;
Supplicating to Allah upon hearing Ar-Ra`d (Thunder)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Salim bin `Abdullah narrated that his father said that the Messenger of Allah used to say upon hearing the thunder and thunderbolts,

« اللَّهُمَّ لَا تَقْتُلْنَا بِغَضَبِكَ، وَلَا تُهْلِكْنَا بِعَذَابِكَ، وَعَافِنَا قَبْل ذَلِك »

(O Allah! Do not kill us with Your anger, nor destroy us with Your torment, and save us before that.'' This Hadith was recorded by At-Tirmidhi, Al-Bukhari in his book Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, An-Nasa'i in `Amal Al-Yawm wal-Laylah, and Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak. When `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr used to hear thunder, he would stop talking and would supplicate, "All praise is to He Whom Ar-Ra`d (thunder) glorifies and praises, and so do the angels because of His awe.'' He would then say, "This is a stern warning to the people of earth.'' Malik collected this Hadith in Al-Muwatta', and Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« قَالَ رَبُّكُمْ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: لَوْ أَنَّ عَبِيدِي أَطَاعُونِي لَأَسْقَيْتُهُمُ الْمَطَرَ بِاللَّيْلِ، وَأَطْلَعْتُ عَلَيْهِمُ الشَّمْسَ بِالنَّهَارِ، وَلَمَا أَسْمَعْتُهُمْ صَوْتَ الرَّعْد »

(Your Lord, the Exalted and Most High, said, `Had My servants obeyed Me, I would have given them rain by night and the sun by day, and would not have made them hear the sound of the Ra`d (thunder).') Allah's statement,

﴿ وَيُرۡسِلُ ٱلصَّوَٲعِقَ فَيُصِيبُ بِہَا مَن يَشَآءُ

(He sends the thunderbolts, and therewith He strikes whom He wills,) indicates that He sends thunderbolts as punishment upon whom He wills, and this is why thunderbolts increase as time comes to an end. Al-Hafiz Abu Al-Qasim At-Tabarani narrated that Ibn `Abbas said that Arbad bin Qays bin Juzu' bin Julayd bin Ja`far bin Kulab, and `Amir bin At-Tufayl bin Malik came to Al-Madinah to the Messenger of Allah and sat where he was sitting. `Amir bin At-Tufayl said, "O Muhammad! What will you give me if I embrace Islam'' The Messenger of Allah said,

« لَكَ مَا لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ وَعَلَيْكَ مَا عَلَيْهِم »

(You will have the rights and duties of all Muslims.) `Amir bin At-Tufayl said, "Will you make me your successor if I embrace Islam'' The Messenger of Allah said,

« لَيْسَ ذَلِكَ لَكَ وَلَا لِقَوْمِكَ، وَلَكِنْ لَكَ أَعِنَّةَ الْخَيْل »

(That is not your right, nor your people's right. However, I could appoint you a commander of the horsemen (i.e., war).) `Amir said, "I am already the commander of the horsemen of Najd (in the north of Arabia). Give me control over the desert and you keep the cities.'' The Messenger of Allah refused. When these two men were leaving the Messenger of Allah, `Amir said, "By Allah! I will fill it (Al-Madinah) with horses and men (hostile to Muslims).'' The Messenger of Allah replied,

« يَمْنَعُكَ الله »

