Chapter: The (story of the) Dwellers of the Town (V.36:13)
Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “(This is) a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His slave Zakariya (Zechariah)”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 640 :
Narrated by Malik bin Sasaa (radiallaahu `anhu)
That the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) talked to them about the night of his Ascension to the Heavens. He said, “(Then Gabriel took me) and ascended up till he reached the second heaven where he asked for the gate to be opened, but it was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied, ‘I am Gabriel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ He replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ When we reached over the second heaven, I saw Yahya (i.e. John) and Jesus who were cousins. Gabriel said, ‘These are John (Yahya) and Jesus, so greet them.’ I greeted them and they returned the greeting saying, ‘Welcome, O Pious Brother and Pious Prophet!’ “
The hadith mentions Prophet Yahya who was the son of Prophet Zakariya.
The Story of Prophets Zakariya [Zechariah] and Yahya [John]
The years had taken their toll on the Prophet Zakariyah (pbuh). He was now old and bent with age, in his nineties. Despite his feebleness, he went to the temple daily to deliver his sermons.
Zakariyah was not a rich man, but he was always ready to help those in need. His one disappointment in life was that he had no children, for his wife was barren. This worried him, for he feared there was no one after him to carry out his work. The people needed a strong leader, for it they were left on their own, they would move away from Allah’s teachings and change the Holy Laws to suit themselves.
During one of his visits to the temple, he went to check on Mary, who was living in a secluded room of the temple. He was surprised to find fresh out of season fruit in her room. Besides him, no one had entry to her room. When he inquired, she told him that the fruit was from Allah. She found it every morning. But why was he so surprised, she asked him. Did he not know that Allah provides without measure for whom He wills?
This noble girl had opened this eyes to a startling idea. Could he not ask his Lord to bless him with a child in his old age? Even if his wife was past childbearing age, nothing was impossible for his Gracious Lord!
Allah the Almighty revealed: ‘Kaf, Ha, Ya, Ain, Sad, (These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran, and none but Allah Alone knows their meanings). This is a mention of the Mercy of your Lord to His slave Zakariyah. When he called out his Lord (Allah) – a call in secret, saying: “My Lord! Indeed my bones have grown feeble, and gray hair has spread on my head, and I have never been unblest in my invocation to You, O my Lord! And Verily! I fear my relatives after me, since my wife is barren. So give me from Yourself an heir, – who shall inherit me, and inherit also the posterity of Jacob (inheritance of the religious knowledge and Prophethood, not the wealth, etc.) And make him, my Lord, one with whom You are Well-pleased!”
Allah said: “O Zakariyah! Verily, We give you the glad tidings of a son. His name will be Yahya (John). We have given that name to none before him.”
He said: “My Lord! How can I have a son, when my wife is barren, and I have reached the extreme old age.”
He said: “So (it will be). Your Lord says, It is easy for Me. Certainly I have created you before, when you had been nothing.”
Zakariyah said: “My Lord! Appoint for me a sign.”
He said: “Your sign is that you shall not speak unto mankind for three nights, though having no bodily defect.”
Then he came out to his people from Al Mihrab (a praying place or a private room, etc.), he told them by signs to glorify Allah’s Praises in the morning and in the afternoon.
It was said to his son: “O John! Hold fast to the Scripture (The Torah).” And We gave him wisdom while yet a child, and made him sympathetic to men as a mercy or a grant from Us, and pure from sins (John) and he was righteous, and dutiful towards his parents, and he was neither an arrogant nor disobedient (to Allah or to his parents). And Salamun (peace) on him the day he was born, the day he dies, and the day he will be raised up to life again! (Ch 19:1-15 Quran)
Almighty Allah also said: At that time Zakariyah invoked his Lord, saying: “O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.”
Then the angels called him, while he was standing in prayer in Al- Mihrab ( a praying place or a private room), saying: “Allah gives you glad tidings of John confirming (believing in) the Word from Allah (“Be!” – and he was! (i.e. the creation of Isa (Jesus), son of Mariam (Mary), noble keeping away from sexual relations with women, a Prophet, from among the righteous.”
He said: “O my Lord! How can I have a son when I am very old, and my wife is barren?”
Allah said: “Thus Allah does what He wills.” He said: “O my Lord! Make a sign for me.” Allah said: “Your sign is that you shall not speak to mankind for three days except with signals. And remember your Lord much (by praising Him again and again), and glorify Him in the afternoon and in the morning.” (Ch 3:38-41 Quran).
John (pbuh) was born a stranger to the world of children who used to amuse themselves, as he was serious all the time. Most children took delight in torturing animals whereas, he was merciful to them. He fed the animals from his food until there was nothing left for him, and he just ate fruit or leaves of trees.
John loved reading since childhood. When he grew up, Allah the Exalted called upon him: “O John! Hold fast to the Scripture (The Torah).” And We gave him wisdom while yet a child. (Ch 19:12 Quran).
Allah guided him to read the Book of Jurisprudence closely; thus, he became the wisest and most knowledgeable man of that time. Therefore, Allah the Almighty endowed him with the faculties of passing judgments on people’s affairs, interpreting the secrets of religion, guiding people to the right path, and warning them against the wrong one.
John reached maturity. His compassion for his parents, as well as for all people and all creatures, increased greatly. He called people to repent their sins.
There are quite a number of traditions told about John. Ibn Asaker related that one time his parents were looking for him and found him at the Jordan River. When they met him, they wept sorely, seeing his great devotion to Allah, Great and Majestic.
Ibn Wahb said that, according to Malik, grass was the food of John Ibn Zakariyah, and he wept sorely in fear of Allah. A chain of narrators reported that Idris Al Khawlawi said: “Shall I not tell you he who had the best food? It is John Ibn Zakariyah, who joined the beasts at dinner, fearing to mix with men.”
Ibn Mubarak stated that Wahb Ibn Al-Ward narrated that Zakariayah did not see his son for three days. He found him weeping inside a grave which he had dug and in which he resided. “My son, I have been searching for you, and you are dwelling in this grave weeping!” “O father, did you not tell me that between Paradise and Hell is only a span, and it will not be crossed except by tears of weepers?” He said to him: “Weep then, my son.” Then they wept together.
Other narrations say that John (pbuh) said: “The dwellers of Paradise are sleepless out of the sweetness of Allah’s bounty; that is why the faithful must be sleepless because of Allah’s love in their hearts. How far between the two luxuries, how far between them?”
They say John wept so much that tears marked his cheeks. He found comfort in the open and never cared about food. He ate leaves, herbs, and sometimes locusts. He slept anywhere in the mountains or in holes in the ground. He sometimes would find a lion or a bear as he entered a cave, but being deeply absorbed in praising Allah, he never heeded them. The beasts easily recognized John as the prophet who cared for all the creatures, so they would leave the cave, bowing their heads.
John sometimes fed those beasts, out of mercy, from his food and was satisfied with prayers as food for his soul. He would spend the night crying and praising Allah for His blessings.
When John called people to worship Allah, he made them cry out of love and submission, arresting their hearts with the truthfulness of his words.
A conflict took place between John and the authorities at that time. A tyrant king, Herod Antipas, the ruler of Palestine, was in love with Salome, his brother’s daughter. He was planning to marry his beautiful niece. The marriage was encouraged by her mother and by some of the learned men of Zion, either out of fear or to gain favor with the ruler.
On hearing the ruler’s plan, John pronounced that such a marriage would be incestuous. He would not approve it under any circumstance, as it was against the Law of the Torah.
John’s pronouncement spread like wildfire. Salome was angry, for it was her ambition to rule the kingdom with her uncle. She plotted to achieve her aim. Dressing attractively, she sang and danced before her uncle. Her arousing Herod’s lust. Embracing her, he offered to fulfill whatever she desired. At once she told hi: “I would love to have the head of John, because he has defiled your honor and mine throughout the land. If you grant me this wish, I shall be very happy and will offer myself to you.” Bewitched by her charm, he submitted to her monstrous request. John was executed and his head was brought to Salome. The cruel woman gloated with delight. But the death of Allah’s beloved prophet was avenged. Not only she, but all the children of Israel were severely punished by invading armies which destroyed their kingdom.
Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah…”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 638 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
When the Verse: ‘Those who believe and mix not their belief with wrong.” was revealed, the companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Who amongst us has not mixed his belief with wrong?” Then Allah revealed: “Join none in worship with Allah, Verily joining others in worship with Allah is a great wrong indeed.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 639 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
When the Verse: ‘Those who believe and mix not their belief with wrong.’ was revealed, the Muslims felt it very hard on them and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Who amongst us does not do wrong to himself?” He replied, “The Verse does not mean this. But that (wrong) means to associate others in worship to Allah: Don’t you listen to what Luqman said to his son when he was advising him,” O my son! Join not others in worship with Allah. Verily joining others in worship with Allah is a great wrong indeed.” (31.13)
Was Luqman a Prophet?
