THE STORY OF HABIL (ABEL) AND QABIL (CAIN)

EPISODE 2

Analyzing Suratul Maidah, Quran Chapter 5 verse 27-31

لَيِن بَسَطتَ إِلَيَّ يَدَكَ لِتَقْتُلَنِي مَا أَنَاْ بِبَاسِطٍ يَدِيَ إِلَيْكَ لَاَقْتُلَكَ
(If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me, I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you), I will not commit the same evil act that you threaten to commit, so that I will not earn the same sin as you,
إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللّهَ رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ
(for I fear Allah; the Lord of the all that exists), and, as a result, I will not commit the error that you threaten to commit. Rather, I will observe patience and endurance.

Abdullah bin `Amr said,

“By Allah! Habil was the stronger of the two men. But, fear of Allah restricted his hand.”

The Prophet said in a Hadith recorded in the Two Sahihs,

إِذَا تَوَاجَهَ الْمُسْلِمَانِ بِسَيْفَيهِمَا فَالْقَاتِلُ وَالْمَقْتُولُ فِي النَّار

When two Muslims fight (meet) each other with their swords, both the murderer as well as the murdered will go to the Hellfire.

They said, “O Allah’s Messenger! It is all right for the murderer, but what about the victim?”

Allah’s Messenger replied,

إِنَّه كَانَ حَرِيصًا عَلى قَتْلِ صَاحِبِه

He surely had the intention to kill his comrade.

Imam Ahmad recorded that, at the beginning of the calamity that Uthman suffered from, Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas said,

“I bear witness that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّهَا سَتَكُونُ فِتْنَةٌ القَاعِدُ فِيهَا خَيْرٌ مِنَ الْقَايِمِ وَالْقَايِمُ خَيْرٌ مِنَ الْمَاشِي وَالْمَاشِي خَيْرٌ مِنَ السَّاعِي

There will be a Fitnah, and he who sits idle during it is better than he who stands up, and he who stands up in it is better than he who walks, and he who walks is better than he who is walking at a fast pace.

When he was asked, `What if someone enters my home and stretched his hand to kill me?’

He said,

كُنْ كَابْنِ ادَم

Be just like (the pious) son of Adam.”

At-Tirmidhi also recorded it this way, and said, “This Hadith is Hasan, and similar is reported on this subject from Abu Hurayrah, Khabbab bin Al-Aratt, Abu Bakr, Ibn Mas`ud, Abu Waqid and Abu Musa.”

The Qur’an continues,

إِنِّي أُرِيدُ أَن تَبُوءَ بِإِثْمِي وَإِثْمِكَ فَتَكُونَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ وَذَلِكَ جَزَاء الظَّالِمِينَ

“Verily, I intend to let you draw my sin on yourself as well as yours, then you will be one of the dwellers of the Fire, and that is the recompense of the wrongdoers.”

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi and Qatadah said that,
إِنِّي أُرِيدُ أَن تَبُوءَ بِإِثْمِي وَإِثْمِكَ
(“Verily, I intend to let you draw my sin on yourself as well as yours…”),

means, the sin of murdering me, in addition to your previous sins. Ibn Jarir recorded this.

Allah’s statement,

فَطَوَّعَتْ لَهُ نَفْسُهُ قَتْلَ أَخِيهِ فَقَتَلَهُ فَأَصْبَحَ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

So the soul of the other encouraged him and made fair-seeming to him the murder of his brother; he murdered him and became one of the losers.

means, his conscience encouraged him to kill his brother by making it seem like a sensible thing to do, so he killed him, even after his brother admonished him.

Ibn Jarir said,

“When he wanted to kill his brother, he started to twist his neck. So (Shaytan) took an animal and placed its head on a rock, then he took another rock, then he took another rock, and smashed its head with it until he killed it while the son of Adam was looking. So he did the same thing to his brother.”

Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded this.

Abdullah bin Wahb said that Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that his father said,

“Qabil held Habil by the head to kill him, so Habil laid down for him and Qabil started twisting Habil’s head, not knowing how to kill him. (Shaytan) came to Qabil and said, `Do you want to kill him?’

