Moses struck him with his fist and killed him. He said This is of Satan’s work

Question 22: The Almighty said,

{And when he reached his full strength and was on a straight path, We gave him wisdom and knowledge. This is how We reward the good ۝ And he entered the city at a time when its people were un- aware and he found therein two men fighting, one of his own followers and the other of his enemies. And his follower asked for his support against he who was of his enemies. So Moses struck him with his fist and killed him. He said, “This is of Satan’s work. Verily, he is an obvious misleading enemy.” ۝ He said, “My Lord, verily I have done myself injustice, so forgive me,” so He forgave him. Verily He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. ۝ He said, “My Lord, for as much as You have favored me, I will not be a supporter of the criminals.” ۝

And he became in the city afraid and vigilant, where the one who had appealed to him the day before and was crying out to him was at. Moses said unto him, “Verily, you are an obvious misleader.” ۝ And when he wanted to kill the man who was an enemy to both of them, he said, “O Moses, do you want to kill me as you killed a person yesterday? Only if you want to be a tyrant in the earth and you wish not to be a reformer.”} [The Quran 28:14–19]

There are several questions about these verses:

1) Did Moses pbuh kill the Coptic by mistake, meaning without the intention to kill him, but it occurred because of a blow? And if Moses’ killing of the Coptic was intentional, does that make it a disobedience to Allah or an unfavored action?

2) The thing described to be {of Satan’s work}, was this the action of the killing (by Moses)?

3) What did Moses pbuh ask forgiveness for? And what is the guilt he committed?

4) Why did Moses not kill the other Coptic man?

5) Why did Moses describe the Israelite to be an obvious misleader?

 

Answer:

1) Moses’ killing of the Coptic was intentional and deliberate, and it happened after {he reached his full strength}, and after {Allah gave him wisdom and knowledge}. Thus, this killing was not an act of disobedience from Moses, nor an unfavored act, rather it was a correct act considering it is the killing of an enemy of Allah, and a supporter of Satan. [1]

 

2) The thing described to be {of Satan’s work} is the Coptic himself, considering that he was of Satan’s making and one of his followers. [2] Allah said, in the description of the disobedient (to his parents) and disbelieving son of Noah:

{He is verily a vicious act}.[The Quran 11:46]

So, He the Almighty described the son of Noah to be a vicious act. And Allah swt said about Moses,

{And I made you for Myself}.[The Quran 20:41]

And the obvious misleading enemy in the verse is the Coptic himself, considering that he was from Satan’s army, and he showed his enmity to the successors of Allah swt.

3) Moses pbuh asked for forgiveness from Allah swt, and repented to Him, for staying in the palace of Pharaoh (Allah curse him) after he knew that he was an enemy of Allah Thus, the guilt he committed was staying in the palace of the Pharaoh (Allah curse him). [3]

He made people around the Pharaoh increase, even though Moses was not satisfied with the Pharaoh’s actions. That is why he said after the forgiveness, {He said, “My Lord, For as much as You have favored me, I will not be a supporter of the criminals”}, meaning the favor of forgiveness, and the favor of physical strength. And the criminals are the Pharaoh and his soldiers.

4) This is because, when the second Coptic saw Moses saying these words, he went off running in fear of And he informed Pharaoh (Allah curse him) about what Moses pbuh had done.

5) Moses pbuh described the Israelite to be an obvious misleader because he, the Israelite, was supposed to be more cautious and discreet, and was not supposed to expose himself to a clash with the soldiers of the Pharaoh again within such a short period of time, and not so He then calls Moses pbuh, and cries out for him (meaning he calls him loudly), to make it clear for everyone that the one who killed the Coptic the day before was Moses pbuh.

Ahmed Alhasan
The Allegories – volume 1

 

[1] In the dialogue between Imam Al-Retha pbuh and the Abbasid ruler, Al-Mamoon, Al-Mamoon said, “God bless you O Aba Al-Hassan, tell me about Allah’s saying, {So Moses struck him with his fist and killed He said, ‘This is of Satan’s work.’}” So Al-Retha pbuh said, “Moses entered one of the Pharaoh’s cities at a time when its people were unaware, between sunset and evening, {and he found therein two men fighting, one of his own followers, and the other of his enemies. And his follower asked for his support against he who was of his enemies. So Moses struck him with his fist.}. So Moses killed the enemy, by the ruling mentioned by Allah swt, so he died.” Al-Ihtijaj by Sheikh Al-Toosi: Vol. 2, page 218.

[2] In the same dialogue with Al-Mamoon, Imam Al-Retha pbuh said, “{He said, ‘This is of Satan’s work}, that is, the fight between the two men, and not that Moses had killed him; as he, Satan, is an obvious misleading enemy.” Al-Ihtijaj by Sheikh Al-Toosi: Vol. 2, page 218.

[3] In the indicated dialogue, Al-Mamoon said, “So what is the meaning of the saying of Moses, {‘My Lord, verily I have done myself injustice, so forgive me.’}?” He pbuh said, “He says, ‘I have displaced myself by entering this city.’” Al-Ihtijaj by Sheikh Al-Toosi: Vol. 2, page 218. It is known that Imam Al-Retha pbuh was in a position of presenting proofs to Al-Mamoon, and speaking to him as much as Al-Mamoon could comprehend. And when he pbuh said, “He says, ‘I have displaced…,’” he wanted to show that the Prophet of Allah, Moses pbuh, meant his absolute presence with the Pharaoh, including his presence in his palace and not just the entering of one of the cities of Pharaoh.

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