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AL BAYAN - Surah AL BAQARAH - Part 17 - Verses 55 - 61 - Javed Ahmed Ghamidi

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    Al-Bayan, Discourses on the Qur'an
    Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
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    Surah al Baqarah
    Aayaat 55-61
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    [Javed Ahmed Ghamidi] Gratitude is only
    for God, the Lord of the Cosmos,
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    and may His peace and mercy
    be on Muhammad, the trustworthy.
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    I seek refuge with God
    from the accursed Devil.
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    In the Name of God, the Most Gracious,
    the Ever Merciful.
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    Ladies and Gentlemen,
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    We shall begin this lecture from
    Aayah 55 of Surah Baqarah.
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    The same discourse continues
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    in which the Israelites are reminded
    of many events from their history
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    to make them understand
    the impartiality of God's Law,
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    and call on them to show upright behaviour
    while they have the opportunity to do so.
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    In this way, God is conclusively
    making the truth clear to them.
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    This is called Itmam al-Hujjah,
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    that we shall witness until Surah Ma'idah,
    and on the basis of which
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    the punishment is pronounced
    on them in Surah Tawbah.
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    The Almighty says
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    wa idh qul'tum yaa moosaa lan nu'mina laka
    hattaa naraa l laha jahratan
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    fa akhadhatkumu l saaʿiqatu
    wa antum tanzuroon (2:55)
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    And recall when you said to Moses:
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    “We will never believe in you until
    we see God with our own eyes.”
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    This is also a serious instance
    of their rebelliousness.
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    They had witnessed such glorious
    manifestations of God's attributes,
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    that was witnessed by no other nation
    or community on the face of this earth.
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    And yet they took this stance
    (demanding to see God).
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    Had this been a request
    similar to that of Moses (pbuh),
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    who desired to have a glimpse of His God,
    they would not have been taken to task.
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    But, their position was that "We
    would never believe you (Moses)" ...
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    It is also not similar to
    the case of Abraham (pbuh),
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    a little ahead in this Surah,
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    when he wished to have a glimpse
    of the resurrection to satisfy his heart.
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    When asked whether he did not believe,
    he replied affirming his belief.
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    balaa walaakin liyatma inna qalbee
    (2:260)
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    “Yes, but just to reassure my heart,”
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    A request of this kind is not condemnable.
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    However, this was not the case with the
    Israelites, according to the Qur'an.
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    They said to Moses:
    “We will never believe in you
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    until we see God with our own eyes.”
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    I have written,
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    If the desire to see the Almighty is to
    obtain realization of truth,
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    or inner satisfaction, then
    it cannot be objected to.
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    However, the demand of the Israelites
    to see the Almighty
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    was just an expression of their
    scepticism and disbelief
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    and an excuse to reject and deny
    Allah.
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    This attitude of theirs made
    their demand blameworthy.
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    Nothing could make them believe that God
    spoke and communicated to Moses (pbuh).
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    Hence, they were punished
    for this attitude.
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    Obviously, Moses stood before them
    claiming that God had spoken to him,
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    given him His Guidance and appointed him
    to complete a mission by His Command.
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    This was the claim based on which
    he was carrying out his mission.
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    These people were unwilling to
    accept this claim of Moses (pbuh).
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    Hence, their demand to see God
    with their own eyes.
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    So, what happened next?
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    The Qur'an says,
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    fa akhadhatkumu l saa'iqatu
    wa antum tanzuroon
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    Then a thunderbolt struck you while
    you were helplessly looking on.
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    In other words, God's Wrath was kindled.
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    I have written,
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    The actual word is: saa'iqah.
    "fa akhadhatkumu l saa'iqah"
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    It means both “roar and thunder”
    and “thunderbolt.”
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    In Aayah 154 of Surah al-A‘raf,
    this incident has been referred to
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    in the words
    falammaa akhadhathumu l rajfah.
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    The word rajfah means “earthquake.”
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    It is evident from these words
    that God's splendour manifested
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    in the form of a saa'iqah ...
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    i.e. in response to their demand, God
    reprimanded them, showed displeasure also,
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    and made it clear that not even
    the mountains could bear its brunt.
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    Thus, their desire was impossible.
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    It is evident from these words
    that God's splendour manifested
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    in the form of a saa'iqah,
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    which shook the mountain of Tur
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    to such an extent that the Israelites were
    knocked down in utter bewilderment.
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    The Qur'an has stated this in the words,
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    Then a thunderbolt struck you while you
    were helplessly looking on.
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    fa akhadhatkumu l saa'iqatu
    wa antum tanzuroon
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    thumma baʿathnaakum min baʿdi mawtikum
    laʿallakum tashkuroon (2:53)
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    Then We revived you after this death of
    yours so that you might become grateful.
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    The expression "after this death
    of yours", raises the question
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    whether all of them died a worldly death
    and were then brought to life?
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    I have stated my point of view
    in the footnote to this passage.
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    In the Arabic language, the word 'maut'
    also means “sleep” and “unconsciousness”
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    if some indication of this exists.
