Word by Word
That we may
That we may
"That we may follow the sorcerers (in religion) if they win?"
Maybe we will follow the sorcerers, should they be the victors' (the interrogative [of the previous verse] is an incitement to assemble and the optative sense [implicit in la'alla] is due to their anticipation of victory, and hence their continued adherence to their religion and rejection of Moses).
Between Musa and Fir`awn
Allah tells us what He commanded His servant, son of Imran and Messenger Musa, peace be upon him, who spoke with Him, to do, when He called him from the right side of the mountain, and conversed with him, and chose him, sent him, and commanded him to go to Fir`awn and his people.
وَإِذۡ نَادَى رَبُّكَ مُوسَى أَنِ ايۡتِ الۡقَوۡمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
قَوۡمَ فِرۡعَوۡنَ أَلَا يَتَّقُونَ
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي أَخَافُ أَن يُكَذِّبُونِ
وَيَضِيقُ صَدۡرِي وَلَا يَنطَلِقُ لِسَانِي فَأَرۡسِلۡ إِلَى هَارُونَ
وَلَهُمۡ عَلَيَّ ذَنبٌ فَأَخَافُ أَن يَقۡتُلُونِ
And when your Lord called Musa:Go to the people who are wrongdoers. The people of Fir`awn. Will they not have Taqwa!
He said:My Lord! Verily, I fear that they will deny me, And my breast straitens, and my tongue expresses not well. So send for Harun. And they have a charge of crime against me, and I fear they will kill me.
So, Musa asked Allah to remove these difficulties for him, as he said in Surah Ta Ha:
قَالَ رَبِّ اشۡرَحۡ لِى صَدۡرِى
وَيَسِّرۡ لِى أَمۡرِى
Musa said:O my Lord! Open for me my chest. And ease my task for me. (20:25-26) until:
قَدۡ أُوتِيتَ سُوۡلَكَ يمُوسَى
You are granted your request, O Musa! (20:36)
وَلَهُمۡ عَلَيَّ ذَنبٌ فَأَخَافُ أَن يَقۡتُلُونِ
And they have a charge of crime against me, and I fear they will kill me.
because he had killed that Egyptian, which was the reason that he left the land of Egypt
Allah told him:do not be afraid of anything like that.
This is like the Ayah,
سَنَشُدُّ عَضُدَكَ بِأَخِيكَ وَنَجۡعَلُ لَكُمَا سُلۡطَـناً
Allah said:We will strengthen your arm through your brother, and give you both power, (meaning, proof);
فَلَ يَصِلُونَ إِلَيۡكُمَا بِـۡايَـتِنَأ أَنتُمَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَكُمَا الۡغَـلِبُونَ
so they shall not be able to harm you, with Our signs, you two as well as those who follow you will be the victors. (28:35)
فَاذۡهَبَا بِأيَاتِنَا إِنَّا مَعَكُم مُّسۡتَمِعُونَ
Go you both with Our signs. Verily, We shall be with you, listening.
This is like the Ayah,
إِنَّنِى مَعَكُمَأ أَسۡمَعُ وَأَرَى
I am with you both, hearing and seeing. (20:46)
Meaning, `I will be with you by My protection, care, support and help.'
فَأۡتِيَا فِرۡعَوۡنَ فَقُولَاأ إِنَّا رَسُولُ رَبِّ الۡعَالَمِينَ
And go both of you to Fir`awn, and say:`We are the Messengers of the Lord of the all that exists.'
This is like the Ayah,
إِنَّا رَسُولَا رَبِّكَ
Verily, we are both Messengers of your Lord. (20:47)
which means, `both of us have been sent to you,'
أَنۡ أَرۡسِلۡ مَعَنَا بَنِي إِسۡرَايِيلَ
So allow the Children of Israel to go with us.
Meaning, `let them go, free them from your captivity, subjugation and torture, for they are the believing servants of Allah, devoted to Him, and with you they are in a position of humiliating torture.'
When Musa said that to him, Fir`awn turned away and ignored him completely, regarding him with scorn and thinking little of him.
