Wednesday 6 November 2019

Surah Yunus - Jonah: 10th Chapter of Quran - Exegesis Part III

Sūrah Yünus " يونس‎, " (Jonah) is the tenth sūrah / chapter of the Holy Qur'an, part of the 11th Juz containing 109 ayats divided into 11 rukus. The Sūrah  takes its name from verse 98, in which there is a reference to Prophet Yünus (Jonah): 

فَلَوۡلَا كَانَتۡ قَرۡيَةٌ اٰمَنَتۡ فَنَفَعَهَاۤ اِيۡمَانُهَاۤ اِلَّا قَوۡمَ يُوۡنُسَ ۚؕ لَمَّاۤ اٰمَنُوۡا كَشَفۡنَا عَنۡهُمۡ عَذَابَ الۡخِزۡىِ فِى الۡحَيٰوةِ الدُّنۡيَا وَمَتَّعۡنٰهُمۡ اِلٰى حِيۡنٍ‏

"Did it ever happen that the people of a town believed on seeing God's chastisement and its believing profited them? (There is no such instance) except of the people of Yünus. When they believed We granted them reprieve from humiliating chastisement in this world, and We let them enjoy themselves for a while." (10:98) 

The name, as usual, is symbolical and does not indicate that the Sūrah deals with the story of Prophet Jonah.

The central theme of Sūrah Yunus is that Allah's wonderful Creation must not be viewed by us as a creation of material things only, once made and finished with. Most wonderful of all is how He reveals Himself to men through Prophets and Scriptures; how prophets are rejected by men, and the Message disbelieved until it is too late for repentance; and how, as in the case of Yünus (Jonah) and his people, even the rejection (when repentance supervenes) does not prevent Allah's grace and mercy from working, and how far that working is beyond man's comprehension.

As already mentioned in the Overview that owing to the length of the Sūrah, it has been divided into four parts as under:
  • Part I   : Ruku / Sections 1-4 [Verses 1-40] 
  • Part II  : Ruku / Sections 5-7 [Verses 41-70] 
  • Part III  : Ruku / Sections 8-9 [Verses 71-92] 
  • Part IV  : Ruku / Sections 10-11 [Verses 93-109] 
We have already presented the exegesis of Part I and II. Let us now begin with the Part III, covering Ruku / Sections 8-9 [Verses 71-92] of the Sūrah. In this part, three things have been impressed upon or mentioned: (1) The consequence of lying about God, (2) Stories from the past of Noah and Moses, and (3) The Deliverance (continuation of story of Moses)

The translation and exegesis / tafseer is in English. 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"

Ruku / Section 8 [71-82] 
Verses 71-73 Story of Prophet Nuh and his people:
( 71 )   And recite to them the news of Noah, when he said to his people, "O my people, if my residence and my reminding of the signs of Allah has become burdensome upon you - then I have relied upon Allah. So resolve upon your plan and [call upon] your associates. Then let not your plan be obscure to you. Then carry it out upon me and do not give me respite.
The story of Prophet Noah (peace be upon him) has been related here to serve as a warning to those who were rejecting the Message of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Up to this place, arguments had been presented before them to show the errors of their creeds, thoughts and ways, and impressive appeals had been made to them to adopt the right way. But from here onward they are being warned of the consequences of the attitude they had adopted towards their Messenger and admonished indirectly to learn a lesson from the fate of Prophet Noah’s (peace be upon him) people, who had behaved towards their Prophet like the Quraish, the addressees. The Prophet had been pointing out to them in a very befitting manner their errors and deviations, and was trying to correct them. But instead of considering and reconsidering these things, they had become his mortal enemies, though he had no self-interest in his Mission and was extending the Message for their good, but they responded to his arguments with rudeness, abuses and stones. So much so that his very person had become intolerable and unbearable for them. This was because of their prejudices against the right way, which had so blinded them that they could not tolerate even the presence of the one who was following the right way. At this Allah commanded His Messenger (peace be upon him) to recite to them the story of Prophet Noah (peace be upon him) so that they might get in it the answer to their misbehavior towards him.

This was a challenge that amounted to this: I am not going to give up my mission at all, whatever you may do against me, for I have my full trust in Allah. See (Ayat 55 of Surah Hud).

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The reference to Noah's story here is only incidental, to illustrate a special point. The fuller story will be found in xi. 25-48, and in many other passages, e.g., vii. 59-64, xxiii 23-32, xxvi, 105-122, and xxxvii, 75-82. At each place there is a special point in the context. The special point here is that Noah's very life and preaching among his wicked people was a cause of offence to them. But he feared nothing, trusted in Allah, delivered his message, and was saved from the Flood.

Firm in his sense of Truth from Allah. Noah plainly told his people to condemn him to death if they liked, openly and in concert, so that he should at least know who would listen to his Message and who would not. He wanted them to be frank and direct, for he feared nothing.
( 72 )   And if you turn away [from my advice] then no payment have I asked of you. My reward is only from Allah, and I have been commanded to be of the Muslims."
The Prophet of Allah preaches for the good of his people. But he claims no reward from them, but on the contrary is reviled, persecuted, banished, and often slain.
( 73 )   And they denied him, so We saved him and those with him in the ship and made them successors, and We drowned those who denied Our signs. Then see how was the end of those who were warned.
The same has been earlier mentioned in Surah vii. Al-A'raf Verse 64:
"But they rejected him and We delivered him and those with him in the ark: But We overwhelmed in the flood those who rejected our signs. They were indeed a blind people!"

Verses 74-82 Rasools were sent to the descendants of Prophet Nuh-similarly Prophet Musa and Haroon were sent to Pharaoh:
( 74 )   Then We sent after him messengers to their peoples, and they came to them with clear proofs. But they were not to believe in that which they had denied before. Thus We seal over the hearts of the transgressors
The transgressors whose hearts are sealed are those obstinate and obdurate people who are so hardened against persuasion that they firmly and perversely adhere to the opinion they have once formed erroneously. As they themselves refuse to listen to counsel and admonition, Allah’s curse falls on them and they are deprived of the ability of ever coming to the right way.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
I understand the meaning to be that there is a sort of spiritual an influence descending from generation to generation, among the Unbelievers as among the men of Faith. In history we find the same problems in many ages,-denial of Allah's grace, defiance of Allah's law, rejection of Allah's Message. These influences cause the hearts of the contumacious to be sealed and impervious to the Truth. Cf. ii. 7 and notes. What they do is to prejudge the issues even before the Prophet explains them.
( 75 )   Then We sent after them Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh and his establishment with Our signs, but they behaved arrogantly and were a criminal people
“They behaved arrogantly” because of their wealth, power, pomp and show, and considered themselves above subjection to the Message. Therefore they showed haughtiness instead of surrender and obedience to it.

Also refer to story of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and Pharaoh, as mentioned in verses 103-156 of Surah Al- Aaraf, should be kept in view, as the things explained therein will not be repeated here.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The story of Moses, Aaron, and Pharaoh is fully told in Surah Al- Aaraf, and there are references to it in many places in the Qur'an. The incidental reference here is to illustrate a special point, viz., that the wicked are arrogant and bound up in their sin, and prefer deception to Truth: they do not hesitate to charge the men of Allah, who work unselfishly for them, with mean motives, such as would actuate them in similar circumstances!
( 76 )   So when there came to them the truth from Us, they said, "Indeed, this is obvious magic."
The story of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and Pharaoh is also being related to serve as an object lesson for the Quraish, who were behaving towards Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the same way as Pharaoh and his people had behaved towards Prophet Moses (peace be upon him); for the response to the Message by the Quraish was similar to that of Pharaoh’s people. Refer to (Ayat 2 of this Surah).

In this connection, it will also be worthwhile to note that the mission of Prophets Moses and Aaron (peace be upon them) was not merely to liberate the Israelites from the slavery of Pharaoh, as some people have opined. If we keep in view the context in which the story occurs here, it will be quite clear that they, too, were appointed to pursue the same mission that was entrusted to all the Prophets from Noah to Muhammad (peace be upon them all). The theme of this Surah from its very beginning has been this: Acknowledge Allah alone as your Lord and Deity for He is the Lord of the whole universe. Believe in the life-after-death in which you shall have to present yourselves before Allah and render the account of all you did in this world. Then the Surah makes it clear to those who rejected the message that history bears witness to this that the true success of humanity has always followed the acceptance of this message. Therefore it admonished them: You should also accept the message which has always been put forward by all the Messengers, and establish your life in its entirety on these articles of faith. For, those who rejected the message were destroyed in the end.

Thus it has become quite clear from the context in which their story occurs, that the main object of the mission of Prophets Moses and Aaron (peace be upon them) was the same as that of all the other Prophets. It is true that one of their objects was also to liberate the Israelites, a Muslim community, from the domination of a kafir community if it persisted in its unbelief. But this had a secondary place in their mission, and was not its main object. The real object has been stated explicitly in (Surah An-Naziat, Ayats 17-19), wherein his Lord said to Moses: Go to Pharaoh for he has transgressed the bounds of subjection and say to him, “Are you prepared to reform yourselves and fear your Lord, if I guide you towards Him”.

The part played by the two Prophets in liberating the Israelites from Pharaoh’s slavery became prominent in history because he and his nobles rejected the message and the Prophets had to rescue their people from their slavery. Accordingly, the Quran gave it the same prominence as in history. But if one does not commit the error of isolating the details of the Quran from its fundamental principles but studies them in the light of these principles, one cannot fall a prey to the misunderstanding that the mere liberation of a community could be the main object of the mission of a Prophet and the propagation of the message its secondary object only.

See (Surah Taha, Ayats 44-52), (Surah Az- Zukhruf, Ayats 46-56), (Surah Al-Muzammil, Ayats 15-16).
( 77 )   Moses said, "Do you say [thus] about the truth when it has come to you? Is this magic? But magicians will not succeed."
“And the sorcerers will not succeed” is meaningful for this is the answer to their charge: “Is this a sorcery.” It means this: You have called the signs presented by Moses (peace be upon him) a sorcery on account of its apparent likeness to it. You have not considered the clear and marked distinctions between the characteristics of the Prophets and sorcerers. Otherwise you would never have dared to make such an absurd charge. Have you ever seen a sorcerer go before a tyrant and talk boldly and fearlessly to him as Moses (peace be upon him) did, and admonish him for his deviation and invite him to adopt the way of purity and God-worship? You know that a sorcerer behaves quite differently. He starts with the flattery of the courtiers so that they may obtain for him the permission to show his tricks. After this he goes to the presence of His Majesty and makes obsequious bows and very humbly requests him to see his tricks. Then he prays for his long life and prosperity and begs for his reward. Now, you can judge for yourselves whether the Prophet is a sorcerer or a far greater and far higher personality than even kings and the like.
( 78 )   They said, "Have you come to us to turn us away from that upon which we found our fathers and so that you two may have grandeur in the land? And we are not believers in you."
It is obvious that if this demand had been merely for the liberation of the Israelites, there could have been no question of any threat to Pharaoh’s kingdom. The threat was because of the message which demanded subordination to the truth, for it threatened the system which was based on shirk and on which depended the domination of Pharaoh and his chiefs and priests.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Notice how they attribute evil motives to the men of Allah, motives of ambition and lust of power, which the men of Allah had been sent expressly to put down. The same device was used against Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
( 79 )   And Pharaoh said, "Bring to me every learned magician."
( 80 )   So when the magicians came, Moses said to them, "Throw down whatever you will throw."
( 81 )   And when they had thrown, Moses said, "What you have brought is [only] magic. Indeed, Allah will expose its worthlessness. Indeed, Allah does not amend the work of corrupters.
When they threw their rods, the rods became snakes by a trick of sorcery, but Moses's miracles were greater than any tricks of sorcery, and had real Truth behind them. And thus what Moses showed was not sorcery but sorcery is that which they are showing.
( 82 )   And Allah will establish the truth by His words, even if the criminals dislike it."
Allah's Words or Commands have real power, while Sorcerers' tricks only seem wonderful by deceiving the eye.

Ruku / Section 9 [83-92] 
Verses 83-92 Story of Moses and Pharaoh and Children of Israel were delivered from the bondage of Pharaoh:
( 83 )   But no one believed Moses, except [some] youths among his people, for fear of Pharaoh and his establishment that they would persecute them. And indeed, Pharaoh was haughty within the land, and indeed, he was of the transgressors
Though literally zurriyyah means offspring, it has been translated into youths because the Quran has used this word here to point out a specific aspect of the matter. It is this: During that fearful period of persecution only a few young men and women showed the moral courage of acknowledging the Messenger of the truth as their leader and becoming his standard bearers. On the contrary, their fathers, mothers and elders had not the courage to follow him and endanger their worldly interests and even their lives. They not only followed the way of ease and expediency, but also discouraged their youth, saying, “Don’t go near Moses: for you will thus invite trouble both for yourselves and your elders.”

