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Musa asks to see Allah

Allah said that when Musa came for His appointment and spoke to Him directly, he asked to see Him,

﴿ رَبِّ أَرِنِىٓ أَنظُرۡ إِلَيۡكَ‌ۚ قَالَ لَن تَرَٮٰنِى

("O my Lord! Show me (Yourself), that I may look upon You.'' Allah said: "You cannot see Me,'') `You cannot' (Lan) by no means indicates that seeing Allah will never occur, as (the misguided sect of) Al-Mu`tazilah claimed. The Hadiths of Mutawatir grade narrated from the Messenger of Allah, affirm that the believers will see Allah in the Hereafter. We will mention these Hadiths under the explanation of Allah's statement,

﴿ وُجُوهٌ۬ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ نَّاضِرَةٌ إِلَىٰ رَبِّہَا نَاظِرَةٌ۬

(Some faces that Day shall be radiant. Looking at their Lord.) (75:22-23) In earlier Scriptures, it was reported that Allah said to Musa, "O Musa! No living soul sees Me, but will perish, and no solid but will be demolished.'' Allah said here,

﴿ فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّىٰ رَبُّهُ ۥ لِلۡجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ ۥ دَڪًّ۬ا وَخَرَّ مُوسَىٰ صَعِقً۬ا‌ۚ

(So when his Lord appeared to the mountain, He made it collapse to dust, and Musa fell down unconscious.) In his Musnad Imam Ahmad recorded from Anas bin Malik that the Prophet said about Allah's saying;

﴿ فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّىٰ رَبُّهُ ۥ لِلۡجَبَلِ

(And when his Lord appeared to the mountain, )

« هكذا »

(Like this) then he held out the tip of his little finger. At-Tirmidhi recorded this in the chapter of Tafsir for this Ayah, then he said; "This Hadith is Hasan Sahih Gharib.'' This was also recorded by Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak through the route of Hamad bin Salamah, and he said; "This Hadith is Sahih according to the criteria of Muslim and they did not record it.'' And As-Suddi reported that `Ikrimah reported from Ibn `Abbas about Allah's saying,

﴿ فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّىٰ رَبُّهُ ۥ لِلۡجَبَلِ

(And when his Lord appeared to the mountain,) Only the extent of the little finger appeared from Him,

﴿ جَعَلَهُ ۥ دَڪًّ۬ا

(He made it collapse) as dust;

﴿ وَخَرَّ مُوسَىٰ صَعِقً۬ا‌ۚ

(And Musa fell down unconscious) fainting from it. Ibn Jarir recorded these because of the relation to the word Al-Ghashi.

﴿ فَلَمَّآ أَفَاقَ

(Then when he (Musa) recovered his senses) after he lost consciousness,

﴿ قَالَ سُبۡحَـٰنَكَ

(he said: "Glory be to You,'') thus, praising, glorifying and honoring Allah since no living soul could see Him in this life and remain alive. Musa' statement,

﴿ تُبۡتُ إِلَيۡكَ

("I turn to You in repentance'') means, according to Mujahid, that from asking you to look at you,

﴿ وَأَنَا۟ أَوَّلُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ

("and I am the first of the believers.''), among the Children of Israel, according to Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, and Ibn Jarir preferred this view. Or, according to another narration from Ibn `Abbas, the meaning of,

﴿ وَأَنَا۟ أَوَّلُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ

("and I am the first of the believers.''), is that `none shall see You (in this life).' Allah said,

﴿ وَخَرَّ مُوسَىٰ صَعِقً۬ا‌ۚ

(And Musa fell down unconscious.) Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Hurayrah narrated a Hadith from the Prophet that is suitable to mention here. As for the Hadith from Abu Sa`id, Al-Bukhari recorded in his Sahih that he said: A Jew came to the Prophet after his face was smacked, and said, "O Muhammad! One of your companions from Al-Ansar smacked me on the face.'' The Prophet said,

« ادْعُوه »

(Summon him) and he was summoned. The Prophet asked him,

« لِمَ لَطَمْتَ وَجْهَهُ؟ »

(Why did you smack his face) He said, "O Allah's Messenger! I passed by that Jew and heard him swearing, `No, by He Who has chosen Musa over mankind!' I said, `Over Muhammad too', and I became angry and struck his face.'' The Prophet said,

« لَا تُخَيِّرُونِي مِنْ بَيْنِ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ فَإِنَّ النَّاسَ يَصْعَقُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَأَكُونُ أَوَّلَ مَنْ يُفِيقُ، فَإِذَا أَنَا بِمُوسَى آخِذٌ بِقَائِمَةٍ مِنْ قَوَائِمِ الْعَرْشِ، فَلَا أَدْرِي أَفَاقَ قَبْلِي أَمْ جُوزِيَ بِصَعْقَةِ الطُّور »

(Do not prefer me above the Prophets. Verily, on the Day of Resurrection, people will be struck unconscious, and I (feel that I) am the first to wake up. Thereupon I will find that Musa is holding onto a pillar of the Throne (`Arsh of Allah). I will not know if he woke up before me or he received his due (because of his) unconsciousness on (Mount) At-Tur.) Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith in many locations of his Sahih, as did Muslim and Abu Dawud. As for the Hadith from Abu Hurayrah, Imam Ahmad and the Two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) collected his narration.

﴿ قَالَ يَـٰمُوسَىٰٓ إِنِّى ٱصۡطَفَيۡتُكَ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ بِرِسَـٰلَـٰتِى وَبِكَلَـٰمِى فَخُذۡ مَآ ءَاتَيۡتُكَ وَكُن مِّنَ ٱلشَّـٰكِرِينَ وَڪَتَبۡنَا لَهُ ۥ فِى ٱلۡأَلۡوَاحِ مِن ڪُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ مَّوۡعِظَةً۬ وَتَفۡصِيلاً۬ لِّكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ فَخُذۡهَا بِقُوَّةٍ۬ وَأۡمُرۡ قَوۡمَكَ يَأۡخُذُواْ بِأَحۡسَنِہَا‌ۚ سَأُوْرِيكُمۡ دَارَ ٱلۡفَـٰسِقِينَ

(144. (Allah) said: "O Musa I have chosen you above men by My Messages, and by My speaking (to you). So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful.'') (145. And We wrote for him on the Tablets the exhortation all things and the explanation for all things (and said): Hold unto these with firmness, and enjoin your people to take the better therein. I shall show you the home of the rebellious.)

Allah chooses Musa and gives Him the Tablets

Allah states that He spoke to Musa directly and informed him that He has chosen him above the people of his time, by His Message and by speaking to him. Here we should mention that there is no doubt that Muhammad is the chief of all the Children of Adam, the earlier and later ones among them. This is why Allah has chosen him to be the Final and Last Prophet and Messenger, whose Law shall remain dominant and valid until the commencement of the Last Hour. Muhammad's followers are more numerous than the followers of all Prophets and Messengers. After Muhammad , the next in rank of honor and virtue is Ibrahim upon him be peace,, then Musa, son of `Imran, who spoke to the Most Beneficent directly. Allah commanded Musa, saying,

﴿ فَخُذۡ مَآ ءَاتَيۡتُكَ

(So hold to that which I have given you), of My Speech and conversation with you,

﴿ وَكُن مِّنَ ٱلشَّـٰكِرِينَ

(and be of the grateful) , for it and do not ask for what is beyond your capacity to bear. Allah stated that He has written lessons and exhortation for all things and explanations for all things on the Tablets. It was said that in the Tablets, Allah wrote advice and the details of the commandments for lawful and prohibited matters. The Tablets contained the Tawrah, that Allah described;

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ ءَاتَيۡنَا مُوسَى ٱلۡڪِتَـٰبَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَآ أَهۡلَكۡنَا ٱلۡقُرُونَ ٱلۡأُولَىٰ بَصَآٮِٕرَ لِلنَّاسِ

(And indeed We gave Musa -- after We had destroyed the generations of old -- the Scripture as an enlightenment for mankind) (28: 43). It was also said that Allah gave Musa the Tablets before the Tawrah, and Allah knows best. Allah said next,

﴿ فَخُذۡهَا بِقُوَّةٍ۬

(Hold unto these with firmness), be firm on the obedience,

﴿ وَأۡمُرۡ قَوۡمَكَ يَأۡخُذُواْ بِأَحۡسَنِہَا‌ۚ

(and enjoin your people to take the better therein.) Sufyan bin `Uyaynah said, "Abu Sa`d narrated to us from `Ikrimah from Ibn `Abbas that "Musa, peace be upon him, was commanded to adhere to the toughest of what was ordained on his people.'' Allah's statement,

﴿ سَأُوْرِيكُمۡ دَارَ ٱلۡفَـٰسِقِينَ

(I shall show you the home of the rebellious), means, you will witness the recompense of those who defy My order and deviate from My obedience, the destruction, demise and utter loss they will suffer.

﴿ سَأَصۡرِفُ عَنۡ ءَايَـٰتِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَكَبَّرُونَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ بِغَيۡرِ ٱلۡحَقِّ وَإِن يَرَوۡاْ ڪُلَّ ءَايَةٍ۬ لَّا يُؤۡمِنُواْ بِہَا وَإِن يَرَوۡاْ سَبِيلَ ٱلرُّشۡدِ لَا يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلاً۬ وَإِن يَرَوۡاْ سَبِيلَ ٱلۡغَىِّ يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلاً۬‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ بِأَنَّہُمۡ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا وَكَانُواْ عَنۡہَا غَـٰفِلِينَ وَٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا وَلِقَآءِ ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ حَبِطَتۡ أَعۡمَـٰلُهُمۡ‌ۚ هَلۡ يُجۡزَوۡنَ إِلَّا مَا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ

(146. I shall turn away from My Ayat those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right, and (even) if they see all the Ayat, they will not believe in them. And if they see the way of righteousness, they will not adopt it as the way, but if they see the way of error, they will adopt that way, that is because they have rejected Our Ayat and were heedless of them.) (147. Those who deny Our Ayat and the meeting in the Hereafter, vain are their deeds. Are they requited with anything except what they used to do)

