English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 28: Al-Qasas — The Narrative (Revealed at Makkah: 9 sections, 88 verses)

Section 1 (Verses 28:1–28:13): History of Moses — Infancy


بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

طٰسٓمّٓ ﴿۱﴾

28:1 Benignant, Hearing, Knowing God!1

تِلۡکَ اٰیٰتُ الۡکِتٰبِ الۡمُبِیۡنِ ﴿۲﴾

28:2 These are the verses of the Book that makes manifest.

نَتۡلُوۡا عَلَیۡکَ مِنۡ نَّبَاِ مُوۡسٰی وَ فِرۡعَوۡنَ بِالۡحَقِّ لِقَوۡمٍ یُّؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۳﴾

28:3 We recite to you the story of Moses and Pharaoh with truth, for a people who believe.

اِنَّ فِرۡعَوۡنَ عَلَا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ جَعَلَ اَہۡلَہَا شِیَعًا یَّسۡتَضۡعِفُ طَآئِفَۃً مِّنۡہُمۡ یُذَبِّحُ اَبۡنَآءَہُمۡ وَ یَسۡتَحۡیٖ نِسَآءَہُمۡ ؕ اِنَّہٗ کَانَ مِنَ الۡمُفۡسِدِیۡنَ ﴿۴﴾

28:4 Surely Pharaoh exalted himself in the land and made its people into parties, weakening one party from among them;2 he slaughtered their sons and let their women live. Surely he was one of the mischief-makers.

وَ نُرِیۡدُ اَنۡ نَّمُنَّ عَلَی الَّذِیۡنَ اسۡتُضۡعِفُوۡا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ نَجۡعَلَہُمۡ اَئِمَّۃً وَّ نَجۡعَلَہُمُ الۡوٰرِثِیۡنَ ۙ﴿۵﴾

28:5 And We desired to bestow a favour upon those who were considered weak in the land, and to make them the leaders, and to make them the heirs,3

وَ نُمَکِّنَ لَہُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ نُرِیَ فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَ ہَامٰنَ وَ جُنُوۡدَہُمَا مِنۡہُمۡ مَّا کَانُوۡا یَحۡذَرُوۡنَ ﴿۶﴾

28:6 and to grant them power in the land, and to make Pharaoh and Hāmān and their forces see from them what they feared.4

وَ اَوۡحَیۡنَاۤ اِلٰۤی اُمِّ مُوۡسٰۤی اَنۡ اَرۡضِعِیۡہِ ۚ فَاِذَا خِفۡتِ عَلَیۡہِ فَاَلۡقِیۡہِ فِی الۡیَمِّ وَ لَا تَخَافِیۡ وَ لَا تَحۡزَنِیۡ ۚ اِنَّا رَآدُّوۡہُ اِلَیۡکِ وَ جَاعِلُوۡہُ مِنَ الۡمُرۡسَلِیۡنَ ﴿۷﴾

28:7 And We revealed to Moses’ mother, saying: Suckle him; then when you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear, nor grieve; surely We shall bring him back to you and make him a messenger (of Ours).

فَالۡتَقَطَہٗۤ اٰلُ فِرۡعَوۡنَ لِیَکُوۡنَ لَہُمۡ عَدُوًّا وَّ حَزَنًا ؕ اِنَّ فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَ ہَامٰنَ وَ جُنُوۡدَہُمَا کَانُوۡا خٰطِئِیۡنَ ﴿۸﴾

28:8 So Pharaoh’s people took him up — he would be an enemy and a grief for them. Surely Pharaoh and Hāmān and their forces were wrongdoers.

وَ قَالَتِ امۡرَاَتُ فِرۡعَوۡنَ قُرَّتُ عَیۡنٍ لِّیۡ وَ لَکَ ؕ لَا تَقۡتُلُوۡہُ ٭ۖ عَسٰۤی اَنۡ یَّنۡفَعَنَاۤ اَوۡ نَتَّخِذَہٗ وَلَدًا وَّ ہُمۡ لَا یَشۡعُرُوۡنَ ﴿۹﴾

28:9 And Pharaoh’s wife said: A joy of the eyes to me and to you — do not kill him; maybe he will be useful to us, or we may take him for a son. And they did not perceive.

وَ اَصۡبَحَ فُؤَادُ اُمِّ مُوۡسٰی فٰرِغًا ؕ اِنۡ کَادَتۡ لَتُبۡدِیۡ بِہٖ لَوۡ لَاۤ اَنۡ رَّبَطۡنَا عَلٰی قَلۡبِہَا لِتَکُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰﴾

28:10 And the heart of Moses’ mother was free (from anxiety).5 She would almost have disclosed it, if We had not strengthened her heart, that she might be one of the believers.

وَ قَالَتۡ لِاُخۡتِہٖ قُصِّیۡہِ ۫ فَبَصُرَتۡ بِہٖ عَنۡ جُنُبٍ وَّ ہُمۡ لَا یَشۡعُرُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۱﴾

28:11 And she said to his sister: Follow him up. So she watched him from a distance, while they did not perceive.

وَ حَرَّمۡنَا عَلَیۡہِ الۡمَرَاضِعَ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ فَقَالَتۡ ہَلۡ اَدُلُّکُمۡ عَلٰۤی اَہۡلِ بَیۡتٍ یَّکۡفُلُوۡنَہٗ لَکُمۡ وَ ہُمۡ لَہٗ نٰصِحُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲﴾

28:12 And We did not allow him to be suckled before, so she said: Shall I point out to you the people of a house who will bring him up for you, and they will wish him well?

فَرَدَدۡنٰہُ اِلٰۤی اُمِّہٖ کَیۡ تَقَرَّ عَیۡنُہَا وَ لَا تَحۡزَنَ وَ لِتَعۡلَمَ اَنَّ وَعۡدَ اللّٰہِ حَقٌّ وَّ لٰکِنَّ اَکۡثَرَہُمۡ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿٪۱۳﴾

28:13 So We gave him back to his mother that she might be comforted, and not grieve, and that she might know that the promise of Allah is true. But most of them do not know.6


  1. See 26:1 footnote, for explanation.
  2. The two parties were the Israelites and the Egyptians, the latter being made the taskmasters of the former. This refers no doubt to the persecutions of the Muslims. The Quraish, the stronger party, wanted to crush the weaker party of the Muslims.
  3. By making them heirs is not meant that they would be made heirs to Pharaoh’s possession, but heirs to a kingdom in the promised land of Canaan. And this refers also to the establishment of the kingdom of Islam and the defeat of its persecutors.
  4. Hāmān seems to have been a minister of Pharaoh. He is spoken of again in v. 8 and 38, and also in 29:39 and 40:24, 36. Pharaoh and his coun­sellors feared that the Israelites, who were aliens in the land of Egypt, might one day become powerful and supreme in the land. Hence they oppressed and per­secuted them in various ways. Yet the Divine intention was to bring about what Pharaoh feared. Such also was the Divine intention with regard to the persecuted Muslims.
  5. Her heart became free from anxiety on account of the assurance which she had received through Divine revelation; the words that follow show that her heart had been strengthened with patience, so it cannot be said to have become devoid, or free, of patience.
  6. The reference is clearly to the opponents of the Holy Prophet, who did not know that the promise of Allah, as given to the faithful, would prove true.