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    For example, we say about a person
    in deep slumber that he is lying dead.
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    Hence, in a way, it is a metaphorical use
    of the word, which is well-known.
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    The way it is used here and the instance
    it has been used in clearly show
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    that it refers to their
    state of unconsciousness.
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    That is why I have translated it as
    "after THIS DEATH of yours",
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    i.e. after this type of death,
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    as if they had died,
    it looked like they had died.
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    So, it is used here
    in the sense of fainting.
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    Although the Israelites did not deserve
    to be revived from this state
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    because of their arrogance, ...
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    i.e., this state of unconsciousness
    could've become an actual death for them.
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    However, the Almighty showed mercy.
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    It is evident from Surah Aaraf 7:155
    that they were forgiven for this crime
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    when Moses (pbuh) earnestly pleaded
    with the Almighty to forgive them.
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    That is, God forgave them because of
    a prophet's intercession,
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    and again gave them life by bringing them
    out of this state.
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    They were then appointed
    to carry out their former responsibility.
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    The next part explains the reason for this
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    laʿallakum tashkuroon
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    so that you might become grateful.
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    Implicit in these words is the fact that
    they always remained ungrateful.
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    wazallalnaa 'alaykumu l ghamaama
    wa anzalnaa 'alaykumu l mana wa l salwaa
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    If we look back, we see that they were
    punished for worshipping the calf,
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    and also for putting forward
    this unreasonable demand.
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    Now, the Almighty says:
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    wazallalnaa 'alaykumu l ghamaama
    wa anzalnaa 'alaykumu l mana wa l salwaa
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    And We made the clouds
    draw their shadow over you ...
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    The area they entered after their exodus
    had no place to provide any shade.
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    Only a vast desert, through which
    they had to pass.
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    It was God's special favour on them
    that the clouds were to provide shade
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    for their entire encampment.
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    wazallalnaa 'alaykumu l ghamaama
    wa anzalnaa 'alaykumu l mana wa l salwaa
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    And We made the clouds
    draw their shadow over you
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    and sent down upon you manna and salwa.
    (2:57)
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    What is this Manna and Salwa?
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    Manna was something akin to dew,
    which would descend on the earth
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    and then freeze like hail.
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    The Israelites would gather it before
    the heat of the sun could melt it.
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    The sun's heat would melt it.
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    This was its characteristic.
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    In a barren desert, without any
    means of subsistence
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    this was indeed a great favour
    for the Israelites.
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    In this barren desert, where they had
    no shade, the clouds gave them shade;
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    there was no food for the large number
    of people who migrated with Moses (pbuh).
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    How could the arrangements be made?
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    God granted them this great favour.
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    ... this was indeed a great favour
    for the Israelites,
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    which they were blessed with
    without any toil
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    merely because they had migrated
    with Moses (pbuh) at God's behest.
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    That is, because of migrating with
    God's prophet for a specific mission,
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    He bestowed these blessings on them.
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    The word Manna means
    “favour and blessing.”
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    Since this food was no less than
    a favour on them, it was named Manna.
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    It seems that due to this very reason
    these edibles were named Manna.
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    The Bible gives us the following details
    in this regard:
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    And in the morning there was
    a layer of dew around the camp.
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    When the dew was gone, they observed
    that thin flakes, like frost on the ground
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    appeared on the desert floor.
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    When the Israelites saw it,
    they said to each other, "Mann".
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    i.e. blessing and favour.
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    For they did not know what it was.
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    Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread
    the LORD has given you to eat.
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    ... each morning everyone gathered
    as much as he needed,
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    and when the sun grew hot,
    it melted away. (Exodus; 16:13-21)
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    This was one arrangement
    God made for them.
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    The second was that
    He sent down the Salwa.
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    I have written,
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    Salwa refers to the birds, which
    the Almighty sent upon the Israelites
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    in the desert of Sinai.
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    They resembled the quails and like them
    were easy to hunt down.
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    The Bible says in Exodus 16:
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    The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we
    had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt!
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    There we sat around pots of meat and
    ate all the food we wanted, ...
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    Strange was the condition of this nation!
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    They started complaining thus in the
    presence of God's prophet!
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    ... but you have brought us out
    into this desert
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    to starve this entire assembly to death.’
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    They said this to Prophet Moses (pbuh).
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    The Qur'an has mentioned that they
    troubled Moses (pbuh) a lot.
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    How will that nation be blessed that
    makes life difficult for its own prophet?
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    … The LORD said to Moses, ‘I have heard
    the grumbling of the Israelites.
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    Tell them, “At twilight,
    you will eat meat,
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    and in the morning
    you will be filled with bread.
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    Then you will know that
    I am the LORD your God.”
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    That evening quail came
    and covered the camp. (Exodus 16:3-11)
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    Thus, God arranged the quails
    so that they can have meat.
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    The Almighty says,
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    And We made the clouds
    draw their shadow over you
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    and sent down upon you
    mann and salwa.