(Rather, Allah will prevent you. ) When `Amir and Arbad left, `Amir said, "O Arbad! I will keep Muhammad busy while talking to him, so you can strike him with the sword. Verily, if you kill Muhammad, the people (Muslims) will agree to take blood money and will hate to wage war over his murder. Then we will give them the blood money.'' Arbad said, "I will do that,'' and they went back to the Messenger. `Amir said, "O Muhammad! Stand next to me so that I can talk to you.'' The Messenger stood up, and they both stood next to a wall talking to each other. Arbad wanted to grab his sword, but his hand froze when it touched the sword's handle and he could not take the sword out of its sheath. Arbad did not strike the Messenger as `Amir suggested, and the Messenger of Allah looked at Arbad and realized what he was doing, so he departed. When Arbad and `Amir left the Messenger of Allah and arrived at Al-Harrah of Waqim area, they dismounted from their horses. However, Sa`d bin Mu`adh and Usayd bin Hudayr came out saying, "Come, O enemies of Allah! May Allah curse you.'' `Amir asked, "Who is this with you, O Sa`d'' Sa`d said, "This is Usayd bin Hudayr.'' They fled until they reached the Riqm area, where Allah struck Arbad with a bolt of lightning and he met his demise. As for `Amir, he went on until he reached the Kharim area, where Allah sent an open ulcer that struck him. During that night, `Amir took refuge in a woman's house, from Banu Salul. `Amir kept touching his open ulcer and saying, "An ulcer as big as a camel's hump, while I am at the house of a woman from Bani Salul, seeking to bring my death in her house!'' He rode his horse, but he died while riding it headed to his area. Allah sent down these Ayat (13:8-11) in their case,

﴿ ٱللَّهُ يَعۡلَمُ مَا تَحۡمِلُ ڪُلُّ أُنثَىٰ

(Allah knows what every female bears) until,

﴿ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِۦ مِن وَالٍ

(..and they will find besides Him no protector.) Ibn `Abbas commented, "The angels in succession, guard Muhammad, peace be upon him, by the command of Allah.'' He next mentioned the demise of Arbad by Allah's command, reciting this Ayah,

﴿ وَيُرۡسِلُ ٱلصَّوَٲعِقَ

(He sends the thunderbolts,)'' Allah said next,

﴿ وَهُمۡ يُجَـٰدِلُونَ فِى ٱللَّهِ

(yet they (disbelievers) dispute about Allah.) they doubt Allah's greatness and that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him,

﴿ وَهُوَ شَدِيدُ ٱلۡمِحَالِ

(And He is Mighty in strength and Severe in punishment.) Allah's torment is severe against those who rebel against Him, defy Him and persist in disbelief, according to the Tafsir of Ibn Jarir At-Tabari. There is a similar Ayah in the Qur'an,

﴿ وَمَكَرُواْ مَڪۡرً۬ا وَمَكَرۡنَا مَڪۡرً۬ا وَهُمۡ لَا يَشۡعُرُونَ فَٱنظُرۡ كَيۡفَ ڪَانَ عَـٰقِبَةُ مَكۡرِهِمۡ أَنَّا دَمَّرۡنَـٰهُمۡ وَقَوۡمَهُمۡ أَجۡمَعِينَ

(So they plotted a plot, and We planned a plan, while they perceived not. Then see how was the end of their plot! Verily, We destroyed them and their nation all together.)(27:50-51) `Ali bin Abi Talib said that,

﴿ وَهُوَ شَدِيدُ ٱلۡمِحَالِ

(And He is Mighty in strength and Severe in punishment (Al-Mihal)), means, His punishment is severe.

﴿ لَهُ ۥ دَعۡوَةُ ٱلۡحَقِّ‌ۖ وَٱلَّذِينَ يَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِهِۦ لَا يَسۡتَجِيبُونَ لَهُم بِشَىۡءٍ إِلَّا كَبَـٰسِطِ كَفَّيۡهِ إِلَى ٱلۡمَآءِ لِيَبۡلُغَ فَاهُ وَمَا هُوَ بِبَـٰلِغِهِۦ‌ۚ وَمَا دُعَآءُ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ إِلَّا فِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬

(14. For Him is the Word of Truth. And those whom they invoke besides Him, answer them no more than one who stretches forth his hand for water to reach his mouth, but it reaches him not; and the invocation of the disbelievers is nothing but misguidance.)

A Parable for the Weakness of the False Gods of the Polytheists

`Ali bin Abi Talib said that Allah's statement,

﴿ لَهُ ۥ دَعۡوَةُ ٱلۡحَقِّ‌ۖ

(For Him is the Word of Truth.) is in reference to Tawhid, according to Ibn Jarir At-Tabari. Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah, and Malik who narrated it from Muhammad bin Al-Munkadir, said that,

﴿ لَهُ ۥ دَعۡوَةُ ٱلۡحَقِّ‌ۖ

(For Him is the Word of Truth.) means, "La ilaha illallah.'' Allah said next,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ يَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِهِۦ

(And those whom they invoke besides Him...), meaning, the example of those who worship others besides Allah,

﴿ كَبَـٰسِطِ كَفَّيۡهِ إِلَى ٱلۡمَآءِ لِيَبۡلُغَ فَاهُ

(like one who stretches forth his hand for water to reach his mouth,) `Ali bin Abi Talib commented, "Like he who stretches his hand on the edge of a deep well to reach the water, even though his hands do not reach it; so how can the water reach his mouth'' Mujahid said about,

﴿ كَبَـٰسِطِ كَفَّيۡهِ

(like one who stretches forth his hand) "Calling the water with his words and pointing at it, but it will never come to him this way.'' The meaning of this Ayah is that he who stretches his hand to water from far away, to either collect some or draw some from far away, will not benefit from the water which will not reach his mouth, where water should be consumed. Likewise, those idolaters who call another deity besides Allah, will never benefit from these deities in this life or the Hereafter, hence Allah's statement,

﴿ وَمَا دُعَآءُ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ إِلَّا فِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬

(and the invocation of the disbelievers is nothing but misguidance.)

﴿ وَلِلَّهِ يَسۡجُدُ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ طَوۡعً۬ا وَكَرۡهً۬ا وَظِلَـٰلُهُم بِٱلۡغُدُوِّ وَٱلۡأَصَالِ ۩

(15. And unto Allah falls in prostration whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the mornings and in the afternoons.)

Everything prostrates unto Allah

Allah affirms His might and power, for He has full control over everything, and everything is subservient to Him. Therefore, everything, including the believers, prostrate to Allah willingly, while the disbelievers do so unwillingly,

﴿ وَظِلَـٰلُهُم بِٱلۡغُدُوِّ

(and so do their shadows in the mornings), in the beginning of the days,

﴿ وَٱلۡأَصَالِ ۩

(and in the afternoons.) towards the end of the days. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ أَوَلَمۡ يَرَوۡاْ إِلَىٰ مَا خَلَقَ ٱللَّهُ مِن شَىۡءٍ۬ يَتَفَيَّؤُاْ

(Have they not observed things that Allah has created: (how) their shadows incline.) (16:48)

﴿ قُلۡ مَن رَّبُّ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ قُلِ ٱللَّهُ‌ۚ قُلۡ أَفَٱتَّخَذۡتُم مِّن دُونِهِۦۤ أَوۡلِيَآءَ لَا يَمۡلِكُونَ لِأَنفُسِهِمۡ نَفۡعً۬ا وَلَا ضَرًّ۬ا‌ۚ قُلۡ هَلۡ يَسۡتَوِى ٱلۡأَعۡمَىٰ وَٱلۡبَصِيرُ أَمۡ هَلۡ تَسۡتَوِى ٱلظُّلُمَـٰتُ وَٱلنُّورُ‌ۗ أَمۡ جَعَلُواْ لِلَّهِ شُرَكَآءَ خَلَقُواْ كَخَلۡقِهِۦ فَتَشَـٰبَهَ ٱلۡخَلۡقُ عَلَيۡہِمۡ‌ۚ قُلِ ٱللَّهُ خَـٰلِقُ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ وَهُوَ ٱلۡوَٲحِدُ ٱلۡقَهَّـٰرُ

(16. Say: "Who is the Lord of the heavens and the earth'' Say: "(It is) Allah.'' Say: "Have you then taken (for worship) Awliya' (protectors) other than Him, such as have no power either for benefit or for harm to themselves'' Say: "Is the blind equal to the one who sees Or darkness equal to light Or do they assign to Allah partners who created the like of His creation, so that the creation seemed alike to them'' Say: "Allah is the Creator of all things; and He is the One, the Irresistible.'')

