Al-Maidah · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 24

Bani Israel’s Response to Juwsha and Kalib’s Advice

The advice given by Jushwa and Kalib did not benefit the Bani Israel in the least,

قَالُواْ يَـمُوسَى إِنَّا لَنْ نَّدْخُلَهَآ أَبَداً مَّا دَامُواْ فِيهَا فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلا إِنَّا هَـهُنَا قَـعِدُونَ

“They said, ‘O Musa! We shall never enter it as long as they are there. So go, you and your Lord, and fight you two, we are sitting right here.’”

This is how they declined to join Jihad, defied their Messenger, and refused to fight their enemy.

The Response of the Believers at Battle of Badr

Compare this to the better response the Companions gave to the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam during the battle of Badr, when he asked for their advice about fighting the Quraysh army that came to protect the caravan led by Abu Sufyan. When the Muslim army missed the caravan and the Quraysh army, between nine hundred and one thousand strong, helmeted and drawing closer, Abu Bakr stood up and said something good. Several more Muhajireen also spoke, all the while the Messenger of Allah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam saying,

أشيروا علي أيها المسلمون

“Advise me, O Muslims!” inquiring of what the Ansar, the majority then, had to say. Sa`d bin Mu`adh said, “It looks like you mean us, O Messenger of Allah! By He Who has sent you with the Truth! If you seek to cross this sea and went in it, we will follow you and none among us will remain behind. We would not hate for you to lead us to meet our enemy tomorrow. We are patient in war, vicious in battle. May Allah allow you to witness from our efforts what comforts your eyes. Therefore, march forward with the blessing of Allah.”

The Messenger of Allah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam was pleased with the words of Sa`d and was encouraged to march on. Abu Bakr bin Marduwyah recorded that Anas said that when the Messenger of Allah went to Badr, he asked the Muslims for their opinion, and Umar gave his. The Prophet again asked the Muslims for their opinion and the Ansar said, “O Ansar! It is you whom the Prophet wants to hear.” They said, “We will never say as the Children of Israel said to Musa,

فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلا إِنَّا هَـهُنَا قَـعِدُونَ

‘So go, you and your Lord, and fight you two, we are sitting right here.’ By He Who has sent you with the Truth! If you took the camels to Bark Al-Ghimad (near Makkah) we shall follow you.” Imam Ahmad, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Hibban also recorded this hadeeth.

In the Book of Al-Maghazi and At-Tafsir, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, “On the day of Badr, Al-Miqdad said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! We will never say to you what the Children of Israel said to Musa,

فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلا إِنَّا هَـهُنَا قَـعِدُونَ

Rather, march on and we will be with you.’ The Messenger of Allah was satisfied after hearing this statement.”

LESSONS:

– We learn about the crudeness and the rudeness of Bani Israel. This is reflected by the way they address their Prophet and the words they choose to utter. This was arrogance.

– We also learn about their betrayal or treachery towards their Messenger. He saved them by the help of Allah from the slavery of Pharaoh and now they were saying you go and fight on our behalf we are not going anywhere.

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