“You must be joking”: A tale of two communities

By Sara F
July 28, 2021

There is a story in the Quran where Allah tells us about Banu Israel and their Prophet Musa (Alayhi Salam) when they were told (by Allah through Musa, Alayhi Salam) to slaughter a cow* in order to solve a murder that had rocked their community.

Their immediate response to this commandment was ‘Is this a joke?’*

Like, Are you being serious? What’s that got to do with anything?!

And when they realised that this was a serious issue, they responded along the lines of;

“🙄Ok, fine. Well, what’s the cow supposed to look like because, listen, all cows look the same to us. So you have to be a bit clearer and a lot more specific”

After asking all kinds of questions (not to truly understand, but really only to mock and be sarcastic), they were finally given very unique specifications as to what this cow was supposed to look like*.

In the end, they slaughtered the cow, albeit begrudgingly, and they got the solution to the murder that they wanted.*

Now compare that group/scenario to that of Ibrahim (Alayhi salaam) and his son Ismael.

Ibrahim was told, by Allah, to slaughter HIS SON.

Contemplate that for a moment, will you?

His son! A whole human!!!!

The clowns in the previous story were only asked to slaughter a cow!

But what did this beautiful, blessed father-son duo say when they received the commandment from Allah?

Ismael (May Allah be pleased with him) said “Do what you have been commanded, o dear father” **.

Honestly, let that sink in…

Just that statement of Ismael alone,Subhaanallah!

He KNOWS that he is the one to be sacrificed and this is what he said!!

And what about the father as well? Think about the strength and Eeman it takes to willingly carry out such an action!

As a parent, wallahi I can’t fathom it.

Now, think about yourself and these two groups of people.

Which one sounds more like you?

When you were told that Allah said to be dutiful to your parents (even when/if you feel they’ve been neglectful),

When you were told not to pluck your eyebrows, or not to use hair extensions, or not to let your trousers drag below your ankle, or to not travel without a mahram,

When you were told to not shake the hands of a member of the opposite sex that’s not your mahram, and to pay Zakah on all that gold and wealth you’ve been hoarding,

When you were commanded not to deal with interest at all (no matter how “sensible” that mortgage sounds to you),

Did you think “Really? In today’s day and age? Not travel without a mahram? Come on,I’m not a baby!

“Not get a mortgage? There’s no other way to climb the property ladder in today’s world?

“Seriously, I can’t pluck my eyebrows? Now, what’s that got to do with anything?!

“Not shake hands with strange men or women? How am I supposed to get by in the corporate world?? To be honest, This is all a bit ridiculous to me”

Astaghfirullah. May Allah forgive us for our mistakes, arrogance and ignorance!

Subhanallah, The concept of obedience and submission in Islam is one that we need to keep refreshing in our hearts. Our mantra should always be “ We hear and we obey”

No matter how hard the commandments in Islam may seem, and make no mistake, I’m not saying that they are always easy-peasy. However, we can always try and remind ourselves that we have not been asked to sacrifice our own children….

This is a serious reminder to myself first and foremost.

P.S There is a fantastic Tafseer of Surah Baqarah on YouTube that I think you will greatly benefit from. You can find it here

*Surah Al Baqarah Vs 67-73

** Surah As-Saaffat Vs 102

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Join the Conversation

  1. Mojirayo Khadijah says:

    May Allah ease our affairs and remain steadfast in our Deen ,Al Islam.

  2. Excellent ma sha Allah..It never occurred to me to relate both stories together in this manner.

    1. Ma shaa Allah. Didn’t occur to me either! I can’t take all the credit, I have been listening to a Tafseer of Surah Baqarah and that’s where the similitude was first pointed out to me. I will put the link to the Tafseer series at the bottom of the post

  3. This got me really pondering on the many ways I have flexed the free will Allah’s given me when by default it should be “We hear and we obey”

    May Allah make it easy for us to follow His commands. Aameen

    Thank you for the beautiful reminder.

    1. Aameen! How have you been dear sis xx 😘

  4. Anonymous says:

    Love your blog! You are so talented ما شاء الله ❤️❤️

    1. Thank you! I really appreciate this sweet comment🧡 Ma shaa Allah


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