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قَالَ فَإِنَّهَا مُحَرَّمَةٌ عَلَيْهِمْ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً يَتِيهُونَ فِي ٱلأَرْضِ فَلاَ تَأْسَ عَلَى ٱلْقَوْمِ ٱلْفَاسِقِينَ
-Al-Mâ’idah ( المائدة )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

He, God, exalted be He, said, to him: ‘Then it, the Holy Land, shall be forbidden them, to enter, for forty years; they shall wander lost, bewildered, in the land — according to Ibn ‘Abbās this [land] was about nine parasangs [sc. 30 miles]; so do not grieve for the wicked folk’. It is reported that they would travel throughout the night earnestly, but in the morning would find themselves back where they had started. And they would travel all day, with the same result, until they all perished, except those under twenty years of age. It is said that they numbered 600,000. Moses and Aaron died in the wilderness, and this was a mercy for them, and a chastisement for those others. When Moses was on the verge of death, he asked his Lord to bring him close to the Holy Land, to within a stone’s throw, and He did, as related in hadīth. Joshua became a prophet sometime after his fortieth year and he was commanded to fight against the giants. So he sallied forth with those that remained by his side and he fought against them; it was a Friday and the sun stopped for him for an hour, until he had finished with fighting them. Ahmad [b. Hanbal] reported in his Musnad the [following] hadīth, ‘The sun was never detained for any human, except for Joshua during those days in which he marched towards the Holy House [of Jerusalem]’.

Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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