أَلَمۡ نُرَبِّكَ فِينَا وَلِيدًا
Did we not bring you up among us as a child!
meaning, we brought you up among us, in our home and on our bed, we nourished you and did favors for you for many years, and after all that you responded to our kindness in this manner:you killed one of our men and denied our favors to you.'
وَلَبِثۡتَ فِينَا مِنۡ عُمُرِكَ سِنِينَ
وَفَعَلۡتَ فَعۡلَتَكَ الَّتِي فَعَلۡتَ
And you did dwell many years of your life with us.
And you did your deed, which you did.
So he said to him:
وَأَنتَ مِنَ الۡكَافِرِينَ
While you were one of the ingrates.
meaning, one of those who deny favors.
This was the view of Ibn Abbas and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam, and was the view favored by Ibn Jarir
قَالَ فَعَلۡتُهَا إِذًا
(Musa) said:I did it then...
meaning, at that time,
وَأَنَا مِنَ الضَّالِّينَ
when I was in error.
meaning, `before revelation was sent to me and before Allah made me a Prophet and sent me with this Message.'
فَفَرَرۡتُ مِنكُمۡ لَمَّا خِفۡتُكُمۡ فَوَهَبَ لِي رَبِّي حُكۡمًا وَجَعَلَنِي مِنَ الۡمُرۡسَلِينَ
So, I fled from you when I feared you. But my Lord has granted me Hukm, and made me one of the Messengers.
means, `the first situation came to an end and another took its place. Now Allah has sent me to you, and if you obey Him, you will be safe, but if you oppose Him, you will be destroyed.'
Then Musa said:
وَتِلۡكَ نِعۡمَةٌ تَمُنُّهَا عَلَيَّ أَنۡ عَبَّدتَّ بَنِي إِسۡرَايِيلَ
And this is the past favor with which you reproach me, -- that you have enslaved the Children of Israel.
meaning, `whatever favors you did in bringing me up are offset by the evil you did by enslaving the Children of Israel and using them to do your hard labor. Is there any comparison between your favors to one man among them and the evil you have done to all of them What you have mentioned about me is nothing compared to what you have done to them.
Allah tells us about the disbelief, rebellion, oppression and denial of Fir`awn
قَالَ فِرۡعَوۡنُ وَمَا رَبُّ الۡعَالَمِينَ
(Fir`awn) said:And what is the Lord of the `Alamin!
This is because he used to say to his people:
مَا عَلِمۡتُ لَكُمۡ مِّنۡ إِلَـهٍ غَيۡرِى
I know not that you have a god other than me. (28:38)
فَاسۡتَخَفَّ قَوۡمَهُ فَأَطَاعُوهُ
Thus he fooled his people, and they obeyed him. (43:54)
They used to deny the Creator, may He be glorified, and they believed that they had no other lord than Fir`awn.
When Musa said to them:I am the Messenger of the Lord of the worlds, Fir`awn said to him, Who is this who you are claiming is the Lord of Al-`Alamin other than me!
This is how it was interpreted by the scholars of the Salaf and the Imams of later generations.
This Ayah is like the Ayah,
قَالَ فَمَن رَّبُّكُمَا يمُوسَى
قَالَ رَبُّنَا الَّذِى أَعۡطَى كُلَّ شَىءٍ خَلۡقَهُ ثُمَّ هَدَى
(Fir`awn) said:Who then, O Musa, is the Lord of you two!
He said:Our Lord is He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright. (20:49-50)
Those among the philosophers and others who claimed that this was a question about the nature or substance (of Allah) are mistaken.
Fir`awn did not believe in the Creator in the first place, so he was in no position to ask about the nature of the Creator; he denied that the Creator existed at all, as is apparent from the meaning, even though proof and evidence had been established against him.
When Fir`awn asked him about the Lord of Al-`Alamin, Musa said
قَالَ رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالاۡاَرۡضِ وَمَا بَيۡنَهُمَا
(Musa) said:The Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them...
meaning, the Creator, Sovereign and Controller of all that, their God Who has no partner or associate. He is the One Who has created all things. He knows the higher realms and the heavenly bodies that are in them, both those that are stationary and those that move and shine brightly. He knows the lower realms and what is in them; the oceans, continents, mountains, trees, animals, plants and fruits. He knows what is in between the two realms; the winds, birds, and whatever is in the air. All of them are servants to Him, submitting and humbling themselves before Him.
إن كُنتُم مُّوقِنِينَ
if you seek to be convinced with certainty.
means, if you have believing hearts and clear insight
قَالَ لِمَنۡ حَوۡلَهُ
(Fir`awn) said to those around:
i.e., Fir`awn turned to the chiefs and leaders of his state around him, and said to them -- mockingly expressing his disbelief in Musa:
Do you not hear!
meaning, `are you not amazed by what this man is claiming -- that you have another god other than me!'
Musa said to them:
قَالَ رَبُّكُمۡ وَرَبُّ ابَايِكُمُ الاۡاَوَّلِينَ
Your Lord and the Lord of your ancient fathers!
meaning, the One Who created you and your forefathers, those who came before Fir`awn and his time.
He (Fir`awn ) said:
إِنَّ رَسُولَكُمُ الَّذِي أُرۡسِلَ إِلَيۡكُمۡ لَمَجۡنُونٌ
Verily, your Messenger who has been sent to you is a madman!
meaning, there is no sense in his claim that there is any god other than me!
(Musa) said --
to those in whose hearts Fir`awn had planted doubts:
رَبُّ الۡمَشۡرِقِ وَالۡمَغۡرِبِ وَمَا بَيۡنَهُمَا إِن كُنتُمۡ تَعۡقِلُونَ
Lord of the east and the west, and all that is between them, if you did but understand!
`He is the One Who made the east the place where the heavenly bodies rise, and made the west the place where they set; this is the system to which He has subjugated all the heavenly bodies, stationary and moving. If what Fir`awn claims is true, that he is your lord and your god, then let him turn things around so that the heavenly bodies set in the east and rise in the west.'
This is similar to the Ayah,
الَّذِى حَأجَّ إِبۡرَهِيمَ فِى رِبِّهِ أَنۡ اتَـهُ اللَّهُ الۡمُلۡكَ إِذۡ قَالَ إِبۡرَهِيمُ رَبِّيَ الَّذِى يُحۡىِ وَيُمِيتُ قَالَ أَنَا أُحۡىِ وَأُمِيتُ قَالَ إِبۡرَهِيمُ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأۡتِى بِالشَّمۡسِ مِنَ الۡمَشۡرِقِ فَأۡتِ بِهَا مِنَ الۡمَغۡرِبِ
who disputed with Ibrahim about his Lord, because Allah had given him the kingdom! When Ibrahim said:My Lord is He Who gives life and causes death.
He said, I give life and cause death.
Ibrahim said, Verily, Allah brings the sun from the east. So cause it to rise from the west. (2:258)
So when Fir`awn was defeated in debate, he resorted to the use of his force and power, believing that this would be effective in dealing with Musa, peace be upon him, so he said, as Allah tells us
After the Rational Proof, Fir`awn resorts to Force
He (Fir`awn) said:
When proof had been established against Fir`awn, clearly and rationally, he resorted to using force against Musa, thinking that after this there would no further room for discussion. So he said:
لَيِنِ اتَّخَذۡتَ إِلَهًا غَيۡرِي لَاَجۡعَلَنَّكَ مِنَ الۡمَسۡجُونِينَ
If you choose a god other than me, I will certainly put you among the prisoners.
To this, Musa responded:
قَالَ أَوَلَوۡ جِيۡتُكَ بِشَيۡءٍ مُّبِينٍ
(Musa) said:Even if I bring you something manifest!
meaning, clear and definitive proof.
قَالَ فَأۡتِ بِهِ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ
فَأَلۡقَى عَصَاهُ فَإِذَا هِيَ ثُعۡبَانٌ مُّبِينٌ
He (Fir`awn) said:Bring it forth then, if you are of the truthful!
So he (Musa) threw his stick, and behold, it was a serpent, manifest.
meaning, it was very clear and obvious, with a huge body and a big mouth, terrifying in appearance
And he (Musa) drew out his hand,
meaning, from his sleeve,
فَإِذَا هِيَ بَيۡضَاء لِلنَّاظِرِينَ
and behold, it was white to all beholders!
It was shining like a piece of the moon
قَالَ لِلۡمَلَاِ حَوۡلَهُ
He said to the chiefs around him:
Since Fir`awn was already doomed, he hastened to stubborn denial, and said to the chiefs around him:
إِنَّ هَذَا لَسَاحِرٌ عَلِيمٌ
Verily, this is indeed a well-versed sorcerer.
One who knows a great deal of magic or witchcraft.
Fir`awn was trying to convince them that this was sorcery, not a miracle. Then he provoked them against Musa, trying to make them oppose him and disbelieve in him, and said
يُرِيدُ أَن يُخۡرِجَكُم مِّنۡ أَرۡضِكُم بِسِحۡرِهِ
He wants to drive you out of your land by his sorcery...
meaning, `he wants to capture the people's hearts and win them over by doing this, so that they will support him, and help him and follow him, and he will defeat you in your own land and take the land from you.
what is it then that you command!
i.e., So advise me, what should I do with him!'
قَالُوا أَرۡجِهِ وَأَخَاهُ وَابۡعَثۡ فِي الۡمَدَايِنِ حَاشِرِينَ
يَأۡتُوكَ بِكُلِّ سَحَّارٍ عَلِيمٍ
They said:Put him off and his brother, and send callers to the cities; to bring up to you every well-versed sorcerer.
meaning, `delay him and his brother until you gather together all the sorcerers from every city and region of your kingdom so that they may confront him and produce something like he produces, then you will defeat him and have the victory.'
So Fir`awn did as they suggested, which is what Allah decreed would happen to them, so that all the people would gather in one place and the signs and proof of Allah would be made manifest before them all in one day.
Between Musa, peace be upon him, and the Sorcerers
Allah describes the actual encounter between Musa, peace be upon him, and the Egyptians in Surah Al-A`raf, Surah Ta Ha, and in this Surah.
The Egyptians wanted to extinguish the Light of Allah with their words, but Allah insisted that His Light should prevail even though the disbelievers disliked that. This is the issue of disbelief and faith; they never confront one another but faith always prevails:
بَلۡ نَقۡذِفُ بِالۡحَقِّ عَلَى الۡبَـطِلِ فَيَدۡمَغُهُ فَإِذَا هُوَ زَاهِقٌ وَلَكُمُ الۡوَيۡلُ مِمَّا تَصِفُونَ
Nay, We fling the truth against the falsehood, so it destroys it, and behold, it disappears. And woe to you for that which you ascribe. (21:18)
وَقُلۡ جَأءَ الۡحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الۡبَـطِلُ
And say:Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. (17:81)
And Allah tells:
فَجُمِعَ السَّحَرَةُ لِمِيقَاتِ يَوۡمٍ مَّعۡلُومٍ
وَقِيلَ لِلنَّاسِ هَلۡ أَنتُم مُّجۡتَمِعُونَ
So, the sorcerers were assembled at a fixed time on a day appointed. And it was said to the people:Are you (too) going to assemble,
The sorcerers of Egypt were the most skilled in the art of illusion, but when a huge group of them gathered from all corners of the land, and the people came together on that day whose exact numbers are known to Allah Alone, one of them said:
لَعَلَّنَا نَتَّبِعُ السَّحَرَةَ إِن كَانُوا هُمُ الۡغَالِبِينَ
That we may follow the sorcerers if they are the winners.
They did not say:`we will follow the truth, whether it rests with the sorcerers or with Musa;' the people were followers of the religion of their king.
