Allah, The Exalted, created the Universe. He created man amongst other creatures. He created Paradise and Hell. He gave him the ability to understand, to speak and to judge between right and wrong. He also gave him the ability to make improvements to his environment to suit his needs. By giving man these faculties, God, in fact, made him different from His other creations. This is why man is made accountable for all his actions.
Moreover, Allah also taught him the good path and showed him the evil one. Allah says in the Holy Qur'an, Su'rat As-Shams (Chapter 91 Verses 8-10): "Then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right for him (8). Indeed he succeeds who purifies his ownself (9). And indeed he fails who corrupts his ownself (10)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
فَأَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقۡوَٮٰهَا (8) قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن زَكَّٮٰهَا (9) وَقَدۡ خَابَ مَن دَسَّٮٰهَا (10)
Having taught man what is moral and what is immoral, Allah gave him the ability to choose what he wants to do and so made him responsible for all his actions. The grant of free-will simply means that God does not compel man to behave in the manner prescribed by Him. In other words, he can decide to recognize God (though unseen) as his true Master and use his faculties and possessions in the manner prescribed by Him, or misuse them as he may, contrary to Allah's directions and follow Satan's foot-steps.
Having said that, a Muslim must also accept that Allah is All-Powerful and there is no ability or power except through Him. Because of this claim, some people raise the question: "Why then are we held responsible for our actions?" This claim of theirs is supported by the way our parents used to explain destiny in such a simple way. They said, "Everything is already written down in the heavens!" In other words, they said, 'what hits you was not going to miss you, and what misses you was not going to hit you.'
Some Islamic theologians, however, explain the meaning of destiny in a much more precise manner. They say, "Allah has willed that your action is based on choice. We are held responsible for choosing an act but not for creating the act itself. In other words, Allah creates the act and by our choosing it, we 'acquire' it and are thereby held responsible for it. Thus, human actions are created by Allah but performed by us. The above explanation may perhaps help explain this. Additionally, let us take the following example. For instance, a child or an insane person who fails to perform daily prayers or commit an offence is not held accountable for his action on the Day of Judgement, according to Sacred Law. This is because both are not capable of choosing their course of action intelligently or make decisions by reasoning as a normal human being would do. As such their condition is not very different from that of an animal.
WHEN DID ISLAM START?
Islam did not start with the prophethood of Muhammad, peace be upon him. It started since the creation of man and the teachings of Islam were passed on from generation to generation by the various messengers and prophets of Allah. God tells us in the Holy Qur'an, Su'rat AI-Baqarah, (Chapter 2 Verse 131-132), "When his Lord said to him (Abraham), 'Submit (i.e. be a Muslim)!' He said, 'I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the Alamin (Lord of mankind, jinn and all that exists)' (131). And this (submission to Allah, Islam) was enjoined by Ibrahim (Abraham) upon his sons and by Ya'aqub (Jacob) saying, 'O my sons! Allah has chosen for you the (true) religion, then die not except in the Faith of Islam (as Muslims — Islamic Monotheism)' (132)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
إِذۡ قَالَ لَهُ ۥ رَبُّهُ ۥۤ أَسۡلِمۡۖ قَالَ أَسۡلَمۡتُ لِرَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ (131) وَوَصَّىٰ بِہَآ إِبۡرَٲهِـۧمُ بَنِيهِ وَيَعۡقُوبُ يَـٰبَنِىَّ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ ٱصۡطَفَىٰ لَكُمُ ٱلدِّينَ فَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسۡلِمُونَ (132)
The Qur'an also says in Su'rat Al-Imran (Chapter 3 Verse 67), "Ibrahim (Abraham) was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Hanifa (Islamic Monotheism — to worship none but Allah alone) and he was not of AI-Mushrikun (the idolaters, polytheists, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, pagans) (67)". (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
مَا كَانَ إِبۡرَٲهِيمُ يَہُودِيًّ۬ا وَلَا نَصۡرَانِيًّ۬ا وَلَـٰكِن كَانَ حَنِيفً۬ا مُّسۡلِمً۬ا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ (67)
The Qur'an also says in Su'rat Yunus (Chapter 10 Verse 90), "And We took the Children of Israel across the sea, and Fir'aun (Pharaoh) with his hosts followed them in oppression and enmity, till when drowning overtook him, he said, 'I believe that none has the right to be worshipped but He (Allah) in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims (those who submit to Allah's Will)' (90)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَجَـٰوَزۡنَا بِبَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ ٱلۡبَحۡرَ فَأَتۡبَعَهُمۡ فِرۡعَوۡنُ وَجُنُودُهُ ۥ بَغۡيً۬ا وَعَدۡوًاۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَدۡرَڪَهُ ٱلۡغَرَقُ قَالَ ءَامَنتُ أَنَّهُ ۥ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِىٓ ءَامَنَتۡ بِهِۦ بَنُوٓاْ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ وَأَنَا۟ مِنَ ٱلۡمُسۡلِمِينَ (90)
Once again, Allah says in Su'rat An-Nisaa (Chapter 4 Verses 163-164), "Verily, We have sent the Revelation to you (O Muhammad) as We sent the Revelation to Nu`h (Noah) and the Prophets after him; We (also) sent the Revelation to Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma'il (Ishmael), Is`haq (Isaac), Ya'qub (Jacob), and Al-Asbat, Isa (Jesus), Ayyub (Job), Yunus (Jonah), Haru'n (Aaron), and Sulaiman (Solomon); and to Dawud (David) We gave the Zabur (Psalms) (163). And Messengers We have mentioned to you before, and Messengers We have not mentioned to you, - and to Mu`sa (Moses) Allah spoke directly (164)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
إِنَّآ أَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ كَمَآ أَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَىٰ نُوحٍ۬ وَٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِۦۚ وَأَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَىٰٓ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ وَإِسۡمَـٰعِيلَ وَإِسۡحَـٰقَ وَيَعۡقُوبَ وَٱلۡأَسۡبَاطِ وَعِيسَىٰ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُونُسَ وَهَـٰرُونَ وَسُلَيۡمَـٰنَۚ وَءَاتَيۡنَا دَاوُ ۥدَ زَبُورً۬ا (163) وَرُسُلاً۬ قَدۡ قَصَصۡنَـٰهُمۡ عَلَيۡكَ مِن قَبۡلُ وَرُسُلاً۬ لَّمۡ نَقۡصُصۡهُمۡ عَلَيۡكَۚ وَكَلَّمَ ٱللَّهُ مُوسَىٰ تَڪۡلِيمً۬ا (164)
It follows, therefore, that all the Messengers of God were Muslims and so were all their followers who adhered to their teachings and, by the grace of God, they will enter Paradise. Quite often we hear non-Muslims accuse the Muslims, and sometimes rightly so, of erroneously claiming that only those followers of Prophet Muhammad would enter Paradise. This idea of some Muslims is completely wrong; for all true followers of the Prophets or Messengers of God before Muhammad were Muslims (monotheists). They continued to be Muslims until when the laws of Islam (monotheism), as taught by their respective Messengers were lost, and so the people started going astray by becoming polytheists as well as committing some major sins.
With the exception of atheists, we all believe (Muslims, People of The Book, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.) that, depending on our deeds in this life, we will either be rewarded or punished after death. Some of us, however, believe in the Day of Judgement and others don't.
According to the Holy Qur'an, people will appear in three groups on the Day of Resurrection:
-Those foremost in Islamic faith of Monotheism and in performing righteous deeds in the life of this world.
-Those who believe in Islamic Monotheism but their deeds are mixed between good and bad.
-Those who do not believe in Islamic Monotheism [Atheists or Polytheists (Mushrikuun)].
We will find more explanation about these three groups in Chapter Four - (The Day of Resurrection).
Let us, however, say a little more on the subject of those people who do not believe or those who are believers but are influenced by the attractions of this world, and so live a sinful life. If one chooses not to believe, then he becomes a sinner. This is 'kufr'. The word 'kufr', if spoken of technically, holds two main meanings, namely 'kufr Shirk and kufr Nniima.' Care should be taken not to confuse between these two types of kufr. The first one signifies categorical disbelief in Allah, His angels, His books, His prophets and the Day of Judgement. Anyone who commits this sin is 'Kaafir' and will enter Hell-Fire unless he becomes a believer (Islamic Monotheism). The second one signifies those Muslims who, in-spite of their belief in Islam, commit such sins as neglecting their daily prayers, consuming alcohol, committing adultery or devour usury. Although they are sinners, they are still considered and treated as Muslims. (Even when they die, a funeral prayer is still said for them). Once these Muslims stop their sinful life, repent and earnestly ask Allah's forgiveness, it is most likely that Allah will accept their repentance, for Allah is Most-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.
The following are five steps of repentance:-
1. One ought to feel bad for the sin and determine never to return to it.
2. He must hate the sin, and then seek forgiveness for it every time the thought of it occurs.
3. He must be genuine, truthful and sincere in his repentance.
4. He must be concerned about his repentance not being accepted.
5. His repentance must be made out of fear and hope, and be accompanied by consistency in worship.
These points will be explained in more detail in Chapter Three — Summary of Repentance or [Taubat-an-Nasuuha (Earnest Repentance)].
Before I close this chapter, I would like to say something regarding those people who concentrate all their attention and effort in worldly achievements and pay no heed to the Hereafter. The following is a Prophet's Hadith quoted by Al-Albany in 'Kitaabun Silsilatu Al-Ahaadith Al-Dhaliif', Part 1, pages 63-65, Hadith number 8, (The Book on a Series of Weak Sayings — i.e. The Sayings which are not approved by some scholars as originating from the Prophet).The Hadith reads as follows, "Prepare for your world as if you will live forever and prepare for the Last Day as if you will die tomorrow." Although this Hadith is regarded as inauthentic, it carries an important meaning by urging us to do everything in our power to improve our living environment while, at the same time, emphasizing the need for us to dedicate all our efforts to Allah by worshipping Him and seeking His refuge in the Hereafter. Allah, the Almighty, tells us in Surah Hud (Chapter 11 Verses 15-16), "Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter, to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein (15). They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire, and vain are the deeds they did therein. And no effect is that which they used to do (16)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word),
مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَزِينَتَہَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيۡہِمۡ أَعۡمَـٰلَهُمۡ فِيہَا وَهُمۡ فِيہَا لَا يُبۡخَسُونَ (15) أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ٱلَّذِينَ لَيۡسَ لَهُمۡ فِى
ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ إِلَّا ٱلنَّارُۖ وَحَبِطَ مَا صَنَعُواْ فِيہَا وَبَـٰطِلٌ۬ مَّا ڪَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ (16)
It follows, therefore, that those people whose attention is focused on this world and its attractions, and do not believe in the Day of Judgement, will only reap worldly benefits in proportion to their expectations. There is no reason to suppose that their efforts will also include benefits of the Hereafter since they have not earned them.
