Sayyiduna Musa turned
into a serpent
swallowed the snakes of
the magicians, then they (the magicians) fell prostrate
faith. But pharaoh and
true faith. Instead, pharaoh‘s unbelief and transgression
he strove even harder to torture the believers of the Bani Israel
and Sayyiduna Musa – Pharaoh used different means to tyrannize them. Annoyed with the cruel conduct of pharaoh, Sayyiduna Musa supplicated in the court of Allah ; in this way: 0 my Rab Pharaoh has crossed the
his people broke their promises, therefore, make them suffer from such torments that they deserve so that it
may become a lesson of admonition for my
people and future generations.
(Ruh-ul-Bayan, vol. 3, pp. 220;part 9, Surah Al–A‘raf, Ayah 133)
Af ter the
supplication of Sayyiduna Musa Allah sent
down five consecutive torments on the people of pharaoh. Those five torments are
All of a sudden, a cloud hovered and the darkness fell everywhere. Then it started to rain so heavily that the water entered into the homes of the people of pharaoh. They were flooded with the rainwater
and water level rose up to their necks. Those who ” sat down drowned and killed. They were not able their fields and gardens. They suffered this torment for one week. Though the homes of the Bani Israel were adjacent to that of the followers of pharaoh, the water did not enter the homes of the Bani Israel and they kept living in their homes without any discomfort. When pharaoh’s followers could no longer tolerate the torment and became helpless, they requested Sayyiduna Musa to pray for them so that the calamity is withdrawn. They also committed that they would embrace faith and send the Bani Israel to him.
Thus Sayyiduna Musa supplicated and the torment of rainstorm was withdrawn. The earth yielded such good crop that was never happened before. Crops flourished excessively. Fruits and grains grew exponentially. Seeing this, the pharaoh’s followers commented that the storm was a great blessing unto them. Then again they deviated from their commitment and did not embrace the faith. Once again they resumed their barbaric and sinful practices.
The pharaoh’s people lived undisturbed for one month but then once again, Allah inflicted them with the torment in the form of locusts. Thus swarms of locusts emerged from all nooks and corners which ate all their crops and gardens. They even ate the wood of their homes. The homes of pharaoh’ s followers were full with locusts and it made their life miserable, but the fields and gardens of the believers of the Bani Israel remained safe from the invasion of these locusts. Upon seeing this, pharaoh’s followers learnt a great lesson and after getting exhausted by that punishment, they again reached Sayyiduna Musa and promised him that if he supplicated for the withdrawal of that torment, they would surely embrace the true faith and will not torture the Bani Israel. Therefore, on the seventh day, the torment was withdrawn from them by virtue of the supplication of Sayyiduna Musa .
Again, these people lived undisturbed for a month. Once again these people broke their promises and did not embrace the true faith. Their practices of unbelief and sins commenced again. They started torturing Sayyiduna Musa and the believers and said that the residual vegetation and fruits are sufficient for them. Therefore, they will not embrace the faith renouncing their parental religion.
After one month, another torment was inflicted upon them in the form of weevils. Some scholars said that those weevils clang onto their cash crops and fruits and ate away all their food reserves. Some interpreters are of the opinion that it was a tiny insect that eroded the ripen crops and also went under their dresses and started bruising and biting their skins and this relentless stinging to their bodies made them restless like a slaughtered rooster.
Their conditions worsened so much that these insects bruised and scratched the hair of their heads, beards, moustaches, eyebrows and eyelashes and they had an appearance as that of a small pox victim. These insects also affected
their food, water and utensils and due to the presence of these insects, the pharaoh’ s followers were unable to eat and drink and were unable to have even a nap for a moment. This torment continued for one week and made them very miserable. These people were compelled to howl and once again they contacted Sayyiduna Musa and requested him to pray for their relief and assured that they will accept the faith. Feeling pity on their state of anxiety, Sayyiduna Musa supplicated for them and consequently, the torment was taken away. As per their habit, these insolent followers of pharaoh once again broke their promise and once again started their acts of persecutions and cruelties with a new vigour and more intensity. After one month, another torment struck them in the form of frogs.
All of a sudden, an abrupt and haphazard breeding of uncountable frogs in the homes of the people of pharaoh erupted. Wherever these people would sit, their gatherings would be occupied by
thousands of frogs. If anyone would open his ” mouth for talking or eating, frogs would
jump and get into his mouth. The frogs would fill up their cooking utensils and would sit over their body in hundreds. They were getting no relief from these frogs while walking, sitting and lying. The people of pharaoh were crying desperately due to that torment and again, they contacted Sayyiduna Musa
and begged him to supplicate for
them and they took oath and promised him ” that they would surely embrace the faith and
would never trouble the believers in future. Therefore, on the seventh day, by virtue of supplication of Sayyiduna Musa this torment was also withdrawn but these cursed people engaged in their cruel activities upon getting relief once again. They started torturing the believers and disrespecting Sayyiduna Musa Once again they were struck by torment from Allah and this time, the torment was in the form of blood.
