I have heard that Hadhrat Adam (A) was created much taller than humans are nowadays. If this is so, why is it that humans are not as tall now as they were back then? Also, could you please explain the creation of man? If Allah created man from sand and earth, what were the bones and muscles made from?
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
Various hadiths have been recorded with regards to the height of Hadhrat Adam (A) to be 60 dhira’ by 7 dhira’ which is approximately 27.43 meters by 3.20 meters. That is, if we take into consideration Mufti Muahmmed Sahfi Sahebs viewpoint regarding the length of one dhira’ to be equivalent to 18 inches. (Jawaahir al-Fiqh vol:1 pg:432)
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal relates in his Musnad:
Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah (R) narrates that Prophet Muahmmad (S) said: “the height of Adam was 60 dhira’ by 7 dhira’ lengthwise”.
(Musnad ahmed ibn Hanbal no:10926)
(see also Musnad Bazzar no:7844 and Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq no:9096)
Imam Bukhari relates in his Sahih:
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (R) narrates that Prophet Muahmmad (S) said: “Allah Ta’aala created Adam, sixty cubits in height [. . .] since then the creation of Adam’s (offspring) (i.e. stature of human being is being diminished continuously) to the present time.”
(Sahih al-Bukhari no:3079)
Imam ibn Hajar writes on the commentary of this hadith:
“Every era that has passed since the creation of Hadhrat Adam (A), man has become lesser and more reduced in height until this era where the height of man has reached its limit, and this will remain so. Ibn al-Teen says: Just as one person increases and decreases from another in many aspects but it does not become apparent over a few moments, not even over a few days. However, the change becomes apparent over a long period, similarly, the difference between the height of an average man and Hadhrat Adam (A) can be understood. We can also substantiate this from the remains of the previous generations such as the sizes of the palaces of Thamud.”
(Fath al-Bari vol:6 pg:367)
Regarding your question as to what bones and muscles were made from if man was created from sand and earth, this can be understood from the verses of the Holy Quran where it is clearly stated that, just as Allah Ta’aala created man from earth, he is also the creator of bones and muscles. Allah Ta’aala says:
“and Indeed we have created man from a quintessence (of clay); Then we placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed; Then we made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot we made a (foetus) lump; then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then we developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the best of creators!”
(Al-Quran 23:12-13-14 Surah al-Muminoon)
When it is said that man was created from earth, it generally means Adam (A) as he was the first to be created and from him Allah Ta’aala brought forth the human race. It is stated in Ma’aarif al-Quran:
“Creation of mankind began with Hadhrat Adam (A) who himself was created from the essence of earth. Therefore the first creation has been related to earth after which the seed of one man becomes the means of another man’s creation. In the verse “Then we placed him as [a drop of] sperm” this point has been mentioned differently. The meaning of all this is that the first life i.e. Hadhrat Adam (A) was created from the earth and continued further with the sperm which is a refined element of the same earth. This is how the majority of commentators have explained this verse. Another view is that “extract of clay” may also mean human seed because it is produced from the food which a man takes and the food grows out of the earth.”
(Ma’aarif al-Quran vol:6 pg:303)
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Mufti Abdullah al-Ma’mun
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham