Surah Taha In Arabic
طه ﴿1﴾ مَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لِتَشْقَىٰ ﴿2﴾ إِلَّا تَذْكِرَةً لِمَنْ يَخْشَىٰ ﴿3﴾ تَنْزِيلًا مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ الْأَرْضَ وَالسَّمَاوَاتِ الْعُلَى ﴿4﴾ الرَّحْمَٰنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَىٰ ﴿5﴾ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَمَا تَحْتَ الثَّرَىٰ ﴿6﴾ وَإِنْ تَجْهَرْ بِالْقَوْلِ فَإِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ وَأَخْفَى ﴿7﴾ اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ ﴿8﴾ وَهَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ مُوسَىٰ ﴿9﴾ إِذْ رَأَىٰ نَارًا فَقَالَ لِأَهْلِهِ امْكُثُوا إِنِّي آنَسْتُ نَارًا لَعَلِّي آتِيكُمْ مِنْهَا بِقَبَسٍ أَوْ أَجِدُ عَلَى النَّارِ هُدًى ﴿10﴾ فَلَمَّا أَتَاهَا نُودِيَ يَا مُوسَىٰ ﴿11﴾ إِنِّي أَنَا رَبُّكَ فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ ۖ إِنَّكَ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى ﴿12﴾ وَأَنَا اخْتَرْتُكَ فَاسْتَمِعْ لِمَا يُوحَىٰ ﴿13﴾ إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي ﴿14﴾ إِنَّ السَّاعَةَ آتِيَةٌ أَكَادُ أُخْفِيهَا لِتُجْزَىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا تَسْعَىٰ ﴿15﴾ فَلَا يَصُدَّنَّكَ عَنْهَا مَنْ لَا يُؤْمِنُ بِهَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ فَتَرْدَىٰ ﴿16﴾ وَمَا تِلْكَ بِيَمِينِكَ يَا مُوسَىٰ ﴿17﴾ قَالَ هِيَ عَصَايَ أَتَوَكَّأُ عَلَيْهَا وَأَهُشُّ بِهَا عَلَىٰ غَنَمِي وَلِيَ فِيهَا مَآرِبُ أُخْرَىٰ ﴿18﴾ قَالَ أَلْقِهَا يَا مُوسَىٰ ﴿19﴾ فَأَلْقَاهَا فَإِذَا هِيَ حَيَّةٌ تَسْعَىٰ ﴿20﴾ قَالَ خُذْهَا وَلَا تَخَفْ ۖ سَنُعِيدُهَا سِيرَتَهَا الْأُولَىٰ ﴿21﴾ وَاضْمُمْ يَدَكَ إِلَىٰ جَنَاحِكَ تَخْرُجْ بَيْضَاءَ مِنْ غَيْرِ سُوءٍ آيَةً أُخْرَىٰ ﴿22﴾ لِنُرِيَكَ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا الْكُبْرَى ﴿23﴾ اذْهَبْ إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَىٰ ﴿24﴾ قَالَ رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي ﴿25﴾ وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي ﴿26﴾ وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِنْ لِسَانِي ﴿27﴾ يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي ﴿28﴾ وَاجْعَلْ لِي وَزِيرًا مِنْ أَهْلِي ﴿29﴾ هَارُونَ أَخِي ﴿30﴾ اشْدُدْ بِهِ أَزْرِي ﴿31﴾ وَأَشْرِكْهُ فِي أَمْرِي ﴿32﴾ كَيْ نُسَبِّحَكَ كَثِيرًا ﴿33﴾ وَنَذْكُرَكَ كَثِيرًا ﴿34﴾ إِنَّكَ كُنْتَ بِنَا بَصِيرًا ﴿35﴾ قَالَ قَدْ أُوتِيتَ سُؤْلَكَ يَا مُوسَىٰ ﴿36﴾ وَلَقَدْ مَنَنَّا عَلَيْكَ مَرَّةً أُخْرَىٰ ﴿37﴾ إِذْ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ أُمِّكَ مَا يُوحَىٰ ﴿38﴾ أَنِ اقْذِفِيهِ فِي التَّابُوتِ فَاقْذِفِيهِ فِي الْيَمِّ فَلْيُلْقِهِ الْيَمُّ بِالسَّاحِلِ يَأْخُذْهُ عَدُوٌّ لِي وَعَدُوٌّ لَهُ ۚ وَأَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةً مِنِّي وَلِتُصْنَعَ عَلَىٰ عَيْنِي ﴿39﴾ إِذْ تَمْشِي أُخْتُكَ فَتَقُولُ هَلْ أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَىٰ مَنْ يَكْفُلُهُ ۖ فَرَجَعْنَاكَ إِلَىٰ أُمِّكَ كَيْ تَقَرَّ عَيْنُهَا وَلَا تَحْزَنَ ۚ وَقَتَلْتَ نَفْسًا فَنَجَّيْنَاكَ مِنَ الْغَمِّ وَفَتَنَّاكَ فُتُونًا ۚ فَلَبِثْتَ سِنِينَ فِي أَهْلِ مَدْيَنَ ثُمَّ جِئْتَ عَلَىٰ قَدَرٍ يَا مُوسَىٰ ﴿40﴾ وَاصْطَنَعْتُكَ لِنَفْسِي ﴿41﴾ اذْهَبْ أَنْتَ وَأَخُوكَ بِآيَاتِي وَلَا تَنِيَا فِي ذِكْرِي ﴿42﴾ اذْهَبَا إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَىٰ ﴿43﴾ فَقُولَا لَهُ قَوْلًا لَيِّنًا لَعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَىٰ ﴿44﴾ قَالَا رَبَّنَا إِنَّنَا نَخَافُ أَنْ يَفْرُطَ عَلَيْنَا أَوْ أَنْ يَطْغَىٰ ﴿45﴾ قَالَ لَا تَخَافَا ۖ إِنَّنِي مَعَكُمَا أَسْمَعُ وَأَرَىٰ ﴿46﴾ فَأْتِيَاهُ فَقُولَا إِنَّا رَسُولَا رَبِّكَ فَأَرْسِلْ مَعَنَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَلَا تُعَذِّبْهُمْ ۖ قَدْ جِئْنَاكَ بِآيَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكَ ۖ وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَىٰ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الْهُدَىٰ ﴿47﴾ إِنَّا قَدْ أُوحِيَ إِلَيْنَا أَنَّ الْعَذَابَ عَلَىٰ مَنْ كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلَّىٰ ﴿48﴾ قَالَ فَمَنْ رَبُّكُمَا يَا مُوسَىٰ ﴿49﴾ قَالَ رَبُّنَا الَّذِي أَعْطَىٰ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلْقَهُ ثُمَّ هَدَىٰ ﴿50﴾ قَالَ فَمَا بَالُ الْقُرُونِ الْأُولَىٰ ﴿51﴾ قَالَ عِلْمُهَا عِنْدَ رَبِّي فِي كِتَابٍ ۖ لَا يَضِلُّ رَبِّي وَلَا يَنْسَى ﴿52﴾ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ مَهْدًا وَسَلَكَ لَكُمْ فِيهَا سُبُلًا وَأَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجًا مِنْ نَبَاتٍ شَتَّىٰ ﴿53﴾ كُلُوا وَارْعَوْا أَنْعَامَكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِأُولِي النُّهَىٰ ﴿54﴾ مِنْهَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ وَفِيهَا نُعِيدُكُمْ وَمِنْهَا نُخْرِجُكُمْ تَارَةً أُخْرَىٰ ﴿55﴾ وَلَقَدْ أَرَيْنَاهُ آيَاتِنَا كُلَّهَا فَكَذَّبَ وَأَبَىٰ ﴿56﴾ قَالَ أَجِئْتَنَا لِتُخْرِجَنَا مِنْ أَرْضِنَا بِسِحْرِكَ يَا مُوسَىٰ ﴿57﴾ فَلَنَأْتِيَنَّكَ بِسِحْرٍ مِثْلِهِ فَاجْعَلْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكَ مَوْعِدًا لَا نُخْلِفُهُ نَحْنُ وَلَا أَنْتَ مَكَانًا سُوًى ﴿58﴾ قَالَ مَوْعِدُكُمْ يَوْمُ الزِّينَةِ وَأَنْ يُحْشَرَ النَّاسُ ضُحًى ﴿59﴾ فَتَوَلَّىٰ فِرْعَوْنُ فَجَمَعَ كَيْدَهُ ثُمَّ أَتَىٰ ﴿60﴾ قَالَ لَهُمْ مُوسَىٰ وَيْلَكُمْ لَا تَفْتَرُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا فَيُسْحِتَكُمْ بِعَذَابٍ ۖ وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنِ افْتَرَىٰ ﴿61﴾ فَتَنَازَعُوا أَمْرَهُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ وَأَسَرُّوا النَّجْوَىٰ ﴿62﴾ قَالُوا إِنْ هَٰذَانِ لَسَاحِرَانِ يُرِيدَانِ أَنْ يُخْرِجَاكُمْ مِنْ أَرْضِكُمْ بِسِحْرِهِمَا وَيَذْهَبَا بِطَرِيقَتِكُمُ الْمُثْلَىٰ ﴿63﴾ فَأَجْمِعُوا كَيْدَكُمْ ثُمَّ ائْتُوا صَفًّا ۚ وَقَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْيَوْمَ مَنِ اسْتَعْلَىٰ ﴿64﴾ قَالُوا يَا مُوسَىٰ إِمَّا أَنْ تُلْقِيَ وَإِمَّا أَنْ نَكُونَ أَوَّلَ مَنْ أَلْقَىٰ ﴿65﴾ قَالَ بَلْ أَلْقُوا ۖ فَإِذَا حِبَالُهُمْ وَعِصِيُّهُمْ يُخَيَّلُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ سِحْرِهِمْ أَنَّهَا تَسْعَىٰ ﴿66﴾ فَأَوْجَسَ فِي نَفْسِهِ خِيفَةً مُوسَىٰ ﴿67﴾ قُلْنَا لَا تَخَفْ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْأَعْلَىٰ ﴿68﴾ وَأَلْقِ مَا فِي يَمِينِكَ تَلْقَفْ مَا صَنَعُوا ۖ إِنَّمَا صَنَعُوا كَيْدُ سَاحِرٍ ۖ وَلَا يُفْلِحُ السَّاحِرُ حَيْثُ أَتَىٰ ﴿69﴾ فَأُلْقِيَ السَّحَرَةُ سُجَّدًا قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِرَبِّ هَارُونَ وَمُوسَىٰ ﴿70﴾ قَالَ آمَنْتُمْ لَهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ آذَنَ لَكُمْ ۖ إِنَّهُ لَكَبِيرُكُمُ الَّذِي عَلَّمَكُمُ السِّحْرَ ۖ فَلَأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ مِنْ خِلَافٍ وَلَأُصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ فِي جُذُوعِ النَّخْلِ وَلَتَعْلَمُنَّ أَيُّنَا أَشَدُّ عَذَابًا وَأَبْقَىٰ ﴿71﴾ قَالُوا لَنْ نُؤْثِرَكَ عَلَىٰ مَا جَاءَنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالَّذِي فَطَرَنَا ۖ فَاقْضِ مَا أَنْتَ قَاضٍ ۖ إِنَّمَا تَقْضِي هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا ﴿72﴾ إِنَّا آمَنَّا بِرَبِّنَا لِيَغْفِرَ لَنَا خَطَايَانَا وَمَا أَكْرَهْتَنَا عَلَيْهِ مِنَ السِّحْرِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَىٰ ﴿73﴾ إِنَّهُ مَنْ يَأْتِ رَبَّهُ مُجْرِمًا فَإِنَّ لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ لَا يَمُوتُ فِيهَا وَلَا يَحْيَىٰ ﴿74﴾ وَمَنْ يَأْتِهِ مُؤْمِنًا قَدْ عَمِلَ الصَّالِحَاتِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمُ الدَّرَجَاتُ الْعُلَىٰ ﴿75﴾ جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ جَزَاءُ مَنْ تَزَكَّىٰ ﴿76﴾ وَلَقَدْ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ مُوسَىٰ أَنْ أَسْرِ بِعِبَادِي فَاضْرِبْ لَهُمْ طَرِيقًا فِي الْبَحْرِ يَبَسًا لَا تَخَافُ دَرَكًا وَلَا تَخْشَىٰ ﴿77﴾ فَأَتْبَعَهُمْ فِرْعَوْنُ بِجُنُودِهِ فَغَشِيَهُمْ مِنَ الْيَمِّ مَا غَشِيَهُمْ ﴿78﴾ وَأَضَلَّ فِرْعَوْنُ قَوْمَهُ وَمَا هَدَىٰ ﴿79﴾ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ قَدْ أَنْجَيْنَاكُمْ مِنْ عَدُوِّكُمْ وَوَاعَدْنَاكُمْ جَانِبَ الطُّورِ الْأَيْمَنَ وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَنَّ وَالسَّلْوَىٰ ﴿80﴾ كُلُوا مِنْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَلَا تَطْغَوْا فِيهِ فَيَحِلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ غَضَبِي ۖ وَمَنْ يَحْلِلْ عَلَيْهِ غَضَبِي فَقَدْ هَوَىٰ ﴿81﴾ وَإِنِّي لَغَفَّارٌ لِمَنْ تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا ثُمَّ اهْتَدَىٰ ﴿82﴾ وَمَا أَعْجَلَكَ عَنْ قَوْمِكَ يَا مُوسَىٰ ﴿83﴾ قَالَ هُمْ أُولَاءِ عَلَىٰ أَثَرِي وَعَجِلْتُ إِلَيْكَ رَبِّ لِتَرْضَىٰ ﴿84﴾ قَالَ فَإِنَّا قَدْ فَتَنَّا قَوْمَكَ مِنْ بَعْدِكَ وَأَضَلَّهُمُ السَّامِرِيُّ ﴿85﴾ فَرَجَعَ مُوسَىٰ إِلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ غَضْبَانَ أَسِفًا ۚ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ أَلَمْ يَعِدْكُمْ رَبُّكُمْ وَعْدًا حَسَنًا ۚ أَفَطَالَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْعَهْدُ أَمْ أَرَدْتُمْ أَنْ يَحِلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ غَضَبٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُمْ مَوْعِدِي ﴿86﴾ قَالُوا مَا أَخْلَفْنَا مَوْعِدَكَ بِمَلْكِنَا وَلَٰكِنَّا حُمِّلْنَا أَوْزَارًا مِنْ زِينَةِ الْقَوْمِ فَقَذَفْنَاهَا فَكَذَٰلِكَ أَلْقَى السَّامِرِيُّ ﴿87﴾ فَأَخْرَجَ لَهُمْ عِجْلًا جَسَدًا لَهُ خُوَارٌ فَقَالُوا هَٰذَا إِلَٰهُكُمْ وَإِلَٰهُ مُوسَىٰ فَنَسِيَ ﴿88﴾ أَفَلَا يَرَوْنَ أَلَّا يَرْجِعُ إِلَيْهِمْ قَوْلًا وَلَا يَمْلِكُ لَهُمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا نَفْعًا ﴿89﴾ وَلَقَدْ قَالَ لَهُمْ هَارُونُ مِنْ قَبْلُ يَا قَوْمِ إِنَّمَا فُتِنْتُمْ بِهِ ۖ وَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ فَاتَّبِعُونِي وَأَطِيعُوا أَمْرِي ﴿90﴾ قَالُوا لَنْ نَبْرَحَ عَلَيْهِ عَاكِفِينَ حَتَّىٰ يَرْجِعَ إِلَيْنَا مُوسَىٰ ﴿91﴾ قَالَ يَا هَارُونُ مَا مَنَعَكَ إِذْ رَأَيْتَهُمْ ضَلُّوا ﴿92﴾ أَلَّا تَتَّبِعَنِ ۖ أَفَعَصَيْتَ أَمْرِي ﴿93﴾ قَالَ يَا ابْنَ أُمَّ لَا تَأْخُذْ بِلِحْيَتِي وَلَا بِرَأْسِي ۖ إِنِّي خَشِيتُ أَنْ تَقُولَ فَرَّقْتَ بَيْنَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَلَمْ تَرْقُبْ قَوْلِي ﴿94﴾ قَالَ فَمَا خَطْبُكَ يَا سَامِرِيُّ ﴿95﴾ قَالَ بَصُرْتُ بِمَا لَمْ يَبْصُرُوا بِهِ فَقَبَضْتُ قَبْضَةً مِنْ أَثَرِ الرَّسُولِ فَنَبَذْتُهَا وَكَذَٰلِكَ سَوَّلَتْ لِي نَفْسِي ﴿96﴾ قَالَ فَاذْهَبْ فَإِنَّ لَكَ فِي الْحَيَاةِ أَنْ تَقُولَ لَا مِسَاسَ ۖ وَإِنَّ لَكَ مَوْعِدًا لَنْ تُخْلَفَهُ ۖ وَانْظُرْ إِلَىٰ إِلَٰهِكَ الَّذِي ظَلْتَ عَلَيْهِ عَاكِفًا ۖ لَنُحَرِّقَنَّهُ ثُمَّ لَنَنْسِفَنَّهُ فِي الْيَمِّ نَسْفًا ﴿97﴾ إِنَّمَا إِلَٰهُكُمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ وَسِعَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا ﴿98﴾ كَذَٰلِكَ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ أَنْبَاءِ مَا قَدْ سَبَقَ ۚ وَقَدْ آتَيْنَاكَ مِنْ لَدُنَّا ذِكْرًا ﴿99﴾ مَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَنْهُ فَإِنَّهُ يَحْمِلُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وِزْرًا ﴿100﴾ خَالِدِينَ فِيهِ ۖ وَسَاءَ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ حِمْلًا ﴿101﴾ يَوْمَ يُنْفَخُ فِي الصُّورِ ۚ وَنَحْشُرُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ يَوْمَئِذٍ زُرْقًا ﴿102﴾ يَتَخَافَتُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِنْ لَبِثْتُمْ إِلَّا عَشْرًا ﴿103﴾ نَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ إِذْ يَقُولُ أَمْثَلُهُمْ طَرِيقَةً إِنْ لَبِثْتُمْ إِلَّا يَوْمًا ﴿104﴾ وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْجِبَالِ فَقُلْ يَنْسِفُهَا رَبِّي نَسْفًا ﴿105﴾ فَيَذَرُهَا قَاعًا صَفْصَفًا ﴿106﴾ لَا تَرَىٰ فِيهَا عِوَجًا وَلَا أَمْتًا ﴿107﴾ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَتَّبِعُونَ الدَّاعِيَ لَا عِوَجَ لَهُ ۖ وَخَشَعَتِ الْأَصْوَاتُ لِلرَّحْمَٰنِ فَلَا تَسْمَعُ إِلَّا هَمْسًا ﴿108﴾ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَا تَنْفَعُ الشَّفَاعَةُ إِلَّا مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وَرَضِيَ لَهُ قَوْلًا ﴿109﴾ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِهِ عِلْمًا ﴿110﴾ وَعَنَتِ الْوُجُوهُ لِلْحَيِّ الْقَيُّومِ ۖ وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنْ حَمَلَ ظُلْمًا ﴿111﴾ وَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّالِحَاتِ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَا يَخَافُ ظُلْمًا وَلَا هَضْمًا ﴿112﴾ وَكَذَٰلِكَ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا وَصَرَّفْنَا فِيهِ مِنَ الْوَعِيدِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ أَوْ يُحْدِثُ لَهُمْ ذِكْرًا ﴿113﴾ فَتَعَالَى اللَّهُ الْمَلِكُ الْحَقُّ ۗ وَلَا تَعْجَلْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يُقْضَىٰ إِلَيْكَ وَحْيُهُ ۖ وَقُلْ رَبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا ﴿114﴾ وَلَقَدْ عَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ آدَمَ مِنْ قَبْلُ فَنَسِيَ وَلَمْ نَجِدْ لَهُ عَزْمًا ﴿115﴾ وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ أَبَىٰ ﴿116﴾ فَقُلْنَا يَا آدَمُ إِنَّ هَٰذَا عَدُوٌّ لَكَ وَلِزَوْجِكَ فَلَا يُخْرِجَنَّكُمَا مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ فَتَشْقَىٰ ﴿117﴾ إِنَّ لَكَ أَلَّا تَجُوعَ فِيهَا وَلَا تَعْرَىٰ ﴿118﴾ وَأَنَّكَ لَا تَظْمَأُ فِيهَا وَلَا تَضْحَىٰ ﴿119﴾ فَوَسْوَسَ إِلَيْهِ الشَّيْطَانُ قَالَ يَا آدَمُ هَلْ أَدُلُّكَ عَلَىٰ شَجَرَةِ الْخُلْدِ وَمُلْكٍ لَا يَبْلَىٰ ﴿120﴾ فَأَكَلَا مِنْهَا فَبَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْآتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِنْ وَرَقِ الْجَنَّةِ ۚ وَعَصَىٰ آدَمُ رَبَّهُ فَغَوَىٰ ﴿121﴾ ثُمَّ اجْتَبَاهُ رَبُّهُ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ وَهَدَىٰ ﴿122﴾ قَالَ اهْبِطَا مِنْهَا جَمِيعًا ۖ بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ ۖ فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ مِنِّي هُدًى فَمَنِ اتَّبَعَ هُدَايَ فَلَا يَضِلُّ وَلَا يَشْقَىٰ ﴿123﴾ وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَنْ ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنْكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَىٰ ﴿124﴾ قَالَ رَبِّ لِمَ حَشَرْتَنِي أَعْمَىٰ وَقَدْ كُنْتُ بَصِيرًا ﴿125﴾ قَالَ كَذَٰلِكَ أَتَتْكَ آيَاتُنَا فَنَسِيتَهَا ۖ وَكَذَٰلِكَ الْيَوْمَ تُنْسَىٰ ﴿126﴾ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي مَنْ أَسْرَفَ وَلَمْ يُؤْمِنْ بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِ ۚ وَلَعَذَابُ الْآخِرَةِ أَشَدُّ وَأَبْقَىٰ ﴿127﴾ أَفَلَمْ يَهْدِ لَهُمْ كَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُمْ مِنَ الْقُرُونِ يَمْشُونَ فِي مَسَاكِنِهِمْ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِأُولِي النُّهَىٰ ﴿128﴾ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةٌ سَبَقَتْ مِنْ رَبِّكَ لَكَانَ لِزَامًا وَأَجَلٌ مُسَمًّى ﴿129﴾ فَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ غُرُوبِهَا ۖ وَمِنْ آنَاءِ اللَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْ وَأَطْرَافَ النَّهَارِ لَعَلَّكَ تَرْضَىٰ ﴿130﴾ وَلَا تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ إِلَىٰ مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجًا مِنْهُمْ زَهْرَةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ ۚ وَرِزْقُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَىٰ ﴿131﴾ وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا ۖ لَا نَسْأَلُكَ رِزْقًا ۖ نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُكَ ۗ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ ﴿132﴾ وَقَالُوا لَوْلَا يَأْتِينَا بِآيَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّهِ ۚ أَوَلَمْ تَأْتِهِمْ بَيِّنَةُ مَا فِي الصُّحُفِ الْأُولَىٰ ﴿133﴾ وَلَوْ أَنَّا أَهْلَكْنَاهُمْ بِعَذَابٍ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ لَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا لَوْلَا أَرْسَلْتَ إِلَيْنَا رَسُولًا فَنَتَّبِعَ آيَاتِكَ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ نَذِلَّ وَنَخْزَىٰ ﴿134﴾ قُلْ كُلٌّ مُتَرَبِّصٌ فَتَرَبَّصُوا ۖ فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ أَصْحَابُ الصِّرَاطِ السَّوِيِّ وَمَنِ اهْتَدَىٰ ﴿135﴾
Transliteration in English
Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
- Maaa anzalnaa ‘alaikal Qur-aana litashqaaa
- Illaa tazkiratal limany yakhshaa
- Tanzeelam mimman khalaqal arda was samaawaatil ‘ulaa
- Ar-Rahmaanu ‘alal ‘Arshis tawaa
- Lahoo maa fis samaawaati wa maa fil ardi wa maa bainahumaa wa maa tahtassaraa
- Wa in tajhar bilqawli fainnahoo ya’lamus sirra wa akhfaa
- Allaahu laaa ilaaha illaa huwa lahul asmaa’ul husnaa
- Wa hal ataaka hadeesu Moosa
- Iz ra aa naaran faqaala li ahlihim kusooo inneee aanastu naaral la’alleee aateekum minhaa biqabasin aw ajidu ‘alan naari hudaa
- Falammaaa ataahaa noodiya yaa Moosaa
- Inneee Ana Rabbuka fakhla’ na’laika innaka bilwaadil muqaddasi Tuwaa
- Wa anakhtartuka fastami’ limaa yoohaa
- Innaneee Anal laahu laaa ilaaha illaa Ana fa’budnee wa aqimis-salaata lizikree
- Innas Saa’ata aatiyatun akaadu ukhfeehaa litujzaa kullu nafsin bimaa tas’aa
- Falaa yasuddannaka ‘anhaa mal laa yu’minu bihaa wattaba’a hawaahu fatardaa
- Wa maa tilka bi yamee nika yaa Moosaa
- Qaala hiya ‘asaaya atawakka’u alaihaa wa ahushshu bihaa ‘alaa ghanamee wa liya feehaa ma aaribu ukhraa
- Qaala alqihaa yaa Moosaa
- Fa-alqaahaa fa -izaa hiya haiyatun tas’aa
- Qaala khuzhaa wa laa ta khaf sanu’eeduhaa seeratahal oolaa
- Wadmum yadaka ilaa janaahika takhruj baidaaa’a min ghairi sooo’in Aayatan ukhraa
- Linuriyaka min Aayaatinal Kubra
- Izhab ilaa Fir’awna innahoo taghaa (section 1)
- Qaala Rabbish rah lee sadree
- Wa yassir leee amree
- Wahlul ‘uqdatan milli saanee
- Yafqahoo qawlee
- Waj’al lee wazeeran min ahlee
- Haaroona akhee
- Ushdud biheee azree
- Wa ashrik hu feee amree
- Kai nusabbihaka kaseeraa
- Wa nazkuraka kaseeraa
- Innaka kunta binaa baseeraa
- Qaala qad ooteeta su’laka yaa Moosaa
- Wa laqad manannaa ‘alaika marratan ukhraaa
- Iz awhainaaa ilaaa ummika maa yoohaaa
- ‘Aniqzifeehi fit Taabooti faqzifeehi fil yammi fal yul qihil yammu bis saahili ya’khuzhu ‘aduwwul lee wa ‘aduwwul lah; wa alqaitu ‘alaika mahabbatan minnee wa litusna’a ‘alaa ‘ainee
- Iz tamsheee ukhtuka fataqoolu hal adullukum ‘alaa mai yakfuluhoo faraja ‘naaka ilaaa ummika kai taqarra ‘ainuhaa wa laa tahzan; wa qatalta nafsan fanajjainaaka minal ghammi wa fatannaaka futoonaa; falabista sineena feee ahli Madyana summa ji’ta ‘alaa qadariny yaa Moosa
- Wastana’ tuka linafsee
- Izhab anta wa akhooka bi Aayaatee wa laa taniyaa fee zikree
- Izhabaaa ilaa Fir’awna innahoo taghaa
- Faqoolaa lahoo qawlal laiyinal la allahoo yatazakkkaru ‘aw yakhshaa
- Qaalaa Rabbanaaa innanaa nakhaafu ai yafruta ‘alainaaa aw ai yatghaa
- Qaala laa takhaafaaa innanee ma’akumaa asma’u wa araa
- Faatiyaahu faqoolaaa innaa Rasoolaa Rabbika fa arsil ma’anaa Banee Israaa’eela wa laa tu’azzibhum qad ji’naaka bi Aayatim mir Rabbika wassa laamu ‘alaa manit taba’al hudaa
- Innaa qad oohiya ilainaaa annnal ‘azaaba ‘alaa man kaz zaba wa tawalla
- Qaala famar Rabbu kumaa yaa Moosa
- Qaala Rabbunal lazeee a’taa kulla shai’in khalqahoo summa hadaa
- Qaala famaa baalul quroonil oolaa
- Qaala ‘ilmuhaa ‘inda Rabee fee kitaab, laa yadillu Rabbee wa laa yansaa
- Allazee ja’ala lakumul arda mahdanw wa salaka lakum feehaa subulanw wa anzala minas samaaa’i maaa’an fa akhrajnaa biheee azwaajam min nabaatin shatta
- Kuloo war’aw an’aamakum; inna fee zaalika la Aayaatil li ulin nuhaa (section 2)
- Minhaa khalaqnaakum wa feehaa nu’eedukum wa minhaa nukhrijukum taaratan ukhraa
- Wa laqad arainaahu Aayaatinaa kullahaa fakaz zaba wa abaa
- Qaala aji’tanaa litukhri janaa min ardinaa bisihrika yaa Moosa
- Falanaatiyannaka bisihrim mislihee faj’al bainanaa wa bainaka maw’idal laa nukhlifuhoo nahnu wa laaa anta makaanan suwaa
- Qaala maw’idukum yawmuz zeenati wa ai yuhsharan naasu duhaa
- Fatawallaa Fir’awnu fajjama’a kaidahoo summa ataa
- Qaala lahum Moosaa wailakum laa taftaroo ‘alal laahi kaziban fa yus hitakum bi ‘azaab, wa qad khaaba manif taraa
- Fatanaaza’ooo amrahum bainahum wa asarrun najwaa
- Qaalooo in haaazaani lasaahiraani yureedaani ai yukhrijaakum min ardikum bisihrihimaa wa yazhabaa bitareeqatikumul muslaa
- Fa ajmi’oo kaidakum summma’too saffaa; wa qad aflahal yawma manis ta’laa
