Thank for your quick and detail answer but still i need more clarification regarding “SAMIRI”. you said”However, his punishment did not have to be the same as the Israelites. He was not one of them and he did not have a covenant with God as they did” if “(samiri)he was not one of them” then from where and how did samiri came there?. and why he did not have covenant with god ? why he was left alive ? Is he non-israelite?
kindly pls explain.
Jazzak Allah Khair
The Qur’an, while thoroughly referring to the events of the Golden Calf, does not expound on the person of al-Samiri. A description of who he was is irrelevant to the overall message. As such, we cannot definitively say where he was from or why he was among the Israelites or if he was the only one of his kind. The indication that he did not have a covenant is that he was singled out separately from the Israelites and the covenant was established with the Children of Israel. The Old Testament mentions that there were some who escaped with the Israelites and stayed with them until the events under discussion occurred (see Exodus 12:38). So, because he was not one of them he did not suffer the divine punishment.
Let us assume, as the interpretation you cited proposes, that he was an Israelite and he did all of what he was accused but repented for his actions. It would not be the only time that a sinner, after having repented, is sent away as a punishment rather than receive the divine punishment like the rest (e.g. Wahshi Ibn Harb). Moreover, if we accept this, then he was banished because of his role even though he repented.
The above is surmised from the Qur’anic verses relating the story. However, there are other scholars and interpreters that say something along the same lines:
The word sounds more of an appellation than of a personal name. If we look to old Egyptian, we have Shemer, a stranger, and foreigner. As the Israelites had just left Egypt, they might quite well have among them an Egyptian Hebrew bearing that nickname. And it is recorded by the rabbis that the initiative in the matter of the calf worship was taken not by the Israelites but the Egyptians who had joined them at the time of the Exodus, and who were the source of a great deal of trouble to Moses and Israelites. (JE. III, P. 509). – Tafsīru’l-Qur’ān, ‘Abdu’l-Mājid Daryābādī, 1st ed., vol. III, (Karachi: Daru’l-Ishā‘at, 1991), p.113-4
Whoever al-Samiri was his role was limited in relation to the overall picture of the Qur’anic message. His identity is not described but he is clearly mentioned by a distinguishing designation. However he was punished has no bearing on what happened to the rest of the Israelites who did not repent. Their obdurate attitudes led them to the ultimate consequence.
I hope this helps.
God knows best.