Bani Israel and the System of Firon

Going back to our subject, the Holy Quran has adopted many different methods of presenting lessons of guidance inside it. Amongst these, one method is through the narration of stories of different personalities, prophets, era and communities. One of the stories which the Holy Quran narrates is about Prophet Moosa (as)'s guidance to his community. Allah (s.w.t.) aroused Prophet Moosa (as) for the guidance of Bani Israel since Bani Israel was living their lives under a system of governance which was useless, dangerous, destructive and corrupt, prohibiting the development of human values and perfection. It was not just that the system was preventing the growth of this human being of flesh to become a human being by essence (i.e. to achieve perfection), but instead it was degrading the human being to a much lowly state, as that of beasts. The Holy Quran referred to this system as the System of Bani Israel. They were living their lives under this Fironic system.

From the very beginning of the Quran in Surah al-Baqarah, the story of Bani Israel begins. They were reminded and told:

يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ

"O children of Israel! Remember My favor which I bestowed on you…" (Surah al-Baqarah, 2: 40)

And then the Quran continues to say:

وَأَنِّي فَضَّلْتُكُمْ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ

" we excelled you over everyone else in the entire world" (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:122)

Then amongst the bounties which the Quran counted, the first one which was reminded to them was:

وَإِذْ نَجَّيْنَاكُمْ مِنْ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ

"And we delivered you from the people of Firon" (Surah al-Baqarah, 2: 49)

This means we relieved you from the atrocities and difficulties you were facing in the Fironic system of governance. This is considered by the Quran as the greatest of all the bounties given to Bani Israel.

Bani Israel were living their lives under the Fironic system in Egypt, where they were divided into two major clans. One was called as "Sibti" and other as "Qibti". The Qibtis belonged to the tribe of Firon, whereas the Sibtis were from the progeny of Prophet Yaqoob (as) and Yusuf (as), i.e from the family of Prophets, or in today's terminologies, they were all ''Sayyids". Prophet Yaqoob had twelve children, all brothers of Prophet Yusuf. They went to Egypt and from there their generations started and were being referred as "Sibti".

We need to concentrate and ponder over one important fundamental point over here. These were all from the progeny of well-known Prophets like Ibrahim, Ismael, Ishaac and Yaqoob. Their forefathers were all these renowned Prophets and hence they were the "Sayyids" of that era. The Bani Israel were divided into twelve tribes and each tribe had hundreds of thousands of people, but unfortunately all these Sayyids were living their lives under the Fironic system.

The Quran says that the Fironic System was the worst system on earth for humanity since the existence of the world. There were two major evils in this system, one of which was phrased by the Quran as:

يَسُومُونَكُمْ سُوءَ الْعَذَابِ

".. who was taking you towards divine punishment" (Surah al-Baqarah, 2: 49)

This means the entire community was being dragged towards severe chastisement. At times, the government or the system in which a human being lives his life, that system drags the entire community, nation and country towards final destruction (i.e. punishment). We can call such systems as the Systems of Hell or corrupt systems. Now, we have to take guidance from this narration of the Holy Quran.