In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Rebellion upon Victory
Upon escaping Egypt, the Children of Israel were to fight the disbelieving ‘Amaliq (Canaanites) dwelling in the holy land (Bayt Al-Maqdis), as it appears in Surah Al-Ma’idah ayah 21. Musa ‘alayhi salaam said, “O people! Enter the holy land which Allah has assigned to you and turn not back (in flight),” (5: 21). The Children of Israel, however, true to their nature refused to obey their Prophet ‘alayhi salaam and said that they were too weak and exhausted to fight. Prophet Musa ‘alayhi salaam prayed to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to cause a separation between him and his people. They had repeatedly disobeyed and caused hurt to their prophet. The prophet’s du’a was obviously answered. And they were left to wander for forty years in the Sinai desert.
Initially, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala had planned a blessing for them. They were to reside peacefully in a proper dwelling place as soon as they escaped Pharaoh’s slavery, but due their continuous disobedience their blessing was held back.
In forty years, the previous generation (those who lived under the slavery of Pharaoh and had mental slavery) died and another generation replaced them. They then, under the leadership of Yuwsha’ (Joshua) bin Noon fought their enemies and conquered the holy land by the permission of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. On that day, the sun was kept from setting for a little more time, until victory was achieved. When the Children of Israel conquered the holy land, they were commanded to enter its gate while prostrating – appreciating the blessing of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. They were victorious by His Rahmah (mercy) and blessing. They returned triumphant to their land; saved from being lost and wandering.
Here we learn an important principle of life. Often we complain to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for not giving us what we desire. Have we thought that it could be something that we did that caused the blessing to be held back? Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is not Unkind. He is Al-Wadood. Why would He hold back ‘planned blessings’ for us, if we were truly obedient servants? Ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for His taqwa (Allah-consciousness)and His pleasure. Ask Him to guide you to the tasks that please. Ask Him to be pleased with you and not deprive you of His blessings. Allahumma ameen.
Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu commented that “Sujjadan” in: وَادْخُلُواْ الْبَابَ سُجَّدًا means enter the gate while bowing. It was also said that the Sujud mentioned here means ‘submissiveness,’ for actually entering while prostrating is not possible. They were commanded to be humble for it was Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala because of Whom they were victorious and not due to their own strength.
This is similar to the command that Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was given after the conquest of Makkah. In Surah An-Nasr we read: “When the victory of Allah has come and the conquest, and you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes. Then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. Indeed, He is ever Accepting of repentance,” [An-Nasr 110-1-3].
They were commanded to enter the gate while saying
Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu commented that this was a command to seek Allah’s forgiveness. Al-Hasan and Qatadah said that it means, “Say, ‘Relieve us from our errors.’”
Had they said this, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala would have forgiven their sins and increased the rewards of the good-doers. The law of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is that if we do what we have been commanded to do, then Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will not only overlook our errors but also multiply our good deeds. Those who are Muhsineen (do deeds at the level of excellence) and seek forgiveness are abundantly rewarded by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. May He make us of them, ameen.
When you achieve a goal, receive a blessing or are victorious then instead of being arrogant be humble. Do Allah’s tasbeeh and seek His forgiveness and perform Sajdah Shukr (prostrate in gratitude). Many times when we get married, have a baby, get promoted in our career, we start posting updates and pictures of our very personal life online. We cannot miss an occasion where we do not express how blessed we are. Let us not forget in our circles there are women are single, divorced, widowed, abused and childless. Let us not forget the orphans and the severely tested. We must learn to maintain a — low public profile — and not invite evil eye to sting us. Let us be of those for whom people pray. Let us not be of those who are a source of pain and grief for others. Allahumma ameen.
Acting on their nature, the Children of Israel again distorted the word and the command. Bukhari recorded Abu Huraira radhiAllahu ‘anhu saying that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
قِيلَ لِبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ ادْخُلُوا الْبَابَ سُجَّدًا وَقُولُوا: حِطَّةٌ، فَدَخَلُوا يَزْحَفُون عَلى أَسْتَاهِهِم فَبَدَّلُوا وَقَالُوا، حَبَّةٌ فِي شَعْرَة
“The Children of Israel were commanded to enter the door while bowing and to say ‘Hittah.’ Yet, they entered the door on their behinds, distorting the words. They said; ‘Habbah (seed), in Sha`rah (a hair).’”
This demonstrates the worst kind of rebellion and disobedience. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala released His anger and punishment upon them because of their sinning and defying His commands.
Those who make fun of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, His ayaat, or His Prophets are shallow people. Don’t sit with them. This is not a small matter. Such an act is near to disbelief. They are those who do not have a worthier purpose in life than to mock the ayaat of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and its followers. On the other hand, he who respects religious matters shows he has taqwa (piety/Allah-consciousness) in his heart. Change your company. Sit with those who are the Friends of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “…so We sent down upon those who wronged a punishment from the sky…” (2: 59).
When a person’s sins increase, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala snatches their blessings and descends His punishment. Because the Children of Israel changed the word and command of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala replaced the promised blessing with punishment. We should, therefore, be very careful about our words and attitude. We should never mock or challenge the command of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. May He guide us and reform what is bad in us, ameen.
While the Day of Judgment is the real day of recompense, in this world too Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala keeps showing us our mistakes. These are wake-up calls for those who pay heed and repent. Upon realizing one’s mistake, one should not procrastinate repentance; rather he should repent and turn to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that Sa’d bin Malik, Usamah bin Zayd and Khuzaymah bin Thabit said that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
الطَّاعُونُ رِجْزٌ.عَذَابٌ عُذِّبَ بِهِ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُم
“The plague is a Rijz, a punishment with which Allah punished those before you.”
In addition, the basis of this hadeeth was collected in the Two Saheehs,
إِذَا سَمِعْتُمُ الطَّاعُونَ بأَرْضٍ فَلَا تَدْخُلُوهَا
“If you hear of the plague in a land, then do not enter it.”
DOWNLOAD PDF: Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayaat 58-59