jump to navigation

Ahmad bin ‘Humble’ and the ‘Muhammadis’ April 22, 2008

Posted by Muhajirah in General, Random Musings, Uni.
4 comments

Whilst searching on Shaykh Google about a certain tree that the Arabs used to venerate during the time of Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab I came across this which I found hilarious:

Secondly the wahabi school of thought may Allah bless them with paradise. They follow a sheikh whos name is Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab who follows imam Ahmad Bin Humble may peace be on his soul. So the thing that hits me is that they call us deobandis wahabis, but in reality they should be calling the people who follow imam ahmad bin humble not wahabis, but mohammadis. Im a deoband scholar and ill speak on behave of not the wahabis like you state, mohammadis now ibne means son ibne abdul wahab which means son of wahab so it only leaves you with not wahabi,but mohammadi.

http://www.tawheedullah.co.uk/

Man, I thought my dissertation didn’t make sense!

Anyway, Imam Ahmad rocked! One heck of a scholar! Go read his biography, it’ll make u cry. And Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab, a reviver of the deen, good and proper! Very cool indeed! May Allah grant them both Firdaws al-A’la…

Btw du’as requested. Jazak’Allah khayr!

Wa alaykum as-salaam

The thing is, I never learn… January 7, 2008

Posted by Muhajirah in General, Random Musings, Uni.
2 comments

Firstly, can I just say that Wikipedia rocks! Like i’m wondering if they had students in mind when they made it…

I’m also wondering if sticking a massive long bibliography – half of the books of which I didn’t even read or use, but have included them to make it look like I have- at the end of the my essay to add to my very lacking word count is a good idea.

I’m also trying to think of other ways to increase my word count. So far I have:

Ignored the fact that I have 3,000 word essay in for tomorrow, hoping that it’ll get written itself.

When I realised that wasn’t going to work I resorted to

Making stuff up

Blagging, until I can blag no more

Un-abbreviated all abbreviated words.

Any other suggestions? Cos i’m really struggling (can you tell?)

ARGH !! November 30, 2007

Posted by Muhajirah in General, Random Musings, Uni.
6 comments

Really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really [times a gazzilion] …

944-001stressed-out-posters.jpg

Please pray that Allah gives me a brain and that somehow over night I become super duper clever, or at least clever enough to understand stupid politics and international relations, that i’m able to write this even stupidier essay that I have no clue about and that I get through this year without having a mental break down (oh, and actually pass aswell).

If you could actually just stop for a second now and make a dua I would be soo grateful…

JazaakAlllah khaire, may Allah grant all those who make dua for me firdaws al a’laa (=P)

Wa alaikum as salaam

The Appointed Rounds May 15, 2007

Posted by Muhajirah in General, History, Uni.
add a comment

“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Written by Paul Lunde

Those words, carved on the lintels of post offices across America, once capsuled a spirit that was the foundation of today’s sophisticated network of global communications—a spirit that sent Western Union boys pedalling into the rain with telegrams, urged pioneering pilots to fly the early airmail letters through wintry skies to Chicago and spurred the Pony Express across the untamed plains with mail for Sacramento.

But those inspiring words are much older than airmail pilots, Western Union boys or Pony Express riders. They were written by Herodotus, the father of history, in 430 B.C., and described the communications network of Xerxes, ruler of Persia in the fifth century, B.C. It was a remarkably efficient network, but even then was a relatively late development in the history of communications.

The need for an efficient postal system goes back to the ancient need of a ruler for swift and accurate information; a need clearly described by Nizam al-Mulk, a prime minister under Seljuk Turkish sultans in the ninth century:

It is the king’s duty to enquire into the conditions of his peasantry and army, both far and near, and to know more or less how things are. If he does not do this he is at fault and people will charge him with negligence, laziness and tyranny, saying, “Either the king knows about the oppression and extortion going on in the country, or he does not know. If he knows and does nothing to prevent it and remedy it, that is because he is an oppressor like the rest and acquiesces in their oppression; and if he does not know then he is negligent and ignorant.” Neither of these imputations is desirable. Inevitably therefore he must have postmasters . . .

Long before al-Mulk set that down for the instruction of Seljuk princes, rulers in other empires had already come to similar conclusions and acted on them.

As early as 2000 B.C. the Egyptians had developed a primitive postal system, by about 1000 B.C. ancient China had worked out a system not unlike the one developed by America’s Pony Express, and by the time of Islam other peoples—Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Sasanians—had refined and polished elements of the earlier systems into relatively sophisticated operations.

As the new Islamic state expanded, its leaders were quick to adapt and elaborate on what had been learned before. Indeed, the Arabic word for “post” (barid) is derived from the same Sasanian chancery term that gave the Greeks beredos and the Romans their veredus, meaning “post-horse.” Both are derived from a Persian word meaning “crop-tailed mule,” the mount the Sasanians used to carry the mail.

In the Islamic state, as Nizam al-Mulk’s description suggests, the postal service was an information agency as well as a means of communication with the provinces. By the ninth century, as a result, the Diwan al-Barid—the Ministry of Posts and Communications—was probably the most important arm of government. Its postal inspectors, stationed along major roads, not only saw that the mail got through, but gathered information for the central government and sent periodic reports to it. Those reports ranged from the state of the roads to the condition of crops and included notes on political problems, social unrest and even the efficiency of the regional governor.

The barid was organized in exactly the same way as the Pony Express in the American West—except that it used camels and mules instead of horses. Every four to six miles throughout the empire was a post house with quarters for the couriers and stables for the camels and mules. At each post house the couriers would switch mounts and at stated intervals the riders themselves would be changed to avoid exhaustion. Even the back-up organization was similar: the central government had to keep the roads open at all times, provision the post houses and pay the wages of thousands of postal inspectors.

There were limitations: only government communications could be sent along its network. Ordinary citizens either sent messages by caravan or, in urgent cases, hired special couriers. Yet the system proved to be remarkably efficient. A letter took four days to reach Damascus from Cairo—just about what it takes today—and Cairo could communicate with Spain in a week. The system also survived longer.

Whereas the Pony Express collapsed after 16 months, the barid flourished for centuries and spread to India where Muslim rulers maintained its efficiency—as traveler Ibn Battuta indicated after a trip to Sind in 1333. From the frontier of Sind to Delhi in India, he wrote, is a 50-day march, “but when the intelligence officers write to the Sultan . . . the letter reaches him in five days by the postal service.”

India also added an innovation. In addition to mounted couriers, they introduced foot couriers. These runners were often faster than the mounted postmen and always, as Ibn Battuta describes them, more colorful:

Every third of a mile there . . . are three pavilions. In these sit men girded up ready to move off, each of whom has a rod a yard and a half long with brass bells at the top. When a courier leaves . . . he takes the letter in the fingers of one hand and the rod with bells in the other, and runs with all his might. The men in the pavilions, on hearing the sound of the bells, prepare to meet him and when he reaches them one of them takes the letter in his hand and passes on, running with all his might and shaking his rod until he reaches the next station, and so the letter is passed on until it reaches its destination.

By such swift—and musical—couriers, Ibn Battuta goes on, the sultans not only accumulated intelligence and news, but also obtained fruits from far-away Khurasan, drinking water from the Ganges and, during the sweltering Indian summer, snow from the Himalayas to cool their beverages.

If efficient, however, the Islamic postal service was also vulnerable. Like their counterparts today, invaders knew that a government deprived of trustworthy information was powerless to act. By blocking roads and ambushing couriers they could disrupt communications and insure victory.

In some parts of the empire this strategy succeeded. But in others Islamic rulers came up with ingenious alternatives. One was an early warning system set up by the Mamluk sultans of Egypt when Hulagu Khan led his Mongol hordes across Persia in the middle of the 13th century. Fearful that the Mongols would cross the Euphrates and sweep across Iraq and Syria to Egypt., Mamluk engineers erected a chain of watchtowers along the postal routes between Iraq and Egypt. On top of each tower the prepared beacon fires—green wood for smoke signals in daylight, dry wood for bright fires at night—and assigned a corps of watchmen to 24-hour duty.