- Qaaloo yaa Moosaaa immaaa an tulqiya wa immaaa an nakoona awala man alqaa
- Qaala bal alqoo fa izaa hibaaluhum wa ‘isiyyuhum yukhaiyalu ilaihi min sihrihim annahaa tas’aa
- Fa awjasa fee nafsihee kheefatam Moosa
- Qulnaa laa takhaf innaka antal a’laa
- Wa alqi maa fee yamee nika talqaf maa sana’oo; innamaa sana’oo kaidu saahir; wa laa yuflihus saahiru haisu ataa
- Fa ulqiyas saharatu sujjadan qaalooo aamannaa bi Rabbi Haaroona wa Moosa
- Qaala aamantum lahoo qabla an aazana lakum; innahoo lakabeerukumul lazee ‘allama kumus sihra fala uqatti’anna aidiyakum wa arjulakum min khilaafinw wa la usallibannakum fee juzoo’in nakhli wa lata’lamunna aiyunaaa ashaddu ‘azaabanw wa abqaa
- Qaaloo lan nu’siraka ‘alaa maa jaaa’anaa minal baiyinaati wallazee fataranaa faqdimaaa anta qaad; innamaa taqdee haazihil hayaatad dunyaa
- Innaaa aamannaa bi Rabbinaa liyaghfira lanaa khataayaanaa wa maaa akrahtanaa ‘alaihi minas sihr; wallaahu khairunw wa abqaa
- Innahoo mai ya’ti Rabbahoo mujriman fa inna lahoo Jahannama laa yamootu feehaa wa laa yahyaa
- Wa mai ya’tihee mu’minan qad ‘amilas saalihaati fa ulaaa’ika lahumud darajaatul ‘ulaa
- Jannaatu ‘Adnin tajree min tahtihal anhaaru khaalideena feehaa; wa zaalika jazaaa’u man tazakka (section 3)
- Wa laqad awhainaaa ilaa Moosaaa an asri bi’ibaadee fadrib lahum tareeqan fil bahri yabasal laa takhaafu darakanw wa laa takhshaa
- Fa atba’ahum Fir’awnu bijunoodihee faghashiyahum minal yammmi maa ghashi yahum
- wa adalla fir’awnu qawmahoo wa maa hadaa
- Yaa Baneee Israaa’eela qad anjainaakum min ‘aduw wikum wa wa’adnaakum jaanibat Tooril aimana wa nazzalnaa ‘alaikumul Manna was Salwaa
- Kuloo min taiyibaati maa razaqnaakum wa laa tatghaw feehi fa yahilla ‘alaikum ghadabee wa mai yahlil ‘alaihi ghadabee faqad hawaa
- Wa innee la Ghaffaarul liman taaba wa aamana wa ‘amila saalihan summah tadaa
- Wa maaa a’jalaka ‘an qawmika yaa Moosa
- Qaala hum ulaaa’i ‘alaaa asaree wa ‘ajiltu ilaika Rabbi litardaa
- Qaala fa innaa qad fatannaa qawmaka mim ba’dika wa adallahumus Saamiriyy
- Faraja’a Moosaaa ilaa qawmihee ghadbaana asifaa; qaala yaa qawmi alam ya’idkum Rabbukum wa’dan hasanaa; afataala ‘alaikumul ‘ahdu am arattum ai yahilla ‘alaikum ghadabum mir Rabbikum fa akhlaftum maw’idee
- Qaaloo maaa akhlafnaa maw’idaka bimalkinna wa laakinna hummilnaaa awzaaram min zeenatil qawmi faqazafnaahaa fakazaalika alqas Saamiriyy
- Fa akhraja lahum ‘ijlan jasadal lahoo khuwaarun faqaaloo haazaaa ilaahukum wa ilaahu Moosaa fanasee
- Afalaa yarawna allaa yarji’u ilaihim qawlanw wa laa yamliku lahum darranw wa laa naf’aa (section 4)
- Wa laqad qaala lahum Haaroonu min qablu yaa qawmi innamaa futintum bihee wa inna Rabbakumur Rahmaanu fattabi’oonee wa atee’ooo amree
- Qaaloo lan nabraha ‘alaihi ‘aakifeena hattaa yarji’a ilainaa Moosaa
- Qaala Yaa Haaroonu maa mana ‘aka iz ra aitahum dallooo
- Allaa tattabi’ani afa’asaita amree
- Qaala yabna’umma laa ta’khuz bi lihyatee wa laa bi ra’see innee khasheetu an taqoola farraqta baina Baneee Israaa’eela wa lam tarqub qawlee
- Qaala famaa khatbuka yaa Saamiriyy
- Qaala basurtu bimaa lam yabsuroo bihee faqabadtu qabdatam min asarir Rasooli fanabaztuhaa wa kazaalika sawwalat lee nafsee
- Qaala fazhab fa inna laka fil hayaati an taqoola laa misaasa wa inna laka maw’idal lan tukhlafahoo wanzur ilaaa ilaahikal lazee zalta ‘alaihi ‘aakifaa; la nuharriqannahoo thumma la nansifannahoo fil yammi nasfaa
- Innamaaa ilaahu kumul laahul lazee laa ilaaha illaa Hoo; wasi’a kulla shai’in ilmaa
- Kazaalika naqussu ‘alaika min anbaaa’i maa qad sabaq; wa qad aatainaaka mil ladunnaa Zikraa
- Man a’rada ‘anhu, fa innahoo yahmilu Yawmal Qiyaamati wizraa
- Khaalideena feehi wa saaa’a lahum Yawmal Qiyaamati himlaa
- Yawma yunfakhu fissoori wa nahshurul mujrimeena Yawma ‘izin zurqaa
- Yatakhaafatoona bainahum il labistum illaa ‘ashraa
- nahnu a’lamu bimaa yaqooloona iz yaqoolu amsaluhum tareeqatan illabistum illaa yawmaa (section 5)
- Wa yas’aloonaka ‘anil jibaali faqul yansifuhaa Rabbee nasfaa
- Fa yazaruhaa qaa’an safsafaa
- Laa taraa feehaa ‘iwajanw wa laaa amtaa
- Yawma iziny yattabi’oonad daa’iya laa ‘iwaja lahoo wa khasha’atil aswaatu lir Rahmaani falaa tasma’u illaa hamsaa
- Yawma ‘izil laa tanfa’ush shafaa’atu illaa man azina lahur Rahmaanu wa radiya lahoo qawlaa
- Ya’lamu maa bainaa aideehim wa maa khalfahum wa laa yuheetoona bihee ‘ilmaa
- Wa ‘anatil wujoohu lil Haiiyil Qaiyoomi wa qad khaaba man hamala zulmaa
- Wa mai ya’mal minas saalihaati wa huwa mu’minun falaa yakhaafu zulmanw wa laa hadmaa
- Wa kazaalika anzalnaahu Qur-aanan ‘Arabiyyanw wa sarrafnaa fee hi minal wa’eedi la’allahum yattaqoona aw yuhdisu lahum zikraa
- Fata’aalal laahul Malikul Haqq; wa laa ta’jal bil Quraani min qabli ai yuqdaaa ilaika wahyuhoo wa qur Rabbi zidnee ‘ilmaa
- Wa laqad ‘ahidnaaa ilaaa Aadama min qablu fanasiya wa lam najid lahoo ‘azmaa (section 6)
- Wa iz qulnaa lilma laaa’ikatis judoo li Aadama fasajadooo illaaa Ibleesa; abaa
- Faqulnaa yaaa Aadamu inna haazaa ‘aduwwul laka wa lizawjika falaa yukhrijan nakumaa minal Jannati fatashqaa
- Innaa laka allaa tajoo’a feeha wa laa ta’raa
- Wa annaka laa tazma’u feehaa wa laa tadhaa
- Fa waswasa ilaihish Shaitaanu qaala yaaa Aadamu hal adulluka ‘alaa shajaratil khuldi wa mulkil laa yablaa
- Fa akalaa minhaa fabadat lahumaa saw aatuhumaa wa tafiqaa yakhsifaani ‘alaihimaa minw waraqil jannah; wa ‘asaaa Aadamu Rabbahoo faghawaa
- Summaj tabbahu Rabbuhoo fataaba ‘alaihi wa hadaa
- Qaalah bita minhaa jamee’am ba’dukum liba’din ‘aduww; fa immaa ya’tiyannakum minnee hudan famanit taba’a hudaaya falaa yadillu wa laa yashqaa
- Wa man a’rada ‘an Zikree fa inna lahoo ma’eeshatan dankanw wa nahshuruhoo Yawmal Qiyaamati a’maa
- Qaala Rabbi lima hashar tanee a’maa wa qad kuntu baseeraa
- Qaala kazaalika atatka Aayaatunaa fanaseetahaa wa kazaalikal Yawma tunsaa
- Wa kazaalika najzee man asrafa wa lam yu’min bi Aayaati Rabbih; wa la’azaabul Aakhirati ashaddu wa abqaa
- Afalam yahdi lahum kam ahlaknaa qablahum minal qurooni yamshoona fee masaakinihim; inna fee zaalika la Aayaatil li ulinnuhaa (section 7)
- Wa law laa Kalimatun sabaqat mir Rabbika lakaana lizaamanw wa ‘ajalun musammaa
- Fasbir ‘alaa maa yaqooloona wa sabbih bihamdi Rabbika qabla tuloo’ish shamsi wa qabla ghuroobihaa wa min aanaaa’il laili fasabbih wa atraafan nahaari la ‘allaka tardaa
- Wa laa tamuddanna ‘ainaika ilaa ma matta’na biheee azwajam minhum zahratal hayaatid dunya linaftinahum feeh; wa rizqu Rabbika khairunw wa abqaa
- Wa’mur ahlaka bis Salaati wastabir ‘alaihaa laa nas’aluka rizqaa; nahnu narzuquk; wal ‘aaqibatu littaqwaa
- Wa qaaloo law laa ya’teenaa bi aayatin mir Rabbih; awa lam ta’tihim baiyinatu maa fis suhufil oolaa
- Wa law annaaa ahlaknaahum bi ‘azaabin min qablihee laqaaloo Rabbanaa law laaa arsalta ilainaa Rasoolan fanattabi’a Aayaatika min qabli an nazilla wa nakhzaa
- Qul kullum mutarabbisun fa tarabbasoo fa sa ta’lamoona man Ashaabus Siraatis Sawiyyi wa manih tadaa (section 8) (End Juz 16)
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
- We have not revealed unto thee (Muhammad) this Qur’an that thou shouldst be distressed,
- But as a reminder unto him who feareth,
- A revelation from Him Who created the earth and the high heavens,
- The Beneficent One, Who is established on the Throne.
- Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, and whatsoever is between them, and whatsoever is beneath the sod.
- And if thou speakest aloud, then lo! He knoweth the secret (thought) and (that which is yet) more hidden.
- Allah! There is no Allah save Him. His are the most beautiful names.
- Hath there come unto thee the story of Moses?
- When he saw a fire and said unto his folk: Lo! Wait! I see a fire afar off. Peradventure I may bring you a brand therefrom or may find guidance at the fire.
- And when he reached it, he was called by name: O Moses!
- Lo! I, even I, am thy Lord, So take off thy shoes, for lo! thou art in the holy valley of Tuwa.
- And I have chosen thee, so hearken unto that which is inspired.
- Lo! I, even I, am Allah, There is no Allah save Me. So serve Me and establish worship for My remembrance.
- Lo! the Hour is surely coming. But I will to keep it hidden, that every soul may be rewarded for that which it striveth (to achieve).
- Therefor, let not him turn thee aside from (the thought of) it who believeth not therein but followeth his own desire, lest thou perish.
- And what is that in thy right hand, O Moses?
- He said: This is my staff whereon I lean, and wherewith I bear down branches for my sheep, and wherein I find other uses.
- He said: Cast it down, O Moses!
- So he cast it down, and lo! it was a serpent, gliding.
- He said: Grasp it and fear not. We shall return it to its former state.
- And thrust thy hand within thine armpit, it will come forth white without hurt. (That will be) another token.
- That We may show thee (some) of Our greater portents,
- Go thou unto Pharaoh! Lo! he hath transgressed (the bounds).
- (Moses) said: My Lord! relieve my mind
- And ease my task for me;
- And loose a knot from my tongue,
- That they may understand my saying.
- Appoint for me a henchman from my folk,
- Aaron, my brother.
- Confirm my strength with him
- And let him share my task,
- That we may glorify Thee much
- And much remember Thee.
- Lo! Thou art ever Seeing us.
- He said: Thou art granted thy request, O Moses.
- And indeed, another time, already We have shown thee favour,
- When we inspired in thy mother that which is inspired,
- Saying: Throw him into the ark, and throw it into the river, then the river shall throw it on to the bank, and there an enemy to Me and an enemy to him shall take him. And I endued thee with love from Me that thou mightest be trained according to My will,
- When thy sister went and said: Shall I show you one who will nurse him? and we restored thee to thy mother that her eyes might be refreshed and might not sorrow. And thou didst kill a man and We delivered thee from great distress, and tried thee with a heavy trial. And thou didst tarry years among the folk of Midian. Then camest thou (hither) by (My) providence, O Moses,
- And I have attached thee to Myself.
- Go, thou and thy brother, with My tokens, and be not faint in remembrance of Me.
- Go, both of you, unto Pharaoh. Lo! he hath transgressed (the bounds).
- And speak unto him a gentle word, that peradventure he may heed or fear.
- They said: Our Lord! Lo! we fear that he may be beforehand with us or that he may play the tyrant.
- He said: Fear not. Lo! I am with you twain, Hearing and Seeing.
- So go ye unto him and say: Lo! we are two messengers of thy Lord. So let the children of Israel go with us, and torment them not. We bring thee a token from thy Lord. And peace will be for him who followeth right guidance.
- Lo! it hath been revealed unto us that the doom will be for him who denieth and turneth away.
- (Pharaoh) said: Who then is the Lord of you twain, O Moses?
- He said: Our Lord is He Who gave unto everything its nature, then guided it aright.
- He said: What then is the state of the generations of old?
- He said: The knowledge thereof is with my Lord in a Record. My Lord neither erreth nor forgetteth,
- Who hath appointed the earth as a bed and hath threaded roads for you therein and hath sent down water from the sky and thereby We have brought forth divers kinds of vegetation,
- (Saying): Eat ye and feed your cattle. Lo! herein verily are portents for men of thought.
- Thereof We created you, and thereunto We return you, and thence We bring you forth a second time.
- And We verily did show him all Our tokens, but he denied them and refused.
- He said: Hast come to drive us out from our land by thy magic, O Moses?
- But we surely can produce for thee magic the like thereof; so appoint a tryst between us and you, which neither we nor thou shall fail to keep, at a place convenient (to us both).
- (Moses) said: Your tryst shall be the day of the feast, and let the people assemble when the sun hath risen high.
- Then Pharaoh went and gathered his strength, then came (to the appointed tryst).
- Moses said unto them: Woe unto you! Invent not a lie against Allah, lest He extirpate you by some punishment. He who lieth faileth miserably.
- Then they debated one with another what they must do, and they kept their counsel secret.
- They said: Lo! these are two wizards who would drive you out from your country by their magic, and destroy your best traditions;
- So arrange your plan, and come in battle line. Whoso is uppermost this day will be indeed successful.
- They said: O Moses! Either throw first, or let us be the first to throw?
- He said: Nay, do ye throw! Then lo! their cords and their staves, by their magic, appeared to him as though they ran.
- And Moses conceived a fear in his mind.
- We said: Fear not! Lo! thou art the higher.
- Throw that which is in thy right hand! It will eat up that which they have made. Lo! that which they have made is but a wizard’s artifice, and a wizard shall not be successful to whatever point (of skill) he may attain.
- Then the wizards were (all) flung down prostrate, crying: We believe in the Lord of Aaron and Moses.
- (Pharaoh) said: Ye put faith in him before I give you leave. Lo! he is your chief who taught you magic. Now surely I shall cut off your hands and your feet alternately, and I shall crucify you on the trunks of palm trees, and ye shall know for certain which of us hath sterner and more lasting punishment.
- They said: We choose thee not above the clear proofs that have come unto us, and above Him Who created us. So decree what thou wilt decree. Thou wilt end for us only this life of the world.
- Lo! we believe in our Lord, that He may forgive us our sins and the magic unto which thou didst force us. Allah is better and more lasting.
- Lo! whoso cometh guilty unto his Lord, verily for him is hell. There he will neither die nor live.
- But whoso cometh unto Him a believer, having done good works, for such are the high stations;
- Gardens of Eden underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide for ever. That is the reward of him who groweth.
- And verily We inspired Moses, saying: Take away My slaves by night and strike for them a dry path in the sea, fearing not to be overtaken, neither being afraid (of the sea).
- Then Pharaoh followed them with his hosts and there covered them that which did cover them of the sea.
- And Pharaoh led his folk astray, he did not guide them.
- O Children of Israel! We delivered you from your enemy, and we made a covenant with you on the holy mountain’s side, and sent down on you the manna and the quails,
- (Saying): Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and transgress not in respect thereof lest My wrath come upon you: and he on whom My wrath cometh, he is lost indeed.
- And lo! verily I am Forgiving toward him who repenteth and believeth and doeth good, and afterward walketh aright.
- And (it was said): What hath made thee hasten from thy folk, O Moses?
- He said: They are close upon my track. I hastened unto Thee, my Lord, that Thou mightest be well pleased.
- He said: Lo! We have tried thy folk in thine absence, and As-Samiri hath misled them.
- Then Moses went back unto his folk, angry and sad. He said: O my people! Hath not your Lord promised you a fair promise? Did the time appointed then appear too long for you, or did ye wish that wrath from your Lord should come upon you, that ye broke tryst with me?
- They said: We broke not tryst with thee of our own will, but we were laden with burdens of ornaments of the folk, then cast them (in the fire), for thus As-Samiri proposed.
- Then he produced for them a calf, of saffron hue, which gave forth a lowing sound. And they cried: This is your god and the god of Moses, but he hath forgotten.
- See they not, then, that it returneth no saying unto them and possesseth for them neither hurt nor use?
- And Aaron indeed had told them beforehand: O my people! Ye are but being seduced therewith, for lo! your Lord is the Beneficent, so follow me and obey my order.
- They said: We shall by no means cease to be its votaries till Moses return unto us.
- He (Moses) said: O Aaron! What held thee back when thou didst see them gone astray,
- That thou followedst me not? Hast thou then disobeyed my order?
- He said: O son of my mother! Clutch not my beard nor my head! I feared lest thou shouldst say: Thou hast caused division among the Children of Israel, and hast not waited for my word.
- (Moses) said: And what hast thou to say, O Samiri?
- He said: I perceived what they perceive not, so I seized a handful from the footsteps of the messenger, and then threw it in. Thus my soul commended to me.
- (Moses) said: Then go! and lo! in this life it is for thee to say: Touch me not! and lo! there is for thee a tryst thou canst not break. Now look upon thy god of which thou hast remained a votary. Verily we will burn it and will scatter its dust over the sea.
- Your Allah is only Allah, than Whom there is no other Allah. He embraceth all things in His knowledge.
- Thus relate We unto thee (Muhammad) some tidings of that which happened of old, and We have given thee from Our presence a reminder.
- Whoso turneth away from it, he verily will bear a burden on the Day of Resurrection,
- Abiding under it – an evil burden for them on the Day of Resurrection,
- The day when the Trumpet is blown. On that day we assemble the guilty white-eyed (with terror),
- Murmuring among themselves: Ye have tarried but ten (days).
- We are Best Aware of what they utter when their best in conduct say: Ye have tarried but a day.
- They will ask thee of the mountains (on that day). Say: My Lord will break them into scattered dust.
- And leave it as an empty plain,
- Wherein thou seest neither curve nor ruggedness.
- On that day they follow the summoner who deceiveth not, and voices are hushed for the Beneficent, and thou hearest but a faint murmur.
- On that day no intercession availeth save (that of) him unto whom the Beneficent hath given leave and whose word He accepteth.
- He knoweth (all) that is before them and (all) that is behind them, while they cannot compass it in knowledge.
- And faces humble themselves before the Living, the Eternal. And he who beareth (a burden of) wrongdoing is indeed a failure (on that day).
- And he who hath done some good works, being a believer, he feareth not injustice nor begrudging (of his wage).
- Thus we have revealed it as a Lecture in Arabic, and have displayed therein certain threats, that peradventure they may keep from evil or that it may cause them to take heed.
- Then exalted be Allah, the True King! And hasten not ( O Muhammad) with the Qur’an ere its revelation hath been perfected unto thee, and say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.
- And verily We made a covenant of old with Adam, but he forgot, and We found no constancy in him.
- And when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, they fell prostrate (all) save Iblis; he refused.
- Therefor we said: O Adam! This is an enemy unto thee and unto thy wife, so let him not drive you both out of the Garden so that thou come to toil.
- It is (vouchsafed) unto thee that thou hungerest not therein nor art naked,
- And that thou thirstest not therein nor art exposed to the sun’s heat.
- But the devil whispered to him, saying: O Adam! Shall I show thee the tree of immortality and power that wasteth not away?
- Then they twain ate thereof, so that their shame became apparent unto them, and they began to hide by heaping on themselves some of the leaves of the Garden. And Adam disobeyed his Lord, so went astray.
