Category Archives: Story’s of the Quran

The Story of Haaroot and Maaroot – II

Magic is a reality and not mere illusion; some people consider tricks of the hand or deceptions of the eye to be magic, but magic is much more than that; it is a reality, and could lead one to hate what he used to love, such as the case which Allaah informs us of in the abovementioned verse where it can separate man from his wife. Indeed the goal that the devil strives hardest to achieve is to separate man from his wife, as in the narration of Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah who stated that the Prophet said: “Satan places his throne on the water, then he sends his troops to people; the closest devil in position to him is the one who causes the most mischief and trials amongst people. One of them (i.e., from his troops) comes to him and says: `I continued to whisper to so and so until he committed such and such a sin.` Satan responds: `I swear by Allaah! You have not done much.` (This process continues) until one (devil) comes and says: `I continued to whisper to him until I made him separate from his wife.` Thereupon, Satan brings him close to him and hugs him, saying: `Yes! You are the one.`” [Muslim] Meaning, that he is the one who has achieved the greatest accomplishment. This separation is caused by either magic or by any other means.

Some magicians use magic to bewitch the eyes of people and make them believe that they are seeing something that they are not, as Allaah says regarding the magicians of Pharaoh what means: “…And they presented a great [feat] of magic.” [Quran 7: 116] People thought, as a result of their magic, that they were seeing snakes instead of ropes and sticks.

Some people claim that there is a prophetic narration that is as follows: “Learn magic but do not teach it to others.” This is a fabrication; such words were never uttered by the Prophet .

The Islamic ruling regarding the magician is that he is to be beheaded, as the Prophet said: “The punishment for the magician is that he must be beheaded.” [At-Tirmithi & Al-Haakim] This is because such a person is an apostate, even if he fasts, prays and claims that he is a Muslim, because his practice of magic invalidates any good deeds he may perform.

There are two ways of being relieved from the effects of magic:

– The incorrect way is to go to magicians for this purpose; this is prohibited because the Prophet said: “He who approaches a magician and believes what he says will have his prayers rejected for forty days.” [Muslim] Thus, it is prohibited to approach them or to seek their assistance in removing the effect of magic done on one by others.

– The correct way is by reciting the legislated Ruqyah (i.e. the Quran and certain prophetic supplications). Examples of this would be the Chapters Al-Faatihah, Al-Ikhlaas, Al-Falaq, An-Naas and the Verse of the Throne, or Ayat Al-Kursi, which is the two-hundred and fifty fifth verse of Chapter Al-Baqarah. An example of a prophetic supplication that is useful in this regard is: “Allaahumma Rabban-naas, athhibil-ba’s, wash’fi, Antash-Shaafi, laa shifaa’a illaa shifaa’uka, shifaa’n laa yughaadiru saqama [O Allaah! The Lord of mankind! Remove this disease and cure (him or her). You are the Great Curer. There is no cure but through You, which leaves behind no disease].” [Al-Bukhaari]

One may also recite Quranic verses in water and add to it seven dried and crushed Lote-tree leaves. This method is confirmed to have been practiced by some of the Salaf such as Wahb ibn Munabbih .

Some people recite the verses that address the issue of magic, like those found in Chapters Al-A’raaf, Yoonus, and Taa Haa over this water and then add the crushed leaves to it, then they recite Chapters Al-Ikhlaas, Al-Falaq, An-Naas and some authentic Prophetic supplications over it. They then wash their body with this water. This is a method that has been proven to be beneficial by experience.

The Prophet was bewitched by Labeed ibn Al-A’sam, who had strong relations with the Jews, and the Jews requested his assistance due to him being renowned for his experience in magic.

The Prophet was afflicted by this magic for six months. He would think that he was sleeping with his wives while in fact he was not. He persevered through this period, and when he feared that it would affect his zeal for worship, he supplicated to Allaah, asking Him to remove it from him.

‘Aa’ishah narrated: “Magic was done on the Prophet so he began to think that he was doing things that he was not actually doing. One day, he invoked (Allaah) for a long period and then said: “I feel that Allaah has inspired me as how to cure myself. Two persons came to me (in a dream) and sat down, one by my head and the other by my feet. One of them asked the other: ‘What is the sickness of this man?’ The other replied: ‘He has been bewitched.’ The first asked: ‘Who has bewitched him?’ The other replied: ‘Labeed ibn Al-A’sam.’ The first one asked: ‘What materials did he use?’ The other replied: ‘A comb, the hair gathered on it, and the outer skin of the pollen of a male date-palm.’ The first asked: ‘Where are they?’ The other replied: ‘In the well of Tharwaan.'”

So the Prophet headed out towards the well. He later returned and said to me: “The date-palms (i.e., the ones on the well) are like the heads of devils.” I asked: ‘Did you take out those things with which the magic was done?’ He replied: “No, for I have been cured by Allaah, and I am afraid that this action may spread evil amongst the people.” Later on the well was filled up with earth.” [Al-Bukhaari]

The hair that was on the comb was taken, and a knot was made in which the magic was placed; then, the hair that contained the magic was placed inside the outer skin of the pollen of a male date-palm, and this was placed under a rock, inside the well. When some Companions went to remove this magic from the well, they found that its water was the colour of Henna, due to the effect of magic on it.

The Prophet was inspired by Allaah as to where the location of the magic was; it was removed and the knot was undone, so the magic was ruined.

The question of ‘Aa’ishah was an indirect way of asking why the Prophet did not punish the man who bewitched him, and he explained why, saying: “I am afraid that this action may spread evil amongst the people.” Meaning, that since the punishment of being a magician is execution by beheading, and because people did not know that he practiced such evil, nor did they witness him doing it on the Prophet then punishing him would have encouraged people to accuse anyone of doing magic, even if they were innocent, and justify it by quoting this action of the Prophet .