The system had faults and it could transmit just one basic message: the enemy has attacked. But it was astonishingly fast. News of a Mongol invasion could reach Cairo in eight hours—about the time it now takes to receive a telegram there from the same distance. More to the point, it worked. When the Mongols finally did sweep into Iraq the watchmen on the Euphrates lit their fires, the watchmen at the next tower lit theirs and, tower by tower, the alert flashed to the Mamluks. By the time the Mongols cut their way through Iraq, Syria and Palestine the Mamluks had had ample time to mobilize and were able to inflict a crushing defeat upon them—the first ever suffered by the Mongols in open combat.

During the Crusades, when even special couriers were intercepted or blocked, Mamluk leaders turned to courier pigeons.

They set up relays of dovecotes from Egypt to Iraq that could get a message from Cairo to Baghdad in two days. The pigeons were so efficient that the Crusaders themselves adopted the idea. One Crusader prince used them to announce his capture of Beirut and others carried pigeons back to England and Europe where, in 1850, Baron von Reuter used them to carry bulletins from Germany to Belgium and help found Reuters News Agency.

Under the Mamluks, only the Sultan himself could open a letter delivered by pigeon. All the pigeons bore the Sultan’s mark, either on their beaks or on their feet, and the letters they carried were immediately brought to the Sultan even if he were asleep. At one point they became so numerous that they were divided into companies, each with its commandant, and lodged in special dovecotes near the Citadel. In the year 1300 the Mamluk postal service employed 1,900 pigeons whose careful training led a German soldier of fortune named Johan Schiltberger to compose a lengthy description:

It is also to be noted, that the [Mamluk Sultan] also sends letters by pigeons, because he has many enemies, and is afraid that they might stop his messengers. They are sent mostly from Archey to Tamasgen, between which places is a great desert. It is also to be noted, how the pigeons are sent to any city to which the Sultan wishes to have them sent. Two pigeons must be put together, and sugar must be put into their food, and they are not allowed to fly; and when they know each other well, the hen-pigeon is taken to the king, and he keeps it, and marks the cock-pigeon that it may be known from which city it is; it is then put into a separate place that is prepared, and the hen-pigeon is no longer allowed inside. They no longer give him so much to eat, and no more sugar as he used to have; this is done that he may wish to return as soon as possible to the place where he was before, and where he was trained. When they wish to despatch him, the letter is tied under a wing and he flies straight for the house where he was trained. There he is caught and the letter taken from him, and they send it to whomsoever it belongs.

Like the runners in India, and their heirs with Parcel Post, the carrier pigeons were not used exclusively for military communications. There is a story, for example, that one day a Fatimid caliph in Cairo expressed a desire for the sweet plums of Baalbek in today’s Lebanon. His vizier immediately dispatched a pigeon to Baalbek ordering plums by return post. The ingenious postmaster at Baalbek at once complied, and before the day was out a flock of pigeons delivered a bowl of plums to the caliph. Each pigeon had carried a single plum tied to its leg.

Paul Lunde, who studied Arabic and Persian at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, now lives and writes in Saudi Arabia.

This article appeared on pages 12-15 of the July/August 1976 print edition of Saudi Aramco World.

Ach-choo! May 14, 2007

Posted by Muhajirah in General, Random Musings, Uni.
6 comments

As salaamu ‘alaikum

Insha’Allah you are in the best of health and iman

So I’ve just had an exam. I’m ill, my nose won’t stop running, I feel exhausted and I left one hour early …you guess how well it went.

I always seem to be ill during exam time. I can’t remember a time that I have not gone into an exam without a taking a pile of tissues with me. Actually I do, I didn’t take tissues into an exam when I was sitting one of my gcse papers…. I spent the whole time sniffing and sniffing and sniffing. The teachers didn’t even take pity on me and get me a tissue!

Please make dua that I get better as I have two more exams this week. Need energy to revise since I don’t have a clue about both of them.

Jazaakum’Allah khaire.

Tajweed 2: Isti’adha January 28, 2007

Posted by Muhajirah in Qur'an, Tajweed, Uni.
add a comment

Meaning: To seek refuge with Allah from the shaytaan

When you read the Qur’an you must begin with isti’adha, as it is a command in the Qur’an:

When Thou dost read the Qur’an, seek Allah’s protection from Satan the rejected one. [Surah Nahl 16:98]

Ibn Kathir comments on this ayah in his tafsir:

This is a command from Allah to His servants upon the tongue of His Prophet, telling them that when they want to read Qur’an, they should seek refuge with Allah from the cursed Shaytan. The Hadiths mentioned about seeking refuge with Allah (Isti`adhah), were quoted in our discussion at the beginning of this Tafsir, praise be to Allah. The reason for seeking refuge with Allah before reading is that the reader should not get confused or mixed up, and that the Shaytan would not confuse him or stop him from thinking about and pondering over the meaning of what he reads. Hence the majority of scholars said that refuge should be sought with Allah before starting to read.

﴿إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ لَهُ سُلْطَانٌ عَلَى الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ ﴾

(Verily, he has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord.)

Ath-Thawri said: “He has no power to make them commit a sin they will not repent from.” Others said: it means that he has no argument for them. Others said it is like the Ayah:

﴿إِلاَّ عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِينَ ﴾

(Except Your chosen servants amongst them.)[﴿15:40]

 

﴿إِنَّمَا سُلْطَـنُهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَوَلَّوْنَهُ﴾

(His power is only over those who obey and follow him (Shaytan))

Mujahid said: “Those who obey him.” Others said, “Those who take him as their protector instead of Allah.”

﴿وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِهِ مُشْرِكُونَ﴾

(and those who join partners with Him.)

means, those who associate others in worship with Allah.

﴿وَإِذَا بَدَّلْنَآ ءَايَةً مَّكَانَ ءَايَةٍ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يُنَزِّلُ قَالُواْ إِنَّمَآ أَنتَ مُفْتَرٍ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ – قُلْ نَزَّلَهُ رُوحُ الْقُدُسِ مِن رَّبِّكَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيُثَبِّتَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَهُدًى وَبُشْرَى لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ ﴾

(101. And when We change a verse in place of another – and Allah knows best what He reveals – they (the disbelievers) say: “You (O Muhammad) are but a forger.” Rather, most of them know not.) (102. Say (O Muhammad); “Ruh-ul-Qudus has brought it (the Qur’an) down from your Lord with truth.” for the conviction of those who believe, and as a guide and good news for the Muslims.)

Rulings on Isti’adha

The most common way of seeking refuge with Allah is to say:

أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم

I seek refuge with Allah, from the accursed shaytaan

Should isti’adha be said out loud or silently?

Majority opinion is that you should follow your normal style of recitation, i.e. if you read Qur’an out loud then say isti’adha out loud and vice-versa.

Isti’adha must be said before you begin to read the Qur’an and if you stop or take a break then you must repeat isti’adha before you continue reading.

There is no need to say Isti’adha when you move onto the next surah.

More information regarding Isti’adha here

 

The fruits of laziness… January 18, 2007

Posted by Muhajirah in General, Random Musings, Uni.
3 comments

As Salaamu ‘Alaikum,

Insha’Allah you are in the best of health and Imaan.

So I have an essay to hand in on Monday, but things are not going so well:

  1. I don’t have a clue what to write about. Seriously I have absolutely no idea

  2. There is only ONE book that can be used for this essay – but its totally useless if you don’t know what your writing about. Not that I have this book with me, because there are only two copies of it in the library, one of which is taken out and the other one being a reference.