Affirming Tawhid

Allah affirms here that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him, since they admit that He alone created the heavens and the earth and that He is their Lord and the Disposer of all affairs. Yet, they take as lords others besides Allah and worship them, even though these false gods do not have the power to benefit or harm themselves, or those who worship them. Therefore, the polytheists will not benefit or have harm removed from them by these false deities. Are those who worship the false deities instead of Allah equal to those who worship Him alone, without partners, and thus have a light from their Lord This is why Allah said here,

﴿ قُلۡ هَلۡ يَسۡتَوِى ٱلۡأَعۡمَىٰ وَٱلۡبَصِيرُ أَمۡ هَلۡ تَسۡتَوِى ٱلظُّلُمَـٰتُ وَٱلنُّورُ‌ۗ أَمۡ جَعَلُواْ لِلَّهِ شُرَكَآءَ خَلَقُواْ كَخَلۡقِهِۦ فَتَشَـٰبَهَ ٱلۡخَلۡقُ عَلَيۡہِمۡ‌ۚ

(Say: "Is the blind equal to the one who sees Or darkness equal to light Or do they assign to Allah partners who created the like of His creation, so that the creations seemed alike to them'') Allah asks, `Do these polytheists worship gods besides Him that rival Him in what He created Have their false deities created similar creations to those Allah created and, thus, they are confused between the two types of creations, not knowing which was created by others besides Allah' Rather, the Ayah proves that the truth is nothing like this. There is none similar to Allah, nor does He have an equal, a rival, anyone like Him, a minister, a son, or a wife. Allah is glorified in that He is far away from all that is ascribed to Him. These idolaters worship gods that they themselves admit were created by Allah and are subservient to Him. They used to say during their Talbiyah: "Here we rush to Your obedience. There is no partner for You, except Your partner, You own him and he owns not.'' Allah also mentioned their polytheistic statements in other Ayat,

﴿ مَا نَعۡبُدُهُمۡ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَآ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ زُلۡفَىٰٓ

(We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah.) (39:3) Allah admonished them for this false creed, stating that only those whom He chooses are allowed to intercede with Him,

﴿ وَلَا تَنفَعُ ٱلشَّفَـٰعَةُ عِندَهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا لِمَنۡ أَذِنَ لَهُۚ ۥ

(Intercession with Him profits not except for him whom He permits.) (34:23)

﴿ وَكَم مِّن مَّلَكٍ۬ فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ

(And there are many angels in the heavens.....)(53:26), and,

﴿ إِن ڪُلُّ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ إِلَّآ ءَاتِى ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ عَبۡدً۬ا لَّقَدۡ أَحۡصَٮٰهُمۡ وَعَدَّهُمۡ عَدًّ۬ا وَكُلُّهُمۡ ءَاتِيهِ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ فَرۡدًا

(There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Gracious (Allah) as a servant. Verily, He knows each one of them, and has counted them a full counting. And everyone of them will come to Him alone on the Day of Resurrection.) (19:93-95) If all are Allah's servants, then why do any of them worships each other without proof or evidence that allows them to do so Rather, they rely on sheer opinion and innovation in the religion, even though Allah has sent all of His Prophets and Messengers, from beginning to end, prohibiting this practice (polytheism) and ordering them to refrain from worshipping others besides Allah. They defied their Messengers and rebelled against them, and this is why the word of punishment struck them as a worthy recompense,

﴿ وَلَا يَظۡلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدً۬ا

(And your Lord treats no one with injustice)(18:49)

