وَ لَمَّا وَقَعَ عَلَیۡہِمُ الرِّجۡزُ قَالُوۡا یٰمُوۡسَی ادۡعُ لَنَا رَبَّکَ بِمَا عَہِدَ عِنۡدَکَ ۚ لَئِنۡ کَشَفۡتَ عَنَّا الرِّجۡزَ لَنُؤۡمِنَنَّ لَکَ وَ لَنُرۡسِلَنَّ مَعَکَ بَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ ﴿۱۳۵﴾ۚ
وَلَمَّا وَقَعَ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلرِّجۡزُ قَالُواْ يَٰمُوسَى ٱدۡعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ بِمَا عَهِدَ عِندَكَۖ لَئِن كَشَفۡتَ عَنَّا ٱلرِّجۡزَ لَنُؤۡمِنَنَّ لَكَ وَلَنُرۡسِلَنَّ مَعَكَ بَنِيٓ إِسۡرَـٰٓءِيلَ
a. 43:50. (close)
a. 43:50. (close)
The words, according to that which He has promised to thee, may refer either to the promise which God made to Moses that He would listen to his prayers, or to the promise of God to forgive those who repented. The people of Pharaoh reminded Moses of these promises of God and asked him to pray to God in their behalf so that He might pardon them their sins and remove from them the punishments which had befallen them. The sentence may also mean, "pray for us to thy Lord, with the prayers which He has taught thee or in the way He has taught thee to pray." (close)
فَلَمَّا کَشَفۡنَا عَنۡہُمُ الرِّجۡزَ اِلٰۤی اَجَلٍ ہُمۡ بٰلِغُوۡہُ اِذَا ہُمۡ یَنۡکُثُوۡنَ ﴿۱۳۶﴾
فَلَمَّا كَشَفۡنَا عَنۡهُمُ ٱلرِّجۡزَ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍ هُم بَٰلِغُوهُ إِذَا هُمۡ يَنكُثُونَ
b. 43:5. (close)
1041. Ajal means both "term" and "end of term" (2:232). The punishment was removed only for a time to grant Pharaoh an opportunity to repent and comply with the demand of Moses. (close)
b. 43:51. (close)
1025. Important Words:
اجل (term) means both "term" and "end of term". See 2:232. The punishment was removed only for a time to grant Pharaoh an opportunity to repent and comply with the demand of Moses. (close)
فَانۡتَقَمۡنَا مِنۡہُمۡ فَاَغۡرَقۡنٰہُمۡ فِی الۡیَمِّ بِاَنَّہُمۡ کَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا وَ کَانُوۡا عَنۡہَا غٰفِلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۳۷﴾
فَٱنتَقَمۡنَا مِنۡهُمۡ فَأَغۡرَقۡنَٰهُمۡ فِي ٱلۡيَمِّ بِأَنَّهُمۡ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَٔايَٰتِنَا وَكَانُواْ عَنۡهَا غَٰفِلِينَ
c. 43:56. (close)
a. 43:56. (close)
1026. Important Words:
الیم (sea) is substantive from یم or یمم. The Arabs say یم الرجل i.e. the man was thrown into the sea; or he was drowned in the sea. یم الساحلmeans, the water of the sea or the water of the river overflowed its banks. الیم means, the sea; or the sea of unknown or unreached depth; a great body of water either salt or sweet (Lisan). The Quran uses the word یم both in the sense of sea (as in the present verse) and in the sense of a great river as in 20:40. See also 7:139 below. (close)
وَ اَوۡرَثۡنَا الۡقَوۡمَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَانُوۡا یُسۡتَضۡعَفُوۡنَ مَشَارِقَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ مَغَارِبَہَا الَّتِیۡ بٰرَکۡنَا فِیۡہَا ؕ وَ تَمَّتۡ کَلِمَتُ رَبِّکَ الۡحُسۡنٰی عَلٰی بَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ ۬ۙ بِمَا صَبَرُوۡا ؕ وَ دَمَّرۡنَا مَا کَانَ یَصۡنَعُ فِرۡعَوۡنُ وَ قَوۡمُہٗ وَ مَا کَانُوۡا یَعۡرِشُوۡنَ ﴿۱۳۸﴾
