Allaah commanded Aadam to dwell in Paradise Saying (what means): “…‘O Aadam! Dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers.'” [Quran: 2:35]
The location of this Paradise is unknown to us. The Quran did not mention it, and the Quranic commentators have five different opinions on this. Some said that it was the Paradise of our refuge, and that its place was heaven. Others rejected that statement because if it was the Paradise of refuge, Iblees (Satan) would have been forbidden admission, and disobedience in it would have been forbidden as well. Still others said that it was another paradise that was created by Allaah for Aadam and Hawwaa` (Eve), may Allaah exalt their mention. A fourth group said it was a paradise on the earth located in a high place. Another group of commentators have stated that one should not speculate about this.
We agree with this last opinion, as the lesson we learn from its location is immaterial compared to the lesson we learn from the events that took place there.
Aadam and Hawwaa`, may Allaah exalt their mention, were admitted to Paradise and there they lived the dream of all human beings. Allaah permitted them to approach and enjoy everything except one tree; He Says (what means): “…‘Do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers.'” [Quran 2:35]
Aadam and Hawwaa’, may Allaah exalt their mention, understood that they were forbidden to eat the fruit of that tree. Aadam was, however, a human being, and man tends to forget. His heart changes and his will weakens. Satan summoned all the envy within him and took advantage of Aadam’s humanity to exploit him. He started to whisper to him day after day, coaxing him, as this verse states (which means): “…‘Shall I direct you to the tree of eternity and possession that will not deteriorate?’” [Quran 20:120] He said to them (what means): “‘Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become of the immortal.’ And he swore [by Allaah] to them: ‘Indeed, I am to you from among the sincere advisors.'” [Quran: 7:20-21]
Aadam asked himself: “What will happen if I eat from this tree? It might truly be the tree of eternity.” His dream was to live for ever in the pure innocence of Paradise.
Years went by, and Aadam and Hawwaa’, may Allaah exalt their mention, were preoccupied with thoughts of that tree. Then, one day, they decided to eat of its fruit. They forgot that Allaah had warned them not to approach it and that Satan was their sworn enemy. Aadam stretched out his hand, picked one of the fruits, and offered it to Hawwaa’, may Allaah exalt her mention. They both ate of the forbidden tree.
Allaah Almighty tells us (what means): “So he [Satan] made them fall…” [Quran: 7:22] Allaah also says what means: “…And Aadam disobeyed his Lord and erred.” [Quran: 20:121]
At that moment, their eyes were opened to the fact that they were naked, and so they took the leaves of a fig tree to cover themselves. Wahb bin Munabbih who was a Muslim scholar from the second generation, said that their clothing was made of light on the private parts of both of them.
Allaah the Almighty Says (what means): “O Children of Aadam! Let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents [Aadam and Hawwaa’] from Paradise stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Indeed, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. Indeed, We have made the devils allies to those who do not believe.” [Quran: 7:27]
Aadam had hardly finished eating when he felt his heart contract, and he was filled with pain, sadness and shame. The surrounding atmosphere and his mood had changed. He discovered that he and his wife were naked, so they both started cutting tree leaves with which to cover themselves. Allaah the Almighty then addressed them (with what means): “…’Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is to you a clear enemy?’ They said: ‘Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.’ [Allaah] said: ‘Descend, being to one another [Aadam, Hawwaa’, and Satan] enemies. And for you on the earth is a place of settlement and enjoyment [i.e., provision] for a time.’ He said: ‘Therein you will live, and therein you will die, and from it you will be brought forth.'” [Quran: 7:22-25]
Imaam Ibn ‘Asaakir who was a prominent Muslim scholar, narrated that Allaah commanded two angels to remove Aadam from His holy proximity. So Jibreel (Gabriel) stripped him of the crown on his head, and Meekaa’eel (Michael) took the diadem from his forehead. Aadam thought that his punishment had been hastened and bowed down crying: “Forgiveness! Forgiveness!” Allaah Said: “Are you running away from Me?” Aadam replied: “No, my Lord, but I am shy of You.”