- Then his Lord chose him, and relented toward him, and guided him.
- He said: Go down hence, both of you, one of you a foe unto the other. But when there come unto you from Me a guidance, then whoso followeth My guidance, he will not go astray nor come to grief.
- But he who turneth away from remembrance of Me, his will be a narrow life, and I shall bring him blind to the assembly on the Day of Resurrection.
- He will say: My Lord! Wherefor hast Thou gathered me (hither) blind, when I was wont to see?
- He will say: So (it must be). Our revelations came unto thee but thou didst forget them. In like manner thou art forgotten this Day.
- Thus do We reward him who is prodigal and believeth not the revelations of his Lord; and verily the doom of the Hereafter will be sterner and more lasting.
- Is it not a guidance for them (to know) how many a generation We destroyed before them, amid whose dwellings they walk? Lo! therein verily are signs for men of thought.
- And but for a decree that had already gone forth from thy Lord, and a term already fixed, the judgment would have been inevitable (in this world).
- Therefor ( O Muhammad), bear with what they say, and celebrate the praise of thy Lord ere the rising of the sun and ere the going down thereof. And glorify Him some hours of the night and at the two ends of the day, that thou mayst find acceptance.
- And strain not thine eyes toward that which We cause some wedded pairs among them to enjoy, the flower of the life of the world, that We may try them thereby. The provision of thy Lord is better and more lasting.
- And enjoin upon thy people worship, and be constant therein. We ask not of thee a provision: We provided for thee. And the sequel is for righteousness.
- And they say: If only he would bring us a miracle from his Lord! Hath there not come unto them the proof of what is in the former scriptures?
- And if we had destroyed them with some punishment before it, they would assuredly have said: Our Lord! If only Thou hadst sent unto us a messenger, so that we might have followed Thy revelations before we were (thus) humbled and disgraced!
- Say: Each is awaiting; so await ye! Ye will come to know who are the owners of the path of equity, and who is right.
[From Holy Quran Translation by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall]
طه (Ta-Ha) Many Commentators have assigned different meanings to this word. Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) thinks it means یا رجُل (0 man! ) while according to Ibn ` Umar (رض) it means یا حبیبی (0 my Dear! ). It is also suggested that طه and یٰسین are the names of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . However the most obvious explanation is the one given by Sayyidna Abu Bakr (رض) and the majority of scholars, namely that like many other isolated letters appearing at the beginning of several chapters of the Qur’ an (such as الٓمٓ), this word is also among the مُتَشابِھَات mysteries whose meaning is known only to Allah Ta’ ala.
مَآ اَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْاٰنَ لِتَشْقٰٓي
مَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لِتَشْقَىٰ (We did not reveal the Qur’an to you to [ make you ] face hardship – 20:2) The word لِتَشْقَىٰ is derived from شقاء which means pain and distress. In the early days of Islam when the Qur’an was first revealed, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and his Companions (رض) used to spend whole nights in prayers and in reciting the Qur’an, as a result of which his feet used to get swollen due to standing for long hours in the prayers. Whereas during day time he would worry himself on how to bring light to the infidels in order that they should accept the teachings of the Qur’ an. This verse seeks to lessen the burden of long hours of prayers by informing the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) that the Qur’ an was not revealed to inflict toil and hardship on him and that it was not expected of him to stay awake the whole night reciting the Qur’an. Thereafter, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) adopted a routine by which he rested in the early hours of the night and would get up later to offer the salah of tahajjud.
This verse also suggests that the duty of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is merely to convey the Message of Allah Ta` ala to the unbelievers, and thereafter he need not concern himself as to who accepted the Message and who did not.
اِلَّا تَذْكِرَةً لِّمَنْ يَّخْشٰى
إِلَّا تَذْكِرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَىٰ (Rather to remind him who has the fear – 20:3). Ibn Kathir has narrated that in the early days following the revelation of the Qur’an while the believers spent whole nights in prayers, the infidels mocked and taunted them that the revelation of the Qur’an brought nothing to them but hardship, allowing them no rest and peace. In this verse, Allah Ta’ ala says that these wretched and miserable people cannot sense that the Qur’an and the knowledge communicated through it can bring only blessings and felicity. This fact is not appreciated by them because they are ignorant and misguided. In a Hadith which has been related by Sayyidna Mu` awiyah (رض) ” the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said, “When Allah intends to reward a person, He gives him the correct perception of religion”. (Sahihain)
Here Imam Ibn Kathir has recorded another authentic Hadith which has been related by Tabarani from Tha’labah Ibn Al-Hakam and which will be good news for the learned people:
قال رسول اللہ (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) : یقول اللہ تعالیٰ للعلماء یوم القیامۃ اذا قعد علی کرسیّہ لقضاء عبادہٖ : انّی لم اجعل علمی و حکمتی فیکم الّا و اناارید ان اغفر لکم علی ما کان منکم ولا ابالی (ابن کثیر ص 141 ج 3)
The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said, “On the Day of Judgment when Allah will ascend His Kursiyy (Chair) to pronounce judgment on the actions of His servants He will tell the learned people that He had placed His knowledge and wisdom in their hearts for the sole reason that He wished to forgive them in spite of their failings, and that these matters were of no concern to Him.”
It is evident that in this Hadith the reference to learned people applies to those only who possess the fear of Allah Ta` ala which is a sure sign of Qur’ anic knowledge.
وَهَلْ اَتٰىكَ حَدِيْثُ مُوْسٰى
وَهَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ مُوسَىٰ (And has there come to you the story of Musa? – 20:9) In the earlier verses, reference was made to the greatness of the Qur’ an and also to the reverence due to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . Thereafter, the story of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) has been related so that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) should become fully aware of the trials and tribulations which afflict the prophets in the discharge of their missions, and which were rendered with courage and fortitude by the earlier prophets. This was to prepare the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) for the great mission which was entrusted to him. There is another verse which conveys the same sense:
وَكُلًّا نَّقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ أَنبَاءِ الرُّسُلِ مَا نُثَبِّتُ بِهِ فُؤَادَكَ
“And We narrate to you everything from the events of the messengers with which We strengthen your heart.” (11:120)
It means that these stories are narrated to prepare you (the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) and make you strong to undertake the responsibilities of the mission.
The story of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) which is related here begins like this. At Madyan he stayed with Sayyidna Shu` aib (عليه السلام) with the understanding that he would serve the latter for a period of eight or ten years. According to Tafsir Al-Bahr ul-Muhit, after the expiry of this period he sought the permission of Sayyidna Shu` aib (عليه السلام) to proceed to Egypt to see his mother and sister. He had fled earlier from Egypt fearing capture or death by the soldiers of the Pharaoh but this danger had now passed through the lapse of so many years. Sayyidna Shu’aib (عليه السلام) willingly gave the permission and sent him away, with his wife (who was the latter’s daughter). He also gave him some money and a few articles which they might use during their journey. Since he was apprehensive of the hostility of some of the rulers in Syria, he adopted a less frequented route. It was winter season and his pregnant wife was very close to confinement. The route which he had taken was unfamiliar to him, and he lost his bearings. He came out to the west, i.e. the right side of the mount of Tur.
It was a dark and cold night and to add to the misery, his wife began to experience birth pangs. He tried to strike fire with flint but did not succeed. In this state of utter confusion he saw light on the Tur mountain which, in fact, was the Nur (the light symbolizing the truth). So he said to his family, “I have noticed fire. I am going there to bring for you a live coal and I may also find someone who could tell me the way to Egypt.” The presence of his wife on the journey is well established. According to some traditions there was a servant with him who is also addressed. Others say that there were some other companions also who were separated when they lost their way. (Al-Bahr ul-Muhit)
فَلَمَّآ اَتٰىهَا نُوْدِيَ يٰمُوْسٰى
فَلَمَّا أَتَاهَا (So when he came to it – 20:11): means that he approached the fire which he had seen from a distance. Musnad by Ahmad, on the authority of Wahb Ibn Munabbih (رح) reports that when Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) drew near the fire he saw a very strange scene. A fire was blazing on a green tree without scorching even a leaf or a branch. On the other hand the flame added manifold to the beauty and the freshness of the tree. He stood there quite a while watching this strange sight waiting for a chance to pick up a piece of burning wood. At last he collected some dry grass and tried to light it but as soon as he pushed the grass towards the fire, it retracted. It is also related that the fire advanced towards him and he drew back in consternation. Consequently he was unable to collect any fire. And as he stood, not knowing what to do, a mysterious voice called him. This happened in a plain called Tuwa which was to his right side and at the foot of this mountain.
اِنِّىْٓ اَنَا رَبُّكَ فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ ۚ اِنَّكَ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى
نُودِيَ يَا مُوسَىٰ إِنِّي أَنَا رَبُّكَ فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ (He was called, “0 Musa, it is Me, your Lord, remove your shoes – 20:11, 12). It is related in Al-Bahr ul-Muhit, Ruh ul-Ma` ani and other books that the voice which Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) heard appeared to come from all directions and not from any particular direction. At the same time the manner in which the voice reached his perception was most extraordinary, because it was heard not only through his ears but by the entire body. This, indeed, was a miracle!
What the voice said was that the light that he saw was not fire but a particular kind of divine manifestation. And the voice said, “Surely I am your Lord”. The question arises: how did Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) know that it was the voice of Allah Ta` ala? The answer is that Allah Ta` ala had created in his heart the conviction that the voice which he heard was really the voice of Allah Ta` ala. Then there was the circumstance that the fire, instead of burning the tree added to its beauty and luster. Also the manner in which the voice was perceived by all the parts of his body and not only by his ears, were all factors which left no doubt in his mind that the voice he heard was really the voice of Allah Ta` ala.
Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) learned the words of Allah directly
It is mentioned in a report of Wahb mentioned in Ruh ul-Ma` ani on the authority of Musnad by Alhmad that when the mysterious voice called him “0 Musa!”, he replied, “I hear the voice 0 Allah! But I do not know from where it comes. Where are you, 0 Allah?” And Allah Ta’ ala said, “I am above you in front of you, to your right and your left. Indeed I am all around you.” Then Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) said, “0 Allah, do I hear these words from you directly or through an angel sent by You?” And Allah Ta` ala said, “I myself am speaking to you.” According to Ruh, ul-Ma` ani this proves that Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) heard this کلام لفظی (spoken words) directly from Allah Ta` ala. There is a sect among the Sunnis who believe that کلام لفظی (spoken words) can also be heard.
To take off shoes at a sacred place is an act of respect
فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ :(Remove your shoes – 20:12). The command to take off shoes was given because it was a sacred place and it was necessary to take off shoes to show it proper respect. Another reason for this command may be that since shoes are made from the hides of dead animals, they should be removed when entering upon sacred places. Sayyidna ` Ali (رض) ، Hasan al-Basri and Ibn Juraij رحمۃ اللہ علیہما have supported the first explanation and reasoned that the real purpose in commanding Sayyidna Musa عليه السلام to remove his shoes was that the soles of his feet should come into contact with the soil of this hallowed place and be blessed thereby. Others have said that by this command Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was required to show humility and in earlier times devout and pious believers used to take off their shoes when circumambulating around the Holy Ka’bah.
There is a Hadith that when the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) once saw Bashir Ibn Khasasia walking through the graves with his shoes on, said:
اذا کنت فی مثل ھٰذا المکان فاخلع نعلیک
“When you pass by a place which needs to be respected, take off your shoes.”
All the jurists are unanimous that if the shoes are clean they may be worn when offering prayers and it is established by authentic reports that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and his companions often wore clean shoes when saying prayers. But their common practice appears to be of removing the shoes when saying prayers, because it is closer to humility.
إِنَّكَ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى (You are in the sacred valley of Tuwa – 20:12): Allah, in his Divine Wisdom, has granted special status to some selected places such as Baitullah (the Holy Ka’bah), the Aqsa Mosque, Masjid Nabawi etc. Wadi Tuwa (the valley of Tuwa) is also one such sacred place and is situated at the foot of the mount of Tur.
اِنَّنِيْٓ اَنَا اللّٰهُ لَآ اِلٰهَ اِلَّآ اَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِيْ ۙ وَاَ قِمِ الصَّلٰوةَ لِذِكْرِيْ
إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّـهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي (Surely I am ALLAH. There is no god but I, so worship Me and establish Salah for My remembrance – 20:14): with these words Allah Ta` ala bestowed upon Sayyidna Masu (عليه السلام) knowledge of all the basic principles of the true Faith, namely the Oneness of Allah Ta` ala, the prophethood and the Hereafter. فَاسْتَمِعْ لِمَا يُوحَىٰ (So listen to what is revealed) refers to prophethood. فَاعْبُدْنِي means “worship Me alone and no one else”. This points to the Oneness of Allah Ta` ala.إِنَّ السَّاعَةَ آتِيَةٌ (Surely, the Hour has to come) points to the inevitability of the Hereafter. Although the word فَاعْبُدْنِي (worship Me) encompasses the injunction for prayers also yet it has been mentioned separately to stress its special merit relative to the other forms of worship. It is the pillar of the Faith and its neglect is the mark of the infidels.
أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي (Establish Salah for My remembrance – 20:14): means that the essence of prayer is the remembrance of Allah Ta` ala and that the Salah, from beginning to end is nothing but remembering Allah – with the tongue, the heart and the other organs of the body. Therefore, one should not neglect to remember Allah Ta` ala while praying. This sentence also means that if a person omits to say his prayers at the appointed time due to over-sleeping or forgetfulness while engrossed in some other task, he should say his prayers as soon as he wakes up from sleep or becomes aware of his lapse. This is according to Hadith.
اِنَّ السَّاعَةَ اٰتِيَةٌ اَكَادُ اُخْفِيْهَا لِتُجْزٰى كُلُّ نَفْسٍۢ بِمَا تَسْعٰي
أَكَادُ أُخْفِيهَا (I would keep it secret – 20:15): Allah Ta` ala says that He wishes to keep the circumstances relating to the Day of Judgment hidden from all created things including prophets and angels. The word أَكَادُ (I would) gives a subtle hint that it is only to induce people to good deeds that the coming of the Day of Judgment has been disclosed, otherwise even this fact would have been concealed.
لِتُجْزَىٰ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا تَسْعَىٰ (So that everyone is given a return for the effort one makes – 20:15). If this phrase is taken to be linked with the word آتِيَةٌ (has to come) then it would mean that this world is not a place of requital. Here a person does not receive recompense according to his merits and even if he receives some reward in this world it is just a token which does not constitute the full recompense of his deeds. It is, therefore, essential that there should be a time when everybody would receive his due reward.
Another possibility about the construction of this phrase is that it is taken to be linked with the words أَكَادُ أُخْفِيهَا (I would keep it secret – 20:15). In this case, it would mean that the philosophy in not revealing the time of death and the Day of Judgment is that people should continue in their endeavours and should not cease to strive in the belief that their own death or the Day of Judgment are still far away in the future. (Ruh)
قَالَ هِىَ عَصَايَ ۚ اَتَـوَكَّؤُا عَلَيْهَا وَاَهُشُّ بِهَا عَلٰي غَنَمِيْ وَلِيَ فِيْهَا مَاٰرِبُ اُخْرٰى
قَالَ هِيَ عَصَايَ (He said, “ It is my staff” – 20:18. The simple question which was put to Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) i.e. “What is in your hand?” called for an equally brief answer, such as, “It is a staff’. But he volunteered additional information which was outside the scope of the question put to him. First, he said that the staff belonged to him; second, that it served him many purposes, namely that he often reclined on it, and also beat down leaves from trees for his goats; third, that he put it to many other uses. This long and detailed reply is a perfect combination of extreme love and adoration on the one hand and profound reverence on the other. It is a natural human instinct that when a person finds the object of his adoration to be kind and attentive, he wishes to prolong the conversation in order to get the best advantage. At the same time the dictates of extreme respect require that the conversation should remain within proper limits and not become too lengthy. For this reason he ended his reply with a brief statement وَلِيَ فِيهَا مَآرِبُ أُخْرَىٰ i.e. “And for me it has many other uses”, but he did not give any detail of those “other uses”. (Ruh and Mazhari)
From this verse Qurtubi has deduced in his Tafsir that when needed, it is permissible, while answering a question, to include matters which are not specifically covered in the question.
This verse also shows that carrying a staff is a practice followed by the prophets. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) also used to carry a staff in his hand and this practice has numerous religious as well as mundane advantages.
قَالَ رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِيْ صَدْرِيْ ، وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّنْ لِّسَانِيْ
When Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) received the high honour of conversing with Allah Ta` ala and was granted the mission of prophethood, then, instead of relying on his own self and on his own ability, he turned to Allah Ta` ala and sought His help in the discharge of his duties without which it would be impossible for him to endure and persevere in the face of the trials and tribulations inherent in the performance of his mission. He, therefore, prayed to Allah Ta` ala to grant him five favours.
The first prayer was اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي ! (Put my heart at peace for me – 20:25). Meaning to expand the ability of his heart to enable him to receive all the knowledge and wisdom of prophethood, and at the same time to bear with equanimity the slander of those people who will oppose him in his mission.
His second prayer was يَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي (make my task easy for me – 20:26). Having been granted prophethood he realized that it is not the human ability and skill or other apparent causes which make affairs easy or difficult. In reality, things become easy or difficult as Allah Ta` ala wills. In the hadith the believers have been advised to seek Allah Ta’ ala’s help in their affairs with the following words:
اللَّھُمَّ الطُف بِنَافی تَیسِیرِ کُلِّ عَسِیرِ فَاِنَّ تَیسِیرَ کُلِّ عَسِیرِ عَلَیکَ یَسِیرُ
0 Allah! Be kind to us and make our difficult tasks easy because it is easy for you to make every difficult thing easy.
The third prayer وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِي يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي (And remove the knot from my tongue, that they may understand my speech – 20:27, 28). The story behind this “knot” is that as an infant Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) lived with his own mother who used to suckle him and was paid for her services by the Pharaoh. When he was weaned, the Pharaoh and his wife ‘Asiya (رض) adopted him, and took him away from his mother. One day Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) caught hold of the Pharaoh’s beard and slapped him on the face. Another version has it that he was playing with a stick and with it he struck the Pharaoh on his head. The Pharaoh was enraged and made up his mind to put him to death. His wife ‘Asiya (رض) tried to pacify him and said, “0 King! Why do you take this matter so seriously? After all he is merely a child who does not understand things. You can test him if you like and you will find that he cannot distinguish between good things and bad things”.
Thereupon, the Pharaoh ordered two trays to be brought. One was filled with live coal and the other with jewellery. It was expected that the child would be attracted by the brightness of the burning coal and reach for it because children are not normally drawn towards jewellery which is not as bright. This would have convinced the Pharaoh that what Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) did was nothing more than the act of an innocent child. But Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was no ordinary child. Allah Ta’ala had chosen him to be a prophet whose instincts were unusual from the very moment of his birth. He put forth his hand to reach out for the jewellery instead of the coal, but Jibra’il (عليه السلام) turned his hand away and placed it in the tray containing coal. He picked up a piece of burning coal and put it in his mouth and so burned his tongue. The Pharaoh was thus fully satisfied that the action of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was not due to mischief but the result of a child’s inability to distinguish between good and bad for himself. This incident caused an impediment in his speech which has been called عُقْدَةً (knot) in the Qur’an, and Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) prayed to Allah Ta’ala to make loose this knot. (Mazharl and Qurtubi)
The first two prayers are of a general nature and sought Allah Ta` ala’s help in all matters. The third prayer is for the removal of a disability because eloquence and fluency of expression are essential elements in the successful conduct of prophetic mission. In a subsequent verse Allah Ta’ala informed Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) that all his prayers had been granted which would suggest that he was cured of his disability.
However, Sayyidna Musa عليه السلام in his prayer to make Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) his partner in the prophethood also said ھُوَاَفصَحُ مِنِّی لِساناً (He is more fluent in his tongue than me – 28:34) which would indicate that his speech’s impediment was not fully cured and that the stammer persisted, though in a milder form. One of the defects which the Pharaoh found in Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was that وَلَا یَکَادُ یُبِینُ (he cannot express himself clearly – 43:52). Some people have argued that in his prayer Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) had prayed to Allah Ta’ ala to loose the knot of his tongue only to the extent that others could understand his words. To that extent his stammer was cured but a trace of it still remained, which is not inconsistent with the grant of his prayer.
وَاجْعَلْ لِّيْ وَزِيْرًا مِّنْ اَهْلِيْ
The fourth prayer was وَاجْعَل لِّي وَزِيرًا مِّنْ أَهْلِي (and make for me an assistant from my own family – 20:29). The first three prayers of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) concerned his own person. This fourth prayer relates to the assembling of means which would facilitate the successful completion of his mission, and the most important among these was the appointment of a deputy or a helper, who would assist him in this task. The literal meaning of the word j is “one who carries a burden”, and since a minister of a state carries the burden of responsibilities entrusted to him by the ruler, he is called a minister. This shows the extreme foresight and prudence of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) because the success of any movement or enterprise depends on the selection of competent and dedicated supporters. With good and loyal workers it is easy to surmount all obstacles and hurdles, while with irresponsible and indifferent workers the best preparations and arrangements become futile. If one were to examine the causes of the decline of some of the modern states and the evils from which they suffer, they can all be attributed to the irresponsible conduct, mismanagement and incompetence of the ministers and advisers.
It is related from the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) that when Allah Ta` ala appoints someone to govern a country and wishes that the country should be well administered, He provides the ruler with a good Wazir to assist him in whatever he does, and if he forgets to attend to some important task, the Wazir is quick to remind him and to help him in what he intends to do. (Nisa’i, from Qasim Ibn Muhammad).
In this prayer Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) has specified that the helper he wants should be from his own family, the reason being that the behavior and conduct of a member of the family is well-known. Besides, there is mutual affection and understanding between the members of the family which greatly helps towards the accomplishment of the mission. But it is essential that the person selected should be competent and in possession of the merit necessary for the performance of his duties so that his selection may not be attributed to nepotism and favouritism. Nowadays when there is a scarcity of people of integrity and dedication, the ruler who appoints his own close relatives to be his Wazir and deputies renders himself liable to public criticism. When, however, the standards of probity and integrity are high, such appointments are considered normal and are, in fact, conducive to the more efficient performance of sensitive assignments. Indeed all the four Khulafa’ ar-Rashidin (guided Caliphs) who succeeded the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) were in some way related to him.
In his prayer Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) first asked that the helper he required should be from his own family and then specifically asked for his brother Harun to be his Wazir so that with the latter’s support and assistance he could better perform the duties of his prophetic mission.
هٰرُوْنَ اَخِي ، وَاَشْرِكْهُ فِيْٓ اَمْرِيْ ، كَيْ نُسَبِّحَكَ كَثِيْرًا
Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) was three or four years senior to Sayyidna Musa عليه السلام and died three years before the latter. When Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) petitioned to Allah Ta` ala for his appointment as Wazir he was in Egypt, and there he received, through an angel, information about his elevation to the status of a prophet and his appointment as an assistant to Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) . He was also instructed to receive Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) outside Egypt when he arrived there in pursuance of his mission to persuade the Pharaoh to accept the true faith. This he did.
وَأَشْرِكْهُ فِي أَمْرِي (and make him share my task – 20:32): Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) had the power to appoint Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) as his Wazir on his own, but he petitioned to Allah Ta` ala to confer the appointment on his brother in order to seek His grace. Besides, he wanted him to share his prophethood and his mission and this power does not rest in any Prophet. Therefore he specially prayed to Allah Ta` ala to make him a partner in his mission.
Good companions are a help in the better performance of worship and Dhikr (remembrance)
كَيْ نُسَبِّحَكَ كَثِيرًا وَنَذْكُرَكَ كَثِيرًا (So that we proclaim Your purity a lot and remember You a lot – 20:33, 34). The advantage of making Sayyidna Harun a Wazir and a partner in prophethood would be that both of them together would be able to pray to Allah Ta` ala and glorify His name more often. Here the question may arise that a man by himself can also pray as often as he desires, so where was the need for a companion? The answer to this is that good companions and a conducive environment definitely contribute towards the better performance of worship and Dhikr. A person whose friends are negligent about Allah cannot devote himself to His worship with the same quality and quantity as the person who is fortunate to have the company of pious men and righteous friends devoted to Allah’s worship and Dhikr.
اِذْ اَوْحَيْنَآ اِلٰٓى اُمِّكَ مَا يُوْحٰٓي
إِذْ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ أُمِّكَ مَا يُوحَىٰ (When We revealed to your mother what was to be revealed – 20:38) It means that the information given to the mother of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was about a matter which could be learnt only through Divine revelation. This was that the Pharaoh’s soldiers had orders to put to death all the male children belonging to the tribe of Bani Isra’il. She was told by means of a revelation that in order to save the life of her son she should put him in a box and float it down the river. She was re-assured not to entertain any apprehensions about his safety because Allah Ta’ ala would protect him and also return him to her. These are things which cannot be learnt by conjecture or guess work. The promise of Allah Ta` ala, and the divine scheme to save his life are beyond human conception and can be made known through Divine revelation only.
Can a Revelation be sent to a person who is not a Prophet?