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    kuloo min tayyibaati maa razaqnaakum
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    wamaa zalamoonaa walaakin kaanoo
    anfusahum yazlimoon
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    “Eat these pure things
    We have provided you.”
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    These words reflect the situation.
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    I have written
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    The implication is that these favours by
    their very existence urge the Israelites
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    to benefit from them and
    remain thankful to the Almighty.
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    In other words, the situation
    that developed was saying all this.
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    "Eat these pure things
    We have provided you.”
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    But what did the Israelites do?
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    [Alas! Those on whom We bestowed
    this favour disregarded it].
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    and [in this way], they did not
    harm Us at all,
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    but kept being unjust to their own selves.
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    maa zalamoonaa walaakin
    kaanoo anfusahum yazlimoon.
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    Given the structure of the sentences
    and the shift in the discourse,
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    I had to introduce a few sentences
    to make it coherent for an Urdu speaker.
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    [Alas! Those on whom We bestowed
    this favour disregarded it]
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    and [in this way], they did not
    harm Us at all,
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    but kept being unjust to their own selves.
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    I have written:
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    This final sentence of the discourse has
    not been uttered while addressing the Jews
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    as was the case in the previous ones.
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    God did not say, "You were unjust
    to your selves"
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    or "you harmed yourselves."
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    This sentence has not been uttered
    while addressing the Jews directly.
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    It has been uttered in the passive voice,
    while turning away from them.
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    There is a shift in the discourse.
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    Earlier, the address was direct.
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    wazallalnaa 'alaykumu l ghamaam
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    We made the clouds draw
    their shadow over you
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    wa anzalnaa 'alaykumu l mana wal salwaa
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    sent down upon you mann and salwa.
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    But, towards the end, God turns away from
    them and addresses them indirectly.
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    In Balaghah (Arabic rhetoric),
    it is called iltifaat.
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    Such a shift normally occurs in the Qur’an
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    when the speaker wants to express
    his disgust for the addressees.
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    In other words, seeing their attitude,
    the Almighty commented on it
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    in a way, that the style adopted and
    the shift in the discourse
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    demonstrated the extent of God's disgust.
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    wa idh qul'naa ud'khuloo haadhihil qaryata
    fakuloo min'haa haythu shi'tum raghadan
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    wa ud'khulu l baaba sujjadan
    waqooloo hittatun
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    naghfir lakum khataayaakum
    wasanaziidu l muh'sineen (2:58)
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    And recall ...
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    The same style continues here,
    reminding them of the important events.
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    And recall when we said: “Enter this city;
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    "this city" -
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    Again we see that a reference is made
    to a well-known event in their history.
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    Hence, no explanation is required.
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    The actual word is: al-qariyah.
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    As I write in Al-Bayaan,
    "The actual word is: al-qariyah.
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    A study of its usage in
    the Arabic language reveals
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    that just as it is used for tiny villages,
    it is also used to connote large cities."
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    Here it refers to a certain
    city in Palestine.
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    Even if we cannot ascertain the identity
    of this city, it won't affect the purport.
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    However, the description of the land
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    fakuloo min'haa haythu shi'tum raghadan
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    If we take a look at the account
    of their journey at that time,
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    keeping the geography in mind, then
    these words fit the description
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    of a city in Palestine."
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    Here it refers to a certain
    city in Palestine,
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    since the words used later on,
    fakuloo min'haa haythu shi'tum raghadan
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    seem to be appropriate
    for this land alone.
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    That is, these words could've been used
    for such a city alone,
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    keeping all the aforementioned
    blessings in mind.
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    They are not suitable for a location or a
    settlement in the Sinai desert.
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    So, God said, “Enter this city;
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    then eat from it from wherever
    you want, to your hearts’ content.
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    fakuloo min'haa haythu shi'tum raghadan
    wa-ud'khuloo l-baaba sujjadan
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    and [take heed] ...
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    These words are not written in the Aayah.
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    But to make the implication clear,
    they must be opened up.
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    "its gate" i.e. the city gate.
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    sujjadan - enter it while bowing down
    your heads
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    implying "with humility",
    "with lowliness", "with obedience".
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    The Almighty has bestowed this place
    on you by helping you conquer it.
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    This is similar to when Prophet Muhammad
    entered Makka as a conqueror.
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    His head was in a bowing position
    such that it was touching his saddle.
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    Here, the Almighty told them to
    enter the city in the specified manner,
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    because the greatest expectation of God
    after bestowing a blessing on his servant
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    is that the person doesn't show arrogance
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    or consider it to be
    a personal entitlement.
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    Rather, he must think that
    it is God's blessing alone
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    and be grateful towards Him,
    while bowing before his Lord,
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    and consider himself
    as God's humble servant,
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    on whom God has shown favour.
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    Here, the Israelites were
    given this directive.
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    ... enter its gate bowing down
    your heads [in humility]
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    The actual words are: wa-ud'khuloo
    l-baaba sujjada
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    The way the word al-Baab
    occurs after al-Qariyah,
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    linguistic considerations show that
    it refers to the door of the city.
