Islam Acquits Woman from Full Responsibility of Getting out of Paradise

Article translated to : العربية עברית

contrary to the teachings of judaism and christianity, islam refuses to accuse woman of causing the fall of adam from paradiseto earth. islam rejects this claim and affirms that the sin is not that of eve alone, and it is unreasonable to blame her for the descent of man from paradiseas judaism and christianity do. this misconception was later used in both religions to further contempt and belittle women. the noble qur'an affirms that both adam and eve were mistaken and they both must take equal responsibility for their mistake:

"and o adam, dwell, you and your spouse, in the garden (and) so eat of where you (both) decide; and do not draw near this tree, (or) then (both of) you will be of the unjust." then ash-shaytan (the all-vicious, i.e., the devil) whispered to them (both) to display to them that which was overlaid (i.e., hidden) from them of their shameful parts; and he said, “in no way has your lord forbidden you from this tree except that you should become (two) angels or become of the ones eternally (abiding)." and he swore to both of them, “surely i am indeed for you both one of your honest (literally: one of the honest advisers) advisers.” so he misled them both by delusion; (or: caused their fall) then, as soon as they (both) tasted the tree, their shameful parts appeared to them, and they took to splicing upon themselves (some of) the leaves of the garden. and their lord called out to them, “did i not forbid you from that tree and say to you both, surely satan is for you both an evident enemy?” they both said, “our lord, we have done an injustice to ourselves; and in case you do not forgive us and have mercy on us, indeed we (both) will definitely be among the losers.” (tmq, 7: 17-23)

when we contemplate these ayahs from the noble qur'an, we notice that the story of adam and eve and their eating from the forbidden tree is narrated the plural as both adam and eve are addressed. according to these ayahs, there is no blame or any indictment to eve alone as it is claimed that she pushed adam to eat from that tree. the story is crystal clear: the devil was the only instigator of both to disobey their lord. the result was the wrath of allah and their supplication to him in the plural to grant them mercy and forgiveness.

indeed, the woman, according to the noble qur'an is not to blame for this error. in one ayah adam is the only one to blame. allah says what can be translated as: "so the two of them ate of it, (and) so their shameful parts became displayed to them, and they took to splicing upon themselves (some) of the leaves of the garden. and adam disobeyed his lord; so he became misguided." (tmq, 20:121) in this ayah, adam is mentioned alone as being the one who disobeyed despite that the ayah refers to the fact that both of them ate from the tree. mentioning the name of adam alone would mean that he is more responsible for falling into mistake.

with regard to inheritance rights that were granted only to male relatives before islam, islam gave female relatives a share of inheritance: "to the men is an assignment of whatever the parents and the nearest kin have left, and to the women is an assignment of whatever the parents and the nearest kin have left, of whatever it be, little or much, an ordained assignment." (tmq, 4: 7) the question of the distribution of inheritance is a vast subject and has a huge amount of detail (the surah of an-nisa (women) 7, 11, 12 and 176). however, the important thing is that muslim woman received her full right of inheritance from her parents since the rise of islam four centuries ago when the jewish women and christian were considered a part of the property of parents, husbands and their successors! all this clearly shows the high status woman enjoys in islam compared with woman in judaism and christianity. this is not all. as for the issue of wife's property, islam, since the seventh century ad, gave the married woman the independent capacity that was stolen from both western jewish and christian woman until recently. islam has honored woman deeply when it did not make her in need to present gifts in order to attract the future husband. on the contrary, the husband must present a gift to the bride who retains it even after divorce. the husband is not entitled to participate in any of his wife's property unless if she offers and consents to that. [70] the noble qur'an mentions this explicitly: "and bring the women their dowries as an endowment, so in case they are good to you concerning any portion of it, (literally: in case they feel good in themselves to you about anything of it) then eat it up rejoicing with wholesome appetite (i.e., take it and make use of it to your profit and advantage)." (tmq, 4:4)


[70] elsayyed sabiq, fiqh al sunnah (cairo: darul fatah lile'lam al-arabi, 11th edition, 1994), vol. 2, pp. 218-229.

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