وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مُوسَىٰ بِآيَاتِنَا إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَلَئِهِ فَقَالَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَThe problem with these elites was spelled out:
" And certainly did We send Moses with Our signs to Pharaoh and his establishment, and he said, "Indeed, I am the messenger of the Lord of the worlds." (Qur'an 43:46)
إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ عَلاَ فِي الاَرْضِ وَجَعَلَ أَهْلَهَا شِيَعاً يَسْتَضْعِفُ طَآئِفَةً مّـِنْهُمْ يُذبّـِحُ أَبْنَآءَهُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيِي نِسَآءَهُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُفْسِدِينَIn the Qur'anic story of Musa (as), Allah reiterates seven times that Musa was sent to Pharaoh and his elites to emphasise this point.
"Verily Pharaoh exalted himself in the land (of Egypt) and divided its people into sections, weakening a group of them, he slaughtered their sons and spared alive their females, verily he was of the mischief- makers." (Qur'an 28:40)
وَنُرِيدُ أَن نَّمُنَّ عَلَي الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِي الاَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِينَ وَنُمَكّـِنَ لَهُمْ فِي الاَرْضِ وَنُرِيَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَهَامَانَ وَجُنُودَهُمَا مِنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا يَحْذَرُونَ
"And We have intended to bestow (Our) favour upon those who were oppressed in the earth, and to make them leaders (in faith) and make them heirs. And to grant them power in the earth, and to show Pharaoh and Haman, and their hosts, what they were dreading from them." (Qur'an 28:5-6)
قَالَ سَنَشُدُّ عَضُدَكَ بِأَخِيكَ وَنَجْعَلُ لَكُمَا سُلْطَانًا فَلَا يَصِلُونَ إِلَيْكُمَا بِآيَاتِنَا أَنْتُمَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَكُمَا الْغَالِبُونَMusa (as) also stated to his target audience (Pharaoh and his courtiers) that Allah had given him, by his revelation, the right to rule:
"(Allah) said, 'We will strengthen your hand through your brother and grant you both supremacy (sultan) so they will not reach you. (It will be) through our signs; you and those who follow you will be dominant."(Qur'an 28:35)
فَوَهَبَ لِي رَبِّي حُكْمًاThey in turn objected arguing:
"Then my Lord granted me the rule (hukm)." (Qur'an 26:21)
قَالُوا أَجِئْتَنَا لِتَلْفِتَنَا عَمَّا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا وَتَكُونَ لَكُمَا الْكِبْرِيَاءُ فِي الْأَرْضِThe word 'kibriyaa' or grandeur means power and authority (mulk and sultan) as narrated by the first-century mufassirs Mujahid and al-A'mash as well as obedience as al-Dahak argued. These were all confirmed by Tabari who also added another meaning i.e., superiority (al-ulu). (Jami al-Bayan, Vol. 15, p. 158; Vol. 19, p. 36)
"Have you come to us to turn us away from that which we found our fathers following (ancestralism) so that you gain power and authority?" (Qur'an 10:78):
قَالَ عَامَّةُ أهْلٍ التَّأْوِيلِ : الْكِبْرِيَاءُ الْمُلَّكُ وَالسُّلْطَانُ وَالشُّرَّفُ ، أَيٌّ : الْمُلْكُ الَّذِي كَانَ لِفِرْعَوْنَ وَالسُّلْطَانُ يَكُونُ لَكُمَا بِاِتِّبَاعِ النَّاسِ لَكُمَا ؛ لِأَنَّ كُلَّ متبوعٍِ مُطّاعٍ مُعْظَمٍ مُشْرِفٍSimilarly, see: Samarqandi (Bahr al-Ulum), Marudi (al-Nukat wa al-Uyun), Baghawi (Ma'alim al-Tanzeel) and others.
"All mufassirs understood kibriyaa as power, authority and nobility.
It meant the power and authority of Pharaoh were to be yours by making people follow you because all who are followed is obeyed, dignified, honoured (by the followers)." (Matrudi, Ta'weelat Ahl al-Sunnah, Vol. 6, pp. 73-74)
قَالَ أَجِئْتَنَا لِتُخْرِجَنَا مِنْ أَرْضِنَا بِسِحْرِكَ يَا مُوسَىThis did not mean he wanted to literally expel them from the land but to take control of the land as al-Wahidi and al-Baghawi argued:
"He said, 'Have you come to us to drive us out of our land with your magic, O Moses?'" (Qur'an 20:57)
تُرِيدُ أَنْ تَغْلِبَ عَلَى دِيَارِنَا فَيَكُونَ لَكَ الْمُلْكُ وَتُخْرِجَنَا مِنْهَاPharaoh countered as follows:
"You want to (politically) overcome our territories so power will be yours and take us out of it (power)." (Baghawi, Ma'alim al-Tanzeel, Vol. 5, p. 279, Wahidi, al-Tafseer al-Waseet, Vol. 3, p. 210)
وَنَادَى فِرْعَوْنُ فِي قَوْمِهِ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ أَلَيْسَ لِي مُلْكُ مِصْرَ وَهَذِهِ الْأَنْهَارُ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِي أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ أَمْ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِنْ هَذَا الَّذِي هُوَ مَهِينٌ وَلَا يَكَادُ يُبِينُThis discourse illustrates Musa's (saw) aspiration to gain political control over Egypt, whilst Pharaoh believed he was best qualified for this and deserved this position.
