Six Hundred Thousand Bani Israel Wandered in the Field of Teeh for forty years


After pharaoh drowned into the River Nile and all the Bani Israel became Muslim, and when Sayyiduna Musa عليه السلام was blessed with tranquillity and peace of mind, Allah ﷻ ordered him to enter the Holy Land (Bayt-ul-Muqaddas) with the Bani Israel. At that time, Bayt-ul-Muqaddas was under the domination of the people of ‘Amaliqah who were the worst of unbelievers, very sturdy warriors and very cruel. Therefore, Sayyiduna Musa عليه السلام left for Jihad against the people of ‘Amaliqah with six hundred thousand people of the Bani Israel but the moment the Bani Israel reached in the vicinity of Bayt-ul-Muqaddas, they became coward and started exclaiming that there are Jabbareen (‘Amaliqah) in this city, who are very strong and powerful, therefore, we will not enter the city at all until these people are inside the city.

The Bani Israel said to Sayyiduna Musa عليه السلام even up to this extent, ‘O Musa you and your Rab ﷻ should go and fight with such powerful people; we will stay here.’
Such comments from the Bani Israel made Sayyiduna Musa عليه السلام very much grieved and he requested to Allah ﷻ as:

رَبِّ إِنِّي لَا أَمْلِكُ إِلَّا نَفْسِي وَأَخِي ۖ فَافْرُقْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ الْقَوْمِ الْفَاسِقِينَ
O Lord! I have no control except over myself and my brother, so keep us separated from the disobedient people.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 6, Surah Al-Mai`dah, verse 25)

In response of this supplication of Sayyiduna Musa عليه السلام Allah ﷻ exposed his wrath saying:

فَإِنَّهَا مُحَرَّمَةٌ عَلَيْهِمْ ۛ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً ۛ يَتِيهُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ فَلَا تَأْسَ عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْفَاسِقِينَ
The (holy) land is therefore forbidden for them for forty years; let them wonder in the earth; so, do not grieve for those disobedient people.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 6, Surah Al-Mai`dah, verse 26)
As a result, these six hundred thousand Bani Israel wandered in the field for forty years, but could not get out of it. This field is called the ‘field of Teeh’.
‘Mann and Salwa’ was also descended struck his staff over the stone, twelve springs of water gushed out of it. This event has been narrated in the Holy Quran with different contexts time and again; among which, in Surah Al-Mai`dah, this event has a comparatively full description which undoubtedly is an excellent event that consists of the descriptions of the deviation and disobedience of the Bani Israel. But despite all this, Sayyiduna Musa عليه السلام remained affectionate towards the Bani Israel that when these people exhausted due to extreme hunger and thirst in the field of Teeh, Sayyiduna Musa عليه السلام prayed for them and got the Mann and Salwa descended for them. Afterward, he also made twelve springs of water emerge by striking his staff on the stone. From this event, we can have an idea of how patient, placid and tolerant Sayyiduna Musa عليه السلام was.

وَاللّٰه تَعَالٰى اَعلَم

صَلُّوا عَلَی الْحَبِيْب! صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلٰی مُحَمَّد صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ
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