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)
وَ جٰوَزۡنَا بِبَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ الۡبَحۡرَ فَاَتۡبَعَہُمۡ فِرۡعَوۡنُ وَ جُنُوۡدُہٗ بَغۡیًا وَّ عَدۡوًا ؕ حَتّٰۤی اِذَاۤ اَدۡرَکَہُ الۡغَرَقُ ۙ قَالَ اٰمَنۡتُ اَنَّہٗ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا الَّذِیۡۤ اٰمَنَتۡ بِہٖ بَنُوۡۤا اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ وَ اَنَا مِنَ الۡمُسۡلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۹۱﴾
۞وَجَٰوَزۡنَا بِبَنِيٓ إِسۡرَـٰٓءِيلَ ٱلۡبَحۡرَ فَأَتۡبَعَهُمۡ فِرۡعَوۡنُ وَجُنُودُهُۥ بَغۡيٗا وَعَدۡوًاۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَدۡرَكَهُ ٱلۡغَرَقُ قَالَ ءَامَنتُ أَنَّهُۥ لَآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِيٓ ءَامَنَتۡ بِهِۦ بَنُوٓاْ إِسۡرَـٰٓءِيلَ وَأَنَا۠ مِنَ ٱلۡمُسۡلِمِينَ
b. 7:139; 20:78. (close)
c. 20:79; 26:61; 44:25. (close)
1285. These words express the depth of abasement to which the proud Pharaoh had sunk. (close)
a. 7:139; 20:78. (close)
b. 20:79; 26:61; 44:25. (close)
The verse throws interesting light on an important political question. Islam enjoins Muslims to obey their rulers. If, however, the latter deny to them religious freedom and resort to compulsion in matters of faith, Muslims are enjoined to migrate from their country rather than offer resistance to the established authority. But what should they do if the authorities do not even permit them to migrate and force them to remain in the country and suffer persecution? The verse under comment supplies an answer to this question by saying that Pharaoh pursued the Israelites "wrongfully and aggressively," which means that in preventing the Israelites from migrating Pharaoh was doing a thing to which he had absolutely no right. Thus if rulers prevent an oppressed subject people from peacefully leaving a country, the latter would be justified in resisting and opposing them by all legitimate means and in that case defiance of the authority will not be held as a breach of the law or an act of rebellion. Just as nobody is allowed to defy and break the law of the land in which he lives, similarly no Government has a right to compel any person to live under it while denying him freedom of religion and conscience.
The words, He in Whom the children of Israel believe, spoken by Pharaoh at the time of his drowning, show the utterly abject state of his mind at that time. If he had said that he believed in the God of Moses, he might be considered to have had some sense of dignity left in him because, having been brought up in the royal household and being the leader of his people, Moses was entitled to respect even from worldly considerations; but to say that he believed in Him in Whom the children of Israel believed—the very children of Israel whom it was his pride to trample under foot—bespeaks the great depth of abasement to which the proud Pharaoh had fallen. (close)
آٰلۡـٰٔنَ وَ قَدۡ عَصَیۡتَ قَبۡلُ وَ کُنۡتَ مِنَ الۡمُفۡسِدِیۡنَ ﴿۹۲﴾
ءَآلۡـَٰٔنَ وَقَدۡ عَصَيۡتَ قَبۡلُ وَكُنتَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُفۡسِدِينَ
a. 10:52. (close)
a. 10:52. (close)
The eloquent words, What! Now!, show that it is only in specified circumstances that faith proves to be of any avail. When truth becomes quite clear and there remains no doubt or ambiguity about it, faith loses all value. In fact, it is only effort and sacrifice that make a person deserving of reward, and where these are absent, man forfeits all title to it. (close)
فَالۡیَوۡمَ نُنَجِّیۡکَ بِبَدَنِکَ لِتَکُوۡنَ لِمَنۡ خَلۡفَکَ اٰیَۃً ؕ وَ اِنَّ کَثِیۡرًا مِّنَ النَّاسِ عَنۡ اٰیٰتِنَا لَغٰفِلُوۡنَ ﴿٪۹۳﴾
فَٱلۡيَوۡمَ نُنَجِّيكَ بِبَدَنِكَ لِتَكُونَ لِمَنۡ خَلۡفَكَ ءَايَةٗۚ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرٗا مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ عَنۡ ءَايَٰتِنَا لَغَٰفِلُونَ
1286. It is remarkable that the Qur’an alone of all religious Scriptures and books of history mentions this fact. The Bible makes no mention of it, nor does any book of history. But in what wonderful manner the Word of God has proved true! After the lapse of more than 3000 years the body of Pharaoh has been discovered and it now lies in a preserved state in the museum at Cairo. The body shows Pharaoh to have been a lean, short-bodied man, with a countenance expressive of anger and stupidity. Moses was born in the time of Rameses II and was brought up by him (Exod. 2:2-10), but it was in the reign of his son, Merneptah (Meneptah) that he was entrusted with the mission of a Prophet (Jew. Enc., vol. 9, p. 500 & Enc. Bib., under "Pharaoh" & under "Egypt"). (close)
Divine rewards, indeed, are pregnant with deep import. Pharaoh believed at a time when his faith was nothing more than a body without a soul: therefore, God rescued only his body from destruction, not letting his soul benefit by it. The body was saved from destruction that it might serve as a lesson for the generations to come.
