الآية رقم (74) - ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ فَهِيَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْحِجَارَةِ لَمَا يَتَفَجَّرُ مِنْهُ الأَنْهَارُ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَشَّقَّقُ فَيَخْرُجُ مِنْهُ الْمَاء وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَهْبِطُ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللّهِ وَمَا اللّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ
(74) - “Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder. For indeed, there are stones from which rivers burst forth, and there are some of them that split open and water comes out, and there are some of them that fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.”
They had seen how Allah U gave life to the dead in front of them. Furthermore, Musa u had stood in front of them and said, “A lifeless being (the cow) giving life to another lifeless being (the man)”. In spite of all these, their hearts became hardened, as Allah U says:
﴿قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُمْ﴾ “your hearts became hardened”. Allah U did not say, “Your selves became hardened”. This is because the heart is the seat of feelings, compassion and mercy. It is also the source of behaviour and the opening for faith. There is a Hadith:
((أَلَا وَإِنَّ فِي الْجَسَدِ مُضْغَةً إِذَا صَلَحَتْ صَلَحَ الْجَسَدُ كُلُّهُ، وَإِذَا فَسَدَتْ فَسَدَ الْجَسَدُ كُلُّهُ أَلَا وَهِيَ الْقَلْبُ))
“Verily, there is a piece of flesh in the body, if it is healthy, the whole body is healthy, and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt. Verily, it is the heart.”
الآية رقم (73) - فَقُلْنَا اضْرِبُوهُ بِبَعْضِهَا كَذَلِكَ يُحْيِي اللّهُ الْمَوْتَى وَيُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ
(73) - “So, We said, ‘Strike the slain man with part of it.’ Thus, does Allah bring the dead to life, and He shows you His signs that you may understand.”
Allah ordered them to strike the corpse with a part of the cow that had been slaughtered.
Through this story, Allah does not want to amuse us but to educate us.
When they had struck the dead man with a part of the dead cow, the man stood up and told them that his nephew was the one who had killed him. Then, he died again for the second time. Thus, Allah U says:
﴾كَذَلِكَ يُحْيِ اللَّهُ الْمَوْتَى وَيُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ﴿ “Thus, does Allah bring the dead to life, and He shows you His signs that you might reason.”
This means that He shows you things which are extraordinary so that you will think.
The Holy Qur’an addresses the intellect. Our religion is also a religion of intellect and knowledge. This is a scientific interpretation, as Allah The Most High did not ask us to believe by force. Rather, he gives proofs and evidences for the minds.
الآية رقم (72) - وَإِذْ قَتَلْتُمْ نَفْساً فَادَّارَأْتُمْ فِيهَا وَاللّهُ مُخْرِجٌ مَّا كُنتُمْ تَكْتُمُونَ
(72) - “And remember when you slew a man and disputed over it, but Allah was to bring out that which you were concealing.”
There was a very rich man amongst the children of Israel who did not have children to inherit from him, but he had a nephew. His nephew came in the night and killed him when nobody saw, because he wanted the money. Then he took his corpse to another town and placed it in front of one of the houses in that town so as to frame the owner of the house with murder, or even to place the blame on the people of that town so that they will pay the blood money as was the custom of the time, unless 40 of their men were able to swear that they did not kill the man. The people of the town denied having anything to do with the murder of the man hence every group denied any blame on themselves.
The dispute became serious between them to the point that they had to go to Prophet Musa u to ask him to ask Allah U about the murder. So, he said to them to slaughter a cow.
الآية رقم (71) - قَالَ إِنَّهُ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌ لاَّ ذَلُولٌ تُثِيرُ الأَرْضَ وَلاَ تَسْقِي الْحَرْثَ مُسَلَّمَةٌ لاَّ شِيَةَ فِيهَا قَالُواْ الآنَ جِئْتَ بِالْحَقِّ فَذَبَحُوهَا وَمَا كَادُواْ يَفْعَلُونَ
(71) - “He [Musa] said, ‘He says, it is a cow neither trained to plough the earth nor to irrigate the field, one free from fault with no blemish.' ‘They said, now you have come with the truth.’ So they slaughtered her, but they could hardly do it.”
﴾لَا ذَلُولٌ﴿ “not domesticated” that is, it is not tamed, nor trained, not used in farming nor in watering nor in ploughing, and it has no defects nor deficiencies. It has a beautiful outward appearance with not a limb that has a defect. Hence Allah U gave them a description that was almost impossible, and in fact, these characteristics were not found in any cow except just one in that area.
﴾فَذَبَحُوهَا وَمَا كَادُوا يَفْعَلُونَ﴿ “Thus, they slaughtered it and they almost were not able to do so.”
