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 Surah Al-Qasas 28:29-42 [4/9]
  
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۞ فَلَمَّاThen when
قَضَىٰ مُوسَىMusa fulfilled
ٱلْأَجَلَthe term
وَسَارَand was traveling
بِأَهْلِهِۦٓwith his family,
ءَانَسَhe saw
مِنin
جَانِبِ(the) direction
ٱلطُّورِ(of) Mount Tur
نَارًاa fire.
قَالَHe said
لِأَهْلِهِto his family,
ٱمْكُثُوٓاْ"Stay here;
إِنِّىٓindeed, I
ءَانَسْتُ[I] perceive
نَارًاa fire.
لَّعَلِّىٓPerhaps
ءَاتِيكُمI will bring you
مِّنْهَاfrom there
بِخَبَرٍsome information
أَوْor
جَذْوَةٍa burning wood
مِّنَfrom
ٱلنَّارِthe fire
لَعَلَّكُمْso that you may
تَصْطَلُونَwarm yourselves."
﴿٢٩﴾
فَلَمَّآBut when
أَتَـٰهَاhe came (to) it,
نُودِىَhe was called
مِنfrom
شَـٰطِىِٕ(the) side
ٱلْوَادِ(of) the valley -
ٱلْأَيْمَنِthe right
فِىin
ٱلْبُقْعَةِthe place even,
ٱلْمُبَـٰرَكَةِblessed,
مِنَfrom
ٱلشَّجَرَةِthe tree
أَنthat,
يَـٰمُوسَىٰٓ"O Musa!
إِنِّىٓIndeed,
أَنَاI Am
ٱللَّهُAllah,
رَبُّ(the) Lord
ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ(of) the worlds.
﴿٣٠﴾
وَأَنْAnd [that]
أَلْقِthrow
عَصَاكَۖyour staff."
فَلَمَّاBut when
رَءَاهَاhe saw it
تَهْتَزُّmoving
كَأَنَّهَاas if it
جَآنٌّ(were) a snake
وَلَّىٰhe turned
مُدْبِرًا(in) flight
وَلَمْand (did) not
يُعَقِّبْۚreturn.
يَـٰمُوسَىٰٓ"O Musa!
أَقْبِلْDraw near
وَلَاand (do) not
تَخَفْۖfear.
إِنَّكَIndeed, you
مِنَ(are) of
ٱلْأَمِنِينَthe secure.
﴿٣١﴾
ٱسْلُكْInsert
يَدَكَyour hand
فِىin
جَيْبِكَyour bosom
تَخْرُجْit will come forth
بَيْضَآءَwhite
مِنْ غَيْرِwithout
سُوٓءٍany harm.
وَٱضْمُمْAnd draw
إِلَيْكَto yourselves
جَنَاحَكَyour hand
مِنَagainst
ٱلرَّهْبِۖfear.
فَذَٲنِكَSo these
بُرْهَـٰنَانِ(are) two evidences
مِنfrom
رَّبِّكَyour Lord,
إِلَىٰto
فِرْعَوْنَFiraun
وَمَلَإِيْهِۦٓۚand his chiefs.
إِنَّهُمْIndeed, they
كَانُواْare
قَوْمًاa people
فَـٰسِقِينَdefiantly disobedient."
﴿٣٢﴾
قَالَHe said,
رَبِّ"My Lord!
إِنِّىIndeed,
قَتَلْتُI killed
مِنْهُمْof them
نَفْسًاa man,
فَأَخَافُand I fear
أَنthat
يَقْتُلُونِthey will kill me.
﴿٣٣﴾
وَأَخِىAnd my brother
هَـٰرُونُHarun,
هُوَhe
أَفْصَحُ(is) more eloquent
مِنِّىthan me
لِسَانًا(in) speech,
فَأَرْسِلْهُso send him
مَعِىَwith me
رِدْءًا(as) a helper,
يُصَدِّقُنِىٓۖwho will confirm me.
إِنِّىٓIndeed,
أَخَافُI fear
أَنthat
يُكَذِّبُونِthey will deny me."
﴿٣٤﴾
قَالَHe said,
سَنَشُدُّ"We will strengthen
عَضُدَكَyour arm
بِأَخِيكَthrough your brother
وَنَجْعَلُand We will make
لَكُمَاfor both of you
سُلْطَـٰنًاan authority,
فَلَاso not
يَصِلُونَthey will reach
إِلَيْكُمَاۚto both of you.
بِـَٔـايَـٰتِنَآThrough Our Signs
أَنتُمَاyou two
وَمَنِand (those) who
ٱتَّبَعَكُمَاfollow you,
ٱلْغَـٰلِبُونَ(will) be the dominant."
﴿٣٥﴾
فَلَمَّاBut when
جَآءَهُمcame to them
مُّوسَىٰMusa
بِـَٔـايَـٰتِنَاwith Our Signs
بَيِّنَـٰتٍclear,
قَالُواْthey said,
مَا"Not
هَـٰذَآ(is) this
إِلَّاexcept
سِحْرٌa magic
مُّفْتَرًىinvented,
وَمَاand not
سَمِعْنَاwe heard
بِهَـٰذَاof this
فِىٓamong
ءَابَآئِنَا ٱلْأَوَّلِينَour forefathers."
﴿٣٦﴾
وَقَالَ مُوسَىٰAnd Musa said,
رَبِّىٓ"My Lord
أَعْلَمُknows best
بِمَنof who
جَآءَhas come
بِٱلْهُدَىٰwith [the] guidance
مِنْ عِندِهِۦfrom Him
وَمَنand who -
تَكُونُwill be
لَهُۥfor him
عَـٰقِبَةُ ٱلدَّارِۖthe good end in the Hereafter.
إِنَّهُۥIndeed,
لَاnot
يُفْلِحُwill be successful
ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَthe wrongdoers."
﴿٣٧﴾
وَقَالَ فِرْعَوْنُAnd Firaun said,
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلْمَلَأُ"O chiefs!
مَاNot
عَلِمْتُI know
لَكُمfor you
مِّنْany
إِلَـٰهٍgod
غَيْرِىother than me.
فَأَوْقِدْSo kindle
لِىfor me
يَـٰهَـٰمَـٰنُO Haman!
عَلَىUpon
ٱلطِّينِthe clay
فَٱجْعَلand make,
لِّىfor me
صَرْحًاa lofty tower
لَّعَلِّىٓso that [I]
أَطَّلِعُI may look
إِلَىٰٓat
إِلَـٰهِ(the) God
مُوسَىٰ(of) Musa.
وَإِنِّىAnd indeed, I
لَأَظُنُّهُۥ[I] think that he
مِنَ(is) of
ٱلْكَـٰذِبِينَthe liars."
﴿٣٨﴾
وَٱسْتَكْبَرَ هُوَAnd he was arrogant,
وَجُنُودُهُۥand his hosts
فِىin
ٱلْأَرْضِthe land
بِغَيْرِwithout
ٱلْحَقِّright,
وَظَنُّوٓاْand they thought
أَنَّهُمْthat they
إِلَيْنَاto Us
لَاnot
يُرْجَعُونَwill be returned.
﴿٣٩﴾
فَأَخَذْنَـٰهُSo We seized him
وَجُنُودَهُۥand his hosts,
فَنَبَذْنَـٰهُمْand We threw them
فِىin
ٱلْيَمِّۖthe sea.
فَٱنظُرْSo see
كَيْفَhow
كَانَwas
عَـٰقِبَةُ(the) end
ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ(of) the wrongdoers.
﴿٤٠﴾
وَجَعَلْنَـٰهُمْAnd We made them
أَئِمَّةًleaders
يَدْعُونَinviting
إِلَىto
ٱلنَّارِۖthe Fire,
وَيَوْمَand (on the) Day
ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ(of) the Resurrection
لَاnot
يُنصَرُونَthey will be helped.
﴿٤١﴾
وَأَتْبَعْنَـٰهُمْAnd We caused to follow them
فِىin
هَـٰذِهِthis
ٱلدُّنْيَاworld
لَعْنَةًۖa curse,
وَيَوْمَand (on the) Day
ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ(of) the Resurrection
هُمthey
مِّنَ(will be) of
ٱلْمَقْبُوحِينَthe despised.
﴿٤٢﴾


فَلَمَّا قَضٰى مُوۡسَى الۡاَجَلَ وَسَارَ بِاَهۡلِهٖۤ اٰنَسَ مِنۡ جَانِبِ الطُّوۡرِ نَارًا​ۚ قَالَ لِاَهۡلِهِ امۡكُثُوۡۤا اِنِّىۡۤ اٰنَسۡتُ نَارًا​ لَّعَلِّىۡۤ اٰتِيۡكُمۡ مِّنۡهَا بِخَبَرٍ اَوۡ جَذۡوَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَصۡطَلُوۡنَ‏  فَلَمَّاۤ اَتٰٮهَا نُوۡدِىَ مِنۡ شَاطِیٴِ الۡوَادِ الۡاَيۡمَنِ فِى الۡبُقۡعَةِ الۡمُبٰرَكَةِ مِنَ الشَّجَرَةِ اَنۡ يّٰمُوۡسٰٓى اِنِّىۡۤ اَنَا اللّٰهُ رَبُّ الۡعٰلَمِيۡنَ ۙ‏  وَاَنۡ اَ لۡقِ عَصَاكَ​ ؕ فَلَمَّا رَاٰهَا تَهۡتَزُّ كَاَنَّهَا جَآنٌّ وَّلّٰى مُدۡبِرًا وَّلَمۡ يُعَقِّبۡ​ ؕ يٰمُوۡسٰٓى اَ قۡبِلۡ وَلَا تَخَفۡ​ اِنَّكَ مِنَ الۡاٰمِنِيۡنَ‏  اُسۡلُكۡ يَدَكَ فِىۡ جَيۡبِكَ تَخۡرُجۡ بَيۡضَآءَ مِنۡ غَيۡرِ سُوۡٓءٍ وَّاضۡمُمۡ اِلَيۡكَ جَنَاحَكَ مِنَ الرَّهۡبِ​ فَذٰنِكَ بُرۡهَانٰنِ مِنۡ رَّبِّكَ اِلٰى فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَمَلَا۟ٮِٕهٖؕ اِنَّهُمۡ كَانُوۡا قَوۡمًا فٰسِقِيۡنَ‏‏‏  قَالَ رَبِّ اِنِّىۡ قَتَلۡتُ مِنۡهُمۡ نَفۡسًا فَاَخَافُ اَنۡ يَّقۡتُلُوۡنِ‏   وَاَخِىۡ هٰرُوۡنُ هُوَ اَفۡصَحُ مِنِّىۡ لِسَانًا فَاَرۡسِلۡهُ مَعِىَ رِدۡاً يُّصَدِّقُنِىۡٓ​ اِنِّىۡۤ اَخَافُ اَنۡ يُّكَذِّبُوۡنِ‏  قَالَ سَنَشُدُّ عَضُدَكَ بِاَخِيۡكَ وَنَجۡعَلُ لَـكُمَا سُلۡطٰنًا فَلَا يَصِلُوۡنَ اِلَيۡكُمَا​​ ۛ ​ۚ بِاٰيٰتِنَاۤ ​ ۛ​ ۚ اَنۡـتُمَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَكُمَا الۡغٰلِبُوۡنَ‏   فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمۡ مُّوۡسٰى بِاٰيٰتِنَا بَيِّنٰتٍ قَالُوۡا مَا هٰذَاۤ اِلَّا سِحۡرٌ مُّفۡتَـرًى وَمَا سَمِعۡنَا بِهٰذَا فِىۡۤ اٰبَآٮِٕنَا الۡاَوَّلِيۡنَ‏  وَقَالَ مُوۡسٰى رَبِّىۡۤ اَعۡلَمُ بِمَنۡ جَآءَ بِالۡهُدٰى مِنۡ عِنۡدِهٖ وَمَنۡ تَكُوۡنُ لَهٗ عَاقِبَةُ الدَّارِ​ؕ اِنَّهٗ لَا يُفۡلِحُ الظّٰلِمُوۡنَ‏  وَقَالَ فِرۡعَوۡنُ يٰۤـاَيُّهَا الۡمَلَاُ مَا عَلِمۡتُ لَـكُمۡ مِّنۡ اِلٰهٍ غَيۡرِىۡ​ ۚ فَاَوۡقِدۡ لِىۡ يٰهَامٰنُ عَلَى الطِّيۡنِ فَاجۡعَلْ لِّىۡ صَرۡحًا لَّعَلِّىۡۤ اَطَّلِعُ اِلٰٓى اِلٰهِ مُوۡسٰى ۙ وَاِنِّىۡ لَاَظُنُّهٗ مِنَ الۡـكٰذِبِيۡنَ‏  وَاسۡتَكۡبَرَ هُوَ وَجُنُوۡدُهٗ فِى الۡاَرۡضِ بِغَيۡرِ الۡحَـقِّ وَظَنُّوۡۤا اَنَّهُمۡ اِلَـيۡنَا لَا يُرۡجَعُوۡنَ‏  فَاَخَذۡنٰهُ وَجُنُوۡدَهٗ فَنَبَذۡنٰهُمۡ فِى الۡيَمِّ​ۚ فَانْظُرۡ كَيۡفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الظّٰلِمِيۡنَ‏  وَجَعَلۡنٰهُمۡ اَٮِٕمَّةً يَّدۡعُوۡنَ اِلَى النَّارِ​ۚ وَيَوۡمَ الۡقِيٰمَةِ لَا يُنۡصَرُوۡنَ‏  وَاَتۡبَعۡنٰهُمۡ فِىۡ هٰذِهِ الدُّنۡيَا لَـعۡنَةً​  ۚ وَيَوۡمَ الۡقِيٰمَةِ هُمۡ مِّنَ الۡمَقۡبُوۡحِيۡنَ‏ 
(28:29) When Moses had fulfilled the term40 and was journeying with his family, he perceived a fire in the direction of the Mount (Sinai).41 He said to his family: "Wait here; I have observed a fire. Maybe I will bring to you some news or a brand of fire from there that you may warm yourselves." (28:30) But when he came to the fire, a cry was heard from the right bank43 of the valley, from a tree in the hallowed ground:42 "O Moses, verily I am Allah, the Lord of all creatures of the Universe." (28:31) He received the command: "Throw away your rod!" But when he saw the rod writhing as though it were a serpent, he turned back in retreat, and did not even look behind. (He was told): "O Moses, go ahead and have no fear. You are perfectly secure. (28:32) Put your hand into your bosom, and it will come out shining without any blemish;44 and draw your hand close to your body to still your fear.45 Those are the two clear Signs from your Lord for Pharaoh and his chiefs, for truly they are a disobedient people."46 (28:33) Moses said: "My Lord, I have killed one person from among them, and I fear that they will kill me.47 (28:34) My brother Aaron is more eloquent in speech than I: so send him with me as a helper to confirm my truthfulness for I fear that they will reject me as a liar." (28:35) He said: "We will certainly strengthen you through your brother and will invest both of you with such power that they shall not be able to hurt you. With the help of Our Signs the two of you and your followers will prevail."48 (28:36) But when Moses came to them with Our Clear Signs, they said: "This is nothing but a magic49 that has been contrived. We never heard anything like it from our ancestors of yore."50 (28:37) Moses replied: "My Lord knows best who comes with guidance from Him, and also whose end will be the best in the Hereafter. As for the wrongdoers, they shall not prosper."51 (28:38) Pharaoh said: "O nobles, I do not know that you have any god beside myself.52 Haman, bake bricks out of clay and build a lofty palace for me so that I may mount up and be able to observe the god of Moses, even though I believe that Moses is a liar."53 (28:39) And he and his hosts waxed arrogant in the land without any right,54 believing that they will never have to return to Us!55 (28:40) Eventually We seized him and his hosts and We flung them into the sea.56 So do see the end of the wrong-doers! (28:41) And We made them leaders who invite people to the Fire.57 On the Day of Judgement they shall not find help from any quarter. (28:42) We have made a curse to pursue them in this world, and on the Day of Judgement they shall be among the despised.58

