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The Story of the Boy and the King (from Surah Burooj)

Posted by: "AbdurRahman Meda" ramumeda
    Date: Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:24 pm

*Imam Ibn Kathir <>*
* Imam Ahmad recorded from Suhayb that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon
him) said:

Among the people who came before you, there was a king who had a sorcerer,
and when that sorcerer became old, he said to the king, "I have become old
and my time is nearly over, so please send me a boy whom I can teach magic.''
So, he sent him a boy and the sorcerer taught him magic. Whenever the boy
went to the sorcerer, he sat with a monk who was on the way and listened to
his speech and admired them. So, when he went to the sorcerer, he passed by
the monk and sat there with him; and on visiting the sorcerer the latter
would thrash him. So, the boy complained about this to the monk. The monk
said to him, "Whenever you are afraid of the sorcerer, say to him: `My
people kept me busy.' And whenever you are afraid of your people, say to
them: `The sorcerer kept me busy.''' So the boy carried on like that (for
some time). Then a huge terrible creature appeared on the road and the
people were unable to pass by. The boy said, "Today I shall know whether the
sorcerer is better or the monk is better.'' So, he took a stone and said, "O
Allah! If the deeds and actions of the monk are liked by You better than
those of the sorcerer, then kill this creature so that the people can cross
(the road).'' Then he struck it with a stone killing it and the people
passed by on the road.

The boy came to the monk and informed him about it. The monk said to him, "O
my son! Today you are better than I, and you have achieved what I see! You
will be put to trial. And in case you are put to trial, do not inform (them)
about me.''The boy used to treat the people suffering from congenital
blindness, leprosy, and other diseases. There was a courtier of the king who
had become blind and he heard about the boy. He came and brought a number of
gifts for the boy and said, "All these gifts are for you on the condition
that you cure me.'' The boy said, "I do not cure anybody; it is only Allah
who cures people. So, if you believe in Allah and supplicate to Him, He will
cure you.'' So, he believed in and supplicated to Allah, and Allah cured

Later, the courtier came to the king and sat at the place where he used to
sit before. The king said, "Who gave you back your sight’ The courtier
replied, "My Lord.'' The king then said, "I did'' The courtier said, "No, my
Lord and your Lord - Allah'' The king said, "Do you have another Lord beside
me'' The courtier said, "Yes, your Lord and my Lord is Allah.'' The king
tortured him and did not stop until he told him about the boy. So, the boy
was brought to the king and he said to him, "O boy! Has your magic reached
to the extent that you cure congenital blindness, leprosy and other
diseases’’ He said, " I do not cure anyone. Only Allah can cure.'' The king
said, "Me'' The boy replied, "No.'' The king asked, "Do you have another
Lord besides me’ The boy answered, " My Lord and your Lord is Allah.'' So,
he tortured him also until he told about the monk. Then the monk was brought
to him and the king said to him, "Abandon your religion.'' The monk refused
and so the king ordered a saw to be brought which was placed in the middle
of his head and he fell, sawn in two. Then it was said to the man who used
to be blind, "Abandon your religion.'' He refused to do so, and so a saw was
brought and placed in the middle of his head and he fell, sawn in two. Then
the boy was brought and it was said to him, "Abandon your religion.'' He
refused and so the king sent him to the top of such and such mountain with
some people. He told the people, "Ascend up the mountain with him till you
reach its peak, then see if he abandons his religion; otherwise throw him
from the top.'' They took him and when they ascended to the top, he said, "
O Allah! Save me from them by any means that You wish.'' So, the mountain
shook and they all fell down and the boy came back walking to the king. The
king said, " What did your companions (the people I sent with you) do'' The
boy said, "Allah saved me from them.'' So, the king ordered some people to
take the boy on a boat to the middle of the sea, saying, "If he renounces
his religion (well and good), but if he refuses, drown him.'' So, they took
him out to sea and he said, "O Allah! Save me from them by any means that
you wish.'' So they were all drowned in the sea.

