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Section 2: The Ministry of Moses

Surah Ta Ha – Verses 24 - 28

اذْهَبْ إِلَي فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَي

قَالَ رَبّ‌ِ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي

وَيَسّـِرْ لِي أَمْرِي

وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِن لِسَانِي

يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي

24. “Go to Pharaoh! Verily he has transgressed (the bounds).”
25. “(Moses) said: ‘My Lord! Expand me my breast!”
26. “And make easy for me my task,”
27. “And loose a knot from my tongue,”
28. “(That) they may understand my saying.”

From this verse on, the content of the verses indicate that the command of Messengership of Moses is issued, a great and heavy messengership, a messengership which begins with conveying the command of Allah to the most powerful, and the most dangerous person of the people of the society of his time, Pharaoh.

It says:

“Go to Pharaoh! Verily he has transgressed (the bounds).”

Transgression (tuqyan) means: ‘violating the bounds of all dimensions of life’; therefore, such a person in Arabic is called /taqut/.

Yes, for improving a corrupt environment and creating a perfect revelation, we must begin with the most mischievous ones and the leaders of disbelievers, those who have control over the functions of all essential elements of the society.

Moses not only did not fear such heavy commission, and did not ask Allah for the least alleviation, but also he embraced it eagerly to follow; and he wished Allah (s.w.t.) to give him the necessary means of succession in this commission.

And in view of the fact that the first means of victory is a great spirit, a high thought, and an effective intellect, or, in other words, the ‘expansion of breast’, the verse says:

“(Moses) said: ‘My Lord! Expand me my breast!”

And since there are some difficulties along this way, which cannot be removed save by the grace of Allah, in the second stage he asked Allah to make the affairs easy for him and to remove all the barriers from his way.

He said:

“And make easy for me my task,”

Then, Moses (as) requested Allah to give him a better ability of speech. He also expressed specially the reason of this request. He said:

“And loose a knot from my tongue,”
“(That) they may understand my saying.”

This phrase, in fact, is an interpretation unto the previous verse. It means that he asked to be able to speak so clear, elegant, and expressive that every hearer could understand him.

In other words, as soon as Moses (as) was commissioned to the Divine Messengership, he demanded four things from Allah:

1. The expansion of breast:

“My Lord! Expand me my breast!”

2. A preparation for the conditions:

“And make easy for me my task,”

3. A fluent speech:

“And loose a knot from my tongue,”

4. Having an assistant:

“And appoint for me an assistant…”

And since Moses (as) had been commissioned to different subjects, such as: worshipping, political, revolutionary, social, ethical, personal, and congregational affairs, and paying to every one of them naturally causes man to neglect some others, therefore, the expansion of breast is utterly necessary for obtaining them all.

The expansion of breast is necessary both for the person himself and for fulfilling the responsibility, and Moses asked them all from Allah.

Surah Ta Ha – Verses 29 - 32

وَاجْعَل لِي وَزِيراً مِنْ أَهْلِي

هَارُونَ أَخِي

اشْدُدْ بِهِ أَزْرِي

وَأَشْرِكْهُ فِي أَمْرِي

29. “And appoint for me an assistant from my family,”
30. “Aaron, my brother;”
31. “Strengthen my back by him,”
32. “And associate him (with me) in my affair.”

Since carrying on the heavy responsibility of prophethood toward the final point needs someone to aid so that it is impossible to afford it alone, then the fourth request of Moses (as) from Allah was that he said:

“And appoint for me an assistant from my family,”

Then he mentioned his brother in particular, and said:

“Aaron, my brother;”

Aaron was the elder brother of Moses. He was three years older than Moses, with a tall stature and a well-proportioned body, and with a very eloquent tongue and an excellent apprehension. He passed away three years before the death of Moses.

Aaron was one of the appointed messengers whom Allah bestowed on Moses (as) in a way of His Mercy.

Then Moses stated his purpose why he asked Allah to appoint Aaron as his minister and assistant.

He said:

“Strengthen my back by him,”

And, in order to complete this meaning, he continued saying:

“And associate him (with me) in my affair.”

Moses asked Allah that Aaron associated him both in the rank of Messengership and in accomplishing that great mission. Thus, Moses did not ask Allah, only for the ministry of Aaron, but he also requested for his prophethood. Yet, in all respects, Aaron was a follower of Moses in all affairs, and Moses was his leader.

The reason why it is said in the verse ‘minister’ is that a minister carries out the heavy affairs and duties of the guardian of the affairs. The Arabic word /wazir/ (minister) is derived from the word /wizr/ in the sense of ‘a heavy load’, and it is called to a person who carries the burden of other’s responsibility on his back; and the Arabic term /’azri/ also means ‘back’.

However, it has been cited in many commentary books that the Prophet of Islam (S) repeatedly recited these verses and said:

“My Lord! Like Moses, I also ask for an assistant from my family”1

Allamah Tabataba’i in The Commentary of Al-Mizan says:

“In the tradition of Rank, the holy Prophet (S) told Ali-ibn-Abitalib:

‘O Ali! You are to me as Aaron was to Moses, save that there is no prophet after me’.

This tradition has been narrated in one hundred ways by the Sunnites and in seventy ways by the Shi‘ite.”

Again, some of the traditions recorded in the books compiled by the scholars of the Sunnite and the Shi‘ite denote that the Prophet of Islam (S) asked Allah the same things that Moses had asked for the succession in his mission, with a difference that instead of Aaron he (S) mentioned the name of Ali (as) and said as follows:

“O Allah! I ask You the same thing that my brother Moses asked You that You expand my breast, and make easy for me my task, and loose a knot from my tongue that they may understand my saying, and appoint for me an assistant from my family, Ali, my brother.

My Lord! Strengthen my back by him, and associate him (with me) in my affair, so that we glorify You much, and remember You abundantly; verily You are ever seeing of us.”

This tradition has been recorded in The Commentary of Durr-ul-Manthur, by Suyuti; in Majma‘-ul-Bayan by the Late Tabarsi; and a great deal of the great scholars of the Sunnite and the Shi‘ite have also narrated it with some differences, of curse.

Similar to this tradition is the tradition of Rank; wherein the Prophet (S) has said to Ali (as):

“Are you not content with (this fact) that you are to me as Aaron was to Moses, save that there is no prophet after me?”

This tradition, which has been cited in the first level books of the Sunnites, and as Mohaddith Bahrani has said in his book entitled ‘Qayat-ul-Maram’, it has been narrated in one hundred ways by the Sunnites and in seventy ways by the Shi‘ite, is so authentic and valid that there is no room for any denial or rejection against it.

However, another tradition in respect of the rank and position of Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as) may be considered, too, wherein the Messenger of Allah (S) has said:

“Verily Ali is from me and I am from him; and he is the master of every believer after me.”

(This statement is an indication to the rank of mastership and Imamate of Ali (as).)

This tradition has been authorized by many Islamic scholars, such as: Ibn-abi-‘Asim, No. 1187; Al-Baqawi in Mu‘jam-us-Sahabah, No. 20-q; Ibn-‘Asakir, vol. 12, p. 108; Al-Juweyni, in Fara’id-us-Samtayn, vol. 1, p. 15; Fada’il-ul-Khamsah, vol. 1, p. 342; ‘Abdu-r-Razzaq, in ‘Amali, q-12: 1; At-Tayalisi, p. 829; Ahmad, vol. 4, p.p. 437-438; Al-Fada’il, p. 1035; Al-Quti‘i in Ziyadatih, N. 1104; Ibn-ul-Maqazili, in Manaqib-i-Ali (as), pp. 221, 23, 224, and 230.

This very tradition in which the Prophet (S) says:

“Verily Ali is from me and I am from him, and he is the master of every believer after me”

is also recorded in Jami‘ah, vol. 13, p. 164 and vol. 5, p.296, No. 3796, published in Al-Madinah by Tarmathi; Hilyat-ul-’Auliya’, vol. 6, p. 294; Manaqib-ul-Kharazmi, p. 92; Jami‘-ul-’Usul, vol. 9, p. 470; Asad-ul-Qayah, vol. 4, p. 27; Zakha’ir-ul-‘Ughba, p. 68; Al-’Isabah, vol. 2, p. 503; Ash-Shajari-Fil-’Amali, vol. 1, p. 134;’Ihghagh-ul-Haghgh, vol. 4, pp. 37 and 210, and in some other volumes of it. Al-Qadir, by ‘Allamah’Amini, vol. 1, p.376 and some other volumes of it; Tara’if, p. 65, by Sayyid-ibn-Tawus; Bihar-ul-’Anwar, vol. 38, p. 296

Surah Ta Ha – Verses 33 - 35

كَيْ نُسَبّـِحَكَ كَثِيراً

وَنَذْكُرَكَ كَثِيراً

إِنَّكَ كُنتَ بِنَا بَصِيراً

33. “So that we glorify You much,”
34. “And remember You abundantly”
35. “Verily You are ever seeing of us.”

At first, we mention that Allah is Pure from any blemish and imperfection, then we glorify Him and thank Him in the same manner that the great prophets did as a duty. They purified Allah from any polytheistic matters, fancies, and superstitions.

The philosophy of government and power in a society is establishing spirituality in that society and promoting it there. Therefore, the true glorification of Allah is our struggling against the mischievous rulers.

Of course, that struggle is worthy that continues and is usually accompanied with much glorification and remembrance of Allah in all the times; else every one remembers the Lord at the time of danger and hardships.

Thus, Moses (as) states his words as follows:

“So that we glorify You much,”
“And remember You abundantly”
“Verily You are ever seeing of us.”

Prophets always saw themselves at the presence of Allah, and they were content with His Will and His Expediency.

Surah Ta Ha – Verses 36 - 37

قَالَ قَدْ اُوتيِتَ سُؤْلَكَ يَامُوسَي

وَلَقَدْ مَنَنَّا عَلَيْكَ مَرَّةً اُخْرَي

36. “Said He: ‘You are granted your request, O Moses.”
37. “And indeed We have conferred a favour on you another time.”

Since in his sincere demands Moses (as) did not intend anything but to deliver a better and more complete service, Allah answered his requests promptly at the same time, and, as the verse remarks:

“Said He: ‘You are granted your request, O Moses.”

When Allah informed Moses that He had granted him his requests, then following to it, in the next verse, He mentions the Divine bounties given to Moses. It implies that this is not the first time that Allah has bestowed His fovours on him, but he has always been under the attentiveness and providence of Allah, and another time, in his childhood, he was conferred a favour, too.

The verse says:

“And indeed We have conferred a favour on you another time.”

Surah Ta Ha – Verses 38 - 39

إِذْ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَي اُمّـِكَ مَا يُوحَي

أَنِ اقْذِفِيهِ فِي التَّابُوتِ فَاقْذِفِيهِ فِي الْيَمّ‌ِ فَلْيُلْقِهِ الْيَمُّ بِالسَّاحِلِ يَأْخُذْهُ عَدُوٌّ لّـِي وَعَدُوٌّ لَهُ وَاَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةً مِنّـِي وَلِتُصْنَعَ عَلَي عَيْنِي

38. “When We inspired in your mother what must be inspired.”
39. “(Saying) that: ‘Cast him into a chest, then cast it into the sea, then the sea shall cast him up on the bank; there shall take him one (who is an) enemy to Me and an enemy to him.’ And I cast down upon you love from Me (that every one may love you), in order that you might be brought up (and trained) in My sight.”

In this verse, the revelation attracts the attention of Moses to the following facts.

It says:

“When We inspired in your mother what must be inspired.”

This holy verse indicates that all the ways, which were ended to the deliverance of Moses (as) from the rips of Pharaohs in that age, were wholly taught to his mother.

