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We believe that a true and comprehensive understanding of Islam would not be possible without careful recognition of the Prophetic Tradition and the Prophet's Household. And Allah is the Source of Strength.

The Fascinating Prophets of Allah

Stories of the Prophets have always been fascinating. When we were young, they were nothing short of fairy tales. Their stories had a hero, a villain, climax, and ofcourse, magic. Prophet Sulaiman (AS), a powerful king who controlled the demons, Prophet Nuh (AS) and the massive flood, Prophet Musa (AS) and how he drowned the Pharaoh. One thing was common in the stories, that the Prophets of Allah were always supported by the poor, the weak and the few and they always faced opposition from the mighty of the town.

And thus have We made in every town the great ones to be its guilty ones, that
they may plan therein; and they do not plan but against their own souls, and they do not
Quran [6:123]

It is thus not a surprise that the great ones of our towns today, our leaders and our VIPS, the rich ones and those who control the money, display every trait which belongs to an open enemy of the Prophets.

But when you read the Story of the Prophets in the book authored by their creator as well, you find that the Prophets had a tough life; sacrifice, migrations, poverty, opposition, martyrdom. Facing ruthless governments is not an easy job, and establishing a just government is equally different. Prophets of Allah have opposed the pharaohs and Prophets of Allah have been just kings. One of the things common in all prophets were their thankfulness to Allah, their support for the weak, their stand for the truth, whatever the price was.

The fascinating stories of the Prophets are indeed more fascinating and equally multidimensional when you read about their life and learn from the Quran.

Adam (AS); The man who taught Repentance

Adam (AS) was Allah's caliph on the Earth, Allah's representation. Yet when the Prophet disobeyed Allah, he was taken out of the Gardens and wandered on earth until Allah decided to forgive him out of his mercy.

Adam (AS) was not the Prophet who sinned. Adam (AS) was the prophet who taught repentance.

They said: Our Lord! We have been unjust to ourselves, and if Thou forgive us not, and have (not) mercy on us, we shall certainly be of the losers.
Quran [7:23]

Some Tafseers state that Adam (AS) wandered on the Earth, alone for years. The darkness of the earth had struck fear in his heart and the 2 Rakah of Fajr are a reflection of Adam (AS) when he prostrated to Allah on his first sunrise on earth.

Adam (AS) and Iblis were equal convicts in the crime; One had suggested and the other had executed the plan. But Allah rewarded one and punished one. Such is the power of repentance and such is the Zaat of Allah, which can forgive any sin but Shirk.

Surely Allah does not forgive that anything should be associated with Him, and
forgives what is besides that to whomsoever He pleases; an
d whoever associates anything with Allah, he devises indeed a great sin.
Quran [4:48]  

For surely each and everyone of us has sinned in our lives; Envy, lie, disobedient to parents, adultery (of the body, or hand, or eye), theft etc. How would we ever salvage ourselves if we were not taught the art of true repentance?

Lut (AS); The wise and knowledgeable

Lut (AS) was the cousin of Ibrahim (AS) who lived at the same time as him, and has a famous story. His nation were the pioneers of sodomy (homosexuality). And though it is now been legalized in parts of the west and the Muslims are forming a neutrality to the practice (which always precedes acceptance), we all forget what was the outcome of the nation of Lut (AS). I call it an asteroid shower.

So when Our decree came to pass, We turned them upside down and rained down
upon them stones,
of what had been decreed, one after another. Marked (for punishment) with your Lord and it is not far off from the unjust.
Quran [11:82-83]

Allah sent angels to the house of Lut (AS). The people gathered at his house and asked for Lut (AS) to hand over the handsome men (angels) to them. As a last ditch effort to save his nation from what was to come, he offered his daughters to them but they were so intoxicated in their crime that they wanted nothing else. And the Prophet (AS) along with his followers were ordered to leave the town before sunrise.

The people of Lut treated the warning. as a lie. Surely We sent upon them a stone storm, except Lut's followers; We saved them a little before daybreak, A favor from Us; thus do We reward him who gives thanks.
Quran [54:33-35]

Allah saved Lut (AS) for he had been thankful to Allah in his good times. Allah saved his followers because they were thankful. When Allah sends a messenger, the only form of thankfulness is accepting their message and following them, for it amounts to acceptance of the message.

What sort of thanklessness would be, when the Prophet (SAW) would ask for a pen and paper to write down somethings after which Muslims shall never go astray, and some followers would not accept the request of the Prophet (SAW)?

Ayub (AS); The Afflicted but the Patient

Ayub (AS) taught patience. He lived his life in diseases and possibly shunned by the society. He was a disability yet he neither felt miserable on his existence nor was he angry at Allah for keeping him in the condition he was. He (AS) accepted the will of Allah destined for him, yet requested his mercy to make his burden light for him.

Allah gave back the health to Ayub (AS) by the means of a spring resulting from a strike of his foot and returned his family to him.

......  surely We found him patient; most excellent the servant! Surely he was
frequent in returning (to Allah).

Quran [38:44]

Ayub (AS) showed that remembrance of Allah was more fruitful than depression and frustrations; for not only it added to your measure for the hereafter, it was the only means of attaining your peace and release from any affliction.

Dawood (AS); The Just Ruler

Dawood (AS) belonged to the Army of Talut (AS). Talut (AS) was a king over the people and chosen by Allah. People opposed to Talut's kingship claiming that he did not have wealth and thus had no right of kingship, but Allah preferred Talut (AS) over the rest and gave him knowledge and physique. The army of Talut defeated the army of Jalut and Dawood (AS) killed Jalut.

