Friday, June 28, 2013

[2-82] The Best among the Children of Israel ask to see Allah; their subsequent Death and Resurrection

The Best among the Children of Israel ask to see Allah; their subsequent Death and Resurrection


Allah said, `Remember My favor on you for resurrecting you after you were seized with lightning when you asked to see Me directly, which neither you nor anyone else can bear or attain.' This was said by Ibn Jurayj. Ibn `Abbas said that the Ayah

[وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ يَـمُوسَى لَن نُّؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّى نَرَى اللَّهَ جَهْرَةً]

(And (remember) when you said: "O Musa ! We shall never believe in you until we see Allah plainly.'') means, "Publicly'', "So that we gaze at Allah.'' Also, `Urwah bin Ruwaym said that Allah's statement,

[وَأَنتُمْ تَنظُرُونَ]

(While you were looking) means, "Some of them were struck with lightning while others were watching.'' Allah resurrected those, and struck the others with lightning. As-Suddi commented on,

[فَأَخَذَتْكُمُ الصَّـعِقَةُ]

(But you were seized with a bolt of lightning) saying; "They died, and Musa stood up crying and supplicating to Allah, `O Lord! What should I say to the Children of Israel when I go back to them after You destroyed the best of them,

[لَوْ شِئْتَ أَهْلَكْتَهُم مِّن قَبْلُ وَإِيَّـىَ أَتُهْلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ السُّفَهَآءُ مِنَّآ]

(If it had been Your will, You could have destroyed them and me before; would You destroy us for the deeds of the foolish ones among us)' Allah revealed to Musa that these seventy men were among those who worshipped the calf. Afterwards, Allah brought them back to life one man at a time, while the rest of them were watching how Allah was bringing them back to life. That is why Allah's said,

[ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَـكُم مِّن بَعْدِ مَوْتِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ]

(Then We raised you up after your death, so that you might be grateful.)''

Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said, "Death was their punishment, and they were resurrected after they died so they could finish out their lives.'' Qatadah said similarly.

`Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam commented on this Ayah, "Musa returned from meeting with his Lord carrying the Tablets on which He wrote the Tawrah. He found that they had worshipped the calf in his absence. Consequently, he commanded them to kill themselves, and they complied, and Allah forgave them. He said to them, `These Tablets have Allah's Book, containing what He commanded you and what He forbade for you.' They said, `Should we believe this statement because you said it By Allah, we will not believe until we see Allah in the open, until He shows us Himself and says: This is My Book, therefore, adhere to it. Why does He not talk to us as He talked to you, O, Musa''' Then he (`Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd) recited Allah's statement,

[لَن نُّؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّى نَرَى اللَّهَ جَهْرَةً]

(We shall never believe in you until we see Allah plainly) and said, "So Allah's wrath fell upon them, a thunderbolt struck them, and they all died. Then Allah brought them back to life after He killed them.'' Then he (`Abdur-Rahman) recited Allah's statement,

[ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَـكُم مِّن بَعْدِ مَوْتِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ]

(Then We raised you up after your death, so that you might be grateful), and said, "Musa said to them, `Take the Book of Allah.' They said, `No.' He said, `What is the matter with you' They said, `The problem is that we died and came back to life.' He said, `Take the Book of Allah.' They said, `No.' So Allah sent some angels who made the mountain topple over them.''

This shows that the Children of Israel were required to fulfill the commandments after they were brought back to life. However, Al-Mawardy said that there are two opinions about this matter. The first opinion is that since the Children of Israel witnessed these miracles, they were compelled to believe, so they did not have to fulfill the commandments. The second opinion states that they were required to adhere to the commandments, so that no responsible adult is free of such responsibilities. Al-Qurtubi said that this is what is correct, because, he said, although the Children of Israel witnessed these tremendous calamities and incidents, that did not mean that they were not responsible for fulfilling the commandments any more. Rather they are responsible for that, and this is clear. Allah knows best.

[وَظَلَّلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْغَمَامَ وَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَنَّ وَالسَّلْوَى كُلُواْ مِن طَيِّبَـتِ مَا رَزَقْنَـكُمْ وَمَا ظَلَمُونَا وَلَـكِن كَانُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ ]

(57. And We shaded you with clouds and sent down on you Al-Manna and the quail, (saying): "Eat of the good lawful things We have provided for you,'' (but they rebelled). And they did not wrong Us but they wronged themselves.)

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