Commandments, The Ten

Posted on 03/22/2012 by marina

Wikis > Dictionary of Islam > Commandments, The Ten

COMMANDMENTS, The Ten. In the Qur’an it is stated that God gave Moses certain monitions on tables (of stone), and also that he gave him nine clear signs. (See Surah vii. l42, and Surah xvii. 103.) These two statements have perplexed the commentators very much, and every effort is made by them to reconcile the nine signs with the Ten Commandments, although it is evident from the Qur’an itself, that the nine clear signs refer to the miracles of Moses. [PLAGUES OF EGYPT.]
According to the Traditions, the Prophet himself was a little confused in the matter and may to some extent be responsible for the mistakes of the commentators on his book, for it is related (Mishkat, book i. c. ii. pt. 2) that a Jew came to the Prophet and asked him about the nine (sic wonders which appeared by the hands of Moses. The Prophet said: “Do not associate anything with God, do not steal, do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not take an innocent before the king to be killed, do not practice magic, do not take interest, do not accuse an innocent woman of adultery, do not run away in battle, and especially for you, O Jews, not to work on the Sabbath.” `Abdu ‘l-Haqq remarks on this tradition that the Jew asked about the nine (sic) miracles (or plagues) of Egypt and the Prophet gave him the Ten Commandments.
A comparison of the Ten Commandments given by the great Jewish law-giver with those recorded in the above tradition, and in the vi-th Surah of the Qur’an, verse 152, will show how imperfectly the Arabian Prophet was acquainted with the Old Testament scriptures.
The commentator Husain, who wrote four hundred years ago, says the following verses in the Suratu ‘l-An`am (vi.) are those Ten Commandments which in every dispensation are incumbent on mankind, and cannot be abrogated (meaning undoubtedly the Ten Commandments from Moses).
“SAY: Come, I will rehearse what your Lord hath made binding on you – (1) that ye assign not aught to Him as a partner: (2) and that ye be good to your parents: (3) and that ye slay not your children, beause of poverty; for them and for you will we provide: (4) and that ye come not near to pollutions, outward or inward: (5) and that ye slay not anyone whom God hath forbidden you, unless for a just cause. This hath he enjoined on you, to the intent that ye may understand. (6) And come not nigh to the substance of the orphan but to improve it, until he came of age: (7) and use a full measure, and a just balance: We will not task a soul beyond its ability. (8) And when ye give judgment, observe justice, even though if be the affair a kinsman, (9) and fulfill the covenant of God. This hath God enjoined you for your monition – And, ‘this is my right way.’ Follow it then: (10) and follow not other paths lest ye be scattered from His path. This hath He enjoined on that we may fear Him.” (Surah vi. 152.)

Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam