Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى created this universe in six days. This is narrated in the Quran in different surahs. 54th verse of surah Al Araaf explains it.
Indeed your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, then established Himself on the Throne. He makes the day and night overlap in rapid succession. He created the sun, the moon, and the stars—all subjected by His command. The creation and the command belong to Him ˹alone˺. Blessed is Allah—Lord of all worlds!
This event is mentioned in six other Surahs in the Quran in different contexts. All these verses explain how Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى created the world in six periods or days. The other three verses also explain three different phases of the creation of this world, which took six days to complete. These are the 9th, 10th and 12th verses of Surah Al Fussilat.
Once the universe was created, including the heavens (Paradise) and Earth and everything in between them, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى created Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ from clay or mud. The name Adam comes from the Hebrew word “Adim,” which can be translated to the English word “skin of Earth.”
Creation of Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ
Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى created Adam with soil collected from the earth. Some interpreters believe that the mud used for creation of Adam was collected by the angel of death, per the command of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. from the skin of the earth, from different places. That made it possible to give different skin colors and complexion to the mankind, which are all the children of Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ. Verses 71 and 72 to Surah Sad, narrates how Allah created Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ from clay or mud.
Remember, O Prophet˺ when your Lord said to the angels, “I am going to create a human being from clay.
So, when I have fashioned him and had a spirit of My Own ˹creation˺ breathed into him, fall down in prostration to him.
According to a Hadith quoted in Sahih Al Bukhari in Book 79, Hadith Number 6227, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى created Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ, who was 30 meters (60 cubit) tall.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah created Adam in His picture, sixty cubits (about 30 meters) in height. When He created him, He said (to him), “Go and greet that group of angels sitting there, and listen what they will say in reply to you, for that will be your greeting and the greeting of your offspring.” Adam (went and) said, ‘As-Salamu alaikum (Peace be upon you).’ They replied, ‘AsSalamu-‘Alaika wa Rahmatullah (Peace and Allah’s Mercy be on you) So they increased ‘Wa Rahmatullah’ The Prophet (ﷺ) added ‘So whoever will enter Paradise, will be of the shape and picture of Adam Since then the creation of Adam’s (offspring) (i.e. stature of human beings is being diminished continuously) to the present time.”
So, this Hadith also tells that the Islamic way of meet and greet was established when Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ met the angels and said “As-slamu Alaikum” which was responded as “As-Salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah.” Since then, this has been the pattern of meet and greet for Muslims.
Angels Prostrate Before Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ
When Adam was created, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى informed the Angels that he would be my representative on Earth for generations to come. One tradition says that after shaping Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ with mud and clay, he was placed at a particular place in paradise and he stayed there for 40 years before Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى breathe His spirit in him.
Angels expressed their reservations about it with the plea that he would cause bloodshed on Earth. But Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى said, I know better. Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, then ordered the angles to prostrate before Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ. So, all the angels obeyed the orders. But one of them, now known as Iblis (Satan) did not do so, saying that Adam is made from mud whereas I am created with fire. The 30th verse of Surah Al Baqarah explains this.
˹Remember˺ when your Lord said to the angels, “I am going to place a successive ˹human˺ authority on earth.” They asked ˹Allah˺, “Will You place in it someone who will spread corruption there and shed blood while we glorify Your praises and proclaim Your holiness?” Allah responded, “I know what you do not know.”
Then Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى taught all the names of everything in the universe to Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and asked the angels if they know these names. They were ignorant of these names but Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ told the names with the will of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. So, the angels were convinced and all of them, except Iblis prostrated before Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ. Verses 31 to 34 of Surah Al Baqara narrate as under:
He taught Adam the names of all things, then He presented them to the angels and said, “Tell Me the names of these, if what you say is true?
They replied, “Glory be to You! We have no knowledge except what You have taught us. You are truly the All-Knowing, All-Wise.”
Allah said, “O Adam! Inform them of their names.” Then when Adam did, Allah said, “Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of the heavens and the earth, and I know what you reveal and what you conceal?”
And ˹remember˺ when We said to the angels, “Prostrate before Adam,”1 so they all did—but not Iblîs, who refused and acted arrogantly, becoming unfaithful
According to the interpreters, Iblis was in fact not an angel. His name is believed to be Azazil and he was a Jinn but was ranked amongst the angels due to a higher level of worship. But when he disobeyed, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى ranked him as disbeliever and disobedient. In fact, Iblis turned out to be the symbol of evil. At this stage, Iblis requested to give him time till the Day of Judgment to prove his narrative, which was granted to him by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. This whole conversation is reflected in verse number 34 to 38 of Surah Al Hijr.
