More Moses and a Familiar Story
Six Abridged Versions
43:47 But when he brought them Our Signs, lo they laughed at them.
I assume the big snake of Moses which ate the little snake of Pharaoh’s magician is the “sign” that was “greater than” in the following revelation:
43:48 Yet, We did not show them a sign but it was greater than its counterpart. Then We seized them with punishment, that perchance they might retract.
43:49 And they said (to Moses): “O Sorcerer, call upon your Lord for us, by the pledge He made with you. We shall, then, be well guided.”
43:50 But when We lifted the punishment from them, behold, they broke their pledge.
43:51 And Pharaoh called out to his people: “O my people, do I not have the kingdom of Egypt, and these rivers flow beneath me? Do you not see, then?
43:52 “Or, am I not better than this weakling who cannot speak clearly?
43:53 “Why, then, no bracelets of gold were cast down upon him or angels came with him in company?”
43:54 Thus, he incited his people and so they obeyed him. They were, indeed, a sinful people.
43:55 Then when they roused Our anger, We wrecked a vengeance upon them and drowned them all.
43:56 And so, We made them a people gone by, and an example to the others.
37:114 And We have favoured Moses and Aaron;
37:115 And delivered them and their people from the great calamity.
37:116 And We supported them, and so they were the victors.
37:117 And We gave them both the clarifying Book.
37:118 And We guided them unto the Straight Path.
37:119 And We left with them both for later generations;
37:120 “Peace be upon Moses and Aaron.”
37:121 Thus We reward the beneficent.
37:122 They are indeed among our believing servants.
It is a wonder that the Egyptian people survive to this day.
44:17 In fact, We have tried the people of Pharaoh before them, and a noble Messenger came to them [saying]:
44:18 “Deliver to me Allah’s servants (the Israelites), for I am unto you a faithful Messenger.
44:19 “Do not rise arrogantly against Allah; for I come to you with manifest authority.
44:20 “I seek refuge with my Lord and your Lord, lest you stone me.
44:21 “And if you do not believe me, then leave me alone."
44:22 Then he called out to his Lord: “These are indeed a criminal people”.
44:23 (Allah said): “Set out then, with My servants at night; for you are being followed.
44:24 “Leave the sea behind as still as ever; for they are a drowning host.”
79:15 Have you heard Moses’ story?
79:16 When His Lord called out to him in the sacred valley, Tuwa?
79:17 Go forth to Pharaoh; indeed, he has waxed arrogant.
79:18 Say: “Do you wish to be cleansed?
79:19 “And that I might lead you to your Lord, so that you might fear [Him]?"
79:20 Thereupon he (Moses) showed him the great sign (turning of the staff into a serpent, Moududi);
79:21 But he (Pharaoh) denounced and disobeyed.
79:22 Then, he turned back striving.
79:23 He summoned (his people) and proclaimed.
79:24 He said: “I am truly your supreme Lord.”
79:25 Then Allah seized him with the punishment of the last world and the first.
79:26 Surely, there is in that a lesson in that to him who fears.
The full story in five revelations.
23:45 Then We sent Moses and his brother Aaron with Our Signs and a decisive authority;
23:46 To Pharaoh and his dignitaries; but they were an arrogant people.
23:47 And so they said: “Shall we believe in two mortals like ourselves, while their own people are serving us?”
23:48 Then they denounced them both as liars, and so they were destroyed.
23:49 And We gave Moses the Book, that perchance they may be guided.
The full story in three revelations.
51:38 And in Moses [is a sign], when We sent him forth to Pharaoh with the manifest authority.
51:39 He (Pharaoh) turned away with his retinue and said: “A sorcerer and a madman.”
51:40 So, We seized him and his hosts (armies) and cast them into the sea; for he was blameworthy.
The full story in two revelations.
25:35 We have indeed brought Moses the Book and appointed his brother Aaron with him as minister.
25:36 Then We said: “Go forth to the people who denounced our signs as lies”; and so We destroyed them fully.
As I said before, it is a wonder that we find so many Egyptians alive today.
Moses Uninterrupted I - Taha
Having read so many accounts of the story of Moses you should be able to read and understand the story of Moses in the surah Taha on your own. Taha is a words for which there is no translation, but some commentators believe, according to Fakhry, that it means “O man”.
Taha is very much a long meandering mishmash of what you have already read with a few additional oddities to keep things interesting. One of these oddities is revelation 20:59 where Moses sets “the Day of the Feast” as the time and place he will challenge Pharaoh’s magicians. From few words, and even fewer facts, you can imply a lot as Islamic scholars do all the time, and which Moududi demonstrates:
The object of Pharaoh was this: "Once the sorcerers are able to transform the staffs and ropes into serpents, the entire effect of the miracle performed by Moses would disappear from the people's minds. That was exactly to Moses' advantage, who suggested that it was no good fixing an ordinary day or place for the purpose. The Day of the Feast was at hand. People would flock on that occasion from all corners of the empire. Therefore, the encounter should be held in the open so that all might witness it, and in the day time so that everyone should be able to see it clearly."
This reiteration of the story of Moses starts with God asking His Messenger if he has heard the story of Moses.
20:9 Has the story of Moses reached you?
20:10 When he saw a fire, he said to his people: “Stay. I see a fire. Perhaps I can bring you a lighted torch therefrom or find guidance by the fire.”
20:11 Then, when he came to it, a voice called out: “O Moses,
20:12 “I am truly your Lord; so take off your shoes, you are in the holy valley, Tuwa.
20:13 “And I have chosen you; so listen to what is being revealed.
20:14 “I am truly Allah; there is no god but I; so worship Me and perform the prayer for my Remembrance.
20:15 “Surely, the Hour is coming – but I keep it almost hidden – so that each soul may be rewarded for its work.
20:16 “Let no one who does not believe and follows his own desires, bar you from it lest you perish.
20:17 “And what is that in your right hand, O Moses?”
20:18 He said: “It is my staff. I lean on it and I beat leaves for my sheep with it and I have other uses for it.”
20:19 He (Allah) said: “Cast it down, O Moses.”
20:20 So he cast it down, and lo and behold, it was a serpent, sliding.
20:21 He (Allah) said: “Pick it up and do not fear; We shall restore it to its original condition.
20:22 “And press your hand to your side; it will come out white, without blemish, as another sign,
20:23 “That We may show you some of our Greatest Signs.
20:24 “Go to Pharaoh; for he has transgressed.”
20:25 He said: “Lord, open (literally, expand) my breast for me,
20:26 “And make my task easy for me.
20:27 “And unravel the knot of my tongue.
20:28 “That they may understand my words.
20:29 “And give me, from my own family, a supporter (literally, a minister),
20:30 “Aaron, my brother.
20:31 “And increase through him my strength.
20:32 “And associate him with me in my task.
20:33 “So that we may glorify you;
20:34 “And remember you often.
20:35 “You have surely been observant of us.”
20:36 He (Allah) said: “You have been granted your request, O Moses.
20:37 “And We have favoured you another time.
20:38 “When We revealed to your mother a revelation [saying]:
20:39 “’Put him in a chest and cast him into the river. The river will then cast him off on the shore, and he will be taken by an enemy of Mine and an enemy of his. And I bestowed upon you a love from Me, so that you may be reared before My Eyes.’
20:40 “When your sister went and said: ‘Shall I tell you about one who will take charge of him (that is, will nurse him)?’ So We turned you over to your mother, that she may rejoice and not grieve. Then you killed a living soul, but We delivered you from anguish; and We tried you repeatedly; so you stayed years among the people of Midian. Then you came, as decreed, O Moses.
20:41 “And I chose you for myself.
20:42 “Go, then, you and your brother, with My Signs, and do not tire of remembering Me.
20:43 “Go forth to Pharaoh; for he has surely transgressed.
20:44 “Speak to him gently, that perchance he may take heed or fear.”
20:45 They said: “Our Lord, we fear that he may hasten to do us harm, or transgress.”
20:46 He (Allah) said: “Do not fear. Surely I am with you hearing and seeing.
20:47 “So go forth to him and say: ‘We are your Lord’s Messengers; so send the Children of Israel along with us and do not torture them. We have brought you a sign from your Lord. Peace be upon him who follows the guidance.’”
20:48 “It has been revealed to us [Moses and Aaron] that punishment shall afflict who disbelieves and turns back.”
20:49 He (Pharaoh) said: “Who, then, is your Lord, O Moses?”