﴿ أَنزَلَ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءً۬ فَسَالَتۡ أَوۡدِيَةُۢ بِقَدَرِهَا فَٱحۡتَمَلَ ٱلسَّيۡلُ زَبَدً۬ا رَّابِيً۬ا‌ۚ وَمِمَّا يُوقِدُونَ عَلَيۡهِ فِى ٱلنَّارِ ٱبۡتِغَآءَ حِلۡيَةٍ أَوۡ مَتَـٰعٍ۬ زَبَدٌ۬ مِّثۡلُهُ ۥ‌ۚ كَذَٲلِكَ يَضۡرِبُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡحَقَّ وَٱلۡبَـٰطِلَ‌ۚ فَأَمَّا ٱلزَّبَدُ فَيَذۡهَبُ جُفَآءً۬‌ۖ وَأَمَّا مَا يَنفَعُ ٱلنَّاسَ فَيَمۡكُثُ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۚ كَذَٲلِكَ يَضۡرِبُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡأَمۡثَالَ

(17. He sends down water from the sky, and the valleys flow according to their measure, but the flood bears away the foam that mounts up to the surface - and (also) from that (ore) which they heat in the fire in order to make ornaments or utensils, rises a foam like unto it, thus does Allah (by parables) show forth truth and falsehood. Then, as for the foam it passes away as scum upon the banks, while that which is for the good of mankind remains in the earth. Thus Allah sets forth parables.)

Two Parables proving that Truth remains and Falsehood perishes

This honorable Ayah contains two parables which affirm that truth remains and increases, while falsehood diminishes and perishes. Allah said,

﴿ أَنزَلَ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءً۬

(He sends down water from the sky,) He sends rain,

﴿ فَسَالَتۡ أَوۡدِيَةُۢ بِقَدَرِهَا

(and the valleys flow according to their measure,) each valley taking its share according to its capacity, for some valleys are wider and can retain more water than others which are small and thus retain smaller measures of water. This Ayah indicates that hearts differ, for some of them can retain substantial knowledge while others cannot entertain knowledge, but rather are bothered by knowledge,

﴿ فَٱحۡتَمَلَ ٱلسَّيۡلُ زَبَدً۬ا رَّابِيً۬ا‌ۚ

(but the flood bears away the foam that mounts up to the surface) of the water that ran down the valleys; this is the first parable. Allah said next,

﴿ وَمِمَّا يُوقِدُونَ عَلَيۡهِ فِى ٱلنَّارِ ٱبۡتِغَآءَ حِلۡيَةٍ أَوۡ مَتَـٰعٍ۬

(and (also) from that (ore) which they heat in the fire in order to make ornaments or utensils...) This is the second parable, whereas gold and silver ore is heated with fire to make adornments with it, and iron and copper ore are heated to make pots and the like with it. Foam also rises to the surface of these ores, just as in the case with water,

﴿ كَذَٲلِكَ يَضۡرِبُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡحَقَّ وَٱلۡبَـٰطِلَ‌ۚ

(thus does Allah (by parables) show forth truth and falsehood.) when they both exist, falsehood does not remain, just as foam does not remain with the water or the gold and silver ores which are heated in fire. Rather, foam dissipates and vanishes,

﴿ فَأَمَّا ٱلزَّبَدُ فَيَذۡهَبُ جُفَآءً۬‌ۖ

(Then, as for the foam it passes away as scum upon the banks,) for it carries no benefit and dissipates and scatters on the banks of the valley. The foam also sticks to trees or is dissipated by wind, just as the case with the scum that rises on the surface of gold, silver, iron and copper ores; it all goes away and never returns. However, water, gold and silver remain and are used to man's benefit. This is why Allah said next,

﴿ وَأَمَّا مَا يَنفَعُ ٱلنَّاسَ فَيَمۡكُثُ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۚ كَذَٲلِكَ يَضۡرِبُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡأَمۡثَالَ

(while that which is for the good of mankind remains in the earth. Thus Allah sets forth parables.) Allah said in a similar Ayah,

﴿ وَتِلۡكَ ٱلۡأَمۡثَـٰلُ نَضۡرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ‌ۖ وَمَا يَعۡقِلُهَآ إِلَّا ٱلۡعَـٰلِمُونَ

(And these similitudes We put forward for mankind; but none will understand them except those who have knowledge.) (29:43) Some of the Salaf (rightly guided ancestors) said, "When I would read a parable in the Qur'an that I could not comprehend, I would cry for myself because Allah the Exalted says,

﴿ وَمَا يَعۡقِلُهَآ إِلَّا ٱلۡعَـٰلِمُونَ

(But none will understand them except those who have knowledge.)'' (29:43) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that `Abdullah bin `Abbas commented on Allah's statement,

﴿ أَنزَلَ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءً۬ فَسَالَتۡ أَوۡدِيَةُۢ بِقَدَرِهَا

(He sends down water from the sky, and the valleys flow according to their measure,) "This is a parable that Allah has set; the hearts carry knowledge from Him, and certainty according to the amount of doubt. As for doubt, working good deeds does not benefit while it exists. As for certainty, Allah benefits its people by it, hence Allah's statement,

﴿ فَأَمَّا ٱلزَّبَدُ

(Then, as for the foam), which refers to doubt,

﴿ فَيَذۡهَبُ جُفَآءً۬‌ۖ وَأَمَّا مَا يَنفَعُ ٱلنَّاسَ فَيَمۡكُثُ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۚ

(it passes away as scum upon the banks, while that which is for the good of mankind remains in the earth.) in reference to certainty. And just as when jewelry is heated in fire and is rid of its impurity, which remains in the fire, similarly Allah accepts certainty and discards doubt.''

The Qur'an and the Sunnah contain Parables that use Water and Fire

Allah has set two examples in the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah (chapter 2) about the hypocrites, one using fire and another using water. Allah said,

﴿ مَثَلُهُمۡ كَمَثَلِ ٱلَّذِى ٱسۡتَوۡقَدَ نَارً۬ا فَلَمَّآ أَضَآءَتۡ مَا حَوۡلَهُ ۥ

(Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindled a fire; then, when it illuminated all around him.) (2:17) then He said,

﴿ أَوۡ كَصَيِّبٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فِيهِ ظُلُمَـٰتٌ۬ وَرَعۡدٌ۬ وَبَرۡقٌ۬

(Or like a rainstorm in the sky, bringing darkness, thunder, and lightning.) (2:19) Allah also has set two parables for the disbelievers in Surat An-Nur (chapter 24), one of them is,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُوٓاْ أَعۡمَـٰلُهُمۡ كَسَرَابِۭ

(As for those who disbelieved, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert.) (24:39) The mirage occurs during intense heat. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said,

« فَيُقَالُ لِلْيَهُودِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ: فَمَا تُرِيدُون؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: أَيْ رَبَّنَا عَطِشْنَا فَاسْقِنَا. فَيُقَالُ: أَلَا تَرِدُونَ؟ فَيَرِدُونَ النَّارَ فَإِذَا هِيَ كَسَرَابٍ يَحْطِمُ بَعْضُهَا بَعْضًا »

(It will be said to the Jews on the Day of Resurrection, "What do you desire'' They will reply, "We need to drink, for we have become thirsty, O our Lord!'' It will be said, "Will you then proceed to drink,'' and they will head towards the Fire, which will appear as a mirage, its various parts consuming the other parts.'') Allah said in the second parable (in Surat An-Nur);

