Word by Word
And We inspired
they (were) falsifying
And We inspired
they (were) falsifying
We put it into Moses's mind by inspiration: "Throw (now) thy rod": and behold! it swallows up straight away all the falsehoods which they fake!
And We revealed to Moses [saying]: 'Cast your staff.' And lo! it swallowed up (read talaqqafu, with one of the original taa' letters [of tatalaqqafu] omitted) the illusion they were creating, that which they were transforming by delusion.
"The Magicians convene and change Their Ropes into Snakes before Musa
وَجَاء السَّحَرَةُ فِرۡعَوۡنَ قَالۡواۡ إِنَّ لَنَا لَاجۡرًا إِن كُنَّا نَحۡنُ الۡغَالِبِينَ
قَالَ نَعَمۡ وَإَنَّكُمۡ لَمِنَ الۡمُقَرَّبِينَ
And so the sorcerers came to Fir`awn. They said:""Indeed there will be a (good) reward for us if we are the victors.""
He said:""Yes, and moreover you will (in that case) be of the nearest (to me).""
Allah describes the conversation that took place between Fir`awn and the magicians he collected to defeat Musa, peace be upon him. Fir`awn told them that he will reward them and give them tremendous provisions. He made them hope in acquiring what they wished for and to make them among his private audience and best associates. When they were assured of the cursed Fir`awn's promises
The Magicians convene and change Their Ropes into Snakes before Musa
The magicians challenged Musa, when they said,
قَالُواۡ يَا مُوسَى إِمَّا أَن تُلۡقِيَ وَإِمَّا أَن نَّكُونَ نَحۡنُ الۡمُلۡقِينَ
They said:""O Musa! Either you throw (first), or shall we have the (first) throw (before you).
In another Ayah, they said,
وَإِمَّأ أَن نَّكُونَ أَوَّلَ مَنۡ أَلۡقَى
Or we be the first to throw. (20:65)
He (Musa) said:""Throw you (first).""
Musa said to them, you throw first.
It was said that the wisdom behind asking them to throw first, is that - Allah knows best - the people might witness the magicians' sorcery first. When the magicians had cast their spell and captured the eyes, the clear and unequivocal truth came, at a time when they all anticipated and waited for it to come, thus making the truth even more impressive to their hearts. This is what happened.
فَلَمَّا أَلۡقَوۡاۡ سَحَرُواۡ أَعۡيُنَ النَّاسِ وَاسۡتَرۡهَبُوهُمۡ
So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them,
meaning, they deceived the eyes and made them think that that trick was real, when it was only an illusion, just as Allah said,
فَأَوۡجَسَ فِى نَفۡسِهِ خِيفَةً مُّوسَى
قُلۡنَا لَا تَخَفۡ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الاٌّعۡلَى
وَأَلۡقِ مَا فِى يَمِينِكَ تَلۡقَفۡ مَا صَنَعُواۡ إِنَّمَا صَنَعُواۡ كَيۡدُ سَاحِرٍ وَلَا يُفۡلِحُ السَّـحِرُ حَيۡثُ أَتَى
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."" (20:67-69)
Ibn Abbas commented that the magicians threw,
""Thick ropes and long sticks, and they appeared to be crawling, an illusion that they created with their magic.""
وَجَاءوا بِسِحۡرٍ عَظِيمٍ
and they displayed a great trick
Musa defeats the Magicians, Who believe in Him
وَأَوۡحَيۡنَا إِلَى مُوسَى أَنۡ أَلۡقِ عَصَاكَ
And We revealed to Musa (saying):""Throw your stick,""
Allah states that at that tremendous moment, in which Allah differentiated between Truth and Falsehood, He sent a revelation to His servant and Messenger Musa, peace be upon him, ordering him to throw the stick that he held in his right hand,
فَإِذَا هِيَ تَلۡقَفُ
It swallowed straight away,
all the falsehood which they showed.
the magic that they caused the illusion with, of magic with which they caused making it appear real, whereas it was not real at all.
Ibn Abbas said that;
Musa's stick swallowed all the ropes and sticks that the magicians threw.
فَوَقَعَ الۡحَقُّ وَبَطَلَ مَا كَانُواۡ يَعۡمَلُونَ
فَغُلِبُواۡ هُنَالِكَ وَانقَلَبُواۡ صَاغِرِينَ
وَأُلۡقِيَ السَّحَرَةُ سَاجِدِينَ
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.
The magicians realized that this was from heaven and was by no means magic. They fell in prostration and proclaimed,
قَالُواۡ امَنَّا بِرِبِّ الۡعَالَمِينَ
رَبِّ مُوسَى وَهَارُونَ
""We believe in the Lord of all that exists. The Lord of Musa and Harun.
Muhammad bin Ishaq commented,
""It followed the ropes and sticks one after another, until nothing that the sorcerers threw remained. Musa then held it in his hand, and it became a stick again just as it was before. The magicians fell in prostration and proclaimed, `We believe in the Lord of all that exists, the Lord of Musa and Harun. Had Musa been a magician, he would not have prevailed over us.""'
Al-Qasim bin Abi Bazzah commented,
""Allah revealed to Musa to throw his stick. When he threw his stick, it became a huge, manifest snake that opened its mouth and swallowed the magicians' ropes and sticks. On that, the magicians fell in prostration. They did not raise their heads before seeing the Paradise, the Fire, and the recompense of their inhabitants.
Fir`awn threatens the Magicians after They believed in Musa and Their Response to Him
قَالَ فِرۡعَوۡنُ امَنتُم بِهِ قَبۡلَ أَن اذَنَ لَكُمۡ
Fir`awn said:""You have believed in him (Musa) before I gave you permission.
Allah mentions the threats that the Fir`awn - may Allah curse him - made to the magicians after they believed Musa, peace be upon him, and the deceit and cunning that Fir`awn showed the people.
إِنَّ هَـذَا لَمَكۡرٌ مَّكَرۡتُمُوهُ فِي الۡمَدِينَةِ لِتُخۡرِجُواۡ مِنۡهَا أَهۡلَهَا
Surely, this is a plot which you have plotted in the city to drive out its people,
meaning Fir`awn proclaimed, `Musa's defeating you today was because you plotted with him and agreed to that.'
Fir`awn also said,
إِنَّهُ لَكَبِيرُكُمُ الَّذِى عَلَّمَكُمُ السِّحۡرَ
He (Musa) is your chief who has taught you magic. (20:71)
However, Fir`awn and all those who had any sense of reason knew for sure that what Fir`awn said was utterly false. As soon as Musa came from Madyan, he called Fir`awn to Allah and demonstrated tremendous miracles and clear proofs for the Truth that he brought. Fir`awn then sent emissaries to various cities of his kingdom and collected magicians who were scattered throughout Egypt. Fir`awn and his people chose from them, summoned them, and Fir`awn promised them great rewards. These magicians were very eager to prevail over Musa in front of Fir`awn, so that they might become closer to him. Musa neither knew any of them nor ﷺ or met them before. Fir`awn knew that, but he claimed otherwise to deceive the ignorant masses of his kingdom, just as Allah described them,
فَاسۡتَخَفَّ قَوۡمَهُ فَأَطَاعُوهُ
(Thus he (Fir`awn) fooled his people, and they obeyed him. (43:54) Certainly, a people who believed Fir`awn in his statement,
أَنَا رَبُّكُمُ الاَۡعۡلَى
(I am your lord, most high). (79:24), are among the most ignorant and misguided creatures of Allah.
In his Tafsir, As-Suddi reported that Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn Abbas, and several other Companions, commented,
إِنَّ هَـذَا لَمَكۡرٌ مَّكَرۡتُمُوهُ فِي الۡمَدِينَةِ
(Surely, this is a plot which you have plotted in the city...),
""Musa met the leader of the magicians and said to him, `If I defeat you, will you believe in me and bear witness that what I brought is the truth.'
