Sunday, July 21, 2019

Surah Al-Qasas - The Story: Exegesis / Tafseer of 28th Chapter of Holy Quran (Part I)

Sūrah Al-Qaṣaṣ "The Story" is the 28th chapter (sūrah) of the Qur'an with 88 verses (āyāts) and nine rukus, part of the 20th Juz'. The Surah takes its name from verse 25 in which the word Al-Qasas occurs. Lexically, qasas means to relate events in their proper sequence. Thus, from the viewpoint of the meaning too, this word can be a suitable title for this Surah, for in it the detailed story of the Prophet Moses has been related.

The Sūrah is also known as the (The) History, The Narrations, or the Narrative. Sūrah Al-Qaṣaṣ can conveniently be broken down in two parts, owing to the subject matter, and there its exegesis / tafseer is being given in following two parts separately:
  • Part I:  (This Part - Rukku 1-4, verses 1-42) narrates the remaining part of story of Prophet Musa (Moses, peace be upon him) that has been spanned on three surahs, that is Surah Ash Shu`ara', Surah An-Naml and this surah, as mentioned in the Overview.
  • Part II: (Rukhu 5-9, verses 43-88) Polytheism is condemned, and Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him) is reminded that he cannot make the people believe but nevertheless he must remain steadfast in his mission.
Let us now read the translation and exegesis / tafseer in English of the remaining part of story of Prophet Musa (Moses, peace be upon him). For Arabic Text, please refer to the references given at the end and may also listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

Rukhu 1 [Verses 1-13]
( 1 )   Ta, Seen, Meem. طٰسٓمٓ‏
[These disjoined letters are one of the miracles of the Qur'an, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings - see our earlier post for details: Understanding the Holy Quran: Huroof Muqatta’at - Disjoined Letters].
( 2 )   These are the verses of the clear Book.
3-14 Story of Prophet Musa and how Pharaoh (Fir'on) plotted to kill the sons of the Israelites to save his kingship, while Allah planned to bring up one of them in Fir'on's own household
( 3 )   We recite to you from the news of Moses and Pharaoh in truth for a people who believe. 
That is, “For the benefit of those who are not obstinate and stubborn, for it would be useless to address those who are not at all inclined to listen to you.”

For comparison, see (Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayats 47-59); (Surah Al-Aaraf: Ayats 100-141); (Surah Yunus: Ayats 75-92); (Surah Hud: Ayats 96-109); (Surah Bani Israil: Ayats 101- 111); (Surah Maryam: Ayats 51-53); (Surah Ta-Ha: Ayats 1- 89); (Surah Al-Muminun: Ayats 45-49); (Surah Ash-Shuara: Ayats 10-68); (Surah An-Naml: Ayats 7-14); (Surah Al- Ankabut: Ayats 39-40); (Surah Al-Mumin: Ayats 23-50); (Surah Az-Zukhruf: Ayats 46-56); (Surah Ad-Dukhan: Ayats 17-33); (Surah Adh-Dhariyat: Ayats 38-40); (Surah An- Naziyat: Ayats 15-26).
( 4 )   Indeed, Pharaoh exalted himself in the land and made its people into factions, oppressing a sector among them, slaughtering their [newborn] sons and keeping their females alive. Indeed, he was of the corrupters.
For a king or ruler to make invidious distinctions between his subjects, and specially to depress or oppress any particular class of his subjects, is a dereliction of his kingly duties, for which he is responsible to Allah. Pharaoh and his clique were intoxicated with pride of race and pride of material civilization, and grievously oppressed the Israelites. Pharaoh decreed that all male sons born to his Israelite subjects should be killed, and the females kept alive for the pleasure of the Egyptians. Moses was saved in a wonderful way, as related further.

Here, nobody should think that an Islamic government also discriminates between its Muslim and dhimmi subjects, and does not allow them equal rights and privileges in every way. This doubt is misplaced because this distinction, contrary to Pharaonic discrimination, is not based on any distinction owing to race, color, language or class, but on the distinction of ideology and way of life. In the Islamic system there is absolutely no difference between the legal rights of the Muslims and the dhimmis. The only difference is in their political rights, for the simple reason that in an ideological state the ruling class can only be the one which believes in its basic ideology. Every person who accepts this ideology can enter that class, and anyone who rejects it quits it. Thus, there can be no element of resemblance between this discrimination and the Pharaonic discrimination according to which no member of the oppressed race can ever enter the ruling class, under which the people of the oppressed race do not even enjoy the basic human rights, not to speak of their political and economic rights. They are even deprived of their right to live and survive, and are denied security of any right whatever. All special privileges and benefits and offices and good things of life are reserved for the ruling class and for every such person who happens to have been born in it.

As "One group of them he humiliated, and slew their sons and spared their daughters," The Bible elucidates this as follows:
“Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them: lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them task masters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Ramses. And the Egyptians trade the children of Israel to serve with rigor; And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigor. And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives. And he said, when ye do the office of a midwife to Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.” (Exod. 1: 8-16).
This shows that after the passing away of the Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him), a nationalist revolution took place in Egypt, and when the Copts regained power, the new nationalist government employed every means to subdue the Israelites. They did not only humiliate and disgrace them and took mean services from them, but, over and above this, they adopted the policy of reducing their population, by killing their sons and allowing their daughters to live so that their women should gradually pass into the Copts’ hands and produce the Coptic instead of the Israelite race. The Talmud adds that this revolution had taken place a little over a hundred years after the death of the Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him). According to it, the new government, in the first instance, deprived the Israelites of their fertile lands and houses and possessions, and then removed them from the government jobs and offices. Even after this, whenever the Coptic rulers felt that the Israelites and their Egyptian coreligionists were becoming formidable they would disgrace them and employ them in rigorous jobs on little or no wages at all. This is the explanation of the Quranic verse: “He debased a section of the Egyptian population”, and of (verse 49 of Surah Al- Baqarah): “They had inflicted a dreadful torment on you.”

However, neither the Bible nor the Quran mentions that the Pharaoh was told by an astrologer that a boy would be born among the Israelites, who would become a cause of his deposition from power. And to meet this danger he had issued orders to kill the male children born in the Israelite homes. Or that Pharaoh himself had seen a dreadful dream and the explanation given was that a son would be born among the Israelites, who would cause his downfall. Our commentators have taken this legend from the Talmud and other Israelite traditions.
( 5 )   And We wanted to confer favor upon those who were oppressed in the land and make them leaders and make them inheritors
What Pharaoh wished was to crush them. But Allah's Plan was to protect them as they were weak, and indeed to make them custodians and leaders in His Faith, and to give them in inheritance a land "flowing with milk and honey". Here they were established in authority for such time as they followed Allah's Law. As regards Pharaoh and his ministers and hosts, they were to be shown that they would suffer, at the hands of the Israelites, the very calamities against which they were so confidently taking precautions for themselves.
( 6 )   And establish them in the land and show Pharaoh and [his minister] Haman and their soldiers through them that which they had feared.
The Western orientalists have been very critical of this. They say that Haman was a courtier of the Persian King Xerxes, who reigned hundreds of years after the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), from 486 to 465 B.C., but the Quran has made him a minister of Pharaoh in Egypt. This is nothing but an instance of sheer prejudice. After all, what historical evidence do these orientalists have to prove that there never lived any other person called Haman before Xerxes' courtier Haman? If an orientalist has been able to discover, through authentic means, a complete list of all the ministers and chiefs and courtiers of the Pharaoh under discussion which does not contain the name of Haman, he should make it public, or publish a photocopy of it, because there could be no better or more effective instrument than this of the refutation of the Quran.

Pharaoh was trying to kill the Israelites. Instead, the Plagues of Egypt, invoked by Moses, killed thousands of Egyptians, because "they were steeped in arrogance,-a people given to sin." In pursuing the Israelites in their flight, Pharaoh and his army were themselves overwhelmed in the sea.
( 7 )   And We inspired to the mother of Moses, "Suckle him; but when you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear and do not grieve. Indeed, We will return him to you and will make him [one] of the messengers."
That a son was born in the same period to an Israelite parents who was later known by the name of Moses to the world, has been omitted. According to the Bible and the Talmud, the family descended from Levi, a son of the Prophet Jacob (peace be upon him), and the name of the Prophet Moses’ (peace be upon him) father was Amram, which has been pronounced as Imran by the Quran. They already had two children before Moses, the elder a daughter, named Miriam, and the younger her brother, Aaron. Probably the proclamation that every male child born in an Israelite home would be killed, had not yet been issued when the Prophet Aaron (peace be upon him) was born; therefore, he was saved. The third child was born when the proclamation was in full force.

Mother of Moses was not commanded to cast the child into the river immediately after birth, but to suckle it till she felt a real danger for it. For instance, if she felt that the secret had been exposed and the enemies had come to know of the child’s birth through some means, or through some wretched informer from among the Israelites themselves, she should place the child in a box and cast it into the river, without any hesitation.

According to the Bible, the Prophet Moses’ (peace be upon him) mother kept him hidden for three months after his birth. The Talmud adds that the Pharaoh’s government had appointed Egyptian women who carried infants into the Israelite homes, and would make these babies cry, so as to make any hidden Israelite infants also cry and be thus discovered. This new method of spying worried Moses’ mother and in order to save her child’s life, she cast him into the river three months after his birth. Up to this point the version given by these Books is the same as the Quran’s, and the event of casting the box into the river has also been described just as the Quran has described it.

In Surah Ta-Ha it has been said: Put this child in a box and place the box in the river. (Ayat 39). The same has been said by the Bible and the Talmud. According to these, the Prophet Moses’ mother made a basket of reeds and covered it with slime (tar) and with pitch to make it watertight. Then she laid the child in it and placed it in the river Nile. But the most important thing, which the Quran mentions, has found no mention anywhere in the Israelite traditions, that is, that the Prophet Moses’ mother had done all this according to an inspiration from Allah, and Allah had already assured her that by following that device not only would her child remain safe and secure but the child would ultimately be restored to her, and that her child would become Allah’s Messenger in the future.
( 8 )   And the family of Pharaoh picked him up [out of the river] so that he would become to them an enemy and a [cause of] grief. Indeed, Pharaoh and Haman and their soldiers were deliberate sinners.
This was the Plan of Providence: that the wicked might cast a net round themselves by fostering the man who was to bring them to naught and be the instrument of their punishment,-or (looking at it from the other side) that Moses might learn all the wisdom of the Egyptians in order to expose all that was hollow and wicked in it.
( 9 )   And the wife of Pharaoh said, "[He will be] a comfort of the eye for me and for you. Do not kill him; perhaps he may benefit us, or we may adopt him as a son." And they perceived not.
He was a darling to look at, and Pharaoh had apparently no son, but only a daughter, who afterwards shared his throne. This is on the supposition that the Pharaoh was Thothmes. In all life Providence so orders things that Evil is defeated by its own weapons. Not only is it defeated, but it actually, though unwittingly, advances the cause of Good!

According to the Bible and the Talmud, the woman who had counseled adoption of Moses was Pharaoh’s daughter, but according to the Quran his wife (imraat-u-Firaun). Obviously, the direct word of Allah is more reliable than the verbal traditions which were compiled centuries afterwards. Therefore, it is absolutely needless to translate imraat-u-Firaun as a woman of Pharaoh’s family against the Arabic idiom and usage only for the sake of seeking conformity with the Israelite traditions.
( 10 )   And the heart of Moses' mother became empty [of all else]. She was about to disclose [the matter concerning] him had We not bound fast her heart that she would be of the believers.
The mother's heart felt the gaping void at parting from her son; but her Faith in Allah's Providence kept her from betraying herself.
( 11 )   And she said to his sister, "Follow him"; so she watched him from a distance while they perceived not.
That is, the girl walked along and watched the floating basket in such a manner that the enemies could not know that she had anything to do with the child in it. According to the Israelite traditions, this sister of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was 10 to 12 years old. She followed up her brother intelligently and cleverly and ascertained that he had been picked up by the Pharaoh’s household.
( 12 )   And We had prevented from him [all] wet nurses before, so she said, "Shall I direct you to a household that will be responsible for him for you while they are to him [for his upbringing] sincere?"
This shows that the sister did not go and sit back at home when she found that her brother had reached Pharaoh’s palace, but cleverly hung about the palace to watch every new development. Then, when she found that the child was not taking to any nurse, and the queen was anxious to get a nurse who would suit it, the intelligent girl went straight into the palace, and said, “I can tell you the whereabouts of a nurse, who will bring him up with great affection.” Here it should be borne in mind that in old days the well-to-do and noble families of these countries generally used to entrust their children to nurses for bringing up. We know that in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) nurses from the suburbs also used to visit Makkah from time to time in order to get infants from the well-to-do families for suckling and nursing on rich wages. The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself was brought up by Halimah Sadiyah in the desert. The same custom was prevalent in Egypt, that is why the Prophet Moses’ (peace be upon him) sister did not say that she would bring a suitable nurse, but said that she would tell them of a house whose people would take up the responsibility of bringing him up with care and affection.
( 13 )   So We restored him to his mother that she might be content and not grieve and that she would know that the promise of Allah is true. But most of the people do not know.
Allah's promise is always true, but short-sighted people, if they are a little thwarted in their plan, do not understand that Allah's wisdom, power, and goodness are far more comprehensive than any little plans which they may form.

