Islam does not accept the doctrine of original inherited sin as in the Bible (Genesis 6:5; 8:21; Psalm 51:4-5; Psalm 58:3; Romans 5:12) and in Christian theology developed by Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and the Protestant and Reformed churches. They ususally base this on Surah 30:30 – that Allah created man with an upright nature فطره or فطرت (Fitreh or Fitrat) Yet there is a lot of evidence in both the Ahadith and the Qur’an that points to Islam also teaching some kind of doctrine of original sin inherited from Adam and Eve. I had a respectful discussion about this issue with Khaled here. (no longer there) There are many passages in the Qur’an and Ahadith on this. We begin with just one verse from the Hadith and Qur’an, Later, in subsequent articles, I want to slowly work through many different passages, both in the Qur’an and Ahadith literature.
“Abu al-Aswad reported that ‘Imran b Husain asked him: What is your view, what the people do today in the world, and strive for, is it something decreed for them or preordained for them or will their fate in the Hereafter be deterrained by the fact that their Prophets brought them teaching which they did not act upon? I said: Of course, it is something which is predetermined for them and preordained for them. He (further) said: Then, would it not be an injustice (to punish them)? I felt greatly disturbed because of that, and said: Everything is created by Allah and lies in His Power. He would not be questioned as to what He does, but they would be questioned; thereupon he said to me: May Allah have mercy upon you, I did not mean to ask you but for testing your intelligence. Two men of the tribe of Muzaina came to Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Allah’s Messenger, what is your opinion that the people do in the world and strive for, is something decreed for them; something preordained for them and will their fate in the Hereafter be determined by the fact that their Prophets brought them teachings which they did not act upon. and thus they became deserving of punishment? Thereupon, he said: Of course, it happens as it is decreed by Destiny and preordained for them, and this view is confirmed by this verse of the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious:” Consider the soul and Him Who made it perfect, then breathed into it its sin and its piety” (Surah 91:8). (Sahih Muslim, book 33, no. 6406)
The Arabic of Surah 91:8 does not have “discernment” or “conscience” or “show them difference between”, etc.
Surah 91:7 is “by the soul [ Arabic: نفس ] = “the self, the soul, the flesh, the sinful inward desires, selfishness”
وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا (Surah 91:7 – “by the soul, and the proportion and order given to it”)
فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا (Surah 91:8 – see translations below, along with Hadith above, the blue phrases are not in the Arabic. )
And inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness,
Then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right for him;
And inspired it (with conscience of) what is wrong for it and (what is) right for it.
And its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right;-
Then He inspired [it to understand what is] right and wrong for it;
So He inspired it to its impiety and piety!
سپس بدیها و پرهیزگاریهایش را (به او) الهام کرد.
“.(The Farsi version says, “Therefore he inspired the evils and its acts of piety (to him
The Hadith version of Surah 91:8, the translation by Dr. Ghali, and the Farsi version seem to be the most accurate to the Arabic. Interesting
At least this Hadith shows there is some question about the justice of Allah for punishing humans for their nafs – the soul or self – that is created wicked –
He would not be questioned as to what He does, but they would be – questioned –
is this where the general cultural tendency comes from to be taught not to question things too much in Islam
To be continued . . .