And when Moses said to his people “God commands you to sacrifice a cow.” It was obligatory for them to execute the command directly but they wasted time with external appearances imagining that they had the leisure to linger in their digression from the obligation of the covenant. So their misery was doubled and the ignominy they had been warned about overtook them. When He said: “She is a cow neither old nor virgin middling between the two... ” [2:68] it meant she would be neither young nor aged but some- where between the two. The allusion is to the fact that one who is suited for this path Ṭarīqa is one who is neither attracted by the impetuosity of youth and its drunkenness nor paralyzed by the weakness and frailty of old age. Rather he is alert; he has regained consciousness from his drunkenness yet retains some of the vigor of his youth.