Allah created Adam from a handful of dust taken from different lands, so the children of Adam have been created according to the composition of the land. Therefore, from mankind we have white, red, black and yellow ones; we have good and evil, ease and sorrow, and what comes in between them.
So Allah shaped Adam into a human being, but he remained a figure of clay for forty years. The angels went past him. They were fearful by what they saw, and Iblis felt this fear most. He used to pass by the figure of Adam, pound it, which would make a sound like pottery. Allah told us: He created man (Adam) from sounding clay like the clay of pottery. Surah 55: 14
When the time drew near to breathe the spirit into Adam, as Allah the Almighty decreed, He commanded the angels: "When I breathe My spirit into him prostrate before him." Allah breathed His spirit into Adam and when it reached his head Adam sneezed. The angels said: "Say all praise belongs to Allah." Adam repeated: "All praise belongs to Allah." Allah said to him: "Your Lord has granted you mercy." When the spirit reached his eyes, Adam looked at the fruits of Paradise. When it reached his stomach Adam felt an appetite for food. He jumped quickly before the spirit could reach his legs, so that he could eat from the fruits of Paradise. Allah, therefore, said: Man is created of haste. Surah 21: 37
And then: The angels prostrated themselves, all of them together. Except Iblis - he refused to be among the prostrators. Surah 15: 31-32
Allah knew that Iblis was not going to obey Him in prostrating before Adam. Allah could have totally destroyed him or turned him into a handful of dust. Yet, Allah gives His creatures absolute freedom even to the extent that they can refuse Allah the Almighty's commands. He grants them the freedom of denial, disobedience, and even disagreement with Him.
Allah the Exalted said: And He taught Adam all the names (of everything). Surah 2: 31
Almighty Allah granted Adam the power to know the natures of all things and to summarize them by names: that is a bird, that is a star, that is a tree, that is a cloud, etc. Allah implanted in Adam an insatiable need for and love of knowledge and a desire to leave knowledge to his children. This was the reason for his creation and the secret in his glorification.
After Adam had learned the names of all things, along with their properties and uses, Allah presented them to the angels and said: "Tell Me the names of these if you are truthful." Surah 2:31 The angels admitted their inability: "Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Verily, it is You, The All-Knowing, The All-Wise. " Surah 2:32
Allah Almighty then turned to Adam: "0 Adam! inform them of their names," and when he had informed them of their names, He said: "Did I not tell you that I know the Ghaib (unseen) in the heavens and the earth, and I know what you reveal and what you have been concealing?" Surah 2:33
Allah wanted the angels to know that He knew of their astonishment when He had told them about the creation of Adam and that He also knew of their confusion which they had not revealed, as well as what Iblis had concealed of his disobedience and ingratitude.
The angels realized that Adam was the creature who knew what they did not know and that his ability to learn was his noblest quality. Adam knew the names of everything. Sometimes he talked to the angels, but they were preoccupied with worshiping Almighty Allah. Therefore, Adam felt lonely. One day he slept and when he awoke he saw a woman whom Allah had created from his ribs. So he asked her: "Who are you?" She replied: "A woman." He asked: "Why have you been created?" She replied: "So that you could find tranquillity in me.
The angels asked him her name. He replied: "Eve (Hawwa)." They asked: "Why did you call her Eve?" Adam said: "Because she was created of me, and I am a living being." (The root of the name Hawwa" means "living things.")
Adam and Eve were admitted to Paradise and there they lived the dream of all human beings. Allah permitted them to approach and enjoy everything except one tree, that might have been the Tree of Pain or the Tree of Knowledge. Allah forbade them before they were given abode in Paradise: "0 Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Paradise and eat both of you freely with pleasure and delight of things therein as wherever you will, but come not near this tree or you both will be of the Zalimeen (wrong-doers). " Surah 2: 35
Adam and Eve understood that they were forbidden to eat the fruit of that tree. Adam was, however, a human being, and man tends to forget. His heart changes and his will weakens. Iblis summoned all the envy within him and took advantage of Adam's humanity to exploit him. He started to whisper to him day after day, coaxing him: "Shall I guide you to the Tree of Immortality and the Eternal Kingdom?" And he said to them: "Your Lord did not forbid you this tree save you should become angels or become of the immortals." And he (Satan) swore by Allah to them both (saying): "Verily, I am one of the sincere well-wishers for you both." Surah 7: 20-21
Adam asked himself: "What will happen if I eat from this tree? It might truly be the Tree of Immortality." His dream was to live forever in the pure innocence of Paradise.
Years went by, and Adam and Eve were preoccupied with thoughts of that tree. Then, one day, they decided to eat of its fruit. They forgot that Allah had warned them not to approach it and that Iblis was their sworn enemy. Adam stretched out his hand, picked one of the fruits, and offered it to Eve. They both ate of the forbidden tree.
Allah Almighty told us: "So he Satan misled them with deception." Surah 7: 22 Allah also said: Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray. Surah 20: 121
Adam had hardly finished eating when he felt his heart tighten, and he was filled with pain, sadness, and shame. The surrounding atmosphere had changed and the internal music had stopped. He discovered that he and his wife were naked, so they both started cutting tree leaves with which to cover themselves.
Allah the Almighty addressed him: "Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you: Verily, Satan is an open enemy unto you?" They said: "Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers." (Allah) said: "Get down, one of you an enemy to the other (i.e., Adam, Eve, and Satan, etc.). On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment, - for a time." He said: "Therein you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out (i.e. resurrected)." Surah 7: 22-25
They left Paradise and descended upon the earth. Adam was sad and Eve was crying. Allah accepted their repentance because it was sincere, and He told them that the earth would be their realm and origin where they would live and die and whence they would come on the Day of Judgment.
Adam knew he bade farewell to peace when he left Paradise. On earth he had to face conflict and struggle. No sooner had one ended than another began. He also had to work to sustain himself. He had to protect himself with clothes and weapons and protect his wife and children from the wild beasts.
Above all, he had to struggle with the spirit of evil. Satan, the cause of his removal from Paradise, continued to entice him and his children in an effort to have them thrown into the eternal hellfire. The battle between good and evil is continuous, but those who follow Allah's guidance should fear nothing, while those who disobey Allah and follow Iblis will be damned along with him.
The highest point of earthly bliss was reached when Adam and Eve witnessed the birth of their first children, a set of twins. Adam was a devoted father and Eve a contented mother. The twins were Cain (Qabil) and his sister. Later Eve gave birth to a second set of twins, Abel (Habil) and his sister. The family enjoyed the bounties and fruits of the earth provided by their Lord. The children grew up to be strong and healthy young adults. Cain tilled the land, while Abel raised cattle.
The time arrived when the two young men desired life partners. This was part of Allah's plan for mankind, to multiply and form nations with different cultures and colors. Allah revealed to Adam that he should marry each son to the twin sister of the other. Adam instructed his children according to Allah's command, but Cain was displeased with the partner chosen for him, for Abel's twin-sister was not as beautiful as his own.
Adam was in a dilemma. He wanted peace and harmony in his family, so he invoked Allah for help. Allah commanded that each son offer a sacrifice, and he whose offering was accepted would have right on his side. Abel offered his best camel, while Cain offered his worst grain. His sacrifice was not accepted by Allah because of his disobedience to his father and the insincerity in his offering.
This enraged Cain even further. Realizing that his hopes of marrying his own beautiful sister were fading, he threatened his brother: "I will kill you! I refuse to see you happy while I remain unhappy!"
Abel, feeling sorry for his brother, replied: "It would be more proper for you, my brother, to search for the cause of your unhappiness and then walk in the way of peace. Allah accepts deeds only from those who serve and fear Him, not from those who reject His commands."
Abel was intelligent, obedient, and always ready to obey the will of Allah. This contrasted sharply with his brother, who was arrogant, selfish and disobedient to his Lord. Abel did not fear his brother's threats, but neither did he want his brother to be hurt. Allah had blessed Abel with purity and compassion. Hoping to dispel the hatred seething in his brother, Abel said: "My brother, you are deviating from the right path and are sinful in your decisions. It is better that you repent to Allah and forget about your foolish threat. But if you do not, then I will leave the matter in the hands of Allah. You alone will bear the consequence of your sin, for the Fire is the reward of the wrong-doers."
This brotherly plea did nothing to lessen the hatred in Cain's heart, nor did he show fear of Allah's punishment. Cain struck his brother with a stone, killing him instantly. This was the first death and the first criminal act committed by man on earth.
When Abel had not appeared for some time, Adam began to search for him but found no trace of his beloved son. He asked Cain about Abel's whereabouts. Cain rudely replied that he was not his brother's keeper nor his protector. From these words his father understood that Abel was dead and Adam was filled with grief.
Meanwhile, Cain did not know what to do with his brother's corpse. He carried it on his back wandering from place to place, trying to hide it. His anger had now subsided, and his conscience was saddled with guilt. He was tiring under the burden of the corpse which had started to have a stench. As a mercy, and to show that dignity could be retained even in death, Allah sent two ravens that began fighting, causing the death of one. The victorious bird used its beak and claws to dig a hole in the ground, rolled its victim into it and covered it with sand.
Witnessing this, Cain was overcome with shame and remorse. "Woe unto me!" he exclaimed. "I was unable to do what this raven has done, that is to hide my brother's corpse." Cain then buried his brother. This was also the first burial of man.
Adam was utterly grief-stricken by the loss of his two sons: one was dead, the other was won over by the devil. Adam prayed for his son and turned to everyday matters, for he had to work for his sustenance. At the same time, he was a prophet, advising his children and grandchildren, telling them about Allah, and calling them to believe in Him. He told them about Iblis and warned them by recounting his own experience with the devil and of how the devil had tempted Cain to kill his brother.
Years and years passed, Adam grew old, and his children spread all over the earth. Muhammad Ibn Ishaq related: that when Adam's death drew near, he appointed his son Seth (Shiith) to be his successor, and taught him the hours of the day and night along with their appropriate acts of worship.
Before his death Adam reassured his children that Allah would not leave man alone on the earth, but would send His prophets to guide them. The prophets would have different names, traits and miracles, but they would be united in one thing: the call to worship Allah alone.
This was Adam's legacy to his children. Adam finished speaking and closed his eyes. Then the angels entered his room and surrounded him. When he recognized the Angel of Death among them, his heart smiled peacefully.