THE STORY OF THE TWO SONS OF SAYYIDINA AADAM AlahisSalam QABIL AND HABIL

Relate to them, (O Prophet) with truth the story of the two sons of Aadam, when they offered a sacrifice, but it was accepted of one of them, and not accepted of the other. The (latter) said, “I will certainly slay you.” The (other) said, “Allah accepts only from the God-fearing. Yet if you stretch out your hand against me to slay me, I shall not stretch out my hand against you to slay you. Surely I fear Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I would rather wish you to bear the sin against me and your own (previous) sin, so that you may become (one) of the companions of the Fire, that is the recompense of the evildoers.” Even then the soul prompted him to slay his brother, and he slew him, so he became one of the losers. Then Allah sent a raven, scratching the ground, to show him how he might cover the corpse of his brother. He (then) said, “Woe is me! Am I not able to be as this raven, and so cover my brother’s corpse?” and he became one of the remorseful. (Al-Ma’idah, 5:27-31)

Having, identified the verses of the Qur’an concerning this story, let us now see what our predecessor scholars said about it. Sayyidina Aadam married the son from one pair of birth to the daughter from another pair. So, Habil was set to marry the twin sister of Qabil who was older than him and himself wanted to marry his own twin sister because she was more beautiful than the twin sister of Habil whom he was supposed to marry. Sayyidina Aadam the commanded him to marry of Habil and let Habil marry his (Qabil’s) sister but he refused to obey. So, Sayyidina Aadam commanded them to each offer a sacrifice and himself went to perform the Hajj.

Both of them offered their sacrifices. Habil choose a fat, opulent ram for he was the owner of a flock of sheep and goats. Qabil, on the other hand, chose a sheaf of reaped rejected corn from his own cultivation. A fire came down and burnt out the sacrifice of Habil leaving that of Qabil

untouched. This further angered Qabil. He was in a terrible rage and said to Habil, “I will kill you that you may not marry my sister!” he answered, “Surely, Allah accepts only from those who are devoted to Him.” This version was reported by Suddi and is traced down to Ibn Mas’ud and some of the Companions

However, another version from a line of transmission ending at Abdullah bin ‘Amr tells us, “By Allah! The slain man was stronger of the two but he was precluded from extending his hand because of his pity and fear of Allah.”

It is stated by Abu Ja’far al-Baqir that Sayyidina Aadam was watching the two of them presenting their sacrifices and the acceptance of Habil’s sacrifice and rejection of Qabil’s. So, Qabil complained to his father that Habil’s sacrifice was accepted because he had prayed to Allah for Habil but had not prayed for him (Qabil). He threatened his brother that he would settle the score with him.

One night Habil was late in returning home from his daily tending of sheep so Sayyidina Aadam sent his brother Qabil to fetch him out and see what delayed him. When he went out, he found him there and complained to him “It has been accepted from you but not accepted from me. So, Habil said, “Indeed, Allah. accepts only the righteous who fear Him.” This caused Qabil to fly in a rage and he hit Habil with an iron (rod) that he had in his hands. But, it is also said that he struck him with a stone that he aimed at his head while he was sleeping and fractured it. It is also said that he strangled him severely until he died and bit him as a predatory animal would. Anyway, he died. And Allah alone knows the truth.

The response of Habil when Qabil threatened to slay him as we have seen in the verse of the Qur’an shows that he possessed a good moral character and feared Allah. That is why he refrained from opposing his brother and wishing ill for him as he had wished for him. (The relative verse of Qur’an is the 28th of the fifth Surah, al-Ma’idah.)

Therefore, a Hadith in Bukhari as well as Muslim confirms the saying of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ

“If two Muslims take out their swords against each other then both the slayer and the slain will be in Hell -fire.” He was asked, “That was the slayer, but what had the slain done?” He explained, “he was eager to kill the other man.” (Bukhari, hadith # 7083)

According to the Qur’an, Habib had made it clear that he had no intention to slay his brother Qabil although he was stronger and more powerful. He said, “If you bear evil intentions, I have no such mind. You may bear the sin against me and your own sin.., that you will commit on murdering me and what you may have committed earlier.” This is what was reported by Mujahid, Suddi, Ibn Jarir, and others. It does not follow, however, that the sins

person

of the slain fall automatically on the murderer as indeed some people suppose. Yet, it is agreed about some people that on the Day of Resurrection the killed will be recompensed with good deeds of the killer but if they are not enough then the evil deeds of the former will be put in the account of the latter until the former is recompensed. But then this applies to all the tormented and tormentors as is evident from the Ahadith. Murder is the gravest of these deeds. And Allah knows the best.

Ahmad, Abu Dawud and Tirmizi have transmitted that Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas said at the time of the mischief during Sayyidina Uthman bin ‘Affan that the Messenger of Allah ﷺhad said;

There will be fitnah (mischief) soon. He who sat down from it will be better than he who is standing. And he who is standing will be better then he who is walking, and he who walks will be better than he who is running.” He said, “Tell me what should I do if someone enters my house with intent to kill me?” He replied, “Be like the son of Aadam.”

In another version, narrated by Ibn Mardawiyah, Huzayfah bin al-Yaman, the words are,

“Be like the better of the son of Aadam.” Imam Ahmad has also transmitted a Hadith from Ibn Mas’ud. The Messenger of Allah ﷺis said,

No soul is killed unjustly but the first son of Aadam bears a part of that sin because he was the first to initiate the sin of murder.

