness of people, the thankless nature of man, and sometimes to bring to light the inner good of humans who ultimately indulge in self-reflection, repentance and self-correction.

As before, verses 7:10 – 7: 25 are about the parable of Adam. These first few verses set the stage for a description of Adam as a depiction of human nature. The verses are quoted verbatim and discussion is in nested paragraphs:

7:10. (People!) We have indeed established you in the earth (giving you power therein), and provided for you therein (various) means of subsistence. How little thanks you give!

Right before discussing Adam, the thankless nature of humankind is highlighted. This ungratefulness of humankind is also elaborated elsewhere in Surah Al-Adiyat (– The Chargers):

100:1. I call to witness the panting and snorting chargers (of the warriors).

100:2. And those that strike sparks of fire dashing (their hoofs) against the stones,

100:3. And those that make raids at dawn,

100:4. And raising up clouds of dust therewith.

100:5. They penetrate thus right into the middle of the (enemy) ranks,

The verses 100:1-5, as explained by Nooruddin, point to the thankful nature of a battle steed that in return for simply water and hay, responds to the call of his master, day and night, and who willingly penetrates the enemy ranks and defenses without caring for his own injuries or life. In contrast to this thankful steed, the thankless humankind, just like Adam in paradise, despite being showered with countless blessings remains ungrateful:

100:6. That (good for nothing) human being is indeed very ungrateful to his Lord.

100:7. And he himself bears witness to all this (by his conduct).

100:8. And he is, truly speaking, the extreme limit in (his) love for wealth.

100:9. Does not, then, such a one know (the time) when all those in the graves will be raised up (in the Hereafter);

100:10. And (the time when) what is (hidden) in the bosoms (of people) shall be made known.

100:11. Verily, their Lord is, of course, fully Aware of (all regarding) them that day.44

After discussing the thankless nature of all humans, the subsequent set of verses 7:11-25 below cast Iblis as the source of thanklessness, in the context of Adam, the humans.

7:11. We did determine you, then We gave you shape, then said to the angels, `Make submission to (the Children of) Adam,' so they all submitted. But Iblîs (did not), he would not be of those who submit.

The parable in verse 7:11 draws attention to the nature of Iblis, the rebellious. Like Adam who symbolizes humankind, Iblis symbolizes the rebellious tendencies that seed the law violating forces, in the moral, spiritual, social and material domains.

7:12. (God) said, `What prevented you from submitting when I commanded you (to submit)?' (Iblîs) said, `I am better than he (- the human being). You created me from fire whereas You created him from clay.'

Adam, the mankind, created from clay, symbolizes qualities that are commonly attributed to clay i.e. ability to sound a pottery – the faculty of speech, shaping of pottery – the pliant and moldable character, baked pottery – the firm nature of humans. Specifically, to creation of humans and their certain attributes that distinguish them from animals, Quran mentions:

55:14. He created human being from the essence extracted from dry ringing clay like a piece of baked pottery [that can make a sound] (-with the faculty of speech and possessing pliant and submissive nature).45

15:26. Surely, We created human being from dry ringing clay, (transformed) from black mud moulded into shape [i.e. essentially possessing a moldable character, of both body and mind].46

37:11. Therefore, ask them (- your opponents) whether it is they (- the worldly people) who are harder in creation or those (spiritual beings) whom We have created. Them We have created out of adhesive sticking clay (so of firm and strong character).47

Iblis claiming – You created me from fire, signifies the fiery destructive nature which led Adam astray in the parable. Like Iblis being made from fire, Adam too is made from non-material haste:

21:37. …Man [Arabic: insānu] is created of haste…48

As stated earlier, besides clay and haste, mankind is also made from water:

25:54. And it is He Who created human being from water…49

In sum total humankind is made from attributes common with clay, water and haste and then baked by exposure to the rebellious fire of Iblis.

7:13. (God) said, `Get down from this (haughty state) for it is not proper for you to behave proudly here, so be gone. Surely, you are of those who have agreed to remain in an abject position.'

7:14. He (- Iblîs, in impertinent defiance) said, `Grant me respite till the day when they are raised up again.'

7:15. (God) said, `Surely, you are of those (already) given respite.'

7:16. (Iblîs) said, `Now, since You have adjudged me to be perverted and lost, I will assuredly lie in wait for them (- the Children of Adam) on the straight and exact path that leads to you.

7:17. `There will I come upon them from their front and from their backs and from their right and from their left so that You will not find most of them grateful (to You).'

7:18. (God) said, `Get out from this (state), despised and driven away. Be sure, whosoever of these (human beings) follows you I will certainly fill Gehenna with you all.'

Just as other verses have the parable of Adam, so do the Verses 7:13-18, are parable of Iblis. These verses summarize the attributes of Iblis and how Iblis negatively impacts humankind.

Just like Adam is exposed to Iblis, each and every human, too, is exposed to Iblis. To protect oneself from the exposure to the rebellious and destructive nature of a fiery Iblis, the cause for one’s expulsion from a natural state of bliss into distress, Quran teaches us the following prayer:

114:1. Say, `I seek refuge in the Lord of People,

114:2. `The Sovereign, the Controller of all affairs of People,

114:3. `The God of People,

114:4. `(That He may protect me) from the evil (of the whisperings) of the whisperer, the sneaking one.

114:5. `Who whispers evil suggestions into the hearts of People,

114:6. `From among the jinn (- fiery natured, houghty) and the (ordinary) people.'

The jinn, in verse 114:6, the last verse of Quran refers to the Iblis:

18:50. And (recall the time) when We said to the angels, `Submit to Adam.' So they all submitted (bowing), but Iblîs (did not); he was one of the jinn, he disobeyed the command of his Lord. (People!) would you (then) take him and his progeny (and cohorts) for friends rather than Me while they are your enemies? How evil is the substitute (of God) the unjust have chosen!

7:19. And (We said), `O Adam! dwell you and your wife in this garden, then eat you both when and where you like but do not (even) approach this tree or you both will become of the transgressors.'

7:20. Then satan made an evil suggestion to them both, with the result that their shortcomings which were hidden from them, became manifest to them, and he said, `Your Lord forbade you from this tree only lest you should become angels or become of the immortals.'

7:21. And he ardently swore to them both (saying), `Most certainly, I am one of your sincere advisers.'

7:22. Thus he led them on the way of guile and deceit. And when they tasted of the tree (and committed the things forbidden to them), their shortcomings became manifest to them. They (in order to cover themselves) began to stick the leaves of the garden over themselves and their Lord called out to them both (saying,) `Did I not forbid you from (approaching) that tree, and tell you that satan is to you an enemy disuniting (from Me)?'

This verse clearly points to evolutionary state of Homo sapiens when they become aware of their privacy, which is commonly depicted in cartoons as cavemen covered in loin cloths and furs. Humans are the only species on earth who are cognizant of their physical ‘nakedness’ and by culture and their own made social laws cover their private parts.

The fig leaves in the garden of earthly abode that helped early humans cover their shortcomings, their mistakes, symbolize the first of the formal scriptures that were revealed for guidance of mankind and Quran refer to it and series of other similar symbols after it:

95:1. I call to witness (four periods of human evolution including) the Fig (symbolic of the era of Adam when the foundations of the human civilization were laid), and the Olive (that of Noah, the founder of sharî`at),

95:2. And Mount Sinai (that of Moses when the details of the Sharî`at were revealed),

95:3. And this Town of security (of Makkah where with the advent of the Prophet Muhammad, the divine law was perfected and finalized),50

Quran, in its own words, is a cover for the moral shame of a spiritually void and exposed humanity, and restores the moral dignity:

7:26. O Children of Adam! We have given you a raiment that covers your nakedness and is a source of (your) elegance and protection. Yet the raiment that guards against evils [–the Quran], that is the best (of robes). That is one of the commandments of Allâh so that they may attain eminence.51

While divine guidance covers the spiritual nakedness and restores dignity, it is the satanic tendencies that remove the spirituality and expose the humanity, both metaphorically and literally:

7:27. O Children of Adam! do not let satan put you in trouble (in the same way) as he turned your parents out of the garden, stripping them of their raiment (of innocence) with the result that their shortcomings were made manifest to them both. Verily, he (- satan) sees you, he and his tribe, in such a way as you see them not. Verily, We have made satans friends of those who do not believe.

