Khutba - About the lessons from the story of two sons of Adam

Yousuf Saleh, 6th February 2015

All Praise is due to Allah (swt) who is the Sustainer of all the Universe. May the peace and blessings of Allah (swt) be upon Muhammad (saws), his family, his companions and all those who follow him in righteousness until the day of resurrection.
Amma Bad.

Respected brothers and sisters at home, we have been talking about the lessons derived from the Quranic story of Habil and Qabil. Among the many lessons we learn from the story is that the evil consequences of following desire and the wicked effects of the mind are very damaging. When a person follows his Nafs, his desire, nothing will prevent him from the distractions in this life. This is what Allah (swt) mentioned in Quran, Ch-12 and Ve-53’ Surely, the soul insistently commands evil.’

We see in our society, many questions are asked frequently regarding the minor things, while ignoring the major and obligatory things. So much concern about the Makrooh, and disliked things while the same people commitvarious types of deadly sins openly, and provoke others to commit the same sins. But they do not show any concern about this. For example a person holding his moustache while drinking wine. Because the dipping of the moustache in drink is makruh. So, he is very concerned about the makruh (disliked) thing, in Shariah, but he is not worried about the haram beverage that he is drinking.

The major thing is overlooked because he is following his nafs and the nafs is inclined to evil.His nafs or mind is telling him that he is doing the right thing. And in terms of committing deadly sins he does not have any concern and never thinks that the matter should be taken to a scholar like he requires about all the minor things in his life. Respected brothers and sisters at home, all the sins are initiated by the encouragement of the Nafs, desire. And then Satan takes control in the process of committing the sin.

This was the reason that Qabil killed his brother. Allah says in ch-5. And verse 30: “So his soul encouraged him and made it fair-seeming to him to kill his brother; and he killed him and became one of the losers.” Our point to be noticed here is that Qabil’snafs, his mind encouraged him to kill his brother, by making it seem like a sensible thing to do, so he killed him, after his brother admonished him. Respected brothers and sisters at home, sins are committed by the encouragement of the soul. Qabil followed his desire and he gave priority toit over his father’sguidance as a Prophet.

In a hadith mentioned in Ibne Hibban narrated by Abu Dharr (RA) who said: "0 Allah's Messenger! How many were the Prophets of Allah?' He (SAW) said: 'One hundred and twenty -four thousands.' I said: 'O Allah's Messenger! How many were the Messengers among them?' He (SAW) said: 'Three hundred and thirteen, a great number!' I said: 'O Allah's Messenger! Who was the first among them? 'He (SAW) said: 'Adam.' I said: 'O Allah's Messenger! Was he a Prophet sent with a Message?' He (SAW) said: 'Yes, Allah the Almighty created him with His Hand, then, breathed into him out of His Spirit, then, He fashioned him (in a very proper manner).

The reason that Habil knew that all of his sins would be given to Qabil, and he did not retaliate was because his father Adam was a Prophet of Allah, he taught them the essence of Iman and Aakhirah. With the Mercy of Allah Habil had developed the proper conscience of God in his self,therefore he was able to give priority to the commands of Allah over his desire.

On the other hand Qabil did not take any lessons from his father’s Prophet hood, and from his father’s Practical experience that he gained in terms of living in Jannah. And Qabil did not take lessons at allfrom the evil consequence of the traps of Satan that Adam (as) fell in. Rather He followed his desire and became among the losers.

Respected brothers and sisters at home, another lesson we learn from this story is that thenafs and Satan always drag people from the light to the darkness. And Allah (swt) brings them out from the darkness to the light. Allah (swt) said in Quran Ch-2 and verse 257, ”Allah is the Guardian –Protector of those who believe. He brings them out from the darkness to the light. But those who disbelieve, their friends are the false gods. They bring them out from the light to the darkness. Such are the inmates of the fire. They there-in will remain forever.”

It has been mentioned in Ibne Kathir that Satan encouraged and showed Qabil how to kill his brother. But he did not show him how to bury the dead body. Look at the trap of Satan and the way he brings people from the light to the darkness. Qabil held Habil by the head to kill him, so Habil laid down for him and Qabil started twisting Habil’s head, not knowing how to kill him. Satan came to Qabil and said, “Do you want to kill him?” He said, “Yes.” Satan said, “Take that stone and throw it on his head.” So Qabil took the stone and threw it at his brother’s head and smashed his head.

Satan then went to Hawwaa` in a hurry and said to her, “O Hawwaa`! Qabil killed Habil.” She asked him, “Woe to you! What does ‘kill’ mean?” He said, “He will no longer eat, drink or move.” She said, “And that is death?” He said, “Yes, it is.” So she started to weep. Respected brothers and sisters at home, please notice, the innocent reply of Hawwaa` – “What does ‘kill’ mean?” Imagine a world so innocent that people did not know what ‘kill’ meant when they heard it!According to some narrations when habil died, Qabil lifted his brother on his back and walked with him for three days. He did not know what to do with Habil’s body. Satan put him in this darkness. He showed him the process of killing but now he left him alone in distressand sorrow.

It has been mentioned in Ch-5, verse 31 that then the most beneficent and most merciful Allah (swt) sent two crows that fought each other until one killed the other. The crow dug a hole and threw sand over the dead corpse. When Qabil saw that, he said, “Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and hide the dead body of my brother?”

Respected brothers and sisters at home, this was the first burial in human history taught by Allah (swt) through a crow, which we follow until today. I would like to conclude today’s khutba with the saying of Imam Hasan al Banna. He said: Your nafs, soul/desires is your first battlefield. If you are victorious over it, then you will find the other battlefields easier.

May Allah bless us all.

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