Routine Household Tasks


Aisha, the wife of Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) said:

"Allah's Messenger (s.a.a.w.) used to patch his sandals, sew his garment and conduct himself at home as anyone of you does in his house. He was a human being, searching his garment for lice, milking his sheep, and doing his own chores." (Narrated by al-Tirmathi).

She also said:

"He would patch his garments and sole his sandals" She was once asked: "How was he with his family?", she responded: "He was in the service of his family until it was time for prayer, at which time he would go and pray."

Parents by Imam Bukhari

Al-Adab al-Mufrad Al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

I. Parents

1. Honouring Parents: The Words of Allah Almighty: "We have instructed man to honour his parents." (29:8)

1. Abu 'Amr ash-Shaybani said, "The owner of this house (and he pointed at the house of 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud) said, "I asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, which action Allah loves best. He replied, 'Prayer at its proper time.' 'Then what?' I asked. He said, 'Then kindness to parents." I asked, 'Then what?' He replied, 'Then jihad in the Way of Allah.'" He added, "He told me about these things. If I had asked him to tell me more, he would have told me more."

2. 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar said, "The pleasure of the Lord lies in the pleasure of the parent. The anger of the Lord lies in the anger of the parent."

2. Dutifulness to One's Mother

3. Bahz ibn Hakim's grandfather said, "I asked, 'Messenger of Allah, to whom should I be dutiful?' 'Your mother,' he replied. I asked, 'Then whom?' 'Your mother,' he replied. I asked, 'Then whom?' 'Your mother,' he replied. I asked, 'Then whom?' 'Your mother,' he replied. I asked, 'Then to whom should I be dutiful?' 'Your father,' he replied, 'and then the next closest relative and then the next.'"

4. 'Ata' ibn Yasar said that a man came to Ibn 'Abbas and said, "I asked a woman to marry me and she refused to marry me. Another man asked her and she agreed to marry him. I became jealous and killed her. Is there any way for me to repent?" He asked, "Is your mother alive?" "No," he replied. He said, "repent to Allah Almighty and try to draw near Him as much as you can."

'Ata' said, "I went to Ibn 'Abbas and asked him, 'Why did you ask him whether his mother was alive?' He replied, 'I do not know of any action better for bringing a person near to Allah than dutifulness to his mother.'"

3. Dutifulness to One's Father

5. Abu Hurayra said, "The Prophet was asked, 'Messenger of Allah, to whom should I be dutiful?' 'Your mother,' he replied. He was asked, 'Then whom?' 'Your mother,' he replied. He was asked, 'Then whom?' 'Your mother,' he replied. He was asked, 'Then whom?' 'Your mother,' he replied. He was asked, 'Then whom?' He replied, 'Your father.'"

6. Abu Hurayra reported: "A man came to the Prophet of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and asked, 'What do you command me to do?' He replied, 'Be dutiful towards your mother.' Then he asked him the same question again and he replied, 'Be dutiful towards your mother.' He repeated it yet again and the Prophet replied, 'Be dutiful towards your mother.' He repeated the question a fourth time and the reply was, 'Be dutiful towards your mother.' Then he put the question a fifth time and the Prophet said, 'Be dutiful towards your father.'"

4. Dutifulness to Parents, even if they are unjust

7. Ibn 'Abbas said, "If any Muslim obeys Allah regarding his parents, Allah will open two gates of the Garden for him. If there is only one parent, then one gate will be opened. If one of them is angry, then Allah will not be pleased with him until that parent is pleased with him." He was asked, "Even if they wrong him?" "Even if they wrong him" he replied.

5. Gentle words to Parents

8. Taysala ibn Mayyas said, "I was with the Najadites [Kharijites] when I committed wrong actions which I supposed were major wrong actions. I mentioned that to Ibn 'Umar. He inquired, 'What are they?" I replied, 'Such-and-such.' He stated, 'These are not major wrong actions. There are nine major wrong actions. They are: associating others with Allah, killing someone, desertion from the army when it is advancing, slandering a chaste woman, usury, consuming an orphan's property, heresy in the mosque, scoffing, and causing one's parents to weep through disobedience.' Ibn 'Umar then said to me, 'Do you wish to separate yourself from the Fire?  'By Allah, yes!' I replied. He asked, 'Are your parents still alive?' I replied, 'My mother is.' He said, 'By Allah, if you speak gently to her and feed her, then you will enter the Garden as long as you avoid the major wrong actions.'"

9. Hisham ibn 'Urwa related this ayat from his father, "Take them under your wing, out of mercy, with due humility." (17:24)

6. Repaying Parents

10. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "A child cannot repay his father unless he finds him as a slave and the buys him and sets him free."

11. Sa'id ibn Abi Burda said, "I heard my father sat that Ibn 'Umar saw a Yamani man going around the House while carrying his mother on his back, saying, 'I am your humble camel. If her mount is frightened, I am not frightened.' Then he asked, 'Ibn 'Umar? Do you think that I have repaid her?' He replied, 'No, not even for a single groan.'

"Ibn 'Umar did tawaf and came to the Maqam and prayed two rak'ats. He said, 'Ibn Abi Musa, every two rak'ats make up for everything that has happened between them.'"

12. Marwan used to make Abu Hurayra his agent and he used to be located in Dhu'l-Hulayfa. His mother was in one house and he was in another. When he wanted to go out, he would stop at her door and say, "Peace be upon you, mother, and the mercy of Allah and His blessing." She would reply, "And peace be upon you, my son, and the mercy of Allah and His blessing." Then he said, "May Allah have mercy on you as you raised me when I was a child." She answered, "May Allah have mercy on you as you were dutiful to me when I was old." Whenever he wanted to go inside, he would do something similar.

13. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and made a pledge to him that he would do hijra. He left his parents who were in tears. The Prophet said, 'Go back to them and make them laugh as you made them weep.'"

14. Abu Hazim reported that Abu Murra, the mawla of Umm Hani' bint Abi Talib had told him that he rode with Abu Hurayra to his land in al-'Aqiq. When he entered his land, he shouted out in his loudest voice, "Peace be upon you, mother, and the mercy of Allah and His blessing!" She replied, "And peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah and His blessing." He said, "May Allah have mercy on you as you raised me when I was a child." She replied, "My son, may Allah repay you well and be pleased with you as you were dutiful towards me when I was old."

7. Disobedience to Parents

15. Abu Bakra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Shall I tell you which is the worst of the major wrong actions?" "Yes, Messenger of Allah," they replied. He said, "Associating something else with Allah and disobeying parents." he had been reclining, but then he said up and said, "And false witness." Abu Bakr said, "He continued to repeat it until I said, 'Is he never going to stop?'"

16. Warrad, the scribe of al-Mughira ibn Shu'ba, said, "Mu'awiya wrote to al-Mughira, saying, 'Write down for me what you heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say.'" Warrad said, "He dictated to me and I wrote out, 'I heard him forbid asking too many questions, wasting money and chit-chat.'"

8. "Allah curses whoever curses his parents"

17. Abu't-Tufayl said, "'Ali was asked, 'Did the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, give you something special which he did not give to anyone else?' He replied, 'The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not give me anything special which he did not give to everyone else except for what I have in my sword scabbard.' He brought out a piece of paper. Written on that paper was: 'Allah curses anyone who sacrifices an animal to something other than Allah. Allah curses anyone who steals a milestone. Allah curses anyone who curses his parents. Allah curses anyone who gives shelter to an innovator.'"

9. Being Dutiful to Parents as long as that does not entail disobedience to Allah

18. Abu'd-Darda' said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, recommended nine things to me: 'Do not associate anything with Allah, even if you are cut to pieces or burned. Do not abandon a prescribed prayer deliberately. Anyone who abandons it will forfeit Allah's protection. Do not drink wine - it is the key to every evil. Obey your parents. If they command you to abandon your worldly possessions, then leave them for them. Do not contend with those in power, even if you think that you are in the right. Do not run away from the army when it is advances, even if you are killed while your companions run away. Spend on your wife out of your means. Do not raise a stick against your wife. Cause your family to fear Allah, the Almighty and Exalted.'"

19. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'I have come to make you a pledge that will do hijra although I have left my parents in tears." The Prophet said, 'Go back to them and make them laugh as you made them cry.'"

20. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "A man came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, wanting to do jihad. The Prophet asked, 'Are your parents alive?' 'Yes,' he replied. he said, 'Then exert yourself on their behalf.'"

10. The One who Fails his Parents will not enter the Garden

21. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Disgrace! Disgrace! Disgrace!" They said, "Messenger of Allah, who?" He said, "The one who fails his parents or one of them when they are old will enter the Fire."

11. Allah prolongs the life of someone who is dutiful towards his parents

22. Mu'adh said, "Bliss belongs to someone who is dutiful towards his parents. Allah Almighty will prolong his life."

12. One does not ask forgiveness for his father if he is an idolater

23. Ibn 'Abbas mentioned the words of the Almighty, "When one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say 'Ugh!' to them out of irritation and do not be harsh with them but speak to them with gentleness and generosity. Take them under your wing, out of mercy, with due humility and say: 'Lord, show mercy to them as they did in looking after me when I was small." (17:23-24) He said, "This was abrogated in Surat at-Tawba: 'It is not right for the Prophet and those who have iman to ask forgiveness for the mushrikun even if they are close relatives after it has become clear to them that they are the Companions of the Blazing Fire.' (9:113)"

13. Dutifulness towards a parent who is an idolater

24. Sa'id ibn Abi Waqqas said: "Four ayats were revealed about me. The first was when my mother swore she would neither eat nor drink until I left Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Allah Almighty revealed, 'But if they try to make you associate something with Me about which you have no knowledge, do not obey them. Keep company with them correctly and courteously in this worldÉ' (31:15) The second was when I took a sword that I admired and said, 'Messenger of Allah, give me this!' Then the ayat was revealed: 'They will ask you about booty.' (8:1) The third was when I was ill and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to me and I said, 'Messenger of Allah, I want to divide my property. Can I will away a half?' He said, 'No.' 'A third?' I asked. He was silent and so after that it was allowed to will away a third. The fourth was when I had been drinking wine with some of the Ansar. One of them hit my nose with the jawbone of a camel. I went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and Allah Almighty revealed the prohibition of wine."

25. Asma' bint Abi Bakr said, "In the time of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, my mother came to me hoping (I would be dutiful). I asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, 'Do I have to treat her well?' 'Yes,' he replied."

Ibn 'Uyayna said, "Then Allah revealed about her, 'Allah does not forbid you from being good to those who have not fought you in the deen.' (60:8)"

26. Ibn 'Umar said, "'Umar saw a silk robe for sale. He said, 'Messenger of Allah, would you buy this robe and wear it on Jumu'a and when delegations visit you?' He replied, 'Only a person who has no portion in the Next World could wear this.' Then the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was given some robes made of the same material. He sent one of the robes to 'Umar. 'Umar exclaimed, 'How can I wear it when you said what you said about it?' The Prophet replied, 'I did not give it to you so that you could wear it. You can sell it or give it to someone.' 'Umar sent it to a brother of his in Makka who had not yet become Muslim."

14. A person should not revile his parents

27. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Reviling one's parents is one of the great wrong actions." They asked, "How could he revile them?" He said, "He reviles a man who then in turn reviles his mother and father."

28. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "A man's reviling his father is one of the major wrong actions in the sight of Allah Almighty."

15. The punishment for disobeying parents

29. Abu Bakra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There is no wrong action more likely to bring punishment in this world in addition to what is stored up in the Next World than oppression and severing ties of kinship."

30. 'Imran ibn Husayn said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'What do you say about fornication, drinking wine and theft?' 'Allah and His Messenger know best,' we replied. He stated, 'They are acts of outrage and there is punishment for them, but shall I tell you which is the greatest of the great wrong actions? Associating with Allah Almighty and disobeying parents.' He had been reclining, but then he sat up and said, 'and lying.'"

16. Making Parents weep

31. Ibn 'Umar said, "Making parents weep is part of disobedience and one of the major wrong actions."

17. The Supplication of Parents

32. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Three supplications are answered without a doubt: the supplication of someone who is oppressed, the supplication of someone on a journey, and the supplication of parents for their children."

33. Abu Hurayra reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "No human child has ever spoken in the cradle except for 'Isa ibn Maryam, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the companion of Jurayj." Abu Hurayra asked, "Prophet of Allah, who was the companion of Jurayj?" The Prophet replied, "Jurayj was a monk who lived in a hermitage. There was a cowherd who used to come to the foot of his hermitage and a woman from the village used to come to the cowherd.

"One day his mother came while he was praying and called out, 'Jurayj!' He asked himself, 'My mother or my prayer?' He concluded that he should prefer the prayer. She shouted to him a second time and he again asked himself, 'My mother or my prayer?' He thought that he should prefer the prayer. She shouted a third time and yet again he asked himself, 'My mother or my prayer?' He again concluded that he should prefer the prayer. When he did not answer her, she said, 'Jurayj, may Allah not let you die until you have looked at the faces of the beautiful women.' Then she left.

"Then the village woman was brought before the king after she had given birth to a child. He asked, 'Whose is it?' 'Jurayj's,' she replied. He asked, 'The man in the hermitage?' 'Yes,' she answered. He ordered, 'Destroy his hermitage and bring him to me.' They hacked at his hermitage with axes until it collapsed. They bound his hand to his neck with a rope and took him along to the king. When he passed by the beautiful women, he saw them and smiled. They were looking at him along with the people.

"The king asked, 'Do you know what this woman claims?' 'What does she claim?' he asked. He replied, 'She claims that you are the father of her child.' He asked her, 'Where is the child?' They replied, 'It is in her room.' He went to the child and said, 'Who is your father?' 'The cowherd,' he replied. The king said, 'Shall we build your hermitage out of gold?' 'No,' he replied. He asked, 'Of silver?' 'No,' he replied. The king asked, 'What shall we build it with?' He said, 'Put it back the way you found it.' Then the king asked, 'What made you smile.' 'Something I recognised,' he replied, 'The supplication of my mother overtook me.' Then he told him about it."

18. Offering Islam to a Christian mother

34. Abu Hurayra said, "Neither Jew nor Christian has heard me and then not loved me. I wanted my mother to become Muslim, but she refused. I told her about it and she still refused. I went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Pray to Allah for me.' He did so and I went to her. She was inside the door of the house and said, 'Abu Hurayra, I have become Muslim.' I told the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and I asked, 'Make supplication to Allah for me and my mother.' He said, 'O Allah, make people love Abu Hurayra and his mother.'"

19. Dutifulness towards Parents after their Death

35. Abu Usayd said, "We were with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when a man asked, 'Messenger of Allah, is there any act of dutifulness which I can do for my parents after their death?' He replied, 'Yes. There are four things: Supplication for them, asking forgiveness for them, fulfilling their pledges, and being generous to friends of theirs. You only have ties of kinship through your parents."

36. Abu Hurayra said, "The dead person can be raised a degree after his death. He said, 'My Lord, how is this?' He was told, 'Your child can ask for forgiveness for you.'"

37. Ibn Sirin said, "We were with Abu Hurayra one night and he said, 'O Allah, forgive Abu Hurayra and his mother and whoever asks for forgiveness for both of them.'" Muhammad said, "We used to ask for forgiveness for them so that we would be included in Abu Hurayra's supplication."

38. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When a person dies, all action is cut off for him with the exception of three things: sadaqa which continues, knowledge which benefits, or a righteous child who makes supplication for him."

39. Ibn 'Abbas reported that a man said, "Messenger of Allah, my mother died without a will. Will it help her if I give sadaqa on her behalf?" "Yes," he replied.