20:50 He (Moses) said: “Our Lord is He who gave everything its nature, then guided it.”
20:51 (Pharaoh) said: “What about the former generations?”
20:52 (Moses) said: “The knowledge thereof is with my Lord in a Book. My Lord neither errs nor forgets.”
20:53 He who made the earth a bed for you, and opened routes for you in it, and sent down water from the sky; from it we bring forth diverse pairs of plants.
20:54 Eat and pasture your cattle. In that there are signs for people of understanding.
20:55 From it We have created you, and into it We shall return you, and from it We shall raise you a second time.
20:56 And We have shown him (Pharaoh) all Our Signs, but he denied them and refused [to believe].
20:57 He (Pharaoh) said: “Have you come, Moses, to drive us out of our land by means of your sorcery?
20:58 “We shall bring you similar sorcery; so make an appointment between us and you, which neither we nor you shall break, in a central place.”
20:59 He (Moses) said: “Your appointment is set for the day of the Feast, so let the people be gathered together before noon.”
20:60 Pharaoh turned away and gathered [his men] of guile, then came along.
20:61 Moses said to them: “Woe to you. Do not lie about Allah lest He should destroy you with punishment. Indeed, he who lies shall fail.”
20:62 So, they disagreed among themselves with respect to their affairs and conferred secretly.
20:63 They said: “Those are the two sorcerers who want to drive you out of your land with their sorcery and put an end to your ideal tradition.
20:64 “So gather your guile and then come forward in your battle array; for today he who has the upper hand shall prosper.”
20:65 They said: “O Moses, either you cast down, or we will be the first to cast down.”
20:66 He said: “You had better cast down”; and behold, their ropes and staff appeared to him, by reason of their sorcery, to glide.
20:67 So, Moses felt apprehensive within himself.
20:68 We (Allah) said: “Do not be afraid, you certainly have the upper hand.
20:69 “Cast down what is in your right hand and it will swallow what they have faked. They have only faked the guile of a magician, and the magician will never prosper wherever he goes.”
20:70 Then the magicians fell down prostrate. They said: “We believe [now] in the Lord of Aaron and Moses.”
Revelations 20:71-73 quoted earlier in Moses and Pharaoh’s Magicians
20:74 For him who comes to his Lord, as a wicked sinner, is Hell, where he neither dies nor lives.
20:75 But those who come to him as believers, who have done good works will have the highest ranks;
20:76 Gardens of Eden, beneath which rivers flow, dwelling therein forever. That is the reward of him who purifies himself.
20:77 And We revealed to Moses (saying): “Set out at night with My servants and strike for them a dry path in the sea, not fearing to be overtaken nor dreading anything.”
20:78 Then Pharaoh pursued them with his troops and so they (Pharaoh’s troops) were overwhelmed by the water.
20:79 Pharaoh thus led his people astray and did not guide them rightly.
20:80 O Children of Israel, We have delivered you from your enemy and We made a covenant with you on the right side of the Mount, and sent down to you the manna and quails.
20:81 Eat of the good things We have provided you with, but do not be excessive therein, lest My Wrath descent upon you. Those upon whom my wrath descends shall be ruined.
20:82 I am, indeed, All-Forgiving unto him who repents, does the righteous deed and is well-guided.
Moses Uninterrupted II - The Poets
Surah 26, The Poets contains the longest uninterrupted story of Moses’ meeting with Pharaoh and the aftermath. This uninterrupted version is also presented without our comments – okay, one comment; Pharaoh’s magicians in this variation of the meeting between Moses and Pharaoh are sorcerers.
Yes, this variation will be, for the most part, to quote Yogi Berra, déja vu all over again; but again expect perplexing revelations about driving people out of gardens, spring and treasures and such, revelations 26:57-59; and the even odder disclosure e.g. that Moses and Pharaoh matter-of-factly discussed who committed the greater crime, Moses’ slaying of an Egyptian or Pharaoh’s enslaving of the Hebrews, revelations 26:18-22.
26:10 When Your Lord called Moses: “Go forth to the wrongdoing people;
26:11 “The people of Pharaoh; will they not fear God?”
26:12 He said: “Lord, I fear that they will denounce me as a liar;
26:13 “And my chest would be constricted and my tongue will not be loosed. So, send for Aaron.