Dawood (AS) was bestowed with the miracle of hymns and with the miracle that iron was made soft for Dawood (AS), who molded the iron as he desired.

And certainly We gave to Dawood excellence from Us: O mountains! sing praises with him, and the birds; and We made the iron pliant to him, Saying: Make ample (coats of mail), and assign a time to the making of coats of mail and do good; surely I am Seeing what you do.
Quran [34:10-11] 

Dawood (AS) was tried by Allah on account of something he had chosen for himself out of his desire.

He said: Surely he has been unjust to you in demanding your ewe (to add) to his
own ewes; and most surely most of the partners act wrongfully towards one another, save
Dawood, Prophet those who believe and do good, and very few are they; and Dawood was sure that We had tried him, so he sought the protection of his Lord and he fell down bowing and turned time after time (to Him). Therefore We rectified for him this, and most surely he had a nearness to Us and an excellent resort
Quran [38:24-25]

Dawood (AS) had authority in the land, and it was his challenge to rule the land justly and not let his own desires blind his path, the Path of Allah. Dawood (AS) remembered the day of reckoning and showed us that a fair person is successful, but better is the Just ruler who has no authority or accountability above him, for his justness testifies his faith in the authority and accountability of Allah.

Hud (AS); The brother of the Mighty Ad

The Ad was a rising civilization, with abundance in wealth and children. Ad were strong people who carved out caves in mountains and were proud of their strength.

The Quran, treats the story of Hud (AS) a little bit different to the story of other Prophets. For other prophets, a lot more detail is provided to the miracles, qualities and tribulations of the prophets, given that their nations were insolent. The story of Hud (AS) focuses not on Hud (AS), but his nation, the Ad.

Ad gave the lie to the messengers. When their brother Hud said to them: Will you not guard (against evil)?
Quran [26:123-124] 

Wind is the weakest of the elements known due to it being less dense. Yet Allah sent a mighty wind, to uproot the strength of the mighty Ad.

Ibrahim (AS) [and Ismail (AS), Ishaaq (AS)]; The Father of Monotheism

The Prophet (SAW) took pride in his ancestry reaching Ibrahim (AS) through Ismail (AS). And rightly so. Ibrahim (AS) was given not only Nabuwat, but also Imamat by Allah;

And when his Lord tried Ibrahim with certain words, he fulfilled them. He said: Surely I will make you an Imam of men. Ibrahim said: And of my offspring? My covenant does not include the unjust, said He.
Quran [2:124]

Ibrahim (AS) was a critical thinker. His (AS) message was not with brutality or power, but by reasoning, which appeals only to those whose hearts and minds are not locked by Allah.

Have you not considered him (Namrud) who disputed with Ibrahim about his
Lord, because Allah had given him the kingdom? When Ibrahim said: My Lord is He
who gives life and causes to die, he said: I give life and cause death. Ibrahim said: So
surely Allah causes the sun to rise from the east, then make it rise from the west; thus he
who disbelieved was confounded; and Allah does not guide aright the unjust people.
Quran [2:258]

And the quality he mixed with this one was his Tawaqal (reliance) on Allah and Allah alone. After all, he had agreed to slaughter his son, Ismail (AS) to fulfill the commandment of Allah, a son which was given to him in old age. After all, the fire of Namrud did not strike fear in his (AS) heart his friend; 

They said: Burn him and help your gods, if you are going to do (anything).
Quran [21:68]

The polytheists wanted to help their gods by burning Ibrahim (AS). Ibrahim's (AS) god came to his help.

We said: O fire! be a comfort and peace to Ibrahim; And they desired a war on him, but We made them the greatest losers.
Quran [21:69-70]

The fire became a place of peace for Ibrahim (AS). The level of Tawaqal cannot be adjudged. No doubt Allah has called anyone a fool who leaves the way of Ibrahim (AS)

And who forsakes the religion of Ibrahim but he who makes himself a fool, and
most certainly We chose him in this world, and in the hereafter he is most surely among
the righteous.
Quran [2:130]  

Ibrahim (AS) has been described in the Quran as a man of insight, wise, truthful, tender hearted, forbearing, obedient and "oft-returning" to Allah. This is the way of Ibrahim (AS).

Despite being chosen friend of Allah, by Allah (and not by the people), Ibrahim (AS) made it clear that he controls nothing but his own actions;

..... but not in what Ibrahim said to his father: I would certainly ask forgiveness for you, and I do not control for you aught from Allah-- Our Lord! on Thee do we rely, and to Thee do we turn, and to Thee is the eventual coming:
Quran [60:4]

Ismail (AS) was truthful who enjoined on his family prayers and almsgiving. Ismail (AS) was not only an obedient son, he was a faithful muslim and follower of Ibrahim (AS). When Ibrahim (AS) told Ismail (AS) of his dream of sacrifice, neither did Ismail (AS) doubt that the vision was from Allah, nor did he challenge the sanity of the father, infact Ismail (AS) replied;

....  He said: O my father! do what you are commanded; if Allah please, you will find me of the patient ones.
Quran [37:102]

Ibrahim (AS) and his sons, Ishaq (AS) and Ismail (AS) were purified by Allah and the quality was that these men never forgot their final resting place, and the akhirat.

Surely We purified them by a pure quality, the keeping in mind of the (final) abode.
Quran [38:46]  

Despite the fact that no prophet was a polytheist, the Quran has at numerous occasions stated only for Ibrahim (AS) that he was not one of the polytheists. Because Ibrahim (AS) showed what having Tawaqal in Allah truly meant.

