Children’s Column

The Qur’an for Young Hearts – 66

Important Notes

1:The translation of the Qur’an being presented here is interpretative. It is meant for children. Those who can understand other translations should better consult them.

2. Parents are advised to hold sessions at home and teach the verses and explanation as given here, and, if they can, add more from Qur’anic commentaries.

3. Answers to exercise below may be attempted. Parents may evaluate them and reward the children suitably.

4. Schools could also include this in their Islamic curriculum.

5. The underlined words have been explained in the Dictionary given below.

Verses from Surah no. 2, Al-Baqarah

[Note that we have dropped out verses from 221 to 242 because they talk about marriage, separation, etc., which young minds cannot fully understand. We will only include a simple translation when Surah Baqarah is printed as a book, Allah willing].

[247] Their prophet told them, ‘Verily Allah has chosen for you Talut a king.’ They objected, ‘How can kingship be for him over us when we are more deserving of kingship than he, nor has he been given a lot of wealth? He replied, ‘It is Allah who has chosen him above you. Further, He has given him a clear superiority over you in knowledge and physical strength. And Allah gifts His kingdom upon whomsoever He wishes. Allah is All‑embracing, All‑Knowing.’

[248] Their Prophet also told them, ‘A sign of his kingship is that the Box will come back to you ‑ wherein is sechina from your Lord and remaining things of what the family of Musa and the family of Harun had left behind: the angels will bring it over. Verily in this is a sign for you if you are believers.’

Understanding these verses:

The story of the Jews of the past continues from the previous verse 246. They wanted Allah to allow them to fight back their enemies. So Allah allowed them. But, for a people to fight, they need a king who can raise an army and make arrangements. They had a prophet among them, but not a king. To be a king, one has to have different qualities than what a prophet usually has. (Our Prophet combined several qualities in himself: prophet, ruler, commander, warrior, etc.). So, their prophet was asked by Allah to appoint a king. But, as verse 247 says, as soon as a king was appointed they began to disagree. This is because they never wanted to fight. They didn’t mind remaining slaves.

To encourage them, they were told that the box containing relics of Musa and Haroon (asws) would be brought back to them. They used to have a box in which they had kept tablets of the Torah, Musa’s rod, and a few other things. They used to take the box to the battlefields, hoping to win by its barakah.

Actually, when they came to the Syrian region from Egypt about 3500 years ago, and soon after Musa’s death, they fought many battles against village-dwellers to kill them and occupy their villages, their fields, and, take over their cattle. But, during one battle, they were defeated, and ran away leaving the box behind. The army of the local people took it away.

Most probably they took out a few things, we don’t know which, and so, only a few things remained in the box.

Actually, although the left-over things of Prophets should be revered, there is no barakah in them. That is, to succeed in life, you need to have faith in Allah and work hard. You cannot sit back doing nothing, but hoping that by the barakah of a thing, or a person (dead or alive) or place, and still find success. But since the Jews believed in the barakah, and felt at peace with it (that is, sechinah), Allah promised to send the box back to them.

Now, instead of fighting and taking it back, the Jews began to avoid any fighting at all, as cowards always do. And so, they were refusing to accept the king that Allah had approved, and their prophet was appointing. So, to encourage them Allah sent back the box.

What happened was that the enemy who had looted the box, began to face some problems: maybe crop failure, maybe diseases, etc. They thought it must be because of the evil in the box and so one day they placed the box on a donkey, tied it, and pushed the donkey out of their town. Thereafter the angels took over and drove the donkey towards the settlings of the Jews.

Of course when the donkey arrived, they couldn’t believe their eyes. The dear box was there on its back. Surely, this was a miracle that the free donkey didn’t go off into the fields and forests, but had come straight to them from a long distance.

But when they opened the box, they found that it did not have all the things that were originally there in it – only some. In any case, it was a matter of great joy things had come. They felt assured that their prophet had told them the truth that angels will bring it. So now they were a little bit more inclined to fight against the local people who were living there since centuries. But they were pagans, so perhaps Allah wanted to punish them for the crime of idol-worship.

Test of understanding:

Answer the following:

  1. What is the connection between verse 246 and 247?
  2. Why were the Jews not ready to fight?
  3. Why were the Jews not accepting the king appointed by their prophet?
  4. From where had the Jews come to Palestine and when?
  5. Why were the Jews fighting Syrian villagers?
  6. When did the Jews, thrown out from Europe, come to Palestine?
  7. Did they once again fight and throw out the Palestinians from their towns and villages in which they were living since maybe 5000 years?
  8. Did the Jews have the right to fight the local people when they arrived into Palestine 35000 years ago?
  9. Did the Jews have the right to throw out the local people, the Palestinians, from their towns and villages in 1948?
  10. What are the conditions for achieving success?
  11. Mention the qualities of our Prophet, and give an example of any one of them.

(To be continued)