He said, `Yes.’
(Shaytan) said, `Take that stone and throw it on his head.’

So Qabil took the stone and threw it at his brother’s head and smashed his head.
Shaytan then went to Hawwa in a hurry and said to her, `O Hawwa! Qabil killed Habil.’

She asked him, Woe to you! What does kill mean?

He said, `He will no longer eat, drink or move.’

She said, And that is death.’

He said, Yes it is.

So she started to weep until Adam came to her while she was weeping and said, What is the matter with you?

She did not answer him.

He asked her two more times, but she did not answer him. So he said, `You and your daughters will inherit the practice of weeping, while I and my sons are free of it.”‘

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded it.

Allah’s statement,
فَأَصْبَحَ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
(And became one of the losers),

in this life and the Hereafter, and which loss is worse than this.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَاا تُقْتَلُ نَفْسٌ ظُلْمًا إِلاَّ كَانَ عَلَى ابْنِ ادَمَ الاْاَوَّلِ كِفْلٌ مِنْ دَمِهَا لاِاَنَّهُ كَانَ أَوَّلَ مَنْ سَنَّ الْقَتْل

Any soul that is unjustly killed, then the first son of Adam will carry a burden of its shedding, for he was the first to practice the crime of murder.

The Group, with the exception of Abu Dawud, also recorded this Hadith.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr used to say,

“The son of Adam, who killed his brother, will be the most miserable among men. There is no blood shed on earth since he killed his brother, until the Day of Resurrection, but he will carry a burden from it, for he was the first person to establish murder.”

Allah said,

فَبَعَثَ اللّهُ غُرَابًا يَبْحَثُ فِي الَارْضِ لِيُرِيَهُ كَيْفَ يُوَارِي سَوْءةَ أَخِيهِ قَالَ يَا وَيْلَتَا أَعَجَزْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِثْلَ هَـذَا الْغُرَابِ فَأُوَارِيَ سَوْءةَ أَخِي فَأَصْبَحَ مِنَ النَّادِمِينَ

Then Allah sent a crow who scratched the ground to show him how to hide the dead body of his brother. He (the murderer) said, “Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother!” Then he became one of those who regretted.

As-Suddi said that the Companions said,

“When his brother died, Qabil left him on the bare ground and did not know how to bury him. Allah sent two crows, which fought with each other until one of them killed the other. So it dug a hole and threw sand over the dead corpse (which it placed in the hole). When Qabil saw that, he said,
يَا وَيْلَتَا أَعَجَزْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِثْلَ هَـذَا الْغُرَابِ فَأُوَارِيَ سَوْءةَ أَخِي
(“Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother!”).

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said,

“A crow came to the dead corpse of another crow and threw sand over it, until it hid it in the ground. He who killed his brother said,
يَا وَيْلَتَا أَعَجَزْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِثْلَ هَـذَا الْغُرَابِ فَأُوَارِيَ سَوْءةَ أَخِي
(Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother!).”

Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented on the statement,
فَأَصْبَحَ مِنَ النَّادِمِينَ
(Then he became one of those who regretted).

“Allah made him feel sorrow after the loss that he earned.”
The Swift Punishment for Transgression and Cutting the Relations of the Womb

A Hadith states that the Prophet said,

مَا مِنْ ذَنْبٍ أَجْدَرُ أَنْ يُعَجِّلَ اللهُ عُقُوبَتَهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعَ مَا يَدَّخِرُ لِصَاحِبهِ فِي الاْاخِرَةِ مِنَ الْبَغْيِ وَقَطِيعَةِ الرَّحِم

There is no sin that is more worthy of Allah hastening its punishment in this life, in addition to what He has in store for its offender in the Hereafter, more than transgression and cutting the relations of the womb.

The act of Qabil (Cain) included both of these.

We are Allah’s and to Him is our return

Bashir Habeebullah @knowislam.com.ng