The Egyptian Sorcerers Produced a Mighty Sorcery and Scared the People

Many people do not know Allah. This series (1-60) is an attempt to help them to know their Creator.

Verses 7:115-118 of the Noble Quran talk about: 1) the Egyptian sorcerers produced a mighty sorcery and scared the people, 2) the illusion created by the Egyptian sorcerers were transformed by delusion, 3) Allah inspired Moses: Throw Your Stick,  4) Moses threw his staff and it swallowed up their lying show of the Egyptian sorcerers and 5) Moses won and the Egyptian sorcerers failed.


In the previous articles (58-59)

Moses said: O Pharaoh! I am a messenger from Allah to you,

Pharaoh said: You are lying!

Moses said: when talking about to Allah it is compulsory to say the truth. Truly I have come to you with a clear signs from Allah.

Pharaoh Said: If you have come with a sign, then produce it.

Then Moses cast down, he flung down his staff and it was an enormous huge snake manifest for all to see,

And he drew forth his hand, he took it out from his bosom (armpit), and it was white, radiant and shining for the beholders.

The chiefs of Pharaoh’s council said: Lo! this is some knowing wizard who is proficient in wizardry. Surely this man is a cunning sorcerer, outstanding in the art of magic. The aim of this man (Moses) is to expel you from your land of Egypt.  This was not true, the aim of Moses was to take the children of Israel out of Egypt

Then Pharaoh said:

Now what do you advise? What we should do concerning this matter?

They said unto Pharaoh:

We should bring every cunning sorcerer, who is proficient in wizardry to outdo Moses in the art of magic.  And so they summoned many of the knowing wizards.

And the sorcerers who were 70 in number came to Pharaoh, and they said: Surely there will be a great reward for us if we are victors against Moses.

Pharaoh answered: Yes of course you have that, and surely you shall be of those brought near to me in status.  Then what?


The meaning of verse 7:115

The Egyptian sorcerers who were proficient in wizardry said:

O Moses! Either you throw first or let us be the first throwers

Either you cast, your staff, or we shall be the casters!’, of what we have.

The meaning of verse 7:116

Moses said:

Cast! Throw first whatever you are going to throw! This is a sort of command permitting them to cast first, as a means to manifesting the truth.

 And when they cast, their ropes and staffs, they put a spell upon the people’s eyes, misleading them from perceiving the real state of these ropes and staffs, and overawed them, scared them, by making their ropes appear to be slithering snakes, and produced a mighty sorcery.

In other words, when they threw 70 staffs and 70 ropes, they cast a spell upon the people’s eyes, and overawed them scared them, and produced a mighty spell; it is also said that this means: a clear lie.

The meaning of verse 7:117

And Allah revealed to Moses [saying]: ‘Cast your staff.’ And lo! it swallowed up the illusion they were creating, that which they were transforming by delusion.

In other words, Allah inspired Moses (saying): Throw your staff!  And he threw it. And lo! it swallowed up their lying show, their staffs and ropes.

The meaning of verse 7:118

Thus did the truth come to pass, thus it was confirmed and made manifest; and that which they were doing, in the way of sorcery, was proved false.

In other words, thus the Truth was vindicated; it became clear that Moses was right; and that which the Egyptian sorcerers were doing of sorcery was made vain, fizzled away.


Verses 7:115-118 in different English translations of the meanings of Arabic Quran:

Verse 7:115

QARIB: they said: ‘moses, will you throw first or shall we be the throwers? ‘

SHAKIR: they said: o musa! will you cast, or shall we be the first to cast?

PICKTHAL: they said: o moses! either throw (first) or let us be the first throwers?

YUSUFALI: they said: “o moses! wilt thou throw (first), or shall we have the (first) throw?”

Verse 7:116

QARIB: ‘throw, ‘ he replied. and when they threw, they bewitched the people’s eyes and terrified them, and produced great sorcery.

SHAKIR: he said: cast. so when they cast, they deceived the people’s eyes and frightened them, and they produced a mighty enchantment

PICKTHAL: he said: throw! and when they threw they cast a spell upon the people’s eyes, and overawed them, and produced a mighty spell.

YUSUFALI: said moses: “throw ye (first).” so when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them: for they showed a great (feat of) magic.

Verse 7:117

QARIB: then we revealed to moses: ‘now, throw down your staff. ‘ and thereupon it swallowed up their false invention.

SHAKIR: and we revealed to musa, saying: cast your rod; then lo! it devoured the lies they told

PICKTHAL: and we inspired moses (saying): throw thy staff! and lo! it swallowed up their lying show.

YUSUFALI: we put it into moses’s mind by inspiration: “throw (now) thy rod”:and behold! it swallows up straight away all the falsehoods which they fake!

Verse 7:118

QARIB: so, the truth prevailed and what they were doing was annulled;

SHAKIR: so the truth was established, and what they did became null

PICKTHAL: thus was the truth vindicated and that which they were doing was made vain.

YUSUFALI: thus truth was confirmed, and all that they did was made of no effect.

Co-Chief editor, October Weekly magazine, Cairo, Egypt. magic? Manifesting Miracles. Daoist Wizardry and Sorcery. What is intention?

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