﴿ أَوۡ كَظُلُمَـٰتٍ۬ فِى بَحۡرٍ۬ لُّجِّىٍّ۬

(Or is like the darkness in a vast deep sea.) (24:40) In the Two Sahihs it is recorded that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« إِنَّ مَثَلَ مَا بَعَثَنِي اللهُ بِهِ مِنَ الْهُدَى وَالْعِلْمِ، كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَصَابَ أَرْضًا، فَكَانَ مِنْهَا طَائِفَةٌ قَبِلَتِ الْمَاءَ فَأَنْبَتَتِ الْكَلَأَ وَالْعُشْبَ الْكَثِيرَ، وَكَانَتْ مِنْهَا أَجَادِبُ أَمْسَكَتِ الْمَاءَ، فَنَفَعَ اللهُ بِهَا النَّاسَ، فَشَرِبُوا، وَرَعَوْا، وَسَقُوا، وَزَرَعُوا، وَأَصَابَتْ طَائِفَةً مِنْهَا أُخْرَى، إِنَّمَا هِيَ قِيعَانٌ لَا تُمْسِكُ مَاءً وَلَا تُنْبِتُ كَلَأً، فَذَلِكَ مَثَلُ مَنْ فَقُهَ فِي دِينِ اللهِ وَنَفَعَهُ اللهُ بِمَا بَعَثَنِي وَنَفَعَ بِهِ، فَعَلِمَ وَعَلَّمَ، وَمَثَلُ مَنْ لَمْ يَرْفَعْ بِذَلِكَ رَأْسًا وَلَمْ يَقْبَلْ هُدَى اللهِ الَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِه »

(The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed the rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. And another portion of it was hard, it held the rain water and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, grazing, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation purposes. And another portion of it fell on barren land, which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation. The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah's religion and gets benefit, as well as benefiting others (from the knowledge and guidance) which Allah has revealed through me and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not embrace Allah's guidance revealed through me.) This parable uses water in it. In another Hadith that Imam Ahmad collected, Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

« مَثَلِي وَمَثَلُكُمْ كَمَثَلِ رَجُلٍ اسْتَوْقَدَ نَارًا فَلَمَّا أَضَاءَتْ مَا حَوْلَهُ، جَعَلَ الْفَرَاشُ وَهَذِهِ الدَّوَابُّ الَّتِي يَقَعْنَ فِي النَّارِ يَقَعْنَ فِيهَا، وَجَعَلَ يَحْجُزُهُنَّ وَيغْلِبْنَهُ فَيَقْتَحِمْنَ فِيهَا قَالَ : فَذَلِكُمْ مَثَلِي وَمَثَلُكُمْ، أَنَا آخِذٌ بِحُجَزِكُمْ عَنِ النَّارِ، هَلُمَّ عَنِ النَّارِ، فَتَغْلِبُونِي، فَتَقْتَحِمُونَ فِيهَا »

(My example and the example of you is like that of a person who lit a fire. When the fire illuminated his surroundings, butterflies and insects started falling into it, as they usually do, and he started swatting at them to prevent them from falling; but they overwhelmed him and kept falling into the fire. This is the parable of me and you, I am holding you by the waist trying to save you from the Fire, saying, "Go away from the Fire,'' yet you overwhelm me and fall into it.) The Two Sahihs also collected this Hadith. This is a parable using fire.

﴿ لِلَّذِينَ ٱسۡتَجَابُواْ لِرَبِّہِمُ ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰ‌ۚ وَٱلَّذِينَ لَمۡ يَسۡتَجِيبُواْ لَهُ ۥ لَوۡ أَنَّ لَهُم مَّا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ جَمِيعً۬ا وَمِثۡلَهُ ۥ مَعَهُ ۥ لَٱفۡتَدَوۡاْ بِهِۦۤ‌ۚ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَهُمۡ سُوٓءُ ٱلۡحِسَابِ وَمَأۡوَٮٰهُمۡ جَهَنَّمُ‌ۖ وَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمِهَادُ

(18. For those who answered their Lord's call is Al-Husna. But those who answered not His call, if they had all that is in the earth together with its like, they would offer it in order to save themselves. For them there will be the terrible reckoning. Their dwelling place will be Hell; and worst indeed is that place for rest.)