Ibn Kathir discusses this in his Tafsir of Surah Luqman where Allah mentions the advice Luqman gave to his son:
The Salaf differed over the identity of Luqman; there are two opinions: was he a Prophet or just a righteous servant of Allah without the prophethood? The majority favored the latter view, that he was a righteous servant of Allah without being a Prophet.
Sufyan Ath-Thawri said, narrating from Al-Ash`ath, from `Ikrimah, from Ibn `Abbas, “Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who was a carpenter.”
`Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr said, “I said to Jabir bin `Abdullah: `What did you hear about Luqman’ He said: `He was short with a flat nose, and came from Nubia.’”
Yahya bin Sa`id Al-Ansari narrated from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib that “Luqman was from the black peoples of (southern) Egypt, and had thick lips. Allah gave him wisdom but withheld prophethood from him.”
Al-`Awza`i said, “`Abdur-Rahman bin Harmalah told me; `A black man came to Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib to ask him a question, and Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said to him: “Do not be upset because you are black, for among the best of people were three who were black: Bilal, Mahja` the freed slave of `Umar bin Al-Khattab, and Luqman the Wise, who was a black Nubian with thick lips.”
Ibn Jarir recorded that Khalid Ar-Raba`i said: “Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who was a carpenter. His master said to him, `Slaughter this sheep for us,’ so he slaughtered it. ﴿His master﴾ said: `Bring the best two pieces from it,’ so he brought out the tongue and the heart. Then time passed, as much as Allah willed, and ﴿his master﴾ said: `Slaughter this sheep for us,’ so he slaughtered it. ﴿His master﴾ said, `Bring the worst two morsels from it,’ so he brought out the tongue and the heart. His master said to him, `I told you to bring out the best two pieces, and you brought these, then I told you to bring out the worst two pieces, and you brought these!’ Luqman said, `There is nothing better than these if they are good, and there is nothing worse than these if they are bad.”’
Shu`bah narrated from Al-Hakam, from Mujahid, “Luqman was a righteous servant, but he was not a Prophet.”
Read more about his story here.
Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “And to Dawud, We gave Sulaiman (for a son). How excellent (a) slave he was ever oft-returning in repentance (to us)” (38.30)
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 634 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “A strong demon from the Jinns came to me yesterday suddenly, so as to spoil my prayer, but Allah enabled me to overpower him, and so I caught him and intended to tie him to one of the pillars of the Mosque so that all of you might see him, but I remembered the invocation of my brother Solomon: ‘And grant me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me.’ (38.35) so I let him go cursed.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 635 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Solomon (the son of) David said, ‘Tonight I will sleep with seventy ladies each of whom will conceive a child who will be a knight fighting for “Allah’s Cause.’ His companion said, ‘If Allah wills.’ But Solomon did not say so; therefore none of those women got pregnant except one who gave birth to a half child.” The Prophet further said, “If the Prophet Solomon had said it (i.e. ‘If Allah wills’) he would have begotten children who would have fought in Allah’s Cause.” Shuaib and Ibn Abi Az-Zinad said, “Ninety (women) is more correct (than seventy).”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 636 :
Narrated by Abu Dhaar (radiallaahu `anhu)
I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Which mosque was built first?” He replied, “Al-Masjid-ul-Haram.” I asked, “Which (was built) next?” He replied, “Al-Masjid-ul-Aqsa (i.e. Jerusalem).” I asked, “What was the period in between them?” He replied, “Forty (years).” He then added, “Wherever the time for the prayer comes upon you, perform the prayer, for all the earth is a place of worshipping for you.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 637 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “My example and the example of the people is like that of a person who lit a fire and let the moths, butterflies and these insects fall in it.” He also said, “There were two women, each of whom had a child with her. A wolf came and took away the child of one of them, whereupon the other said, ‘It has taken your child.’ The first said, ‘But it has taken your child.’ So they both carried the case before David who judged that the living child be given to the elder lady. So both of them went to Solomon bin David and informed him (of the case). He said, ‘Bring me a knife so as to cut the child into two pieces and distribute it between them.’ The younger lady said, ‘May Allah be merciful to you! Don’t do that, for it is her (i.e. the other lady’s) child.’ So he gave the child to the younger lady.”
