Surah Ta-Ha >> Currently viewing Surah Ta-Ha Ayat 79 (20:79)

Surah Ta-Ha Ayat 79 in Arabic Text

وَأَضَلَّ فِرْعَوْنُ قَوْمَهُۥ وَمَا هَدَىٰ
wa adalla fir’awnu qawmahoo wa maa hadaa

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 79

Sahih International
And Pharaoh led his people astray and did not guide [them].

Yusuf Ali
Pharaoh led his people astray instead of leading them aright.

Abul Ala Maududi
Pharaoh led his people astray; he did not guide them aright.

Muhsin Khan
And Fir’aun (Pharaoh) led his people astray, and he did not guide them.

Pickthall
And Pharaoh led his folk astray, he did not guide them.

Dr. Ghali
And Firaawn led his people into error, and in no way did he guide them.

Abdel Haleem
Pharaoh truly led his people astray; he did not guide them.

Quran 20 Verse 79 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ta-Ha ayat 79, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(20:79) Pharaoh led his people astray; he did not guide them aright.[55]


55. This was a subtle warning to the disbelievers of Makkah, as if to say: Your chiefs and leaders are leading you on the same way on which Pharaoh led his people. Now you can see yourselves that he did not guide them aright.

In conclusion, it will be worthwhile to consider the version as given in the Bible, for this will make it plain that it is absolutely false and ridiculous to say that the Quran has copied these stories from the Israelite traditions. We learn from Exodus the following:

(1) According to 4: 2-5, the miracle of the staff was given to Prophet Moses, and in 4:17 he was instructed: And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs, but according to 7: 9, the same rod was transferred to Prophet Aaron and then it remained with him to work miracles.

(2) The first dialogue between Prophet Moses and Pharaoh has been given in Chapter 5, but there is no mention in it whatever of the doctrine of Tauhid was presented by Moses. In answer to Pharaoh’s question: Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, Moses and Aaron merely said: The God of the Hebrews hath met with us. (5: 2-3).

(3) The encounter with the magicians has been summed up in a few sentences thus: And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent. And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. (7: 8-12).

When we compare this with the version of it in the Quran, it becomes obvious that the description in the Bible lacks the real essence of the whole encounter, for it does not mention that the encounter took place on the Day of the Feast in the open as a result of a regular challenge, and there is no mention at all that the magicians became believers in the Lord of Moses and Aaron and remained steadfast in their faith even in face of terrible threats.

(4) According to the Quran, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) demanded full freedom and liberty for the Israelites, but according to the Bible his demand was only this: Let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God. (5:3).

(5) In Chapters 11 to 14, the details of the events concerning the exodus from Egypt to the drowning of Pharaoh have been given. Though these contain some useful information and details about the events which have been briefly described in the Quran, they contain some strange contradictions as well. For instance, in 14:15-16 the staff (rod) again comes into the hands of Prophet Moses, who is commanded: Lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it, and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. But in vv. 21-22, it is said: And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all the night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground. And the waters were a wall unto them, on their right hand, and on their left. It is not clear whether the sea was divided by a miracle or by a strong east wind which incidentally has never been known to divide the sea into two parts leaving a dry path between them.

It will also be worthwhile to make a study of these events as given in the Talmud. The Talmudic account differs from the Biblical version but is nearer to the one given in the Quran. A comparative study of the two clearly shows that the one is based on direct revelation from Allah and the other on centuries old oral traditions which have been handed down from one generation to the other and thus considerably tampered with. (See H. Polano: The Talmud Selections, pp. 150-154).

Ibn-Kathir

The tafsir of Surah Ta-Ha verse 79 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Taha ayat 77 which provides the complete commentary from verse 77 through 79.

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