فَلَمَّا جَاء السَّحَرَةُ
So, when the sorcerers arrived,
means, when they reached the court of Fir`awn, and a pavilion had been erected for him. There he gathered his servants, followers, administrators, and provincial leaders, and the soldiers of his kingdom. The sorcerers stood before Fir`awn, asking him to treat them well and bring them closer to him if they prevailed in this matter which he had brought them together for. They said:
قَالُوا لِفِرۡعَوۡنَ أَيِنَّ لَنَا لَااَجۡرًا إِن كُنَّا نَحۡنُ الۡغَالِبِينَ
Will there surely be a reward for us if we are the winners!
قَالَ نَعَمۡ وَإِنَّكُمۡ إِذًا لَّمِنَ الۡمُقَرَّبِين
He (Fir`awn) said:Yes, and you shall then verily be of those brought near.
meaning, `and you will be given more than what you are asking for; I will make you among those who are close to me, those who sit with me.'
So they went back to their places:
قَالُواۡ يمُوسَى إِمَّأ أَن تُلۡقِىَ وَإِمَّأ أَن نَّكُونَ أَوَّلَ مَنۡ أَلۡقَى قَالَ بَلۡ أَلۡقُواۡ
They said:O Musa! Either you throw first or we be the first to throw!
(Musa) said:Nay, throw you (first)! (20:65-66)
Here the incident is described more briefly
قَالَ لَهُم مُّوسَى
Musa said to them:
أَلۡقُوا مَا أَنتُم مُّلۡقُونَ
فَأَلۡقَوۡا حِبَالَهُمۡ وَعِصِيَّهُمۡ وَقَالُوا بِعِزَّةِ فِرۡعَوۡنَ إِنَّا لَنَحۡنُ الۡغَالِبُونَ
Throw what you are going to throw!
So, they threw their ropes and their sticks, and said:By the might of Fir`awn, it is we who will certainly win!
This is what the ignorant masses say when they do something:`this is by the virtue of So-and-so!'
In Surah Al-A`raf Allah mentioned that:
سَحَرُواۡ أَعۡيُنَ النَّاسِ وَاسۡتَرۡهَبُوهُمۡ وَجَأءُو بِسِحۡرٍ عَظِيمٍ
They bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them, and they displayed a great magic. (7:116)
And in Surah Ta Ha He said:
فَإِذَا حِبَالُهُمۡ وَعِصِيُّهُمۡ يُخَيَّلُ إِلَيۡهِ مِن سِحۡرِهِمۡ أَنَّهَا تَسۡعَى
فَأَوۡجَسَ فِي نَفۡسِهِ خِيفَةً مُّوسَى
قُلۡنَا لَا تَخَفۡ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الاَۡعۡلَى
وَأَلۡقِ مَا فِي يَمِينِكَ تَلۡقَفۡ مَا صَنَعُوا إِنَّمَا صَنَعُوا كَيۡدُ سَاحِرٍ وَلَاأ يُفۡلِحُ السَّاحِرُ حَيۡثُ أَتَى
Then behold! their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast. So Musa conceived fear in himself. We (Allah) said:Fear not! Surely, you will have the upper hand. And throw that which is in your right hand! It will swallow up that which they have made. That which they have made is only a magician's trick, and the magician will never be successful, to whatever amount (of skill) he may attain. (20:66-69)
And here Allah says:
فَأَلۡقَى مُوسَى عَصَاهُ فَإِذَا هِيَ تَلۡقَفُ مَا يَأۡفِكُونَ
Then Musa threw his stick, and behold, it swallowed up all that they falsely showed!
by snatching up and catching them from every corner and swallowing them up, and it did not leave any of them untouched.
فَأُلۡقِيَ السَّحَرَةُ سَاجِدِينَ
قَالُوا امَنَّا بِرَبِّ الۡعَالَمِينَ
رَبِّ مُوسَى وَهَارُونَ
And the sorcerers fell down prostrate. Saying:We believe in the Lord of Al-`Alamin, the Lord of Musa and Harun.
