Firawn (Pharoah) threatens the Magicians

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.

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Firawn (Pharoah) threatens the Magicians.

قَالَ فِرْعَوْنُ ءَامَنتُمْ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ ءَاذَنَ لَكُمْ إِنَّ هَـذَا لَمَكْرٌ مَّكَرْتُمُوهُ فِى الْمَدِينَةِ لِتُخْرِجُواْ مِنْهَآ أَهْلَهَا فَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ

(123. Fir`awn said: “You have believed in him (Musa) before I gave you permission. Surely, this is a plot which you have plotted in the city to drive out its people, but you shall come to know.”)

لأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ مِّنْ خِلاَفٍ ثُمَّ لأصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

(124. “Surely, I will cut off your hands and your feet from opposite sides, then I will crucify you all.”)

قَالُواْ إِنَّآ إِلَى رَبِّنَا مُنقَلِبُونَ

(125. They said: “Verily, we are returning to our Lord.”)

وَمَا تَنقِمُ مِنَّآ إِلاَ أَنْ ءَامَنَّا بِـَايَـتِ رَبِّنَا لَمَّا جَآءَتْنَا رَبَّنَآ أَفْرِغْ عَلَيْنَا صَبْرًا وَتَوَفَّنَا مُسْلِمِينَ

(126. “And you take vengeance on us only because we believed in the Ayat of our Lord when they reached us! Our Lord! pour out on us patience, and cause us to die as Muslims.”)

Surah 7 Al Araf Verse  123-126

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Allah mentions the threats that the Fir`awn – may Allah curse him – made to the magicians after they believed Musa, peace be upon him, and the deceit and cunning that Fir`awn showed the people. Fir`awn said,

(Surely, this is a plot which you have plotted in the city to drive out its people,) meaning Fir`awn proclaimed, `Musa’s defeating you today was because you plotted with him and agreed to that.’ Fir`awn also said,

(He (Musa) is your chief who has taught you magic.) (20:71) However, Fir`awn and all those who had any sense of reason knew for sure that what Fir`awn said was utterly false. As soon as Musa came from Madyan, he called Fir`awn to Allah and demonstrated tremendous miracles and clear proofs for the Truth that he brought. Fir`awn then sent emissaries to various cities of his kingdom and collected magicians who were scattered throughout Egypt. Fir`awn and his people chose from them, summoned them, and Fir`awn promised them great rewards. These magicians were very eager to prevail over Musa in front of Fir`awn, so that they might become closer to him. Musa neither knew any of them nor saw or met them before. Fir`awn knew that, but he claimed otherwise to deceive the ignorant masses of his kingdom, just as Allah described them,

(Thus he (Fir`awn) fooled his people, and they obeyed him.) (43:54) Certainly, a people who believed Fir`awn in his statement,

(“I am your lord, most high.”) (79:24), are among the most ignorant and misguided creatures of Allah. In his Tafsir, As-Suddi reported that Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn `Abbas, and several other Companions, commented,

(“Surely, this is a plot which you have plotted in the city…”) “Musa met the leader of the magicians and said to him, `If I defeat you, will you believe in me and bear witness that what I brought is the truth’ The magician said, `Tomorrow, I will produce a type of magic that cannot be defeated by another magic. By Allah! If you defeat me, I will believe in you and testify to your truth.’ Fir`awn was watching them, and this is why he said what he said.” His statement,

(“to drive out its people”), means, so that you all cooperate to gain influence and power, replacing the chiefs and masters of this land. In this case, power in the state will be yours,

(“but you shall come to know”), what I will do to you. He then explained his threat,

(“Surely, I will cut off your hands and your feet from opposite sides.”) by cutting the right hand and the left leg or the opposite,

(“then I will crucify you all.”) just as he said in another Ayah,

(“Fi the trunks of date palms”) (20:71), Fi in this Ayah means “on”. Ibn `Abbas said that Fir`awn was the first to crucify and cut off hands and legs on opposite sides. The magicians said,

(“Verily, we are returning to our Lord.”) They said, `We are now sure that we will go back to Allah. Certainly, Allah’s punishment is more severe than your punishment and His torment for what you are calling us to, this day, and the magic you forced us to practice, is greater than your torment. Therefore, we will observe patience in the face of your punishment today, so that we are saved from Allah’s torment.’ They continued,

(“Our Lord! pour out on us patience”), with your religion and being firm in it,

(“and cause us to die as Muslims.”), as followers of Your Prophet Musa, peace be upon him. They also said to Fir`awn,

(“So decide whatever you desire to decree, for you can only decide for the life of this world. Verily, we have believed in our Lord, that He may forgive us our faults, and the magic to which you did compel us. And Allah is better (to reward) and more lasting (in punishment). Verily, whoever comes to his Lord as a criminal, then surely, for him is Hell, wherein he will neither die nor live. But whoever comes to Him (Allah) as a believer, and has done righteous good deeds, for such are the high ranks (in the Hereafter).) (20:72-75). The magicians started the day as sorcerers and ended as honorable martyrs! Ibn `Abbas, `Ubayd bin `Umayr, Qatadah and Ibn Jurayj commented, “They started the day as sorcerers and ended it as martyrs.”

