In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Allaah [The Most High] says in Surah Ghafir Ayah 29:
[قَالَ فِرۡعَوۡنُ مَآ أُرِيكُمۡ إِلَّا مَآ أَرَىٰ وَمَآ أَهۡدِيكُمۡ إِلَّا سَبِيلَ ٱلرَّشَادِ -Fir’aun (Pharaoh) said: “I show you only that which I see (correct), and I guide you only to the path of right policy!]
Meaning, he deceived his people, so that he is followed and his leadership established. Allaah [The Most High] said that he said to his people: [مَآ أُرِيكُمۡ إِلَّا مَآ أَرَىٰ – I show you only that which I see (correct)]. Yes indeed, he spoke the truth regarding the fact that he only wanted to show his people what he considered to be the right thing, but what was it that he considered to be right thing?! He wanted to conceal the truth because Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] was upon truth and he rejected it after being certain of it.
Then Allaah [The Most High] said that Fir’awn said to his people: [وَمَآ أَهۡدِيكُمۡ إِلَّا سَبِيلَ ٱلرَّشَادِ- and I guide you only to the path of right policy!]. Indeed, he lied because this claim that he only wants to guide them to what is right is tantamount to changing the reality. It would have been a lesser crime if he merely wanted them to follow his disbelief and misguidance, but the affair became worse when he commanded them to follow him and claimed that adhering to his path is the right path and that Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] was upon falsehood.
Allaah [The Most High] says in Surah Al-Araf Ayah 127 that Fir’awn’s Chiefs said:
[وَقَالَ ٱلۡمَلَأُ مِن قَوۡمِ فِرۡعَوۡنَ أَتَذَرُ مُوسَىٰ وَقَوۡمَهُ ۥ لِيُفۡسِدُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَيَذَرَكَ وَءَالِهَتَكَ – The chiefs of Fir’aun’s (Pharaoh) people said: “Will you leave Musa (Moses) and his people to spread mischief in the land, and to abandon you and your gods?]- Meaning, Moosaa and his people will cause corruption in the earth by calling us to adhere to the path of Allaah, so called noble manners and excellent deeds by way of which -as they claim- the affairs in the earth will be rectified, even though in reality they are upon nothing else but corruption. They want you and your gods to be abandoned, warn against you and stop the people from following you. Then Allaah [The Most High] said that Fir’awn replied to his chiefs, saying: [سَنُقَتِّلُ أَبۡنَآءَهُمۡ وَنَسۡتَحۡىِۦ نِسَآءَهُمۡ وَإِنَّا فَوۡقَهُمۡ قَـٰهِرُونَ – We will kill their sons and let live their women, and we have indeed irresistible power over them]. Then Allaah [The Most High] informs us of the conversion between Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] and his people, whilst they faced this great trial and threat:
قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوۡمِهِ ٱسۡتَعِينُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱصۡبِرُوٓاْۖ إِنَّ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ لِلَّهِ يُورِثُهَا مَن يَشَآءُ مِنۡ عِبَادِهِۦۖ وَٱلۡعَـٰقِبَةُ لِلۡمُتَّقِينَ
قَالُوٓاْ أُوذِينَا مِن قَبۡلِ أَن تَأۡتِيَنَا وَمِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جِئۡتَنَاۚ قَالَ عَسَىٰ رَبُّكُمۡ أَن يُهۡلِكَ عَدُوَّڪُمۡ وَيَسۡتَخۡلِفَڪُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَيَنظُرَ ڪَيۡفَ تَعۡمَلُونَ
Musa (Moses) said to his people: “Seek help in Allah and be patient. Verily, the earth is Allah’s. He gives it as a heritage to whom He will of His slaves, and the (blessed) end is for the Muttaqun (the pious); they said: “We (Children of Israel) had suffered troubles before you came to us, and since you have come to us.” He said: “It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you successors on the earth, so that He may see how you act?” [7:128-129]
[An Excerpt from Tayseer As -Sadi. Slightly paraphrased]