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Moses in Islam

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

category: Prophethood


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"We shaded them with the clouds and sent down upon them Al-Manna and the quail (saying): 'Eat of the good things with which We have provided you.' They harmed Us not but they used to harm themselves." [al-A'raaf 7:160]

Then they complained and said:

"'We cannot endure one kind of food. So invoke your Lord for us to bring forth for us of what the earth grows, its herbs, its cucumbers, its Foom (wheat or garlic), its lentils and its onions."" [al-Baqarah 2:61]

Allaah had promised Moosa that He would send down to him a Book containing commands and prohibitions for the Children of Israel. When Pharaoh was destroyed, Moosa asked Allaah his Lord for that Book. Allaah commanded him to fast for forty days. He appointed his brother Haaroon as his deputy to be in charge of his people, and he fasted for those days. Then Allaah revealed the Tawraat (Torah) to him at the mountain of al-Toor (Sinai), in which there were lessons and explanations of all things. When he came back to his people, he found them worshipping the calf, which al-Saamiri had made for them from their jewellery and had told them, "This is your god and the god of Moosa."

"Then he took out (of the fire) for them (a statue of) a calf which seemed to low. They said: 'This is your ilaah (god), and the ilaah (god) of Moosa (Moses), but he (Moosa (Moses)) has forgotten (his god).'"

"Did they not see that it could not return them a word (for answer), and that it had no power either to harm them or to do them good?"

"And Haaroon (Aaron) indeed had said to them beforehand: 'O my people! You are being tried in this, and verily, your Lord is (Allaah) the Most Gracious, so follow me and obey my order.'"

"They said: 'We will not stop worshipping it (i.e. the calf), until Moosa (Moses) returns to us.'" [Ta-Ha 20:88-91]

When Moosa came, he got angry with them and rebuked them, and explained the truth to them. Then he burned the calf, and threw it into the sea. He punished al-Saamiri and he subsequently felt pain from anything he touched.

The Children of Israel regretted having worshipped the calf. Moosa chose from among them seventy men and took them to the Mountain (al-Toor/Sinai) to worship Allaah and show their regret for what they had done. There Allaah spoke to Moosa, but some of them did not believe that Allaah was the One who had spoken to Moosa. So they disobeyed him and said, Show us Allaah plainly.

"And (remember) when you said: 'O Moosa (Moses)! We shall never believe in you until we see Allaah plainly.' But you were seized with a thunderbolt (lightning) while you were looking."

"Then We raised you up after your death, so that you might be grateful." [al-Baqarah 2:55-56]

When Moosa came back to the Children of Israel with the Tawraat, they refused to accept it and complained about its rulings. So he threatened them, then they accepted it, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And (O Children of Israel, remember) when We took your covenant and We raised above you the Mount (saying): 'Hold fast to that which We have given you, and remember that which is therein so that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)."

"Then after that you turned away. Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allaah upon you, indeed you would have been among the losers." [al-Baqarah 2:63-64]

Then Moosa commanded the Children of Israel to go with him to the Holy Land in Palestine, so they went with him, then they became afraid of its powerful inhabitants, so they disobeyed Moosa and rebelled against him:

"They said: 'O Moosa (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-Maa'idah 5:24]

So Moosa prayed against them, and Allaah answered his prayer. He told him that the Holy Land was forbidden to them, and they would wander in the land for forty years, so he should not grieve over them:

"He (Moosa (Moses)) said: 'O my Lord! I have power only over myself and my brother, so separate us from the people who are the Faasiqoon (rebellious and disobedient to Allaah)!'"

"(Allaah) 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 Faasiqoon (rebellious and disobedient to Allaah).'" [al-Maa'idah 5:25-26]

Moosa bore with patience the many complaints of the Children of Israel. During that period of wandering, Haaroon died, then Moosa died, and most of them also died. When that time came to an end, Yoosha' ibn Noon (Joshua the son of Nun) led them into the Holy Land and besieged it until he conquered it. He commanded them to enter the land prostrating, but they did not obey him, and entered it on their backsides.

Allaah bestowed great blessings upon the Children of Israel. He saved them from Pharaoh, and provided them with good things to eat. He made Prophets and kings from among them, and favoured them above all other people, but they were ungrateful for those blessings and did not appreciate them:

"And (remember) when Moosa (Moses) said to his people: 'O my people! Remember the Favour of Allaah to you: when He made Prophets among you, made you kings and gave you what He had not given to any other among the 'Aalameen (mankind and jinn, in the past).'" [al-Maa'idah 5:20]

The Jews say and do evil things which bring upon them the wrath and anger of Allaah.

They accused Allaah of being stingy:

"The Jews say: 'Allaah's Hand is tied up (i.e. He does not give and spend of His Bounty).' Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered. Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends (of His Bounty) as He wills." [al-Maa'idah 5:64]

By virtue of this serious lie, they became disbelievers:

"Indeed, Allaah has heard the statement of those (Jews) who say: 'Truly, Allaah is poor and we are rich!'" [Aal 'Imraan 3:181]

They attributed a son to Allaah; Allaah's curse be upon them, how they are deluded away from the truth!

"And the Jews say: 'Uzayr (Ezra) is the son of Allaah…" [al-Tawbah 9:30]

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