Bismillah. This is the continuation of our Prophets’ series.
When Allah created Adam and breathed into him, he sneezed. He said: Praise be to Allah, by His permission. At this, his Lord said to him: “Your Lord has bestowed mercy on you. O Adam! Go to those angels sitting there and greet them.” So Adam said: As salaamu ‘alaykum (peace be upon you). They responded to him. Then he came back to his Lord. Allah said: “It will be your greeting and the greeting of your offspring.”
Allah said, having made His Hands closed: “Select any one of them.” Adam said: “I select the right hand and both the hands of my Lord are right and blessed.” Then Allah spread it. There was Adam and his generation. Adam asked: “O Lord! Who are these people?” Allah said: “They are your children.” Every human being’s life is written between his eyes. Among them was a man with the brightest face. For him was written only forty years of age. Adam said: “O Lord! Who is this fellow?” Allah said: “This is your son Dawood [David]. His life span is written forty years.” Adam said: “O Lord! Increase his age.” Allah said: “This is what I have written down for him.” He said: “Then I give him sixty years of my age.” Allah said: “This is between you and him. Live in Paradise.”
He lived there as long as Allah wished. Then he was descended from it to earth. Adam was counting his age. Then the angel of death came to him. Adam said to him: “You have come earlier. For me, one thousand years have been written.” The angel said: “Yes, but out of them you have given sixty years to your son Dawood.” Adam denied that so his successors also denied. He forgot, so his successors also forgot. From that day, Allah ordered writing down and making witnesses (for pledges).
(This hadith is sound and reported by Ibn Abi Asim, Ibn Hibbaan and Hakim in his mustadrak.)*
So we learn from this hadith that Adam’s age was 940 years. He had 1000 years written for him, but he gave 60 years out of his life to Dawood ‘alayhis salaam. Look at this: Adam ‘alayhis salaam saw us all as his children. Even though we came thousands of years after. Look at the love he had for Dawood ‘alayhis salaam.
In another narration, Allah subhaana wa ta’aala tells Adam ‘alayhis salaam that the man is Dawood, who is going to come at the end of time. subhaanAllah – Allah said that Dawood was going to come at the end of time! We should really fear the Hour coming if Dawood ‘alayhis salaam was towards the end of time!
This hadith teaches us many important lessons. One is that we should write down our debts, loans to others and pledges because we may die any minute or may get into conflict with the second party. Unless there are witnesses and something written, one’s rights will not be proved.
RasulAllah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam says, “Adam denied, so the children of Adam, they deny. And Adam forgot, and his children forget. And Adam made mistakes and his children make mistakes.” Sometimes we forget, and that is human nature. And it is said that the name insaan (human) comes from nisyaan, which is forgetting. When we forget, we reject.
Adam wasn’t lying – he forgot. He is a messenger of Allah and they are infallible from falling into these sins. Allah forgave him; it was a mistake from Adam. Every day in our daily conversations and dealings, we forget. That happens; give excuse for your brothers. RasulAllah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told us to give our brothers 70 excuses. Let us use these stories to learn akhlaaq (manners); we are in great need of akhlaaq. You can easily find 70 excuses or more if you want to.
When death approached Adam, he said to his sons: “My sons! I have a desire for the fruits of Paradise.” They all, then, went in search for it. The angels met them on their way. Tehy were carrying his shroud and embalment, as well as tools for digging and instruments for measurement. They asked them: “O children of Adam! Where are you going, and what are you looking for?” They answered: “Our father is ill, and desiring the fruits of Paradise.” They said, “Go back, as your father is about to die.” The angels came (to Adam), and when Eve saw them, she recognized them and then clung with Adam. Adam said: “Get away from me. I was born before you. :eave me alone with the angels of my Lord, the Almighty.” They took out his soul, washed his body, shrouded it into cloth and embalmed him. They, then, dug a grave, offered their prayer upon him, then put him into the grave, made ablution upon him and filled it with earth. Then they said: “O children of Adam! This will be your tradition (of our burial rites).” (Musnad Ahmad)**
After the death of Adam, his son Sheeth [Seth] took charge of his mission and he was a Prophet. We will very briefly mention Sheeth and Idrees [Enoch] inshaAllah, as both of their stories are quite short. But before them, we will relate the story of Cain and Abel (Qabil and Habil).
*This hadith was taken from 110 hadith Qudsi, translated by S. Masood ul-Hasan, Dar us Salam.
**This story was mentioned in Ibn Kathir’s Stories of the Prophets.