The Boy and the King (A benefit from Imaam Ibn Katheer – Rahimahullah)

Bismillah al Hamdullilah Was Salaatu Was Salaamu ‘Alaa Rasoolillahi

Ammaa Ba’d:

We mentioned yesterday the story of the boy and the king. The story is often times mentioned alongside the tafseer of Suratul Burooj the verses in it that mention

Cursed were the people of the ditch

(Suratul Burooj Vs 4)

It is often times mentioned that this verse refers to the story of the boy and the king. Though the verses do corrolate well with the Hadeeth we should exercise caution when mentioning that. Since it is not ‘categorically’ the meaning of the verse according to the people of knowledge. There is a benefit that Al Imaam Ibn Katheer – Rahimahullah mentions in his tafseer concerning the verse:

The Scholars of tafseer differ concerning the people this story relates to, who are they (exactly)? He then mentions that Ali – Radhiyallahu Anhu had a number of statements concerning who they were and where they were from. He mentions there is a narration from him that they were Persians, he mentions that in a second narration they were from Yemen and in a third he mentions they were from Ethiopia..”

Ibn Abbaas also held that they were a people from the Children of Isra’eel, and then he (Ibn Katheer) mentions that Imaam Ahmad, Imaam At Tirmidhi and Imaam An Nasaa’ie mentioned the story of the boy and the king in the tafseer of the verse.

Then Ibn Katheer mentions the statement of the great Mufaseer Muqaatil – Rahimahullah:

The people of the ditch were three (I.e. those who punished people by way of a fire-filled trench): One in Najraan in Yemen; Another in Shaam (Area of Syria, Jordon etc) and another in Persia (The area of present day Iraaq). As for the one in Shaam then he was Antoninus The Roman, as for the Persian then it was King Nebuchadnezzar, and as for the one in the arab lands, then he was Yusuf Dhoo Nawaas..”

(Tafseer Ibn Katheer 8/271 (Tayyiba Print))

Imaam Muqaatil then goes on to conclude that the qur’aan only addressed the one in the Lands of the Arab, but as mentioned earlier the scholars of tafseer differ on the point.

It is interesting that he mentioned Antoninus the Roman because his reign falls well inline with what was mentioned yesterday. What then do western Historians say about this Ruler?

Antoninus the Roman

Antoninus the Roman emperor, was also known as Caracalla and was refered to as ‘The Common enemy of Mankind’. His reign was from 198 to 217 CE (Third Century) and he was well known for his cruelties. He had the Roman Jurist and religious scholar Papinion (who was Syrian in origin and known for being a follower of ‘casuistry’ which was a form of reasoning that advocated adopting the rigourous morals of the ‘Early fathers of christianity’ to modern morals) put to death, and after beheading him, he had his body dragged around the streets.

He ordered the Killing of some 20,000 individuals who did not support him, and the bloodbath went on for a period of two weeks.

He also commissioned the building of ‘The baths of Caracalla’ which went on to become the largest public buildings ever built in ancient rome. He also personally directed a general massacre of the people of Alexandria and supervised their killing from a secure position in the Temple of Serapis.

He was at eventually assassinated on March 8, C.E. 217, near Harran in southeast Turkey.

Look then how Allah has blessed us with a Salaf who were well aquainted with not only the deen of Allah, but even knowledge of the history of other nations and their people. May Allah increase us in their knowledge and in love of following their path.

Wallahu A’lam

Was Sallallahu ‘Alaa Nabiyinaa Muhammad

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