Children of Israel’s Subsequent Death and Resurrection
‘Abdur Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam commented on this ayah: Musa ‘alayhi salaam returned from meeting with his Lord carrying the Tablets on which Tawrah was written. He found that they had worshiped the calf in his absence. Consequently, he commanded them to kill themselves, and they compiled, and Allah forgave them. He said to them, “These Tablets have Allah’s Book containing what He commanded you and what He forbade for you.” His people argued, “Should we believe this statement because you said it? By Allah! We will not believe until we see Allah in the open until He shows us Himself and says: This is My Book, therefore, adhere to it. Why does He not to us as He talked to you, O Musa?”
Allah’s wrath fell upon them, a thunderbolt struck them, and they all died.
As-Suddi commented that after they died, Musa ‘alayhi salaam stood up pleading and supplicating to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, “O Lord! What should I say to the Children of Israel when I go back to them after You destroyed the best of them. If it has been Your will, You could have destroyed them and me before; would You destroy us for the deeds of the foolish ones among us?”
At this Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala resurrected the dead – one man at a time while the rest of them were watching how Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala was bringing them back to life. This is why Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said, “Then We revived you after your death that perhaps you would be grateful.”
This was a big incident. They were killed and then resurrected. Ideally, they should have become submissive and obedient to their Prophet. But, no, they continued to disobey him and objected to every command.
What was the reason for their this behavior?
It has been said that this was due to their mental slavery. They had spent years under the slavery of Pharaoh and his army. It had become their second nature to get upset at slightest of the matters and react.
Today, we (the Muslim Ummah) are following the footsteps of the Children of Israel. First, we do not abide by the Book of Allah. We raise criticism against almost every command (without actually studying or understanding the Book). Second, we react to almost anything that happens against us. Our reactions are not bringing us any honor rather we have made the lives of other Muslims difficult and made our own mockery.
A person’s personality changes by sitting with the righteous company and learned people. Seek out the people of knowledge and learn from them. Do not follow the crowd.