Surah Al-Isra >> Currently viewing Surah Al-Isra Ayat 101 (17:101)

Surah Al-Isra Ayat 101 in Arabic Text

وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا مُوسَىٰ تِسْعَ ءَايَـٰتٍۭ بَيِّنَـٰتٍۢ ۖ فَسْـَٔلْ بَنِىٓ إِسْرَٰٓءِيلَ إِذْ جَآءَهُمْ فَقَالَ لَهُۥ فِرْعَوْنُ إِنِّى لَأَظُنُّكَ يَـٰمُوسَىٰ مَسْحُورًۭا
Wa laqad aatainaa Moosaa tis’a Aayaatim baiyinaatin fas’al Baneee Israaa’eela iz jaaa’ahum faqaala lahoo Fir’awnu inee la azunnuka yaa Moosaa mas hooraa

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 101

Sahih International
And We had certainly given Moses nine evident signs, so ask the Children of Israel [about] when he came to them and Pharaoh said to him, “Indeed I think, O Moses, that you are affected by magic.”

Yusuf Ali
To Moses We did give Nine Clear Signs: As the Children of Israel: when he came to them, Pharaoh said to him: “O Moses! I consider thee, indeed, to have been worked upon by sorcery!

Abul Ala Maududi
We granted Moses nine clear signs. Ask the Children of Israel about that: when these signs came forth, Pharaoh said to him: “Moses, I think that you are bewitched.”

Muhsin Khan
And indeed We gave to Musa (Moses) nine clear signs. Ask then the Children of Israel, when he came to them, then Fir’aun (Pharaoh) said to him: “O Musa (Moses)! I think you are indeed bewitched.”

Pickthall
And verily We gave unto Moses nine tokens, clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty). Do but ask the Children of Israel how he came unto them, then Pharaoh said unto him: Lo! I deem thee one bewitched, O Moses.

Dr. Ghali
And indeed We already brought M‍ûsa (Moses) nine supremely evident signs. So ask the Seeds (Or: sons) of Israel) (about that). As he came to them, (then) Firaawn (Pharaoh) said to him, “Surely I indeed surmise, O M‍ûsa, that you are bewitched.”

Abdel Haleem
In the past, We gave Moses nine clear signs- ask the Children of Israel. When Moses came to [the Egyptians], Pharaoh said to him, ‘Moses, I think you are bewitched.’

Quran 17 Verse 101 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Al-Isra ayat 101, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(17:101) We granted Moses nine clear signs.[113] Ask the Children of Israel about that: when these signs came forth, Pharaoh said to him: “Moses, I think that you are bewitched.”[114]


113. It should be noted that this is the third answer to the demand of the disbelievers of Makkah for signs. They said: We will not believe in you until you do this and do that before our eyes. In answer to this demand, they are being warned: Nine clear signs, like the ones you are demanding, were shown one after the other to Pharaoh before you and you also know well what he said, simply because he did not want to believe in Moses (peace be upon him); you also know that when he rejected the Prophet, even after seeing the signs, We drowned him.

The nine signs mentioned here have also been mentioned in (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayat 133). These were: (1) The staff which turned into a monster snake. (2) Moses’ bright hand which shone like the sun. (3) The public defeat of the sorcery of the magicians. (4) Universal famine. (5) Storm. (6) Locusts. (7) Lice. (8) Frogs. (9) Rain of blood.

114. This has been particularly mentioned here because the mushriks of Makkah attributed the same epithet to the Prophet (peace be upon him) as contained in( Ayat 47). These wrong-doers say to each other: The man, you are following, is a bewitched person. Here they are being warned that they were following the attitude of Pharaoh, who gave the same epithet to Prophet Moses (peace be upon him).

In this connection, we want to make a brief reference to an objection which has been raised by the modernists against a tradition according to which the Prophet (peace be upon him) once came under the influence of sorcery. They say that this tradition confirms that the epithet “bewitched” applied to the Prophet by the Quraish was correct, whereas the Quran refutes this as false. They forget that the same argument could be applied to the case of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) whom Pharaoh accused of being bewitched. For the Quran says, in (Surah Taaha, Ayats 66- 67): When the magicians threw down their cords and rods (instruments of their sorcery), it seemed to Moses as if they were running, as a result of which Moses (peace be upon him) conceived in his mind a sort of fear. If the words of the tradition were to be considered against the Quran, do not these words of the Quran contradict its own words that the charge of Moses (peace be upon him) being bewitched was false? Do these modernists consider this verse to confirm Pharaoh’s charge?

As a matter of fact, these objectors do not know the sense in which the disbelievers of Makkah and Pharaoh called the Prophet and Prophet Moses (peace be upon them) bewitched. What they meant was that some enemy had so bewitched them that they had lost their senses and so in their insanity claimed to be prophets and delivered a curious message. The Quran refutes this charge as false. As regards the temporary influence of magic on same person or a part of him has not been denied, for the influence of magic is like the effect produced on a person who is hit with a stone. The fact that some prophet was temporarily influenced by magic, does not in any way affect his prophethood adversely. Just as poison produced its effect on a prophet, or a prophet was wounded, so a prophet could also temporarily come under the influence of magic. Such a temporary magic could not cause any defect in his prophethood. God forbid, had magic produced any adverse effect on his reasoning and thinking faculties, one might have been skeptical about the authenticity of the message. And when Pharaoh and the disbelievers of Makkah said that Prophet Moses and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them) were bewitched, they meant that they had lost their senses under the influence of magic. The Quran refutes this charge brought against the Prophets.

