The Original Sin In Islam – Who Sinned First?

You sure have heard before about original sin in Islam.  What if I told you, original sin doesn’t

You sure have heard before about original sin.  What if I told you, original sin doesn’t exist at all and God had already forgiven both Adam & Eve? To go even further, the first sin wasn’t actually the sin of Adam. What’s all of this about?  Well, here is the full story, read it and find out. 

Is there an original sin in Islam?

No, there is no such thing as original sin in Islam! When asked, do Muslims believe in original sin the answer can’t be any clearer:  No! There is no original sin in Islam. Islam and original sin don’t mix. 

What is original sin? Original sin is the belief that the first sin ever was committed by our father Adam by the seduction of our mother Eve. 

Why is it called original sin? That’s because they are father and mother of all humanity, so it claims that all of humanity also inherited the weight and punishment for that sin! 

Punished for the sin of another! That’s why this belief is unjust and irrational. Muslims reject it because of their adamant believe that Allah (God) is the All-Just, He who doesn’t wrong anyone, even by a grain of sand. Allah doesn’t wrong people by punishing them for what they didn’t do.
You can never find original sin examples that will make that idea make sense. It’s unjust to hold someone accountable for the sin of another, be it father or son or whoever! 

What was the first sin in Islam?

Iblis sinned first not Adam. The first sin wasn’t the sin of Adam, but actually a sin against Adam! Iblis (Satan) is the name of the devil, but he wasn’t always a devil. He became a devil after he sinned and refused to repent to Allah (God).

Just when Allah created Adam, Allah ordered the angels and Iblis with them to bow down to Adam, honoring Adam as he was created. The angels heard and obeyed, but Iblis disobeyed Allah’s order. that was the first sin and here is the full story: 

The story of Creation in Quran

Muslims believe that original sin is not biblical, but rather a fabrication made by human hands. The original bible has been corrupted by human manipulation, addition and deletion. That’s why Allah (God) revealed the true story in His last revelation: The Quran. 

God told the angels : 

…” Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority…” 
وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةِ إِنِّى جَاعِلٌۭ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةًۭ ۖ”

Angels replied:

They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we exalt You with praise and declare Your perfection?” 
قَالُوٓا۟ أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ ٱلدِّمَآءَ وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ ۖ

Because the angels didn’t know the wisdom beyond Adam’s creation, they asked God that, but  God the Almighty replied:

He [Allah] said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.(30)” 
قَالَ إِنِّىٓ أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُون

As from that creation will be the Prophets, Messengers, honest and good people.

Then God taught Adam the names – all of them. 

And He showed them to the angels and said:

Then He showed them to the angels and said, “Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful.(31)” 
وَعَلَّمَ ءَادَمَ ٱلْأَسْمَآءَ كُلَّهَا ثُمَّ عَرَضَهُمْ عَلَى ٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةِ فَقَالَ أَنۢبِـُٔونِى بِأَسْمَآءِ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـٰدِقِينَ صَـٰدِقِينَ

Angels immediately replied:

They said, “Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise.(32)” 
قَالُوا۟ سُبْحَـٰنَكَ لَا عِلْمَ لَنَآ إِلَّا مَا عَلَّمْتَنَآ ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلْعَلِيمُ ٱلْحَكِيم

Then God said:

He said, “O 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 unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed.(33)” 

قَالَ يَـٰٓـَٔادَمُ أَنۢبِئْهُم بِأَسْمَآئِهِمْ ۖ فَلَمَّآ أَنۢبَأَهُم بِأَسْمَآئِهِمْ قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكُمْ إِنِّىٓ أَعْلَمُ غَيْبَ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَأَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْتُمُونَ

Angles are not talking (remaining silent)

  • The Big Twist Which Changed Everything

Does the story end here? 

Actually No, 

Then God ordered angels:

We said to the angels, “Prostrate before Adam”; so they prostrated except for Iblis. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers. ( 34)” 

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةِ ٱسْجُدُوا۟ لِـَٔادَمَ فَسَجَدُوٓا۟ إِلَّآ إِبْلِيسَ أَبَىٰ وَٱسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ ٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ ٣٤

[Qur’an 2:30-34]

All angels prostrated except one of Jin. He is “Iblis”. He reached a holy place similar to that of an angel, yet because he was Jin, he had free will. He was elevated because of willingly being good, but now he willingly disobeyed! 

Iblis refused to prostrate to Adam, as he was arrogant, and venomous toward Adam and that became his downfall.

  • Iblis justifying sin!  

God asked Iblis:

[Allah] said, “O Iblis, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My hands? Were you arrogant [then], or were you [already] among the haughty?(75)”  

قَالَ يَـٰٓإِبْلِيسُ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَن تَسْجُدَ لِمَا خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَىَّ ۖ أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ أَمْ كُنتَ مِنَ ٱلْعَالِينَ ٧٥

Iblis replied:

He said, “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay (76)” 

قَالَ أَنَا۠ خَيْرٌۭ مِّنْهُ ۖ خَلَقْتَنِى مِن نَّارٍۢ وَخَلَقْتَهُۥ مِن طِينٍۢ ٧٦

 Allah commanded,

[Allah] said, “Then get out of it. For indeed, you are outcast (77) And upon you is My curse until the Day of judgment (78)” 

قَالَ فَٱخْرُجْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّكَ رَجِيمٌۭ  ٧٧ وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ لَعْنَتِىٓ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ ٱلدِّينِ ٧٨

  • Did Iblis admit to his sin?

No, he didn’t, rather he became more conceited and cunningly appealed,

He said, “My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.(79)” 

قَالَ رَبِّ فَأَنظِرْنِىٓ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ ٧٩

God said:

[Allah] said, “So indeed, you are of those reprieved. (80) Until the Day of the time well-known.(81)” 

قَالَ فَإِنَّكَ مِنَ ٱلْمُنظَرِينَ ٨٠ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ ٱلْوَقْتِ ٱلْمَعْلُومِ ٨١

Iblis replied:

“By Your honor, I will surely mislead them all. (82) Except, among them, Your geniune servants. (83)” 

قَالَ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ٨٢ إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ ٱلْمُخْلَصِينَ ٨٣

God concluded,

[Allah] said, “The truth [is My oath], and the truth I say. (84)  I will surely fill Hell with you and those of them that follow you all together. (85)”

قَالَ فَٱلْحَقُّ وَٱلْحَقَّ أَقُولُ ٨٤لَأَمْلَأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنكَ وَمِمَّن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ٨٥

[Qur’an 38:75-85] 

Iblis didn’t stop at his level of defying God. He went even further as to have an insurmountable hatred and envy for Adam, blaming him for his own faults. He went as low as to swear by God’s honor that he will lead all Adam’s descendants astray, and have us join him in the eternal punishment of hell fire!  

  • Eve’s Creation 

After that God created Eve from Adam’s (side) to be his partner and enter Paradise with him.

God told them:

And We said, “O Adam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will, but do not approach a certain tree, lest you be become wrongdoers.” 

وَقُلْنَا يَـٰٓـَٔادَمُ ٱسْكُنْ أَنتَ وَزَوْجُكَ ٱلْجَنَّةَ وَكُلَا مِنْهَا رَغَدًا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا وَلَا تَقْرَبَا هَـٰذِهِ ٱلشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُونَا مِنَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ 

Adam and Eve lived for some time in the beautiful garden of Paradise. And with time they forgot about the order that was given to them, and their will became weak. Iblis came and kept whispering to them and seducing them with all sorts of lies. 

He said to them “Do you want me to guide you to the tree that will grant you eternity and a reign that never ends?” And He gave them heavy promises by Allah himself that he only wants what’s good for them! 

They followed him, and disobeyed Allah, and once they did they found out that all of Iblis’s promises were lies. Instead, it only caused their covered organs to get exposed. Allah ordered them not eat from it for their own sake, even though they didn’t know it was.

 But far more important than eating from a tree, is that they disobeyed Allah. That’s a sin. But heed Allah’s word as he says: “Allah forgives all sins.”

…And We said, “Go down, [all of you], as enemies to one another, and you will have upon the earth a place of settlement and provision for a time.” 

وَقُلْنَا ٱهْبِطُوا۟ بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّۭ ۖ وَلَكُمْ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ مُسْتَقَرٌّۭ وَمَتَـٰعٌ إِلَىٰ حِينٍۢ 

  • Adam’s Repentance

God saw that Adam and Eve regretted their sin; So He taught them how to repent to Him and erase that sin and any guiltiness it may had on them.

Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of Repentance, the Merciful. We said, “Go down from it, all of you. And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance – there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. And those who disbelieve and deny Our signs – those will be companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally.” 

فَتَلَقَّىٰٓ ءَادَمُ مِن رَّبِّهِۦ كَلِمَـٰتٍۢ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلتَّوَّابُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ. قُلْنَا ٱهْبِطُوا۟ مِنْهَا جَمِيعًۭا ۖ فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُم مِّنِّى هُدًۭى فَمَن تَبِعَ هُدَاىَ فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُون. وَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ وَكَذَّبُوا۟ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَآ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ أَصْحَـٰبُ ٱلنَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَـٰلِدُونَ 

[Qur’an 2:35-39] 

Moral of the story Of the first sin in Islam

Iblis was the first to sin. Out of his arrogance and envy, he swayed Adam and eve with lies and false promises into sinning. Furthermore, he asked Allah for immortality, so that he may dedicate his life and all his efforts into doing the same with all children of Adam and Eve!

Allah, in all his wisdom granted the plea of Iblis. To show us that he even may accept the plea of a devil, if he turned to him, and also to test our genuine sincerity in following his path, as the devil holds no power over us and all he can do is whisper and lie, those who follow them can blame none other than themselves. 

What to do when you sin?

When you sin, do what your parents did. They were also tricked, they also slipped, yet they were forgiven. Allah is showing you the path to His forgiveness; all you have to do is take it. 

Adam and Eve repented to God and regretted what they did. And so, they were forgiven by the ever merciful and all forgiving. Iblis did not admit, and was not forgiven. 

You only need to put your head on the ground and ask Allah, and none else, for His forgiveness. Say: “Forgive me Allah for I have sinned” and know that when you show sincerity He forgives. (link of the other article on forgives and repentance conditions )

the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: when someone recites the Ayat of Sajdah (prostration) and then falls down in prostration, Iblis goes weeping into seclusion and says: Woe unto me, the son of Adam was commanded to prostrate, he prostrated and Paradise was entitled to him and I was commanded to prostrate, I refused and am doomed to Hell.” 

 “إِذَا قَرَأَ ابْنُ آدَمَ السَّجْدَةَ فَسَجَدَ اعْتَزَلَ الشَّيْطَانُ يَبْكِي يَقُولُ يَا وَيْلِي أُمِرَ ابْنُ آدَمَ بِالسُّجُودِ فَسَجَدَ فَلَهُ الْجَنَّةُ وَأُمِرْتُ بِالسُّجُودِ فَأَبَيْتُ فَلِيَ النَّارُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Sahih Muslim 81a


(1) Verse (2:30-34) of Qur’an (English Interpretation of Meaning)

(2) Verse (38:75-85) of Qur’an (English Interpretation of Meaning).

(3) Verse (2:35-39) of Qur’an (English Interpretation of Meaning).

(4)  (Hadith) Sahih Muslim 81a.

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