A Newspaper Article Claiming that There Was Prophet Named ‘Fir’aun’
Fatwa No: 82707

Question

I've read our main newspaper. The writer in Islam column confused me because he stated before the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) in Bani Israel there was the prophet whose nickname (kunyah) was "Firaun". Is this true? If this is true, could you give that prophet's real name? The writer also stated in that year (time) there were the good and the bad Firaun. Lastly, he stated that the famous Firaun named in the Holy Qur'an was Muslim because the Qur'an stated so. The Firaun was declared not Muslim by the Muslim Ulama' because he stated his belief in Allah andthe prophethood of Moosa (Moses) while his life was at his throat. Is all the writer stated true? I hope you enlighten me because I think this matter is related to Islamic Aqeedah.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

We do not know of any Prophet in Bani Israel whose surname was “Fir'aun” (Pharaoh). What is known through historical record is that the kings of Egypt were called Fir'aun (Pharaoh), the kings of Abyssinia were called Negus, the Emperors of Rome were called Caesar, and the kings of Persia were called Chosroes. In this long history it is very possible that a king believed in monotheism; i.e., in the Oneness of Allah. Ibn Khaldoun  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him mentioned in his book that a Fir'aun whose name was Maliq ibn Nadras was a monotheist.

But the Fir'aun who was in the era of the Prophet Moosa (Moses) was an unbeliever. There is no doubt that he was disbeliever. Whoever doubts his disbelief after knowing that the Quran and Hadeeth emphasize his disbelief, is considered a denier of Allah and His Prophet. We ask Allah's Refuge from this grave sin.

Fir'aun, by his disbelief, arrogance and insolence, became so widely known that he is a symbol of those qualities; and thus, a poor example for mankind. We mention here some verses from the Quran to prove that the claims of the newspaper are false and untrue. All the verses from Quran clearly prove that the Fir'aun in the era of Prophet Moosa was an unbeliever and he is amongst the dwellers of Hellfire.

Allah Says (what means):

• {Has there reached you the story of Moses? — When his Lord called to him in the sacred valley of Tuwa, “Go to Pharaoh. Indeed, he has transgressed. And say to him, ‘Would you [be willing to] purify yourself. And let me guide you to your Lord so you would fear [Him]?” And he showed him the greatest sign. But he [i.e. Pharaoh] denied and disobeyed. Then he turned his back, striving [i.e. plotting]. And he gathered [his people] and called out. And said, “I am your most exalted lord.” So Allah seized him in exemplary punishment for the last and the first [transgression]. Indeed in that is a lesson [i.e. warning] for whoever would fear [Allah].} [Quran 79:15-26]

• {Indeed, We have sent to you a Messenger as a witness upon you just as We sent to Pharaoh a messenger. But Pharaoh disobeyed the messenger, so We seized him with a ruinous seizure.} [Quran 73:15-16]

• {Then We sent Moses and his brother Aaron with Our signs and a clear authority. To Pharaoh and his establishment, but they were arrogant and were a haughty people. They said, “Should we believe two men like ourselves while their people are for us in servitude?” So they denied them and were of those destroyed.} [Quran 23:45-48]

• {And We did certainly send Moses with Our signs and a clear authority. To Pharaoh and his establishment, but they followed the command of Pharaoh, and the command of Pharaoh was not [at all] discerning. He will precede his people on the Day of Resurrection and lead them into the Fire; and wretched is the place to which they are led.} [Quran 11:96-98]

• {But no one believed Moses, except [some] youths among his people, for fear of Pharaoh and his establishment that they would persecute them. And indeed, Pharaoh was haughty within the land, and indeed, he was of the transgressors.} [Quran 10:83]

• {… and indeed, the transgressors will be companions of the Fire.} [Quran 40:43]

There is no doubt that Fir'aun is among the dwellers of Hellfire since he is among the transgressors. There are many other verses proving the same ruling.

Here are some pieces of evidence from the Sunnah also proving the disbelief of the Fir'aun who was in the era of the Prophet Moosa (Moses)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention. The Prophet Mohammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) mentioned the prayer one day and said: “He who observes it constantly, it will serve for him as a light, an evidence, and (as a means of) salvation on the Day of Resurrection. He who does not observe it constantly, it will not serve for him as a light, as an evidence, and (as a means of) salvation on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be with Qaroon, Pharaoh, Haman and Ubayy ibn Khalaf.” [Ahmad, Ad-Daarimi, and Bayhaqi in Shu'ab Al-Eeman]

Moreover, Allah says about Fir'aun when death caught him (what means): {… when drowning overtook him, he said, "I believe that there is no deity except that in whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of the Muslims."} [Quran 10:90]

This did not benefit him since he announced his testimony when he knew undoubtedly that he is going to be drowned and die. At the very last moment Allah does not accept repentance. In this concern Allah Says (what means): {But repentance is not [accepted] of those who [continue to] do evil deeds up until, when death comes to one of them, he says, "Indeed, I have repented now," or of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful punishment.} [Quran 4:18]

So, when Fir'aun announced his testimony Allah Scolded him and refused his belief after his announcement. Allah Says (what means): {Now? And you had disobeyed [Him] before and were of the corrupters?} [Quran 10:91]

From the above realities, you may easily determine that what is written in the newspaper is absolutely wrong and void. A Muslim should not pay attention to such false claims.

Moreover, one cannot trust newspapers regarding what they publish in their specialization, such as news, etc., then how can they be trusted in religious matters.

Allah knows best.

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