The First Murder

And (O Muhammad SAW) recite to them (the Jews) the story of the two sons of Adam (Hâbil and Qâbil — Abel and Cain)] in truth; when each offered a sacrifice (to Allâh), it was accepted from the one but not from the other. The latter said to the former: “I will surely kill you.” The former said: “Verily,  Allâh accepts only from those who are Al-Muttaqûn (the pious – see V.2:2).” (27) If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me, I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you, for I fear Allâh; the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn, and all that exists).” (28 ) Verily, I intend to let you draw my sin on yourself as well as yours, then you will be one of the dwellers of the Fire, and that is the recompense of the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong¬doers).” (29) So the Nafs (self) of the other (latter one) encouraged him and made fair¬seeming to him the murder of his brother; he murdered him and became one of the losers. (30) Then Allâh sent a crow who scratched the ground to show him to hide the dead body of his brother. He (the murderer) said: “Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother?” Then he became one of those who regretted. (31)Al Maida 5: 27-31

From Ibn Kathir : Stories of the Prophets and Tafsir Ibn Kathir Al Maedah 5: 27-31

After Adam a.s. and hawwa r.a. met each other again on earth, they began their life as family. They have children and have farms and sheep to herd.

Hawa used to give birth each time to twins: a boy and a girl. And she gave birth many times. This was the beginning of human population on earth.

The rule to be married among them is to couple the boy from the first pregnancy to the girl from the second pregnancy and thus the boy from the second pregnancy to be paired with the girl from the first pregnancy.

Adam and Hawa’s first son is Qabil, twinned with a girl and second pregnancy, they had Habil twin with a girl.

(In english Qabil is called Cain and Habil, Abel.)

Adam a.s. told them that Qabil must marry Habil’s twin sister while Habil marry Qabil’s.

This made Qabil angry. He wants to marry his own twin sister. Marrying your own twin sister at that time is the same as marrying your own sister at this time. Ewwwwwww!

Qabil wants his own sister because his twin sister is more beautiful that the other.

Then there was a conflict until Allah told them to each offer a sacrifice.

Qabil is a farmer.

Habil is shepard.


!. What does a farmer do?

2. What does a shepard do?

3. What do you think Qabil, the farmer, offer to sacrifice?

4. What about Habil?

Habil offered a fat lamb. While Qabil despite knowing that his sacrifice is for Allah, only gave a bundle of his worse crops.

Allah accepted Habil’s fat lamb. This shows that Allah favours habil and indicate that Habil must go ahead marrying Qabil’s twin sister.

Lesson learnt

What we gave for the sake of Allah must be the best that we have and with our best efforts.

Qabil became very angry and threatened to kill Habil. “I will kill you so that you do not marry my sister!” Habil responded to Qabil,

“Yet if you stretch out your hands against me to kill me, I shall not stretch oyt my hand to kill you, for I fear Allah, the Lord of the world.”

Habil was actually stronger than Qabil, but he did not try to kill Qabil nor did he defended himself.

Finally, Syaitan did get to dominate Qabil and Qabil murdered Habil. And this became the first murder committed on earth.

Animals in the Quran

Then Qabil became confused for he did not know what to do with his brothers body. That was the first dead body in the world so no knowledge of burying the dead was known.

Allah then sent down two ravens. The two birds were fighting each other until one of them died. The killer bird then dug a hole in the ground to bury the dead bird.  This thought Qabil on how he should bury his brother. Therefore it was a guidance and an inspiration from Allah to Qabil.

Then Qabil buried Habil. He then said,

“Woe to me! Was I not even able to do as this raven thus burying my brother?” He became full remorse” Al Maidah 5: 25-31

After burying Habil, Qabil regretted what he had done for he had transgress.


Lessons from the Story – The first Murder

1. That jealousy when it is not controlled can lead to disaster. Astaghfirullah.

In this story, Qabil’s jealousy was overwhelming him. Shaytan who is quick at identifying our weakness and can swiftly got all over us and whisper us to transgress.

2. Undoubtedly as human, we have jealousy. We seek refuge with Allah to protect us from the evil of Shaytan. Try to channel our jealous energy to something positive. It is hard and it is a struggle. But trust me the disease of jealousy can degenerate you. You will always be doubtful of other people and your heart will never be at peace.

3. Qabil’s rejection of Habil’s twin sister started because of jealousy and arrogant. Thinking he is better for his siter compared to what Allah commanded to. Can you think of a being of the same nature?

This as we know is the attribute of the cursed shaytan. Qabil wanted his beautiful sister for himself and rejected Allah’s order.

4. Be jealous for the purpose of Allah. Be jealous if that person has memorise the whole of Quran and we must try to memorise it for the sake of Allah. MAke your jealousy a healthy one and not compete unhealthily.

5. In whatever we do, we must be muttaqun. Allah only accept the deeds of the muttaqun.

Look at the examples of both Qabil’s and Habil’s sacrifice. And why Allah only pick Habil’s sacrifice. Habil has put his heart to his produce and his fear of Allah made him sincere in his ibadah. This is what we want. Can you imagine all the good deed that we do will not be accepted by Allah because we have notaqwa?

Remember we talk about having ihsan in the things we do? Do our utmost best, fear Allah and pray for Allah’s mercy on us.

6. The Quran describes a lot of stories on how animals play a role in human’s life. In the story of Habil and Qabil, Allah sent ravens as an inspiration to Qabil on how to bury the dead.

7. This story describes the evil end and the consequences of envy and arrogance.
<blockquote>Book of Blood Money

Bukhari :: Book 9 :: Volume 83 :: Hadith 6

Narrated ‘Abdullah:</blockquote>
<blockquote>The Prophet said, “No human being is killed unjustly, but a part of responsibility for the crime is laid on the first son of Adam who invented the tradition of killing (murdering) on the earth. (It is said that he was Qabil).</blockquote>

We must be aware of becoming the initiator of a bad deed  for the chains of isns will go back to us just like all murders will go back to Qabil.


Filed under Islamic Stories/ Seerah

2 responses to “The First Murder

  1. Jazakillah, it was very helpful and beneficial. My kids and I just finished reading and discussing it now and we have really benefited from this. May Allaah accept your efforts and may He reward you for your time and energy.


    Umm Ahmad

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