The Quran

Commentaries for 28.8

Al Qasas (The narrative) - القصص

28.8 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And the family of Pharaoh) the maidens of Pharaoh (took him up) picked him from between the trees and water and took him to the wife of Pharaoh, (that he might become for them an enemy) after he takes the message to them (and a sorrow) for the loss of their kingdom. (Lo! Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts were ever sinning) they were idolaters.
28.8 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Then Pharaoh’s folk, aids, picked him up, with him [still] in the basket, the morning following that night — it was placed him in front of him [Pharaoh] and then opened and Moses was brought out of it, sucking milk from his thumb — to be, at the end of the affair, an enemy, slaying their menfolk, and a [cause of] grief to them, enslaving their womenfolk (a variant reading [for hazanan] is huznan, both of which are alternative forms of the verbal noun, and it functions as an active participle, derived from hazanahu, which is like ahzanahu, ‘he caused him grief’). Truly Pharaoh and, his minister, Hāmān, and their hosts were sinners, that is, disobedient, and so they were punished at his [Moses’s] hands.
28.7-9 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
How Musa's Mother was inspired and shown what to do
It was mentioned that when Fir`awn killed so many of the males of the Children of Israel, the Copts were scared that the Children of Israel would die out, and they themselves would have to do the heavy labor that the Children of Israel used to do. So they said to Fir`awn, "If this continues, and their old men die and the young men are killed, their women will not be able to do the work that the men are doing, and we will end up having to do it.'' So Fir`awn issued orders that the boys should be killed one year, and left alone the following year. Harun, peace be upon him, was born in a year when the boys were not killed, and Musa was born in a year when the boys were being killed. Fir`awn had people who were entrusted with this task. There were midwives who would go around and check on the women, and if they noticed that any woman was pregnant, they would write her name down. When the time came for her to give birth, no one was allowed to attend her except for Coptic women. If the woman gave birth to a girl, they would leave her alone and go away, but if she gave birth to a boy, the killers would come in with their sharp knives and kill the child, then they would go away; may Allah curse them. When the mother of Musa became pregnant with him, she did not show any signs of pregnancy as other women did, and none of the midwives noticed. But when she gave birth to a boy, she became very distressed and did not know what to do with him. She was extremely scared for him, because she loved him very much. No one ever saw Musa, peace be upon him, but they loved him, and the blessed ones were those who loved him both as a natural feeling and because he was a Prophet. Allah says:
وَأَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةً مِّنِّى
(And I endued you with love from Me) (20:39).
Musa, peace be upon him, in the House of Fir`awn
When Musa's mother became so worried and confused, it was inspired into her heart and mind what she should do, as Allah says:
وَأَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَى أُمِّ مُوسَى أَنْ أَرْضِعِيهِ فَإِذَا خِفْتِ عَلَيْهِ فَأَلْقِيهِ فِى اليَمِّ وَلاَ تَخَافِى وَلاَ تَحْزَنِى إِنَّا رَآدُّوهُ إِلَيْكِ وَجَـعِلُوهُ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
(And We inspired the mother of Musa (telling): "Suckle him, but when you fear for him, then cast him into the river and fear not, nor grieve. Verily, We shall bring him back to you, and shall make him one of (Our) Messengers.'') Her house was on the banks of the Nile, so she took a box and made it into a cradle, and started to nurse her child. When someone came to her that she was afraid of, she would go and put him in that box and put it in the river, and she would tie it with a rope. One day someone that she was afraid of came to the house, so she went and put the child in that box and put it in the river, but she forgot to tie it. The water carried him away, past the house of Fir`awn, where some servant women picked the box up and took it to Fir`awn's wife. They did not know what was inside, and they were afraid that they would be in trouble if they opened it without her. When the box was opened, they saw it was a child with the most beautiful features. Allah filled her heart with love for him when she saw him; this was because she was blessed and because Allah wanted to honor her and cause her husband's doom. Allah says:
فَالْتَقَطَهُ ءَالُ فِرْعَوْنَ لِيَكُونَ لَهُمْ عَدُوّاً وَحَزَناً
(Then the household of Fir`awn picked him up, that he might become for them an enemy and a (cause of) grief.) Allah says:
إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ وَهَـمَـنَ وَجُنُودَهُمَا كَانُواْ خَـطِئِينَ
(Verily, Fir`awn, Haman and their armies were sinners.)
وَقَالَتِ امْرَأَتُ فِرْعَوْنَ قُرَّةُ عَيْنٍ لِّى وَلَكَ
(And the wife of Fir`awn said: "A comfort of the eye for me and for you...'') means, when Fir`awn saw him, he wanted to kill him, fearing that he was one of the Children of Israel. But his wife Asiyah bint Muzahim came to the child's defence and tried to endear him to Fir`awn, saying,
قُرَّةُ عَيْنٍ لِّى وَلَكَ
(A comfort of the eye for me and for you.) Fir`awn said: "For you he may be, but not for me. And this was indeed the case: Allah guided her because of him, and destroyed him at his hands.
