The Philosophy of Human Existence Part Three - The Eternal Enemy

Nabi Musa once challenged Nabi Adam (Bukhari, Muslim, Muwatta Malik, also in Jamii Tirmidhi, and Sunan Ibn Majah), with a claim that because of his actions, humanity was driven out of the Heavens.

In quite a remarkable response, Nabi Adam said أَفَتَلُومُنِي عَلَى أَمْرٍ قَدْ قُدِّرَ عَلَىَّ قَبْلَ أَنْ أُخْلَقَ “Do you then blame me for that which was destined before my creation?” The grand notion, following our analysis in the previous articles, is that Man was disposed to earth, the lowest of the low, due to sin and as a retribution for that sin. In this deluded perception, man who ate of the forbidden fruit was cast out due to that disobedience, is that man’s punishment is served through strife and toil in the quest to earn redemption. Now, this is a very prominent concept in Abrahamic faiths, Judaism and Christianity, but also misconstrued in Islam. It creates the false identity of man being inherently sinful, which largely contradicts man’s essential existence with an incline to do good. As observed in a fresh soul entering our world, an infant does not commit sin. Has no inclination to sin. Is, in truth, very much innocent and pure in body and spirit, until tainted in later years by the habitual norms of the material realm. Let us examine, epistemologically, the events that transpired, which will both put in perspective the above conversation between the two Nabi, and put to rest the widespread misconceptions. We all know the tale of Iblees and his disobedience. It is an event frequently narrated many times in the Qur’an, both as a reminder and as historic documentation, persistent due to its distortions in previous rewritten scriptures. Allah says;

وَإِذۡ قُلۡنَا لِلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكةِ ٱسۡجُدُواْ لِأَدَمَ فَسَجَدُوٓاْ إِلَّآ إِبۡلِيسَ أَبَىٰ

And when We said unto the Angels, prostrate yourselves before Adam, they prostrated, save for Iblees… he refused. (Taha 20:116)

Note the terminology. He refused. He denied, disobeyed, a direct command. Allah then says;

فَقُلۡنَا يَـٰٓـٴَـادَمُ إِنَّ هَـٰذَا عَدُوٌّ۬ لَّكَ وَلِزَوۡجِكَ فَلَا يُخۡرِجَنَّكُمَا مِنَ ٱلۡجَنَّةِ فَتَشۡقَىٰٓ

We said, ‘O’ Adam… Verily! This is an enemy unto you and your wife, so do not let him drive you from paradise, lest you suffer. (Taha 20:117)

This forewarning comes in four forms. The primary being the highlight of ‘the enemy’, the secondary, and oft overlooked, is ‘the suffering’. The toil. The strife. The third form, that which is contained between the lines, is that of ‘a lesson’ and the ‘learning’ from that lesson. It is not a warning in so much as delivering ‘knowledge’, but more in the attribution of a human trait called curiosity. The need to explore and experience, from which knowledge is drawn. You see, curiosity drives the curious mind into the bosom of experience, and experience becomes the mother of all lessons. Curiosity is also a plaything of the devil, because it is not rooted into intellect as much as it is into desire. Curiosity is the faculty which lingers between logic and wonder, and it is within its unprotected crevice that the devil seeks to plant his defiling wedge of doubt. Hence the phrase ‘Curiosity killed the cat’. The fourth form, is that of Faith and Trust. When your Lord has forewarned you to steer clear of harm’s way, why then would you dare it? Do you not trust in what He has planned, that you would venture into your own misconceived ambitions? It is not that Adam and Hawaa were unintelligible enough to understand any of this. It is that the devil did indeed play his part. But let us first examine this ‘suffering’ or ‘toil’ as is mentioned.

Allah said to them; إِنَّ لَكَ أَلَّا تَجُوعَ فِيها وَلَا تَعۡرَىٰ Indeed for you there is no hunger in paradise, nor will you be unclothed (Taha 20:118) وَأَنَّكَ لَا تَظۡمَؤُاْ فِيها وَلَا تَضۡحَىٰ And indeed for you there is no thirst in paradise, nor the scorching (sun). (Taha 20:119)

The three necessities of survival on earth. Elementary science. Food and Drink, Shelter from the Sun, and Clothing from nakedness. One must now wonder then; Why do we suffer these needs when Allah Almighty already decreed our being on earth? Why would he forewarn Adam against these sufferings when the earth was already decreed to be our eventual destination? Allah already explained it;

وَلَقَدۡ عَهِدۡنَآ إِلَىٰٓ ءَادَمَ مِن قَبۡلُ فَنَسِىَ وَلَمۡ نَجِدۡ لَهُ ۥ عَزۡمً۬ا

And indeed We made a covenant with Adam (at a time) before, but he forgot, and We found him lacking in firmness. (Taha 20:115)

This Ayah is much more complex to decipher and explain, but from what can be examined, there was an agreement, an accord, between the father of mankind and our Creator. What it means, as per the covenant and by Adam’s response to Nabi Musa, is that the purposeful destination to earth (as also defined by Baqarah