FAQ in the category of Prophets

1 Where were Hazrat Adam and Hazrat Hawwa (Eve) buried?

There are various narrations in Islamic sources about where the grave of Hazrat Adam is.  According to Ibn Ishaq, the grave of Adam is somewhere in the east of Paradise; according to other narrations, it is the Abu Qubays cave in Makkah, or in Nevz mountain in India. (see Thalabi 37) According to another narration, Noah put the coffin of Adam on the Ark and buried it in Baytulmaqdis after the deluge. (see ibid; Süleyman Hayri Bolay, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı Ansiklopedisi, İstanbul, 1988: 1/362-363)

Hazrat Hawwa (Eve) died one year after the death of Hazrat Adam and was buried near him. There are various narrations about the grave of Hazrat Adam; similarly, it is not known where the grave of Hazrat Eve is. The grave in Jeddah which was regarded to belong to Hazrat Hawwa and which was visited by Evliya Çelebi, was leveled by the Saudi administration. (see TDV İslam Ansiklopedisi, VII. 524)

2 What are the miracles of Prophet Moses?

Prophet Moses has nine, most famous, known miracles. (The Journey by Night (Al-Isra); 101 (17: 101). They are:

1-      The staff he was holding in his hand turning into a dragon,

2-      His hand becoming white and shining brightly (the white hand),

3-      The miracle of locust disaster,

4-      The miracle of louse disaster,

5-      Hordes of frogs  infesting Egypt,

6-      Water turning to blood,

7-      In Tih desert, twelve fountains squirting out of the rock as he struck the rock with his staff,

8-      The children of Israel passing through the sea by the parting of the sea.

9-      Mount Sinai being picked up from its place and raised above the children of Israel. ((Bilmen, IV/1323-24; Chantay, II/530, note:93)

Of course, the miracles of Moses are not restricted to those only. He has some other miracles, too. However, those are the miracles that became faus.

3 Is Azar the father of Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh)?

It is certain through verses and hadiths that all of the grandfathers of our Prophet are clean believers. To say the opposite means to deny verses and hadiths.

In the 28th verse of the chapter at-Tawbah, it is stated that the polytheists are unclean. It is stated that all of the grandfathers of our Prophet (pbuh) are clean. The following is stated in the chapter ash-Shuara: Wa taqallubaka fissajidin. That is, and thy movements among those who prostrate themselves. When the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah interpreted that verse, they said all of his parents were believers. After the hadiths that state all of his grandfathers are clean believers reported, the following is stated at the beginning of the book Mawahib al-Ladunniyyah:  

Ibn Abbas says: "I transferred you from the generation of one prophet to the generation of another prophet. If a father had two sons, the Messenger of Allah descended from the one that had the prophethood."

The following is stated in a hadith: "You descend from the best men of each century." [Bukhari]

"Allah chose Kinana among the sons of Ismael, the Quraysh among the sons of Kinana and sons of Hashim among the Quraysh. And He chose me among them." [Muslim]

"I descend from the best people. My ancestors are the best people." [Tirmidhi]

"Allah chose me among the distinguished people of Arabia. I descend from the best people." [Tabarani]

"None of my grandparents committed fornication. I descend from the best fathers and clean mothers. If one of my grandfathers had two sons, I descended from the better one." [Mawahib]

"All of my ancestors beginning from Hazrat Adam were married couples. I am the best of you in terms of ancestors." [Daylami]

"I am the most honorable person among people. I am not saying it in order to boast." [Daylami]

[That is, I am informing you about the truth; it is my duty to inform you about the truth; if I do not mention it, I will be regarded to have failed to fulfill my duty.)

Those hadiths and the verse in the chapter ash-Shuara indicate that all of the grandparents of our Prophet (pbuh) are clean believers.

Since unbelievers are dirty, it is impossible for the father of Hazrat Ibrahim to become an unbeliever.

Mullah Jami says: "A holy light shone on the forehead of Hazrat Adam because he had a particle of Muhammad (pbuh). That particle was transferred to Hazrat Eve, to Hazrat Seth from her and then to clean women from clean men and to clean men from clean women. That holy light was transferred to foreheads from foreheads together with that particle." [Shawahid]

That holy light was not transferred to an unbeliever or to a believer who committed fornication. Therefore, Azar was not the father of Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh).

The name of Hazrat Ibrahim’s father was Taruh.

Azar was his uncle and stepfather. In the 74th verse of the chapter al-Anam, the following is stated, "Ibrahim said to his father, Azar, ..." It is recorded in the interpretation of Baydawi that here the word father is used as atf al-bayan (an extra word to explain). When someone has two names, and when they are both used, it is understood that one of them is not famous but the second one is famous.

The second one is mentioned in order to clarify the ambiguity in the first one, which is not famous. The second one is called atf al-bayan.

Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) calls two people father. The first one is his own father, and the second one is his stepfather, who is also his uncle. According to the rules of laconic usage, rhetoric and fluency, the meaning of the verse is: Ibrahim said to his father whose name was Azar. If it had not been so, it would have been enough to say, "He said to Azar” or "He said to his father." If Azar had been his real father, the word “his father” would have been extra. We never say, “My father, Ali, is coming but we say, “My father is coming.”

In the Quran, the uncle is called the father. Hazrat Ismael is the uncle of Hazrat Jacob (Yaqub). However, in the Quran, “your father Ismael” is used instead of “your uncle Ismael”. His children say to Hazrat Yaqub, " thy fathers―of Abraham Ismael and Isaac..." (al-Baqara, 2/133) that is, "your father Ibrahim, your father Ismael and your father Isaac...". As a matter of fact, Hazrat Ismael is Hazrat Yaqub’s uncle, not father. It is stated in the interpretations that in the Quran, the uncle is called the father.

It is written in reliable books that Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) called an old peasant, Abu Talib and Hazrat Abbas as father.

It is customary to call the uncle, the stepfather, the father-in-law and charitable people as ‘father’ not only among Arabs but also among other nations.

We call people who help others as “father” or “father of the poor” figuratively. We also call old people “father” to show respect to them.

It is known that old people are called “Mother Aisha”, “Mother Fatima” or “Mother Haji”. When we call them so, it does not mean that they are our fathers or mothers. They are used to show respect.

We also call old men “uncle”, “grandfather”, and old women “aunt”, “grandmother although they are not our relatives.

Accordingly, although the real father of Hazrat Yaqub (pbuh) was Hazrat Isaac, Hazrat Yaqub (pbuh) was addressed “your father Ismael” in the Quran.

In his book, Kitabud-darj-il-munifa, Imam Suyuti proves that Azar is Hazrat Ibrahim’s uncle with evidence and resources.

4 Is it true that Hazrat Dawud (David) (PBUH) was the master of the ironmongers? How did He learn this? What were His other qualities?

Hazrat Dawud (David) (pbuh) comes from the descent of Hazrat Noah) (Nuh) (pbuh) (al-An’am, 6/84) and he was sent as a prophet to the Sons of Israel. It is stated in the Quran that Dawud was given both sovereignty and wisdom (prophethood) after slaying Goliath (al-Baqara, 2/251). In the history of the Sons of Israel, Dawud was the first person to whom prophethood and sovereignty were given together. (Ibn Kathir, Qisasu’l-Anbiya, p. 248). The Quran states that Dawud (pbuh) was given some other things that were not given to other people apart from prophethood and Psalms as a grant and miracle. Hazrat Dawud was a messenger of Allah. The things that were given to him are both evidence for his prophethood and the reward of thanking and worshipping Allah properly. Allah rewards people who thank Him properly.

Apart from a large sovereignty, Hazrat Dawud was given wisdom, understanding, ruling justly, knowledge about what to do and how, knowledge about doing things properly and in time, sticking to what is useful and producing nice things. He decorated his sovereignty with this wisdom; he always did good and beneficial deeds, defined as amal salih by the Quran (2/al-Baqara, 251). 

It is possible to list the characteristics of Hazrat Dawud in the Quran as follows:    

He processed the Iron and made Armor:  

Allah taught Hazrat Dawud to make armor in order to protect Sons of Israel from the intensity of war, and told him to make large armor by softening the iron and to process it in a very nice way.

“It was We Who taught him the making of coats of mail for your benefit, to guard you from each other’s violence: will ye then be grateful? (al-Anbiya, 21/80) “We bestowed Grace aforetime on David from Ourselves: "O ye Mountains! sing ye back the Praises of Allah with him! and ye birds (also)! and We made the iron soft for Him. (Commanding) "Make thou coats of mail, balancing well the rings of chain armor, and work ye righteousness; for be sure I see (clearly) all that ye do." (Saba’, 34/10-11)

When the phrase, " We made the iron soft for Him" is interpreted, it is stated in many tafsir books that that the iron became like candle or mud in the hands of Hazrat Dawud thanks to the grant of Allah and that he shaped iron without using any tools like hammer, etc. ( Tabari, Ibn Atiyya, Radi, interpretation of the relevant verses) 

Doubtlessly, Allah, who imposed the laws of nature, can let some extraordinary things happen when He wishes. Therefore, if those details in the tafsir books had been expressed in the Quran or hadith books, it would have been possible to accept them as true. Besides, it is also regarded appropriate to interpret the verse as Allah encouraging Hazrat Dawud to process the iron and giving him sufficient power and a special skill to do it.  (Kur’an Yolu, Heyet, interpretation of the 10th verse of the chapter Saba’)

In Islamic resources, it is reported that Hazrat Dawud wandered in disguise among people after becoming the ruler and found out about the thoughts of people regarding the activities of the state. Once, when an angel who was in the shape of a man said Dawud (pbuh) was a good person for himself and for his ummah but he made his living through the Treasure, Dawud (pbuh) prayed Allah to show him a way of earning his keep; thereupon, he was taught the art of making armor. According to a narration, he is the first person to make armor and to wear it. In a hadith, Hazrat Prophet said, “Nobody has ever eaten a better meal than that which one has earned by working with one's own hands. The Prophet of Allah, David never ate anything but the earnings of his manual labor” (Bukhari, Buyu’ 15).

The Quran states clearly that Hazrat Dawud is the master of the ironmongers and that he used this skill to make armor in order to protect human blood from being shed. Dawud (pbuh) could have used his skill to make swords. However, he produced a defense weapon not an assault weapon. (Elmalılı, Hak Dini, interpretation of the relevant verses) Besides, the expression, “taught him the making of coats of mail for your benefit, to guard you from each other’s violence” in the chapter of al-Anbiya explains that the wisdom behind teaching how to make armor was to protect man from other men.

The subtlety here is very clear: A prophet can be occupied with good and beneficial works only. Hazrat Prophet encouraged people to work and gave them examples from the history of prophets. To work and to make one’s own living have an important place in Islam. It is a shame and a sin not to work, to sit lazily and to beg although one can work. Hazrat Prophet expressed it in the hadith that has a great social and economic importance. (Bukhari, Buyu’ 15). It is understood from that hadith that Dawud (pbuh) was a skilled artisan that earned his living by working with his hands and without being a burden for anybody.

Mountains and Birds Glorified Allah together with him: 

Allah put mountains and birds under the command of Hazrat Dawud and they joined him in glorifying Allah day and night.  (al-Anbiya, 21/79; Saba’, 34/10; Sad, 38/18-19) According to what is reported in Islamic resources, the voice of Hazrat Dawud was both sonorous and beautiful. When Dawud started to read the Psalms with his sonorous and beautiful voice, wolves and birds stopped and listened to him; his voice resonated on the mountains. According to a hadith reported by Hazrat Aishs and Abu Hurayra, when Hazrat Prophet heard the voice of Abu Musa al-Ash’ari, he said,“Abu Musa was given from the Psalms of Dawud.” (Ahmad bin Hanbal, II/354) In another narration reported by Abu Musa, the Prophet said: “O Abu Musa! You were given one Psalm from the Psalms of Aal-i Dawud.” (Bukhari, Fadailu’l-Qur’an 31) Hazrat Dawud was known for the beauty of his voice as well as his speedy reciting. According to a hadith reported from Abu Hurayra, the Messenger of Allah said,“The reciting of the Psalms was made easy for Dawud. He used to order that his riding animals be saddled, and would finish reciting the Psalms before they were saddled. And he would never eat except from the earnings of his manual work.” (Bukhari, Anbiya 37; Tafsir 17/6)

Allah granted Dawud (pbuh) the ability to melt iron with his hand and the miracle of softening the hearts with his voice like iron. The fact that mountains glorified Allah with Hazrat Dawud was a grant and gift of Allah to him. No other slave of Allah was granted such a gift. 

He was very keen on Worshipping: 

It was stated in the Quran that Hazrat Dawud avoided committing sins, that he mentioned the names of Allah a lot and that he was very keen on worshipping and doing good deeds. (Sad, 38/17) Hazrat Prophet praised his prayer and fasting as follows: “The prayer (salah) that Allah loves the best is the prayer of Dawud and the fasting that He loves best is the fasting of Dawud.” (Bukhari, Tahajjud 7) The Messenger of Allah told Abdullah bin Amr, who said that he was going to fast every day and that he was going to perform prayers all night, to fast for three days; when he considered it insufficient, the Messenger of Allah told him to fast one day and to eat two days; when he did not accept it, the Prophet said, “Fast one day and eat one day. It is the fast of Dawud and it is the most virtuous kind of fasting; there is no fasting more virtuous than it.” (Bukhari, Sawm 55-57, 59, Anbiya 37, Fadailu’l-Qur’an 34, Adab 84, Isti’dhan 38) On the other hand, Hazrat Prophet said that Dawud (pbuh) slept half of the night and slept during one-third of the night and slept again during the remaining one-sixth of the night. (Bukhari, Tahajjud 7, Anbiya 38)

Fasting of Dawud: 

To fast every other day, that is, to fast one day and to eat the next day was described as the “fasting of Dawud” by the Prophet and it was stated that it was virtuous to fast like that. The Prophet said the following about that kind of fasting:  “The most virtuous fasting is the fasting of Dawud; he fasted one day and ate the next day.” When Abdullah bin Amr, one of the Companions, said, “I can fast more”, the Prophet told him that the fasting of Dawud was a virtuous kind of fasting and advised him not to fast more. (Muslim, Siyam 187-192) Therefore, to fast every other day is considered as the most virtuous supererogatory fasting.   

He was given the Psalms: 

In the Quran, it is stated that Hazrat Dawud was given the Psalms(an-Nisa, 4/163; al-Isra, 17/55); its content is mentioned briefly (al-Anbiya, 21/105) but detailed information is not given. In other Islamic resources, it is stated that the Psalms given to Hazrat Dawud (pbuh) were sent down in the month of Ramadan, that it contained sermons and words of wisdom and that Hazrat Dawud (pbuh) usually recited it accompanied by a melody and a musical instrument.  

Hazrat Dawud was appointed as the Vicegerent on Earth: 

Dawud (pbuh) was appointed as the Vicegerent on Earth, his sovereignty was strengthened and he was ordered to judge justly: “O David! We did indeed make thee a vicegerent on earth: so judge thou between men in truth (and justice): nor follow thou the lusts, (of thy heart), for they will mislead thee from the Path of Allah: for those who wander astray from the Path of Allah, is a Penalty Grievous, for that they forget the Day of Account. (Sad, 38/26) It is stated that in the Bible that Sons of Israel started a settled civilization and strengthened the state, that Hazrat Dawud put his house and his kingdom into an order, that he systemized worship and that he established a regular army in his period. Accordingly, Dawud fulfilled the duty he received from Allah faithfully, expanded his kingdom in the way that Allah promised to the generation of Ibrahim (Abraham); his kingdom expanded from the coast of Euphrates to the coast of the Red Sea. (I. Samuel 8/3; I. Chronicles 18/3).

Hazrat Dawud was a real head of state and a qualified ruler. He centralized his power and developed the military organization by making Jerusalem the capital. When he ruled the state, he himself applied justice and made judgments about the lawsuits. (II. Samuel, 8/15; 14/4-22; 15/2-6; I. Chronicles, 18/14; see  TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi, Davud aleyhisselam item)
 
He was given Sound Judgment: 

" We strengthened his kingdom, and gave him wisdom and sound judgment in speech and decision."(Sad, 38/20) Hazrat Dawud was given sound judgment, that is, the ability to settle the conflicts definitely and justly and the ability to explain every aim through speech. (Qurtubi, al-Jamiu li-Ahkami’l-Qur’an, 15/107) Thanks to this ability, he settled the lawsuits that were brought to him and assured justice on his land. Wisdom means knowledge that is in accordance with the truth. Sound judgment means to explain the views that come to the mind. It also means speaking nicely, understanding the essence of things, to settle lawsuits with in a just and convincing way.  One of the characteristics of Dawud (pbuh) is his ability to speak nicely and to settle the conflicts among people in a nice way.   

