The Story of Adam in Quran: A Relational Frame Theory Interpretation

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Nahla Nadeem


The story of Adam in Quran has often been explored either in relation to strictly Islamic concepts- mainly Adam’s appointment as a Caliph on earth, the original sin and his ultimate repentance- or in comparison to the Bible and Torah versions. The present study aims to explore the story from a cognitive and psycholinguistic perspective. Drawing on the basic concepts of relational frame theory (RFT), the study analyzes the relational framing processes involved in describing the “tree” as forbidden by God and as a source of prosperity and eternity by Satan. The analysis shows how the relational framing and reframing of the “tree’ functioned as the psychological conditions upon which Adam’s attitude towards the tree is formed and changed. The analysis also shows that Adam’s verbal behavior and cognitive abilities that are key to his superiority and appointment as caliph on earth are equally responsible for his fall.


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Research Article (English)