Between Musa and Fir`awn

Allah tells us what He commanded His servant, son of `Imran and Messenger Musa, peace be upon him, who spoke with Him, to do, when He called him from the right side of the mountain, and conversed with him, and chose him, sent him, and commanded him to go to Fir`awn and his people. Allah says:

وَإِذْ نَادَى رَبُّكَ مُوسَى أَنِ ائْتَ الْقَوْمَ الظَّـلِمِينَ – قَوْمَ فِرْعَوْنَ أَلا يَتَّقُونَ – قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّى أَخَافُ أَن يُكَذِّبُونِ – وَيَضِيقُ صَدْرِى وَلاَ يَنطَلِقُ لِسَانِى فَأَرْسِلْ إِلَى هَـرُونَ – وَلَهُمْ عَلَىَّ ذَنبٌ فَأَخَافُ أَن يَقْتُلُونِ

(And when your Lord called Musa: “Go to the people who are wrongdoers. The people of Fir`awn. Will they not have Taqwa” He said: “My Lord! Verily, I fear that they will deny me, And my breast straitens, and my tongue expresses not well. So send for Harun. And they have a charge of crime against me, and I fear they will kill me.”) So, Musa asked Allah to remove these difficulties for him, as he said in Surah Ta Ha:

قَالَ رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِى صَدْرِى – وَيَسِّرْ لِى أَمْرِى

(Musa said: “O my Lord! Open for me my chest. And ease my task for me.”) (20:25-26) until:

قَدْ أُوتِيتَ سُؤْلَكَ يمُوسَى

(You are granted your request, O Musa!) (20:36)

وَلَهُمْ عَلَىَّ ذَنبٌ فَأَخَافُ أَن يَقْتُلُونِ

(And they have a charge of crime against me, and I fear they will kill me.) because he had killed that Egyptian, which was the reason that he left the land of Egypt.

قَالَ كَلاَّ

((Allah) said: “Nay!…”) Allah told him: do not be afraid of anything like that. This is like the Ayah,

سَنَشُدُّ عَضُدَكَ بِأَخِيكَ وَنَجْعَلُ لَكُمَا سُلْطَـناً

(Allah said: “We will strengthen your arm through your brother, and give you both power) meaning, proof;

فَلاَ يَصِلُونَ إِلَيْكُمَا بِـْايَـتِنَآ أَنتُمَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَكُمَا الْغَـلِبُونَ

(so they shall not be able to harm you, with Our signs, you two as well as those who follow you will be the victors) (28:35),

فَاذْهَبَا بِـَايَـتِنَآ إِنَّا مَعَكُمْ مُّسْتَمِعُونَ

(Go you both with Our signs. Verily, We shall be with you, listening.) This is like the Ayah,

إِنَّنِى مَعَكُمَآ أَسْمَعُ وَأَرَى

(I am with you both, hearing and seeing) (20:46). Meaning, `I will be with you by My protection, care, support and help.’

فَأْتِيَا فِرْعَوْنَ فَقُولا إِنَّا رَسُولُ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ

(And go both of you to Fir`awn, and say: `We are the Messengers of the Lord of the all that exists.’) This is like the Ayah,

إِنَّا رَسُولاَ رَبِّكَ

(Verily, we are both Messengers of your Lord) (20:47). which means, `both of us have been sent to you,’

أَنْ أَرْسِلْ مَعَنَا بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ

(So allow the Children of Israel to go with us.) Meaning, `let them go, free them from your captivity, subjugation and torture, for they are the believing servants of Allah, devoted to Him, and with you they are in a position of humiliating torture.’ When Musa said that to him, Fir`awn turned away and ignored him completely, regarding him with scorn and thinking little of him. Saying:

أَلَمْ نُرَبِّكَ فِينَا وَلِيداً

(Did we not bring you up among us as a child) meaning, we brought you up among us, in our home and on our bed, we nourished you and did favors for you for many years, and after all that you responded to our kindness in this manner: you killed one of our men and denied our favors to you.’ So he said to him:

وَأَنتَ مِنَ الْكَـفِرِينَ

(While you were one of the ingrates.) meaning, one of those who deny favors. This was the view of Ibn `Abbas and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam, and was the view favored by Ibn Jarir.

قَالَ فَعَلْتُهَآ إِذاً

((Musa) said: “I did it then…”) meaning, at that time,

وَأَنَاْ مِنَ الضَّآلِّينَ

(when I was in error.) meaning, `before revelation was sent to me and before Allah made me a Prophet and sent me with this Message.’

فَفَرَرْتُ مِنكُمْ لَمَّا خِفْتُكُمْ فَوَهَبَ لِى رَبِّى حُكْماً وَجَعَلَنِى مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

(So, I fled from you when I feared you. But my Lord has granted me Hukm, and made me one of the Messengers.) means, `the first situation came to an end and another took its place. Now Allah has sent me to you, and if you obey Him, you will be safe, but if you oppose Him, you will be destroyed.’ Then Musa said:

وَتِلْكَ نِعْمَةٌ تَمُنُّهَا عَلَىَّ أَنْ عَبَّدتَّ بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ

(And this is the past favor with which you reproach me, — that you have enslaved the Children of Israel.) meaning, `whatever favors you did in bringing me up are offset by the evil you did by enslaving the Children of Israel and using them to do your hard labor. Is there any comparison between your favors to one man among them and the evil you have done to all of them What you have mentioned about me is nothing compared to what you have done to them.’

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