The Quran

Commentaries for 2.35

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.35 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
Then Allah, Exalted is He, mentioned the story of Adam and Eve, saying: (And We said: O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden) enter you and Eve into Paradise (and eat ye freely (of the fruits)) without restriction (thereof where ye will) and whenever you will; (but come not near this tree) but do not eat from this tree, the tree of knowledge, which includes all types and kinds (lest ye become of the wrong-doers), lest you harm yourselves.
2.35 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
Dwell thou and thy spouse in the Garden!
It has been said that once Iblis met Adam and said, “Know that you have been given a white face and I a black face. Do not be deluded, for our likeness is that of an almond tree planted by a gardener. The tree bears fruit, and the fruit is taken to a grocery shop. Some of it is sold to a customer who is a happy man, and some to a customer who is afflicted. The afflicted man blackens the face of the almonds and scatters them on the casket of his dead one. The happy man mixes them with sugar and distributes them with their white faces in his happiness. O Adam! I am the black almonds scattered over caskets, and the almonds distributed by happiness are the work of your good fortune. But you should know that the gardener is one, and we have drunk water from the same stream. If someone should fall to the work of roses, he will smell roses, and if someone should fall into the gardener's thorns, his eyes will be struck by them.”
I said, “In my passion I will be like Your hair, always before Your face.”
I thought wrongly and fell far away-
I'll be the slaveboy of Your street's watchman.
Dhu'l-Nūn Miṣrī said, “I was in the desert and saw Iblis, who had not lifted his head from prostration in forty days. I said, 'Poor wretch, after disownment and the curse, what is all this worship?' “He said, 'O Dhu'l-Nūn, though I have been dismissed from servanthood, He has not been
dismissed from lordhood.'”
O lovely one, my times and yours are in turmoil, talk of us has filled my city and yours.
Union was apportioned in the beginningless,
and now separation has come and the talk is of you and me.
Sahl ibn ʿAbdallāh Tustarī said, “One day I came across Iblis. I said, 'I seek refuge in God from you.'
“He said, 'O Sahl, if you are seeking refuge in God from me, I am seeking refuge in God from God. O Sahl, if you say that you are seeking help against the hand of Iblis, I say that I am seeking help against the hand of the All-Merciful.
“I said, 'O Iblis, why did you not prostrate yourself before Adam?'
“He said, 'O Sahl, let go of these foolish words with me. If I have a road to the Presence, tell
me. Do you not want to lay the pretext on me? O Sahl, just now I was at the grave of Adam. I made one thousand prostrations there and placed the dust of his grave on my eyes. In the end I heard this call: “Don't take the trouble. We don't want you.”'”
I appear to You as so despoiled
that all my obedience is taken as sin. If this story did not turn out like the moon,
it is because my carpet's color is black
. Sahl said, “Then he gave me a writing and told me to read it, and as I began to read it he disappeared from my eyes. On it was written this:
“Though I erred, destiny did not.
Blame me if you want, Sahl, or leave me be.”
Abū Yazīd BasṬāmī said, “I asked God to show Iblis to me. I found him in the sanctuary at Mecca and began talking with him. He was speaking clever words. I said, 'O wretch, with all this cleverness, why did you keep back from the Real's command?'
“He said, 'O Abū Yazīd! That was a command of trial, not of a command of desire. If it had been a command of desire, I would never have kept back.'
“I said, 'O wretch, is it opposition to the Real that has brought you to these days?'
“He said, 'Come now, Abū Yazīd! Opposition is one opposite against another opposite, but God has no opposite. Conformity is one similar with another similar, but God has no similar. Do you think that my conformity with Him is from me and my opposition to Him from me? Both are from Him, and no one has any power over Him. And I, despite what has come to be, hope for mercy, for He has said, “My mercy embraces everything” [7:156], and I am a thing.'
“I said, 'That is followed by the condition of godwariness.'
“He said, 'Come now! The condition is for him who does not know the outcomes of affairs, but He is a Lord from whom nothing is hidden.' Then he disappeared from before me.”
