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Adam’s Deception by Satan

By: Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn at-Tabataba'i

Question
The following two verses seem to contradict the account of Satan deceiving Adam: “Indeed as for My servants you do not have any authority over them.”10
“Indeed God chose Adam and Noah, and the progeny of Abraham and the progeny of Imran above all the nations.”11
How can the content of these verses be reconciled with Adam’s being deceived into eating from the fruit of the forbidden tree?

Answer
According to verse 38 of Surah al-Baqarah (“We said, ‘Get down from it, all together! Yet, should any guidance come to you from Me, those who follow My guidance shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve’.”),
religion was established after the Fall. Also, the special status that God’s special servants enjoy (in being immune from Satanic temptations) as described in verse 15:42 pertains to this world. Moreover, according to verse 122 of Surah Ta Ha (“Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him clemently, and guided him.”),
Adam’s promotion to the status of the special servants took place in this world. So, since religious law was established in this world and Adam was chosen as one of the special servants again in this world, there is no inconsistency among the verses cited in the question, for Adam ate from the fruit of the forbidden tree prior to this world. Based on this line of reasoning, in eating from the fruit of the forbidden tree Adam did not disobey God; rather, he neglected God’s advice.

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