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)

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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]

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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The fate of arrogant Korah (Qarun)


 The Story of Qarun (Korah)

Qarun had a great treasure

Allah the Almighty says:


{Verily, Qarun (Korah) was of Musa‘s (Moses) people, but he behaved arrogantly towards them. And We gave him of the treasures, that of which the keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men. Remember when his people said to him: “Do not exult (with riches, being ungrateful to Allah). Verily Allah likes not those who exult (with riches, being ungrateful to Allah). “But seek with that (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world,’ and do good as Allah has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allah likes not the Mufsidun (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupters).” He said: “This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I possess.” Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him generations, men who were stronger than him in might and greater in the amount (of riches) they had collected? But the Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) will not be questioned of their sins (because Allah knows them well, so they will be punished without being called to account). So he went forth before his people in his pomp. Those who were desirous of the life of the world, said: “Ah, would that we had the like of what Qarun (Korah) has been given! Verily he is the owner of a great fortune.” But those who had been given (religious) knowledge said: “Woe to you! The Reward of Allah (in the Hereafter) is better for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and this none shall attain except those who are As-Sabirun (the patient in following the truth). “So We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place. Then he had no group or party to help him against Allah, nor was he one of those who could save themselves. And those who had desired (for a position like) his position the day before, began to say: “Know you not that it is Allah Who enlarges the provision or restricts it to whomsoever He pleases of His slaves. Had it not been that Allah was Gracious to us, He could have caused the earth to swallow us up (also)! Know you not that the disbelievers will never be successful.” That home of the Hereafter (i.e. Paradise), We shall assign to those who rebel not against the truth with pride and oppression in the land nor do mischief by committing crimes. And the good end is for the Muttaqun (the pious and righteous persons)}. (Al-Qasas, 76-83)

Remains of Qarun’s castle, Egypt

Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) held the opinion that Qarun (Koran) was a paternal cousin to Musa (Peace be upon him). This view is supported by many other narrators, including Ibn Juraij who added that he is Qarun Ibn Yashar Ibn Qahith, while Musa was the son of `Imran Ibn Hafith. Ibn Juraij went further and rejected the viewpoint of Ibn Ishaq that he was a paternal uncle to Musa (Peace be upon him).

Qatadah said: He was called “An-Nur” (the light) for he had a melodious voice while reciting the Torah (Taurat), but he became a hypocrite just like As-Samiri who became a hypocrite too. Thus, Qarun was destroyed because of his transgression due to the wealth and riches he had.

Shahr Ibn Haushab said: he dragged his garment out of pride and arrogance (conceit).

Allah the Almighty mentioned the numerousness of his wealth and riches so that its keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men. It was also said: the keys were made of leather and that they used to be carried on sixty mules. Allah knows best!

However, he was advised by the godly men from among his people saying: {Do not exult} i.e. do not be arrogant or conceited with riches, being ungrateful to Allah the Almighty. {Verily Allah likes not those who exult (with riches, being ungrateful to Allah). “But seek with that (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter} they advise him to direct his endeavors to gain Allah’s Reward in the Hereafter as it is the best of all rewards. But, {and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world},i.e. take thereof with your money what is made lawful to you and have the possible lawful joys of this present life. And {do good as Allah has been good to you}, i.e. do good to the creation of Allah Who has been good to you. And {seek not mischief in the land}, i.e. do not harm the people regarding whom you were commanded to do good. If you harm them, He will punish you and take back what He has granted you {Verily, Allah likes not the Mufsidun (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupters)}. His answer to this good advice of his people was nothing but: {He said: This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I possess}, i.e. I do not need what you have said or referred to, as Allah only gave me this for He knew that I deserve it and I am really qualified thereto. Moreover, were it not for that He loves me, He would not grant or give me this.

However, Allah the Almighty refuted his statement saying: {Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him generations, men who were stronger than him in might and greater in the amount (of riches) they had collected? But the Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) will not be questioned of their sins (because Allah knows them well, so they will be punished without being called to account)}, i.e. We have destroyed before him generations because of their sins and bad deeds and that they were stronger than Qarun and they had more riches and children than him. So, if what he said was true, We would not punish anyone of those who had more riches than him and his wealth and riches would not be a proof of Our love or care for him.

Allah the Almighty says: {And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us (i.e. please Allah), but only he who believes (in the Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds (will please Us),. as for such, there will be twofold reward for what they did, and they will reside in the high dwellings Paradise) in peace and security}. (Saba’, 37) and, He says: {Do they think that in wealth and children with which We enlarge them. We hasten unto them with good things. Nay, [it is a Fitnah (trial) in this worldly life so that they will have no share of good things in the Hereafter] but they perceive not}. (Al-Mu’minun, 55,56).

Allah’s answer to Qarun’s claims confirms our interpretation of his saying, {This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I possess}. But as for those who claimed that he was a chemist or that he knew the Greatest Name of Allah the Almighty and that he used it to collect wealth, all these are fallacies and not true. For chemistry cannot change the reality of something, and the Greatest Name is of no effect if it is pronounced by a disbeliever. And, Qarun was inherently a disbeliever and apparently a hypocrite. Moreover, the context of the advice given by his people and his answer to them do not support that claim.

Almighty Allah says: {So he went forth before his people in his pomp}, many interpreters mentioned that he went forth before his people in great luxuries (servants, clothes and riding animals). When those who were desirous of the life of the world saw him, they wished to have the same and wondered “what a great fortune he has!” When their saying reached the ears of the godly righteous men they said to them: {Woe to you! The Reward of Allah is better for those who believe and do righteous good deeds}, i.e. the Reward of Allah in the Hereafter is better and higher than this.

Almighty Allah says: {and this none shall attain except those who are As-Sabirun (the patient in following the truth)}, i.e. this -advice, saying and high determination regarding the Hereafter in presence of the joys of this present life -none shall attain except those who were guided and those whose hearts were fixed and minds made stable by the Grace of Allah the Almighty. And, nothing is better than the saying of some of our earlier scholars who said: “Verily, Allah loves penetrative insight in time of suspicious matters and perfect reasoning in time of the presence of lusts”.

Allah the Almighty says: {So, We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place. Then, he had no group or party to help him against Allah, nor was he one of those who could save themselves}, when Allah the Almighty mentioned his setting forth in his pomp, He said {So, We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place}. As transmitted by Imam Al-Bukhari, Allah’s Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “While a man was walking, clad in a two-piece garment and proud of himself with his hair well-combed, suddenly Allah made him sink into the earth and he will go on sinking into it till the Day of Resurrection. ” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Allah the Almighty says: {Then he had no group or party to help him against Allah, nor was he one of those who could save themselves}, i.e. he could not help himself or get help from others. Allah the Almighty states: {Then he will have no power, nor any helper}. (At-Tariq, 10) When the people saw what happened to Qarun and his treasures of sinking into the earth and complete destruction, those who had desired for a position like his position the day before regretted and thanked Allah the Almighty and hence they said: {Had it not been that Allah was Gracious to us, He could have caused the earth to swallow us up (also)! Know you not that the disbelievers will never be successful}.

Then, Allah the Almighty informs us that {That home of the Hereafter}, i.e. Paradise is prepared only for those {who rebel not against the truth with pride and oppression in the land nor do mischief by committing crimes} and then He says: {And the good end is for the Muttaqun (the pious and righteous persons)}.

This story of Qarun might have taken place before they get out of Egypt for Allah the Almighty says: {So, We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place}, or it might have taken place after that during the Diaspora. Allah knows best!

