Above All Else

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The Golden Calf (7:148 – 7:155)

The Golden Calf

[7:148] During his absence, Moses’ people made from their jewelry the statue of a calf, complete with the sound of a calf.* Did they not see that it could not speak to them, or guide them in any path? They worshiped it, and thus turned wicked. 
*7:148 How the golden calf acquired the sound of a calf is explained in Footnote 20:96.

[7:149] Finally, when they regretted their action, and realized that they had gone astray, they said, “Unless our Lord redeems us with His mercy, and forgives us, we will be losers.”
[7:150] When Moses returned to his people, angry and disappointed, he said, “What a terrible thing you have done in my absence! Could you not wait for the commandments of your Lord?” He threw down the tablets, and took hold of his brother’s head, pulling him towards himself. (Aaron) said, “Son of my mother, the people took advantage of my weakness, and almost killed me. Let not my enemies rejoice, and do not count me with the transgressing people.”
[7:151] (Moses) said, “My Lord, forgive me and my brother, and admit us into Your mercy. Of all the merciful ones, You are the Most Merciful.”
[7:152] Surely, those who idolized the calf have incurred wrath from their Lord, and humiliation in this life. We thus requite the innovators.
[7:153] As for those who committed sins, then repented thereafter and believed, your Lord – after this – is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[7:154] When Moses’ anger subsided, he picked up the tablets, containing guidance and mercy for those who reverence their Lord.
[7:155] Moses then selected seventy men from among his people, to come to our appointed audience. When the quake shook them, he said, “My Lord, You could have annihilated them in the past, together with me, if You so willed. Would You annihilate us for the deeds of those among us who are foolish? This must be the test that You have instituted for us. With it, You condemn whomever You will, and guide whomever You will. You are our Lord and Master, so forgive us, shower us with Your mercy; You are the best Forgiver.

<strong>Michael Rubinstein: See invisible motion, hear silent sounds. Cool? Creepy? We can’t decide</strong>
<strong><a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHfhorJnAEI”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHfhorJnAEI</a></strong&gt;

7:150 – Moses was strong, but not well spoken. Aaron was eloquent, but not physically strong. We each have our strengths and weaknesses.

[20:94] He said, “O son of my mother, do not pull me by my beard and my head. I was afraid that you might say, ‘You have divided the Children of Israel, and disobeyed my orders.’ “

The Children of Israel u all their wealth together and put their trust in these entities i.e. banks.

Why would the Samarian build the calf despite what the signs he saw from God?

Both believers and disbelievers are inspired, except the believers are inspired by God and the disbelievers by the devil. Which we are inspired by is dependent by the deeds we have done in the past – see 3:155. 

[7:117] We then inspired Moses: “Throw down your staff,” whereupon it swallowed whatever they fabricated. 

[4:163] We have inspired you, as we inspired Noah and the prophets after him. And we inspired Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, the Patriarchs, Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon. And we gave David the Psalms. 

[20:96] He said, “I saw what they could not see. I grabbed a fistful (of dust) from the place where the messenger stood, and used it (to mix into the golden calf). This is what my mind inspired me to do.” 

[3:155] Surely, those among you who turned back the day the two armies clashed have been duped by the devil. This reflects some of the (evil) works they had committed. GOD has pardoned them. GOD is Forgiver, Clement. 

Why was there so much adoration for calfs at the time of Moses? 

 

Divine Intervention Keeps the Disbelievers in the Dark (7:146 – 7:147)

Divine Intervention Keeps the Disbelievers in the Dark

[7:146] I will divert from My revelations those who are arrogant on earth, without justification. Consequently, when they see every kind of proof they will not believe. And when they see the path of guidance they will not adopt it as their path, but when they see the path of straying they will adopt it as their path. This is the consequence of their rejecting our proofs, and being totally heedless thereof.
[7:147] Those who reject our revelations and the meeting of the Hereafter, their works are nullified. Are they requited only for what they committed?

What does it mean in 7:146 that it says “without justification”? Does this mean that it is ever justified to be arrogant?

Three are examples in the Quran where God creates a scenario that He nullifies. This brings out people’s true convictions, because those who want to justify sinful acts will gravitate to those verses to justify their unrighteous behavior.

[43:81] Proclaim: “If the Most Gracious did have a son, I would still be the foremost worshiper.”

Do Not Use Bad Language

[4:148] GOD does not like the utterance of bad language, unless one is treated with gross injustice. GOD is Hearer, Knower.

