Quranic History of The Sabbath-Breakers

The Sabbath-Breakers

Allah the Almighty says:
{And ask them (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) about the town that was by the sea; when they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday): when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath day, and did not come to them on the day they had no Sabbath. Thus We made a trial of them, for they used to rebel against Allah’s Command (disobey Allah). And when a community among them said: “Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is about to destroy or to punish with q severe torment?” (The preachers) said: “in order to be free from guilt before your Lord (Allah), and perhaps they may fear Allah.” So when they forgot the remindings that had been given to them, We rescued those who forbade evil, but We seized those who did wrong with a severe torment because they used to rebel against Allah’s Command (disobey Allah). So when they exceeded the limits of what they were prohibited, We said to them: “Be you monkeys, despied and rejected}. (Al-A’ rat, 163-166)

And, {And indeed you knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday). We said to them: “Be you monkeys, despised and rejected.” So We made this punishment an example to their own and to succeeding generations and a lesson to those who are Al-Muttaqun (thepious)}. (Al-Baqarah, 65, 66)

And, {Orcurse them as We cursed the Sabbath breakers}. (An-Nisa’,47)

Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid,’ Ikrimah, Qatadah, As-Sadiy and others said: they were the people of Aylah. Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) added: it was located between Median and At- Tur. They said: the people of Aylah were adhering attentively to the teachings of the Torah and the prohibition of the Sabbath at that time (the prohibition of fishing on Saturdays). Amazingly, the fish used to expose itself openly on Saturdays and disappear on the other days of the week, {when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath day, and did not come to them on the day they had no Sabbath}. Almighty Allah says {Thus We made a trial of them}, i.e. We test them through
sending great numbers of fish on the Sabbath. {for they used to rebel against Allah’s Command (disobey Allah)}, i.e. because of their disobedience and rebellion. When they saw this, they made a trick to catch the fish on the Sabbath.

They fixed their fishing nets and ropes and excavated streams allowing the sea water to run through and the fish to get in but never go back to the sea. They made all this on Friday, in preparation for the coming of the fish on Saturday. And thus, the fish came on the supposedly-peaceful day (knowing not what has been prepared against them). They were caught in the nets, ropes and artificial streams. When the Saturday came to an end, the people of Aylah were present to take their fat catch. Consequently, Allah the Almighty was angry with them and He cursed them because of their trickery and deception. When this was done by a group thereof, the rest who did not participate in their sinful acting were divided into two sects: a sect that rejected their acting and trickery against the Law and Command of Allah the Almighty at that time. The second sect did not reject or forbid them, rather they disapproved of the reaction of the sect that forbade the sinful ones saying:

{Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is about to destroy or to punish with a severe torment?}, i.e. what is the gain in preaching to a people whom will inevitably be punished by Allah the Almighty? But, the second sect (the preachers) replied saying: {In order to be free from guilt before your Lord (Allah)}, i.e. as we are commanded by Him to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil; thus, we observe this for our fear of His Torment. {And perhaps they may fear Allah}, i.e. perhaps those who made these sins may repent to Allah and regret what they have done and thus be saved from the punishment of Allah and that He forgives them all.

Allah the Almighty says: {So when they forgot the remindings that had been given to them}, i.e. were heedless towards the godly preachers, {We rescued those who forbade evil}, i.e. the preaching sect, but {We seized those who did wrong}, i.e. doers of the sinful deed, {with a severe torment}, i.e. a painful punishment, {because they used to rebel against Allah’s Command (disobey Allah)}. Then, Allah explained the torment that befell them saying, {So when they exceeded the limits of what they were prohibited, We said to them: “Be you monkeys, despised and rejected}.

Here, the point is that Allah the Almighty informed us that He destroyed the
wrongdoers, saved the preaching believers and left the believers who did not
practice enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. Scholars disputed regarding the third group. Some said they were granted salvation. And others said that they were destroyed with the wrong-doers. But, the first view is the accepted one by the well-versed scholars, including Ibn ‘Abbas head of the interpreters -who referred to this opinion on a debate with his master ‘lkrimah who upon the victory of Ibn ‘Abbas – granted him a valuable garment as a reward. It should be noted here that the third group were not mentioned with those given salvation even though they despised the sinful deed, with their hearts, because they should have compelled their organs (hand or tongue) to act there upon and declare their rejection of the wrong-doers’ act. So, they were  saved with the preachers because they themselves did not commit the sinful deed, rather they rejected it with their hearts.

