بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
The story itself has beautiful effects on the human soul were mentioned a lot in many verses in Holy Quran. The story mentioned in Surat Al Qalam talks about people who lived in the past time, close to the Darwan area of Sana’a Yemen. They had a great farm and inherited it from their good father, that followed the straight path by giving the right of the poor; obedience of Allah (swt), and gifting to those in need.
But his sons after him were driven away from his path. They didn’t give the right of the poor from their father’s farm. They denied the right of the poor and the needy, and they were punished by losing the whole farm.
The atmosphere of the story reveals to us that these sons were not infidels, but they were Muslims, but they took advantage of grace, and prevented Zakat, and cruelty treated the needy and did not mercy them so Allah mercy to be on the survival of their paradise.
These holy verses were revealed on the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) when he were in Makkah between the people of Quraish, who were still fighting and looting him. Allah (swt) have giving them (People of Quraish) the great provision such as the security and goodness of living, where Allah (swt) fed them from hunger and secured them from fear, while the other towns surrounding Quraish were living poorly.
Allah (swt) says:
وَضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا قَرْيَةً كَانَتْ آمِنَةً مُّطْمَئِنَّةً يَأْتِيهَا رِزْقُهَا رَغَدًا مِّن كُلِّ مَكَانٍ فَكَفَرَتْ بِأَنْعُمِ اللَّهِ فَأَذَاقَهَا اللَّهُ لِبَاسَ الْجُوعِ وَالْخَوْفِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَصْنَعُونَ (112)
(112) And Allah presents an example: a city which was safe and secure, its provision coming to it in abundance from every location, but it denied the favors of Allah. So Allah made it taste the envelopment of hunger and fear for what they had been doing.
And Allah (swt) says:
وَقَالُوا إِن نَّتَّبِعِ الْهُدَىٰ مَعَكَ نُتَخَطَّفْ مِنْ أَرْضِنَا ۚ أَوَلَمْ نُمَكِّن لَّهُمْ حَرَمًا آمِنًا يُجْبَىٰ إِلَيْهِ ثَمَرَاتُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ رِّزْقًا مِّن لَّدُنَّا وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ (57)
(57) And they say, “If we were to follow the guidance with you, we would be swept from our land.” Have we not established for them a safe sanctuary to which are brought the fruits of all things as provision from Us? But most of them do not know.
When Quraish were living within these blessings and great provisions, yet turning away from the truth and fighting those who believe in Islam, then Allah sent down these verses on his messenger Mohammed (pbuh) to preach Quraish and warn them that, if they don’t thank Allah (swt) and believe in the message of Prophet Mohammed (pbu), then Allah will take these blessings from them and replace them with indignations, as he did with the people of Darwan’s farm.
The owner of the farm was a man from Yemen, lives in a town called Darwan that is 6 miles distance from Sana’a. He lived there and had a farm that people there used to name it (paradise), in it all kind of fruits. This good man sworn that he’ll never take a fruit in his house until he divides the fruits into 3 parts:
- One for the poor and need people
- One for his family
- One that he returns to his farm as an investment so he can repeat the doing of good dees
Therefore, Allah (swt) have blessed his farm and gave him the great provision in it for him and his family.
This man passed away, he had 5 sons that inherited the paradise from their father. The father’s farm produced great amount of fruits in the same year that the father died, so when the sons looked at this produced goodness, they became arrogant and tyrants. They said to each other: “Our father was an idiot, he distributed from these fruits to the poor, let us pledge among ourselves not to give any of the poor and needy anything from our paradise in this year, until we get rich and increase our money”.
The most moderate brother of them who was the closest people like his good father said: “Follow your father’s path”. They other brothers refused.
The Brothers Are Planning
They brothers gathered together, met and swore to cut the farm’s fruit in the early morning before any of the poor or needy people will show up. They sworn that they will make no exceptions. In one of the story’s versions it’s said that they even didn’t say “ان شاء الله” “In Sha’a Allah”. They were so convinced that they have the full control over their paradise.
The Punishment Of Allah (swt)
Allah (swt) sent an affliction on their farm and destroyed it. It’s said that it was a frost wave, some said its a fire that burned everything down. As there is a relationship between the bad intention and the bad Behavior. When the people of the farm had the bad intention of preventing the needy from getting some of the farm’s goodness, Allah punished them because of their intention, and the result is Allah (swt) destroyed their entire crop. And it became as though reaped. Ibn Abbas said that it became burned like the darkness of the night.