This is a perfect example of Pharaoh’s behavior

[40:35] They argue against GOD’s revelations, without any basis. This is a trait that is most abhorred by GOD and by those who believe. GOD thus seals the hearts of every arrogant tyrant. 

[40:56] Surely, those who argue against GOD’s revelations without proof are exposing the arrogance that is hidden inside their chests, and they are not even aware of it. Therefore, seek refuge in GOD; He is the Hearer, the Seer. 

Invisible, Devilish, Companions*

[43:36] Anyone who disregards the message of the Most Gracious, we appoint a devil to be his constant companion. [43:37] Such companions will divert them from the path, yet make them believe that they are guided.

What is the difference between arrogance and confidence?

Our confidence should come in God not in ourselves. If one builds their trust on God and truth then they will have confidence. One that builds their belief on lies they will be arrogant and suffer the consequences.

[47:21] Obedience and righteous utterances are expected of them. If only they showed confidence in GOD, when mobilization was called for, it would have been better for them.

Arrogant: someone who is arrogant thinks they are better or more important than other people and behaves in a way that is rude and too confident

Confidence: someone who is confident believes in their own abilities and so does not feel nervous or frightened

Remembering God Every Chance We Get

[18:23] You shall not say that you will do anything in the future, [18:24] without saying, “GOD willing.”* If you forget to do this, you must immediately remember your Lord and say, “May my Lord guide me to do better next time.”

Important Commandment

[18:39] “When you entered your garden, you should have said, ‘This is what GOD has given me (Mã Shã Allãh). No one possesses power except GOD (Lã Quwwata Ellã Bellãh).’ You may see that I possess less money and less children than you.

Confidence does not mean competence

Example of false confidence:

[68:17] We have tested them like we tested the owners of the garden who swore that they will harvest it in the morning. [68:18] They were so absolutely sure. [68:19] A passing (storm) from your Lord passed by it while they were asleep. [68:20] By morning, it was barren. [68:21] They called on each other in the morning. [68:22] “Let us harvest the crop.” [68:23] On their way, they confided to each other. [68:24] That from then on, none of them would be poor. [68:25] They were so absolutely sure of their harvest. [68:26] But when they saw it, they said, “We were so wrong! [68:27] “Now, we have nothing!” They Should Have Said: “God Willing.” [68:28] The righteous among them said, “If only you had glorified (God)!” [68:29] They said, “Glory be to our Lord. We have transgressed.” [68:30] They started to blame each other. [68:31] They said, “Woe to us. We sinned. [68:32] “May our Lord grant us a better one. We repent to our Lord.”

Disbelievers are blocked out because this is the choice they made, and God allows them to justify their belief.   

Divine Intervention

[18:57] Who are more evil than those who are reminded of their Lord’s proofs, then disregard them, without realizing what they are doing. Consequently, we place shields on their hearts to prevent them from understanding it (the Quran), and deafness in their ears. Thus, no matter what you do to guide them, they can never ever be guided.

Tragic Statement: “My mind is made up!”

[2:88] Some would say, “Our minds are made up!” Instead, it is a curse from GOD, as a consequence of their disbelief, that keeps them from believing, except for a few of them. 

[9:115] GOD does not send any people astray, after He had guided them, without first pointing out for them what to expect. GOD is fully aware of all things. 

[19:75] Say, “Those who choose to go astray, the Most Gracious will lead them on, until they see what is promised for them—either the retribution or the Hour. That is when they find out who really is worse off, and weaker in power.” [19:76] GOD augments the guidance of those who choose to be guided. For the good deeds are eternally rewarded by your Lord, and bring far better returns.

Mathematical Miracle of the Quran

[13:31] Even if a Quran caused mountains to move, or the earth to tear asunder, or the dead to speak (they will not believe). GOD controls all things. Is it not time for the believers to give up and realize that if GOD willed, He could have guided all the people? The disbelievers will continue to suffer disasters, as a consequence of their own works, or have disasters strike close to them, until GOD’s promise is fulfilled. GOD will never change the predetermined destiny.

[13:11] Shifts (of angels) take turns, staying with each one of you—they are in front of you and behind you. They stay with you, and guard you in accordance with GOD’s commands. Thus, GOD does not change the condition of any people unless they themselves make the decision to change. If GOD wills any hardship for any people, no force can stop it. For they have none beside Him as Lord and Master.

[10:101] Say, “Look at all the signs in the heavens and the earth.” All the proofs and all the warnings can never help people who decided to disbelieve.

