not correct that Eve was created from Adam’s rib. The first verse of Sūrah Nisā
explicitly states that the first man and woman (Adam and Eve) were created
directly by the Almighty:
Fear your Lord who created you from a single soul and of like nature his mate
and from the two scattered [like seeds] countless men and women. (4:1)
translate this verse as ‘It is he Who has created you from a single person
(Adam) and then He created from him his wife (Eve)’. They explain this verse by
saying that Eve was created from the rib of Adam. This misleading translation
has probably arisen because of the Arabic words khalaqa minha zawjaha, which if
literally translated mean ‘created from him [–the initial soul–] his wife’.
Actually the word minha (from the soul) does not imply that ‘Eve was made from
Adam’; they rather imply that Eve was made from the same species as Adam. A
similar verse points to this interpretation:
It is God
who has made from your species your mates. (16:72)
translation of the original words ja‘ala lakum min anfusikum azwājā of the above
quoted verse (which are very similar to khalaqa minha zawjaha) would mean ‘it is
God which has created your mates from you’ implying that every wife is made from
her husband as Eve was. This of course is incorrect; the word anfus (plural of
nafs) in this verse means ‘genre’, ‘species’ and not ‘physical being’.
As far as the
Hadīth you have quoted is concerned, it needs to be appreciated that in Arabic
the words ‘created from’ do not necessarily refer to the substance of creation;
they can also refer to the nature of something. For example the Qur’ān says:
‘Man has been created from hastiness’, (21:37). This does not of course mean
that man’s substance is hastiness; it only refers to his nature.
all the texts of the Hadīth you have referred to are collected and analyzed, it
becomes evident that the Prophet (sws) has compared the nature of a woman with a
rib. The comparison subtly alludes to the fact that a woman’s nature is very
delicate and tender as well as a bit adamant. The Prophet (sws) has advised men
to treat them tactfully keeping in view this nature. Instead of forcing them to
accept a particular point of view, men should try to convince and persuade them.