|The Story of Musa and the End of Fir`awn|
Here Allah tells His Messenger Muhammad about what happened to Musa, peace be upon him, how Allah chose him, spoke with him and gave him mighty, dazzling signs and overwhelming proof, and sent him to Fir`awn and his people, but they denied the proof, disbelieved in him and arrogantly refused to follow him. Allah says:
﴿إِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لاًّهْلِهِ﴾
(when Musa said to his household), meaning, remember when Musa was traveling with his family and lost his way. This was at night, in the dark. Musa had seen a fire beside the mountain, i.e., he had noticed a fire burning brightly, and said,
﴿لاًّهْلِهِ إِنِّى آنَسْتُ نَاراً سَـَاتِيكُمْ مِّنْهَا بِخَبَرٍ﴾
(to his household: "Verily, I have seen a fire; I will bring you from there some information...'') meaning, `about the way we should take.'
﴿أَوْ ءَاتِيكُمْ بِشِهَابٍ قَبَسٍ لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَصْطَلُونَ﴾
(or I will bring you a burning ember, that you may warm yourselves.) meaning, so that they could keep warm. And it was as he said: "He came back with great news, and a great light.'' Allah says:
﴿فَلَمَّا جَآءَهَا نُودِىَ أَن بُورِكَ مَن فِى النَّارِ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا﴾
(But when he came to it, he was called: "Blessed is whosoever is in the fire, and whosoever is round about it!'') meaning, when he came to it, he saw a great and terrifying sight: the fire was burning in a green bush, and the fire was burning ever brighter while the bush was growing ever more green and beautiful. Then he raised his head, and saw that its light was connected to the clouds of the sky. Ibn `Abbas and others said, "It was not a fire, rather it was shining light.'' According to one report narrated from Ibn `Abbas, it was the Light of the Lord of the worlds. Musa stood amazed by what he was seeing, and
﴿نُودِىَ أَن بُورِكَ مَن فِى النَّارِ﴾
(he was called: "Blessed is whosoever is in the fire...'') Ibn `Abbas said, "This means, Holy is (whosoever is in the fire).''
(and whosoever is round about it) means, of the angels. This was the view of Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan and Qatadah.
﴿وَسُبْحَـنَ اللَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ﴾
(And glorified be Allah, the Lord of all that exists), Who does whatever He wills and there is nothing like Him among His creation. Nothing He has made can encompass Him, and He is the Exalted, the Almighty, Who is utterly unlike all that He has created. Heaven and earth cannot contain Him, but He is the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who is far above any comparison with His creation.
﴿يمُوسَى إِنَّهُ أَنَا اللَّهُ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴾
(O Musa! Verily, it is I, Allah, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.) Allah told him that the One Who was addressing him was his Lord Allah, the All-Mighty, Who has subjugated and subdued all things, the One Who is Wise in all His words and deeds. Then He commanded him to throw down the stick that was in his hand, so that He might show him clear proof that He is the One Who is able to do all things, whatever He wills. When Musa threw that stick down, it changed into the form of a huge and terrifying snake, moving quickly despite its size. Allah says:
﴿فَلَمَّا رَءَاهَا تَهْتَزُّ كَأَنَّهَا جَآنٌّ﴾
(But when he saw it moving as if it were a Jann (snake).) Jann refers to a type of snake that is the fastest-moving and most agile. When Musa saw that with his own eyes,
﴿وَلَّى مُدْبِراً وَلَمْ يُعَقِّبْ﴾
(he turned in flight, and did not look back.) meaning, he did not turn around, because he was so afraid. Allah's saying:
﴿يمُوسَى لاَ تَخَفْ إِنِّى لاَ يَخَافُ لَدَىَّ الْمُرْسَلُونَ﴾
(O Musa! Fear not: verily, the Messengers fear not in front of Me.) means, `do not be afraid of what you see, for I want to choose you as a Messenger and make you a great Prophet.'
﴿إَلاَّ مَن ظَلَمَ ثُمَّ بَدَّلَ حُسْناً بَعْدَ سُوءٍ فَإِنِّى غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴾
(Except him who has done wrong and afterwards has changed evil for good; then surely, I am Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) This is an exception of the exclusionary type. This is good news for mankind, for whoever does an evil deed then gives it up and repents and turns to Allah, Allah will accept his repentance, as He says:
﴿وَإِنِّى لَغَفَّارٌ لِّمَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحَاً ثُمَّ اهْتَدَى ﴾
(And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes and does righteous good deeds, and then Ahtada.) (20:82)
﴿وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ﴾
(And whoever does evil or wrongs himself...) (4:110). And there are many other Ayat which say the same.