He was very careful not to execute anyone whose crime was not obvious to everybody, and it is for this same reason he refrained from killing Ibn Salool, who was the head of hypocrites, despite him knowing that he was being a disbeliever, a liar and a hypocrite.

He did not kill him because it would not have been clear to people why he killed him, due to this Ibn Salool pretending to be Muslim.

One may ask: “How could the Prophet be bewitched when he was conveying the message?”
The answer is that the magic never affected any aspect of his mind, memory or mission; it only affected his relations with his wives.

Another question that might be asked is: “Does the fact that he was bewitched not contradict being protected by Allaah? Allaah Says what means: “…And Allaah will protect you from the people…” [Quran 5: 67]

The answer is that the protection referred to in this verse was against certain matters only, such as being killed before conveying the message fully, or being prevented from conveying the message in any way.

In fact, proof of the fact that such protection was limited is that he was afflicted greatly by the disbelievers: they offended and beat him, and besieged him and his followers. He also suffered hunger and fell into a pit that the disbelievers had dug for him. They did all these things but were unable to prevent him from conveying the message of Allaah.

Some magic is performed by blowing into knots and other materials which magicians compile, which makes the bewitched person believe he is performing actions that is not actually doing; another type makes a person incapable of having sexual intercourse with his wife; another type makes the wife imagine that her husband is a beast or a snake whenever he tries to approach her sexually; there is another type that makes the husband imagine that his wife has a foul stench whenever he attempts to approach her sexually, even though she may be clean and smell pleasant.

There are women who resort to magic in order to make their husbands divorce his other wife or wives, so that she can have him all to herself – and this is one of the greatest ways of oppressing others.

One may ask: “There are deadly types of magic; are they incurable?”

The answer is that they are curable, unless the effects of this magic coincide with the designated time of the person’s death. If that is the case, then nothing can help him. Allaah Says what means: “But never will Allaah delay a soul when its time has come. And Allaah is Acquainted with what you do.” [Quran 63: 11]

The one who bewitches others and thereby causes their death must be sentenced to death, because such a person killed a soul intentionally and without due right.

Some people wear amulets, claiming that they protect them from magic, but they only add to the evil and make them weaker in faith.

In Islam, ends do not justify means; there are people who resort to magic in order to reconcile, for example, between two disputing people. This is prohibited, even if people claim that they have good intentions and are only using it for a good purpose. This is refused in Islam because the means used are evil, and regardless of the sought result, using magic remains prohibited.

The story of Haaroot and Maaroot – I

One of the stories in the Quran, is the story of Haaroot and Maaroot. Allaah Says what means: “And they [i.e., the Children of Israel] followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Sulaymaan (Solomon ). It was not Sulaymaan who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Haaroot and Maaroot. But they [i.e., the two angels] do not teach anyone unless they say: ‘We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic].’ And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allaah. And they [i.e., people] learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But they [i.e., the Children of Israel] certainly knew that whoever purchased it [i.e., magic] would not have in the Hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if they only knew.” [Quran 2: 102]

The Children of Israel received a Great Book from Allaah, namely the Quran, which confirmed what they had been told in the Tawraah (i.e. Torah); they were claiming to adhere to their scripture, yet they disbelieved in the Messenger (Muhammad) and a group of them also threw the Scripture of Allaah (i.e., the Tawraah) behind their backs and shunned it, despite them knowing that it was the truth, as Allaah tells us, saying what means: “…A party of those who had been given the Scripture threw the Scripture of Allaah [i.e., the Tawraah] behind their backs as if they did not know [what it contained].” [Quran 2: 101]

It is the way of Allaah that He punishes those who shun that which benefits them; He therefore busies them with things that are of no benefit to them, or makes them indulge in what harms them. Whoever shuns the worship of the Most Merciful will be afflicted with the worship of idols.

Whoever shuns Islamic monotheism will be afflicted with association with Allaah. Whoever shuns the Sunnah will be afflicted with religious innovation. Whoever shuns adhering to the Islamic texts will be afflicted with blind imitation of others who have no evidence to back up their actions.

Whoever shuns hoping in, loving and fearing only Allaah will be afflicted with directing all these acts to other than Him. Whoever refrains from spending his wealth for the sake of Allaah will be afflicted with spending it for the sake of Satan.

Whoever shuns humbling himself to Allaah will be afflicted with being humiliated by other people, and whoever shuns the truth will be afflicted with adhering to falsehood.

This is exactly what happened to the Jews when they shunned the Book of Allaah; they were afflicted with following in the footsteps of Satan. During the reign of Sulaymaan they refused to believe in the Book of Allaah, and were thus afflicted by following what the devils recited and invented.

The devils introduced magic to the people and claimed that Sulaymaan used magic and that it was the means for him to have such great power and a vast empire.

Indeed they lied, because Allaah is the One who granted him enough power and such a vast empire that he had no need to resort to magic, or to seek the help of the devils. As a matter of fact, Allaah facilitated the devils for the disposal of Sulaymaan ; Allaah Says what means: “They made for him what he willed of elevated chambers, statues, bowls like reservoirs, and stationary kettles…” [Quran 34: 13]

Allaah utilised them for Sulaymaan to use, and so they were under his command, but after the death of Sulaymaan the devils came out to the people claiming that the reason behind his control over them was the magic he used and practiced, but Allaah exposes their lie saying what means: “And they [i.e., the Children of Israel] followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Sulaymaan. It was not Sulaymaan who disbelieved …” [Quran 2: 102]

Whoever practices or uses magic is a disbeliever, but Sulaymaan never disbelieved and never practiced magic; indeed Allaah confirms the very opposite, saying what means: “…It was not Sulaymaan who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic…” [Quran 2: 102] They disbelieved by teaching people magic and how to use it, thereby misguiding them.

