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                The Book of Genesis: the first book in the Bible contains one of the most popular stories known to humankind about the creation of the earth and heavens, the first man and woman: Adam and Eve and a deceiver, Satan. This story is not just known to Christians, but also to millions of Muslims around the world through the Qur’an which also contains information about the early days of the world and humankind in various places of the book. However, when comparing both accounts of the story, one can find numerous differences as well, which continues to provide a debating ground for Muslims and Christians.
               The early chapters of the Genesis narrates that God created the world in six days and then took a rest on the seventh day. First, God created the earth and the heavens and then separated the light from darkness which is how He formed day and night. Then the oceans and the sky were created. On the third day the earth was given life and then in the days to follow the sun and the moon and the various life forms was created. Finally, God created the first man and woman (Genesis 1). The Qur’anic account, however, has a slight difference on the act of creationism. Firstly, although the Qur’an states that the world was created in six days, it never says that God rested on the seventh day (Surah Al-Sajda: 4). Moreover, the order in which the world was created is not mentioned in the Qur’an.

               The next verses of the Genesis focus on the creation of Adam, as a representative of God and the place where he was created. Adam was made from dust of the ground in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2: 7-8), a place many believe was an actual place on earth and there are various theories regarding its location but it cannot be said for sure whether it really existed or not, even though the Bible provides some clue to its location. The Qur’an, however, makes it obvious that the place where Adam and Eve were created was in the heavens, as they were banished to earth after disobeying God’s instruction not to eat from the Forbidden Tree. However, the Qur’an and the Bible agree on the fact that Adam was created to represent God on earth as a ‘vicegerent’ (Genesis 1: 26, Qur’an 2: 30), and that he was made from clay (Qur’an Ar-Rahman: 14).
               Perhaps the biggest difference between the two versions of the story in each book is the role of Eve. Qur’an tells us that Adam and Eve were created equal as husband and wife, while the Bible never mentions their marriage. Moreover, Bible blames Eve as the one who came under the influence of the serpent and ate fruit from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge, making Adam eat it as well. For this reason, God curses Eve in such a way that women thereafter, would go through the painful process of childbirth and live as beings inferior to men (Genesis 3: 16). From the Qur’anic perspective Adam and Eve were both deceived by Satan and were equally responsible for their sin. Thus, they were punished for their sin when God banished them from heaven to the earth (Qur’an Al-Baqarah: 36). On Adam’s repentance, God pardoned him saying “there comes to you guidance from me, whosoever follows my guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve” (Qur’an Al-Baqarah: 38). So, Contrary to the Bible, Qur’an tells as that there was no ‘original sin’ and that the status of Adam, as a ‘vicegerent’ on earth, was not taken away from him. Similarly, bible made the impression that women are inferior to men which is nowhere mentioned in the Qur’an.
               The identity of the deceiver in the story is another talking point. The Bible refers to the deceiver simply as the serpent in the Garden of Eden who seduces Eve of the power of the forbidden Tree of Knowledge. The Qur’anic account tells us that the deceiver was Iblis, a jinn ranked among angels, who refused to prostrate before Adam claiming he was the better of two creations and was banished from heavens. Iblis, therefore, sought to lead humans astray from their path until the Day of Judgment. Iblis was the deceiver who deceived Adam and Eve into believing that the Forbidden Tree will give them the eternal life of angels (Qur’an 7:12-21). What form the Iblis uses to address to Adam and Eve, however, is not mentioned in the Qur'an.
              Though read by millions around the world, many  find it difficult to explain some inconsistencies in the Bible, especially the Book of Genesis. One such question arises in the early chapters where there are two different accounts of the creation of man. In the first chapter, man and woman are created together, but in the second chapter Eve is created after Adam  and the Eden. This ambiguous change in sequence has led to the myth that there was a woman before Eve; her name was Lilith, Adam’s first wife. Bible does not link Lilith with Adam anywhere, but the myth might have been created in light of some Jewish scriptures which do relate to Lilith, as the first woman created. Like Bible, the Qur’an does not have any text in reference to a female before Adam and clearly states Eve as Adam’s first wife.
                  Not surprisingly, it is clear that both Qur’an and Bible edify the same message; God is the supreme creator of the universe and how easily humans can go astray from their path. The path which humans are urged to follow time and again by God Himself through His apostles, the path to make our lives better not only in the present world but the hereafter as well. 

                                                       Work Cited
Ali, Abdullah Yusuf. "Surah Al-Baqarah." Translation and Commentary on The Holy Qur-an: by Dr. Zohurul Hoque. Web. 05 Oct. 2010. <http://www.qurantoday.com/BaqSec4.htm>.
"Genesis, Chapter 3 (King James Bible) - ChristianAnswers® WebBible™." Christian Answers® Network™ (ChristianAnswers.Net): Multilingual Answers, Reviews, Ministry Resources, and More! [Home]. Eden Communications (Films for Christ). Web. 05 Oct. 2010. <http://www.christiananswers.net/bible/gen3.html>.
"Genesis (King James Bible) - ChristianAnswers® WebBible™." Christian Answers® Network™ (ChristianAnswers.Net): Multilingual Answers, Reviews, Ministry Resources, and More! [Home]. Eden Communications (Films for Christ). Web. 05 Oct. 2010. <http://www.christiananswers.net/bible/gen3.html>.
"The Holy Quran Arabic Text with Translation in English Text and Search Engine - Al Islam Online." IslamAhmadiyya - Ahmadiyya Muslim Community - Al Islam Online - Official Website. Web. 05 Oct. 2010. <http://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/showChapter.php?ch=7&verse=10>.
"The Story of Creation in the Qur'an and Old Testament." Bismika Allahuma | Muslim Responses To Anti-Islam Polemics | Answering Islam Exposed. 15 Oct. 2005. Web. 05 Oct. 2010. <http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/archives/2005/the-story-of-creation-in-the-quran-and-old-testament/>.
“Decoding the Past: Mysteries of the Garden of Eden”. Dir. Jeff Schiro. The History Channel. Television.
“Banned From The Bible II”. Dir. Geoffrey Madeja.  The History Channel. 2007. Television

Written By: Waleed Munir

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