The Quran

Commentaries for 28.33

Al Qasas (The narrative) - القصص

28.33 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(He said) Moses said: (My Lord! Lo! I killed a man among them and I fear that they will kill me) in retaliation.
28.33 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
He said, ‘My Lord, I have indeed slain a soul among them — the mentioned Egyptian — and so I fear that they will slay me, because of him.
28.33-35 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
How Musa asked for the Support of His Brother and was granted that by Allah
When Allah commanded him to go to Fir`awn, the one who he had run away from and whose vengeance he feared,
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّى قَتَلْتُ مِنْهُمْ نَفْساً
( Musa said: My Lord! I have killed a man among them,) meaning, that Coptic,
فَأَخَافُ أَن يَقْتُلُونِ
(and I fear that they will kill me.) i.e., `when they see me.'
وَأَخِى هَـرُونُ هُوَ أَفْصَحُ مِنِّى لِسَاناً
(And my brother Harun -- he is more eloquent in speech than me,) Musa, peace be upon him, had a speech defect, because when he had been given the choice between a date and a pearl, he mistakenly picked up a coal and placed it on his tongue, so he found it difficult to speak clearly. Musa said:
وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِى - يَفْقَهُواْ قَوْلِي - وَاجْعَل لِّى وَزِيراً مِّنْ أَهْلِى - هَـرُونَ أَخِى - اشْدُدْ بِهِ أَزْرِى - وَأَشْرِكْهُ فِى أَمْرِى
("And loose the knot (the defect) from my tongue. That they understand my speech. And appoint for me a helper from my family, Harun, my brother. Increase my strength with him, And let him share my task.'') (20:27-32) meaning, `give me someone to keep me company in this immense task of prophethood and conveying the Message to this arrogant, tyrannical and stubborn king. ' Hence Musa said:
وَأَخِى هَـرُونُ هُوَ أَفْصَحُ مِنِّى لِسَاناً فَأَرْسِلْهِ مَعِىَ رِدْءاً
(And my brother Harun -- he is more eloquent in speech than me: so send him with me as a helper) meaning, as a support to give strength to my cause and confirm what I say and convey from Allah, because the word of two carries more weight in people's minds than the word of one. So he said:
إِنِّى أَخَافُ أَن يُكَذِّبُونِ
(Verily, I fear that they will deny me.) Muhammad bin Ishaq said: c
رِدْءاً يُصَدِّقُنِى
(as a helper to confirm me.) means, `to explain to them what I say, for he can understand me where they may not.' When Musa asked for this, Allah said to him:
سَنَشُدُّ عَضُدَكَ بِأَخِيكَ
(We will strengthen your arm through your brother,) meaning, `We will add strength to your cause and give you help through your brother, who you have asked to be made a Prophet alongside you.' This is like the Ayat;
قَدْ أُوتِيتَ سُؤْلَكَ يمُوسَى
(You are granted your request, O Musa!) (20:36)
وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ مِن رَّحْمَتِنَآ أَخَاهُ هَـرُونَ نَبِيّاً
(And We granted him his brother Harun, (also) a Prophet, out of Our mercy) (19:53). One of the Salaf said, "There is no one who has ever done a greater favor to his brother than Musa did for Harun, may peace be upon them both, for he interceded for him until Allah made him a Prophet and Messenger with him to Fir`awn and his chiefs. Allah said concerning Musa:
وَكَانَ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَجِيهاً
(he was honorable before Allah) (33:69).
وَنَجْعَلُ لَكُمَا سُلْطَـناً
(and (We will) give you both power) means, overwhelming evidence.
فَلاَ يَصِلُونَ إِلَيْكُمَا بِـْايَـتِنَآ
(so they shall not be able to harm you, with Our Ayat;) means, `they will have no way or means of harming you because you are conveying the signs of Allah.' This is like the Ayat:
يَـأَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ
(O Messenger! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord.) until His saying:
وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ
(Allah will protect you from mankind) (5:67).
الَّذِينَ يُبَلِّغُونَ رِسَالـتِ اللَّهِ
(Those who convey the Message of Allah) until His saying:
وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ حَسِيباً
(And sufficient is Allah as a Reckoner) (33:39). And sufficient is Allah as a Helper and Supporter. And Allah told them the consequences in this world and the next, for them and for those who followed them,
أَنتُمَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَكُمَا الْغَـلِبُونَ
(you two as well as those who follow you will be the victors.) This is like the Ayat:
كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لاّغْلِبَنَّ أَنَاْ وَرُسُلِى إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌ
(Allah has decreed: "Verily, it is I and My Messengers who shall be the victorious.'' Verily, Allah is All-Powerful, All-Mighty.) (58:21)
إِنَّا لَنَنصُرُ رُسُلَنَا وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا
(Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe in this world's life) (40:51) to the end of the Ayah.
28.29-35 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
According to Hadrat Hasan bin `Ali bin Abi Talib, the Prophet Moses had completed the ten years term instead of the eight years. According to Ibn 'Abbas, this has been related on the authority of the Holy Prophet himself. He has said, "Moses (peace be upon him) completed the term which was more perfect and more agreeable to his father-in-law, i.e. ten years."
That the direction of the journey was towards Mt. Tur shows that the Prophet Moses might be traveling to Egypt with his family, for Tur lies on the way from Midian to Egypt. Probably Prophet Moses thought that he had stayed away from home for ten long years and the Pharaoh in whose reign he had left Egypt had also died, if he quietly went back and stayed with his people, nobody would know it.
The Biblical version of the sequence of events is different from the Qur'an's. It says that the Prophet Moses `led the flocks (of his father-in-law) to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb." There God spoke to him, and appointed him to Prophethood and commanded him to go to Egypt. Then Moses went back to Jethro, his father-in-law, took his permission and went to Egypt with his family. (Exod. 3: 1, 4: 18) Contrary to this, the Qur'an says that the Prophet Moses left Midian with his family after completing the term and during this journey Allah spoke to him and appointed him to Prophethood.
Both the Bible and the Talmud agree that the Pharaoh in whose house Prophet Moses had been brought up had died during his stay in Midian, and now another Pharaoh was the king of Egypt.
That is, in the ground which was being lit up by Divine Light.
That is, on that side of the valley which lay to the right of the Prophet Moses.
These two miracles were shown to the Prophet Moses at that time so that, firstly, he himself is fully convinced that the same Being Who is speaking to him is, in fact, the Creator and Master and Ruler of the whole system of the universe and secondly, he should have full satisfaction that he was not going unarmed before Pharaoh, to perform the dangerous mission assigned to him, but would go well armed with the two powerful weapons.
That is, "Whenever you experience the fear of any danger, fold back your arm to yourself: this will strengthen your heart and will deliver you completely from every feeling of fear and dread."
The arm probably implies the right arm. The arm can be folded back in two ways: either by bringing the arm and pressing it against the side, or by pressing one hand under the armpit of the other. Probably the first way was implied, for in that case the other person cannot perceive that one is specially doing so in order to ward off fear.
The Prophet Moses was taught this device because he was being sent to counter a tyrannical government without any army and worldly equipment. He was going to meet with many a dreadful situation when a great Prophet also could not remain safe from fear and terror. Allah said to him, "Whenever you face such a situation, just do this* and Pharaoh will not be able to shake your heart in spite of all the power of his mighty kingdom."
The words by themselves imply: "Go to Pharaoh with these Signs and present yourself as Allah's Messenger, and invite him and his chiefs to the obedience and worship of Allah, Lord of the worlds." That is why his appointment has not been specified here, though at other places it has been clearly stated, thus: 'Go to Pharaoh for he has become rebellious' "(Ta Ha: 24) And: "When your Lord called Moses, saying: "Go forth to the wicked people--the people of Pharaoh'." (Ash-Shu'araa: 10).
It did not mean that he was hesitant to go there because of the fear, but it meant this: "Kindly make some such arrangement that I am not apprehended on the charge of murder just on arrival even before I may convey to them Your message, for in that case the very object for which I am being sent will be defeated." The next verse makes it plain that the Prophet Moses, by this submission, did not at all mean to reject the office of Prophethood and refuse to go before Pharaoh because of the fear.
This meeting of the Prophet Moses with Allah and the mutual conversation has been described in much greater detail in Surah Ta Ha (vv. 9-48). Anyone possessed of fine taste, who compares this Qur'anic version with the story given in the Bible (Exod., chs. 3, 4), will be himself able to judge which of the two is Divine Revelation and which the result of human story-telling. Besides, he will also be able to judge whether the Qur'anic version is, God forbid, a plagiarism of the Bible and Israelite traditions, or that God Himself is describing the actual event, Who had honored Moses by calling him up into His Presence. (For further explanation, see E.N. 19 of Surah Ta Ha).