Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Adam was the first man and also the first Prophet. God created Adam and his spouse Eve, and inhabited them in Paradise. God told them to enjoy freely all the bounties of Paradise except for one forbidden tree which they were not to approach or else they would be wrong doers. (THE QURAN 2:35)

However, Satan seduced them into eating the fruit from the forbidden tree. After this Adam and Eve were expelled from Paradise and were inhabited on the present earth. It was said to Adam and his progeny that only those who proved deserving by their deeds would be admitted to eternal Paradise.

This example from the beginning of creation shows the criterion for admission to Paradise. No one will be given Paradise magically or on the basis of recommendations from anyone. Paradise is not a birthright even for the Prophets.

Paradise is not a birth-right even for the Prophets.

With the example of Adam, God set this precedent that Paradise will not be given on any self-established belief. There would be no exception in this rule even for the Prophets.

There is another important lesson in this example of Prophet Adam. The most basic yardstick of eligibility for Paradise is the control over one's desires and the development of one's intellectuality to safeguard oneself from the guile of Satan. Man has unlimited desires and every desire opens a door for Satan. Man has an innate desire for eternal success. This is the path from which Satan successfully instigated Adam. Man should remain vigilant at every such door, in order to ensure that Satan will not enter and lure him away from God's benevolence.

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