Chapter 28: The Narration
SECTION 1: History of Moses
In the name of God,
Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
1. Ṭā Sīn Mīm. 2. These are Verses of the Book that makes (things) clear. 3. We rehearse to you some of the story of Moses and Pharaoh in Truth, for people who believe.
4. Truly Pharaoh elated himself in the land and broke up its people into sections, depressing a small group among them: their sons he slew, but he kept alive their females: for he was indeed a maker of mischief. 5. And We wished to be gracious to those who were being depressed in the land, to make them leaders (in faith) and make them heirs, 6. To establish a firm place for them in the land, and to show Pharaoh, Haman, and their hosts, at their hands, the very things against which they were taking precautions.
7. So We sent this inspiration to the mother of Moses: “Suckle (your child), but when you have fears about him, cast him into the river, but fear not nor grieve: for We shall restore him to you, and We shall make him one of Our messengers.” 8. Then the people of Pharaoh picked him up (from the river): (it was intended) that (Moses) should be to them an adversary and a cause of sorrow: for Pharaoh and Haman and (all) their hosts were men of sin. 9. The wife of Pharaoh said: “(Here is) a joy of the eye, for me and for you: slay him not. It may be that he will be of use to us, or we may adopt him as a son.” And they perceived not (what they were doing)! 10. But there came to be a void in the heart of the mother of Moses: she was going almost to disclose his (case), had We not strengthened her heart (with faith), so that she might remain a (firm) believer. 11. And she said to the sister of (Moses), “Follow him” so she (the sister) watched him in the character of a stranger. And they knew not. 12. And We ordained that he refused suck at first, until (his sister came up and) said: “Shall I point out to you the people of a house that will nourish and bring him up for you and be sincerely attached to him?”… 13. Thus did We restore him to his mother, that her eye might be comforted, that she might not grieve, and that she might know that the promise of God is true: but most of them do not understand.
So We sent this inspiration to the mother of Moses: “Suckle (your child), but when you have fears about him, cast him into the river, but fear not nor grieve: for We shall restore him to you, and We shall make him one of Our messengers.” (28:7)
SECTION 2: History of Moses
14. When he reached full age, and was firmly established (in life), We bestowed on him wisdom and knowledge: for thus do We reward those who do good. 15. And he entered the City at a time when its people were not watching: and he found there two men fighting,—one of his own religion, and the other, of his foes. Now the man of his own religion appealed to him against his foe, and Moses struck him with his fist and made an end of him. He said: “This is a work of Evil (Satan): for he is an enemy that manifestly misleads!” 16. He prayed: “O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul! Do You then forgive me!” So (God) forgave him: for He is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. 17. He said: “O my Lord! For that You have bestowed Your Grace on me, never shall I be a help to those who sin!” 18. So he saw the morning in the City, looking about, in a state of fear, when behold, the man who had, the day before, sought his help called aloud for his help (again). Moses said to him: “You are truly, it is clear, a quarrelsome fellow!” 19. Then, when he decided to lay hold of the man who was an enemy to both of them, that man said: “O Moses! Is it your intention to slay me as you slew a man yesterday? Your intention is none other than to become a powerful violent man in the land, and not to be one who sets things right!” 20. And there came a man, running, from the furthest end of the City. He said: “O Moses! The Chiefs are taking counsel together about you, to slay you: so get you away, for I do give you sincere advice.” 21. He therefore got away therefrom, looking about, in a state of fear. He prayed: “O my Lord! Save me from people given to wrong-doing.”
SECTION 3: History of Moses
22. Then, when he turned his face towards (the land of) Madyan, he said: “I do hope that my Lord will show me the smooth and straight Path.” 23. And when he arrived at the watering (place) in Madyan, he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: “What is the matter with you?” They said: “We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take back (their flocks): and our father is a very old man.” 24. So he watered (their flocks) for them; then he turned back to the shade, and said: “O my Lord! Truly am I in (desperate) need of any good that You do send me!” …
25. Afterwards one of the (damsels) came (back) to him, walking bashfully. She said: “My father invites you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us.” So when he came to him and narrated the story, he said: “Fear you not: (well) have you escaped from unjust people.” 26. Said one of the (damsels): “O my (dear) father! Engage him on wages: truly the best of men for you to employ is the (man) who is strong and trusty”… 27. He said: “I intend to wed one of these my daughters to you, on condition that you serve me for eight years; but if you complete ten years, it will be (grace) from you. But I intend not to place you under a difficulty: you will find me, indeed, if God wills, one of the righteous.” 28. He said: “Be that (the agreement) between me and you: whichever of the two terms I fulfill, let there be no ill-will to me. Be God a witness to what we say.”
