Al-Kisaa'i's description of eve as white not verified
Fatwa No: 324457

Question

Is the following from Qisas Al-Anbiyaa' by Al-Kisaa'i authentic? “Eve had skin that was tender and white. She was the same form as Adam except that her skin was softer and purer in colour.”

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 ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

After careful research, we did not find any evidence indicating that Eve, may Allaah exalt her mention, had skin that was tender and white. Although Al-Kisaa'i mentioned this in his description of her in his book Al-Mubtada' fi Qasas Al-Anbiyaa', he did not mention the chain of narration for that description. He said, “Eve was the same height as Aadam (Adam) and had the same beauty ... her skin was tender and white and her hands were dyed with Henna...

It is well-known that the authenticity of such descriptions cannot be verified even if transmitted with an authentic chain of narration as part of the Israa'eeliyyaat (the body of narratives originating from Jewish and Christian traditions). So how could a description that has no chain of narration to begin with be verified?

We have previously underlined that you should beware of such excessive interest with the color of the skin. We would like to remind you that Islam holds taqwa (piety and righteousness) as the only criterion for superiority. All people are sons of Aadam, and the only criterion for superiority among people should be piety and righteousness. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allaah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allaah is Knowing and Acquainted.} [Quran 49:13] Moreover, the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, said, “O people, your Lord is One and your father is one (i.e. Aadam). There is no virtue for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor for a non-Arab over an Arab, nor for red skin over black skin, nor for black skin over white skin, except by righteousness. The most noble of you in the sight of Allaah is the most righteous of you.” [Al-Bayhaqi - Al-Albaani graded it saheeh (sound)]

The Companions and Taabiʻis have grasped this Islamic principle and held taqwa as the only criterion for superiority, even if the pious person was formerly a slave or black-skinned. ʻUmar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him used to say, “Abu Bakr is our master, and he set free our master,” meaning Bilaal. [Al-Bukhari]

Allaah knows best.

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