Allah said next,
(And when calmed) and subsided,
(the anger of Musa) with his people,
(he took up the Tablets), which he had thrown out of jealousy for Allah and anger for His sake, because of his people worshipping the calf,
(and in their inscription was guidance and mercy for those who fear their Lord.) Several scholars of Tafsir said that when Musa threw the Tablets on the ground they were shattered and he collected the pieces afterwards. Musa found in its inscription guidance and mercy, but the specific details of the Law was lost, so they said. They also claimed that the shattered pieces of the Tablets still remained in the treasury safes of some Israelite kings until the Islamic State came into existence. Only Allah knows if these statements are true.
(155. And Musa chose out of his people seventy (of the best) men for Our appointed time and place of meeting, and when they were seized with a violent earthquake, he said: "O my Lord, if it had been Your Will, You could have destroyed them and me before; would You destroy us for the deeds of the foolish among us It is only Your trial by which You lead astray whom You will, and keep guided whom You will. You are our protector, so forgive us and have mercy on us: for You are the best of those who forgive.) (156. "And ordain for us good in this world, and in the Hereafter. Certainly we have Hudna unto You.'' He said: (As to) My punishment I afflict therewith whom I will and My mercy embraces all things. That (mercy) I shall ordain for those who have Taqwa, and give Zakah; and those who believe in Our Ayat.)
`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented; "Allah commanded Musa to choose seventy men. So he chose them and proceeded with them in order that they supplicate to their Lord. Their supplication included asking Allah, `O Allah! Give us what you have never given anyone before us and will never give anyone after us!' Allah disliked this supplication and they were seized with a violent earthquake, Musa said:
("O my Lord, if it had been Your will, You could have destroyed them and me before.)''' As-Suddi said, "Allah commanded Musa to come with thirty men from the Children of Israel, apologizing for worshipping the calf; and He gave them an appointed time and place.
(And Musa chose out of his people seventy (of the best) men.) He chose these men and went along with them so that they could apologize. When they reached the appointed place, they said,
(We shall never believe in you), (2:55) `O Musa,
(until we see Allah plainly, ) for you spoke to Him,' they said, `therefore, show Him to us,'
(but they were struck with a bolt of lightning) (4:153) and they died. Musa stood up crying, invoking Allah, `O Lord! What should I tell the Children of Israel, when I go back to them after You destroyed their best men'
("O my Lord, if it had been Your will, You could have destroyed them and me before'').''' Muhammad bin Ishaq said, "Musa chose seventy of the best men from the Children of Israel. He said to them, `Go to the meeting with Allah and repent for what you committed. Beg His forgiveness for those of your people whom you left behind. Fast, purify yourselves and clean your clothes.' So, he went with them to Mount Tur in Sinai for the meeting place and time designated by his Lord. He went there only with the leave and knowledge of Allah. According to what has been mentioned to me, when the seventy did what he ordered them to do, and went with him to the meeting of Musa with his Lord, they said, `Request that we may also hear the words of our Lord.' So he replied, `I shall.' When Musa approached the mountain it became completely covered with columns of clouds, Musa approached it and entered in them. He said to the people, `Approach.' But when Allah spoke to Musa, his cloak was surrounded by a brilliant light which no human could bear to look at, so below him a barrier was placed and the people approached. When they entered the cloud they fell prostrate and they heard Him while he was speaking to Musa, commanding him and forbidding him, saying what to do and what not to do. When He completed commanding him, and removed the cloud from Musa, he faced the people and they said, `O Musa! We will not believe in you unless we see Allah directly.' So the thunder shook them, their souls were captured and they all died. Musa stood up invoking, begging and supplicating to his Lord,
("O my Lord, if it had been Your will, You could have destroyed them and me before.'')' meaning, `They were foolish. Would You destroy anyone who comes after me from the Children of Israel' Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah, Mujahid and Ibn Jarir At-Tabari said, "They were seized by the tremor or lightning, because they neither shunned nor forbade their people who worshipped the calf.'' This is supported by Musa's statement,
("would You destroy us for the deeds of the fools among us'') He said next,
("It is only Your Fitnah'') affliction, test and trial, according to Ibn `Abbas, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and several among the Salaf and latter scholars. This is the only plausible meaning, in which Musa says, "The decision is Yours (O Allah), and the judgment, and whatever You will occurs. You misguide whom You will, guide whom You will, and none can guide whom You misguide or misguide whom You guide. There is none who can give what You deprive or avert what You give. The sovereignty is all Yours, and Yours is the judgment, the creation and the decision.'' The Ayah,
("You are our protector, so forgive us and have mercy on us: for You are the best of those who forgive.''), pertains to (Allah's) covering the mistake and not punishing for the sin. Whenever mercy is mentioned along with forgiveness (such as in Musa's supplication to Allah), it includes the hope that Allah does not permit one to fall into that act again.
("for You are the best of those who forgive,'') for none except You can forgive the sin.
("And ordain for us good in this world, and in the Hereafter.'') The first part of Musa's supplication was to fend off what should be avoided, while this part is a request for what is sought. The meaning of,
("And ordain for us good in this world, and in the Hereafter. '') is, `ordain for us and grant us all that is good in both lives. We mentioned the meaning of `good' before in Surat Al-Baqarah.
("We have Hudna unto You'') `we repent, go back and return unto You,' according to the meaning of, `Hudna', given by Ibn `Abbas, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Mujahid, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ad-Dahhak, Ibrahim At-Taymi, As-Suddi, Qatadah and several others.
(He said: (As to) My punishment I afflict therewith whom I will and My mercy embraces all things. That (mercy) I shall ordain for those who have Taqwa, and give Zakah; and those who believe in Our Ayat.) (7:156)
Allah answers the statement,
("It is only Your trial...'') (7:155), by saying,
((As to) My punishment I afflict therewith whom I will and My mercy embraces all things.) Allah says here, `I do what I will, decide what I will and I have wisdom and justice in all matters.' Certainly, there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. Allah's statement,
(and My mercy embraces all things) testifies to His encompassing mercy. Allah said that the angels who carry His Throne and those around the Throne supplicate,
("Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge.'') (40:7) Imam Ahmad recorded that Jundub bin `Abdullah Al-Bajali said, "A bedouin man came, he made his camel kneel and he tied it. Then he prayed behind the Messenger of Allah . When the Messenger of Allah finished the prayer, that man untied his camel mounted it and supplicated aloud, `O Allah! Grant Your mercy to me and to Muhammad, and do not give a share in it to anyone else.' The Messenger of Allah commented (to his Companions),
(Do you think that this man is more misguided or his camel Did you not hear what this man has said) They said, `Yes.' He said,
(You (the bedouin man) have restricted a vast mercy! Allah, the Exalted, the most Honored has created a hundred mercies and sent down one of them by which the creation, men, Jinn and animals, show mercy to each other. He left with Him ninety-nine mercies, so do you say that this man is more misguided or his camel) Ahmad and Abu Dawud collected this Hadith. Imam Ahmad recorded that Salman narrated that the Prophet said,
(Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, has a hundred mercies. With one of them, the creations show mercy to each other, and even the beasts show kindness to their offspring. He has kept ninety-nine mercies with Him for the Day of Resurrection.) Muslim recorded it. Allah said next,
(That (mercy) I shall ordain for those who have Taqwa, ) meaning, I will ordain My mercy for them, as a favor and kindness from Me to them. Allah said in a similar Ayah,
(He has prescribed mercy for Himself) (6:12) Allah's statement,
(for those who have Taqwa), means, `I will ordain My mercy for those who possess these qualities, and they are the Ummah of Muhammad,'
(for those who have Taqwa), who avoid Shirk and major sins,
(and give the Zakah), purify themselves, according to one opinion. It was also said that, `the Zakah', here pertains to wealth. It is possible that both meanings are included here, for this Ayah was revealed in Makkah (before Zakah in fixed shares was ordained),
(and those who believe in Our Ayat.), those who have faith in them.
(157. Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write whom they find written of with them in the Tawrah and the Injil, -- he commands them to do good; and forbids them from evil; he makes lawful for them the good things, and forbids them from the evil things, he releases them from their heavy burdens and from the fetters that were upon them. So those who believe in him, honor him, help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful.)
(Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write whom they find written with them in the Tawrah and the Injil,) This is the description of the Prophet Muhammad in the Books of the Prophets. They delivered the good news of his advent to their nations and commanded them to follow him. His descriptions were still apparent in their Books, as the rabbis and the priests well know. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sakhr Al-`Uqayli said that a bedouin man said to him, "I brought a milk-producing camel to Al-Madinah during the life time of Allah's Messenger. After I sold it, I said to myself, `I will meet that man (Muhammad) and hear from him.' So I passed by him while he was walking between Abu Bakr and `Umar, and I followed them until they went by a Jewish man, who was reading from an open copy of the Tawrah. He was mourning a son of his who was dying and who was one of the most handsome boys. The Messenger of Allah asked him (the father),
(I ask you by He Who has sent down the Tawrah, do you not find the description of me and my advent in your Book) He nodded his head in the negative. His son said, `Rather, yes, by He Who has sent down the Tawrah! We find the description of you and your advent in our Book. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that you are the Messenger of Allah. ' The Prophet said (to the Companions),
(Stop the Jew (the father) from (taking care of) your brother (in Islam).) The Prophet then personally took care of the son's funeral and led the funeral prayer on him.''' This Hadith is sound and is supported by a similar Hadith in the Sahih narrated from Anas. Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Muthanna said that `Ata' bin Yasar said, "I met `Abdullah bin `Amr and asked him, `Tell me about the description of Allah's Messenger in the Tawrah.' He said, `Yes, by Allah! He is described in the Tawrah, just as he is described in the Qur'an,
(O Prophet! Verily, We have sent you as a witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner.) (33:45) as a safe refuge for the unlettered ones. `You are My servant and Messenger. I have called you `Al-Mutawakkil' (who trusts in Allah), not hard or harsh.' Neither uttering foul speech in the markets nor returning evil deed with one in kind. Rather, he forgives and forgoes. Allah will not end his life until He straightens through him the crooked religion, so that they might proclaim, `There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.' He will open through him sealed hearts, deaf ears and blind eyes.''' `Ata' then said, "I also met Ka`b and asked him the same question, and his answer did not differ from `Abdullah's answer, even concerning one letter. '' Al-Bukhari recorded it from `Abdullah bin `Amr. It was also recorded by Al-Bukhari (up to the word) forgoes. And he mentioned the narration of `Abdullah bin `Amr then he said; "It was common in the speech of our Salaf that they describe the Books of the People of the Two Scriptures as the Tawrah, as some Hadiths concur. Allah knows best.'' Allah's statement,
(He commands them to do good; and forbids them from evil;) This is the description of the Messenger of Allah in previous Books. These were the true qualities of our Messenger , as well, for he only ordained good and forbade evil. We should mention here that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "When you hear Allah's statement,
(O you who believe!), then pay it your full attention, for it is a good that you are being commanded, or an evil that you are being forbidden.'' And the most important and greatest of these commands and prohibitions, is that Allah has sent the Messenger to order worshipping Him Alone without partners and forbid worshipping others besides Him. This is the Message that Allah has sent all Messengers with before Muhammad , just as Allah said,
(And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allah, and avoid the Taghut (false deities)'') (16:36). Allah's statement,
(He makes lawful for them the good things, and forbids them from the evil things,) meaning, he makes the Bahirah, Sa'ibah, Wasilah and Ham, etc., lawful. They were prohibitions that they invented which were only hard for themselves. He also forbids them from evil things, such as the flesh of the pig, Riba, and foods that were treated as lawful although Allah the Exalted had forbidden them. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported this from Ibn `Abbas. Allah's statement,
(He (Muhammad) releases them from their heavy burdens, and from the fetters that were upon them.) indicates that Muhammad came with leniency and an easy religion. As mentioned in the Hadith recorded from many routes that Allah's Messenger said,
(I was sent with the easy way of Hanifiyyah ﴿monotheism﴾) The Prophet said to the two Commanders he appointed, Mu`adh and Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari, when he sent them to Yemen,
(Bring glad tidings and do not drive people away, make things easy and do not make them difficult, obey each other and do not differ among yourselves). Abu Barzah Al-Aslami, the Prophet's Companion, said, "I accompanied the Messenger of Allah and saw how easy he was. The nations that were before us had things made difficult for them in their laws. Allah made the law encompassing and easy for this Ummah. Hence the statement of the Messenger of Allah,
(Allah has forgiven my Ummah for what occurs in themselves, as long as they do not utter it or act upon it.) The Prophet said,
(My Ummah was forgiven (by Allah) unintentional errors, forgetfulness and what they are forced to do.)'' This is why Allah has guided this Ummah to proclaim,
("Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Mawla (Patron, Supporter and Protector) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.) (2:286) It is recorded in Sahih Muslim that ﴿the Prophet said that﴾ Allah the Exalted said after every one of these supplications, "I shall accept (your supplication).'' Allah's statement,
(So those who believe in him, honor him, help him.) refers to respecting and honoring Muhammad ,
(and follow the light which has been sent down with him,) the Qur'an and the revelation (Sunnah) that the Prophet delivered to mankind,
(it is they who will be successful.) in this life and the Hereafter.
(158. Say: "O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah -- to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. None has the right to be worshipped but He. It is He Who gives life and causes death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, who believes in Allah and His Words, and follow him so that you may be guided.'')
Allah says to His Prophet and Messenger Muhammad ,
(Say), O Muhammad,
(O mankind!), this is directed to mankind red and black, and the Arabs and non-Arabs alike,
(I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah,) This Ayah mentions the Prophet's honor and greatness, for he is the Final Prophet who was sent to all mankind (and the Jinns). Allah said,
(Say, "Allah is Witness between you and I; this Qur'an has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach.'') (6:19),
(but those of the sects that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place) (11:17), and,
(And say to those who were given the Scripture and to the illiterates (Arab pagans): "Do you (also) submit yourselves (to Allah in Islam)'' If they do, they are rightly guided; but if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message.) (3:20) There are many other Ayat and more Hadiths than can be counted on this subject. It is also well-known in our religion that the Messenger of Allah was sent to all mankind (and the Jinns). Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said, "Abu Bakr and `Umar had an argument in which Abu Bakr made `Umar angry. So `Umar went away while angry and Abu Bakr followed him asking him to forgive him, but `Umar refused. `Umar shut his door closed in Abu Bakr's face and Abu Bakr went to the Messenger of Allah while we were with him. The Messenger of Allah said,
(This fellow of yours (Abu Bakr) has made someone angry! `Umar became sorry for what he did, went to the Prophet and greeted him with the Salam and sat next to him, telling him what had happened. The Messenger of Allah became angry (at `Umar), and realizing that, Abu Bakr said, `O Allah's Messenger! It was me who was unjust.' The Messenger of Allah said,
(Will you leave my Companion (Abu Bakr) alone! I said, `O People! I am the Messenger of Allah to you all,' and you said, `You lie,' but Abu Bakr declared, `You said the truth.')'' Al-Bukhari recorded it. Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(I have been given five things which were not given to any Prophet before me, and I do not say it out of pride. I was sent to all mankind (their) black and white alike. Allah made me victorious by fright, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month's journey. The spoils of war are lawful for me, yet it was not lawful for anyone else before me. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform purification with. I have been given the Shafa'ah (right of intercession), and I saved it for my Ummah on the Day of Resurrection. Therefore, the Shafa'ah will reach those who associate none with Allah in worship.) This Hadith's chain of narration is suitable, but the Two Sahihs did not record it. Allah's statement,
(to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. None has the right to be worshipped but He. It is He Who gives life and causes death.) describes Allah by the words of the Messenger that He Who has sent him is the Creator, Lord and King of all things and in His Hand is the control, life, death and the decision. Just as Allah said
(So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write,) Allah proclaims here that Muhammad is His Messenger and reiterates this fact by commanding that he be believed in and followed. Allah said,
(The Prophet who can neither read nor write) who you were promised and given the good news of in previous revealed books. Certainly, Muhammad was amply described in the previous books, including his description as being the unlettered Prophet. Allah's statement,
(who believes in Allah and His Words), means, his actions conform with his words and he believes in what he was given from his Lord.
(And follow him), embrace his path and guidance,
(so that you may be guided) to the Straight Path.
(159. And of the people of Musa there is a community who lead (the men) with truth and establish justice therewith.) Allah stated that of the Children of Israel there are some who follow the truth and judge by it, just as He said in another Ayah,
(A party of the people of the Scripture stand for the right, they recite the verses of Allah during the hours of the night, prostrating themselves in prayer) (3:113),
(And there are, certainly, among the People of the Scripture, those who believe in Allah and in that which has been revealed to you, and in that which has been revealed to them, humbling themselves before Allah. They do not sell the verses of Allah for a small price, for them is a reward with their Lord. Surely, Allah is Swift in account.) (3:199)
(Those to whom We gave the Scripture before it, they believe in it (the Qur'an). And when it is recited to them, they say: "We believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed even before it we have been from those who submit themselves. These will be given their reward twice over, because they are patient.) (28:52-54), and,
(Verily, those who were given knowledge before it, when it (this Qur'an) is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration. And they say: "Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the promise of our Lord must be fulfilled.'' And they fall down on their faces weeping and it increases their humility.) (17:107-109)
(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.) (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.'') (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.) We discussed these Ayat in Surat Al-Baqarah, which was revealed in Al-Madinah, while these Ayat were revealed in Makkah. We also mentioned the difference between the two narrations, and thus we do not need to repeat it here, all thanks are due to Allah and all the favors are from Him.
(163. And ask them about the town that was by the sea; when they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath day, and did not come to them on the day they had no Sabbath. Thus We made a trial for them, for they used to rebel against Allah's command.)