All of a sudden, the water of all their wells and rivers turned into blood and the people of pharaoh complained pharaoh about it. The headstrong pharaoh said that it was the magic of Sayyiduna Musa- Upon hearing his comments, his followers said that what kind of magic this is that their crockery and kitchenware are filled with the blood while that of the believers remain unaffected. Then pharaoh ordered them to draw out water with the believers from the same bucket – but it was a strange and miraculous manifestation of the power of Allah that when believers drew out water, it was crystal clear, pure and sweet; on the contrary, when the followers of pharaoh drew out water with the same bucket, it was pure fresh blood. When the severe thirst struck the people of pharaoh, they came to the believers and said that they would drink water with them in the same pot and at the same time. But there was again a strange and wonderful manifestation of the power of Allah that in the same pot at the same time, when the believers and the unbelievers would collectively drink water, at the side of the believers, there was a crystal clear water but on the side of the unbelievers, the water would turn into blood whilst entering the mouth of the pharaoh’s followers.
In the state of utter helplessness, the pharaoh and his people quenched their thirst by chewing grass, roots of trees and extracting water from it but even the liquid that was extracted from it would turn into blood when it would enter their mouth. Exhausted by that miserable condition, the people of pharaoh again requested Sayyiduna Musa beseechingly for withdrawal of the torment. Due to prophetic kindness and compassion, Sayyiduna Musa again prayed for them. Thus on the seventh day, the torment of that curse of blood was withdrawn from them.
There were five consecutive torments that struck the people of pharaoh and every torment was withdrawn on the seventh day. There was a gap of one month between every two torments- but the hearts of these tyrants and transgressors were so sternly sealed and they were wretched to such an extent that they did not embrace the faith. They remained stuck with their unbelief and every time they broke their promises. Finally, an ultimate torment struck them. Pharaoh and his people were drowned and destroyed in the River Nile. Thus the world was completely purified from the evil presence of those damned people. No signs of their existence were left on the face of the earth and even, no sign of their graves was left.
(Iafseer As-Saawi, vol. 2, pp. 803; Part 9, Surah Al-A’raj Ayah 133)
The Holy Quran mentioned above five torments in the following words:
فَاَرْسَلْنَا عَلَیۡہِمُ الطُّوۡفَانَ وَالْجَرَادَ وَالْقُمَّلَ وَالضَّفَادِعَ وَالدَّمَ اٰیٰتٍ مُّفَصَّلٰتٍ ۟ فَاسْتَکْبَرُوۡا وَکَانُوۡا قَوْمًا مُّجْرِمِیۡنَ ﴿133﴾وَلَمَّا وَقَعَ عَلَیۡہِمُ الرِّجْزُ قَالُوۡا یٰمُوۡسَی ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّکَ بِمَا عَہِدَ عِنۡدَکَ ۚ لَئِنۡ کَشَفْتَ عَنَّا الرِّجْزَ لَنُؤْمِنَنَّ لَکَ وَلَنُرْسِلَنَّ مَعَکَ بَنِیۡۤ اِسْرَآءِیۡلَ ﴿134﴾ۚفَلَمَّا کَشَفْنَا عَنْہُمُ الرِّجْزَ اِلٰۤی اَجَلٍ ہُمۡ بَالِغُوۡہُ اِذَا ہُمْ یَنۡکُثُوۡنَ ﴿135﴾فَانۡتَقَمْنَا مِنْہُمْ فَاَغْرَقْنٰہُمْ فِی الْیَمِّ بِاَنَّہُمْ کَذَّبُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِنَا وَکَانُوۡا عَنْہَا غٰفِلِیۡنَ ﴿136﴾
So We sent upon them the flood and the locusts and the (blood sucking) flea (or lice) and the frogs and the blood; various separate signs. So they became arrogant and were a sinning nation. And whenever the punishment came upon them, they used to say, ‘O Musa! Supplicate to your Lord for us by means of His covenant which is with you. Indeed if you remove the punishment from us, we will definitely believe in you and will let the Children of Israel go with you.’ Whenever We lifted the punishment from them for a (fixed) period, to which they are to reach, immediately they used to turn away. We therefore took revenge from them; so We drowned them in the river because they used to belie Our Verses and were unmindful of them.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)J (Part 9, Surah Al-A’raf, Ayah 133-136)
1. The moral lesson we get from these events is that it is a fatal sin to break the promises and to refute and disrespect the Ambiya of Allah . Due to these sins, different types of torments struck the people of pharaoh and they were finally drowned and destroyed in the river. Their signs were wiped away from the face of the earth. Therefore, it is obligatory for every Muslim to avoid breaking the promises and committing the sins. Otherwise severe Divine torment may strike them.
2. Undoubtedly, Sayyiduna Musa was extremely tolerant, compassionate and kind. Despite his enemies breaking promises again and again, he tll:J1 4,, would still feel pity and would supplicate for the withdrawal of torment whenever they would request him. We learnt from this event that it is essential for the leaders and the torchbearers of a nation to observe tolerance and kindness.
Since the religious scholars are successors of the Ambiya of Allah , it is utmost essential for them not to fuel the passion of revenge against their opponents and ill-wishers. Instead they should observe patience and should keep on forgiving their enemies as it is the blessed Sunnah of Sayyiduna Musa as well as one of the very distinct tradition of our Beloved Nabi . He never took revenge from his enemies for the sake of his own blessed self. Instead, he would always forgive the people. As per one of his glorious teachings:
i. e. whoever breaks ties with you, bond relations with him and whoever oppresses you, forgive him and whoever misbehaves you; treat him with good conduct. In presenting the same Hadees, Sayyiduna Shaykh Sa’ di has said:
بدی رابدی سہل باشد جزا
اگر مردی اَحْسِنْ اِلٰی مَنْ اَسَا
It is a lot easy to take revenge but if you bear true manhood, then do favour to the one who has misbehaved you.