It seems the fishes were also determined in their course of action. Every Saturday they would come in thousands over surface of the sea. Anyone could capture them without the help of a net. On other days of the week they would not be seen anywhere. One would feel as if this portion of sea had no fishes. Of course, a strange phenomenon.
But something strange happens only when it has no meaning and purpose. This action of fishes used to take place with the will of Allah. He willed them likewise. In fact, there lived a nation near sea, which had requested for a day exclusively meant for worship. This particular day was Saturday called Sabbath for them. Allah had selected this day for them and asked them to remain busy in His worship the whole day, and would not do any otherworldly work. As the fishing happened to be their profession, they were also prohibited from doing so on this particular day.
As long as they remain steadfast and righteous, they kept themselves busy in His worship and prayers the whole day on Saturday. They would not go for any other work, even hunting and fishing which was their profession. Gradually degradation crept into their life. They began to transgress and disobey his orders. They would not differentiate between halal and haram; became slaves of their personal wishes. Greed, selfishness, and love for wealth made them arrogant and transgressors. Ultimately, they even would not hold the sanctity and respect of Sabbath. Above all, observing prayers on this particular day became a burden for them. And even if they performed prayers against their will, they would do so out of fear of their elders or merely as a ritual and tradition of their forefathers.
Allah is above everything in the Universe. He does not require any gains out of such acts. He does not derive any gain from His obedience or disobedience. No prayers worship, Ibadathand namaz can lesson His stature or add anything to His Greatness. Instead, prayers and ibadath which we perform and the Divine orders which we obey benefits ourselves. In so doing we make our life worth-living according to the tenets and orders of Allah. And we make our place in the company and society of good people. Moreover, the way we adopt in our life is made easy by observing the Divine guidance-and this is what Allah Wills.
If we do something good and righteous, it would be easy for us to tread a right path leading to totally virtuous life. Similarly, if we do anything bad and adopt bad habits, we will be attracted to further evils and deeds. Gradually, a man doing evil deeds get himself in entangled in many more evils. Those who decide to give up further evil deeds after doing one, thinking that they would become righteous afterwards, adopt another evil rather easily, and will rest content on wishing to adopt Right Path. Thus evils creep very easily in their life. In the end they become so much entangled with evils that they go far away from Right Path.
Same was the case with the people of Sabbath. After gradually giving up the righteous life, they adopted all evils and made life hell for themselves. On every step they transgressed the Divine orders, and entangled themselves in vices. Therefore, with the Will of Allah, fishes in thousands used to come up on surface of the sea on every Saturday. And it was sin for them to do fishing on this day. But those who had become transgressors and arrogant, decided to fishing on this particularly day. Thus they added another and last evil to an already long list, and made themselves target of Allah’s wrath.
Such was the intensity of the transgression that it looked as if the whole community had turned into disbelievers. Righteous people were not to be seen. Evil was rampant everywhere. No life was free from the disobedience of Allah and oppression. Despite all this there were some people who were still on Right Path. Their life was free from evils that had gripped others.
There were two types of good people among them. There were some who had become quite hopeless about the reform and welfare of their fellow citizens. They were of the opinion that any kind of reformative step would not help in any way in changing their life, as they would not heed to any wise counsel. Since they were on Right Path and remained steadfast in their righteousness, they observed the sanctity of Sabbath, and remained busy in prayers the whole day on Sabbath, therefore kept themselves aloof from the rest of the wrong-doers. Another section of the good people not only remained steadfast and adhered to the Right Path, but also would not tolerate the suffering of their brethren. They were pained to see the plight of wrong-doors; and were afraid of the ultimate result of their evil deeds. They were not content with their own well-being and righteousness nor they would pray for their own salvation. But they would exhort the wrong-doers to come to the Right Path. They would remind them of the wrong deeds they had been committing, check them from their misdeeds and warn them of the wrath of Allah.
But the evil deeds were so much dear to the people that they would not listen to any wise counsel or anything that was against their will and wishes and personal desires. Rather they would turn against their brethren who used to show them the Right Path.
Sometime the first group in irritation would say to the other group of good people to stop preaching among the wrong-doors and transgressors as they were not going to relent. Since the wrong-doers were not accepting their counsels there was no use of wasting time and energy on such an adamant people. They would say: “Why do ye preach to a people whom Allah will destroy or visit with a terrible punishment.
How simple and understandable was the advice! Everybody knows that a patient, who refuses to respond to the medical treatment, there is no point in giving him one medicine after another. And a patient who is already dying, and instead of taking medicine abuses the doctor, there is no use trying to save him. But that was not the case with the wrong-doers and preachers then.
The preachers replied that “we have our duty to do. What will we do when Allah will ask us on the Day of Judgment as to what we did on seeing some evils spread on earth?” So they were preaching them good tidings. And “to discharge our duty to your Lord, and perchance they may fear Him”, was their confident reply.
How true was their reply. No one is powerful enough to banish evils from the society; it is in the hands of none. And nobody is responsible for stopping such things. Even the prophets, messengers and apostles had no responsibility and power to stop the evils from spreading. However, everyone is accountable to God to an extent that to the best of his knowledge, intention and power he tried to banish evils. Or whether he could not stop them altogether. The last Prophet of Allah- Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) – has said that if one sees any evil anywhere in the world he should stop it by his hand. If he is unable to do so he should do it by tongue. And even if he cannot raise his voice in stopping evil he should take in his heart that the evils is evil- and that is weakest stage if iman (faith),
However, it is only Allah who knows the inner self of a man. And it is He Who know about the future. None else in the Universe has such power and wisdom. Therefore, nobody know that those who are opposing the right (haq) or are its arch enemies today, would turn towards it and come into its fold tomorrow. One who is guided by Allah to the Right Path should thank Him for this by his actions and good deeds. Not only that. He should practice the Divine guidance for himself and then preach it to others to follow the Right Path so that they may be saved from the trials and tribulations they may suffer. Highest purpose of one’s life is to obey the Divine guidance and make others do the same.
Now come to the situation in the city of wrong-doers. They were adamant in their stand. They were not going to listen to any preaching. They refused to accept any good and wise counsel. Above all they forgot all the previous good tidings which were given to them, and continued to live a life full of misdeeds. Ultimately the time came when the wrath of Allah was to fall on them. They were punished. But these who did good deeds and called others to the Right Path throughout their life were saved. And those who did good deeds but remained sectarian and aloof from the rest of the people were also not spared. Allah says of their condition: “… they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath. For on the day of their Sabbath their fishes did come to them, openly holding up their heads, but on the day they had no Sabbath, they did not come; them did We make a trial of them, for they were given to transgression.
“When they disregarded the warnings that have been given them, we rescued those who forbade evil; but we visited the wrong-doers with a grievous punishment, because they were given to transgression.”
It is a permanent law of God that He gives long rope to the wrong-doers and disbelievers. They are left free to the extent they repent over their misdeeds and return to the Right Path. Even if there is a slight chance of their coming back to the fold they are not touched. But when they become adamant and arrogant in their acts of transgression, smaller punishment and penalties are given to them in the beginning so that they may awake from the slumber of darkness. Some time such punishments are to forewarn them of the bigger penalties and wraths. But when people start thinking that such things are a passing phase of natural calamities of just incidents or ups and downs according to a changing weather or something like that, then Allah visits with grievous punishments only to be seen by others for drawing a lesson from it.
Same thing happened with the people of Sabbath. No wise counsel could open their ears and eyes; no preaching could budge them from their misdeeds; no voice could awaken them from deep slumber. And even the small penalties and warning could not make them relent. Ultimately Allah decided their fate. Their faces were disfigured, destroyed and they were turned into apes and monkeys. And within three days they died in humiliation. Allah says: “When in their insolence they transgressed (all) prohibitions, we said to them: ‘Be ye apes, despised and rejected’.”
You may wonder as to how a man can be turned into apes and monkeys. No doubts, it is a strange phenomenon but not impossible or impracticable for Allah Who is All-Powerful Creator, Master and Sustainer of this universe. It is but a very small thing for Him. Everything happens when He Wills.
It may be for your information that long ago there was a very wise man, a doctor, His name was Zakaria Razi. He had done research on leprosy. He says that in the extreme cases of leprosy blood in a man’s body becomes poisonous and parts of his body begin to shrink. This leads to the disfiguring of the entire body. Ultimately, the man looks like an ape or a monkey. And this is the last stage of the disease which leads to death. Truly there are hundreds of forms of punishment and penalties from Allah. There are many disease which were not to be found in the ancient times. And who knows how many diseases were in those times which are not known now. However, forms and shapes of His punishment change from time to time. But His law of punishment never changes. One has to get punishment for wrong-doing, disbelieving and transgression notwithstanding the form the punishment.
Now you read the fate of the people of the Sabbath. Allah has mentioned this in the Qur’an not only for reading it, but to draw a lesson from it. Let us think over the lesson we can draw from it:
(1) The more you do wrong deeds the more you will draw closer to them and get yourself entangled in the net of evils. The evils deeds will lead astray.
(2) If Allah has bestowed His favour and showered His blessing on you and guided you to Right Path, it is not enough to stick to it all alone and keep aloof. It becomes your duty to preach it to others besides practicing it yourself. Those who do not do so will have to be accountable before Allah for this lapse.
(3) Do not call people to the Right Path in the hope that they would listen to you only. Make it a point that your wise counsel is accepted. In case they pay no heed to your call, do not get disheartened. It is your duty which you are doing only for Allah. From the beginning till the end you will have to continue your efforts.
(4) There is only one way to save you from the punishment of Allah in this world and in the Hereafter. And that is to remain steadfast in your Iman (faith), total submission to God, and calling others for His obedience only.
2. GHAAR WALE
(COMPANIONS OF THE CAVE)
They were only four or five in number. But as soon as they came to realize that their Creator, Master and Sustainer is none other than Allah and that He alone has the right to be worshipped, they declared the same and said that they would not commit a folly in worshipping any object other than Allah. First of all, they preached the same belief before the people of their community. They asked them to show any proof of their worship of any object other than Allah, that is to worship Allah but deny His existence at its face value. They tried to persuade them against telling this lie and committing sin against their Creator. But none of them was willing to accept the truth and rejected the preachers. The people, instead, threatened the group of preachers with assassination if they themselves did not give up worshipping Allah.
When they saw the situation had come to such a pass and there was no way out, and that none of the people was going to accept subservience of Allah, these God-fearing people decided to quit the city and left for jungles. Finally they entered a cave on the way with the intention of spending rest of their life in the obeiscence of Allah.
They went inside the cave and slept. Their faithful dog was also with them and the dog slept on the entrance of the cave. Strange are the ways of God. They remained there in deep slumber without taking any food or water. And even the sunlight skipped the cave. They remained sleeping for long. Allah’s power and strength know no bounds. He alone decides about the life and death for anybody.
Allah says: “behold, the youths betook themselves to the cave: they said, ‘Our Lord! Bestows on us mercy from Thyself and disposes of our affair for us in the right way”.
“Then we draw (a veil) over their ears, for a number of years, in the cave, (so that they head not)
Relating “to their story in truth”, Allah says, they were youths who believed in their Lord, and we advanced them in guidance: We gave strength to their hearts: behold, they stood up and said: ‘Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and of the earth: never shall we call upon any god other than him if we did, we should indeed have uttered and enormity! These our people have taken for worship gods other than Him: why do they not bring forward an authority clear (and convincing) for what they do? Who doth more wrong than such as invent a falsehood against Allah!
“When ye turn away from them and the things they worship other than Allah, betake yourselves to the Cave: your Lord will shower His mercies on you and dispose of your affair towards comfort and ease”, Allah told them.
Addressing to the mankind about their affair in the cave, Allah says, “Thou wouldst have seen the sun, when it rose, declining to the right from their Cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left, while they lay in the open space in the midst of the Cave. Such are among the signs of Allah: he whom Allah guides are rightly guided; but he whom Allah leaves to stray,- for him wilt thou find no protector to lead him to the Right Way. Thou wouldst have deemed them awake, whilst they were asleep, and we turned them on their right and on their left sides: their dog stretching forth his two forelegs on the threshold: if thou hadst come up on to them, thou woulds have certainly turned back from them in flight, and wouldst certainly have been filled with terror of them.”
Then, after a long time, they woke up. Allah says: “Such (being their state), We raised them up ( from sleep), that they might question each other. Said one of them, ‘How long have ye stayed (here)’? They said, ‘We have stayed (perhaps) a day, or part of a day.’ (At length) they ( all) said. ‘Allah (alone) knows best how long ye have stayed here Now send ye then one of you with this money of yours to the town; let him find out which is the best food ( to be had) and bring some to you, that ( ye may) satisfy your hunger therewith: and let him behave with gentleness and courtesy, and let him not inform anyone about you. For if they should come upon you, they would stone you or force you to return to their cult and in that case ye would never attain prosperity’.”
Meanwhile, in the long absence the situation had completely changed by the Grace of Allah. Those who were living a life of transgression and refused to accept these righteous youth were no more there. Instead their generations had accepted the Divine religion. And now the city was totally free from the evil-doers.
But the youth in the Cave did not know of all this. They were afraid of their confrontation with the evil-doers. That is why the companions were also afraid of coming out and go to market for fetching some food lest they were again caught and stoned or forced to returned to their cult.
However, when one of them came out of the Cave and reached the market with some coins and tried to buy some food, the shopkeeper would not allow him to do so. He asked him about that ancient coin he had with him. The youth was faced with a dilemma. The shopkeeper was coercing him to disclose as to how he had acquired the coin. He doubted him and asked him whether he had come to know of some hidden treasure. The youth tries his best to convince him saying that he got the coin only a day earlier. But the shopkeeper would not believe him. Instead he took him to the King along with a mass people. The King heard the case and decided to see the remaining persons in the Cave. Only then the people believe him that they had been sleeping in the Cave for years together. They were surprised to see them fully alive after their such a long sleep without food or water or anything else.
Allah says: “Thus did we make their case known to the people that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour of Judgment. Behold, they dispute among themselves as to their affair. (Some) said, ‘Construct a building over them’: their Lord knows best about them: those who prevailed over their affair said: ‘Let us surely build a place of worship over them’.”
You might be thinking as to who the companions of the Cave were? How many of them were in number? How long they were asleep? Where was the cave situated? These and many other such questions might be haunting you. And this is natural to think about all this in various ways because the parable in itself is a unique one. But you need not know everything about the parable. What is needed is to draw a lesson for ourselves, that is to think about living a clean and virtuous life.
If the situation goes out of hand and majority of people lives a life of transgression and arrogance, and if the Divine law of Islam is not being adhered to, it becomes imperative for a true Muslim, first, to call the wrong-doers towards the divine religion; he should remind them of their duty towards Allah; he should try his best to show them the Right Path throughout his life. A true Muslim should continue his mission till the last breath of his life. Secondly, if the enemies of Islam come out openly against him and his supporters with a large force and power, then it is better for him as well as his supporters to migrate to other place like the Youths mentioned above so that he may spread the Divine mission elsewhere. It is the Divine law that nation which transgresses all bounds in rebellion against Allah is either banished altogether or accepts the Divine guidance collectively.
3. MACHHLI WALE NABI
For quite some time the boat was trembling in the balance and everybody believed it would sink. And every one of the passengers seemed helpless. It was an experience with the boatmen then that the boats used to tremble in balance like this whenever a sinful person happened to be among the passengers. Sensing the something they said: “Assuredly, there is some sinful man in our boat.”
Everyone thought of himself but no one knew of any sin. So they remained quiet. And the boat was about to sink. All of a sudden one of the passengers said: “I am the sinner, throw away me into the sea so that your boat is saved.”
“No, no “, said the boatman, “we know, you are not the sinner, your are good man, a saint. We have heard you have been preaching the good to the people and you have been calling people to the Right Path. You are an apostle of Allah. Someone else is a sinner in the boat.”
“Now let us decided by tossing up”, said one of them.
“No, no, there is no sinner here except me”, said the apostle.
The boatman did not relent and said they would decide it by drawing a lot. “We would not let a good man like you die like this”, they insisted.
Then, they tossed up, and all of them were surprised when they saw the name of the apostle in the draw. The apostle said:
“I have left the city without the orders or permission of my Lord. I have lost all hopes about the fate and condition of the people there. Hence I left them abandoning the mission assigned to me by my Lord. Therefore, I am the sinner.”
Everybody was stunned. The boat was still trembling. They were afraid of its being sunk. Now the boatman became more concerned about the safety of other passengers. They thought the life of others cannot be lost for the sake of one passenger: so they decided to act according to the draw.
Hence, the apostle was thrown into the waters. He was Hazrat Yunus (peace be upon him). A fish swallowed him up.
It was pitched darkness all around in the belly of the fish under the deep waters with dark night over on earth. The prophet was most worried. He was most worried over leaving the city without the permission of his Lord. Then the pitched darkness within the belly of fish under deep waters made his position worse. Allah says about him: “And remember Zun-Nun, when he departed in wrath: he imaginated that We had no power over him.”
When he could not bear the wrath, Younus cried to Allah in distress for pardon. Allah says: “…….. he cried through the depths of darkness, “There is no god but Thou: glory to Thee: I was indeed wrong’’ ! Repenting over his act, he prayed to Allah for forgiveness saying that it is He who willed the fish to swallow him up, and even then he was safe; there was no suffocation for him despite the pitched darkness. He felt repentant over leaving behind the countrymen without the permission of his Lord. Allah, the most Gracious, heard his cry. “So We listened to him: and relieved him from distress: and thus do We deliver who have faith;’ says Allah. The fish came upon the surface of the water and ejected Yunus on the bank of the river. He was again in the open, under the sun. he thanked Allah for forgiveness. Allah has assured to save His righteous servants from distress the same way.
You have read the parable of Machhli Wale Nabi. All sorts of such parables carry some lesson for us to draw. Now, let us assess as to how we can derive something from this.
1. Imagine the intensity of the responsibility ordained by Allah on His righteous servants and its accountability to Him. We know that there would no more come any prophet after Muhammad (peace be upon him). He was the last Prophet of Allah. Qur’an is the last and complete guidance and way of life for man sent by Allah. It is the best law and system of life in the land. It is the responsibility of those who follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad to spread it to others in its true form. But it is imperative for those who spread it to practice it first and follow the teachings of Prophet Muhammad and the Divine guidance accordingly.
What will they who do no fulfill this responsibility and those who do not practice this to show that they have a divine guidance – a way of life – account for on the Day of Judgment? They should be afraid lest they are held responsibility for all the ills spread in this world. The righteous persons will have tough time in explaining to Allah on the day of Judgment if the wrong-doers would say to Him that they were not told about the divine guidance or there was no one who practiced it in its true form so that they might learn something. The question is as to whose responsibility is this? That of non-Muslims or of ignorant, non-practicing Muslims.
(2) If someone errs, it is better for him to seek pardon from Allah for his lapses, and that he would not pardon from Allah for his lapses, and that he would not repeat the wrong doing.
(3) There are certain calamities that come from Allah only to caution and warn us. And those are the lucky ones who take clues from the warning signs and looking into their faults soon rectify them and abstain from any further misdeeds. They try to find out every kind of ills in themselves and try to mould their life according to the divine guidance. They do not hold others responsible for the ills that creep in them. Blaming themselves for the wrong doing, they seek pardon from Allah for their lapses.
(4) Thus they are granted pardon. Allah bestows His special blessing on them; He clears them of all sufferings; He saves them from the hardships; He showers blessing and bestows peace on them even in hard times.
Same was the case of Prophet Yunus. Allah save him from the jaws of death and provided all the amenities of life to him on the bank of the river. Above all, He saved the people of Prophet Yunus, who had rejected him, due to fear of ruinness. We know that those who rejected Allah’s teachings and disbelieved in Him were ruined and banished from the earth. But it was only the people of Prophet Yunus who saved themselves from the punishment and wrath of Allah and gave up all wrong doing; they adopted the right way of life at right time, i.e., before the wrath overtook them. Allah, then bestowed on them wealth and happiness. And they lived a life of ecstasy for a long time.
4. GAON WALE
(COMPANIONS OF THE CITY)
In the beginning they were two in number. But their strength rose with joining another person; all the three felt more strong enough to spread the Message. All of them relentlessly continued to tell the people of the City that there is no god but Allah, Creator of the whole universe. They told them that it is wrong to worship any other object except one God; it is better for them to give up worshipping any god other than Allah. They offered the people true way of life as ordained by Allah.
But the people refused to believe them or in Allah. They said to the three that they were also human beings like others, and that there was no specially in them. Then, how could they believe the three were sent by Allah as His messengers.
Allah says “When we (first) sent to them two apostles, they rejected them: but We strengthened them with a third : they said: ‘Truly, we have been sent on a mission to you’.”
“The people said: ‘Your are only men like ourselves; and (Allah) Most Gravious sends no sort of revelation: ye do nothing but life.
“The three apostles said: ‘Our Lord doth know that we have been sent on a mission to you: And our duty is only to proclaim the clear Message’.” They continued: This entire universe is not created by man. And in your heart of hearts you also believe that there is One Who created this universe. Now your yourselves decide whether it is right of wrong to worship any god other than the One God.
The people had no answer to these plain talks. They had no reply. But they still were adamant. They were not going to digest the plain speaking; they refused to see the reason. They said: “For us, we augur an evil omen from you: if ye desist not, we will certainly stone you, and a grievous punishment indeed will be inflicted on you by us.”
The apostles said : “Your evil omens are with yourselves : (deem ye this an evil omen), if ye are admonished? Nay, but ye are a people transgressing all bounds.”
There used to live a righteous person on the outskirts of the City, He knew they were the apostles of Allah and whatever they were saying was Truth. He knew how the people were continuously rejecting the apostles. He also knew that the salvation of the people of the City lay in accepting the Right Path shown by these apostles and live accordingly. But when he saw that the people were refusing to accept the apostles he decided not to sit idle and remain a silent spectator. And he decided this was time to tell the people that it was all true whatever the consequences. So he “came running” from the farthest part of the City, saying, “O my People! Obey the Apostles! “ Obey those who ask no reward of you (for themselves) and who have themselves received guidance. It would not be reasonable in me if I did not serve Him Who created me, and to Whom ye shall (all) be brought back. Shall I take (other) gods besides Him? If (Allah) Most Gracious should intend some adversity for me, of no use whatever will be their intercession for me, nor can they deliver me. I would indeed, if I were to do so, be in manifest Error. For me, I have faith in the Lord of you (all) : listen, then, to me !”
Alas ! the transgressors were not going to listen to him either. They became furious over the good tidings the righteous person told them. They all pounced upon him and lynched him to death. Truly those who refuse to listen to anything good reason never dawns on them and Truth becomes anathema to them and cludes them.
But the man who was done to death was ordained with peace and immense blessing of Allah. He was said: “Enter thou the Garden.” And when he opened his eyes in the Paradise full of choicest things, he said: “Ah me! Would that my People knew (What I know)! – For that my Lord has granted me Forgiveness and was enrolled me among those held in honour !”
On the other hand, the people of the City were not left alone. There are many ways of Allah’s Punishment. He did not send down upon them any army to crash them for their transgression. And He has no particular mode or Penalty. Similarly these people also received a different kind of wrath. Allah says, “And We sent not down against his People, after him, any hosts from heaven, nor was it needful for Us to do so. It was no more than a single mighty Blast, and behold ! They were (like ashes) quenched and silent.”
Unfortunately people seek help of others in mitigating their sufferings, instead of finding solution in the system of life which Allah has sent to us through His true apostles and prophets. “Ah! Alas for (My) servants! There comes not an apostle to them but they mock him.” They deem the divine law as outdated. They conveniently ignore and forget the fate of the previous generations. “See they not how many generations before them We destroyed?” Those who do not take lesson from such examples should go through the history and find out how those who followed the prophets were successful and how those who disobeyed them met their doom. Allah says ‘Not to them will they return: But each one of them –all-will be brought before Us (for Judgement).” So everyone has right unto himself to choose his way of life- mundane, worldly or eternal.
You have read the fate of the people of the City. You might be thinking as to who were these people of the City, where was this City, who were the apostles, who was the righteous person, so on and so forth. But since this is a parable, what is of utmost importance to us is to draw lessons from it.
(1) Whenever people reject outrightly divine guidance and never relent despite best efforts to persuade them, their end and ruination becomes inevitable. Allah sends His grievous punishment in the form of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, cyclones, fie and stones from heaven, storm, drought, severe diseases or other such calamities, which banish the transgressors from the surface of the earth. This is apart from the punishment in store far wrong-doers after death.
(2) If one comes to understand and distinguishes between the right and wrong, one is not supposed to sit idle. He should fight for the cause of right and spend all his might in upholding the same.
A Momin (true Mulsim) never cares for life after accepting the Truth-whether it will be constructed one or get ruined. It is only power of Truth that he leaves no stone unturned in upholding the banner of Truth.
5. BAGH WALE
(PEOPLE OF THE GARDEN)
Once upon a time there was a wealthy and pious man. He has a big garden always full of green trees laden with fruits. In the season, this rightful man used to distribute some of the fruits among the poor. The poor people of the City would wait for the fruits to become ripe and throng the Garden in the season. They would be happy after getting their share and go away.
Allah liked this act of the man. By the grace of Allah the Garden used to give rich harvest every season. True, one who spends in the name of Allah would soon get the reward in this life itself as well as in the life after death.
The man had many sons. They were not so pious as their father. So in the first season after their father’s death they conversed with each other. They discussed a plan and said to each other that their father was not a wise man. He did not know how it was difficult to earn livelihood. They did not like the practice of distributing some of the fruits among the poor since they toiled for it. They felt as if all their efforts went in vain. They thought they would also be ruined if they spend like this.
One of them said the poor people wait for the season throng the garden as usual. He asked how could they deny them next time.