Allah commanded, “Then get out of Paradise, for you are truly cursed
And surely upon you is condemnation until the Day of Judgment.
Satan appealed, “My Lord! Then delay my end until the Day of their resurrection.
Allah said, “You will be delayed
until the appointed Day.
So, Iblis decided to misguide mankind, which he attempted straight away with Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ.
Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ Sent to Earth
Immediately after the creation of Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ, his wife Hawwa (Eve) was also created to accompany him. His wife’s name is not mentioned in the Quran but is believed to be Hawwa or Eve by most Islamic scholars.
Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى allowed both Adam and his wife to live in Paradise freely and eat and drink whatever they wanted. But they were restricted not to go near a particular tree. But Iblis somehow got them near that prohibited tree. Satan made them eat the fruit of that tree. Hence Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى got angered and commanded them to get out of paradise and sent them to earth. Verses 35 and 36 of Surah Al Baqarah explain this event:
We cautioned, “O Adam! Live with your wife in Paradise and eat as freely as you please, but do not approach this tree, or else you will be wrongdoers.
But Satan deceived them—leading to their fall from the ˹blissful˺ state they were in, and We said, “Descend from the heavens ˹to the earth˺ as enemies to each other. You will find in the earth a residence and provision for your appointed stay.
It is further explained in the 22nd Verse of Surah Al Araaf:
So, he brought about their fall through deception. And when they tasted of the tree, their nakedness was exposed to them, prompting them to cover themselves with leaves from Paradise. Then their Lord called out to them, “Did I not forbid you from that tree and ˹did I not˺ tell you that Satan is your sworn enemy?
So, by the command of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى Adam and his wife were sent to Earth from the heavens. Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ felt sorrow and appealed to Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى to pardon him, which was graciously granted by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى but he was descended to Earth along with his wife Hawwa.
Hadith About a Dialogue Between Prophet Musa عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Adam and Moses argued with each other. Moses said to Adam. ‘O Adam! You are our father who disappointed us and turned us out of Paradise.’ Then Adam said to him, ‘O Moses! Allah favored you with His talk (talked to you directly) and He wrote (the Torah) for you with His Own Hand. Do you blame me for action which Allah had written in my fate forty years before my creation?’ So, Adam confuted Moses, Adam confuted Moses,” the Prophet (ﷺ) added, repeating the Statement three times.
First Human, First Prophet and First Messenger
Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was the first human created by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. Scholars are of the view that the spirit of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was the first thing that was created Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. However, the first human being created by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى happens to be Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ.
Immediately on his descend to Earth, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى granted Prophet-hood to Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ through angels. So, he became the first Prophet as well. At the same time, he happens to be the first Messenger of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى.
Life and Challenges – Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and Hawwa on Earth
After their fall from the heavens, life on Earth was not so easy for both Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and his wife. To facilitate them, angels were sent down who taught Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ so many things such as sowing and harvesting different plants. He had to do a lot of hard work to live on Earth. But with the will of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, he learned how to get the necessities of life on Earth, such as food and shelter. With the passage of time, he got himself established on Earth, with a firm belief in Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى.
But the biggest challenge for him was the continuous interference by Iblis. Iblis followed him everywhere and tried to misguide him. However, he came out of all these difficulties and challenges successfully, with unshaken trust in his creator and ensured to follow the straight path.
Birth of Children of Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and Hawwa
By the will of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, the wife of Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ gave birth to their first children, twins, one being male and the other, female. While the female’s name is unknown, her brother’s name is mentioned as Qabil (Cain). Thereafter Allah gave them another twins, one male and one female. The male’s name is Habil (Abel), whereas the name of this sister is again not mentioned in the Quran.
This became the set pattern for so many births to come in the life of Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and Hawwa. The pattern of birth of one male and one female in a set of twins was not without purpose. It proved instrumental in the growth of the population on Earth.
Marriages of Children of Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and Hawwa
All the first four children grew up strong and healthy. Qabil used to sow and harvest different crops and plants. Habil was engaged in rearing cattle. By nature, Habil was obedient and humble, whereas Qabil was disobedient and rude. When they all grew up, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى revealed upon Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ that he should marry his sons with the sisters of other twins. So, Habil was to marry the twin of Qabil and Qabil was to marry the twin of Habil.
