Abel And Cain

Cain was rude and quarrelsome but Abel was calm and peaceful.

Cain hurt his brother Abel. He wanted him to be a slave to serve him from morning to evening.

Cain wanted Abel to plow the ground and to graze the cattle, for he wanted to spend his time in playing. So he hit his brother Abel.

However, Abel was patient, for Cain was his full brother.

Abel prayed to Allah to guide his brother Cain to be a good person.

Adam was displeased with Cain. He ordered him not be a wicked person. One day he said to him:

“Cain, be as good as your brother.”

Another day he said to him:

“Cain, don’t be wicked. Allah doesn’t love the wicked.”

However, Cain did not listen to the advice of his father. He thought that he was better than Abel. For he was stronger and taller than him. His muscles were stronger and his head was bigger.

Adam said to his son Cain:

“The pious one is the best one. Cain, Allah looks at hearts. The best person is the most pious one.”

Cain was stubborn. He cried out: “No! No! No! I’m better than Abel. I’m stronger and bigger than him.”

One day Cain hit his brother Abel very hard.

However, Abel did nothing. He tolerated his brother. For his heart was good. He loved his brother. He knew that Cain was ignorant. He feared Allah and did not want to be as wicked as his brother.

Adam wanted to put an end to Cain’s wickedness. He wanted to tell him that Allah loved the good, not the wicked.

So Adam said to his two sons:

“Each one of you must slaughter a ram for Allah. He whose ram Allah accepts is the better. For Allah accepts the deeds of the pious.”

Cain set off towards the wheat fields. He heaped up unripe stalks.

Abel went to the cattle. He chose a fat, beautiful, sound ram, for he wanted to slaughter the ram for his Lord.

Adam said to his sons: “Go to those hills.”

Cain put the heap of wheat under his arm-pit and went to the hills. Abel took his beautiful ram and went there also. He left his ram on the hill. Cain put the wheat heap by the ram.

Abel prostrated to Allah and wept out of fear of Him. Then he looked at the clear sky and asked Allah to accept his sacrifice.

Cain was very restless. He looked here and there. He wanted to see Allah openly.

Long hours passed. Nothing happened.

Abel was sitting calmly looking at the sky. Some clouds appeared in the sky. Then the sky was full of clouds. The wind became calm.

However, Abel was still praying to his Lord. Cain was restless. He took a stone and threw it. The stone broke into pieces. He was bewildered, not knowing what to do.

Suddenly lightening flashed in the sky. Then thunder boomed. Cain was afraid. Abel was still praying to his Lord. It rained heavily. The rain washed Abel’s face and removed his tears. Cain hid behind some rocks.

Lightening flashed again. Suddenly, a thunderbolt hit the ram and killed it. Abel became happy. Then he wept because of happiness for Allah had accepted his sacrifice. Allah loved Abel, for Abel loved Allah.

The wind scattered Cain’s wheat pile. Thus, his heart became full of malice and envy. So he took a piece of rock and shouted at his brother at the top of his voice, saying: “I’ll kill you!”

Abel said calmly: “Brother Abel, Allah accepts the deeds of the pious.”

Again, Cain shouted loudly: “I’ll kill you! I hate you!”

Abel became sad. He asked himself: “Why does my brother hate me? Have I done anything to make him bear malice against me?”

Then he said to Cain with bitterness and pain: “If you stretch forth your hand towards me to kill me, I will not stretch my hand towards you to kill you.”

He added: “Cain, do you want to wrong me? If you kill me, you’ll enter the fire!”

Cain behaved rudely. He felt that he was stronger than his brother. So he wanted to enslave him and to make use of him as he made use of animals.

Abel took his cattle and went away. He forgot his brother’s threats. He was grazing his cattle on the hills and in the green wide valleys. He carefully considered things around him with love.

Faith filled his heart with peace. He was looking at his sheep grazing in the meadows.

Everything was quiet and beautiful. The sunset was pretty. The blue horizon was clear. The brook was flowing in the wide valley. The white birds were flying high in the blue sky.

Beyond the hills, Cain was running quickly towards his land. He was nervous, for he was hungry. He saw a hare in the distance. He chased the hare. Then he threw a stone at it. The stone hit it in the leg and broke it. Thus, the hare was unable to escape. Cain caught the hare. He killed and ate it. Then he threw the rest away.

Some eagles fell on the prey and ate it. Cain spoke to himself: “If I was weak, eagles would eat me. Why don’t these fearful birds eat me? Indeed I’m strong. The strong are worthy of life. The weak must die.”

Again, Cain thought in a savage way. He knew neither truth nor falsehood. He did not want to be a good person, rather he wanted to be a wicked person. He was full of malice and envy towards his brother. He left his land and fields and set out towards the hills.

He saw his brother Abel on the green plains. He saw the cattle grazing calmly.

Abel was laying on the green grass. “He’s sleeping,” thought Cain. Cain increased in malice and treason. Thus, he bent to pick up a toothed stone.

“It’s a good opportunity. I’ll kill Abel to get rid of him forever,” Cain talked to himself.

Cain descended from the hill. He approached his brother. He was as careful as a tiger. His two eyes were flashing with violence.

Abel walked about the pastures many times. He became tired. He put his head on a smooth stone. He relaxed on the grass and slept. There were a smile and a hope on his face.

He knew that neither wolves nor pigs came to that valley. So he left his cattle graze safely and slept soundly.

He thought that there was no creature more dangerous than the wolf, and that Cain was his only brother in the whole world.

However, Cain drew nearer to his brother Abel. His shadow fell on the face of his sleeping brother. Abel opened his eyes and smiled at his brother. However, Cain became wild. He was like the wolf, rather, he was wilder than the wolf.

Cain attacked his brother with the stone. He hit him in the forehead. Blood covered Abel’s two eyes. Abel fainted but Cain went on hitting him. Abel became completely motionless.

Abel was unable to move. He was unable to open his big eyes. He was unable to speak and smile. He was unable to return to his hut, and his cattle was without a shepherd. Thus, they got lost in the hills and valleys, and wolves attacked them.

Blood gushed from Abel’s forehead. Cain was looking at it.

The blood ceased. Some eagles appeared in the sky. They were hovering over Abel.

Cain was bewildered, not knowing what to do. He carried his brother’s body and began walking. He did not know where to hide it from those hungry eagles.

Cain became tired of walking. The sun was about to set. He put his brother’s body on the ground. Then he sat down to take a rest.

Suddenly, a crow alighted near Cain. The crow croaked loudly. It cried: “Croak! Croak! Croak!” Perhaps it wanted to ask Cain: “Cain, why have you killed your brother Abel?”

Cain was watching the crow’s movements. The crow dug a pit in the ground with its claws. Then it picked up a dried fruit with its beak. It threw the fruit into the pit and buried it.

Cain became aware of an important thing. He knew how to bury his brother’s body to protect it from eagles and wolves. He brought a dried bone and began digging the ground. The hard digging made him sweat.

At last he dug a deep pit. He put his brother’s body into it and buried it. Thus, eagles and wolves were unable to eat it.

Cain wept very much. He wept because he had killed his brother. He wept because he was unable to do any thing.

It was the crow that taught him how to bury his brother.

Cain was an ignorant creature, not knowing anything. He learnt from the crow how to bury his brother. He looked at his hand. He shook dust off it. Then asked himself: “Cain what have you done?”

He went on asking himself: “Why have I killed my brother? What have I got? I have got nothing except regret and pain.” The sun sank below the horizon. It got dark. The dark covered the valley. Cain returned to his hut.

Before Cain reached his hut, he saw a fire in the distance.

The fire had flames. Cain was afraid of the fire. He was afraid of the fire that accepted the sacrifice oh his brother and refused to accept his. Cain tried to escape but he found nowhere to escape to.

He saw his father Adam waiting for them. Adam was waiting for the return of his two sons. However, Cain returned alone.

Adam was sad and anxious. So he asked his son Cain: “Cain, where is your brother?”

Cain answered angrily: “I don’t know!”

Adam understood that something had happened.

He asked Cain: “Where have you left him?”

“There, among those hills,” replied Cain.

Adam ordered him: “Take me to that place!”

Cain pointed to the place. He began walking and his father walked behind him.

They heard the bleat of the sheep and goats in the distance. Adam saw the cattle sleeping about the valley.

So Adam cried loudly: “Abel, where are you?”

However, no one replied. In the moon light, Adam saw something glittering on the rocks, on the ground. He smelled something strange. Thus, he understood what had happened. He knew that Can had killed his brother.

Adam shouted angrily: “Cain, may Allah curse you! Why have you killed your brother? Why have you made corruption and shed blood on the earth? Allah did not create you for that! May Allah curse you!”

Cain escaped. He became lost in the earth. He ran madly. He slept in caves. He bowed to fire. He prostrated to it because he was afraid of it. Thus, his life was full of sufferings and regret.

Adam went back to his hut. He wept over his son Abel. Abel was good. He was oppressed.

Adam wept for forty days. Eve also wept over her son. Allah inspired Adam that He would give him another son. The son would be as good as Abel was. Nine months has passed. Eve gave birth to a boy baby. The baby was very handsome. Its face was as bright as the moon.

Adam was happy. His heart was full of happiness, for Allah had given him a son who was as good as Abel. Seven days passed. Adam thought of the name of his son.

On the seventh day, Adam said to his wife: “We’ll call the baby Sheeth, namely the gift of Allah, for Allah’s gifted us with him.”

Days and years passed. Sheeth became a young man. Adam became an old man, and Eve became an old woman.

Adam was satisfied with Allah’s decree. His sons became grown-ups. He had an offspring. They worked, planted their land, and built their houses. Meanwhile, they worshiped Allah. Cain lived somewhere in the earth. He also had children on the earth.

One day Adam said to his son Sheeth: “My son, I want some grapes.”

Sheeth rose and set off towards to the grapevines. He picked some ripe bunches and went back to his father. However, Adam had died. He lived a thousand years on the earth. Then he died and returned to the garden.

Title: Our Father Adam and Mother Eve
Author: Kamal al-Sayyid
Translator: Jasim al-Rasheed
Ansariyan Publications, Islamic Republic Of Iran – Qum