According to the Bible and the Talmud, the child was named “Moses” in Pharaoh’s house. It is not a Hebrew but a Coptic word, which means, “I drew him out of the water”, for in Coptic mo meant water and oshe rescued.

Another good thing that resulted from this wise device by Allah was that the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) could not become a real prince in Pharaoh’s house, but grew up among his own people and became fully aware of his family and community traditions and his ancestral religion. Thus, instead of growing up as a member of Pharaoh’s class and people, he arose sentimentally and intellectually as a full-fledged Israelite.

In a Hadith the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said: “He who works to earn his livelihood and keeps in view Allah’s goodwill also, has a likeness with the Prophet Moses’ (peace be upon him) mother, who suckled her own son as well as received her wages for the service, too.” That is, although such a person works to earn a living for his children, since he works honestly with a view to pleasing God, and he is just and upright in his dealings with others, seeks lawful provisions for himself and his children in the spirit of God’s worship, he does deserve a reward from Allah even for earning his own livelihood.

Rukhu 2 [Verses 14-21]

14-21 Musa's youth, his folly of killing a man, and his escape from Fir'on's retribution
( 14 )   And when he attained his full strength and was [mentally] mature, We bestowed upon him judgment and knowledge. And thus do We reward the doers of good.
Full age may be taken to be mature youth, say between 18 and 30 years of age. By that time a person is fully established in life; his physical build is completed, and his mental and moral habits are formed. In this case, as Moses was good at heart, true and loyal to his people, and obedient and just to those among whom he lived, he was granted wisdom and knowledge from on high, to be used for the times of conflict which were coming for him. His internal development being complete, he now goes out into the outer world, where he is again tried and proved, until he gets his divine commission.

Wisdom here implies understanding, and power of judgment, while knowledge is both religious and worldly knowledge. The Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) became familiar with the teachings of his forefathers, Prophets Joseph, Jacob, Isaac and Abraham (peace be upon all of them) through his contact with his parents, and with the sciences prevalent in Egypt by virtue of his training as a prince in the king’s palace. Here the gift of wisdom and knowledge does not refer to the gift of prophethood, because prophethood was bestowed on Moses several years afterwards, as is mentioned below, and has already been mentioned in (Surah Ash-Shuaraa: Ayat 21).

Regarding his education and training while as a prince, the New Testament says: “Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.” The Talmud says: Moses grew up, a handsome lad, in the palace of the king: he dressed royally, was honored by the people, and seemed in all things of royal lineage. He visited the land of Goshen daily, observing the rigor with which his brethren were treated. Moses urged the king of Egypt to grant the men of Goshen one day of rest from the labor, in each week, and the king acceded to his request. Moses said, “If you compel them to labor steadily their strength will fail them; for your benefit and profit allow them at least one day in the week for rest and renewal of strength”, And the Lord was with Moses, and his fame extended through all the land.
( 15 )   And he entered the city at a time of inattention by its people and found therein two men fighting: one from his faction and one from among his enemy. And the one from his faction called for help to him against the one from his enemy, so Moses struck him and [unintentionally] killed him. [Moses] said, "This is from the work of Satan. Indeed, he is a manifest, misleading enemy."
That may have been either the time of the noontime siesta, when all business is suspended even now in Egypt, or the time of night, when people are usually asleep. The latter is more probable, in view of verse 18 below. But there is also another suggestion. A guest in a Palace is not free to wander about at will in the plebeian quarters of the City at all sorts of hours, and this applies even more to an inmate of the Palace brought up as a son. Moses was therefore visiting the City privately and eluding the guards. His object may have been to see for himself how things were going on; perhaps he had heard that his people were being oppressed, as we may suppose that he had retained contact with his mother.

His object was apparently to strike him so as to release the Israelite, not to kill the Egyptian, In fact he killed the Egyptian. This was unfortunate in more ways than one. His visit to the City was clandestine; he had taken the side of the weaker and despised party; and he had taken the life of an Egyptian.

One can imagine the state of utter remorse and confusion in which the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) uttered these words, "This is from the work of Satan. Indeed, he is a manifest, misleading enemy",  when he saw the Egyptian fall down after receiving the blow and breathe his last. He had no intention to murder, nor is a blow struck to kill, nor can one expect that a healthy person would die on receiving a blow. That is why the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) exclaimed: “This is the work of Satan! He has made me do this in order to work some great mischief, so that I am accused of killing an Egyptian while defending an Israelite, and a violent storm of anger and indignation is aroused in the whole of Egypt not only against me but the whole Israelite community.”

In this connection, the Bible gives a different version from the Quran. It declares the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) to be guilty of willful murder. It says that when Moses saw an Egyptian and an Israelite fighting, “He (Moses) looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, He slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.” (Exodus 2: 12). The same is the version of the Talmud also.

Now anybody can see how the Israelites brand the characters of their elders with infamy and how the Quran exonerates them. The verdict of common sense also is that a wise and discreet person, who was to become a great Prophet in the future, and who had to give man a great code of law and justice, could not be such a blind nationalist that seeing a member of his own community fighting with a man of the other community, he would be so infuriated that he would kill the other person willfully. Evidently, it could not be lawful to kill the Egyptian only for the sake of rescuing an Israelite from his tyranny.
( 16 )   He said, "My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, so forgive me," and He forgave him. Indeed, He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.
What the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) meant by this prayer was: “O my Lord, forgive this sin of mine, which you know I have not committed willfully, and also cover and conceal it from the people.”

Forgiveness of Allah has two meanings and both are implied here: Allah pardoned Moses’ error as well as concealed his sin from the people so that neither any Egyptian, nor any official of the Egyptian government, passed that way at that time that he might witness the incident. So, the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) got an opportunity to escape undetected from the place of the occurrence of murder.
( 17 )   He said, "My Lord, for the favor You bestowed upon me, I will never be an assistant to the criminals."
This pledge of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) is in very comprehensive words. What he meant by this was that he would neither become a helper of an individual, nor of those who perpetrated cruelty and tyranny in the world. Ibn Jarir and several other commentators have rightly understood this to mean that on that very day the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) pledged to sever his relations with Pharaoh and his government, for it was a tyrannical government, which had set up a wicked system on God’s earth. He realized that it was not for any honest person to continue as a functionary of a tyrannical kingdom and become an instrument of increasing its power and grandeur.
( 18 )   And he became inside the city fearful and anticipating [exposure], when suddenly the one who sought his help the previous day cried out to him [once again]. Moses said to him, "Indeed, you are an evident, [persistent] deviator."
( 19 )   And when he wanted to strike the one who was an enemy to both of them, he said, "O Moses, do you intend to kill me as you killed someone yesterday? You only want to be a tyrant in the land and do not want to be of the amender."
Here, the Biblical version is different from the Quranic. The Bible says that the fight on the next day was between two Israelites, but according to the Quran this fight also was between an Israelite and an Egyptian. This second version seems to be credible, for the manner in which the secret of the murder of the first day became known, as is being mentioned below, could be possible only if a member of the Coptic community had come to know of the matter. An Israelite’s knowledge of it could not be so treacherous: he could not have gone to inform the Pharaonic government of such a heinous crime committed by the prince, who was a great supporter of his own community.

The one who cried out was the same Israelite whom the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) wanted to help against the enemy. When after scolding and rebuking him, he turned to assault the Egyptian, the Israelite thought that Moses (peace be upon him) was going to strike him; therefore, he raised a hue and cry and disclosed the secret of the previous day’s murder by this own folly.
( 20 )   And a man came from the farthest end of the city, running. He said, "O Moses, indeed the eminent ones are conferring over you [intending] to kill you, so leave [the city]; indeed, I am to you of the sincere advisors."
Apparently rumours had reached the Palace, a Council had been held, and the death of Moses had been suggested.
( 21 )   So he left it, fearful and anticipating [apprehension]. He said, "My Lord, save me from the wrongdoing people."
Moses saw that his position was now untenable, both in the Palace and in the City, and indeed anywhere in Pharaoh's territory. So he suffered voluntary exile. But he did not know where to go to. His mind was in a state of agitation. But he turned to Allah and prayed. He got consolation, and felt that after all it was no hardship to leave Egypt, where there was so much injustice and oppression.

Rukhu 3 [Verses 22-28]

22-28 His arrival at Madyan, acceptance of ten years term employment, and marriage
( 22 )   When (after his departure from Egypt) Moses headed towards Midian, he said: "I hope my Lord will show me the right Path.
East of Lower Egypt, for about 300 miles, runs the Sinai Peninsula, bounded on the south by the Gulf of Suez, and on the north by what was the Isthmus of Suez, now cut by the Suez Canal. Over the Isthmus ran the highroad to Palestine and Syria, but a fugitive could not well take that road, as the Egyptians were after him. If he could, after crossing the Isthmus, plunge into the Sinai desert, east or south-east, he would be in the Midianite territory, where the people would be Arabs and not Egyptians. He turned thither, and again prayed to Allah for guidance.

Both the Bible and the Quran agree that after leaving Egypt, the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had gone to live in Madyan (Midian). But the Talmud tells the absurd story that Moses fled to Ethiopia and became a great favorite with the king there. After the king’s death the people made Moses their king and leader and gave him the widow of the king for a wife, but during the 40 years of his reign there he never had intercourse with his African wife. Then the queen of Ethiopia, who was a wife to Moses (peace be upon him) in name only, said to the people, “Why should this stranger continue to rule over you? He has never worshiped the gods of Ethiopia.” At this the people of Ethiopia deposed him and made him many rich presents and dismissed him with great honors. Then he came to Midian and met with the events being mentioned below. At this time he was 67 years old.

A clear proof of this story’s being absurd is that according to it Assyria (northern Iraq) in those days was under Ethiopia, and the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and the Ethiopian king, his predecessor, had led military campaigns to crush the Assyrian revolts. Now anybody who has a little acquaintance with the history and geography can have a look at the map and see things for himself. Assyria could be under Ethiopian domination and have been attacked by the Ethiopian army only in case Egypt and Palestine and Syria had been under its subjugation, or the whole of Arabia under its sway, or, at least the Ethiopian navy so powerful as to have conquered Iraq across the Indian ocean and the Persian Gulf. History, however, does not support the view that the Ethiopians ever held sway over these countries, or their naval force was ever so powerful. This indicates how imperfect was the Israelites’ knowledge of their own history, and how the Quran corrects their errors and presents the true facts in their pure form. Nevertheless, the Christian and the Jewish orientalists are never ashamed of asserting that the Quran has plagiarized the Israelite traditions for its narratives.

The right path: The path that may take me to Midian safely.” It should be borne in mind that Midian in those days was outside Pharaoh’s empire. Egypt did not have control over the whole of the Sinai Peninsula but only on its western and southern parts. The Midianites who inhabited the eastern and western coasts of the Gulf of Aqabah were free from Egyptian influence and authority. That is why the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had headed for Midian after leaving Egypt, because that was the nearest free and inhabited land. But to reach Midian he had to pass through Egyptian territories; avoiding the Egyptian police and military posts on the way. That is why he prayed to God to put him on the right track which should take him to Midian safely.
( 23 )   And when he came to the well of Madyan, he found there a crowd of people watering [their flocks], and he found aside from them two women driving back [their flocks]. He said, "What is your circumstance?" They said, "We do not water until the shepherds dispatch [their flocks]; and our father is an old man."
This place where the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had arrived was situated, according to the Arab tradition, on the western coast of the Gulf of Aqabah, a few miles to the north of Magna. Today it is called Al-Bid, and is a small habitation. From Josephus to Burton, all ancient and modern explorers and geographers, have generally confirmed this very place as the location of ancient Midian. Nearby there is the place now called Maghair-Shuaib or Magharat Shuaib. There are some Thamudic monuments here. A mile or so away, There are some ancient ruins, where there are two dry wells, one of which was said to be the well where the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had watered the goats. The same has been related by Abu Fida in Taqvim al-Buldan and Yaqut in Mujam al-Buldan, on the authority of Abu Zaid Ansari; that the natives point to the same well there as the well of Moses (peace be upon him). This indicates that the tradition is being handed down since centuries among the people, and therefore, it can be confidently asserted that this is the same place which has been mentioned in the Quran.

That is, we are women: it is not possible for us to water our animals by resisting these shepherds. Our father is too old to perform this rigorous duty. About the father of these ladies, traditions that have become current among the Muslims are that he was the Prophet Shuaib (peace be upon him), but the Quran makes no allusion to this, although Prophet Shuaib (peace be upon him) is a prominent character of the Quran. If he were really the father of the ladies, it would have been clearly mentioned here. That is why great commentators like Ibn Abbas, Hasan Basri, Abu Ubaidah and Said bin Jubair have relied on the Israelite traditions and mentioned the same names of this personage which appear in the Talmud etc. Evidently, if the name of Shuaib had actually been reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him), these scholars would not have mentioned any other name.

The Bible mentions him as Reuel in one place and Jethro in another, and says that he was the priest of Midian. In the Talmudic literature he has been variously called as Reuel, Jethro and Hobab. The present-day Jewish scholars are of the view that Jethro was a synonym for “his excellency” and his real name was Reuel or Hobab. Similarly, they differ about the meaning of the word Kohen. Some regard it as a synonym of priest and others of prince.

According to the Talmud Reuel used to visit Pharaoh from time to time before the birth of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), and pharaoh relied on his knowledge and good counsel and mature opinion. But when the royal council of Egypt started consultations for the subduing of the Israelites and it was decided that their male children be killed on their birth, he did his best to stop Pharaoh from enforcing this wrong decision, warned him of its evil consequences and counseled that if he found the Israelites unbearable, he should let them go to Canaan, the land of their forefathers. These words of Reue angered Pharaoh, and he sent him in shame from his presence. Reuel then left Egypt for his country Midian and settled there ever afterwards.

As to his religion it is commonly believed that, like the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), he was a follower of Prophet Ibraham’s (peace be upon him) faith, for just as the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was a descendant of Isaac, son of Abraham (peace be upon them), so he was a descendant of Midian, son of Abraham. Probably, due to this relationship he tried to prevent Pharaoh from persecuting the Israelites and angered him. Nisaburi, the commentator, writes on the authority of Hasan Basri: “He was a Muslim: he had embraced the religion of the Prophet Shuaib (peace be upon him). The Talmud says that he publicly condemned the idol-worship of the Midianites as a folly. Due to this the people of Midian had turned his opponents.
( 24 )   So he watered [their flocks] for them; then he went back to the shade and said, "My Lord, indeed I am, for whatever good You would send down to me, in need."
فَجَآءَتۡهُ اِحۡدٰٮہُمَا تَمۡشِىۡ عَلَى اسۡتِحۡيَآءٍ  قَالَتۡ اِنَّ اَبِىۡ يَدۡعُوۡكَ لِيَجۡزِيَكَ اَجۡرَ مَا سَقَيۡتَ لَـنَا​ ؕ فَلَمَّا جَآءَهٗ وَقَصَّ عَلَيۡهِ الۡقَصَصَ ۙ قَالَ لَا تَخَفۡ​ نَجَوۡتَ مِنَ الۡقَوۡمِ الظّٰلِمِيۡنَ‏   
( 25 )   Then one of the two women came to him walking with shyness. She said, "Indeed, my father invites you that he may reward you for having watered for us." So when he came to him and related to him the story, he said, "Fear not. You have escaped from the wrongdoing people."
As mentioned in the introduction, the surah takes its name from the twenty-fifth verse in which the Arabic word for narration is used.

Scarcely had he rested, when one of the damsels came back, walking with bashful grace! Modestly she gave her message. 'My father is grateful for what you did for us. He invites you, that he may thank you personally, and at least give some return for your kindness.'. And then, in spite of hearing of a reward, the Prophet Moses’ (peace be upon him) willingness to follow her forthwith to her house indicates the state of extreme helplessness in which he found himself at that time. He had left Egypt empty handed and might have taken at least eight days to reach Midian. He must be hungry and worn out by journey. And above all, he must be anxious to find a shelter in the unfamiliar land and a sympathetic person to give him refuge. Under this very compulsion, in spite of hearing that he was being called to be rewarded for a small service he had rendered, the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) felt no hesitation in going with the woman. He must have thought that the prayer he had just made to God was being answered by God Himself. Therefore, he did not think it was right to turn down the means of hospitality provided by his Lord by an unnecessary show of self-respect.
( 26 )   One of the women said, "O my father, hire him. Indeed, the best one you can hire is the strong and the trustworthy."
It is not necessary that the girl said this to her father in his very first meeting with Moses. Most probably her father made the traveler stay with him for a couple of days, and the girl counseled him thus during that time. What she meant by this counsel was: “Father, you are old, and therefore, we girls have to go out to perform outdoor duties. We have no brother either, who could take up these chores. You may, therefore, employ this man as a servant: he is strong and will be able to face all kinds of rigors, and he is also trustworthy. He helped us only due to his noble nature when he found us standing helpless, but he never raised his eyes at us.”
( 27 )   He said, "Indeed, I wish to wed you one of these, my two daughters, on [the condition] that you serve me for eight years; but if you complete ten, it will be [as a favor] from you. And I do not wish to put you in difficulty. You will find me, if Allah wills, from among the righteous."
It is also not necessary that the father should have said this to Moses (peace be upon him) immediately at the daughter’s counsel. One feels that he must have formed this opinion after due consideration. He must have thought: “No doubt he is a noble person, but employing a healthy and strong young man like him as a servant in a house where there are grown up daughters would not be the right thing. When he is a gentle, educated and civilized man of a noble family (as he must have come to know from the story told by Moses), why shouldn’t he be kept as a son-in-law in the house?” After reaching such a decision, he might have spoken to Moses at a suitable time.

Here again the Israelites have done a grave injustice to their illustrious Prophet, greatest benefactor and national hero. The Talmud says, “Moses lived with Reuel, and he looked with favor upon Ziporah, the daughter of his host, and married her.” Another Jewish tradition related in the Jewish Encyclopedia is to the effect: When Moses related his story to Jethro, the latter understood that he was the person at whose hand, according to prophecies, the kingdom of Pharaoh was to be destroyed. Therefore, he immediately imprisoned Moses so that he should hand him over to Pharaoh and get a reward. He remained imprisoned for seven or ten years in a dark underground cell, but Jethro’s daughter, Ziporah, whom he had first met at the well of water, kept visiting him in the cell secretly and providing him with food and drink;. They had even decided to marry. After seven or ten years Ziporah said to her father, “Years ago you put a man in the cell and then forgot him altogether. He should have died by now. But if he is still alive, he must be a godly person.” Hearing this when Jethro went to the prison, he found Moses alive and was convinced that he had miraculously remained so. Then he married Ziporah to him.

Have the Western orientalists who are ever on the lookout for the sources of the Quranic narratives ever cared to see this manifest difference that exists between the Quranic version and the Israelite traditions?
( 28 )   [Moses] said, "That is [established] between me and you. Whichever of the two terms I complete - there is no injustice to me, and Allah, over what we say, is Witness."
Some people have taken this conversation between the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and the girl’s father for a contract of marriage, and have started the dispute whether service under the father can be looked upon as a dower of the daughters marriage, and whether such external conditions can be laid down for the marriage contract; whereas the words of the verses under discussion themselves indicate this was not the contract of marriage but the initial proposal that is generally made before the execution of the marriage contract itself. After all, how can this be taken for a contract of marriage when it had not yet been decided which of the girls was to be given away in marriage. The purport of the conversation was that the girl’s father said, “I am prepared to marry one of my daughters to you provided that you promise that you will stay in my house for eight to ten years and help me in performing household chores, for I am old and have no son either, who could manage my properties. I have only daughters whom I have to send to perform outdoor duties. I want you to strengthen me as my would be son in law. If you are willing to accept this responsibility, and do not intend to take away your wife soon after marriage, I will marry one of my daughters to you.” The Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was himself in search of a shelter at that time, so he accepted the proposal. Evidently, it was a sort of contract that had been agreed upon between the two parties before the marriage. After this the actual marriage must have taken place according to the law and the dower also settled. There could be no question of including the condition of service in the marriage bond itself.

Rukhu 4 [Verses 29-42]

29-35 His arrival at Mount Tur, seeing a fire, conversation with Allah, and his appointment as a Rasool to Fir'on and his chiefs
( 29 )   And when Moses had completed the term and was traveling with his family, he perceived from the direction of the mount a fire. He said to his family, "Stay here; indeed, I have perceived a fire. Perhaps I will bring you from there [some] information or burning wood from the fire that you may warm yourselves."
That the direction of the journey was towards Mt. Toor shows that the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) might be traveling to Egypt with his family, for Toor lies on the way from Midian to Egypt. Probably Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) thought that he had stayed away from home for ten long years and the Pharaoh in whose reign he had left Egypt had also died, if he quietly went back and stayed with his people, nobody would know it.

The Biblical version of the sequence of events is different from the Quran’s. It says that the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) led the flocks (of his father in law) to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God. There God spoke to him, and appointed him to prophethood and commanded him to go to Egypt. Then Moses went back to Jethro, his father in law, took his permission and went to Egypt with his family. Contrary to this, the Quran says that the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) left Midian with his family after completing the term and during this journey Allah spoke to him and appointed him to prophethood.

Both the Bible and the Talmud agree that the Pharaoh in whose house Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had been brought up had died during his stay in Midian, and now another Pharaoh was the king of Egypt.
( 30 )   But when he came to it, he was called from the right side of the valley in a blessed spot - from the tree, "O Moses, indeed I am Allah, Lord of the worlds."
That is, on that side of the valley which lay to the right of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him).

We are to suppose the appearance of a bush burning but not consumed (Exod. iii. 2), a device adopted by the Scottish Church in its armorial bearings. Scotland apparently took that emblem and motto (Nec tamen consumebatur, 'nevertheless it was not consumed') from the Synod of the Reformed Church of France, which had adopted it in 1583. (information attributed to the Rev. D.Y. Robertson, Chaplain of the Church of Scotland in Simla). The real explanation of the Burning Bush will be found in Surah xxvii, verse 8.
( 31 )   And [he was told], "Throw down your staff." But when he saw it writhing as if it was a snake, he turned in flight and did not return. [Allah said], "O Moses, approach and fear not. Indeed, you are of the secure.
The verbal meaning is: 'you have nothing to fear from what appears to be a snake: it is a snake, not for you, but for Pharaoh.' But there is a deeper meaning besides. Moses had now been called to a higher prophetic mission. He had to meet the hatred of the Egyptians and circumvent their trickery and magic. He had now the security of Faith: in all dangers and difficulties Allah would guide and protect him, for he was actually in Allah's service, one of the Elect.
( 32 )   Insert your hand into the opening of your garment; it will come out white, without disease. And draw in your arm close to you [as prevention] from fear, for those are two proofs from your Lord to Pharaoh and his establishment. Indeed, they have been a people defiantly disobedient."
These two miracles were shown to the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) at that time so that, firstly, he himself is fully convinced that the same Being Who is speaking to him is, in fact, the Creator and Master and Ruler of the whole system of the universe and secondly, he should have full satisfaction that he was not going unarmed before Pharaoh, to perform the dangerous mission assigned to him, but would go well armed with the two powerful weapons.

