Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:60)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie
The Miracle of Water Gushing Forth in the Desert!
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَإِذِ اسْتَسْقَىٰ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ فَقُلْنَا اضْرِب بِّعَصَاكَ الْحَجَرَ ۖ فَانفَجَرَتْ مِنْهُ اثْنَتَا عَشْرَةَ عَيْنًا ۖ قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍ مَّشْرَبَهُمْ ۖ كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا مِن رِّزْقِ اللَّـهِ وَلَا تَعْثَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ ﴿٦٠﴾
Translation: And when Moses prayed for water for his people, We said, ‘Strike the rock with your staff.’ Thereat twelve fountains gushed forth from it; every tribe came to know its drinking-place. ‘Eat and drink of Allah’s provision, and do not act wickedly on the earth, causing corruption.’
Commentary: The Children of Israel openly infringed upon Allah (SWT)’s command and refused to enter the Holy Land [Arabic: (الْأَرْضَ الْمُقَدَّسَةَ)]. At this time, the Amalekites, known for their strength, lived in that region and the Israelites could not claim the land without defeating them.
Henceforth, Allah (SWT) condemned the Israelites to rove in the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula for 40 years. In spite of their defiance, Allah (SWT), in His mercy, did not deny them from enjoying His bounties.
He protected them from the blistering heat of the sun with a canopy of light clouds that hovered over their heads, provided them food and sustenance in the forms of “Al-manna” and “al-Salwa” [Arabic: (الْمَنَّ وَالسَّلْوَىٰ)], as mentioned in the verses 2:58-59. The third bounty, which is a vital necessity of life, is mentioned in the aforementioned verse.
When Prophet Musa (AS) pleaded for water for the Israelites while they wandered the plains of Sinai, Allah (SWT) accepted his prayers and directed him to strike a designated rock with his staff. Thereupon, twelve fountains gushed miraculously out of it; one spring of pure water for each tribe of Israelites, which could sustain them without fear to run dry in the midst of the wilderness.
The verses in the end advise the Children of Israel:
كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا مِن رِّزْقِ اللَّـهِ وَلَا تَعْثَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ ﴿٦٠﴾
“Eat and drink of Allah’s provision, and do not act corruptly [Arabic: (وَلَا تَعْثَوْا)] on the earth, causing mischief [Arabic: (مُفْسِدِينَ)].”