فَلَمَّا جَآءَ السَّحَرَۃُ قَالَ لَہُمۡ مُّوۡسٰۤی اَلۡقُوۡا مَاۤ اَنۡتُمۡ مُّلۡقُوۡنَ ﴿۸۱﴾
فَلَمَّا جَآءَ ٱلسَّحَرَةُ قَالَ لَهُم مُّوسَىٰٓ أَلۡقُواْ مَآ أَنتُم مُّلۡقُونَ
c. 7:117; 20:67; 26:44. (close)
b. 7:117; 20:67; 26:44. (close)
This verse, as may be wrongly construed, does not mean that on seeing the sorcerers Moses became prepared to meet them in the contest. He knew that they were mere sorcerers and that whatever they might do would be useless and unworthy of his notice. He therefore treated them with the contempt they deserved by saying, Cast ye what you would cast, hinting that their sorcery was not worthy of notice. He, however, did not think it proper to refuse to accept their challenge outright, knowing that when the actual contest began the hollowness of their work would itself become exposed and it would then be time for him to bring home to them the falsity of their work. This he actually did, as is announced by him in the succeeding verse, What you have brought is mere sorcery. Surely, Allah will make it vain. (close)
فَلَمَّاۤ اَلۡقَوۡا قَالَ مُوۡسٰی مَا جِئۡتُمۡ بِہِ ۙ السِّحۡرُ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ سَیُبۡطِلُہٗ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُصۡلِحُ عَمَلَ الۡمُفۡسِدِیۡنَ ﴿۸۲﴾
فَلَمَّآ أَلۡقَوۡاْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ مَا جِئۡتُم بِهِ ٱلسِّحۡرُۖ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ سَيُبۡطِلُهُۥٓ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُصۡلِحُ عَمَلَ ٱلۡمُفۡسِدِينَ
d. 7:119; 20:70. (close)
c. 7:119; 20:70. (close)
See note on the preceding verse. (close)
وَ یُحِقُّ اللّٰہُ الۡحَقَّ بِکَلِمٰتِہٖ وَ لَوۡ کَرِہَ الۡمُجۡرِمُوۡنَ ﴿٪۸۳﴾
وَيُحِقُّ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡحَقَّ بِكَلِمَٰتِهِۦ وَلَوۡ كَرِهَ ٱلۡمُجۡرِمُونَ
e. 8:9. (close)
1281A. A righteous cause does not need the support of unrighteous means for its propagation. 'The end justifies the means' has never been the dictum of God’s Prophets and their true followers. Truth spreads and triumphs by its own inherent strength and not by falsehood. (close)
a. 8:9. (close)
The "words of God" include both "glad tidings" and "warning," and it is by means of these two that God establishes the truth. Moses has expressed a great truth in this verse. He says that God does not need deceit and falsehood for the propagation of His religion but causes it to be spread and established by His immutable decree and command. These words embody a great moral truth that the goodness of a right cause does not justify the use of dishonest means for its propagation. The popular saying that the end justifies the means has never been the dictum of God’s Prophets and their true followers. Truth spreads and triumphs by its own inherent strength and not by falsehood. (close)
فَمَاۤ اٰمَنَ لِمُوۡسٰۤی اِلَّا ذُرِّیَّۃٌ مِّنۡ قَوۡمِہٖ عَلٰی خَوۡفٍ مِّنۡ فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَ مَلَا۠ئِہِمۡ اَنۡ یَّفۡتِنَہُمۡ ؕ وَ اِنَّ فِرۡعَوۡنَ لَعَالٍ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ۚ وَ اِنَّہٗ لَمِنَ الۡمُسۡرِفِیۡنَ ﴿۸۴﴾
فَمَآ ءَامَنَ لِمُوسَىٰٓ إِلَّا ذُرِّيَّةٞ مِّن قَوۡمِهِۦ عَلَىٰ خَوۡفٖ مِّن فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَمَلَإِيْهِمۡ أَن يَفۡتِنَهُمۡۚ وَإِنَّ فِرۡعَوۡنَ لَعَالٖ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَإِنَّهُۥ لَمِنَ ٱلۡمُسۡرِفِينَ
a. 28:5. (close)
b. 28:5. (close)
It appears from this verse that all the Israelites had not believed in Moses. Only a part of them had really believed in him. The rest followed him from only political or national considerations. The pronoun "his" in the clause, from among his people, may also refer to Pharaoh. In that case the clause would mean that some youths of the people of Pharaoh also believed in Moses. But the former interpretation seems to be more correct and is therefore preferable.
