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Mythic Aspects of the Process of Adam's Creation in Judaism and Islam Author(s): Leigh N. B. Chipman Source: Studia Islamica, No. 93 (2001), pp. 5-25 Published by: Maisonneuve & Larose Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1596106 . Accessed: 12/08/2013 13:40
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StudiaIslamica,2001

MythicAspects of the Process of Adam's Creation


in Judaism and Islam
In memoriam Hava Lazarus-Yafeh

Introduction
Thispaperaimstoexamine various talesofhowGod created Adamfrom in Islam. Comparison of the clay as an exampleof mythopoetic activity Islamicand Gnosticmaterial to thecreation of Adam in Jewish, relating willshowthat thesethree Islam,farfrom religions myth outright, rejecting in factstandsin themiddleof a continuum whoseextremes are Judaism as lackingin myth) on theone handand Gnosticism (generally regarded as highly on theother. (generally regarded mythical) inrecent The study ofmyth hasenjoyed renewed attention scholarly years, andentire tothediscussion bookshavebeendevoted ofthequestion "What is a myth in thecomparative-religious Thereis general that agreement myth?"' senseis nota lie or a fiction, theusualmeaning of (or comparative-literary) in everyday andcontroversy that confusion consensus, Beyond myth speech. The definition of myth mostsuited to thepurpose of this reign. paperis that a sacred narrative which howtheworld andhumausedin folklore: explains reached their This definition thetwomost state.2 present nity encompasses
* Thisarticle is basedona chapter ofmyMA thesis, ofthestory ofthe andGnostic Creation "Mythic aspects Midrash Literature" ofJerusalem, ofMan,comparing andIslamic (TheHebrew 1999),supervised University by Hava Lazarus-Yafeh andDr.MeirM. Bar-Asher. I would liketothank Dr.Bar-Asher for hiswillingness to Prof. hisunfailing andgoodadvice ever a thesis that was near andfor since. supervising completion, helpfulness begin I would DavidCookandLindaBarron, ofthis liketothank whoreadearlier drafts paper. on translations: from theQur'anuse R. Bell,TheQur'an:Translated with a critical reA note Quotations All is as arecitations the Surahs other Arabic material own translation, 1937-39). of (Edinburgh, my arrangement do notspecifically citea translator. ofHebrew material that areW.G. Doty, ofthesubject TheStudy and Rituals (Tuscaloosa, ofMyths Mythography: I. Somesurveys andMethod L. Coupe, andW. Doniger MyAth 1996), 1997). 1986);L. Patton (eds.), (Charlottesville, (London, Myth which arenarratives told after the ofthe 2. Incontrast tolegends, as true stories setinthe creation world period inMethod, theaudience realizes arefictional. See on this A. Dundes, "Madness andtofolk tales,which plusa Plea in: L. Patton andW. Doniger and Method forProjective Inversion," (eds.),Myth (Charlottesville, p. 147. 1996), S. Thompson, rev. ed. (Indianapolis, motif-numbers aretaken from Folklore 1966). ofFolkLiterature, Motif-Index

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LEIGH N.B. CHIPMAN

of anymyth: narrative and explanation. important components Peoplehave tried understand in to the world which and is anexpreslive, myth always they sionof thissearch forknowledge butcan which is notnecessarily historical, take us with answers toourbasicexistential Theseanswers provide questions.3 theform ofstories that areregarded them as thebasisfor bytheculture telling itsmanners a certain andmorals. involve andoften usually They higher beings, will be preserved version of themyth in theculture's or scriptures recited A myth is notnecessarily in thesenseof festivals. an explanation during clearer a parnotunderstood; itis an interpretation, rather, making something ticular theworld. wayofperceiving Islamhastraditionally seenitself as a religion basedon divinely-revealed law (theshari'a),rather than on myth. to Striving achievea pureandperfect theguardians oftheshari'a regarded ofthe as a remnant monotheism, myth and passedon old tales (qussas) whoexpanded paganpast,andstorytellers wereoften withsuspicion.4 thecommentators on the However, regarded and Hadith were unable to from refrain the eleQur'an expanding mythic inrevelation, whilepoetsandmystics ments contained the eagerly leaptinto ocean of ancient and interpreted in their own traditions them mythological themystical itspurpose is to find tradition; ways.Thispaperwillnotstudy of within the tradition that was hostile to it. sparks myth apparently A central tool in thishunt will be comparison of early methodological Islamictexts with Jewish sources. Until Judaism the wasconsidered recently This viewwas mostforcefully anti-mythic religion par excellence. expressed bytherenowned Biblescholar Y. Kaufmann, to whom, Israeaccording litereligion does notmerely but is unable to understand its opposemyth, While the of in Judaism has been controversial for myth question essence.5 moreandmore scholars arenowoftheopinion that does many years, myth indeedexistwithin Judaism due to a changein theperception of possibly no which is seen as a tale the from of the but myth, longer gods, biographies rather as a narrative that stabilizes andorganizes thevarious of components a certain within theframework culture ofmeaning and values.6 Muchof thediscussion of myth in Judaism has revolved aboutthecharacter ofGod. It is appropriate to widenthis thefigure discussion toinclude of Adam,theFirstMan, forhe is (paradoxically or not)an almost superhuman meant to serveas an exampleand paradigm forus, hischilbeing, in ourlives.In thiscontext, itis worth dren, E. Schweid'ssummary noting of S. Hirsch'sformulation of Jewish in his Religionsphilosophie des myth within exists both Judaism within and different Judentums: Myth paganism, in content butequivalent in position and role.Paganmyth is an expression
3. A. Schimmel, theSignsofGod (Charlottesville, 1994),p. 125. Deciphering 4. TheEncyclopedia (Leiden,1960-to date),s.v. "Kass." ofIslam,newedition 5. Y. Kaufmann, Israelite andTel-Aviv, 1954),passinm. (Jerusalem Religion - OpeningEssay,"in: H. Pedaya(ed.) Eshel 6. I. Gruenwald, "The Unpreventable of Myth Presence inJudaism 4: Myth Beer-Sheva (Beersheba, 1996),p. 3.

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MYTHIC ASPECTS OF THE PROCESS OF ADAM'S CREATIONIN JUDAISM AND ISLAM

ofnatural submit forces which totheblind Jewish ofFate,while consistency is the moral truth of existence. human historical, myth expressing spiritual of Creation, thestories of thePatriarchs can all be seen as Thus,thestory historical of the the laws of the history myths paradigmatic expressing Jewish as a paradigm with theperfor Islam, too,usesmyth history, people.7 iod of theProphet Muhammad and thefirst of Muslimsoften generation theplace oftheprimordial eraofCreation in other taking cultures.8 Another method of searching forthesparks of myth takesus to thepreIslamicperiod, andtotheGnostic theminim Thisreligion, religion. possibly of the Sages, flourished in theMiddle East in thesecondto (sectarians) centuries CE. It is a matter the fourth of some controversy as to whether is Gnosticswereheretic Jewsor pagans.Theircreation Christians, myth similar to speculations current in thefirst BCE, based on already century Greekphilosophy andechoesof which we can find in thewritings ofPhilo This myth from Judaeus. the creation Platonic derived, myth ultimately, in theTimaeus, combined with Genesis.Mythis essential to the appearing andcertain can best Gnostic elements in rabbinic mythic systems,9 thought as polemic theGnostics. be understood Someofthese ideasreappear against in theMuslimmaterials to be examined here. Gnosticism was a religion composedof manysects and religious systhat I havedrawn The mainsource uponin this tems.'0 paperis thelongverwhich in codicesII andIV of the sionof TheApocryphon ofJohn, appears uncovered at Nag' Hammadi Pearin UpperEgypt. Library CopticGnostic son definesthisworkas a mythopoetic of texts from Genesis exegesis with Adam'screation Gen. 2:7), a Gnostic concerned (Gen. 1:26ff., syntheJewish to these sis of severalnon-Gnostic exegeticaltraditions relating theDemiurge, thecreator texts."In TheApocryphon ofJohn, god of this - thelowestspiritual andthesonofSophia(Wisdom divine world material a that he the a is As voice announces result, onlygod. heavenly probeing), "Thereis Man and theson of Man,"and theDemiurge andthe claimsthat
in the and Re-Mythologization of Judaism 7. E. Schweid,"De-Mythologization (Mythand Judaism in Judaism 4: Myth of Kaufmann, Buberand Beck),"in: H. Pedaya(ed.) EshelBeer-Sheva (Beerthought sheba,1996),p. 344. see M. Forward, to myth and history of Islam's attitude 8. For an overview "Islam,"in: J.Holm and and History J.Bowker (London,1994),pp. 97-118. (eds.),Myth as itsbeingthe Gnosticism's forthehistory of religions considers 9. Gedalayahu Stroumsa importance intheancient theprocess world to reverse ofde-mythologiandan attempt ofmythic lastflowering thought of IsraelandtheGreek See G. Stroumsa, Another Seed: Studies zationbegunbytheprophets philosophers. in Gnostic (Leiden,1984),p. 1. Mythology that was in facta separate or was merely a tendency whether Gnosticism 10. The question religion, andbeliefsystems in lateantiquity, is thesubject in a number of religions of debate.See, on one appeared in idem., Judaism and Egyptian side: B. Pearson, Christianity Gnosticism, "Introduction", (Minneapolis, B. Layton, The Gnostic on there: (New York,1987),pp. xxi-xxii; 1990),pp. 6-9 andreferences Scriptures "Gnosticism": an argument a dubious M.A. Williams, theother: (PrinRethinking fordismantling category ceton,1996). in idem.,Gnosticism, and Egyptian Judaism I1. B. Pearson, "Biblicalexegesisin Gnostic literature," Christianity 1990),pp. 33-34. (Minneapolis,

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LEIGH N.B. CHIPMAN

inruling a glimpse whotakepart this arevouchsafed archons, world, beings thespiritual God. The oftheAnthropos, First Man whois also theSupreme and decide to create Adam in the archons of the Anthropos, Demiurge image and create"theanimate Adam,"a non-material beingwhichhas a soul ofmoveAt thisstage, Adamis incapable butno spirit (pneuma). (psyche) tobreathe ment andlieson theground, until theDemiurge Sophiapersuades to give that hisspirit intohim.Thus,thedivinespark Sophiastolein order himto Adam.The archons birth to theDemiurge immediately passesfrom a beingsuperior andimprithat havecreated tothemselves understand they of body, Adamis composed son himin a material words, body.12 In other with both thebodyandsoulthecreations oftheforces soulandspirit, ruling he is enslaved thesoul is the thisworldandthrough which to Fate.Within into ofthedivine has fallen also calledthe"spark," part powerwhich spirit, In a state here. andthebodywas created toensure that ourworld itremains and ofnon-salvation, thespirit within thebodyandsoulis notawareofitself or it "doesn't is depicted as paralysed, know" (i.e.,a-gnosasleep poisoned; andsalvation areachieved tic,as itwere).Awakening through gnosis. 3 in three of Adamare found maingenres of Legendsaboutthecreation andstories Islamicliterature: Qur'anic (ta'rikh) commentary (tafsir), history of theprophets is usuallya connected commen(qisas al-anbiya').Tafsir in text is which the sentence tary, holy systematically interpreted, by senandsometimes evenwordbyword.14 As representatence, byphrase phrase I choseMuqatilb. Sulayman tivesof thisgenre, (d. 150/767),'" Tabari(d. " 310/923)'6 and Ibn Kathir (d. 774/1373). As faras theMuslimhistorians there was no realdifference between thecreation wereconcerned, reporting events from thetime letalonethat ofAdam,andreporting of of theworld, - bothkinds hisofreports and later theProphet (akhbar)wereconsidered I haveadducedtheversions oftheearly Mas'udi (d. historians Tabari, tory. - later the of Adam hisand creation of Maqdisi (fl.355/966)19 345/956)' thethemes that to repeat theseearlyones,at leastregarding tended torians is thestories of the(pre-Islamic) me. Qisas al-anbiya', interested prophets, of Biblical of works thebiographies thenamegivento a number retelling notregarded as suchin theBible butconsi(including personages prophets suchas in Muslimtradition), New Testament deredprophets personalities thepre-Islamic and John theBaptist, and prophets from Zachariah Jesus,
in toJohn," Book According "TheSecret 12. TheApocrvphon (CodexII), pp. 15-25(= B. Layton, ofJohn TheGnostic idem, (NewYork,1987), Scriptures pp.39-44). TheGnostic 13.H. Jonas, 1963), (Boston, Religion p. 44. 14.TheEncyclopedia s.v."Tafsir." 1913-1936), ofIslam(Leiden, newedition see TheEncyclopedia 15.Forhisbiography, s.v."Mukatil." 1960-), (Leiden, ofIslam, see F. Rosenthal, TheHistory 16.Fora detailed (Albany, 1989),vol. 1,pp.5-134. ofal-Tabari biography, 17.Forhisbiography, see E12,s.v."IbnKathir." see E12,s.v."Mas'udi." 18.Forhisbiography, and b. Tahir;" C. Adang, Muslim onJudaism see E12,s.v."Makdisi, Mutahhir 19.Forhisbiography, Writers the Bible(Leiden, 1996), p. 50.

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MYTHIC ASPECTS OF THE PROCESS OF ADAM'S CREATIONIN JUDAISM AND ISLAM

Arabian with other in which events or enetradition, together piousheroes miesofGod wereinvolved.20 The twomostfamous ofthis genre expositors are the Qisas al-anbiya' by Kisa'i2' and 'Ara'is al-majalisby Tha'labi (b. 1035/427).22 Withregard to theJewish of Adam sources, legendsaboutthecreation are scattered rabbinic I referred literature. to sources throughout appearing in TorahShelemah23 and in thenotesto Ginzburg's The Legendsof the in addition to a of and Pirqe Genesis Rabbah25 Jews,24 systematic reading de-Rabbi Eliezer.26

The process of Adam's creation


Bothin Judaism and Islammanis conceived a spiritual as having and a material The spiritual is whatallows manto rise component. component abovethebeasts. HereI willexamine howJewish andMuslimsources desof Adam's creation cribetheprocess and from whatmaterials he was created. (The processof embryonic oftendiscussedby these development, the framework sourceswithin of traditions about Adam's creation,27 is thescopeofthis There seemstobe a "mainnarrative" ofthe article.) beyond of Adamfrom creation of lifeintohis body,which clay and thebreathing in all the almost sources examined while"secondary narrahere, appears are notpart which of themainone,appearfrom time totime. tives,"

20. EI2, vol.5, p. 180. ofthis 21. Forpossible identifications see EI2, s.v."Kisa'i;" A. Schussmann, oftheProauthor, "Stories in Muslim Tradition: b. 'Abdallah al-Kisa'i," Mainlyon thebasis of Kisas al-anbiya'by Muhammad phets Ph.D. diss.;Jerusalem, 1981),pp. 6-8 [inHebrew]. (unpublished 22. Forhisbiography, see EI, s.v. "Tha'labi." 23. M. Kasher TorahShelemah (ed.), Humash (Jerusalem, 1926),vol. 1. 24. L. Ginzburg, TheLegends 5 (notes). 1909),vols. I (text), oftheJews(Philadelphia, on thebookofGenesis.It comprises 25. GenesisRabbahis an exegetical midrash partly simple explaofwords andphrases, andpartly tothebiblinations sometimes related aggadicinterpretations, onlyslightly cal text. Based on thenamesoftheSages andtheevents mentioned GenesisRabbahis usually dated therein, earlier material. to theTalmud than 400 CE, butincludes Introduction and Midrash to later (G. Stemburger, ofGen.Rabbaharefrom Genesis Rabbah:TheJudaic J.Neusner, 1996],pp. 277-279)Citations [Edinburgh, A NewAmerican to theBookofGenesis. Translation Commentary 1985),vol. 1. (Atlanta, the"rewritten Bible" genre, theevents of theBible in a 26. Pirqede-Rabbi Eliezerrepresents retelling fashion. itcontinues certain ofmidrash continuous andcoherent topreserve elements However, (e.g.,giving toharmonize thenamesoftraditionists; notattempting different traditions). Eliezer is dated Pirqede-Rabbi orninth toMuslimrule.However, references old tratothe CE, andcontains century many many very eighth havebeentaken overfrom earlier sources almost here;possibly ditions, too,arepreserved complete chapters ofPirqede-Rabbi Eliezer arefrom. G. Friedlanwithout ibid., change. (Stemburger, pp. 329-330)Citations der,Pirkede RabbiEliezer.The Chapters ofRabbiEliezertheGreat(New York,1981). from Adam's creation a drop(nutfa) relate to embryonic 27. The Qur'anicversesdescribing development. See, e.g., 16:4,23:14.

