Stories from Quran

The Man from Surah Ya-Seen Part I

Little personal detail is told of the man from Surah Ya-Seen. Yet, Allah SWT loved him to the extent that his actions have been noted in the passages of Surah Ya-Seen. Allah had elevated him so highly, that even if we were never to know his name, we know that Allah granted him a beautiful title of a man and granted him Paradise.

One may think that this is hardly a worthy accolade. Islamically, however, to be labelled as a man or a woman (rather than male or female) by Allah is akin to wearing a crown of honour. In surah Al-Ahzab, 33:23, Allah says:

Among the believers are men true to what they promised Allah. Among them is he who has fulfilled his vow [to the death], and among them is he who awaits [his chance]. And they did not alter [the terms of their commitment] by any alteration.

This verse explains the central pillars of the character to make you a man or a woman, which is to hold tight to the covenant and to live it, even sacrifice your life for it until the last moment of your life.

The exact whereabouts of the man of Surah Ya-Seen are not specified. However, we are told of a town where Allah had sent the community two Messengers, whose people denied the message and guidance that they were attempting to impart. A third Messenger was then sent to the same community to give support to the other two and to reinforce the message, and still the townsfolk opposed them. When they announced their Messengership, the people scoffed, saying that the three Messengers were human just like them, and that Allah could not have sent them. To these people, it was unlikely that God would use ordinary mortals to spread His message. As with what happened to the other Messengers, the spiritually blinded community refused to accept the message and accused the Messengers of being liars.

The dialogue took a critical turn when the townsfolk accused them of bringing them bad luck or evil omens, and threatened them with stoning and other forms of violent punishments. The Messengers responded that their evil omens were only with themselves and asked why they were so aggressively threatened merely for admonishing the community.

During this tense exchange, a man came running to them from the farthest reaches of the town. He was a believer, and he tried to intervene by giving advice to his own people in support of the Messengers.

Turning his attention to the crowd, he pleaded, “O my people, follow the messengers. Follow those who do not ask of you [any] payment, and they are [rightly] guided.” (Qur’an 36:20 – 36:21) His rationale was correct, for it is an established characteristic of Prophets and Messengers that their mission is to guide the people, without the expectation of any financial rewards.

The man continued:

“And why should I not worship He who created me and to whom you will be returned? Should I take other than Him [false] deities [while], if the Most Merciful intends for me some adversity, their intercession will not avail me at all, nor can they save me? Indeed, I would then be in manifest error. Indeed, I have believed in your Lord, so listen to me.” (Qur’an 36:22 – 36:25)

The man’s reasoning was perfectly sound, for it would be sheer foolishness to worship other than the One who had created them all. He ended his earnest speech by declaring his belief in the Lord of the Messengers before the congregation.

This proved to be the last straw for the community, and for his act of solidarity with the Messengers and for the public proclamation of his faith, the angry mob killed him in cold blood.

Written by Muslim Footsteps

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