Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Monday, February 20, 2012

A lesson from Surah Al-Kahf

One of the stories told in Surah Al Kahf, is that of the Prophet Musa A.S. and his assistant (identified as Yusha Bin Nun) when he met another Prophet of Allah, identified as Al-Khidr in another hadith. It's interesting why he was called 'Al-Khidr' which means green. A hadith explains that he is called Al Khidr because when he sat on a brown (dry) pasture, it turned green. Subhanallah.

So surah Al-Kahf tells us of how Musa A.S. (Moses) went in search of this knowledgeable servant of Allah SWT (Al-Khidr) with his assistant. When they found Al-Khidr, Musa asked if he could follow him. Al-Khidr warned Musa that he would not have the patience to do so. Musa promised he will try, insyaAllah. Al Khidr agreed and told Musa not to question him about anything that he was going to witness, until he himself explains to Musa about the matter. Musa agreed.

I'll get the story direct of the Quran translation. This is by Asad. (Al-Kahf 18:71-82)

And so the two went on their way, till (they reached the seashore; and] when they disembarked from the boat [that had ferried them across], the sage made a hole in it-[whereupon Moses] exclaimed: "Hast thou made a hole in it in order to drown the people who may be [travelling] in it? Indeed, thou hast done a grievous thing!"

He replied: "Did I not tell thee that thou wilt never be able to have patience with me?"

Said [Moses]: "Take-me not to task for my having forgotten [myself], and be not hard on me on account of what I have done!"

And so the two went on, till, when they met a young man, [the sage] slew him -(whereupon Moses] exclaimed: "Hast thou slain an innocent human being without [his having taken] another man's life? Indeed, thou hast done a terrible thing!"

He replied: "Did I not tell thee that thou wilt never be able to have patience with me?"

Said [Moses]: "If, after this, I should ever question thee, keep me not in thy company: [for by] now thou hast heard enough excuses from me."

And so the two went on, till, when they came upon some village people, they asked them for food; but those [people] refused them all hospitality. And they saw in that (village] a wall which was on the point of tumbling down, and [the sage] rebuilt it[whereupon Moses] said: "Hadst thou so wished, surely thou couldst [at least] have obtained some payment for it?"

[The sage] replied: "This is the parting of ways between me and thee. [And now] I shall let thee know the real meaning of all [those events] that thou wert unable to bear with patience: as for that boat, it belonged to some needy people who toiled upon the sea -and I desired to damage it because (I knew that] behind them was a king who is wont to seize every boat by brute force.

"And as for that young man, his parents were [true] believers - whereas we had every reason to fear that he would bring bitter grief upon them by [his] overweening wickedness and denial of all truth: and so we desired that their Sustainer grant them in his stead [a child] of greater purity than him, and closer [to them] in loving tenderness.

"And as for that wall, it belonged to two orphan boys [living] in the town, and beneath it was [buried] a treasure belonging to them [by right]. Now their father had been a righteous man, and so thy Sustainer willed it that when they come of age they should bring forth their treasure by thy Sustainer's grace. "And I did not do (any of] this of my own accord: this is the real meaning of all [those events] that thou wert unable to bear with patience."

This story shows us how a misfortune we face can have a hikmah behind it. It may look bad to us as it happens, like in the cases above. Imagine if we were the boatman who found our boat, having a hole in it. We would most probably have thought that it is indeed a misfortune. However the hikmah behind it was that, the 'misfortune' saved the boatman from the king's atrocities.

Another thing we learn is that these hikmah's may not happen soon after a misfortune. May not happen the following week or month or even year. In the case of the boatman, he may realise the hikmah only in the few days/weeks after; for the parents, it could be a few years; and for the orphans, the hikmah awaiting them were to be made known to them only many many years later, when they have grown up.

As such we need to have faith in what Allah has planned for us. Whatever happens to us, can be to our own benefit, if only we know how to face it and accept it...
(and that reminds me of some words from a song by Jason Mraz - Details in the Fabric
If it's a broken part, replace it
If it's a broken arm then brace it
If it's a broken heart then face it )

Right... so as I was saying - it can be for our own benefit if we face it the right way, accepting it as God's test for us or as a misfortune before a hikmah - which in turn will earn us the reward for being servant of Allah who is patient in adversities. InsyaAllah.

May Allah SWT make us among the patient ones. Aamiin.

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