  3. I have been sat here since about 1, but so far I only managed to open my essay. I look at it and have a quick read through it about every 15 minutes but that’s about it. The rest of the time is spent randomly going through my folder, checking my mail, re checking my mail, checking if anyone interesting is on msn, re checking 5 minutes later. Surfing the net, getting bored, eating a clementine, praying dhuhr, watching Newsnight on youtube , praying asr and finally blogging about how I’ve just wasted 3 hours of my life!

Anyway back to my essay…

Dirasah Arabiyah – Studing Arabic? August 5, 2006

Posted by Muhajirah in General, Uni.
3 comments

Asalaamu Alaikum,
Insha’Allah you are all well

So it’s been ? weeks since uni finished, in fact I shall be starting again in September Insha’Allah. I am looking forward to it as it’s pretty boring at home. First year at uni was enjoyable but I hated it at the same time. I suppose I hated the environment but loved what I was studying – Al-lughah al-arabiyah. It’s a shame I’m not studying it anymore, I could have been preparing to jet off to Egypt right now, and if I had been the same person I was a year ago I would probably be going, but alhamdulillah that’s not gonna happen anymore. And though a part of me tells me I am letting go of the most exciting/important opportunity in my life, most of me knows that it’s for the best. It just increases my desire of making hijrah.

So I won’t be studying Arabic anymore at uni, that doesn’t mean I should stop studying it all. I made a plan at the start of summer to carry on with the Arabic. Review the stuff I have done, go through the other chapters of my Arabic book. And well for a while I did (a week to be exact) – I went through the vocabulary lists, reminded myself of the grammar, spoke to everyone (including myself) in Arabic. To improve my writing (well that was my excuse) I used to always write English messages in Arabic for my sister to read on my whiteboard like: يو سمل سو باد! stupid stuff like that. I even made an Iraqi friend (even if it was a 10yr old). I spent an afternoon talking to her in Arabic and even though she didn’t know much fusHah (I was teaching her =D) it helped a lot cos I dont get the chance to do a lot of speaking. It was all going well until I starting to slack. And now… well now I have forgotten it all! =(

I bought a book ages ago, before I knew any Arabic at all, in a bid to teach myself. Because I didn’t understand any of it, I left it to gather dust on my bookshelf. Today I noticed it, lying there neglected. I picked it up and had a flick through it and it was a good read. I love Arabic grammar, its SOOO hard, but SOOO interesting at the same time. Most of it made sense to me and if I made an effort it would benefit me a lot! It explains Qur’aanic grammar and so has references to the Qur’aan which is good. Also I am forgetting the grammar, which is fundamental to learning Arabic. If I let myself forget it completely, the past year of spending ages in the library trying to figure out roots of words and memorising the numerous different forms of a verb would all have been a waste of time!

Need to be a geek and start learning.

Wasalaam

Finito …!! June 1, 2006

Posted by Muhajirah in General, Uni.
add a comment

Asalaamu Alaikum,
Insha’Allah you are all well.

Alhamdulillah! Exams are over = uni is over = a whole summer of pure relaxation… well not quite. I would think that I would be quite happy, but not really. I don’t know what I’m going to be doing over the summer. Parents, elder siblings are wanting me to get a job and I wouldn’t mind one, but there is no-where ‘halaal’ to work if you get me. For a student with no experience the options are a shop or a call centre. Both are not my type of jobs cos of the sorta stuff they would involve. Shops = selling haraam stuff, be it alcohol, haraam food or skimpy clothing. And call centres are places for dossers (no offence to anyone working in one).

Anyhow, after my exam, I decided to go shopping with my two niqaabi friends, which was boring, cos I hate shopping. We were just walking when this idiot looks at my mate and shouts OH MY GOD! What the heck… spaz and a half! Just cos someone wears a veil doesn’t make them some sort of alien being. I swear I hate this place.

