Showing posts with label Eve. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eve. Show all posts

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Original Sin, Messiah & Salvation of Humanity

Bible and Qur'an al Kerim both narrate Adam's creation; his wife; his first dwelling in a garden and the many freedoms he and his wife enjoyed in this garden. Only one prohibition they had to live with: The fruit of a specific tree wasn't allowed for them to eat.

The Bible then says, in Genesis 3, how man was seduced by woman to eat the fruit, after the woman had been seduced by Satan to eat it. The text actually doesn't say, why Satan picks her first, or why she responds first. It has, however, big consequences for them both. Eve and Adam are described as if they represent humanity. After their disobedience, which rests on both of them, they repent. They are forgiven, but they are dismissed from the garden and sent down to Earth, where they receive a new assignment, different for men and women.

Judaism doesn't recognize an original sin shared by humanity as a whole. Judaism relies on personal responsibility and intent of each believer to abstain from Satan and sin. Moses, Musa, said this in a sermon, Deuteronomium 30:1-14, verses present in every Bible:

10 when you obey the Lord, your God, to observe His commandments and His statutes written in this Torah scroll, [and] when you return to the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul. 11 For this commandment which I command you this day, is not concealed from you, nor is it far away. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, "Who will go up to heaven for us and fetch it for us, to tell [it] to us, so that we can fulfill it?" 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, "Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us and fetch it for us, to tell [it] to us, so that we can fulfill it?" 14 Rather, [this] thing is very close to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can fulfill it.

In Christianity, however, there's a gap between Adam and Jesus. It's only to be filled centuries later, when Jesus arrives. Jesus is God's only child, only son, and God's manifestation on Earth as a living man. He has come to live with people; to introduce himself as the One God who will later, at the Day of Resurrection, raise people from death and judge them. Christianity says, that Jesus had come to put it right: The first sin, committed by the first human couple. It still weighed upon the fate of all mankind. Humanity had never been fully exonerated of the disobedience in Eden, until Jesus came. The original sin story is a Christian concept. It suggests, that God had corrected Himself by sending His only son, to remove imperfection from humanity: Negative behaviours and inclinations. Jesus also restored good relations between man and woman, as we may see in Paulus' letters, NT.

Many Christian commentators say, the Old Testament mentions several predictions of Jesus' arrival on Earth with the aim to exonerate mankind of this first sin. Such as Ps 16:8-11 and Dan 9:24-27:

Psalm 16:8-11 New International Version (NIV):
'8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful [a] one see decay. 11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.' Jesus speaks directly here, according to some commentators.

Daniel 9:24-27 Tanakh Online:
24 Seventy weeks [of years] have been decreed upon your people and upon the city of your Sanctuary to terminate the transgression and to end sin, and to expiate iniquity, and to bring eternal righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the Holy of Holies. 25 And you shall know and understand that from the emergence of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed king [shall be] seven weeks, and [for] sixty-two weeks it will return and be built street and moat, but in troubled times. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed one will be cut off, and he will be no more, and the people of the coming monarch will destroy the city and the Sanctuary, and his end will come about by inundation, and until the end of the war, it will be cut off into desolation. 27 And he will strengthen a covenant for the princes for one week, and half the week he will abolish sacrifice and meal- offering, and on high, among abominations, will be the dumb one, and until destruction and extermination befall the dumb one.

Old Testament translations aren't always identical. For instance, verse 7:13, Daniel, says in the English Tanakh: 'I saw in the visions of the night, and behold with the clouds of the heaven, one like a man was coming, and he came up to the Ancient of Days and was brought before Him.' The King James Bible uses different words: 'I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.' Same thing we see in verse Ps 16:10. The Tanakh mentions 'Your pious one' and King James Bible mentions 'thine Holy One'. So, there's no unanimous approach towards Jesus. Christian Bible translations see predictions of Jesus in certain Biblical verses, where the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, refrains from such comment.

Jewish commentators, such as Rabbi Baruch, say that Christian commentators must have made translation errors and must have been mistaken in dating the events. They neglected the difference between the Jewish and their own calendars. Therefore, the messiah mentioned in book Daniel 9 must have been someone other than Jesus. Generally, with exception of Messianic Jews, Jewish scholars doubt that Jesus was the messiah mentioned in the Old Testament. They deny that Jesus was supposed to remove sin from humanity, but do acknowledge a Messiah. This Messiah can't be Jesus, as Messiah will rebuild the Temple and restore Jerusalem as city of power, and he will restore justice. This is a future event, not yet happened. And, Jesus didn't acquire worldly power; he was executed and Jerusalem was destroyed soon after that. Jewish sources doubt Jesus' execution as a Jewish act. The Romans must have tried and convicted him for an offense that would require other punishment method in Jewish law. The New Testament says, Jesus was executed without proper trial, in the Pesach-season, at whimsical popular request. The Romans executed many Jews, among whom many with messianic claims, but not without trial. Jewish sources do not deny Jesus' crucifixion (with some exceptions); they do question or debate a Jewish role:

'From the Jewish point of view, the crime of which Jesus was convicted by the Jewish priests is greatly in doubt (see Jesus). If it was blasphemy, lapidation should, according to Jewish law, have been the penalty, with suspension from the gallows after death (Mishnah Sanh. iii. 4; Sifre, iii. 221). Nor were any of the well-known measures taken (Sanh. vi.) which provide before execution for the contingency of a reversal of the sentence. Neither was the "cross"—i.e., the gallows for hanging—constructed as usual after lapidation, and as ordained in Sanhedrin vi. 4. His hands were not bound as prescribed; the "cross" was not buried with his body (Maimonides, "Yad," Sanh. xv. 9). Whether the Jewish law would have tolerated a threefold execution at one and the same time is more than uncertain (Sanh. vi. 4; Sifre, ii. 221).' ( | Crucifixion)

Then, later again, comes the Qur'anic story, in verses 7:10-27. It doesn't have the same high degree of mysticism as the Biblical story, in my opinion. Adam's story is brought to us rather as a generalised allegory about the human lifecycle ~ though there's nothing wrong with seeing Garden of Eden just as it is: a garden away from Earth. All people can relate to his journey. No differences is made between Adam and his wife. Every human being, or at least most of us, enjoy a sheltered childhood environment, at the latest until puberty. Childhood is an age of great freedom to experiment, also for the mind. Puberty is the age where the human brain gains awareness of sin, evil. It's an age of testing boundaries; getting caught by supervisors or not; finally repenting. At some moment, the lesson is taken that it's better to abstain from breaking rules, because not everything was meant for us, or me, to use, own, or eat. Which is valid for each creature, human or not. And: Puberty and adolescence are the age where people gain awareness of two life aspects: That it's their life assignment to enter the world, and they gain awareness of their specific stance. They become self-conscious. However, their assignment to lead a specific, decent life on Earth, in obedience to Allah swt, has been given from the first moment they existed. And, it is not a safe life without enemies. Personal responsibility and intent of each believer decide forgiving of sins, and many sins are forgiven. Like Judaism, Islam doesn't recognise a collective, inherited sin. A believer must acknowledge the prophets, especially the messiah, who will collect humanity at judgement day.

My own conclusion after reading several texts about the (proverbial) original sin is that, as faitful, we should read each others' books, if only for verification of certain facts and quotes. It would be great to come to better understanding and knowledge. And hence, hopefully, to better relations.

A few Qur'anic verses concerning sin, forgiveness and Adam:
2:30-39, 2:134, 2:286, 4:1, 4:28, 4:31, 6:98, 7:10-35, 8:28, 33:35&36, 64:15

Biblical verses about Adam and OT-verses understood by commentators as prophesies about Jesus:

Gen 3:15, 9:27, 12:2-3, 16:13, 17:1, 19:1, 49:8-12; Ex 3:6; Num 24:15-19; Deut 18:15-18; the Psalms, but mostly Ps 16:8-11, Ps 2, 16, 22, 40, 45, 68, 69, 69:25, 72, 109, 110, 118, 118:25,26; Judg 13:2-25, 20; Isa 2:3,4, 9, 12, 40:3-5, 53:6,9a, 63:9; 1 Samuel 2:1-10,35,36; 2 Samuel 7, 24; 1 Chron 21; Job 33:23-28; Mt 1:33, 2:1, 6, 3:3, 21:9; Mal 3:1; Dan 2:44, 7:13,14, 9:24-27; I Pt 2:21-25; Zech 9:9,10, 10:12; Mic 5:2

