Incest is forbidden now, in Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Yet Adam and Eve and their children, how did they procreate?

Jesus was made without a father and Adam without both parents at all. If incest is so abhorrent, why weren't humans made for the Adam and Eve's kids. Even Abraham married his half-sister.

  1. God can create humans from nothing/no parents.

  2. Incest is now bad, but was allowed before during Adam/Abraham's time.

Was it an emergency before? Not enough humans? Extreme circumstances? Why didn't God make more Humans?

  • Allah did create more humans, just through the process of natural birth (which he created) the same as us. Being born rather than created from nothing doesn't make us less created. Commented Nov 22, 2013 at 18:16
  • @jack Can you provide the source for the Abraham claim?
    – user5608
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 1:24

10 Answers 10


Different Messengers were sent with different Laws that were applicable to different nations at different times. For example, the Law of Moses (as) differs from the Law of Muhammad (saws), and it also differs from the Law of later Messengers of the Children of Israel. There are references to the Laws of Abraham, Jacob, and so forth in the Qur'an and Sunnah. Prostrating to other than Allah was allowed in the Law of Jacob and Joseph.

To answer your question, Adam (as) came with his own Law - in his time, his wife Eve (as) always gave birth to sets of twins, one boy and one girl. The boys were to marry the girls from the previous (or later, I can't remember) birth, but not their twin sisters.

As for why this is the case, we don't know. God has His Wisdoms. One of the purposes of His Laws are to separate the believers from the arrogant.

Incidentally, the Law of Adam was the source of Cain's rebellion - he wished to transgress the Law and marry a more attractive girl, rather than the one he was supposed to.

  • Religion/Islam says God has the power to make humans. Yet God did not spare Adam and Eve's kids from commiting incest, something that God later makes a sin. It is an inconsitency in the creation story. If incest is a sin, and you have the power to prevent it by creating more humans for the first humans to breed with, why not use it?
    – jack
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 12:51
  • @jack God has the power to do that and a lot more. As part of our faith in His Perfection, we don't question that.
    – Ansari
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 18:59
  • @Jack why is the word we shouldn't use against commands of Allah because he is the one who has made law and alone to make decisions.
    – Murtaza
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 19:55
  • @Ansari which sources are you getting this from? Especially the part about twin?!
    – user5608
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 20:57
  • @user5608 This is well known. For example you can look it up in Tafsir ibn Kathir when he explains what happened between Qabil and Habil.
    – Ansari
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 22:28

God's purpose was to create one humanity flowing from two original human beings. This act made all human beings brothers and sisters in humanity. If God has created other humans for the first humans, they wouldn't have a common ancestor and they wouldn't be one brotherhood in humanity. Therefore Allah allowed it briefly to start the engine (so to speak) of birth and recreation. As humanity developed, there were more choices and less constraints that would make it a necessity. It is therefore prohibited now. God introduced His laws and expanded them to accommodate the maturity of human societies. So until the final testament (the Quran) was received, the laws were time-constrained and the laws meant only for that historical period. Muhammad (pbuh) brought the final and complete message.


God did create others. The reason they are not mentioned, I believe, is because they are not the direct bloodline of Christ for one, they were not the first, and also the various bloodlines were narrowed again with Noah. When Cain killed Abel, he went off to be with a foreign tribe/village. This means God must have created others. The Bible doesn't mention every single deed ever done by God or by man, if it did it would be impossible to read in a lifetime. Instead, it only talks about the important things. For example, not once does the Bible say Jesus stopped and peed. But you know he had to have at some point. It just isn't mentioned because it is not important to the history and teachings of Christ.

  • must have created others If we don't believe in something and just buff isn't good. Sorry but I don't feel strength from your answer.
    – Murtaza
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 20:00

I am adding an answer to this question because most of the other ones do not offer sources to support their claims. And, seeing how this claim can easily be seen as derogatory by anyone, I invite everyone to re-edit their answers to offer the views of scholars rather than personal views, thank you.

Sons' and daughters' of men, women, huris, and jins:

According to Shi'a Islam, there was no incest.

There are multiple narrations that provide an explanation where incest, God forbid, did not give rise to mankind. After we examine this explanation and its validity it easy to see that does not result in contradiction.

These narrations vary in the names of the sons, but, they have one thing in common: the sons' of our Father and Prophet Adam (a) where ordered by the Almighty (j) to marry huris and jins. When they married huris and jins it provided a generation of cousins. These cousins were also ordered to marry each other. And, now mankind was able to reproduce amongst themselves, without any illegitame relationship. So to reiterate, the first generation consists of the son's of Prophet Adam (a) marrying huris and jins.

In another reliable tradition, it is said that Adam had four sons. Allah sent four houries for them. When children were born from them, Allah recalled the houries. Then the same sons were married to jinn women and in this way generations grew. Therefore, forbearance is from Adam and every beauty and perfection is due to four houries. Whereas ugliness, bad behavior and evil is from jinn.

According to reliable chain of narrators Sulayman ibn Khalid said to Ja‘far as-Sadiq, “May I be sacrificed for you, people says that Adam married his sons to his daughters?” Imam said, “Yes people do say that, but O Sulayman, you might not know that Holy Prophet said, ‘If Adam had married his daughters to his sons then certainly would have married Zaynab to Qasim without having left the religion of Adam.’” Sulayman said, “May I be sacrificed on you, they say that Qabil killed Habil because Habil was ashamed that his sister was being given to Habil. Imam said, “O Sulayman! You also attribute such filthy things to Adam and do not feel ashamed?” He said, “May I be sacrificed on you. What was the reason that Qabil killed Habil?” Imam replied, “Because Adam had appointed Habil as his successor. Allah revealed to Adam to hand over the successorship and the Grand Name to Habil while Qabil was elder. When he knew this, he was angry and said that he was the rightful heir to successorship and bounties. Under divine instructions, Adam asked both of them to present a sacrifice to Allah. Allah accepted Habil’s sacrifice and rejected Qabil’s. So he envied Habil and killed him.”

Hayat-al-Qulub Vol 1. Stories of the Prophets

Origins of the "incest hypothesis":

This idea comes from non-Muslim thinking and has found its way in some of the Muslim books of hadith and stories as here is a video talking about origin of this hypothesis (I have provided primary sources here). This "incest hypothesis" is accepted as the "truth" amongst some of the followers of the Abrahamic religions. Here is one example from one of the sects of Christianity, in answering this question Creation Moment's article Did Adam and Eve's Children Practice Incest?" says:

Nevertheless, Adam and Eve's immediate offspring would have been very close to physical perfection while brother-sister marriages were the only unions possible!

Also here is an example from one of the sects of Judaism, Chabad's article Whom did Cain and Abel marry? says:

Indeed, Cain and Abel had to marry their sisters, considering that there were no other women around. King David writes, "The world was built with kindness." Our sages explain that this verse is referring to G‑d's kindness in allowing Adam and Eve's children to marry their own sisters in order to populate the species.

Jack, as for the question "if there were other humans on earth?", I will reply as soon as I find sources to support any claim. But, I think it is important enough to be a standalone question. I hope this answers your question about the "incest hypothesis" as it is important to address this issue in the correct matter, after all it is the story of our origin! If there is any confusion please let me know.


This question predates civilization and cannot be answered from the perspective of the laws and moral codes of the sophisticated societies that arose relatively recently when one considers that the existence of homo sapiens is currently dated to circa 150 thousand years ago. For instance, the earliest form of urbanization can only be dated to the Neolithic or around 7500 BCE, which is a very late development when one considers that mankind had been around 140 thousand years prior to this societal development. What has been established is that all of mankind is descended from the same parents, whom modern geneticists label Y Chromosome Adam and Mitochondrial Eve. Given the genetic diversity of modern humans, one can safely attribute to these early parents a miraculous genetic code that allowed for the multitude of variations in the human race. These variations allowed our ancestors to survive and thrive in a great variety of environments. This genetic code allowed the children of Adam to develop and excel all other species in intelligence and adaptability. So, I think it is very safe to conclude that the particular genetic composition of our first parents provided for a successful reproduction of healthy offspring even when the parents were siblings. The particular genetic code of our first parents has been degraded enough that marriage among close kin has been shown to produce genetic anomalies in the offspring. So, in order to maintain a healthy population, we urbanized children of Adam must adhere to laws which discourage the behavior of our proto-urban ancestors. The results of marriage to close kin were beneficial for them, but not for us.

And Allah (swt) knows best!