Hehe… I make it sound as tho it really annoyed me, it didn’t. At the time I just laughed thinking what a prat. But I don’t think my friend was too pleased. Thinking back to it has annoyed me though. I’ve been thinking about niqaab for a long time and this is yet another thing on the ‘obstacles’ list. Being a non niqaabi I find it amusing when my mates get stick from the kuffar… not in haha you got dissed amusing, but the haha they are so scared of you amusing. Cos that’s what it is all about, they feel insecure around niqaabis and feeling insecure leads to fear which is why they make dumb comments. Anyhow this (plus other incidents when around with niqaabi friends) has made me stop and think. Would I have the same reaction if I was the one who was at the brunt of the stupid comments, constant stares? Would i find it amusing then? I really don’t know.

May Allah allow me to make hijrah from this place, may he increase my imaan and keep me away from all kufr and deviancy.

Remember me in you duas. Jazaak Allah Khaire

Wasalaam

Surah Al Kahf March 5, 2006

Posted by Muhajirah in Islam, Qur'an, Uni.
90 comments

Introduction
Surah Al Kahf was revealed to Mohammad (saw) after the Jews, told the mushriks to ask the Prophets three things:

 

  1. Who were the Sleepers of the cave and what was their story?
  2. Who was Dhul Qarnain?
  3. What he (Muhammad) knows about the Ruh?

 

The prophet (saw) told them that he would tell them in the morning, hoping that he would get revelation from Gibraeel, however he did not. After fifteen days the mushriks returned, thinking they triumphed over the Prophet. He (saw) began to feel sad but the next day Gibraeel revealed to him (saw), Surah Al Kahf, which contained the answers of their (the mushriks) question.

 

The Surah can be divided into about seven sections and contains four main stories. They are as follows:

 

  • The Sleepers of the Cave

This is about a number of youths who because of their belief in Allah (swt) were driven out of their homes, and ended up in a cave. Here Allah (swt) made them sleep for a number of years (309 lunar years which is 300 solar years).They then awoke, when asked how long they had slept for they estimated a day or half a day. One of the youths went to the town to get some food. He disguised himself thinking that the people would recognise him and harm him. But when he got there he found himself amongst a different people. The people of the town were amazed at his strange clothes and old coins. They went to the cave and saw the youth. After leaving it is reported that the youth went back to sleep and Allah (swt) caused them to die. Allah (swt) knows best.

 

The Christian version of this story is known as ‘The Seven Sleepers of Epheus’, however the Qur’aan mentions not the number of those who were in the cave, rather Allah (swt) says:

 

(Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth,- doubtfully guessing at the unknown; (yet others) say they were seven, the dog being the eighth. Say thou: “My Lord knoweth best their number; It is but few that know their (real case).” Enter not, therefore, into controversies concerning them, except on a matter that is clear, nor consult any of them about (the affair of) the Sleepers. [18:22]

 

If the number of those in the cave had any importance or significance, surely Allah would have told us, we are told not to waste our time discussing such matters. The importance of the story is not how many men were in the cave, but the message that it carries.

 

The location of the cave is also not mentioned, except that Allah (swt) 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… [18:17]

 

Some scholars have said that the location of the cave is ‘Arajeeb’ in Jordan, according to the description given in the above verse. But again, the location of the cave is not mentioned in the Qur’aan and therefore bears no significance.

 

  • The Owners of the Two Gardens

This is a story about two men, one of whom had been given two gardens by Allah. He began to boast, forgetting to thank Allah (swt) for the bounties bestowed upon him. The second man warned him and told him to be thankful to Allah (swt) but he refused and so Allah (swt) destroyed his garden.

 

This story gives an example of the tests of wealth. Its shows that wealth is a temporary thing in this life, and just as Allah (swt) can give, He can also take it away at any moment He likes. The man had thought himself superior in terms of wealth; however this it is not the level of wealth that Allah (swt) will judge us by, but by our level of taqwa and Imaan.

