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Qabil

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Qabil
نقاشی مینیاتور از صحنه قتل هابیل.jpg
Painting of the murder of Habil by Qabil
Well-known Relatives Prophet Adam (a) (father), Eve (mother), Habil (elder brother), Seth (brother).
Place of Residence Mecca
Notable roles Murderer of Habil

Qābīl (Arabic: قابیل, Cain) was son of Adam (a) and Eve and the elder brother of Habil (Abel). According to historical sources, he committed the first act of murder on the earth. Qabil objected to the appointment of his smaller brother Habil as the successor of Adam (a). After this objection, the two brothers were ordered to make sacrifice for God and the one whose sacrifice is accepted by God, would become the successor of Adam (a). When Habil's sacrifice was accepted and Qabil's sacrifice was not, he killed Habil.

It is reported that after killing Habil, Qabil escaped away and began worshipping fire. In historical, tafsir and hadith sources, there is a negative view of the children and descendants of Qabil. The advice of Sheyth (Seth), the other brother of Qabil, to his children not to marry with the children of Qabil is among such views. The progeny of Qabil were perished in the Great Flood of Noah due to committing sins such as adultery, drinking alcoholic drinks and gambling; and, the lineage of human continued through the progeny of Seth (a).

In Quran 5, the stories of offering sacrifice by Habil and Qabil and Habil's murder are mentioned. The name of Qabil is mentioned in the Torah as "Cain".

Life

Qabil was the first son of Adam (a) and Eve[1] and the elder brother of Habil and Seth (a).[2] The same as other children of Adam (a) and Eve, Qabil was born as a twin brother and sister.[3] His twin sister was named Iqlima (Aclima).[4] Qabil was a farmer.[5] His character has been described negatively in the Qur'an due to his envy toward his brother Habil and his murder.[6] The first murder was made by him.[7] Other names are also mentioned for Qabil in historical texts. The Torah mentioned his name as "Cain".[8]

Story of Murder of Habil

According to historical sources, after Habil was chosen as the successor of Adam (a),[9] Since Qabil was the elder brother, he objected to this appointment.[10] He believed that choosing Habil was not by the order of God, but Adam (a) chose him as his successor because of his own love for him.[11]

As an answer to this objection, Adam (a) asked Habil and Qabil to make a sacrifice for God; and the one whose sacrifice was accepted would secure the succession. Habil grew cattle, so he chose one of his best cattle for sacrifice, but Qabil who was a farmer chose the worst of his produce to offer.[12] Both of them went up a mountain and put their offers there. The one to catch fire would be considered as accepted by God. Habil's offer caught fire and was accepted, but nothing happened to the produce of Qabil and his offer was not accepted.[13]

After Habil's offer was accepted, Qabil became jealous of him and swore to kill him. Opposite to Qabil, Habil said that what makes an offer to be accepted is God-wariness and against the threat of Qabil to kill him, Habil said that he feared God, so he would not kill Qabil.[14]

According to historical reports, when Habil took his cattle for grazing near a mountain and was taking a rest, Qabil ambushed him and killed him.[15] After killing Habil, Qabil did not know what to do with his corpse. Some beasts of prey wanted to attack the corpse until Qabil saw that by the order of God, two ravens fought each other and one of them killed the other and using its beak buried it. After seeing this scene, Qabil understood his miserliness and regretted.[16] Verses 27 to 31 of Sura al-Ma'ida mention the story of killing and burial of Habil.[17]

After killing Habil, Adam (a) cursed Qabil[18] and he escaped to the south of Yemen together with his sister.[19]

Fire-Worshipping

Historical sources have reported about Qabil's fire-worshipping after murdering his brother. According to them, after he murdered Habil, Satan tempted him. Satan told Qabil, "that Habil's offer caught fire was because Habil worshipped fire. You should worship fire too so that your offer too catches fire and become accepted." Thus, Qabil built a house for worshipping fire and became a fire worshipper.[20] There are hadiths from Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a) saying that Qabil built a house for worshipping fire.[21]

Threatening Seth (a) to Kill

After Seth (a) was accepted as the successor of Adam (a), Qabil threatened to kill him.[22]Following the advice of Adam (a), Seth (a) concealed the knowledge he (a) had learned from Adam (a) from Qabil to stay safe from Qabil's threat;[23] so, for a while, he (a) practiced taqiyya.[24]

Children

In historical sources, the children of Qabil are described negatively. Based on some reports, children and the family of Qabil committed sins such as drinking alcoholic drinks, gambling, adultery and idol-worshipping.[25] It is also seen in the advice of Seth (a) to his children not to marry Qabil's children.[26]

Extinction of Progeny

Historians believe that Qabil's progeny and family were perished during Noah's flood and were extinct due to the sins they had committed. Accordingly, the lineage of human being continued through the progeny of Seth (a).[27]

Notes

  1. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh-i Ṭabarī, vol. 1, p. 90.
  2. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh-i Ṭabarī, vol. 1, p. 85, 91.
  3. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 1, p. 96.
  4. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 1, p. 96.
  5. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh-i Ṭabarī, vol. 1, p. 85, 91.
  6. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh-i Ṭabarī, vol. 1, p. 91, 103.
  7. Ṭabarī, Tarjuma-yi tafsīr-i ṭabarī, vol. 6, p. 1652.
  8. Genesis, 4:3.
  9. ʿAyyāshī, Tafsīr al-ʿAyyāshī, vol. 1, p. 312.
  10. Ṣādiqī Fadakī, Irtidād bāzgasht bi tārīkī, p. 270.
  11. Ṣādiqī Fadakī, Irtidād bāzgasht bi tārīkī, p. 270.
  12. Ṭabarī, Tarjuma-yi tafsīr-i ṭabarī, vol. 6, p. 1479.
  13. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 1, p. 19.
  14. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 1, p. 138.
  15. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 1, p. 138.
  16. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh-i Ṭabarī, vol. 1, p. 86.
  17. Relate to them truly the account of Adam's two sons. When the two of them offered an offering, it was accepted from one of them and not accepted from the other. [One of them] said, 'Surely I will kill you.' [The other one] said, 'Allah accepts only from the Godwary. (27) Even if you extend your hand toward me to kill me, I will not extend my hand toward you to kill you. Indeed I fear Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. (28) I desire that you earn [the burden of] my sin and your sin, to become one of the inmates of the Fire, and such is the requital of the wrongdoers.' (29) So his soul prompted him to kill his brother, and he killed him, and thus became one of the losers. (30) Then Allah sent a crow, exploring in the ground, to show him how to bury the corpse of his brother. He said, ‘Woe to me! Am I unable to be [even] like this crow and bury my brother's corpse?' Thus he became regretful. (31) (Quran 5:27-31)
  18. Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, vol. 1, p. 166.
  19. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 1, p. 143.
  20. Ṭabarī, Tarjuma-yi tafsīr-i ṭabarī, vol. 1, p. 1479.
  21. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 11, p. 228.
  22. ʿAyyāshī, Tafsīr al-ʿAyyāshī, vol. 1, p. 104.
  23. Malikī Mīyānajī, Manāhij al-bayān, vol. 2, p. 174.
  24. Ṭabarī, Tarjuma-yi tafsīr-i ṭabarī, vol. 2, p. 399.
  25. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 3, p. 287.
  26. ʿAskarī, ʿAqāyid-i Islām dar Qurʾān, vol. 1, p. 230.
  27. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 3, p. 287; Thaʿlabī, Tafsīr al-Thaʿlabī, vol. 4, p. 53.

References

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