Know Abraham(pbuh)


 Ibrahim (Abraham) (PBUH)

Description of Abraham(PBUH) and his Family

Some of the People of the Book stated that his name was Abraham Ibn Tarikh, Ibn Nahur, Ibn Sarough, Ibn Raghu, Ibn Phaligh, Ibn Aher, Ibn Shalih, Ibn Arfghshand, Ibn Sam, Ibn Noah.

They said that when Tarikh was seventy five years old, he had Abraham, Nahor (Nohour) and Haran. Haran had a son named Lot (Lut). They also said that Abraham(pbuh) was the middle child and that Haran died in the lifetime of his father in the land where he was born, the land of the Chaldeans (Al-Kaldanieen), also known as Babylonia. At that time some people worshipped idols of stone and wood; others worshipped the planets, stars, sun and moon; still others worshipped their kings and rulers.

Abraham(pbuh) was born into that atmosphere, into a typical family of that ancient time. The head of the family was not even an ordinary idolater, but was one who totally rejected Allah and who used to make the idols with his own hands. Some traditions claimed that Abraham’s (pbuh) father died before his birth and that he was raised by an uncle whom Abraham called father. Other traditions said that his father was alive and was named Azer.

Into that family Abraham(pbuh) was born, destined to stand against his own family, against the entire system of his community. In brief, he stood against all kinds of polytheism.

Abraham’s (pbuh) Childhood

He was endowed with spiritual understanding from an early age. Allah enlightened his heart and mind and gave him wisdom from childhood.

Allah the Almighty stated: And indeed We bestowed aforetime on Abraham his (portion of) guidance, and We were Well-Acquainted with him (as to his Belief in the Oneness of Allah, etc.). Quran 21: 51

During his early childhood Abraham(pbuh) realized that his father made strange statues. One day, he asked him about what it was he made. His father replied that he made statues of gods. Abraham(pbuh) was astonished and he spontaneously rejected the idea. Being a child, he played with such statues, sitting on their backs as people sit on the backs of donkeys and mules.

One day, his father saw him riding the statue of Mardukh and he became furious. He ordered his son not to play with it again.

Abraham(pbuh) asked: “What is this statue, father? It has big ears, bigger than ours.”

His father answered: “It is Mardukh, the god of gods, son! These big ears show his deep knowledge.”

This made Abraham(pbuh) laugh. He was only seven years old at that time.

Abraham’s(pbuh) Hatred for Idols

Years passed and Abraham(pbuh) grew. Since his childhood his heart had been full of hatred for these idols. He could not understand how a sane person could make a statue and then worship what he had made. He noticed that these idols did not eat, drink, or talk, and that they could not even turn themselves right-side-up if someone turned them up-side down. How, then, could people believe that such statues could harm or benefit them?

Abraham’s(pbuh) people had a big temple full of idols, in the middle of which was a niche accommodating the biggest gods which were of different kinds, qualities, and shapes. Abraham(pbuh), who used to go to the temple with his father when he was a child, greatly despised all that wood and stone. What surprised him was the way his people behaved when they entered the temple: they bowed and started to cry, begging and imploring their gods for help as if the idols could hear or understand these requests!

At first, such a sight seemed funny to Abraham(pbuh), but later he began to feel angry. Was it not astonishing that all those people could be deceived? What added to the problem was that his father wanted him to be a priest when he was grown. He wanted nothing more from his son than that he revere those statues, yet Abraham(pbuh) never stopped displaying his hatred and disdain of them.

Abraham(pbuh) Discovers Allah

One night Abraham left his house to go to a mountain. He walked alone in the dark until he chose a cave in the mountain, where he sat resting his back against its wall. He looked at the sky. He had hardly seen it when he remembered that he was looking at planets and stars which were worshiped by some people on earth. His young heart was filled with tremendous pain.

He considered what was beyond the moon, the stars and the planets (i.e. Allah) and was astonished that these celestial bodies were worshiped by men when they had been created to worship and obey their Creator, appearing and disappearing at His command.

Therefore, Abraham(pbuh) addressed his people who worshiped celestial bodies, as Almighty Allah revealed: Thus did We show Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he be one of those who have Faith with certainty. When the night covered him over with darkness he saw a star. He said: “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said: “I like not those that set.” When he saw the moon rising up he said: “This is my lord.” But when it set he said: “Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the erring people.” When he saw the sun rising up, he said: “This is my lord. This is greater.” But when it set, he said: “0 my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah. Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth Hanifan (Islamic Monotheism, i.e., worshiping none but Allah Alone) and I am not of Al-Mushrikeen (those who worship others besides Allah).”  Quran 6: 75-79

Abraham(pbuh) Reasons with Celestial Worshipper

His people disputed with him. He said: “Do you dispute with me concerning Allah while He has guided me and I fear not those whom you associate with Allah in worship. (Nothing can happen to me) except when my Lord (Allah) wills something. My Lord comprehends in His Knowledge all things. Will you not then remember?”

“And how should I fear those whom you associate in worship with Allah (though they can neither benefit nor harm), while you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah things for which He has not sent down to you any authority. (So) which of the two parties has more right to be in security? If you but know.”

It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong, i.e., by worshiping others besides Allah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided. And that was Our Proof which We gave Abraham against his people. We raise whom We will in degrees. Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing. Quran  7: 80-83

In that debate, Abraham(pbuh) clarified to his people that these celestial bodies do not serve as deities and cannot be worshiped as partners with Allah the Almighty. Indeed, these bodies are created things, fashioned, controlled, managed and made to serve. They appear sometimes and disappear at others, going out of sight from our world. However, Allah the Almighty does not lose sight of anything, and nothing can be hidden from Him. He is without end, everlasting without disappearance. There is no other deity but Allah.

Abraham(pbuh) made clear to them, first, that the celestial bodies are unworthy of worship and, second, that they are among the signs of Allah. Almighty Allah commanded: And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Prostrate not to the sun nor to the moon, but prostrate to Allah Who created them, if you (really) worship Him. Quran 41: 37

The Celestial Worshippers arguments

Abraham’s(pbuh) reasoning helped to reveal the truth, and then the conflict between him and his people began, for the worshipers of the stars and planets did not stand mute. They began arguing and threatening Abraham(pbuh).

Abraham(pbuh) replied: “Do you dispute with me concerning Allah while He has guided me, and I fear not those whom you associate with Allah in worship. (Nothing can happen to me) except when my Lord (Allah) wills something. My Lord comprehends in His Knowledge all things. Will you not then remember? And how should I fear those whom you associate in worship with Allah (though they can neither benefit nor harm), while you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah things for which He has not sent down to you any authority. (So) which of the two parties has more right to be in security? . . . if you but know! It is those who believe (in the oneness of Allah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong i.e. by worshiping others besides Allah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.” Quran 6: 80-82

The curtains are drawn on the first category of people, those who were worshiping celestial bodies. The next situation reveals the second group, those who were practicing idolatry.

Abraham reasons with the Idolaters – Quran Chapter:21

Allah gave Abraham(pbuh) the reasoning he needed the first time and every time he argued with his people. Almighty Allah declared: And that was Our Proof which We gave Abraham(pbuh) against his people. We raise whom We will in degrees. Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing. Quran 6: 83

Abraham(pbuh) did his best to make his people heedful to the belief in the oneness of Almighty Allah and to the worship of Him alone. He bade them to firmly renounce the worship of idols. He said to his father and his people: “What are these images, to which you are devoted?” They said “We found our fathers worshiping them.” He said: “Indeed you and your fathers have been in manifest error.” They said: “Have you brought us the truth, or are you one of those who play about?” He said: “Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who created them and of that I am one of the witnesses.” Quran 21: 52-56

Abraham(pbuh) reasons with his Father

All was finished between Abraham(pbuh) and his people and the struggle began. The most amazed and furious was his father (or his uncle who had raised him), for, as it is well known, he not only worshiped idols but sculptured and sold them as well. Abraham felt that it was his duty as a good son to advise his father against this evil so that he could be saved from Allah’s punishment.

Being a wise son, he did not make his father feel foolish, nor did he openly laugh at his conduct. He told him that he loved him, thereby hoping to generate fatherly love. Then he gently asked him why he worshiped lifeless idols who could not hear, see, or protect him. Before his father could become angry he hastily added: “0 my father! Verily! There has come to me of knowledge that which came not unto you. So follow me. I will guide you to a Straight Path. 0 my father! Worship not Satan. Verily! Satan has been a rebel against the Most Beneficent (Allah). 0 my father! Verily! I fear lest a torment from the Most Beneficent (Allah) overtake you, so that you become a companion of Satan (in the Hell-Fire).”

He (the father) said: “Do you reject my gods, 0 Abraham? If you stop not (this), I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely before I punish you.” Abraham said: “Peace be on you! I will ask Forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily! He is unto me, Ever Most Gracious. And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allah. Quran 19: 43-48

Abraham(pbuh) debates with the Idolaters

His father’s harsh treatment did not stop Abraham(pbuh) from delivering the message of truth. Angry and sad to see people prostrate before idols, he was determined to stamp out these practices and went to the town to debate with the people, knowing full well that he might suffer harm.

Like a wise doctor searching for the cause of a sickness so as to prescribe the proper cure, or like a judge who questions the accused sharply so that he might detect the truth, Abraham(pbuh) asked them: “Do the idols see you when you prostrate before them? Do they benefit you in any way?” They quickly tried to defend their beliefs. They argued that they knew their idols were lifeless but that their forefathers had worshiped them; to them this was proof enough for their belief.

Abraham(pbuh) explained that their forefathers had been wrong. This angered them and they retorted: “Are you condemning our gods and our forefathers? Or are you just joking?”

Abraham(pbuh) showed no fear as he replied: “I am serious. I come to you with a true religion. I have been sent with guidance from our Lord Who alone is worthy of worship, Who is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and Who regulates all affairs of life, unlike the dumb idols which are just stone and wood.”

To convince them that the idols could not harm him, he challenged: “I have already condemned them; if they had any power they would have harmed me by now!”

Abraham(pbuh) reasons with the Idolaters, Second Time

Almighty Allah recounted: And recite to them the story of Abraham. When he said to his father and his people: “What do you worship?” They said: “We worship idols, and to them we are ever devoted.” He said: “Do they hear you, when you call (on them)? Or do they benefit you or do they harm (you)?” They said: “Nay, but we found our fathers doing so.”

He said: “Do you observe that which you been worshiping, – You and your ancient fathers? – Verily! They are enemies to me, save the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinn, and all that exists); Who has created me, and it is He Who guides me; and it is He Who feeds me and gives me to drink. And when I am ill, it is He who cures me; and Who will cause me to die and then will bring me to life (again); and Who, I hope will forgive me my faults on the Day of Recompense, (the Day of Resurrection).”  Quran 26: 69-82

In another chapter of Quran The Almighty revealed: And (remember) Abraham when he said to his people: “Worship Allah (Alone), and fear Him, that is better for you if you did but know. You worship besides Allah only idols, and you only invent falsehood. Verily, those whom you worship besides Allah have no power to give you provision, so seek your provision from Allah (Alone), and worship Him (Alone), and be grateful to Him. To Him (Alone) you will be brought back. And if you deny, then nations before you have denied (their Messengers). And the duty of the Messenger is only to convey (the Message) plainly.”

Say: “Travel in the land and see how (Allah) originated creation, and then Allah will bring forth (resurrect) the creation of the Hereafter (i.e., resurrection after death). Verily, Allah is Able to do all things.”

He punishes whom He wills, and shows mercy to whom He wills, and to Him you will be returned. And you cannot escape in the earth or in the heaven. And besides Allah you have neither any Wali (Protector or Guardian) nor any Helper. And those who disbelieve in the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah and the Meeting with Him, – it is they who have no hope of My Mercy, and it is they who will have a painful torment.

Abraham(pbuh) breaks the Idols

He explained to them the beauty of Allah’s creation, His power and wisdom. Idol worship is detested by Allah, for Allah is the Lord of the universe who created mankind, guided him, provided him with food and drink, and cured him when he was sick, and who will cause him to die and be raised up again. It was He to whom Abraham(pbuh) prayed and who would forgive his sins on the Day of Judgment. However, they would not give up but clung fast to idolatry.

Abraham(pbuh) left his father’s house and abandoned his people and what they worshiped. He decided to do something about their state of disbelief, but did not reveal it. He knew that there was going to be a great celebration on the other bank of the river which would be attended by all the people. Abraham(pbuh) waited until the city was empty, then came out cautiously, directing his steps towards the temple. The streets leading to it were empty and the temple itself was deserted, for the priests had also gone to the festival outside the city.

Abraham(pbuh) went there carrying a sharp ax. He looked at the stone and wood statues of the gods and at the food laid in front of them as offerings. He approached one of the statues and asked: The food in front of you is getting cold. Why don’t you eat?” The statue kept silent and rigid. Abraham(pbuh) asked the other statues around him: “Will you not eat (of the offering before you)?” Quran 37: 91

He was mocking them for he knew they would not eat. He once again asked then: “What is the matter with you that you do speak not?” Quran 37: 92

He then raised his ax and started smashing the false gods worshiped by the people. He destroyed them all except one, on whose neck he hung the ax. After this his anger subsided and he felt at peace. He left the temple. He had fulfilled his vow to show his people a practical proof of their foolishness in worshiping something other than Allah.

The Idolaters Questions Abraham(pbuh)

When the people returned, they were shocked to see their gods smashed to pieces, lying scattered all over the temple. They began to guess who had done that to their idols, and Abraham’s(pbuh) name came to their minds.

Allah the Almighty said: They said: “Who has done this to our aliah (gods)? He must indeed be one of the wrongdoers.” They said: “We heard a young man talking (against) them who is called Abraham.” They said: “Then bring him before the eyes of the people, that they may testify.” They said: “Are you the one who has done this to our gods, 0 Abraham?” (Abraham) said: “Nay, this one, the biggest of them (idols) did it. Ask them, if they can speak!”

So they turned to themselves and said: “Verily, you are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers).” Then they turned to themselves (their first thought and said). “Indeed you (Abraham) know well that these (idols) speak not!” (Abraham) said: “Do you then worship besides Allah, things that can neither profit you, nor harm you? Fie upon you, and upon that which you worship besides Allah! Have you then no sense?” Quran 21: 59-67

Furious, they demanded that Abraham(pbuh) be arrested and tried. Abraham(pbuh) did not resist. This was precisely what he had been aiming for, so that he could show them up in public for their foolish beliefs.

At the trial they asked him if he was responsible for breaking the idols. Smiling, he told them to ask the biggest idol, which was still whole. He told them that he must be the culprit! They replied that he knew well that the idol could not speak or move, which gave Abraham(pbuh) the chance to prove the foolishness of worshiping these lifeless objects.

They then realized the senselessness of their beliefs; however, their arrogance would not allow them to admit their foolishness. All they could do was use their power of authority – as tyrants usually do – to punish Abraham(pbuh). They kept him in chains and planned their revenge.

The Idolaters try to burn Abraham(pbuh)

Anger was burning in their hearts. They decided to throw Abraham(pbuh) into the biggest fire they could build. All the citizens were ordered to gather wood as a service to their gods. Ignorant, sick women vowed that if they were cured they would donate so much wood to burn Abraham(pbuh). For several days they collected fuel.

They dug a deep pit, filled it with firewood and ignited it. They brought a catapult with which to cast Abraham(pbuh) into the fire. Abraham(pbuh) was put on the catapult, his hands and feet tied. The fire was ready with its flames reaching the sky. The people stood away from the pit because of the great heat. Then the chief priest gave his order to cast Abraham(pbuh) into the fire.

The angel Gabriel came near Abraham’s(pbuh) head and asked him: “0 Abraham(pbuh), do you wish for anything?” Abraham(pbuh) replied: “Nothing from you.”

The catapult was shot, and Abraham(pbuh) was cast into the fire, but his descent into the blaze was as a descent on steps in a cool garden. The flames were still there, but they did not burn, for Allah the Almighty had issued His command: “0 fire! Be you coolness and safety for Abraham.” Quran 21: 69

The fire submitted to the will of Allah, becoming cool and safe for Abraham(pbuh). It only burned his bonds, and he sat in the midst of the fire as if he were sitting in a garden. He glorified and praised Allah the Almighty, with a heart that contained only his love for Allah. There was not any vacant space therein for fear, awe, or worry. It was filled with love only.

Fear and awe were dead, and the fire was turned into coolness, making the air pleasant. Those who love Allah as Abraham(pbuh) did do not fear.

The Faith of the Believers

Almighty Allah declared: Those (i.e., believers) unto whom the people (hypocrites) said: “Verily, the people (pagans) have gathered against you (a great army), therefore, fear them.” But it (only) increased them in Faith, and they said: ‘Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).”

So they returned with Grace and Bounty from Allah. No harm touched them; and they followed the good Pleasure of Allah. And Allah is the Owner of Great Bounty. It is only Satan that suggests to you the fear of his Auliya supporters and friends (polytheists, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger Muhammad), so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are (true) believers.” Quran 3: 173-175

The People’s reaction to the fire

The throng, the chiefs, and the priests sat watching the fire from a distance. It was burning their faces and nearly suffocating them. It kept burning for such a long time that the disbelievers thought it would never be extinguished.

When it did burn out, they were greatly amazed to find Abraham(pbuh) coming out of the pit untouched by the fire. Their faces were black from the smoke, but his was bright with the light and grace of Allah. The raging fire had become cool for Abraham(pbuh) and had only charred the ropes which held him. He walked out of the fire as if he were walking out of a garden. Cries of astonishment were heard from the heathens.

They wanted to harm him, but We made them the worst losers. Quran 21:70

This miracle shamed the tyrants, but it did not cool the flame of anger in their hearts. However, after this event many of the people followed Abraham(pbuh), although some kept their belief a secret for fear of harm or death at the hands of the rulers.

Abraham’s(pbuh) dialogue with Namrud

Abraham(pbuh) had established a definite reasoning against idolaters. Nothing was left for him except to reason against the people who proclaimed themselves gods.

When the king, Namrud, heard of Abraham’s(pbuh) safe exit from the fire he became very angry. He feared that the status of godhead he had proclaimed for himself was now challenged by an ordinary human being. He summoned Abraham(pbuh) to the palace and held a dialogue with him, which Allah the Almighty recounted: Have you not thought about him who disputed with Abraham about his Lord (Allah), because Allah had given him the kingdom? When Abraham said (to him). ‘My Lord (Allah) is He Who gives life and causes death.” He said: “I give life and cause death.” Abraham said: “Verily! Allah causes the sun to rise from the east; then cause it you to rise from the west.” So the disbeliever was utterly defeated. And Allah guides not the people who are Zalimeen (wrongdoers, etc.). Quran 2: 258

Abraham(pbuh) emigrates

Abraham’s(pbuh) fame spread throughout the entire kingdom. People talked about how he had been saved from the blazing fire and how he had debated with the king and left him speechless. In the meantime, Abraham(pbuh) continued calling people to believe in Allah, exerting a great effort to guide his people to the right path.

He tried every means to convince them. However, in spite of his love and care for his people, they felt angry and deserted him. Only one woman and one man of his people shared his belief in Allah. The woman’s name was Sarah and she became his wife. The man’s name was Lot (Lut)(pbuh), and he became a prophet.

When Abraham(pbuh) realized that no one else was going to believe in his call, he decided to emigrate. He left his people and traveled with his wife and Lot(pbuh) to a city called Ur, then to another called Haran, and then to Palestine.

Allah the Almighty told us: So Lot believed in him (Abraham’s message of Islamic Monotheism). He (Abraham) said: “I will emigrate for the sake of my Lord. Verily. He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. Surah 29: 26

After Palestine, Abraham(pbuh) traveled to Egypt, calling people to believe in Allah wherever he traveled, judging fairly between people, and guiding them to truth and righteousness.

Hadith about Abraham(pbuh), Sarah, and Hajar

Abu Hurairah narrated that Abraham(pbuh) did not tell a lie except on three occasions, twice for the sake of Allah (Exalted and Almighty) when he said: “I am sick,” (when his people were holding a festival in honor of their gods, Abraham excused himself by saying he was sick; see Surah 37: 89), and when he said: “(I have not done this but) the big idol has done it.” The (third was) that while Abraham and Sarah (his wife) were going (on a journey), they passed by (the territory of) a tyrant. Someone said to the tyrant: ‘This man (i.e., Abraham ) is accompanied by a very charming lady.” So, he sent for Abraham and asked him about Sarah saying: “Who is this lady?” Abraham said: “She is my sister.”

Abraham went to Sarah and said: “0 Sarah! There are no believers on the surface of the earth except you and me. This man asked me about you and I have told him that you are my sister, do not contradict my statement.” The tyrant then called Sarah, and when she went to him, he tried to take hold of her with his hand, but (his hand got stiff and) he was confounded. He asked Sarah: “Pray to Allah for me, and I shall not harm you.” So Sarah asked Allah to cure him and he got cured. He tried to take hold of her for the second time, but (his hand got as stiff as or stiffer than before and) he was more confounded. He again requested Sarah: “Pray to Allah for me, and I will not harm you.” Sarah asked Allah again, and he became all right. He then called one of his guards (who had brought her) and said: ‘You have not brought me a human being but have brought me a devil.”

The tyrant then gave Hajar as a maid servant to Sarah. Sarah came back (to Abraham) while he was praying. Abraham, gesturing with his hand, asked: “What has happened?” She replied: “Allah has spoiled the evil plot of the infidel (or immoral person) and gave me Hajar for service.” Abu Hurairah then addressed his listeners saying:’That (Hajar) was your mother, 0 Bani Ma-is-Sama (i.e., the Arab, the descendants of Ishmael, Hajar’s son).”

Hajar and Sarah

Abraham’s(pbuh) wife Sarah was sterile. She had been given an Egyptian woman, Hajar, as a servant. Abraham had aged, and his hair was gray after many years spent in calling people to Allah. Sarah thought that she and Abraham were lonely because she could not have a child. Therefore, she offered her husband her servant Hajar in marriage. Hajar gave birth to her first son Ishmael (Ismail) when Abraham(pbuh) was an old man.

Abraham(pbuh) questions Resurrection

Abraham(pbuh) lived on earth worshiping Allah and calling people to monotheism, but he was journeying to Allah, knowing that his days on earth were limited and that they would be followed by death, and finally, resurrection. The knowledge of life after death filled Abraham(pbuh) with peace, love, and certitude.

One day, he begged Allah to show him how He brought the dead back to life. Allah commanded Abraham(pbuh) to take four birds, cut them up, mingle their body parts, divide them into four portions, and place them on top of four different hills, then call back the birds in Allah’s name. Abraham(pbuh) did as he was told. Immediately the mingled parts of the birds separated to join their original bodies in different places, and the birds flew back to Abraham(pbuh).

Almighty Allah revealed: And (remember) when Abraham said: ‘My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” Allah said: “Do you not believe?” Abraham said: “Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in Faith.” He said: “Take four birds, then cause them to incline towards you (then slaughter them, cut them into pieces), and then put a portion of them on every hill, and call them, they will come to you in haste. And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”  Quran 2: 260

 
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Barsisa the Worshipper (The Renegade)


 Barsisa the Worshipper (The Renegade)

 

Allah the Almighty says in His Glorious Qur’an:

{(Their allies deceived them) like Shaitan (Satan), when he says to man: “Disbelieve in Allah.” But when (man) disbelieves in Allah, Shaitan (Satan) says: “I am free of you, I fear Allah, the Lord of the `Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists)!” So the end of both will be that they will be in the Fire, abiding therein. Such is the recompense of the Zalimun (i.e. polytheists, wrong-doers, disbelievers in Allah and in His Oneness)}. (Al-Hashr, 16, 17)

Ibn Jarir said that ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud interpreted the Qur’anic Verse that reads: {(Their allies deceived them) like Shaitan (Satan), when he says to man: “Disbelieve in Allah.” But when (man) disbelieves in Allah, Shaitan (Satan) says: “I am free of you, I fear Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists)!” So the end of both will be that they will be in the Fire, abiding therein. Such is the recompense of the Zalimun (i.e. polytheists, wrong-doers, disbelievers in Allah and in His Oneness)}. (Al-Hashr, 16, 17)

Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) said: Once upon a time, there was a woman grazing sheep and goats. She had four brothers. She (for some reason) used to spend the night at a monk’s cell. The monk committed adultery with her and she got pregnant. Satan came to him and said: Kill the woman and then bury her for you are a reputable and highly respected man (i.e. don’t risk your own reputation for such a simple woman). The monk killed her and then buried her.

Thereupon, Satan visited her four brothers in a dream while they were asleep and said to them: the monk committed adultery with your sister, and because she got pregnant, he killed her and buried her in such-and-such location.

In the morning, one of them said: “By Allah! Last night I dreamt of something and I do not know whether to relate it to you or just keep it to myself?” They said: Relate it to us. He did so and one of them said: By Allah! I saw the same dream. Another said the same. And the fourth one said the same thing.

They agreed on that there must be something serious about that dream. They went to the king and appealed for his help against the monk. The king’s troops came to arrest him and he was taken away. On the way, Satan came to the monk (and whispered in his ears): I set you up. No one else can save you from this. Prostrate yourself before me just for once and in return, I will save you from this.

Thereupon, the monk prostrated himself before Satan. When they presented themselves before the king, Satan said to him: I am free of you! Finally, the monk was killed.