The truth had come to them from the beginning and they know that Prophet Musa u was indeed a prophet who had brought truth to them from Allah U.
So, every time they questioned, they were given more conditions until finding it became difficult even though, eventually, they did find it. They were almost not able to because of their hesitation. This then, is the characteristic of the children of Israel; they negotiate and want, yet they do not want, they sign agreements or not. This is their state till our day today – with their deceiving personalities. This description is proof for the very precise Qur’anic phrasing describing the children of Israel.
الآية رقم (70) - قَالُواْ ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّن لَّنَا مَا هِيَ إِنَّ البَقَرَ تَشَابَهَ عَلَيْنَا وَإِنَّآ إِن شَاء اللَّهُ لَمُهْتَدُونَ
(70) - “They said, ‘Call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is. Indeed, all cows look alike to us. And indeed we, if Allah wills, will be guided.’”
Hence Allah has given us a glimpse into the nature of the children of Israel who were being difficult in their procrastination, so Allah gave them a description that was not possible for them to find in a cow, except one specific cow.
الآية رقم (69) - قَالُواْ ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّن لَّنَا مَا لَوْنُهَا قَالَ إِنَّهُ يَقُولُ إِنّهَا بَقَرَةٌ صَفْرَاء فَاقِـعٌ لَّوْنُهَا تَسُرُّ النَّاظِرِينَ
(69) - “They said, ‘Call upon your Lord to show us what is her color.’ He said, ‘He says, it is a yellow cow, bright in colour, pleasing to the observers.’”
Allah U did not make the colour a condition on them in the beginning of the affair however they wanted to be difficult and made things difficult onto themselves so Allah U gave them conditions and traits that were found only in a specific cow.
﴾فَاقِعٌ لَّوْنُهَا﴿ “bright coloured” , that is of very bright yellow. And if they could find such a cow and slaughter it, the affair would have ended there.
But they came back asking:
الآية رقم (68) - قَالُواْ ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّن لّنَا مَا هِيَ قَالَ إِنَّهُ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌ لاَّ فَارِضٌ وَلاَ بِكْرٌ عَوَانٌ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ فَافْعَلُواْ مَا تُؤْمَرونَ
(68) - “They said, ‘Call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is.’ He said, ‘Allah says, it is a cow which is neither old nor virgin, but in between that, so do what you are commanded.’”
﴾لَّا فَارِضٌ﴿ : Not old
﴾وَلَا بِكْرٌ ﴿: Not virgin as in, too young
﴾عَوَانٌ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ﴿: between these two ages
This was still possible to find and slaughter hence settling the matter, however they came back and said:
الآية رقم (67) - وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَنْ تَذْبَحُواْ بَقَرَةً قَالُواْ أَتَتَّخِذُنَا هُزُواً قَالَ أَعُوذُ بِاللّهِ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ
(67) - “And remember when Musa said to his people, ‘Indeed, Allah commands you to slaughter a cow.’ They said, ‘Do you take us in ridicule?’ He said, ‘I seek refuge in Allah from being among the ignorant.’”
Surah Baqarah is named as such because of this story of the cow in it. It is a story that happened to the children of Israel in the time of Prophet Musa u, so as to affirm a very important principle from the important principles of faith which is, the resurrection.
And to have belief in the resurrection is the most important condition from the conditions of faith, second to the belief in Allah U. And it is the most important part of the parts of faith, that is, to believe in the last day and in resurrection after death. All people see death but they do not see the resurrection, hence it is unseen, and veiled, just like all the parts of faith such as the belief in Allah U, in His angels, in His books, in His prophets, in the Last Day, and in the Decree and Predestination, the good of it and the bad of it.
الآية رقم (66) - فَجَعَلْنَاهَا نَكَالاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهَا وَمَا خَلْفَهَا وَمَوْعِظَةً لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ
(66) - “And We made it a deterrent punishment for those who were present and those who succeeded [them] and a lesson for those who fear Allah.”
﴾نَكَالًا﴿ “a severe punishment”, and this punishment is the most severe punishment to afflict them as it came after all that have been witnessed of the disobedience of the children of Israel, the stages that they fell into and every event that they had gone through. And this punishment will be for whoever that does as they did of disobedience and it is a warning to those with taqwa (fear of God).
النٌكول : It is to go back or return. This means so that you will repent and return from this crime and you will not go back to it again.
الآية رقم (65) - وَلَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمُ الَّذِينَ اعْتَدَواْ مِنكُمْ فِي السَّبْتِ فَقُلْنَا لَهُمْ كُونُواْ قِرَدَةً خَاسِئِينَ
(65) - “And you had already known about those who transgressed among you concerning the sabbath, and We said to them, ‘Be apes, despised.’”
