Ṭūr Sīnāi (Mount Sinai) is a mountain or a group of mountains in the Sinai desert of Egypt, which is mentioned in the Qur'an and the Torah. Various events happened in Sinai, such as God talking to Prophet Moses (a), the forty-day period, (the forty-night) period with seventy people from Bani Israel, and the demise of Prophet Moses (a). The Prophet of Islam (s) considered the reason for the sacredness of Mount Sinai to be issues such as talking of God with Prophet Moses (a) there.

Mount Sinai, Coordinates: 28°32′21.9″N 33°58′31.5″E / 28.539417°N 33.975417°E / 28.539417; 33.975417

Geographical location

 
Location of Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai is located in the south of the Sinai desert, which is in the northeast of Egypt and borders Palestine, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. There are many mountains in that area, and Mount Sinai is among them.[1] Ibn Manzur considered Tur Sinai a mountain in Syria.[2]

Some people have suggested that Tur Sinai is a set of mountains and various events have occurred in these mountains; it does not refer to one specific mountain.[3] It has also been said that the Qur'an's use of the terms "Sinai" and "Sinin" refers to the mentioned point, and Tur Sinin is a part of Tur Sinai.[4]

Mount Sinai is a mountain south of the Sinai desert near Saint Catherine's Monastery.[5]

 
Saint Catherine's Monastery

Naming

The Qur'an once used the title "Tur Sinai" to refer to a tree that grows there and gives oil.[6] It also swore to Tur Sinin,[7] which some commentators believed to refer to Tur Sinai.[8] In other verses, there is "al-Tur," which commentators have considered referring to Tur Sinai.[9]

Al-Shaykh al-Saduq narrates a hadith from Ibn Abbas, according to which the naming of Tur as "Sinai" is due to the existence of a tree there.[10]

Sanctity

Mount Sinai is where God spoke to Prophet Moses (a). According to Qur'an 20:12, there God ordered Prophet Moses (a) to take off his shoes because he (a) was in a sacred land, "You are indeed in the sacred valley of Tuwa."[11] Some scholars have cited this verse regarding the sacredness of Sinai.[12] Also, God has sworn to this mountain in Qur'an 52.[13]

In answer to a question about the reason for the sacredness of Sinai, the Prophet of Islam (s) said:

"Because in that valley, souls are sanctified, and the angels are lined up there, and God spoke to Moses (a) there."[14]

Events at Mount Sinai

According to the verses and traditions, some events happened to Prophet Moses (a) and Bani Israel in Sinai:

  • The departure to Egypt and the initial revelation: after his commitment to Prophet Shu'ayb (a) in Madyan ended and he (a) left for Egypt with his wife, children, and belongings, Prophet Moses (a) lost his route[15] and saw a fire on a mountain and went there.[16] There, he (a) received a revelation, which was the beginning of Prophet Moses' (a) mission.[17] The Qur'an mentions where this event occurred with the names "al-Tur"[18] and "Tuwa".[19] Some commentators have considered the meaning of "al-Tur" to be Sinai and "Tuwa" to be the valley at the foot of this mountain.[20]
  • Forty-day period: After Bani Israel left Egypt, Prophet Moses (a) went to the top of the mountain and stayed there for forty days. The tablets of the Torah were revealed to him there.[21] Some commentators have considered these forty days to happen at Mount Sinai.[22] It is stated in the Torah that:


  • Going to the appointment with seventy people from Bani Israel: Prophet Moses (a) went to the appointment with seventy people from Bani Israel,[23] including Joshua (a), his successor. Because of some events, God placed the mountain (or a part of it) above their heads, so they surrendered, and divine punishment did not fall upon them.[24] In a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), the place this happened is mentioned to have been Mount Sinai.[25]
  • According to some hadiths, Prophet Moses (a) passed away in Sinai.[26]

Notes

  1. Muṣṭafawī, al-Tahqīq fī kalimāt al-Qur'ān al-karīm, vol. 5, p. 293.
  2. Ibn Manẓūr, Lisān al-ʿArab, vol. 4, p. 508.
  3. Muṣṭafawī, al-Tahqīq fī kalimāt al-Qur'ān al-karīm, vol. 5, p. 293.
  4. Muṣṭafawī, al-Tahqīq fī kalimāt al-Qur'ān al-karīm, vol. 5, p. 295.
  5. Group of authors, Mujiz dāʾirat al-maʿārif al-Islāmīyya, vol. 22, p. 699.
  6. Qur'an 23:20.
  7. Qur'an 95:2.
  8. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 27, p. 140.
  9. Ṭayyib, Aṭyab al-bayān fi tafsīr al-Qurʾān, vol. 12, p. 292.
  10. Ṣadūq, ʿIlal al-sharāʾiʿ, vol. 1, p. 68.
  11. Qur'an 20:12.
  12. Qurashī, Qāmūs-i Qurān, vol. 5, p. 256.
  13. Qur'an 52:1.
  14. Ṣadūq, ʿIlal al-sharāʾiʿ, vol. 1, p. 472.
  15. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 13, p. 167.
  16. Qur'an 20:10-11.
  17. Qur'an 20:12-13.
  18. Qur'an 28:29.
  19. Qur'an 20:12.
  20. Mughnīya, Tafsīr al-Kāshif, vol. 7, p. 509.
  21. Qur'an 7:142-145.
  22. Mullā Ḥuwaysh, Bayān al-maʿānī, vol. 1, p. 416.
  23. Qur'an 7:155.
  24. Qur'an 2:93.
  25. Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, vol. 1, p. 246.
  26. Baḥrānī, al-Burhān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān, vol. 4, p. 289.

References

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  • Group of authors. Mujiz dāʾirat al-maʿārif al-Islāmīyya. [n.p]. Markaz al-Shāriqa li-l-Ibdāʿ al-Fikrī, 1408 AH.
  • Ibn Manẓūr, Muḥammad b. Mukarram. Lisān al-ʿArab. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1414 AH.
  • Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. Tafsīr-i nimūna. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmiyya, 1374 Sh.
  • Mughnīya, Muḥammad Jawād al-. Tafsīr al-Kāshif, Qom: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1424 AH.
  • Muṣṭafawī, Ḥasan. Al-Tahqīq fī kalimāt al-Qur'ān al-karīm. Tehran: Bungāh-i Tarjuma wa Nashr-i Kitāb, 1360 SH.
  • Mullā Ḥuwaysh Āl Ghāzī, ʿAbd al-Qādir. Bayān al-maʿānī. Damascus: Maṭbaʿat al-Taraqqī, 1382 AH.
  • Qurashī Bunābī, Sayyīd ʿAlī Akbar. Qāmūs-i Qurān. Sixth edition. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1371 Sh.
  • Qummī, ʿAlī b. Ibrāhīm al-. Tafsīr al-Qummī. Edited by Ṭayyib Mūsawī Jazāʾrī. Qom: Dār al-Kitāb, 1404 AH.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. ʿIlal al-sharāʾiʿ. Qom: Intishārāt-i Dāwarī, 1385 Sh.
  • Ṭayyib, ʿAbd al-Ḥusayn. Aṭyab al-bayān fi tafsīr al-Qurʾān. 2nd ed. Tehran: Intishārāt-i Islām, 1378 Sh.