RESURRECTION OF THE SLAUGHTERED BIRDS
Once Sayyiduna Ibraheem Khaleelullah علیہ السلام asked in the reverend court of Allah , ‘O Allah ( ), show me how will You resurrect the dead?’ Allah said, ‘Ibraheem, don’t you have faith in it?’ Sayyiduna Ibraheem علیہ السلام said, ‘Why not? Although I have faith in it but I wish to observe this spectacle with my own eyes to solace my heart.’ Allah then said, ‘Raise four birds and nourish them well by feeding them, then slaughter them and make minced meat from their flesh and place little portion of it on top of some mountains in your surroundings. Then call upon these birds to you, those birds will come back to life and rush to you and thus you will witness the spectacle of resurrection of dead with your own eyes.’
Therefore, Sayyiduna Ibraheem علیہ السلام tended four birds: A rooster, a pigeon, a vulture and a peacock. He علیہ السلام raised them for a certain period of time whilst nourishing and taming them well. Then he علیہ السلام slaughtered them and kept their heads with himself and after mincing their meat, placed little part of it on the surrounding mountains. He علیہ السلام then called these birds from distance by exclaiming یٰاَیُّھَا الدِّیْکُ (O rooster), ةُ یٰاَیَّتُھَا الْحَمَامَۃُ (O pigeon), یٰاَیُّھَا النَّسْرُ (O vulture), یٰاَیُّھَا الطَّاؤُسُ (O peacock)! The meat from the mountains started soaring up into the air on his call and the flesh, bones and feathers assembled and then all four birds were formed and they each rushed to Sayyiduna Ibraheem علیہ السلام headless and after connecting to their respective heads, they started picking grains and chirping in their own language. Thus Sayyiduna Ibraheem علیہ السلام witnessed the spectacle of the resurrection of the dead and his heart solaced.
Allah described this event in Surah Al-Baqarah of the Holy Quran in the following words:
وَ اِذْ قَالَ اِبْرٰہٖمُ رَبِّ اَرِنِیۡ کَیۡفَ تُحْیِ الْمَوْتٰی ؕ قَالَ اَوَلَمْ تُؤْمِنۡ ؕ قَالَ بَلٰی وَلٰکِنْ لِّیَطْمَئِنَّ قَلْبِیۡ ؕ قَالَ فَخُذْ اَرْبَعَۃً مِّنَ الطَّیۡرِ فَصُرْہُنَّ اِلَیۡکَ ثُمَّ اجْعَلْ عَلٰی کُلِّ جَبَلٍ مِّنْہُنَّ جُزْءًا ثُمَّ ادْعُہُنَّ یَاۡتِیۡنَکَ سَعْیًا ؕ وَاعْلَمْ اَنَّ اللہَ عَزِیۡزٌ حَکِیۡمٌ ﴿260﴾٪
And when Ibraheem said, ‘My Lord! Show me how You will give life to the dead’. He said, ‘Are you not certain (of it)?’ Ibraheem said, ‘Surely yes, why not? But because I wish that my heart may be satisfied’. He said, ‘Then take four birds (as pets) and cause them to become familiar to you, then place a part of each of them on separate mountains, then call them – they will come running towards you; and know well that Allah is Almighty, Wise.’
[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 3, Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 260)
Moral: The abovementioned Quranic event sheds light on the following Shar’i rulings. Read these carefully and avail the light of guidance and transmit it to others also.
Calling the dead
Sayyiduna Ibraheem علیہ السلام had slaughtered the birds, minced their meat and placed it on the mountains. Then Allah ordered, ثُمَّ ادْعُھُنَّ i.e. call these dead birds. Therefore, Sayyiduna Ibraheem
علیہ السلام called these four birds by their names and this point proves that calling dead is not polytheism, because when Allah ordered to call the dead birds and when such a dignified Prophet علیہ السلام called the dead birds, then this can never ever be polytheism at all because Allah will never command any one towards polytheism and nor any Prophet (علیہ السلام ) can ever commit an act of polytheism.
Therefore, when calling the dead birds is not polytheism, then how can calling the late beloveds of Allah and the martyrs be polytheism! Those people who say that calling the late beloveds of Allah and the martyrs is polytheism, those who falsely allege the people who exclaim the slogan of ‘Ya Ghaus’ as ‘polytheist’, they should ponder upon to avail the light of guidance from above Quranic event so that they may follow the true path of Ahl-us-Sunnah. (واللہ الموفق)
A spiritual lesson
Each of the four birds that Sayyiduna Ibraheem علیہ السلام slaughtered is famous for a certain ill instinct – for example the peacock is proud of its facial beauty, the rooster possesses excessive sexual desire, the vulture is greedy in nature and the pigeon is proud of its ability to fly high. Thus the event of slaughtering these four birds gives us an indication towards slaughtering these four evils. By virtue of slaughtering these four birds, Sayyiduna Ibraheem علیہ السلام observed the resurrection of the dead birds and his heart was blessed with ultimate satisfaction. Consequently his Nafs (the inner self) acquired the loftiest level of ‘Nafs-e-Mutma-innah’ (the satisfied inner self).
So the one who desires to strengthen his spirituality and wants to acquire Nafs-e-Mutma-innah should slaughter the rooster – meaning to kill his lust, should slaughter the peacock – meaning he should kill the pride of his personality and attire, he should slaughter the vulture – meaning he should kill his greed and he should slaughter the pigeon – meaning he should kill the feeling of being proud of his high worldly status. If someone succeeds in killing and slaughtering these four ill traits, he will observe the revival of his heart with his own eyes and will be blessed with the wealth of ‘Nafs-e-Mutma-innah’. (واللہ تعالٰی اعلم)
(Tafseer Jamal, vol. 1, pp. 328; part 2, Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 260)