That is, “Whenever you experience the fear of any danger, fold back your arm to yourself: this will strengthen your heart and will deliver you completely from every feeling of fear and dread.”

Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was taught this device because he was being sent to counter a tyrannical ruler without any army and worldly equipment. He was going to meet with many a dreadful situation when a great Prophet could not also remain safe from fear and terror. Allah said to him, “Whenever you face such a situation, just do this, and Pharaoh will not be able to shake your heart in spite of all the power of his mighty kingdom.”

The words by themselves imply: “Go to Pharaoh with these signs and present yourself as Allah’s Messenger, and invite him and his chiefs to the obedience and worship of Allah, Lord of the worlds.” That is why his appointment has not been specified here, though at other places it has been clearly stated, thus: “Go to Pharaoh for he has become rebellious” (Surah Ta-Ha: Ayat 24). And: “When your Lord called Moses, saying: Go forth to the wicked people, the people of Pharaoh”. (Surah Ash-Shuara: Ayat 10).
( 33 )   He said, "My Lord, indeed, I killed from among them someone, and I fear they will kill me.
It is not that Moses is not reassured from all fear on account of the apparent snake which his rod had become, or from the sacred and unfamiliar surroundings in which he found himself. On this point his heart has been completely assured. But he is still new to his mission, and the future is obscure to his mind. Pharaoh was after him, to take his life, and apparently with good cause, because one of Pharaoh's men had been slain at his hands. And now he is commanded to go to Pharaoh and rebuke him and his Chiefs. The inner doubts and difficulties of his human mind he frankly lays before his Lord, and asks for a little human and visible support, which is granted him at once, viz.; the help of his brother Aaron.
( 34 )   And my brother Aaron is more fluent than me in tongue, so send him with me as support, verifying me. Indeed, I fear that they will deny me."
( 35 )   [Allah] said, "We will strengthen your arm through your brother and grant you both supremacy so they will not reach you. [It will be] through Our signs; you and those who follow you will be the predominant."
To reach you: to approach you anywhere near, in the wonders and Signs that you will show them under the divine authority with which you are invested.

The potency of Allah's Light is such that its divine rays reach the humblest of those who seek after Him. The Prophets can certainly work wonders, but their sincere followers in Faith can do so also in their own spheres. Wonders may appeal to people, but they are not the highest signs of Allah's workings, and they are around us every day in our lives.

This meeting of the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) with Allah and the mutual conversation has been described in much greater detail in (Surah Ta-Ha Ayats 9- 48). Anyone who compares this Quranic version with the story given in the Bible will himself be able to judge which of the two is a divine revelation and which one is the result of human storytelling. Besides, he will also be able to judge whether the Quranic version is, God forbid, a plagiarism of the Bible and Israelite traditions, or that God Himself is describing the actual event, Who had honored Moses (peace be upon him) by calling him up into His Presence.

36-42 Pharaoh and his chiefs disbelieved; as result Allah destroyed them but saved the Children of Israel 
( 36 )   But when Moses came to them with Our signs as clear evidences, they said, "This is not except invented magic, and we have not heard of this [religion] among our forefathers."
The words of the text mean “Fabricated or forged magic.” If fabrication is taken to mean falsehood, it would mean, “The staff's turning into a serpent and the shining of the hand is not any real change in the nature of the thing itself, but a mere illusion, which this man calls a miracle in order to deceive us.” And if it is taken to mean a forgery, it will imply: “This person has forged something which appears to be a staff; but when it is thrown on the ground, it moves like a snake. As for the hand, he has rubbed something on it so that when he draws it out of the armpit, it shines. He himself works these magical tricks but tries to make us believe that these are miracles which God has granted him.”

The reference is to the teachings which the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had presented while conveying this message of Tauhid. The details have been given at other places in the Quran. For example, according to (Surah An-Naziyat: Ayats 18-19), he said to Pharaoh: “Will you mind to purify yourself, that I may guide you to your Lord so that you may have fear (of Him)?” And in (Surah Ta Ha: Ayats 47-48), “We have come to you with signs from your Lord; peace is for him who follows the right way. We have been informed by revelation that there is punishment for him who rejects it and turns away.” And: “We are Messengers from your Lord: so let the Israelites go with us.” It was about these things that Pharaoh said, “Even our forefathers had never heard that there was a Being more powerful than Pharaoh of Egypt, Who was authorized to command him, to punish him, to send a man to his court to convey His instructions to him, and to warn the king of Egypt to fear Him. These are strange things which we are hearing today from a man like you.”
( 37 )   And Moses said, "My Lord is more knowing [than we or you] of who has come with guidance from Him and to whom will be succession in the home. Indeed, wrongdoers do not succeed."
That is, “You think I am a magician and a forger, but my Lord is well aware of me. He knows what sort of a man is the person whom He has appointed as a messenger; and the final judgment rests with Him. If I am a liar, I shall meet an evil end; and if you are a liar, you should know that your end will not be good. In any case, the inevitable fact is that the unjust will not attain true success. He, who is not Allah’s messenger but falsely presents himself as a messenger for selfish motives, is also unjust and will not attain success. And the one who rejects a true messenger by false accusations and suppresses the truth by deceit and fraud, is also unjust and will never attain success.”
( 38 )   And Pharaoh said, "O eminent ones, I have not known you to have a god other than me. Then ignite for me, O Haman, [a fire] upon the clay and make for me a tower that I may look at the God of Moses. And indeed, I do think he is among the liars."
By this Pharaoh did not, and could not, mean that he was the creator of his people and the earth and the heavens, for such a thing be uttered only by a madman. Likewise; he also did not mean that they had no other deity besides him for the Egyptians worshiped many gods, and the Pharaoh himself had been made the incarnation of the sun god. The Quran testifies that the Pharaoh himself worshiped many gods: “The chiefs of Pharaoh’s people said, Will you leave Moses and his followers free to spread disorder in the land, and to discard you and your deities?” (Surah Al-Aaraf: Ayat 127) Therefore, inevitably, the Pharaoh had not used the word “god” here for himself as a creator and deity, but as an absolute and supreme sovereign. What he meant was this: “I am the owner of this land of Egypt: I alone will rule here: My law will be the law of the land; I alone shall be accepted as the fountainhead of all commands and prohibitions here. None else is entitled to give commands in this country. Who is this Moses, who has appeared as the delegate of the Lord of the universe and is conveying orders to me as though he is the ruler and I am his subordinate?” That is why he addressed his courtiers, thus: “O people: Is not the kingdom of Egypt mine? And are not these canals flowing beneath me?” (Surah Az-Zukhruf: Ayat 51). And that is why he said to Moses (peace be upon him) again and again, “Have you come to turn us away from the faith of our forefathers so that you too may dominate over the land?” (Surah Yunus: Ayat 78). “O Moses, have you come to drive us out of our land by the power of your sorcery?” (Surah Ta-Ha: Ayat 57) “I fear he will change your religion, or cause mischief to appear in the land.” (Surah Al-Mumin: Ayat 26).

