The Twelve Tribes of Israel

 I take refuge with Allaah from the accursed devil.  

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ 

  Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem: In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.  

 Welcome to my blog and praise the Magnificent Lord as you enter: Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Greatest .

May the Peace and Blessing of Allah Azza wa Jal, our Lord Glorified and Praised be He, be upon our beloved Prophet, his Family, and Companions.

The Twelve Tribes of Israel.

وَقَطَّعْنَـهُمُ اثْنَتَىْ عَشْرَةَ أَسْبَاطًا أُمَمًا وَأَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَى مُوسَى إِذِ اسْتَسْقَـهُ قَوْمُهُ أَنِ اضْرِب بِّعَصَاكَ الْحَجَرَ فَانبَجَسَتْ مِنْهُ اثْنَتَا عَشْرَةَ عَيْنًا قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍ مَّشْرَبَهُمْ وَظَلَّلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الْغَمَـمَ وَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَنَّ وَالسَّلْوَى كُلُواْ مِن طَيِّبَـتِ مَا رَزَقْنَـكُمْ وَمَا ظَلَمُونَا وَلَـكِن كَانُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ

(160. And We divided them into twelve tribes (as distinct) nations. We revealed to Musa when his people asked him for water (saying): “Strike the stone with your stick,” and there gushed forth out of it twelve springs, each group knew its own place for water. We shaded them with the clouds and sent down upon them the manna and the quail (saying): “Eat of the good things with which We have provided you.” They harmed Us not but they used to harm themselves.)

وَإِذْ قِيلَ لَهُمُ اسْكُنُواْ هَـذِهِ الْقَرْيَةَ وَكُلُواْ مِنْهَا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمْ وَقُولُواْ حِطَّةٌ وَادْخُلُواْ الْبَابَ سُجَّدًا نَّغْفِرْ لَكُمْ خَطِيئَـتِكُمْ سَنَزِيدُ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

(161. And (remember) when it was said to them: “Dwell in this town (Jerusalem) and eat therefrom wherever you wish, and say, `(O Allah) forgive our sins’; and enter the gate prostrating (bowing with humility). We shall forgive you your wrongdoings. We shall increase (the reward) for the good-doers.”)

فَبَدَّلَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنْهُمْ قَوْلاً غَيْرَ الَّذِى قِيلَ لَهُمْ فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ رِجْزًا مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَظْلِمُونَ

(162. But those among them who did wrong, changed the word that had been told to them. So We sent on them a torment from the heaven in return for their wrongdoings.)

Surah 7 Al Araf Verse 160-162

وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ يَـقَوْمِ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَعَلَ فِيكُمْ أَنْبِيَآءَ وَجَعَلَكُمْ مُّلُوكاً وَءَاتَـكُمْ مَّا لَمْ يُؤْتِ أَحَداً مِّن الْعَـلَمِينَ

(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-`Alamin).”)

 يَاقَوْمِ ادْخُلُوا الاٌّرْضَ المُقَدَّسَةَ الَّتِى كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلاَ تَرْتَدُّوا عَلَى أَدْبَـرِكُمْ فَتَنْقَلِبُوا خَـسِرِينَ

 (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.”)

 قَالُوا يَامُوسَى إِنَّ فِيهَا قَوْماً جَبَّارِينَ وَإِنَّا لَن نَّدْخُلَهَا حَتَّى يَخْرُجُواْ مِنْهَا فَإِن يَخْرُجُواْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّا دَخِلُونَ

(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.”)

 قَالَ رَجُلاَنِ مِنَ الَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمَا ادْخُلُواْ عَلَيْهِمُ الْبَابَ فَإِذَا دَخَلْتُمُوهُ فَإِنَّكُمْ غَـلِبُونَ وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَتَوَكَّلُواْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

(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.”)

قَالُواْ يَـمُوسَى إِنَّا لَنْ نَّدْخُلَهَآ أَبَداً مَّا دَامُواْ فِيهَا فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلا إِنَّا هَـهُنَا قَـعِدُونَ

(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.”)

قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّى لا أَمْلِكُ إِلاَّ نَفْسِى وَأَخِى فَافْرُقْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ الْقَوْمِ الْفَـسِقِينَ

(25. He [Musa] said: “O my Lord! I have power only over myself and my brother, so Ifruq us from the rebellious people!”)

قَالَ فَإِنَّهَا مُحَرَّمَةٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً يَتِيهُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَلاَ تَأْسَ عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْفَـسِقِينَ

(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.”)

Surah 5 Al Maidah Verse 20-26

Tafsir ibn Kathir

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,

(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

(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,

(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,

(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,

(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,

(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,

(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),

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,

(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.

(and turn not back) in flight from Jihad.

(“. ..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.

Allah said,

(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,

(“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,

(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.

Musa said,

(“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,

(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,

(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.”

Allah said,

(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.

Allah’s statement,

(for forty years;) defines,

(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,

(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.

Comforting Musa, Allah said

(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.

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا ادْخُلُواْ هَـذِهِ الْقَرْيَةَ فَكُلُواْ مِنْهَا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمْ رَغَدًا وَادْخُلُواْ الْبَابَ سُجَّدًا وَقُولُواْ حِطَّةٌ نَّغْفِرْ لَكُمْ خَطَـيَـكُمْ وَسَنَزِيدُ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

(58. And (remember) when We said: “Enter this town (Jerusalem) and eat bountifully therein with pleasure and delight wherever you wish, and enter the gate in prostration (or bowing with humility) and say: `Forgive us,’ and We shall forgive you your sins and shall increase (reward) for the good-doers.”)

فَبَدَّلَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ قَوْلاً غَيْرَ الَّذِي قِيلَ لَهُمْ فَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ رِجْزًا مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفْسُقُونَ

(59. But those who did wrong changed the word from that which had been told to them for another, so We sent upon the wrongdoers Rijz (a punishment) from the heaven because of their rebellion.)

Surah 2 Al Baqarah Verse 58-59

Tafsir ibn Kathir

Allah admonished the Jews for avoiding Jihad and not entering the holy land as they had been ordered to do when they came from Egypt with Musa. They were also commanded to fight the disbelieving `Amaliq (Canaanites) dwelling in the holy land at that time. But they did not want to fight, because they were weak and exhausted. Allah punished them by causing them to become lost, and to continue wandering, as Allah has stated in Surat Al-Ma’idah (5). The correct opinion about the meaning of, `the holy land’ mentioned here is that it was Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem), as As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Qatadah and Abu Muslim Al-Asfahani, as well as others have stated. Musa said,

(O people! Enter the holy land which Allah has assigned to you and turn not back (in flight).) (5:21)

However, some scholars said that the holy land is Jericho, (Ariha’) and this opinion was mentioned from Ibn `Abbas and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd.

After the years of wandering ended forty years later, in the company of Yuwsha` (Joshua) bin Nun, Allah allowed the Children of Israel to conquer the holy land on the eve of a Friday. On that day, the sun was kept from setting for a little more time, until victory was achieved. When the Children of Israel conquered the holy land, they were commanded to enter its gate while,

( prostrating) in appreciation to Allah for making them victorious, triumphant, returning them to their land and saving them from being lost and wandering. Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said that,

(and enter the gate Sujjadan) means, “While bowing”. Ibn Jarir reported Ibn `Abbas saying,

(and enter the gate in prostration) means, “Through a small door while bowing.” Al-Hakim narrated it, and Ibn Abi Hatim added, “And they went through the door backwards!” Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that they were ordered to prostrate on their faces when they entered the city, but Ar-Razi discounted this explanation. It was also said that the Sujud mentioned here means, `submissiveness’, for actually entering while prostrating is not possible.

Khasif said that `Ikrimah said that Ibn `Abbas said, “The door mentioned here was facing the Qiblah.” Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, As-Suddi, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak said that the door is the door of Hittah in Iylya’, which is Jerusalem. Ar-Razi also reported that some of them said that it was a door in the direction of the Qiblah”. Khasif said that `Ikrimah said that Ibn `Abbas said that the Children of Israel entered the door sideways. As-Suddi said that Abu Sa`id Al-Azdy said that Abu Al-Kanud said that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that they were commanded to,

(enter the gate in prostration (or bowing with humility)) but instead, they entered while their heads were raised in defiance.

Allah said next,

( and say: `Hittah’). Ibn `Abbas commented, “Seek Allah’s forgiveness.” Al-Hasan and Qatadah said that it means, “Say, `Relieve us from our errors.”

(and We shall forgive you your sins and shall increase (reward) for the good-doers) Here is the reward for fulfilling Allah’s commandment. This Ayah means, “If you implement what We commanded you, We will forgive your sins and multiply your good deeds.” In summary, upon achieving victory, the Children of Israel were commanded to submit to Allah in tongue and deed and, to admit to their sins and seek forgiveness for them, to be grateful to Allah for the blessings He gave them, hastening to do the deeds that Allah loves, as He said,

(When there comes the help of Allah (to you, O Muhammad against your enemies) and the conquest (of Makkah). And you see that the people enter Allah’s religion (Islam) in crowds. So glorify the praises of your Lord, and ask His forgiveness. Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance.) (110).

Allah said,

(But those who did wrong changed the word from that which had been told to them for another).

Al-Bukhari recorded Abu Hurayrah saying that the Prophet said,

(The Children of Israel were commanded to enter the door while bowing and to say `Hittah’. Yet, they entered the door on their behinds, distorting the words. They said; `Habbah (seed), in Sha`rah (a hair).’)

An-Nasa’i recorded this part of it from Abu Hurayrah only, but he has a chain from the Prophet , explaining Allah’s statement,

(`Hittah’), saying, “So they deviated and said `Habbah.” Similar was recorded by `Abdur-Razzaq, and his route was also collected by Al-Bukhari. Muslim and At-Tirmidhi narrated similar versions of this Hadith, At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih.”

The summary of what the scholars have said about this subject is that the Children of Israel distorted Allah’s command to them to submit to Him in tongue and deed. They were commanded to enter the city while bowing down, but they entered while sliding on their rear ends and raising their heads! They were commanded to say, `Hittah’ meaning, “Relieve us from our errors and sins.” However, they mocked this command and said, “Hintah (grain seed) in Sha`irah (barley).” This demonstrates the worst type of rebellion and disobedience, and it is why Allah released His anger and punishment upon them, all because of their sinning and defying His commands. Allah said,

(So We sent upon the wrongdoers Rijz (a punishment) from the heaven because of their rebellion.)

Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas said, “Every word in Allah’s Book that says Rijz means, `a punishment.”’ Mujahid, Abu Malik, As-Suddi, Al-Hasan and Qatadah were reported to have said that Rijz means `Torment.’ Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that Sa`d bin Malik, Usamah bin Zayd and Khuzaymah bin Thabit said that the Messenger of Allah said,

(The plague is a Rijz, a punishment with which Allah punished those before you.)

This is also how An-Nasa’i recorded this Hadith. In addition, the basis of this Hadith was collected in the Two Sahihs,

(If you hear of the plague in a land, then do not enter it.)

Ibn Jarir recorded Usamah bin Zayd saying that the Messenger of Allah said,

(This calamity and sickness (i.e. the plague) is a Rijz, a punishment with which some nations who were before you were punished.)

The basis of this Hadith was also collected in the Two Sahihs.

وَإِذِ اسْتَسْقَى مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ فَقُلْنَا اضْرِب بِّعَصَاكَ الْحَجَرَ فَانفَجَرَتْ مِنْهُ اثْنَتَا عَشْرَةَ عَيْنًا قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍ مَّشْرَبَهُمْ كُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ مِن رِّزْقِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تَعْثَوْاْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ

(60. And (remember) when Musa asked for water for his people, We said: “Strike the stone with your stick.” Then gushed forth therefrom twelve springs. Each (group of) people knew its own place for water. “Eat and drink of that which Allah has provided and do not act corruptly, making mischief on the earth.”) 

Surah 2 Al Baqarah Verse 60

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Allah said, “Remember My favor on you when I answered the supplication of your Prophet, Musa, when he asked Me to provide you with water. I made the water available for you, making it gush out through a stone. Twelve springs burst out of that stone, a designated spring for each of your tribes. You eat from the manna and the quails and drink from the water that I provided for you, without any effort or hardship for you. So worship the One Who did this for you.

(And do not act corruptly, making mischief on the earth) meaning, “Do not return the favor by committing acts of disobedience that cause favors to disappear.”

Ibn `Abbas said that the Children of Israel, “Had a square stone that Musa was commanded to strike with his staff and, as a result, twelve springs burst out of that stone, three on each side. Each tribe was, therefore, designated a certain spring, and they used to drink from their springs. They never had to travel from their area, they would find the same bounty in the same manner they had in the first area.”This narration is part of the long Hadith that An-Nasa’i, Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim recorded about the trials.

This story is similar to the story in Surat Al-`Araf (Chapter 7) although the latter was revealed in Makkah. In Surat Al-A`raf, Allah used the third person when He mentioned the Children of Israel to the Prophet and narrated what He favored them with. In this Surat Al-Baqarah, which was revealed in Al-Madinah, Allah directed His Speech at the Children of Israel. Further, Allah said in Surat Al-A`raf,

 (And there gushed forth out of it twelve springs) (7:160), describing what first occurred when the water begins to gush out. In the Ayah in Surat Al-Baqarah, Allah described what happened later on, meaning when the water burst out in full force. 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.)

Surah 2 Al Baqarah Verse 57

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

After Allah mentioned the calamities that He saved the Children of Israel from, He mentioned the favors that He granted them, saying,

And We shaded you with clouds. This Ayah mentions the white clouds that provided shade for the Children of Israel, protecting them from the sun s heat during their years of wandering. In the Hadith about the trials, An-Nasa i recorded Ibn Abbas saying, Allah shaded the Children of Israel with clouds during the years of wandering. Ibn Abi Hatim said, Narrations similar to that of Ibn Abba0s were reported from Ibn Umar, Ar-Rab bin Anas, Abu Mijlaz, Ad-Dahhak, and As-Suddi. Al-Hasan and Qatadah said that,

(And We shaded you with clouds) “This happened when they were in the desert and the clouds shielded them from the sun.” Ibn Jarir said that several scholars said that the type of cloud the Ayah mentioned, “was cooler and better than the type we know.”

`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on Allah’s statement,

And sent down on you Al-Manna, The manna used to descend to them to the trees, and they used to eat whatever they wished of it. Also, Qatadah said, The manna, which was whiter than milk and sweeter than honey, used to rain down on the Children of Israel, just as the snow falls, from dawn until sunrise. One of them would collect enough for that particular day, for if it remained more than that, it would spoil. On the sixth day, Friday, one would collect enough for the sixth and the seventh day, which was the Sabbath during which one would not leave home to seek his livelihood, or for anything else. All this occurred in the wilderness. The type of manna that we know provides sufficient food when eaten alone, because it is nutritious and sweet. When manna is mixed with water, it becomes a sweet drink. It also changes composition when mixed with other types of food. However, this is not the only type. The evidence to this fact is that Al-Bukhari narrated, that Sad bin Zayd said that the Messenger of Allah said,

(Kam’ah (truffles) is a type of manna, and its liquid is a remedy for the eyes.)

This Hadith was also collected by Imam Ahmad. The group of Hadith compilers, with the exception of Abu Dawud, also collected it, and At-Tirmidhi graded it Hasan Sahih. At-Tirmidhi recorded Abu Hurayrah saying that the Messenger of Allah said,

(The `Ajwah (pressed, dried date) is from Paradise and it cures poison, Al-Kam’ah (truffles) is a form of manna, and its liquid heals the eye.”) At-Tirmidhi is the only one of them who recorded this Hadith.

As for the quail (Salwa) in question, `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “The (Salwa) is a bird that looks like the quail.” This is the same opinion reported from Mujahid, Ash-Sha`bi, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, `Ikrimah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, may Allah have mercy upon them. Also, `Ikrimah said that the Salwa is a bird in Paradise about the size of a sparrow. Qatadah said “The Salwa is a bird that is similar to a sparrow. During that time, an Israelite could catch as many quails as was sufficient for that particular day, otherwise the meat would spoil. On the sixth day, Friday, he would collect what is enough for the sixth and the seventh day, the Sabbath, during which one was not allowed to depart his home to seek anything.”

Allah said,

 (Eat of the good lawful things We have provided for you,) (7:160) this form of command is a simple order of allowance, guiding to what is good. Allah said,

(And they did not wrong Us but they wronged themselves) means, `We commanded them to eat from what We gave them, and to perform the acts of worship (but they rebelled).’ This Ayah is similar to Allah’s statement,

(Eat of the provision of your Lord, and be grateful to Him) (34:15).

Yet, the Children of Israel rebelled, disbelieved and committed injustice against themselves, even though they saw the clear signs, tremendous miracles and extraordinary events.

Here it is important to point out the virtue of Muhammad’s Companions over the companions of the other Prophets. This includes firmness in the religion, patience and the lack of arrogance, may Allah be pleased with them. Although the Companions accompanied the Prophet in his travels and battles, such as during the battle of Tabuk, in intense heat and hardship, they did not ask for a miracle, though this was easy for the Prophet by Allah’s leave. And when the Companions became hungry, they merely asked the Prophet – to invoke Allah – for an increase in the amount of food. They collected whatever food they had and brought it to the Prophet , and he asked Allah to bless it, told each of them to take some food, and they filled every pot they had. Also, when they needed rain, the Prophet asked Allah to send down rain, and a rain cloud came. They drank, gave water to their camels and filled their water skins. When they looked around, they found that the cloud had only rained on their camp. This is the best example of those who were willing to accept Allah’s decision and follow the Messenger of Allah .

وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ يَـمُوسَى لَن نَّصْبِرَ عَلَى طَعَامٍ وَحِدٍ فَادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُخْرِجْ لَنَا مِمَّا تُنبِتُ الأَرْضُ مِن بَقْلِهَا وَقِثَّآئِهَا وَفُومِهَا وَعَدَسِهَا وَبَصَلِهَا قَالَ أَتَسْتَبْدِلُونَ الَّذِى هُوَ أَدْنَى بِالَّذِى هُوَ خَيْرٌ اهْبِطُواْ مِصْرًا فَإِنَّ لَكُم مَّا سَأَلْتُمْ

(61. And (remember) when you said, “O Musa ! We cannot endure one kind of food. So invoke your Lord for us to bring forth for us of what the earth grows, its herbs, its cucumber its Fum, its lentils and its onions.” He said, “Would you exchange that which is better for that which is lower Go you down to any town and you shall find what you want!”)

Surah 2 Al Baqarah Verse 61

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Allah said, “And remember My favor on you when I sent down the manna and quails to you, a good, pure, beneficial, easily acquired food. And remember your ungratefulness for what We granted you. Remember how you asked Musa to exchange this type of food for an inferior type that consists of vegetation, and so forth.” Al-Hasan Al-Basri said about the Children of Israel, “They were bored and impatient with the type of food they were provided. They also remembered the life they used to live, when their diet consisted of lentils, onions, garlic and herbs.” They said,

(O Musa ! We cannot endure one kind of food. So invoke your Lord for us to bring forth for us of what the earth grows, its herbs, its cucumbers, its Fum, its lentils and its onions). They said,

(One kind of food) meaning, the manna and quails, because they ate the same food day after day. The Ayah mentioned lentils, onions and herbs, which are all known types of foods. As for the Fum, Ibn Mas`ud read it, Thum (garlic). Also, Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that Al-Hasan said about the Ayah,

(Its Fum), “Ibn `Abbas said that Fum means, garlic.”

He also said that the expression, `Fumu-lanna’ means, `bake for us’, according to the languages of old. Ibn Jarir commented, “If this is true, then `Fum’ is one of the words whose pronounciation were altered, the letter `fa’ was replaced by the letter `tha’, since they are similar in sound.” And Allah knows best. Others said that Fum is wheat, the kind used for bread. Al-Bukhari said, “Some of them said that Fum includes all grains or seeds that are eaten.”

Allah’s statement,

(He said, “Would you exchange that which is better for that which is lower”) criticized the Jews for asking for inferior foods, although they were living an easy life, eating tasty, beneficial and pure food. Allah’s statement,

(Go you down to any Misr) means, `any city’, as Ibn `Abbas said. Ibn Jarir also reported that Abu Al-`Aliyah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that the Ayah refers to Misr, the Egypt of Fir`awn. The truth is that the Ayah means any city, as Ibn `Abbas and other scholars stated. Therefore, the meaning of Musa’s statement to the Children of Israel becomes, “What you are asking for is easy, for it is available in abundance in any city that you might enter. So since what you asked for is available in all of the villages and cities, I will not ask Allah to provide us with it, especially when it is an inferior type of food. ” This is why Musa said to them,

(Would you exchange that which is better for that which is lower Go you down to any town and you shall find what you want!)

Since their request was the result of boredom and arrogance and since fulfilling it was unnecessary, their request was denied. Allah knows best.

وَضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الذِّلَّةُ وَالْمَسْكَنَةُ وَبَآءُوا بِغَضَبٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ يَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَـتِ اللَّهِ وَيَقْتُلُونَ النَّبِيِّينَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ ذلِكَ بِمَا عَصَواْ وَّكَانُواْ يَعْتَدُونَ

(61. And they were covered with humiliation and misery, and they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah. That was because they used to disbelieve in the Ayat (proofs, evidence) of Allah and killed the Prophets wrongfully. That was because they disobeyed and used to transgress the bounds (in their disobedience to Allah, i.e. commit crimes and sins.))

Surah 2 Al Baqarah Verse 61

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Allah, Glorified and Praised, said,

(And they were covered with humiliation and misery). This Ayah indicates that the Children of Israel were plagued with humiliation, and that this will continue, meaning that it will never cease. They will continue to suffer humiliation at the hands of all who interact with them, along with the disgrace that they feel inwardly. Al-Hasan commented, “Allah humiliated them, and they shall have no protector. Allah put them under the feet of the Muslims, who appeared at a time when the Majus (Zoroastrians) were taking the Jizyah (tax) from the Jews.” Also, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and As-Suddi said that `misery’ used in the Ayah means, `poverty.’ `Atiyah Al-`Awfi said that `misery’ means, `paying the tilth (tax).’ In addition, Ad-Dahhak commented on Allah’s statement,

(and they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah), “They deserved Allah’s anger.” Also, Ibn Jarir said that,

(and they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah) means, “They went back with the wrath. Similarly, Allah said,

(Verily, I intend to let you draw my sin on yourself as well as yours) (Al-Ma’idah 5:29) meaning, `You will end up carrying my, and your, mistakes instead of me’. Thus, the meaning of the Ayah becomes, `They went back carrying Allah’s anger; Allah’s wrath descended on them; they deserved Allah’s anger.”’

Allah’s statement,

(That was because they used to disbelieve in the Ayat (proofs, evidences, etc.) of Allah and killed the Prophets wrongfully.) means, “This is what We rewarded the Children of Israel with: humiliation and misery.” Allah’s anger that descended on the Children of Israel was a part of the humiliation they earned, because of their defiance of the truth, disbelief in Allah’s Ayat and belittling the carriers of Allah’s Law i.e. the Prophets and their following. The Children of Israel rejected the Messengers and even killed them. Surely, there is no form of disbelief worse than disbelieving in Allah’s Ayat and murdering the Prophets of Allah.

www.tafsir.com

Advertisements