This paper examines the involvement of the angels in the creation of Adam as an example of mythopoetic activity in Islam. This involvement takes the form of the angels' reaction to Adam's creation and to Adam's superior knowledge. These themes also developed within an anti-Gnostic polemic; the figure of the First Man is important for Gnosticism no less than for Judaism or Islam, yet their visions of this figure differed greatly. The relations between Adam and the angels is an important refraction of the differences between these religions. Comparison of tales from three Islamic genres—tafsīr, ta'rīh and qisas al-anbiyā'—with rabbinical legends shows that, contrary to expectations, Islamic material provides a more mythic conception of these themes than does Jewish midrash.