The human creation has three interlinked phases: Much earlier than the physical creation of humanity, God created all the human spirits, to be born in the world from day one till the last day of the world. This was ‘The First Creation’ and He entered in to Covenant: “When thy Lord drew forth from the children of Adam from their loins their descendants and made them testify concerning themselves (saying): “Am I not your Lord?” They said: “Yea! we do testify!” (This) lest ye should say on the Day of Judgment: “of this we were never mindful.” (Qur’an;7:172). Thereafter the spirits were put in to the state of sleep (First Death). Allah has also instilled instinctive cognition to differentiate between right and wrong: “by the soul and Him Who perfected it and inspired it with knowledge of what is wrong for it and what is right for it: indeed successful will be the one who keeps it pure, and indeed failure will be the one who corrupts it!”(Qur’an;91:7-10). It is due to this implied Covenant with whole of humanity, that the concept of One Supreme God, Allah is part of nature of every human being, right from the day he is physically borne in this world (Second Creation) weather he receives the message of guidance from an apostle or not. Though he tends to forget it due to the influence of satanic forces and environments. According to Sahih Bukhari Hadith No.298, volume 4: Narrated by Abu Hurairah; Allah’s Apostle said, “No child is born except on Al-Fitra (Islam) and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian, as an animal produces a perfect young animal: do you see any part of its body amputated?” Then he recited: “Therefore, stand firm in your devotion to the upright faith - the nature made by Allah, (hanefa fitr’ah) the one on which mankind is created - and the laws of Nature ordained by Allah cannot be changed. That is the ‘Standard True Religion’, but most among mankind do not know.”(Qur’an;30:30).
Man lives in this world with the freedom of choice to follow the way of the Lord or of Satan. After living in this world for specific period, he dies (Second Death). He will be raised again on Day of Judgment (Third Creation) for accountability: “on that Day when the earth shall split asunder and the people shall be rushing out of it; that gathering them together shall be quite easy for Us.”(Qur’an;50:44); “They shall come out from their graves, like swarming locusts, with downcast eyes, rushing towards the caller and the same unbelievers will cry: “This is indeed an awful Day!”(Qur’an;54:7-8); “That Day will every soul be requited for what it earned; no injustice will there be that Day for Allah is Swift in taking account.”(Qur’an;40:17). Thereafter while the unbelievers will be thrown to hell to live there for ever, the pious believers (of all the messengers and prophets) according to their faith and deeds will be blessed to live in paradise, however the sinful believers will be punished, but ultimately God will accord permission to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to intercede, hence they will be taken out of hell in batches to live in paradise for ever. Those people who did not receive the message of guidance through messenger or preachers, will be judged according to the ‘Implied Covenant’; part of their nature explored through the intellect; but not according to the Law (Shari’a), which they did not know. They may hang around between paradise and hell, (like ashab ul ar’af, Qur’an;-47) with the hope to enter paradise with Mercy of Allah. Allah is All Mighty, Powerful to do what ever He Wills.
The Qur’an narrates the creation of human being at many places. The man was endowed with the knowledge, wisdom and disdained to have choice of free will, to distinguish and choose from right and wrong, the capability not available to other animals. Man was created by design, to be God’s vicegerent in this world. Appointment of vicegerent demands great responsibility, which was accepted by man. While creating the human, God said; “Behold thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth “.They said “Wilt thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? Whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?” He said: “I know what ye know not.”(Qur’an;).; “Behold! thy Lord said to the angels: “I am about to create man from sounding clay from mud molded into shape; “When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit fall ye down in obeisance unto him.”(Qur’an;-29); “We have indeed created man in the best stature;”(Qur’an;95:4). “We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains: but they refused to undertake it being afraid thereof: but man undertook it he was indeed unjust and foolish”(Qur’an;33:72). “And He (God) imparted in to Adam the knowledge of the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels and said: “Tell Me the nature of these if ye are right. “Glory to You,” they replied, “we have no knowledge except what You have taught us: in fact You are the One who is perfect in knowledge and wisdom.” Allah said: “O Adam! Tell them the names.” When Adam told them the names, Allah said: “Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of the heavens and the earth and I know what you reveal and what you conceal?”. And when We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam, they did obeisance, not so Satan, he refused and-was haughty and he was of the: rejecters” (Qur’an;-34). “I (Iblis) am better than him (Adam), you created me from fire and created him from clay. Allah said to Satan: “Get down from here. You have no right to brag here of your superiority. Get out; henceforth you are of the petty ones.”” (Qur’an;7:12-13).
