Episode 1: Introduction

 

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Almighty, and peace and blessing be upon the best of the Prophets and Messengers our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his household and companions.

Allah, The Almighty, instructed us to draw lessons for the news and circumstances of the previous nations. Also, He, The Exalted, stated in His Noble Quran much news of the Prophets, previous nations, and the kings whose stories stated in many verses of the Noble Quran. This indicates the great importance and effect of such news. Amongst such news are:

-   Allah, The Almighty, related on His Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, the news and stories of the previous nations in the Noble Quran:

Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {Thus, [O Muhammad], We relate to you from the news of what has preceded. And We have certainly given you from Us the Quran.} [Quran 20: 99]

-   Allah, The Almighty, also commented on the news of the past nations and what occurred to them:

Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means):

•   {That is from the news of the cities, which We relate to you; of them, some are [still] standing and some are [as] a harvest [mowed down].} [Quran 11: 100]

•   {Those cities - We relate to you, [O Muhammad], some of their news. And certainly did their messengers come to them with clear proofs.} [Quran 7: 101]

 

-   Allah, The Almighty, has commanded His Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, to relate such news for the people so that they may think and draw lessons from them. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And recite to them, [O Muhammad], the news of him to whom we gave [knowledge of] Our signs, but he detached himself from them; so Satan pursued him, and he became of the deviators. And if We had willed, we could have elevated him thereby, but he adhered [instead] to the earth and followed his own desire. So his example is like that of the dog: if you chase him, he pants, or if you leave him, he [still] pants. That is the example of the people who denied Our signs. So relate the stories that perhaps they will give thought. How evil an example [is that of] the people who denied Our signs and used to wrong themselves.} [Quran 7: 175-177]

 

-   Allah, The Almighty, commented on the news of the punished people whom punishment afflicted them due to their disobedience, warning those will come after them against being like them and thus will be afflicted with the same punishment afflicted them before.

Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means):

•   {Have they not traveled through the land and observed how was the end of those who were before them? They were greater than them in strength and in impression on the land, but Allah seized them for their sins. And they had not from Allah any protector.} [Quran 40: 21]

•   {And he who believed said, "O my people, indeed I fear for you [a fate] like the day of the companies -Like the custom of the people of Noah and of ‘Aad and Thamud and those after them. And Allah wants no injustice for [His] servants.} [Quran 40: 30-31]

•   {It is He who expelled the ones who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture from their homes at the first gathering. You did not think they would leave, and they thought that their fortresses would protect them from Allah ; but [the decree of] Allah came upon them from where they had not expected, and He cast terror into their hearts [so] they destroyed their houses by their [own] hands and the hands of the believers. So take warning, O people of vision.} [Quran 59: 2]

 

-   Allah, The Almighty, commented on the news of the noble Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, that they make the heart firm, arouse determination and strengthen resolution. Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And each [story] We relate to you from the news of the messengers is that by which We make firm your heart. And there has come to you, in this, the truth and an instruction and a reminder for the believers.} [Quran 11: 120]

-   Allah, The Almighty, made lessons in listening to the news of the Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, and the past nations. In this regard, Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {There was certainly in their stories a lesson for those of understanding. Never was the Qur'an a narration invented, but a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of all things and guidance and mercy for a people who believe.} [Quran 12: 111]

Ibn Khaldoon, may Allaah have mercy upon him, stated in his book Al-Muqaddimah: "IT SHOULD BE KNOWN that history is a discipline that has a great number of (different) approaches. Its useful aspects are very many. Its goal is distinguished.

(History) makes us acquainted with the conditions of past nations as they are reflected in their (national) character. It makes us acquainted with the biographies of the prophets and with the dynasties and policies of rulers. Whoever so desires may thus achieve the useful result of being able to imitate historical examples in religious and worldly matters." (1).

Allah, The Almighty, stated in His Noble Book a group of twenty-five Messengers and Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention; Eight Prophets of them in four successive verses in the Soorah of Al-An‘aam.

Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And that was Our [conclusive] argument which We gave Abraham against his people. We raise by degrees whom We will. Indeed, your Lord is Wise and Knowing. And We gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - all [of them] We guided. And Noah, We guided before; and among his descendants, David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the doers of good. And Zechariah and John and Jesus and Elias - and all were of the righteous. And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot - and all [of them] We preferred over the worlds.} [Quran 6: 83-86]

The other seven are Aadam (Adam), Idrees (Enoch), Hood (Eber), Saalih (Shaloh), Shu‘ayb (Jethro), Thul-Kifl (Ezekiel), may Allaah exalt their mention, and Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.

Mentioning such Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, in the Noble Quran does not mean that they are the only prophets or messengers. Totally not! Rather, there are many prophets and messengers that we do not know and were not stated in the Noble Quran.

Allah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {And [We sent] messengers about whom We have related [their stories] to you before and messengers about whom We have not related to you. And Allah spoke to Moses with [direct] speech.} [Quran 4: 164]

Surely, this is for wisdom that Allah, The Almighty, only knows best. This is supported by the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, in the Hadeeth reported by Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri, may Allaah be pleased with him: “I am the Seal of a thousand Prophets or more; no Prophet was sent but he warned his nation about the Dajjaal…”  (2).

It was also narrated that Abu Tharr, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "I said: 'O Messenger of Allah, how many Prophets were there?" He, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “One hundred and twenty four thousand.” I said: "O Messenger of Allah, how many of them were Messengers?" He, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Three hundred and thirteen, a good number or said in another time fifteen…"  (3).

Al-Qaasimi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "We should know that the news of the Noble Quran is not to relate the history of the past nations or individuals, rather, they are lessons for people to learn as Allah, The Almighty, says in the Soorah of Hud after mentioning a brief biography of the Prophets, may Allah exalt their mention, with their people: {And each [story] We relate to you from the news of the messengers… } [Quran 11: 120]"

He also added: "Such stories implies great benefits and the best benefit and most important lesson in them is drawing attention for the laws of Allah, The Almighty, regarding the human communities and the effect of the actions of goodness and evil in the life of humans…" (4).

 

_________________________________

 

(1) Muqaddimah by Ibn Khaldoon.

(2) It was reported by Imam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy upon him, in his Musnad in Baqi Musnad Al-Mukathireen (11343 according to the paging of Ihyaa' At-Turaath). The Hadeeth was reported by Imam Al-Bukhaari in the book of Hajj, Imam Muslim in the book of Tribulations and Portents of the Last Hour and At-Tirmithi in the book of Tribulations; however, he did not mention the saying of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him: "I am the last of one thousand prophets…."  

(3)  Reported by Imam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy upon him, in Musnad Al-Ansaar, No. 21036.

 

(4)  Tafseer Al-Qaasimi (1/74).

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