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LEIGHN.B.CHIPMAN

The main narrative


The-main oftheprocess narrative ofAdam'screation down canbe broken intosmaller andthus itcan be seenthat numall or someofa limited parts, berofcomponents with occasionalvariants: appearin thesources, that dustforthecreation of manbe brought and to him, (1) God orders Earth a. refuses Gabriel alone is sent b. to the Gabriel, dust; (variants: bring MichaelandtheAngelofDeatharesent; c. theAngelofDeathaloneis sent; d. Iblisis sent). from various all from a. Dust is taken (2) Dust is taken places(variants: theearth; b. Dustis taken a from c. from Dust taken is specific places; holy Adam'sdescendants; e. The dustis particularly place;d. Thedustinfluences good). ofmanfrom mud. (3) The molding man'snameAdam? (4) An etymological legend whyis thefirst God creates Adam with His hands. (5) immobile forforty (6) Adamremains years. Iblis (= thedevil) threatens Adam and enters his (7) Duringthistime, body. thesoul toenter thebody. (8) God forces is breathed intothebodyvia thehead/nose. (9) The soul/spirit tries toriseand is unableto do so. (10) Adamhastily li-allah. (11) Adamsneezesand saysal-hamd are common Some of thesecomponents to Jewish and Muslimsources in onlyone ofthese as thefollowing table alike,andsomeappear traditions, shows:
1 Source BT JT Gen.R PDRE MDHG a Jerah. Muqatil Tabari b,c, d b Mas'udi Maqdisi Kisa'i b Tha'labi b 2 a, b c a, c c,e c,d,e a, d d b,d b,d d 3 4 5 6 7
-

10 11
-

+ + + + +

+ + + + + -

+
-

+ -

+ + + + + + + +

+ + + + + +

+ + -

+ + + + +

+ + + + -

+ + + +

+ + + + +

10

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MYTHIC ASPECTS OFTHEPROCESS OF ADAM'S CREATION INJUDAISM ANDISLAM

BT = Babylonian Abbreviations: JT= Palestinian Gen. Talmud; Talmud; R = GenesisRabbah;PDRE = Pirqede-RabbiEliezer;MDHG = Midrash 2 Jerah. = Chronicles ofJerahmeel.29 ha-Gadol; that dustbe brought that He maycreateAdamfrom it; (1) God orders Earth refuses. 0 Thissubject, was greatly which does not byMuslimtradition, developed in butonlyin a relatively theChrolate source, appear earlymidrashim, niclesofJerahmeel:
calledGabriel andsaidunto God then him: "Go andbring Me dust from the oftheearth, four corners andI willcreate then went to manoutofit."Gabriel theearth, dustfrom buttheearth himawayand wouldnotallow drove gather it.Gabriel himtotakedustfrom said:"Why, dostthou not thereupon O earth, hearken to thevoiceof theLord,who founded theeuponthewaters without Theearth andwithout andsaid:"I amdestined tobecome pillars?" props replied andtobe cursed a curse, andifGod Himself doesnot take the dust man, through else shalleverdo so." When from God saw this He stretched forth me,no-one dust His hand, took ofthe andcreated the manonthesixth therewith first day. '

oftheangels'objection Herewe havethemotif to thecreation ofman,32 on theone hand, and on theother, additional confirmation that God had no in thecreation. partners of thismotif in his Tafsir Tabaricitesthree versions in (all are repeated each with The first theTa 'rikh), itsownsignificance. in the version appears on Qur'an2:30: commentary back toIbn'Abbas andother (d. 68/686) [a tradition going Companions Earth ofthe then Godsent tothe inorder tobring Gabriel ...and Prophet:] andEarth mud from said:"May Godsavemefrom her, you taking anything andsaid: she from meorharming me." So hereturned without "Lord, taking and I sent Your to her." God then it Michael, requested protection granted
and he granted it to her, returned and andEarth God's protection, requested
Itis ofnidrashinz on thePentateuch that has survived. ha-Gadolis thelargest 28. Midrash compilation whocompiled in Yemenin thethirteenth tohavebeencomposed considered century byDavid benAmram, to themidrashic, and gaonictraditions, andespecially ofeveryverseaccording Talmudic theinterpretation them intoa singlewhole.(Stemburger, Maimonides' Introduction, p. 354) weaving together interpretation, livedin Italy was a scribe his accuracy, whoprobably or Spain ben Solomon renowned for 29. Jerahmeel He collated a "re-written ortwelfth a number ofminor midrashim tocreate theeleventh century. during Bible," oftheworld ofthe SecondTemple. from thecreation tothedestruction calledTheChronicles (H. ofJerahmeel, in:M. Gaster, TheChronicles Schwartzbaum, [NewYork,1971], ofJerhameel pp.3-9) "Prologemon," in are taken 30. A1241.5.2?- Man madefrom by Angelof Death.Motif-numbers ending claybrought A GuidetoMotif and H.M. El-Shamy, FolkTraditions Arab World: from Classification ofthe (Bloomington 1995). vol. 1. Indianapolis, The Chronicles 31. M. Gaster, (New York,1971),p. 15. ofJerahmeel of Man. A fuller of theangels' objection discussion to Adam's 32. A1217.1 - Angelsopposecreation in Islamic "Adamand theangels:an examination of mythic elements will appearin myarticle creation sources," forthcoming.

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LEIGH N.B. CHIPMAN andEarth Gabriel hadsaid.Godthen sent theAngel saidwhat of Death and hereplied: for from asked God'sprotection God save me returning "May without Hiscommand."" fulfilling in Kisa'i3?" This version form, appearsin Mas'udi,3" and in an extended of creation to the In thesetales,as in many and Tha'labi.36 others relating - theAngelofDeath's to thequestion ofdeath is also reference man,there are lifeanddeath intheprocess ofAdam'screation showsthat participation hisposition theAngelofDeathreceived intertwined. Kisa'i evennotesthat ofEarth's due to hismerciless withstanding pleas."7 on 2:31,goesback which inthecommentary The secondversion, appears God senttheAngelof Deathin thefirst to Ibn 'Abbas. Hereit is toldthat which The third outhismission version, successfully. place andhe carried 38 and is 'Abbas back to Ibn in the on also 17:61, commentary goes appears of the that of the instead to second similar Death, version, Angel except very Iblis' endswith HimAdam'sdust."9 Thistradition God sendsIblisto bring an explanation for Iblis' feeling tobow downto Adamandprovides refusal - he, havingbrought thedustto God, tookpartin Adam's of superiority in the Earthper se does not participate creation. (In the Gnosticmyth, with the therulers oftheworld identified butthearchons, Adam'screation, Satan'sband,aretheones whocreate fallen Adam.) angelsandwith Michael a version towhich God sent Kisa'i tooreports Gabriel, according theEarth. theAngelof Death,to takedustfrom and eventually However, WhenIblisheard ofGod's for Earth's Kisa'i addsan explanation objection: andincihe went downtoEarth a newandhonorable creature, plantocreate thatGod was aboutto ted hernotto give dustforthiscreature, claiming Himandsuffer Hellfire.40 wouldrebel create a beingthat (Ironically, against to Adam.) This tale, due to his opposition thiswouldbe Iblis' own fate, from Earth half ofthehandful ofdustbrought which endswith bytheAngel and theother halfin Hell,deals notonly of Deathbeingplacedin Paradise of prebutalso withthequestion of deathin theworld, withtheproblem at Adam's fateswerealreadyforeordained All of humanity's destination: In theparallel version creation. byTha'labi,Iblisdoes nottakepart reported He is abouttocreate Earth that andGod Himself informs in theproceedings herbeings,some of whomwill obey Him and some of whomwill from
rebel.41
Jami'al-bayan'an ta'wilavyal-Qur'an(Cairo,1954),vol. 1,p. 203 (hereafter: Tabari, 33. Tabari, Tafed. M.J.de Goeje (Leiden,1879;repr.1964),series1, pp. 91-92. Annales at-Tabari, sir).cf.idem., ed. Ch. Pellat(Beirut, wa-ma'adin 1979).39. 34. Mas'udi,Murujal-dhahab al-jawahir, ed. I. Eisenberg 35. Kisa'i, VitaeProphetarum, (Leiden,1923),pp. 22-23. 36. Tha'labi,'Ara 'is al-majalis(Cairo,1340AH), p. 18. 37. Kisa'i, p. 23. vol. 1, p. 214. 38. Tabari,Tafsir, series1, p. 88. 39. Ibid.,vol. 15,p. 116. Cf.Annales, 40. Kisa'i, pp. 22-23. 41. Tha'labi,p. 19.

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MYTHIC ASPECTS OF THE PROCESS OF ADAM'S CREATIONIN JUDAISM AND ISLAM

- and evena parallel to Schwartzbaum, there is a connection According - between the this andthetalesaboutthebandsofangelswhoopposed story creation of theworld. One of themostwidespread tellsof thecreamyths tionof theworld severalmessengers by a creator (usually god who orders todiveintotheprimordial thesea oceaninorder toretrieve mudfrom three) bed.In most twomessengers failandonlythethird succeeds cases,thefirst in carrying outhistask, will andreturns with themudfrom theEarth which be created.42 Whilenon-Semitic versions ofthismyth deal with thecreation of theEarth, theSemitic versions deal withthecreation of man.The basic idea common to all versions is that themessengers oftheCreator God have to gather is successful. etc.;whiletwoof them fail,thethird clay/mud/dust The author of themyth wishesto showhow the"material" forthecreation of Earthor of Man was gathered.43 Kisa'i's versionof the story, which the close connection between the of the Death and creaemphasizes Angel tionof Adam,expresses theidea that thecycleof lifeand deathis eternal, with that theimplication death is necessary lesttheearth becomeovercrowded." In theagaddahappearing in Gen.Rabbah8.4, thefirst twobandsof that Adam's creation are the to two opposed equivalent angels single angels intheMuslim The third thecreation band,which legend. appearing supports of man,is equivalent tothethird thedust angel,whosucceedsin collecting forAdam's creation. Schwartzbaum considers themidrash in the required an Chronicles to between the Talmudic Jerahmeel of attempt compromise of three tradition bandsof angelsand theMuslimtradition of three single in Adam'screation.45 angelsinvolved also notes that in theBook ofEnoch(dated Schwartzbaum c. 200 BCE - a point of similarity 100CE), Raphaelis thelordof Sheol,theunderworld In with Kisa'i's creation the same that the third is story. way angel,'Azra'il, dustandis rewarded theAngelof byGod for gathering bybecoming praised of Adam,is named Death,so Labbiel,whoseband agreesto thecreation - shades, cf. refa'im (Heb. refu'oth; Raphaeland becomeslordof healing The late midrash in with the Talmudic accordance ghosts). emphasizes, legend, and whiletheir Gabriel that leaders, angelswereburned, onlytheopposing weresaved.This, with theMuslim too,conforms Michael, tradition.6 from various (2) Dust is taken places.47 which andtheMuslimtraditions thedustfrom BoththeJewish agreethat was taken as from theentire world. Adamwas created Theydisagree tothe
ofa Falashacreation in R. Pataietal. (eds.), 42. H. Schwartzbaum, "Jewish andMoslemsources myth," Folklore inBiblicaland Jewish Studies 1960),p. 41. (Bloomington, 43. Ibid.,p. 42. 44. Ibid.,p. 44. ofthesetraditions, discussion see "AdamandtheAngels: an examination 45. Ibid.,p. 49. Fora detailed in Islamicsources,"forthcoming. of mythic elements andMoslemsources," 46. Schwartzbaum, "Jewish p. 50. and earth from four different 47. A1241.5- Man was madefrom brought l? - Physical places;A.1241.5. of thedustfrom thefirst man aredetermined which attributes by characteristics personality (temperament) was created.

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LEIGH N.B. CHIPMAN

of thisand as to thespecific whichthedustwas significance places from taken. WhiletheMuslim the traditions above that continue quoted bystating of dust from kind and of of soil every gathered Angel Death/Iblis every human and their characteristics color,and therefore beingshave different skinhas different thedustwas Eliezertellsus that colors, Pirqe de-Rabbi all theworld colors indeed taken from andwas ofall colors, butthedifferent all inAdam'sbody, from becamedifferent andthedustwas gathered organs that overtheworld so that theEarth couldnever refuse burial by claiming of someone'sdustcamefrom somewhere thisis a reflection else.48Perhaps to realities thevarious Islamwas required thedifferent authors: confronting an ideoof had with the converts from races and cope rapid absorption many CE ofall believers, while Judaism after thefirst century logyoftheequality a state ofexileand wanderings. therepeated had to deal with Additionally, of thedustfrom which Adam was created idea that thequalities (soil that thecharacter ofhuman was salty, andqualities etc.)foreshadow good,rocky a belief in predestination. seemsto indicate beings today, oftraditions ofthe dust about the Another givedetails group placesoforigin in Adam'sbody.The heador theheart usedto makedifferent organs usually thehonor ofbeing created from receives taken either from the Land dust, holy Mecca. 5oA sub-group of Israel49 or from that the dust was taken emphasizes from themost oftheTemple ortheKa'ba,5 respectively. holy place:thealtar Adamhimself offered case, thiswouldbe thevery (In either placein which to God.) Kister citesadditional traditions of this kindandconsiders sacrifices a form traditions them ofpraise Places al-amakin). (fada'ilal-buldan orfada'il 2 which Vadet havecharacteristic influence the there. qualities, peopleliving are different that there of angelsforeach country, while categories suggests oftheuniverse53 Adamis an absolute - theidea ofmanas microexpression washeldbytheGnostics, also. cosm,which traditions that there are Finally, emphasizethatthe dust fromwhich was dustofhighquality. connects this Adamwas created tradition 5 Jewish to theidea that thedustwas taken from theplace of thealtarof thefuture while Muslim sources raisetheissuewithin theframework ofdisTemple,55 from of variouswordsdescribing the material cussionsof the meaning Theclaimthat thefinest Adamwascreated from which Adamwascreated.56
48. Pirqede-Rabbi Eliezer, p. 77. 38a-b. 49. BT, Sanhedrin 50. Kisa'i, p. 24; Tha'labi,p. 19. vol.4, p. 522. 51. Muqatil, in 52. M.J.Kister, and hadith literature: The creation of Adamand other stories," "Legendsin tafsir to theHistory A. Rippin 1988),pp. 101-102. (ed.),Approaches oftheInterpretation oftheQur'an (Oxford, et l'investiture de l'homme dans la sunnisme ou la 16gende d'Adamchez 53. J.-C.Vadet,"La cr6ation 42 (1975), p. 30. al-Kisa'i,"StudiaIslamnica 54. Midrash ha-Gadol, p. 78. ha-Gadol, 55. JT,Nazir7.4,cf.Pirqede-Rabbi Eliezer, p. 78. pp. 35, 38, 65; Midrash vol.2, p. 428; Tabari, vol. 14,pp.27-30;IbnKathir, al-kabir 1966), 56. Muqatil, (Beirut, Tafsit; al-Tafsir vol.4, pp. 159-160.

