Abu Hamzah narrates from Imam Baqir (PBUH), that Prophet Adam (PBUH) ordered Abel and Kane to make a sacrifice (1). Abel was an animal husbandman, and Kane was a farmer. Abel brought one of his best bulls to the place of sacrifice, and Kane chose one cluster from the worst of what he had farmed. The sacrifice of Abel was accepted, and Kane’s was not. (2) God has told their story in the Holy Quran that:
“And recite to them the story of the two sons of Adam in truth; when each offered a sacrifice (to Allah), it was accepted from the one but not from the other …” (3)
Then the Satan told Kane, “Abel’s sacrifice was accepted, but yours was not. If you let him alive, in the future his descendants will brag your descendants. So Kane killed Abel.
When Kane returned to Prophet Adam (PBUH), Prophet Adam (PBUH) asked him, “Where is Abel?” Kane replied, “I don’t know! You hadn’t sent me for his protection!”
Prophet Adam (PBUH) went to search for Abel, and found his corpse, and cried for him for forty nights. Then Adam (PBUH) asked God to grant him a son. A son was born for him, and he called him Hibbat Allah (the gift of God).
Prophet Adam (PBUH) liked him very much. When the time of his prophethood came to an end, God revealed to him, ”O Adam! The time of your prophethood came to an end, and your time is passed. Now, the knowledge that is consigned to you, with faith, the Great Name, and the inheritance of the prophethood must remain with your descendants. Give them to your son Hibbat Allah …“(4)
When Habbat Allah buried Adam, Kane came to him and said, “I saw that Adam granted his knowledge to you, and not to me. And this was the knowledge that your brother Abel prayed with it so his sacrifice was accepted. I killed him to prevent him from having a descendant to boast my descendants saying that we are the sons of the one whose sacrifice was accepted, and you are the sons of the one whose sacrifice was not accepted …”
The story of the sons of Adam (PBUH) contains precious lessons for us. Usually in life, we are compelled to sacrifice our belongings for the sake of our more valuable things; however, sometimes we sink into routine daily life to the extent that we forget our precious things. At a time our best time and wealth were devoted to our Beloved, but now we have either changed our beloved or our values…
(The above is a selection taken from “Kamal al-Din”, by Sheikh Saduq (with some changes)) (5)
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1. Qurban (sacrifice) is an action which causes the proximity to God.
2. The sign of acceptance of the sacrifice of Abel was that a lightning struck the sacrifice and burned it. Then Kane made a house for fire. He was the first one who made fire temple and said that he worships fire so that it accepts his sacrifice.
3. The Holy Quran, (5:27)
4. The verse of the Holy Quran mention that after Abel was killed, Kane was wondering what to do with his corpse. In the mean time he learned to bury a dead person from crow.
5. The above is selected from the Persian translation of Kamal al-Din by Late Scholar Kooh Kamare ei. The same narration is quoted in Kafi vol. 1, p. 214.