Ibn-Kathir

101. And indeed We gave Musa nine clear signs. Ask then the Children of Israel, when he came to them, then Fir`awn said to him: “O Musa ! I think you are indeed bewitched.” 102. He said: “Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth. And I think you are indeed, O Fir`awn, doomed to destruction!” 103. So he resolved to turn them out of the land. But We drowned him and all who were with him. 104. And We said to the Children of Israel after him: “Dwell in the land, then, when the final and the last promise comes near, We shall bring you altogether as mixed crowd.”


The Nine Signs of Musa

Allah tells us that He sent Musa with nine clear signs, which provided definitive proof that his prophethood was real and that what he was conveying from the One Who had sent him to Fira`wn was true. These clear signs were: his staff, his hand, the years of famine, the sea, the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs and the blood. This was the view of Ibn `Abbas. Muhammad bin Ka`b said, “They were his hand and his staff, the five signs mentioned in Al-A`raf, and destruction of wealth and the rock.” Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Ash-Sha`bi and Qatadah said: “They are his hand, his staff, the years of famine, the failure of the crops, the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs and the blood.”

﴿فَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ وَكَانُواْ قَوْماً مُّجْرِمِينَ﴾

(Yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were criminals,) ﴿7:133﴾ meaning, despite all these signs and their witnessing of them, they disbelieved them and belied them wrongfully and arrogantly, although they were themselves were convinced of them, so they did not have any effect on them. By the same token, (Allah tells His Messenger here,) `if We were to respond to what these people are asking you for, who have said that they will not believe in you until you cause springs to gush forth throughout the land for them, they would not respond or believe except if Allah willed.’ As Fira`wn said to Musa, even though he had witnessed the signs which he brought,

﴿إِنِّى لأَظُنُّكَ يمُوسَى مَسْحُورًا﴾

(“O Musa! I think you are indeed bewitched. ”) It was said that this meant he thought he was a sorcerer, but Allah knows best. These nine signs which were mentioned by the Imams (scholars) quoted above are what is referred to here, and in the Ayah :

﴿وَأَلْقِ عَصَاكَ فَلَمَّا رَءَاهَا تَهْتَزُّ كَأَنَّهَا جَآنٌّ وَلَّى مُدْبِراً وَلَمْ يُعَقِّبْ يمُوسَى لاَ تَخَفْ﴾

(“And throw down your stick!” But when he saw it moving as if it were a snake, he turned in flight, and did not look back. (It was said) “O Musa ! Fear not.”) until His saying,

﴿فِى تِسْعِ ءَايَـتٍ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ وَقَوْمِهِ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ قَوْماً فَـسِقِينَ﴾

(among the nine signs (you will take) to Fir`awn and his people. Verily, they are a people who are rebellious.) ﴿27:10-12﴾ These Ayat include mention of the stick and the hand, and the rest of the nine signs are mentioned in detail in Surat Al-A`raf. Musa was also given many other signs, such as striking the rock with his staff and water flowing from it, their being shaded with clouds, manna and quails, and other signs which were bestowed upon the Children of Israel after they had left the land of Egypt. But here Allah mentions the nine signs which were witnessed by his people in Egypt. These became evidence against them, because they stubbornly rejected them out of disbelief. So Musa said to Fira`wn:

﴿لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَآ أَنزَلَ هَـؤُلاءِ إِلاَّ رَبُّ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ بَصَآئِرَ﴾

(“Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth. ) meaning, as proof and evidence of the truth of what I have brought to you.

﴿وَإِنِّى لأَظُنُّكَ يفِرْعَونُ مَثْبُورًا﴾

(And I think you are indeed, O Fir`awn, doomed to destruction!) i.e., bound to be destroyed. This was the view of Mujahid and Qatadah. Ibn `Abbas said: “It means cursed.” Ibn `Abbas and Ad-Dahhak said:

﴿مَثْبُورًا﴾

(doomed to destruction.) means defeated. As Mujahid said, “doomed” includes all of these meanings.

The Destruction of Fir`awn and His People

﴿فَأَرَادَ أَن يَسْتَفِزَّهُم مِّنَ الاٌّرْضِ﴾

(So he resolved to turn them out of the land.) means, he wanted to expel them and drive them out.

﴿فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُ وَمَن مَّعَهُ جَمِيعًاوَقُلْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِ لِبَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ اسْكُنُواْ الاٌّرْضَ﴾

(But We drowned him and all who were with him. And We said to the Children of Israel after him: “Dwell in the land…”) This is good news for Muhammad , a foretelling of the conquest of Makkah, even though this Surah was revealed in Makkah before the Hijrah. Similarly, the people of Makkah wanted to expel the Prophet from the city, as Allah says in two Ayat:

﴿وَإِن كَادُواْ لَيَسْتَفِزُّونَكَ مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ لِيُخْرِجُوكَ مِنْهَا﴾

(And verily, they were about to frighten you so much as to drive you out from the land…) ﴿17:76-77﴾ Hence Allah caused His Messenger to inherit Makkah, so he entered it by force, according to the better-known of the two opinions, and he defeated its people then out of kindness and generosity, he let them go, just as Allah caused the Children of Israel, who had been oppressed, to inherit the land, east and west, and to inherit the land of Fir`awn’s people, with its farmland, crops and treasures. As Allah said,

﴿كَذَلِكَ وَأَوْرَثْنَـهَا بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ ﴾

(thus We caused the Children of Israel to inherit them. ) (26:59). Here Allah says:

﴿وَقُلْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِ لِبَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ اسْكُنُواْ الاٌّرْضَ فَإِذَا جَآءَ وَعْدُ الاٌّخِرَةِ جِئْنَا بِكُمْ لَفِيفًا ﴾

(And We said to the Children of Israel after him: “Dwell in the land, then, when the final and the last promise comes near, We shall bring you altogether as mixed crowd.”) meaning, all of you, you and your ene mies. Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak said, “It means all together.”

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