Allah Almighty revealed in the Quran (what means): “And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels: ‘Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.’ They said: ‘Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?’ He [Allah] said: ‘Indeed, I know that which you do not know.’ And He taught Aadam the names – all of them. Then He showed them to the angels and said: ‘Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful.’ They said: ‘Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise.’ He said: ‘O Aadam! Inform them of their names.’ And when he had informed them of their names, He said: ‘Did I not tell you that I know the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed.’ And [mention] when We said to the angels: ‘Prostrate before Aadam’; so they prostrated, except for Iblees [Satan]. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers. And We said: ‘O Aadam! Dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers.’ But Satan caused them to slip out of it and removed them from that [condition] in which they had been. And We said: ‘Go down, [all of you], as enemies to one another, and you will have upon the earth a place of settlement and provision for a time.’ Then Aadam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. We said: ‘Go down from it, all of you. And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance – there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. And those who disbelieve and deny Our signs – those will be companions of Fire; they will abide therein eternally.'” [Quran 2:30-39]
Almighty Allah also revealed (what means): “And We have certainly created you, [O mankind], and given you [human] form. Then We said to the angels: ‘Prostrate to Aadam’; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He was not of those who prostrated. [Allah] said: ‘What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?’ [Satan] said: ‘I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay [i.e. earth].’ [Allah] said: ‘Descend from it [i.e. Paradise], for it is not for you to be arrogant therein. So get out; indeed, you are of the debased.’ [Satan] said: ‘Reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.’ [Allah] said: ‘Indeed, you are of those reprieved.’ [Satan] said: ‘Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them [i.e. mankind] on Your straight path. Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You].’ [Allah] said: ‘Get out of it [i.e. Paradise], reproached and expelled, Whoever follows you among them – I will surely fill Hell with you, all together.’ And: ‘O Aadam! Dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat from wherever you will but do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers.’ But Satan whispered to them to make apparent to them that which was concealed from them of their private parts. He said: ‘Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become of the immortal.’ And he swore [by Allah] to them: ‘Indeed, I am to you from among the sincere advisors.’ So he made them fall, through deception. And when they tasted of the tree, their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten together over themselves from the leaves of Paradise. And their Lord called to them: ‘Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is to you a clear enemy?’ They said: ‘Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.’ [Allah] said: ‘Descend, being to one another enemies. And for you on the earth is a place of settlement and enjoyment [i.e. provision] for a time.’ He said: ‘Therein you will live, and therein you will die, and from it you will be brought forth.’” [Quran 7:11-25]
When Allah the Almighty created Aadam, may Allah exalt his mention, He addressed His angels and told them to prostrate before him. The purpose behind that was not to ask their opinion or take their advice, for He is above that. Allah the Exalted told them that He was going to create a vicegerent on the earth who would have offspring. That is why the angels said to Allah the Almighty (what means): “…Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood…” [Quran: 2:30]
According to the prominent Muslim scholar Qataadah it was said that the angels were informed about the creation of Aadam, may Allah exalt his mention, and his progeny by the jinn who lived before Aadam, may Allah exalt his mention. Abdullaah bin ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the jinn had existed for many years before Aadam, may Allah exalt his mention, and had shed one another’s blood. Therefore, Allah sent on them an army of angels that drove them out to the depths of the seas. Ibn Abu Haatim, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the angels were informed by Allah that man would cause wickedness and shed blood on earth.
Whether or not these traditions are correct, the angels did understand that Allah would create a vicegerent on earth. Allah the Almighty announced that He was going to create a human being out of clay, that He would mould him and blow His spirit into him and that the angels should then prostrate before him.
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