Then the boy returned to the king and the king said, "What did your
companions do'' The boy replied, "Allah, saved me from them.'' Then he said
to the king, "You will not be able to kill me until you do as I order you.
And if you do as I order you, you will be able to kill me.'' The king asked,
"And what is that'' The boy said, "Gather the people in one elevated place
and tie me to the trunk of a tree; then take an arrow from my quiver and
say: `In the Name of Allah, the Lord of the boy.' If you do this, you will
be able to kill me.'' So he did this, and placing an arrow in the bow, he
shot it, saying, "In the Name of Allah, the Lord of the boy.'' The arrow hit
the boy in the temple, and the boy placed his hand over the arrow wound and
died. The people proclaimed, "We believe in the Lord of the boy!'' Then it
was said to the king, "Do you see what has happened That which you feared
has taken place. By Allah, all the people have believed (in the Lord of the
boy).''So he ordered that ditches be dug at the entrances to the roads and
it was done, and fires were kindled in them. Then the king said, "Whoever
abandons his religion, let him go, and whoever does not, throw him into the
fire.'' They were struggling and scuffling in the fire, until a woman and
her baby whom she was breast feeding came and it was as if she was being
somewhat hesitant of falling into the fire, so her baby said to her,"Be
patient mother! For verily, you are following the truth!'')

Muslim also recorded this Hadith at the end of the Sahih. Muhammad bin Ishaq
bin Yasar related this story in his book of Sirah in another way that has
some differences from that which has just been related. Then, after Ibn
Ishaq explained that the people of Najran began following the religion of
the boy after his murder, which was the religion of Christianity, he said,
"Then (the king) Dhu Nuwas came to them with his army and called them to
Judaism. He gave them a choice to either accept Judaism or be killed, so
they chose death. Thus, he had a ditch dug and burned (some of them) in the
fire (in the ditch), while others he killed with the sword. He made an
example of them (by slaughtering them) until he had killed almost twenty
thousand of them. It was about Dhu Nuwas and his army that Allah revealed to
His Messenger :
    (Cursed were the People of the Ditch. Of fire fed with fuel. When they
sat by it. And they witnessed what they were doing against the believers.
And they had no fault except that they believed in Allah, the Almighty,
Worthy of all praise! To Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the
earth! And Allah is Witness over everything.) (85:4-9)

This is what Muhammad bin Ishaq said in his book of Sirah -- that the one
who killed the People of the Ditch was Dhu Nuwas, and his name was Zur`ah.
In the time of his kingdom he was called Yusuf. He was the son of Tuban
As`ad Abi Karib, who was the Tubba` who invaded Al-Madinah and put the
covering over the Ka`bah. He kept two rabbis with him from the Jews of
Al-Madinah. After this some of the people of Yemen accepted Judaism at the
hands of these two rabbis, as Ibn Ishaq mentions at length. So Dhu Nuwas
killed twenty thousand people in one morning in the Ditch. Only one man
among them escaped. He was known as Daws Dhu Tha`laban. He escaped on a
horse and they set out after him, but they were unable to catch him. He went
to Caesar, the emperor of Ash-Sham. So, Caesar wrote to An-Najashi, the King
of Abyssinia. So, he sent with him an army of Abyssinian Christians, who
were lead by Aryat and Abrahah. They rescued Yemen from the hands of the
Jews. Dhu Nuwas tried to flee but eventually fell into the sea and drowned.
After this, the kingdom of Abyssinia remained under Christian power for
seventy years. Then the power was divested from the Christians by Sayf bin
Dhi Yazin Al-Himyari when Kisra, the king of Persia sent an army there (to
Yemen). He (the king) sent with him (Sayf Al-Himyari) those people who were
in the prisons, and they were close to seven hundred in number. So, he (Sayf
Al-Himyari) conquered Yemen with them and returned the kingdom back to the
people of Himyar (Yemenis).

*[image: Stories in the

Stories in the Quran - Ibn Kathir - 110 pages
<> [PDF]

The Glorious Qur'an, recounts a number of stories that took place throughout
far-remote points of history which are full of events that one's eyes and
mind cannot fail to grasp its admonition and advice. These admonitions and
advice, if seriously considered, can verify and restore to the right course
a great number of false beliefs and concepts. Allah the Almighty says: {Thus
We relate to you (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) some information of what
happened before. And indeed We have given you from Us a Reminder (this
Qur'an)}. (Ta-Ha, 99)

Ibn Kathir successfully managed to find the relationship between the details
cited in the Glorious Qur'an and the Prophetic Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad
(Peace be upon him) that explained and clarified the incidents that took
place. He also tried his best to portrait the characters of heroes of our
stories and their relevant backgrounds. So doing, he presented a lively easy
account of these stories of the Glorious Qur'an.

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