Where is the sacred "Tuwa Valley" mentioned in the Quran? Why was Hz. Musa sent the first revelation in this valley?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The sacred Tuwa Valley mentioned in the Quran in two places (Taha, 20/12; an-Naziat, 79/16) is a valley in the mountain foot of Tur Sina.

Tuwa is the name of this valley and its explanation. That it is described with the attribute "sacred", which means clean and blessed, first attracts attention to the fact that divine blessing will come to clean hearts first and hence cleanliness is necessary before everything.    

As a matter of fact, the following is stated in the chapter of Taha:

"Verily I am thy Lord! Therefore (in My presence) put off thy shoes: thou art in the sacred valley Tuwa." (Taha, 20/12)

Some scholars say it means "a valley made sacred twice" regarding the meaning of tuwa as "twice". In that case, it is "maf'ul mutlaq" (unqualified object) in the sense of "made sacred twice"; it reminds the same thing through emphasis. (see Elmalılı, the interpretation of an-Naziat 16)

When tafsir scholars explain why Hz. Musa was asked to take off his shoes, some scholars dealt with the material of which his shoes were made but most of the scholars preferred the view that touching that sacred place directly made him benefit from its blessing. (see Tabari, the interpretation of the verse in question)

In addition, it can be said that Hz. Musa, who were to receive divine revelation, were warned so that he would prepare himself for the revelation spiritually, pull himself together and show more specific respect. Ibn Atiyya makes an interpretation close to it. (see Tabari, Ibn Atiyya, the interpretation of the verse in question)

On the other hand, when divine revelation became manifest in Tuwa Valley, numerous angels that accompanied revelation filled that valley. The angels called "Mudabbirat", who are specifically appointed to fulfill the divine order, blessed the valley. In that case, it was necessary to take off the shoes on the land of the sacred valley, which received sacredness and blessing, in the face of the manifestation of the divine revelation in terms of good manners. Thus, the body would have direct contact with the soil and the divine blessing and current in it would be transferred to the heart and brain better. 

Hz. Musa was given the duty of prophethood in this sacred valley. His whole body became ears for the sound that came. His attention focused on one point. The sound that came reached the heart and encompassed the spirit. Therefore, people circumambulate the Kaaba barefoot.   

How and why the incident took place

It is not without any reason that Hz. Musa took his family and left Madyan in a cold weather. He left Madyan based on the inspiration he received and went to Egypt, to Sons of Israel.  

Hz. Musa left Egypt beforehand since he had killed a man by mistake and people had aggressive feelings against him, based on an inspiration that came to his heart and went to Madyan. He married the daughter of the Prophet Shuayb (Jethro) there. He remained there for about ten years and was educated by the Prophet Shuayb. After that, he had important and great duties to fulfill.  

First of all, it was necessary to invite Pharaoh, who went astray, who treated Sons of Israel as if they were second-class and even third-class citizens and who deified himself, and to save Sons of Israel from his oppression and torture.

That is one of the reasons why Hz. Musa left Madyan with his family and received divine revelation while he was passing through Tuwa Valley. (see Celal Yıldırım, İlmin Işığında Asrın Kur’an Tefsiri, the interpretation of Taha 16)

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