NarratedAbdur Razzaq after Juraij after a man (whose name is not known)
after ‘Ikrimah after Ibn ‘Abbas; and Malik transmitted from Ibn Ruman, ShaibanQatadah and ‘Ata ‘Al-Kharasani what means: Those who committed the sinful deed were abandoned by the rest of the people of the town. Some of them
declared their rejection and denial of their deed. They did not listen to the
preachers. Afterwards, they used to stay the night apart from the rest of the
people of the town and there were doors or barriers between them and the rest
of the people who were anticipating the befalling of punishment over them. One
day, their doors did not open till the noon. The people got anxious and sent one
of them to see what happened to them from above the barrier. When he looked
he found them turned into monkeys with tails, shouting. They opened the doors
(barrier) and the monkeys recognized their relatives while their relatives could
not recognize them. Thereupon, the preachers said: Did not we forbid you from
doing this? The monkeys made a sign with their heads denoting: Yes. Then,
Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) wept and said: verily, we
see many wrong-doings which we do not reject or deny or even make a

Narrated Al-‘Ufi after Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) saying: the
young men of the town were turned into monkeys, while the old men into pigs.
Moreover, Ibn Abu Hatim narrated from MujaQid after Ibn ‘Abbas his saying:
they did not live long and they left no offspring. Also, Adpahhaq narrated from
Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him): no monster has lived more than
three days. In addition, they did not eat, drink or leave offspring.

Narrated Ibn Abu Hatim and Ibn Jarir after Ibn Abu Nujaih from Mujahid his
saying: only their hearts and not their figures were turned into monkeys and
pigs. This is just like His Statement that reads: {The likeness of those who were entrusted with the (obligation of the) Taurat (Torah) (i.e. to obey its commandments and practice its laws), but who subsequently failed in those (obligations), is as the likeness of a donkey which carries huge burdens of books (but understands nothing from them)}. (Al-Jumu’ ah,5) But, this view seems to be very strange and it contradicts the apparent meaning of the Glorious Qur’an and the concession of the earlier scholars and those who followed them. Allah knows best!


9 thoughts on “Quranic History of The Sabbath-Breakers”

    1. Thankyou brother for your visit we are following Ahlu sunnah wal jama’t Which strongly believe in Bid’at-e-Sayyia and Bidat-e-Hasana concept while on that site of yours there are “refutation” against it. So its difficult to realise your point of view are you from those who follow ibn-e-wahab alnajdi or ibn-e-baz or even albani?

      1. JAJAKALLAH KHAYR for being frankly to comment.

        My point of view are from the companions of our PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SALLALLAHU A’LAIHI WA SALLAM),who were the most trusted and best part of jama’ah and followers of sunnah.There are clear evidence from Part 1 to part 3 against bid’at e hasana. The hadith of PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SALLALLAHU A’LAIHI WA SALLAM) is enough to prove that there is no good bid’ah (in the deen) which you find in part 1.

        So my kindly request to you,please let me know with evidence that why you believe in the concept of bid’at e hasana and tell me what’s wrong with the evidences in the articles.

      2. Surah al hadeed:27
        We instilled compassion and mercy in the hearts of his followers; and they invented monasticism which We had not ordained upon them only to seek Allah’s pleasure, then did not properly abide by it as it should have been rightfully abided; We therefore gave the believers among them their reward; and many of them are sinners.

        When Hazrat Umar (ra) started Taraweh Prayers (Baa-Jamat) He said “Naimat al Bidata Haza” (This is a good bid’at)
        Bidat does not only mean everything it is a huge topic for some and As you see its also the sunnah of Sahaba. Now let us come to the Hadith point of view. SO in
        SHarha lilumaat. Vol 1.Chapter Baab-Al-Aitasam under the hadith of kullun bidatu dalala. It is clearly stated that :Those bid’ats whose classifications and laws are consonant with Sunnah are called Bid’at-e-Hasana.And what is against (those rules) are called bid’at-e-Dalalah.
        Again in Mishkat Chapter Baab Al Ilm there is authentic Hadith which says (Whosoever starts a good new way in islam he will get his reward for that and whosoever will obey that will also never get less reward,And who so ever starts a bad way in islam he will have the burden of sin not only of him but all those who will follow him and there will be no less in sin for them…….)
        this was the rough translation of that hadith it is in itself a proof that there are two kinds of bid’at.
        In Mirqat Shareef under chapter Bab al aitisam bilkitab wal sunnah. There is another proof of this thing. So there is 2 Major kinds of Bid’ats . if you know urdu language there is an old article written where arabic is also mentioned you can read that and then we will discuss. Fe aman Allah

      3. I want to remind you that the ayat you referenced here was revealed about some “followers of ISA (AWS)” and you may know that the shariyah sent by ALLAH with MUHAMMAD (SAW) had been rejected all of the privious shariyah and it’s a complete Deen.You just try to proof the “concept” of bidah hasana positively .Yes,many of scholars pronounce about bidah hasanah [for the example,Umar (ra) pronounce it but “conceptually” it was not a bidah] but they didnt show their courage to make it halal ,rather they were well knowledgable about sunnah and satisfied with sunnah.So i want to give you nasiha as a muslim that be firm with the sunnah as our PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAW) told us to be firm with.May ALLAH help all of us to be firm and satisfied with the sunnah as the best generation of ummah-the Sahaba did it.ALLAHUMMA AMEEN.

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