The story of Ibrahim (AS) does not end in the book unlike all other prophets. His story is repeated every year, when millions of Muslims perform the Hajj pilgrimage, wherein each ritual is living back the story of Ibrahim (AS).

When Ibrahim (AS) showed tawaqal in Allah and did not turn back on account of the fear of fire, and threw stones at the man who tried to advise Ibrahim (AS) not to kill his own son (yes the advising man was the devil), Imam Hussain (AS) followed the path of his forefathers, showing Tawaqal in Allah and Allah alone and did not turn back on account of the fear of loss of life, property and family.

Most surely this is a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a Feat sacrifice. And We perpetuated (praise) to him among the later generations. Peace be on Ibrahim.
Quran [37:106-109]

Allah remembers and has made the world remember, the sacrifice of Ibrahim (AS), and Allah remembers and has made the world remember, the sacrifice of his grandson, the grandson of Prophet (SAW), at Kerbala.

The year ends with the commemoration of the sacrifice of Ibrahim (AS), the year starts with the commemorations of the sacrifice of Imam Hussain (AS).

Isa (AS); The Miraculous

The known miracles of Isa (AS) are plentiful. His mother, Mariam (AS), was given food to eat by angels in a closed room. He (AS) himself was created without a father, spoke in the cradle, healed the sick and the blind, gave life to clay figures, gave life to the dead.

Surely if such a man prostrates to Allah and tells his followers to worship Allah alone, then the powers of Allah are incomprehensible.

But the end of Isa (AS) is as controversial as his start;

And when Allah said: O Isa, I am going to terminate the period of your stay (on
earth) and cause you to ascend unto Me
and purify you of those who disbelieve and make those who follow you above those who disbelieve to the day of resurrection; then to Me shall be your return, so l will decide between you concerning that in which you differed.
Quran [3:55]

And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, the
messenger of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure.
Nay! Allah took him up to Himself; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.
Quran [4:157-158]

Allah has defined death and murder clearly in the Quran but has not used similar words in case of Isa (AS). Though some may interpret this to be the demise of Isa (AS), it gives weightage to the many traditions attributed to Rasool (SAW) that Isa (AS) will return with Mahdi (AS), and because every soul shall taste death, Isa (AS) shall too but after his return.

If a man can be born without a father, talk in his cradle, give life to death, and does not die, then surely he is a serious candidate for becoming a God. But Allah in the Quran states:

Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely, Allah-- He is the Messiah, son of Marium. Say: Who then could control anything as against Allah when He wished to destroy the Messiah son of Marium and his mother and all those on the earth? And Allah's is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and what is between them; He creates what He pleases; and Allah has power over all things,
Quran [5:17]  

Shirk is such a grave sin, that Allah states in the Quran that if Allah had wished to destroy Isa (AS) and his mother Maryam (AS) and the others on earth, surely no one could have saved him. Such strong language reflects the wrath of Allah on Mushriks.

The story of Isa (AS) proves that no matter what authorities and powers a man may possess, the true authority and power lies with Allah who writes our destinies.

Khizr (AS); The Knowledgeable

The fountain of youth is not a legend. Khizr (AS) had found it. Musa (AS) searched for it and he crossed it when his dead fish made its way into the river again.

Khizr (AS) was given by Allah, a special set of knowledge. The knowledge was unique and magical, that even a prophet like Musa (AS) wanted to learn it from Khizr.

Musa said to him: Shall I follow you on condition that you should teach me right knowledge of what you have been taught? He said: Surely you cannot have patience with me And how can you have patience in that of which you have not got a comprehensive knowledge? He said: If Allah pleases, you will find me patient and I shall not disobey you in any matter.
Quran [18:66-69]

What I had earlier covered in a separate Proposition,

Khizr teaches Musa (AS), the key for patience in one simple statement which the Quran quotes in Surah 18, Verse 68; "And how can you have patience in that of which you have not got a comprehensive knowledge? "

To elaborate the same in a very simple example, if you sit next to a passenger in a bus, who randomly starts to shout at you and abuse you, you will lose your temper and probably end up in a fight with that passenger. However, if you have comprehensive knowledge of that passenger's schizophrenia, you will understand his medical condition and now your reaction to his outburst will be very different and probably be full of understanding and patience.
It is not possible to have patience without having comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. No wonder Allah in his Quran and Rasool (SAW) in his farmaan have emphasized so much on education and knowledge, for both men and women.
Why was Imam Hussain (AS) Syed-uS-Sabireen, even after burying his sons and brothers?

Maybe, he (AS) had comprehensive knowledge of what this world's life meant, what it meant to bow down to a tyrant, and what fulfillment of the will of Allah meant. > Propositions > Proposition #33: Comprehending Patience

 The story of Khizr (AS) is mysterious yet full of wisdom and fascination.

Luqman (AS); The wise

Not much is known about Luqman (AS) other than he was wise. And his advice to his son was liked by Allah so much that it was made a part of the book.

