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The Debate between the Might and the Truth within a Quranist Vision (13):
God's Covenant with the Israelites under Mount Al-Tur of Sinai

 

The Debate between the Might and the Truth within a Quranist Vision (13):

God's Covenant with the Israelites under Mount Al-Tur of Sinai

 

Published in December 31, 2017

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

Introduction:

  Moses chose seventy men from among his people and headed for Mount Al-Tur for his appointment with God. As per the Quran, God has miraculously caused Mount Al-Tur to suspend over their heads, and these Israelite men trembled and looked at it in fright, lest it might fall on their heads, and they fell unconscious and then awakened. Moses talked to God and implored Him for granting them goodness in this world, and in the Hereafter. God has replied to him by bringing glad tidings of the coming of Prophet Muhammad and the advent of the Quran. God has made a covenant with the Israelites and commanded them to adhere steadfastly to it. God has raised among the Israelites twelve chiefs representing the twelve Israelite tribes, and He promised them to be with them if they apply and adhere to the covenant. Typically, the vast majority of them did not adhere to God's covenant; this is why some of the Yathrebian Quranic verses preach and remind the Israelites of the covenant. We provide more details on that topic in the points below while quoting Quranic verses, of course.   

 

Firstly: the Israelites with Moses during his appointment with God at Mount Al-Tur:

1- After Moses rebuked the Israelites severely for their worshipping the golden calf and after their repentance, Moses chose seventy men from among them and headed for Mount Al-Tur for his appointment with the Lord God: "When the anger abated in Moses, he took up the tablets. In their transcript is guidance and mercy for those in awe of their Lord. And Moses chose from his people seventy men for Our appointment..." (7:154-155).

2- These seventy men traveled with Moses toward Mount Al-Tur, and they prepared themselves and got ready to receive God's covenant, but they were surprised to see that Mount Al-Tur was made to suspend over their heads, and fear seized them: "And when We suspended the Mount over them, as if it was an umbrella, and they thought it would fall on them..." (7:171); "And We made the covenant with you, and raised the Mount above you..." (2:63); "And We made the covenant with you, and raised the Mount above you..." (2:93). 

3- The sudden, frightening surprise caused the Israelite men to tremble and they fell unconscious as if they were dead: "And Moses chose from his people seventy men for Our appointment. When the tremor shook them..." (7:155). Moses felt very much afraid as he talked to God nervously, saying the following: "...he said, "My Lord, had You willed, You could have destroyed them before, and me too. Will you destroy us for what the fools among us have done?..." (7:155). After Moses calmed down, he said: "...This is but Your test - with it You misguide whomever You will, and guide whomever You will..." (7:155). And then, Moses invoked the Lord God by saying the following: "...You are our Protector, so forgive us, and have mercy on us. You are the Best of Forgivers." "And inscribe for us goodness in this world, and in the Hereafter. We have turned to You."..." (7:155-156). God has said the following to Moses: "...He said, "My torment - I inflict it upon whomever I will, but My mercy encompasses all things. I will specify it for those who act righteously and practice regular charity, and those who believe in Our Verses."" (7:156). Among those pious ones who believe in God's Verses are some people among the People of the Book whose description is mentioned in the very next verse as believing in the Quran conveyed by Muhammad: "Those who follow the messenger, the prophet of the gentiles, whom they find mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel in their possession. He directs them to righteousness, and advises them against evil deeds, and allows for them all good things, and prohibits for them wickedness, and unloads the burdens and the shackles that are upon them. Those who believe to him, and respect him, and support him, and follow the Light that came down with him - these are the successful." (7:157).

4- These verses contain the items of the covenant; we notice that they are the same ones like the Quranic sharia legislations: "We made a covenant with the Israelites: "Worship none but God; and be good to parents, and relatives, and orphans, and the needy; and speak nicely to people; and pray regularly, and give alms." Then you turned away, except for a few of you, recanting. And We made a covenant with you: "You shall not shed the blood of your own, nor shall you evict your own from your homes." You agreed, and were all witnesses." (2:83-84).

5- We notice again here that the covenant contains divine commands similar to the Quranic sharia legislations: "God made a covenant with the Israelites, and We raised among them twelve chiefs. God said, "I am with you; if you perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and believe to My messengers and support them, and lend God a loan of righteousness; I will remit your sins, and admit you into Gardens beneath which rivers flow. But whoever among you disbelieves afterwards has strayed from the Right Way."" (5:12).

6- Along with the covenant came the divine command to apply it and to adhere to it, and the seriousness of this covenant is emphasized by making Mount Al-Tur to suspend over their heads: "And when We suspended the Mount over them, as if it was an umbrella, and they thought it would fall on them: "Hold fast to what We have given you, and remember what it contains, so that you may be saved."" (7:171); "And We made the covenant with you, and raised the Mount above you: "Take what We have given you earnestly, and remember what is in it, that you may attain righteousness."" (2:63). 

