What are the Ten Commandments that were given to Hz. Moses?

The Details of the Question

What are the Ten Commandments that were given to Hz. Moses?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

“And remember We took a covenant from the children of Israel (to this effect): worship none but Allah; treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and give Zakat. then did ye turn back except a few among you, and ye backslide (even now). And remember We took your Covenant (to this effect): shed no blood amongst you, nor turn out your own people from your homes; and this ye solemnly ratified, and to this you were witness.” (Surah al-Baqara, 2/83,84)

In these verses, sons of Israelites are reminded of some religious and moral obligations which they are obliged to do and which are known as “ten commandments” in Jewish-Christian literature; it is also mentioned that God took covenant from them for exercising these duties. The orders which are mentioned in the Torah that God wrote with “His own fingers” on the tablets and conveyed to the sons of Israelites by Hz. Moses (AS) are as follows (Exodus, 20,32/15,20/1-17)

1. You shall have no other gods before me.
2. You shall not make for yourself an idol.
3. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God.
4. You shall do no work on the Sabbath day.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness.
10. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.

It is understood from the verse 101 of the chapter of al-Isra of the glorious Qur’an, “To Moses We did give nine Clear Signs: ask the Children of Israel” that the nine verses of the Torah are referred to except the prohibition of Sabbath day, which is included in its ten commandments. The respect for the Sabbath Day is a ruling judgment for only Jews. (see an-Nahl 16/124.)

It is seen in the verses of the glorious Qur’an that there are some judgments from those Ten Commandments such as not accepting any false gods other than Allah, helping the parents, neighbors, orphans and the poor ones, speaking nice words towards humans, performing salah and giving alms, not shedding blood of anyone, avoid excluding your citizens from their countries. Except the prohibition of Sabbath Day, the Ten Commandments are the common teachings of all divine religions that were sent to the prophets and Muslims are also responsible with such orders as stated by the glorious Qur’an. (See, al-Anaam 6/151-153; al-Isra 17/23-39.)

In the verse of 83 of al-Baqara, it is stated that the majority of the sons of Israelites broke their promise in the course of time; that is, they did not obey the commandments and the Jews who lived during the period of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also rejected to obey these commands. (Kur’an Yolu, I/81)

The rules included in the ten commandments are a necessity of human nature and universal principles; therefore, they are in question not only in Judaism but also in other heavenly religions. 

The belief of oneness (tawhid), which forms the first one of the ten commandments, is the first and basic principle on which the Quran focuses. (al-Baqara 2/163; al-An‘am 6/19, 102; al-Isra 17/23)

The second commanded is related to the prohibition of idolatry; the Quran prohibits both polytheism and worshipping anyone other than Allah. (an-Nisa 4/36, 116, 171; al-An‘am 6/151; al-A‘raf 7/191-195; Yunus 10/18; an-Nahl, 16/20)

It is prohibited to mention Allah’s name unnecessarily, that is, to commit perjury by using Allah’s name is prohibited in the Quran too. (al-Baqara 2/224; al-Maida 5/89; an-Nahl 16/91)

The prohibition of Saturday is a penalty and sanction peculiar to Sons of Israel; the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) abolished it like the other liabilities related to other ummahs. (al-A‘raf, 7/157)

Issues like showing respect to parents (al-Baqara, 2/83; al-Isra 17/ 23), not killing people (al-Baqara, 2/84; an-Nisa, 4/29; al-Maida, 5/32), not stealing (al-Maida, 5/38; al-Mumtahina, 60/12), not committing fornication (an-Nur, 24/30-31), not committing perjury against one’s neighbor, not trying to grab the possessions of one’s neighbor (al-Baqara, 2/83; an-Nisa, 4/36; al-Furqan, 25/ 72) are included in the Quran too.

Ibn Abbas states that the commandments and prohibitions in the chapter of al-Isra (17/22-39) existed in the tablets of Hz. Musa (Moses) too. (Fakhruddin ar-Razi, XX, 214) The commandments and prohibitions in the chapter of al-An‘am (6/151-153) are similar to ten commandments and are known as ten commandments or ten wills. (see TDV İslam Ansiklopedisi On Emir item)

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