Purpose of creating Human Beings
Jihad Turk, September 2, 2007

In the Quran, God says that he planned to create vicegerents (human beings) on earth and asks angels to prostrate Adam. All the angels bow down except for the Iblis, the Jinn (The Unseen being)). Iblis asked for time from God to prove that humans were inferior to him because humans were made from clay whereas the jinns were made from fire. He dared God to let him try and corrupt humans. God accepted Iblis' challenge and said he would have time until the Day of Judgment to do his tempting (see 7:11-17). When Adam and Eve committed the sin of eating the fruit from the forbidden tree, both repent and God forgives them and sends them to earth. But it is worth mentioning here that whether they have committed that sin or not, Almighty God had already decided that the human beings will be His vicegerents on earth even before their creation. Hence it is quite evident from this fact that Islam does not support the doctrine of "Original Sin".

From Chapter 2: The Cow

30. Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." They said: "Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?- whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?" He said: "I know what ye know not."

31. And He taught Adam the nature of all things; then He placed them before the angels, and said: "Tell me the nature of these if ye are right."

32. They said: "Glory to Thee, of knowledge We have none, save what Thou Hast taught us: In truth it is Thou Who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom."

33. He said: "O Adam! Tell them their natures." When he had told them, Allah said: "Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what ye reveal and what ye conceal?"

34. And behold, We said to the angels: "Bow down to Adam" and they bowed down. Not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: He was of those who reject Faith.

35. We said: "O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression."

36. Then did Satan make them slip from the (garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been. We said: "Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood - for a time."

37. Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord Turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.

38. We said: "Get ye down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

39. "But those who reject Faith and belie Our Signs, they shall be companions of the Fire; they shall abide therein."

Excerpts from 'Reconnecting to the Quran' series by Jihad Turk, Religious Director, Islamic Center of Southern California, Los Angeles.