Thursday 20 October 2022

Prophetic Supplication attributed to Prophet Musa (Moses, AS) as mentioned in Qur'an

Propets of Allah ever sine the first of prophets, have been supplicating on behalf of their people so that they are not subjected to the Divine wrath. It must be seen that none of the prophets prayed or supplicated for own forgiveness for they were sent for the well being of the commuities and ultimately the mankind. That is the pecularity of all prophets of Allah.

Today we share the 155th verse from Surah 7. Al Aaraf (The Heights) in which Prophet Musa (Moses, peace be upon him) supplicated to Allah to forgive them all. It may be added that verses 152-156 are about the worshippers of the calf incurred the wrath of Allah. For compelte reference to the context, please read our earlier post on exegeis / tafsir of Surah Al Aaraf  (Part III). Herein under, the explanation of only the selected text/supplication is given:

وَاخۡتَارَ مُوۡسٰى قَوۡمَهٗ سَبۡعِيۡنَ رَجُلًا لِّمِيۡقَاتِنَا​ ۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اَخَذَتۡهُمُ الرَّجۡفَةُ قَالَ رَبِّ لَوۡ شِئۡتَ اَهۡلَـكۡتَهُمۡ مِّنۡ قَبۡلُ وَاِيَّاىَ​ ؕ اَ تُهۡلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ السُّفَهَآءُ مِنَّا ۚ اِنۡ هِىَ اِلَّا فِتۡنَـتُكَ ؕ تُضِلُّ بِهَا مَنۡ تَشَآءُ وَتَهۡدِىۡ مَنۡ تَشَآءُ ​ؕ اَنۡتَ وَلِيُّنَا فَاغۡفِرۡ لَـنَا وَارۡحَمۡنَا​ وَاَنۡتَ خَيۡرُ الۡغَافِرِيۡنَ‏ 
(7:155) And out of his people Moses singled out seventy men for Our appointment. Then, when violent shaking seized them, he addressed his Lord: 'Had You willed, O my Lord, You could have destroyed them and me long ago. Will You destroy us for what the fools amongst us did? That was nothing but a trial from You whereby You mislead whom You will and guide whom You will. You alone are our guardian. Forgive us, then, and have mercy upon us. You are the best of those who forgive.
The seventy delegates were summoned to Mt. Sinai so that they should present themselves before their Lord, and on behalf of the community beg forgiveness for the sin of calf-worship that was committed by the Israelites, and to renew the covenant of obedience to Him. The Bible and the Talmud do not mention this, though the Bible says that Moses was summoned to Mt. Sinai so that he should be given new tablets for those that were broken, when he had thrown them down. (Exodus chapter 34). 

Every occasion of trial is very decisive for the people: it separates like a winnow useful from the useless out of a mixed mass. On such decisive occasions, the one who comes out successful in the trial does so only by Divine guidance and help, and the one who fails in the test becomes unsuccessful because he is deprived of Divine guidance and help. Though one gets Allah's guidance and help in accordance with certain Divine Laws, which are based on absolute wisdom and justice, anyway the fact is that one's success or failure in the trial depends entirely on Divine guidance and help. 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
(أَنتَ وَلِيُّنَا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْغَـفِرِينَ "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.

(وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْغَـفِرِينَ "for You are the best of those who forgive,'') for none except You can forgive the sin. 

Yusuf Ali  Explanation: 
Moses was guiltless, but he identifies himself with his whole people, and intercedes with Allah on their behalf. He recognises that it was a trial, in which some of his people failed to stand the test. Such failure was worthy of punishment. But he pleads for mercy for such as erred from weakness and not from contumacy, and were truly repentant, although all who erred were in their several degrees worthy of punishment.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
Those seventy men were the best among them. The way the choice is expressed in Arabic makes them stand out from the whole community of Israelites. Nevertheless, what happened to this choice group? They were seized by a violent trembling and dropped unconscious. The reason for this, as mentioned in another sūrah, was that they asked Moses to show them God so that they would believe him and accept the law He has given them in the tablets. This is typical of the nature of the Children of Israel. It applies to all of them, whether good or bad, in different measures. The most singular thing is that they should make such a request when they were supposed to declare their repentance and seek God’s forgiveness.
Moses, on the other hand, turned to his Lord imploring Him to bestow His forgiveness and mercy, declaring his total submission to Him: “When they were seized by violent trembling, he said: ‘My Lord, had it been Your will, You could have destroyed them, and myself too, long ago.’“ (Verse 155) That is the mark of total submission to God’s power. Moses makes sure to declare his own submission as he addresses his supplication to God to forgive his people, end their test and to spare them from destruction because of the deed perpetrated by some fools among them: “Would You destroy us because of what the weak- minded among us have done?” (Verse 155) Moses puts his appeal in a questioning form to emphasize his request that God does not destroy them. It is as if he is saying: my Lord, Your grace makes it absolutely unlikely that You should destroy us on account of what some fools among us have done. “This is only a trial You have ordained, whereby You allow to go astray whom You will, and You guide aright whom You will.” (Verse 155)
Thus, Moses declares his understanding of what was taking place, that it was all a trial. In every trial, God guides those who understand its nature and recognize it as a test. He also lets those who ignore it to go deeper into error. Moses reiterates his recognition as a prelude to an appeal to God for His help to enable him and his people to pass the trial successfully: “You alone are our guardian.” (Verse 155) Give us your help so that we pass the test, and earn Your forgiveness and Your grace: “Grant us, then, forgiveness and bestow mercy on us. You are the best of all those who do forgive.” (Verse 155)

You may listen to eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan explaining verse 155:
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Invocations / Dua " دُعا " from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  

In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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