The First Murder On Earth

This is the story of Habil(Abel) and Qabil (Cain), both of them children of the first man created by God Adam (A.S).

When Adam (A.S) and his wife Hawa were sent to earth, Allah blessed then with two sets of twins. Each set consisted of a male and female. Because there were no other humans at the time, Allah made the rule such that the twins would intermarry. That means, the male of one set of twins would marry the female from the other set. This was the law of Allah. When it was time for Qabil and Habil to marry, Qabil refused to marry Habil’s sister. He felt that his sister Qalimah, was more beautiful than Habil’s sister.In fact, he went to his father Adam (A.S) and asked him to change the rule, but Adam (A.S) reminded him that the law of Allah cannot be altered.Qabil would not listen. Instead, he continued in his disobedience and was preventing Habil from marrying Qalimah. Eventually, Adam (A.S) advised them both to deliver a sacrifice to Allah, so that their matter will be settled. The one whose sacrifice was accepted would marry Qalimah.

Habil’s occupation was to rear cattle while Qabil cultivated crops. When the time for the sacrifice arrived, Habil offered a Sheep while Qabil offered some fruits and vegetables that were bruised. Allah sent down a fire to consume the sacrifice of Habil and rejected that of Qabil’s. The Quran narrates this in Surah Ma’idah: 27:

And (O Muhammad SAW) recite to them (the Jews) the story of the two sons of Adam [Habil (Abel) and Qabil (Cain)] in truth; when each offered a sacrifice (to Allah), it was accepted from the one but not from the other. The latter said to the former: “I will surely kill you.” The former said: “Verily, Allah accepts only from those who are Al-Muttaqun.”

Again Habil said:

“Verily, I intend to let you draw my sin (on yourself) as well as yours, then you will be one of the denizens of the Fire; and that is the recompense of the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers. (Al-Ma’idah, 29)”

Qabil was very furious. He blamed his father for his loss and threatened to kill his brother. Habil replied:

“If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me, I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you, for I fear Allah; the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns, and all that exists).(Al-Ma’idah 5:28)

When Qabil made up his mind to kill his brother, he didn’t know how to do it. Then Satan came and showed him the way.

Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that his father said, “Qabil held Habil by the head to kill him, so Habil laid down for him and Qabil started twisting Habil’s head, not knowing how to kill him. Shaytan came to Qabil and said, `Do you want to kill him’ He said, `Yes.’ Shaytan said, `Take that stone and throw it on his head.’ So Qabil took the stone and threw it at his brother’s head and smashed his head. Shaytan then went to Hawwa’ in a hurry and said to her, `O Hawwa’! Qabil killed Habil.’ She asked him, `Woe to you! What does `kill’ mean’ He said, `He will no longer eat, drink or move.’ She said, `And that is death’ He said, `Yes it is.’ So she started to weep until Adam came to her while she was weeping and said, `What is the matter with you’ She did not answer him. He asked her two more times, but she did not answer him. So he said, `You and your daughters will inherit the practice of weeping, while I and my sons are free of it.”[Ibn Abi Hatim recorded it]

Hence, the decree of Allah came to pass. The Quran says in Surah Baqarah verse 36:

“Then the Shaitan (Satan) made them slip there from (the Paradise), and got them out from that in which they were. We said: “Get you down, all, with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time.”

After committing the murder, Qabil did not know what to do with the body of his brother. He carried it for three days until Allah sent a crow to show him how to dig the earth and bury the body. Qabil was humiliated and he regretted. Allah says in Surah Ma’idah verse 31:

“Then Allah sent a crow who scratched the ground to show him to hide the dead body of his brother. He (the murderer) said: “Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother?” Then he became one of those who regretted.”

Qabil became one of the wrongdoers, and many Scholars of Tafseer believe he died a disbeliever because he did not repent.

This is the first murder case on earth, and it was due to jealousy. In it, are great lessons, for those who think deep. May Allah cleanse our hearts and make us from among those who would be pure at heart. Amin.

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