The history of the messengers: Moses

The history of the messengers: Moses

The history of the messengers: Moses

The killing of the sons of Mosesnation

The children of Israel carefully considered what had been said among themselves, generation after another, about Prophet Abraham (pbuh): that from his descendants there would emerge a boy who would cause the fall of the king of Egypt. This news was so well-known among the children of Israel that it reached the Pharaoh, after being mentioned to him by some of his princes. As a result and a precautionary measure, Pharaoh ordered that the sons of the children of Israel be killed to prevent such a boy from ever existing. Under the rule of Pharaoh, the children of Israel lived in oppression and injustice. {Verily, Fir’aun (Pharaoh) exalted himself in the land and made its people sects, weakening (oppressing) a group (i.e. Children of Israel) among them, killing their sons, and letting their females live. Verily, he was of the Mufsidûn (i.e. those who commit great sins and crimes, oppressors, tyrants, etc.).{ (Al-Qasas:4)

Allah wanted to bless the besieged children of Israel. 5. And We wished to do a favour to those who were weak (and oppressed) in the land, and to make them rulers and to make them the inheritors, 6. And to establish them in the land, and We let Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and Hâmân and their hosts receive from them that which they feared.(Al-Qasas:5-6)

The story of his birth and upbringing

Pharaoh was extremely careful in ensuring that Moses would not be born, to the extent that he ordered his minions and midwives to circulate and ask pregnant women about their due dates; so the moment a male was born, he was immediately slaughtered by his butchers. However Allah wanted to show Pharaoh, Haman and their soldiers that which they feared, and when the mother of Moses gave birth to him, she knew she had to dispose of him or he would be slaughtered. {And We inspired the mother of Mûsa (Moses), (saying): “Suckle him [Mûsa (Moses)], but when you fear for him, then cast him into the river and fear not, nor grieve. Verily! We shall bring him back to you, and shall make him one of (Our) Messengers.”}(Al-Qasas:7)

She feared for him and thus she put him in a wicker basket and cast him into the river. {Then the household of Fir’aun (Pharaoh) picked him up, that he might become for them an enemy and a (cause of) grief. Verily! Fir’aun (Pharaoh), Hâmân and their hosts were sinners.}(Al-Qasas:8)

The love for Moses was placed in the heart of Pharaoh’s wife. And the wife of Fir’aun (Pharaoh) said: “A comfort of the eye for me and for you. Kill him not, perhaps he may be of benefit to us, or we may adopt him as a son.” And they perceive not (the result of that).(Al-Qasas:9)

As for Moses’ mother, she put her trust in Allah. {10. And the heart of the mother of Mûsa (Moses) became empty [from every thought, except the thought of Mûsa (Moses)]. She was very near to disclose his (case, i.e. the child is her son), had We not strengthened her heart (with Faith), so that she might remain as one of the believers. 11. And she said to his [Musa’s (Moses)] sister: “Follow him.” So she (his sister) watched him from a far place secretly, while they perceived not. 12. And We had already forbidden (other) foster suckling mothers for him, until she (his sister came up and) said: “Shall I direct you to a household who will rear him for you, and sincerely they will look after him in a good manner?” 13. So did We restore him to his mother, that she might be delighted, and that she might not grieve, and that she might know that the Promise of Allâh is true. But most of them know not.}(Al-Qasas:10-13)

So it came to be that Prophet Moses (pbuh), Pharaoh’s sworn enemy, was raised in his own home, right under his nose. {14. And when he attained his full strength, and was perfect (in manhood), We bestowed on him Hukman (Prophethood, right judgement of the affairs) and religious knowledge [of the religion of his forefathers i.e. Islâmic Monotheism]. And thus do We reward the Muhsinûn (i.e. good doers - see the footnote of V.9:120). 15. And he entered the city at a time of unawareness of its people, and he found there two men fighting, - one of his party (his religion - from the Children of Israel), and the other of his foes. The man of his (own) party asked him for help against his foe, so Mûsa (Moses) struck him with his fist and killed him. He said: “This is of Shaitân’s (Satan) doing, verily, he is a plain misleading enemy.” 16. He said: “My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself, so forgive me.” Then He forgave him. Verily, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. 17. He said: “My Lord! For that with which You have favoured me, I will never more be a helper for the Mujrimûn (criminals, disobedient to Allâh, polytheists, sinners, etc.)!”}(Al-Qasas:14-17)