20. The Dutifulness of someone who maintains what his father loved

40. 'Abdullah ibn Dinar reported that Ibn 'Umar passed by a bedouin during a journey. The bedouin's father had been a friend of 'Umar's. The bedouin said, "Am I not the son of so-and-so?" He said, "Yes, indeed." Ibn 'Umar ordered that he be given a donkey which was following him. He also took off his turban and gave it to him, One of the men with him said, "Wouldn't two dirhams be enough for him?" He replied, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Maintain what your father loved. Do not cut it off so that Allah puts out your light."

41. Ibn 'Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The strongest form of dutifulness is when a man maintains relations with the people his father loved."

21. Do not cut off someone with whom your father maintained ties

42. Sa'd ibn 'Ubada az-Zurqi reported that his father said, "I was sitting in the mosque in Madina with 'Amr ibn 'Uthman when 'Abdullah ibn Salam walked by, leaning on his nephew. 'Amr left the assembly and showed his concern for him." Then Ibn Salam returned to them and said, "Do what you like, 'Amr ibn 'Uthman," (and he said it two or three times) By the One who sent Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, with the Truth, it is in the Book of Allah Almighty (and he said it twice), 'Do not cut off those your father has joined so that that extinguishes your light.'"

22. Love is inherited

43. Abu Bakr ibn Hazm reported that one of the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "It is enough that I tell you that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Love is inherited.'"

23. A man should not call his father by his name nor sit down before him nor walk in front of him

44. Abu Hurayra saw two men and said to one of them, "Who is this man in relation to you?" He is my father," he replied. He said, "Do not call him by his own name nor walk in front of him nor sit down before him."

24. Can a man call his father by his kunya?

45. Shahr ibn Hawshab said, "We went out with Ibn 'Umar and Salim said to him, 'Peace, Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman.'"

46. 'Abdullah ibn Dinar said reported that Ibn 'Umar said, "But Abu Hafs 'Umar decided..."

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Adam & Eve Then Cried out to Allah

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Allah T'ala says in Surah Al-Araaf, verses 11-23:

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ صَوَّرْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلآئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ لَمْ يَكُن مِّنَ السَّاجِدِينَ﴿7:11﴾ قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ قَالَ أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ﴿7:12﴾ قَالَ فَاهْبِطْ مِنْهَا فَمَا يَكُونُ لَكَ أَن تَتَكَبَّرَ فِيهَا فَاخْرُجْ إِنَّكَ مِنَ الصَّاغِرِينَ﴿7:13﴾ قَالَ فَأَنظِرْنِي إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ﴿7:14﴾ قَالَ إِنَّكَ مِنَ المُنظَرِينَ﴿7:15﴾ قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ﴿7:16﴾ ثُمَّ لآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَآئِلِهِمْ وَلاَ تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ﴿7:17﴾ قَالَ اخْرُجْ مِنْهَا مَذْؤُومًا مَّدْحُورًا لَّمَن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ لأَمْلأنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ﴿7:18﴾ وَيَا آدَمُ اسْكُنْ أَنتَ وَزَوْجُكَ الْجَنَّةَ فَكُلاَ مِنْ حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا وَلاَ تَقْرَبَا هَـذِهِ الشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُونَا مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ﴿7:19﴾ فَوَسْوَسَ لَهُمَا الشَّيْطَانُ لِيُبْدِيَ لَهُمَا مَا وُورِيَ عَنْهُمَا مِن سَوْءَاتِهِمَا وَقَالَ مَا نَهَاكُمَا رَبُّكُمَا عَنْ هَـذِهِ الشَّجَرَةِ إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَا مَلَكَيْنِ أَوْ تَكُونَا مِنَ الْخَالِدِينَ﴿7:20﴾ وَقَاسَمَهُمَا إِنِّي لَكُمَا لَمِنَ النَّاصِحِينَ﴿7:21﴾ فَدَلاَّهُمَا بِغُرُورٍ فَلَمَّا ذَاقَا الشَّجَرَةَ بَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْءَاتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَقِ الْجَنَّةِ وَنَادَاهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا أَلَمْ أَنْهَكُمَا عَن تِلْكُمَا الشَّجَرَةِ وَأَقُل لَّكُمَا إِنَّ الشَّيْطَآنَ لَكُمَا عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ﴿7:22﴾ قَالاَ رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ﴿7:23﴾

  (7:11) We initiated your creation, then We gave you each a shape, and then We said to the angels: 'Prostrate before Adam.') They all prostrated except Iblis: he was not one of those who fell Prostrate.
(7:12) Allah said: 'What prevented you from prostrating, when I commanded you to do so?' He said: 'I am better than he. You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.'
(7:13) Allah said: 'Then get you down from here. It does not behove you to be arrogant here. So be gone. You will be among the humiliated.'
(7:14) Satan replied: 'Give me respite till the Day they shall be raised.'
(7:15) Allah said: 'You are granted respite.'
(7:16) Satan said: 'Since You have led me astray, I shall surely sit in ambush for them on Your Straight Path.
(7:17) Then I will come upon them from the front and from the rear, and from their right and from their left. And You will not find most of them thankful.'
(7:18) Allah said: 'Go away from here - disgraced and expelled. I shall fill the Hell with all those that follow you.
(7:19) 0 Adam! Live you and your spouse in the Garden and both of you eat from it wherever you will, but never approach the tree or you shall become wrongdoers.'
(7:20) But Satan made an evil suggestion to both of them that he might reveal to them their shame that had remained hidden from them. He said: 'Your Lord has forbidden you to approach this tree only to prevent you from becoming angels or immortals.'
(7:21) And he swore to them both: 'Surely I am your sincere adviser.'
(7:22) Thus Satan brought about their fall by deceit. And when they tasted of the tree, their shame became vislible to them, and both began to cover themselves with leaves from the Garden. Then their Lord called out to them: 'Did I not forbid you from that tree, and did I not warn you that Satan 'is your declared enemy?'
(7:23) Both cried out: 'Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You do not forgive us and do not have mercy on us, we shall surely be among the losers.'

The narrative sheds light on the following significant points:
(i) Modesty and bashfulness are inherent in human nature. The primary manifestation of this instinct is seen in the sense of shame that one feels when one is required to expose the private parts of one's body in the presence of others. According to the Qur'an, this bashfulness is not artificial, nor an outcome of advancement in human culture and civilization. Nor is it something acquired as some misguided thinkers contend. On the contrary, modesty has been an integral part of human nature from the very beginning.

(ii) The very first stratagem adopted by Satan in his bid to lead man astray from the Right Path consisted of undermining man's sense of modesty, to direct him towards lewdness and make him sexually deviant. In other words, the sexual instincts of man were taken by Satan as the most vulnerable aspect of human nature. Accordingly, he sought to weaken man's natural instincts of modesty and bashfulness. This devilish stratagem is still followed by the disciples of Satan in our time. For them, progress is inconceivable without exposing woman to the gaze of all and making her strip before others in one form or another.

(iii) Such is human nature that man scarcely responds to an unambiguous invitation to evil. Those who seek to propagate evil are, therefore, forced to present themselves as sincere well-wishers of humanity.

(iv) Man is naturally, drawn towards lofty ideals such as the attainment of superhuman positions and the securing of immortality. Satan achieved his first victory in his bid to mislead man by appealing to the latter's inherent desire to attain immortality. Satan's most effective weapon is to promise man a more elevated position than his present one, and then set him on a course that leads instead to his degradation.

(v) Here the Qur'an refutes the fairly popular view that Satan first misled Eve and later used her as an instrument to mislead Adam. (See Ibn Kathir's comments on verses 22-3 - Ed.) The Qur'anic version of the story is that Satan attempted to mislead both Adam and Eve, and in fact both fell prey to his guile. At first sight, this might seem of trivial significance. However, all those who are acquainted with the impact of this version of Adam's fall on the moral, legal and social degradation of women will appreciate the significance of this Qur'anic statement.

