Only what Allah wills

It is reported from Sayyidina Tariq bin Shehab radiAllaahu anh that a Jewish man came to Sayyidina ‘Umar radiAllaahu anh and said: ‘What do you say about this statement of Allah Most High:’

وَسَارِعُوٓاْ إِلَىٰ مَغۡفِرَةٍ۬ مِّن رَّبِّڪُمۡ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرۡضُهَا ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتُ وَٱلۡأَرۡضُ أُعِدَّتۡ لِلۡمُتَّقِينَ

and for a paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for those who ward off (evil);

(surah Al-E-Imran, 133)

(That is, if this be Paradise, where did the Hell go?) Sayyidina Umar radiAllaahu anh asked the Companions radiAllaahu anhum of Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam to give an answer to him, but they had no knowledge about it. So Sayyidina Umar radiAllaahu anh said: ‘Tell me when the night come and darkens the surface of the earth, where does the other (i.e., the day) go?’ The Jewish man said: ‘Wherever Allah wills it.’ Sayyidina Umar radiAllaahu anh said, “The Hell too will be where Allah wills it to be.’ Hearing this, the Jewish man said: ‘By that Being in Whose possession is my soul! In the Book of Allah that has been revealed, the answer is the same that you gave.’

Reading this anecdote reminded of the sometimes-impossible questions that people ask. I realize that the impossibility lies perhaps more in the fact that I am ill-equipped to answer those questions.  SubhanAllah, the lives of the ashaab kareem radiAllaahu anhum were filled with the wisdom to be able to answer such questions, and thus teach us that not every question is really that ridiculous. It also reinforces for me that most times, the best and most effective answers are the simplest.

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