Is Original Sin Taught in Islam?
Christians believe in original sin while Muslims do not. There are some hadith that people misuse in order to try and show that original sin is taught in Islam. I will seek to debunk that false charge Inshallah.
What is original sin?
a sin inherited by all descendants of Adam; "Adam and Even committed the original sin when they at the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden"
Christians believe that everyone is born a sinner. Everyone is born condemned and the only way to redeem yourself is that you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Is that really fair? I mean you are born condemned from the beginning. So even a poor innocent baby that is newly born is a sinner. If that baby does not redeem itself by putting its faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and dies then the poor baby is condemned to hell. How can you expect a baby that cannot comprehend or think to accept Jesus as its Lord? What if the poor baby dies before it grows up to become able to rationalize and accept a religion. What about a mentally retarded person that cannot think for him self? He is a sinner by nature and will be doomed to Hell for not recognizing Jesus as Lord and Savior simply because his mind cannot!
Unlike Islam, which is a just religion does not teach original sin. Islam teaches that everyone is born pure and it is us who corrupt our selves. Islam gives the Muslims time to grow up and be able to use our rationality and reason in order to choose a religion.
This time is the age of puberty.
Puberty is the age when people begin to use their reason and distinguish between what is right and wrong.
10-12 years of age marks the phase of reasoning (ratiocination) with a sense of critic to the instinctive activities and reflexive activities.
What about the madman? Is he also a sinner? According to original sin he is. How can God condemn a madman who cannot use his reason and be able to make a rational decision? Truly this is unjust. Islam does not hold these kind of people accountable.
The evidence from the Hadith...
Saheeh BukhariVolume 1, Book 3, Number 101:
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:Volume 1, Book 3, Number 102:
Some women requested the Prophet to fix a day for them as the men were taking all his time. On that he promised them one day for religious lessons and commandments. Once during such a lesson the Prophet said, "A woman whose three children die will be shielded by them from the Hell fire." On that a woman asked, "If only two die?" He replied, "Even two (will shield her from the Hell-fire)."
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
as above (the sub narrators are different). Abu Huraira qualified the three children referred to in the above mentioned Hadith as not having reached the age of committing sins (i.e. age of puberty) .
Book 38, Number 4387:
Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib:Book 38, Number 4388:
Ibn Abbas said: A lunatic woman passed by Ali ibn AbuTalib. He then mentioned the rest of the tradition to the same effect as Uthman mentioned. This version has: Do you not remember that the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) has said: There are three whose actions are not recorded: a lunatic whose mind is deranged till he is restored to consciousness, a sleeper till he awakes, and a boy till he reaches puberty?
Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib:Book 38, Number 4389:
AbuZubyan said: A woman who had committed adultery was brought to Umar. He gave orders that she should be stoned.
Ali passed by just then. He seized her and let her go. Umar was informed of it. He said: Ask Ali to come to me. Ali came to him and said: Commander of the Faithful, you know that the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: There are three (people) whose actions are not recorded: A boy till he reaches puberty, a sleeper till he awakes, a lunatic till he is restored to reason. This is an idiot (mad) woman belonging to the family of so and so. Someone might have done this action with her when she suffered the fit of lunacy.
Umar said: I do not know. Ali said: I do not know.
Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: There are three (persons) whose actions are not recorded: a sleeper till he awakes, a boy till he reaches puberty, and a lunatic till he comes to reason.
There are certain Hadith that people try to misuse in order to show that Islam believes in original sin. Here they are...
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 547:
Narrated Abu Huraira:Volume 4, Book 55, Number 611:
The Prophet said, "But for the Israelis, meat would not decay and but for Eve, wives would never betray their husbands."
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "Were it not for Bani Israel, meat would not decay; and were it not for Eve, no woman would ever betray her husband."
Volume 8, Book 77, Number 611:When one reads the Hadith he might get the impression that the Prophet was putting the blame on Adam and Eve for us becoming sinners.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "Adam and Moses argued with each other. Moses said to Adam. 'O Adam! You are our father who disappointed us and turned us out of Paradise.' Then Adam said to him, 'O Moses! Allah favored you with His talk (talked to you directly) and He wrote (the Torah) for you with His Own Hand. Do you blame me for action which Allah had written in my fate forty years before my creation?' So Adam confuted Moses, Adam confuted Moses," the Prophet added, repeating the Statement three times.
