Islam teaches us that God is the most forgiving, and will go on forgiving, repeatedly. Part of being human is making mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes are made without deliberation or a bad intention, but sometimes we knowingly and deliberately sin and do wrong to others. Therefore as human beings, we are constantly in need of forgiveness.
Whenever a person commits a sin, he alone is responsible for that sin. Every person is responsible for his or her own actions. Consequently, no human being who has ever lived is responsible for the mistakes made by Adam and Eve. God says in the Quran:
And no bearer of burdens shall bear another’s burden.
— Quran 35:18
Adam and Eve made a mistake, they repented sincerely, and God in His infinite wisdom forgave them. Humankind is not doomed to be punished, generation after generation. The sins of the father are not visited upon the sons.
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
If one falls into sin, all that is required is sincere repentance followed by seeking God’s forgiveness. When a person sins he or she pushes themselves away from the mercy of God, however sincere repentance brings a person back to God.
As for those who commit sins, and then repent afterwards and believe — your Lord, thereafter, is Forgiving and Merciful.
— Quran 7:153
Just because you fall or commit a sin, doesn’t mean you’re evil. It shows you’re human. But how you fix yourself thereafter is what matters most.
Then your Lord — for those who did evil because of ignorance, then repented after that and corrected themselves — surely your Lord is, after all that, Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.
— Quran 16:119
Adam and Eve sinned, they repented and God immediately forgave them. Since they were freely forgiven by their Lord, there is no burden of collective sin, passed on to the whole human race by our first ancestors, which affects every newborn baby as it comes from its mother’s womb, and from which all must be saved. Rather, each human being comes into this life with a pure, wholesome nature and a clean slate. As God proclaims,
We surely created the human being in the best of moulds.
(— Quran 95:4; also 20:50)
For it is our inner state and deeds that bring us near to or take us far from our Lord. Salvation is conferred by God’s grace and mercy, not through the sacrifice or vicarious atonement of any intermediary. And each individual’s accounting is directly with God.
Humankind, according to Islam is born in a state of purity, without sin and naturally inclined to worship and praise God. However, human beings are also given freewill and are thus capable of making mistakes and committing sins; they are even capable of committing great evil.
Since God is endlessly kind, loving, merciful, forgiving and the acceptor of repentance, the notion of Original Sin is a denial of His infinitely beneficent attributes, a negation of His Reality. Without question, the most generous, gracious Lord is able to freely forgive His servants without having to sacrifice the noblest of His creation in order to do so. And the Most Merciful repeatedly assures us that He forgives, out of His endless grace and compassion, whomever He wills. No matter what we may have done, His forgiveness is there for the asking.
And seek forgiveness from Allah. Truly, He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
— Quran 4:106
also Muslims reject the Christian claim that an innocent man had to die on the cross to save sinners from punishment. To demand the price of blood in order to forgive people’s sins demonstrates complete lack of mercy, and to punish a guiltless person is undoubtedly the height of injustice. The idea that innocent babies or children are sinful sounds completely absurd to a believer who knows that Islam is about original forgiveness not original sin.
God is Merciful. Jesus, like all other prophets, taught that we can earn salvation by obedience, repentance, and good deeds to help others. No sacrifice is necessary for salvation. No bloodshed is necessary for salvation. No savior should die for the salvation of others; everyone is responsible for his own salvation. Jesus has confirmed the same in Matthew 6:14–15, Mark 11:25, and Luke 6:37. Every person is responsible for his or her own actions (Ezekiel 18:1–24).
Do not lose hope in Allah’s mercy, for Allah certainly forgives all sins. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful. ―Quran 39:53
“Every son of Adam commits sin, and the best of those who commit sin are those who repent.”
―Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)
( Sunan Ibn Majah)
-1- Simon Alfredo Caraballo, The Original Sin.
-2- Aisha Stacey, Salvation in Islam.
-3- Suzanne Haneef, Islam: The Path of God, pages 45–50 (PDF Version)
Allah knows best.