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Adam (‘a) And Eve

To discuss Adam (‘a), father of the human race and the first prophet to mankind, is, in fact, to open a huge Pandora’s box. Numerous questions will inevitably have to be dealt with not only about him but also about the other beings with whom he came in contact.

We have no choice except to tackle cumbersome issues relevant to his creation, archenemy Iblis (or Iblis), the angels, the jinns, Paradise, heaven and hell, devils and demons, and how all this knowledge can affect our life. To avoid these questions is to surrender to the worst type of ignorance. Ignorance is one of the two deadliest of all enemies of man, the second being fear except in the case of fearing Allah (SwT), which is defined as taqwa تقوى, piety.

There was a time when no Adam (‘a) was there at all, nor was there Paradise, janna, as it is called in the Holy Qur’an, a word which means: a garden or an orchard. The earth before Adam (‘a)’s time was populated by species called jann or jinns. These janns were embroiled in fights, shedding each other’s blood and causing a great deal of mischief on earth. It is to their blood that the angels referred as cited in verse 30 of Surah al-Baqara (2:30). The angels were busy doing what Allah (SwT) had created them to do: adoring Him, praising and glorifying Him.

The Almighty removed the veils from their eyes once and permitted them to look at the earth to witness the bloodshed going on there. What they saw horrified them; it was something they had never seen before. A band from among them was chosen to go to earth to discipline those beings, to kill the mischief-makers, to banish them from their homes, and to permit them to live only on islands, seas and oceans, and in forests, and so it was.

Iblis was taken captive; his life was saved on account of his young age. Iblis grew up among the angels, doing what the angels were doing, so much so that they mistook him for one of them till he committed his disobedience and was cast away from the kingdom of heaven. This is his story in brief, and more light will be shed on it on the following pages.

Sa’id ibn al-Musayyab ibn Hazan ibn Abu Wahab al-Makhzumi al-Qarashi,”Abu Muhammad", was one of the tabi’in (second generation narrators of hadith), and one of the seven faqihs of Medina during the first Hijri century. He was born in 13 A.H./632 A.D. and died in 94 A.H./712 A.D. and was an ascetic, traditionist and a man of piety. Below is a statement by this Sa’id ibn al-Musayyab which deals with these beings:

Angels are neither males nor females; they do not give birth, nor do they eat or drink. The jinns give birth to males or females [and, hence, multiply as humans do]; they live and die. Satans are males and females; they multiply by birth, but they do not die: they stay alive in this world till the end of time as is the case with Iblis.

Now let us discuss each of these species of beings individually.

Angels

Angels are very energetic and intelligent beings created from light. They cannot be seen by all humans; their light is too strong for our weak eyes, it blinds them. They will be seen when the veil from our eyes is removed at the moment of death; read the following verse in testimony of this fact:

... Now We have removed your veil from you, so your sight today is sharp. (Qur’an, 50:22)

The”veil” referred to in this verse is the one the Almighty placed between us and other beings such as the angels and the jinns. Only prophets and messengers of Allah (SwT) and their deputies, as well as a number of ordinary people elevated by Allah (SwT) to a high spiritual station, can see them when they appear in human form1. The angel who appeared to Virgin Mary looked as human as any man. Arch-angel Gabriel appeared to our Prophet and to past prophets mostly in a human form.

Before the time of Noah (‘a), people used to be pious and God-fearing, so much so that angels used to come to them in human form, looking and smelling the best, to shake hands with them.

A testimony to the truth of this statement lies in an incident that took place during Prophet Muhammad (S)’s lifetime. One of his renown companions was ‘Imran ibn al-Haseen2 whom the angels used to visit and with whom they used to keep company. Then they ceased visiting him, and he sorely missed them. He; therefore, went to the Prophet and said,”O Messenger of Allah (S)! Men used to come to me better than whose faces I have never seen, nor have I smelled better than their fragrance. But they stopped visiting me.” The Messenger of Allah (S) asked him,”Did you receive a wound the incident involving which you kept to yourself?”

The Prophet was referring to a wound received in defense of Islam, on the line of duty of jihad. ‘Imran answered him by saying,”Yes; it so happened.” The Messenger of Allah (S) then said to him,”Had you kept its story to yourself and safeguarded its secret, the angels would have kept visiting you till your death.”3 This incident demonstrates to us how much Allah (SwT) appreciates the doing of good and not talking about it.

A good Muslim may be able, if he tries hard enough, to communicate with his guardian angels, those in charge of protecting him from any potentially fatal incident till the time of his death with which they are familiar. Communicating with the angels is not at all impossible if you ascend a certain spiritual ladder.

Here in America, communication with higher beings is a science referred to as”channeling”, the opening of a channel of communication between us and these beings. The world is actually full of beings, but our eyes are too weak to see them, our intellects are too feeble to understand them, and our means of transportation are still too rudimentary to reach them.

Abu Dharr al-Ghifari4 has quoted the Messenger of Allah (S) as saying,”I can see what you cannot, and I can hear what you cannot. The heavens (sky) screamed, and it is justified, for there is no space in it, even as much as a span, except that there is an angel in it standing, kneeling, or prostrating.”

In another version of this tradition, the Prophet is quoted as saying,”There is no place in it, as much as four fingers, except that there is an angel in it prostrating to Allah (SwT). By Allah (SwT)! Had you known what I know, you would have laughed very little and cried much, and you would not have enjoyed women in bed; you would have come out to your courtyards tearfully crying to Allah (SwT).By Allah (SwT), I wish I had been a chopped tree.”

Individuals blessed with high spiritual knowledge will be able to identify many of the types of angels during the temporary period of the barzakh, that is, the life in the grave. It is the intermediate stage between our present life and the eternal one that will follow the Judgment, at the time of the Great Gathering, when everyone will be tried, when each person will have to go either to heaven (Paradise) or to hell after all disputes and claims are settled by the Supreme Judge, the Judge of judges.

The denzines of hell are certainly created differently from the custodians of Paradise: fire does not affect them; they are the most ruthless of all angels.

Angels vary a great deal in ranks, but they all have a lot in common: They are very intelligent beings who are totally obedient to the Almighty. They do exactly what He commands them to do without any hesitation. Their chiefs, the archangels, enjoy a degree of freedom of choice as long as it does not contradict the will of the Almighty. Their greatest are: Gabriel, Michael, Israfi‎l, and Israel (‘a).

Gabriel (‘a) supervises and sometimes directly gets involved in conveying the Almighty’s instructions, commands, and other messages to the prophets and messengers sent to the human family.He is regarded as the angel of mercy, since these prophets and messengers are sent as mercy from the Almighty to mankind.

The status Gabriel (‘a) enjoys with Allah (SwT) is quite supreme; he is the best of all angels; he is closer to and is loved by Allah (SwT) more than any other angel; he is referred to as the”peacock of the angels” طاووس الملائكة. Whenever he came to visit Prophet Muhammad (S) to convey to him a divine message from his Lord, Gabriel (‘a) most often assumed a human form. Whenever the Prophet talked about Gabriel(‘a), he always referred to him as his Brother. And surely Allah (SwT) knows best.

Next to Gabriel (‘a) in the rank of greatness is Michael (‘a). As his name suggests, Michael (‘a) is in charge of keeping track of the countless computations and measures. He balances the innumerable changes that take place in the cosmos every fraction of a second. Imagine the magnanimity of such a task! Do you have any idea about the number of stars and constellations, the orbits within which each turns, its weight, size, velocity, speed, and relationship to and distance from others?

Can you imagine the drops of water, be they in the form of rain, or as oceans and rivers, wells and springs, how these waters evaporate then come down to earth in the form of rain without changing the weight of our planet? Can you imagine the air we and other earthly beings breathe, and can you imagine the task of tracing it, where it comes and where it goes, how it gets affected or contaminated by other gases, be they on the surface of the earth, above or underneath it, and all the living beings that inhale and exhale it?

Can you imagine the number of the trees and their leaves, their species and interrelations? And what about the animals, the birds, the species of fish, the creatures that live in the oceans and the seas?!

No mind can grasp all of that, but Michael (‘a), assisted by countless other angels, is empowered by his Creator to do a job so perfect and so complete, it baffles the mind. The credit goes to his Maker. A maker is known, identified and appreciated according to what he makes. Knowing Allah (SwT) is knowing what He makes, fashions, creates, forms, regulates, sustains..., etc. Add to this list the responsibility of keeping track of what is done by each and every human and other living beings.

To discuss only the subject of the angels charged with protecting, praying for, and recording the deeds of each one of us is to write a good size book. And do you think that the animals are left out, that they are not being watched or supervised or kept track of?! Do you think that they are exempted from accounting for what they do? If your answer is positive, then you are dead wrong: read the following verse from Surah al-Takwir which clearly tells you that animals, not only humans, will have to account for what they do:

“And when the wild animals are made to go forth (assemble)” (Qur’an, 81:5).

The original Arabic word for what is loosely and feebly translated here in this verse as”made to go forth” is hushirat حشرت, a past participle of the present tense yahshur يحشر, gathers, assembles, herds. But their judgment will be nothing compared to ours. On the Day of Judgment, most humans will wish they had been animals, plants, or even inanimate objects...

Arch-angel Israfi‎l (‘a) is known for his trumpet the first blow of which is referred to above. The second blow of the trumpet, or horn, will signal the returning of the souls back to their newly reconstructed bodies, much, much stronger and forever durable bodies. The time period between the first blow and the second is said to be forty years5.

We do not know if these years are calculated similarly to our earthly calculation system of days and hours or not. The Almighty will have during that period of time recreated all the bodies.

Needless to say, the soul is indestructible; it does not die; only the body does. The latter will this time be quite durable, quite strong, and it will look the same like our present one, according to some Muslim theologians. Other theologians are not sure if our bodies in the hereafter will be similar to our worldly forms, saying that there are not manyevidences pointing out to the exact form of the human body that will enable us to live eternally, either in bliss or in damnation.

The new body, they cocede, however, will not be as perishable as our present one, and nobody will need to go to the doctor, to the dentist, or to the optometrist!

What does Israfi‎l (‘a) do besides blowing the trumpet? As his name suggests, it is derived from israf اسراف, extravagance, extremism, going to extremes, seeking no middle course, no compromise. All those who are guilty of extravagance need someone to deal with them, be they humans or non-humans, jinns or demons.

All those who rob people of their hard earned livelihood under the name of”interest” or”usury”, and all those who permit themselves to kill tens of thousands of others so that they themselves will be safe, and all those who steal other people’s land and make it their home, and all those who starve Muslims and strangle them economically and politically..., and all those rulers who call themselves Muslims, yet who are the worst enemies of Islam:

They hoard wealth for themselves, relatives and friends, depriving the rest of their people of it; and all those who agree to be beasts of burden on whose submissive backs the enemies of the Muslims get a free ride, and the ride takes them wherever they want to go, even if that means to the detriment of the interests of their own people; and all those who build their thrones on the skulls of their subjects, who kill their scholars,

who banish their intellectuals, who torture those who dare to criticize their savagery; and all those who despise others in general and Muslims in particular, and many, many such evil ones on whom we invoke the curse of the Almighty... have to be dealt with sooner better than later.

To deal with such evil humans, with their feuds and in-fights, with the mischief they create on earth, with their wars and crimes..., is a task too big to conceive. But the task of handling the devils and demons, be they from among the humans or from among the jinns, and to put an end to the mischief they cause on earth6, with their attempts to alter the balance of nature, the perfect order the Almighty has created..., may be a greater one, indeed.

Yet Israfi‎l (‘a) is qualified to head his team, to organize their activities, and to make sure that things remain under control. Whenever Allah (SwT) wishes to wipe out an ungrateful and mischief-making nation, such as one which permits men to marry men or women to marry women without feeling ashamed of it, from the face of earth, Israfi‎l (‘a) is always ready to do the job, and by God we wish he will do it soon! We supplicate to the Almighty to annihilate all those who bear grudge and animosity towards the Muslims of the world, to wipe them out and purge the earth of them, Allahomma Ameen.

Archangel Israel (‘a) heads the team of angels charged with taking away the souls of living beings. We do not know whether these are confined to humans or whether they include others. Whenever someone’s turn to die comes close, two angels are sent to him to do the job. Some scholars say that these two angels are actually created and assigned to countdown one’s life as soon as he leaves his mother’s womb.

The process of dying is not a pleasant experience for most people. Angels who know that they are assigned to separate a sinner’s soul from his body will pull life out of each and every living cell of his body, a very, very painful thought if you can only imagine it.

In the words of prophet Moses (‘a), it is like skinning an animal while it is still alive. Imagine! Hardly any two humans die the same death. The method of each one’s death will largely depend on his or her way of life, on the extent of righteousness, fear of the Almighty, and goodness to others, or on wickedness, malice, avarice, greed, the desire to acquire power at any cost, the hatred towards any other believer, the doing of the opposite of what Allah (SwT) has enjoined us to do... All these factors will be taken into consideration before the angels are assigned to do the job.

If a dying person is one with whom Allah (SwT) is pleased, the angels of death will come to him in human form. He will feel very comfortable on seeing them, and he will recognize them as the angels of death and will be respectful to them. They are faithful servants of the Almighty, and anyone who serves the Almighty faithfully deserves to be respected.

But sinners will have no joy at the moment of death. Rough, ugly, demon-like angels will come to take their souls away, and they will do so in the most painful manner, beating their faces and backs (as in 8:50-51 below) as they pull life out of them. It will be most horrifying. The Holy Qur’an describes the horrors of such soul snatching in many verses; here are some of them:

Had you only seen when the angels cause those who disbelieve to die, smiting their faces and their backs and (saying): Taste the punishment of the burning! This is for what your own hands have committed before, and because Allah is not in the least unjust to the servants. (Qur’an, 8:50-51)

Had you only seen when the unjust are in the agonies of death, (how) the angels spread forth their hands (saying): Give up your souls! Today shall you be recompensed with an ignominious chastisement because you spoke against Allah other than the truth and (because) you showed pride against His Signs. (Qur’an, 6:93)

But how will it be when the angels cause them to die, smiting their backs? That is so because they follow what displeases Allah and are averse to His pleasure; therefore, He has made their deeds null. (Qur’an, 47:27-28)

A close look at these verses in the light of tafsir, exegesis, will cause anyone to sHud (‘a)der. People who live a clean and decent life, who help others, who pray for others, who console others, who do not envy others, who disseminate knowledge and guidance to others, who suffer so that others may live happily, who sacrifice themselves and everything they have for lofty morals and objectives... will have no reason to worry about when it is time for them to leave this fleeting life and start the first leg of their very, very long journey to eternity.

That first step is called the barzakh, the waiting time that follows life as we know it and precedes resurrection and the Day of Judgment. Islam’s concept of this barzakh seems to be close to that of the purgatory according to Catholics. It is a new life in the grave during which one is made to pay for his sin so his will would be purged and be prepred to receive salvation.

This life is your one and only opportunity, dear reader, to do good, to be kind to others, to benefit others, to pray for others, to earn as many good deeds as Allah (SwT) enables you to. Once you lose this opportunity, it will be too late to regret it. Do not be self-centered; instead, let self-denial be your motto. Do not talk about yourself if you do not have to. Whenever you mention someone’s name, say something nice about him or her and supplicate to Allah (SwT) to bless and reward him or her. If there is nothing nice that can be said, say nothing!

If you want to condemn someone for having done something bad, concentrate your condemnation not on that individual but on the bad deed itself, and you do not have to mention the name of its doer, for the latter may repent and regret and be given a chance to make amends.

Why do you let your steps lead you to hell because of others?! Let them go there, not you! Best yet, talk about Allah (SwT), about His creation, His wonders, His miracles, His angels, His Books, His Day of Judgment, His Muslim ummah... These and many more subjects are a lot more worthy of your discussion than what this person or that has done or is doing, said or saying.

Let us go back to discuss arch-angel Israel, death, and the grave. Such a discussion leads one to wonder how he or she can be prepared for that inevitable moment. How can the agony and the pain of death be minimized or even eliminated altogether?

