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Offline Reader Questions

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The Sabbath Breakers
« on: November 17, 2014, 06:25:39 PM »
As-salaam-u-alaykum brother

I have seen your website and may Allah bless you and help you more in the achieving His Pleasure :)

There is one thing I would like to ask - it is regarding the Sabbath Breakers that was mentioned in the Quran. I feel bit confused. It has been said by scholars that the fish would appear on the Sabbath, and not on the other days. But how else would those Israelites catch fish if those fish only appeared on the Sabbath? Unless they appeared more often during the Sabbath Day compared to other days then I can appreciate that, but if they only appeared on Sabbath Day, then any person would be tempted right? But because this incident is mentioned in the Quran, then we know that something must have happened - it is very unlikely that Allah would rob them off their livelihood (as they were fisherman) for the rest of the week but the Sabbath; but more likely that the Israelites in that particular community were too greedy for their own good, and wanted more than they were allowed to, and the fact they put up nets the day before the Sabbath, in order to catch the fish, was a way of trying to twist Allah's Rule for their own gains, but instead they received the His Anger.

I hope you could clarify for me thanks

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: The Sabbath Breakers
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2014, 07:00:16 PM »
Wa alaikum assalam

Please see my responses to your comments in blue italics below.
 
I trust that clarifies, God willing
Joseph
 
 
There is one thing I would like to ask - it is regarding the Sabbath Breakers that was mentioned in the Quran. I feel bit confused. It has been said by scholars that the fish would appear on the Sabbath, and not on the other days.
 
This is stated explicitly in the Quran in verse 7:163 “…When their fish came to them on the day of their Sabbath visibly and did not come to them on the day(s) that they did not keep Sabbath”
 
But how else would those Israelites catch fish if those fish only appeared on the Sabbath? Unless they appeared more often during the Sabbath Day compared to other days then I can appreciate that, but if they only appeared on Sabbath Day, then any person would be tempted right?
 
This is clearly stated by the Quran as a test (Arabic: bala) and throughout the Quran, emphasis is placed on the fact that God will try His servants in various ways, even in secret (5:94). This goes to the heart of our very existence on earth which is to separate those that strive and those that do not, amidst trials and tribulations and during times of ease. However, it remains noteworthy the Quran does not state how long this trial lasted for the township by the sea, whether a few weeks or months. However, what is clear, that a situation was created where fish would appear on the Sabbath but not on other days. In whatever period that this trial endured, some failed.
 
Arguably, this may not have been a very prolonged period otherwise potentially a whole industry could have collapsed. As God says, with trial, comes ease (94:5). He repeats this twice (94:6). Hence, this trial was presented for a period known to God as an opportunity to separate those that remained God fearing and others who did not amidst a people who were defiantly disobedient (7:163). This was no small matter, as transgressing the Sabbath was a very serious issue, after all a powerful covenant was taken with them with regards to it (4:154).

 
But because this incident is mentioned in the Quran, then we know that something must have happened - it is very unlikely that Allah would rob them off their livelihood (as they were fisherman) for the rest of the week but the Sabbath;
 
It would be arguably meaningless to have such a covenant and then not be tested with regards to it. As you will no doubt appreciate, 'lip service' is one thing, 'practical piety' is quite another and God puts His creation through trials and tribulations to separate them.
 
The Quran makes it clear that we as humans will be tested when no soul is watching, when no soul can ever know of our actions and at times when we are in a heightened state of vulnerability as in the case of the Sabbath. Please see references [1], [2] & [3] below.

 
but more likely that the Israelites in that particular community were too greedy for their own good, and wanted more than they were allowed to, There is no proof for this statement in the Quran which remains an interpolation, respectfully, on your part. and the fact they put up nets the day before the Sabbath, in order to catch the fish, was a way of trying to twist Allah's Rule for their own gains, but instead they received the His Anger. This statement, with respect once again, is not a fact derived from the Quran which does not mention ‘nets’ or what they may have done to circumvent God’s rules.
 
All we know is that a trial was presented. The time period of this trial is not given by the Quran. However, for the purpose of wisdom, it proved a sufficient canvas to separate those that feared God and those that did not. We are all tested in different ways, so that the righteous of God’s creation that remained steadfast can be distinguished.
 

REFERENCES:
 
[1] WE WILL BE TESTED
http://quransmessage.com/articles/tests%20FM3.htm
[2] SUFFERING AND ADVERSITY
http://quransmessage.com/articles/suffering%20FM3.htm
[3] TESTED IN SECRET
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/328942543909546
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell