Basic Outline of the Story of Adam (AS) and Hawwa as Found in the Qur’an and Ahadith
This is by no means an exhaustive collection of material available on the Muslim perspective of our first father, Adam (AS). This is just a gathering of information from the most basic and well-known sources. This article was originally meant to be a cheat sheet for my friend Timmy and I in order to help us prepare us for comparing Adam’s (AS) story in the Bible with that found in the Qur’an. After putting it all together, though, I decided that I might as well start a little “Basic Outline of the Stories of the Prophets as Found in the Qur’an and Ahadith” series. I only put down annecdotes from sources that I have personally have found or feel I can trust as a student. All the Qur’an verses were translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. Anyways, enjoy!
Adam (AS) and Hawwa (Eve) Are Created in Paradise
- (Sahih Muslim Bk.4 Ch.152 No.1856, 1857): Abu Huraira reported the Apostle of Allah as saying: “The best day on which the sun has risen is Friday; on it Adam was created. On it (Friday) he was made to enter Paradise, on it he was expelled from it. And the Last Hour will take place on no day other than Friday.“
- (Qur’an Ch.3 v.59): The similitude of Jesus before Allah (SWT) is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be!” and he was.
- (Qur’an Ch.55 v.14): He (Allah (SWT) created man from sounding clay like unto pottery.
- (Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.4 Bk.55 No.543): Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Allah created Adam, making him 60 cubits (90 feet, or 27.4 meters) tall. When He created him, He said to him, ‘Go and greet that group of angels, and listen to their reply, for it will be your greeting and the greeting of your offspring.’ So, Adam said (to the angels), ‘As-Salamu Alaikum (peace be upon you).’ The angels said, ‘As-salamu Alaika wa Rahmatu-l-lahi ( Peace and Allah’s Mercy be upon you).’ Thus the angels added to Adam’s salutation the expression, ‘Wa Rahmatu-l-lahi.’ Any person who will enter Paradise will resemble Adam (in appearance and figure). People have been decreasing in stature since Adam’s creation.“
- (Sunan al-Tirmidhi Bk.50 Ch.94 No.3379) Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger said: “When Allah created Adam and blew into him the spirit, he sneezed and said ‘Alhamdulillah’ (All-Praise is due to Allah). Thus, he praised Allah with His permission. And, so, his Lord said to him ‘Yaharmakullah’ (may Allah have mercy on you), 0 Adam, go to those angels (to the angels among them who are seated) and say: ‘As-Salamu Alaikum (peace be upon you).’ They responded: ‘As-salamu Alaika wa Rahmatu-l-lahi ( Peace and Allah’s Mercy be upon you). Then he returned to his Lord who said, ‘This is your salutation and the salutation of your children to each other.’ And, Allah said to him while His Hands were closed in a Fist, ‘Choose whichever of the two you wish.’ He (Adam) said, ‘I choose the right hand of my Lord – and both hands of my Lord are right and blessed.’ Then, Allah spread it open – and, behold, in it were Adam and his progeny. He asked, “0 Lord, who are they?” He said, ‘They are your off-spring.’ And with regard to every person, his age was inscribed between his two eyes. And, behold, among them was a man, most radiant of them all – or one of the most radiant of them. He asked, ‘0 Lord, who is he?’ Allah said, “He is your son Dawud (David). And I have decreed for him the age forty years.” He said, ‘0 Lord, add to his age.’ He (Allah (SWT)) said, ‘That is what is decreed for him.’ He (Adam (AS)) said, ‘0 Lord! Then indeed set aside for him from my age, sixty years.” Allah said, ‘That is for you to do.’ Then, he lived in Paradise as long as Allah willed. Then he was sent down (to Earth) and he kept a count of his age. The Angel of Death came to him and Adam said to him, “Surely, you have made haste. For me, a thousand years have been written down.” The angel said, “Certainly, but you have set aside for your son Dawud sixty years.” But he denied. So his offspring denied. And he forgot, so his offspring forgot.” (The Prophet said): “Since that day the command is issued to write down and to have witnesses.” This hadith is hasan gharib (ranked as ‘fair’) through this sanad (chain of narration). It is also reported through other isnad from Abu Hurairah from the Prophet (SAW). (Reported from Zayd ibn Aslam, from Abu Salih, from Abu Hurairah, from the Prophet)
- (Sahih Muslim Bk.32 Ch.29 No.6319, 6320): Anas reported Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying: “When Allah fashioned Adam in Paradise, He left him as He liked him to leave. Iblis then roamed round him to see what actually that was and when he found him hollow from within, he recognized that he had been created with a disposition that he would not have control over himself.“
- (Sahih Muslim Bk.32 Ch.30 No.6325): This hadith has been transmitted on the authority of Abu Huraira and in the hadith transmitted on the authority of Ibn Hatim. Allah’s Apostle is reported to have said: “When any one of you fights with his brother, he should avoid his face for Allah created Adam in His own image.“
- (Qur’an Ch.4 v.1): O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;- reverence Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (That bore you): for Allah ever watches over you.
