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Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "Adam and Eve: The First of the Polytheists and Associators?"

By
Bassam Zawadi

 

 

 

Sam Shamoun's article could be located here http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/adam_and_eve_shirk.htm.

 

Sam Shamoun said:

It may be surprising to both Christians and Muslims to learn that the Quran goes so far as to accuse the first human parents, Adam and Eve, of committing the sin of association, which is the most reprehensible sin, the worst of all sins, in the teaching of Islam.

Speaking about man’s origin, the author of the Quran writes:

It is He who created you out of one living soul, and made of him his spouse that he might rest in her. Then, when he covered her, she bore a light burden and passed by with it; but when it became heavy THEY cried to God their Lord, ‘If Thou givest US a righteous son, WE indeed shall be of the thankful.’ Thereafter, when He gave THEM a righteous son, THEY assigned Him associates in that He had given THEM; but God is high exalted above that they associate. What, do they associate that which creates nothing and themselves are created, and that have no power to help them, neither they help themselves? S. 7:189-192 A.J. Arberry

Here is another version:

He it is who hath created you from a single person, and from him brought forth his wife that he might dwell with her: and when he had known her, she bore a light burden, and went about with it; and when it became heavy, THEY both cried to God THEIR Lord, "If thou give US a perfect child WE will surely be of the thankful." Yet when God had given THEM a perfect child, THEY joined partners with Him in return for what he had given THEM. But high is God above the partners they joined with Him! What! Will they join those with Him who cannot create anything, and are themselves created, and have no power to help them, or to help themselves? J.M. Rodwell

The context makes it quite clear that the man and woman spoken of here are Adam and Eve. Apparently, the author of the Quran assumed that the first parents, after receiving a child from God, fell into idolatry. The Quran fails to tell us just how exactly did the progenitors of the human race fall into idolatry, and what or whom did they associate with Allah. Thus the preceding passage is another example of just how incoherent and garbled the Quran truly is.

Some Muslims, apparently out of embarrassment, try to say that the passage is referring to some of Adam’s children committing idolatry. This is despite the fact that the text directs the charge of idolatry to the first man and woman after their first sexual experience that resulted in conception and child bearing.

Secondly, certain Muslims have understood the story to be referring to Adam and Eve. An example of this is the renowned and premiere Muslim historian Al-Tabari, who writes:

Let us now return (to our narrative) and provide further clarification concerning the error of those who said that the first to die on earth was Adam, and who denied that the two whose story is told by God in His word: "And recite to them the story of the two sons of Adam truthfully! They offered a sacrifice," came, as shown by this verse, from Adam’s loin.

According to Muhammad b. Bashshar - ‘Abd al-Samad b. ‘Abd al-Warith - ‘Umar b. Ibrahim - Qatadah - al-Hasan - Samurah b. Jundub – the Prophet: None of Eve’s children survived. Therefore, she vowed that if one of her children were to survive, she would call him ‘Abd al-Harith. When a child of hers survived, she called him ‘Abd al-Harith. That was due to Satan’s inspiration.

According to Ibn Humayd – Salamah – Ibn Ishaq – Dawud b. al-Husayn – ‘Ikrimah – Ibn ‘Abbas: Eve would give birth to Adam’s children and make them worship God, calling them ‘Abdallah, ‘Ubaydallah ("Servant, or little Servant of God"), and the like. But then they would die. Now, Iblis came to her and to Adam and said: Were you to give them other names, they would survive. So, when she gave birth to a male child for Adam, they called him ‘Abd al-Harith. IN THIS CONNECTION, God revealed His word: "It is He Who created you from a single soul" to "the two set up for Him associates in connection with what He had given them" to the end of the verse.

According to Ibn Waki‘ – Ibn Fudayl - Salim b. Abi Hafsah – Sa‘id b. Jubayr, commenting on (the same verse): "When she became heavy (with child), they called on God, their Lord" to "And God is above your associating (others with Him)," as follows: When Eve became heavy with her first pregnancy, Satan came to her before she gave birth, and said: Eve, what is that in your womb? She said: I do not know. He asked: Where will it come out, from your nose, your eye, or your ear? She again replied: I do not know. He said: Don’t you think, if it comes out healthy, you should obey me in whatever I command you? When she said: Yes, he said: Call him ‘Abd al-Harith! Iblis - May God curse him!- was called al-Harith. She agreed. Afterwards, she said to Adam: Someone came to me in my sleep and told me such-and-such. Adam said: That is Satan. Beware of him, for he is our enemy who drove us out of Paradise. Then Iblis - May God curse him! - came to her again and repeated what he had said before, and she agreed. When she gave birth to the child, God brought him out healthy. Yet, she called him ‘Abd al-Harith. This is (meant by) God’s word: "They set up for Him associates in connection with what he had given them" to "And God is above your associating (others with Him)."

