HomeHeirs Of The Prophets › Virtue Of Adam Over Angels

Chapter 8.1. The Virtue of Adam over the Angels

The story of Adam demonstrates the virtue of knowledge over worship. Allah has shown Adam's virtue over the angels through knowledge, as He taught him the names of all things, while the angels acknowledged their inability to attain to that knowledge. When Adam informed them of the names, his superiority over them was manifested. Allah said [to the angels], "Did I not say to you that I know the secrets of the heavens and the earth. I know that which you reveal and that which you conceal?" (Quran, 2:33). Some commentators among the righteous forbears said that what [the angels] concealed was their saying to themselves, "Allah will not create anyone except that we are more noble than him."

The superiority of Angel Gabriel over the angels who are pre­occupied with worship is founded on the knowledge Angel Gabriel has been given. This indicates the superiority of knowledge. He is the dispenser of revelation to the messengers. Similarly, the most distinguished messengers have been exalted over the other prophets because of their heightened knowledge and reverence for Allah. For this reason, Allah has described Muhammad in many places in the Quran as being distinguished and favoured with knowledge. The Prophet then, was commanded to teach his nation.

The first mention of a prophet receiving knowledge and being ordered to teach is found in the story of Abraham [Ibrahim]. He prayed to his Lord for the people of his blessed household that He raise up for them a messenger from among themselves who would recite unto them His verses, teach them the scripture and wisdom, and purify them. He blessed us indeed by sending us a messenger from ourselves, Mubammad Allah the Exalted says, Allah has blessed the believers in that He has sent to them a messenger from themselves. He recites unto them His verses, purifies them, and teaches them the Book and wisdom, while before this they were in manifest error (Quran, 3:164).

The initial revelation to Muhammad mentioned knowledge and its virtue. Allah says, Recite in the name of your Lord who created, created man from a clot. Recite! And your Lord is most noble. He has taught by the pen, taught man what he knew not (Quran. 96:1-5).

Allah frequently mentions blessing Muhammad with knowledge, such as Allah's statement, Allah has revealed to you [O Muhammad) the Book and wisdom, and He has taught you that which you knew not. Surely Allah's favour upon you is great (Quran, 4:113). Allah commanded the Prophet to request knowledge from his Lord: Say, "My Lord, increase me in knowledge" (Quran, 20:114). The Prophet said, "I am the most learned and reverent of you concerning Allah."

Allah has blessed us by sending to us this messenger who teaches us what we lacked knowledge of. He rightfully orders us to give thanks for this blessing:

Thus, We have sent to you a messenger from yourselves; he recites unto you Our verses, purifies you, teaches you the Book and wisdom, and he teaches you that which you did not know. Therefore. remember Me, I will remember you: give thanks to Me and do not be ungrateful to Me. (Quran, 2:151-52)

Allah the Exalted has informed us that He created the heavens and the earrh and sent down the command in order that we know His power, knowledge, and attributes. He says, It is Allah who has created the seven heavens and likewise the earth. The command descends between them in order that you may know that Allah has power over all things and that Allah encompasses all things in knowledge (Quran, 65:12).