40. According to Hasan bin Ali bin Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with them), the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had completed the ten years term instead of the eight years. According to Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), this has been related on the authority of the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself. He has said, “Moses (peace be upon him) completed the term which was more perfect and more agreeable to his father in law, i.e. ten years.”

41. That the direction of the journey was towards Mt. Toor shows that the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) might be traveling to Egypt with his family, for Toor lies on the way from Midian to Egypt. Probably Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) thought that he had stayed away from home for ten long years and the Pharaoh in whose reign he had left Egypt had also died, if he quietly went back and stayed with his people, nobody would know it.

The Biblical version of the sequence of events is different from the Quran’s. It says that the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) led the flocks (of his father in law) to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God. There God spoke to him, and appointed him to prophethood and commanded him to go to Egypt. Then Moses went back to Jethro, his father in law, took his permission and went to Egypt with his family. Contrary to this, the Quran says that the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) left Midian with his family after completing the term and during this journey Allah spoke to him and appointed him to prophethood.

Both the Bible and the Talmud agree that the Pharaoh in whose house Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had been brought up had died during his stay in Midian, and now another Pharaoh was the king of Egypt.

43. That is, on that side of the valley which lay to the right of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him).

44. These two miracles were shown to the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) at that time so that, firstly, he himself is fully convinced that the same Being Who is speaking to him is, in fact, the Creator and Master and Ruler of the whole system of the universe and secondly, he should have full satisfaction that he was not going unarmed before Pharaoh, to perform the dangerous mission assigned to him, but would go well armed with the two powerful weapons.

44. These two miracles were shown to the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) at that time so that, firstly, he himself is fully convinced that the same Being Who is speaking to him is, in fact, the Creator and Master and Ruler of the whole system of the universe and secondly, he should have full satisfaction that he was not going unarmed before Pharaoh, to perform the dangerous mission assigned to him, but would go well armed with the two powerful weapons.

45. That is, “Whenever you experience the fear of any danger, fold back your arm to yourself: this will strengthen your heart and will deliver you completely from every feeling of fear and dread.”

The arm probably implies the right arm. The arm can be folded back in two ways: either by bringing the arm and pressing it against the side, or by pressing one hand under the armpit of the other. Probably the first way was implied, for in that case the other person cannot perceive that one is specially doing so in order to ward off fear.

The Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was taught this device because he was being sent to counter a tyrannical government without any army and worldly equipment. He was going to meet with many a dreadful situation when a great Prophet could not also remain safe from fear and terror. Allah said to him, “Whenever you face such a situation, just do this, and Pharaoh will not be able to shake your heart in spite of all the power of his mighty kingdom.”

46. The words by themselves imply: “Go to Pharaoh with these signs and present yourself as Allah’s Messenger, and invite him and his chiefs to the obedience and worship of Allah, Lord of the worlds.” That is why his appointment has not been specified here, though at other places it has been clearly stated, thus: “Go to Pharaoh for he has become rebellious” (Surah Ta-Ha: Ayat 24). And: “When your Lord called Moses, saying: Go forth to the wicked people, the people of Pharaoh”. (Surah Ash-Shuara: Ayat 10).

