When it comes to how Islam was spread universally, we hear from many that Islam was spread by sword and bloodshed. However, studying the conduct and manner of all the prophets, and especially Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), in inviting people to Allah unveils the truth about this issue.
When one decides to start a revolutionary cultural movement, he/she needs to plan for different aspects of this movement. The most important thing is the message he/she wants to convey to the audience. After that, he/she comes to how to spread this message in a way that can be vastly heard, and then it’s time to discover how the message should be said and conveyed to attract the audience. This is the most primary rule in media studies, and prophets in their era were well-aware of these rules and if they needed help regarding techniques and concepts, they received guidelines from Allah to help them spread their message in the most influential way.
The messages that prophets were going to convey to people were revealed to them by God Allah. The question ‘“how to spread this message” is discussed as a method of invitation. And the question ‘how to make the words influential’ is discussed under the title of manners of invitation in this article.
Allah (SWT) highlights the mission of His Prophet (PBUH&HP) as follows:
“O Prophet! Indeed We have sent you as a witness, as a bearer of good news and as a warner. And as a summoner to Allah by His permission, and as a radiant lamp.” (33: 45-46)
In this verse, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) is introduced as a “witness” ; a person who is present in his society and observes the problems and challenges of people on one hand, and as a person who has the best capability to testify the truth about Allah, His creation, and the hereafter on the other.
He has the responsibility to invite people to Allah, inform and remind them of the mercy and blessings of their lord and warn them of what is harmful to them. He, as a “radiant lamp” lightens the path of his people toward prosperity. .
But, has God Allah provided His prophet Prophet ((PBUH&HP) with any methods to help him guide people?
In some verses of the Quran Allah (SWT) provides the Prophet (PBUH&HP) with the following methods:
“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good advice and dispute with them in a manner that is best...” (16:125)
Using this verse, the first step in inviting people to God Allah is to use correct wisdom and reasoning, and since the mission of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH&HP) is to awaken thoughts and ideas and to flourish rational treasures, the best way to achieve this goal is to use logic and reasoning.  This method is mostly used for those intellectual people of the society.
The verse introduces “good advice” as a method for communicating with the audience who have softer hearts. “Good advice” is the method in which good deeds are reminded and expressed in such a way that the listener's heart is softened by hearing that expression and, as a result, surrenders. Therefore, for some audience gentle speech is more effective than logical arguments. 
However, for a group of audience who are stubborn and have prejudice on their ideas, the Quran suggests the method of dispute and argument in a way that is best.
The definition of “best despite” can be best understood when recognizing what is a wrong dispute. A wrong dispute or argument as described by Imam Sadiq (AS) is “a disgraceful, immodest argument to deny a right, or to accept a falsehood, as a result of your own intellectual weakness, or to do so as a result of the abuse of a rival's intellectual weakness.” 
Therefore, the best dispute is the one in which both parties listen to each other with the intention of learning from and informing each other, and accepting the truth and justice even if it is against our mindset.
In another verse of the Quran Allah (SWT) Commands His prophet Prophet (PBUH&HP) to:
“Say, ‘This is my way. I summon to Allah with insight—I and he who follows me. Immaculate is Allah, and I am not one of the polytheists.’” (12:108)
In fact, the Prophet of Islam (PBUH&HP), by the command of GodAllah, determines his religion and method to invite all people to this path out of awareness and insight. The followers of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) must also invite the people to the divine religion with awareness and insight.
Apart from all the methods that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) knew them well, it was his manner that attracted people to him and his message.
As Allah mentions in the Quran, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was sent to humanity as a mercy and blessing:
“We did not send you but as a mercy to all the nations.” (21:107)
Although the great manner and behavior of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) has been admired in the Quran , the difficulty of his mission in interacting with people has been so great that Allah puts mercy and gentleness in his heart:
“It is by Allah’s mercy that you are gentle to them; and had you been harsh and hardhearted, they would have surely scattered from around you. So excuse them and plead for forgiveness for them, and consult them in the affairs, and once you are resolved, put your trust in Allah. Indeed Allah loves those who trust in Him.” (3:159)
This verse shows that his kind attitude and his sympathy with people has been one of the main tools he used in inviting people to God.Allah.
