Will you explain verses 189 and 190 of the chapter of al-A'raf?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

"It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her (in love). When they are united, she bears a light burden and carries it about (unnoticed). When she grows heavy, they both pray to Allah their Lord, (saying): "If Thou givest us a goodly child, we vow we shall (ever) be grateful.

But when He giveth them a goodly child, they ascribe to others a share in the gift they have received: but Allah is exalted high above the partners they ascribe to Him." (al-A'raf, 2/189-190)


Allah created you from a single person. That is, you were not "something that was known". None of you existed; none of you came into being on your own, based on your own power. All of you were first created from a single person as offspring. None of you has two fathers or two beings. You are all tribes, families and creatures created from one single person as individuals, tribes and clans.  

It is Allah who knows what is unknown and the Creator with absolute power who created you with your qualities and bodies by measuring. Allah first created Adam as a soul and person; then, He created you from him as a species.

As it is seen "nafs wahida (single soul)" is a compound with no definite article. It indicates a widespread individual. Therefore, it is valid for Adam, who is the origin of the human species, as well as for the fathers of the offspring of various tribes. That is, the expression includes not only Adam in the past but the people living today.   (see the first verse of the chapter of an-Nisa) Therefore, the first part of the story is related directly to Adam and Hawwa (Eve) but the end of the story includes the polytheistic state of their children. As a matter of fact, what is meant by a single soul is also said to be Qusayy, the ancestor of Quraysh, which means the story can be connected with Qurayshi polytheists.

Thus, the meaning of the verse is as follows: "O Quraysh! O Arab tribes! O offspring of Adam who are Arabs and non-Arabs! O children of Adam! Allah created all of you from a single person and spirit. Are you going to say, "We were created from two people, not from a single person; we were created from Adam and Hawwa,"? It may sound true to you but Allah created the spouse of that single person from him. He created the female of the human species from that single person. He created her as his part or spouse from the same person. He created both the male and the female from one single person. Unlike the monotony in nature, He created another type from the same root as a spouse for the other one. Thus, He made his spouse from his own species. He created men from Adam but He did not create women from another being. He created man’s spouse from man. In that case, a man and a woman are different genders but they come from the same origin. Both of them are human beings. One of them is complementary to the other, the spouse of the other. "And Allah has made for you mates (and companions) of your own nature…" (Nahl, 16/72) Therefore, you are not from two different people but from the same person. Allah created his spouse from his species so that he would find peace in her, so that he would find the same characteristic in her, be familiar with her, marry her, find love and satisfaction in her and trust her.

Therefore, when there is no harmony and peace after marriage and when there is fury and hatred, divorce is regarded legitimate. For, according to the divine decree, what makes a marriage valid is the harmony between the spouses and peace. This is the wisdom behind the creation of man and woman from one single person. That is why a man and a woman marry.

When the man had an intercourse with the woman, the woman bore a slight burden; she received a cell and assumed an offspring. After a while, she started to become heavier; when her burden increased and delivery approached, they felt the trace of the lordship of Allah. They felt that the result could be a bounty or a trouble. They realized that everything was dependent on Allah. To sum up, they heard and experienced the address "Am I not your Lord?" in their own spirits. Both of them prayed to their Lord. They said, "O Lord! If you give us righteous and healthy children from our own offspring, we vow that we will definitely be grateful to You as mothers, fathers and children and always thank You for Your bounties."

Thus, all spouses who come together with a real marriage feel the same joy, happiness, panic and worry when delivery approaches just like Adam and Hawwa did. However, what follows is not the same.  

Then, Allah gave them a righteous and healthy child just like they wanted. Then, the child grew up and turned out to be a sound and healthy man. Afterwards, he got married and had children. Their children also had children. After that, the grandchildren and the descendants of Adam and Hawwa that replaced them started to associate partners with Allah related to the children they had. Some of them forgot the lordship of Allah and said, "This is a natural happening." Thus, they ascribed nature as a partner to Allah. Some of them gave their children names like Abdushshams (slave of the sun), Abdullat (slave of Lat), Abduluzza (slave of Uzza), etc. and caused divisions among people, who actually came from one single person. (See the interpretation of the verse "Mankind was but one nation, but differed (later)…", Yunus, 10/19)

To sum up, there was no polytheism in the first creation but the generations that followed made it up. However, it is such an old tradition that they thought it was one of the first sins that started with Adam and Hawwa. It is understood that Allah is free and away from all of the partners that the polytheists associate Him with. The greatness and oneness of the Creator, whose wisdom and power, works and bounties are described in detail above, is so clear and it is so distinct in the creation of man.  It should not be overlooked that the use of plural verb conjugation after the dual conjugation form is used before indicates the use we have explained related to the perpetrators of polytheism. Do they ascribe partners to such a great creator though those partners cannot create anything, cannot be the creators of anything, are themselves creatures and though beings similar to them are created all the time?  (Elmalılı Hamdi YAZIR, Hak Dini, the interpretation of the verses in question)

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