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وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَنْ تَذْبَحُواْ بَقَرَةً قَالُوۤاْ أَتَتَّخِذُنَا هُزُواً قَالَ أَعُوذُ بِٱللَّهِ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلْجَاهِلِينَ
قَالُواْ ٱدْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّن لَّنَا مَا هِيَ قَالَ إِنَّهُ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌ لاَّ فَارِضٌ وَلاَ بِكْرٌ عَوَانٌ بَيْنَ ذٰلِكَ فَٱفْعَلُواْ مَا تُؤْمَرونَ
-Al-Baqarah ( البقرة )

Al Qushairi Tafsir

[2:67] And when Moses said to his people, 'God commands you to sacrifice a cow'...
It was obligatory for them to meet the command head on, but they wasted time with external appearances, imagining that they had the leisure to linger in their digression from the covenant obligation. So the misery was doubled for them and the ignominy they had been warned about overtook them.
[Section] When He said: '...She is a cow neither old, nor virgin, middling between the two...' [2:68], it meant she would be neither young nor aged but somewhere between the two. The allusion is to the fact that one who is suited for this path (?arīqa) is one who is neither attracted by the impetuosity of youth and its drunkenness, nor paralyzed by the weakness and frailty of old age. Rather he is alert, having regained consciousness from his drunkenness yet retaining some of the vigor of his youth.