قَالَ ءَامَنتُمْ لَهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ ءَاذَنَ لَكُمْ إِنَّهُ لَكَبِيرُكُمُ الَّذِى عَلَّمَكُمُ السِّحْرَ فَلأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ مِّنْ خِلاَفٍ وَلأُصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ فِى جُذُوعِ النَّخْلِ وَلَتَعْلَمُنَّ أَيُّنَآ أَشَدُّ عَذَاباً وَأَبْقَى

(71. (Fir`awn) said: “Believe you in him before I give you permission Verily, he is your chief who has taught you magic. So I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will surely crucify you on the trunks of date palms, and you shall surely know which of us can give the severe and more lasting torment. ”)

– قَالُواْ لَن نُّؤْثِرَكَ عَلَى مَا جَآءَنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَـتِ وَالَّذِى فَطَرَنَا فَاقْضِ مَآ أَنتَ قَاضٍ إِنَّمَا تَقْضِى هَـذِهِ الْحَيَوةَ الدُّنْيَآ

(72. They said: “We prefer you not over what have come to us of the clear signs and to Him (Allah) Who created us. So, decree whatever you desire to decree, for you can only’ decree (regarding) this life of the world.”)

– إِنَّآ آمَنَّا بِرَبِّنَا لِيَغْفِرَ لَنَا خَطَـيَـنَا وَمَآ أَكْرَهْتَنَا عَلَيْهِ مِنَ السِّحْرِ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى

(73. “Verily, we have believed in our Lord, that He may forgive us our faults, and the magic to which you did compel us. And Allah is better as regards reward in comparison to your reward, and more lasting.”)

Surah 20 Taha Verse 71-74

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Allah, the Exalted, informs of Fir`awn’s disbelief, obstinance, transgression and haughtiness against the truth in favor of falsehood. When he saw what he saw of the magnificent miracle and the great sign, and he saw those whose help he sought accept faith in the presence of all of the people, and he was absolutely defeated, he began to behave arrogantly and cast accusations. He resorted to using his esteemed honor and might against the magicians. He warned them and threatened them saying,

(Believe you in him (Musa)) This means, “Do you have faith in him”

(before I give you permission) meaning, “I have not commanded you to do so, by which you have rebelled against me.” Then he said a statement that he, the magicians and all creatures knew was a forgery and an utter lie.

(Verily, he is your chief who has taught you magic.) meaning “You all only took your magic from Musa and you have made an agreement with him against me and my subjects, that you would help him be victorious.” Allah says in another Ayah,

(Surely, this is a plot which you have plotted in the city to drive out its people, but you shall come to know.) (7:123) Then he began threatening them. He said to them,

(So I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will surely crucify you on the trunks of date palms,) meaning, “I will certainly make an example of you, I will kill you in a public execution.” Ibn `Abbas said, “Thus, he was the first person to ever do this (public execution, crucifixion).” This was reported by Ibn Abi Hatim. Concerning Allah’s statement,

(And you shall surely know which of us can give the severe and more lasting torment.) This means, “You say that my people and I are astray and that you (magicians), Musa and his people are following correct guidance, but you will come to know who will be punished and remain punished.” So when he attacked with this and threatened them, their souls eased them because of their belief in Allah, the Mighty and Sublime. They exclaimed,

(They said: “We prefer you not over what have come to us of the clear signs…”) meaning, “We do not chose you over the guidance and conviction that we have received. ”

(and to Him (Allah) Who created us.) It could be that they were swearing, “By He Who has created us.” It also could be connected in meaning to the clear signs mentioned before it. In this case it would mean, “We do not prefer you over our Originator and Creator, Who produced us from a beginning that was nothing. He created us from clay (or mud). Therefore, He alone deserves worship and humility and you do not (Fir`awn)!”

(So decree whatever you desire to decree,) “Do whatever you wish and whatever your hands are able to achieve.”

(for you can only decree (regarding) this life of the world.) meaning, “You only have power in this world and it is a world that will come to an end. Verily, we are hoping in the eternal abode.”

(Verily, we have believed in our Lord, that He may forgive us our faults,) “Whatever evils that we did.” It specifically means, `which we were forced to do of magic, in order to oppose the sign of Allah and the miracle of His Prophet.’ Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said concerning Allah’s statement,

(and the magic to which you compelled us.) “Fir`awn took forty boys from the Children of Israel and commanded that they be taught magic at Al-Farama. He said, `Teach them knowledge that no one in the land knows.”’ Ibn `Abbas then said, “They were of those who believed in Musa and they were of those who said,

(We have believed in our Lord, that He may forgive us our faults, and the magic to which you did compel us.)” `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said the same. Allah’s statement,

(And Allah is better as regards reward in comparison to your reward, and more lasting.) means, “He is better for us than you.”

(and more lasting.) More lasting in reward than what you pro- mised us and made us aspire to. It is apparent that Fir`awn (may Allah curse him) was bent upon their punishment, and that what he did to them was a mercy from Allah for them. This is why Ibn `Abbas and others of the Salaf said, “They woke up in that morning as magicians, but they became witnesses of faith by the evening.”

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