Children of Israel were punished at first against worship of calf, then demand to look God
Surah ‘Al-Baqarah (The Cow) – Chapter – 2)
Stage – 1, Verses – 54 & 55 of 286, Section – 6 of 40 (Part - 1)
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
And when Moses said unto his people: O my people! Ye have wronged yourselves by your choosing of the calf (for worship), so turn in penitence to your Creator, and kill (the guilty) yourselves. That will be best for you with your Creator and He will relent toward you. Lo! He is the Relenting, the Merciful.
Wa ‘iz qaala Muusaa li-Qawmihii yaa-qawmi ‘innakum zalamtum ‘anfusa-kum bit-tikhaazikumul-‘ijla fatuubuuu ‘ilaa Baari-‘ikum faqtuluuu ‘anfusakum. Zaalikum khay-rul-lakum ‘inda Baari-‘ikum Fataaba ‘alaykum ‘Innahuuu Huwat-Tawwaa-bur-Rahiim.
Li-Qawmihii – (unto his people, to His nation), in this verse aim from li-Qawmihii is particularly those persons who fell prostrate before the calf supposing their worshiped.
Zalamtum – (you have wronged, you have lost) it means that they involved again in plurality leaving the Oneness of God Almighty. How might be more than it loss of an individual over himself?
Faqtuluuu ‘anfusakum – So kill (the guilty) yourselves. It signifies towards the people who did not fall prostrate before the calf that they should kill them who fell prostrate before it. The scholars have commented that there were three groups in the Children of Israel:
· Those people who did not fall prostrate before the calf and forbade others not to do so. They were pious persons.
· Those people who fell prostrate.
· It was a group of people who did not fall prostrate themselves but they did not forbid others from falling prostrate.
So the pious people were commanded to kill them who fell prostrate. In fact the afterward two groups deserved the punishment.
Khay-rul-lakum – it is best for you. It aims that when you will kill one another; you will become chaste from the stench of sin and will acquire absolution and freedom.
In this verse, God Almighty tells the Children of Israel, “You could not remain on the straight path in the absence of Prophet (peace be upon Him), involved in plurality and idol worshiping. You have lost much due to this deed of yours. Now it is its punishment that you should kill one another yourselves. When the Children of Israel obeyed the order of God Almighty, then they were relented and God, the Most high accepted their penitence. Success in this world and on the Day of Resurrection for the human being is in obeying the Commands of God Almighty whether he knows or doesn’t know its philosophy and expedience. And if with error, forgetfulness or unintentionally he has mistaken, then he should be ready every time for acceptance and correctness.
And when ye said: O Moses! We will not believe in thee till we see Allah manifestly; and even while ye gazed the lightning seized you.
Wa ‘iz qultum yaa-Muusaa lan-nu’-mina laka hattaa narAllaaha jahratan- fa-‘akhazat-kumus-saa-‘iqatu wa ‘antum tanzuruun.
Naraa – (we will see). The Prophet Moses (peace be upon Him) brought chosen seventy persons from the Children of Israel on the Mountain Sinai for listening to the Speech of God Almighty. When they listened to the Speech they said, “O Moses! We do not believe in listening from the veil. Show us with open eyes.
‘Akhazat-kumus-saa-‘iqatu – (the lightning seized you). The Children of Israel were falsifying the words of Prophet Moses (peace be upon Him) and claiming that they desired to see God manifestly, otherwise they would not believe in Him. So they were punished as the lightning fell suddenly upon them due to which their eyes were dazzled and their eyesight became unable to see anything.
It has been discussed earlier that when Prophet Moses (peace be upon Him) went on the Mountain Sinai for obtaining Guide Book (Torah) for the Children of Israel, then they began worshiping the calf in His absence and involved in plurality of God. When He returned, it was announced by God Almighty that they should kill one another as punishment of plurality with God. Then they began killing one another. At that time God, the Most High relented and their penitence was accepted.
After that, seventy old-men from the Children of Israel demanded that they would go on the Mount of Sinai with the Prophet Moses to hear the Speech of God Almighty. Prophet Moses brought them with Himself. He instructed them to stay in the feet of Mountain and went on the Mountain Himself. God Almighty spoke with the Prophet Moses (peace be upon Him) and after returning He told them. Then they said, “We wish to see God Almighty with our sight”.
Due to their opposing and refusal openly, they were punished and the lightning fell down upon them, and they expired. After looking how big miracles and getting favors of God Almighty the Children of Israel could not give up their old bad habits. They wished to see God Almighty with these material eyes which is impossible. So they were punished like this.