Chapter: “Or were you witnesses when death approached Ya`qub (Jacob)?”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 593 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Some people asked the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam): “Who is the most honorable amongst the people?” He replied, “The most honorable among them is the one who is the most Allah-fearing.” They said, “O Allah’s Prophet! We do not ask about this.” He said, “Then the most honorable person is Joseph, Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Khalil.” They said, “We do not ask about this.” He said, “Then you want to ask me about the Arabs’ descent?” They said, “Yes.” He said, “Those who were best in the pre-lslamic period, are the best in Islam, if they comprehend (the religious knowledge).”
The Story of Prophet Ya’qub [Jacob]
By Ibn Kathir
The Qur’an does not give details of Isaac’s life peace be upon him, but reliable Qur’anic commentators mentioned that when Abraham felt that his life was drawing to a close, he wished to see Isaac married. He did not want Isaac to marry one of the Canaanites, who were pagans, so he sent a trustworthy servant to Haran in Iraq to choose a bride for Isaac. The servant’s choice fell upon Rebekah bint Bethuel ibn Nahur, who was a brother of Abraham. Isaac married her and she gave birth to a set of twins, Esau (al-‘Eis) and Jacob (Ya’qub).
Ill feelings developed between the two brothers when they grew into manhood. Esau disliked the fact that Jacob was favored by his father and by Allah with prophethood. This ill feeling became so serious that Esau threatened to kill his brother. Fearing for his life, Jacob fled the country.
The People of the Book said that when Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah bint Bethuel, during his father’s life. They said she was sterile, so Isaac prayed to Allah and then she became pregnant. She gave birth to twin boys. The first one was called Esau whom the Arabs called al-‘Eis. He became the father of Rum. The second one was called Jacob, which means Israel (belonging to the people of Israel).
The People of the Book claimed that when Isaac peace be upon him grew old and his eye sight had weakened, he had a desire for food, so he asked his son Esau to go hunting and bring him some cooked game. Esau asked him to bless the food and pray for him. Esau, a hunter, went out to get his father the meat. Rebekah, overhearing this, ordered her son Jacob to slaughter two goats of his best flock and cook them as his father liked and bring it to him before his brother returned. She dressed Jacob in his brother’s clothes and put goat skin on his arms and neck, for Esau was hairy while Jacob was not. When he approached his father with the food, his father asked, “Who are you?” Jacob answered, “I am your son.” When his father finished eating, he prayed for his son to be the more blessed brother and to prevail over them and all people, and for Allah to sustain him and his children.
When he left his father, his brother Esau, who had carried out his father’s command, entered. Isaac asked him, “What is this my son?” He answered, “This is the food you like.” Isaac asked, “Did you bring it an hour ago and ask me to pray for you?” Esau said, “No, I swear I did not,” and he knew his brother had preceded him in this matter and he was sick at heart.
The People of the Book said Esau threatened to kill his brother when their father was dead. They also said that he asked his father to pray for him that Allah make the earth good for his offspring and multiply his sustenance and fruits.
When their mother knew that Esau threatened his brother Jacob, she commanded her son Jacob to go to her brother Laban in the land of Haran and abide with him for a time until his brother’s anger had abated, and to marry one of the Laban’s daughters. she told her husband Isaac to command him with that advice and pray for him, and he did.
Jacob peace be upon him left his family, when night came he found a place to rest. He took a stone and put it under his head and slept. He dreamed of a ladder from heaven to earth. Angels were ascending and descending and the Lord addressed him and said to him, “I will bless you and your offspring and make this land for you and for those who come after you.”
When he awoke he felt joyful from what he had seen in his dream and vowed, for Allah’s sake that if he returned to his family safely, he would build here a temple for Allah, the Almighty. He also vowed to give one tenth of his property for the sake of Allah. He poured oil on the stone so as to recognize it and called the place ‘Ayle’s House’ (Bethel), which means ‘House of Allah’. It was to be the location of Jerusalem later.
The People of the Book also said that when Jacob came to his maternal uncle in the land of Haran, his uncle had two daughters. The elder one was called Leah (Lia) and the younger one was Rachel (Rahil). The latter was the better and lovelier of the two. His uncle agreed to marry his daughter to him on the condition that Jacob pasture his sheep for seven years.
After a period of time, his uncle prepared a feast and gathered people for the wedding. He married Leah, his elder daughter, to him at night. She was weak-sighted and ugly. When morning came, Jacob discovered she was Leah and he complained to his uncle, “You deceived me; I was engaged to Rachel and you married me to Leah.” His uncle said, “It is not our tradition to marry the younger daughter before the elder daughter. However, if you love her sister, work another seven years and I will marry you to both of them.”
Jacob worked for seven years and then married Rachel. It was acceptable in their time, as described in the Torah, for a man to marry two sisters. Laban gave a female slave to each daughter. Leah’s slave was called Zilpah and Rachel’s slave was called Bilhah.
Almighty Allah compensated Leah’s weakness by giving her sons. The first one was named Rueben (Rubel), after whom there were Simon (Shamun), Levi (Lawi), and Judah (Yahudh). Rachel felt jealous of Leah’s having sons, as she was barren. She gave her slave Bilhah to her husband and he had relations with her until she became pregnant. She gave birth to a son and named him Naphtali. Leah was vexed that Rachel’s slave had give birth to a son, so she in turn gave her slave Zilpah to Jacob peace be upon him, Zilpah gave birth to two sons, Gad and Asher. Then Leah got pregnant and gave birth to her fifth son, Issaacher, and later she gave birth to a sixth son Zebulun. After this Leah gave birth to a daughter named Dinah. Thus, Leah had seven sons from Jacob.
Then Rachel prayed to Allah to give her a son from Jacob. Allah heard her call and responded to her prayer. She gave birth to a son, great, honorable, and beautiful. She named him Joseph (Yusuf).
All of this happened when they were in the land of Haran and Jacob peace be upon him was pasturing his uncle’s sheep, which he did for a period of twenty years.
Jacob then asked his uncle Laban to let him go and visit his family. His uncle said to him, “I have been blessed because of you – ask for whatever money you need.” Jacob said, “Give me each spotted and speckled goat born this year and each black lamb.”
But at Laban’s command his sons removed their father’s goat that were striped, spotted or speckled, and the black lambs, lest others should be born with those traits. They walked for three days with their father’s goats and sheep while Jacob tended the remaining flock.
The People of the Book said that Jacob peace be upon him took fresh rods of poplar, almond, and plane. He peeled streaks in them and cast them into the water through for the goats to look at. The young inside their abdomens were terrified and moved and they were born striped, spotted or speckled. When the sheep were breeding, he set their faces towards the black sheep in Laban’s flock and put the rods among them. Their lambs were born black. This was considered an example of supernatural powers, a miracle. Jacob had many goats, sheep, beast and slaves. His uncle and his sons faces changed as if they the sheep and goats) had been stolen from them.
