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19 June 2019 CE | 16 Shawwal 1440 AH
Explanation below

Hadith Explanation

Souls in Existence

Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “When Allah created Aadam He wiped his back and every soul of his offspring He was to create up to the Day of Resurrection fell from his back. He put on the forehead of every one of them a flash of light, then presented them to Aadam who asked, ‘My Lord, who are they?’ Allah said, ‘They are your offspring.’

He saw one of them and was charmed by the flash on his forehead, hence he asked, ‘My Lord, who is this?’ Allah told him that he was a man from his children of the final group of people who would be called Dawood. Aadam asked, ‘My Lord! What age have you assigned to him?’ Allah said, ‘Sixty years.’ Aadam requested, ‘My Lord! Increase his age and give him forty years of my life.’

When Aadam’s period of life came to an end, the angel of death came to him. He protested, ‘Are there not forty years of my life remaining?’ The angel reminded him, ‘Did you not give them to your son Dawood?’ Aadam denied it (with the result that) all his children denied. And Aadam forgot (with the result that) all his children developed (the malady of) forgetfulness. And Aadam slipped and his children faultered.” [Sunan Imam Tirmidhi – Hasan Sahih hadith]

There are several lessons to be learnt from this hadith:

1. The first thing that this hadith confirms is that man was created as we see him now. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) created Aadam (alaihis salam) in a perfect form directly. From the very first day, he was intelligent, able to speak, and feel and understand, and to distinguish between right and wrong. It is not as some people believe that man was an ape and gradually evolved into his present form.

2. We also learn from this hadith that characteristics are inherited by mankind whether they are temperamental, physical or mental. Aadam (alaihis salam) denied having made a gift of his age to anyone, not out of disobedience but forgetfulness. His progeny inherited this weakness and forgetfulness became a peculiarity of the children of Aadam.

The most important thing that humans forget is the covenant they made with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) at the time of their creation. Allah’s books and prophets are thus there to remind them. In everyday matters Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has made it necessary that every important affair, especially financial, should be recorded to forestall every denier and every forgetfulness. The Shariah has prescribed recording dealings and having witnesses to ward off disputes and unpleasantness.

3. This hadith also confirms our eeman in divine ordainment or fate (qada wa qadar). Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has determined which individuals will come into existence and created their souls. Nothing can prevent them from coming into this world at the time appointed for them. Nor can anyone bring into this world any individual without Allah’s Will. Furthermore, the age of all living things is also pre-determined and there will be no increase or decrease in it.

4. This hadith expresses the grandeur of Prophet Dawood (alaihis salam) and confirms the strength of his faith and intelligence which is reflected in the brightness on his forehead.

5. This hadith also informs us that it is alright to reckon the years of one’s life because Aadam (alaihis salam) had kept a record of his age.

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