The lie of the scholar/monk to the boy falls under the three types of acceptable lies, a situation of war. A beast blocked the path of the people. The boy said: “O Allah, if the monk is dearer to you, then kill the beast.” He threw the stone, hit the beast, and it died. (The people came to celebrate him as a great hero.) Notice the natural inclination of the boy–to help the people.
- During the time of these people, they had a king who claimed he was Allah–similar to how Fir’aun, in the Qur’an, claims to be Allah. There is no oppresser that maintains his power without magic. Even today? you might ask. Even today. In the Qur’an, Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says: قَالَ أَلْقُوْاْ فَلَمَّا أَلْقَوْاْ سَحَرُواْ أَعْيُنَ النَّاسِ وَاسْتَرْهَبُوهُمْ وَجَاءوا بِسِحْرٍ عَظِيمٍ Translation: Moses said “Throw ye (first).” So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them: for they showed a great (feat of) magic (Surah Al-Araf, 7:116).
- When the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) first claimed prophethood, Abu Dhar sent his brother to Mecca to investigate and see information he could turn up. His brother investigated and returned. He said (to the meaning of): “A person claims prophethood. The people call him a liar.” Abu Dhar said (to the meaning of): “that’s not enough information, I will go myself and find out more.” (Bear in mind this is a time and place where whole tribes convert or fight Islam whole-scale based on their leaders.
- Expect several posts on tafseer and lessons from the story of the People of the Ditch, the background to Surah Burooj. Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says in the Qur’an: وَالْيَوْمِ الْمَوْعُودِ وَشَاهِدٍ وَمَشْهُودٍ قُتِلَ أَصْحَابُ الْأُخْدُودِ النَّارِ ذَاتِ الْوَقُودِ إِذْ هُمْ عَلَيْهَا قُعُودٌ وَهُمْ عَلَى مَا يَفْعَلُونَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ شُهُودٌ وَمَا نَقَمُوا مِنْهُمْ إِلَّا أَن يُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ Translation: By the promised Day (of Judgment), by one that witnesses, and the subject of the witness: woe to the makers of the pit (of fire), fire supplied (abundantly) with fuel.