Who came first; Eve or Adam?

The Details of the Question

- I came across a strange website claiming that Eve (Hawwa) came before Adam. Now after much research on my own, I cannot deny the truth even if I wanted to. It says that Allah mentions gender as feminine in verse 4:1.
- In human genetics, Mitochondrial Eve (also mt-Eve, mt-MRCA) is the last matrilineal common ancestor (MRCA) of all currently living humans, i.e. the last woman from whom all living humans descended through their mothers and the mothers of those mothers in an unbroken line until all lineages converged in one woman.
- The man was not created first and the women were not created from him.
The woman was created first and man descended from her.
4:1 “O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person.
A single (Arabic: Wahidatin)
person (Arabic: Nefsin)
and created from them (Arabic minhuma)
his mate (Arabic: Zawjaha)
and from them twain scattered,
countless men (Arabic: Rijalan)
and women (Arabic: Nisaan);
through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs Reverence Allah: for Allah ever watches over you.”
- The words person (Nafsin), single (Wahidatin), mate (Zawjaha) and “from them” (minhuma) are all used in the feminine form. The verse mentions men (Rijalan) and women (Nisaan) separately. It means that the use of the word person (nafsin) in the feminine form is intentional.
- Therefore, a more accurate translation should be as follows:
4:1 O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from the first female person, created, of like nature, her mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;- reverence Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (That bore you): for Allah ever watches over you.
- Below are 3 verses that mention creation and all three use the feminine form:  
4:1 “Minha” is feminine.
7:189 “Minha” is feminine.
39:6 “Nafsin” and “wahidatin” are feminine.

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

First of all, we should state that the Arabic word nafs is muannath sama’i (metaphorically feminine), that is, it is not feminine in the sense of a female. For example, the word "shams", meaning the sun, is also metaphorically feminine, but the word "qamar", meaning the moon, is metaphorically masculine. They are not masculine and feminine biologically; similarly, the word nafs mentioned in the verse in question does not mean a female being.

Furthermore, Allah informs us that “He created Adam from clay”. (see Aal-i Imran, 3/59)

As for the verse in the question:

The meaning of the verse in question in the chapter of an-Nisa is as follows:

“O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;- reverence Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (That bore you): for Allah ever watches over you.” (an-Nisa, 4/1)

a) In the verse above, no word is used to indicate that humans were first created from a woman. What is emphasized in the phrase “who created you from a single person…” is “Nafs (person)”. Nafs is considered as a feminine word. It is “metaphorically feminine”.

All of the pronouns mentioned in the verse are feminine because of the word “nafs”. We have not found any explanation in any of the Islamic sources that what is meant by “nafs” in the verse means woman.

b) According to what scholars state, the word “nafs” mentioned in the verse can be used in both masculine and feminine forms. “Min nafsin wahidin” can be used in the masculine form instead of “min nafsin wahidatin” in the feminine form, and both are correct (see Tabari, the interpretation of the verse in question).

c) What is meant by the word “nafs” in the verse is the dough that constitutes the essence of Adam. “Creating his mate from him” indicates that He created Eve from Adam’s dough.

There are dozens of sources stating that the word nafs in the verse means Adam and that Eve was created from his dough. (For example, see: Mujahid, Tabari, Maturidi, Ibnul-Jawzi, Raghib, Zamakhshari, Mawardi, Razi, Baydawi, Ibn Kathir, Ibn Atiyya, Baghawi, Samani, Qurtubi, Samarkandi, Qushayri, Ibn Ashur, Maraghi, etc.)

d) The wisdom behind expressing it in this way is to draw attention to the fact that all human beings are members of the same family and that there must be no discrimination between them. (ibid)

- There are dozens of tafsir scholars who state that the word “Nafs” in the verse is Adam and not Eve. Since it would be redundant to write all of them, only the famous and linguistically expert great tafsir scholars were listed - by being read one by one - to represent them.

Can the baseless rubbish on the internet have any value compared to those scholarly sources?

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