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THE HISTORY OF CONFRONTATION BETWEEN THE RIGHT AND THE WRONG PART III

Reference : Dr Javed Jamil

A Systematic Study of the Holy Qur’an: 26

THE HISTORY OF CONFRONTATION BETWEEN THE RIGHT AND THE WRONG PART III

THE
HISTORY OF
CONFRONTATION
BETWEEN
THE RIGHT
AND THE
WRONG III


MUSA (MOSES)

 

* We rehearse to thee some of the story of Moses and Pharaoh in Truth, for people who believe. Truly Pharaoh elated himself in the land and broke up its people into sections, depressing a small group among them: their sons he slew, but he kept alive their females: for he was indeed a maker of mischief. And We wished to be Gracious to those who were being depressed in the land, to make them leaders (in Faith) and make them heirs, to establish a firm place for them in the land, and to show Pharaoh, Haman, and their hosts, at their hands, the very things against which they were taking precautions.

 

So We sent this inspiration to the mother of Moses: “Suckle (thy child), but when thou hast fears about him, cast him into the river, but fear not nor grieve: for We shall restore him to thee, and We shall make him one of Our apostles.”  Then the people of Pharaoh picked him up (from the river): (It was intended) that (Moses) should be to them an adversary and a cause of sorrow: for Pharaoh and Haman and (all) their hosts were men of sin.

 

 The wife of Pharaoh said: “(Here is) joy of the eye, for me and for thee: slay him not. It may be that he will be use to us, or we may adopt him as a son.” And they perceived not (what they were doing)!  But there came to be a void in the heart of the mother of Moses: She was going almost to disclose his (case), had We not strengthened her heart (with faith), so that she might remain a (firm) believer. And she said to the sister of (Moses), “Follow him” so she (the sister) watched him in the character of a stranger. And they perceived not. And we ordained that he refused suck at first, until (His sister came up and) said: “Shall I point out to you the people of a house that will nourish and bring him up for you and be sincerely attached to him?”.  Thus did We restore him to his mother, that her eye might be comforted, that she might not grieve, and that she might know that the promise of God is true: but most of them do not understand. (28: 3-13/A)

 

* When he reached full age, and was firmly established (in life), We bestowed on him wisdom and knowledge: for thus do We reward those who do good. And he entered the city at a time when its people were not watching: and he found there two men fighting,- one of his own religion, and the other, of his foes. Now the man of his own religion appealed to him against his foe, and Moses struck him with his fist and made an end of him. He said: “This is a work of Evil (Satan): for he is an enemy that manifestly misleads!” He prayed: “O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul! Do Thou then forgive me!” So ((God)) forgave him: for He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. He said: “O my Lord! For that Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace on me, never shall I be a help to those who sin!” So he saw the morning in the city, looking about, in a state of fear, when behold, the man who had, the day before, sought his help called aloud for his help (again). Moses said to him: “Thou art truly, it is clear, a quarrelsome fellow!” Then, when he decided to lay hold of the man who was an enemy to both of them, that man said: “O Moses! Is it thy intention to slay me as thou slewest a man yesterday? Thy intention is none other than to become a powerful violent man in the land, and not to be one who sets things right!” And there came a man, running, from the furthest end of the City. He said: “O Moses! the Chiefs are taking counsel together about thee, to slay thee: so get thee away, for I do give thee sincere advice.” He therefore got away there from, looking about, in a state of fear. He prayed “O my Lord! save me from people given to wrong-doing.”

 

Then, when he turned his face towards (the land of) Madyan, he said: “I do hope that my Lord will show me the smooth and straight Path.” And when he arrived at the watering (place) in Madyan, he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and   besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: “What is the matter with you?” They said: “We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take back (their flocks). And our father is a very old man.” So he watered (their flocks) for them; then he turned back to the shade, and said: “O my Lord! truly am I in (desperate) need of any good that Thou dost send me!” Afterwards one of the (damsels) came (back) to him, walking bashfully. She said: “My father invites thee that he may reward thee for having watered (our flocks) for us.” So when he came to him and narrated the story, he said: “Fear thou not: (well) hast thou escaped from unjust people.” Said one of the (damsels): “O my (dear)   father! engage him on wages: truly the best of men for thee to employ is the (man) who is strong and trusty”. He said: “I intend to wed one of these my daughters to thee, on condition that thou serve me for eight years; but if thou complete ten years, it will be (grace) from thee. But I intend not to place thee under a difficulty: thou wilt find me, indeed, if God wills, one of the righteous.” He said: “Be that (the agreement) between me and thee: whichever of the two terms I fulfil, let there be no ill-will to me. Be God a witness to what we say.” 

 

Now when Moses had fulfilled the term, and was travelling with his family, he perceived a fire in the direction of Mount Tur. (28: 14-29/A)

 

* As to thee, the Qur’an is bestowed upon thee from the presence of one who is wise and all-knowing. Behold! Moses said to his family: “I perceive a fire; soon will I bring you from there some information, or I will bring you a burning brand to light our fuel, that ye may warn yourselves. But when he came to the (fire), a voice was heard: “Blessed are those in the fire and those around: and glory to God, the Lord of the worlds. O Moses! verily, I am God, the exalted in might, the wise! Now do thou throw thy rod!” But when he saw it moving (of its own accord) as if it had been a snake, he turned back in retreat, and retraced not his steps: “O Moses!” (it was said), “Fear not: truly, in My presence, those called as apostles have no fear,- But if any have done wrong and have thereafter substituted good to take the place of evil, truly, I am Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Now put thy hand into thy bosom, and it will come forth white without stain (or harm): (these are) among the nine Signs (thou wilt take) to Pharaoh and his people: for they are a people  rebellious in transgression.” (27: 6-12/A)

 

* He said: “O my Lord! I have slain a man among them, and I fear lest they slay me. And my brother Aaron - he is more eloquent in speech than I: so send him with me as a helper, to confirm (and strengthen) me: for I fear that they may accuse me of falsehood.” He said: “We will certainly strengthen thy arm through thy brother, and invest you both with authority, so they shall not be able to touch you: with Our Sign shall ye triumph,- you two as well as those who follow you.” (28: 33-35/A)

 

* They (Moses and Aaron) said: “Our Lord! We fear lest he hasten with insolence against us, or lest he   transgress all bounds.” He said: “Fear not: for I am with you: I hear and see (everything). So go ye both to him, and say, ‘Verily we are apostles sent by thy Lord: Send forth, therefore, the Children of Israel with us, and afflict them not: with a Sign, indeed, have we come from thy Lord! and peace to all who follow guidance! Verily it has been revealed to us that the Penalty (awaits) those who reject and turn away.’” (When this message was delivered), (Pharaoh) said: “Who, then, O Moses, is the Lord of you two?” He said: “Our Lord is He Who gave to each (created) thing its form and nature, and further, gave (it) guidance.” (Pharaoh) said: “What then is the condition of previous generations?” He replied: “The knowledge of that is with my Lord, duly recorded: my Lord never errs, nor forgets,- He Who has, made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled you to go about therein by roads (and channels); and has sent down water from the sky.”  (20: 45-53/A)

 

* (Pharaoh) said: “Did we not cherish thee as a child among us, and didst thou not stay in our midst many years of thy life? And thou didst a deed of thine which (thou knowest) thou didst, and thou art an ungrateful (wretch)!” Moses said: “I did it then, when I was in error. So I fled from you (all) when I feared you; but my Lord has (since) invested me with judgement (and wisdom) and appointed me as one of the apostles. And this is the favour with which thou dost reproach me,- that thou hast enslaved the Children of Israel !” (26: 18-22/A)

 

* (Pharaoh) said: “If thou dost put forward any god other than me, I will certainly put thee in prison!”  (Moses) said: “Even if I showed you something clear (and) convincing?” (Pharaoh) said: “Show it then, if thou tellest the truth!” So (Moses) threw his rod, and behold, it was a serpent, plain (for all to see)! And he drew out his hand, and behold, it was white to all  beholders! (Pharaoh) said to the Chiefs around him: “This is indeed a sorcerer well- versed. His plan is to get you out of your land by his sorcery; then what is it ye counsel?” They said: “Keep him and his brother in suspense (for a while), and dispatch to the Cities   heralds to collect- and bring up to thee all (our) sorcerers well-versed.” So the sorcerers were got together for the appointment of a day well-known, and the people were told: “Are ye (now) assembled?- That we may follow the sorcerers (in religion) if they win?” So when the sorcerers arrived, they said to Pharaoh: “Of course - shall we have a (suitable) reward if we win? He said: “Yea, (and more),- for ye shall in that case be (raised to posts) nearest (to my person).”     (26: 29-42/A)

 

* They said: “O Moses! whether wilt thou that thou throw (first) or that we be the first to throw?” He said, “Nay, throw ye first!” Then behold their ropes and their rods-so it seemed to him on account of their magic - began to be in lively motion! So Moses conceived in his mind a (sort of) fear. We said: “Fear not! for thou hast indeed the upper hand: Throw that which is in thy right hand. Quickly will it swallow up that which they have faked; what they have faked is but a magician’s trick: and the magician thrives not, (no matter) where he goes.” So the magicians were thrown down to   prostration: they said, “We believe in the Lord of Aaron and Moses”. (Pharaoh) said: “Believe ye in Him before I give you permission? Surely this must be your leader, who has taught you magic! be sure I will cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will have you crucified on trunks of palm-trees: so shall ye know for certain, which of us can give the more severe and the more lasting punishment!” They said: “Never shall we regard thee as more than the Clear Sings that have come to us, or than Him Who created us! So decree whatever thou desirest to decree: for thou canst only decree (touching) the life of this world. For us, we have believed in our Lord: may He forgive us our faults, and the magic to which thou didst compel us: for God is Best and Most Abiding.” Verily he who comes to his Lord as a sinner (at Judgement),- for him is Hell: therein shall he neither die nor live. But such as come to Him as believers who have worked righteous deeds,- for them are ranks exalted,- Gardens of Eternity,   beneath which flow rivers: they will dwell therein for aye: such is the reward of those who purify themselves (from evil). (20: 65-76/A)

 

* Said the chiefs of Pharaoh’s people: “Wilt thou leave Moses and his people, to spread mischief in the land, and to abandon thee and thy gods?” He said: “Their male children will we slay; (only) their females will we save alive; and we have over them (power) irresistible.” Said Moses to his people: “Pray for help from God, and (wait) in patience and constancy: for the earth is God’s, to give as a heritage to such of His servants as He pleaseth; and the end is (best) for the righteous. They said: “We have had (nothing but)    trouble, both before and after thou camest to us.” He said: “It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you inheritors in the earth; that so He may try you by your deeds.” We punished the  people of Pharaoh with years (of droughts) and shortness of crops; that they might receive admonition. But when good (times) came, they said, “This is due to us;” When gripped by calamity, they ascribed it to evil omens connected with Moses and those with him!  Behold! in truth the omens of evil are theirs in God’s sight, but most of them do not understand.

 

They said (to Moses): “Whatever be the Signs thou bringest, to work therewith thy sorcery on us, we shall never believe in thee. We sent (plagues) on them: wholesale death, locusts, lice, frogs, and blood: signs openly self-explained: but they were steeped in arrogance,- a people given to sin. Every time the   penalty fell on them, they said: “O Moses! on your behalf call on thy Lord in virtue of his promise to thee: If thou wilt remove the penalty from us, we shall truly believe in thee, and we shall send away the Children of Israel with thee.” But every time We removed the penalty from them according to a fixed term which they had to fulfil,- Behold! they broke their word! (7: 127-135/A)

 

* By inspiration we told Moses: “Travel by night with my servants; for surely ye shall be pursued.” Then Pharaoh sent heralds to (all) the cities, (saying): “These (Israelites) are but a small band, and they are raging furiously against us; but we are a multitude amply forewarned.” So We expelled them from gardens, springs, treasures, and every kind of honourable position; thus it was, but We made the Children of Israel inheritors of such things. So they pursued them at sunrise. And when the two bodies saw each other, the people of Moses said: “We are sure to be overtaken.” (Moses) said: “By no means! my Lord is with me! Soon will He guide me!” Then We told Moses by inspiration: “Strike the sea with thy rod.” So it divided, and each separate part became like the huge, firm mass of a mountain. And We made the other party approach thither. We delivered Moses and all who were with him; but We drowned the others. (26: 53-67/A)

 

* We took the Children of Israel across the sea: Pharaoh and his hosts followed them in insolence and spite. At length, when overwhelmed with the flood, he said: “I believe that there is no god except Him Whom the Children of Israel believe in: I am of those who submit (to God in Islam).” (It was said to him): “Ah now!- but a little while before, wast thou in rebellion!- and thou didst mischief (and violence)! This day shall We save thee in the body, that thou mayest be a sign to those who come after thee! But verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Signs!” (10: 90-92/A)

 

* And We made a people, considered weak (and of no account), inheritors of lands in both east and west, - lands where on We sent down Our blessings. The fair promise of thy Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because they had patience and constancy, and We levelled to the ground the great works and fine buildings which Pharaoh and his people erected (with such pride). We took the Children of Israel (with safety) across the sea. They came upon a people   devoted entirely to some idols they had. They said: “O Moses! fashion for us a god like unto the gods they have.” He said: “Surely ye are a people without knowledge. As to these folk,- the cult they are in is (but) a fragment of a ruin, and vain is the (worship) which they practise.” He said: “Shall I seek for you a god other than the (true) God, when it is God Who hath endowed you with gifts above the nations?” And remember We rescued you from Pharaoh’s people, who afflicted you with the worst of penalties, who slew your male children and saved alive your females: in that was a momentous trial from your Lord.

 

We appointed for Moses thirty nights, and  completed (the period) with ten (more): thus was   completed the term (of communion) with his Lord, forty nights. And Moses had charged his brother Aaron (before he went up): “Act for me amongst my people: Do right, and follow not the way of those who do  mischief.” When Moses came to the place appointed by Us, and his Lord addressed him, He said: “O my Lord! show (Thyself) to me, that I may look upon thee.” God said: “By no means canst thou see Me  (direct); But look upon the mount; if it abide in its place, then shalt thou see Me.” When his Lord manifested His glory on the Mount, He made it as dust. And Moses fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses he said: “Glory be to Thee! to Thee I turn in repentance, and I am the first to believe.” (God)) said: “O Moses! I have chosen thee above (other) men, by the mission I (have given thee) and the words I (have  spoken to thee): take then the (revelation) which I give thee, and be of those who give thanks.”

 

And We ordained laws for him in the tablets in all matters, both commanding and explaining all things, (and said): “Take and hold these with firmness, and enjoin thy people to hold fast by the best in the precepts: soon shall I show you the homes of the wicked,- (How they lie desolate).” Those who  behave arrogantly on the earth in defiance of right - them will I turn away from My signs: Even if they see all the signs, they will not believe in them; and if they see the way of right conduct, they will not adopt it as the way; but if they see the way of error, that is the way they will adopt. For they have rejected our signs, and failed to take warning from them. (7: 137-146/A)

 

* O ye Children of Israel! We delivered you from your enemy, and We made a Covenant with you on the right side of Mount (Sinai), and We sent down to you Manna and quails: (Saying): “Eat of the good things We have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein, lest My Wrath should justly descend on you: and those on whom descends My Wrath do perish indeed! But, without doubt, I am (also) He that forgives again and again, to those who repent, believe, and do right, who,- in fine, are ready to receive true guidance.” (When Moses was up on the Mount, God said:) “What made thee hasten in advance of thy people, O Moses?” He replied: “Behold, they are close on my footsteps: I hastened to thee, O my Lord, to please thee.” (God) said: “We have tested thy people in thy absence: the Samiri has led them astray.” So Moses returned to his people in a state of indignation and sorrow. He said: “O my people! did not your Lord make a handsome promise to you? Did then the promise seem to you long (in coming)? Or did ye  desire that Wrath should descend from your Lord on you, and so ye broke your promise to me?” They said: “We broke not the promise to thee, as far as lay in our power: but we were made to carry the weight of the ornaments of the (whole) people, and we threw them (into the fire), and that was what the Samiri suggested.