- (Qur’an Ch. 7 v.189): It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her (in love)…
- (Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.4 Bk.55 No.548): Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah ‘s Apostle said, “Treat women nicely, for a women is created from a rib, and the most curved portion of the rib is its upper portion, so, if you should try to straighten it, it will break, but if you leave it as it is, it will remain crooked. So treat women nicely.“
- (Sunan Abu Dawood, Saheeh Al-Jaami’ As-Sagheer wa-Ziyadatuhu (No.1759), as well as in Silsalatul-Ahaadeeth-as-Saheehah (No.1630)): Imam Ahmad has narrated from Abu Musa that the Prophet said: “Allah has created Adam from a handful (of soil) which He had gathered from all over the earth. That is how the children of Adam came according to the (colour and nature of the) earth. There are white among them, as well as red and black, and cross colours. There are those among them who are of bad nature and good nature, soft as well as harsh and in between.
Adam (AS) and Hawwah (Eve) Are Deceived by Iblis (Satan), Yet Forgiven by Allah (SWT) and Receive Guidance Thereafter
- (Qur’an Ch.7 vv.10-27): 10. It is We Who have placed you with authority on earth, and provided you therein with means for the fulfilment of your life: small are the thanks that ye give! 11. It is We Who created you and gave you shape; then We bade the angels bow down to Adam, and they bowed down; not so Iblis; He refused to be of those who bow down. 12. ((Allah)) said: “What prevented thee from bowing down when I commanded thee?” He said: “I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay.” 13. ((Allah)) said: “Get thee down from this: it is not for thee to be arrogant here: get out, for thou art of the meanest (of creatures).” 14. He said: “Give me respite till the day they are raised up.” 15. ((Allah)) said: “Be thou among those who have respite.” 16. He said: “Because thou hast thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on thy straight way: 17. “Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: Nor wilt thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for thy mercies).” 18. ((Allah)) said: “Get out from this, disgraced and expelled. If any of them follow thee,- Hell will I fill with you all. 19. “O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and enjoy (its good things) as ye wish: but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression.” 20. Then began Satan to whisper suggestions to them, bringing openly before their minds all their shame that was hidden from them (before): he said: “Your Lord only forbade you this tree, lest ye should become angels or such beings as live for ever.” 21. And he swore to them both, that he was their sincere adviser. 22. So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shame became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: “Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Satan was an avowed enemy unto you?” 23. They said: “Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: If thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost.” 24. ((Allah)) said: “Get ye down. With enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood,- for a time.” 25. He said: “Therein shall ye live, and therein shall ye die; but from it shall ye be taken out (at last).” 26. O ye Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness,- that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition! 27. O ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as He got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the evil ones friends (only) to those without faith.
- (Qur’an Ch. 2 vv.28-38): 28. How can ye reject the faith in Allah.- seeing that ye were without life, and He gave you life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return. 29. It is He Who hath created for you all things that are on earth; Moreover His design comprehended the heavens, for He gave order and perfection to the seven firmaments; and of all things He hath perfect knowledge. 30. 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.” 31. And He taught Adam the nature of all things; then He placed them before the angels, and said: “Tell me the nature of these if ye are right.” 32. They said: “Glory to Thee, of knowledge We have none, save what Thou Hast taught us: In truth it is Thou Who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom.” 33. He said: “O Adam! Tell them their natures.” When he had told them, Allah said: “Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what ye reveal and what ye conceal?” 34. And behold, We said to the angels: “Bow down to Adam” and they bowed down. Not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: He was of those who reject Faith. 35. We said: “O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression.” 36. Then did Satan make them slip from the (garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been. We said: “Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood – for a time.” 37. Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord Turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. 38. We said: “Get ye down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
- (Qur’an Ch.20 vv.115-123) – 115. We had already, beforehand, taken the covenant of Adam, but he forgot: and We found on his part no firm resolve. 116. When We said to the angels, “Prostrate yourselves to Adam”, they prostrated themselves, but not Iblis: he refused. 117. Then We said: “O Adam! verily, this 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. 118. “There is therein (enough provision) for thee not to go hungry nor to go naked, 119. “Nor to suffer from thirst, nor from the sun’s heat.” 120. But Satan whispered evil to him: he said, “O Adam! shall I lead thee to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that never decays?” 121. 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. 122. But his Lord chose him (for His Grace): He turned to him, and gave him Guidance. 123. 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.
- (Qur’an Ch.3 v.33): Allah did choose Adam and Noah, the family of Abraham, and the family of ‘Imran above all people.
