Who ate the forbidden fruit of Paradise at first, Adam or Eve? Is there any knowledge concerning this?

The Details of the Question
Who ate the forbidden fruit of Paradise at first, Adam or Eve? Is there any knowledge concerning this?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Along with the information regarding the person who ate the forbidden fruit at first was Eve (see, Tabari; Qurtubi; Ibn Atiyya; Bursevi; the interpretation of the verses 35-36 of al-Baqara, 2/35-36), there is also information suggesting that it is Hz. Adam who ate first from the tree and after that his spouse followed him. (See, Ibn Ashur, the interpretation of the verse 36 of al-Baqara, 2/36)

The information concerning Adam’s approach to the forbidden tree and the manner of his disobedience and its results are different in the Torah and the Qur’an.

According to the Torah, the serpent (snake) which is the most deceitful animal of the wilderness had approached Eve, who was living in the Garden of Eden (Paradise). It deceived her by saying, “Surely you will not die, for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil.” And after that, Eve gave the fruit to Adam and let him eat from it, too. (Genesis, 3/1-6)

The element of serpent which is present in some Islamic history books is totally based on non-Islamic sources.

According to the Qur’an, it is Satan who encouraged them to approach the forbidden tree. Satan, who was jealous of Adam, at first refused to prostrate before Adam, which was the order of Allah (see al-Araf 7/11-12) and deceived him later on causing him to sin. There is no information in the Qur’an and authentic hadiths about Satan’s entering Paradise and its approach to Adam and Eve. Information, which is in other religious sources, was generally taken from Apocrypha Jewish sources. Some of them exist because of the misinterpretation of verses and hadiths.

For this reason, it is difficult to say about who ate the forbidden fruit first. Besides, the following verses show that the act of deceiving by Satan and their eating of the forbidden fruit are together, “Then did Satan make them slip from the (Garden) and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been.” (al-Baqara, 2/36), “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." (al-Araf, 7-20) and “In the result, they both ate of the tree. (at-Taha, 20/121).

On the other hand, we should not overlook the aspect of this event regarding us. In it, there are many important warnings such as being aware of Satan’s traps, being sensible to obey Allah’s prohibitions.

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