 

Then he brought out (of the fire) before the (people) the image of a calf: It seemed to blow: so they said: This is your god, and the god of Moses, but (Moses) has forgotten!” Could they not see that it could not return them a word (for answer), and that it had no power either to harm them or to do them good? Aaron had already, before this said to them: “O my people! ye are being tested in this: for verily your Lord is   (God) Most Gracious; so follow me and obey my command.” They had said: “We will not abandon this cult, but we will devote ourselves to it until Moses returns to us.” (Moses) said: “O Aaron! what kept thee back, when thou sawest them going wrong from following me? Didst thou then disobey my order?” (Aaron) replied: “O son of my mother! Seize (me) not by my beard nor by (the hair of) my head! Truly I feared lest thou shouldst say, ‘Thou has caused a division among the children of Israel, and thou didst not respect my word!’” (Moses) said: “What then is thy case, O Samiri?” He replied: “I saw what they saw not: so I took a handful (of dust) from the footprint of the Messenger, and threw it (into the calf): thus did my soul suggest to me.”  (Moses) said: “Get thee gone! but thy (punishment) in this life will be that thou wilt say, ‘touch me not’; and moreover (for a future penalty) thou hast a promise that will not fail. Now look at thy god, of whom thou hast become a devoted worshipper: We will certainly (melt) it in a blazing fire and scatter it broadcast in the sea!” (20: 80-97/A)

 

* Moses prayed: “O my Lord! forgive me and my brother! admit us to Thy mercy! for Thou art the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!” Those who took the calf (for worship) will indeed be overwhelmed with wrath from their Lord, and with shame in this life: thus do We recompense those who invent (falsehoods). But those who do wrong but repent thereafter and (truly) believe,- verily thy Lord is thereafter Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. When the anger of Moses was appeased, he took up the tablets: in the writing there on was guidance and Mercy for such as fear their Lord. And Moses chose seventy of his people for Our place of meeting: when they were seized with violent quaking, he prayed: “O my Lord! if it had been Thy will Thou couldst have destroyed, long before, both them and me: wouldst Thou destroy us for the deeds of the foolish ones among us? this is no more than Thy trial: by it Thou causest whom Thou wilt to stray, and Thou leadest whom Thou wilt into the right path. Thou art our Protector: so forgive us and give us Thy mercy; for Thou art the best of those who forgive. And ordain for us that which is good, in this life and  in the Hereafter: for we have turned unto Thee.”  (7: 151-156/A)

 

* And remember ye said: “O Moses! we cannot endure one kind of food (always); so beseech thy Lord for us to produce for us of what the earth groweth, -its pot-herbs, and cucumbers, its garlic, lentils, and    onions.” He said: “Will ye exchange the better for the worse? Go ye down to any town, and ye shall find what ye want!” They were covered with humiliation and misery; they drew on themselves the wrath of  God. This because they went on rejecting the Signs of God and slaying His Messengers without just cause. This because they rebelled and went on transgressing.
(2: 61/A)

 

* Of the people of Moses there is a section who guide and do justice in the light of truth. We divided them into twelve tribes or nations. We directed Moses by inspiration, when his (thirsty) people asked him for water: “Strike the rock with thy staff”: out of it there gushed forth twelve springs: Each group knew its own place for water. We gave them the shade of clouds, and sent down to them manna and quails, (saying): “Eat of the good things We have provided for you”: (but they rebelled); to Us they did no harm, but they harmed their own souls. (7: 159-160/A)

 

* Remember Moses said to his people: “O my people! Call in remembrance the favour of God unto you, when He produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples. O my people! Enter the holy land which God hath assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin.” They said: “O Moses! In this land are a people of exceeding strength: never shall we enter it until they leave it: if (once) they leave, then shall we enter.” (But) among (their) God-fearing men were two on whom God had bestowed His grace. They said: “Assault them at the (proper) gate: when once ye are in, victory will be yours; but on God put your trust if ye have faith.” They said: “O Moses! while they     remain there, never shall we be able to enter, to the end of time. Go thou, and thy Lord, and fight ye two, while we sit here (and watch).” He said: “O my Lord! I have power only over myself and my brother: so separate us from this rebellious people!” God said: “Therefore will the land be out of their reach for forty years. In distraction will they wander through the      land. But sorrow thou not over these rebellious people...( 5: 20 -26/A)

 

* And remember We took your covenant and We raised above you (The towering height) of Mount (Sinai) : (Saying): “Hold firmly to what We have given you and bring (ever) to remembrance what is therein: Perchance ye may fear God.” But ye turned back thereafter: Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of God to you, ye had surely been among the lost.    (2: 63-64/A)

 

* And remember Moses said to his people: “(God) commands that ye sacrifice a heifer.” They said: “Makest thou a laughing-stock of us?” He said:      “(God) save me from being an ignorant (fool)!” They said: “Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what (heifer) it is!” He said, “He says: The heifer should be neither too old nor too young, but of middling age. Now do what ye are commanded!” They said: “Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us Her colour.” He said: “He says: a fawn-coloured heifer, pure and rich in tone, the admiration of beholders!” They said: “Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what she is: To us are all heifers alike. We wish indeed for guidance, if God wills.” He said: “He says: A heifer not trained to till the soil or water the fields; sound and without blemish.” They said: “Now hast thou brought the truth.” Then they offered her in sacrifice, but not with good-will. Remember ye slew a man and fell into a dispute among yourselves as to the crime: But God was to bring forth what ye did hide. So We said: “Strike the (body) with a piece of the (heifer).” Thus God bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His Signs: Perchance ye may understand. (2: 67-73/A)

 

* And remember We took a covenant from the Children of Israel (to this effect): Worship none but God; treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the    people; be steadfast in prayer; and practise regular charity. Then did ye turn back, except a few among you, and ye backslide (even now).  And remember We took your covenant (to this effect): Shed no blood amongst you, nor turn out your own people from your homes: and this ye solemnly ratified, and to this ye can bear witness.) (2: 83-84/A)

 

* Behold, Moses said to his attendant, “I will not give up until I reach the junction of the two seas or (until) I spend years and years in travel.” But when they reached the junction, they forgot (about) their Fish, which took its course through the sea (straight) as in a tunnel. When they had passed on (some distance), Moses said to his attendant: “Bring us our early meal; truly we have suffered much fatigue at this (stage of) our journey.” He replied: “Sawest thou (what happened) when we betook ourselves to the rock? I did indeed forget (about) the fish: none but Satan made me forget to tell (you) about it: it took its course through the sea in a marvellous way!” Moses said: “That was what we were seeking after:” So they went back on their footsteps, following (the path they had come). So they found one of Our servants, on whom We had bestowed Mercy from Ourselves and whom We had taught knowledge from Our own Presence. Moses said to him: “May I follow thee, on the footing that thou teach me something of the (Higher) Truth which thou hast been taught?” (The other) said: “Verily thou wilt not be able to have patience with me! And how canst thou have patience about things about which thy    understanding is not complete?” Moses said: “Thou wilt find me, if God so will, (truly) patient: nor shall I disobey thee in aught.”  The other said: “If then thou wouldst follow me, ask me no questions about anything until I myself speak to thee concerning it.” So they both proceeded: until, when they were in the boat, he scuttled it. Said Moses: “Hast thou scuttled it in order to drown those in it? Truly a strange thing hast thou done!” He answered: “Did I not tell thee that thou canst have no patience with me?” Moses said: “Rebuke me not for forgetting, nor grieve me by raising difficulties in my case.” Then they proceeded: until, when they met a young man, he slew him. Moses said: “Hast thou slain an innocent person who had slain none? Truly a foul (unheard of) thing hast thou done!” He answered: “Did I not tell thee that thou canst have no patience with me?” (Moses) said: “If ever I ask thee about anything after this, keep me not in thy company: then wouldst thou have received (full) excuse from my side.” Then they proceeded: until, when they came to the inhabitants of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused them hospitality. They found there a wall on the point of falling down, but he set it up straight. (Moses) said: “If thou hadst wished, surely thou couldst have exacted some recompense for it!” He answered: “This is the parting between me and thee: now will I tell thee the interpretation of (those things) over which thou wast unable to hold patience. As for the boat, it belonged to certain men in dire want: they plied on the water: I but wished to render it unserviceable, for there was after them a certain king who seized on every boat by force. As for the youth, his parents were   people of Faith, and we feared that he would grieve them by obstinate rebellion and ingratitude (to God and man). So we desired that their Lord would give them in exchange (a son) better in purity (of conduct) and closer in affection. As for the wall, it belonged to two youths, orphans, in the town; there was, beneath it, a buried treasure, to which they were entitled: their father had been a righteous man: so thy Lord desired that they should attain their age of full strength and get out their treasure - a mercy (and favour) from thy Lord. I did it not of my own accord. Such is the interpretation of (those things) over which thou wast unable to hold patience.” (18: 79-82/A)

 

* But the transgressors among them changed the word from that which had been given them so we sent on them a plague from heaven. For that they repeatedly transgressed. Ask them concerning the town standing close by the sea. Behold! they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath. For on the day of their Sabbath their fish did come to them, openly holding up their heads, but on the day they had no Sabbath, they came not: thus did We make a trial of them, for they were given to transgression. When some of them said: “Why do ye preach to a people whom God will destroy or visit with a terrible punishment?”- said the preachers:” To discharge our duty to your Lord, and perchance they may fear Him.” When they disregarded the warnings that had been given them, We rescued those who forbade evil; but We visited the wrong-doers with a grievous punishment because they were given to transgression. When in their insolence they transgressed (all) prohibitions, We said to them: “Be ye apes, despised and rejected.” Behold! thy Lord did declare that He would send against them, to the Day of Judgement, those who would afflict them with grievous penalty. Thy Lord is quick in retribution, but He is also Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. We broke them up into sections on this earth. There are among them some that are the righteous, and some that are the opposite. We have tried them with both prosperity and adversity: in order that they might turn (to us). After them succeeded an (evil) generation. They     inherited the Book, but they chose (for themselves) the vanities of this world, saying (for excuse): “(Everything) will be forgiven us.” (Even so), if similar vanities came their way, they would (again) seize them. (7: 163-169/A)

 

 
SHU’AIB

 

* To the Madyan people We sent Shu’aib, one of their own brethren: he said: “O my people! worship God. Ye have no other god but Him. Now hath come unto you a clear (Sign) from your Lord! Give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people the things that are their due; and do no mischief on the earth after it has been set in order: that will be best for you, if ye have Faith. And squat not on every road, breathing threats, hindering from the path of God those who believe in Him, and seeking in it something crooked. But remember how ye were little, and He gave you increase. And hold in your mind’s eye what was the end of those who did mischief. And if there is a party among you who believes in the message with which I have been sent, and a party which does not believe; hold yourselves in patience until God doth decide  between us: for He is the best to decide.” The leaders, the arrogant party among his people, said: “O Shu’aib! we shall certainly drive thee out of our city - (thee) and those who believe with thee; or else ye (thou and they) shall have to return to our ways and religion.” He said: “What! even though we do detest (them)? We should indeed invent a lie against God, if we     returned to your ways after God hath rescued us there from; nor could we by any manner of means   return thereto unless it be as in the will and plan of God, Our Lord. Our Lord can reach out to the utmost recesses of things by His knowledge. In the God is our trust. Our Lord! decide Thou between us and our people in truth, for Thou art the best to  decide.” The leaders, the unbelievers among his  people, said:  “If ye follow Shu’aib, be sure then ye are ruined!” (7: 85-90/A)

 

* They said: “Thou art only one of those bewitched! Thou art no more than a mortal like us, and indeed we think thou art a liar! Now cause a piece of the sky to fall on us, if thou art truthful!” (26: 185-187/A)

 

* But the earthquake took them unawares, and they lay prostrate in their homes before the morning! The men who reject Shu’aib became as if they had never been in the homes where they had flourished: the men who rejected Shu’aib - it was they who were ruined! So Shu’aib left them, saying: “O my people! I did   indeed convey to you the messages for which I was sent by my Lord: I gave you good counsel, but how shall I lament over a people who refuse to  believe!” (7: 91-93/A)
 

 

ELIAS (ELIJAH)

 

* So also was Elias among those sent (by Us).  Behold, he said to his people, “Will ye not fear (God))? Will ye call upon Baal and forsake the Best of Creators,- (God), your Lord and Cherisher and the Lord and Cherisher of your fathers of old?”  But they rejected him, and they will certainly be called up (for punishment),- except the sincere and devoted Servants of God (among them). And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times: “Peace and salutation to such as Elias!” (37: 123-130/A)

 

 

AYUB (JOB)

 

* And (remember) Job, when He cried to his Lord, “Truly distress has seized me, but Thou art the Most Merciful of those that are merciful.” So We listened to him: We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his people to him, and doubled their number,- as a Grace from Ourselves, and a thing for commemoration, for all who serve Us. (21: 83-84/A)

 

* Commemorate Our Servant Job. Behold he cried to his Lord: “The Evil One has afflicted me with distress and suffering!” (The command was given:) “Strike with thy foot: here is (water) wherein to wash, cool and refreshing, and (water) to drink.” And We gave him (back) his people, and doubled their number,- as a Grace from Ourselves, and a thing for commemoration, for all who have Understanding. And take in thy hand a little grass, and strike therewith: and break not (thy oath).” Truly We found him full of patience and constancy. How excellent in Our service! ever did he turn (to Us)! (38: 42-44/A)
 

 

DAUD (DAVID)

 

* We bestowed Grace aforetime on David from ourselves: “O ye Mountains! Sing ye back the Praises of God with him! And ye birds (also)! And We made the iron soft for him;- (Commanding), “Make thou coast of mail, balancing well the rings of chain armour, and work ye righteousness; for be sure I see (clearly) all that ye do.” (34: 10-11/A)

 

* We strengthened his kingdom, and gave him wisdom and sound judgement in speech and decision. Has the Story of the Disputants reached thee? Behold, they climbed over the wall of the private chamber. When they entered the presence of David, and he was terrified of them, they said: “Fear not: we are two disputants, one of whom has wronged the other. Decide now between us with truth, and treat us not with injustice, but guide us to the even Path. This man is my brother. He has nine and ninety ewes, and I have (but) one. Yet he says, ‘commit her to my care,’ and is (moreover) harsh to me in speech.” (David) said: “He has undoubtedly wronged thee in demanding thy (single) ewe to be added to his (flock of) ewes: truly many are the partners (in business) who wrong each other. Not so do those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, and how few are they?”. And David gathered that We had tried him: he asked forgiveness of his Lord, fell down, bowing (in prostration), and turned (to God in repentance). So We    forgave him this (lapse): he enjoyed, indeed, a Near Approach to Us, and a beautiful place of (Final)   Return. O David! We did indeed make thee a vicegerent on earth: so judge thou between men in truth (and justice): nor follow thou the lusts (of thy heart), for they will mislead thee from the Path of God. For those who wander astray from the Path of God, is a Penalty Grievous, for that they forget the Day of   Account. (38: 20-26/A)
 

 

SULAYMAN (SOLOMON)

 

* To David We gave Solomon (for a son),- how excellent in Our service! Ever did he turn (to Us)!  Behold, there were brought before him, at eventide coursers of the highest breeding, and swift of foot; and he said, “Truly do I love the love of good, with a view to the glory of my Lord,”- until (the sun) was hidden in the veil (of night): bring them back to me.” Then began he to pass his hand over (their) legs and their necks.  And We did try Solomon: We placed on his throne a body (without life); but he did turn (to Us in true devotion). He said, “O my Lord! Forgive me, and grant me a kingdom which, (it may be), suits not another after me: for Thou art the Grantor of Bounties (without measure). (38: 30-35/A)

 

* And remember David and Solomon, when they gave judgement in the matter of the field into which the sheep of certain people had strayed by night. We did witness their judgment. To Solomon We inspired the (right) understanding of the matter: to each (of them) We gave Judgement and Knowledge.. (21: 78-79/A)

 

* Then We subjected the wind to his power, to flow gently to his order, whithersoever he willed,- as also the evil ones, (including) every kind of builder and diver,- as also others bound together in fetters. Such are Our Bounties: whether thou bestow them (on others) or withhold them, no account will be asked. (38: 36-39/A)

 

* And Solomon was David’s heir. He said: “O ye people! We have been taught the speech of birds, and on us has been bestowed (a little) of all things: this is indeed Grace manifest (from God.)” And before Solomon were marshalled his hosts,- of Jinns and men and birds, and they were all kept in order and ranks. At length, when they came to a (lowly) valley of ants, one of the ants said: “O ye ants, get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (under foot) without knowing it.” So he smiled, amused at her speech; and he said: “O my Lord! so order me that I may be grateful for Thy favours, which thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may work the righteousness that will please Thee. And admit me, by Thy Grace, to the ranks of Thy righteous Servants.” And he took a muster of the Birds; and he said: “Why is it I see not the Hoopoe? Or is he among the absentees? I will certainly punish him with a severe penalty, or execute him, unless he bring me a clear reason (for absence).”

 

But the Hoopoe tarried not far: he (came up and) said: “I have compassed (territory) which thou hast not compassed, and I have come to thee from Saba with tidings true. I found (there) a woman ruling over them and provided with every requisite; and she has a magnificent throne. I found her and her people worshipping the sun besides God. Satan has made their deeds seem pleasing in their eyes, and has kept them away from the Path,- so they receive no guidance,- (Kept them away from the Path), that they should not worship God, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what ye hide and what ye reveal. (God)!- there is no god but He!- Lord of the Throne Supreme!” (Solomon) said: “Soon shall we see whether thou hast told the truth or lied! Go thou, with this letter of mine, and deliver it to them: then draw back from them, and (wait to) see what answer they return”. (The queen) said: “Ye chiefs! here is delivered to me - a letter worthy of   respect. It is from Solomon, and is (as follows): ‘In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Be ye not arrogant against me, but come to me in  submission (to the true Religion).’” She said: “Ye chiefs! advise me in (this) my affair: no affair have I decided except in your presence.” They said: “We are endued with strength, and given to vehement war: but the command is with thee; so consider what thou wilt command.” She said: “Kings, when they enter a    country, despoil it, and make the noblest of its people its meanest; thus do they behave. But I am going to send him a present, and (wait) to see with what (answer) return (my) ambassadors.” 

 

Now when (the embassy) came to Solomon, he said: “Will ye give me abundance in wealth? But that which God has given me is better than that which He has given you! Nay it is ye who rejoice in your gift! Go back to them, and be sure we shall come to them with such hosts as they will never be able to meet. We shall expel them from there in disgrace, and they will feel humbled (indeed).” He said (to his own men): “Ye chiefs! which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?” Said an ‘Ifrit’, of the Jinns: “I will bring it to thee before thou rise from thy council: indeed I have full strength for the purpose, and may be trusted.” Said one who had knowledge of the Book: “I will bring it to thee within the twinkling of an eye!” Then when (Solomon) saw it placed firmly before him, he said: “This is by the Grace of my Lord!- to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! and if any is grateful, truly his gratitude is (a gain) for his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Lord is Free of all Needs, Supreme in Honour !” He said: “Transform her throne out of all recognition by her: let us see whether she is guided (to the truth) or is one of those who receive no guidance.”

 

So when she arrived, she was asked, “Is this thy throne?” She said, “It was just like this; and knowledge was bestowed on us in advance of this, and we have submitted to God (in Islam).” And he diverted her from the worship of others besides God; for she was (sprung) of a people that had no faith. She was asked to enter the lofty Palace: but when she saw it, she thought it was a lake of water, and she (tucked up her skirts), uncovering her legs. He said: “This is but a palace paved smooth with slabs of glass.” She said: “O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul: I do (now) submit (in Islam), with Solomon, to the Lord of the Worlds.” (27: 16-44/A)

 

* And to Solomon (We made) the wind (obedient). Its early morning (stride) was a month’s (journey), and its evening (stride) was a month’s (journey); and We made a font of molten brass to flow for him; and there were Jinns that worked in front of him, by the leave of his Lord, and if any of them turned aside from our command, We made him taste of the Penalty of the Blazing Fire. They worked for him as he desired,  (making) arches, images, basons as large as reservoirs, and (cooking) cauldrons fixed (in their places): “Work ye, sons of David, with thanks! but few of My servants are grateful!”

