30. When your Lord said to the angels, “I am placing a successor on earth.” They said, “Will You place in it someone who will cause corruption in it and shed blood, while we declare Your praises and sanctify You?” He said, “I know what you do not know.”
31. And He taught Adam the names, all of them; then he presented them to the angels, and said, “Tell Me the names of these, if you are sincere.”
32. They said, “Glory be to You! We have no knowledge except what You have taught us. It is you who are the Knowledgeable, the Wise.”
33. He said, “O Adam, tell them their names.” And when he told them their names, He said, “Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of the heavens and the earth, and that I know what you reveal and what you conceal?”
34. And We said to the angels, “Bow down to Adam.” They bowed down, except for Satan. He refused, was arrogant, and was one of the disbelievers.
35. We said, “O Adam, inhabit the Garden, you and your spouse, and eat from it freely as you please, but do not approach this tree, lest you become wrongdoers.”
36. But Satan caused them to slip from it, and caused them to depart the state they were in. We said, “Go down, some of you enemies of one another. And you will have residence on earth, and enjoyment for a while.”
37. Then Adam received words from his Lord, so He relented towards him. He is the Relenting, the Merciful.
38. We said, “Go down from it, all of you. Yet whenever guidance comes to you from Me, then whoever follows My guidance-they have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve.
39. But as for those who disbelieve and reject Our signs-these are the inmates of the Fire-wherein they will remain forever.”
40. O Children of Israel! Remember My blessings which I bestowed upon you, and fulfill your pledge to Me, and I will fulfill My pledge to you, and fear Me.
This is Archangel Gabriel giving Muhammad a glimpse into the past showing him how Adam and the whole world began. There is an interesting relationship that Adam has with God, that the angels do not. Angels are marvelous beings, that God created before humans, but humans were the next design. And the creation to use their mind and imagination to create on their own! Angels are likened to robots, always programmed to be good and to reflect God’s Goodness. But God wanted another creation at this time to exist, and this is where Adam came from. Adam is the next prototype of an Angel, but the difference is he is one who can co-create his reality on his own. I have always thought it was interesting that Adam was so close to the word “Atom” and much like Adam made up the names of the world, Atoms make up the matter of our physical universe.
Satan another type of creation from smokeless fire element was one being that had Free Will as well as Adam and decided to not bow in respect or in “namaste” to Adam. Instead this being chose a different path of hate, jealousy, and dare I say…fear.
Satan refused to bow to Adam and caused Adam and Eve to take from a specific tree God warned them about. Now in the Bible it is the Tree of Knowledge, but in the Quran it was less about the tree’s “gifts” and more about the disobeying and distrust of God. God being a merciful God decided that Adam and Eve still needed to learn and sent them “down” to the earthly physical realm where they had more to learn about trust in God.
But God does not leave Adam, or any part of mankind, and Archangel Gabriel tells Muhammad to let the people of the world know it is never too late and this is only a temporary home until we find our way back to the Gardens and that state of being we were originally in.
fresco painting by Michelangelo