The Struggle of Musa(a.s) against the magicians



Magicians came to Pharaoh from all parts of the land of Egypt to

perform their magic against Musa. Pharaoh was certain of his ultimate

victory. Following a successful confrontation, the authority of Pharaoh and

his inner circle would have been assured. The magicians, on the other

hand, were curious as to the reward they would receive in return for

defeating Musa:

(They said) "To bring you all the skilled magicians."

The magicians came to Pharaoh and they asked, "Will we receive a

reward if we are the winners?"

He (Pharaoh) said, "Yes, and you will be among those brought near."

(Qur'an, 7: 112-114)

Pharaoh was taking advantage of the situation to consolidate his

authority, while the magicians thought that by being honoured with being

"close" to Pharaoh, they would gain certain benefits. The most able

magicians of Egypt were brought against Musa and Harun. Musa was asked

to decide who should start:

They said, "Musa, will you throw or shall we be the first to throw?"

He said, "No, you throw!"

And suddenly their ropes and staffs appeared to him, by their magic,

to be slithering about. (Qur'an, 20: 65-66)

When the magicians performed their magic, their ropes and staffs

appeared to slither. As the verse informs us, all were deceived into seeing

ropes and staffs as moving by themselves.

A certain point deserves attention here: in the above verse, we

encounter the expression "appear to be slithering about." This wording

indicates that there was not an actual movement, but only one perceived

by the spectators. In another verse,

the illusory nature of this incident is

explained as follows:

He (Musa) said, "You throw."

And when they threw, they

cast a spell on the people's eyes

and caused them to feel great

fear of them. They produced an

extremely powerful magic.

(Qur'an, 7: 116)

With their illusions, the

magicians of Pharaoh won the

public over. They exalted his

regime by the spells they

performed, which they did "by the

might of Pharaoh." Pharaoh, in

return, provided them financial

benefits. In brief, their relationship

was mutually beneficial.

In their confrontation with

Musa, the magicians were completely aware that Pharaoh was not in

possession of any kind of divine power. However, purely out of a desire

to be brought "close" to enjoy the resulting benefits, they threw their staffs.

They did so, quite sure of their superiority over Musa, which they

expressed thus:

They threw down their ropes and staffs and said, "By the might of

Pharaoh we are the winners." (Qur'an, 26: 44)

Although deceitful, the magicians' show impressed the crowd. As we

read in the Qur'an, the people were terrified. Musa too was impressed; his

heart was filled with fear since the magicians' ropes and staffs appeared to

him also as slithering about. Nonetheless, God reminded Musa not to be


Musa experienced in himself a feeling of alarm. We said, "Have no fear.

You will have the upper hand.

Throw down what is in your right

hand. It will swallow up their

handiwork. Their handiwork is just

a magician's trick. Magicians do not

prosper wherever they go." (Qur'an,

20: 67-69)

Bolstered by this reminder from

God, Musa immediately turned to the

magicians, telling them that their

performance was mere sorcery which

would be rendered void by the will of


When they had thrown, Musa said,

"What you have brought is magic.

God will certainly prove it false.

God does not uphold the actions of

corrupters." (Qur'an, 10: 81)

Then Musa threw down his staff.

The result was terrifying for the

magicians. Musa's staff swallowed the

sorcery of Pharaoh's magicians:

We revealed to Musa, "Throw down

your staff." And it immediately

swallowed up what they had forged.

So the Truth took place and what

they did was shown to be false. They were defeated then and there,

transformed into humbled men. (Qur'an, 7: 117-119)

Unlike the illusory tricks of magicians, Musa worked a real miracle by

his staff. The magicians had plotted against Musa. However, God, the best

of plotters, aided Musa with a plan which rendered their tricks utterly

worthless. Thus, the plots of the magicians only worked against them.

Provided with supernatural properties by God, the staff effected a true


Consequently, contrary to expected, Musa defeated the magicians. So,

everybody witnessed that God's promise was true. God did not leave Musa

alone and, through this miracle, made him victorious over one of the most

powerful systems of his time.

23:14 Gepost door Assalamu aleykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

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