The People Of The Ditch
In numerous places in the Qur’aan, Allah speaks about incidents, and people who lived in ancient times. One such people are a group commonly known as ‘The People of the Ditch’.
They are referred to in the following aayaat of the Qur’aan, in Sooratul-Burooj:
“Cursed were the People Of the Ditch. Fire supplied [abundantly] with fuel, When they sat by it [the Fire]. And they witnessed what they were doing against the Believers [i.e.burning them]. They had nothing against them except that they believed in Allaah, the Almighty, Worthy of all praise! The One to Whom belongs the dominion of the Heavens and the earth. And Allaah is Witness over everything. Verily those who put to trial the believing men and the believing women [by torturing them and burning them] and then do not turn in Repentance [to Allah will have the torment of Hell and they will have the Punishment of the
Burning Fire.” [85:4-10]
Further detail regarding the People of the Ditch and on explanation of these aayahs can be found in the following Ahadeeth of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). He said:
“Among the people before you, there was a king and he had a sorcerer When the sorcerer become old, he said to the king, ‘I have now become an old man; get me a boy so that I may teach him sorcery” So the king sent him a boy to teach him sorcery.
Whenever the boy proceeded to the sorcerer he sat with a monk who was on the way and he listened to his talks and used to admire them. So when he went to the sorcerer he passed by the monk and sat there with him and on visiting the sorcerer the latter thrashed him, So the boy complained about that to the monk. The monk said to him, “Whenever you are afraid of the sorcerer soy to him; My people kept me busy And whenever you are afraid of your people, say to them; The sorcerer kept me busy” So the boy carried on like that (For a period].
(Then one day) there come [on the main road] a huge creature (animal), and the people were unable to pass by. The boy said, “Today I will know whether the sorcerer is better or the monk is better.” So he took a stone and said, “0 Allah! If the deeds and actions of the monk are more liked by You better than those of the sorcerer then kill this creature so that the people can, cross [the road).” Then he hit (it) with the stone and it was killed, and the people passed [the road). The boy come to the monk and informed him about it. The monk said to him, “0 my son! Today you are better than I, you have achieved what I see! And you wit be put to trial And in case you are put to trial, do not inform [them) about me.”
The boy used to treat the people suffering from born-blindness, leprosy leucodermia and other diseases. A blind courtier of the King heard about the boy. He came and brought a number of gifts for the boy and said, “All these gifts are for you on condition that you cure me.” The boy said, “I do not cure anybody; it is Allaah [alone) who cures people. So if you believe in Allah and invoke Allah, He will cure you.” He then believed in Allah and Allah cured him.
Later the courtier come to the king and sat at the place where he used to sit before.
To be Continued…
Written by Shaykha Sabrah Abbass