Book 008, Number 3471:
Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Had it not been for Eve, woman would have never acted unfaithfully towards her husband.Book 008, Number 3472:
Hammam b. Munabbih said: These are some of the ahadith which Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrated to us from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), and one of these (this one): Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Had it not been for Bani Isra'il, food would not have become stale, and meal would not have gone bad; and had it not been for Eve, a woman would never have acted unfaithfully toward her husband.
Book 46, Number 46.1.1:
Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu'z-Zinad from al-Araj from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Adam and Musa argued and Adam got the better of Musa. Musa rebuked Adam, 'You are Adam who led people astray and brought them out of the Garden.' Adam said to him, 'You are Musa to whom Allah gave knowledge of everything and whom he chose above people with His message.' He said, 'Yes.' He said, 'Do you then censure me for a matter which was decreed for me before I was created?' "
This is taken from "Divine Will and Predestination: In The Light of the Quran and Sunnah" by Umar S. al-Ashqar, p115-116
There is no evidence in the hadith to support those who use predestination as an excuse for evil actions and sins. Adam did not use the Divine Will and Predestination (Qadaa' wal-Qadar) as an excuse to justify his sin, and Moosa did not blame his father Adam for a sin from which he had repented and Allah has forgiven him, and subsequently chosen him and guided him. What Moosa was blaming for, was the disaster which had led Adam and his progeny to be expelled from Paradise.
Adam cited predestination as the cause of the calamity, not the sin, because predestination is an acceptable explanation for callamities, but it is not a reasonable justification for sins. (Sharh at-Tahaawiyah, p. 154. This was also the response of Shaykh al-Islam. See Shifaa' al-'Aleel, p. 35)
Ibn al-Qayyim responded differently to those who misunderstood the hadith about Adam defeating Moosa in argument. He said: "Using predestination as a reason for sin is useful in some cases and is harmful in others. It is useful when it is cited after one has fallen into sin then repented and given up the sin, as Adam did. In such cases, mentioning predestination is part of Tawheed and acknowledging the names and attributes of Allah in a manner that benefits both the one who mentions them and the one who hears them, because predestination should not be used as an excuse to cancel out a command or a prohibition, or to cancel out shari'ah, it should be mentioned as pure truth and to demonstrate the concept of Tawheed, and to show that one has no power and strength of one's own.
What makes this clear is that fact that Adam said to Moosa: "Are you blaming me for doing something that Allah had decreed I would do before I was created?" If a man commits a sin, and then repents, and the matter is settled as if it never happend, then someone blames him for that, it is acceptable in such case to cite predestination as a reason and say, "This is something which was decreed before I was created," because here he is not using predestination to cancel out the rulings of Allah or as a justification for falsehood or wrongdoing. (Shifaa' al-'Aleel, p. 35)
Ibn Hajar says in his commentaries...
And this is of their nature so there is no blame on her for what she (Eve) did unintentionally
If there were no eating from the tree then there would have been no expulsion from heaven.
And the meaning that should be derived is the actual occurring of this sin, and there is no blame on who committed it
Imam Malik said in his commentary...
However, when Adam rebuked Moses for blaming him, he said: “Are you blaming me for doing something that Allah had decreed”? Adam already had repented from his sin. Allah said: “And Adam disobeyed his Lord, so went astray. Then his Lord chose him, and relented toward him, and guided him.” And guided the repented (Adam) from his sin. If he repented and his repentance was good then there is no blaming him.
So as we see Islam does not teach that we are born condemned sinners. It does not place the blame on Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were the first humans to sin. We are supposed to learn that it is human nature to sin and that the devil is going to try and trick us into committing sin just like how he did with our fore parents. Then after we sin we do like our fore parents did and then turn to God in sincere repentance. So this is a lesson of original forgiveness and not original sin. If we sin, then it is our fault and not our fore parents fault. God does not create us as sinners. He creates us pure and then it is us who sin and make our selves impure.