Treacherous, Scornful and Boastful Prior to Their Wretched End: [Lessons to Learn From The Behaviour of Ancient Criminals]
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Most High] says: [وَلَقَدۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مُوسَىٰ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَآ – And indeed We did send Musa (Moses) with Our Ayat (i.e. proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations)]; Aayaat which clearly showed that what Moosaa (alayhis-salaam) brought was truth- those Aayaat which Allaah [The Most High] showed Fir’awn, his chiefs and his people, such as the miracles Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] was allowed to perform with his stick- which turned into a serpent-; and the locusts and lice which Allaah [The Most High] sent as a punishment to Fir’awn and his people etc
[وَلَقَدۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مُوسَىٰ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَآ إِلَىٰ فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَمَلَإِيْهِۦ فَقَالَ إِنِّى رَسُولُ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ – And indeed We did send Musa (Moses) with Our Ayat (i.e. proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations), to Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and his chiefs (inviting them to Allah’s Religion of Islam) He said: “Verily, I am a Messenger of the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)]; Meaning: Moosaa [Alayhis-Salaam] called them to single out Allaah [The Most high] in worship and forbade them from worshipping others besides Allaah.
Then Allaah [The Most High] said: [فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُم بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَآ إِذَا هُم مِّنۡہَا يَضۡحَكُونَ – But when he (Moosaa) came to them with Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) behold! They laughed at them]; Meaning: They rejected those signs and mocked at them due to transgression and arrogance, and not because those signs were insignificant and unclear. And this is why Allaah [The Most High] says: [وَمَا نُرِيهِم مِّنۡ ءَايَةٍ إِلَّا هِىَ أَڪۡبَرُ مِنۡ أُخۡتِهَاۖ – And not an Ayah (sign, etc.) We showed them but it was greater than its fellow]; Meaning: The signs that came last were greater than the previous ones. [وَأَخَذۡنَـٰهُم بِٱلۡعَذَابِ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَرۡجِعُونَ – and We seized them with torment, in order that they might turn [from their polytheism to Allah’s Religion (Islamic Monotheism)].
However, whenever punishment came to them, Allaah [The Most High] says that they said: [يَـٰٓأَيُّهَ ٱلسَّاحِرُ -O you sorcerer!]; Meaning: O Moosaa! The sorcerer. They addressed him in such a manner either to falsely accuse him; or it might have been a praise – the manner in which they addressed those whom they considered to be from their scholars, their magicians. [ٱدۡعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ بِمَا عَهِدَ عِندَكَ إِنَّنَا لَمُهۡتَدُونَ -Invoke your Lord for us according to what He has covenanted with you. Verily, We shall guide ourselves (aright)]; Meaning: Invoke your Lord on our behalf because your Lord has given you a high status and other special favours, so that this hardship is removed from us and we shall become rightly guided thereafter.
Then Allaah [The Most High] said: [فَلَمَّا كَشَفۡنَا عَنۡہُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابَ إِذَا هُمۡ يَنكُثُونَ -But when We removed the torment from them, behold! They broke their covenant]; Meaning: They did not fulfil their promise; rather they were treacherous and persisted upon disbelief. This behaviour of theirs is similar to what Allaah [The Most High] says about them in Surah Al-Araaf:
فَأَرۡسَلۡنَا عَلَيۡہِمُ ٱلطُّوفَانَ وَٱلۡجَرَادَ وَٱلۡقُمَّلَ وَٱلضَّفَادِعَ وَٱلدَّمَ ءَايَـٰتٍ۬ مُّفَصَّلَـٰتٍ۬ فَٱسۡتَڪۡبَرُواْ وَكَانُواْ قَوۡمً۬ا مُّجۡرِمِينَ (١٣٣) وَلَمَّا وَقَعَ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلرِّجۡزُ قَالُواْ يَـٰمُوسَى ٱدۡعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ بِمَا عَهِدَ عِندَكَۖ لَٮِٕن كَشَفۡتَ عَنَّا ٱلرِّجۡزَ لَنُؤۡمِنَنَّ لَكَ وَلَنُرۡسِلَنَّ مَعَكَ بَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ (١٣٤) فَلَمَّا ڪَشَفۡنَا عَنۡہُمُ ٱلرِّجۡزَ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍ هُم بَـٰلِغُوهُ إِذَا هُمۡ يَنكُثُونَ
So We sent on them: the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs, and the blood: (as a succession of) manifest signs, yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners, etc.). And when the punishment fell on them they said: “O Musa (Moses)! Invoke your Lord for us because of His Promise to you. If you will remove the punishment from us, we indeed shall believe in you, and we shall let the Children of Israel go with you.” But when We removed the punishment from them to a fixed term, which they had to reach, behold! They broke their word!