The Satan (Iblis) requested God for respite, and permission to lure in the man from the true path, the path of obedience to God, towards the evil path of disobedience and transgression. Allah as per His Wisdom and plan granted the permission; “Satan said: Give me respite till the Resurrection Day. Allah said: Be you among those who are given respite. He said: Because You have thrown me out of the way, I will certainly lie in wait for them (human) on Your Straight Path. Then will assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, nor will You find most of them grateful”(Qur’an;-18). Allah warned Adam against the evil designs of Satan: “Then We said: “O Adam! Verily this (Satan) is an enemy to thee and thy wife: so let him not get you both out of the Garden so that thou art landed in misery. “There is therein (enough provision) for thee not to go hungry nor to go naked. Nor to suffer from thirst nor from the sun’s heat. But Satan whispered evil to him: he said “O Adam! shall I lead thee to Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that never decays? In the result they both ate of the tree and so their nakedness appeared to them: they began to sew together for their covering leaves from the Garden: thus did Adam disobey His Lord and allow himself to be seduced” (Qur’an;20:117-121). Adam and Eve prayed to God for forgiveness; “.. “Our Lord! We have wronged our souls. If You do not forgive us and have mercy on us, we shall certainly be of the losers.”(Qur’an;); “Then Adam received appropriate words from his Lord and repented, and Allah accepted his repentance. Surely Allah is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.”(Qur’an;);“But his Lord chose him (for His Grace): He turned to him and gave him guidance. He said: “Get ye down both of you all together from the Garden with enmity one to another; but if as is sure there comes to you guidance from Me whosoever follows My guidance will not lose his way nor fall into misery. But whosoever turns away from My Message verily for him is a life narrowed down and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment.” (Qur’an;20:122-124). The humanity originally created from the water and clay was made to multiply and grow thorough marriage relationships, having different languages and colors spread allover the earth.(Qur’an;25:54, 30:20, 30:22). God warned the humanity: “Satan’s plan is to incite enmity and hatred among you with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and regular prayer. Will you not then abstain?”(Qur’an;5:91).
The Qur’anic and Biblical version of creation of Adam, though generally similar, also has glaring differences. In the Bible, there are two accounts of their creation. According to the Priestly history of the 5th or 6th century BC (Genesis;1:1-2:4), God on the sixth day of Creation created all the living creatures: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”(Genesis;2:7); “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”(Genesis;1:27) [“We have indeed created man in the best stature;”(Qur’an;95:4)]. God then blessed the couple, told them to be “fruitful and multiply,” and gave them dominion over all other living things. According to the lengthier Yahwist narrative of the 10th century BC (Genesis; 2:5-7, 2:15-4:1, 4:25), God, or Yahweh, created Adam at a time when the earth was still void, forming him from the earth’s dust and breathing “into his nostrils the breath of life.” God then gave Adam the primeval Garden of Eden to tend but, on penalty of death, commanded him not to eat of the fruit of the “tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Subsequently, so that Adam would not be alone, God created other animals but, finding these insufficient, put Adam to sleep, took from him a rib, and created a new companion, Eve. The two were persons of innocence until Eve yielded to the temptations of the evil serpent (Islam does not blame eve alone) and Adam joined her in eating the forbidden fruit, whereupon they both recognized their nakedness and donned fig leaves as garments. Immediately, God recognized their transgression and proclaimed their punishments; for the woman, pain in childbirth and subordination to man, and, for the man, relegation to an accursed ground with which he must toil and sweat for his subsistence.
According to Bible, Adam, the first man, lived on earth about 5,800 Years Ago: As per the genealogy of Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) given in the Bible, from Jesus through Abraham (peace be upon him) to the first man on earth i.e. Adam (peace be upon him) appeared on the earth approximately 5800 years ago [1948 years between Adam and Abraham plus approximately 1800 years between Abraham and Jesus and 2000 years from Jesus till present]. These figures are further confused by the fact that the Jewish calendar is currently on or about 5800 years old. There is sufficient evidence from archaeological and anthropological sources to suggest that the first human being on earth was present tens of thousands of years ago and not merely 5,800 years ago as is suggested by the Bible. The Qur’an too speaks about Adam as the first man on earth but it does not suggest any date or period of his life on earth, unlike the Biblical version totally incompatible with science.
The story of Adam and Eve is, in reality, an allegory of human destiny. In his earlier state of virtuousness man was unaware of the existence of evil and, therefore, of the ever-present necessity of making a choice between the many possibilities of action and behaviour: in other words, he lived, like all other animals, in the light of his instincts alone. Inasmuch, however, as this innocence was only a condition of his existence and not a virtue, it gave to his life a static quality and thus precluded him from moral and intellectual development. The growth of his consciousness-symbolized by the willful act of disobedience to God’s command-changed all this. It transformed him from a purely instinctive being into a full-fledged human entity as we know it - a human being capable of discriminating between right and wrong and thus of choosing his way of life. In this deeper sense, the allegory of the ‘fall’ does not describe a retrogressive happening but, rather, a new stage of human development: an opening of doors to moral considerations. By forbidding him to “approach this tree”, God made it possible for man to act wrongly-and, therefore, to act rightly as well: and so man became endowed with that moral free will which distinguishes him from all other conscious beings.