- (Qur’an Ch. 17 vv.61-65): 61. Behold! We said to the angels: “Bow down unto Adam”: They bowed down except Iblis: He said, “Shall I bow down to one whom Thou didst create from clay?” 62. He said: “Seest Thou? this is the one whom Thou hast honoured above me! If Thou wilt but respite me to the Day of Judgment, I will surely bring his descendants under my sway – all but a few!” 63. ((Allah)) said: “Go thy way; if any of them follow thee, verily Hell will be the recompense of you (all)- an ample recompense. 64. “Lead to destruction those whom thou canst among them, with thy (seductive) voice; make assaults on them with thy cavalry and thy infantry; mutually share with them wealth and children; and make promises to them.” But Satan promises them nothing but deceit. 65. “As for My servants, no authority shalt thou have over them:” Enough is thy Lord for a Disposer of affairs.
- (Qur’an Ch.18 v.50): Behold! We said to the angels, “Bow down to Adam”: They bowed down except Iblis. He was one of the Jinns, and he broke the Command of his Lord. Will ye then take him and his progeny as protectors rather than Me? And they are enemies to you! Evil would be the exchange for the wrong-doers!
- (Hadith Qudsi 34): On the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) say: Allah the Almighty 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 at it.” It was related by at-Tirmidhi (also by Ahmad ibn Hanbal). Its chain of authorities is sound.
Qabil (Cain) and Habil (Abel)
- (Qur’an Ch.5 vv.28-32): 28. Recite to them the truth of the story of the two sons of Adam. Behold! they each presented a sacrifice (to Allah.: It was accepted from one, but not from the other. Said the latter: “Be sure I will slay thee.” “Surely,” said the former, “(Allah) doth accept of the sacrifice of those who are righteous. 29. “If thou dost stretch thy hand against me, to slay me, it is not for me to stretch my hand against thee to slay thee: for I do fear Allah, the cherisher of the worlds. 30. “For me, I intend to let thee draw on thyself my sin as well as thine, for thou wilt be among the companions of the fire, and that is the reward of those who do wrong.” 31. The (selfish) soul of the other led him to the murder of his brother: he murdered him, and became (himself) one of the lost ones. 32. Then Allah sent a raven, who scratched the ground, to show him how to hide the shame of his brother. “Woe is me!” said he; “Was I not even able to be as this raven, and to hide the shame of my brother?” then he became full of regrets.
- (Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.9 Ch.83 No.6): Narrated ‘Abdullah: The Prophet said, “No human being is killed unjustly, but a part of responsibility for the crime is laid on the first son of Adam who invented the tradition of killing (murdering) on the earth.” (It is said that he was Qabil).
On the Day of Judgement
- (Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.8 Bk.76 No.536): Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “The first man to be called on the Day of Resurrection will be Adam who will be shown his offspring, and it will be said to them, ‘This is your father, Adam.’ Adam will say (responding to the call), ‘Labbaik and Sa’daik.‘ Then Allah will say (to Adam), ‘Take out of your offspring, the people of Hell.’ Adam will say, ‘O Lord, how many should I take out?’ Allah will say, ‘Take out ninety-nine out of every hundred.” They (the Prophet’s companions) said, “O Allah’s Apostle! If ninety-nine out of every one hundred of us are taken away, what will remain out of us?” He said, “My followers in comparison to the other nations are like a white hair on a black ox.”
- (Sahih al-Bukhari Vol.6 Bk.60 No.3): Narrated Anas: Allah’s Apostle said, “The believers will be assembled on the Day of Resurrection and they will say, ‘Let us look for someone to intercede for us with our Lord so that He may relieve us from this place of ours.’ So they will go to Adam and say, ‘You are Adam, the father of mankind, and Allah created you with His Own Hands and ordered the angels to prostrate before you, and He taught you the names of all things; so please intercede for us with our Lord so that He may relieve us.’ Adam will say, to them, ‘I am not fit for that,’ and then he will mention to them his mistake which he has committed.”…
Most of my sources may be found at the USC MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts. This online archive is an indespensible treasure trove of the msot basic and neccessary Muslim texts, and I highly reccomnend that you bookmark it.
Below is a link to Ibn Kathir’s rendition of Adam’s (AS) life in his Stories of the Prophets. Ibn Kathir weaves the stories quite wonderfully in my opinion, combining various sources into one solid and comprehensive biography. My only trouble with Ibn Kathir is that a lot of his material is from non-Muslim sources, such as the Midrash, etc. Of course, he only uses what Muslims would deem as possibly true, and rejects obvious fallacies. I suppose he meant it to be “stories” instead of “biographies.” However, perhaps his sources were indeed Muslim, and I just haven’t located them. Anyways, despite that, I still love Ibn Kathir’s work because he really examines the stories and extracts the teachings, morals, and hidden messages. I highly reccomend Ibn Kathir for those who wish to learn about the prophets of Islam, and what their stories teach us and mean to us.
The entirety of Ibn Kathir’s Stories of the Prophets may be found here: