09-08-07

Magicians embrace Faith

MAGICIANS EMBRACE FAITH

The result of the confrontation was completely unexpected for

Pharaoh, the magicians and the spectators alike. The magicians, who had

been so self-assured and arrogant of their superiority, were defeated.

Furthermore, this total defeat took place right before the eyes of the people

of Egypt. The impact of the defeat was even greater for the magicians.

Their spectacle, which was merely an illusion, they knew very well not to

have been real. They had devised tricks to deceive people into believing

that their system—and consequently Pharaoh's system—was divinely

powerful. However, Musa's miracles presented something different. They

grasped that his feat was neither illusion, nor a magician's tricks. The staff

of Musa had actually devoured their trickery. The magicians, therefore,

grasped that this was a real miracle, and a sign of the existence of God,

and an evidence of God's support to Musa. Thereupon, they embraced

faith:

The magicians threw themselves down in prostration. They said, "We

have faith in the Lord of all the worlds, the Lord of Musa and Harun."

(Qur'an, 7: 120-122)

At that moment, the whole system was turned on its head. Pharaoh,

who openly challenged Musa, being so overly confident that he would

win, was in fact defeated, with his magicians finally believing in Musa.

Pharaoh could not accept the decision of the magicians. According to his

perverted rationale, he was the sole owner of the land—even of the

people—, and thought himself entitled to authorize whether or not people

be allowed to convert to another belief:

Pharaoh said, "Have you believed in him before I authorised you to do

so? This is just some plot you have concocted in the city to drive its

people from it." (Qur'an, 7: 123)

Deluded by his own distorted mind, Pharaoh tried to rationalize the

situation.

An obvious miracle had just occurred, and followed by an

ignominious defeat, the magicians came to have faith in the Lord of Musa.

What should have been expected of Pharaoh then was to openly admit the

occurrence of a miracle and to accept to be rightly guided. On the

contrary, however, he offered himself false interpretations, fabricating

scenarios which he himself knew were imaginary. Thus, he convinced

himself that Musa and the magicians were conspiring to seize power over

Egypt. Furthermore, he assumed that it was Musa who had taught them

magic:

"…He is your chief, the one who taught you magic…" (Qur'an, 20: 71)

That is how Pharaoh witnessed the irrefutable signs and miracles of

God but resisted and denied the truth. In fact, his behaviour was typical of

all those who deny the truth. Those people, resolved to remain in disbelief,

adhere to it no matter how incontrovertible are the signs put forth to them.

They resort to any form of delusion in order to legitimise their denial. In

every society and in every age, we will find countless disbelievers infected

with the resolute obstinacy of Pharaoh, who have denied the existence,

oneness and the righteousness of God's religion.

Nevertheless, Pharaoh knew that his obstinacy would not save him.

The defeat of his magicians and their acceptance of faith in the Lord of

Musa greatly destabilised his authority. In one way or another, he would

have to defuse the situation and re-establish his power. For this purpose,

he resorted to violence, threatening the believing magicians with torture

and death. However, already cognisant of the truth of the message of God,

the magicians turned to God in submission. In several verses of the Qur'an,

we find the magicians expressing their resolve in their belief:

"…I will cut off your hands and feet alternately and have you crucified

on palm trunks. Then you will know for certain which of us has the

harsher and longer lasting punishment."

They said, "We will never prefer you to the Clear Signs which have

come to us nor to Him who brought us into being. Decide on any

judgement you like. Your jurisdiction only covers the life of the earth.

We have had faith in our Lord so that He may forgive us for our

mistakes and for the magic, which you forced us to perform. God is

better and longer lasting." (Qur'an, 20: 71-73)

They said, "We are returning to our Lord. You are only avenging

yourself on us because we had faith in our Lord's Signs when they

came to us. Our Lord, pour down steadfastness upon us and take us

back to You as Muslims." (Qur'an, 7: 125-126)

They said, "We do not care! We are returning to our Lord. We remain

hopeful that our Lord will forgive us our mistakes for being the first

of the believers." (Qur'an, 26: 50-51)

As is explained in the above verses, these people of faith did not yield

to the threats of Pharaoh, or submit to him, because they grasped that if

they were to be killed, they would return to God, who is the Creator of

everything. All the while, they dearly hoped that God would forgive their

indulging in denial prior to accepting belief, and their adversarial attitude

they had adopted against the religion. Because God is the forgiver and the

merciful.

From then on, Pharaoh's rule over the people became increasingly

malicious. He sought to steer the people through his power. Due to the

oppression he meted out, no one, except for a small group of young

people from the people of Musa, followed Musa. Only these few young

people showed the courage and sincerity to follow in the magicians'

footsteps. The majority, on the other hand, did not appreciate the power

of the Almighty God, and, having no fear of Him, rejected faith. This is

conveyed in the Qur'an as follows:

No one believed in Musa, except for a few of his people, out of fear that

Pharaoh, and the elders, would persecute them. Pharaoh was high and

mighty in the land. He was one of the profligate. (Qur'an, 10: 83)

One of those to have put her faith in Musa was the wife of Pharaoh.

This noble woman, who previously shared so many worldly favours with

Pharaoh, not only dared to leave all such riches behind, but also to make

herself the object of Pharaoh's violence. Her choice is clearly the sign of a

very profound and sincere faith. Indeed, along with Maryam (Mary) (as),

Magicians Embrace Faith

the Qur'an refers to the wife of Pharaoh as a faithful woman whose

conduct was exemplary:

God has made an example for those who believe: the wife of Pharaoh

when she said, "My Lord, build a house in Paradise for me in Your

presence and rescue me from Pharaoh and his deeds and rescue me

from this wrongdoing people." (Qur'an, 66: 11)

The sincere devotion of Pharaoh's wife to God is a great example for

all Muslims. This true believer abandoned the riches of this world, and

acknowledged that the real life would be in the hereafter. She preferred

the blessings of the hereafter over the benefits of this short, though

deceptively dazzling life. She prayed to God only for a house in Paradise.

Without a doubt, such a sincere prayer, filled with a spiritual devotion

towards the hereafter, is a fine example for all those who believe.

...Those who believe and do

right actions will be in the lush

meadows of the Gardens.

(Qur’an, 42: 22)

23:16 Gepost door Assalamu aleykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

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