The title of Sayyiduna Aadam is ‘Khalifatullah’ (the vicegerent of Allah ). When Allah decided to nominate Sayyiduna Aadam as His vicegerent, a very astonishing and thought-provoking dialogue took place between Allah and His angels. This dialogue has been mentioned below:
O angels! I am going to create My vicegerent who will be My representative on the earth and will implement My commands.
O Allah ! Will you appoint such a person as Your vicegerent and representative on the earth who will commit violence, bloodshed and massacre on the earth? 0 our Allah ! We, the angel beings deserve more to be Your vicegerent because we will neither cause chaos on the earth nor will we cause bloodshed. Glorifying Your name, we do proclaim and preach Your grandeur and majesty. Every moment, our tongues keep on praising and venerating You. Therefore, bless someone from amongst us with the distinctive rank of ‘Khalifatullah (Allah’s vicegerent)’.
• 0 angels! The wisdom and prudence in appointing Aadam as My vicegerent is beyond your inference. Only I know these secrets. You the angel beings are unaware of the wisdom that lies in this selection. Although the angels observed silence after hearing these words from Allah but they assumed in their heart that no matter who is appointed
as the vicegerent of Allah , he will not surpass us in rank. Because the high rank we angels possess, no one else among the creatures can attain this status. Therefore, the excellence will lie with the angel beings only.
After this, Allah created Sayyiduna Aadam and blessed him with the knowledge of all minor and major things. Then, the following dialogue took place between Allah and the angels.
0 angels! If you are true in your claim that no other creation can be superior to you, tell me the names of all those things that I have presented before you.
• 0 Allah , You are free from every flaw and shortcoming. The degree of knowledge that we possess is only what You have bestowed us with. Apart from that, we do not know anything. It is our belief that alone You are the Creator and the Owner of all wisdom and knowledge.
After this, Allah addressed Sayyiduna Aadam and said: 0 Aadam, tell the names of all objects to these angels. Then Sayyiduna Aadam told the names of all the objects along with associated mysteries, hearing which the angels were stunned.
• 0 angels! Did I not tell you that I have the knowledge of all hidden things of the heavens and the earth? I also know what you used to proclaim openly that Aadam will cause chaos and I am also aware of the thoughts that you have been hiding in your hearts that no one superior than you will ever be created. Afterwards, to announce and make the angels admit the excellence and grandeur of Sayyiduna Aadam Allah ordered all the angels to offer Sajdah (prostration) to Sayyiduna Aadam _ Therefore, complying this commandment of Allah , all the angels prostrated to Sayyiduna Aadarn . But Satan
refused to prostrate out of arrogance and became unbeliever. He was dismissed from the court of Allah.
The Holy Quran has related this whole incident in a miraculous way:
And (O Beloved), recall when your Lord said to the angels, ‘I am about to appoint My vicegerent on the earth,’ they (the angels) said, ‘Will You appoint such as a vicegerent (i.e. human beings) who will cause mischief and bloodshed therein? And (whilst) praising You, we glorify and sanctify You.’ He said, ‘I know what you know not.’ And Allah Almighty taught the names of all things to Aadam, then having presented all these things before the angels, He said, t least reveal the names of these if you are truthful (in your perception that you are more befitting to be vicegerents).’ They said, ‘Glory be to You, we have no knowledge, except that much, which You have taught us. No doubt, only You are the All-Knowing, the Wise.’ He said, ‘O Aadam, inform them of the names of all things.’ When Aadam had informed them of all the names, He (Allah) said, ‘(O angels!) Had I not told you that I know all the hidden things of the Heavens and the earth? And I know whatever you disclose and whatever you conceal’ And recall, when We ordered the angels to prostrate to Aadam, so they all prostrated except Iblees (Satan); he refused and displayed arrogance, and became a disbeliever.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 1, Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 30-34)
Moral: From the above Ayahs, we can derive the following moral lessons:
1. The omnipotence of Allah is evident from meaning (He
always does whatever He wills. Neither can anyone interrupt Him from the execution of His will, nor can anyone criticize any of His doings.
Despite all this, Allah held a counselling with the angels regarding the creation and nomination of Sayyiduna Aadam – We get a moral lesson from this parable that when Allah , Who is Omnipotent and Who cannot be compelled by anyone, counsels with His angels, then ordinary people who have very low knowledge and power should also seek counsel from their sincere friends and wise comrades in their affairs, as seeking counsel is the Sunnah and the blessed tradition of Allah .
2. The angels said about Aadam that he will be a rioter and will cause bloodshed. Therefore, instead of nominating him as the vicegerent, it is better to bless us with this esteemed status because our code of conduct is sole obedience and glorification of Allah . Thus, we deserve for this nomination more than
Sayyiduna Aadam – The angels established their opinion on the basis of Ijtihad (inference) that Allah will bless the vicegerent with three traits: (i) faculty of lust, (ii) faculty of rage, and (iii) faculty of intellect. And due to the faculties of lust and rage, various kinds of sedition, contentions, bloodshed and plundering will happen. That’s why the angels said in the court of Allah that You are going to delegate powers to such a being who will cause diverse seditions and brawls and will hail a storm of bloodshed and massacre on the earth. It is better that You appoint Your vicegerent from amongst us as we pray, glorify and recite Your praise and proclaim Your purity and dignity. Allah made them quiet by saying that only I know the wisdom in making him My vicegerent. You angels are not cognizant of the covert wisdom.
In fact, only Allah , the ‘Aalim-ul-Ghuyub, knows the wisdom in that selection. However, one of the apparent cause is that the angels did not consider Sayyiduna Aadam suitable for being a vicegerent of Allah due to the faculties of lust and rage which would result in bloodshed and massacre. However, the angels did not realise the third faculty – the faculty of intellect that was also present in Sayyiduna Aadam . The excellence of the faculty of intellect is such that if it overrides the faculties of lust and rage, then it renders the later ones positive i.e. these two faculties also engage in bringing all sorts of reforms and betterments, instead of promoting brawls and bloodshed. The angels missed this point. That’s why, Allah said, ‘You don’t know what I know!’ Hearing this, the angels became quiet.
From this, we derive the moral lesson that since human beings are not fully aware of the wisdom in the strategies of Allah , therefore, it is mandatory for the bondmen of Allah to keep their tongues under their control and refrain from criticising or passing any negative comments on any strategy of Allah . Admitting that they have imperfect and incomplete knowledge, they should endorse covertly and overtly that whatever Allah has done is right. Allah knows the wisdom behind His strategies which we, the bondmen are unaware of.
3. Allah bestowed Sayyiduna Aadam with the knowledge of the names and attributes of all the objects via revelation within an instant. It can be deduced that knowledge is not bound to be attainable through books only lesson by lesson. When Allah favours someone, He imparts knowledge through revelation within a few moments without requiring any book or lesson. His heart becomes full of know ledge and wisdom without use of the traditional means of learning. It is proven about several Awliya (friends of Allah ) with authentic references that they became highly knowledgeable within seconds without approaching any Madrasah, teacher or library, just by the grace of Allah and by virtue of the spiritual impact of their Shaykh. Their knowledge level would become so high that could not be paralleled by the most learned scholars of their times.
4. From these parables, we have come to know that becoming of the vicegerent of Allah does not depend upon extensive worship and glorification, instead it depends upon heights of knowledge and cognizance. Therefore, despite extensive worship and glorification of Allah , the angels were not bestowed with the title of ‘Khalifatullah’ (Allah’s vicegerent), while Sayyiduna Aadam was bestowed with the same by virtue of the extensive knowledge and cognizance, as evident from the Quranic Ayahs.
5. We also learnt that the abundance of knowledge is superior to the abundance of worship. The rank of an ‘Aalim (religious scholar) is a lot higher than that of an ‘Aabid (worshiper). Therefore, to disclose the potential distinctions, excellence and the intellectual grandeur with which Sayyiduna Aadam was bestowed with and for an acknowledgment of this grandeur and distinction from the angels, Allah ordered all the angels to prostrate before Sayyiduna Aadam – Complying the commandment of Allah, all of the angels prostrated before Sayyiduna Aadam and became near and dear to Allah . On the contrary, Iblees (Satan) who refused to prostrate to Sayyiduna Aadam out of arrogance, was cursed from the court of Allah and consequently, he fell in such a deep ditch of misguidance, damnation and humiliation that he will never be able to come out of it. He will remain accursed in the worldly life as well as in the afterlife for ever. He is destined for the never-ending torment of hellfire.
6. We have also come to know that the current method of examinations for evaluation of someone’s knowledge is an ancient Sunnah of Allah . Allah tested the angels and Sayyiduna Aadam for revealing their knowledge level. The angels failed in that test and Sayyiduna Aadam succeeded.
Satan insulted Sayyiduna Aadam by calling him a statue made of soil and expressed his arrogance by considering himself to be superior being made up of fire and refused to prostrate to Sayyiduna Aadam The reason behind this denial was his arrogance. The moral lesson that we learnt is that arrogance is such an evil that may result in fall of high ranked and prestigious ones into the abyss of infamy and sometimes, it leads towards unbelief (Kufr). Moreover, when arrogance is combined with offensive and abusive attitude towards the beloveds of Allah the consequent damnation and curse is beyond any imagination and why not such a person can be referred as Iblees! Here is an admonitory lesson for all those who insult and disrespect the beloveds of Allah and are proud of their worship. If they are not referred as Iblees of these times, then what else do they deserve to be called!