Then, it is undertaken by Us to explain it. [75:19]

Maryam 51-58

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Fourth Story: Musa (عليه السلام)

وَٱذۡكُرۡ فِى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ مُوسَىٰٓ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ مُخۡلَصً۬ا وَكَانَ رَسُولاً۬ نَّبِيًّ۬ا (٥١) وَنَـٰدَيۡنَـٰهُ مِن جَانِبِ ٱلطُّورِ ٱلۡأَيۡمَنِ وَقَرَّبۡنَـٰهُ نَجِيًّ۬ا (٥٢) وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهُ ۥ مِن رَّحۡمَتِنَآ أَخَاهُ هَـٰرُونَ نَبِيًّ۬ا (٥٣) وَٱذۡكُرۡ فِى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ إِسۡمَـٰعِيلَ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ صَادِقَ ٱلۡوَعۡدِ وَكَانَ رَسُولاً۬ نَّبِيًّ۬ا (٥٤) وَكَانَ يَأۡمُرُ أَهۡلَهُ ۥ بِٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَٱلزَّكَوٰةِ وَكَانَ عِندَ رَبِّهِۦ مَرۡضِيًّ۬ا (٥٥) وَٱذۡكُرۡ فِى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ إِدۡرِيسَ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ صِدِّيقً۬ا نَّبِيًّ۬ا (٥٦) وَرَفَعۡنَـٰهُ مَكَانًا عَلِيًّا (٥٧)

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And in this book (the Quran) also make mention of Musa (عليه السلام). That is to say, tell the people. Otherwise, in reality, the one mentioning in the book is Allah Most High. Without doubt he was a chosen one of Allah Most High, and he was a messenger, a prophet. And We called him from the right side of the Mount Tur, and we made him a confidant in order to communicate secrets to him. And, out of Our mercy (and favor), We granted him his brother Harun, by making him a prophet; meaning, upon his request, We made him a prophet in order to support him in his mission; and in this book also make mention of Ismaail (عليه السلام). He was indeed (very) true to his promise, and he was a messenger, a prophet; and he would enjoin upon his people in general all matters of religion but specifically Salah and Zakah; and according to his Lord he was a favoured one; and in this book also mention Idrees (عليه السلام). He was a person of immense truth, a prophet. And in matters of perfection We elevated him to a high rank.

أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡہِم مِّنَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ مِن ذُرِّيَّةِ ءَادَمَ وَمِمَّنۡ حَمَلۡنَا مَعَ نُوحٍ۬ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّةِ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ وَإِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ وَمِمَّنۡ هَدَيۡنَا وَٱجۡتَبَيۡنَآ‌ۚ إِذَا تُتۡلَىٰ عَلَيۡهِمۡ ءَايَـٰتُ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ خَرُّواْ سُجَّدً۬ا وَبُكِيًّ۬ا ۩ (٥٨)

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These people mentioned from the beginning of the Surah until this point (Zakariya until Idrees (عليهم السلام)) they are those upon whom Allah Most High has bestowed special favour, from among the prophets. (Hence what favour could be greater than prophethood?) This attribute is common between all. They were all from the progeny of Adam (عليه السلام), and some of them were from the progeny of those whom we boarded with Nuh in the Ark. Other than Idrees (عليه السلام), who was from the ancestors of Nuh, this attribute is found in all; and some of them were from the progeny of Ibrahim and Yaqoob (عليهما السلام). Hence Zakariya, Yahya, Eisa, and Musa (عليهم السلام) were from the progeny of both while Ishaq, Yaqoob and Ismaeel were only from the children of Ibrahim (عليهم السلام); and all of these noble people were from those whom we guided and accepted. However, despite this acceptance and distinction the level of their servitude was such that when the verses of the All-Merciful were recited in their presence, displaying extreme humility, dependency and obedience, they would fall in prostration, crying.


Here there are several points of interest:

1. There are multiple opinions regarding the difference between Rasool and Nabi. While taking into account various verses, what seems the most established to us is that the relationship between the two positions is that of ‘umoom wa khusoos min wajhin’. Rasool is he who delivers a new sacred law to the ones being addressed, regardless of whether it is a new law with respect to the messenger himself, like the Tawrat was for Sayidna Musa (عليه السلام), or one passed down as in the case of Ismaeel (عليه السلام), who was sent to the people of Jurhum. This was the same law of Ibrahim (عليه السلام), however, the Jurhumites became aware of the law through Ismaeel; for them it was new. Also, regardless of whether the Rasool is also a prophet or not, i.e. as angels have been termed rusul whereas they were not prophets, or as those sent by other prophets for the purpose of propagation as mentioned in Surah Yaseen.

Nabi on the other hand is he who receives divine revelation, irrespective of whether the given sacred law is new or old. This was the case with the majority of the prophets of Bani Israeel. Most were propagating the laws of Musa (عليه السلام). However, due to it being generally understood that a Rasool will also be a prophet (although not technically required), it is not permissible to use the term for a non-prophet.

2. The side of the Mount was described as ‘ayman’ because it fell on Musa’s right hand side (عليه السلام).

3. The secrecy mentioned in relation to the revelation occurring upon Musa (عليه السلام) is because he was alone at that time. Others did, however, become aware of it when he himself told them.

4. Harun being granted to Musa (عليهما السلام) was in terms of strengthening his mission and support. Otherwise, Harun alaihis salaam was senior in age.

5. While mentioning the attributes of Ismaeel (عليه السلام), being true to his promise was specifically chosen because this quality was found in him to a very high degree. We see a great instance of this in the Quran itself where he fulfilled the very stern promise of سَتَجِدُنِي إِن شَاء اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ in his childhood, in relation to slaughter.

6. If ahlihi refers to the general community then it would be all-encompassing. Otherwise, if his immediate family is meant, the possible reasons for this specification could be two. Either it means he initiated propagation with those most close to him which is the way of the du’aat و أنذر عشيرتك الأقربين, or he focused on his family in order that others may follow in their footsteps.

7. The specific mention of Salah and Zakah is for importance, not for exclusion.

8. Here separate listing of various shared attributes of the prophets is for the purpose of stylistic variety. There is no need to excessively dwell on it.

9. The raising (raf’), place (makan) and elevation (‘uloo) occurring in the story of Idrees (عليه السلام) were all of a nonmaterial nature. The interpretation of the verses does not need to be made dependent upon the story quoted in this regard, which points toward physical ascension, even if the story is authentic. Elevation and raising are frequently used in a nonmaterial sense. Even ‘place’ being used in reference to the non-physical has been shown by Imam Aloosi through a certain line of poetry.

10. Since many deviants had committed degradation and excess in the matter of the prophets, Allah Most High mentioned two types of attributes for them throughout the preceding verses: their being chosen and bearers of perfection, as this is a cure for degradation, and their being humble and obedient servants, as this is the cure for excess.

Allah knows best the secrets contained within his book.

Written by Yusuf Mullan

August 14th, 2009 at 1:48 am

Posted in Surah Maryam

One Response to 'Maryam 51-58'

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  1. It is beautiful ; jazakallah


    14 Aug 09 at 7:56 am

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