The truth of the matter is that the literal meaning of the word وَحِی (Wahy) is a secret message which can be understood only by the person to whom it is addressed and by no one else. According to this literal sense, the word وَحِی (Wahy) is not restricted to the prophets only and it can be used for people at large and even to animals. In the verse أَوْحَىٰ رَبُّكَ إِلَى النَّحْلِ (16:68) the word has been used in its literal and general sense, i.e. instructing the bees by means of ; Wahy. Similarly in this verse أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ أُمِّكَ (20:38) the word has been used in its general meaning and this does not necessarily mean that she was a prophet. Sayyidah Maryam (علیہا السلام) also received Divine messages though the scholars unanimously hold the view that she was not a prophet. The Wahy of this type is made by means of a Divine inspiration (Ilham اِلھَام). Allah Ta’ala puts an idea into someone’s heart and then confirms him in the belief that it is from Allah Ta` ala. Saints and other devout people receive such inspirations. Abu Hayyan and some other scholars hold that sometimes such inspirations can be made through angels as happened to Sayyidnh Maryam (علیہا السلام) when Jibra’il (عليه السلام) appeared before her in the form of a human being and conveyed to her the will of Allah Ta` a1a. These inspirations (Ilham: اِلھَام), however, are specific to the person to whom they are made and are not meant for public or to be used for the propagation of the True Faith, whereas the Wahy which is revealed to the prophets aims at appointing someone to reform people and enjoining upon him to invite people to the True Faith. It is the duty of such a person not only to have complete faith in His Wahy himself, but also to bind others to accept his prophethood and the Wahy and to pronounce as infidels those who deny him.
This is the difference between وَحِی اِلھَام (Wahy in the sense of Ilham) or literal وَحِی and وَحِی نبوّت (the wahy of a prophet) or technical Wahy. Literal Wahy has always been there and will be there forever, whereas the prophethood and (Wahy of a prophet) have ceased with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، who was the last Prophet. Some respected scholars have given them the names of وَحِی تشریعی (legislative Wahy) and وَحِی غیر تشریعی (non-legislative Wahy). The false prophet of Qadiyan has used these definitions and certain writings of Sheikh Muhiyy-uddin Ibn ` Arabi in support of his claim to prophethood. His arguments, however, are contrary to what Ibn ` Arabi himself has written. A detailed discussion of this question will be found in my book خَتمِ نبوّت۔ (Khatme Nabuwwat).
The name of the mother of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام)
In Ruh ul-Ma` ani her name is given as Yuhanadh (یُحَانذ) and in Itqan it is said that her name was Lihyana daughter of Yasmad Ibn Lawi (لحیانہ بنت یصمد بن لاوی). Others say her name was Barkha ( (بَارخَا and still others say that it was Bazakht (بَازخت). Some people who dispense charms and amulets attribute strange properties to her name but according to Ruh u1-Ma` ani there is no basis for such a belief and probably it is nothing more than a hoax to entice innocent and ignorant people.
اَنِ اقْذِفِيْهِ فِي التَّابُوْتِ فَاقْذِفِيْهِ فِي الْيَمِّ فَلْيُلْقِهِ الْيَمُّ بِالسَّاحِلِ يَاْخُذْهُ عَدُوٌّ لِّيْ وَعَدُوٌّ لَّهٗ ۭ وَاَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةً مِّنِّيْ ڬ وَلِتُصْنَعَ عَلٰي عَيْنِيْ
فَلْيُلْقِهِ الْيَمُّ بِالسَّاحِلِ (Then let the river throw it by the shore – 20:39.). The word يَمّ (Yamm) means river and here it refers most probably to the river Nile. In this verse the mother of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) has been commanded by Allah Ta` ala to place the baby in a box and set him afloat in the river Nile. Simultaneously the river has been commanded to cast the box on its bank. But the question arises as to how a river can be commanded to do something while it has no sense or understanding.
Some scholars have answered this query with the argument that although here the word has been used in the imperative mood which implies a command, it is not really a command but is meant to convey the information that the river would cast the box on its bank. However some scholars have disputed this explanation and have claimed that the word is really a command and is addressed to the river Nile because everything that Allah Ta` ala has created possesses emotions and a sense of feeling and it is these properties, which according to the Qur’an, enable even trees and rocks to glorify the name of Allah Ta` ala. It is, nevertheless, a fact that except the human beings, the Jinns, and the angels no other created thing possesses feelings and emotions to a degree where the precepts of Halal (permissible) and Haram (forbidden) can be made binding on them. Maulana Rumi (رح) has expressed the same idea in the following verse:
خاک و باد و آب و آتش بندہ اند بامن وتومردہ باحق زندہ اند
(Earth, wind, water and fire are all servants of Allah. To me and you they appear lifeless, but Allah knows that they too have life.)
يَأْخُذْهُ عَدُوٌّ لِّي وَعَدُوٌّ لَّهُ (And it will be picked up by one who is enemy to Me and enemy to him – 20:39.). It means that a person who is an enemy of Allah Ta` ala and also the enemy of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) will rescue the child. Here the reference is to the Pharaoh who was the enemy of Allah Ta` ala because of his infidelity, but his enmity towards Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) needs some explanation since at that time he cherished no hostility towards the latter, rather he was incurring considerable expenditure on his upbringing. Perhaps it was due to his future enmity towards Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) which was even at that time in the knowledge of Allah Ta` ala. Or again it is possible that even at that time he was the enemy and had reluctantly agreed to bring up Sayyidna Musa عليه السلام for the sake of his wife ‘Asiya. Yet when he felt the slightest suspicion about Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) he ordered his immediate execution and was prevented from carrying out his intention through the wise role of Sayyidah ‘Asiya (رض) . (Ruh and Mazhari)
وَأَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةً مِّنِّي (And I have cast love on you from Myself – 20:39). The word “love” in this verse is in the sense of ‘being loved’, meaning thereby that Allah Ta` ala has bestowed upon Sayyidna Musa عليه السلام an attribute that will make people show love towards him. This is the interpretation given to this verse by Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas and ` Ikrimah (رض) . (Mazhari)
وَلِتُصْنَعَ عَلَىٰ عَيْنِي (And that you are fashioned under My eye – 20:39). The word صَنَعتُ here means “good upbringing”. The Arabs have a common phrase صَنَعتُ فَرَسی (I trained my horse well). عَلَىٰ عَيْنِي is used in the same sense as علٰی حِفظَی i.e. it was Allah Ta’ ala’s will that Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) should be brought up under His own eye, and for this purpose He chose the Pharaoh, the supreme authority in Egypt, to bring up Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) in his own palace, unaware all the time that the child that he was raising was his enemy. (Mazhari)
اِذْ تَمْشِيْٓ اُخْتُكَ فَتَقُوْلُ هَلْ اَدُلُّكُمْ عَلٰي مَنْ يَّكْفُلُهٗ ۭ فَرَجَعْنٰكَ اِلٰٓى اُمِّكَ كَيْ تَقَرَّ عَيْنُهَا وَلَا تَحْزَنَ ڛ وَقَتَلْتَ نَفْسًا فَنَجَّيْنٰكَ مِنَ الْغَمِّ وَفَتَنّٰكَ فُتُوْنًا ڢ فَلَبِثْتَ سِنِيْنَ فِيْٓ اَهْلِ مَدْيَنَ ڏ ثُمَّ جِئْتَ عَلٰي قَدَرٍ يّٰمُوْسٰى
إِذْ تَمْشِي أُخْتُكَ (When your sister was going – 20:40). The story of the sister of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) following the box along the river and the subsequent events are alluded to in this verse, which ends with the words وَفَتَنَّاكَ فُتُونًا (We tested you with a great ordeal – 20:40). According to Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) these words mean “We tried you repeatedly”, while Dahhak (رح) has translated them as “We subjected you to severe trials”. Full details of this story have been given in a long Hadith reported by Imam an-Nisa’i (رح) in his book on the authority of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہما . This story is as follows:
Detailed Story of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام)
In Kitab-ut-Tafsir of his Sunan, Imam Nisa’i رحمۃ اللہ علیہ has reported a long Hadith known as (حدیث الفتون) (Hadith-ul-Futun) on the authority of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) . Ibn Kathir has also reproduced the whole of it in his commentary and then has added that Sayyidna Ibn ‘Abbas (رض) thought that it was مَرفُوع (Marfu’ ), in other words, it was a statement of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . Ibn Kathfr has confirmed this view with the words: وَ صَدَقَ ذٰلِکَ ؟ عِندِی (I too believe that this Hadith is مَرفُوع ), and also gave reason in support of his opinion. However, he has admitted that the version of this story given by Ibn Jabir and Ibn Abi Haim رحمۃ اللہ علیہم is the statement of Ibn ` Abbas (رض) ، and not of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) while it contains some parts which were stated by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . It appears that Ibn ` Abbas (رض) has learnt this story from Ka’b al-Ahbar as has happened in many other cases. Be that as it may, the critics like Imam Nasai and Ibn Kathir رحمۃ اللہ علیہما hold it to be marfu’ (statement of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) and even those who do not accept it as such have never challenged its contents, while a major part of this story is also mentioned in the Holy Qur’an itself. Therefore, we would like to give full translation of this Hadith which has many beneficial points having academic and practical value. Imam Nisa’i (رح) has related this story which he learnt from Sa’id bin Jubair (رض) that he (Sa’id Ibn Jubair ) asked Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Abbas (رض) to explain to him the meaning of the expression وَفَتَنَّاكَ فُتُونًا ، specially the word فُتُونًا which occurs in the verse relating to Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) . Ibn ` Abbas (رض) said it was a long story which he would tell him (Said Ibn Jubair) if he comes to him early the next morning. This he did and Ibn ` Abbas’ (رض) told him the story which runs as follows:
One day the Pharaoh and his companions were talking about Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) and the promise which Allah Ta’ ala had made to him to raise prophets and Kings from his progeny. Some of those present said that the Bani Isra’il were indeed expecting the birth of a prophet in their community and were in no doubt that Allah Ta’ ala’s promise would be fulfilled. In the beginning they thought that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was the prophet promised by Allah Ta’ ala but when he died they said he was not the prophet promised to Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) and that there must surely come another prophet whose arrival would fulfill Allah Ta` ala’s promise. This information upset the Pharaoh who feared that if ever a prophet was born in the Isra’ili community, whom he held in bondage, he (the prophet) would try to liberate them from their servitude. He, therefore, asked his friends to advise him how such a catastrophe could be avoided. After much deliberation they came to the unanimous conclusion that the only way to meet this contingency was to put to death every male child born in an Isra’ili family. In pursuance of this decision, armed soldiers were sent out with orders to search every Isra’ili house and kill all male children.
This bloodshed continued for some time but then the Egyptians realized that all their work was done and arduous duties performed by the Bani Isra’il and if the process of killing their male children continued then a time would come when, their old men having died a natural death, no young men would be left to serve them, and they themselves would have to perform all the hard and toilsome work. In order to overcome this problem they came up with another proposal according to which all male children born in one year should be put to death while all those born in the following year should be spared. Such a device would ensure the availability of a continuous supply of labour force of young Isra’ilis who could replace the older men, yet at the same time their number would not be large enough to pose a threat to the Pharaoh’s authority. Everybody approved of this proposal and a law was passed for its implementation. (And now the wisdom and power of Allah Ta` ala demonstrated itself in the following way). Sayyidna Musa’s mother gave birth to Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) in the year when, according to the law of the Pharaoh, male Isra’ili children were spared and there was no danger to his life. But when Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was conceived, his birth was expected in the year when the Pharaoh’s decree required that all male Isra’ili children be put to death. His mother was, therefore, greatly distressed at the thought of losing her son after its birth.
Here Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) عنہما paused in his story and said, “0 Ibn Jubair! This was the first test (فتُون) to which Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was put in that his life was at risk even before he was born.”
Then Allah Ta` ala, by means of وَحی الھام (Divine inspiration) told the mother of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) to set her mind at rest.
لَا تَخَافِي وَلَا تَحْزَنِي إِنَّا رَادُّوهُ إِلَيْكِ وَجَاعِلُوهُ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
Do not fear and do not grieve, surely We are going to bring him back to you and appoint him one of (Our) messengers – 28:7.
When Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was born Allah Ta` ala commanded his mother to put him in a box and float him down the river Nile, which she did. After she had completed this task the Shaitan tried to perplex her with the suggestion that she had made a mistake by floating her son down the river because even if he had been put to death by the order of the Pharaoh she would at least have had the satisfaction of burying him with her own hands. Now there is no hope for him and he would probably be eaten up by the river animals. While the mother of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was greatly worried at what the Shaitan had told her, the waves cast the box upon a rock where the Pharaoh’s slave girls used to come for bathing and washing. When they saw the box they wanted to open it, but one of them said that if the box contained some valuable articles and they opened it, then the Pharaoh’s wife would suspect that they had kept back some of these for themselves and nothing that they could say would satisfy her. Accordingly, they brought the box unopened to the Pharaoh’s wife.
When the Pharaoh’s wife opened the box she found a boy and she instinctively felt a sudden surge of love for him – something which she had never experienced before. This was just as Allah Ta` ala had told him (وَأَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةً مِّنِّي : And I have cast love on you from Myself). On the other hand, the mother of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) in a state of puzzle caused by the Shaitan forgot the promise made to her by Allah Ta` ala and was so overwhelmed by grief that all happiness forsook her heart leaving it an empty shell. وَأَصْبَحَ فُؤَادُ أُمِّ مُوسَىٰ فَارِغًا (And the heart of the mother of Musa became restless – 28:10). At the same time the Pharaoh’s soldiers learnt about the presence of an Isra’ili boy in the palace and they rushed with knives in their hands, and asked the Pharaoh’s wife to surrender the boy so that they could put him to death.
Here Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) paused again and said, “0 Ibn Jubair! This was the second test (فُتُون) to which Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was exposed.”
The Pharaoh’s wife remonstrated with the soldiers. “What?” She said, “Do you think this small and frail baby, if allowed to live, can ever increase the strength of Bani Isra’il? You wait here and I will go to the Pharaoh and plead for his life. I hope the Pharaoh will spare his life. If not, then I will not stand in your way and you can take him.” Saying so, she went to the Pharaoh and said to him, “This child is the joy of my heart and yours also.” The Pharaoh replied, “Yes, I know that he is the joy of your heart, but as for me, I do not need him.”
At this point of the story Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) quoted the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) as saying, I swear by Allah that if on that occasion the Pharaoh had also admitted to Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) being the joy of his heart, as his wife did, Allah Ta’ ala would have guided him along the path of the True Faith as He guided his wife.”
(However, on account of his wife’s urgent pleas the Pharaoh spared the life of the child). Now she needed a woman to nurse him. Many women offered their services but he would not suck from any of them وَحَرَّمْنَا عَلَيْهِ الْمَرَاضِعَ مِن قَبْلُ (And We had already barred him (Musa) from (accepting) any suckling woman – 28:12). The Pharaoh’s wife was in a real predicament. How will the child live if he was not nursed? She sent him with her servants to the market place to find any woman whose milk he would draw.
While these events were taking place in the Pharaoh’s palace, the mother of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was concerned by anguish at the fate of her son. She asked her daughter to go out and make inquiries about the box and the child that whether he was still alive or was he eaten up by the river animals. The promise which Allah had made to her when she was pregnant that he would protect her child and return him to her after a brief separation had completely escaped her memory. And then a miracle happened. As soon as the sister of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) came to the market place she met the Pharaoh’s female servants who held Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) in their arms and were looking for a woman who could nurse him. She also noticed that the child would not accept milk from any woman which caused them great anxiety and distress. So she said to them, “I can take you to a family where there is a woman whose milk, I hope, the child will accept and who will bring him up with great love and affection.” Thereupon the servants held her on the suspicion that she was, perhaps, the mother or a close relation of the child and for that reason spoke with such a confidence that the proposed family is well-wisher of and sympathetic to this child.
Here Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) stopped and told Ibn Jubair (رض) that this was the third test (فُتُون) (for the sister of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was naturally frightened at being held like that but she kept her pose and told the servants that when she said that the family would love the child and serve him with devotion what she meant was that they would do so in the hope of getting access to the Pharaoh’s court and thus obtaining some material benefit for themselves. This explanation satisfied the servants and they released her. She hurried back home and informed her mother of what had happened.
Then both of them went to the market place where the servants stood with the baby. The mother took him in her arms and put him to her breast, and he sucked greedily until he was satiated. The Pharaoh’s wife was overjoyed when she was informed that at last a woman had been found whose milk the child would take and ordered her to be brought to her. On arrival the mother of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) sensed that the Pharaoh’s wife needed her and her services badly. At the same time she remembered Allah’s promise to her that her son would be re-united to her after a brief separation. So she decided that she would offer her services on her own terms. The Pharaoh’s wife told her that she was extremely fond of the child and could not bear parting from him for a moment. Therefore she should come and live in the palace and nurse the child. But Sayyidna Musa’s (عليه السلام) mother declined to do so. She said she had a child of her own who too had to be nursed and fed and therefore it was not possible for her to leave her home. However, if the child was entrusted to her care she would keep him with her and nurse him. She assured the Pharaoh’s wife that if she agreed to her proposal no effort shall be wanting on her part to give him the best care and attention. There was no choice for the Pharaoh’s wife and she accepted this arrangement. Thus the child was, re-united to his mother and Allah’s promise to her was fulfilled.
After some time when Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) grew comparatively stronger, the Pharaoh’s wife asked the mother of Musa (عليه السلام) to bring the child to her so that she may see him (as she was longing for him). She also told all the courtiers that the child was coming to their home and they must show him due respect and offer him gifts. She warned them that she would watch what they would do with the child. So when Musa (عليه السلام) came out with his mother from her home, he was showered with gifts and presents right from that moment. The Pharaoh’s wife was delighted to see him and gave him many expensive presents on her own and delivered all these presents to the mother of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) .
She then took him to the Pharaoh hoping that he too would give him presents. The Pharaoh took the child in his arms who suddenly clutched at his beard and pulled it causing his head to bow down. The courtiers were horrified and said to the Pharaoh: “We warned you about the promise of Allah to Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) that a prophet will be born in the tribe of Bani Isra’il who will inherit your Kingdom and your wealth and will defeat and overthrow you. You have seen with your own eyes the first signs of the fulfillment of Allah’s promise”. The Pharaoh took the warning and ordered his soldiers to put the child to death.
Here Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) stopped again in his narration and said, “0 Ibn Jubair (رض) ! This is the fourth test (فُتُون) for Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) where death seemed so near”.
The Pharaoh’s wife at once came to the child’s rescue and addressed her husband thus, “You have given this child to me. He is all mine. So what is all this fuss about?” The Pharaoh said, “Can’t you see that by his action this child is warning me that one day he would overthrow me and deprive me of my Kingdom?” His wife replied, “I know a sure means of ascertaining whether his action was the action of an uninformed and innocent child or he deliberately intended to defy and challenge your authority.
You order a servant to bring two trays. Put two live coals in one and two shining pearls in the other and place both the trays in front of the child. If he picks up the coal, that would be proof enough that he is totally unaware of the consequences of his action because nobody with any sense would put his hand in fire.” The Pharaoh agreed to this test and when the two trays were placed before Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) he picked up the coal. (However there is another tradition that he wanted to reach for the pearls but Jibra’il (عليه السلام) guided his hand and placed it on the coal). When the Pharaoh saw this he snatched away the coal from the child’s hand to save him from harm. Thus the Pharaoh’s wife was proved right. She turned to him and said, “0 King! Now you know the truth.” Thus Allah once again saved his life because He had chosen him for a very special mission.
(And so Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) continued to enjoy the favours of the Pharaoh and the great love of his mother until he grew to full manhood). Knowing in what esteem the royal family held him, the people of the Pharaoh did not dare to insult and torment Bani Isra’il as they used to do previously. One day he was out for a stroll in the city when he came across two persons who were quarrelling over some matter. One of them was a man of the Pharaoh and the other was an Isra’ili. The latter called out to Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) to help him. Musa (عليه السلام) got very angry at the Pharaoh’s man. How dare he bully an Isra’ili in his presence knowing that he held a place of honour in the royal court, and also that he was full of sympathy for the Isra’ilies (on account of the harsh treatment to which they were constantly subjected by the Egyptians). People in general thought that his sympathy for the Isra’ilis was due to his being nursed and brought up by an Isra’ili woman. It is also possible that Allah Ta` ala may have informed him through his mother or by some other means that he himself was an Isra’ili and that the woman who had nursed him was in fact his own mother.
Anyway, being in extreme anger, Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) hit the Egyptian with such force that he died on the spot. There were no witnesses to this incident except the Isra’i1i, and Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was certain that he (the Isra’ili) would not inform against him.
The Egyptian’s death filled Sayyidna Musa عليه السلام with remorse and he said, هَـٰذَا مِنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ عَدُوٌّ مُّضِلٌّ مُّبِينٌ (This is some of Shaitan’s act, He is indeed a clear enemy who misleads – 28:15). Then he prayed to Allah.
رَبِّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَغَفَرَ لَهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
0 my Lord! I have wronged myself, so forgive me. So He forgave him. Indeed He is the Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful – 28:16.
After this incident Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) made secret inquiries about the reaction of the Egyptian about the murder and whether the matter was reported to the Pharaoh. He learned that the report that was made to the Pharaoh merely said that an Isra’i1i had killed an Egyptian for which their tribe should make full retribution, and that no mercy should be shown to them.
The Pharaoh asked them to apprehend the murderer and produce him with full proof of his guilt because although he was their own king he did not think it was right to punish someone without sufficient evidence. He assured them that if they produced the offender with sufficient proof of his guilt he would not be spared. Thereupon people went out in search of the murderer but found no clue which could lead them to him.
The next day as Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) carne out of his house he saw the same Isra’ili again fighting with an Egyptian. On seeing Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) he again called to him for help. But Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) who was full of remorse at what had happened the day before was very angry and blamed the Isra’ilie for picking up fights. However, he wanted to stop the man of Pharaoh from attacking the Isra’ili, and at the same time reproached the Isra’ili for being so quarrelsome. The Isra’ili, seeing Musa (عليه السلام) in anger was frightened and feared that he would kill him too. So he called out, “0 Musa! Will you kill me too as you killed a man yesterday”?
And so they parted, but the Egyptian hastened to inform the people who were on the lookout for the murderer that the Isra’ili himself had accused Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) of having murdered a man the day before. The Pharaoh who was informed of this latest development at once sent his soldiers to apprehend Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) and to execute him. The soldiers were confident that there was no way for Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) to escape and therefore they took the main road of the city searching for him. Somehow a follower of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) who lived in a far flung area of the city got wind of the Pharaoh’s order to kill him and managed to reach Musa عليه السلام through smaller streets to warn him of the impending danger.
At this point in his narration, Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) paused again and said, “0 Ibn Jubair! This was the fifth test (فُتُون) for Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) when death had overcome him but Allah Ta` ala saved his life”.
Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) at once left the city and headed for Madyan. All his life was spent in comfort and luxury and he had never undertaken a task involving physical exertion. He was also unfamiliar with the surrounding areas and the roads connecting them. But he had full faith in Allah عَسَىٰ رَبِّي أَن يَهْدِيَنِي سَوَاءَ السَّبِيلِ (I hope my Lord will guide me to the straight path – 28:22).
As he approached Madyan, he stopped at a well where people had gathered and were drawing water for their animals. There he saw two girls standing away from the crowd with their goats. He asked them why they stood apart to which they replied that being unable to contend with men for water they were waiting until they had finished watering their animals and then, if any water was left, they would give it to their goats, Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was moved to pity for the girls and being physically a strong man he pushed forward and in no time he watered their goats. The girls went home with their herd and he sat under the shade of a tree and prayed: رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ (0 my Lord, I am in need of whatever good you may send down to me – 28:24). By this payer he sought Allah’s help in providing him something to eat and a place to stay.
Now when the girls returned home with their herd earlier than usual their father was surprised, but the girls told him how a kind man had helped them and watered their goats. The father asked one of the girls to bring the man home which she did, and when he heard the story of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) ، he said: (“Do not fear, you have escaped from the wrongdoing people.” – 28:25).
One of the girls suggested to her father to engage Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) on wages and said يَا أَبَتِ اسْتَأْجِرْهُ إِنَّ خَيْرَ مَنِ اسْتَأْجَرْتَ الْقَوِيُّ الْأَمِينُ (Dear father, hire him; the best man you hire, is the one who is strong, trustworthy – 28:26). the father was disconcerted at her words and asked her how she knew, that he was strong and trust-worthy. The girl replied that she witnessed his strength when he pushed aside all the other shepherds and drew water for her goats. And she knew him to be trustworthy because when she went to bring him home he cast his eyes down and did not raise them until she had conveyed to him his invitation. Then he told her to follow him and to guide him to this place from behind. Only a person who is totally trustworthy would conduct himself in such a manner. The father (He was Sayyidna Shua’ib (عليه السلام) ، a prophet of Allah), having being fully satisfied on this score, proposed to Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) that if he would agree to work for him for eight years he would give the latter one of his daughters in marriage. He also said that he would like it if Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) ، of his own free choice, worked for him for a further period of two years, but this would not be a condition for his marriage with his daughter. Sayyidna Musa عليه السلام accepted these terms and ultimately, by Allah’s command, rendered full ten years service to Sayyidna Shu’aib (عليه السلام) .
Sayyidna Said Ibn Jubair (رض) says, “Once a Christian scholar met me and asked me whether I knew how long Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) worked for Sayyidna Shu’aib (عليه السلام) . This was before Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) had narrated to me this Hadith. So I told him that I did not know the answer to his question. Afterwards when I met Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) and put the same question to him he informed me that Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was bound to do service for the contractual period of eight years which could not be reduced in any circumstances. Also, it was Allah’s will that he should also serve the additional optional two years. Therefore, he did actually serve Sayyidna Shu’aib (عليه السلام) for full ten years. Later, when I met the Christian scholar and gave him the information, he asked me whether the person from whom I learnt this was more knowledgeable than I was. I replied him in affirmative and told him that indeed he was a very learned person and the best among us”.