The reader who wishes to pursue this subject is advised to read the famous book Thawab al-A’mal wa ‘Iqab al-A’mal by the great mentor”Abu Ja’far” Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Babawayh al-Qummi al-Saduq‎ (d. 381 A.H./991 A.D.)  where the rewards of good deeds and the penalties for the bad ones are detailed.

For the benefit of the reader who cannot read this Arabic reference for any reason, we would like to provide him with some of the knowledge contained in it, perhaps it will lead him to earn great rewards, and perhaps he will recite Surah al-Fatiha for the soul of the author of this book and for his parents. This way, you will earn rewards, too. When it comes to reciting Surah al-Fatiha, nobody loses.

In order to save some space, the isnad of the following text has been eliminated:

Whoever visits the grave of a believer and seven times repeats the recitation of Surah al-Qadr (Chapter 97 of the Holy Qur’an) will be forgiven, and so will the believer in the grave. When the soul of a believer is taken away, both angels (who take it away) will ascend to heaven and say, “Lord! Your servant so-and-so was always swift in obeying You, slow in his disobedience of You, and we have taken his soul away; so, what do You order us now to do?” The Almighty will say,”Go down to earth and stay at the grave of My servant and praise, glorify, and unify Me there, and write down the rewards of doing so for My servant till I resurrect him from his grave.” How did those angels know so much about that believer?

Each one of them, as books dealing with the subject of death and the life hereafter tell us, will enter the deceased persons’ body from underneath the skin of one of his feet’s toes to examine every part of his body and record the sins he had committed relevant to that part. Once the recording is done, a book of deeds is written and is attached to the deceased person.

The conclusion, whether the angels are sure he has a very good chance of going to Paradise, or whether they are sure he will not, is placed at the top of this book of deeds. This is how they determine their conclusion. Needless to say, Allah (SwT) has the privilege to over-ride their conclusions. And do not forget the subject of intercession: There are some holy men who may intercede with the Almighty on behalf of this sinner or that.

When a believer is resurrected from his grave, someone looking like him will also come out and will walk in front of him, leading him the way. Whenever the believer witnesses one of the horrors of the Day of Judgment, his like image will say to him,”Do not grieve, nor should you fret; rather, receive the glad tidings of happiness and honors from Allah (SwT), the Exalted One, the Great.”

He will continue to assure him of happiness and honors from Allah (SwT), the Exalted One and the Great, till he stands before Allah (SwT) Almighty Who will try him an easy trial then order His angels to escort him to Paradise. It is then that the believer will say to his like image,”May Allah (SwT) have mercy on you! How beautifully you have come out with me from my grave, and how you have kept giving me the glad tiding of happiness and honor from Allah (SwT), the most Exalted One and the most Great, till I saw it with my own eyes! Who are you?!” His like image will say,”I am the pleasure which you brought your brother in the life of the world. Allah (SwT) created me so that I may convey to you such glad tidings.”7

Even consoling a bereaved Brother or Sister in Islam is rewardable, according to hadith, with an outfit on the Day of Judgment to cover one’s nakedness and to give him/her comfort, reassurance and hope for salvation.

Aban ibn Taghlib8 narrates a tradition wherein he cites Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying,”Whoever dies during the time from Thursday’s sunset till the time of zawal (the time before noon) of the next Friday will be protected by Allah (SwT) from the grave’s constriction.”9 It is a good habit to learn to spend the time going to work every day reciting the Fatiha on the way to work and the Qadr on the way back home.

Then, at the end of the day, you should offer the rewards of such recitation to the souls of all believing men and women, the living and the dead which will include you, too, of course. You will be rewarded with rewards the extent of which is known only by Allah (SwT).

Let us now go back to the subject of the angels and try to find out whether the archangels, the greatest of Allah (SwT)’s angels, die at all, including the angel of death himself. When the verse saying,

“Every soul shall taste of death” (Qur’an, 3:185)

was revealed, the angels said,”Death has been decreed for all humans.” And when the verses saying

“Everyone on it must pass away. And there will endure forever the person of your Lord, the Lord of glory and honor” (Qur’an, 55:26-27)

were revealed, the angels said,”Now we, too, must die.” Death will come to everyone when Israfi‎l (‘a) blows his trumpet the first time. Sound kills. This is a scientific fact. When the verse saying,

“And the trumpet shall be blown, so all those that are in the heavens (the angels) and on earth (humans, jinns, animals, etc.) shall be stunned except such as Allah please...” (Qur’an, 39:68)

was revealed, Anas ibn Malik says, some people asked the Messenger of Allah (S) who those included in the exception referred to above, that is,”except such as Allah (SwT) please”, were. He said,”They are Gabriel, Michael, and the angel of death (Israel). Allah (SwT) will then ask the angel of death, ‘O angel of death! Who remains?’ and Allah (SwT) knows more than him. Israfi‎l will say, ‘They are Gabriel, Michael, Israfi‎l, and the angel of death (meaning himself).’ ‘O angel of death!’ Allah (SwT) will say, ‘Take the life of Michael away,’ and so will it be. He will fall into the form in which Allah (SwT) created him: like a huge mountain.

Then Allah (SwT) will ask, and He knows more, ‘O angel of death! Who remains?’ Israel will say, ‘Glory to You, Lord, the One with all Greatness and Honor! Gabriel remains.’ And Gabriel enjoys the status which has been mentioned to you. Allah (SwT) will address Gabriel saying, ‘O Gabriel! One of Us will have to die,’ whereupon Gabriel will fall down prostrating and saying, ‘Glory to You, Lord, and all the Praise! You are the Eternal One Who never dies, whereas Gabriel is a mortal and is to be annihilated by death.’ It is then that Allah (SwT) takes Gabriel’s life away, causing him to fall over Michael. The distinction he has over Michael is like that of a huge mountain over a very small one.10

Of course reference to angels having wings must not be taken literally. Angels do not need wings or feathers or even spaceships to move from one place to another. But it has been customary in world culture, not only in Islam, to imagine angels having wings in order to bring the picture closer to human comprehension.

In the Holy Qur’an, we read the following:

“O Iblis! What prevented you from doing obeisance to one whom I created with My hands? Are you proud, or are you (one) of the exalted ones?” (Qur’an, 38:75)

According to Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, as we are told by al-Saduq‎ in his book Fadha’il al-Shi’a, a man once came to the Messenger of Allah (S) and asked him about the verse cited above.”Who are the exalted ones referred to in this verse, O Messenger of Allah (S), the ones whose status is higher even than that of the angels?” The Messenger of Allah (S) said,”They are: I, Ali, Fatima, al-Hassan, and al-Husayn.

We were in the pavilion of the ‘Arsh making tasbeeh (praising the Almighty), and the angels were repeating after us, one thousand years before Allah (SwT), the Exalted and the Almighty, created Adam (‘a). When Allah (SwT), the Exalted and the Almighty, created Adam (‘a), He ordered the angels to prostrate to him, and He did not order us to do likewise. All the angels prostrated except Iblis. Allah (SwT), Praised and Exalted is He, then asked Iblis, ‘Are you proud, or are you among the five persons whose names are inscribed in the pavilion of the ‘Arsh?’”11

Those who do not take the time to learn about the fascinating world of the spirits, that is, the spiritual realm, will have a very hard time when they get there and see it for themselves. They will be unprepared, and they will be taken by surprise, puzzlement and confusion. Those endowed with spiritual knowledge will find no difficulty identifying spiritswhen they see them.

There will be so much personification in the life to come that it really is a must to learn about that place before you get there, and you know that nobody is exempted from getting there. Not only will there be new beings whom you had never encountered, but everything which in this life is intangible, immaterial, will in the hereafter take a certain form and shape.

Prayers, the fast, the pilgrimage, the Holy Qur’an, the good and the bad deeds, repentance, ablution.... all will look like living beings; they will come and go; they will speak, and they will testify, and so will each of your five senses, bodily parts and skin. They will testify either for or against you. If you are good, they will plead to the Almighty on your behalf, and they will try their best to save your skin from the fire of hell.

Each of the verses of the Holy Qur’an will be personified and will have a certain form. Ayat al-Kursi (2:255) will be one of the mightiest of such personifications. Supplications will take a form. Hell will be a live being that speaks, screams, spits fire, curses and condemns, complains and roars. And so will be each of its flames. And those assembled for the judgment, all of them, will hear Hell speak, and most of them will not like what they will hear.

One of the things Hell will say is this:”Where are those who used to go to mosques and talk about their own worldly affairs?! Where are those who used to build mosques only for show?! Where are those who used to sever their ties with their kinfolks?! Where are those who used to confiscate what belonged to the orphans?!” All this is recorded in reliable references; to go on may take us out of this book’s scope.

In one of his sermons, the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (‘a) has said the following about the angels:

“He (Allah (SwT)) split between the high heavens, filling them with many kinds of His angels: Some of them are prostrating who never kneel down, some kneeling who never stand, some fixed in their positions which they will never abandon, some praising Him without ever feeling tired of doing so, and their eyes never sleep, nor their intellects ever wane, nor their bodies ever weaken, nor their memory ever lapses. Some of them are His trustees with regard to His inspiration, bearers of His messages to His messengers; they wait for His decrees and commands. And some are protectors of His servants while others are the custodians of the gates of His Paradise.

The feet of some of them are fixed in the lower heavens with their necks extending to the high heavens; their corners extend beyond the lands, their shoulders parallel the legs of the ‘Arsh, their eyes too humble to look at it. They wrap themselves with their wings underneath it; veils separate them from the ‘Arsh, veils of dignity and curtains of might. They never conceive their Lord in their imagination, nor do they apply to Him what is applied to His creation. They do not seek Him in a specific place, nor do they compare Him to anything at all.”12

Having learned this much about the angels, we have now to turn our attention to the jinns to find out who they are and what they do.

The Jinns

The subject of jinns is intriguing, and probably the most intriguing is the discussion of the worst of the jinns: Satan who is known as: Iblis (or Iblis), Azazel, or Lucifer. Allah (SwT) tells us in 55:15 that:

“He (Allah) created the jinns of a flame of (smokeless) fire.” (Qur’an, 55:15).

There were two species of the janns who probably could not live anywhere except on earth: One was created of air and the other of water13. Adam (‘a) was created of earth, hence he lived on earth and was fed by vegetables and fruits grown on it. All jinns, with the exception of Iblis and his evil offspring, live and die as humans do. The discussion of Iblis, Satan, and his tribe will Insha-Allah (SwT) be dealt with later.

Do you remember Surah al-Jinn (Chapter 72 of the Holy Qur’an)? It narrates for us an encounter between Muhammad (S), the Messenger of Allah (S), and the jinns who went to meet the Prophet  in response to what they had heard from a group of other jinns. The latter happened to be passing by as they heard the Messenger of Allah (S) reciting the Holy Qur’an. This incident is narrated by the renown sahabi Abdullah‎ ibn Mas’ud as well as by ‘Alqamah ibn Qays.

Abdullah‎ ibn Mas’ud narrates saying,”One night, while we were in Mecca, we missed the Messenger of Allah (S). We, therefore, thought that he was either killed or raised to heaven. We went out looking for him in the valleys till we met him leaving Hera cave behind him. We said to him, ‘O Messenger of Allah (S)! Where were you?!’ He said, ‘A deputy from the jinns came to me, so I went with them to recite the Qur’an for them.’ He took us and showed us their footprints and the fires they had lit at the meeting place.’ More details of this encounter are available in the books of tafsir including the names of those jinns and that they were coming from the Jazeera area in northern Iraq and going to Yemen. Those jinns were fascinated by what they had heard, so they informed their people who selected a committee representing their various nations to meet with the Prophet.

Anyone who has read the Holy Qur’an must have come across the incident involving prophet Solomon (‘a) (Sulayman) who asked those in his company who among them would bring him Balqees’s throne, and an ‘ifreet from the jinns, an audacious jinn, offered to bring it to him before his meeting was over, as we are told in verse 39 of Surah al-Naml (Ants, Ch. 27). But a learned human, namely Asif ibn Barkhiya, offered to (and did) bring it to him in the twinkling of an aye. This proves the power of knowledge.

Who is this Asif ibn Barkhiya? It is said that his name is Asif, Astum, Natura, Asaf, Yilikha ben Barkhiya or Barkiya ibn Sham’iya ibn Mikiya. In Hebrew, his name is Benyahoo (or Ben-Yahoo). He was son of a sister of Solomon (‘a), his vizier, trusted friend and, according to some Arabic sources consulted for this text, commander of troops in charge of guarding Solomon (‘a)’s magnificent palace and other numerous mansions.

He, therefore, used to enter the palace and any mansion day or night at will, being very highly trusted by Solomon (‘a) who made him his scribe, advisor and executor of major state affairs of a vast kingdom over which Solomon (‘a) ruled in the 11th century B.C. for 40 years.

Asif was blessed with a very pious, virtuous, learned and morally elevated character, so much so that Solomon (‘a) chose him to be his wasi. He was not a prophet but a very highly spiritual man who proved his superiority to an ‘ifrit from among the jinns when he was able to bring the throne of Balqees, the Queen of Saba’ (Sheba), from Yemen to Palestine in a twinkling of an eye.

How could he do that? Asif had in his knowledge one letter (portion) of Allah (SwT)’s Greatest Name اسم الله الأعظم which he pronounced, causing the earth to cave in, enabling him to stretch his hand and grab the throne. This process of causing the earth to cave in is called خسف الأرض khasf al-ardh. It is almost similar to a process whereby one crosses a vast distance equally fast which is called طي الأرض tayy al-ardh, earth folding.

The Holy Qur’an narrates to us this incident in verse 40 of Surah an-Naml, chapter of the ants, where Asif is referred to as”one who had knowledge of the Book” thus:

One who had knowledge of the Book said, “I will bring it to you within the twinkling of your eye!”... Then when (Solomon (‘a)) saw it placed firmly before him, he said,”This is by the grace of my Lord to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And if any is grateful, truly his gratitude is (a boon) for his own soul, but if any is ungrateful, truly my Lord is free of all needs, supreme in honor!...” (Qur’an, 27:40)

Solomon (‘a) was no less knowledgeable than Asif, but he simply wanted to show everyone the powers his nephew had. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (‘a) has said,”The Greatest Name of Allah (SwT) is comprised of seventy-two letters plus one which only Allah (SwT), the Praised and Exalted One, has kept with Him in the unknown world.” Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (‘a) has said,”Asif brought the throne of Balqees via earth folding طي الأرض.”

Imam Ali al-Hadi (‘a) has said,”The ‘one who had the knowledge of the Book’ was Asif ibn Barkhiya. Solomon (‘a) was not at all incapable of the knowledge which Asif had, but he loved the jinns and mankind to know his status, that he is to be the authority after him, and this is of the knowledge of Solomon, peace with him, which he had entrusted to Asif by the command of Allah Almighty. The most Exalted One bestowed on him such knowledge so there would be no dispute about his being the imam, leader, after Solomon (‘a) ; it was a clear evidence.”

Abu Hamzah al-Thumali14 is quoted as having said,”I came once seeking permission to meet with (Imam) Abu Ja’far (Muhammad al-Baqir (‘a)), peace with him, and I was told that some people were already in his company, and that I would be permitted to meet him once they had left. When they did leave, I saw them, and I did not recognize any of them, nor did I feel comfortable at all at seeing them.

Then I was permitted to enter. I said to him, ‘May I be your sacrifice! Is this the time of Banu Umayyah whose sword drips with blood?’ He said, ‘O Abu Hamzah! That was a Shi’a delegation from among the jinns who came to ask me about their creed.’”15 This documented incident proves that Muslim jinns, like humans, are also divided in their Islamic creed into Shi’as and Sunnis. If there is a spirit of Islamic brotherhood, Insha-Allah (SwT) there is nothing wrong with this division. Islam is like a tree that has one stem and two main branches.

The jinns are intelligent beings who cannot be seen by everyone: They are created of smokeless fire that blinds the mortals except some mortals who, by any standard, are spiritually higher than others. But some righteous people can, indeed, see them and even befriend them; they will come to humans in different forms than those in which the Almighty created them first. They have the ability to change their forms.