2.35 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And We said, ‘Adam, dwell (anta, ‘you’ [of ‘dwell you’] here reiterates the concealed pronoun [of the person of the verb uskun], so that it [wa-zawjuk] may be made a supplement to it); and your wife, Eve (Hawwā’) — who was created from his left rib — in the Garden, and eat thereof, of its food, easefully, of anything without restrictions, where you desire; but do not come near this tree, to eat from it, and this was wheat or a vine or something else, lest you be, become, evildoers’, that is, transgressors.
2.35 Kashani - Kashani
And We said, 'Adam, dwell and your partner in the Garden, his partner is the soul and is named ḤawwāÌ (Eve) because of her constant clinging to the body of darkness, since life (ḥayāt) is the colour that is preponderantly black, while the heart is named Adam because of its attachment to the body though not constantly, for adama is a tanned colour, that is, the colour which is close to black. Were it not for his attachment, he would not have been named Adam. The 'Garden' in which the two [Adam and Eve] were commanded to remain is the heaven of the world of spirits that is the holy garden. In other words, [the command to them is] 'Remain in the heaven of the spirit'; and eat thereof easefully where you desire, that is, embrace and walk amply across it to receive the meanings, knowledge and wisdoms in it, that are the nourishments of the heart and the spiritual fruits, as amply as you wish, and in any direction, level, state or station that you desire. For it is everlasting, unceasing and unprohibited; [but do not come near this tree] lest you be evildoers (ẓālimīn)', who place light in the place of darkness which is not its place, and who diminish the light of their preparedness and their share of the world of light; for [the meaning of] ẓulm is traditionally understood as [meaning] to place something where it does not belong; lexically [it means] to take away from an obligatory right or share.
2.35-36 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Adam was honored again
Allah honored Adam by commanding the angels to prostrate before him, so they all complied except for Iblis. Allah then allowed Adam to live and eat wherever and whatever he wished in Paradise. Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr bin Marduwyah reported Abu Dharr saying, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah! Was Adam a Prophet' He said,
«نَعَمْ نَبِيًّا رَسُولًا كَلَّمَهُ اللَّهُ قُبُلًا»
(Yes. He was a Prophet and a Messenger to whom Allah spoke directly), meaning
اسْكُنْ أَنتَ وَزَوْجُكَ الْجَنَّةَ
((O Adam!) Dwell you and your wife in the Paradise.)''
Hawwa' was created before Adam entered Paradise
The Ayah (2:35) indicates that Hawwa' was created before Adam entered Paradise, as Muhammad bin Ishaq stated. Ibn Ishaq said, "After Allah finished criticizing Iblis, and after teaching Adam the names of everything, He said,
يَـاءَادَمُ أَنبِئْهُم بِأَسْمَآئِهِمْ
(O Adam! Inform them of their names) until,
إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ
(Verily, You are the Knower, the Wise.)
Then Adam fell asleep, as the People of the Book and other scholars such as Ibn `Abbas have stated, Allah took one of Adam's left ribs and made flesh grow in its place, while Adam was asleep and unaware. Allah then created Adam's wife, Hawwa', from his rib and made her a woman, so that she could be a comfort for him. When Adam woke up and saw Hawwa' next to him, it was claimed, he said, `My flesh and blood, my wife.' Hence, Adam reclined with Hawwa'. When Allah married Adam to Hawwa' and gave him comfort, Allah said to him directly,
يَاءَادَمُ اسْكُنْ أَنْتَ وَزَوْجُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَكُلاَ مِنْهَا رَغَدًا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا وَلاَ تَقْرَبَا هَـذِهِ الشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُونَا مِنَ الْظَّـلِمِينَ
("O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Paradise and eat both of you freely with pleasure and delight, of things therein wherever you will, but come not near this tree or you both will be of the Zalimin (wrongdoers).'').''
Allah tests Adam
Allah's statement to Adam,
وَلاَ تَقْرَبَا هَـذِهِ الشَّجَرَةَ
(but come not near this tree) is a test for Adam. There are conflicting opinions over the nature of the tree mentioned here. Some said that it was the grape tree, barley, date tree, fig tree, and so forth. Some said that it was a certain tree, and whoever eats from it will be relieved of the call of nature. It was also said that it was a tree from which the angels eat so that they live for eternity. Imam Abu Ja`far bin Jarir said, "The correct opinion is that Allah forbade Adam and his wife from eating from a certain tree in Paradise, but they ate from it. We do not know which tree that was, because Allah has not mentioned anything in the Qur'an or the authentic Sunnah about the nature of this tree. It was said that it was barley, grape, or a fig tree. It is possible that it was one of those trees. Yet, this is knowledge that does not bring any benefit, just as being ignorant in its nature does no harm. Allah knows best.'' This is similar to what Ar-Razi stated in his Tafsir, and this is the correct opinion. Allah's statement,
فَأَزَلَّهُمَا الشَّيْطَـنُ عَنْهَا
(Then the Shaytan made them slip therefrom) either refers to Paradise, and in this case, it means that Shaytan led Adam and Hawwa' away from it, as `Asim bin Abi An-Najud recited it. It is also possible that this Ayah refers to the forbidden tree. In this case, the Ayah would mean, as Al-Hasan and Qatadah stated, "He tripped them.'' In this case,
فَأَزَلَّهُمَا الشَّيْطَـنُ عَنْهَا
(Then the Shaytan made them slip therefrom)
means, "Because of the tree'', just as Allah said,
يُؤْفَكُ عَنْهُ مَنْ أُفِكَ
(Turned aside therefrom (i.e. from Muhammad and the Qur'an) is he who is turned aside (by the decree and preordainment of Allah)) (51:9) meaning, the deviant person becomes turned aside - or slips - from the truth because of so and so reason. This is why then Allah said,
فَأَخْرَجَهُمَا مِمَّا كَانَا فِيهِ
(And got them out from that in which they were) meaning, the clothes, spacious dwelling and comfortable sustenance.
وَقُلْنَا اهْبِطُواْ بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ وَلَكُمْ فِى الأَرْضِ مُسْتَقَرٌّ وَمَتَـعٌ إِلَى حِينٍ
(We said: "Get you down, all, with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time.'') meaning, dwelling, sustenance and limited life, until the commencement of the Day of Resurrection
Adam was very Tall
Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that Ubayy bin Ka`b said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«إِنَّ اللهَ خَلَقَ آدَمَ رَجُلًا طُوَالًا كَثِيرَ شَعْرِ الرَّأْسِ كَأَنَّهُ نَخْلَةٌ سَحُوقٌ، فَلَمَّا ذَاقَ الشَّجَرَةَ سَقَطَ عَنْهُ لِبَاسُهُ فَأَوَّلُ مَا بَدَا مِنْهُ عَوْرَتُهُ، فَلَمَّا نَظَرَ إلى عَوْرتِه جَعَلَ يَشْتَدُّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ فَأَخَذَتْ شَعْرَهُ شَجَرَةٌ فَنَازَعَهَا، فَنَادَاهُ الرَّحْمنُ: يَا آدَمُ مِنِّي تَفِرُّ؟ فَلَمَّا سَمِعَ كَلامَ الرَّحْمنِ قَالَ: يَا رَبِّ لَا ولَكِنِ اسْتِحْيَاء»
(Allah created Adam tall, with thick hair, just as a date tree with full branches. When Adam ate from the forbidden tree, his cover fell off, and the first thing that appeared was his private area. When he saw his private area, he ran away in Paradise and his hair got caught in a tree. He tried to free himself and Ar-Rahman called him, 'O Adam! Are you running away from Me' When Adam heard the words of Ar-Rahman (Allah), he said, 'No, O my Lord! But I am shy.')
