Abel

Posted on 03/10/2012 by marina

ABEL. Arabic Habil هابيل.
Heb. In the Qur’an “the two sons of Adam” are called Habil wa Qabil, and the following is the account given of them in that book (Surah V.30-35), together with the remarks of the commentators in italics (as rendered in Mr. Lane’s Selections, 2nd ed., p. 53), “Recite unto them the history of the two sons of Adam, namely, Abel and Cain, with truth. When they offered [their] offering to God (Abel’s being a ram, and Cain’s being produce of the earth), and it was accepted from one of them (that is, from Abel; for fire descended from heaven, and devoured his offering), and it was not accepted from the other, Cain was enraged; but he concealed his envy until Adam performed a pilgrimage, when he said unto his brother, I will assuredly slay thee. Abel said, Wherefore? Cain answered, Because of the acceptance of thine offering to the exclusion of mine. Abel replied, God only accepteth from the pious. If thou stretch forth to me thy hand to slay me, I will not stretch forth to thee my hand to slay thee; for I fear God, the Lord of the worlds. I desire that thou shouldst bear the sin [which thou intendest to commit] against me, by slaying me, and thy sin which thou hast committed before, and thou wilt be of the companions of the fire. – And that is the recompense of the offenders.- But his soul suffered him to slay his brother go he slew him; and he became of [the number of] those who suffer loss. And he knew not what to do with him; for he was the first dead person upon the face of the earth of the sons of Adam. So he carried him upon his back. And God sent a raven, which scratched up the earth with its bill and its talons and raised it over a dead raven that was with it until it hid it, to show him how he should hide the corpse of his brother He said, O my disgrace! Am I unable to be like this raven, and to hide the corpse of my brother?-And he became of [the number of] the repentant. And he digged [a grave] for him and hid him.- 0n account of this which Cain did We commanded the children of Israel that he who should slay a soul (not for the latter’s having slain a soul or committed wickedness in the earth, such as infidelity or adultery, or intercepting the way, and the like.) [should be regarded] as though he had slain all mankind; and he who saveth it alive, by abstaining from slaying it, as though he had saved alive all mankind.”
“The occasion of their making this offering is thus related, according to the common tradition in the East. Each of them being born with a twin-sister, when they were grown up, Adam, by God’s direction, ordered Cain to marry Abel’s twin-sister, and Abel to marry Cain’s; (for it being the common opinion that marriages ought not to be had in the nearest degrees of consanguinity, since they must necessarily marry their sisters, it seemed reasonable to suppose they ought to take those of the remoter degree;) but this Cain refusing to agree to, because his own sister was the handsomest, Adam ordered them to make their offerings to God, thereby referring the dispute to His determination. The commentators say Cain’s offering was a sheaf of the very worst of his corn, but Abel’s a fat lamb of the best of his flock.”- Sale’s Koran, 1., p. 122.

Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam