Creating a Culture or Climate of Fear In Order to Hide Truth- [An Inheritance From Ancient Disbelievers And Enemies of The Messengers]


In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy


قَالُوٓاْ إِنۡ هَـٰذَٲنِ لَسَـٰحِرَٲنِ يُرِيدَانِ أَن يُخۡرِجَاكُم مِّنۡ أَرۡضِكُم بِسِحۡرِهِمَا وَيَذۡهَبَا بِطَرِيقَتِكُمُ ٱلۡمُثۡلَىٰ

They said: “Verily! These [i.e. Moosaa and Haaroon (alayhismas salaam)] are two magicians. Their object is to drive you out from your land with magic, and overcome your chiefs and nobles.


Allaah [The Exalted] said

قَالَ أَجِئۡتَنَا لِتُخۡرِجَنَا مِنۡ أَرۡضِنَا بِسِحۡرِكَ يَـٰمُوسَىٰ

فَلَنَأۡتِيَنَّكَ بِسِحۡرٍ۬ مِّثۡلِهِۦ فَٱجۡعَلۡ بَيۡنَنَا وَبَيۡنَكَ مَوۡعِدً۬ا لَّا نُخۡلِفُهُ ۥ نَحۡنُ وَلَآ أَنتَ مَكَانً۬ا سُوً۬ى

قَالَ مَوۡعِدُكُمۡ يَوۡمُ ٱلزِّينَةِ وَأَن يُحۡشَرَ ٱلنَّاسُ ضُحً۬ى

فَتَوَلَّىٰ فِرۡعَوۡنُ فَجَمَعَ ڪَيۡدَهُ ۥ ثُمَّ أَتَىٰ

قَالَ لَهُم مُّوسَىٰ وَيۡلَكُمۡ لَا تَفۡتَرُواْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ڪَذِبً۬ا فَيُسۡحِتَكُم بِعَذَابٍ۬‌ۖ وَقَدۡ خَابَ مَنِ ٱفۡتَرَىٰ

He [Fir’awn] said: “Have you come to drive us out of our land with your magic, O Moosaa? “Then verily, we can produce magic the like thereof; so appoint a meeting between us and you, which neither we, nor you shall fail to keep, in an open wide place where both shall have a just and equal chance (and beholders could witness the competition).” [Moosaa] said: “Your appointed meeting is the day of the festival, and let the people assemble when the sun has risen (forenoon).” So Fir’awn withdrew, devised his plot and then came back. Musa (Moses) said to them: “Woe unto you! Invent not a lie against Allah, lest He should destroy you completely by a torment. And surely, he who invents a lie (against Allah) will fail miserably.” [Surah Taa Haa. Aayaat 57-61]

He [Fir’awn] claimed that the Aayaat which Moosaa [alayhis salaam] showed him were nothing more than sorcery and illusions, and that the aim behind them was to drive them from their land and take it over. Fir’awn’s statements were intended to influence his people, because people are naturally attached to their homelands and it is difficult for them to abandon them. He told them that this was Moosaa’s [alayhis salaam] goal, so that they would hate and oppose him.

So, it were as if he was saying to Moosaa [alayhis salaam], “We’ll bring you sorcery that is similar to yours, therefore give us a little while” and “make a meeting between us and you, which neither we, nor you shall fail to keep, in an open wide place where both shall have a just and equal chance (and beholders could witness the competition)”- Meaning, let us meet at a vicinity where everyone can see what is taking place. So Moosaa [alayhis salaam] said: “Your appointed meeting is the day of the festival, and let the people assemble when the sun has risen (forenoon)” – Meaning, let all the people gather in the forenoon. Moosaa [alayhis salaam] asked for this because the day of the festival and its forenoon was a time during which people usually gathered in large numbers and they would be able to witness events in reality, which would not be possible at other times.