Adam remained in Paradise for an Hour
Al-Hakim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "Adam was allowed to reside in Paradise during the time period between the `Asr (Afternoon) prayer, until sunset.'' Al-Hakim then commented this is "Sahih according to the Two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim), but they did not include it in their collections.'' Also, Ibn Abi Hatim recorded Ibn `Abbas saying, "Allah sent Adam to earth to an area called, Dahna, between Makkah and At-Ta'if.'' Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that Adam was sent down to India, while Hawwa' was sent to Jeddah. Iblis was sent down to Dustumaysan, several miles from Basra. Further, the snake was sent down to Asbahan. This was reported by Ibn Abi Hatim. Also, Muslim and An-Nasa'i recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«خَيْرُ يَوْمٍ طَلَعَتْ فِيهِ الشَّمْسُ يَوْمُ الْجُمُعَةِ فِيهِ خُلِقَ آدَمُ وَفِيهِ أُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ وَفِيهِ أُخْرِجَ مِنْهَا»
(Friday is the best day on which the sun has risen. On Friday, Allah created Adam, admitted him into Paradise, and expelled him from it.)
A Doubt and a Rebuttal
If one asks, "If the Paradise that Adam was thrown out of was in heaven, as the majority of the scholars assert, then is it possible for Iblis to enter Paradise, although he was expelled from it by Allah's decision (when he refused to prostrate before Adam)''
Basically, the response to this would be that the Paradise which Adam was in, was in the heavens, not on the earth, as we explained in the beginning of our book Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah.
The majority of scholars said that Shaytan was originally prohibited from entering Paradise, but there were times when he sneaked into it in secret. For instance, the Tawrah stated that Iblis hid inside the snake's mouth and entered Paradise. Some scholars said that it is possible that Shaytan led Adam and Hawwa' astray on his way out of Paradise. Some scholars said that he led Adam and Hawwa' astray when he was on earth, while they were still in heaven, as stated by Az-Zamakhshari. Al-Qurtubi mentioned several beneficial Hadiths here about snakes and the ruling on killing them.
2.35-37 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The tree has not been named or pointedd out specifically in the Quran because there was nothing intrinsically evil in the tree itself. It was merely chosen for the purpose of trial.
The Arabic word zalim is very comprehensive in its meaning. Zulm is "violation of a right or duty" and zalim is one who violates a right or duty. Anyone who disobeys Allah really violates three basic rights. First, he violates the rights of Allah Who is worthy of obedience. Second, he violates the rights of all those things and beings whom he employs in this disobedience, e.g., his own limbs and faculties, his fellow beings and those angels who contribute to the fulfilment of his will and all those things which he uses for the performance of the work of iniquity, for they have a right to be used only in accordance with the will of the real Master but it is an act of iniquity, if he abuses the powers he has over them. Lastly, he violates his own rights on himself, for his own self has a right that he should do his best to save it from destruction. He is also guilty of iniquity against himself when he brings the wrath of Allah on himself by his disobedience. That is why the Qur'an, in many places has used the term zulm for sin and zalim for the sinner.
That is, "Satan shall be the adversary of man and man the adversary of Satan". The fact, that Satan tries his utmost to beguile man from the path of Allah to the path of destruction, is a clear proof that he is the arch-enemy of man. On the other side, man's humanity demands that he should fight Satan as his enemy. But it is a pity that man is so beguiled by the temptations of Satan that he begins to take him as his friend. This, however, does not mean that their mutual enmity has really been changed into friendship. It only means that man has been beguiled by his opponent and caught in the snare which has been laid for him.
When Adam felt sorry for his guilt and wanted to repent and return to Allah, he could not find appropriate words for asking Allah's pardon. Then Allah took pity upon him on account of his grief and helplessness and taught him the appropriate words. The Arabic word "taubah" means both "to turn back" and "to turn to". When applied to man, it means that he has turned back from rebellion to submission, and, when it is ascribed to Allah, it means that He has again turned with compassion to the penitent person.
