God’s Command: Sacrifice a Cow. And Objections
Surah ‘Al-Baqarah (The Cow) – Chapter – 2)
Stage – 1, Verses – 67 to 71 of 286, Section – 8 of 40 (Part - 1)
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
And when Moses said unto his people: Lo! Allah commandeth you that ye sacrifice a cow, they said: Dost thou make fun of us? He answered: Allah forbid that I should be among the foolish.
Wa ‘iz qaala Muusaa li-qawmihiii ‘innallaaha ya’-mu-rukum ‘an- tazbahuu BAQARAH. Qaaluuu ‘a-tattakhi-zunaa huzuwaa Qaala ‘a-uuzu bil-laahi ‘an ‘akuuna minal-jaahiliin.
The cow was very sacred near Children of Israel. When Moses (peace be upon Him) caused to hear them command of God Almighty, they remained aghast. They did not believe that it was really commanded to sacrifice such sacred animal like this. They supposed that Prophet Moses (peace be upon Him) was mocking.
Al-jaahiliin – (the foolish, the ignorant, the illiterates) this word has been derived from jahal. Literal meaning of it is “to do any work contrary to its prescribed and correct method”. If it is due to ignorance then the stupidity is simple and if it is done intentionally then the stupidity is compound. Moses (peace be upon Him) asks God Almighty for refuge from the both kinds of foolishness. An individual, who wishes to command over the people, at the name of God, either he is careless from God or foolish, and is unaware of the results of mocking in the religious matters.
A person from the Children of Israel was killed but the killer was not traceable. God Almighty commanded Moses (peace be upon Him) to order the Children of Israel for sacrificing a cow and beat a piece of its flesh at the dead body of the killed. With it the murdered person will come back to life and will tell the name of his killer.
Due to dwelling many centuries in the Egypt, the Children of Israel had begun to deem the cow very sacred, so they supposed that perhaps Moses (peace be upon Him) was mocking with them. Prophet Moses (peace be upon Him) removed their doubt and made them to understand that the Prophets (peace be upon Them) mock never in the religious matters and in the commands of God Almighty. Mocking others is a job of the stupid. Wise people do never commit the acts like this which are contrary to the dignity, honor and glory, and which becomes cause of disgrace of the religion.
68. They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is. (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith: Verily she is a cow neither with calf nor immature. (She is) between the two conditions. So do that which ye are commanded.
69. They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us of what colour she is. (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith: Verily she is a yellow cow, bright is her colour, gladdening beholders.
70. They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is. Lo! Cows are much alike to us. And Lo! If Allah wills, we may be led aright.
71. (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith: Verily she is a cow unyoked; she plougheth not the soil nor watereth the tilth; whole and without mark. They said: Now thou bringest the truth. So they sacrificed her, though they has not the mind to do (it).
68. Qaalud-‘u lanaa Rabbaka yubayyil-lanaa maa hii. Qaala ‘innaHuu yaquulu ‘innahaa baqaratul-laa faarizunw-wa laa bikr. ‘Awaanum- bayna zaalik. Faf-‘aluu maa tu’-maruun.
69. Qaalud-‘u lanaa Rabbaka Yubayyil-lanaa maa law-nuhaa. Qaala ‘innaHuu yaquulu ‘in-nahaa baqaratun- saf-raaa-‘u, faaqi-‘ul-lawnuhaa tasurrun-naaziriin.
70. Qaalud-‘u lanaa Rabbaka yubayyil-lanaa maa hiya. ‘In-nal-baqara tashaabaha ‘alayna. Wa ‘innaaa ‘in-shaaa-‘Allaahu la-muhtaduun.
71. Qaala ‘innaHuu yaquulu ‘innahaa baqaratul-laa- zaluu-lun-tusiirul-‘arza wa laa tasqil-hars. Musallama-tul-laa shiyata fiihaa. Qaalul-‘aana ji’-ta bil-haqq. Fazabahuuhaa wa maa kaaduu yaf-‘aluun.
Commands of God Almighty and His Prophets (peace be upon Them) are not without wisdom and philosophy. However it is not necessary that every person may understand them. So nobody should argue or hesitate obeying Them and each individual should act upon Their orders/instructions.
In the beginning, every order/instruction/law is simple and easy but due to making differences too small to be important, the orders and laws become difficult and complicated.
God Almighty commanded through Moses (peace be upon Him) to sacrifice a cow. It was entirely a straight and simple order. The Children of Israel had to sacrifice any cow. But they argued and kept on asking question over questions, so they created difficulties for themselves. After asking first question they became bound about the age of the cow. Then they asked second question’ “what would be color of the cow”. Now they raised some other difficulty for themselves. Actually they were trying to evade the order. But as they were trying to evade, they were drowning in the more difficult situation. They did not understand that how much expedience and secrets are hidden in His orders.
Then they asked again, “What (cow) she is. Lo! Cows are much alike to us. And Lo! If Allah wills, we may be led aright.” Now some other restriction was composed upon them, “Verily she is a cow unyoked; she plougheth not the soil, nor watereth the tilth; whole and without mark”.
Then they said, “Yes! Now you have told us the right”. In short after a lot of arguments they sacrificed the cow. Even now it was being felt from their behavior that they had not mind to do so. Though, even now they obeyed the command of God Almighty unavoidably.