Answered by Ustadh Sharif Rosen

Question: Assalam alaykum

Who has eaten from the tree first? Adam or Eve?

Answer: BismilLahi Rahmani Rahim

as-Salamu ‘alaykum.

Jazakum Allah khayran for your question.

The Qur’an affirms that both Adam and Hawa, upon them be peace, ate from the tree which they were commanded to abstain from.  Our proof text is, {He [Shaytan] lured them with lies.  Their nakedness became exposed to them when they had eaten from the tree…} [Qur’an 7:22].

That both our primordial parents fell prey to the Devil’s insinuations means that Hawa, upon her be peace, is not held liable for their “fall” from the garden onto earth.  And although most of the details of this event are left ambiguous, that the Qur’an clearly absolves Hawa from such exclusive blame is highly consequential.  It frees her, and by extension all women from having to endure the injustices that have historically resulted from this wrongful condemnation.

Even eons removed from this encounter, Adam and Hawa’s reaction to their error provides us lessons that may illuminate our lives.  Rather than blaming Allah for their actions as did Iblis [see Qur’an 7:10 – 17], Adam and Hawa, upon them be peace, hasten to acknowledge their wrong and return to Allah, pleading, {“Our Lord, we have wronged our souls: if You do not forgive us and have mercy, we shall be lost!”} [Qur’an 7:23].  Through their repentance, Allah teaches us that every individual thereafter should ever take refuge in His mercy, while taking personal responsibility for any harm that afflicts us.

And Allah knows best.

[Ustadh] Sharif Rosen

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sharif Rosen is the Muslim Chaplain at Williams College (in the Northeastern United States) where he works to enhance campus life through spiritual and pastoral care; advocacy and coalition building; and deepening mutual understanding within and between communities.  His formative Islamic studies, past and ongoing, have been at the hands of scholars connected via unbroken transmission to the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings.  Most of Sharif’s training occurred in Amman, Jordan from 2008 – 2013, with a focus on creed, ritual law, spirituality, Quranic recitation and exegesis and through which he has received permission to transmit his Islamic learning.  Sharif has a B.A. in History from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and is now completing his graduate studies.  He completed the Classical Arabic program at the Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman, where he was also the Director of Student Life.  He currently serves as the Vice President for Educational Chaplaincy with the U.S.-based Association of Muslim Chaplains.

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)