Story of Yusha ibn Nun (Joshua) AlahisSalam

“The sun has never stopped for any man besides Yusha when he wanted to conquer Bayt al-Muqaddis.”

When Musa passed away, the leadership of Bani Isra’il passed to Yusha ibn Nun. Yusha ibn Nun is not mentioned directly in the Qur’an but he is the servant of Musa who is referred to in the following verse of the Qur’an.

“AND LO! [In the course of his wanderings,] Moses said to his servant (fata), ‘I shall not give up until I reach the junction of the two seas, even if I [have to] spend untold years [in my quest]!'”Al-Qur’an 18:60

The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, mentions the name of Yusha ibn Nun as this servant of Musa in a number of authentic narrations – see for example 3/124 and 55/613 of Sahih Al-Bukhari.

Being a servant of Musa he was close to the Revelation, close to the teacher (Musa) and he was a righteous student of this teacher. And so, when Musa, ‘alayhis-salam, passed away, the leadership of Bani Isra’il was passed down to Yusha ibn Nun, and he became their nabi.

Under the leadership of Yusha ibn Nun, Bani Isra’il is made victorious and returns to the Holy Land, an event which did not occur under Musa or Harun (who both passed away whilst Bani Isra’il was still in the wilderness). The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, gives us a clue as to why this victory was delayed when he said:

“None of the ones who worshipped the calf entered into Jerusalem.”

The Children of Isra’il who came out of Egypt were raised up in slavery and servitude so they were weak and were not fit for victory. Allah made them stay in the wilderness for 40 years until all of that generation had passed away. And they were replaced by a new generation raised in freedom and taught the guidance of the Taurah by Musa and Harun, and it was this generation that was given the victory.

Musa is undoubtedly the greatest Prophet that was sent to Bani Isra’il and he strived eagerly to have this victory, yet we see that victory was not at his hands but rather at Yusha’s. What do we learn from this? That it is not enough to have an excellent leader alone – applying this to our times, it is not enough for us simply to wait for Al-Mahdi but rather we need to ensure we are a generation capable of victory and to be led to that victory by an excellent leader (be that Al-Mahdi or someone else).

And through the example of Yusha we see how Allah grants victory to those who have prepared for it. Yusha ibn Nun led the Children of Isra’il against the Jababirah (the inhabitants of Jerusalem), who were a large giant-like people. The fighting was furious and the sun was about to set. Yusha ibn Nun knew that he could not defeat these people except if the day was longer as, if night came, the Jababirah would be able to regroup. So Yusha pointed to the sun and said, “You are receiving orders and I am receiving orders from Allah, O Allah stop the sun!” Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, caused the sun to stop for Yusha ibn Nun until he defeated the people of Jerusalem. If you have Allah on your side, don’t worry! It’s not a matter of numbers, or weapons, or artillery when Allah is on your side.

The full story of Yusha ibn Nun is told to us in a sahih hadith of the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, recorded in Sahih Muslim 19/4327. The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:

“One of the Prophets made a holy war. He said to his followers: One who has married a woman and wants to consummate to his marriage but has not yet done so; another who has built a house but has not yet erected its roof; and another who has bought goats and pregnant she-camels and is waiting for their offspring-will not accompany me … “

This Prophet did not want any person to come with him whose heart may be attached to anything else. This is a Prophet who is not looking for numbers but rather for ikhlas (sincerity).

The Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, continued:

” … So he marched on and approached a village at or about the time of the Asr prayers. He said to the sun: You are receiving orders and I am receiving orders from Allah, O Allah stop the sun! It was stopped for him until Allah granted him victory.”

We know this Prophet was Yusha ibn Nun because of a separate narration recorded by Imam Ahmad in which the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:

“The sun has never stopped for any man besides Yusha when he wanted to conquer Bayt al-Muqaddis.”

Yusha’ AlahisSalam was the one who conquered Bayt Al -Maqdis for them. He Ahok them over the River Jordan into the surroundings of Areeha (ovy!). It was a splendid city with large palaces. He laid siege over it for six months and then with a final push, raising the Takbeer, he led his army into it. It is mend that Sayyidina Yusha AlahisSalam defeated thirty one kings.

It is said that they were about to take over the city on a Friday at ‘Asr and the next day, Saturday, was about to begin with sunset which would subject them to the observance of the Sabt, meaning that they would have had to cease fighting. So, Yusha’ AlahisSalam addressed the sun that it was under a command while te was under another command and he prayed to Allah, “O A’llah hold it back from setting!” so, Allah held back the sun from setting and stopped the moon from making its appearance on the skies. As for the story of the sun, it is narrated in a Hadith as we will see but the story about the moon is fabricated by the People of Book. Also, their relating this miracle to the victory of Areeha is questionable but it is connected with the victory of Bayt Al-Maqdis which was the real objective while the victory of Areeha was actually a means to the end. But Allah knows best.

Imam Ahmad has narrated a Hadith from Abu Hurayrah artist that the Messenger of Allah said, “Surely the sun has never been stopped from setting down for a human being except for Yusha on the evening he invaded the Bayt-Al-Maqdis. Ahmad (325), Al-Albani (202)

This Hadith thus confirms that the one who conquered Bayt Al-Maqdis was Yusha’ bin Nun and not Musa AlaihisSalam, and that the sun was withheld on the conquest of Bayt-Al-Maqdis ‘not Areeha.

It says that the sun returned to its previous point so that Ali bin Abu Talib etsing may offer his ‘Asr Salat which he had missed because the Prophet was sleeping in his laps; the Prophet prayed to Allah to return it so that Alice no may offer his ‘Asr Salat, and it returned. Ahmad bin Abu Salih. Al-Misri has called it sound.

The real point however, is that when they were entering the city they were ordered to enter bowing themselves down in humbleness and gratitude to

entering Allah, the Majestic and Glorious, for His blessings and, the great victory which He had promised to them earlier. They were also asked to say while (Hita-tun)

As for the Banu Isra’il, they disobeyed the order by their words and actions. They entered the city dragging themselves on their bottoms and instead of the word Hittatun they said something else.

These people were then punished with plasgue and a Hadith narrated by Usamah bin Zayd confirms that the Messenger of Allah said, “Plague is a means of punishment which was given out to some people before you”

The Banu Isra’itlived in the Bayt Al-Maqdis for some time and their Prophet Yusha’ AlahisSalam taught them the Torah and ruled according to it. He lived for a hundred and twenty seven years which means he lived twenty seven years after Musa AlaihisSalam.

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