Fall of Adam (a) and Eve

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The fall of Ādam (a) and Eve or Hubūṭ (Arabic: هُبوط) is the ouster of Adam (a) and Eve from The Garden of Eden to the Earth. Some exegetes of the Qur'an interpreted the "Fall" not in physical or spatial terms as going out of the Heaven down to the Earth, rather in spiritual terms, that is, God has degraded the spiritual positions of Adam (a) and Eve, which is referred to as the "Fall". Other people believe that the Fall was not a punishment for Adam (a) and Eve, rather it was in their interest to fall to the Earth and undergo obligations and sufferings in order to achieve true happiness.

Literal and Terminological Meanings

The word, "hubut" (هبوط), literally means to fall down in a coercive way.[1] Sometimes, the word is used as a humiliation, e.g. in the case of Iblis.[2] And it is sometimes used as an honor,[3] for example, the word has been used in the case of the prophet Noah's (a) getting off his ship.[4] The word, "hubut", is also used in other meanings.[5]

Fall of Adam (a) and Eve: Terminologically, the word, "hubut", refers to the story of Adam (a) and Eve going out of the Heaven. The Qur'an narrates the story as follows: "He said, 'Get down both of you from it, all together".[6] After the Fall from the Heaven, Adam (a) and Eve resided on the Earth.

Some exegetes believe that divine obligations—commands and prohibitions—were not in place prior to the Fall.[7]

Fall of Iblis: Iblis was once ordered by God to go out of His kingdom after refusing to prostrate for Adam (a).[8] Once again, he was ordered to fall after tempting Adam (a) and Eve to eat the Forbidden Fruit: "He said: So, fall from it".[9] Exegetes of the Qur'an provided different accounts to reconcile the two orders and to explain how Iblis entered the heaven while he was already ousted from the divine kingdom.[10]


When Adam (a) and Eve resided in the heaven, God gave them the permission to eat the fruits of every tree in the garden. He only forbade them from approaching a certain tree and being deceived by the devil. Adam (a) and Eve were tempted by Iblis (Satan) and ate the fruit of the Forbidden Tree. Iblis deceived them by saying that if they eat the fruit of the Forbidden Tree, then they will turn into angels or will have an eternal life. When they ate the fruit of the Forbidden Tree, the shameful parts of their bodies became apparent, and they were ousted from the heaven.[11] According to Quranic verses, when Adam (a) and Eve learned about their mistakes, they repented and asked God to forgive them. God accepted their repentance[12], but they were ousted from the heaven, nonetheless. At God's command, they lived on Earth and started a new life. God made Adam (a) His successor on Earth[13] and appointed him as His prophet.[14]

Heaven of Adam (a) and Eve

In its reference to the creation of Adam (a) and Eve, the Qur'an refers to the first residence of the couple as "heaven". There are different views about where this heaven was. Al-Fakhr al-Razi points to three views and their arguments: a garden on the Earth, a heaven in the sky other than the promised Heaven, and the Promised Heaven.[15]

The Fall: Required by Divine Wisdom

Some exegetes believe that the Fall was not intended as a punishment for Adam (a) and Eve. Sadr al-Muta'allihin and al-Tabrisi maintain that the Fall of Adam (a) and Eve from the Heaven to the Earth was not a punishment, because there are good reasons to believe that prophets never do what leads to divine punishments. God ousted them from the Heaven, because His wisdom required that they fall to the Earth and undergo obligations and sufferings in order to achieve true happiness at the end.[16] Thus, the Fall and obligations subjected Adam (a) and Eve to Divine Rewards and happiness, and so, the Fall cannot be considered as a punishment.[17]

The Spiritual Fall

Some exegetes believe that Adam’s (a) Fall was not a spatial fall—a fall from one place to another. Rather, it was a fall in his spiritual degrees. God degraded the position of Adam (a) and Eve because they did what they had better not do. Thus, they were deprived of heavenly blessings and suffered mundane pains.[18]


  1. Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī, Mufradāt alfāẓ al-Qurʾān, p. 832.
  2. Qurʾān, 7:13.
  3. Qarashī, Qāmūs al-Qurʾān, vol. 7, p. 136.
  4. Qurʾān, 11:48.
  5. Qurʾān, 2:61.
  6. Qurʾān, 20:123.
  7. Ḥaqqī, Tafsīr rūḥ al-bayān, vol. 1, p. 110.
  8. Qurʾān, 15:34.
  9. Qurʾān, 7:13.
  10. Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, Mafātīḥ al-ghayb, vol. 3, p. 463; Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ li-aḥkām al-Qurʾān, vol. 11, p. 258.
  11. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 6, p. 114-120.
  12. Quran 2:37
  13. Qurʾān 2:30.
  14. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol.6, p.127,
  15. Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, Mafātīḥ al-ghayb, vol. 3, p. 453.
  16. Ṣadr al-Mutaʾallihīn, Tafsīr al-Qurʾān al-karīm, vol. 3, p. 110; Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 1, p. 197.
  17. Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, Mafātīḥ al-ghayb, vol. 3, p. 464.
  18. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 13, p. 332.


  • Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī, Ḥusayn b. Muḥammad al-. Mufradāt alfāẓ al-Qurʾān. Beirut: Dār al-Qalam, 1412 AH.
  • Qarashī, Sayyid ʿAlī Akbar al-. Qāmūs al-Qurʾān. Sixth edition. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1371 Sh.
  • Ḥaqqī, Ismāʾīl b. Muṣṭafā al-. Tafsīr rūḥ al-bayān. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, [n.d].
  • Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, Muḥammad b. ʿUmar al-. Mafātīḥ al-ghayb. Third edition. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1420 AH.
  • Qurṭubī, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-. Al-Jāmiʿ li-aḥkām al-Qurʾān. Tehran: Nāṣir Khusru, 1364 Sh.
  • Ṣadr al-Mutaʾallihīn, Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm al-. Tafsīr al-Qurʾān al-karīm. Edited by Muḥammad Khwājūy. Second edition. Qom: Intishārāt-i Bīdār, 1366 Sh.
  • Ṭabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan al-. Majmaʿ al-bayān. Edited by Muḥammad Jawād Balāghī. Third edition. Tehran: Nāṣir Khusru, 1372 Sh.
  • Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. Tafsīr-i nimūna. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1374 Sh.