According to Ibn Waki‘ –Jarir and Ibn Fudayl - ‘Abd al-Malik – Sa‘id b. Jubayr: When (Sa‘id) was asked whether Adam associated (others with God), he replied: God forbid that I should assume that Adam did that! However, when Eve was heavy with child, Iblis came and said to her: Where will this one come out, from your nose, your eye, or your mouth? He thereby caused her to despair (because she did not know and was afraid of what was going to happen). Then he said: Don’t you think that, when it comes out perfectly formed – Ibn Waki‘ said that Ibn Fudayl added: without harming or killing you - you should obey me? When she agreed, he said: Call him ‘Abd al-Harith, and she did. Jarir added: So Adam’s associating (others with God) was only in the name.

According to Musa b. Harun - ‘Amr b. Hammad –Asbat – al-Suddi: So she - meaning Eve - gave birth to a boy. Iblis came to her and said: Call (pl.) him my servant (‘abdi)! If you don’t, I shall kill him. Adam said to him: I obeyed you (once before), and you caused me to be driven out of Paradise. So he refused to obey him and called the child ‘Abd al-Rahman "Servant of the Merciful One." Satan - May God curse him!- gained power over the boy and killed him. Eve bore another child, and when she gave birth to it, Satan said: Call him my servant! If you don’t, I shall kill him. Adam said to him (again): I obeyed you (once before), and you caused me to be driven out of Paradise. So he refused and called the boy Salih, and Satan killed him. The third time around, Iblis said to Adam and Eve: If you (pl. want to) overcome me, call him ‘Abd al-Harith! Iblis’ name was al-Harith. He was called Iblis when he was bedeviled (ublisa) - became confused. This (is meant by God’s word) where He says: "They set up for him associates in connection with what He had given them" - meaning in connection with the names.

Those who, as I have mentioned, have transmitted (reports) that some children of Adam and Eve died before them, and the even more numerous transmitters and statements not mentioned by us, contradict the statement of al-Hasan transmitted on his authority that the first person to die was Adam. (The History of al-Tabari, Volume 1 - General Introduction and from the Creation to the Flood, trans. Franz Rosenthal [State University of New York Press, Albany 1989], pp. 320-322; capital and underlined emphasis ours)

In regards to the name Al-Harith, the translator writes:

916. Al-Harith, as explained in these traditions, was the original name of Iblis. By naming the child "Servant of al-Harith (Iblis)," instead of "Servant of God," Adam and Eve associated Satan with God; they were thus exposed to the accusation of having introduced polytheism. Satan’s opportunity came because during her first pregnancy, Eve was totally ignorant of the process of human reproduction and feared that she might produce a nonhuman animal. It was God’s doing that the child was born without any defects, even if Satan tried to claim credit for it. (p. 320)

The translator also explains why, according to the tradition of al-Suddi, Adam named his second son Salih:

924. The choice of the name results from the use of the adjective salihan in Qur. 7:190. (p. 322)

The word salihan refers to the Quranic statement that Allah gave Adam and Eve a good child:

But when He gives them a good one (salihan), they set up with Him associates in what He has given them; but high is Allah above what they associate (with Him). Shakir

Ibn Sa'd reports something similar to al-Tabari:

Subsequently Eve conceived and bore Shith and his twin sister 'Azura. He was named Hibat Allah (the gift of Allah); this name was derived from Habil, so Gabriel said to her when she gave birth to him: This is the gift of Allah in exchange for Habil and it is in Arabic Shith, in Syriac Shath and in Hebrew Sheth. Adam made his will for him. The day when Shith was born Adam was one hundred and thirty years old. "And when he covered her she bore a light burden, and she passed (unnoticed) with it". Then he said: She stood and sat. Then Satan came to her in disguise and said to her: O Eve! What is this inside of you. She replied: I know not. Then he said: May be one of the beasts like these. Then she said: I know not. Then he drew away from her till she felt some heaviness in her. Thereupon he appeared again before her and said: O Eve! How do you feel? She said: I am afraid it may be deformed like one with which you have frightened me, I can't remain standing when I stand. Then he suggested: If I pray to Allah I hope He will form him a human being like you and Adam, only if you name him after me. She said: Yes. The he turned away from her and she said to Adam: An informer came to me and said to me that in my womb was a beast, and I also feel some burden and fear it may be as he has informed me. There was no worry to Adam and Eve save this, till she delivered it. About this Allah says: "They cried unto Allah, their Lord, saying: If Thou givest unto us aright we shall be thankful". This was their prayer before the delivery. When a perfect boy was born to them, he (Satan) came to her and said: Will you not name him after me as you have promised? She asked him: What is your name? His name was 'Azazil. If he had mentioned this name she would have recognized him, so he said: My name is Harith. Thereupon she gave him the name of 'Abd al-Harith who died, and Allah said: "But when He gave them aright, they ascribed unto Him Partners in respect of that which He had given them. High is He. Exalted above all that they associate (with Him)". (Sa'd, Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir, Volume I, Parts I & II, English translation by S. Moinul Haq, M.A., PH.D assisted by H.K. Ghazanfar M.A. (Kitab Bhavan Exporters & Importers, 1784 Kalan Mahal, Daryaganj, New Delhi- 110 002 India], pp. 24-25)

In light of the foregoing we can safely conclude that the Quran accuses the first human parents of being the first to commit idolatry and the sin of association. What is even more interesting is that certain Muslims, as narrated by al-Tabari, place the bulk of the blame on Eve (whether realizing it or not) since she supposedly ignored her husband’s warnings not to listen to Satan and named her son after the Devil anyway.

 

My Response:

Here are the verses presented...

Surah 7:189-192

[007:189] It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her (in love). When they are united, she bears a light burden and carries it about (unnoticed). When she grows heavy, they both pray to God their Lord, (saying): "If Thou givest us a goodly child, we vow we shall (ever) be grateful."

[007:190]  But when He giveth them a goodly child, they ascribe to others a share in the gift they have received: but God is exalted high above the partners they ascribe to Him.

[007:191]  Do they indeed ascribe to Him as partners things that can create nothing, but are themselves created?

[007:192]  No aid can they give them, nor can they aid themselves! (Yusuf Ali Translation)

 

Shamoun is saying that God is rebuking Adam and Eve for polytheism. 

Ibn Kathir says...

(they both invoked Allah, their Lord (saying): "If You give us a Salih child,) if he is born human in every respect. Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas commented, "They feared that their child might be born in the shape of an animal!'' while Abu Al-Bakhtri and Abu Malik commented, "They feared that their newborn might not be human.'' Al-Hasan Al-Basri also commented, "If You (Allah) give us a boy.''

(we shall indeed be among the grateful. But when He gave them a Salih child, they ascribed partners to Him (Allah) in that which He has given to them. High be Allah, Exalted above all that they ascribe as partners to Him.) [7:189-190] Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Hasan commented on this part of the Ayah,

(they ascribed partners to Him (Allah) in that which He has given to them) "This occurred by followers of some religion, not from Adam [or Hawwa'].'' Al-Hasan also said, "This Ayah refers to those among the offspring of Adam who fell into Shirk,

(they ascribed partners to Him (Allah) in that which He has given to them.)'' Qatadah said, "Al-Hasan used to say that it refers to the Jews and Christians. Allah gave them children, and they turned them into Jews and Christians.'' The explanations from Al-Hasan have authentic chains of narration leading to him, and certainly, it is one of the best interpretations. This Ayah should therefore be understood this way, for it is apparent that it does not refer to Adam and Hawa', but about the idolators among their offspring. Allah mentioned the person first [Adam and Hawwa'] and then continued to mention the species [mankind, many of whom committed Shirk]. There are similar cases in the Qur'an. For cases, Allah said

(And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps) It is well-known that the stars that were made as lamps in the sky are not the same as the shooting missiles that are thrown at the devils [mentioned later in the Ayah]. There are similar instances in the Qur'an. Allah knows best. (Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, Source)

 

Al Tabari says in his commentary...

 

{ فَتَعَالَى اللَّه عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ } قَالَ : عَمَّا يُشْرِك الْمُشْرِكُونَ , وَلَمْ يَعْنِهِمَا

 

فَأَتَاهُمَا الشَّيْطَان , فَقَالَ لَهُمَا : سَمِّيَاهُ عَبْد الْحَارِث ! وَكَانَ مِنْ وَحْي الشَّيْطَان وَأَمْره , وَكَانَ شِرْكًا فِي طَاعَته , وَلَمْ يَكُنْ شِرْكًا فِي عِبَادَته.

 

قَالَ : قِيلَ لَهُ : أَشْرَكَ آدَم ؟ قَالَ : أَعُوذ بِاَللَّهِ أَنْ أَزْعُم أَنَّ آدَم أَشْرَكَ ! وَلَكِنَّ حَوَّاء لَمَّا أَثْقَلَتْ , أَتَاهَا إِبْلِيس فَقَالَ لَهَا : مِنْ أَيْنَ يَخْرُج هَذَا , مِنْ أَنْفك أَوْ مِنْ عَيْنك أَوْ مِنْ فِيك ؟ فَقَنَّطَهَا , ثُمَّ قَالَ : أَرَأَيْت إِنْ خَرَجَ سَوِيًّا - زَادَ اِبْن فُضَيْل - لَمْ يَضُرّك وَلَمْ يَقْتُلك أَتُطِيعِينَنِي ؟ قَالَتْ : نَعَمْ . قَالَ : فَسَمِّيهِ عَبْد الْحَارِث ! فَفَعَلَتْ . زَادَ جَرِير : فَإِنَّمَا كَانَ شِرْكه فِي الِاسْم

 

وَقَالَ آخَرُونَ : بَلْ الْمَعْنِيّ بِذَلِكَ رَجُل وَامْرَأَة مِنْ أَهْل الْكُفْر مِنْ بَنِي آدَم جَعَلَا لِلَّهِ شُرَكَاء مِنْ الْآلِهَة وَالْأَوْثَان حِين رَزَقَهُمَا مَا رَزَقَهُمَا مِنْ الْوَلَد

 

Source: http://quran.al-islam.com/Tafseer/DispTafsser.asp?l=arb&taf=TABARY&nType=1&nSora=7&nAya=190

'but God is exalted high above the partners they ascribe to Him' they said, it is exaltation above what the polytheists ascribe and not them (Adam and Eve)

So the devil came to them, then he said to them: Call him Abd Al Harith! And it was a revelation from the devil and his order, and it was partnership ascribed in his obedience, not partnership ascribed in his worship.

He said: It was said to him: Did Adam commit shirk? He said: I Seek refuge in Allah to suggest that Adam committed Shirk but when Eve got pregnant and Satan came to her he said to her: From where does this come out, from your nose or your eyes or your mouth? ......... (I couldn't translate the Arabic appropriately but basically the devil asking Eve if she would like the baby to come out healthy and not be killed).... she (Eve) said: Yes, so then the (the devil) said: So call him Abd Al Harith! so she did. Jareer added: The ascribed partnership was only by name.

And others have said: The intended meaning is referring to the man and woman from the people of disbelief from the son of Adam who associated partners with Allah from their from their Gods and idols when they received a child.

 

Al Qurtubi said in his commentary...

 قَالَ الْمُفَسِّرُونَ : كَانَ شِرْكًا فِي التَّسْمِيَة وَالصِّفَة , لَا فِي الْعِبَادَة وَالرُّبُوبِيَّة

 وَقَالَ قَوْم : إِنَّ هَذَا رَاجِع إِلَى جِنْس الْآدَمِيِّينَ وَالتَّبْيِين عَنْ حَال الْمُشْرِكِينَ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّة آدَم عَلَيْهِ السَّلَام , وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُعَوَّلُ عَلَيْهِ . فَقَوْله : " جَعَلَا لَهُ " يَعْنِي الذَّكَر وَالْأُنْثَى الْكَافِرِينَ , وَيُعْنَى بِهِ الْجِنْسَانِ . وَدَلَّ عَلَى هَذَا " فَتَعَالَى اللَّه عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ " وَلَمْ يَقُلْ يُشْرِكَانِ . وَهَذَا قَوْل حَسَن

 

Source: http://quran.al-islam.com/Tafseer/DispTafsser.asp?l=arb&taf=KORTOBY&nType=1&nSora=7&nAya=190

The commentators have said: It was shirk by name and it was not in the sense of worship and lordship

This is referring to both the sexes from the children Adam who were polytheists who came from the lineage of Adam, and this is the people who are being referred to, and His (God’s) statement,  “they ascribe to others” means the male and female are disbelievers, and this is referring to both sexes, and this is further proved by God’s statement “but God is exalted high above the partners they ascribe to Him (amma yushrikoon)” and did not say “amama yushrikaan”, and this is statement is good.

