Islamic History: The Murder of Israeli man and the Cow

There lived a child less old man who was very rich in the time of Musa (AS). His nephews  could only get the inheritance when he died. One night one of his nephews killed him and threw his dead body out side someone else’s house.

  • “And (remember) when you killed a man and fell into dispute among yourselves as to the crime. But Allâh brought forth that which you were hiding.”

In the morning a fight broke out between the people as to who had killed the old man. Then they decided to go to Musa (AS) to solve the matter.Musa(AS) prayed and asked for guidance from Allah. Allah ordered the people to sacrifice a cow.


  • “And (remember) when Mûsa (Moses) said to his people: “Verily, Allâh commands you that you slaughter a cow.” They said, “Do you make fun of us?” He said, “I take Allâh’s Refuge from being among Al-Jâhilûn (the ignorant or the foolish).”



Making arguments was Bani Israel’s old habit. They started asking various questions about the cow, though they had come to realize which cow Allah meant in the first place.


  •  “They said, “Call upon your Lord for us that He may make plain to us what it is!” He said, “He says, ‘Verily, it is a cow neither too old nor too young, but (it is) between the two conditions’, so do what you are commanded.”



  • “They said, “Call upon your Lord for us to make plain to us its color.” He said, “He says, ‘It is a yellow cow, bright in its color, pleasing to the beholders.’ “


  • “They said, “Call upon your Lord for us to make plain to us what it is. Verily to us all cows are alike, And surely, if Allâh wills, we will be guided.”


  • “He [Mûsa ] said, “He says, ‘It is a cow neither trained to till the soil nor water the fields, sound, having no other color except bright yellow.’ ” They said, “Now you have brought the truth.” So they slaughtered it though they were near to not doing it.”


After arguing for quite a while they finally sacrificed the cow.

  • “So We said: “Strike him (the dead man) with a piece of it (the cow).” Thus Allâh brings the dead to life and shows you His Ayât  so that you may understand.”



Allah ordered a piece of cow’s meat to be struck  to the dead body. As soon as he was struck, he came back to life. When Musa (AS) asked him:” Who killed you?” The old man pointed towards his nephew who had murdered him and said:” My nephew killed me.” and died once more.