Friday, 11 June 2010

Musa continued: Disobedience of Banu Isra'il Part 1

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

While Firawn and his army died, Musa (as) and the Banu Isra'il successfully crossed the Red Sea due to the miracle from Allah described in the last post (the splitting of the Red Sea).  Despite Allah's mercy in saving them from the people of Firawn, guiding them out of Egypt and even the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea, Banu Isra'il would show ingratitude to their Lord.

After saving them from Egypt and the tyranny of Firawn, Allah blessed Banu Isra'il by decreeing that they should now be the ones to inhabit the Holy Land, including Al Quds (Jerusalem). The following ayaat (verses) of the Quran are examples referring to Banu Isra'il being commanded to enter the Holy Land:

"Remember when We said, 'Enter this town and eat freely there as you will, but enter its gate humbly and say, "Relieve us!" Then We shall forgive you your sins and increase the rewards of those who do good'". (Surah Al Baqarah: 58)


"My people, go into the holy land which God has ordained for you- do not turn back or you will be the losers" (Surah Al Ma'ida: 21)

When they arrived at the outskirts of the Holy Land Musa (as) commanded Banu Isra'il to enter it (as per the ayah above). Banu Isra'il, however, refused. Their response to the command of Musa (as) was:

"They said, 'Moses, there is a fearsome people in this land. We will not go there until they leave. If they leave, then we will enter". (Surah Al Ma'ida: 22)

Despite the general disobedience of Banu Isra'il, two men amongst them were of true faith. They advised the people to obey Musa (as) and put their trust in Allah to be victorious:

"Yet two men whom God had blessed among those who were afraid said, 'Go in to them through the gate and when you go in you will overcome them. If you are true believers, put your trust in God. " (Surah Al Ma'ida: 23)

Banu Isra'il refused to accept this naseeha and such was their disobedience that they gave their prophet, Musa (as), the following verdict on the situation:

"They said, 'Moses, we wil never enter while they are still there, so you and your Lord go in and fight, and we will stay here' " (Surah Al Ma'ida: 24)

How painful must this disobedience have been to Musa (as)! Despite being saved from Firawn by the mercy of Allah and being blessed in the command to enter and inhabit the Holy Land, Banu Isra'il were not willing to exert themselves to reap such weighty rewards. Instead they wanted to sit back and expected everthing to be handed to them without any effort on their part. Facing such complete disobedience from his people, Musa (as) turned to Allah at this difficult time and made the following supplication:

"He said, 'Lord, I have authority over no-one except myself and my brother: judge between the two of us and these disobedient people'". (Surah Al Ma'ida: 25)

For their complete disregard for the command of Allah and their prophet, Allah punished Banu Isra'il by prohibiting them from entering the Holy Land in the following way:

"God said, 'The land is forbidden to them for forty years: they will wander the earth aimlessly. Do not grieve over those who disobey'". (Surah Al Ma'ida: 26)

Although they would spend the next forty years wandering in the land prohibited from entering Al Quds, Allah nevertheless still showered many blessings on Banu Isra'il.  Some of these will be covered in the last post inshaAllah.

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