To sum up, Hazrat Dawud is a prophet that is mentioned in the Quran by addressing the Prophet:“…and remember Our Servant David, the man of strength: for he ever turned (to Allah)”, who is mentioned by the attribute of (turning to Allah and praying him a lot) (Sad, 38/17); made the hills declare, in unison with him (Sad, 38/18), And the birds gathered (in assemblies): all with him did turn (to Allah) (Sad, 38/19); " gave him wisdom (Sad, 38/20); it is stated that he was "righteous" and he enjoyed, indeed, a Near Approach to Us, and a beautiful place of (final) Return (Sad, 38/25);We did indeed make thee a vicegerent on earth .(Sad, 38/26)

5 Who is Prophet Loot (Lut)?

Hazrat Loot is the son of Aaron, Hazrat Ibrahim’s brother. He was sent as a prophet to the people of Sodom who started the practice of homosexuality for the first time. They were destroyed totally, because they did not obey Hazrat Loot and went on that disgusting deed. The following is stated in the verse about it:

“We also (sent) Loot: he said to his people: "Do you commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For you practise your lusts on men in preference to women: you are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds." And his people gave no answer but this: they said "Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!" But We saved him and his family except his wife: she was of those who lagged behind. And We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): then see what was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime!” (al-Araf, 7/80-84).

For other prohets mentioned in the Qur'an click here.

6 Will you summarize the life of Hazrat Yusuf?

HAZRAT YUSUF (pbuh) is one of the Banu Israel prophets mentioned in the Quran.

Hazrat Yusuf (Joseph) (pbuh) is one of the prophets mentioned in the Quran; he is the son of the Prophet Yaqub (Jacob). His ancestry dates back to Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham) (pbuh). (Kamil Miras, Tajrid Translation, IX, 139)

There is a chapter entitled Yusuf in the Quran. It has 111 verses; 98 verses of this chapter (4-101) mention Hazrat Yusuf. According to what is narrated in those verses, the life story of Hazrat Yusuf is as follows in brief:

Hazrat Yusuf had eleven brothers. Yusuf was extraordinarily handsome and very intelligent. Their father, Yaqub (pbuh), loved Yusuf best. His brothers were jealous of him. 

One night, Yusuf (may Allah be pleased with him) saw eleven stars, the sun and the moon prostrate before him in his dream. He narrated the dream to his father. His father realized that the dream was a sign that Hazrat Yusuf (pbuh) would be a great man; he told Yusuf not to narrate his dream to his brothers. However, his brothers found out about his dream and planned to kill Yusuf and discard his body somewhere. They asked permission from their father and took Yusuf away to the country to have some fun. They threw Jesus into a well; then, they stained his shirt with blood; they lied to their father by saying, "A wolf took Yusuf away."

A caravan that passed by the well, found Yusuf and took him to Egypt in order to sell him as a slave. They sold him to Aziz (the Treasurer) at a very low price.

The wife of Aziz liked Yusuf very much. She asked him to be together with her. Yusuf (pbuh) did not accept her offer; so, she slandered at him and complained to her husband about him, causing him to be sent to prison.

Hazrat Yusuf (pbuh) stayed in prison for years. He met the sherbet maker and cook of the King. He interpreted their dreams. He told to one of them that he would be saved and continue to serve his King; he told the other that he would be killed. Things turned out to be as he said. Hazrat Yusuf (pbuh) asked the one that would be saved to mention the King about him.

The King saw in his dream seven lean cows devour seven fat cows and he also sow seven green ears of corn and seven others withered. He wanted his dream to be interpreted. He found out that Hazrat Yusuf interpreted dreams; then, he removed Yusuf from prison and narrated his dream to him. Hazrat Yusuf (pbuh) told him that there would be abundance for seven years and then famine for seven years. Thereupon, the King appointed Hazrat Yusuf (pbuh) as the Treasurer. Hazrat Yusuf (pbuh) stored grains in the barns in the years of abundance; he distributed those grains to people when the years of famine came. The same famine affected Kanan, the place where his father lived, too.

Yusuf’s brothers went to Egypt from Kanan twice in order to get grains. In the end, Hazrat Yusuf introduced himself to his brothers and told them that he forgave them by saying,   

"This day let no reproach be (cast) on you: Allah will forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!"(Yusuf, 12/92)

Hazrat Yusuf (pbuh) invited his father, mother and all of his brothers to Egypt.

When his family arrived in Egypt, Yusuf (pbuh) made his parents sit on the throne; his eleven brothers bowed down before him. Then, Yusuf (pbuh) said,

"O my father! this is the fulfilment of my vision of old! Allah hath made it come true! He was indeed good to me when He took me out of prison and brought you (all here) out of the desert, (even) after Satan had sown enmity between me and my brothers. Verily my Lord understandeth best the mysteries of all that He planneth to do: For verily He is full of knowledge and wisdom." (Yusuf, 12/100)

Thus, Banu Israel settled in Egypt, leaving Palestine. After a while, Yaqub (pbuh) died. Yusuf (pbuh) prayed Allah as follows:   

"O my Lord! Thou hast indeed bestowed on me some power, and taught me something of the interpretation of dreams and events― O Thou Creator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my Protector in this world and in the Hereafter Take thou my soul (at death) as one submitting to Thy Will (as a Muslim), and unite me with the righteous!"(Yusuf, 12/101).

The life story of Hazrat Yusuf (pbuh) is defined as "Ahsanu'l-Qasas, the most beautiful of stories" in the Quran Allah states the following for this life story, which includes many things:

"Verily in Joseph and his brethren are Signs (or Symbols) for Seekers (after Truth)." (Yusuf, 12/7).

According to narrations, the place where Hazrat Yusuf is buried is in the town of Khalil ar-Rahman, where Hazrat Ibrahim is buried, near Quds (Jerusalem). (Mefail HIZLI, Şamil İslam Ansiklopedisi)

7 The Grave of a Prophet

However, there aren’t any absolutely trustable narrations about where the grave of Prophet Solomon is, there is a narration which is given below.

According to the narration: Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) was buried next to his father Prophet David (peace be upon him). (Yakobi- Tarih (history) v.1, p. 60; Ibn Haldon- Tarih (history) v.2, part 1, p. 99). But there isn’t any information about the place of the grave of Prophet David (peace be upon him).

Most of the other narrations on this topic are not reliable.

8 Will you explain the verses that mention the family of Imran? Is there a controversy whether the Mary mentioned in the verses (3/31-38) is Mary, the sister of Moses, or Mary, the mother of Christ?

It is stated clearly in the Quran that Hazrat Maryam (Mary) is the daughter of Imran.

The following verses show it:

“Behold! a woman of Imran said: "O my Lord! I do dedicate into Thee what is in my womb for Thy special service so accept this of me! for Thou hearest and knowest all things.""(Aal-i Imran, 3/35).

“And Mary the daughter of `Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into her (body) of Our spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout (Servants).”(at-Tahrim, 66/12).

According to Ibn Jarir Tabari, the famous Islamic historian and interpreter, the pedigree of Imran, Mary’s father, is as follows: Imran is Yashhem’s son. His father is Emun; Emun’s father is Minsha, and his father is Hazqiya; Hazqiya’s father is Ahzik, and his father is Yusem, whose father is Aazarya; Aazarya’s father is Emsiya, and his father is Yawush, whose father is Ahzihu; Ahzihu’s father is Yarem, and his father is Yahwashat, whose father is Esabir; his father is Ebiya, whose father is Rejam/Rahbeam, whose father is Sulayman; Sulayman’s father is Dawud and his father is Isha (see Tabari, the interpretation of verse 35 of  Aal-i Imran). (N.B. there may be some mistakes in the spellings of the names.)

According to some sources, the father of Imran, who is the father of Mary, is Masan (Razi, Abu’s-Suud, Suyuti-ad-Durru’l-Mansur, the interpretation of verse 35 of Aal-i Imran).

Imran, who is Mary’s father, who is Jesus’ mother, is the son of Masan or Yahshem. Imran who is the father of Mary, who is the sister of Moses (Musa) and Aaron (Harun), is the son of Yasher (see Abu’s- Suud, the interpretation of verse 35 of  Aal-i Imran).

As it is understood from the explanation above, the Imran who is the father of Mary and the Imran who is the father of Moses and Aaron are two completely different people. Only their names resemble; they have no relation in terms of time and place.  

The verses 33-36 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran mentioned in the question:

33-34. Allah did choose Adam and Noah the family of Abraham, and the family of Imran above all people. Offspring, one of the other; and Allah heareth and knoweth all things.

35. Behold! a woman of Imran said: "O my Lord! I do dedicate into Thee what is in my womb for Thy special service so accept this of me! for Thou hearest and knowest all things."

36. When she was delivered she said: "O my Lord! behold! I am delivered of a female child!" And Allah knew best what she brought forth, "And is not the male like the female. I have named her Mary and I commend her and her offspring to Thy protection from the Evil One, the Rejected."

Explanation of the verses:

The name Imran is mentioned in three places in the Quran. It is clear that the Imran mentioned in the verse above and in verse 12 of the chapter at-Tahrim is Mary’s father (Jesus’ grandfather). As for the Imran mentioned in verse 33 of Aal-i Imran, there are two views about his identity:

According to one view, this Imran is the father of Moses and Aaron. According to the other view, there is a time difference of about 1800 years between the periods when those two people lived; since the family of Jesus is mentioned beginning from verse 35 of this chapter, the Imran mentioned in verse 33 should be Mary’s father.

Even if the Imran mentioned here is regarded as the father of Hazrat Moses and Hazrat Aaron, it is not appropriate to establish a connection between the narration that they had a sister called Maryam and the information in the Quran that Maryam is addressed as, “O sister of Aaron!” (Maryam, 19/28). Establishing such a connection originates from the fact that what is meant in the verse was not understood.   

When it is examined thoroughly, it will be seen that the fact that Mary is addressed as, "O sister of Aaron!" in her community means, "she is his sister in religion and she comes from his descent." Although some orientalists criticized the Quran based on the controversy in the books of some Muslim writers, there is no controversy or contrariness to the historical data in the explanations of the Quran regarding the issue.

It is understood easily that those criticisms coming generally from Christians are not objective because they do not oppose the same information in their holy book. As a matter of fact, the following is said for Elizabeth, Zakariyya’s wife, in the Bible of Luke:  "She was a descendant of Aaron" (Luke, 1/5). (Ömer Faruk Harman, "Hz. İsa", İFAV Ans., IV, 424)

The name of the woman mentioned as the wife of Imran and mother of Mary is not given in the Quran. Her name is mentioned as Hanna in Islamic sources and as Anna in Christian sources. There are various narrations regarding Imran’s wife dedicating her child in her womb to Allah.    

According to one narration, when Imran, who had not had a child for a long time, saw a bird feeding her young, she envied the bird and prayed Allah to give her a child and she promised that she would dedicate her child to the service of Bayt al-Maqdis. Her husband, Imran, died after she became pregnant. It is clearly understood from the verse that Imran’s wife dedicated the child in her womb definitely to Allah and that she prayed Allah for it.    

However, the word "muharrar" mentioned in the verse and the content of her vow are interpreted in various ways. Lexically, muharrar means “freed, freed completely, nobody having any rights on him”. Here, this word is interpreted as freed from the worldly affairs and dedicating herself to worshipping Allah, a sincere slave, and – acting upon the fact that there was the practice of dedicating a child to the service of the worshipping place especially to Bayt al-Maqdis among Jews – serving the worshipping place or those who read the holy book.   

It is understood that there exists a will of absolute dedication free from any conditions or limitations whether the aspect of serving Allah or the worshipping place is emphasized. Therefore, this word in the verse is translated as “without any conditions or limitations”.   

When Imran's wife made a vow to dedicate her child probably to serve Bayt al-Maqdis, she probably thought she would give birth to a boy. When she saw that it was a girl, she uttered the following words as an expression of her sadness and resentment:

"O my Lord! behold! I am delivered of a female child!" Allah stated the following in the verse: "And Allah knew best what she brought forth", implying that she resented because of not knowing the real nature of the truth and that this female child would have a very lofty rank. This sentence: “And is not the male like the female” that followed was interpreted as being the word of Allah and that the definite article at the beginning of both words denoted something known; thus, the two sentences were interpreted as follows:   

"However, Allah knew it better what she gave birth to; the male child that she wanted was not like this female child (,who was granted by Allah and who would be honored by a lofty rank)." (Zamakhshari, I, 186)

Acting upon the same understanding, some interpreters accepted that Maryam’s mother knew through the inspiration by Allah that her daughter would attain a very lofty rank and interpreted it as follows: "The male child (that I wanted) is definitely not like this female child (, which Allah granted)." (Razi, VIII, 27)

On the other hand, most of the interpreters state that the sentence was uttered by Maryam’s mother but that she uttered it in order to express her sadness because she thought a male child was superior to a female child in terms of fulfilling her vow.

In our opinion, in terms of the general flow of the context, it will be more appropriate to think that the sentence does not denote that boys are superior to girls but that Maryam’s mother thought a boy was different from a girl when she vowed.

The fact that Imran’s wife named her child “Maryam” shows that she continued to try to fulfill her vow though she gave birth to a female child. As it is mentioned above, Maryam is the name of the sister of Moses and Aaron and the name Maryam is regarded as a very respectable name among Sons of Israel.   

Thus, Imran’s wife established a meaningful connection between her father’s name and the father of Maryam, who was the sister of Moses and Aaron by naming her daughter Maryam because she was also Maryam, the daughter of Imran.   

Although it is claimed in the books of tafsir (interpretation) that Maryam meant "a person who worships Allah" (Zamakhshari, I, 186) and "a person who serves the Lord" (Shawkani, 1,372) in their language, Qasimi states that when the meanings of the names in the Old Testament and New Testament are studied, a different meaning  ("bitterness", "bitterness of the sea") is seen. (IV, 835) In the dictionaries of the Bible, after it is stated that Maryam could be a simple noun or a compound, it is expressed that there are several views and explanations about its meaning; the main meanings of Maryam are: bitter sea, their revolt, the lady of the sea, a drop of the sea, starfish. (for instance, see H. Lesetre, "Marie", Dictionnaire De La Bible)

After naming her, Mary’s mother prayed Allah sincerely as follows: "I commend her and her offspring to Thy protection from the Evil One, the Rejected." The reason why Maryam mentioned her offspring could be understood as the fact that she wanted her child, whom she dedicated to Allah, not to obey the devil, that she asked her Lord to protect her chastity and that she prayed for the good of her offspring in general. However, it also seems to support the interpretation of those who interpret the previous sentence stating that she knew through the inspiration of God Almighty that she would be a mother of a great prophet. (see Diyanet Tefsiri, Kur’an Yolu: I/400-401)

9 Can you give me some brief information about Prophet Abraham's (pbuh) life?

Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) is one of the great prophets most mentioned in the Quran. His religion is named “Khanif” in the Quran. A divine book of ten pages was sent down to Prophet Abraham. He is also the ancestor of Prophet Mohammad.

Prophet Abraham was born in Urfa, which was under Nemrud’s rule. Nemrud and his people used to worship idols, stars, the moon and the sun. Abraham’s father was also a pagan, earning his living by making idols and selling them. When Abraham was given the duty of prophethood, he firstly conveyed the message of the true religion to his father, yet he did not accept it.

Prophet Abraham wanted to show people that nothing is worth worshipping apart from Allah and when stars, the moon and the sun set and disappeared, he tried to direct people to the belief of Allah’s oneness by saying “La uhibbu’l-afilin (I love not those that set; they cannot be gods)”.

Moreover, he broke all the idols in the idol-house except the biggest idol in order to show his people how powerless and useless the idols they were worshipping were. For this reason, people questioned Prophet Abraham. Prophet Abraham said: “Maybe this big one did it, ask it, if it speaks.” And people said: “You know well that they cannot speak”. And Prophet Abraham said: “Do ye then worship, besides Allah, things that can neither be of any good to you nor do you harm?”.

Thereupon, a great controversy occurred between the king of the country, Nemrud, and Prophet Abraham. Eventually, Nemrud decided to punish Abraham by throwing him into fire. However, Allah ordered the fire “O fire, be cool and safe for Abraham” and the fire did not burn him.

Prophet Abraham tried to guide his nation to the true belief for some more time but the ignorant people did not want to accept it. Prophet Abraham migrated firstly to Harran and then to Egypt and lastly to Palestine with his wife Sarah, his nephew Lot and other true believers who trusted in his words.

After Prophet Abraham migrated, the people of the nation left behind and Nemrud were attacked by mosquitoes; Nemrud and many of them were destroyed in this disaster.

Prophet Abraham did not have a child although he grew quite old and he asked for a child from Allah and his prayer was accepted. Hajar gave birth to Prophet Ishmael who is also an ancestor of Prophet Muhammad. Later, his other wife Sarah gave birth to Prophet Isaac, who is the ancestor of succession of the prophets sent to Israelites.

After some time, Prophet Abraham was tested with an order to sacrifice his son Ishmael. Abraham took his son Ishmael and Ishmael’s mother Hajar to Makkah as Allah ordered. Later, he built the Kaaba, which is the first place of worship, with his son Ishmael and Ishmael settled down there. Our Prophet Muhammad, as a grandchild of his, came into the world in the same place after centuries.