Allah the Almighty inspired Jacob to return to the country of his father and people, and He promised to stand by him. Jacob told his family that, and they responded and obeyed him. Jacob did not tell Laban of his plans, however, and left without bidding farewell.
Upon leaving, Rachel stole her father’s idols. After Jacob and his people had fled for his country, Laban and his people followed them. When Laban met with Jacob, he blamed him for leaving him without his knowledge. He would have liked to know so that he could have made them leave with celebration and joy, with drums and songs, and so that he could have bidden his daughters and sons farewell. And why have they taken his idols with them?
Jacob had no knowledge of his idols, so he denied that had taken them from him. Then Laban entered the tents of his daughters and slaves to search, but he found nothing, for Rachel had put the idols in the camel saddle under her. She did not get up, apologizing that she had her menses. Thus, he could not perceive what they had done.
Then they sat on a hill called Galeed and made a covenant there. Jacob would not ill treat Laban’s daughters nor marry others. Neither Laban nor Jacob would pass the hill into the other’s country. They cooked food and their people ate with them. Each bade the other farewell as they departed, each returning to his own country.
When Jacob approached the land of Seir, the angels greeted him. He sent a messenger ahead with greetings to his brother Esau, asking forgiveness and humbling himself before him. The messenger returned greetings and told Jacob that Esau was riding towards him with four hundred men. This made Jacob afraid and he entreated and prayed to Allah Almighty. He prostrated in humiliation and asked Him to fulfill His promise which He had made before. He asked Him to stop the evil of his brother Esau. Then Jacob peace be upon him prepared a great present for his brother: two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, and thirty milch camels, forty cows and two bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.
He commanded his slaves to take the animals, each drove by itself, and pass on ahead of him with a space between the droves. He instructed them, “When you meet my brother Esau he will ask you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going?’ You shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob; they are a present to my master Esau. Moreover, he is behind us.”
Jacob stayed behind with his two wives, his slaves and his children for two nights, then continued walking by night and resting by day.
When the dawn of the second day came one of the angels appeared in the shape of a man. Jacob began to wrestle with him. They were neck and neck until the angel injured his thigh and Jacob became lame. When the day was breaking, the angel said to him, ‘What is your name?’ He answered, ‘Jacob.’ The angel said, “After today you shall not be called anything but Israel.” Jacob asked, “Who are you? What is your name?” He vanished. Then Jacob knew that he was one of the angels. Jacob was lame, and for this reason the children of Israel do not eat the thigh muscle on the hip socket.
Jacob raised his eyes and saw his brother Esau coming. Jacob prostrated seven times before him for it was their salutation in that time. It was lawful for them just as the angels had prostration in salutation to Adam.
When Esau saw him, he ran towards him, embraced and kissed him and wept. When Esau raised his eyes and saw the women and children he asked, “Who are these with you?” Jacob answered, “Those whom Allah has give me, your servant.” Leah, Rachel, their slaves, and all the children approached and prostrated before him. Jacob asked Esau to accept his gift and insisted until he did so.
Esau returned and went in advance before him. Jacob and his family followed with the flocks and herds and slaves to the mountains (Seir).
When he came to Succoth (Sahur), he built a house for himself and shades for his beasts. Then he passed by Jerusalem, the village of Shechem, and camped before the village. He bought a farm from Shcehm Ibn Hamor with one hundred goats and built an altar, which he called Ayl, as Allah commanded him. He built the altar where Jerusalem stands today and later Solomon son of David peace be upon him rebuilt it. It is in the place of the stone which he had earlier anointed with oil as was mentioned before.
The people of the book tell a story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah. Shechem ibn Hamor seized her and lay with her by force. Then he asked her father and brothers to let him marry her. Her brothers said, “Circumcise all of you, and we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters for ourselves; but we do not marry with uncircumcised people.” They (the men of the city) agreed to that, and all of them were circumcised. When the third day came, the pain from the circumcision had increased, Jacob’s sons approached and killed them till the last one. They killed Shchem and his father for the evil they had committed against them and for their worship of idols. That is why Jacob’s sons killed them and seized their money as spoils.
Then Rachel got pregnant and gave birth to a son, Benjamin, but she had a hard labor and died after delivery. Jacob buried her in Ephrath (afrath). The tomb of Rachel is there till the present day. Jacob’s sons were twelve men. From Leah there were Rueben (Robil), Simon (Shamun), Levi (Lawi), Judah (Yahudh), Issachar (Isakher), and Zebulun (Zablun). From Rachel there were Joseph (Yusuf) peace be upon him and Benjamin. From Rachel’s slave there were Dan and Naphtali (Neftali), and from Leah’s slave there were Gad and Asher.
Jacob came to his father Isaac and settled with him in the village of Hebron which lies in the land of Canaan where Abraham had lived. Then Isaac fell ill and died when he was one hundred eighty years old. his sons Esau and Jacob buried him with his father Abraham al-Khalil in a cave which he had bought. It was said that Abraham died at the age of one hundred seventy five.
Allah the Almighty declared in the Glorious Qur’an:
“And who turns away from the religion of Abraham (Islamic Monotheism) except him who befools himself? Truly, We chose him in this world and verily, in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous.
“When his Lord said to him, ‘Submit (be a Muslim)!’ He said, ‘I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the ‘alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists).’
“And this (submission to Allah, Islam) was enjoined by Abraham upon his sons and by 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).’
“Or were you witnesses when death approached Jacob? When he said unto his sons, ‘What will you worship after me?’ They said, ‘We shall worship you (ilah (God – Allah), the ilah (God) of your fathers, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, One ilah (God), and to Him we submit (in Islam).’
“That was a nation who had passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned and you of what you earn. And you will not be asked of what they used to do.
“They say, ‘Be Jews or Christians, and then you will be guided.’ Say (to them O Muhammad), ‘Nay (we follow) only the religion of Abraham, hanifan (Islamic monotheism, i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone, and he was not of the al-mushrikin (those who worshipped others along with Allah).’
“Say (O Muslims), “We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which had been sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and to al-asbat (the twelve sons of Jacob), and that which has been given to Moses and Jesus and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam).’
“So if they believe in the like of that which you believe, then they are rightly guided, but if they turn away, then they are only in opposition. So, Allah, will suffice you against them. He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.
“(Our sibghah, religion is) the sibghah (religion) of Allah (Islam) and which sibghah (religion) can be better than Allah’s. We are His worshippers.