The Jews practiced the magic that Allaah sent the two angels with, namely Haaroot and Maaroot, as a means of testing people and seeing who amongst His slaves would remain steadfast and who would deviate, or who would remain upon faith and who would disbelieve.

These two angels, Haaroot and Maaroot, were sent to teach people magic in the land of Babylon in Iraq as a test for these people. One may ask: “How can Allaah send these two angels to teach people magic if practicing magic is disbelief?” The answer is that it is done in order to subject people to a trial, as Allaah Says what means: “…But they [i.e., the two angels] do not teach anyone unless they say: ‘We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic]…’” [Quran 2: 102]

These angels would initially warn people not to learn this magic, and that to do so would entail disbelief, but if they insisted on learning magic, then they would teach them it; this magic could thereafter be used for prohibited reasons, such as to separate spouses. The Jews practiced the magic that they accused Sulaymaan of using.

The Jews learnt magic and became specialists in it, and to this day the most skilled magicians are the Jews, especially the Moroccan Jews. These Jews shunned the news of the description and imminent arrival of the Prophet Muhammad that was in their scripture; they also shunned the new Book (i.e. the Quran); they eschewed all this and instead resorted to learning and practicing magic.

In this story, Allaah mentions some of the evil consequences of magic, such as what means: “…And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife…” [Quran 2: 102]

This is while Allaah describes marriage as something that results in harmony when He Says what means: “…He placed between you [i.e., man and his wife] affection and mercy….” [Quran 30: 21]

Magic separates man from his wife, which is proof that it does have an effect, but this effect only occurs by the will of Allaah. Some types of magic make a person love another and act as if he is enslaved to him or her; such a person would feel that he simply cannot live without this person; another type of magic results in the opposite, whereby a person may hate another to the extent that he cannot even look him in the eye; a father can be bewitched in order to make him despise his children or wife, as in the previously mentioned verse of Chapter Al-Baqarah.

Allaah Says what means: “But they [i.e. the Children of Israel] certainly knew that whoever purchased it [i.e. learnt and practiced magic] would not have in the Hereafter any share.” [Quran 2: 102]

The scholars differed in their interpretation of this verse. Some of them stated that Allaah did not send down these angels with magic to teach people, but rather it was the devils who taught people magic. On the other hand, many from the Salaf (predecessors) were of the view that Allaah sent down to the earth these two angels from the heavens as a punishment to them; others said that they were angels who deviated and were an exceptional case from all the other angels, who never disobey Allaah; yet others said that they were honourable angels who were sent down to teach people magic as a way of testing them, but who only taught those who insisted on learning it after having been informed and reminded that magic is a form of disbelief, and after having been sternly warned against learning and practicing it.

Undoubtedly, learning magic is prohibited, and practicing it is disbelief, as indicated in the verse, in addition to many prophetic narrations that affirm this fact.

The story of Prophet Nooh -I

Prophet Nooh (Noah) was one of the prominent Prophets whom Allaah Almighty sent to guide people to His Path – that of Monotheism. Ibn ‘Abbaas narrated that Prophet Muhammad said: “The period between Aadam and Nooh was ten centuries.” [Al-Bukhaari]

Nooh was therefore born some one thousand years after Aadam’s creation, or after he left the Garden of Eden. For many generations, the people of Nooh had been worshipping statues that they called gods. They believed that these gods would bring them good, protect them from evil and provide all their needs. They gave their idols names such as Wadd, Suwaa’, Yaghooth, Ya’ooq, and Nasr.

Allaah Almighty revealed in the Noble Quran (what means): “And [the idolaters] said: ‘Never leave your gods and never leave Wadd, nor Suwaa’ or Yaghooth and Ya’ooq and Nasr [i.e., the names of their idols].” [Quran: 71:23] Originally, these were the names of good people who had lived among them. After their deaths, statues of them were erected to keep their memories alive. After some time, however, people began to worship these statues. Later generations did not even know why they had been erected; they only knew their parents had prayed to them. That is how idol worshipping developed. Since they had no understanding of Allaah Almighty who would punish them for their evil deeds, they became cruel and immoral.

Ibn ‘Abbaas explained: “Following the death of those righteous men, Satan inspired their people to erect statues in the places where they used to sit. They did this, but these statues were not worshiped until the coming generations deviated from the right way of life. Then they worshipped them as their idols.”

In his description of this story, Imaam Ibn Jareer narrated: “There were righteous people who lived in the period between Aadam and Nooh, may Allaah exalt their mention, and who had followers who held them as models. After their death, their friends who used to emulate them said: ‘If we make statues of them, it will be more pleasing to us in our worship and will remind us of them.’ So they built statues of them and, after they had died and others came after them, Iblees (Satan) crept into their minds saying: ‘Your forefathers used to worship them, and through that worship they got rain.’ So they worshipped them.”

Imaam Ibn Abu Haatim related the following story: “Wadd was a righteous man who was loved by his people. When he died, they withdrew to his grave in the land of Babylonia and were overwhelmed by sadness. When Iblees saw their sorrow caused by his death, he disguised himself in the form of a man saying: ‘I have seen your sorrow because of this man’s death; can I make a statue like him which could be put in your meeting place to make you remember him?’ They said: ‘Yes.’ So he made the statue like him. They put it in their meeting place in order to be reminded of him. When Iblees saw their interest in remembering him, he said: ‘Can I build a statue of him in the home of each one of you so that he would be in everyone’s house and you could thereby remember him?’ They agreed. Their children learned about and saw what they were doing. They also learned about their remembrance of him instead of Allaah. So the first to be worshipped instead of Allaah was Wadd, the idol which they named thus.”

The essence of this point is that every idol from those earlier mentioned was worshipped by a certain group of people. It was mentioned that people made pictures and, as the ages passed, they made these pictures into statues, so that their forms could be fully recognised; afterwards they were worshipped instead of Allaah.

It was narrated that Umm Salamah and Umm Habeebah who were two of the wives of the Prophet informed him about the church named ‘Maria’ that they had seen in the land of Abyssinia. They described its beauty and the pictures therein. He said: “Those are the people who build places of worship on the grave of every dead man who was righteous and then make therein those pictures. Those are the worst of creation in the sight of Allaah.” [Al-Bukhaari]

Worshipping anything other than Allaah is a tragedy that results not only in the loss of freedom; its serious effect reaches man’s mind and destroys it as well. Almighty Allaah created man and his mind with its purpose set on achieving knowledge, the most important of which is that Allaah alone is the Creator and all the rest are worshippers (slaves). Therefore, disbelief in Allaah, or polytheism, results in the loss of freedom, the destruction of the mind, and the absence of a noble target in life. By worshipping anything other than Allaah, man becomes enslaved to Satan, who is himself a creature, and becomes harnessed to his own baser qualities.

Into that environment, Allaah sent Nooh with His message to his people. Nooh was the only intellectual not caught in the whirlpool of man’s destruction which was caused by polytheism.

Allaah, out of His Mercy, sent His messenger Nooh to guide his people. Nooh was an excellent speaker and a very patient man. He pointed out to his people the mysteries of life and the wonders of the universe. He pointed out how the night is regularly followed by the day and that the balance between these opposites was designed by Allaah Almighty for our good. The night gives coolness and rest while the day gives warmth and awakens activity. The sun encourages growth, keeping all plants and animals alive, while the moon and stars assist in the reckoning of time, direction and seasons. He pointed out that the ownership of the heavens and the earth belongs only to the Divine Creator.

Therefore, he explained to this people, there cannot have been more than one deity. He clarified to them how the devil had deceived them for so long and that the time had come for this deceit to stop. Nooh spoke to them of Allaah’s glorification of man, how He had created him and provided him with sustenance and the blessings of the mind. He told them that idol-worshipping was a suffocating injustice to the mind. He warned them not to worship anyone but Allaah and described the terrible punishment Allaah would mete out if they continued in their evil ways.

The people listened to him in silence. His words were a shock to their stagnating minds as it is a shock to a person who is asleep under a wall which is about to fall and who is vigorously awakened. This person may be alarmed and may even become angry, although the aim was only to save him.

The people of Nooh were divided into two groups after his warning. His words touched the hearts of the weak, the poor, and the miserable, and soothed their wounds with its mercy. As for the rich, the strong, the mighty and the rulers, they looked upon the warning with cold distrust. They believed they would be better off if things stayed as they were. Therefore, they started their war of words against Nooh .

First they accused Nooh of being a mere human, just like themselves, as the verse states (what means): “So the eminent among those who disbelieved from his people said: ‘We do not see you but as a man like ourselves’….” [Quran: 11:27]

He, however, had never said anything other than that. He asserted that, indeed, he was only a human being; Allaah had sent a human messenger because the earth was inhabited by humans. If it had been inhabited by angels, Allaah would have sent an angelic messenger.

The contest between the polytheists and Nooh continued. The rulers had thought at first that Nooh’s call would soon fade on its own. When they found that his call attracted the poor, the helpless and common labourers, they started to verbally attack and taunt him: ‘You are only followed by the poor, the meek and the worthless.’

Allaah the Almighty tells us in the Quran (what means): “And We had certainly sent Nooh to his people, [saying]: ‘Indeed, I am to you a clear warner. That you not worship except Allaah. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a painful day.’ So the eminent among those who disbelieved from his people said: ‘We do not see you but as a man like ourselves, and we do not see you followed except by those who are the lowest of us [and] at first suggestion. And we do not see in you over us any merit; rather, we think you are a liar.'” [Quran: 11:25-27]

Thus, the conflict between Nooh and the heads of his people intensified. The disbelievers tried to bargain: “Listen Nooh! If you want us to believe in you, then dismiss your believers. They are meek and poor, while we are elite and rich; no faith can include us both.” Nooh listened to the heathens of his community and realised they were obstinate. However, he was gentle in his response. He explained to his people that he could not dismiss the believers as they were not his guests but Allaah’s.

Nooh appealed to them saying (what means): “O my people! I ask not of you for it any wealth. My reward is not but from Allaah. And I am not one to drive away those who have believed. Indeed, they will meet their Lord, but I see that you are a people behaving ignorantly. And O my people! Who would protect me from Allaah if I drove them away? Then will you not be reminded? And I do not tell you that I have the depositories [containing the provision] of Allaah or that I know the unseen, nor do I tell you that I am an angel, nor do I say of those upon whom your eyes look down that Allaah will never grant them any good. Allaah is most knowing of what is within their souls. Indeed, I would then be among the wrongdoers [i.e., the unjust].'” [Quran: 11:29-31]

Nooh refuted the arguments of the disbelievers with the noble knowledge of the prophets. It is the logic of intellect that rids itself of personal pride and interests.

The story of Prophet Luut

Prophet Luut left Egypt, accompanied by his uncle Ibraaheem and headed to the city of Sodom in Palestine, which was on the western shore of the Dead Sea.