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    Earlier the words are
    qul'naa ud'khuloo haadhihi l qaryah
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    And here the words are
    wa ud'khuloo l-baaba
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    Obviously, it can only refer to
    Baab al-qariyah (the door of the city).
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    and cannot be taken to mean
    the “door of the tabernacle,"
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    as Ustaz Imam Islahi has done.
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    There is no indication in the text to
    consider it the door of the tabernacle.
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    wa ud'khuloo l-baaba sujjada
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    The word 'sujjadan' connotes
    the bowing down of the head.
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    I have written,
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    It is clear that here it refers to
    the bowing down of the head.
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    In fact, this verse
    contains conclusive evidence
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    that other than the general meaning
    of placing one’s forehead on the ground,
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    the verb sajadah also means
    “merely bending the head.”
  • 20:00 - 20:02
    Obviously, this word
    couldn't have been used
  • 20:02 - 20:08
    in the sense of moving through the door
    while prostrating onto the ground.
  • 20:09 - 20:12
    So, it is used simply in the sense of
    bending one's head,
  • 20:12 - 20:14
    because that is all we can do
    while walking ahead.
  • 20:15 - 20:17
    It is not possible to put
    the forehead on the ground.
  • 20:17 - 20:20
    Had the directive meant fully
    falling prostrate on the ground,
  • 20:20 - 20:23
    then it could have been expressed by
    wa ud'khuloo l-baaba sujjada
  • 20:23 - 20:27
    Thus, both these points make it clear
    that in the Arabic language
  • 20:27 - 20:32
    the word Sajdah can also have the sense
    of simply bending one's head reverently.
  • 20:33 - 20:39
    waqooloo hittatun naghfir lakum
    khaataayaakum wasanazeedu l-muh'sineen
  • 20:40 - 20:47
    and pray: ‘[O Lord!] Forgive our sins;’
    We shall forgive your sins
  • 20:48 - 20:51
    and [those among you] who adopt
    a befitting attitude,
  • 20:51 - 20:53
    We shall bestow more favour on them."
    (2:58)
  • 20:55 - 21:00
    The Arabic expression wa qooloo hittatun
    is rendered as "Forgive our sins."
  • 21:01 - 21:04
    The actual words are: qooloo hittah.
  • 21:04 - 21:07
    The word 'hittah' has come in place
    of a whole sentence.
  • 21:09 - 21:12
    to the effect 'mas'alatunaa hittah'.
  • 21:12 - 21:14
    This is the actual construction.
  • 21:14 - 21:17
    People having a good taste of Arabic,
    can appreciate this here.
  • 21:17 - 21:20
    The Mubtada (subject) is omitted.
  • 21:20 - 21:24
    The word 'hittah' is from the verb
    'hatta yahuttu', meaning “to brush away.”
  • 21:24 - 21:27
    Here it implies brushing away one's sins.
  • 21:27 - 21:30
    Since Arabic and Hebrew
    have similar sources,
  • 21:30 - 21:33
    one can deduce analogously
    that in Hebrew also
  • 21:33 - 21:38
    it would have meant brushing away
    and forgiving sins.
  • 21:38 - 21:42
    It seems that the way in which
    this word 'hitta' is used,
  • 21:42 - 21:50
    the original Hebrew expression
    has been employed in the Qur'an.
  • 21:50 - 21:53
    I have tried to explain
    its structure.
  • 21:54 - 21:58
    In this way they were asked to pray:
    ‘[O Lord!] Forgive our sins;
  • 21:58 - 22:00
    ’We shall forgive your sins
  • 22:00 - 22:03
    and [those among you] who adopt
    a befitting attitude,
  • 22:03 - 22:06
    We shall bestow more favour on them.”
  • 22:06 - 22:09
    sanazeedu l muh'sineen
  • 22:09 - 22:15
    This guidance was given to them while they
    were entering that city as victors.
  • 22:15 - 22:20
    They were told to enter its gate bowing
    their heads [in humility and obedience]
  • 22:20 - 22:24
    and ask forgiveness for their sins.
  • 22:25 - 22:27
    But what actually happened?
  • 22:27 - 22:31
    fabaddala alladheena zalamoo qawlan
    ghayra alladhee qeela lahum (2:59)
  • 22:32 - 22:34
    The direction they were given ...
  • 22:35 - 22:40
    i.e. they were asked to enter the city
    while seeking forgiveness.
  • 22:40 - 22:45
    But the unjust replaced the word
    they were given, with something else.
  • 22:46 - 22:48
    Al-Bayaan has a note on it:`
  • 22:48 - 22:51
    Some wretched people among the Israelites
  • 22:51 - 22:55
    replaced 'hittatun', a word
    seeking forgiveness,
  • 22:55 - 23:00
    by one which had
    an entirely different meaning.
  • 23:01 - 23:04
    Just like ruffians
    tend to do sometimes,
  • 23:04 - 23:07
    or like some people who tend
    to make fun of everything.
