Commentary : Verse 88

(88) وَ قالَ مُوسى‏ رَبَّنا إِنَّكَ آتَيْتَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَ مَلَأَهُ زينَةً وَ أَمْوالاً فِي الْحَياةِ الدُّنْيا رَبَّنا لِيُضِلُّوا عَنْ سَبيلِكَ رَبَّنَا اطْمِسْ عَلى‏ أَمْوالِهِمْ وَ اشْدُدْ عَلى‏ قُلُوبِهِمْ فَلا يُؤْمِنُوا حَتَّى يَرَوُا الْعَذابَ الْأَليمَ

  1. " And Moses said: 'Our Lord! Verily You have given to Pharaoh and his chiefs adornment and wealth in the life of this world, Our Lord! so that they mislead(men)from Your Path. Our Lord! Destroy their wealth, and harden their hearts, so they will not believe until they see the painful penalty'. "

Commentary :

The Qur'an then refers to one of the reasons for the rebellion of the Pharaoh and his adherents, by mentioning the statement of Moses to his Lord where he talks about the wealth and luxury that Pharaoh and his followers had in the world. This wealth and luxury had the effect of seducing the people away from the true Path. The verse says:

" And Moses said: 'Our Lord! Verily You have given to Pharaoh and his chiefs adornment and wealth in the life of this world, Our Lord! so that they mislead(men)from Your Path. ..."

Thus Moses(a.s.)asked Allah to destroy their belongings so that they could not benefit from them, and to take their power away from them that they might be able to reflect and meditate upon the reality of existence. The verse says:

"... Our Lord! Destroy their wealth, and harden their hearts, ..."

By losing these two capitals, they would quickly degenerate and move a step closer to annihilation, thus making it more possible for the Children of Israel to inflict the last blow upon them. This prayer was not because of revenge or retaliation but it was because they did not have the slightest preparedness for accepting faith. The verse says:

"... so they will not believe until they see the painful penalty'."

Commentary : Verse 89

(89) قالَ قَدْ أُجيبَتْ دَعْوَتُكُما فَاسْتَقيما وَ لا تَتَّبِعانِ سَبيلَ الَّذينَ لا يَعْلَمُونَ

  1. " He(Allah)said: 'The prayer of you both has been accepted, so stand straight and follow not the path of those who know not'. "

Commentary :

Allah said to Moses and his brother that now that they were ready to educate and shape the people of Israel, their prayers regarding their enemies were accepted. The verse says:

" He(Allah)said: 'The prayer of you both has been accepted, ..."

Then they should finally stand, resist, be decisive and do not be afraid of the difficulties on the way. Never should they submit to the suggestions of the unwise and the ignorant and nor follow the way of those who do not know. The verse continues saying:

"... so stand straight and follow not the path of those who know not'. "

Commentary : Verse 90

(90) وَ جاوَزْنا بِبَني‏ إِسْرائيلَ الْبَحْرَ فَأَتْبَعَهُمْ فِرْعَوْنُ وَ جُنُودُهُ بَغْياً وَ عَدْواً حَتَّى إِذا أَدْرَكَهُ الْغَرَقُ قالَ آمَنْتُ أَنَّهُ لا إِلهَ إِلاَّ الَّذي آمَنَتْ بِهِ بَنُوا إِسْرائيلَ وَ أَنَا مِنَ الْمُسْلِمينَ

  1. " And We made the Children of Israel to pass through the sea; then Pharaoh and his hosts chased them in insolence and hostility, until when the drowning overtook him, he said: 'I believe that there is no Allah but He in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of those that surrender'. "

Commentary :

The last phase of the struggle of the Children of Israel with the followers of Pharaoh and their destiny has been depicted in a concise yet accurate and transparent manner here.

The verse implies that Allah let the Children of Israel pass through the sea when confronted with the army of Pharaoh while were being pressured and chased by them. The verse says:

" And We made the Children of Israel to pass through the sea; ..."

Pharaoh and his army chased them there in order to oppress and eliminate them though they were soon drowned in the midst of the stormy waves of the sea. The verse continues saying:

"... then Pharaoh and his hosts chased them in insolence and hostility, until when the drowning overtook him, ..."

This course went on until the abyss surrounded Pharaoh who started floating on the waves and it was then that his blindness, arrogance and unconsciousness came to an end and the innate light of monotheism started shining. He shouted he believed in Him Whom the Children of Israel believed in, and he confessed that there is no one to be worshipped except Him and he resigned himself to Him. The verse says:

"... he said: 'I believe that there is no Allah but He in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of those that surrender'. "

In fact when the prophecies of Moses proved to be true one after another, and Pharaoh realized the truthfulness of the words of this great prophet over and again, on witnessing this final power, he had no excuse but to believe, maybe hoping that the Lord of the Children of Israel would save him the same way He had saved the Children of Israel from the mountainous waves.

Obviously, such a faith which is attained in the face of calamities, when one is caught in the jaws of death, is in fact a kind of "faith for emergencies", which every criminal claims when he is captured, and is of no value.

Commentary : Verse 91

(91) آلْآنَ وَ قَدْ عَصَيْتَ قَبْلُ وَ كُنْتَ مِنَ الْمُفْسِدينَ

  1. " What! Now!(when facing death)while hitherto you have rebelled and been of the mischief- makers "

Commentary :

It was for this reason that Allah, addressing him, informed him that he did become a believer, while before that he used to rebel, disobey and used to commit sin; lining up alongside villains and those who were corrupt on the earth. The verse says:

" What! Now!(when facing death?)while hitherto you have rebelled and been of the mischief- makers "

At any rate, repenting while one is dying is of no benefit. One must repent while there is still a chance of life and of being saved.

Commentary : Verse 92

(92) فَالْيَوْمَ نُنَجِّيكَ بِبَدَنِكَ لِتَكُونَ لِمَنْ خَلْفَكَ آيَةً وَ إِنَّ كَثيراً مِنَ النَّاسِ عَنْ آياتِنا لَغافِلُونَ

  1. " So this day We shall save you in your body, that you may be a Sign to those after you! But verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Signs. "

Commentary :

Allah through the Qur'an announces that He saves Pharaoh's body from being lost in the sea today so that we can provide an instructive lesson for future generations for arrogant rulers, and for all oppressors and those enticing others into corruption as well as for the oppressed. The verse says:

" So this day We shall save you in your body, that you may be a Sign to those after you! ..."

At the end of the verse, the Qur'an indicates that many people still remain ignorant of our verses and symbols and of all those instructive lessons which have been recorded over and over again in the history of man, and despite those clues which prove Our omnipotence The verse continues saying:

"... But verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Signs. "

It is narrated from Imam Rid a(a.s.)in the commentary, Nour- uth- Thaqalayn and As- S afi that Pharaoh was armoured from head to toe which must have pulled him down deep under the sea drowning him but the waves drove the heavy body ashore atop a lofty rock. This itself was a divine miracle.