Rebuttal to Answering Islam's Article Qur'an Contradiction: Pharaoh's Magicians - Muslims or Rejecters of Faith?

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Rebuttal to Answering Islam's Article

Quran Contradiction: Pharaoh's Magicians - Muslims or Rejectors of Faith?

By
Bassam Zawadi

 

 

 

NOTE: Readers are strongly advised to first read this article http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/pharaohs_magicians_detailed.html and then read this article http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/pharaohs_magicians_r1.html in order to understand and grasp what this article is talking about.

 

 

There is a possible explanation to make this alleged contradiction go away.

 

Commentators are not sure whether the word “Qawmihee” in Surah 10:83 refers to the people of Pharaoh or the people of Israel. 

 

A possible explanation is that it refers to the people of Pharaoh.

 

Great scholars like Suyuti believed that it referred to the people of Pharaoh.

 

 

Tafsir of Jalaludeen As Suyuti:

 

 

pharoah_magicians_1.jpg (4267 bytes) 

 

None believed in Moses except a ‘Dhurriya’, “a small number from” the offspring “of his people” that is Pharaoh…..

 

Source: http://quran.al-islam.com/Tafseer/DispTafsser.asp?l=arb&taf=GALALEEN&nType=1&nSora=10&nAya=83

 

 

It is also possible that Ibn Abbas believed that it referred to the people of Pharaoh as well.

 

 

 

Tafsir Ibn Kathir:

 

 

pharoah_magicians_2.jpg (9672 bytes)

 

 

Al Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas: “NONE believed in Moses except some of the children of HIS people” said that the offspring that believed in Moses are from people besides the people of Israel, they are the people of Pharaoh.

 

Source: http://quran.al-islam.com/Tafseer/DispTafsser.asp?nType=1&bm=&nSeg=0&l=arb&nSora=10&nAya=83&taf=KATHEER&tashkeel=0

 

 

 

Tafsir of Tabari mentions:

 

pharoah_magicians_3.jpg (13572 bytes)

  

Muhammad ibn Sa’ad informed me…..(the whole chain of narration)… that Ibn Abbas said: The “Dhurria” that believed in Moses were from people other than Bani Israel, they were from the people of Pharaoh.

 

 

pharoah_magicians_4.jpg (3750 bytes)

 

 

There was another reported narration from Ibn Abbas that contradicted this view.

 

 

Source: http://quran.al-islam.com/Tafseer/DispTafsser.asp?l=arb&taf=TABARY&nType=1&nSora=10&nAya=83

 

 

As we see, it is possible that Ibn Abbas might have said this. This was also the opinion of Suyuti as I showed above. Scholars are not unanimous on which people the word “Qawmihee” is referring to. However, it is possible that it is the people of Pharaoh since Surah 10:85 shows that all or the majority of the people of Israel believed in Moses.

Answering Islam present some arguments to try and show that not all the people of Israel believed.

 

They show verses from the Quran where the people of Israel made a calf and worshipped it, therefore showing that they were disbelievers. This occurred after their proclamation of faith in Surah 10:85. But this shows no problem. Isn’t it possible that they believed in Surah 10:85 and then they disbelieved (apostatized) later on when they worshipped the calf? Maybe they truly believed in Allah as their God at the time when they were desperate to be saved (10:86) but then once they were saved they went back to their old ways. Isn’t that a possibility?

 

Answering Islam also present Surah 28:76-82 to show that Qarun (was from the people of Israel) was a disbeliever. However, we do not know exactly when the earth swallowed up Qarun.

 

This story of Qarun might have taken place before they get out of Egypt for

Allah the Almighty says: {So, We caused the earth to swallow him and his

dwelling place}, or it might have taken place after that during the Diaspora.

Allah knows best! (Ibn Katheer, Stories of the Quran, Chapter 6: The Story of Qarun (Korah):Translated by Ali As-Sayed Al Halawani)

 

 

But either way we do not have a problem. Because if it was before they left Egypt then Qarun was already dead when the people of Israel said they believed in Surah 10:85. Or if it was after they left Egypt, then its possible that he became an apostate like the other Jews who worshipped the calf.

 

Answering Islam also present Surah 40:28-35, 38-46 to show that only one man from the people of Pharaoh believed, thus disproving that some believed according to Surah 10:83. However, anyone who reads the verses cannot see that. The verse in no way states that only one person ever believed in Moses from the people of Pharaoh. It is talking about the story of one man who believed in Moses and tried to warn Pharaoh and his followers to stop their ways and worship Allah. It does not in any way indicate that he was the only follower. When verse 46 says that the people of Pharaoh will be cast into the fire, it is only referring to the believers in Pharaoh.

 

Tafsir of Qurtubi says:

 

pharoah_magicians_5.jpg (3211 bytes)

 

And the followers of Pharaoh are those who followed his religion and his ways…..

 

Source: http://quran.al-islam.com/Tafseer/DispTafsser.asp?l=arb&taf=KORTOBY&nType=1&nSora=40&nAya=46

 

Answering Islam try to present Surah 43:46-56 to show that all of Pharaoh’s people were disbelievers. However, we have to understand that the believer (from Surah 40:28) was hiding his faith all this time and made it seem like he believed in Pharaoh.

 

 

Tafsir of Ibn Kathir:

 

pharoah_magicians_6.jpg (7788 bytes) 

 

Narrated by Ibn Hatim and there person used to conceal his faith from his Coptic people and he did not disclose it until the day Pharaoh said, “Let me kill Moses”

 

Source: http://quran.al-islam.com/Tafseer/DispTafsser.asp?nType=1&bm=&nSeg=0&l=arb&nSora=40&nAya=28&taf=KATHEER&tashkeel=0

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

 

It is most likely that the people in Surah 10:83 refers to the people of Pharaoh. This is because some of the people of Pharaoh did indeed believe in Moses.

 

Surah 10:85 shows that all or the majority of the people of Israel believed in Moses at a particular point in time and then after they were saved they apostatized. Surah 10:85 did not state that they remained believers forever.

 

Maybe another potential explanation is that Surah 10:83 only refers to the people that believed in Moses at that specific point in time (during the magic show) and that maybe the magicians were from the people of Israel. We have no evidence to suggest that the magicians were necessarily from the people of Pharaoh. Maybe they were from the people of Israel but supporters of Pharaoh. Maybe they supported Pharaoh and went against their people so that they can be safe. So Pharaoh would just simply use them because they were really good in magic.

 

Now we have two possible explanations. If there is a possible explanation then Answering Islam cannot provide 100% evidence that there is a contradiction in the Quran. In order for them to do so, they would have to refute all possible explanations. 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

Islam and the Noble Quran - Questions and Answers.

Prophet Muhammad's, peace be upon him, section.

The Laws of War, treatment of Captives, and prohibition of killing innocents in Islam.

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