Having completed ten years of service with Sayyidna Shu’aib (عليه السلام) Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) departed from Madyan with his wife. He had chosen an unfrequented and unfamiliar route, and on a cold, dark night when he saw fire on the mount of Tur he went there to bring some for his wife. There he saw strange sights, was granted the miracles of the staff (عصا) and the bright hand (یدِ بَیضاء) and was also entrusted with the Mission of Prophethood. This story has been related by the Holy Qur’an in the preceding pages. At the mount of Tur he was also commanded by Allah to proceed to Egypt and place his message before the Pharaoh. He was anxious how he would discharge this duty when he has been declared by the royal court as an absconding offender and was under the sentence of death. Moreover, he recalled his stammer. So he prayed to Allah to remove these impediments. In response to his prayer Allah appointed his brother Haran (عليه السلام) to share his prophethood and through a revelation commanded the latter to receive him before he entered Egypt. The two brothers met and as commanded by Allah both of them went to the Pharaoh’s court to invite him to accept the True Faith. After a while they were admitted to his presence after passing through several stages. They said to him: إِنَّا رَسُولَا رَبِّكَ “We are the messengers of your Lord”. The Pharaoh asked them فَمَن رَّبُّكُمَا (Who then is the Lord of you two? – 20:49).
Their reply to this question has been reported in the Qur’an itself.
Our Lord is He who gave everything its shape, then guidance – 20:50.
The Pharaoh then asked them what they wanted. He charged Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) with the murder of the Egyptian and at the same time reminded him how he had brought him up in his own palace and the great kindness he had shown towards him. The reply which Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) gave on both these points is mentioned in the Qur’an. That is, the murder of the Egyptian was a mistake for which he had asked Allah’s forgiveness. As for the second point, he accused the Pharaoh of having enslaved the Bani Isra’il and of subjecting them to oppression. These things could not be allowed to continue forever and in consequence an inevitable destiny so decreed that he should be brought up in the Pharaoh’s palace. It was Allah’s will and so it came to pass and he owed no gratitude to anyone. He then asked the Pharaoh to accept the True Faith and free the Bani Isra’il from the slavery. The Pharaoh refused, and asked Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) to show some sign to prove his claim of prophethood. Musa (عليه السلام) cast his staff (عصا) on the ground and it turned into a huge snake, which advanced towards the Pharaoh with a fearsome manner. In great fright the Pharaoh crawled under his throne and begged Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) to save his life. Musa (عليه السلام) picked up the snake and it became a staff again. He then showed the Pharaoh his second miracle. He pressed his hand under his armpit and when .he brought it out it was shinning brilliantly. Then he repeated the action and his hand became normal.
The Pharaoh was in great terror at what he had seen. He assembled all his advisors and asked them to consider and decide how best they could meet the threat posed by Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) . Having discussed the matter among themselves, the advisors assured him that the matter was not as serious as appeared at first sight. Those two men were magicians who, by their sorcery, wanted to deprive him of his Kingdom and also to destroy their religion which regarded him as god, worthy of worship. They advised him not to accept any demand made by the two magicians and on the other hand to invite all the great magicians living in Egypt who would, by their skill, prevail upon the two visiting magicians.
The Pharaoh accepted this advice. He ordered all the famous magicians in Egypt to be brought before him, and when they came he told them what was expected of them. They asked the Pharaoh what was the special trick of the magician whom they were to confront. They were informed that he could turn his staff into a snake. At this, the magicians said in a casual manner that it was not a big deal. They too could change staffs and ropes into snakes and that nobody could beat them at that trick. They also wanted to know what their reward would be if they defeated their opponent. The Pharaoh replied, “If you are successful in this contest I will make you part of my own family and you will be given everything that you desire”.
The magicians in agreement with Musa عليه السلام appointed the morning of the day of their festival for the contest. Ibn Jubair (رض) reports that the day of their festival was the 10th of Muharram. A large number of people were gathered in a vast open space to see the contest. They were in no doubt about its outcome. They scoffed at Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) and said tauntingly that in case he got the better of their own magicians, they would accept his religion لَعَلَّنَا نَتَّبِعُ السَّحَرَةَ إِن كَانُوا هُمُ الْغَالِبِينَ (So that we may follow the sorcerers if they are victorious – 26:40).
When everything was ready, the Egyptians asked Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) whether he would like to begin the contest or he wanted them to make the start. He invited them to show their tricks first. So they threw their staffs and ropes with the words بِعِزَّةِ فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّا لَنَحْنُ الْغَالِبُونَ (By the majesty of the Pharaoh we are going to prevail definitely – 26:44) which at once turned into creeping, coiling snakes.
This sight evoked fear in the heart of Sayyidna Musa فَأَوْجَسَ فِي نَفْسِهِ خِيفَةً مُّوسَىٰ. (So, Musa concealed some fear in his heart – 20:67). Now this fear could be a natural human reaction and not even prophets are free from it. Or it may be that he was overtaken by a momentary doubt about the success of his own mission. But Allah commanded him by means of revelation to cast his staff. As he did so, it turned into a huge snake and ate up all the snakes which the Egyptians had produced with their tricks. The magicians who knew everything about magic at once realized that the performance of Sayyidna Musa عليه السلام was no magic but a miracle from Allah. So they openly announced their faith in the One and Only Allah and accepted the religion brought by Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) . They said they repented their past sins and abjured the faith of their forefathers. Thus, Allah effectively belittled the Pharaoh and his companions frustrating their evil designs فَغُلِبُوا هُنَالِكَ وَانقَلَبُوا صَاغِرِينَ (So, they were overcome there and turned humiliated – 7:119). It is also reported that while the contest was in progress ‘Asiya, the Pharaoh’s wife, put on a humble garb and prayed to Allah for Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) . The people of Pharaoh were under the impression that she was anxious for the Pharaoh and was praying for him while all her worries were about Musa (عليه السلام) .
The Pharaoh was now in a dilemma. He had no intention of allowing Bani Isra’i1 to leave Egypt. In the years that followed Egypt was visited by several calamities such as floods, locusts, lice, frogs appearing in food and utensils etc. (these have been described in the Qur’an as آيَاتٍ مُّفَصَّلَاتٍ (Signs distinct 7:133). The Pharaoh would, at the time of each such visitation, approach Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) and promised to release Bani Isra’il from his bondage and let them leave Egypt if he prayed to Allah to deliver him from the disaster. But as soon as the affliction was removed through the prayers of Musa عليه السلام the Pharaoh reneged on his promise.
This happened several times until Allah commanded Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) to take Bani Isra’il with him and leave Egypt. One night he and the whole tribe of Bani Isra’il quietly stole out of Egypt. The next morning when the Pharaoh discovered their escape, he assembled his army and went after them. Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) and his men soon came to a river which had to be crossed. Allah commanded the river that when Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) would strike its water with his staff it should part to make twelve exits for the twelve tribes of Bani Isra’il and that when they had crossed over, it should resume its normal flow again.
When Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) reached the river, he forgot that if he struck the river with his staff it would open up twelve passages for him and his men. As they stood there not knowing what to do, the Pharaoh and his army appeared in the distance. In utter despair they criedإِنَّا لَمُدْرَكُونَ (Surely we are overtaken – 26:61). At that critical moment Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) remembered Allah’s promise to him. He at once struck his staff on the water and the river parted showing twelve passageways. Quickly he and his men went across. The Pharaoh and his army who were hard on their heels followed them over the passageways but when they reached the midstream and the last of the Bani Isra’il had crossed over safely, the water of the river flowed over the passageways as commanded by Allah. And so the Pharaoh and his entire army perished under the eyes of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) and his men. Some of the men feared that the Pharaoh might have escaped death and Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) prayed to Allah to reveal his death to them. Then by the command of Allah the Pharaoh’s dead body was tossed out of the river and everybody witnessed his end.
As Sayyidna Musa and Bani Isra’il continued their journey they came across a people who worshipped idols which they themselves had fashioned. Bani Isra’il were tempted and they said to Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) يَا مُوسَى اجْعَل لَّنَا إِلَـٰهًا كَمَا لَهُمْ آلِهَةٌ ۚ قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ قَوْمٌ تَجْهَلُونَ إِنَّ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ مُتَبَّرٌ مَّا هُمْ فِيهِ ‘ ( O Musa! make a god for us like they have gods”. He (Musa) said, “You are really an ignorant people. at these people are in, is sure to be destroyed” – 7:138, 139). He also reminded them of the miracles which Allah had revealed in their behalf and the bounties which He had showered on them and asked them how they could entertain such wicked ideas. Having admonished them thus, he and his party proceeded on their travel until they came to a place where they camped. There he said to his men, “You stay here while I go to my Lord. I will return after thirty days. In my absence my brother Harun (عليه السلام) will act as my deputy and you should obey him in all matters”.
Then Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) went to the mount of Tur where he was commanded by Allah, to fast for thirty continuous days in order to prepare himself for conversation with Him. After fasting for thirty days continuously he sensed a bad odor in his mouth which is usual when people fast for long periods, and he thought it would be grossly irreverent for him to appear before Allah and receive His message in that state. So he cleaned his mouth with an aromatic grass which grew on a hill close by. When he approached the August presence, Allah asked him why he had broken the fast. He replied, “0 Lord! I merely wished to get rid of the offensive smell in my mouth before coming to Your presence”. Allah said, “0 Musa! Surely you know that the odor from the mouth of a person who observes fast is more pleasant to Us than the fragrance of the perfume of musk. Go back; fast for ten more days and then return to Us.” Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) obeyed Allah’s command.
After the departure of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) his brother Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) assembled Bani Isra’il and addressed them saying, “You have brought along with you many things which you either borrowed from the people of the Pharaoh (Egyptians) or which were deposited with you by them, as a trust. At the same time there are many things belonging to you which you loaned to them or left with them in trust. You seem to think that you can appropriate to yourself the Egyptian’s property in lieu of what you have left behind with them. I do not consider this deal as lawful; and since we cannot return to the Egyptians what really belongs to them, I suggest that we dig a pit and bury all such property in it”. Bani Isra’il accepted this advice and threw everything into the pit. Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) then had a big fire built over it so that everything was reduced to ashes. He said, “Now it is neither theirs nor ours”.
Among the Bani Isra’il there was a man by the name of Samiri who, though not one of them, had migrated with them when they left Egypt.
He came from a tribe who worshipped cows. Being an observant person he noticed a strange phenomenon namely that wherever Sayyidna Jibra’il (عليه السلام) put his foot, he left traces of life. He picked up a handful of earth from one such place and as he was going along he met Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) who thought that the man had in his hand something of value belonging to the Egyptians. He told him to throw it into the pit as the others had done, but Samiri said that what he held in his hand was the earth from the footprints of Sayyidna Jibra’il (عليه السلام) with whose help they all had crossed the river and that he would not throw it away unless Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) promised to pray to Allah for the fulfillment of a wish which he cherished in his heart. On the latter’s promise to do so he threw the earth in this pit and as promised, Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) prayed to Allah to grant Samiri his wish. Thereupon Samiri prayed, “I wish that all the gold, silver, iron and brass which has been thrown in this may take the shape of a calf’. Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) had already prayed to Allah on behalf of Samiri, and his prayer was granted by Allah. So all the valuables and other metals which had been thrown in the pit assumed the cast of a calf which had no life but produced a sound like the bellow of a bull. According to Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) it was not the sound of a living thing but more like the low-pitched sound of wind passing through a hollow passage.
This strange event greatly perplexed the Bani Isra’il and split them into several groups. Samiri told them that the calf was the true God and that Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) had strayed from the right path. One group accepted his claim and adopted the worship of the calf. Another group reserved their judgment until Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) would explain to them how the matter stood, while a third group rejected Samiri’s claim outright and refused to accept the calf as their god.
When Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) saw this mischief and discord he admonished the people and said:
يَا قَوْمِ إِنَّمَا فُتِنتُم بِهِ وَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ الرَّحْمَـٰنُ فَاتَّبِعُونِي وَأَطِيعُوا أَمْرِي
“O my people! You have only been led astray with it, and your Lord is the Rahman (All-Merciful). So follow me and obey my command.” – 20:90.
But they asked about Sayyudna Musa (عليه السلام) why did not he come back while he had promised to return after thirty days and even after forty days nearing completion there was no news of him. Some foolish persons suggested that perhaps he had lost his Allah and was even at that time searching for Him.
While these events were taking place at the camp, Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) having completed forty days of fasting was honoured with conversing with Allah Ta` ala who informed him of the disorder into which Bahi Isra’il had fallen:
فَرَجَعَ مُوسَىٰ إِلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ غَضْبَانَ أَسِفًا
So Musa went back to his people in anger and sorrow. (20:86)
He put aside the Tablets of Torah which he had brought from the mount of Tur and pulled his brother Harun (عليه السلام) by the hairs. Later, when he had calmed down and Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) had given an account of everything that had happened, he accepted the explanation given by his brother and prayed to Allah to forgive him.
Sayyidna Musa عليه السلام then went to Samiri and asked him to explain his actions. He replied:
فَقَبَضْتُ قَبْضَةً مِّنْ أَثَرِ الرَّسُولِ فَنَبَذْتُهَا وَكَذَٰلِكَ سَوَّلَتْ لِي نَفْسِي
I picked up a handful of dust from under the foot of the messenger (the angel). Then I cast it, and thus my inner self tempted me – 20:96.
Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) then replied to him with the following words:
فَاذْهَبْ فَإِنَّ لَكَ فِي الْحَيَاةِ أَن تَقُولَ لَا مِسَاسَ ۖ وَإِنَّ لَكَ مَوْعِدًا لَّن تُخْلَفَهُ ۖ وَانظُرْ إِلَىٰ إِلَـٰهِكَ الَّذِي ظَلْتَ عَلَيْهِ عَاكِفًا ۖ لَّنُحَرِّقَنَّهُ ثُمَّ لَنَنسِفَنَّهُ فِي الْيَمِّ نَسْفًا
He (Musa) said, “Then go away, for your fate in this life is to say: Do not touch me. And, of course, you have another promise, never to be held back from you. And look at your god to which you stayed devoted. We will certainly burn it, then we will scatter it thoroughly in the sea. (20:97)
Bani Isra’il now realized that they had been led astray and they admired those who agreed with Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) in negating the divinity of the calf. They begged Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) to pray to Allah to forgive them and that they were ready to expiate for their sins. Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) took pains in selecting seventy persons from amongst them who were well-known for their virtue and piety and who, according to his knowledge had abstained from the worship of the calf. He led this selected group to the mount of Tur where all of them might beseech Allah’s Mercy. But as they approached the mount, the earth shook in a violent earthquake. On this, Sayyidna Musa felt greatly embarrassed in front of the group he was leading as well as before his people in general, therefore he pleaded to Allah:
رَبِّ لَوْ شِئْتَ أَهْلَكْتَهُم مِّن قَبْلُ وَإِيَّايَ ۖ أَتُهْلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ السُّفَهَاءُ مِنَّا
“My Lord, had it been Your will, You could have destroyed them earlier, and me too. Would you destroy us for what the foolish among them have done?” – 7:155.
It then transpired that the cause of the earthquake was that despite all his inquiries and precautions some of the men included in the delegation had indeed worshipped the calf and still cherished a sense of reverence for it.
Allah Ta` ala replied to the prayer of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) as follows:
وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَسَأَكْتُبُهَا لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِآيَاتِنَا يُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الْأُمِّيَّ الَّذِي يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عِندَهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنجِيلِ
“And My mercy extends to everything. So, I shall write it for those who fear, and pay Zakah, and those who do believe in Our verses. Those who follow the Messenger, the Ummi (unlettered) prophet whom they find written with them in the Torah and the Injil (The gospels) “. (7:156, 157)
Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) said, “0 Lord! I had prayed to You on behalf of my people who have repented their evil deeds but You have just informed me that Your mercy encompasses everyone but the Bani Isra’il. 0 Lord! Why was my birth not delayed and why was I not born among the favoured people of the unlettered Prophet?” On this, Allah told him that the only way through which Bani Isra’il’s repentance could be accepted by Him was that each one of them should slay with sword anyone he finds from among his relations, be he his father or son and at the same spot where the sin of worshipping the calf was committed. Thereupon those among the seventy delegates whom Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) had brought with him in the belief that they were pious people, but who in their hearts felt reverence for the calf, also repented and obeyed the rigorous condition for the expiation of their sins, and when this was done, Allah forgave the sins of the slayers as well as the slain.
It will be recalled that when Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) returned to his people from the Tur on learning that they had fallen into mischief he had put aside in anger the Tablets which he had brought from the mount. He now picked them up and led his people towards the Holy land (Syria). On the way they passed by a city where a mighty and powerful people lived whose unusual appearance inspired fear in the hearts of all who saw them. Many tales of their valour and cruelty were related to the Bani Isra’il so that when Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) proposed to enter the city they refused and said, “0 Musa! These people are tyrants and we cannot face them. We will not enter this city so long as they are there, but if somehow, they can be made to leave the city we will gladly enter it.” Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) argued with them but they were adamant and refused to be moved.
The Holy Qur’an has, at another place, mentioned that two persons tried to convince Bani Isra’il to enter the city. According to Yazid Ibn Harun, a narrator of this report, Sayyidna Abdullah Ibn ` Abbas (رض) has interpreted the relevant verse to the effect that these two men belonged to the tyrant nation. They after coming out from the city had embraced the faith of Musa (عليه السلام) and realized that Bani Isra’il are terrified by their nation. Therefore, they said to Bani Isra’il, “We are fully aware of the nature of our own nation. You are terrified of their high stature and their large number, but in reality they have no strength of heart, nor do they have courage to face you. If you proceed to the gate of the city, you will see that they will surrender and you will prevail.” Some commentators have held that these two men were from Bani Isra’il and convinced them to proceed to the city, but even after hearing their advice they flatly refused and addressed Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) in the most absurd manner as mentioned by the Holy Qur’an in the following words:
يَا مُوسَىٰ إِنَّا لَن نَّدْخُلَهَا أَبَدًا مَّا دَامُوا فِيهَا فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلَا إِنَّا هَاهُنَا قَاعِدُونَ
we shall never enter it, in any case, so long as they are there. So go, you and your Lord, and fight. As for us, We are sitting right here.” (5:24)
Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) had seen enough of the arrogance and defiant attitude of Bani Isra’il in spite of the numerous favours and benefits showered upon them by Allah and had refrained so far from praying against them for their provocations. But the rude reply which they now gave him filled his heart with sorrow and he prayed against them and termed them as فَاسِقِينَ (Transgressors). Allah Ta` ala accepted his prayer, and holding them as فَاسِقِينَ (transgressors), denied them entry into the Holy Land for forty years and confined them to an open plain where they wandered aimlessly from morning till evening. However since Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was also with them, Allah favoured them with many gifts even while they suffered punishment. Wherever they went in this waterless desert of Tih (Sinai) a constant cloud shaded them from the burning sun. For food, Allah sent to them من وسلویٰ (Manna is a viscous substance from the ash tree and Salwa is a quail-like bird). As if by a miracle their clothes were never torn nor did they become dirty. They were given a square stone and Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was instructed to strike it with his staff whenever they needed water and twelve springs of sweet water – three on each side – gushed out of it to serve the twelve tribes of Bani Isra’il, thus avoiding all disputes. At the end of their journeys wherever they camped, they found that the square stone was there already. (Qurtubi)
According to the present narration of this Hadith-ul-Futun, Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) had attributed it to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . That Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) did not tell this story on his own, or after hearing it from someone else is the correct view in my opinion which is supported by the following event:
When Sayyidna Mu’awyia (رض) heard this Hadith from Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) ، he denied the truth of that part of the story which said that while the men of the Pharaoh were unable to find any clue which could lead them to the murderer of the Egyptian (i.e. Sayyidna Musa عليه السلام), it was disclosed by the second Egyptian with whom the Isra’ili 6f the previous day was fighting. Sayyidna Mu’awyia’s objection was that the Egyptian being ignorant of the previous day’s murder could not have known and disclosed the name of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) as the murder. The only witness to the event was the Isra’i1i.
When Sayyidna Mu` awyia expressed his doubts about this part of the Hadith Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) got angry and took the former by the hand and brought him to Sa’d Ibn Malik Zuhri and asked him if he remembered the occasion when the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) related the story about the murdered Egyptian. When Sa’d Ibn Malik replied in the affirmative he asked him, “Now tell me whether it was the Isra’ili or the Egyptian who brought information about the murderer to the Pharaoh”?, Sa’d Ibn Malik (رض) replied that it was the Egyptian because he had heard the Isra’ili say that the murder was committed by Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) and reported the matter to the Pharaoh. Imam Nasa’i has reproduced this long Hadith in کتاب التفسیر of his larger book Al-Sunan al-Kubra.
Tabari and Ibn Abi Hatim have both reproduced this Hadith in detail in their Commentaries and have expressed the view that it is not مَرفُوع ( marfu’ ) i.e. it is not mentioned by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) but is in the words of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) عنہما which he has taken from those Isra’i1i traditions of Ka` b al-Ahbar whose reproduction and narration is permissible. It is true, however, that at places it contains sentences of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . Ibn Kathir has reproduced this Hadith in his Commentary and after giving his own arguments says that, like Tabari and Ibn Abi Hatim, Sheikh Abul Hajjaj Mizzi also believes that this tradition is مَوقُوف which means that it is a saying of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) and not of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) .
The results, lessons and the great benefits to be obtained from the story of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام)
The importance which the Qur’an attaches to the story of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) is evident from the fact that it is repeated frequently in several Surahs, the reason being that it contains numerous lessons for mankind, instances of high wisdom and unusual manifestation of the Supreme Power of Allah. All these things confirm a true believer in his beliefs, and provide for him practical and moral guidance. A brief account of some of these is given in the following paragraphs.
The Pharaoh’s foolish plan and how Allah frustrated it
On being told that a boy born to the Isra’ilites would cause the overthrow of his Kingdom, the Pharaoh issued orders that all male children born among the Isra’ilies should be put to death. Later on for his personal and diplomatic reasons he modified those orders so that male children born in alternate years only were put to death. Allah had the power to bring about the birth of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) in the year in which the male children born to the Isra’ilies were spared, but He willed that the tyrant’s brutal plan should recoil on himself. Therefore it was decreed that Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) should be born in the year when the new born Isra’ili boys were to be put to death. Then Allah in His Supreme Wisdom created a situation in which the Pharaoh took Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) under his care and brought him up in his own palace. While all the Isra’ili male children were being put to death lest any of them pose a threat to the Pharaoh’s authority, Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) grew up in the luxury of the royal palace where he was loved and respected by everyone.
Divine favours for the mother of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام)
If Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) had accepted the milk from any other wet-nurse he would have spent his early years in the Pharaoh’s palace and his mother would have suffered great anguish at being separated from her son. Also he would have been nursed by an infidel woman. But an inscrutable decree of providence saved him from being nourished by an infidel woman and at the same time united him with his mother. The Pharaoh and his wife felt beholden to her and not only showered gifts on her but also gave her good remuneration for her services. By bringing Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) to her own house she escaped the necessity of having to live in the
Pharaoh’s palace like any other servant. فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّـهُ أَحْسَنُ لْخَالِقِينَ
Good news for industrialists and traders
There is a Hadith according to which the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said that an industrialist or a businessman who, while engaged in his trade also desired to win the good-will of Allah was like the mother of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) ، who nursed her own child and at the same time was paid for her services (Ibn Kathir). It means that if a mason who builds a mosque, a school or a building for public use is concerned only with his wages, he would receive it, but nothing more. But if he undertook to construct these buildings in preference to other jobs with the intention that these would be used for good purposes and would benefit pious persons then, like the mother of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) ، he would receive his wages as well as the religious benefit.
The chosen servants of Allah are gifted with a special attribute so that all who see them, love them
وَأَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةً مِّنِّي
And I have cast love on you from Myself – 20:39.
This verse suggests that Allah bestows upon his chosen servants a special grace which causes all men, friend or foe, to love them. Of course, the prophets enjoy this grace to a much greater degree, but many saints are also known to have possessed it.
Why was the murder of the Egyptian by Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) regarded as a sin?
When Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) saw an Egyptian infidel fighting an Israili Muslim, he struck the former with a blow causing his death. He described this act as an act of Shaitan and prayed to Allah for forgiveness and Allah accepted his prayer.
Here is a point for consideration by jurists. This Egyptian was an infidel and a citizen of a non-Muslim state who had no peace agreement between him and Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) . Also he could not be given the status of a ذِمِّی (Dhimmi: A non-Muslim under Muslim rule) who is entitled to full protection from the Muslims. He was a non-Muslim citizen of دار الحرب (Enemy country) and according to Muslim law killing such a person does not constitute a sin. So why was the murder of the Egyptian described as an act of Shaitan and a sin?
In none of the commentaries has this issue been brought up for consideration. Some time back, at the behest of Hadrat Maulana Ashraf ` Ali Thanavi (رح) began writing my book احکام القراٰن and when I came to this issue, I sought his guidance, and his explanation was that although there was no covenant between Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) and the Egyptian nor did he enjoy the status of a Dhimmi (a non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim state) yet neither of them was the head of a state. They were both subjects of the Pharaoh and at peace with each other. This was for all practical purposes an implied covenant between the two of them. Thus the murder of the Egyptian was in the nature of violation of the implied compact and therefore a sin. And since the murder was not deliberate but accidental, it does not adversely affect the sanctity of his Prophethood. For this reason in pre-partition India when both the Muslims and the Hindus lived under the British rule, Hadrat Maulana Thanavi (رح) did not consider it lawful for the Muslims to take the life or property of a Hindu.
Helping the weak and public service have their own rewards both in this world and in the hereafter
When Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) reached the outskirts of Madyan, he noticed two girls who stood aside because they were too weak to contend against men and water their goats. These girls were complete strangers to him and he himself was a homeless wanderer. But being a decent man he was prompted to come to their help. He watered their goats and by this act of kindness he gained the pleasure of Allah. And his worldly reward was that Sayyidna Shu’aib (عليه السلام) gave him his daughter in marriage.
The philosophy and benefits of a situation in which one Messenger was an employee and the other an employer
Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) came to the house of Sayyidna Shu’aib عليه السلام an honoured guest. After sometime when he felt sufficiently secure from pursuit by the Pharaoh’s soldiers, Sayyidna Shu’aib (عليه السلام) at the suggestion of his daughter, offered him employment on wages. This offer embodies a deep philosophy from Allah and guidance for mankind.
First: Sayyidna Shu’aib (عليه السلام) was a Prophet of Allah Ta` ala and it was not beyond his means to entertain a traveler for sometime without asking for recompense. But it seems that by prophetic wisdom he had perceived that being a person of noble character Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) would not accept his hospitality much longer and would move to some other place where he might suffer hardship. He therefore made a straight offer of employment. Here is a lesson that it is not proper to become a burden on somebody’s hospitality for long periods.
Second: Allah Ta` ala had chosen Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) for the grant of prophethood, and although toil and hard labour are neither the pre-conditions for prophethood, nor can the prophethood be obtained by any amount of exertion and effort, because it is a pure gift from Allah, yet His Supreme Wisdom had decreed that the prophets should also undergo a period of strenuous physical labour as a means of character building and for reforming others. The life of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) had been spent in comfort and luxury and since he was destined to be a leader of mankind and to reform their moral life, his service with Sayyidna Shu’aib (عليه السلام) was to accustom him to hard work and to prepare him for the great mission for which Allah had chosen him.
Third: Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was given the task of tending the flocks of goats of Sayyidna Shu’aib (عليه السلام) . It is rather strange that many prophets have, at one time or the other, performed similar duties. Now a goat often breaks away from the main flock to the great annoyance of the shepherd. If he lets it stray it may be lost or even fall prey to a wolf, and if he punishes it, he may cause injury to the delicate animal. Therefore he has to be very patient with his flock. The same is the case with prophets; they can neither ignore the errant humanity nor can they be too severe in disciplining them. They have to conduct themselves with great patience and forbearance.
How to choose the best man for a job
The daughter of Sayyidna Shu’aib عليه السلام suggested to her father that he should employ Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) in his service as the latter was both strong and honest قوی ، امین . The word قَوِی (qawiyy: strong) is applied to a person who is strong and has ability to perform satisfactorily the duties which are entrusted to him, and (amin, honest) means that the record of his past life proves his honesty and integrity.
These two brief words, if considered in depth, cover all the qualities for selecting a person for different jobs and offices, public or private. In some cases even the detailed parameters laid down for the selection of employees in contemporary institutions are not so comprehensive as these two words are. Honesty, in particular, is something totally neglected today when selecting a candidate, the entire importance being given to academic degrees only. The corruption, disorder and mismanagement seen in public and private institutions at present is mainly caused by neglecting honesty and integrity in the employees. If a person is qualified and wise, but devoid of honesty, he may devise ways to protect himself from rules against his inefficiency and corruption. This is exactly what has rendered many public and private institutions inefficient and corrupt. Islam has therefore laid great emphasis on honesty and integrity, the blessings of which have been witnessed by the world through the centuries.
Difference between the approach of magicians and that of the prophets
The address which the Pharaoh delivered to his magicians in which he warned them of the threat to the country called for a patriotic response from the magicians, but they exploited the situation and negotiated their reward in case they gained victory over Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) . On the other hand the prophets declare openly that they do not expect any reward for their services.
وَمَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ
I do not claim from you any reward for it – 26:109
Among the many factors for the success of their mission is the denial of all material rewards for their services. Nowadays the non- payment of remuneration to scholars, jurists, preachers etc. from Government sources has compelled them to accept payment for their services which, though permitted by the later jurists, has reduced the effectiveness of their mission.
Truth about the magic of the Egyptian magicians
The Egyptian magicians caused their sticks and ropes to appear as if they had really turned into snakes. The question is whether they were in reality turned into snakes. The Qur’an says:
يُخَيَّلُ إِلَيْهِ مِن سِحْرِهِمْ أَنَّهَا تَسْعَىٰ
Seemed to him, due to their magic as if they were running – 20:66.
This shows that they did not really become snakes, but it was some kind of mesmerism which cast a hypnotic spell on those present, to whom they appeared as running snakes. This, of course, does not mean that things or substances cannot be transformed by magic, but the Egyptian magicians did not possess these powers.
Division into tribes in matters of social life is not censurable
Islam has condemned the notion that regional, linguistic, ethnic and tribal divisions become the basis of nationalism. It has encouraged in all possible manners the elimination of all such differences and prejudices. The very foundation of Muslim polity rests on Islamic nationalism where people of diverse description, race, lineage and culture constitute one single nation. The first step which the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) took when laying down the foundations of the Islamic state at Madinah was to unite the Muhajirs and the Ansar into a single bond of brotherhood. In his last sermon (حجَّۃ الوداع) he laid down the rule, for all times to come, that prejudices and divisions based on geographical region, race and language are the idols which Islam has demolished. Nevertheless, their distinctions in the matters of social life have been duly recognized and permitted within reasonable limits. This is to avoid any hardship for the people due to the fact that the customs of living, dress, food etc. vary from one area to the other and from one tribe to another.
The Isra’ilites whom Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) led out of Egypt were divided into twelve tribes and when crossing the river on their flight twelve passageways were cleared, one for each tribe. Similarly in the plain of Tih (the waterless desert where Bani Isra’il wandered for forty years) the stone, by a miracle shot forth twelve springs of water in order that the twelve tribes of Bani Isra’il might not engage in strife over the use of water.
Appointment of a deputy to manage the affairs of a community
When Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) parted from his people in order to engage himself in prayers at the mount of Tur for thirty days, he appointed Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) as his deputy during his absence and commanded his people to obey the latter in all matters, so that disputes and quarrels might not rise among them. This shows that when the head of a community or a family proceeds on a journey, he should, following the practice of the prophets, appoint a deputy to maintain order and discipline among them.
A disagreeable course of action may temporarily be adopted if it prevents disruption among Muslims
When Bani Isra’il started worshipping the calf during the absence of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) ، Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) remonstrated with them but did not go to the extent of severing all relations with them and his justification was that any harsh action by him would have caused a split among the Bani Isra’il.
إِنِّي خَشِيتُ أَن تَقُولَ فَرَّقْتَ بَيْنَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَلَمْ تَرْقُبْ قَوْلِي
“I feared that you would say, ‘You have caused discord among the children of Isra’il it and did not observe my advice”. (20:94)
Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) accepted this explanation and prayed to Allah in favour of his brother. It leads to the principle that it is permissible to take a lenient view against an evil as a temporary expediency to prevent discord and strife among Muslims.
A vital principle of Prophetic Mission
When ordering Sayyidna Musa and Sayyidna Harun (علیہم السلام) to go to Egypt and invite the Pharaoh to the path of righteousness, Allah also enjoined upon them to adopt a soft attitude toward him. فَقُولَا لَهُ قَوْلًا لَّيِّنًا لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَىٰ (So, speak to him in soft words. May be, he takes to the advice or fears [ Allah ] – 20:44). Here an important principle has been enunciated that those who wish to reform people and lead them to a life of virtue should always be gentle and amiable towards their opponents however obstinate and perverse they may be. By such methods alone can they be persuaded to give heed to the message brought to them by the prophets.
The Pharaoh, who claimed to be a god, was also absolutely guilty of the massacre of thousands of Isra’ili children just to safeguard his life and his Kingdom. But when Allah sent the two messengers to him, He gave them a guideline, namely that they should talk to him in a gentle and persuasive manner so that he might ponder and reflect on the message which they had brought to him. This guideline was emphasized in spite of the fact that Allah knew that the Pharaoh would never give up his obduracy nor his perverse ways. Here the intention was to bind the prophets to a conduct which might induce people to reflect and ultimately instill the fear of Allah in their hearts.
An unfortunate tendency is in vogue among the scholars of criticizing each other which they regard as a service to Islam. There is a need for curbing this tendency and the true teaching of Islam should be adopted.
قَالَا رَبَّنَآ اِنَّنَا نَخَافُ اَنْ يَّفْرُطَ عَلَيْنَآ اَوْ اَنْ يَّــطْغٰي
Why was Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) afraid?
The words إِنَّنَا نَخَافُ (We are afraid) signifies that here Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) and Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) expressed twofold fear before Allah. The first fear is pointed out by the word أَن يَفْرُطَ which means to cross all boundaries. So the meaning of the sentence is ‘perhaps the Pharaoh would attack even before listening to us’. The other fear is mentioned with the words أَن يَطْغَىٰ – which means that Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was apprehensive that the Pharaoh might, after listening to his demands, become so refractory and perverse that he might speak about Allah in disrespectful terms.
It will be recalled that when prophethood was bestowed upon Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) ، he had prayed to Allah to depute Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) also to assist him in his mission, and Allah had accepted his prayer. At the same time Allah informed him سَنَشُدُّ عَضُدَكَ بِأَخِيكَ وَنَجْعَلُ لَكُمَا سُلْطَانًا فَلَا يَصِلُونَ إِلَيْكُمَا ‘ (“We make. your arm stronger through (the help of) your brother and will make for you the upper hand so they will not reach you (with any harm) “-28:35) and that whatever else he asked for was granted to him (قَدْ أُوتِيتَ سُؤْلَكَ يَا مُوسَىٰ ) “You have been granted your request 0 Musa” – 20:36. Among the things granted to him was شرح صدر (heart at peace) which means that he was made immune to fear. So, when he had received such firm assurances from Allah, how does one explain the fear expressed by him in this verse. One answer to this question is that the promise of victory and security from harm is rather vague in that victory may refer to success in debate with the Pharaoh and his men. It can also be argued that victory could come only if the Egyptians heard his arguments and reasoning, and saw his miracles but there was this possibility also that they might attack him before he had laid his arguments before them. Besides, شرح صدر does not mean elimination of natural fear.
The second point is that fear of fearsome things is a natural instinct and even prophets are not free from it in spite of their complete faith in the promises of Allah. Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) himself was afraid to pick up his staff when it turned into a snake therefore Allah re-assured him with the word لَا تَخَف (do not be afraid). On all such occasions Allah removed their fears by propitious tidings. Three other verses: فَخَرَجَ مِنْهَا خَائِفًا يَتَرَقَّبُ (So, he went out of it (the city) in a state of fear, waiting (for what comes next) – 28:21) and فَأَصْبَحَ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ خَائِفًا (Then, next morning he was fearful, waiting [ for what comes next ] – 28:18) and فَأَوْجَسَ فِي نَفْسِهِ خِيفَةً مُّوسَىٰ (So Musa concealed some fear in his heart – 20:67) can also be quoted expressing the same fear. It was this natural fear which persuaded the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) to migrate to Madinah and some of his Companions (رض) to migrate first to Abbysinia and later to Madinah. In the Battle of Ahzab the Muslims were so overawed by the strength of their enemies that they dug a trench as a protective measure even though Allah had promised them victory on numerous occasions. The truth is that while they did not have the least doubt about their ultimate victory, the fear which they felt was the result of a spontaneous human impulse in the face of danger, and the prophets being human are not immune to this impulse.
قَالَ لَا تَخَافَآ اِنَّنِيْ مَعَكُمَآ اَسْمَعُ وَاَرٰى
Allah said,إِنَّنِي مَعَكُمَا أَسْمَعُ وَأَرَىٰ “I am surely with you both. I hear and I see.” – 20:46) Here the word “with you” is used in the sense of divine help and support which human senses cannot perceive.
Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) called upon the Pharaoh to embrace the True Faith and also to deliver the Bani Isra’il from bondage
This shows that the prophets have the duty of guiding mankind towards their salvation as well as to liberate their people from worldly and economic bondages. Therefore, in this verse Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) is reminded of both these duties.
God created everything; and everything is performing the functions assigned to it by Him
This point calls for some elucidation which is given in the following lines. The guidance which Allah gives to the prophets and which is in the nature of a duty imposed upon them is a special kind of guidance which is addressed only to human beings and Jinns who are gifted with intellect. There is also another kind of guidance known as guidance of Takwin (creation) which every created thing possesses. Allah has given to fire, water, earth and air, and their compounds a special kind of feeling and perception which are not of the same nature as given to human beings and Jinns. This is the reason why the laws governing things which are permissible and those which are forbidden do not apply to them. Through this feeling and perception Allah has assigned duties to all created things and in obedience to this command of Takwin and guidance, the earth, the sky and every other created thing is busy performing its allotted tasks. Air, water, fire and earth are all fulfilling the purpose for which they were created. They do not deviate from their destined course except by the command of Allah. And when He so commands the fire turns into a bed of flowers (as for Sayyidna Ibrahim عليه السلام), and water acts as fire as for the people of Sayyidna Nuh أُغْرِقُوا فَأُدْخِلُوا نَارًا – 71:25). Who has taught a newly born baby to draw milk from its mother’s breast or to cry when hungry or in pain? It is this same Divine guidance which every created thing receives without any formal training.
In brief, every created thing has been programmed, by Allah, with a guidance of Takwin (creation) which it is genetically bound to follow and deviating from the same is beyond its power. The other kind of guidance which is given to the human beings and to Jinns is not inherent in the nature and thus, is not compulsory but optional. It is this freedom of choice which renders them liable to reward for good deeds and to punishment for their sins. The verse
قَالَ مَوْعِدُكُمْ يَوْمُ الزِّيْنَةِ وَاَنْ يُّحْشَرَ النَّاسُ ضُـحًي
مَوْعِدُكُمْ يَوْمُ الزِّينَةِ وَأَن يُحْشَرَ النَّاسُ ضُحًى (Your appointment is the festival day and that the people are assembled at forenoon – 20:59). يَوْمُ الزِّينَةِ has been explained differently by different authorities. Some say it was a special festival when the Egyptians, attired in beautiful dresses, gathered outside the towns, while others say that it was a Saturday (‘ یوم السَّبت), and according to some others it was the tenth day of Muharram (عاشُورا).
The great advantage in fixing for the contest
It was a wise move on the part of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) to fix festival day as the day of contest when all Egyptians, high and low, were expected to assemble at an appointed place. There was also a point in fixing early forenoon as the time for the contest because this is the time when people, having finished their daily chores, are free to engage in other things. Also daylight and visibility are at their best in the early forenoon and people, while dispersing after witnessing a momentous event, spread the news far and wide. Thus when, with Allah’s help, Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) inflicted a crushing defeat on the Egyptian magicians, the story became known the same day to people living in far flung places.
قَالَ لَهُمْ مُّوْسٰى وَيْلَكُمْ لَا تَفْتَرُوْا عَلَي اللّٰهِ كَذِبًا فَيُسْحِتَكُمْ بِعَذَابٍ ۚ وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنِ افْتَرٰى
Sayyidna Miisa’s I prophetic address to the magicians
Before the start of the contest Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) addressed some words of friendly advice to the magicians to warn them of divine punishment if they persisted in denying God’s miracles and other manifestations of His power. His actual words were:
وَيْلَكُمْ لَا تَفْتَرُوا عَلَى اللَّـهِ كَذِبًا فَيُسْحِتَكُم بِعَذَابٍ وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنِ افْتَرَىٰ
Pity on you, do not fabricate a lie against Allah, lest He uproots you with a punishment. And loser is he who fabricates a lie – 20:61.
It was hardly to be expected that the magicians who had entered the field with all the might of the Pharaoh-behind them would pay any heed to Sayyidna Musa’s (عليه السلام) words of advice. However, the prophets and their followers possess a hidden power so that their plain and simple words penetrate the most unruly and perverse minds, and the address of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) caused discord and dissensions among the magicians, some of whom thought that these could not be the words of a magician but of a higher being and were therefore, against the contest. But others were adamant,
اِنْ ھٰذٰىنِ لَسٰحِرٰنِ يُرِيْدٰنِ اَنْ يُّخْرِجٰكُمْ مِّنْ اَرْضِكُمْ بِسِحْرِهِمَا وَيَذْهَبَا بِطَرِيْقَتِكُمُ الْمُثْلٰى
Said they, “Certainly, these two are sorcerers who wish to drive you out from your land and do away with your excellent way of life. (20:63)
The word مُثْلَىٰ is the feminine of which means “most excellent”. The meaning is that the Egyptians believed that their religion which regarded the Pharaoh as god was the best and Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) and Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) wanted to destroy it and supplant their own religion in its place. The word طَرِیقَہ (translated in the text as ‘way of life’ ) is also used to describe the chiefs and leading citizens and according to Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) and Sayyidna ` Ali (رض) the word has been used here in this sense namely that these two men wished to finish off all their leaders and important citizens and it was therefore, the duty of the Egyptian magicians to unite and use their best endeavours to defeat the enemy
قَالَ بَلْ اَلْقُوْا ۚ فَاِذَا حِبَالُهُمْ وَعِصِيُّهُمْ يُخَيَّلُ اِلَيْهِ مِنْ سِحْرِهِمْ اَنَّهَا تَسْعٰي
The Egyptians were confident of their success and in a mood of complacency asked Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) whether he would like to make the first move or whether they should initiate the contest. Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) invited them to start the contest (Rather, you throw – 20:66) and there were several reasons for this. In the first place the Egyptians showed courage when they invited Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) to open the battle and this offer called for an equally generous and chivalrous response. Secondly by making the offer the Egyptians showed their confidence in the outcome of the contest and implied as if they had already won it. On his side Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) ، by his counter-offer, sought to convey to the Egyptians that he regarded the result of the game as a foregone conclusion in his own favour. And finally he wished to see the tricks of the Egyptians before he planned his own strategy. So, with these preliminaries over, the Egyptians cast their staffs and ropes on the ground and it appeared to the onlookers as if they had turned into snakes and were running about.
يُخَيَّلُ إِلَيْهِ مِن سِحْرِهِمْ أَنَّهَا تَسْعَىٰ (Their ropes and sticks seemed to him, due to their magic, as if they were running – 20:66). The verse shows that the Egyptian magicians had cast a hypnotic spell on the onlookers to whom it appeared that the staffs and the ropes had turned into snakes and were running about on the ground, whereas in fact no such transformation had taken place.
وَاَلْقِ مَا فِيْ يَمِيْنِكَ تَلْقَفْ مَا صَنَعُوْا ۭ اِنَّمَا صَنَعُوْا كَيْدُ سٰحِرٍ ۭ وَلَا يُفْلِحُ السَّاحِرُ حَيْثُ اَتٰى
وَأَلْقِ مَا فِي يَمِينِكَ (And throw what is in your right hand – 20:69). Allah commanded Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) by means of a revelation (وحی) to cast down what he held in his right hand, and when he threw down his staff it turned into a huge snake and ate up all the imaginary snakes which the Egyptian magicians had produced by their magic.
Conversion to Islam and bowing in prostration by the Pharaoh’s magicians
The Egyptian magicians who were masters of their art realized at once that what they had just witnessed was not magic but a miracle brought about by a Supreme Power. Consequently they fell in prostration and declared openly their faith in Allah – the God of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) and Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) . According to some traditions these magicians did not raise their heads until they had seen a glimpse of heaven and hell. (رواہ عبد بن حمید و ابن ابی حاتم وابن ال؛منذر عن عکرمہ – روح)
قَالَ اٰمَنْتُمْ لَهٗ قَبْلَ اَنْ اٰذَنَ لَكُمْ ۭ اِنَّهٗ لَكَبِيْرُكُمُ الَّذِيْ عَلَّمَكُمُ السِّحْرَ ۚ فَلَاُقَطِّعَنَّ اَيْدِيَكُمْ وَاَرْجُلَكُمْ مِّنْ خِلَافٍ وَّلَاُوصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ فِيْ جُذُوْعِ النَّخْلِ ۡ وَلَتَعْلَمُنَّ اَيُّنَآ اَشَدُّ عَذَابًا وَّاَبْقٰي
قَالَ آمَنتُمْ لَهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ آذَنَ لَكُمْ (He [ the Pharaoh ] said, “You have believed in him before I permit you” – 20:71). The Pharaoh, thus disgraced before a vast multitude, was furious and he stormed at the magicians how they dared accept the religion brought by Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) without his prior permission. He suspected that they all were Sayyidna Musa’s (عليه السلام) pupils who taught them the magic and had accepted defeat in connivance with him.
فَلَأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُم مِّنْ خِلَافٍ (I will certainly cut apart your hands and your legs from opposite sides – 20:71). The Pharaoh thus threatened his magicians with dire punishment. He said he would cut off their hands and feet from opposite sides i.e. first the right hand, then the left foot. This apparently was the mode of inflicting punishment under the laws of the Pharaoh. وَلَأُصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ فِي جُذُوعِ النَّخْلِ (And will crucify you on the trunks of palm-trees – 20:71) He also said that after cutting off their hands and feet he would crucify them on the trunks of palm-trees where they would remain suspended until they died of starvation.
قَالُوْا لَنْ نُّؤْثِرَكَ عَلٰي مَا جَاۗءَنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنٰتِ وَالَّذِيْ فَطَرَنَا فَاقْضِ مَآ اَنْتَ قَاضٍ ۭ اِنَّمَا تَقْضِيْ هٰذِهِ الْحَيٰوةَ الدُّنْيَا ، اِنَّآ اٰمَنَّا بِرَبِّنَا لِيَغْفِرَ لَنَا خَطٰيٰنَا وَمَآ اَكْرَهْتَنَا عَلَيْهِ مِنَ السِّحْرِ ۭ وَاللّٰهُ خَيْرٌ وَّاَبْقٰي، اِنَّهٗ مَنْ يَّاْتِ رَبَّهٗ مُجْرِمًا فَاِنَّ لَهٗ جَهَنَّمَ ۭ لَا يَمُوْتُ فِيْهَا وَلَا يَحْيٰي
قَالُوا لَن نُّؤْثِرَكَ عَلَىٰ مَا جَاءَنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالَّذِي فَطَرَنَا (They said, “We will never prefer you over the clear signs that have come to us, and over Him who created us.” – 20:72). The magicians, however, stood firm and did not waver in the face of the Pharaoh’s threats. They told him plainly that they would not give him, nor anything he said, preference over the clear proofs and the miracles which Allah had shown to them. Sayyidna ` Ikrimah (رض) says that when the magicians prostrated themselves before Allah, He gave them a glimpse of the eminent places and the gifts which were to be their reward in Paradise. They confirmed their belief in the one God Who created the earth and the skies and rejected Pharaoh’s claim to divinity: While neglecting the threats of the Pharaoh they further said: “So you do what you want and punish us in whatever manner you choose. And, “You can punish us as long as we live but when we die we will be out of your reach. On the other hand we are in the power of Allah both in this and after death, and His punishment is of greater concern to us”.
وَمَا أَكْرَهْتَنَا عَلَيْهِ مِنَ السِّحْرِ (And the magic you had compelled us on – 20:73). The magicians now accused the Pharaoh of having forced them to practice magic else they would not have taken it up. Here a question may arise that the magicians came to the contest of their own free choice and had even negotiated beforehand their reward if they were victorious. How, then, could they justify their accusation that the Pharaoh had forced them to practice magic? A possible answer can be that whereas the magicians, to begin with, were tempted by promises of generous rewards for taking part in the contest they soon realized that they stood no chance against miracles and wanted to withdraw from the contest. It was then that the Pharaoh forced them to take up the challenge of Musa (عليه السلام) . Another explanation is that under a law passed by the Pharaoh everybody was compelled to learn magic.
The propitious end of ‘Asiyah (رض) ، the Pharaoh’s wife
Qurtubi has mentioned in his commentary that while the contest between vice and virtue was in progress, the Pharaoh’s wife kept herself informed of the minute to minute developments and when she learned that Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) had emerged victorious, she at once declared her adherence to the True Faith. When the Pharaoh was informed of his wife’s defection, he ordered that a huge rock be thrown upon her. When ‘Asiyah saw the rock coming, she raised her eyes in supplication to Allah who took away her soul so that the rock fell on her lifeless body.
Revolutionary change in the lives of the magicians
إِنَّهُ مَن يَأْتِ رَبَّهُ مُجْرِمً—- وَذَٰلِكَ جَزَاءُ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ
Surely whoever comes to his Lord as a sinner, for him there is Jahannam .:.. And whoever comes to Him as a believer … for such people there are the highest ranks…. (20:74-76)
These words which refer to the Islamic beliefs and the hereafter have been spoken by the magician who only recently became Muslims and who had not yet been instructed about the principles and the obligations of the new faith.
It was the result of their brief association with Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) that Allah, in an instant, revealed to them the mysteries of their new faith so that they gave scarce heed to Pharaoh’s threats. Thus with the adoption of the religion of Allah they attained a state of sainthood which is given to others after long and assiduous exertions. Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas and ` Ubaid Ibn ` Umair (رض) said it was a divine marvel that the magicians who started the day as infidels became saints before it ended. (Ibn Kathir)
وَلَقَدْ اَوْحَيْنَآ اِلٰى مُوْسٰٓى ڏ اَنْ اَسْرِ بِعِبَادِيْ فَاضْرِبْ لَهُمْ طَرِيْقًا فِي الْبَحْرِ يَبَسًا ۙ لَّا تَخٰفُ دَرَكًا وَّلَا تَخْشٰى
The decisive defeat which he suffered in the contest between the right and wrong and between miracle and magic broke the power of the Pharaoh, and the Bani Isra’ile stood united under the leadership of Sayyidni Musa (عليه السلام) . Allah now commanded Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) to take his men out of Egypt. But this move was full of danger. First there was the risk of pursuit by the Pharaoh, and second the river, which they had no means of crossing, barred their flight. Allah dispelled both these fears from Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) mind and told him to strike his staff on the surface of the water, and dry passageways would appear in the bed of the river over which they could all escape, thus frustrating Pharaoh’s pursuit. This story has been narrated earlier under Hadith ul-Futun in this very Surah.
When the time came, Sayyidna Musa عليه السلام struck the surface of water with his staff and masses of water stood asunder revealing twelve dry paths, as mentioned in Surah Ash-Shu` ara’ فَكَانَ كُلُّ فِرْقٍ كَالطَّوْدِ الْعَظِيمِ (And each part became like a big mountain- 26:63). The walls of water which divided the passages were so formed that those going on one road could see and talk to those travelling on other roads, thus imparting to them all a sense of security.
The number of the Ban’ Isra’il who fled Egypt and the strength of the Pharaoh’s army
According to Ruh ul-Ma` ani Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) embarked on his journey towards the Red Sea with the Bani Isra’il soon after sunset. Earlier they had announced that one of their festivals was approaching which they would celebrate outside the city, and on this excuse, as well as to allay the suspicions of the Egyptians, they borrowed some jewellery from the Copts promising to return it after the festival. At that time Bani Isra’il numbered six hundred and three thousand, while another version puts their number at six hundred and seventy thousand. These figures, which may be exaggerated, have been taken from Isra’ilite traditions, but one thing appears certain, namely that they were divided into twelve very populous tribes. These large numbers were also a gift from Allah because the first arrivals in Egypt in the days of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) were just the twelve brothers. Now the twelve tribes of those twelve brothers which fled Egypt numbered well over six hundred thousand.
When the Pharaoh learned that the Bani Isra’il had taken flight, he assembled a large army of which the advance units consisted of seven hundred thousand horsemen and started off in pursuit. When the Bani Isra’il saw the river barring their way ahead and the Pharaoh hot on their heels, they cried out in despair. “Surely! We are caught”. Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) consoled them with the words إِنَّ مَعِيَ رَبِّي سَيَهْدِينِ (With me is my Lord indeed. He will guide me – 26:62). Then by the command of Allah he struck his staff on the water and twelve dry passageways appeared on which the twelve tribes of Bani Isra’il crossed over to the other side in safety. The Pharaoh who saw all this was frightened but he urged his men on by declaring that the dry paths were formed because the river stopped flowing on account of the awe which it felt in his presence. Saying so, he spurred his horse into the river ordering his army to follow him. When they were all in the middle, Allah commanded the river to resume its flow and water covered them over. (Ruh ul-Ma` ani)
يٰبَنِيْٓ اِسْرَاۗءِيْلَ قَدْ اَنْجَيْنٰكُمْ مِّنْ عَدُوِّكُمْ وَوٰعَدْنٰكُمْ جَانِبَ الطُّوْرِ الْاَيْمَنَ وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَنَّ وَالسَّلْوٰى
وَوَاعَدْنَاكُمْ جَانِبَ الطُّورِ الْأَيْمَنَ (And appointed for you the right side of the mount Tur. (20:80) ) After their deliverance from the threat of the Pharaoh, and when they were safe across the river, Allah made a promise to Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) and through him to the Bani Isra’il that they should move to the right side of the mount of Tur so that Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) might be given the Torah and so that they might witness him speak with Allah.
وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَنَّ وَالسَّلْوَىٰ (And sent down for you the Mann and Sa1w. – 20:80) This incident occurred when, having crossed the river, they were commanded to enter a sacred city, but they refused and as punishment they were confined to a valley which is known as the valley of Tih (Sinai). They stayed there for forty years and in spite of the punishment which they were undergoing they continued to receive gifts from Allah, and the Mann and Salwa (a special kind of food) was one such gifts which was given to them for their sustenance.
وَمَآ اَعْجَلَكَ عَنْ قَوْمِكَ يٰمُــوْسٰى
Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) and the Bani Isra’il, having escaped the Pharaoh’s wrath and having crossed the river in safety, proceeded on their journey. Soon they came upon a people who worshipped idols. They said to Sayyidna Musa “These people have adopted the idols as their gods who are visible as well as tangible. Do give us also a god whom we can see and touch.”, Sayyidna Musa عليه السلام replied,إِنَّكُمْ قَوْمٌ تَجْهَلُونَ ﴿١٣٨﴾ إِنَّ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ مُتَبَّرٌ مَّا هُمْ فِيهِ وَبَاطِلٌ مَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿١٣٩﴾ (“You are really an ignorant people. at these people are in, is sure to be destroyed; and false is what they are doing.” – 7:138-139.)
It was then that Allah commanded Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) to bring his people to the mount of Tur where he would receive the Book Torah which would be a code and a policy document for all of them. However, he would have to prepare himself to receive the Torah by observing a fast for thirty days and thirty nights continuously. This period was later extended by a further ten days so that the total period of fasting was forty days and forty nights. Then Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) led his people towards the mount of Tur, but in his eagerness to receive the Torah he hastened ahead so that he could complete his prayers and fasts for the prescribed period of thirty days as early as possible. He appointed Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) to be his deputy during his absence. The Bani Isra’il continued the journey at their leisurely pace while he pushed on hoping that they would join him in due course near the mount of Tur. In the meanwhile Samiri, by his wiles, seduced them into adopting the calf as the object of their worship and thus divided them into three factions. This unfortunate development seriously impeded their progress towards the Tur.
Allah questioned Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) about his haste and the wisdom behind the question
When Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) appeared before Divine Presence, Allah questioned him as to why he had hastened ahead of his people. The obvious purpose of the question was to inform Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) of the mischief into which his people had fallen while he himself, unaware of what had happened in his absence, was expecting their arrival at the Tur (Ibn Kathir). On the other hand, according to Ruh ul-Maani, the question contained an implied rebuke to Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) on his haste which deprived his people of his supervision and enabled Samiri to mislead them. His position as a prophet made it incumbent on him to stay with his people and keep a watchful eye on them and their activities. The learned commentator has further observed that this question implied an indication that a leader should remain behind his people when travelling with them, as Allah Ta` ala had ordered but to bring his people out of the city and to remain at their back وَاتَّبِعْ أَدْبَارَهُمْ (follow them at the rear -15:65)
Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) ، ignorant of Samiri’s mischief, answered the question put to him by Allah that his haste was the result of his ardent desire to fulfill Allah’s command without loss of time so as to deserve His greater favour, and that his people were close behind him and might arrive at any time. It was at that moment that Allah informed him of the evil that had befallen his people and the part played by Samiri in bringing it about.
قَالَ فَاِنَّا قَدْ فَتَنَّا قَوْمَكَ مِنْۢ بَعْدِكَ وَاَضَلَّـهُمُ السَّامِرِيُّ
Who was Samiri?
Some people have said that Samiri was an Egyptian Copt who lived next door to Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) and had accepted the True Faith. When Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) took the Bani Isra’i out of Egypt he also joined the exodus. Others have said that he was the chief of one of the clans of Bani Isra’il called Samira which is still well-known in Syria. According to Sayyidna Said Ibn Jubair (رض) he was a Persian from the Kirman province. Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) says that he belonged to a nation of cow-worshippers who somehow reached Egypt and pretended to join the religion of Bani Isra’il whereas in actual fact he was an hypocrite (Qurtubi). Another version is that he was a Hindu from India who worshipped cows, adopted the religion of Sayyidna Musa Ali truly, and later returned to his infidel faith, or had accepted the true faith in hypocrisy.
Samiri’s name, as generally believed, was Musa Ibn Zafar. Ibn Jarir has related from Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) that Samiri was born in the year when under the orders of the Pharaoh all male Isra’ili children were to be killed. His mother, fearing the worst, put him in the hallow of a cave and covered its mouth. She would visit him from time to time and feed him as best as she could. On the other hand Allah appointed Jibra’il (عليه السلام) to look after the child and provide him nourishment. Jibra’il (عليه السلام) brought honey on one finger, butter on the second finger and milk on the third finger which he fed to the child. He lived in the cave until he grew to manhood and, as has already been narrated above, became an unbeliever, involved the Bani Isra’il in a great disaster and himself suffered a terrible fate as a punishment from Allah. A poet has made a reference to this story in the following two couplets:
إذا المرء لم یخلق سعیدا تحیَّت عقول مربّیه و خاب المؤمل
فموسی الذی ربّاہ جبریل کافر و موسیٰ الذی ربّاہ فرعون مرسل
If a person is not fortunate in his birth then the minds of those who bring him up are bewildered and those who attach high hopes on him are disillusioned. Lo! The Musa whom Jibra’il brought up became an infidel and the Musa who was raised by the Pharaoh became the Prophet of Allah.
فَرَجَعَ مُوْسٰٓى اِلٰى قَوْمِهٖ غَضْبَانَ اَسِفًا ڬ قَالَ يٰقَوْمِ اَلَمْ يَعِدْكُمْ رَبُّكُمْ وَعْدًا حَسَـنًا ڛ اَفَطَالَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْعَهْدُ اَمْ اَرَدْتُّمْ اَنْ يَّحِلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ غَضَبٌ مِّنْ رَّبِّكُمْ فَاَخْلَفْتُمْ مَّوْعِدِيْ
أَلَمْ يَعِدْكُمْ رَبُّكُمْ وَعْدًا حَسَنًا (Did your Lord not promise you a good promise? – 20:86) Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) returned to his people full of sorrow and anger. First of all he reminded them of the promise which Allah had made to them that He would give them a Book for their guidance by adhering to which they could achieve all their worldly and religious objectives. He said that it was for the purpose of receiving the Book that he had started out with them for the mount of Tur.
أَفَطَالَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْعَهْدُ (Did then the time become too long for you? – 20:86) Not much time had elapsed on Allah’s promise and it is inconceivable that the Bani Isra’il could have forgotten it, or if they remembered it, there was no reason for them to despair of its fulfillment on account of delay, thus providing for themselves justification for the worship of the calf.
أَمْ أَرَدتُّمْ أَن يَحِلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ غَضَبٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ (Or did you wish that wrath from your Lord befalls you? – 20:86) But since neither of the two eventualities mentioned above could be contemplated, the only conclusion was that they knowingly and of their own choice invited the wrath of Allah.
قَالُوْا مَآ اَخْلَفْنَا مَوْعِدَكَ بِمَلْكِنَا وَلٰكِنَّا حُمِّلْنَآ اَوْزَارًا مِّنْ زِيْنَةِ الْقَوْمِ فَقَذَفْنٰهَا فَكَذٰلِكَ اَلْقَي السَّامِرِيُّ
قَالُوا مَا أَخْلَفْنَا مَوْعِدَكَ بِمَلْكِنَا (They said, “We did not back out of our own volition, of the promise made to you”. – 20:87) The excuse which the Bani Isra’il offered for adopting the worship of the calf was that they did not do so of their own choice but merely followed Sas example.
وَلَـٰكِنَّا حُمِّلْنَا أَوْزَارًا مِّن زِينَةِ الْقَوْمِ (But we were burdened with loads from the ornaments of the people. – 20:87) The word أَوْزَارًا (awzar) is the plural of وزر (wizr) which means “burden”. On the Day of Judgment everybody will carry his bundle of sins on his shoulders just as one carries a load; therefore the sin is also termed as ‘wizr’ (load). The word زینہ means ornament and قوم (the people) refers to the Egyptians from whom Bani Isra’il had borrowed the ornaments on the pretext of wearing them on their festival day, but which they did not return to their owners and carried with them on their flight from Egypt. These ornaments have been described as اوزار in the sense of “sins” because these were borrowed articles and by not returning them to their lawful owners the Bani Isra’il had committed a sin. From the hadith ul-futun which has been reproduced in detail in the earlier pages it would appear that Sayyidna Harun عليه السلام warned them about their guilt and directed them to throw all the ornaments in a pit. According to some other versions it was Samiri who told them that by holding on to something which did not belong to them they were committing a sin and advised them to throw all the ornaments in a pit, which they did.
When does the property of infidels become lawful for the Muslims?
The non-Muslims who live in a Muslim state and abide by its laws they are known as Dhimmis. Such people as well as those infidels who have entered into a treaty with the Muslims remain in full control of their properties and it is not lawful for the Muslims to deprive them of any part of it. However, the properties of those infidels who are neither Dhimmis nor have any treaty with the Muslims, and who are described by the jurists as (an infidel belonging to enemy country) are lawful for the Muslims.
That being so why did Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) describe the ornaments borrowed by the Bani Isra’il from the Egyptians as a burden, meaning sin, and ordered them to throw everything in a pit? One explanation, which a majority of commentators have given is that the properties of infidels of an enemy state carried the same status as that of spoils of war. The law governing the spoils of war before the promulgation of the Islamic code was that while the Muslims could forcibly dispossess the infidels of their properties, they were forbidden to use them for their personal benefits. All the spoils of war (مالِ غنِمَت) thus acquired were collected and placed on a mound as offering where a fire from the sky – such as lightning – consumed them and this was a sign that Allah approved their war against the unbelievers. On the other hand if the fire did not consume offering (the spoils of war) it was considered that Allah did not approve their war so that the spoils were regarded as inauspicious and nobody ever approached them. Under the Islamic Shari’ah some of the old laws were relaxed and as a result Muslims were permitted to use the spoils of war for their own benefit. A Hadith on this issue appears in Sahih of Muslim. According to the laws, in force then, even if the ornaments borrowed by the Bani Isra’il from the Egyptians were considered as spoils of war, those could not have been allowed for the personal benefit of Bani Isra’il. That is why everything was thrown into the pit under the orders of Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) .
The research conducted by Imam Muhammad (رح) on this issue from a Juristic point of view is given in his book,: and its commentary by Sarakhsi. His conclusions are very weighty and closest to the truth, namely that the property of a harbi (infidel belonging to an enemy country) cannot be treated as spoils of war in every case. In order to be so treated, and thereby become lawful for the Muslims, it must have been acquired by sword in the course of a proper religious war (jihad). On the other hand the property of a harbi (a citizen of an enemy state) which has been acquired otherwise than in a religious war cannot be treated as spoils of war. Such properties are however termed as فَییء (fai’ ) which can be used lawfully by the Muslims only with the consent of the owner. Taxes imposed by an Islamic state and paid by the infidels voluntarily fall in the definition of fai’ and their use is permissible even though they have not been acquired in the course of a religious war.
The ornaments borrowed by the Bani Isra’il did not fall in either of these two categories. They could not be described as fai’ because they were borrowed from the Egyptians who did not transfer their ownership to Bani Isra’il, nor could they be considered as spoils of war because they were not taken in the course of a religious war. Thus according to the Islamic Shari’ah the Bani Isra’il could not have lawfully used the ornaments for their personal benefit.
It is well-known that when the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) decided to migrate to Madinah, he had with him many valuables which the infidels of Arabia had entrusted to him for safe custody because they had full faith in his honesty and integrity and had, in recognition of these qualities, bestowed upon him the title of Amin ( اَمِین۔ honest). He was so solicitous about these deposits that he placed them in the hands of Sayyidna ` Ali (رض) and specifically directed him to restore them to their rightful owners before migrating to Madinah. This clearly shows that it is not lawful for Muslims to appropriate, for their personal use, the valuables belonging to non-Muslims.
The word فَقَذَفنٰھَا – means, “we cast away the ornaments”. According to the hadtth-ul-futun (narrated earlier in detail) this was done under the orders of Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) while some other versions say that Samiri cajoled the Bani Isra’il into throwing the ornaments in the pit. It is quite possible that both these versions are true (as appears below).
فَكَذَٰلِكَ أَلْقَى السَّامِرِيُّ (So did throw Samiri – 20:87) It appears from the hadith-ul-futun related by Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Abbas (رض) (reported in earlier pages) that after the Bani Isra’il had thrown away all the ornaments, Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) ordered a big fire to be lit in the pit which melted them and left them in one solid piece. The decision as to the disposal of this precious metal was deferred till the return of Sayyidna Musa’ (عليه السلام) . After all this had happened Samiri approached Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) . He had something in his closed fists and sought permission to throw it in the pit. Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) thinking that he held some ornaments in his fists permitted him to cast them in the pit. Then Samiri said, “I will certainly throw it, but first I want you to pray to God that a wish which I have may be granted.” Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) ، unaware of the evil which he planned, prayed to Allah in his behalf, and Samiri opened his hands and threw what he held in the pit. It was not ornaments but only dust from under the hoof marks of the horse of Jibra’il (عليه السلام) which Samiri had collected after he observed that signs of life appeared in the dust under the hoof marks of the horse. Aided by Shaitan he now wished to put life into a calf by means of this dust. Nevertheless, whether it was the result of the miraculous property of the dust or whether it was a consequence of the prayer of Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) in behalf of Samiri, the molten lump of gold and silver assumed the form of a calf and started making bovine sounds. There are other traditions also which relate that it was Samiri himself who persuaded the Bani Isra’il to throw the ornaments in the pit after which he carved the molten metal in the shape of a calf which had no life. He then sprinkled on it the dust from the hoof marks of the mount of Sayyidna Jibra’il (عليه السلام) and it became a living calf. All these and similar stories which are based on Isra’ilite traditions have been related by Qurtubi in his commentary and by other writers as well. These traditions cannot be wholly relied upon, yet at the same time we do not possess sufficient ground to disprove them either.
وَلَقَدْ قَالَ لَهُمْ هٰرُوْنُ مِنْ قَبْلُ يٰقَوْمِ اِنَّمَا فُتِنْتُمْ بِهٖ ۚ وَاِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ الرَّحْمٰنُ فَاتَّبِعُوْنِيْ وَاَطِيْعُوْٓا اَمْرِيْ
When the Bani Isra’il were smitten with the mischief of calf-worship Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) as the deputy of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) remonstrated with them but to no avail. They split into three factions. Those who remained loyal to Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) and refused to be misled by Samiri and who numbered, according to Qurtubi, twelve thousand. The second faction adopted calf-worship with the reservation that if Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) ، on his return, forbade them they would give it up. The third faction consisted of zealots who believed that Sayyidna Musa عليه السلام would approve of their action and would himself join them in calf-worship but even if he did not, they themselves would never give up their new faith. When Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) returned to his people he rebuked them for the mischief they had caused (as related in the earlier verses). Then he turned to Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) and in a rage seized him by his beard and the hair of his head. He asked him that when the unbelief (کُفر) of the Bani Isra’il had become obvious, why he did not follow him to the Tur mountain and why he disobeyed his orders.
مَا مَنَعَكَ إِذْ رَأَيْتَهُمْ ضَلُّوا ﴿٩٢﴾ أَلَّا تَتَّبِعَنِ (What did prevent you from following me when you saw them going astray. – 20:92-93) One meaning of ittiba’ (following) referred to in this verse is that when Sayyidna Haran (عليه السلام) discovered that the Bani Isra’il had strayed from the righteous path, and were beyond recall, he should have abandoned them and joined Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) at the Tur mountain. The other meaning of the word ‘follow’, as adopted by some commentators is that when the Bani Isra’il had forsaken the True Faith, Sayyidna Haran (عليه السلام) should have fought them as Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) would have done had he been present there. In any case Sayyidna Musa blamed Sayyidna Haran (عليه السلام) that he should either have fought the Bani Isra’il or should have parted company with them and joined Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) at the Tur mountain, and that his continuing to live with them was an unwise act. Sayyidna Haran (عليه السلام) addressed him as يَا ابْنَ أُمَّ (0 my mother’s son! ) which implied a plea not to judge him too harshly. His excuse was that if he had fought the Bani Isra’il or abandoned them with his twelve thousand men, it would have caused discord and strife among them. He said that he had understood the parting advice of Sayyidna Musa اخْلُفْنِي فِي قَوْمِي وَأَصْلِحْ (Take my place among my people and keep things right – 7:142) to mean that he should maintain harmony among the people and prevent differences at all cost. Besides, he said, he had hoped that when he (Sayyidna Musa عليه السلام) would return, he would be able to handle the situation satisfactorily. A further excuse which he offered and which is reported elsewhere in the Qur’an was: إِنَّ الْقَوْمَ اسْتَضْعَفُونِي وَكَادُوا يَقْتُلُونَنِي (7:150) which means that the Bani Isra’il have taken me as weak because of the small number of my supporters and were about to kill me. Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) did not press the matter any further with his brother. He then turned to Samiri and asked him to explain his conduct in this whole affair. Qur’an-does not indicate whether he accepted the excuses offered by Sayyidna Haran (عليه السلام) or whether he considered the latter’s mistake as one of ijtihad (assessment) and dropped the matter.
Differences between two prophets when the opinions of both could be right
In this affair the considered opinion of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) ، by way of ijtihad was that in the situation as it took shape Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) should have totally dissociated himself from the Bani Isra’il by removing himself and his followers from their company, and that by continuing to stay with them he had compromised his position. On the other hand Sayyidna Harun (عليه السلام) felt, by way of ijtihad, that such an action would have caused a permanent split among the Bani Isra’il and divided them into factions, and since there was hope that they would see the error of their way when Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) returned, he thought it wise to adopt a conciliatory attitude towards them. The purpose of both the prophets was a strict adherence to the commands of Allah and to ensure that the Bani Isra’il remained steadfast in the observance of the True Faith and in their belief in the Oneness of Allah. Where they differed, however, was the manner in which these objectives could be achieved whether to make a complete break with the dissidents or to bear with them in the hope those things would improve ultimately. Both these views have merit and it is not possible to pass a firm and final judgment on them. The differences among the jurists based on ijtihad are of a similar nature and those holding different opinions cannot be charged of having broken any religious laws. As regards Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) seizing his brother by the hairs, it only shows his anger and frustration with the situation which had developed during his absence, but on hearing his explanation, he prayed to Allah to forgive them both.
قَالَ بَصُرْتُ بِمَا لَمْ يَبْصُرُوْا بِهٖ فَقَبَضْتُ قَبْضَةً مِّنْ اَثَرِ الرَّسُوْلِ فَنَبَذْتُهَا وَكَذٰلِكَ سَوَّلَتْ لِيْ نَفْسِيْ
بَصُرْتُ بِمَا لَمْ يَبْصُرُوا بِهِ (I perceived something they perceived not – 20:96) The reference here is to Jibra’il (عليه السلام) . There is a tradition that he was present on his horse at the river crossing when, the Bani Isra’il having crossed it safely to the other side, the Pharaoh and his army entered the river in pursuit of the fugitives. There is another tradition that after Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) had crossed the river Sayyidna Jibra’il came to him riding a horse to invite him to go to the Tur mountain. At that time Samiri alone, and no one else, saw him and the reason, according to a tradition of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) ، was that he was nourished by Jibra’il when his mother had left him in the cave, and knew him well. (Bayan ul-Qur’ an)
فَقَبَضْتُ قَبْضَةً مِّنْ أَثَرِ الرَّسُولِ (So I picked up a handful of dust from under the foot of the messenger.- 20:96) The رَسُول word (messenger) refers to Jibra’il (عليه السلام) The Shaitan planted the idea in the heart of Samiri that the earth under the hoofs of the mount of Jibra’il must somehow contain signs of life and he should pick up some of it – which he did. According to the tradition of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض)
ألقی في روعہٖ أنَّه، لا یلقیھا علی شییء فہقُول کن کذا، الَّا کان
(The thought occurred to Samiri was that if he sprinkled this earth on something and uttered the words, “You become so and so”, it will change its original form and become “so and so.” )
It is also related by some exegetes that Samiri observed that grass sprouted unfailingly in the earth under the hoofs of the horse of Jibra’il (عليه السلام) from which he deduced that it contained traces of life. (کذا فی الکمالین). The same explanation is adopted by Ruh ul-Ma` ani on the authority of Tabi’in and majority of commentators, and it includes comments on doubts expressed by some skeptics فَجِزَاہُ اللہ خیر الجزاء . (Bayanul-Qur۔ an)
Later on he moulded the ornaments, which the Bani Isra’il had thrown in the pit, in the shape of a calf and sprinkled the earth on it. By a miracle of Allah it developed signs of life and could even make a sound. The detailed story of Samiri and his calf has been given in (hadith ul-futun) in earlier pages of this volume.
قَالَ فَاذْهَبْ فَاِنَّ لَكَ فِي الْحَيٰوةِ اَنْ تَقُوْلَ لَا مِسَاسَ
For your fate in this life is to say: ‘Do not touch me’.- 20:97
The punishment proposed by Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) for Samiri in this world was that everyone should sever all contacts with him and not to come near him, and he too was commanded not to touch anyone. Thus he was condemned to spend the rest of his life away from all social contacts – like a wild animal. Whether this punishment was awarded to him by Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) by means of a law which was binding on Samiri as well as on the Bani Isra’il, or whether Samiri was smitten by some peculiar affliction which deterred people from making any physical contact with him, is not known. Some traditions have it that Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) had laid a curse on Samiri so that if anyone touched him then both the parties came down with fever (Ma` alim). Thus he spent all his life hiding from people and whenever he saw someone approaching him, he would call out لَامِسَاسَ (Don’t touch me). It is mentioned in Ruh ul-Ma` ani on the authority of Al-Bahr ul-Muhit that initially Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) had intended to execute Samiri but Allah stopped him because Samiri was a very generous person and helped people who were in distress.
The word لَنُحَرِّقَنَّہ، means “we will certainly burn it”. Here the question arises: how could the calf which was carved from gold and silver be burnt, because these metals when subjected to extreme heat are melted but are not reduced to ashes. Several possibilities have been advanced. The first is that after signs of life appeared in it, the calf ceased to be a figure of gold and silver and became an animal of flesh and blood in which case it could be slaughtered and burnt. The second explanation is that it could be filed with a rasp into very minute particles of dust (Ad-Dur al-Manthur). A third explanation is that it could be burnt by means of some chemical device (Rub u1-Ma` ani). There is yet a fourth explanation, namely that the calf could be burnt by some miracle (Bayanul-Qur’ an).
فَتَعٰلَى اللّٰهُ الْمَلِكُ الْحَقُّ ۚ وَلَا تَعْجَلْ بِالْقُرْاٰنِ مِنْ قَبْلِ اَنْ يُّقْضٰٓى اِلَيْكَ وَحْيُهٗ ۡ وَقُلْ رَّبِّ زِدْنِيْ عِلْمًا
وَلَا تَعْجَلْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يُقْضَىٰ إِلَيْكَ وَحْيُهُ (And do not hasten with (reciting) the Qur’an before its revelation is concluded – 20: 114.) It has been stated in Sahih Hadith on the authority of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) that in the early days of revelation when angel Jibra’il (عليه السلام) brought a Qur’ anic verse and recited it to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، the latter would try to repeat it after him, lest it escapes from his memory. He had, thus, to make a double effort, i.e. to listen to and understand the meaning of the Qur’anic verses while they were being recited by Jibra’il (عليه السلام) and also to repeat them in order to commit them to memory. In this verse as well as in the verse لَا تُحَرِّكْ بِهِ لِسَانَكَ occurring in Surah قِیَامۃ (75:16) Allah lightened this burden from the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) by assuring him that he need not worry himself about memorizing the Qur’anic verses which were revealed to him because He (Allah) would make it possible for him to remember them without any effort on his part. All that he was directed to do was that he should keep praying, رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا (My Lord, improve me in knowledge). This comprehensive prayer includes a plea for memorizing that portion of the Qur’an which had already been revealed to him and a desire for what remained of it and for the ability to understand its true meaning.
وَلَقَدْ عَهِدْنَآ اِلٰٓى اٰدَمَ مِنْ قَبْلُ فَنَسِيَ وَلَمْ نَجِدْ لَهٗ عَزْمًا
And now we come to the story of Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) which has been related earlier in Surah Al-Baqarah and Al-A` raf and partly in Surah Hijr and Al-Kahf, and will also appear later in Surah Sad. The link of the story with the preceding verses has been variously explained by the commentators. The most obvious of these explanations is the one which refers to an earlier verse كَذَٰلِكَ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ أَنبَاءِ مَا قَدْ سَبَقَ (Thus We narrate to you certain events of what has passed- 20:99) in which Allah informed the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) that the stories of the past prophets were revealed to him as evidence and confirmation of his own prophethood and in order that his own followers be warned against committing the sins for which the earlier generations were punished. The first, and in some ways, the most instructive story was that of Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) in which there was a clear warning for the followers of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) that Shaitan was an old enemy of mankind who by his flattery and show of sympathy tricked Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) into committing an error for which both he and his wife were expelled from Paradise and the clothes which they wore there were taken away from them. Later their prayer for forgiveness was accepted by Allah and Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) was elevated to the status of prophethood.
وَلَقَدْ عَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ آدَمَ مِن قَبْلُ فَنَسِيَ وَلَمْ نَجِدْ لَهُ عَزْمًا (And earlier We had given a directive to ‘Adam, then he forgot, and We did not find in him a firm resolve. – 20:115) Here the word 6 has been used in the sense of اَمَرنَا or وَصَّینَا (A1-Bahr ul-Muhit), and the meaning of the verse is that long before the time of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) Allah had assigned a particular tree and enjoined upon Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) to shun it and not to eat any yield from it, and that barring this tree and its yields he was free to use the fruits of all the trees and all the other gifts from Allah which were abundantly available in Paradise. And, as will follow, he was also warned that the Shaitan was his enemy against whose wiles he must at all times remain on his guard and that any lapse on his part would land him in serious trouble. But he forgot and was found wanting in resolution. Here two words have been used, namely of نِسیَان (nisyan) which means to forget or to be unmindful, the other word is عَزم (` azm) which means to be resolute in the performance of some task. In order to fully comprehend the meanings of these two words it is well to bear in mind that Sayyidna ‘Adam عليه السلام was one of those prophets who were endowed by Allah with constancy and determination, and that prophets, by virtue of their status are infallible.
The first word suggests that Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) was overtaken by نِسیَان . (forgetting) and since forgetting something is beyond one’s control and volition it does not constitute sin. There is a Hadith which says رَفَعَ عَن اُمَّتِی الخَطَأ وَالنِسیَان (My followers will not be held liable for mistakes and unmindfulness). Then there is the general pronouncement in the Qur’an لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّـهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا (Allah does not obligate anyone beyond his capacity – 2:286). At the same time it has to be remembered that there are ways and means which if adopted will prevent people from forgetting things. And since the prophets stand high in the favour of Allah a special responsibility rests upon them to adopt such ways and means to avoid even mistakes and refrain even from forgetting something, therefore, they may well be held liable for not using the means which were available to them in order to avoid forgetfulness. The well known Sufi Junaid Al-Baghdadi (رح) has expressed this idea in the following words: حَسَنَات الابرار سَیَّٔات اَلمُقَرّبِین (The good deeds of ordinary virtuous men are often regarded as sinful and evil when performed by those who stand high in Allah’s favour).
The episode under reference occurred before Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) was granted prophethood and according to some Sunni Scholars sins committed in the prior period do not militate against the concept of the prophet’s immunity from sin. Also it was a case of forgetfulness which cannot be considered as a sin, but in view of the high position of Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) as a prophet of Allah this too was regarded as a lapse for which he was admonished and as a warning to him his lapse was described as عِصیَان ; as (Disobedience).
The second word is عَزم ` azm (firm resolve) and the same verse says that Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) was found wanting in عَزم ` azm. As a matter of fact he was fully determined to comply with the commands of Allah but the intrigues of Shaitan weakened his resolve and unmindfulness made him lose his grip on it.
وَاِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلٰۗىِٕكَةِ اسْجُدُوْا لِاٰدَمَ فَسَجَدُوْٓا اِلَّآ اِبْلِيْسَ ۭ اَبٰى
وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ (And when We said to angels – 20:116)Here is a brief mention of the command which, after the creation of Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) Allah gave to all the angels including Iblis (Shaitan) who at that time lived in the Paradise with them, to prostrate to him. All the angels obeyed but Shaitan refused. In his haughtiness he claimed that he was made of fire while Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) was made of clay, and fire being superior to clay, he could not be expected to prostrate to the latter. As a punishment for his arrogance and defiance of the command of Allah he was accursed and driven from Paradise while all the gates of Paradise were opened wide for Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) and Sayyidnh Hawwa’ (علیہا السلام) to enjoy the fruits of its gardens and all the blessings of Allah at their will. However, there was one particular tree which they were told to shun in all circumstances and never to partake of any of its produce. This story has been related in Surah Al-Baqarah and Al-A’rif. Instead of repeating it here, Allah has mentioned his directives given to Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) to comply with His commands to the fullest extent. Referring to the rebellious conduct of shaitan He reminds Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) that the former is his enemy and that both he himself and his wife should at all times be on their guard against his deceptions. But if they succumbed to his tricks and became heedless of the commands of Allah then they would be expelled from Paradise and face distress
فَقُلْنَا يٰٓاٰدَمُ اِنَّ ھٰذَا عَدُوٌّ لَّكَ وَلِزَوْجِكَ فَلَا يُخْرِجَنَّكُمَا مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ فَتَشْقٰي
(فَلَا يُخْرِجَنَّكُمَا مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ فَتَشْقَىٰ ). The word تَشقٰی (tashga) is derived from شَقَاوَہ (shaqawah) which has two meanings namely distress or trouble in the Hereafter and distress in this world. Here the word has obviously been used in the second meaning because it cannot be used in its first meaning even for pious Muslims, leave alone the prophets. Commentators have explained this word in the sentence ھو امن یاکل من کدّ یدیہ (He will have to earn his living by the labour of his hands). (Qurtubi) In the present context the second meaning of the word appears more appropriate because in the following verse reference has been made to the four basic needs of human life, namely food, water, clothes and shelter which are freely available in Paradise without any effort and toil. This verse also contains a hint to Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) that if he ever was expelled from Paradise, He would forfeit all these gifts. It is worth noting that here only those gifts have been mentioned which are basic to human life, to the exclusion of the other major rewards and comforts which are available in Paradise and the intention is to warn Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) that one wrong step would deprive him of all these benefits, which he would have to earn for himself with physical labour and by the sweat of his brow. Most commentators have adopted this very meaning of the word فَتَشقٰی . (lest you get into trouble) Imam Qurtubi اللہ تعالیٰ has also recorded that when Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) came down to the earth, Jibra’il (عليه السلام) gave him some grains of wheat and rice and taught him how to plant the seeds, harvest the ripe crop, grind the grain and prepare bread from it. Finally when all the stages were completed and Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) sat down to eat, the bread slipped out of his hand and rolled down the hill. Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) went after it and retrieved it with great exertion. Thereupon Jibra’il (عليه السلام) told Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) that on the earth he and his descendants would have to work very hard in order to earn their livelihood. (Qurtubi)
The responsibility for providing the essential needs of a wife rests on her husband _
Early in this verse when Allah spoke to Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) He included Sayyidah Hawwa’ also in His address عَدُوٌّ لَّكَ وَلِزَوْجِكَ فَلَا يُخْرِجَنَّكُمَا مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ (shaitan is your enemy and the enemy of your wife. So you both must be very careful so let him not expel you from Paradise – 20:117). But towards the end of the verse word فَتَشْقَىٰ (lest you get into trouble) is used in the singular and not in dual form. From this Imam Qurtubi has deduced the rule that a husband is responsible for meeting the essential needs of his wife and that any physical labour which is necessary to meet that responsibility must be provided by the husband alone. The use of the word فَتَشْقَىٰ in second person singular is a pointer to Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) that if they were sent to the earth the onus of earning a livelihood for himself and Sayyidah Hawwa’ (علیہا السلام) will fall on him alone.
Only four things fall within the definition of obligatory maintenance.
Qurtubi says that this verse clearly indicates that there are four things only which a husband must provide for his wife namely food, water, clothes and shelter. Anything else which he gives her will be regarded as gift, but is not binding on him. From this it has also been deduced that wherever Islamic law makes a person responsible for the maintenance of somebody else (such as sick and needy parents whose maintenance is the responsibility of the children), it is obligatory on him to provide only these four things.
فَوَسْوَسَ اِلَيْهِ الشَّيْطٰنُ قَالَ يٰٓاٰدَمُ هَلْ اَدُلُّكَ عَلٰي شَجَرَةِ الْخُلْدِ وَمُلْكٍ لَّا يَبْلٰى
(Then the Shaitan instigated him…And ‘Adam disobeyed his Lord and erred- 120, 121.) Here it is pertinent to ask that when Allah had specifically told Sayyidna ‘Adam and Sayyidah Hawwa’ (علیہما السلام) to abstain from a particular tree or to eat any part of its yield, and had also warned them to beware of shaitan’s machinations who was their sworn enemy who would do his best to seduce them and thus cause their expulsion from Paradise, why then, despite all the warnings and admonitions, did Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) let himself fall into the trap laid out for him by the shaitan. His action clearly constituted disobedience of the commands of Allah and were, therefore, acts of sin. There is consensus among scholars that the prophets of Allah are immune from all sins – minor or major, and Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) was a prophet of Allah! So how may one explain his action of eating the fruit of the forbidden tree when Allah had warned him in such clear terms? An answer to all these questions will be found in the commentary of Surah Al-Baqarah which also explains the use of the words عِصٰی (to disobey) and غَوٰی (to err) in reference to Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) . According to the divine Islamic law the action of Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) did not constitute a sin but because he was a prophet of Allah and in His high favour therefore this minor lapse on his part has been described as عِصیَان (disobedience) for which he was admonished by Allah. A further point here is that the word غَوٰی has two meanings: One is “to be deprived” and the other is “to err”, or “to go astray”. Al-Qushairi and Al-Qurtubi have adopted the first meaning of the word and have explained this verse by saying that as a punishment for his lapse Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) was deprived of the comforts which were available to him in the Paradise and as a result his life became harsh and bitter.
It is incumbent on Muslims to show reverence to the prophets of Allah when referring to them
Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn Al-` Arabi (رح) when discussing the word عَصٰی (disobeyed) etc. in reference to Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) in his book Ahkam-ul-Qur’an has made an important observation which is reproduced below in his own words:
قَالَ الْقَاضِي أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ الْعَرَبِيِّ: لَا يَجُوزُ لِأَحَدٍ مِنَّا الْيَوْمَ أَنْ يُخْبِرَ بِذَلِكَ عَنْ آدَمَ إِلَّا إِذَا ذَكَرْنَاهُ فِي أَثْنَاءِ قَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى عَنْهُ، أَوْ قَوْلِ نَبِيِّهِ، فَأَمَّا أَنْ يَبْتَدِئَ ذَلِكَ مِنْ قِبَلِ نَفْسِهِ فَلَيْسَ بِجَائِزٍ لَنَا فِي آبَائِنَا الْأَدْنِينَ إِلَيْنَا، الْمُمَاثِلِينَ لَنَا، فَكَيْفَ فِي أَبِينَا الْأَقْدَمِ الْأَعْظَمِ الْأَكْرَمِ النَّبِيِّ الْمُقَدَّمِ، الَّذِي عَذَرَهُ اللَّهُ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى وَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ وَغَفَرَ لَهُ. تفسير القرطبي (11/255، 256)
Today it is not permissible for any of us to use the word عِصیَان (disobedience) in relation to Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) except when it has been used with reference to this verse or to a Hadith of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . When indeed it is not desirable to use this word in relation to our own not-too-distant ancestors, who were like us, how can it be permissible in relation to Sayyidna ‘Adam (عليه السلام) who is the father of all mankind and more deserving of respect than our own ancestors? Besides he is a revered prophet of Allah whose excuse He accepted and forgave him for his lapse. For such a person the use of the word of (disobedience) is totally forbidden.
The same views have been expressed by Qushairi Abu Nasr.
وَمَنْ اَعْرَضَ عَنْ ذِكْرِيْ فَاِنَّ لَهٗ مَعِيْشَةً ضَنْكًا وَّنَحْشُرُهٗ يَوْمَ الْقِيٰمَةِ اَعْمٰى
وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِي (And whoever turns away from My message – 20:124.) Here the word can refer both to the Qur’an and the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) as has been mentioned in other verses ذِكْرًا ﴿١٠﴾ رَّسُولًا (65:10). In both cases the meaning would be that if anyone fails in his duty to recite the Qur’ an or to comply with its commands, or if he fails to submit to the authority of the Holy Prophet then as punishment he would be condemned to a harsh and rigorous life in this world and would be raised blind on the Day of Resurrection.
The truth about the life of infidels and evil-doers being harsh in this world
Here one may ask that a life of penury and destitution in this world is not for the infidels and wicked people only but it afflicts good and pious people also. Indeed the prophets of Allah have to endure the greatest misfortunes and calamities in their worldly life. Sahih .al-Bukhari and all other books of Hadith contain a tradition in which, on the authority of Sa’d and others, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is reported to have said that the severest trials and tribulations are suffered by the prophets and in the case of the pious people those who enjoy a higher rank in the hierarchy are the ones who will get a greater share of misfortunes. On the other hand the infidels and the evildoers enjoy a life of comfort and affluence. Therefore the words of the Qur’an that such people would be condemned to a harsh and rigorous life can refer to the life in the Hereafter (آخرَت) only, because experience shows that they have, in this world, all the comforts of life.
The answer to the question posed above is that the punishment which the evil-doers will suffer in this world refers to the chastisement which awaits them in the grave where their existence will be made miserable and beyond endurance. Their graves will be their abodes and will squeeze them so tight that their graves will crack. There is a tradition in Musnad al-Bazzar on the authority of Sayyidna Abu Hurairah (رض) that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) himself stated that the words مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا (straitened life) occurring in this verse (124) refer to the existence in the grave. (Mazhari)
Another interpretation given to these words by Sayyidna Said ibn Jubair (رض) is that these people will be deprived of the gift of contentment which will result in an overpowering greed for worldly goods (Mazhari) but no amount of wealth will ever give them peace and content. The constant desire to augment their worldly possessions and the fear of any decrease in their size will always keep them anxious and uneasy. It is generally observed that the wealthy people who have all the means of comfort at their disposal actually are unable to enjoy comfort themselves, because comfort cannot be achieved without content and peace of mind.
فَاصْبِرْ عَلٰي مَا يَــقُوْلُوْنَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوْعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ غُرُوْبِهَا ۚ وَمِنْ اٰنَاۗئِ الَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْ وَاَطْرَافَ النَّهَارِ لَعَلَّكَ تَرْضٰى
فَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ (So endure what they say – 20:130) The people of Makkah offered various excuses to justify their rejection of the religion brought to them by the Holy Prophet and these included derogatory remarks against his person also, such as branding him as a sorcerer, a poet or even an untruthful person. The Qur’an suggested here two weapons to combat the torments aimed at him by the infidels of Makkah. One was to show patience and forbearance in the face of all provocation, and the other was to devote himself wholeheartedly to prayers, as the words وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ (and proclaim the purity of your Lord) suggest.
Patience and prayers are the only remedies against aggressive hostility
Everyone in this world, whether he is big or small, good or bad, has enemies and these enemies, however weak and feeble they may be, can do harm to their opponents. If they are not strong enough, they will not hesitate to stab them in the back, and failing everything else they will use abusive language which is equally hurtful. Therefore everybody has to be on his guard to protect himself from the hostile designs of his enemies. The Qur’an has prescribed two very effective tools for use in such a situation. One is patience, forbearance and to eschew all thoughts of revenge, while the other is to occupy oneself in prayers and invocation of Allah. A person whose thoughts are full of revenge is often unable to exact it from his enemy despite his power and influence and is consumed with chagrin and frustration. On the other hand a person who devotes himself to prayers finds solace in the belief that nobody can harm him without the will of Allah and that whatever Allah wills has a hidden purpose behind it. This belief not only affords him satisfaction but also frees his mind from all thoughts of anger and revenge resulting from the hostile acts of his enemies. The words لَعَلَّكَ تَرْضَىٰ (So that you may be pleased) occurring at the end of the verse mean that “If you follow this advice, you will be able to lead a happy and contented life”.
وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ (And proclaim the purity and praise of your Lord – 20:130) Here the direction of proclaiming Allah’s purity is followed by the direction of proclaiming His praise. It implies an indication that when a person is given taufiq to remember Allah by performing dhikr or any other form of worship, it should not make him proud of it. Instead, he should praise Allah, because without His taufiq (facilitation) he could not perform that worship. Then, proclaiming the purity and praise of Allah may mean invocation of Allah and His praise, and they may also mean the prescribed prayers. The subsequent fixed times which have been mentioned obviously refer to prayer timings. Thus قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ (before the sunrise) means early morning (fajr) prayer وَقَبْلَ غُرُوبِهَا (before it sets) means midday prayers (zhur) and afternoon prayers (` asr) while وَمِنْ آنَاءِ اللَّيْلِ (and in some hours of night) means all prayers after sunset i.e. maghrib, ` isha’ and tahajjud. The words أَطْرَافَ النَّهَارِ (the edges of the day) are intended to put additional emphasis on Fajr and Maghrib prayers.
وَلَا تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ اِلٰى مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهٖٓ اَزْوَاجًا مِّنْهُمْ زَهْرَةَ الْحَيٰوةِ الدُّنْيَا ڏ لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيْهِ ۭ وَرِزْقُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ وَّاَبْقٰي
Worldly wealth is a fleeting thing and is not an evidence of God’s favour, and for good Muslims it is a danger signal
وَلَا تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ (And never stretch your eyes – 20:13) The words are addressed to the Holy Prophet and are intended to provide guidance to his followers. They are told not to cast covetous eyes at the splendor and glitter of those who revel in the enjoyment of worldly pleasures, because all these things are fleeting and transient while the grace and blessings bestowed upon the Holy Prophet and through him upon his followers are everlasting and much more desirable than worldly luxuries.
People have always wondered at the wealth and prosperity of the infidels and evil doers despite their being loathsome and contemptible in the eyes of Allah, while pious and obedient Muslims spend their lives in poverty and destitution. Even the great and highly respected Sayyidna ` Umar al-Faruq (رض) was made aware of this glaring disparity one day when he entered the private quarter of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and saw him lying on a mat of rough reeds which left their marks on his body. Sayyidna ` Umar (رض) stood there and wept. Then he said, “0 Prophet of Allah! The kings of Persia and Byzantium live in comfort and luxury whereas you who are the chosen prophet of Allah and also his beloved live such a harsh life.” To this the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) replied, “0 son of Khattab! Has it not dawned upon you yet that Allah has given to these people everything that is dear to them in this world, but they will have no share of the good things in the Hereafter, only punishment and pain?” This is the reason why the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) chose for himself a life which was free from the pomp and vanity of this wicked world, even though he had the means of accumulating all the comforts and luxuries of life. Whenever he received share of wealth even without physical toil or exertion, he immediately distributed it among the poor and the needy and kept nothing of it for himself. Ibn Abi Hatim has related, quoting Sayyidna Abu Said al-Khadri (رض) that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) once said,
عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ؛ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وسلم قال: ” إن أخوف ما أخاف عليكم مَا يَفْتَحُ اللَّهُ مِنْ زَهْرَةِ (4) الدُّنْيَا “. قَالُوا: وَمَا زَهْرَةُ الدُّنْيَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ؟ قَالَ: ” بَرَكَاتُ الْأَرْضِ”. تفسير ابن كثير ت سلامة (5/ 327)
What I fear most about you is wealth and worldly splendor which will be arrayed before you. (Ibn Kathir)
In this Hadith the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has foretold the Muslims about their conquests and the acquisition of vast territories which will bring them untold wealth and means of luxury. But there is no cause to feel satisfaction at these prospects; on the other hand there is every reason to fear such an eventuality because an excess of indulgence in luxuries may make people forget their duty to Allah.
وَاْمُرْ اَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلٰوةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا ۭ لَا نَسْــَٔــلُكَ رِزْقًا ۭ نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُكَ ۭ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقْوٰى
Requiring one’s relatives and associates to offer their prayers regularly and the philosophy behind it
وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا (And bid your family to perform salah and adhere to it yourself – 132) Here the Holy Prophet has been asked to direct the members of his family to say prayers and that he himself should be very particular about his prayers. These appear to be two separate commands, i.e. one for the family and the other for himself but the fact is that for a person to be steadfast in saying prayers it is essential that his family and friends should be equally mindful of their duty in this matter. The word اھل ahl used for the family is quite comprehensive and includes a person’s wife, children and his associates because all of them influence the environment and are an integral part of society. After this verse was revealed to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) he used to go to the house of Sayyidna Ali and Sayyidah Fatimah (رض) every morning at the time of morning prayers and call out الصَّلَاةِ الصَّلَاةِ (Come to salah, come to salah). (Qurtubi)
It is reported that whenever Sayyidna ` Urwah ibn Zubair (رض) saw a display of wealth, he would at once return home, call his family to prayer and recite to them this verse. Also when Sayyidna ` Umar ibn Khattab (رض) got up for his midnight (tahajjud) prayers, he would awake the other members of his family and recite to them this verse. (Qurtubi)
Allah provides easy sustenance to a person who devotes himself to prayers and to His worship
لَا نَسْأَلُكَ رِزْقًا (We ask no provision from you – 20:132) Allah does not demand of the people that they should provide sustenance to their families and dependants by their own power, because the responsibility for this is in His hands alone. Man is incapable of providing for himself, and the best that he can do is to plough the land and plant seeds in it, but he has no power to germinate it or to make a tree grow out of it. The role of man in all this is to protect the tree after it has grown to maturity and then to put its yield to his personal use. And for the person who spends all his time in prayer Allah makes even this labour bearable for him (Tirmidhi). Ibn Majah has quoted Sayyidna Abu Hurairah (رض) that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said,
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ” يَقُولُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى: يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ تَفَرَّغ لِعِبَادَتِي أمْلأ صَدْرَكَ غِنًى، وَأَسُدَّ فَقْرَكَ، وَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلْ ملأتُ صَدْرَكَ شُغْلًا وَلَمْ أَسُدَّ فَقْرَكَ “. تفسير ابن كثير ت سلامة (5/ 328)
“Allah says: ‘0 son of ‘Adam! You dedicate yourself to My worship and I will fill your chest with sufficiency and free you from want. But if you do not obey my commands, I will fill your chest with anxieties and worries and will not free you from want.”‘ (Ibn Kathir)
The meaning of the words لم أسد فقرک (I will not free you from want) is that such a man will always remain poor because the more wealth he acquires the more his greed will increase. And Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn Mas’ ud (رض) says that he heard the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) saying,
عَنِ ابْنِ مَسْعُودٍ: سَمِعْتُ نَبِيَّكُمْ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ: ” مَنْ جَعَلَ الْهُمُومَ هَمًّا وَاحِدًا هَمَّ الْمَعَادِ كَفَاهُ اللَّهُ هَمّ دُنْيَاهُ. وَمَنْ تَشَعَّبَتْ بِهِ الْهُمُومُ فِي أَحْوَالِ الدُّنْيَا لَمْ يُبَالِ اللَّهُ فِي أَيِّ أَوْدِيَتِهِ هَلَكَ “. تفسير ابن كثير ت سلامة (5/ 328)
“A man who makes his concern for the Hereafter the focal point of all his efforts, Allah will take care of his concerns, but a person whose concerns are all about worldly affairs, Allah does not care in which valley he perishes.”
[From Ma’ariful Quran English by Mufti Taqi Uthmani]
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