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Nation Sabaa: The Story of a Clever Priest

Ikrima narrates a story and says that there were a priest and a priestess among the people of Nation Sabaa, to whom the jinn used to bring news from here and there. The Priest knew from nowhere that the desolation of this town was near. And the people here are going to die. This Priest was wealthy. He had a lot of property in particular. He thought about what he should do and how he should manage these mansions, houses, and gardens.

Setting up a Trick

At last, one thing came to his mind. His father-in-law had many people in his family, and their tribe was also very wealthy. He called his son and said to him, “Listen, tomorrow people will gather around me. I will ask you for something, but you will refuse to do it. I will curse you but answer me for my insults. I’ll get up and slap you, and you slap me in return.” The boy said, “Father! How can I do this?” The Priest said, “You do not understand. There is such an important matter, and you must obey what I am telling you to do.”

Yelling and Beating

The next day, when all of his wife’s acquaintances had gathered around him, he asked his son for work. He flatly refused. The Priest got angry and hit his son. He also turned around and beat him. He became even more furious and said, “Bring me a knife, and I will slaughter this boy.” Everyone was terrified. They tried to calm him down, but he kept saying that I will slaughter him. People ran away and informed the boy’s caregivers. They said, “Give him another punishment, and give us whatever punishment you want in return.” But Priest said, “I will lay him down and slaughter him with my own bare hands.” They said, “You can’t do that; otherwise, we’ll kill you first.” At which he replied, “Well, when it comes down to it, I don’t want to live in a city where there are more people between my children and me. Buy my houses, properties, and lands. I will go somewhere else from here.” So he sold everything and received the cash.

Notifying people about Punishment 

When he was satisfied with this, he informed his people that the punishment of Allah was coming. The time of the fall is near. Now let those of you who have worked hard and traveled long distances to new homes go to Oman. And whoever is eager to eat and drink, let them go to Basra. And whoever wants to eat delicious dates in the gardens, let him go to Madinah. The people were convinced of his words and ran towards whatever place they liked. Some towards Oman, some towards Basra, and some towards Madinah. But some of them were left behind. There was a flood that broke the barrier of Maarb and took everything that was left behind. That’s how the old nations were destroyed on doing ignorance of Allah Almighty. Billion times Thanks to Allah that he made us the Ummati of Prophet Muhammad SAWW, due to which we do not suffer from any disasters in such a direct way as ancient nations used to do.

Observation of the Priest

The Priest mentioned in it is named Umro bin Amir. He was a chief of Yemen and one of the elders of Sabaa and a priest. In the biography of Ibn Ishaq, it is said that he was the first to leave Yemen because he had seen the rats while hollowing out the Sad-e-Maarb https://islamicmedium.net/2020/09/30/nation-sabaa-destruction-of-their-blessings-and-comforts/ and understood that they were no longer well. This wall would collapse, and the flood would overwhelm the whole place, so he taught his youngest son the trick mentioned above. “I don’t like living in such a city,” he growled. “I would sell my property and land right away.” People thought of taking advantage of this anger of Umro. So he sold everything at low prices. And when he had finished, he departed. Then they walked from there to different cities. Aal-e-Jafta bin Umro bin Amir went to Syria. Some scholars state that his wife, whose name was Tarifa, found out about the whole scene of a boy that the Priest created when he got to know about the flood. She told everyone about his trick afterward.

Punishment of Allah SWT

Despite the abundance of fresh and cold water, abundant fruits and fields, the people of Nation Sabaa became so desperate for one bite and so thirsty for one drop of water. From this seizure and torment, from this hardship and punishment, which has befallen them, every patient and a grateful person can learn a lesson, how the disobedience of Allah surrounds man, removes well-being, and brings disaster. 

Momin gets a Huge Reward for Everything

Those who are patient in adversity and thankful for blessings will find evidence in it. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah SWT be upon him) said: Allah SWT has made an excellent decision for the believer. If he is relieved and gives thanks, he will be rewarded. And if adversity befalls on him and he is patient, he will be awarded. Everything he does is right. He even gets a reward for lovingly lifting a morsel of food to his wife’s mouth (Musnad Ahmad). In Bukhari and Muslim, Prophet SAWW says that it is surprising that for the believer, every situation given by Allah Almighty is for good. This blessing belongs only to the believer whose every condition is good and virtuous.

Source: Tafsir Ibn e Kaseer