And they do not all look alike: some are”beautiful" according to humans’ standards of beauty, whereas most of them are not. Besides God’s prophets and their deputies (wasis), those endowed with a high degree of supernatural power, parapsychologists, can see and talk to them and even derive a great deal of benefit for themselves and for others from such communications. Jinns reside wherever humans do not live around: deserts, oceans, uninhabited islands, forests..., etc.

Some of them are good, but most of them are bad, as is the case with our human species. Jinns are also various species; here is a brief description of some of them:

One of their species is called shiqq. These are bedeviled jinns who look semi-humanoid, and they love to intercept travellers and aggravate them. Three of their species are so dangerous, those who are exposed to them may lose their sanity; they are: tabi’, qareen, and khabil. Those who reside in the seas and oceans are known as dilhab.

Another species, ri’ee, also called ‘arraf, are harmless; they love to share some of their knowledge with humans, so they select the most brilliant men from among the humans for their company.

Among the other harmful species of the jinns are: ‘abqar and sa’lat, and they like to live in orchards and groves. Another species, ghool, prefers to assume various forms and shapes in order to inflict harm on humans. Marid is also a harmful species of jinns, and so are the nisnas who look like the shiqq in form and shape; they have faces which look like humans but not exactly so.

Hatif is a species of the jinns that prefers to use sound to do their mischief, preferring to be seen by humans only as forms rather than beings. Hajis jinns apply the method of intuition to communicate with humans, insinuating evil thoughts to them the same way Satan and his evil tribe do. All these species are mentioned in Vol. 1 of the encyclopedia titled Rabee’ al-Abrar by the great Sunni scholar al-Zamakhshari16.

Evil jinns are by far less harmful than devils, descendants of Satan. Abu Sulayman17 has said,”The evil ones from among the jinns are harder for me to deal with than the Satans bedeviling humans. Satans may cling to me and cause me to commit a sin. But if I seek refuge with Allah (SwT) against an evil jinn, he will be too frightened of the Name of Allah (SwT) to come near me.

Reciting Surah al-Falaq (Ch. 113) and Surah al-Nas (Ch. 114) will protect you from the mischief of both species of these evil beings.” By the way, this man, Abu Sulayman, was always sought by people for counsel and advice due to his wisdom, knowledge, and piety. A man once came to him and complained about the insinuations of the devil.

Abu Sulayman said to him, “Whenever you feel that Satan is near you enticing you to do something prohibitive, you should feel elated, for once you do so, he will immediately forsake you. There is nothing Satan hates more than seeing a believer feeling happy. When you feel sad, he will come to increase your grief manifold.”18

Jinns always like to stick their nose in other people’s business, especially if such people are humans whom they very much despise. Jinns live and die, marry and multiply. They have their own courts and judicial system, depending on their creeds, and they have ranks one higher than the other. They live much longer than humans, and they travel faster than the speed of light. They easily cross countries and penetrate walls and doors.

Good jinns try to help humans in various ways. Those who do so are held in contempt by other jinns who will shun them and shut them out of their communities. Witchcraft is accomplished with the latter’s help. Jinns can change their appearance very easily and look like humans or animals, and the mischievous among them try to share residence with humans or get them out of there. Sometimes when a jinn family likes a house, rest assured the human family living there will have to live somewhere else; not many jinns like to share. Jinns are mentioned throughout the Holy Qur’an, and this is not the place to elaborate on them more than what is indicated here.

Books have been written about them to which the reader is referred for more information although most of such books are still in Arabic waiting for someone to translate them. If you wish to be on your guard against their mischief, recite two Qur’anic Surahs: Surah al-Falaq (Ch. 113) and Surah an-Nas (Ch. 114, the last chapter of the Book of Allah (SwT)) as often as you can especially before you go to bed. And make sure you are clean before you sleep. Both Jinns and Satans target unclean people, those who do not Islamically cleanse themselves.

Do not make yourself an easy target of these mischievous beings. To befriend some good jinns and to get them to do you favors is an entire science, a very interesting one. The author of this book has had the good fortune of meeting some of those who succeeded in befriending not only some good jinns but also some angels, which is quite rare since angels have their own functions and jobs to do and their freewill is very limited.

A number of famous people have had first encounters with jinns. A number of the most wicked persons in the Islamic history have done likewise. Read about such encounters in Vol. 1 of al-Zamakhshari’s encyclopedia titled Rabee’ al-Abrar. Among those who encountered the jinns, the sahabi Abdullah‎ ibn Mas’ud  was one.

Both ‘Alqamah19 and Harb20 sons of Umayyah are said to have been killed by jinns. Jinns sometimes like to imitate humans; read in the reference cited above some of the poetry which they supposedly composed, though controversy revolves round such poetry, and you will find it not only similar to what other Arab poets may compose but even much superior in quality.

Another victim of the jinns is Sa’d ibn ‘Abadah ibn Dulaym who was killed in 11 A.H./632 A.D. inside his bath-house. His corpse suddenly appeared before the rest of his family and a voice was heard reciting two lines of Arabic poetry saying,

رجسعدبنعباده

قد قتلنا سيد الخز

ن، فلم نخطيء فؤاده

ورميناه بسهمي

We killed the master of the Khazraj, Sa’d ibn ‘Abadah:
With two arrows did we shoot him, not missing his heart.

These lines were heard but nobody was seen. Refer to a footnote on p. 4, Vol. 2, of Al-Isabah by Ibn ‘Abd al-Birr for more details. There are, however, some scholar who cast doubt about the whole incident saying that the jinns need no bows or arrows to kill; they have their own ways, and surely Allah (SwT) knows best.

Jinns may kidnap humans for no reason other than as an act of stupid entertainment. Among documented kidnapping cases is one involving ‘Amr ibn ‎’Adiyy al-Lakhmi21 and another involving ‘Imarah ibn al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah al-Makhzumi, brother of the famous military commander Khalid ibn al-Walid. A man from the tribe of ‘Udhrah was once snatched by the jinns.

Abdullah‎ ibn Fa’id wanted to know whether such an incident was someone’s hallucination or imagination, so he went to see the Prophet and to ask him about it. Prophet Muhammad (S) confirmed it.22 Of course, there are those who dispute the authenticity of reporting this incident, and they may have valid reasons.

A parapsychologist friend of mine told me once that the largest concentration of jinns he had ever encountered was in the north-western area of Hijaz, Saudi Arabia, an area once inhabited by the people of ‎’Ad. By the way, the people of ‘Ad were the residents of the ahqaf أـحقاف, high sands, and their capital was Iram the like of which, according to Qur’anic verses, there was none at all anywhere else. Iram was located in southern Arabia near Hadramout between Yemen and Oman, as historian al-Tabari tells us in Vol. 1 of his Tarikh. They were characterized by their mighty built bodies the length of which reached 50 meters. This is not exaggeration, folks. A company drilling for oil in Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter area found a skeleton of a very, very tall man described to be one of those people of ‘Ad. The people of ‘Ad worshipped three idols: Sadaa’, Samud (or Samood) and Habaa. The Almighty sent them Prophet Hud (‘a) whom they slighted, so He wiped them out of the face of earth.

Iblis and his tribe are not typical jinns: typical jinns live and die, whereas he and his tribe never die till the Hour. Let us shed some more light on this being who has filled the world with mischief.

Iblis: The Arch-Deceiver Jinn

Being familiar with your enemy is the very first step in defeating him. How Iblis works, who works for him or with him, how he approaches humans, how to deal with his temptations and insinuations..., are all topics which should be on the top of everyone’s list of priorities.

Let us, first of all, explain the meaning of the word ”Iblis”, or ”Iblis”. Like”Satan”, it is an Arabic word. Consulting the famous lexicon Lisan al-’Arab by Abul-Fadl Jamal ad-Din Muhammad ibn Mukarram ibn Manzour, we find the following on p. 29, Vol. 6 (Dar Sadir, Beirut, Lebanon, 1300 A.H./1883 A.D. edition),

Root word: balasa بَلَسَ or ablasa أَبلَسَ (both past tense verbs) from the mercy of Allah (SwT): He lost all hope for the mercy of Allah (SwT), and he regretted, hence Iblis, a name attached to Azazel (his original name).

Azazel is the name of Iblis in the Old Testament23.”Iblis” is a noun used as a descriptive adjective. Consulting a good English-English dictionary, such as The Random House College Dictionary (Random House, Inc., New York, 1975), Azazel is described as”the scapegoat released on the Day of Atonement, or its destination, hell,” and as one of the”fallen angels”.”Satan” is an adjective used as a noun to connote him. Its origin is shaytan شَيطان, someone irate, enraged, angry, furious, burning with the fire of anger. Shiyat شِياط means burning. In Greek, his name is Phosphorus.

In Latin mythology, he is referred to as Lucifer,”the light-bearing”. This same Latin word also describes planet Venus, the morning star. In Isaiah 14:12, Lucifer is said to be king of Babylon. This must have been used metaphorically, for certainly most of Babylon’s kings were devilish, very evil, conceited and arrogant.

Moreover, there is no such name among all those who ruled not only the city capital Babylon but all of the kingdom of Babylonia. Like the Pharaohs of Egypt, for many centuries contemporaries of the kings of Babylon, these kings demanded their subjects to worship them as their gods. The story of prophet Abraham (‘a) and Nemrud24 is an example.

Azazel is mentioned in traditions transmitted by renown traditionists such as Tawoos al-Yamani (d. c. 106 A.H./724 A.D.) and Mujahid25 who both say that before committing his sin, Iblis used to be one an angel named Azazel. He was one of the residents of the earth, and he belonged to a group of angels known as the jinns26. None among the angels was more diligent or more knowledgeable than him27. When he disobeyed Allah (SwT), He cursed him and made him a Satan and named him Iblis.28

According to Ibn ‘Abbas‎ and al-Mas’udi29, before his fall, Iblis was beautiful, ennobled and honored, a ruler over the lower heavens and the earth, and one of the keepers of the janna. When he fell from grace, the Almighty cursed him, deformed him and cast him away from His mercy.

All of this is documented in al-Tabari’s Tafsir. All Iblis’s offspring, therefore, are deformed and ugly, as a matter of fact, they are the ugliest of all jinns. Had humans only seen them, they would never have listened to them nor obeyed them.

There is another theory as to how Iblis came to be mixed with the angels. It is recorded by Sayyid Ali ibn Tawus on p. 33 of his book Sa’d al-Su’ood. He says that in the Tablets of prophet Enoch (Idris), there is a record of how the jinns were multiplying and how corrupt they were; so, Iblis pleaded to Allah (SwT) to save him from them and to let him be in the company of the angels instead, and that Allah (SwT) granted him his wish.

Iblis’s kunya is”Abu Murra”. When the Meccans wanted to assassinate the Messenger of Allah (S) in a plot very well documented in history books, a man named al-Shaykh al-Najdi appeared to them. He, in fact, was none other than Iblis. Iblis had simply taken the form of that man and come to the plotters with the suggestion to select one man from each Meccan tribe for the execution of their scheme so that Muhammad (S)’s blood would be lost among them and Banu Hashim, his clansmen, would simply be unable to face all the other tribes on their own. The kunya of that Najdi was”Abu Murra”. Iblis, therefore, was named likewise.30

The jinns eat and drink, marry, and have their own social system. Some of them live for thousands of years. The respite granted to Iblis is referred to in Qur’anic verses such as these:

He (Iblis) said: Lord! Grant me a respite till the time when they are raised (for judgment). He (Allah) said: So surely you are of the respited ones, till the period of the time made known. (Qur’an, 15:36-38)

This respite means an exemption from having to die, one that lasts till Israfi‎l blows his trumpet for the second, not the first, time, with a time period of forty years between both blows.31

Some scholars, however, are of the view that this respite will terminate at the”minor qiyama”, that is, when Imam al-Mahdi, the Awaited Savior, will reappear to put an end to all tyranny and mischief and to start a period of peace and tranquility never enjoyed before in the entire history of mankind. Naturally, such an enjoyment can never be complete without first putting an end to Iblis’s mischief-making, and Allah (SwT) knows best.

What did Iblis do before committing his disobedience? Here is a tradition transmitted by Ibn ‘Abbas that sheds light on this subject:

The first to dwell on earth were the jinns. They caused corruption on it and shed blood, killing each other. Allah (SwT) then sent Iblis to them with an army of angels to annihilate them. They were a tribal group called jinns. Iblis and the angels with him caused a bloodbath among them and eventually banished them to the islands in the oceans and to the mountains. His success caused him to be proud and haughty. He said,”I have done something nobody has ever done before.” Allah (SwT) was aware of how Iblis felt, but the other angels who were in his company were not.32

Jameel ibn Durraj once asked Imam”Abu Abdullah” al-Sadiq  about Iblis, whether or not he was an angel.”He was not an angel,” said the Imam,”... He was from among the jinns, and he was in the company of the angels. The angels regarded him as one of them, but Allah (SwT) knew that he was not; so, when He ordered him to bow down to Adam (‘a), he did what he did (i.e. refused and rebelled, thus falling down from Divine Grace).”33

Iblis knew exactly what he was made of; he knew that unlike the angels who were created of celestial light (noor), he, being a jinn, was created of fire: In the following Qur’anic verse, he admits this fact:

He (Allah (SwT)) said: What hindered you from making obeisance when I commanded you to? He (Iblis) said: I am better than him: You have created me of fire, while him have You created of dust. (Qur’an, 7:12)

The Almighty Himself, Creator of everyone and everything, tells us that Iblis was one of the jinns in many verses; here is one of them:

And when We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam, they made obeisance save Iblis (did not). He was of the jinns, so he transgressed the commandment of his Lord. (Qur’an, 18:50)

This verse has confused some people: On one hand, the Almighty says that He addressed the angels, and Iblis was among those addressed; so, will that not make him one of them? Not necessarily according to the way Arabs speak their language. On the other hand, the very same verse very clearly states that”he (Iblis) was of the jinns.”

Ali ibn Ibrahim narrates a tradition traced to Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (‘a) who quotes the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (‘a)  stating the following:

Seven thousand years passed since two species, the jinns and the nisnas, were on earth when Allah (SwT) the Exalted wanted to create a new creation. He unveiled the curtains of the heavens and said to the angels:”Look at the residents of the earth from among My creation; look at the jinns and the nisnas.”

When they saw all the sins they were committing, they deemed them monstrous and said,”Lord! You are the Exalted One, the Omnipotent, and there are Your weakling creatures being sustained by Your sustenance, yet they live in disobedience to You while You do not seek revenge for Yourself.” When He heard the angels say so, He said to them,”I am going to create a successor to them on earth who will be the hujja (argument or proof) on earth.”

The angels then said,”Glory to You! Are You going to permit one who will cause corruption to live on it just as the jans (jinns) have done? Make such a successor one of us, for we do not disobey You; rather, we always Praise, Glorify, and Sanctify You.” The most Exalted One said,”I know what you do not; I wish to create a creation Myself and to bring out of his offspring prophets and righteous servants as well as guided Imams whom I shall appoint as successors (of one another) over My creation and on My earth, and I shall purge My earth of the nisnas and exile the tyrant ones from among the disobedient jinns and let them reside in the air and throughout the earth, and I shall create a curtain between the jinns and My creation.”

The angels then said,”Lord! Do whatever You please.” Allah (SwT) then distanced them from the ‘Arsh as far as the distance of five hundred years. They gathered around it and pointed at it, whereupon the Lord looked mercifully at them and set up for them the ma’moor House and said to them:”Circle around it and leave the ‘Arsh alone,” so they circled it, and it is the House entered every day by seventy thousand angels who never return to it. Allah (SwT), therefore, made the ma’moor House for the repentance of the residents of the heavens, then He made the Ka’ba (in Mecca) for the repentance of the residents of the earth.34

Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (‘a) has also said the following about Iblis as recorded in Nahjul-Balagha:

Conceit overcame him, so he boasted of the superiority of his origin over Adam (‘a), and he became fanatical in his bias to his own. The enemy of Allah (SwT), therefore, is the leader of fanatics, the ancestor of the proud, the one who set the foundations of fanaticism. He argued with Allah (SwT) with regard to His destiny, wearing the outfit of arrogance, taking off the robe of humility.