O my son! surely if it is the very weight of the grain of a mustard-seed, even though it is in (the heart of) rock, or (high above) in the heaven or (deep down) in the earth, Allah will bring it (to light); surely Allah is Knower of subtleties, Aware; O my son! keep up prayer and enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and bear patiently that which befalls you; surely these acts require courage; And do not turn your face away from people in contempt, nor go about in the land exulting overmuch; surely Allah does not love any self-conceited boaster; And pursue the right course in your going about and lower your voice; surely the most hateful of voices is braying of the asses. Do you not see that Allah has made what is in the heavens and what is in the earth subservient to you, and made complete to you His favors outwardly and inwardly? And among men is he who disputes in respect of Allah though having no knowledge nor guidance, nor a book giving light.
Quran [31:16-20]

Musa (AS); The Opponent of Pharaohs

The most told story and infact the story filled with the most action and adventure in the Quran is that of Musa (AS).

When Musa (AS) stood up to the pharaoh and told him to let the children of Israel go with him, Firaun asked for proofs;

He said: If you have come with a sign, then bring it, if you are of the truthful ones.
Quran [7:106]

When Musa (AS) showed his signs, the pharaoh gathered all of the magicians in the city to compete with Musa's (AS) magic. During the contest, the magicians realized their magic was fake and the signs of Musa (AS) were real. They were executed after they professed faith in the God of Musa (AS).

The story of Musa (AS) is full of wonders. It has magic and signs, it has executions, it has persecutions, it has famine and frogs, draughts and blood, it has the murder of men and sons, it has rescue of the oppressed people. It has the splitting of the sea to make for Musa (AS) and his people to pass through.

Not many people know, that Firaun the cursed, recited the kalimah before his death and that leaves a very important message for us all and how we treat Tawba as.

And We made the children of Israel to pass through the sea, then Firaun and his
hosts followed them for oppression and tyranny; until when drowning overtook him, he
said: I believe that there is no god but He in Whom the children of Israel believe and I am
of those who submit. What! now! and indeed you disobeyed before and you were of the mischief makers. But We will this day deliver you with your body that you may be a sign to those after you, and most surely the majority of the people are heedless to Our communications.
Quran [10:90-92]

The story of Musa (AS) gets peculiar. When the pharaoh is drowned, the same people who had believed in Musa (AS) after seeing his miracles, and after being rescued, rather than being grateful, the very people started to demand Musa (AS) things which did not suit them. Upon seeing other idol worshippers, they demanded Musa (AS) if a similar idol be created for them as well to worship.

And We made the children of Israel to pass the sea; then they came upon a people
who kept to the worship of their idols They said: O Musa! make for us a god as they have (their) gods He said: Surely you are a people acting ignorantly
Quran [7:138]

When Musa (AS) left for 30 days, the people started to worship a calf. The people challenged Musa (AS) that they will not believe in Musa (AS) until God talked to them directly or that they saw God themselves until they were killed by the lightning and brought back to life on account of mercy of Allah. The Bani Israel demanded Musa (AS) to make provision of food from heavens. The Bani Israel refused to enter a city Musa (AS) asked them to and they refused to fight in the way of Allah. They broke the promise of the Sabbath. They saw Musa (AS) bring a dead to life to testify who murdered him. Jibrael (AS) rose a mountain over them to bring fear to their hearts but the Bani Israel continued to break their promises.

And when We made a covenant with you and raised the mountain over you: Take
hold of what We have given you with firmness and be obedient. They said: We hear and
disobey. And they were made to imbibe (the love of) the calf into their hearts on account
of their unbelief Say: Evil is that which your belief bids you if you are believers.
Quran [2:93] 

The story of Musa (AS) from the start is about how the plans of Allah prevails above everything else. Musa (AS) survived when Firaun was killing all new borns, and not only did he survive under the same Firaun, but was also reunited to his mother under the supervision of Janab Asiya (AS). Musa (AS) grew up in the same environment as provided by the Firaun, but was still different from others. He killed a man accidentally and left the city and worked as a shepherd until he returned to challenge the might of the government, and all governments are resourceful and ruthless. Musa (AS) took the children of Israel and rescued them from the Pharaoh. Musa (AS) showed such signs, that even the Firaun before his drowning professed faith. Yet Musa (AS) had to face the insolence of his people, the disobedience of his people, a people who had seen the miracles and the signs, a people whose heart were turned to stone.

Nuh (AS); And his Ark

Nuh (AS) was given a life of 950 years and a peculiar task, to construct an ark when there was no sign of water.

He is only a madman, so bear with him for a time. He said: O my Lord! help me against their calling me a liar
Quran [23:25-26] 

He (AS) had to endure peer pressure and humiliation on the hands of the people who thought that he (AS) was a madman who was constructing an ark in a desert.

Nuh (AS) realized that those who were misguided and opposed Allah and his message, will also reap similar children and up bring them in an environment suited for immorality and ungratefulness.

And Nuh said: My Lord! leave not upon the land any dweller from among the unbelievers: For surely if Thou leave them they will lead astray Thy servants, and will not beget any but immoral, ungrateful (children)
Quran [71:26-27] 

His (AS) prayers were accepted by Allah and a flood was about to be unleashed.

The fear of water is greater than the force it possesses. A small tsunami at a global level killed hundred of thousands and effected continents subsequent to an earthquake in Indonesia. Imagine the fear of the flood. And who could have saved the ark of Nuh (AS) amidst mountain like waves but the commands of Allah himself?

And he said: Embark in it, in the name of Allah be its sailing and its anchoring; most surely my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful. And it moved on with them amid waves like mountains; and Nuh called out to his son, and he was aloof: O my son! embark with us and be not with the unbelievers. He said: I will betake myself for refuge to a mountain that shall protect me from the water. Nuh said: There is no protector today from Allah's punishment but He Who has mercy; and a wave intervened between them, so he was of the drowned.
Quran [11:41-43] 

Nuh's son tried to evade the flood by climbing to a mountain, but Nuh (AS) knew that nothing could save from the wrath of Allah but the mercy of Allah.  A mountain could not save anyone, but an ark made of planks and nails did.

