سورة الشعراء   

Surah Name: Ash-Shu'ara Meaning: The Poets

  • Revealed at Makkah
  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 11
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 227
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 26
  • Rukū / Section 2 contains Āyāt / Parts 24
  • Siparah/ Volume 19


وَإِذْ نَادَى رَبُّكَ مُوسَى أَنِ ائْتِ الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

Waith nada rabbuka moosa ani iti alqawma a(l)ththalimeen(a)

And recall when your Rabb-SWT said to Musa-AS: Go you-AS to an ungodly people.


قَوْمَ فِرْعَوْنَ أَلَا يَتَّقُونَ

Qawma firAAawna ala yattaqoon(a)

The people of Pharaoh, they fear Me-SWT not.


قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي أَخَافُ أَن يُكَذِّبُونِ

Qala rabbi innee akhafu an yukaththiboon(i)

Musa-AS said: Rabb-SWT ! I fear he will belie me.


وَيَضِيقُ صَدْرِي وَلَا يَنطَلِقُ لِسَانِي فَأَرْسِلْ إِلَى هَارُونَ

Wayadeequ sadree wala yantaliqu lisanee faarsil ila haroon(a)

And my breast straitens and my tongue moves not quickly: so, send for Harun-AS.


وَلَهُمْ عَلَيَّ ذَنبٌ فَأَخَافُ أَن يَقْتُلُونِ

Walahum AAalayya thanbun faakhafu an yaqtuloon(i)

And they have a crime against me; so I fear they shall slay me.


قَالَ كَلَّا فَاذْهَبَا بِآيَاتِنَا إِنَّا مَعَكُم مُّسْتَمِعُونَ

Qala kalla fa(i)thhaba biayatina inna maAAakum mustamiAAoon(a)

Allah-SWT said: By no means! So go both of you with Our Signs; I shall be with you listening.


فَأْتِيَا فِرْعَوْنَ فَقُولَا إِنَّا رَسُولُ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Fatiya firAAawna faqoola inna rasoolu rabbi alAAalameen(a)

So go both of you-AS to the Pharaoh and say: We are the Messengers-AS of the Rabb-SWT of the worlds.


أَنْ أَرْسِلْ مَعَنَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ

An arsil maAAana banee israeel(a)

Send with us the Children of Israil-AS.


قَالَ أَلَمْ نُرَبِّكَ فِينَا وَلِيدًا وَلَبِثْتَ فِينَا مِنْ عُمُرِكَ سِنِينَ

Qala alam nurabbika feena waleedan walabithta feena min AAumurika sineen(a)

The Pharaoh said: Did we not bring you-AS up among us as a child, and you stayed with us many years of your-AS life?


وَفَعَلْتَ فَعْلَتَكَ الَّتِي فَعَلْتَ وَأَنتَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ

WafaAAalta faAAlataka allatee faAAalta waanta mina alkafireen(a)

And you-AS did the deed you-AS did; and you are of the ingrates.


قَالَ فَعَلْتُهَا إِذًا وَأَنَا مِنَ الضَّالِّينَ

Qala faAAaltuha ithan waana mina a(l)ddalleen(a)

Musa-AS said: I did the deed when I was mistaken.


فَفَرَرْتُ مِنكُمْ لَمَّا خِفْتُكُمْ فَوَهَبَ لِي رَبِّي حُكْمًا وَجَعَلَنِي مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

Fafarartu minkum lamma khiftukum fawahaba lee rabbee hukman wajaAAalanee mina almursaleen(a)

Then I fled from you when I feared you, and my Rabb-SWT bestowed on me judgment and made me one of the envoys.


وَتِلْكَ نِعْمَةٌ تَمُنُّهَا عَلَيَّ أَنْ عَبَّدتَّ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ

Watilka niAAmatun tamunnuha AAalayya an AAabbadta banee israeel(a)

And the favour with which you did oblige me was that you had enslaved the Children of Israil.


قَالَ فِرْعَوْنُ وَمَا رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Qala firAAawnu wama rabbu alAAalameen(a)

The Pharaoh said: And what is this Rabb-SWT of the worlds?


قَالَ رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا إن كُنتُم مُّوقِنِينَ

Qala rabbu a(l)ssamawati wa(a)lardi wama baynahuma in kuntum mooqineen(a)

Musa-AS said: Rabb-SWT of the heavens and the earth and whatever is in between, if you seek to be convinced.


قَالَ لِمَنْ حَوْلَهُ أَلَا تَسْتَمِعُونَ

Qala liman hawlahu ala tastamiAAoon(a)

The Pharaoh said to those around him in amazement: Do you not hear?


قَالَ رَبُّكُمْ وَرَبُّ آبَائِكُمُ الْأَوَّلِينَ

Qala rabbukum warabbu abaikumu alawwaleen(a)

Musa-AS said: Your Rabb-SWT and Rabb-SWT of your ancestors.


قَالَ إِنَّ رَسُولَكُمُ الَّذِي أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ لَمَجْنُونٌ

Qala inna rasoolakumu allathee orsila ilaykum lamajnoon(un)

The Pharaoh said: The Messenger-AS sent to you is mad indeed.


قَالَ رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

Qala rabbu almashriqi wa(a)lmaghribi wama baynahuma in kuntum taAAqiloon(a)

Musa-AS said: Rabb-SWT of the East and the West and whatever is in between, if you care to understand.


قَالَ لَئِنِ اتَّخَذْتَ إِلَهًا غَيْرِي لَأَجْعَلَنَّكَ مِنَ الْمَسْجُونِينَ

Qala laini ittakhathta ilahan ghayree laajAAalannaka mina almasjooneen(a)

The Pharaoh said: If you-AS will take a god other than me, I shall surely place you among the prisoners.


قَالَ أَوَلَوْ جِئْتُكَ بِشَيْءٍ مُّبِينٍ

Qala awalaw jituka bishayin mubeen(in)

Musa-AS said: What, even if I bring to you something evident.


قَالَ فَأْتِ بِهِ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ

Qala fati bihi in kunta mina a(l)ssadiqeen(a)

The Pharaoh said: Forthwith it then, if you-AS are of the truth-tellers.


فَأَلْقَى عَصَاهُ فَإِذَا هِيَ ثُعْبَانٌ مُّبِينٌ

Faalqa AAasahu faitha hiya thuAAbanun mubeen(un)

Then he-AS cast down his-AS rod, and it was a serpent manifest.


وَنَزَعَ يَدَهُ فَإِذَا هِيَ بَيْضَاء لِلنَّاظِرِينَ

WanazaAAa yadahu faitha hiya baydao li(l)nnathireen(a)

And he-AS drew forth his-AS hand, and it was white unto the beholders.


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

The Holy Prophet-SW's concern for the infidels may be measured by the agony he-SW felt for them. A person so gracious towards his-SW enemies can never deprive his-SW friends. So Allah-SWT makes a mention of the Pharaoh, a tyrant and an infidel of high calibre who had claimed divinity, in order to pacify the Holy Prophet-SW. But even he was not deprived. Allah-SWT sent His-SWT exalted Messenger-AS with evidences and miracles to guide him but he chose the other way. So the Holy Prophet-SW need not feel distressed for the wretched who, by their own free will, wish to move in the opposite direction.


To Seek Means Is Not Prohibited

Prophet Musa-AS was commanded to go to the Pharaoh’s folk to invite them to Him-SWT as they had become rebellious. He-AS submitted: “O Allah-SWT ! My bosom feels straitened and I cannot give a spontaneous answer. Also I cannot speak fluently. Do nominate Harun-AS, my brother, as Prophet with me. Moreover, the people of Pharaoh consider me guilty of murder and I am afraid they will kill me immediately.” Allah-SWT assured him-AS that none of these factors would impede his-AS way. He blessed him-AS with an opening of the bosom, an inner enlightenment and fluency in speech, and his-AS brother Harun-AS with Prophethood. To seek means for facilitating a given task is not, therefore, only proper but also necessary. Allah-SWT provides the means and also makes things easy.