عَسَى أَن يَنفَعَنَآ
(perhaps he may be of benefit to us,) This is indeed what happened in her case, for Allah guided her through him and caused her to dwell in Paradise because of him.
أَوْ نَتَّخِذَهُ وَلَدًا
(or we may adopt him as a son.) She wanted to take him and adopt him as a son, because she had no children from Fir`awn.
وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ
(And they perceived not.) means, they did not know what Allah planned for them when they picked him up, by His great wisdom and definitive proof.
28.7-9 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
That a son was born in the same period to an Israelite parents who was later known by the name of Moses to the world, has been omitted. According to the Bible and the Talmud, the family descended from Levi, a son of the Prophet Jacob, and the name of the Prophet Moses' father was Amram, which has been pronounced as Imran by the Qur'an. They already had two children before Moses, the elder a daughter, named Miriam, and the younger her brother, Aaron. Probably the proclamation that every male child born in an Israelite home would be killed, had not yet been issued when the Prophet Aaron was born; therefore, he was saved. The third child was born when the proclamation was in full force.
That is, "She was not commanded to cast the child into the river immediately after birth, but to suckle it till she felt a real danger for it. For instance, if she felt that the secret had been exposed and the enemies had come to know of the child's birth through some means, or through some wretched informer from among the Israelites themselves, she should place the child in a box and cast it into the river, without any hesitation. According to the Bible, the Prophet Moses' mother kept him hidden for three months after his birth. The Talmud adds that the Pharaoh's government had appointed Egyptian women who carried infants into the Israelite homes, and would make these babies cry, so as to make any hidden Israelite infants also cry and be thus discovered. This new method of spying worried Moses' mother and in order to save her child's life, she cast him into the river three months after his birth. Upto this point the version given by these Books is the same as the Qur'an's, and the event of casting the box into the river has also been described just as the Qur'an has described it. In Surah Ta Ha it has been said: Put this child in a box and place the box in the river." (v.39). The same has been said by the Bible and the Talmud. According to these, the Prophet Moses' mother made a basket of reeds and covered it with slime (tar) and with pitch to make it watertight. Then she laid the child in it and placed it in the river Nile. But the most important thing, which the Qur'an mentions, has found no mention anywhere in the Israelite traditions, that is, that the Prophet Moses' mother had done all this according to an inspiration from Allah, and Allah had already assured her that by following that device not only would her child remain safe and secure but the child would ultimately be restored to her, and that her child would become Allah's Messenger in the future.
This was not their aim, but the ultimate destiny of their act. They picked up the child through whom they were to be destroyed in the end.
What one understands from this is briefly so: "When the ark or the basket was carried by the river to the place where Pharaoh's palaces were situated, the servants of Pharaoh picked it up and took it before the king and the queen. It is just possible that the king and the queen were at that time strolling along the river bank and might have noticed the basket and ordered it to be picked up. When they saw a child in it, they could easily guess that it belonged to an Israelite family. For it came from the quarters inhabited by the Israelites, whose sons were being put to death in those days. It was understood that somebody had hidden the child for some time but when it could not be hidden any longer, it was cast to the river in the hope that it might be picked up and rescued from death. With this in view the most obedient servants. submitted that the king order the child to be killed forthwith, for it might prove dangerous for him. But the Pharaoh's wife was a woman and might even be childless. Then it was a lovely child, as Allah has reminded Moses in Ta Ha: 39, thus: "I had cast on you love from Myself." That is "I had made you such a lovely child that the beholders could not help regarding you with love." Therefore, the woman could not help feeling for him, and said to the king, "Do not kill him, but let us adopt him. When he grows up in our house as our son, he will not know that he was an Israelite: he will rather think he is one of Pharaoh's own kinsfolk, and he will be useful for us as against the Israelites."
According to the Bible and the Talmud, the woman who had counseled adoption of, Moses was Pharaoh's daughter, but according to the Qur'an his wife (imra'at-u-Fir 'aun). Obviously, the direct Word of Allah is more reliable than the verbal traditions which were compiled centuries afterwards. Therefore, it is absolutely needless to translate imra'at-u-Fir 'aun as a woman of Pharaoh's family" against the Arabic idiom and usage only for the sake of seeking conformity with the Israelite traditions.
28.8 Tustari - Al-Tustari
…that he might become an enemy and a [cause of] grief for them…That is, they raised him up to be a [cause of] joy and happiness for them, without knowing what the divine omnipotence had concealed within him which would make him become an enemy and a [source of] grief for them.His words, Exalted is He: