After Adam sinned…
Muslims believe that Adam and Eve sinned against God, but that they later repented and were forgiven. Everything became normal, they say, as before and God’s plan for Adam and Eve carried on as before.
My friend, if it had been so, was it worth punishing them at all? Why did they remain mortal? All Muslims are unanimous that after they sinned, Adam and Eve were driven from the garden. If they have sinned and everything became as if nothing had happened, why did they not go back to live in the garden? Neither of them, nor any other subsequent member of the human race, was allowed to find their way back into the garden.
I would like to ask you the following question: “Why were you and I not born in paradise? Why will we die? I invite you to read the answer given by the Holy Scriptures to these questions.
Adam – The Federal Head of Humanity!
The Holy Scriptures teach us that when God created the universe, he appointed a man to represent us in the Garden of Eden (جنة عدن). In Hebrew, Adam means: Man. Adam was God’s perfect choice for you and me. Just as a federal government has a spokesperson to speak on its behalf, so Adam was the Head or the Federal Representative of Mankind before God. Remember, we are all descended from that one man, and in that sense we were all in him.
We have the same situation in society. If the Prime Minister, President or other leader of a country declares that we are at war, he isn’t saying, “I am at war with such-and-such a country.” His declaration means we are as a country, each and every one of us who are citizens of that country, are at war.” He has acted for us all. We may not have approved of it, but it is a fact. The Head of State acts as the Federal Head for all the individuals who are citizens. It is irrelevant whether they are in the country or in another country. This is what happened when British citizens were in other countries, like Germany or Japan, during the Second World War. They were interned as prisoners of war! They were not in the armed forces, but because the British Prime Minister declared that a state of war existed between Britain and Germany, every citizen at home or abroad was counted to be at war. This is illustrative of our situation in Adam. He rebels, and we are accounted as rebels in him and because of his one act.
My communion with God therefore depends on that of my representative before God. So when Adam sinned, the whole race was affected, we were all in him, we all disobeyed with him!
Sin (like a poison) spread through the world and the whole human race succumbed to it. As each child was conceived they inherited the same nature as Adam had after he rebelled.
Think of it as in a domino effect. Align all the blocks in a domino. As soon as the first falls, what happens to the rest? They will also fall. In the same way, when the first man fell, all the rest of the human race fell with him. The fall of Adam was also ours. This is what Christians mean when they speak of “us inheriting original sin” which extends to the whole human race. When God condemned Adam by taking away his original righteousness and allowing him to die, we were similarly condemned with him – we also died with him. The curse of the fall extends to all.
A Hadith that speaks of the concept of original sin inherited from Adam
The doctrine of original sin extends to all men is present in one explicit Hadith where Adam is held responsible for causing the expulsion of the human race from paradise. It simply repeats what the Bible had said consistently since Adam’s fall, recorded by the prophet Moses over 2000 years earlier in the Torah, Genesis chapter 3 Here is the Hadith:
“The Prophet of Allah (Mohammed) said: ‘Adam and Moses have quarrelled with one another. Moses said to Adam, The Prophet 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 favoured 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 added, repeating the Statement three times.
(Bukhari, Hadith 77, 611)
This shows very clearly that the Hadith has no problem with the idea that the human race shares in some way the expulsion of Adam from paradise.
Is it right ?
What have we seen so far? The consequence of Adam’s sin was death. Every good thinker must come to the same conclusion. Looking at the descendants of Adam, (ourselves included), we see that all suffer from the same judgment and condemnation: death.
However, two alternatives are before us:
Either, Adam represented his descendants and as such, taking part in his punishment is normal and just.
– or –
Adam did not represent his descendants and in this case, inflicting such punishment on his descendants who did not participate in his downfall would be the worst evil and unjust – and God himself would be unjust.
Basically, the argument could be that since I have nothing to do with Adam’s sin, why do I have to suffer the consequences? Why was I not born in heaven? Since I was born perfect (as the Muslims believe, despite the Hadith quoted above), then there is no reason whatever why God should not have created me in paradise (as he did with Adam) and from there to see if I would also disobey as Adam and Eve did.
But God did not do that, he did not allow me to be born in such a perfect place, and experience of human nature in children from their first days is that they have a selfish and sinful nature!
Following what happened in the Garden of Eden, is it not evident that we are all born separated from God by an insurmountable abyss? We all inherit the sin and the sinful nature of Adam. This explains why we are all born out of paradise. The Prophet David says us, “Behold, I was born in iniquity, and my mother conceived me in sin” (The Bible, Psalm 51: 5). At my conception I am designated a sinner by nature and Adam’s sin is credited to me.
