It is generally accepted that one of the major doctrines of theology that forms the basis of the concept of salvation in the Christian faith is that of the original sin, namely the idea that mankind inherited sin from the wrongdoing of Adam for disobeying God in Paradise. It should be noted that concept of original sin is not recognized in Islam and is considered an anathema to the concept of fitrah; Muslims believe that everyone is born sinless, with an inborn inclination toward the truth of knowing God. Adam(P) and Eve(P) were forgiven by God.
The act of Adam(P) and Eve(P) eating the forbidden fruit is regarded as the “original sin” in Christianity. Christians claim that because of this “original sin”, all of mankind are thereafter born in sin. A newborn baby according to Christianity is a sinner.
Understanding “Original Sin”
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
The Descent of Adam To Earth
It is learned that after eating from the forbidden tree, Adam(P) repented and God forgave him for God is Most Merciful. This is the lesson given to all mankind by the Qur’an. Man is by nature bound to commit sins either in small or major magnitudes. God knows of this nature of man because He is the Creator.
The lesson derived from the Qur’an is, therefore, much more complete and gives us a better picture of the nature of God. For forgiveness, all mankind needed to do is to turn towards God, repent for the wrong he did and promise not to repeat it.
God, who is Most Merciful, then forgives the creation and on the Day of Judgment, this act will not be held up against him.
The Original Forgiveness
“Then Adam received Words (of forgiveness) from his Lord, and He accepted his repentance. Verily, He is the One Who repeatedly accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 2:37)
Through God’s acceptance of Adam’s repentance, Adam was cleansed of the sin which he committed. God in the Quran repeatedly ascribes to Himself attributes of mercy and forgiveness.
The story of the descent of Adam to earth was therefore not the consequence of the Original Sin but is that of the Original Forgiveness — which ultimately demonstrates the true Merciful and Loving nature of God Almighty.
Thus the lesson which God wanted to give for all of the humanity was that of the Original Forgiveness rather than Original Sin.
Islam teaches us this lesson and informs us that all newborns are without the burden of any sin on their shoulders. They are innocent.
From the story, the theme is easy to understand:
God created man → Man committed sin → Man turned towards God for forgiveness → God forgave man, for indeed God is the Most Merciful
And indeed, only God knows best!