The same story was narrated by the Leader of the Believers, ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib (May Allah be pleased with him) in another wording. Ibn Jarir said: I was told by Khallad Ibn Aslam, on the authority of An-Nadr Ibn Shamil after Shu’bah, after Abu Ishaq, after ‘Abdullah Ibn Nahik saying: I heard ‘Ali (r.a) as saying:

A monk worshipped Allah Alone for sixty years. Satan exerted himself to seduce him, but could not. He went to a woman and touched her with evil (maddened her). The woman had brothers whom were visited by Satan who told them to take her to that monk to receive treatment and cure. They took her to the monk and he treated her.

Afterwards, she stayed for a while at his cell (house). One day, he was attracted to her and he committed adultery with her. She got pregnant and he killed her (to conceal his first crime). Her brothers came (after knowing the matter) and Satan appeared again for the monk and said: I am your friend, I did not find a solution or way to mislead you, but (finally) I set you up. So, obey me and I will save you from this. Prostrate yourself before me and you will be saved. The monk did so. Then, Satan said: {“I am free of you, I fear Allah, the Lord of the`Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists)! “}. (Al- Hashr, 16) This is the interpretation of Allah’s Saying: {(Their allies deceived them) like Shaitan (Satan), when he says to man: “Disbelieve in Allah.” But when (man) disbelieves in Allah, Shaitan (Satan) says: “I am free of you, I fear Allah, the Lord of the” Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists)!” So the end of both will be that they will be in the Fire, abiding therein. Such is the recompense of the Zalimun (i.e. polytheists, wrong-doers, disbelievers in Allah and in His Oneness)}. (Al-Hashr, 16, 17)

The Story of Dead people being resurrected


The Story of Dead people being resurrected

Allah says,

“Did you (O Muhammad SAW) not think of those who went forth from their homes in thousands, fearing death? Allah said to them, “Die”. And then He restored them to life. Truly, Allah is full of Bounty to mankind, but most men thank not.”

-Surah Al-Baqarah (2:243)

 

Ibn Abu Hatim related that Ibn `Abbas said that these people mentioned herein, were the residents of a village called Dawardan. `Ali bin `Asim said that they were from Dawardan, a village several miles away from Wasit (in Iraq).

In his Tafsir, Waki` bin Jarrah said that Ibn `Abbas commented,

{Did you (O Muhammad ) not think of those who went forth from their homes in thousands, fearing death} that they were four thousand persons who escaped the plague (that broke out in their land). They said, “We should go to a land that is free of death!” When they reached a certain area, Allah said to them:

{“Die.”} and they all died. Afterwards, one of the Prophets passed by them and supplicated to Allah to resurrect them and Allah brought them back to life. So, Allah stated:

{Did you (O Muhammad) not think of those who went forth from their homes in the thousands, fearing death}

Furthermore, several scholars among the Salaf said that these people were the residents of a city during the time of the Children of Israel. The weather in their land did not suit them and an epidemic broke out. They fled their land fearing death and took refuge in the wilderness. They later arrived at a fertile valley and they filled what is between its two sides. Then Allah sent two angels to them, one from the lower side and the other from the upper side of the valley. The angels screamed once and all the people died instantly, just as the death of one man. They were later moved to a different place, where walls and graves were built around them. They all perished, and their bodies rotted and disintegrated. Long afterwards, one of the Prophets of the Children of Israel, whose name was Hizqil (Ezekiel), passed by them and asked Allah to bring them back to life by his hand. Allah accepted his supplication and commanded him to say, “O rotted bones, Allah commands you to come together.” The bones of everybody were brought together. Allah then commanded him to say, “O bones, Allah commands you to be covered with flesh, nerves and skin.” That also happened while Hizqil was watching. Allah then commanded him to say, “O souls, Allah commands you to return, each to the body that it used to inhabit.” They all came back to life, looked around and proclaimed, “All praise is due to You (O Allah!) and there is no deity worthy of worship except You.” Allah brought them back to life after they had perished long ago.

We should state that bringing these people back to life is a clear proof that physical resurrection shall occur on the Day of Resurrection. This is why Allah said:

{Truly, Allah is full of bounty to mankind,}meaning, in that He shows them His great signs, sound proofs and clear evidences. Yet,

{but most men thank not.} as they do not thank Allah for what He has given them with in their worldly life and religious affairs.

The story of the dead people (2:243 above) also indicates that no caution can ever avert destiny and that there is no refuge from Allah, but to Allah Himself. These people departed from their land fleeing the epidemic and seeking to enjoy a long life. What they earned was the opposite of what they sought, as death came quickly and instantaneously and seized them all.

There is an authentic Hadith that Imam Ahmad reported that `Abdullah bin `Abbas (r.a) said that `Umar bin Al-Khattab (r.a) once went to Ash-Sham (Syria). When he reached the area of Sargh, he was met by the commanders of the army: Abu `Ubaydah bin Jarrah (r.a) and his companions. They told him that the plague had broken out in Ash-Sham. The Hadith then mentioned that `Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf (r.a), who was away attending to some of his affairs, came and said, “I have knowledge regarding this matter. I heard Allah’s Messenger say:

(If it (the plague) breaks out in a land that you are in, do not leave that land to escape from it. If you hear about it in a land, do not enter it.)

`Umar then thanked Allah and went back. This Hadith is also reported in the Sahihayn.

[Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon) [Pbuh]


12) Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon) [Pbuh]

Solomon(pbuh)’s Knowledge

Solomon(pbuh) inherited David(pbuh)‘s prophethood and dominion. This was not a material inheritance, as prophets do not bequeath their property. It is given away to the poor and needy, not to their relatives. Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) said: ‘The prophets’ property will not be inherited, and whatever we leave is to be used for charity.”

And We had certainly given to David and Solomon knowledge, and they said, “Praise [is due] to Allah, who has favored us over many of His believing servants.”

And Solomon inherited David. He said, “O people, we have been taught the language of birds, and we have been given from all things. Indeed, this is evident bounty.”

And gathered for Solomon were his soldiers of the jinn and men and birds, and they were [marching] in rows.
(Surah 27: 15-17)

Solomon(pbuh) Becomes King

After his father’s death, Solomon (pbuh) became king. He begged Allah for a kingdom such as none after him would have, and Allah granted his wish. Besides wisdom, Allah had blessed Solomon (pbuh) with many abilities. He could command the winds and understand and talk to birds and animals. Allah directed him to teach both men and jinns to mine the earth and extract its minerals to make tools and weapons. He also favored him with a mine of copper, which was a rare metal in those days.

Allah’s Gifts to Solomon (pbuh)

Almighty Allah revealed:

And to David We gave Solomon. An excellent servant, indeed he was one repeatedly turning back [to Allah ].

[Mention] when there were exhibited before him in the afternoon the poised [standing] racehorses.

And he said, “Indeed, I gave preference to the love of good [things] over the remembrance of my Lord until the sun disappeared into the curtain [of darkness].”

[He said], “Return them to me,” and set about striking [their] legs and necks.

And We certainly tried Solomon and placed on his throne a body; then he returned.

He said, “My Lord, forgive me and grant me a kingdom such as will not belong to anyone after me. Indeed, You are the Bestower.”

So We subjected to him the wind blowing by his command, gently, wherever he directed,

And [also] the devils [of jinn] – every builder and diver

 And others bound together in shackles.

 [We said], “This is Our gift, so grant or withhold without account.”

 And indeed, for him is nearness to Us and a good place of return.

(Surah 38: 30-40)

Solomon(pbuh) Hears the Ant’s Warning

One day Solomon gathered his army, which had different battalions of men, jinns, birds, and animals. He marched them to the country of Askalon.

While they were passing through a valley, an ant saw the approaching army and cried out to warn the other ants: “Run to your homes! Otherwise, unaware, Solomon (pbuh) and his army might crush you!” Solomon (pbuh), hearing the cry of the ant, smiled. He was glad that the ant knew him to be a prophet who would not intentionally harm Allah’s creation. He thanked Allah for saving the ants’ lives.

Allah the Almighty narrated:

And gathered for Solomon were his soldiers of the jinn and men and birds, and they were [marching] in rows

Until, when they came upon the valley of the ants, an ant said, “O ants, enter your dwellings that you not be crushed by Solomon and his soldiers while they perceive not.”

So [Solomon] smiled, amused at her speech, and said, “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants.”

(Surah 27: 17-19)

Solomon (pbuh)’s Travels

In Jerusalem, on a huge rock, Solomon (pbuh) built a beautiful masjid to draw the people to worship Allah. Today this building is known as ‘The Dome of the Rock.” From there, a large band of followers joined Solomon(pbuh) on pilgrimage to the Holy Mosque in Mecca. After they had completed their hajj, they traveled to Yemen and arrived in the city of Sana.

Solomon(pbuh) was impressed by their clever method of channeling water all over their cities. He was keen to build similar water systems in his own country but did not have enough springs.

