Questions on Sects and Schools of Thoughts

Questions and Answers on Islamic Jurisprudence: Wisdom & Purposes

Islamic Jurisprudence: Wisdom and Purposes

Question 47: When did man known faith for the first time?  Did people in ancient times believe in almighty God, or were they unbelievers, as anthropologists claim?

Answer 47: Belief in God is deeply rooted in the human nature.  It is intrinsic in people.  Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Every child is born intrinsically believing in God, but his parents make him a Jew, a Christian or a Magi,”[1] i.e. every newborn is born with spontaneous belief in almighty God and surrendering to him.  Islam has its own concept about the beginning of creation and human evolution. The gist is that almighty God created Adam from earth and soul was then blown into him.  Next Eve was created from Adam.  Then marriage began and people multiplied and populated the earth.

Adam was the first believer.  He recognized God’s power and greatness.  Therefore, when he sinned, he soon regretted and asked God to pardon him: he prostrated before Him implored for reconciliation and forgiveness.  Almighty God said; “They said ‘Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If you forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers”(Holy Qur’an: 7: 23).  Almighty God has already said to them: “And We said; ‘O Adam!  Dwell you and your wife in paradise, and eat both of you freely with pleasure and delight, of things therein as wherever you will, but come not near this tree or you both will be of thewrong-doers.’  Then Satan made them slip therefrom (paradise), and got them out from that in which they were. We said: O get you down, all, with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time.” Then Adam received from his Lord Words. And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, he is the One Who forgives, the Most Merciful.”

It is clear from the holy verses that Adam was a true believer in God.  He lived in Paradise with his spouse, then he sinned because of the insinuations of Satan.  But Adam soon repented, and God accepted his repentance.  This incident indicates that faith occurred before disobedience, unbelieving and polytheism took place.  Prophet Muhammad confirmed this fact by saying: “God created people to be intrinsically believing, but they were deceived by the devils.”[2]  This means that devils ornamented polytheism for people and they deviated from the right path.


[1] Cited in al-Siuti, vol. 2, hadith No. 6356.

[2] Cited in Muslim, hadith No. 2637.