Ibn Abil-‘Awjaa, Abu Shakir al-Daisani Zindeeq, ‘Abdul-Malik Basri and Abu Muqaffa’ once met near the Holy Kaba and started ridiculing the pilgrims and the Holy Qur’an.
Ibn Abil-‘Awjaa said, “There is nothing special about this Book. Let us each take a quarter of it and make verses like it. Then let us agree to meet again at the same place during the Hajj season and see what each of us has accomplished. If we are able to produce a book like Qur’an then the prophet hood of Muhammad (PBUH) will automatically be nullified and this is what we desire to see”.
In the following year, all four atheists met up at the same place during the Hajj season.
Ibn Abil-‘Awja shook his head sadly and said, “I hope you guys succeeded. I got stuck in this verse: “When they had despaired of (moving) him, they withdrew to confer privately”. (12:80) I cannot make out its depth”.
‘Abdul-Malik Basri said, “Since I departed from you, I have been wondering about this verse: “O mankind! Listen to a parable that is being drawn: Indeed those whom you invoke besides Allah will never create (even) a fly and even if they all rallied to do so! And if a fly should take away something from them, they cannot recover that from it. Feeble is the seeker and the sought!” (22:73) I have not been successful in creating a verse like this!”
Abu Shakir al-Daisani said, “I am stuck in this verse: “Had there been gods in them (heavens and earth) other than Allah, they would surely have fallen apart”. (21:22)
Finally Abu Muqaffa’ said, “This is definitely not an ordinary book. I have been reflecting on this verse: “Then it was said: ‘O earth, swallow your water! O sky, leave off!’ The waters receded; the edict was carried out, and it (Noah’s Ark) settled on (Mount) Judi. Then it was said, ‘Away with the wrongdoing lot’”. (11:44) I have still not understood its depth and have been unsuccessful to produce a similar verse”.
At that instant, Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) passed by and he (A.S) recited,
“Say: ‘Should all humans and jinn rally to bring the like of this Qur’an, they will not bring the like of it, even if they assisted one another’”. (17:88)
Hearing this from Imam (A.S), the four atheists started accusing each other and admitted that Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) was indeed the truthful successor of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). They also admitted their defeat in his presence. (Al-Ihtijaaj)
Guiding Others through the Holy Qur`an
It is related that:
Once Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) was in the market when he saw a man come to a bakery. The man diverted the attention of the baker, stole two loaves of bread and left the place. Imam (A.S) followed the man in order to guide him.
The man then came to a person who was selling pomegranates. Once again he managed to divert the seller’s attention, stole two pomegranates and walked away. Imam (A.S) was surprised by his action so he (A.S) kept following him.
With two loaves of bread and two pomegranates in his hand, the man then to a sick and needy person and gave him away all that he had stolen. Imam (A.S) stopped the man and informed him that he (A.S) was witness to his actions and that he had to offer an explanation for the same.
The man asked, “Are you Jafar ibn Muhammad?”
Imam (A.S) replied, “Yes!”
So the man said, “It appears that you are ignorant about Qur’an”.
Imam (A.S) asked the man to tell him the verse of the Holy Qur’an, which he (A.S) was ignorant about and this is what the man had to say:
“Allah (SWT) says: “Whoever brings virtue shall receive ten times its like; but whoever brings vice shall not be requited except with its like, and they shall not be wronged”. (6:160) I first stole two loaves of bread so they were two evil deeds. I then stole two pomegranates so they too, were two evil deeds. All in all, I committed four evil deeds. Then I gave them (bread & pomegranates) in charity (alms), so I earned forty good deeds. If you subtract four evil deeds from the forty good deeds, I still remain with thirty six good deeds – so I am not a loser!”
When the Imam (A.S) heard this, he (A.S) realized that the man was misled. He (A.S) said to him,
“May your mother lose you! Have you not read this verse: “Allah accepts only from the God wary”. (5:27)”.
What the Imam (A.S) implied was that means do not justify the end. Allah (SWT) accepts only those deeds that are pure and performed in accordance with His commands. This is what Qur’an guides us to.
[Abu Baseer asked Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) to explain the verse, which reads: “O you who believe! Be wary of Allah with the wariness due to Him…” (3:102)
Imam (A.S) said, “Allah must be obeyed and not disobeyed; He (SWT) should be remembered (at all times) and never forgotten; and one should always be grateful and not ungrateful to Him”.] (Bihar al-Anwaar).