This city was filled with evil. Its residents waylaid, robbed and killed travellers. Another common evil among them was that their men used to have sex with men instead of women. This unnatural act later became known as sodomy, after the city of Sodom. It was practiced openly and unashamedly.

It was at the height of these crimes and sins that Allaah revealed to Prophet Luut that he should summon the people to give up their indecent behaviour, but their immoral habits were so deeply ingrained that they were deaf to Luut’s preaching. Addicted to their unnatural desires, they refused to accept the call to repentance, even when Luut warned them of Allaah’s punishment. Instead, they threatened to drive him out of the city if he continued preaching against their evil habits.

Allaah Almighty revealed (what means): “The people of Luut denied the messengers. When their brother Luut said to them: ‘Will you not fear Allaah? Indeed, I am to you a trustworthy messenger. So fear Allaah and obey me. And I do not ask you for it any payment. My payment is only from the Lord of the worlds. Do you approach males among the worlds. And leave what your Lord has created for you as mates? But you are a people transgressing.’ They said: ‘If you do not desist, O Luut, you will surely be of those evicted.’ He said: ‘Indeed, I am, toward your deed, of those who detest [it]. My Lord! Save me and my family from [the consequence of] what they do.’ So We saved him and his family, all. Except an old woman [i.e., the wife of Luut] among those who remained behind.” [Quran: 26:160-171]

The sinful actions of Prophet Luut’s people saddened his heart. Their abominable reputation spread throughout the land, while he continued to struggle against them. As the years passed, he persisted in his mission, but to no avail. No one responded to his call and believed except for the members of his family; even in his household, not all the members believed: Luut’s wife was a disbeliever.

If home is the place of comfort and rest, then Luut found none, for he was tormented both within and outside his home. His life was continuous agony as he suffered greatly, but he remained patient and steadfast as a Messenger to his people. Instead of heeding to him, they belittled his message, and mockingly challenged him, saying (what means): “…’Bring us the punishment of Allaah, if you should be of the truthful!” [Quran: 29:29]

Overwhelmed with despair, Luut prayed to Allaah to grant him victory and to destroy the corrupt. Allaah Almighty, therefore, sent three angels in the guise of young handsome men in answer to his prayer. They reached the walls of the town in the afternoon. The first person who caught sight of them was Luut’s daughter while she was filling her jug with water from the river. When she saw them, she was stunned that there could be men of such magnificent beauty on earth.

One of the three men (angels) asked her: “O maiden! Is there a place to rest?”

Remembering the evil character of her people, she replied: “Stay here and do not enter the town until I inform my father and return.” Leaving her jug by the river, she swiftly ran home.

“O father!” she cried. “You are wanted by young men at the town gate and I have never before seen the like of their faces!”

Luut felt distressed as he quickly ran to his guests.

They visited him at home as guests. After ushering them in hospitably, he asked them where they came from and where they were going.

They did not reply to his questions. Instead they asked if he could host them. He began talking with them and impressed upon them the repulsive nature of his people. Luut was filled with turmoil; he wanted to convince his guests without offending them, not to spend the night there, yet at the same time he wanted to extend to them the expected hospitality normally accorded to guests. In vain, he tried to make them understand the perilous situation. At last, therefore, he requested them to wait until nightfall, for then no one would see them.

When darkness shrouded the town, Luut escorted his guests to his home. No one was aware of their presence. However, as soon as Luut’s wife saw them, she slipped out of the house quietly so that no one noticed her. Quickly, she ran to her people with the news and spread it to all the inhabitants like wildfire. The people rushed towards Luut quickly and excitedly.

When Luut saw the mob approaching his house, he shut the door, but they kept on banging on it. He pleaded with them to leave the visitors alone and fear Allaah’s punishment. He urged them to seek sexual fulfilment with their wives, for that is what Allaah had made lawful.

Luut’s people waited until he had finished his short sermon, and then they roared with laughter. Blinded by lust, they broke down the door. Luut became very angry, but he stood powerless before these violent people. He felt powerless to prevent the abuse of his guests, but he firmly continued to plead with the mob.

At that terrible moment, he wished he had the power to push them away from his guests. Seeing him in a state of helplessness and grief, the guests said to him: “Do not be anxious or frightened, for we are angels, and these people will not harm you.”

On hearing this, the mob was terrified and fled from Luut’s house, hurling threats at him as they left. The angels warned Prophet Luut to leave his house before sunrise, taking with him all his family, except his wife.

Allaah had decreed that the city of Sodom should perish. An earthquake rocked the town. It was as if a mighty power had lifted the entire city and flung it down in one jolt. A storm of stones then rained on the city. Everyone and everything was destroyed, including Luut’s wife.

The Holy Quran recorded this event; it states (what means): “So We saved him and his family, all. Except an old woman [his wife] among those who remained behind. Then We destroyed the others. And We rained upon them a rain [of stones], and evil was the rain of those who were warned. Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers. And indeed, your Lord – He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.” [Quran: 26:170-175]

Thus, the people of Luut were destroyed and their towns and names have been erased from the face of the earth.

Source: Sheikh Muhammad Gemeiah’s translation of ‘Stories of the Prophets’, by Imaam Ibn Katheer

The story of Prophet Aadam -III

On earth, Aadam had to face conflict and struggle. No sooner had one ended than another began. He also had to toil to sustain himself. He had to protect himself with clothes and weapons and protect his wife and children from wild beasts. Above all, he had to struggle with the spirit of evil. Iblees (Satan), the cause of his expulsion from Paradise continued to beguile him and his children in order to have them thrown into the eternal Hellfire. The battle between good and evil is continuous, but those who follow Allaah’s guidance should fear nothing while those who disobey Allaah and follow Iblees will be damned along with him.
Aadam grasped all of this and with the knowledge of this challenge began his life on the earth. The only relief for his grief was that as master of the earth he had to make it yield to him. He was the one who had to perpetuate, cultivate, construct and populate the earth. He had to procreate and raise the children necessary to change and improve the world.