Other absorbing characteristics of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) are mentioned in another verse of the Quran:
“There has certainly come to you an apostle from among yourselves. Grievous to him is your distress; he has a deep concern for you, and is most kind and merciful to the faithful.” (9:128)
The verse emphasizes on the fact that the prophet Prophet (PBUH&HP) was one of the people, not considering himself higher than them. He was a man who was so compassionate to the people, and his mind was all concerned about their problems and their life in this world and in the hereafter.
Although this verse ends with the phrase that he was kind to faithful people, another verse of the Quran shows that he tried so hard to guide and help the unfaithful. So much that Allah (SWT) told him
“you are liable to imperil your life [out of distress] that they will not have faith.” (26:3)
In sum, the Prophet of Islam (PBUH&HP) used all correct logical, psychological, scientific, and behavioral methods to invite people to truth and the soul of his merciful invitation still flows all over the world through the hearts of the truth-seekers.
- Tabatabaei, M.H, Tafseer-e Al-mizan, http://www.aviny.com/quran/almizan/jeld-16/mizan-17.aspx
- Jawadi Amoli, Abdulllah, ‘the Prophet of Islam’s Conduct and manner in inviting to truth’, Pasdare-e Eslam Magazine, No. 296, (2007, July)
- Muhammad-Baqer Majlesi, Bihar al-Anwar , vol.70, p. 402.
- The Quran (68:4), Surah Qalam , verse, 4
Had it not been for his coherent explanations on Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Avicenna would probably never have been able to understand it; he read Aristotle forty times, but it was just through the straightforward and comprehensive commentaries of Al Farabi that he finally realized Aristotle’s ideas on Metaphysics.
The great Muslim philosopher, logician, and cosmologist, Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad Farabi, was born in 872 A.D. in Farab, Khurasan, to Iranian parents. He spent most of his life in Baghdad and from a very early youth started learning the teachings of Islam and the Holy Quran under the training of the best Islamic philosophers and scholars. He traveled to many countries, including Egypt and Syria. He died in 950 or 951 A.D. in Damascus, Syria.
In philosophy, he is considered to be the second in rank after Aristotle, and is called “the second teacher” and on some occasions “the second master” . His wise and easy to understand explanations shed a clear light on the complex philosophy of Aristotle, to the point that many western philosophers owed their appreciation of “the first teacher”’s philosophy to Al-Farabi .
Moreover, he is the founder of Islamic philosophy. He genuinely believed in the existence of the first cause -God, Allah- and admitted the limits of human knowledge in understanding the nature of it .
In one of his most notable works “Al-Madina Al-Fadila” (The Virtuous City) which is basically about political philosophy, he argues that the favorable form of government is the one ruled by a prophet or Imam. Accordingly, the city of Medina when it was ruled by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the ideal kind of society that would ultimately guide human beings to everlasting felicity both in this world and the world that is to come.
He also criticized those philosophers who do not utilize their knowledge for the benefit of their society. He compared the philosopher's role in society with a physician’s relation to the body; the body's health is affected by the 'balance of its humors just as the city is determined by the moral habits of its people. The philosopher's duty, he says, is to establish a ‘virtuous’ society by healing the souls of people, establishing justice, and guiding them towards 'true happiness' .
He was also a grandmaster of music; “He is said to have created musical compositions. To this day there are melodies in Anatolian music and rags in classical North Indian music attributed to him, sung and performed by masters of these musical genres”. His famous book on music, Kitab al-musiqi al-Kabir ("The Great Book of Music"), is the study of the theory of Persian music and the philosophical principles of music, its cosmic qualities, and influence.
His other well-known book is called Kitab ihsa al-ulum ("On the Introduction of Knowledge"). It consists of eight parts, each dealing with one branch of science such as linguistics, logic, mathematics, astronomy, metaphysics, Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic science of dialectic and discourse, as well as politics.
