Surah Yunus >> Currently viewing Surah Yunus Ayat 83 (10:83)

Surah Yunus Ayat 83 in Arabic Text

وَقَالَ مُوسَىٰ يَـٰقَوْمِ إِن كُنتُمْ ءَامَنتُم بِٱللَّهِ فَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلُوٓا۟ إِن كُنتُم مُّسْلِمِينَ
Famaaa aamana li-Moosaaa illaa zurriyyatun min qawmihee ‘alaa khawfin min Fir’awna wa mala’ihim ‘any yaftinahum; wa inna Fir’awna la’aalin fil ardi wa innahoo laminal musrifeen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 83

Sahih International
But no one believed Moses, except [some] youths among his people, for fear of Pharaoh and his establishment that they would persecute them. And indeed, Pharaoh was haughty within the land, and indeed, he was of the transgressors

Yusuf Ali
But none believed in Moses except some children of his people, because of the fear of Pharaoh and his chiefs, lest they should persecute them; and certainly Pharaoh was mighty on the earth and one who transgressed all bounds.

Abul Ala Maududi
None but a few youths of Moses’ people accepted him, fearing that Pharaoh and their own chiefs would persecute them. Indeed Pharaoh was mighty in the land, he was among those who exceed all limits.

Muhsin Khan
But none believed in Musa (Moses) except the offspring of his people, because of the fear of Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and his chiefs, lest they should persecute them; and verily, Fir’aun (Pharaoh) was arrogant tyrant on the earth, he was indeed one of the Musrifun (polytheists, sinners and transgressors, those who give up the truth and follow the evil, and commit all kinds of great sins).

Pickthall
But none trusted Moses, save some scions of his people, (and they were) in fear of Pharaoh and their chiefs, that he would persecute them. Lo! Pharaoh was verily a tyrant in the land, and lo! he verily was of the wanton.

Dr. Ghali
So, in no way did (anyone) believe M‍ûsa, (Moses) except (some) offspring of his people, with fear of Firaawn (Pharaoh) and their chiefs, that they would tempt them; (i.e., persecute them of force them into disbelief) and surely Firaawn was indeed exalted in the land, and surely he was indeed of the extravagant.

Abdel Haleem
But no one believed in Moses except a few of his own people, for fear that Pharaoh and their leaders would persecute them: Pharaoh was domineering in the land and prone to excess.

Quran 10 Verse 83 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Yunus ayat 83, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(10:83) None but a few youths[78] of Moses’ people accepted him,[79] fearing that Pharaoh and their own chiefs would persecute them. Indeed Pharaoh was mighty in the land, he was among those who exceed all limits.[80]


78. Though literally zurriyyah means offspring, it has been translated into youths because the Quran has used this word here to point out a specific aspect of the matter. It is this: During that fearful period of persecution only a few young men and women showed the moral courage of acknowledging the Messenger of the truth as their leader and becoming his standard bearers. On the contrary, their fathers, mothers and elders had not the courage to follow him and endanger their worldly interests and even their lives. They not only followed the way of ease and expediency, but also discouraged their youth, saying, “Don’t go near Moses: for you will thus invite trouble both for yourselves and your elders.”

The Quran has mentioned this particular aspect of the matter because the same was the case of the response to the mission of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). In its initial stage, those who came forward were not the elders and the old people but some courageous youth. These first Muslims who were boldly facing persecution and enduring hardships for the sake of Islam were the young people. For instance, Ali-ibn-Abi Talib, Jaafar Tayyar, Zubair, Talhah, Saad bin Abi Waqqas, Musab bin Umair, Abdullah bin Masud, etc. were under twenty years when they embraced Islam. Abdur-Rahman bin Auf, Bilal, Suhail were under thirty years, and Abu Ubaidah-bin-al-Jarrah, Zaid bin Harithah, Uthman bin Affan and Umar Faruq were under thirty-five years. Abu Bakr was no more than 38 when he embraced Islam. Among the early Muslims, there is only one instance of a companion, Ammar bin Yasir, who was of the same age as the Prophet (peace be upon him) and another of Ubaidah bin Harith Muttalabi, who was older than the Prophet (peace be upon him).

79. Some people have misinterpreted the Arabic words say that all the people of Israel were unbelievers and at first only a few of them believed in the message. But when amama is followed by the letter lam, it generally means obeying and following. Thus the original words of the text will mean “a few youth from his own people obeyed and followed Moses,” that is, only a few young people from the whole tribe of the Israelites had the courage to accept and acknowledge Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) as their leader and guide and stand by him in his struggle with Pharaoh and his chiefs. The words that follow make it quite clear that the Israelites refrained from this not because they did not believe in Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) or his message but because they (specially their elders) were afraid of exposing themselves to the persecution of Pharaoh. This state of fear was the result of their moral degeneration. Though all of them racially and religiously belonged to the community of Prophets Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph (peace be upon them all) and, therefore, were Muslims, yet slavery of centuries had so much degraded them that they had lost that spirit of Islam which impels one to become the standard bearer of Islam against the domination of unbelief and deviation, or imbues one with the courage to stand by the one who had raised that banner.

The Bible has described their degraded condition at the time of the conflict with Pharaoh in Exodus 5: 20-21: And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: And they said unto them, the Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savior to be abhorred n the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us. The Talmud (Selections by H. Polano, page 152) confirms the same:

Yea, said the overburdened children of Israel to Moses and Aaron: We are like a lamb which the wolf has carried from its flock, the shepherd strives to take it from him, but between the two the lamb is pulled to pieces; between ye and Pharaoh will we all be killed.

The Quran also refers to this in (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayat 129):

His people answered, we were oppressed before you came and now again we are being oppressed after you have come.

80. The Arabic word musrifin literally means transgressors, or those who are not bound by any limits. They are the people who do not hesitate to employ even the most wicked methods to achieve their object: who practice without any pangs of conscience, cruelty, immorality, barbarism etc. if these serve their purpose, and who cross all limits in pursuit of their desires. In short, they are such people as know no limits to stop at.

Ibn-Kathir

83. But none believed in Musa except the offspring of his people, because of the fear of Fir`awn and his chiefs, lest they should persecute them; and verily, Fir`awn was an arrogant tyrant on the earth, he was indeed one of the transgressors.


Only a Few Youth from Fir`awn’s People believed in Musa

Allah tells us that despite all the clear signs and irrefutable evidence Musa came with, only a few offspring from Fir`awn’s followers believed in him. They were even scared that Fir`awn and his followers would force them to return to Kufr (disbelief). Fir`awn was an evil tyrant and extremely arrogant. His people feared him and his power too much. Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said:

﴿فَمَآ ءامَنَ لِمُوسَى إِلاَّ ذُرِّيَّةٌ مِّن قَوْمِهِ عَلَى خَوْفٍ مِّن فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَلَئِهِمْ أَن يَفْتِنَهُمْ﴾

(But none believed in Musa except the offspring of his people because of the fear of Fir `awn and his chiefs, lest they should persecute them.) “The offspring that believed in Musa from Fir`awn’s people, other than Banu Israel, were few. Among them were Fir`awn’s wife, the believer who was hiding his faith, Fir`awn’s treasurer, and his wife.” The Children of Israel, however, themselves believed in Musa, all of them. They were glad to see him coming. They knew of his description and the news of his advent from their previous Books. They knew that Allah was going to save them through him from the capture of Fir`awn and give them power over him. So when this knowledge reached Fir`awn he was very wary. But his caution and weariness didn’t help him one bit. When Musa arrived, Fir`awn subjected them to great harm, and

﴿قَالُواْ أُوذِينَا مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَأْتِيَنَا وَمِن بَعْدِ مَا جِئْتَنَا قَالَ عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَن يُهْلِكَ عَدُوَّكُمْ وَيَسْتَخْلِفَكُمْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَيَنظُرَ كَيْفَ تَعْمَلُونَ ﴾

(They said: “We (Children of Israel) suffered troubles before you came to us, and since you have come to us.” He said: “It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you successors on the earth, so that He may see how you act’)﴿7:129﴾ The fact that all of the Children Israel became believers is evidenced by the following Ayat:

﴿وَقَالَ مُوسَى يقَوْمِ إِن كُنتُمْ ءامَنْتُمْ بِاللَّهِ فَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلُواْ إِن كُنْتُم مُّسْلِمِينَ ﴾

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