This is such a sad truth which we witness daily! Think of children. One of the first words stammered by a child is to say “No!” We are all aware that their disobedience does not depend on their age. Who teaches them to be wicked? Do you think they need a course on disobedience? Of course not! Parents try to teach them good manners, but no one needs to teach them to be self-centred. It is inherent in their nature because it is inherited with their nature. They are therefore born predisposed to evil. The words of the Prophet David are more than true: we are born in sin, and our mothers have conceived us in iniquity!
God is holy and we are sinners, completely separated from Him. One of the former prophets wrote in Isaiah 59:2-15:
Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness. No one enters suit justly; no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity. They hatch adders’ eggs; they weave the spider’s web; he who eats their eggs dies, and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched. Their webs will not serve as clothing; men will not cover themselves with what they make. Their works are works of iniquity, and deeds of violence are in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they are swift to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their highways. The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace.
Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We grope for the wall like the blind; we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among those in full vigour we are like dead men. We all growl like bears; we moan and moan like doves; we hope for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: transgressing, and denying the LORD, and turning back from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words. Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.
This section of the prophet’s message concludes that, when it comes to our sinfulness, there are no exceptions, there are no excuses and there are no escape routes—except one, which is explained in the verses which follow and you can read and listen to here.
We can conclude, therefore, that we are all under the same penalty as Adam, because like him, we are disobedient and fallen! It is true that whenever you are selfish, proud, tell a lie, hate, lust, lack self-control or commit any other sin, it is as if you are saying to Satan, “Thank you for tempting Adam.” It is as if you are saying to Adam, “Thank you for sinning and rebelling. If you hadn’t done it, I couldn’t enjoy this sinful thought, word or deed.” I know, it isn’t pleasant when others sin against you, but when you choose to sin, you are siding with Satan and Adam, and are expressing by those attitudes and actions that you are glad he sinned.
What is the solution?
People want their own solution, but we must always and only stick to that provided by God. Enough of this bad news for man! Let’s move on to good news! What did God do when Adam and Eve disobeyed? Did he destroy them? He could have done it. Man has come up with one solution that permeates all false religions. He says, “If you want to find paradise, do more good works (حسنات) and less evil (سيآت)”
No and no! The solution to their disobedience was not for God to tell Adam and Eve to try again, to try harder, to make amends by some great act of selflessness. Good works can never cover our sins. Imagine the thief who steals £1000 one day, but gives £500 of it to a beggar the next day. Does his almsgiving make up for the theft?
What was the remedy of God and its consequences? The death ! We read in the Torah that following the sin of Adam and Eve, God made a promise: “The Lord God said to the serpent,” Because you have done this, you will be cursed among all the cattle and all the animals of the field. You shall walk upon your stomach, and eat dust all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed: he shall crush your head, and you shall bruise his heel. “(The Bible, Torah, Genesis 3: 14-15).
Let us praise God That we have here exposed not only his holiness, but also his mercy. God’s words to Satan were called “the first gospel” (the first good news). What does God promise? He promises a redeemer or a liberator – the posterity of the woman.
This refers to the virgin birth of Christ. Notice that there is no question of the descendent of Adam and Eve, but only the seed of the woman. In other words, it is as if God said to them: “I am the holy God who does not tolerate sin. I have declared that the wages of sin are death. There is no question of ignoring it, the sinner must pay and there is only one remedy for sin and death, and this is only possible by what a person is going to accomplish in the future. This person will not be born of a human father, he will only be born of a virgin.
Who in the history of this world is born of a woman without the intervention of a man? Who in the history of the human race has never had a human father? Yes, you have the right answer, Jesus Christ alone! He was born by the power of the Holy Spirit in the bosom of Mary. It is the fulfillment of the prophecy referred to in Genesis 3:15.
But there is one vital additional matter. The Injil refers to him as the Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45) He is another Federal Head. He is the representative for His race. He acts for His people just as Adam acted for all his descendants. This is why He could go to the Cross and bear our punishment under the wrath of a holy God. Adam’s disobedience is credited to all those who were in him, that is, the whole human race. Jesus’ obedience, both in His holy life and in his dying under the penalty of sin, as if He had been a sinner is credited to all His people.
You see, God deals with all of us through our representative. In Adam we all sin, and we all die. Those who accept Christ are said to be in Christ. His perfect life, sacrificial death and present glorious life in heaven are theirs. God hasn’t been unjust or evil in the way he has dealt with us. By faith, you too may obtain the salvation Jesus purchased at the Cross.
You remember reading part of Isaiah 59 earlier. it goes on, after describing the horror and helplessness of sinful man by saying this:
He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. (Isaiah 59:16)
God sees the sad and weak condition of mankind and comes Himself to be the Saviour. That is the greatest news any of us could ever hear.