The response of the magicians to the miracle of Prophet Musa(Moses), peace be upon him

I take refuge with Allaah, the Exalted, from the accursed devil.

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem: In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Welcome to my blog and praise the Magnificent Lord as you enter: Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Greatest .

May the Peace and Blessings of Allah Azza wa Jal, our Lord Glorified and Praised be He, be upon our beloved  Prophet, his Family, and Companions.

The response of the magicians to the miracle of Prophet Musa(Moses), peace be upon him.

وَجَآءَ السَّحَرَةُ فِرْعَوْنَ قَالْواْ إِنَّ لَنَا لأَجْرًا إِن كُنَّا نَحْنُ الْغَـلِبِينَ

(113. And so the sorcerers came to Fir`awn. They said: “Indeed there will be a (good) reward for us if we are the victors.”)

قَالَ نَعَمْ وَإِنَّكُمْ لَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ

(114. He said: “Yes, and moreover you will (in that case) be of the nearest (to me).”)

Surah 7 Al Araf Verse 113-114

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Allah describes the conversation that took place between Fir`awn and the magicians he collected to defeat Musa, peace be upon him. Fir`awn told them that he will reward them and give them tremendous provisions. He made them hope in acquiring what they wished for and to make them among his private audience and best associates. When they were assured of the cursed Fir`awn’s promises,

قَالُواْ يَمُوسَى إِمَّآ أَن تُلْقِىَ وَإِمَّآ أَن نَّكُونَ نَحْنُ الْمُلْقِينَ

(115. They said: “O Musa! Either you throw (first), or shall we have the (first) throw”)

قَالَ أَلْقَوْاْ فَلَمَّآ أَلْقُوْاْ سَحَرُواْ أَعْيُنَ النَّاسِ وَاسْتَرْهَبُوهُمْ وَجَآءُو بِسِحْرٍ عَظِيمٍ

(116. He (Musa) said: “Throw you (first).” So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them, and they displayed a great trick.)

Surah 7 Al-Araf Verse 115-116

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

The magicians challenged Musa, when they said,

(Either you throw (first), or shall we have the (first) throw) before you. In another Ayah, they said,

(Or we be the first to throw) (20:65). Musa said to them, you throw first. It was said that the wisdom behind asking them to throw first, is that – Allah knows best – the people might witness the magicians’ sorcery first. When the magicians had cast their spell and captured the eyes, the clear and unequivocal truth came, at a time when they all anticipated and waited for it to come, thus making the truth even more impressive to their hearts. This is what happened. Allah said,

(So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them,) meaning, they deceived the eyes and made them think that thet trick was real, when it was only an illusion, just as Allah said,

(So Musa conceived fear in himself. We (Allah) said: “Fear not! Surely, you will have the upper hand. And throw that which is in your right hand! It will swallow up that which they have made. That which they have made is only a magician’s trick, and the magician will never be successful, to whatever amount (of skill) he may attain”) (20:67-69). Ibn `Abbas commented that the magicians threw, “Thick ropes and long sticks, and they appeared to be crawling, an illusion that they created with their magic.”

وَأَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَى مُوسَى أَنْ أَلْقِ عَصَاكَ فَإِذَا هِىَ تَلْقَفُ مَا يَأْفِكُونَ

(117. And We revealed to Musa (saying): “Throw your stick,” and behold! It swallowed up straight away all the falsehood which they showed.)

فَوَقَعَ الْحَقُّ وَبَطَلَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ

(118. Thus truth was confirmed, and all that they did was made of no effect.)

– فَغُلِبُواْ هُنَالِكَ وَانقَلَبُواْ صَـغِرِينَ

(119. So they were defeated there and returned disgraced.)

وَأُلْقِىَ السَّحَرَةُ سَـجِدِينَ

(120. And the sorcerers fell down prostrate.)

قَالُواْ ءَامَنَّا بِرَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ

(121. They said: “We believe in the Lord of all that exists.)

رَبِّ مُوسَى وَهَـرُونَ

(122. “The Lord of Musa and Harun.”)

Surah 7 Al-Araf Verse 117-122

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Allah states that at that tremendous moment, in which Allah differentiated between Truth and Falsehood, He sent a revelation to His servant and Messenger Musa, peace be upon him, ordering him to throw the stick that he held in his right hand,

(It swallowed straight away) and devoured,

(all the falsehood which they showed.) the magic that they caused the illusion with, of magic with which they caused making it appear real, whereas it was not real at all. Ibn `Abbas said that Musa’s stick swallowed all the ropes and sticks that the magicians threw. The magicians realized that this was from heaven and was by no means magic. They fell in prostration and proclaimed,

(“We believe in the Lord of all that exists. The Lord of Musa and Harun ). Muhammad bin Ishaq commented, “It followed the ropes and sticks one after another, until nothing that the sorcerers threw remained. Musa then held it in his hand, and it became a stick again just as it was before. The magicians fell in prostration and proclaimed, `We believe in the Lord of all that exists, the Lord of Musa and Harun. Had Musa been a magician, he would not have prevailed over us. ”’ Al-Qasim bin Abi Bazzah commented, “Allah revealed to Musa to throw his stick. When he threw his stick, it became a huge, manifest snake that opened its mouth and swallowed the magicians’ ropes and sticks. On that, the magicians fell in prostration. They did not raise their heads before seeing the Paradise, the Fire, and the recompense of their inhabitants.”

قَالُواْ يمُوسَى إِمَّآ أَن تُلْقِىَ وَإِمَّآ أَن نَّكُونَ أَوَّلَ مَنْ أَلْقَى

(65. They said: “O Musa! Either you throw first or we be the first to throw”)

قَالَ بَلْ أَلْقُواْ فَإِذَا حِبَالُهُمْ وَعِصِيُّهُمْ يُخَيَّلُ إِلَيْهِ مِن سِحْرِهِمْ أَنَّهَا تَسْعَى

(66. (Musa) said: “Nay, throw you (first)!” Then behold! their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast.)

فَأَوْجَسَ فِى نَفْسِهِ خِيفَةً مُّوسَى

(67. So Musa conceived fear in himself.)

– قُلْنَا لاَ تَخَفْ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الاٌّعْلَى

(68. We (Allah) said: “Fear not! Surely, you will have the upper hand.”)

وَأَلْقِ مَا فِى يَمِينِكَ تَلْقَفْ مَا صَنَعُواْ إِنَّمَا صَنَعُواْ كَيْدُ سَاحِرٍ وَلاَ يُفْلِحُ السَّـحِرُ حَيْثُ أَتَى

(69. “And throw that which is in your right hand! It will swallow up that which they have made. That which they have made is only a magician’s trick, and the magician will never be successful, to whatever amount (of skill) he may attain.”)

فَأُلْقِىَ السَّحَرَةُ سُجَّداً قَالُواْ آمَنَّا بِرَبِّ هَـرُونَ وَمُوسَى

(70. So the magicians fell down prostrate. They said: “We believe in the Lord of Harun and Musa.”)

Surah 20 TaHa Verse 65-70

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Allah, the Exalted, informs about the magicians when they met Musa, that they said to Musa,

(“Either you throw first…”) meaning, “you go first.”

(“…or we be the first to throw” (Musa) said: “Nay, throw you (first)!”) This means, `you magicians should go first so that we can see what magic you are going to perform and so that the true state of their affair will become obvious to the people.’

(Then behold! their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast.) In another Ayah it says that when they threw,

(Then said: “By the might of Fir`awn, it is we who will certainly win!”) (26:44) And Allah, the Exalted, says,

(They bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them, and they displayed a great magic.) (7:116) Here, He says in this Surah,

(Then behold! their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast.) They were a large numbered group and each one of them threw a stick and a rope until the valley became full of snakes piled on top of each other. Concerning Allah’s statement,

(So Musa conceived fear in himself.) This means that he feared for the people that they would be tested and deceived by their magic before he could even have a chance to throw what was in his right hand. Thus, Allah revealed to him at the right moment, to throw what was in his right hand, which was the stick. When he did so, it swallowed what they had made. It became a huge, monstrous creature with legs, a neck, a head and fangs. It went after these ropes and sticks until none of them remained, except that it was devoured and swallowed by this beast. At the same time, the magicians and all of the people were watching with their own eyes, seeing this amazing event in broad daylight. Thus, the miracle was performed and the evidence was clear. The truth prevailed and the magic was proven to be falsehood. This is why Allah said,

(That which they have made is only a magician’s trick, and the magician will never be successful, to whatever amount (of skill) he may attain.) So when the magicians saw the event and witnessed it with their own eyes, while they were knowledgeable of the various tricks and methods in the sciences of magic, they knew with conviction that what Musa had done was not magic or illusionary tricks. They recognized that it was the truth without any doubt. They knew that no one had any power to do this except for One Who says for a thing “Be,” and it is. Therefore, when this happened, they fell down into prostration to Allah. They said, “We believe in the Lord of all that exists, the Lord of Musa and Harun!” This is why Ibn `Abbas and `Ubayd bin `Umayr both said, “At the beginning of the day they were magicians and at the end of the day they were outstanding witnesses of faith.”

The Number of Magicians.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “The magicians were seventy men who were magicians in the morning, but witnesses of faith by the time evening came.” Ibn Abi Hatim also reported that Al-Awza’i said, “When the magicians fell down in prostration, Paradise was raised up before them until they were looking at it.” It is reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr that he said concerning Allah’s statement,

(So the magicians fell down prostrate.) “They saw their places (in Paradise) made clear before them while they were in their prostration.” `Ikrimah and Al-Qasim bin Abi Bizzah both said the same.

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