Download PDF: [S] The Example of the Spider

Those who have as their protectors the idols and their temples, Allah azza wajal has given us a very thought provoking example of these peoples actual state. In Ankabut (29), verse 41, the Qur’an declares that:


مَثَلُ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّخَذُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللہِ اَوْلِیَآءَ کَمَثَلِ الْعَنۡکَبُوۡتِۖۚ اِتَّخَذَتْ بَیۡتًا ؕ وَ اِنَّ اَوْہَنَ الْبُیُوۡتِ لَبَیۡتُ الْعَنۡکَبُوۡتِ ۘ لَوْ کَانُوۡا یَعْلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۴۱﴾

“The example of those who have made guardians other than Allah is like the spider.

She has made a house of cobweb. And undoubtedly, the frailest of all houses is the house

of the spider. What a good thing it would have been if they knew.”


When a spider creates its home it has this impression that it is sitting in a very secure environment. Yet, its home cannot be protected against the rain, heat, etc. If there is a slight wind, the entire house is destroyed. This is the same state of people who have made their temples and idols as their protectors and patrons. They believe that these feeble temples and idols can actually protect and guard them. Yet, like the house of the spider, they are under a false impression in their self-conceived sense of security. If people can only understand this important fact, it would certainly be better for them.


The spider is certainly a very strange animal. It has eight legs and six eyes. It is also one of those creatures which is able to survive on their own. However, it is also considered a very greedy animal. We all know that its favourite food is flies and other insects. It also has a habit of waiting for days on end for a food source to approach it. It does not go looking for food. It sits and wait, and when any insect approaches too close to the web, it becomes instant meal.


One of the incidents in Islamic history which makes mention of this animal is that during the Hijrah when the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam and Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Radi Allahu ‘Anhu entered the cave there was a spiders web at the entrance and a pigeon also laid an egg at the entrance. (Tafseer Saawi, 3/197)


Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali Radi Allahu ‘Anhu has also stated that, “Clear the cob webs in your house because it brings with it poverty and destitution.” (Khazaainul Irfaan, 276)