How nations and social groups write for themselves the fate of Nimrod and Pharaoh and throw themselves into the dark depths of history
MUHAMMAD TARIQ GHAZI
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]tepping out of the burning firehouse unscathed, Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) peace be on him, migrated from Babylon to Canaan. As a sociological rule, migration of prophets had always been the news of a grieving end of the tormenting nation. Once Ibrahim had abandoned Babylonia, King Nimrod and his nation were afflicted with two kinds of punishments.
According to Israelite legends, swarms of mosquitoes descended on the people, with one tiny anopheline creature entering Nimrod’s brain through his nose, and kept stinging that caused a painful death.
Qazi Sanaullah Panipati (Tafsir Mazhari 7:301) said that torment was confined to King Nimrod and the swarm sucked his blood, devoured on his flesh leaving bones. Other reports suggest that all prominent leaders of that nation also met the same fate.
Imam Panipati, however, referred to an important verse of the Qur’an: (فَجَعَلْنٰھُم الاَخسَرِینَ) = ‘So We made them the greatest losers’ (Al-Anbiya 21:70), saying that some interpreters asserted that the nation of Nimrod had failed to attain its objective while schemes of torture resulted in rampant inflation and unbearable increase in prices of commodities.
This is an important sociological indicator. A mad rush to create an inferno on earth was nothing but a product of political insolence and economic stupidity. Sequence of events was that Prophet Ibrahim was imprisoned for a long time because he wanted his people, including his father, to worship only One Lord without associating anything or anyone with Him. A court consisting of only idol-worshippers was established which sentenced him to death by burning him alive in a huge fire.
A colossal firehouse was built. According to scholars of the Quran, it was at least 60 square Zira‘a (arm-lengths/yard/metre), and 30 to 70 Zira‘a high. It was a stone structure. Babylon was an alluvial field; hence stones for the firehouse had to be imported from far afield.
The structure was covered with a roof. The building needed several feet thick walls and multilayered dome if it was an atomic furnace, as can be gathered from the level of scientific advancement of the Babylonians.
Once construction of the furnace was completed, provision of fuel demanded another massive expenditure. One would not need big funds to fill a fifty or hundred cubic metre hall with firewood, particularly when it is suggested that most of the wood was supplied free by the people consumed by a burning hate of Ibrahim. However, more funds were required if the fuel was of a different nature, like incendiary gases or nuclear energy.
The sole purpose of this useless campaign was not only a blatant hate of a man and his creed but a brazen demonstration of brute power of the state and its judiciary. That was why the Nimrodean state had spent massive royal funds to build a fire to kill one man.
Such misuse of finances affected the economy adversely. Filling a pit or a big structure with firewood could not affect the economy of a small state, let alone the superpower of a time. Use of flammable gases through nuclear or other means would burn up a lot of money.
Swarms of stinging mosquitoes can be a big torment, but irredeemable economic losses are indeed more painful for materialist nations.
An important lesson of this incident is that oftentimes countries, nations or social groups develop extreme hatred of a person or a society just because that person or society sincerely wants to rectify social evils caused by infantile beliefs and unwise philosophies and invites them to a positive and balanced lifestyle.
Even today countries, nations and social groups indulge in similar misadventures. They burn in the raging fires of hate to become symbols of material loss as mentioned in the verse above. They do not know what harm they are causing to themselves. Nimrod and people of his Babylonian Empire did not know that the fire they were igniting for Ibrahim was actually devouring them, causing little harm to Ibrahim.
Such countries, nations and social groups write for themselves the fate of Nimrod and Pharaoh and are thrown into the dark depths of history. Alas, this is human history!
—From an upcoming book by the author.