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وَٱخْتَارَ مُوسَىٰ قَوْمَهُ سَبْعِينَ رَجُلاً لِّمِيقَاتِنَا فَلَمَّا أَخَذَتْهُمُ ٱلرَّجْفَةُ قَالَ رَبِّ لَوْ شِئْتَ أَهْلَكْتَهُمْ مِّن قَبْلُ وَإِيَّايَ أَتُهْلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ ٱلسُّفَهَآءُ مِنَّآ إِنْ هِيَ إِلاَّ فِتْنَتُكَ تُضِلُّ بِهَا مَن تَشَآءُ وَتَهْدِي مَن تَشَآءُ أَنتَ وَلِيُّنَا فَٱغْفِرْ لَنَا وَٱرْحَمْنَا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ ٱلْغَافِرِينَ
-Al-A‘râf ( الأعراف )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

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 ‘Abbās said, ‘[That earthquake was] because they did not separate themselves from their people when the latter took to worshipping the calf’; he [Ibn ‘Abbās] 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 Children of Israel 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.

Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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