The Descent from Paradise to Earth


How did the descent from heaven to earth take place? hz. How did prophet adam come to earth?

The trial of man began with the creation of Adam (as). As far as we can know, the angels were tested when they were commanded to prostrate to him. All the angels passed the test because they had no egos that would influence them to do otherwise. Nevertheless, Satan failed. He was a jinn and he had an ego.

After testing the angels and the devil with Adam (as), Allah tested Adam and Eve with the devil. He gave the devil the opportunity through the forbidden tree, which was the only thing in paradise He had declared out of bounds.

It was then that the ego itself began its long battle to keep man from obeying Allah’s commands. Some reports suggest that the influence of Eve had a lot to do with Adam (as) reaching for the forbidden fruit.

Women have been created more sensitive and susceptible than men. They therefore become influenced more easily. Since the beginning, Satan has used this to his advantage. This perhaps has never been more glaring than today, where women are used as tools for advertisements and propaganda in commerce as well as politics. While women are means for men to find peace and comfort, they also pose a great trial. However, having said that, man’s happiness in both worlds depends on women. Sawban (ra) recounts the following:

“We were on a campaign when Allah revealed:

‘And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah – give them tidings of a painful punishment.’ (Al-Tawbah, 9: 34). Some companions then remarked, ‘no more hoarding gold and silver…but if we only knew what was better so we could get hold of it’. It was then that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

‘The most valuable things you can have are a tongue that remembers, a heart that gives thanks and a righteous wife who helps her husband keep faith.’” (Al-Tirmidhi, Tafsir, 9/9)

Another hadith states:

“After taqwa, man benefits most from a righteous wife. If he asks her for something, she does it.  If he looks at her, he feels joy. If he promises to do something for another, his wife will do anything she can so that he keeps his word. And if he has to go far away, his wife protects his honor and wealth.” (Ibn Majah, Nikah, 5/1857)

“The world is full of things to enjoy. However, the best of them is a righteous wife”. (Muslim, Rada, 64; Nasai, Nikah, 15; Ibn Majah, Nikah, 5)

For that reason, Ali (kw) suggested that the verse:

“Our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and protect us from the punishment of the Fire” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 201) may also be interpreted as, ‘Lord, give us a righteous wife on earth and the women of paradise in the hereafter and keep us safe from the tricks of women’. (Ali al-Qari, Mirqat, VI, 265)

Satan was resorting to every trick he knew to deceive Adam and Eve (as). The Qur’an recounts what unfolds:

“Then Satan whispered to him…he said, ‘O Adam, shall I direct you to the tree of eternity and possession that will not deteriorate?” (Ta Ha, 20: 120)

“But Satan whispered to them to show them that which was concealed of their private parts. He said, ‘Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become of the immortal. And he swore by Allah to them, ‘Indeed, I am to you from among the sincere advisors. So he made them fall, through deception. And when they tasted of the tree, their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten together over themselves from the leaves of Paradise.[1] And their Lord called to them, ‘Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is to you a clear enemy?’” (Al-Araf, 7: 20-22)

Adam and Eve approached the forbidden tree because of their nafs or ego. It is the constant hurdle which human beings have to overcome. The value of a victory is proportionate to the obstacles overcome to get to it. An ego that holds a person in shackles is cause for destruction. However, on the other hand, an ego that is trained and refined is means for eternal gains. It has been said:

“The ego is your steed. Treat it gently and with care”.

The fact of the matter is that the Almighty has given man free will and where he ends up depends on the choices he makes. This free will is limited compared to Allah’s eternal freedom. However, man has enough freedom to shape his personal destiny. It is therefore imperative for us to use our freedom in line with what Allah has commanded us with, and seek refuge in His mercy from His wrath.

Adam and Eve (as) fell for the trick the devil had devised to seek vengeance from them. After realizing what they had done, they quickly left his side. They drew closer to the angels and began repenting with the words they had learned from Allah:

“They said, ‘Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.’” (Al-Araf, 7: 23)

The Almighty forgave them but due to a number of underlying wisdoms, willed to send them to earth:

“Allah said, ‘Descend, as enemies to one another.[2] And for you on the earth is a place of settlement and enjoyment for a time. He said, ‘Therein you will live, and therein you will die, and from it you will be brought forth.’” (Al-Araf, 7: 24-25)

However, not before teaching them where the path to salvation lay, not only for them but also for their generations to come:

“O children of Adam…We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of taqwa – that is best.” (Al-Araf, 7: 26)

The above verse states that clothes are not enough to cover man. It is really the dress of taqwa that cleanses the heart of negative thoughts and emotions and enables man to come to terms with his responsibilities before Allah. Taqwa also determines people’s superiority over one another:

“Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.” (Al-Hujurat, 76: 13)

And elsewhere in the Qur’an, right after we are told of the incident that saw Adam and Eve (as) banished from paradise, we are warned:

“O children of Adam, let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents from Paradise, stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Indeed, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. Indeed, We have made the devils allies to those who do not believe.” (Al-Araf, 7: 27)

The Almighty created the parents of humankind in paradise. However, as a result of them reaching out to the forbidden tree, they were taken out and sent to the world, the realm of trial. A few of the reasons as to why it turned out that way may be listed as follows:

Allah had already willed for the species of mankind to live on earth.

The Lord wanted them to appreciate the blessing that paradise was and do good on earth in the hope of returning there one day.

Allah wanted to separate from among Adam’s (as) generation those worthy of paradise from others who deserve hellfire.

Allah wanted humankind to enforce His law on earth and work towards its improvement.

It is a riddle of fate that human reason can never solve.

[1].      Out of all creatures, only people cover themselves. Human beings also need to clothe to protect the honor, dignity, modesty and solemnity that Allah the Almighty has bestowed upon them. They will otherwise lose all of those qualities. The loss of modesty and the rise of nudity is among the biggest signs of the end of times. The Prophet (saw) says, “Modesty and shame (haya) are part of faith”. Even though Adam and Eve (as) did not have any other human being to pry on them in paradise, they still felt ashamed from other beings, and tried to cover themselves with whatever leaves they could find. And this shows that covering oneself and its spiritual source, which are the feelings of propriety and shame, are one of man’s most innate qualities.

[2].      The reference there is to the enmity between man and the devil –and his cohorts-, as well as amongst human beings, which was to develop and persist until the final hour.

Source: The History of Prophets in Light of The Qur’an, THE CHAIN OF PROPHETS, Osman Nuri TOPBAŞ, Erkam Publications

The Creation of Eve