"And Pharaoh called out among his people; he said, "O my people, does not the kingdom of Egypt belong to me as these rivers flowing beneath me; then do you not see?
Or am I (not) better than this one who is insignificant and hardly makes himself clear?" (Qur'an 43:51-52)
قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ اسْتَعِينُوا بِاللَّهِ وَاصْبِرُوا إِنَّ الْأَرْضَ لِلَّهِ يُورِثُهَا مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ قَالُوا أُوذِينَا مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَأْتِيَنَا وَمِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جِئْتَنَا قَالَ عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَنْ يُهْلِكَ عَدُوَّكُمْ وَيَسْتَخْلِفَكُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَيَنْظُرَ كَيْفَ تَعْمَلُونَ … وَأَوْرَثْنَا الْقَوْمَ الَّذِينَ كَانُوا يُسْتَضْعَفُونَ مَشَارِقَ الْأَرْضِ وَمَغَارِبَهَا الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ الْحُسْنَى عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ بِمَا صَبَرُواThe discussion closed with "And the best word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel" giving the impression this was the target of Musa's (as) dawa i.e., territories dominated by believers who would establish Allah's deen.
"Moses said to his people, 'Seek help through Allah and be patient. Indeed, the earth belongs to Allah. He causes to inherit it whom He wills of His servants. And the (best) outcome is for the righteous.'
They said, 'We have been harmed before you came to us and after you have come to us.'
He said, 'Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy and grant you succession in the land and see how you will do.'
And We caused the people who had been oppressed to inherit the Eastern territories and the Western ones, which We had blessed. And the best word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel because of what they had patiently endured." (Qur'an 7:128-137)
وَنُرِيدُ أَنْ نَمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِينَ وَنُمَكِّنَ لَهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنُرِيَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَهَامَانَ وَجُنُودَهُمَا مِنْهُمْ مَا كَانُوا يَحْذَرُونَ
"And We wanted to confer a favour upon those who were oppressed in the land and make them leaders and make them inheritors and establish their (power) on earth and show Pharaoh and (his minister) Haman and their soldiers through them that which they had feared." (Qur'an 28:5-6)
وَكَتَبْنَا لَهُ فِي الْأَلْوَاحِ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مَوْعِظَةً وَتَفْصِيلًا لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ فَخُذْهَا بِقُوَّةٍ وَأْمُرْ قَوْمَكَ يَأْخُذُوا بِأَحْسَنِهَاThis was the time for detailed rules for everything necessary for society. So, only what Allah described to be haram, halal or whatever had to be established. (Baghawi, Vol. 2, p. 233, Matrudi, Ta'weelat Ahl al-Sunnah, Vol. 5, p. 37, Tabari, Vol. 13, pp. 109-110 and others)
"And We wrote for him on the tablets (something) of all things - instruction and explanation for all things, (saying), "Take them with determination and order your people to take the best of it." (V. 145)
وَقَالَ مُوسَى لِأَخِيهِ هَارُونَ اخْلُفْنِي فِي قَوْمِيMusa (as) chastised the Israelites for disobeying Allah whilst he had made them rulers:
"And Moses said to his brother Harun, 'Take my place (be my khalif) among my people.'" (Qur'an 7:142)
وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ يَا قَوْمِ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَعَلَ فِيكُمْ أَنْبِيَاءَ وَجَعَلَكُمْ مُلُوكًاFor that reason, the statement of giving Musa (as) authority was repeated over and over in the Qur'an:
"And (mention, O Muhammad), when Moses said to his people, 'O my people, remember the favour of Allah upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you rulers." (Qur'an 5:20)
وَآتَيْنَا مُوسَى سُلْطَانًا مُبِينًاSo, the aim of the dawa of Musa (as), one of the leading five Messengers mentioned in the Qur'an, was political power as the means of establishing the deen of Allah on earth based on tawheed and mana'a.
"We pardoned that and We gave Musa clear authority." (Qur'an 4:153)
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