Posted by: Dawud Israel | November 13, 2007

The Creation of Adam and the Mind.

And He taught Adam all the names (of everything), then He showed them to the angels and said, “Tell Me the names of these if you are truthful.”
They (angels) said: “Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise.”
(Surah Baqarah 2:31-32)

Imagine being born with all the mental faculties available and peering around to see everything and not knowing a person in the world and not knowing or understanding a single thing. Are the things you see ‘alive?’ Do they exist? How can they when there is no one to validate it? You would be without a doubt insane.

Adam (as) was created and he must’ve peered around to see everything around him and wonder. But could he even ‘think’? Did he even possess that capacity? He was beyond the tabula rasa–beyond a blank slate could ever be. Allah had to teach him the names of all things and by that assure him that these things do in fact exist. If you saw an alien and no one else had seen it–wouldn’t you think you were insane? But Allah SWT told Adam that what he say was real–he taught him the names of things and made them truly exist. In our society everything is relative–we base it off of what society thinks is the norm. But in Adam’s (as) Heavenly society the only relative…was the Absolute–Allah. But just as Allah made these things come into existence by teaching Adam (as) the names of these things–so Adam (as) came into true existence through knowledge because he was little more than a body, with an empty soul and mind and Allah poured knowledge into him and made him from a piece clay into a piece of work.

This is the program that we humans are meant to run on: Islam. We cannot function outside this framework–everything else is simply below us. In our day in age we know the name of every object–but we don’t know where we are to be programmed from. We seek out narcotics, marijuana, sex and other losing causes to sooth ourselves and to program ourselves so we function properly. We ‘hack’ into our minds, hoping to find the explanation from inside–but forgetting that the mind itself is built to work with the outside. And then we peer around at the society around us and see a culture of depression, suicide, and dark revelry. These are a people who know not any Paradise but the Hell with it’s formulas and theories. They have eliminated what man has functioned upon from his very beginning: Religion, and because of this they’re minds will concoct all sorts of methods of relief. Many of these you do not know about nor should you. There are things that happen to a lost mind that are worse than any believer could ever imagine.

Whenever something new is learned a connection is created in the brain. A new pathway and the combining of pathways to create new pathways is what intelligence is. For you to read this is to make a new pathway in your mind. For you to take this into a deeper place is the act of intelligence. And when we sleep our mind runs through what happened before we slept and again this makes sense in Islam where Allah takes the souls up into Heaven every night–sleep, the brother of death, is another way that Allah maintains us. Try not sleeping for a few days and you will crash days after.

Take two pathways, two ideas and combine them and you have something new. This really isn’t too different from when a man and a woman come together and give birth to a child. Sometimes they give birth to many children, and likewise two ideas combined can give birth to many ideas. And each child comes to bear more children and more ideas come out of people’s mouths. Even at times you find people who are possessed by an idea or ideal and that is what personifies their personality. A Muslim scholar of the past who many deemed to be a heretic said something along the lines of, “We are little less than something in the imagination of Allah,”–thoughts, ideas or whatever it may be. Only Allah knows if this is true, but to perceive things in this way truly makes the believer humble.

As we read further into the story of Adam (as) we find that he is told to not eat from the tree. As easy as this may sound to us it’s only logical to realize that this was the only thing that was off bounds to him and it was bound to happen sooner or later. When we dwell on the concept of a tree–a forbidden tree–it represents a thought process, ‘mind-map’ that is off bounds. He cannot go near the fruits of this way of thinking because it will not be for his benefit. But the implication is that the very action of going near it and eating of it’s fruits is the forbidden tree, the forbidden thought process, the forbidden ‘mind-map’. What this means is clear from here–it means that if this thought process has been created, this mental pathway than it is bound to be transversed again, something that is not befitting the inhabitants of Paradise. And this is something that most psychologists know that when an action or deed is committed a pathway or connection is created and the repeating of that strengthens it more and more until it becomes like a beaten path that is much more inviting to travel down simply because of it’s ease than the tall grasses which appear difficult despite the fact the inviting sun is shining down from that very same direction.

The very action of Adam (as) eating the forbidden fruit tells us something about human psychology and how we function. Adam (as) could’ve chose to eat the fruit without Shaytaan’s influence but he did not, it was only after being persuaded did he do this. He could’ve simply obeyed the initial command but he didn’t. Instead of acting on his own accord he chose a spot in the middle, initially not eating the fruit–fulfilling part of the command for a period of time, and then eating the fruit–disobeying the command. And then even after this he chose to repent, not placing him in the light but rather in a light grey. This act, this deed that created a pathway in his mind, that had the potential to become a beaten path, was what we would call nafs.

Humans dwell in a world of the middle, the world of the grey sandwiched in between black and white. In the past people lived in the world of the gods, the world of myth. And myth here is a word that shows evidence for the fact that humans like to see things in terms of black and white, truth and falsehood. When in reality the true meaning of a myth is something that may not have happened but because it teaches us something is “true”. It does not matter whether Zeus or Mars did what they did–the only reason these tales existed was as a tool to understanding their morals. We know that the Quran is the Truth, because it contains both a lesson and actually did happen. The myths of the past could’ve been concocted, while some may be true, but that’s not the issue. The myths of the past still remain today in our way of thinking. This whole discussion is little more than a “myth”–a speculation that cannot be proven, only learned from. The modern equivalent of a myth is the theory. People outside of science, view things in science as being either true or else false, but in reality the people inside science, the few who do possess understanding, see these theories and speculations as patterns that they can identify and use as aids. They are nothing more than tools little different than a measuring ruler. Are there in fact only 60.5 centimeters on this computer screen and using inches or millimeters would be incorrect? There are too many variables present (the size of the monitor, the resolution of the page, the size of the page etc.) and one way of thinking can be just as correct as the other. The point is to learn from these different ways of thinking, these different myths, theories, apply them as the means that they are and not take them as ends in themselves.

The world of the grey is especially pervading in other aspects of our behavior. The world of myth and theory share a common thread of imagination and fantasy. Why do we laugh? We don’t laugh at truth or falsehood when they come before us raw but do laugh at those things that remind us of or manifest those things in our imagination and fantasy. We humans for the most part don’t embrace darkness consciously and prefer to go towards all that is good and like to believe we are good deep down. But yet, we dwell in the world of grey, seeing the light as too blinding at times. We prefer at other times the laziness of the dark sleep, often remarking, “I just want to sleep!” while under stress and avoid the activity that is the brightness of day. And that same world of grey explains the behavior of many people who go through life without purpose or without having decided on some of their major life decisions, they dwell in the world of myth and feel more comfortable in it viewing it as a good decision where they can’t make a wrong decision if they don’t make any decision at all.

Allah could’ve left Adam (as) and his wife as they were, but this would be dooming them to travel down this path we call sin over and over again. So instead he created a fork in the road, another branch in the mind-map, and taught Adam a “few words” by which he would grant him forgiveness. It’s amazing to note that even the notion of asking for forgiveness has to be taught to Adam (as) just like the ‘names’ of things and the act of forgiveness was not an inborn result highlighting our weak nature. And so since that time, man has been sinning and repenting, forever taking 2 steps back and then taking 1 step forward, trying to regain where he used to be.

But for the Quran to be recited, contemplated and implemented is to program the soul from the very word of God–no different than how Adam was taught by the words of Allah Himself. They say that reciting the Quran more and more will keep your mind strong when you grow old and keep you from growing senile. Reconnecting with Allah is something that has to happen for any human being and the more regular it is–the more well-off we are. The larger and more branched the mind-map grows. Devout Muslim intellectuals not unlike those of the golden age of Islam flourish and revolutionize. Through the Quran, the mind gets stronger and the nafs is transformed. The beaten path of sin grows hidden and the mind is rewired just as it was wired when Allah taught Adam the name of things in Heaven–and not only are the names taught to the believers so he recognizes things as they truly are, but he finds his heart in the same presence of Jannah as Adam’s (as) beginning.

See you not how Allah sets forth a parable? – A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky. Giving its fruit at all times, by the Leave of its Lord and Allah sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may remember.” (Surah Ibrahim 14: 24-25)

Related Posts:

The Mind Map

Mind Map Dawah Technique!

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdik ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk. Ameen.


  1. as Salamo alaikum Dawud 🙂

    Were you at the BOC seminar in Toronto?

  2. Wa aleikum as salam!

    Nope, I couldn’t make that one unfortunately. Insha Allah, RIS though. 🙂

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