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The Israelites in Pharaonic Egypt within a Quranist Vision

 

The Israelites in Pharaonic Egypt within a Quranist Vision

 

Authored by Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour

Translated by Ahmed Fathy

 

 

ABOUT THIS BOOK:

 We tackle how the Quran mentions the life of the Israelites in Egypt during the Pharaonic Era, the relation between Moses and Pharaoh within the frame of the debate between the Truth and the might, the Israelites in Egypt after the death of Pharaoh and his regime, and Moses calling them to enter into the Holy Land. This book includes other chapters about moral lessons drawn to preach, remind, and warn.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

INTRODUCTION: The Quranic Story of Moses' Pharaoh in Relation to the Pharaonic History 

CHAPTER I: The Debate between the Truth and the Might between Moses and Pharaoh

CHAPTER II:The Divine Promise and Succession

CHAPTER III: Moses and the Israelites in Post-Pharaoh Egypt

CHAPTER IV: Between the Israelites and the Muhammadans

CONCLUSION:The Moral Lessons Drawn from the Quranic Story of Moses and Pharaoh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION: The Quranic Story of Moses' Pharaoh in Relation to the Pharaonic History

 

 

1- The Old Testament in the Bible mentions the story of Moses and Aaron and Moses' Pharaoh; their story is mentioned in the Quran while being described as the truth or the only true account: "We narrate to you from the history of Moses and Pharaoh - in truth - for people who believe." (28:3). Some guesses, conjectures, and surmises are written by some Egyptologists and some historians who specialize in the history of Pharaonic Egypt. Some other Egyptologists worthy of respect have decided not to tackle the topic of Moses' Pharaoh as findings of diggings and excavations in Egypt have not shown yet anything related to Moses' Pharaoh, and these Egyptologists must base their writings on discoveries linked to the Pharaonic Era and data found in papyri. Thus, they need historical evidence and enough data (not found or discovered until now) to tackle the topic of Moses' Pharaoh.  

2- The other type is the unrespectable historians/Egyptologists who are imposters, as they negate the historical existence of Moses and Moses' Pharaoh because of lack of tangible proofs to assert their existence in history. Those are never real researchers nor scientists; they tend to overlook and forget these facts: (1) not all artifacts and monuments of the Pharaonic Era have been discovered, labeled, studied, and catalogued in museums, and (2) there are still many gaps within stages of the Pharaonic Era. Their view that nothing new might be discovered or added to our information regarding the Pharaonic Era shows they are ignoramuses.       

3- Egyptian cities and villages are located on many layers of monuments and buried cities that cover 70 centuries of civilization, and half of this duration is before the unification of Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt into one centralized State in c. 3000 B.C.E. by the pharaoh Menes (or Narmer). Egyptians have settled within both banks of the River Nile 7000 years ago as they began their great civilization; this Pharaonic State has existed after the Pharaonic Era until now, while retaining the same features of centralized rule, corruption, tyranny, and deep-state, despite the succession of different Egyptian and non-Egyptian pharaohs/rulers.

4- What is known and discovered about the Pharaonic Era is very little; more excavations and discovered are being made and they add to our information. Real, serious researchers and Egyptologists know for sure that they know very little about the Egyptian history, especially that some discoveries and excavations are done randomly within different conditions each time and are linked to different eras (e.g., the Ramses dynasty and before and after its era). Hence, no one has the right to deny and reject the story of Moses and Moses' Pharaoh except ignoramuses.

5- God tells us in the Quran historical facts that make finding tangible evidence or proofs linked to Moses' Pharaoh almost impossible.

5/1: Moses' Pharaoh drowned in the Red Sea along with all his troops, government, retinue members, viziers, courtiers, and other deep-state men; this means no one among them survived to record Moses' Pharaoh's history.

5/2: Moses' Pharaoh's temples, edifices, and palaces were destroyed: "And We made the oppressed people inherit the eastern and western parts of the land, which We had blessed. Thus the fair promise of your Lord to the Israelites was fulfilled, because of their endurance. And We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people had built, and what they had harvested." (7:137). Moses' Pharaoh used to build huge and high edifices or skyscrapers: "...and Pharaoh of the Stakes." (38:12); "And Pharaoh of the Stakes." (89:10); these include an edifice/ a tower built by the vizier Haman upon the command of Moses' Pharaoh: "Pharaoh said, "... So, fire-up the bricks for me, O Haman, and build me a tower, that I may ascend to the God of Moses, though I think he is a liar."" (28:38). Such monuments and edifices were built using red bricks (made of mud burned by fire), used within the Pharaonic Era and until now in Egyptian cities and palaces. 

5/3: It was not difficult to destroy edifices, towers, palaces, and monuments of Pharaoh, especially when we remember that after he drowned, the Israelites returned back to the Nile Valley of Egypt to look for treasures of Pharaoh and his people in all such buildings; thus, nothing of such buildings and monuments remained to indicate the historical presence of Moses' Pharaoh; we would not have known these historical facts about this forgotten era if it had not been for the Quranic mention of them.

5/4: In general, artifacts, statues, temples, and monuments of the Pharaonic Era discovered within the superficial strata of land were at first covered with layers of dust and sand; e.g., underground royal tombs, the Karnak Temple, and the Ramesseum. People will never find similar things related to Moses' Pharaoh and his people, as they never died in their palaces, because they drowned in the Red Sea.   

6- Therefore, since we believe in the Quran as the Absolute Truth from our Lord God, we believe that it is God's Word that contain the Absolute Truth in all its stories, legislations, preaching, warning, guidance, and scientific and historical indications. Yet, the pieces of information that we understand or infer from the Quranic text are, of course, liable to be criticized and questioned as they might be right or wrong. Within this frame, we offer here this book about the Israelites in Pharaonic Egypt during the era and lifetime of Moses. 

 

Signature:

Dr. A. S. Mansour

Springfield, VA, the USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER I: The Debate between the Truth and the Might between Moses and Pharaoh

 

 

 

 

The Debate between the Might and the Truth within a Quranist Vision

 

Firstly:the debate between the Might and the Truth, between this world and the Hereafter:

1- Almighty God has created human beings to live on earth and they are given the absolute freedom of will and relative freedom of movement/mobility and of getting relative might. Human beings are created weak, and they attain a phase of strength followed by one of weakness, which is followed by death: "God is He Who created you weak, then after weakness gave you strength, then after strength gave you weakness and gray hair. He creates whatever He wills. He is the Omniscient, the Omnipotent." (30:54); "God created you; then He takes you away. Some of you will be brought back to the worst age, so that he will no longer know anything, after having acquired knowledge. God is Omniscient and Omnipotent." (16:70). This applies to the human history as well; states/countries emerge as weak, and they acquire might, then they grow weaker and experience gradual degeneration until they collapse/die and become mere lines of history.   

2- In the Hereafter, things are totally different; people lose their freedom since the moment of dying. People die unwillingly and in spite of themselves; they will lose their freedom also when they will be inescapably resurrected, gathered, and judged by Almighty God. The winners will enter into Paradise to enjoy its pleasures within their restored freedom for eternity. The losers will be tormented in Hell for eternity and continue losing their freedom forever since their moment of death. Freedom is always linked to might; human beings lose both might and freedom upon dying. The losers enjoy and misuse their might during their lifetimes on earth, and they will see on the Last Day that Might (or Power/Omnipotence) is only God's: "...If only the unjust ones would realize, when they see the torment; that all might is God's, and that God is severe in torment." (2:165). Thus, the Omnipotent God monopolizes might on the Day of Resurrection; human beings lose their might by death and what follows it; Paradise dwellers retrieve their lost freedom and gain limitless might of enjoying bliss forever, and this is real might.   

3- Within this transient life, some people grow too arrogant with their might, especially when they are in position of power and authority; their authority leads them to forget that might is transient and temporary, never remaining with them forever. This applies to states/countries as well; the mighty ones forget that might is relative and transient; other mighty countries/states preceded them and ended at one point in time. Within this arrogance derived from might, one might claim to monopolize the Truth; some others would go to an extreme of showing falsehoods as truths, not merely to deny the Truth, and they commit the sin of self-deification.    

4- In the Hereafter, things are totally different; God will monopolize might and the Absolute Justice and Truth, with no room for injustice on the Last Day. "The Day when they will emerge, nothing about them will be concealed from God. "To whom does the Might belong today?" "To God, the One, the Dominant." On that Day, every soul will be recompensed for what it had earned. There will be no injustice on that Day. God is quick to settle accounts." (40:16-17); "We will set up the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so that no soul will suffer the least injustice. And even if it be the weight of a mustard-seed, We will bring it up. Sufficient are We as Judge." (21:47).

 

Secondly: the debate between the Might and the Truth on earth within Quranic stories of nations smitten and destroyed by God:

1- Quranic stories of the ancients are divided into two types: stories of nations/peoples destroyed by God and stories of prophets/messengers on whom God imposed self-defense fighting without divine interference of smiting the mighty aggressors. The Quranic stories of the divine torment/destruction inflicted on the mighty aggressors begin with the people of Noah and end in Moses' Pharaoh and his people and regime. 

2- Within the Quranic stories of nations destroyed by God, the tyrannical, affluent, powerful, disbelieving retinue members monopolized might on earth and used this might to oppress the weak ones and make them submit to them. They used their might to commit aggression, violence, and injustices and to oppose and reject the Truth. We tackle two examples mentioned in the Quran: the people of the Aad tribe and Moses' Pharaoh's people.

3- We make the points below about Aad.

3/1: God says in the Quran: "As for Aad, they turned arrogant on earth, and opposed justice, and said, "Who is mightier than us?" Have they not considered that God, who created them, is mightier than they? And they went on denying Our verses." (41:15). This shows that the people of Aad assumed to monopolize might on earth and they grew so haughty and arrogant as they descended into disbelief and forgot that God is more powerful and mightier than they were. Their prophet, Hud, talked to them using the logic of might to which they adhered, and he called them to believe in God within monotheism: ""O my people, ask forgiveness from your Lord, and repent to Him. He will release the sky pouring down upon you, and will add might to your own might. And do not turn away and be among the wicked."" (11:52).

3/2: The people of Aad derived their power from heavy rain on which their civilization depended; God punished them by winds that, instead of carrying clouds of rain, brought torment, destruction, and disgrace to them for a whole week: "We unleashed upon them a screaming wind, on a day of unrelenting misery. Plucking the people away, as though they were trunks of uprooted palm-trees." (54:19-20); "And as for Aad; they were annihilated by a furious, roaring wind. He unleashed it upon them for seven nights and eight days, in succession. You could see the people tossed around, as though they were stumps of hollow palm-trees." (69:6-7).

4- Moses' Pharaoh monopolized power on earth, within the land of Egypt; we make the points below about him.

4/1: Moses' Pharaoh grew too arrogant as a mighty ruler within the land of Egypt, and God used the word ''earth'' to show the power and might of Pharaoh who controlled the land of Egypt: "...Pharaoh was high and mighty on earth..." (10:83); "He and his troops acted arrogantly on earth, with no justification. They thought they would not be returned to Us." (28:39).

4/2: Moses' Pharaoh announced in a conference attended by his people that he was the sole owner of the land of Egypt: "Pharaoh proclaimed among his people, saying, "O my people, do I not own the Kingdom of Egypt, and these rivers flow beneath me? Do you not see?" (43:51). This means that Pharaoh controlled what has come to be known now as the media, in order to control the minds of his retinue members who obeyed him blindly, to their detriment.

4/3: Moses' Pharaoh divided the people of Egypt into factions and he oppressed some of them, the Israelites, as we know from the Quran: "Pharaoh exalted himself on earth, and divided its people into factions. He persecuted a group of them, slaughtering their sons, while sparing their daughters. He was truly a corrupter." (28:4). Within the Quranic story of Moses' Pharaoh, the Egyptian nation of peasants in farms/gardens and of and city dwellers are never mentioned; they were owned by Pharaoh and they served him in silence and deep fear, as they saw how Pharaoh inflicted torment and persecution on the Israelites. It is a Quranic fact that the Israelites, after the drowning of Pharaoh in the Red Sea along with his deep state and retinue members, inherited for a while the gardens, farms, etc. with their harvest and peasants, as we infer from these verses about Pharaoh and his people: "So We drove them out of gardens and springs. And treasures and noble dwellings. So it was. And We made the Israelites inherit them." (26:57-59). 

4/4: Moses' Pharaoh announced, within his conferences, his self-deification, thus he disbelieved in God, as we know from these verses: "Pharaoh said, "O nobles, I know of no god for you other than me. So fire-up the bricks for me O Haman, and build me a tower, that I may ascend to the God of Moses, though I think he is a liar."" (28:38); "And Pharaoh said, "O Haman, build me a tower, that I may reach the pathways. The pathways of the heavens, so that I may glance at the God of Moses; though I think he is lying." Thus Pharaoh's evil deeds were made to appear good to him, and he was averted from the path. Pharaoh's guile was only in defeat." (40:36-37); "And gathered and proclaimed. He said, "I am your Lord, the most high."" (79:23-24).

4/5: Moses' Pharaoh's might on earth tempted him to take falsehoods for truths and to impose this stance on others inside Egypt; for instance, he assumed he guided others and that Moses was a corrupter: "...Pharaoh said, "I do not show you except what I see, and I do not guide you except to the path of guidance."" (40:29); "Pharaoh said, "Allow me to kill Moses, and let him appeal to his Lord. I fear he may change your religion, or spread corruption on earth."" (40:26). The affluent courtiers, viziers, and retinue members among Pharaoh's people saw that the call of Moses to deliver his people from the grave injustices and the persecution inflicted on them by Pharaoh as corruption on earth: "The chiefs of Pharaoh's people said, "Will you let Moses and his people bring corruption on earth..." (7:127); they assumed that Moses sought to make the Israelites replace them as superiors on earth: "They said, "Did you come to us to divert us from what we found our ancestors following, and so that you become prominent on earth?..." (10:78).

4/6: The Almighty Lord God is Dominant over His servants: "He dominates over His servants. He is the Wise, the Expert." (6:18); "He is the Conqueror over His servants, and He sends guardians over you, until, when death overtakes one of you, Our envoys take him away, and they never fail." (6:61); "...God is the Creator of all things, and He is The One, the Dominant Lord" (13:16); "...there is no God except Allah - the One, the Conqueror." (38:65). Moses' Pharaoh was so arrogant with his transient might on earth and he assumed that he and his people dominant over the Israelites: "Will you let Moses and his people bring corruption on earth, and forsake you and your gods?" He said, "We will kill their sons, and spare their women. We have absolute power over them."" (7:127). God tormented Pharaoh and his affluent retinue members with plagues that were a mix of disgrace and pain, while sparing the rest of Egyptians and also the Israelites: "So We let loose upon them the flood, and the locusts, and the lice, and the frogs, and blood - all explicit signs - but they were too arrogant. They were a sinful people. Whenever a plague befell them, they would say, "O Moses, pray to your Lord for us, according to the covenant He made with you. If you lift the plague from us, we will believe to you, and let the Israelites go with you."" (7:133-134). This flood caused them to leave their palaces, and they suffered hunger as locusts ate the crops while lice and frogs filled their chambers, food, rink, clothes, and beds, while water turned into blood; as for the  plague, acnes and boils with pus spread on their faces and bodies. Eventually, their destruction made people who fear the Almighty Lord God draw a lesson: "So God seized him with an exemplary punishment, in the last and in the first. In this is a lesson for whoever fears." (79:25-26). The tyrants and the unjust ones have not taken heed – until now – nor drawn any moral lessons from the violent end of their imam/leader: Moses' Pharaoh: "He and his troops acted arrogantly on earth, with no justification. They thought they would not be returned to Us. So We seized him, and his troops, and We threw them into the sea. Observe, therefore, what was the end of the unjust ones." (28:39-40).  

4/7: Among the lessons drawn here is that Moses' Pharaoh grew too arrogant because he assumed to monopolize might on earth, and his punishment included his being stripped of the land he assumed to own and control, as the Israelites inherited them temporary after his death, before their exodus: "But We desired to favor those who were oppressed on earth, and to make them leaders, and to make them the inheritors. And to establish them on earth; and to show Pharaoh, Haman, and their troops, the very thing they feared." (28:5-6); "Moses said to his people, "Seek help in God, and be patient. The earth belongs to God. He gives it in inheritance to whomever He wills of His servants, and the future belongs to the righteous." They said, "We were persecuted before you came to us, and after you came to us." He said, "Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy, and make you successors on earth; then He will see how you behave."" (7:128-129); "And We made the oppressed people inherit the eastern and western parts of the land, which We had blessed. Thus the fair promise of your Lord to the Israelites was fulfilled, because of their endurance. And We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people had built, and what they had harvested." (7:137).

 

Lastly:

  Moses' Pharaoh was a tyrannical despot who murdered infants and crucified the believers after chopping off their limbs; how did Moses and Aaron deal with him? Both were conveying the message of Truth and seek justice, whereas Pharaoh monopolized might and claimed to own the absolute truth.

 

 

 

Moses' Pharaoh Monopolized Might and the Claim of Possessing the Truth

 

Introduction:

1- Within our topic of the debate between the might and the Truth, the story of Moses and Moses' Pharaoh occupies a very prominent position. The self-deified Moses' Pharaoh monopolized might and the claim of possessing the truth; in contrast, Moses conveyed the message of the Truth from God. Within the criteria of the transient, tangible, realistic world, Moses appeared as powerless and without might before the eyes of Pharaoh, when he came to his palace to deliver his people from the severe persecution inflicted on them by Pharaoh. This lack of might of Moses, before the eyes of Pharaoh, reflected the weakness of his oppressed people, the Israelites.    

2- How did Moses and Aaron, who conveyed the Truth, deal with the self-deified tyrant who monopolized might and the claim of possessing the truth?

3- Let us begin with the stances of Moses' Pharaoh.

 

Firstly: Moses' Pharaoh monopolized might and the claim of possessing the truth:

1- Assuming this false position led Pharaoh at first to massacre the male children of the Israelites to punish them, as he doubted their devotion in worshipping him (their worshipping him was to a certain extent, as they retained some vestiges of the religion of Abraham, their ancestor), as Pharaoh wanted their full loyalty derived from their taking him as their only god; this means they used to worship them, as we infer from these words of Pharaoh and his retinue members and courtiers: "They said, "Are we to believe to two mortals like us, and their people are worshipping us?"" (23:47).

2- The fact that Pharaoh monopolized might made him spread intimidation and terror all over Egypt; this is expected from a mad, self-deified tyrant who massacred children.

2/1: The princes of the Pharaonic dynasty were so terrified of Moses' Pharaoh to the extent that the believing prince was concealing his monotheistic faith; the self-deified Pharaoh would not allow anyone to worship God beside him; yet, this believing prince had to preach his people when he heard that Pharaoh intended to kill Moses: "A believing man from Pharaoh's family, who had concealed his faith, said, "Are you going to kill a man for saying, 'My Lord is God,' and he has brought you clear proofs from your Lord? If he is a liar, his lying will rebound upon him; but if he is truthful, then some of what he promises you will befall you. God does not guide the transgressing imposter." (40:28). 

2/2: This terror and intimidation inflicted by Pharaoh reached his bedchamber; Pharaoh's wife was a believer and she implored God for deliverance from her husband's crimes and injustices; God has made her a great example for all male and female believers: "And God illustrates an example of those who believe: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said, "My Lord, build for me, with you, a house in Paradise, and save me from Pharaoh and his works, and save me from the unjust people."" (66:11).

 

Secondly: Moses' Pharaoh used intimidation and terror to impose his claim of possessing the truth:     

 Within his monopoly of might, Pharaoh used terror and intimidation to impose his claim of possessing the truth; hence, he felt that Moses' call posed a veritable threat to his authority; if it would spread, this call would put an end to the myth of Pharaoh's self-deification and his assumed monopoly of the truth, resulting inevitably that he would lose his monopoly of might. Hence, it was a struggle for existence; Pharaoh would either continue his imposing himself as a deity on all people, or he would lose his throne, power, and life. We infer this from the following points.  

1- How Pharaoh dealt with the Egyptian magicians: it was common among Egyptians at the time to believe in magic and sorcery; this influenced Moses himself. The miracle of Moses was that he defeated the Egyptian magicians who at first took the side of Pharaoh. Pharaoh assumed that his Egyptian magicians, brought from all over Egyptian cities into the palace of Pharaoh, would defeat Moses, and when they asked beforehand for being rewarded by Pharaoh if they would defeat Moses, Pharaoh promised to reward them and to make them among his nearest courtiers and retinue members: "The retinue members among Pharaoh's people said, "This is really a skilled magician." "He wants to evict you from your land, so what do you recommend?" They said, "Put him off, and his brother, and send heralds to the cities." "And let them bring you every skillful magician." The magicians came to Pharaoh, and said, "Surely there is a reward for us, if we are the victors." He said, "Yes, and you will be among my nearest ones."" (7:109-114). The magicians believed in the God of Moses and Aaron because they knew that Moses was no magician; his staff miraculously turned into a real serpent that gulped their ropes and canes. The reaction of Pharaoh shows that he assumed to monopolize the truth: "Pharaoh said, "Did you believe in him before I have given you permission? This is surely a conspiracy you schemed in the city, in order to expel its people from it. You will surely know." "I will cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides; then I will crucify you all."" (7:123-124); "He said, "Did you believe in him before I have given you permission? He must be your chief, who has taught you magic. I will cut off your hands and your feet on alternate sides, and I will crucify you on the trunks of the palm-trees. Then you will know which of us is more severe in torment, and more lasting."" (20:71). We focus here on the phrase (Did you believe in him before I have given you permission?); this means that Pharaoh, who resented their trusting Moses and their belief in the God of Moses, assumed as if he controlled their hearts and beliefs, within his assuming to monopolize the truth. Thus, Pharaoh did not punish the magicians for being defeated but because they proclaimed before his retinue members that they believed in the God of Moses, which means they cast doubt on the so-called 'truth' propounded by the self-deified Pharaoh. Moses' Pharaoh, within his mentality of conspiracy, assumed that Moses and his people were scheming to turn the Egyptians against him as they would join Moses; he accused the Egyptian magicians of being taught magic by Moses as their leader. Hence, Pharaoh crucified the Egyptian magicians and cut their limbs off in order to terrorize and intimidate his retinue members and all Egyptians in general; he felt that Moses had cast doubt on his assumed monopoly of the truth and, of course, his monopoly of might. Hence, it was a struggle for existence; Pharaoh would either continue his imposing himself as a deity on all people, or he would lose his throne, power, and life.     

2- How Pharaoh dealt with the Israelites after killing the Egyptian magicians: the Israelites feared Pharaoh more than anyone else who was afraid of Pharaoh, even after Moses emerged to save them. In fact, Pharaoh went into extremes in inflicting harm and persecution on the Israelites after he put the Egyptian magicians to death. The fright of the Israelites increased when Pharaoh announced his intention to massacre their children, but they complained to Moses who tried to allay their fears and he advised them to adhere to patience: "..."We will kill their sons, and spare their women. We have absolute power over them." Moses said to his people, "Seek help in God, and be patient. The earth belongs to God. He gives it in inheritance to whomever He wills of His servants, and the future belongs to the righteous." They said, "We were persecuted before you came to us, and after you came to us." He said, "Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy, and make you successors in the land; then He will see how you behave."" (7:127-129). The Israelites feared Pharaoh so much and most of them did not trust Moses as they were very much frightened by Pharaoh's spies who spread in every corner in Egypt: "But none believed in Moses except some children of his people, for fear that Pharaoh and his chiefs would persecute them. Pharaoh was high and mighty in the land. He was a tyrant." (10:83). Pharaoh feared that people would cast doubt on his assumed godhead; his losing the assumed monopoly of truth would inevitably lead to his loss of his monopoly of might. Hence, it was a struggle for existence; Pharaoh would either continue his imposing himself as a deity on all people, or he would lose his throne, power, and life.

3- How Pharaoh did not allow Moses and the Israelites to leave Egypt: Pharaoh chased the Israelites during their exodus, until he and his troops, retinue members, and viziers drowned in the Red Sea. This terrible, redoubtable Pharaoh used to have his own fears; he feared that his self-deification myth would be dispelled because of Moses' call. The might of Pharaoh was based on the cult of his being worshipped as deity and his control of the religious life in Egypt. The might of Pharaoh, which he feared to lose, depended on his monopoly of the truth, and this is why he told his people about his intention to kill Moses and accused him of being a corrupter: "Pharaoh said, "Allow me to kill Moses, and let him appeal to his Lord. I fear he may change your religion, or spread corruption on earth."" (40:26). In fact, Pharaoh assumed that Moses sought to cause sedition by changing the religion/cult of his self-deification and monopoly of the truth, and the 'corruption' in the eyes of Pharaoh was that his cult/religion would be rejected and he would lose his might and power, and the solution for him was to kill Moses.  

 

Thirdly: Moses' Pharaoh's monopolization of might and the claim of possessing the truth made him an expert in media and propaganda: since Pharaoh monopolized the might and the claim of possessing the truth, he controlled his media people who propagated his self-deification and his cult of being worshipped as the only deity. Pharaoh used his logistical power to mobilize people and manipulating them within what has come to be known later on as brainwash, and this served his monopoly of might and the truth as a self-deified tyrant. Thus, Pharaoh used might to claim to possess the truth, and he used the monopoly of truth (i.e., his self-deification cult) to reinforce his might and power. We provide examples of this in the points below.

1- After the plagues were inflicted on Pharaoh to humiliate and torment him (flood, blood, locusts, lice, frogs, etc.), he held a conference by mobilizing his troops and his people to assert his logistical power and to ridicule Moses in public: "But when We lifted the torment from them, they immediately broke their promise. Pharaoh proclaimed among his people, saying, "O my people, do I not own the Kingdom of Egypt, and these rivers flow beneath me? Do you not see? Am I not better than this miserable wretch, who can barely express himself? Why are bracelets of gold not dropped on him, or they angels came with him in procession?"" (43:50-54). This means that Moses' Pharaoh was a genius in using media and propaganda to influence and control his people.  

2- This same occurred when he announced his being the god of all Egyptians; he made them gather in one place to proclaim his self-deification as the 'truth' imposed on all of them: "And gathered and proclaimed. He said, "I am your Lord, the most high."" (79:23-24).