26:14 “And they accuse me of guilt (slaying the Egyptian, whom Moses saw smite an Israelite); so I fear they might kill me.”
26:15 He said: “Never; so go both of you with Our Signs; We are with you listening.
26:16 “So go both of you to Pharaoh and tell him: ‘We are the Messengers of the Lord of the Worlds’;
26:17 “So send with us the Children of Israel.’ “
26:18 He (Pharaoh) said: “Did we not raise you (Moses) among us as a child, and you lingered among us for many years of your life?
26:19 “And you committed the crime you committed, being one of the thankless?”
26:20 He said: “Indeed, I did it then while I was one of the perverse.
26:21 “So I fled from you when I feared you. Then my Lord granted me wisdom and made me one of the Messengers.
26:22 “And this is a grace you reproach me with, having enslaved the Children of Israel.”
26:23 Pharaoh said: “And what is the Lord of the Worlds?”
26:24 He (Moses) said: “The Lord of the heavens and the earth and what lies between them, if you have any kind of certainty.”
26:25 He (Pharaoh) said to those around him: “Do you not hear?”
26:26 He (Moses) said: “Your Lord and the Lord of your Fathers.”
26:27 He (Pharaoh) said: “Surely your Messenger who has been sent forth to you is truly mad.”
26:28 He (Moses) said: “The Lord of the East and the West and what is between them, if only you understand.”
26:29 He said: “If you take a god other than me (Pharaoh), I will certainly make you a prisoner.”
26:30 He (Moses) said: “Even if I should bring you something manifest?”
26:31 He (Pharaoh) said: “Bring it, then, if you are truthful.”
26:32 Then he cast his staff down, and behold, it was a manifest serpent.
26:33 And he held out his hand, and, behold, it appeared white to the onlookers.
26:34 He (Pharaoh) said to the dignitaries around him: “This man is, indeed, a cunning sorcerer,
26:35 “He wants to drive you out of your land by his sorcery; so what do you command?”
26:36 They said: “Leave him and his brother alone for a while and send out to the cities summoning agents,
26:37 “To bring you every cunning sorcerer.”
26:38 And so the sorcerers were gathered together for an appointment on a fixed day.
26:39 And it was said to the people: “Will you come together?
26:40 “So that we might watch the sorcerers, if they should be the winners.”
26:41 So when the sorcerers came they said to Pharaoh: “Will we have a wage, if we are the winners?”
26:42 He said: “Yes, and you shall be, then, among those favoured.”
26:43 Moses said to them: “Cast down what you wish to cast down.”
26:44 So, they cast their ropes and staff and said: “By the might of Pharaoh, we shall be the winners.”
26:45 Then, Moses cast down his staff and, behold, it swallowed forthwith what they had simulated.
26:46 Then the sorcerers fell on their faces prostrate.
26:47 They said: “We believe now in the Lord of the Worlds;
26:48 “The Lord of Moses and Aaron.”
26:49 He (Pharaoh) said: “You have believed before I gave you leave. He (Moses) is indeed your chief, who taught you sorcery, and so you will learn. I shall cut off your hands and feet alternately and will crucify you all.”
26:50 They said: “No harm; we are returning unto our Lord.
26:51 “We hope that our Lord will forgive our sins, as we are the first believers.”
26:52 And We revealed to Moses: “Go forth with My servants at night; for you are being followed.”
26:53 Then Pharaoh sent out summoning agents to all the cities;
26:54 “These, indeed, are a small band;
26:55 “And they are enraging us;
26:56 “And we are all on our guard.”
26:57 Then, We drove them out of gardens and springs;
26:58 And treasures and a noble abode.
26:59 That is how We bequeathed them to the Children of Israel.
26:60 So they followed them at sunrise.
26:61 Then when the two hosts (armies) sighted each other, the companions of Moses said: “We shall be overtaken.”
26:62 He said: “Never; my Lord is with me, He will guide me.”
26:63 So, We revealed to Moses: “Strike the sea with your staff;” whereupon it split, so that each part was like a huge mountain.
26:64 And there We brought the others closer.
26:65 And We delivered Moses and those with him, all together.
26:66 Then, We drowned the others.
26:67 Surely, in that is a sign; yet most of them were not believers.
26:68 Your Lord is surely the All-Mighty, the Merciful.