Alhumdulilah: Story of an African King, his Thumb, and his Friend

Alhumdulilah-Story of an African King, his thumb, and his friend

Not sure if this is a true story or not but it is widely told and holds a great lesson so I will post it here:

There once was a king in Africa who enjoyed hunting.   He had a close friend, whom he grew up with, who often accompanied him. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation in his life (positive or negative) by remarking, “Alhumdulilah, Allah Almighty knows best.” One day, the King and his friend were out hunting. The friend’s responsibility on these expeditions was to load and prepare the guns for the King.  The friend made a mistake in preparing one of the guns, and so, when the King fired it, his thumb was blown off. The friend remarked as usual, “Alhumdulilah, Allah Almighty knows best.” To which the King replied, “No, this is NOT good!” and ordered his soldiers to put his friend into jail, to which the friend replied “Alhumdulilah, Allah Almighty knows best.”  About a year later, the King was hunting in an area that he should have stayed clear of. Cannibals captured the King and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to it. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the King’s thumb was missing. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone who was less than whole. So after untying the King, they chased him out of the village.

When the King reached his palace, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. “You were right” the King said, “it was good that my thumb was blown off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened.  But something was bothering the king.  He said that he understood why his lost thumb was a blessing from Allah, but what was the benefit of this poor friend being in jail for so long.

The King’s friend replied: “Alhumdulilah, Allah Almighty knows best.  If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you on that hunting trip.  You do not have a thumb, but I am whole.  They would have eaten me.”

He knows what is before them And what is behind them: And to Allah go back All questions (for decision) – Surah Al Hajj (22:76).

I am reminded of a halaqa in which an old lady was mentioned who, when asked how she is, responds with something to the effect of “Alhumdulilah, I can’t see very well with my left eye anymore and Alhumdulilah my leg is not so stable anymore.”  She was asked why she always says “Alhumdulilah” when she describes her ailments.  She said, “Didn’t Allah (SWT) say in the Quran:

And he whom We grant long life, We reverse him in creation (weakness after strength). Will they not then understand? – Surah Yaseen (36:68)

“If I wasn’t suffering from all this, I might have had doubts about this iyah.  Allah (SWT) caused it all to be true.”

So my sisters, let us practice living “Alhumdulilah.”  Let us be pleased with whatever Allah (SWT) has decided for us.  It may cause us difficulty to endure now, but this difficulty may just be what is best for us.

6 Responses to “Alhumdulilah: Story of an African King, his Thumb, and his Friend”
  1. Rihab S. says:

    Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem, Asalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh!

    Beautiful blog Allaahuma baarik feekum ameen!
    Great beginning of a beautiful route to gaining hasanaat!
    Ahibuki fillah! 🙂

    • Wa alikum as salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu
      Ahibuki ukhti. Missing my soul sister so much right now. You are soooooo the fuel of my hasanaat ventures. You’ve earned “voice-in-my-head” status!

  2. tazkiyah says:

    salamualaykum, i really enjoyed reading that story sis, jazakiallahu khair =)

    look forward to future posts inshaAllah 🙂

    • Wa alikum as salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu.
      I’m so honored and touched that you checked out my blog! May it help us to continue our bond of sisterhood. May we continue to encourage and guide each other towards righteousness and good deeds. May we continue to remember the brevity of our time on earth and avoid it’s evils. Ameen.

  3. SoulSisteR says:

    “Inni aKhafuul Allaah Wallahu shadeedul 3eeQaab…” Some Hikmah from Suratul Anfal (8) Ayah 48
    If I could write up an entire series on a blog I’d have those moments where I hear words from a reciation that I understand and they hit me hard walhamdulilah. Imagine if my Arabic was impeccable? I’d be so much more strong in my khushoo3 in everything I do. May Allaah swt guide us to that which is pleasing to Him swt in this life and the next ameen.

    Read: Anfal Ayat 40-52 it’s about Badr but I’m on the search for “tawwakul a’Allaah” ayaat for imaan boost and somehow these came across my way. Listen along with Shaykh Yassir Filkawi, recitation is slow but melodic.

    Miss you soul sister 🙂

    • I really, really needed that. I can’t describe to you the anguish I was in just a moment ago, and listening to his recitation…it was like water on the fire.

      Allah has truly blessed me with sisters who, even thousands of miles away can make me feel they are with me always. He is truly the Merciful, the Beneficent.

      Love you for the sake of the One who I hope loves us both in return.

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