Mankind was created with natural inclinations and desires for companionship. For that, Allah in His wisdom and mercy then created a mate for Adam AS. It is mentioned in the Qur’an that “It is He who created you from a single person (Adam) and then He created from his wife (Eve), in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her.” (Al Qur’an 7:189)
Authentic hadith states that Eve (or Hawwa) was created from Adam’s AS left rib. Allah then commanded “O Adam , dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will.” (Al Qur’an 7:19) However, this license to stay in Paradise came with one strict condition: “But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers.” (Al Qur’an 7:19)
Adam AS and Eve dwelt in Paradise in happiness. However, not to be outdone, Satan started his insidious whispers to them. He systematically planted tempting ideas in their minds, whispering to Adam AS – “O Adam, shall I direct you to the tree of eternity and possession that will not deteriorate?” (Al Qur’an 20:120)
This is one of the trademarks of Satan. He does not suggest direct disobedience, but instead decorates prohibited actions, presenting them in a different format, making them appear beneficial and enticing, and altogether harmless.
He suggested to them: “Your Lord did not forbid you this tree save you should become angels or become of the immortal” (Al Qur’an 7:20) – planting within their hearts the yearning for immortality, casting doubt of Allah’s commandments in their hearts, and eroding the original prohibition from their memories. In short, making them forget the original injunction. Satan tried to gain their trust by persuading them that he was their sincere advisor. This is the main aim of the Devil, to make one forget the message. These whispers continued, appealing to their basic and human desires to dwell in Paradise for eternity. Eventually, Adam AS and Eve became so preoccupied with the thought of the tree, that one day, they forgot Allah’s original warning and succumbed to their temptations and desires.
In a short moment of distraction, they forgot Allah’s orders, and breached Allah’s command. While certain Israelite traditions blame Hawwa for enticing her husband to downfall, Islamic text is clear that both Adam AS and his wife were equally culpable for the deed.
In that moment, they had forgotten Satan’s lowly status as the cursed one. Upon eating from the tree, their bodies transformed. Together with the shame of their disobedience, their private parts became exposed, and they hurriedly fastened over themselves from the leaves of Paradise.
Allah addressed them: “Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is to you a clear enemy?” (Al Qur’an 7:22)
Realizing their horrific lapse, Adam and Eve pleaded to their Lord, in what was the first dua made by Man: “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.” (Al Qur’an 7:23)
Their reaction is significant and here, their path diverged from that taken by Iblis. Rather than to blame God for transgressing their limits, they admitted full responsibility for their wrongdoing. At the same time, they also recognized Allah’s merciful attribute, and pleaded to Him for His forgiveness and His Mercy. They were fully cognizant of the fact although they had erred, they could repent to Allah, without Whose mercy and forgiveness, they would be doomed. Most of all, they were sincerely remorseful, which meant that they were so ashamed that they had vowed not to repeat the mistake again.
Adam AS and Hawwa were forgiven by Allah, due to the sincerity of their repentance. However, they were also sentenced for their disobedience, and were exiled from Paradise and sent down to earth. (Allah) said: “Get down, one of you an enemy to the other [i.e. Adam, Hawwa (Eve), and Shaitan (Satan), etc.]. On earth will be a dwelling-place for you and an enjoyment, – for a time. Therein you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out (i.e. resurrected).” (Al Qur’an 7:24 – 7:25) Allah did not leave mankind stranded on earth however: “And if there should come to you guidance from Me – then whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray [in the world] nor suffer [in the Hereafter].” (Al Qur’an 20:123)
There were also other words of advice, the standards by which they and their progeny were to abide: “O Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts, etc.) and as an adornment, and the raiment of righteousness, that is better. Such are among the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, that they may remember (i.e. leave falsehood and follow truth).” (Al Qur’an 7:26)
It is authentically reported that “…on that day (Friday), Adam AS was created and then was expelled on Friday from the Paradise.” (Bukhari)