During this blessed month of Shahru Ramadan, we will meditate upon various Surahs of the Quran Majid, so that we can become closer to our holy book, during its month of revelation.
We have, so far, meditated upon the first three ayats of Surah Al-Massad, where Allah (SWT) says that Abu Lahab (LA) will perish and that neither his wealth nor his children will be able to help him. Today, in sha Allah, we will meditate upon the final two ayats of this Surah.
Allah (SWT) says ‘Wam ra-atuhu hamma latal-hatab. Fee jeediha hab lum mim-masad’ (His wife shall carry the wood – As fuel! A twisted rope of palm-leaf fibre round her neck!)
Both Abu Lahab (LA) and his wife, Arwa Umm Jamil bint Harb (LA), were from very rich families and she was the daughter of Abu Sufiyan (LA) and sister of Muawiyah (LA).
When she (LA) read these ayats, she (LA) went to Abu Sufiyan (LA) to complain that the Quran Majid had said such a verse about her, as she was from a very wealthy family and carrying wood was seen as something that only the lowest in society would do (of course, by saying that she (LA) was carrying wood, Allah (SAW) was showing that in truth this was her real position of her character, at the lowest in society, as she was also very frugal and never helped anyone).
This wood also represents the love for the duniya that she (LA) was carrying like a hamal, a pregnancy, that would be born in the hellfire when she experiences the punishment for this temporal love of this world. It is a warning for us, as well, to not carry a love for this duniya.
She (LA) told Abu Sufiyan (LA) to go and kill Rasulullah (SAW). Abu Sufiyan (LA) went but came back and told her (LA) that he was scared of Rasulullah (SAW). She (LA) told Abu Sufiyan (LA) that he was the greatest horseman in the Quraish tribe, how could he be scared?
Abu Sufiyan (LA) said that when he was reaching Rasulullah (SAW), he saw two dragons next to the shoulders of Rasulullah (SAW) whose mouths were open and ready to attack him if he came closer.
In these ayats, Allah (SWT) is saying that she is carrying wood to mean two things. Firstly, she will go to jahannum and burn like wood does and, more importantly, just as a fire needs wood to burn, she herself will become like that wood, always burning as fuel for the hellfire, as her position in jahannum will be very low.
In addition to this, Allah (SWT) further humiliates her by saying she not only carries wood but has a rope around her neck.
She (LA) would purposefully try to cause harm on Rasulullah (SAW). When Rasulullah (SAW) used to walk, she (LA) would place cactus needles in order to hurt Rasulullah (SAW). Allah (SWT) made it easy for Rasulullah (SAW), even though he was walking on these cactus needles, it felt for Rasulullah (SAW) that he was walking on silk.
The reason why Allah (SWT) said that she (LA) had a rope around her neck was to compare her to a dog. Before a dog is given water, it pants with its tongue. After it has been given water, it continues to pant.
Allah (SWT) is associating her with a dog because just as a dog does not stop its behaviour after having water, she (LA) had seen countless signs and miracles of Rasulullah (SAW) but had not changed her behaviour.
May Allah (SWT) guide us on how to stay on the siratul mustaqeem, through those who strayed away, so that we never become impregnated by the love of this duniya, so that this love does not become the wood that burns us in jahannum. May we always see the signs of Allah (SWT) and may these signs always cause us to change and improve our behaviour. Aamin.