Thursday, 14 March 2019

Adam Dwelled in an Earthly Paradise (Sura 2:35)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
ولا حول ولا قوة الا بالله
There is a considerable controversy among Muslims regarding the dwelling and expulsion of Adam and his wife (peace be upon them both) from al-Jannah as to the reality of that Paradise, i.e., whether it is the Paradise of eternity that Believers shall enter in the afterlife, or an earthly paradise/garden located somewhere on our planet. I have previously explained that the Quran teaches that the Paradise of the afterlife shall be on the transformed Earth, particularly, the Holy Land. In this way, the two apparently opposing views can be combined and reconciled. In other words, Adam and his wife dwelt in the earthly paradise known as Adn (Eden), and it is that same Paradise which Believers shall enter into in the afterlife – the Paradise of eternity. There shall be transformations of Heaven and Earth on Judgment Day. That Adam dwelt in an earthly paradise is strongly pointed to in the Quran:

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً
And when your Lord said to the Angels: ‘Verily, I am making, in the Earth, a successor’
(Sura 2:30)

So when Allah said:
وَقُلْنَا يَا آدَمُ اسْكُنْ أَنتَ وَزَوْجُكَ الْجَنَّةَ
And We said: ‘O Adam, dwell you and your wife in the Garden’
(Sura 2:35)
It is obviously a paradise or garden on our planet Earth, and not some place in the heavens or in another dimension. Iblis, the devil, was expelled from the presence of Allah when he disobeyed a direct, divine commandment to prostrate toward Adam. Therefore, it is impossible that Iblis or Satan was able to beguile Adam and his wife in a heavenly abode from where he was expelled. Instead, the Quran says:

فَأَزَلَّهُمَا الشَّيْطَانُ عَنْهَا فَأَخْرَجَهُمَا مِمَّا كَانَا فِيهِ ۖ وَقُلْنَا اهْبِطُوا بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ ۖ وَلَكُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ مُسْتَقَرٌّ وَمَتَاعٌ إِلَىٰ حِينٍ
But Satan caused them to slip out of it and removed them from that [condition] in which they had been. And We said, ‘Go down, [all of you], as enemies to one another, and you will have upon the earth a place of settlement and provision for a time.’
(Sura 2:36)

Satan could not cause Adam and his wife to slip out and be removed from a heavenly abode which he himself was expelled from prior to that and all his access to having been cut off. Therefore, it must indeed have been an earthly abode. As for when Allah said to ‘Go down’ ‘in the Earth’, it simply means moving out from one part of the land to another. An example of this:

اهْبِطُوا مِصْرًا
Go down to Egypt
(Sura 2:61)
That it was an earthly paradise is the general belief of the Mu’tazila, Qadariya, particularly the scholars Abu Muslim al-Isfahani and Abu al-Qasim al-Balkhi, and a minority from among Ahl us-Sunna. According to this view, the earthly paradise where Adam and his wife were dwelling in was in the land of Palestine, or between Persia and Kerman:
ومن زعم أنها لم تخلق بعد قال إنه بستان كان بأرض فلسطين، أو بين فارس وكرمان خلقه الله تعالى امتحاناً لآدم، وحمل الإهباط على الانتقال منه إلى أرض الهند كما في قوله تعالى:{ ٱهْبِطُواْ مِصْرًا }
(Tafsir al-Baydawi v.1 p.72):

وذهب المعتزلة وأبو مسلم الأصفهاني وأناس إلى أنها جنة أخرى خلقها الله تعالى امتحاناً لآدم عليه السلام وكانت بستاناً في الأرض بين فارس وكرمان، وقيل: بأرض عدن، وقيل: بفلسطين كورة بالشام ولم تكن الجنة المعروفة، وحملوا الهبوط على الانتقال من بقعة إلى بقعة كما في{ ٱهْبِطُواْ مِصْرًا }
(Ruh al-Maani v.1 p.233):

I agree with this view that it was the earthly paradise of the Holy Land (Palestine), but that this is the same Paradise which the Believers shall enter in the afterlife when the Earth undergoes an extraordinary transformation. That it is the same Paradise is established from the Hadith:
يَجْمَعُ اللَّهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى النَّاسَ فَيَقُومُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى تُزْلَفَ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةُ فَيَأْتُونَ آدَمَ فَيَقُولُونَ يَا أَبَانَا اسْتَفْتِحْ لَنَا الْجَنَّةَ ‏.‏ فَيَقُولُ وَهَلْ أَخْرَجَكُمْ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ إِلاَّ خَطِيئَةُ أَبِيكُمْ آدَمَ لَسْتُ بِصَاحِبِ ذَلِكَ
Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, would gather people. The believers would stand till the Paradise would be brought near them. They would come to Adam and say: ‘O our father, open for us the Paradise.’ He would say: ‘What turned ye out from the Paradise was the mistake of your father Adam. I am not in a position to do that’ (Sahih Muslim)

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