The Quran

Commentaries for 7.143

Al Araf (The heights) - الأعراف

7.143 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And when Moses came to Our appointed tryst) in Midian (and his Lord had spoken unto him, he said: My Lord! Show me (Thy self)) he wished to see Allah, (that I may gaze upon Thee. He) Allah (said: Thou wilt not see Me) you will not be able to see me in the life of this world, O Moses, (but gaze upon the mountain) the highest mountain in Midian! (If it stand still in its place) if the mountain stands still when seeing Me, (then thou wilt see Me) then may be you will see Me. (And when his Lord revealed (His) glory to the mountain) to Mount Zubayr (He sent it crashing down. And Moses fell down senseless) he passed out. (And when he woke) from his fainting (he said: Glory unto Thee!) he glorified His Lord (I turn unto Thee repentant) from asking to see You, (and I am the first of (true) believers) that you will not be seen in the life of this world.
7.143 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
When Moses came to Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, “Show me, that I may gaze upon Thee.” He said, “Thou shalt not see Me, but look at the mountain. If it stays firm in its place, thou shalt see Me.” Then, when his Lord disclosed Himself to the mountain, He made it crumble to dust, and Moses fell down thunderstruck. When he recovered he said, “Glory be to Thee! I repent to Thee!”
Moses had two journeys: one was the journey of seeking, the other the journey of revelry. The journey of seeking was the night of the fire, as in His words, “He observed a fire on the side of the Mount” [28:29]. The journey of revelry was this one: When Moses came to Our appointed time.
Moses came, having become selfless to self, lost to himself in his own secret core. He had drunk the wine of love from the cup of holiness, so the pain of this talk's yearning was pressing into him and the wave of Show me was billowing up from the ocean of his passion. He wandered around the neighborhoods of the Children of Israel and gathered the words of their messages and goals so that he could draw out his words when he arrived at the Presence.
I consider it unlawful to talk with otherswhenever I talk with You, I draw out my words.
When he reached the presence of whispered prayer, he was drunk with the wine of yearning and burnt by listening to the Real's Speech. He forgot everything, and the hard cash of his state appeared like this: “Show me, that I may gaze upon Thee!”
The angels threw the stones of blame at his desire: “O child of menstruating women! Do you hope to see the Exalted Lord? What does dust have to do with the Lord of lords?” How can a being made of dust and water talk to Eternity? How can someone who was not, then was, be worthy of seeking union with Him who always was and always will be?
In drunkenness and selflessness Moses answered with the tongue of solitariness: “Accept my excuses, for I did not fall here by myself. First He wanted me-I did not want. I saw the Friend at my pillow when I woke up from sleep.
I was seeking for fire, and being chosen came forth: I chose thee for Myself [20:41]. I was not aware, and the sun of bringing near rose up-And We brought him near as a confidant [19:52].
“From the first You began passion's talknow make me worthy of You!”
The command came to the angels, “Leave Moses alone, for when someone drinks the wine of I
chose thee for Myself from the cup of I cast upon thee love from Me [20:39], he will make no less of an uproar than this.”
In the realities of those unveilings Moses tasted the wine of love from the storeroom of gentleness. His heart flew into the air of solitariness, and the breeze of union's intimacy blew on his spirit from the side of proximity. The fire of love shot up in flames, patience fled from his breast, and he lost all restraint. He said, “Show me, that I may gaze upon Thee: Please, at least a look!”
If sparks were to shoot from this burnt heart, no trace would remain of Pleiades' circle.
There's danger when I stand before you, sweetheartat least lift separation's veil for a look.
The Pir of the Tariqah said, “Everyone has a hope, and the recognizer's hope is vision. Without vision the recognizer has no need for any wage, nor any use for paradise. People are all passionate for life, so death for them is difficult. The recognizer needs death in the hope for vision. Then his ears may enjoy the listening, the Real's lips will pay back the debt of love, his eyes will be adorned with the day of vision, and his spirit will be drunk without giddiness from the wine of finding.”
I want a heart for choosing only You,
a spirit for breathing the pain of Your passion, A body for desiring only Your love,
an eye for seeing You and only You.