The Story of Prophet Sulaiman [Solomon]
By Ibn Kathir
Solomon inherited David’s prophethood and dominion. This was not a material inheritance, as prophets do not bequeath their property. It is given away to the poor and needy, not to their relatives. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “The prophets’ property will not be inherited, and whatever we leave is to be used for charity.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari).
And indeed We gave knowledge to David and Solomon, and they both said: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has preferred us above many of His believing slaves!”
And Solomon inherited (the knowledge of) David. He said: “O mankind! We have been taught the language of birds, and on us have been bestowed all things. This, verily, is an evident grace (from Allah).”
And there were gathered before Solomon his hosts of jinns and men, and birds, and they were all set in battle order (marching forwards). (Ch 27:15-17 Quran).
After his father’s death, Solomon became king. He begged Allah for a kingdom such as none after him would have, and Allah granted his wish. Besides wisdom, Allah had blessed Solomon with many abilities. He could command the winds and understand and talk to birds and animals. Allah directed him to teach both men and jinns to mine the earth and extract its minerals to make tools and weapons. He also favored him with a mine of copper, which was a rare metal in those days.
During his time horses were the common mode of transportation. They were very essential for defense, to carry soldiers and cart provisions and weapons of war. The animals were well cared for and well trained. One day Solomon was reviewing a parade of his stable. The fitness, beauty and posture of the horses fascinated him so much that he kept on stroking and admiring them. The sun was nearly setting, and the time for the middle prayer was passing by. When he realized this, he exclaimed: “I surely love the finer things of life than the service of my Lord! Return them to me.”
Almighty Allah revealed:
And to David We gave Solomon. How excellent a slave! Verily, he was ever oft returning in repentance (to Us)!
When there were displayed before him, in the afternoon, well-trained horses of the highest breed (for jihad in Allah’s cause). And he said: “Alas! I did love the good (these horses) instead of remembering my Lord (in my ‘Asr prayer)” till the time was over, and the sun had hidden in the veil of the night. Then he said: “Bring them (horses) back to me.” Then he began to pass his hand over their legs and their necks (till the end of the display).
And indeed We did try Solomon and We placed on his throne Jasadan (a devil, so he lost his kingdom for a while) but he did return (to his throne and kingdom by the Grace of Allah and he did return) to Allah with obedience and in repentance. He said: “My Lord! Forgive me, and bestow upon me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me. Verily, You are the Bestower.”
So, We subjected to him the wind, it blew gently to his order whithersoever he willed, and also the devils from the jinns including every kind of builder and diver, and also other bound in fetters. (Saying of Allah to Solomon): “This is Our gift, so spend you or withhold, no account will be asked.” And verily, he enjoyed a near access to Us, and a good final return Paradise. (Ch38:30-40 Quran).
One day Solomon gathered his army, which had different battalions of men, jinns, birds, and animals. He marched them to the country of Askalon.
While they were passing through a valley, an ant saw the approaching army and cried out to warn the other ants: “Run to your homes! Otherwise, unaware, Solomon and his army might crush you!” Solomon, hearing the cry of the ant, smiled. He was glad that the ant knew him to be a prophet who would not intentionally harm Allah’s creation. He thanked Allah for saving the ants’ lives.
Allah the Almighty narrated:
And there were gathered before Solomon his hosts of jinns and men, and birds, and they all were set in battle order (marching forwards). Till, when they came to a valley of the ants, one of the ants said: “O ants! Enter your dwellings, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you, while they perceive not.”
So he (Solomon) smiled, amused at her speech and said: “My Lord! Inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I maybe grateful for Your Favors which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous slaves.” (Ch 27:17-19 Quran).
In Jerusalem, on a huge rock, Solomon built a beautiful temple to draw the people to worship Allah. Today this building is known as “The Dome of the Rock.” From there, a large band of followers joined Solomon on pilgrimage to the Holy Mosque in Mecca. After they had completed their hajj, they traveled to Yemen and arrived in the city of San’a. Solomon was impressed by their clever method of channeling water all over their cities. He was keen to build similar water systems in his own country but did not have enough springs.
He set out to find the hoopoe bird, which could detect water under the ground. He sent signals all over the hoopoe to call on him, but it was nowhere to be found. In anger, he declared that unless the bird had a good reason for its absence, he would punish it severely.
