Islam rejects the Christian concept of original sin and the notion that all humans are born sinners due to the actions of Adam. God says in the Quran:
“And no bearer of burdens shall bear another’s burden.” (Quran 35:18)
Every human being is responsible for his or her actions and is born pure and free from sin. Adam and Eve committed a mistake, they repented sincerely and God in His infinite wisdom forgave them.
“Then they both ate of that tree, and so their private parts appeared to them, and they began to stick on themselves the leaves from Paradise for their covering. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray. Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness and gave him guidance.” (Quran 20:121-122)
Mankind has a long history of committing mistakes and forgetting. Even so, how was it possible for Adam to have committed such a mistake? The reality was that Adam did not have any experience with the whisperings and ploys of Satan. Adam had seen the arrogance of Satan when he refused to follow the commands of God; he knew that Satan was his enemy but had no familiarity with how to resist Satan’s tricks and schemes.
“So he (Satan) misled them with deception.” (Quran 7:22)
God tested Adam so that he could learn and gain experience. In this way God prepared Adam for his role on earth as a caretaker and a Prophet of God. From this experience, Adam learned the great lesson that Satan is cunning, ungrateful and the avowed enemy of mankind. Adam, Eve and their descendants learned that Satan caused their expulsion from heaven. Obedience to God and enmity towards Satan is the only path back to Heaven.
God said to Adam:
“Get you down (upon the earth), all of you together, from Paradise, some of you are an enemy to some others. Then, if there comes to you guidance from Me, whoever follows My Guidance shall neither go astray, nor fall into distress and misery.” (Quran 20:123)
The Quran tells us that Adam subsequently received from his Lord some words; a supplication to pray, which invoked God’s forgiveness. This supplication is very beautiful and can be used when asking for God’s pardon of your sins.
“Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If you forgive us not and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.” (Quran 7:23)