Did Allah create man from clay or from something else that is not fully described in the Qurโ€™an?

๐ƒ๐ข๐ ๐€๐ฅ๐ฅ๐š๐ก ๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐ฆ๐š๐ง ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐œ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ ๐จ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐๐ž๐ฌ๐œ๐ซ๐ข๐›๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐๐ฎ๐ซโ€™๐š๐ง?

Mohamad Mostafa Nassar



Praise be to Allah.


Allah created Adam (peace be upon him) from the earth i.e., from what it contains. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

โ€œThereof (the earth) We created you, and into it We shall return you, and from it We shall bring you out once again.โ€

Qurโ€™an (20:55)

He created him from the dust of the earth, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

โ€œVerily, the likeness of โ€˜Eesa (Jesus) before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dustโ€ฆโ€

Qurโ€™an (3:59)

There are many similar verses in the Qurโ€™an. 

Then the dust was combined with water to form clay, as the Lord of the Worlds says (interpretation of the meaning): 

โ€œHe it is Who has created you from clay, and then has decreed a (stated) term (for you to die). And there is with Him another determined term (for you to be resurrected)โ€

Qurโ€™an (6:2)

There are also many similar verses. 

This clay was sticky โ€“ or it was said, viscous โ€“ as it says in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): 

โ€œVerily, we created them of a sticky clayโ€

Qurโ€™an (37:11)

Ibn Manzoor said: the words laazib (sticky) comes from the root lazuba which has the meaning of becoming sticky and solid.  

Lisaan al-โ€˜Arab, 1/738 

Then this sticky clay became muntin (stinking). Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

โ€œAnd indeed, we created man from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud [min hamaโ€™in masnoon]โ€

Qurโ€™an (15:26)

Al-Raazi said:

Al-hamaโ€™ means black mud.

(Mukhtaar al-Sihaah, p. 64). 

It says in Lisaan al-โ€˜Arab (1/61):

Al-hamaโ€™ means black, stinking mud. In the Qurโ€™an it says โ€œmin hamaโ€™in masnoon.โ€ 

And it says in Lisaan al-โ€˜Arab (13/227): 

โ€œMasnoon means muntin (stinking), as in the verse โ€˜min hamaaโ€™in masnoon.โ€™ Abu โ€˜Amr said: this means altered and stinking. Abuโ€™l-Haytham said: sunna al-maโ€™, fa huwa masnoon, i.e., the water changed, so it was altered (masnoon).โ€ 

When this mud was mixed with sand, it became salsaal (dried clay). 

Al-Raazi said: 

Salsaal is hot mud mixed with sand, so it starts to clank or clatter when it dries. If it is baked with fire it becomes fired clay or earthenware pottery. 

Mukhtaar al-Sihaah, 1/154. 

It says in Lisaan al-โ€˜Arab (11/382): 

Al-Salsaal min al-teen (clay made from mud) is that which has not been made into pottery. Any mud or clay that dries is described as salla saleelan (rattling or clattering) โ€ฆ i.e., it makes a noise like new pottery. Thus, salsaal is likened to pottery, as in the verse,  

โ€œHe created man (Adam) from sounding clay like the clay of pottery.โ€

Qurโ€™an (55:14) โ€“ interpretation of the meaning]

All of this is confirmed by the hadeeth of Abu Moosa al-Ashโ€™ari who said: โ€œI heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: โ€˜Allah created Adam from a handful that He gathered from the entire earth, so the sons of Adam come like the earth. Some of them are red, some are white, some are black, and some are in between. Some of them are easy, some of them are difficult, some are evil, and some are good.โ€

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2955; Abu Dawood, 4693. Al-Tirmidhi said that this hadeeth is hasan saheeh, and it was classed as saheeh by Ibn Hibbaan, 14/29; al-Haakim, 2/288; and al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 3926). 

This is how Adam was created: from the earth โ€“ i.e. from its dust โ€“ which was then mixed with water to form mud, which then became black, stinking mud. And this dust was created from the earth which is partly sand and when it is mixed it becomes sounding clay like the clay of pottery. 

Hence when Allah describes the creation of Adam in the Qurโ€™an, in each case He describes one of the stages through which his creation passed and through which the mud was formed. So, there is no contradiction in the verses of the Qurโ€™an. 

Then after that the sons of Adam started to multiply and they were created through water which is the sperm and fluids which are emitted by men and women, as is well known. 

This is explained by the Qurโ€™an in the verses (interpretation of the meanings): 

โ€œAnd it is He Who has created man from water, and has appointed for him kindred by blood, and kindred by marriageโ€

Qurโ€™an (25:54)

โ€œThen He made his offspring from semen of despised water (male and female sexual discharge)โ€

Qurโ€™an (32:8)

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

When the perfection, complete power, all-encompassing knowledge, ever executed will and utmost wisdom of the Lord decreed that His creation should be of materials of different kinds, and that they should vary in their forms and attributes and natures, His wisdom decreed that He should take a handful of dust from the earth, then mix it with water. So, it became like black stinking mud.

Then the wind was sent upon it and it dried out, until it became clay like pottery. Then it was given shape and limbs and faculties, and each part of it was given a shape suited to its purpose.

 Then he mentioned how people are created by means of intercourse and the emission of semen.

 Al-Tabaayun fi Aqsaam al-Qurโ€™an, p. 204

 And Allah knows best.