By Imam Murtadha Gusau
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation. May the salutations of Allah, His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family, his companions and his true and sincere followers until the Last Day – then to proceed:
Dear brothers and sisters! Whilst Allah has narrated many incidents in the lives of the Prophets, He has also given subtle but significant tributes to some other people, who came to their timely aid in times of persecution, crisis, and difficulty.
The Qur’an is the most truthful, beneficial, authentic and genuine source of guidance for mankind, which surpasses in credibility and efficacy any other work of literature that exists on earth.
This is a Book for one and all. In the Qur’an, the reflective believer will come across numerous analogies, parables, facts, exhortations, and other narratives that will serve as relevant food for thought for them, pertaining to any situation or event that they might be going through in their lives.
This is just one of the amazing miracles of the Qur’an: it will directly or indirectly provide guidance and subtle references to people and situations, which a reflective believer will be able to relate to immediately. Almost uncannily, like a momentous epiphany, they will suddenly become enlightened about what to do in order to proceed with wisdom and discretion to resolve their dilemma or predicament.
• Tough Times Come with Silver Linings
As many gurus, intellectuals, scholars, experts and wise people have timelessly exhorted that, bad things happen in life for a reason, and almost always bring about some good. So many people who are hailed as historical heroes today, whose names have become famous and recognisable, were severely tried, tested and suffered when they were alive.
Many got killed whilst taking a stand for the cause that they believed in, which they fought for, and for which they were mercilessly persecuted by the people of their time.
The Prophets of Allah are no exception. Each one of the Prophets endured difficult and trying times during their lives, which made them and their causes for propagating the guidance of Allah to mankind, stronger and more firm in effect and benefit.
In the noble Qur’an, whilst Allah has narrated many incidents in the lives of the Prophets, He has also given subtle but significant tributes to some other people, who came to their timely aid in times of persecution, crisis, and difficulty.
• The Informer of Prophet Musa
In Surah Al-Qasas, Allah narrates how Prophet Musa (AS) accidentally killed a Copt when coming to the aid of one of the oppressed Israelites. It was an accidental death that resulted in him being persecuted by the rulers.
In this situation, an unnamed man came running from a farther corner of the city, to inform Prophet Musa that he was about to be arrested and killed in return for the accidental death of the Copt. Allah Almighty says:
“And [then and there] a man came running from the farthermost end of the city, and said: “O Musa! Behold, the great ones [of the kingdom] are deliberating upon your case with a view to killing you! Be gone, then. Verily, I am of those who wish you well!” [Qur’an, 28:20]
It was the help of this hero, which allowed Prophet Musa (AS) to escape and run away from the city in time, and save himself from being killed.
• The Helper of Antioch
A similar helper of Prophets, and his honourable actions, are given a raving tribute by Allah in verse 36:20.
This sincere and eloquent helper came to the aid of two Prophets of Allah in the city of Antioch. He publicly urged the people around him to follow them both, and to support their cause. He did this when the people had rejected the Prophet’s message, and were threatening to kill them both.
His name is reported to have been Habib, and he was a poor but charitable man suffering from leprosy, who had believed in the two Prophet’s message of monotheism. He bravely came to their aid when the people were trying to kill them. As a result of his bravery and sacrifice in supporting the two messengers of Allah, he was also killed by his people. He died a very violent death by being stoned and stomped upon. [Tafsir Kathir]
Allah gives this helper a glorious tribute in the Qur’an, by mentioning the words he said when he was admitted into Paradise. He said:
“Would that my people knew that my Lord has forgiven me, and made me of the honoured ones!” [Qur’an, 36:26-27]
Even after dying, he was sincere to his people.
• The Witness for Prophet Yusuf (AS)
When Prophet Yusuf (AS) was thrown into a well by his brothers, because they wanted him out of their lives, he ended up being sold as a slave in Egypt. Allah granted him help in the form of the rich man who bought him, named Aziz. This man, his owner, was very kind to him and gave him a good dwelling in his own home. For some time, Prophet Yusuf lived a comfortable, safe life, before he was tested again.
Prophet Yusuf grew up to become a very handsome young man. One day, he was seduced by Aziz’s wife. As he turned to run away from her, she grabbed at his shirt, tearing it from the back. As they both reached the door leading outside, they found Aziz. A hue and cry ensued.
His wife promptly slandered Prophet Yusuf (AS) with attempted rape. At this point, a helper eloquently came forward, and put forth a fool-proof test of determining Yusuf’s innocence. He urged Aziz to look at from which angle Yusuf’s shirt was torn: if it was torn from behind, it meant that she was guilty, and he was the innocent victim. [Qur’an, 12:26-27]
This clear evidential proof helped establish Prophet Yusuf’s innocence and absolved him of the crime that his mistress was accusing him of.
Once again, the Prophet’s sincere helper is not named in the Qur’an, but Allah refers to him as “Shahid” (a witness), and has recorded his valuable words in His Divine writ, for all time to come.
• Appreciate the Modern Helpers
Like I said, the Qur’an provides timeless guidance for every situation that sincere believers can find themselves in. In the contemporary world, any Muslim who treads the path of the Prophets of Allah, by telling the truth and inviting others to the way of monotheism, is at risk of persecution, slander, hate and even death by murder.
Such Muslims should always remember that, no matter how bleak and dire the situation, Allah will send them His help in the form of anonymous and unknown helpers, who will try to rescue them, support them, acquit them, or facilitate their escape from harm.
We should always remember to appreciate them, just the way Allah appreciated the helpers who supported His Prophets in the past.
All praises and thanks are due to Allah alone, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: [email protected] or +2348038289761.