The pinnacle of earthly bliss was reached when Aadam and Hawaa’, may Allaah exalt their mention, witnessed the birth of their first set of twins. Aadam was a devoted father and Hawaa’, may Allaah exalt her mention, a contented mother. The twins were Qaabeel (Cain) and his sister. Later, Hawaa’, may Allaah exalt her mention, gave birth to a second set of twins, Haabeel (Abel) and his sister. The family enjoyed the bounties and fruits of the earth provided by their Lord. The children grew up to be strong and healthy young adults. Qaabeel tilled the land while Haabeel raised cattle.

The time arrived when the two young men desired life partners. This was part of Allaah’s plan for mankind, to multiply and form nations with different cultures and colours. Allaah revealed to Aadam that he should marry each son to the twin sister of the other. Aadam instructed his children according to Allaah’s command, but Qaabeel was displeased with the partner chosen for him, for Haabeel’s twin sister was not as beautiful as his own.

It appears that since the beginning of time, physical beauty has been a factor in the attraction between man and woman. This attraction caused Qaabeel to envy his brother Haabeel. He rebelled against Allaah’s command by refusing to accept his father’s advice.

Aadam was in a dilemma. He wanted peace and harmony in his family, so he invoked Allaah for help. Allaah commanded that each son offer a sacrifice, and he whose offering was accepted would have right on his side. Haabeel offered his best camel while Qaabeel offered his worst grain. His sacrifice was not accepted by Allaah because of his disobedience to his father and the insincerity in his offering.

This enraged Qaabeel even further. Realising that his hopes of marrying his own beautiful sister were fading, he threatened his brother. “I will kill you! I refuse to see you happy while I remain unhappy!” he said.

Haabeel, feeling sorry for his brother, replied: “It would be more proper for you, my brother, to search for the cause of your unhappiness and then walk in the way of peace. Allaah accepts deeds only from those who serve and fear Him, not from those who reject His commands.”

Haabeel was intelligent, obedient, and always ready to obey the will of Allaah. This contrasted sharply with his brother who was arrogant, selfish and disobedient to his Lord. Haabeel did not fear his brother’s threats, but he did not want his brother to be hurt. Allaah had blessed Haabeel with purity and compassion.

Hoping to dispel the hatred seething in his brother, Haabeel said: “My brother, you are deviating from the right path and are sinful in your decisions. It is better that you repent to Allaah and forget about your foolish threat. But if you do not, then I will leave the matter in the hands of Allaah. You alone will bear the consequence of your sin, for the Fire is the reward of the wrong-doers.”

This brotherly plea did nothing to lessen the hatred in Qaabeel’s heart, nor did he show fear of Allaah’s punishment. Even familial considerations were cast aside. Qaabeel struck his brother with a stone killing him instantly. This was the first death and the first criminal act committed by man on earth.

When Haabeel had not appeared for some time, Aadam began to search for him but found no trace of his beloved son. He asked Qaabeel about Haabeel’s whereabouts. Qaabeel insolently replied that he was neither his brother’s keeper nor his protector. From these words his father understood that Haabeel was dead and Aadam was filled with grief.

Meanwhile, Qaabeel did not know what to do with his brother’s corpse. He carried it on his back wandering from place to place trying to hide it. His anger had now subsided and his conscience was saddled with guilt. He was tiring under the burden of the corpse which had started to have a stench. As a mercy, and to show that dignity could be retained even in death, Allaah sent two ravens that began fighting, causing the death of one. The victorious bird used its beak and claws to dig a hole in the ground, rolled its victim into it and covered it with sand.

Witnessing this, Qaabeel was overcome with shame and remorse. “Woe unto me!” he exclaimed. “I was unable to do what this raven has done, that is to hide my brother’s corpse.” Qaabeel then buried his brother. This was also the first burial of man.

Allaah, the Almighty, revealed (what means): “And recite to them the story of Aadam’s two sons, in truth, when they both offered a sacrifice [to Allaah], and it was accepted from one of them but was not accepted from the other. Said [the latter]: ‘I will surely kill you.’ Said [the former]: ‘Indeed, Allaah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him]. If you should raise your hand against me to kill me – I shall not raise my hand against you to kill you. Indeed, I fear Allaah, Lord of the worlds. Indeed, I want you to obtain [thereby] my sin and your sin so you will be among the companions of the Fire. And that is the recompense of wrongdoers.’ And his soul permitted to him the murder of his brother, so he killed him and became among the losers. Then Allaah sent a crow searching [i.e. scratching] in the ground to show him how to hide the disgrace of his brother. He said: ‘O woe to me! Have I failed to be like this crow and hide the disgrace [i.e. body] of my brother?’ And he became of the regretful.” [Quran 5:27-31]

Aadam was utterly grief-stricken by the loss of his two sons. One was dead; the other was won over by the devil. Aadam prayed for his son and turned to mundane matters, for he had to toil for his sustenance. At the same time he was a Prophet advising his children and grandchildren, telling them about Allaah and calling them to believe in Him. He told them about Iblees and warned them by recounting his own experience with the devil and how the devil had tempted Qaabeel to kill his brother.

Years and years passed, Aadam grew old and his children spread all over the earth. Imaam Muhammad Ibn Is-Haaq related that when Aadam’s death drew near, he appointed his son Sheeth (Seth) to be his successor and taught him the hours of the day and night along with their appropriate acts of worship.

