Friday Prayer

Prophets in holy Qur’an (30)

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ بِجَمِیعِ مَحَامِدِه کُلِّهَا عَلَی جَمِیعِ نِعَمِهِ کُلِّهَا… اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ مالِکِ الْمُلْکِ مُجْرِی الْفُلْکِ مُسَخِّرِ الرِّیاحِ فالِقِ الاْصْباحِ دَیّانِ الدّینِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمینَ اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی حِلْمِهِ بَعْدَ عِلمِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی عَفْوِهِ بَعْدَ قُدْرَتِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی طُولِ اَناتِهِ فی غَضَبِهِ وَهُوَ قادِرٌ عَلی ما یُریدُ

Praise is to God with all his praises, for all his blessings. . . Praise is to God, the owner of the property, the operator of the orbit, the bender of the wind, the glory of the morning, the religion of the beliefs, lord of the worlds; praise is to God for his dream after his knowledge and thank God for forgiveness after his power, and praise be to God for his long patience in his wrath and he is capable to do what he wills 

و نشهد أن لا اله الا الله وحده لا شریک له، و أَنَّ محمداً عبده و رسوله ارسله بالهدی و دین الحق لیظهره علی الدین کله و لو کره المشرکون اوصیکم عبادالله و نفسی بتقوی الله و اتباع امره و نهیه، و اخوفکم من عقابه

And we bear witness that there is no god but God alone, without partner, and that Muhammad is his servant and messenger, he sent him with guidance and the religion of truth, that he might proclaim it over all religion, even if the polytheists hated it.

Evidence and proof of the validity of the prophet Saleh

The people of Thamud had presented two arguments in rejecting Saleh’s invitation. Their first argument was that the call to abandon idolatry is heresy and causes the ancient tradition of the people of Thamud to be forgotten and the foundation of the nation of this people to be destroyed and their history to get ruined, “and therefore it is necessary for us to reject this invitation and defend our ancestral tradition.”

And their second argument was that “you did not provide any clear evidence to prove the legitimacy of your invitation to turn our doubts into certainty.”

The prophet Saleh presented evidence to whom asked for evidence to verify the validity of his prophetic claim. Asking for proof of great claims such as prophet-hood and divine mission, as well as any other great claim, is a rational thing and in accordance with the instructions of the holy Qur’an. According to the Qur’an, the prophet Saleh first pointed to the effect of presenting evidence and proof on his mission, and claimed that after seeing this proof, opposition to his divine invitation would no longer be justified:

قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُ عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّي وَآتَانِي مِنْهُ رَحْمَةً فَمَنْ يَنْصُرُنِي مِنَ اللَّهِ إِنْ عَصَيْتُهُ؟ فَمَا تَزِيدُونَنِي غَيْرَ تَخْسِيرٍ؛

He said, ‘O my people! Tell me, should I stand on a manifest proof from my Lord, and He has granted me His own mercy, who will protect me from Allah should I disobey Him? For then you will increase me in nothing but loss. (Hood: 63)

Evidence and proof of the divine mission are of two types: speech evidence, practical evidence

The people of wisdom and understanding, the intellectuals and the properties of society, understand the truth of the claims of the prophets and the divinity of their invitation with their intellect and do not need miracles, unlike the common people who need visible evidence. In the words of Avicenna, “the closer to the senses, the more comprehensible to the masses, and the closer to reason, the better to understand by the properties of the society.”

However, Saleh the prophet, like other divine prophets, presented some practical evidence and sensory miracle in order to satisfy the masses of people. The holy Qur’an says:

وَيَا قَوْمِ هَذِهِ نَاقَةُاللَّهِ لَكُمْ آيَةً فَذَرُوهَا تَأْكُلْ فِي أَرْضِ اللَّهِ وَلَا تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابٌ قَرِيبٌ؛

O my people! This she-camel of Allah is a sign for you. Let her graze [freely] in Allah’s land, and do not cause her any harm, for then you shall be seized by a prompt punishment.’ (Hood: 64)

Naqah, the sesory miracle of the prophet Saleh

The fact that in this verse and in some other verses of the holy Qur’an, the word “Naqa” is added to the word “Allah” does not mean that God has a camel, but it is an ‘addition’ to express the value of that camel. And it means that this camel was a sign and a miracle for the prophecy of Saleh, through which God has confirmed the prophet-hood of that esteemed person. In this miracle, at the request of the people of Thamud, the prophet Saleh brought a baby camel out of the belly of the mountain, and after announcing this miracle, he said to the people of Thamud: “This naqa must graze freely in the land of God”, and warned them if they had somehow harassed, beaten, wounded, or killed that animal, they would get punished sooner or later.

Rumi makes spiritual use of this divine miracle and says to God:

When Saleh’s nagah was born of the mountains, I became sure that the mountain might become a beautiful camel with your good news;

No one’s face is rosy without your wish, if it was red without you, it would be the result of a rouge;

What did the water know that would become the gem, what did the soil know that would become the grief of the sorrow;

Your breath refreshed the black dust on his head, or all would get colored or would get famous;

The importance of this divine miracle is so great that God considers it a messenger from Himself and says:إِنَّا مُرْسِلُو النَّاقَةِ فِتْنَةً لَهُمْ فَارْتَقِبْهُمْ وَاصْطَبِرْ؛ وَنَبِّئْهُمْ أَنَّ الْمَاءَ قِسْمَةٌ بَيْنَهُمْ كُلُّ شِرْبٍ مُحْتَضَرٌ؛ We are sending the She-camel as a trial for them; so watch them and be steadfast.Inform them that the water is to be shared between them; each of them showing up at his turn.’ (Qamar: 27-28)

Numerous verses of the holy Qur’an speak of this female camel with valuable interpretations; also prophet Saleh has repeatedly emphasized the observance of the Naqah in order not to be caught in the divine torment. The main thing that the prophet Saleh asked about the Naqah was about her water. It is known that the region was desert and the people of Thamud were suffering from water shortage, so it was difficult for unbelievers to observe the state of “Naqah Allah” and allow that animal to use the water in the nature of that region. While taking care of that camel was considered a sign of faith and means of saving the people of Thamud:

قَالَ هَذِهِ نَاقَةٌ لَهَا شِرْبٌ وَلَكُمْ شِرْبُ يَوْمٍ مَعْلُومٍ؛ وَلَا تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابُ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ؛

He said, ‘This is a she-camel; she shall drink and you shall drink on known days. Do not cause her any harm, for then you shall be seized by the punishment of a terrible day.’ (Sho’ara: 155-156)

فَقَالَ لَهُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ نَاقَةَ اللَّهِ وَسُقْيَاهَا؛

The apostle of Allah had told them, ‘This is Allah’s she-camel, let her drink!’ (Shams: 13)

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