Do you not see how Allah (SwT), because of his pride, humiliated him and because of his arrogance abased him? He made him in the life of this world condemned, and He prepared for him in the hereafter the fire. Had Allah (SwT) desired to create Adam (‘a) of light that snatches the eye-sight and dazzles the minds, and had He made his fragrance breathtaking, He would have done just that.

And had He done so, all would have submitted to him, and it would have been easier for the angels to tolerate him. But Allah (SwT), the most Exalted One, tries His creation with a little of what they do not know in order to thus test them, in order to rid them of pride, in order to distance them from conceit; so, you should learn a moral lesson from what Allah (SwT) did to Iblis!

He nullified all the good things he had done for such a very long time and all his endeavor, for he had adored Allah (SwT) for six thousand years, and we do not know whether they were years of this life’s calculation or of that of the hereafter, all because of a moment’s touch of pride!

Ali ibn Ibrahim35, the renown mufassir, has said,

Pride is the very first transgression whereby Allah (SwT) was disobeyed by Iblis. Iblis said,”Lord! Exempt me from having to prostrate to Adam (‘a), and I (in return) shall worship You in such a way no angel near to You nor a sent messenger ever will.” Allah (SwT) said,”I have no need for your worship. I wish to be adored as I wish, not as you.” But he refused to prostrate, whereupon Allah (SwT) said to him,”Get out of it, for you are accursed.” Iblis said,”How so, Lord, while You are the Just One Who never oppresses?

This means You will not reward me for all the good deeds I have done.” Allah (SwT) said,”No, I will not, but ask me whatever you wish of the affairs of the life as rewards for your good deeds, and I shall grant it to you.” The first thing Iblis asked for was to remain alive till the Day of Judgment, and Allah (SwT), the most Exalted One, granted him his request. Then he asked Him to give him authority over Adam (‘a)’s offspring, and He granted him this one, too.

Then he said,”Let me be as close to them as the blood in their veins,” and Allah (SwT) said,”I grant you this one, too.” Then Iblis said,”No son is born for them except that two are born for my service, and I shall see them while they cannot see me, and I shall appear to them in any form I wish.” Allah (SwT) said,”I grant it to you. Then he said,”Lord! Grant me more!” Allah (SwT) said,”I have made for you and for your offspring a home in their [humans’] chests.” Iblis then said,”Lord! You have given me enough!” It was then that Iblis said, as both verse 82 of Surah Saad (38:82) and verse 17 of Surah al-A’raf (7:17) tell us,

“By Your Might, I will surely make them live an evil life, all of them, except Your servants from among them, the purified ones” (Qur’an, 38:82-83), and,

“As You have caused me to remain disappointed, I will certainly lie in ambush for them on Your Straight Path, then will I certainly come to them from before them, from behind them, from their right side, and from their left, and You shall not find most of them thankful” (Qur’an, 7:16-17).36

On rare occasions, however, Iblis offered sound advice to a select few, knowing that he could not fool them. He offered advice to Noah (‘a) and Moses (‘a):

When Noah (‘a) invoked his Lord to condemn his people and to inflict retribution on them, Iblis came to him and said,”O Noah (‘a)! Remember me in three situations, for I am closer during them to any of the servants of Allah (SwT): Remember me when you are angry; remember me when you have to arbitrate between two contenders, and remember me when you sit with a woman and nobody else is with you.”37

When Noah (‘a) landed from the ark after the flood was over, Iblis came to him and said,”Nobody on the face of earth has done me a bigger favor than you! You invoked Allah (SwT) against these sinners, so you relieved me of them. Shall I, then, teach you two merits? Beware of envy, for it did to me what it did. And beware of avarice, for it did to Adam (‘a) what it did.”38

One of the pieces of advice Iblis offered prophet Moses (‘a) once was the following:”Whenever you contemplate on offering charity, do it immediately, for whenever a servant of Allah (SwT) contemplates on paying something by way of charity, I, rather than any of my fellows, will keep him company in order to desist him from doing it.”39

Which people make Iblis’s job easier? As we have learned from the above, angry people are on the top of the list, for when anger overtakes someone, the latter will be too weak to use commonsense, let alone wisdom. He will be rash and erratic.

The Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (‘a) wrote a letter once to al-Harith al-Hamadani in which he said,”Beware of anger, for it is a great host of Iblis.” Besides anger, women play a major role in assisting Iblis in carrying out his schemes, I mean when people are overcome by their carnal desires for women who are not lawful for them. Iblis once said to Moses (‘a),”O Moses (‘a)! You should never be in the company of a woman who is not permissible for you, for no man does so except that I, rather than any of my fellows, will keep him company.40

Adam (‘A)

Now let us discuss our father Adam (‘a) and his descendants, having elaborated on other beings. Adam (‘a)’s offspring are called nas; a human is called insan; so, where have these words come from and what do they connote?

The answer lies in verse 115 of Surah Taha which states:

“And surely We gave a commandment to Adam (‘a) before, but he forgot, and We did not find in him any determination” (Qur’an, 20:115).

Due to this forgetfulness, Adam (‘a)’s offspring are referred to as the people who are afflicted with nisyan, forgetfulness, hence the word nas. A poet once said,”Had it not been for much forgetfulness, man would not have been called insan.”

رجحه أبو تمام - وهو من هو في معرفة كلام العرب - وذلك في قوله:

سميت إنسانا لأنك ناسي

لا تنسين تلك العهود وإنما

This meaning is supported by the renown Abbasid era Arab poet Abu Tammam (788 – 845 A.D.), namely Habib ibn Aws, who is quite knowledgeable of the Arab tongue, composing this line of poetry in this meaning:

Do not forget these promises because
You were called human because you forget.

According to Ibn Ishaq41, forty years passed since Allah (SwT) created Adam (‘a)’s body. After that, He blew the soul into him. During that period, his body hardened till it became like a pot of baked clay without fire ever touching it.42 It is to this hardened body that Allah (SwT) refers in this verse:

He created man from dry clay like earthen vessels. (Qur’an, 55:14)

The next verse, 55:15, refers to His creation of the jinns:

“And He created the jinns of a flame of (smokeless) fire.” (Qur’an, 55:15)

When Allah (SwT) Almighty decided to create Adam (‘a), He inspired to the earth,”I shall create of you a creation among whose progeny there will be some who will obey Me and some who will not. So I shall permit whoever obeys Me to enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys me I shall lodge into Hell.” Then He sent Gabriel to planet earth to bring Him a handful of its soil. When Gabriel came to it to take a handful of its soil, the earth said,”I seek refuge with Allah (SwT) Who has sent you to take of me something of which the fire shall have a portion.”

So Gabriel went back to his Lord without taking anything. Allah (SwT) Almighty sent the angel of death, Israel. He came to the earth, and it likewise sought refuge with Allah (SwT) against his taking anything of it, so he said to it,”And I, too, seek refuge with Allah (SwT) against disobeying Him in anything.”

So he took a handful of its soil from its four corners, from its uppermost and best quality soil, from its salty soil, from its mud, from its red clay, from its black soil, from its white soil, from its smooth soil and from its rugged terrain.

Thus did the offspring of Adam (‘a) come to have from among them those who are good and those who are bad, those who are righteous, and those who are rebellious, those who are beautiful, and those who are ugly. And this is why their shapes and complexions differ. Allah (SwT) Almighty has said,

“And one of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colors; most surely there are signs in this for those who know” (Qur’an, 30:22).

The angel of death ascended after taking that handful of earth. Allah Almighty ordered him to make it moist, then to let it ferment. He kneaded it with bitter water, sweet water, and salty water till it became moist, muddy, then he let it ferment. This is why humans’ manners are so diverse.

Then He ordered Gabriel, peace with him, to bring him the white handful that is in the heart of the earth the glow and illumination of which was dazzling in order to create of it Muhammad, the Prophet and Messenger of Allah (S) and the very best of His creation, from the early generations to the last. Accompanied by the esteemed archangels of Paradise and by the angels of the Highest Eminence, Gabriel descended and took hold of a handful of the earth from the place where now the grave of the Prophet stands.

At that time, it was purely white, and it was kneaded in the honoring water and treated till it became like a white pearl. Then it was dipped into all the rivers of Paradise. When it was taken out, the Almighty cast a look at that pure pearl and it shook out of awe of the Almighty, and as many as one hundred and twenty-four thousand drops came out of it.

The Almighty created of those drops all His prophets, and their light out of the light of Muhammad (S). Then it was taken to tour the heavens and the earth, so the angels came to know Muhammad (S) by name even before knowing Adam (‘a).

After that, it was kneaded into Adam (‘a)’s mold. Then it was left for forty years till it became a moist piece of mud. Then it was left for forty more years till it became like baked clay, the dry clay which would make a sound if beaten by hand. Then He made it like a body and it was placed on the pathway of the angels descending from heavens or ascending thereto. This is the meaning of the verse saying,

“Has there not been over man come a long period of time when he was nothing (not even) mentioned?” (Qur’an, 76:1).

Ibn ‘Abbas‎ has said that by”man” it is meant Adam (‘a), and the”long period of time” was forty years during which Adam (‘a) was a body placed at one of the gates of Paradise.

According to al-Tirmidhi’s Sahih, where a chain of narrators are quoted, the Messenger of Allah (S) had said the following in his explanation of the first verses of Surah al-Baqarah (The Cow, Chapter 2 of the Holy Qur’an):”Allah (SwT) created Adam (‘a) out of a handful of earth which contained specimens of what all the earth has, of its smooth plains, rocky mountains, black, white, and red clay, so [Adam (‘a)’s] children came according to the colors of the earth.” Abdullah‎ ibn SalamHe is Abdullah ibn Salam ibn al-Harith, originally from the Banu Qainuqa’ Jews then embraced Islam when the Prophet migrated to Medina. Prophet Muhammad (S) changed his name from al-Haseen الحصين to Abdullah. Vol. 3 (1998 edition) of Ibn al-Athir’s Usd al-Ghaba details his biography and quotes him as saying that when the Prophet came to Medina,”I came out to look as did many curious others. When I looked at his [Prophet’s] face, I realized that it was not the face of a liar. The first I heard him say was this:

أفشوا السلام، و أطعموا الطعام، و صِلوا الأَرحام، و صَلّوا بالليل و الناس نيام، تَدخلوا الجنّة بسلام

‘Disseminate the greeting of peace, feed others, maintain your ties with your kindsolk, offer prayers during the night while people are asleep, and you will enter Paradise in peace.’” This is narrated by imam Ahmed [ibn Hanbal] on p. 450, Vol. 5 of his Musnad from Yahya ibn Sa’id from Awf from Zurarah. asked the Messenger of Allah (S) how Allah (SwT) created Adam (‘a).

The Messenger of Allah (S) said,”Adam (‘a)’s head and forehead were created from the soil of the Ka’ba, his chest and back from the soil of Jerusalem, his thighs from Yemen’s soil, his legs from Egypt’s soil, his feet from the soil of Hijaz, his right hand from the east of the earth, and his left hand from the west of the earth. Then He placed him on the gate of Paradise.

Whenever a group of angels passed by him, they were dazzled by the beauty of his form and by his height. They had never seen anything like that or even close. Iblis passed by him and saw him, so he asked, ‘For what purpose have you been created?’ Then he struck him, but he noticed that it was hollow, so he entered inside him from his mouth and came out of his other end.

Then he said to the angels, ‘This is a hollow creature which cannot stand, nor can it keep itself together.’ Then he asked the angels, ‘Suppose this thing is given preference over you, what would you then do?’ They said, ‘We will obey our Lord’s command in his regard.’ Iblis then said to himself, ‘By Allah (SwT)! If this thing is preferred over me, I will protest, but if I am preferred over it, I shall annihilate it.’ To this does the Almighty refer in the verse saying,

“... and I know what you manifest and what you hide’” (Qur’an, 2:33).

Scholars have said that when Allah (SwT) wanted to breathe the soul into Adam (‘a), He ordered the soul to enter through his mouth, whereupon the soul said,”It is an entrance deep and dark.” He repeated His order, and it repeated the same answer. The same happened a third time.

In the fourth time, He said,”Enter into it against your wish, and come out of it likewise.” Having being thus ordered, the soul entered into him through his mouth. Once the soul was breathed into him, the first place it entered was his brain, and it remained in it the equivalent of two hundred years of our counting. Then it descended to his eyes.

The wisdom in it is that Allah (SwT) Almighty wanted to show Adam (‘a) how his own creation started, and what his origin was, so that once blessings are heaped on him, he would not be proud or conceited. Then it descended to his nostrils, and he sneezed. Once he finished sneezing, the soul descended to his mouth and tongue, so Allah (SwT) taught him to say, Alhamdu lillahi rabbil ‘alamin, i.e. praise to Allah (SwT), Lord of the worlds.

This is the second verse of the first chapter, the Fatiha, the Opening of the Holy Qur’an. That was the first statement uttered by Adam (‘a), whereupon his Lord responded with: Yarhamuka rabbuka ya Adam (‘a); lil rahmati khalaqtuka

يرحمك ربُك يا آدم، للرحمةِ خلقتكَ

“Your Lord is merciful unto you, O Adam (‘a); for the sake of effecting mercy have I created you.” Allah (SwT) then said,”O Adam (‘a)! You have praised Me! By My Honor and Dignity, had it not been for two of My servants whom I will create at the end of time, I would not have created you at all.” Adam (‘a) said,”O Lord! By their status with You, what are their names?

The Almighty said,”O Adam (‘a)! Look in the direction of the ‘Arsh!” There, Adam (‘a) saw two rays of light. The first ray read:”There is no god except Allah (SwT)! Muhammad (S) is the prophet of mercy; Ali is the key to Paradise.” The second line read:”I have taken on Myself to be Merciful on all those who accept their wilaya and to torment whoever antagonizes them.43

Allah (SwT) has said that He is more swift to be merciful than to be wrathful. Then the soul descended to his chest and rib cartilage, so he tried to stand up but he could not. This is the interpretation of the verse saying,

“... And man is ever hasty” (Qur’an, 17:11),

and also,

“Man is created of haste” (Qur’an, 21:36).

When the soul reached his stomach, he craved food, and that was the first need Adam (‘a) felt.

According to some accounts, when his Lord said to him,”Your Lord is merciful unto you, O Adam (‘a),” Adam (‘a) stretched his hand and placed it on his head and said,”Oh!” Allah (SwT) asked him what was wrong with him, so he said,”I have committed a sin...” He asked him how he came to know that.

Adam (‘a) answered,”I know it because mercy is for the sinners.” It became customary for everyone of his descendants to put his hand on his head when afflicted by a calamity or when troubled. Then the soul spread to all parts of his body, and he became flesh, blood, bones, veins and muscles.

Then Allah (SwT) Almighty outfitted him with nails, and he started becoming more and more beautiful every day. When he committed his sin, his outfit was changed for a skin, and the only remaining souvenirs of his days of glory were his nails so that he would remember how his life started and not forget.

When Allah (SwT) completed Adam (‘a)’s creation and breathed the soul into him, He decorated him with ornaments and outfits from Paradise. Out of his joints, light started emanating like the rays of the sun, or like the glow of our Prophet Muhammad (S). Then He had him conveyed on the angels’ shoulders, instructing the angels thus:”Take him for a tour of My heavens so that he may see their wonders and what they contain, and his conviction (‘iman ايمان) may increase.”

The angels said,”Yes, here we are, ever listening to You, Lord, and always obeying!” The angels escorted him on his tour of the heavens for a hundred years till he became familiar with their wonders and miracles.

