Book: Earth, Empire and Sacred Text
Chapter: Chapter 6 ADAM AS GOD’S KHALĪFA: QUR’ANIC DATA
This chapter explores the use of khalāfa as applied to Adam in the Qur’an, and, by extension, how it may apply to all his ancestors, the human race. Leaving aside for a time some of the hermeneutical insights of Chapters 4 and 5, I simply look at the qur’anic data and list the passages in which this word appears. I mostly leave the work of classical qur’anic commen- tators (mufassirun) for the next two chapters. At first glance, this seems to be quite easy: there is only one verse in which khalāfa in the singular is applied to Adam (sura 2, v. 30—from now on, Q. 2:30), and another in which it refers to David. My focus is on Adam, and therefore I will look at the contexts that contain material about creation, Adam’s disobedience, and his subsequent calling to make his home on this planet. This will also call for a brief look at some parallel passages.