The Hoopoe Brings Information to Solomon (pbuh)

He set out to find the hoopoe bird, which could detect water under the ground. He sent signals all over for the hoopoe to call on him, but it was nowhere to be found. In anger, he declared that unless the bird had good reason for its absence, he would punish it severely.

The hoopoe eventually came to Solomon(pbuh) and explained the reason for its delay: “I have discovered something of which you are not aware. I have come from Sheba (Saba) with important news. Solomon became curious, and his anger subsided. The bird continued: “Saba is ruled by a queen named Bilkis (Bilqis), who has plenty of everything, including a splendid throne. But in spite of all this wealth, Satan has entered her heart and the hearts of her people. She rules their minds completely. I was shocked to learn that they worship the sun instead of Allah the Almighty.”

To check the hoopoe’s information, Solomon(pbuh) sent a letter to the queen with the bird. He instructed the bird to remain hidden and to watch everything.

The Queen of Sheba Sends Gifts

The hoopoe dropped the letter in front of the queen and flew away to hide. She excitedly opened and read it:

Indeed, it is from Solomon, and indeed, it reads: ‘In the name of Allah , the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,

Be not haughty with me but come to me in submission [as Muslims].’ ”
(Surah 27: 30-31)

The queen was very disturbed and hurriedly summoned her advisors. They reacted as to a challenge, for they felt that there was someone challenging them, hinting at war and defeat, and asking them to submit to his conditions.

They told her that they could only offer advice, but it was her right to command action. She sensed that they wanted to meet Solomon’s invasion threat with a battle. However, she told them: “Peace and friendship are better and wiser; war only brings humiliation, enslaves people, and destroys the good things. I have decided to send gifts to Solomon, selected from our most precious treasure. The courtiers who will deliver the gifts will also have an opportunity to learn about Solomon and his military might.”

Solomon (pbuh) rejects the Queen’s gifts

Solomon (pbuh)‘s reconnaissance team brought him the news of the arrival of Bilkis’s messengers with a gift. He immediately realized that the queen had sent her men on a probing mission; thus, he gave orders to rally the army. The envoys of Bilkis, entering amidst the well-equipped army, realized that their wealth was nothing in comparison to that of the kingdom of Solomon (pbuh). They belittled their golden gift as they passed over Solomon(pbuh)‘s palace floors, which were made of sandalwood and inlaid with gold.

They noticed Solomon surveying his army, and they were surprised at the number and variety of soldiers, which included lions, tigers, and birds. The messengers stood in amazement, realizing that they were in front of an irresistible army.

The envoys marveled at the splendor surrounding them. They eagerly presented their queen’s precious gifts and told Solomon (pbuh) that the queen wished that he would accept them as an act of friendship. They were shocked by his reaction: he did not even ask to open the covers of the containers! He told them: “Allah has given me plenty of wealth, a large kingdom, and prophethood. I am, therefore, beyond bribery. My only objective is to spread the belief in Tawheed, the Oneness of Allah.”

He also directed them to take back the gifts to the queen and to tell her that if she did not stop her kind of worship he would uproot her kingdom and drive its people out of the land.

The Queen Decides to Visit Solomon (pbuh)

The queen’s envoys returned with the gifts and delivered the message. They also told her of the wonderful things they had seen. Instead of taking offense, she decided to visit Solomon (pbuh). Accompanied by her royal officials and servants, she left Sheba, sending a messenger ahead to inform Solomon (pbuh) that she was on her way to meet him.

Solomon (pbuh) asked the jinns in his employ whether anyone among them could bring her throne to the palace before she arrived. One of them said: “I will bring it to you before this sitting is over.” Solomon(pbuh) did not react to this offer; it appeared that he was waiting for a faster means. The jinns competed with each other to please him. One of them named Ifrit said: “I will fetch it for you in the twinkling of an eye!”

No sooner had this one – who had the knowledge of the Book – finished his phrase than the throne stood before Solomon (pbuh). The mission had, indeed, been completed in the blinking of an eye. Solomon (pbuh)‘s seat was in Palestine, and the throne of Bilqis had been in Yemen, two thousand miles away. This was a great miracle performed by one of those sitting with Solomon (pbuh).

The Queen’s Visit with Solomon (pbuh)

When Bilqis arrived at Solomon (pbuh)‘s palace, she was welcomed with pomp and ceremony. Then, pointing to the altered throne, Solomon (pbuh) asked her whether her throne looked like that one. She looked at it again and again. In her mind she was convinced that her throne could not possibly be the one she was looking at, as hers was in her palace; yet, she detected a striking similarity and replied: “It is as if it were the very one, and resembles mine in every respect.” Solomon (pbuh) judged that she was intelligent and diplomatic.

He then invited her into the great hail, the floor of which was laid in glass and shimmering. Thinking it was water, as she stepped on the floor, she lifted her skirt slightly above her heels, for fear of wetting it. Solomon (pbuh) pointed out to her that it was made of solid glass.

She was amazed. She had never seen such things before. Bilqis realized that she was in the company of a very knowledgeable person who was not only a ruler of a great kingdom but a messenger of Allah, as well. She repented, gave up sun worship, accepted the faith of Allah, and asked her people to do the same.

It was finished; Bilqis saw her people’s creed fall apart before Solomon (pbuh). She realized that the sun which her people worshipped was nothing but one of Allah’s creatures.

The sun eclipsed within her for the first time, and her heart was lit by a never-fading light, the light of Islam.

Solomon is informed about the Queen of Sheba

Almighty Allah told us this story in the Quran:

And he took attendance of the birds and said, “Why do I not see the hoopoe – or is he among the absent?

I will surely punish him with a severe punishment or slaughter him unless he brings me clear authorization.”

 But the hoopoe stayed not long and said, “I have encompassed [in knowledge] that which you have not encompassed, and I have come to you from Sheba with certain news.

Indeed, I found [there] a woman ruling them, and she has been given of all things, and she has a great throne.

I found her and her people prostrating to the sun instead of Allah , and Satan has made their deeds pleasing to them and averted them from [His] way, so they are not guided,

[And] so they do not prostrate to Allah, who brings forth what is hidden within the heavens and the earth and knows what you conceal and what you declare –

Allah – there is no deity except Him, Lord of the Great Throne.”

[Solomon] said, “We will see whether you were truthful or were of the liars.

Take this letter of mine and deliver it to them. Then leave them and see what

they will return.”
(Surah 27: 20-28)

The Queen Sends Gifts

She said, “O eminent ones, indeed, to me has been delivered a noble letter.

Indeed, it is from Solomon, and indeed, it reads: ‘In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,

 Be not haughty with me but come to me in submission [as Muslims].’ “

She said, “O eminent ones, advise me in my affair. I would not decide a matter until you witness [for] me.”

They said, “We are men of strength and of great military might, but the command is yours, so see what you will command.”

She said, “Indeed kings – when they enter a city, they ruin it and render the honored of its people humbled. And thus do they do.

But indeed, I will send to them a gift and see with what [reply] the messengers will return.”

So when they came to Solomon, he said, “Do you provide me with wealth? But what Allah has given me is better than what He has given you. Rather, it is you who rejoice in your gift.

Return to them, for we will surely come to them with soldiers that they will be powerless to encounter, and we will surely expel them therefrom in humiliation, and they will be debased.”
(Surah 27: 29-37)

The Queen Visits Solomon

[Solomon] said, “O assembly [of jinn], which of you will bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?”

A powerful one from among the jinn said, “I will bring it to you before you rise from your place, and indeed, I am for this [task] strong and trustworthy.”

 Said one who had knowledge from the Scripture, “I will bring it to you before your glance returns to you.” And when [Solomon] saw it placed before him, he said, “This is from the favor of my Lord to test me whether I will be grateful or ungrateful. And whoever is grateful – his gratitude is only for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever is ungrateful – then indeed, my Lord is Free of need and Generous.”

He said, “Disguise for her her throne; we will see whether she will be guided [to truth] or will be of those who is not guided.”

So when she arrived, it was said [to her], “Is your throne like this?” She said, “[It is] as though it was it.” [Solomon said], “And we were given knowledge before her, and we have been Muslims [in submission to Allah].And that which she was worshiping other than Allah had averted her [from submission to Him]. Indeed, she was from a disbelieving people.”

 She was told, “Enter the palace.” But when she saw it, she thought it was a body of water and uncovered her shins [to wade through]. He said, “Indeed, it is a palace [whose floor is] made smooth with glass.” She said, “My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, and I submit with Solomon to Allah, Lord of the worlds.”

(Surah 27: 38-44)

Jinns and Solomon (pbuh)

Solomon (pbuh)‘s public work was largely carried out by the jinns. This was a punishment for their sins of making people believe that they were all powerful, knew the unseen, and could foresee the future. As a prophet, it was Solomon (pbuh)‘s duty to remove such false beliefs from his followers.

Solomon (pbuh)’s Death

Solomon lived amidst glory, and all creatures were subjected to him. Then Allah the Exalted ordained for him to die. His life and death were full of wonders and miracles; thus, his death harmonized with his life and glory. His death, like his life, was unique. The people had to learn that the future is known neither by the jinns nor by the prophets, but by Allah (pbuh) alone. Solomon’s effort in this direction did not end with his life, for even his death became an example.

He was sitting holding his staff, overseeing the jinns at work in a mine. He died sitting in this position. For a long time no one was aware of his death, for he was seen sitting erect. The jinns continued with their strife and toil, thinking that Solomon (pbuh) was watching over them.

Many days later, a hungry ant began nibbling Solomon (pbuh)‘s staff. It continued to do so, eating the lower part of the staff, until it fell out of Solomon’s hand, and his great body fell to the ground. People hurried to him, realizing that he had died a long time ago and that the jinns did not perceive the unseen, for had the jinns known the unseen, they would not have kept working, and thinking that Solomon (pbuh) was alive.

Solomon (pbuh)’s Death

Allah the Exalted revealed:

And to Solomon [We subjected] the wind – its morning [journey was that of] a month – and its afternoon [journey was that of] a month, and We made flow for him a spring of [liquid] copper. And among the jinn were those who worked for him by the permission of his Lord. And whoever deviated among them from Our command – We will make him taste of the punishment of the Blaze.

They made for him what he willed of elevated chambers, statues, bowls like reservoirs, and stationary kettles. [We said], “Work, O family of David, in gratitude.” And few of My servants are grateful.

And when We decreed for Solomon death, nothing indicated to the jinn his death except a creature of the earth eating his staff. But when he fell, it became clear to the jinn that if they had known the unseen, they would not have remained in humiliating punishment.
(Surah 34: 12-14)

The Sabbath-Breakers


 The Sabbath-Breakers

Allah the Almighty says:

And ask them about the town that was by the sea – when they transgressed in [the matter of] the sabbath – when their fish came to them openly on their sabbath day, and the day they had no sabbath they did not come to them. Thus did We give them trial because they were defiantly disobedient.

And when a community among them said, “Why do you advise [or warn] a people whom Allah is [about] to destroy or to punish with a severe punishment?” they [the advisors] said, “To be absolved before your Lord and perhaps they may fear Him.”

And when they forgot that by which they had been reminded, We saved those who had forbidden evil and seized those who wronged, with a wretched punishment, because they were defiantly disobeying.

So when they were insolent about that which they had been forbidden, We said to them, “Be apes, despised.”

Al Quran (Al-A’raf 163-166)

 

And you had already known about those who transgressed among you concerning the sabbath, and We said to them, “Be apes, despised.” Al Quran (Al-Baqarah, 65, 66) 

{Or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath- breakers}.  Al Quran(An-Nisa’, 47)

Fishes in pond.

 

‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid,’ Ikrimah, Qatadah, As-Sadiy and others said: they were the people of Aylah. Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) added: it was located between Median and At- Tur. They said: the people of Aylah were adhering attentively to the teachings of the Torah and the prohibition of the Sabbath at that time (the prohibition of fishing on Saturdays).

Amazingly, the fish used to expose itself openly on Saturdays and disappear on the other days of the week, {when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath day, and did not come to them on the day they had no Sabbath}.

Almighty Allah says {Thus We made a trial of them}, i.e. We test them through sending great numbers of fish on the Sabbath. {for they used to rebel against Allah’s Command (disobey Allah)}, i.e. because of their disobedience and rebellion.

When they saw this, they made a trick to catch the fish on the Sabbath. They fixed their fishing nets and ropes and excavated streams allowing the sea water to run through and the fish to get in but never go back to the sea. They made all this on Friday, in preparation for the coming of the fish on Saturday. And thus, the fish came on the supposedly-peaceful day (knowing not what has been prepared against them). They were caught in the nets, ropes and artificial streams.

When the Saturday came to an end, the people of Aylah were present to take their fat catch. Consequently, Allah the Almighty was angry with them and He cursed them because of their trickery and deception. When this was done by a group thereof, the rest who did not participate in their sinful acting were divided into two sects: a sect that rejected their acting and trickery against the Law and Command of Allah the Almighty at that time.

The second sect did not reject or forbid them, rather they disapproved of the reaction of the sect that forbade the sinful ones saying: {Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is about to destroy or to punish with a severe torment?}, i.e. what is the gain in preaching to a people whom will inevitably be punished by Allah the Almighty? But, the second sect (the preachers) replied saying: {In order to be free from guilt before your Lord (Allah)}, i.e. as we are commanded by Him to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil; thus, we observe this for our fear of His Torment{And perhaps they may fear Allah}, i.e. perhaps those who made these sins may repent to Allah and regret what they have done and thus be saved from the punishment of Allah and that He forgives them all.

Allah the Almighty says: {So when they forgot the remindings that had been given to them}, i.e. were heedless towards the godly preachers, {We rescued those who forbade evil}, i.e. the preaching sect, but {We seized those who did wrong}, i.e. doers of the sinful deed, {with a severe torment}, i.e. a painful punishment, {because they used to rebel against Allah’s Command (disobey Allah)}. Then, Allah explained the torment that befell them saying, {So when they exceeded the limits of what they were prohibited, We said to them: “Be you monkeys, despised and rejected}.

Here, the point is that Allah the Almighty informed us that He destroyed the wrong-doers, saved the preaching believers and left the believers who did not practice enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. Scholars disputed regarding the third group. Some said they were granted salvation. And others said that they were destroyed with the wrong-doers. But, the first view is the accepted one by the well-versed scholars, including Ibn ‘Abbas -head of the interpreters – who referred to this opinion on a debate with his master ‘lkrimah who -upon the victory of Ibn ‘Abbas – granted him a valuable garment as a reward.

It should be noted here that the third group were not mentioned with those given salvation even though they despised the sinful deed, with their hearts, because they should have compelled their organs (hand or tongue) to act thereupon and declare their rejection of the wrong-doers’ act. So, they were saved with the preachers because they themselves did not commit the sinful deed, rather they rejected it with their hearts.

Narrated ‘Abdur Razzaq after Juraij after a man (whose name is not known) after ‘Ikrimah after Ibn ‘Abbas; and Malik transmitted from Ibn Ruman, Shaiban, Qatadah and ‘Ata ‘Al-Kharasani what means: Those who committed the sinful deed were abandoned by the rest of the people of the town. Some of them declared their rejection and denial of their deed. They did not listen to the preachers. Afterwards, they used to stay the night apart from the rest of the people of the town and there were doors or barriers between them and the rest of the people who were anticipating the befalling of punishment over them.

One day, their doors did not open till the noon. The people got anxious and sent one of them to see what happened to them from above the barrier. When he looked he found them turned into monkeys with tails, shouting. They opened the doors (barrier) and the monkeys recognized their relatives while their relatives could not recognize them. Thereupon, the preachers said: Did not we forbid you from doing this? The monkeys made a sign with their heads denoting: Yes. Then, ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) wept and said: verily, we see many wrong-doings which we do not reject or deny or even make a comment!

 

[From “Stories of Quran by Ibn kathir”]

Barsisa the Worshiper


Barsisa the Worshiper (The Renegade)

Allah the Almighty says in His Glorious Qur’an:

{(Their allies deceived them) like Shaitan (Satan), when he says to man: “Disbelieve in Allah.” But when (man) disbelieves in Allah, Shaitan (Satan) says: “I am free of you, I fear Allah, the Lord of the `Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists)!” So the end of both will be that they will be in the Fire, abiding therein. Such is the recompense of the Zalimun (i.e. polytheists, wrong-doers, disbelievers in Allah and in His Oneness)}. (Al-Hashr, 16, 17)

Ibn Jarir said that ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud interpreted the Qur’anic Verse that reads: {(Their allies deceived them) like Shaitan (Satan), when he says to man: “Disbelieve in Allah.” But when (man) disbelieves in Allah, Shaitan (Satan) says: “I am free of you, I fear Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists)!” So the end of both will be that they will be in the Fire, abiding therein. Such is the recompense of the Zalimun (i.e. polytheists, wrong-doers, disbelievers in Allah and in His Oneness)}. (Al-Hashr, 16, 17)

Deception of Satan

Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) said:

Grazing sheep.