 

Then, when We decreed (Solomon’s) death, nothing showed them his death except a little worm of the earth, which kept (slowly) gnawing away at his staff: so when he fell down, the Jinns saw plainly that if they had known the unseen, they would not have tarried in the humiliating Penalty (of their Task). (34: 12-14/A)

 

* They followed what the evil ones gave out (falsely) against the power of Solomon: the blasphemers Were, not Solomon, but the evil ones, teaching men Magic, and such things as came down at Babylon to the angels Harut and Marut. But neither of these taught anyone (Such things) without saying: “We are only for trial; so do not blaspheme.” They learned from them the means to sow discord between man and wife. But they could not thus harm anyone except by God’s permission. And they learned what harmed them, not what profited them. And they knew that the buyers of (magic) would have no share in the happiness of the Hereafter. And vile was the price for which they did sell their souls, if they but knew! (2: 102/A)

 

 

PEOPLE OF SHEEBA

 

 (The following story relates to Saba , some centuries later than the period of Solomon described in the above verses.)

 

* There was, for Saba , aforetime, a Sign in their home-land - two Gardens to the right and to the left. “Eat of the Sustenance (provided) by your Lord, and be grateful to Him: a territory fair and happy, and a Lord Oft-Forgiving! But they turned away (from God., and We sent against them the flood (released) from the dams, and We converted their two garden (rows) into “gardens” producing bitter fruit, and tamarisks, and some few (stunted) Lote-trees. That was the Requital We gave them because they ungratefully   rejected Faith: and never do We give (such) requital except to such as are ungrateful rejecters. Between them and the Cities on which We had poured our blessings, We had placed Cities in prominent positions, and between them We had appointed stages of journey in due proportion: “Travel therein, secure, by night and by day.” But they said: “Our Lord! Place longer distances between our journey- stages”: but they wronged themselves (therein). At length We made them as a tale (that is told), and We dispersed them all in scattered  fragments. Verily in this are Signs for every (soul that is) patiently constant and grateful. (34: 15-19/A)

 

 
YUNUS (JONAH)

 

* Those against whom the word of thy Lord hath been verified would not believe- even if every Sign was brought unto them,- until they see (for themselves) the penalty grievous. Why was there not a single township (among those We warned), which believed,- so its faith should have profited it,- except the people of Jonah? When they believed, We removed from  them the penalty of ignominy in the life of the present, and permitted them to enjoy (their life) for a while. (10: 96-98/A)

 

* So also was Jonah among those sent (by Us). When he ran away (like a slave from captivity) to the ship (fully) laden, he (agreed to) cast lots, and he was   condemned.  Then the big Fish did swallow him, and he had done acts worthy of blame. Had it not been that he (repented and) glorified God, he would certainly have remained inside the fish till the Day of Resurrection. But We cast him forth on the naked shore in a state of sickness, and We caused to grow, over him, a spreading plant of the gourd kind. And We sent him (on a mission) to a hundred thousand (men) or more. And they believed; so We permitted them to enjoy (their life) for a while. (37: 139-148/A)

 

* And remember Zun-nun, when he departed in wrath: He imagined that We had no power over him! But he cried through the depths of darkness, “There is no god but thou: glory to thee: I was indeed wrong!” So We listened to him: and delivered him from distress: and thus do We deliver those who have faith. (21:  87-88/A)

 

 

ZUL-QARNAIN

 

(Some of the scholars say that Zul-qarnain is none other than the Alexander, the Great, but, others regard an ancient Persian king as the one indicated by this title.)

 

* They ask thee concerning Zul-qarnain. Say, “I will rehearse to you something of his story.” Verily We established his power on earth, and We gave him the ways and the means to all ends. One (such) way he followed until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: “O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness.” He said: “Whoever doth wrong, him shall we punish; then shall he be sent back to his Lord; and He will punish him with a punishment unheard-of    (before). But whoever believes, and works righteousness,- he shall have a goodly reward, and easy will be his task as We order it by our Command.” Then followed he (another) way, until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no covering protection against the sun. (He left them) as they were. We completely understood what was before him. Then followed he (another) way, until, when he reached (a tract) between two mountains, he found, beneath them, a people who scarcely understood a word. They said: “O Zul-qarnain! the Gog and Magog (People) do great mischief on earth: shall we then render thee tribute in order that thou mightest erect a barrier between us and them? He said: “(The power) in which my Lord has established me is better (than tribute). Help me therefore with strength (and labour). I will erect a strong barrier between you and them. Bring me blocks of iron.” At length, when he had filled up the space between the two steep mountain-sides, He said, “Blow (with your bellows)” Then, when he had made it (red) as fire, he said: “Bring me that I may pour over it, molten lead.” Thus were they made powerless to scale it or to dig through it. He said: “This is a mercy from my Lord. But when the promise of my Lord comes to pass, He will make it into dust; and the promise of my Lord is true.” (18: 83-98/A)

 

 


 

 


 

 
 
 

 


 
 

 


 

SERIES: A Systematic Study of the Holy Qur'an

 

CONTENTS

  

PART I: FAITH                                                 

 

 

 

PART II: PHILOSOPHY

 

 

PART III: CONSTITUTION

 

 

PART IV: THE SYSTEM

 

 

PART V: THE HISTORY OF CONFRONTATION

 

 

Last Word: The Final Document of Peace

 


 

 

 

 

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