Sources & Further Read: 

Quran Explorer
The Noble Quran

Jews for Jesus 
Official King James Bible Online
Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
The Complete Tanakh | Shaytan
Outreach Judaism | Original Sin
Torah Class | Daniel and the Messiah I
Torah Class | Romans Chapter 5 | Crucifixion

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Creation and Purpose of Humanity in Qur'an al Kerim

Humanity and Jinn, says Qur'an al Kerim, have been created to worship Allah swt. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. The creation of humanity, is briefly, but in good clarity, described in Qur'an al Kerim. Humans do not resemble Allah swt, may we conclude from Sourah Al Ikhlas. Several Qur'anic verses in Sourah 7 suggest, that humanity descends from first prophet Adam. It is likely to assume, he and his wife, were the first humans. Man was created from 'earth', from 'water', 'a single being, soul', and from 'a fluid', says Qur'an al Kerim. Qur'an does not confirm Darwin's evolution theory; that humans, and other living creatures, were gradually and over several generations, developed from one species into another. Qur'an says, the first human was, deliberately and willingly, created from 'mud', 'clay', 'earth', 'dust'; then from 'a drop of fluid'. Apparently simultaneously, each human is created from 'a soul'. Not only Adam; each individual is created from a single soul, as a man or as a woman, and is given a mate from it. Humans are created as pairs. Created from one soul, yet, no two humans are identical. It's most likely, that indeed Adam had a spouse, but Qur'an doesn't say, how she was created, nor if she was created 'from' Adam. She and Adam may also be created simultaneously from 'one soul'. Her name isn't mentioned. Tradition says, her name was Hawwa. (Chawa in Hebrew, or Eve in the Christian Bible.) There's a hadith saying, 'woman' is created of a 'rib' -- but, it doesn't say, what rib it is. Is it man's rib; is it the X-chromosome, or other. We now know, however, that the female egg contains two X-chromosomes, and only the male seed contains the gender-deciding X- or Y-chrosome. So, woman receives her gender, indeed, from man. And, the hadith seems to imply all women in general, not only Adam's spouse. Not all Qur'anic words have been verified. It's not verified, how humans are created in pairs. What's the plan behind that. Yet, the physical creation of humans, the pregnancy, has been described in fairly identifiable and accurate wording. Each fetus is developed and formed 'in stages', as say verses 22:5; 18:37; 39:6; 75:37-40. Traditionally, commentators focused more on the male seed than on the female egg, yet, Qur'an doesn't always mention, which of them is the 'fluid' that develops into a 'clot'. The female egg is the biggest human cell and is filled with, mostly, water and is transported through the fluid of the ovary. The male seed, however, is the smallest human cell and travels independently in water. So, sometimes, both can be the 'drop of fluid' mentioned in Qur'an.

Adam was created as 'viceroy' on Earth. He was given a leading position on Earth, however, he wasn't made with moral perfection. This much, the angels knew, when Allah swt announced, He had planned to place a leader figure on Earth, for whom they all had to prostrate. The angels had many questions, yet they all resigned to Divine rule -- except for one, Iblis. Iblis was the only angel, who couldn't accept Adam's leadership. Iblis's disobedience led to his downfall forever, away from the rank of angels. But, Iblis requested respite from downfall till the day of humanity's resurrection from their death. He was granted respite, but no forgiveness. From then, he received the title 'Satan'. Iblis, from then on, made it his life task to spite humanity and lead them astray from the righteous path of Allah swt. Adam and his wife were given a privileged dwelling place in the proverbial Garden, but not without strings attached. They were tested in their obedience to Allah swt. Everything in this garden was allowed to them as food, except a specifically mentioned tree. If more people were present in the Garden, is unknown, btw. Satan was swift to find them in the Garden and, successfully, entice them both to eat from this tree. Their disobedience, made Adam and his wife self conscious. Some commentators, compare this state of awkwardness and shame with coming of age: loosing childhood innocence, when committing the first act of grownup disobedience. They implored Allah swt for His forgiveness. Allah did forgive them partially. This incident led to a new decision by Allah swt: Humanity lost their privileged residence in the Garden and was sent 'down' to Earth. We can't say, however, Allah swt had made a new plan; it was plan to release then on Earth anyway. Residence on Earth, was, most probably, to be their main life assignment, as says verse 2:30. They were allowed to use whatever they needed on Earth, until a specified time, the day of humanity's resurrection. They would receive Divine guidance, however, Satan, too, was dismissed from the Garden. If more people were dismissed from the Garden, is unknown. If any human would lend his or her ear to Satan and his helpers and allow themselves to be led astray from the Divine path, he or she would then be assigned hellfire, after the day of resurrection. So, angels and humans alike, they all are given Divine bounty, but they may loose it, once they decide for disobedience. From then, Allah swt will stop His guidance to them, individually.