Our World Cannot Stand the Physical Presence of God (7:142 – 7:145)

Our World Cannot Stand the Physical Presence of God

[7:142] We summoned Moses for thirty* nights, and completed them by adding ten.* Thus, the audience with his Lord lasted forty* nights. Moses said to his brother Aaron, “Stay here with my people, maintain righteousness, and do not follow the ways of the corruptors.” 
*7:142 The manner in which these numbers are mentioned is significant. As detailed in Appendix 1, all the numbers mentioned in the Quran add up to 162146, 19×8534.
[7:143] When Moses came at our appointed time, and his Lord spoke with him, he said, “My Lord, let me look and see You.” He said, “You cannot see Me. Look at that mountain; if it stays in its place, then you can see Me.” Then, his Lord manifested Himself to the mountain, and this caused it to crumble. Moses fell unconscious. When he came to, he said, “Be You glorified. I repent to You, and I am the most convinced believer.”
[7:144] He said, “O Moses, I have chosen you, out of all the people, with My messages and by speaking to you. Therefore, take what I have given you and be appreciative.”
[7:145] We wrote for him on the tablets all kinds of enlightenments and details of everything: “You shall uphold these teachings strongly, and exhort your people to uphold them – these are the best teachings. I will point out for you the fate of the wicked.”

If our problems are mountains, God can cause them to crumble

Don’t tell God how big your problems are tell your problems how big your God is.  

Greatness of the Quran

[59:21] If we revealed this Quran to a mountain, you would see it trembling, crumbling, out of reverence for GOD. We cite these examples for the people, that they may reflect. 

[6:103] No visions can encompass Him, but He encompasses all visions. He is the Compassionate, the Cognizant.

[6:154] And we gave Moses the scripture, complete with the best commandments, and detailing everything, and a beacon and mercy, that they may believe in meeting their Lord.

[38:47] They were chosen, for they were among the most righteous.

After All the Miracles (7:138 – 7:140)

After All the Miracles

[7:138] We delivered the Children of Israel across the sea. When they passed by people who were worshiping statues, they said, “O Moses, make a god for us, like the gods they have.” He said, “Indeed, you are ignorant people.
[7:139] “These people are committing a blasphemy, for what they are doing is disastrous for them.
[7:140] “Shall I seek for you other than GOD to be your god, when He has blessed you more than anyone else in the world?”

Why would the Children of Israel ask Moses to make a statue as a god for them?

Things are not much different today. People chase all kinds of sin and vice when they know that it is bad for them.

Ancient DNA solves mystery of the Canaanites, reveals the biblical people’s fate

Ancient DNA solves mystery of the Canaanites, reveals the biblical people’s fate

In the Bronze Age, between 4,000 and 3,000 years ago, a diverse group of people called the Canaanites lived in the Middle East. Despite their culture and influence – one of the only golden calf idols discovered was found in the Canaan seaport of Ashqelon – they left behind little information about themselves.

 

The Inevitable Retribution (7:136 – 7:137)

The Inevitable Retribution

[7:136] Consequently, we avenged their actions, and drowned them in the sea. That is because they rejected our signs, and were totally heedless thereof.
[7:137] We let the oppressed people inherit the land, east and west, and we blessed it. The blessed commands of your Lord were thus fulfilled for the Children of Israel, to reward them for their steadfastness, and we annihilated the works of Pharaoh and his people and everything they harvested.

God Compensates the Oppressed

[28:5] We willed to compensate those who were oppressed on earth, and to turn them into leaders, and make them the inheritors.

When were the Children of Israel steadfast?

The Children of Israel were steadfast when they were being oppressed. Once they were freed from Pharaoh then they waivered.

In 7:137 God is using the word harvest to define anything they had earned or gained.

Zakat Must Be Given “On The Day Of Harvest”*

[6:141] He is the One who established gardens, trellised and untrellised, and palm trees, and crops with different tastes, and olives, and pomegranate —fruits that are similar, yet dissimilar. Eat from their fruits, and give the due alms on the day of harvest,* and do not waste anything. He does not love the wasters.

What does it mean that Pharaoh’s works were annihilated?

What happened to the Egyptian people after Pharaoh was annihilated?  

The worst enemy for any person is their sleeping ego that wakes up when the conditions change.  

[47:37] If He asked you for money, to the extent of creating a hardship for you, you might have become stingy, and your hidden evil might be exposed.