The magician said, `Tomorrow, I will produce a type of magic that cannot be defeated by another magic. By Allah! If you defeat me, I will believe in you and testify to your truth.'
Fir`awn was watching them, and this is why he said what he said.""
لِتُخۡرِجُواۡ مِنۡهَا أَهۡلَهَا
(to drive out its people),
means, so that you all cooperate to gain influence and power, replacing the chiefs and masters of this land. In this case, power in the state will be yours,
""but you shall come to know,""
what I will do to you.
He then explained his threat
لاأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيۡدِيَكُمۡ وَأَرۡجُلَكُم مِّنۡ خِلأَفٍ
""Surely, I will cut off your hands and your feet from opposite sides.""
by cutting the right hand and the left leg or the opposite,
ثُمَّ لاُصَلِّبَنَّكُمۡ أَجۡمَعِينَ
""then I will crucify you all.""
just as he said in another Ayah,
فِى جُذُوعِ النَّخۡلِ
""Fi the trunks of date palms."" (20:71)
Fi in this Ayah means ""on"".
Ibn Abbas said that Fir`awn was the first to crucify and cut off hands and legs on opposite sides.
The magicians said,
قَالُواۡ إِنَّا إِلَى رَبِّنَا مُنقَلِبُونَ
وَمَا تَنقِمُ مِنَّا إِلاَّ أَنۡ امَنَّا بِأيَاتِ رَبِّنَا لَمَّا جَاءتۡنَا
They said:""Verily, we are returning to our Lord. And you take vengeance on us only because we believed in the Ayat of our Lord when they reached us!
They said, `We are now sure that we will go back to Allah. Certainly, Allah's punishment is more severe than your punishment and His torment for what you are calling us to, this day, and the magic you forced us to practice, is greater than your torment. Therefore, we will observe patience in the face of your punishment today, so that we are saved from Allah's torment.'
رَبَّنَا أَفۡرِغۡ عَلَيۡنَا صَبۡرًا
""Our Lord! pour out on us patience,""
with your religion and being firm in it,
""and cause us to die as Muslims.""
as followers of Your Prophet Musa, peace be upon him.
They also said to Fir`awn,
قَالُواۡ لَن نُّوۡثِرَكَ عَلَى مَا جَأءَنَا مِنَ الۡبَيِّنَـتِ وَالَّذِى فَطَرَنَا فَاقۡضِ مَأ أَنتَ قَاضٍ إِنَّمَا تَقۡضِى هَـذِهِ الۡحَيَوةَ الدُّنۡيَأ
إِنَّأ امَنَّا بِرَبِّنَا لِيَغۡفِرَ لَنَا خَطَـيَـنَا وَمَأ أَكۡرَهۡتَنَا عَلَيۡهِ مِنَ السِّحۡرِ وَاللَّهُ خَيۡرٌ وَأَبۡقَى
إِنَّهُ مَن يَأۡتِ رَبَّهُ مُجۡرِماً فَإِنَّ لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ لَا يَمُوتُ فِيهَا وَلَا يَحۡيَى
وَمَن يَأۡتِهِ مُوۡمِناً قَدۡ عَمِلَ الصَّـلِحَـتِ فَأُوۡلَـيِكَ لَهُمُ الدَّرَجَـتُ الۡعُلَى
""So decide whatever you desire to decree, for you can only decide for the life of this world. Verily, we have believed in our Lord, that He may forgive us our faults, and the magic to which you did compel us. And Allah is better (to reward) and more lasting (in punishment).
Verily, whoever comes to his Lord as a criminal, then surely, for him is Hell, wherein he will neither die nor live. But whoever comes to Him (Allah) as a believer, and has done righteous good deeds, for such are the high ranks (in the Hereafter). (20:72-75)
The magicians started the day as sorcerers and ended as honorable martyrs!
Ibn Abbas, Ubayd bin Umayr, Qatadah and Ibn Jurayj commented,
""They started the day as sorcerers and ended it as martyrs."""
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