SECTION 4: History of Moses
29. Now when Moses had fulfilled the term, and was travelling with his family, he perceived a fire in the direction of Mount Ṭūr. He said to his family: “Tarry you; I perceive a fire; I hope to bring you from there some information, or a burning firebrand, that you may warm yourselves.” 30. But when he came to the (Fire), a voice was heard from the right bank of the valley, from a tree in hallowed ground: “O Moses! Verily I am God, the Lord of the Worlds. 31. Now do you throw your rod!” But when he saw it moving (of its own accord) as if it had been a snake, he turned back in retreat, and retraced not his steps: “O Moses!” (it was said), “Draw near, and fear not: for you are of those who are secure. 32. Move your hand into your bosom, and it will come forth white without stain (or harm), and draw your hand close to your side (to guard) against fear. Those are the two credentials from your Lord to Pharaoh and his Chiefs: for truly they are a people rebellious and wicked.” 33. He said: “O my Lord! I have slain a man among them, and I fear lest they slay me. 34. And my brother Aaron—he is more eloquent in speech than I: so send him with me as a helper, to confirm (and strengthen) me: for I fear that they may accuse me of falsehood.” 35. He said: “We will certainly strengthen your arm through your brother, and invest you both with authority, so they shall not be able to touch you: with Our Signs shall you triumph,—you two as well as those who follow you.”
36. When Moses came to them with Our clear Signs, they said: “This is nothing but sorcery faked up: never did we hear the like among our fathers of old!” 37. Moses said: “My Lord knows best who it is that comes with guidance from Him and whose End will be best in the Hereafter: certain it is that the wrong-doers will not prosper.” 38. Pharaoh said: “O Chiefs! No god do I know for you but myself: therefore, O Haman! light me a (kiln to bake bricks) out of clay, and build me a lofty palace, that I may mount up to the god of Moses: but as far as I am concerned, I think (Moses) is a liar!” 39. And he was arrogant and insolent in the land, beyond reason,—he and his hosts: they thought that they would not have to return to Us! 40. So We seized him and his hosts, and We flung them into the sea: now behold what was the end of those who did wrong! 41. And We made them (but) leaders inviting to the Fire; and on the Day of Judgement no help shall they find. 42. In this world We made a curse to follow them: and on the Day of Judgement they will be among the loathed (and despised).
SECTION 5: A Prophet like Moses
43. We did reveal to Moses the Book after We had destroyed the earlier generations, (to give) Insight to men, and Guidance and Mercy, that they might receive admonition. 44. You were not on the Western side when We decreed the commission to Moses, nor were you a witness (of those events). 45. But We raised up (new) generations, and long were the ages that passed over them; but you were not a dweller among the people of Madyan, rehearsing Our Signs to them; but it is We Who send messengers (with inspiration). 46. Nor were you at the side of (the Mountain of) Ṭūr when We called (to Moses). Yet (are you sent) as a Mercy from your Lord, to give warning to a people to whom no warner had come before you: in order that they may receive admonition. 47. If (We had) not (sent you to the Quraysh),—in case a calamity should seize them for (the deeds) that their hands have sent forth, they might say: “Our Lord! Why did You not send us a messenger? We should then have followed Your Signs and been amongst those who believe!”
48. But (now), when the Truth has come to them from Ourselves, they say, “Why are not (Signs) sent to him, like those which were sent to Moses?” Do they not then reject (the Signs) which were formerly sent to Moses? They say: “Two kinds of sorcery, each assisting the other!” And they say: “For us, we reject all (such things)!” 49. Say: “Then bring you a Book from God, which is a better guide than either of them, that I may follow it! (Do), if you are truthful!” 50. But if they listen not to you, know that they only follow their own lusts: and who is more astray than one who follows his own lusts, devoid of guidance from God? For God guides not people given to wrong-doing.
We did reveal to Moses the Book after We had destroyed the earlier generations, (to give) Insight to men, and Guidance and Mercy, that they might receive admonition. (28:43)
SECTION 6: The Truth of Revelation
51. Now have We caused the Word to reach them themselves, in order that they may receive admonition. 52. Those to whom We sent the Book before this, — they do believe in this (Revelation); 53. And when it is recited to them, they say: “We believe therein, for it is the Truth from our Lord: indeed we have been Muslims (bowing to God’s Will) from before this. 54. Twice will they be given their reward, for that they have persevered, that they avert Evil with Good, and that they spend (in charity) out of what We have given them. 55. And when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: “To us our deeds, and to you yours; peace be to you: we seek not the ignorant.” 56. It is true you will not be able to guide everyone, whom you love; but God guides those whom He will and He knows best those who receive guidance.
57. They say: “If we were to follow the guidance with you, we should be snatched away from our land.” Have We not established for them a secure sanctuary, to which are brought as tribute fruits of all kinds, — a provision from Ourselves? But most of them understand not. 58. And how many populations We destroyed, which exulted in their life (of ease and plenty)! Now those habitations of theirs, after them, are deserted, — all but a (miserable) few! And We are their heirs! 59. Nor was your Lord the one to destroy a population until He had sent to its Centre a messenger, rehearsing to them Our Signs; nor are We going to destroy a population except when its members practice iniquity. 60. The (material) things which you are given are but the conveniences of this life and the glitter thereof; but that which is with God is better and more enduring: will you not then be wise?