Once upon a time, there was a woman grazing sheep and goats. She had four brothers. She (for some reason) used to spend the night at a monk’s cell. The monk committed adultery with her and she got pregnant. Satan came to him and said: Kill the woman and then bury her for you are a reputable and highly respected man (i.e. don’t risk your own reputation for such a simple woman). The monk killed her and then buried her. Thereupon, Satan visited her four brothers in a dream while they were asleep and said to them: the monk committed adultery with your sister, and because she got pregnant, he killed her and buried her in such-and-such location. In the morning, one of them said: “By Allah! Last night I dreamt of something and I do not know whether to relate it to you or just keep it to myself?” They said: Relate it to us. He did so and one of them said: By Allah! I saw the same dream. Another said the same. And the fourth one said the same thing. They agreed on that there must be something serious about that dream. They went to the king and appealed for his help against the monk. The king’s troops came to arrest him and he was taken away. On the way, Satan came to the monk (and whispered in his ears): I set you up. No one else can save you from this. Prostrate yourself before me just for once and in return, I will save you from this. Thereupon, the monk prostrated himself before Satan. When they presented themselves before the king, Satan said to him: I am free of you! Finally, the monk was killed.

The same story was narrated by the Leader of the Believers, ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib (May Allah be pleased with him) in another wording. Ibn Jarir said: I was told by Khallad Ibn Aslam, on the authority of An-Nadr Ibn Shamil after Shu’bah, after Abu Ishaq, after ‘Abdullah Ibn Nahik saying: I heard ‘Ali as saying: A monk worshiped Allah alone for sixty years. Satan exerted himself to seduce him, but could not. He went to a woman and touched her with evil (maddened her). The woman had brothers whom were visited by Satan who told them to take her to that monk to receive treatment and cure. They took her to the monk and he treated her. Afterwards, she stayed for a while at his cell (house). One day, he was attracted to her and he committed adultery with her. She got pregnant and he killed her (to conceal his first crime). Her brothers came (after knowing the matter) and Satan appeared again for the monk and said: I am your friend, I did not find a solution or way to mislead you, but (finally) I set you up. So, obey me and I will save you from this. Prostrate yourself before me and you will be saved. The monk did so. Then, Satan said: {“I am free of you, I fear Allah, the Lord of the`Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists)! “}. (Al- Hashr, 16)

This is the interpretation of Allah’s Saying: {(Their allies deceived them) like Shaitan (Satan), when he says to man: “Disbelieve in Allah.” But when (man) disbelieves in Allah, Shaitan (Satan) says: “I am free of you, I fear Allah, the Lord of the” Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists)!” So the end of both will be that they will be in the Fire, abiding therein. Such is the recompense of the Zalimun (i.e. polytheists, wrong-doers, disbelievers in Allah and in His Oneness)}. (Al-Hashr, 16, 17)

The Miraculous Sleep


  People of the Cave

 

People of Cave

Allah the Almighty says: says:

{Do you think that the people of the Cave and the Inscription (the news or the names of the people of the Cave) were a wonder among Our Signs? (Remember) when the young men fled for refuge (from their disbelieving folk) to the Cave.

They said: “Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!” Therefore, We covered up their (sense of) hearing (causing them to go in deep sleep) in the Cave for a number of years.

Then We raised them up (from their sleep), that We might test which of the two parties was best at calculating the time period that they had tarried. We narrate unto you (0 Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) their story with truth: Truly they were young men who believed in their Lord (Allah), and We increased them in guidance.

And We made their hearts firm and strong (with the light of Faith in Allah and bestowed upon them patience to bear the separation of their kith and kin and dwellings.) when they stood up and said: “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, never shall we call upon any llah (god) other than Him,’ if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity in disbelief.”These our people have taken for worship alihah (gods) other than Him (Allah). Why do they not bring for them a clear authority? And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah.

(The young men said to one another): “And when you withdraw from them, and that which they worship, except Allah, then seek refuge in the Cave; your Lord will open a way for you from His Mercy and will make easy for you your affair (i.e. will give you what you will need of provision, dwelling).” And you might have seen the sun, when it rose, declining to the right from their Cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left, while they lay in the midst of the Cave.

That is (one) of the Ayat (proofs, evidences, signs) of Allah. He whom Allah guides, he is the rightly guided,’ but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no Wali (guiding friend) to lead him (to the Right Path). And you would have thought them awake, whereas they were asleep. And We turned them on their right and on their left sides, and their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the entrance [of the Cave or in the space near to the entrance of the Cave (as a guard at the gate)]. Had you looked at them, you would certainly have turned back from them in flight, and would certainly have been filled with awe of them.

Likewise, We awakened them (from their long deep sleep) that they might question one another. A speaker from among them said: “How long have you stayed (here)?” They said: “We have stayed (perhaps) a day or part of a day.” They said: “Your Lord (Alone) knows best how long you have stayed (here). So send one of you with this silver coin of yours to the town, and let him find out which is the good lawful food, and bring some of that to you.

And let him be careful and let no man know of you. “For, if they come to know of you, they will stone you (to death or abuse and harm you) or turn you back to their religion; and in that case you will never be successful.” And thus We made their case known (to the people), that they might know that the Promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour.

(Remember) when they (the people of the city) disputed among themselves about their case, they said: “Construct a building over them,. their Lord knows best about them,.” (then) those who won their point said (most probably the disbelievers): “We verily shall build a place of worship over them.” (Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; and (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth, guessing at the unseen; (yet others) say they were seven, and the dog being the eighth.

Say (0 Muhammad (Peace be upon him)): “My Lord knows best their number; none knows them but a few.” So debate not (about their number) except with the clear proof (which We have revealed to you). And consult not any of them (people of the Scripture –Jews and Christians) about (the affair on the people of the Cave.

And never say of anything, “I shall do such and such thing tomorrow.” Except (with the saying), “if Allah will!” And remember your Lord when you forget and say: “It may be that my Lord guides me unto a nearer way of truth than this.”

And they stayed in their Cave three hundred (solar) years, adding nine (for lunar years). Say: “Allah knows best how long they stayed. With Him is (the knowledge on the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. How clearly He sees, and hears (everything)! They have no Wali (Helper, Disposer of affairs, Protector) other than Him, and He makes none to share in His Decision and His Rule.”(Al-Kahf, 9-26)

The reason behind the revelation of these verses and those relating the story of Dhul-Qarnain was cited by Muhammad Ibn Ishaq in his biography of the Prophet (pbuh): that the people of Quraish sent to the Jews asking them for things to test the Prophet (Peace be upon him) with. The Jews said: ask him about a group of people who disappeared in the past and none has any knowledge about them; about a man who traveled through the land; and about Ar-Ruh (the Spirit). Thereupon, Almighty Allah revealed His Statement, {And they ask you (0 Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) concerning the Ruh (the Spirit); Say: “The Ruh (the Spirit) is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord. And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little”} (Al-Isra‘, 85) and, {And they ask you about Dhul-Qarnain. Say (0 Muhammad (Peace be upon him)): “I shall recite to you something of his story”}(Al-Kahf, 83) and here He says{Do you think that the people of the Cave and “Ar-Raqim” the Inscription (the news or the names of the people of the Cave) were a wonder among Our Signs?}, i.e. they are not more amazing than what We have given you of the great news, astonishing signs and gigantic wonders.

However, a cave is a hole in the mountain. Mentioned Shu’ aib Al-Jiba’i: their cave was called “Haizam”. As for “Ar-Raqim”, Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I do not know what it means! Some scholars such as Ibn Jarir and others said: it is the record where their news and names are written thereafter. It was also said: it is the name of the mountain their cave was in. However, many other things were said pertaining to this, but the knowledge thereof rests only with Allah the Almighty Who knows the best! Shu’aib Al-Jiba’i said: their dog was called “Himran”.

The fact that the Jews knew about them nullifies the claim of some interpreters that they were after Jesus (Peace be upon him) and that they were Christians. However, it is clear that their people were idol-worshippers. Many interpreters and historians said that they lived during the lifetime of a king called “Diqyanus” and that they were sons of some nobles or kings.

They met on a feast day and saw the rituals their people were performing in Worship of the idols. At this very moment, Allah removed the veils from their hearts and they realized that their people were wrong-doers. Consequently, they deserted the religion of their people and resorted to the worship of Allah Alone. It is also said: that each one of them when guided by Allah to the True Religion, abandoned his people and they coincidentally gathered in one place.

Imam Muslim transmitted in his Sahih the following Prophetic Hadith which supports that meaning: “Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) as saying: Souls are troops collected together and those who familiarized with each other (in the heaven from where these come) would have affinity, with one another (in the world) and those amongst them who opposed each other (in the Heaven) would also be divergent (in the world).” That, they asked one another about their affair and hence, they agreed on deserting and abandoning their people and fleeing with their true religion.