3- This mechanism of Pharaoh to mobilize his people is shown again as he gathered all magicians from all over Egyptian cities (this means that Egypt at the time was filled with megacities) at the mid-morning of a festival/feast day to defeat Moses. Such precision indicates the full control of Pharaoh of all Egypt and Egyptians as well as means of transportations (by land and by the river) and communication to gather any people in the same time and place very fast. Moreover, spies and agents of Pharaoh spread the news beforehand of the imminent victory of magicians expected by everyone. We understand this about 'media men' of Pharaoh, who served him by asserting his monopoly of the truth, from these verses: "They said, "Put him off, and his brother, and send heralds to the cities." "And let them bring you every skillful magician."" (7:111-112); "He said, "Your appointment is the day of the festival, so let the people be gathered together at mid-morning." Pharaoh turned away, put together his plan, and then came back." (20:59-60); "They said, "Delay him and his brother, and send recruiters to the cities. To bring you every experienced magician." So the magicians were gathered for the appointment on a specified day. And it was said to the people, "Are you all gathered? That we may follow the magicians, if they are the winners."" (26:36-40).     

4- Pharaoh had military might and troops and his name is linked to them in many Quranic verses; this shows him as a military leader of soldiers; his vizier Haman was the supervisor of building of edifices and the military leader serving Pharaoh: "Has there come to you the story of the troops? Of Pharaoh and Thamood?" (85:17-18); "...and to show Pharaoh, Haman, and their troops, the very thing they feared...Pharaoh, Haman, and their troops were sinners..." (28:6-8); see also 28:38 and 40:36. Pharaoh felt arrogant with his military might and with his troops as he and his family and retinue members sought to be superior in the land of Egypt; Pharaoh has distributed stretches of land among his courtiers, retinue members, viziers, and family members: "He and his troops acted arrogantly in the land, with no justification..." (28:39). Pharaoh and his troops, courtiers, retinue members, viziers, and family members chased Moses and Aaron and the Israelites, but they were drowned in the Red Sea: "And We delivered the Israelites across the sea. Pharaoh and his troops pursued them, defiantly and aggressively..." (10:90); "So We seized him, and his troops, and We threw them into the sea..." (28:40); "So We seized him and his troops, and threw them into the sea, and he was to blame." (51:40); "Pharaoh pursued them with his troops, but the sea overwhelmed them, and completely engulfed them." (20:78).

5- Pharaoh had his own security apparatuses that watched and spied on the Israelites; God has predicted to Moses that they will be chased by Pharaoh and his troops during the exodus: "And We inspired Moses: "Travel with My servants by night. You will be followed."" (26:52). There were organized communications between these security apparatuses and the military troops of Pharaoh that were everywhere all over Egyptian cities, within higher abilities of mobilization; thus, Pharaoh was informed by his spies that Moses and the Israelites intended to flee from Egypt at a certain time; Pharaoh undoubtedly sent decrees to all Egyptian cities to mobilize at once all his leaders and military troops and other men of his deep state from all over Egypt, as he led them to chase the Israelites eastward, in the direction of Sinai, and the Israelites found themselves between the Red Sea (i.e., the Suez Gulf now) and troops of Pharaoh, and they felt very frightened, until God delivered them and destroyed Pharaoh and his troops who drowned: "Pharaoh sent heralds to the cities. "These are a small gang. And they are enraging us. But we are a vigilant multitude."" (26:53-56); "And they pursued them eastward. When the two groups sighted each other, the followers of Moses said, "We are being overtaken." He said, "No; my Lord is with me, He will guide me." We inspired Moses: "Strike the sea with your staff." Whereupon it parted, and each part was like a huge hill. And there We brought the others near. And We saved Moses and those with him, all together. Then We drowned the others." (26:60-66).  

6- The military troops of Pharaoh owned and managed gardens and farms; the era of the Ramses dynasty of powerful military rulers is known for distributing stretches of land within a feudal system to military leaders and soldiers while forcing peasants to work within the River Nile banks and around water wells in the desert; once such troops were drowned with Pharaoh in the Red Sea; the Israelites returned back to Egypt and temporarily inherited such agricultural, lush gardens and stretches of land: "So We drove them out of gardens and springs. And treasures and noble dwellings. So it was. And We made the Israelites inherit them." (26:57-59).

 

Lastly: the moral lesson to be drawn:

1- Ownership of media indicates the nature of a given state or country; a democracy does not control or own media but leave it as free within the hands of the nation and citizens-controlled institutions. In contrast, tyrants monopolize media in tyrannical countries to force people to praise them and to hide their monopoly of both the might and the claim of possessing  the truth.  

2- Tyrants of the Middle-East read the Quran, but they never take heed of the fate of Moses' Pharaoh, who is their imam and leader.

 

 

 

A Response to Comments on the Previous Article

 

Introduction:

 Within his comments sent to us via an email message, our fellow Quranist Mr. Osama Qafisha writes the following: (... and we can imagine the civilized society with its megacities in Egypt during the lifetime of Moses; it seems that the Egyptian population was a great number. The Quran focuses on the elements and tools of the rule of Pharaoh and on the Israelites with their race and their sense of being one nation, but not on the original Egyptians as the biggest element at the time; it seems that the Israelites were a minority in comparison to the rest of Egyptians: "These are a small gang." (26:54). I tend to think that very few among the Israelites trusted Moses and believed in him, not all the 12 tribes of the Israelites: "But none believed in Moses except some children of his people..." (10:83). I know that Moses and those who followed him were saved by God when they fled from Egypt, whereas Pharaoh and his troops drowned in the Red Sea; yet, nothing in the Quran shows that Moses and those believing followers returned back to the River Nile Valley once Pharaoh died; we read that they remained in Sinai for a while. Thus, I infer that the majority among the Israelites did not believe in Moses and never followed him, and they stayed behind among the Egyptian peasants and inherited the stretches of land once they knew that Pharaoh and his troops were dead; this is my understanding of these verses: "So We drove them out of gardens and springs. And treasures and noble dwellings. So it was. And We made the Israelites inherit them." (26:57-59). By the way, within my understanding of the Arabic tongue and the Quranic tongue, I tend to think that 26:60 shows that Pharaoh and his troops followed the fleeing Israelites and Moses at sunrise, and not eastward as you have assumed; my conclusion is based on another verse, about the torment inflicted on the people of Lot, that mentions sunrise using the same Arabic word: "So the Blast struck them at sunrise." (15:73) ... Thank you...).

 

OUR REPLY:

 

Firstly:

  We are to approach the Quran seeking guidance and knowledge by pondering it without prior views or prejudices, and, of course, without personal whims linked to race, nationalism, or religion. Thus, we are to adhere to objectivity as much as we can, following the contexts of Quranic verses and letting them guide us. In fact, after four decades of our research within the Quranic, we still assert that the Quran increases one's knowledge and one feels that we are still bordering only the shores of Quranic knowledge that have many layers of depths still undiscovered. The Quran is a great book never read before by 'Muslims' within scientific research methodology – except by our person within our Quranist research. This is why our Quranist research findings based on our Quranist research shock the 'Muslims'/Muhammadans; they feel shocked by the fact that they have never pondered the Quran properly, though they read it all the time, but never in light of the Quranist thought and trend. The only difference is that we, as a Quranist researcher and thinker, ponder God's Book while seeking guidance only from it and nothing else. The Muhammadans read the Quran while following their whims; they focus only on the faulty notions tackled within the intellectual life of the Muhammadans for centuries until now, which are deemed as 'truths'. It is very wrong to attempt pondering the Quran using dictionaries of the Arabic tongue and sets of terminology of heritage books of traditions; the Muhammadans never thought about reading the Quran as per its own terminology. Hence, the Muhammadans of the Middle-Ages made the fatal mistake in their books of picking and choosing the Quranic verses whose superficial reading might seem to agree with their own terminologies, prejudices, and whims and they intentionally misinterpreted the Quranic verses that prove how wrong their views and stances are; this wretched business goes on until now by the Muhammadans of today.                

 

Secondly:

  (...I tend to think that very few among the Israelites trusted Moses and believed in him, not all the 12 tribes of the Israelites: "But none believed in Moses except some children of his people..." (10:83)...).

 There is an error here; we show the correction in the following points.

1- Within the Quranic terminology of the Quranic tongue, the verb (to believe in) refers to faith in one's heart to believe in God and His Book, whereas the verb (to believe to) means to trust someone. We provide some examples from the Quran in the points below.

1/1: Typically, the affluent retinue members and notables who monopolize might, power, wealth, and authority never believe in the divine revelation or Scripture; their fear of losing their status and stature makes them never trust, or believe to, messengers and their weak followers who believed in the divine messages carried by those messengers. This is exemplified in the people of Noah, who never trusted Noah who was followed by the impecunious, weak believers: "... Shall we believe to you, when it is the lowliest who follow you?" (26:111). 

1/2: Lot trusted and believed to Abraham, and they immigrated to leave the lands controlled by the unjust ones: "Then Lot believed to him, and said, "I am emigrating to my Lord. He is the Noble, the Wise." " (29:26). It is wrong to assume that Lot 'believed in'  Abraham; real belief in one's heart is never in prophets as persons, but in God and His message; the Quranic phrase "believed to him" simply means to trust him.

1/3: Some disbelievers among the People of the Book told one another never to trust anyone except those who followed their religion: "And do not believe to anyone except those who follow your religion..." (3:73).

1/4: God has told the early believers never to trust disbelievers as the latter never trusted them: "Do you hope that they will believe to you..." (2:75).

1/5: God has said the following to the early believers about never to trust hypocrites in Yathreb: "They present excuses to you when you return to them. Say, "Do not offer excuses; we do not believe to you; God has informed us of you..." (9:94).

1/6: The Qorayish disbelievers disbelieved in the message conveyed by Muhammad, the Quran, and they never believed to Muhammad; i.e., they never trusted him, because they saw him as an ordinary man eating and walking through markets, without treasures or gardens to spend lavishly and without angels serving him and guarding him in processions wherever he went. They even told Muhammad that they will never trust him unless such miracles would appear before their eyes: "And they say, "What sort of messenger is this, who eats food, and walks in the marketplaces? If only an angel was sent down with him, to be alongside him a warner." Or, "If only a treasure was dropped on him." Or, "If only he had a garden from which he eats..." (25:7-8); "And they said, "We will not believe to you unless you make a spring burst from the ground for us. Or you have a garden of palms and vines; then cause rivers to gush pouring through them. Or make the sky fall on us in pieces, as you claim, or bring God and the angels before us.  Or you possess a house of gold. Or you ascend into heaven. Even then, we will not believe your ascension, unless you bring down for us a book that we can read." Say, "Glory be to my Lord. Am I anything but a human messenger?"" (17:90-93).   

2- The Quranic verb (to believe in) means to hold a belief/faith inside one's heart and mind, and this verb is used frequently in the Quranic text; let us quote some verses to exemplify this. "The messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, as did the believers. They all have believed in God, and His angels, and His scriptures, and His messengers: "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. Your forgiveness, our Lord. To you is the destiny."" (2:285); "Say, "We believe in God; and in what was revealed to us; and in what was revealed to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the Tribes; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus; and in what was given to the prophets - from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we submit." If they believe in the same as you have believed in, then they have been guided. But if they turn away, then they are in schism. God will protect you against them; for He is the Hearer, the Knower." (2:136-137).

3- Both verbs (to believe to) & (to believe in) are combined in one verse: "...He believes in God and believes to the believers..." (9:61). This means that Muhammad believed in Allah as the Only True God without other deities beside Him and he trusted/believed to believers who were around him. 

 

Thirdly: the verbs (to believe in) and (to believe to) within the story of Moses, Pharaoh, and the Israelites:

1- Moses' Pharaoh and his people never trusted/believed to Moses and Aaron; both prophets were among the tribes of the Israelites that worshipped Pharaoh and his people: "They said, "Are we to believe to two mortals like us, and their people are worshipping us?"" (23:47). Thus, Pharaoh and the Pharaonic affluent retinue members and courtiers, viziers, etc. never trusted Moses and Aaron because they never belonged to such hypocritical group or retinue. This reminds us of the affluent retinue members among the people of Noah.

2- The Egyptians magicians did NOT believe in Moses and Aaron; rather, they believed in the God of Moses and Aaron, a belief that made them endure a violent death in patience: "And the magicians fell down prostrating. They said, "We have believed in the Lord of the Worlds. The Lord of Moses and Aaron."" (26:46-48).

3- Pharaoh was surprised to see the magicians who followed him prostate in humility and declare their belief in the God of Moses and Aaron; he was indignant that he accused the magicians of believing in and to Moses, as he expected that they should have believed in and to the self-deified Pharaoh as their only deity; Pharaoh used both verbs: "Pharaoh said, "Did you believe in him before I have given you permission?..." (7:123); "He said, "Did you believe to him before I have given you permission?..." (26:49); " He said, "Did you believe to him before I have given you permission?..." (20:71). 

4- After the plagues were inflicted on Pharaoh and his people (flood, blood, locusts, lice, frogs, etc.), they offered to trust Moses (i.e., to believe to him) and to let him to lead Israelites out of Egypt if he would invoke his Lord to deliver them: "Whenever a plague befell them, they would say, "O Moses, pray to your Lord for us, according to the covenant He made with you. If you lift the plague from us, we will believe to you, and let the Israelites go with you."" (7:134).

5- Before this event, Pharaoh increased the persecution inflicted on the Israelites and threatened to massacre their children, and he increased the number of spies who watched them closely. Thus, the Israelites did not trust or believe to Moses as they felt he could not protect them, as they feared Pharaoh and his severe religious persecution very much: "But none believed to Moses except some children of his people, for fear that Pharaoh and his chiefs would persecute them. Pharaoh was high and mighty in the land. He was a tyrant." (10:83). In this verse, ''believe to'' refers to trust and never to faith/belief in the heart. Moses advised his people, the Israelites, and they obeyed him: "Moses said, "O my people, if you have believed in God, then put your trust in Him, if you have submitted." They said, "In God we have put our trust. Our Lord, do not make us victims of the oppressive people." "And deliver us, by Your mercy, from the disbelieving people."" (10:84-86).   

6- It is noteworthy that most of the Israelites were not monotheists; they did not devote their worship to God. Proof: once they passed the Red Sea to Sinai during the exodus, found a Pharaonic temple and they felt a nostalgia for the Pharaonic religion within which they were brought up: "And We delivered the Israelites across the sea. And when they came upon a people who were devoted to some statues of theirs, they said, "O Moses, make for us a god, as they have gods." He said, "You are truly an ignorant people." "What these people are concerned with is perdition, and their deeds are based on falsehoods." He said, "Shall I seek for you a deity other than God, when He has favored you over all other people?" Remember how We saved you from Pharaoh's people, who subjected you to the worst of sufferings-killing your sons and sparing your women. In that was a tremendous trial from your Lord." (7:138-141).     

7- The Israelites were influenced very much by the Pharaonic religion; a sinful man made for them a calf of gold as a deity worshipped by them; this calf was reminiscent of the Pharaonic god Apis. This means they were polytheists who never worshipped God unless along with other partners. They never trusted/believed to Moses despite the miracles they witnessed and asked for more miracles and were punished by God: "And recall that you said, "O Moses, we will not believe to you unless we see God plainly." Thereupon the thunderbolt struck you, as you looked on." (2:55).

 

Fourthly:

  (...nothing in the Quran shows that Moses and those believing followers returned back to the River Nile Valley once Pharaoh died; we read that they remained in Sinai for a while. Thus, I infer that the majority among the Israelites did not believe in Moses and never followed him, and they stayed behind among the Egyptian peasants and inherited the stretches of land once they knew that Pharaoh and his troops were dead; this is my understanding of these verses: "So We drove them out of gardens and springs. And treasures and noble dwellings. So it was. And We made the Israelites inherit them." (26:57-59)...).

 We will tackle this point in detail later on in this book; yet, we briefly assert here that when the Israelites complained to Moses, he reminded them that God has promised to destroy their enemies and make them replace them in the land as its inheritors: "Moses said to his people, "Seek help in God, and be patient. The earth belongs to God. He gives it in inheritance to whomever He wills of His servants, and the future belongs to the righteous." They said, "We were persecuted before you came to us, and after you came to us." He said, "Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy, and make you successors in the land; then He will see how you behave."" (7:128-129). These words of Moses include all the Israelites as inheritors and NOT some of them, and this occurred indeed, as they inherited temporarily the land of Egypt until commanded to move toward the Promised Land: " And We made the oppressed people inherit the eastern and western parts of the land, which We had blessed. Thus the fair promise of your Lord to the Israelites was fulfilled, because of their endurance. And We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people had built, and what they had harvested." (7:137); "So We drove them out of gardens and springs. And treasures and noble dwellings. So it was. And We made the Israelites inherit them." (26:57-59). Thus, these Quranic verses about the Israelites are the Absolute Truth that must be believed by Quran-believing Muslims, and such Quranic facts match the details in other Quranic contexts in the Quranic Chapters 7, 26, and 44. 

 

Fifthly:

 (...I tend to think that 26:60 shows that Pharaoh and his troops followed the fleeing Israelites and Moses at sunrise, and not eastward as you have assumed; my conclusion is based on another verse, about the torment inflicted on the people of Lot, that mentions sunrise using the same Arabic word: "So the Blast struck them at sunrise." (15:73)...).

We assert the following points.

1- The context of 26:60 is about location and not about time; Moses led the Israelites eastward to the Red Sea (or the Suez Canal now) as they fled from Pharaoh. This is the location where Pharaoh and his troops drowned. More about this topic is tackled later on in this book. When the Israelites were in Sinai, East of Egypt, each of the twelve tribes had a water spring provided by God: "And recall when Moses prayed for water for his people. We said, "Strike the rock with your staff." Thereupon twelve springs gushed out from it, and each tribe recognized its drinking-place. "Eat and drink from God's provision, and do not corrupt the earth with disobedience."" (5:60). In Sinai, God has given Moses the Tablets at the Mount Al-Tur and the covenant was made with Israelites, among other events, until they refused to enter into the Promised Land.  

2- As for the story of Lot and his people, (sunrise) is mentioned as the timing of the destruction of the sinful ones among the people of Lot, and NOT the geographical direction of the (east); evidence is found in the Quran, as its verses explain one another; the angels told Lot and his family (except his sinful, disbelieving wife) to move away during the night as the torment will be inflict on the sinful ones in the morning: "They said, "O Lot, we are the envoys of your Lord; they will not reach you. So set out with your family during the cover of the night, and let none of you look back, except for your wife. She will be struck by what will strike them. Their appointed time is the morning. Is not the morning near?"" (11:81); ""Travel with your family at the dead of the night, and follow up behind them, and let none of you look back, and proceed as commanded." And We informed him of Our decree: the last remnant of these will be uprooted by early morning. And the people of the town came joyfully. He said, "These are my guests, so do not embarrass me." "And fear God, and do not disgrace me." They said, "Did we not forbid you from strangers?" He said, "These are my daughters, if you must." By your life, they were blundering in their drunkenness. So the Blast struck them at sunrise." (15:65-73).

 

 

 

Moses Conveyed the Truth but Was Afraid When Facing the Savage, Brutal Pharaoh

 

 We pose the following questions and provide their answers.

 

QUESTION 1: Why have Almighty God sent Moses to Pharaoh and not to the Egyptians?

ANSWER 1: Because the Egyptians were helpless and powerless at the time; the Pharaonic despotism and tyranny turned them into lifeless body or inanimate things trodden by the military wheels of Pharaoh, his family members, his retinue members, and viziers and courtiers, etc. God has sent Moses to Pharaoh because Pharaoh was a tyrant who dominated and controlled everything, and thus, he was the one to permit, or not to permit, the Israelites to leave Egypt with Moses. 

 

QUESTION 2: Does this means that God has acknowledged Pharaoh the tyrant as the king of Egypt at the time?

ANSWER 2: Yes; God has acknowledged Pharaoh as the ruler of Egypt and Egyptians because the Egyptians accepted him as such and did not revolt against him. if they were to revolt, this would have meant that they changed themselves and got rid of submissiveness, weakness, and resignation, and God would have endorsed this change as per this verse: "...God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves..." (13:11). This is like guidance and misguidance; if one seeks to be (mis)guided, God increases one's (mis)guidance. This means that the Dominant Lord God endorses the will of the human being. Likewise, if people desire submissiveness or dignity, God endorses their will and choice.  

 

QUESTION 3: Our God is the Dominant Lord; He could have destroyed Pharaoh at once when He sent Moses and Aaron with the Truth without might to face Pharaoh who monopolized might; God has provided miracles to Moses to dazzle Pharaoh, but why He has not provided Moses with dominance, power, and might to defeat Pharaoh at once?

ANSWER 3: God says the following to refute the views of those who deify Jesus: "They disbelieve those who say, "God is the Christ, the son of Mary." Say, "Who can prevent God, if He willed, from annihilating the Christ son of Mary, and his mother, and everyone on earth?"..." (5:17). God the Omnipotent has warned the companions contemporary to Muhammad by saying the following: "Here you are, being called to spend in the cause of God. Among you are those who withhold; but whoever withholds is withholding against his own soul. God is the Rich, while you are the needy. And if you turn away, He will replace you with another people, and they will not be like you. " (47:38). Hence, to destroy Pharaoh and his people has been something easy for God and it did occur. God has smitten and destroyed sinners and disbelievers during the ancient eras, such as the eras of the prophets Noah, Hud, Saleh, and Shueib. Pharaoh and his people were the last people to be smitten and destroyed by God and He made them a source of moral lessons to be drawn by reasonable believers. The moral lessons entailed that there would be a role for Moses and Aaron and that God would provide both miracles and signs of warning for Pharaoh to make him choose whether to believe or to disbelieve. Miracles witnessed by Pharaoh include the following: "So he threw his staff, and it was an apparent serpent. And He pulled out his hand, and it was white to the onlookers." (7:107-108). The signs of warning came when Pharaoh and his people refused to believe: "And they said, "No matter what sign you bring us, to bewitch us with, we will not believe to you." So We let loose upon them the flood, and the locusts, and the lice, and the frogs, and blood-all explicit signs-but they were too arrogant. They were a sinful people. Whenever a plague befell them, they would say, "O Moses, pray to your Lord for us, according to the covenant He made with you. If you lift the plague from us, we will believe in you, and let the Israelites go with you." But when We lifted the plague from them, for a term they were to fulfill, they broke their promise." (7:132-135). After their breaking their promise, the last miracle was dividing the sea water and their destruction by drowning in the Red Sea: "We inspired Moses: "Strike the sea with your staff." Whereupon it parted, and each part was like a huge hill. And there We brought the others near. And We saved Moses and those with him, all together. Then We drowned the others. In that there is a sign, but most of them are not believers." (26:63-67). Thus, Pharaoh had no excuses to disbelieve after witnessing miracles and the plagues; this is why his monotheistic stance expressed upon his drowning was not accepted; God does not accept those who repent only upon dying, and this is a lesson to be heeded by all people in all eras: "And We delivered the Israelites across the sea. Pharaoh and his troops pursued them, defiantly and aggressively. Until, when he was about to drown, he said, "I believe that there is no God except the One the Israelites believe in, and I am of those who submit." Now? When you have disobeyed before, and been of the corrupters? Today We will preserve your body, so that you become a sign for those after you. But most people are heedless of Our signs." (10:90-92). In fact, 10:92 shows to us the aim and the lesson; the sea threw the lifeless body of Pharaoh and the Israelites saw it as a sign; this lesson drawn from the story of Moses' Pharaoh must be heeded by all rulers in all eras: "So God seized him with an exemplary punishment, in the last and in the first. In this is a lesson for whoever fears." (79:25-26).   

 

QUESTION 4: This is about Pharaoh and his people, but what about Moses and Aaron?

ANSWER 4: God has promised to protect Moses and Aaron; He made Aaron as a supporter to Moses. Let us quote Quranic verses about this.

1- God has promised Moses and Aaron that Pharaoh the savage, brutal tyrant would never be able to harm them: "He said, "My Lord, I have killed one of them, and I fear they will kill me. And my brother Aaron, he is more eloquent than me, so send him with me, to help me, and to confirm my words, for I fear they will reject me." He said, "We will strengthen your arm with your brother, and We will give you authority, so they will not touch you. By virtue of Our signs, you and those who follow you will be the triumphant."" (28:33-35).

2- Within other Quranic verses, we read that the Dominant Lord God has asserted to Moses and Aaron that He is with them in all situations when they face Pharaoh: "They said, "Lord, we fear he may persecute us, or become violent." He said, "Do not fear, I am with you, I hear and I see." (20:45-46); "He said, "No. Go, both of you, with Our proofs. We will be with you, listening." (26:15). God has assured Moses of protection against Pharaoh when he chased the fleeing Israelites: "And We inspired Moses: "Travel by night with My servants, and strike for them a dry path across the sea, not fearing being overtaken, nor worrying."" (20:77). This is why when Pharaoh and his troops were about to overtake the Israelites who were by the Red Sea, the Israelites said to Moses: "...We are being overtaken." (26:61), but Moses said to them: "...No; my Lord is with me, He will guide me." (26:62).

3- This provides an answer to this big question: why did not Pharaoh kill Moses inside his kingdom of Egypt that he owned and dominated with his might? Pharaoh could have killed Moses easily and he threatened to do this; why he did not do it? The answer is that the Dominant Lord God has protected Moses and prevented Pharaoh from executing his threat to kill Moses. Moses sought refuge in the Lord God: "Pharaoh said, "Allow me to kill Moses, and let him appeal to his Lord. I fear he may change your religion, or spread corruption on earth." Moses said, "I have sought the protection of my Lord and your Lord, from every tyrant who does not believe in the Day of Judgment."" (40:26-27); the believing prince of the family of Pharaoh protested against this threat of Pharaoh to kill Moses: "  A believing man from Pharaoh's family, who had concealed his faith, said, "Are you going to kill a man for saying, 'My Lord is God,' and he has brought you clear proofs from your Lord? If he is a liar, his lying will rebound upon him; but if he is truthful, then some of what he promises you will befall you. God does not guide the extravagant imposter." (40:28).

 

QUESTION 5: Was Moses very courageous since he faced the tyrant, savage, brutal Pharaoh inside his palace?

ANSWER 5: No; on the contrary, Moses was very much afraid. The Quranic story of Moses links his name to fear in many verses; this does not apply to other Quranic stories of other prophets/messengers. Moses was a human being whose character was influenced by certain events and conditions he witnessed. In fact, Moses was breastfed by the milk of fear of his mother, as she reared and nourished him inside the palace of the savage, brutal Pharaoh. Moses grew up while knowing that he belonged to the Israelite people who were persecuted by Pharaoh; this means he grew up in the atmosphere of terror, intimidation, and anticipation, as he expected danger anytime. This is why it is natural that he was in the defensive mode and he got furious easily, and then he would calm down and implore God for forgiveness. Let us quote Quranic verses about this.  

