The truth pertaining to the origin of all human beings is a matter dear to the hearts of many. People from different walks of life, including various ethnic origins and differing educational backgrounds have attempted explanations, however, no story or explanation can take the place of the truth. In the Qur’an Allah informed us of the truth regarding the origin of the humans, and His Prophet, Muhammad, explained this matter to his companions, who explained it to their followers, who explained it to their followers, and so on, until the truth reached the people today.
Allah created all the other kinds of creations before He created the humankind. Allah created the water, the air, the heavens, the earth, the trees, the mountains, the valleys, the animals and even the small insects--before he created man. Allah created all these kinds of creations in six days. Each day was like one thousand (1,000) years. At the last part of the sixth day, after the ^Asr time, Adam was created. It was Jumu^ah--Friday.
Adam was not derived from apes or animals similar to apes. The apes existed, as did all the other animal kind, before Adam was created. The truth is: the origin of all the humankind is clay, i.e., soil mixed with water. Allah said in Surat al-Mu’minun, Ayah 12:
ولقد خلقنا الانسان من سلالة من طين
Surat al-Mu’minun, Ayah 12
which means: [The kind of human beings (humankind) has a parent material--which is the clay.]
The origin of this clay was the soil of this earth. Allah ordered one of the angels to gather a handful of all the different types of the earth’s soils: the black soil, the white soil, the red soil, and all the colors in between these colors; including the soft soil and the firm soil. This angel took a handful from all these different kinds of soil and brought them to Paradise. This soil was mixed with the water of Paradise and from this mixture, the shape of Adam was formed. This is why you find among the offspring of Adam--which includes all people--the white, the black, the red, the yellow, those who are easy, those who are difficult, and those who are in between.
For a period of time this shape remained as clay. Then Allah turned this clay into something dry and hard, like pottery. In Surat al-Hijr, Ayah 26, Allah, tabaraka wa ta^ala, said:
ولقد خلقنا الانسان من صلصال من حمإ مسنون
Surat al-Hijr, Ayah 26
which means: [Allah created Adam (the human being) from a clay that was poured and then dried taking the shape of Adam.]
Before Allah turned this clay to flesh, blood, and bones, and before Allah put Adam’s soul into his body, the devil (Iblis) came and examined this creation. Upon inspection, Iblis found this creation had internal cavities, and thus he knew that this creation would need to take things inside its body. Iblis knew this creation would not have the ability to go for long periods of time doing different matters without being in need of some things, like food, drink, rest, and the like. Iblis knew this creation was not like the angels, because angels do not have internal body cavities and need neither food nor drink nor rest. Allah gave them the strength to perform all what Allah ordered them to perform--without the need for eating, drinking, or resting to do so. The angels can bear things which the humans cannot bear. All this, Iblis knew. So Iblis, who was created from a pure flame of fire (which does not produce any smoke); Iblis, a jinn, and the ancestor of all the jinn, who was a believer at this period of time and living in Paradise with the angels worshipping Allah--talked to that shape of Adam. He said to Adam, "Allah created you for a matter which I cannot perceive."
After the soul of Adam joined his body, Allah bestowed on Adam the knowledge of the names of everything. Allah gave Adam that knowledge without a teacher, i.e., without Adam having to learn from someone to acquire that knowledge. Then Allah ordered the angels to prostrate to Adam out of respect for this special new creation (not out of worship). Iblis was living with the angels, so he, also, was ordered to prostrate to Adam. The angels prostrated to Adam because all the angels are obedient; they do not disobey Allah. Iblis, however, was arrogant. He objected to Allah. Iblis said, "I was created from fire, and he was only created from soil, so why should I prostrate to him? I will not." By his statement Iblis meant that Allah was not just in ordering him to prostrate to Adam. Thus, by objecting to Allah and His order, Iblis blasphemed. This was the first blasphemy Iblis committed.
When Adam’s soul joined with his body, he sneezed, then said, ‘al-hamdulillah." Thus, the first words Adam uttered were in praising and thanking Allah. Adam stayed in Paradise for a period of time. During that period Allah created Hawwa’ (Eve), Adam’s wife. She was tall, suitable for the height of Adam who was sixty cubits tall and seven cubits broad. Hawwa’ (Eve) was created from one of Adam’sribs. Ibnu ^Abbas said that Allah created Hawwa’ (Eve) from the shortest rib on Adam’s left side.
Adam and Hawwa’ (Eve) lived together in Paradise for a period of time. Allah permitted them to eat from all the fruits of Paradise, except the fruits of one particular tree. Allah enabled them to go from one place to another in the apparent locations of Paradise to eat from the fruits and to benefit from these locations. Adam and Hawwa’ (Eve) were not given permission to eat from that tree but Iblis whispered to them to eat from it. Then Hawwa’ (Eve) started encouraging Adam to eat from that tree. Eventually they both ate from it. Doing so was sinful, however it was a small sin and they both quickly repented. What they said is mentioned in Surat al-A^raf, Ayah 23:
قالا ربنا ظلمنا أنفسنا وإن لم تغفر لنا وترحمنا لنكونن من الخاسرين
Surat al-A^raf, Ayah 23
which means: [O Allah, we did injustice to ourselves. So if You do not forgive us and You do not have mercy on us, we would be losers.] They repented and Allah accepted their repentance.
After this incident, Adam, Hawwa’ (Eve), and Iblis were ordered to leave Paradise. Adam descended from Paradise into India, in a land called Sarandib (Syri Lanka, now-a-days). Hawwa’ (Eve) descended in a location different from Adam. Iblis, descended into an area in present-day Iraq, now a town named al-Ubullah (next to al-Basrah. Later, Adam and Hawwa’ (Eve) were reunited.
After Adam descended from Paradise, where he had lived for 130 years, he received the revelation of prophethood from Allah. Adam, the first man, became the first prophet and the first Messenger to whom Allah revealed. Prophet Adam and his wife had many children.
Hawwa’ (Eve) gave birth to forty sets of twins. Each womb held a son and a daughter. Their children married and had children, who married and had children, and so on until the humans were spread in the different areas. Adam is the ancestor of all the human beings--without any exception. The lineage of all humans goes back to Adam and Hawwa’ (Eve), even Gog and Magog (Ya’juj and Ma’juj).
Prophet Adam taught his children and their children about Islam. Adam lived for many years. He didn’t die until he saw 40,000 of his descendents--and all of them were Muslim. Prophet Adam and Hawwa’ (Eve) loved and worshipped Allah. They used to pray, fast, and go to Hajj (pilgrimage).). Prophet Adam taught his offspring about the attributes which befit Allah and the difference between the Creator and the creations. He taught good behavior, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and sincerity.
Allah bestowed many knowledges on Prophet Adam. Allah created in Adam the knowledge of the languages--without having to study them. He spoke eloquently and without having to use signs. Allah created in Adam the knowledge of the matters of earning a living--including how to plant wheat, how to make clothes, and how to make money from gold and silver. Allah created in Adam the knowledge of how to make instruments for planting, like the shovel and sickle, and the knowledge of how to plant seeds, vegetables, and fruits as well as how to harvest. Prophet Adam knew how to build and construct homes and houses and he used to make ceilings and doors for them.
Prophet Adam was the first to build the Ka^bah. During his time, the Aqsa Mosque was built in Palestine.
Beware of those who claim matters contrary to the truth of Islam. Adam was not the first creation, and all human beings originate from him. Moreover, Prophet Muhammad descended from Prophet Adam. Prophet Muhammad was not the first creation, as some people claim. Also, beware of those who claim the first creation is the light of our Prophet. This is also invalid. There is no sahih hadith from the Prophet claiming such. There is, however, a fabricated hadith that the Prophet addressed Jabir by saying: "The first creation is the light of your Prophet, O Jabir." The hafidh, Ahmad al-Ghumariyy, mentioned this hadith was fabricated in his book entitled, Al-Mughir ^Ala-l-Jami^ is-Saghir and the hafidh, as-Suyutiyy, said this hadith is not confirmed. He mentioned it in two (2) of his books: Al-Fatawa and The Explanation of at-Tirmidhiyy. What was confirmed from the Prophet was that the first creation was the original water, which exists now underneath the ^Arsh.
Beware of theories which say human beings descended from apes or that Adam was a primitive caveman. Adam was the first man and the first human to receive the Revelation of prophethood. He was the first messenger of Allah and he is the ancestor of every member of the humankind. He taught the first people how to live and how to worship Allah correctly. He was an honored and blessed creation of Allah. He was created from soil. In Surat al-Hajj Ayah 5, Allah said:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إن كُنتُمْ فى رَيْبٍ مّـِنَ الْبَعْثِ فَإنَّـا خَلَقْنَاكُم مّـِن تُرَابٍ
سورة الحج - آية 5
which means: [O you people, if you doubt about the matter of the Resurrection, then think about the matter that Adam was created from soil.] That is, should one have difficulty conceptualizing that a person can be resurrected--considering this matter is unlikely, a weak possibility, or one that does not occur--then remember that Allah created Adam from soil. Know that the One Who created Adam from soil has the Power to resurrect you after you turn back into soil.
This is the truth about Prophet Adam.