The ingratitude of The children of Israel
THE INGRATITUDE OF
THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL
After his confrontation with the magicians, Musa stayed in Egypt for
an extended period of time, marked by more severe oppression meted out
by Pharaoh against Musa and the children of Israel. On one hand, Musa
confronted Pharaoh and his oppression, while on the other, he summoned
the children of the Israel to steadfastness. Some among the children of the
Israel disrespectfully criticised Musa, saying that his presence did not
alleviate the repression they were subjected to:
Musa said to his people, "Seek help in God and be steadfast. The earth
belongs to God. He bequeaths it to any of His servants He wills. The
successful outcome is for those who have fear for God."
They said, "We suffered harm before you came to us and after you
came to us."
He said, "It may well be that your Lord is going to destroy your enemy
and make you the successors in the land so that He can see how you
behave." (Qur'an, 7: 128-129)
The disrespect of the children of Israel towards Musa is an indication
of their spiritual weakness. God had sent a prophet, to save them from the
cruelty of Pharaoh, who asked them to be steadfast. Due to the weakness
of their faith and their utter lack of wisdom, they were not able to forebear.
Instead, with ingratitude, they began to complain and grumble to Musa.
However, no matter what befalls him, a sincere believer feels grateful to
God, and submits himself to everything that God had predetermined for
him. In times of trouble, hardship, hunger or even under oppression or
torture, a Muslim must always be in such a state of spiritual submission.
This state of mind was explained by God's Messenger, the Prophet
Muhammad (saas) with the words "Praise be to God who created everything
as is necessary, who does not hasten anything He defers and determines.God is enough for me and sufficient." (Ibn Majah) Only such submission
and putting one's trust in God can change troubles into great spiritual
With the example of Musa, God shows us that the majority of the
children of Israel lacked this kind of a conscientiousness. As will be made
clear in the following pages, the complaints of the children of Israel, as
described above, would later turn to ingratitude, and ultimately, into
rebellion against God. God informs us of these events that we may take
lessons from them. Just as in the case of the denial of Pharaoh, so in the
weak faith and ill-hearts of the children of Israel is there a lesson for us.
He (God) has given you everything you have
asked Him for. If you tried to number God's
blessings, you could never count them.
Man is indeed wrongdoing, ungrateful.
(Qur'an, 14: 34)