The beginning of Creation in the Bible and in the Holy Quran
2. Human Creation
By professor Dr . Salam Abd Al-Hady
We , Moslems , believe in the Bible as God's word , but the problem that we Moslem oppose to is that The Bible, now , is no longer God's word , these are not mere words based on no scientific bases .Human tampering found its way to the Christian doctrine and even to most of its parts . This is crystal clear when we revise the story of creation in the Bible in terms of the newly established scientific information . The Bible is pregnant with scientific error owing to human tampering and this is not an Islamic point of view though the Holy Quran is emphatic on this fact …Most of the colossus Christian writer are of the same opinion . In this short article we will uncover these errors and , to be fair , we will also show what Quran says
The start of the human creation is described in the Quran in many chapters (Surahs) and is told in the Bible in the beginning of Genesis only. Both books are common in stating that Adam was initially created from the soil of the ground or the mud, that converting a body of mud into a living body is done by God’s breathing in this lifeless body of mud, that the creation of Adam preceded the Creation of his wife Eva and that Eva was created from Adam’s bones. However, the Quran stated that Eva was created from Adam’s body only without specifying if it was from his bones or only a cell. In the Bible, it was stated that God breathed in Adam’s nostrils a breath of life, while in the Quran it is stated that God breathed into Adam’s body a heavenly spiritual breath.
Generally, most of these statements may be proved logically and scientifically. The elements that are forming the human body are the same elements that are found in soil of the ground or in mud. Similarly, the cells of a man and a woman have similar genetic maps with the same number of Chromosomes that means they have a common origin, i.e. Eva came from Adam’s body as stated. Looking at the statements of the Bible and Quran concerning God’s breath into Adam, we find the Quranic statement is more accurate because God’s breath did not only convert the body of mud into a living body, but it gives him a distinguished spirit of consciousness, recognition, intelligence and broad abilities to learn, think, memorize, choose, decide, develop, innovate, rule over other creatures and lead their life, etc.
The scientists are unable up till now to know how a lifeless body of mud can be converted into a living being. Surely it is impossible to imagine this conversion to happen without believing in a Creator who gifted his secret to such inert body. In laboratories, they prepared the amino acids and the protein chains and tried to convert such lifeless materials into living cells that are able to move, feed, breath, exert, feel, grow and perform assigned tasks. However, as expected, they failed. Similarly, science is not able to define the spirit or soul gifted from God to the human being to be alive and to have such abilities. As the religions informed, we have a spirit from God. However, the materialistic scientists deny this fact. So, they are unable to find an answer for the way of conversion of a lifeless body into a living and thinking one. Generally, our sciences are limited to a degree that we cannot find a scientific definition for what really exists in our bodies. The Quran expressed this fact in the following verse:
"They ask thee concerning the Spirit (of inspiration). Say: "It is a God’s property (that you cannot recognize) and that my Lord gifted you only some limits of His knowledge and sciences, (O men!)" [17 / 85]
Of course, the truth of this verse is still approved. The knowledge that we have been able to grasp in this field is still limited and we are unable up to now to find a scientific definition of the soul. Our scientists find no answer other than accepting such religious definition of the soul as our sciences are limited, as can be read in the following verse:.
It is He Who brings out the living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living, and Who gives life to the earth after it is dead: and thus shall ye be brought out (from the dead in the day of resurrection). [30 /19]
Of course, the spirit is a God’s property which is unknown to us as His nature is also unknown to us ,We cannot define His nature through our materialistic senses or sciences. Our vision and consciousness with the gifted abilities are limited but his vision is not. These facts are also stated in the following verse:
No vision can grasp Him. But His grasp is over all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things. [6/103]
Both books, i.e. the Quran and the Bible, stated that God had placed plants and animals in the earth before Adam’s creation and that Adam was created at the end.
The Quran states too that the Creation of Adam was preceded by the creation of the angles and the jinni (such non-natural unseen world), as it stated that the creation of the angles was done from light and that of the jinn was done from fire. Accepting that the creation of the human being started from mud, we should accept these statements too. The Quran states also that Satan was a Jinni who worshipped God sincerely. So, God gave him a closed rank to God’s angles. However, Satan is converted to be an evil after he disobeyed one of the God’s commands. This command belongs to Adam’s creation. God ordered all the angles, and Satan was close to them, to bow in respect to Adam who was gifted a spiritual breath from God. All of them obeyed God’s command but the Satan did not. He refused doing that because of his arrogance and short sight, thinking that his origin from fire is better than Adam’s origin from mud. So, the Satan was expelled from the angle’s companion in the Paradise. He and his tribe bore hatred to Adam and his offspring. So, the Satan became an enemy for the whole of mankind. He tries to convert any man to commit the same arrogance which he committed. It is done through his abilities to the invisible temptation of man in every moment.
Both books state that the human life on the earth is limited and that such short life will be as a test for the human beings. Each of us will be rewarded for his deeds on the earth, i.e. to what we are doing in accordance with God’s orders and justice as well as devotion and good dealing to others. Those who are performing good deeds in our earthy life will be rewarded by a second endless good life in the Paradise after resurrection. However, those who live for just satisfaction of their own desires and transgressing the others, those will receive bad sufferings during their endless second life in a hell. The Bible does not define the nature of the people after resurrection, but it is imagined as angles or lighting bodies. However, the Quran states that those of good deeds will retain their human bodies as youth. Such statement is found in many chapters of the Quran. We may read in one of them:
"Blessed be He in Whose hands are Dominion; and He over all things hath Power; He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed; and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving "[67/1]
Both books stated that God had sent messengers for people to acknowledge them that there is a God who created them, ask them to worship Him, obey Him and to wait a reward for their deeds in an eternal life after resurrection. This statement is mentioned in Quran in many chapters. As an example we may read the following verse: Verily this Quran doth guide to that which is most right (or stable), and giveth the glad tidings to the Believers who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a magnificent reward" [16/9]
Both books state that God has given to the human beings all the means to rule over the earth during their testifying as the abilities to hear, see, know, understand, innovate, choose and decide. In addition, God subjected to the man all things in the earth and sky as rains, plants, cattle, fish, birds, lands, air, etc. This statement can be read in many verses in the Quran as:
"Do ye not see that Allah has subjected to your (use) all things in the heavens and on earth, and has made His bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, (both) seen and unseen? Yet there are among men those who dispute about Allah, without knowledge and without guidance, and without a Book to enlighten them! [31/20]
Both books are stating that God gives Adam the ability to learn and he informed him after his creation with the names of every thing on the earth and that He taught him how to make use of it. According to the Quran, this was the reason of obliging the angels to respect Adam as they were not informed by such knowledge.
However, according to the both books, God placed Adam in Eden or Gannah after He had formed him. Eden in Hebrew means pleasure and Gannah in Arabic means something like Paradise. In these places Adam and Eve received a full accommodation at a heavenly level. Such accommodation was to testify the ability of Adam and Eve to obey God’s command. God subjected them to a test with known results. God created Adam and He knows what time Adam and Eve can sustain their desires to discover something unknown and to resist the temptation of Satan. Hence, he knows that they were going to leave their limited accommodation in Eden or Gannah. God prepared the earth for receiving Adam, Eve and their Birth after their expected failure in the first held human test. According to Both books (Quran and Bible), such command was to eat from any tree there but not to eat from a specific tree in the middle of such Eden or Gannah. God made such test for Adam to be a model for Adam and the human beings to learn them many essential lessons:
1.The survival of our life is tied to the full obedience to His Rules or Law.
2.Every one is expected to fail in fulfilling some obligation of such obedience.
3.There is a way to forgiveness. It is the repentance to Allah.
According to both books, Adam and Eve had really failed in the first test, as expected. So, they were directed out of their initial accommodation to their permanent stay on the earth.
However, it is stated in the Quran that Satan was the source of temptation to Adam and Eve and he was the one who deceived them as revenge. As stated, Adam was the reason of God’s anger and hate to him. In the Holy book, it is stated that a serpent was whispering to Eve and Eve whispered to Adam to disobey God’s order. Such statements are illogic in many aspects. God does not gift the serpent the abilities to speak, deceive and plan for Eve’s temptation. Man’s abilities were to rule over all mud’s creatures. Adam and Eve are of equal wills and no one may deceive the other. So, God did not damn the serpent by creeping since it belongs to reptiles which are creeping animals. Similarly, God did not curse Eve to be dominated by the man since the man has his roles and similarly the woman has her roles in the family life. Eve is not also cursed by pain since all the mammals suffer pains in giving birth before the creation of Eve.
