Then he moulded for them an idol of a calf that made a lowing sound. They said, “This is your god and the god of Moses, but Moses forgot ˹where it was˺!”
Did they not see that it did not respond to them, nor could it protect or benefit them?
Aaron had already warned them beforehand, “O my people! You are only being tested by this, for indeed your ˹one true˺ Lord is the Most Compassionate. So follow me and obey my orders.”
They replied, “We will not cease to worship it until Moses returns to us.”
Moses scolded ˹his brother˺, “O Aaron! What prevented you, when you saw them going astray,
from following after me? How could you disobey my orders?”1
Aaron pleaded, “O son of my mother! Do not seize me by my beard or ˹the hair of˺ my head. I really feared that you would say, ‘You have caused division among the Children of Israel, and did not observe my word.’”
Moses then asked, “What did you think you were doing, O  Sâmiri?”
He said, “I saw what they did not see, so I took a handful ˹of dust˺ from the hoof-prints of ˹the horse of˺ the messenger-angel ˹Gabriel˺ then cast it ˹on the moulded calf˺. This is what my lower-self tempted me into.”1
Moses said, “Go away then! And for ˹the rest of your˺ life you will surely be crying, ‘Do not touch ˹me˺!’1 Then you will certainly have a fate2 that you cannot escape. Now look at your god to which you have been devoted: we will burn it up, then scatter it in the sea completely.”
˹Then Moses addressed his people,˺ “Your only god is Allah, there is no god ˹worthy of worship˺ except Him. He encompasses everything in ˹His˺ knowledge.”
Notes placeholders