The angel of death was sent to Musa and Musa slapped him

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The angel of death was sent to Musa and Musa slapped him


أرسل ملك الموت إلى موسى فلطمه فلما جاءه صكه (لطمه) ففقأ عينه

The angel of death was sent to Musa. When he came, Musa slapped him and gouged his eye out.


This is a portion of the hadith of Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu `anhu which is narrated by al Bukhari[1] and Muslim[2]. Muslim has the addition of gouging out his eye.

The Rawafid reject this hadith and say that it is not befitting for a Nabi to become enraged and attack with the violence of tyrants.

The Qur’an establishes the fact that Sayyidina Musa `alayh al Salam slapped a man and killed him and thereafter lamented:


فَوَكَزَهُ مُوسىٰ فَقَضىٰ عَلَيْهِ قَالَ هٰذَا مِنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ عَدُوٌّ مُّضِلٌّ مُّبِينٌ

So Musa struck him and [unintentionally] killed him. [Musa] said, “This is from the work of Shaytan. Indeed, he is a manifest, misleading enemy.”[3]


So will the Qur’an mention fairy tales which are unbecoming of the Ambiya’?

Moreover, the narration is thabit in their books. It appears in Kitab li Ali’ al Akhbar[4] and al Anwar al Nu`maniyyah[5]. In fact, al Kashani cites it as proof. He says:

The natural disposition of man dislikes death and runs away from the same. The incident of Adam’s `alayh al Salam long lifespan and Dawood `alayh al Salam is famous. Similar is the incident of Musa `alayh al Salam and the angel of death.[6]


Ibn Hajar states:


إن الله لم يبعث ملك الموت لموسى و هو يريد قبض روحه حينئذ و إنما بعثه إليه اختيارا و إنما لطم موسى ملك الموت لأنه رأى آدميا دخل داره بغير إذنه و لم يعلم أنه ملك الموت و قد جاءت الملائكة إلى إبراهيم و إلى لوط في صورة آدميين فلم يعرفاهم ابتداء و لو عرفهم إبراهيم لما قدم لهم المأكول و لو عرفهم لوط لما خاف عليهم من قومه

Allah did not send the Angel of Death to Musa intending to take his soul at that very time. He simply sent him to Musa to give him the choice. Musa only slapped the Angel of Death because he saw a man entering his home without permission, unaware that he was actually the Angel of Death. The angels came to Ibrahim `alayh al Salam and Lut `alayh al Salam in the form of humans too, and they did not recognise the angels in the beginning. Had Ibrahim `alayh al Salam recognised them, he would not have offered them food and had Lut `alayh al Salam recognised them, he would not have feared his people over them.[7]


It is established in the Qur’an and ahadith that angels take the forms of humans. And sometimes some Ambiya’ see them in this form and think that they are actual humans as happened in the incident of Sayyidina Ibrahim `alayh al Salam and Sayyidina Lut `alayh al Salam. Study verses 69 to 80 of Surah Hud. And Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala states in the incident of Sayyidah Maryam radiya Llahu `anha:


فَأَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهَا رُوْحَنَا فَتَمَثَّلَ لَهَا بَشَرًا سَوِيًّا قَالَتْ إِنِّيْ أَعُوْذُ بِالرَّحْمٰنِ مِنْكَ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَقِيًّا

Then We sent to her Our Angel, and he represented himself to her as a well-proportioned man. She said, “Indeed, I seek refuge in the Most Merciful from you, [so leave me], if you should be fearing of Allah.”[8]


Study the explanation of these verses in Sharh Muslim[9] of al Nawawi and Fath al Bari[10] of Ibn Hajar.


Next⇒ Suckle him and you will become his mahram

[1] Sahih al Bukhari Hadith: 3407.

[2] Sahih Muslim Hadith: 2372.

[3] Surah al Qasas: 15.

[4] Kitab li Ali’ al Akhbar pg. 91.

[5] Al Anwar al Nu`maniyyah vol. 4 pg. 205.

[6] Al Mahajjat al Bayda’ vol. 4 pg. 209.

[7] Fath al Bari vol. 6 pg. 510.

[8] Surah Maryam: 17, 18.

[9] Sharh Muslim vol. 15 pg. 128.

[10] Fath al Bari vol. 6 pg. 441.