The 65th Call: The Prohibition of Harming the Messengers
Almighty Allah says (what can be translated as): “O you who have believed, be not like those who abused Moses; then Allah cleared him of what they said. And he, in the sight of Allah, was distinguished.” (Al-Ahzab: 69)
O Believers, do not harm the Messenger of Allah, Peace Be upon Him, by saying something he hates or doing something he dislikes. Do not be like those who harmed Moses, Peace Be upon Him, when they claimed falsely and deceitfully that he has a physical defect but Almighty Allah cleared him of what they said by showing their lies and slander with evidence. Indeed, Prophet Moses was distinguished and honored in the sight of Allah.
The ones who abused Moses, Peace Be upon Him, are his people for whom Allah sent Him to guide as stated in the Qur’an: “O you who have believed, be not like those who abused Moses…”
The Holy Qur’an has narrated many kinds of abuse committed by the people of Prophet Moses against him such as when they called him: “O Moses, make for us a god just as they have gods..." (Al-‘Araf: 138) and they also said: “O Moses, we will never believe you until we see Allah outright.” (Al-Baqrah: 55) Among the other kinds of abuse against Prophet Moses, Peace Be upon Him, are the narration by Imam Bukhari and Tirmidhi from Abu Hurirah that Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be upon Him, said: (The Prophet) Moses was a shy person and used to cover his body completely because of his extensive shyness. One of the children of Israel hurt him by saying, 'He covers his body in this way only because of some defect in his skin, either leprosy or scrotal hernia, or he has some other defect.' Allah wished to clear Moses of what they said about him, so one day while Moses was in seclusion, he took off his clothes and put them on a stone and started taking a bath. When he had finished the bath, he moved towards his clothes so as to take them, but the stone took his clothes and fled; Moses picked up his stick and ran after the stone saying, 'O stone! Give me my garment!' Till he reached a group of Bani Israel who saw him naked then, and found him the best of what Allah had created, and Allah cleared him of what they had accused him of. The stone stopped there and Moses took and put his garment on and started hitting the stone with his stick. By Allah, the stone still has some traces of the hitting, three, four or five marks. This is was what Allah refers to in His saying: “O you who have believed, be not like those who abused Moses; then Allah cleared him of what they said…” (Al-Ahzab: 69)
The meaning is: O you who believe in Allah Almighty as it should, commit to politeness, obedience and respect to your Prophet, Peace Be upon Him, and beware of doing the same as what the sons of Israel did with their Prophet Moses, Peace Be upon Him, when they harmed him with the worst kinds of abuse.
They also said to Prophet Moses: “And [recall] when you said, "O Moses, we can never endure one [kind of] food…” In addition, they took the calf as a god and worshipped him and not Allah Almighty when their Prophet Moses, Peace Be upon Him, was away…
“…then Allah cleared him of what they said.” That means Almighty Allah cleared him of all the abuse and harm they attributed to him.
“And he, in the sight of Allah, was distinguished.” That means Prophet Moses was of a high status and position as Allah supported him and chose him to deliver His Message.
In the Arabic language when it is said the man is “wajeh” (i.e. distinguished) it means a man of a high status and degree.