SECTION 7: Opponents Shall be Brought Low
61. Are (these two) alike? — one to whom We have made a goodly promise, and who is going to reach its (fulfilment), and one to whom We have given the good things of this life, but who, on the Day of Judgement, is to be among those brought up (for punishment)? 62. That Day (God) will call to them, and say “Where are My ‘partners’?—whom you imagined (to be such)?” 63. Those against whom the charge will be proved, will say: “Our Lord! These are the ones whom we led astray: we led them astray, as we were astray ourselves: we free ourselves (from them) in Your presence: it was not us they worshipped.” 64. It will be said (to them): “Call upon your ‘partners’ (for help)”: they will call upon them, but they will not listen to them; and they will see the Penalty (before them); (how they will wish) ‘if only they had been open to guidance!’
65. That Day (God) will call to them, and say: “What was the answer you gave to the messengers?” 66. Then the (whole) story that Day will seem obscure to them (like light to the blind) and they will not be able (even) to question each other.
67. But any that (in this life) had repented, believed, and worked righteousness, will have hopes to be among those who achieve salvation.
68. Your Lord does create and choose as He pleases: no choice have they (in the matter): Glory to God! And far is He above the partners they ascribe (to Him)! 69. And your Lord knows all that their hearts conceal and all that they reveal. 70. And He is God: there is no god but He. To Him be praise, at the first and at the last: for Him is the Command, and to Him shall you (all) be brought back.
71. Say: “See you? If God were to make the night perpetual over you to the Day of Judgement, what god is there other than God, who can give you enlightenment? Will you not then listen?” 72. Say: “See you? If God were to make the day perpetual over you to the Day of Judgement, what god is there other than God, who can give you a night in which you can rest? Will you not then see?” 73. It is out of His Mercy that He has made for you night and day, — that you may rest therein, and that you may seek of His Grace; — and in order that you may be grateful.
74. The Day that He will call on them, He will say: “Where are My ‘partners’?—whom you imagined (to be such)?” 75. And from each people shall We draw a witness, and We shall say: “Produce your Proof”: then shall they know that the Truth is in God (alone), and the (lies) which they invented will leave them in the lurch.
SECTION 8: Korah’s Wealth Leads Him to Ruin
76. Korah was doubtless, of the people of Moses; but he acted insolently towards them: such were the treasures We had bestowed on him that their very keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men. Behold, his people said to him: “Exult not, for God loves not those who exult (in riches). 77. But seek, with the (wealth) which God has bestowed on you, the Home of the Hereafter, nor forget your portion in this world: but do you good, as God has been good to you, and seek not (occasions for) mischief in the land: for God loves not those who do mischief.” 78. He said: “This has been given to me because of a certain knowledge which I have.” Did he not know that God had destroyed, before him, (whole) generations,—which were superior to him in strength and greater in the amount (of riches) they had collected? But the wicked are not called (immediately) to account for their sins. 79. So he went forth among his people in the (pride of his worldly) glitter. Said those whose aim is the Life of this World: “Oh! That we had the like of what Korah has got! For he is truly a lord of mighty good fortune!” 80. But those who had been granted (true) knowledge said: “Alas for you! The reward of God (in the Hereafter) is best for those who believe and work righteousness: but this none shall attain, save those who steadfastly persevere (in good).” 81. Then We caused the earth to swallow up him and his house; and he had not (the least little) party to help him against God, nor could he defend himself. 82. And those who had envied his position the day before began to say on the morrow: “Ah! It is indeed God Who enlarges the provision or restricts it, to any of His servants He pleases! Had it not been that God was gracious to us, He could have caused the earth to swallow us up! Ah! Those who reject God will assuredly never prosper.”
SECTION 9: The Prophet will Return to Makkah
83. That Home of the Hereafter We shall give to those who intend not high-handedness or mischief on earth: and the End is (best) for the righteous. 84. If any does good, the reward to him is better than his deed; but if any does evil, the doers of evil are only punished (to the extent) of their deeds. 85. Verily He Who ordained the Qur’ān for you, will bring you back to the Place of Return. Say: “My Lord knows best who it is that brings true guidance, and who is in manifest error.” 86. And you had not expected that the Book would be sent to you except as a Mercy from your Lord: therefore lend not you support in any way to those who reject (God’s Message). 87. And let nothing keep you back from the Signs of God after they have been revealed to you: and invite (men) to your Lord, and be not of the company of those who join gods with God. 88. And call not, besides God, on another god. There is no god but He. Everything (that exists) will perish except His own Face. To Him belongs the Command, and to Him will you (all) be brought back.
And let nothing keep you back from the Signs of God after they have been revealed to you: and invite (men) to your Lord, and be not of the company of those who join gods with God. (28:87)