Finally, Al-Farabi, one of the greatest Muslim philosophers, is a universal phenomenon whose innovative and sensible ideas marked a turning point in the history of philosophy. His philosophy was easy to understand and apply to real-life which is the essence of the sharia of Islam; a religion with rules that are highly compatible with human nature and if followed would bring satisfaction as well as peace.
- Ian Richard Netton. “al-Farabi, Abu Nasr" .Islamic Philosophy from the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
- F.W Zimmermann, Al-Farabi 's Commentary and Short Treatise on Aristotle 's De Interpretation, Oxford, 1981.
- Ian Richard Netton. Breaking with Athens: Alfarabi as Founder, Applications of Political Theory by Christopher A.Colmo".
- Charles Butterworth. Ethical and Political Philosophy in Adamson, P, and Taylor, R. The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy
- Hussein Nasr, Mehdi Aminrazavi. “An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia," Vol. 1: From Zoroaster to ‘Umar Khayyam”, I.B.
- Hamid Taleb Zadeh. Philosophy (Introduction to Islamic philosophy) the field of humanity, for pre-university students.
Our knowledge about Prophet Adam and his wife Eve, unlike our knowledge about other prophets, is very little. There are so many books written and so many films made about different prophets, but when it comes to Adam and Eve, we usually face a bunch of jokes about them; most common is that they were lucky not have any in-laws! And after all the jokes we end up blaming them for having sinned and having brought the human generation on earth in this miserable, sinful world.
It is a shame that we usually speak less about the status of Adam and Eve and there is not much information about them, available to the public, to show their status.
In this article, we will study the status of Adam and Eve and compare the Christian view on the concept of original sin with the Islamic viewpoint on the same topic.
In Christianity original sin is the rebellion of Adam and Eve in Eden, mainly in consuming from the forbidden tree, which resulted in the fall of man (from the state of innocent obedience to the state of guilty disobedience).
After huge discussions on the topic of original sin which was first raised by St. Augustine who stated “the deliberate sin of the first man is the cause of original sin”, Christian Catholic theologists accepted two main ideas about human condition in this world, believing in the fact that humans were supposed to live eternally in Eden; 
1. ‘Adam by his sin caused the fall of human generation on earth, and therefore as a result of this worldly life, he caused death for human generations.
2. Adam by his fault transmitted sin to human generation.’ 
According to Christian opinion, death and sin are transmitted to the human race by generation, "for as by the disobedience of one man, many [i.e., all men] were made sinners" (Romans 5:19). 
Now, let’s see how the story of Adam and Eve is explained in the Quran.
There are four major parts from the story of Adam and Eve described in the Quran:
1. The creation of Adam, ordering the angels to prostrate before him and Satan’s disobedience. (20: 61, 18:50)
2. Adam and Eve’s settlement in paradise, their temptation by Satan, tasting from the forbidden tree. (20: 120-3)
3. Adam, Eve and Satan’s fall on earth where “In it you will live, and in it you will die, and from it you will be raised [from the dead].” (7: 25)
4. Adam and Eve’s repentance and choosing Adam by God. (20: 122)
“When your Lord said to the angels, ‘Indeed I am going to set a viceroy on the earth,” (2:30) then He thought “the Names” to Adam and old the angels to prostrate for Adam, “they prostrated, but not Iblis: he refused and acted arrogantly, and he was one of the faithless.” (2: 34) Then God said: “O Adam, dwell with your mate in paradise and eat thereof freely whence so ever you wish, but do not approach this tree, lest you should be among the wrongdoers.” (2: 35)
Then Satan tempted them as he had sworn to tempt human generation, “Then Satan caused them to stumble from it, and he dislodged them from what [state] they were in.” (2: 36) Adam and Eve returned to God and asked for forgiveness based on their divine nature and “Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him clemently, and guided him.” (20: 122)
Unlike Christianity that discusses the concept of original sin from a theological aspect, almost all Muslim scholars discuss the issue based on the exegesis of the Quranic verses. It is also important to keep in mind that Muslims believe in the infallibility of prophets and to find out how the concept of original sin comes along with Prophet Adam’s infallibility.
