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Section 15: Persecution of the Israelites

Surah al-‘Araf – Verse 127

وَقَالَ الْمَلأُ مِنْ قَوْمِ فِرْعَوْنَ أَتَذَرُ مُوسَى وَقَوْمَهُ لِيُفْسِدُوا فِي الاَرْضِ وَيَذَرَكَ وءَالِهَتَكَ قَالَ سَنُقَتِّلُ أَبْنَآءَهُمْ وَنَسْتَحْيِي نِسَآءَهُمْ وإِنَّا فَوْقَهُمْ قَاهِرُونَ

127. “And the chiefs of Pharaoh’s people said: ‘Will you leave Moses and his people to make mischief in the land, and to desert you and your gods?’ He said: ‘Soon we will kill their sons and spare their women, and surely we are in power over them’.”

After seeing the belief of the sorcerers, in order to move Pharaoh, the chiefs of his people told him whether he left Moses and his followers alive to oppose him and make other people oppose and, consequently, to take the control of government from Pharaoh and to make mischief in the country. They would also leave out both him and his gods. The verse says:

“And the chiefs of Pharaoh’s people said: ‘Will you leave Moses and his people to make mischief in the land, and to desert you and your gods?’…”

Pharaoh answered them that he would kill their sons who were the encouragement of those people and whom they were making ready for fighting, while he would leave their daughters alive because they could do nothing against him. Pharaoh said that he could make of their females servants so that they became lowing and miserable. The holy verse continues saying:

“…He said: ‘Soon we will kill their sons and spare their women…”

It is understood from this sentence that Pharaoh did not expect to kill Moses (as) and his followers since he had recognized their power unfailing. Therefore, he decided to attack the defendless children and to destroy them. The verse ends thus:

“…and surely we are in power over them’.”

Surah al-‘Araf – Verse 128

قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ اسْتَعِينُوا بِاللّهِ وَاصْبِرُوا إِنَّ الاَرْضَ لِلّهِ يُورِثُهَا مَنْ يَشَآءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

128. “Moses said to his people: ‘Seek help from Allah and endure. Verily the earthbelongs to Allah; He grants its inheritance to whomever He pleases of His servants, and the end is (best) for the pious ones.”

There are two commandments accompanied with two glad tidings referred to in this holy verse. The commandments are:

‘seeking help from Allah’ and ‘endurance’; and the glad tidings are ‘the inheritance of the earth’ and ‘the good end of the pious’.

It also indicates that seeking help from Allah and having confidence in Allah together with perseverance and piety are among the factors of the final victory and protection against threats. This means that we must both seek help from Allah and endure ourselves. The verse says:

“Moses said to his people: ‘Seek help from Allah and endure…”

Another matter is that, at the sensitive times, a leader must console the community and make them hopeful, because the hope to a clear future is the promise of all religions including Islam. Moreover, the pious people, not only have a good end

in this world, but also are victorious in the next world.

“…Verily the earth belongs to Allah; He grants its inheritance to whomever He pleases of His servants, and the end is (best) for the pious ones.”

Surah al-‘Araf – Verse 129

قَالُوا اُوذِينَا مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَأْتِيَنَا وَمِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جِئْتَنَا قَالَ عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَنْ يُهْلِكَ عَدُوَّكُمْ وَيَسْتَخْلِفَكُمْ فِي الاَرْضِ فَيَنْظُرَ كَيْفَ تَعْمَلُونَ

129. “They said: ‘We have been hurt before you came to us and (also) after you came to us.’ He said: ‘Maybe that your Lord will destroy your enemy and will make you successors in the earth, then He observes how you act.”

The Children of Israel expected all the affairs be promptly corrected in one night after the raise of Moses (as), and the country of Egypt, with all its facilities, could be in their authority, and the Pharaonic people would be annihilated. That was why they claimed that the raise of Moses (as) did not bring confort for them.
The reply of Allah (s.w.t.) is that triumph needs some conditions, such as patience, struggle, and reliance. When these conditions are supplied, there is a hope to the help of Allah.

It was thus that the divine leaders were sometimes criticized by some friends who were of little capacity and of little tolerance. The verse says:

“They said: ‘We have been hurt before you came to us and (also) after you came to us.’…”

Most of people imagine that happiness and felicity is found in comfort and tranquility. They suppose that the lack of them is as a failure to obtain their desires. They are neglectful that the Divine religions have come to correct the ways of lives, not to efface their difficulties.

A leader should hearken to critics and send some hope-giving messages. The verse continues saying:

“…He said: ‘Maybe that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you successors in the earth…”

An Islamic government is a means of trial not a means of seeking pleasure. Then, the verse concludes as follows:

“…then He observes how you act.”

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