“So Fir’awn withdrew, devised his plot and then came back”- Meaning, he gathered everything within his ability to challenge Moosaa [alayhis salaam] and sent agents to the cities to get all the skilled sorcerers. Sorcery was rife in that era and its knowhow was something greatly sought after, so Fir’awn gathered a huge number of sorcerers and both him and Moosaa [alayhi salaam] proceeded to the designated place – at the agreed time, and the people also gathered for the event. It was a big gathering, and attendees included men, women, chiefs, notables and the common folk- young and old. The people were encouraged to attend, and it was said to the people – as Allaah stated in another Aayah:

وَقِيلَ لِلنَّاسِ هَلۡ أَنتُم مُّجۡتَمِعُونَ

لَعَلَّنَا نَتَّبِعُ ٱلسَّحَرَةَ إِن كَانُواْ هُمُ ٱلۡغَـٰلِبِينَ

And it was said to the people: “Are you (too) going to assemble? “That we may follow the sorcerers [who were on Fir’aun’s (Pharaoh) religion of disbelief] if they are the winners.” [Surah Ash-Shu’araa. Aayaat 39-40]

So, when they gathered from all the cities, Moosaa [alayhis salaam] admonished them, saying: “Woe unto you! Invent not a lie against Allah, lest He should destroy you completely by a torment. And surely, he who invents a lie (against Allah) will fail miserably”- Meaning, do not support the falsehood you follow by way of your sorcery whilst seeking to overcome the truth and fabricating lies against Allah, lest He destroys you through a punishment and your efforts and fabrications come to nothing, then  neither will you reach the victory you seek after and high status in the presence of Fir’awn and his chiefs, nor will you be safeguarded from Allaah’s torment.

Truthful statements do have an effect on people’s hearts and it is not surprising that the debate between the sorcerers ceased after they heard Moosaa’s [alayhis salaam] statements and they were frighten. It may be that one of the affairs they debated was their doubt as to whether Moosaa [alayhis salaam] was upon truth or not? However, they did not reached an agreement at that point, so that Allaah may bring about that which was already decreed, and so that: [لِّيَهۡلِكَ مَنۡ هَلَكَ عَنۢ بَيِّنَةٍ۬ وَيَحۡيَىٰ مَنۡ حَىَّ عَنۢ بَيِّنَةٍ۬‌ۗ – Those who were to be destroyed (for their rejecting the Faith) might be destroyed after a clear evidence, and those who were to live (i.e. believers) might live after a clear evidence]. [Surah Al-Anfaal. Aayah 42]

So, they spoke secretly and agreed. Allaah said:

فَتَنَـٰزَعُوٓاْ أَمۡرَهُم بَيۡنَهُمۡ وَأَسَرُّواْ ٱلنَّجۡوَىٰ

قَالُوٓاْ إِنۡ هَـٰذَٲنِ لَسَـٰحِرَٲنِ يُرِيدَانِ أَن يُخۡرِجَاكُم مِّنۡ أَرۡضِكُم بِسِحۡرِهِمَا وَيَذۡهَبَا بِطَرِيقَتِكُمُ ٱلۡمُثۡلَىٰ

فَأَجۡمِعُواْ ڪَيۡدَكُمۡ ثُمَّ ٱئۡتُواْ صَفًّ۬ا‌ۚ وَقَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ ٱلۡيَوۡمَ مَنِ ٱسۡتَعۡلَىٰ

Then they debated with one another what they must do, and they kept their talk secret. They said: “Verily! These are two magicians. Their object is to drive you out from your land with magic, and overcome your chiefs and nobles. “So devise your plot, and then assemble in line. And whoever overcomes this day will be indeed successful.

Regarding their statement:

قَالُوٓاْ إِنۡ هَـٰذَٲنِ لَسَـٰحِرَٲنِ يُرِيدَانِ أَن يُخۡرِجَاكُم مِّنۡ أَرۡضِكُم بِسِحۡرِهِمَا وَيَذۡهَبَا بِطَرِيقَتِكُمُ ٱلۡمُثۡلَىٰ

They said: “Verily! These are two magicians. Their object is to drive you out from your land with magic, and put an end to your desired perfect path [by overcoming your chiefs and nobles].

This is similar to what Fir’awn said before, so either it is that Fir’awn and the sorcerers agreed without any prior intention to do so or he commanded them with what he already decided and informed the people. Then they also added to Fir’awn’s statement – as Allaah stated that they said – [وَيَذۡهَبَا بِطَرِيقَتِكُمُ ٱلۡمُثۡلَىٰ – And put an end to your desired perfect path (by overcoming your chiefs and nobles)]- Meaning, the sorcery due to which Moosaa [alayhi salaam] harbours envy against you and desires to gain the upper hand over you, so that he may attain honour, prominence and fame, and so that he becomes the one whom the people go to in order to leam this sorcery to which you have devoted all your time, take away your earnings and the leadership you have by way of it. So, they encouraged one another to do their utmost to overcome Moosaa [alayhi salaam].

Allaah said that they said:

فَأَجۡمِعُواْ ڪَيۡدَكُمۡ ثُمَّ ٱئۡتُواْ صَفًّ۬ا‌ۚ وَقَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ ٱلۡيَوۡمَ مَنِ ٱسۡتَعۡلَىٰ

“So devise your plot, and then assemble in line. And whoever overcomes this day will be indeed successful”- Meaning, show what you can do together, aiding one another, in agreement with one another and be united; “Assemble in line”- Meaning, because that would make your task easier, instil greater awe in the hearts of the people and so that none amongst you does not do lesser than what he able. You should know that whoever succeeds this day and gains the upper hand will be victorious, because your future will be decided by this day. Amazing how determined and resolute they were in their falsehood, because they employed every means, followed every path they could and utilised every plot by way of which they plotted against the truth; however Allaah did not allow anything else other than that His guidance would be accomplished and that truth would be given the upper hand over falsehood. So, after they plotted and decided their goals, then nothing remained except to act.

Allaah [Exalted] stated:

 قَالُواْ يَـٰمُوسَىٰٓ إِمَّآ أَن تُلۡقِىَ وَإِمَّآ أَن نَّكُونَ أَوَّلَ مَنۡ أَلۡقَىٰ (٦٥) قَالَ بَلۡ أَلۡقُواْ‌ۖ فَإِذَا حِبَالُهُمۡ وَعِصِيُّهُمۡ يُخَيَّلُ إِلَيۡهِ مِن سِحۡرِهِمۡ أَنَّہَا تَسۡعَىٰ (٦٦) فَأَوۡجَسَ فِى نَفۡسِهِۦ خِيفَةً۬ مُّوسَىٰ (٦٧) قُلۡنَا لَا تَخَفۡ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلۡأَعۡلَىٰ (٦٨) وَأَلۡقِ مَا فِى يَمِينِكَ تَلۡقَفۡ مَا صَنَعُوٓاْ‌ۖ إِنَّمَا صَنَعُواْ كَيۡدُ سَـٰحِرٍ۬‌ۖ وَلَا يُفۡلِحُ ٱلسَّاحِرُ حَيۡثُ أَتَىٰ (٦٩) فَأُلۡقِىَ ٱلسَّحَرَةُ سُجَّدً۬ا قَالُوٓاْ ءَامَنَّا بِرَبِّ هَـٰرُونَ وَمُوسَىٰ (٧٠) قَالَ ءَامَنتُمۡ لَهُ ۥ قَبۡلَ أَنۡ ءَاذَنَ لَكُمۡ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ لَكَبِيرُكُمُ ٱلَّذِى عَلَّمَكُمُ ٱلسِّحۡرَ‌ۖ فَلَأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيۡدِيَكُمۡ وَأَرۡجُلَكُم مِّنۡ خِلَـٰفٍ۬ وَلَأُصَلِّبَنَّكُمۡ فِى جُذُوعِ ٱلنَّخۡلِ وَلَتَعۡلَمُنَّ أَيُّنَآ أَشَدُّ عَذَابً۬ا وَأَبۡقَىٰ (٧١) قَالُواْ لَن نُّؤۡثِرَكَ عَلَىٰ مَا جَآءَنَا مِنَ ٱلۡبَيِّنَـٰتِ وَٱلَّذِى فَطَرَنَا‌ۖ فَٱقۡضِ مَآ أَنتَ قَاضٍ‌ۖ إِنَّمَا تَقۡضِى هَـٰذِهِ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةَ ٱلدُّنۡيَآ (٧٢) إِنَّآ ءَامَنَّا بِرَبِّنَا لِيَغۡفِرَ لَنَا خَطَـٰيَـٰنَا وَمَآ أَكۡرَهۡتَنَا عَلَيۡهِ مِنَ ٱلسِّحۡرِ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ خَيۡرٌ۬ وَأَبۡقَىٰٓ (٧٣) إِنَّهُ ۥ مَن يَأۡتِ رَبَّهُ ۥ مُجۡرِمً۬ا فَإِنَّ لَهُ ۥ جَهَنَّمَ لَا يَمُوتُ فِيہَا وَلَا يَحۡيَىٰ (٧٤) وَمَن يَأۡتِهِۦ مُؤۡمِنً۬ا قَدۡ عَمِلَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَهُمُ ٱلدَّرَجَـٰتُ ٱلۡعُلَىٰ (٧٥) جَنَّـٰتُ عَدۡنٍ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِہَا ٱلۡأَنۡہَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيہَا‌ۚ وَذَٲلِكَ جَزَآءُ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ (٧٦) وَلَقَدۡ أَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَىٰ مُوسَىٰٓ أَنۡ أَسۡرِ بِعِبَادِى فَٱضۡرِبۡ لَهُمۡ طَرِيقً۬ا فِى ٱلۡبَحۡرِ يَبَسً۬ا لَّا تَخَـٰفُ دَرَكً۬ا وَلَا تَخۡشَىٰ (٧٧) فَأَتۡبَعَہُمۡ فِرۡعَوۡنُ بِجُنُودِهِۦ فَغَشِيَہُم مِّنَ ٱلۡيَمِّ مَا غَشِيَہُمۡ (٧٨) وَأَضَلَّ فِرۡعَوۡنُ قَوۡمَهُ ۥ وَمَا هَدَىٰ (٧٩)

They said: “O Musa (Moses)! Either you throw first or we be the first to throw?” [Musa (Moses)] said: “Nay, throw you (first)!” Then behold, their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast. So Musa (Moses) conceived a fear in himself. We (Allah) said: “Fear not! Surely, you will have the upper hand. “And throw that which is in your right hand! It will swallow up that which they have made. That which they have made is only a magician’s trick, and the magician will never be successful, no matter whatever amount (of skill) he may attain.” So the magicians fell down prostrate. They said: “We believe in the Lord of Harun (Aaron) and Musa (Moses).” [Fir’aun (Pharaoh)] said: “Believe you in him [Musa (Moses)] before I give you permission? Verily! He is your chief who taught you magic. So I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will surely crucify you on the trunks of date-palms, and you shall surely know which of us [I (Fir’aun – Pharaoh) or the Lord of Musa (Moses) (Allah)] can give the severe and more lasting torment.” They said: “We prefer you not over the clear signs that have come to us, and to Him (Allah) Who created us. So decree whatever you desire to decree, for you can only decree (regarding) this life of the world. “Verily! We have believed in our Lord, that He may forgive us our faults, and the magic to which you did compel us. And Allah is better as regards reward in comparison to your [Fir’aun’s (Pharaoh)] reward, and more lasting (as regards punishment in comparison to your punishment).” Verily! Whoever comes to his Lord as a Mujrim (criminal, polytheist, disbeliever in the Oneness of Allah and His Messengers, sinner, etc.), then surely, for him is Hell, therein he will neither die nor live. But whoever comes to Him (Allah) as a believer (in the Oneness of Allah, etc.), and has done righteous good deeds, for such are the high ranks (in the Hereafter), ‘Adn (Edn) Paradise (everlasting Gardens), under which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever: such is the reward of those who purify themselves [(by abstaining from all kinds of sins and evil deeds) which Allah has forbidden and by doing all that which Allah has ordained)]. And indeed We inspired Musa (Moses) (saying): “Travel by night with Ibadi (My slaves) and strike a dry path for them in the sea, fearing neither to be overtaken [by Fir’aun (Pharaoh)] nor being afraid (of drowning in the sea).” Then Fir’aun (Pharaoh) pursued them with his hosts, but the sea-water completely overwhelmed them and covered them up. And Fir’aun (Pharaoh) led his people astray, and he did not guide them. [Surah Taa Haa. Aayaat 56-79]


An Excerpt from Tafseer as-Sadi. slightly paraphrased

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