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In the Name of God بسم الله

The Story Of Musa (as)

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Salaams

I have a question about the story of Prophet Musa (alaihi asalaam) in the Qur'an. In Surah Yunus, it says that nobody believed in the message that Prophet Musa brought except the off spring of his own people, i.e. Bani Israil.

[shakir 10:83] But none believed in Musa except the offspring of his people, on account of the fear of Firon and their chiefs, lest he should persecute them; and most surely Firon was lofty in the land; and most surely he was of the extravagant.

But there were believers even from those who were not Bani Israil, for example the wife of Firown, Lady Asiya (alaiha asalaam) was a believer.

Also the Egyptian magicians, after seeing the miracle that Allah had blessed Prophet Musa with, acknowledged that it was not magic, but a miracle, and believed in his message.

[shakir 26:46 - 48] And the magicians were thrown down prostrate; They said: We believe in the Lord of the worlds:The Lord of Musa and Haroun.

I know that the Qur'an has no contradictions or inconsistencies, and this must be just an apparent discrepency.

Can anyone perhaps shed some light on this, or maybe point me to tafseer of 10:83 that clears this out.

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  • Advanced Member

(bismillah)

Very astute observations on the Quran! It is nice that you are trying to understand the quran holistically rather than verse by verse.

Here are 2 links that deals with the issue at hand; however, I would like to supplement it by adding some commentators that I looked up myself:

http://www.quransearch.com/bassam_zawadi/pharoah_magicians.htm

http://www.answering-christianity.com/quran/pharaohs_magicians_rebuttal.htm

I would like to post a few commentaries:

Yusuf Ali (speaking of 10:83):

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 (7:120-122), and so did Pharaoh's wife (66:11), and ultimately Pharaoh himself, though too late (10:90). If we took "his" to refer to Moses, it would mean that the Israelites were hardhearted and grumbled (7:129) 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.

Muhammad Asad:

As for the term dhurriyyah (lit., "offspring"), we have several authoritative statements to the effect that it often denotes "a small group [or "a few"] of one's people" (Ibn 'Abbas, as quoted by Tabari, Baghawi, Razi and Ibn Kathir, as well as Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah, as quoted by Tabari and Ibn

Kathir); hence my rendering. Since the Qur'an mentions (e.g., in 7:120-126) that some Egyptians, too, came to believe in Moses' message and openly proclaimed their belief, it is reasonable to assume that by "his people" are meant not merely the Israelites but, more generally, the people among whom Moses was living: that is, both Israelites and Egyptians. This assumption is strengthened

by the reference, in the next clause of this sentence, to "their great ones" - an expression obviously relating to the Egyptian "great ones":

Sayyid Qutb:

The Arabic text uses the term dhurriyyah when it refers to those who believed with Moses. This term connotes a small number among the younger generation. What we understand here is that, among the Israelites, those who declared their belief and joined Moses were young people, not the bulk of the Children of Israel. There were fears that these young people might be put under severe pressure to revert back to their old ways.

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi agrees with Sayyid Qutb's interpretation:

*78. The word dhurriyah used in this verse literally means 'offspring'. We have, however, rendered this into English as 'a few youths'. We have preferred this translation because the Qur'an employed this particular expression so as to convey the idea that it was a few youths - male and female - who had the courage of their convictions to embrace and champion the truth in those perilous times whereas their parents and the more elderly members of the community were unable to do so. The older segment of the population was too deeply concerned with its materialistic interests, too engrossed in worldliness and too eager to enjoy a life of security to stand by the truth when that seemed to invite all kinds of peril. On the contrary, this older generation tried to persuade the young ones to stay away from Moses for the simple reason that it would invite the wrath of Pharaoh upon themselves and upon others.

*79. The words ***** which occur in the present verse have given rise to the misunderstanding that all the Israelites were unbelievers, and that in the early phases of Moses' 'prophethood' only a very few persons were believers. The use of the preposition ***** when applied to ***** signifies 'to obey and follow someone'. What these words, therefore, mean is that except for a few young people none in the whole nation of Israel was prepared to accept Moses as his leader, to follow him and support him in his Islamic mission. The part of the verse which follows makes it quite clear that this was not because they had any doubts about the veracity of Moses (peace be on him) or about the truth of his mission. The only reason for them not joining hands with him was that they - especially their elders and nobles - were unwilling to risk Pharaoh's fierce persecution.

Basically the common tie in these interpretations is as to what extent "his" refers to or even the term "dhurriyyah." It seems that it could be broadened or even refer only to the Pharaoh's people. Either way, the contradiction is not explicit given the divergent interpretations and can be easily shown to flow with the message.

Edited by Medina
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