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Page 12

The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 11

Page 13

The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 11







An account of Saeed-bin-Jubair, who is a famous Tabie. The Prophet

(PBUH) has said:

“To utter truth in the face of a tyrant is the best Jihad.”

This is a story of Jihad of that type. At that time, Hajjaj-bin-Yusuf, the

notorious blood-shedder was in power. Hajjaj’s harshness and tyranny

are well known in human history. The rules in those days, in spite of

their shortcomings, never lagged behind in propagating the faith, yet

we treat them as the worst among rules because of the contrast with

the just and God- fearing rulers. He was the viceroy of king Abdul

Malik-bin-Marwan for Hijaz and Iraq. The king lived in Damascus and

Hajjaj had his headquarters at Koofah. Saeed-bin-Jubair had fought

against Hajjaj on the side of Ibnul-Ashath. After the defeat, Saeed (Rah-

matullah alaih) ran away and took asylum inMecca. The Government

posted a very stern person as the Governor of Mecca, with instructions

to arrest Saeed. The Governor assembled all the people of Mecca and

read before them the order of King Abdul Malik, which said:

“Any person who gives shelter to Saeed (Rahmatullah alaih) shall meet

the same fate as Saeed himself.”

He then announced to the people:

“By Allah, I must kill the personwho gives shelter to Saeed (Rahmatullah

alaih). His and his neighbors’ houses shall be razed to the ground.”

Saeed was arrested with great difficulty and sent to Koofah. When

he was brought before Hajjaj, the following conversation took place:

Hajjaj: “What is your name?”

Saeed: “My name is Saeed (lit. Auspicious).”

Hajjaj: “What is your father’s name?”

Saeed: “Jubair (lit. Trimmed).”

Hajjaj: “No, you are in fact Shaqi (lit. Wretched) son of Kusair (lit. a

broken thing).”

Saeed: “My mother knew my name better than you do.”

Hajjaj: “You are wretched and so is your mother.”

Saeed: “The Knower of the hidden things is some One else.”

Hajjaj: “Look! I am putting you to sword.”

Saeed: “Then my mother was right in giving me this name.”

Hajjaj: “I shall send you to Hell.”

Saeed: “If I knew that you had that power, I would have taken you

as my god.”

Hajjaj: “What is your belief about the Prophet (SAW)?”

Saeed: “He was an apostle of Mercy and a Prophet of Allah, sent with

the best Guidance for the whole creation.”

Hajjaj: “What do you say about the Khalifas?”

Saeed: “I am not a warder over them. Everybody is responsible for

his own actions.”

Hajjaj: “Who is the most exalted of the four Khalifahs?”

Saeed: “The one who had been able to please Allah more than the


Hajjaj: “Which of them had been able to please Allah?”

Saeed: “This is known only to Him. Who knows what is hidden in the

bosoms and what the hearts conceal.”

Hajjaj: “Is Ali in Paradise or in Hell?”

Saeed: “I can answer only after I visit the two places and meet their


Hajjaj: “How shall I fare on the Day of Judgment?”

Saeed: “I am not fit to receive the knowledge of the unseen?”

Hajjaj: “You do not intend to tell me the truth.”

Saeed: “But I did not tell a lie either.”

Hajjaj: “Why do you never laugh?”

Saeed: “I do not see anything to laugh at; and indeed why should one

laugh, who is created from dust, who has to appear on the Day of

Judgment, and is always surrounded by tribulations.”

Hajjaj: “But I do laugh.”

Saeed: “Allah has created us with different temperaments.”

Hajjaj: “I am now going to kill you.”

Saeed: “The time andmanner of my death have already been decreed.”

Hajjaj: “Allah has preferred me to you.”

Saeed: “Nobody can be proud of his relation with Allah, unless he

knows his position; and Allah is the only knower of the unseen.”

Hajjaj: “Why should I not be proud of my relation with Allah, when I

am with the Amir-ul- Mominin and you are with the rebels?”

Saeed: “I amwith the otherMuslims. I myself shunmischief, but nobody

can change the decree of Allah.”

Hajjaj: “What do you say about what we collect for Amir-ul-Mominin?”

Saeed: “I do not know what you collect for him.”

Hajjaj sent for gold, silver and dresses from the treasury and showed

these to Saeed.

Saeed: “These are useful, provided you are able to obtain with them

the things that may provide you peace on theDay of Consternation (i.e.

Day of Judgment), when every nursing mother will forget her nursing,

and every pregnant one will be delivered of her burden, and when

nothing but good will be of any avail.”

Hajjaj: “Are our collections not good?”

Saeed: “You have collected them, and you are the best judge.”

Hajjaj: “Do you like any of these things for yourself?”

Saeed: “I only like the things which Allah likes.”

Hajjaj: “Woe to you!”

Saeed: “Woe is for the person who is deprived of Paradise and is made

to enter Hell.”

Hajjaj: “(Annoyed): “Say how should I kill you?”

Saeed: “As you would like to be killed.”

Hajjaj: “Should I forgive you?”

Saeed: “Allah’s forgiveness is real. Your forgiveness is of no value.”

Hajjaj: “(To the executioner): ‘Kill this man.’”

Saeed laughed while he was being taken for execution. Hajjaj was

informed of this. He called him back.

Hajjaj: “What made you laugh?”

Saeed: “Your boldness with Allah, and His clemency to you.”

Hajjaj: “I am killing a person who has caused dissent among the Mus-

lims.” (To the Executioner) “Kill him in front of me.”

Saeed: “Let me say my Salat of two rakaats.”

After finishing Salat, he faced Qiblah and recited:

“Verily, I have turned my face toward Him. Who created the heavens

and earth, as one by nature upright, and I am not of the idolaters.”

Hajjaj: “Turn him from our Qiblah and let him face the Qiblah of

the Christians, who also caused dissension and dispute among their


His face immediately turned to the other direction.

Saeed: “Whithersoever Ye turn, there is Allah’s Face. For Allah is All-Em-

bracing, All-Knowing.” (Quran 2:115)

Hajjaj: “Make him lie on his face. We are only responsible for appear-


Saeed was made to lie on his face.

Saeed:”From the (earth) didWe create you, and into it shall We return

you, and from it shall We bring you out once again.” (Quran 20:55)

Hajjaj: “Kill him!!”

Saeed: “I call you to witness what I recite: “I bear witness that there is

no god except Allah, who is all alone and Who has no partner and I

bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His slave and His Messenger.”

He was then beheaded -- Inna lillahi wa Inna ilaihi rajeun -- To God

We Belong And To Him We Return.

After the execution, too much blood came out from Saeed’s body.

Hajjaj himself marveled greatly at it. He inquired the reason from his

doctors, who said: “His tranquility and composure at the time of death

had kept his blood in its original form. Generally, people to be executed

are so much scared and afraid of death that their blood curdles and

does not flow profusely.”

Similarly, the allegation that the Qur’an was the language of

a soothsayer is equally unfounded. Apart from the fact that a

soothsayer, like anyone else, is prone to forgetfulness as the

years go by, he may need to modify his speech to the needs

of each new situation. Hence came Allah’s remark “Little is it

that ye remember!”

Furthermore, a soothsayer’s words burdened with conventions

of speech which, no matter how elaborate, cannot apply to

more than one situation by using the same words and referring

to one thought. Another miraculous feature of the Qur’an is

its superb use of both metrical composition and prose, in such

exquisite harmony that the shift from one style to the other

is barely perceptible. This intermingling of metrical and non-

metrical composition is present throughout the whole of the

Qur’an, as the following verses exemplify:

“Lo those who ward off (evil) are among gardens and wa-

tersprings. (And it is said unto them: Enter them in peace,

secure. And we remove whatever rancor may be in their

breasts. As brethren, face to face, (they rest) on couches

raised. Toil cometh not unto them there, nor will they be

expelled from thence... Announce (O Muhammad) unto

My slaves that verily I am the Forgiving, the Merciful,

and that My doom is the dolorous doom. And tell them of

Abraham’s guest. (How) when they came unto him, and

said: Peace. He said: Lo! We are afraid of you.” (Quran

Al-Hijr 15:45-52)

When reading the original Arabic of the above verse the reader

moves from metric composition to prose without experiencing

the slightest change of style or mode.

