Allah describes the rebellion, tyranny, defiance of the truth and insistence on falsehood of the people of Fir`awn, prompting them to proclaim,
﴿مَهْمَا تَأْتِنَا بِهِ مِن ءَايَةٍ لِّتَسْحَرَنَا بِهَا فَمَا نَحْنُ لَكَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ﴾
("Whatever Ayat you may bring to us, to work therewith your sorcery on us, we shall never believe in you.'') They said, `whatever miracle, proof and evidence you bring us, we will neither accept it from you nor believe in you or what you came with.' Allah said,
﴿فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الطُّوفَانَ﴾
(So We sent on them the Tufan) Ibn `Abbas commented; "It was a heavy rain that ruined the produce and fruits.'' He is also reported to have said that Tuwfan refers to mass death. Mujahid said it is water that carries the plague every where. As for the locust, it is the well-known insect, which is permissible to eat. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs, that Abu Ya`fur said that he asked `Abdullah bin Abi Awfa about locust. He said, "We participated in seven battles with the Messenger of Allah , and we used to eat locusts.'' Ash-Shafi`i, Ahmad bin Hanbal and Ibn Majah recorded from `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam that his father narrated from Ibn `Umar that the Prophet said,
«أُحِلَّتْ لَنَا مَيْتَتَانِ وَدَمَانِ: الْحُوتُ وَالْجَرَادُ وَالْكَبِدُ وَالطِّحَال»
(We were allowed two dead animals and two ﴿kinds of﴾ blood: fish and locust, and kidney and spleen.) Ibn Abi Najih narrated from Mujahid about Allah's statement,
﴿فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الطُّوفَانَ وَالْجَرَادَ﴾
(So We sent on them: the flood, the locusts ...) "Eating the nails on their doors and leaving the wood.'' As for the Qummal, Ibn `Abbas said that it is the grain bug, or, according to another view; small locusts that do not have wings. Similar was reported from Mujahid, `Ikrimah and Qatadah. Al-Hasan and Sa`id bin Jubayr said that `Qummal' are small black insects. Abu Ja`far bin Jarir recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "When Musa came to Fir`awn, he demanded, `Release the Children of Israel to me.' But, Fir`awn did not comply; and Allah sent the Tuwfan, and that is a rain which continued until they feared that it was a form of torment. They said to Musa, `Invoke your Lord to release us from this rain, and we will believe in you and send the Children of Israel with you.' Musa invoked his Lord and He removed the affliction from them. However, they did not believe, nor did they send the Children of Israel with him. In that year, Allah allowed (the earth) to grow various types of produce, fruits and grass for them as never before. They said, `This is what we hoped for.' So Allah sent the locusts, and the locusts started to feed on the grass. When they saw the effect the locusts had on the grass, they knew that no vegetation would be saved from devastation. They said, `O Musa! Invoke your Lord so that He will remove the locusts from us, and we will believe in you and release the Children of Israel to you.' Musa invoked his Lord, and He removed the locusts. Still, they did not believe and did not send the Children of Israel with him.
They collected grains and kept them in their homes. They said, `We saved our crops.' However, Allah sent the Qummal, grain bugs, and one of them would take ten bags of grains to the mill, but only reap three small bags of grain. They said, `O Musa! Ask your Lord to remove the Qummal (weevil) from us and we will believe in you and send the Children of Israel with you.' Musa invoked his Lord, and Allah removed the Qummal from them. However, they did not send the Children of Israel with him. Once, when he was with Fir`awn, Musa heard the sound of a frog and said to Fir`awn, `What will you and your people suffer from this (the frogs)' Fir`awn said, `What can frogs do' Yet, by the time that night arrived a person would be sitting in a crowd of frogs that reached up to his chin and could not open his mouth to speak without a frog jumping in it. They said to Musa, `Invoke your Lord to remove these frogs from us, and we will believe in you and send the Children of Israel with you.' Musa invoked his Lord, but they did not believe.
Allah then sent blood that filled the rivers, wells and the water containers they had. They complained to Fir`awn, saying, `We are inflicted with blood and do not have anything to drink.' He said, `Musa has bewitched you.' They said, `How could he do that when whenever we look for water in our containers we found that it has turned into blood' They came to Musa and said, `Invoke your Lord to save us from this blood, and we will believe in you and send the Children of Israel with you.' Musa invoked his Lord and the blood stopped, but they did not believe nor send the Children of Israel with him.'' A similar account was attributed to Ibn `Abbas, As-Suddi, Qatadah and several others among the Salaf. Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar said, "The enemy of Allah, Fir`awn, went back defeated and humiliated, after the sorcerers believed (in Musa). He insisted on remaining in disbelief and persisted in wickedness. Allah sent down the signs to him, and he (and his people) were first inflicted by famine. Allah then sent the flood, the locusts, the Qummal, the frogs then blood, as consecutive signs. When Allah sent the flood, it filled the surface of the earth with water. But the water level receded, and they could not make use of it to till the land or do anything else. They became hungry. This is when,
﴿قَالُواْ يَمُوسَى ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ بِمَا عَهِدَ عِندَكَ لَئِن كَشَفْتَ عَنَّا الرِّجْزَ لَنُؤْمِنَنَّ لَكَ وَلَنُرْسِلَنَّ مَعَكَ بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ﴾
(They said: "O Musa! Invoke your Lord for us because of His promise to you. If you remove the punishment from us, we indeed shall believe in you, and we shall let the Children of Israel go with you.'') Musa invoked his Lord and He removed the affliction from them, but they did not keep their promises. So Allah sent locusts that ate the trees and consumed the nails on their doors, until the doors fell from their homes and residences. They again said what they said to Musa before, and he called on his Lord and He removed the affliction. Still, they did not keep their promises, and Allah sent the Qummal. Musa, peace be upon him, was commanded to go to a mound and strike it with his staff. So Musa went to a huge mound, struck it with his staff and the Qummal fell out of it in tremendous numbers, until they overwhelmed the houses and food reserves, ultimately depriving them of sleep and rest. When they suffered under this affliction, they said similar to what they said before, and Musa invoked his Lord and He removed the affliction. They did not keep their promise and Allah sent the frogs to them, and they filled the houses, foods and pots. One of them would not pick up a piece of clothing, or uncover some food, without finding frogs in it. When this affliction became hard on them, they made similar promises as before, Musa supplicated to his Lord and Allah removed the affliction. They did not keep any of the promises they made, and Allah sent the blood, and the waters of the people of Fir`awn turned to blood. Any water they collected from a well, a river, or a container, turned to blood.''
﴿فَانتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَأَغْرَقْنَـهُمْ فِي الْيَمِّ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَكَانُواْ عَنْهَا غَـفِلِينَ - وَأَوْرَثْنَا الْقَوْمَ الَّذِينَ كَانُواْ يُسْتَضْعَفُونَ مَشَـرِقَ الاٌّرْضِ وَمَغَـرِبَهَا الَّتِى بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ الْحُسْنَى عَلَى بَنِى إِسْرءِيلَ بِمَا صَبَرُواْ وَدَمَّرْنَا مَا كَانَ يَصْنَعُ فِرْعَوْنُ وَقَوْمُهُ وَمَا كَانُواْ يَعْرِشُونَ ﴾
(136. So We took retribution from them. We drowned them in the sea, because they belied Our Ayat and were heedless with them.) (137. And We made the people who were considered weak to inherit the eastern parts of the land and the western parts thereof which We have blessed. And the fair Word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because of their endurance. And We destroyed what Fir`awn and his people produced, and what they erected.)