Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Sorcerers and Musa

The Day of the Festival arrives, and all the people are there along with the sorcerers and Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron), Musa's (Moses') brother. The sorcerers ask Musa who is to go first, and Musa tells them that they are. They throw down some rods and ropes and they appear to move of their own accord, like a snake. Even Musa is slightly scared by this, but he has God's help. He throws down his rod and it 'swallowed up straight away all the falsehoods which they fake'. The sorcerers are stunned, and they bow in adoration to Musa and Harun, proclaiming their belief in their God. Firaun is angered at their belief without his permission. He threatens to cut off their hands and feet and crucify them on a palm-tree cross. The sorcerers are unperturbed, saying that they will only be sent back to their Lord, from whom they ask for forgiveness. They rebuke Firaun for threatening them just because they believe in Musa's signs.

Later, Firaun is with his chiefs. They ask him if he is to let Musa and the Israelites continue to spread mischief in Egypt, turning people away from the Egyptian religion. He decides to slay all the male Israelites but keep the females in order to keep power. Despite Musa's message few believe except the Israelites and a small number of Egyptians, as many are fearful of Firaun.

Musa again speaks out against Firaun, asking who will protect him from God's punishment when it comes. Nevertheless they refuse to recognise God, with Firaun expressly stating that whatever signs Musa brings he will never believe in him. In his arrogance he asks one of his chiefs, Haman (Islam), to make bricks from baked clay in order to build a 'lofty palace' that will reach up to Musa's god. This is despite the fact that Firaun tells Haman that he thinks Musa is a liar.

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