Allah the Almighty says:

It is We who relate to you, [O Muhammad], their story in truth. Indeed, they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.And We made firm their hearts when they stood up and said, “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Never will we invoke besides Him any deity. We would have certainly spoken, then, an excessive transgression.These, our people, have taken besides Him deities. Why do they not bring for [worship of] them a clear authority? And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allah a lie?” (Al-Kahf, 13-15)

“Clear authority” here means obvious evidence or proof. {And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah. (The young men said to one another): “And when you withdraw from them, and that which they worship, except Allah,} (Al-Kahf, 15, 16) i.e. when you deserted them and their idols that they used to worship others instead of Allah the Almighty.

Our Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) said: {And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) said to his father and his people: “Verily, I am innocent of what you worship, except Him (i.e. Allah Alone I worship none) Who did create me; and verily He will guide me “}. (Az-Zukhruf, 26, 27) Thus, some of these young men said: as you did desert your people’s religion, you should also desert them in body and figure so as to be safe from the possibility that their evil may touches you, {then seek refuge in the Cave,. your Lord will open a way for you from His Mercy and will make easy for you your affair (i.e. will give you what you will need of provision, dwelling)}, (Al-Kahf, 16) i.e. Allah will draw on you His cover, protect you and reward you with the best of all rewards.

Then, Allah described the cave to which they resorted stating that its door is to the north saying: {And you might have seen the sun, when it rose, declining to the right from their Cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left}, i.e. the sun rises on the western side of their cave, then it declines to the right side thereof. And, when it sets its rays come towards the cave from its eastern side. Here, the wisdom is that the sun enters their cave on its rising and setting in order to refresh the air from time to time. {While they lay in the midst of the Cave. That is (one) of the Ayat (proofs, evidences, signs) of Allah}, i.e. their stay on this state for a very long period of time without eating and drinking is one of the Signs of Allah and a proof of His Magnificent Ability.

And you might have seen the sun, when it rose, declining to the right from their Cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left

{He whom Allah guides, he is the rightly guided,. but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no Wali (guiding friend) to lead him (to the Right Path). And you would have thought them awake, whereas they were asleep}, for their eyes were open in order to be kept sound. {And We turned them on their right and on their left sides}, it was said: they used to be turned from one side to the other once every year. However, the number of the turnings is known only to Allah the Almighty who knows best!

Allah the Almighty says: {And their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the entrance [of the Cave or in the space near to the entrance of the Cave (as a guard at the gate)]}, i.e. their dog which accompanied them when they abandoned their people did not enter the cave with them, instead, it stayed at the entrance stretching forth his two forelegs there at. This is for it was highly disciplined and also as a sign of honor to them because the angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog. Thus, the dog was blessed because he was in their company. However, many tales and narrations were invented with regard to the dog’s name and color.

Scholars differed on the location of this cave. Some of them said: It is in the land of Aylah (i.e. Jerusalem). Others said: It is in the land of Ninawa. And others said: it is in the Sham (Syrian territories) which is more proper and Allah knows best![1] After Allah the Almighty gave us perfect and complete description of them and made us as seeing them, He said: {Had you looked at them, you would certainly have turned back from them in flight, and would certainly have been filled with awe of them}, i.e. because of the dignity and loftiness of their appearance. The addressed here is not only Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) but also all mankind because it is a human nature to feel awe when seeing a magnificent or dignified thing.

Then, Allah the Almighty awakened them (from their long deep sleep) after three-hundred and nine years; then a speaker from among them said: {“How long have you stayed (here)?” They said: “We have stayed (perhaps) a day or part of a day.” They said: “Your Lord (Alone) knows best how long you have stayed (here). So send one of you with this silver coin of yours to the town} the coins they had were called “Dafsus”. {And let him find out which is the good lawful food, and bring some of that to you}, i.e. to eat thereof.

This is a sign of their piety and god-fearing. {And let him be careful} during entering that town {and let no man know of you. For, if they come to know of you, they will stone you (to death or abuse and harm you) or turn you back to their religion; and in that case you will never be successful}, i.e. if you turn back to their religion after you are saved by Allah the Almighty.

All this because they thought they slept a day or part of a day, and they did not imagine to have slept for more than three-hundred years. The period in which almost everything have changed and their generation passed away and other generations inhabited the land.

Thus, when one of them went to the town to get the food, he feared that the people would recognize him, so he disguised. Instead, the town and its people found him to be a stranger and feared that he might be a spy or that he could harm them in any way. Some scholars said that he escaped from them. But, others said: he informed them with the news and took them to the cave to see his companions.

When they approached the cave, he entered it and told his companions all about the period they spent sleeping in the cave and they confessed it to be the Divine Decree of Allah the Almighty. It was said: They went on sleeping; and others said: They all fell dead.

As for the people of the city, it was said that they could not see their place in the cave. Or, they could not enter the cave because of their cowardice, or feeling their lofty dignity. However, they (the people of the city) disputed among themselves about their case, some of them said: {Construct a building over them}, i.e. block the cave’s gate to prevent them from getting out or anyone from touching them with harm. But, those who won their point said: that will be blessed because its nearness to these righteous and godly people.

This was common in the previous eras and periods prior to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). But, Islam rejects this deed (building places of worship over the graves of anyone even if it is a Prophet): the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of their Prophets.” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was warning (Muslims) against what the previous nations used to do with the graves of their pious people.

Allah the Almighty says: {And thus We made their case known (to the people), that they might know that the Promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour}, i.e. to let the people know that resurrection is true and that there can be no doubt about the Hour if they know that these young men slept for more than three- hundred years then they were awaken unchanged.

So, He Who kept them in this state all that period, is capable to resurrect and give life again to the dead bodies after they undergo decomposition. Really, the believers do not doubt this in the least: {Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, ‘Be!’ -and it is!}. (Ya-Sin, 82)

Then, He says: {(Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them,’ and (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth, guessing at the unseen,’ (yet others) say they were seven, and the dog being the eighth}, as Allah cited the dispute of the people among themselves as to their number.He cited three sayings, the first two He refuted and the third He stated, a matter which indicates that the third is the true one. However, Allah guided His Prophet (Peace be upon him) to the good manners to be followed in such a case: that one should say “Allah knows best!” For this, Allah the Almighty says: {My Lord knows best their number}.

His Statement: {None knows them but a few}, from among the people. (So debate not (about their number) except with the clear proof (which We have revealed to you)}, i.e. an easy debate and do not exert yourself in such matters.

{And consult not any of them (people of the Scripture -Jews and Christians) about (the affair or) the people of the Cave}, as He concealed their number from the very beginning of the story, saying: {Truly they were young men who believed in their Lord (Allah)}. (Al-Kahf, 13) So, if there was any benefit in mentioning their number, Allah the Almighty would certainly revealed it to us from the very beginning!

Allah the Almighty says: {And never say of anything, “I shall do such and such thing tomorrow.” Except (with the saying), “if Allah will!” And remember your Lord when you forget and say: “It may be that my Lord guides me unto a nearer way of truth than this “}, this is a great and high moral lesson taught by Allah the Almighty that when anyone wishes to do something, he should say “If Allah wills”, because man cannot know what is hidden with Allah for tomorrow or for the future.

Allah the Almighty says: {And remember your Lord when you forget}, for forgetting may be caused by the Devil, and remembering Allah gets the Devil out of one’s heart and thus he remembers what he has forgotten. {And say: “It may be that my Lord guides me unto a nearer way of truth than this”}, i.e. if there were controversies and disputes about something, one should resort to Allah Who can facilitate it and make it so easy. Then, Allah the Almighty says: {And they stayed in their Cave three hundred (solar) years, adding nine}, i.e. for lunar years. {Say: Allah knows best how long they stayed}, i.e. if you are asked about this and you do not know exactly the answer, you should only attribute the matter to Allah the Almighty {With Him is (the knowledge on the Unseen of the heavens and the earth}, i.e. He knows the Unseen and gives knowledge thereof to none but Whom He wishes from among His creatures; {How clearly He sees, and hears (everything)!}, i.e. He puts everything in its proper place with His Perfect Knowledge and Justice. Then, He says: {They have no Wali (Helper, Disposer of affairs, Protector) other than Him, and He makes none to share in His Decision and His Rule}, i.e. He is the only Disposer of affairs and He is the King Who rules over everything.


[1] In the sixties, an archaeologist called Muhammad Tayseer Zabyan discovered a cave in Jordan, six miles away from Amman, in a region called” Ar-Rajeeb” whose description goes with that which is mentioned in the verses. The great scholar, Abu Al-A’ la Al-Maududi visited it and agreed with many scholars who viewed the same opinion. And, I myself visited it in 1986. (Majdi M. Ash-Shahawi)

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