Prophet Abraham was called “Khalillullah (Allah’s friend)” or “Khalilu’r-Rahman (Friend of the most Merciful)” because he always prayed for Allah’s friendship and he only expected help from Him.

10 Who ate the forbidden fruit of Paradise at first, Adam or Eve? Is there any knowledge concerning this?

Along with the information regarding the person who ate the forbidden fruit at first was  Eve (see, Tabari; Qurtubi; Ibn Atiyya; Bursevi; the interpretation of the verses 35-36 of al-Baqara, 2/35-36), there is also information suggesting that it is Hz. Adam who ate first from the tree and after that his spouse followed him. (See, Ibn Ashur, the interpretation of the verse 36 of al-Baqara, 2/36)

The information concerning Adam’s approach to the forbidden tree and the manner of his disobedience and its results are different in the Torah and the Qur’an.

According to the Torah, the serpent (snake) which is the most deceitful animal of the wilderness had approached Eve, who was living in the Garden of Eden (Paradise). It deceived her by saying, “Surely you will not die, for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil.” And after that, Eve gave the fruit to Adam and let him eat from it, too. (Genesis, 3/1-6)

The element of serpent which is present in some Islamic history books is totally based on non-Islamic sources.

According to the Qur’an, it is Satan who encouraged them to approach the forbidden tree. Satan, who was jealous of Adam, at first refused to prostrate before Adam, which was the order of God (see al-Araf 7/11-12) and deceived him later on causing him to sin. There is no information in the Qur’an and authentic hadiths about Satan’s entering Paradise and its approach to Adam and Eve. Information, which is in other religious sources, was generally taken from Apocrypha Jewish sources. Some of them exist because of the misinterpretation of verses and hadiths.

For this reason, it is difficult to say about who ate the forbidden fruit first. Besides, the following verses show that the act of deceiving by Satan and their eating of the forbidden fruit are together, “Then did Satan make them slip from the (Garden) and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been.” (al-Baqara, 2/36), “Then began Satan to whisper suggestions to them, in order to reveal to them their shame that was hidden from them (before): he said, "Your Lord only forbade you this tree lest ye should become angels or such beings as live forever." (al-Araf, 7-20) and “In the result, they both ate of the tree. (at-Taha, 20/121).

On the other hand, we should not overlook the aspect of this event regarding us. In it, there are many important warnings such as being aware of Satan’s traps, being sensible to obey God’s prohibitions. 

11 Could you please give information about Prophet Jonah (YUNUS)? (Upon whom be peace)

“So also was Jonah among those sent (by Us). When he ran away (like a slave from captivity) to the ship (fully) laden, he (agreed to) cast lots, and he was condemned.” (as-Saffat, 37:139-141)
How Prophet Jonah is Mentioned in the Quran:
Prophet Jonah’s name is mentioned in four places in the Quran, namely the chapters an-Nisa, al-An’am, Yunus (Jonah) and as-Saffat. (1)
He is mentioned with the nickname given to him by Allah in two places. One of them is “Zun-nun (having the fish). This nickname of his is mentioned in chapter al-Anbiya as follows:
“And remember Zun-nun, when he departed in wrath: He imagined that We had no power over him! But he cried through the depths of darkness, "There is no god but thou: glory to thee: I was indeed wrong! So We listened to him: and delivered him from distress: and thus do We deliver those who have faith.” (2)
And the other is “Sahibu’l-Hut” (companion of the fish). This nickname is mentioned in chapter al-Qalam as follows:
“So wait with patience for the Command of thy Lord, and be not like the Companion of the Fish,- when he cried out in agony. Had not Grace from his Lord reached him, he would indeed have been cast off on the naked shore, in disgrace.” (3)
As it is seen, Prophet Jonah’s name is mentioned in six places totally in the Quran as Yunus (Jonah) four times, with the nickname Zun-nun in one place and with the other nickname “Sahibu’l-Hut” in one place. (4)
Prophet Jonah’s Lineage:
Historians have not recorded any information on Prophet Jonah’s lineage. However, they have agreed that his name is Yunus bin Matta: Matthew (Matta’s son).
Prophet Jesus is always mentioned with his mother’s name in the Quranic verses and hadiths. And Prophet Jonah is mentioned as “Matta’s son”. Although some say Matta is his mother, it is more acceptable that it is his father’s name. (see Az-Zabidi, Tajrid-i Sarih I-XII).
The people of the Book named Prophet Jonah as “Yunan bin Amtay”.
Prophet Jonah is one of the prophets of Israelites. His lineage dates back to Benjamin, a son of Prophet Jacob. And Benjamin is a biological brother of Prophet Joseph. (5)
Prophet Jonah’s Call:
Allah the Supreme sent Jonah to the people of “Ninova” living in area called Musul in Iraq as a prophet, because idolatry had entered the society of Ninova and worshipping idols had spread widely.
Prophet Jonah went to Ninova from regions in Damascus and called people there to belief in Allah. However, people did not accept his call and denied his prophethood. Allah the Supreme states the situation of the majority of people in such land as follows:
“Whenever did We send a warner to a population, but the wealthy ones among them said: "We believe not in the (Message) with which ye have been sent." (6)
Prophet Jonah advised the people of Ninova, preached to them and called them to belief in Allah. He stayed amongst them like that for years. However, Jonah did not see anything but ears dumb for the truth and covered hearts in them. He could not manage to guide them to the way of Allah. Later, he swore to them that a divine wrath would punish them if they did not believe in Allah. It did not make any change to his people and thus he left them angrily, promising them that the divine wrath was going to come upon them in three days. In addition to this, it is also said that they threatened Jonah, got angry with him and chased him away; and eventually Prophet Jonah ran away from that place.
Prophet Jonah had left them before he was ordered to go away from there by Allah because, he thought that Allah would not call him to account when he left them with his family before he was ordered and that He would not persecute him… The following statement of Allah the Supreme’s supports this view:
“And remember Zun-nun, when he departed in wrath: He imagined that We had no power over him! But he cried through the depths of darkness, "There is no god but thou: glory to thee: I was indeed wrong!” (7)
Prophet Jonah left that place not because he was angry with his Lord but with his people. If he was angry with his Lord, it would be considered a rebellion against Allah. Moreover, such an attitude is contradictory to the innocence and purity of prophets.
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, Mujahid and a group of predecessors said: “When Jonah left them and went away and when they deserved to be punished, Allah placed regret and repentance in their hearts. They regretted what they had done to their prophets and turned to Allah. And they wore clothes made of bristle in order to give themselves pain. Then they begged their Lord for forgiveness. They separated animals and their cubs from each other. They bowed in regret and kept silent in the presence of Allah. Men, women, boys, girls and mothers all cried and wailed. Little and big animals, sheep and saddle beasts all cried out. Camels and their cubs, cows and calves, sheep and lambs mooed and baaed. They all experienced a very frightening time. Allah, with His might, mercy and compassion, removed the wrath lingering above them like a dark night because of what they had done to Prophet Jonah. For this reason, Allah the Supreme said:
“Why was there not a single township (among those We warned), which believed,- so its faith should have profited it,- except the people of Jonah? When they believed, We removed from them the penalty of ignominy in the life of the present, and permitted them to enjoy (their life) for a while.” (8)
Prophet Jonah in the Stomach of the Fish:
Prophet Jonah left his people and went to the seaside. There, he found a ship ready to set sail. He asked permission of people aboard to board on the ship. They understood that there was goodness with him and they let him board on the ship. When they reached the middle of the sea, a violent wind started to blow and the sea started to wave. Upon this, they said:
“There is a sinner amongst us.”
They decided to draw lots and throw the loser into the sea. Jonah lost and they asked him what had happened. When he told them what had happened between him and his people, they were surprised and did not want to throw him into the sea. They decided to leave him on a coast. However, Jonah wanted them to throw him into the sea so that Allah would remove the wrath upon them. And they threw him into the sea. A large fish swallowed him with the command of Allah. The fish took Jonah through darkness under Allah’s protection and supervision. When the miracle was complete, Allah ordered the fish not to harm Jonah’s flesh and bones.
The fish carried him and took him through under the sea as he was alive and invocating Allah and repenting.
Prophet Jonah, in the depths of the sea, supplicated by saying: “There is no god but thou: glory to thee: I was indeed wrong” (al-Anbiya, 21:87). (9)
Allah accepted his supplication and saved him from grief. Allah ordered the fish to leave him on a flat and wide area on a coast. Jonah gave thanks to Allah because he was saved. Allah made a tree without trunk grow over him. And he ate that tree’s fruits and sat in its shadow. So, Allah relieved his pain and accepted his supplication.
Jonah understood that all those happened to him was a divine warning to him because he left his people because he was angry with them without Allah’s permission.
Although this rule was valid for him in this matter, it can be considered for righteous servants who treat themselves unfairly. Yet, it can never be considered to be valid for prophets. However, Jonah, by leaving his people without waiting for Allah’s order, committed something which required divine warning. (10)
Allah the Supreme narrates how Jonah boarded on the ship and what happened to him later as follows:
“So also was Jonah among those sent (by Us). When he ran away (like a slave from captivity) to the ship (fully) laden, He (agreed to) cast lots, and he was condemned: Then the big Fish did swallow him, and he had done acts worthy of blame. Had it not been that he (repented and) glorified God, he would certainly have remained inside the Fish till the Day of Resurrection. But We cast him forth on the naked shore in a state of sickness, and We caused to grow, over him, a spreading plant of the gourd kind. And We sent him (on a mission) to a hundred thousand (men) or more. And they believed; so We permitted them to enjoy (their life) for a while.” (11)
When Jonah gained his health and was strong enough to walk, he returned to his people. He found that his people had repented and believed in Allah and had been waiting for their prophet in order to follow and obey him. He stayed with them, taught them Allah’s orders and prohibitions, guided them, show them the way leading to Allah and enabled them to find the right way.
Allah endowed various boons and blessings upon the people of Ninova during the time when Jonah was with them and they stayed on the right way. However, when they strayed, Allah sent them a man who destroyed their city.
Historians recorded these events and people, who were supposed to learn, learnt lessons from them.
According to a narration by Abdullah ibn Abbas, Jonah was sent to a tribe whose population was 120.000 people as a prophet because, Allah the Supreme says about the population of the tribe which he was sent as a prophet to, as follows:
 “We sent Jonah as prophet to a hundred thousand or more people”. (12)
Moreover, there are some other narrations regarding the matter. Allah knows the truth the best. (13)

(1) an-Nisa: 4/163. al-An’am.6/86; Yunus, 10/98; as-Saffat 37/139
(2) al-Anbiya: 21/87-88
(3) al-Qalam: 50/48-49
(4) Muhammed Ali Sabuni, Peygamberler Tarihî, Ahsen Yayınları: 673-674.
(5) Muhammed Ali Sâbûnî, Peygamberler Tarihî, Ahsen Yayınları: 674.
(6) Saba: 34/34
(7) al-Anbiya: 21/87
(8) Yunus: 10/98
(9) In a hadith; it was stated that the supplication of one who prays with the supplication of Jonah will be accepted. see: Musnad: 1/170; Hakim, Mustadrak, 2/488; Munziri. Targhib, 2/583
(10) This information was taken from Abdurrahman Habannaka's book named "al-Aqidatu'1-Islamiyya".
(11) As-Saaffat: 37/139-148
(12) As-Saaffat: 37/147
(13) Muhammed Ali Sâbûnî, Peygamberler Tarihî, Ahsen Yayınları: 676-679.

12 Where was the prophet Lot’s (PBUH) nation destroyed, in the city of Pompei of Italy or in the Dead Sea, which is known as the Lake of Lot?

The Qur’anic expression of “Mutafikat” is the name of cities where the nation of Lot resided. (At-Taubah, 70; Al-Haaqqa, 9) These are five cities. It is narrated that four hundred thousand people lived in these places.

The place where this torment struck nowadays is called Bahr al-Mayyit (The Dead Sea) or The Lake of Lot.

WHAT DO SCIENTISTS SAY ABOUT THE DESTRUCTION OF THE NATION OF LOT?

The following explanations are given in the magazine called Bilim ve Teknik regarding the issue:

This event occurred 4000 years ago; that is, at the beginning of 2000 BC and according to estimates in the years of 1900 BC. The German author Werner Keller explains and mentions about the destruction of these two cities in detail in his book titled, “The Bible is right after all” based on archeological and geological research and investigations. This highly famous book of Keller has been translated into twenty-two languages and sold millions of copies!

According to the explanations of Keller, as being narrated by the Torah (and other divine books) and the detailed researches and diggings of American archeologists and geologists, the destructed locations of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are the surroundings of the valley of Siddim and the bottom part of the Lot Sea. It has also been understood by diggings that once there were extensive settlements in these locations.

The researchers were disappointed by failing to find the locations of Sodom and Gomorrah after digging with high hopes; and the possibility of finding the locations of these cities is out of question from now on; for, these cities are buried in the bowels of earth as it is explained below.

Keller explains this great destruction, which caused the horrific event, and the geological condition of the place before this destruction as follows:

A tongue like the place in the eastern part of the Lot Sea forms a peninsula and protrudes into the inner parts of the sea. Arabs named this part as al-Lisan that is “the tongue”. Here, there is a sharp but an invisible bend in the base of water that almost divides the lake into two parts. Though the base which is at the right part of the peninsula is 400 meters deep, the left part of it is amazingly shallow. With the measurements that have been made in the recent years, it has been understood that the depth of this place is hardly 15-20 meters. When a person travels at this lower part of the Lot Sea by a boat at a time when the sun rays reflect on water in the proper direction, he will come across with an amazing scene. Forest trees start to appear under the water a few miles over the shore. These are the trees that are preserved by the excessive salt of the lake.

The trunks of trees and their remains that are seen in green color must be very old. In the past, when the leaves of these trees became green and bloomed, it was possible that the prophet Lot (PBUH) used to graze his herd! In the past, this strange tongue of the Sea of Lot was the valley of Siddim.

The reason of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra is understood by the observations of geologists. American geologists firstly explained why the river bed of Jordan is so stiff. In fact, the Jordan River flows on a distance of 190 km river bed with a slope of 190 meters. This situation and the Lot Sea’s being lower than the sea level at 400 meters is caused by a great geological event that occurred in this region.

The Jordan River valley and the Sea of Lot is made up only a part of a crack or rift that passes by on this region of our planet earth. The condition and length of this crack on earth’s crust has recently been discovered. This crack starts from the slopes of Taurus Mountains to the south part of the south shores of the Lot Sea and stretches over the Arabian desert to the Aqaba Gulf and from there it passes by the Red Sea and ends in Africa. It is understood that in places where this long destruction goes on, there were strong volcanic activities. There are black basalts and lavas in places such as Galilee Mountains and at high parts of Jordan plateaus and Gulf of Aqaba.

It is possible that once there was a great collapse and a terrific earthquake that occurred along with explosions, thunderbolts, fires and natural gases and this resulted in the collapse of Siddim Valley as well as the cities such as Sodom and Gomorrah into the bowels of earth. The cracking and the collapsing of the earth’s crust caused the sleeping volcanoes to move freely. There are also extinct craters in the upper valley of Jordan; and in these places, there are large lava masses along with basalt masses on lime masses.

An interesting point is that though there is no mention about an earthquake in the Torah, Ahmed Cevdet Pasa, mentioned about an earthquake in his book titled Kısas-ı Enbiya that is, the History of Prophets. Ahmed Cevdet Pasa states the following:

“Lot, the son of Harran, who is the brother of Hazrat Abraham, passed with him from Babel to Damascus and he was sent to Sodom region. The inhabitants of this place were unbelievers and sinners. Their actions were lawless and they used to commit prostitution that had not been seen before in any nation. Hz. Lot invited them to the true path but they did not listen. He advised a lot but they did not accept. God Almighty pelted them with stones and destroyed their villages with an earthquake. He destructed them all. Only Lot and his family members survived by leaving that place at night.” (Ahmed Cevdet Pasa, Kısas-ı Enbiya, I. Cilt, Milli Eğitim Basımevi, Istanbul.)

The cities and the surroundings of Sodom and Gomorra became the victim of such a divine destruction; and after a huge disaster that occurred 4000 years ago, the cities of Sodom and Gomorra sank into the bowels of earth. (Bilim ve Teknik, Sodom ve Gomorra, Prof. Dr. Arif Akman, 152.)

(see. Mehmet Dikmen, Peygamberler Tarihi)

13 Were there any human beings that were created before Hazrat Adam? What was created first? Were there any human beings before Adam?

1- Allah created the light of Muhammad first. Then, He created other beings from him. First the plants, and then the animals were created.

2- Hazrat Adam is the father of the mankind. Therefore, to accept that other people lived before him means to make a judgment contrary to the verses regarding the issue.

There are narrations that jinn lived in the world before human beings. The term ‘vicegerent’ (khalifah) mentioned in the following verse shows that there were intelligent creatures before Hazrat Adam: "Behold thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." They said "Wilt thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? Whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?" He said: "I know what ye know not." (al-Baqara, 30; ??arat-ul ?’caz, 201)

The word “vicegerent” (khalifatan) suggests that before conditions on the earth were readied for human life, there were intelligent creatures for whose lives, conditions during the earth’s early epochs. Those intelligent creatures are the jinn. Besides, in the following verse, the word jinn is mentioned: “I have only created jinn and men, that they may serve Me.” (adh-Dhariyat, 56). It indicates that the jinn were created before human beings.

Please click on the link given below;

What is the first thing that God Almighty created?

14 Could you please give information about Hz. Idris (Enoch)?

Idris (Enoch) is one of the prophets mentioned in the Quran. He became a prophet after Sheet (Sheesh), whose name is not mentioned in the Quran. Idris is in the second circle of the prophets.

There are four verses about Idris in the Quran. The first two are as follows : “(O Muhammad) , remember what we said in the book about Idris. Because he was an upright Messenger. We raised him to a lofty place” (Mary 19 56- 57) Other two verses about him are as follows: (O Muhammad), remember what we said in the book about Ishmael, Idris and Zulkifl, all were among the patient ones. We took them into our mercy. Truely, they were among the good.” (Messengers 21 85 – 86)

It is understood from those verses that he was an upright, patient prophet who was raised to a lofty place and reached the mercy of Allah; he was one of the good men.

Many interpreters of the Quran, understood from the verse “We raised him to a high rank” that he was raised to the skies or Heaven (See, Tabari, Ibn Kathir, interpretation of the related verse)

According to Islamic scholars, the real name of Idris is UHNUH and it is mentioned in the Holy Bible as HONUK

In the Holy Bible there are some information about him as follows : Hanok / Idris lived 365 years. He walked in the path of God and then disappeared, because God took him to His presence. (Genesis, 5/23-24)

“We raised him to a high rank”:

It refers to highness in the rank. Similarly, God Almighty says to Muhammad (PBUH) “We raised your fame” (al-Inshirah 4) because Allah gave Idris the prophethood and 30 pages. He was the first to write with pencil, the first to know the science of stars and calculations. He was also the first to sew and wear attire.

What is meant here is to raise him to a high rank in terms of place. This view is more suitable. Because since the word “place” is mentioned in the verse, it must refer to “place”, not todegree. (Fahruddin Ar-Razi, Tafsir Kabir  Mafatihu’l-Ghayb, Akçağ Publications: 15/371-372)

It is accepted that, like Jesus, Idris was also raised to the skies and is still alive. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in a narration : “There are four men alive, Khidr and Elijah are alive on the earth, and Jesus and Idris are alive in the sky” ." (Bilmen, Ömer Nasuhi,Tafsir, 4/2034).

As for the issue of Idris being in Paradise

We suppose that like Jesus, he is also in the skies, not in the real Paradise which is a part of the afterlife because people will enter Paradise after the Doomsday. However, it is known that he is in a place like Paradise and lives like the angels.

The reality that every living thing will taste the death, requires that Idris will also die during the Doomsday. It is not necessary for him to come down to the earth to die.

15 Is it stated in the Quran that Noah's Ark is on Mount Judi?

The 44th verse of the chapter Hud:
“When the word went forth: "O earth! swallow up thy water, and O sky! withhold (thy rain)!" and the water abated, and the matter was ended. The Ark rested on Mount Judi, and the word went forth: "Away with those who do wrong!"

O earth! Swallow up your water! O sky, stop the rain! One should imagine the grandeur and power that those commands express. One should think of the splendor and majesty of the divine sultanate that commands and rules the earth and the sky like that. Who can oppose such a power? The water was drained and the command was fulfilled. That is, the command and judgment of torture was carried out. Those who were destined to drown drowned; those who were destined to be saved were saved. The task was fulfilled. The Ark settled on Mount Judi.

Judi is a large mountain that is also called Musul, al-Jazira, Amid and Damascus. Abu Hayyan says the reason why it is called al-Jazira or Amid is because it is near Musul. It is also said that Judi is a noun meaning any mountain. As a matter of fact, the following couplet of Zayd b. Amr b. Nufayl is like that:

"We glorify Him by saying subhanallah, subhanallah repeatedly. / The mountain and ice glorified Him before us." (See Elmalılı Hamdi, Hak Dini, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

16 How old were Hz. Adam and Eve when they were born?

Their birth is out of question.

Childhood is the continuation of the process that first begins in the mother’s womb. However, Adam was directly created by the power of Allah from soil. Therefore, a childhood period is not considered for Adam.

As direct creation from soil does not let a childhood period to take place, his deprivation of a guardian or an educator disables us to consider a childhood concept for him.

There are different expressions in the Quran elucidating the creation of man. In those expressions, man is described as soil, rotten mud, sticky mud and worthless water and his creation from baked mud is emphasized. Scholars explained that those different expressions do not form a contradiction, rather, they point to the different phases of the creation. (See al-Hazin, VII/139) Each of those phases may be considered a period of childhood or infancy status compared to an upper phase.

Accordingly, in the verse: “This similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam. Allah created Adam from dust, then said to him “Be” and he was. (Aal-e Imran, 3/59)” the real origin of man is pointed to, while in the verse “Surely, we created them (the mankind) of a sticky clay (as-Saffat, 37/11)”, the second phase of the creation where the soil was mixed with water and became a sticky material was mentioned, and in the verse “Verily, we created the man from a dry (baked) mud, a formed black clay” (al-Hijr, 15/26), the third phase where the man’s formed state of rotten black clay, is pointed, and in the last verse :  “ Allah created the man from a clay that resembles a baked mud (Rahman, 55/14)” the last phase of the creation where the form “a clay that resembles a baked mud” was pointed to (See. Taberî, VIII/part. 14, p. 28; Sawi, IV/154; Niyazki Beki, surah ar-Rahman, interpretation of the related verse)
Adam is the first human being, as it is clearly stated in the Quran. Allah preferred the soil while creating him and then gave him the soul. The Divine Wisdom created our mother Eve, for multiplication of the mankind and also for being a bosom friend for Adam.

This creation is expressed as follows in the first verse of the Surah an-Nisa (Woman) : “He created his spouse from him

It is stated in the well-known interpretations  while explaining those verses as follows : Allah created Eve from the left rib of Adam. At that moment, Adam took a nap. When he woke up, he saw Eve. Firstly, he was surprised but afterwards he cheered. His heart settled towards her and a feeling of intimate frienship occurred between them.

17 Would you like to give us some information about Hazrat Saleh's (pbuh) life?

Hazrat Saleh (pbuh):
Hazrat Saleh (pbuh), one of the prophets mentioned in the Quran, was sent as a prophet to the nation of Thamud . He comes from the descent of Sam, one of the sons of Hazrat Noah. One of the people that survived after the disaster that destroyed the nation of Ad was Hazrat Hud and another was Thamud, coming from the descent of Sam, one of the sons of Hazrat Noah. He settled in a place between Damascus and Hejaz called Hijr. The descent of Thamud increased in time. God Almighty granted them plenty of bounties like the nation of Ad. One of the characteristics that showed the level of their strength and civilization was the strong castles and houses they built carving the steep mountains. Therefore, they were named as the people of Hijr in the Quran.
The nation of Thamud went astray as they had plenty of bounties like the nation of Ad. They started to worship the idols that they made out of stones. Allah sent them Hazrat Saleh (pbuh) as a prophet to prevent them from worshipping idols and to save them from going astray. Hazrat Saleh (pbuh) called them to believe in Allah and conveyed them the religion of Hazrat Noah. The majority of the nation of Thamud did not believe in Hazrat Saleh (pbuh) like many other nations. They wanted him to show them a miracle in order to prove his prophethood and they promised to believe him if he showed a miracle. They wanted something that seemed impossible for them to happen; they wanted a camel to come out of a rock. The rock that they wanted to be a camel enlarged and became a pregnant camel. When the camel gave birth, some of them believed. 
When the camel came out of the rock, Hazrat Saleh (pbuh) said to his nation: “O my people! Worship Allah; ye have no other god but Him. Now hath come unto you a clear (sign) from your Lord! This she-camel of Allah is a sign unto you: so leave her to graze in Allah's earth and let her come to no harm, or ye shall be seized with a grievous punishment. This she-camel proves the truth of my prophethood: she has a right of watering, and ye have a right of watering, (severally) on a day appointed. Touch her not with harm, lest the Penalty of a Great Day seize you.
The nation of Thamud did not obey him; they killed the camel by hamstringing her. Then, they made fun of Hazrat Saleh: “If you really are a prophet, bring us the wrath that you warn us about.
Allah revealed to Hazrat Saleh (pbuh) to leave that place together with the people who believed in him because His wrath would reach them; thereupon, Hazrat Saleh left that place together with four thousand people who believed in him. Then, the faces of the nation of Thamud became pale, then red, as they were colored in blood and then jet black. Gabriel (Jibril) came with a terrible sound and destroyed them. 
After that, Saleh (pbuh) went towards the direction of Damascus with the believers and settled in the town of Ramla. There are also narrations that he went towards Hadramut. According to what is mentioned in the chapter al-Anbiya, no prophet went to, settled and lived in the place where his nation that was destroyed after the disaster.  
According to Ibn Qutayba, Hazrat Saleh (pbuh) lived twenty more years together with the believers who believed in him and died at the age of a hundred and fifty-eight. 
See the chapters of al-Araf, al-Hijr, an-Naml, ash-Shuara

18 Does the story of Jonah contradict with the scientific data?

There is not any accurate information about how much Prophet Jonah (PBUH) stayed in the stomach of the fish. Thus, the interpreters of the Qur’an presented different information based on weak riwayahs (reports) as follows:

a)         According to Suddi, Kalbi and Muqatil b. Sulayman, 40 days,

b)        According to Dahhak, 20 days,

c)         According to Ata, 7 days,

d)        According to Muqatil b. Hayyan, 3 days, (Tafsir Qurtubi:   15/123)

 

No matter which one is true, is it possible to live in the stomach of a fish?

 

First of all, let us note that this is a miraculous event; it cannot be evaluated with the physical and chemical laws. Besides, the author of the Tafsir called «Tafhimul-Qur’an» reported his readers the historical event given below:

About a hundred years ago in England, while a group of whale hunters was struggling with a hundred-ton whale, one of them fell into the sea as a result losing his balance and was swallowed by the whale at once. In the end, they succeeded to kill the whale and pull it onto the vessel. The first thing they did was to cut open its stomach; they were amazed upon seeing that their friend was still alive. In fact, 60 hours, a long time, had passed. However, he did not die.

As seen in this event, it is not impossible for a prophet to live in the stomach of a whale for a long time. Moreover, it is a miracle.(Celal Yıldırım, İlmin Işığında Asrın Kur’an Tefsiri, 10/5131-5132.)

19 Combination between Islam and Christian that belief the Prophet

Firstly, we would like to express that making good relations with people and providing unity and solidarity are bases of all divine religions. Acting in a manner that is completely contrary to such bases is the fault of the members of such religions, not the fault of the religions. The condition is valid for Islam and its members too. The time of our Prophet has many examples which enlighten this matter. For example, while the Muslims were in Mecca coming first our Prophet (PBUH) and all the other Muslims did their best to make good relations with polytheists (mushriks living in Mecca) and when they emigrated to Medina they firstly had signed a peace treaty with Jews.

Also, it should not be forgotten that this world is a place of examination. The struggle between goodness and badness will continue until the end of the world. So that as there will be good people on the world, so will bad people. Factious people, who always try to destroy good relationships between humans because of their personal benefits, will always be. Despite all, the people who obey the divine rules will be the winners of this examination and will be the ones who win the God’s pleasure.

The links given below briefly explain the Islamic opinion about the interreligious dialogue.

What are the examples of dialogue during the time of our Prophet (PBUH) and his tolerance towards the followers of other religions?

20 What are the lessons we should take from the parable of Moses (peace be upon him) and Pharaoh?

There is a great deal of wisdom in Moses’ (peace be upon him) parable., Displaying a bit, a part of this parable in different surahs, the Qur’an gives us one or some of these lessons. With his supreme morals and sincere belief he displays, Moses (peace be upon him) is one of the prophets lighting our way through the time. Like all the prophets informed by the Qur’an, the life of Moses (peace be upon him) is full of wisdom from which we should learn lessons. Some of these lessons are:

a. First of all, the repetition of this parable which provides information on Moses’ (peace be upon him) life, is aimed at consoling Muhammad (peace be upon him). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was granted consolation by means of these parables recounting the harm and injustice that both Pharaoh and the Jewish did to Moses (peace be upon him), in order to ease the sorrow because of the torments mushriks (polytheists) and members of Quraysh tribe did to Him and because he was accused of being a liar even though he was called Muhammadu’l Amin (Muhammad, The trustable One).

b. Moses ( peace be upon him ) is the first prophet to whom a holy book was sent and Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him) is the last one. The common point of both of these religions is that both have regulations which lead human life in every respect by embracing social life.

c. At the time when Islam emerged, except for a few remainders Hanif religion of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), divine messages which had been sent to previous prophets had already been lost. In this case, Moses (peace be upon him) whose religion was still prevailing at that time is considered to be an establisher of a brand new religion for the Jewish. Especially during the Madinah period, the Muslims who were living together with the Jewish were required to be acknowledged correctly about this religion – less they should be deceived and tricked by them due to their own poor and deficient knowledge on religion.

d. Especially regarding changing the negative and hostile attitudes and manners of the Jewish against Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), they were reminded of the calamities they experienced due to the complaints and rebellion against the previous prophets and especially against Moses (peace be upon him) and they were warned and - so to speak - intimidated against this issue.

e. The Jewish have always played an active role throughout the history of the mankind, and they caused depression in the social life with their negative attitudes wherever they were. And here in these parables, these features of the Jewish are pointed out and generally people especially Muslims are suggested indirectly to take lessons out of these parables. ( regarding the issue, see the Words, Twenty-Fifth Word, p 401-404)

f. Not everybody can afford to read the whole text of the Qur’an. However, the Qur’an is present for the guidance of all the people to the right path. For this reason, in order to provide people who can only read certain surahs with this guidance, the parable of Moses (peace be upon him) is included in different surahs along with the belief in the oneness of God and in the Resurrection Day, which are among the basic purposes of the Qur’an. (The Words p 242. Also for further examples, see The Words, p 245-251)

g. In the struggle between denial and belief, which has been going on since Adam (peace be upon him), Abraham’s (peace be upon him) struggle against Nimrod and Moses’ ( peace be upon him) struggle against Pharaoh represent a climax. Whether small or big, little or much etc, the reflections of this struggle are always visible. From this point of view, it is of great importance that we recognize the Moseses and Pharaohs of our time and determine our sides according to it.

h. The most distinctive weapon of Pharaoh was bringing out a disorder and disagreement by inciting segregation among the people. (see the surah Al-Qasas) It is the prior duty of all the believers to close their ranks, to remove conflicts and disorders by strengthening physical and spiritual contacts and to implement alliance and union. With his statement “Our biggest enemy is ignorance, poverty and disagreement”, Badiuzzaman pointed out that the struggle against pharaohs can only be successful – in this century – with knowledge, alliance and hard work to get rid of poverty. Today, the pharaohs of the West, who are making good use of these three weaknesses of ours have made us become slaves for them.

i. Against Pharaoh’s magicians, Moses (peace be upon him) displayed miracles of the same kind. His hand turning into a white sparkling form and his staff into a slithering snake shows that we should never neglect to have the same weapons as our enemies. The weapons that Pharaohs utilize to spread their “anti-religion” campaign consist of issues like technology, positive knowledge and acting in the form of committees, etc. Allying within Islamic fraternity and by learning about positive knowledge well, and integrating science with religious knowledge and as Badiuzzaman suggests “by allying with pious Christians if necessary”, believers should defend the basics of the Divine religion – against the pharaohs’ campaign of anti-religion – under guidance of the Qur’an.

j. This struggle must be carried on by integrating Moses’ (peace be upon him) hot-temperedness with Aaron’s (peace be upon him) graceful attitudes. While representing Aaron (peace be upon him) with the norm “we are the guards of love and we have no time for enmity”, Moses’ (peace be upon him) hot-tempered attitude must be brought up against them with the principle “Showing mercy to a hungry wolf will not bring out his compassion but it will whet his appetite and he will ask for more.”.

It is important to be careful with the language while preaching. Allah provided Aaron as a helper for Moses and commanded them to go to Pharaoh, the ruler of the Egypt. He informed them that Pharaoh had gone far in his arrogance and denial, and yet He ordered them to use a gentle language while they were preaching him the high ethics of the religion: “Go, both of you, to the Pharaoh for he has exceedingly rebelled. But speak to him with gentle words, so that he might reflect and be mindful or feel some awe (of me, and behave with humility).” (the Qur’an, Ta-Ha 20:43/44).

As pointed out in this verse, uttering gentle words is very important in preaching the high ethics of the religion. In a number of verses, believers are advised to choose gentle way of speaking among themselves and when they preach. Here, to use a gentle language is commanded no matter how wild and ferocious the one who is addressed is; and this shows us once more how important the gentle use of language in preaching the high ethics of the religion is.