Here the Qur' an rejects the theory that the consequences of sin are inevitable and every man shall bear these anyhow. This is one of those selfinvented, nusleading theories which have done great harm to humanity. As a result of this, one loses for ever all hope of reform, when once one is involved in sin. Even if he feels sorry for a past sin and wants to make amends for it and changes his life for the better, this theory confronts him with despair: there is no hope for you because you are doomed for ever: you must bear the consequences of what you have done in the past. In contrast to this, the Qur'an says, "It lies absolutely fn Allah's power to reward a virtue or to punish a sin. If you are rewarded for a virtue, it is not on account of the natural result of your virtue, but it is through Allah's grace. He has full power to reward it or not. In the same way, if you are punished for a sin, it is not because of the inevitable consequences of the sin but because Allah has full power to punish or pardon it. Of course, being All-Wise, He does not use these powers indiscriminately, but takes into consideration the intention of the doer. If He rewards a virtue, He does so when He sees that His servant performed the good deeds to please Him. And if He rejects an apparent virtue, He does so because He knows that it lacked sincerity. In the same way, He punishes the crime which is committed in a spirit of rebellion and is not followed by self-reproach but by an evil desire to commit more crimes. He, however, exercises His grace, and forgives the sins for which His servant feels sorry and makes up his mind to change for the better. It is thus clear that the rejection of the theory of the inevitability of punishment for sin holds out new hopes of reform for sinners. Even the worst criminals and the staunchest unbelievers need not despair of forgiveness from Allah, provided that they confess their sins (of course, before their Lord and not before a priest), feel ashamed of their disobedience, give up their attitude of rebellion and adopt the attitude of submission instead.
2.35 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
And We said “Adam dwell and your wife in the garden and eat thereof with ease where you desire; but do not come near this tree lest you be evildoers.” [God] settled [Adam] in the garden but with his entry established the tree [by which he was] tested. If not for the prior decree this blossoming tree would have been changed to a withered one its greenery dried out its existence forgotten and Adam's hand would not have reached for its leaves to piece them together [to clothe] himself and what happened to him would not have happened. If this tree had kept growing so that his hand could not reach it all that confusion would not have occurred in his affair but what had been predetermined appeared from the decree. There was no place better than the garden no human being more intelligent than Adam no better counselor than the suggestions of the Real to him. There was nothing unusual lā gharība prior to [Adam's] doing what he did and no resolve lā ʿaẓīma more powerful than his resolve. But divine power cannot be contested and the decree cannot be opposed wa-lakinna al-qudrata lā tukābara wa-l-ḥukma lā yuʿāraḌa. It is said that when He said to him “dwell and your wife in the Garden and eat thereof with ease” [He] was alluding to the fact that it is natural for created beings to dwell comfortably with other created beings and to want to seek worldly things. Alone Adam عليه السلام had nothing but good and freedom from trial but when one like him his spouse came the fangs of sedition anyāb al-fitna appeared and the door to tribulation bāb al-miḥna was opened. When [Adam] dwelled together with Eve he followed her in what she suggested to eat and what happened happened. Indeed it is said: There is an ancient disease in the children of Adam which is the youthful passion of one human being for another. Whenever anything is prohibited to the son of Adam his yearning to approach it increases. Everything was permitted to Adam عليه السلام in the garden-only one tree was prohibited. In what has been transmitted about this there is no mention of his hand reaching out toward anything that was permitted to him. [Rather] he lost his patience and plunged into what was prohibited to him-this is the attribute of created beings.
The information given relates to what happened after Adam's entry into the garden and in what led to his leaving it. When [God] said I am appointing on earth a vicegerent [2:30] how could [Adam] have remained in the gardenḍ It is said that Adam عليه السلام became the object of praise maḥmūd for the angels and the object of prostration masjūd for all. On his head was the crown of communion wuṣla on his waist the belt of closeness qurba and on his neck the necklace of nearness zulfa. There was no one above him in rank no individual like him in high status. The call went out at every moment continuously for him “O Adam O Adam!” But before nightfall his clothes were stripped from him his intimacy robbed and the angels drove him out violently [and made him] leave without delay: I thought I was safe but He ordained for me a ruse from my place of security. Like this are those who think themselves safe from lovers. When Adam عليه السلام lost his way he did not remain but an hour and left with a thousand rebukes. It was as [the poet] said: The gifts of their youth belong to God. They set out in the morning like kings and returned at night like paupers. [God] prohibited [Adam] from approaching the tree by His command bi-amrihi and from this cast him away by His compelling force bi-qahrihi and disguised him with His secret in him bi-sirrihi.