After the Pharaoh and his soldiers drowned in the sea, Musa Nabi AS set off with his followers to a safer place. During their stay in Egypt, the children of Israel were influenced by the polytheistic religion of the people there. Some of them were so inclined towards idolatrous practices that they asked Musa Nabi AS to provide an idol for them to worship:
We conveyed the tribe of Israel across the sea and they came upon some people who were devoting themselves to some idols which they had. They said, “Musa, give us a god just as these people have gods.” He said, “You are indeed an ignorant people. What these people are doing is destined for destruction. What they are doing is purposeless.” (Qur’an, 7: 138-139)
Among the people of Musa AS, there were those who lacked fear for Allah Ta’ala and thus were prone to disbelief.
Musa Nabi AS and his people headed for Mount Sinai. As Allah Ta’ala narrates in al-Quran, that there, the lord was to “make a covenant” with Musa AS during his stay on the mountain for a period of forty days. Musa Nabi AS departed towards the mountain, leaving his tribe under the care of Harun, also a messenger of Allah Ta’ala, who was to govern the children of Israel during Musa’s absence. Prior to his departure, he gave some advice to Harun:
We set aside thirty nights for Musa and then completed them with ten, so the appointed time of his Lord was forty nights in all. Musa said to his brother Harun, “Be my caliph among my people. Keep order and do not follow the way of the corrupters.” (Qur’an, 7: 142)
Musa Nabi reached the mountain of Toor within the appointed time. There, Allah Ta’ala addressed him once again:
When Musa came to Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, “My Lord, show me Yourself so that I may look at You!” He (the Lord) said, “You will not see Me, but look at the mountain. If it remains firm in its place, then you will see Me.” But when His Lord manifested Himself to the mountain, He crushed it flat and Musa fell unconscious to the ground. When he regained consciousness he said, “Glory be to You! I apologise to You and I am the first of the believers!” He (the Lord) said, “Musa, I have chosen you over all mankind for My Message and My Word. Take what I have given you and be among the thankful.” We wrote everything for him on the Tablets as an admonition and making all things clear. “Seize hold of it vigorously and command your people to adopt the best in it. I will show you the home of the deviators!” (Qur’an, 7: 143-145)
Syedna al-Dai al-Ajal TUS states in one bayaan mubarak that when Allah Ta’ala decided to manifest Himself upon a mountain, all the mountains strained themselves, each one hoping to be the chosen one. The mountain of Toor on the contrary, because of its humility, chose to remain as it was, seeing itself as too small and insignificant for such a great honour. Thus Allah Ta’ala chose Toor for the manifestation. Such is the sunnah of Allah Ta’ala. The humble and modest are dearest to Him.