Arrogant People will be deprived of Allah's Ayat

Allah said,

﴿ سَأَصۡرِفُ عَنۡ ءَايَـٰتِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَكَبَّرُونَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ بِغَيۡرِ ٱلۡحَقِّ

(I shall turn away from My Ayat those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right). Allah says, "I shall deprive the hearts of those who are too proud to obey Me, and arrogant with people without right, from understanding the signs and proofs that testify to My Might, Law and Commandments.'' And just as they acted arrogantly without justification, Allah has disgraced them with ignorance. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ وَنُقَلِّبُ أَفۡـِٔدَتَہُمۡ وَأَبۡصَـٰرَهُمۡ كَمَا لَمۡ يُؤۡمِنُواْ بِهِۦۤ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ۬

(And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away (from guidance), as they refused to believe therein for the first time) (6:110), and,

﴿ فَلَمَّا زَاغُوٓاْ أَزَاغَ ٱللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمۡ‌ۚ

(So when they turned away (from the path of Allah), Allah turned their hearts away (from the right path).) (61:5) Sufyan bin `Uyaynah commented on this Ayah,

﴿ سَأَصۡرِفُ عَنۡ ءَايَـٰتِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَكَبَّرُونَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ بِغَيۡرِ ٱلۡحَقِّ

(I shall turn away from My Ayat those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right), "(Allah says) I shall snatch away comprehension of the Qur'an from them and turn them away from My Ayat. '' Ibn Jarir commented on Sufyan's statement that, "This indicates that this part of the Ayah is addressed to this Ummah.'' This is not necessarily true, for Ibn `Uyaynah actually meant that this occurs in every Ummah and that there is no difference between one Ummah and another Ummah in this regard. Allah knows best. Allah said next,

﴿ وَإِن يَرَوۡاْ ڪُلَّ ءَايَةٍ۬ لَّا يُؤۡمِنُواْ بِہَا

(and (even) if they see all the Ayat, they will not believe in them). Allah said in a similar Ayah,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ حَقَّتۡ عَلَيۡہِمۡ ڪَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ وَلَوۡ جَآءَتۡہُمۡ ڪُلُّ ءَايَةٍ حَتَّىٰ يَرَوُاْ ٱلۡعَذَابَ ٱلۡأَلِيمَ

(Truly, those, against whom the Word (wrath) of your Lord has been justified, will not believe. Even if every sign should come to them, until they see the painful torment.) (10:96-97) Allah's statement,

﴿ وَإِن يَرَوۡاْ سَبِيلَ ٱلرُّشۡدِ لَا يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلاً۬

(And if they see the way of righteousness, they will not adopt it as the way,) means, even if the way of guidance and safety appears before them, they will not take it, but if the way that leads to destruction and misguidance appears to them, they adopt that way. Allah explains why they do this,

﴿ ذَٲلِكَ بِأَنَّہُمۡ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا

(that is because they have rejected Our Ayat), in their hearts,

﴿ وَكَانُواْ عَنۡہَا غَـٰفِلِينَ

(and were heedless of them.), gaining no lessons from the Ayat. Allah's statement,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا وَلِقَآءِ ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ حَبِطَتۡ أَعۡمَـٰلُهُمۡ‌ۚ

(Those who deny Our Ayat and the meeting in the Hereafter, vain are their deeds.) indicates that whoever among them does this, remaining on this path until death, then all his deeds will be in vain. Allah said next,

﴿ هَلۡ يُجۡزَوۡنَ إِلَّا مَا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ

(Are they requited with anything except what they used to do) meaning, `We only recompense them according to the deeds that they performed, good for good and evil for evil. Surely, as you bring forth, you reap the harvest thereof.'

﴿ وَٱتَّخَذَ قَوۡمُ مُوسَىٰ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِۦ مِنۡ حُلِيِّهِمۡ عِجۡلاً۬ جَسَدً۬ا لَّهُ ۥ خُوَارٌ‌ۚ أَلَمۡ يَرَوۡاْ أَنَّهُ ۥ لَا يُكَلِّمُهُمۡ وَلَا يَہۡدِيہِمۡ سَبِيلاً‌ۘ ٱتَّخَذُوهُ وَڪَانُواْ ظَـٰلِمِينَ وَلَمَّا سُقِطَ فِىٓ أَيۡدِيهِمۡ وَرَأَوۡاْ أَنَّهُمۡ قَدۡ ضَلُّواْ قَالُواْ لَٮِٕن لَّمۡ يَرۡحَمۡنَا رَبُّنَا وَيَغۡفِرۡ لَنَا لَنَڪُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرِينَ

(148. And the people of Musa made in his absence, out of their ornaments, the image of a calf (for worship). It had a sound. Did they not see that it could neither speak to them nor guide them to the way They took it (for worship) and they were wrongdoers.) (149. And when they regretted and saw that they had gone astray, they said: "If our Lord have not mercy upon us and forgive us, we shall certainly be of the losers'')