1- When Moses entered the city, he saw an Egyptian man fighting with an Israelite man of his people, and as Moses knew his people and they knew him, the Israelite man sought the help of Moses; the Egyptian man was inadvertently killed by Moses, and he implored God for forgiveness while he was seized by fear: "The next morning, he went about in the city, fearful and vigilant..." (28:18). A man warned Moses that the Egyptian Pharaonic security men conspired to have him killed and that he must take flight; he fled the city in fear: "So he left, fearful and vigilant. He said, "My Lord, deliver me from the unjust people."" (28:21).

2- The good man of Madian who listened to the story of Moses, by Moses himself, sensed that Moses was still afraid and he allayed his fears by saying the following: "...Do not fear, you have escaped from the unjust people." (28:25).

3- When God has talked to Moses at Mount Al-Tur, in Sinai, God has told him to throw his staff to see a miracle of its being turned into a writhing serpent; Moses ran away in fear and never looked back; God has reassured him of being protected and that he did not have to fear anything: "Throw down your staff." And when he saw it wiggling, as if it were possessed, he turned his back to flee, and did not look back. "O Moses, come forward, and do not fear, you are perfectly safe." (28:31); "Throw down your staff." But when he saw it quivering, as though it were a demon, he turned around not looking back. "O Moses, do not fear; the messengers do not fear in My presence." (27:10). 

4- Moses was so frightened when God has commanded him to go to Pharaoh to demand from him the release of the Israelites to get them out of Egypt and to stop persecuting and tormenting them; this was the response of Moses: "He said, "My Lord, I fear they will reject me. And I become stressed, and my tongue is not fluent, so send Aaron too. And they have a charge against me, so I fear they will kill me."" (26:12-14); "He said, "My Lord, I have killed one of them, and I fear they will kill me. And my brother Aaron, he is more eloquent than me, so send him with me, to help me, and to confirm my words, for I fear they will reject me."" (28:33-34). When God has made Aaron as a prophet with Moses, fearing Egypt's Pharaoh was doubled (i.e., both prophets feared Pharaoh): "They said, "Lord, we fear he may persecute us, or become violent." He said, "Do not fear, I am with you, I hear and I see." (20:45-46).

5- Moses was influenced by the Egyptian environment in which he was raised and reared; people believed very much in magic at the time, and Moses felt afraid by the magic wrought by the Egyptians magicians inside the palace of Pharaoh, though magic is merely optical illusions. The Egyptians magicians made others feel awe by their magic when their canes and ropes made to appear as serpents. Moses was negatively influenced as he felt very much afraid but God the Merciful assured him of safety and victory: "He said, "You throw!" And when they threw, they beguiled the eyes of the people, and intimidated them, and produced a mighty magic." (7:116); "He said, "You throw." And suddenly, their ropes and sticks appeared to him, because of their magic, to be crawling swiftly.  So Moses felt apprehensive within himself. We said, "Do not be afraid, you are the uppermost. Now throw down what is in your right hand-it will swallow what they have crafted. What they have crafted is only a magician's trickery. But the magician will not succeed, no matter what he does."" (20:66-69).

6- The fact that Moses got infuriated easily in certain situations shows the other side of his deep-seated fear: "...I fear they will reject me. And I become stressed, and my tongue is not fluent..." (26:12-13). This means that Moses used to lose his temper easily; he got infuriated by the misdeeds of the Israelites; e.g., when hey worshipped the golden calf when he left them temporarily to go to Mount Al-Tur to receive the Tablets. Upon his return, he found them rejecting Aaron and worshiping the golden calf. Moses was so furious and mad that he physically attacked Aaron: "And when Moses returned to his people, angry and disappointed, he said, "What an awful thing you did in my absence. Did you forsake the commandments of your Lord so hastily?" And he threw down the tablets; and he took hold of his brother's head, dragging him towards himself. He said, "Son of my mother, the people have overpowered me, and were about to kill me; so do not allow the enemies to gloat over me, and do not count me among the unjust people."" (7:150); "He said, "O Aaron, what prevented you, when you saw them going astray. From following my example? Did you disobey my command?" He said, "Son of my mother, do not seize me by my beard or my head. I feared you would say, 'You have caused division among the Israelites and did not regard my word.'"" (20:92-94).   

 

QUESTION 6: How does the fear of Moses match with this verse: "And when he reached his maturity, and became established, We gave him wisdom and knowledge. Thus do We reward the virtuous." (28:14)?

ANSWER 6: Wisdom and knowledge are divine teaching related to the ministry or prophethood of each of God's messengers and prophets. This is manifested in Moses as per the points below.

1- Moses repented when he accidentally killed an Egyptian man: "He said, "My Lord, I have wronged myself, so forgive me." So He forgave him. He is the Forgiver, the Merciful. He said, "My Lord, in as much as you have favored me, I will never be a supporter of the criminals."" (28:16-17).

2- Moses calmed down after his got furious because his people worshipped the golden calf and Aaron could not prevent them: "When the anger abated in Moses, he took up the tablets. In their transcript is guidance and mercy for those in awe of their Lord." (7:154); "He said, "My Lord, forgive me and my brother, and admit us into Your mercy; for you are the Most Merciful of the merciful."" (7:151).

3- Moses learned to keep calm by his encounter with the prophet whose story, but not his name, is mentioned in the Quranic Chapter 18.

4- Moses, apart from the above points, performed his mission perfectly as a messenger/prophet of God and God praises him in the Quran: "...And I have bestowed upon you love from Me, so that you may be reared before My eye." (20:39); "And I made you for Myself." (20:41); "And mention in the Book Moses. He was dedicated. He was a messenger and a prophet. And We called him from the right side of Mount Al-Tur, and brought him nearer to Us. And We granted him, out of Our mercy, his brother Aaron, a prophet." (19:51-53).

 

 

 

 

"But Speak to him Mildly. Perhaps he Will Remember, or Have Some Fear." (20:44)

 

Introduction:

  How did Moses deal with Pharaoh while both men were at the two opposite extremes? Moses had the Message of Truth and the Divine Might and Power on his side, whereas Pharaoh monopolized the transient might and the claim to monopolize the truth. This entails us to explore the scope of the might granted by God to Moses and the scope of knowledge of Pharaoh about the Divine Truth, as this is the basis of how Moses dealt with Egypt's Pharaoh. 

 

Firstly: the scope of the might granted by God to Moses:

1- God granted Moses the miracle of his staff turning into a serpent and to divine the Red Sea water during the exodus; yet, Moses was NOT free to use this staff whenever he liked; this was up to God's commands and inspiration to him.

1/1: At first, God inspired the following to Moses, who was the first one to witness this sign/miracle and to feel very much frightened by it: "Throw down your staff." But when he saw it quivering, as though it were a demon, he turned around not looking back. "O Moses, do not fear; the messengers do not fear in My presence." (27:10).  

1/2: God inspired Moses to throw his staff before the Egyptian magicians inside the palace of Pharaoh: "And We inspired Moses: "Throw your staff." And at once, it swallowed what they were faking." (7:117).

1/3: When Moses and the Israelites faced the Red Sea and saw Pharaoh and his troops behind them and about to catch up with them, God inspired Moses to use his staff to strike the Red Sea: "We inspired Moses: "Strike the sea with your staff." Whereupon it parted, and each part was like a huge hill." (26:63).

1/4: Moses was also inspired by God to strike a rock with his staff to provide water wells for the twelve tribes wandering in Sinai: "...And We inspired Moses, when his people asked him for something to drink: "Strike the rock with your staff." Whereupon twelve springs gushed from it. Each group recognized its drinking-place..." (7:160).

2- Thus, Moses did not use his staff as per his free will; besides, God's commands for him to use this staff were not so frequent; only when necessary at certain occasions. Thus, Moses used his special abilities when he dealt with Pharaoh. 

 

Secondly: the scope of knowledge of Pharaoh about the Divine Truth:

1- Moses' special abilities are mentioned in this verse: "And when he reached his maturity, and became established, We gave him wisdom and knowledge. Thus do We reward the virtuous." (28:14). Among knowledge imported to Moses by God is God's command to Moses and Aaron about how to talk to Pharaoh: "But speak to him mildly. perhaps he will remember, or have some fear." (20:44). Such divine command implies that inside the mind/soul of Pharaoh was a seed of goodness and some measure of knowledge about the Divine Truth, but Pharaoh denied and rejected this by his arrogance, pride, injustice, and tyranny as well as assumed superiority; all these elements drove Pharaoh to proclaim himself as a deity/god. God says the following about Pharaoh and his people who rejected goodness and the knowledge about the Divine Truth: "And they rejected them, although their souls were certain of them, out of injustice and pride..." (27:14). 

2- Such rejection of goodness and the knowledge about the Divine Truth by Pharaoh did not prevent his mentioning and acknowledging angels during his conference with all his people to assert his self-deification and to ridicule Moses: "Am I not better than this miserable wretch, who can barely express himself? Why are bracelets of gold not dropped on him, or they angels came with him in procession?"" (43:52-53). Since Pharaoh knew about the angels, he knew about God the Creator of Angels Who sent Moses to him; Pharaoh mentioned that God should have sent angels to support Moses. 

3- Such rejection of goodness and the knowledge about the Divine Truth by Pharaoh made Pharaoh intentionally ignore faith/belief, inside his heart/soul, in God the Creator and he asked Moses: "...Who is your Lord, O Moses?" (20:49), as if he did not know the God of Moses and Aaron. Moses replied: "...Our Lord is He who gave everything its existence, then guided it." (20:50), and Pharaoh asked Moses again: "...What about the first generations?" (20:51). Moses replied: "...Knowledge thereof is with my Lord, in a Book. My Lord never errs, nor does He forget." (20:52); yet, eventually, Pharaoh arrogantly rejected the signs/miracles he witnessed: "We showed him Our signs, all of them, but he denied and refused." (20:56). Pharaoh and his people rejected the signs and refused to believe out of pride, arrogance, tyranny, and injustice. "Yet when Our enlightening signs came to them, they said, "This is obvious sorcery." And they rejected them, although their souls were certain of them, out of injustice and pride. So, see how the outcome was for the corrupters." (27:13-14). 

4- Such rejection and disbelief were avoided by Pharaoh's wife who believed in the Lord God and sought refuge in Him against the evil and injustices of Pharaoh and his retinue members; God has made her a model of deep faith for all male and female believers in all eras: "And God illustrates an example of those who believe: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said, "My Lord, build for me, with you, a house in Paradise, and save me from Pharaoh and his works, and save me from the unjust people."" (66:11).

5- Such rejection and disbelief were avoided by the Pharaonic prince who was a believer who concealed his faith at first out of fear of Pharaoh's savagery and brutality, but he preached his people to remind them of God the Creator Whom they knew; this prince had knowledge of the Last Day and of ancient nations as well that were destroyed by God because of disbelief. This Pharaonic prince knew that polytheism and disbelief are exact synonyms in his response to temptations of his people, and he knew about Joseph and how the Egyptians believed his message despite their worshipping other gods at the same time, and eventually, by the end of his speech, he despaired regarding introducing reform to his people: we leave it to readers to count how many times this prince mentions the name of God, Allah; if his people did not know Allah, he would not have used this Holy Name in particular: "A believing man from Pharaoh's family, who had concealed his faith, said, "Are you going to kill a man for saying, 'My Lord is Allah,' and he has brought you clear proofs from your Lord? If he is a liar, his lying will rebound upon him; but if he is truthful, then some of what he promises you will befall you. Allah does not guide the extravagant imposter. O my people! Yours is the dominion today, supreme in the land; but who will help us against Allah's might, should it fall upon us?"..."O my people, I fear for you the like of the day of the confederates. Like the fate of the people of Noah, and Aad, and Thamood, and those after them. Allah wants no injustice for the servants. O my people, I fear for you the Day of Calling Out. The Day when you will turn and flee, having no defender against Allah. Whomever Allah misguides has no guide." Joseph had come to you with clear signs, but you continued to doubt what he came to you with. Until, when he perished, you said, "Allah will never send a messenger after him." Thus, Allah leads astray the outrageous skeptic." (40:28-34); "...O my people, follow me, and I will guide you to the path of guidance." "O my people, the life of this world is nothing but fleeting enjoyment, but the Hereafter is the Home of Permanence.  Whoever commits a sin will be repaid only with its like. But whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, and is a believer-these will enter Paradise, where they will be provided for endlessly. O my people, how is it that I call you to salvation, and you call me to the Fire? You call me to reject Allah, and to associate with Him what I have no knowledge of, while I call you to the Mighty Forgiver. Without a doubt, what you call me to has no say in this world, or in the Hereafter; and our turning back is to Allah; and the transgressors are the dwellers of the Fire. You will remember what I am telling you, so I commit my case to Allah. Allah is Observant of the servants."" (40:38-44).

6- Ironically, the Egyptian magicians who took the side of Pharaoh at first and served him while hoping to be richly rewarded by him were the ones to declare their faith/belief in the God in public and before Pharaoh, in outspoken defiance of his authority and might: "And the magicians fell to their knees. They said, "We have believed in the Lord of the Worlds." The Lord of Moses and Aaron."" (7:120-122); "And the magicians fell down prostrate. They said, "We have believed in the Lord of Aaron and Moses."  He said, "Did you believe to him before I have given you permission? He must be your chief, who has taught you magic. I will cut off your hands and your feet on alternate sides, and I will crucify you on the trunks of the palm-trees. Then you will know which of us is more severe in torment, and more lasting."" (20:70-71). More ironically still is the reaction of the Egyptian magicians when they were threatened by the savage, brutal Pharaoh to be crucified after having their limbs cut off, and their response indicates clearly a measure of knowledge about God and the Last Day: "They said, "We will not prefer you to the proofs that have come to us, and Him who created us. So issue whatever judgment you wish to issue. You can only rule in this lowly life. We have believed in our Lord, so that He may forgive us our sins, and the magic you have compelled us to practice. God is Better, and more Lasting." Whoever comes to his Lord guilty, for him is Hell, where he neither dies nor lives. But whoever comes to Him a believer, having worked righteousness-these will have the highest ranks. The Gardens of Perpetuity, beneath which rivers flow, dwelling therein forever. That is the reward for him who purifies himself." (20:72-76); "Pharaoh said, "Did you believe to him before I have given you permission? This is surely a conspiracy you schemed in the city, in order to expel its people from it. You will surely know." "I will cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides; then I will crucify you all." They said, "It is to our Lord that we will return." "You are taking vengeance on us only because we have believed in the signs of our Lord when they have come to us." "Our Lord! Pour out patience upon us, and receive our souls in submission."" (7:123-126).  

7- The call of Moses helped create a new atmosphere or climate that made the Egyptians knew more about Allah and the Last Day, but Pharaoh and his affluent family members, courtiers, and retinue members denied and rejected the Truth so as to preserve their might, power, authority, stature, and possessions. When they were tormented by famine and other plagues, they felt that Moses and his followers were an ill-omen and a source of jinx for them, while disregarding the fact that such torment was inflicted by God to punish them: "And We afflicted the people of Pharaoh with barren years, and with shortage of crops, that they may take heed. When something good came their way, they said, "This is ours." And when something bad happened to them, they ascribed the evil omen to Moses and those with him. In fact, their omen is with God, but most of them do not know." (7:130-131).

8- Their denying and rejecting the Truth drove them to keep to stubbornness, defiance, and challenge; they rejected the miracles and signs and took the ways of torment lightly and had to bear with them: "And they said, "No matter what sign you bring us, to bewitch us with, we will not believe in you." So We let loose upon them the flood, and the locusts, and the lice, and the frogs, and blood-all explicit signs-but they were too arrogant. They were a sinful people." (7:132-133), but they had to resort to Moses to invoke his God for deliverance, as they could not bear the plague/epidemic inflicted on their bodies: "When the plague befell them, they would say, "O Moses, pray to your Lord for us, according to the covenant He made with you. If you lift the plague from us, we will believe to you, and let the Israelites go with you."" (7:134). They remained stubborn as they did not consider Moses' God as their Lord and God and they said that they would trust Moses after being delivered and did not say they would believe in God the Creator. This stubbornness remained with Pharaoh even while he was drowning: "...Until, when he was about to drown, he said, "I believe that there is no God except the One the Israelites believe in, and I am of those who submit."" (10:90), because he did not say he believed in God the Lord of the Worlds; rather, he said upon dying, after it was too late for him, that he believed the God of the Israelites.  

 

Thirdly: mild discourse of Moses toward Pharaoh:

1- God addressed the seed of goodness inside Pharaoh and his people and preached them via his prophet Moses to stop their false airs of superiority and their arrogance and haughtiness; Moses told them the following: "And do not exalt yourselves above God. I come to you with clear authority." (44:19). Moses sought refuge in his and their God so as not to be stoned to death so that they let him be if they did not trust him: "I have taken refuge in my Lord and your Lord, lest you stone me. But if you do not believe to me, keep away from me."" (44:20-21); thus, Moses here used the might of weakness to face the weakness of might, and we tackle this topic in detail later on in this book. 

2- When Pharaoh threatened Moses of putting him in prison if he worship anyone instead of the self-deified Pharaoh, Moses cleverly changed the topic of conversation by dazzling Pharaoh with the miracle of the staff turned into a serpent and his hand changing its color: "He said, "If you accept any god other than me, I will make you a prisoner." He said, "What if I bring you something convincing?" He said, "Bring it, if you are being truthful." So he cast his staff; and it was a serpent, plain to see. And he pulled his hand; and it was white, for all to see. He said to the retinue members around him, "This is a skilled magician. He intends to drive you out of your land with his magic, so what do you recommend?" They said, "Delay him and his brother, and send recruiters to the cities. To bring you every experienced magician."" (26:29-37).

 

Lastly:

 All of the above points show how Moses and Aaron applied this divine command: "But speak to him mildly. perhaps he will remember, or have some fear." (20:44). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER II: The Divine Promise and Succession

 

 

 

 

 

The Israelites Inherited Egypt after the Death of Moses' Pharaoh as per the Fulfilled Promise of God

 

Introduction: the Quranic story of Moses and Pharaoh contains two Divine Promises that were fulfilled:

1- The first fulfilled promise is when God assured the mother of Moses to give  her son back to her; the vast majority of human beings do not know that the Divine Promise is True: "We inspired the mother of Moses: "Nurse him; then, when you fear for him, cast him into the river, and do not fear, nor grieve; We will return him to you, and make him one of the messengers." Pharaoh's household picked him up, to be an opponent and a sorrow for them. Pharaoh, Haman, and their troops were sinners. Pharaoh's wife said, "An eye's delight for me and for you. Do not kill him; perhaps he will be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son." But they did not foresee. The heart of Moses' mother became vacant. She was about to disclose him, had We not steadied her heart, that she may remain a believer. She said to his sister, "Trail him." So she watched him from afar, and they were unaware. We forbade him breastfeeding at first. So she said, "Shall I tell you about a family that can raise him for you, and will look after him?" Thus We returned him to his mother, that she may be comforted, and not grieve, and know that God's Promise is True. But most people do not know." (28:7-13). 

2- The second fulfilled promise is indicated earlier in the same Quranic Chapter 28 in these verses: "We narrate to you from the history of Moses and Pharaoh - in Truth - for people who believe. Pharaoh exalted himself in the land, and divided its people into factions. He persecuted a group of them, slaughtering their sons, while sparing their daughters. He was truly a corrupter. But We desired to favor those who were oppressed in the land, and to make them leaders, and to make them the inheritors. And to establish them in the land; and to show Pharaoh, Haman, and their troops, the very thing they feared." (28:3-6).

3- The Quranic stories contain the Truth addressing real believers who take heed and draw moral lessons; there are many moral lessons in the Quranic story of Moses and Moses' Pharaoh never heeded by most of those who claim to believe in the Quran. Among these moral lessons is that Moses' Pharaoh freely choose on his own accord to become an oppressive, unjust, self-deified tyrant and to assume an air of superiority while committing atrocities like massacring poor children. Moses' Pharaoh committed all these acts to reinforce his political might and power, but his schemes turned against him to his detriment and brought his own downfall and destruction, as God's True Promise was fulfilled regarding him.   

4- We provide some details in the points below.

 

Firstly: God's promise of making the Israelites inherited Egypt after the death of Pharaoh:

1- God's Sunna/method/way of dealing with ancient nations has been to destroy disbelievers and to spare the messengers and believers: "Before you, We sent messengers to their people. They came to them with clear proofs. Then We took revenge on those who sinned. It is incumbent on Us to help the believers." (30:47); "Then We save Our messengers and those who believe. It is binding on Us to save the believers." (10:103). This occurred to Noah's people and other ancient nations of disbelievers until Pharaoh and his people and deep-state men who were the last nation destroyed by God.  

2- Moses' Pharaoh was not asked anything but to allow the Israelites to leave Egypt with Moses; Moses' Pharaoh was persecuting the Israelites and desired to crush them, and it was expected that he would readily agree to let them go to be relieved of them. Yet, Moses' Pharaoh refused to let them go because he desired to go on inflicting torment and persecution on the Israelites who were a minority to intimidate the majority of Egyptians who were enslaved by him in agriculture and industry. God says about this policy of Pharaoh: "Pharaoh...divided its people into factions. He persecuted a group of them, slaughtering their sons, while sparing their daughters. He was truly a corrupter." (28:4), and this means that Pharaoh persecuted a factions of the dwellers of Egypt – i.e., the Israelites – to terrorize others. Moses' Pharaoh's policy that he mastered and applied was (divide and rule), or (divide et impera) in Latin, as applied by the Roman empire.

3- Moses' Pharaoh stubbornly insisted on refusing to let them go despite the signs/miracles he witnessed when Moses used his staff and in spite of torments inflicted on him and his people; in fact, Moses' Pharaoh increased his persecution inflicted on the Israelites after the emergence of Moses as a prophet to make them distrust Moses, as the Israelites were very much frightened by spies and agents of Pharaoh who infiltrated the Israelites; these spies included some of the Israelites themselves who betrayed their people and worked under Pharaoh's men as their agents.   

4- When the Israelites complained to Moses about the severe persecution they suffered before and after his coming, he advised them to adhere to patience and to trust Almighty God, as they will inherit the land of Egypt after the death of the tyrannical enemy: "Moses said to his people, "Seek help in God, and be patient. The earth belongs to God. He gives it in inheritance to whomever He wills of His servants, and the future belongs to the righteous." They said, "We were persecuted before you came to us, and after you came to us." He said, "Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy, and make you successors in the land; then He will see how you behave."" (7:128-129). At this point in time, it was difficult for the Israelites to believe this Divine Promise while they suffer from the diabolical machine of persecution by Pharaoh; this is why most of the Israelites did not trust Moses: "But none believed to Moses except some children of his people, for fear that Pharaoh and his chiefs would persecute them. Pharaoh was high and mighty in the land. He was a tyrant." (10:83).

5- Practical steps in fulfilling the promise of destroying Pharaoh and his regime and deep-state men began by Moses urging the Israelites to trust God in devotion and submission, and they responded that they trusted God and implored Him for deliverance from persecution of the unjust disbelievers; we notice here that disbelief and injustice are synonymous: "Moses said, "O my people, if you have believed in God, then put your trust in Him, if you have submitted." They said, "In God we have put our trust. Our Lord, do not make us victims of the unjust people." "And deliver us, by Your mercy, from the disbelieving people."" (10:84-86).  

6- Other practical steps included that the Israelites would devote their time to prayers and acts of worship within special houses in Egypt, imploring God for deliverance and salvation: "And We inspired Moses and his brother, "Settle your people in Egypt within your homes made into places of worship, and perform the prayer, and give good news to the believers."" (10:87).

7- A final practical step was Moses and Aaron invoking God's wrath on Pharaoh and his unjust people: "Moses said, "Our Lord, you have given Pharaoh and his retinue members splendor and wealth in the worldly life. Our Lord, for them to lead away from Your Path. Our Lord, obliterate their wealth, and harden their hearts, they will not believe until they see the painful torment."" (10:88). Arab tyrants in the Gulf monarchies reject God's bounty and use their wealth to repel people away from God's Path; this makes 10:88 regarding Pharaoh and his people apply to them as well; this is why the story of Moses' Pharaoh is repeated in the Quran to warn believers who pay heed to the Quranic moral lessons and to show to tyrants that they have no excuses for their sins and injustices, as they have disregarded the warnings in the Quran.

8- God answered the prayers and supplications of Moses and Aaron: "He said, "Your prayer has been answered, so go straight, and do not follow the path of those who do not know."" (10:89). God's answer to their prayers is linked to commanding them to obey Him and never to be among the misguided, ignorant ones. This is a prediction about the Israelites as some of them will emerge, after the destruction of Pharaoh, and be among the misguided ones who have authority. 

9- Eventually God has caused the destruction of Pharaoh, his troops, and his deep-state men by drowning in the Red Sea: "And We delivered the Israelites across the sea. Pharaoh and his troops pursued them, defiantly and aggressively. Until, when he was about to drown, he said, "I believe that there is no God except the One the Israelites believe in, and I am of those who submit." Now? When you have rebelled before, and been of the corrupters? Today We will preserve your body, so that you become a sign for those after you. But most people are heedless of Our signs." (10:90-92).

10- After Pharaoh was drowned, the era of the Israelites as inheritors of Egypt (temporarily before heading to the Promised Land) is indicated in the very next verse: "And We settled the Israelites in a position of honor, and provided them with good things. They did not differ until knowledge came to them. Your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection regarding their differences." (10:93).

11- God made the Israelites inherit the land of Egypt temporarily: "And We settled the Israelites in a position of honor, and provided them with good things..." (10:93). God says the following about Pharaoh and his people: "So We drove them out of gardens and springs. And treasures and noble dwellings. So it was. And We made the Israelites inherit them." (26:57-59); "How many gardens and fountains did they leave behind? And plantations, and splendid buildings. And comforts they used to enjoy. So it was; and We passed it on to another people." (44:25-28).

12- This is how the second Divine Promise was fulfilled as the Israelites inherited the land of Egypt after being severely persecuted by Pharaoh: "And We made the oppressed people inherit the eastern and western parts of the land, which We had blessed. Thus the fair promise of your Lord to the Israelites was fulfilled, because of their endurance. And We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people had built, and what they had harvested." (7:137). This Divine Promise is indicated in these verses. "We narrate to you from the history of Moses and Pharaoh - in Truth - for people who believe. Pharaoh exalted himself in the land, and divided its people into factions. He persecuted a group of them, slaughtering their sons, while sparing their daughters. He was truly a corrupter. But We desired to favor those who were oppressed in the land, and to make them leaders, and to make them the inheritors. And to establish them in the land; and to show Pharaoh, Haman, and their troops, the very thing they feared." (28:3-6).

 

Lastly: the story of Moses' Pharaoh in the historical accounts of the Pharaonic Era:

1- The Old Testament of the Bible mentions the story of Moses and Aaron and Moses' Pharaoh; their story is mentioned in the Quran while described as the truth or the only true account of it for people who believe (see 28:3). Some guesses are written by some Egyptologists within history of Pharaonic Egypt. Some other Egyptologists worthy of respect have decided not to tackle the topic of Moses' Pharaoh as findings of diggings and excavations in Egypt have not shown yet anything related to Moses' Pharaoh, and these Egyptologists must base their writings on discoveries linked to the Pharaonic Era and data found in papyri. Thus, they need historical evidence and enough data (not found until now) to tackle the topic of Moses' Pharaoh.  

2- The other type is the unrespectable Egyptologists who are imposters, as they negate the historical existence of Moses and Moses' Pharaoh because of lack of tangible proofs to assert their existence in history. Those are never real researchers nor scientists; they tend to overlook and forget these facts: (1) not all artifacts and monuments of the Pharaonic Era have been discovered, labeled, studied, and catalogued in museums, and (2) there are still many gaps within stages of the Pharaonic Era. Their view that nothing new might be discovered or added to our information regarding the Pharaonic Era shows they are ignoramuses.      

3- Egyptian cities and villages are located on many layers of monuments and buried cities that cover 70 centuries of civilization, and half of this duration is before the unification of Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt into one centralized State in c. 3000 B.C.E. by the pharaoh Menes (or Narmer). Egyptians have settled within both banks of the River Nile 7000 years ago as they began their great civilization; this Pharaonic State has existed after the Pharaonic Era until now, while retaining the same features of centralized rule, corruption, tyranny, and deep-state, despite the succession of different Egyptian and non-Egyptian pharaohs/rulers.

4- What is known and discovered about the Pharaonic Era is very little; more excavations and discovered are being made and they add to our information. Real, serious researchers and Egyptologists know for sure that they know very little about the Egyptian history, especially that some discoveries and excavations are done randomly within different conditions each time and are linked to different eras (e.g., the Ramses dynasty and before and after its era). Hence, no one has the right to deny and reject the story of Moses and Moses' Pharaoh except ignoramuses.

5- God tells us in the Quran historical facts that make finding tangible evidence or proofs linked to Moses' Pharaoh almost impossible.

5/1: Moses' Pharaoh drowned in the Red Sea along with all his troops, government, retinue members, viziers, courtiers, and other deep-state men; this means no one among them survived to record Moses' Pharaoh's history.

5/2: Moses' Pharaoh's temples, edifices, and palaces were destroyed: "And We made the oppressed people inherit the eastern and western parts of the land, which We had blessed. Thus the fair promise of your Lord to the Israelites was fulfilled, because of their endurance. And We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people had built, and what they had harvested." (7:137). Moses' Pharaoh used to build huge and high edifices or skyscrapers: "...and Pharaoh of the Stakes." (38:12); "And Pharaoh of the Stakes." (89:10); these include an edifice/ a tower built by the vizier Haman upon the command of Moses' Pharaoh: "Pharaoh said, "... So, fire-up the bricks for me, O Haman, and build me a tower, that I may ascend to the God of Moses, though I think he is a liar."" (28:38). Such monuments and edifices were built using red bricks (made of mud burned by fire), used within the Pharaonic Era and until now in Egyptian cities and palaces. 

5/3: It was not difficult to destroy edifices, towers, palaces, and monuments of Pharaoh, especially when we remember that after he drowned, the Israelites returned back to the River Nile Valley of Egypt to look for treasures of Pharaoh and his people in all such buildings; thus, nothing of such buildings and monuments remained to indicate the historical presence of Moses' Pharaoh; we would not have known these historical facts about this forgotten era if it had not been for the Quranic mention of them.

5/4: In general, artifacts, statues, temples, and monuments of the Pharaonic Era discovered within the superficial strata of land were at first covered with layers of dust and sand; e.g., underground royal tombs, the Karnak Temple, and the Ramesseum. People will never find similar things related to Moses' Pharaoh and his people, as they never died in their palaces, because they drowned in the Red Sea.     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moses and the Israelites in Post-Pharaoh Egypt, and Quaroon between the Might and the Truth 

 

Firstly:

1- The genius of Moses' Pharaoh when he severely persecuted the Israelites is manifested by his recruiting Israelite spies and agents serving him against the Israelite tribes and helping him to execute his policies of persecution. This is done by pharaohs of the military regime in Egypt who recruit some affluent Christian Copts now as secret partners in business and to make them help propagate policies against Copts outside and inside Egypt.  

2- Thus, among the retinue members of Moses' Pharaoh was an Israelite man named Quaroon; he was the third man in Egypt after Pharaoh and his vizier Haman, as we infer from these verses: "We sent Moses with Our signs, and a clear authority. To Pharaoh, Haman, and Quaroon. But they said, "A lying sorcerer."" (40:23-24). In addition, Quaroon, as among the distinguished retinue members of Pharaoh inside his palace, agreed with the suggestion of Pharaoh and Haman to massacre children of those who believed to Moses and believed in God and to kill Moses himself: "Then, when he came to them with the Truth from Us, they said, "Kill the sons of those who have believed with him, and spare their daughters." But the scheming of the unbelievers can only go astray. Pharaoh said, "Leave me to kill Moses, and let him appeal to his Lord. I fear he may change your religion, or spread corruption in the land."" (40:25-26). This is asserted further as the only one who objected outspokenly to such evil plans was a believing Egyptian prince who concealed his monotheistic faith: "A believing man from Pharaoh's family, who had concealed his faith, said, "Are you going to kill a man for saying, `My Lord is God,' and he has brought you clear proofs from your Lord? If he is a liar, his lying will rebound upon him; but if he is truthful, then some of what he promises you will befall you. God does not guide the extravagant imposter." (40:28).  

3- God says the following about the destruction of the ancient nations: "And Aad and Thamood. It has become clear to you from their dwellings. Satan embellished for them their deeds, barring them from the path, even though they could see. And Quaroon, and Pharaoh, and Haman - Moses went to them with clear signs, but they acted arrogantly in the land. And they could not get ahead. Each We seized by his sin. Against some We sent a sandstorm. Some were struck by the Blast. Some We caused the ground to cave in beneath them. And some We drowned. It was not God who wronged them, but it was they who wronged their own selves." (29:38-40). There are three noteworthy remarks here. (A) The name of Quaroon is mentioned among nations smitten and destroyed by God like Aad and Thamood, and he is mentioned before Pharaoh and Haman in 29:39 in relation to the fact that Moses was sent to whom in particular. (B) In 29:40, the torment/punishment of Quaroon (i.e., the ground caved in on him) is mentioned before that of Pharaoh (i.e., drowning), though the destruction of Pharaoh occurred before that of Quaroon. (C) The peoples of Pharaoh, Haman, and Quaroon are never mentioned in 29:38-40, apart from mentioning the name of Quaroon before that of Haman and Pharaoh in 29:39. Quaroon was among the Israelites, as we now from this Quranic verse: "Quaroon belonged to the people of Moses..." (28:76).

4- Quaroon never accompanied Pharaoh and his soldiers/troops when they chased the Israelites during the exodus; Quaroon was not a military man like Pharaoh and Haman who drowned with their soldiers/troops, and the name of Quaroon is never mentioned in verses about their drowning: "And We delivered the Israelites across the sea. Pharaoh and his troops pursued them, defiantly and aggressively..." (10:90); "Pharaoh pursued them with his troops, but the sea overwhelmed them, and completely engulfed them." (20:78); "...they are troops to be drowned." (44:24); "So We seized him, and his troops, and We threw them into the sea..." (28:40); "...Pharaoh, Haman, and their troops were sinners." (28:8). 

5- Thus, Quaroon was a civil man who belonged to the Israelites; undoubtedly, he was an expert in financial investment and he helped Moses' Pharaoh in that domain. We assume that Pharaoh left Quaroon in Egypt as a guardian of his treasures, money, and possessions, as Pharaoh considered his chasing the weak Israelites as merely a simple military excursion and he expected to return back soon to the Nile River Valley and to his palaces and treasures guarded by Quaroon his deputy. Pharaoh never expected to meet his death and to be defeated by the Israelites. When Pharaoh drowned along with his soldiers/troops, retinue members, courtiers, and regime statesmen, the only retinue member left was Quaroon the affluent Israelite man left behind at the Egyptian capital city at the time. Quaroon lived in Egypt for a while until God caused the ground to cave in on him along with his mansion and treasures.      

6- God says the following in the Quran: "Quaroon belonged to the people of Moses, but he oppressed them..." (28:76). Of course, God in the Quran describes how Moses' Pharaoh oppressed the Israelites. This means that Quaroon oppressed his people, the Israelites, during the reign of Pharaoh and after Pharaoh drowned. Thus, Quaroon oppressed the Israelites while he was serving Pharaoh who severely persecuted the Israelites. Without a shadow of doubt, Quaroon had spies and agents under him to spy on Moses and Aaron and the believers among the Israelites to serve the purposes of Pharaoh, and such spies and agents caused terror and intimidation among the Israelites who were under constant surveillance all the time. Quaroon continued oppressing the Israelites after Pharaoh drowned; when the regime of Pharaoh drowned, Quaroon was the only remaining member of that Pharaonic regime. Of course, former agents serving under Quaroon, when he served Pharaoh, joined him once more, and he employed them to go out in haughty processions showing off his splendor, imitating the haughtiness of Pharaoh.       

7- We notice that the names of Moses and Aaron are never mentioned in the Quranic story of Quaroon, within this Quranic context: "Quaroon belonged to the people of Moses, but he oppressed them. We had given him treasures, the keys of which would weigh down a group of strong men. His people said to him, "Do not exult; God does not love the exultant. But seek, with what God has given you, the Home of the Hereafter, and do not neglect your share of this world. And be charitable, as God has been charitable to you. And do not seek corruption in the land. God does not like the seekers of corruption." He said, "I was given all this on account of knowledge I possess." Did he not know that God destroyed many generations before him, who were stronger than he, and possessed greater riches? But the guilty will not be asked about their sins. And he went out before his people in his splendor. Those who desired the worldly life said, "If only we possessed the likes of what Quaroon was given. He is indeed very fortunate." But those who were given knowledge said, "Woe to you! The reward of God is better for those who believe and do righteous deeds." Yet none attains it except the patient ones. So We caused the earth to cave in on him and his mansion. He had no company to save him from God, and he could not defend himself. Those who had wished they were in his position the day before were saying, "Indeed, it is God who spreads the bounty to whomever He wills of His servants, and restricts it. Had God not been gracious to us, He would have caved in on us. No wonder the disbelievers never prosper."" (28:76-82).

8- We know from 28:76-82 that Quaroon oppressed the Israelites and that he confiscates Pharaonic treasures while claiming he got such money through his knowledge. Quaroon refused to heed the pieces of advice addressed to him by his people and he went on with his corruption. Some Israelite men envied Quaroon for his affluence and stature, but those Israelite believers endowed with real religious knowledge blamed those enviers of Quaroon. There is no mention of Moses and Aaron in 28:76-82 despite their being present at the same time and in the same location.

9- We can guess the reason for this absence of the names of Moses and Aaron in 28:76-82. The drowning of Pharaoh was a great, happy surprise for the Israelites, including Quaroon. When the Red Sea threw the corpses of Pharaoh and his troops, we imagine that the Israelites stole the ornaments, jewels, and clothes from such corpses, and this was the onset of a feverish treasure-hunting in Egypt by the Israelites (as a minority of one race whose being oppressed by Pharaoh had given them momentum to seek being distinguished from the majority of those who lived in Egypt at the time) who vied for getting more possessions. The Egyptians never participated in such treasure-hunting; they preferred to live on the margin contently and in peace. The Israelites returned to Egypt with the glad tidings that Pharaoh drowned along with his soldiers and retinue members. Naturally, the bond between Moses and Aaron on the one hand and the Israelites on the other hand waned very much, or seemed to be dissolved, since the Pharaonic danger ended and the Israelites inherited what was left by Pharaoh and his troops, family, courtiers, and regime statesmen. Once Quaroon knew that Pharaoh drowned, we imagine that he rolled up his sleeves and gathered his followers/agents to hunt for all hidden treasures all over the Egyptian soil, and he stocked them in piles and coffers with so many locks, whose keys would weigh down a group of strong men, under the roof of his mansion/palace. We imagine that the rest of the Israelites who never knew the locations of hidden treasures rushed toward palaces, temples, and mansions to steal anything they could lay their hands on and they destroyed all such edifices within such random treasure-hunting. This is understood by us from this verse: "And We made the oppressed people inherit the eastern and western parts of the land, which We had blessed. Thus the fair promise of your Lord to the Israelites was fulfilled, because of their endurance. And We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people had built, and what they had harvested." (7:137). Such roar of the feverish treasure-hunting drowned the voices of Moses and Aaron. Quaroon filled in the vacuum caused by the drowning of Pharaoh and his regime and by the Israelites who disregarded Moses and Aaron.          

10- Pharaoh and Haman and their troops were punished by God and so was Quaroon who followed the footsteps of Moses' Pharaoh and was inevitably punished in public before the eyes of the Israelites. The corpse of Pharaoh thrown by the Red Sea was a sign for those after him and so was the punishment of Quaroon as the ground caved in on him along with his treasures, mansion/palace, splendor, and procession, before the eyes of the Israelites – even those Israelite men who used to envy him as a 'fortunate' man changed their stance after witnessing such torment inflicted on Quaroon.    

11- After destroying Quaroon – the last power-center of the Pharaonic regime of Moses' Pharaoh – the State of Pharaoh was destroyed along with all treasures and edifices of Pharaoh as the ground caved in on such treasures and edifices were destroyed by the Israelites in their random treasure-hunting; thus, the prayer of Moses and Aaron who invoked the Dominant Lord God against Pharaoh and his money was answered by Almighty God: "Moses said, "Our Lord, you have given Pharaoh and his retinue members splendor and wealth in the worldly life. Our Lord, for them to lead away from Your path. Our Lord, obliterate their wealth, and harden their hearts, they will not believe until they see the painful torment." He said, "Your prayer has been answered, so go straight, and do not follow the path of those who do not know."" (10:88-89).

 

Lastly:

 Quaroon in this Quranic story is portrayed as one who possessed the might without the Truth; Moses and Aaron had the Truth but without the might. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Test of Succession in the Land between Moses' Pharaoh and the Israelites

 

 

Firstly: succession in the land between the test of prosperity and the test of adversity:

1- God says the following in the Quran: "...We burden you with adversity and prosperity - a test. And to Us you will be returned." (21:35). Thus, God tests all human beings with ordeals/calamities and bounties/possessions and this applies to nations and countries. The life-test is ordained for each human being until s/he dies in the assigned predestined time: "But God will not delay a soul when its time has come..." (63:11); and this applies to nations/communities as well: "For every nation is an appointed time. When their time has come, they cannot delay it by one hour, nor can they advance it." (7:34). Human beings vary in their degrees of wealth, possessions, and earnings as per this life-test of prosperity and adversity: "God has favored some of you over others in livelihood..." (16:71); and this applies to nations/countries which have different degrees of power and wealth, and they may end and God makes others succeed them: "It is He who made you successors in the land, and raised some of you in ranks over others, in order to test you through what He has given you. Your Lord is Quick in retribution, and He is Forgiving and Merciful." (6:165). 

2- Quranic stories prove this idea of succession; God has made the people of Noah, the first strong human community on earth, as successors in the land, but they committed injustices, oppression, and tyranny, and the deluge was inflicted on them. God has made the people of Aad as their successors in the land, and they, in their turn, committed injustices, oppression, and tyranny; their prophet, Hud, told them the following: "...Remember how He made you successors after the people of Noah, and increased you greatly in stature. And remember God's bounties, so that you may prosper."" (7:69). After the destruction of the people of Aad, God has made the people of Thamood as their successors in the land and they, in their turn, committed injustices, oppression, and tyranny; their prophet, Saleh, told them the following: "And remember how He made you successors after Aad, and settled you in the land. You make for yourselves mansions on its plains, and carve out dwellings in the mountains. So remember God's bounties, and do not corrupt on the earth." (7:74). Hence, the succession of nations went on and was linked to total destruction of the tyrannical corrupters, until the last nation destroyed by God, which was the people of Moses' Pharaoh who drowned in the Red Sea. We read in the Quran, the Last Message from God, the following verses: "We destroyed generations before you when they committed injustices. Their messengers came to them with clear signs, but they would not believe. Thus We requite the sinful people. Then We made you successors in the land after them, to see how you would behave." (10:13-14). Thus, human beings of our modern era now are successors of ancient nations within the life-test of prosperity and adversity that will go on until the end of days; sadly, most people do not draw lessons from the stories of ancient nations, though the Quran commands us to travel through the earth to see the ruins/monuments of ancient nations who were destroyed by God.     

3- Apart from Quranic stories, human history is filled with examples of states/empires that were established, flourished, and then destroyed; many states in Ancient Egypt succeeded one another, and the Pharaonic Era ended and Egypt was ruled by foreigners: the Greeks, the Persians, the Assyrians, the Romans, the Arabs, the Ottomans, and then the European colonial powers. In fact, empires used to expand and then get dwarfed and weak until their collapse, such as the Mongols and the Tartars, the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal), France, and Great Britain.   

4- Most of the early believers in Mecca with Muhammad were weak and oppressed, and the Qorayish tribe expelled them and they had to immigrate to Yathreb, where the Meccan raids attacked them many times, attempting to exterminate them. Within this fearful ordeal, God has promised them to be successors in the land if they really believed and performed good deeds: "God has promised those of you who believe and do righteous deeds, that He will make them successors in the land, as He made those before them successors, and He will establish for them their religion - which He has approved for them-and He will substitute security in place of their fear. They worship Me, never associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that - these are the sinners." (24:55). This divine promise has been fulfilled, and some Yathreb dwellers committed the sin of disobedience; God has warned and preached them in this verse: "And remember when you were few, oppressed in the land, fearing that people may capture you; but He sheltered you, and supported you with His victory, and provided you with good things-so that you may be thankful." (8:26). Thus, Arabs who believed at the time have fallen into three categories: (1) the forerunners in faith and good deeds, (2) those who mixed good deeds with bad ones and seek God's pardon and mercy, and (3) a vast majority of disbelieving sinners, especially when the Qorayish tribesmen and leaders feigned to convert en masse shortly before the death of Muhammad, after fighting against him and against the Yathreb city-state for about 10 years and they rejected and disbelieved in the Quran. Hence, once Muhammad died, most Arabs committed the grave crimes of Arab conquests that indicate their rejection of the Quran. God has threatened them beforehand and warned them against torment in this world before the next: "Say, "He is Able to send upon you an affliction, from above you, or from under your feet. Or He can divide you into factions, and make you taste the violence of one another. Note how We explain the revelations, so that they may understand." But your people rejected it, though it is the truth. Say, "I am not responsible for you." For every happening is a finality, and you will surely know." (6:65-67). This applies now to the Arab Muhammadans of today, as they are divided in factions who fight one another, because they have followed the footsteps of Moses' Pharaoh (see 8:52-54 and 3:11). God has made Moses' Pharaoh the imam/leader who will lead to Hell those who have followed his footsteps in tyranny and corruption in the land. Pious people must draw this lesson from the Quranic story of Moses' Pharaoh.          

 

Secondly: Moses' Pharaoh and the Israelites as two examples of succession in the land:

1-God has tested Pharaoh by the kingdom of Egypt and its rivers (i.e., the River Nile had many distributaries/branches in the Delta, east and west) and its water wells in the desert that brought prosperity and flourishing. The self-deified Pharaoh disbelieved and was never thankful to the Lord God for the bounties bestowed on him; he was a savage, brutal, oppressive tyrant who inflicted a severe persecution on the weak Israelites. Because he was never grateful for God's bounties and because of his oppression of the weak ones, God has punished him by making the Israelites as his successors in Egypt after his destruction; i.e., the soul of the tormented Pharaoh in a Barsakh level saw and lamented the fact that his kingdom was inherited by the Israelites, as they dominated the land of Egypt for a while before heading to the Promised Land. God says the following in the Quran: "Pharaoh exalted himself in the land, and divided its people into factions. He persecuted a group of them, slaughtering their sons, while sparing their daughters. He was truly a corrupter. But We desired to favor those who were oppressed in the land, and to make them leaders, and to make them the inheritors. And to establish them in the land; and to show Pharaoh, Haman, and their troops, the very thing they feared." (28:4-6); "...a terrible torment besieged Pharaoh's people. The Fire. They will be exposed to it morning and evening. And on the Day the Hour takes place: "Admit the people of Pharaoh to the most intense torment."" (40:45-46).   

2- God has given Pharaoh many bounties: possessions, assets, money, ornaments, etc. as a test. Moses in his prayers invoked God's wrath against Pharaoh: "Moses said, "Our Lord, you have given Pharaoh and his retinue members splendor and wealth in the worldly life. Our Lord, for them to lead away from Your Path. Our Lord, obliterate their wealth, and harden their hearts, they will not believe until they see the painful torment."" (10:88). Thus, God has made His bounties to Pharaoh vanish, and He has caused the edifices built by Pharaoh to be destroyed: "...And We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people had built, and what they had harvested." (7:137). God has given Quaroon treasures and when he sinned, God punished him by causing the ground to cave in on him along with such treasures: "... We had given him treasures, the keys of which would weigh down a group of strong men..." (28:76); "So We caused the earth to cave in on him and his mansion..." (28:81). Before these events, Moses allayed the fears of his people by saying the following: "...Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy, and make you successors in the land; then He will see how you behave." (7:129). This means that their being successors in Egypt was the test of prosperity, after they were tested by adversity within the severe persecution inflicted on them by Pharaoh. Thus, Moses' Pharaoh failed the test of prosperity; he was granted power, wealth, treasures, and kingship, but he was a sinful tyrant. The Israelites passed the test of adversity, and their turn came to undergo the test of prosperity when God has made them successors in the land after the death of Pharaoh. Did they pass or fail this test? We tackle this point in detail later on.         

3- Pharaoh and his family and retinue members felt they owned the land of Egypt and feared to lose it after they saw the signs/miracles of Moses and accused him of being a magician/sorcerer; we notice the two expressions (our land) and (your land) in these Quranic contexts quoting words of Moses' Pharaoh: "...Did you come to us to drive us out of our land with your magic, O Moses?" (20:57); "He said to the courtiers around him, "This is a skilled magician. He intends to drive you out of your land with his magic, so what do you recommend?"" (26:34-35). Pharaoh thus made them feel afraid lest they lose their land. We notice the same in the words of the retinue members who deemed Pharaoh's political regime as the best and most ideal one for them, as they felt they owned the land of Egypt: "They disagreed among themselves over their affair, and conferred secretly. They said, "These two are magicians who want to drive you out of your land with their magic, and to abolish your exemplary way of life." (20:62-63); "The retinue members among Pharaoh's people said, "This is really a skilled magician." "He wants to evict you from your land, so what do you recommend?"" (7:109-110). The believing prince among the courtiers in the palace of Moses' Pharaoh preached his people in a way that has addressed their mentality and culture: "O my people! Yours is the kingdom today, supreme in the land; but who will help us against God's might, should it fall upon us?..." (40:29). Pharaoh feared very much that he would lose the kingdom of Egypt, and he forgot that God has made him a successor there as a test. The self-deified Pharaoh used bounties bestowed on him to propagate disbelief and tyranny, as he announced, in one of his conferences where all his people were gathered, that he owned Egypt and its rivers, within the context of his ridiculing Moses: "...O my people, do I not own the Kingdom of Egypt, and these rivers flow beneath me? Do you not see? Am I not better than this miserable wretch, who can barely express himself? Why are bracelets of gold not dropped on him, or they angels came with him in procession?"" (43:51-53).   

4- Pharaoh and his people were punished and destroyed as they were drowned in the Red Sea; they were buried and turned into dust inside the land they assumed to own. Quaroon who grew very arrogant and sinful because of his treasures was punished by the ground caving in on him along with his mansion and treasures. When the Israelites inherited the land as successors in it, they were tested by the prosperity after they were tested first by the adversity, as they suffered and bore patiently with the fearful ordeal of severe persecution inflicted on them by Pharaoh.    

5- This is a great moral lesson to be drawn and on which people should contemplate – if people really take heed of it. 

 

Thirdly: succession/destruction between the will of human beings and the Will of Almighty God the Creator:

1- God has created human beings as free agents who choose willingly to (dis)believe. "And say, "The Truth is from your Lord. Whoever wills - let him believe. And whoever wills - let him disbelieve"..." (18:29). Thus, human beings are created free to do whatever they like, and God has said the following to those who despise and argue against His Quranic verses, seeking to undermine them: "...Do as you please..." (41:40). Thus, God (mis)guides those who choose on their own accord to be (mis)guided: "What of him whose evil deed was made attractive to him, and so he regards it as good? God leads astray those who choose to be led astray, and He guides those who choose to be guided..." (35:8). God's Will asserts the human will even in politics and sovereignty (i.e., people accepting or submitting to their rulers). If a community/nation willingly chooses to submit to a tyrant, God's Will acknowledges this tyrant as their king/ruler/leader. For instance, during the lifetime of Moses, a king-pirate used to confiscate by force all ships passing by his kingdom (we guess that the geographical location of this tyrant might have been Phoenicia or Cypress). God describes this tyrannical ruler as ''king'' within the context of the Quranic story of Moses and the (Good Servant) of the Lord God, because people accepted him as their king: "As for the boat, it belonged to paupers working at sea. I wanted to damage it because there was a king coming after them seizing every boat by force." (18:79). The same applies to the disbelieving king who argued and debated with Abraham; God has acknowledged his kingship despite his disbelief because people accepted to submit to him as their king: "Have you not considered him who argued with Abraham about his Lord, because God had given him sovereignty? Abraham said, "My Lord is He who gives life and causes death." He said, "I give life and cause death." Abraham said, "God brings the sun from the East, so bring it from the West," so the disbeliever was confounded. God does not guide the unjust people." (2:258). Hence, God's Will asserts and endorses the will of people who have chosen to accept a certain ruler and the will of people who have truly changed/removed their submission and fear from inside their souls and revolted to seek justice and to ameliorate their conditions: "...God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves..." (13:11). We have written repeatedly about God's Will that follows and endorses the human free will, as this is the basis of the responsibility of human beings in this transient world and in the Hereafter.

2- The fact that the Divine Will endorses and comes after the human will means also that the Divine Will is the first and last one in all instances regarding the test of the succession of people after another people, and the succession of pharaoh/ruler after another pharaoh/ruler, in the land; we infer this from the following verse: "Say, "O God, Owner of Sovereignty. You grant sovereignty to whom You will, and You strip sovereignty from whom you will. You honor whom you will, and You humiliate whom you will. In Your hand is all goodness. You are Capable of all things."" (3:26).

3- Hence, we should re-visit or re-read the Quranic verses about Moses' Pharaoh who was given wealth, splendor, and sovereignty by God in this transient world and about Quaroon whom God made to inherit immense treasures. In both cases, God's Will comes after the human will of seeking to amass possessions and to be successors in the land. Both Pharaoh and Quaroon willed and sought what they wanted, and both received what they wanted by God's leave and permission – as a test by God to them during their lifetimes as successors and inheritors, and they were punished as per sins and evil deeds, as they failed the test of prosperity.   

4- Thus, the human will is the first element here, but the second element is the fact that human beings never know the metaphysical realm of future events. Moses' Pharaoh sought and reached might, power, authority, and wealth and maintained them by all the strength he could muster; i.e., he chose willingly, as a self-deified tyrant, to commit evil deeds and massacres, and he never knew the future events that would occur to him during his lifetime. This is why he brought up Moses inside his palace while he never knew that Moses will be the cause of the sorrow and destruction to him and to his people (see 28:8). This Quranic general rule applies all the time to those sinners who scheme and plot evil deeds which overwhelm them eventually: "Priding themselves in the land, and scheming evil. But evil scheming overwhelms none but its authors. Do they expect anything but the Sunna of the ancients? You will not find any change in God's Sunna, and you will not find any substitute to God's Sunna." (35:43). The term "Sunna" here means practices and ways. God's method or Sunna here in 35:43 means His dealing with arrogant, tyrannical sinners/criminals who scheme evil to reach and maintain their might, power, and authority and to monopolize all wealth, within massacring the innocent ones and oppressing the weak ones by inflicting severe persecution on them and committing grave injustices against them. Eventually, the evil scheming/conspiring leads to the destruction of the unjust ones, and this is another Quranic general rule: "And thus We set up in every city its leading wicked sinners, to conspire in it, but they conspire only against themselves, and they do not realize it." (6:123).    

5- If the arrogant, self-deified Pharaoh were told beforehand about his fate of being drowned in the Red Sea, he would not have believed and he would not have stopped his being stubborn and bent on committing evil deeds of tyranny. The believing prince inside the palace of Pharaoh warned and preached Pharaoh and his people by talking about the destruction of ancient nations; yet, Pharaoh and his people never paid attention nor took heed. Pharaoh followed the steps of evil and tyranny till he met his end, and all pharaohs/tyrants, past and present, have followed his footsteps. Hence, we conclude that those who are adamantly insisting on being among the misguided/misguiding ones in this transient world will never be guided; this is impossible because such sinners/criminals perceive their evil deeds of tyranny as if they were good deeds. This applies to Moses Pharaoh who accused Moses of being a corrupter: "...Pharaoh said, "I do not show you except what I see, and I do not lead you except to the path of guidance."" (40:29); "Pharaoh said, "Leave me to kill Moses, and let him appeal to his Lord. I fear he may change your religion, or spread corruption in the land."" (40:26). Furthermore, on the Last Day, sinners before entering into Hell will wish in vain, when it is too late, that they would return to their former lifetimes on earth to perform good deeds; yet, God asserts that even if they were to be brought back, they would commit the same evil, bad deeds exactly as the ones they have committed before their death: "If only you could see, when they are made to stand before the Fire; they will say, "If only we could be sent back, and not reject the verses of our Lord, and be among the believers." What they used to conceal before will become clear to them. And even if they were sent back, they would revert to what they were forbidden. They are liars." (6:27-28).       

Fourthly: succession within the Hereafter for the pious ones – without destruction:

1- Within last verses of the Quranic Chapter 28 – after narrating the story of Quaroon and Moses – there is an indication of the other type of successors; namely, those pious believers who will inherit the land of Paradise in the Hereafter for eternity. They are those who have feared their Lord God and never sought superiority or corruption in the land within this transient world, in contrast to Pharaoh, his people, and Quaroon who sought both superiority and corruption in the land. These pious ones are mentioned in this verse: "That Home of the Hereafter - We assign it for those who seek no superiority in the land, nor corruption. And the outcome is for the pious ones." (28:83). Those pious believers will be the dwellers of Paradise because of their good deeds and because they never committed evil deeds nor willed or sought superiority of corruption in the land, as they have believed in the Lord God, the Grand, the Supreme, Who is Full of Majesty and Splendor; Glorified and Exalted be our Lord God, high above what sinners ascribe to Him. Those pious ones have lived in piety and in peace, while willingly avoiding evil and performing many good deeds, seeking only to please their Almighty Lord God and never cared to obtain people's good opinion or to draw their attention. Thus, it is normally expected that their names are never mentioned by history, which disregards this type of pious people and mentions and lauds only those who sought superiority and corruption in the land. This is why we never read in the history books that narrate the life of Muhammad's contemporaries any mention of the names of the pious believers or forerunners who have performed good deeds and are mentioned in the Quran: "The forerunners - The first of the immigrants and the supporters, and those who followed them in righteousness. God is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens beneath which rivers flow, where they will abide forever. That is the sublime triumph." (9:100). Their names are known only to God the Omniscient Lord (about His Omniscience, see 40:19, 4:25, and 3:118-119). Thus, human history has been written by historians who have focused only on sultans/kings/rulers and their retinue members, notables, courtiers, chiefs, governors, viziers, etc., because typically, history focuses only on those who were superior in the land. History never sees or hears about the unknown ones among human beings who are servants of the Dominant Lord who walk in the land in humility. In their turn, those pious ones never care about the history of mortals in this transient world, as the hearts of those pious ones are busy thinking about the Eternal Paradise and working hard to earn their place in it. It is very strange that when read the history of the Muhammadans, we see how historians have sung the praises of the worst criminals who were unjust tyrants and conquerors like Abou Bakr, Omar, and Othman. Historians have authored false accounts about such tyrants and made them falsely appear to be among the forerunners within Islam in order to make people deify and worship them. This is the worst type of falsehoods ever.              

2- The succession in the land in this transient world means the destruction/death of ancient peoples to be succeeded by others who will, in their turn, be succeeded by others, and so on and so forth till the end of days. In contrast, the succession within the Hereafter means that the pious ones will inherit the land of the Eternal Paradise to enjoy its bliss and pleasures forever: "And those pious ones who feared their Lord will be led to Paradise in throngs. Until, when they have reached it, and its gates are opened, its keepers will say to them, "Peace be upon you, you have been good, so enter it, to abide therein eternally." And they will say, "Praise be to God, who has fulfilled His Promise to us, and made us inherit the land, enjoying Paradise as we please." How excellent is the reward of those who have worked righteousness." (39:73-74).   

Lastly:

 The Best Discourse: "We have written in Al-Zabur, after the Reminder, that the earth will be inherited by My righteous servants. Indeed, in this is a message for people who worship." (21:105-106). As always, God says nothing but the Absolute Truth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER III: Moses and the Israelites in Post-Pharaoh Egypt

 

 

 

 

The Two Appointments of Moses at Mount Al-Tur

 

Introduction:

1- Moses had two appointments with Almighty God at Mount Al-Tur of Sinai, Egypt, as per the Quranic story of Moses. The first appointment came as a surprise to Moses when God talked to him for the first time to make him a prophet with the mission of asking Pharaoh to set the Israelites free and let them go. The second appointment was after the death of Pharaoh and making the Israelites as temporary successors in the land of Egypt. Moses was called by God to return to Mount Al-Tur to receive the Tablets, and Moses went there while leaving the Israelites behind at the River Nile Valley.

2- We provide some details in the points below.

 

Firstly: the first appointment:

1- The Quran briefly asserts the following about this first appointment: "Has the story of Moses reached you? When His Lord called out to him in the Sacred Valley of Tuwa. "Go to Pharaoh - he has transgressed."" (79:15-17). This Sacred Valley of Tuwa is by Mount Al-Tur, where God talked to Moses for the very first time, and God describes Mount Al-Tur, the Valley of Tuwa, and the areas surrounding it as sanctified/holy/sacred as they witnessed the voice of the Lord God.

2- Again, the Quran briefly asserts the following about this first appointment: "And mention in the Book Moses. He was devoted. He was a messenger and a prophet. And We called him from the right side of the Mount, and brought him near in communication." (19:51-53). Within the context of praising Moses, God mentions the location where He talked to Moses; i.e., at the right side of the Mount Al-Tur.

3- We find more details in the following Quranic context: "When Moses said to his family, "I have glimpsed a fire. I will bring you some news from it; or bring you a firebrand, that you may warm yourselves." Then, when he reached it, he was called: "Blessed is He who is within the fire, and He who is around it, and glorified be God, Lord of the Worlds. O Moses, it is I, God, the Almighty, the Wise. Throw down your staff." But when he saw it quivering, as though it were a demon, he turned around not looking back. "O Moses, do not fear; the messengers do not fear in My presence. But whoever has done wrong, and then substituted goodness in place of evil. I am Forgiving and Merciful. Put your hand inside your pocket, and it will come out white, without blemish-among nine miracles to Pharaoh and his people, for they are sinful people."" (27:7-12). The word ''family'' in 27:7 indicates Moses' wife, as they left Madian to return to Egypt, and they were walking through the dark night and saw a fire at the horizon near Mount Al-Tur. Moses said to his wife to remain in her place till he would return with fire to warm them, but instead of finding people around the fire, God addressed him and blessed the place, showing him the miracle of the staff turning into a serpent and the miracle of his bright, white hand, and telling him never to have fear. 

4- The Quranic Chapter 28 begins with the story of Moses and Moses' Pharaoh, and within its context, we read about Moses getting married to one of the two daughters of the good man in Madian in return for working for him for 8 or 10 years. After fulfilling this period of time, Moses decided to return to Egypt with his wife, and as he passed through Sinai, by Mount Al-Tur, we read the following description of this first appointment of Moses with God: "When Moses had completed the term, and departed with his family, he noticed a fire by the side of the Mount. He said to his family, "Stay here, I have glimpsed a fire. Perhaps I can bring you some information from there, or an ember from the fire, that you may warm yourselves." When he reached it, he was called from the right side of the valley, at the Blessed Spot, from the bush: "O Moses, it is I, God, the Lord of the Worlds. Throw down your staff." And when he saw it wiggling, as if it were possessed, he turned his back to flee, and did not look back. "O Moses, come forward, and do not fear, you are perfectly safe. Put your hand inside your pocket, and it will come out white, without blemish. And press your arm to your side, against fear. These are two proofs from your Lord, to Pharaoh and his retinue members. They are truly sinful people."" (28:29-32). We note here that the holy place is described as (the Blessed Spot) and that Moses felt afraid by the signs/miracles he saw, as he was commanded to face Pharaoh and his retinue members.    

5- We find more details in the following Quranic context: "Has the story of Moses reached you? When he saw a fire, he said to his family, "Stay; I have noticed a fire; Perhaps I can bring you a torch therefrom, or find some guidance by the fire." Then, when he reached it, he was called, "O Moses. I - I am your Lord. Take off your shoes. You are in the Sacred Valley of Tuwa. I have chosen you, so listen to what is revealed.  I - I am God. There is no God but I. So serve Me, and practice the prayer for My remembrance. The Hour is coming - but I keep it almost hidden - so that each soul will be paid for what it endeavors. And do not let him who denies it and follows his desire turn you away from it, lest you fall. And what is that in your right-hand, O Moses?" He said, "This is my staff. I lean on it, and herd my sheep with it, and I have other uses for it." He said, "Throw it, O Moses." So he threw it-thereupon it became a moving serpent. He said, "Take hold of it, and do not fear. We will restore it to its original condition. And press your hand to your side; it will come out white, without a blemish-another sign. That We may show you some of Our greatest signs. Go to Pharaoh; He has transgressed."" (20:9-24). We note here that God commanded Moses to take off his shoes because he was in the Sacred Valley of Tuwa as the one chosen by God to be His messenger/prophet, who was to obey the commands of His Lord God, that the Hour is drawing near, and that Moses felt afraid of the miracles/signs. The dialogue went on between God and Moses in 20:25-36 as God answered the prayers of Moses by making his brother, Aaron, as a prophet/messenger with him and by vowing to protect them both from the cruel might and savagery of Pharaoh.

6- From the above, it is clear that this is the last mention of Moses' wife in the Quran; she and her husband were having a herd of sheep (to consume meat and milk) with them during their passage through Sinai, and Moses had his staff for many uses as he had not horses or camels in this journey. Moses was wearing shoes to protect his feet as he traveled on foot. We notice how Moses was granted miracles/signs to show them to Pharaoh. After the destruction of Pharaoh and his people, who drowned in the Red Sea, the rise of the Israelites as successors in the land of Egypt, for a while before heading to the Promised Land, and the destruction of Quaroon as the ground caved in on him, Moses was commanded by God to return to Mount Al-Tur in Sinai again for the second appointment to receive the Tablets.  

 

Secondly: the second appointment:

1- God says the following about this second appointment: "And We appointed to Moses thirty nights, and completed them with ten; and thus the time appointed by his Lord was forty nights. And Moses said to his brother Aaron: "Take my place among my people, and be upright, and do not follow the way of the corrupters." And when Moses came to Our appointment, and his Lord spoke to him, he said, "My Lord, allow me to look and see You." He said, "You will not see Me, but look at the Mount; if it stays in its place, you will see Me." But when his Lord manifested Himself to the Mount, He turned it into dust, and Moses fell down unconscious. Then, when he recovered, he said, "Glory be to you, I repent to you, and I am the first of the believers." He said, "O Moses, I have chosen you over all people for My messages and for My Words. So take what I have given you, and be one of the thankful." And We inscribed for him in the Tablets all kinds of enlightenments, and decisive explanation of all things." Hold fast to them, and exhort your people to adopt the best of them. I will show you the fate of the sinners." I will turn away from My Verses those who behave proudly in the land without justification. Even if they see every sign, they will not believe in it; and if they see the path of guidance, they will not adopt it for a path; and if they see the path of misguidance, they will adopt it for a path. That is because they denied Our Verses, and paid no attention to them. Those who deny Our verses and the meeting of the Hereafter - their deeds will come to nothing. Will they be repaid except according to what they used to do?" (7:142-147).

2- We note that the duration of the second appointment was 40 nights and NOT 40 days; this indicates that God talked to Moses only by night and not within daylight.

3- Before Moses' leaving the Israelites in the River Nile Valley to head for Mount Al-Tur, he deputized his brother Aaron to lead them during his absence, while advising him not to follow the way of the corrupters. We infer that after the destruction of Quaroon, Moses became the leader of the Israelites and he deputized his brother to fill in his place until his return from Mount Al-Tur in Sinai. We note that there were corrupters or sinners among the Israelites who wealth, authority, and power, maybe they were the followers of Quaroon, and Moses warned Aaron against obeying such corrupters.     

4- When Moses reached Mount Al-Tur for the second appointment, he was very eager to see God after he experienced God's talking to him at the same holy site: "...And God spoke to Moses directly." (4:164). Moses felt he had the 'right' to see God after all the signs/miracles he witnessed, but God refused his request; Moses (and all human beings of course) will NEVER see God in this world nor in the Hereafter: "No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. He is the Subtle, the Expert." (6:103). When God manifested Himself to the Mount and Moses was struck and fell unconscious, and he apologized for daring to make such a request. God told him to be thankful for being chosen by Him to receive His message and to listen to His Voice directly. God's inspiration to Moses to guide him as a prophet in Egypt as he faced Pharaoh differed – in our own view – from God's talking to him directly at Mount Al-Tur. The guiding inspiration is exemplified in instances within these verses: "And We inspired Moses: "Throw your staff." And at once, it swallowed what they were faking." (7:117); "So Moses felt apprehensive within himself. We said, "Do not be afraid, you are the uppermost. Now throw down what is in your right hand - it will swallow what they have crafted. What they have crafted is only a magician's trickery. But the magician will not succeed, no matter what he does."" (20:67-69); "And We inspired Moses and his brother, "Settle your people in Egypt, and make your homes places of worship, and perform the prayer, and give good news to the believers."" (10:87); "And We inspired Moses: "Travel with My servants by night. You will be followed."" (26:52); "We inspired Moses: "Strike the sea with your staff." Whereupon it parted, and each part was like a huge hill." (26:63).

5- Moses received the Tablets at Mount Al-Tur, and God commanded him (and the Israelites) to adhere to its better details and explanations as best as they can. The pious ones among all human beings are of two types (in Paradise) as per the Quranic Chapter 56: the Forerunners and those on the Right; the formers are pious ones who have not confined themselves to daily prayers as they have performed additional prayers, especially by night, and they have been altruists who preferred others to themselves even if they themselves were needy, whereas the latters are pious ones of a lower rank, who have been repentant ones who endeavored to perform as many good deeds as possible to atone for their sins.

6- Both types of the pious people will see the fate and destruction of sinners who have been arrogant, haughty, tyrannical, aggressive, and unjust; i.e., those who have chosen misguidance/disbelief intentionally, rejected God's Word, and denied the Last Day, and God has made them – as per choices made by them – be distracted away from the Righteous Path of the Truth and He rendered their good deeds null and void.  

7- God said to Moses and the Israelites: "...I will show you the fate of the sinners." (7:145). Who were those sinners? Where were their houses? Did the Israelites see those sinners and enter into their houses? We later on provide possible answers to all these questions.

 

 

 

 

 

The Disobedience of the Israelites during the Absence of Moses at Mount Al-Tur

 

 

About the vast majority of human beings in general:

 In fact, the vast majority of human beings, in all eras till the end of days, are both misguided and misguiding and never believe in God except within polytheism: "If you were to obey most of those on earth, they would divert you from God's Path. They follow nothing but assumptions, and they only conjecture." (6:116); "But most people, for all your eagerness, are not believers." (12:103); "And most of them do not believe in God unless they associate others." (12:106).  

 

The vast majority and the minority among the people of Muhammad:

1- The Quranic pattern/discourse addresses the vast majority as if they were all people within a given community; e.g., about Qorayish tribe, the people of Muhammad, we read that they denied the Quran: "But your people rejected it, though it is the Truth..." (6:66). This does NOT mean that there were no real believers among the Qorayish tribe; rather, the verse 6:66 refers to the vast majority of them, as there was a minority among them who immigrated to Yathreb while leaving behind their homes, possessions, assets, and money in Mecca and suffered poverty in Yathreb; God has dedicated for them money shares from the money entering into the Treasury of the Yathreb city-state in times of peace (i.e., not spoils): "To the poor refugees who were driven out of their homes and their possessions, as they sought the favor of God and His approval, and came to the aid of God and His messenger. These are the sincere." (59:8). Thus, God has praised this sincere and believing minority among the people of Muhammad. 

2- God says in the Quran: "The Desert-Arabs are the most steeped in disbelief and hypocrisy, and the most likely to ignore the limits that God revealed to His messenger..." (9:97). This does not indicate all of the Desert-Arabs, but the majority of them. Proof: God says the following about some of them (who are a minority): "Yet among the Desert-Arabs are those who believe in God and the Last Day, and consider their contribution to be a means towards God, and the prayers of the messenger. Surely it will draw them closer, and God will admit them into His mercy. God is Forgiving and Compassionate." (9:99).

 

The vast majority and the minority among the Israelites:

1- The same applies to the Quranic discourse about the people of Moses' Pharaoh; i.e., the term ''people'' here indicates the vast majority and NOT every single one of them: "Thus he fooled his people, and they obeyed him. They were sinning people." (43:54). Proof: there were believing people among the people of Moses' Pharaoh like the Pharaonic prince who preached the retinue members and Pharaoh's wife who is mentioned as an exemplary believer in the Quran. 

2- The same applies to the Quranic discourse about the Israelites: "In his absence, the people of Moses adopted a calf - a body which bellowed. Did they not see that it could not speak to them, nor guide them in any way? They took it for worship. They were unjust ones." (7:148). This does not mean all members of the Israelites; rather, this indicates the vast majority among the Israelites, because there were a believing minority among the Israelites during Moses' lifetime who preached the Truth and judged fairly and justly: "Among the people of Moses is a community that guides by truth, and thereby does justice." (7:159).

3- Within the Israelite men, there was a frantic treasure-hunting as everyone tried to amass and hoard as much as possible from the wealth of the Egyptians, after the destruction of Pharaoh and his people, Quaroon emerged as a 'national hero' as the most affluent person among them with power and authority; yet, some believing Israelite men (and not Moses or Aaron) preached Quaroon: "...His people said to him, "Do not exult; God does not love the exultant. But seek, with what God has given you, the Home of the Hereafter, and do not neglect your share of this world. And be charitable, as God has been charitable to you. And do not seek corruption in the land. God does not like the seekers of corruption." He said, "I was given all this on account of knowledge I possess." Did he not know that God destroyed many generations before him, who were stronger than he, and possessed greater riches? But the guilty will not be asked about their sins. And he went out before his people in his splendor. Those who desired the worldly life said, "If only we possessed the likes of what Quaroon was given. He is indeed very fortunate." But those who were given knowledge said, "Woe to you! The reward of God is better for those who believe and do righteous deeds." Yet none attains it except the patient ones." (28:76-80). 

4- Yet, all of the Israelites passed the test of adversity successfully as they bore patiently with the severe persecution of Moses' Pharaoh, who eventually drowned along with his arrogant, sinful retinue members, whereas the Israelites became successors in the land of Egypt temporarily before being commanded to march to the Promised Land. Earlier, Moses advised the Israelites to be patient: "...Seek help in God, and be patient. The earth belongs to God. He gives it in inheritance to whomever He wills of His servants, and the future belongs to the righteous." (7:128). The Israelites were rewarded for their patience: "And We made the oppressed people inherit the eastern and western parts of the land, which We had blessed. Thus the fair promise of your Lord to the Israelites was fulfilled, because of their endurance. And We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people had built, and what they had harvested." (7:137). The believing ones among the Israelites were made by God as imams/leaders of guidance because of their adhering to patience and faith: "And We appointed imams from among them, guiding by Our command, as long as they persevered and were certain of Our Verses." (32:24).   

 

The vast majority of the Israelites between Moses and Aaron:

1- We note that after God has answered their prayers, God has warned Moses and Aaron against following the path of the misguided ones who did not know the True Faith: "He said, "Your prayers have been answered, so go straight, and do not follow the path of those who do not know."" (10:89). Moses deputized Aaron before going to receive the Tablets at Mount Al-Tur in Sinai, and he advised him as follows: "...And Moses said to his brother Aaron: "Take my place among my people, and be upright, and do not follow the way of the corrupters."" (7:142).

2- Moses said the following to the Israelites when they were suffering the severe persecution inflicted on them by Pharaoh: "...Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy, and make you successors in the land; then He will see how you behave." (7:129). All of the Israelite people passed the test of adversity successfully by their faith, patience, and steadfastness. Yet, the vast majority has lost the test of prosperity when the Israelites inherited the treasures of Egypt as successors in the land; Quaroon the affluent, corrupt one emerged and other corrupters/sinners emerged after him. This is why Moses warned Aaron against obeying the corrupters among the Israelites; once Moses left them for his appointment with the Lord God at Mount Al-Tur to receive the Tablets, the misguided ones among the Israelites (i.e., the majority of the people of Moses) worshiped a golden calf, which is the Pharaonic god the Apis (which was in the form of a calf or an ox).     

 

Between Moses and Aaron in relation to the Israelites:

1- Pondering on the story of Moses, we infer that Moses passed the early years of his life in Egypt within the society of Pharaoh and his people – relatively away from the Israelites who were his real people. Moses ran away and settled in Madian, where he lived for about 10 years away from Egypt and from the persecution and plight inflicted on the Israelites, and he probably forgot the language of the Ancient Egyptians partially upon his return to Egypt, in contrast to his brother Aaron who never left Egypt at this point in time and remained closer to the Israelites. This is why Moses implored God for making Aaron as a messenger/prophet to help him with his eloquence: "And my brother Aaron, he is more eloquent than me, so send him with me, to help me, and to confirm my words, for I fear they will reject me."" (28:34).  

2- Moses was brought up inside the palace of Pharaoh while knowing about his Israelite origin, and this made him apprehensive, as he anticipated dangers and threats all the time, and very nervous, as he  got furious and violent easily; this is why he was not very much of a favorite among the Israelites, unlike his brother Aaron. In fact, Aaron lived and was brought up among the Israelites and he suffered the Pharaonic persecution like them in submission and patience. Thus, Aaron was nearer to the Israelites and very much like them, especially because he was easily dominated and controlled, and this appeared clearly when the Israelites were successors in the land and some of them grew in might, power, and wealth as corrupters/sinners who harmed Moses and threatened Aaron.      

3- The vast majority of the Israelite men (not all of them, as we have explained above) verbally harmed Moses though they knew he was the messenger of God sent to them. This is used in the Quranic warning which has been addressed to the people/companions of Muhammad: "O you who believe! Do not be like those who harmed Moses; but God cleared him of what they said. He was distinguished with God." (33:69); "When Moses said to his people, "O my people, why do you harm me, although you know that I am God's messenger to you?" And when they swerved, God swerved their hearts. God does not guide the sinful people." (61:5). 

4- Aaron has remained popular within the Israelite or Hebrew heritage and culture, and his name has been used by many generations within the contexts of praise or reproach using the expressions (O brother of Aaron! / O sister of Aaron!); e.g., because she was unmarried, Mary carried Jesus as a baby and her people felt astonished and rebuked her using this expression: "Then she came to her people, carrying him. They said, "O Mary, you have done something terrible. O sister of Aaron! Your father was not an evil man, and your mother was not a whore."" (19:27-28).  

 

The Israelites worshipped the golden calf (the Pharaonic god Apis) during the absence of Moses in his appointment with God at Mount Al-Tur of Sinai:

1- The vast majority of the Israelites were relieved temporarily from the sternness, firmness, and fury of Moses when he left them to head for Mount Al-Tur to receive the Tablets; they were so deeply and negatively influenced by the religion of the Ancient Egyptians, despite their belief in God – this is because most human beings who claim to be believers never believe in God except within polytheism.   