Upon the meaning of this verse, in Jawami‘-ul-Jami‘, the commentary, it is cited that: at the time when We inspired your mother whatever was inspirable; that inspiration caused your deliverance from being killed; or that We sent an angel to her, in the same manner as We sent it to Mary.

The purpose of ‘inspiration’ here is to inspire something to the heart, not the idiomatic term of revelation which is specially adapted for Divine prophets, since Messengership is particular to men, as Surah Yusuf, No. 12, verse 109 says:

“And We have not sent before you but men from (among) the people of the towns, to whom We sent revelations...”

There was predicted for the people of Pharaoh that a child from the Children of Israel would come into existence who could destroy the kingdom of Pharaoh. In order to prevent that happening, Pharaoh had ordered his men to kill the sons of the Children of Israel and to keep their daughters alive to work as slave-maids and serving wenches for them.

However, Moses’ mother felt that the life of her newborn child was in danger. At that moment the Lord, Who had appointed that child for a great raise, inspired in her heart as follows:

“(Saying) that: ‘Cast him into a chest, then cast it into the sea…”

The Arabic term /tabut/ means a wooden chest. It does not always mean, as some people think, the coffin wherein the dead bodies are put.

Next to it, the Qur’an adds implying that the sea is commissioned to cast it up over the bank so that, at last, the one who is the enemy of Allah and the enemy of him takes him and fosters him in his lap. The verse continues saying:

“…then the sea shall cast him up on the bank; there shall take him one (who is an) enemy to Me and an enemy to him.’…”

And, in view of the fact that Moses (as) should be kept in a protective circle to be safe for the way he had in front of him full of ascent and descent, Allah cast a ray of His affection on Moses so that whoever saw him loved him in a manner that not only the one would not be willing to Kill him but also he might not accept that any harm should hurt him.

The Qur’an in this regard says:

“…And I cast down upon you love from Me (that every one may love you)…”

It has been said that the midwife of Moses (as) was one of the people of Pharaoh. She wanted to report his birth to the cruel men of the government.

But, for the first time, as soon as her eyes cast on the eyes of the newly born child, it seemed a light glittered from the baby’s eyes which brightened the depth of the heart of the midwife so that she loved him in a way that all kinds of evil thought departed from her mind.

At the end of this holy verse, the Qur’an refers to the aim of the event.

It says:

“…in order that you might be brought up (and trained) in My sight.”

By the way, this verse leads us to the concept that whenever Allah intends an action to be done, He also provides its necessary means. Here, in order to protect Moses (as), He inspires in his mother that she casts her child into the sea.

Then He commands to the sea that it takes the chest carrying the child on the bank. He casts into the enemy’s heart that he keeps him and He puts affection of the child in his heart.

Imam Baqir (as) said:

“Allah put such a love of Moses in people’s hearts that whoever saw him (as) was interested in him.”2

Surah Ta Ha – Verses 40

إِذْ تَمْشِي اُخْتُكَ فَتَقُولُ هَلْ أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَي مَن يَكْفُلُهُ فَرَجَعْناكَ إِلَي اُمّـِكَ كَيْ تَقَرَّ عَيْنُهَا وَلا تَحْزَنَ وَقَتَلْتَ نَفْساً فَنَجَّيْنَاكَ مِنَ الْغَمّ‌ِ وَفَتَنَّاكَ فُتُوناً فَلَبِثْتَ سِنِينَ فِي أَهْلِ مَدْيَنَ ثُمَّ جِئْتَ عَلَي قَدَرٍ يَا مُوسَي

40. “When your sister goes forth to say: ‘Shall I direct you to one who will nurse him?’ So We returned you to your mother that her eye be refreshed and she should not grieve. And you did slay a man (of Pharaohic ones) but We delivered you from grief, and We tried you with various trials; then you did tarry a number of years among the people of Midian, then you came hither as ordained, O Moses!”

There were a few women who had a fundamental function in the history of the life and struggles of Moses (as). They were: Moses’ mother, the sister of Moses, his wife, and the wife of Pharaoh.

Pharaoh’s castle had been built by the Nile River. While Pharaoh and his wife were beside the water watching the waves, suddenly a mysterious chest attracted their attention to itself. He ordered his men to take the chest from the water. When they opened the door of the chest, surprisingly, found a beautiful newly born child in it, something that, perhaps, they would not think of.

Pharaoh realized that the child must be from the Israelites who, being afraid of his officials, had chosen that fate for him. Therefore, he ordered his men to kill him. But his wife, who was barren, loved him very much, and the mysterious ray, which glittered from the baby’s eyes, penetrated into the whole parts of the lady’s heart, and attracted her to himself.

She appealed to Pharaoh for help and mercy and, calling the baby the delight of eyes, asked him to dispense with killing him; and, at last, she succeeded to make him agreeable with her request.

But, on the other hand, the child had become hungry. He was crying and shedding tears, while he suck milk from the nipple of none of the nurses that they brought for him.

Now the rest of the story is said by the Qur’an. After mentioning that Moses might be formed and trained in Allah’s sight, it implies that: at the time when Moses’ sister, with the command of the mother, was walking near by the Pharaoh’s castle, and watching the circumstances thereabout, and the baby’s fate in particular, she approached them to give them a suggestion.

The verse says:

“When your sister goes forth to say…”

She told the men of Pharaoh whether she introduced a woman to them who was able to nurse the baby.

The verse continues saying:

“…‘Shall I direct you to one who will nurse him?’…”

Maybe, she added that this woman had a pure milk so that she was sure that the child would accept it.

The agents of Pharaoh became happy by that statement and began going with her toward that lady.

Moses’ sister, who showed herself as an unacquainted person and a stranger, informed the mother of the matter. The mother also, without losing her coolness, went into the court of Pharaoh.

As soon as the child was put inside the lap of mother and smelt the smell of his mother, an acquainted smell, he took the nipple of the mother eagerly and sucking milk with a great love and interest. The sound of joy and happiness was heard from the audience, and the signs of pleasure and delight appeared in the eyes of Pharaoh’s wife.

Pharaoh trusted the child with her, and his wife emphasized very much on the care and protection from the child, and she ordered her that the child should be brought to her in short distances of time to see him.

It is in this condition that Qur’an says:

“…So We returned you to your mother that her eye be refreshed and she should not grieve...”

Several years passed and Moses (as) fostered in a circle of Divine Mercy and love and inside a secure and safe Place, until he gradually became a lad.

One day, he was walking along a road where he saw two men who were quarrelling with each other. One of them was from among the Children of Israel and the other was a Coptic (one of the Egyptians who were the adherents of Pharaoh).

Moses (as) went to help the oppressed one who was from the Children of Israel, and, in order to defy him, bruised a sharp knock on the body of the Coptic man. This defense from the oppressed, with that very single knock, caused the Coptic man to die.

As some friends of Moses recommended him, he came out privately from Egypt and went unto Madyan and found a safe and sound shelter with Shu‘ayb (Jethro), the prophet, explanation of which will be detailed in the commentary of Surah Al-QasasNo. 28, Allah Willing.

It is in this point that, addressing Moses (as), the Qur’an says:

“…And you did slay a man (of Pharaohic ones) but We delivered you from grief…”
“…and We tried you with various trials…”

And, after paving this long path and being bodily and spiritually prepared, because of those events and trials that he passed successfully and with eminence, Moses (as) was addressed as follows:

“…then you did tarry a number of years among the people of Midian, then you came hither as ordained, O Moses!”

However, passing the hard stages of trials was a preparation for reaching the rank of Messengership from the side of Allah and the spiritual state.