Mutation. The first created human being with his partner has no mutation therefore they can reproduce together with no consequences for recessive mutant gene to appear. Before it's permissible to have incest but now it's not allowed after millions of mutation. To answer your question why are we not created like Adam but by birth?Can you imagine if we don't have any parents? We won't survive with out our mothers love. Life revolves in the family system. Even Nabi Isa sws will be sent back to have a family so that he can be tested. Life is but a test...

  • Why negative 2? Explain please.
    – Ben
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 9:55

The morals of Islam have not changed since the creation of ADAM, and according to Quran ALLAH created Adam without mother or father. I would not stretch my limits of imagination to explain the reproduction of human beings bounded by stories mentioned in bible, or bounded by known ways of human reproduction. Islam in general is silent on this issue, so if we cannot explain the human reproduction after Adam and eve, the least we can do is to refrain from using explanation based on incest.


Going by just the Quran, there is no complete ban on incest with any relation (although I doubt any Muslim scholar would openly admit it).

The verses used to support a complete ban on incest with specific relations actually always have an exception clearly there. Depending on the specific relation, there is either an exception for "what has passed before" (whatever that means) or the ban only applies to those "who are in your guardianship" (okay technically you could say that is just for stepdaughters, but you could easily say that isn't just for stepdaughters as well).

P.S. I generally find the Quran's moral rules pretty easy to find loopholes in. I never get why Muslims don't realize them themselves.

https://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=4&verse=22 https://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=4&verse=23

  • You didn't read quran I guess. Surah Nisa, 4:23 say, Prohibited to you [for marriage] are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters , your father's sisters, your mother's sisters, your brother's daughters, your sister's daughters, your [milk] mothers who nursed you, your sisters through nursing, your wives' mothers, and your step-daughters under your guardianship [born] of your wives....... Commented May 26, 2021 at 16:16
  • What are the loop holes in the quran Commented May 26, 2021 at 16:19
  • @DarkKnight I did. I also noticed the "under your guardianship" clause (which in the Arabic is ambiguous as to how many of the previous it applies to, as you can see in the links). Thus, if the relationship is not under your guardianship, e.g. they are financially independent and live on their own, than ban doesn;t apply to them with a plain reading of the text. Commented May 26, 2021 at 16:20
  • @DarkKnight A lot of Quranic rules have clauses and restrictions that can easily be exploited to fulfil your desires (e.g. under your guardianship), just in a slightly different way. If you are good at reasoning, you barely have to change your ways to follow the Quran, and not make any sacrifices. Muslims ignore them because they like to sleep at night. Commented May 26, 2021 at 16:22
  • 1
    @DarkKnight What if the parents are dead? Commented May 26, 2021 at 16:28

I totally agree with the comment above that says "..if we cannot explain the human reproduction after Adam and eve, the least we can do is to refrain from using explanation based on incest" This is totally true as there is no sentence in Quran that simplifies that Allah created only Adam and Eve as one couple. But he says in Quran that Allah created you from one nefs vahidah. This means we all created from only one source. This is true. But it doesn't have to be that the source is a human. Adam is like Isa in the Quran. So it means Adam has no father. On the other hand, he and his wife were created from the same source. And it continues "And we created all couples from that source" (Nisa 1).In Arabic language it is so clear that Eve was not created from Adam. And the others also were created from the same source. It is very clear that Eve was not created from Adam but from the same source that Adam was created from. Therefore, if anybody needs to explain something -although it is not very clear in the Quran- at least he/she must refrain from using an explanation based on incest. My above explanation is more logical. If Allah created Adam like Isa, he of course could create others like Adam. Or he used a different version of creating a system of himself... Allah knows everything better.


More explanation. There are most important 4 surahs and 4 ayahs. Please see Surah En Nisa 1, Surah Fatir 11, Surah Hucurat 13, Surah Zumer 6. There is the most important explanation for this. Let's look at them. Surah Nisa. I explained it above. Hucurat 13: We created you from one female and one male. But in Arabic language, it does not explain ADAM and EVE there. Because it should have Arabic "Lam" in English it is "THE". So it is a general use. Because we already know that every human is coming from one male and one female cell.

Fatir 11: It is the most clear one. It says "Allah created the human from the ground/soil, then nutfah (embrio), then made you as couples" It does not say only one couple. So it may be clear that Allah created more couples at the same time but from the same source. So this explanation is not against that we are coming from the same source. Same life point. But it also refrains from the idea coming from a disgusting incest relationship.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .