In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
TA. SIN. MIM. These are the signs of the lucid Book.
We will recite to thee portions of the History of Moses and Pharaoh with
truth, for the teaching of the faithful.
Now Pharaoh lifted himself up in the earth, and divided his people into
parties: one portion of them he brought low He slew their male children, and
let their females only live; for he was one of those who wrought disorders.
And we were minded to shew favour to those who were brought low in the land,
and to make them spiritual chiefs, and to make them Pharaoh's heirs,
And to stablish them in the land; and to make Pharaoh and Haman and their
hosts, the eye-witnesses of what they dreaded from them.
And we said by revelation to the mother of Moses, "Give him suck; and if thou
fearest for him, launch him on the sea; and fear not, neither fret; for we
will restore him to thee, and make him one of the apostles."
And Pharaoh's family took him up to be a foe and a sorrow to them, for
sinners were Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts!
And Pharaoh's wife said, "Joy of the eye to me and thee! put him not to
death: haply he will be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son." But they
knew not what they did.
And the heart of Moses' mother became a blank through fear: and almost had
she discovered him, but that we girt up her heart with constancy, in order
that she might be one of those who believe.
She said to his sister, "Follow him." And she watched him from afar: and they
perceived it not.
And we caused him to refuse the nurses, until his sister came and said,
Shall I point out to you the family of a house that will rear him for you,
and will be careful of him?
So we restored him to his mother, to be the joy of her eyes, and that she
might not fret, and that she might know that the promise of God was true. But
most men knew it not.
And when he had reached his age of strength, and had become a man, we
bestowed on him wisdom and knowledge; for thus do we reward the righteous.
And he entered a city at the time when its inhabitants would not observe
him, and found therein two men fighting: the one, of his own people; the
other, of his enemies. And he who was of his own people asked his help
against him who was of his enemies. And Moses smote him with his fist and
slew him. Said he, "This is a work of Satan; for he is an enemy, a manifest
He said, "O my Lord, I have sinned to mine own hurt: forgive me." So God
forgave him; for He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.
He said, "Lord, because thou hast showed me this grace, I will never again be
the helper of the wicked."
And in the city at noon he was full of fear, casting furtive glances round
him: and lo! the man whom he had helped the day before, cried out to him
again for help. Said Moses to him, "Thou art plainly a most depraved person."
And when he would have laid violent hands on him who was their common foe, he
said to him, "O Moses, dost thou desire to slay me, as thou slayedst a man
yesterday? Thou desirest only to become a tyrant in this land, and desirest
not to become a peacemaker."
But a man came running up from the city's end. He said, "O Moses, of a truth,
the nobles consult to slay thee Begone then I counsel thee as a friend."
So forth he went from it in fear, looking warily about him. He said, "O Lord,
deliver me from the unjust people."
And when he was journeying toward Madian, he said, "Haply my Lord will direct
me in an even path."
And when he arrived at the water of Madian, he found at it a company of men
And he found beside them, two women keeping back their flock: "Why do ye,"
said he, "thus?" They said "We shall not water till the shepherds shall have
driven off; for our father is very aged."
So he watered for them then retired to the shade and said, "O my Lord, of the
good thou hast caused me to meet with I stand in need."
And one of them came to him, walking bashfully. Said she, "My father calleth
thee, that he may pay thee wages for thy watering for us." And when he came
to him and had told him his STORY, "Fear not," said he, "thou hast escaped
from an unjust people."
One of them said, "O my father, hire him: for the best thou canst hire is the
strong, the trusty."
He said, "Truly to one of these my two daughters I desire to marry thee, if
for eight years thou wilt be my hired servant: and if thou fulfil ten, it
shall be of thine own accord, for I wish not to deal hardly with thee. Thou
wilt find me, if God will, one of the upright."
He said, "Be it so between me and thee: Whichever of the two terms I fulfil,
there will be no injustice to me. And God is witness of what we say."
And when Moses had fulfilled the term, and was journeying with his family, he
perceived a fire on the mountain side. He said to his family, "Wait ye, for I
perceive a fire. Haply I may bring you tidings from it, or a brand from the
fire to warm you."
And when he came up to it, a Voice cried to him out of the bush from the
right side of the valley in the sacred hollow, "O Moses, I truly am God, the
Lord of the Worlds:
Throw down now thy rod." And when he saw it move as though it were a serpent,
he retreated and fled and returned not. "O Moses," cried the Voice, "draw
near and fear not, for thou art in safety.
Put thy hand into thy bosom; it shall come forth white, but unharmed: and
draw back thy hand to thee without fear. These shall be two signs from thy
Lord to Pharaoh and his nobles; for they are a perverse people."
He said, "O my Lord! truly I have slain one of them, therefore fear I lest
they slay me.
My brother Aaron is clearer of speech than I. Send him, therefore, with me as
a help, and to make good my cause, for I fear lest they treat me as an
He said, "We will strengthen thine arm with thy brother, and we will give
power unto you both, and they shall not equal you in our signs. Ye twain and
they who shall follow you, shall gain the day."
And when Moses came to him with our demonstrative signs they said, "This is
nought but magical device. We never heard the like among our sires of old."
And Moses said, "My Lord best knoweth on whom He hath bestowed His guidance,
and whose shall be the recompense of the abode of Paradise. Verily, the
wicked shall not prosper."
And Pharaoh said, "O ye nobles, ye have no other God that I know of but
myself. Burn me then, Haman, bricks of clay, and build me a tower that I
may mount up to the God of Moses, for in sooth, I deem him a liar."
And he and his hosts behaved themselves proudly and unjustly on the earth,
and thought that they should never be brought back to us.
But we seized on him and his hosts and cast them into the sea: Behold, then,
the end of the wrongful doers:
And we made them im ms who invite to the fire of hell, and on the day of
Resurrection they shall not be helped.
We followed them with a curse in this world, and covered shall they be with
shame on the day of Resurrection.
And after we had destroyed the former generations, we gave the book of the
Law to Moses for man's enlightening, and a guidance and a mercy, that haply
they might reflect.
And thou wast not on the western slope of Sinai when we laid his charge on
Moses, nor wast thou one of the witnesses;
But we raised up generations after Moses, men whose days were lengthened;
neither didst thou dwell among the inhabitants of Madian to rehearse to them
our signs, but we sent Apostles to them.
Nor wast thou on the slope of Sinai when we called to Moses, but it is of the
mercy of thy Lord that thou warnest a people, to whom no warner had come
before thee, to the intent that they should reflect:
And that they should not say when a calamity shall befal them for their
previous handy work, "O our Lord! why hast thou not sent an Apostle to us?
Then we should have followed thy signs and have been of the believers."
Yet when the truth came to them from our very presence, they said, "Unless
the like powers be given to him that were given to Moses. . . ." But did
they not disbelieve in what of old was given to Moses? They said, "Two works
of sorcery have helped each other;" and they said, "We disbelieve them
SAY: Bring then a Book from before God which shall be a better guide than
these, that I may follow it; if ye speak the truth.
And if they answer thee not, then know that verily they are following their
own caprices: and who goeth more widely astray than he who followeth his own
caprice without guidance from God? for God guideth not the wicked.
And now have we caused our word to come unto them, that they may be warned:
They to whom we gave the Scriptures before IT, do in IT believe.
And when it is recited to them they say, "We believe in it, for it is the
truth from our Lord. We were Muslims before it came."
Twice shall their reward be given them, for that they suffered with patience,
and repelled evil with good, and gave alms out of that with which we provided
And when they hear light discourse they withdraw from it, and say, "Our works
for us and your works for you! Peace be on you! We are not in quest of
Thou truly canst not guide whom thou desirest; but God guideth whom He will;
and He best knoweth those who yield to guidance.
But they say, "If we follow the way in which thou art guided, we shall be
driven from our country." But have we not established for them a sacred
secure precinct, to which fruits of every kind, our gift for their support,
are gathered together? But most of them have no knowledge.
And how many cities have we destroyed that flourished in wanton ease! And
these their dwellings have not been inhabited since their time save by a few,
and it is we who became their heirs.
But thy Lord did not destroy the cities till He had sent an apostle to their
mother-city to rehearse our signs to its people: nor did we destroy the
cities unless its people were unjust.
And all that hath been bestowed on you is merely for enjoyment and pomp of
this life present: but that which is with God is better and more lasting.
Will ye not be wise?
Shall he then to whom we have promised a goodly promise and who obtaineth it,
be as he on whom we have bestowed the enjoyments of this life present, and
who on the day of Resurrection shall be brought up for punishment?
On that day will God cry to them and say, "Where are my companions, as ye
They on whom doom shall be justly pronounced will say, "O our Lord! these are
they whom we led astray: we led them astray even as we had been led astray
ourselves: Thou hast no cause of blame against us: It was not we whom they
And it shall be said, "Call now on those whom ye made God's companions:" and
they shall call on them, but they will not answer them. And they shall see
the punishment, and wish that they had been guided aright.
And on that day shall God call to them and say, "How answered ye the
But on that day they shall be too blinded with confusion to give an
account, nor shall they ask it of one another.
Yet as to him who shall turn to God and believe and do the thing that is
right, it may come to pass that he shall be among the happy.
And thy Lord createth what he will and hath a free choice. But they, the
false gods, have no power to choose. Glory be to God! and high let him be
exalted above those whom they associate with him.
And thy Lord knoweth what their breasts conceal and what they bring to light.
And He is God! There is no god but He! His, all praise in this life and in
the next, and His the power supreme, and to Him shall ye be brought back!
SAY: What think ye? If God should enshroud you with a long night until the
day of resurrection, what god beside God would bring you light? Will ye not
SAY: What think ye? If God should make it one long day for you until the day
of resurrection, what god but God could bring you the night in which to take
your rest? Will ye not then see?
Of His mercy he hath made for you the night that ye may take your rest in it;
and the day that ye may seek what ye need out of his bounteous supplies, and
that ye may give thanks.
One day God will call to them and say, "Where are my companions as ye
And we will bring up a witness out of every nation and say, "Bring your
proofs." And they shall know that the truth is with God alone, and the gods
of their own devising shall desert them.
Now Korah was of the people of Moses: but he behaved haughtily toward them;
for we had given him such treasure that its keys would have burdened a
company of men of strength. When his people said to him, "Exult not, for God
loveth not those who exult;
But seek, by means of what God hath given thee, to attain the future Mansion;
and neglect not thy part in this world, but be bounteous to others as God
hath been bounteous to thee, and seek not to commit excesses on the earth;
for God loveth not those who commit excesses:"
He said, "It hath been given me only on account of the knowledge that is in
me." Did he not know that God had destroyed before him generations that were
mightier than he in strength and had amassed more abundant wealth? But the
wicked shall not be asked of their crimes.
And Korah went forth to his people in his pomp. Those who were greedy for
this present life said, "Oh that we had the like of that which hath been
bestowed on Korah! Truly he is possessed of great good fortune."
But they to whom knowledge had been given said, "Woe to you! the reward of
God is better for him who believeth and worketh righteousness, and none shall
win it but those who have patiently endured."
And we clave the earth for him and for his palace, and he had no forces, in
the place of God, to help him, nor was he among those who are succoured.
And in the morning those who the day before had coveted his lot said, "Aha!
God enlargeth supplies to whom he pleaseth of his servants, or is sparing.
Had not God been gracious to us, He had caused it to cleave for us. Aha! the
ungrateful can never prosper."
As to this future mansion, we will bestow it on those who seek not to exalt
them in the earth or to do wrong: And there is a happy issue for the God-
Whoso doeth good shall have reward beyond its merits, and whoso doeth evil,
they who do evil shall be rewarded only as they shall have wrought.
He who hath sanctioned the Koran to thee will certainly bring thee to thy
home. SAY: My Lord best knoweth who hath guidance, and who is in undoubted
Thou didst never expect that the Book would be given thee. Of thy Lord's
mercy only hath it been sent down. Be not thou helpful then to the
Neither let them turn thee aside from the signs of God after they have been
sent down to thee, but bid men to thy Lord; and be not among those who add
gods to God:
And call not on any other god with God. There is no god but He! Everything
shall perish except Himself! Judgment is His, and to Him shall ye return!
- -- SURA XXVIII. THE STORY [LXXIX.], MECCA