“Say (O Muhammad, to the Jews and Christians), ‘Dispute you with us about Allah while He is our Lord and your Lord? And we are to be rewarded for our deeds and you for your deeds. We are sincere to Him in worship and obedience (i.e., we worship Him Alone and none else, and we obey His Orders).’ Or say you that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and al-asbat (the twelve sons of Jacob) were Jews or Christians? Say, ‘Do you know better or does Allah know better … that they all were Muslims? And who is more unjust than he who conceals the testimony (to believe in the Prophet Muhammad, when he comes written in their books) he has from Allah? Allah is not unaware of what you do.’ “
In another Surah Almighty Allah declared:
“O People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Why do you dispute about Abraham, while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till after him? Have you then no sense? Verily, you are those who have disputed about that of which you have no knowledge. Why do then dispute concerning that which you have no knowledge? It is Allah Who knows, and you know not.
“Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim hanifan (Islamic Monotheism), to worship none but Allah Alone and he was not of the polytheists (he joined none in worship with Allah).
“Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Abraham are those who followed him, and this Prophet (Muhammad) and those who have believed (Muslims). And Allah is the wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers.”
Allah the Exalted also affirmed:
“Then verily! Your Lord for those who do evil (commit sins and are disobedient to Allah) in ignorance and afterward repent and do righteous deeds. Verily, your Lord thereafter to such is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
“Verily, Abraham was an ‘Ummah (a leader having all the good righteous qualities or a nation), obedient to Allah, hanifan (to worship none but Allah), and he was not one of those who were al-mushrikin (polytheists, idolaters, disbelivers in the Oneness of Allah and those who joined partners with Allah). He was thankful for His (Allah’s) Graces. He (Allah) chose him (as an intimate friend) and guided him to a Straight Path (Islamic Monotheism, neither Judaism or Christianity). We gave him good in this world and in the Hereafter he shall be of the righteous. Then, We have inspired you (O Muhammad saying), ‘Follow the religion of Abraham hanifan (Islamic Monotheism to worship none but Allah) and he was not of the mushrikin (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbeliveers in the Oneness of Allah and His Messenger Muhammad, those who worship others along with Allah or set up rivals with or partners to Allah).’ “
Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “…And Allah did take Ibrahim as a Khalil.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 568 :
Narrated by Ibn Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “You will be gathered (on the Day of Judgment), bare-footed, naked and not circumcised.” He then recited:- ‘As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it: A Promise We have undertaken: Truly we shall do it.’ (21.104) He added, “The first to be dressed on the Day of Resurrection, will be Abraham, and some of my companions will be taken towards the left side (i.e. to the (Hell) Fire), and I will say: ‘My companions! My companions!’ It will be said: ‘They renegade from Islam after you left them.’ Then I will say as the Pious slave of Allah (i.e. Jesus) said. ‘And I was a witness Over them while I dwelt amongst them. When You took me up You were the Watcher over them, And You are a witness to all things. If You punish them. They are Your slaves And if You forgive them, Verily you, only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (5.120-121)
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 569 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “On the Day of Resurrection Abraham will meet his father Azar whose face will be dark and covered with dust.(The Prophet Abraham will say to him): ‘Didn’t I tell you not to disobey me?’ His father will reply: ‘Today I will not disobey you.’ ‘Abraham will say: ‘O Lord! You promised me not to disgrace me on the Day of Resurrection; and what will be more disgraceful to me than cursing and dishonoring my father?’ Then Allah will say (to him):’ ‘I have forbidden Paradise for the disbelievers.” Then he will be addressed, ‘O Abraham! Look! What is underneath your feet?’ He will look and there he will see a Dhabh (an animal,) blood-stained, which will be caught by the legs and thrown in the (Hell) Fire.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 570 :
Narrated by Ibn Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) entered the Ka’ba and found in it the pictures of (Prophet) Abraham and Mary. On that he said’ “What is the matter with them ( i.e. Quraish)? They have already heard that angels do not enter a house in which there are pictures; yet this is the picture of Abraham. And why is he depicted as practicing divination by arrows?”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 571 :
Narrated by Ibn Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
When the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saw pictures in the Ka’ba, he did not enter it till he ordered them to be erased. When he saw (the pictures of Abraham and Ishmael carrying the arrows of divination, he said, “May Allah curse them (i.e. the Quraish)! By Allah, neither Abraham nor Ishmael practiced divination by arrows.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 572 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The people said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Who is the most honorable amongst the people (in Allah’s Sight)?” He said, “The most righteous amongst them.” They said, “We do not ask you, about this. ” He said, “Then Joseph, Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Prophet, The son of Allah’s Prophet the son of Allah’s Khalil (i.e. Abraham).” They said, “We do not want to ask about this,” He said’ “Then you want to ask about the descent of the Arabs. Those who were the best in the pre-lslamic period of ignorance will be the best in Islam provided they comprehend the religious knowledge.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 573 :
Narrated by Samura (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Two persons came to me at night (in dream) (and took me along with them). We passed by a tall man who was so tall that I was not able to see his head and that person was Abraham.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 574 :
Narrated by Mujahid
That when the people mentioned before Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu) that the Dajjal would have the word Kafir, (i.e. unbeliever) or the letters Kafir (the root of the Arabic verb ‘disbelieve’) written on his forehead, I heard Ibn ‘Abbas saying, “I did not hear this, but the Prophet said, ‘If you want to see Abraham, then look at your companion (i.e. the Prophet) but Moses was a curly-haired, brown man (who used to ride) a red camel, the reins of which was made of fires of date-palms. As if I were now looking down a valley.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 575 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Abraham did his circumcision with an adze at the age of eighty.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 576 :
Narrated by Abu Az-Zinad (radiallaahu `anhu)
(as above in Hadith No. 575) With an adze.
