Musa gets to meet pharaoh Part 1



Musa gets to meet pharaoh Part 1

This dialogue is a battle of wits… May Allah Help me transmit it in the best way… It might require more than one part.

Does anyone understand what transition in movies is ? Sometimes in movies they cut off scenes and just show subsequent events resulting from the scene….

Transition is a modern film technique but it is employed many times in the Quran…No one tells a story better than Allah… It’s so beautiful, SubhanAllah…. We will continue the story of Musa from Surah Shuara..

from Ayah 10…

Ayah 10 & 11

وَإِذۡ نَادَىٰ رَبُّكَ مُوسَىٰٓ أَنِ ٱئۡتِ ٱلۡقَوۡمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ (١٠

10. Waith nada rabbuka moosa ani iti alqawma alththalimeena
11. Qawma firAAawna ala yattaqoona

10.Your Lord called to Moses: ‘Go to those wrongdoers
11. the people of Pharaoh. Will they not take heed?’

We are picking off from the conversation Allah had with Musa, Here Allah commands musa to go to pharaoh and his people…

Ayah 12, 13, 14

Now Musa responds

قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ أَن يُكَذِّبُونِ (١٢
وَيَضِيقُ صَدۡرِى وَلَا يَنطَلِقُ لِسَانِى فَأَرۡسِلۡ إِلَىٰ هَـٰرُونَ (١٣
وَلَهُمۡ عَلَىَّ ذَنۢبٌ۬ فَأَخَافُ أَن يَقۡتُلُونِ (١٤

12. Qala rabbi innee akhafu an yukaththibooni
13. Wayadeequ sadree wala yantaliqu lisanee faarsil ila haroona
14. Walahum AAalayya thanbun faakhafu an yaqtulooni

12.Moses said, ‘My Lord, I fear they will call me a liar,
13.and I will feel stressed and tongue-tied, so send Aaron too;
14. besides, they have a charge against me, and I fear they may kill me.’

The most important concern raised by musa was the success of the mission, Musa had a temper so he was afraid that if they called him a liar or lied against him, he will get angry. When he gets angry, he can’t communicate his thoughts clearly and when he does that, he fears that the mission will fail. So He asks for a back-up, if He fails, the back up should be there.. He makes the mission the priority.

Another reason for asking for a backup was that the people of pharaoh had a charge against Him and they could kill him when he get there. If they kill Him, the back-up will the mission. So he is explaining his reasons for a back-up.

He had more concern for the mission that his own life. So two reasons for a back-up Aaron:

i. If they call him a liar or lie against him, he could lose his temper. when angry, He can’t talk straight. the back-up will take over in that case.
ii. They had a charge against him and could kill him, the back-up will continue the mission in this case..

Subhanallah…. His only concern was fulfilling the message given to him by Allah…

Ayah 15

Allah replies:

قَالَ كَلَّا‌ۖ فَٱذۡهَبَا بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَآ‌ۖ إِنَّا مَعَكُم مُّسۡتَمِعُونَ (١٥

Qala kalla faithhaba biayatina inna maAAakum mustamiAAoona

15. God said, ‘No [they will not]. Go, both of you, with Our signs––We shall be with you, listening.

Allah assures Musa that he will not be killed. Then says: Go both of you with Our signs… Allah uses ‘both of you’ showing that the request of Musa has been granted.

Allah then says(rough translation): We shall be with you, listening. Interesting Allah uses listening instead of watching… you see you can watch from a distance but to listen you have to be close. So Allah by the language is assuring Musa that He will be close to Him… Subhanallah….

So Allah says; He will be listening to this dialogue with Pharaoh. We must also be listening carefully….

Ayah 16 & 17

فَأۡتِيَا فِرۡعَوۡنَ فَقُولَآ إِنَّا رَسُولُ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ (١٦
أَنۡ أَرۡسِلۡ مَعَنَا بَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ (١٧

16. Fatiya firAAawna faqoola inna rasoolu rabbi alAAalameena
17. An arsil maAAana banee israeela

16 Go, both of you, to Pharaoh and say, “We are like one messenger from the Lord of the Worlds:
17 let the Children of Israel leave with us.” ’

Now Allah gives them the message to pharoah;
1.Tell him that you are both like one messenger from the lord of the worlds (coming with a single message)

2. and that he should let the children of Israel come with you…

Now there is the transition…

Ayah 18
قَالَ أَلَمۡ نُرَبِّكَ فِينَا وَلِيدً۬ا وَلَبِثۡتَ فِينَا مِنۡ عُمُرِكَ سِنِينَ (١٨

18. Qala alam nurabbika feena waleedan walabithta feena min AAumurika sineena
19. WafaAAalta faAAlataka allatee faAAalta waanta mina alkafireena

18.Pharaoh said, ‘Did we not bring you up as a child among us? Did you not stay with us for many years?
19 And then you committed that crime of yours: you were so ungrateful.’

Did you notice what just happened? Allah had told Musa and Aaron to say: “We are like one messenger from the Lord of the Worlds: let the Children of Israel leave with us.” in the previous ayah

This is not repeated again; rather the pharaoh response to the demand of Musa is relayed…. The reader understands that Musa has already placed this demand before Pharaoh, There is no need for repetition, It is redundant…. Subhanallah… This is an example of transition in the Quran..

Imagine Musa, who ran away from Egypt after committing a crime. He has a charge against him… He does not sneak into Egypt, rather He goes to the palace of Pharaoh to talk to him. Not only that, He comes to pharaoh and says: We come with a message from the ‘Lord of the Worlds’ : Let the children of Israel go….

At this point, Pharaoh is in a position of power in this conversation: So Pharaoh said:

‘Did we not bring you up as a child among us? Did you not stay with us for many years?’

Pharaoh is smart here, He is trying to play on the emotions of Musa… Aren’t you grateful that you grew up with us for many years? We raised you for many years…. Trying to show him as being disloyal and ungrateful…. It is an attack on the character of Musa…

By the way, he did not address the issue raised by Musa. He is trying to test Musa’s resolve, He is clever…

Then goes for another psychological attack:

And then you committed that crime of yours: you were so ungrateful.’

He is trying to make Musa nervous by referring to his crime, then he says you are of those who deny ….The word used is ‘alkafireena’ which means to deny… So basically he says,

you are denying my goodness to you…
Are you denying the crime you committed?

See what Pharaoh is doing, He is putting himself up in an intimidating position and putting Musa down… Pharaoh has raised three issues so far?

i. We raised you as a boy
ii. You lived with us for many years
iii. You committed a crime…

So Pharaoh is trying to intimidate Musa..

Musa gives a brilliant response that switches the tables but you will have to wait for it….

This is a fascinating dialogue, a psychological warfare… you do not want to miss out on the concluding part of this dialogue..

in my next post…


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