The Pharaoh asked Hz. Musa what the state of the other nations would be. Why did he ask such a question?
Submitted by on Fri, 24/04/2015 - 10:39
Dear Brother / Sister,
The meaning of related verses is as follows:
(Pharaoh) said: "Who then, O Moses, is the Lord of you two?" He said: "Our Lord is He Who gave to each (created) thing its form and nature, and further gave (it) guidance." (Pharaoh) said: "What then is the condition of previous generations?" He replied: "The knowledge of that is with my Lord duly recorded: my Lord never errs, nor forgets. "He Who has made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled you to go about therein by roads (and channels); and has sent down water from the sky." With it have We produced divers pairs of plants each separate from the others. (Taha, 20/49-53)
According to Ibn Kathir, the most correct opinion concerning the meaning of this is as follows: When Hz. Musa said, ‘’Allah who created the universe, sent me as a prophet.’’ The Pharaoh asked, ‘’What will happen to those people who lived before you and did not worship your Lord but worshipped idols? That is, they passed away and disappeared. How could be it be possible to punish them?’’ Musa said to him, ‘’Their names, what they did, all their states are written in Allah’s Book. He neither errs nor forgets.’’ (Ibn Kathir,the interpretation of the related verse)
Fakhruddin Razi includes some comments regarding the issue:
a. When Hz. Musa tried to prove the existence of Allah in addition to the existence of the hereafter, the Pharaoh asked, ‘’If the existence of Allah is so obvious, why did the large part of the previous people not believe?‘’ He wanted to silence Hz. Musa with this.
b."Verily it has been revealed to us that the penalty (awaits) those who reject and turn away." As it is stated in verse 48 of this surah, when Hz. Musa threatened the Pharaoh with torment, he said, ‘’ The previous tribes denied what you said and did not suffer torment at all; then what is their state? How do you answer this?’’
c. According to third view, which Razi supports, when the Pharaoh, who rejected Hz. Musa’s invitation, asked ‘’ Is there a Lord but me? Who is your Lord, O Musa! , Hz. Musa said, ‘’Our Lord is the Sublime Creator, Who created everyone and then who arranged everything in accordance with the purpose of creation.’’ Thus, he put forth strong evidence; then, the Pharaoh interrupted so that Hz. Musa would not become superior to him by bringing more evidences and so that the people would not accept what he said; the Pharaoh wanted to keep Hz. Musa busy with stories. He asked, ‘’ What is the state of the previous generations?’’ However, Hz. Musa did not fall into this trap and continued talking in accordance with the evidence he put forth about the existence of Allah instead of dealing with stories and said, ‘’Their situations are in a Book near My God. He neither errs nor forgets. It is He Who has made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled you to go about therein by roads (and channels); and has sent down water from the sky. With it have We produced divers pairs of plants each separate from the others.’’ (ibid, Razi)
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