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When the two hosts came in view of each other, the companions of Moses said... (Ash-Shu‘arā’ 26:61–62)

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Sūratu’sh-Shu‘arā’ (The Poets)

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فَلَمَّا تَرَاءَى الْجَمْعَانِ قَالَ أَصْحَابُ مُوسَىٰ إِنَّا لَمُدْرَكُونَ۝ قَالَ كَلَّا ۖ إِنَّ مَعِيَ رَبِّي سَيَهْدِينِ
When the two hosts came in view of each other, the companions of Moses said: “We are certainly overtaken!” He (Moses) replied: “Certainly not. My Lord is surely with me; He will guide me (to deliverance).” (Ash-Shu‘arā’ 26:61–62)

The community of Moses considered Pharaoh’s pursuit of them with his armies from a materialistic view, and Prophet Moses, upon him be peace, took their approach into consideration. Since Moses’ community had dominant materialistic tendencies and shut off to metaphysical realm with their intellects in their eyes, it required a long time to educate them and enable them to adopt the Prophetic way of thinking and action. Therefore, Prophet Moses, peace be upon him, endeavored to that end his whole life long. The verse translated above points out the materialistic attitude of Moses’ community. While the armies of Pharaoh in pursuit of Moses and his companions were just about to reach them, the Children of Israel, who had seen many miracles of Moses until that time, feared that they were surely to be overtaken due to the lack of confidence in God and His Messenger. However, Moses responded to them in an emphatic manner in order to make them believe, saying: “Certainly not. My Lord is surely with me; He will guide me (to deliverance).”

While interpreting this verse, Qādī Baydawī, an important inter-preter of the Qur’ān, compares Prophet Moses and Prophet Muhammad, upon them be peace. He draws the attention to what Moses and Prophet Muhammad said in the face of almost the same sort of danger. During his emigration to Madīnah, Prophet Muhammad took shelter in a cave in Mount Thawr together with his Companion Abū Bakr. A group of Makkans searching for them came as far as the entrance of the cave. Just at that point, Abū Bakr worried about the life of the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings. However, as is reported in the Qur’ān, the noblest Prophet calmed him, saying: “Do not grieve. God is surely with us” (At-Tawbah 9:40). While Moses spoke in the future tense, “My Lord will guide me (to deliverance),” Prophet Muhammad spoke in the noun sentence, which expresses more certainty than a verbal sentence. Drawing the attention to this point, Qādī Baydawī concludes that the confidence of Prophet Muhammad in God was limitless and much greater than any other Proph-et, including Moses, peace be upon them all.

While clarifying this difference, we should also consider the differ-ence between the Companions of Prophet Muhammad and those of Moses in confidence in and reliance on God Almighty. It is clear that a community which is at the peak of loyalty to God and its Prophet and accepts without hesitation whatever comes out of the mouth of its Prophet is not addressed in the same way as another community that questions its Prophet in almost every matter.