English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 20: Ta Ha — Ta Ha (Revealed at Makkah: 8 sections, 135 verses)

Section 2 (Verses 20:25–20:54): Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh


قَالَ رَبِّ اشۡرَحۡ لِیۡ صَدۡرِیۡ ﴿ۙ۲۵﴾

20:25 He said: My Lord, expand my breast for me (with knowledge),

وَ یَسِّرۡ لِیۡۤ اَمۡرِیۡ ﴿ۙ۲۶﴾

20:26 and ease my task for me,

وَ احۡلُلۡ عُقۡدَۃً مِّنۡ لِّسَانِیۡ ﴿ۙ۲۷﴾

20:27 and loosen the knot from my tongue,1

یَفۡقَہُوۡا قَوۡلِیۡ ﴿۪۲۸﴾

20:28 (that) they may understand my word.

وَ اجۡعَلۡ لِّیۡ وَزِیۡرًا مِّنۡ اَہۡلِیۡ ﴿ۙ۲۹﴾

20:29 And give to me a helper from my family,

ہٰرُوۡنَ اَخِی ﴿ۙ۳۰﴾

20:30 Aaron, my brother;

اشۡدُدۡ بِہٖۤ اَزۡرِیۡ ﴿ۙ۳۱﴾

20:31 add to my strength by him,

وَ اَشۡرِکۡہُ فِیۡۤ اَمۡرِیۡ ﴿ۙ۳۲﴾

20:32 and make him share my task —

کَیۡ نُسَبِّحَکَ کَثِیۡرًا ﴿ۙ۳۳﴾

20:33 so that we may glorify You much,

وَّ نَذۡکُرَکَ کَثِیۡرًا ﴿ؕ۳۴﴾

20:34 and much remember You.

اِنَّکَ کُنۡتَ بِنَا بَصِیۡرًا ﴿۳۵﴾

20:35 Surely, You are ever seeing us.

قَالَ قَدۡ اُوۡتِیۡتَ سُؤۡلَکَ یٰمُوۡسٰی ﴿۳۶﴾

20:36 He said: You are indeed granted your petition, O Moses.

وَ لَقَدۡ مَنَنَّا عَلَیۡکَ مَرَّۃً اُخۡرٰۤی ﴿ۙ۳۷﴾

20:37 And indeed We bestowed on you a favour at another time,

اِذۡ اَوۡحَیۡنَاۤ اِلٰۤی اُمِّکَ مَا یُوۡحٰۤی ﴿ۙ۳۸﴾

20:38 when We revealed to your mother what was revealed:

اَنِ اقۡذِفِیۡہِ فِی التَّابُوۡتِ فَاقۡذِفِیۡہِ فِی الۡیَمِّ فَلۡیُلۡقِہِ الۡیَمُّ بِالسَّاحِلِ یَاۡخُذۡہُ عَدُوٌّ لِّیۡ وَ عَدُوٌّ لَّہٗ ؕ وَ اَلۡقَیۡتُ عَلَیۡکَ مَحَبَّۃً مِّنِّیۡ ۬ۚ وَ لِتُصۡنَعَ عَلٰی عَیۡنِیۡ ﴿ۘ۳۹﴾

20:39 Put him into a chest, then put it into the river, the river will cast it upon the shore — there an enemy to Me and an enemy to him shall take him up. And I shed on you love from Me; and that you may be brought up before My eyes.2

اِذۡ تَمۡشِیۡۤ اُخۡتُکَ فَتَقُوۡلُ ہَلۡ اَدُلُّکُمۡ عَلٰی مَنۡ یَّکۡفُلُہٗ ؕ فَرَجَعۡنٰکَ اِلٰۤی اُمِّکَ کَیۡ تَقَرَّ عَیۡنُہَا وَ لَا تَحۡزَنَ ۬ؕ وَ قَتَلۡتَ نَفۡسًا فَنَجَّیۡنٰکَ مِنَ الۡغَمِّ وَ فَتَنّٰکَ فُتُوۡنًا ۬۟ فَلَبِثۡتَ سِنِیۡنَ فِیۡۤ اَہۡلِ مَدۡیَنَ ۬ۙ ثُمَّ جِئۡتَ عَلٰی قَدَرٍ یّٰمُوۡسٰی ﴿۴۰﴾

20:40 When your sister went and said: Shall I direct you to one who will take charge of him? So We brought you back to your mother that she might be comforted and she should not grieve. And you killed a man, then We delivered you from grief, and tried you with (many) trials. Then you stayed for years among the people of Midian. Then you came here as ordained, O Moses.

وَ اصۡطَنَعۡتُکَ لِنَفۡسِیۡ ﴿ۚ۴۱﴾

20:41 And I have chosen you for Myself.

اِذۡہَبۡ اَنۡتَ وَ اَخُوۡکَ بِاٰیٰتِیۡ وَ لَا تَنِیَا فِیۡ ذِکۡرِیۡ ﴿ۚ۴۲﴾

20:42 Go you and your brother with My messages and do not be remiss in remembering Me.

اِذۡہَبَاۤ اِلٰی فِرۡعَوۡنَ اِنَّہٗ طَغٰی ﴿ۚۖ۴۳﴾

20:43 Go both of you to Pharaoh, surely he is inordinate;

فَقُوۡلَا لَہٗ قَوۡلًا لَّیِّنًا لَّعَلَّہٗ یَتَذَکَّرُ اَوۡ یَخۡشٰی ﴿۴۴﴾

20:44 then speak to him a gentle word, perhaps he may be mindful or fear.

قَالَا رَبَّنَاۤ اِنَّنَا نَخَافُ اَنۡ یَّفۡرُطَ عَلَیۡنَاۤ اَوۡ اَنۡ یَّطۡغٰی ﴿۴۵﴾

20:45 They said: Our Lord, we fear that he may hasten to do us harm or be inordinate.

قَالَ لَا تَخَافَاۤ اِنَّنِیۡ مَعَکُمَاۤ اَسۡمَعُ وَ اَرٰی ﴿۴۶﴾

20:46 He said: Do not fear, surely I am with you — I do hear and see.

فَاۡتِیٰہُ فَقُوۡلَاۤ اِنَّا رَسُوۡلَا رَبِّکَ فَاَرۡسِلۡ مَعَنَا بَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ ۬ۙ وَ لَا تُعَذِّبۡہُمۡ ؕ قَدۡ جِئۡنٰکَ بِاٰیَۃٍ مِّنۡ رَّبِّکَ ؕ وَ السَّلٰمُ عَلٰی مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الۡہُدٰی ﴿۴۷﴾

20:47 So go to him and say: Surely we are two messengers of your Lord,3 so send forth the Children of Israel with us, and do not torment them. Indeed we have brought you a message from your Lord, and peace be on him who follows the guidance.

اِنَّا قَدۡ اُوۡحِیَ اِلَیۡنَاۤ اَنَّ الۡعَذَابَ عَلٰی مَنۡ کَذَّبَ وَ تَوَلّٰی ﴿۴۸﴾

20:48 It has indeed been revealed to us that punishment will overtake him who rejects and turns away.4

قَالَ فَمَنۡ رَّبُّکُمَا یٰمُوۡسٰی ﴿۴۹﴾

20:49 (Pharaoh) said: Who is your Lord, Moses?

قَالَ رَبُّنَا الَّذِیۡۤ اَعۡطٰی کُلَّ شَیۡءٍ خَلۡقَہٗ ثُمَّ ہَدٰی ﴿۵۰﴾

20:50 He said: Our Lord is He Who gives to everything its creation, then guides (it).5

قَالَ فَمَا بَالُ الۡقُرُوۡنِ الۡاُوۡلٰی ﴿۵۱﴾

20:51 He said: What then is the state of the former generations?

قَالَ عِلۡمُہَا عِنۡدَ رَبِّیۡ فِیۡ کِتٰبٍ ۚ لَا یَضِلُّ رَبِّیۡ وَ لَا یَنۡسَی ﴿۫۵۲﴾

20:52 He said: The knowledge of that is with my Lord in a book; my Lord neither makes error nor forgets —

الَّذِیۡ جَعَلَ لَکُمُ الۡاَرۡضَ مَہۡدًا وَّ سَلَکَ لَکُمۡ فِیۡہَا سُبُلًا وَّ اَنۡزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً ؕ فَاَخۡرَجۡنَا بِہٖۤ اَزۡوَاجًا مِّنۡ نَّبَاتٍ شَتّٰی ﴿۵۳﴾

20:53 Who made the earth for you an expanse and made for you paths in it and sent down water from the clouds. Then with that We bring forth pairs of various herbs.

کُلُوۡا وَ ارۡعَوۡا اَنۡعَامَکُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیٰتٍ لِّاُولِی النُّہٰی ﴿٪۵۴﴾

20:54 Eat and pasture your cattle. Surely there are signs in this for those who have understanding.


  1. By a man who has a knot in his tongue is meant a man unable to speak freely.
  2. Moses was born at a time when Pharaoh had commanded all male children born to the Israelites to be thrown into the Nile. Moses’ mother kept him concealed for three months, and at last, unable to hide him any longer, cast him upon the river in an ark of bulrushes, whence he was picked up by Pharaoh’s daughter (Exodus, 2:1–10).
  3. Both Moses and Aaron were messengers (sing. rasūl) of God.
  4. This contains a clear warning to Pharaoh of his end in case of rejec­tion. Moses and Aaron were directed to convey this message. The whole account of their actual going to Pharaoh and the delivery of this message is omitted here, and the next verse gives us Pharaoh’s reply to their demand.
  5. This verse contains an argument for the necessity of Divine revela­tion. It says that, as Allah has created everything, and then given it the qualities and means by which it can attain to perfection — for this is the true significance of hadā, i.e., guides it (to its goal) — so man also stands in need of spiritual and moral directions for his attainment to perfection.