7:28. And when they (- the disbelievers) commit an act of indecency, they say, `We found our forefathers (practising) on it, and it is Allâh Who has enjoined it upon us.' Say, `Surely, Allâh never enjoins indecencies. Do you attribute to Allâh what you do not know (that it is from Him).'52

7:23. Both of them said, `Our Lord! we have done injustice to our souls, and if You do not protect us (against the consequences of our faults) and do not have mercy on us, we shall surely be of the losers.'

7:24. (God) said, `Get down (from this land). Some of you are (indeed) enemies of others, and there will be for you on this earth a habitation and (enjoyment of) provision for a while.'

7:25. And (He added), `In this (very universe) you shall live and therein you shall die and from it you shall be brought forth (in the Hereafter).'

In summary these verses, 7:23-25, are story of humankind, told in a parable, that abounds in human mistakes, remorse, moral degradations, while heading towards afterlife.

Rest of the Story: Considering the discussion so far, the following sets of verses 17:61-65, 18:50-51 and 20:115-124 are self-explanatory as an extension of parable of Adam.

Verses 17:61-6553

17:61. And (recall the time) when We said to the angels, `Submit to Adam!' Then they all submitted. But Iblîs (who too was told to do the same, did not), he said, `Shall I submit to one whom You have created out of clay?'

17:62. And he added, `What do You think? This is he whom You have honoured and placed above me. If You grant me respite till the Day of Resurrection, I will most certainly bring his progeny under my sway, having overpowered them, I shall destroy them for sure, except a few.'

17:63. `Be gone!' said He; `As for those of them who follow you, Gehenna is the recompense of you all, an ample recompense.

17:64. `And beguile whomsoever of them you can with your speech and rally your horsemen against them, and your foot men (- fast riders and slow walkers in disobedience, with all your might) and share with them their wealth and children and hold out promises to them (what you like).' Indeed, satan promises them nothing but mere fraud.

17:65. `As to My true servants, you shall have certainly no authority over them. And sufficient is your Lord as Disposer of affairs.'

Verses 18:50-5154

18:50. And (recall the time) when We said to the angels, `Submit to Adam.' So they all submitted (bowing), but Iblîs (did not); he was one of the jinn, he disobeyed the command of his Lord. (People!) would you (then) take him and his progeny (and cohorts) for friends rather than Me while they are your enemies? How evil is the substitute (of God) the unjust have chosen!

18:51. I did not call them (- Iblîs and his cohorts) to make them witness and to help at (the time of) the creation of the heavens and the earth nor at (the time of) their own creation. I would never take those who lead (others) astray for (My) helpers.

Verses 20:115-12455

20:115. We had given a stern command to Adam before this but he forgot; and We found no resolve on his part (to disobey Us).

20:116. And (recall the time) when We said to the angels, `Make obeisance to Adam (and his sons).' They (all) made obeisance, but Iblîs (did not), he refused (to submit).

20:117. At this We said, `Adam! surely this fellow is an enemy to you and to your wife. Take care that he does not turn you both out of the garden (of earthly bliss) lest you fall into trouble.

20:118. `It is (provided) for you that here you shall not feel hunger, nor shall you go naked,

20:119. `And that here you shall feel no thirst nor will you be exposed to the sun.'

20:120. But satan made an evil suggestion to him. He said, `Adam! shall I direct you to the tree which leads to eternal life and a kingdom which never decays.

20:121. So they (Adam and his wife) ate from that (tree), so that their shortcomings became unveiled to them and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of the garden. Adam did not observe the commandment of his Lord, so he became miserable.

