Ayah

Word by Word
وَٱخۡتَارَ
And chose
مُوسَىٰ
Musa
قَوۡمَهُۥ
(from) his people
سَبۡعِينَ
seventy
رَجُلٗا
men
لِّمِيقَٰتِنَاۖ
for Our appointment
فَلَمَّآ
Then when
أَخَذَتۡهُمُ
seized them
ٱلرَّجۡفَةُ
the earthquake
قَالَ
he said
رَبِّ
O my Lord
لَوۡ
If
شِئۡتَ
you (had) willed
أَهۡلَكۡتَهُم
You (could) have destroyed them
مِّن
from
قَبۡلُ
before
وَإِيَّٰيَۖ
and me
أَتُهۡلِكُنَا
Would You destroy us
بِمَا
for what
فَعَلَ
did
ٱلسُّفَهَآءُ
the foolish
مِنَّآۖ
among us
إِنۡ
Not
هِيَ
it (was)
إِلَّا
but
فِتۡنَتُكَ
Your trial
تُضِلُّ
You let go astray
بِهَا
by it
مَن
whom
تَشَآءُ
You will
وَتَهۡدِي
and You guide
مَن
whom
تَشَآءُۖ
You will
أَنتَ
You
وَلِيُّنَا
(are) our Protector
فَٱغۡفِرۡ
so forgive
لَنَا
us
وَٱرۡحَمۡنَاۖ
and have mercy upon us
وَأَنتَ
and You
خَيۡرُ
(are) Best
ٱلۡغَٰفِرِينَ
(of) Forgivers
وَٱخۡتَارَ
And chose
مُوسَىٰ
Musa
قَوۡمَهُۥ
(from) his people
سَبۡعِينَ
seventy
رَجُلٗا
men
لِّمِيقَٰتِنَاۖ
for Our appointment
فَلَمَّآ
Then when
أَخَذَتۡهُمُ
seized them
ٱلرَّجۡفَةُ
the earthquake
قَالَ
he said
رَبِّ
O my Lord
لَوۡ
If
شِئۡتَ
you (had) willed
أَهۡلَكۡتَهُم
You (could) have destroyed them
مِّن
from
قَبۡلُ
before
وَإِيَّٰيَۖ
and me
أَتُهۡلِكُنَا
Would You destroy us
بِمَا
for what
فَعَلَ
did
ٱلسُّفَهَآءُ
the foolish
مِنَّآۖ
among us
إِنۡ
Not
هِيَ
it (was)
إِلَّا
but
فِتۡنَتُكَ
Your trial
تُضِلُّ
You let go astray
بِهَا
by it
مَن
whom
تَشَآءُ
You will
وَتَهۡدِي
and You guide
مَن
whom
تَشَآءُۖ
You will
أَنتَ
You
وَلِيُّنَا
(are) our Protector
فَٱغۡفِرۡ
so forgive
لَنَا
us
وَٱرۡحَمۡنَاۖ
and have mercy upon us
وَأَنتَ
and You
خَيۡرُ
(are) Best
ٱلۡغَٰفِرِينَ
(of) Forgivers

Translation

And Moses chose seventy of his people for Our place of meeting: when they were seized with violent quaking, he prayed: "O my Lord! if it had been Thy will Thou couldst have destroyed, long before, both them and me: wouldst Thou destroy us for the deeds of the foolish ones among us? this is no more than Thy trial: by it Thou causest whom Thou wilt to stray, and Thou leadest whom Thou wilt into the right path. Thou art our Protector: so forgive us and give us Thy mercy; for Thou art the best of those who forgive.

Tafsir

And Moses chose of his people seventy men, from among those who had not worshipped the calf, by God's command, for Our appointed time, that is, for the time at which We promised him that they should come and apologise for their comrades' worship of the calf. He [Moses] then departed with them; but when the Trembling, a violent earthquake, seized them, Ibn 'Abbaas said, '[That earthquake was] because they did not separate themselves from their people when the latter took to worshipping the calf'; he [Ibn 'Abbaas] added, 'These [people] were not the same ones who asked to see God and were struck by the thunderbolt [cf. Q. 2:55]', he, Moses, said, 'My Lord, had You willed You would have destroyed them long before, that is, before my departure with them, so that the Israelites might see this and not make [false] accusations against me, and me [with them]. Will You destroy us for what the foolish ones among us have done? (this interrogative is meant as a plea for compassion, in other words, 'Do not punish us for the sins of others'). It, that is, the trial which the ignorant ones underwent, is but Your trial, Your test, whereby You send astray whom You will, to lead stray, and guide whom You will, to guide. You are our Protector, looking after our affairs, so forgive us and have mercy on us, for You are the Best of all who show forgiveness.

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