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3 Enlightening Stories from the Quran

From among trillions and trillions of incidents that have occurred throughout human history, Allah picked just a few to narrate in the Quran. Obviously, these stories are special.

Let us look at some of these stories and what lessons we might take from them.

Story 1

One day a man was passing through a ruined town. As he saw its ruinous condition, he wondered, ‘How will Allah bring this to life after its death?’ (Quran, 2:259)

Allah answered his question by putting him to death for a hundred years and then reviving him. The man thought that only a day or less had passed. But Allah informed him that it had been a century.

Look at your food and your drink; it has not changed with time. And look at your donkey; and We will make you a sign for the people. And look at the bones [of this donkey] – how We raise them and then We cover them with flesh.’ And when it became clear to him, he said, ‘I know that Allah is over all things competent. (Quran, 2:259)

The story tells us the reality of resurrection. Just like this man was resurrected after so much time had passed, we will also be resurrected after our deaths.

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Story 2

There was a place called Saba which Allah had blessed plentifully with water. The ancient kings of Saba built a big, strong dam to capture the water for irrigation, so that soon the place was thriving in all kinds of beautiful trees and fruits.

But then in all this prosperity they forgot Allah, and even started worshiping the sun. So Allah punished them by taking away His blessings. Rats gnawed the dam and made holes in it. Soon the dam exploded and people and fertile land blown away.

There was for [the tribe of] Saba’ in their dwelling place a sign: two [fields of] gardens on the right and on the left. [They were told], “Eat from the provisions of your Lord and be grateful to Him. A good land [have you], and a forgiving Lord.” But they turned away [refusing], so We sent upon them the flood of the dam, and We replaced their two [fields of] gardens with gardens of bitter fruit, tamarisks and something of sparse lote trees. [By] that We repaid them because they disbelieved. (Quran, 34:15-17)

This story is a lesson when we’re in times of ease and prosperity, when it’s very easy to forget that all these blessings are from Allah and He can take it away at any moment if He wills. We must be aware of this all the time and give thanks to Allah, as He said:

If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe. (Quran, 14:7)

Story 3

Zayd ibn Harithah, the freed slave and adopted son of Prophet Muhammad, was married to Zaynab bint Jahsh. Their marriage wasn’t very happy, and Zayd wanted separation. But the Prophet asked him not to do so.

Allah revealed to the Prophet that he must allow them to be divorced. Then Allah married Zaynab to the Prophet.

. . . We married her to you in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort concerning the wives of their adopted sons when they no longer have need of them. And ever is the command of Allah accomplished. (Quran, 33:37)

Both Zayd and Zaynab are among the high-ranking companions. Zayd is the only companion mentioned by name in the Quran. He was beloved to the Prophet (peace be upon him), and after him, his son Usamah. He was killed whilst commanding the Muslim forces at the battle of Mu’tah.

Zaynab was one of the Mothers of the Believers. She excelled in goodness, especially in giving charity.

But despite their excellence, these two companions couldn’t make a successful marriage. They had quarrels and bitterness to such an extent that they had to separate.

What this teaches us is that when a couple gets as divorce, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one or the other (or both) of them are bad people or have some character problem. It simply means that they weren’t compatible with each other.

We mustn’t leap to the worst conclusion but give others the benefit of doubt, and leave judgment to Allah.

Republished from Understand Quran.