He said, “Thou shalt not see Me.” They say that at the moment Moses heard “Thou shalt not see Me,” his station was higher than at the moment he said, “Show me, that I may gaze upon Thee.” At the former moment he was in what the Real desired, and at the latter moment he was in what he desired. Moses' being was more complete in what the Real desired than in what he desired, for the latter is dispersion and the former togetherness, and inescapably togetherness is more complete.
He said, “Thou shalt not see Me, but look at the mountain.” Moses received the blow of Thou shalt not see Me. At once, however, He applied the balm of but. He said, “O Moses, I struck the blow of Thou shalt not see Me and applied the balm of but so that you would know that this was
not My severity, but rather an excuse.” Then, when his Lord disclosed Himself to the mountain. When a sliver of the signs of majesty and a trace of the exaltedness of unity reached the mountain, it returned to the state of nonexistence and no mark of it remained. He said, “O king! If a black stone had the capacity for this talk, it would have accepted the Trust at the beginning of existence and bought it with spirit and heart.” Here there is a subtle point: The mountain with all its tremendousness could not endure, but the hearts of the weak and the old women of MuḤammad's community could endure. God says, “And they feared it, and man carried it” [33:72].
And Moses fell down thunderstruck. When Moses' existence disappeared in that strike and his mortal nature was thrown to the mountain, the self-disclosure fell on the true center point: “Now, We are. When You disappear from the midst, It is We who are seen.”
The Pir of the Tariqah said, “O God, I seek the Found. I say to the Seen, 'What do I have, what should I seek, when will I see, what should I say?' I am entranced by this seeking, I am seized by this speaking.
“O God, the splendor of Your exaltation left no room for allusion, the eternity of Your unity took away the road of ascription-I lost all that I had in hand, and everything I fancied came to nothing.
“O God, Yours kept on increasing and mine decreasing until at last there remained only what there was at first.”
You said, “Be less and less”-that was good and straight.
You are Being enough, less and less is fine for Your servant.
When he recovered he said, “Glory be to Thee! I repent to Thee!” When he came back to his
senses, he said, “O Lord, You are far too pure for any mortal to hope to reach Your self-sufficiency, or for anyone to seek You through himself, or for any heart or spirit to talk today about the vision of You.
I repent.”
It was said, “O Moses, do people put down the shield all at once the way you do? Do they wander off all at once the way you do? Have you turned back so soon and so easily?” The tongue of Moses' state was saying,
“I desire union with Him, He desires separationI give up my desire for His desire.”
“What should I do? I did not reach the goal. Well then, let me go back to the place of service and the station of servanthood's incapacity, and let me go to the beginning of the command.”
When someone's perplexed in his own work,
he'd best go back to the beginning of the thread.
When he went back to the place of service and the station of repentance, the Lord of the Worlds repaired his heart and spoke to him with benevolence:
7.143 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And when Moses came at Our appointed time, that is, the time at which We had promised to speak to him, and his Lord spoke with him, without any intermediary, with speech which he heard from all directions, he said, ‘My Lord! Show me, Yourself, that I may behold You!’ Said He, ‘You shall not see Me, that is to say, you do not have the power to see me, the use of this expression [lan tarānī, ‘you shall not see Me’] instead of lan urā, ‘I shall not be seen’, implies that it is possible to see God, exalted be He; but behold the mountain, which is stronger than you are, and if it remains, stays fixed, in its place, then you shall see Me’, that is, [then] you shall remain fixed [able] to see Me, otherwise, you will not have the capacity [for it]. And when his Lord revealed Himself, that is, [when] He manifested of His Light the equivalent of half a nail of a little finger, as stated in one hadīth verified by al-Hākim, to the mountain He levelled it to the ground (read dakkan or dakkā’a, meaning madkūkan) and Moses fell down senseless, having lost consciousness at the awesomeness of what he had seen. And when he recovered his senses he said, ‘Glory be to You!, in Your transcendence. I repent to You, for having asked You what I was not commanded [to ask], and I am the first of the believers’, of my time.