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OFTHEPROCESS MYTHIC ASPECTS OF ADAM'S ANDISLAM CREATION INJUDAISM

from dusttaken from themostholyplace,maybe aimedpolemimaterial, In ofthebodyas created andactivated callyatGnostic bydemons: concepts whilein is complete thislastconception there demonization of thebody,57 Jewish thebodyis afforded andMuslimtradition respect. 8 man The of mud.59 from (3) molding is indeed Thisprocess mentioned in Jewish sources (e.g. Pirqe de-Rabbi in a listof whathappened is no morethan Eliezer),butwhatappearsthere in which all ofAdam'shistory houroftheFriday takesplace: every dust for the inthe hour He collected Thedayhadtwelve first hours; [the inthe third inthe itinto a mass, second He formed of]Adam, [hour] body

it with He gave it itsshape,in thefourth He endowed breath, [hour] [hour] the[aniin thefifth he on his in he called stood the sixth feet, [hour] [hour] malsby their] names,in theseventh [hour]Eve was joined to him,in the in the of thetree, werecommanded thefruits [hour] they concerning eighth in as four, ninth wentup to [their] couchas twoand descended [hour] they in theeleventh thetenth His commandment, [hour] [hour] they transgressed as it is said, weredriven werejudged,in thetwelfth forth, [hour] they they "So he droveouttheman."(Gen. 3:24)"'

tella much andcomplex In contrast, Muslimsources moredetailed story of which dustbecomes the course ofa longandmulti-staged process during andstinks, andfinally driesandbecomeshard mud,themudferments clay. of these each stagelastsforty Sometimes years.The purpose daysor forty a hardandunyielthegreatness ofGod,whomolded talesis todemonstrate dingmaterial:
theAngelof Deathraisedit (= thedust)to Allahand Allah Afterwards itwith himtomakeitinto andhe fermented itandkneaded commanded mud, their and sweet and saltywateruntilit became mud,therefore bitter (= human beings') qualitiesare varied"'... Then He kneadedit withAdam's mud.ThenHe left soft until itbecamesticky, then left itfor mud, forty years is thedry Andthat until itbecameclaylikepottery utensils. itfor forty years a it with is noisywhenyoustrike mudwhich hand,that is, itproduces your and thismatter involved skilled work it wouldbe known that so that sound, andnotnature andcunning (al-tab' wa-'l-hila), power(al-san' wa-'l-qudra) andis noteasilymolded.62 forindeed drymudis notflexible
A History 57. G. Filoramo, 1990),pp. 91-92. (Oxford, ofGnosticism TheBodyand Society: in general, see P. Brown, 58. FortheGnostic attitude to thebody,and to matter in earlyChristianity and sexualrenunciation Men,women (New York,1988),pp. 106-112.I owe thisreferenceto David Cook. from 59. A1241- Man created clay(earth). 60. Pirqede-Rabbi Eliezer, pp. 77-78. 61. Tha'labi,pp. 18-19. 62. Ibid.,p. 19.

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LEIGH N.B. CHIPMAN

This version, by Tha'labi, is the mostdetailed,but Muqatil,Tabari, Mas'udi andMaqdisi ofman tothis Thecreation 63all refer lengthy process. inGnostic a is and the creaFirst elaborate too, myths, multi-staged process: tionofthespirit from sevenelements thethecreation bythesevenarchons, of everyorganin thebodyby demons, of the and finally thedetermining demons for thebody.' Perhaps theuse oftheexpresresponsible activating sion tinlazib (sticky and smelly mud)is an echo of theGnostics' negative thebodyandmatter? attitude toward - whyis thefirst man'snameAdam?6' (4) An etymological legend Midrashha-Gadolcitesthree of Adam's foran etymology suggestions traditions on this matter: "R. Judah'says:[He is name, up Jewish summing after theearth he was taken. R. Eliezer67 which named] (adama) from says: Adam- ashes(efer), blood(dam),bile(mara).R. Joshua benQarha68 says: is the andbloodhe was calledAdam."' The first Because he is flesh option inMuslim sources: Adamreceived hisnamebecausehe was onlyone found thecrust created from or adama)7' of theEarth.Gnosticwritings (adim"7 which Jewish sources: also knowthisetymology, tookfrom they probably Adamwas so calledbecausehe crawled (adama).72 upontheearth Adamwith His hands."7 (5) God creates the Jewish thismotif sources, early onlyin Among appearsexplicitly Man nothaving Aboth de RabbiNathan.74 beencreated but byDivineWord to glorify himandraisehimabove all other creabyGod's Handsis meant - as in thistradition, Thisis sometimes stated tures. backto explicitly going "Allah created Ibn Ishaq (d. 150/767): Adam from thecrust of theearth mud,withHis hand,in (adamatal-ard),from sticky clay,from stinking to honor himand to glorify his matter order crea(amr)7'above theother
vol. 1,p. 97; Tabari, vol. 1,pp. 202-203;Mas'udi,? 39; Maqdisi,Kitabal-bad' wa63. Muqatil, Tafsir, ed. Cl. Huart 'I-ta'rikh, (Paris,1899),vol.2, pp. 81-83. (Codex II), p. 15,1. 13-p.19,1.6 (= Layton, 64. The ofJohn pp. 39-43). ofa name. 65. Z183.0.1 ? - Meaning Apocr.phon barEzekiel:a Babylonian teacher at theacademy at Pumbeamora,d. 299 CE. Prominent 66. R. Judah ditha. Introduction, p. 88) (Stemburger, a tannawholivedaround theturn of thefirst cal67. R. EliezerbenHyrcanus: CE, sometimes century to him (Encyclopedia Judaica[Jerusalem, led R. EliezertheGreat.Pirqe de-RabbiEliezer is attributed 1971],vol. 6, pp. 619-623). of R. Judah of thesecondcentury the 68. R. Joshua benQarha:a tannaof themiddle CE, theteacher in his nameare mainly of aggadicmaterial Prince.Sayingstransmitted Judaica,vol. 10, (Encyclopedia pp. 281-282). 69. Midrash ha-Gadol, p. 77. 70. ThusinTabari, vol.1,p. 214 andvol. 15,p. 116;Mas'udi,? 39: Maqdisi,vol.2, p. 83; Kisa'i, Tafsir, p. 23. 71. ThusinTabari, vol. 1,p. 208; cf.Annales, series1,p. 93. Tafsir, 72. TheHipostasisoftheArchons, p. 88, 1. 16 (= Layton, p. 70). ofMan bytheCreator. 73. A1210 - Creation New York,1997),version de RabbiNathan,ed. S. Schechter, 74. Aboth 1887;repr. A, ch. 1, (London, p. 8. for can be understood as thedivinedispensation and plan fortheworldin general, and here, 75. Amnr in particular. Acta Orientalia 23 of God in theQuran," Cf. J. Baljon,"The amnr (Copenhagen) humanity reference. David Cook forthis (1954): 7-18. I thank

