Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Is earth a place of punishment for Adam (as) or did Allah(SWT) created earth for mankind before Adam(as) ate that fruit in paradise?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Yes, the earth was created before Our Master Adam (Allah bless him and give him peace).
Allah Most High says, “[Prophet], when your Lord told the angels, ‘I am putting a successor on earth,’ they said, ‘How can You put someone there who will cause damage and bloodshed, when we celebrate Your praise and proclaim Your holiness?’ but He said, ‘I know things you do not.’” [2.30]
Earth is the place for Our Master Adam and his descendants to manifest their vicegerency. It is not a place of punishment, rather the opportunity given to us to spread and uphold the religion of Allah with mercy and sincere striving after which He will grant those who believed and worked righteous deeds everlasting Paradise under His Supreme Good Pleasure.
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)