Then they thought over its implications. As some people give away to poor for fear of their own prestige, they are afraid to deny the poor as well. At the same time they do not give alone for fear of Allah. Similar was the case of the boys. They were not afraid Allah’s penalty. What they were afraid of was fear of the people around. One of them suggested to tilth the fruits in the night and clears the garden of them before dawn pluck so that nobody could come and ask for his share. All others agreed to the suggestion. Since they were not even afraid of Allah, they forgot to say ‘Insha-Allah’, which means if Allah Wills. If a Muslim does not say so before doing something Allah may not fulfill his wish. But those who have no faith in Allah fail to remember this and get stuck up in their act. “….they resolved to gather the fruits of the garden in the morning, But made no reservation, (‘if it be Allah’s Will’)”
Allah is all Powerful. He knows no bounds in His Governance. All the brothers went to sleep with a view to getting up early in the morning and gather the ripe fruits. In the meantime, with the Will of Allah “there came on the (garden) a visitation from the Lord, (which swept away) all around, while they were asleep.”
Before the dawn broke, all of them got up and hurried up and “called out, one to another- ‘Go ye to your tilt (betimes) in the morning, if ye would gather the fruits. So they departed, conversing in secret low tones, (saying)- ‘let not a single indigent person break in upon you into the (garden) this day’.”
As they were proceeding towards the garden, they were quite unaware that Allah had willed otherwise. Because the garden had become by the morning, ‘like a dark and desolate spot, (whose fruit had been gathered).” So when they reached the garden, by now a desolate, deserted, and razed to the ground, they said this was not there garden, and that they had strayed away from the right path to the garden. But when they saw there was no other way around, they were wonder struck and awe-stricken. Soon they realized the situation and yelled: “We have surely lost our way. Indeed we are shut out (of the fruits of our labour)!” One of them said: “Did I not say to you ‘Why not glorify (Allah)’?” He had been advising them against this act, for he had said it is only Allah who would enhance their fruits if they continued to give away some of them in alms. Now all of them felt repented over their misdeed. Then they turned, to one another, in reproach and said: “Glory to our Lord! Verily we have been doing wrong. Alas for us! We have indeed transgressed!” All of them, then, sought Allah’s pardon and said: “It may that our Lord will give us in exchange a better (garden) than this, for we do turn to him (in repentance).”
It is a small parable. Allah has mentioned this in the Qur’an (Sura Qalam). It has wider meanings for us to draw lessons. Allah has mentioned many other such parables in the Qur’an only to caution us and teach a lesson.
(1) Allah created human beings. But not all are equal in strength, power, physique, wisdom, wealth, etc. While some are strong and powerful, others are weak and powerless; some are wealthy and some poor and pauper; some are wise and intelligent, some coward and mediocre. Allah has divided a man’s mental, physical faculties with variable powers. He has distributed wealth with variance. And it is all according to one’s mental and physical ability and power. That is why some are wealthy persons and others are poor and look to the wealthy for their needs. Then, Allah has also made the wealthy leave behind his wealth for his progeny, and the poor’s generation remains the same. But this is not without any reason. Allah has also made it obligatory on the wealthy to help the poor in distress. The wealthy are put to severe test by Allah. He likes those who spend according to His wishes. He does not like those who either fritter away their wealth and resources in worldly affairs or do not pay to the poor.
On the other hand, Allah has also put the poor to test. They are not supposed to ask for any thing that they need from any one except Allah. In doing so they may lose their faith because in asking for help from those of his equals instead of Allah they would invite others in the Godhood which is Shirk. And if they remain steadfast in their poor condition and firm in their faith, Allah surely likes such people and has assured of reward in the Hereafter. Those who have love for worldly pleasure despite being poor and would not believe in the pleasures in the Hereafter would try to gain wealth in this world itself, which is short, lived. They forget that real, beautiful and satisfactory life is assured in the Hereafter. Hence, he should not ask from people wealthier or powerful to him for fulfilling his desires. Instead he should continue to strive for gaining Allah’s pleasure by remaining steadfast and firm in his faith.
And the army of Islam consists of such persons who do not spend their wealth on worldly affairs but distribute due share to the poor, and the poor remain steadfast in their life.
(2) It is obligatory on the part of a Momin to assess the quality, utility and value of what Allah has given to him. He should not spend it without the will of Allah in worldly affairs. He should know that he has to account for his wealth before Allah. Those who do not respond to the will of Allah suffer from one loss or the other.
7. DO DOST
Hundreds of years ago there lived a wealthy man in Arabia. Allah had bestowed him with immense wealth. He had “provided two gardens of grape-vies and surrounded them with date palms; in between the two we place corn-fields”, says Allah. There was a river across the corn-fields which served as irrigation water and the orchards were laden with grapes. “Each of those gardens brought forth its produce, and failed not in the least therein; in the midst of them We caused a river to flow. Once there was abundant produce and the man soon became more wealthy.”
Some people become proudy and greedy after amassing wealth. They forget to remember Allah and regard the poor inferior to themselves. This man also happened to be among such people. He also forgot to remember his Creator, and began to treat his brethren with contempt.
Describing this parable in the Qur’an, Allah says, when his companion, who had not much wealth with him but was a pious man, came to him he said “in the course of a mutual argument : More wealth have I than you, and more honour and power in (my following of) men’.”
His companions gave wise counsels and said that he should not be proudy and greedy of his wealth. It was all bestowed on him by Allah: he should not forget to remember Him. One day every one has to die and return to Allah; and the real wealth lies in the Hereafter. And one who loses that wealth loses everything.
While conversing both of them entered the garden. The wealthy man “ went into his garden in a state (of mind) unjust to his soul: he said, ‘I deem not that this will ever perish, Nor do I deem that the Hour (of Judgement) will (ever) come: even if I am brought back to my Lord, I shall surely find (there) something better in exchange.
Hearing this his companion felt sad over the state of mind of the wealthy friend. In the course of the argument with him he said : “Dost thou deny Him Who created thee of dust, then out of a sperm-drop, then fashioned into a man? He further said that He made him a perfect man; gave him eyes, ears, nose, hands, legs; provided him with sound health and wisdom and fine mental faculty. Even then he was transgressing. His companion cautioned him of his ill acts. He disapproved of the talk of his wealthy friend. He said to him: “But (I think) for my part that He is Allah, my Lord and none shall I associate with my Lord. Why didst thou not, as thou wentest into thy garden, say : ‘Allah’s Will ( be done )! There is no power but with Allah!’ If thour dost see me less than thee in wealth and sons, It may be that Lord will give me something better than the garden, and that He will send on thy garden thunderbolts ( by way of reckoning) from heaven, making it ( but) slippery sand ! –Or the water of the garden will run off underground so that thou wilt never be able to find it.” He further said that the wealth of this world is never consistent; it is like sun and shadow. Allah puts His servants to tests giving them wealth and taking away from them after sometime, if He wills so. Those who realize this aspect of noble life bestowed by Allah would give thanks to Him and remain steadfast if the wealth is taken away from them. And they are the most successful before God.
This wise counsel had no effect on the wealthy man. He shrugged his shoulders in pride and arrogance. In fact, he was in deep slumber with the weight of his worldly wealth.
But Allah always Wills otherwise for such transgressors. Soon His wrath started befalling him. As the ways and forms of His punishment are known to none, he also gradually came in the grip of Allah’s penalty. And “his fruits ( and enjoyment) were encompassed (with ruin) and he remained twisting and turning his hands over what he had spent on his property, which had (now) tumbled to pieces to its very foundations, and he could only say, ‘Woe is me! Would I had never ascribed partners to my Lord and Cherisher’.”
But it was too late for him to repent. Now he had no one to help against Allah, nor was he able to deliver himself. He himself had invited wrath of Allah by way of his arrogance and misdeeds. And he could not avert ruination of his garden nor anybody could come to his rescue and save the garden from ruination, which was sent down from heaven.
Truly, it is only Allah Who is the “Best Reward, and the Best to give success” and “the (only) protection comes from Allah” for his just, righteous and pious servants. He is all-powerful; He does whatever He wills for or against His Servants. None can avert His decisions. It is the duty and responsibility of His servants to remember Him and give thanks to Him for Whatever He has given us.
This parable has been described in the Qur’an (Sura Kahf) for our consumption- to learn a lesson and act accordingly, i.e. to do what Allah likes us to do and abstain from what Allah dislikes.
8. KHAI WALE (COMPANIONS OF THE PIT)
Prophet Jesus was the true apostle of Allah – high in the ranks of the Righteous. As a true messenger of Allah, he spread His mission and message to all; taught his followers how to worship Allah alone and none else. His followers were Muslims.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was also the true Messenger of Allah. He came about 650 years after Prophet Jesus. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the last Prophet of Allah. Prophethood ends on him; now there will be no Prophet after him.
Hundreds of year before the Prophet came; there was a Jamaat (party) of Islamic people. They were the followers of Prophet Jesus and regarded him as true and apostle of God. They treated the path shown by Prophet Jesus and exhorted others to follow the same. They said: “We have faith; and do thou (Jesus ) bear witness that we bow to Allah as Muslims”. Thus they obeyed Him only and carried out His orders and inspired and exhorted others to follow the teachings of Islam.
As it happens that good and righteous people try to better themselves and want others to follow the same path, wrong-doers go deeper into their misdeeds and try to engulf and involve others also to adopt evil and vice. They abhor virtue and want others to do the same. At the same time they make no room for the virtuous and good people. Rather they hate them and their piety and ultimately they become enemy of Muslims and Islam, good and goodness, pious and piety. And this enmity has been there since long.
Similarly, when the followers of Jesus preached the message of piety, goodness, oneness of God, brotherhood, and submission to Allah, the wrong-doers got engaged over it. They got infuriated saying that they would not leave the traditions of their fore-fathers. They said the way they had adopted was correct. Moreover, they asked the followers of Jesus to follow the way their for-fathers had shown.
True Muslims would not bow before their pleading. And how could they agree to the wrong-doers when they had declared that Allah only is their Lord, Mast and Sustainer, and how could they disobey His orders! They believed that one day they had to die and return to Allah and account for their life in this world. They knew that if they followed the orders of Allah, He will be happy with them and award them with paradise underneath which flow rivers of milk and honey, and they would live an eternal life ecstasy.
So, on the one hand there were true Muslims who believed in Allah and Islam, and on the other there were non-believers who were involved in all sorts of vices and evils. But what the Muslims said was easily understandable. Those who listened to them with open heart and adopt the same. Thus their influence was growing and the message of Islam was spreading. On the contrary, non-believers had no effective voice and anything to impress others. Since they could no offer anything purposeful and meaningful, people gave little heed to them which made them feel dejected. Hence they felt more angry with true Muslims. The King of unbelievers, who was ruling them, got perturbed over the growing influence and strength of Muslims. He thought if they grew more in numbers then who would follow him. They would openly oppose him and his kingship would be in danger. So he hatched a dubious plan and got all the Muslims arrested. Then he decided to give them sever punishment. He ordered his men to dig deep, wide and vast pits. He asked them to collect dry wood and pile up in the pits, and put them on fire. When the flames rose high above the ground, he asked the arrested Muslims to abstain from worshipping Allah and obeying His commands otherwise they would be thrown into the leaping fire.
The true Muslims as they were, refused to bow to the king’s offer and undeterred they openly defied him saying they would not deny the existence of God whom they worshipped. It is Allah who created this universe. He is the Master of the Universe as well as ours. They refused to disobey the orders of their Master and become the slaves of a man. This life is not eternal. We have to return to Him after death. Eternal life lies in the hereafter. And if Allah is happy with us we have nothing to worry about. He will give us a place in the paradise which He has promised to His true Muslims. This was what the true Muslims told the king. Soon he got infuriated and ordered his men to throw all the Muslims into the leaping fire.
All of them were thrown into the fire and the king and his men were spectators.
Allah has mentioned the persecution of His votaries in Sura Buruj. He says : “Woe to the makers of the pit (of fire), Fire supplied (abundantly) with Fuel : Behold : they sat over against the (fire). And they witnessed (all) that they were doing against the believers. And they ill-treated them for no other reason than that they believed in Allah, Exhaled in power, worthy of all praise: Him to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: And Allah is witness to all things.”
You see how the Believers were persecuted by the enemies of Islam. It will seem strange to you when Allah says “Woe to the makers of the pit (of fire)”. In fact, real success in the eyes of a Muslim lies in the hereafter. He will not lag behind in laying down his life in this world for the cause of Islam. They know their life is on test. If they pass it steadfastly in this world, they would succeed in the hereafter.
Now you might have understood that those who persecuted the Believers will be thrown into fire in hereafter in which they will remain for ever. And the Believers will get exalted place in the paradise. It is clear now as to who succeeded and who failed; who won and who was defeated. One who believed in Allah and did good deeds in this life and remained steadfast throughout his life became successful. And the doom is for one who disbelieved in Allah and disobeyed His orders and worshipped anyone else and not Allah alone.
