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Last Updated: 2006/08/30
Summary of question
Was Hazrat Adam (P.B.U.H.) Black?
I read a couple of ayahs in the Quran that said that Adam was created from black mud or clay that can be shaped into form; I believe it was the sura, "The Rock". It seems like that means that Adam was from Africa or black. Please explain in detail with specific and concrete proof.
Concise answer

            There are several interpretations in the Quran on the creation of man, which show that the creation of man had several stages, which were as follows:[1]


  1. Creation from dirt:

O people! If you are in doubt of the resurrection, [consider that] we indeed created you from dust…[2]


  1. Mixing dirt with water into the form of mud:

It is he who created you from clay…[3]


  1. Turning the mud into a bad smelling, slimy mud:

Certainly we created man out of dry clay [drawn] from an aging mud…[4]


  1. Constructing it into a glue-like state:

Ask them, is their creation more prodigious or [that of other creatures] that we have created? Indeed we created them from a viscous clay.[5]


  1. Making it into a dried form:

He created man out of dry clay, like the potter’s…[6]



With this explanation, it is clear that the meaning of creating man from black mud was describing a stage of man’s creation; meaning first some dirt is gathered, and of course it does not say in the Quran that the initial dirt was black. In the Quran it mentions in general ‘creating from dirt’, but that does not make evident what type of dirt it was. Afterwards, water is added to it as it turns to mud and it is natural that if mud sits for a while, unless it is white dirt, then its color and smell will change; its color turning dark and its smell becoming bad. After that it slowly became dry; initially took on a viscous form, then it became completely dry like earthenware.

            So there is no proof that Hazrat Adam (P.B.U.H.) was black. If we assume that Hazrat Adam was from Black dirt, then how can we prove that he was black? Because, in order to change a handful of black dirt into a human millions of changes and transformation will take place, and how can it be proven that after these changes have taken place that the black color has remained firm and unchanged? Therefore, we can not derive from Quranic verses that Hazrat Adam (P.B.U.H.) was black. And in order to find out what the color of his skin was specialized research must be dome in the appropriate field which would explain how various skin colors came about from whatever special color that Hazrat Adam (P.B.U.H.) was.

[1] Nemuneh Tafsir Vol.23 Pg.118

[2] Surah Haaj –Ayah 5

[3] Surah An’ am –Ayah 2

[4] Sura Hijr –Ayah 25

[5] Sura Saafat –Ayah 11

[6]Sura Rahman –Ayah 14

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