Zul-Qarnain

They ask thee concerning Zul-Qarnain. Say, "I will rehearse to you something of his story. Verily We established his power on earth, and We gave him the ways and the means to all ends. One (such) way he followed, Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness." He said: "Whoever doth wrong, him shall we punish; then shall he be sent back to his Lord; and He will punish him with a punishment unheard-of (before). "But whoever believes, and works righteousness,- he shall have a goodly reward, and easy will be his task as We order it by our Command."

Then followed he (another) way,Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no covering protection against the sun. (He left them) as they were: We completely understood what was before him.

Then followed he (another) way, Until, when he reached (a tract) between two mountains, he found, beneath them, a people who scarcely understood a word. They said: "O Zul-qarnain! the Gog and Magog (People) do great mischief on earth: shall we then render thee tribute in order that thou mightest erect a barrier between us and them?

He said: "(The power) in which my Lord has established me is better (than tribute): Help me therefore with strength (and labour): I will erect a strong barrier between you and them: "Bring me blocks of iron." At length, when he had filled up the space between the two steep mountain-sides, He said, "Blow (with your bellows)" Then, when he had made it (red) as fire, he said: "Bring me, that I may pour over it, molten lead." Thus were they made powerless to scale it or to dig through it.

He said: "This is a mercy from my Lord: But when the promise of my Lord comes to pass, He will make it into dust; and the promise of my Lord is true." On that day We shall leave them to surge like waves on one another: the trumpet will be blown, and We shall collect them all together. And We shall present Hell that day for Unbelievers to see, all spread out.

(The Holy Quran, 18:83-100)

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Irrigate the Garden of so and so

While a person was in the wilderness, he heard a voice from the cloud (commanding it thus): Irrigate the garden of so and so. After that the clouds slinked aside and poured water on a stony ground.It filled a channel amongst the channels of that land and that person followed that water and he found a person standing in the garden busy in changing the course of water with the help of a hatchet.

He said to him: Servant of Allah, what is your name?

he said: So and so.

And it was that very name which he had heard from the clouds.

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Prophet's Utmost Trust in Allah

Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I went in an expedition along with the Prophet (PBUH) in the direction of  Najd. When Messenger of Allah (PBUH) returned, I also returned with him. Then the mid-day sleep overtook us in a valley full of prickly shrubs. Messenger of Allah (PBUH) got down and the people scattered around seeking shade under the trees. Messenger of Allah (PBUH) hang up his sword on the branch of a tree. We were enjoying a sleep when Messenger of Allah (PBUH) called us, and lo! There was a desert Arab bedouin near him. He (PBUH) said, "This man brandished my sword over me while I was asleep. I woke up and saw it in his hand unsheathed. He asked: `Who will protect you from me?' I replied: 'Allah' - thrice". He did not punish him and sat down.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

 

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The Sign of the Throne

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Allah T'ala says in the Holy Quran:

اللَّهُ لا إِلَهَ إِلا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلا نَوْمٌ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأرْضِ مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلا بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلا بِمَا شَاءَ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضَ وَلا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ

(2:255) Allah: the Everlasting, the Sustainer of the whole Universe; there is no god but He. He does neither slumber nor sleep. Whatsoever is in the heavens and in the earth is His. Who is there to intercede with Him except by His own permission? He knows what is before the people and also what is hidden from them. And they cannot comprehend anything of His knowledge save whatever He Himself pleases to reveal. His Kingdom spreads over the heavens and the earth and the guarding of these does not weary Him. He alone is the Supreme and the Exalted.

This verse is generally known as the 'Verse of the Throne' and it provides in one piece knowledge of God with no parallel.

There is no god but Allah, the Everlasting, the Sustainer of everything.
Regardless of ignorant people's worship of false gods, the truth is that godhead in its entirety, belongs exclusively to the Eternal Being, Who is indebted to no one for His existence. In fact, He is not only self-existent, but upon Him rests the entire order of the universe. He alone wields all sovereign authority over His dominion. None shares His attributes or His power and might, and no one has the same claims against the creatures as He does. Hence, if anywhere in the heavens or earth someone sets up anything or anybody as an object of worship and service (ilah), either instead of or in addition to the One True God, it amounts to declaring war on reality.

He does neither slumber nor sleep.
This is a refutation of the ideas of those people who, in formulating their concepts of God, are inclined to consider God analogous to their own imperfect selves and hence ascribe to God the weaknesses characteristic of human beings. An instance at hand is the famous Biblical statement that God created the heavens and the earth in six days and on the seventh day He rested (see Genesis, chapters 1 and 2).

Whatsoever is in the heavens and in the earth is His.
To God belongs the heavens and the earth and everything therein. There is no one who shares anything with God in governance of the heavens or the earth. Any conceivable being other than God would necessarily be a part of the universe and thus belong to, and be a subject of, God rather than His partner and equal.

Who is there to intercede with Him except by His own permission?
This is a refutation of the ideas of those polytheists who consider their saints, angels or other beings to be so influential with God that if they were adamant in demanding something of Him, their demand would prevail. They are being told that, far from anyone having the power to impose his will on God, none - not even the greatest Prophets and the most highly esteemed angels - will dare utter one word in the majestic court of the Lord unless they are expressly permitted to do so.

He knows what is before the people and what is hidden from them. And they cannot comprehend anything of His knowledge save what He Himself pleases to reveal.
Here another blow is struck against polytheism. On the basis of the concept of God's unlimited sovereignty and omnipotence, it was stressed in the foregoing verses that no one shares independently in God's governance of the universe, and no one is so powerful with God that his intercession would decisively influence His judgement. The same point is stressed here but in a different manner. It is pointed out that no one possesses the knowledge that would enable him to comprehend the order of the universe and the considerations underlying it, so no one can legitimately interfere in its governance. The knowledge of human beings, of jinn, of angels and of all other creatures is limited and imperfect. No one's knowledge embraces all the facts of the universe. If someone did have the right to interfere even in only a part of the universe, and if his suggestions were of necessity to be put into eflect, the entire order of the universe would be disrupted. Creatures are incapable of understanding what is best for them, and do not have the capacity to know how best the universe should be governed. It is God alone Who knows everything.

His Kingdom spreads over the heavens and the earth and the guarding of these does not weary Him. He alone is the Supreme and the Exalted.

(Tafheemul Quran)

 

compiled by Dr. Ishaq Zahid
July 20, 2007

 

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