This verse also brings to light the fact that not unoften an appreciable number of the people to whom a Prophet of God preaches his Message become convinced of his truth, but they dare not profess their faith openly for fear of their leaders and chiefs. The pronoun "their" in the words "their chiefs" may refer either to the Israelites or to the people of Pharaoh. Preferably it refers to the people of Pharaoh. The chiefs of the people of Pharaoh have been called the chiefs of the Israelites because the latter were a subject people. But the pronoun need not necessarily be taken as referring to any particular people. The great men of a country are regarded as chiefs not merely because they belong to any particular community but also because, being members of the government, they possess influence and authority. Hence the high officials of the State, whether they belonged to the people of Pharaoh or the Israelites might rightly be called the chiefs of the Israelites and it was through both that Pharaoh tyrannized over the Israelites.
The words, Pharaoh was a tyrant in the land, show that Pharaoh was not a wise and sagacious monarch. He had embarked upon a policy of open repression and persecution which was calculated to incite the people to rebellion. This policy eventually led to the downfall of the dynasty. (close)
وَ قَالَ مُوۡسٰی یٰقَوۡمِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ اٰمَنۡتُمۡ بِاللّٰہِ فَعَلَیۡہِ تَوَکَّلُوۡۤا اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ مُّسۡلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۸۵﴾
وَقَالَ مُوسَىٰ يَٰقَوۡمِ إِن كُنتُمۡ ءَامَنتُم بِٱللَّهِ فَعَلَيۡهِ تَوَكَّلُوٓاْ إِن كُنتُم مُّسۡلِمِينَ
1282. Iman signifies mental submission and Islam means outward obedience. Inner faith must be followed by real outward change in the conduct of a believer. (close)
The verse represents Moses as advising his people to realize that their work, viz. the work they were engaged in under his leadership, was God’s own work. This shows that Islam recognizes no narrow nationalism but requires its followers to work for God and His religion.
This is calculated to bring about a great change in a Muslim’s outlook on life. It helps him to think in terms of God, religion and righteousness and raises him above the narrow outlook of nationalism.
The words, if you indeed submit to His will, preceded by the expression, if you have believed in Allah, are not redundant but have been used to express an additional idea. When the word اسلام (submission) is used along with the word ایمان(belief), then the latter word signifies sincerity and firmness of faith while the former expresses only outward submission to authority. In other words, ایمان expresses "obedience of the heart," while اسلام signifies "outward or practical obedience." In this sense the verse would mean, "If you have acquired faith with regard to God and now you desire to taste the fruits thereof practically, then put your trust in God and entrust all your affairs to Him."
The verse thus teaches us that inner faith must be followed by a real outward change in the life of a person. For a true believer ایمان comes first and اسلام afterwards. But in the case of those weak of faith, اسلام takes precedence over ایمان because the weak of faith first begin with an outward expression of obedience and then gradually acquire heartfelt conviction. Thus in the case of a true believer purity of heart precedes purity of actions. But the reverse is the case of one who is weak of faith, for such a person stands in need of outside support for the purity of his heart. The purity of his actions, therefore, precedes the purity of his heart. It is to this fact that the Quran refers when it addresses the people of the desert in the words: Say, ye believe not, but rather say, We submit, for faith has not yet entered your hearts (49:15). (close)
فَقَالُوۡا عَلَی اللّٰہِ تَوَکَّلۡنَا ۚ رَبَّنَا لَا تَجۡعَلۡنَا فِتۡنَۃً لِّلۡقَوۡمِ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۸۶﴾
فَقَالُواْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ تَوَكَّلۡنَا رَبَّنَا لَا تَجۡعَلۡنَا فِتۡنَةٗ لِّلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
The expression, Our Lord, make us not a trial for the wrongdoing people, means either "may we not give, by our conduct, the wrongdoing people an opportunity to attack the true Faith"; or "make us not a target of the tyrannies of the wrongdoing people." (close)
وَ نَجِّنَا بِرَحۡمَتِکَ مِنَ الۡقَوۡمِ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿۸۷﴾
وَنَجِّنَا بِرَحۡمَتِكَ مِنَ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡكَٰفِرِينَ
وَ اَوۡحَیۡنَاۤ اِلٰی مُوۡسٰی وَ اَخِیۡہِ اَنۡ تَبَوَّاٰ لِقَوۡمِکُمَا بِمِصۡرَ بُیُوۡتًا وَّ اجۡعَلُوۡا بُیُوۡتَکُمۡ قِبۡلَۃً وَّ اَقِیۡمُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ ؕ وَ بَشِّرِ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۸۸﴾
وَأَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَىٰ مُوسَىٰ وَأَخِيهِ أَن تَبَوَّءَا لِقَوۡمِكُمَا بِمِصۡرَ بُيُوتٗا وَٱجۡعَلُواْ بُيُوتَكُمۡ قِبۡلَةٗ وَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ
1283. The injunction to live in a town does not mean that the Israelites lived in the wilderness before this. The verse only emphasizes the necessity and usefulness of a civilized and corporate life. There is a general tendency on the part of the members of weak minority communities to live together in big towns. (close)
1284. The words, so that they face each other, signify that (1) the Israelites were instructed to live very close together so as to be able to help one another in time of need, because this object is only attainable when people build their houses near or facing each other. (2) They should have all their houses facing one direction, which figuratively means that they should have a common goal or ideal. (3) That all their houses should be of equal standing implying that there should obtain feelings of real brotherhood between the rich and the poor so that all should pull together as one team, because there can exist no real feeling of brotherhood when some members of a community live in palatial dwellings and others in wretched hovels. (close)
1360. Important Words:
قبلة (so as to face one another) is derived from قبل. They say قبل المکان i.e. he came facing the house. استقبله means, he faced him or it; he turned his face to him. قابلة means, he was opposite to him. قبلة in the sense of متقابلة means, facing each other. It also means, direction; kind or class (Lane & Aqrab). See also 2:143.
مصر (town) means both Egypt and town.
The injunction to live in a town does not mean that the Israelites lived in the wilderness before this. The verse only emphasizes the necessity and usefulness of a civilized and corporate life. There is a general tendency on the part of the members of weak minority communities to live together in big towns.
In view of the different meanings of the word قبلة given under Important Words the Quranic expression اجعلوا بیوتکم قبلة may mean: (1) that the Israelites were instructed to live together so as to be able to help one another in time of need, because this object is only attainable when people build their houses near or facing each other; or (2) that the Israelites should have all their houses facing one direction, which figuratively means that they should be united by the bonds of brotherhood and should have a common goal or ideal; or (3) that all their houses should be of one class or kind, hinting thereby that there should exist a real tie of brotherhood between the rich and the poor and all should pull together as one team, because there can be no real tie of brotherhood when some members of a community live in palatial dwellings and others in wretched hovels.
To sum up, the verse lays down the following seven wise principles by following which a people can rise and prosper—(1) they should lead a corporate life; (2) they should be united; (3) they should fully co-operate with one another; (4) they should possess discipline and organization; (5) there should be no invidious distinction between the different classes; (6) they should continually invoke the help of God by prayer; and (7) they should be persevering. Finally, the verse contains an equally important direction for the head or leader of the community, which is that he should continue to give "glad tidings," i.e. he should speak words of encouragement and good cheer to his people because nothing is more detrimental to success than despair and despondency. (close)
وَ قَالَ مُوۡسٰی رَبَّنَاۤ اِنَّکَ اٰتَیۡتَ فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَ مَلَاَہٗ زِیۡنَۃً وَّ اَمۡوَالًا فِی الۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا ۙ رَبَّنَا لِیُضِلُّوۡا عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِکَ ۚ رَبَّنَا اطۡمِسۡ عَلٰۤی اَمۡوَالِہِمۡ وَ اشۡدُدۡ عَلٰی قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ فَلَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡا حَتّٰی یَرَوُا الۡعَذَابَ الۡاَلِیۡمَ ﴿۸۹﴾
وَقَالَ مُوسَىٰ رَبَّنَآ إِنَّكَ ءَاتَيۡتَ فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَمَلَأَهُۥ زِينَةٗ وَأَمۡوَٰلٗا فِي ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا رَبَّنَا لِيُضِلُّواْ عَن سَبِيلِكَۖ رَبَّنَا ٱطۡمِسۡ عَلَىٰٓ أَمۡوَٰلِهِمۡ وَٱشۡدُدۡ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمۡ فَلَا يُؤۡمِنُواْ حَتَّىٰ يَرَوُاْ ٱلۡعَذَابَ ٱلۡأَلِيمَ
1284A. Tamasa ‘alai-hi means, he destroyed him or it; he obliterated its trace (Lane). (close)
1284B. Shaddash-Shai’a means, he made the thing hard; Shadda ‘alai-hi means, he attacked him (Lane). (close)
a. 10:97-98. (close)
a. 10:97-98. (close)
1361. Important Words:
زینة (embellishment) is the substantive noun from زان which means, he or it adorned, decorated, embellished, beautified or graced (him or it). زینة means, a thing with which one is adorned or embellished or beautified; any ornature, decoration, embellishment or grace. The words زینة الحیوة الدنیا (lit. ornature of the present life) particularly include wealth and children (Lane).
ل (with the result that) means, (1) so that; (2) with the result that.
اطمس (destroy) is derived from طمس meaning, it became effaced or obliterated. They say طمس علیه i.e. he effaced or obliterated or extirpated it; or he destroyed it. طمسه means, he transformed or metamorphosed him or it (Lane).
اشدد علی قلوبھم (attack their hearts). اشدد is derived from شد. They say شدہ i.e. he tied, bound or made him or it fast. شد عضده means, he strengthened his arm. شد علی العدو means, he charged or assaulted or attacked the enemy (Aqrab).
The verse does not mean that God gave wealth and splendour to Pharaoh and his chiefs so that by means of these things they might lead men astray from His path. It simply means that God bestowed upon Pharaoh and his chiefs the gifts of this world and the result was that, instead of being thankful to Him for His manifold favours, they began to lead men astray from His path. The verse is, in fact, a forceful expression by Moses of regret and condemnation.
In his words of prayer, Our Lord, destroy their riches and attack their hearts, which form a parenthetical clause, Moses wishes Pharaoh and his chiefs no evil; on the contrary, the words constitute a pathetic prayer for their good. Realizing that they had become so hardened in disbelief that nothing but God’s severe punishment could make them believe, Moses prayed to God to send down His punishment on them not to destroy them but to turn their hearts to truth. So the words, seemingly containing a prayer for the destruction of Pharaoh and his chiefs, in reality embody a prayer for their good and spiritual wellbeing. The prayer in fact resembles a request by a well-wisher for the amputation of the diseased limb of a patient, and is therefore definitely a prayer for mercy though couched in apparently harsh words.
The clause اشدد علی قلوبھم (attack their hearts) has wrongly been interpreted by some as "harden their hearts." According to Arabic idiom, the words only mean "attack their hearts," signifying that some affliction should befall them to turn their hearts to truth. The word قلوب (hearts) corresponds to the word زینة (embellishment) occurring in the foregoing clause and, as زینة here signifies progeny and children (see Important Words), therefore attacking their hearts would mean attacking their progeny. Now an attack upon the progeny of a people may be made in two ways: either by the children being smitten with some calamity or misfortune, or by making the children renounce the faith of their forefathers and go over to the new faith. It was in the latter way that the hearts of disbelievers were attacked in the time of the Holy Prophet, for their children embraced Islam. In the time of Moses, however, his enemies were punished with the death of all their firstborn children (Exod. 12:29).
It is worthy of note here that in the first part of the verse where mention is made of the favours of God, the word زینة (embellishment), which here stands for "children," is placed before اموال (wealth), while in the prayer where reference is made to punishment, اموال(wealth) is mentioned before قلوب (hearts) which here stands for "children," thus reversing the previous order. The reason for this change in the order of words is that while mentioning His favours God has put زینة (embellishment), which represents children, before اموال(wealth), because of its being the more important of the two, but when referring to punishment, the lesser calamity has been mentioned first, hinting thereby that if disbelievers mended their ways after suffering a financial loss, they might still be spared the punishment concerning their progeny. This change in the order of words, besides revealing the wisdom underlying the arrangement of words in the Quran, also throws interesting light on the tender-heartedness of Moses. (close)
قَالَ قَدۡ اُجِیۡبَتۡ دَّعۡوَتُکُمَا فَاسۡتَقِیۡمَا وَ لَا تَتَّبِعٰٓنِّ سَبِیۡلَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۹۰﴾
قَالَ قَدۡ أُجِيبَت دَّعۡوَتُكُمَا فَٱسۡتَقِيمَا وَلَا تَتَّبِعَآنِّ سَبِيلَ ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ
It seems strange that when the offering of prayer is spoken of, Moses alone is mentioned as having prayed (see the preceding verse); but when in the present verse the acceptance of prayer is mentioned, God has joined Aaron with Moses by using the pronoun کما (lit. you both). This is so because Moses, though apparently praying alone, had joined Aaron in his prayer by using the words ربنا (Our Lord) in the preceding verse.
The words, follow not the path of those who know not, contain an explanation of a previous injunction calling on Moses and Aaron to be steadfast. The words do not mean that the Prophets of God sometimes follow the wishes of disbelievers. They only imply a warning to Moses and Aaron to be on their guard against the machinations of their enemies and to refrain from indulging in discussions which might turn their attention away from their real goal, as their enemies desired. (close)