Surah Ash-Shu’ara Ayat 38 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 38
So the magicians were assembled for the appointment of a well-known day.
So the sorcerers were got together for the appointment of a day well-known,
So the magicians were brought together on a particular day at a set time
So the sorcerers were assembled at a fixed time on a day appointed.
So the wizards were gathered together at a set time on a day appointed.
So the sorcerers were gathered (together) for the fixed time on a known day. (A day of festival)
The sorcerers were [to be] assembled at the appointed time on a certain day
Quran 26 Verse 38 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ash-Shu’ara ayat 38, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(26:38) So the magicians were brought together on a particular day at a set time
31. As already mentioned in Surah TaHa (verse 59), the day fixed for the purpose was the day of the national festivities of the Egyptians so that large crowds of people coming to the festivals from every part of the country should also witness the grand contest which was to be held in the broad daylight so that the spectators could see the performances clearly.
38. So, the sorcerers were assembled at a fixed time on a day appointed. 39. And it was said to the people: “Are you (too) going to assemble” 40. “That we may follow the sorcerers if they are the winners.” 41. So, when the sorcerers arrived, they said to Fir`awn: “Will there surely be a reward for us if we are the winners” 42. He said: “Yes, and you shall then verily be of those brought near (to myself).” 43. Musa said to them: “Throw what you are going to throw!” 44. So, they threw their ropes and their sticks, and said: “By the might of Fir`awn, it is we who will certainly win!” 45. Then Musa threw his stick, and behold, it swallowed up all that they falsely showed! 46. And the sorcerers fell down prostrate. 47. Saying: “We believe in the Lord of Al-`Alamin.” 48. “The Lord of Musa and Harun.”
The Egyptians wanted to extinguish the Light of Allah with their words, but Allah insisted that His Light should prevail even though the disbelievers disliked that. This is the issue of disbelief and faith; they never confront one another but faith always prevails:
(Nay, We fling the truth against the falsehood, so it destroys it, and behold, it disappears. And woe to you for that which you ascribe.) (21:18)
(And say: “Truth has come and falsehood has vanished.”) (17:81) The sorcerers of Egypt were the most skilled in the art of illusion, but when a huge group of them gathered from all corners of the land, and the people came together on that day whose exact numbers are known to Allah Alone, one of them said:
(That we may follow the sorcerers if they are the winners.) They did not say: `we will follow the truth, whether it rests with the sorcerers or with Musa;’ the people were followers of the religion of their king.
(So, when the sorcerers arrived,) means, when they reached the court of Fir`awn, and a pavilion had been erected for him. There he gathered his servants, followers, administrators, and provincial leaders, and the soldiers of his kingdom. The sorcerers stood before Fir`awn, asking him to treat them well and bring them closer to him if they prevailed in this matter which he had brought them together for. They said:
(“Will there surely be a reward for us if we are the winners” He said: “Yes, and you shall then verily be of those brought near.”) meaning, `and you will be given more than what you are asking for; I will make you among those who are close to me, those who sit with me.’ So they went back to their places:
(They said: “O Musa! Either you throw first or we be the first to throw” (Musa) said: “Nay, throw you (first)!”) (20:65-66). Here the incident is described more briefly. Musa said to them:
(“Throw what you are going to throw!” So, they threw their ropes and their sticks, and said: “By the might of Fir`awn, it is we who will certainly win!”) This is what the ignorant masses say when they do something: `this is by the virtue of So-and-so!’ In Surat Al-A`raf Allah mentioned that they:
(They bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them, and they displayed a great magic) (7:116). And in Surah Ta Ha He said:
(Then behold! their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast.) until Allah saying:
(and the magician will never be successful, whatever the amount (of skill) he may attain) (20:69). And here Allah says:
(Then Musa threw his stick, and behold, it swallowed up all that they falsely showed!) by snatching up and catching them from every corner and swallowing them up, and it did not leave any of them untouched. Allah says:
(Thus truth was confirmed, and all that they did was made of no effect.) until
(The Lord of Musa and Harun.) (7:118-122) This was a very serious matter, furnishing decisive proof leaving no room for any excuse. Fir`awn’s supporters, who sought and hoped that they would prevail over Musa, were themselves defeated. At that moment they believed in Musa and prostrated to Allah, the Lord of Al-`Alamin Who sent Musa and Harun with the truth and an obvious miracle. Fir`awn was defeated in a manner the likes of which the world had never seen, but he remained arrogant and stubborn despite the clear evidence, may the curse of Allah and the angels and all of mankind be upon him. He resorted to arrogance and stubbornness and propagating falsehood. He began to issue threats against them, saying:
(Verily, he is your chief who has taught you magic) (20:71).
(Surely, this is a plot which you have plotted in the city) (7:123).
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