Surah Ta Ha – Verses 41 - 44

وَاصْطَنَعْتُكَ لِنَفْسِي

اذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَأَخُوكَ بِايَاتِي وَلاَ تَنِيَا فِي ذِكْرِي

اذْهَبَآ إِلَي فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَي

فَقُولاَ لَهُ قَوْلاً لَّيّـِناً لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَي

41. “And I have (prepared and) chosen you for Myself.”
42. “Go you and your brother, with My signs (miracles), and be not remiss in remembrance of Me.”
43. “Go, you both, unto Pharaoh! verily he has transgressed (the bounds).”
44. “Yet speak gently to him, perhaps he may get admonished or fear (Allah).”

Allah, in this holy verse, informs Moses that He has chosen him for His revelation and Messengership and that he should be a medium between Him and people. He has chosen him for the heavy duty of receiving Divine revelation, for achieving the Messengership, and for guiding and leading His servants.

He trained Moses and tried him in the currents of difficult events and gave him power and ability in order that he became apt from any point of view so that he could afford that great mission successfully.

The verse says:

“And I have (prepared and) chosen you for Myself.”

The Arabic term /’istina‘/ is derived from /sana‘a/ in the sense of ‘emphasizing and insisting on taking necessary action for improving something.’

As Raqib has cited in his Arabic dictionary by the name of Mufradat, the Qur’anic phrase means: ‘We have improved you from any point of view as if I want you for Myself’; and this is the most affectionate statement that Allah has said upon this great prophet.

Then, in the next verse, it implies: now that everything has been prepared, and all necessary means have been provided with Moses, addressing both him and his brother, Allah (s.w.t.) says:

“Go you and your brother, with My signs (miracles)…”

These Divine signs, which encompass both the two great miracles of Moses, and other signs of Allah, and the Divine teachings and programs themselves are also denotations to the rightfulness and legitimacy of his invitation.

So, in order to strengthen their spirits and that they increase in their effort and endeavour, He adds:

“…and be not remiss in remembrance of Me.”

Since remission and abandoning sharp conclusiveness may destroy the result of all efforts, therefore, they must stand firmly and fear of no adventure. They must not relax their efforts before any power, either.

After that, the main aim of this task and the point toward which they should direct their struggle has been defined.

It says:

“Go, you both, unto Pharaoh! verily he has transgressed (the bounds).”

The factor of all afflictions of that vast country was, Pharaoh, because the cause of progression or retardation, happiness or wretchedness, of a nation, before anything else, is the leaders and authorities of that nation.

Then, at the beginning, the style of confronting Pharaoh which can be effective, and that they might influence fruitfully in him, is stated as follows:

“Yet speak gently to him, perhaps he may get admonished or fear (Allah).”

Explanations

1. The secret of a person’s success has lied in a full and permanent attention to Allah.

2. The first stage is self-improvement, and then the improvement of the society comes forth.

3. A preacher or an emissary should be brave, decided, and impenetrable so that the palace, power, and dignity of the cruel ruler do not make him terrified in accomplishing his mission, or that, in negligence from the remembrance of Allah, he leaves out the necessary explicitness.

4. The first step in enjoining right and forbidding wrong, and guiding the society, is a gentle speech. Even in facing with the most tyrannical ones, at first, the words should be clement and kind. Never must we be despair of the guidance of others.

5. If a person is sent for an action as a manager, it must be tried that his spirit be filled with love and feeling of pride and encouragement.

Surah Ta Ha – Verses 45 - 46

قَالاَ رَبَّنَآ إِنَّنَا نَخَافُ أَن يَفْرُطَ عَلَيْنَآ أَوْ أَن يَطْغَي

قَالَ لاَ تَخَافَا إِنَّنِي مَعَكُمَآ أَسْمَعُ وَأَرَي

45. “They (Moses and Aaron) said: ‘Our Lord! Verily we fear that he may exceed against us, or that he may wax insolent.”
46. “Said He: ‘Fear not. Verily I am with you both, hearing and seeing’.”

The Arabic word /faruta/ means: ‘to precede, to be extravagantly reproachful or insolent’. Therefore the phrase mentioned in the verse means: ‘we are afraid that Pharaoh, before our reasoning and bringing miracles, precedes us and increases his insolence against the Children of Israel’.

The verse says:

“They (Moses and Aaron) said: ‘Our Lord! Verily we fear that he may exceed against us, or that he may wax insolent.”

The thing, which is blameworthy for the prophets, is heartily fear from other than Allah; else, natural fear is necessary for nature of those nobles and for all human beings. Every person, of course has this fear before dangers.

Then, in the next verse, the Qur’an implies that they should not fear, because not only Allah is with them, but also He helps them and guards them.

The verse says:

“Said He: ‘Fear not. Verily I am with you both, hearing and seeing’.”

Whatever Pharaoh asked them, He hears and reveals its answer to them; and whatever he decides against them, He sees and defends them.

Similar to this meaning is mentioned in Surah Al-Qasas, No. 28, verse 35, where it says:

“…and We will give you both an authority, so that they shall not reach you…”.

At the end, it is necessary to note that although all humankind are under the grace and mercy of Allah, yet His grace is more for the prophets.

Thus, having faith for the believers that they are at the presence of Allah, and being certain that the Divine helps are the factors of their bravery and spirits, as the current verse says:

“…verily I am with you both…”

Surah Ta Ha – Verses 47 - 48

فَأْتِيَاهُ فَقُولآ إِنَّا رَسُولاَ رَبّـِكَ فَاَرْسِل مَعَنَا بَنِي إِسْرآئِيلَ وَلاَ تُعَذّ‌ِبْهُمْ قَدْ جِئْناكَ بِاَيَةٍ مّـِن رَّبّـِكَ وَالسَّلاَمُ عَلَي مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الْهُدَي

إِنَّا قَدْ اُوحِيَ إِلَيْنَآ أَنَّ الْعَذَابَ عَلَي مَن كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلَّي

47. “So go you both unto him and say: ‘(O Pharaoh!) Verily we are Messengers from your Lord. Send forth, therefore, the Children of Israel with us and do not chastise them. We have brought you a sign (a miracle) from your Lord, And peace will be upon him who follows the guidance!”
48. “Verily it has been revealed unto us that the chastisement will be upon him who rejects (the Divine Signs) and turns away.”

Since teaching and guidance of cruel leaders to the right way had been an important and very hard task, Allah has repeated the command of going toward Pharaoh.

Allah has stated for them the method of their invitation at the presence of Pharaoh in five short, conclusive, and expressive sentences.

One of them concerns the main mission; the second states the content of the mission; the third mentions the reason and the evidence of their mission; the fourth is the encouragement of those who accept the invitation; and the fifth is a threat against the opponents of it.

At first it says:

“So go you both unto him and say: ‘(O Pharaoh!) Verily we are Messengers from your Lord...”

Then it continues saying:

“…Send forth, therefore, the Children of Israel with us and do not chastise them...”

After that, the revelation points to their evidence by saying:

“…We have brought you a sign (a miracle) from your Lord…”

Therefore, as intellect directs, it is necessary that you ponder over our words and if they are right, you ought to accept them.

Then, as an encouragement of the believers, it adds:

“…And peace will be upon him who follows the guidance!”

This phrase may point to another meaning, too. It may say that safety and prosperity both in this world and the Hereafter belongs to those who follow the godly guidance. They will be free from disquiets, offences, Divine painful punishments, and social and personal difficulties of life. This is, in fact, the result of Moses’ invitation.

At last, in the next verse, Moses and Aaron are told to say to Pharaoh the evil end of his disobedience from this invitation, by saying:

“Verily it has been revealed unto us that the chastisement will be upon him who rejects (the Divine Signs) and turns away.”

This is a fact that ought to be said to Pharaoh manifestly.

