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.
- Not hindering the guidance of others, having freedom in choosing the path of happiness
The wise point that the holy Qur’an conveys as a message of prophet Shu’ayb to the people of Madain is that they should not prevent others people from hearing the truth that if they are interested in hearing. The holy Qur’an narrates that Shu’ayb said to the elders of the people of Madain:
وَلَا تَقْعُدُوا بِكُلِّ صِرَاطٍ تُوعِدُونَ وَتَصُدُّونَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ مَنْ آمَنَ بِهِ وَتَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا، وَاذْكُرُوا إِذْ كُنْتُمْ قَلِيلًا فَكَثَّرَكُمْ، وَانْظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ؛ وَإِنْ كَانَ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْكُمْ آمَنُوا بِالَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ وَطَائِفَةٌ لَمْ يُؤْمِنُوا فَاصْبِرُوا حَتَّى يَحْكُمَ اللَّهُ بَيْنَنَا، وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْحَاكِمِينَ؛
And do not lie in wait on every road to threaten and bar those who have faith in Him from the way of Allah, seeking to make it crooked. Remember when you were few, and He multiplied you, and observe how was the fate of the agents of corruption. If a group of you have believed in what I have been sent with, and a group have not believed, be patient until Allah judges between us, and He is the best of judges.’ (A’raf: 86-87)
This divine message is the message of setting people free in the path of seeking the truth and finding the right beliefs and searching for the best words, which the holy Qur’an says: فَبَشِّرْ عِبَادِ؛ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَمِعُونَ الْقَوْلَ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ أَحْسَنَهُ أُولَئِكَ الَّذِينَ هَدَاهُمُ اللَّهُ وَأُولَئِكَ هُمْ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ As for those who stay clear of the worship of fake deities and turn penitently to Allah, there is good news for them. So give good news to My servants; who listen to the word [of Allah] and follow the best [interpretation] of it. They are the ones whom Allah has guided, and it is they who possess intellect. (Zomor: 17-18)
The response of Al-Aike people to the words of the prophet Shu’ayb
The holy Qur’an explains more about the people of Madain and Shu’ayb’s conversation with them. However, talking about the Aike people, it only deals with their stubbornness and illogical response to the steadfast logic of the prophet Shu’ayb. It also quotes his enemies words, who ask him for punishment from of God:
قَالُوا إِنَّمَا أَنْتَ مِنَ الْمُسَحَّرِينَ؛ وَمَا أَنْتَ إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِثْلُنَا وَإِنْ نَظُنُّكَ لَمِنَ الْكَاذِبِينَ؛ فَأَسْقِطْ عَلَيْنَا كِسَفًا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ إِنْ كُنْتَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ؛
They said, ‘Indeed you are one of the bewitched. You are just a human being like us, and we indeed consider you to be a liar. Make a fragment of the sky falls upon us, should you be truthful.’ (Sho’ara: 185-187)
We are familiar to such illogical answers from other tribes of prophets as well, which are signs of their weakness and incapacity against the rational words of divine prophets. Words that can be understood and acknowledged by all people and are in accordance with the divine nature of people.
A lesson for others, or a model for them
At the end of the history of this nation, divine punishment will descend on them and will erase such a nation from the earth. The holy Qur’an considers the fate of this nation as a lesson for future generations and says:
فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَأَخَذَهُمْ عَذَابُ يَوْمِ الظُّلَّةِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ؛ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَةً وَمَا كَانَ أَكْثَرُهُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ؛
So they impugned him, and then they were overtaken by the punishment of the day of the overshadowing cloud. It was indeed the punishment of a terrible day. There is indeed a sign in that; but most of them do not have faith. (Sho’ara: 189-190)
The remarkable thing in the history of the Aike tribe is that they became an “example” for future generations, not a “model”. In both cases, learning is discussed, but in the case of “example” it means that others try not to act like them, but in the case of “model” others try to act like them. And this is a great lesson for all human beings that we should act in a way to be a “model” for others and not a “lesson”. The Afghan poet says about the situation in Afghanistan after the victory of the people in expelling the Soviet forces and the following events:
Oh the hope of the sleeping people! Remember yourselves, you are thirsty! Remember “Ohud”.
Let’s not drink from this river, which is poisonous, we should dive and pass, because the bridge is worn out.
Oh, if our story becomes a “lesson” of the history, the tent of the caravan will be nailed by us
The conversation between the leaders of the Madain tribe and the prophet Shu’ayb
The holy Qur’an narrates the words of the leaders of the people of Madain addressing the prophet Shu’ayb and his reaction in more detail. This discussion and argument takes place in several stages, and the heads of the tribe introduce various problems to Shu’ayb’s teachings:
- The illusion of hindering the freedom
The first problem of the heads of Madain’s tribe was that they said to Shu’ayb, “Why are you preventing our freedom of worship and our freedom of action regarding our property? We ourselves should be free to choose our own god, and we should be free to own our property as we please:
قَالُوا يَا شُعَيْبُ أَصَلَاتُكَ تَأْمُرُكَ أَنْ نَتْرُكَ مَا يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُنَا أَوْ أَنْ نَفْعَلَ فِي أَمْوَالِنَا مَا نَشَاءُ إِنَّكَ لَأَنْتَ الْحَلِيمُ الرَّشِيدُ؛
They said, ‘O Shu‘ayb, does your worship require that we abandon what our fathers have been worshiping, or that we should not do with our wealth whatever we wish? You are indeed [a] gentle and sensible [person].’ (Hood: 87)
They then threatened him with exile and expulsion from his city and homeland, unless he renounces his religion and mission and follows their religion:
قَالَ الْمَلَأُ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا مِنْ قَوْمِهِ لَنُخْرِجَنَّكَ يَا شُعَيْبُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَكَ مِنْ قَرْيَتِنَا أَوْ لَتَعُودُنَّ فِي مِلَّتِنَا، قَالَ أَوَلَوْ كُنَّا كَارِهِينَ؟
The elite of his people who were arrogant said, ‘O Shu’ayb, we will surely expel you and the faithful who are with you from our town, or else you shall revert to our creed.’ He said, ‘What! Even if we should be unwilling?! (A’raf: 88)
In fact, these were the leaders of the Madain people who were against the freedom of belief and freedom of religion and tried to force Shu’ayb and his followers to abandon their religion.