Allah's prophet, Shuaib

However, after he killed his enemy and the enemy of the Israeli man, his plight continued. {18. So he became afraid, looking about in the city (waiting as to what will be the result of his crime of killing), when behold, the man who had sought his help the day before called for his help (again). Mûsa (Moses) said to him: “Verily, you are a plain misleader!” 19. Then when he decided to seize the man who was an enemy to both of them, the man said: “O Mûsa (Moses)! Is it your intention to kill me as you killed a man yesterday? Your aim is nothing but to become a tyrant in the land, and not to be one of those who do right.” 20. And there came a man running, from the farthest end of the city. He said: “O Mûsa (Moses)! Verily, the chiefs are taking counsel together about you, to kill you, so escape. Truly, I am to you of those who give sincere advice.” 21. So he escaped from there, looking about in a state of fear. He said: “My Lord! Save me from the people who are Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers)!”}(Al-Qasas:18-21)

Thus, he headed out of Egypt toward the city of Madian. {22. And when he went towards (the land of) Madyan (Midian) he said: “It may be that my Lord guides me to the Right Way.” 23. And when he arrived at the water of Madyan (Midian) he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: “What is the matter with you?” They said: “We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take (their flocks). And our father is a very old man.” 24. So he watered (their flocks) for them, then he turned back to shade, and said: “My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!”}(Al-Qasas:22-24)

The two daughters of Prophet Shu’aib (pbuh) told their father about what Moses had done for them and his act of chivalry. Prophet Shu’aib then sent one of his daughters to Moses: {Then there came to him one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: “Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us.”{ (Al-Qasas:25)

Prophet Moses came to Prophet Shu’aib. {So when he came to him and narrated the story, he said: “Fear you not. You have escaped from the people who are Zâlimûn (polytheists, disbelievers, and wrong-doers).”}(Al-Qasas:25)

When Shu’aib’s daughter saw how trustworthy Moses (pbuh) was. {And said one of them (the two women): “O my father! Hire him! Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy.”}(Al-Qasas:26)

Afterwards, Shu’aib asked Moses: {27. He said: “I intend to wed one of these two daughters of mine to you, on condition that you serve me for eight years, but if you complete ten years, it will be (a favour) from you. But I intend not to place you under a difficulty. If Allâh wil?l, you will find me one of the righteous.” 28. He [Mûsa (Moses)] said: “That (is settled) between me and you.? whichever of the two terms I fulfill, there will be no injustice to me, and Allâh is Surety over what we say.”{ (Al-Qasas:27-28)

Calling Pharaoh

When Moses had fulfilled the term which they had agreed upon, he traveled with his family. {Then, when Mûsa (Moses) had fulfilled the term, and was travelling with his family, he saw a fire in the direction of Tûr (Mount). He said to his family: “Wait, I have seen a fire; perhaps I may bring to you from there some information, or a burning fire-brand that you may warm yourselves.”}(Al-Qasas:29)

Subsequently, he received the revelation from Allah. {30. So when he reached it (the fire), he was called from the right side of the valley, in the blessed place from the tree: “O Mûsa (Moses)! Verily! I am Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists)! 31. “And throw your stick!” But when he saw it moving as if it were a snake, he turned in flight, and looked not back. (It was said): “O Mûsa (Moses)! Draw near, and fear not. Verily, you are of those who are secure. 32. “Put your hand in your bosom, it will come forth white without a disease, and draw your hand close to your side to be free from fear (that which you suffered from the snake, and also by that your hand will return to its original state). These are two Burhân (signs, miracles, evidences, proofs) from your Lord to Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and his chiefs. Verily, they are the people who are Fâsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).}(Al-Qasas:30-32)

However, Moses (pbuh) was apprehensive of Pharaoh, because of the murder he had committed, and because of the stutter in his speech. {33. He said: “My Lord! I have killed a man among them, and I fear that they will kill me.” 34. “And my brother Hârûn (Aaron) he is more eloquent in speech than me so send him with me as a helper to confirm me. Verily! I fear that they will belie me.”{ (Al-Qasas:33-34)

He asked Allah (Glorified be He) to aid him with his brother Aaron and make him a minister with him. {29. “And appoint for me a helper from my family, 30. Hârûn (Aaron), my brother; 31. Increase my strength with him, 32. And let him share my task (of conveying Allâh’s Message and Prophethood), 33. That we may glorify You much, 34. And remember You much, 35. Verily! You are of us Ever a Well-Seer.” 36. Allâh said: “You are granted your request, O Mûsa (Moses)!”}(Tâ¬-Hâ:29-36)

Off they went to Pharaoh to convey the call to worship Allah Alone, taking no partner with Him, and to demand the release of the oppressed captives from his grip and power, i.e. the Children of Israel. They demanded, in the name of Allah, that Pharaoh let them worship their Lord and God where they choose, and dedicate themselves to His Oneness, and supplicate and beseech Him much. Despite this, Pharaoh was filled with conceit, insolence and tyranny; he looked at Moses with contempt and derogation, and said to him: 18. [Fir’aun (Pharaoh)] said [to Mûsa (Moses)]: “Did we not bring you up among us as a child? And you did dwell many years of your life with us.” 19. “And you did your deed, which you did (i.e. the crime of killing a man). And you are one of the ingrates.” (Ash-Shu’arâ’:18-19)

Moses replied: {Mûsa (Moses) said: “I did it then, when I was an ignorant (as regards my Lord and His Message).}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:20)

That is, before he received Allah’s revelation. {“So I fled from you when I feared you. But my Lord has granted me Hukman (i.e. religious knowledge, right judgement of the affairs and Prophethood), and appointed me as one of the Messengers.}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:21)

Next, he replied to Pharaoh about what he had bestowed on him by rearing him and the kindness he had showed to him. {“And this is the past favour with which you reproach me, that you have enslaved the Children of Israel.”(Ash-Shu’arâ’:22)

That is, did this act of benevolence which Pharaoh mentioned, that he showed kindness to Moses, give Pharaoh the right to manipulate all of this great nation, of which Moses was one, and enslave them by using them for his works and in his service. Next Pharaoh questioned Moses about his Lord: {Fir’aun (Pharaoh) said: “And what is the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists)?”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:23)

A convincing answer was given. {Mûsa (Moses) said: “Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, if you seek to be convinced with certainty.”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:24)

Pharaoh began to ridicule everything. {Fir’aun (Pharaoh) said to those around: “Do you not hear (what he says)?”{ (Ash-Shu’arâ’:25)

Yet, Moses continued his call to Allah’s guidance. {Mûsa (Moses) said: “Your Lord and the Lord of your ancient fathers!”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:26)

In spite of this, Pharaoh became even more impudent. {Fir’aun (Pharaoh) said: “Verily, your Messenger who has been sent to you is a madman!”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:27)

However, Moses, the Messenger of Allah, was tenacious and did not give up his case. {Mûsa (Moses) said: “Lord of the east and the west, and all that is between them, if you did but understand!”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:28)

Pharaoh, the arrogant dictator, who had lost the argument, his reason and logic, threatened Moses. {Fir’aun (Pharaoh) said: “If you choose an ilâh (god) other than me, I will certainly put you among the prisoners.”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:29)

Since ridicule and mockery did not distract Moses (pbuh) from his call to Allah’s path, neither did the threats, he replied: {30. Mûsa (Moses) said: “Even if I bring you something manifest (and convincing)?” 31. Fir’aun (Pharaoh) said: “Bring it forth then, if you are of the truthful!” 32. So [Mûsa (Moses)] threw his stick, and behold, it was a serpent, manifest. 33. And he drew out his hand, and behold, it was white to all beholders!}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:30-34)

Pharaoh feared that his people might believe in Moses’ message. {34. [Fir’aun (Pharaoh)] said to the chiefs around him: “Verily! This is indeed a well-versed sorcerer.” 35. “He wants to drive you out of your land by his sorcery, then what is it your counsel, and what do you command?” 36. They said: “Put him off and his brother (for a while), and send callers to the cities;” 37. “To bring up to you every well-versed sorcerer.”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:34-37)

The story of Pharaoh's magicians

After Pharaoh heard all of Moses’ sound arguments, he became even more arrogant and continued to reject the call to Allah. {56. And indeed We showed him [Fir’aun (Pharaoh)] all Our Signs and Evidences, but he denied and refused. 57. He [Fir’aun (Pharaoh)] said: “Have you come to drive us out of our land with your magic, O Mûsa (Moses)?” 58. “Then verily, we can produce magic the like thereof; so appoint a meeting between us and you, which neither we, nor you shall fail to keep, in an open wide place where both shall have a just and equal chance (and beholders could witness the competition).” 59. [Mûsa (Moses)] said: “Your appointed meeting is the day of the festival, and let the people assemble when the sun has risen (forenoon).” 60. So Fir’aun (Pharaoh) withdrew, devised his plot and then came back.}(Tâ¬-Hâ:56-60)

Prophet Moses feared that they would be eternally tormented in hell. {Mûsa (Moses) said to them: “Woe unto you! Invent not a lie against Allâh, lest He should destroy you completely by a torment. And surely, he who invents a lie (against Allâh) will fail miserably.”}(Tâ¬-Hâ:61)

They disagreed among themselves, and some of them said that they were not the words of a magician. {Then they debated with one another what they must do, and they kept their talk secret.}(Tâ¬-Hâ:62)

However, they returned and most of them said: {63. They said: “Verily! These are two magicians. Their object is to drive you out from your land with magic, and overcome your chiefs and nobles.” 64. “So devise your plot, and then assemble in line. And whoever overcomes this day will be indeed successful.” (Tâ¬-Hâ:63-64) 65. They said: “O Mûsa (Moses)! Either you throw first or we be the first to throw?” 66. [Mûsa (Moses)] said: “Nay, throw you (first)!” Then behold, their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast.}(Tâ¬-Hâ:65-66)

He was afraid that the magicians might enchant the people. {So Mûsa (Moses) conceived a fear in himself.{ (Tâ¬-Hâ:67)

Next came the command from Allah. }68. We (Allâh) said: “Fear not! Surely, you will have the upper hand.” 69. “And throw that which is in your right hand! It will swallow up that which they have made. That which they have made is only a magician’s trick, and the magician will never be successful, no matter whatever amount (of skill) he may attain.”}(Tâ¬-Hâ:68-69){117. And We inspired Mûsa (Moses) (saying): “Throw your stick,” and behold! It swallowed up straight away all the falsehoods which they showed. 118. Thus truth was confirmed, and all that they did was made of no effect.}(Al-A’râf:117-118)

Afterwards came the most unexpected surprise! {119. So they were defeated there and then, and were returned disgraced.120. And the sorcerers fell down prostrate.121. They said: “We believe in the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists).”122. “The Lord of Mûsa (Moses) and Hârûn (Aaron).”}(Al-A’râf:119-122){So the magicians fell down prostrate. They said: “We believe in the Lord of Hârûn (Aaron) and Mûsa (Moses).”}(Tâ¬-Hâ:70)

But Pharaoh’s reply to them was a senseless threat. {[Fir’aun (Pharaoh)] said: “Believe you in him [Mûsa (Moses)] before I give you permission? Verily! He is your chief who taught you magic. So I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will surely crucify you on the trunks of date-palms.”}(Tâ¬-Hâ:71)

Their reply to him was unforeseen, and a proof of how much faith can affect the one who believes: {50. They said: “No harm! Surely, to our Lord (Allâh) we are to return;”51. “Verily! We really hope that our Lord will forgive us our sins, as we are the first of the believers [in Mûsa (Moses) and in the Monotheism which he has brought from Allâh].”}Ash-Shu’arâ’:50-51)

The drowning of Pharaoh

Pharaoh continued to inflict injury upon the believers. Allah, therefore, punished him and those who followed him. {130. And indeed We punished the people of Fir’aun (Pharaoh) with years of drought and shortness of fruits (crops, etc.), that they might remember (take heed). 131. But whenever good came to them, they said: “Ours is this.” And if evil afflicted them, they ascribed it to evil omens connected with Mûsa (Moses) and those with him. Be informed! Verily, their evil omens are with Allâh but most of them know not.}(Al-A’râf:130-131)

Still, they neither believed nor did they repent. {132. They said [to Mûsa (Moses)]: “Whatever Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) you may bring to us, to work therewith your sorcery on us, we shall never believe in you.” 133. So We sent on them: the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs, and the blood: (as a succession of) manifest signs, yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were Mujrimûn (criminals, polytheists, sinners, etc.).}(Al-A’râf:132-133)

Soon they became exhausted and felt overcome {134. And when the punishment fell on them they said: “O Mûsa (Moses)! Invoke your Lord for us because of His Promise to you. If you will remove the punishment from us, we indeed shall believe in you, and we shall let the Children of Israel go with you.”135. But when We removed the punishment from them to a fixed term, which they had to reach, behold! They broke their word!}(Al-A’râf:134-135)

In fact, they did not fulfill any of what they had said and promised, but instead fell far short from fulfilling these promises. {So We took retribution from them. We drowned them in the sea, because they belied Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and were heedless about them.}(Al-A’râf:136)

The disbelieving folk of Egypt persisted in their polytheism, insolence and stubbornness in accordance with their ruler Pharoah, and in contradiction to Allah’s prophet and messenger, the one who Allah talked to, Moses, the son of Amran (pbuh). Allah established a powerful and weighty argument against the disbelievers of Egypt. Moreover, he performed manifest, supernatural signs that dazzled their eyes and baffled their minds. Nevertheless, they neither refrained from nor abandoned their actions. Only a few of Pharaoh’s followers believed in Moses’ message, in addition to all the magicians and the children of Israel. However, they hid their belief from Pharaoh, for they were frightened of his tyranny and authority. Allah inspired Moses and his brother Aaron (may peace be upon them both) to mark their peoples’ dwellings in order to make them distinct from the houses of the disbelievers, so they would be ready to leave when ordered. The other reason for this was so that they might easily recognize each other’s houses from that of the disbelievers, and that they were commanded to worship Allah in them. {And We inspired Mûsa (Moses) and his brother (saying): “Take dwellings for your people in Egypt, and make your dwellings as places for your worship, and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and give glad tidings to the believers.”}(Yûnus:87)

Subsequently, Allah revealed the following to his servant, Moses: }And We inspired Mûsa (Moses), saying: “Take away My slaves by night, verily, you will be pursued.”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:52)

Upon that Pharaoh replied: {53. Then Fir’aun (Pharaoh) sent callers to (all) the cities. 54. (Saying): “Verily! These indeed are but a small band.” 55. “And verily, they have done what has enraged us;” 56. “But we are host all assembled, amply fore-warned.”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:53-56)

It was Allah’s will: {57. So, We expelled them from gardens and springs, 58. Treasures, and every kind of honourable place.59. Thus [We turned them (Pharaoh’s people) out] and We caused the Children of Israel to inherit them.}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:57-59)

Soon they were hot on their tracks. {So they pursued them at sunrise.}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:60)

When they were in eyesight of the Children of Israel. {And when the two hosts saw each other, the companions of Mûsa (Moses) said: “We are sure to be overtaken.”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:61)

However, the reply of Moses, the messenger of Allah (pbuh), was full of confidence and trust in Allah the Almighty. {[Mûsa (Moses)] said: “Nay, verily! With me is my Lord, He will guide me.”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:62)

Allah’s Guidance and Mercy descended on them. {63. Then We inspired Mûsa (Moses) (saying): “Strike the sea with your stick.” And it parted, and each separate part (of that sea water) became like the huge, firm mass of a mountain. 64. Then We brought near the others [Fir’aun’s (Pharaoh) party] to that place. 65. And We saved Mûsa (Moses) and all those with him. 66. Then We drowned the others. 67. Verily! In this is indeed a sign (or a proof), yet most of them are not believers. 68. And verily, your Lord! He is truly the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful.}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:63-68)

At this dreadful moment. {And We took the Children of Israel across the sea, and Fir’aun (Pharaoh) with his hosts followed them in oppression and enmity}(Yûnus:90)

It was here that Pharaoh realized they would drown and be killed by the water gushing forth. {..till when drowning overtook him, he said: “I believe that Lâ ilâha illa (Huwa): (none has the right to be worshipped but) He,” in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims (those who submit to Allâh’s Will).”}(Yûnus:90)

Nonetheless, it was too late to repent; for death had overtaken them. {Now (you believe) while you refused to believe before and you were one of the Mufsidûn (evil-doers, corrupts, etc.).}(Yûnus:91)

Meeting his Lord at an appointed time and place, and the children of Israel worshipping a calf

So Allah perfected His Grace on the Children of Israel by drowning their enemy. And when they crossed the sea: {And We brought the Children of Israel (with safety) across the sea, and they came upon a people devoted to some of their idols (in worship). They said: “O Mûsa (Moses)! Make for us an ilâhan (a god) as they have âliha (gods).”}(Al-A’râf:138)

What a senseless thing to request after the grace that Allah had granted them by saving them from Pharaoh and his soldiers. {138. He said: “Verily, you are a people who know not (the Majesty and Greatness of Allâh and what is obligatory upon you, i.e. to worship none but Allâh Alone, the One and the Only God of all that exists).” 139. [Mûsa (Moses) added:] “Verily, these people will be destroyed for that which they are engaged in (idols-worship). And all that they are doing is in vain.”}0

Consequently, prophet Moses went to meet his Lord at an appointed time and place. {And We appointed for Mûsa (Moses) thirty nights and added (to the period) ten (more), and he completed the term, appointed by his Lord, of forty nights. And Mûsa (Moses) said to his brother Hârûn (Aaron): “Replace me among my people, act in the Right Way (by ordering the people to obey Allâh and to worship Him Alone) and follow not the way of the Mufsidûn (mischief-makers).”}(Al-A’râf:142)

Allah spoke to Moses and favored him with His words and message. }(Allâh) said: “O Mûsa (Moses) I have chosen you above men by My Messages, and by My speaking (to you). So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful.”}(Al-A’râf:144)

He blessed him with advice for and the lesson that was drawn from all things, and the Torah which contains Allah’s laws. {And We wrote for him on the Tablets the lesson to be drawn from all things and the explanation of all things (and said): Hold unto these with firmness, and enjoin your people to take the better therein. I shall show you the home of Al-Fâsiqûn (the rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).}(Al-A’râf:145)

When the meeting had concluded and Allah had given Moses the Torah, he returned to his people and found them worshipping a calf: {148. And the people of Mûsa (Moses) made in his absence, out of their ornaments, the image of a calf (for worship). It had a sound (as if it was mooing). Did they not see that it could neither speak to them nor guide them to the way? They took it for worship and they were Zâlimûn (wrong-doers). 149. And when they regretted and saw that they had gone astray, they (repented and) said: “If our Lord have not mercy upon us and forgive us, we shall certainly be of the losers.”}(Al-A’râf:148-149)

The impact of this profound news was very great on Moses. {150. And when Mûsa (Moses) returned to his people, angry and grieved, he said: “What an evil thing is that which you have done (i.e. worshipping the calf) during my absence. Did you hasten and go ahead as regards the matter of your Lord (you left His worship)?” And he threw down the Tablets and seized his brother by (the hair of) his head and dragged him towards him. Hârûn (Aaron) said: “O son of my mother! Indeed the people judged me weak and were about to kill me, so make not the enemies rejoice over me, nor put me amongst the people who are Zâlimûn (wrong-doers).” 151. Mûsa (Moses) said: “O my Lord! Forgive me and my brother, and make us enter into Your Mercy, for you are the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.”}(Al-A’râf:150-151)

He addressed the Samaritan who had crafted the calf, and said to him: {[Mûsa (Moses)] said: “And what is the matter with you. O Samiri? (i.e. why did you do so?)”}(Tâ¬-Hâ:95)

The Samaritan replied: {(Samiri) said: “I saw what they saw not, so I took a handful (of dust) from the hoof print of the messenger [Jibrael’s (Gabriel) horse] and threw it [into the fire in which were put the ornaments of the Fir’aun’s (Pharaoh) people, or into the calf]. Thus my inner-self suggested to me.”}(Tâ¬-Hâ:96)

Moses’ reply was strong and conclusive in relation to ascribing gods with Allah. {97. Mûsa (Moses) said: “Then go away! And verily, your (punishment) in this life will be that you will say: “Touch me not (i.e. you will live alone exiled away from mankind); and verily (for a future torment), you have a promise that will not fail. And look at your ilâh (god), to which you have been devoted. We will certainly burn it, and scatter its particles in the sea.” 98. “Your Ilâh (God) is only Allâh, the One (Lâ ilâha illa Huwa) (none has the right to be worshipped but He). He has full knowledge of all things.”{ (Tâ¬-Hâ:97-98)

Afterwards, Moses (pbuh) led his people towards the Holy Land, after collecting the tablets. {And when the anger of Mûsa (Moses) was appeased, he took up the Tablets, and in their inscription was guidance and mercy for those who fear their Lord.}(Al-A’râf:154)

Some of the children of Israel did not accept some of what the Torah contained. Thus, as a sign, Allah raised the mountain above them. {And (remember) when We raised the mountain over them as if it had been a canopy, and they thought that it was going to fall on them. (We said): “Hold firmly to what We have given you [i.e. the Taurât (Torah)], and remember that which is therein (act on its commandments), so that you may fear Allâh and obey Him.”}(Al-A’râf:171)They adhered to the Torah only out of fear that the mountain would fall on them, despite the fact that it served as a guidance and mercy to them.

The cow of the children of Israel

The narrow-mindedness of the children of Israel with Allah’s prophet, Moses (pbuh), did not stop there. One of them unjustly took the life of a soul of a wealthy man from the children of Israel. It was the nephew of the rich man who had gone to him in the night and murdered him! Those accused disagreed among each other, and each person denied the charge. Thus, they went to ask Moses, the Messenger of Allah, for his judgment. They said narrow-mindedly and insolently, that if Moses really was a prophet that he should ask his Lord to reveal who committed the crime! Allah ordered Moses to command the children of Israel to take a cow and slaughter it. Then they were to take a part from that cow and hit the dead person with it. Allah said that He would resurrect him and that he would speak and tell them who the person was that had committed the murder. Allah says: {72. And (remember) when you killed a man and fell into dispute among yourselves as to the crime. But Allâh brought forth that which you were hiding. 73. So We said: “Strike him (the dead man) with a piece of it (the cow).” Thus Allâh brings the dead to life and shows you His Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) so that you may understand.}(Al-Baqarah:72-73)

“Slaughter a cow!” Moses said, adding that if they took any cow, it would be sufficient for them. But instead, they were stubborn. Allah said the following through the tongue of His prophet, Moses: {“Verily, Allâh commands you that you slaughter a cow.” They said, “Do you make fun of us?” He said, “I take Allâh’s Refuge from being among Al-Jâhilûn (the ignorants or the foolish).”}(Al-Baqarah:67)

The children of Israel replied: {They said, “Call upon your Lord for us that He may make plain to us what it is!”}(Al-Baqarah:68)

They were an obstinate people and for that Allah made this matter difficult for them. {He said, “He says, ‘Verily, it is a cow neither too old nor too young}(Al-Baqarah:68)

Moses said that it should be a cow which was neither very old nor very young. {He said, “He says, ‘Verily, it is a cow neither too old nor too young, but (it is) between the two conditions’, so do what you are commanded.”}(Al-Baqarah:68)

They tightened the circle even more around themselves. {They said, “Call upon your Lord for us to make plain to us its colour.”}(Al-Baqarah:69)

But Allah had not mention any detail about the color, since it was not a prerequisite, {He said, “He says, ‘It is a yellow cow, bright in its colour, pleasing to the beholders.’ “}(Al-Baqarah:69)

They argued in a closed meeting among themselves for a while, and then they returned to Moses. {They said, “Call upon your Lord for us to make plain to us what it is. Verily to us all cows are alike, And surely, if Allâh wills, we will be guided.”}(Al-Baqarah:70)

He replied to them: {He [Mûsa (Moses)] said, “He says, ‘It is a cow neither trained to till the soil nor water the fields, sound, having no other colour except bright yellow.’” They said, “Now you have brought the truth.” So they slaughtered it though they were near to not doing it.}(Al-Baqarah:71)

Thus, they sent agents to circulate the cities and the villages of the children of Israel, one by one, until they found the cow after much difficulty and at a high cost. Finally, they slaughtered it, though they were near to not doing so, and then they hit the dead body, whose killer they differed about, with a part of the cow. Suddenly and miraculously the dead body sprung up from his grave by Allah’s will and stood in front of them, alive and well. Consequently, Moses asked him who had killed him. He said that it was such and such a person. {So We said: “Strike him (the dead man) with a piece of it (the cow).” Thus Allâh brings the dead to life and shows you His Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) so that you may understand.}(Al-Baqarah:73)

And when they reached the Holy Land, they found people of tyrannical strength residing there. {20. And (remember) when Mûsa (Moses) said to his people: “O my people! Remember the Favour of Allâh to you, when He made Prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the ‘Alamîn (mankind and jinns, in the past).” 21. “O my people! Enter the holy land (Palestine) which Allâh has assigned to you, and turn not back (in flight) for then you will be returned as losers.” 22. They said: “O Mûsa (Moses)! In it (this holy land) are a people of great strength, and we shall never enter it, till they leave it; when they leave, then we will enter.” (Al-Mâ’idah:20-22)They said: “O Mûsa (Moses)! We shall never enter it as long as they are there. So go you and your Lord and fight you two, we are sitting right here.”}(Al-Mâ’idah:24)

Allah dispraised their slackness and abandonment of jihad; He punished them by making them wander throughout the land for contradicting their messenger. Moses said: {He [Mûsa (Moses)] said: “O my Lord! I have power only over myself and my brother, so separate us from the people who are the Fâsiqûn (rebellious and disobedient to Allâh)!”}(Al-Mâ’idah:25)

Allah responded: (Allâh) said: {“Therefore it (this holy land) is forbidden to them for forty years; in distraction they will wander through the land. So be not sorrowful over the people who are the Fâsiqûn (rebellious and disobedient to Allâh).”}(Al-Mâ’idah:26)

They wandered aimlessly in the wilderness without any destination, for days and nights, in the morning and evening, for a total of 40 years.