Sometimes our dreams and aspirations will be so close to us, tempt us even, yet won’t be ours unless Allah SWT wills.
The people of the sabbath story. [Surah Al Araf verses 163 to 166]
وَاسْأَلْهُمْ عَنِ الْقَرْيَةِ الَّتِي كَانَتْ حَاضِرَةَ الْبَحْرِ إِذْ يَعْدُونَ فِي السَّبْتِ إِذْ تَأْتِيهِمْ حِيتَانُهُمْ يَوْمَ سَبْتِهِمْ شُرَّعًا وَيَوْمَ لَا يَسْبِتُونَ ۙ لَا تَأْتِيهِمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نَبْلُوهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ
وَإِذْ قَالَتْ أُمَّةٌ مِّنْهُمْ لِمَ تَعِظُونَ قَوْمًا ۙ اللَّهُ مُهْلِكُهُمْ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُهُمْ عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا ۖ قَالُوا مَعْذِرَةً إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ
فَلَمَّا نَسُوا مَا ذُكِّرُوا بِهِ أَنجَيْنَا الَّذِينَ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ السُّوءِ وَأَخَذْنَا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا بِعَذَابٍ بَئِيسٍ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ
And ask them about the town that was by the sea – when they transgressed in [the matter of] the sabbath – when their fish came to them openly on their sabbath day, and the day they had no sabbath they did not come to them. Thus did We give them trial because they were defiantly disobedient.
And when a community among them said, “Why do you advise [or warn] a people whom Allah is [about] to destroy or to punish with a severe punishment?” they [the advisors] said, “To be excused before your Lord and perhaps they may fear Him.”
And when they forgot that by which they had been reminded, We saved those who had forbidden evil and seized those who wronged, with a wretched punishment, because they were defiantly disobeying.
So when they were insolent about that which they had been forbidden, We said to them, “Be apes, despised.”
Allah swt mentions “the town by the sea”. At first it sounded nice n picturesque. But then i wondered why did He mention that the town was BY THE SEA?
Those away from the ocean and desiring fresh fish would know the struggle.
Allah swt ordered the fish to come near the shore only on saturdays , during their days of sabbath (the days they weren’t allowed to work or fish etc), such that they coudn’t catch the fish. It was a trial for them.
Imagine their temptation to cheat?
And so some of them cheated. They’d drop their nets on Friday nights and collect them on Sunday so it would seem like they hadn’t gone fishing on Saturdays.
However Allah knew what was in their hiding and their disobedience. He punished them by making them turn into apes, despised!
Here, there were two other groups of people as well. A group that advised them against it, and Allah swt honors them by mentioning their response in the Qur’an. And a group that didn’t cheat but didn’t advise the wrongdoers either. They were simply spectators and also went to the advisors and asked them, saying “why advise when Allah has doomed them punishment?”
Allah punished the wrong doers as well as those spectators who didn’t bother or care for their wellbeing with a humiliating punishment (Be apes!).
● Something may be so close to us (the sea n its fishes) , it may seem absolutely possible in its happening, yet it won’t, unless Allah swt grants it to us. Even the fishes were under His control, what then was in our hands? Understand His wisdom with patience and Don’t cheat when it comes to His commands. He would know.
● Don’t be of those spectators who simply judge others. Instead call them to good, “perhaps they may fear Him”…perhaps they may come around. :’)
In either case, Do your part and leave the rest to Him.