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The Nine Signs of Musa Print E-mail

Allah tells us that He sent Musa with nine clear signs, which provided definitive proof that his prophethood was real and that what he was conveying from the One Who had sent him to Fira`wn was true. These clear signs were: his staff, his hand, the years of famine, the sea, the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs and the blood. This was the view of Ibn `Abbas. Muhammad bin Ka`b said, "They were his hand and his staff, the five signs mentioned in Al-A`raf, and destruction of wealth and the rock.'' Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Ash-Sha`bi and Qatadah said: "They are his hand, his staff, the years of famine, the failure of the crops, the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs and the blood.''

﴿فَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ وَكَانُواْ قَوْماً مُّجْرِمِينَ﴾

(Yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were criminals,) ﴿7:133﴾ meaning, despite all these signs and their witnessing of them, they disbelieved them and belied them wrongfully and arrogantly, although they were themselves were convinced of them, so they did not have any effect on them. By the same token, (Allah tells His Messenger here,) `if We were to respond to what these people are asking you for, who have said that they will not believe in you until you cause springs to gush forth throughout the land for them, they would not respond or believe except if Allah willed.' As Fira`wn said to Musa, even though he had witnessed the signs which he brought,

﴿إِنِّى لأَظُنُّكَ يمُوسَى مَسْحُورًا﴾

("O Musa! I think you are indeed bewitched. '') It was said that this meant he thought he was a sorcerer, but Allah knows best. These nine signs which were mentioned by the Imams (scholars) quoted above are what is referred to here, and in the Ayah :

﴿وَأَلْقِ عَصَاكَ فَلَمَّا رَءَاهَا تَهْتَزُّ كَأَنَّهَا جَآنٌّ وَلَّى مُدْبِراً وَلَمْ يُعَقِّبْ يمُوسَى لاَ تَخَفْ﴾

("And throw down your stick!'' But when he saw it moving as if it were a snake, he turned in flight, and did not look back. (It was said:) "O Musa ! Fear not.'') until His saying,

﴿فِى تِسْعِ ءَايَـتٍ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ وَقَوْمِهِ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ قَوْماً فَـسِقِينَ﴾

(among the nine signs (you will take) to Fir`awn and his people. Verily, they are a people who are rebellious.) ﴿27:10-12﴾ These Ayat include mention of the stick and the hand, and the rest of the nine signs are mentioned in detail in Surat Al-A`raf. Musa was also given many other signs, such as striking the rock with his staff and water flowing from it, their being shaded with clouds, manna and quails, and other signs which were bestowed upon the Children of Israel after they had left the land of Egypt. But here Allah mentions the nine signs which were witnessed by his people in Egypt. These became evidence against them, because they stubbornly rejected them out of disbelief. So Musa said to Fira`wn:

﴿لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَآ أَنزَلَ هَـؤُلاءِ إِلاَّ رَبُّ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ بَصَآئِرَ﴾

("Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth. ) meaning, as proof and evidence of the truth of what I have brought to you.

﴿وَإِنِّى لأَظُنُّكَ يفِرْعَونُ مَثْبُورًا﴾

(And I think you are indeed, O Fir`awn, doomed to destruction!) i.e., bound to be destroyed. This was the view of Mujahid and Qatadah. Ibn `Abbas said: "It means cursed.'' Ibn `Abbas and Ad-Dahhak said:

﴿مَثْبُورًا﴾

(doomed to destruction.) means defeated. As Mujahid said, "doomed'' includes all of these meanings.

 

 
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