It is remarkable that the Quran alone speaks of this fact. The Bible makes no mention of it, nor does any book of history. But in how wonderful a manner the word of God- has proved true! After the lapse of more than 3,000 years the body of Pharaoh has been discovered and it now lies in a preserved state in a museum at Cairo. The body shows Pharaoh to have been a lean, short-bodied man, with a countenance expressive of anger and stupidity. How far removed is the present age from the time when Pharaoh lived; yet God the Almighty not only saved his body but has also preserved it to the present age.
This verse supplies very strong testimony to the Divine origin of the Quran and to its distinct superiority over the Bible. The Pentateuch professes to give the history of the time of Moses and it is claimed that it was written in his own time. Yet the Quran, which came about 2,000 years after the Torah, has mentioned some incidents (including the present one) which are not mentioned in the Bible but which subsequent events have proved to be true. This establishes the truth of the Quran and the unreliability of the Pentateuch beyond any shadow of doubt.
The verse also points to the supreme moral lesson that we should hasten to accept the truth as soon as it comes to us and should not vacillate or procrastinate, as Pharaoh did.
It further shows that God does not allow even the slightest act of virtue to go unrewarded. Pharaoh believed at the time of his death, when his faith was but a shell without a kernel, yet even that act was not allowed to go quite unrewarded, for, though his soul was lost, his body was saved. His body may now prove the means of guiding many to truth; possibly it may spiritually benefit him also. This is perhaps why the famous Muslim saint, Muhy-ud-Din ibn ‘Arabi, holds that Pharaoh may be spared the punishment of Hell. The idea may not be right but it certainly provides food for thought.
Some commentators are of the opinion that the name of the drowned Pharaoh was Rameses. But this does not appear to be right. Moses was certainly born in the time of Rameses II and was brought up by him (Exod. 1:11), but it was in the reign of his son, Merneptah (Mereneptah), that he was entrusted with the mission of a Prophet (Exod. 2:23). See also Jew. Enc., vol. 8, page 500, & Enc. Bib., under Pharaoh and under Egypt. (close)
وَ لَقَدۡ بَوَّاۡنَا بَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ مُبَوَّاَ صِدۡقٍ وَّ رَزَقۡنٰہُمۡ مِّنَ الطَّیِّبٰتِ ۚ فَمَا اخۡتَلَفُوۡا حَتّٰی جَآءَہُمُ الۡعِلۡمُ ؕ اِنَّ رَبَّکَ یَقۡضِیۡ بَیۡنَہُمۡ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ فِیۡمَا کَانُوۡا فِیۡہِ یَخۡتَلِفُوۡنَ ﴿۹۴﴾
وَلَقَدۡ بَوَّأۡنَا بَنِيٓ إِسۡرَـٰٓءِيلَ مُبَوَّأَ صِدۡقٖ وَرَزَقۡنَٰهُم مِّنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَٰتِ فَمَا ٱخۡتَلَفُواْ حَتَّىٰ جَآءَهُمُ ٱلۡعِلۡمُۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَقۡضِي بَيۡنَهُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِ فِيمَا كَانُواْ فِيهِ يَخۡتَلِفُونَ
b. 45:17. (close)
c. 45:18. (close)
a. 45:17. (close)
b. 45:18. (close)
Among the "good things" mentioned in this verse as having been bestowed on the Israelites, Divine revelation occupied the foremost place, for it mostly pertains to the spirit and comes direct from God. The words "good things" may also be taken in their material sense. In Egypt the Israelites worked as labourers and lived an ignoble life. But after their deliverance from bondage, God provided them with the good things of this world.
By the word علم (knowledge) in the clause, until there came to them the knowledge, is here meant the Quran and not the Torah, for there passed no interval between the revelation of the Torah and the formation of the Israelites into an organized community. Thus they cannot be said to have disagreed among themselves after its revelation.
When the Holy Prophet of Islam was about to make his appearance, the Jews held the belief that a Prophet like unto Moses was to appear very soon; but when the Promised Prophet did actually appear, they differed and disagreed as to whom the prophecies about the Promised Prophet applied. Some Jews denied that the prophecies had found fulfilment in the Prophet of Islam, while others sought to deny the very existence of any such prophecies in the Bible.
That the disagreement referred to in this verse was the one which arose among the Israelites after the Quran was revealed is also clear from the next verse which says: And if thou, (O addressee) art in doubt concerning that which We have sent down to thee (viz. the Quran). This verse clearly shows that in the verse under comment the "knowledge" after the coming of which the Israelites differed among themselves refers to the Quran.
The Jews were so ardently expecting the Prophet who was to be the like of Moses (Deut. 18:18) and who was to appear in Arabia amongst the descendants of Ishmael, the brethren of the Israelites, that some of them had even migrated to Arabia and had settled in Medina that they might be among the first to believe in him when he made his appearance. It is a strange irony of fate that these very Jewish settlers of Arabia proved to be his bitterest enemies when the Promised Prophet actually made his appearance. (close)