if we take Allahís statement at its face value, it would lead us to
believe that by ordering the angels to bow down before Adam, Allah Himself
committed a great sin, which is called shirk in Arabic. Allah castigated
the pagans for worshipping the idols, and forbade the Muslims from bowing
down to any deity or to any human being. If anyone bowed before anyone but
Allah, the sinner would be consigned to the fire of hell on the Day of
Judgment. Knowing His own commandment, why Allah ordered the angels to bow
down before Adam-a human being- is beyond our comprehension.
concluding our brief argument on the contents of the subject statement, we
can say that the contributory factor for the expulsion of Iblis by Allah
from heaven was not his alleged disobedience of His order. Allah had
commanded only the angels to bow down to Adam. Iblis, a Jinn, being
present among the angels, had every right to refuse the order. As we have
seen, Iblis did not do what the angles were asked to do, knowing well that
the order did not apply to him. He also knew that Allah would not punish
him for a sin he did not commit. Indeed, he was not punished by Allah for
his alleged sin. Faced with Iblisís legitimate accusation, it appears
from Allahís narrations that He came up instantaneously with another
scheme to hold His Universal Plan on its course, and to implement it
without delay. The Quran does not tell us how Adamís wife (it has not
given her a name) came into being. For her story, we need to refer to the
Torah, which tells us that Allah created her from one of Adamís ribs.
Mindful of the pain that the surgery was going to cause, Allah is said to
have caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and when he was fast asleep, He
extracted one of his ribs from his body. He made a woman out of the rib
and then presented her to Adam. Adam lost no time in recognizing her; he
also remembered it was he who had contributed his bone for her making.Knowing
that she was going to be the mother of all living, Adam called her Eve.
creating Adam and his mate, Allah drew a plan for tackling the insolent
angels. The plan envisioned a learned Adam to prove that what they had
told Allah about the humansí conduct on earth was based on falsehood. To
implement his plan, Allah needed to prepare Adam in all respects.
taught Adam the nature of all things. The angels were not at all involved
in the learning process. When Adam became fully prepared, Allah placed all
things before the angels and demanded that they tell Him the nature of
those things, if they were truthful.
Realizing how angry Allah was at them, the angels adopted a diplomatic
posture that they believed was gong to sooth His injured ego. They told
him: Glory to thee. Of knowledge we have none, save what Thou hast taught
us: in truth it is Thou who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom.
the angels to admit ignorance, Allah asked Adam to narrate the nature of
the things. Since Allah had prepared him for the occasion, Adam had no
difficulty in describing what Allah wanted him to describe. Pleased by His
discipleís performance, He thundered to the angels: Did I not tell you
that I know the secrets of heavens and earth, and I know what ye reveal
and what ye conceal?
fact that the angels concealed things from Allah infuriated him immensely.
In a rage, He ordered the angels to bow down before Adam, His protťgť.
This order was to humiliate the angels. Sensing risk to their existence,
all the angels bowed down. A Jinn who, it seems, was, at the time, in the
angelsí company did not bow down before Adam. Since Allah had ordered
only the angels to bow down before Adam, the Jinn rightfully believed that
the order did not apply to himand
as such, he did not bow down before Adam. Allah felt insulted by the
Jinnís sense of righteousness, honor and dignity.
understand that it was Allahís plan to have mankind bow down before Him
and His authority. Therefore, this ritual should have begun with the first
humans He created in heaven. But instead of having them bowing down before
Him, He made all angels bow down before a human. If He did not want humans
to bow down before Him until after Muhammad had arrived, the only
conclusion one can draw from His action is this: He forced the angels to
bow down before Adam not only to humiliate them, but also to press them
into mankindís service.
ways in which Allah is said to have been conducting Himself appears to
defy common sense. Strictly speaking from the viewpoint of a master, it is
inconceivable that he would ever let his servant ride on his shoulders.
Allah does not appear to have understood the delicate and difficult
relationship that a servant is required to maintain with his master. Had
He understood the difference between a servant and a master, He would not
have decided to post two angels on each of their masterís shoulders to
record their acts and deeds. The issue of the servants watching over their
masters becomes more demeaning for the latter; it emanates from the fact
that their guards have the habit of distorting facts through lying and
that the Jinn was right, Allah controlled Himself and passed off the event
by calling him haughty. He dared not punish Iblis for a crime he did not
commit. Allah was also afraid of the Jinnís retaliatory nature, hence
His retrained reaction toward his alleged disobedience of His command.
ordinary Muslims as well as their scholars have failed to accept the fact
that Allah had not required Iblis to bow down before Adam. Their failure
stems from the fact that accepting the truth will nullify the Quranic
story on Adam and Eveís expulsion from heaven. To defend their position,
Muslim scholars overlook the contents of the relevant statements of the
Quran and insist that Allahís order applied equally to the lone Jinn
who, as we have said earlier, was in the company of the angels. Allahís
alleged order was specific; He used the specific Arabic word malaikati
in His order,
which means angels, and not the Jinn.
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