 

  • Al Khidr

The full story of Al Khidr is mentioned in the following hadith:

 

Ubai Ibn Ka’b told us that the Prophet (PBUH) said: Once Moses stood up and addressed Bani Israel. He was asked who the most learned man amongst the people was. He said: “I.” Allah admonished him as he did not attribute absolute knowledge to Him (Allah). So, Allah said to him: “Yes, at the junction of the two seas there is a slave of Mine who is more learned than you.” Moses said: “O my Lord! How can I meet him?” Allah said: “Take a fish and put it in a large basket and you will find him at the place where you will lose the fish.”

 

Moses took a fish and put it in a basket and proceeded along with his (servant) boy, Joshua (Yusha Ibn Nun), till they reached the rock where they laid their heads (i.e. lay down). Moses slept, and the fish, moving out of the basket, fell into the sea. It took its way into the sea (straight) as in a tunnel. Allah stopped the flow of water over the fish and it became like an arch (the Prophet pointed out this arch with his hands). They travelled the rest of the night, and the next day Moses said to his boy (servant): “Give us our food, for indeed, we have suffered much fatigue in this journey of ours.” Moses did not feel tired till he crossed that place which Allah had ordered him to seek after. His boy (servant) said to him: “Do you know that when we were sitting near that rock, I forgot the fish, and none but Satan caused me to forget to tell (you) about it, and it took its course into the sea in an amazing way?” So there was a path for the fish and that astonished them. Moses said: ‘That was what we were seeking after.”

 

So both of them retraced their footsteps till they reached the rock. There they saw a man lying covered with a garment. Moses greeted him, and he replied saying: “How do people greet each other in your land?” Moses said: “I am Moses.”

 

The man asked: “Moses of Bani Israel?” Moses said: “Yes, I have come to you so that you may teach me from those things which Allah has taught you.” He said: “O Moses! I have some of the knowledge of Allah which Allah has taught me and which you do not know, while you have some of the knowledge of Allah which Allah has taught you and which I do not know.” Moses asked: “May I follow you?” He said: “But you will not be able to remain patient with me, for how can you be patient about things which you will not be able to understand?” Moses said: “You will find me, if Allah so will, truly patient, and I will not disobey you in aught.”

 

So both of them set out walking along the sea-shore. A boat passed by them, and they asked the crew of the boat to take them on board. The crew recognised Al-Khidr, so they took them on board without fare. When they were on board the boat, a sparrow came and stood on the edge of the boat and dipped its beak once or twice into the sea. Al-Khidr said to Moses: “O Moses! My knowledge and your knowledge have not decreased Allah’s knowledge except as much as this sparrow has decreased the water of the sea with its beak.” Then suddenly Al-Khidr took an adze and pulled up a plank, and Moses did not notice it till he had pulled up a plank with the adze. Moses said to him: “What have you done? They took us on board charging us nothing; yet you have intentionally made a hole in their boat so as to drown its passengers. Verily, you have done a dreadful thing.” Al-Khidr replied: “Did I not tell you that you would not be able to remain patient with me?” Moses replied: “Do not blame me for what I have forgotten, and do not be hard upon me for my fault.” So the first excuse of Moses was that he had forgotten.

 

When they had left the sea, they passed by a boy playing with other boys. Al-Khidr took hold of the boy’s head and plucked it with his hand like this. (Sufyan, the sub-narrator gestured with his fingertips as if he were plucking some fruit.) Moses said to him: “Have you killed an innocent person who has not killed any person? You have really done a horrible thing.” Al-Khidr said: “Did I not tell you that you could not remain patient with me?” Moses said: “If I ask you about anything after this, don’t accompany me. You have received an excuse from me.”

 

Then both of them went on till they came to some people of a village, and they asked its inhabitants for food but they refused to entertain them as guests. Then they saw therein a wall which was just going to collapse and Al Khidr repaired it just by touching it with his hands. Moses said: “These are the people, whom we have called on, but they neither gave us food, nor entertained us as guests, yet you have repaired their wall. If you had wished, you could have taken wages for it.”

