[Notes by LKG]
This story is part of the Holy Land Folklore unit. Story source: Folk-lore of the Holy Land: Moslem, Christian and Jewish by J. E. Hanauer (1907).
Our Father Adam
When Allah had formed Adam, He left the figure lying lifeless forty days, some say forty years, while notice was given to the Angels, the Jinn, and the Jân to be ready to worship and do him honour as soon as Allah had put breath into his nostrils. Though most of them obeyed, yet Iblìs, moved with pride and envy, refused to do so and was therefore cast out of the Celestial Garden, and became the Satan doomed to stoning, cause of all man's tribulation.
At the first Adam was male and female in one body, man on one side, woman on the other. In due time the female part separated from the male and became a perfect woman, Adam remaining a perfect man, and the couple mated.
But they were not happy, as the female refused to submit to the male, saying they were made of the same dust, and he had no right to order her about. So she was turned out of Paradise and, consorting with Iblìs, became the mother of devils. She is called "El-Karìneh" by the Arabs, and "Lilith" by the Jews generally; "El-Brûsha" by the Sephardim, or Spanish Jews. She is the deadly enemy of all women, especially such as have recently become mothers. These must be carefully nursed and watched, and, together with their new-born babes, fenced round with charms and holy amulets, and heads of garlic, lumps of alum, blue beads, and so forth, lest the Karìneh strangle them in her jealous fury, or frighten the mother into madness. European doctors, who pretend to know everything, do not know the dreadful dangers to which they expose women in childbed when they forbid other women to visit and amuse them.
When "El-Karìneh" had been driven from Paradise, Allah created our mother Hawa, that is, Eve, out of one of Adam's ribs, which He had extracted from the latter whilst he slept. Adam and Hawa were very happy together till Iblìs succeeded in getting back into Paradise concealed in the hollow of the serpent's fangs. The Evil One had bribed the serpent with the promise that it should have the richest and most luscious of food, which, as Iblìs said, was human flesh. How the serpent was outwitted by the swallow, we shall, Inshallah, tell later on in the book.
Having entered the garden, Satan succeeded in persuading Hawa to eat of the forbidden fruit, which, according to some of the learned, was wheat. Adam, having been persuaded by his wife to share his offence, was, as a punishment, cast out of Paradise, together with Hawa, Iblìs, and the serpent. He had, however, the sense to snatch up and bring down to earth with him an anvil, a pair of tongs or pincers, two hammers, and a needle.
He was cast out of Paradise at the gate named the Gate of Penitence, Hawa from the Gate of Mercy, Iblìs at the Gate of Malediction, and the serpent at the Gate of Calamity. So all four of them fell to the earth, each coming down in a different place: Adam at Serendib or Ceylon, Hawa at Jiddah, Iblìs at ’Ailah or ’Akabah, and the serpent at Isfahan in Persia.
Two hundred years elapsed before Adam and Hawa met once more at Jebel ’Arafat, the mountain of Recognition, near Mecca, and, in the meantime, fresh horrors had been enacted for, being under the curse, Hawa had borne offspring of the seed of devils, and Adam had got many children by female jinns. The descendants of those unclean monsters under the name of afrìts, rassad, ghouls, marids, and so on, still people the earth and try to harm mankind.
What happened at the end of two centuries, how Adam repented and was taken by Gabriel to find Hawa at ’Arafat, and how the forgiven couple went and lived in Ceylon, we need not tell, nor the story of their sons Habil, Kabil, and Seth, seeing that this is known to all the People of the Book, whether Moslems, Christians, or Jews.
What, however, is not generally known, is that Allah showed Adam all his posterity, even all men that should ever live, between his own days and the day of the Resurrection. It came to pass in this manner: Allah stroked Adam's back and forthwith there issued from the latter's loins multitudes of men, thousands upon thousands and tens of thousands, each man no bigger than an ant, and when these had all borne witness that there is no God but Allah, and that Mûsa should be the one to whom Allah would speak, and Ibrahìm El Khalìl should be the Friend of Allah, and ’Isa ibn Maryam the one who should be born of Allah's Spirit, and that Mohammad should be the Apostle of Allah, and when each individual had confessed his belief in the World to come and the Day of the Resurrection, they all returned into Adam's loins.
Adam was a tall man, taller than any palm-tree. The hair of his head was also very long. The angel Gabriel visited him twelve times. When he died, his progeny had grown to the number of forty thousand persons.
Some say, there being others who contradict the statement, that it was he who first built the Beyt el Makdas. There are also different opinions as to the place where he is buried, some stating that his tomb is near Hebron, and others that he was buried with his head at Jerusalem and his feet stretching all the way to Hebron. Others say the case is just the reverse, and that Adam's head rests at Hebron, but his feet at El-Kûds. Allah knows!
(Dome of the Rock, Al-Quds / Jerusalem)