English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 26: Al-Shuara — The Poets (Revealed at Makkah: 11 sections, 227 verses)

Section 2 (Verses 26:10–26:33): Moses is Called and Sent to Pharaoh


وَ اِذۡ نَادٰی رَبُّکَ مُوۡسٰۤی اَنِ ائۡتِ الۡقَوۡمَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۰﴾

26:10 And when your Lord called Moses, saying: Go to the wrongdoing people —

قَوۡمَ فِرۡعَوۡنَ ؕ اَلَا یَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱﴾

26:11 the people of Pharaoh. Will they not guard against evil?

قَالَ رَبِّ اِنِّیۡۤ اَخَافُ اَنۡ یُّکَذِّبُوۡنِ ﴿ؕ۱۲﴾

26:12 He said: My Lord, I fear that they will reject me.

وَ یَضِیۡقُ صَدۡرِیۡ وَ لَا یَنۡطَلِقُ لِسَانِیۡ فَاَرۡسِلۡ اِلٰی ہٰرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۳﴾

26:13 And my heart is anxious, and my tongue is not eloquent, so send for Aaron (too).

وَ لَہُمۡ عَلَیَّ ذَنۡۢبٌ فَاَخَافُ اَنۡ یَّقۡتُلُوۡنِ ﴿ۚ۱۴﴾

26:14 And they have a crime against me, so I fear that they will kill me.1

قَالَ کَلَّا ۚ فَاذۡہَبَا بِاٰیٰتِنَاۤ اِنَّا مَعَکُمۡ مُّسۡتَمِعُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵﴾

26:15 He said: By no means; so go both of you with Our signs; surely We are with you, Hearing.

فَاۡتِیَا فِرۡعَوۡنَ فَقُوۡلَاۤ اِنَّا رَسُوۡلُ رَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۶﴾

26:16 Then come to Pharaoh, and say: We are bearers of a message of the Lord of the worlds:

اَنۡ اَرۡسِلۡ مَعَنَا بَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ ﴿ؕ۱۷﴾

26:17 Send with us the Children of Israel.

قَالَ اَلَمۡ نُرَبِّکَ فِیۡنَا وَلِیۡدًا وَّ لَبِثۡتَ فِیۡنَا مِنۡ عُمُرِکَ سِنِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۸﴾

26:18 (Pharaoh) said: Did we not bring you up as a child among us, and you stayed (many) years of your life among us?

وَ فَعَلۡتَ فَعۡلَتَکَ الَّتِیۡ فَعَلۡتَ وَ اَنۡتَ مِنَ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۹﴾

26:19 And you did (that) deed of yours which you did and you are ungrateful.

قَالَ فَعَلۡتُہَاۤ اِذًا وَّ اَنَا مِنَ الضَّآلِّیۡنَ ﴿ؕ۲۰﴾

26:20 He said: I did it then when I was in error.2

فَفَرَرۡتُ مِنۡکُمۡ لَمَّا خِفۡتُکُمۡ فَوَہَبَ لِیۡ رَبِّیۡ حُکۡمًا وَّ جَعَلَنِیۡ مِنَ الۡمُرۡسَلِیۡنَ ﴿۲۱﴾

26:21 So I fled from you when I feared you, then my Lord granted me judgment and made me a messenger.

وَ تِلۡکَ نِعۡمَۃٌ تَمُنُّہَا عَلَیَّ اَنۡ عَبَّدۡتَّ بَنِیۡۤ اِسۡرَآءِیۡلَ ﴿ؕ۲۲﴾

26:22 And is it a favour, of which you remind me, that you have enslaved the Children of Israel?3

قَالَ فِرۡعَوۡنُ وَ مَا رَبُّ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿ؕ۲۳﴾

26:23 Pharaoh said: And what is the Lord of the worlds?

قَالَ رَبُّ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ مَا بَیۡنَہُمَا ؕ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ مُّوۡقِنِیۡنَ ﴿۲۴﴾

26:24 He said: The Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, if you would be sure.

قَالَ لِمَنۡ حَوۡلَہٗۤ اَلَا تَسۡتَمِعُوۡنَ ﴿۲۵﴾

26:25 (Pharaoh) said to those around him: Do you not hear?

قَالَ رَبُّکُمۡ وَ رَبُّ اٰبَآئِکُمُ الۡاَوَّلِیۡنَ ﴿۲۶﴾

26:26 He said: Your Lord and the Lord of your fathers of old.

قَالَ اِنَّ رَسُوۡلَکُمُ الَّذِیۡۤ اُرۡسِلَ اِلَیۡکُمۡ لَمَجۡنُوۡنٌ ﴿۲۷﴾

26:27 (Pharaoh) said: Surely your messenger, who is sent to you, is mad.

قَالَ رَبُّ الۡمَشۡرِقِ وَ الۡمَغۡرِبِ وَ مَا بَیۡنَہُمَا ؕ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۲۸﴾

26:28 He said: The Lord of the East and the West and all that is between them, if you have any sense.

قَالَ لَئِنِ اتَّخَذۡتَ اِلٰـہًا غَیۡرِیۡ لَاَجۡعَلَنَّکَ مِنَ الۡمَسۡجُوۡنِیۡنَ ﴿۲۹﴾

26:29 (Pharaoh) said: If you take a god besides me, I will certainly put you in prison.4

قَالَ اَوَ لَوۡ جِئۡتُکَ بِشَیۡءٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿ۚ۳۰﴾

26:30 He said: Even if I show you something plain?

قَالَ فَاۡتِ بِہٖۤ اِنۡ کُنۡتَ مِنَ الصّٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۳۱﴾

26:31 (Pharaoh) said: Show it, then, if you are truthful.

فَاَلۡقٰی عَصَاہُ فَاِذَا ہِیَ ثُعۡبَانٌ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿ۚۖ۳۲﴾

26:32 So he threw down his staff, and lo! it was an obvious snake;

وَّ نَزَعَ یَدَہٗ فَاِذَا ہِیَ بَیۡضَآءُ لِلنّٰظِرِیۡنَ ﴿٪۳۳﴾

26:33 and he drew forth his hand, and lo! it appeared white to the onlookers.5


  1. The reference is to the killing of the Egyptian, as mentioned in 28:15. It is stated here that the people of Pharaoh charged Moses with a crime, not that he was actually guilty. See v. 20 and 28:15.
  2. The circumstances in which Moses’ act of striking an Egyptian with his fist led to the death of the Egyptian are related in 28:15. There was no inten­tion to kill the man, nor did Moses use any weapon with which death could be caused. The words “I was in error” (ḍāll) indicate one perplexed, being unable to know what was incumbent on him. He used his fist against the oppressor, and death was simply accidental.
  3. The Israelites were employed only in menial work by Pharaoh and the Egyptians; it is this subjection to hardship which is here called enslavement.
  4. The gods of the Egyptians were innumerable. There were abstract gods, cosmic gods, human gods and animal gods. Pharaoh’s claim to divinity among a people who were willing to deify anything has, therefore, nothing strange about it.
  5. See 7:108 and 20:20, 20:22, and the footnotes there.