وَأَوۡرَثۡنَا ٱلۡقَوۡمَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَانُواْ يُسۡتَضۡعَفُونَ مَشَٰرِقَ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَمَغَٰرِبَهَا ٱلَّتِي بَٰرَكۡنَا فِيهَاۖ وَتَمَّتۡ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰ عَلَىٰ بَنِيٓ إِسۡرَـٰٓءِيلَ بِمَا صَبَرُواْۖ وَدَمَّرۡنَا مَا كَانَ يَصۡنَعُ فِرۡعَوۡنُ وَقَوۡمُهُۥ وَمَا كَانُواْ يَعۡرِشُونَ
d. 28:6. (close)
1042. The words, the eastern parts of the land and the western parts thereof, signify, according to Arabic idiom, the entire country. (close)
1043. The Holy Land which had been promised to the descendants of Abraham and Jacob (5:22). It was blessed because it was the land where the Israelites were to thrive and prosper and grow into a great nation. (close)
a. 32:25. (close)
b. 28:6. (close)
c. 32:25. (close)
1027. Important Words:
یعرشون (they erect) is formed from عرش i.e. he constructed or erected a structure for grapevines to rise and spread upon; or he erected or built a shed or an enclosure or a house, etc. (Lane). See also 2:260; 6:142.
The words, the eastern parts of the land and the western parts thereof, signify, according to Arabic idiom, the entire country.
The words, which We blessed, refer to the Holy Land which had been promised to the descendants of Abraham and Jacob (5:22). It was blessed because it was the land where the Israelites were to thrive and prosper and grow into a great nation. The words, And the gracious Word of thy Lord was fulfilled, mean that the promise which God had made to Abraham and Jacob came to pass.
The words, We destroyed all that Pharaoh and his people had built, mean that the great buildings and memorials erected by Pharaoh by unjustly exacting hard labour from the Children of Israel fell into ruin in the time of the dynasty that ruled Egypt after him. (close)
وَ جٰوَزۡنَا بِبَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ الۡبَحۡرَ فَاَتَوۡا عَلٰی قَوۡمٍ یَّعۡکُفُوۡنَ عَلٰۤی اَصۡنَامٍ لَّہُمۡ ۚ قَالُوۡا یٰمُوۡسَی اجۡعَلۡ لَّنَاۤ اِلٰـہًا کَمَا لَہُمۡ اٰلِـہَۃٌ ؕ قَالَ اِنَّکُمۡ قَوۡمٌ تَجۡہَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۳۹﴾
وَجَٰوَزۡنَا بِبَنِيٓ إِسۡرَـٰٓءِيلَ ٱلۡبَحۡرَ فَأَتَوۡاْ عَلَىٰ قَوۡمٖ يَعۡكُفُونَ عَلَىٰٓ أَصۡنَامٖ لَّهُمۡۚ قَالُواْ يَٰمُوسَى ٱجۡعَل لَّنَآ إِلَٰهٗا كَمَا لَهُمۡ ءَالِهَةٞۚ قَالَ إِنَّكُمۡ قَوۡمٞ تَجۡهَلُونَ
1028. Important Words:
البحر (sea) is derived from بحر i.e. he cut open a thing; or he enlarged and made it wide. بحر means, it became wide and spacious (Lane). Most probably the word البحر is used of the sea on account of its great spaciousness, and the word الیم (see 7:137 above) is used about it on account of its great depth.
Though the words البحر and الیم are generally considered synonymous, yet it is significant that the Quran uses the word الیمwhen speaking of the drowning of the people of Pharaoh (7:137) and البحر (as in the present verse) when speaking of the escape of the Israelites across it. This confirms the inference that generally the word البحر denotes spaciousness and the word الیم depth.
The request of the Israelites to Moses embodied in the words, make for us a god just as they have gods, does not show that they really wished to worship idols. As they were yet new in faith, so when they happened to see the idols of an idol-worshipping people, they simply wished to have an image of their God. The idols of the people thus suggested to them the idea of having an image of their God on which to fix their attention. The words, This is your God, and the God of Moses, used elsewhere in the Quran (20:89), also show that what the Israelites wanted was simply a representation of the God of Moses and that they did not want to abandon Him or set up equals to Him.
The expression, Surely you are an ignorant people, contains the answer to their request. They were told that it was foolish on their part to think that they could fix their attention on God better by concentrating on an idol, because firstly, there was really nothing like Him and secondly, the practice was sure subsequently to develop into real idol-worship. The right way to fix attention on God is to ponder and meditate upon His attributes. To bow down before a lifeless image cannot but degrade a man both morally and spiritually. (close)
اِنَّ ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ مُتَبَّرٌ مَّا ہُمۡ فِیۡہِ وَ بٰطِلٌ مَّا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۴۰﴾
إِنَّ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ مُتَبَّرٞ مَّا هُمۡ فِيهِ وَبَٰطِلٞ مَّا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ
The word "these" refers to the idol-worshippers whom the Israelites wished to copy. Moses explains to his men that the people they desired to imitate were a people doomed to perdition. (close)
قَالَ اَغَیۡرَ اللّٰہِ اَبۡغِیۡکُمۡ اِلٰـہًا وَّ ہُوَ فَضَّلَکُمۡ عَلَی الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۱﴾
قَالَ أَغَيۡرَ ٱللَّهِ أَبۡغِيكُمۡ إِلَٰهٗا وَهُوَ فَضَّلَكُمۡ عَلَى ٱلۡعَٰلَمِينَ
b. 6:15, 165. (close)
c. 2:48; 3:34. (close)
a. 6:15,165; (close)
b. 2:48; 3:34. (close)
The error of the Israelites in desiring to have an image of God like the idols of other peoples (7:139) has been brought home to them by three cogent reasons. Firstly, they are told that the works of the people whose example had prompted them to wish for an image of God would be brought to nought and their image worship would prove of no avail to them (7:140). The second argument is given in the present verse. The idea that by having a representation of God they would not be guilty of idolatry is rebutted by saying that the image thus made would be, and cannot but be, something other than Allah, and it is inconceivable that one should make an image of God and then think that he is not worshipping anything beside Him. The third argument is contained in the words, He has exalted you above all peoples, which are intended to point out that he, who makes an image with his own hand and then proceeds to worship it, degrades himself and brings himself lower than God has intended him to be. (close)
وَ اِذۡ اَنۡجَیۡنٰکُمۡ مِّنۡ اٰلِ فِرۡعَوۡنَ یَسُوۡمُوۡنَکُمۡ سُوۡٓءَ الۡعَذَابِ ۚ یُقَتِّلُوۡنَ اَبۡنَآءَکُمۡ وَ یَسۡتَحۡیُوۡنَ نِسَآءَکُمۡ ؕ وَ فِیۡ ذٰلِکُمۡ بَلَآءٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکُمۡ عَظِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۴۲﴾٪
وَإِذۡ أَنجَيۡنَٰكُم مِّنۡ ءَالِ فِرۡعَوۡنَ يَسُومُونَكُمۡ سُوٓءَ ٱلۡعَذَابِ يُقَتِّلُونَ أَبۡنَآءَكُمۡ وَيَسۡتَحۡيُونَ نِسَآءَكُمۡۚ وَفِي ذَٰلِكُم بَلَآءٞ مِّن رَّبِّكُمۡ عَظِيمٞ
d. 2:50; 7:128; 14:7; 28:5. (close)
c. 2:50; 7:128; 14:7; 28:5. (close)
If the verse be taken as referring to the time of Moses and not the time that preceded his ministry, the words, your sons, would mean "your grown up sons" on whom heavy tasks were laid with a view to weakening and annihilating them. The children of Israel complained to Moses, saying, "The Lord look upon you and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us" (Exod. 5:21). See also 7:128 above. (close)
وَ وٰعَدۡنَا مُوۡسٰی ثَلٰثِیۡنَ لَیۡلَۃً وَّ اَتۡمَمۡنٰہَا بِعَشۡرٍ فَتَمَّ مِیۡقَاتُ رَبِّہٖۤ اَرۡبَعِیۡنَ لَیۡلَۃً ۚ وَ قَالَ مُوۡسٰی لِاَخِیۡہِ ہٰرُوۡنَ اخۡلُفۡنِیۡ فِیۡ قَوۡمِیۡ وَ اَصۡلِحۡ وَ لَا تَتَّبِعۡ سَبِیۡلَ الۡمُفۡسِدِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۳﴾
۞وَوَٰعَدۡنَا مُوسَىٰ ثَلَٰثِينَ لَيۡلَةٗ وَأَتۡمَمۡنَٰهَا بِعَشۡرٖ فَتَمَّ مِيقَٰتُ رَبِّهِۦٓ أَرۡبَعِينَ لَيۡلَةٗۚ وَقَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِأَخِيهِ هَٰرُونَ ٱخۡلُفۡنِي فِي قَوۡمِي وَأَصۡلِحۡ وَلَا تَتَّبِعۡ سَبِيلَ ٱلۡمُفۡسِدِينَ
a. 2:52. (close)
1044. God’s communion with Moses was completed in the promised thirty nights. The prolongation of the period by ten nights did not form part of the promise but was an additional favour. (close)
1045. The words show that Aaron’s position was that of a subordinate to Moses. Moses called the Israelites "my people” and directed Aaron to act for him, i.e. officiate in his place during his absence. (close)
a. 2:52. (close)
The promised nights were only thirty, and ten were added subsequently to increase the favour. In fact, God’s communion with Moses was completed in the promised thirty nights, as hinted in the next verse. So the prolongation of the period by ten nights, which was due to the request of Moses to God to manifest Himself to him, did not form part of the promise but was something additional.
The words, Act for me among my people in my absence, clearly indicate that Aaron’s position was subordinate to that of Moses. Moses called the Israelites "my people" and directed Aaron to act for him, i.e. officiate in his place during his absence, which shows that Aaron occupied no independent position but was only a subordinate Prophet to Moses.
The words, and follow not the ways of those who cause disorder, are intended as a warning to Aaron to beware of the mischief-makers and adopt a strong policy.
The use of the word "nights" is significant. As this period was meant to be passed in meditation and devotion for which the quiet and calmness of the night is much more suitable than the day, so God used the word "nights". (close)
وَ لَمَّا جَآءَ مُوۡسٰی لِمِیۡقَاتِنَا وَ کَلَّمَہٗ رَبُّہٗ ۙ قَالَ رَبِّ اَرِنِیۡۤ اَنۡظُرۡ اِلَیۡکَ ؕ قَالَ لَنۡ تَرٰٮنِیۡ وَ لٰکِنِ انۡظُرۡ اِلَی الۡجَبَلِ فَاِنِ اسۡتَقَرَّ مَکَانَہٗ فَسَوۡفَ تَرٰٮنِیۡ ۚ فَلَمَّا تَجَلّٰی رَبُّہٗ لِلۡجَبَلِ جَعَلَہٗ دَکًّا وَّ خَرَّ مُوۡسٰی صَعِقًا ۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اَفَاقَ قَالَ سُبۡحٰنَکَ تُبۡتُ اِلَیۡکَ وَ اَنَا اَوَّلُ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۴﴾
وَلَمَّا جَآءَ مُوسَىٰ لِمِيقَٰتِنَا وَكَلَّمَهُۥ رَبُّهُۥ قَالَ رَبِّ أَرِنِيٓ أَنظُرۡ إِلَيۡكَۚ قَالَ لَن تَرَىٰنِي وَلَٰكِنِ ٱنظُرۡ إِلَى ٱلۡجَبَلِ فَإِنِ ٱسۡتَقَرَّ مَكَانَهُۥ فَسَوۡفَ تَرَىٰنِيۚ فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّىٰ رَبُّهُۥ لِلۡجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُۥ دَكّٗا وَخَرَّ مُوسَىٰ صَعِقٗاۚ فَلَمَّآ أَفَاقَ قَالَ سُبۡحَٰنَكَ تُبۡتُ إِلَيۡكَ وَأَنَا۠ أَوَّلُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ
b. 2:254; 4:165. (close)
1046. This verse sheds some light on one of the most important religious subjects—whether it is possible for one to see God with the physical eyes. The verse lends no support to the view that God is visible to the physical eyes (6:104). Not to say of seeing God with the physical eyes, man cannot even see angels; we can see only a manifestation of them. Similarly, only a manifestation of God can be seen and not God Himself. It is, therefore, inconceivable that a great Prophet of God like Moses, with all his knowledge of the attributes of God, should have desired an impossibility. Moses knew that he could see only a manifestation of God and not God Himself. But he had already seen a manifestation of God in "the Fire" when travelling from Midian to Egypt (28:30). What then did Moses mean by his request to see God, contained in the words, My Lord, show Thyself to me that I may look at Thee. The request seems to refer to the perfect manifestation of God which was to take place in the person of the Holy Prophet of Islam in some later time. Moses had already been given the promise that there would appear, from among the brethren of the Israelites a Prophet in whose mouth God would put His Word (Deut. 18:18-22). This prophecy implied a greater manifestation of God than had been vouchsafed to Moses. So he was naturally anxious to see what sort of God’s Glory and Majesty the Promised Manifestation would be. He wished that something of that Glory and Majesty might be shown to him. He was told that the manifestation of that Glory was beyond his capacity to bear; it could not take place upon his heart and that God had chosen the mountain for its physical manifestation. The mountain shook violently and it appeared as if it had crumbled down and Moses, being overwhelmed with the impact of the shaking fell down unconscious. In this way he was made to realize that he had not attained to that high stage of spiritual eminence which should have made him the object of that Divine Manifestation which he had requested to witness. That unique privilege was reserved for one much greater than him—the Crown of God’s creation––the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Moses’s request may also be taken as having been prompted by the demand of the Elders of the Israelites, to see God with the naked eye (2:56). This very unusual experience of his made Moses realize that his request was inopportune. So he cried spontaneously, "I turn towards Thee, and I am the first to believe," which meant that he had realized that he was not endowed with the capacity to see that perfect manifestation of Divine Glory which was to take place on the heart of the Promised Prophet and that he was the first believer in the great spiritual eminence which that great Prophet was destined to attain. This belief of Moses in the Holy Prophet has also been referred to in 46:11. (close)
1047. The mountain was not actually broken into pieces. The words have been used figuratively to express the great severity of the earthquake. See Exod. 24:18. (close)
a. 2:254; 4:165. (close)
1033. Important Words:
تجلی (manifested Himself) is derived from جلا . They say جلاالامر i.e. the affair was or became clear, manifest, displayed, uncovered or laid open. تجلی الشیء i.e. the thing became manifest or apparent. تجلی الشیء used transitively means, he looked at the thing standing upon a higher position. The Quranic expression فلماتجلی ربه للجبل means, when his Lord became manifest to the mountain, i.e. when He manifested Himself on the mountain (Lane & Aqrab).
دکا (pieces) is the noun-infinitive from دك i.e. he broke or crushed or pounded a thing. They say دك الارض i.e. he made even the elevations and depressions of the earth. دکته الحمی means, fever weakened him. دك , therefore, means, an even or level place; a land broken and made even; a crumbled mountain; a mound or hill or dust or earth such as is a sandhill. The Quranic words جعله دکا means, He made it even or level; or He made it crumbled (Lane).
This verse sheds light on one of the most important religious subjects—whether it is possible for one to see God with the physical eyes. The verse lends no support to the view that God is visible to the physical eyes. Let alone seeing Him, the human eye cannot even see angels. Says the Quran: If God had appointed as Messenger an angel, He would have made him appear as a man (6:10). As we cannot see angels but only a manifestation of them, similarly we can see only a manifestation of God, and not God Himself. It is, therefore, inconceivable that a great Prophet of God like Moses with all his knowledge of the attributes of God, should have desired an impossibility. Moses knew that he could see only a manifestation of God and not God Himself. But he had already seen a manifestation of God in "the fire" whentravelling from Midian to Egypt (28:30). What then did Moses mean by his request to see God, contained in the words, My Lord, show Thyself to me that I may look at Thee? The request seems to refer to the Perfect manifestation of God that was not granted to Moses but was to take place at the time of the Holy Prophet of Islam who was to be a مثیل or like of Moses. Indeed, Moses had already been given the promise that there was to appear, from among the brethren of the Israelites, a Prophet in whose mouth God was to put His word (Deut. 18:18-22). The words in which the promise was given implied a greater manifestation of God than had been vouchsafed to Moses. So Moses was naturally anxious to see what sort of God’s Glory and Majesty the promised Manifestation would be. He, therefore, wished that something of that Glory and Majesty might be shown to him. But a manifestation of that Glory was beyond the capacity of Moses to bear; it could not take place in or upon his heart. He was, therefore, asked to see a manifestation of it taking place at the Mount. But this should not be understood to mean that the Mount was to serve as a receptacle for the Great Glory: for, according to the Quran (33:73), the heart of Moses was certainly more capable of enduring it than the Mount. The Mount thus served only as the site or locality where that great manifestation was to take place. But even this proved too much for the Mount which shook violently.
The effect on the Mount was similar in nature to that produced on a Companion of the Holy Prophet when the latter’s head happened to be resting on his thigh at a time when a revelation descended on the Prophet. He felt such a heavy weight on his thigh that he feared that it would be crushed under it. Moses, too, could not bear to see the manifestation of Divine Power and Majesty and fell down unconscious, in spite of the fact that he had been warned beforehand of the terrible quaking that was to overtake the Mount. Thus it was that Moses realised that he did not possess the capacity for that powerful manifestation of Divine glory which was to take place later through the Holy Prophet of Islam. This is why when he recovered his senses, Moses cried, Holy art Thou, I turn towards Thee, and I am the first to believe. These words meant that he had realized that he did not possess the capacity for that perfect manifestation of Divine glory which was to take place through the Promised Prophet and that he was the first believer in the great spiritual eminence which that Prophet was destined to attain. This belief of Moses in the Holy Prophet has also been referred to in 46:11.
The words, He broke it into pieces, should not be taken literally, for the Mount was not actually broken into pieces. The words are used figuratively to express the great severity of the earthquake.
It may be also noted here that Moses was told to look at the mountain, and he was also told that he would see God if it remained in its place. The laying down of this condition shows that Moses had not asked for an impossible thing; for the laying down of a condition for an impossible thing is evidently meaningless.
The words, look at the mountain, implied that he should look outside himself because the manifestations could not take place within him. The fact that Moses fell down in a swoon shows that he did witness some manifestation, though only partly and imperfectly. The manifestation that takes place in the heart is permanent and lasting, while that which takes place outside is only temporary and passing.
A reference to this request of Moses to see God is to be found in Exod. 33:18. (close)