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Friday 3 July 2015

Ramadan Reading Challenge 2015 Day 15: The Sabbath Breakers

The Sabbath Breakers are the people who disobeyed Allah and broke the prohibition of fishing on Saturday. Read and learn from their story in surah Al Araf (7:163-166) of the Qur'an.

And ask them (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) about the town that was by the sea; when they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday): when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath day, and did not come to them on the day they had no Sabbath. Thus We made a trial of them, for they used to rebel against Allah's Command (disobey Allah) [see the Qur'an: V.4:154 and its footnote]. 

And when a community among them said: "Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is about to destroy or to punish with a severe torment?" (The preachers) said: "In order to be free from guilt before your Lord (Allah), and perhaps they may fear Allah." 

So when they forgot the remindings that had been given to them, We rescued those who forbade evil, but We seized those who did wrong with a severe torment because they used to rebel against Allah's Command (disobey Allah). 

So when they exceeded the limits of what they were prohibited, We said to them: "Be you monkeys, despised and rejected."

You might like to read Ibn Kathir's commentary in Stories of the Qur'an.

Lesson and Activity

Since the people during this time were forbidden to fish on Saturdays, a group of them thought to by pass this law by using trickery. On Friday they dug a channel and set nets so that the fish that come on Saturday get channeled into the nets. When the Sabbath was over they'd go and collect the fish. So technically they didn't fish on Saturday.

The lesson here is when Allah has forbidden something, we don't try to by pass it by going through 'loopholes'.

The other lesson is that when you see someone doing something wrong you must advise and remind them not to do it. We must enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil.

How to give advice. Click to enlarge.
These are just a few ideas for lessons. If you have any others then feel free to do them and share.

Comments Required

There are so many other lessons to learn. Can you think of any others? I'd love to hear them. Please write in the comment below.

At the end of this Ramadan Reading Challenge, if you or your children have participated then you will get a prize (not sure what yet - will keep you updated). To be eligible, please leave a comment on what lesson you have learnt from the reading of the story and include any activities that you did to extend it. Just a line or two would be fine (so that I can contact you).

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