The First Murder*
[5:27] Recite for them the true history of Adam’s two sons. They made an offering, and it was accepted from one of them, but not from the other. He said, “I will surely kill you.” He said, “GOD accepts only from the righteous.
*5:27-31 The names of the two sons involved in this first murder are not relevant. But they are given in the Bible as Abel and Cain (Genesis 4:2-9).
[5:28] “If you extend your hand to kill me, I am not extending my hand to kill you. For I reverence GOD, Lord of the universe.
[5:29] “I want you, not me, to bear my sin and your sin, then you end up with the dwellers of Hell. Such is the requital for the transgressors.”
[5:30] His ego provoked him into killing his brother. He killed him, and ended up with the losers.
[5:31] GOD then sent a raven to scratch the soil, to teach him how to bury his brother’s corpse. He said, “Woe to me; I failed to be as intelligent as this raven, and bury my brother’s corpse.” He became ridden with remorse.
Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Why was Abel’s offering accepted and not Cain’s offering?
We are not specifically informed, but one reason may be that when we do righteous work we should do our best. See example of Abraham or the Children of Israel with the heifer:
Abraham and Lot
[11:69] When our messengers went to Abraham with good news, they said, “Peace.” He said, “Peace,” and soon brought a roasted calf.
[45:21] Do those who work evil expect that we will treat them in the same manner as those who believe and lead a righteous life? Can their life and their death be the same? Wrong indeed is their judgment.
Perhaps, Abel’s offering was accepted as he chose from the best of his harvest to offer to God while Cain did not.
Homer Simpson on Jealousy and Envy
Murder comes from ego.
“What Mass Killers Want—And How to Stop Them Rampage shooters crave the spotlight, and we should do everything possible to deprive them of it.”
“Contrary to the common assumption, writes author Michael D. Kelleher in his 1997 book “Flash Point,” mass killers are “rarely insane, in either the legal or ethical senses of the term,” and they don’t typically have the “debilitating delusions and insidious psychotic fantasies of the paranoid schizophrenic.” Dr. Knoll affirms that “the literature does not reflect a strong link with serious mental illness.
Instead, massacre killers are typically marked by what are considered personality disorders: grandiosity, resentment, self-righteousness, a sense of entitlement. They become, says Dr. Knoll, ” ‘collectors of injustice’ who nurture their wounded narcissism.” To preserve their egos, they exaggerate past humiliations and externalize their anger, blaming others for their frustrations. They develop violent fantasies of heroic revenge against an uncaring world.”
What does it mean when Abel says “bear my sin and your sin”?
The dialog sounds like Abel was provoking Cain. Or perhaps it is that he is taking the defeated side.
[39:7] If you disbelieve, GOD does not need anyone. But He dislikes to see His servants make the wrong decision. If you decide to be appreciative, He is pleased for you. No soul bears the sins of any other soul. Ultimately, to your Lord is your return, then He will inform you of everything you had done. He is fully aware of the innermost thoughts.
[53:8] No soul bears the sins of another soul.
[16:25] They will be held responsible for their sins on the Day of Resurrection, all of them, in addition to sins of all those whom they misled by their ignorance. What a miserable load!
[4:85] Whoever mediates a good deed receives a share of the credit thereof, and whoever mediates an evil work, incurs a share thereof. GOD controls all things.
This sounds like it is talking about the original sin as the verse does not say “my sins”
Since this was the first murder – how did Cain come up with the idea of murder?
It was his ego.
[4:93] Anyone who kills a believer on purpose, his retribution is Hell, wherein he abides forever, GOD is angry with him, and condemns him, and has prepared for him a terrible retribution.
[4:94] O you who believe, if you strike in the cause of GOD, you shall be absolutely sure. Do not say to one who offers you peace, “You are not a believer,” seeking the spoils of this world. For GOD possesses infinite spoils. Remember that you used to be like them, and GOD blessed you. Therefore, you shall be absolutely sure (before you strike). GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.
Why didn’t Abel defend himself?
Traits of the Believers
[42:37] They avoid gross sins and vice, and when angered they forgive.
[42:38] They respond to their Lord by observing the Contact Prayers (Salat). Their affairs are decided after due consultation among themselves, and from our provisions to them they give (to charity).
[42:39] When gross injustice befalls them, they stand up for their rights.
[42:40] Although the just requital for an injustice is an equivalent retribution, those who pardon and maintain righteousness are rewarded by GOD. He does not love the unjust.
[42:41] Certainly, those who stand up for their rights, when injustice befalls them, are not committing any error.
[42:42] The wrong ones are those who treat the people unjustly, and resort to aggression without provocation. These have incurred a painful retribution.
[42:43] Resorting to patience and forgiveness reflects a true strength of character.
Abel’s assertion to Cain that he would let him (Cain) bear his sins and would not extend his hand to kill him, may be a demonstration of God’s law that threatening to kill, alone, is not an excuse to fight back and initiate violence. One has to see aggressive physical act of violence in order to resort to defense.
A Victim Treats His Mugger Right
Fighting Crime With Compassion
Why do we cremate if the verse describes the burial process?
It is not a commandment that we bury a body after death, and there is nothing saying that it is prohibited to cremate. We shouldn’t prohibit what God did not prohibit.
[16:116] You shall not utter lies with your own tongues stating: “This is lawful, and this is unlawful,” to fabricate lies and attribute them to GOD. Surely, those who fabricate lies and attribute them to GOD will never succeed.