Prophet Adam (AS) was between water and clay?

  • Status : FABRICATED

The following ‘hadith’ related from the Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  is often quoted :

I was a Prophet while Adam was between clay and water

(or “I was a prophet when there was no Adam and no clay”)

This has no basis (La Asla lah), and the hadith of: “I was a Prophet when there was no Adam, or water, or clay” also has no basis (La aslah lahu aydan).

Ibn Taymiyyah (RA) said, “This has no basis. Neither from the point of view of transmission or intellect, for not a single scholar of hadith mentions it and it’s meaning is invalid. For Adam (AS) was never in a state in which he was between clay and water, for clay consists of water and mud, rather he was in a state between the spirit and body.

Then these misguided people think that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was physically present at that time, and that his person was created before all persons, and they support this with ahadith which are lies (against the Prophet), for example the hadith that he used to be Light surrounding the Throne…” [‘Radd ala al-Bakri’ of ibn Taymiyyah (pg. 9)]

Al-Suyuti (RA) said, “mawdu” and endorsed the above words of ibn Taymiyyah. [‘Dhail al-Mawdoo’at’ of Al-Suyuti (pg. 203)]. And he also says about the second hadith mentioned above, “this is something added by the general masses” [ ‘ad-Durural Muntathira’ (pg. 155 no. 331)]

Az-Zarkashi (d.794) said, ” Al-Suyuti made clear that these two ahaadeeth have no basis, and that the second was something added by the general masses. And ibn Taymiyyah preceded him in this, and ruled that the wordings were rejected and that they were lies, and as-Sakhaawee endorsed this in his ‘Fataawaa’…” ‘Sharh al-Muwaahib’ of az-Zarkaanee (1/33)]

As-Sakhawi said, “as for what is common on the tongues, ‘I was a Prophet while Adam was between clay and water'” then we have not found it with this wording not to speak of the addition, ‘I was a Prophet when there was no Adam and no clay.'” [ ‘al-Maqaasid al-Hasanah’ (pg. 386 no. 837)]

In the above words of ibn Taymiyyah, he refers to the following authentic hadith, “I was a prophet while Adam was between the spirit and body” narrated by at-Hakim and others [See ‘Silisilah as-Saheehah’ of al-Albani (no. 1756) for detailed documentation.]

But this hadith is explained by the narration of at-Tirmidhi in which the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was asked, “when was the Prophethood made obligatory for you” to which he replied, “while Adam was between the spirit and the body” [At-Tirmidhi chpt. ‘The virtues of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)’ (vol. 10 of the commentary of al- Mubarakpoori)].

Thus the correct version of the hadith is “while Adam (AS) was between the spirit (ruh) and the body”.  

Meaning when Adam was is the state in which the soul was about to enter the body. [ ‘Tuhfatul Ahwadhi bi Sharh Jami at-Tirmidhi’ (vol. 10, chpt. ‘The virtues of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)’) of al-Mubarakpoori (d.1311)].

Sources and references :

  •  “Al-Tazkirah fi Al-Ahadeeth Al-Mushtaharah” p. 172, “Al-Maqasid Al-Hasanah” p. 522, “Tamiz Al-Tayib min Al-Khabith” p. 126, “Kashf Al-Khafa” 2/173, “Tanzih Al-Shari’ah” 1/341, “Al-Asrar Al-Marfoo’ah” p. 178, “Tazkirat Al-Mawdoo’at” p. 86, “Asna Al-Matalib” p. 243.
  • Can I use fabricated hadith ?
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