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Do Muslims Believe in Original Sin?

31 March, 2018
Q I read somewhere that Muslims do not believe in original sin (the idea that we are all sinners at the start). Is this true?


Salam (Peace) Dear Brother,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

The short answer is yes, you’re right. Muslims do not believe in the form of original sin which includes inherited sin.

Muslims do not believe that the original sin is passed from one generation to the next at birth, nor are babies born with the stain of sin.

If we read Quran 2:35 – 39 and 20:120 – 122 we find that Adam and Eve both ate from the tree.

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That is, they both disobeyed the command of God, and this was the original sin. Adam actually sinned first!

They Repented

But if we read further we see they were taught “words of guidance” and their repentance was accepted by God.

There is, therefore, no concept of inherited sin in Islam. As a result every person is born in a natural pure state without sin and without the stain of sin.

And We said: O Adam, dwell thou and thy wife in this garden, and eat freely thereof, both of you, whatever you may wish; but do not approach this one tree, lest you become wrongdoers. But Satan caused them to stumble therein, and thus brought about the loss of their erstwhile state. And so we said: Down with you, [and be henceforth] enemies one to another; and on earth you shall have your abode for a while.

Thereupon Adam received words [of guidance] from his Sustainer, and He accepted his repentance: for, verily, He Alone is the Acceptor of Repentance, the Dispenser of Grace.

[For although] We did say, Down with you all from this [state], there shall, none the less, most certainly come to you guidance from Me: and those who follow My guidance need have no fear , and neither shall they grieve; but those who are bent on denying the truth and giving the lie to Our messages – they are destined for the fire, and therein shall they abide. (The Message of the Quran translated by Muhammad Asad, Surah al-Baqarah 2:35 – 39)


But Satan whispered unto him, saying: O Adam! Shall I lead thee to the tree of life eternal, and [thus] to a kingdom that will never decay? And so the two ate [of the fruit] thereof: and thereupon they became conscious of their nakedness and began to cover themselves with pierced-together leaves from the garden.

And [thus] did Adam disobey his Sustainer, and thus did he fall into grievous error. Thereafter,
[however,] his Sustainer elected him [for His grace], and accepted his repentance, and bestowed His guidance upon him, saying: Down with you all from this [state of innocence, and be [henceforth] enemies unto one another!

None the less, there shall most certainly come unto you guidance from Me: and he who follows My guidance will not go astray and neither will he be unhappy. (ibid, Surah Ta Ha 20:120-122)

I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Read more here:

It’s Original Mercy…Not Sin



About Daud Matthews
Daud Matthews was born in 1938, he embraced Islam in 1970, and got married in Pakistan in 1973. Matthews studied physics and subsequently achieved Chartered Engineer, Fellow of both the British Computer Society and the Institute of Management.He was working initially in physics research labs, he then moved to computer management in 1971. He lived and worked in Saudi Arabia from 1974 to 1997 first with the University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran,and then with King Saud University in Riyadh. He's been involved in da'wah since 1986.