It also says in Surah Al-Fajr (Chapter 89 Verses 21-30), "Nay! When the Earth is ground to powder (21), and your Lord comes with the angels in rows (22). And Hell will be brought near that Day. On that Day will man remember, but how will that remembrance (then) avail him? (23). He will say, 'Alas! Would that I sent forth (good deeds) for (this) my life!' (24). So on that Day none will punish as He will punish (25). And none will bind as He will bind (26). (It will be said to the pious — believers to Islamic Monotheism), 'O (you) the one in (complete) rest and satisfaction! (27). Come back to your Lord, - well-pleased (yourself) and well-pleasing (unto Him)! (28). Enter you among My (honoured) slaves (29), And enter you My Paradise!' (30)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
كَلَّآ إِذَا دُكَّتِ ٱلۡأَرۡضُ دَكًّ۬ا دَكًّ۬ا (21) وَجَآءَ رَبُّكَ وَٱلۡمَلَكُ صَفًّ۬ا صَفًّ۬ا (22) وَجِاْىٓءَ يَوۡمَٮِٕذِۭ بِجَهَنَّمَۚ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ يَتَذَڪَّرُ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ وَأَنَّىٰ لَهُ ٱلذِّكۡرَىٰ (23) يَقُولُ يَـٰلَيۡتَنِى قَدَّمۡتُ لِحَيَاتِى (24) فَيَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ لَّا يُعَذِّبُ عَذَابَهُ ۥۤ أَحَدٌ۬ (25) وَلَا يُوثِقُ وَثَاقَهُ ۥۤ أَحَدٌ۬ (26) يَـٰٓأَيَّتُہَا ٱلنَّفۡسُ ٱلۡمُطۡمَٮِٕنَّةُ (27) ٱرۡجِعِىٓ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً۬ مَّرۡضِيَّةً۬ (28) فَٱدۡخُلِى فِى عِبَـٰدِى (29) وَٱدۡخُلِى جَنَّتِى (30)
It is most unfortunate that Man has always been obstinate and reluctant to accept the Truth which was sent down to him all along his existence on Earth. Every time a new prophet or messenger was sent by God to re-direct man to the right path, some of the people did not recognize him and opted to stick to the corrupt religion of theirs, which had been distorted over the centuries. Instead they continued to worship the false gods of their forefathers. This obstinacy of the people is reflected upon several times in the Holy Qur'an. The following are a few examples of people of the past who refused to recognize the true prophets of God and consequently Allah punished them, here on earth and, promised them further punishment on the Day of Judgment.
THE FIRST OFFENCE
Let us begin with the very first offence when the Satan caused Adam and Eve to deflect from obeying the command of God by tempting them to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. This was a test (or demonstration) to indicate man's weakness and how capable the Satan was to lure man to disobeying God's instructions. As a punishment, Allah says in Surah Al-Baqarah (Chapter 2 Verse 36), "Then the Shait'an (Satan) made them slip therefrom (the Paradise), and got them out from that in which they were. We said: 'Get you down, all, with enmity between yourselves. On Earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time' (36). Then Adam received from his LordWords. And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful (37)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
فَأَزَلَّهُمَا ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ عَنۡہَا فَأَخۡرَجَهُمَا مِمَّا كَانَا فِيهِۖ وَقُلۡنَا ٱهۡبِطُواْ بَعۡضُكُمۡ لِبَعۡضٍ عَدُوٌّ۬ۖ وَلَكُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ مُسۡتَقَرٌّ۬ وَمَتَـٰعٌ إِلَىٰ حِينٍ۬ (36)فَتَلَقَّىٰٓ ءَادَمُ مِن رَّبِّهِۦ كَلِمَـٰتٍ۬ فَتَابَ عَلَيۡهِۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ ٱلتَّوَّابُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ (37)
The following four observations can be made from this verse:-
· Adam (including his off-springs) and Satan were declared enemies as long as they lived in this world.
· Although Adam (Peace be on him) was pardoned by Allah, as a result of his repentance, the offence did not pass completely without punishment since both Adam and Eve (Hawa) were removed from their abode in Paradise, which was the best possible place. However, because of their sincere repentance and obedience to God they will, thereafter, enter Paradise once again.
· Another observation is that, God told Adam and Eve, "Get down 'ALL' of you" and not 'BOTH' of you. Although the word 'All' here could mean 'Adam, Eve and Satan', some scholars such as Anwar Al-Awlaqi in his 'Lives of the Prophets', explains that the word 'ALL' here means 'all the descendants of Adam rather than just Adam and Eve.' In this case, therefore, all humans were affected because of this sin. This, in fact, was the beginning of life on Earth. People have lived, and continue to live in it, either by following the right way as God directed us to, or by following the earthly temptations, as the Satan lures us into.
· The final observation is that the earth will remain in existence only for 'an appointed time'. This is the period during which all generations come and go, from Adam to the last one to be born in this world. When the 'appointed time' comes to an end, life in this world will also come to an end. What will follow is the eternal life in the Hereafter.
Life in the Hereafter will start with everyone, from Adam to the last person, having been resurrected and brought to life again, and presented before Allah for the final judgment. This is the Day of Resurrection when every body's fate will be decided. Those who followed God's guidance and lived a good and clean life will be awarded with a happy life in Paradise; and those who went astray and followed Satan's misguidance and lived a sinful life will be awarded with a miserable life in Hell.
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The first sin to be committed on Earth was that of Adam's son Qabil (Cain) killing his brother Habil (Abel). Allah tells us in Surah Al-Maida (Chapter 5 Verses 27-31), "And (O Muhammad) recite to them (the Jews) the story of the two sons of Adam in truth; when each offered a sacrifice (to Allah), it was accepted from the one but not from the other. The latter said to the former: 'I will surely kill you.' The former said: 'Verily, Allah accepts only from those who are Al-Muttqu'n (the pious) (27). 'If you do stretch your hand against me, I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you, for I fear Allah, the Lord of the Al-Alami'n (mankind, jinn, and all that exists)' (28). Verily, I intend to let you draw my sin on yourself as well as yours, then you will be one of the dwellers of the Fire; and that is the recompense of the Dha'limu'n (polytheists and wrongdoers)' (29). So the Nafs (self) of the other (latter one) encouraged him and made fair-seeming to him the murder of his brother; he murdered him and became one of the losers (30). Then Allah sent a crow who scratched the ground to show him how to hide the dead body of his brother. He (the murderer) said: 'Woe to me! Am I not even able to be like this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother?' Then he became one of those who regretted (31). (Study the Noble Qur'an Word-for-Word).
وَٱتۡلُ عَلَيۡہِمۡ نَبَأَ ٱبۡنَىۡ ءَادَمَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ إِذۡ قَرَّبَا قُرۡبَانً۬ا فَتُقُبِّلَ مِنۡ أَحَدِهِمَا وَلَمۡ يُتَقَبَّلۡ مِنَ ٱلۡأَخَرِ قَالَ لَأَقۡتُلَنَّكَۖ قَالَ إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ ٱللَّهُ مِنَ ٱلۡمُتَّقِينَ (27)لَٮِٕنۢ بَسَطتَ إِلَىَّ يَدَكَ لِتَقۡتُلَنِى مَآ أَنَا۟ بِبَاسِطٍ۬ يَدِىَ إِلَيۡكَ لِأَقۡتُلَكَۖ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ ٱللَّهَ رَبَّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ (28)إِنِّىٓ أُرِيدُ أَن تَبُوٓأَ بِإِثۡمِى وَإِثۡمِكَ فَتَكُونَ مِنۡ أَصۡحَـٰبِ ٱلنَّارِۚ وَذَٲلِكَ جَزَٲٓؤُاْ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ (29)فَطَوَّعَتۡ لَهُ ۥ نَفۡسُهُ ۥ قَتۡلَ أَخِيهِ فَقَتَلَهُ ۥ فَأَصۡبَحَ مِنَ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرِينَ (30)فَبَعَثَ ٱللَّهُ غُرَابً۬ا يَبۡحَثُ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ لِيُرِيَهُ ۥ كَيۡفَ يُوَٲرِى سَوۡءَةَ أَخِيهِۚ قَالَ يَـٰوَيۡلَتَىٰٓ أَعَجَزۡتُ أَنۡ أَكُونَ مِثۡلَ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡغُرَابِ فَأُوَٲرِىَ سَوۡءَةَ أَخِىۖ فَأَصۡبَحَ مِنَ ٱلنَّـٰدِمِينَ (31)
From these verses we can make the following deductions:-
· That God accepts offerings, charity or good deeds of only those who fear Him – 'Al-muttaqin' (the pious). There will be no reward for anything which is not done on the basis of fearing Allah, for the doer has done it not for the sake of Allah.
· That anyone who kills a human being without a just cause will be laden with the victim's sins as well as his own.
· Envy/Jealousy is always misguiding and ends up in regret and loss.
MAJOR SINS OF THE PAST
The People of Noah
The people of Noah were the first race to drift away from the right way of life as followed by Adam and his immediate descendants. It is believed that the people of Noah inhabited the Kurdistan, which is in the present day Iraq, Iran and Turkey.
