In this hadith, it is said that Adam (pbuh) was 60 cubits tall and since then men have been decreasing in stature. The hadith is as follows:-

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Allah created Adam, making him 60 cubits tall. When He created him, He said to him, "Go and greet that group of angels, and listen to their reply, for it will be your greeting (salutation) and the greeting (salutations of your offspring." So, Adam said (to the angels), As-Salamu Alaikum (i.e. Peace be upon you). The angels said, "As-salamu Alaika wa Rahmatu-l-lahi" (i.e. Peace and Allah's Mercy be upon you). Thus the angels added to Adam's salutation the expression, 'Wa Rahmatu-l-lahi,' Any person who will enter Paradise will resemble Adam (in appearance and figure). People have been decreasing in stature since Adam's creation.

But according to this, the height of the ancient people and us are roughly the same.

Interestingly enough, our heights have been increasing rather than decreasing for the last 150 years.

So isn't the hadith above rendering scientifically inaccurate? If there's any problem in my question please inform me. Thanks!

This and this should help you in answering the question.

  • If we were to take that litteraly, we have shrunk a lot since Adam (A.S). But I don't think we should consider that a metaphore. For which I don't know, I have to figure that out (60 cubits = 27 metres and we humans are on average 1.6m long). They were giants.
    – user24306
    Jul 18, 2018 at 9:44
  • @AnonymousI I couldn't understand Jul 18, 2018 at 11:05
  • Maybe Allah referred to something else using those measurements instead of height because it would be counterintuitive to assume that Adam (A.S) was 27 and some bits long and so are the people who lived during his time.
    – user24306
    Jul 18, 2018 at 11:08
  • @AnonymousI:*cubits
    – user24306
    Jul 18, 2018 at 20:45
  • for anyone interested, some of the Jewish books also contain this detail about Adam AS being immensely large. one example: in Bereishit Rabbah [translation by Sefaria] it says: "In the time that the Holy One created Adam Harishon, [as] a golem He created him and he was set up from [one] end of the world and unto its [other] end – that’s what is written: “Your eyes saw my golem” [Ps 139:16]. R’ Yehoshua bar Nechemyah and R’ Yehudah bar Simon in R’ Elazar’s name said: He created him filling the whole world..."
    – Hisham
    Jul 12, 2023 at 23:49

1 Answer 1


There is no natural, scientifically plausible explanation for how Adam could be 60 cubits tall. If Adam was 60 cubits tall, it must have been truly miraculous. Nor is there a scientific explanation for how two animals could have enough genetic diversity to create a genetically diverse population. The creation story is inevitably dependent on miracles.

Alternatively, the hadith could simply be erroneous.

Incidentally, early agriculturalists were shorter than their hunter-gatherer ancestors. But as Adam learned to plant seeds and even bake bread, and his descendants were described as agriculturalists and not hunter-gatherers, it seems that there was little awareness of a hunter-gatherer stage. Certainly there is no evidence of humans being anywhere near 30 cubits in height.

Our World in Data has a graph of human heights over time.

Human heights over the long-run, 16,000 BCE to 1996

The hadith does not draw any distinction between Adam's height in Paradise and Adam's height on Earth, so I think it's very speculative to say that Adam's 60-cubits height only applied to when he was in Paradise. The exegesis says that all humans will be 60 cubits tall in heaven, based on the passage "Any person who will enter Paradise will resemble Adam (in appearance and figure)," but then this passage would be ambiguous as to whether it is referring to Adam's height on Earth or Adam's height in Paradise.

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