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Select Translation What is This? Selections include: The Koran Interpreted, a translation by A.J. Arberry, first published 1955; The Qur'an, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, published 2004; or side-by-side comparison view
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28 THE STORY (1 – 43)

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

Ta Sin Mim

Those are the signs of the Manifest Book. We will recite to thee something of the tiding of Moses and Pharaoh truthfully, for a people who believe. Now Pharaoh had exalted himself in the land and had divided its inhabitants into sects, abasing one party of them, slaughtering their sons, and sparing their women; for he was of the workers of corruption. Yet We desired to be gracious to those that were abased in the land, and to make them leaders, and to make them the inheritors, 5and to establish them in the land, and to show Pharaoh and Haman, and their hosts, what they were dreading from them. So We revealed to Moses’ mother, ‘Suckle him, then, when thou fearest for him, cast him into the sea, and do not fear, neither sorrow, for We shall return him to thee, and shall appoint him one of the Envoys.’ So then the folk of Pharaoh picked him out to be an enemy and a sorrow to them; certainly Pharaoh and Haman, and their hosts, were of the sinners. Said Pharaoh's wife, ‘He will be a comfort to me and thee. Slay him not; perchance he will profit us, or we will take him for a son.’ And they were not aware. On the morrow the heart of Moses’ mother became empty, and she wellnigh disclosed him had We not strengthened her heart, that she might be among the believers; 10and she said to his sister, ‘Follow him,’ and she perceived him from afar, even while they were not aware. Now We had forbidden to him aforetime to be suckled by any foster-mother; therefore she said, ‘Shall I direct you to the people of a household who will take charge of him for you and look after him?’ So We returned him to his mother, that she might be comforted and not sorrow, and that she might know that the promise of God is true; but most of them do not know. And when he was fully grown and in the perfection of his strength, We gave him judgment and knowledge; even so do We recompense the good-doers. And he entered the city, at a time when its people were unheeding, and found there two men fighting; the one was of his own party, and the other was of his enemies. Then the one that was of his party cried to him to aid him against the other that was of his enemies; so Moses struck him, and despatched him, and said, ‘This is of Satan's doing; he is surely an enemy misleading, manifest.’ 15He said, ‘My Lord, I have wronged myself. Forgive me!’ So God forgave him, for He is the All-forgiving, the All-compassionate. He said, ‘My Lord, forasmuch as Thou hast blessed me, I will never be a partisan of the sinners.’ Now in the morning he was in the city, fearful and vigilant; and behold, the man who had sought his succour on the day before cried out to him again. Moses said to him, ‘Clearly thou art a quarreller.’ But when he would have assaulted the man who was an enemy to them both, the man said, ‘Moses, dost thou desire to slay me, even as thou slewest a living soul yesterday? Thou only desirest to be a tyrant in the land; thou desirest not to be of them that put things right.’ Then came a man from the furthest part of the city, running; he said, ‘Moses, the Council are conspiring to slay thee. Depart; I am one of thy sincere advisers.’ 20So he departed therefrom, fearful and vigilant; he said, ‘My Lord, deliver me from the people of the evildoers.’ And when he turned his face towards Midian he said, ‘It may be that my Lord will guide me on the right way.’ And when he came to the waters of Midian he found a company of the people there drawing water, and he found, apart from them, two women holding back their flocks. He said, ‘What is your business?’ They said, ‘We may not draw water until the shepherds drive off, and our father is passing old.’ So he drew water for them; then he turned away to the shade, and he said, ‘O my Lord, surely I have need of whatever good Thou shalt have sent down upon me.’ 25Then came one of the two women to him, walking modestly, and said, ‘My father invites thee, that he may recompense thee with the wage of thy drawing water for us.’ So when he came to him and had related to him the story, he said, ‘Be not afraid; thou hast escaped from the people of the evildoers.’ Said one of the two women, ‘Father, hire him; surely the best man thou canst hire is the one strong and trusty.’ He said, ‘I desire to marry thee to one of these my two daughters, on condition that thou hirest thyself to me for eight years. If thou completest ten, that shall be of thy own accord; I do not desire to press hard upon thee. Thou shalt assuredly find me, if God wills, one of the righteous.’ Said he, ‘So let it be between me and thee. Whichever of the two terms I fulfil, it shall be no injustice to me; and God is guardian of what we say.’ So when Moses had accomplished the term and departed with his household, he observed on the side of the Mount a fire. He said to his household, ‘Tarry you here; I observe a fire. Perhaps I shall bring you news of it, or a faggot from the fire, that haply you shall warm yourselves.’ 30When he came to it, a voice cried from the right bank of the watercourse, in the sacred hollow, coming from the tree: ‘Moses, I am God, the Lord of all Being. Cast down thy staff.’ And when he saw it quivering like a serpent, he turned about retreating, and turned not back. ‘Moses, come forward, and fear not; for surely thou art in security. Insert thy hand into thy bosom, and it will come forth white without evil; and press to thee thy arm, that thou be not afraid. So these shall be two proofs from thy Lord to Pharaoh and his Council; for surely they are an ungodly people.’ Said he, ‘My Lord, I have indeed slain a living soul among them, and I fear that they will slay me. Moreover my brother Aaron is more eloquent than I. Send him with me as a helper and to confirm I speak truly, for I fear they will cry me lies.’ 35Said He, ‘We will strengthen thy arm by means of thy brother, and We shall appoint to you an authority, so that they shall not reach you because of Our signs; you, and whoso follows you, shall be the victors.’ So when Moses came to them with Our signs, clear signs, they said, ‘This is nothing but a forged sorcery. We never heard of this among our fathers, the ancients.’ But Moses said, ‘My Lord knows very well who comes with the guidance from Him, and shall possess the Ultimate Abode; surely the evildoers will not prosper.’ And Pharaoh said, ‘Council, I know not that you have any god but me. Kindle me, Haman, a fire upon the clay, and make me a tower, that I may mount up to Moses’ God; for I think that he is one of the liars.’ And he waxed proud in the land, he and his hosts, wrongfully; and they thought they should not be returned to Us. 40Therefore We seized him and his hosts, and cast them into the sea; so behold how was the end of the evildoers! And We appointed them leaders, calling to the Fire; and on the Day of Resurrection they shall not be helped; and We pursued them in this world with a curse, and on the Day of Resurrection they shall be among the spurned. And We gave Moses the Book, after that We had destroyed the former generations, to be examples and a guidance and a mercy, that haply so they might remember.

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