This is as Allah mentions elsewhere:
فَوَقَعَ الۡحَقُّ وَبَطَلَ مَا كَانُواۡ يَعۡمَلُونَ
فَغُلِبُواۡ هُنَالِكَ وَانقَلَبُواۡ صَاغِرِينَ
وَأُلۡقِيَ السَّحَرَةُ سَاجِدِينَ
قَالُواۡ امَنَّا بِرِبِّ الۡعَالَمِينَ
رَبِّ مُوسَى وَهَارُونَ
Thus truth was confirmed, and all that they did was made of no effect. So they were defeated there and returned disgraced. And the sorcerers fell down prostrate. They said:We believe in the Lord of all that exists, the Lord of Musa and Harun. (7:118-122)
This was a very serious matter, furnishing decisive proof leaving no room for any excuse. Fir`awn's supporters, who sought and hoped that they would prevail over Musa, were themselves defeated. At that moment they believed in Musa and prostrated to Allah, the Lord of Al-`Alamin Who sent Musa and Harun with the truth and an obvious miracle. Fir`awn was defeated in a manner the likes of which the world had never seen, but he remained arrogant and stubborn despite the clear evidence, may the curse of Allah and the angels and all of mankind be upon him. He resorted to arrogance and stubbornness and propagating falsehood. He began to issue threats against them, saying:
إِنَّهُ لَكَبِيرُكُمُ الَّذِى عَلَّمَكُمُ السِّحۡرَ
Verily, he is your chief who has taught you magic. (20:71)
إِنَّ هَـذَا لَمَكۡرٌ مَّكَرۡتُمُوهُ فِى الۡمَدِينَةِ
Surely, this is a plot which you have plotted in the city. (7:123
Between Fir`awn and the Sorcerers
His threats against them resulted only in an increase in their faith and submission to Allah, for the veil of disbelief had been lifted from their hearts and the truth became clear to them because they knew something that their people did not:that what Musa had done could not have been done by any human being unless Allah helped him, making it proof and an evidence of the truth of what he had brought from his Lord.
Allah tells that:
قَالَ امَنتُمۡ لَهُ قَبۡلَ أَنۡ اذَنَ لَكُمۡ
He (Fir`awn) said:You have believed in him before I give you leave.
meaning, `you should have asked my permission for what you did, and you did not consult with me; if I had given you permission you could have done it, and if I did not allow you, you should not have done it, for I am the ruler and the one to be obeyed.'
إِنَّهُ لَكَبِيرُكُمُ الَّذِي عَلَّمَكُمُ السِّحۡرَ
Surely, he indeed is your chief, who has taught you magic!
This is stubborn talk, and anyone can see that it is nonsense, for they had never met Musa before that day, so how could he have been their chief who taught them how to do magic! No rational person would say this.
فَلَسَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ لَاُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيۡدِيَكُمۡ وَأَرۡجُلَكُم مِّنۡ خِلَفٍ وَلَاُصَلِّبَنَّكُمۡ أَجۡمَعِينَ
So verily, you shall come to know. Verily, I will cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and I will crucify you all.
Then Fir`awn threatened to cut off their hands and feet, and crucify them
قَالُوا لَاا ضَيۡرَ
They said:No harm!
meaning, `no problem, that will not harm us and we do not care.'
إِنَّا إِلَى رَبِّنَا مُنقَلِبُونَ
Surely, to our Lord we are to return.
means, `the return of us all is to Allah, may He be glorified, and He will never allow the reward of anyone who has done good to be lost. What you have done to us is not hidden from Him, and He will reward us in full for that.'
So they said
إِنَّا نَطۡمَعُ أَن يَغۡفِرَ لَنَا رَبُّنَا خَطَايَانَا
Verily, we really hope that our Lord will forgive us our sins,
`the sins we have committed and the magic you forced us to do.'
أَن كُنَّا أَوَّلَ الۡمُوۡمِنِينَ
as we are the first of the believers,
means, because we are the first of our people, the Egyptians, to believe.
So he killed them all
The Exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt
وَأَوۡحَيۡنَا إِلَى مُوسَى أَنۡ أَسۡرِ بِعِبَادِي إِنَّكُم مُّتَّبَعُونَ
فَأَرۡسَلَ فِرۡعَوۡنُ فِي الۡمَدَايِنِ حَاشِرِينَ
And We revealed to Musa, saying:Depart by night with My servants, verily, you will be pursued.
Then Fir`awn sent callers to (all) the cities.
After Musa stayed in Egypt for a long time, and the proof of Allah was established against Fir`awn and his chiefs, yet they were still arrogant and stubborn, then there was nothing left for them but punishment and vengeance. So Allah commanded Musa, peace be upon him, to take the Children of Israel out of Egypt by night, and take them wherever he would be commanded. So Musa, peace be upon him, did as he was commanded by his Lord, may He be glorified, and he led them forth after they had borrowed an abundance of jewelry from the people of Fir`awn.
As more than one of the scholars of Tafsir have said, they left when the moon was rising, and Mujahid, may Allah have mercy on him, said that the moon was eclipsed that night. And Allah knows best.
Musa asked about the grave of Yusuf (Prophet Joseph), peace be upon him, and an old woman from among the Children of Israel showed him where it was, so he took the remains with them, and it was said that they were among the things that were carried by Musa himself, may peace be upon them both.
It was also said that Yusuf, peace be upon him, had left instructions in his will that if the Children of Israel ever left Egypt, they should take his remains with them.
The following morning, when there was nobody to be found in the Israelite quarters, Fir`awn became angry and his anger intensified since Allah had decreed that he was to be destroyed. So he quickly sent his callers to all his cities, i.e., to mobilize his troops and bring them together, and he called out to them
meaning, the Children of Israel,
indeed are but a small band.
meaning, a small group.
وَإِنَّهُمۡ لَنَا لَغَايِظُونَ
And verily, they have done what has enraged us.
means, `every time we have heard anything about them, it has upset us and made us angry.'
وَإِنَّا لَجَمِيعٌ حَاذِرُونَ
But we are a host all assembled, amply forewarned.
means, `we are constantly taking precautions lest they betray us.'
Some of the Salaf read this with the meaning,
we are constantly forewarned and forearmed. And I want to destroy them to the last man, and destroy all their lands and property.
So he and his troops were punished with the very things he sought to inflict upon the Children of Israel.
فَأَخۡرَجۡنَاهُم مِّن جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ
وَكُنُوزٍ وَمَقَامٍ كَرِيمٍ
So, We expelled them from gardens and springs, treasures, and every kind of honorable place.
meaning, they were thrown out of those blessings and into Hell, and they left behind the honorable places, gardens and rivers, wealth, provision, position and power in this world:
كَذَلِكَ وَأَوۡرَثۡنَاهَا بَنِي إِسۡرَايِيلَ
Thus and We caused the Children of Israel to inherit them.
This is like the Ayat:
وَأَوۡرَثۡنَا الۡقَوۡمَ الَّذِينَ كَانُواۡ يُسۡتَضۡعَفُونَ مَشَـرِقَ الاٌّرۡضِ وَمَغَـرِبَهَا الَّتِى بَارَكۡنَا فِيهَا
And We made the people who were considered weak to inherit the eastern parts of the land and the western parts thereof which We have blessed. (7:137)
وَنُرِيدُ أَن نَّمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسۡتُضۡعِفُوا فِي الاَۡرۡضِ وَنَجۡعَلَهُمۡ أَيِمَّةً وَنَجۡعَلَهُمُ الۡوَارِثِينَ
وَنُمَكِّنَ لَهُمۡ فِي الاَۡرۡضِ وَنُرِي فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَهَامَانَ وَجُنُودَهُمَا مِنۡهُم مَّا كَانُوا يَحۡذَرُونَ
And We wished to do a favor to those who were weak in the land, and to make them rulers and to make them the inheritors. And to establish them in the land, and We let Fir`awn and Haman and their armies receive from them that which they feared. (28:5-6)
Fir`awn's Pursuit and Expulsion of the Children of Israel, and how He and His People were drowned
More than one of the scholars of Tafsir said that Fir`awn set out with a huge group, a group containing the leaders and entire government of Egypt at that time, i.e., the decision-makers and influential figures, princes, ministers, nobles, leaders and soldiers.