The destruction by water was rightly put in the form of a thoughtful quote in the Hollywood Movie Noah, when Noah says; "Fire consumes all. Water cleanses, it separates the foul from the pure, the wicked from the innocent. And that which sinks from that which rises. He destroys all, but only to start again. Yes. The storm cannot be stopped, but it can be survived."

Nuh's (AS) ark is so symbolic and synonymous to salvation, that Prophet (SAW) said;

Behold! My Ahlul-Bayt are like the Ark of Noah. Whoever embarked in it was saved, and whoever turned away from it was perished." -Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.),
al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v2, p343, v3, pp 150-151 on the authority of Abu Dhar.

Salih (AS); And the She-Camel

The people of Samood succeeded the people of Ad. They were endowed by Allah by intelligence and skill. Yet they chose error above guidance. Salih (AS) stopped the Samood from arrogance and from worshipping what their fathers worshipped. The people asked for a sign if Salih (AS) was truthful. Salih (AS) presented to them a She-Camel as a sign of Allah. And it was agreed that the She-Camel will drink water and graze in her allocated time slot while others would after that and alternately. The people were unhappy of the situation and later killed the She-Camel.

So Allah's messenger said to them (Leave alone) Allah's she-camel, and (give) her (to) drink. But they called him a liar and slaughtered her, therefore their Lord crushed them for their sin and leveled them (with the ground). And He fears not its consequence.
Quran [91:13-15] 

Allah leveled the nation via an Earthquake. An who can hold Allah accountable of what he does?

The story of Salih (AS) has the same moral, the good end for the good and the bad end for the bad. Such as an end for those who killed Allah's She-camel, what will become of those who then killed Allah's prophets, Allah's Imams, the innocent people?

Shuaib (AS); The Fair In Business Deals

Shuaib (AS) was also the Father-in-law of Musa (AS). When Shuaib (AS) delivered the message to the Madyan, to let go off their pride and not to give short measure in weight and do not defraud men as it is not the way to prosperity, the people rejected him (AS) saying that they have a right to deal their property as they wished to.

They said: O Shu'aib! we do not understand much of what you say and most surely we see you to be weak among us, and were it not for your family we would surely stone you, and you are not mighty against us. He said: O my people! is my family more esteemed by you than Allah? And you neglect Him as a thing cast behind your back; surely my Lord encompasses what you do:
Quran [11:91-92] 

An earthquake put the Madyan to their end.

Sulaiman (AS); The King

The son of Dawood (AS), Sulaiman (AS) was given wisdom and knowledge. But the kingship of Sulaiman (AS) was unique and never was such a kingdom awarded to anyone after Sulaiman (AS). The prayers of Sulaiman (AS) was accepted.

He said: My Lord! do Thou forgive me and grant me a kingdom which is not fit for (being inherited by) anyone after me;
Quran [38:35]

The winds and the demons/devils/jinns/satans were made subservient to Sulaiman (AS) and he was taught the language of the birds.

The hoopoe (a bird) brought news of kingdom of Queen Sheba (Saba) and how they worshipped the Sun. Sulaiman (AS) delivered a letter to them in the name of Allah and invited them to submit themselves to his (AS) authority as a king. The Queen was advised by her chiefs that they are mighty enough to evade off a invasion by Sulaiman (AS) but the queen opted to send some presents to Sulaiman (AS) to see how he reacts.

So when he came to Sulaiman, he said: What! will you help me with wealth? But
what Allah has given me is better than what He has given you.
Nay, you are exultant
because of your present; Go back to them, so we will most certainly come to them with hosts which they shall have no power to oppose, and we will most certainly expel them there from in abasement, and they shall be in a state of ignominy.
Quran [27:36-37] 

Sulaiman (AS) asks his chiefs to bring the Queen along with her throne to his (AS) court, and one jinn offers to bring the throne and the Queen to Sulaiman (AS) before he (AS) gets up from his throne. Alternately, He who had knowledge of the book proposed to deliver the Queen and the throne within the blink of an eye. And so it was done.

Sulaiman (AS) observed the Queen as to how she reacted to such a miracle and accepted the signs of Allah or persisted in her ignorance. The Queen was over-awed by the kingdom of Sulaiman (AS) and accepted faith.

Sulaiman (AS) was a servant of Allah and oft-returning to him. In one of the events, Sulaiman (AS) missed his prayers on account of his love for some horses and when he realized this, he destroyed his desires by destroying the horses.

And We gave Sulaiman to Dawood, most excellent the servant! Surely he was frequent in returning (to Allah). When there were brought to him in the evening (horses) still when standing, swift when running--  Then he said: Surely I preferred the good things to the remembrance of my Lord- until the sun set and time for Asr prayer was over, (he said): Bring them back to me; so he began to slash (their) legs and necks.
Quran [38:30-33] 

Sulaiman (AS) died while standing on his staff, supervising his army of the jinn constructing. Some times later when his staff was eaten and the prophet (AS) fell to the ground, the jinns realized that Sulaiman (AS) had died and were atlast free.

