Is Hz. Adam's committing a sin in Paradise not contrary to the attribute of ismah (innocence)?

Details of the Question
Allah Almighty said to Hz. Adam, "O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression." Is the word "zalim" (transgressor, oppressor) in verse 35 of the chapter of al-Baqara not contrary to the attribute of ismah of prophets? Can a prophet be called a transgressor?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Islamic scholars discussed whether Hz. Adam's disobeying the divine order about not approaching the forbidden tree should be regarded as disobedience and a major sin. This discussion generally originates from the style of the verses 115 and 121 of the chapter of Taha. After it is stated in verse 121 of this chapter that Hz. Adam and Hz. Hawwa (Eve) ate from the fruit of the forbidden tree after being deceived by Satan, the following is stated: "thus did Adam disobey his Lord". The verb "asa" (disobey) in this verse does not mean that Hz. Adam committed a major sin according to Zamakhshari; he made a small mistake, in other words "dhalla". The reason why the verb "disobey" is used for his deed is to warn humans; they are warned as follows: "Let alone committing major sins, do not despise even unimportant mistakes." (see Zamakhshari, II/557)

In order to understand the verses in the Quran better, it is necessary to view the other verses in the Quran related to that verse. As a matter of fact, in another verse in which the issue is explained, it is clearly stated that Hz. Adam did not do it deliberately, but by forgetting. (Taha, 20/115)

Taking into consideration the following statement in verse 115 of the chapter of Taha "We had already beforehand, taken the covenant of Adam, but he forgot: and We found on his part no firm resolve", the scholars say Hz. Adam approached the tree absentmindedly without having the intention of committing a sin. As a matter of fact, Hasan al-Basri states the following: "By Allah, he disobeyed because he forgot." (see Razi, XXII/1271)

Besides, According to the opinion of the Islamic scholars, this incident took place in Paradise, that is, before Hz. Adam became a prophet. There was no ummah and congregation then. This mistake made by Hz. Adam unintentionally was forgiven by Allah; he was given the duty of prophethood after he was sent down to the earth; thus, he became the first human, father and prophet.

"Then began Satan to whisper suggestions to them, in order to reveal to them their shame that was hidden from them (before): he said 'Your Lord only forbade you this tree lest ye should become angels or such beings as live forever.' And he swore to them both, that he was their sincere adviser. So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shame became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the Garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: 'Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you that Satan was an avowed enemy unto you?'" (al-A'raf 7/20-22)

"Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration and begged Allah by saying: 'Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: if Thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy we shall certainly be lost.' (al-A'raf, 7/23)

"But his Lord chose him (for His Grace): He turned to him, and gave him guidance..." (Taha, 20/122-123)

In fact, Hz. Adam's and his wife's being deceived by Satan, regretting and repenting, their repentance being accepted, their expulsion from Paradise and similar incidents are like the summary of their descendants' adventure in the world. It can be thought that this first mistake and the incidents after that show human beings that if they approach forbidden things and repent sincerely after it like their ancestor Adam, their repentance can be accepted and the institution of repentance and forgiveness will always be valid for people related to sins.

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