If the matter is considered from this angle it will become evident that the position of Pharaoh was no different from the position of those states which claim political and legal sovereignty independent of divine law brought by the prophets. Whether they accept a king as the fountainhead of law and commands and prohibitions, or the will of the nation, in any case as long as they stick to the position that the country will be ruled by their law and not by the Law of Allah and His Messengers, there will be no fundamental difference between their position and that of Pharaoh. It is, however, a different thing that the ignorant people curse Pharaoh but approve these as lawful. A person who understands reality will look for the spirit and sense and not merely for words and terminology. Pharaoh had used the word “god” for himself but these states use the term sovereignty in the same sense. See (E.N. 21 Surah Ta-Ha).

The Quran does not specify whether Pharaoh actually got such a tower built and tried to see God from the top of it, but it only relates what he said. Apparently, he did not commit the folly. He only meant to befool the people.

This also is not clear whether Pharaoh was, in fact, a disbeliever in the Being of the Lord of the universe, or talked atheism only due to stubbornness. In this regard his sayings point to the same mental confusion which one finds in the statements of the communists. Sometimes he wanted to climb into the sky and come back to tell the world that he had nowhere seen the God of Moses (peace be upon him), yet another time he would say, “Why were not bracelets of gold sent down on him, or a company of angels as attendants?” (Sura Az-Zukhruf: Ayat 53). We are of the opinion that after the passage of the period of the Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him) and his successors when Egypt was dominated by the Coptic nationalism, and a political revolution took place in the country owing to the racial and nationalistic prejudice. The new leaders, in their nationalistic enthusiasm, also revolted against the God towards Whom the Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him) and his followers, the Israelites and the Egyptian Muslims, had been calling the people. They thought that if they believed in God, they would never be able to shed the influence and impact of the civilization brought about by the Prophet Joseph (peace be upon him). For if that civilization remained, they would never be able to consolidate their political influence. For them belief in God and Muslim sovereignty were inseparable and interdependent. Therefore, to get rid of the one it was necessary to reject the other, although they could not root out belief in One God from the depths of their hearts.
( 39 )   And he was arrogant, he and his soldiers, in the land, without right, and they thought that they would not be returned to Us.
They did not believe in the Hereafter. They did not understand that every deed must have its inevitable consequence, good, or evil, unless the Grace of Allah intervenes to save us from ourselves!
( 40 )   So We took him and his soldiers and threw them into the sea. So see how was the end of the wrongdoers
Allah in these words has depicted their worthlessness and insignificance as against their false pride. They thought they were big people, but when the respite, Allah had granted them to reform, came to an end, they were thrown into the sea like rubbish.

Pharaoh and his hosts were drowned in the sea in their pursuit of the Israelites: [Also see Surah Al-A'raf  vii. verses 130-136. They are the type of men who lead-only to Destruction. They invite, not to Peace and Happiness, but to the Fire of Wrath, mutual Envy, and Hatred.
.( 41 )   And We made them leaders inviting to the Fire, and on the Day of Resurrection they will not be helped.
That is, “They have set a precedent for the later generations as to committing injustices, rejecting the truth and persistence in their rejection till the last, and using all sorts of devices to defend falsehood against the truth.” They showed these ways to the people and have gone to Hell, and now their descendants are following in their footsteps and rushing towards the same doom.
( 42 )   And We caused to overtake them in this world a curse, and on the Day of Resurrection they will be of the despised.
The words in the text mean: “On the Day of Resurrection they will be among the maqbuhin”, which has several meanings: (l) They will stand rejected and repulsed; (2) they will be wholly deprived of Allah’s mercy; and (3) they will be severely beaten up and their faces will become distorted.

Power and patronage may be lauded by sycophants and selfish place-hunters; but when they are misused, and when their exposure causes their fall, they suffer ignominy even in this life. If they manage to escape exposure while alive, it often happens that they are found out after their death, and the curses of many generations follow those whose oppressions and wrong-doing spoiled the fair face of Allah's earth. But even this is nothing to the true Punishment that will come in the Hereafter. There, true values will be restored, and some of the highest and mightiest will be in the lowest depths of degradation.

Here we come to an end of Part I and mention of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him)which had been spanned of three surahs.  

After the destruction of the Pharaonic Tyranny and other similar Tyrannies before them, Allah began a new age of Revelation, the age of Moses and his Book. Humanity began as it were with a clean slate again. It was a full Revelation (or Shari'at) which may be looked at from three points of view: (1) as Light or Insight for men, so that they should not grope in darkness; (2) as a Guide to show them the Way, so that they should not be misled into wrong Paths; and (3) as a Mercy from Allah, so that by following the Way they may receive Allah's Forgiveness and Grace. In vi. 91, we have a reference to Light and Guidance in connection with the Revelation of Moses, and in vi. 154 we have a reference to Guidance and Mercy in the same connection. Here all three are combined, with the substitution of Basair for Nur. Basair is the plural of Basirat, and may also be translated Proofs.

For the remaining part of the Surah, from Rukhu 5-9 [verses 43-88] , please refer to Part II.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrah Al-Qaṣaṣ with English subtitles:

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary / exegesis of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Juzʼ / Part backwards for chapters in 30th Juzʼ / Part are shorter and easier to understand). 

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. 
  • In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites. 
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