Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum. As we know prophet Adam ate from the forbidden tree, so I want to know was this a sin? I have read that Prophets are sinless, so how did the Prophet Adam eat from that tree? He also asked for forgiveness from Allah for that thing.
Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
No, the Prophet Adam (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not sin. Sinning requires a determination and resolve to do a forbidden act. For example, someone who takes a sip of white wine thinking it is water or lemonade is not sinful – because he did not resolve to commit a sin.
In the same way, the Prophet Adam (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not have a resolve to do what was forbidden for him. Allah said, “Indeed We took a pledge from Adam in the past, but he forgot, and we did not find that he had a resolve [to break his pledge].” [Qur’an, 20: 115] [Zada, Hashiya Zada ‘ala Tafsir al-Baydawi]
He asked forgiveness because he made a mistake, and was saddened by this. It was a display of his nature being the opposite of that of Iblis. Please refer to this lesson for more details.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.