In the Bible it is stated that the forbidden tree, in the middle of Eden, was a tree of life and tree of knowledge the good and evil. That the eyes of Adam and Eve were closed before eating from this tree and that their eyes were opened after eating it. And the God told Adam and Eve if you will eat from this tree you will die. Such statements are against the logic. God had distinguished Adam with the ability to learn and to know every thing. How did he forbid him from eating the fruits of a tree of knowledge? If God ordered Adam not to eat from that tree which acknowledges them with the good and evil, how could Adam be able to distinguish if it is good or evil to eat from such tree or to obey and disobey God? How Adam was able to learn the names of every thing on the earth with closed eyes. God surely told the truth, how should He tell Adam he will die when eating from this tree?
The Quran does not state the forbidden tree was a tree of knowledge and that Adam’s or Eve’s eyes were closed. But we may understand that the fruits of such tree may motivate some human desires or excretion of residues. It is not stated in the Quran also that God threatened them with a lie. He ordered them not to eat from this tree and to eat from any other tree. They should obey God’s orders without arguing or arrogance. However, they were going to their destiny; the life on the earth for a limited time too. Then according to their deeds, they may return once more to such heavenly accommodation.
In the Quran, it is sated that Satan succeeded in the temptation of Adam and Eve by swearing to them with the name of Allah that he was a good adviser. So, they obeyed him and disobeyed God. Both books state that Adam and Eve felt shamed after eating from the forbidden tree. Just eating from this tree, they discovered their shames, i.e. their genitals or their naked bodies. Such shames were not discovered by them before eating such tree. So, they sewed some leaves from Eden together and made coverings for themselves. Hearing God, they were feeling sorry and shame. These statements are found in the following verses of Quran: [7/20-22] Then began Satan to whisper suggestions to them (as a temptation), in order to reveal to them their shame that was hidden from them (before): he said: "Your Lord only forbade you this tree, lest ye should become angels or such beings as live forever." And he swore to them both, that he was their sincere adviser. So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shame became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the Garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: "Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Satan was an avowed enemy unto you.
The Quran stated that God taught Adam how to ask God’s forgiveness and how to repent after their guilt in the following verse: "[2/37] Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration (for repenting), and his Lord turned towards him (forgave him); for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful."
However, the Bible did not mention how God forgave Adam and Eve for their committed sin. However, both books states that Adam and Eve were sent to the Earth, their permanent destiny, after God’s facing. They were told that in the earth they should suffer the efforts to have their food, their sustenance and mutual transgression between themselves. In the Quran it is stated also that the life of Adam’s race will be subjected to God’s guidance through His messengers. This prophecy was told to Adam before his settlement on the earth with Eve, as Adam was the first prophet to the human race. The Quran states such prophecies in the following verses:
[ 20/ 123-124] He said: "Get ye down, both of you, all together, from the Garden, with enmity one to another: but if, as is sure, there comes to you guidance from Me, whosoever follows My guidance, will not lose his way, nor fall into misery. "But whosoever turns away from My Message, verily for him is a life narrowed down, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Judgment."
Undoubtedly, both books have acknowledged us with embodied information that may guide us to know metaphysical worlds related to the spirits, jinni, angles and start of creation. Someone may have no faith in such things, but surely, when he is faced by a danger he asked such Power he feels to exist saying “Oh My God”. These feelings are described in the Quran by such the following verses: [6/63] Say: "Who is it that delivereth you from the dark recesses of land and sea, when ye call upon Him in humility and silent terror: `If He only delivers us from these (dangers), (we vow) we shall truly show our gratitude?'"
Similarly, all of us feel the existence of such metaphysical world at least when we see dreams that are realized. Such dreams are seen by our invisible spirits which leaves our bodies for a while when sleeping and forever when dying. Such statements can be read in the following verse of Quran.
[39/42] It is Allah that takes the souls (or spirits of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep: those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed. Verily in this are Signs for those who reflect.
Surely, we notice many things that happen in the universe we live, such things have no definite explanation other than we should confess with the existence of many un-seen worlds or creatures that live with us. Some people are going astray by thinking that the Satan represents a competitive Enemy of God. It is a false statement which urges some to believe that God deceived Satan and He embodied Himself into a human body not to be discovered by Satan. God created Satan God and God is able to destroy him. But Satan’s punishment is postponed up to the Day of Judgment. . This is the true belief according to the verses of the Quran.
Now, we may offer the story of Adam’s creation as stated in the Bible, and tell the same story as revealed to Mohamed in Quran. It will be seen that there are common statements in both books. However, it will be seen also that the Bible gives some attributes that does not suit the Greatness and Holiness of God. Stating that God was moving about in the orchard is ridiculous. We should not think that God has limited movements as He is beyond our abilities to imagine. Stating that God asked “Where are you?” is also unbelievable since God is ever knowing by every thing, seen or unseen. Stating also that God may mislead Adam not to eat from a tree of knowledge and lying in His threat is also unbelievable. However, as I told, the Bible was written through people who have limited understanding to a real book delivered from God. So, both books have the same origin, but in the Quran we read the real words of God. In the Bible we just read a human interpretation of a real book from God.
Now, we may read firstly the written story in the Bible as follows:
2:8 The Lord God planted an orchard24 in the east,25 in Eden;26 and there he placed the man he had formed.27 2:9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow from the soil, 28 every tree that was pleasing to look at29 and good for food. (Now30 the tree of life31 and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil32 were in the middle of the orchard.)
Water the orchard, and from there it divides36 into four headstreams.37 2:11 The name of the first is Piton; it runs through38 the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 2:12 (The gold of that land is pure;39 pearls40 and lapis lazuli41 are also there). 2:13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it runs through42 the entire land of Cush.43 2:14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it runs along the east side of Assyria.44 The fourth river is the Euphrates.
2:15 The Lord God took the man and placed45 him in the orchard in46 Eden to care for it and to maintain it.47 2:16 Then the Lord God commanded48 the man, “You may freely eat49 fruit50 from every tree of the orchard, 2:17 but51 you must not eat52 from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when53 you eat from it you will surely die.”54
2:18The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.55 I will make a companion56 for him who corresponds to him.”57 2:19 The Lord God formed58 out of the ground every living animal of the field and every bird of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would59 name them, and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 2:20 So the man named all the animals, the birds of the air, and the living creatures of the field, but for Adam60 no companion who corresponded to him was found.61 2:21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep,62 and while he was asleep,63 he took part of the man’s side64 and closed up the place with flesh.65 2:22 Then the Lord God made66 a woman from the part he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 2:23 Then the man said,
“This one at last67 is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one will be called68 ‘woman,’
The Temptation and the Fall
3:1 Now1 the serpent2 was more shrewd3 than any of the wild animals4 that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Is it really true that5 God6 said, ‘You must not eat from any tree of the orchard’?”7 3:2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat8 of the fruit from the trees of the orchard; 3:3 but concerning the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the orchard God said, ‘You must not eat from it, and you must not touch it,9 or else you will die.’”10 3:4 The serpent said to the woman, “Surely you will not die,11 3:5 for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open12 and you will be like divine beings who know13 good and evil.”14
3:6 When15 the woman saw that the tree produced fruit that was good for food,16 was attractive17 to the eye, and was desirable for making one wise,18 she took some of its fruit and ate it.19 She also gave some of it to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.20 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
The Judgment Oracles of God at the Fall
3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God moving about21 in the orchard at the breezy time22 of the day, and they hid23 from the Lord God among the trees of the orchard. 3:9 But the Lord God called to24 the man and said to him, “Where are you?”25 3:10 The man replied,26 “I heard you moving about27 in the orchard, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” 3:11And the Lord God28 said, “Who told you that you were naked?29 Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”30 3:12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave me, she gave31 me some fruit32 from the tree and I ate it.” 3:13 So the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this33 you have done?” And the woman replied, “The serpent34 tricked35 me, and I ate.”
3:14 The Lord God said to the serpent,36
“Because you have done this, cursed37 are you above all the wild beasts and all the living creatures of the field! On your belly you will crawl38 and dust you will eat39 all the days of your life. 3:15 And I will put hostility40 between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring;41 her offspring will attack42 your head,
and43 you44 will attack her offspring’s heel.”45 3:16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase46 your labor pains;47 with pain you will give birth to children.You will want to control your husband,48but he will dominate49 you.”
3:17 But to Adam50 he said, “Because you obeyed51 your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground52 thanks to you;53 in painful toil you will eat54 of it all the days of your life. 3:18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, but you will eat the grain55 of the field. 3:19 By the sweat of your brow56 you will eat food until you return to the ground,57
for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you will return.”58
3:20 The man59 named his wife Eve,60 because61 she was the mother of all the living.62 3:21 The Lord God made garments from skin63 for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. 3:22 And the Lord God said, “Now64 that the man has become like one of us,65 knowing66 good and evil, he must not be allowed67 to stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 3:23 So the Lord God expelled him68 from the orchard in Eden to cultivate the ground from which he had been taken. 3:24 When he drove69 the man out, he placed on the eastern side70 of the orchard in Eden angelic sentries71 who used the flame of a whirling sword72 to guard the way to the tree of life.
A similar story was told in the Quran in many chapters.It will be satisfactory to offer only what is stated in three chapters of the Quran and try to analyze the dealing of the same events in the Quran and in the Bible:
The first chapter that told this story, is chapter or Surah number 2:
[2/30 - 38] Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." They said: "Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? Whilst we do celebrate Thy praise and glorify Thy holy (name)?" He said: "I know what ye know not."
 And He taught Adam the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels, and said: "Tell Me the names of these if ye are right."They said: "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." He said: "O Adam! Tell them their names." When he had told them, Allah said: "Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heavens and earth, and I know what ye reveal and what ye conceal?" And behold, We said to the angels: "Bow down to Adam:" and they bowed down: not so Iblis (Satan): he refused and was haughty: he was of those who reject Faith. We said: "O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression." Then did Satan make them slip from the (Garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been. We said: "Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling place and your means of livelihood for a time." Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. We said: "Get ye down all from here: and if, as is sure, there comes to you guidance from Me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve."But those who reject Faith and belie Our Signs, they shall be Companions of the Fire; they shall abide therein.
The same story was told also, but in a different viewing to the same events in another chapter of Quran as follows:
[ 7 / 11- 19] It is We Who created you and gave you shape; then We bade the angels bow down to Adam, and they bowed down; not so Iblis; he refused to be of those who bow down. (Allah) said: "What prevented thee from bowing down when I commanded thee?" He said: "I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay." (Allah) said: "Get thee down from this: it is not for thee to be arrogant here: get out, for thou art of the meanest (of creatures)." He said: "Give me respite till the day they are raised up." (Allah) said: "Be thou amongst those who have respite." He said: "Because Thou hast thrown me out of the Way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on Thy Straight Way: "Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: nor wilt Thou find, in most of them, gratitude (for Thy mercies)." (Allah) said: "Get out from this, disgraced and expelled. If any of them follow thee, Hell will I fill with you all. "O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and enjoy (its good things) as ye wish: but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression."
As a summary, we may read the same story in another chapter of Quran as follows:
[38/71-83] Be hold, the Lord said to the angels: "I am about to create man from clay: "When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him." So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together: Not so Iblis: he was haughty, and became one of those who reject Faith. (Allah) said: "O Iblis! what prevents thee from prostrating thyself to one whom I have created with My hands? Art thou haughty? or art thou one of the high (and mighty) ones?" (Iblis) said: "I am better than he: Thou createdst me from fire, and him thou createdst from clay." (Allah) said: "Then get thee out from here: for thou art rejected, accursed. "And My Curse shall be on thee till the Day of Judgment." (Iblis) said: "O my Lord! give me then respite till the Day the (dead) are raised." (Allah) said: "Respite then is granted thee; "Till the Day of the Time Appointed." (Iblis) said: "Then by Thy Power, I will put them all in the wrong, "Except Thy Servants amongst them, sincere and purified (by Thy grace)."
As we see, these verses offered us the Glory of the Creator, the weakness of Satan or Iblis as the Quran called, Adam’s sin and how God forgave him, a model for repentance and how God’s obedience may save our fortune. It also offers who are the angles, the guidance of God, the human’s tests to distinguish who may deserve God’s satisfaction or God’s anger and what may happen in the day of resurrection.
As a conclusion; we may find that the Quran offers the creation story into integrated Holy pieces found in different chapters of the Quran. The story found in the Quran glorifies the Creator and is stated through a logical procedure that convinces the developed thinking and distinguish the roles of the main participants in the start of creation.
However, there are some Christian theologians who accused Mohamed of receiving teachings from different sects before his mission. The question is: Can an illiterate man like Mohamed be able to translate the old Bible from Hebrew to Arabic, correct its illogic statements into logical one and to cast such statements into a Holy style that glorifies God.
02 février 2008