June 27, 2008
Did you know who first ate the forbidden fruit in heaven? Well, what a question to ask! Every one knows its Eve, and she made also included Adam in the sin. We all have read those verses many a times:
Genisis 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
This is the biblical version of who ate the forbidden fruit. Some of us, Muslims, also believe it that way. I’ve seen many people, including some scholars, also put it this way. But is that the truth, according to Qur’an? Is it Eve who ate it first, and then gave it to her husband?
Qur’an 2:34 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. 2:35 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.”2:36
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.”
Quran 007:019 “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.”
007.020 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 forever.”
007.021 And he swore to them both, that he was their sincere adviser.
007.022 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?”
007.023 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.”
007.024 (God) said: “Get ye down. With enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood– for a time.”
007.025 He said: “Therein shall ye live, and therein shall ye die; but from it shall ye be taken out (at last).”
No mention of Eve eating the fruit, and then providing it to Adam. Well, there is one more part of Adam and Eve in Eden, in Quran. That’s described below.
Quran 20:116 And (remember) when We said t to the angels: “Prostrate yourselves to Adam.” They prostrated (all) except Iblees (Satan), who refused.20:117 Then We said: “O Adam! Verily, this is an enemy to you and to your wife. So let him not get you both out of Paradise, so that you be distressed in misery.
20:118 Verily, you have (a promise from Us) that you will never be hungry therein nor naked.
20:119 And you (will) suffer not from thirst therein nor from the suns heat.
20:120 Then Shaitan (Satan) whispered to him, saying : “O Adam! Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that will never waste away?”
20:121 Then they both ate of the tree, and so their private parts appeared to them, and they began to stick on themselves the leaves from Paradise for their covering. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray.
20:122 Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance.
20:123 (Allah) said:”Get you down (from the Paradise to the earth), both of you, together, some of you are an enemy to some others. Then if there comes to you guidance from Me, then whoever follows My Guidance shall neither go astray, nor fall into distress and misery.
So who ate the fruit first? According to the Quran, both of them ate it, but it doesn’t say who ate it first. If Adam and Eve where on earth, I would have no doubt about Adam eating it first, because I think men are more capable of climbing trees and plucking the fruit than women. But in heaven, you don’t have to do all that.
Quran 55:54 They will recline on Carpets, whose inner linings will be of rich brocade: the Fruit of the Gardens will be near (and easy of reach).
So you don’t have to climb or throw stones or use a long stick or do anything to pluck the fruit from a tree. You wish, and the wish is granted. Wow! Masha Allah! So no way of putting the sin on Adam. What about Eve? May be she has eaten the fruit first. And may be Adam ate it first. But, Allah, The All-Knowing never said that to us. Do you know why? May be because He foresaw something – if He put the blame on Adam, the whole men will be blamed, and if He put the blame on Eve, the whole women will be blamed! That’s the human nature. Allah, The Almighty, never wanted his slaves to be blamed for the sin Adam and Eve did. Everyone’s sin is their own, and not others’. Isn’t that great of Allah?
Just suppose this situation: Your husband comes home from office, a little angry with official problems. You get to make a coffee for him, and somehow the sugar added becomes more than usual, or less than usual. And he starts shouting, “Oh! This women. Why on the earth were they created? Just for eating the forbidden fruit and kicking us out of heaven!……”
How would you feel? You are blamed for Eve eating the fruit. Allah, The All-Knowing, foresaw this situation, and so didn’t tell us that part of the story.
Now the forbidden fruit is not the big issue in Quran – about who ate it first. Because Allah, The Almighty, have already decided to create men and women on earth.
Quran 2:30 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.”
So, humans were meant for earth. Then why did Allah, The Almighty, put them in heaven first, and asked them not to eat the forbidden fruit? Well, I don’t know about that, ‘coz I don’t have any knowledge except what Allah, The All-Knowing, have given me. But with my little brain that Allah have given me, I guess it is to give us an illustration of what the Iblees or Shaitan can do to us. He can take our heaven away from us, like he did to Adam and Eve. He is good at whispering evil in us, like he did to Adam and Eve. There were enough fruits in heaven not to make Adam and Eve hungry, but still they went and ate the forbidden fruit. It was not because they were hungry that they ate the fruit, but because Iblees tempted them. We have enough blessings of Allah on earth, and enough of halal things to do, to eat, to drink but still we go and get into haram things. Just as Iblees made Adam to eat the forbidden fruit.
So, beware of Iblees, else it will be you who eats the forbidden fruit next.