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وَلَمَّا جَآءَ مُوسَىٰ لِمِيقَاتِنَا وَكَلَّمَهُ رَبُّهُ قَالَ رَبِّ أَرِنِيۤ أَنظُرْ إِلَيْكَ قَالَ لَن تَرَانِي وَلَـٰكِنِ انْظُرْ إِلَى الْجَبَلِ فَإِنِ اسْتَقَرَّ مَكَانَهُ فَسَوْفَ تَرَانِي فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّىٰ رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ دَكّاً وَخَرَّ موسَىٰ صَعِقاً فَلَمَّآ أَفَاقَ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
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-Al-A‘râf ( الأعراف )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

And when Moses came at Our appointed time, that is, the time at which We had promised to speak to him, and his Lord spoke with him, without any intermediary, with speech which he heard from all directions, he said, ‘My Lord! Show me, Yourself, that I may behold You!’ Said He, ‘You shall not see Me, that is to say, you do not have the power to see me, the use of this expression [lan tarānī, ‘you shall not see Me’] instead of lan urā, ‘I shall not be seen’, implies that it is possible to see God, exalted be He; but behold the mountain, which is stronger than you are, and if it remains, stays fixed, in its place, then you shall see Me’, that is, [then] you shall remain fixed [able] to see Me, otherwise, you will not have the capacity [for it]. And when his Lord revealed Himself, that is, [when] He manifested of His Light the equivalent of half a nail of a little finger, as stated in one hadīth verified by al-Hākim, to the mountain He levelled it to the ground (read dakkan or dakkā’a, meaning madkūkan) and Moses fell down senseless, having lost consciousness at the awesomeness of what he had seen. And when he recovered his senses he said, ‘Glory be to You!, in Your transcendence. I repent to You, for having asked You what I was not commanded [to ask], and I am the first of the believers’, of my time.


Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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