20:122. Then (it came to pass that) his Lord chose him (for His benedictions) and turned to him with mercy and guided (him) to the right path.

20:123. (The Lord) said, `Go hence! both parties one and all, you being enemies one to another. There shall most certainly come to you guidance from Me, (bear in mind the law that) he who follows My guidance shall not be lost, nor shall he be unhappy.

20:124. `But he who turns away from My remembrance, he shall surely lead a straitened life. And (what is more,) We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.'

1 History of the Prophets: by Maulana Muhammad Ali – As Narrated in the Holy Quran, Compared with the Bible.
2 Genesis 2:4-3:24 – New International Version (NIV).
3 Al-Mâ'idah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
4 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
5 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
7 Al-Ambiya – The Prophets: Nooruddin
8 Al-Talaq – The Divorce: Nooruddin
9 Al-Ra`d – The Thunder: Nooruddin
10 Al-Nur – The Light: Nooruddin
11 Al-Rahman – The Beneficent: Shabbir Ahmed
12 Al-Insân – The Human Being: Nooruddin
13 Al-Wâqi`ah – The Great Event: Nooruddin
14 Qala – “He said” is the use of figurative speech to describe an event or a state of affairs without there being any actual speech or dialogue in any human language. This linguistic device may allow even inanimate object to “speak” e.g. “When the tank was full, it said to stop!” It may also be used to convey that which is not spoken in words, but in motions or actions, or in situation in which logical argument is to be presented. The poet writes “Her two eyes said: We listen and we obey.” – excerpted from Exegesis of The Holy Quran, Commentary and Reflections, Explained by Nooruddin. p. 339, 1st edition 2015.
15 Al-Talaq – The Divorce: Nooruddin
16 Al-Ambiya – The Prophets: Nooruddin
17 Al-Nur – The Light: Nooruddin
18 Al-Furqân – The Standard of True and False: Nooruddin
19 Ibrâhîm – Abraham: Nooruddin
20 Sâd – The Truthful God: Nooruddin
21 Yûnus – Jonah: Nooruddin
22 Al-Rahmân – The Most Gracious: Nooruddin
23 Al-`Alaq – The Clot: Muhammad Ali, Zahid Aziz
24 Al-`Alaq – The Clot: Muhammad Ali, Zahid Aziz
25 Al-`Alaq – The Clot: Nooruddin
26 Al-Insân – The Human Being: Nooruddin
27 Al-Nahl – The Bee: Nooruddin
28 Fussilat – Detailed and Clear in Exposition: Nooruddin
29 Al-Nahl – The Bee: Nooruddin
30 Al-Ra`d – The Thunder: Nooruddin
31 Al-Nahl – The Bee: Nooruddin
32 Tâ Hâ – Perfect Man! be at Rest: Nooruddin
33 “gravely disabled” means an inability to provide for his or her basic personal needs for food, clothing, or shelter. HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE – HSC DIVISION 2.5. EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES [1797 – 1799.207] ( Division 2.5 added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 1260. )
34 Ibrahim – Abraham:
35 Al-Waqiah – The Great Event: Nooruddin
36 Luqman – Luqman: Muhammad Ali
37 Isrâ – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
38 Al-Anfal – The Spoils of War: Nooruddin
39 Al-Mâ'idah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
40 Al-A`râf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
41 Al-A’raaf – The Heights of Discernment: Shabbir Ahmed
42 Al-A`râf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
43 Al-Zumar – The Multitudes: Nooruddin
44 Al-Adiyat – The Chargers: Nooruddin
45 Al-Rahman – The Most Gracious: Nooruddin
46 Al-Hijr – The Rock: Nooruddin
47 Al-Sâffât – Those Ranging in Ranks: Nooruddin
48 Al-Anbiya – The Prophets: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
49 Al-Furqân – The Standard of True and False: Nooruddin
50 Al-Tîn – The Fig: Nooruddin
51 Al-A`râf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
52 Al-A`râf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
53 Isrâ' – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
54 Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
55 Tâ Hâ – Perfect Man! be at Rest: Nooruddin