But when We decreed death for him, naught showed them his death but a creature of the earth that ate away his staff; and when it fell down, the jinn came to know plainly that if they had known the unseen, they would not have tarried in abasing torment.
Quran [34:14]

The story of Sulaiman (AS) is not about a Prophet who stood for the oppressed and a nation which opposed him being destroyed by Allah. The story of Sulaiman (AS) is about powers and magic, and how despite the fact that it can change a man into an arrogant and power hungry beast, a true servant of Allah stands for justice and conquers his desires over the real message of Allah.

Yusuf (AS) (and Yaqub (AS)); The Son and Father

Yusuf's (AS) story is one of envy, where his brothers try to kill him or get rid of him for they cannot tolerate their fathers extraordinary love for him. Not only was Yusuf (AS) given knowledge and wisdom, he was also rewarded by beauty never seen before.

When his brothers left Yusuf (AS) in a well, he was rescued and was sold off to an Egyptian who kept Yusuf (AS) in his house as a servant. The Egyptians wife could not resist Yusuf's (AS) charms and tried to seduce him and commit adultery with him, to which Yusuf (AS) resisted.

And she in whose house he was sought to make himself yield (to her), and she
made fast the doors and said: Come forward. He said: I seek Allah's refuge, surely my
Lord made good my abode: Surely the unjust do not prosper. And certainly she made for him, and he would have made for her, were it not that he had seen the manifest evidence of his Lord;
thus (it was) that We might turn away from him evil and indecency, surely he was one of Our sincere servants.
Quran [12:23-24] 

Yusuf (AS) resisted the invitation only because of the mercy of Allah. The chain of events turned in Yusuf's (AS) favor and the chief realized that the shirt of Yusuf (AS) was torn from the back thus it was his wife who tried to seduce the Prophet and not vice versa. As the news spread in the city that the Chief's wife wanted a slave for herself, she invited the women to her house so that they could see Yusuf (AS) themselves.

So when she heard of their sly talk she sent for them and prepared for them a repast, and gave each of them a knife, and said (to Yusuf): Come forth to them. So when they saw him, they deemed him great, and cut their hands (in amazement), and said: Remote is Allah (from imperfection); this is not a mortal; this is but a noble angel. She said: This is he with respect to whom you blamed me, and certainly I sought his yielding himself (to me), but he abstained, and if he does not do what I bid him, he shall certainly be imprisoned, and he shall certainly be of those who are in a state of ignominy.
Quran [12:31-32]

The chief's wife threatened Yusuf (AS) with prison if he continued to resist her. Yusuf (AS) prayed to save him (AS) from the sin he was being asked to commit and the prison was acceptable to him over what they wanted of him.

He said: My Lord! the prison house is dearer to me than that to which they invite
and if Thou turn not away their device from me, I will yearn towards them and
become (one) of the ignorant.
Quran [12:33]

In the prison, Yusuf (AS) uncovered his gift of interpretation of dreams and told two of his prison mates the meaning of their dreams, which was later fulfilled. When one of them went to serve the king of Egypt who was seeing a dream continuously and could not find an interpretation to it, the former prison-mate remembered the gift of Yusuf (AS) and mentioned him to the king.

Yusuf (AS) told the king of his dream that it foretold an upcoming famine and the king must manage the rations accordingly. The king inquired further about the crime of Yusuf (AS) and gathered the wife of the chief who wanted Yusuf (AS) to herself. She testified in the truthfulness of Yusuf (AS) who was subsequently freed by the king and was made a custodian over the treasure of the king.

And thus did We give to Yusuf power in the land-- he had mastery in it wherever
he liked; We send down Our mercy on whom We please, and We do not waste the reward of those who do good
Quran [12:56]

When the famine struck, Yusuf's brothers came to the court for ration and Yusuf (AS) recognized them, and plotted such that one of the brother, Yusuf's brother of the same mother, was labeled as a thief and detained so that he could remain with Yusuf (AS) until the other brothers brought Yaqub (AS) as well when the family reunited and Yusuf (AS) disclosed his true identity to his brothers and family.

They said: Are you indeed Yusuf? He said: I am Yusuf and this is my brother;
Allah has indeed been gracious to us; surely he who guards (against evil) and is patient
(is rewarded)
for surely Allah does not waste the reward of those who do good.
Quran [12:90]  

The story of Yusuf (AS) in the Quran's words is;

.... and He was indeed kind to me when He brought me forth from the prison and brought you from the desert after the Shaitan had sown dissensions between me and my brothers, surely my Lord is benignant to whom He pleases; surely He is the Knowing, the Wise.
Quran [12:100]

Only the plans and plots of Allah shall prevail.

Yunus (AS); The One Who Glorified Allah

Yunus (AS) has a small story. He got impatient with his nation and fled them thus abandoning the mission Allah had chosen for him (AS). He got onto a boat, was thrown off the boat and swallowed by a fish.

The only reason why Yunus (AS) was forgiven was;

But had it not been that he was of those who glorify (Us), He would certainly have tarried in its belly to the day when they are raised.
Quran [37:143-144]

Muhammad (SAW); The Ahmad

The Story of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is not in the Quran, its the other way round. The Quran is a part of the Story of Muhammad (SAW). And the Prophet (SAW) has been covered in detail earlier, in Muhammad (SAW) of the Quran, and Prophet of the Profits, I would just highlight a verse from the Quran about the Prophet (SAW) here to complete the message.