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OF ADAM'S MYTHIC ASPECTS OFTHEPROCESS ANDISLAM CREATION INJUDAISM

- and sometimes in itis implicit, tures" as in thistradition, which 76 appears on Qur'an,38:75-76and goes back to 'Abdallahb. Tabari's commentary "Allahcreated four 'Umarb. al-Khattab: with His hand:theThrone things Be! and Paradise and thePen and Adam. Afterwards he said to each thing In contrast, and it was.""77 for the Gnostics,Adam's creationby the of thisworld, thecreator and theruling is in no waya archons, Demiurge, Man is worthy to thedivine sourceof prideor honor. of respect due only to him spark passed bySophia.78 forforty immobile (6) Adamremains years.79 a andIslamictraditions Adampassedthrough Jewish that agreeinsaying he was an inanimate, stagein which unliving body(golem).ThusGen.Rabinto hisnostrils' bah,for (Gen.2:7): This says:" 'AndHe breathed example, teaches that He sethimup as an unformed mass(Heb.: golem), filling up the to thefirmament. Thenhe tossedthesoul intohim."80 space of theearth thisstageto a Qur'anicverse,76:1: "Has there Muslimsources"' connect come uponmana period of timewhenhe was nothing worth mentioning?" Thistime is theperiod in which Adamwas an inanimate body.Someadd to thedry thedetailthat theangelsfeared himat thisstage: description backtoIbn'Abbas andother ofthe Pro[a tradition going Companions him ... then with His hands inthe Allah created ... andcreated him phet:] ofa man, andhewasa clay for ofthe duration shape body forty years (mniqwhen andthe andwere afraid saw dar)ofFriday, angels passed byhim they the rest him. And more than Ibliswasafraid...82 Adamlayinthis He wasplaKisa'i andTha'labiaddthe state: placewhere inthespotwhere ced next to thegateofParadise, theangels precisely passed while Adamlayinanimate, the rain ofsorrow Tha'labialso saysthat bydaily."3 reaandtherains ofjoy for a single Thisis the fellonhim for year. forty years, to havemany sorrows andaredrawn Adam'sdescendants son,he says,that - yetanother incidents instance that of theconcept andhappiness" pleasure hiscreation hisdescendants. toAdamduring influence that happened after thearchons Adamlayon theground totheGnostic According myth, unable to moveuntil he was him.Although he hadan animate created body, intohim. blewSophia's spirit theDemiurge accidentally (pneuma) 85
vol. 1, p. 208. 76. Tabari,Tafsir, 77. Ibid.,vol. 23, p. 185. 78. Filoramo, p. 93. 79. A2141.3- Man madefrom clayimageand vivified. 80. Gen. Rabbah,14:4 (Neusner, 156). vol. 4, p.522;Tabari,Tafsir, vol.29,p. 202. 81. Muqatil, vol. 1,p. 203; cf.Annales, series1,pp. 91-92. 82. Tabari,Tafsir, 83. Kisa'i, p. 25; Tha'labi,p. 19. 84. Tha'labi,ibid. 10ff. 85. TheApocqrphon (Codex II), p. 19,11. (= Layton, pp. 43-44). ofJohn

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LEIGH N.B. CHIPMAN

thistime, Iblisthreatens Adamandenters hisbody.86 (7) During This motif does notappearin theJewish to the sources,as according Jewish Satan enters the at a later tradition, (= Iblis) stage.Muqastory only tilalready tellsthat Iblisentered Adam'sclaybodythrough hisanusandexitedthrough hismouth, andsaid:"I amfire andthis is hollowclay.Fireoverthis[man]."87 In thisway,Iblis triesto comes clay and I will overcome his fear ofAdamandto showhissuperiority overhim.Tabariand conquer Iblis theother Mas'udi report that more than Adam angels despite fearing him: enter himandgo outofhim, andthreaten did,he wouldhitorkickhim, - that a Ibliswould come andkick then Adam would is,make him, ring - andthat is [the words "from like sound Allah's meaning of] clay pottery" likesomething is not Iblis would that solid. After that, (Q, 55:14), blown-up exit hisanus and exit enter hismouth and andenter hisanus through through - and - because then would ofhisringing hismouth, say:"Youarenothing for If I to I will kill and were made am rule over you, if you nothing! you, I will to rule over rebel are me, against you."" you Iblis said that as Adamwas hollow,he wouldhave no Kisa'i adds that hinta(foodor wheat)8- perhaps a foreshadowing of theway escape from ensnare him? which Iblis would by In contrast in the Gnosticmyth thearchons to theMuslimtraditions, themselves himin a their fear ofAdamandrevenge byimprisoning express has beenbreathed intohimandhe is no lonbodyonlyafter spirit corporeal inof spirit enablesAdamto a claybody.The blowing (pneuma) germerely this the to and at moment archons realizethat move, they watching begin - Sophia's powerhas moved a beingsuperior to themselves havecreated the archonsvengefully force the Demiurgeto Adam. In response, from existence: "out Adamdownto thebasenessof material him, Theyre-form And ofdarkness anddesire, andtheir counterfeit oftheignorance spirit... he In other theouter shellof matter human becamea mortal words, being.""90 to was created in contrast at thesecondstage,"9 that enclosesAdam's spirit first. of thebodybeingcreated theJewish andMuslimconcept thedifferences inthis theGnostic It wouldseemthat motif between myth of it derivefromthe difference between the and the Muslimtreatment in thisworld vis-aiof thearchons andIblis' relative impotence importance
86. A.54.3.1 Adam. ? - Iblisrejects 87. Muqatil, vol.1,p. 97. vol. 1,pp. 201-202.Cf.Annales, series p. 90: Mas'udi,? 39. 88. Tabari, Tafsir, 1, 89. Kisa'i, p. 25. 1. 90. TheApocrvphon (Codex II), p. 19,1. 32-p.21, 15 (= Layton, pp.44-45). ofJohn oftheworld, in to theZoroastrian ofa doublecreation first 91. Theremaybe a certain concept parallel ofthespirit andthen inthedimension ofmatter See S. Shaked, thedimension "Thenotions (ge^~g). (me^n6g) Acta Orientalia 33 in thePahlavitexts and their relation to eschatology," and gFtig (Copenhagen) nimn6g (1971), pp. 59-107

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MYTHIC ASPECTS OF THE PROCESS OF ADAM'S CREATIONIN JUDAISM AND ISLAM

and vis Allah. According to theGnostics, thearchons thisworld, created within to theMuslim theworld, Allahcreated it,Man; according viewpoint, Iblis.In the notIblis,and evengave mankind weaponsfordefense against Jewish andMuslimscheme of things, theworld was created bya good and benevolent is explaining of evil in the thepresence god - and theproblem theoutset, theGnostics, theworld for on thecontrary, is all evilfrom world; and itis necessary to explain howa fewelectmaystillcometobe saved.92 thesoulto enter thebody.93 (8) God forces The idea thatthesoul enters thebodyunwillingly does indeedexistin but in relation thanto he Jewish to Adam's descendants rather tradition, - one of theangelsforces thesoul to enter newhimself thebodyof every child.94 In all theMuslimsources born examined thesoul is unwilling here, Allah to enter Adam's bodybecauseitsorifices are cramped and narrow. ittoenter, "As youentered forces so shallyoucomeout saying: unwillingly, Thisstory is notcitedbyTabari, in Muqatil"s and butappears unwillingly." likedin popular as circles, Maqdisi,9and itseemsto havebeenuniversally and who itis reported both learTha'labi, byKisa'i"7 by quotesanonymous nedmenas his source: The 'ulama' said:When Allah wanted tobreath the He soulinto Adam, ittogointo and the ordered soulsaid:A deep a dark entrance. him, entrance, Then He repeated hiscommand tothe soulanditrepeated itswords, andso until atthe fourth time He said:Enter alsoa third and come time, unwillingly outunwillingly."9 thisstory's It seemsthat is to explainhumanity's fearof death purpose it.Theremayperhaps be an echoofGnosticism in the andstruggles against thebody.(Tha'labi does notmakethedistowards attitude soul's negative thattheGnostic to soul and spirit tinction between do, according systems in thearchons and onlythespirit is of bothbodyand soul originate which heavenly origin.) is breathed intothebodyvia thehead/nose.99 (9) The soul/spirit manifesGod breathed intoAdamis thephysical The breath of lifethat in man.All the sources, bothJewish and elements of thespiritual tation the the entered Adam's that head, Muslim,agree bodythrough soul/spirit the thebreath entered that whilesomeare moreprecise through by stating hainhale thenose.Midrash becausewe do in fact nose- probably through
92. Stroumsa, p. 33. manwith soul. 93. A185.12- Deityprovides vol. 1,pp. 56-59and notes thereto. 94. See Ginzburg, vol. 1, p. 97. 95. Muqatil, 96. Maqdisi,vol. 2, p. 87. 97. Kisa'i, p. 26. 98. Tha'labi,p. 20. in Adamfrom God's breath. 99. E703.1? - Soul created