The main sin which the people of Noah committed was to associate God with false gods. This basic error gave rise to a number of evils among them. God sent Noah to give them guidance to the right path. For a long time Noah strove with patience and wisdom to bring about changes, but all his efforts were in vain. Surat Nuh (Noah) (Chapter 71 Verses 5-7) says, "He said: 'O my Lord! Verily, I have called to my people night and day (i.e. secretly and openly to accept the doctrine of Islamic Monotheism) (5); but my call only added nothing but to (their) flight (from the Truth) (6). And verily, every time I have called unto them that You might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments, and persisted (in their refusal), and magnified themselves in pride' (7)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّى دَعَوۡتُ قَوۡمِى لَيۡلاً۬ وَنَهَارً۬ا (5)فَلَمۡ يَزِدۡهُمۡ دُعَآءِىٓ إِلَّا فِرَارً۬ا (6)وَإِنِّى ڪُلَّمَا دَعَوۡتُهُمۡ لِتَغۡفِرَ لَهُمۡ جَعَلُوٓاْ أَصَـٰبِعَهُمۡ فِىٓ ءَاذَانِہِمۡ وَٱسۡتَغۡشَوۡاْ ثِيَابَہُمۡ وَأَصَرُّواْ وَٱسۡتَكۡبَرُواْ ٱسۡتِكۡبَارً۬ا (7)
The Holy Qur'an also tells us in Surat Hud (Chapter 11 Verse 32), "They said, `O Nu'h (Noah)! You have disputed with us, and much have you prolonged the dispute with us, now bring upon us what you threaten us with if you are of the truthful!' (32)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
قَالُواْ يَـٰنُوحُ قَدۡ جَـٰدَلۡتَنَا فَأَڪۡثَرۡتَ جِدَٲلَنَا فَأۡتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَآ إِن ڪُنتَ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰدِقِينَ (32)
In Verses 36-37 of the same Surat, it says, "and it was revealed to Nu'h (Noah), 'None of your people will believe except those who have believed already! So be not sad because of what they used to do (36). And construct the ship under Our care and Our Revelation, and call not upon Me on behalf of those who did wrong; they are surely to be drowned ' (37)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَأُوحِىَ إِلَىٰ نُوحٍ أَنَّهُ ۥ لَن يُؤۡمِنَ مِن قَوۡمِكَ إِلَّا مَن قَدۡ ءَامَنَ فَلَا تَبۡتَٮِٕسۡ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفۡعَلُونَ (36)وَٱصۡنَعِ ٱلۡفُلۡكَ بِأَعۡيُنِنَا وَوَحۡيِنَا وَلَا تُخَـٰطِبۡنِى فِى ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوٓاْۚ إِنَّہُم مُّغۡرَقُونَ (37)
And in Su'rat Nuh (Noah) (Chapter 71 Verse 25) it says, "Because of their sins they were drowned, then were made to enter the Fire. And they found none to help them instead of Allah. (25)". (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
مِّمَّا خَطِيٓـَٔـٰتِہِمۡ أُغۡرِقُواْ فَأُدۡخِلُواْ نَارً۬ا فَلَمۡ يَجِدُواْ لَهُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَنصَارً۬ا (25)
According to Su'rat Hud (Chapter 11 Verse 44), the Ark settled on Mount Judi. This mountain is situated to the north-east of the island Ibn Umar in Kurdistan. Mount Judi is part of this range and is known even today by the same name. Verse 44 says, "And it was said: 'O Earth! Swallow up your water, and O sky! Withhold (your rain).' And the water was made to subside and the Decree of (Allah) was fulfilled [i.e. the destruction of the people of Nu'h (Noah)] (44)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَقِيلَ يَـٰٓأَرۡضُ ٱبۡلَعِى مَآءَكِ وَيَـٰسَمَآءُ أَقۡلِعِى وَغِيضَ ٱلۡمَآءُ وَقُضِىَ ٱلۡأَمۡرُ وَٱسۡتَوَتۡ عَلَى ٱلۡجُودِىِّۖ وَقِيلَ بُعۡدً۬ا لِّلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ (44)
According to the Bible, The Ark's resting place was Ararat, which is a name of a range of mountains in Armenia. Ararat extends from Armenian plateau to southern Kurdistan.
In connection with this great event, one is faced with the question of whether the Flood was universal or whether it was limited to the area inhabited by the people of Noah. According to the Bible (Genesis 7: 18-24), the Flood was universal. The Qur'an, however, does not explicitly say so; but indicates that subsequent generations of mankind are descendants of those who were saved from the Ark. But this does not necessarily mean that the Flood covered the whole world. The Qur'an only says in Surat Al-Qamar (Chapter 54 Verse 12), "And We caused springs to gush forth from the Earth. So, the waters (of the heaven and the Earth) met for a matter predestined (12)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَفَجَّرۡنَا ٱلۡأَرۡضَ عُيُونً۬ا فَٱلۡتَقَى ٱلۡمَآءُ عَلَىٰٓ أَمۡرٍ۬ قَدۡ قُدِرَ (12)
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The Thamud and the A'ad
The A'ad and the Thamud were people of some other races after Noah, and were also punished severely by The Almighty in this world because of their rejection of the teachings of Islam as brought down to them by God through their respective prophets, Saleh and Hud, peace be on them. It says in Surat Al-Ha'qa (Chapter 69 Verses 4-7), "Thamud and A'ad people denied the 'Qa'riah (the striking Hour of Judgement)! (4). As for Thamud, they were destroyed by the awful cry! (5). And as for A'ad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind! (6), which Allah imposed on them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so that you could see men lying overthrown (destroyed), as if they were hollow trunks of date palms! (7).Do you see any remnants of them? (8)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
كَذَّبَتۡ ثَمُودُ وَعَادُۢ بِٱلۡقَارِعَةِ (4) فَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَأُهۡلِڪُواْ بِٱلطَّاغِيَةِ (5) وَأَمَّا عَادٌ۬ فَأُهۡلِڪُواْ بِرِيحٍ۬ صَرۡصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ۬ (6)سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيۡہِمۡ سَبۡعَ لَيَالٍ۬ وَثَمَـٰنِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُومً۬ا فَتَرَى ٱلۡقَوۡمَ فِيہَا صَرۡعَىٰ كَأَنَّہُمۡ أَعۡجَازُ نَخۡلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ۬ (7) فَهَلۡ تَرَىٰ لَهُم مِّنۢ بَاقِيَةٍ۬ (8)
The A'ad were an ancient Arab people who were well known for their glory. It is understood that they lived in the region which is situated to the south-west of the Empty Quarter which lies between Hijaz and Yemen. They worshipped a number of idols such as Wudd, Suwa, Yaghuth and Nasr. The people of A'ad then wandered to the west coast and established themselves in Oman, and then to as far as Iraq. The Qur'an says in Surat Hud (Chapter 11 Verses 50-53, and 58-60), "And to the A'ad (people We send) their brother Hud. He said, 'O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other ila'h (god) but Him. Certainly, you do nothing but invent lies! (50). O my people! I ask of you no reward for it (the Message). My reward is only from Him Who created me. Will you not then understand? (51). And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord, and then repent to Him. He will send you (from the skies) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength; so do not turn away as Mujrimu'n (criminals) disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah)' (52). They said, 'Oh Hu'd! No evidence have you brought us, and we shall not leave our gods for your (mere) saying! And we are not believers in you' (53)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَإِلَىٰ عَادٍ أَخَاهُمۡ هُودً۬اۚ قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَڪُم مِّنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُ ۥۤۖ إِنۡ أَنتُمۡ إِلَّا مُفۡتَرُونَ (50)يَـٰقَوۡمِ لَآ أَسۡـَٔلُكُمۡ عَلَيۡهِ أَجۡرًاۖ إِنۡ أَجۡرِىَ إِلَّا عَلَى ٱلَّذِى فَطَرَنِىٓۚ أَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُونَ (51)وَيَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱسۡتَغۡفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمۡ ثُمَّ تُوبُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهِ يُرۡسِلِ ٱلسَّمَآءَ عَلَيۡڪُم مِّدۡرَارً۬ا وَيَزِدۡڪُمۡ قُوَّةً إِلَىٰ قُوَّتِكُمۡ وَلَا تَتَوَلَّوۡاْ مُجۡرِمِينَ (52)قَالُواْ يَـٰهُودُ مَا جِئۡتَنَا بِبَيِّنَةٍ۬ وَمَا نَحۡنُ بِتَارِكِىٓ ءَالِهَتِنَا عَن قَوۡلِكَ وَمَا نَحۡنُ لَكَ بِمُؤۡمِنِينَ (53)
And in Verses 58-60, "And when Our commandment came, We saved Hu'd and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us, and We saved them from a severe torment (58). Such were the A'ad (people). They rejected the A'yat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations, etc.) of their Lord and disobeyed His Messengers, and followed the command of every powerful, obstinate (oppressor of the Truth from their leaders) (59). And they were pursued by a curse in this world and (so will they be) on the Day of Resurrection. No doubt! Verily, A'ad disbelieved in their Lord! For the A'ad rejected their Lord and Cherisher! So away with A'ad, the people of Hu'd (60)". (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَلَمَّا جَآءَ أَمۡرُنَا نَجَّيۡنَا هُودً۬ا وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ ۥ بِرَحۡمَةٍ۬ مِّنَّا وَنَجَّيۡنَـٰهُم مِّنۡ عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٍ۬ (58)وَتِلۡكَ عَادٌ۬ۖ جَحَدُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ رَبِّہِمۡ وَعَصَوۡاْ رُسُلَهُ ۥ وَٱتَّبَعُوٓاْ أَمۡرَ كُلِّ جَبَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ۬ (59)وَأُتۡبِعُواْ فِى هَـٰذِهِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا لَعۡنَةً۬ وَيَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِۗ أَلَآ إِنَّ عَادً۬ا كَفَرُواْ رَبَّہُمۡۗ أَلَا بُعۡدً۬ا لِّعَادٍ۬ قَوۡمِ هُودٍ۬ (60)
There is very little archaeological evidence about the A'ad, as it says in the Qur'an, Su'rat Al-Ha'qah (Chapter 69 Verse 8), "Do you see any remnants of them?" (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
فَهَلۡ تَرَىٰ لَهُم مِّنۢ بَاقِيَةٍ۬ (8)
Dr. Shauqi Abu Khalil, in his book, 'Atlas of the Qur'an', says, "The people of Hadhramawt say that, after A'ad were destroyed, Prophet Hud lived In the land of Hadhramawt until he died in the western part of their land, not too far from the city of Taryam, which is near the valley of Barhut".
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The Thamud lived in the north-western part of Arabia which is still called al-Hijr. Madain Saleh, which is still in existence today, was the capital town of Thamud.
It says in Su'rat Hud (Chapter 11 Verse 61-68), "And to Thamud (people, We sent) their brother Salih (Saleh). He said: 'O my people! Worship Allah; you have no other ila'h (god) but Him. He brought you forth from the Earth and settled you therein, then ask forgiveness of Him and turn to Him in repentance. Certainly, my Lord is near (to all by His Knowledge), responsive' (61). They said: 'O Salih (Saleh)! You have been among us as a figure of good hope (and we wished for you to be our chief) till this [new thing which you have brought that we leave our gods and worship your God (Allah) alone]! Do you (now) forbid us the worship of what our fathers have worshipped? But we are really in grave doubt as to that to which you invite us to (Monotheism)' (62). He said: 'O my people! Tell me, if I have a clear proof from my Lord, and there has come to me a mercy (Prophethood) from Him, who then can help me from Allah, if I were to disobey Him? Then you increase me not but in loss' (63). 'And O my people! This she camel of Allah is a sign to you, so leave her to feed (graze) in Allah's land, and touch her not with evil, lest a near torment should seize you' (64). But they killed her. So he said: 'Enjoy yourselves in your homes for three days. This is a promise (i.e. a threat) that will not be belied' (65). So when Our Commandment came, We saved Salih (Saleh) and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us, and from the disgrace of that Day. Verily, your Lord — He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty (66). And As-Sa'iha (torment — awful cry) overtook the wrongdoers, so they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes (67), as if they had never lived there. Verily, Thamud disbelieved in theft Lord. So away with Thamud! 68)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَإِلَىٰ ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمۡ صَـٰلِحً۬اۚ قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُ ۥۖ هُوَ أَنشَأَكُم مِّنَ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَٱسۡتَعۡمَرَكُمۡ فِيہَا فَٱسۡتَغۡفِرُوهُ ثُمَّ تُوبُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهِۚ إِنَّ رَبِّى قَرِيبٌ۬ مُّجِيبٌ۬ (61)قَالُواْ يَـٰصَـٰلِحُ قَدۡ كُنتَ فِينَا مَرۡجُوًّ۬ا قَبۡلَ هَـٰذَآۖ أَتَنۡهَٮٰنَآ أَن نَّعۡبُدَ مَا يَعۡبُدُ ءَابَآؤُنَا وَإِنَّنَا لَفِى شَكٍّ۬ مِّمَّا تَدۡعُونَآ إِلَيۡهِ مُرِيبٍ۬ (62)قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ أَرَءَيۡتُمۡ إِن ڪُنتُ عَلَىٰ بَيِّنَةٍ۬ مِّن رَّبِّى وَءَاتَٮٰنِى مِنۡهُ رَحۡمَةً۬ فَمَن يَنصُرُنِى مِنَ ٱللَّهِ إِنۡ عَصَيۡتُهُ ۥۖ فَمَا تَزِيدُونَنِى غَيۡرَ تَخۡسِيرٍ۬ (63)وَيَـٰقَوۡمِ هَـٰذِهِۦ نَاقَةُ ٱللَّهِ لَڪُمۡ ءَايَةً۬ فَذَرُوهَا تَأۡڪُلۡ فِىٓ أَرۡضِ ٱللَّهِ وَلَا تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوٓءٍ۬ فَيَأۡخُذَكُمۡ عَذَابٌ۬ قَرِيبٌ۬ (64)فَعَقَرُوهَا فَقَالَ تَمَتَّعُواْ فِى دَارِڪُمۡ ثَلَـٰثَةَ أَيَّامٍ۬ۖ ذَٲلِكَ وَعۡدٌ غَيۡرُ مَكۡذُوبٍ۬ (65)فَلَمَّا جَآءَ أَمۡرُنَا نَجَّيۡنَا صَـٰلِحً۬ا وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ ۥ بِرَحۡمَةٍ۬ مِّنَّا وَمِنۡ خِزۡىِ يَوۡمِٮِٕذٍۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ ٱلۡقَوِىُّ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ (66)وَأَخَذَ ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ ٱلصَّيۡحَةُ فَأَصۡبَحُواْ فِى دِيَـٰرِهِمۡ جَـٰثِمِينَ (67)كَأَن لَّمۡ يَغۡنَوۡاْ فِيہَآۗ أَلَآ إِنَّ ثَمُودَاْ ڪَفَرُواْ رَبَّہُمۡۗ أَلَا بُعۡدً۬ا لِّثَمُودَ (68)
While Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) was travelling to Tabuk, he showed the Muslims the monuments which were the remains of Thamud and urged them to learn lessons of a people who were destroyed because of their evil-doing.
[Prophet Abraham's (Ibrahim's) Progeny]
Before we continue with our discussion on sinners of the past, it is important to say a word or two about Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). He is known as the father of all prophets, and the 'Khalil' of Allah, (i.e. one who is singled out for extra love by Allah). Prophet Ibrahim was born, about 4,000 years ago, in southern Iraq in a village on the outskirts of Kufah. At that time Iraq was under the rule of Nimrod. One day Abraham was having a confrontation with Nimrod concerning the question of Allah granting him sovereignty. The story is related in the Holy Qur'an in Su'rat Al-Baqarah (Chapter 2 Verse 258) as follows, "Have you not looked at him who disputed with lbrahim (Abraham) about his Lord (Allah), because Allah had given him a kingdom? When Ibrahim (Abraham) said (to him): 'My Lord (Allah) is He Who gives life and causes death.' He said: 'I give life and cause death.' Ibrahim (Abraham) said: 'Verily, Allah brings the sun from the east; then bring it you from the west.’ So the disbeliever was utterly defeated. And Allah guides not the people, who are Dha’limu'n (wrongdoers) (258)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
أَلَمۡ تَرَ إِلَى ٱلَّذِى حَآجَّ إِبۡرَٲهِـۧمَ فِى رَبِّهِۦۤ أَنۡ ءَاتَٮٰهُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡمُلۡكَ إِذۡ قَالَ إِبۡرَٲهِـۧمُ رَبِّىَ ٱلَّذِى يُحۡىِۦ وَيُمِيتُ قَالَ أَنَا۟ أُحۡىِۦ وَأُمِيتُۖ قَالَ إِبۡرَٲهِـۧمُ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَأۡتِى بِٱلشَّمۡسِ مِنَ ٱلۡمَشۡرِقِ فَأۡتِ بِہَا مِنَ ٱلۡمَغۡرِبِ فَبُهِتَ ٱلَّذِى كَفَرَۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَہۡدِى ٱلۡقَوۡمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ (258)
Besides the Qur'an the story also occurs in the Jewish Book, Talmud - (refer to muhammad.net - Abraham confounds Nimrod). In the Talmudic version of the story, it says that the father of Abraham occupied the highest office in Nimrod's government. When Abraham denounced polytheism, preached the oneness of God and smashed the idols of the temple, his own father lodged a complaint against him before the king, which led to the dialogue mentioned in the above Verse of the Qur'an. When Abraham was asked if he smashed the idols, his reply was as given in Su'rat Al-Anbiya' (Chapter 21 Verses 63-66), "He answered, ‘Rather it wasthis great one (the largest idol) who has done it. So ask them (the idols), if they can speak!' (63). Thereupon they turned to their (inner) selves and said (to themselves), ‘Surely it is you who are the wrong-doers' (64).Then their minds were turned up-side down, and they said, ‘You know well that they do not speak‘ (65). Abraham said, ‘D0 you then worship, besides Allah, a thing that can neither benefit you nor hurt you?‘ (66)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
قَالَ بَلۡ فَعَلَهُ ۥ ڪَبِيرُهُمۡ هَـٰذَا فَسۡـَٔلُوهُمۡ إِن ڪَانُواْ يَنطِقُونَ (63) فَرَجَعُوٓاْ إِلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِمۡ فَقَالُوٓاْ إِنَّكُمۡ أَنتُمُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ (64) ثُمَّ نُكِسُواْ عَلَىٰ رُءُوسِهِمۡ لَقَدۡ عَلِمۡتَ مَا هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ يَنطِقُونَ (65) قَالَ أَفَتَعۡبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنفَعُڪُمۡ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا وَلَا يَضُرُّكُمۡ (66)
According to the Talmud, Abraham was interned in prison on the orders of Nimrod for ten days, after which the king ordered him to be burnt alive. This incident is revealed in Surat AI-Anbiya' (Chapter 21 Verse 69), "We (Allah) said: 'O fire, be you coolness and safety for Abraham’ (69)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
قُلۡنَا يَـٰنَارُ كُونِى بَرۡدً۬ا وَسَلَـٰمًا عَلَىٰٓ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ (69 (
Following this incident, Abraham left Iraq and travelled to the Arabian Peninsula, Palestine and then to Egypt, taking with him his wife Sara and his nephew Lot. Eventually, he returned to Palestine and settled there, while Lot settled-down south of the Dead Sea. Later-on in life, Prophet Abraham travelled with his second wife, Ha'jir, to Mecca with their son Ismail. Meanwhile, he used to travel to and fro Palestine and Mecca, leaving Ha'jir and Ismail in Mecca. According to Dr. Shauqi Abu Khalil, in his book, The Atlas of the Qur'an at page 61, Prophet Abraham eventually died in Palestine, (his country of refuge), and was buried in the city of Hebron.
Prophet lbrahim's progeny descended in two main branches. One of these, the children of Ismail, lived in Arabia. The Quraish and other Arabian tribes, who are also known as Adnaniyyun, belonged to this branch of lbrahim's line in which Prophet Muhammad was born. Even those Arabian tribes which were not related to him by blood identified themselves with Ibrahim, since they had been influenced in varying degrees by his religious teachings. The other branch, from Isaac (Is'haq), the son of his first wife, Sara, came the Jews. In this branch there arose a number of prophets, such as Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, John, and Jesus. Jacob (Ya'qub) who changed his name from Jacob to Israel had 12 sons, and the descendents of these 12 sons are known as the 12 Tribes of Israel. This branch of lbrahim's family is claimed to have given birth first to Judaism, and subsequently to Christianity; yet the reality remains that all the prophets were Muslims. We shall say more about the Children of Israel later.
Before I close this account on Prophet Ibrahim, I would like to quote Dr. Shauqi Abu Khalil again in his book, ‘Atlas of the Qur'an' page 63, regarding Prophet lbrahim's migration. He had this to say, (Quote): "lt is noteworthy to mention here that "Palestine was the land of exile for Ibrahim, his son ls‘haq and his grandson Ya'qub, a fact that is established in the Torah itself. They were strangers in Palestine, living among its native dwellers, the Al-Kan'aniyyin. This is particularly the case for the Children of Israel who were all born and raised in Harran. This stage for them ended when the family of Ya'qub migrated to Egypt, where they joined up with Yusuf. Then they became assimilated into the culture and environment of Egypt. (End of quote).
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The People of Lot
Besides A'ad and Thamud, the people of Lot are another example of people who were destroyed because of their refusal to accept Islam.
The land inhabited by the people of Lot lies between Iraq and Palestine. According to the Bible, its capital town was Sodom, which is situated either near the Dead Sea or presently lies submerged under it. However, the whole nation perished and we can find no traces of it. As we said earlier, the Prophet Lot was a nephew of Abraham who moved from Iraq to Syria, Palestine and then Egypt for a while. Thereafter, God bestowed prophethood upon him and assigned to him the mission of reforming his misguided people.
