The story of Adam and Eve is told in the Qur’an. Although it is similar in many ways to what is found in the surviving remnants of the previous scriptures, some important principles differ.
God announced to the angels that He was placing a new specie on earth. God created Adamp, fashioning him from clay. He breathed the soul into Adamp, taught him the names of all things, and created from the same soul his wife, Eve. God allowed them to dwell in Paradise with free will. God said to the angels, “Bow down to Adam” (They did so in a form of respect, not worship). Satan was present among the angels, though he was not one of them. He was of the jinn, a race of beings possessing free will that God created before Adamp from a smokeless flame of fire. When God ordered the angels and those in their company to bow down to Adamp, they all did so except Satan, who refused out of pride and arrogance, claiming to be better than Adamp because he was created from fire, whereas Adamp was created from clay. Indeed, Satan was the first racist.
Satan fell from God’s grace. God, The Reckoner, condemned him for his disobedience, but Satan, the accursed, asked God to give him respite until the Day of Judgment (resurrection), so he could make Adamp and his descendants unworthy. Satan said, “Verily I will mislead them and surely I will arouse in them vain desires.” God granted him this respite as a trial for humanity. God knows what Satan knows not. It is important to note that there is no way Satan could ever “war” with God, because just like everything else, he is God’s creation. Satan exists only by God’s will; he is completely under God’s power. If God did not want Satan or his helpers to exist, they would not be able to remain in existence for even a moment.
Islam does not give Satan any share of God’s divinity. It does not attribute to him any godlike or divine qualities. Islam rejects the notion that Satan went to war with God and took a third of the hosts of Heaven with him. Satan is an avowed enemy of humanity, but he is merely a creature, absolutely dependent upon God for his very existence.
Though prideful, accursed, and fallen from the grace of God, Satan serves a purpose. God wanted humans to have free choice between right and wrong. He granted human beings an innate ability to recognize The Creator and turn to Him. The human being is considered to be originally good by nature, born pure in the state of Islam (submission). Satan and his hosts order evil and oppose good, seeking to misguide humanity, his avowed enemy, into evil and idolatry, away from monotheism, righteousness, and the path of God. God, The All Wise, invites Muslims to enjoin good and forbid evil. Because we exercise free will, by resisting the temptation of Satan, humans can attain a great level of honor.
The following is a summary of the trial of Adam and Eve in Paradise: They enjoyed perfect freedom and happiness in Paradise. God told them to eat of the fruits of the Garden with pleasure and delight as they pleased. He forbade them from approaching one tree, and warned them that if they did, they will both be of the wrongdoers. Satan came and deceived them, saying that God only forbade them from eating of that tree because it would make them immortal or they would become like the angels. They were thus deceived by Satan and ate of the tree.
Adam and Eve felt shame. They turned to God in sincere repentance and God, The All-Forgiving, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful, forgave them. Islam clearly rejects the concept of original sin, or the notion that all humans are born sinners because of the actions of Adam. No human shall ever bear the burden of another (for God is The Just). Every human being is responsible for his or her actions and is born as a Muslim, pure and free from sin. It is important to note that Islam does not place the blame on Eve. Both Adam and Eve had free will. Both of them ate of the tree. Their sin and disobedience was a joint venture. Islam rejects the idea that women are wicked temptresses or cursed with the burden of menstruation and pain of childbirth due to the sin of Eve.
God removed Adam and Eve from Paradise and made them dwell on earth. God had earlier said to the angels that He was placing a new being on earth. Earth is where God, from the time of creation, in His timeless knowledge, wanted us to be.