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LEIGH N.B. CHIPMAN

Gadol explains this that themouth, choice, saying eyesandearsareall liable to to be theorgans of sin.Onlythenoserejects evil smellsand is attracted to the in the that same the flee from cleave sin and ones, good way righteous Torah.'" The Muslimsourcesfrom add thateveryorganof the Tabarionwards to work."' thespirit reached becameflesh and bloodand started bodythat "And thespirit Kisa'i describes thefirst that Adam saw and heard: things and thecrown entered from ofhisheadtohiseyes,andAdamopenedthem on the beganto look at hisclaybodyandcouldnotspeak,and saw written (saradiq al-'arsh): Thereis no God butAllah and awningof theThrone ofGod intruth. hisearsand Muhammad is theMessenger reached Thespirit - Adam'sfirst in theair"'02 he begantoheartheangels'praises experiences this entire wereconnected totheworship ofGod. Kisa'i also states that process lastedfivehundred years. 103 thespirit The Gnostic ofthismotif is theDemiurge breathing equivalent transfers intoAdam- thushe mistakenly thepowerof hismother, Sophia, intoAdamandcauseshimto be hissuperior.'" tries toriseandis unabletodo so. (10) Adamhastily Thismotif which that before 105 onlyin Muslimtraditions, report appears hadtime topassthrough all parts ofAdam'sbodyandchange thesoul/spirit toriseandwasunable them into flesh andblood,hetried todo so. Thismotif theQur'anicverses "Manis apttobe hasty" seemstobe aimedatexplaining of haste"(21:38), as one or bothof these (17:11) and "Man was created with it.Thiscouldalso be an expression versesinvariably together appears inthefaceofGod: Man cando nothing without God's ofMan's helplessness andguidance. assistance li-allah (11) Adamsneezesandsaysal-hamd . - on thispoint theJewish and deed is to praisehis Creator Adam's first areagreed: Muslimtraditions onhistwofeet andlooked ... andsawall the stood Adam upanddown andbegan topraise the blessed be He,hadcreated, creatures that One, Holy 107 name. hiscreator's then itwanhim histoes and the until itreached And through passed spirit itreturned them find anopening; therefore but didnot tedtoleavethrough from outthrough thenostrils, andhe sneezed to theheadandwent that,
ha-Gadol, 100.Midrash pp. 78-79. series1,pp.92-93;Maqdisi,vol.2, p. 87; Tha'labi,p. 20. vol. 1,p. 202. cf.Annales, 101.Tabari.Tafsir, 102. Kisa'i, p. 26. 103.Ibid.,p. 27. 104. Filoramo, pp. 92-93. vol. 1, pp. 201-202;Mas'udi,A41; Maqdisi,vol. 2, p. 87: 105. Muqatil,vol. 1, p.98; Tabari,Tafsir, Kisa'i, pp. 26-27;Tha'labi,p. 20. ofsocial ofsneezing: 106. A1319.9- Origin A1537- Origin etiquette, 107. Pirqede-Rabbi Eliezer, pp. 35-36.

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MYTHIC ASPECTS OFTHEPROCESS OF ADAM'S CREATION INJUDAISM ANDISLAM

itleft thenostrils, because andsaid:"Praised be God(al-hamd lithrough washisfirst allah)!"andthat speech. t08 to St. Irenaeus, CE, the According BishopofLyonsin thesecondcentury Gnostics believed that after he immediately Adam, Sophia'sspirit passedinto left hiscreators andpraised AdamQadmon, Inthe same hisdivine archetype.'" Mandaean Man of thegnostic way,AdamQadmiaor AdamKasia,theFirst "0sneezes andblesses the cosmic that himanda similar created light sect, thing "' We canlearn this atthe time ofthe creation ofthe first from human. happens This idea can also that oneofman'smost functions is to God. important praise inthewritings ofthe itself which considers be found Nusayri-'Alawite religion, In a protooftheShi'a andcontains to be a splinter Gnostic elements. many our Kitabal-haft theworldthatexisted before work, Nusayri wa-'l-azilla, There thesouls(calledazilla,shadows, orashbah, world is described. figures, and alternatively knewnothing, notevenwho they themselves were, lights) them. The first Allahtaught until Allahtaught that (andmost important) thing "2 In addition, Him. was to praise andglorify after thecreation ofAdam them himandhisdescenin theworld God madea covenant with ofpre-existence, thedivine calledtheHijab (veil) had taught that dants after them hypostasis Allah. a bookwritten inthenineteenth is noGodbut there "3However, century to Christianity, a verydifferent who converted paints picture. by a Nusayri ofpre-existence thesoulsintheworld arepresented as lights andstars There, in orthodox no beingmore honorable liketheangels that that Islam, thought, could addibe created. This and the than themselves mistake, (akram) possibly of 'Ali b. AbiTalibas theincarnation ofGod(as tional sinofnon-recognition him tobe),ledtoa severe loweconsider the Theywere punishment: Nusayris were where redtoa basedwelling-place (darsiflaniyya), they placedinbodies would andblood(hayakil offlesh who,in thefuture, bashariyya). Onlythose 'Ali would be allowed to return to the incarnation of the regions; upper identify a indicate forever."' therest wouldcontinue to be reincarnated 114 Thesewords andtopraise inthis world is toknow hisCreator man'spurpose belief that clear him.
vol. 1,p. 98. 108. Muqatil, Heresies1.30.6(= Layton, 109. St. Irenaeus, p. 176). Against in in Iraq.Theirreligion MiddleEastern arean ancient 110.The Mandaeans sect,still originates existing of The Gnostic characteristics arestillshadowy. oftheCommon three centuries thefirst Era,anditssources a cosmoloofthesoulthrough ofitsdivineorigin; intheillumination thebelief thissectinclude knowledge theheavenly is toprevent whosepurpose thesoul's ascension ofevil archons spheres through gicalstructure an early to that of Saturninus, of Adam'screation similar with thesupreme to be united god; a description rites of aresupport ofmarriage anda complex characteristics teacher. Non-Gnostic Gnostic ritual, including of E. Drower. inother Gnostic sects.Forfuller see theworks that areunknown discussion, baptism, TheSecret Adam(Oxford, 111. E. Drower, 1960),pp. 26, 35. ed. A. TamerandIgn.-A. Kitabal-Haft 112.al-Mufaddal b. 'Umayr (Beial-Ju'fi, wa-'l-Azillat, Khalif6 1960),p. 30. rut, of Adam'sawakening 113.Ibid.,p.31; cf.Kisa'i's description (p. 26). 114. Sulayman al-Bakura al-Adhani, (n.p.,n.d.),pp. 59-61. al-Sulaymnaniyyva

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LEIGH N.B. CHIPMAN

Within thepale ofMuslim Kisa'i andTha'labistate orthodoxy, explicitly In thesetraditions, that Adamwas created to praiseGod."15 thefirst tahmnid tosneebe God"- al-hamd linked "Praised is almost li-allah) always (saying is an etiological meant toexplain sayal-hanmd myth, whyone must zing;this li-allah after sneezing.

Secondarynarratives
(1) Adamis created androgynous theAnthropos, the god who is the In Gnosticmythological systems, is androgydivine ofAdamandin whoseimageAdamis created, archetype this Adam's corporeal "116 nous,bothmale and female. bodyis also created these a of he divided into two a man An echo until is and woman. way, "'7 in thefollowing talesmaybe found from GenesisRabbah: midrashim, ben "When the blessed beHe,came SaidR.Jeremiah Eleazar: One, Holy He made him tocreate thefirst as itis said'Maleand man, androgynous, He them their name female created andcalled Man[= Adam].' 5:2)" (Gen. "' "When bar Nahman: the blessed beHe,created SaidR. Samuel One, Holy him with the first He created two then sawed him and into two man, faces, made a back ononesideanda back onthe other.""'9 the that Thedifference between Gnostic andthe midrash liesinthe fact myth a in is resolve themidrash's to contradiction the two of stories possible purpose between madeHe them" creation in theTorah, "Male andfemale (Gen.1:27) tothe and"He took oneofhisribs," significance ori(Gen.2:21) without giving form. Unlike theGnostic themidrash doesnot consiginalandrogynous myth, an idealperfect form. From this ofview, there is nodiffederandrogyny point madeHe them." "sawedhimintotwo"and"maleandfemale rence between ofkilling as a definite of"a kind ofmyth," or"analtoUrbach seesthis example as no conclusion is derived thermidrash.'20 HereI soulless from myth," gether if for no conclusion is to be derived from Adam do see a mythic dimension, if in first as fact this has no then created at androgynous, significance, why being him stait?Many midrashim toAdam raise abovethe bother tomention relating '21 man.According to Urbach, these ture ofan ordinary only appear midrashim Cannot these thethird theGnostic sectswereactive. from CE, when century seen as the treatment of be Adam's motifs, including androgynous polepast, and/or itsinfluence? micsagainst Gnosticism,
115. Kisa'i, p. 26; Tha'labi,p. 20. 116. Filoramo, p. 58. toAdam, 22ff. 117. TheRevelation (= Layton, p. 64, 11. p. 55). a Palestinian amnora oftheturn ofthethird foremost 118.R. SamuelbarNahman: CE; one ofthe century ofaggadahofhistime. vol. 14,pp. 812-813). transmitters Judaica, (Encyclopedia 8:2 (Neusner, 119.Gen. Rabbah, 73). TheSages: Their and Beliefs 120,E.E. Urbach, 1975). p. 228. (Jerusalem, Concept.s 121.Ibid.,pp. 228-230.

