Knot On Moses Tongue
“My Lord, open my breast (relieve my mind and make me so persevering as to tolerate every impudence and bear every hardship), and ease for me my task. Make loose a knot upon my tongue so that they may understand my words ( 20:25–8).”
Some commentators have misunderstood Moses’ supplication, Make loose a knot from my tongue, and asserted that he suffered difficulty in speaking. According to the story they narrate, Moses once pulled Pharaoh’s beard while being brought up in his palace. Angered at what the child did, Pharaoh wanted to have him killed, but his wife, in order to save the child, offered Pharaoh to test whether he was fit to judge or decide in his favor. They put a piece of gold in one of the scales of a balance and embers in the other. The child took the embers and put them in his mouth. This made him a stammerer. So, by supplicating Make loose a knot from my tongue, Moses petitioned God to restore him the ability of articulation.
An invented story can be no basis for the interpretation of any of The Holy Book’s verses. If Moses had had a speech impediment due to the burning of his tongue, he should have said, ‘Make loose the knot’, not ‘a knot, from my tongue’. What Moses meant by Make loose a knot from my tongue, was that he was not as eloquent as his brother Aaron ( 28:34), and therefore desired to be more articulate in delivering God’s Message in Pharaoh’s palace.
In conclusion, all the Prophets were perfect both mentally and physically, with nothing to suggest any defect. However, some of them may, in some respects, have been superior to others: And those Messengers, some We have preferred above others; some there are to whom God spoke [directly], and some He raised in rank ( 2:253).
By M. Fethullah Gulen