 

Ibn Al Jawzi says in his commentary...

والمراد بالشريك: إبليس، لأنهما أطاعاه في الاسم، فكان الشرك في الطاعة، لا في العبادة؛ ولم.

يقصدا أن الحارثَ ربُّهما، لكن قصدا أنه سبب نجاة ولدهما

 

And the meaning of the partner, who is Iblis, because they they obeyed him by name, so it was association of partnership in obedience, not in worship: and they did not mean that Harith was their Lord, but they meant that he was the reason for the survival of their child,

 

Another thing to realize is that EVEN if Adam and Eve commit shirk by worship then we would have to understand the context and position they were in. They were FORCED to call the baby Abd Al Harith in order to save its life. God understands when people fall into these kind of situations...

Surah 16:106

Any one who, after accepting faith in God, utters Unbelief,- except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith - but such as open their breast to Unbelief, on them is Wrath from God, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty.

 

The fact that some commentaries say that this is referring to the lineage of Adam and not actually Adam and Eve makes sense because notice what the verse says...

[007:190]  But when He giveth them a goodly child, they ascribe to others a share in the gift they have received: but God is exalted high above the partners they ascribe to Him.

How can they take PARTNERS with Allah if they only took a partner?

 

Lets also not forget how Qurtubi explained that if God was actually referring to Adam and Eve then the verse should have said

Falamma atahuma salihan jaAAala lahu shurakaa feema atahuma fataAAala Allahu AAamma yushrikaana

and not 

Falamma atahuma salihan jaAAala lahu shurakaa feema atahuma fataAAala Allahu AAamma yushrikoona

 

Because to say yushrikoona in Arabic linguistic rules imply that three or more people did the action. If the verse was referring to two people (which should be Adam and Eve in this case) then the verse would have said  yushrikaana.

 

Conclusion

The linguistic rules of Arabic prove that it was not Adam and Eve being referred to in this verse. It was referring to the lineage of Adam. Secondly, even if the verse was referring to Adam and Eve they only ascribed partnership with the devil by obedience and not by worship. Thirdly, even for sake of argument they did commit shirk by worship then we must understand the situation they were in and they were compelled to do what they did. So no genuine case could be built so prove that Adam and Eve peace be upon them were polytheists.

 

Recommended Reading

I recommend everyone to go to www.altafsir.net and see the commentary on Surah 7:190 by Razi. Razi lists so many reasons and so much evidence as to how this verse could not be referring to Adam and Eve.

 

 

 

 

Back to My Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

Women in Islam and the Bible.

Rebuttals by Bassam Zawadi.

Islam and the Noble Quran - Questions and Answers.

Answering Trinity.

Contradictions and History of Corruption in the Bible.

Questions about Jesus that trinitarian Christians don't have logical answers for.

What parts of the Bible do Muslims believe are closest to the Truth? and Why?

"Allah" was GOD Almighty's original Name in the Bible according to the Hebrew and Aramaic sources.

Scientific Miracles in Islam and the Noble Quran.

Most of the Bible's books and gospels were written by mysterious people!

Jesus mentioned Muhammad by the name in the Bible.

Did Isaiah 53 really prophesies about the crucifixion of Jesus? It supports Islam's claims about Jesus peace be upon him never died on the cross.  I also addressed John 19:36-37 from the Bible and proved that Jesus never got crucified, since GOD Almighty promised that he will protect Jesus' body and not let even a single bone be broken.     My question to all Christians is: How in the world is it possible for the feet to get nailed on the cross without any penetration to the bones by the nails, hence breaking part of the feet's bones?! I also added refutations to Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12, Zechariah 12:10 and Psalm 34:20, which supposedly prove the Christians' belief about Jesus crucifixion.  I proved that this dogma has no truth what so ever and exposed the wrong Trinitarian English translation of Zechariah 12:10.


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