Stories Of The Quran 

Divided into 19 parts

By: Ibn Katheer
Translated by:  Ali As-Sayed Al- Halawani

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Table of Contents

  • Translator’s Note
  • Publisher’s Note
  • Biography of Ibn Katheer
  1. The Story of Habil and Qabil (Abel and Cain)
  2. Harut and Marut
  3. Dwellers of the Town
  4. Story of the Heifer
  5. Moses and AI-Khadir
  6. The Story of Qarun (Korah)
  7. Bilqis (Queen of Sheba)
  8. The Story of Saba’ (Sheba)
  9. `Uzair (Ezra)
  10. Dhul Qarnain
  11. Gog and Magog
  12. People of the Cave
  13. The Believer & the Disbeliever
  14. People of the Garden
  15. The Sabbath-Breakers
  16. Story of Luqman
  17. People of the Ditch
  18. Barsisa the Worshipper (The Renegade)
  19. Owners of the Elephant

Translator’s Note

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. We cannot find words to praise Him, AS He only sees fit how laudation should be addressed to Him. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils within ourselves and the evils of our bad deeds. Whosoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whosoever He leads astray will never find guidance. We bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the One without any associate, and We bear witness that Muhammad is His Messenger and bondman, peace and blessings be upon him, his kith and kin, his Companions and all those who follow their guidance until the Day of Judgment.

The Glorious Qur’an will continue to be the sole everlasting miracle till the Day of Judgement. It is the Word of Allah, Exalted be He, sent to His chosen Prophet, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) who endeavored with all his might and main to convey and explain it to the whole world. He visualizes to the whole world its inherent wisdom and admonition. The Glorious Qur’an, however, recounts a number of stories that took place throughout far-remote points of history which are full of events that one’s eyes and mind cannot fail to grasp its admonition and advice. These admonitions and advice, if seriously considered, can verify and restore to the right course a great number of false beliefs and concepts

Allah the Almighty says:

Thus We relate to you (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) some information of what happened before. And indeed We have given you from Us a Reminder (this Qur’an)”. (Ta-Ha, 99)

Given the significance of these stories, not a small number of Muslim scholars exerted efforts to compile, verify and comment on them. Ibn Katheer (May Allah rest his soul) is a pioneer in that respect. His voluminous Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah (The Beginning and the End) relates the stories of Allah’s prophets and world nations since the beginning of history. Truly, he successfully managed to find the relationship between the details cited in the Glorious Qur’an and the Prophetic Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) that explained and clarified the incidents that took place.

He also tried his best to portrait the characters of heroes of our stories and their relevant backgrounds. So doing, he presented a lively easy account of these stories of the Glorious Qur’an. Here, I must admit that translating this book Stories of the Qur’an was not an easy thing. As the original book of Ibn Katheer was full of details, the translation underwent some abridgment, without impairing the contents of the book. Also, I have left out most of the Invented Hadiths, Al-Mawdu `at, that were ‘falsely’ attributed to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) throughout the book (by other than Ibn Katheer of course!).

However, it goes without saying that the style of the Arabic language is totally different from that of English. This forced me to make so many changes in the form of presenting the text with a view to rendering it more readable and easily understood by our dear reader. In conclusion, I would like to thank all those who helped to publish this book. I pray to Allah to accept all our efforts as sincere deeds done solely for His Sake, for it is He alone Whose reward is of any real significance.

Publisher’s Note

All Praise is due to Allah and much peace and many blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, his companions, his followers and those who disseminate his call until the Day of Judgment.

Here we are with the book Stories of the Qur’an by AI-Hafiz Isma` il Ibn Katheer Ad- Dimashqi (May Allah rest his soul), taking a tour throughout the stories mentioned in the Glorious Qur’ an pertaining to which Allah the Almighty says:

”Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding”. [Surat: Yusuf, 111]

Yes, in order to find admonition, lessons and exemplary models!

This book of ours handles the stories that are cited in the Glorious Qur’an, gathered from the book titled, Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah (The Beginning and the End). The book also covers a number of stories that were not included in Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, such as that of Harut and Marut. Also, stories of Allah’s Prophets and Messengers (Peace be upon them all) are not included here as they are already detailed in Ibn Katheer’s other book Stories of the Prophets.

One should know that Dar Al-Manarah issued three successive releases of this valuable book during the years 2000-2001. We would like to thank `Ali As-Sayed Al-Halawani for his efforts in translating and revising this work. Great appreciation is due also to Sa`id Fares, our respected reviser, under whose guidance and supervision the subject matter took proper form.

Biography of | Ibn Katheer

(700 -774 A.H.) (May Allah bless his soul)

`Imad Ad-Deen Isma`il Ibn `Umar IbnKatheer Al-Basri Ad-Dimashqi was born in 700 A.H., or shortly afterwards. After the decease of his father, Ibn Katheer, aged seven then, headed for Damascus, accompanied by his elder brother. He owed much of his learning to Ibn Ashginah, Al-Amadi, Ibn `Asakir and others, may Allah be pleased with them all. He immensely revered Ibn Taimiyah, may Allah bless his soul, whose views he believed, defended and mostly abided by, particularly as regards divorce. It was on account of this that he went through an ordeal and was made to suffer a lot.

Ibn Katheer was widely acclaimed for the sublime degree of learning that he so admirably attained. Scholars have unanimously attested to his wellversedness, particularly in the fields of the exegesis of the Glorious Qur’an, Hadith and history. Ibn Habeeb describes him as “the leader of all men engaged in the exegesis (of the Qur’an). He amassed and categorized all (the knowledge) he heard. People marveled at his fatwas and benefited from his teachings. His fatwas grew widely popular all across the country. He was renowned for his precision and was proclaimed as the beacon of history, Hadith and exegesis (of the Qur’an).”

Ibn Hijji, one of his students, owed: “Of all our contemporaries, he (Ibn Katheer) was the best at memorizing authentic Hadiths and the most knowledgeable as to assessing the degree of reliability and honesty of Hadithnarrators as well as authentic and non-authentic Hadiths. His comrades and mentors acknowledge every word of the above. I would frequently visit him, and every time I was in his company I benefited from him.” Ibn Katheer lost his eyesight shortly before he died in 774 A. H.

He was buried at the Sufis cemetery along with his mentor Ibn Taimiyah. Among his best-known works is his masterpiece in history Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah (The Beginning and the End) .He also interpreted part of Al Bukhari’s Sahih (book of authentic Hadiths). By and large, Ibn Katheer’s admirable knowledge and well-versedness are best manifested to whoever reads his two best celebrated masterpieces; his interpretation and his book of history.