This was a box made of boxwood that was revealed to Sayyiduna Aadam علیہ السلام . This box remained with him until the last days of his worldly life. Later on, it was passed onto his children one after the other as an inheritance. It reached Sayyiduna Ya’qoob علیہ السلام and remained under the custody of his progeny i.e. the Bani Israel. Later, it reached Sayyiduna Musa علیہ السلام and he علیہ السلام kept Tawrah and his possessions in it. It was an extremely holy box.
Whenever the Bani Israel would do Jihad against the pagans and whenever they would get worried due to the number of enemies being large, they would place the box in front of them. Blessings would emanate from it that would solace their worried hearts. When this box would be carried ahead, the glad-tidings of نَصْرٌ مِّنَ اللہِ وَفَتْحٌ قَرِیْبٌ would bestow from the sky and they would become victorious.
Whenever there was any difference of opinion among the Bani Israel, they would seek advice from the box. The glad-tiding of the victory would be heard from Taboot e Sakina. The Bani Israel used to keep this box with them during their supplications by virtue of which supplications would accept and due to its blessings, afflictions, and calamities would be averted. In short, Taboot e sakina was a source of great blessings and a treasure of bounties for the Bani Israel.
Attack of Amaliqah on Bani Israel
However, when the sinful deeds of the Bani Israel exceeded all limits, the wrath of Allah struck them. The people of the ‘Amaliqah tribe attacked the Bani Israel and massive bloodshed took place. Many of the Bani Israel were killed, their homes were ruined and the city was destroyed. The ‘Amaliqah tribe also took the sacred box with them and disrespectfully threw it into the garbage.
However, when the people of the ‘Amaliqah did this, they themselves were punished. Different diseases, calamities, and catastrophes struck them. The five cities of the people of ‘Amaliqah were completely destroyed. The pagans realized that their destruction was due to their misconduct and disrespect towards the sacred box. Therefore, they loaded the box on a cart dragged by bulls and drove it towards the town of the Bani Israel.
Allah appointed four angels to carry this blessed box to Sayyiduna Shamweel علیہ السلام , the Prophet of the Bani Israel. This way, the lost blessing was returned to the Bani Israel. This blessed box reached Sayyiduna Shamweel علیہ السلام right at the time when he علیہ السلام appointed Taloot as king. The people of the Bani Israel were not accepting the kingship of Taloot and conditioned their acceptance with the recovery of the Taboot e Sakina. Therefore, the box arrived and they agreed upon this decision.Tafseer As-Saawi, vol. 1, pp. 209; Ruh-ul bayan, vol. 1, pp. 385; part 2, Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 247
What was inside Taboot e Sakina?
The holy box contained: The holy staff and blessed shoes of Sayyiduna Musa علیہ السلام , the turban of Sayyiduna Haroon علیہ السلام , the ring of Sayyiduna Sulayman علیہ السلام , tablets on which Tawrah was written, some Mann and Salwa and some outlines of the appearances of Prophets علیہ السلام 6‘? .Tafseer Ruh-ul-Bayan, vol. 1, pp. 386; part 2, Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 248
This event of Taboot e sakina has been described by Allah in Surah Al-Baqarah in these words:
And their Prophet said to them, ‘The sign of his kingdom is that there would come to you a (wooden) box, in which from your Lord is the contentment of hearts and containing some relics (remnants) left behind by the honorable Musa and the honorable Haroon (Aaron), carried by the angels; indeed in it is a great sign for you if you are believers. [Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 2, Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 248).
We learn various memorable morals:
- The possessions and belongings of the chosen bondsmen of Allah are very prestigious in the court of Allah and are means of acquiring blessings and bounties. You see, the box contained the blessed shoes and staff of Sayyiduna Musa علیہ السلام , and a blessed turban of Sayyiduna Haroon علیہ السلام and by virtue of all these, the box was so revered that it was carried by angels on their shoulders. The angels presented the box in the court of Sayyiduna Shamweel علیہ السلام . Allah called it a heavenly sign, as mentioned in the Holy Quran: فِیْہِ سَکِّیْنَۃٌ مِّنْ رَّبِّکُمْ. Blessings would descend on the box. The belongings of the chosen bondsmen of Allah are centres of mercy and blessings that provide solace to the souls of the believers.
- This sacred box was blissful by virtue of the holy staff, footwear, and holy clothes. Then how blissful would be the graves where the holy bodies of the beloved bondsmen of Allah are present! Will there be no blessings on these places? Every sane person bearing spiritual insight will testify that since blessings descend on the clothes and footwear of the chosen people of Allah, then certainly those who wore them are even more blessed and revered. Of course, there are Divine blessings upon the graves of the beloveds of Allah. A Muslim who visits the holy shrines will definitely receive the shower of Divine blessings. In fact, just a few drops of that rain of blessings will benefit him a lot. Whoever stands still in this heavy rain of blessings, his body and clothes will be blessed with the Divine mercy. Because whoever dives into the river of blessings, his body will definitely receive blessings, similar to someone sitting in a perfume shop whose body will definitely become fragrant. So it is proven that visiting the blessed shrines of the chosen bondsmen of Allah surely prevents afflictions and benefits in the worldly life as well as the afterlife.
- We also learned that all those who show disrespectful and offensive attitude towards the sacred belongings of the beloved bondsmen of Allah; they will be punished by Allah because we learned that the people of the ‘Amaliqah tribe showed disrespect to the sacred box, which led to the severe torment from Allah. Despite being unbelievers; they admitted that the cause of afflictions was their disrespect towards Taboot e sakina. That’s why they loaded it on the vehicle and drove it towards the Bani Israel to get rid of Divine wrath.
- The Bani Israel would remain successful in their campaigns of Jihad by virtue of Taboot e sakina. Hence we may deduce that the troubles and afflictions of the Muslims will also be relieved by virtue of the graves of holy saints. Obviously the blessed bodies of beloveds of Allah are more revered and blissful than their belongings.
- Another lesson we learn is that those who disobey Allah and His Prophets (عزوجل و ﷺ) are deprived of the blessings. The people of the Bani Israel transgressed and showed no attention to the commands of Allah. They indulged in various sins and consequently, the sacred box was taken away from them by the pagans of ‘Amaliqah. And the Bani Israel remained deprived of the holy box for several years. (واللہ تعالٰی اعلم)