Among his escorting angels were both arch-angels Gabriel and Michael. Whenever he passed by a group of angels he said, Assalamo alaikom ya mala’ikat-Allah (SwT), that is,”Peace with you, O angels of Allah (SwT)!” They responded by saying, Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, i.e.”Peace with you, too, and the mercy of Allah (SwT) and His blessings.” Allah (SwT) Almighty said to him,”O Adam (‘a)! This is the method of your greeting and the greeting of the believers from among your descendants to one another till the Day of Judgment.”44

Then Allah (SwT) Almighty taught Adam (‘a) the names of everything. Scholars differed regarding those names. Ar-Rabi’ ibn Anas45has said that they are the names of all the angels. Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam46 has said that they are the names of his descendants. Ibn ‘Abbas‎ and most others have said that He taught him the names of everything including the names of bowls small and big. Imam al-Hassan al-’Askari (‘a), however, has stated the following in this regard:

When Allah (SwT) Almighty created Adam (‘a), He taught him the names of everything, then He displayed them before the angels. He displayed the spirits of Muhammad (S), Ali, Fatima, al-Hassan, and al-Husayn, looking as five apparitions in the loins of Adam (‘a). Their lights illuminated the depths of the heavens, the curtains, the jannas, the Kursi, and the ‘Arsh.

Allah (SwT), therefore, ordered the angels to prostrate to Adam (‘a) as a sign of respect, for He had honored him by making him the bearer of those apparitions whose light overwhelmed the horizons. They all prostrated with the exception of Iblis who refused to humble himself to our lights, we Ahl al-Bayt, while all the angels did.47

The order Allah (SwT) gave to the angels is referred to in this verse:

“So when I have made him complete and breathed into him of My spirit, fall down making obeisance to him” (Qur’an, 15:29).

Most scholars are of the opinion that that order was given particularly to the angels who were in the company of Iblis rather than the rest of them, and that it was a token of respect and greeting, neither of supplication nor of adoration. When He ordered them to prostrate, they all prostrated except Iblis who

“refused to be with those who made obeisance” (Qur’an, 15:31),

thus becoming haughty and a disbeliever.

Abu Abdullah‎, Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (‘a), has said, “Allah (SwT) Almighty created the souls two thousand years before creating their bodies, making their most supreme and honored of them those of Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, al-Hassan, al-Husayn, and the Imams after them, blessings of Allah (SwT) with them all.”

Then He displayed them to the heavens, the earth and the mountains, and their light overwhelmed all of these. Allah (SwT), Blessed and Exalted is His Name, said to the heavens, earth and mountains,”These are My hujaj (arguments) against My creation. For them and for those who follow them did I create My Paradise, and to those who differ from them and who antagonize them did I create My fire. So, whoever assumes their status with Me and their degree of greatness, I shall torment him with a torment the like of which I shall not torment anyone else of the worlds. And whoever submits to their wilaya and never shrinks from their status with Me, I shall place him with them in My gardens.

Their wilaya is a trust among My creation. Which of you, then, shall bear it in all its weight and claim it for himself? The heavens, the earth and the mountains refused to bear it and were fearful thereof. They were fearful of claiming their status or even be hopeful of achieving their greatness with their Lord. But when Allah (SwT), the most Exalted and Honored One, permitted Adam (‘a) and his wife to reside in Paradise, He said to them,”Eat of it with enjoyment wherever you wish, and do not come near this tree, for you will then be among the wrongdoers.”

But they looked and saw the status reserved for Muhammad (S), Ali, Fatima, al-Hassan, al-Husayn and the Imams after them (‘a) and found it occupying the best of all places in Paradise.

They, therefore, said,”Lord! For whom have You reserved this status?” Allah (SwT), Glory and Exaltation are His, said,”Raise your heads and look at the leg of the ‘Arsh.” Having raised their heads and looked there, they found the names of Muhammad (S), Ali, Fatima, al-Hassan, al-Husayn and the Imams after them (‘a), blessings of Allah (SwT) with them, inscribed on the leg of the ‘Arsh. They both said,”Lord! How great is this status with You?”

He said,”Had it not been for them, I would not have created you both; beware of looking at them enviously or wishing to reach their status with Me, for you will then enter into disobedience to Me and transgress the limits with Me.”

But Satan, though, insinuated to them and swore to them that he was only giving them an advice, convincing them in the end to covet their status. They, therefore, looked enviously at them, thus failing the test. They ate of the forbidden fruit. Once they ate of it, all the clothes and ornaments they were wearing fell down, leaving them naked. He (Allah (SwT)) called out to them,”Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is your open enemy?”

They said,”Lord! We have wronged our own selves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy on us, we will surely be among the losers.” He said,”Get away from nearness to Me, for nobody comes near to Me in My Paradise if he disobeys Me.” They descended from that status and started to rely on their own selves to stay alive.

When Allah (SwT), the Honored and the Great One, wanted to accept their repentance, Gabriel came to them and said,”You wronged your own selves by desiring to acquire a status reserved for someone better than both of you. Your penalty is to descend from your high status with Allah (SwT), the Honored and the Great One, to His earth. You should plead to your Lord by the status reserved with Him for the names which you saw inscribed on the leg of the ‘Arsh to accept your repentance.” They, therefore, said,”Lord! We plead to You by the dearest ones to You, Muhammad (S), Ali, Fatima, al-Hassan, al-Husayn and the Imams to accept our repentance and to have mercy on us.” Allah (SwT) accepted their repentance.

Since then, prophets of Allah (SwT) have been safeguarding this trust and informing their wasis and those faithful to them from among their nations not to accept to bear it, and to fear lest they should claim it for themselves... The origin of all oppression is man, hence the statement of Allah (SwT), the Honored and the Great One,

“Surely We offered the trust to the heavens, the earth and the mountains, but they refused to bear it and feared it, but man bore it; surely he is unjust, ignorant” (Qur’an, 33:72).48

It is in reference to such a plea by Adam (‘a) to his Lord that verse 37 of Surah al-Baqarah refers:

“Then Adam (‘a) received (some) words from his Lord, so He turned to him mercifully; surely He is Oft-returning (to mercy), the most Merciful” (Qur’an, 2:37).

The subject of how Adam (‘a) pleaded to Allah (SwT) to accept his repentance is truly inspiring. Without such repentance, there can be no hope for Paradise. Imam al-Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib (‘a) narrates an incident recorded in ‘Ilal al-Shara’i’ and also in Al-Amali and is briefly quoted in Al-Noor al-Mubeen as follows:

A group of Jews came once to the Messenger of Allah (S) and asked him about a number of issues. Among them was this one:”Tell us about the five prayer periods appointed for your nation during the day and the night.” The Prophet explained to them till he said,”... as for the ‘asr (afternoon) prayers, it is the time during which Adam (‘a) ate of the (forbidden) fruit, so Allah (SwT) expelled him from Paradise.

Then Allah (SwT) ordered Adam (‘a)’s offspring to keep performing this prayer till the Day of Judgment, and He chose it specifically for my nation, for it is the one loved most by Allah (SwT), the Exalted and the Almighty, and He commanded me to uphold it and honor it... As regarding the maghrib (sunset) prayers, it is the time during which Allah (SwT) accepted Adam (‘a)’s repentance... Adam (‘a) offered three rek’at (for the sunset prayers): one rek’a for his sin, another for Eve’s sin, and the third for the acceptance of his repentance. Allah (SwT), the Exalted and the Almighty, mandated these rek’at on my nation.”

They then said,”Tell us now why you have to make ablution to four places of the body which are the most clean of all bodily parts.” The Prophet (S) said,”When Satan insinuated to Adam (‘a), and when Adam (‘a) came near the tree and looked at it, his face lost its glow. Then he stood up, and his feet were the first to walk towards committing a sin, then he took with his hand (of its fruit), touched then ate of it.

All the ornaments and garments with which Allah (SwT) had decorated his body disappeared. Then Adam (‘a) wept, putting his hand on his head. When Allah (SwT) accepted his repentance, He mandated on him and on his offspring to wash these four places. And He ordered him to wash his face on account of his looking at the forbidden tree. He ordered him to wash the arms to the elbows on account of what he took of it. And He ordered him to wipe the feet on account of his walking to the place where he committed his sin.”

Then the Jews said to the Prophet (S),”Tell us why did Allah (SwT) require your nation to fast during daytime for thirty days, whereas He had ordered Adam (‘a) to fast a longer period than that?” The Prophet said,”When Adam (‘a) ate of the (forbidden) fruit, what he ate remained in his stomach for thirty days; so, Allah (SwT) required Adam (‘a)’s offspring to fast for thirty days in order to suffer hunger and thirst. What they eat (during the night) is out of the Favor of Allah (SwT), the Exalted and the Sublime, unto them.49

Notice how Imam al-Hassan  in the quotation above referred to Adam (‘a) losing all the clothes and ornaments whereby Allah (SwT) had decorated him after his creation. It is to this loss of clothes, the nudity, and to his and his wife’s attempt to cover it that Allah (SwT) refers in the Holy Qur’an when He says,

“... And they both began to cover themselves with the leaves of the garden” (Qur’an, 7:22).

When Adam (‘a) came out of the garden, archangel Gabriel came to him and said,”O Adam (‘a)! Did not Allah (SwT) create you with His own hands and permit you to reside in Paradise? Did He not permit you to enjoy all of it and clearly prohibit you from eating of that tree, yet you ate of it and thus disobeyed Allah (SwT)?” Adam (‘a) said,”But Iblis swore by Allah (SwT) to me that he was only offering me an advice, and I never thought that any of Allah (SwT)’s creation can ever swear by Allah (SwT) to a lie.”50

Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (‘a)  has said,”Had Adam (‘a) not sinned, no believer would have ever sinned. And had Allah (SwT), the most Exalted and the Almighty, not accepted Adam (‘a)’s repentance, He would not have accepted it from any other sinner.”51

Could one interpret this incident of Adam (‘a) and Eve falling from Divine grace as a moral lesson to mankind? Of course he can. Had Adam (‘a) and Eve not fallen from Divine grace, neither I nor you nor anyone else would have populated this planet. After all, did the Almighty not create Earth so it would be populated by humans?

Where Was The Garden: In Heaven Or On Earth?

Another question to tackle is:”Where was Paradise from which Adam (‘a) was dismissed? Was it in heaven, or was it on earth?” In my view, this should be one of the easiest questions to answer despite the great controversy surrounding it. Adam (‘a) was created of earth; he was an earthling. So, it is only natural that he could live on earth; in it he was buried, and from it will he be resurrected, and on it will he be tried on the Day of Judgment. Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (‘a) was asked once the same question.

He said,”It was one of the gardens of this world; the sun and the moon shone over it. Had it been one of the jannat of eternity, he would never have been dismissed from it.”52 Had it been the abode of eternity, it would have been eternal, it would not have had room for Iblis or any devil like him. Nobody would have committed any sin in it or told a lie; there is no room in it for sinning or sinners, lying or liars.

Another question raised is about how long Adam (‘a) remained in it. Some scholars say that he stayed in it for hundreds of years. There is nothing in the Holy Qur’an that supports this claim which is based on traditions the authenticity of which is very difficult to verify.

Al-’Aayyashi quotes Abdullah‎ ibn Sinan53 as saying,”Abu Abdullah‎ (Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (‘a)) was asked in my presence about how long Adam (‘a) and his wife remained in Paradise before they were dismissed from it. The Imam (‘a) said, ‘Allah (SwT), Blessed and Glorified is His Name, blew of His spirit into Adam (‘a) after the time of the zawal (shortly before noon) on a Friday. Then He created his wife then ordered His angels to prostrate to him. He resided in it (Paradise) that same day. By Allah (SwT)! He did not stay in it except for six hours of that same day before he disobeyed Allah (SwT) Who dismissed both of them from it after sunset.

They were not even permitted to stay that night there. In the morning, they noticed their nakedness. Their Lord said to them, ‘Did I not prohibit you from eating of that tree?’ Adam (‘a) felt very ashamed. He prostrated and said, ‘Lord! We have both done our souls injustice, and we have admitted our sins, so do forgive us.’ Allah (SwT) said to them, ‘Get out of it to My earth, for no disobedient servant of Mine can be near Me in My Paradise, nor can he be in My heaven.’”54

Creation Of Eve

There have been various views (as is always the case) with regard to the creation of Eve. There are two opinions as to how she was created. One of them is the most widely (but not necessarily accurate) concept of her creation from Adam (‘a)’s rib. This theory has no support at all in the Holy Qur’an; rather, it crept into the Islamic literature through the Christians and Jews with whom a number of early Muslim scholars came into contact.

Eve Was Created From Adam (‘A)’S Rib (Or Was She?!)

Some scholars of exegesis have said that when Allah (SwT) Almighty permitted Adam (‘a) to live in Paradise, he used to walk in it alone, since he had nobody to keep him company or to entertain him. One day, Allah (SwT) Almighty caused him to sleep. Allah (SwT) took one of Adam (‘a)’s left side ribs called al-qusairi, the short rib, and created Eve from it without making Adam (‘a) feel it or suffer any pain. Had Adam (‘a) been hurt in the process, men would never have had any love for women.

Then He outfitted her with the attires of Paradise and decorated her with all sorts of ornaments, then He seated her at his head.

When Adam (‘a) woke up, he saw her sitting at his head. In order to test him, the angels asked him,”What is this, O Adam (‘a)?!” He said,”Woman.” They asked him,”What is her name?” He said,”Hawwa’, Eve.” They said,”Yes, you have spoken the truth.”

Then they asked him,”Why is she called Hawwa’?” He said,”She is named so because she was created of something hayy حَيّ, live.” They asked him,”Why did Allah (SwT) create her?” He said,”He created her so that she may incline to me and I to her.” This is the meaning of the verse,

“He it is Who created you from a single being and of the same (kind) did He make his mate so that he may incline to her” (Qur’an, 7:189).

A controversial tradition quotes the Prophet as having said,”Woman was created of a crooked rib; so, if you try to straighten her, you will break her, but if you leave her, you will enjoy her despite her crookedness.”

According to some accounts, when Adam (‘a) saw Eve, he stretched his hand to her, whereupon the angels said,”O Adam (‘a)! Meh [wait]! He said,”Why should I, since Allah (SwT) has created her for me?!” The angels said,”Not before you pay her Meh-r (dower).” He asked them,”And what is her dower?” They said,”You have to bless Muhammad (S) and the progeny of Muhammad (S) thrice.” He said,”Who is Muhammad (S)?” They said,”The last prophet among your descendants. Had it not been for him, you yourself would not have been created at all.”

But what purpose is served if the Almighty were to create Eve from one of Adam (‘a)’s ribs? Would that not make Adam (‘a) the husband of a part of his own body?! And who says that a rib has all the ingredients needed to form a living being?! A bone is mostly calcium... Neither logic nor science supports the theory of Eve being created from a bone, from calcium. Also, to say that Eve was created from a crooked rib is to attribute crookedness to women, our mothers, sisters, and wives.

This reflects a rotten male chauvinistic attitude which is far from being fair, while Allah (SwT) is fair to everyone, male and female. This proves to you that not all traditions are accurate, authentic, especially if they are reported by male chauvinistic… narrators! Another point to make here is this: In the beginning of this section, Adam (‘a) supposedly tells the angels about Eve, who she is and for whom she is created, but he does not know who Muhammad (S) is! Is this possible?! We think this is the fabrication of someone’s imagination, and Allah (SwT) knows best.

We request our Muslim brothers to open their eyes and minds before taking for granted any”tradition” that comes their way. Nobody should be that blind. He may be naïve but not blind.

Eve Was Not Created From Adam (‘A)’S Rib

The other view, which seems to be more logical and comes from a much, much more reliable source, is stated in references like al-’Ayyashi’s Tafsir and al-Majlisi’s Bihar al-Anwar, and in other reliable sources. Al-’Ayyashi quotes ‘Amr ibn al-Miqdam citing his father saying,”I asked Abu Ja’far (Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (‘a)): ‘What did Allah (SwT) create Eve from?’ ‘What do people say she was created from?’ asked the Imam in turn. ‘They say that Allah (SwT) created her from one of Adam (‘a)’s ribs,’ said I.