The hoopoe eventually came to Solomon and explained the reason for its delay. “I have discovered something of which you are not aware. I have come from Sheba (Sab’a) with important news.” Solomon became curious, and his anger subsided. The bird continued: “Sab’a is ruled by a queen named Bilkis (Bilqis), who has plenty of everything, including a splendid throne. But in spite of all this wealth, Satan has entered her heart and the hearts of her people. She rules their minds completely. I was shocked to learn that they worship the sun instead of Allah the Almighty.”
To check the hoopoe’s information, Solomon sent a letter to the queen with the bird. He instructed the bird to remain hidden and to watch everything.
The hoopoe dropped the letter in front of the queen and flew away to hide. She excitedly opened and read it:
“Verily! It is from Solomon, and verily! It reads: ‘In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, and Most Merciful; be you not exalted against me, but come to me as Muslims (true believers who submit with full submission).'” ( Ch 27:30-31 Quran).
The queen was very disturbed and hurriedly summoned her advisors. They reacted as to a challenge, for they felt that there was someone challenging them, hinting at war and defeat, and asking them to submit to his conditions.
They told her that they could only offer advice, but it was her right to command action. She sensed that they wanted to meet Solomon’s invasion threat with a battle. However, she told them: “Peace and friendship are better and wiser; war only brings humiliation, enslaves people and destroys the good things. I have decided to send gifts to Solomon, selected from our most precious treasure. The courtiers who will deliver the gifts will also have an opportunity to learn about Solomon and his military mighty.”
Solomon’s reconnaissance team brought him the news of the arrival of Bilkis’ messengers with a gift. He immediately realized that the queen had sent her men on a probing mission thus, he gave orders to rally the army. The envoys of Bilqis, entering amidst the well-equipped army, realized that their wealth was nothing in comparison to that of the kingdom of Solomon’s palace floors, which were made of sandalwood and inlaid with gold.
They noticed Solomon surveying his army, and they were surprised at the number and variety of soldiers, which included lions, tigers, and birds. The messengers stood in amazement, realizing that they were in front of an irresistible army.
The envoys marveled at the splendor surrounding them. They eagerly presented their queen’s precious gifts and told Solomon that the queen wished that he would accept them as an act of friendship. They were shocked by his reaction: he did not even ask to open the covers of the containers! He told them: “Allah hagiven me plenty of wealth, a large kingdom, and prophethood. I am, therefore, beyond bribery. My only objective is to spread the belief in Tawheed, the Oneness of Allah.”
He also directed them to take back the gifts to the queen and to tell her that if she did not stop her kind of worship he would uproot her kingdom and drive its people out of the land.
The queen’s envoys returned with the gifts and delivered the message. They also told her of the wonderful things they had seen. Instead of taking offense, she decided to visit Solomon. Accompanied by her royal officials and servants, she left Sheba, sending a messenger ahead to inform Solomon that she was on her way to meet him.
Solomon asked the jinns in his employ whether anyone among them could bring her throne to he palace before she arrived. One of them said; “I will bring it to you before this sitting is over.” Solomon did not react to this offer; it appeared that he was waiting for a faster means. The jinns competed with each other to please him. One of them named Ifrit said: “I will fetch it for you in the twinkling of an eye!”
No sooner had this one – who had the knowledge of the Book – finished his phrase than the throne stood before Solomon. The mission had, indeed, been completed in the blinking of an eye. Solomon’s seat was in Palestine, and the throne of Bilqis had been in Yemen, two thousand miles away. This was a great miracle performed by one of those sitting with Solomon.
When Bilqis arrived at Solomon’s palace, she was welcomed with pomp and ceremony. Then, pointing to the altered throne, Solomon asked her whether her throne looked like that one. She looked at it again and again. In her mind she was convinced that her throne could not possibly be the one she was looking at, as hers was in her palace; et, she detected a striking similarity and replied: “It is as if it were the very one, and resembles mine in every respect.” Solomon judged that she was intelligent and diplomatic.
He then invited her into the great hall, the floor of which was laid in glass and shimmering. Thinking it was water, as she stepped on the floor, she lifted her skirt slightly above her heels, for fear of wetting it. Solomon pointed out to her that it was made of solid glass.
She was amazed. She had never seen such things before. Bilqis realized that she was in the company of a very knowledgeable person who was not only a ruler of a great kingdom but a messenger of Allah, as well. She repented, gave up sun worship, accepted the faith of Allah, and asked her people to do the same.
It was finished; Bilqis saw her people’s creed fall apart before Solomon. She realized that the sun which her people worshipped was nothing but one of Allah’s creatures.