They brothers called each other in the morning so they can cut all the fruits of their farm early before any of the poor or needy will come. They were talking to each other with lowered voices so others can’t hear them. They thought that they can do their plan as they planned for it the night before.
When they saw their farm after Allah punishment, they said “”Indeed, we are lost, rather we are deprived”. The most moderate brother among them said: “Didn’t I say to you to Glorify Allah”?
The great loss was the reason for their return to Allah (swt) and was the cause of repentance and remorse and self-accounting for themselves and in their turn and regret. And if Allah (swt) had not disciplined them, it would not have been these words of them “Indeed, we’re lost “.
إِنَّا بَلَوْنَاهُمْ كَمَا بَلَوْنَا أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ إِذْ أَقْسَمُوا لَيَصْرِمُنَّهَا مُصْبِحِينَ (17) وَلَا يَسْتَثْنُونَ (18) فَطَافَ عَلَيْهَا طَائِفٌ مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَهُمْ نَائِمُونَ (19) فَأَصْبَحَتْ كَالصَّرِيمِ (20) فَتَنَادَوْا مُصْبِحِينَ (21) أَنِ اغْدُوا عَلَىٰ حَرْثِكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَارِمِينَ (22) فَانطَلَقُوا وَهُمْ يَتَخَافَتُونَ (23) أَن لَّا يَدْخُلَنَّهَا الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكُم مِّسْكِينٌ (24) وَغَدَوْا عَلَىٰ حَرْدٍ قَادِرِينَ (25) فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهَا قَالُوا إِنَّا لَضَالُّونَ (26) بَلْ نَحْنُ مَحْرُومُونَ (27) قَالَ أَوْسَطُهُمْ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكُمْ لَوْلَا تُسَبِّحُونَ (28) قَالُوا سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَالِمِينَ (29) فَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ يَتَلَاوَمُونَ (30) قَالُوا يَا وَيْلَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا طَاغِينَ (31) عَسَىٰ رَبُّنَا أَن يُبْدِلَنَا خَيْرًا مِّنْهَا إِنَّا إِلَىٰ رَبِّنَا رَاغِبُونَ (32) كَذَٰلِكَ الْعَذَابُ ۖ وَلَعَذَابُ الْآخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ (33)
Allah Punishment On Quraish
It (i.e., the imagined smoke) was because, when the Quraish refused to obey the Prophet, he asked Allah to afflict them with years of famine similar to those of (Prophet) Joseph. So they were stricken with famine and fatigue, so much so that they ate even bones. A man would look towards the sky and imagine seeing something like smoke between him and the sky because of extreme fatigue. So Allah revealed:– ‘Then watch you for the Day that the sky will bring forth a kind of smoke plainly visible, covering the people; this is a painfull of torment.’ (44.10-11) Then someone (Abu Sufyan) came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Invoke Allah to send rain for the tribes of Mudar for they are on the verge of destruction.” On that the Prophet said (astonishingly) “Shall I invoke Allah) for the tribes of Mudar? Verily, you are a brave man!” But the Prophet prayed for rain and it rained for them. Then the Verse was revealed. ‘But truly you will return (to disbelief).’ (44.15) (When the famine was over and) they restored prosperity and welfare, they reverted to their ways (of heathenism) whereupon Allah revealed: ‘On the Day when We shall seize you with a Mighty Grasp. We will indeed (then) exact retribution.’ (44.16) The narrator said, “That was the day of the Battle of Badr.”
What We’ve Learned?
- The Provision is from Allah, whatever it is – It is a test to whom to was given to – So Allah sees whether he thanks it or not
- Kindness towards the poor and needy is a way to keep the provision and a protection from disasters and pandemics
- The Provision is not safe from courtyard, no matter how vast and magnified it becomes. It can be removed within a blink of an eye
- The sins inherit the urgent punishments
- Some calamities may bring some people to the right path
- The religious life of a person after the ungrateful grace may be better than before
- Surat Al Nahal – Aya 112
- Surat Al Qassas – Aya 57
- Surat Al Qalam – Ayas 17 – 33
- Hadith – Prophetic Commentary on the Qur’an – English reference: Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 346 – Arabic reference: Book 65, Hadith 4870