The Crimes of the Banu Israel
Allah revealed the Torah to Musa (AS)
The Banu Israel were finally free from their slavery and could worship Allah in peace. But unfortunately, they were not grateful to the favour of Allah. They passed by a group of people who were worshipping an idol, and instead of being disgusted that these people were not worshipping Allah alone they turned to Musa (AS) and asked him to build them an idol that they could worship. They had just seen the miracle of the entire sea being split, and yet instead of dedicating themselves to worshipping Allah only, they now wanted an idol to worship instead.
Musa (AS) became furious and warned his people that those who worship idols were achieving nothing and that they would be destroyed by Allah. He could not believe that his people would ask for something to worship other than Allah, when Allah had chosen them specially over the rest of the world and saved them from slavery under Firown.
But Allah’s favours to the Banu Israel did not end there. When they were thirsty, Allah commanded Musa (AS) to hit a rock with his stick. Water came pouring from the rock in 12 different springs for the 12 different tribes of the Banu Israel. Remember, Yaqub (AS) had 12 different children which made up the 12 different families of the Banu Israel. When they were hungry, Allah sent down quail and a special food called manna for them to eat.
Still the Banu Israel were ungrateful. They had food provided directly from Allah but still they found reason to complain. They were used to having lots of different foods to eat, the lentils, beans, onions and garlic that they ate in Egypt, so they asked Musa (AS) to pray to Allah for those foods to grow. On hearing this, Musa (AS) became angry, and asked, ‘Would you change that which is better for that which is worse? Go to any town and you will find what you want!’
Not only were the Banu Israel ungrateful, but they were also cowards. Allah ordered them to enter Palestine, as this was the land that had been promised to the descendants of Ibrahim (AS) to live in and worship Allah. But they began to make excuses and disobey the command of Allah, complaining that there were strong people who lived in that land and declaring that they would never enter it as long as those people remained. Out of all the people from the Banu Israel, Musa (AS) could only find two men willing to fight for the cause to take the holy city.
For disobeying His order, Allah sent a punishment on the Banu Israel. For 40 years they would not be able to enter Palestine, and they would have to remain wandering the land without a home. Every day they would set out to find a place to stay, and every day they would end up where they started.
Do not forget the favours of Allah and be ungrateful. The Banu Israel were extremely ungrateful to Musa (AS) and Allah for the favours that they had been given. They wanted to go back to a lower state, where they were humiliated and oppressed because that was what they were used to. The did not appreciate the food and the freedom that they had been blessed with, and did not follow the orders of their Lord.
At some point, Musa (AS) and his people came near Mount Sinai, where Musa’s (AS) prophet had begun. There, Allah ordered that Musa (AS) fast for 30 days alone, away from his people. This was later extended by Allah to 40 days. While he was gone, Musa (AS) put Haroon (AS) in charge and told him to keep the people in order and not to follow the mischief makers.
When the 40 days were over, Musa (AS) went to speak with Allah on top of the mountain as he had been told to do. While he was speaking to Allah, he asked if he could be allowed to see Him. Allah responded that if the mountain nearby remained standing after He revealed His face to it, then Musa (AS) would be allowed to see Him. The Lord of the Universe slightly uncovered the veil of light that covered His face so that the mountain could see Him, after which the mountain violently crumbled to dust. Musa (AS) fell unconscious.
When Musa (AS) woke up again, he praised Allah and asked forgiveness for asking for more than he could bear. After this, Allah revealed to him tablets in which ten laws were written. These became the well-known Ten Commandments of the Torah.
The 10 Commandments:
1. Do not worship anything besides Allah
2. Do not use Allah’s name rudely without any reason
3. Remember the Sabbath (Saturdays, when Jews are not allowed to work)
4. Be good to your parents
5. Do not kill
6. Do not commit adultery
7. Do not steal
8. Do not lie
9. Do not be jealous of anyone’s wife
10. Do not be jealous of anyone’s possessions