A Crow was sent by God to Teach Cain
Lesson # 614 From Holy Qur’aan
A Crow was sent by God to Teach Cain
‘Al-Maaa-‘idah (the Table Spread) – Chapter – 5)–Stage - 2
Verses–30&31 of 120, Section–5 of 16 (Part - 6)
In the name of Allaah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
30. But (the other’s) mind imposed on him the killing of his brother, so he slew him and became one of the losers.
31. Then Allaah sent a raven scratching up the ground, to show him how to hide his brother’s naked corpse. He said: Woe unto me! Am I not able to be as this raven and so hide my brother’s naked corpse? Then he became repentant.
30. Fatawwa-‘at lahuu nafsuhuu qatla ‘akhiihi faqatalahuu fa-‘asbaha minal-khaasiriin.
31. Faba-‘asAllaahu guraabany-yab-hasu fil-‘arzi li-yuriyahuu kayfa yuwaarii saw-‘ata ‘akhiih. Qaala yaa-way-lataaa ‘a-‘ajaztu ‘an ‘akuuna misla haazal-guraabi fa-‘uwaariya saw-‘ata ‘akhii. Fa- ‘asbaha minan-naadimiin.
Tawwa-‘at - it is from tatwii’, which means, “To show somebody any bad work in a good form, so that he may be inclined to do it. Yab-hasu – (scratched up), it is from bahas, which means “to scratch, to dig”. That is to say; a raven (a kind of crow) began to dig the ground with its beak and paws before him. Yaa-way-lataaa – (woe unto me), this word is spoken in Arabic language at the time of “heavy calamity, sorrow or an exclamation of grief”. ‘Ajaztu – (I am not able to), it has been derived from ‘ajaz, which means “to be helpless, not to be able to do any particular work”. Saw-‘ata – (a bad thing, to be displeasing one’s eyes), here it means “Corpse”.
The heart of Cain, which was becoming insane due to jealousy, desire and rage, guided him to kill his own brother. The person, who becomes blind due to own wishes, strikes nothing to him except that to trouble others for his own interest at every cost. Therefore, he killed his brother Abel, but its result was not other than his own loss.
Worldly loss was that he was deprived of his companion and helper like a sincere brother. It has come in the Sayings of the Messenger (grace, glory, blessings and peace be upon Him) that there are two such sins, retaliation of which are faced in the world too before the Day of Resurrection; one is “violation of other’s right”, and the other is “to trouble the relatives” which is called “breaking off the relationship (the kinship)”.
Cain’s loss of Afterlife due to slaying his brother Abel was too much that the world has no value before it, i.e. he opened the door of sin in the world. Therefore, he would not be punished only against his own sin, but he would also be punished for the sins of others after him, as whosoever will slay or give pain to other humankind for his/her own purpose until the Day of Resurrection. It has been written that none had killed anyone before Cain and nor anyone had died naturally till that time. So, Cain was confused that what he should do with the corpse of his brother.
It has been described in this verse that Allaah Almighty sent a crow in front of him. After landing, the crow began to scratch the ground with its beak and paws. The commentators explain that the crow brought another dead crow, which was hanging in its beak. It put the dead crow on the earth, dug the ground and widened it. Then it put the dead crow into that pit and leveled the ground by putting the dust on it.
Cain saw the crow doing this all. At that time he suffered woe that he had not sense equal to a crow, which buried the corpse of its brother (the dead crow) into the ground. At that time he would have thought, “This crow had so much fellow-feeling (sympathy) with the other crow like it that it took up the dead crow, brought here and hid it in the ground, while that crow had died naturally. Whereas, I killed not only a man like me, but I killed my own real brother intentionally, and then I had not even so much sense that I could save the corpse from the disgrace of rotting openly”. It manifests that He was not only more hard-hearten than the crow but was also dull in comparison with it. So repentance and self-condemnation pressed him down and he began to grieve due to his bad work.
We can understand from this lesson that human body’s respect is till then it is living (the soul is in it). When the soul is out from the body, then the same body becomes occasion of shame for the human being, as it was a filthy and disgusting thing, defects of which were hidden by the soul. Therefore, the word saw-‘ata has been used in this verse, which means “bad and disgusting thing (corpse)”, for which it is better that it should be removed from the sight as soon as possible. Truly, beauty of the body is by the means of soul; otherwise, it is nothing except a handful dust.
Blessed are those people, who understand this fine point of their lives and do not entertain this heap of mud so much, due to which a pure thing like soul has to suffer punishment and disaster. Therefore, it has been told, “Leave the bodily pleasures and seek the spiritual Delight”.