Allah U is directing this speech to the Jews who were in the Arabian Peninsula in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarrah during the time of revelation.
The names of only two days of the week are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an – Friday and Saturday.
The word Friday was mentioned in the Surah Al-Jumu’ah:
﴾يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نُودِيَ لِلصَّلَاةِ مِن يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْا إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَذَرُوا الْبَيْعَ﴿
“Oh you who have believed, when [the adhan] is called for the prayer on the day of Jumu’ah (Friday), then proceed to the remembrance of Allah and leave trade. That is better for you, if you only knew.” [Surah Al-Jumu’ah: 9]
And the word Saturday was mentioned here and in Surah Al-A’raaf.
The days of the week are 7, starting with Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and the 6th is Friday and the 7th is Saturday. And the word Jumu’ah and Sabt are words that are not derived from numbers nor connected to them. The scholars differ as to what caused these words to develop.
الآية رقم (64) - ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ فَلَوْلاَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَكُنتُم مِّنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
(64) - “Then you turned away after that. And if not for the favour of Allah upon you and His mercy, you would have been among the losers.”
﴾فَضْلُ اللَّهِ﴿ “The favour of Allah”
The word favour means increase, meaning what is above the norm, as Allah has said about the righteous martyrs, and this is good news from Allah:
﴿وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتًا ۚ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ (١٦٩) فَرِحِينَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَيَسْتَبْشِرُونَ بِالَّذِينَ لَمْ يَلْحَقُوا بِهِم مِّنْ خَلْفِهِمْ أَلَّا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ (١٧٠)﴾
“And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision, Rejoicing in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty, and they receive good tidings about those [to be martyred] after them who have not yet joined them – that there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” [Surah Ali ‘Imran: 169 -170].
This means that they are pleased by the bounty of Allah and not by His justice, and that bounty is above justice. Justice is to take exactly in the same measure to what you did while bounty it is to take more than what a person did.
الآية رقم (63) - وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَكُمُ الطُّورَ خُذُواْ مَا آتَيْنَاكُم بِقُوَّةٍ وَاذْكُرُواْ مَا فِيهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
(63) - “And remember when We took your covenant, (Oh Children of Israel, to abide by the Torah) and We raised over you the mount, saying, hold firmly to what We have given you with determination and remember what is in it that perhaps you may become righteous.”
When the Torah was sent down and Allah gave Prophet Musa u divine guidance, Prophet Musa u chose 70 men from his people and took a covenant from them. However, they broke the covenant so Allah shook the mountain Tur and lifted it over them and threatened them that they will be crushed by the mountain if they do not believe. So, they got frightened, and returned and prostrated with their eyes looking up at the mountain Tur out of fear that it would fall on them. And till today, we find the Jews making prostration with a section of their face on the ground and their eyes looking sideward. This way of prostration was taken from this prostration that was done when they were in fear of the mountain falling on them and they do not know that the origins of this sujud is from this story.
It is on the human being to accept obedience to Allah U with firmness, without trying to escape nor feeling undecided between coming forward and turning away as the children of Israel did. Rasulullah r used to say:
((يَا بِلَالُ، أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ، أَرِحْنَا بِهَا))
“Oh Bilal! Call for the prayer! Give us rest by it!”
الآية رقم (62) - إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَالَّذِينَ هَادُواْ وَالنَّصَارَى وَالصَّابِئِينَ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحاً فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
(62) - “Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] - those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.”
This refers to every message that came before Islam and to every person who believed in Allah and followed up this belief with righteous deeds.
And faith is always tied together with good deeds, because faith is what is held in the heart and deeds affirm it. It (faith) is not just a word that is said, rather it is essential to follow it up with good deeds.
Every time the word faith is mentioned in the Noble Qur’an, it is followed up with good deeds:
﴾إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ كَانَتْ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتُ الْفِرْدَوْسِ نُزُلًا﴿
“Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds – they will have the Gardens of Paradise for their pleasure,” [Surah Al-Kahf: 107] and
﴿وَالْعَصْرِ (١) إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ (٢) إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ
وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ (٣)﴾
“By time. Indeed, mankind is in loss. Except for those who believe and do righteous deeds and advise each other to truth and advise each other to patience.” [Surah Al-‘Asr: 1-3].
الآية رقم (61) - وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ يَا مُوسَى لَن نَّصْبِرَ عَلَىَ طَعَامٍ وَاحِدٍ فَادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُخْرِجْ لَنَا مِمَّا تُنبِتُ الأَرْضُ مِن بَقْلِهَا وَقِثَّآئِهَا وَفُومِهَا وَعَدَسِهَا وَبَصَلِهَا قَالَ أَتَسْتَبْدِلُونَ الَّذِي هُوَ أَدْنَى بِالَّذِي هُوَ خَيْرٌ اهْبِطُواْ مِصْراً فَإِنَّ لَكُم مَّا سَأَلْتُمْ وَضُرِبَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الذِّلَّةُ وَالْمَسْكَنَةُ وَبَآؤُوْاْ بِغَضَبٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ يَكْفُرُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَيَقْتُلُونَ النَّبِيِّينَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ ذَلِكَ بِمَا عَصَواْ وَّكَانُواْ يَعْتَدُونَ
(61) - “And remember when you said, ‘Oh Musa, we can never endure one [kind of] food. So, call upon your Lord to bring forth for us from the earth its green herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions.’ He said, ‘Would you exchange what is better for what is less? Go into any settlement and indeed, you will have what you have asked for.’ And they were afflicted with humiliation and poverty and returned with anger from Allah [upon them]. That was because they [repeatedly] disbelieved in the signs of Allah and killed the prophets without right. That was because they disobeyed and were [habitually] transgressing.”
Indeed, causing harm and corruption on earth, as well as disobedience and animosity are deeply-rooted traits in the selves of the children of Israel throughout history, despite the blessings they enjoy from Allah U. We see in this verse, how they object having to bear with one type of food, and what is meant by one type of food is mann and salwa even though there were actually 2 types of food, namely, meat and sweets and not one type. However, they simply grouped them as one type of food because they get the food every day. So they requested from Allah U to bring forth for them:
﴾مِن بَقْلِهَا وَقِثَّائِهَا وَفُومِهَا وَعَدَسِهَا وَبَصَلِهَا﴿ “its green herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions.”
بَقْل: green herbs, but what is meant is not just green herbs. It refers to every plant that does not have a trunk or stalk like cabbage and lettuce.
قِثَّاء: It is a type of cucumber
فُومِ: It is garlic
عَدَسِ (lentils) and بَصَلِ (onions) are known.
الآية رقم (60) - وَإِذِ اسْتَسْقَى مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ فَقُلْنَا اضْرِب بِّعَصَاكَ الْحَجَرَ فَانفَجَرَتْ مِنْهُ اثْنَتَا عَشْرَةَ عَيْناً قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍ مَّشْرَبَهُمْ كُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ مِن رِّزْقِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تَعْثَوْاْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ
(60) - “And [recall] when Moses prayed for water for his people, so We said, "Strike with your staff the stone." And there gushed forth from it twelve springs, and every people knew its watering place. "Eat and drink from the provision of Allah, and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.”
﴾وَإِذِ﴿ “and when” referring to a time frame, meaning “and remember when…”
Allah always speaks to them on what causes corruption:
﴿لُعِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَلَىٰ لِسَانِ دَاوُودَ وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوا وَّكَانُوا يَعْتَدُونَ (٧٨) كَانُوا لَا يَتَنَاهَوْنَ عَن مُّنكَرٍ فَعَلُوهُ ۚ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ (٧٩)﴾
“Cursed were those who disbelieved among the Children of Israel by the tongue of Daud and of Isa, the son of Mariam. That was because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed. They used not to prevent one another from wrongdoing that they did. How wretched was that which they were doing.” [Surah Al-Ma’idah: 78-79]
الآية رقم (59) - فَبَدَّلَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ قَوْلاً غَيْرَ الَّذِي قِيلَ لَهُمْ فَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ رِجْزاً مِّنَ السَّمَاء بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفْسُقُونَ
(59) - “But those who did wrong changed [those words] to a statement other than that which had been said to them, so We sent down upon the wrong-doers a punishment from the sky because they were defiantly disobeying.”
Allah commanded them to enter the door of the city bowing and saying “remove our burdens”, hence whoever did that Allah forgave them, and who did more in excellence, Allah U increased for them of His goodness. Allah always increases a person in goodness as He is the most giving, the best in showing excellence. And He also punishes man if he does evil and corrupts.
The worshipping of Allah on this earth is for the rectification of the human being and it encompasses every movement of the human being in life. Meaning that all good beneficial acts go back to himself, his family and his relatives, his neighbours, his neighbourhood, his city, his country and all of humanity altogether. And this is the message of religion.
Allah speaks to us in these verses about the children of Israel from the angle of their behaviour, their actions and their dwellings, specifying everything that has to do with the animosity of these people who will be the people of illegal terrorism, who will force Masjidil Aqsa to be theirs in the future and dishonour it.