Humanity's second creation and new future will start at the day of resurrection, Yawm al Qiyamah. Then, those who followed Divine guidance, will be allowed into Jennah, paradise, and those who rejected it, will go to hellfire, Jahannam. In a nutshell.

These are applicable Qur'anic texts and ahadith:

'And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth, they said: Wilt thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said: Surely I know that which ye know not. (30) And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels, saying: Inform Me of the names of these, if ye are truthful. (31) They said: Be glorified! We have no knowledge saving that which Thou hast taught us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower, the Wise. (32) He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names, and when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth? And I know that which ye disclose and which ye hide. (33) And when We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever. (34) And We said: O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye freely (of the fruits) thereof where ye will; but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers. (35) But Satan caused them to deflect therefrom and expelled them from the (happy) state in which they were; and We said: Fall down, one of you a foe unto the other! There shall be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a time. (36) Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful. (37) We said: Go down, all of you, from hence; but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. (38) But they who disbelieve, and deny Our revelations, such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. (39)' (2:30-39)

'O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom ye claim (your rights) of one another, and toward the wombs (that bare you). Lo! Allah hath been a watcher over you.' (4:1)

'And He it is Who hath produced you from a single being, and (hath given you) a habitation and a repository. We have detailed Our revelations for a people who have understanding.' (6:98)

'And We have given you (mankind) power in the earth, and appointed for you therein livelihood. Little give ye thanks! (10) And We created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration. (11) He said: What hindered thee that thou didst not fall prostrate when I bade thee? (Iblis) said: I am better than him. Thou createdst me of fire while him Thou didst create of mud. (12) He said: Then go down hence! It is not for thee to show pride here, so go forth! Lo! thou art of those degraded. (13) He said: Reprieve me till the day when they are raised (from the dead). (14) He said: Lo! thou art of those reprieved. (15) He said: Now, because Thou hast sent me astray, verily I shall lurk in ambush for them on Thy Right Path. (16) Then I shall come upon them from before them and from behind them and from their right hands and from their left hands, and Thou wilt not find most of them beholden (unto Thee). (17) He said: Go forth from hence, degraded, banished. As for such of them as follow thee, surely I will fill hell with all of you. (18) And (unto man): O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden and eat from whence ye will, but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers. (19) Then Satan whispered to them that he might manifest unto them that which was hidden from them of their shame, and he said: Your Lord forbade you from this tree only lest ye should become angels or become of the immortals. (20) And he swore unto them (saying): Lo! I am a sincere adviser unto you. (21) Thus did he lead them on with guile. And when they tasted of the tree their shame was manifest to them and they began to hide (by heaping) on themselves some of the leaves of the Garden. And their Lord called them, (saying): Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you: Lo! Satan is an open enemy to you? (22) They said: Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If thou forgive us not and have not mercy on us, surely we are of the lost! (23) He said: Go down (from hence), one of you a foe unto the other. There will be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a while. (24) He said: There shall ye live, and there shall ye die, and thence shall ye be brought forth. (25) O Children of Adam! We have revealed unto you raiment to conceal your shame, and splendid vesture, but the raiment of restraint from evil, that is best. This is of the revelations of Allah, that they may remember. (26) O Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you as he caused your (first) parents to go forth from the Garden and tore off from them their robe (of innocence) that he might manifest their shame to them. Lo! he seeth you, he and his tribe, from whence ye see him not. Lo! We have made the devils protecting friends for those who believe not. (27)' (7:10-27)

'And know that your possessions and your children are a test, and that with Allah is immense reward.' (8:28) & (64:15)

'And his comrade, while he disputed with him, exclaimed: Disbelievest thou in Him Who created thee of dust, then of a drop (of seed), and then fashioned thee a man?' (18:37)

'Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them, and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe?' (21:30) 

'We appointed immortality for no mortal before thee. What! if thou diest, can they be immortal! (34) Every soul must taste of death, and We try you with evil and with good, for ordeal. And unto Us ye will be returned. (35)' (21:34,35)

'O mankind! if ye are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you. And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants, then (give you growth) that ye attain your full strength. And among you there is he who dieth (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the most abject time of life, so that, after knowledge, he knoweth naught. And thou (Muhammad) seest the earth barren, but when We send down water thereon, it doth thrill and swell and put forth every lovely kind (of growth).' (22:5)

'And of His signs is this: He created you of dust, and behold you human beings, ranging widely! (20) And of His signs is this: He created for you helpmeets from yourselves that ye might find rest in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo! herein indeed are portents for folk who reflect. (21)' (30:20-21)

'Who made all things good which He created, and He began the creation of man from clay; (7) Then He made his seed from a draught of despised fluid; (8) Then He fashioned him and breathed into him of His Spirit; and appointed for you hearing and sight and hearts. Small thanks give ye! (9) And they say: When we are lost in the earth, how can we then be re-created? Nay but they are disbelievers in the meeting with their Lord. (10) Say: The angel of death, who hath charge concerning you, will gather you, and afterward unto your Lord ye will be returned. (11)' (32:8-11)

'Allah created you from dust, then from a little fluid, then He made you pairs (the male and female). No female beareth or bringeth forth save with His knowledge. And no-one groweth old who groweth old, nor is aught lessened of his life, but it is recorded in a Book, Lo! that is easy for Allah.' (35:11)

'He created you from one being, then from that (being) He made its mate; and He hath provided for you of cattle eight kinds. He created you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, in a threefold gloom. Such is Allah, your Lord. His is the Sovereignty. There is no God save Him. How then are ye turned away?' (39:6)

'I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me. (56) I seek no livelihood from them, nor do I ask that they should feed Me. (57)' (51:56,57)

'And that thy Lord, He is the goal; (42) And that He it is who maketh laugh, and maketh weep, (43) And that He it is Who giveth death and giveth life; (44) And that He createth the two spouses, the male and the female, (45) From a drop (of seed) when it is poured forth; (46)' (53:42-46)

'Was he not a drop of fluid which gushed forth? (37) Then he became a clot; then (Allah) shaped and fashioned (38) And made of him a pair, the male and female. (39) Is not He (Who doeth so) able to bring the dead to life? (40)' (75:37-40)

'And We have created you in pairs' (78:8)  

'From what thing doth He create him? (18) From a drop of seed. He createth him and proportioneth him, (19) Then maketh the way easy for him, (20) Then causeth him to die, and burieth him; (21) Then, when He will, He bringeth him again to life. (22)' (80:18-22)

'He is created from a gushing fluid (6) That issued from between the loins and ribs. (7)' (86:6,7)

'Say: He is Allah, the One! (1) Allah, the eternally Besought of all! (2) He begetteth not nor was begotten. (3) And there is none comparable unto Him. (4)' (112)

And, finally, these ahadith:

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 114, Sahih Bukhari:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (trouble) his neighbor. And I advise you to take care of the women, for they are created from a rib and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper part; if you try to straighten it, it will break, and if you leave it, it will remain crooked, so I urge you to take care of the women."

Book 008, Number 3467, Sahih Muslim:

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported:

Woman has been created from a rib and will in no way be straightened for you; so if you wish to benefit by her, benefit by her while crookedness remains in her. And if you attempt to straighten her, you will break her, and breaking her is divorcing her.


Quran Miracles
University of Southern California USC-MSA Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement (Compendium of Muslim Texts)