The people of Lot were not only shameless and corrupt, but were also a people who were deep in moral disgrace to such a degree that even the presence of a few righteous persons had become intolerable to them. When these people reached such a low extent in immorality, God decreed that they would be wiped out altogether, except for Lot and some members of his family. His wife, who was in support of those evil people, was doomed together with them. lt says in Su'rat Al-Ankabu't (Chapter 29 Verses 28—35), "And (remember) (Lut) Lot, when he said to his people: ‘you commit Al-fahisha (the worst sin), which none has preceded you in (committing) in the A'lami'n (in the world) (28). Verily, you practise sodomy with men, and rob the wayfarer (travellers!) And practise Almunkar (every kind of evil deed) in your meetings‘. But his people gave no answer except they said: ‘bring Allah's torment upon us if you are one of the truthful‘ (29). He said, My Lord! Give me victory over the people who are Mufsidu'n (corrupt) (30). And when Our messengers came to Ibrahim (Abraham) with the glad tidings they said: ‘Verily, we are going to destroy the people of this town; truly its people have been Dha‘limu'n (wrong-doers) (31). Ibrahim (Abraham) said: ‘but there is Lot in it.‘ They said: ‘we know better who is there. We will, verily, save him and his family except his wife; she will be of those who remain behind’ (32). And when Our messengers came to Lut (Lot), he was grieved because of them, and felt ashamed from his people's reaction. They said: ‘Have no fear, and do not grieve! Truly, we shall save you and your family except your wife; she will be of those who remain behind (33). Verily, We are about to bring down on the people of this town a great torment from the sky, because they have been rebellious (34). And indeed We have left thereof an evident Ayah (Sign), for a folk who understand‘ (35)." (Study the Noble (Qur'an - Word-for-Word).
وَلُوطًا إِذۡ قَالَ لِقَوۡمِهِۦۤ إِنَّڪُمۡ لَتَأۡتُونَ ٱلۡفَـٰحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَڪُم بِہَا مِنۡ أَحَدٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ (28) أَٮِٕنَّكُمۡ لَتَأۡتُونَ ٱلرِّجَالَ وَتَقۡطَعُونَ ٱلسَّبِيلَ وَتَأۡتُونَ فِى نَادِيكُمُ ٱلۡمُنڪَرَۖ فَمَا كَانَ جَوَابَ قَوۡمِهِۦۤ إِلَّآ أَن قَالُواْ ٱئۡتِنَا بِعَذَابِ ٱللَّهِ إِن ڪُنتَ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰدِقِينَ (29) قَالَ رَبِّ ٱنصُرۡنِى عَلَى ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡمُفۡسِدِينَ (30) وَلَمَّا جَآءَتۡ رُسُلُنَآ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ بِٱلۡبُشۡرَىٰ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّا مُهۡلِكُوٓاْ أَهۡلِ هَـٰذِهِ ٱلۡقَرۡيَةِۖ إِنَّ أَهۡلَهَا ڪَانُواْ ظَـٰلِمِينَ (31) قَالَ إِنَّ فِيهَا لُوطً۬اۚ قَالُواْ نَحۡنُ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَن فِيہَاۖ لَنُنَجِّيَنَّهُ ۥ وَأَهۡلَهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا ٱمۡرَأَتَهُ ۥ ڪَانَتۡ مِنَ ٱلۡغَـٰبِرِينَ (32) وَلَمَّآ أَن جَآءَتۡ رُسُلُنَا لُوطً۬ا سِىٓءَ بِہِمۡ وَضَاقَ بِهِمۡ ذَرۡعً۬ا وَقَالُواْ لَا تَخَفۡ وَلَا تَحۡزَنۡۖ إِنَّا مُنَجُّوكَ وَأَهۡلَكَ إِلَّا ٱمۡرَأَتَكَ ڪَانَتۡ مِنَ ٱلۡغَـٰبِرِينَ (33) إِنَّا مُنزِلُونَ عَلَىٰٓ أَهۡلِ هَـٰذِهِ ٱلۡقَرۡيَةِ رِجۡزً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفۡسُقُونَ (34) وَلَقَد تَّرَڪۡنَا مِنۡهَآ ءَايَةَۢ بَيِّنَةً۬ لِّقَوۡمٍ۬ يَعۡقِلُونَ (35)
The Qur'an refers to sodomy, of which the people of Lot were most notorious, as the most hideous act. It also says in Su'rat Hijr (Chapter 15 Verses 73-75), ”So As-Sayhah (torment — awful cry) overtook them at the time of sunrise (73). And We turned the (towns of Sodom in Palestine) upside down, and rained down on them stones of baked clay (74). Surely, in this are signs for those who see (75)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for- Word).
فَأَخَذَتۡہُمُ ٱلصَّيۡحَةُ مُشۡرِقِينَ (73) فَجَعَلۡنَا عَـٰلِيَہَا سَافِلَهَا وَأَمۡطَرۡنَا عَلَيۡہِمۡ حِجَارَةً۬ مِّن سِجِّيلٍ (74) إِنَّ فِى ذَٲلِكَ لَأَيَـٰتٍ۬ لِّلۡمُتَوَسِّمِينَ (75)
It also says in the Holy Qur'an, Su'rat Al-Qamar (Chapter 54 Verses 33-34: "The people of Lut (Lot) belied the warnings (33). Verily, We sent against them a violent storm of stones, (which destroyed them all), except the family of Lut (Lot), them We saved in the last hour of the night (3-4)." (Study the Noble Qur'an —Word-for-Word).
كَذَّبَتۡ قَوۡمُ لُوطِۭ بِٱلنُّذُرِ (33) إِنَّآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا عَلَيۡہِمۡ حَاصِبًا إِلَّآ ءَالَ لُوطٍ۬ۖ نَّجَّيۡنَـٰهُم بِسَحَرٍ۬ (34)
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The People of Madyan
The people of Madyan were yet another people who degenerated from the right way of Islam to Kufr or blasphemy. These are reckoned to be descendants of Madyan, a son of the Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) from his third wife, Qatura.
According to Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi in ‘Towards Understanding the Qur'an‘, Volume 3 page 53, (Quote): the territory of Madyan lay to the north-west of Hijaz and south of Palestine on the coast of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba; and part of the territory stretched to the northern border of the Sinai Peninsula. The Madyan towns were situated at the crossroads of the trade routes from Yemen through Mecca to Syria and from Iraq to Egypt. Long after Madyan was destroyed for their sins, the Arabs used to pass through territories which were full of the ruins of their monuments. (End of quote).
The people of Madyan suffered from two major ailments — polytheism and dishonesty in business. God the Almighty, then sent Prophet Shu'aib who devoted his efforts to purging them of those evils. It says in the Qur’an Su'rat A/-A’araf (Chapter 7 Verse 85), "And to the people of Madyan (Midian), (We sent) forth their brother Shu'aib. He said: ‘O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other ila'h (god) but Him. Verily, a clear proof (sign) from your Lord has come unto you. So give full measure and full weight and wrong not men in their things, and do not do mischief on the earth after it has been set in order. That will be better for you, if you are believers‘ (85)." (Study the Noble Qur'an - Word-for-Word).
وَإِلَىٰ مَدۡيَنَ أَخَاهُمۡ شُعَيۡبً۬اۗ قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَڪُم مِّنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُ ۥۖ قَدۡ جَآءَتۡڪُم بَيِّنَةٌ۬ مِّن رَّبِّڪُمۡۖ فَأَوۡفُواْ ٱلۡڪَيۡلَ وَٱلۡمِيزَانَ وَلَا تَبۡخَسُواْ ٱلنَّاسَ أَشۡيَآءَهُمۡ وَلَا تُفۡسِدُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ بَعۡدَ إِصۡلَـٰحِهَاۚ ذَٲلِڪُمۡ خَيۡرٌ۬ لَّكُمۡ إِن ڪُنتُم مُّؤۡمِنِينَ (85(
It says in Verse 88 of the same Su'rat, "The chiefs of those who were arrogant among his people said: ‘We shall certainly drive you out, O! Shu'aib, and those who have believed with you from our town, or else you (all) shall return to our religion.’ He said: ‘Even though we hate it?‘ (88). (Study the Noble Qur'an —Word-for-Word).
قَالَ ٱلۡمَلَأُ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱسۡتَكۡبَرُواْ مِن قَوۡمِهِۦ لَنُخۡرِجَنَّكَ يَـٰشُعَيۡبُ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَكَ مِن قَرۡيَتِنَآ أَوۡ لَتَعُودُنَّ فِى مِلَّتِنَاۚ قَالَ أَوَلَوۡ كُنَّا كَـٰرِهِينَ 88))
It goes on to say in Su'rat Al-A‘araf, Verses 90-93, ”The chiefs of those who disbelieved among his people said: ‘If you follow Shu'aib, be sure that you will be losers’ (90). So the earthquake seized them, and they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes (91). Those who belied Shu'aib, became as if they had never dwelt there (in their homes). Those who belied Shu'aib, were the losers (92). Then he (Shu'aib) turned on them, and said: ‘O my people! I have indeed conveyed my Lord's message unto you, and I have given you good advice. Then how can I sorrow for the disbelieving people's destruction? (93)." (Study the Noble Qur'an —Word-for-Word).
وَقَالَ ٱلۡمَلَأُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قَوۡمِهِۦ لَٮِٕنِ ٱتَّبَعۡتُمۡ شُعَيۡبًا إِنَّكُمۡ إِذً۬ا لَّخَـٰسِرُونَ (90) فَأَخَذَتۡہُمُ ٱلرَّجۡفَةُ فَأَصۡبَحُواْ فِى دَارِهِمۡ جَـٰثِمِينَ (91) ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ شُعَيۡبً۬ا كَأَن لَّمۡ يَغۡنَوۡاْ فِيهَاۚ ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ شُعَيۡبً۬ا كَانُواْ هُمُ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرِينَ (92)فَتَوَلَّىٰ عَنۡهُمۡ وَقَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ لَقَدۡ أَبۡلَغۡتُڪُمۡ رِسَـٰلَـٰتِ رَبِّى وَنَصَحۡتُ لَكُمۡۖ فَكَيۡفَ ءَاسَىٰ عَلَىٰ قَوۡمٍ۬ كَـٰفِرِينَ (93)
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The Pharaohs are also a people who violated the Laws of Islam and received a severe punishment from God. They lived in Egypt and regarded themselves as gods. While their people were happy and wealthy they oppressed the Children of Israel whom they kept as slaves. Moses’ parents were amongst the oppressed slaves.
