The Maktab

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Nabi ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam) was once proceeding to a certain place for some task when he passed by a grave. On looking at the grave, Allah Ta‘ala showed him that angels of punishment were torturing the inmate of the grave.

Sometime later, when Nabi ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam) had completed his task and was returning, he again passed by the grave. However, Allah Ta‘ala now showed him that instead of angels of punishment, there were angels of mercy at the grave, bearing platters of divine radiance!

Nabi ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam) was surprised at this sudden change in condition. He thus performed salaah and engaged in du‘aa, begging Allah Ta‘ala to reveal to him what had caused the punishment of the inmate to cease and be replaced with His special mercy.

Allah Ta‘ala sent revelation to Nabi ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam) informing him thus:

O ‘Isa (‘alaihis salaam)! This servant led a life of disobedience and sin, and he has thus been engulfed in punishment from the time he passed away. However, when he passed away, he left a wife who was expecting a child. After the child was born, she raised him and saw to his upbringing until he grew into a young boy. She then made him over to the maktab (elementary madrasah) teachers. After entering the madrasah, the teacher made the child recite “Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem”. I thus felt ashamed to punish my servant with fire within the earth while his son is taking My name above the earth.

(At-Tafseerul Kabeer vol. 1, pg. 143)

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