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Quran Chapter 7 [part 3] - The Heights - A Lesson to Learn, God sends Moses to Pharaoh

94 Whenever We sent a prophet to a town, We afflicted its [disbelieving] [a] people with suffering and hardships, so that they might humble themselves [before God], 95 and then We changed their hardship into prosperity, until they multiplied. But then they said, ‘Hardship and affluence also befell our forefathers,’ and so We took them suddenly, unawares. 96 If the people of those towns had believed and been mindful of God, We would have showered them with blessings from the heavens and earth, but they rejected the truth and so We punished them for their misdeeds.


97 Do the people of these towns feel secure that Our punishment will not come upon them by night, while they are asleep? 98 Do the people of these towns feel secure that Our punishment will not come upon them by day, while they are at play? 99 Do they feel secure against God’s plan? Only the losers feel secure against God’s plan. 100 Is it not clear to those who inherit the land from former generations that We can punish them too for their sins if We will? And seal up their hearts so that they cannot hear?


God sends Moses to Pharaoh


101 We have told you [Prophet] the stories of those towns: messengers came to them, and clear signs, but they would not believe in what they had already rejected– in this way God seals the hearts of disbelievers. 102 We found that most of them did not honor their commitments; We found that most of them were defiant.


103 After these, We sent Moses to Pharaoh and his leading supporters with Our signs, but they rejected them. See the fate of those who used to spread corruption. 104 Moses said, ‘Pharaoh, I am a messenger from the Lord of all the Worlds, 105 duty-bound to say nothing about God but the truth, and I have brought you a clear sign from your Lord. Let the Children of Israel go with me.’ 106 He said, ‘Produce this sign you have brought, if you are telling the truth.’ 107 So Moses threw his staff and– lo and behold!– it was a snake, clear to all, 108 and then he pulled out his hand and– lo and behold!– it was white for all to see. 109 The leaders among Pharaoh’s people said, ‘This man is a learned sorcerer! 110 He means to drive you out of your land!’ Pharaoh said, ‘What do you suggest?’ 111 They said, ‘Delay him and his brother for a while, and send messengers to all the cities 112 to summon every learned sorcerer to you.’


113 The sorcerers came to Pharaoh and said, ‘Shall we be rewarded if we win?’ 114 and he replied, ‘Yes, and you will join my inner court.’ 115 So they said, ‘Moses, will you throw first or shall we?’ 116 He said, ‘You throw,’ and they did, casting a spell on people’s eyes, striking fear into them, and bringing about great sorcery. 117 Then We inspired Moses, ‘Throw your staff,’ and– lo and behold!– it devoured their fakery. 118 The truth was confirmed and what they had produced came to nothing: 119 they were defeated there and utterly humiliated. 120 The sorcerers fell to their knees 121 and said, ‘We believe in the Lord of the Worlds, 122 the Lord of Moses and Aaron!’ 123 but Pharaoh said, ‘How dare you believe in Him before I have given you permission? This is a plot you have hatched to drive the people out of this city! Soon you will see: 124 I will cut off your alternate hands and feet [a] and then crucify you all!’ 125 They said, ‘And so we shall return to our Lord– 126 Your only grievance against us is that we believed in the signs of our Lord when they came to us. Our Lord, pour steadfastness upon us and let us die in devotion to You.’


Plagues Afflict Egypt


127 The leaders among Pharaoh’s people said to him, ‘But are you going to leave Moses and his people to spread corruption in the land and forsake you and your gods?’ He replied, ‘We shall kill their male children, sparing only the females: We have complete power over them.’ 128 Moses said to his people, ‘Turn to God for help and be steadfast: the earth belongs to God– He gives it as their own to whichever of His servants He chooses– and the happy future belongs to those who are mindful of Him,’ 129 and they replied, ‘We were being persecuted long before you came to us, and since then too.’ He said, ‘Your Lord may well destroy your enemy and make you successors to the land to see how you behave.’


130 We inflicted years of drought and crop failure on Pharaoh’s people, so that they might take heed, 131 then, when something good came their way, they said, ‘This is our due!’. When something bad came, they ascribed it to the evil omen of Moses and those with him, but their ‘evil omen’ was really from God, though most of them did not realize it. 132 They said, ‘We will not believe in you, no matter what signs you produce to cast a spell on us,’ 133 and so We let loose on them the flood, locusts, lice, frogs, blood– all clear signs. They were arrogant, wicked people. 134 They would say, whenever a plague struck them, ‘Moses, pray to your Lord for us by virtue of the promise He has made to you: if you relieve us of the plague, we will believe you and let the Children of Israel go with you,’ 135 but when We relieved them of the plague and gave them a fixed period [in which to fulfil their promise]– lo and behold!– they broke it. 136 And so, because they rejected Our signs and paid them no heed, We exacted retribution from them: We drowned them in the sea 137 and We made those who had been oppressed succeed to both the east and the west of the land that We had blessed. Your Lord’s good promise to the Children of Israel was fulfilled, because of their patience, and We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people were making and what they were building.


God Rescues the Children of Israel and Talks to Moses


138 We took the Children of Israel across the sea, but when they came upon a people who worshipped idols, they said, ‘Moses, make a god for us like theirs.’ He said, ‘You really are foolish people: 139 [the cult] these people practice is doomed to destruction, and what they have been doing is useless. 140 Why should I seek any god other than God for you, when He has favored you over all other people?’ 141 Remember how We saved you from Pharaoh’s people, who were subjecting you to the worst of sufferings, killing your male children, sparing only your females– that was a mighty ordeal from your Lord.


142 We appointed thirty nights for Moses, then added ten more: the term set by his Lord was completed in forty nights. Moses said to his brother Aaron, ‘Take my place among my people: act rightly and do not follow the way of those who spread corruption.’ 143 When Moses came for the appointment, and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show Yourself to me: let me see You!’ He said, ‘You will never see Me, but look at that mountain: if it remains standing firm, you will see Me,’ and when his Lord revealed Himself to the mountain, He made it crumble: Moses fell down unconscious. When he recovered, he said, ‘Glory be to You! To You I turn in repentance! I am the first to believe!’ 144 He said, ‘Moses, I have raised you above other people by [giving you] My messages and speaking to you: hold on to what I have given you; be one of those who give thanks.’


145 We inscribed everything for him in the Tablets which taught and explained everything, saying, ‘Hold on to them firmly and urge your people to hold fast to their excellent teachings. I will show you the end of those who rebel. 146 I will keep distracted from My signs those who behave arrogantly on Earth without any right, and who, even if they see every sign, will not believe in them; they will not take the way of right guidance if they see it, but will take the way of error if they see that. This is because they denied Our signs and paid them no heed: 147 the deeds of those who denied Our signs and the Meeting of the Hereafter will come to nothing– why should they be repaid for anything other than what they have done?’


Footnotes


a. This is implied in Arabic (Razi).

b. Left hand and right foot or vice versa.


The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)

The Qur'an / a new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, copyright © 2004 Oxford World's Classics (Oxford University Press). Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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