8. HATHION WALE (COMPANIONS OF THE ELEPHANT)
There is a city in Arabia called Mecca. Prophet Abraham built a place of worship called Kaaba in this famous city more than 4,000 years ago. We offer namaaz (prayers) with our faces towards it. The people of Arabia paid respects to this holy city even before the birth of Prophet Muhammad. They used to come from far off places for worship and pilgrimage.
It was in the year of the birth of Prophet Muhammad say, about 570 A.D., when Abraha, king of Yemen, tried to invade the Kaaba, Yemen was then ruled by the Abissinians (Christians) who had driven out the Jewish Himyar rulers. Abraha Ashran was governor or viceroy of Abissinians. He had got a church built in his city so that Christians even from far off places should come to offer prayers there. The church was very beautiful and attractive. He wished the people of Arabia also visited the church. He tried his best to attract them towards the church but failed. The people of Arabia were not going to leave Kaaba. When he saw his efforts went all in vain he hatched a plan. Intoxicated with power and fired with religious fanaticism, he led a big expedition against Mecca, with the ducious intention to destroy Kaaba so that no one could visit the holy place after its destruction. He prepared a vast army which included elephants and set out to execute the nefarious plan. When the army reached the precincts of Mecca some of them captured a large number of cattle belonging to the people of Mecca which included 200 camels owned by Hazrat Abdul Muttalib, grandfather of Prophet Muhammad. He was the chief of the people of Mecca and custodian of Kaaba.
The people of Mecca got frightened when they saw a huge army coming towards them. Elders of the city assembled to consider the way out. They were of the opinion that since they were less in number than the army of Abraha, they would not be able to defend themselves. So they decided to scatter and hide themselves behind the hillocks, and left Kaaba alone. Abraha, however, had no intentions to attack the people. His only aim was to destroy the Kaaba. So he sent a messenger to Abdul Muttalib with a message saying that he had not come to attack the people but to destroy the Kaaba. If they obstructed his way his army would drive them away. Abdul Muttalib replied that he also had no intention to fight with Abraha because he has not that much vast army to face him. As for as the Kaaba is concerned it is Allah’s house built by His Prophet Abraham. If He wished to defend it he would do of His own. So no defence was offered by the custodians of the Kaaba as the army was too strong for them. However, Abraha’s sacrilegious intentions were defeated by a miracle, which we will mention below.
On hearing from Abdul Muttalib, Abraha’s Messenger asked him to accompany with him to the king to which he agreed. Abraha greeted Abdul Muttalib with respect. In the course of conversation Abdul Muttalib did not say anything about the Kaaba but demanded the release of his camels. Abraha was surprised. He said that since Kaaba was dear to him most he did not ask about it at all and complained about the camels. Abdul Muttalib replied that the camels belonged to him. Therefore, he asked for them. The Kaaba was not his property; it belonged to Allah. If He wished to save it no power on earth could destroy it; he would defend it Himself. Thus Abraha returned all the camels to Abdul Muttalib and started preparations to invade the Kaaba.
Abdul Muttalib came back to Mecca and reported the talk in the Arabia to other chiefs. They became sad but could not do anything because they were not strong enough to drive the army of Abraha out. Nor they had that much love for Kaaba and courage to lay down their lives to save the Kaaba. However, before fleeing Mecca all the chiefs came in the Kaaba and prayed to Allah saying they were not able to save His house. They had left it to Him to defend Himself as only He has the power and will to do whatever He likes.
Next morning Abraha moves towards Mecca. A big horde of elephants was leading the vast army of Abraha. God forbid, Abraha’s sacrilegious intentions were defeated by a miracle. It is believe that as soon as the army reached Mecca there came flock of birds in the sky and spread all around. They were armed with stones. From above the heads of the army they started dropping the stones like a thick shower and destroyed the invading army almost to a man. It is said that the stones worked like arrows and bullets dipped in poison, for the stones produced sores and pustules on the skin of men and animals which spread like a pestilence. Next moment the ground was littered with dead and rotten bodies of the enemy like stalks and straw in the fields. Truly all, power, seen and unseen, vests in Allah alone. He has mentioned in the Qur’an the treacherous intentions of Abraha and his subsequent destruction beyond recognition (Sura Fil) He says : “Seest thou not how their Lord dealt with the Companions of the Elephant! Did He not make their treacherous plan go astray? And He sent against them Flights of Birds, striking them with stones of baked clay. Then did He make them like an empty field of stalks and straw. ( of which the corn) has been eaten up”
His incident had taken place some 40 of 50 days before the birth of Prophet Muhammad. This story has manifold implications in it. Allah has made it crystal clear that He could save a sacred shrine of worship from the treacherous plan of the enemy of Islam, and he alone can save the divine religion introduced by Prophet Abraham from the bad intentions of its enemy. Hence Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born; he revived and reactivated the religion of Prophet Abraham by the Grace of Allah. Kaaba was cleaned of the idols and was restored to the Muslims of the world for sacred worship and prayers. Allah completed His religion on him. And this Kaaba is made the center of all prayers. The Muslims all over the world turn towards it for prayers.
9. BETE KO NASIHAT
(INSTRUCTION TO SON)
When time comes many people become father but it is very difficult to be like that. Innumerable persons yearn for sons and daughters. But very few know how to give thanks and show gratitude to Allah for getting what they wished.
Someone gives something to you. In thanks-giving you can give something else. If somebody shows gratitude you will naturally reciprocate. But what is the mode of showing gratitude and giving thanks to Allah for whatever He gives us? We have nothing of the kind to give Him on reciprocal basis. In fact all things in heaven and earth-entire Universe- belong to Him and He is above everything, free of all wants, worthy of all praise. He Says: “And if all the trees on earth were pens and the oceans (were ink), with seven Oceans behind it to add to its (supply) yet would not the words of Allah be exhausted (in the writing): for Allah is Exalted in Power: Full of wisdom”… In showing gratitude to Allah, He says: “Any who is (so) grateful does to the profit of his own soul: but if any is ungrateful verily Allah is free of All wants, worthy of all praise”.
So we are indebted and grateful to Allah for our life, and other amenities of life which He has provided. Allah says: “Do ye not see that Allah has subjected to your (use) all things in the heavens and on earth, and has made His bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, (both) seen and unseen?” Yet there are among us who dispute about Allah, and there are among us who, when asked who it is that created the heavens and the earth, certainly say: “Allah”.
So Allah says: “Praise be to Allah”. But many among us do not understand and are ungrateful to Him.
