وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ يَا قَوْمِ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَعَلَ فِيكُمْ أَنْبِيَاءَ وَجَعَلَكُمْ مُلُوكًا وَآتَاكُمْ مَا لَمْ يُؤْتِ أَحَدًا مِنَ الْعَالَمِينَ
And [mention, O Muhammad], when Moses said to his people, "O my people, remember the favor of Allah upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you possessors and gave you that which He had not given anyone among the worlds.
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(O Messenger! Let not them grieve thee who vie one with another in the race to disbelief…) [5:41-47]. AbuBakr Ahmad ibn al-Hasan al-Hiri informed us by dictation> Abu Muhammad, the chamberlain of Ibn Ahmadal-Tusi> Muhammad ibn Hammad al-Abiwardi> Abu Mu'awiyah> al-A'mash> 'Abd Allah ibn Murrah> al-Bara'ibn 'Azib who said: “One day, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, passed by aJewish man who had just been flogged and had his face darkened with coal. He summoned the Jews andasked them: 'Is this what your Scripture decrees as punishment for the adulterer?' 'Yes!' they replied. Hethen summoned one of their doctors and asked him: 'I implore you by Allah who has sent the Torah toMoses, is this what your Scripture decrees as punishment for the adulterer'. He said: 'No! And if you had notimplored me by Allah, I would not tell you. Our Scripture rules that the punishment of the adulterer isstoning. But it became widespread among our notables. Initially, when one of the notables committedadultery, we left him unpunished while we applied stoning on the communality in cases of adultery. Then wedecided to look for a punishment that was applied on both the notables and communality of people. And sowe agreed on darkening the face with coal and flogging to replace stoning'. The Messenger of Allah, Allahbless him and give him peace, said: 'O Allah! I am the first to reapply your command after they hadsuspended it'. And he ordered that the Jewish man be stoned. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed (OMessenger! Let not them grieve thee who vie one with another in the race to disbelief) up to His words (Ifthis be given unto you, receive it…), they said: 'Go to Muhammad; if he directs you to flog the adulterer anddarken his face with coal and apply flogging, then follow him. But do not follow him if he directs you toapply stoning on him'. Up to His words (Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such aredisbelievers) [5:44]. He said: 'This relates to the Jews'. Up to His words (Whoso judgeth not by that whichAllah hath revealed: such are wrong-doers) [5:45]. He said: 'This relates to the Christians'. Up to His words(Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are evil-livers) [5:47]. He said: 'This relates toall disbelievers'. Narrated by Muslim from Yahya ibn Yahya from Abu Mu'awiyah”. Abu 'Abd Allah ibn AbiIshaq informed us> Abu'l-Haytham Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ghawth al-Kindi> Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allahibn Sulayman al-Hadrami> Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah> Abu Mu'awiyah> al-A'mash> 'Abd Allah ibn Murrah>al-Bara' ibn 'Azib who related that the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, stoned a Jewish manand a Jewish woman and said afterwards: “(Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such aredisbelievers) [5:44], (Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are wrong-doers) [5:45],(Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are evil-livers) [5:47]. All these three verseswere revealed about the disbelievers”. This was narrated by Muslim from Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah.
وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ يَـقَوْمِ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَعَلَ فِيكُمْ أَنْبِيَآءَ وَجَعَلَكُمْ مُّلُوكاً وَءَاتَـكُمْ مَّا لَمْ يُؤْتِ أَحَداً مِّن الْعَـلَمِينَ - يَاقَوْمِ ادْخُلُوا الاٌّرْضَ المُقَدَّسَةَ الَّتِى كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلاَ تَرْتَدُّوا عَلَى أَدْبَـرِكُمْ فَتَنْقَلِبُوا خَـسِرِينَ - قَالُوا يَامُوسَى إِنَّ فِيهَا قَوْماً جَبَّارِينَ وَإِنَّا لَن نَّدْخُلَهَا حَتَّى يَخْرُجُواْ مِنْهَا فَإِن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّا دَخِلُونَ - قَالَ رَجُلاَنِ مِنَ الَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمَا ادْخُلُواْ عَلَيْهِمُ الْبَابَ فَإِذَا دَخَلْتُمُوهُ فَإِنَّكُمْ غَـلِبُونَ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَتَوَكَّلُواْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ - قَالُواْ يَـمُوسَى إِنَّا لَنْ نَّدْخُلَهَآ أَبَداً مَّا دَامُواْ فِيهَا فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلا إِنَّا هَـهُنَا قَـعِدُونَ - قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّى لا أَمْلِكُ إِلاَّ نَفْسِى وَأَخِى فَافْرُقْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ الْقَوْمِ الْفَـسِقِينَ - قَالَ فَإِنَّهَا مُحَرَّمَةٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً يَتِيهُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَلاَ تَأْسَ عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْفَـسِقِينَ
(20. And (remember) when Musa said to his people: "O my people! Remember the favor of Allah to you: when He made Prophets among you, made you kings and gave you what He had not given to any other among the nations (Al-
(21. "O my people! Enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and turn not back; for then you will be returned as losers.'')
(22. They said: "O Musa! In it are a people of great strength, and we shall never enter it, till they leave it; when they leave, then we will enter.'')
(23. Two men of those who feared (Allah and) on whom Allah had bestowed His grace said: "Assault them through the gate; for when you are in, victory will be yours. And put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed.'')
(24. They said: "O Musa! 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.'')
(25. He Musa said: "O my Lord! I have power only over myself and my brother, so Ifruq us from the rebellious people!'')
(26. (Allah) said: "Therefore it is forbidden to them for forty years; in distraction they will wander through the land. So do not greive for the rebellious people.'')
Allah states that His servant, Messenger, to whom He spoke directly, Musa, the son of `Imran, reminded his people that among the favors Allah granted them, is that He will give them all of the good of this life and the Hereafter, if they remain on the righteous and straight path. Allah said,
وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ يَـقَوْمِ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَعَلَ فِيكُمْ أَنْبِيَآءَ
(And (remember) when Musa said to his people: "O my people! Remember the favor of Allah to you, when He made Prophets among you,) for whenever a Prophet died, another rose among them, from the time of their father Ibrahim and thereafter. There were many Prophets among the Children of Israel calling to Allah and warning against His torment, until `Isa was sent as the final Prophet from the Children of Israel. Allah then sent down the revelation to the Final Prophet and Messenger, Muhammad, the son of `Abdullah, from the offspring of Isma`il, the son of Ibrahim, peace be upon them. Muhammad is the most honorable Prophet of all times. Allah said next,
(made you kings) `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Ibn `Abbas commented: "Having a servant, a wife and a house.'' In his Mustadrak, Al-Hakim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "A wife and a servant, and, a
وَءَاتَـكُمْ مَّا لَمْ يُؤْتِ أَحَداً مِّن الْعَـلَمِينَ
(and gave you what He had not given to any other among the nations (`Alamin).) means, during their time.'' Al-Hakim said, "Sahih according to the criteria of the Two Sahihs, but they did not collect it.'' Qatadah said, "They were the first people to take servants.'' A Hadith states,
«مَنْ أَصْبَحَ مِنْكُمْ مُعَافًى فِي جَسَدِهِ، آمِنًا فِي سِرْبِهِ، عِنْدَهُ قُوتُ يَوْمِهِ، فَكَأَنَّمَا حِيزَتْ لَهُ الدُّنْيَا بِحَذَافِيرِهَا»
(He among you who wakes up while healthy in body, safe in his family and having the provision for that very day, is as if the world and all that was in it were collected for him.) Allah's statement,
وَءَاتَـكُمْ مَّا لَمْ يُؤْتِ أَحَداً مِّن الْعَـلَمِينَ
(and gave you what He had not given to any other among the nations (Al-`Alamin).) means, during your time, as we stated. The Children of Israel were the most honorable among the people of their time, compared to the Greek, Copts and the rest of mankind. Allah said in another Ayah,
وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحُكْمَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ وَرَزَقْنَـهُمْ مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَـتِ وَفَضَّلْنَـهُمْ عَلَى الْعَـلَمينَ
(And indeed We gave the Children of Israel the Scripture, and the understanding of the Scripture and its laws, and the Prophethood; and provided them with good things, and preferred them above the nations (Al-`Alamin).) Allah said,
لَّهُمْ قَالُواْ يَمُوسَى اجْعَلْ لَّنَآ إِلَـهًا كَمَا لَهُمْ ءَالِهَةٌ قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ قَوْمٌ تَجْهَلُونَ
إِنَّ هَـؤُلاءِ مُتَبَّرٌ مَّا هُمْ فِيهِ وَبَـطِلٌ مَّا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ - قَالَ أَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ أَبْغِيكُمْ إِلَـهًا وَهُوَ فَضَّلَكُمْ عَلَى الْعَـلَمِينَ
(They said: "O Musa! Make for us a god as they have gods.'' He said: "Verily, you are an ignorant people.'' Musa added: "Verily, these people will be destroyed for that which they are engaged in (idol worship).'' And all that they are doing is in vain. He said: "Shall I seek for you a god other than Allah, while He has given you superiority over the nations.'') Therefore, they were the best among the people of their time. The Muslim Ummah is more respected and honored before Allah, and has a more perfect legislative code and system of life, it has the most honorable Prophet, the larger kingdom, more provisions, wealth and children, a larger domain and more lasting glory than the Children of Israel. Allah said,
وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَـكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِّتَكُونُواْ شُهَدَآءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ
(Thus We have made you, a just (the best) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind.) We mentioned the Mutawatir Hadiths about the honor of this Ummah and its status and honor with Allah, when we explained Allah's statement in Surah Al-`Imran (3),
كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ
(You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind...) Allah states next that Musa encouraged the Children of Israel to perform Jihad and enter Jerusalem, which was under their control during the time of their father Ya`qub. Ya`qub and his children later moved with his children and household to Egypt during the time of Prophet Yusuf. His offspring remained in Egypt until their exodus with Musa. They found a mighty, strong people in Jerusalem who had previously taken it over. Musa, Allah's Messenger, ordered the Children of Israel to enter Jerusalem and fight their enemy, and he promised them victory and triumph over the mighty people if they did so. They declined, rebelled and defied his order and were punished for forty years by being lost, wandering in the land uncertain of where they should go. This was their punishment for defying Allah's command. Allah said that Musa ordered them to enter the Holy Land,
الَّتِى كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ
(which Allah has assigned to you) meaning, which Allah has promised to you by the words of your father Isra'il, that it is the inheritance of those among you who believe.
وَلاَ تَرْتَدُّوا عَلَى أَدْبَـرِكُمْ
(and turn not back) in flight from Jihad.
فَتَنقَلِبُواْ خَـسِرِينَقَالُوا يَامُوسَى إِنَّ فِيهَا قَوْماً جَبَّارِينَ وَإِنَّا لَن نَّدْخُلَهَا حَتَّى يَخْرُجُواْ مِنْهَا فَإِن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّا دَخِلُونَ
(". ..for then you will be returned as losers.'' They said, "O Musa! In it are a people of great strength, and we shall never enter it, till they leave it; when they leave, then we will enter.") Their excuse was this, in this very town you commanded us to enter and fight its people, there is a mighty, strong, vicious people who have tremendous physique and physical ability. We are unable to stand against these people or fight them. Therefore, they said, we are incapable of entering this city as long as they are still in it, but if they leave it, we will enter it. Otherwise, we cannot stand against them.
قَالَ رَجُلاَنِ مِنَ الَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمَا
(Two men of those who feared (Allah and) on whom Allah had bestowed His grace said...) When the Children of Israel declined to obey Allah and follow His Messenger Musa, two righteous men among them, on whom Allah had bestowed a great bounty and who were afraid of Allah and His punishment, encouraged them to go forward. It was also said that the Ayah reads in a way that means that these men were respected and honored by their people. These two men were Yuwsha`, the son of Nun, and Kalib, the son of Yufna, as Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, `Atiyyah, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and several other Salaf and latter scholars stated. These two men said to their people,
ادْخُلُواْ عَلَيْهِمُ الْبَابَ فَإِذَا دَخَلْتُمُوهُ فَإِنَّكُمْ غَـلِبُونَ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَتَوَكَّلُواْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ
("Assault them through the gate, for when you are in, victory will be yours. And put your trust in Allah if you are believers indeed.") Therefore, they said, if you rely on and trust in Allah, follow His command and obey His Messenger, then Allah will give you victory over your enemies and will give you triumph and dominance over them. Thus, you will conquer the city that Allah has promised you. This advice did not benefit them in the least,
قَالُواْ يَـمُوسَى إِنَّا لَنْ نَّدْخُلَهَآ أَبَداً مَّا دَامُواْ فِيهَا فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلا إِنَّا هَـهُنَا قَـعِدُونَ
(They said, "O Musa! 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.") This is how they declined to join Jihad, defied their Messenger, and refused to fight their enemy.
Compare this to the better response the Companions gave to the Messenger of Allah during the battle of Badr, when he asked for their advice about fighting the Quraysh army that came to protect the caravan led by Abu Sufyan. When the Muslim army missed the caravan and the Quraysh army, between nine hundred and one thousand strong, helmeted and drawing closer, Abu Bakr stood up and said something good. Several more Muhajirin also spoke, all the while the Messenger of Allah saying,
«أشيروا علي أيها المسلمون»
(Advise me, O Muslims!) inquiring of what the Ansar, the majority then, had to say. Sa`d bin Mu`adh said, "It looks like you mean us, O Messenger of Allah! By He Who has sent you with the Truth! If you seek to cross this sea and went in it, we will follow you and none among us will remain behind. We would not hate for you to lead us to meet our enemy tomorrow. We are patient in war, vicious in battle. May Allah allow you to witness from our efforts what comforts your eyes. Therefore, march forward with the blessing of Allah.'' The Messenger of Allah () was pleased with the words of Sa`d and was encouraged to march on. Abu Bakr bin Marduwyah recorded that Anas said that when the Messenger of Allah went to Badr, he asked the Muslims for their opinion, and `Umar gave his. The Prophet again asked the Muslims for their opinion and the Ansar said, "O Ansar! It is you whom the Prophet wants to hear.'' They said, "We will never say as the Children of Israel said to Musa,
فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلا إِنَّا هَـهُنَا قَـعِدُونَ
(So go, you and your Lord, and fight you two, we are sitting right here.) By He Who has sent you with the Truth! If you took the camels to Bark Al-Ghimad (near Makkah) we shall follow you.'' Imam Ahmad, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Hibban also recorded this Hadith. In the Book of Al-Maghazi and At-Tafsir, Al-Bukhari recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "On the day of Badr, Al-Miqdad said, `O Messenger of Allah! We will never say to you what the Children of Israel said to Musa,
فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلا إِنَّا هَـهُنَا قَـعِدُونَ
(So go, you and your Lord, and fight you two, we are sitting right here.) Rather, march on and we will be with you.' The Messenger of Allah was satisfied after hearing this statement.''
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّى لا أَمْلِكُ إِلاَّ نَفْسِى وَأَخِى فَافْرُقْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ الْقَوْمِ الْفَـسِقِينَ
("O my Lord! I have power only over myself and my brother, so separate us from the rebellious people!") When the Children of Israel refused to fight, Musa became very angry with them and supplicated to Allah against them,
رَبِّ إِنِّى لا أَمْلِكُ إِلاَّ نَفْسِى وَأَخِى
(O my Lord! I have power only over myself and my brother') meaning, only I and my brother Harun among them will obey, implement Allah's command and accept the call,
فَافْرُقْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ الْقَوْمِ الْفَـسِقِينَ
(So Ifruq us from the rebellious people!) Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "Meaning, judge between us and them.'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported similarly from him. Ad-Dahhak said that the Ayah means, "Judge and decide between us and them.'' Other scholars said that the Ayah means, "Separate between us and them.''
فَإِنَّهَا مُحَرَّمَةٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً يَتِيهُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ
(Therefore it is forbidden to them for forty years; in distraction they will wander through the land.) When Musa supplicated against the Jews for refusing to fight in Jihad, Allah forbade them from entering the land for forty years. They wandered about lost in the land of At-Tih, unable to find their way out. During this time, tremendous miracles occurred, such as the clouds that shaded them and the manna and quails Allah sent down for them. Allah brought forth water springs from solid rock, and the other miracles that He aided Musa bin `Imran with. During this time, the Tawrah was revealed and the Law was established for the Children of Israel and the Tabernacle of the Covenant was erected.
(for forty years;) defines,
يَتِيهُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ
(in distraction they will wander through the land.) When these years ended, Yuwsha` bin Nun led those who remained among them and the second generation, and laid siege to Jerusalem, conquering it on a Friday afternoon. When the sun was about to set and Yuwsha` feared that the Sabbath would begin, he said (to the sun), "You are commanded and I am commanded, as well. O Allah! Make it stop setting for me.'' Allah made the sun stop setting until Yuwsha` bin Nun conquered Jerusalem. Next, Allah commanded Yuwsha` to order the Children of Israel to enter Jerusalem from its gate while bowing and saying Hittah, meaning, `remove our sins.' Yet, they changed what they were commanded and entered it while dragging themselves on their behinds and saying, `Habbah (a seed) in Sha`rah (a hair).'' We mentioned all of this in the Tafsir of Surat Al-Baqarah. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas commented,
فَإِنَّهَا مُحَرَّمَةٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً يَتِيهُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ
(Therefore it is forbidden to them for forty years; in distraction they will wander through the land.) "They wandered in the land for forty years, during which Musa and Harun died, as well as everyone above forty years of age. When the forty years ended, Yuwsha` son of Nun assumed their leadership and later conquered Jerusalem. When Yuwsha` was reminded that the day was Friday and the sun was about to set, while they were still attacking Jerusalem, he feared that the Sabbath might begin. Therefore, he said to the sun, `I am commanded and you are commanded.' Allah made the sun stop setting and the Jews conquered Jerusalem and found wealth unseen before. They wanted to let the fire consume the booty, but the fire would not do that. Yuwsha` said, `Some of you have committed theft from the booty.' So he summoned the twelve leaders of the twelve tribes and took the pledge from them. Then, the hand of one of them became stuck to the hand of Yuwsha` and Yuwsha` said, `You committed the theft, so bring it forth.' So, that man brought a cow's head made of gold with two eyes made of precious stones and a set of teeth made of pearls. When Yuwsha` added it to the booty, the fire consumed it, as they were prohibited to keep the booty.'' There is evidence supporting all of this in the Sahih.
Conforting Musa, Allah said
فَلاَ تَأْسَ عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْفَـسِقِينَ
(So do not greive for the rebellious people.) Allah said: Do not feel sorrow or sadness over My judgment against them, for they deserve such judgment. This story chastises the Jews, exposes their defiance of Allah and His Messenger, and their refusal to obey the order for Jihad. They were weak and could not bear the thought of fighting their enemy, being patient, and enduring this way. This occurred although they had the Messenger of Allah and the one whom He spoke to among them, the best of Allah's creation that time. Their Prophet promised them triumph and victory against their enemies. They also witnessed the torment and punishment of drowning with which Allah punished their enemy Fir`awn and his soldiers, so that their eyes were pleased and comforted. All this did not happen too long ago, yet they refused to perform Jihad against people who had less than a tenth of the power and strength than the people of Egypt had. Therefore, the evil works of the Jews were exposed to everyone, and the exposure was such an enormous one that the night, or the tail, can never cover its tracks. They were also blinded by their ignorance and transgression. Thus, they became hated by Allah, and they became His enemies. Yet, they claim that they are Allah's children and His loved ones! May Allah curse their faces that were transformed to the shape of swine and apes, and may Allah's curse accompany them to the raging Fire. May Allah make them abide in the Fire for eternity, and He did; all thanks are due to Him.