Believing In The Messenger Is The Basis For Believing In Allah-SWT

Now both of them were commanded to go to the Pharaoh and demonstrate the miracles and proofs before him, being fully conscious of the fact that Allah-SWT was with them, listening and beholding. They arrived at the Pharaoh’s Court and invited him to Allah-SWT , the Sustainer of the entire universe, introducing themselves as His-SWT Messengers-AS. They demanded that the Pharaoh and his people must end their rebellious conduct and submit to His-SWT obedience. And that the Bani Israil, enslaved for the past four centuries must be allowed to return with them to their native land Syria. The Bani Israil were 1.25 million in number at that time.


Debate And Absurd Reasoning

The practice of dialectic debate between Prophet Musa-AS and the Pharaoh is still in vogue. Often under its cover, absurd reasoning is put forward, where a party merely wishes to impose its opinion whereas the aim is to expound the truth by logical reasoning. The Pharaoh squabbled in the absence of logical argument to support his claim of divinity against the Unity of Allah-SWT and to keep the Bani Israil enslaved he said: 'Aren't you-AS the one brought up in my household. Now you stand before me posing as a Prophet-AS with a Message whereas you are guilty of a grave crime like murder. Now how could you-AS invite others to reformation?' The Prophet-AS answered decently that it was indeed an unintentional mistake, he-AS had only tried to stop a fight and in the process the aggressing Qibti got a blow which proved fatal. After the incident he-AS fled Egypt knowing fully well that the country’s law only favoured the Qibtis while any aggression against the Israilis was not considered an offence.


He-AS added that Allah-SWT had been extremely generous to have blessed him-AS with Prophethood. His-AS mistake was neither on purpose nor something that negated this office. Now he-AS was here in the execution of his-AS Prophetic mission. And as for the Pharaoh’s recounting his favour of upbringing him-AS, it was in fact his tyranny that ushered him-AS into the royal household. How mercilessly he had enslaved the Bani Israil and executed their male infants. His-AS mother had entrusted him-AS to the river by a Divine Plan wherefrom he-AS was picked up and raised in the royal household. It can hardly be termed as a favour; rather it was an event which manifested Allah-SWT's Omnipotence to avenge the atrocities of the Pharaoh.


Outwitted, the Pharaoh changed the topic and asked Prophet Musa-AS: Who in his-AS view is the Rabb-SWT of the world?" He was told that the One-SWT Who sustains the heavens and earth and all that lies therein, was indeed the Rabb-SWT . The Pharaoh had asked about the Divine Being and His-SWT origin while the Prophet-AS answered him with reference to the Divine Attributes, adding that it was impossible to define His-SWT origin. If he had the capacity to believe in and understand the end results, he could observe that each and every atom in the universe was a witness to His-SWT Providence.


Now the Pharaoh turned to his courtiers and asked them to see how absurdly his question was being answered. Prophet Musa-AS continued: “He-SWT is also your Rabb-SWT if only you ponder over to see who created you? If you claim divinity, then who created your forefathers? Certainly He-SWT is also their Rabb-SWT .” This left no room for further argument by the Pharaoh. Flabbergasted, he labelled the Prophet-AS as a lunatic. Prophet Musa-AS, however, added that He-SWT indeed is the Rabb-SWT of the East and the West, the One-SWT Who programmed the systematic rising and setting of the sun and controls all that the universe holds.


This enraged the Pharaoh, who threatened that if Musa-AS took anyone else as god besides him, he-AS will face the gallows. He-AS was logically humbled in the entire dialogue. Prophet Musa-AS now suggested that he-AS could present stronger evidence in the form of a miracle. The Pharaoh asked him-AS to bring it forth so that his-AS credibility could be ascertained right away.


The Prophet-AS cast his-AS staff which, by Allah-SWT’s will, turned into a serpent. He-AS placed his-AS hand into the bosom of his-AS robe, then drew it forth and it appeared as radiant as the moon.