The sun eclipsed within her for the first time, and her heart was lit by a never fading light, the light of Islam. Almighty Allah told us this story in the Quran: He inspected the birds, and said:
“What is the matter that I see not a hoopoe? Or is he among the absentees? I will surely punish him with a severe torment, or slaughter him, unless he brings me a clear reason.”
But the hoopoe stayed not long, he came up and said: “I have grasped (the knowledge of a thing) which you have not grasped and I have come to you from Sheba with true news. I found a woman ruling over them, and she has been given all things that could be possessed by any ruler of the earth, and she has a great throne. I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of Allah, and Satan has made their deeds fair seeming to them, and has barred them from Allah’s Way, so they have no guidance.”
Al-La (this word has two interpretations) [As Satan has barred them from Allah’s Way} so that they do not worship (prostrate before) Allah, or so that they may worship (prostrate before) Allah, Who brings light to what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what you conceal and what you reveal. Allah, La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Lord of the Supreme Throne!
(Solomon) said: “We shall see whether you speak the truth or you are one of the liars. Go with this letter of mine, and deliver it to them, then draw back from them, and see what answer they return.”
She said: “O chiefs! Verily! Here is a delivered to me a noble letter. Verily! It is from Solomon and verily! It (reads): ‘In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful; Be you not exalted against me, but come to me as Muslims (true believers who submit to Allah with full submission).”
She said: “O chiefs! Advise me in this case of mine. I decide no case till you are present with me.”
They said: “We have great strength, and great ability for war, but it is for you to command; so think over what you will command.”
She said: “Verily! Kings, when they enter a town (country), they despoil it, and make the most honorable amongst its people low. And thus they do. But verily! I am going to send him a present, and see with what answer the messengers return.”
So when (the messengers with the present) came to Solomon, he said: “Will you help me in wealth? What Allah has given me is better than that which He has given you! Nay, you rejoice in your gift!” (Then Solomon said to the chief of her messengers who brought the present): “Go back to them. We verily shall come to them with hosts that they cannot resist, and we shall drive them out from there is disgrace, and they will be abased.”
He said: “O chiefs! Which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me surrendering themselves in obedience?”
An Ifrit (strong) from the jinns said: “I will bring it to you before you rise from your place (council). And verily, I am indeed strong, and trustworthy for such work.”
One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: “I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!” then when Solomon saw it placed before him, he said: “This is by the Grace of my Lord, to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for the good of his ownself, and whoever is ungrateful, he is ungrateful only for the loss of his ownself. Certainly! My Lord is Rich (Free of all wants), Bountiful!”
He said: “Disguise her throne for her that we may see whether she will be guided (to recognize her throne), or she will be one of those not guided.”
So when she came, it was said to her: “Is your throne like this?”
She said: “It is as though it was the very same.”
And Solomon said: “Knowledge was bestowed on us before her, and we were submitted to Allah (in Islam as Muslims before her).”
And that which she used to worship besides Allah has prevented her from Islam, for she was of a disbelieving people.
It was said to her: “Enter As-Sarh” (a glass surface with water underneath it) or a palace, but when she saw it, she thought it was a pool, and she tucked up her clothes, uncovering her legs.
Solomon said: “Verily, it is Sarh paved smooth with slab of glass.”
She said: “My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself, and I submit (in Islam), together with Solomon, to Allah, the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinns, and all that exists).” (Ch 27:20-44 Quran)
Solomon’s public work was largely carried out by the jinns. This was a punishment for their sins of making people believe that they were all-powerful, knew the unseen, and could foresee the future. As a prophet, it was Solomon’s duty to remove such false beliefs from his followers.
Solomon lived amidst glory, and all creatures were subjected to him. Then Allah the Exalted ordained for him to die. His life and death were full of wonders and miracles; thus, his death harmonized with his life and glory. His death, like his life, was unique. The people had to learn that the future is known neither by the jinns, nor by the prophets, but by Allah alone. Solomon’s effort in this direction did not end with his life, for even his death became an example. He was sitting holding his staff, overseeing the jinns at work in a mine. He died sitting in this position. For a long time no one was aware of his death, for he was seen sitting erect. The jinns continued with their sand toil, thinking that Solomon was watching over them.
Many days later, a hungry ant began nibbling Solomon’s staff. It continued to do so, eating the lower part of the staff, until it fell out of Solomon’s hand, and his great body fell to the ground. People hurried to him, realizing that he had died a long time ago and that the jinns did not perceive the unseen, for had the jinns known the unseen, they would not have kept working, thinking that Solomon was alive.