﴿وَأَدْخِلْ يَدَكَ فِى جَيْبِكَ تَخْرُجْ بَيْضَآءَ مِنْ غَيْرِ سُوءٍ﴾
(And put your hand into the opening of your garment, it will come forth white without hurt.) This is another sign, further brilliant proof of the ability of Allah to do whatever He wills. It is also confirmation of the truth of the one to whom the miracle was given. Allah commanded him to put his hand into the opening of his garment, and when he put his hand in and took it out again, it came out white and shining as if it were a piece of the moon or a flash of dazzling lightning.
﴿فِى تِسْعِ ءَايَـتٍ﴾
(among the nine signs) means, `these are two of the nine signs which you will be supported with and which will serve as proof for you. '
﴿إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ وَقَوْمِهِ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ قَوْماً فَـسِقِينَ﴾
(to Fir`awn and his people. Verily, they are a people who are rebellious.) These were the nine signs of which Allah said:
﴿وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا مُوسَى تِسْعَ ءَايَـتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ﴾
(And indeed We gave Musa nine clear signs) (17:101) -- as we have stated there.
﴿فَلَمَّا جَآءَتْهُمْ ءَايَـتُنَا مُبْصِرَةً﴾
(But when Our Ayat came to them, clear to see,), i.e., clear and obvious,
﴿قَالُواْ هَـذَا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ﴾
(they said: "This is a manifest magic''.) They wanted to oppose it with their own magic, but they were defeated and were returned disgraced.
(And they belied them) means, verbally,
(though they themselves were convinced thereof.) means, they knew deep down that this was truth from Allah, but they denied it and were stubborn and arrogant.
(wrongfully and arrogantly) means, wronging themselves because this was the despicable manner to which they were accustomed, and they were arrogant because they were too proud to follow the truth. Allah said:
﴿فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ﴾
(So, see what was the end of the mischief-makers.) meaning, `see, O Muhammad, what were the consequences of their actions when Allah destroyed them and drowned every last one of them in a single morning.' The point of this story is: beware, `O you who disbelieve in Muhammad and deny the Message that he has brought from his Lord, lest the same thing that befell them befall you also.' But what is worse, is that Muhammad is nobler and greater than Musa, and his proof is stronger than that of Musa, for the signs that Allah has given him are combined with his presence and his character, in addition to the fact that previous Prophets foretold his coming and took a covenant from the people that they would follow him if they should see him, may the best of blessings and peace from his Lord be upon him.
﴿وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ وَسُلَيْمَـنَ عِلْماً وَقَالاَ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِى فَضَّلَنَا عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِّنْ عِبَادِهِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ - وَوَرِثَ سُلَيْمَـنُ دَاوُودَ وَقَالَ يأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ عُلِّمْنَا مَنطِقَ الطَّيْرِ وَأُوتِينَا مِن كُلِّ شَىْءٍ إِنَّ هَـذَا لَهُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْمُبِينُ - وَحُشِرَ لِسْلَيْمَـنَ جُنُودُهُ مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالإِنْس وَالطَّيْرِ فَهُمْ يُوزَعُونَ - حَتَّى إِذَآ أَتَوْا عَلَى وَادِى النَّمْلِ قَالَتْ نَمْلَةٌ يأَيُّهَا النَّمْلُ ادْخُلُواْ مَسَـكِنَكُمْ لاَ يَحْطِمَنَّكُمْ سُلَيْمَـنُ وَجُنُودُهُ وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ - فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَـحِكاً مِّن قَوْلِهَا وَقَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِى أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِى أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَىَّ وَعَلَى وَالِدَىَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَـلِحاً تَرْضَـهُ وَأَدْخِلْنِى بِرَحْمَتِكَ فِى عِبَادِكَ الصَّـلِحِينَ ﴾
(15. And indeed We gave knowledge to Dawud and Sulayman, and they both said: "All praise be to Allah, Who has preferred us above many of His believing servants!'') (16. And Sulayman inherited from Dawud. He said: "O mankind! We have been taught the language of birds, and we have been given from everything. This, verily, is an evident grace.'') (17. And there were gathered before Sulayman his hosts of Jinn and men, and birds, and they all were set in battle order (marching forward).) (18. Till, when they came to the valley of the ants, one of the ants said: "O ants! Enter your dwellings, lest Sulayman and his armies should crush you, while they perceive not.'') (19. So he (Sulayman) smiled, amused at her speech and said: "My Lord! Grant me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your favors which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your mercy among Your righteous servants.'')
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