Freedom of Choice Through Guidance, Intellect and Reason: Allah does not want to force the ‘Faith’ upon human, He says: “If your Lord had so willed, He would have certainly made mankind one single nation but that is not what He wants, so they will continue to differ except those on whom He has bestowed His mercy; and that very freedom of choice and action is the whole purpose of their creation. That is how the Word of your Lord, that; ‘He will fill Hell with jinns and human beings all together’, will be fulfilled.”(Qur’an;11:118-119); “If it had been the will of your Lord that all the people of the world should be believers, all the people of the earth would have believed! Would you then compel mankind against their will to believe? Notwithstanding that no human being can ever attain to faith otherwise than by God’s leave, and (that) it is He who lays the loathsome evil (of disbelief) upon those who will not use their reason?(Qur’an;10:100). “If We wanted, We could send down upon them a sign from the heaven before which they would bend their necks in submission, but that is not what We want.”(Qur’an;26:4). Man has been provided with natural inspired guidance and endowed with intellect, so that he can use his reason and freedom of choice: “by the soul and Him Who perfected it and inspired it with knowledge of what is wrong for it and what is right for it: indeed successful will be the one who keeps it pure, and indeed failure will be the one who corrupts it!”(Qur’an;91:7-10); “Who hath ordained laws and granted guidance;” (Qur’an;87:3). The responsibility of misdeed and unbelief is upon the man: “It was not We that wronged them: they wronged their own souls :”(Qur’an;11:101); “O Muhammad, declare: “O mankind! The truth has come to you from your Lord! He that follows guidance (
follows it for his own good, and he that goes astray does so at his own risk;
for I am not a custodian over you.”(Qur’an;10:108); “There is no compulsion in religion.”
(Qur’an;2:256); “Truth has come and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood by its
nature is bound to perish.”(Qur’an;17:81). The pious believers will be told:
“This is Paradise; you have inherited it by
virtue of your past deeds.”(Qur’an;43:72).
Individual Responsibility, Accountability & Repentance: God is very fair and Just: “The fact is that Allah does not do injustice to mankind in any way: but men are unjust to their own souls.”(Qur’an;). In Islam there is no concept of original sin or inherited sin, man is born free of sin. Qur’an stress upon the individual responsibility of man, Allah says: ““If they do not believe you, say: “I am responsible for my actions and you are for yours! You are not accountable for my actions, nor I am responsible for what you do.”(Qur’an;); But whoso ever repents after his wrongdoing and amends, lo! God will relent toward him. Lo! God is Forgiving, Merciful.”(Qur’an;); “.. Every soul will reap the fruits of its own deeds; no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another.” (Qur’an;6:164). Bible also emphasizes the individual responsibility: “The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. But if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.”(Ezekiel;-21); “I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”(Isiah;43:25); “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.”(Jermiah;31:34 & 36:3); “To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness;” (Daniel;9:9); “But there is forgiveness with thee, That thou mayest be feared”(Psalms;103:4). Adam (peace be upon him) committed the first sin, he repented and was forgiven by God (Qur’an;), God is so merciful that He has decreed mercy upon Himself for the repentant, He is the Forgiving, the Loving (Qur’an;, 85:14).
The Vicegerent: Allah appointed man, as His vicegerent on earth, however the disbelieves, bears the burden of his disbelief.(Qur’an;35:39). Human being enjoys a special high ranking status in the hierarchy of all known creatures. Man occupies this distinguished position because he is gifted with rational faculties and spiritual aspirations as well as powers of action. Man is not a condemned race from birth to death, but is a dignified being potentially capable of good and noble achievements. Every person is born with the nature to be obedient to God by following His natural laws (Qur’an:30:30). Every person is endowed by Allah with spiritual potential and intellectual inclination that can make him a good Muslim Every person’s birth takes place according to the will of Allah in realization of His plans and in submission to His commands. Every person is born free from sin until he commits it by freedom of choice provided to him. When a person reaches the age of maturity and if sane, he becomes accountable for all his deeds and intentions. There is no inherited sin, No Original Sin, Adam committed the first sin, he prayed to Allah for pardon and Allah pardoned him (Qur’an;20:121-122). People are created equal by the God, there is no superiority for one race over another except the most righteous (Qur’an;49:13). No one can claim that he is better than others. It is only Allah Who knows who is better, the criterion being the piety and righteousness. The mankind was chosen collectively to be Vicegerents (Qur’an;2:30), yet some among mankind fall pray to evil, due to their own wrong choice hence, they will suffer the punishment in hereafter.
The Bible mentions that man is made in God’s image: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creep upon the earth.”(Genesis; also mentioned at & 9:6). The biblical theologians have interpreted “Image of God” as ‘God’s representative’. Hence it is the function of man to be God’s stead on earth. He is God’s representative, exercise dominion over all that is in universe, to fill it conquer it (Genesis;). It is confirmed at Psalms: “Yet thou hast made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor.”(Psalms;8:5). The man is God’s image because he dominates creation; so that he may exercise his domination God has vested man with God’s power and inspired every living thing with fear of him. Man has been created king of the created order, God’s vicar on earth, endowed with God’s strength so that the animal kingdom stands awe of him.