The Quran has mentioned this particular aspect of the matter because the same was the case of the response to the mission of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). In its initial stage, those who came forward were not the elders and the old people but some courageous youth. These first Muslims who were boldly facing persecution and enduring hardships for the sake of Islam were the young people. For instance, Ali-ibn-Abi Talib, Jaafar Tayyar, Zubair, Talhah, Saad bin Abi Waqqas, Musab bin Umair, Abdullah bin Masud, etc. were under twenty years when they embraced Islam. Abdur-Rahman bin Auf, Bilal, Suhail were under thirty years, and Abu Ubaidah-bin-al-Jarrah, Zaid bin Harithah, Uthman bin Affan and Umar Faruq were under thirty-five years. Abu Bakr was no more than 38 when he embraced Islam. Among the early Muslims, there is only one instance of a companion, Ammar bin Yasir, who was of the same age as the Prophet (peace be upon him) and another of Ubaidah bin Harith Muttalabi, who was older than the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Some people have misinterpreted the Arabic words say that all the people of Israel were unbelievers and at first only a few of them believed in the message. But when amama is followed by the letter lam, it generally means obeying and following. Thus the original words of the text will mean “a few youth from his own people obeyed and followed Moses,” that is, only a few young people from the whole tribe of the Israelites had the courage to accept and acknowledge Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) as their leader and guide and stand by him in his struggle with Pharaoh and his chiefs. The words that follow make it quite clear that the Israelites refrained from this not because they did not believe in Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) or his message but because they (specially their elders) were afraid of exposing themselves to the persecution of Pharaoh. This state of fear was the result of their moral degeneration. Though all of them racially and religiously belonged to the community of Prophets Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph (peace be upon them all) and, therefore, were Muslims, yet slavery of centuries had so much degraded them that they had lost that spirit of Islam which impels one to become the standard bearer of Islam against the domination of unbelief and deviation, or imbues one with the courage to stand by the one who had raised that banner.

The Bible has described their degraded condition at the time of the conflict with Pharaoh in Exodus 5: 20-21: And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: And they said unto them, the Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savior to be abhorred n the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us. The Talmud (Selections by H. Polano, page 152) confirms the same:
Yea, said the overburdened children of Israel to Moses and Aaron: We are like a lamb which the wolf has carried from its flock, the shepherd strives to take it from him, but between the two the lamb is pulled to pieces; between ye and Pharaoh will we all be killed.
The Quran also refers to this in (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayat 129):
His people answered, we were oppressed before you came and now again we are being oppressed after you have come.
The Arabic word musrifin literally means transgressors, or those who are not bound by any limits. They are the people who do not hesitate to employ even the most wicked methods to achieve their object: who practice without any pangs of conscience, cruelty, immorality, barbarism etc. if these serve their purpose, and who cross all limits in pursuit of their desires. In short, they are such people as know no limits to stop at.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The pronoun "his" in "his People" is taken by some Commentators to refer to Pharaoh. The Majority of Pharaoh's people refused to believe at the time, but the sorcerers believed (vii. 120), and so did Pharaoh's wife (lxvi. 11), and ultimately Pharaoh himself, though too late (x. 90). If we took "his" to refer to Moses, it would mean that the Israelites were hard-hearted and grumbled (vii. 129) even when they were being delivered from Egypt, and only a few of them had any real faith in Allah's providence and the working of His Law, and they feared Pharaoh even more than they feared Allah.
( 84 )   And Moses said, "O my people, if you have believed in Allah, then rely upon Him, if you should be Muslims."
The fact that Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) in his address called his people “Muslims” shows that all the people of the community of Israel were Muslims; otherwise he could not say to them, “if you are Muslims”. He meant to urge them to be brave, saying: If you are true Muslims, as you profess to be, do not fear the might of Pharaoh but put your trust in the might of Allah.
( 85 )   So they said, "Upon Allah do we rely. Our Lord, make us not [objects of] trial for the wrongdoing people
Those, who responded to the appeal of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) were those youth who obeyed and followed him, and not the Israelites, as a community, as is obvious from the context.

The prayer, “Our Lord, do not make us a trial for the wrongdoing people” is very comprehensive in meaning. Whenever the standard bearers of the truth rise up to establish virtue and eradicate the prevalent evil, they come into conflict with unjust people, who, for one reason or the other, are always on the lookout to find fault with them. First, there are the champions of falsehood, who try their level best to crush down with full force the champions of the truth. Then there are the so called champions of the truth who profess to believe in it but are not prepared to enter into conflict with the powerful government of the time. Therefore they declare it to be a useless and foolish effort, and begin to invent excuses to justify the wrong stand they take in regard to the struggle with falsehood in order to silence the prick of conscience they feel for their criminal attitude of cowardice. Accordingly, they try to prove that it is these standard bearers of the truth who are in the wrong and not them. Lastly, there are the common people, who watch the conflict as bystanders and join forces with those who prove to be more powerful of the two, whether they are the supporters of the truth or of falsehood.

Now let us consider how the champions of the truth are liable to become a cause of trial for these unjust people. If they are crushed down or defeated, the first group declares, we were in the right and not these foolish people: otherwise they could not have been defeated. The second group says, their defeat has proved that they did not make the correct estimate of the circumstances and caused the destruction of valuable lives by coming in conflict with the mighty powers. Moreover, the Shariat has not made it obligatory on us to expose ourselves to risk, when we are fulfilling the most essential religious duties without any restrictions from the tyrants of the day. As regards to the common people, their criterion of judging the truth is this: Whatever triumphs is truth. Therefore their defeat has proved that the champions of the truth must be in the wrong. Likewise, every mistake and error the champions of the truth commit, every weakness they show in the face of overwhelming odds against them, every moral fault to which anyone of them succumbs, becomes a good excuse for those who intend to stick to falsehood. Consequently, the invitation to the truth becomes dormant for years after their defeat.

Thus it has become quite clear that this prayer of the companions of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was well timed and meaningful: Our Lord, have mercy upon us so that we might not become a cause of trial for the unjust people: protect us from errors, defects and, weaknesses and make our efforts successful in this world so that we may become a source of goodness to Thy creatures and not a source of evil for the unjust people.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
A trial for those who practice oppression: the various meanings of Fitnat have been explained in n. 1198 to viii. 25. The prayer is that the righteous people, being weak, should be saved from being used as objects of oppression or punishment at the hands of powerful enemies. Weakness tempts Power to practice oppression, and is thus an occasion of trial for the oppressors.
( 86 )   And save us by Your mercy from the disbelieving people."
( 87 )   And We inspired to Moses and his brother, "Settle your people in Egypt in houses and make your houses [facing the] qiblah and establish prayer and give good tidings to the believers."
There is a difference of opinion among the commentators in regard to the meaning of this verse. As for me, I have considered deeply its wording and the circumstances under which this was sent down, and have come to the conclusion that Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was commanded to build or acquire some houses for the establishment of Salat in congregation This was necessitated because the system of Salat in congregation had been abandoned by the Israelites and the Egyptian Muslims as a result of their persecution by the government, and owing to the weakness of their faith. As this had brought about their disintegration and killed their religious spirit, it was essential to re-establish the system of Salat in congregation, which is indeed the first and foremost thing for the revival of that spirit and the integration of a scattered Muslim community and its powers.

As regards to appointing your houses as qiblah, I am of the opinion that it means: Set apart these houses as common places of worship for offering Salat in congregation and the central places for holding their meetings. That is why it is followed by establishing Salat, which means that they should offer their Salat collectively in congregation instead of individually.

The Arabic word bashshir means: Fill them with hope and courage by giving them the good news of success by the grace of Allah. And they needed that very badly at that time, for they were full of despair, fear and depression.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This instruction, we may suppose, was given when the sorcerers were brought to faith, and some of the Egyptians believed. Moses was for a little while to remain in Egypt, so that his Message should have time to work, before the Israelites were led out of Egypt. They were to make their houses into places of prayer (Qibla), as Pharaoh would not probably allow them to set up public places of prayer, and they were now to be only sojourners in Egypt. These were the glad tidings (the Gospel) of Islam, which was preached under Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, and completed under Muhammad.
( 88 )   And Moses said, "Our Lord, indeed You have given Pharaoh and his establishment splendor and wealth in the worldly life, our Lord, that they may lead [men] astray from Your way. Our Lord, obliterate their wealth and harden their hearts so that they will not believe until they see the painful punishment."
This prayer was offered by Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) during the last period of his stay in Egypt. There was a long interval between this and the events mentioned in the preceding verse which happened during the early days of his mission. The details of this intervening period are available at other places in the Quran.

The Arabic word zeenat includes the magnificence, grandeur, glory and the apparent brilliance of their culture and civilization which attracted other people towards them with the desire of imitating them.

“Wealth”, possessions, resources and means which help the people like Pharaoh to put into practice all their devices and plans, and the lack of which prevents the standard bearers of the truth from carrying out their plans.