However, Almighty Allah mentions the dispraise of Qarun in several Verses on the Glorious Qur’an. Allah says: {And indeed We sent Musa (Moses) with Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, .verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), and a manifest authority. To Fir’aun (Pharaoh), Haman and Qarun (Korah), but they called (him): “A sorcerer, a liar!”}. (Ghafir, 23, 24) and, in Surah Al-‘Ankabut after mentioning ‘Ad, Thamud, Pharaoh, Haman and Qarun, He says: {And (We destroyed also) Qarun (Korah), Fir’aun (Pharaoh), and Haman. And indeed Musa (Moses) came to them with lessons, clear Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, signs, revelations, etc.), but they were arrogant in the land, yet they could not outstrip Us (escape Our punishment). So, We punished each (of them) for his sins,. of them were some on whom We sent Hasib (a violent wind with shower of stones) [as on the people of Lut (Lot)], and of them were some who were overtaken by As-Saihah [torment -awful cry, (as Thamud or Shu’aib’s People)], and of them were some whom We caused the earth to swallow [as Qarun (Korah)], and of them were some whom We drowned [as the people ofNuh (Noah), or Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and his-people]. It was not Allah Who wronged them, but they wronged themselves}. (Al-‘Ankabut, 39, 40) so, he who was swallowed by the earth was Qarun, and those whom were drowned were Pharaoh, Haman and their troops because they were sinful.

Imam Ahmed, in his Musnad, reported that once the Prophet (Peace be upon him) remembered the prayer and said: “He who observes it regularly and properly, it will be light, evidence and salvation for him on the Day of Resurrection. And, he who does not observe it regularly and properly, there will neither be -for him -light, nor evidence, nor salvation. And, on the Day of Resurrection, he will be (gathered) with Qarun, Fir’aun (Pharaoh), Haman and Ubaiy Ibn Khalaf”.

 

Dwellers of the Town


In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

Allah the Almighty says:

﴿وَاضْرِبْ لَهُمْ مَّثَلاً أَصْحَـبَ القَرْيَةِ إِذْ جَآءَهَا الْمُرْسَلُونَ – إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا فَعَزَّزْنَا بِثَالِثٍ فَقَالُواْ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ مُّرْسَلُونَ – قَالُواْ مَآ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا وَمَآ أَنَزلَ الرَّحْمَـنُ مِن شَىْءٍ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ تَكْذِبُونَ – قَالُواْ رَبُّنَا يَعْلَمُ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ لَمُرْسَلُونَ – وَمَا عَلَيْنَآ إِلاَّ الْبَلَـغُ الْمُبِينُ ﴿قَالُواْ إِنَّا تَطَيَّرْنَا بِكُمْ لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهُواْ لَنَرْجُمَنَّكُمْ وَلَيَمَسَّنَّكُمْ مِّنَّا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴾

﴿قَالُواْ طَـئِرُكُم مَّعَكُمْ أَءِن ذُكِّرْتُم بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُونَ ﴾

﴿وَجَآءَ مِنْ أَقْصَى الْمَدِينَةِ رَجُلٌ يَسْعَى قَالَ يقَوْمِ اتَّبِعُواْ الْمُرْسَلِينَ – اتَّبِعُواْ مَن لاَّ يَسْـَلُكُمْ أَجْراً وَهُمْ مُّهْتَدُونَ – وَمَا لِىَ لاَ أَعْبُدُ الَّذِى فَطَرَنِى وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ – أَءَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِهِ ءَالِهَةً إِن يُرِدْنِ الرَّحْمَـنُ بِضُرٍّ لاَّ تُغْنِ عَنِّى شَفَـعَتُهُمْ شَيْئاً وَلاَ يُنقِذُونَ – إِنِّى إِذاً لَّفِى ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ – إِنِّى ءَامَنتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ فَاسْمَعُونِ ﴾

(قِيلَ ادْخُلِ الْجَنَّةَ قَالَ يلَيْتَ قَوْمِى يَعْلَمُونَ – بِمَا غَفَرَ لِى رَبِّى وَجَعَلَنِى مِنَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ – وَمَآ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِن بَعْدِهِ مِن جُندٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ وَمَا كُنَّا مُنزِلِينَ – إِن كَانَتْ إِلاَّ صَيْحَةً وَحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ خَـمِدُونَ ﴾

