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The Parable of Adam, Eve, and Satan
While I believe it to be the true Creation Story, there are more lessons to be gleaned than just how we got here on Earth
I believe that the story of Adam and Eve is the actual creation story of humanity. I take the Word of God at face value. At the same time, this does not take away from the fact that the story has a symbolic, metaphorical meaning as well. Let us recount the story in the Islamic tradition (Quran Chapter 7, verses 12-26):
Indeed, We created you, then We formed you, then We said unto the angels, “Prostrate yourselves before Adam.” And they all prostrated, save Iblīs (Satan); he was not among those who prostrated.
[God] said, “What prevented thee from prostrating when I commanded thee?”
[Satan] said, “I am better than him. Thou hast created me from fire, while Thou hast created him from clay.”
[God] said, “Get down from it! It is not for thee to wax arrogant here. So go forth! Thou art surely among those who are humbled.”
[Satan then] said, “Grant me respite till the Day they are resurrected.”
[God] said, “Truly thou art among those granted respite.”
[Satan] said, “Because Thou hast caused me to err, I shall surely lie in wait for them on Thy straight path. Then I shall come upon them from in front of them and from behind them, and from their right and from their left. And Thou wilt not find most of them thankful.”
[God] said, “Go forth from it, disgraced and banished! Whosoever among them follows you, I shall surely fill Hell with you all. O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat from wheresoever you two will, but approach not this tree, lest you two be among the wrong doers.”
Then Satan whispered to them, that he might expose tot hem that which was hidden from them of their nakedness. And he said,“Your Lord has only forbidden you this tree, lest you should become angels, or among those who abide [forever].”
And [Satan] swore unto them, “Truly I am a sincere adviser unto you.” Thus he lured them on through deception. And when they tasted of the tree, their nakedness was exposed to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the Garden to cover themselves.
And their Lord called out to them, “Did I not forbid you from that tree, and tell you that Satan is a manifest enemy unto you?”
They said,“OurLord!We have wronged ourselves. If Thou dost not forgive us and have Mercy upon us, we shall surely be among the losers.”
He said,“Get down, each of you an enemy to the other! There will be for you on earth a dwelling place, and enjoyment for a while…Therein you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from there shall you be brought forth.”
Really, when we think about it, how hard could that have been? Our father Adam and mother Eve had the entirely of Paradise, and all they had to do was avoid one tree. One tree! How hard could that be?
Here is the metaphorical meaning of this story for me. The vastness of the Garden to me symbolizes all that is good and pure in this world and in our lives in general. And the “one tree” symbolizes sin and disobedience to God. Compared to all that is pure and good, the forbidden is a small thing, one tree amidst the vastness of Paradise.
To many, the prohibitions of God seem the opposite: that everything is illicit, and that the licit is only the “one tree.” In fact, many preachers preach the same from the pulpit. The reality is the reverse, and this is another meaning of the story of Adam and Eve.
We need to teach this lesson of the story of Adam, Eve, and Satan. We need to teach that most things in this world are allowed, pure, and good; that sin is as the “one tree” in the vastness of Paradise; and that Satan will continuously try to “lure us on with deception” to lead us to think that the “one tree” of sin will bring us everlasting life or make us like the Angels.
It is a lie. Let us pray to the Lord that we not fall for the deceptions of the enemy.
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