On Aadam's Garden being in heaven or on earth
Fatwa No: 281719

  • Fatwa Date:20-3-2015 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 30, 1436
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Question

AslamualakaumWhich Jannah was Adam in. Some people say The real Jannah, but then people say that in there you cant come out or commit sins and shayteen cant go in there. Others say another jannah on Earth. Which one is true, and how do we reply to those accuastions.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

Scholars held different opinions regarding this matter. The most popular opinion is that the garden in which Aadam (Adam)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention resided was the Garden of the Hereafter. Some scholars even cited the scholarly consensus in this regard. Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “According to the early Muslim scholars and Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa‘ah, the Garden in which Aadam and his wife resided was the Garden of permanent abode. Those who said that it was a garden on earth in India or Jeddah or elsewhere, were philosophizers and heretics or their brethren among the Kalaam theologians and advocates of religious innovations. This opinion is held by the philosophizers and the Mu‘tazilah. 

The Quran and Sunnah refute their claim. In addition, the early Muslim scholars and Imaams unanimously agreed that it is false; Allaah The Exalted says (what means): {And [mention] when We said to the angels, "Prostrate before Aadam"; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers. And We said, "O Aadam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers." But Satan caused them to slip out of it and removed them from that [condition] in which they had been. And We said, "Go down, [all of you], as enemies to one another, and you will have upon the earth a place of settlement and provision for a time."} [Quran 2:34-36] Allaah The Exalted commanded them to descend; then He says (what means): {and you will have upon earth a place of settlement and provision for a time}, which indicates that they were not on earth but rather were made to descend to earth. If they were on earth and moved from one place to another like the Children of Israel when they moved from land to land, then their place of settlement and provision for a time would have been on earth before and after the descent.

In another verse, Allaah says to Iblees (what means): {"Descend from it, for it is not for you to be arrogant therein. So get out; indeed, you are of the debased.} [Quran 7:13] The verse used the Arabic verb "habata" for "descend". This indicates that this Garden is in Heaven; the preposition "from" refers to a known noun that was not stated in the verse. This is different from the verse (which means): {Go down into any settlement and indeed, you will have what you have asked.} [Quran 2:61] In this verse, Allaah did not mention the place from which they were to go down. The verse used the Arabic verse "ihbitu", meaning "descend" to indicate that they moved from a higher place to lower place; from the high land where the Children of Israel were, overlooking the settlement into which they were commanded to descend. When someone descends from a mount into a valley, the correct Arabic verb to use is "habata", meaning "descended".

Moreover, the Children of Israel traveled a lot in the desert; the correct Arabic verb to describe their movement is "nazala", meaning "descended", because the traveler rides a mount in order to reach his destination and then descends from his mount when he arrives at the desired destination. It is said in Arabic, "The troops nazalat," meaning "camped" in such a place, and "the travelling caravan nazalat", meaning "descended", in such a place; because they descended from their mounts. The Arabic verb "nazala" is similar to "habata". "Habata" is used only to describe descent from a higher place to a lower one.

Allaah says (what means): {They said, "Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers."* [Allaah] said, "Descend, being to one another enemies. And for you on the earth is a place of settlement and enjoyment for a time."} [Quran 7:23-24] The fact that Allaah says: {"Descend … and for you on the earth is a place of settlement"}, indicates that they descended to earth from another place than the earth. Moreover, Allaah The Exalted says (what means): {He said, "Therein you will live, and therein you will die, and from it you will be brought forth."}[Quran 7:25] This indicates that they were not in a place in which they lived and would have died and from which they would have been resurrected (i.e. earth); rather, they were taken to that place when they were made to descend from the Garden. There are many revealed texts stating that and this opinion is supported by the statements of early scholars.

Nevertheless, Ibn Taymiyyah stated in his book An-Nubuwwaat that the most valid view is that it was not Garden of the Hereafter. He said: “Therefore, the most likely of the two scholarly views is that Aadam's Garden, the Garden of the trial, was not in Heaven, as Iblees entered the Garden of trial after he was made to descend from Heaven and after Allaah said to him: {"Then get out of Paradise, for indeed, you are expelled.* And indeed, upon you is My curse until the Day of Recompense."} [Quran 38:77-78]

Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him rigorously cited and discussed the evidence brought forth by both parties in his books Haadi Al-Arwaah and Miftaah Daar As-Sa‘aadah; but he did not declare either of them to be more correct. This indicates that there is no decisive revealed evidence concerning this in order to prefer one of the two views as more correct; however, the view that we consider to be more correct at Islamweb is that the garden which Aadam entered was the Garden of the Hereafter, and not any other garden.

In any case, this matter does not belong to the fundamentals of religion and deciding on a definite view in this regard does not entail any action on the Muslim's part.

Allaah Knows best.

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