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OFTHEPROCESS OF ADAM'S INJUDAISM MYTHIC ASPECTS CREATION ANDISLAM

Thismotif did notappearin theMuslimsources. from thetailbone. (2) Adamis created to "the first was created in Man was the According Muqatil, organthat tailbone,afterwards ittherestofhis creation from [Allah]assembled [i.e., therest ofthebody]andthelastofAdam'sorgans tobe created was thefinwillconsume all ofthecorpse'sbones, AndtheEarth for the gernail. except - and thattheEarthwill not tail bone - save thebones of theprophets 22 consume. Fromit menwillbe reassembled on theDay of Resurrection." is a bonein thebodythat a The idea that there never rotsand from which new body will be createdafter the Resurrection, also exists in Jewish as shown from GenesisRabbah: sources, bythefollowing story, inthe beHe,make what blessed will the niah,'23 "From One, point body Holy inthe man He saidtohim:"He resurrection] sprout up[inthe agetocome?" out the willmake him of the nut of column." (luz) sprout spinal 12 - mayhisbones - askedR. Joshua Hadrian benHanabe pulverized

The idea oftheluz was known, atleastamong until MiddleEastern Jews, modern times.125I did notfind in Jewish sources(on thebasis of theindex that Adamwas created his tailbone. of TheLegendsoftheJews), from

Conclusions
Muslimand Gnostic showsthat on the of Jewish, writings Comparison have of Adam's Muslim sources a of the creation, higher process subject Most of the components with thandoes the midrash. content mythical or morehighly in Islam, are morecommon developed mythic significance aremythic elements that existonlyin theMuslimsources. and there theEarth Himwith dust for the idea that God orders tosupply The mythic whilein theMusofMan existsonlyin one latemidrashic creation source, inTabariandtheqisas alitis extensively limsources developed, especially that theessence of thisdust,thequestions Regarding anbiya' literature. The mainpoint and theMuslimsourcesare different: themidrash interest of without is theinfluence byall Muslimsources, exception,126 emphasized
122. Muqatil, vol. 2, p. 429. andsecondcenturies CE andone oftheleading b. Hananiah: a tannaofthefirst 123. R. Joshua sagesof theChristians of theTemple.Famousfor his polemics aferthedestruction thegeneration (Encycloagainst vol. 10,pp. 279-281). pedia Judaica, versions: Lev.Rabbah18.1,Ecclesiastes Rabbah12.5. 124.Gen.Rabbah28.3 (Neusner, p. 295). Parallel 125.Drower, ibid., p. 29, n. 5. oftheprocess ofAdam'screation, whohas no narrative discussion Ibn Kathir, 126. Including presumathat does notstickcloselyto the of his unrelenting anyinterpretation against campaign blyan expression from in thedescriptions ofa genre,'in: Tabarito Ibn Kathir: See N. Calder, Qur'anictext "Tafsir problems to theQur'an (London,1993), andA.-K. Shareef p. 124. G.R. Hawting (eds.),Approaches

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LEIGH N.B. CHIPMAN

- We arelooking theduston thecharacteristics ofAdam'sdescendants for all answers to thequestion: almost Meanwhile, Whyare peopledifferent? from whether themidrashic claimthat Adam's dustwas taken stories, they detail which all theworld which for orwhether organs, they placesgavedust ofthe theplaceofthealtar state that at leastpart ofthedustwas taken from What foran answerto thequestion: future Temple- herewe are looking The answer makesmanwhathe is? Is his bodypureor defiled? suggested is that thebodyis holyandworthy ofrespect, traditions bythese 7 certainly thebodyas the the with Gnostic which of a point polemic regards myth, work oftheevil archons. tothe sources devote a great deal ofattention As noted above,theMuslim from mud"byGod,andtoIblis' entry ofAdam'screation "stinking process does notseem The midrash into Adam'sbodywhilehe was stillinanimate. was theformer between AdamandSatanbefore tohavean idea ofa struggle is so conspicuous in theMuslimsourcesand which which conscious, fully ofproud Iblis:Thesetraditions tothecharacter dimension addsanother give toAdamand that can explain he felt information us additional why superior there is no need him.In theGnostic to bow downbefore refused material, ofthespirit into until Adamis madeconscious for a struggle bythetransfer andarchons areclearly hissupertheDemiurge hisbody- up to that point, iors. theMuslimsources intothebody, thebreathing ofthesoul/spirit As for time was spent thebodyandhowmuch thesoul's passagethrough describe - descriptions as we go that becomemoreand moredetailed in each organ literature. Such to popular in timeand as we pass from forward scholarly in themidrash, themidrash does is notto be found although development in soul was the breathed Muslimsources that raisea question ignore: Why thenose? through Adam tried to risein hasteand was OnlytheMuslimsourcestellthat Adam's God (although he sneezedbefore unableto do so, andthat praising The in the as that midrash a detail is of God well). many appears praise which citedin several sometimes details andthelongtales, versions, appear evenfragwith theshorter, sometimes incomparison intheMuslim sources, dimenheretooa greater ofthemidrash, indicate stories mythical mentary, material. the rather than in Jewish material sionin theMuslim examined, of is theconception these traditions from One oftheissuesclearly arising deed was to praiseGod. Adam's first of mankind. Adam as the pattern Man's roleis to knowGod's deedsand to praiseHim.This idea is expreshere.It is Gnosticor Islamic, examined sed in all the sources, Jewish, or either that Adam recounted God, consciously inadverpraised always As Adamis thepatli-allahafter al-hamd sneezing). tantly (e.g. bysaying
andcircuses oftheGentiles, are ifstatues ofkings, that setup in thetheatres 127.Cf.Hillel's comments in moreshould human created andpolished, howmuch andarecleaned ofrespect considered beings, worthy which is that God's image,takecareoftheir image(Lev.Rabbah33.3). bodies,

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MYTHIC ASPECTS OF THE PROCESS OF ADAM'S CREATIONIN JUDAISM AND ISLAM

ternand exampleforhis descendants, we too,thechildren of Adam,are boundtopraiseGod. In thesame waythat sons are similar to their and whathappens fathers, their influences to fathers influenced sons,so are we all, Adam's children, notonly wouldhaveit)butbyeverything that byAdam'ssin(as Christianity "2 he underwent the of his creation and after. during process immediately The factthat Adam'sexampleinfluences hisdescendants is especially proin Muslimsources, whereone mayalso findhints minent of beliefin predestination. Not onlyAdam's deeds are to be imitated by his descendants, buteven thedustfrom whichhe was created and theeventsthat occurred his life the to affect character If we are of his descendants. beinggiven prior raceand color- thisis becauseAdamwas created of different of different and greet himwith salam 'alaycoloredclays;ifwe meetan acquaintance - this kum is becauseAdamdidso; ifwe arecapableoflearning andaccepit is God's because Adam was of this. ting guidance capable The Hebrew ofJerusalem University
LEIGHN.B. CHIPMAN

the ofAdam's is the creation cause ofhumanity's the 128.For Gnostics, process present plight.

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