(vi) There is hardly any basis to assume that the forbidden tree had certain inherent qualities which could result in the exposure of Adam and Eve's private parts as soon as they had tasted its fruit. Instead of the forbidden tree possessing any extraordinary qualities, it was rather man's disobedience to God which led to his fall from his original state. Initially, Adam and Eve's private parts had remained hidden on account of special arrangements made by God. Once they disobeyed, they were deprived of that special Divine arrangement, and were left to themselves to cover their nakedness if they so wished.

(vii) This was a way, of conveying to mankind for all time that whenever he disobeys God, he will sooner or later be exposed; that man will enjoy God's support and protection only so long as he remains obedient to Him. Once man transgresses the bounds of his obedience, he will be deprived of God's care and protection and left to his own self. This idea is also embodied in many traditions from the Prophet (peace be on him). According to a tradition, the Prophet (peace be on him) prayed:
'O God! I seek Your Mercy. Do not leave me to my own care even for the wink of an eye!' (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 5, P. 421 - Ed.)

(viiI) Satan wanted to prove that man did not deserve, not even for a moment, the superior status which had been granted to him by God. However, Satan failed in the very first round of his efforts to discredit man. Granted, man did not fully succeed in obeying God's command; rather, he fell prey to the machinations of his arch-enemy, Satan, and deviated from the path of obedience. Nevertheless, it is evident even in the course of this first encounter that man is a morally superior being. This is clear from many a thing. First, whereas Satan laid claim to superiority, man made no such claim rather a superior status was bestowed upon him by God. Second, Satan disobeyed God out of sheer pride and arrogance. But far from openly revolting against God out of his own prompting, man was disobedient under Satan's evil influence. Third, when man disobeyed God, he did so unwittingly, not realizing that he was committing a sin. 'Man was beguiled into disobedience by Satan ,who appeared in the garb of man's well-wisher. It was Satan who persuaded him to believe that in the fruit of the forbidden tree lay his good, that his action would lead him to the heights of goodness, not to the depths of evil. Fourth, when Satan was warned, rather than confessing his mistake and repenting, he clung even more adamantly to disobedience. But when man was told that he had sinned, he did not resort to continued transgression as Satan did. As soon as man realized his mistake, he confessed his fault, returned to the course of obedience and sought refuge in God's mercy.

This story draws a clear line between the way of Satan and the way that befits man. Satan's way is characterized by rebellion against God, by arrogantly persisting in that rebellion even after having been warned, and by trying to mislead the righteously disposed towards sin and disobedience. As opposed to this, the way that befits man is to resist the evil promptings of Satan and to be constantly vigilant against Satanic machinations. But, if in spite of all these precautions, a man does swerve from the course of obedience, he should turn, as soon as he realizes his fault, to God in penitence and remorse and make amends.

This is the lesson that God conveys to man through this anecdote. The Qur'an seeks to impress upon the opponents of the Prophet (peace be on him) that the way, they are following is the way of Satan. To become indifferent to God's Guidance, to take satans among men and jinn as their protectors and to persist in disobedience despite repeated warnings, amounts to adopting a Satanic attitude. It demonstrates that they have fallen prey to the snares of the arch-enemy and have been totally overpowered by him. This attitude will lead to their total undoing just as it led to Satan's undoing. Anyone who has even an iota of understanding should heed and emulate the example of his foreparents - Adam and Eve - who repented and made amends after their disobedience. (Tafheemul Quran)

Short Quotes

Some commandments to Israelites

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لاَ تَعْبُدُونَ إِلاَّ اللّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَاناً وَذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَقُولُواْ لِلنَّاسِ حُسْناً وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّنكُمْ وَأَنتُم مِّعْرِضُونَ

(2:83) Remember that We made a solemn covenant with the children of Israel to this effect: worship none save Allah: be good to your parents, to your relatives, to the orphans and to the helpless; speak aright with the people: establish the Salat and pay the Zakat. But with the exception of a few, you all slid back from it and are paying no heed to it even now.