Pharaoh Pepares For Final Attack
 

VERSE NO.5964

Moses did his best to put Pharaoh aright. He showed him the miracle of the rod, and that of the white hand, and other clear signs, but the selfish king rejected all; as being magic, and refused to believe [ 111 ]

in any god except the Egyptian gods, among whom, he himself was one! He accused Moses of having come to drive them out of their land by his sorcery! Nationalism is a weapon, that has always been used by dictator rulers against their opposers throughout the history. He therefore said to Moses: ``You are no more than a magician skilled enough. We too, will bring you a magic the like of yours, "so make an appointment for that." '' Moses, calm, and with utmost indifference, said:

``Let it be on the day of festival, and let people be mustered when the sun shines up enough.'' The Egyptians had a day of General festival in which the streets and tall buildings were decorated, and people were off in holiday. Moses appointed this day for the combat, so as to collect as large a number of people as possible, to show them the beautiful features of God's truth.

Then the great day of challenge between truth and falsehood came to pass. Tens of thousands of men and women, including Pharaoh, his courtiers, and his magicians, had come to see what was going on. Moses warned the sorcerers that their trickery and deceit against God would be disclosed, and that, they would be defeated and given to God's wrath: ``Moses said to them: Woe unto you! Do not forge lie against Allah, lest He destroy you by a torment.'' When so, they disputed about their plan among themselves, but they were judging Moses with the standards of Pharaoh, thinking that he too, like themselves had given to trickery and deception. Therefore, some of them said to the others the same thing that Pharaoh had said: ``These are two skilled magicians who have come to drive us out of our country by their magic and we must do our best to stop them.''

*****
[ 112 ]

LET US ASK MY FATHER

Rumi in his famous Mathnavi, has an interesting narration about the whisper, and conference of Pharaoh's magicians, as follows: The magicians held a secret conference before their encounter with Moses. They knew well that he was not an ordinary man. They knew him with such a high magical power far above what they could conceive. So they conferred with one another, and then the head of them said: As you already know, my father, who is now dead; was the greatest of magicians of his time. Let us go and hold our meeting upon his grave, and conjure up his spirit, and ask him what is the fact about Moses and his sorcery?

They did so; and the spirit of the dead magician said to the sorcerers: Keep a watch upon Moses until he is full asleep. Then you go near him and proceed to pick up his stick. If it remained the same, and nothing happened, you can be sure that he is no more than a sorcerer, and you may easily overcome him by doing so, and so. But, if you found the stick to turn again to a serpent, even when Moses is asleep, you should know that Moses is not a sorcerer. He is indeed a man of God, and his Lord supports him both in sleep and wakefulness. This is because magic is not effective when the magician is not awake.

The object of RUMI in saying the above story is that: QURA"N,is the miracle of Mohammad (SA), as the rod was a miracle of Moses (AS). Now Mohammad (SA) seems to have slept for a period of more than 14 centuries, while we have always seen his miraculous BOOK (QURA"N) active and effective, working behind him as clear signs of God, with a daily increasing glory and reputation!

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE

[ 113 ]

(( 65 ))

65- AND THEY SAID:- ``O, MOSES! WILL YOU CAST (THE STAFF) OR WE ARE THE FIRST TO CAST DOWN?''

(( 66 ))

66- HE SAID: ``YOU THROW DOWN (FIRST). THEN THEIR ROPES AND RODS DUE TO THEIR MAGIC, IN HIS IMAGINATIONS WERE MOVING FAST!'' (( 67 ))

67- AND MOSES CONCEIVED (SOME SORT OF) A FEAR IN HIMSELF. (( 68 ))

68- WE SAID (TO MOSES): ``DON'T BE AFRAID THAT YOU HAVE THE UPPER HAND. (( 69 )) 69- AND CAST DOWN THAT WHICH IS IN YOUR RIGHT HAND, (i.e. THE ROD) THAT WILL SWALLOW WHATEVER THEY HAVE FABRICATED. ALL THEIR FABRICATION IS NOTHING BUT THE GUILE OF SORCERER, AND A SORCERER WILL NOT PROSPER WHEREVER HE GOES.

[ 114 ]

THE COMMENTARY
MOSES TOO, COMES TO THE FIELD


VERSE NO.6569

The sorcerers united to stand firmly against Moses, in order to win the combat. At the beginning, they showed some sort of a politeness or ethical conduct by respecting Moses, and saying to him: ``Will you cast your staff, or you want us to be the first to throw down?'' Some commentators have thought that their polite and ethical behaviour with Moses, paved the way for their final prosperity and salvation. In the glorious name of Pharaoh, they threw their rods and ropes in which they had stored some chemical materials such as mercury; and when exposed to the heat of sunshine, they showed some physical reaction and movement.

In fact, after a lot of inculcations, and impressing by frequent repetitions of certain words and phrases; their strings and sticks were thrown and seemed to move about like snakes! Their magic seemed so real, and existent as snakes of various sizes and colours, that a great outcry of happiness and excitement burst out among the Egyptian crowd; followed by the exclamations of; ``Long live Pharaoh!''

Seeing that scenery, Moses conceived some sort of a fear in himself, and mysterious anxiety creeped over his mind! But soon after he came to himself and remembered that the All-mighty God was with him, Who sees and hears everything. So his faith in God gave him the necessary confidence: ``We said to Moses; Don't be afraid that you have the upper hand, and cast down that which is in your right hand, that will swallow all their fabrication....'' Falsehood may flaunt and display itself boastfully across a race course with truth, but it cannot win in the presence of truth, and finally will vanish in contempt. [ 115 ]

Here, we should know that magic is unlawful and a major sin in the sight of Islam. It has been strictly forbidden, because in many cases it serves to mislead people. Of course, there are some exceptions in it, as in the case with any other act; such as using it to prove the falsehood of false prophets. The trickery and deception of a sorcerer will soon be disclosed, and the sorcerers will never prosper, and they will not succeed to fulfil their evil purposes.

*****

MAGIC AND MAGICIAN

A remarkable quotation from the Book, named, ``THE GOLDEN BOUGH'' written by Sir James Frazer; has been cited in the International Encyclopedia as follows, which may give our dear reader some good information about magic and magician: Magic is irrational practices believed to influence man's relation to his environment, both human and non human. Magic is often contrasted with religion, and it is physical rather than spiritual in nature. Magic does not depend on supernatural assistance as religion does. Magic is believed to compel a desired result, where as in religion a higher power is asked for help. Medieval magic involved belief in a spiritual agency, like Devil or Jinns. Magic incantations often contain references to ancestors. In ancient Babylon, religion sacrifices was believed to be compelling in effect.

Sir James Frazer's theory of the origin of magic, and its functions, held that magic was primitive man's science, because of its materialistic and mechanical conceptions. But science represents a body of method and theory which primitive man lacks. It can also be pointed out that, non literate people do not confuse magic with whatever empirical knowledge through experiences they do possess. That is to say; spells, rites, and incantations, may be [ 116 ] considered necessary condition for success, but they are not sufficient conditions. For example, in gardening, spells are used in the belief that, they are needed to make plants grow, but they do not replace planting and weeding.

Belief in the effectiveness of magic in carrying out harmful actions, and also following positive aims, is found in many illiterate societies, and by no means unknown in literate cultures.

Magic is in fact the guile of magician, that may work for a number of reasons; like the MEANS USED. As an instance poisons are themselves effective, but are understood in magical terms. Magic may be used along with empirically productive actions, such as the work of gardening that makes plants grow, but the credit is given to spells.

Coincidence too, accounts for the apparent power of some magic. Magic does have a psychological effect. The belief that he is helped by a spell, may enable a man to perform a difficult feat and notable deed. Black magic which is also called sorcery, is the hostile and harmful action, as carried out by professional practitioners to separate a woman from a man, or to replace a hatred for love in two hearts. Techniques of sorcery vary widely, including the use of spells and various objects and substances.

