It is the Beginning

 

 

 

 

Every religion, culture, belief has a way of explaining how life began. Today, over 95 percent of the world’s population believes in a creator.  There are many Creation Myths and stories which explain how life began, and the differences are exciting. Please, Read the stories and decide for yourself.

A Hindu Creation Story

There are several creation stories in Hinduism. Hindu believes that there are times when the universe takes form and times when it dissolves back into nothing. The in-between times are known as the days and nights of Brahma, who is the Hindu god of creation.

Before time began there was no heaven, no earth and no space between. A vast dark ocean washed upon the shores of nothingness and licked the edges of night. A giant cobra floated on the waters. Asleep within its endless coils lay the Lord Vishnu. He was watched over by the mighty serpent. Everything was so peaceful and silent that Vishnu slept undisturbed by dreams or motion.

From the depths a humming sound began to tremble. It grew and spread, filling the emptiness and throbbing with energy. The night had ended. Vishnu awoke. As the dawn began to break, from Vishnu's navel grew a magnificent lotus flower. In the middle of the blossom sat Vishnu's servant, Brahma. He awaited the Lord's command.

Vishnu spoke to his servant: 'It is time to begin.' Brahma bowed. Vishnu commanded: 'Create the world.'

A wind swept up the waters. Vishnu and the serpent vanished. Brahma remained in the lotus flower, floating and tossing on the sea. He lifted up his arms and calmed the wind and the ocean. Then Brahma split the lotus flower into three. He stretched one part into the heavens. He made another part into the earth. With the third part of the flower he created the skies.

The earth was bare. Brahma set to work. He created grass, flowers, trees and plants of all kinds. To these he gave feeling. Next he created the animals and the insects to live on the land. He made birds to fly in the sky and many fish to swim in the sea. To all these creatures, he gave the senses of touch and smell. He gave them power to see, hear and move.

The world was soon bristling with life and the air was filled with the sounds of Brahma's creation.

A Buddhism Story

The Universe (and all that is in it) is ordered by impartial, unchanging laws. These laws have been operating throughout all time into the infinite past and will continue to operate into the infinite future. There wasn't a first beginning, and there never will be a final end. The Buddha further said that there are at least a billion other world-sun systems like our own, and as these grow old and die out new solar systems evolve and come into being. Yet unlike the laws of physics and chemistry, the course of events is not a blind matter of chance. Buddhism regards the Universe as a harmoniously functioning whole with a unity behind its diversity. Man was created by the laws of nature; the world was not created for man

Adam and Eve Story

Adam and Eve were the first humans and according to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, all humans have descended from them. As stated in the Bible and Qur'an that Adam and Eve were created by God to take care of His creation and to populate the earth.

God ordered the angels to go to the earth, and to bring seven handfuls of soil, all of different colors, from which he could model man. God took the seven kinds of earth and molded them into a model of a man. He breathed life and power into it, and it immediately sprang to life. And this first man was called Adam. God took Adam to live in Paradise. In Paradise, God created Eve, the first woman, from out of Adam's side.

"He began the creation of man from clay, and made his progeny from a quintessence of fluid" (Qur'an 32:7-8).

"It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her in love" (Qur'an 7:189).

God taught Adam the names of all the creatures, and then commanded the angels to bow down before Adam. But Iblis, one amongst the angels, refused to do this, and thus began to disobey God's will.

God place the couple in a beautiful garden in Paradise, telling them that they could eat whatever they wanted except the fruit of the forbidden tree, but Devil tempted them to disobey God, and eat the fruit, and they did.

When Adam and Eve realized that they have disobeyed God by eating the fruit:

"They said: 'Our Lord we have wronged ourselves souls. If You forgive us not and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers' " (Quran 7:23) 

And God accepted their plea:

".. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went Astray. Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance." (Quran 20:121-122)

God cast them out of Paradise and sent them to earth. But God is Merciful. The earth was created to give food, drink and shelter to the human race. The sun, moon and stars give light. It is a good world, where everything has been created to serve people.

 

For Jews the Break in the relationship between God and first humans however, is not seen as a final one. Through the Covenants with Prophet Abraham and Prophet Moses, the Jewish people believe that they have a close relationship with God; they are to act as a model of the way God wishes people to live and to use the world. They see the world as a larder full of good things but it is theirs on trust and they must care for it as well as using it.

 

For Christians the most important part of this story is the final creation of human beings. Since they were made in God's image and given power over all living things. Christians believe that humans are the most important of God's creations. Some Christians think that this means humans can use the world as they wish, while others believe that God intended humans to care for a look after the work. Christians use the story of 'the fall' to explain why suffering and death have entered the world. But they believe that God will create a new and better world where those who have tried to live as God wants, will live forever.

 

For Muslims the Muslim creation story is found in the Qur'an, and further explained in various teachings given by Prophet Muhammad. At the heart of the creation story there is something which Muslims all over the world hear every day in their Call to Prayer – "God is the Greatest". For Muslims believe there is only one God who created everything. God's world is a good world, and when people obey or submit to God then life becomes good. The word 'Islam' means submission. Although God made humans superior to the rest of creation, Muslims believe that this means humans have been given everything on earth to care for and look after. They believe that world is not theirs to do with as they want. The Qur'an teaches that Muslims should be thankful for all living things, for God is the Creator of all life

 

A Comment on the Story:

 

The Judeo-Christian conception of the creation of Adam and Eve is narrated in detail in Genesis 2:4-3:24. God prohibited both of them from eating the fruits of the forbidden tree. The serpent seduced Eve to eat from it and Eve, in turn, seduced Adam to eat with her. When God rebuked Adam for what he did, he put all the blame on Eve:

"The woman you put here with me she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it." Consequently, God said to Eve: "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you."

To Adam He said: "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree .... Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life..."

In Islam (as depicted in Qur'an) Adam didn't blame Eve for their fault. Both shared the responsibility and both received blame, equally. Furthermore, God didn't curse Eve for her mistake by "increasing her pains in childbearing".  This concept was a contributing factor for the unequal treatment of women in early Christianity. Most importantly, God didn't curse Adam for committing a sin and that sin was not inherited by the whole world. "Every Person is Responsible for Their Action" This is what Islam preaches. This is what people throughout the world preach.

 

"That no burdened person (with sins) shall bear the burden (sins) of another. And that man can have nothing but what he does (of good and bad). And that his deeds will be seen, Then he will be recompensed with a full and the best recompense [fair] "(Qur'an 53:38-41)

 

In the End, Creation stories are as old as human civilization and have been the basis for law and lifestyle, but why are they still so important till now when science claims to have all the answers?  Maybe it’s because we still trust our hearts and the traditions of our ancestors, or maybe it’s because science just can’t explain everything. 

 

By Nouran Radwan

 

References:

http://library.thinkquest.org

http://www.innovationslearning.co.uk/

http://www.aboutmind.com/creation-religion.shtml#2

http://bama.ua.edu/~msa/adam.html

 



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