View Full Version : An interesting bit of Islaamic knowledge

07-24-2008, 06:32 PM
To increase our Islamic knowledge, let's try this.

Anybody who comes across some interesting Islamic factotum, just add it here.

Here is my first. It concerns tafseer.

Surah Baqarah
Ayat 57: And We caused the white cloud to overshadow you and sent down on you the manna and the quails, (saying): Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you - they wronged Us not, but they did wrong themselves.

Ayat 58: And when We said: Go into this township and eat freely of that which is therein, and enter the gate prostrate, and say: "Repentance." We will forgive you your sins and will increase (reward) for the right-doers.

Ayat 59: But those who did wrong changed the word which had been told them for another saying, and We sent down upon the evil-doers wrath from heaven for their evil-doing.

Ayat 61: And when ye said: O Moses! We are weary of one kind of food; so call upon thy Lord for us that He bring forth for us of that which the earth groweth - of its herbs and its cucumbers and its corn and its lentils and its onions. He said: Would ye exchange that which is higher for that which is lower? Go down to settled country, thus ye shall get that which ye demand. And humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them and they were visited with wrath from Allah. That was because they disbelieved in Allah's revelations and slew the prophets wrongfully. That was for their disobedience and transgression.

The Background: The Jews, were punished by Allah for refusing to enter the city of Jerusalem when the Prophet Musa (Moses) ordered them to do so. They were lost in a desert for 40 years as punishment during which time they were provided food in the form of manna and quails. But they got tired of the same old food and asked (pretty rudely) for more variety in their diet. They were told to repent and go to the city. They didn't repent and were punished again (in the form of a plague, the Tafaseer say)

The Interesting Factotum
: I always wondered what this bit meant:
" changed the word which had been told them for another saying". I recently found the answer in Tafseeri Uthmani (Urdu). It says that they changed the word that they had been told to say as they entered, which was 'Hittah' meaning repentance, to 'hintah' meaning grain, as they entered, and they were punished because of it.

Reading this made me wonder at the sheer stubbornness of the Bani Israeel. They spent their entire lives among miracles and Prophets, they obviously believed in Allah, but they still lost no opportunity to defy him.

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