So, they pursued them at sunrise.
means, they caught up with the Children of Israel at sunrise
فَلَمَّا تَرَاءى الۡجَمۡعَانِ
And when the two hosts saw each other,
means, each group saw the other.
At that point,
قَالَ أَصۡحَابُ مُوسَى إِنَّا لَمُدۡرَكُونَ
the companions of Musa said:We are sure to be overtaken.
This was because Fir`awn and his people caught up with them on the shores of the Red Sea, so the sea was ahead of them and Fir`awn and his troops were behind them. Hence they said:
(We are sure to be overtaken).
قَالَ كَلَّ إِنَّ مَعِيَ رَبِّي سَيَهۡدِينِ
(Musa) said:Nay, verily with me is my Lord. He will guide me.
meaning, `nothing of what you fear will happen to you, for Allah is the One Who commanded me to bring you here, and He does not go back on His promise.'
إِنَّ مَعِيَ رَبِّي سَيَهۡدِينِ
verily with me is my Lord. He will guide me.
Harun, peace be upon him, was in the front, with Yusha` bin Nun and a believer from the family of Fir`awn, and Musa, peace be upon him, was in the rear.
More than one of the scholars of Tafsir said that they stood there not knowing what to do, and Yusha` bin Nun or the believer from the family of Fir`awn said to Musa, peace be upon him, O Prophet of Allah, is it here that your Lord commanded you to bring us!
Then Fir`awn and his troops drew near and were very close indeed. At that point Allah commanded his Prophet Musa, peace be upon him, to strike the sea with his staff, so he struck it, and it parted, by the will of Allah.
فَأَوۡحَيۡنَا إِلَى مُوسَى أَنِ اضۡرِب بِّعَصَاكَ الۡبَحۡرَ
Then We revealed to Musa (saying):Strike the sea with your stick.
فَانفَلَقَ فَكَانَ كُلُّ فِرۡقٍ كَالطَّوۡدِ الۡعَظِيمِ
And it parted, and each separate part became like huge mountain.
meaning, like mighty mountains.
This was the view of Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn Abbas, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and others.
Ata' Al-Khurasani said,
It refers to a pass between two mountains.
Ibn Abbas said,
The sea divided into twelve paths, one for each of the tribes.
And in it there were windows through which they could see one another, and the water was erected like walls.
Allah sent the wind to the sea bed to make it solid like the land.
فَاضۡرِبۡ لَهُمۡ طَرِيقاً فِى الۡبَحۡرِ يَبَساً لاَّ تَخَافُ دَرَكاً وَلَا تَخۡشَى
and strike a dry path for them in the sea, fearing neither to be overtaken nor being afraid. (20:77)
And here He says:
وَأَزۡلَفۡنَا ثَمَّ الاۡأخَرِينَ
Then We brought near the others to that place.
Ibn Abbas, Ata' Al-Khurasani, Qatadah and As-Suddi said:
(Then We brought near) means,
We brought Fir`awn and his troops near to the sea.
وَأَنجَيۡنَا مُوسَى وَمَن مَّعَهُ أَجۡمَعِينَ
ثُمَّ أَغۡرَقۡنَا الاۡخَرِينَ
And We saved Musa and all those with him. Then We drowned the others.
meaning:`We saved Musa and the Children of Israel and whoever followed their religion, and none of them were destroyed, but Fir`awn and his troops were drowned and not one of them remained alive, but was destroyed.'
Then Allah says
إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَايَةً
Verily, in this is indeed a sign,
meaning, this story with its wonders and tales of aid to the believing servants of Allah is definitive proof and evidence of Allah's wisdom.
وَمَا كَانَ أَكۡثَرُهُم مُّوۡمِنِينَ
وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَهُوَ الۡعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ
yet most of them are not believers. And verily your Lord, He is truly the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful.
The explanation of this phrase has already been discussed above.
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