On his return Moses saw his people singing and dancing around the calf statue. Furious at their paganistic ritual, he flung down the Tablet of the Law he was carrying for them. He tugged Aaron's beard and his hair, crying: "What held you back when you saw them going astray? Whey did you not fight this corruption?"
Aaron replied: "O son of my mother, let go of my beard! The fold considered me weak and were about to kill me. So make not the enemies rejoice over me, nor put me among the people who are wrong-doers."
Moses' s anger began to subside when he understood Aaron's helplessness, and he began to handle the situation calmly and wisely.
Almighty Allah narrated:
"They said: "We broke not the promise to you, of our own will, but we were made to carry the weight of the ornaments of the Pharaoh's people, then we cast them into the fire, and that was what As-Samiri suggested."
Then he took out of the fire, for them a statue of a calf which seemed to low. They said: "This is your ilah (god), and the ilah (god) of Moses, but Moses has forgotten (his god)." Did they not see that it could not return them a word (for answer), and that it had no power either to harm them or to do them good?
And Aaron indeed had said to them beforehand: "O my people! You are being tried in this, and verily, your Lord is Allah the Most Beneficent, so follow me and obey my order."
They said: "We will not stop worshipping it (the calf) until Moses returns to us." (Ch 20:87-91
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