2- Quaroon emerged with his treasures as a 'national hero' or a popular leader among the Israelites, and after the ground caved in on him as a penalty for his sins and his corruption, another popular leader, but this time a 'religious hero', emerged during the absence of Moses. This man was surnamed as Al-Samiri, who gathered all the golden ornaments that were with the Israelites (who took them from the Egyptians) to melt this gold to fashion the golden calf (or the Pharaonic god Apis) to make most Israelites worship it. This means that the larger parts of ornaments, gold, and treasures of Pharaoh and of his retinue members and family members were hunted, dug, and confiscated by Quaroon who owned such treasures and then, because of his sins and corruption, God caused the ground to cave in on him, along with such treasures and his mansion. The tiny remaining part was the ornaments that were taken by the Israelites who stole them from the corpses of Pharaoh and his troops after they drowned when the waves had thrown their dead bodies to the shore. Al-Samiri convinced the vast majority of the Israelites – who were polytheists – to give him the gold ornaments to fashion the golden calf, and he told him that this golden calf was their god and the god of Moses! Such an act of polytheism occurred during the absence of Moses.    

3- God says in the Quran: "In his absence, the people of Moses adopted a calf made from their ornaments - a body which bellowed. Did they not see that it could not speak to them, nor guide them in any way? They took it for worship. They were unjust ones. Then, when they regretted, and realized that they had erred, they said, "Unless our Lord extends His mercy to us, and forgives us, we will be among the losers."" (7:148-149). Moses was told by God during the second appointment at Mount Al-Tur, after he received the Tablets, of the grave sin committed by the Israelites: ""And what made you rush ahead of your people, O Moses?" He said, "They are following in my footsteps; and I hurried on to You, my Lord, that you may be pleased." He said, "We have tested your people in your absence, and Al-Samiri misled them."" (20:83-85).

4- Feeling extremely furious, Moses returned to his people and he vented his anger on Aaron at first: "And when Moses returned to his people, angry and disappointed, he said, "What an awful thing you did in my absence. Did you forsake the commandments of your Lord so hastily?" And he threw down the tablets; and he took hold of his brother's head, dragging him towards himself. He said, "Son of my mother, the people have overpowered me, and were about to kill me; so do not allow the enemies to gloat over me, and do not count me among the unjust people."" (7:150); "He said, "O Aaron, what prevented you, when you saw them going astray? Are you following me? Did you disobey my command?" He said, "Son of my mother, do not seize me by my beard or my head. I feared you would say, `You have caused division among the Israelites, and did not regard my word.'"" (20:92-94).

5- Moses addressed the Israelites in an angry manner as he rebuked them: "So Moses returned to his people, angry and disappointed. He said, "O my people, did your Lord not promise you a good promise? Was the time too long for you? Or did you want wrath from your Lord to descend upon you, so you broke your promise to me?" They said, "We did not break our promise to you by our choice, but we were made to carry loads of the people's ornaments, and we cast them in. That was what Al-Samiri suggested."" (20:86-87).

6- Thus, the Israelites felt afraid of Moses' fury and blamed Al-Samiri who tempted them to worship the golden calf: "So he produced for them a calf - a mere body which bellowed. And they said, "This is your god, and the god of Moses, but he has forgotten." Did they not see that it cannot return a word to them, and has no power to harm them or benefit them?" (20:88-89). The Israelites never heeded Aaron's preaching addressed to them, as he in vain tried to guide them but they never listened: "Aaron had said to them before, "O my people, you are being tested by this. And your Lord is the Dominant Lord, so follow me, and obey my command." They said, "We will not give up our devotion to it, until Moses returns to us."" (20:90-91).

7- Moses interrogated Al-Samiri who responded with lame excuses as a person who focused on the transient world and never took heed of the Hereafter and the Last Day: "He said, "What do you have to say, O Al-Samiri?" He said, "I saw what they did not see, so I grasped a handful from the messenger's traces, and I flung it away. Thus my soul prompted me."" (20:95-96).

8- Moses supplicated to God and invoked His wrath against Al-Samiri; i.e., he implored God to cause a strange, severe illness to Al-Samiri, that he would suffer pains if he was touched by someone or if he touched someone, this is apart from Hell for eternity in the Hereafter; he cannot evade such a fate. Moses burned the golden calf and threw its remnants into the sea. God says in the Quran: "He said, "Be gone! Your lot in this life is to say, 'No contact.' And you have an appointment that you will not miss. Now look at your god that you remained devoted to-we will burn it up, and then blow it away into the sea, as powder." Surely your god is God, the One besides whom there is no other god. He comprehends everything in knowledge." (20:97-98).  

9- As Moses destroyed the golden calf, this act had fulfilled the prayers of Moses and Aaron about the obliteration of the wealth and treasures of Pharaoh and his people: "Moses said, "Our Lord, you have given Pharaoh and his retinue members splendor and wealth in the worldly life. Our Lord, for them to lead away from Your Path. Our Lord, obliterate their wealth, and harden their hearts, they will not believe until they see the painful torment." He said, "Your prayer has been answered, so go straight, and do not follow the path of those who do not know."" (10:88-89). The larger part of such wealth and treasures of Pharaoh and his people were lost as the ground caved in on them along with Quaroon and his mansion/palace. The remnants of such ornaments/splendor (stolen by the Israelites from the corpses of Pharaoh and his troops thrown by the sea waves and from the treasure hunting within palaces and edifices of Pharaoh) were made into the golden calf destroyed by Moses and thrown into the sea. 

 

 

 

"Those who Took the Calf Will Incur Wrath from their Lord and Humiliation in this Worldly Life..." (7:152)

 

 

Firstly:

1- Moses preached the following to his people after they became successors in the land of Egypt: "Moses said to his people, "Remember God's bounties upon you, as He delivered you from the people of Pharaoh, who inflicted on you terrible suffering, slaughtering your sons while sparing your daughters. In that was a serious trial from your Lord." And when your Lord proclaimed: "If you give thanks, I will grant you increase; but if you are ungrateful, My torment is severe." And Moses said, "Even if you are ungrateful, together with everyone on earth-God is in no need, Worthy of Praise."" (14:6-8). Moses narrated to them a summary of the history of ancient nations and their stances toward their prophets/messengers; see 14:9-14. We focus on this phrase: "... If you give thanks, I will grant you increase; but if you are ungrateful, My torment is severe." (14:7); this means that if the Israelites would be thankful and grateful for God's bounties as He delivered them from Pharaoh and made them successors in the land of Egypt, their bounties would be increased; otherwise, if they would be disbelieving sinners who transgress their limits, God would inflict severe torment on them.

2- Moses left the Israelites at the Nile River Valley to go to Mount Al-Tur, in Sinai, to receive the Tablets in his second appointment with the Lord God, and during his absence, most of the Israelites took the golden calf as their deity, and we have tackled (1) the quarrel of Moses with Aaron and how Aaron apologized, (2) the stance of Moses toward the misguiding man, Al-Samiri, and his fate and terrible punishment, and (3) how Moses burned and destroyed the golden calf and threw its powder into the sea. We focus here more on the stance of Moses toward his people. 

3- We note that Moses was so furious that he commanded his people to show repentance and atonement by killing themselves: "And recall that Moses said to his people, "O my people, you have done wrong to yourselves by worshiping the calf. So repent to your Creator, and kill yourselves. That would be better for you with your Creator." So He accepted your repentance, for He is the Accepter of Repentance, the Merciful." (2:54). It seems that his command to them was about to get a favorable response from them, as they sought to purify themselves from this grave sin of polytheism they had committed and they regretted it very much, within deep remorse: "Then, when they regretted, and realized that they had erred, they said, "Unless our Lord extends His mercy to us, and forgives us, we will be among the losers."" (7:149). This is why God has accepted their repentance and they did not have to kill themselves: "...Then they took the calf for worship, even after the clear proofs had come to them. Yet We pardoned that..." (4:153).

 

Secondly: the preaching style within the Quranic story of the Israelites:

1- There was not a golden calf for the Israelites of Arabia when the Quran was being revealed during Muhammad's lifetime; yet, the golden calf worshipped by the people of Moses during his lifetime is frequently mentioned in the Quranic preaching addressed to the Israelites and others; this shows clearly that this golden calf is a symbol standing for the worship of Mammon (i.e., money, gold, etc.). 

2- We note that this Quranic preaching style is adopted in some Yathrebian Quranic Chapters (i.e., those revealed in Yathreb); e.g., within the Quranic Chapter 2, at the time when Muhammad dealt with the People of the Book. In contrast, within the Meccan Quranic Chapters (i.e., those revealed in Mecca), the Quranic stories of Moses, Moses' Pharaoh, and the Israelites are mentioned using the narrative/descriptive style, such as the case with the Quranic Chapters 7, 28, 20, 40, 43, and 26. Within the Quranic discourse addressed to the Israelites of Arabia within the Yathrebian Quranic Chapters, some particular stories related to the ancient Israelites are recalled to remind and preach the Israelites of Arabia; e.g., the direct preaching addressed to the Israelites in 2:49-60 and its echoes within the Quranic stories about the Israelites narrated in 7:142-162. This repetition of warning and preaching means that it is addressed to Quran-believing people as well, and not only to the Israelites.         

3- Regarding the topic of worshipping the golden calf or taking it as a deity, we quote the following verses from the preaching style found in the Quranic Chapter 2. "Moses came to you with clear proofs, yet you adopted the calf in his absence, and you were unjust ones. And We made a covenant with you, and raised the Mount above you: "Take what We have given you firmly, and listen." They said, "We hear and disobey." And their hearts became filled with the love of the calf because of their disbelief. Say, "Wretched is what your faith commands you to do, if you are believers."" (2:92-93). The phrase (And their hearts became filled with the love of the calf because of their disbelief) indicates that it is impossible that the belief in God could be combined with the worship of the golden calf (i.e., the worship of Mammon or money) within one soul/mind/heart. This means that the worship of the golden calf made them lose their belief in God. This great indication serves as a warning heeded by real monotheists, but the Muhammadans never take heed of it because they are polytheists.  

4- Thus, we are compellingly reminded with the Quranic verses about the clergymen of the People of the Book who worshipped Mammon or money/gold/silver (i.e., symbolized by the golden calf). "O you who believe! Many of the rabbis and priests consume people's wealth illicitly, and hinder others from God's Path. Those who hoard gold and silver, and do not spend them in God's cause, inform them of a painful torment. On the Day when they will be heated in the Fire of Hell, then their foreheads, and their sides, and their backs will be branded with them: "This is what you hoarded for yourselves; so taste what you used to hoard."" (9:34-35). We note here that many of the rabbis and priests amass and confiscate to themselves the golden calf (i.e., money/gold/silver) paid to them by people who assume that such money will be spent for God's sake (e.g., by donating for the poor). Thus, many clergymen are thieves who consume ill-gotten money; God says the following about them: "You see many of them competing with one another in sin and hostility, and their consuming of ill-gotten money. What they have been doing is truly evil." (5:62). This great indication serves as a generalized statement about all types of clergymen (not only those of the People of the Book). Thus, the verse 5:62 applies to clergymen of Sunnites, Sufis, Shiites, Catholics, Orthodox, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. as all of them worship the golden calf (i.e., the worship of Mammon or money).

 

Thirdly: the verse 7:152 and its unique preaching:

 God says in the Quran: "Those who took the calf will incur wrath from their Lord and humiliation in this worldly life. We thus requite the fabricators. As for those who commit sins, and then repent afterwards and believe - your Lord, thereafter, is Forgiving and Merciful." (7:152-153). This is a unique preaching style, and its uniqueness is manifested in the points below.

1- Generalization: God does not mention the term "Israelites" in the verse 7:152, and this means that 7:152 applies to all worshippers of Mammon/money symbolized by the golden calf.

2- Brevity by omission: the phrase (those who took the calf) means those who took it as a deity, and the word (deity) is not mentioned here but understood from the context, as they did not take the calf as an animal for consumption as food, but as their god. The Quranic verb (to take...) is often used within the contexts of those who worship mortal creatures (e.g., gods/deities, saints, and allies) instead of, or alongside with, the Lord God. This is exemplified in these verses: "Or have they taken to themselves gods from the earth who resurrect?" (21:21); "Or have they taken, besides Him, other gods? Say, "Bring your proof..." (21:24); ""These people, our people, have taken to themselves gods other than Him. Why do they not bring a clear proof concerning them? Who, then, commits greater injustice than he who invents lies and attributes them to God?"" (18:15); "Do those who disbelieve think that they can take My servants for allies instead of Me? We have prepared Hell for the hospitality of the disbelievers." (18:102).

3- Symbolism: the golden calf stands for the god worshipped, in all eras, by the vast majority of all human beings who are misguided; namely, Mammon/money. Most human beings fight and struggle against one another, in all eras, because of wealth/gold/possessions. The gold remains as it is, while human beings kill one another and die and turn into dust because of it, from one generation to another. This is the trap into which most people fall on all levels: families, societies, villages, cities, states/countries, and nations. Most human beings worship the golden calf and struggle/fight against one another because of it. This is fighting for the sake of Satan and devils who tempted those misguided human beings; this is NOT self-defense fighting for God's sake to eliminate (religious) persecution. The worst type of fighting for money is committed by those who raise the banners of religious fighting/jihad for God's sake; in fact, this is evil fighting for the sake of Satan (i.e., for the sake of possessions, wealth, power, etc.); i.e., for the sake of the golden calf worshipped by them. This is the grave sin/crime committed by Qorayish and its sinful, immoral caliphs once Muhammad died. Thus, 7:152 applies to all worshippers of the golden calf in all eras (not only to the Qorayish tribe) who mix politics with religion. 

4- Continuity: the punishment in 7:152 is mentioned in the future simple tense to indicate the continuous penalty inflicted on them in this world because they have incurred God's wrath on themselves. This continuity means that the verses 7:152-153 are not confined to the Israelites during Moses lifetime, but to all worshippers of Mammon/money (symbolized by the golden calf) in all eras who will be punished in the same manner if they do not repent in ways acceptable by God to become repentant monotheists who deserve God's pardon and mercy.  

 

Lastly:

1- The worship of the golden calf now (i.e., the worship of Mammon or money) is still popular and spreading in Arab tyrannical countries in particular, whether they are oil-rich ones or impoverished ones. Arab tyrants and their retinue members are as much talented in stealing as they are in committing crimes of torture against their nations. Arab tyrants in impoverished countries outdo those in oil-rich monarchies in hoarding and amassing of as much ill-gotten money and wealth as possible, even if they have to wage wars that cause the death and destruction of their nations.

2- The chief example is Yemen, ruled for long decades by tyrannical traitors who have made Yemen, that has glorious past and civilization, the most impoverished Arab country. The former Yemeni president (who got killed eventually), Ali Abdullah Saleh, stole US$ 60 billion and massacred hundreds of thousands of Yemeni citizens. Another example is Sudan. In fat, Sudan is the richest Arab country in terms of natural resources; yet, it is a very impoverished country because of corruption and tyranny, and its president, the wanted war-criminal Omar Al-Bashir, has stolen US$ billions and his hands are stained with blood. The country of South Sudan has emerged as he has failed to maintain the unity of Sudan, and his military troops are mercenaries employed by those who pay more money. This president of Sudan, who seeks the golden calf (i.e., to amass as much wealth as possible) all the time, changes his alliances as easily as he changes his underwear. This war-criminal (after losing nearly half of the Sudanese land) demands the Egyptian city of Halayeb (near the Egyptian-Sudanese borders) to be annexed to Sudan, as he seizes the chance of the deterioration of the conditions of Egypt within the current military rule, whose Egyptian generals are engaged into the worship of the golden calf (i.e., Mammon or money) within an unprecedented manner, as they control trade and economy inside Egypt and as they steal as much money and wealth as possible, instead of protecting the national security and the Egyptian borders.   

3- Eventually, the golden calf (i.e., the worship of Mammon or money) ends into being destroyed, just like the one destroyed by Moses and thrown into the sea, and its worshippers will suffer shame, disgrace, and humiliation in this worldly life, as occurred to Saddam Hussein, Qaddafi, Ben Ali, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and Mubarak. The same terrible fate is waiting for tyrants of Egypt, the KSA, the Gulf monarchies, and the North African Arab countries. Arab tyrants of today never take heed of the fate of their predecessors or pay attention to the ruin and destruction that occur, and thus, they never repent, reflect, or remember God at all.  

4- Strangely, Arab tyrants can see that the worship of the golden calf (i.e., the worship of Mammon or money) is prohibited in modern Israel by law; no senior or junior officials can steal money, and any corruption cases incur interrogation, as what happened with prime ministers Sharon and Netanyahu. In contrast, the big thieves in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank make an appearance of nationalism and piety in the media (i.e., only on cameras!), though they amass and consume ill-gotten money and follow the footsteps of other Arab tyrants.     

 

 

 

God's Covenant with the Israelites under Mount Al-Tur of Sinai

 

 

Introduction:

  Moses chose seventy men from among his people and headed for Mount Al-Tur for his appointment with God. As per the Quran, God has miraculously caused Mount Al-Tur to suspend over their heads, and these Israelite men trembled and looked at it in fright, lest it might fall on their heads, and they fell unconscious and then awakened. Moses talked to God and implored Him for granting them goodness in this world, and in the Hereafter. God has replied to him by bringing glad tidings of the coming of Prophet Muhammad and the advent of the Quran. God has made a covenant with the Israelites and commanded them to adhere steadfastly to it. God has raised among the Israelites twelve chiefs representing the twelve Israelite tribes, and He promised them to be with them if they apply and adhere to the covenant. Typically, the vast majority of them did not adhere to God's covenant; this is why some of the Yathrebian Quranic verses preach and remind the Israelites of the covenant. We provide more details on that topic in the points below while quoting Quranic verses, of course.  

 

Firstly: the Israelites with Moses during his appointment with God at Mount Al-Tur:

1- After Moses rebuked the Israelites severely for their worshipping the golden calf and after their repentance, Moses chose seventy men from among them and headed for Mount Al-Tur for his appointment with the Lord God: "When the anger abated in Moses, he took up the tablets. In their transcript is guidance and mercy for those in awe of their Lord. And Moses chose from his people seventy men for Our appointment..." (7:154-155).

2- These seventy men traveled with Moses toward Mount Al-Tur, and they prepared themselves and got ready to receive God's covenant, but they were surprised to see that Mount Al-Tur was made to suspend over their heads, and fear seized them: "And when We suspended the Mount over them, as if it was an umbrella, and they thought it would fall on them..." (7:171); "And We made the covenant with you, and raised the Mount above you..." (2:63); "And We made the covenant with you, and raised the Mount above you..." (2:93). 

3- The sudden, frightening surprise caused the Israelite men to tremble and they fell unconscious as if they were dead: "And Moses chose from his people seventy men for Our appointment. When the tremor shook them..." (7:155). Moses felt very much afraid as he talked to God nervously, saying the following: "...he said, "My Lord, had You willed, You could have destroyed them before, and me too. Will you destroy us for what the fools among us have done?..." (7:155). After Moses calmed down, he said: "...This is but Your test - with it You misguide whomever You will, and guide whomever You will..." (7:155). And then, Moses invoked the Lord God by saying the following: "...You are our Protector, so forgive us, and have mercy on us. You are the Best of Forgivers." "And inscribe for us goodness in this world, and in the Hereafter. We have turned to You."..." (7:155-156). God has said the following to Moses: "...He said, "My torment - I inflict it upon whomever I will, but My mercy encompasses all things. I will specify it for those who act righteously and practice regular charity, and those who believe in Our Verses."" (7:156). Among those pious ones who believe in God's Verses are some people among the People of the Book whose description is mentioned in the very next verse as believing in the Quran conveyed by Muhammad: "Those who follow the messenger, the prophet of the gentiles, whom they find mentioned in the Tablets and the Gospel in their possession. He directs them to righteousness, and advises them against evil deeds, and allows for them all good things, and prohibits for them wickedness, and unloads the burdens and the shackles that are upon them. Those who believe to him, and respect him, and support him, and follow the Light that came down with him - these are the successful." (7:157).

4- These verses contain the items of the covenant; we notice that they are the same ones like the Quranic sharia legislations: "We made a covenant with the Israelites: "Worship none but God; and be good to parents, and relatives, and orphans, and the needy; and speak nicely to people; and pray regularly, and give alms." Then you turned away, except for a few of you, recanting. And We made a covenant with you: "You shall not shed the blood of your own, nor shall you evict your own from your homes." You agreed, and were all witnesses." (2:83-84).

5- We notice again here that the covenant contains divine commands similar to the Quranic sharia legislations: "God made a covenant with the Israelites, and We raised among them twelve chiefs. God said, "I am with you; if you perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and believe to My messengers and support them, and lend God a loan of righteousness; I will remit your sins, and admit you into Gardens beneath which rivers flow. But whoever among you disbelieves afterwards has strayed from the Right Way."" (5:12).

6- Along with the covenant came the divine command to apply it and to adhere to it, and the seriousness of this covenant is emphasized by making Mount Al-Tur to suspend over their heads: "And when We suspended the Mount over them, as if it was an umbrella, and they thought it would fall on them: "Hold fast to what We have given you, and remember what it contains, so that you may be saved."" (7:171); "And We made the covenant with you, and raised the Mount above you: "Take what We have given you earnestly, and remember what is in it, that you may attain righteousness."" (2:63). 

 

Secondly: the stance of the Israelites regarding God's covenant:

1- Some of the Israelites were guided by the Truth and judge equitably by it, and they may be among the Forerunners (see the Quranic Chapter 56) who are nearer to God and will be in the first level of Paradise; God says the following about them within the context of the covenant: "Among the people of Moses is a community/Umma that guides by Truth, and thereby does justice." (7:159).

2- Some of the Israelites were misguided and disobedient, but they repented and God accepted their repentance and pardoned them, and they may be among those on the Right (see the Quranic Chapter 56) who will be in the second level of Paradise. God says the following about them: "And We made the covenant with you, and raised the Mount above you: "Take what We have given you earnestly, and remember what is in it, that you may attain righteousness." But after that you turned away. Were it not for God's Grace and Mercy towards you, you would have been among the losers." (2:63-64). 

3- Some of the Israelites were misguided and disobedient until they died without repentance; they were the ones who used to stubbornly say "...we hear and disobey..." (2:93), and they will enter into Hell. God says the following about them: "Moses came to you with clear proofs, yet you adopted the calf in his absence, and you were the unjust ones. And We made the covenant with you, and raised the Mount above you: "Take what We have given you firmly, and listen." They said, "We hear and disobey." And their hearts became filled with the love of the calf because of their disbelief. Say, "Wretched is what your faith commands you to do, if you are believers."" (2:92-93).

 

Thirdly: the stance of the Israelites of Arabia toward God's covenant during Muhammad's lifetime when the Quran was being revealed:

1- Some of the Israelites in Arabia were those whose faith/belief increased by the advent/descent of the Quran and they wept in fear and piety, as they remembered the fearful situation of their ancestors who saw Mount Al-Tur suspended over their heads. Those seventy Israelite men prostrated on their chins in fear as they saw Mount Al-Tur suspended over their heads. Those Israelites in Arabia who were real believers and monotheists knew the glad tidings about Muhammad and the Quran and that they should believe in the Quran once it is revealed. Hence, they prostrated to their shins in the same way like their ancestors, as they believed in the Quran, in contrast to the Qorayish tribesmen who did not believe in it. God here has addressed the Qorayish polytheists: "Say, "Believe in it, or do not believe." Those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, they fall to their chins, prostrating. And they say, "Glory to our Lord. The promise of our Lord is fulfilled." And they fall to their chins, weeping, and it adds to their humility." (17:107-109). God says the following about the disbelief of Qorayish while asserting the belief in the Quran by some of the Israelites in Arabia: "Is it not a sign for them that the scholars of the Israelites recognized it?" (26:197).      

2- Some of the People of the Book (i.e., Jews + Christians) in Arabia believed in the Quran; God says the following about them: "Those to whom We gave the Book before it believe in it. When it is recited to them, they say, "We have believed in it; it is the truth from our Lord; we were Muslims prior to it." These will be given their reward twice, because they persevered; and they counter evil with good; and from Our provisions to them, they give. And when they hear vain talk, they avoid it, and say, "We have our deeds, and you have your deeds; peace be upon you; we do not desire the ignorant ones."" (28:52-55); "Among the People of the Book are those who believe in God, and in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed to them. They are humble before God, and they do not sell God's Verses for a cheap price. These will have their reward with their Lord. God is swift in judgment." (3:199).

3- Some of the Israelites in Arabia (during Muhammad's lifetime) went on with their disobeying of God's covenant, and God has commanded Muhammad to pardon them: "Because of their breaking their covenant, We cursed them, and made their hearts hard. They twist the words out of their context, and they disregarded some of what they were reminded of. You will always witness deceit from them, except for a few of them. But pardon them, and overlook. God loves the doers of good." (5:13).

4- The worst type of disobedient ones included those Israelite men who allowed themselves to commit military aggressions against other Israelite men – within unspoken-of battles never mentioned in history –  within justifying such aggressions by distorting and twisting the laws/legislations/commandments of the Tablets and the covenant items; this is inferred from reflecting on these Quranic verses that addressed the Israelites in Arabia during Muhammad's lifetime to remind them of God's covenant: "And We made a covenant with you: "You shall not shed the blood of your own, nor shall you evict your own from your homes." You agreed, and were all witnesses. But here you are, killing your own, and expelling a group of your own from their homes - conspiring against them in wrongdoing and hostility. And if they come to you as captives, you ransom them, although it was forbidden to you. Is it that you believe in part of the Book, and disbelieve in part? What is the reward for those among you who do that but humiliation in this life? And on the Day of Resurrection, they will be assigned to the most severe torment. God is not unaware of what you do. Those are they who bought the present life for the Hereafter, so the torment will not be lightened for them, nor will they be helped." (2:84-86).

 

Lastly:

1- We should contemplate on this verse and how it contains a continuous, generalized rule that goes on within all eras: "Those are they who bought the present life for the Hereafter, so the torment will not be lightened for them, nor will they be helped." (2:86).

2- The verse 2:86 applies, in our modern era now, to Wahabi terrorists as they commit heinous crimes of aggression and justify their crimes/sins by distorting and twisting the Quranic sharia legislations of the Dominant Lord God.

 

 

 

The Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt into the Promised Land

 

 

Introduction:

1- When he became the Potiphar of Egypt, Joseph brought into Egypt his father Jacob/Israel and his brothers, and they settled in Egypt for the rest of their lives (see 12:93-100). The twelve Israelite tribes begot several generations for some time, as they flourished during the era of the invading Hyksos kings who occupied and ruled Egypt at the time. We conclude from the Quranic story of Joseph in the Quranic Chapter 12 that Joseph was a contemporary of a Hyksos king, and not of an Egyptian Pharaoh, as the context of the story includes a king whose character differs a great deal from the Egyptian Pharaoh in the story of Moses (presumably from the Ramses dynasty). Not only was this difference in titles (king as opposed to Pharaoh), but also in the fact that the tyranny of the Hyksos king was of 'milder' type in comparison with Moses' Pharaoh's tyranny. Hence, Moses' Pharaoh did not like the fact that the Israelites were followers of the Hyksos and that they had their own religion (i.e., the religion of Abraham). Of course, the Israelites practiced the Ancient Egyptian religion, but they remained influenced by the religion of Abraham that made them never deify Pharaoh. This drove Moses' Pharaoh to cast doubt on their loyalty to him and to inflict severe persecution on them. Moses' message to Pharaoh was to allow the Israelites to go away with him to leave Egypt, as they were destined to settle in the Promised Land. Eventually, Moses' Pharaoh drowned in the Red Sea along with his troops, regime, and deep-state men, and the Israelites were made successors in the land of Egypt temporarily, and this period of time is mentioned only in the Quran and not in history books written by men. After a while, Moses passed the Red Sea again with his people and through Sinai so as to head for Palestine.      

2- Thus, as per the Quran, the Israelites passed the sea twice; the first time was when Moses' Pharaoh chased them; God says in the Quran: "And We delivered the Israelites across the sea. Pharaoh and his troops pursued them, defiantly and aggressively. Until, when he was about to drown, he said, "I believe that there is no God except the One the Israelites believe in, and I am of those who submit."" (10:90). After this first passage, they returned back to the River Nile Valley as successors in the land of Egypt for a while, and then, God commanded them to move to the Promised Land. This led to their second passage of the sea into Sinai to head to what has come to be known now as Palestine. God says in the Quran: "And We delivered the Israelites across the sea. And when they came upon a people who were devoted to some statues of theirs, they said, "O Moses, make for us a god, as they have gods." He said, "You are truly an ignorant people." "What these people are concerned with is perdition, and their deeds are based on falsehoods." He said, "Shall I seek for you a god other than Allah, when He has favored you over all other people?" Remember how We saved you from Pharaoh's people, who subjected you to the worst of torments - killing your sons and sparing your women. In that was a tremendous trial from your Lord." (7:138-141).

3- From 7:138-141, we conclude that the vast majority of the Israelites had been influenced by the Pharaonic Ancient Egyptian religion; once they passed the Red Sea with Moses for the second time, they came across a Pharaonic temple that made them feel a certain nostalgia for the religion on which they were brought up and which  they have practiced all their lives. This drove them to ask Moses to carve a god for them! Moses refused, of course, and he reminded them of God's bounties and favors bestowed on them and how He delivered them from the severe persecution of Pharaoh. 

4- This wretched beginning of the exodus was a harbinger of more troubles that the Israelites would cause to Moses during their passage through Sinai, despite the fact that God gave them many signs and bounties when they were accompanied by Moses at the time. We provide some details about this in the points below.

 

Firstly: in Sinai:

1- In Sinai, the Israelites asked Moses to be allowed to see God and God punished them with thunderbolts that struck them unconscious, and then they were revived to be allowed to repent, and God pardoned them, so that they may be appreciative. God says in the Quran: "And recall that you said, "O Moses, we will not believe to you unless we see God plainly." Thereupon the thunderbolt struck you, as you looked on. Then We revived you after your death, so that you may be appreciative." (2:55-56).

2- During their passage through Sinai, God provided them with water, clouds to protect them against the hot sun, and with quail and manna honey. God says in the Quran: "And recall when Moses prayed for water for his people. We said, "Strike the rock with your staff." Thereupon twelve springs gushed out from it, and each tribe recognized its drinking-place. "Eat and drink from God's provision, and do not corrupt the earth with disobedience."" (2:60); "And We shaded you with clouds, and We sent down to you manna and quails: "Eat of the good things We have provided for you." They did not wrong Us, but they used to wrong their own souls." (2:57); "We divided them into twelve tribal communities. And We inspired Moses, when his people asked him for something to drink: "Strike the rock with your staff." Whereupon twelve springs gushed from it. Each group recognized its drinking-place. And We shaded them with clouds, and We sent down upon them manna and quails: "Eat of the good things We have provided for you." They did not wrong Us, but they used to wrong their own selves." (7:160).

3- It seems that the Israelites did not like, or got bored with, manna and quail; they longed for the beans, seeds, and veggies of Egypt, contained in the Egyptian dish named (Koshary), now a popular dish in restaurants of Cairo and other Egyptian cities, and its ingredients are lentils, rice, onions, garlic, and beans. Moses expressed wonder at their request to have food items other than manna and quail bestowed to them by God. God says in the Quran: "And recall when you said, "O Moses, we cannot endure one kind of food, so call to your Lord to produce for us of what the earth grows: of its beans, and its cucumbers, and its garlic, and its lentils, and its onions." He said, "Would you substitute worse for better? Go down to Egypt, where you will have what you asked for."..." (2:61). We tend to think that the Egyptian word (Koshary) is the origin of the Jewish term (Kosher).

4- God commanded the Israelites to settle for a while within one village of Sinai where there were plentiful food and luxuries, and He commanded them to enter it while prostrating humbly before the Lord God while feeling grateful and thankful for His bounties and asking Him to forgive them for their sins. The believing ones among them obeyed the divine commands, but the unjust, disobedient ones changed the words in defiance and arrogance and demanded to have the Egyptian (Koshary). God punished those defiant sinners by one of the torments inflicted on Pharaoh and his people before; namely, the plague that filled their skins with painful pus-filled boils. God says in the Quran: "And recall that We said, "Enter this village, and eat plentifully from it whatever you wish; but enter the gate humbly, and say, 'Pardon.' We will forgive your sins, and give increase to the virtuous." But the unjust ones among them substituted words other than those given to them, so We sent down on the unjust ones a plague from heaven, because of their wicked behavior." (2:58-59); "And it was said to them, "Settle this village, and eat therein whatever you wish, and speak modestly, and enter the gate in humility - We will forgive your sins, and will promote the righteous." But the unjust ones among them substituted other words for the words given to them; so We sent down upon them a plague from the sky, because of their injustice." (7:161-162). 

5- During such events, there was some people within the Israelites during Moses' lifetime who adhered to the Truth and are guided by it and judged fairly and equitably with it: "Among the people of Moses is a community that guides by the Truth, and thereby does justice." (7:159).

 

Lastly:

1- When the time came to enter into the Promised Land, the Israelites were reluctant to obey the command of the Lord God, and Moses preached them while reminding them of God's bounties bestowed on them, unlike any bounties granted to anyone else before them, and how they ruled Egypt for a while as successors in the land and had prophets from amongst them; i.e., Joseph, Moses, and Aaron. God says in the Quran: "When Moses said to his people, "O my people, remember God's bounties upon you, when He placed prophets among you, and made you kings, and gave you what He never gave any other people."" (5:20).

2- These words of Moses constituted a preliminary introduction to God's command that they enter into the Promised Land and not to be among the losers. God says in the Quran: ""O my people, enter the Holy Land which God has assigned for you, and do not turn back, lest you return as losers."" (5:21).  

3- Because the Israelites were used to depending on Moses and his staff and because they lived within the terror and intimidation of Moses' Pharaoh, they were cowards who reluctantly and stubbornly refused to enter into Palestine as they feared its tyrannical inhabitants. God says in the Quran: "They said, "O Moses, there are tyrannical people in it; we will not enter it until they leave it. If they leave it, we will be entering."" (5:22).

4- Not all of the Israelites were cowards, though; some believing persons were courageous enough like these two men mentioned in this verse: "Two men of those who feared in piety, but whom God had blessed, said, "Go at them by the gate; and when you have entered it, you will prevail. And put your trust in God, if you are believers."" (5:23).

5- Yet, the vast majority of the Israelites took the decision not to enter into the Holy Land, as they feared its tyrannical inhabitants, and they asked Moses and God to fight instead of them as they would stay where they were and would not move at all. God says in the Quran: "They said, "O Moses, we will not enter it, ever, as long as they are in it. So go ahead, you and your Lord, and fight. We are staying right here."" (5:24).

6- We notice in 5:24 how their cowardice was mixed with insulting God; when Moses despaired of them, he complained to the Lord God while imploring Him not to make himself and his brother, Aaron, among the unjust sinners. God says in the Quran: "He said, "My Lord! I have control only over myself and my brother, so separate between us and between the wicked people."" (5:25).

7- Hence, there was a separation between Moses, Aaron, and the believing people among the Israelites on the one hand and the vast majority of the Israelites, on the other hand, who had been defiant, disobedient sinners. Those unjust sinners were punished by God by never allowing them to enter into the Promised Land and to wander on the earth for 40 years until the death of this wicked, hopeless generation whose members would not repent at all. God says in the Quran: "He said, "It is forbidden for them for forty years. They will wander aimlessly on earth. So do not grieve over the sinning people."" (5:26).

8- During this 40-year period of wandering on earth, Moses and Aaron performed pilgrimage at the Kaaba, in Mecca, as pilgrimage rituals came down from the religion of their forefather Abraham. The Qorayish tribesmen at the time never believed in God's message conveyed by Moses and Aaron and accused them both of being magicians/sorcerers. Later on, The Qorayish tribesmen used to swear by God's Name that if a prophet/messenger would be sent to them, they would be more guided than the Israelites and any other people. God says in the Quran: "And they swore by God with their solemn oaths, that if a warner came to them, they would be more guided than any other people. Yet when a warner came to them, it only increased them in aversion." (35:42). Yet, the Qorayish tribesmen rejected the message of Muhammad when he was sent to them, and this is why God has reminded the Qorayish tribesmen of their rejection of the message of Moses and Aaron in this verse: "But when the Truth came to them from Us, they said, "If only he was given the like of what was given to Moses." Did they not disbelieve in what was given to Moses in the past? They said, "Two works of magic backing one another." And they said, "We are disbelieving in both."" (28:48).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER IV:Between the Israelites and the Muhammadans

 

 

 

 

The Reason behind this Quranic Emphasis on the Israelites

 

 

Introduction:

1- The Almighty Lord God mentions in the Quran the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, David and Solomon; the story of the Israelites with Moses and Aaron occupies many Quranic verses, apart from other Quranic verses that directly address the Israelites in Arabia during Muhammad's lifetime. Some of the verses of the Quranic discourse about the Israelites mention the term ''Israelites'' to indicate the fact that they are the descendants of Jacob/Israel, and some other verses refer to the Israelites as the People of the Book.    

2- This Quranic emphasis on the Israelites contains the aspect of warning and preaching, within verses that include direct preaching and those verses of Quranic stories about the Israelites that include implied or indirect preaching. Thus, this aspect of warning and preaching is not addressing only the Israelites; it is addressing the Quran-believing people as well.      

3- This is a miraculous Quranic prediction about the long duration of the relations between the Quran-believing people and the Israelites in all eras following the era when the Quran was revealed; besides, this is an implied indication that the Muhammadans are following the footsteps of the disobedient sinners among the Israelites, and thus, the Quran is the criterion to judge both groups. We provide some details about this topic within the points below. 

 

Firstly:

1- Within the Yathreb city-state, Muhammad dealt with and had relations with the Israelites of Arabia; some of these Israelites were good, believing people, and some of them were disobedient disbelievers who committed acts of aggression against the Yathreb city-state. Those aggressors among the Israelites of Arabia are named in the Quranic text as "the Jews". Quranic verses that warn and preach the Israelites of Arabia descended, or were revealed, in Yathreb; i.e., these verses are among the Yathrebian revelation of the Quran, as opposed to the Meccan revelation (i.e., verses descended, or were revealed, in Mecca). There are Quranic verses that warn and preach the disobedient sinners and aggressors among the Israelites and other verses that praise the good, believing ones among the Israelites. Another Quranic term for the Israelites is (the People of the Book); some of them in Yathreb demanded from Muhammad a tangible miracle for them to see, and the same demand was made earlier by the disbelievers of the Qorayish tribe in Mecca. God has refuted their demand by reminding them of how their ancestors in Sinai demanded from Moses to be able to see God and that He punished them, and later on, they worshipped the golden calf and broke the covenant made with the Lord God when He caused Mount Al-Tur to suspend over their heads. God mentions that some of their ancestors murdered some prophets, slandered Mary while claiming that they killed Jesus, practiced usury/moneylending at interest, consumed ill-gotten money, prohibited permissible food items, and repelled people away from God's Path. "The People of the Book challenge you to bring down to them a book from the sky. They had asked Moses for something even greater. They said, "Show us God plainly." The thunderbolt struck them for their wickedness. Then they took the calf for worship, even after the clear proofs had come to them. Yet We pardoned that, and We gave Moses a clear authority. And We raised the Mount above them in accordance with their covenant, and We said to them, "Enter the gate humbly", and We said to them, "Do not violate the Sabbath", and We received from them a solemn pledge. But for their violation of their covenant, and their denial of God's Verses, and their killing of the prophets unjustly, and their saying, "Our hearts are closed." In fact, God has sealed them for their disbelief, so they do not believe, except for a few. And for their disbelief, and their saying against Mary a monstrous slander. And for their saying, "We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of God." In fact, they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them as if they did. Indeed, those who differ about him are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it, except the following of surmises. Certainly, they did not kill him. Rather, God raised him up to Himself. God is Mighty and Wise. Among the People of the Book those who believed to him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will bear witness about them. Due to the injustices committed by the Jews, We forbade them good things that used to be lawful for them; and for deterring many from God's Path. And for their taking usury, although they were forbidden to take it; and for their consuming people's wealth dishonestly. We have prepared for the disbelievers among them a painful torment." (4:153-161). After enumerating all these sins, God says the following: "But those among them firmly rooted in knowledge, and the believers, believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you; and the observers of prayers, and the givers of charity, and the believers in God and the Last Day - upon these We will bestow an immense reward." (4:162). We notice here that the phrase (And for their taking usury, although they were forbidden to take it) applies to some of Muhammad's companions/contemporaries in Yathreb who practiced usury through it has been forbidden earlier by the Lord God, within a verse in a Meccan Quranic Chapter about prohibiting to lend money at interest to the impoverished ones who deserve to receive charity donations or zakat: "The usury you practice, seeking thereby to multiply people's wealth, will not multiply with God. But what you give in charity, desiring God's approval-these are the multipliers." (30:39). Some companions in Yathreb continued to practice usury as they lent money to the poor ones at interest, and God has told them the following: "Those who swallow usury will not rise, except as someone touched by Satan's whispers. That is because they say, "Commerce is like usury." But God has permitted commerce, and has forbidden usury. Whoever, on receiving preaching from his Lord, refrains, may keep his past earnings, and his case rests with God. But whoever resumes - these are the dwellers of the Fire, wherein they will abide forever. God condemns usury, and He blesses charities. God does not love any sinful disbeliever. Those who believe, and do good deeds, and pray regularly, and give charity - they will have their reward with their Lord; they will have no fear, nor shall they grieve. O you who believe! Fear God in piety, and forgo what remains of usury, if you are believers. If you do not, then take notice of a war by God and His messenger. But if you repent, you may keep your capital, neither wronging, nor being wronged. But if he is in hardship, then deferment until a time of ease. But to remit it as charity is better for you, if you only knew. And fear in piety a Day when you will be returned to God; then each soul will be rewarded fully for what it has earned, and they will not be wronged." (2:275-281). The phrase (and for their consuming people's wealth dishonestly) in 4:153-161 compellingly reminds us of the sins committed by the Muhammadans; we are reminded by their sins further when we read the following verses about the sinners among the People of the Book who consumed ill-gotten money: "You see many of them competing with one another in sin and aggression, and their consuming of what is illicit. What they have been doing is truly evil. Why do the rabbis and the priests not prevent them from speaking sinfully and from consuming forbidden wealth? Evil is what they have been doing." (5:62-63). The same sins in the following verses about some of the People of the Book are committed by the Muhammadans (i.e., the Sunnites, the Shiites, and the Sufis) and their imams/clergymen: "O you who believe! Many of the rabbis and priests consume people's wealth illicitly, and hinder from God's Path. Those who hoard gold and silver, and do not spend them in God's cause, inform them of a painful torment. On the Day when they will be heated in the Fire of Hell, then their foreheads, and their sides, and their backs will be branded with them: "This is what you hoarded for yourselves; so taste what you used to hoard."" (9:34-35).       

2- Some of the People of the Book of Arabia were aggressors who launched military attacks against the Yathreb city-state, and this part of the history of Muhammad is mentioned in the Quranic Chapters 5 and 9. The early believers at the time have been addressed by Quranic preaching about being the best community/Umma if they would be true believers who enjoin goodness and advise against evil. This comes in the context of reminding the early believers that the vast majority of the People of the Book of Arabia were sinners and some of them were believers; the sinners among  them would not be able to harm the early believers beyond verbal abuse and the aggressors would be defeated as long as early believers would be truly faithful ones, as the aggressive sinners among the People of the Book of Arabia were punished by the Lord God because of their sins, aggression, disbelief in God's Verses, disobedience, and murdering of some prophets: "You are the best community that ever emerged for humanity: you advocate what is moral, and forbid what is immoral, and believe in God. Had the People of the Book believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are the believers, but most of them are sinners. They will do you no harm, beyond insulting you. And if they fight you, they will turn around and flee, then they will not be helped. They shall be humiliated wherever they are encountered, except through a rope from God, and a rope from the people; and they incurred wrath from God, and were stricken with misery. That is because they rejected God's Verses, and killed the prophets unjustly. That is because they disobeyed and committed aggression." (3:110-112). The next verses assert the fact that the People of the Book of Arabia include those pious ones who never committed acts of aggression: "They are not alike. Among the People of the Book is a community that is upright; they recite God's Verses throughout the night, and they prostrate themselves. They believe in God and the Last Day, and advocate righteousness and forbid evil, and are quick to do good deeds. These are among the righteous. Whatever good they do, they will not be denied it. God knows the righteous ones." (3:113-115). Strangely, the Muhammadans, past and present, have followed the footsteps of the disobedient aggressors and sinners among the People of the Book; the Muhammadans are the worst community/Umma that ever emerged for humanity and they have incurred God's wrath as He inflicts on them misery and humiliation because of their disobedience, sins, aggression, and their disbelief in God's Verses. 

3- God emphasizes and asserts within the end of the Quranic Chapter 3 that Quran-believing people, in all eras, will be tested by ordeals and will be verbally abused by polytheists and by sinners among the People of the Book; those Quran-believing people who endure this with steadfastness and patience within piety and the fear of the Lord God will be among the winners on the Last Day. In the same context, God mentions that sinners among the People of the Book broke the pledges they made during the event of God's covenant as they rejected the Truth (i.e., God's Book) and used it to consume ill-gotten money, and they love to be praised by people undeservedly, and their inescapable fate is eternal torment in Hell: "You will be tested through your possessions and your souls; and you will hear from those who received the Book before you, and from polytheists, much abuse. But if you persevere and lead a righteous life - that indeed is a mark of great determination. God received a pledge from those who were given the Book: "You shall proclaim it to the people, and not conceal it." But they disregarded it behind their backs, and exchanged it for a small price. What a miserable exchange they made. Do not think that those who rejoice in what they have done, and love to be praised for what they have not done - do not think they can evade the torment. They will have a painful torment." (3:186-188). This Quranic discourse is also addressed to those who believe in the Quran to heed this warning and preaching; the verses 3:187-188 apply to the Muhammadans, past and present. By the end of the Quranic Chapter 3, God says the following about the pious believers among the People of the Book: "As for those who feared their Lord: for them will be gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever - hospitality from God. What God possesses is best for the just. Among the People of the Book are those who believe in God, and in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed to them. They are humble before God, and they do not sell God's Verses for a cheap price. These will have their reward with their Lord. God is swift in judgment." (3:198-199). God says the following to Quran-believing people: "O you who believe! Be patient, and advocate patience, and be steadfast, and revere God in piety, so that you may thrive." (3:200). 

4- God has addressed the following warning and preaching to the Israelites: "Say, "O People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion beyond the Truth; and do not follow the opinions of people who went astray before, and misled many, and themselves strayed off the True Way."" (5:77). The Muhammadans should have taken heed, and they must take heed, of this warning and preaching, especially that the very next verses, about cursing the disbelieving sinners among the Israelites because of their disobedience and acts of aggression, apply to the Muhammadans of today: "Cursed were those who disbelieved from among the Israelites by the tongue of David and Jesus son of Mary. That is because they disobeyed and used to transgress." (5:78-81). The disbelieving, disobeying sinners among the Israelites are named as "the Jews" in the Quranic text; this has nothing to do with the sense/meaning of this term today, of course. The Quranic terms "polytheists" and "disbelievers" refer to those who non-peaceful ones who commit acts of aggression and transgression within their behavior of violence (i.e., they are disbelievers/polytheists in terms of behavior). God says the following about sinning, aggressive Jews who hated the peaceful early believers in Yathreb: "You surely find that the people most hostile towards the believers are the Jews and the polytheists..." (5:82), and He says the following about those peaceful ones among the People of the Book who loved the peaceful early believers in Yathreb: "...And you surely find that the nearest in affection towards the believers are those who say, "We are Christians."..." (5:82). God provides the reason for their love: "...That is because among them are priests and monks, and they are not arrogant." (5:82). God says that those peaceful Christians among the People of the Book in Arabia readily believed in the Quran after they heard the Quran recited to them: "And when they hear what was revealed to the messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears, as they recognize the Truth in it. They say, "Our Lord, we have believed, so count us among the witnesses." "And why should we not believe in God, and in the Truth that has come to us, and hope that our Lord will include us among the righteous people?"" (5:83-84), and He tells us about their reward: "God will reward them for what they say - Gardens beneath which rivers flow, where they will stay forever. Such is the reward of the righteous." (5:85). The use of the present simple tense in the verse 8:82 indicates that they apply to the past, present, and the future; i.e., in all eras.        

 

Lastly:

1- The Muhammadans of today never draw any benefits or lessons, regarding the so-called Arab-Israeli conflict, from the Quranic discourse about the Israelites; moreover, the Muhammadans intentionally disregard Quranic verses that tackle the story of Israelites because they hate the modern state of Israel. If it had not been for the fact that the Dominant Lord God protects the Quranic text Himself against any distortions or omissions, the Muhammadans would have readily deleted or omitted these Quranic verses that tackle the story of the Israelites. The Quranists, who truly believe in the fact that the Quran is the Only Discourse in Islam, must ponder Quranic verses while seeking guidance and deliverance as well as seeking to find solutions for problems, troubles, and crises of life, and even for the political ones.      

2- God has made His Book, the Quran, as Light and guidance to the People of the Book as well: "O People of the Book! Our Messenger has come to you, clarifying for you much of what you kept hidden of the Book, and overlooking much. A Light from God has come to you, and a Clear Book. " (5:15). The term "Messenger" here refers only to the Quran: the Clear Book that clarifies what is hidden in God's previous Scriptures. In this verse, God asserts that the Quran is the Criterion to settle the disputes of the People of the Book (especially the Israelites): "This Quran relates to the Israelites most of what they differ about." (27:76). We are not to blame the People of the Book of today (especially the Israelites) if they disregard the Quran and disbelieve in it, because the Muhammadans of today disregard and disbelieve in it more than anyone else on earth.  

 

 

 

 

The Israelites and the Muhammadans between Favor and Disfavor

 

 

Introduction:

1- Among the lessons drawn from the Quranic stories of the Israelites is their being tested with adversity and prosperity, and some of them passed the test successfully and many of them failed. The same failure applies to the Muhammadans who have abandoned the Quran while claiming to believe in it, as they have distorted and twisted its meanings by the so-called hadiths (devilish revelations or narratives), fiqh rules, interpretation, and Naskh (i.e., verses supplanted and replaced by hadiths). Such a grave sin has been committed by the misguided ones among the People of the Book with their Scriptures.   

2- The similarity between the Muhammadans and the misguided ones among the People of the Book makes them identical peoples. Both of them deny the Quran, of course, either explicitly or within an implied manner in practice. There is another similarity between the believers among the guided ones among the People of the Book and the Quran-believing persons (i.e., the Quranists).  

3- We tackle here one feature of this similarity and identical nature; i.e., the tests experienced by both the Israelites and the Muhammadans between favor and disfavor.

 

Firstly: the test of being favored:

1- Favoring the Israelites over all other people comes in the words of Moses when he preached his people when they asked him to carve a god to them to be worshipped alongside with God: "He said, "Shall I seek for you a god other than God, when He has favored you over all other people?" " (7:140). Being favored is mentioned once again by Moses when he urged them to enter into the Promised Land: "When Moses said to his people, "O my people, remember God's bounties upon you, when He placed prophets among you, and made you kings, and gave you what He never gave any other people."" (5:20). This verse refers to their being successors momentarily in the land of Egypt, and this status of being favored was their test imposed on them by the Lord God, as the succession in the land is linked directly to this test in this verse about the promise of succession when the Israelites complained to Moses about Pharaoh's severe persecution inflicted on them: "...Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy, and make you successors in the land; then He will see how you behave." (7:129). 

2- Favoring the Israelites over all other nations is expressed explicitly within the Quranic Chapter Two; God says the following to the Israelites within direct address: "O Israelites! Remember My favor which I bestowed upon you, and that I favored you over all nations. And beware of a Day when no soul will avail another in the least, nor will any intercession be accepted on its behalf, nor will any ransom be taken from it, nor will they be helped." (2:47-48); "O Israelites! Remember My bounty which I bestowed upon you, and that I have favored you over all people. And beware of a Day when no soul will avail another soul in any way, and no ransom will be accepted from it, and no intercession will benefit it, and they will not be helped." (2:122-123). Thus, being favored is linked to the bounties bestowed on them by God, and denying such bounties and being ungrateful for them within disbelief means that the Israelites lost their being favored and they were punished by torment in this life within disfavor. The myth of intercession is refuted twice in 2:47-48 & 2:122-123, as God has preached the Israelites by reminding them of the facts of the Last Day; yet, the misguided ones among the Israelites invented the myth of getting out of Hell through intercession, and God refutes this falsehood in these verses: "And they say, "The Fire will not touch us except for a number of days." Say, "Have you received a promise from God-God never breaks His promise-or are you saying about God what you do not know?" Indeed, whoever commits misdeeds, and becomes besieged by his sins - these are the dwellers of the Fire, wherein they will dwell forever. As for those who believe and do righteous deeds-these are the inhabitants of Paradise, wherein they will dwell forever." (2:80-82); "That is because they said, "The Fire will not touch us except for a limited number of days." They have been misled in their religion by the lies they fabricated. How about when We gather them for a Day in which there is no doubt, and each soul will be paid in full for what it has earned, and they will not be wronged?" (3:24-25). Likewise, the Muhammadans have invented hadiths of intercession and getting out of Hell, when we have refuted and criticized such misguiding hadiths in our book titled "Would Disobedient Muslims Get out of Hell to Enter into Paradise?", we have been incarcerated in 1987 and this book has been confiscated. This is because the myth of intercession invented by the misguided ones of the Israelites has become part of the religions of the Muhammadans, though God refutes this myth in the Quran.  

