Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook
Pages (PDF): 154
Publication Date: 1863
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This book is a collection of Islamic stories of the prophets, a genre which has been perennially popular in the world of Islam. Most of the characters present in the stories are the same prophets which are familiar from the Bible and other Jewish and Christian sources. Although the selections and translations appear to be fair and accurate enough, the commentary is hostile to Islam throughout.
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THE most authentic records of antiquity which have come down to us state that Adam was created on Friday afternoon, at the hour of Assr.
The four most exalted angels, Gabriel, Michael, Israfil, and Israil, were commanded to bring from the four corners of the earth the dust out of which Allah formed the body of Adam, all save the head and heart. For these He employed exclusively the sacred earth of Mecca and Medina, from the very spots on which, in later times, the holy Kaaba and the sepulchre of Mohammed were erected.
Even before it was animated, Adam's beautiful form excited the admiration of the angels who were passing by the gates of Paradise, where Allah had laid it down. But Iblis coveted man's noble form, and the spiritual and lovely expression of his countenance, and said, therefore, to his fellows, "How can this hollow piece of earth be well pleasing in your sight? Nothing but weakness and frailty may be expected of this creature." When all the inhabitants of heaven, save Iblis, had gazed on Adam in long and silent wonder, they burst out in praises to Allah, the creator of the first man, who was so tall, that when he stood erect upon the earth his head reached to the seventh heaven.
Allah then directed the angels to bathe the Soul of Adam, which he had created a thousand years before his body, in the sea of glory which proceedeth from himself, and commanded her to animate his yet lifeless form. The Soul hesitated, for she was unwilling to exchange the boundless heavens for this narrow home; but Allah said, "Thou must animate Adam even against thy will; and as the punishment of thy disobedience, thou shalt one day be separated from him also against thy will." Allah then breathed upon her with such violence that she rushed through the nostrils of Adam into his head. On reaching his eyes, they were opened, and he saw the throne of Allah, with the inscription, "There is out one GOD, and Mohammed is his Messenger." The Soul then penetrated to his ears, and he heard the angels praising Allah; thereupon his own tongue was loosed, and he cried, "Blessed be thou, my Creator, the only One and Eternal!" and Allah answered, "For this end wast thou created; thou and thy descendants shall worship me; so shall ye ever obtain grace and mercy." The Soul at last pervaded all the limbs of Adam; and when she had reached his feet, she gave him the power to rise; but, on rising, he was obliged to shut his eyes, for a light shone on him from the throne of the Lord which he was unable to endure; and pointing with one hand toward it, while he shaded his eyes with the other, he inquired, "O Allah! what flames are those?" "It is the light of a prophet who shall descend from thee and appear on earth in the latter times. By my glory, only for his sake have I created thee and the whole world. In heaven his name is Ahmed, but he shall be called Mohammed on earth, and he shall restore mankind from vice and falsehood to the path of virtue and truth."
All created things were then assembled before Adam, and Allah taught him the names of all beasts, of birds, and of fish; the manner in which they are sustained and propagated, and explained their peculiarities, and the ends of their existence. Finally, the angels were convoked, and Allah commanded them to bow down to Adam, as the most free and perfect of His creatures, and as the only one that was animated by His breath. Israfil was the first to obey, whence Allah confided to him the book of Fate. The other angels followed his example: Iblis alone was disobedient, saying, with disdain, "Shall I, who am created of fire, worship a being formed of the dust?" He was therefore expelled from heaven, and the entrance into Paradise was forbidden him.
Adam breathed more freely after the removal of Iblis; and by command of Allah, he addressed the myriads of angels who were standing around him, in praise of His omnipotence and the wonders of His universe; and on this occasion he manifested to the angels that he far surpassed them in wisdom, and more especially in the knowledge of languages, for he knew the name of every created thing in seventy different tongues.
After this discourse, Allah presented him, through Gabriel, with a bunch of grapes from Paradise, and when he had eaten them he fell into a deep sleep. The Lord then took a rib from Adam's side, and formed a woman of it, whom he called Hava (Eve), for he said, I have taken her from (hai) the living. She bore a perfect resemblance to Adam; but her features were more delicate than his, and her eyes shone with a sweeter luster, her hair was longer, and divided into seven hundred braids; her form was lighter, and her voice more soft and pure.
While Allah was endowing Eve with every female charm, Adam was dreaming of a second human being resembling himself. Nor was this strange, for had he not seen all the creatures which had been presented to him in pairs? When, therefore, he awoke, and found Eve near him, he desired to embrace her; yet, although her love exceeded his own, she forbade him, and said, "Allah is my lord; it is only with his permission that I may be thine! Besides, it is not meet that a woman should be wedded without a marriage gift." Adam then prayed the angel Gabriel to intercede for him with Allah, that he might obtain Eve for his wife, and to inquire what marriage gift would be demanded. The angel soon returned, and said, "Eve is thine, for Allah has created her only for thee! Love her as thyself, and treat her with indulgence and kindness.