Then Allaah says [The Most High] says:
وَنَادَىٰ فِرۡعَوۡنُ فِى قَوۡمِهِۦ قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ أَلَيۡسَ لِى مُلۡكُ مِصۡرَ وَهَـٰذِهِ ٱلۡأَنۡهَـٰرُ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِىٓۖ أَفَلَا تُبۡصِرُونَ
[And Fir’aun (Pharaoh) proclaimed among his people, saying: “O my people! Is not mine the dominion of Egypt, and these rivers flowing underneath me. See you not then?]; Meaning: Fir’awn proclaimed – whilst exalting his falsehood, deceived by his Kingdom, transgressing all bounds due to his wealth and armies- that he is the king of Egypt; the judge in all the affairs in Egypt and the one whose castle is surrounded by rivers and springs, which everyone can see.
Then Allaah [The Most High] says that Firawn said: [أَمۡ أَنَا۟ خَيۡرٌ۬ مِّنۡ هَـٰذَا ٱلَّذِى هُوَ مَهِينٌ۬ وَلَا يَكَادُ يُبِينُ – Am I not better than this one [Musa (Moses)], who is Mahin [has no honour nor any respect, and is weak and despicable] and can scarcely express himself clearly?]
May Allaah [The Most High] disfigure Fir’awn, for indeed he intended Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] by this description, even though Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] is one whom Allaah [The Most High] spoke to directly and one given high status by Allaah [The Most High]; however Fir’awn thought that he is honoured and Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] is dishonoured and disgraced. He also proclaimed that in addition to this, Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] cannot even speak clearly because he is not eloquent! However, Firawn’s insult against Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] -that Moosaa cannot even express himself- is not something blameworthy at all. That is because Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] was able to convey the message, even though he used encounter some difficulty when speaking.
Then Allaah [The Most High] says that Firawn said: [فَلَوۡلَآ أُلۡقِىَ عَلَيۡهِ أَسۡوِرَةٌ۬ مِّن ذَهَبٍ أَوۡ جَآءَ مَعَهُ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕڪَةُ مُقۡتَرِنِينَ – Why then are not golden bracelets bestowed on him, or angels sent along with him?]
Then Allaah [The Most High] says: [فَٱسۡتَخَفَّ قَوۡمَهُ ۥ فَأَطَاعُوهُۚ إِنَّهُمۡ كَانُواْ قَوۡمً۬ا فَـٰسِقِينَ – Thus he [Fir’aun (Pharaoh)] befooled and misled his people, and they obeyed him. Verily, they were ever a people who were Fasiqun(rebellious, disobedient to Allah)]; Meaning: Fir’awn deceived them through those doubts, which were portrayed as something true. He deceived his people and his chiefs through words that neither carry any reality nor were such words a means by way of which truth could be distinguished from falsehood. And those words cannot deceive, except the possessors of feeble intellects. Fir’awn did not possess any proofs, rather he only stated that he was the king of Egypt (at the time) and that the rivers flow beneath him? He did not produce any proof to nullify the message brought by Moosaa [alayhis-salaam], even though Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] had few followers; found it hard to express himself clearly and did not possess the riches that Firawn possessed. However, the fact of the matter is that Fir’awn’s chiefs had no common sense, so they followed whatever he said -whether truth or falsehood. And because they were rebellious sinners, Fir’awn beautified shirk and evil for them.
[An Excerpt from ‘Tayseer Al-kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan’ by Imaam As-Sadi (rahimahullaah)]