47. It did not mean that he was hesitant to go there because of the fear, but it meant this: “Kindly make some such arrangement that I am not apprehended on the charge of murder just on arrival even before I may convey to them Your message, for in that case the very object for which I am being sent will be defeated.” The next verse makes it plain that the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), by this submission, did not at all mean to reject the office of prophethood and refuse to go before Pharaoh because of the fear.

48. This meeting of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) with Allah and the mutual conversation has been described in much greater detail in (Surah Ta-Ha Ayats 9- 48). Anyone who compares this Quranic version with the story given in the Bible will himself be able to judge which of the two is a divine revelation and which one is the result of human story telling. Besides, he will also be able to judge whether the Quranic version is, God forbid, a plagiarism of the Bible and Israelite traditions, or that God Himself is describing the actual event, Who had honored Moses (peace be upon him) by calling him up into His Presence. See (E.N. 19 of Surah Ta-Ha).

49. The words of the text mean “Fabricated or forged magic.” If fabrication is taken to mean falsehood, it would mean, “The staff's turning into a serpent and the shining of the hand is not any real change in the nature of the thing itself, but a mere illusion, which this man calls a miracle in order to deceive us.” And if it is taken to mean a forgery, it will imply: “This person has forged something which appears to be a staff; but when it is thrown on the ground, it moves like a snake. As for the hand, he has rubbed something on it so that when he draws it out of the armpit, it shines. He himself works these magical tricks but tries to make us believe that these are miracles which God has granted him.”

50. The reference is to the teachings which the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had presented while conveying this message of Tauhid. The details have been given at other places in the Quran. For example, according to (Surah An-Naziyat: Ayats 18-19), he said to Pharaoh: “Will you mind to purify yourself, that I may guide you to your Lord so that you may have fear (of Him)?” And in (Surah Ta Ha: Ayats 47-48), “We have come to you with signs from your Lord; peace is for him who follows the right way. We have been informed by revelation that there is punishment for him who rejects it and turns away.” And: “We are Messengers from your Lord: so let the Israelites go with us.” It was about these things that Pharaoh said, “Even our forefathers had never heard that there was a Being more powerful than Pharaoh of Egypt, Who was authorized to command him, to punish him, to send a man to his court to convey His instructions to him, and to warn the king of Egypt to fear Him. These are strange things which we are hearing today from a man like you.”

51. That is, “You think I am a magician and a forger, but my Lord is well aware of me. He knows what sort of a man is the person whom He has appointed as a messenger; and the final judgment rests with Him. If I am a liar, I shall meet an evil end; and if you are a liar, you should know that your end will not be good. In any case, the inevitable fact is that the unjust will not attain true success. He, who is not Allah’s messenger but falsely presents himself as a messenger for selfish motives, is also unjust and will not attain success. And the one who rejects a true messenger by false accusations and suppresses the truth by deceit and fraud, is also unjust and will never attain success.”

52. By this Pharaoh did not, and could not, mean that he was the creator of his people and the earth and the heavens, for such a thing be uttered only by a madman. Likewise; he also did not mean that they had no other deity besides him for the Egyptians worshiped many gods, and the Pharaoh himself had been made the incarnation of the sun god. The Quran testifies that the Pharaoh himself worshiped many gods: “The chiefs of Pharaoh’s people said, Will you leave Moses and his followers free to spread disorder in the land, and to discard you and your deities?” (Surah Al-Aaraf: Ayat 127) Therefore, inevitably, the Pharaoh had not used the word “god” here for himself as a creator and deity, but as an absolute and supreme sovereign. What he meant was this: “I am the owner of this land of Egypt: I alone will rule here: My law will be the law of the land; I alone shall be accepted as the fountainhead of all commands and prohibitions here. None else is entitled to give commands in this country. Who is this Moses, who has appeared as the delegate of the Lord of the universe and is conveying orders to me as though he is the ruler and I am his subordinate?” That is why he addressed his courtiers, thus: “O people: Is not the kingdom of Egypt mine? And are not these canals flowing beneath me?” (Surah Az-Zukhruf: Ayat 51). And that is why he said to Moses (peace be upon him) again and again, “Have you come to turn us away from the faith of our forefathers so that you too may dominate over the land?” (Surah Yunus: Ayat 78). “O Moses, have you come to drive us out of our land by the power of your sorcery?” (Surah Ta-Ha: Ayat 57) “I fear he will change your religion, or cause mischief to appear in the land.” (Surah Al-Mumin: Ayat 26).