{And put forward to them a similitude: the (story of the) dwellers of the town, when there came Messengers to them. When We sent to them two Messengers, they belied them both; so We reinforced them with a third, and they said: “Verily we have been sent to you as Messengers.” They (people of the town) said: “You are only human beings like ourselves and the Most Gracious (Allah) has revealed nothing. You are only telling lies.” The Messengers said: “Our Lord knows that we have been sent as Messengers to you.” And our duty is only to convey plainly (the Message).” They (people) said: “For us, we see an evil omen from you: if you cease not, we will surely stone you, and a painful torment will touch you from us.”They (Messengers) said: “Your evil omens be with you! (Do you call it “evil omen”) because you are admonished? Nay, but you are a people Musrifun (transgressing all bounds by committing all kinds of great sins, and by disobeying Allah). And there came a man running from the farthest part of the town. He said: “O my people! Obey the Messengers. ” “Obey those who ask no wages of you (for themselves), and who are rightly guided. “And why should I not worship Him (Allah Alone) Who has created me and to Whom you shall be returned.” “Shall I take besides Him alihah (gods)? If the Most Gracious (Allah) intends me any harm, their intercession will be of no use for me whatsoever, nor can they save me?” “Then verily, I should be in plain error.” “Verily! I have believed in your Lord, so listen to me!” It was said (to him when the disbelievers killed him): “Enter Paradise.” He said: “Would that my people knew. “That my Lord (Allah) has forgiven me, and made me of the honored ones!” And We sent not against his people after him a host from the heaven, nor was it needful for Us to send (such a thing). It was but one Saihah (shout) and lo! They (all) were still (silent, dead, destroyed)}. (Al Qur’an-36:13-29)

‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas, Ka’b Al-Ahbar and Wahb Ibn Munabih and many others narrated a story of a town called Antioch (Antakiyah), governed by the king Antikhis Ibn Antikhis. This king used to observe idol worship. Allah Almighty sent him three Messengers whom he severely belied. The Messengers were: Sadiq, Masduq and Shalom.

It is evidently apparent that they were Messengers sent by Allah the Almighty. Qatadah claimed them to be messengers sent by Jesus Christ. The same view was held by Ibn Jarir after Wahb after Ibn Sulaiman after Shu’ aib Al-Jiba’i who added that: those messengers were called: Shimon, Jonah and Paul and the town was called Antioch. This view is groundless because the people of Antioch – when received three of the disciples of Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him) -were the first to believe in him at that very time. Thereupon, Antioch was one of the first four towns in which there first existed Christian Patriarchs. These four towns were Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Rome. However, the people of these towns were not destroyed, whereas the people of the aforementioned town in the Qur’anic verses were totally annihilated, following the killing of their companion whom Allah sent to admonish them. Allah the Almighty says: {It was but one Saihah (shout) and lo! They (all) were still (silent, dead and destroyed)}. (36:29) There is no contradiction between the two interpretations, if the case was that the three Messengers of Allah were sent to the earlier dwellers of Antioch and that they were belied, the matter which incurred complete destruction. Then, their land was re-inhabited and during the lifetime of Jesus (Peace be upon him) the new dwellers believed in his three messengers.

The claim that the story mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an is that of the messengers of Jesus (Peace be upon him) is very absurd and groundless. Obviously, the context shows that they, the Messengers were sent by Allah the Almighty.

Allah the Almighty says: {And put forward to them a similitude} i.e. for your people 0 Muhammad (Peace be upon him). {The (story of the) dwellers of the town, when there came Messengers to them. When We sent to them two Messengers, they belied them both, so We reinforced them with a third} i.e. We supported them with a third Messenger, {and they said: Verily we have been sent to you as Messengers}. The people of the town said that the Messengers were only human beings and they set aside the idea that Allah Almighty might send human beings as His Messengers to mankind. The Messengers asserted that Allah knows that they have been sent to them and that if they lie to Him, He would certainly give them the severest of all punishment. They added: {our duty is only to convey plainly (the Message)} i.e. what they were sent with and that guidance and misleading are in the Hand of Allah the Almighty Alone. {They (people) said: For us, we see an evil omen from you} i.e. from what you have brought us. {If you cease not, we will surely stone you} with bad words and stones as well; {and a painful torment will touch you from us} i.e. they threatened them with afflicting humiliation (bad words) and killing (stoning to death). {They (Messengers) said: Your evil omens be with you!} i.e. they will badly affect you. {(Do you call it “evil omen “) because you are admonished?} i.e. because we reminded you with guidance and invited you to it you threatened us with killing and afflicting humiliation. {Nay, but you are a people Musrifun} i.e. you transgress all bounds by committing all kinds of sinful deeds, and by disobeying Allah.