When Moses was appointed prophet by God and was sent, together with his brother Aaron (Ha'ru'n), to liberate the Children of Israel from Pharaoh's oppression, the Pharaoh invited all his best sorcerers in town. Moses, by the will of God, exposed their tricks and proved them wrong. The sorcerers were convinced beyond doubt that what Moses did was genuine and what they saw was nothing less than a Divine Power. As a result, all Pharaoh's sorcerers fell down prostrate in adoration, saying, as given in Surah Al-A'araf (Chapter 7 Verses 121-122), "They said: ‘We believe in the Lord of the Alami'n (the worlds) (121). The Lord of (Mu'sa) Moses and (Ha'ru'n) Aaron (122)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
قَالُوٓاْ ءَامَنَّا بِرَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ (121) رَبِّ مُوسَىٰ وَهَـٰرُونَ (122)
Pharaoh and his chiefs were bent on punishing Moses, the sorcerers and the Children of Israel. The Su'rat continues to say in Verses 126-127,”And you (Pharaoh) take vengeance on us only because we believed in the (Aya’t) signs of Our Lord when they reached us! Our Lord! Pour out on us patience and cause us to die as Muslims (126). The chiefs of the (Fir'aun) Pharaoh's people said: ‘Will you leave (Mu’sa) Moses and his people to spread mischief in the land, and to abandon you and your gods?‘ He said: ‘We will kill their sons, and let live their women, and we have indeed irresistible power over them‘(127)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَمَا تَنقِمُ مِنَّآ إِلَّآ أَنۡ ءَامَنَّا بِـَٔايَـٰتِ رَبِّنَا لَمَّا جَآءَتۡنَاۚ رَبَّنَآ أَفۡرِغۡ عَلَيۡنَا صَبۡرً۬ا وَتَوَفَّنَا مُسۡلِمِينَ (126) وَقَالَ ٱلۡمَلَأُ مِن قَوۡمِ فِرۡعَوۡنَ أَتَذَرُ مُوسَىٰ وَقَوۡمَهُ ۥ لِيُفۡسِدُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَيَذَرَكَ وَءَالِهَتَكَۚ قَالَ سَنُقَتِّلُ أَبۡنَآءَهُمۡ وَنَسۡتَحۡىِۦ نِسَآءَهُمۡ وَإِنَّا فَوۡقَهُمۡ قَـٰهِرُونَ (127)
God, the Almighty, then punished Pharaoh and his people with years of drought and shortage of crops that they might receive admonition. They told Moses that whatever signs he brought, they would never believe in him. So God sent 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 as narrated in Su'rat Al-A'ara'f (Chapter 7 Verses 134-136), "And when the punishment fell on them they said: ‘O (Mu'sa) Moses! Invoke your Lord for us because of His promise to you. If you remove the punishment from us, we indeed shall believe in you, and we shall let the Children of Israel go with you (134). But when We removed the punishment from them to a fixed term, which they had to reach—behold! They broke their word! (135). So We took retribution from them. We drowned them in the sea, because they belied Our (Aya't) signs, and were heedless about them (136)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for Word).
وَلَمَّا وَقَعَ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلرِّجۡزُ قَالُواْ يَـٰمُوسَى ٱدۡعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ بِمَا عَهِدَ عِندَكَۖ لَٮِٕن كَشَفۡتَ عَنَّا ٱلرِّجۡزَ لَنُؤۡمِنَنَّ لَكَ وَلَنُرۡسِلَنَّ مَعَكَ بَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ (134) فَلَمَّا ڪَشَفۡنَا عَنۡہُمُ ٱلرِّجۡزَ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍ هُم بَـٰلِغُوهُ إِذَا هُمۡ يَنكُثُونَ (135)فَٱنتَقَمۡنَا مِنۡہُمۡ فَأَغۡرَقۡنَـٰهُمۡ فِى ٱلۡيَمِّ بِأَنَّہُمۡ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا وَڪَانُواْ عَنۡہَا غَـٰفِلِينَ (136)
It also says in Su'rat Yunus (Jonah) (Chapter 10 Verses 90-92), "And We took the Children of Israel across the sea, and (Fir'aun) Pharaoh and his hosts followed them in oppression and enmity, till when drowning overtook him, he said: ‘I believe that none has the right to be worshipped but He (Allah) in whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims (those who submit to Allah's Will)‘ (90). ‘Now (you believe); while you refused to believe before and were one of the Mufsidu'n (evildoers and the corrupters) (91). So this day We shall deliver your (dead) body (out from the sea) that you may be a sign to those who come after you! And verily, many among mankind are heedless of the Aya't' (92)." (Study the Noble Qur'an - Word-for-Word).
وَجَـٰوَزۡنَا بِبَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ ٱلۡبَحۡرَ فَأَتۡبَعَهُمۡ فِرۡعَوۡنُ وَجُنُودُهُ ۥ بَغۡيً۬ا وَعَدۡوًاۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَدۡرَڪَهُ ٱلۡغَرَقُ قَالَ ءَامَنتُ أَنَّهُ ۥ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِىٓ ءَامَنَتۡ بِهِۦ بَنُوٓاْ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ وَأَنَا۟ مِنَ ٱلۡمُسۡلِمِينَ (90) ءَآلۡـَٔـٰنَ وَقَدۡ عَصَيۡتَ قَبۡلُ وَكُنتَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُفۡسِدِينَ (91) فَٱلۡيَوۡمَ نُنَجِّيكَ بِبَدَنِكَ لِتَكُونَ لِمَنۡ خَلۡفَكَ ءَايَةً۬ۚ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ عَنۡ ءَايَـٰتِنَا لَغَـٰفِلُونَ (92)
The pharaoh's corpse is still in exhibition t0day.among other pharaohs' corpses. Sadly, instead of people taking it as a lesson or warning, they tend to pause beside it with pride and dignity - quite different from what the Qur'an says. (According to Dr.Shauqi Abu Khalil, in his book ‘Atlas of the Qur'an‘, Musa's life coincided with the rule of the Pharaoh Merneptah (Minfita'h), who ruled from the year 1230 B.C.-1215 B.C.
*** *** ***
The Children of Israel
No sooner had the Children of Israel crossed to the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, than they turned against Moses and his brother Aaron, the very people who had saved them from Pharaoh's oppression.
Before we go into account of their defiance to God’s guidance as sent down through Moses, let us see who ‘The Children of Israel’ are. As said earlier, they originate from the twelve sons of Jacob (Ya'qub) who is also called Israel. He was the son of Isaac (Is'haq) and the grand-son of Abraham (Ibrahim). The descendants of each one of Jacob's sons eventually formed one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
It is these twelve tribes which are referred to in the Qur’an when Prophet Musa (Moses) struck his stick on the rock and twelve water springs gushed out, one for each tribe, so that they would not quarrel over water. It says in Su'rat Al-Baqarah (Chapter 2 Verse 60), "And remember when (Musa) Moses asked for water for his people and We said: ‘Strike the stone with your stick,’ then gushed forth therefrom twelve springs. Each (group of) people knew its own place for water. ‘Eat and drink of that which Allah has provided and do not act corruptly, making mischief on the Earth." (60)". (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word- for-Word).
وَإِذِ ٱسۡتَسۡقَىٰ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوۡمِهِۦ فَقُلۡنَا ٱضۡرِب بِّعَصَاكَ ٱلۡحَجَرَۖ فَٱنفَجَرَتۡ مِنۡهُ ٱثۡنَتَا عَشۡرَةَ عَيۡنً۬اۖ قَدۡ عَلِمَ ڪُلُّ أُنَاسٍ۬ مَّشۡرَبَهُمۡۖ ڪُلُواْ وَٱشۡرَبُواْ مِن رِّزۡقِ ٱللَّهِ وَلَا تَعۡثَوۡاْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ مُفۡسِدِينَ (60(
Mawdudi, in the footnotes to his translation of this Verse in Towards Understanding the Qur'an, Volume 1 page 77 says,(Quote): ‘this rock is still to be found in the Sinai and attracts tourists. It still bears the slits and cracks of the springs‘ (Unquote).
The Children of Israel were God’s chosen people. The following verses from the Holy Qur'an give the best account of how God favoured them above the rest of mankind and how, later on, they degenerated to such an extent that they finally received God's wrath. In Su'rat Al-Baqarah (Chapter 2 Verse 122), Allah tells them, "O Children of Israel! Remember My favour which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you to the 'Alamin' [mankind and jinn (of your time period, in the past)] (122)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
يَـٰبَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ ٱذۡكُرُواْ نِعۡمَتِىَ ٱلَّتِىٓ أَنۡعَمۡتُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَأَنِّى فَضَّلۡتُكُمۡ عَلَى ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ (122)
God the Almighty tells them again in the same Su'rat, Verse 40: “O Children of Israel! Remember my favour which I bestowed on you, and fulfill (your obligations to) My covenant (with you) so that I fulfill (My Obligations to) your covenant (with Me), and fear none but Me (40)". (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
يَـٰبَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ ٱذۡكُرُواْ نِعۡمَتِىَ ٱلَّتِىٓ أَنۡعَمۡتُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَأَوۡفُواْ بِعَہۡدِىٓ أُوفِ بِعَهۡدِكُمۡ وَإِيَّـٰىَ فَٱرۡهَبُونِ (40(
Su'rat Al-Baqarah continues in Verses 49-52, "And (remember) when We delivered you from Fir'aun’s (Pharaoh's) people who were afflicting you with horrible torment, killing your sons and sparing your women, and therein was a mighty trial from your Lord (49). And remember when We separated the sea for you and saved you and drowned Fir'aun’s (Pharaoh's) people while you were looking (at them when the sea-water covered them) (50). And (remember) when We appointed for Musa (Moses) forty nights, and (in his absence) you took the calf (for worship), and you were Dha'limu'n (polytheists, wrong-doers (51). Then after that We forgave you so that you might be grateful (52)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَإِذۡ نَجَّيۡنَـٰڪُم مِّنۡ ءَالِ فِرۡعَوۡنَ يَسُومُونَكُمۡ سُوٓءَ ٱلۡعَذَابِ يُذَبِّحُونَ أَبۡنَآءَكُمۡ وَيَسۡتَحۡيُونَ نِسَآءَكُمۡۚ وَفِى ذَٲلِكُم بَلَآءٌ۬ مِّن رَّبِّكُمۡ عَظِيمٌ۬ (49) وَإِذۡ فَرَقۡنَا بِكُمُ ٱلۡبَحۡرَ فَأَنجَيۡنَـٰڪُمۡ وَأَغۡرَقۡنَآ ءَالَ فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَأَنتُمۡ تَنظُرُونَ (50) وَإِذۡ وَٲعَدۡنَا مُوسَىٰٓ أَرۡبَعِينَ لَيۡلَةً۬ ثُمَّ ٱتَّخَذۡتُمُ ٱلۡعِجۡلَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِۦ وَأَنتُمۡ ظَـٰلِمُونَ (51) ثُمَّ عَفَوۡنَا عَنكُم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ ذَٲلِكَ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَشۡكُرُونَ (52)
The Su'rat continues to say in Verses 55-58, "And (remember) when you said: 'O Musa (Moses), we shall never believe in you until we see Allah plainly.’ But you were seized with a thunderbolt (lightning) while you were looking (55). Then We raised you up after your death, so that you might be grateful (56). And We shaded you with clouds and sent down on you AI-Manna (special heavenly food) and quail, (saying): ‘Eat of the good lawful things We have provided for you,’ (but they rebelled). And they did not wrong Us but wronged themselves (57). And (remember) when We said: ‘Enter this town (Jerusalem) and eat bountifully therein with pleasure and delight wherever you wish, and enter the gate in prostration (or bowing with humility) and say: ‘forgive us,‘ and We shall forgive you your sins and shall increase (reward) for the good-doers' (58)". (Study the Noble Qur'an - Word-for- Word).
