Advanced search
Visit
10088
Last Updated: 2010/07/26
Summary of question
Was Eve created from the ribs of Prophet Adam and doesn't this contradict what the Quran says in this regard?
question
Was Eve created from the ribs of Prophet Adam like it is narrated in Sahih Bukhari? If so please mention your logical reasons, because I believe it contradicts what is mentioned in the Quran.
Concise answer

There are some Ahadith regarding this issue in Sunni books and some Shia hadith records and one may say that at first sight, Quranic verses have also addressed this subject, but we cannot come to a conclusion about this issue directly from the Quran. Also, there are other Ahadith that reject Eve being created from the ribs of Prophet Adam.

However, even if we accept the mentioned form of creation, it will be in no conflict with women’s potential for spiritual development and perfection.

Detailed Answer

There are Quranic verses that imply that the creation of the woman was after the creation of man and some imply that Allah created the woman from a part of man’s body.

The verses are as follows:

1- " یا أَیُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّکُمُ الَّذی خَلَقَکُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ واحِدَةٍ وَ خَلَقَ مِنْها زَوْجَها " [1]

2- " هُوَ الَّذی خَلَقَکُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ واحِدَةٍ وَ جَعَلَ مِنْها زَوْجَها لِیَسْکُنَ إِلَیْها " [2]

3- " خَلَقَکُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ واحِدَةٍ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِنْها زَوْجَها " [3]

One may conclude that Adam was created first and then his wife Eve was created from him judging from the apparent meaning of the verses, but as some of the Quranic Commentators have mentioned, these verses do not definitely say that Eve was created from the ribs of Adam (as it has been mentioned in some Ahadith). [4]

This is why we believe that one cannot conclude that the woman was created from the ribs of man. But contrary to what was mentioned in your question this matter does not clearly contradict the Quran's account.

At the same time, we must keep in mind that there are many Ahadith narrated in Sunni books, Sahih Bukhari being one of them, which mention the women being created from the ribs of man. These Ahadith are also narrated in some Shia books, [5] but in this regard two significant points need to be taken into consideration:

First: Even though there are a great number of these Ahadith, there are also Ahadith narrated in the authentic books of the Shia that sharply reject this account or suggest a different form of creation. Two of these Ahadith are as follows:

1- Zurarah Bin A'yan narrates that Imam Sadiq was asked about the creation of Eve and the Imam was told that some people believe Allah created Eve from the lowest bones of Adam's left rib!

The Imam responded: "Glory is to Allah above doing such an act! Does one who believes this theory assume that Allah was not able to create a spouse for Adam that was not from his ribs so that troublemakers would not be mistaken to think that Adam married a part of his own body? What an opinion this is that some people believe in?! May Allah judge between us and them Himself! [6] "

2- Amr Bin Abi Al-Mighdam narrates that his father said: "I asked Imam Baqir:" How did Allah create Eve?" The Imam responded: "What do people believe in this regard?" I replied: "They say that she was created from a rib of his ribs" He said: "They are lying! Was Allah unable to create her from something other than Adam's rib?" I responded: "May I be sacrificed for you! Than what was she created from?" He said: "My father has narrated from his fathers that they said:" The prophet said: “Allah had held a handful of clay in his hand and mixed it with his right hand, of course both of his hands are right [7] , then He created Adam from that clay and there was some extra clay left, then He created Eve from that extra clay." [8]

The great Allamah Majlisi says in regard to resolving the contradiction between these two groups of Ahadith: "The Ahadith that mention Eve being created from Adam's left ribs were either said out of Taqiyyah (dissimulation) and fear of opposing the accepted theory at that time or that (when they say that she was created from his ribs) they mean that she was created from the extra clay he was created from, not that she was really created from Adam." [9]

Second: We know that in a normal situation every person is born from a mother and father and his body originates from their bodies, but this does not create a spiritual advantage and privilege for the parents and there are many times that a child, that is virtually a part of their body, reaches higher standards in terms of spirituality and human values.   Similar to what was mentioned, today the issue of cloning has been brought up in which it is possible to create a creature similar to its clone by using a part of its body, but even in this case the second creature will have a different level of spiritual value.

Knowing what was explained above, even if we accept that the woman was initially created from a part of the man’s body, or according to other theories that suggest the creation of women was of a lower level versus that of men, this will not limit them from reaching high obedience of Allah and spiritual standards like men or even be better than them.

Related Links:

1- The Physical Creation of Adam, Question 399 (website: 415).

2- The Quran and the Creation of Man, Question 5356 (website: 5578).

3- The Reason for Creating Adam Before Eve, Question 8488 (website: 8722).



[1] Nisa:1.

[2] A’raf:189.

[3] Zumar:6.

[4] Tabatabai, Mohammad Hosein, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir Al-Quran, vol. 4, pg. 136.

[5] Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Biharul-Anwar, vol. 11, pg. 97, the chapter on Adam and Eve and how they were named and some of their characteristics and their creation etc., hadiths 2, 3, 5, 6, etc.

[6] Sheikh Saduq, Man la Yahduruhu Al-Faqih, vol. 3, pg. 379, hadith 4336.

[7] Clearly, this statement is metaphorical of Allah’s power, not that it is implying Allah’s materiality or possession of physical hands.

[8] Tafsir Ayashi, vol. 1, pg. 216.

[9] Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Biharul-Anwar, vol. 11, pg. 116.

Question translations in other languages
Comments
Number of comments 0
Please enter the value
Example : Yourname@YourDomane.ext
Please enter the value
Please enter the value

Thematic Category

Random questions

  • Can ordinary human beings be infallible or not?
    4788 Traditional
    The word infallible (ma’sum) means protection, to be secured, safety from committing sins and forgetfulness. Infallibility has levels and stages from which the highest is reserved for Prophets and imams. According to the Qur’an and traditions it is specific just for them due to their roles as leaders ...
  • Which verses of the Quran are the verses of “Sukhrah”?
    7924 Exegesis
    The term "Verses of Sukhrah" or "Verses of Taskhir" refer to verses 54 to 56 of surah A’raf, which hadiths have spoken about the benefits of their recitation. ...
  • If a woman is divorced and then remarries, then who would be her spouse in the hereafter?
    6410 Traditional
                For a man and a woman who were married to each other in this world, there a several theories regarding their situation in the next world; for example:
  • What is the duty of those following the prayer, when the Imam makes a mistake?
    4682 Laws and Jurisprudence
    Assuming the Imam of a congregational salat either doubts the number of units (rak’ahs) recited or recites the salat in error, the ma’mumin (those following the Imam in salat) may inform the Imam in relation to the number of units, or other duty, as long as they are certain. However, ...
  • Why do the religious obligations such as prayer, fasting, hajj etc. not have visible effects?
    4406 Practical
    All acts of worship including prayer, fasting and hajj have a lot of individual and social benefits and effects. One of the blessed effects of prayer is proximity to God and keeping us away from evil and indecency. Fasting also has profuse benefits and effects. For instance, it heals ...
  • What is the Islamic law about giving walima (banquet) in general and marriage banquet in particular?
    7276 Practical
    One of the recommended Islamic traditions is feeding one's brethren in faith. Imam Sadiq (a) says:"إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَکَ وَ تَعَالَى یُحِبُّ إِهْرَاقَ الدِّمَاءِ وَ إِطْعَامَ الطَّعَامِ"
  • What is Shirk?
    27868 Traditional
    Literally, shirk means to allocate; technically, in Quranic terminology, shirk – in contrast to hanif – signifies the process of allocating someone/thing as the Almighty Allah’s partner or equal. Hanif means being inclined towards righteousness and moderation; hence, the term has been coined onto those who have disassociated themselves from ...
  • What date is the first day of Muharram? Kindly, send me the date.
    3920 تاريخ کلام
    Dear user,The lunar months are established either with a lapse of 30 days or when the crescent of the new month is sighted. When it comes to the beginning of a lunar month, it does not make any difference whether it is the month of Ramadhan or Muharram etc. ...
  • The philosophy as to why saying Āmīn in prayer is impermissible.
    6422 Laws and Jurisprudence
    In accordance to traditions narrated by the Ahlulbayt (as), saying Āmīn in prayer is not permissible; furthermore reciting it [intentionally] invalidates the prayer. In addition, there is no need for evidence to prove the impermissibility [of saying Āmīn], in the sense that prayer is an ...
  • Do the descendants of the Prophet have to pay khums?
    3875 Laws and Jurisprudence
    If one acquires wealth through business or industry or any other means, in the case of the wealth exceeding his and his household’s yearly needs, he must then submit one fifth (khums) of the remaining wealth to a qualified mujtahid, or spend that amount in a way that ...

Popular