7.143 Kashani - Kashani
'My Lord! Show me that I may behold You!'. As for the second [report], that alludes to that he had attained the complete presential vision of the essence after the thirty days through his wayfaring to God and there did not remain in him any remnant; rather, he was annihilated totally and in the last ten days he completed his wayfaring to God until such time as he was provisioned with subsistence through God after annihilation by way of the recovery of his senses. Accordingly, his statement, 'My Lord! Show me that I may behold You', must have issued from him at the time of the thirty days, while the recovery of the senses was after that, during the completion of the forty. God spoke to him directly at the station of the self-disclosure of the attributes. His words, 'My Lord! Show me that I may behold You', arose from extreme yearning on his part for the presential vision of the essence at the station of the annihilation of the attributes together with the existence of some remnant. 'You shall not see Me: an allusion to the impossibility of a duality and of the subsistence of the ego at the station of the witnessing, similar to the saying: 'When I am absent, He appears; but when He appears, He makes me disappear', and the saying, 'I saw my Lord with the eye of my Lord'. But behold the mountain, that is, the mountain that is your existence, and if it remains [standing] in its place, then your vision of Me shall be made possible, this [statement] being conditional upon something that is [in fact] impossible. He levelled it to the ground, that is, vanishing without any existence in the first place, and Moses fell down, from the degree of existence, annihilated. And when he recovered his senses, by means of the existence that is endowed by the Truth upon subsistence after annihilation, he said, 'Glory be to You, [above] that You should be something visible to any other than You, [or] perceptible to the eyes of temporally created beings. I repent to You, of the sin of remnant, and I am the first of the believers', in terms of level, not in terms of time. In other words, I am in the first file of the files of the [various] levels of spirits, which is the station of the folk of [God's] unity, being the station of pure election. As for His words,
7.143 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Musa asks to see Allah
Allah said that when Musa came for His appointment and spoke to Him directly, he asked to see Him,
رَبِّ أَرِنِى أَنظُرْ إِلَيْكَ قَالَ لَن تَرَانِى
("O my Lord! Show me (Yourself), that I may look upon You.'' Allah said: "You cannot see Me,'') `You cannot' (Lan) by no means indicates that seeing Allah will never occur, as (the misguided sect of) Al-Mu`tazilah claimed. The Hadiths of Mutawatir grade narrated from the Messenger of Allah, affirm that the believers will see Allah in the Hereafter. We will mention these Hadiths under the explanation of Allah's statement,
وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ نَّاضِرَةٌ - إِلَى رَبِّهَا نَاظِرَةٌ
(Some faces that Day shall be radiant. Looking at their Lord.) 75:22-23 In earlier Scriptures, it was reported that Allah said to Musa, "O Musa! No living soul sees Me, but will perish, and no solid but will be demolished.'' Allah said here,
فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّى رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ دَكًّا وَخَرَّ موسَى صَعِقًا
(So when his Lord appeared to the mountain, He made it collapse to dust, and Musa fell down unconscious.) In his Musnad Imam Ahmad recorded from Anas bin Malik that the Prophet said about Allah's saying;
فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّى رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ
(And when his Lord appeared to the mountain, )
«هكذا»
(Like this) then he held out the tip of his little finger. At-Tirmidhi recorded this in the chapter of Tafsir for this Ayah, then he said; "This Hadith is Hasan Sahih Gharib.'' This was also recorded by Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak through the route of Hamad bin Salamah, and he said; "This Hadith is Sahih according to the criteria of Muslim and they did not record it.'' And As-Suddi reported that `Ikrimah reported from Ibn `Abbas about Allah's saying,
فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّى رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ
(And when his Lord appeared to the mountain,) Only the extent of the little finger appeared from Him,
جَعَلَهُ دَكًّا
(He made it collapse) as dust;
وَخَرَّ موسَى صَعِقًا
(And Musa fell down unconscious) fainting from it. Ibn Jarir recorded these because of the relation to the word Al-Ghashi.
فَلَمَّآ أَفَاقَ
(Then when he (Musa) recovered his senses) after he lost consciousness,
قَالَ سُبْحَـنَكَ
(he said: "Glory be to You,'') thus, praising, glorifying and honoring Allah since no living soul could see Him in this life and remain alive. Musa' statement,
تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ
("I turn to You in repentance'') means, according to Mujahid, that from asking you to look at you,
وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
("and I am the first of the believers.''), among the Children of Israel, according to Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, and Ibn Jarir preferred this view. Or, according to another narration from Ibn `Abbas, the meaning of,
وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
("and I am the first of the believers.''), is that `none shall see You (in this life).' Allah said,
وَخَرَّ موسَى صَعِقًا
(And Musa fell down unconscious.) Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Hurayrah narrated a Hadith from the Prophet that is suitable to mention here. As for the Hadith from Abu Sa`id, Al-Bukhari recorded in his Sahih that he said: A Jew came to the Prophet after his face was smacked, and said, "O Muhammad! One of your companions from Al-Ansar smacked me on the face.'' The Prophet said,
«ادْعُوه»
(Summon him) and he was summoned. The Prophet asked him,
«لِمَ لَطَمْتَ وَجْهَهُ؟»
(Why did you smack his face) He said, "O Allah's Messenger! I passed by that Jew and heard him swearing, `No, by He Who has chosen Musa over mankind!' I said, `Over Muhammad too', and I became angry and struck his face.'' The Prophet said,
«لَا تُخَيِّرُونِي مِنْ بَيْنِ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ فَإِنَّ النَّاسَ يَصْعَقُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَأَكُونُ أَوَّلَ مَنْ يُفِيقُ، فَإِذَا أَنَا بِمُوسَى آخِذٌ بِقَائِمَةٍ مِنْ قَوَائِمِ الْعَرْشِ، فَلَا أَدْرِي أَفَاقَ قَبْلِي أَمْ جُوزِيَ بِصَعْقَةِ الطُّور»
(Do not prefer me above the Prophets. Verily, on the Day of Resurrection, people will be struck unconscious, and I (feel that I) am the first to wake up. Thereupon I will find that Musa is holding onto a pillar of the Throne (`Arsh of Allah). I will not know if he woke up before me or he received his due (because of his) unconsciousness on (Mount) At-Tur.) Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith in many locations of his Sahih, as did Muslim and Abu Dawud. As for the Hadith from Abu Hurayrah, Imam Ahmad and the Two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) collected his narration.
7.142-144 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
After their departure from Egypt, when the Israelites became free from the shackles of slavery, and won the position of an independent nation, Prophet Moses was summoned to Mount Sinai by the Divine Command so that the Law should be given to him for them. This was the first summons of the series that is being mentioned here. Forty days were appointed so that he should prepare himself by fast, devotion, worship, prayer, deep thought, meditation and reflection for the heavy task that was about to be entrusted to him On this occasion prophet Moses left the Israelites at a place now called Wadiy-u-Shaikh, between Nabi Salih and Mt. Sinai. That part of the valley where the Israelites then encamped is now called Maidan-ur-Rahat. At one end of the valley is situated the hillock, where, according to the local tradition Prophet Salih migrated from the territory of Thamud. The mosque, which was built in his memory, stands there even today. On the other side, there is another hillock, called Jabl-i-Harun, where, it is said, Prophet Aaron had gone in protest against the cow-worship of the Israelites. On its third side is Mt. Sinai, which is 7359 feet above the sea level and is usually covered with clouds. On the top of this is the cave in which Moses spent forty days and nights and which has become a holy place of pilgrimage. There is a mosque of the Muslims and a church of the Christians near the cave and at the foot, a monastery built during the reign of Justinian, Byzantine Emperor. (For details, see E.N.'s 9, 10 of XXVIII).
Though Prophet Aaron was the elder of the two by three years, he was under Prophet Moses in the mission of Prophethood. In fact, Prophet Aaron was appointed as a Prophet to work as an assistant to Moses in response to his prayer. The fact that he was appointed by Allah as assistant to Prophet Moses has. been stated in XXV: 35.