وَإِذۡ قُلۡتُمۡ يَـٰمُوسَىٰ لَن نُّؤۡمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّىٰ نَرَى ٱللَّهَ جَهۡرَةً۬ فَأَخَذَتۡكُمُ ٱلصَّـٰعِقَةُ وَأَنتُمۡ تَنظُرُونَ (55) ثُمَّ بَعَثۡنَـٰكُم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ مَوۡتِكُمۡ لَعَلَّڪُمۡ تَشۡكُرُونَ (56) وَظَلَّلۡنَا عَلَيۡڪُمُ ٱلۡغَمَامَ وَأَنزَلۡنَا عَلَيۡكُمُ ٱلۡمَنَّ وَٱلسَّلۡوَىٰۖ كُلُواْ مِن طَيِّبَـٰتِ مَا رَزَقۡنَـٰكُمۡۖ وَمَا ظَلَمُونَا وَلَـٰكِن كَانُوٓاْ أَنفُسَهُمۡ يَظۡلِمُونَ (57) وَإِذۡ قُلۡنَا ٱدۡخُلُواْ هَـٰذِهِ ٱلۡقَرۡيَةَ فَڪُلُواْ مِنۡهَا حَيۡثُ شِئۡتُمۡ رَغَدً۬ا وَٱدۡخُلُواْ ٱلۡبَابَ سُجَّدً۬ا وَقُولُواْ حِطَّةٌ۬ نَّغۡفِرۡ لَكُمۡ خَطَـٰيَـٰكُمۡۚ وَسَنَزِيدُ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ (58)
It continues to say in Verse 61, "And (remember) when you said, ‘O Musa (Moses)! We cannot endure one kind of food. So invoke your Lord for us to bring forth for us what the earth grows, its herbs, its cucumbers, its Fu'm (wheat or garlic), its lentils and its onions‘. He said, ‘Would you exchange that which is better for that which is lower? Go you down to any town and you shall find what you want.’ And they were covered with humiliation and misery, and they drew on themselves the Wrath of Allah. That is because they used to disbelieve the Aya’t (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah and killed the prophets wrongfully. That is because they disobeyed and used to transgress the bounds (in their disobedience to Allah, i.e. commit crimes and sins) (61)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
وَإِذۡ قُلۡتُمۡ يَـٰمُوسَىٰ لَن نَّصۡبِرَ عَلَىٰ طَعَامٍ۬ وَٲحِدٍ۬ فَٱدۡعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُخۡرِجۡ لَنَا مِمَّا تُنۢبِتُ ٱلۡأَرۡضُ مِنۢ بَقۡلِهَا وَقِثَّآٮِٕهَا وَفُومِهَا وَعَدَسِہَا وَبَصَلِهَاۖ قَالَ أَتَسۡتَبۡدِلُونَ ٱلَّذِى هُوَ أَدۡنَىٰ بِٱلَّذِى هُوَ خَيۡرٌۚ ٱهۡبِطُواْ مِصۡرً۬ا فَإِنَّ لَڪُم مَّا سَأَلۡتُمۡۗ وَضُرِبَتۡ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلذِّلَّةُ وَٱلۡمَسۡڪَنَةُ وَبَآءُو بِغَضَبٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِۗ ذَٲلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمۡ كَانُواْ يَكۡفُرُونَ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ وَيَقۡتُلُونَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ بِغَيۡرِ ٱلۡحَقِّۗ ذَٲلِكَ بِمَا عَصَواْ وَّڪَانُواْ يَعۡتَدُونَ
The Torah (Taura't) and The Gospel (lnjil)
Allah tells us in Su'rat AI-Imran (Chapter 3 Verses 1-4), "Alif,La'm, Mi'm [These letters are the miracle of the (Qur‘an, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings.] (1). Allah! La‘ ila'ha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), AI-HayyuI-Qayyu'm (the Ever Living, the one Who sustains and protects all that exists) (2). It is He Who has sent down the Book (the Qur'an) to you (Muhammad) with truth, confirming what came before it.And He sent down the Torah (Taura't) and the Gospel (lnjil) (3).Aforetime, as a guidance to mankind; and He sent down the Criterion [of judgement between right and wrong (this Qur'an)]. Truly, those who disbelieve in the Aya't (proofs, evidences, verses,lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, for them there is a severe torment; and Allah is All-Mighty; All-Able of Retribution (4)." Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
الٓمٓ (1) ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلۡحَىُّ ٱلۡقَيُّومُ (2) نَزَّلَ عَلَيۡكَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ مُصَدِّقً۬ا لِّمَا بَيۡنَ يَدَيۡهِ وَأَنزَلَ ٱلتَّوۡرَٮٰةَ وَٱلۡإِنجِيلَ (3) مِن قَبۡلُ هُدً۬ى لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَنزَلَ ٱلۡفُرۡقَانَۗ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ لَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ۬ شَدِيدٌ۬ۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ۬ ذُو ٱنتِقَامٍ (4)
According to scholars, the Torah, in the Qur‘an signifies the revelations made to Moses, peace be on him, in about forty years,from the time he was appointed prophet until his death. These include the Ten Commandments which were handed over to him inscribed on stone tablets. It is this book which is known as the Torah. In Volume 1 of his translation of the Qur'an, ‘Towards Understanding the Qur‘an,‘ Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi said, (Quote): Altogether there were thirteen copies. Twelve copies were handed over by Moses himself to the twelve tribes of the Children of Israel and one copy was entrusted to the Levites for safe keeping. Unfortunately, all the original copies were lost over the years because of wars and subsequent destruction of Jerusalem, together with the Temple of Solomon. The present Torah, however, comprises only of fragments of the original one which were compiled by elders of the community. It is believed by scholars that, fragments such as those which start with, ‘Then the Lord said to Moses‘ and ‘Moses said‘, ‘the Lord, your God,commands you‘, are probably fragments from the original Torah."(End of quote).
Sayyid Mawdudi continues to say in Volume 1 page 234, (Quote): It is these scattered fragments of the original revealed Book which the Qur'an refers to as the Torah, and it is these which it confirms. The similarity between the Qur'an and such fragments in the Torah convince any careful reader that they had both sprung from one and the same Divine source. Likewise, lnjil (Gospel) or the Bible signifies the inspired words of Jesus, peace be upon him, which he delivered during the last two or three years of his life as a prophet. It is difficult to identify those statements which were originally revealed by Jesus himself and those which were added on. Like the Torah, however, the scholars can only determine that those sections explicitly attributed to Jesus, for example in statements such as, "And Jesus said" or "And Jesus taught", constitute the true lnjil. It is the totality of such fragments which is designated as the Bible by the Qur'an, and it is the teachings contained in these fragments that the Qur'an confirms. (End of quote).
The Torah, as it was revealed to Moses by God, taught the Children of Israel to worship one and only one God. Similarly,when Prophet Issa (Jesus) was sent by God to re-direct the Children of lsrael after they had gone astray, he too, spoke of one and only one God. Unfortunately, both the Torah and the Injil were very much tampered with by man. They lost most of the original teachings, and now, only a few fragmented statements remain from the original text.
Dr. Shauqi Abu Khalil in his book, Atlas of the Qur'an, has this to say regarding Prophet Moses and the Torah:-
"As for the people of Musa, they followed the religion of Pure Monotheism. Their religion is different from the religion of the Jews, which calls for the worship of 'Yahwa,‘ who was their particular god, based on their description of themselves as being ‘The Chosen People.’ The actual teachings and Shari'ah (set of laws) of Musa were written in hieroglyphics, and no trace of those writings can now be found. Then the descendents of Musa's people embraced the language, culture and customs of the Kan'an; those descendents deviated from the teachings and Shari'ah of Musa, and it is they who, from that time onward,became known as Jews. The word ‘Jew’ was used for those who remained from the people of Yahudha, those who were taken as captives and led to Babel, 586 years before the beginning of the Christian calendar. As captives who were mixing in a new culture,they developed a new dialect that was based on Aramaic, and it is with this dialect that they wrote the Torah that is with us now;they had composed it while they were prisoners in Babel,approximately 800 years after the time of Musa. That is why their dialect became known as the Aramaic of the Torah. Without a doubt, the Torah they composed does not contain the same Shari'ah (set of laws) that was revealed to Musa. Therefore, we can call their book, ‘The Torah of the Jews,’ in order to distinguish it with from, ‘The Torah of Musa'." (End of quote).
With regard to lnjil (Gospel), it is interesting to note that there are some statements which confirm what the Qur'an says regarding one God or Monotheism. The following Scriptures (including the New Testament) stress the fact that God alone is the ‘Only True God':-
"And this is the way to have eternal life - by knowing you,the only true God, and Jesus Christ the one you sent to the earth." John 17:3
Throughout the Old Testament, God alone is referred to as the SAVIOR. In Isaiah, God Himself speaks, saying clearly that He Alone is the Savior:
"For I am the Lord, your God, your Savior the Holy One of Israel, (Isaiah 43:3) "You are my witnesses and my servants,chosen to know and to believe in me and to understand that I alone am God. There is no other god; there never was and never will be. I am the Lord, and there is no other savior. (Isaiah 43:10-11)
God repeats this categorical statement in Hosea:
I alone am God, your Lord, and have been ever since l brought you out from Egypt. You have no God but Me, for there is no other Savior." Hosea 13:4
These statements go on and on in both the Old and the New Testaments. But most of all, we cannot ignore the reminder in Isaiah 46:9 where God speaks of Himself:
"I am God, - I only - and there is no other like me.." (This means the same as it is in the Holy Qur'an: LA ILAHA ILLA ALLAH(!
That the Qur'an supports the Torah and the lnjil is clearly stated in the following verse:-
Su'rat Al-Maaida (Chapter 5 Verse 68), "Say O (Muhammad),‘O People of the Scripture! (Jews and Christians)! You have nothing (as regards guidance) till you act according to Taur'at (Torah), the lnjil (Gospel), and what has (now) been sent down to you from your Lord (the Qur'an).‘ Verily, that which has been sent down to you (Muhammad) from your Lord increases in most of them (their) obstinate rebellion and disbelief. So, be not sorrowful over the people who disbelieve (68)." (Study the Noble Qur'an —Word-for-Word).
قُلۡ يَـٰٓأَهۡلَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ لَسۡتُمۡ عَلَىٰ شَىۡءٍ حَتَّىٰ تُقِيمُواْ ٱلتَّوۡرَٮٰةَ وَٱلۡإِنجِيلَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمۡۗ وَلَيَزِيدَنَّ كَثِيرً۬ا مِّنۡہُم مَّآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ طُغۡيَـٰنً۬ا وَكُفۡرً۬اۖ فَلَا تَأۡسَ عَلَى ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ (68)
It is obvious, therefore, that had the Jews and the Christians adhered to the teaching revealed to them in their Scriptures, they would certainly have become a truth-loving and truth-oriented group of people and would have been able to see that the Qur'an is indeed a continuation of the earlier Divine Scriptures. There would then have been no question of their abandoning their religion in order to follow Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). To follow him would have caused neither break nor discontinuity;they would simply have gone one step further along the same road.
However, as a result of so much tampering of the Torah and the lnjil, both the Jews and the Christians have subsequently turned out to be associating God with others, since the Jews believe that ’Uzaira' is a son of god, and the Christians say, Jesus is a son of god. (God knows whether or not they still qualify to be called ‘People of the Book,‘ because of their 'shirk!'-i.e. associating others with God).
It may be a human nature for people to stick to old beliefs of their forefathers. Throughout history, we have seen how reluctant people were to accept new prophets whom God had sent to re-direct them when they had gone astray; the Jews, for example,rejected Jesus and the Christians rejected Mohammad. It says in Su'rat Al-Hajj (Chapter 22 Verses 42-44), "And if they belie you (O Muhammad), so did they belie before them the people of Nu‘h (Noah), A'ad and Thamud, (their Prophets) (42). And the people of lbrahi'm (Abraham) and the people of Lu't (Lot) (43). And the dwellers of Madyan; and belied was Musa (Moses). But I granted respite to the disbelievers for a while, then I seized them, and how (terrible) was My punishment! (44)." (Study the Noble Qur'an— Word-for-Word).
وَإِن يُكَذِّبُوكَ فَقَدۡ ڪَذَّبَتۡ قَبۡلَهُمۡ قَوۡمُ نُوحٍ۬ وَعَادٌ۬ وَثَمُودُ (42) وَقَوۡمُ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ وَقَوۡمُ لُوطٍ۬ (43) وَأَصۡحَـٰبُ مَدۡيَنَۖ وَكُذِّبَ مُوسَىٰ فَأَمۡلَيۡتُ لِلۡڪَـٰفِرِينَ ثُمَّ أَخَذۡتُهُمۡۖ فَكَيۡفَ ڪَانَ نَكِيرِ (44)
Every time a new prophet was sent by God, the people refused to recognize him and preferred to follow their traditional beliefs. Once again, it says in Su'rat Al-Mu'minun (Chapter 23 Verses 42-44), "Then, after them (The People of Noah), we created other generations (42). No nation can advance their term,nor can they delay it (43). Then We sent Our Messengers in succession. Every time there came to a nation their Messenger,they denied him; so We made them follow one another (to destruction) and We made them as Aha'dith (legend). So away with a people who believe not! (44)." (Study the Noble Qur'an —Word-for-Word).
ثُمَّ أَنشَأۡنَا مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِمۡ قُرُونًا ءَاخَرِينَ (42) مَا تَسۡبِقُ مِنۡ أُمَّةٍ أَجَلَهَا وَمَا يَسۡتَـٔۡخِرُونَ (43) ثُمَّ أَرۡسَلۡنَا رُسُلَنَا تَتۡرَاۖ كُلَّ مَا جَآءَ أُمَّةً۬ رَّسُولُهَا كَذَّبُوهُۚ فَأَتۡبَعۡنَا بَعۡضَہُم بَعۡضً۬ا وَجَعَلۡنَـٰهُمۡ أَحَادِيثَۚ فَبُعۡدً۬ا لِّقَوۡمٍ۬ لَّا يُؤۡمِنُونَ (44)
[Qur'an is Protected by Allah]
Had the Holy Qur'an not been protected and preserved by God Himself; and had its teachings been allowed to be manipulated by man, and so lost their meaning, there would certainly have been a need for yet another prophet to be sent to set the laws of Islam right. No doubt, in the same way that the old prophets were rejected, the new prophet would also be rejected by some of Muhammad's followers.
As we said, God preserved the Qur'an, as He tells us in Su'rat Al-Hijr (Chapter 15 Verse 9), "Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur'an) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption) (9)." (Study the Noble Qur'an — Word-for-Word).
إِنَّا نَحۡنُ نَزَّلۡنَا ٱلذِّكۡرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ ۥ لَحَـٰفِظُونَ 9))
This simply means that God, the Almighty, has promised to protect the Holy Qur'an from tampering or any alterations. That is why the Qur'an is the same today as it was more than fourteen-hundred years ago. Moreover, in addition to reminding the lost society of the right path from which it went astray as a result of the tampering of the Torah and the Gospel, the Qur'an was brought to complete and perfect the religion of Islam.
The Long Awaited ‘Avatar’ in Hindu Religion
Reluctance to accept new prophets is also evident in the Hindu Religion. ln the following article we see that even Hindus refuse to accept what is explained in their own books. This is a chapter from a book written by a Hindu professor, commented upon by one writer. What may be even more interesting is that Hinduism is not a religion which was mentioned in the Qur'an;and Hindus are not among People of the Book. God only knows whether Hinduism and Buddhism were originally revealed by Allah and then went astray in the same way as the other revelations. In Su'rat An-Nisaa (Chapter 4 Verse 164), Allah said to Muhammad that He did not tell him about all the previous prophets. "And Messengers We have mentioned to you before,and Messengers We have not mentioned to you, - and to Musa (Moses) Allah spoke directly (164)." (Study the Noble Qur'an -Word-for-Word).
وَرُسُلاً۬ قَدۡ قَصَصۡنَـٰهُمۡ عَلَيۡكَ مِن قَبۡلُ وَرُسُلاً۬ لَّمۡ نَقۡصُصۡهُمۡ عَلَيۡكَۚ وَكَلَّمَ ٱللَّهُ مُوسَىٰ تَڪۡلِيمً۬ا (164)
Was the Hindu religion, therefore, revealed by a prophet whom Allah had not made known to Prophet Muhammad?
The story goes as quoted below:-
"Pundit Vedaprakash Upadhyay, a Hindu professor, in his stunning book, Kalki Avatar, claims that the description of ‘the Avatar‘ found in the holy books of the Hindu Religion, matches the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). The book, recently published in India, has been the topic of discussion and speculation all over the country. Its author, Pundit Vedaprakash Upadhyay, is a learned and famous Hindu professor. He is a Hindu Brahmin of Bengali origin, a research scholar at Allahabad University. After years of research, he published his book, and no less than eight pundits (monks) have endorsed and certified his points of argument as authentic. According to Hindu belief, the Hindu world awaits ‘the guide and leader‘, named Kalki Avatar. However, the description as given in the holy scriptures of the Hindu points only to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) of Arabia. Therefore, the Hindus of the whole world should not wait any longer for the arrival of Kalki Avatar (the spirit) and should readily accept Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as Kalki Avatar. These are the facts verified and supported by eight other eminent pundits. What the author says is that Hindus,who are still anxiously awaiting the arrival of Kalki Avatar, are simply subjecting themselves to never ending pain, because, such a great messenger has already arrived and departed from this world fourteen centuries ago. The author produces the following sound evidences from the Vedas and other holy books of the Hindu religion in support of his claim:
In the Puranas (Hindu scriptures), it is stated that Kalki Avatar would be ‘the last messenger of God in this world‘. He would be for the guidance of the whole world and mankind.According to the Hindu religion it is predicted that the birth of Kalki Avatar would take place in an island, which again according to Hinduism is Arabia or the Arabian Peninsula.
In Hindu books, the names of the father and the mother of Kalki Avatar are given as Vishnubhagat and Sumaani respectively.If we examine the meaning of these names we shall come to some very interesting conclusion. Vishnu means God and Bhagat means slave, while Sumaanti means peace or calmness. So Vishnubhagat means ‘slave of God,‘ which is also the name of Prophet Muhammad's father ‘Abdullah,‘ which in Arabic again means ‘slave of God‘. Likewise, the name of Kalki Avatar's mother is Sumaanti which means ‘peace’ or (calmness) and the name of the Prophet's mother is Ameena, which also means ‘peace’ in Arabic.
In the religious book of Hindus, it is mentioned that the staple food of Kalki Avatar would be dates and olives and he would be the most honest and truthful person in the region.Without any doubt the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is acclaimed to possess these qualities.
It is stated in Vedas (holy book of Hindu Religion) that the birth of Kalki Avatar would take place in an honorable clan. This perfectly fits in with the Quraishi tribe in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) belonged.
God would teach Kalki Avatar through His messenger (angel) in a cave. Allah taught Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) through His messenger Jibreel (Gabriel), in a cave known as Ghaar-e-Hira.
God would provide Kalki Avatar with a very speedy horse to ride and travel the whole world and the seven heavens. This is an indication of buraaq (horse) and me'raaj (the ascension) when prophet Muhammad (PBUH) travelled on the horse through the seven heavens.
God would provide Kalki Avatar with Divine help. This was particularly proven in the battle of Uhud.
Another interesting account given about Kalki Avatar was that he would be born on the twelfth of a month; whereas the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born on the twelfth of Rabbi al Awwal (Hijra calendar).
Kalki Avatar would be an excellent horse rider and a swordsman. The author here draws the attention of Hindus that the real days of horses have gone and the present time is of guns and missiles. So it would be foolish on the part of those who still expect Kalki Avatar to come, that he would be an excellent rider and a swordsman. In fact, the sacred book, the Holy Qur'an, refers to qualities and signs attributed to Kalki Avatar reflecting on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)." (End ofquote).
While this story is not entirely related to the subject of my book, I have decided to mention it here because I find it is relevantly curious and interesting. What l find to be of most concern is, ‘how could a religion, older than even Judaism and Christianity, predict the coming of Prophet Muhammad and provide precise details such as the names of his parents, his birth place and date.’ This is curiously amazing, especially when considering that the Hindu Books were not mentioned in the Qur'an or in the Torah or the lnjil (Gospel). As I said earlier, could Hinduism (or even Buddhism), be among the revelations sent down through the Prophets whom Allah did not mention to Muhammad? If so, then perhaps these Books may also have been replaced by fresh Revelations in the same way the Torah and the lnjil were replaced by the Qur'an. The story also emphasizes the fact that people are always reluctant to accepting new prophets who are sent to redirect them to the Right Path
Major Sins & Sincere Repentance, by Abdullah Amor Al-Marhuby,