3- Within a similar favoring of the Israelites, God says the following about favoring Quran-believing people: "You are the best community that ever emerged for humanity: you advocate what is moral, and forbid what is immoral, and believe in God..." (3:110). Again, this favor is linked to monotheistic belief in God resulting in good deeds within an elevated society with high moralistic level and without deifying mortals (especially prophets and rulers). The rest of 3:110 mentions the People of the Book whose vast majority did not adhere to conditions of being favored and they became misguided disobedient transgressors: "...Had the People of the Book believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are the believers, but most of them are sinners." (3:110). Those misguided ones among the People of the Book could not harm peaceful believers except through verbal abuse, and when they attacked the peaceful believers militarily, they were defeated: "They will do you no harm, beyond insulting you. And if they fight you, they will turn around and flee, then they will not be helped. They shall be humiliated wherever they are encountered, except through a rope from God, and a rope from the people; and they incurred wrath from God, and were stricken with misery. That is because they rejected God's Verses, and killed the prophets unjustly. That is because they disobeyed and committed aggression." (3:111-112). The verses 3:113-115 mentions the pious ones among the People of the Book. The Muhammadans failed in the test of being favored by the Lord God; they have rejected the Quran, and they are now the worst community that ever emerged for humanity; they are now the axis of evil worldwide.

4- The Israelites with Moses witnessed the miracles of his staff and saw how Pharaoh and his troops drowned: "And recall that We parted the sea for you, so We saved you, and We drowned the people of Pharaoh as you looked on." (2:50). They saw how the misguided ones among them were struck by the Lord God: "And recall that you said, "O Moses, we will not believe to you unless we see God plainly." Thereupon the thunderbolt struck you, as you looked on." (2:55). The Israelites saw the staff of Moses bringing water wells to them, clouds protecting them against the hot sun, and quail and manna provided for their nourishment. Seventy Israelite men saw Mount Al-Tur suspended over their heads during the event of the covenant. Within such events, the belief of the truthful believers among them increased as they adhered to the Truth as the source of guidance and judgment among people. The misguided disbelievers among the Israelites included those who took a golden calf as a deity, those who demanded from Moses to carve a god for them, those who consumed ill-gotten money, those who practiced usury, those who committed aggressions and injustices, and those who murdered some prophets. In each case, some of them repented and God accepted their repentance and pardoned them. 

 

Secondly: the test of being disfavored:

1- Within a coastal town that might have been overlooking the Red Sea or the Mediterranean Sea, some among the Israelites transgressed during the Sabbath, as God has forbidden them, within the covenant, to work on that day: "...and We said to them, "Do not violate the Sabbath", and We received from them a solemn pledge." (4:154). This violation of the Sabbath resulted in describing the aggressors as apes and swines. This story has been known in Arabia during the time of the Meccan revelation of the Quran, as God has said the following to Muhammad: "Ask them about the town by the sea..." (7:163). Those sinners among the Israelites violated the Sabbath as they failed the test; fish was plenty on Saturdays and scarce for the rest of the week, and as per the covenant, they must not work during the Sabbath. They decided to catch fish on Saturday and thus violated God's command: "...when they violated the Sabbath. When they observed the Sabbath, their fish would come to them abundantly. But when they violated the Sabbath, their fish would not come to them. Thus We tested them because they sinfully disobeyed." (7:163). This applies to the vast majority of the dwellers of this coastal town who were sinful, disobedient ones, and there were some pious ones who preached those sinners and felt despair: "And when a group of them said, "Why do you counsel a people whom God will annihilate, or punish with a severe torment?"..." (7:164), and those preachers who went on preaching their people while hoping that sinners would reform: "...They said, "As an excuse to your Lord, and so that they may become righteous."" (7:164). Those preachers of reform and righteousness were saved while the disobedient transgressors who violated the Sabbath were severely punished: "Then, when they neglected what they were reminded of, We saved those who prohibited evil, and We seized those who did wrong with a terrible torment, because of their sinfulness." (7:165). This severe punishment made them go to extremes of aggression and violation in arrogance, and God has cursed them: "Then, when they rebelled against the commands to refrain, We said to them, "Be despicable apes."" (7:166).  

2- The story of the violators of the Sabbath has remained the source of preaching and warning for the other generations of the Israelites and to those who settled in Arabia and witnessed Muhammad's lifetime and the descent/revelation of the Quran; God has preached the Israelites of Arabia by reminding them of this story in these two verses: "And you surely knew those of you who violated the Sabbath. We said to them, "Be despicable apes!" Thus We made it a deterrent for their generation, and for subsequent generations, and a lesson for the righteous." (2:65-66).

 

Thirdly: is the expression (apes and swines) used in the figurative sense or in the literal one?:

 The question is as follows: did those violators of the Sabbath among the sinning Israelites turn into real apes and swines? Or is it a figurative expression to indicate being disfavored and cursed? The Quranic context indicates that this is a figurative expression that indicates their being disfavored and cursed by God. Let us prove this in the points below.

1- This expression is linked to God's fury and His cursing them: "Say, "Shall I inform you of worse than that for retribution from God? He whom God has cursed, and with whom He became angry; and He turned some of them into apes, and swines, and Taghut worshipers. These are in a worse position, and further away from the Straight Path."" (5:60). Thus, the explanation of the meaning of God's fury and curse upon them is describing them as apes, swines, and Taghut worshipers. Of course, Taghut worshipers are NOT animals; they are cursed human beings. This means no sinners were turned into apes and swine literally.

2- Their being cursed is mentioned here briefly without details; this means that the description as apes ad swines is merely an expression of being cursed as sinners who deserved God's fury: "O you who were given the Book! Believe in what We sent down, confirming what you have, before We obliterate faces and turn them inside out, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-violators. The command of God is always done." (4:47).

3- Thus, those cursed sinners among the Israelites who are described as apes, swines, and Taghut worshipers were human beings and they were not turned into animals literally. This is proven in this verse about them: "Your Lord has announced that, He would send against them, until the Day of Resurrection, those who would inflict terrible torment upon them. Your Lord is swift in retribution, yet He is Forgiving and Merciful." (7:167). This means that sinners among them, in all eras, who follow the footsteps of their ancestors in disobedience will be punished by the Lord God in this world, but once they repent, God will pardon them. This test continues for the rest of days until the Last Day. Those sinners who have incurred God's wrath are disfavored by being described as apes, swines, and Taghut worshipers who are tormented in this life as cursed people for their sins and violations, but those who repent will be spared this torment.  

4- This is asserted by the fact that the discourse here is about human beings and NOT animals (i.e., not apes and swines), who are tested by adversity and prosperity and they include the good believers and the disobedient disbelievers: "And We scattered them into communities on earth. Some of them righteous, and some of them short of that. And We tested them with fortunes and misfortunes, so that they may return." (7:168).

5- The following verses tackle the Israelites but they apply to the misguided and misguiding Muhammadans as well, as they constitute a vast majority of those who claim to believe in the Quran. There are few real believers who adhere truly to the Quran, perform prayers, and call for reform using the Quranic Truth, and we, Dr. A. S. Mansour, sincerely hope to be among them: "They were succeeded by generations who inherited the Book and chose the materials of this world, saying, "We will be forgiven." And should similar materials come their way, they would again seize them. Did they not make a covenant to uphold the Book, and to not say about God except the Truth? Did they not study its contents? But the Home of the Hereafter is better for the pious ones; will you not understand? Those who adhere to the Book and perform prayers - We will not waste the reward of the reformers." (7:169-170). 

6- Within a direct address to the Israelites, God says the following in the Quran: "O Israelites! Remember My bounties which I bestowed upon you, and fulfill your pledge to Me, and I will fulfill My pledge to you, and fear Me.  And believe in what I revealed, confirming what is with you; and do not be the first to deny it; and do not exchange My Verses for a small price; and be conscious of Me in piety. And do not mix the Truth with falsehoods, and do not conceal the Truth while you know. And perform prayers, and practice regular charity, and kneel with those who kneel. Do you command people to virtuous conduct, and forget yourselves, even though you read the Book? Do you not understand? And seek help through patience and prayers. But it is difficult, except for the devout." (2:40-45).

7- The Muhammadans, who claim ostentatiously that they believe in the Quran while, in fact, they believe in fabricated devilish hadiths and narratives of falsehoods, are described by God in the Quran as worse than cattle; God has said the following to Muhammad: "Or do you assume that most of them hear or understand? They are just like cattle, but even more errant in their way." (25:44). God has vowed to curse those who conceal the Quranic Truth: "Those who suppress the proofs and the guidance We have revealed, after We have clarified them to humanity in the Book - those - God curses them, and the cursers curse them. Except those who repent, and reform, and proclaim. Those - I will accept their repentance. I am the Acceptor of Repentance, the Merciful." (2:159-160). Thus, the cursed, disobedient sinners among the Israelites are described as apes, swines, and Taghut worshipers, whereas the cursed, disobedient sinners among the Muhammadans and their imams/leaders are described as dogs in these verses: "Had We willed, We could have elevated him through them; but he clung to the ground, and followed his desires. His metaphor is that of a dog: if you chase it, it pants; and if you leave it alone, it pants. Such is the metaphor of the people who deny Our Verses. So tell the tale, so that they may ponder. Evil is the metaphor of the people who reject Our Verses and wrong themselves." (7:176-177).  

 

Lastly:

 The extremists among the Muhammadans love to verbally abuse the Israelites by describing them as the brood of (or descendants of) apes and swines; those Muhammadans tend to forget that (1) the Israelites include guided, believing, pious ones or leaders/imams of guidance, (2) all disobedient sinners in all eras and peoples/nations are cursed by God, and (3) the leaders/imams of misguidance among the Muhammadans (Al-Bokhary, Al-Shafei, Ibn Hanbal, etc.) who spread falsehoods and concealed the Quranic Truth, are cursed disobedient persons described in the Quran as dogs. 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION: The Moral Lessons Drawn from the Quranic Story of Moses and Pharaoh

 

Introduction:

1- The Quran, God's Word, does not repeat the details of the story of Moses and Moses' Pharaoh for amusement, in vain, or for no reason; glorified and exalted be His Holy Name away from jesting and polytheism. God says the following in the Quran about the Quran itself: "It is a Decisive Word. It is no joke." (86:13-14). Hence, the Quran is the source of warning and guidance to all humanity till the end of days, only for those who desire to be guided.   

2- Moses' Pharaoh is the imam/leader of all tyrants since his era until the end of days; his tyranny, corruption, and grave injustices reached an unprecedented level of self-deification and of using his power and authority to oppress the weak people (i.e., the Israelites in Egypt at the time) and to refuse the peaceful call of two prophets (i.e., Moses and Aaron) who requested to be allowed to leave Egypt along with their people, as they wished to move away from the tyranny and oppression of Pharaoh. Pharaoh adamantly refused and increased his injustices and persecution, and he stubbornly refused to take heed of the warnings given to him and of the plagues/torments inflicted on him and on his retinue members, until he and they drowned in the Red Sea. Moses in this story represents the voice of the Truth and what is right and just; yet, he himself was weak and oppressed and belonged to a weak and oppressed people, but he had the Divine Might to his side and he could not control it, of course. Moses faced and confronted Pharaoh with the Truth. Pharaoh had all possible means of earthly might; hence, the debate between both men was one between the might and the Truth. Pharaoh represented the Pharaonic unjust might and power faced with and challenged by the Truth that has been always supported, in all eras, by the unseen Divine Might of the Lord God. This is the main line or theme of this book of ours that you are reading now.   

3- The details discussed in our book here regarding this topic indicate that the Quranic story of Moses and Pharaoh has many moral lessons to be drawn by believers in all eras, especially that we know that Pharaonic tyranny is still deep-rooted among the countries of the Muhammadans who claim that they believe in the Quran, and yet, they are oblivious of the moral lessons of the story of Moses and Pharaoh and the fate of the oppressive tyrants.  

4- Within the brief points below, we tackle the moral lessons drawn from this Quranic story of Moses and Pharaoh in relation to our modern era.

 

Firstly: between the might and the Truth:

1- Moses' Pharaoh had the power and the might and he assumed to own and monopolize the Truth (or what is right), and within this debate or struggle in real-life, it has to be acknowledged that Pharaoh was powerful on earth and this must be taken in consideration as a fact in the physical world and to deal with it in the way mentioned here by God when He has addressed Moses and Aaron: "Go to Pharaoh. He has tyrannized. But speak to him leniently. Perhaps he will remember, or have some fear." They said, "Lord, we fear he may persecute us, or become violent." He said, "Do not fear, I am with you, I hear and I see." (20:43-46). This means that God has assured them of protection against any possible harm from Pharaoh, but He has never commanded them to use force or to use harsh words with Pharaoh. Thus, their call (as it should be in all eras with all people) has to be with wisdom and good advice: "Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good advice" (16:125), even when this call is addressed to a self-deified tyrant whose chances of reforming himself are nonexistent. Hence, this call addressed to Pharaoh by Moses and Aaron had the purpose of making no room for any excuses by Pharaoh for not being guided and reminded with guidance from the Lord God; therefore, guidance is the aim here (and in real calls within all eras) and never any worldly ambitions or goals within this transient realm.      

2- In our modern era within the countries of the Muhammadans  ruled by tyrants, the terrorist Wahabi trend members assume they have the 'right' to rule instead of military or royal tyrants and to establish their theocracy; the cursed Wahabis cannot face the Pharaonic military rulers with any form of militia or military power; instead, Wahabi terrorists resort to indiscriminate killings and terrorist operations as well as suicide bombings; such terror has started with the Wahabi terrorist MB group that was established in Egypt in 1928, and these Wahabi MB members spread terrorism now in Europe and the USA and worldwide.       

3- What is more painful is that Wahabi terrorists ascribe their heinous crimes to the name of Islam; they intentionally forget that the early believers in Mecca bore patiently with persecution and torture and they were not commanded to defend themselves; rather, God has commanded them to adhere to peace and patience, and when they immigrated to Yathreb, the oppressive Qorayish tribesmen raided and attacked them there; the believers in Yathreb did not defend themselves for a while until God has given them permission in the Quran, when they were ready to engage into self-defense endeavors and deter the military aggressors. This is self-defense fighting within the Quranic sharia laws of Islam for God's sake and serving God's cause (i.e., to deter aggressors and stop their religious persecution). In contrast, fighting for Satan and Taghut is to seek to oppress others in order to loot possessions, confiscate lands and money, and monopolize power and authority. The tyrannical  Pharaohs of today rule with the law of the jungle and face theocracy-seeking enemies who conceal their hateful ambitions with earthly religion(s) to deceive the gullible masses; e.g., the Wahabis recruit and brainwash deluded youths who commit terrorist actions to draw worldwide media attention and spread intimidation and terror among the peaceful citizens. This is an ongoing war between powerful, military tyrants who rule and the Wahabi Sunnite terrorists who strike with terrorists acts and hide within the population in a given country. In case the tyrannical theocracy-seekers manage to ascend to power after much bloodshed and bloodbaths are committed, and after pyramids of bones and skulls are formed, they will be, of course, worse than the military, secular tyrants.             

4- The Israelites in Egypt suffered severe persecution inflicted on them by Moses' Pharaoh who massacred their (male) children and spared and enslaved their females; yet, they adhered to patience and relied on the Lord God, as per God's commands inspired to Moses. Thus, Moses never made them form armed militias or gangs to commit indiscriminate killings or massacres against the innocent Egyptians or even to assassinate the affluent, oppressive retinue members of Pharaoh. We know this command of adherence to patience from these verses: "Moses said to his people, "Seek help in God, and be patient. The earth belongs to God. He gives it in inheritance to whomever He wills of His servants, and the future belongs to the righteous." They said, "We were persecuted before you came to us, and after you came to us." He said, "Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy, and make you successors in the land; then He will see how you behave."" (7:128-129). This patience made God reward some men among the Israelites by making them as imams/leaders who preached the Truth: "We gave Moses the Book; so do not be in doubt regarding His encounter; and We made it a guidance for the Israelites. And We appointed leaders/imams from among them, guiding by Our command, as long as they persevered and were certain of Our Verses." (32:23-24).     

5- Within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, each party assumes to hold the truth or the right to its side, but power/might is with the side of the Israelis; some members of the weaker party (i.e., the Palestinians) have resorted to terrorism: some Palestinian terrorists hijacked civil planes and terrorized innocent passengers and massacred non-armed and non-military Israeli citizens, and such Palestinian terrorists would flee after committing their heinous crimes. Such terrorism is part of the Wahabi sharia laws of Satan that allow massacring innocent people and civilians (even among other Palestinians and Arabs) if this means to massacre the Israeli enemies. The only loser here is the Palestinian nation which is oppressed by the terrorist Hamas group that has reached power and terrorized innocent ordinary Palestinians of the Gaza Strip and harbored enmity towards, and created insurmountable obstacles before, the Palestinian authority in the West Bank. The struggle between corrupt leaders in the Gaza Strip and those corrupt leaders of the West Bank is over power, authority, and wealth, and never for the sake of innocent Palestinians. Both types of leaders are corrupt tyrants and thieves who confiscate and monopolize power, authority, and wealth and disregard the suffering of ordinary Palestinians while claiming to represent them and to speak in their name! The ordinary Palestinians deserve better, more respectable leadership instead of those corrupt tyrants and thieves.            

 

Secondly: self-deification and tyranny between Moses' Pharaoh and the pharaohs of the Muhammadans:

1- The paramount importance of the Quranic story of Moses' Pharaoh is its indication of the direct link between political tyranny and religious tyranny (i.e., self-deification of tyrants). Tyrannical rulers feel superior over all people; this is sinful because God has created all human beings as equal to one another; superiority and highness are only for our Almighty Lord God the Creator. This is why the Quran repeats that Moses' Pharaoh sins included his assuming superiority on earth; for instance, within the Quranic Chapter 28, we read: "Pharaoh exalted himself on earth..." (28:4), and in contrast, within the end of this Quranic Chapter 28, we read this description of those pious ones who deserve to enter into Paradise: "That Home of the Hereafter - We assign it for those who seek no superiority on earth, nor corruption. And the outcome is for the pious ones." (28:83). Thus, seeking and maintaining superiority on earth are directly linked to spreading corruption; Moses' Pharaoh is described in the Quran as a corrupt tyrant, and his tyranny led him to deify himself and to see all his deeds of corruption as a path toward guidance: "...Pharaoh said, "I do not show you except what I see, and I do not guide you except to the path of guidance."" (40:29). In this case, tyranny, corruption, and self-deification are interrelated. Of course, political tyranny has continued to exist after the death of Moses' Pharaoh; it continues to exist shamelessly within the countries of the Muhammadans ruled by shameless tyrants. Yet, no Arab tyrants would dare to announce self-deification in the manner of Moses' Pharaoh. Within history, the Shiite Fatimid caliph in Cairo, Egypt, named Al-Hakim, was the only tyrant that declared his self-deification and imposed this on the Egyptian subjects; he was assassinated as a result later on. As for tyrants like the Umayyad caliphs and the pre-Umayyad caliphs Abou Bakr, Omar, and Othman, they got very near, each in different ways, to self-deification but they had never expressed this plainly. The main way adopted by the Umayyad caliphs was spreading the philosophy of (determinism by Fate); i.e., all (good and bad) events/things were decreed beforehand by God and thus no one must oppose the tyranny, oppression, decrees, commands, and injustices of caliphs and their governors and viziers, under the pain of being put to death, as this opposition was deemed at the time as an insult to God! The Pharaonic tyranny in Egypt during the era of Moses had not but one aspect: theocracy of the self-deified tyrant who was also the head of clergymen. As for the caliphates, kingdoms, and sultanates in the Middle-East (until now), the deep-rooted tyranny has included the tyrannical rulers who have used obsequious clergymen serving them as part of the deep-state; theocracies have emerged as well; e.g., the Fatimid caliphs and the caliphs of the Second Abbasid Era tightly held both the religious authority and the political one in their grip. Within our modern era, the Arab world and the countries of the Muhammadans follow either theocratic regimes (e.g., Iran and the Saudi kingdom) or secular military tyrannical regimes, and both types of regimes use/ride/control clergymen in order to use/ride/control the citizens (or subjects!). Despite the apparent differences between the Shiite theocracy of Iran and the Wahabi Sunnite theocracy of the Saudi kingdom (as both the Sunnite and Shiite religions are earthly, fabricated ones), there are many similarities in ideology and ways of tyrannical rule.      

2- Moses' Pharaoh was brief and declared precisely and directly that he was the lord most high of the Egyptian people, as he proclaimed his self-deification frankly and outspokenly, unlike tyrants of today's world: "...I am your Lord, the most high." (79:24); "...I know of no god for you other than me..." (28:38). Hence, Moses' Pharaoh went into extremes of tyranny and announced his self-deification; besides, he conferred this stature of divinity to others around him, as he made his retinue members as deities above God; we infer this from the words of Moses addressed to them: "..."Do not exalt yourselves above God..." (44:19). This deifying of retinue members is not done by today's Pharaonic rulers within the countries of the Muhammadans to their cronies, primes ministers, minsters, and other retinue members. 

3- Yet, the corrupt tyrants of the current, dismal era within the countries of the Muhammadans have exceeded Moses' Pharaoh's political tyranny. This is proven when we contemplate and reflect on the dialogue held by Moses and Pharaoh in the verses 26:16-33. This type of dialogue will never be allowed by tyrants of today with any opposition figures, of course. Such Arab tyrants of today unleash their dogs and cronies/henchmen within the police state to oppress, persecute, imprisoned, interrogate, and torture all their political foes.    

4- We demonstrate here this dialogue held between Moses and Moses' Pharaoh:

Moses said: "..."We are the Messengers of the Lord of the Worlds. Let the Israelites go with us."" (26:16-17); here, Moses and Aaron briefly and clearly introduced themselves along with their mission and message.

Pharaoh said: "..."Did we not raise you among us as a child, and you stayed among us for many of your years? And you committed that deed you committed, and you were ungrateful."" (26:18-19); here, Pharaoh reminded Moses of bringing him up in the royal palace and told him he has been ungrateful as he killed an Egyptian man.

Moses said: "..."I did it then, when I was of those astray. And I fled from you when I feared you; but my Lord gave me wisdom, and made me one of the messengers. Is that the favor you taunt me with, although you have enslaved the Israelites?"" (26:20-22); here, Moses admitted his guilt and how he fled Egypt out of fear, but later on, God has made him a messenger; Moses counterattacked Pharaoh by reminding him of his oppression and enslavement of the Israelites for no reason.

Pharaoh said: "..."And what is the Lord of the Worlds?"" (26:23); here, Pharaoh counterattacked Moses by questioning him about the Lord God Who sent him as a messenger; Pharaoh knew for sure that any answer by Moses would inevitably provoke the ire of the Pharaonic retinue members.

Moses said: "...The Lord of the heavens and the earth, and everything between them, if you are aware." (26:24); here, Moses offered straightforward and brief answer which cannot be refuted; the Lord God, and never Pharaoh, is the True God of Egypt and all the universe.

Pharaoh said: "..."Do you not hear?'" (26:25); here, Pharaoh posed this question mockingly to his retinue members, as he knew in advance their real stance and he wanted them to ridicule Moses like he did. Pharaoh, for sure, knew they would support and obey him, even if he told them to massacre Moses and Aaron. We guess here that Pharaoh might have intended to intimidate and threat Moses; yet, Moses never felt afraid of Pharaoh and his retinue members. 

Moses said: "..."Your Lord and the Lord of your ancestors of old."" (26:26); here, Moses boldly and defiantly addressed Pharaoh and his retinue members by reminding them of the fact that God is the Lord of their ancestors as well.

Pharaoh said: "..."This messenger of yours, who is sent to you, is crazy."" (26:27); here, Pharaoh – within the typical Egyptian manner – was ridiculing and deriding Moses.

Moses said: "..."Lord of the East and the West, and everything between them, if you understand."" (26:28); here, Moses replied reasonably and in earnest, and he implicitly accused the listeners inside the Pharaonic palace of being unable to discern and understand.

Pharaoh said: "..."If you accept any god other than me, I will make you a prisoner."" (26:29); here, Pharaoh plainly threatened Moses, not of being put to death but to suffer imprisonment for rejecting him as a deity. Egypt is the oldest country on earth, and it has the most ancient deep-state in the world; the features of this deep-state have always included prisons that held those who dared to oppose any pharaohs/tyrants, if such opposition figures were not summarily put to death. 

Moses said: "..."What if I bring you something convincing?"" (26:30); here, Moses changed the course of this dialogue by introducing a new topic that drew the attention of Pharaoh.

Pharaoh said: "..."Bring it, if you are being truthful." " (26:31); here, Pharaoh swallowed the bait as he found a chance for challenging and undermining the stance of Moses.

  Moses, thus, had the chance to show them two miracles bestowed by the Lord God: "So he cast his staff; and it was a serpent, plain to see. And he pulled his hand; and it was white, for all to see." (26:32-33). Within the rest of this Quranic story, we know that Pharaoh felt defeated and hurt and made an appointed time to being magicians and sorcerers within a futile attempt to defeat Moses.

5- The Pharaonic Egyptian deep-state was fully controlled by Moses' Pharaoh at the time; yet, he did not use it to interrogate Moses; rather, he used it to persecute and to spy on the Israelites inside Egypt, and he consulted his affluent retinue members who always uttered and echoed what would please him. The Quran also tells us about the believing prince among the family of Pharaoh who acted as an opposition figure and who protested against Moses' Pharaoh's words about Moses; this prince delivered a speech to preach and warn Pharaoh and the retinue members inside the Pharaonic palace.  

6- Moses' Pharaoh is the imam/leader of all tyrants in all eras after his death, and yet, he was less tyrannical when compared with Arab tyrants of our modern era now in the countries of the Muhammadans.

 

Lastly:

1- The Quranic stories of the Israelites and of Moses and Pharaoh provide many indications for those Quranist researchers who contemplate and reflect deeply on these stories.

2- We have received many questions of our fellow Quranists about (1) the Israelite tribes, (2) the Promised Land or the Holy Land, ordained by God to the Israelites, (3) the conditions of the Israelites after the death of Moses, and (4) if the Quranic term (Israelites) may apply (or not) to the modern state of Israel that was established in 1948. These questions entail another separate, detailed book; we sincerely hope to find enough time and effort to write this book one day. May God help and aid our person.

 

Signature:

Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour

February the 16th , 2018

Springfield, VA, the USA

 


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