Muhammad (SAW) is a prophet whose miracle was not within the realms of the earth, but the solar system. Quran vividly tells how the Prophet (SAW) split the moon into parts, and how the Prophet (SAW) journeyed the skies and was in such physical closeness to Allah as no creation and angel before;

And he is in the highest part of the horizon. Then he (Muhammad) drew near, then he bowed So he was the measure of two bows or closer (to Allah) still.
Quran [53:7-9] 

Muhammad (SAW) is the prophet of Allah, who became the criteria for awarding of prophet hood to all other prophets.

And (remember) when Allah took the covenant of the Prophets, saying: "Take whatever I gave you from the Book and Hikmah, and afterwards there will come to you a Messenger confirming what is with you; you must, then, believe in him and help him.'' Allah said: "Do you agree (to it) and will you take up Isri'' They said: "We agree.'' He said: "Then bear witness; and I am with you among the witnesses.'')
Quran [3:81]

Ali bin Abi Talib and his cousin `Abdullah bin `Abbas said, "Allah never sent a Prophet but after taking his pledge that if Muhammad were sent in his lifetime, he would believe in and support him.'' Allah commanded each Prophet to take a pledge from his nation that if Muhammad were sent in their time, they would believe in and support him. Tawus, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Qatadah said, "Allah took the pledge from the Prophets that they would believe in each other'', and this statement does not contradict what `Ali and Ibn `Abbas stated.

Therefore, Muhammad is the Final Prophet until the Day of Resurrection. He is the greatest Imam, who if he existed in any time period, deserves to be obeyed, rather than all other Prophets. This is why Muhammad led the Prophets in prayer during the night of Isra' when they gathered in Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem). He is the intercessor on the Day of Gathering, when the Lord comes to judge between His servants. This is Al-Maqam Al-Mahmud (the praised station) ﴿refer to 17:79﴾ that only Muhammad deserves, a responsibility which the mighty Prophets and Messengers will decline to assume. However, Muhammad will carry the task of intercession, may Allah's peace and blessings be on him.
Tafisr Ibne Kathir, Tafsir of Surah 3, Verse 81

This is the stature and the authority of Muhammad (SAW), which is bigger than the grace of Yusuf (AS), Tawaqal of Ibrahim (AS), Kingdom of Sulaiman (AS), patience of Ayub (AS), Repentance of Adam (AS), Justice of Dawood (AS), Miracles of Isa (AS), wisdom of Luqman (AS), knowledge of Khizr (AS), yet when we see the language of the Quran against disobedience to Allah or Khayanat of his message;

And if he (Muhammad) had fabricated against Us some of the sayings, We would certainly have seized him by the right hand, Then We would certainly have cut off his aorta. And not one of you could have withheld Us from him.
Quran [69:44-47]

These are the fascinating Prophets of Allah. These are their stories. Today they seem fairy tales to us, but the fact remains that they were passed onto us for a specific reason. Miracles are real, purpose of life is real, the message is real. Yet there are people who think else wise.

We live in a society which not only believes that it is a forgiven and a chosen nation, it also believes that its elders (Qalanders) had moved Kaaba from its place on account of their spiritualism and closeness to Allah. We believe in spiritual leaders or Peers of today believing in them more firmly than in Deen itself only because we believe that such leaders or peers can do any miracle which they claim with their mouth. It is not only the ignorant class which propagates such a faith, I have seen the rich and the educated visit dargas, sufis, peers, faqeers.

Maybe we have associated such stories of miracles with people who we want to be followed, because it has always been a man's psychological weakness to accept only from him who is superior to oneself and if one can perform a miracle, then surely he must be Allah's special.

And they say: Why has not a sign been sent down to him from his Lord? Say:
Surely Allah is able to send down a sign, but most of them do not know.
Quran [6:37] 

This is a reason that to earn money, people today arrange for signs, miracles; The sahab stood worshipping in the water for 14 years, The Kaaba came and met the sahiba half way across the globe, The Sahab brought the sun on earth to cook his food. And today's signs, miracles: The wall of a Imambarga cried on the musayb of some Zakir, Allah written on a fruit. Some different kind of miracles, signs; Footstep of Prophet (SAW) in Chakwal, or claiming to see the Prophet (SAW) in a dream telling people to follow the proclaimer.

Why am I fully convicted that these signs and miracles are more commercial in nature than spiritual? For a simple reason that the homage collected at Rozas, mazars, darbars, of Qalanders, mount upto Tens of Millions of Rupees a year, Tax Free. Gifts given to a person and the influence he would have after claiming that the Prophet (SAW) chose him in his dream, and the intangible perks such a claim would bring, literally makes one untouchable.

But my conviction is also for another reason. When we read the stories of the Prophets of Allah in his Book, it tells us of a great contrast; The value of the piety of the Prophets, yet the might of Allah and his Adl.

The life of a Prophet was selfless and full of opposition and challenges. They asked for no reward.

Follow him who does not ask you for reward, and they are the followers of the right course;
Quran [36:21]

The miracles of the Prophets were supernatural but not irrational, as we try to associate with pseudo-peers, qalanders and walis.

The traits of the Prophets were patience, wisdom, knowledge, piety, forgive fullness, forbearance, truthfulness, fear of Allah, thankfulness to Allah, remembrance of Akhirat and death, and Oft-Returning to Allah.

How can then we have leaders and role models today, spiritual or political, professional or elders, who display none of the traits?

The key to success is simple. Do the right and forbid the wrong and the reality is every one of us know what is the right thing to do and what is not. Allah has made it clear in the past by destroying nations, and for the future through his warnings as well, that no one will have the authority to save those who disobey him and his prophets.

What we should learn from the fascinating stories of the Prophets?

