Pharaoh's threat to crucify the magicians who believed
Fatwa No: 293167

Question

Salaam Alaikum. I have a question about 20:71 in the Quran, where Pharaoh said he will crucify his men who believed in Moses, on the trunks of palm trees. Did Pharaoh nail them to the trees, or impale them? How did Muslim scholars interpret this verse? Many thanks.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Some Tafseer scholars said that Pharaoh executed his threat to them; he cut off their hands and their feet and crucified them and they died believing. Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said: “At the beginning of the day, they were magicians, and at the end of the day, they were honorable martyrs.” At-Tabari reported this in his Tafseer, and Qataadah and as-Suddi said the same.

Ash-Shirbeeni reported a difference of opinion about this in As-Siraaj Al-Muneer fi Al-I’aanah ‘ala Ma’rifat Ba‘dh Ma’aani Kalaam Rabbina Al-Hakeem al-Khabeer (1/503), saying: "Ibn Abbaas said: “At the beginning of the day, they were magicians, and at the end of the day, they were martyrs.” At-Teebi said: “Pharaoh severed their hands and feet and crucified them. Others said, he did not overpower them, as Allaah says (what means): {[It will be] through Our signs; you and those who follow you will be the dominant."} [Quran 28:35]." [End of quote] 

Allaah Knows best.

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