Ubayy Ibn Ka’b said: “When Aadam’s death was near, he said to his children: ‘O my children! Indeed I feel an appetite for the fruits of Paradise.’ So they went away searching for what Aadam had requested. They met with the angels, who had with them his shroud and what he was to be embalmed with. They said to them: ‘O Children of Aadam! What are you searching for? What do you want? Where are you going?’ They replied: ‘Our father is sick and has an appetite for the fruits of Paradise.’ The angels said to them: ‘Go back, for your father is going to meet his end soon.’ So they returned with the angels and when Hawaa’, may Allaah exalt her mention, saw them, she recognised them. She tried to hide herself behind Aadam . He said to her. ‘Leave me alone. I came before you; do not go between me and the angels of my Lord.’ So they took his soul, embalmed and wrapped him, dug the grave and laid him in it. They prayed for him and put him in his grave, saying: ‘O Children of Aadam! This is your tradition at the time of death.'”

Before his death, Aadam reassured his children that Allaah would not leave man alone on the earth, but would send His prophets to guide them. The prophets would have different names, traits and miracles, but they would be united in one thing – the call to worship Allaah Alone.

The story of Prophet Aadam – II

Adam Dwells in Paradise

Allaah commanded Aadam to dwell in Paradise Saying (what means): “…‘O Aadam! Dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers.'” [Quran: 2:35]

The location of this Paradise is unknown to us. The Quran did not mention it, and the Quranic commentators have five different opinions on this. Some said that it was the Paradise of our refuge, and that its place was heaven. Others rejected that statement because if it was the Paradise of refuge, Iblees (Satan) would have been forbidden admission, and disobedience in it would have been forbidden as well. Still others said that it was another paradise that was created by Allaah for Aadam and Hawwaa` (Eve), may Allaah exalt their mention. A fourth group said it was a paradise on the earth located in a high place. Another group of commentators have stated that one should not speculate about this.

We agree with this last opinion, as the lesson we learn from its location is immaterial compared to the lesson we learn from the events that took place there.

Aadam and Hawwaa`, may Allaah exalt their mention, were admitted to Paradise and there they lived the dream of all human beings. Allaah permitted them to approach and enjoy everything except one tree; He Says (what means): “…‘Do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers.'” [Quran 2:35]

Aadam and Hawwaa’, may Allaah exalt their mention, understood that they were forbidden to eat the fruit of that tree. Aadam was, however, a human being, and man tends to forget. His heart changes and his will weakens. Satan summoned all the envy within him and took advantage of Aadam’s humanity to exploit him. He started to whisper to him day after day, coaxing him, as this verse states (which means): “…‘Shall I direct you to the tree of eternity and possession that will not deteriorate?’” [Quran 20:120] He said to them (what means): “‘Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become of the immortal.’ And he swore [by Allaah] to them: ‘Indeed, I am to you from among the sincere advisors.'” [Quran: 7:20-21]

Aadam asked himself: “What will happen if I eat from this tree? It might truly be the tree of eternity.” His dream was to live for ever in the pure innocence of Paradise.

Years went by, and Aadam and Hawwaa’, may Allaah exalt their mention, were preoccupied with thoughts of that tree. Then, one day, they decided to eat of its fruit. They forgot that Allaah had warned them not to approach it and that Satan was their sworn enemy. Aadam stretched out his hand, picked one of the fruits, and offered it to Hawwaa’, may Allaah exalt her mention. They both ate of the forbidden tree.

Allaah Almighty tells us (what means): “So he [Satan] made them fall…” [Quran: 7:22] Allaah also says what means: “…And Aadam disobeyed his Lord and erred.” [Quran: 20:121]

At that moment, their eyes were opened to the fact that they were naked, and so they took the leaves of a fig tree to cover themselves. Wahb bin Munabbih who was a Muslim scholar from the second generation, said that their clothing was made of light on the private parts of both of them.

Allaah the Almighty Says (what means): “O Children of Aadam! Let not Satan tempt you as he removed your parents [Aadam and Hawwaa’] from Paradise stripping them of their clothing to show them their private parts. Indeed, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you do not see them. Indeed, We have made the devils allies to those who do not believe.” [Quran: 7:27]

Aadam had hardly finished eating when he felt his heart contract, and he was filled with pain, sadness and shame. The surrounding atmosphere and his mood had changed. He discovered that he and his wife were naked, so they both started cutting tree leaves with which to cover themselves. Allaah the Almighty then addressed them (with what means): “…’Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is to you a clear enemy?’ They said: ‘Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.’ [Allaah] said: ‘Descend, being to one another [Aadam, Hawwaa’, and Satan] enemies. And for you on the earth is a place of settlement and enjoyment [i.e., provision] for a time.’ He said: ‘Therein you will live, and therein you will die, and from it you will be brought forth.'” [Quran: 7:22-25]

Imaam Ibn ‘Asaakir who was a prominent Muslim scholar, narrated that Allaah commanded two angels to remove Aadam from His holy proximity. So Jibreel (Gabriel) stripped him of the crown on his head, and Meekaa’eel (Michael) took the diadem from his forehead. Aadam thought that his punishment had been hastened and bowed down crying: “Forgiveness! Forgiveness!” Allaah Said: “Are you running away from Me?” Aadam replied: “No, my Lord, but I am shy of You.”

The story of Prophet Aadam – I

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Allaah Almighty revealed in the Quran (what means): "And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels: 'Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.' They said: 'Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?' He [Allaah] said: 'Indeed, I know that which you do not know.' And He taught Aadam the names - all of them. Then He showed them to the angels and said: 'Inform Me of the names of these, if you are truthful.' They said: 'Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise.' He said: 'O Aadam! Inform them of their names.' And when he had informed them of their names, He said: 'Did I not tell you that I know the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed.' And [mention] when We said to the angels: 'Prostrate before Aadam'; so they prostrated, except for Iblees [Satan]. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers. And We said: 'O Aadam! Dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. But do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers.' But Satan caused them to slip out of it and removed them from that [condition] in which they had been. And We said: 'Go down, [all of you], as enemies to one another, and you will have upon the earth a place of settlement and provision for a time.' Then Aadam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. We said: 'Go down from it, all of you. And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. And those who disbelieve and deny Our signs - those will be companions of Fire; they will abide therein eternally.'" [Quran 2:30-39]

Almighty Allaah also revealed (what means): "And We have certainly created you, [O mankind], and given you [human] form. Then We said to the angels: 'Prostrate to Aadam'; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He was not of those who prostrated. [Allaah] said: 'What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?' [Satan] said: 'I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay [i.e. earth].' [Allaah] said: 'Descend from it [i.e. Paradise], for it is not for you to be arrogant therein. So get out; indeed, you are of the debased.' [Satan] said: 'Reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected.' [Allaah] said: 'Indeed, you are of those reprieved.' [Satan] said: 'Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them [i.e. mankind] on Your straight path. Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You].' [Allaah] said: 'Get out of it [i.e. Paradise], reproached and expelled, Whoever follows you among them - I will surely fill Hell with you, all together.' And: 'O Aadam! Dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise and eat from wherever you will but do not approach this tree, lest you be among the wrongdoers.' But Satan whispered to them to make apparent to them that which was concealed from them of their private parts. He said: 'Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become of the immortal.' And he swore [by Allaah] to them: 'Indeed, I am to you from among the sincere advisors.' So he made them fall, through deception. And when they tasted of the tree, their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten together over themselves from the leaves of Paradise. And their Lord called to them: 'Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is to you a clear enemy?' They said: 'Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.' [Allaah] said: 'Descend, being to one another enemies. And for you on the earth is a place of settlement and enjoyment [i.e. provision] for a time.' He said: 'Therein you will live, and therein you will die, and from it you will be brought forth.'” [Quran 7:11-25]

When Allaah the Almighty created Aadam He addressed His angels and told them to prostrate before him. The purpose behind that was not to ask their opinion or take their advice, for He is above that. Allaah the Exalted told them that He was going to create a vicegerent on the earth who would have offspring. That is why the angels said to Allaah the Almighty (what means): "…Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood…" [Quran: 2:30]

According to the prominent Muslim scholar Qataadah it was said that the angels were informed about the creation of Aadam and his progeny by the jinn who lived before Aadam . Abdullaah bin 'Umar said that the jinn had existed for many years before Aadam and had shed one another's blood. Therefore, Allaah sent on them an army of angels that drove them out to the depths of the seas. Ibn Abu Haatim narrated that the angels were informed by Allaah that man would cause wickedness and shed blood on earth.

Whether or not these traditions are correct, the angels did understand that Allaah would create a vicegerent on earth. Allaah the Almighty announced that He was going to create a human being out of clay, that He would mould him and blow His spirit into him and that the angels should then prostrate before him.

Prophet Muhammad said: "Allaah created Aadam from a handful of dust taken from different lands, so the children of Aadam have been created according to the composition of the land. Therefore from mankind we have white, red, black and yellow; we have good and evil, ease and sorrow, and what comes in between them." [Al-Bukhaari]

So Allaah shaped Aadam into a human being; but he remained a figure of clay for forty years. The angels went past him. They were seized with fear by what they saw, and Iblees felt the most fear. He would pass by the figure of Aadam buffeting it, which would make a sound like pottery. Allaah Says (what means): "He created man [Aadam] from clay like [that of] pottery." [Quran: 55:14]

When the time drew near to breathe the spirit into Aadam as Allaah decreed, He commanded the angels (what means): "When I breathe My spirit into him, prostrate before him." [Quran 15:29] Allaah breathed His spirit into Aadam and when it reached his head, Aadam sneezed. The angels said to him: "Say: 'All praise belongs to Allaah.'" Aadam repeated: "All praise belongs to Allaah." Allaah said to him: "Your Lord has granted you mercy." When the spirit reached his eyes, Aadam looked at the fruits of Paradise. When it reached his abdomen, he craved for food. He jumped hurriedly before the spirit could reach his legs, so that he could eat from the fruits of Paradise.

Aadam opened his eyes and saw all the angels prostrating before him except one being, who was standing at a distance. Aadam did not know what kind of creature it was that did not prostrate before him, nor did he know its name. Iblees was standing with the angels so as to be included in the command given to them, but he was not one of them - he was a jinn. What is clear is that this prostration was to show respect and did not mean that the angels were worshipping Aadam . Prostrating in worship is done only for Allaah.

Iblees believed that he was more honourable than Aadam . Therefore, he abstained from prostrating, even though Allaah had commanded him to do so, just as He had commanded the angels.

Iblees tried in vain to justify his refusal; he said (what means): "…'Should I prostrate to one You created from clay? Do you see this one who You have honoured above me? If you delay me [i.e., my death] until the Day of Resurrection, I will surely destroy [i.e., lead astray] his descendants, except for a few.'" [Quran: 17:61-62]

Aadam was following what was happening around him and had feelings of love, awe, and astonishment - deep love of Allaah, who had created and glorified him and who had made His angels prostrate before him; awe of the Creator's wrath when He excluded Iblees from His mercy. Aadam was surprised by this creature, Iblees, who abhorred him without even knowing him and who imagined himself better than him without having proved that he was worthier. What a strange creature Iblees was, and how strange was his excuse for not prostrating!