Allah the Exalted revealed:
And We caused a fount of molten brass to flow for him, and there were jinns that worked in front of him by the Leave of his Lord, and whosoever of them turned aside from Our Command, We shall cause him to taste of the torment of the blazing Fire.
They worked for him what he desired, (making) high rooms, images, basins as large as reservoirs, and (making) cauldrons fixed (in their places). “Work you, O family of David, with thanks!” But few of My slaves are grateful.
Then when we decreed death for him (Solomon), nothing informed them (jinns) of his death except a little worm of the earth, which kept slowly gnawing away at his stick, so when he fell down, the jinns saw clearly that if they had known the unseen, they would not have stayed in the humiliating torment. (Ch 34:12-14 Quran).
Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “And verily, Yunus was one of the Messengers…”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 624 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “None of you should say that I am better than Yunus (i.e. Jonah).” Musadded added, “Jonah bin Matta.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 625 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “No slave (of Allah) should say that I am better than Yunus bin Matta.” So the Prophet mentioned his father’s name with his name.
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 626 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Once while a Jew was selling something, he was offered a price that he was not pleased with. So, he said, “No, by Him Who gave Moses superiority over all human beings!” Hearing him, an Ansari man got up and slapped him on the face and said, “You say: By Him Who Gave Moses superiority over all human beings although the Prophet (Muhammad) is present amongst us!” The Jew went to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and said, “O Abu-l-Qasim! I am under the assurance and contract of security, so what right does so-and-so have to slap me?” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) asked the other, “Why have you slapped”. He told him the whole story. The Prophet became angry, till anger appeared on his face, and said, “Don’t give superiority to any prophet amongst Allah’s Prophets, for when the trumpet will be blown, everyone on the earth and in the heavens will become unconscious except those whom Allah will exempt. The trumpet will be blown for the second time and I will be the first to be resurrected to see Moses holding Allah’s Throne. I will not know whether the unconsciousness which Moses received on the Day of Tur has been sufficient for him, or has he got up before me. And I do not say that there is anybody who is better than Yunus bin Matta.”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 627 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “None should say that I am better than Yunus bin Matta.”
Story of Prophet Yunus [Jonah]
By Ibn Kathir
Prophet Jonah (Yunus) (pbuh) also known as Dhan-Nun. About his people Almighty Allah said:
Was there any town community that believed after seeing the punishment, and its Faith at that moment, saved it from the punishment? (the answer is none)–except the people of Jonah; when they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the present world, and permitted them to enjoy for a while. (Ch 10:98 Quran)
The inhabitants of the town of Nineveh were idolaters who lived a shameless life. Prophet Jonah (pbuh) was sent to teach them the worship of Allah. The people disliked his interference in their way of worship, so they argued. “We and our forefathers have worshipped these gods for many years and no harm has come to us.”
Try as he might to convince them of the foolishness of idolatry and of the goodness of Allah’s laws, the ignored him. He warned them that if they kept on with their foolishness, Allah’s punishment would soon follow. Instead of fearing Allah, they told Jonah that they were not afraid of his threats. “Let it happen,” they told him. Jonah was disheartened. “in that case, I will leave you to your misery!” so saying, he left Nineveh, fearing that Allah’s anger would soon follow. Remember Dhan Nun (Jonah), when he went off in anger, and imagined that We shall not punish him (the calamities which had befallen him)! (ch 21:87)
Hardly had he left the city when the skies began to change color and looked as if they were on fire. The people were filled with fear by this sight. They recalled the destruction of the people of ‘Ad, Thamud and Noah. Was theirs to be a similar fate? Slowly faith penetrated their hearts. They all gathered on the mountain and started to beseech Allah for His mercy and forgiveness. The mountains echoed with their cries. It was a momentous hour, filled with sincere repentance.
Allah removed His wrath and showered His blessings upon them once again. When the threatening storm was lifted, they prayed for the return of Jonah so that he could guide them.
Meanwhile, Jonah had boarded a small ship in the company of other passengers. It sailed all day in calm waters with a good wind blowing at the sails. When night came, the sea suddenly changed. A horrible storm blew as if it were going to split the ship into pieces. The waves looked wild. They rose up as high as mountains then plunged down like valleys, tossing the ship and sweeping over the deck.
Behind the ship, a large whale was splitting the water and opening its mouth. A command had been issued from Almighty Allah to one of the greatest whales of the sea to surface. It obeyed. The whale hurried to the surface of the sea and followed the ship as it had been commanded.
