THE MIRACULOUS COW
The boy called the cow by the name of Allah as he did for the first time. The gracious cow appeared before him and explained that the person who had tried to ride on its’ back was the cursed Iblis himself. “If this cursed creature had sat on my back I would have never come back to you again,” – she said. This Iblis was holding me by the rope but when you called me by the name of the God of the prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) an angel took the rope away from the Iblis. The angel drove away the Satan and I could come back to you. This is the bliss of your kind attitude towards your mother and your diligent service to her. Even if you ask Allah to root out a mountain, Allah will do this for you.
The boy returned to his mother with the miraculous cow that the father of the boy had given to the custody of Allah. The mother cared dearly about her son. That is why the mother told her son to sell the cow on the market in order to ease his daily work, since he used to go to the woods each day and spend nights in worship. The boy followed her advice and asked how much he should demand for the cow. The mother said the price was three dinars and asked her son to contact her before he would sell the cow.
When the boy came to the market the Almighty sent him an angel who pretended to be a customer. He asked the boy how much he wanted for the cow. The boy replied the way he had been taught by his mother: “Three dinars”. He also added that he would not sell the cow before he consulted his mother. The angel asked the boy to sell the cow for six dinars without asking the mother’s permission. The boy replied that without his mother’s permission he would not sell the cow even for the amount of gold equal to the cow’s weight and that he had promised not to do anything that could be a sign of disrespect towards his mother. He returned home to tell his mother about what happened and she allowed him to sell the cow for six dinars.
The boy took the cow to the market again and the customer asked him about his decision. The boy said he would sell the cow for the price of six dinars that the customer had offered. The angel offered him to sell the cow for twelve dinars without asking his mother’s permission. The boy remained firm in his respect towards his mother and overcame the temptation. He went home again and told everything to his mother. The mother then started wondering about what happened. She came to conclusion that there was a secret behind all that and understood who the customer was. She told her son that the customer was an angel sent by Allah in order to tempt him and ordered him to ask the angel if they had to sell the cow at all.
The boy went back to the market, found the customer and asked him this question. The angel told him to return home with his cow and not to come to the market anymore. He told the boy to inform his mother not to sell the cow until customers come to them. The angel said that the cow is determined to reveal who was the murderer of a certain person and that Musa (peace be upon him) would come to buy it. The angel commanded to accept that offer. In addition, the angel told the boy not to sell the cow for less than the amount of gold that would fill the cow hide.
With this news the boy returned home. He told his mother everything and she was very pleased. The righteousness of the son brought blessing. By that time the Israelites became all distressed searching for the cow matching the description mentioned by Allah, and finally they found the cow with the boy who was known for his good attitude towards his mother. They sold the cow for the amount of gold enough to fill the cow hide, and the house of the poor boy became full with blessing. Another story goes that the cow was sold for the amount of gold ten times exceeding the weight of the cow.
Then the cow was slaughtered as it had been demanded by Allah and commanded by Musa (peace be upon him). The Almighty commanded that the victim should be touched by a part of the cow’s body. They did so and the dead man spoke: “I was killed by the person named so-and-so.” When the dead man pronounced his murderer’s name he became silent again. The scholars are of different opinions regarding the body part of the cow that made the dead man speak. Some say, it was the tail bone. Others – it was the tongue.
The Holy Quran contains numerous stories that happened thousands of years ago. The same story is sometimes narrated in several different ways but it does not impair the meaning of the Quran. The story about the cow is mentioned in the Quran in the surah “al-Baqara” (“The Cow”); as for me, I am telling this for edification my brothers in Islam.
When pondering over the miracles of Allah, one is caught in admiration. The mysteries of the world cannot be fully disclosed by anybody but Allah. Hasn’t there been another way to find out who the murderer was? Was the only way to do that to make a dead man speak? Could a slaughtered cow make a dead man alive by itself? No, dear brothers in Islam, the Creator of Heaven and Earth was the real cause for that and it happened solely according to His will.
Look how obeying the will of Allah makes a piece of meat of a slaughtered animal capable of performing such things! How can one ignore that it was Allah’s will that made the slaughtered cow the means of making the dead man speak? If one comprehends that one should also recognize that the cow was nothing more than a mean. The cow by itself cannot be regarded as a deity. Those who worship Allah should know Him and not confuse the means with Him Who causes it to come into being. To comprehend this simple truth, one does not have to possess great wisdom and knowledge. We just need to believe in Allah!
Written by Shaykha Sabrah Abbass