In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate
بِسۡمِ اللهِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِيۡمِ
(20:1) Ta' Ha'
(20:2) We did not reveal the Qur'an to you to cause you distress;
مَاۤ اَنۡزَلۡـنَا عَلَيۡكَ الۡـقُرۡاٰنَ لِتَشۡقٰٓى ۙ
(20:3) it is only a reminder for him who fears Allah;1 اِلَّا تَذۡكِرَةً لِّمَنۡ يَّخۡشٰى ۙ
(20:4) a revelation from Him Who created the earth and the high heavens.
تَنۡزِيۡلًا مِّمَّنۡ خَلَقَ الۡاَرۡضَ وَالسَّمٰوٰتِ الۡعُلَى ؕ
(20:5) The Most Compassionate Lord is settled on the Throne (of the Universe).2 اَلرَّحۡمٰنُ عَلَى الۡعَرۡشِ اسۡتَوٰى
(20:6) To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth,
and all that is in between, and all that is beneath the soil.
لَهٗ مَا فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَمَا فِى الۡاَرۡضِ وَمَا بَيۡنَهُمَا وَمَا تَحۡتَ
(20:7) Whether you speak out aloud (or in a low voice), He knows what is
said secretly, and even that which is most hidden.3 وَاِنۡ تَجۡهَرۡ بِالۡقَوۡلِ فَاِنَّهٗ يَعۡلَمُ السِّرَّ وَاَخۡفٰى
(20:8) Allah - there is no god but He. His are the most excellent names.4 اَللّٰهُ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ ؕ لَـهُ الۡاَسۡمَآءُ الۡحُسۡنٰى
(20:9) Has the story of Moses reached you?
وَهَلۡ اَتٰٮكَ حَدِيۡثُ مُوۡسٰىۘ
(20:10) When he saw a fire5 and said to his family: "Hold on!
I have just perceived a fire; perhaps I will bring a brand from it for you,
or I will find some guidance at the fire about the way to follow."6 اِذۡ رَاٰ نَارًا فَقَالَ لِاَهۡلِهِ امۡكُثُوۡۤا اِنِّىۡۤ اٰنَسۡتُ نَارًا لَّعَلِّىۡۤ
اٰتِيۡكُمۡ مِّنۡهَا بِقَبَسٍ اَوۡ اَجِدُ عَلَى النَّارِ هُدًى
(20:11) When he came to it, a voice called out: "Moses!
فَلَمَّاۤ اَتٰٮهَا نُوۡدِىَ يٰمُوۡسٰىؕ
(20:12) Verily I am your Lord! Take off your shoes.7 You are in
the sacred valley, Tuwa!8 اِنِّىۡۤ اَنَا رَبُّكَ فَاخۡلَعۡ نَـعۡلَيۡكَۚ اِنَّكَ بِالۡوَادِ الۡمُقَدَّسِ
(20:13) I Myself have chosen you; therefore, give ear to what is revealed.
وَاَنَا اخۡتَرۡتُكَ فَاسۡتَمِعۡ لِمَا يُوۡحٰى
(20:14) Verily I am Allah. There is no god beside Me. So serve Me and establish
Prayers to remember Me.9 اِنَّنِىۡۤ اَنَا اللّٰهُ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّاۤ اَنَا فَاعۡبُدۡنِىۡ ۙ وَاَقِمِ
(20:15) The Hour of Resurrection is coming. I have willed to keep the time
of its coming hidden so that everyone may be recompensed in accordance with
his effort.10 اِنَّ السَّاعَةَ اٰتِيَـةٌ اَكَادُ اُخۡفِيۡهَا لِتُجۡزٰى كُلُّ نَفۡسٍۢ بِمَا
(20:16) Let him who does not believe in it and follows his lust not turn
your thought away from it, lest you are ruined.
فَلَا يَصُدَّنَّكَ عَنۡهَا مَنۡ لَّا يُؤۡمِنُ بِهَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوٰٮهُ فَتَرۡدٰى
(20:17) And what is in your right hand, O Moses?"11 وَمَا تِلۡكَ بِيَمِيۡنِكَ يٰمُوۡسٰى
(20:18) Moses answered: "This is my staff. I lean on it (when I walk), and
with it I beat down leaves for my flock, and I have many other uses for it."12 قَالَ هِىَ عَصَاىَۚ اَتَوَكَّؤُا عَلَيۡهَا وَاَهُشُّ بِهَا عَلٰى غَـنَمِىۡ
وَلِىَ فِيۡهَا مَاٰرِبُ اُخۡرٰى
(20:19) He said: "Moses, throw it down."
قَالَ اَلۡقِهَا يٰمُوۡسٰى
(20:20) So he threw it down, and lo! it was a rapidly moving snake.
فَاَلۡقٰٮهَا فَاِذَا هِىَ حَيَّةٌ تَسۡعٰى
(20:21) Then He said: "Seize it and have no fear. We shall restore it to
its former state.
قَالَ خُذۡهَا وَلَا تَخَفۡ سَنُعِيۡدُهَا سِيۡرَتَهَا الۡاُوۡلٰى
(20:22) And place your hand in your armpit, it will come forth shining white,
without blemish.13 This is another Sign of Allah,
وَاضۡمُمۡ يَدَكَ اِلَىٰ جَنَاحِكَ تَخۡرُجۡ بَيۡضَآءَ مِنۡ غَيۡرِ سُوۡٓءٍ
(20:23) for We shall show you some of Our greatest Signs.
لِنُرِيَكَ مِنۡ اٰيٰتِنَا الۡـكُبۡـرٰىۚ
(20:24) And go to Pharaoh now for he has transgressed all bounds."
اِذۡهَبۡ اِلٰى فِرۡعَوۡنَ اِنَّهٗ طَغٰى
1. This verse makes plain the meaning of the previous one. The object of the
revelation of the Quran is not to make the Prophet (peace be upon him) do something
impossible and to put him to unnecessary distress by demanding from him to imbue
the hearts of the obdurate people with faith, but to admonish those people who
have fear of Allah. Therefore the Prophet (peace be upon him) should not waste
his efforts on those people who have no fear of God left in them, and who do
not bother at all about what is truth and what is falsehood.
2. That is, after creating the universe, He is ruling over it and conducting
all the affairs of its management.
3. That is, you need not complain to Allah in a loud voice against the persecution
from which you and your companions are suffering and the mischievous machinations
your enemies are devising to defeat you for Allah is fully aware of all those
things, and He hears even the complaints you cherish in your hearts.
4. That is, He possesses all the excellent attributes and characteristics.
5. This happened when Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was returning to Egypt
after passing several years in exile in Midian, along with his wife whom he
had married there. According to the early part of his history, which has been
related in Surah Al-Qasas, an Egyptian had been killed by Prophet Moses (peace
be upon him), so he had to leave Egypt in order to escape arrest and had taken
refuge in Midian.
6. It appears that this happened during a night of winter, when Prophet Moses
(peace be upon him) was passing through the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula.
When he saw a fire at a distance, he went towards it in the hope that he might
get some of it to keep his wife and children warm during the night, or at least
get some guidance concerning the direction of his journey. But instead of this
it was his good fortune that he found the guidance to the right way.
7. Probably, it is because of this that the Jews do not say their prayers
with their shoes on. The Prophet (peace be upon him), however, removed this
misunderstanding, saying: Act in contrast to the practice of the Jews who do
not say their prayers with their shoes or leather socks on. (Abu Daud). It does
not, however, mean that one must say his prayers with the shoes on, but it is
merely to make it lawful to say prayers with shoes on. This is confirmed by
another tradition, related by Abu Daud from Amar bin Aas, that he had seen the
Prophet (peace be upon him) saying his prayer both with and without the shoes.
There are other traditions also to this effect but it should also be kept in
mind that there were no carpets, mats, etc. in the mosques in those days, not
even in the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) Mosque. Therefore it would be improper
to go with shoes on into the mosques of today which have carpets, mats, etc.
However, one may say his prayer on grassy plots or open ground with shoes on.
8. In general, the commentators are of the opinion that Tuwa was the name
of the valley, but according to some, it is the valley that had been made sacred
for the time being.
9. This is the real object of Salat. It has been prescribed to remind people
that they should not become neglectful of Allah by worldly diversions and that
they should remember that man is not an unbridled free being but a servant of
Allah. Salat has been prescribed five times a day to remind man of Allah’s presence.
Some people are of the opinion that it means:
Establish Salat, so that I may remember you. Incidentally, according to this
verse, if one forgets to offer a prayer in time, he should offer it when he
recollects it. This is also supported by a tradition related by Anas: If one
forgets to offer a certain prayer at the proper time, he should offer it whenever
he recollects this, for there is no other expiation for this omission. (Bukhari,
Muslim, Ahmed). There is another tradition related by Abu Hurairah to the same
effect. It was inquired from the Prophet (peace be upon him): What should we
do if we remained asleep during the time of prayer? The Prophet (peace be upon
him) said: There is no sin if one remained asleep. The sin is that one should
neglect his prayer intentionally while awake. Therefore if one forgets to offer
a prayer or remained asleep, he should offer that prayer on remembering it or
on awaking. (Tirmizi, Nasai, Abu Daud).
10. After Tauhid, the second thing that was revealed to all the Prophets was
the reality of the Hereafter, and they were appointed to impart its knowledge
to their peoples. Here its object has also been stated. The Hour of Resurrection
is destined to come so that everyone should get the recompense in the Hereafter
of what he did in this world, and that Hour has been kept secret to fulfill
the requirement of the trial. For the one who believes in the Hereafter will
always be on his guard against any deviation from the right way, and the one
who does not believe in the coming of that Hour will remain engaged in other
things, for he will think that he did not see any sign of the coming of the
11. This question was not asked for the sake of getting any information, for
Allah knew that Moses (peace be upon him) held a staff in his hand. The question
was posed with a view to impressing upon him the fact that it was a staff so
that he might be mentally prepared to see the miracle which was going to be
performed with it.
12. Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) deliberately prolonged his answer and
did not stop at: It is my staff. This was because he naturally wanted to prolong
the dialogue to make the privilege meeting last longer.
13. That is, your hand will shine brightly like the sun, but it will not cause
any hurt to you. It is strange that the Bible interprets this miracle, saying
that his hand was leprous as snow but it was turned again as his other flesh.
The Talmud also interprets the miracle in the same way and adds that this was
a miracle which was meant for Pharaoh who was suffering from leprosy. It is
a pity that the same interpretation has been adopted by our own commentators,
though the correct interpretation is the one that has been adopted by us, and
many former commentators. Obviously, it is bad taste to attribute to a Prophet
the repugnant miracle of leprosy and that, too, before a king in his court.