The Superior Knowledge of Ādam a.s

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The Superior Knowledge of Ādam u

وَعَلَّمَ ادَمَ الأَسْمَآءَ كُلَّهَا ثُمَّ عَرَضَهُمْ عَلَى الْمَلئِكَةِ لا فَقَالَ أَنْبِئُوْنِيْ بِأَسْمَآءِ هؤُلآءِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صدِقِيْنَ ô

Allah taught Ādam the names of all things. He then placed all those things before the angels and said: “Tell Me the names of these things if you are truthful.”

قَالُوْا سُبْحنَكَ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَآ إِلاَّ مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا ط إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَلِيْمُ الْحَكِيْمُ ô

They said: “Glory be to You! We do not know except what You have taught us. Surely You alone are the knower, the wise.”

Allah Y taught Ādam u the name of every single thing together with its reality, peculiarity, benefits and harms. This knowledge was instilled into his heart without the medium of words. This is because without this knowledge, vicegerency and governorship in the world is not possible. Thereafter, in order to inform the angels the wisdom of this, they were asked about the previously-mentioned things. That


is, “If you are truthful in your claim that you are capable of performing the functions of vicegerency, then give Me the names and qualities of these things.” However, they acknowledged their weakness and inability, and fully understood that without such comprehensive knowledge, no one can fulfil the functions of vicegerency in the world. They realised that even if they acquired a small portion of that comprehensive knowledge, it would not be sufficient to enable them to be worthy of vicegerency. After realising all this, they proclaimed: “No one can reach Your knowledge and wisdom.”


Allah Y taught Hadrat Ādam u everything, including the specific names of small and large utensils. The angels were unable to identify the names of these things, thereby establishing that humans are superior to angels by virtue of their superior knowledge. Therefore, they are more worthy of being viceroys. It is evident that it is not possible to execute any deed without the necessary knowledge.



When the angels realised that humans were blessed with the wealth of knowledge, they conceded their weakness saying, “We proclaim Your purity! We possess only the knowledge that You have given us. Without doubt, You are the All Knowing, the Wise.” In saying this, they admitted that none can question the intentions of Allaah, whose knowledge and wisdom are matchless. C