  1. Disobedience to Allah does not even spare the prophets from punishment, so how can we as Muslims think that we are the forgiven people? - Story of Adam (AS)
  2. No sin is unforgiveable because the mercy of Allah will always remain bigger than the sin of a man - Story of Adam (AS)
  3. The pain a man must undertake during repentance must be equal, if not more, than the pleasure a man takes in the sin. Simply putting it, saying sorry does not mean repentance. - Story of Adam (AS)
  4. Those who exceed the limits of Allah shall always have an end full of curse, pain, fear and darkness - Story of Lut (AS)
  5. There are so many people today, who suffer from some form of affliction. Depression, keeping hopes from people, or killing yourself never ends the suffering. Actual key to success lies in patience and trust in Allah, for what he chooses for you will always be better than what you want to choose for yourself. - Story of Ayub (AS)
  6. A small party of believers will always have an upper hand against scores of disbelievers - Story of Dawood (AS)
  7. Allah rewards a just ruler in ways he cannot imagine - Story of Dawood (AS)
  8. There is nothing in this world which deserves to be arrogant about. Might, strength and everything else that we possess is a gift from Allah and the only way to be thankful about it is to use it in the way of Allah and to help the poor and needy - Story of Hud (AS)
  9. Critical thinking and sincerity only leads to the Tawaqal in Allah and once that level of faith is achieved, you do not remain a creation of Allah, but his friend - Story of Ibrahim (AS)
  10. If Allah wills to give someone something, no one can stop it. If Allah wills to take away something from someone, no one can control it. If you have all the powers in this world even if you can bring back the dead to life, even then Allah controls your destinies. No miracle is bigger than the miracle of life - Story of Isa (AS)
  11. All knowledge belongs to Allah and every type of knowledge is unique in its own. Allah gives as much knowledge to whoever he wishes for. And true patience in a person only comes with true knowledge - Story of Khizr (AS)
  12. There is nothing wiser in life than giving a good advise to your friends and loved ones, and there is no better advise in life than in advising the fear of Allah - Story of Luqman (AS)
  13. To execute a plan, one needs resources ie time, money, manpower and energy. No matter what you plan, how you plan and with what resources you plan, the Plan of Allah shall always prevail because you might be resourceful while he is the one who creates resources - Story of Musa (AS)
  14. Being a companion of the prophet, or being with the prophet throughout your life, does not testify to your belief and excellence. True excellence lies in faith and true excellence of faith is only through practice. - Story of Musa (AS)
  15. True repentance has a moment and there is none when death or wrath of Allah arrives - Story of Musa (AS)
  16. Let alone companionship, being related to a prophet even does not save you if you are of the disobedient. - Story of Nuh (AS)
  17. If Allah desires to take away his mercy from you, nothing in this world can please you or save you - Story of Nuh (AS)
  18. Disrespecting the signs of Allah only leads to destruction - Story of Salih (AS)
  19. Fairness in judgment, in business deals, in trade is essential for prosperity - Story of Shuaib (AS)
  20. Following a prophet without willful surrender to his orders and mission still makes you a devil - Story of Sulaiman (AS)
  21. Whatever power Allah bestows you, doing justice with them is the only path to salvation and for that one must conquer their desires - Story of Sulaiman (AS)
  22. If you do not fear Allah and if Allah does not select mercy for you, then falling to the devil's plan and sinning is easy even if you are a prophet - Story of Yusuf (AS)
  23. Nothing is bigger than destiny and one can not comprehend what life has in store for them. If the your own brothers plot to kill you and sell you as a slave, you can still return to rule as a king - Story of Yusuf (AS)
  24. Nothing can save you in bad times except for your glorification of Allah in your good (and bad) times - Story of Yunus (AS)
  25. The adl of Allah is for everyone and there is no saving for those who disobey the commandments. There is no promise for paradise and one has to earn it through their actions and intentions - Story of Yunus (AS)
  26. Those who love and follow the Prophet (SAW) are the successful ones. - Story of Muhammad (SAW)
  27. There is no refuge for those who commit shirk, alter the message of Allah, lie in the name of Prophet (SAW) - Story of Muhammad (SAW)
  28. To keep up the prayers and pay the poor rate is a bare minimum. The real purpose of life is to serve the community, to help and better the life of an individual, to give to the society something constructive, to be just and upright. - Story of All Prophets
  29. The earthquakes, the floods, the tsunamis and the natural calamities, are a sign of wrath of Allah and he destroys all towns which become unjust in their every day living - Story of All Prophets
  30. No matter what time brings you, have faith and trust Allah such that your heart is at ease and your mind is ready to accept your fate as Allah has wished to author it. - Story of All Prophets
  31. Allah does not waste the reward of those who guard against evil and the patient ones - Story of All Prophets

We are not the followers if we kill (and we do), if we make choices without merit (and we do), if we are unfair in our business dealings (and we are), if we are insolent and arrogant (and we are), if we are boastful and careless (and we are), if we do not give to the society (and we don't), if we don't have fairness and love amongst our relationships (and we don't).

Allah chose a messenger and delivered a book to us which shall remain for all times for all humanity, which we claim is a criterion and the guidance for all successes. Majority of the Quran is full of stories of the Past, of past nations and of past Prophets. Many seem to us excerpts from science fiction or some myth or a fairy tale. The narratives had a purpose and it was not to fascinate us by the Prophets of Allah, but to convey the message that it is easy for Allah to destroy and no one can hold him accountable. If only we can find his mercy which is with the message of the Prophets of Allah.

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