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Additionally, 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. 

Before 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.[1]Knowing that she was going to be the mother of all living, Adam called her Eve. [2]

After 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.

He 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.[3] 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. [4]

Forcing 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? [5]

The 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. [6] 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 him[7]and as such, he did not bow down before Adam. Allah felt insulted by the Jinnís sense of righteousness, honor and dignity.

We 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.

The 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 concealment.

Realizing 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.

Regrettably, 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,[8] which means angels, and not the Jinn.



[1] Genesis; 2:21-23.
[2]
Genesis; 3:20.
[3]
Quran; 2:31
[4]
Quran; 2:32
[5]
Quran; 2:33.
[6]
Quran; 2:34
[7]
Quran; 18:50. It states clearly that Iblis was a Jinn.
[8]
Quran; 2:34 et al

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