The same mingling of metrical and non- metrical composition

can be observed in the following verse from the Surah of Yusuf

(12). In this chapter, the wife of the ruler al-’Aziz commands

Joseph to come out and face the women, whom she has as-


“Come out unto them! And when they saw him they exalted

him and cut their hands exclaiming: Allah blameless! This

is not a human being. This is no other than some gracious

angel. She said: This is he on whose account ye blamed me.

I asked of him an evil act, but he proved continent, but if he

do not my behest he verily shall be imprisoned, and verily

shall be of those brought low.” (Quran 12:31-32)

Although the original version of the phrase translated as: ‘This is

he on whose account ye blamed me’ is indeed metrical diction

in which the rules and technique of Arabic poetry are observed,

it is almost impossible for the listener to detect the shift from

one form to the other, nor does this exquisite mingling impinge

on the fluidity of expression or impair its meaning.

The Qur’an is truly unique in its composition. It is neither

prose nor verse, deriving its unique and inimitable eloquence

and meaningfulness from the divine attributes and powers of

its Maker. It is these same divine attributes which have set the

Qur’an above emulation and given it its transcendental powers.

When the non-believers failed to detract from the Qur’an’s

credibility or give sound justification for their antagonism to

it, Allah’s speech and message to mankind, they focused their

attack on Muhammad instead. They contended that if Allah

truly sought someone to serve Him as His Messenger to mankind

He would have favored one of their highly esteemed dignitaries.

They argued that Muhammad’s illiteracy and humble status

within the community, as well as his humility, made him ineligi-

ble for such a divine task. This rancorous and conniving strategy

is revealed in the Surah al-Zukhruf (43) where Allah says:

“And now that the Truth has come unto them they say: This

is mere magic, and lo! We are disbelievers therein. And they

say: If only this Qur’an had been revealed to some great man

of the two towns”. (Quran Al-Zukhruf 43:30-31)

These verses show how jealous, resentful, and confused the

idolaters were. Although they described the Qur’an as mere

magic, they nevertheless wished that it had been revealed

to one of their unbelieving dignitaries, knowing that such a

favor would have given them a pretext to herald the view

that Allah had no feud with their idols. It would then have

been easy for them to distort the message to suit their own

ends, to tighten their grip on the minds of their followers

and to ensure their submissiveness while expanding their

wealth and power. To accept the message and abide by its

imperatives and the discipline of Allah however is to forfeit

all this authority and corruption. This hidden trait is revealed

in the Surah al-Qasas:

“And they say: If we were to follow the Guidance with thee

we should be torn out of our land.” (Quran 28:57)












By their resentment of Muhammad and in their defiance of

Allah, the idolaters consciously unveiled their hidden belief in

the truth of the message and its miraculous nature. The very

choice of Muhammad (SAW) as the recipient of Allah’s Message

was itself miraculous. Still another miracle of the Qur’an can

be found in the mysterious usage of the so-called Muqatta’at

letters that occur in certain chapters.

The choice of Muhammad (SAW) as the Messenger of Allah

was miraculous because he could neither read nor write. He

had no knowledge of the skills of literature, yet he reached to

mankind in a language that was unique in terms of its clarity,

intelligibility and its inimitability. All these factors were clear

indications to the Qur’an’s divine origin. An illiterate can utter

words and reproduce sentences, but to construct new ones is

something which no illiterate has been known to do.

Many of the passages revealed to Muhammad began with the

letters of the Arabic alphabet, such as alif, lam, mim as a further

challenge to the skeptics. Despite his illiteracy, Muhammad was

able to pronounce those letters in which he had no education

and which he had never previously heard spoken.

If the Qur’an were of Muhammad’s (SAW) own making, the

pronunciation of the letters of the alphabet, which he had not

learnt, would have been beyond his ability, for only a person

who had learnt how to read and write could identify these

letters and utter them correctly.