The first person who committed murder in the earth is Qaabeel and the first person who was murdered was Haabeel. Qaabeel and Haabeel; they both are son of Sayyiduna Aadam علیہ السلام. During pregnancy, Sayyiduna Hawwa would conceive twins every time, one being a boy and the other being a girl. The boy of one pregnancy was married to the girl of the other pregnancy. Following this tradition, Sayyiduna Aadam علیہ السلام wished to marry Qaabeel with Liyuza who was born with Haabeel. But Qaabeel showed his discontent over the decision because Aqleema was prettier and Qaabeel desired to get her.

Sayyiduna Aadam علیہ السلام tried to explain Qaabeel that Aqleema was born with him, therefore, she was her sister and he cannot marry her, but Qaabeel showed stubborn attitude over this issue. Finally, Sayyiduna Aadam علیہ السلام ordered them to offer their sacrifices to Allah      and told them that the one whose sacrifice will be accepted will deserve to get Aqleema.

In those days, the sign of the acceptance of sacrifice was that a fire from the sky would come down and engulf the sacrifice. Therefore, Qaabeel offered some grains of wheat and Haabeel offered a goat for sacrifice. The fire from the sky engulfed the sacrifice of Haabeel and left the wheat grains of Qaabeel. At this, Qaabeel became jealous to Haabeel and he intended to murder Haabeel. He threatened Haabeel that he will kill him! Haabeel said to Qaabeel that acceptance of sacrifice is from Allah   and He accepts the sacrifice of only pious people. If you had been pious, then your sacrifice would have been accepted.

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Furthermore, Haabeel also said to Qaabeel that if you raise your hand to kill me, I will not raise mine on you because I fear         Allah  . I want my sins as well as yours to be in your account and consequently, you may be destined to the Hell – the destination of the unjust people. Finally, Qaabeel killed his brother Haabeel. At the time of murder, Haabeel was twenty years old and this incident took place in Makka-tul-Mukarramah near the mountain of Saur or in the valley of the mountain of Hira. Some are of the viewpoint that it took place in Basra near the Masjid A’zam on Tuesday. (واللہ تعالٰی اعلم)

It has been reported that when Haabeel was killed, an earthquake kept on jolting the earth for seven days. Every creature plunged into turmoil. Qaabeel who had a fair complexion and was very handsome before slaying his brother, turned black and ugly. This incident intensely grieved Sayyiduna Aadam علیہ السلام. He علیہ السلام was so much grief-stricken by the death of his son Haabeel that he علیہ السلام did not smile for one hundred years and wrote an elegy in Suryani language in the memory of Haabeel. It has been translated in Arabic as:

تَغَیَّرَتِ الْبِلاَدُ وَمَنْ عَلَیْھَا فَوَجْہُ الْاَرْضِ مُغْبَرٌ قَبِیْح،

تَغَیَّرَ کُلُّ ذِیْ لَوْنٍ وَطَعْمٍ وَقَلَّ بَشَاشَۃُ الْوَجْہِ الصَّبِیْح،

Translation: A change has overwhelmed all of the cities and their inhabitants, the face of the earth has been blurred and cursed, everything having colour or taste has been changed and the charm of the fair colour has vanished away.

Sayyiduna Aadam علیہ السلام dismissed Qaabeel from his court out of extreme anger and invoked curse unto him. The accursed Qaabeel then carried Aqleema with him and went to Yemen and settled in the land of ‘Adan. Iblees approached him and tempted him that the reason behind the fire eating the sacrifice of Haabeel was that he used to worship the fire; therefore, you too should erect a temple for fire and worship it. Therefore, Qaabeel is the first person who worshiped the fire and is also the first one to disobey Allah  . He was also the first one to commit murder and he is the first criminal who will be thrown into the Hell.

It has been mentioned in a blessed Hadees that all the unjust bloodshed that would take place over the surface of the earth, Qaabeel will be the major stakeholder in that sin because he was the first one to commence this sin. The ending of Qaabeel took place in such a way that one of his blind son threw a stone that killed him.

Thus, the wretched Qaabeel who even though was the son of a Prophet was damned, cursed and died as an unbeliever by his own son whilst worshiping the fire.

(Ruh-ul-Bayan, vol. 2, pp. 379; part 6, Surah Al-Mai`dah, verse 27-30)

After five years to the murder of Haabeel, Sayyiduna Shees علیہ السلام was born and at that time, Sayyiduna Aadam علیہ السلام was one hundred and thirty years old. Sayyiduna Aadam علیہ السلام named his intelligent son as ‘Shees’. This word belongs to Suryani language that means ‘Gift of Allah’.

