What are the things that Allaah taught to Adam?

Posted on November 1, 2014

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Praise be to Allaah.

Imaam Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Tafseer (1/256, ed. by Abu Ishaaq al-Huwayni), commenting on the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “And He taught Adam all the names (of everything)…” [al-Baqarah 2:31]

“The correct view is that He taught him the names of all things, what they are, and their qualities, right down to the noiseless fart, i.e., the names and qualities of all things, great and small. Thus al-Bukhaari said in his commentary on this aayah in Kitaab al-Tafseer in his Saheeh, and Ibn Katheer mentioned al-Bukhaari’s isnaad from Anas, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The believers will assemble on the Day of Resurrection and will say, ‘Let us ask somebody to intercede for us with our Lord.’ So they will go to Adam and say, ‘You are the father of all the people. Allaah created you with His own Hands, and ordered the angels to prostrate to you, and taught you the names of all things…’”This indicates that Allaah taught him the names of all created things, which is why He then said (interpretation of the meaning): “… then He showed them to the angels” [al-Baqarah 2:31] – i.e., the objects whose names He had taught to Adam.”

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar listed various opinions on this topic in al-Fath (8/10), where he said,
“There was some dispute as to the meaning of the ‘names.’ It was suggested that this referred to the names of his offspring, or the names of the angels, or the names of the different species – without going into details, or the names of everything on earth, or the names of all things, even a platter.”

Imaam al-Shawkaani said in Fath al-Qadeer (1/64):
“The ‘names’ are phrases or expressions, and what is meant is the names of the objects whose names Allaah taught him.
This is the opinion of the majority of scholars, and this is the true meaning of the word ism (name).
This is confirmed by the word all (all the names), which indicates that He taught him all the names and did not omit anything, no matter what it was.”

And Allaah knows best.

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