Allah showed favours onto them, but they denied them. And instead of saying “hittah” (remove our burdens) they said “hintah” or wheat as all they think about is food. And instead of entering the door bowing, they entered it disobeying and in a manner that was not required of them. It is said that they entered backwards but this is not affirmed. All of these happened to them in the desert.
الآية رقم (58) - وَإِذْ قُلْنَا ادْخُلُواْ هَـذِهِ الْقَرْيَةَ فَكُلُواْ مِنْهَا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمْ رَغَداً وَادْخُلُواْ الْبَابَ سُجَّداً وَقُولُواْ حِطَّةٌ نَّغْفِرْ لَكُمْ خَطَايَاكُمْ وَسَنَزِيدُ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
(58) - “And [recall] when We said, "Enter this city and eat from it wherever you will in [ease and] abundance, and enter the gate bowing humbly and say, 'Relieve us of our burdens.' We will [then] forgive your sins for you, and We will increase the doers of good [in goodness and reward].”
So when the children of Israel refused provision from the sky of the mann and the salwa, and they were not impressed by what Allah U has bestowed and favoured them with, rather they arrogantly rejected them, their Lord said to them,
﴾ادْخُلُوا هَٰذِهِ الْقَرْيَةَ فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمْ رَغَدًا﴿
“Enter this city and eat from it wherever you will in [ease and] abundance,”, meaning, enter in bliss and peace.
﴾وَادْخُلُوا الْبَابَ سُجَّدًا﴿ “and enter the gate bowing humbly”, meaning humbling yourselves to Allah U, being obedient and grateful to Him most high.
﴾وَقُولُوا حِطَّةٌ﴿ “and say, ‘Relieve us of our burdens.’”: meaning ask Allah U to remove from you your sins by His forgiveness.
﴾نَّغْفِرْ لَكُمْ خَطَايَاكُمْ ۚ وَسَنَزِيدُ الْمُحْسِنِينَ﴿ “We will [then] forgive your sins for you, and We will increase the doers of good [in goodness and reward].”
الآية رقم (57) - وَظَلَّلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْغَمَامَ وَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَنَّ وَالسَّلْوَى كُلُواْ مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَمَا ظَلَمُونَا وَلَـكِن كَانُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ
(57) - “And We shaded you with clouds and sent down to you manna and quails, [saying], ‘Eat from the good things with which We have provided you.’ And they wronged Us not - but they were [only] wronging themselves.”
Then, Allah reminds the children of Israel of His blessings and favours and His preference onto them, and that He preferred them not because they are the chosen people of Allah as they have claimed, rather it is because of how much they were tested and how Allah U keeps accepting their repentance and the great number of prophets sent down to them.
They were with Prophet Musa in the desert where there was no water nor vegetation, so Allah shaded them with clouds to protect them from the scorching heat of the sun when there was nothing around them to shade them. So, the clouds came as a mercy from Allah , just as how He sent to them ‘mann’ and ‘salwa’ as food for them without any effort on their part.
الآية رقم (56) - ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَاكُم مِّن بَعْدِ مَوْتِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
(56) - “Then We revived you after your death that perhaps you would be grateful.”
The thunderclap seized the children of Israel and they died. Then Allah U brought them back to life after their death.
As for Musa u, he did not die. Rather, he fell unconscious due to the great glory of Allah U manifested onto the mountain. When he regained consciousness:
﴾فَلَمَّا أَفَاقَ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ﴿
“And when he awoke, he said, “Exalted are You! I have repented to You, and I am the first of the believers.’” [Surah Al-A’raaf: 143]
He u repented from ever asking this again.
الآية رقم (55) - وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ يَا مُوسَى لَن نُّؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّى نَرَى اللَّهَ جَهْرَةً فَأَخَذَتْكُمُ الصَّاعِقَةُ وَأَنتُمْ تَنظُرُونَ
(55) - “And remember when you said, "Oh Musa, we will never believe you until we see Allah clearly"; so the thunderbolt took you while you were looking on.”
After all these favours and blessings from Allah U, and after Allah U turned to them and accepted their repentance, they said to Prophet Musa u:
﴾لَن نُّؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّىٰ نَرَى اللَّهَ جَهْرَةً ﴿ “we will never believe you until we see Allah clearly” and this was the literal physical gaze that they had.
From the greatness of Allah U is that He is not seen:
﴾لَا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الْأَبْصَارَ ۖ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ﴿
“Vision perceives Him not, but He perceives [all] vision; and He is the Subtle, the Acquainted.” [Surah Al-An’aam: 103].