Sayyiduna Aadam علیہ السلام taught all the fifty holy scriptures to     his son Shees علیہ السلام that had been revealed to Sayyiduna Aadam علیہ السلام. He علیہ السلام appointed Sayyiduna Shees علیہ السلام as his administrator and his deputy. Sayyiduna Aadam علیہ السلام supplicated for prosperity of his progeny. Our Beloved Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is among the progeny of Sayyiduna Shees علیہ السلام.
(Ruh-ul-Bayan, vol. 2,376; part 6, Surah Al-Mai`dah, verse 30)

This event has been described by the Holy Quran as follows:

وَاتْلُ عَلَیۡہِمْ نَبَاَ ابْنَیۡ اٰدَمَ بِالْحَقِّ ۘ اِذْ قَرَّبَا قُرْبَانًا فَتُقُبِّلَ مِنۡ اَحَدِہِمَا وَلَمْ یُتَقَبَّلْ مِنَ الۡاٰخَرِ ؕ قَالَ لَاَقْتُلَنَّکَ ؕ قَالَ اِنَّمَا یَتَقَبَّلُ اللہُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِیۡنَ ﴿27﴾لَئِنۡۢ بَسَطۡتَّ اِلَیَّ یَدَکَ لِتَقْتُلَنِیۡ مَاۤ اَنَا بِبَاسِطٍ یَّدِیَ اِلَیۡکَ لِاَقْتُلَکَ ۚ اِنِّیۡۤ اَخَافُ اللہَ رَبَّ الْعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿28﴾اِنِّیۡۤ اُرِیۡدُ اَنۡ تَبُوۡٓاَ بِاِثْمِیۡ وَ اِثْمِکَ فَتَکُوۡنَ مِنْ اَصْحٰبِ النَّارِ ۚ وَذٰلِکَ جَزٰٓؤُا الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۚ29﴾فَطَوَّعَتْ لَہٗ نَفْسُہٗ قَتْلَ اَخِیۡہِ فَقَتَلَہٗ فَاَصْبَحَ مِنَ الْخٰسِرِیۡنَ ﴿30﴾

And recite to them the true tale of the two sons of Aadam; when either of them offered a sacrifice – hence the sacrifice of one was accepted and was rejected from the other; he (Qaabeel) said, ‘I swear I will kill you’; he (Haabeel) answered, ‘Allah accepts (the offering) only from the pious ones. Indeed, if you do raise your hand to kill me, I will not raise my hand to kill you; I fear Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. I only desire that you alone should bear my sin and your own sin – hence you become of the people of Hell; and that is the exact punishment of the unjust ones.’ So his soul incited him to kill his brother – he therefore killed him, and became amongst the losers.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 6, Surah Al-Mai`dah, verse 27-30)

Moral: We get the following moral lessons from this event:

  1. The very first murder in the world took place due to a dispute over a woman. Therefore, we should seek refuge of Allah  to save us from being victim of an unlawful relation with woman.
  2. Qaabeel was incited by jealousy and consequently, he killed his brother. This account teaches us that how dangerous jealousy is and how perilous it is for one’s soul. That’s why the Holy Quran orders us to keep seeking refuge of Allah  from envious. The Holy Quran commands:

وَ مِنۡ شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ اِذَا حَسَدَ ٪﴿5﴾

(Keep seeking refuge with Allah) from the evil of the envier when he is envious (of me).
[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 30, Surah Al-Falaq, verse 5)

  1. How grave a sin it is to kill an innocent. Committing this sin, the son of a Prophet was damned and expelled from the court of Sayyiduna Aadam علیہ السلام. Consequently, he died as an unbeliever and will remain a shareholder in every murder until the Day of Judgement. Thus he will suffer torment in the Hell for ever.
  2. We also learn that the innovator of a sinful act will be held accountable for sins of all those people who act upon that sin until the Day of Judgement.
  3. It also teaches us that it is not necessary for a child of pious parents to be pious too. The children of pious people can also be deviant because Sayyiduna Aadam علیہ السلام is a distinguished Prophet of Allah  as well as Safiyullah, but you have read how notorious was Qaabeel. Everyone should keep supplicating to Allah  for pious offsprings. (واللہ تعالٰی اعلم).
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