HOW HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF : SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE SHE-CAMEL OF GOD AND IMAM ALI (AS)


HOW HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF : SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE SHE-CAMEL OF GOD AND IMAM ALI (AS)


In the Name of God, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.


In a tradition, it is narrated that the Holy Prophet (S) of Islam said:

“The most wicked person among the ancient ones was the murderer of the harmless she-camel of Salih (as), and the most wicked person of the latter age is the murderer of Ali Ibn Abi Talib. A wicked one, who will make his beard dyed (red) from the blood of his forehead.” [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]




The She-Camel of Prophet Salih (a) or Nāqa of Ṣāliḥ (Arabic: نَاقَة صَالح), was the miracle of prophet Salih (a) which is stated in Qur’an as Naqat Allah (she-Camel of God). The camel miraculously came out of the middle of a mountain as disbelievers requested.

According to Islāmic narrations, the camel of Salih (a) was sent to the people of Thamud and they were tested by God. As the water of the stream in their region was dedicated to the camel for one day and people could use it the day after, also they were prohibited from hurting the camel. However, after a while the camel was killed by some people and other people appreciated the action. As a result, God punished the people of Thamud and eliminated all the disbelievers.


A Divine sign

Naqa of Salih (a) was a she-camel which was created by a divine miracle in order to prove the prophethood of Salih (a) to the people of Thamud. The camel is mentioned in Qur’an in several verses and it is generally called “Naqat Allah” (The She-Camel of God).[11] The term “God” which is added after Naqat, represents the significance of the camel.[12] The importance of the camel was because of the special way of creation of her; a divine miracle. And the people of Thamud were tested by the camel as well.

The camel is regarded as a divine sign in Quran: “Now a clear proof has come to you from your Rabb; here is Allah’s she-camel as a sign for you, therefore, leave her alone to pasture on Allah’s land and do not touch her with bad intentions, lest you incur a painful punishment”. Surah al-A’raf, verse 73 [13]


Her creation

The process of the creation of the she-camel is not described in the Qur’an, it has only stated that the creation of the she-camel was a sign.[14] However more details are mentioned about the miracle in Islāmic narrations. After decades of promoting Monotheism among the people of Thamud and facing constant rejections from people, prophet Salih (a) said to them, “If you want, you can ask me anything and I will ask God to provide it for you; or if you want I ask something from your Gods and if they comply with my request I will leave you alone, as I have exhausted you and you have exhausted me”. [15]

According to narrations, Thamud people accepted Salih’s (a) suggestion, they prepared the situation but when Salih (a) asked each of their gods they were unable to respond. Then it was people’s turn to ask Salih’s (a) God. 70 grand figures of Thamud people went near a mountain with Salih (a) and they said, “Right now a red-headed, hairy and ten months pregnant she-camel should come out of the mountain.” Then Salih (a) said, “To meet your demand is tough for me, but it is easy for my God.” And he asked God to bring the desired camel. Then suddenly the mountain was split open with a loud noise and a pregnant she-camel came out of the mountain. Then they asked that the camel should give birth, and then the baby was born. Eventually only few disbelievers converted to Monotheism and they told the truth to the people.[16]


The People of Thamud were tested

The she-camel was a divine miracle and her presence among Thamud people was a strong reason for the believers. prophet Salih (a) and believers used the milk of the camel [17] and God ordered people to protect the camel as they were to be tested by the camel, “We are going to send the she-camel as a trial for them, therefore, watch them and have patience”. [18]


According to Quranic verses, people of Thamud were responsible for:

  1. Salih said, “Well, here is the she-camel (the sign that you asked for). She shall have her share of water as you all have yours, each drinking on an alternate appointed day”. [19]
  1. “Now a clear proof has come to you from your Rabb; here is Allah’s she-camel as a sign for you, therefore, leave her alone to pasture on Allah’s land and do not touch her with bad intentions, lest you incur a painful punishment”.[20]

Killing the Camel and the Punishment

Although the camel was a magnificent miracle to the people of Thamud, they did not follow the divine orders and killed the camel; they said to Salih (a), “O Salih! Bring, about that [punishment] with which you have threatened us, if you are truly one of God’s message-bearers”.[21] Eventually they were all punished by God. Based on Quranic verses, when they became sure of the imminent punishment, then became full of regrets,[22] which was not useful for them anymore as an earthquake overtook them and they became lifeless bodies in their homes with their faces down.


One person’s crime led to the punishment of the whole community

In one verse of Qur’an, it is stated that one person killed the camel. The people of Thamud called out to one of their companions, who took the responsibility and hamstrung her Qur’an 54, verse 29; it is implicitly stated in a number of narrations as well.[23] But in other verses, it is stated that all the people of Thamud were responsible for killing the camel, and they were all punished by God, “Then they hamstrung the she-camel, defied the commandment of their Rabb”. [24]

Different wordings emphasize the fact that, although several persons killed the camel, the others were happy about it and they appreciated it.[25] According to a narration from Imam ‘Ali b. Abi Talib (a), “One person cut the hands and feet of the camel, but the whole people of Thamud were punished, as they appreciated the incident.” [26]


Do not kill the sign of God!

Similarities between the She-Camel of God and Imam Ali (as), and how history repeated itself.

When the Prophet (saw) said that the most wicked of the ancient ones was the murderer of the harmless she-camel of Salih (as) and the most wicked person of the latter age is the murderer of Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as ), then the Prophet (saw) wanted to convey a strong message to his ummah.

The one who killed the she camel is called Qaddar, and the one who killed Imam Ali (as) is called Abdurahman Ibn Muljam but among his closest he was called Qaddar.

The reason why Qaddar killed the she-camel was because he wanted to marry a woman named Quttam. Quttam knew that the she-camel of Salih was a sign of God. Quttam explained to Qaddar that if he wanted to marry her (Quttam), he would kill the She-camel. So, the dowry that Qaddar would give to Quttam was to kill the she-camel, the sign of God. History repeats itself when Ibn Muljam planned to kill Imam Ali (as). Ibn Muljam (also called Qaddar) wanted to marry a woman, and she was also called Quttam. Quttam explained to Ibn Muljam that if he wanted to marry her, he would give her 3000 dirhams, two servants and Imam Ali’s (as) blood in mahr (dowry). Quttam wanted Ibn Muljam to kill Imam Ali (as) before marrying her and this was her mahr (dowry). Quttam practiced Iʿtikāf during the last days of Ramadan,when Imam Ali (as) was murdered. Iʿtikāf is an Islāmic practice consisting of a period of staying in a mosque for a certain number of days, devoting oneself to ibadah during these days and staying away from worldly affairs.

All this happened because of the sexual desires of Qaddar bin Salif and Abdurahman Ibn Muljam. Imagine that the sexual desires of a human being can cause the human being to have the will to kill the signs of God on earth. It is now that we understand that the evillest people are those who are constantly trying to cover God’s signs and God’s light on earth. They will never succeed in this. They can try to cover the truth as much as they want. They will never succeed!


The Prophet (saw) and his family (as) were attacked and slaughtered. Look what the Holy Qur’an says about Prophet Salih (as) and his family:

“And there were in the city nine family heads causing corruption in the land and not amending [its affairs]. They said, “Take a mutual oath by Allah that we will kill him (Salih) by night, he and his family. Then we will say to his heir, ‘We did not witness the destruction of his family, and indeed, we are truthful.’ And they planned a plan, and We planned a plan, while they perceived not. Then look how was the outcome of their plan – that We destroyed them and their people, all.” [27:48-51]


It is now that we understand what God means when He said: “And [by] the soul and He who proportioned it, And inspired it [with discernment of] his wickedness and his righteousness, He has succeeded who purifies it, And he has failed who instills it [with corruption]. ” [91:7-10]


Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his Holy Progeny (as)


| Wikishia and Amir Zabidi


Further reading


http://en.wikishia.net/view/She-Camel_of_Salih_(a)#cite_note-11


References


[1] Majma’-al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 499; Tafsir Al-Qurtubi.

[2] Tahdhib Al-Khasa’is, page 78-86

[3] Al-Bidayah Wa An-Nihayah, Ibn Kathir, Volume 7, page 355

[4] Fadha’il As-Sahaba, Volume 2, page 566

[5] Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Volume 4, 262-263

[6] Majma’ Az-Zawa’id, Volume 9, page 136

[7] Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, Volume 3, page 22

[8] Al-Mustadrak by Al-Hakim, volume 3, page 140

[9] Kanz Al-Ummal, volume 6, page 399

[10] Al-Mustadrak by Al-Hakim, volume 3, page 113

[11] Qurʾān, 7:73; 11:64.

[12] Ḥusaynī Shīrāzī, Taqrīb al-Qurʾan ilā l-adhhān, vol. 2, p. 200.

[13] Qurʾān, 7:73.

[14] Qurʾān, 7:73.

[15] Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 8, p. 185.

[16] Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 8, p. 185.

[17] Ibn ʿAsākir, Tārīkh madīnat Ad-Dimashq, vol. 10, p. 458.

[18] Qurʾān, 54:27.

[19] Qurʾān, 26:155.

[20] Qurʾān, 7:73.

[21] Qurʾān, 7:77.

[22] Qurʾān, 26:157.

[23] Ḥaskānī, Shawāhid al-tanzīl, vol. 2, p. 435.

[24] Qurʾān, 7:77.

[25] Faḍl Allāh, Tafsīr min waḥy al-Qurʾān, vol. 24, p. 287.

[26] Nahj al-balāgha, p. 319.


| HOW HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF : SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE SHE-CAMEL OF GOD AND IMAM ALI (AS)

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