 

Secondly: the stance of the Israelites regarding God's covenant:

1- Some of the Israelites were guided by the Truth and judge equitably by it, and they may be among the Forerunners (see the Quranic Chapter 56) who are nearer to God and will be in the first level of Paradise; God says the following about them within the context of the covenant: "Among the people of Moses is a community/Umma that guides by Truth, and thereby does justice." (7:159).

2- Some of the Israelites were misguided and disobedient, but they repented and God accepted their repentance and pardoned them, and they may be among those on the Right (see the Quranic Chapter 56) who will be in the second level of Paradise. God says the following about them: "And We made the covenant with you, and raised the Mount above you: "Take what We have given you earnestly, and remember what is in it, that you may attain righteousness." But after that you turned away. Were it not for God's Grace and Mercy towards you, you would have been among the losers." (2:63-64). 

3- Some of the Israelites were misguided and disobedient until they died without repentance; they were the ones who used to stubbornly say "...we hear and disobey..." (2:93), and they will enter into Hell. God says the following about them: "Moses came to you with clear proofs, yet you adopted the calf in his absence, and you were the unjust ones. And We made the covenant with you, and raised the Mount above you: "Take what We have given you firmly, and listen." They said, "We hear and disobey." And their hearts became filled with the love of the calf because of their disbelief. Say, "Wretched is what your faith commands you to do, if you are believers."" (2:92-93).

 

Thirdly: the stance of the Israelites of Arabia toward God's covenant during Muhammad's lifetime when the Quran was being revealed:

1- Some of the Israelites in Arabia were those whose faith/belief increased by the advent/descent of the Quran and they wept in fear and piety, as they remembered the fearful situation of their ancestors who saw Mount Al-Tur suspended over their heads. Those seventy Israelite men prostrated on their chins in fear as they saw Mount Al-Tur suspended over their heads. Those Israelites in Arabia who were real believers and monotheists knew the glad tidings about Muhammad and the Quran and that they should believe in the Quran once it is revealed. Hence, they prostrated to their shins in the same way like their ancestors, as they believed in the Quran, in contrast to the Qorayish tribesmen who did not believe in it. God here has addressed the Qorayish polytheists: "Say, "Believe in it, or do not believe." Those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, they fall to their chins, prostrating.And they say, "Glory to our Lord. The promise of our Lord is fulfilled."And they fall to their chins, weeping, and it adds to their humility." (17:107-109). God says the following about the disbelief of Qorayish while asserting the belief in the Quran by some of the Israelites in Arabia: "Is it not a sign for them that the scholars of the Israelites recognized it?" (26:197).       

2- Some of the People of the Book (i.e., Jews + Christians) in Arabia believed in the Quran; God says the following about them: "Those to whom We gave the Book before it believe in it. When it is recited to them, they say, "We have believed in it; it is the truth from our Lord; we were Muslims prior to it." These will be given their reward twice, because they persevered; and they counter evil with good; and from Our provisions to them, they give. And when they hear vain talk, they avoid it, and say, "We have our deeds, and you have your deeds; peace be upon you; we do not desire the ignorant ones."" (28:52-55); "Among the People of the Book are those who believe in God, and in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed to them. They are humble before God, and they do not sell God's Verses for a cheap price. These will have their reward with their Lord. God is swift in judgment." (3:199).

3- Some of the Israelites in Arabia (during Muhammad's lifetime) went on with their disobeying of God's covenant, and God has commanded Muhammad to pardon them: "Because of their breaking their covenant, We cursed them, and made their hearts hard. They twist the words out of their context, and they disregarded some of what they were reminded of. You will always witness deceit from them, except for a few of them. But pardon them, and overlook. God loves the doers of good." (5:13).

4- The worst type of disobedient ones included those Israelite men who allowed themselves to commit military aggressions against other Israelite men – within unspoken-of battles never mentioned in history –  within justifying such aggressions by distorting and twisting the Torah laws and the covenant items; this is inferred from reflecting on these Quranic verses that addressed the Israelites in Arabia during Muhammad's lifetime to remind them of God's covenant: "And We made a covenant with you: "You shall not shed the blood of your own, nor shall you evict your own from your homes." You agreed, and were all witnesses. But here you are, killing your own, and expelling a group of your own from their homes - conspiring against them in wrongdoing and hostility. And if they come to you as captives, you ransom them, although it was forbidden to you. Is it that you believe in part of the Book, and disbelieve in part? What is the reward for those among you who do that but humiliation in this life? And on the Day of Resurrection, they will be assigned to the most severe torment. God is not unaware of what you do. Those are they who bought the present life for the Hereafter, so the torment will not be lightened for them, nor will they be helped." (2:84-86).

 

Lastly:

1- We should contemplate on this verse and how it contains a continuous, generalized rule that goes on within all eras: "Those are they who bought the present life for the Hereafter, so the torment will not be lightened for them, nor will they be helped." (2:86).

2- The verse 2:86 applies, in our modern era now, to Wahabi terrorists as they commit heinous crimes of aggression and justify their crimes/sins by distorting and twisting the Quranic sharia legislations of the Dominant Lord God.


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