Who were the inhabitants of the earth before Humans?
It is comprehended from some of the Quranic expressions that some elaborate beings like humans had lived before humans on earth. However, it is hardly to say something about their true composition.
Bediuzzaman, for this issue says:
The expression, vicegerent in the verse,I am setting on the earth a vicegerent" (Al-Baqarah Surah, 2:30) is a sign of an intelligent being which had lived when earth was not suitable for men to live in but it was indeed for him. The expression of vicegerents guidance to this meaning is in accordance with Wisdom. But according to the ever familiar meaning, that intelligent being is sort of a Jinn, because of his mischief replaced by humans. (1)
Abdulah Aydemir, who collects the views of both Hadith and Quran commentators, in his work, Tefsirde Israiliyat on the interpretation of the verse, "I am setting on the earth a vicegerent. The angels asked: "Will you set therein one who will cause disorder and corruption on it and shed blood, while we glorify You with Your praise (proclaim that You are absolutely free from any defect and that all praise belongs to You exclusively,) and declare that You alone are all-holy and to be worshipped as God and Lord." He said: "Surely I know what you do not know" (Al-Baqarah Surah, 2:30) says that one of the things that commentators mention is about the previous intelligent inhabitants of the earth.
Abdullah Ibn Omar, said that the Jinn, the descendants of Jaann, had existed for about two thousand years before Adam. They made mischief and shed blood, therefore God sent army of Angels who expelled them to remote islands. When the angels said, "while we glorify You with praises and thanks (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners) and sanctify You." means we always worship You and none of us ever disobey You. We worship You day and night. And when God said to the angels, "He said, "I know that which you do not know." means God told them that He had the best of knowledge about the purpose of their creation which they had no knowledge of it. And He said, I am setting on the earth a vicegerent.
Ibn Abbas narrates, And He created man from clay. The first to dwell on earth were the jinn. They caused corruption on it, shed blood, and killed each other. He continued. God sent Iblis to them with an army of angels. They were that tribal group called jinn. Iblis and those with him caused a bloodbath among them and eventually banished them to the islands in the oceans and the mountainsides. His success went to his head, and he said: I have done something nobody has ever done before. He continued. God was aware of how Iblis felt, but the angels who were with him were not. God said to the ones who is along with the Iblis, I am setting on the earth a vicegerent. Then the angels said, "Will you set therein one who will cause disorder and corruption on it and shed blood, while we glorify You with Your and declare that You alone are all-holy and to be worshipped as God and Lord. (2)
(1) İşaratül-İ'caz, s. 201.
- Were there any human beings that were created before Hazrat Adam? What was created first? Were there any human beings before Adam?
- Were jinn created before human beings? Are jinn superior to human beings? Will the realm of jinn be different in the hereafter?
- Can you give information about the creation and the nature of Satan?
- How should we understand the statement of the angels "Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?" when Allah created Hz. Adam?
- Was Satan (Iblis) from the jinn, if so why was he among the angels?
- Prophet Adam (Peace be upon him)
- Will you give information about the creation of satans and jinn and their nature?
- What did Allah mean when He said to the angels "I know what ye know not" in verse 30 of the chapter of al-Baqara?
- What is the original homeland of Hz. Adam? If it is Paradise, does Allah say, "I will create a vicegerent on earth"?
- How did Iblis (Satan) act when the order to bow down to Adam(PBUH) was given by Allah? What is the relationship between the devil and the angels in terms of creation?