If the matter is considered from this angle it will become evident that the position of Pharaoh was no different from the position of those states which claim political and legal sovereignty independent of divine law brought by the prophets. Whether they accept a king as the fountainhead of law and commands and prohibitions, or the will of the nation, in any case as long as they stick to the position that the country will be ruled by their law and not by the Law of Allah and His Messengers, there will be no fundamental difference between their position and that of Pharaoh. It is, however, a different thing that the ignorant people curse Pharaoh but approve these as lawful. A person who understands reality will look for the spirit and sense and not merely for words and terminology. Pharaoh had used the word “god” for himself but these states use the term sovereignty in the same sense. See (E.N. 21 Surah Ta-Ha).

53. This was the same kind of mentality as the communists of today are displaying. They launch rockets and tell the world that they have not found God anywhere above. Pharaoh wanted to see God from the top of a tower. This shows that the extent of the imagination of the straying people during the past 3,500 years has remained where it was. They have not advanced even an inch. It is not known who has told them that the Being, Whom the God-worshipers acknowledge as the Lord of the universe, resided somewhere above according to their belief. And if they do not see Him a few thousand feet or a few thousand miles above the earth’s surface in this limitless universe, it will be a proof that He exists nowhere.

The Quran does not specify whether Pharaoh actually got such a tower built and tried to see God from the top of it, but it only relates what he said. Apparently, he did not commit the folly. He only meant to befool the people.

This also is not clear whether Pharaoh was, in fact, a disbeliever in the Being of the Lord of the universe, or talked atheism only due to stubbornness. In this regard his sayings point to the same mental confusion which one finds in the statements of the communists. Sometimes he wanted to climb into the sky and come back to tell the world that he had nowhere seen the God of Moses (peace be upon him), yet another time he would say, “Why were not bracelets of gold sent down on him, or a company of angels as attendants?” (Sura Az-Zukhruf: Ayat 53). We are of the opinion that after the passage of the period of the Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him) and his successors when Egypt was dominated by the Coptic nationalism, and a political revolution took place in the country owing to the racial and nationalistic prejudice. The new leaders, in their nationalistic enthusiasm, also revolted against the God towards Whom the Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him) and his followers, the Israelites and the Egyptian Muslims, had been calling the people. They thought that if they believed in God, they would never be able to shed the influence and impact of the civilization brought about by the Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him). For if that civilization remained, they would never be able to consolidate their political influence. For them belief in God and Muslim sovereignty were inseparable and interdependent. Therefore, to get rid of the one it was necessary to reject the other, although they could not root out belief in One God from the depths of their hearts.

54. That is, Allah, Lord of the worlds, alone is entitled to the right to greatness, but Pharaoh and his hosts assumed greatness when they attained a little power in a small territory on the earth.

55. That is, “They thought they were answerable to none and with this assumption they started behaving absolutely independently in their day to day life.”

56. Allah in these words has depicted their worthlessness and insignificance as against their false pride. They thought they were big people, but when the respite, Allah had granted them to reform, came to an end, they were thrown into the sea like rubbish.

57. That is, “They have set a precedent for the later generations as to committing injustices, rejecting the truth and persistence in their rejection till the last, and using all sorts of devices to defend falsehood against the truth.” They showed these ways to the people and have gone to Hell, and now their descendants are following in their footsteps and rushing towards the same doom.

58. The words in the text mean: “On the Day of Resurrection they will be among the maqbuhin”, which has several meanings: (l) They will stand rejected and repulsed; (2) they will be wholly deprived of Allah’s mercy; and (3) they will be severely beaten up and their faces will become distorted.