Al-Hafiz Ibn Asakir has stated that he dreamt that Habil prayed to Allah that he make the place of his murder a place where supplications are answered. His prayer was granted and the Messenger of Allah ﷺsaid that he, Abu Bakr and Umar used to visit that place every Thursday. Allah knows best.

Regarding the verse of the Qur’an (then Allah sent a raven …) (al-Maidah, 5:30-31) some people say that.after murdering Habil, Qabil carried him on his back for a year wondering how to dispose of the corpse and some other say that he carried the corpse for a hundred years until Allah sent the ravens. Suddi transmits from the Companions pris swallons, that the ravens fought one and another until one of them killed the other. After he had killed him he dug a hole in the ground and buried his dead Companion into it. When Qabil observed this he remarked “Woe is me! Am I not able to be as

this raven, and so cover the corpse of my brother?” So, he did as the raven had shown him and buried his brother.

The historians tell us Sayyidina Aadam was very sad about it.

Mujahid has said that Qabil invited on himself a quick reprisal. His legs dangled and his face turned towards the sun wherever it moved it is stated in a Hadith that the Messenger of Allahﷺ is said,

  • قنين it is presently called Qaneen

There is not a sin that calls for chastisement as quickly in this world as the sin of rebellion and breaking of ties of kinship, although one will have to suffer for the sin in the Hereafter. (Tirmizi)

From what I have seen in the book that I have with me and which they take to be the Tarah, Allah, the Mighty and Glorious, gave him respite and deferred his punishment in this world. He lived in Nawad sy in eastern Aden;

Imam Ja’far bin Jarir has mentioned in his Tarikh about some of the descendants of Sayyidina Aadam started and he has said also that Sayyidah Hawwa gave birth to forty children through twenty deliveries. And Allah knows best. It is also said that she had a hundred and twenty pregnancies in each of which a son and a daughter was born, the first being Qabil and his sister qalimah and the last, Abd al-Mughith and his sister Umm Al-Mughith, Thereafter, mankind spread over far and wide and multiplied as Allah has said

O mankind! Fear your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his.mate, and from the twain He spread abroad many men and women. (An-Nisa, 4:1)

Historians tell us that Sayyidina Aadam se did not die before seeing his children, and children of his children, so on about four hundred thousands of them, but Allah knows best.

And Allah has said,

He is (Allah) Who created you from a single being and made of him his spouse that he might find repose in her. Then, when he covers her she bears a light burden and passes about (unnoticed) with it, but when she grows heavy, the twain call upon Allah, their Lord, “If You give us a righteous (child), we certainly shall be of the grateful.” But when He grants the twain a righteous (child), they ascribe to Him associates in respect of that which He has granted them. Exalted be Allah high above what they associate (with Him).

(Al-A’raf, 7:189-190) It must be known that the address is first to Sayyidina Aadam till and then to mankind as a whole. It does not mean that the address is only to Sayyidina Aadam AlahisSalam and Hawwa AlahisSalam because their names are mentioned. We see examples of this kind of reference in the Qur’an itself in Surah Al-Mu’minoon, verses 12-13, and al-Mulk verse 5.

There are Isra’ilite traditions about the children of Sayyidina Aadam

and Sayyidah Hawwa hals but they are all imaginations including one that says that their children used to die in infancy until one was born and named Abu Harith on the prompting of the devil. Scholars of Hadith have rejected such tradition.

Ibn Hibban has cited a Hadith narrated by Abu Zarr. He said, “I asked the Messenger of Allahﷺ how many Prophets had there been, he told me that there had been one hundred and twenty four thousand Prophets. Then I asked him how many Messengers had there been and he said that there had been three hundred and thirteen Messengers and he remarked that was a great number. Then, I asked him who was the first of them and he informed me that Sayyidina Aadam se was the first of them. On my asking him again if he was a Prophet and Messenger at the same time, he let me know that indeed Sayyidina Aadam was a Prophet and a Messenger whom Allah had created with His Own hands and breathed His Spirit into him and gave him a perfect shape

Again, there is the Hadith of Al-Isra (the Night Journey) transmitted by Bukhari and Muslim.

When the Messenger of Allahﷺ passed by Sayyidina Aadam while he was on the first heaven, he said to him, Welcome to the pious son and the righteous Prophet. On his right were a large number of people and on his left also a large number of people and when he glanced to his right smiled happily, and when he glanced to left he wept. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ. asked, “O Jibril, what is it?” He said, ‘He is Aadam, and these are the souls of his offspring. When he looks to the people at the right – they are the dwellers of Paradise – he smiles. When he looks at the left – they are people of Hell – he weeps. And, this is the meaning (interpretation) of the Hadith.

Abu Bakr Bazzaar has quoted al-Hasan as saying that the intelligence of Sayyidina Aadam was like the combined intelligence of (all) his children.

Some of the scholars say about the words of the Prophet ; “Then I passed by Yusuf and he was given half of “beauty” that it means half of the beauty of Sayyidina Aadam . This is a reasonable conclusion for Allah fashioned Sayyidina Aadam stall with His hands and breathed into him of His Spirit so it cannot be but that He fashioned him the best of all.

We are told by Abdullah bin Umar; When Allah created Paradise, the angels said, “O Lord! … let us have this because You have created the children of Sayyidina Aadam se the world where they eat and drink.” Allah said to them, “By My Honour and Majesty! I will not equate the righteous offspring of

him whom I created with My Hands with those for whom I said, Be, and they were.”

There is a Hadith in Bukhari and Muslim and other books of Aliadith in varying lines of transmission that the Messenger of Allah is said, “Allah created Aadam in His Image.” The scholars have commented on this Hadith .

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