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 577 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Abraham did not tell a lie except on three occasions.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 578 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Abraham did not tell a lie except on three occasion. Twice for the Sake of Allah when he said, “I am sick,” and he said, “(I have not done this but) the big idol has done it.” The (third was) that while Abraham and Sarah (his wife) were going (on a journey) they passed by (the territory of) a tyrant. Someone said to the tyrant, “This man (i.e. Abraham) is accompanied by a very charming lady.” So, he sent for Abraham and asked him about Sarah saying, “Who is this lady?” Abraham said, “She is my sister.” Abraham went to Sarah and said, “O Sarah! There are no believers on the surface of the earth except you and I. This man asked me about you and I have told him that you are my sister, so don’t contradict my statement.” The tyrant then called Sarah and when she went to him, he tried to take hold of her with his hand, but (his hand got stiff and) he was confounded. He asked Sarah. “Pray to Allah for me, and I shall not harm you.” So Sarah asked Allah to cure him and he got cured. He tried to take hold of her for the second time, but (his hand got as stiff as or stiffer than before and) was more confounded. He again requested Sarah, “Pray to Allah for me, and I will not harm you.” Sarah asked Allah again and he became alright. He then called one of his guards (who had brought her) and said, “You have not brought me a human being but have brought me a devil.” The tyrant then gave Hajar as a girl-servant to Sarah. Sarah came back (to Abraham) while he was praying. Abraham, gesturing with his hand, asked, “What has happened?” She replied, “Allah has spoiled the evil plot of the infidel (or immoral person) and gave me Hajar for service.” (Abu Huraira then addressed his listeners saying, “That (Hajar) was your mother, O Bani Ma-is-Sama (i.e. the Arabs, the descendants of Ishmael, Hajar’s son).”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 579 :
Narrated by Um Sharik (radiallaahu `anhaa)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) ordered that the salamander should be killed and said, “It (i.e. the salamander) blew (the fire) on Abraham.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 580 :
Narrated by Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
When the Verse: “It is those who believe and do not confuse their belief with wrong ( i.e. joining others in worship with Allah” (6.83) was revealed, we said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Who is there amongst us who has not done wrong to himself?” He replied, “It is not as you say, for ‘wrong’ in the Verse and ‘do not confuse their belief, with wrong means ‘SHIRK’ (i.e. joining others in worship with Allah). Haven’t you heard Luqman’s saying to his son, ‘O my son! Join not others in worship with Allah, verily joining others in worship with Allah is a great wrong indeed.” (31.13)
Chapter: And Allah’s Statement: “… hastening.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 581 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
One day some meat was given to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and he said, “On the Day of Resurrection Allah will gather all the first and the last (people) in one plain, and the voice of the announcer will reach all of them, and one will be able to see them all, and the sun will come closer to them.” (The narrator then mentioned the narration of intercession): “The people will go to Abraham and say: ‘You are Allah’s Prophet and His Khalil on the earth. Will you intercede for us with your Lord?’ Abraham will then remember his lies and say: ‘Myself! Myself! Go to Moses.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 582 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “May Allah bestow His Mercy on the mother of Ishmael! Had she not hastened (to fill her water-skin with water from the Zam-zam well). Zam-zam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth.” Ibn ‘Abbas further added, “(The Prophet) Abraham brought Ishmael and his mother (to Mecca) and she was suckling Ishmael and she had a water-skin with her.’
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 583 :
Narrated by Ibn Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The first lady to use a girdle was the mother of Ishmael. She used a girdle so that she might hide her tracks from Sarah. Abraham brought her and her son Ishmael while she was suckling him, to a place near the Ka’ba under a tree on the spot of Zam-zam, at the highest place in the mosque. During those days there was nobody in Mecca, nor was there any water So he made them sit over there and placed near them a leather bag containing some dates, and a small water-skin containing some water, and set out homeward. Ishmael’s mother followed him saying, “O Abraham! Where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there anything (to enjoy)?” She repeated that to him many times, but he did not look back at her Then she asked him, “Has Allah ordered you to do so?” He said, “Yes.” She said, “Then He will not neglect us,” and returned while Abraham proceeded onwards, and on reaching the Thaniya where they could not see him, he faced the Ka’ba, and raising both hands, invoked Allah saying the following prayers: ‘O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House (Kaba at Mecca) in order, O our Lord, that they may offer prayer perfectly. So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits, so that they may give thanks.’ (14.37) Ishmael’s mother went on suckling Ishmael and drinking from the water (she had). When the water in the water-skin had all been used up, she became thirsty and her child also became thirsty. She started looking at him (i.e. Ishmael) tossing in agony; She left him, for she could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land. She stood on it and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she descended from Safa and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her robe and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble, till she crossed the valley and reached the Marwa mountain where she stood and started looking, expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that (running between Safa and Marwa) seven times.” The Prophet said, “This is the source of the tradition of the walking of people between them (i.e. Safa and Marwa). When she reached the Marwa (for the last time) she heard a voice and she asked herself to be quiet and listened attentively. She heard the voice again and said, ‘O, (whoever you may be)! You have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?” And behold! She saw an angel at the place of Zam-zam, digging the earth with his heel (or his wing), till water flowed from that place. She started to make something like a basin around it, using her hand in this way, and started filling her water-skin with water with her hands, and the water was flowing out after she had scooped some of it.” The Prophet added, “May Allah bestow Mercy on Ishmael’s mother! Had she let the Zam-zam (flow without trying to control it) (or had she not scooped from that water) (to fill her water-skin), Zam-zam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth.” The Prophet further added, “Then she drank (water) and suckled her child. The angel said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid of being neglected, for this is the House of Allah which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allah never neglects His people.’ The House (i.e. Kaba) at that time was on a high place resembling a hillock, and when torrents came, they flowed to its right and left. She lived in that way till some people from the tribe of Jurhum or a family from Jurhum passed by her and her child, as they (i.e. the Jurhum people) were coming through the way of Kada’. They landed in the lower part of Mecca where they saw a bird that had the habit of flying around water and not leaving it. They said, ‘This bird must be flying around water, though we know that there is no water in this valley.’ They sent one or two messengers who discovered the source of water, and returned to inform them of the water. So, they all came (towards the water).” The Prophet added, “Ishmael’s mother was sitting near the water. They asked her, ‘Do you allow us to stay with you?” She replied, ‘Yes, but you will have no right to possess the water.’ They agreed to that.” The Prophet further said, “Ishmael’s mother was pleased with the whole situation as she used to love to enjoy the company of the people. So, they settled there, and later on they sent for their families who came and settled with them so that some families became permanent residents there. The child (i.e. Ishmael) grew up and learnt Arabic from them and (his virtues) caused them to love and admire him as he grew up, and when he reached the age of puberty they made him marry a woman from amongst them. After Ishmael’s mother had died, Abraham came after Ishmael’s marriage in order to see his family that he had left before, but he did not find Ishmael there. When he asked Ishmael’s wife about him, she replied, ‘He has gone in search of our livelihood.’ Then he asked her about their way of living and their condition, and she replied, ‘We are living in misery; we are living in hardship and destitution,’ complaining to him. He said, ‘When your husband returns, convey my salutation to him and tell him to change the threshold of the gate (of his house).’ When Ishmael came, he seemed to have felt something unusual, so he asked his wife, ‘Has anyone visited you?’ She replied, ‘Yes, an old man of so-and-so description came and asked me about you and I informed him, and he asked about our state of living, and I told him that we were living in a hardship and poverty.’ On that Ishmael said, ‘Did he advise you anything?’ She replied, ‘Yes, he told me to convey his salutation to you and to tell you to change the threshold of your gate.’ Ishmael said, ‘It was my father, and he has ordered me to divorce you. Go back to your family.’ So, Ishmael divorced her and married another woman from amongst them (i.e. Jurhum). Then Abraham stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah wished and called on them again but did not find Ishmael. So he came to Ishmael’s wife and asked her about Ishmael. She said, ‘He has gone in search of our livelihood.’ Abraham asked her, ‘How are you getting on?’ asking her about their sustenance and living. She replied, ‘We are prosperous and well-off (i.e. we have everything in abundance).’ Then she thanked Allah’ Abraham said, ‘What kind of food do you eat?’ She said. ‘Meat.’ He said, ‘What do you drink?’ She said, ‘Water.” He said, “O Allah! Bless their meat and water.” The Prophet added, “At that time they did not have grain, and if they had grain, he would have also invoked Allah to bless it.” The Prophet added, “If somebody has only these two things as his sustenance, his health and disposition will be badly affected, unless he lives in Mecca.” The Prophet added,” Then Abraham said Ishmael’s wife, “When your husband comes, give my regards to him and tell him that he should keep firm the threshold of his gate.’ When Ishmael came back, he asked his wife, ‘Did anyone call on you?’ She replied, ‘Yes, a good-looking old man came to me,’ so she praised him and added. ‘He asked about you, and I informed him, and he asked about our livelihood and I told him that we were in a good condition.’ Ishmael asked her, ‘Did he give you any piece of advice?’ She said, ‘Yes, he told me to give his regards to you and ordered that you should keep firm the threshold of your gate.’ On that Ishmael said, ‘It was my father, and you are the threshold (of the gate). He has ordered me to keep you with me.’ Then Abraham stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah wished, and called on them afterwards. He saw Ishmael under a tree near Zamzam, sharpening his arrows. When he saw Abraham, he rose up to welcome him (and they greeted each other as a father does with his son or a son does with his father). Abraham said, ‘O Ishmael! Allah has given me an order.’ Ishmael said, ‘Do what your Lord has ordered you to do.’ Abraham asked, ‘Will you help me?’ Ishmael said, ‘I will help you.’ Abraham said, Allah has ordered me to build a house here,’ pointing to a hillock higher than the land surrounding it.” The Prophet added, “Then they raised the foundations of the House (i.e. the Ka’ba). Ishmael brought the stones and Abraham was building, and when the walls became high, Ishmael brought this stone and put it for Abraham who stood over it and carried on building, while Ishmael was handing him the stones, and both of them were saying, ‘O our Lord! Accept (this service) from us, Verily, You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.’ The Prophet added, “Then both of them went on building and going round the Ka’ba saying: O our Lord ! Accept (this service) from us, Verily, You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” (2.127)
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 584 :
Narrated by Ibn Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
When Abraham had differences with his wife), (because of her jealousy of Hajar, Ishmael’s mother), he took Ishmael and his mother and went away. They had a water-skin with them containing some water, Ishmael’s mother used to drink water from the water-skin so that her milk would increase for her child. When Abraham reached Mecca, he made her sit under a tree and afterwards returned home. Ishmael’s mother followed him, and when they reached Kada’, she called him from behind, ‘O Abraham! To whom are you leaving us?’ He replied, ‘(I am leaving you) to Allah’s (Care).’ She said, ‘I am satisfied to be with Allah.’ She returned to her place and started drinking water from the water-skin, and her milk increased for her child. When the water had all been used up, she said to herself, ‘I’d better go and look so that I may see somebody.’ She ascended the Safa mountain and looked, hoping to see somebody, but in vain. When she came down to the valley, she ran till she reached the Marwa mountain. She ran to and fro (between the two mountains) many times. They she said to herself, ‘i’d better go and see the state of the child,’ she went and found it in a state of one on the point of dying. She could not endure to watch it dying and said (to herself), ‘If I go and look, I may find somebody.’ She went and ascended the Safa mountain and looked for a long while but could not find anybody. Thus she completed seven rounds (of running) between Safa and Marwa. Again she said (to herself), ‘I’d better go back and see the state of the child.’ But suddenly she heard a voice, and she said to that strange voice, ‘Help us if you can offer any help.’ Lo! It was Gabriel (who had made the voice). Gabriel hit the earth with his heel like this (Ibn ‘Abbas hit the earth with his heel to Illustrate it), and so the water gushed out. Ishmael’s mother was astonished and started digging. (Abu Al-Qasim) (i.e. the Prophet) said, “If she had left the water, (flow naturally without her intervention), it would have been flowing on the surface of the earth.”) Ishmael’s mother started drinking from the water and her milk increased for her child . Afterwards some people of the tribe of Jurhum, while passing through the bottom of the valley, saw some birds, and that astonished them, and they said, ‘Birds can only be found at a place where there is water.’ They sent a messenger who searched the place and found the water, and returned to inform them about it. Then they all went to her and said, ‘O ishmael’s mother! Will you allow us to be with you (or dwell with you)?’ (And thus they stayed there.) Later on her boy reached the age of puberty and married a lady from them. Then an idea occurred to Abraham which he disclosed to his wife (Sarah), ‘I want to call on my dependents I left (at Mecca).’ When he went there, he greeted (Ishmael’s wife) and said, ‘Where is Ishmael?’ She replied, ‘He has gone out hunting.’ Abraham said (to her), ‘When he comes, tell him to change the threshold of his gate.’ When he came, she told him the same whereupon Ishmael said to her, ‘You are the threshold, so go to your family (i.e. you are divorced).’ Again Abraham thought of visiting his dependents whom he had left (at Mecca), and he told his wife (Sarah) of his intentions. Abraham came to Ishmael’s house and asked. “Where is Ishmael?” Ishmael’s wife replied, “He has gone out hunting,” and added, “Will you stay (for some time) and have something to eat and drink?’ Abraham asked, ‘What is your food and what is your drink?’ She replied, ‘Our food is meat and our drink is water.’ He said, ‘O Allah! Bless their meals and their drink.” Abu Al-Qa-sim (i.e. Prophet) said, “Because of Abraham’s invocation there are blessings (in Mecca).” Once more Abraham thought of visiting his family he had left (at Mecca), so he told his wife (Sarah) of his decision. He went and found Ishmael behind the Zam-zam well, mending his arrows. He said, “O Ishmael, Your Lord has ordered me to build a house for Him.” Ishmael said, “Obey (the order of) your Lord.” Abraham said, “Allah has also ordered me that you should help me therein.” Ishmael said, “Then I will do.” So, both of them rose and Abraham started building (the Ka’ba) while Ishmael went on handing him the stones, and both of them were saying, “O our Lord ! Accept (this service) from us, Verily, You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” (2.127). When the building became high and the old man (i.e. Abraham) could no longer lift the stones (to such a high position), he stood over the stone of Al-Maqam and Ishmael carried on handing him the stones, and both of them were saying, ‘O our Lord! Accept (this service) from us, Verily You are All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (2.127)
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 585 :
Narrated by Abu Dhar (radiallaahu `anhu)
I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Which mosque was first built on the surface of the earth?” He said, “Al-Masjid-ul-Haram (in Mecca).” I said, “Which was built next?” He replied “The mosque of Al-Aqsa ( in Jerusalem) .” I said, “What was the period of construction between the two?” He said, “Forty years.” He added, “Wherever (you may be, and) the prayer time becomes due, perform the prayer there, for the best thing is to do so (i.e. to offer the prayers in time).”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 586 :
Narrated by Anas bin Malik (radiallaahu `anhu)
When the mountain of Uhud came in the sight of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), he said. “This is a mountain that loves us and is loved by us. O Allah! Abraham made Mecca a sanctuary, and I make (the area) in between these two mountains (of Medina) a sanctuary.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 587 :
Narrated by ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) (the wife of the Prophet)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said (to her). “Don’t you see that when your folk built the Ka’ba, they did not build it on all the foundations built by Abraham?” I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Why don’t we rebuild it on the foundations of Abraham?” He said. “But for the fact that your folk have recently given up infidelity (I would have done so).” Narrated Ibn Umar: Aisha must have heard this from Allah’s Apostle for I see that Allah’s Apostle used not to touch the two corners facing Al-Hijr only because the House had not been built on the foundations of Abraham”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 588 :
Narrated by Abu Humaid As-Sa’idi (radiallaahu `anhu)
The people asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! How shall we (ask Allah to) send blessings on you?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “Say: O Allah! Send Your Mercy on Muhammad and on his wives and on his off spring, as You sent Your Mercy on Abraham’s family; and send Your Blessings on Muhammad and on his offspring, as You sent Your Blessings on Abraham’s family, for You are the Most Praise-worthy, the Most Glorious.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 589 :
Narrated by Abdur-Rahman bin Abi Laila
Ka’b bin Ujrah (radiallaahu `anhu) met me and said, “Shall I not give you a present I got from the Prophet?” ‘Abdur-Rahman said, “Yes, give it to me.” I said, “We asked Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! How should one (ask Allah to) send blessings on you, the members of the family, for Allah has taught us how to salute you (in the prayer)?’ He said, ‘Say: O Allah! Send Your Mercy on Muhammad and on the family of Muhammad, as You sent Your Mercy on Abraham and on the family of Abraham, for You are the Most Praise-worthy, the Most Glorious. O Allah! Send Your Blessings on Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as You sent your Blessings on Abraham and on the family of Abraham, for You are the Most Praise-worthy, the Most Glorious.’ “
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 590 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) used to seek Refuge with Allah for Al-Hasan and Al-Husain and say: “Your forefather (i.e. Abraham) used to seek Refuge with Allah for Ishmael and Isaac by reciting the following: ‘O Allah! I seek Refuge with Your Perfect Words from every devil and from poisonous pests and from every evil, harmful, envious eye.’ “
Chapter: Allah’s Statement: “And tell them about the guests of Ibrahim.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 591 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “We are more liable to be in doubt than Abraham when he said, ‘My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” . He (i.e. Allah) said: ‘Don’t you believe then?’ He (i.e. Abraham) said: “Yes, but (I ask) in order to be stronger in Faith.” (2.260) And may Allah send His Mercy on Lot! He wished to have a powerful support. If I were to stay in prison for such a long time as Joseph did I would have accepted the offer (of freedom without insisting on having my guiltless less declared).”
Read Ibn Kathir’s narrative of Prophet Ibrahim’s story here.
Chapter: The story of Gog and Magog
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 565 :
Narrated by Zainab bint Jahsh (radiallaahu `anhaa)
That the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) once came to her in a state of fear and said, “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah. Woe unto the Arabs from a danger that has come near. An opening has been made in the wall of Gog and Magog like this”, making a circle with his thumb and index finger. Zainab bint Jahsh (radiallaahu `anhaa) said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Shall we be destroyed even though there are pious persons among us?” He said, “Yes, when the evil person will increase.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 566 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Allah has made an opening in the wall of the Gog and Magog (people) like this, and he made with his hand (with the help of his fingers).
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 567 :
Narrated by Abu Said Al-Khudri (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection), ‘O Adam.’ Adam will reply, ‘Labbaik wa Sa’daik’, and all the good is in Your Hand.’ Allah will say: ‘Bring out the people of the fire.’ Adam will say: ‘O Allah! How many are the people of the Fire?’ Allah will reply: ‘From every one thousand, take out nine-hundred-and ninety-nine.’ At that time children will become hoary headed, every pregnant female will have a miscarriage, and one will see mankind as drunken, yet they will not be drunken, but dreadful will be the Wrath of Allah.” The companions of the Prophet asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! Who is that (excepted) one?” He said, “Rejoice with glad tidings; one person will be from you and one-thousand will be from Gog and Magog.” The Prophet further said, “By Him in Whose Hands my life is, hope that you will be one-fourth of the people of Paradise.” We shouted, “Allahu Akbar!” He added, “I hope that you will be one-third of the people of Paradise.” We shouted, “Allahu Akbar!” He said, “I hope that you will be half of the people of Paradise.” We shouted, “Allahu Akbar!” He further said, “You (Muslims) (compared with non Muslims) are like a black hair in the skin of a white ox or like a white hair in the skin of a black ox (i.e. your number is very small as compared with theirs).”
Allah has mentioned the story of Gog and Magog in the Quran along with that of Dhul Qarnayn.
ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَ سَبَباً حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَ بَيْنَ السَّدَّيْنِ وَجَدَ مِن دُونِهِمَا قَوْماً لاَّ يَكَادُونَ يَفْقَهُونَ قَوْلاً قَالُواْ يذَا الْقَرْنَيْنِ إِنَّ يَأْجُوجَ وَمَأْجُوجَ مُفْسِدُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَهَلْ نَجْعَلُ لَكَ خَرْجاً عَلَى أَن تَجْعَلَ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَهُمْ سَدًّا قَالَ مَا مَكَّنِّى فِيهِ رَبِّى خَيْرٌ فَأَعِينُونِى بِقُوَّةٍ أَجْعَلْ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ رَدْمًا ءَاتُونِى زُبَرَ الْحَدِيدِ حَتَّى إِذَا سَاوَى بَيْنَ الصَّدَفَيْنِ قَالَ انفُخُواْ حَتَّى إِذَا جَعَلَهُ نَاراً قَالَ آتُونِى أُفْرِغْ عَلَيْهِ قِطْراً
“Then he followed (another) way. Until, when he reached between two mountains, he found before them a people who scarcely understood a word. They said: “O Dhul-Qarnayn! Verily, Ya’juj and Ma’juj are doing great mischief in the land. Shall we then pay you a tribute in order that you might erect a barrier between us and them?” He said: “That in which my Lord had established me is better. So help me with strength, I will erect between you and them a barrier. Bring me sheets of iron.” Then, when he had filled up the gap between the two mountain-cliffs, he said: “Blow [with bellows]!” then when he had made them (red as) fire, he said: “Bring me molten copper to pour over them.” [Al-Kahf: 92-96]
Read Ibn Kathir’s commentary on these verses here.
Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj (Gog and Magog) are two disbelieving tribes from among the sons of Adam. They have wide faces and small eyes. They used to spread mischief on earth, so Allaah gave Dhu’l-Qarnayn the power to build a barrier to detain them. They will keep on digging at it until Allaah gives them permission to come out at the end of time, after ‘Eesa (peace be upon him) has killed the Dajjaal. They will emerge in huge numbers and will drink up the lake of Tiberias (in Palestine). They will spread mischief on earth and no one will be able to resist them. ‘Eesa (peace be upon him) and the believers with him will take refuge in Mount Toor until Allaah destroys Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj by sending worms that will eat their necks. Then Allaah will send rain to wash away their bodies into the sea and cleanse the earth of their stench.
Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “And to ‘Ad (people, We sent), their brother Hud.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 558 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet said, “I have been made victorious with As-Saba (i.e. an easterly wind) and the people of ‘Ad were destroyed by Ad-Dabur (i.e. a westerly wind).”
Narrated Abu Said:
Ali (radiallaahu `anhu) sent a piece of gold to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) who distributed it among four persons: Al-Aqra’ bin Habis Al-Hanzali from the tribe of Mujashi, ‘Uyaina bin Badr Al-Fazari, Zaid At-Ta’i who belonged to (the tribe of) Bani Nahban, and ‘Alqama bin Ulatha Al-‘Amir who belonged to (the tribe of) Bani Kilab. So the Quraish and the Ansar became angry and said, “He (i.e. the Prophet) gives the chief of Najd and does not give us.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “I give them so as to attract their hearts (to Islam).” Then a man with sunken eyes, prominent checks, a raised forehead, a thick beard and a shaven head, came (in front of the Prophet) and said, “Be afraid of Allah, O Muhammad!” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said “Who would obey Allah if I disobeyed Him? (Is it fair that) Allah has trusted all the people of the earth to me while, you do not trust me?” Somebody, who I think was Khalid bin Al-Walid, requested the Prophet to let him chop that man’s head off, but he prevented him. When the man left, the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Among the off-spring of this man will be some who will recite the Qur’an but the Qur’an will not reach beyond their throats (i.e. they will recite like parrots and will not understand it nor act on it), and they will renegade from the religion as an arrow goes through the game’s body. They will kill the Muslims but will not disturb the idolaters. If I should live up to their time’ I will kill them as the people of ‘Ad were killed (i.e. I will kill all of them).”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 559 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) reciting: “Fahal Min Muddakir.”
Meaning, “Is there any who will remember?” [Quran 54:17]
The Story of Hud
By Ibn Kathir
The people of ‘Ad lived many years in the windswept hills of an area between Yemen and Oman. They were physically well built and renowned for their craftsmanship especially in the construction of tall buildings with lofty towers. They were outstanding among all the nations in power and wealth, which, unfortunately, made them arrogant and boastful. Their political power was held in the hand of unjust rulers, against whom no one dared to raise a voice.
They were not ignorant of the existence of Allah, nor did they refuse to worship Him. What they did refuse was to worship Allah alone. They worshipped other gods, also, including idols. This is one sin Allah does not forgive.
Allah wanted to guide and discipline these people so He sent a prophet from among them. This prophet was Hud ‘alayhis-salam, a noble man who handled this task with great resoluteness and tolerance.
Ibn Jarir reported that he was Hud ibn Shalikh ibn Arfakhshand ibn Sam ibn Noah ‘alayhis-salam. He also reported that Prophet Hud ‘alayhis-salam was from a tribe called ‘Ad ibn ‘Us ibn Sam ibn Noah, who were Arabs living in al-Ahqaf in Yemen between Oman and Hadramawt, on a land called Ashar stretching out into the sea. The name of their valley was Mughith.
Some traditions claimed that Hud ‘alayhis-salam was the first person who spoke Arabic while others claimed that Noah ‘alayhis-salam was the first. It was also said that ‘Adam was the first.
Hud ‘alayhis-salam condemned idol worship and admonished his people, “My people, what is the benefit of these stones that you carve with your own hands and worship? In reality it is an insult to the intellect. There is only One Deity worthy of worship and that is Allah. Worship of Him and Him alone, is compulsory on you.
“He created you, He provides for you and He is the One Who will cause you to die. He gave you wonderful physiques and blessed you in many ways. So believe in Him and do not be blind to His favors, or the same fate that destroyed Noah’s people will overtake you.”
With such reasoning Hud hoped to instill faith in them, but they refused to accept his message. His people asked him: “Do you desire to be our master with your call? What payment do you want?”
Hud tried to make them understand that he would receive his payment (reward) from Allah; he did not demand anything from them except that they let the light of truth touch their minds and hearts.
Allah the Almighty states:
“And to ‘Ad people We sent their brother Hud. He said, ‘O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other ilah (god) but Him; Certainly, you do nothing but invent (lies)! 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? And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as mujrimin (criminals, disbeliveers in the Oneness of Allah).’
They said, ‘O Hud! No evidence have you brought us and we shall not leave our gods for your mere saying! We are not believers in you. All that we say is that some of our gods (false deities) have seized you with evil (madness).’
He said, ‘I call Allah to witness and bear you witness that I am free from that which you ascribe as partners in worship, and with Him (Allah). So plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving (living) creature but He has grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the Straight Path (the truth). So if you turn away, still I have conveyed the Message with which I was sent to you. My Lord will make another people succeed you, and you will not harm Him in the least. Surely, my Lord is Guardian over all things.‘ “ [Al-Qur’an 11:50-57]
Hud tried to speak to them and to explain about Allah’s blessings: how Allah the Almighty had made them Noah’s successors, how He had given them strength and power, and how He sent them rain to revive the soil.