The tempest continued and the chief crewman asked the crew to lighten the ship’s heavy load. They threw their baggage overboard, but this was not enough. Their safety lay in reducing the weight further, so they decided among themselves to lighten their load by removing at least one person.
The captain directed: We will make lots with all of the travelers’ names. The one whose name is drawn will be thrown into the sea.” Jonah knew this was one of the seamen’s traditions when facing a tempest. It was a strange polytheistic tradition, but it was practiced at that time. Jonah’s affliction and crisis began.
Here was the prophet, subjected to polytheistic rules that considered the sea and the wind to have gods that riot. The captain had to please these gods. Jonah reluctantly participated in the lot, and his name was added to the other travelers’ names. The lot was drawn and “Jonah” appeared.
Since they knew him to be the most honorable among them, they did not wish to throw him into the angry sea. Therefore, they decided to draw a second lot. Again Jonah’s name was drawn. They gave him a final chance and drew a third lot. Unfortunately for Jonah, his name came up again.
Jonah realized that Allah’s hand was in all this, for he had abandoned his mission without Allah’s consent. The matter was over, and it was decided that Jonah should throw himself into the water. Jonah stood at the edge of the ship looking at the furious sea. It was night and there was no moon. The stars were hidden behind a black fog. But before he could be thrown overboard, Jonah kept mentioning Allah’s name as he jumped into the raging sea and disappeared beneath the huge waves.
The whale found Jonah floating on the waves before it. It swallowed Jonah into its furious stomach and shut its ivory teeth on him as if they were white bolts locking the door of his prison. The whale dived to the bottom of the sea, the sea that runs in the abyss of darkness.
Three layers of darkness enveloped him, one above the other; the darkness of the whale’s stomach, the darkness of the bottom of the sea, the darkness of the night. Jonah imaged himself to be dead, but his senses became alert when he found he could move. He knew that he was alive and imprisoned in the midst of three layers of darkness. His heart was moved by remembering Allah. His tongue released soon after saying: La ilaha illa Anta (none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah), Glorified (and Exalted) be You (above all that evil they associate with You), Truly, I have been of the wrong doers.” (Ch 21:87 Quran)
Jonah continued praying to Allah, repeating this invocation. Fishes, whales, seaweeds, and all the creatures that lived in the sea heard the voice of Jonah praying, heard the celebration of Allah’s praises issuing from the whale’s stomach. All these creatures gathered around the whale and began to celebrate the praises of Allah in their turn, each in its own way and in its own language.
The whale also participated in celebrating the praises of Allah and understood that it had swallowed a prophet. Therefore it felt afraid; however, it said to itself; “Why should I be afraid? Allah commanded me to swallow him.”
Allah Almighty saw the sincere repentance of Jonah and heard his invocation in the whale’s stomach. Allah commanded the whale to surface and eject Jonah onto an island. The whale obeyed and swam to the farthest side of the ocean. Allah commanded it to rise towards the warm, refreshing sun and the pleasant earth.
The whale ejected Jonah onto a remote island. His body was inflamed because of the acids inside the whale’s stomach. He was ill, and when the sun rose, its ray burned his inflamed body so that he was on the verge of screaming for the pain. However, he endured the pain and continued to repeat his invocation to Allah.
Almighty Allah caused a vine to grow to considerable length over him for protection. Then Allah Exalted caused Jonah to recover and forgave him. Allah told Jonah that if it had not been for his praying to Him, he would have stayed in the whale’s stomach till the Day of Judgment.
Almighty Allah recounted:
And, verily, Jonah was one of the Messengers. When he ran to the laden ship, he agreed to cast lots and he was among the losers, Then a big fish swallowed him and he had done an act worthy of blame. Had he not been of them who glorify Allah, he would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day of Resurrection. But We cast him forth on the naked shore while he was sick and We caused a plant of gourd to grow over him. And We sent him to a hundred thousand people or even more, and they believed; so We gave them enjoyment for a while. (Ch 37:139-148 Quran).
Gradually he regained his strength and found his way to his hometown, Nineveh. He was pleasantly surprised to notice the change that had taken place there. The entire population turned out to welcome him. They informed him that they had turned to believe in Allah. Together they led a prayer of thanksgiving to their Merciful Lord.
Ibn Abbas narrated: “The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: ‘One should not say I am better than Jonah Ibn Matta.'” (Sahih Bukhari).
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).’ “