As it has already been stated, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) made this prayer during the last period of his stay in Egypt. When he had shown many signs, one after the other, to Pharaoh and his chiefs and pointed out the way clearly to them, but they had persisted obdurately in their antagonism to the truth. The Prophet begged his Lord to destroy their possessions and harden their hearts. And this was in accordance with the decree of Allah. As they had merited this punishment according to the divine law of retribution, Allah decreed that they should not get the light of faith, which they themselves had extinguished with their persistent disbelief.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Moses's prayer, in which Aaron joined, for he was always with him, may be paraphrased thus: "O Allah! we understand that the glitter and the wealth of the Egyptians are not to be envied. They are but the ephemeral goods of this life. They are a disadvantage, in that in their pride of possessions the Egyptians mislead themselves and others. Let their pride be their undoing! Turn their wealth into bitterness and their hearts into hardness, for they reject Thee, and they will not believe until they actually see the Punishment of their sins!"

A terrible curse! Let their wealth and splendour become so defaced in their features, that instead of being objects of desire, they become objects of loathing! The heart is the seat of affections and joy: let it be so hardened by their unbelief that it becomes the seat of hatred and grief! It is when they see the Penalty that they will believe!
( 89 )   [Allah] said, "Your supplication has been answered." So remain on a right course and follow not the way of those who do not know."
In this verse, Allah has urged Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and his followers to guard against a common misunderstanding that is likely to arise in such cases. It so happens that those people who have no knowledge of the reality and who do not understand the wisdom of Allah’s ways are liable to believe from the apparent success of His rebels that perhaps it is His will that they should dominate in the world. When they witness the failures of the upholders of the truth in their conflict with falsehood in contrast to the splendor and vast possessions of the champions of falsehood, they begin to think that Allah does not will to help the truth in its conflict with falsehood. Therefore some foolish people further conclude from these wrong suppositions that it is useless to exert for the establishment of the truth. Then they consider it to be the best and most proper thing to rest content with the little religiosity that the sovereignty of falsehood and unbelief allows them. That is why Allah has urged Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and his followers to guard against such a misunderstanding and to carry on the mission entrusted to them with patience under the adverse circumstances.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Be not dazzled by their splendour, but stand out straight for Truth, for that is your salvation! Addressed in form to Moses and Aaron, in substance it is addressed to the Israelites,
( 90 )   And We took the Children of Israel across the sea, and Pharaoh and his soldiers pursued them in tyranny and enmity until, when drowning overtook him, he said, "I believe that there is no deity except that in whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of the Muslims."
The Bible does not mention this happening but the Talmud says explicitly that when he was drowning he said: Who is like Thee, O Lord, among the gods?

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Notice the swiftness of the action in the narrative. The execution of poetic justice could not have been described in fewer words.

That is, in the One True God. This was death-bed repentance, and even so it was forced by the terror of the catastrophe. So it was not accepted (cf. iv. 18) in its entirety. Only the body was saved from the sea, and presumably, according to Egyptian custom, it was embalmed and the mummy was given due rites of the dead. But the story commemorated forever Allah's working, in mercy for His people, and in just punishment of oppressors.
( 91 )   Now? And you had disobeyed [Him] before and were of the corrupters?
( 92 )   So today We will save you in body that you may be to those who succeed you a sign. And indeed, many among the people, of Our signs, are heedless
Even today the place, where the dead body of Pharaoh was found floating, is pointed out by the inhabitants of that region. It lies on the western coast of the Sinai Peninsula and is now known by the name of Jabl-i-Firaun (Pharaoh’s Mount). There is also near to it a hot spring called Hammam-i-Firaun (Pharaoh’s Bath), which is situated at a distance of a few miles from Abu Zenimah, where, they say, Pharaoh’s dead body was found lying.

If the Pharaoh who was drowned was Mineptah, who ruled over Egypt when Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was sent to him, his embalmed dead body is still lying in the Cairo Museum. When Sir Grafton E. Smith removed the bandages from his mummy, a layer of salt was found on the body, which was a clear proof that he was drowned in the sea.

That is, We show signs to the people over and over again so that these should serve as warnings and be the means of teaching them lessons, but it is a pity that they do not learn lessons even from such signs as the dead body of Pharaoh.

Here we come to the end of Part II of the exegesis of Sūrah Yünus. Part IV will be the last part of the exegesis / tafseer of the Sūrah. In which Ruku / Sections 10-11 [Verses 93-109] will be covered.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrah Yünus 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). 

You may also refer to our following reference pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran:

References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |  5 | 6 | 78Prophet Yunus and Allah's Displeasure
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. [1]
  • 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. [2]
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
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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