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The Qur'an and the Sunnah contain Parables that use Water and Fire Print E-mail


Allah has set two examples in the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah (chapter 2) about the hypocrites, one using fire and another using water. Allah said,


﴿مَثَلُهُمْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِى اسْتَوْقَدَ نَاراً فَلَمَّآ أَضَاءَتْ مَا حَوْلَهُ﴾


(Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindled a fire; then, when it illuminated all around him.) ﴿2:17﴾ then He said,


﴿أَوْ كَصَيِّبٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ فِيهِ ظُلُمَـتٌ وَرَعْدٌ وَبَرْقٌ﴾


(Or like a rainstorm in the sky, bringing darkness, thunder, and lightning.) ﴿2:19﴾ Allah also has set two parables for the disbelievers in Surat An-Nur (chapter 24), one of them is,


﴿وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَعْمَـلُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ﴾


(As for those who disbelieved, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert.)﴿24:39﴾ The mirage occurs during intense heat. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said,


«فَيُقَالُ لِلْيَهُودِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ: فَمَا تُرِيدُون؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: أَيْ رَبَّنَا عَطِشْنَا فَاسْقِنَا. فَيُقَالُ: أَلَا تَرِدُونَ؟ فَيَرِدُونَ النَّارَ فَإِذَا هِيَ كَسَرَابٍ يَحْطِمُ بَعْضُهَا بَعْضًا»


(It will be said to the Jews on the Day of Resurrection, "What do you desire'' They will reply, "We need to drink, for we have become thirsty, O our Lord!'' It will be said, "Will you then proceed to drink,'' and they will head towards the Fire, which will appear as a mirage, its various parts consuming the other parts.'') Allah said in the second parable (in Surat An-Nur);


﴿أَوْ كَظُلُمَـتٍ فِى بَحْرٍ لُّجِّىٍّ﴾


(Or is like the darkness in a vast deep sea.)﴿24:40﴾ In the Two Sahihs it is recorded that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari said that the Messenger of Allah said,


«إِنَّ مَثَلَ مَا بَعَثَنِي اللهُ بِهِ مِنَ الْهُدَى وَالْعِلْمِ، كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَصَابَ أَرْضًا، فَكَانَ مِنْهَا طَائِفَةٌ قَبِلَتِ الْمَاءَ فَأَنْبَتَتِ الْكَلَأَ وَالْعُشْبَ الْكَثِيرَ، وَكَانَتْ مِنْهَا أَجَادِبُ أَمْسَكَتِ الْمَاءَ، فَنَفَعَ اللهُ بِهَا النَّاسَ، فَشَرِبُوا، وَرَعَوْا، وَسَقُوا، وَزَرَعُوا، وَأَصَابَتْ طَائِفَةً مِنْهَا أُخْرَى، إِنَّمَااِهيَ قِيعَانٌ لَا تُمْسِكُ مَاءً وَلَا تُنْبِتُ كَلَأً، فَذَلِكَ مَثَلُ مَنْ فَقُهَ فِي دِينِ اللهِ وَنَفَعَهُ اللهُ بِمَا بَعَثَنِي وَنَفَعَ بِهِ، فَعَلِمَ وَعَلَّمَ، وَمَثَلُ مَنْ لَمْ يَرْفَعْ بِذَلِكَ رَأْسًا وَلَمْ يَقْبَلْ هُدَى اللهِ الَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِه»


(The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed the rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. And another portion of it was hard, it held the rain water and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, grazing, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation purposes. And another portion of it fell on barren land, which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation. The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah's religion and gets benefit, as well as benefiting others (from the knowledge and guidance) which Allah has revealed through me and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not embrace Allah's guidance revealed through me.) This parable uses water in it. In another Hadith that Imam Ahmad collected, Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,


«مَثَلِي وَمَثَلُكُمْ كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ اسْتَوْقَدَ نَارًا فَلَمَّا أَضَاءَتْ مَا حَوْلَهُ، جَعَلَ الْفَرَاشُ وَهَذِهِ الدَّوَابُّ الَّتِي يَقَعْنَ فِي النَّارِ يَقَعْنَ فِيهَا، وَجَعَلَ يَحْجُزُهُنَّ وَيغْلِبْنَهُ فَيَقْتَحِمْنَ فِيهَا قَالَ : فَذَلِكُمْ مَثَلِي وَمَثَلُكُمْ، أَنَا آخِذٌ بِحُجَزِكُمْ عَنِ النَّارِ، هَلُمَّ عَنِ النَّارِ، فَتَغْلِبُونِي، فَتَقْتَحِمُونَ فِيهَا»


(My example and the example of you is like that of a person who lit a fire. When the fire illuminated his surroundings, butterflies and insects started falling into it, as they usually do, and he started swatting at them to prevent them from falling; but they overwhelmed him and kept falling into the fire. This is the parable of me and you, I am holding you by the waist trying to save you from the Fire, saying, "Go away from the Fire,'' yet you overwhelm me and fall into it.) The Two Sahihs also collected this Hadith. This is a parable using fire.


﴿لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُواْ لِرَبِّهِمُ الْحُسْنَى وَالَّذِينَ لَمْ يَسْتَجِيبُواْ لَهُ لَوْ أَنَّ لَهُمْ مَّا فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعاً وَمِثْلَهُ مَعَهُ لاَفْتَدَوْاْ بِهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمْ سُوءُ الْحِسَـبِ وَمَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ وَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ ﴾


(18. For those who answered their Lord's call is Al-Husna. But those who answered not His call, if they had all that is in the earth together with its like, they would offer it in order to save themselves. For them there will be the terrible reckoning. Their dwelling place will be Hell; and worst indeed is that place for rest.)


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