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Bright Hand

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Al-Yad al-Bayḍā (Arabic: الیَد البَیضاء) which literally means the Bright Hand, is among the nine miracles of Prophet Moses (a) mentioned in the Qur'an. In this miracle, the hand of Prophet Moses (a) became white and shiny. This miracle happened once before going to meet Pharaoh and another time in the presence of Pharaoh. The Torah has mentioned this miracle, but has differences with the Qur'an in some details.

Al-Yad al-Bayda' Miracle

Al-Yad al-Bayda' (the Bright Hand) miracle is among the nine miracles of Prophet Moses (a).[1] In suras al-A'raf,[2] Taha,[3] al-Shu'ara,[4] al-Naml[5] and al-Qasas[6], the Qur'an mentioned this miracle:

"Insert your hand into your shirt. It will emerge white, without any fault" (Qur'an 28:32)

According to the Qur'an, this miracle happened once before going to meet Pharaoh in order to assure Prophet Moses (a)[7] and another time in the presence of Pharaoh.[8] Exegetes have different opinions about the explanation of the meaning of Bayda':

Shiny Hand

According to some exegetes, the miracle of al-Yad al-Bayda' was so that the hand of Prophet Moses (a) became shiny and glowed.[9] The light of this hand was so that all the people present before Pharaoh could see it. Some hadiths too support this description.[10]

White Hand

Another group of exegetes believe that the skin color of the Prophet Moses (a) was brown and in this miracle his hand became totally white and it surprised people.[11]

Differences between the Narrations of the Qur'an and the Torah

In the Qur'an, the miracle of al-Yad al-Bayda' is always accompanied by "min ghayr-i sū'" (مِنْ غَیرِ سُوء). Exegetes have interpreted this phrase meaning that the whiteness of the Prophet Moses's (a) hand was not like the hand of a person who had a disease or skin problem.[12] Some Shi'a[13] and Sunni[14] hadiths support this interpretation. But, the Torah is different:

"6 Again, the LORD said to him, "Put your hand inside your cloak." He put his hand into his cloak; and when he took it out, his hand was leprous, as white as snow. 7 Then God said, "Put your hand back into your cloak" — so he put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored like the rest of his body."[15]

Notes

  1. Qurʾān, 27:12.
  2. Qurʾān, 7:108.
  3. Qurʾān, 20:22.
  4. Qurʾān, 26:33.
  5. Qurʾān, 27:12.
  6. Qurʾān, 28:32.
  7. Qurʾān, 20:22-24.
  8. Qurʾān, 26:33-34.
  9. Shubbar, Tafsīr, vol. 1, p. 180; Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 4, p. 705.
  10. Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, vol. 2, p. 140.
  11. Ṭūsī, al-Tibyān, vol. 4, p. 492; Mughnīya, Tafsīr al-Kāshif, vol. 3, p. 375.
  12. Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, Mafātīḥ al-ghayb, vol. 14, p. 330; Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ li-aḥkām al-Qurʾān, vol. 7, p. 257.
  13. Ṣadūq, Maʿānī l-akhbār, p. 173.
  14. Suyūṭī, al-Durr al-manthūr, vol. 4, p. 295.
  15. Exodus, 4:6-7.

References

  • Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, Muḥammad b. ʿUmar al-. Mafātīḥ al-ghayb. Second edition. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1420 AH.
  • Mughnīya, Muḥammad Jawād al-. Tafsīr al-Kāshif. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1424 AH.
  • Qummī, ʿAlī b. Ibrāhīm al-. Tafsīr al-Qummī. Edited by Musawī Jazāʾirī. Third edition. Qom: Dār al-Kitāb, 1404 AH.
  • Qurṭubī, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-. Al-Jāmiʿ li-aḥkām al-Qurʾān. Tehran: Nāṣir Khusru, 1364 Sh.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Maʿānī l-akhbār. Edited by ʿAlī Akbar Ghaffārī. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1403 AH.
  • Shubbar, Sayyid ʿAbd Allāh. Tafsīr al-Qurʾān al-karīm. Beirut: Dār al-Balāgha, 1412 AH.
  • Suyūṭī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Abī Bakr al-. Al-Durr al-manthūr fī tafsīr al-maʾthūr. Qom: Kitābkhāna-yi Āyatollāh Marʿashī Najafī, 1404 AH.
  • Ṭabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan al-. Majmaʿ al-bayān. Edited by Muḥammad Jawād Balāghī. Third edition. Tehran: Nāṣir Khusru, 1372 Sh.
  • Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Al-Tibyān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Edited by Aḥmad Qaṣīr al-ʿĀmilī. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, [n.d].