 

Al-Khidr said: “This is the parting between you and me, and I shall tell you the explanation of those things on which you could not remain patient.” [Sahih Bukhari]

 

The explanation of the events are in the Qur’aan:

 

“As for the ship, it belonged to poor people working in the sea. So I wished to make a defective damage in it, as there was a king after them who seized every ship by force.

 

“And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief. So we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in righteousness and near to mercy.

 

“And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not hold patience. [18:79-82]

 

Some scholars believe that the story is set around the Sinai peninsular, where Musa and the Israelites are said to have stayed.

 

According to hadith literature the slave boy, is called Yusha` bin Nun who became the leader of the Israelites after Musa (as)

 

Al Khidr is the name given to the man in the story. This is reported in Sahih Al Bukhari, in which the Prophet (saw) said that he (the man) was named Al Khidr (which means green), because he sat on a patch of withered vegetation and it turned green. It is debated whether he is a prophet or angel. According to ibn Kathir, those who say he was a Prophet of Allah (swt) base it upon the following ayah:

 

So they found one of Our servants, on whom We had bestowed Mercy from Ourselves and whom We had taught knowledge from Our own Presence. [18:65]

 

  • Dhul Qarnain

Dhul Qarnain was a righteous king, who travelled, west and east. The Qur’aan describes three of his journeys, the last being the most significant. He travelled to a place between two mountains where he met a tribe of people. They asked him to erect a wall between them and the tribes of Ya’juj and Ma’juj who caused mischief in the land. Dhul Qarnain agreed to do so.

 

Dhul Qarnain translates to the ‘Two Horned King’. The Qur’aan gives no information about who he was; however popular opinion identifies him as Alexander the Great. Others opinion is that he was an ancient Persian king, while some say he was a Himyarite king. This is refuted by many Muslims scholars who say he was a king, who lived at the time of Ibraheem (as)

 

The Qur’aan relates to us of 3 journeys that he takes, one to a western land:

 

“…Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water…” [18:86]

 

Here he found a nation of people, Allah (swt) gave him the choice to punish them or treat them kindly. Dhul Qarnain chose to punish those who persisted in kufr and treat the beleivers well

 

His second journey is to an eastern land:

 

“…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.”[18:90]

 

Where he found a people, who Allah had not provided with shade, i.e. they had no buildings or trees to keep them shade.

 

And lastly he travels to a land between two mountains:

 

“…Until, when he reached (a tract) between two mountains… [18:93]

 

Here, he met a people who asked him to build a barrier between them and the tribes of Ya’juj and Ma’juj.

 

Ya’juj and Ma’juj are from the progeny of Adam, i.e. they are human beings. Folklore has spread, claiming they are not human, or different from humans in some way. For example they are describes to have two large ears, one is used as a bed and the other as a duvet to cover themselves with. However this is false, as it is reported in a sahih hadith that they are the descendants of Yafith the son of Nuh (as).

 

Ya’juj and Ma’juj compromise nine tenths of mankind. This is according to the following hadith:

 

“Allah divided mankind into ten parts. Nine tenths constitute Ya’juj and Ma’juj while the remaining one tenth constitutes the rest of mankind.” [Abdullah-b-Amr/Fathul-Bari]

 

The whereabouts of the wall constructed by Dhul Qarnain is unknown. There have been many speculations. Some say it is the great wall of China, some say it is in Russia, however, Allah knows best where the wall is and when the Hour (the day of judgement) draws near, by Allah’s will the wall will be destroyed and the tribes of Ya’juj and Ma’juj will be set loose to cause havoc on the earth, destroying everything that they come across.

 

Virtues of Surah Al Kahf

 

Surah Al Kahf has many virtues. It is a Sunnah to recite this Surah every Friday. As well as this, it is reported in hadith, that whoever memorises the beginning of this Surah will be protected from the dajjal;

 

Whoever memorizes ten Ayat from the beginning of Surat Al-Kahf will be protected from the Dajjal. [Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i and At-Tirmidhi]