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“Shall I prostrate to one whom You created from clay?” Iblis said: “See? those whom You have honored above me, if You give me respite (keep me alive) to the Day of Resurrection, I will surely seize and mislead his offspring (by sending them astray) all but a few!” (Ch 17:62 Quran).
“Remember when your Lord said to the angels, ‘I am going to create a man (Adam) from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud. So when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him then fall you down prostrating yourselves unto him’. So the angels prostrated themselves all of them together, except Iblis, he refused to be among the prostrators. Allah said: ‘O Iblis! What is your reason for not being
among the prostrators?’ Iblis said: ‘I am not the one to prostrate myself to a human being, whom You created from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud.’ Allah said: ‘Then get out from here for verily you are Rajim (an outcast or cursed one). Verily the curse shall be upon you till Day of Recompense (Day of Resurrection)'”. (Ch 15:28-35 Quran).
In another surah Almighty Allah recounted it thus:
“Surely We created you (your father Adam) and then gave you shape (the noble shape of a human being), then We told the angels: ‘Prostrate to Adam and they prostrated except Iblis he refused to be of those who prostrate”.
Allah said: “What prevented you Iblis that you did not prostrate when I commanded you?” Iblis said: ‘I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire and him You created from clay.’ Allah said: ‘Get down from this Paradise, it is not for you to be arrogant here. Get out, for you are of those humiliated and disgraced.’ Iblis said: ‘Allow me respite till the Day of Resurrection).’ Allah said: ‘You are of those allowed respite.'” (Ch 7:11-15 Quran).
Ibn Jarir reported that Muhammad Ibn sirin said that the first one to reach a conclusion by reasoning was Iblis and that the sun and moon were not worshiped except through this method. This means that Iblis tried to compare himself to Adam. He believed that he was more honorable than Adam. Therefore he abstained from prostrating even though Allah had commanded him to do so, just as He had commanded the angels.
If an analogy is made we see that Iblis is vain. For indeed clay is better than fire because in it can be found the qualities of calmness, clemency, perseverance and growth; whereas in fire can be found heedlessness, insignificance, haste, and incineration.
Adam opened his eyes and saw all the angels prostrating before him except one being who was standing at a distance Adam did not know what kind of creature it was that did not prostrate before him nor did he know its name. Iblis was standing with the angels so as to be included in the command given to them but he was not one of them. He was a jinn, and as such he was supposed to be inferior to the angels. What is clear is that this prostration was to show respect and did not mean that the angels were worshipping Adam. Prostrating in worship is done only for Allah..
Allah the Almighty declared:
“Verily the likeness of Jesus, in Allah’s Sight is the likeness of Adam, He created him from the dust then He said to him “Be!” –and he was. (Ch 3:59 Quran).
Almighty Allah declared:
“Remember when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from you (o Muhammad), and from Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus son of Mary. We took from them a strong covenant. (Ch 33:7 Quran).
In another verse Allah the Exalted commanded:
“So set you (O Muhammad) your face towards the religion of pure Islamic Monotheism Hanifan (worship none but Allah Alone) Allah’s Fitrah (Allah’s Islamic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in khalqillah (the Religion of Allah–Islamic Monotheism), that is the straight religion, but most men know not.” (Ch 30:30 Quran).
Another version of the story relates that Allah took a handful of the dust of the earth and mixed into it the colors, white, black, yellow and red. That is the reason why men are born different colors. When Allah mixed the dust with water, it turned into potter’s clay that makes a sound. It was fermented and had a smell. Iblis passed by, wondering what was going to be made of that clay. From the clay Allah created Adam. he molded his form with His own hands and blew His spirit into him. Adam’s body quivered as life was imbued into it.
“Then We drowned the other (disbelievers and polytheists, etc.).” (Ch 37:82 Quran).
Allah the Almighty revealed:
“Remember when your Lord brought forth from the children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (or from Adam’s loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves saying: ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said: ‘Yes! We testify’ lest you should say on the Day of Resurrectio:. ‘Verily we have been unaware of this’. Or lest you should say: ‘It was only our father aforetime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah and we were merely their descendants after them; will you then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practiced al batil (polytheism) and
committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah?’
Thus do We explain the Ayah (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations etc) in detail so that they may turn unto the truth”. (Ch 7:172-174 Quran).
Adam’s progeny declared: “Our Lord, we bear witness that You are our Lord; we have no other Lord but Allah. Allah raised their father Adam, and he looked at them and saw those of them who were rich and those who were poor, and those who had good forms and those who did not. Adam said: “O Allah! I wish You to make Your servants equal.” Allah replied “I love being thanked.”
Adam saw among the prophets like lamps among his progeny.
“The angels prostrated themselves all of them together. Except Iblis, he refused to be among the
prostrators. (Ch 15:31-32 Quran).
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Allah created Adam from dust after He mixed the clay and left him for some time until it became sticky mud, after which Allah shaped him. After that Allah left him till it became like potter’s clay. Iblis used to go past him saying ‘You have been created for a great purpose.’ After that Allah breathed His spirit into him. The first thing into which the spirit passed was his eye and then his nose. He sneezed. Allah said: “May your Lord have mercy upon you, O Adam! Go to those angels and see what they would
say.’ So Adam went and greeted them. they replied saying: “Peace be upon you and the mercy and blessings of Allah.” Allah said: “O Adam! This is your greeting and that of your offspring.” (Sahih al Bukhari).
When the time drew near to breathe the spirit into Adam, as Allah decreed, He commanded the angels: “When I breathe My spirit into him prostrate before him.” Allah breathed His spirit into Adam and when it reached his head Adam sneezed. The angels said: “Say all praise belongs to Allah.” Adam repeated: “All praise belongs to Allah.” Allah said to him: “Your Lord has granted you mercy.” When the spirit reached his eyes, Adam looked at the fruits of Paradise. When it reached his abdomen Adam felt an appetite for food. He jumped hurriedly before the spirit could
reach his legs, so that he could eat from the fruits of Paradise.
Allah, therefore, said:
“Man is created of haste.” (Chapter 21:37 Quran).
Who brought the Clay from Earth to Allah for the Creation of Man???
Ibn Masud and other companions of the Prophet peace be upon him said that Allah the Almighty sent Gabriel onto the earth to get Him clay therefrom. The earth said: “I seek refuge in Allah from your decreasing my quantity or disfiguring me.” So Gabriel returned and did not take anything. He said: “My Lord, the land sought refuge in You and it granted.”
So Allah sent Michael for the same purpose, and the land sought refuge with Allah and it was granted. So he went back and said to Allah what Gabriel has said before him. Then Allah sent the Angel of Death, and the land sought refuge in Allah, the angel said: “I also seek refuge with Allah from returning without carrying out His command.” So he took clay from the face of the earth and mixed it. He did not take from one particular place, but rather he took white, red, and black clay from different places.
The Angel of Death ascended with it, Allah soaked the clay till it became sticky. Then Allah said to the angels: “Truly, I am going to create man from clay. So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him
(his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him.”
(Chapter 38:71-72 Quran).
So Allah shaped Adam into a human being, but he remained a figure of clay for forty years. The angels went past him. They were seized with fear by what they saw, and Iblis felt fear most. He used to pass by the figure of Adam, buffeting it, which would make a sound like pottery.
Allah told us: “He created man (Adam) from sounding clay like the clay of pottery.” (Chapter 55:Quran).
Did Allah ask for the Opinion of the Angels???
We imagine when Allah the Almighty decided to create Adam: He addressed His angels and told them to prostrate before him. He did not mean to ask their opinion or take their advice, for He is above that. Allah the Exalted told them that He was going to create a vicegerent on the earth who would have children and grandchildren who would corrupt the earth and shed each other’s blood.
That is why the angels said to Allah the Almighty: “Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood!”
(Chapter 2:30 Quran).
There are old traditions about the angels before the creation of Adam. According to Ibn Qatadah, it was said that the angels were informed about the creation of Adam and his progeny by the jinn who lived before Adam. Abdullah Ibn Umar said that the jinn had existed for about 2000 years before Adam and then shed blood. Therefore Allah sent on them an army of angels that drove them out to the depths of the seas.
Ibn Abi Hatim narrated from Ali jafar Al Baqer that the angels were informed that man would cause wickedness and shed blood on earth. It was also said that they knew that no one would be created on earth who would not be wicked and shed blood.
Whether or not these traditions are correct, the angels did understand that Allah would create a vicegerent on earth. Allah the Almighty announced that HE was going to create a human being out of clay, that HE would mold him and blow His spirit into him and then the angels should prostrate before him.
Abi Musa al Sha’arai narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Allah created Adam from a handful of dust taken from different lands, so the children of Adam have been created according to the composition of the land. Therefore from mankind we have white, red, black and yellow ones; we have good and evil, ease and sorrow, and what comes in between them.” (Sahih al Bukhari).