The Imam said, ‘They have surely lied.., as if Allah (SwT) could not create her from anything other than Adam (‘a)’s rib!’ I said, ‘May I be your sacrifice, O son of the Messenger of Allah (S)! What did He create her from?’ He informed me, quoting his fathers, that the Messenger of Allah (S) had said, ‘Allah (SwT), Blessed and Exalted is His Name, took hold of a handful of mud and mixed it with His right hand (and both His hands are right55), so He created Adam (‘a) from it. There was a remnant of that mud (or mold) from which He created Eve.’56 Since Allah (SwT) was able to create Adam (‘a) from dust, He likewise was able to create Eve of the same.

Adam (‘A) Marries Eve

The romantic story of how Adam (‘a) and Eve got married is told by none other than Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (‘a) who never told a lie as long as he lived, thus earning his title”al-Sadiq” which means”the truthful one". It is here narrated as recorded in al-’Ayyashi’s book ‘Ilal al-Shara’i’:

As soon as Adam (‘a) saw Eve, he found her a very beautiful being, someone who looked like but not similar to him. She spoke to him, and he asked her,”Who are you?”“A being created by Allah (SwT) as you can see,” said she. Adam (‘a) then addressed his Lord saying,”Lord! Who is this beautiful being whose presence and looking at whom has delighted me?” Allah (SwT) said,”She is My bondmaid Eve. Would you like her to be in your company so she would entertain you, talk to you and obey you?” Adam (‘a) said,”O yes, Lord! And I shall surely thank You for that and praise You as long as I live!”

Allah (SwT) said,”Then ask for her hand from Me, and she may also be good for satisfying your desire.” It was then that Allah (SwT) cast into Adam (‘a) the sexual desire. Before then, all he had was knowledge. Said Adam (‘a),”Lord! I do ask You to marry me to her, but what is Your pleasure in this regard?” Allah (SwT) said,”I shall be pleased with you if you would teach her the injunctions of My creed.”

Adam (‘a) said,”You have the right to demand that of me, O Lord, and I shall do so if it pleases You.” The most Exalted and Sublime One then said,”Yes, it will please Me if you do so, and I have married you to one another, so join her to yourself.” It was then that Adam (‘a) asked Eve to come near him.”Come,” said Adam (‘a), but Eve did not.”Rather, you should come to me.” Adam (‘a) was puzzled and did not know exactly what to do.

The Almighty interfered and ordered him to stand up and go to Eve. Had he not done so, women would have sought men for themselves in marriage57. Such is the story of Eve, blessings of Allah (SwT) with her.58

The First Human Family

One of the most pressing questions, in as far as Adam (‘a) and Eve are concerned, is this:”How was the first human family established?” Eve gave birth to sons and daughters who were brothers and sisters of one another. Did a brother marry his sister? If the answer is negative, then how else did they multiply?

We have to underscore here the sublime, pristine and irrefutable fact that what Allah (SwT) makes permissible stays so from the beginning of His creation and till the end of time; there is neither alteration nor adulteration to Allah (SwT)’s canons. There is no truly revealed religion in the history of mankind that permits a brother to marry his sister. Adam (‘a)was a Messenger of Allah (S) to mankind, a prophet, and he conveyed the same truth conveyed by all other prophets and messengers who descended from his loins, each and every one of them, preaching the same commandments of our Lord and Creator. The Almighty does not have two faces, nor does he speak to one nation differently from that to the other. His truth is one and the same.

People played havoc with their creeds, neglecting to safeguard them, deliberately altering them in order to satisfy their own whims and desires or to serve their interests or to make money as hired fabricators of hadith. This is why there are so many differences among the world’s religions. All these differences are manmade; Allah (SwT), God, Yaweh, Adiu…, has absolutely nothing to do with them. His word is one and the same; His religions are one and the same; His right and wrong is one and the same; His Fire and Heaven are the same for all. His divine law is one and the same. His halal and haram are as everlasting as His sun and moon, and this will be so till the Day of Judgment. The Almighty never changes His word; people change His word; humans play havoc with divine creeds. So, He could not have allowed His first prophet, our father Adam (‘a), to permit what all other prophets prohibited.

How Did Adam (‘A)’s Offspring Then Multiply?

We would like to distance ourselves from some Muslims who claim that necessities justify violating laws, norms, rules and traditions. We do not buy their argument because it is based on the non-Muslim concept of”All means justify the ends.” They do not. What starts wrong can never end right and vice versa. All means do not justify the ends; this is not an Islamic slogan although some Muslims unfortunately adopt it and use it, and we pray for their and our forgiveness.

Zurarah59 quotes Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (‘a) commenting in detail about this matter. The Imam, a great-grandson of the Prophet of Islam, was asked about his views with regard to some Muslims (as well as non-Muslims) claiming that there was time when it was the law of necessity to permit the brothers to marry their sisters in order to form the first human family. The Imam was quite emphatic in his denunciation of, even outraged at, such a preposterous claim. Here is the text of his statement as recorded in ‘Ilal al-Shara’i’:

Woe unto such people! How far are they from a matter about which neither the scholars of Hijaz nor those of Iraq have differed in the least? Allah (SwT), the most Exalted and Great, ordered the Pen to write on the Preserved Tablet60 what will be till the Day of Judgment, one thousand years before the creation of Adam (‘a). All the Books of Allah (SwT), each and every one of them, were written by that Pen, and they all prohibit the sisters from marrying their brothers.

This is one of the prohibitions which they contain. We all read the four divinely revealed Books which are famous the world over: the Torah (Old Testament, revealed to prophet Moses (‘a)), the Injil (the Bible or the New Testament, revealed to prophet Jesus (‘a) Christ, the Psalms (revealed to prophet David (‘a), now part of the Old Testament), and the Furqan (the Holy Qur’an), revealed to Prophet Muhammad (S), Allah (SwT)’s blessings with all of them. Allah (SwT) sent them down from the Preserved Tablet to His prophets. They do not permit anything like that.

Anyone who claims otherwise or who says something similar only supports what the Zoroastrians61 claim... Eve gave birth to seventy twins, each time giving birth to a male and a female, till Able was killed. Adam (‘a) felt very grieved about his murder to the extent that he had no desire to cohabit for five hundred years. Then he overcame his grief and cohabited with Eve, and Allah (SwT) granted him one single newborn.

When Allah (SwT) wanted his progeny to be as numerous as you can see, and to effect what the Pen had written, that is, Allah (SwT) prohibiting the brothers from marrying their sisters, it was the time in the late afternoon, on a Thursday, when Allah (SwT) sent him from Paradise a huri named Nazla. Allah (SwT), the Exalted and the Great, ordered Adam (‘a) to marry her off to Japheth (Yafith). He married her to him. Sheth (Seth), too, was blessed with a son at the same time when Japheth was blessed with a daughter. Allah (SwT), the Sublime and the Great, ordered Adam (‘a), when both newborns came of age, to marry Japheth’s daughter to the son of Sheth, which he did. The result of that marriage was the choicest of prophets and messengers. We seek refuge with Allah (SwT) against what some people claim that the brothers (who descended from Adam (‘a)) married their sisters.62

I, author of this book, would like to narrate the following incident as an example of how some Muslim imams of mosques mislead their communities:

When I lived in Falls Church city, Virginia, a mosque was built nearby, something for which I praised and thanked the Almighty. But my excitement gradually faded when I saw how the imams of that mosque were ignorant to an unbelievable degree. Here are two examples for their serious misleading ignorance:

One of them kept telling others that it was perfectly alright if they bought meat on the market the animal from which it was taken was not slaughtered according to Islamic rules and regulations. He said to them,”All you have to do is to say ‘Bismillah’ before you eat it, and it will become halal (Islamically lawful).”

He even went further to say that he would carry the sins of all Muslims who did what he suggested while doubting that it was Islamic, thus clearing skeptics of the sin and bearing it on his back,”round my neck,” according to his expression. This is one example.

Another example for such very dangerously misleading ignorance was this: I was once inside the mosque when a Muslim came to inquire about some people, Muslims of course, who were circumcising their daughters. Remember that I am talking about Muslims living in the United States, not in Africa.

I thought that the mere idea was most repulsive and disgusting. To my great surprise, the imam of that mosque told the inquirer that not only was such circumcision”lawful in Islam, it was highly recommended”…

In both incidents, the logic was one and the same: It is an axiom that says in Arabic عند الضرورات تباح المحضورات During times of necessities, what is prohibitive becomes permissible. This is why they claim that Adam (‘a)’s sons”married” their sisters; necessity dictated it… Astaghfirullah!

The account of the first children born for Adam (‘a) and Eve, and the story of Cain killing his brother Able, are both detailed in a very interesting tradition narrated by”Abu Abdullah”‎ Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (‘a) and recorded by ‘allama al-Majlisi in Vol. 11 of his precious old edition (111 volume) encyclopedia titled Bihar al-Anwar; here is an excerpt from it for the reader:

When Adam (‘a) and Eve cohabited, a daughter was born for them whom Adam (‘a) named ‘Ataqa [which, by the way, means”emancipated from slavery, the slavery of sinning or disobeying the Lord”], and she was the first woman to commit sin from among the human race. Allah (SwT), therefore, sent against her a large wolf and a large eagle that both killed her. After that, Cain was born.

When he attained maturity, Allah (SwT), the Exalted and the Sublime, sent him a woman from among the jinns named Jehana in a human form. As soon as he saw her, he fell in love with her, so Allah (SwT) inspired to Adam (‘a) to marry Jehana to Cain. Then Able was born for Adam (‘a) and Eve. When Able became adult, Allah (SwT) sent Adam (‘a) a huri (from Paradise) named Nezla the huri. When Able saw her, he fell in love with her, so Allah (SwT) inspired to Adam (‘a) to marry her to Able, which he did. Nezla the huri thus became wife of Able son of Adam (‘a).

Then Allah (SwT) inspired Adam (‘a) to entrust the heritage of prophethood and the knowledge (relevant to it) to Able, which he did. When Cain came to know about it, he became angry and said to his father,”Am I not older than my brother and more worthy of what you did for him?” Adam (‘a) said,”Son! The affair is in the hands of Allah (SwT), and it is Allah (SwT) Who chose him for what I did.

If you do not believe me, let both of you offer a qurban (a sacrificial offering). Anyone whose qurban is accepted will be the one worthy of being preferred over the other.” During that time, the fire used to come and consume such qurbans (as the Holy Qur’an tells us in 3:183). Able was a land tiller, so he offered a bad quality wheat, whereas Able used to tend to sheep, so he offered a fat ram. The fire consumed Able’s qurban only.

Iblis, Satan, went to Cain and said,”O Cain! Were you both to have offspring, and were you both to become numerous, his offspring would brag to yours about the favor bestowed on him by your father and about the fact that the fire accepted his qurban and ignored yours. If you kill him, your father will have no choice except to give you what he has given him.” Cain, therefore, leaped at Able and killed him.

Then Iblis said,”The fire that accepted the qurban is surely glorified; so, you, too, should glorify it. Build for it a house and assign people to look after it; worship it well, and look after it, so that your qurban may be accepted, if this is what you want.” Cain did all of that, thus becoming the first human to worship the fire and to build a fire house.

Adam (‘a) came to the place where Able had killed his brother and kept weeping there for forty days during which he condemned the spot that accepted his son’s blood. It is the spot where the dome of Basra’s (main) mosque now stands (in Basra, southern Iraq). On the day when Able was killed, his wife, Nezla the huri, was pregnant. She later gave birth to a son whom Adam (‘a) named also Able.

Allah (SwT), the most Exalted and the Almighty, granted Adam (‘a) after Able another son whom he named Sheth and about whom he said,”This is hibat-Allah (SwT) (a gift from Allah (SwT))!” When Sheth became adult, Allah (SwT) sent Adam (‘a) another huri named Na’ima in a human form. As soon as he saw her, Sheth fell in love with her, so Allah (SwT) inspired Adam (‘a) to marry Na’ima to Sheth, which he did. She gave birth to a daughter whom Adam (‘a) named Hooriyya (huri). When she became adult, Allah (SwT) inspired Adam (‘a) to marry her off to Able (Able II), which he did.

The humans you all now see are from that marriage. When Adam (‘a)’s period of prophethood came to an end, Allah (SwT) Almighty ordered him to pass on his knowledge and the relics of prophethood to Sheth, to order him to follow taqiyya (to be on his guard), to keep this matter to himself and not tell his brother about it lest the latter should kill him as Able was killed.63

Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (‘a) was asked once about the meaning of the verse saying,

“The Day when a man shall flee from his brother” (Qur’an, 80:34).

He said,”Cain shall that Day (of Judgment) flee from his brother Able.” He was also asked about why Wednesday is considered a bad omen day. He stated that Cain killed Able on a Wednesday.64

The Status Adam (‘A) Enjoys With Allah

The Praised and the Exalted One has said the following in the Holy Qur’an:

“Then Adam (‘a) received (some) words from his Lord, so He turned to him mercifully; surely He is the oft-Returning (to mercy), the Most Merciful” (Qur’an, 2:37).

The son of Abu Naji quotes Mujahid65 saying that those”words” were:

Lord! There is no god but You! All Glory and Praise are due to You! Lord! I have wronged my own self; so, forgive me, for You are the best of those who grant forgiveness! Lord! There is no god but You! Glory and Praise to You!... We have been unjust to our own selves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy on us, we shall surely be among the losers. (Qur’an, 7:23).

Some Muslims, through transmitters of hadith such as al-Hakim, al-Bayhaqi, and Ibn ‘Asakir, quote Abd al-Rahman ibn Yazid ibn Aslam citing his father citing his grandfather quoting caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab as saying that the Messenger of Allah (S) has said,”When Adam (‘a) committed his sin, he invoked Allah (SwT) by saying, ‘Lord! I invoke You by the honor reserved with You for Muhammad (S) and the progeny of Muhammad (S) to grant me Your forgiveness!’

The Almighty asked him, ‘How did you come to know about Muhammad (S) since I have not created him yet?’ He answered, ‘Lord! When You created me and blew into me of Your soul, I raised my head and saw on the pillars of the Throne a writing saying: There is no god except Allah (SwT); Muhammad (S) is the Messenger of Allah (S). So I came to know that

You did not add someone’s name to Yours except because he is most loved by You of all Your creation.’ The Almighty said, ‘O Adam (‘a)! You have spoken the truth! He is, indeed, the dearest to Me of all My creation, and if you invoke Me by his honor, I am bound to forgive you; had it not been for Muhammad (S), I would not have created you.’”

Allah (SwT), the Exalted and the Almighty, has referred to His forgiveness of Adam (‘a) in the Holy Qur’an in verses such as these:

“... And Adam (‘a) disobeyed his Lord, so his life became evil (to him). Then his Lord chose him, so He turned to him and guided him” (Qur’an, 20:121-122).

Where Is Adam (‘A) Buried?

Adam (‘a) lived for one thousand years or, according to other accounts, one thousand and thirty years. Some of his offspring, such as Noah (‘a), lived much longer than that. Abu Abdullah‎, Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (‘a), is quoted as having said,”When Adam (‘a) died, and his death brought joy to Iblis and Cain, the latter met on earth and celebrated the occasion with some sorts of musical instruments and merry making.

Any music which pleases people is the product thereof.”66 The Imam has also said the following about how and where Adam (‘a) was buried:

Allah (SwT), Praised and Exalted is He, inspired to Noah (‘a), who was then in the ark, to circle around the House (Ka’ba) for a full week, which he did. Then Noah (‘a) waded in the water to his knees as he took out a coffin containing Adam (‘a)’s remains. Then he came to [what is now] the gate of Kufa and reached the midst of its [present day] mosque. Those who had been with Noah (‘a) in the ark dispersed, so he took the coffin and buried it in the Ghari (Najaf, Iraq).67

He is also quoted as saying that Eve did not survive him except for one year. She fell sick for fifteen days, then she died and was buried beside Adam (‘a).68

The Holy Qur’an mentions Adam (‘a) twenty-five times.