21 Who is the first Muslim? In the Verses, it is used both for Abraham (pbuh) and Muhammad (pbuh).

The term Islam is the common name of all the True paths from Adam (pbuh) to Muhammad (pbuh), because the word Islam means submission to Allah and obeying His laws. It is also the main purpose of religions.
Furthermore, the term Islam, as a word derived from the root “Silm”, which means guaranty to the peace and wealth of individuals and societies. It is also the common feature of the True Religions. 
-When the issue is examined from that point of view, there is no doubt that each prophet is the first Muslim of his time. Abraham (pbuh) was the first Muslim of his time and Muhammad (pbuh) was also the first Muslim of his time.
Say: I was commanded to be the first to submit to Him. (Namely I was commanded to be the first to obey His rules).” (Al-An’am –the Cattle-, 6/14)
In the Ayah above, Muhammad (pbuh) was commanded to be the first to submit and obey Allah’s rules before everybody.

It is clear enough from the explanations above that there is no conflict between the statements of two Ayahs.

22 Since Christianity is a distorted religion, is it not possible that Jesus being born without a father and His miracles are fabricated stories?

It is possible to decide which information is distorted by comparing them with the Qur’an and hadiths.

So, Jesus being born without a father and His miracles are not fabricated stories resulting from distortion. We learn the authenticity of such information from Islamic sources.

This subject is narrated in the Qur’an as follows:

She said: "I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah." He said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son." She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?" He said: "So (it will be): thy Lord saith `That is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us': it is a matter (so) decreed." So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: she cried (in her anguish): "Ah! would that I had died before this! Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!" (Maryam, 19/18-23).

…But she pointed to the babe. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?" He said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; "And He hath made me Blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live; "(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable; "So Peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)"! (Maryam, 19/29-33).

This similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam: He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be" and he was.” (Surah Aal--Imran, 3/59)

The miracles of Jesus (PBUH) mentioned in the Qur’an are as follows:

Figuring a statue bird and breathing into it and let it to fly, resurrecting death people; healing those born blind, and the lepers; sending down a table set (with viands) from heaven (Al-Maeda, 5/110-115); declaring from unseen (gayb) about what apostles and his friends are eating and storing at their houses. (Aal-e-Imran, 3/49)

23 How tall was the Prophet Adam and how long did he live? Is there a source you can show related to it?

In a hadith in Bukhari, one of the most trusted sources, our Prophet says;

“Allah (cc) created the Prophet Adam. He was about 60 ziras tall.”

It is stated in the hadith above that Hz. Adam was 60 ziras (about 40 meters) tall. However, some scholars like Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) accept that this is his height in Paradise and upon being sent to the Earth with Hz. Hawwa (Eve), he was given a height appropriate to the standards of Planet Earth.

Given the facts

1) that no other beings but trees are known to be at this height,

2) that there are no findings demonstrating this on human fossils,

3) that our prophet’s (PBUH) similar descriptions are related to the hereafter, Ibn Khaldun’s views can be said to be reasonable.

The day Prophet Adam died was Friday. There are different narrations that his life lasted one thousand years or two. (Ibn.Sa'd-Tabaqat, 1/28,29, Ahmad b.Hanbal-Musnad 1/299, Tabari-Tarikh 1/79, Thalabi-Arais s.48, Daylami-Firdaws 3/269, Haythami-Majma az-Zawaid 8/206).

(M. Asım Köksal, Peygamberler Tarihi (The History of Prophets))

24 Will you please give information about the life story of Hz. Moses (PBUH)?

HZ. MOSES (PBUH)

He is one of the Ulul-‘Azm prophets (major prophets) that was given one of the four major books as a revelation, the Torah, and sent by God in order to spread His religion and make it dominant on earth. He is one of the descendants of Hz. Abraham (PBUH). He was entrusted with the task of correcting the beliefs of the son of Israel and to regulate their lives according to God Almighty’s law. His struggle with unbelief is narrated in the Qur’an at length.

Many prophets came to the world from Hz. Adam to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). These prophets called their nations to have belief in God Almighty; they fought with unbelievers in this way; they were expelled from the places in which they lived; they were suppressed, despised and even killed.

Hz. Moses was an apostle that was sent to the sons of Israel by God Almighty. Just like the prophets before him, he called his nation to have belief in God. He struggled with the Pharaoh, who tortured his people and claimed deity, on the path of tawhid (the oneness of God). In this way, he came across with the difficulties which other prophets also faced. He was expelled from the place where he had been born and was chased by unbelievers with the aim of killing. God Almighty mentions about Hz. Moses (PBUH) in the Qur’an as follows:

“And mention in the Book (the Qur'an) Musa (Moses). Verily! He was chosen and he was a Messenger (and) a Prophet” (Maryam, 19/51).

The story of Hz. Moses (PBUH) with the Pharaoh is narrated in different chapters of the Qur’an and with different styles in detail. After the event of the drowning of the Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, the story of Moses with the sons of Israel is mentioned in detail.

The struggle of Hz. Moses (PBUH) with the Pharaoh does not consist of only a struggle of a person with a king, or a prophet with a cruel man. On the contrary, this is a struggle between the truth and the falsehood, the inevitable war between the army of God and evil. In fact, this war, which is between truth and falsehood, has been continuing from the time mankind was created and apostles and prophets started to appear on the stage of life.

Aberration and wrong beliefs are always represented by the evil and his army; he always opposes belief, tawhid, prophethood and the truth. But the winner is always the truth. God Almighty states the following:

“We will, without doubt, help Our messengers and those who believe, (both) in this world's life and on the Day when the Witnesses will stand forth―” (Ghafir, 40/51).

Hz. Moses (PBUH) found the nation to which he was sent to be in ignorance and aberration. He invited them to the truth but he was expelled from his native land; he fought and in the end he won with the help of God.
The Ancestry, Birth and Life of Hz. Moses (PBUH)

The father of Hz. Moses is Imran; his father is Yasshor and Yasshor’s father is Qahith. His descent reaches up to Yaqub (Jacob); son of Ishaq (Isaac) and son of Ibrahim (AS). The person whom we see as a support for Moses (AS) is His brother, Harun (Aaron). His brother is Harun (AS), whom God has sent as a support and to assist Moses (AS), when He wanted to send him to the Pharaoh to invite him to believe. Hz. Moses prayed God as follows so that his brother would become a support for him:

“And appoint for me a helper from my family, Harun (Aaron), my brother.” (Taha, 20/29-30).

Hz. Moses (PBUH) was born in a period when Egypt was experiencing extremely difficult days. During this time, the Pharaoh used to transgress the limits by claiming divinity and oppressing his folk by irresistible tortures and persecute them harshly. The son of Israel were fed up with the treatments of Copt nation and high pressures of their kings. They knew that there was no fun in living in Egypt and they wished to go to the state of Canaan, which is the land of their grandfathers. However, the Pharaoh who benefited from all of their deeds did not want to let them go away. He tortured them incredibly. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in the Qu’an;

“We recite to you some of the news of Mûsa (Moses) and Fir'aun (Pharaoh) in truth, for a people who believe (in this Qur'an, and in the Oneness of Allah). Verily, Fir'aun (Pharaoh) exalted himself in the land and made its people sects, weakening (oppressing) a group (i.e. Children of Israel) among them, killing their sons, and letting their females live. Verily, he was of the Mufsidun (i.e. those who commit great sins and crimes, oppressors, tyrants).” (al-Qasas, 28/3-4)

During his sovereignty, the Pharaoh tortured the sons of Israelites very badly; he enslaved them, employed them in the horrid and despicable works. God Almighty sent the Prophet Moses (PBUH) in order to save the sons of Israel from this discomfort and the malice, persecution and extravagance of the unruly Pharaoh.

Salabi narrates the following in his book Qisas al-Anbiya from Imam Suddi; the Pharaoh saw a dream and he was scared; thus, he became sad upon this. He saw a fire coming from the side of Jerusalem. This fire reached up to Egypt and burnt the houses of the Pharaoh. However, it only harmed Copts; the sons of Israel survived. When he woke up, he wanted his dream to be interpreted by oracles and astrologers. They said; “A child will come from the sons of Israel; he will cause the ruin of Egyptians and your kingdom. The time of his birth is very close.

The Pharaoh, who was alarmed upon this news, ordered the baby boys of the sons of Israel to be killed. The glorious Qur’an narrates this event as follows:

“Truly Pharaoh elated himself in the land and broke up its people into sections depressing a group among them: their sons he slew, but he kept alive their females: for he was indeed a maker of mischief.” (al-Qasas 28/4)

When people that could work decreased among the people of the sons of Israel, the prominent figures of Copts went to the Pharaoh and said to him, “If you continue to kill like this, we will not be able to find anyone who can do our works in the future”. Upon this, the Pharaoh ordered the baby boys to be killed every other year. Harun (AS) was born in the year when baby boys were not killed. On the other hand, the prophet Moses (AS) was born in the year that baby boys were killed.

When Moses (AS) was born, his mother became very upset. God Almighty inspired her not to become sad and relieved her. It is narrated in the Qur’an as follows:

“So We sent this inspiration to the mother of Moses: "Suckle (thy child) but when thou hast fears about him cast him, into the river, but fear not nor grieve: for We shall restore him to thee, and We shall make him one of Our messengers.” (al-Qasas, 28/7)

The mother of Moses (AS) did what she had been inspired to do and left her son onto the water within  a vessel. She asked her sister to “trace it”. The vessel that was carrying Hz. Moses (AS) reached the palace of the Pharaoh by the waves with the help of God Almighty. The concubines who were having a bath found the vessel and brought it to the wife of Pharaoh. God Almighty put the love of this child into the heart of Asiya, who was the wife of the Pharaoh. When the Pharaoh saw the child, he wanted to kill him.
However, Asiya wanted him to give the child to her because they had no children. The glorious Qur’an narrates this as follows:

“The wife of Pharaoh said: "(Here is) a joy of the eye for me and for thee: slay him not. It may be that he will be of use to us, or we may adopt him as a son." And they perceived not (what they were doing)!” (al-Qasas, 28/9)

Nursing was needed, when Moses (AS) became hungry. However, he did not want to suck anybody. God Almighty states this as follows:

“And We ordained that he refused suck at first, until (his sister came up and) said: "Shall I point out to you the people of a house that will nourish and bring him up for you and be sincerely attached to him?"… Thus did We restore him to his mother that her eye might be comforted, that she might not grieve and that she might know that the promise of Allah is true: but most of them do not understand.” (Al-Qasas, 28/12-13)

So, Hz. Moses returned to his mother. Besides, he was brought up in the palace of the Pharaoh. He gained the love of the family of the Pharaoh. God Almighty states the following:

“When he reached full age, and was firmly established (in life), We bestowed on him wisdom and knowledge: for thus do We reward those who do good.” (al-Qasas, 28/14)

Moses (AS), who reached up to adolescence, went to the town one day. It was afternoon. The shops were closed and people were resting in their homes. The event that happened in the town is narrated as follows in the glorious Qur’an;

“And he entered the City at a time when its people were not watching: and he found there two men fighting― one of his own people, and the other, of his foes. Now the man of his own people appealed to him against his foe, and Moses struck him with his fist and made an end of him. He said: "This is a work of Evil (Satan): for he is an enemy that manifestly misleads!" He prayed: "O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul! Do Thou then forgive me!" So (Allah) forgave him: for He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. He said: "O my Lord! For that Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace on me, never shall I be a help to those who sin!" So he saw the morning in the City, looking about, in a state of fear, when behold, the man who had, the day before, sought his help called aloud for his help (again). Moses said to him: "Thou art truly, it is clear a quarrelsome fellow!" Then, when he decided to lay hold of the man who was an enemy to both of them that man said: "O Moses! is it thy intention to slay me as thou slewest a man yesterday? Thy intention is none other than to become a powerful violent man in the land, and not to be one who sets things right!” (al-Qasas, 28/15-19).

Upon blurting out the event by the Israelite, all of the people learnt that Moses had killed the Egyptian. After that, a man came and informed Moses that they were going to kill him.

“He therefore got away therefrom, looking about, in a state of fear. He prayed: "O my Lord! Save me from people given to wrongdoing. Then when he turned his face towards (the land of) Madyan, he said: "I do hope that my Lord will show me the smooth and straight Path.” (al-Qasas, 28/21-22).

Thus, Moses (AS) moved away from his native land. He did not take any food while departing. He traveled a total of eight days by eating leafs. The distance between Egypt and Madyan is eight days. This prominent slave of God covered this long distance in a weary and hungry state and finally reached Madyan. The story continues as follows in the Qur’an:

“And when he arrived at the watering (place) in Madyan, he found there a group of men watering (their flocks) and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: "What is the matter with you?" They said: "We cannot water (our flocks), until the shepherds take back (their flocks): and our father is a very old man." So he watered (their flocks) for them; then he turned back to the shade, and said: "O my Lord! Truly am I in (desperate) need of any good that thou dost send me!"… (al-Qasas, 28/21-22).

This event is narrated in al-Bidayah wa-Nihayah by Ibn Kathir as follows:

“In the water of Madyan, shepherds used to put a stone on the top of wells after watering their flocks. These two women were trying to give water to their sheep with the remaining water. Hz. Moses (AS) lifted the stone from the top of the well by himself, got water and watered the flocks of these women. After that, he put the stone back to its place. And only ten people could lift this stone. Hz. Moses (AS) performed the task which ten people could do by himself alone. The women went to their father and told him the favor that Hz. Moses (AS) did them.”

The story continues in the Qur’an as follows:

“Afterwards one of the (damsels) came (back) to him, walking bashfully. She said: "My father invites thee that he may reward thee for having watered (our flocks) for us." So when he came to him and narrated the story he said: "Fear thou not: (well) hast thou escaped from unjust people." Said one of the (damsels): "O my (dear) father! Engage him on wages: truly the best of men for thee to employ is the (man) who is strong and trusty"… He said: "I intended to wed one of these my daughters to thee on condition that thou serve me for eight years; but if thou complete ten years, it will be (grace) from thee. But I intend not to place thee under a difficulty: thou wilt find me, indeed, if Allah wills one of the righteous." He said: "Be that (the agreement) between me and thee: whichever of the two terms I fulfil, let there be no injustice to me. Be Allah a witness to what we say." (al-Qasas, 28/25-28)

Ibn Kathir states the following: “There is difference of opinion about the identity of the father of these women. There are opinions that this person is Shuayb (Jethro) (AS). The majority of scholars agree on that view. Hasan Basri says by giving a riwayah as a proof from Malik b. Anas: “Hz. Shuayb (AS) lived a long life after his nation had been destroyed until Hz. Moses (AS) came to him and let her daughter marry him.”

Hz. Moses (AS) started to reside in Madyan and herded sheep for ten years as a bride price after getting married with the daughter of Hz. Shuayb (AS). According to a riwayah, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was asked how many years Hz. Moses had worked; he answered as ten years. As it can be understood from the sentences above, he worked as a shepherd for ten years.
Hz. Moses (AS) is informed that he has been chosen as a prophet

Hz. Moses (AS) decided to return to Egypt after staying in Madyan for ten years and having completed to pay the bride price. He set off with his family. He got lost  in a dark and cold night and could not find the mountain pass. He tried to make a fire with tinderbox but failed. The cold became stronger. His wife was pregnant and she was going to give birth soon. Hz. Moses (AS) and his family really needed help. This is narrated in the Qur’an as follows:

“Now when Moses had fulfilled the term, and was travelling with his family, he perceived a fire in the direction of Mount Tur. He said to his family: "Tarry ye; I perceive a fire; I hope to bring you from there some information, or a burning firebrand, that ye may warm yourselves." But when he came to the (Fire), a voice was heard from the right bank of the valley, from a tree in hallowed ground: "O Moses! verily I am Allah the Lord of the Worlds… "Now do thou throw thy rod!" But when he saw it moving (of its own accord) as if it had been a snake he turned back in retreat, and retraced not his steps: "O Moses!" (It was said) " Draw near, and fear not: for thou art of those who are secure. "Move thy hand into thy bosom, and it will come forth white without stain (or harm), and draw thy hand close to thy side (to guard) against fear. Those are the two credentials from thy Lord to Pharaoh and his Chiefs: for truly they are a people rebellious and wicked." He said: "O my Lord! I have slain a man among them, and I fear lest they slay me. "And my brother Aaron― he is more eloquent in speech than I: so send him with me as a helper, to confirm (and strengthen) me; for I fear that they may accuse me of falsehood." He said: "We will certainly strengthen thy arm through thy brother and invest you both with authority, so they shall not be able to touch you: with Our Signs shall ye triumph― you two as well as those who follow you."” (al-Qasas, 28/29-35)

In the first verses of the chapter of Taha, the talk between Allah and Moses is given in detail. The following verses help us understand the time when Allah appointed Moses as an apostle:

"I have chosen thee: listen then, to the inspiration (sent to thee). Verily I am Allah: there is no god but I: so serve thou Me, (only) and establish regular prayer for celebrating My praise!" (Taha, 20/13 and 14).

Then, Allah said the following to Moses:

"Go both of you to Pharaoh, for he has indeed transgressed all bounds; But speak to him mildly; perchance he may take warning or fear (Allah)." (Taha, 20/43 and 44).

After Allah gave that order to Moses, a relentless struggle started between Moses (pbuh) and the Pharaoh: the struggle of the truth and the wrong: the struggle of oneness that all prophets left as inheritance to one another...

Hazrat Moses went to the Pharaoh with that order of Allah. He called the Pharaoh to believe in Allah leniently:

"Moses said: ‘O Pharaoh! I am a messenger from the Lord of the worlds.― One for whom it is right to say nothing but truth about Allah. Now have I come unto you (people) from your Lord with a clear (sign): so let the children of Israel depart along with me.’" (al-A'raf, 7/104 and 105).

"(When this message was delivered), (Pharaoh) said: ‘Who then, O Moses, is the Lord of you two?’ He said: ‘Our Lord is He Who gave to each (created) thing its form and nature, and further gave (it) guidance.’" (Taha 20/49 and 50).

The Pharaoh did not accept that call and resisted. He threatened Moses to send him to dungeon. Moses wanted to show some evidence to the Pharaoh to prove so that the Pharaoh might believe. He threw his rod onto the ground and it became a snake.  Moses put his hand into his bosom and took it out; it became a dazzling piece of the sun. The Pharaoh really feared when he saw the miracles of Moses. Thereupon, the Pharaoh decided to bring all of the magicians together and defeat Moses. He summoned all of the magicians in his country and asked them to perform some magic greater than that of Moses. They made their preparations and decided a day to compete. When that day came, they started to compete in front of the people.

"They said: ‘O Moses! wilt thou throw (first), or shall we have the (first) throw?’ Said Moses: ‘Throw ye (first).’ So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people and struck terror into them: and they showed a great (feat of) magic. We put it into Moses's mind by inspiration: ‘throw (now) thy rod’: and behold! it swallows up straightway all the falsehoods which they fake! Thus truth was confirmed and all that they did was made of no effect. So they were vanquished there and then, and were made to look small. But the sorcerers fell down prostrate in adoration. Saying: ‘we believe in the Lord of the worlds. The Lord of Moses and Aaron.’" (al-A'raf, 7/115-122).

The Pharaoh got very angry when the magicians believed. He threatened to kill them. Thus, unbelief showed its weakness with this incident.

Those incidents inflamed the Pharaoh instead of guiding him. He had the view that he would not be able to feel comfortable unless he liquidated Moses and his nation. Moses continued to call the Pharaoh and his nation to believe in Allah. As the Pharaoh continued to deny, Allah sent various disasters like flood, locusts, insects, frogs and blood to his nation.  However, none of them was able to guide the Pharaoh and his nation.

The Pharaoh insisted on his unbelief and obstinacy and refused the call of Moses (pbuh). Allah sent a revelation to Moses telling him to take Sons of Israel out of Egypt one night and lead them to Palestine. One night, Moses and his nation left the city and walked toward the Red Sea along the estuary of Suez. When the Pharaoh did not see any traces of the Sons of Israel in the city, he realized that they had escaped; he summoned his army and started to follow them. It was reported that the army of the Pharaoh was very crowded. The Pharaoh caught up with the Sons of Israel two days later. There was a sea in front of the Sons of Israel which was impossible to pass and there was a huge army behind them. They started to say, “O Moses! We have been trapped.” The Quran describes the incident as follows:

"(Moses said: ‘By no means! my Lord is with me! Soon will He guide me!’ Then We told Moses by inspiration: ‘Strike the sea with thy rod.’ So it divided, and each separate part become like the huge, firm mass of a mountain. And We made the other party approach thither. We delivered Moses and all who were with him." (ash-Shuara, 26/62-65).

"Then Pharaoh pursued them with his forces, but the waters completely overwhelmed them and covered them up!" (Taha, 20/78).

Allah describes the end of an unbeliever and how he saved a nation like that in the Quran. Thus, the truth eliminates the wrong.  

The army of the Pharaoh was completely destroyed. When the Pharaoh realized that he was about to die, he stated that he believed:

"At length, when overwhelmed with the flood, the Pharaoh said: ‘I believe that there is no god except Him Whom the Children of Israel believe in: I am of those who submit (to Allah in Islam).’ (It was said to him): ‘Ah now!― but a little while before, wast thou in rebellion!― and thou didst mischief (and violence)!’" (Yunus, 10/90, 91).

After this incident, Allah ordered Moses to go to Bayt al-Maqdis together with his nation.  They set off. They could not find water in the desert and got very thirsty. They complained to Moses about their thirst. Allah ordered Moses (pbuh) to hit the rock with his rod. When he hit the rock, water gushed forth from twelve places out of the rock. There was one spring for each tribe. They drank water from those springs. Allah sent down manna and quail from the sky for the Sons of Israel. However, the hypocrisy of the Sons of Israel became evident despite those bounties. They said one kind of food was not enough for them:

"…O Moses! we cannot endure one kind of food (always); so beseech thy Lord for us to produce for us of what the earth groweth-its pot-herbs and cucumbers its garlic lentils and onions.’ He said: ‘will ye exchange the better for the worse? Go ye down to any town and ye shall find what ye want.’" (al-Baqara, 2/61).

Then, Allah ordered Hazrat Moses to go to Palestine. They confronted the remains of Haysanis and a group of cruel people from Canaan. Moses ordered his nation to go and fight those cruel people and to expel them from that holy land. However, the Sons of Israel did not dare to do it:

"They said: ‘O Moses! while they remain there, never shall we be able to enter, to the end of time. Go thou, and thy Lord and fight ye two, while we sit here (and watch).’" (al-Maida, 5/24).

The Sons of Israel used to live in despise, meanness and abasement. To fight in order to attain some values did not mean anything to them. Allah sent them to the Tih Desert and misled them. Allah said to Moses, who complained that his nation did not obey him,

"Therefore will the land be out of their reach for forty years; in distraction will they wander through the land: but sorrow thou not over these rebellious people." (al-Maida, 5/26).

In the course of time, this generation that lived in abasement was replaced by a generation that lived in freedom and honor. After a while, they managed to enter the Holy Land.  

During this forty-year period, the Sons of Israel committed several deviant acts. When Hazrat Moses spent forty days on Mount Sina, they started to worship a golden calf that was made by Samiri, who said, “This is your god and Moses’ god.” When Moses saw that they were worshipping the calf, he got very depressed. He scolded Aaron. He tried to dissuade his nation from worshipping the calf. The Sons of Israel showed their hypocrisy in any occasion. Moses (pbuh) struggled in the way of oneness during his life. He suffered many kinds of torture for his cause. He was expelled from his land, was threatened to be killed; he found very few people that believed him.  

Moses (pbuh) died in the Tih Desert after Aaron (pbuh). He could not take the Sons of Israel to the Holy Land. He was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. Bukhari narrates the following about his death:

“When the angel of death came, Moses stared at him. Azrael, who came to take the soul of Moses, was afraid and his eye blackened. Then, he said, ”O Lord! You sent me to a slave who does not want to die." Allah restored his eye and said, "Go back and tell him, “he will be allowed to live for a number of counted years.“ Then Moses asked, "O my Lord! What will be then?" He said, "You will die." He said, "(Let it be) now." He asked Allah that He bring him near the Holy Land at a distance of a stone's throw. Abu Hurayra said, “The Messenger of Allah said,

‘Were I there, I would show you the grave of Moses by the way near the red sand hill.’”(see Şamil İslam Ansiklopedisi)

25 Did the Flood of Noah cover the whole world? Did the humankind continue from Hz. Nuh (Noah)?

Hz. Nuh lived in Kufa, which is in Iraq today. His nation also lived there. They went to extremes in disbelief and heresy. Allah Almighty assigned the duty of prophethood to Hz. Nuh so that he would save them from heresy and lead them to the true path. He was forty years old then. He called his people to the truth persistently. He asked them to believe in Allah. The struggle between belief and unbelief continued intensely. However, his nation insisted on being unbelievers and did not accept the truth.

Nuh addressed Allah Almighty as follows in the chapter of Nuh: "O my Lord! I have called to my People night and day: But my call only increases (their) flight (from the Right). And every time I have called to them, that thou mightest forgive them, they have (only) thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments, grown obstinate, and given themselves up to arrogance." (Nuh, 5, 6, 7)

The nation of Hz Nuh did not agree to believe in him and asked him to send the wrath he had warned them about. Finally, Hz. Nuh addressed his Lord as follows:, "I am one overcome: do Thou then help (me)!" (al-Qamar, 10) Then, he prayed,"O my Lord! Leave not of the Unbelievers, a single one on earth! For, if Thou dost leave (any of) them, they will but mislead Thy devotees, and they will breed none but wicked ungrateful ones." (Nuh, 26-27)

Then, Hz. Nuh built a ship as Allah Almighty instructed him. The number of the believers was eighty, including three of his sons. Those who believed in him went aboard the ship. They allowed a pair of all species of animals on board. The water gushing out of the ground and raining from the sky covered the earth and the earth was flooded. All of the people and animals except the ones on the ship died. After the deluge ended, the ship (Noah's Ark) rested on Mount Judi around Mosul.  

There are different narrations whether the deluge covered the whole world or not. Some scholars hold the view that it covered the whole earth since the water went over high mountains. However, the view of the majority of the scholars is that the deluge covered the region where the nation of Hz. Noah lived, not the whole world. For, in terms of wisdom and reason, it should cover only the area where the nation of Hz. Nuh lived. As a matter of fact, the disasters that hit the nations of Lot, Ad and Thamud were observed only in the regions where those nations lived. According to the data that exist, interpretations and general view, the nation of Hz. Noah lived around the Lake of Lot and Mesopotamia. Therefore, it is possible that the deluge took place in the area that included those regions.  

There are different views about from whose progeny the humankind continued after the deluge of Noah.  

There are some verses regarding the issue. Two of them are as follows:

"And made his (Noah's) progeny to endure (on this earth)." (as-Saffat, 77)

"O ye that are sprung from those whom We carried (in the Ark) with Noah! (al-Isra, 3)

In some tafsir (exegesis) and history books, and in the Bible, it is stated that the humankind spread to the world from the sons of Nuh called Shem (Sam), Ham and Japhet (Yafas). According to this information, the progeny of the human beings who survived the deluge ended and only the progeny of Nuh continued in the world. There are two more views in tafsir books:

a) According to the view reported by Shawkani, what is meant by "Noah's progeny" are the believers that survived together with him. As a matter of fact, that are sprung from those carried (in the Ark) with Noah (17/3), and on some of the Peoples (who will spring) from those with Noah (11/48) are mentioned in the Quran. Accordingly, the progeny of those that survived together with Noah also continued.

b) The view that the deluge covered the whole world and hence nobody survived except those on Noah's Ark is common but Noah was not sent to the whole humankind like Hz. Muhammad; he was the prophet of only his own nation; then, according to those who hold the view that  the information given about the deluge here and other verses, it is a regional deluge. They say the people who lived in the regions where the call of Noah did not reach also survived and their progeny continued. (see Elmalılı, Hak Dini; Diyanet, Kur’an Yolu)

Accordingly, the progeny of those other than the children of Noah also continued. What is meant by the progeny in the verse “And made his (Noah's) progeny to endure (on this earth)” is the progeny of those other than the unbelievers. For, it means the progeny of the unbelievers was drowned in the deluge. (Qurtubi, al-Jamiu li-Ahkami’l-Qur’an)

We will quote from the tafsir of Elmalılı related to his views whether anybody other than those on Noah's ark survived or not and from whom the progeny of humankind continued:

Though some scholars say, "All of those on Noah's Ark except Noah's three sons, Sam, Ham, Ya'fas and their wives died without leaving any children", we do not find this view appropriate due to the following verse: "The word came: "O Noah! Come down (from the Ark) with Peace from Us, and Blessings on thee and on some of the Peoples (who will spring) from those with thee." (Hud, 11/48) For what is meant by "those with thee" is "but only a few believed with him." (Hud, 11/40) Then, the reference here is probably those who were drowned rather than those on the Ark. However, it can be said that the progeny of those on the Ark was regarded as his progeny in terms of majority; and those who survived like that were regarded as his progeny; and he was named as second Adam.

Tabari says Arabs come from the children of Sam, the Sudanese from the children of Ham, Turks and others from the children of Yafas. After quoting the statement of Tabari in his book called "Bahr", Abu Hayyan writes as follows: Some scholars said, "Allah left the progeny of Noah eternal and lengthened his life. However, not all human beings come from his progeny. There are also some people among nations that do not come from him."Alusi writes as follows: "It looks as if this group does not say that the drowning in water is general. Noah prayed against the unbelievers but he was not sent to the whole humankind in the world. For, being universal in terms of prophethood is one of the properties of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh), the last prophet. It is also possible to say that it is general but to refer it to those who were drowned specifically. (Elmalılı, Hak Dini)

As for the issue whether the prayer of Noah as “O my Lord! Leave not of the Unbelievers, a single one on earth!", includes all of the unbelievers in the world, the world "ard" (earth) is sometimes used as the earth and the world and at other times as a certain piece of land/region:
 

What is meant by the word "ard" (land) in the following verse is Makkah: "Their purpose was to scare thee off the land, in order to expel thee" (al-Isra, 17/76) Therefore, this word is usually translated as "homeland" in the translations of the Quran.

In the following verse, the word "ard" (land) is used as the region of Hejaz (or Byzantine/Persian region): “The Roman Empire has been defeated―In a land close by”(Rum, 30/2).

Thus, if it is proved that the deluge of Noah was regional, it is permissible to accept the word ard (earth) as the region where his nation lived, not as the whole earth: "O my Lord! Leave not of the Unbelievers, a single one on earth!" (Nuh, 71/26) It is a controversial issue.  The word ard can be interpreted as global or local in terms of the deluge.

We also advise you to read the following article:

When NOAH'S ARK is mentioned, some questions come to mind:

Did the deluge of Noah cover the whole world? How did Noah find the pairs of animals that he put on the Ark? Where did the Ark rest after the deluge?

The great heavenly books mention the incident of Noah. However, some interpretations and evaluations are made since there are not all details in those books. Some Christian researchers claim that the deluge covered the whole earth and that all species of living beings were allowed on the Ark. 

Hz. Nuh is mentioned among great prophets in both the Quran and the Torah. He has an important place in the history of the humankind. After Hz. Adam, the humankind spread to the world again with the few people around Noah. The nation to which he was sent was hit by a big disaster known as "the Deluge of Noah".

The incidence of the deluge is mentioned in various chapters of the Quran:

"So We inspired him (with this message): "Construct the Ark within Our sight and under Our guidance: then when comes Our command and the fountains of the earth gush forth, take thou on board pairs of every species, male and female, and thy family― except those of them against whom the Word has already gone forth: and address Me not in favour of the wrongdoers; for they shall be drowned (in the Flood)." 1

Allah Almighty states that the Ark will be constructed with His help. Some tafsir scholars state that Jibril (Gabriel) helped Noah construct the Ark. 2

The gushing forth of the tannur (fountains of the earth), which is used as tandır in Turkish in the sense of oven dug in the ground can be interpreted as the time when the water gushed forth and also as the steam boiler of a ship, implying that it was a steam ship. 2

If it is considered that steam ships were started to be used around 1700's in the world, it can be said that Noah's Ark gives us important clues about the history of humankind.

Noah was ordered to take a pair of each species on board as soon as the fountains of the earth start to gush forth. Hz. Nuh probably took some animals that he would need during the voyage like chickens, sheep, goats, camels, cattle and horses. There is no need and time to take all species of the living beings, from the butterfly to the ant, from the snake to the mole. 

It is stated that water gushed forth from the ground and it rained from the sky during the deluge:

"So We opened the gates of heaven, with water pouring forth. And We caused the earth to gush forth with springs so the waters met (and rose) to the extent decreed. But We bore him on an (Ark) made of broad planks and caulked with palm-fibre."3

It is stated that the Ark rested on Mount Judi after the deluge:

"When the word went forth: "O earth! Swallow up thy water, and O sky! withhold (thy rain)!" and the water abated, and the matter was ended. The Ark rested on Mount Judi, and the word went forth: "Away with those who do wrong!"4

Judi is a mountain with a height of about 2000m in the southeast of Turkey around the city of Şırnak. It is also narrated Hz. Nuh guided people around Iraq and there is a mountain called Judi in Mosul, Jizra and Damascus, too and that the Ark is somewhere near those towns. 5

If the word Judi is regarded as an adjective instead of a proper noun, it means "fertile land"; it is stated that Noah prayed as follows: "O my Lord! Enable me to disembark with Thy blessing"6; therefore, the Ark may have rested on a place near fertile land. 7

It is stated in the Torah that the Ark rested on Mount Ararat (Ağrı). 8 It is not possible for Noah's Ark to be on Mount Ararat because the height of this mountain is 5165 m. How can people disembark the Ark there and live on that mountain, which is covered in ice all the time? It is virtually impossible to lead a normal life biologically on the top of Mount Ararat due to very low air pressure.