We come to know of the right path when we read about the life of good and righteous people. It is useful for us to know about the righteous men of the generations, in particular. Since they have set examples of their virtuous lives, it is we to emulate them. Whereas Allah has mentioned in the Quran about the wrong-doers, arrogants, and transgressors with a view to teachers us lesson and open our eyes from vices, He has also described about the men of high morality and virtue, wisdom and righteusness for us to emulate them.
Hazrath Luqman was also one such person- a man of high caliber and great wisdom. Allah has specially mentioned in the quran about him (Sura Luqman). Some say he was a prophet and was related to Prophet Ayub (peace be upon him); others say he was not a prophet but a highly wise and virtuous man. However, whether he was a prophet or not is not in question. What is to be noted is that he was a very wise man. Allah himself has said: “We bestowed (in the past) wisdom on Luqman.”
You might have read about many wise men. Some of them have written voluminous books on different subjects, some of them have invented and made new discoveries, some have made a scientific wonder, some have laid high and long bridges, etc. those who invented telegraph, radio, rail, electricity, aeroplane, etc. were also wise men. But what will you say about the man who invented such things for the use of man, and we call him a wise man, but he lacked wisdom to know about the Creator of the universe? Wise men of the present come under this category- they think and understand everything but never ponder over their own creation, who created them, how this universe came into being and why, and what is our relation with it and its Creator.
Allah says: “He created the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; He set on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you; and He scattered through it beasts of all kinds. We send down rain from the sky, and produce on the earth every kind of noble creatures, in pairs. Such is the Creation of Allah: now show me what is there that others besides Him have Created: nay, but the transgressors are in manifest errors.”
And then He says: “There are, among men, those who purchase idle tales, without knowledge (or meaning), to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah and throw ridicule (on the Path): for such there will be a humiliating Penalty. When our sings are rehearsed to such a one, he turns away in arrogance, as if he heard them not, as if there were deafness in both his ears: announce to him a grievous penalty. For those who believe and work righteous deeds, there will be a Garden of Bliss, – To dwell therein. The Promise of Allah is true: and He is exalted in Power, wise.”
Therefore it is the wisdom on the part of man to understand and recognize his Creator, first. Luqman understood, realized and recognized well his Creator. What is a wisdom? Where shall be found? Will she solve the mysteries of Time and nature, and that world higher than physical Nature, which brings us nearer to Allah? “Yes”, is the answer; “if”, in the words of Luqman the Wise, “human wisdom looks to Allah in true worship, ennobles every act of life with true kindness, but avoids the false indulgence that infringers the divine law, – and in short follows the golden mean of virtue” Luqman was well-versed in knowing about the life, creation of man and the universe and everything in it, its Creator, etc. He also was aware as to how one should give thanks and show gratitude to Allah, the Master, the sustainer in return for what He has bestowed on man. There is only one way of showing gratitude and that is “Praise be to Allah” And then He should not misuse the amenities Allah has bestowed on us lest He may take away all that He has given us or deprive us of on assured place in the paradise. Instead we should receive what Allah has given us with thanks and humility, and use them in accordance with his guidance and law.
Sons and daughters are also one of the best amenities. It is obligatory on the part of man to utilize them properly. The best way to utilize them properly is to teach them Oneness of God, submission to Allah alone obeyance of His orders, fear of the Day of Judgement, duties towards life, parents, relations and other human beings according to Islamic law and divine guidance etc.
Luqman also had a son. He put in his best efforts and method in showing gratitude to Allah for giving him a son. He lovingly taught him about Allah who created man and the universe. He told him that “He is Allah, the one and only; Allah the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him.” He further said, “And your creation or your resurrection is in no wise but as an individual soul: for Allah is He who hears and sees (all things)”. That is because “Allah’s is the (only) Reality, and because what ever else they invoke besides Him is Falsehood; and because Allah – He is the Most High, Most Great.” He alone has the right over all the things. He has enjoined on man to obey His commands, worship and submit to Him alone. Only He can make or unmake law and guidance for man.
Allah says: “And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning; (hear the Command), ‘show gratitude to Me and to thy parents; to Me is (thy final) Goal’.”
Luqman said to his son by way of his first instruction; “O my son! Join not in worship (others) with Allah: for false worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing.” You see how he taught him the first? Something that can be conveyed in a mild manner can never bear fruit if it is said in harsh tone. In fact, nothing can be forced on anybody. After all children are also human beings. It is easy to mould them; not by force but by wise counseling in a mild and humble manner. Parents have some right over their children. First among them is what Luqman taught his son. The same way children, too, have many rights over their parents. Rather parents deserve and reserve biggest share of rights. After Allah no body can claim bigger rights than parents from children. That is why Allah Himself has mentioned this in the Quran soon after reminding the man of his right over Allah. He has “enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents.” And “show gratitude to Me and to thy parents; to Me is (thy final) Goal.” Hence, man should consider as to how he should show gratitude to Allah. He should be thankful to Him Who makes such noble parents to their children. No doubt, parents are a support for and shield to the life of their children. But children should never forget the Creator Who created them as well as their parents. Whereas the parents are supposed to provide their children proper education about the Creator and how to spend life, children also are duty-bound to know Who created them and the universe, who is their Master, what rights they have over Allah and the parents and humanity at large. Allah has made it clear to man to be good to his parents, but “if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration), and follow the way of those who turn to Me (in love); in the End the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you the truth (and meaning) of all that ye did.”
Keeping all this in mind Luqman said to his son, “O my son! If there be (but) the weight of a mustardseed and it were (hidden) in a rock of (anywhere) in the heavens of on earth, Allah will bring it forth, for Allah understands the fines mysteries (and) is well acquainted (with them).” Greatness of Allah’s is manifest in innumerable qualities. As long as man is unaware of these qualities, he is unable to understand full well all about Allah. And a man cannot fully submit to Him without having faith in His qualities. So Luqman taught his son about the qualities of Allah, first. Then, he enjoined on him to “establish regular prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong, and bear with patient constancy whatever betide thee: for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs.” First duty for man after knowing Him is to do what is most dear to Him. And that is to establish regular prayer Namaaz without which one cannot regulate life. There is big difference between establishing regular prayer and observing it. Allah has enjoined on us to establish prayer i.e., to offer it with required regulation of punctuality, collectively, and piety. Namaaz is the baise pillar of Islamic life, if the pillar is weak the whole structure of life can never be perfect.
Then, Luqman advised his son, “And swell not thy cheek (for pride) at men, nor walk in insolence through the earth: for Allah loveth not among arrogant boaster. And be moderate in thy pace, and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass.”
So there is the just instruction of a just and virtuous father to his son. Now, it is we to draw lesson from them and emulate Luqman.