History & Civilization

Adam’s Two Sons: Lessons from the Story

Adam's Two Sons: Lessons from the Story

Cain and Abel are the names of the two sons of Adam according to the Bible. The Quran does not mention their names. The Quran refers to them as “Adam’s two sons.”

Their story is mentioned in the Quran in Surah al-Maida, verse 27:

“And recite to them the story of Adam’s two sons, in truth, when they both offered a sacrifice (to Allah), and it was accepted from one of them but was not accepted from the other. He said, “I will surely kill you.” (The other) said, “Indeed, Allah only accepts from those who have taqwa (the righteous).” (5:27)

1. Allah ordered His Prophet to recite this news. Allah’s order was special to the Prophet only.

2. The word used in Arabic, “naba‘” is for something important.

3. Allah told the Prophet to recite this story in truth, not for fun or just to tell a made up story. That’s why He said in the verse, ‘in truth.’

4. The two were biological sons of Adam.

5. A sacrifice was offered by both of them to Allah. In ancient times, the sign that a sacrifice has been accepted was that a fire from the sky would consume it.

6. The sacrifice from one of them was not accepted because he did not have “taqwa.” Taqwa is piety, fear, and awareness of Allah.

7. Allah accept worship inspired by taqwa.

8. Allah does not accept an act that is not motivated by a sincere desire to please Him and conforms to the Sunna of the Prophet.

9. Envy is haram. It leads to disobedience of Allah. It causes a person to find fault with Allah’s decisions and the destiny Allah has written for him. Envy was the first sin with with which Allah was disobeyed by Satan when he got envious of Adam.

10. A Muslim should love for his Muslim brother what he loves for himself and should not wish that Allah’s blessing on his Muslim brother be taken away.

“If you should raise your hand against me to kill me I shall not raise my hand against you to kill you. Indeed, I fear Allah, Lord of the worlds.” (5:28)

1. One is to defend oneself when attacked, unless it will cause tribulation (fitna).

2. Fear of Allah is one of the biggest things that prevent a person from disobeying Him.

3. Anyone even contemplating of taking a life should think of Allah’s punishment.

4. Not to repel evil with evil, not to respond to something bad by doing something bad, and to to do so out of Allah’s fear.

“Indeed I want you to obtain (thereby) my sin and your sin so you will be among the companions of the Fire. And that is the recompense of wrongdoers.” (Quran 5:29)

1. Human beings have free will and they will be rewarded and punished according to the decisions they make.

2. Killing is a major grave sin that takes a person to Hell.

3. Reminding one’s brother of Allah’s punishment in the life to come is caring for him!

4. A wrongdoer carries his sin and the sin of the one he wrongs.

“And his soul permitted to him the murder of his brother, so he killed him and became among the losers.” (5:30)

1. Fear your own “nafs.” Fear yourself because sometimes it drives you to commit sin!

2. A killer does not step out of Islam.

3. A person who starts a sinful practice will bear the sin of everyone who does it until the Day of Judgment.

“Then Allah sent a crow searching in the ground to show him how to hide the nakedness of his brother. He said, “O woe to me! Have I failed to be like this crow and hide the body of my brother?” And he became of the regretful.” (5:31)

1. Since this was the first death among human beings, he did not know what to do with the dead body of his brother.

2. Sometimes even an animal can “guide” a human being like the crow that ‘guided’ the brother on how to bury his dead sibling.

3. In the end a sinner feels regrets, guilt, grief, and sorrow.

The above lessons were drawn by different scholars.

And Allah knows best.


Image Source: Flickr