Surah Ta Ha – Verses 49 - 52

قَالَ فَمَن رَبُّكُمَا يَا مُوسَي

قَالَ رَبُّنَا الَّذِي أَعْطَي كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلْقَهُ ثُمَّ هَدَي

قَالَ فَمَا بَالُ الْقُرُونِ الأُولَي

قَالَ عِلْمُهَا عِندَ رَبّـِي فِي كِتَابٍ لاَّ يَضِلُّ رَبّـِي وَلاَ يَنسَي

49. “He (Pharaoh) said: ‘Who then is the Lord of you two, O Moses?’”
50. “He said: ‘Our Lord is He Who gave everything its creation. Then guided (it) aright’.”
51. “(Pharaoh) said: ‘What then is the state of the former generations?’”
52. “He said: ‘The knowledge of them is with my Lord in a Book. My Lord neither errs, nor does He forget’.”

Here, the Holy Qur’an directly refers to the sayings of Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh. When Moses was faced with Pharaoh, he repeated the proper and effective sentences that Allah (s.w.t.) had taught him at the time of the command of Messengership. These verses have been explained formerly.

When Pharaoh heard these words, his first reaction was that:

“He (Pharaoh) said: ‘Who then is the Lord of you two, O Moses?’”

It is wonderful that Pharaoh, who was proud and conceited, did not agree even to say ‘Who is my Lord that you claim?’, but he said:

‘Who then is the Lord of you…?’

Moses (as) at once offered a very inclusive but short introduction about the Lord, as follows:

“He said: ‘Our Lord is He Who gave everything its creation. Then guided (it) aright’.”

In this short saying, Moses (as) pointed to two fundamental principals of creation and existence, each of which is some independent and clear evidence unto the recognition of Allah.

Moses (as) intends to make Pharaoh understand that this world of existence is limited neither to him, nor to the land of Egypt; neither is it restricted to the present nor to the past. This vast world has an old and future age when neither he nor Pharaoh had been or will be living.

Then, two main problems are outstanding in this world: providing the necessities, and applying the powers and possibilities alongside the path of progression of the beings. These can make Pharaoh acquainted with the Lord very well.

When Pharaoh heard this interesting inclusive answer, he asked another question, and said if the situation was like that what about the former people of them?

The verse says:

“(Pharaoh) said: ‘What then is the state of the former generations?’”

In answer to this question of Pharaoh concerning the whole specifications of the former generations, Moses’ reply was as follows:

“He said: ‘The knowledge of them is with my Lord in a Book. My Lord neither errs, nor does He forget’.”

Thus, their account is preserved and, finally, they will receive the fruit of their deeds, whether they are good rewards or dreadful retributions.

Surah Ta Ha – Verses 53

الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الاَرْضَ مَهْداً وَسَلَكَ لَكُمْ فِيهَا سُبُلاً وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَاَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجاً مِن نَبَاتٍ شَتَّي

53. “‘He Who made the earth for you a cradle, and made for you therein paths, and sent down water from the sky’. Then, thereby, We brought forth kinds of diverse pairs of plants.”

The Qur’anic phrase which says: /salaka lakum/ can be rendered into two forms: 1) Those roads and ways that Allah has arranged on the ground for men along which they may pass. 2) The ways of gaining incomes.

In introducing Allah (s.w.t.) to Pharaoh, Moses (as) said that his Lord is He Who gave every thing its creation, and then guided it aright. Now, through these verses, he points to some species of the Divine guidance in the nature.

The abovementioned holy verse says:

“‘He Who made the earth for you a cradle, and made for you therein paths, and sent down water from the sky’. Then, thereby, We brought forth kinds of diverse pairs of plants.”

However, the statement of Moses (as) was around the subject of Monotheism and knowing Allah. Therefore, in this verse, the revelation has pointed to four parts of the great bounties of Allah which form the precedence of man’s life.

Before anything else, the place of residence and having peace is necessary. Then, next to it, communication paths come forth. After that water and different agricultural products are important. So, the creation of the earth and its conditions are not aimless; they are for human kind.

By the way, mentioning the law of conjugality in plants is one of the scientific miracles of the Qur’an, which has been remarked in this verse.

  • 1. The Commentary books of Durr-ul-Manthur and Nur-uth-Thaqalayn.
  • 2. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, vol. 3, p. 77

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