  • 23:08 - 23:12
    Their sense of humour is related
    only to genuinely serious things.
  • 23:12 - 23:16
    Specimens of such work
    can be seen in our poetry,
  • 23:16 - 23:18
    for instance, in the work of Mirza Ghalib.
  • 23:19 - 23:21
    These Israelites did the same thing.
  • 23:21 - 23:25
    They replaced a fine word
    with something that sounded derisive.
  • 23:27 - 23:32
    When the verb 'baddala', mentioned here
    is used such that it takes two objects,
  • 23:32 - 23:37
    it means “to replace something
    with another.”
  • 23:38 - 23:40
    If this aspect is kept in consideration,
  • 23:40 - 23:44
    the word cannot be taken to mean
    a mere change in attitude.
  • 23:44 - 23:49
    It can only mean that they had
    replaced this word with another.
  • 23:49 - 23:56
    The words 'fabaddala alladheena zalamoo
    qawlan ghayra alladhee qeela lahum',
  • 23:56 - 24:01
    But the unjust replaced that, which they
    were told with other words.
  • 24:01 - 24:05
    These words may imply a mere
    change of attitude,
  • 24:05 - 24:10
    such that they used the prescribed word,
    but with a derisive intent.
  • 24:10 - 24:16
    In other words, they altered the meaning
    or the spirit of the word.
  • 24:16 - 24:18
    This is one possible meaning.
  • 24:18 - 24:24
    However, I have submitted that
    the words used in the Qur'an
  • 24:24 - 24:30
    convey that they substituted it
    with another word.
  • 24:30 - 24:33
    Thus, they derided God's directive
    with their actions,
  • 24:33 - 24:37
    as well as by replacing the
    prescribed word with another word.
  • 24:40 - 24:42
    So, God said:
  • 24:42 - 24:45
    fa anzalnaa 'alaa alladheena zalamoo
  • 24:45 - 24:49
    rij'zan mina l-samaai
    bimaa kaanoo yafsuqoon (2:59)
  • 24:49 - 24:53
    So, We let loose on these unjust people
    a punishment from the heavens
  • 24:53 - 24:57
    because of the disobedience
    they were [guilty of].
  • 24:57 - 25:01
    Please notice the common theme,
    the central theme of this discourse,
  • 25:01 - 25:03
    embodying God's conclusive proof.
  • 25:03 - 25:08
    The mistaken idea of the Israelite nation
    as being something special,
  • 25:08 - 25:10
    is refuted here.
  • 25:10 - 25:13
    They considered the blessings they
    received to be their entitlement.
  • 25:13 - 25:16
    However, all these were
    merely God's favors on them
  • 25:16 - 25:21
    In other words, how could they even think
    that the fire of hell won't touch them.
  • 25:21 - 25:26
    How could they think that after trying to
    take Jesus (pbuh) to the crucifix,
  • 25:26 - 25:30
    and rejecting the Prophethood
    of Muhammad (pbuh),
  • 25:30 - 25:34
    God will continue to hold them
    as his treasured nation.
  • 25:35 - 25:36
    Certainly not.
  • 25:36 - 25:40
    The punishments that have afflicted
    them in the past because of their sins,
  • 25:40 - 25:42
    will afflict them again.
  • 25:42 - 25:45
    This is the discourse presented
    in these passages.
  • 25:45 - 25:46
    So, God says:
  • 25:46 - 25:50
    So, We let loose on these unjust people
    a punishment from the heavens
  • 25:50 - 25:53
    because of the disobedience
    they were [guilty of].
  • 25:53 - 25:56
    rij'zan mina l samaai
    bimaa kaanoo yafsuqoon.
  • 25:57 - 25:59
    Al-Bayaan has
    the following note on it:
  • 25:59 - 26:01
    This punishment has been called
    “a punishment from the heavens”
  • 26:01 - 26:03
    rij'zan mina l samaa
  • 26:03 - 26:06
    This punishment has been called
    “a punishment from the heavens”
  • 26:06 - 26:12
    in the same way as a great calamity is
    referred to as a “heavenly punishment.”
  • 26:13 - 26:19
    Most probably, the Israelites faced this
    punishment in Shittim, a Palestinian city.
  • 26:20 - 26:27
    This may be postulated through a study
    of Israelite history in the Bible.
  • 26:28 - 26:30
    Therefore, I have used the words
    'most probably'.
  • 26:31 - 26:34
    The Bible says that the Israelites were
    guilty of sexual misconduct
  • 26:34 - 26:36
    with Maobite women,
  • 26:36 - 26:40
    became involved in polytheistic sacrifices
  • 26:40 - 26:46
    and thus became indirectly incriminated
    with worshipping their deity Baal Peor.
  • 26:46 - 26:50
    Earlier they had worshipped the calf,
  • 26:50 - 26:57
    and then moving ahead when they reached
    Shittim, they again fell in these sins.
  • 26:57 - 27:01
    In retribution of these crimes, God
    sent upon them an epidemic,
  • 27:01 - 27:05
    which killed twenty-four thousand
    of their men and women.
  • 27:05 - 27:10
    Thus, again God inflicted
    a harsh punishment on them.
  • 27:10 - 27:13
    So, the sequence can be understood
    as follows:
  • 27:13 - 27:17
    an event happens, God shows His favor,
    bestows his blessings on them,
  • 27:17 - 27:20
    they become guilty of
    an inappropriate attitude
  • 27:20 - 27:22
    for which they are
    subsequently punished.
  • 27:22 - 27:25
    God describes this here.
  • 27:26 - 27:31
    wa-idhi is'tasqaa moosaa liqawmihi
    faqul'naa id'rib biʿasaaka l-hajara
  • 27:32 - 27:37
    And recall when Moses prayed
    for water for his people; (2:60)
  • 27:38 - 27:42
    Earlier, when they had nothing to eat,
    God sent Mann and Salwa on them.
  • 27:42 - 27:44
    Now, Moses (pbuh) prays for water.
  • 27:45 - 27:47
    faqul'naa - So, We said to him
  • 27:47 - 27:49
    id'rib biʿasaaka l-hajar
  • 27:49 - 27:52
    “Strike this rock with your staff.”
  • 27:52 - 27:57
    i.e. a rock, a boulder, was specified
    and God asked him to strike it.
  • 27:58 - 28:00
    Obviously, he struck it.
  • 28:00 - 28:03
    fa-infajarat min'hu
    ith'nataa 'ashrata 'aynan
  • 28:03 - 28:06
    [He struck the rock and] thereupon
    twelve springs gushed from it.
  • 28:06 - 28:13
    qad 'alima kullu unaasin mashrabahum
  • 28:13 - 28:17
    such that each tribe ascertained
    its drinking-place.
  • 28:18 - 28:25
    kuloo wa-ish'raboo min riz'qi llahi
    walaa taʿthaw fee l-ardi muf'sideen
  • 28:25 - 28:29
    “Eat and drink of the sustenance,
    which God has provided [O Israelites]
  • 28:29 - 28:31
    and do not embark upon
    spreading disorder in the land.”
  • 28:33 - 28:36
    I have explained the things
    mentioned in this Aayah.
  • 28:36 - 28:42
    Firstly, Moses (pbuh) prayed for water
    for his people.
  • 28:42 - 28:45
    He was asked to strike
    a rock with his staff,
  • 28:45 - 28:48
    upon which the Israelites
    witnessed another great miracle.
  • 28:48 - 28:51
    Out of this rock, gushed forth
    twelve springs.
  • 28:52 - 28:54
    [Al-Bayaan note]
    It is evident from the Bible
  • 28:54 - 28:58
    that this incident of water gushing forth
    from a rock happened in the Sinai desert.
  • 28:59 - 29:01
    From the historical details
    mentioned in the Bible,
  • 29:01 - 29:04
    it seems that this happened
    in the Zin desert.
  • 29:04 - 29:08
    i.e. the twelve springs gushed forth.
  • 29:10 - 29:12
    We read in the book of Numbers:
  • 29:14 - 29:19
    In the first month, the whole Israelite
    community arrived at the Desert of Zin,
  • 29:19 - 29:21
    and they stayed at Kadesh.
  • 29:21 - 29:25
    i.e. they reached this place after
    their exodus from Egypt.
  • 29:25 - 29:30
    All these names are very old and we would
    not find most of them in modern maps.
  • 29:31 - 29:35
    But scholars have produced many works
    on the geography of the Bible
  • 29:35 - 29:38
    and we can find all these names in them.
  • 29:39 - 29:42
    Now there was no water for the community,
  • 29:44 - 29:46
    and the people gathered in opposition
    to Moses and Aaron.
  • 29:47 - 29:50
    Again these people displayed
    their rebellious attitude.
  • 29:50 - 29:52
    They quarrelled with Moses and said,
  • 29:52 - 29:57
    ‘If only we had died when our brothers
    fell dead before the LORD!
  • 29:58 - 30:01
    Why did you bring the LORD’s community
    into this desert,
  • 30:01 - 30:04
    that we and our livestock should die here?
  • 30:04 - 30:08
    Why did you bring us out of Egypt
    and into this terrible place?
  • 30:09 - 30:14
    This land has no grain or figs,
    grapevines or pomegranates.
  • 30:15 - 30:19
    When they were informed about their
    exodus from Egypt,
  • 30:19 - 30:22
    they were told that
    the promised land of Palestine
  • 30:22 - 30:25
    around the city of Jerusalem
  • 30:25 - 30:27
    is a fertile land, amenable to farming,
  • 30:27 - 30:35
    with gardens full of grain and figs,
    grapevines and pomegranates.
  • 30:35 - 30:37
    Here, they are referring to
    the same description.
  • 30:38 - 30:42
    It has no grain or figs,
    grapevines or pomegranates.
  • 30:42 - 30:45
    And there is no water to drink!’
  • 30:45 - 30:50
    Moses and Aaron went from the assembly
    to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting
  • 30:50 - 30:51
    and fell facedown,
  • 30:51 - 30:55
    We can imagine how much they
    must've troubled Moses and Aaron,
  • 30:55 - 30:59
    such that they had no choice left
    but to fall facedown before the Amighty.
  • 31:00 - 31:02
    Then the glory of the LORD
    appeared to them.
  • 31:02 - 31:04
    The LORD said to Moses,
  • 31:04 - 31:11
    ‘Take the staff, and you and your brother
    Aaron gather the assembly together.
  • 31:11 - 31:15
    Speak to that rock right before their eyes
    and it will pour out its water.
  • 31:16 - 31:19
    You will bring water out of the rock
    for the community
  • 31:19 - 31:22
    so they and their livestock can drink.’
  • 31:23 - 31:28
    So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s
    presence, just as he commanded him.
  • 31:28 - 31:33
    He and Aaron gathered the assembly
    together in front of the rock
  • 31:33 - 31:37
    and Moses said to them,
    ‘Listen, you rebels, ...
  • 31:37 - 31:41
    He called them rebels on account
    their rebellious attitude.
  • 31:41 - 31:45
    ‘Listen, you rebels, must we bring you
    water out of this rock?’
  • 31:46 - 31:51
    Then Moses raised his arm and
    struck the rock twice with his staff.
  • 31:51 - 31:56
    Water gushed out, and the community and
    their livestock drank. (Numbers, 20:1-12)
  • 31:57 - 32:02
    Hence, they witnessed God's extraordinary
    miracle,
  • 32:02 - 32:04
    when they were suffering from thirst
  • 32:06 - 32:11
    Thereafter, God says that twelve springs
    gushed forth from that rock.
  • 32:12 - 32:15
    So, the water did not just gush forth from
    the rock as a spring,
  • 32:15 - 32:18
    but twelve separate springs gushed forth.
  • 32:18 - 32:22
    qad 'alima kullu unaasin mashrabahum
  • 32:23 - 32:28
    such that each tribe ascertained
    its own drinking-place.
  • 32:29 - 32:33
    Basically, the Israelite nation was
    composed of the twelve tribes.
  • 32:33 - 32:35
    Thus when twelve springs gushed forth,
  • 32:35 - 32:38
    each tribe fixed its own
    drinking place over them.
  • 32:39 - 32:43
    So, twelve springs gushed forth
    according to the number of tribes.
  • 32:44 - 32:46
    and thus, there remained no apprehension
  • 32:46 - 32:49
    that any fight would ensue
    among them regarding the water.
  • 32:49 - 32:54
    This is the ultimate expression
    of God's favors and blessings.
  • 32:54 - 32:58
    So, God caused the twelves springs to flow
    to stop any chance of tribal infighting.
  • 32:58 - 33:00
    Let every tribe take one spring
    and drink from it.
  • 33:04 - 33:08
    kuloo wa-ish'raboo min riz'qi llahi
    walaa taʿthaw fee l ardi muf'sideen
  • 33:08 - 33:11
    “Eat and drink of that which God
    has provided [O Israelites]
  • 33:11 - 33:14
    and do not embark upon
    spreading disorder in the land.” (2:60)
  • 33:14 - 33:18
    Please note that when the Manna and Salwa
    were mentioned earlier,
  • 33:18 - 33:20
    God said, "Eat (Kuloo)"
  • 33:20 - 33:23
    Here, He said, "Kuloo wa ish'raboo"
    (Eat and drink).
  • 33:24 - 33:28
    Here this subtle point needs to be kept
    in consideration that earlier on
  • 33:28 - 33:32
    after a mention of Mann and Salwa
    only the word kuloo (eat) had been used
  • 33:32 - 33:35
    because at that time only food
    could have been arranged for.
  • 33:36 - 33:39
    Once, plentiful water
    was also made available,
  • 33:39 - 33:44
    ​the words used are kuloo wa ish'raboo
    (eat and drink).
  • 33:44 - 33:51
    That is how God bestowed his favor on them
    when they were bothered by thirst.
  • 33:53 - 33:55
    Further, God says,
  • 33:55 - 34:00
    wa-idh qul'tum yaa moosaa
    lan nasbira 'alaa ta'aamin waahidin
  • 34:00 - 34:06
    And recall when you said: “Moses we shall
    never be content with one type of food;
  • 34:06 - 34:08
    Here we see more rebellious behaviour.
  • 34:08 - 34:14
    Human nature does crave variety,
    even after eating the Mann and Salwa.
  • 34:14 - 34:17
    They approach Moses (pbuh)
    with another complaint.
  • 34:18 - 34:21
    We shall never be content
    with one type of food;
  • 34:21 - 34:25
    fa-ud'u lanaa rabbaka yukh'rij lanaa
    mimmaa tunbitu l-ardu min baqlihaa
  • 34:25 - 34:30
    waqithaaihaa wafoomihaa
    wa'adasihaa wabasalihaa
  • 34:31 - 34:35
    so, call on your Lord to bring forth
    for us some green herbs,
  • 34:35 - 34:41
    cucumbers, garlic, lentils and onions,
    which the earth produces.