There is no definite information in the heavenly books about what part of the world Noah lived and where the deluge took place. The Quran states the following regarding the idols of the nation of Noah:

"And they have said (to each other) Abandon not your gods; abandon neither Wadd nor Suwa, neither Yaguth, nor Yauq, nor Nasr!"9

The idols with those names are seen in Arabia but they are local names symbolizing the moon and stars of Mesopotamian gods. Therefore, it is decreed that the nation of Noah may have lived in Mesopotamia. 10

It is stated in the Quran that the land of the nation of Noah, which was flooded, was inherited by the people of Ad and then by the people of Thamud; and it is stated that this place is the city of Iram:

"Call in remembrance that he made you inheritors after the people of Noah, and gave you a stature tall among the nations. Call in remembrance the benefits (ye have received) from Allah: that so Ye may prosper."11

It is stated that the people of Thamud settled in the same place after the people of Ad:

"And remember how He made you inheritors after the Ad people and gave you habitations in the land."12

"Seest thou not how thy Lord dealt with the `Ad (people)―Of the (city of) Iram, with lofty pillars, The like of which were not produced in (all) the land? And with the Thamud (people) who cut out (huge) rocks in the valley?”13

The city of Iram is also mentioned in the Torah. Therefore, it is highly probable that the nation of Noah lived in the city of Iram before the deluge. It is stated that this settlement is the center of Edom in the southwest of the Lake Lot. 14

It is generally accepted that Noah settled in the city of Ur in Mesopotamia together with the people near him. It is stated in the Quran that the number of the people with him was very few:

"..But only a few believed with him."15

In the Torah and Talmud, which is the second holy book of Judaism, it is stated that Noah is the great grandfather of Hz. Ibrahim (Abraham) and that Abraham lived with him in the city of Ur until he died. 16

In terms of wisdom and reason, the deluge of Noah should cover only the area where the nation of Hz. Nuh lived. As a matter of fact, the disasters that hit the nations of Lot, Ad and Thamud were observed only in the regions where those nations lived. According to the data that exist, interpretations and general view, the nation of Hz. Noah lived around the Lake of Lot and Mesopotamia. Therefore, it is possible that the deluge took place in the area that included those regions. There is no reasonable explanation showing that the deluge covered the whole earth.

There is no clear document about the time when Noah lived but it is stated that he might have lived in 22nd or 21st century BC based on the information in the Torah. 17  It is stated in the Torah that Ibrahim, who is Azar's son and Noah's grandson, was born 292 years after the deluge, grew up with his great-grandfather Noah and that Noah died when Ibrahim was 15. 18

Some researchers mention the year 2347 BC and others the year 2650 as the year when Noah's Ark rested on the mountain. 20 Acting upon what they say, it is possible to say that the deluge of Noah took place about 2500 years Before Christ. 

In conclusion, it can be said that the deluge of Noah took place about 4500 years ago in and around the city of Iram, which is the center of today's Edom in the southwest of the Lake Lot; one female and one male from each species of animals that could be needed were taken to the Ark. After the deluge, the Ark rested on a mountain around Mesopotamia and the people of the Ark probably settled in the city of Ur in Mesopotamia together with Noah. 

FOOTNOTES:

1-al-Muminun /27
2-Bilmen, Ö.,N. Kur’an-ı Kerim’in Türkçe Meâli Alisi ve Tefsir. 1971, Vol. 5, p 143
3-al-Qamar/11-13;
4-Hud / 44;
5-Yıldırım, S. Kur’an-ı Kerim’in Türkçe Meâli, 1997;
6- al-Muminun /29;
7-Sarıkçıoğlu, E. Dinler Tarihi. Isparta, 2000, p. 65;
8-Genesis, 4,8;
9-Nuh/23;
10-Höfner, M. Die Voislamische Religionen Arabiens. Stuttgart, 1970;
11-al-A’raf/69;
12-al-A’raf / 74;
13-al-Fajr / 6-9;
14-Davis, D.J.The Westminster Dictionary of The Bible. Philadelphia, 1944, p. 267;
15-Hud / 40;
16-The Torah, Genesis, XI,26; Talmud, 31 ff;
17-Bucaille, M. Tevrat, İnciller ve Kur’an. Translated by M.Ali Sönmez. Konya, 1979, p. 61;
18- The Torah, Genesis, 36,43; 1.Tarih l, 54;
19-Günel, A. Türkiye Süryanileri tarihi;
20-Sarıkçoğlu, E. Kur’an ve Arkeoloji Işığında Hz. Nuh ve Tufan Olayına Yeni bir Yaklaşım. İslam Araştırmaları Dergisi, Vol. 9, issue:1-4, 1996, p. 201.

Prof. Dr. Âdem Tatlı

26 Did Hz. Adam (pbuh) commit any sins?

It is very important in which sense the words in the Quran are used. If it is thought that prophets are innocent, it will be clearly understood that it is definitely not a conscious disobedience.

As a matter of fact, when the incident is narrated in the previous verses, it is stated that Hz. Adam (pbuh) forgot this covenant:

"We had already beforehand, taken the covenant of Adam, but he forgot: and We found on his part no firm resolve." (Taha, 20/115)

That is, this deed of Hz. Adam (pbuh) is not a conscious deed aiming to oppose the order of Allah. Therefore, it is possible to understand the verse as follows not as disobedience in the sense we understand:

"In the result, they both ate of the tree, and so their nakedness appeared to them: they began to sew together, for their covering, leaves from the Garden: thus did Adam disobey his Lord, and allow himself to be seduced." (Taha, 20/121)

Prophets do not commit sins.

Sins are divided into two as major and minor sins. The principal major sins are as follows: Killing, fornication, drinking alcohol, opposing one's parents, gambling, perjury and supporting the innovations (bid'ahs) that will harm the religion. 1

No prophet committed any major sins before or after they became prophets.

However, some prophets made some mistakes called "zallah" by forgetting or by abandoning the better one. 2 Hz. Adam's eating the fruit of the forbidden tree in Paradise can be given as an example of a zallah. When Hz. Adam ate the forbidden fruit, he did not commit a sin in the sense that we know; he abandoned the better one. Consequently, he and his wife were deprived of the bounties of Paradise due to this mistake. Since there is no concept of sin and reward in Paradise, it is understood that this sin has a form that is different from what is known.

One of the bounties of Paradise is that there is no need "to go to the toilet" there. 3  Hz. Adam (pbuh) and Hawwa (Eve) did not pee or crap in Paradise because what they ate did not have any waste material. Their private parts were hidden by a garment or luminous light. 4 To eat the fruit of the forbidden tree would cause their private parts to be uncovered and cause them to pee and crap; that is why, God Almighty prohibited them from eating the fruit of that tree. 5 As a matter of fact, as soon as they ate the fruit of the forbidden tree, their private parts, which they had not seen before, were uncovered. They started to cover them with leaves because it was not appropriate to leave them uncovered. 6

It is necessary not to forget the share of qadar (destiny) in the incident of Hz. Adam's eating the fruit of the forbidden tree and being sent out of Paradise. For, purpose and wisdom of the creation of man by God Almighty was realized only when Hz. Adam and Hawwa were sent down to the world. Abu'l-Hasan ash-Shazali states the following about the zallah of Hz. Adam:

"A sin so full of wisdom that caused the repentance of the people to come up to the Day of Judgment to become legitimate."7

Footnotes:

1. Barla Lahikası, p. 179.
2. Muvazzah ilm-i Kelâm, p.184; Fıkh-ı Ekber Şerhi, p.154; Risale-i Hamidiye, p. 491.
3. Muslim, Jannah: 15.
4. Tefsîr-i Kebir , 14:49; Hak Dini Kur'ân Dili, 3:2140.
5. Hülasatül-Beyan ,2:4748.
6. al-A'raf, 22.
7. Risale-i Hamidiye, p. 611.

27 Will you give information about the prophet Hz. Yunus (Jonah)? Was Hz. Yunus swallowed by a fish?

HZ. YUNUS (PBUH)

"So also was Jonah among those sent (by us). When he ran away (like slave from captivity) to the ship (fully) laden, He (agreed to) cast lots, and he was condemned."(as-Saffat: 37/139-141)

Where Hz. Yunus (Jonah) is mentioned in the Quran:

Hz. Yunus is mentioned in four places in the Quran: the chapters of an-Nisa, al-An'am, Yunus and as-Saffat. (1)

In two places, he is mentioned by the nicknames given to him by Allah. One of them is "Dhun-nun" (the companion of the fish). This nickname is mentioned in the chapter of al-Anbiya as follows:

"And remember Dhun-Nun, when he departed in wrath: he imagined that We had no power over him! but he cried through the depths of darkness 'There is no god but Thou: Glory to Thee: I was indeed wrong!'"(2)

The other one is "Sahibu'l-Hut" (the owner of the fish). This nickname is mentioned in the chapter of al-Qalam as follows:

"So wait with patience for the command of thy Lord, and be not like the Companion of the Fish― when he cried out in agony. Had not Grace from His Lord reached him, he would indeed have been cast off on the naked shore, in disgrace."(3)

As it is seen, the name of Hz. Yunus is mentioned six times in the Quran: four times as "Yunus", once as "Dhunnun" and once as "Sahibu'1-Hut". (4)

The Lineage of Hz. Yunus:

Historians did not write any information about the lineage of Hz. Yunus but agreed that his name was Yunus b. Matta.

Hz. Isa (Jesus) is mentioned together with his mother in the verses of the Quran and hadiths. Hz. Yunus is mentioned as “Matta’s Son”. Some people say ‘Matta is his mother’ but it is generally agreed that Matta is his father. (see az-Zabidi, Tajrid Sarih I-XII)

The people of the book call Hz. Yunus as "Yunan b. Amtay".

Hz. Yunus is one of the prophets of Sons of Israel. His lineage dates back to Bunyamin (Benjamin), one of the sons of Hz. Yaqub (Jacob). Bunyamin is the brother of Hz. Yusuf (Joseph). (5)

The Call of Hz. Yunus:

Allah sent Hz. Yunus as a prophet to the people of "Ninova", located in Mosul, Iraq. For, idolatry had become widespread among the people of Ninova.

Hz. Yunus went to Ninova, which is one of the settlements in the region of Damascus and called the people living there to Allah. However, the people living there did not accept his call and denied his prophethood. Allah states the following regarding the situation of the majority of the people there:

"Never did We send a Warner to a population, but the wealthy ones among them said: 'We believe not in the (Message) with which ye have been sent.'"(6)

Hz. Yunus gave advice to the people of Ninova and called them to Allah. He lived among them for a long time. However, what he found was ears closed to the truth and covered hearts. He could not succeed in putting them in the way of Allah. Then, he warned them that they would be sent some divine wrath if they did not believe. When nothing changed after this warning, he told them that the divine wrath would come and left them angrily. It is also stated that they threatened Hz. Yunus, got furious and chased him away; consequently, Hz. Yunus escaped from them.

Hz. Yunus left that place before Allah ordered him to leave. He thought that Allah would not question him why he left that town with his family before Allah ordered him to do so and that he would not have any troubles. The following statement of Allah supports this view:

"And remember Dhun-Nun, when he departed in wrath: he imagined that We had no power over him."(7)

Hz. Yunus left that town because he got angry with the people not with his Lord. For, getting angry with his Lord would be rebellion against Allah. Besides, something like that would be contrary to the infallibility of prophets.  

Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, Mujahid and a group of Salaf said, "When Hz. Yunus left them and they deserved the wrath to be sent to them, Allah placed regret and repentance in their hearts. They repented of what they had done to their prophet and turned to Allah. They put on garments made of hair to torture their bodies. Then they begged Allah by crying. They separated animals from their youngs. They bowed down in the presence of Allah and kept silent. Man, women, sons, daughters and mothers cried all together. Small and big animals cried, too. Camels and their youngs, cows and calves, sheep and lambs mooed and baaed. They experienced terrible moments. Allah removed His wrath, which He had sent them due to wronging Hz. Yunus and which was suspending over them like the darkness of the night, from them as a necessity of His power, compassion and mercy. Thereupon, Allah stated the following:

"Why was there not a single township (among those We warned), which believed― so its Faith should have profited it, except the people of Jonah? When they believed, We removed from them the Penalty of Ignominy in the life of the Present and permitted them to enjoy (their life) for a while."(8)

Hz. Yunus is in the Stomach of a Fish:

When Hz. Yunus left his nation, he went to the sea side. He saw a ship that was ready to leave. He asked permission from the people of the ship to embark the ship. They understood that there was something good in him and let him embark the ship.

When the ship was in the middle of the sea, a strong wind started to blow and the sea became rough. They said,

- "There is a sinner among us."They decided to draw lots and throw the person whose name was drawn into the sea. When they drew the name of Hz. Yunus, they asked him what had happened to him. When he told them what had happened between him and his nation, they were astonished and they did not want to throw him into the sea. They decided to leave him on the shore. However, Hz. Yunus asked them to throw him into the sea so that Allah's wrath would soothe. Thereupon, they threw him into the sea. A big fish swallowed him upon the order of Allah. The fish swam around with Hz. Yunus inside it in darkness under the protection of Allah. When the miracle was completed, Allah ordered the fish not to decrease anything from the flesh of Hz. Yunus and not to break his bones.

The fish carried him alive in the darkness of the sea; in the meantime, Hz. Yunus glorified Allah and asked for forgiveness all the time.

Hz. Yunus prayed Allah as follows in the darkness of the sea:   

"'There is no god but Thou: Glory to Thee: I was indeed wrong."(al-Anbiya: 21/87) (9)

Allah accepted his prayer and saved from his troubled state. Allah ordered the fish to throw him on the shore, on a flat and wide area. Hz. Yunus thanked Allah for saving him. Allah created a tree without a trunk for him. He ate from the fruits of that tree and sat in the shade. Thus, Allah eliminated his disorder and accepted his prayer.  

Hz. Yunus realized that what happened to him was a divine warning and caused by the fact that he left his nation angrily without getting permission from Allah.

If there were a valid ijtihad regarding the issue, it could be accepted for the righteous people who wronged their own souls. However, it could not be accepted for prophets. Nevertheless, Hz. Yunus did the thing that necessitated the divine warning when he left his nation without waiting for the order of Allah. (10)

Allah narrates how Hz. Yunus embarked the ship and what happened to him after that as follows:

"So also was Jonah among those sent (by us). When he ran away (like slave from captivity) to the ship (fully) laden, he (agreed to) cast lots, and he was condemned: Then the big Fish did swallow him, and he had done acts worthy of blame. Had it not been that he (repented and) glorified Allah, he would certainly have remained inside the Fish till the Day of Resurrection. But We cast him forth, on the naked shore in a state of sickness; and We caused to grow, over him a spreading plant of the Gourd kind; and We sent him (on a mission) to a hundred thousand (men) or more. And they believed; so We permitted them to enjoy (their life) for a while."(11)

When Hz. Yunus got better and became strong enough to walk, he returned to his nation. He saw that his nation had repented and believed in Allah; they were waiting for him to obey him and to confirm his prophethood. He lived with them, taught them the orders and prohibitions of Allah, guided them, showed them the way to Allah and led them to the straight path.  

God Almighty gave various bounties to the people of Ninova as Hz. Yunus was among them and after him as long as they remained as believers. However, when they deviated afterwards, Allah sent them somebody who destroyed and demolished their city. 

Historians reported this incident and people who came later took lessons from it.

According to the narration of Abdullah ibn Abbas, Hz. Yunus was sent as a prophet to a nation whose population was 120.000. For Allah states the following about the number of the people of the nation to which Hz. Yunus was sent as a prophet:

"And We sent him (on a mission) to a hundred thousand (men) or more." (12)

There are also some other narrations regarding the issue. Yet, Allah knows the best. (13)

Footnotes:

(1) an-Nisa: 4/163, al-An’am: 6/86, Yunus:10/98, Saffat: 37/139

(2) al-Anbiya: 21/87-88

(3) al-Qalam: 50/48-49

(4) Muhammad Ali Sabani, Peygamberler Tarihi, Ahsen Publications: 673-674.

(5) Muhammad Ali Sabani, Peygamberler Tarihi, Ahsen Publications: 674.

(6) Saba: 34/34

(7) al-Anbiya: 21/87

(8) Yunus: 10/98

(9) It is stated in a hadith that the prayer of a person who utters the prayer of Hz Yunus will definitely be accepted.  see Musnad: 1/170; Hakim, Mustadrak, 2/488; Münziri. Terğib, 2/583

(10) This information was quoted from Abdurrahman Habannaka's book called "al-Aqidatu'1-Islamiyya".

(11) as-Saffat, 37/139-148

(12) as-Saffat, 37/147

(13) Muhammad Ali Sabani, Peygamberler Tarihi, Ahsen Publications: 676-679.

28 Will you give information about the life of Hz. Ismail (Ishmael) (pbuh)?

Hz. Ismail (Ishmael) (pbuh) is one of the prophets mentioned in the Quran. He is also called "Dhabihatullah (the sacrifice of Allah)". He is the oldest son of Hz. Ibrahim (pbuh) born of Hagar. His name is mentioned in twelve places in the Quran; it is also stated that revelation was sent to him (al-Baqara, 2/136; Aal-i Imran, 3/84; an-Nisa, 4/163). It is stated in the Quran that Hz. Ismail (pbuh) is a prophet and messenger and that he informed his ummah about the orders of Allah like prayers and zakah. Similarly, it is stated in the Quran that he is one of the ancestors of Hz. Yaqub (Jacob) (pbuh) together with  Hz. Ibrahim (Abraham) (pbuh) and Hz. Ishaq (Isaac) (pbuh) (al-Baqara, 2/133), that he raised the foundations of the Kaaba together with Ibrahim (pbuh), his father and that they were responsible for the cleanliness of the Kaaba. (al-Baqara, 2/125 and 127)

Hz. Ismail (pbuh) was brought up together with the children of Jurhumis, who had settled in Makkah, and learned archery from them. When a group of people from the tribe of Aslam were shooting arrows and competing, Hz. Prophet (pbuh) said to them,

"O Sons of Ismail! Shoot arrows! Your ancestor was a skilled archer." (Bukhari, al-Anbiya, 12). Hz. Ismail (pbuh) was a good archer and hunter. He used to go out of the haram area of Makkah and hunt there; he liked riding horses and taming wild horses. The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Get horses! Inherit and leave horses as inheritance because it is the inheritance of your ancestor, Ismail, to you." (Abu'l-Fida, al-Bidaya wa'n-Nihaya, I, 192) Hz. Ismail spoke the Arabic language very well and fluently.  

Acting upon the order of Allah, Hz. Ibrahim (pbuh) took his wife, Hagar, and his son, Ismail, to Palestine. Hz. Ismail (pbuh) was a baby who sucked his mother's milk. Hz Ibrahim left them under a large tree near the place where the Kaaba was built afterwards. He left some dates and water with them. The city of Makkah had not been built then; there was nobody around. There was not any water, either.

When Hz. Ibrahim (pbuh) was about to leave, Hagar asked him,"O Ibrahim! Where are you going by leaving us alone in this deserted valley?" Hagar asked again, "O Ibrahim! Did Allah order you to leave us here?" Hz. Ibrahim (pbuh) said, "Yes, Allah ordered it." Hagar said, "Then, Allah is enough for us; He will protect us." Thus, she trusted Allah. When Ibrahim (pbuh) reached the place called Thaniya, he turned to the Kaaba and prayed as follows:  

"O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Thy Sacred House; in order, O our Lord that they may establish regular prayer: so fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with Fruits: so that they may give thanks." (Ibrahim, 14/37)

Days passed. They ran out of water and dates. There was nobody around; the baby was crying due to thirst.

Hagar started to look for water. She went up to Safa hill; she looked around but she could not see anybody. She came down Safa hill and ran to Marwa hill. She looked around but she could not see anybody. She repeated this going and returning seven times. When she went up to Marwa in her seventh attempt, she saw an angel on the place where the well of Zamzam is present now. It was digging the earth with the heel of its foot. Water came out of that place. According to a different narration, the baby started to dig the sand with his foot or hand and water came out. Hagar came and drank water and gave some water to the baby.

Hz. Hagar tried to form a pond so that the water would not flow out and started to fill her leather bottle. The Prophet (pbuh) narrated this incident as follows:   

"May Allah show mercy to Ismail's mother, Hagar! If she had left Zamzam free and had not filled her hands with it, it would have been a flowing river." (Bukhari, Anbiya, 9).

After Hz. Hagar found the water, a group of Jurhumis passing through the valley of Makkah saw a bird over the valley. Jurhumis knew that this bird flew over the places where there was water but there had been no water there. They sent somebody to check whether there was water there. When they found out that there was water, they wanted permission from Hagar to settle near the water. Hz. Hagar gave them permission on condition that they would not claim any rights on this water. Hz. Ismail learned fluent Arabic from them. When he became a young man, he married a girl from Jurhumis. After this marriage, Hagar died

Hz. Ibrahim went to Makkah to check the state of his son. When he arrived at Ismail's house, he was not there. He talked to Ismail's wife.
"Where is Ismail?" Ismail's wife said,
"He has gone out to find sustenance."
"How is your living?" he asked.
"We are having difficulty; it is bad." She answered. Hz. Ibrahim said,
"When your husband comes, give him my regards and tell him to change the threshold of his gate" and went away.

When Ismail (pbuh) returned from hunting, he asked his wife,

"Did anybody come to our house?"
She said, "Yes an old man came. He asked about our living and I said, 'We are having difficulty.'" Hz. Ismail said,
"Did he tell you anything?" She said,
"He gave you his regards and said,"Tell him to change the threshold of his gate." Ismail (pbuh) realized the situation and said to her,
"That old man was my father. He wants me to divorce you. Go back to your family."

Thus, Ismail (pbuh) divorced his first wife. After a while, he married another girl from Jurhumis.

Hz. Ibrahim went to Makkah again. Ismail had gone out hunting. He talked to Ismail's wife in the same way. However, the woman said their living was fine. Then, Ibrahim (pbuh) said to her, "When your husband comes, give him my regards and tell him to keep the threshold of his gate."
 

When Ismail (pbuh) returned from hunting, she told him what had happened. Ismail said,

"He was my father. You are the threshold of my gate. He orders me to treat you well." (Bukhari, Anbiya, 9)

Hz. Ibrahim sometimes came from Damascus to visit his son and his wife, Hagar. Once he saw in his dream that he was sacrificing him. When he saw the same dream three times, he said to his son,
"O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me if Allah so wills one practicing Patience and Constancy!" (as-Saffat, 37/102)

Allah rewarded this submission of Hz. Ibrahim (pbuh) and Ismail (pbuh). He sent a great sacrifice instead of Ismail (pbuh). (as-Saffat, 37/107)

However, Jews claim that the son that Hz. Ibrahim (pbuh) wanted to sacrifice was Hz. Ishaq (pbuh) not Hz. Ismail (pbuh). (see Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu'l Ummal, XI, 490)

There are some weak narrations regarding the issue but the real reason for these claims of Jews is their jealousy. Hz. Umar b. Abdulaziz, the Caliph, asked a Jewish scholar who became a Muslim,"Which son was Hz. Ibrahim (pbuh) ordered to sacrifice?" He said,"By Allah! Allah ordered Ismail to be sacrificed. Jews know it. However, Jews are jealous of Arabs. They are jealous of the fact that Ismail surrendered to the divine order about him and that he was praised by Allah; they want to attribute this virtue to Ishaq, their ancestor." (Tabari, Tarikh, I, 138,139).

During one of Hz. Ibrahim's journey to Makkah, he was ordered by Allah to build the Kaaba. He built the Kaaba with his son Ismail (pbuh). (al-Baqara, 2/127; al-Hajj, 22/26-27) Hz. Ismail carried stones and Hz. Ibrahim put up the walls.

After the death of his father, Hz. Ismail (pbuh) became a prophet for the people of Hejaz. This issue is mentioned as follows in the Quran: "Also mention in the Book (the story of) Ismail: he was (strictly) true to what he promised, and he was a messenger (and) a prophet. He used to enjoin on his people Prayer and Charity and he was most acceptable in the sight of his Lord" (Maryam, 19/54-55)

According to what is reported, Hz. Ismail (pbuh) died forty years after the death of his father at the age of 137 and he was buried next to the grave of Hagar in the Kaaba / Hijr. Al-Musta'raba group of Arabs originated from the sons of Hz. Ismail (a.s); their origin goes back to Adnan.

The grave of Hz. Ismail (pbuh) is in the place called Hijr in Haram. (Ali al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu'l Ummal, XI, 490)

(Abdullah YÜCEL, Şamil İslam Ansiklopedisi)

29 Did God send any other books or pages apart from the four great books and pages?

Since all communities were sent prophets and warners (an-Nahl, 16/32; Fatir, 35/25) and that books were sent down to them (al-Baqara, 2/213), it can be said that many books were sent down. 

However, they are not mentioned separately in the Quran. The ones mentioned in the Quran are the pages sent down to Abraham (pbuh) and Moses (pbuh) and the books: the Torah, the Psalms, the Bible and the Quran.

In a hadith which is debatable whether it is sound or not, it is stated that one hundred pages were sent down and that fifty pages were sent down to Sheth (pbuh), thirty to Eunuch (pbuh), ten to Moses (pbuh) and ten to Adam (pbuh). (Ibn Abi'd- Dunya from Abu Dharr). 

The Torah was sent down to Moses (pbuh), the Psalms to David (pbuh), the Bible to Jesus and the Quran to Hz. Muhammad (pbuh).

30 How would you answer the claim that Nimrod and Hz. Ibrahim did not live in the same age and that the story of Hz. Ibrahim about being saved from the fire originated from Midrash Rabbah?

We will mention a few points based on evidence in order to explain the issue:

a. Firstly, the statements of the Quran, which is a clear divine book, which has been declaring its miraculousness for15 centuries, whose challenge that it is impossible to write the equivalent of even one verse of it is still valid, and which has been proved to be a miracle by investigative scholars in terms of forty aspects, are explicit. It is not academically, mentally and religiously possible to accept some speculations based on imagination in the presence of these explicit statements of the Quran

b. The claim that Nimrod and Hz. Ibrahim did not live in the same age is nonsense that is completely baseless, lacking scientific value, originating from religious and ignorant recklessness and ignoring all divine and human resources. In fact, the denial accepted by only one percent of the resources has no scientific value in the presence of the truth that is accepted by ninety-nine percent.

- Nimrod might be a name or a title given to kings like Pharaoh, Chosroes, Kaiser. Therefore, the existence of such a king/Nimrod during the time of Hz. Ibrahim is certain.

- It is understood from the information given in the resources that Nimrod and his nation - probably due to fearing Nimrod - continued to worship idols after the miracle of Hz. Ibrahim being saved from the fire. Eventually, around 2286 BC, while Hz. Ibrahim was still alive, Allah inflicted Assyrians upon them; they invaded the land of Nimrod and ended his reign; they established the Assyrian Kingdom there. (see Ibn Ashur, the interpretation of verse 69 of the chapter of al-Anbiya)

c. The historical resources written by men can make correct determinations back to the time about 3000 BC. The information about the periods before that time is very little and limited. Therefore, the information about the time of Hz. Ibrahim and before cannot be trusted. As Badiuzzaman puts it, some of them are superstitions; some deny the truth and some give information in the form of summaries. (see Lemalar/16. Lema)

d. Those who utter the claim that the story of Hz. Ibrahim about being saved from the fire originated from Midrash Rabbah want to say that the Quran copied this story from ancient resources. Midrash generally means a collection expressing the view of Jewish interpreters.

To prove a claim is the duty of the claimer. In fact, it is impossible for them to prove that it was copied. Therefore, it is bound to remain as a baseless claim.

Besides, hundreds of prophets came between Hz. Ibrahim and Hz. Muhammad. It is quite natural that this great miraculous incident is mentioned in the previous resources. That the incident of Hz. Ibrahim about being saved from the fire is mentionedin the previous resources is like a signature confirming and approving the statements of the Quran.

Besides, according to what Izzuddin Ibnu'l-Athir, the famous historian, writes, all scholars agree that Hz. Ibrahim was born in the period when Nimrod lived. Ibrahim was thrown into fire by Nimrod and was saved miraculously. (see Ibn Athir, al-Kamil Fi't-Tarikh, -Beirut, 1417/1997- 1/86-89)

The famous historian, Ibn Khaldun and Ibn Kathir say the one who threw Hz. Ibrahim into fire was the Babylonian king Nimrod b. Kanan b. Cush.(see Tarikhu Ibn Khaldun,-Beirut, 1408/1988- 2/78; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa'n-Nihaya, -Darut-Turathi'l-Arab, 1408/1988- 1/200-201)

e. To say that the word Ur was misinterpreted asOr and to present it as if it is definite information means to play with science. In all resources of history, some of which are mentioned above, the word Ur is accepted as a city, and according to several scholars as the city of Urfa, not as fire. These historians, who accept Ur as a city, also accept that Hz. Ibrahim was thrown into fire.

It is stated in the Quran that Hz. Ibrahim was thrown into fire and that he was saved from the fire and then he migrated from that city. The meanings of the relevant verses are as follows:

"They said "Burn him and protect your gods if ye do (anything at all)!" We said "O Fire! Be thou cool, and (a means of)) safety for Abraham!" (al-Anbiya, 21/68-69)

"But Lut had faith in Him: he said: "I will leave home for the sake of my Lord: for He is Exalted in Might, and Wise." (al-Ankabut, 29/26)

It is understood from the explanations above that this claim originates from the fact that the word Ur was misinterpreted as Or (fire). The claim of those who say Hz. Ibrahim was not thrown into fire is complete nonsense originating from irreligiousness.

31 Is Hazrat Khidr alive?

Hazrat Khidr is alive, but there are five degrees of life. He is at the second degree. It is because of this that some religious scholars have been doubtful about it.

The First Level of Life is that of our life, which is very restricted.

The Second Level of Life is that of the lives of Khidr and Ilyas (May Allah grant them peace), which is free to an extent. That is to say, they can be present in numerous places at the same time. They are not permanently restricted by the requirements of humanity like us. They can eat and drink like us when they want to, but are not compelled to like us. The saints are those who uncover and witness the realities of creation, and the reports of their adventures with Khidr are unanimous and elucidate and prove this level of life. There is even one degree of sainthood which is called ‘the degree of Khidr.’ A saint who reaches this degree receives instruction from Khidr and meets with him. But sometimes the one at that degree is mistakenly thought to be Khidr himself.

The Third Level of Life is that of Idris and Jesus (May Allah grant them peace) which, being removed from the requirements of humanity, enters an angelic life and acquires a luminous fineness. Quite simply, Idris and Jesus are present in the heavens with their earthly bodies, which have the subtlety of bodies from the World of Similitudes and the luminosity of star-like bodies. The Hadith the meaning of which is, “At the end of time, Jesus (Upon whom be peace) will come and will act in accordance with the Shari’a of Muhammed (PBUH),” indicates that at the end of time the religion of Christianity will be purified and divest itself of superstition in the face of the current of unbelief and atheism born of Naturalist philosophy, and will be transformed into Islam. At this point, just as the collective personality of Christianity will kill the fearsome collective personality of irreligion with the sword of heavenly Revelation, so too, representing the collective personality of Christianity, Jesus (Upon whom be peace) will kill the Dajjal, who represents the collective personality of irreligion, that is, he will kill atheistic thought.

The Fourth Level of Life is that of the martyrs. According to the Qur’an, the martyrs have a level of life higher than that of the other dead in their graves. Since the martyrs sacrificed their worldly lives in the way of truth, in His perfect munificence, Almighty Allah bestows on them in the Intermediate Realm a life resembling earthly life, but without the sorrow and hardship. They do not know themselves to be dead, thinking only that they have gone to a better world. They enjoy themselves in perfect happiness and do not suffer the pains of separation that accompany death. For sure the spirits of the dead are immortal, but they know themselves to be dead. The happiness and pleasure they experience in the Intermediate World are not equal to that of the martyrs. Like if two men in their dreams enter a beautiful palace resembling Paradise; one knows that he is dreaming and the pleasure and enjoyment he receives are deficient. He thinks: “If I wake up, all this enjoyment will disappear.” While the other man does not know he is dreaming, and he experiences true happiness and pleasure.

The way the martyrs and other dead benefit from life in the Intermediate Realm is thus different. It has been established by innumerable incidents and narrations and it is certain that the martyrs manifest life in that way and think that they are alive. Indeed, this level of life has been illuminated and proved on repeated occasions by many occurrences like Hamza (May Allah be pleased with him) - the lord of the martyrs - protecting those that have recourse to him and performing and making performed matters in this world. I myself, even, had a nephew and student called Ubeyd. He was killed at my side and in my place and became a martyr. Then, when I was being held as a prisoner-of-war at a place three months’ distance away, I entered his grave in a true dream, which was in the form of a dwelling-place under the earth, although I did not know where he was buried. I saw him living the level of life of martyrs. He evidently thought that I was dead, and said that he had wept much for me. He thought that he was alive, but having retreated from the Russian invasion, had made himself a good home under the ground. Thus, through a number of conditions and indications, this unimportant dream afforded the conviction as certain as witnessing it concerning the above-mentioned truth.

The Fifth Level of Life is that of the life of the spirits of the dead in their graves. Yes, death is a change of residence, the liberation of the spirit, a discharge from duties; it is not annihilation, non-existence, and a going to nothingness. Many evidences like innumerable occurrences of the spirits of the saints assuming forms and appearing to those who uncover the realities, and the other dead having relations with us while awake or sleeping and their telling us of things that are conformable with reality, - evidences like these illuminate and prove this level of life. In fact, the Twenty-Ninth Word about the immortality of man’s spirit demonstrates this level of life with incontrovertible proofs.