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE

(( 70 ))

70- (MOSES CAST DOWN HIS ROD. IT BECAME A HUGE SERPENT AND SWALLOWED WHATEVER THEY HAD FABRICATED)

THEN THE MAGICIANS PROSTRATED THEMSELVES, SAYING: ``WE BELIEVED IN THE LORD OF AARON AND MOSES.'' [ 117 ]

(( 71 ))

71- (PHARAOH) SAID; ``YOU BELIEVED HIM BEFORE I GIVE YOU PERMISSION!? HE IS YOUR MASTER WHO HAS TAUGHT YOU SORCERY. SO I WILL CUT YOUR HANDS AND FEET ON ALTERNATE SIDES, AND I WILL CRUCIFY YOU UPON THE TRUNKS OF PALM-TREES, THAT YOU MAY KNOW WHICH OF US IS MORE SEVERE IN PUNISHMENT AND MORE LASTING!''

(( 72 ))

72- THEY SAID: ``WE SHALL NEVER PREFER YOU OVER WHAT HAS COME TO US OF CLEAR SIGNS, AND OVER HE WHO CREATED US. SO JUDGE WHATEVER YOU ARE TO JUDGE, (DO YOUR WORST) THAT YOU CAN JUDGE ONLY IN THIS LOWER WORLD.''

(( 73 ))

73- WE HAVE BELIEVED IN OUR LORD, THAT HE MAY FORGIVE US OUR FAULTS, AND THE SORCERY TO WHICH YOU COMPELLED US, AND ALLAH IS THE BEST AND EVERLASTING. [ 118 ]

(( 74 ))

74- VERILY HE WHO COMES TO HIS LORD AS A SINNER, THEN FOR HIM IS (WAITING) THE HELL, WHEREIN HE SHALL NEITHER DIE NOR LIVE!

(( 75 ))

75- AND HE WHO COMES TO HIM A BELIEVER, HAVING DONE RIGHTEOUS DEEDS, THEN THERE ARE HIGH GRADES FOR THEM.

(( 76 ))

76- GARDENS OF ETERNITY, BENEATH WHICH STREAMS FLOW, THEREIN THEY SHALL ABIDE FOR EVER, AND THAT IS THE REWARD OF HE WHO PURIFIES (HIMSELF).

THE COMMENTARY
THE GREAT VICTORY OF MOSES


VERSE NO.7076

In that critical condition in which the outcry of joy and excitement, on the part of the Egyptians had filled the area for their wonderful performance of magic, God said to Moses: ``Don't worry! You do have the upper hand. Just cast down the thing which is in your right hand.'' Moses cast down his rod, and LO! A huge serpent appeared moving, and swallowed whatever Pharaoh's magicians had forged and the whole crowd was struck with astonishment! No voice was heard any more. A silence prevailed, as if people had bird on their head.

[ 119 ]

The magician who could distinguish well, between a miracle and a magic, suddenly prostrated themselves reclining with faces on the ground, in humble adoration and worship of Allah, the Lord of Moses and Aaron! Thus they practically recanted their former creed, which was a mixture of magic, superstition, trickery, and deception, to which the Egyptians were compelled to bow, because their king was the high priest and the supreme god of that false religion. There in the field, the sorcerers openly and very frankly announced: ``We believe in the Lord of Moses and Aaron!'' Pharaoh, filled with fear and anger, was going mad! He accused his own magicians of having been in league with Moses, and that having been taught by him!

The merciless tyrant, who thought all his subjects had to follow his order by all means and without any objection; cried on the magicians with a dreadful wrath, saying: ``You did believe him before I give you leave!? He is your chief master who has taught you magic.'' Pharaoh then issued his inhuman and cruel decree of punishment! It was to cut their hands and feet on alternate side, and then to crucify them upon the trunks of palm-trees! But on the other hand, to his unjust and inhuman judgement the reaction of the magicians was very cold, and with much indifference! They said to Pharaoh:

``Do your worst o, king! Do us whatever of cruelty and oppression you can! But know that we are not going to deny and reject the clear signs that has been appeared. We shall never prefer you over our Lord, and His clear signs that has already come to us. We have believed in our Lord, with the hope that He may forgive us our faults; and in particular the sorcery to which you compelled us. Allah, our Lord is the best, and the Everlasting; and your judgement might only be valid in this mortal life.'' [ 120 ]

KNOWLEDGE MIGHT BE A SOURCE OF FAITH

Here, in this story, knowledge was the cause of the fast and sincere conversion of the magicians. They at once changed their mind and way, from disbelief to belief, and from wrong to right; turning 180 degrees out of phase from which they were! Such a wonderful change was due to their apt knowledge, to distinguish truth from falsehood, and miracle from sorcery. In a few hours, they jumped to a great distance in their way to evolution and development. They became so faithful, and consequently so brave, that they could easily suffer a dreadful mutilation and martyrdom. In other word, they were some poor unfortunate disbelievers in the morning, and became rich, brave, and prosperous believers in the same day's evening! Here is a good teaching lesson for the materialist who considers the cause of all movements to be economical.

(( 77 ))

77- AND WE INSPIRED MOSES WITH (OUR COMMAND), THAT SET OUT WITH MY SERVANTS IN THE NIGHT, AND STRIKE FOR THEM A DRY PATH IN THE SEA. FEAR NOT OF BEING OVERTAKEN, NOR BEING DROWNED.

(( 78 ))

78- THEN PHARAOH CHASED THEM WITH HIS HOSTS, AND (THE SEA) TOOK THEM IN, WHATEVER TOOK THEM IN.

(( 79 ))

79- AND PHARAOH MISLED HIS PEOPLE, AND DID NOT GUIDE. [ 121 ]

THE COMMENTARY
THE RESCUE OF ISRAELITES, AND DROWNING OF EGYPTIANS


VERSE NO.7779

After the victorious challenge of Moses with magicians, the incident became a general topic of conversation all over the Egypt, but Pharaoh and his forces barred people from the way of truth. The Israelites too, were still under the pressure of Pharaoh and his cruel courtiers. At last YAHOVAH=ALLAH, ordered Moses to take the children of Israel out of Egypt: ``And We inspired Moses with our order to set out with My servants, in the dark of the night; and strike for them a dry-path in the sea. Pass them over and fear not of being caught by Pharaoh or being drowned in the sea, and else.'' They were told not to have fear of anything at all. So they crossed a dry path which was created miraculously by the rod of Moses, while Pharaoh who had chased them with his hosts, were all drowned and perished!

So far, everything was gone all right, but the hard task of Moses had began with his stubborn and ignorant people just as soon as they passed the Nile over!

The Israelites were rescued from the bondages of slavery and hard labour, free of reward or wages. They passed over, and set out on their way towards the promised land. But they ignorantly closed their eyes over the light of God's Grace and Guidance, and were tempted by a Satanby a mysterious stranger hypocrite whom they called Samari or Samaritan. He made an image of a calf which mooed like the lowing of a cow, by some technical tricks; and renewed the worship of the ancient Egyptian god, which was a cow famed as OSIRIS! Samari managed to deceive the Israelites and to introduce his own hand made golden calf as the Lord of Moses; and thus he led the children of Israel astray, and to the darkness of ignorance. [ 122 ]

(( 80 ))

80- O, CHILDREN OF ISRAEL! WE RESCUED YOU FROM YOUR ENEMY, AND MADE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOU UPON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN (SINAI), AND WE SENT DOWN TO YOU MANNA AND QUAILS.

(( 81 ))

81- EAT OF THE GOOD THINGS THAT WE HAVE PROVIDED FOR YOUR SUSTENANCE, AND DO NOT EXCEED THEREIN, SO THAT MY WRATH MAY FALL UPON YOU; AND HE ON WHOM MY WRATH FALLS, HAS INDEED FALLEN. (TO RUIN)

(( 82 ))

82- AND YET I AM FORGIVER OF HIM WHO REPENTED, AND BELIEVED, AND DID RIGHTEOUS DEEDS; AND THEN WAS GUIDED.

THE COMMENTARY
THE ONLY WAY TO RESCUE


VERSE NO.8082 Here, the children of Israel have been addressed in general, and for all ages; reminding them of the great bounties and favours of God [ 123 ]

bestowed on them, and showing them the right way to rescue and salvation: ``O, children of Israel! We saved you from your enemy, and then made an appointment with you on the mount Sinai, and We sent down to you Manna and Quails.''

The appointment was when Moses went up the Mount Sinai for forty days and nights leaving the elders with Aaron behind, among the Israelites. Then in his absence, his people were tested and failed in the trial, by making a golden calf and taking it for a god. For more information about this event, please refer to volume 2 of this book S 7:155156, and for Manna and Quails, you will find more detail in volume one page 82.

We may add here that the Arabian side of Sinai, which is called JABALALMUSA was where Moses received his first commission before going to Egypt. He also received the Law from there, after the Pass Over. After reminding them of the physical and spiritual bounties, Allah gives the children of Israel a strict warning: ``Eat of the good thing that We have given you as sustenance and exceed not therein. Let not my wrath fall upon you that might drive you to ruin.''

The verse implies; forget not that God saved you from the bondage of Pharaoh and his cruel subjects. Allah and His Messenger have guided you to a direct path to development of your spiritual and physical life. Enjoy the Grace of God, and serve the fruits of His Mercy; and give your sincere thank to him in return. Exceed not the established limits lest you incur the wrath of Allah upon yourselves, and by that lose all you have.

(( 83 )) [ 124 ]

83- (WHEN MOSES CAME UP ON THE MOUNTAIN WE SAID TO HIM:) ``AND WHAT MADE YOU, O, MOSES, TO HASTEN IN ADVACE OF YOUR PEOPLE?''

(( 84 ))

84- HE SAID; ``THEY ARE FOLLOWING ME, AND I HASTENED MY LORD TO PLEASE YOU.''

(( 85 ))

85- HE SAID: ``WE HAVE TESTED YOUR PEOPLE AFTER YOU (LEFT THEM), AND SAMARITAN LED THEM ASTRAY!''

(( 86 ))

86- THEN MOSES RETURNED TO HIS PEOPLE ANGRY AND SORROWFUL, SAYING: ``O, MY PEOPLE! DID YOUR LORD NOT PROMISE YOU A FAIR PROMISE? OR DID THE PROMISE SEEM TOO LONG TO YOU? OR YOU INTENDED TO INCUR UPON YOU A WRATH OF YOUR LORD? THAT YOU BROKE YOUR PROMISE TO ME!

(( 87 ))

87- THEY SAID: ``WE DID NOT BREAK OUR PROMISE WITH YOU OF OUR OWN VOLITION, BUT WE CARRIED SOME OF THE [ 125 ]

ORNAMENTS OF THE PEOPLE (EGYPTIANS), AND WE THREW THEM (INTO THE FIRE), AND SO DID SA"MARI INDUCE. (PERSUADED US TO DO SO!)''

(( 88 )) 88- THEN HE MADE OUT OF IT FOR THEM A CALF IMAGE, WHICH HAD A LOWING SOUND; THEN THEY SAID: ``THIS IS YOUR GOD, AND THE GOD OF MOSES.'' AND FORGOT (EVERYTHING).

(( 89 ))

89- COULD THEY NOT SEE THAT (THE CALF IMAGE) DID NOT RETURN A WORD BACK TO THEM (IN ANSWER), AND HAD NO POWER TO HURT THEM, NOR TO PROFIT?

(( 90 ))

90- YET AARON HAD SAID TO THEM BEFORE THIS; THAT, O, MY PEOPLE! YOU HAVE BEEN TEMPTED BY IT, AND YOUR LORD IS THE MERCIFUL GOD, SO FOLLOW ME AND OBEY MY ORDER.

(( 91 ))

91- THEY SAID: ``WE WILL NEVER CEASE WORSHIPPING IT UNTIL MOSES RETURNS TO US.'' [ 126 ]

THE COMMENTARY
THE PLOT OF SAMARITAN


VERSE NO.8391

In these verses, another phase of the advent of Moses has been narrated in brief, which consists of many interesting and useful lessons. This was when Moses was invited by his Lord, for forty nights of a special duty; and eventually getting the Law and the commandments. But in his absence, a stranger hypocrite, famed as Samaritan made a gold image of a calf, and introduced it to Israelites as their god and the god of Moses. Samaritan supported his idea, by propounding the Bull-god, which was the symbol of OSIRIS who was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians.

This incident has also been cited in this book of us, in volume one, page 7879. Moses, in a fervent love for God, and in his most eager condition to visit his beloved Merciful Lord, went on the Mount Sinai in a haste. There Allah said to him:

``O, Moses! What made you to come up here in such a haste and in advance of your people?''

In answer to his beloved, Moses said: ``They are coming after me, and I hastened my Lord to please you.'' But YAHOVAH informed his apostle thus: ``The case is not so as you think! I have tested your people after you and in your absence, and they failed the trial, because Sa"mari led them astray.''

Hearing that; Moses was inflamed with anger. He found all his endeavours throughout years of toil and trouble, to have been rendered ineffective. Polytheism and idolatry, in its worst shape had appeared to, and accepted by, his people! Now Satan had managed well to mislead the children of Israel.

Moses returned to his people full of anger and sorrow. He shouted upon them saying: ``Did your Lord not promise you a fair promise? Or did His promise take [ 127 ]

God's promise was to guide and protect them, and to lead them to the promised land. On the other hand, their promise was to worship and serve Allah alone, and associate no partner with Him, and to obey his commandments, and to follow his Law. The Israelites did know that what a shameful act of perversion had they done, diverting to such that wrong end. So they began to create excuses saying: ``We did not break our promise with you of our own volition. It was rather Sa"maritan who did so and so, and finally fabricated the golden calf, and led us astray.''

Of course, Sa"maritan was responsible for making the golden calf and reminding and renewing the worship of the Bull-god (APIS), which was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians as the symbol of the king of deads (OSIRIS). But the Israelites too, could not think themselves free of responsibilities. At least they could apprehend that their new Bull-god could do them no harm, neither profit them aught. It even could not answer back to them a word of a question. This proves that how blind, and how foolish, the people must have been; who left the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Univers with all that clear signs and symptoms which they had seen, one after another, and then grasped an image of a calf, and took it for god!

(( 92 ))

92- HE SAID:- ``O, AARON! WHEN YOU SAW THEM GOING WRONG, WHAT PREVENTED YOU....

(( 93 ))

93- THAT YOU DID NOT FOLLOW ME; DID YOU TOO, DISOBEY MY ORDER?''

[ 128 ]

(( 94 ))

94- HE SAID:``O, SON OF MOTHER! DO NOT SEIZE MY BEARD, NOR MY HEAD. I WAS AFRAID OF YOU TO SAY; YOU SOWED DISCORD AMONG THE ISRAELITES, AND TOOK NO CARE FOR MY WORD.''

(( 95 ))

95- HE SAID: ``WHAT DO YOU THEN SAY, O, SA"MARI?''

(( 96 ))

96- HE SAID: ``I SAW WHAT THEY SAW IT NOT. SO I TOOK SOME OF THE TRACES OF THE MESSENGER, THEN I CAST IT, AND SO MY SOUL MAGNIFIED THE MATTER TO ME.''

(( 97 ))

97- HE SAID: ``BE GONE THEN; THAT YOURS IS IN THIS LIFE TO SAY; ``DON'T TOUCH ME'' AND (ALSO) THERE IS A PROMISE (OF GOD'S PUNISHMENT) FOR YOU THAT YOU WILL NEVER FAIL IT. AND NOW LOOK AT YOUR GOD WHOM YOU WORSHIPPED ALL THE TIME, THAT WE BURN IT AND THEN SCATTER (ITS ASHES) INTO THE SEA.''

[ 129 ]

(( 98 ))

98- VERILY YOUR GOD IS ALLAHHE EXCEPT WHOM THERE IS NO GOD. HIS KNOWLEDGE HAS EXTENDED OVER EVERYTHING.