A Wise Young Muslim Boy

Many years ago, during the time of the Tâbi'în (the generation of Muslims after the Sahâbah), Baghdâd was a great city of Islam. In fact, it was the capital of the Islamic Empire and, because of the great number of scholars who lived there, it was the center of Islamic knowledge.

One day, the ruler of Rome at the time sent an envoy to Baghdad with three challenges for the Muslims. When the messenger reached the city, he informed the khalîfah that he had three questions which he challenged the Muslims to answer.

The khalîfah gathered together all the scholars of the city and the Roman messenger climbed upon a high platform and said, "I have come with three questions. If you answer them, then I will leave with you a great amount of wealth which I have brought from the king of Rome." As for the questions, they were: "What was there before Allâh?" "In which direction does Allâh face?" "What is Allâh engaged in at this moment?"

The great assembly of people were silent. (Can you think of answers to these questions?) In the midst of these brilliant scholars and students of Islam was a man looking on with his young son. "O my dear father! I will answer him and silence him!" said the youth. So the boy sought the permission of the khalîfah to give the answers and he was given the permission to do so.

The Roman addressed the young Muslim and repeated his first question, "What was there before Allâh?"

The boy asked, "Do you know how to count?"

"Yes," said the man.

"Then count down from ten!" So the Roman counted down, "ten, nine, eight, ..." until he reached "one" and he stopped counting

"But what comes before 'one'?" asked the boy.

"There is nothing before one- that is it!" said the man.

"Well then, if there obviously is nothing before the arithmetic 'one', then how do you expect that there should be anything before the 'One' who is Absolute Truth, All-Eternal, Everlasting the First, the Last, the Manifest, the Hidden?"

Now the man was surprised by this direct answer which he could not dispute. So he asked, "Then tell me, in which direction is Allâh facing?"

"Bring a candle and light it," said the boy, "and tell me in which direction the flame is facing."

"But the flame is just light- it spreads in each of the four directions,

North, South, East and West. It does not face any one direction only," said the man in wonderment.

The boy cried, "Then if this physical light spreads in all four directions such that you cannot tell me which way it faces, then what do you expect of the Nûr-us-Samâwâti-wal-'Ard: Allâh - the Light of the Heavens and the Earth!? Light upon Light, Allâh faces all directions at all times."

The Roman was stupified and astounded that here was a young child answering his challenges in such a way that he could not argue against the proofs. So, he desperately wanted to try his final question. But before doing so, the boy said,

"Wait! You are the one who is asking the questions and I am the one who is giving the answer to these challenges. It is only fair that you should come down to where I am standing and that I should go up where you are right now, in order that the answers may be heard as clearly as the questions."

This seemed reasonable to the Roman, so he came down from where he was standing and the boy ascended the platform. Then the man repeated his final challenge, "Tell me, what is Allâh doing at this moment?"

The boy proudly answered, "At this moment, when Allâh found upon this high platform a liar and mocker of Islam, He caused him to descend and brought him low. And as for the one who believed in the Oneness of Allâh, He raised him up and established the Truth. Every day He exercises (universal) power (Surah 55 ar-Rahmân, Verse 29)."

The Roman had nothing to say except to leave and return back to his country, defeated. Meanwhile, this young boy grew up to become one of the most famous scholars of Islam. Allâh, the Exalted, blessed him with special wisdom and knowledge of the deen. His name was Abu Hanîfah (rahmatullâh 'alayhi- Allâh have mercy on him) and he is known today as Imâm-e-A'dham, the Great Imâm and scholar of Islam.
deepness deepness
22-25, F
4 Responses Apr 3, 2011

This is for Nido,<br />
I would be afraid to want to rule the world though. Remember what Allah said, in the Qur'an that He offered to the mountains to be the "khalifah" or vicegerent (ruler) of the world who represents God's rule on earth, and the mountains crumbled in fear from this big responsibility. But it is men in his ignorance that accepts this duty - yet many of us don't do it justice. I am not against righteous people taking care of the world population and mother earth, but are we really ready to be fair and just to both Muslims and non-Muslims?

I am a non-Muslim but I enjoyed the story all the same. I am replying to your comment to Nido questioning whether you are ready to be fair to Muslim and non-Muslim alike. I am not familiar with the Qur'an, nor the teachings of Allah, but I am familiar with God...and my feelings are reflected in your story about the light shining in all directions at once. The bible says because there is one bread (the bread of life being God) there is but one body. As a Christian I pray for the day when we are no longer seperated by our differences, but united in our similarities.

I didn't write or type out this story either. May God reward be on deepset. I agree with your wish for peace and co-existence. I think the key to that is sincerity in worship and pursuit of Truth.

SUBHANALLAH,Thank you sister.I am happy to read the complete story.INSHALLAH we will rise once again and rule the world.Nature is with us

alhamduli llah everyone loved it...but btw it wasnt me who wrote it...i wish i could write in such a beautiful way(ma sha'aa llah)<br />
<br />
salam to all :)

MashaAllah! May Allah reward you for highlighting the genius of one of our great Imams. Let us strive to be guided, brave and still humble like them.<br />
<br />
The Qur'an says. "Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth, The parable of His Light is as if a niche has within it a lamp, the lamp is in glass, the glass as if it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the west nor the east, whose oil would almost glow forth (by itself) though no fire touched it. Light upon light! Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allah sets forth parables for mankind and Allah is All-Knower of everything. (Chapter Light (Nur) 24:35)