ʿAnāq (daughter of Adam)

ʿAnāq bint Ādam (أناف بنت آدم) is, in some varieties of Islamic mythology, a daughter of Adam and Eve, sometimes even their first child. She is portrayed as evil.

Summary of traditionsEdit

A summary of the diverse traditions about ʿAnāq is provided by Roberto Tottoli:

According to some reports ʿAnāq was born alone, with no twin brother, or, in other reports, she was Cain's sister, and he, after killing Abel, brought her to Yemen, where he married her[1] ... She was said to be the first one to commit fornication and to act badly on earth and because of this she was later killed. Some traditions add particulars about her monstrous appearance, such as that she had two heads, or twenty fingers with two nails each, or that she had long nails. It is also stated that she was the first person killed on earth, and that she was killed by ravaging beasts or by a gigantic lion sent by God. The name ʿAnāq is usually employed in connection with the story of her son ʿŪj, the giant who survived the Flood and was later killed by Moses.[2]

Significance of nameEdit

ʿAnāq's name seems to correspond in some way to male giant Anak in Hebrew tradition, where he is portrayed as the father of Og (just as ʿAnāq is the mother of ʿŪj). However, her name can also be understood to mean ‘misfortune’ or ‘calamity’ or to evoke the word ʿināq (‘embrace’).[3] However, the word also means 'caracal' (a kind of lynx) (more usually in the fuller form ʿanāq al-arḍ).[4]

Example ḥadīthEdit

One Shia ḥadīth mentioning ʿAnāq, for example, is the following, included in al-Kāfī by Muḥammad ibn Yaʿqūb al-Kulaynī (864-941 CE), where Muḥammad attributes the material to ʿAlī, and translated by Amina Inloes.[5]

O people! Corruption (baghy) leads its perpetrator to the Fire. The first to commit [the crime of] corruption against Allah was ʿAnāq, the daughter of Adam. She was the first person whom Allah killed, and she used to inhabit a place made of earth. She had twenty fingers; on each finger were two claws like two sickles. So Allah set upon her a vulture like a mule, and it overpowered her like a lion overpowers an elephant, or a wolf overpowers a camel. So We killed her, and thus Allah has killed the tyrants when they were in their best condition and secure in their positions.

Cultural significanceEdit

The role of ʿAnāq in Islamicate traditions can be seen as similar to that of Lilith in Judaeo-Christian traditions, providing a monstrous female near the very beginning of human existence, through whom misogynistic ideology can be conveyed.[6]

Occurrences in major authoritiesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ For this tradition, Tottoli cites al-Kisāʾī, Qiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ, ed. by Isaac Eisenberg (Leiden 1922–23), p. 233.
  2. ^ Roberto Tottoli, “ʿAnāq”, in Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, ed. by Kate Fleet and others (first published online 2009), <https://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_22679>.
  3. ^ Amina Inloes, 'Negotiating Shīʿī Identity and Orthodoxy through Canonizing Ideologies about Women in Twelver Shīʿī Aḥādīth on Pre-Islamic Sacred History in the Qurʾān' (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Exeter, 2015), pp. 100-101.
  4. ^ Roberto Tottoli, “ʿAnāq”, in Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, ed. by Kate Fleet and others (first published online 2009), <https://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_22679>.
  5. ^ Amina Inloes, 'Negotiating Shīʿī Identity and Orthodoxy through Canonizing Ideologies about Women in Twelver Shīʿī Aḥādīth on Pre-Islamic Sacred History in the Qurʾān' (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Exeter, 2015), p. 100, citing .
  6. ^ Amina Inloes, 'Negotiating Shīʿī Identity and Orthodoxy through Canonizing Ideologies about Women in Twelver Shīʿī Aḥādīth on Pre-Islamic Sacred History in the Qurʾān' (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Exeter, 2015), pp. 99-102.