  • 34:42 - 34:47
    Now, they demanded ingredients for a
    variety of gourmet meals.
  • 34:49 - 34:53
    The word used here
    for garlic is 'foom'.
  • 34:55 - 34:56
    I have written
  • 34:56 - 34:59
    The actual word is 'foom'.
    It is the same as 'soom'.
  • 34:59 - 35:02
    So common is this word for garlic
  • 35:02 - 35:05
    that it cannot be taken to mean
    bread, wheat or corn.
  • 35:06 - 35:11
    It happens sometimes that letters in a
    word tend to change places by overuse.
  • 35:11 - 35:14
    Because of this, people
    have changed its meaning.
  • 35:14 - 35:17
    There is no need for that.
    It refers to the same garlic.
  • 35:20 - 35:25
    About this demand of the Israelites to not
    stay patient on one type of food alone,
  • 35:25 - 35:27
    I have written:
  • 35:27 - 35:30
    What they meant was that they cannot eat
    Mann and Salwa every day.
  • 35:30 - 35:36
    Human taste requires variety and something
    should be done to quench this yearning
  • 35:36 - 35:39
    for variety even in this desert
    they are wandering in.
  • 35:40 - 35:51
    In response, God asked them to see the
    kind of petty things they were demanding
  • 35:51 - 35:53
    instead of exalted things.
  • 35:55 - 35:59
    qaala atastabdiloona alladhee huwa
    adnaa bi-alladhee huwa khayr
  • 36:01 - 36:06
    He answered: “Would you exchange that
    which is better for what is inferior?
  • 36:08 - 36:11
    There are a few notes
    on this in Al-Bayaan,
  • 36:11 - 36:14
    which we shall go through
    in the next session.
  • 36:15 - 36:19
    Right now, let us go through
    the plain translation of these Aayaat.
  • 36:23 - 36:27
    And recall when you said to Moses:
  • 36:27 - 36:32
    “We will never believe in you
    until we see God with our own eyes.
  • 36:32 - 36:36
    ”Then a thunderbolt struck you
    while you were helplessly looking on.
  • 36:36 - 36:44
    Then We revived you from this death of
    yours so that you might become grateful.
  • 36:44 - 36:47
    And We made the clouds
    draw their shadow over you
  • 36:47 - 36:49
    and sent down upon you mann and salwa.
  • 36:49 - 36:52
    “Eat these pure things
    We have provided you.”
  • 36:52 - 36:58
    [Alas! Those on whom We bestowed
    this favour disregarded it]
  • 36:58 - 37:01
    and [in this way], they did not
    harm Us in any way,
  • 37:01 - 37:04
    but kept being unjust to their own souls.
  • 37:04 - 37:08
    And recall when we said:
    “Enter this city;
  • 37:08 - 37:12
    then eat from it from wherever you want
    to your hearts’ content
  • 37:12 - 37:17
    and [take heed] that enter its gate
    bowing down your heads [in humility]
  • 37:17 - 37:23
    and pray: ‘[O Lord!] Forgive our sins;
    ’We shall forgive your sins
  • 37:24 - 37:27
    and [those among you] who adopt
    a befitting attitude,
  • 37:27 - 37:29
    We shall bestow more favour on them.”
  • 37:29 - 37:35
    But the unjust replaced that which they
    were told with other words.
  • 37:35 - 37:39
    So, We let loose on these unjust people
    a punishment from the heavens
  • 37:39 - 37:43
    because of the disobedience
    they were [guilty of].
  • 37:43 - 37:47
    And recall when Moses prayed
    for water for his people;
  • 37:47 - 37:51
    so, We said to him:
    “Strike this rock with your staff.”
  • 37:51 - 37:55
    [He struck the rock and] thereupon
    twelve springs gushed from it
  • 37:55 - 38:00
    such that each tribe
    ascertained its drinking-place.
  • 38:00 - 38:04
    “Eat and drink of that which
    God has provided [O Israelites]
  • 38:04 - 38:07
    and do not embark upon
    spreading disorder in the land.”
  • 38:07 - 38:09
    And recall when you said:
  • 38:09 - 38:12
    “Moses we shall never be
    content with one type of food;
  • 38:12 - 38:16
    so, call on your Lord to bring forth
    for us some green herbs,
  • 38:16 - 38:23
    cucumbers, garlic, lentils and onions,
    which the earth produces.
  • 38:23 - 38:27
    ”He answered: “Would you exchange
    that which is better for what is inferior?
  • 38:27 - 38:29
    (2:55-61)
Title:
AL BAYAN - Surah AL BAQARAH - Part 17 - Verses 55 - 61 - Javed Ahmed Ghamidi
Description:

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Video Language:
Urdu
Duration:
38:52

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