The disobedient nature of Qabil prevailed here and he refused to marry the twin of Habil, as he thought she was not as charming as his own twin was.
Dispute Between Habil and Qabil
While Qabil had a sort of jealousy with Habil, it kept on worsening with the passage of time. Meanwhile, the incident of marriage further aggravated the situation. For Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ this situation was quite uncomfortable. So, he sought help from Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى.
Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى commanded Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ to ask both of them to offer sacrifice, so the man whose sacrifice is accepted will be on the right side. Habil offered one of his best cattle for sacrifice. But Qabil offered the worst of his grains for sacrifice. Hence the offer of Qabil was rejected.
This resulted in more anger and disobedience in Qabil and he eventually threatened to kill Habil. Verses 27 to 29 of Surah Al Maida explain this event
Relate to them in truth ˹O Prophet˺ the story of Adam’s two sons—how each offered a sacrifice: one’s offering was accepted while the other’s was not, so he threatened ˹his brother˺, “I will kill you!” His brother replied, “Allah only accepts ˹the offering˺ of the sincerely devout
If you raise your hand to kill me, I will not raise mine to kill you, because I fear Allah—the Lord of all worlds
I want to let you bear your sin against me along with your other sins, then you will be one of those destined to the Fire. And that is the reward of the wrongdoers
Qabil Kills Habil
Despite all the efforts of Habil, he could not cool down the anger of Qabil. Neither the family bonds nor the fear of Allah could not stop him and eventually, he threw a stone at Habil. Habil died on the spot.
When Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ didn’t see his beloved son Habil for quite some time, he enquired from Qabil. Being a disobedient and rude person, he replied, I am not his keeper or protector. So, Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ got the sense that Habil is no more.
So, this happens to be the first death and first murder by a human being on this earth.
Qabil Buries Habil
Once Qabil murdered Habil, he started worrying about how to hide the corpse. By then, he also got cooled down and felt sorrow for his act. At this stage, Allah sent two ravens to show mankind how the corpse should be buried with due dignity. The ravens started fighting with each other and eventually, one of them was killed.
The survivor dug a hole in the Earth with his claws and beak and rolled the killed bird in it. Then he replaced the earth material to hide the corpse completely. This way Allah taught mankind how to give dignity to the corpse by burying it properly.
Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ Continues His Role as Prophet
Obviously, Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was much grieved by the death of his beloved son. At the same time, he was also grieved about his other son, the murderer, as he was surely distracted by Iblis.
Despite that, he continued his role as a Prophet. He continued to teach his children and grandchildren how to obey the orders of their creator Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى. The growth of mankind continued in the same pattern for quite a while, by marrying the males with females of other twins. And Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ, being a Prophet continued to preach all of them.
Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ Appoints His Successor
With the passage of time, the children and grandchildren of Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ grew in numbers and spread all around the earth. It is believed that Adam lived for almost 960 years. When he grew old, he decided to appoint his successor, sensing that the time of his death was approaching.
So, he appointed one of his sons, named Siith (Seth). Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ taught everything to his successor, Siith. He taught him the hours of the prayers and gave him knowledge about day and night and when to worship. He also told his successor about the upcoming flood.
Death of Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ
When the Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ sensed that the time had come to go back to his creator, he gathered his children and asked that I want to eat the fruits of paradise. The children went out in search of such fruits.
On their way, they met angels who were carrying the material that would be required for the burial of a dead human. Angels told them that their father was about to die, so they need to go home instantly. They rushed to their home and eventually, Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ breathed his last.
The angels taught the children how to prepare the corpse for proper burial. They dug the grave of Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and laid him down there. Then the angels told the children of Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ that this would be the pattern for the burial of all your dead persons.
Last Words of Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ For His Children
When the time of his death came nearer, Prophet Adam عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ told his children and grandchildren that Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى would never leave you alone on this Earth. He will be sending His Prophets and Messengers to you. They will come with different names and in different places to guide mankind to the right path. They will have their miracles and teachings but your religion will remain the same, as Islam.
Once he completed his last speech and closed his eyes, the angel of death appeared with other angels. So, the first human, first Prophet and first Messenger successfully and peacefully ended his time on this earth.
So, the journey from heavens to Earth and then back to the heavens after his death was completed successfully but leaving behind a lesson of continued efforts and full trust in Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى.