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Verse: 115 - Why Adam (as) is not Ulil Azm?

Verse: 115

وَلَقَدْ عَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ آدَمَ مِن قَبْلُ فَنَسِيَ وَلَمْ نَجِدْ لَهُ عَزْمًا

“We had already, beforehand, taken the covenant of Adam, but he forgot: and We found on his part no firm determination” [20:115]

محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن علي بن الحكم، عن داود العجلي، عن زرارة، عن حمران، عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: إن الله تبارك وتعالى حيث خلق الخلق خلق ماء عذبا وماء مالحا اجاجا، فامتزج الماء ان، فأخذ طينا من أديم الارض فعركه عركا شديدا، فقال لاصحاب اليمين وهم كالذر يدبون: إلى الجنة بسلام وقال لاصحاب الشمال: إلى النار ولا ابالي، ثم قال: " ألست بربكم؟ قالوا: بلى شهدنا أن تقولوا يوم القيامة إنا كنا عن هذا غافلين " ثم أخذ الميثاق على النبيين، فقال: ألست بربكم وأن هذا محمد رسولي، وأن هذا علي أمير المؤمنين؟ قالوا: بلى فثبتت لهم النبوة وأخذ الميثاق على اولي العزم أنني ربكم ومحمد رسولي وعلي أمير المؤمنين وأوصياؤه من بعده ولاة أمري وخزان علمي عليهم السلام وأن المهدي أنتصر به لديني واظهر به دولتي وأنتقم به من أعدائي واعبد به طوعا وكرها قالوا: أقررنا يا رب وشهدنا، ولم يجحد آدم ولم يقر فثبتت العزيمة لهؤلاء الخسمة في المهدي ولم يكن لآدم عزم على الاقرار به وهو قوله عزوجل: " ولقد عهدنا إلى آدم من قبل فنسي ولم نجدله عزما " قال: إنما هو: فترك ثم أمر نارا فاججت فقال لاصحاب الشمال: ادخلوها فهابوها، وقال لاصحاب اليمين: ادخلوها فدخلوها فكانت عليهم بردا وسلاما، فقال أصحاب الشمال: يارب أقلنا، فقال: قد أقلتكم اذهبوا فاد خلوها، فها بوها، فثم ثبتت الطاعة والولاية والمعصية

Narrated from Abi Jafar (as):

When Allah wanted to create creation, He first created sweet water, and soar water. and then He mixed them. and then He mixed the soil which was made on it. and from that, creatures originated which got to the right and to the left. so He told those to the right to go to heaven with peace. and He told the ones on the left, to go to hell as He does not care for them. then He asked them: am I not your Lord? they replied: yes. this testimony was so that they dont say on day of qayamat that they were not aware.

Then He took oath from Prophets (as) that am I not your Lord and Mohammad (saww) your Prophet and Ali (as) your Amir-ul-momineen?

They said: yes, with this, their Prophet hood was testified.

And then He took oath from those Prophets who had strength (Ulil-Azm) that He is the Lord, Mohammad (as) is the Prophet, Ali (as) is the Amir-ul-momineen and the Ausia (as) who would come, they are the owners of His Amr and treasurers of His knowledge. And Mehdi (ajfs), through him will help my religion and through him would show my wealth and through him I will take the revenge from those who are my enemies and through him they would obey me if they like it or not.

They said: we accept and we testify O Lord! But Adam neither accepted nor rejected. so Azm/strength was proven for 5 of them regarding Mehdi (atfs) and Adam (as) did not get Azm/determination regarding him and so Allah said:- “We took oath from Adam (as) , but he forgot and we did not find Azm in him”. [20:115]

Imam (as) said: Here it means left.

Then Allah ordered fire so it lit up. So He told people on left to enter, but they did not. Then He told people on right to enter, they entered. and fire got cooled and peaceful. Then people on left said: forgive us. He said: forgiven, but now enter but they did not
from here, obedience, wilayat and disobedience are proven.

[Source: Al-Kafi, Vol. 2 Pg. 8]
Note: Authentic Hadees as per the Chain of Narrators

عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن علي بن الحكم، عن مفضل بن صالح عن جابر، عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام في قول الله عزوجل: " ولقد عهدنا إلى أدم من قبل فنسي ولم نجد له عزما " قال عهدنا إليه في محمد والائمة من بعده، فترك ولم يكن له عزم أنهم هكذا وإنما سمي أولوا العزم اولي العزم لانه عهد إليهم في محمد والاوصياء من بعده والمهدي وسيرته وأجمع عزمهم على أن ذلك كذلك والاقرار به

A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from Ali ibn al-Hakam from Mufaddal ibn Salih from Jabir from abu ‘Abd Allah (as) about the words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Gracious.

"We had already, beforehand, taken the covenant of Adam, but he forgot: and We found on his part no firm determination" [20:115]

The Imam (as) said, "It means that Allah took covenant from Adam about Muhammad (s.a.) and the Imams after him. He forgot it  and he did not have Azm/firm determination. They are called ’Ulu al-‘Azm because with them a covenant was established to acknowledge Walaya (Leadership with Divine Authority) of Muhammad (s.a.) and the executors of his will and al-Mahdi and his discipline. They established their determination to acknowledge Walaya of Muhammad and the executors of his will."

[Source: Al-Kafi, Vol. 2 Pg. 8]


الحسين بن محمد، عن معلى بن محمد، عن جعفر بن محمد بن عبيد الله، عن محمد بن عيسى القمي، عن محمد بن سليمان، عن عبدالله بن سنان، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام في قوله: " ولقد عهدنا إلى آدم من قبل " كلمات في محمد وعلي وفاطمة والحسن والحسين والائمة عليهم السلام من ذريتهم " فنسي " هكذا والله نزلت على محمد صلى الله عليه وآله

Al-Husayn ibn Muhammad has narrated from Mu‘alla ibn Muhammad from Ja‘far ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ubayd Allah from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa al-Qummi from Muhammad ibn Sulayman from ‘Abd Allah ibn Sinan from abu ‘Abd Allah (as) about the words of Allah.

" We had already, beforehand, taken the covenant of Adam. (The commands consisted of certain words about Ali, Fatima, al-Hassan, al-Husayn and the Imams from their descendants (as) He (Adam) forgot Our covenant . . ." [20:115]

This is how it was revealed, by Allah, about Muhammad and his family, said the Imam (as)." 

[Source: Al-Kafi, Vol. 2 Pg. 8]