Hud’s people looked about them and found they were the strongest on earth, so they become prouder and more obstinate. Thus they argued a lot with Hud. They asked “O Hud! Do you say that later we die and turn into dust, we will be resurrected?” He replied, “Yes, you will come back on the Day of Judgment and each of you will be asked about what you did.”
A peal of laughter was heard after the last statement. “How strange Hud’s claims are!” The disbeliveers muttered among themselves. They believed that when man dies his body decays and turns into dust, which is swept away by the wind. How could that return to its original state? Then what is the significance of the Day of Judgment? Why does the dead return to life?
All these questions were patiently received by Hud. He then addressed his people concerning the Day of Judgment. he explained that belief in the Day of Judgment is essential to Allah’s justice, teaching them the same thing that every prophet taught about it.
Hud explained that justice demands that there be a Day of Judgment because good is not always victorious in life. Sometimes evil overpowers good. Will such crimes go unpunished? If we suppose there is no Day of Judgment, then a great injustice will have prevailed, but Allah has forbidden injustice to be incurred by Himself or His subjects. Therefore, the existence of the Day of Judgment, a day of accounting for our deeds and being rewarded or punished for them, reveals the extend of Allah’s justice. Hud spoke to them about all of these things. They listened but disbelieved him.
Allah recounts his people’s attitude towards the Day of Judgment:
“The chiefs of his people, whom disbelieved and denied the meeting in the Hereafter, and to who We had given the luxuries and comforts of this life, said, ‘He is no more than a human being like you, he eats of that which you eat, and drinks of what you drink. If you were to obey a human being like yourselves then verily! You indeed would be losers. Does he promise you that when you have died and have become dust and bones, you shall come out alive (resurrected)? Far, very far, is that which you are promised. There is nothing but our life of this world! We die and we live! We are not going to be resurrected! He is only a man who has invented a lie against Allah, but we are not going to believe in him.’ “ [Al-Qur’an 23:33-38]
The chiefs of Hud’s people asked: “Is it not strange that Allah’s chooses one of us to reveal His message to?”
Hud replied: “What is strange in that? Allah wants to guide you to the right way of life, so He sent me to warn you. Noah’s flood and his story are not far away from you, so do not forget what happened. All the disbelivers were destroyed, no matter how strong they were.”
“Who is going to destroy us Hud?” the chiefs asked.
“Allah.” replied Hud.
The disbelivers among his people answered: “We will be saved by our gods.”
Hud clarified to them that the gods they worshipped would be the reason for their destruction, that it is Allah alone Who saves people, and that no other power on earth can benefit or harm anyone.
The conflict between Hud and his people continued. The years passed, and they became prouder and more obstinate, and more tyrannical and more defiant of their Prophet’s message.
Furthermore, they started to accuse Hud ‘alayhis-salam of being a crazy lunatic. One day they told him: “We now understand the secret of your madness you insulted our gods and they harmed you; that is why you have become insane.”
Almighty Allah repeated their words in the Qur’an:
“O my Hud! No evidence have you brought us, and we shall not leave our gods for your mere saying! And we are not believers in you. All that we say is that some of our gods (false deities) have seized you with evil (madness).” [Al-Qur’an 11:53-54]
Hud had to return their challenge. He had no other way but to turn to Allah alone, no other alternative but to give them a threatening ultimatum. he declared to them:
“‘I call Allah to witness and bear you witness that I am free from that which you ascribe as pin worship with Him (Allah). So plot against me, all of you and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord your Lord! There is not a moving (living) creature but He has grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the Straight Path (the truth). So if you turn away, still I have conveyed the message with which it was sent to you. My Lord will make another people succeed you, and you will not harm Him.’ “ [Al-Qur’an 11:54-57]
Thus Hud renounced them and their gods and affirmed his dependence on Allah Who had created him. Hud realized that punishment would be incurred on the disbelievers among his people. It is one of the laws of life. Allah punishes the disbelievers, no matter how rich, tyrannical or great they are.
Hud and his people waited for Allah’s promise. A drought spread throughout the land, for the sky no longer sent its rain. the sun scorched the desert sands, looking like a disk of fire which settled on people’s heads.
Hud’s people hastened to him asking: “What is that drought Hud?”
Hud answered: “Allah is angry with you. If you believe in Him, He will accept you and the rain will fall and you will become stronger than you are.”
They mocked him and became more obstinate, sarcastic and preserve in their unbelief. The drought increased, the trees turned yellow, and plants died.
A day came when they found the sky full of clouds. Hud’s people were glad as they came out of their tents crying: “A cloud, which will give us rain!”
The weather changed suddenly from burning dry and hot to stinging cold with wind that shook everything; trees, plants, tents, men and women. The wind increased day after day and night after night.
Hud’s people started to flee. They ran to their tents to hide but the gale became stronger, ripping their tents from their stakes. They hid under cloth covers but the gale became stronger and still and tore away the covers. It slashed clothing and skin. It penetrated the apertures of the body and destroyed it. It hardly touched anything before it was destroyed or killed, its core sucked out to decompose and rot. The storm raged for 8 days and 7 nights.
Almighty Allah recounts:
“Then when they saw it as a dense cloud coming towards their valleys, they said, ‘This is a cloud bringing us rain!’ Nay but it is that torment which you were asking to be hastened! a wind wherein is a painful torment! Destroying everything by the command of its Lord!” [Al-Qur’an 46:24-25]
Allah the Exalted described it thus:
“And as for ‘Ad, they were destroyed for a firious violent wind which Allah imposed on them for 7 nights and 8 days in succession, so that you could see men lying overthrown (destroyed) as if they were hollow trunks of palm trees!” [Al-Qur’an 69:6-7]
That violent gale did not stop until the entire region was reduced to ruins and its wicked people destroyed, swallowed by the sands of the desert. Only Hud and his followers remained unharmed. They migrated to Hadramawt and lived there in peace, worshipping Allah, their true Lord.
Chapter: (The Statement of Allah Ta’ala): “And Verily, Ilyas was one of the Messengers…”
Allah says in the Quran:
“And verily, Ilyas (Elias) was one of the Messengers. When he said to his people: ‘Will you not fear Allah? Will you call upon Ba’l (a well-known idol of his nation whom they used to worship) and forsake the Best of creators, Allah, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers?’ But they denied him [Ilyas (Elias)], so they will certainly be brought forth (to the punishment), except the chosen slaves of Allah. And We left for him (a goodly remembrance) among generations (to come) in later times; Salamun (peace) be upon Ilyasin! Verily, thus do We reward the Muhsinun (good-doers, who perform good deeds totally for Allah’s sake only). Verily, he was one of Our believing slaves.”