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وَٱتَّخَذَ قَوْمُ مُوسَىٰ مِن بَعْدِهِ مِنْ حُلِيِّهِمْ عِجْلاً جَسَداً لَّهُ خُوَارٌ أَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ أَنَّهُ لاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمْ وَلاَ يَهْدِيهِمْ سَبِيلاً ٱتَّخَذُوهُ وَكَانُواْ ظَالِمِينَ
-Al-A‘râf ( الأعراف )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

And the people of Moses, after him, that is, after he had departed for the communion [with God], made of their ornaments, which they had borrowed from Pharaoh’s folk on the pretext of a wedding celebration, and which remained in their possession, a calf, which the Samaritan had fashioned for them therefrom; a [mere] living body (jasadan is a substitution [for ‘ijlan, ‘a calf’]), of flesh and blood, which lowed, that is, [which] made audible sounds [like a cow]: it [the calf] was transformed in this way when the dust, which he [the Samaritan] had collected from [where] the hoof of Gabriel’s steed [had trodden], was placed in its mouth, for it has the effect of [giving] life to that in which it is placed (the second direct object of the verb ittakhadha, ‘[they] made’, has been omitted, but it would be ilāhan, ‘[as] a god’). Did they not see that it spoke not to them, nor guided them to any way?, so how can it be taken as a god? Yet they took it as such, a god, and were evildoers, for taking it so.

Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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