Download PDF: [S] The King, the Monk, the Magician
Pertaining to the people of the ditch or “Ashaabul Ukhdud”, there are various opinions.
Hadrat Suhaib – may Allah be pleased with him – reveals that this was a King in the past who used to claim that he was the Divine Lord. He also had a magician in his court who was one of his favourite subjects.
One day, this magician informed the King, “I am becoming old, therefore, you should send a young man to me so that I can teach him all of my magic.”
The King accepted this request and sent an intelligent young man to be the student of this magician. This young man continued to visit the magician everyday so that he could learn all the tricks of the trade. However, on the way to his classroom, a very pious monk also resided on this road. One day, the young man decided to visit this monk and liked his conversation very much. Every day, as he visited the magician, he also made sure that he visited this monk so that he could learn something about religion.
One day, on his way, he saw a very large creature on the road that seemed extremely dangerous. The young man picked up a large stone and said, “O Allah! If this religion (of the monk) is much more accepted in your Divine Court than that of the magician, then this stone on its own will destroy this dangerous animal.”
After making this Du’a, the young man threw the stone at this animal. People were shocked to see that such a large animal immediately died when it was hit with such a small stone.
When the young man visited the monk, he mentioned what had happened. The monk then informed him, “O young man, there is no doubt that you have an immense stature in the Divine Court of Allah Almighty and very soon you will be placed in extreme trial and test. When this happens, you must not inform anyone about me and you must also display patience”.
Thereafter, this young man began to display such miracles that even the blind and lepers could be cured at his hands.
An oppressive ruler.
Slowly, the fame of this young began to spread far and wide and even reached the court of this tyrant King. At the same time, another close associate of the King who was blind decided to visit this young man secretly and also took a lot of gifts with him. He asked the young man to make a special Du’a for him. The young man replied that if the person brought Imaam on Allah Almighty, he would make Du’a for him. The person then brought Imaan and the young man made a special Du’a for him. His eyesight immediately returned.
When this person visited the King, the King asked him how he had gained his eyesight. He replied, “My Lord had returned my vision to me.”
The King became extremely angry and asked, “Do you have another Lord besides me?”
The person replied, “Yes, and He is the Lord of both of us.”
The King decided to punish him and asked him who had taught him these things. The person then revealed the name of the young man. The young man was then captured and was so severely beaten that he eventually revealed the name of the monk. When the monk was arrested, he was also severely beaten and told to leave his religion, but he insisted that even if he is killed, he will not leave his religion. When he heard this reply, the King then prepared a large fire. He then had this monks head cut in half with a saw.
He turned to his soldiers and told them to take this young man and throw him from the top of a mountain. When they took this young man to the top of the mountain, he made a special Du’a. A severe tremor appeared, with the result all of these soldiers were killed.
This young man then returned safely and stood in front of the King. When the King saw this, he ordered his soldiers to take the young man in a boat and when they reached the middle of the ocean, they should throw him overboard. When they reached the middle of the ocean, again the young man made a special Du’a and all of the soldiers were drowned. He returned safely and stood in front of the King again.
By now, the King was completely confused and did not know what to do. However, the young man replied, “If you wish to kill me, then there is only condition in which this can be done. Place me on a platform and after reading the ‘Bismillah’, you may release an arrow towards me. In this way, I will certainly become martyred.”
In this way, this young man was martyred.
However, for the King, the complete opposite was achieved. Hundreds of people who saw the way in which this young man was martyred suddenly shouted that they had accepted the Lord of this young man. Obviously, the King became even more furious. He then decided to dig a large trench and start a fire in this trench. As the flames became more intense, he decided to throw these believers into this fire. In this manner, seventy seven believers were martyred.
Finally, a lady approached carrying her young child and the king had also decided to throw her into the fire. At the final moment, she began to hesitate, but her little child, who was still breast feeding, said, “O my mother! Have patience. You are indeed on truth.”
When the mother heard the words of her young baby, her Imaan became stronger and finally, this tyrant King had the mother and child thrown into the fire.
This tyrant king was also sitting next to this large trench with all his friends and supporters enjoying this spectacle. They were also laughing at what these believers were going through. Suddenly, the Divine Punishment of Allah Almighty befell them. The flames of this fire rose to such a height that it also swallowed this King and all his friends. They were all burnt to ashes. As for the other believers who had not yet approached this fire, they were saved. (Tafseer Saawi, 4/247,248)
This incident is also mentioned in Surah Buruj verses 4-10.
قُتِلَ اَصْحٰبُ الْاُخْدُوۡدِ ۙ﴿۴﴾ النَّارِ ذَاتِ الْوَقُوۡدِ ۙ﴿۵﴾ اِذْ ہُمْ عَلَیۡہَا قُعُوۡدٌ ۙ﴿۶﴾ وَّ ہُمْ عَلٰی مَا یَفْعَلُوۡنَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِیۡنَ شُہُوۡدٌ ؕ﴿۷﴾ وَ مَا نَقَمُوۡا مِنْہُمْ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ یُّؤْمِنُوۡا بِاللہِ الْعَزِیۡزِ الْحَمِیۡدِ ۙ﴿۸﴾ الَّذِیۡ لَہٗ مُلْکُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الْاَرْضِ ؕ وَ اللہُ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ شَہِیۡدٌ ؕ﴿۹﴾ اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ فَتَنُوا الْمُؤْمِنِیۡنَ وَ الْمُؤْمِنٰتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ یَتُوۡبُوۡا فَلَہُمْ عَذَابُ جَہَنَّمَ وَ لَہُمْ عَذَابُ الْحَرِیۡقِ ﴿ؕ۱۰﴾
“Accursed be the People of the Ditch! The people of the fuelled blazing fire. When they were sitting at its edge. And they themselves are witnesses to what they were doing to the Muslims! And what did they dislike from the Muslims, except that the Muslims accepted faith in Allah the Most Honourable, the Most Praiseworthy? To Him only belongs the kingship of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is a Witness over all things. Indeed those who troubled the Muslim men and Muslim women, and then did not repent – for them is the punishment of hell, and for them is the punishment of fire.”
This incident also teaches us that sincere believers do not doubt their Imaan in times of trial and difficulties. A true believer always remains firm in his belief. When a person is able to achieve this, then there is a great reward for him in this world and the next. He or she are also praised by the Angels.