Most important points about the concept of original sin from Muslim scholars’ viewpoint are as follows:
“When your Lord said to his angels, Indeed I am going to set a viceroy on the earth,” (2:30)
Based on the above verse and other similar verses, Fakhr-e Razi claims that Adam’s rejection from paradise was not because he sinned. Since God’s order to prevent them from tasting from the tree was not an obligation, but He said: “do not approach this tree, lest you should be among the wrongdoers.” (7: 19) And therefore they did not do a forbidden act.
In reply to those who admit the repentance of Adam shows that he committed a sin and therefore cannot be infallible, Fakhr-e Razi says that “prophets not only do not commit any sins but if they make a mistake they would repent from it as they know that these little mistakes would make the way broader for real sins” .
“Then Adam received certain words from his Lord, and He turned to him clemently. Indeed, He is the All-clement, the All-merciful.” (2:37)
As mentioned before, Allah (SWT) Accepted Adam and Eve’s repentance and turned to them. As Tabatabaei puts it, the necessity of accepted repentance is that the person would return to his/her previous situation, while Adam and Eve instead of returning to paradise stayed on earth and Adam was chosen and guided to be the guidance for his generation. 
Therefore according to Jawadi -Amoli tasting from the forbidden tree has been a part of the plan for Adam and Eve to be treated and prepared for living on earth where they have enemies, and they should not trust everyone as they trusted Satan; “He said, ‘Get down both of you from it, all together, being enemies of one another! Yet, should any guidance come to you from Me, those who follow My guidance will not go astray, nor will they be miserable.” (20: 123) 
Tabataei strongly disagrees with those who claim that the original sin made committing sins a necessity for the human generation. He states that the lordliness of God makes a space to order the right and forbid from wrong. Therefore, there will be punishment for wrongdoers and reward for righteous people.
He can also, based on His lordliness, bless those who commit a sin and repent of it. He continues that it is not logical to accept that human sin will go through generations and one’s sin will make others sinful as well.  As it is also mentioned in the Quran “, Every soul is hostage to what it has earned”, (74: 38) and not to what Adam (PBUH) or other human generations have done.
From the verse mentioned above, the concept of human free will is also concluded. Human beings will be punished or rewarded based on their acts. If human beings are forced to sin according to the concept of original sin, then the whole concept of human free will would be undermined. And as a result, the promises that God gives us about the hereafter and facing the results of our deeds will be meaningless. As Imam al-Sadiq (AS) mentions “God is more just than to force a servant on a (wrong) task and then punishes him because of that.” 
The story of Adam and Eve is not for us to find out if Adam was sinful or not. It is rather a symbolic story that should teach us lessons for having a successful life in this world. Our story from birth to death has a lot in common with the story of our father, Adam. We were born innocent. We grew up and started tasting from different forbidden fruits. We gradually descended from our human status, instead of ascending towards God; “We certainly created man in the best of forms; then We relegated him to the lowest of the low, except those who have faith and do righteous deeds. There will be an everlasting reward for them.” (95: 4- 6)
Every day is the time for us to repent of our sins and to beware of not being deceived by Satan.
‘O Children of Adam! Do not let Satan tempt you, like he expelled your parents from paradise, stripping them of their garments to expose to them their nakedness. Indeed he sees you—he and his hosts—whence you do not see them. We have indeed made the devils friends of those who have no faith.’ (7:27)
- original sin
- Fakhr-e Razi, Muhammad ibn Amr, Mafatih al-Ghayb, p. 17
- Tabatabaei, Muahmmad Hossein, Al-Mizan, vol. 8. P.46
- Jawadi – Amoli, Abdullah, Tasneem, vol. 3, p. 328
- Tabatabaei, Muahmmad Hossein, Al-Mizan, vol. 1. Pp.133-137
- Sadouq, al-Tawhid, Section al-Qadha wa al- Qdar, Narration No. 28