Allah the Almighty says: {And there came a man running from the farthest part of the town} to support the Messengers and to declare his faith in them. {He said: O my people! Obey the Messengers. Obey those who ask no wages of you (for themselves), and who are rightly guided} i.e. they invite you to the absolute truth without asking wages or reward for themselves of you. Then he invited them to worship Allah Alone, and not to worship other than Him that can do nothing in this present life or in the Hereafter. {Then verily, I should be in plain error} i.e. if I abandoned the worship of Allah and worshipped anything else besides Him.

Then, the believing man said to the three Messengers: {Verily! I have believed in your Lord, so listen to me!}, i.e. you should listen to my statement and bear witness to this before your Lord. Or, O my people! Listen to my declaration of faith of these Messengers. Thereupon, the people killed him either by stoning him to death, or biting, or making one sudden assault against him. Narrated Ibn Ishaq after some of his counterparts on the authority of `Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud that the people stepped over his body till they broke his neck.

Narrated Ath-Thawri after `Asim Al-Ahwal after Abu Majlaz his saying: The name of that believing man was Habib Ibn Murriy who was said to be a carpenter, or rope-maker, or shoe-maker. It is also said that he used to observe his religious rituals in an isolated cave. `Abdullah Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: He was Habib, the carpenter who was afflicted with leprosy. He was charitable, but killed at the end at the hands of his own people. Then, Allah the Almighty says: {Enter Paradise} i.e. when he was killed by his people, Allah Almighty admitted him into Paradise. When he saw of the pleasures and joys therein, he said: {Would that my people knew? That my Lord (Allah) has forgiven me, and made me of the honored ones!}, i.e. to believe in what I have believed in and thus gain what I have just obtained. Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: He advised his people during his life saying: {O my people! Obey the Messengers}, and after his death {Would that my people knew? That my Lord (Allah) has forgiven me, and made me of the honored ones!}. In addition, Qatadah said: The believer always gives counseling because of what he sees of the rewards granted by Allah {Would that my people knew? That my Lord (Allah) has forgiven me, and made me of the honored ones!}, i.e. he wished that his people would know the honor Allah bestowed on him. Qatadah added: By Allah! Allah did not admonish or even blame those people after killing him (the believing man) {It was but one Saihah (shout) and lo! They (all) were still (silent, dead, destroyed)}. Allah the Almighty says: {And We sent not against his people after him a host from the heaven, nor was it needful for Us to send (such a thing)}, i.e. it was not needful for Allah the Almighty to send against them a host from the heaven to avenge the Messengers.

Mujahid and Qatadah said: This means that Allah did not send them another Message. Ibn Jarir said: The first interpretation looks more proper because Allah the Almighty says after this: {nor was it needful for Us to send (such a thing)}, i.e. Allah was not in need to send such a thing to punish them when they belied His Messengers and killed His godly man, {It was but one Saihah (shout) and lo! They (all) were still (silent, dead, destroyed)}.

Interpreters said: Allah the Almighty sent Gabriel (Peace be upon him) who maintained a grasp on their town’s gate and made a single shout {one Saihah (shout) and lo! They (all) were still (silent, dead, destroyed)}, i.e. they turned to be silent, motionless and dead.

Finally, all these indicate that the town mentioned in the Qur’anic verses was not Antioch because the people of Antioch believed in Allah and followed the messengers of Jesus (Peace be upon him). Moreover, Antioch was said to be the first town to declare faith in Jesus (Peace be upon him).

Source:Tafsir Ibn Kathir