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BIK01 - Biblical Investigations of the Koran
A Ministry Course on Biblical Content in the Koran
STAGE 2 - Biblical PASSAGES and Biblical PERSONALITIES in the Koran
UNIT 08 - INVESTIGATE ADDITIONS: Examples of Non-Biblical Texts on Adam Added in the Koran - Analysis, Explanation and Application
08.2 - ADDITION EXAMPLE 2: Adam's repentance and restitution (Three Koranic verses about Adam added by the Koran)
143 - Non-Biblical Source 1: Did Adam repent?
The same book, which we quoted in the Addition Example 1 above, shows in detail that Adam and Eve proved their repentance with painful acts of penance. We read in chapters 4 to 8 of “The Life of Adam and Eve” the following (Context: Adam and Eve had just been banished from the Garden in Eden):
: “4:1 And they walked searching for nine days and found nothing such as they had had in Paradise, but only such as animals eat. 4:2 And Adam said to Eve, ‘The LORD appointed this for animals and beasts to eat, but for us there used to be the food of angels. 4:3 But it is just and fitting for us to lament in the sight of God who made us. Let us repent with a great penitence; perhaps the LORD God will be forbearing and pity us and provide for us that we might live.’ -- 5:1 And Eve said to Adam, ‘My lord, tell me, what is repentance and what kind of penitence should I do, lest by chance we impose on ourselves an effort which we cannot sustain, and the LORD not hear our prayers and turn his face from us because we did not keep our promise. 5:2 My lord, how much did you intend to repent, since I have brought toil and tribulation on you?’ -- 6:1 And Adam said to Eve, ‘You are not able to do so much as I; but do as much as you have strength for. I will spend forty days fasting, but you rise and go to the Tigris River and take a stone and stand on it in the water as far as (your) neck in the depths of the river. 6:2 And let no speech come out of your mouth, because we are unworthy to entreat the LORD since our lips are unclean from the illegal and forbidden tree. And stand in the water of the river for thirty-seven days. 6:3 But I will spend forty days in the water of the Jordan. Perhaps the LORD God will pity us.’ -- 7:1 And Eve walked to the Tigris River and did just as Adam told her. Similarly, Adam walked to the Jordan River and stood on a stone up to his neck in water. -- 8:1 And Adam said, ‘I tell you, water of the Jordan, mourn with me and gather to me all swimming creatures which are in you and let them surround me and so lament together with me. 8:2 Let them not mourn for themselves, but rather for me, because it is not they who have sinned, but I.’ 8:3 At once all the living beings came and surrounded him and the water of the Jordan stood, its current not moving from that hour.” (SOURCE: The Life of Adam and Eve, Vita 4:1 to 8:3. Quoted from: James H. Charlesworth, . Doubleday, London 1985. Pages 258 and 260)
Neither Jews nor Christians accepted such texts as divinely inspired or revealed, to become part of their Bible. However, there were Jews prior to Islam, who were regarded by rabbinical Jews as heretical, because they wrote and used such un-biblical texts. Maybe some of them fled to Arabia to escape their persecution from the majority of the rabbinical Jews further north. Could it be that Muhammad heard such stories from such heretic Jews in Arabia, and adapted their core meaning to become part of the Koran in order to make it easier for such heretical Jews to become Muslims? This seems to be the case with two of the verses in the Koran with un-biblical content that we quoted above:
Sura al-A'raf 7:23 --
“Both of them (i.e. Adam and his wife) said, ‘Our Lord, we have done evil to ourselves, and if you do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will (surely) be among the losers.’ ” Here the un-biblical content from “The Life of Adam and Eve” seems to have influenced the Koran: Adam and Eve acknowledged their guilt and sought to gain the forgiveness and mercy of God.
The other Koran verse is: Sura al-Baqara 2:37 -- “Then Adam received from his Lord words, and he (i.e. Allah) repented unto him (i.e. pardoned him). (Truly) he (i.e. Allah) (is) the (thoroughly) repentant (one) (al-tawwaab), the merciful (one).” Could it be that Muhammad regarded the words that Adam received from Allah as containing a prescription as to how to secure the pardon of Allah through a specific method of penance (fasting silently for many days in a cold river) as described in “The Life of Adam and Eve” as quoted above? We do not know, but the Koran speaks of the pardon of Allah only after Adam received words from Allah, so it is not contrary to the Koran to suppose that the words that Adam received from Allah had a content that led to Allah's pardon.