Saturday, April 3, 2010

Surat Al Kahaf questions

My dear readers, I am in a bit of a pickle and I would appreciate some insight from you guys on some verses from Surat Al Kahaf.

The story of Prophet Moosa and Khithr (Peace be upon them) is one of the many that is told to us by Allah in Surat Al Kahaf (and one of my favorites) . Khithr is basically an embodiment of Qadar (destiny ordained to us by Allah Subhanho wa Taala) and it just goes to show that no matter how much you think you know ... you just don't.

The verses that caught my attention (as was first pointed out to me by my Mother) are the following:

قَالَ هَـٰذَا فِرَاقُ بَيۡنِى وَبَيۡنِكَ‌ۚ سَأُنَبِّئُكَ بِتَأۡوِيلِ مَا لَمۡ تَسۡتَطِع عَّلَيۡهِ صَبۡرًا

He answered: "This is the parting between me and thee: now will I tell thee the interpretation of (those things) over which thou wast unable to hold patience.

أَمَّا ٱلسَّفِينَةُ فَكَانَتۡ لِمَسَـٰكِينَ يَعۡمَلُونَ فِى ٱلۡبَحۡرِ فَأَرَدتُّ أَنۡ أَعِيبَہَا وَكَانَ وَرَآءَهُم مَّلِكٌ۬ يَأۡخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ غَصۡبً۬ا

"As for the boat, it belonged to certain men in dire want: they plied on the water: I but wished to render it unserviceable, for there was after them a certain king who seized on every boat by force.

وَأَمَّا ٱلۡغُلَـٰمُ فَكَانَ أَبَوَاهُ مُؤۡمِنَيۡنِ فَخَشِينَآ أَن يُرۡهِقَهُمَا طُغۡيَـٰنً۬ا وَڪُفۡرً۬ا

"As for the youth, his parents were people of Faith, and we feared that he would grieve them by obstinate rebellion and ingratitude (to Allah and man).

فَأَرَدۡنَآ أَن يُبۡدِلَهُمَا رَبُّہُمَا خَيۡرً۬ا مِّنۡهُ زَكَوٰةً۬ وَأَقۡرَبَ رُحۡمً۬ا

"So we desired that their Lord would give them in exchange (a son) better in purity (of conduct) and closer in affection.

وَأَمَّا ٱلۡجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَـٰمَيۡنِ يَتِيمَيۡنِ فِى ٱلۡمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحۡتَهُ ۥ كَنزٌ۬ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَـٰلِحً۬ا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَن يَبۡلُغَآ أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسۡتَخۡرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحۡمَةً۬ مِّن رَّبِّكَ‌ۚ وَمَا فَعَلۡتُهُ ۥ عَنۡ أَمۡرِى‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ تَأۡوِيلُ مَا لَمۡ تَسۡطِع عَّلَيۡهِ صَبۡرً۬ا

"As for the wall, it belonged to two youths, orphans, in the Town; there was, beneath it, a buried treasure, to which they were entitled: their father had been a righteous man: So thy Lord desired that they should attain their age of full strength and get out their treasure - a mercy (and favor) from thy Lord. I did it not of my own accord. Such is the interpretation of (those things) over which thou wast unable to hold patience."

Verses 78 to 82, Surat Al Kahaf

As Khithr begins to explain to Prophet Moosa (Peace be upon them) the reason for his actions, there is a change in who is being referred to as doing the action (I totally don't remember what this is called in English grammar).

With the boat, Khithr says (seemingly referring only to himself):

فَأَرَدتُّ أَنۡ أَعِيبَہَا
I but wished to render it unserviceable

With the youth, Khithr says (seemingly referring to several):

we feared

فَأَرَدۡنَآ أَن يُبۡدِلَهُمَا رَبُّہُمَا
So we desired that their Lord would give them in exchange

With the wall, Khithr says (seemingly referring to Allah only):

فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ
So thy Lord desired

I had a little think about it and came up with my own reasoning (Allah knows best) that the reason why:

  • Khithr referred to himself only with the boat incident is that he created the fault in it with his own hands.
  • Khithr referred to a group with the youth is that he killed the youth but then Allah Subhanho wa Taala will bless the boy's parents by creating for them another child (so I assume here that "we" refers to Khithr and Allah).
  • Khithr referred to Allah only with the wall incident because it is Allah who will keep the treasure safe as well as the two youths until they are able to find it.
However, I am not a student of Tafseer, and so this reasoning is just an opinion that should not be taken as the correct answer. I would love to learn more about as well as understand why the verses keep changing with regards to subject matter (hope that is the right way to say it) . I did try to have a search on the world wide web, but that didn't yield the desirable results.

If any reader has an idea on the matter, read something on the subject or has asked someone of knowledge about it, please please don't hesitate to tell me about it, whether in the comments or by flicking me an email =)

Jazakoum Allah Khairan!


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