The Divine Sign
Allah commanded Moosaa (Moses), may Allah exalt his mention, to warn the arrogant Pharaoh (Pharaoh) of a punishment in this world for his faithlessness and his persecution of the Children of Israel. As a portent of the punishment which Allah would mete out, the Nile did not flood its banks to soak the dry land as it normally did. As a result, crops failed, leading to famine. However, Pharaoh remained arrogant, so Allah caused a huge flood, which devastated the land.
As often as they were troubled grievously, they appealed to Moosaa, may Allah exalt his mention, with (what means):"…‘O Moosaa! Invoke for us your Lord by what He has promised you. If you [can] remove the punishment from us, we will surely believe you, and we will send with you the Children of Israel.’"[Quran: 7:134]
Moosaa, may Allah exalt his mention, prayed to his Lord and He relieved the suffering caused by the flood. The surging water ceased and withdrew from the land, and it became cultivatable. But when Moosaa, may Allah exalt his mention, bade them to fulfil their promise to release the Children of Israel, they did not respond.
Then Allah sent swarms of locusts which ate whatever corps they had grown. The people hurried to Moosaa, may Allah exalt his mention, asking him to invoke Allah to remove this affliction and promising they would send the Children of Israel with him this time. The locusts departed, but they did not fulfil their promise.
Then another sign came, the sign of lice, which spread amongst the Egyptians, carrying diseases. Their refuge to Moosaa, may Allah exalt his mention, and their promise to him, was repeated. His prayer to Allah was repeated and so, too, their breach of promise, as usual.
A sign of frogs was revealed. The land suddenly filled with frogs. They jumped on the food of the Egyptians, shared their houses, and distressed them greatly. The Egyptians went to Moosaa, may Allah exalt his mention, again, promising him to release the Children of Israel. He prayed to his Lord, and Allah relieved them of the problem of the frogs, but they again broke their promise.
Then the last sign was revealed, the sign of blood. The Nile water was changed into blood. When Moosaa, may Allah exalt his mention, and his people drank the water, it was, for them, ordinary water. However, if any Egyptian filled his cup with the water, he discovered his cup full of blood. They hurried to Moosaa as usual, but as soon as everything returned to normal, they turned their backs on Allah.
Almighty Allah Says in the Quran (what means): “And We certainly seized the people of Pharaoh with years of famine and a deficiency in fruits that perhaps they would be reminded. But when good [i.e., provision] came to them, they said: ‘This is ours [by right].’ And if a bad [condition] struck them, they saw an evil omen in Moosaa and those with him. Unquestionably, their fortune is with Allah, but most of them do not know. And they said: ‘No matter what sign you bring us with which to bewitch us, we will not be believers in you.’ So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood as distinct signs, but they were arrogant and were a criminal people.”[Quran: 7:130-133]
Almighty Allah also Says (what means): "But when We removed the punishment from them until a term which they were to reach, then at once they broke their word."[Quran: 7:135]
Pharaoh became ruder and more arrogant. He proclaimed to his people: "Pharaoh is the only god. Has he not the kingdom of Egypt and rivers flowing under it?" He declared that Moosaa, may Allah exalt his mention, was a liar, a magician, and an indigent man who did not wear even one bracelet of gold. Almighty Allah declares (what means):
"And certainly did We send Moosaa with Our signs to Pharaoh and his establishment, and he said: ‘Indeed, I am the messenger of the Lord of the worlds.’ But when he brought them Our signs, at once they laughed at them. And We showed them not a sign except that it was greater than its sister, and We seized them with affliction that perhaps they might return [to faith]. And they said [to Moosaa]: ‘O magician! Invoke for us your Lord by what He has promised you. Indeed, we will be guided.’ But when We removed from them the affliction, at once they broke their word. And Pharaoh called out among his people; he said: ‘O my people! Does not the kingdom of Egypt belong to me, and these rivers flowing beneath me; then do you not see? Or am I [not] better than this one [i.e., Moosaa] who is insignificant and hardly makes himself clear? Then why have there not been placed upon him bracelets of gold or come to him the angels in conjunction?’ So he bluffed his people, and they obeyed him. Indeed, they were [themselves] a people defiantly disobedient [of Allah]. And when they angered Us, We took retribution from them and drowned them all. And We made them a precedent and an example for the later people." [Quran: 43:46-56]
It appeared that Pharaoh would never believe in Moosaa's message, nor would he stop the torture of the Children of Israel. Therefore, Moosaa, may Allah exalt his mention, prayed to his Lord, saying (what means):
"…‘Our Lord! Indeed You have given Pharaoh and his establishment splendour and wealth in the worldly life, our Lord, that they may lead [men] astray from Your way. Our Lord! Obliterate their wealth and harden their hearts so that they will not believe until they see the punishment.’ [Allah] said: ‘Your supplication has been answered. So remain on a right course and follow not the way of those who do not know.’" [Quran: 10:88-89]
[To be continued…]