Adam (‘A)’s Supplication

It is reported in the appendix to al-Kaf’ami’s Miba that Adam (‘a) knelt down at the Yemeni corner, offered two rek’as then said,”O Almighty God! I pray You for a conviction whereby You gladden my heart,” up to the end of his invocation, whereupon the Almighty inspired him,

“O Adam (‘a)! I shall grant those among your descendants who learn this invocation whatever they like and protect them against whatever they dislike; I will remove the love of this world from their heart and fill their minds with wisdom.” This invocation is recorded by Shaikh al-Tusi in his Miba al-Mutahajjid. It is as follows:

O You Who is my resort during the time of affliction, my Friend during the time of hardship, my Sponsor during the time of prosperity, my Refuge during the time of need! You cover my shortcoming, You assure me when I am frightened; You bring my feet back to the right path after slipping; so, Lord, do forgive my sin! Lord! I pray You to grant me the humility of conviction before the humiliation of the Fire!

O One! O Independent One Who neither begets nor is He begotten, nor can any be like Him! O You Who gives those Who ask Him out of his Kindness and starts giving (even before being asked)! You, Lord, are the best of those who are asked in Your everlasting Favors and Generosity! I pray You to send blessings unto Muhammad (S) and the progeny of Muhammad (S), and to grant me a spacious and inclusive mercy whereby I achieve the best of this life and of the life to come! Lord! I seek Your forgiveness for whatever I committed even after my repentance, and I seek Your forgiveness for every good deed which I intended to solely achieve Your pleasure but was mixed with something which is not fit to be Yours!

Lord! Send blessings unto Muhammad (S) and the progeny of Muhammad (S) and overlook my wrong-doing and sin by Your Clemency and Generosity! O Generous One Who does not disappoint anyone who pleads to Him, nor does He run out of giving, O One Who is so High that nothing is above Him and so near that nothing is nearer than Him! I pray You to send blessings unto Muhammad (S) and the progeny of Muhammad (S) and to have mercy on me! O You Who split the sea for Moses (‘a)!

Tonight, tonight, tonight! This hour; this hour; this hour! Lord! Purify my heart from hypocrisy, my actions from pretense, my tongue from telling lies, and my eyes from seeing what You have prohibited me from seeing, for You know when the eyes intrude and what the hearts conceal! Lord! This is the place of one who seeks help from You against the fire! This is the place of one who seeks refuge against the fire! This is the place where one flees to You from the fire! This is the place of one who admits his wrong-doing and repents and regrets his sin to his Lord! This is the place of the miserable wretch! This is the place of one frightened seeking shelter! This is the place of one who is grieved, distressed! This is the place of one who is a stranger, drowning!

This is the place of one who is perturbed, frightened! This is the place of one who finds none except You to forgive his sin and remove his distress! O Allah (SwT)! O Generous One! Do not burn my face in the fire after having prostrated before You and lowered my head in humility, without doing You a favor by so doing; rather, to Your is all praise due, and yours are all the favors and bounties!

So, have mercy, O Lord (and keep repeating: O Lord! till you are out of breath), have mercy on my weakness, my inability to help myself, the thinness of my skin, the scattering of my limbs, flesh and body, my loneliness in my grave, and my impatience regarding the small portion of this life’s hardships! Lord! I ask You to cool my eyes and bring happiness to me on the Day of sighs and regrets! Lord! Brighten my face on the Day when faces are darkened!

Grant me security on the Day of the Greatest Fear! I pray You for glad tidings on the Day when hearts and visions are turned upside-down, and to grant me the glad tidings when I depart from this world! Praise is all due to Allah (SwT) Whose help I seek and none else, and if I seek help of anyone other than Him, I will surely be disappointed! All praise is due to Allah (SwT) in Whom I have set my hope, and if I set my hope on anyone else, my plea will surely bring me disappointment.

Praise is all due to Allah (SwT) Who is the Bountiful, the ever-Giving, the ultimate end of the desirous, the One Who fulfills every need! Lord! Send blessings unto Muhammad (S) and the progeny of Muhammad (S) and bless me with conviction and with good thoughts about You, and make my hope in You firm in my heart and do not let me set my hope on anyone other than You so that I plead to none but You and trust none but You!

O You Gracious One! Be Gracious unto me in all conditions, regarding everything You like and with which You are pleased! Lord! I am too weak to tolerate the fire; so, do not torment me in it! Lord! Have mercy on me and grant me my pleas, respond to my supplication, fear, humiliation and wretchedness;

I seek help from You, and I rely on none but You! Lord! I am too weak to achieve my worldly gains, while Your Generosity is spacious; so, I pray You, Lord, by Your Might to do that and Your ability to do it, and Your lack of need to do it, and my own need for it, to bless me in this year, in this month, in this day, in this hour, with a sustenance which would make me too independent to covet what others have of Your lawful and good sustenance! Lord! To You do I pray, You do I seek, and You are worthy of all of this, and only You do I trust! O You Who is the Most Merciful of those who have mercy!

I have wronged my own soul; so, forgive me and have mercy on me; grant me good health, O You Who hears every voice, Who sustains each and all, Who brings life back to the dead, Who is not overwhelmed by the darkness, nor can He ever be confused by voices, nor can anything divert Him from doing anything else! I pray You to grant Muhammad (S), peace and blessings of Allah (SwT) with him and his progeny, the best of what he has asked You, and the best of what You have been asked, and the best of what You are apt to give till the Day of Resurrection, and grant me good health so that You enable me to enjoy life, and conclude my life with goodness so that sins do not harm me! Lord! Make me contented with what You have allotted for me so that I do not ask anyone for anything! Lord!

Send peace and blessings unto Muhammad (S) and the progeny of Muhammad (S) and open for me the treasures of Your mercy and have mercy on me so that You do not torment me henceforth in this life nor in the life to come and grant me, out of Your Spacious Favors, good and lawful sustenance so that You do not make me, beyond it, in need of anyone other than You, and increase my thanks to You and need and want to You and overlooking what all but You have! O You Who is ever-Giving, ever-Bountiful! You are the King,

the Omnipotent! I pray You to send blessings unto Muhammad (S) and the progeny of Muhammad (S) and to enable me to do whatever it is important for me that I should do, and judge me with kindness, and bless me in all my affairs, and enable me to achieve all my objectives! Lord! Make easy for me what I fear to be difficult, for doing so is surely easy for You, and facilitate for me whatever hardship I dread, and remove my distress, and keep away from me whatever I shun, and spare me whatever I deem as evil, O You Who is the Most Merciful of all those who are merciful!

Fill my heart with love for You, and fear of You, and belief in You, and conviction in Your Book, and awe of You, and eagerness for You! O You Who is the One With Authority and Grace! Lord! You have obligated me to do certain things, so exempt me from them as an act of charity from You towards me, and I have obligations towards people, so, carry them out for me! Lord! Every guest deserves a boon, and I am Your guest; therefore, let Paradise be Your boon unto me tonight, O You Who grants Paradise, Who often grants forgiveness, and there is no might nor power except in You!

  • 1. According to some accounts, Gabriel appeared sometimes to Prophet Muhammad in the form of a bird.
  • 2. His full name is: ‘Imran ibn al-Haseen ibn ‘Ubayd. He was one of the sahaba  scholars. He accepted Islam in 7 A.H./629 A.D. when the Jewish fortress of Khaybar in Medina was overrun by the Muslims. He was the standard bearer of the tribe of Khuza’ah when Mecca was conquered by victorious Muslim troops. Ziyad appointed him governor of Basra where he died in 52 A.H./672 A.D.
  • 3. al-Zamakhshari, Rabee’ al-Abrar, Vol. 1, p. 307.
  • 4. His full name is Jundab ibn Junadah ibn Sufyan ibn ‘Ubayd, a great sahabi of Prophet Muhammadص. He was generous and truthful. He never treasured wealth at all, be it small or big. He lived in Damascus and undertook a mission urging the poor to demand their legitimate rights from the rich. He died in 32 A.H./653 A.D. in the Rabadha Desert to which he was banished by third caliph Othman ibn ‘Affan, after being instigated to do so by Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan, who could not tolerate his preachings.
  • 5. al-Jaza'iri, Al-Noor al-Mubeen, p 60.
  • 6. I could not find any clue suggesting that the jinns live anywhere else besides planet earth and its atmosphere, but I could be proven wrong.
  • 7. al-Saduq, Thawab al-A’mal wa ‘Iqab al-A’mal, p. 238.
  • 8. He is”Abu Sa'id” Aban ibn Taghlib ibn Rubah al-Kindi, of Kufa. His date of birth is unknown, but he died in 141 A.H./758 A.D. and was a famous Quranic reciter. He distinguished himself as being a faqih, jurist, a scholar of exegesis and traditions, hadith. He was a close companion of Imams Ali”Zayn al-’Abidin” ibn al-Husayn, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir and Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, and he studied various branches of science particularly hadith from them and attained a prominent position in the school of Imam al-Sadiq. Aban is famous for having quoted extensively from Imam al-Sadiq. It is reported that he narrated thirty thousand ahadith from him. He is also considered to be the most outstanding Qur’anic reciter of his time, and his style of Qur’anic recitation is very famous among reciters. Aban was considered as master in sciences relevant to the Qur’an, traditions, jurisprudence, literature, syntax and philology. Shaikh (mentor) al-Tusi has reported that once Imam al-Sadiq  appointed Aban to conduct a scholarly discourse against one of the pretenders. Imam al-Sadiq  said to him,”Sit in the Masjid of the Prophet ص, and in the religious issues give verdict to the people. I love to have followers like Aban ibn Taghlib." Sunni scholars such as Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Yahya ibn Mu’in, Abu Hatim and an-Nisa'i have all endorsed him. Al-Dhahbi has recorded his biography in his own Mizan saying,”Aban ibn Taghlib of Kufa is a persistent Shi’a. He, nevertheless, is truthful; so, we will rely on his truthfulness, and let him be punished for his innovation.” Notice the ugly and deeply rooted prejudice, folks! Such prejudice surely stands in the way of a true Islamic brotherhood which is so badly needed these days. Muslims should not discriminate against each others, or against non-Muslims, simply because they think or belief differently. Differences of opinion are not only permitted in Islam, they are encouraged; they stimulate research and scholarship. Al-Dhahbi also says that Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Ibn Ma’in and Abu Hatim put their trust in Aban. Al-Dhahbi goes on to describe Aban’s credentials, counting him as an authority relied on by Muslim and authors of the four Sunan books, namely Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi, an-Nisa’i and Ibn Majah, marking his name with the latter’s initials. Refe to his narraton of hadith in Muslim’s Sahih, in the four Sunan books through al-Hakam and al-A’mash, in addition to Fudayl ibn Umar. Sufyan ibn ‘Ayinah, Shu’bah and Idris al-Awdi quote him as recorded in Muslim’s book. The books compiled by Aban are now missing, but the books ascribed to him in the catalogues are as follows: 1. Ma'ani al-Qur’an, 2. Kitab al-Qira'at, 3. Al-Gharib fil-Qur’an, 4. Al-Fada’il and 5. Kitab Siffin.
  • 9. Ibid., p. 231. The grave's constriction is one of the horrors almost every deceased person will have to suffer. The deceased person will experience such a psychological pain that is impossible to describe in any language in any manner. It is as though the corners of the grave crush his corpse and reduce it to ashes. May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala exempt us from having to endure it. There are numerous traditions dealing with this topic and how to avoid having to undergo such pain, and one of my recent works is a book about this topic titled Stages of After Death according to Islam: Its which was published in London, U.K., by the Ahlulbayt Organization. Its ISBNs are: ISBN-10: 1494855585, ISBN-13: 978-1494855581. You really ought to get a copy of it. It is one of my best books, and you can order it Online from Amazon: www.amazon.com and have it sent to your home directly.
  • 10. al-Zamakhshari, Rabee’ al-Abrar, Vol. 1, p. 310.
  • 11. Sayyid Ni’mat-Allah al-Jaza'iri, Al-Noor al-Mubeen fi Qasas al-Anbiya' wal Mursaleen النور المبين في قصص الأنبياء و المرسلين, pp. 63-64.
  • 12. This text is recorded by the Mu’tazilite scholar Ibn Abul-Hadeed in his voluminous commentary on Nahjul-Balagha. This exact wording exists in al-Zamakhshari's book Rabee’ al-Abrar ربيع الأبرار, Vol. 1, pp. 312-313. Speaking of Nahjul-Balagha, the author of this book was blessed with the chance to produce a three-volume translation of Nahjul-Balagha which he subtitled: Path of Eloquence, and you can order your copy of each of these three volumes either from their Publisher: www.authorhouse.com or from their bookseller: www.amazon.com. This new translation is also available on the Kindle Store for pittance.
  • 13. Sayyid Ni’mat-Allah al-Jaza'iri, Al-Noor al-Mubeen fi Qasas al-Anbiya wal Mursaleen النور المبين في قصص الأنبياء و المرسلين, p. 48.
  • 14. “Abu Hamzah” al-Thumali حمزةالثمالي‎أبو, namely Thabit ibn Dinar, was a close companion of Imams Ali Zain al-’Abidin, Muhammad al-Baqirand ofJa'far al-Sadiq, a man of piety and righteouness. Al-Najjashi, the genealogist, said:”He was the best of our companions and the most reliable of them in narration and tradition.” It was reported on the authority of Imam Ali ar-Rida who said,”Abu Hamzah during his time is like Sulayman (Solomon (‘a)) during his time.” His supplication was accepted. His sons died martyrs with the great revolutionist, Zayd ibn Ali. He died in the year 150 A.H./767 A.D. Among his works were:
    Kitab fi Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Karim (An exegesis of the Qur’an)
    Kitab an-Nawadir (a book on rare very interesting incidents)
    Kitab al-Zuhd (a book on asceticism).
    Abu Hamzah al-Thumali has related that during the month of Ramadan, Imam Ali Zain al-’Abidin used to spend a greater part of the night in prayers, and when it was the time of starting the fast, he would recite a supplication which later came to be known as Du'a Abi Hamzah al-Thumali (supplication of Abu Hamzah al-Thumali). This supplication has been recorded in the book titled Misbah al-Mutahijjid by Shaikh (mentor) al-Tusi.
  • 15. al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 5, p. 433.
  • 16. “Abul-Qasim” Mahmud ibn Umar al-Zamakhshari, Rabee’ al-Abrar wa Nusoos al-Akhbar, Vol. 1, p. 308.Al-Zamakhshari, a Mu’tazilite, is one of the most famous and respected Sunni scholars of the fifth Islamic century. He left for the Islamic library very precious books dealing with Arabic linguistics (although he was not an Arab), exegesis, hadith, and logic. He was born in Zamakhshar, a small town in Khawarizm, Iran, on a Wednesday, Rajab 27, 467 A.H./March 18, 1075 A.D. during the ‘Abbas‎id dynasty and died in Jurjan, Iran, on Dhul-Hijja 9, 538 A.H./June 13, 1144 A.D. May Allah have mercy on his soul and reward him on our behalf with the best of His rewards for all the scholarly work he did, Allahomma Ameen.
  • 17. His name is Abd al-Rahman ibn Ahmed ibn ‘Atiyyah al-’Ansi al-Madhhaji al-Darani. He was a pious ascetic, a philosopher, and a thinker. He lived in Darya, Damscus, where he died in 215 A.H./830 A.D.
  • 18. al-Zamakhshari, Rabee’ al-Abrar, Vol. 1, p. 332. How beautiful!
  • 19. Alqamah ibn Safwan ibn Umayyah is grandfather of Marwan ibn al-Hakam, seal bearer of caliph Othman ibn ‘Affan. During the time of jahiliyya, he went out seeking to recover a debt owed to him. He met a shiqq jinn with whom he exchanged lines of poetry. The poetry composed by both of them, and the details of this incident, are all recorded on p. 206, Vol. 6, of Kitab al-haywan by al-Jahiz (“Abu Othman” ‘Amr ibn Bahr ibn Mahboub al-Kinani al-Laythi died in 255 A.H./869 A.D. and was a Mu’tazilite writer; he died and a book was still on his chest, a first class and a very prolific author).
  • 20. He was Harb ibn Umayyah ibn ‘Abd Shams, grandfather of Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan ibn Harb. He died 36 years before the Hijra. To learn more about him, refer to p. 326, Vol. 3, of al-Mas’udi's Muruj al-Dhahab.
  • 21. His full name is ‘Amr ibn ‎’Adiyy ibn Naseer ibn Rabee’ah al-Lakhmi. He was the first of the Lakhmi (or Lakhmid or Lakhmide) kings اللخميون, also called the Mundhiris المناذرة, who ruled Iraq during the time of jahiliyya, making Heera, which was described at the time as Paradise on earth, their capital in 266 A.D. He became king following the death of his uncle Khuthaymah al-Abrash, and he resided at Heera, 3 kilo meters south of Kufa on the bank of the Euphrates River. A Persian Sassanid army along with al-Munthir III ibn al-Nu’man, one of their kings, and his army defeated the famous Byzantine general Belisarius at the Battle of Callinicum in 531 A.D. After the death of al-Nu’man III, Arabs defeated the Persians in about 609 A.D. in the Battle of Dhi-Qar. Presently, Heera (or Hira) is located within the borders of Iraqi Dhi-Qar governorate.
  • 22. al-Zamakhshari, Rabee’ al-Abrar, Vol. 1, p. 318.
  • 23. See The Old Testament, The Book of Leviticus 16:8, 10, and 21. There, Azazel is portrayed as the personification of uncleanness.
  • 24. The name of Nemrud son of Kush son of Ham is also written as”Nimrod”. He is described in the Old Testament, the Book of Genesis 10.8,9, and also in 1 Chronicles 1.10, as the”mighty hunter” due to his proverbial passion for hunting and haughtiness.
  • 25. His full name is Mujahid ibn Jabr, Abu al-Hajjaj, a renown traditionist.
  • 26. The word”jinn”, according to a number of sources, describes the angels who were charged with safeguarding the janna, the garden, where Adam (‘a) stayed for a very short while. According to some accounts, Adam (‘a) did not stay there for more than four to six hours of our own calculating.
  • 27. According to a number of sources, Satan is said to have been one of the teachers of the angels or, say, one of those who taught the angels and shared his knowledge with them.
  • 28. at-Tibrisi, Majma’ al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an مجمع البيان في تفسير القرآن, Vol. 1, p. 191, where Surah al-Baqarah is explained.
  • 29. His full name is Sharik ibn Abdullah ibn Abu Namir. He died in about 140 A.H./757 A.D.
  • 30. al-Zamakhshari, Rabee’ al-Abrar, Vol. 1, p. 323.
  • 31. at-Tibrisi, Majma’ al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, Vol. 2, p. 620.
  • 32. al-Tabari, Tafsir, Vol. 1, p. 155, where Surah al-Baqarah (The Cow) is explained.
  • 33. al-’Ayyashi, Tafsir, Vol. 1, p. 34, where Surah al-Baqarah is explained.
  • 34. Ni’mat-Allah al-Jaza'iri, Al-Noor al-Mubeen fi Qasas al-Anbiya' wal Mursaleen النور المبين في قصص الأنبياء و المرسلين, p. 49.
  • 35. He is”Abu Hassan” or”Abul-Hassan” Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashim al-Qummi, originally from Kufa, Iraq, one of the greatest Shi’ite narrators in the science of the Holy Qur’an in the third Hijri century (9th Century A.D.), one of the companions of Imam al-Hassan al-Askari and among the mentors of Dhiqatul-Islam Muhammad ibn Ya’qub al-Kulayni. He distinguished himself for his vast knowledge, works and credibility. The Tafsir book attributed to him was actually compiled by one of his students, namely”Abul-Fadl” al-Abbas ibn Muhammad ibn Qasim ibn Hamzah, son of Imam Mousa ibn Ja’far al-Kadhim . He is described by the mentor of”Al-kuna wal Alqab الكنى و الألقاب” (surnames and titles), Shaikh Abbas al-Qummi, as”One of the most prominent and senior narrators in Qum city and the first to disseminate the narratives of the people of Kufa (where he had originally been born) in Qum. In fact, he is regarded as Qum’s mentor and most prominent personality,” as we read on pp. 561-66 (first edition), Vol. 2, of Al-Kuna wal Alqab of mentor al-Qummi. Mentor [genealogist] al-Najjashi says that he is”A personality with whom one feels comfortable when transmitting reliable narratives. His faith is firm, his belief is sound. He transmitted many narratives which he had heard from Shi’a mentors,” as we read on p. 260 of al-Najjashi’s Rijal (posted on the Internet by the Library of Ahl al-Sunnah). Al-Tibrisi [author of Majma’ul Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an) says this about him:”Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi is one of the greatest narrators of hadith and a contemporary of Imam al-Hassan al-Askari, peace and blessings of Allah with him. Many of his narratives are quoted by Muhammad ibn Ya’qub al-Kulayni,” as we read in his biography as posted on the Internet by the Ansar al-Husayn Network. From among the top Sunni scholars, Abu Dawud mentions him in his Rijal saying the following:
    علي بن إبراهيم بن هاشم القمّي، أبو الحسن، ثقة في الحديث ثبت معتمد صحيح المذهب
    “Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn Hashim al-Qummi, Abu al-Hassan, is trustworthy in hadith, confirmed, having a sound creed,” as is recorded on p. 141 of Rijal ibn Dawud al-Halabi by Ahl al-Bayt Library. Among his works are: نور القرآن Noor al-Qur’an, الناسخ والمنسوخ Al-Nasikh wal Mansookh, التشريع Al-Sharai’, التوحيد والشرك Al-Tawhid wal Shirk, المغازي Al-Maghazi, فضائل أمير المؤمنين (ع) Fadail Ameerul-Mu’minin, اختيار القرآن Ikhtiyar al-Qur’an and لأنبياء Al-Anbiya’. His year of birth is unknown, but he was born in the 3rd Hijri century/the 9th century A.D. and died in 307 A.H./919 A.D.
  • 36. al-Qummi, Tafsir, Vol. 1, pp. 42-43.
  • 37. Muhammad al-Ray-Shehri, Mizan al-Hikma, Vol. 5, p. 94.
  • 38. Ibid., p. 94.
  • 39. Ibid., p. 94.
  • 40. Ibid., p. 96.
  • 41. His name is Muhammad ibn Ishaq. He was born in Medina and is regarded as one of the earliest Arab historians. He resided in Baghdad where he died in 151 A.H./768 A.D.
  • 42. al-Zamakhshari, Rabee’ al-Abrar, Vol. 1, p. 327.
  • 43. al-Rawandi, Qasas al-Anbiya', p. 52.
  • 44. al-Jaza'iri, p. 64, quoting p. 126, Vol. 1, of ‘Ilal al-Shara'i’.
  • 45. According to Vol. 6 of Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’ سِيَر أَعلام النبلاء of al-Hafiz al-Dhahbi, where his biography is detailed, Ar-Rabi’ ibn Anas ibn Ziyad al-Bakri al-Khurasani, of Merv, originally from Basra, learned hadith from Anas ibn Malik and Abu al-Aliya al-Riyahi, and he is cited by Sulayman at-Taymi, al-A’mash, al-Husayn ibn Waqid, Abu Ja’far ar-Razi, Abdul-Aziz ibn Muslim, Ibn al-Mubarak and others. He was the most prominent scholar of Merv of his time. Abu Hatim describes him as being”truthful”, and Abu Dawud refers to his being jailed in Merv for thirty years. His hadith is cited in the four books of Sunan السنن الأربعة. His date of birth is unknown, but he died in 139 A.H./756 A.D.
  • 46. Abdul-Rahman ibn Zayd ibn Aslam al-’Amri al-Madani, a brother of Usamah and Abdullah, was a scholar of the Holy Qur’an in which he wrote an exegesis book and another in الناسخ والمنسوخ what abrogates and what is abrogated of the verses of the Holy Qur’an. He quoted hadith from his father, and he is quoted by Asbagh ibn al-Faraj, Qutaybah, Hisham ibn Ammar and others. His date of birth is unknown, but he died in 182 A.H./798 A.D.
  • 47. al-Jaza'iri, Al-Noor al-Mubeen, p. 66.
  • 48. al-Shaikh al-Saduq‎, Ma’ani al-Akhbar, p. 108 (second edition, Beirut, Lebanon, 1990).
  • 49. al-Shaikh (mentor) al-Saduq‎, Al-Amali, pp. 159-162.
  • 50. al-Qummi, Tafsir, Vol. 1, p. 225.
  • 51. al-Shaikh al-Saduq‎, ‘Ilal al-Shara'i’, Vol. 1, p. 105 (first edition, 1408 A.H./1988 A.D.).
  • 52. al-’Ayyashi, ‘Ilal al-Shara'i’, Vol. 2, p. 325.
  • 53. His name is Abdullah ibn Sinan ibn Tareef, a man who served Banu Hashim and kept Imams al-Baqir, al-Sadiq and al-Kadhim  company. His biography is detailed by al-Najjashi, al-Tusi, al-Hilli and Ibn Dawud. Mentor and genealogist al-Najjashi says this about him in his Rijal book:”He is a trustworthy man of Kufa, one of our fellows, a highly dignified man whom nobody can criticize about anything,” as is stated on p. 214 of the said reference. On p. 710, Vol. 2 of Ikhtiyar Ma’rifat ar-Rijal of mentor al-Tusi, the latter says about him the following:”He was, may Allah have mercy on him, one of those who were trusted by Imam Abu Abdullah (al-Sadiq ).” Allama al-Hilli says this about him on p. 192 of his book Khulasat al-Aqwal:”A trustworthy man from among our fellows, a highly dignified man who is not charged of anything.” In his Rijal book, Ibn Dawud al-Hilli describes him as a”trustworthy, highly dignified, above being charged,” as is stated on p. 120 of the said reference. Abdullah ibn Sinan wrote traditions citing Imams al-Sadiq and al-Kadhim  as well as Abu Jarir al-Qummi, Abdullah ibn Abu Ya’four, Abu Hamzah al-Thumali, Abul-Hassan al-Ahmasi, his own father Sinan, Aban ibn Taghlib, Ishaq ibn Ammar, Thareeh al-Muharibi, Muhammad ibn Muslim and others. In books of isnad, as many as 1,146 of his traditions are cited. He wrote two books about prayers and another about various permissible and prohibitive things. Sources do not record his date of birth or death, but it is certain that he was one of the prominent scholars of the second Hijri century (the 8th century A.D.).
  • 54. al-’Ayyashi, Tafsir, Vol. 2, p. 10, where Surah al-A’raf is explained. Notice also the distinction the Almighty makes between”Paradise” and”heaven”. The first is the earthly garden from which Adam (‘a) was dismissed. The second is the eternal abode where the righteous will be lodged to live forever, our father Adam (‘a) and all the good ones from among his offspring.”Paradise”, firdaws, is not an Arabic word. Some say it is Babylonian, and some say it is Persian.
  • 55. Allah has neither hands nor feet. Reference to His hands made in the Holy Qur’an is a figure of speech in order to bring a meaning closer to our comprehension. Unfortunately, some Muslims, including some narrators of hadith, particularly one Abu Hurayra, as you will come to know in Volume Two of this book, take such verses literally.
  • 56. al-’Ayyashi, Tafsir, Vol. 1, p. 216, where Surah an-Nisa' is explained.
  • 57. Islam permits women to propose to men, but they have to do it through a third party. They have to be modest and to maintain their dignity and self-respect. Remember that it was Khadija‎ daughter of Khuwaylid  who proposed to prophet Muhammad to marry her. And the daughter of Prophet Shu’ayb indirectly (through her father) proposed to marry Prophet Moses (‘a), which she did.
  • 58. al-’Ayyashi, ‘Ilal al-Shara'i’, Vol. 1, p. 29.
  • 59. He is”Abu al-Hassan” (or Abul-Hassan) Zurarah ibn A’yan ibn Sansan al-Shaybani.”A’yan” means”wide eyes”. His family is one of senior scholars of Kufa who specialized in fiqh, jurisprudence, but he is the most famous of his brothers. He did not leave any part of fiqh without deeply delving into it, being for a long time a companion of Imams al-Baqir, al-Sadiq and al-Kadhim. In Rijal al-Kashi, the author says the following about him:”The early companions of Abu Ja’far (Imam al-Baqir) are all known for their truthfulness, and they are the pioneers in the science of fiqh. The best of these truthful faqihs are six: Zurarah, Ma’rouf ibn Kharbuth, Burayd, Abu Busayr al-Assadi, al-Fudayl ibn Yasar and Muhammad ibn Muslim al-Ta’ifi,” as we read on p. 507 of al-Kash’s work cited above. Zurarah was so knowledgeable, he was able to see the book written by Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (titled Al-Jami’ah) which was dictated to him by the Messenger of Allah and contained numerous halal and haram related issues. In addition to Rijal al-Kashi رجال الكشي, he is detailed on p. 290 of Rawdat al-Wa’izin روضة الواعظين, p. 34, Vol. 2 of Jami’ al-Ruwat جامع الرواة, p. 398, Vol. 1 of Ikhtiyar Ma’rifat ar-Rijal اختيار معرفة الرجال, p. 61 of Al-Ikhtisas الاختصاص and p. 93, Vol. 2 of al-Ayyashi’s Tafsir تفسير العياشي. Zurarah’s exact year of birth is not known for sure, but it is said to be around 80 A.H./699 A.D., and he died in 150 A.H./767 A.D. almost two months after the martyrdom of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq.
  • 60. This is what is known as al-Lawh al-Mahfooz اللوح المحفوظ (the Preserved Tablet). There is a great deal of reference to it in the Holy Qur’an and in the Sunnah, especially in qudsi ahadith. It is a record of what was and what will be of each and every matter, small or big, of Allah's creation. It is from this record that the Holy Qur’an came. The closest of Allah's angels are the only ones who are acquainted with some of what is recorded in it. It is one of the unknown mysteries about which we are very much in the dark. A thorough research of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah will give the researcher a better idea about this divine Tablet.
  • 61. Zoroastrianism is the religion preached by Zoroaster (or Zarathustra or, in some books, Zarathushtra) who lived from 628 - 551 B.C. in ancient Persia. Its scripture is called Zend Avesta, the commentary, or the law, written in ancient Pahlavi language. It falls in the category of dualistic religions, those that believe in the existence of everything in pairs. Nowadays, the Ghebers in Iran and the Parsis in India keep this”religion” alive.
  • 62. al-’Ayyashi, ‘Ilal al-Shara'i’, Vol. 1, pp. 30-31.
  • 63. al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 11, p. 226 (old edition; a newer edition of this encyclopedia was published by Ihya’ al-Kutub al-Islamiyyaاحياء الكتب الاسلامية of Qum, Iran, in 1427 A.H./2006 A.D.
  • 64. al-Jaza'iri, Al-Noor al-Mubeen, p. 94.
  • 65. He is”Abul-Hajjaj” Mujahid ibn Jabr al-Makki (of Mecca) al-Makhzumi (of the Makhzum tribe) (21 – 104 A.H./642 – 722 A.D.). He is so famous in classic references, he is known in all of them as simply”Mujahid”. He is an imam, a faqih, a trusted scholar who narrated many ahadith, one who excelled in the recitation and interpretation of the Holy Qur’an and in narrating the Prophet’s hadith. Mujahid narrated a great deal of hadith from Ibn Abbas from whom he also learned fiqh as well as the proper way to recite and interpret verses of the Holy Qur’an, i.e. tafsir. He also quotes Mother of the Faithful ‘A’isha, Abu Hurayra, Sa’d ibn Abu Waqqas, Jabir ibn Abdullah (al-Ansari) and Abu Sa’id al-al-Khudri. Many have quoted Mujahid, too, including ‘Ikrimah, Tawus, Ata’ ibn al-Sa’ib, Sulayman al-A’mash, Amr ibn Dinar and others. As regarding the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, three imams of recitation learned from him: Ibn Muhaisin, Ibn Kathir and Abu Amr ibn Ala’ al-Basri, according to the International Arabic Encyclopedia الموسوعة العربية العالمية.
  • 66. Furoo’ al-Kafi, Vol. 6, p. 431, in a chapter dealing with singing.
  • 67. al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 11, p. 268.
  • 68. Ibid., p. 98.