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Select Translation What is This? Selections include: The Koran Interpreted, a translation by A.J. Arberry, first published 1955; The Qur'an, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, published 2004; or side-by-side comparison view
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The Qurʾan What is This? A current English-language version of the Qur'an, published in 2004
Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

28. The Story (1 – 21)

A Meccan sura which centres on the story of Moses and takes its title from the reference to the story told by Moses in verse 25. Its main theme is the bad end that comes to those who are arrogant and spread corruption, like Pharaoh and Qarun—polytheism is denounced at various points throughout the sura—and a link is made between these and the disbelievers of Mecca. The Prophet is reminded that he cannot make everyone believe (verse 56) and should remain steadfast (verse 87).

In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

1Ta Sin Mim

2These are the verses of the Scripture that makes things clear: 3We recount to you [Prophet] part of the story of Moses and Pharaoh, setting out the truth for people who believe.4Pharaoh made himself high and mighty in the land and divided the people into different groups: one group he oppressed, slaughtering their sons and sparing their women—he was one of those who spread corruption—5but We wished to favour those who were oppressed in that land, to make them leaders, the ones to survive, 6to establish them in the land, and through them show Pharaoh, Haman, and their armies the very thing they feared.

7We inspired Moses’ mother, saying, ‘Suckle him, and then, when you fear for his safety, put him in the river: do not be afraid, and do not grieve, for We shall return him to you and make him a messenger.’ 8Pharaoh's household picked him up—later toa Li here indicates consequence rather than purpose. become an enemy and a source of grief for them: Pharaoh, Haman, and their armies were wrongdoers—9and Pharaoh's wife said, ‘Here is a joy to behold for me and for you! Do not kill him: he may be of use to us, or we may adopt him as a son.’ They did not realize what they were doing. 10The next day, Moses’ mother felt a void in her heart—if We had not strengthened it to make her one of those who believe, she would have revealed everything about him—11and she said to his sister, ‘Follow him.’ So she watched him from a distance, without them knowing. 12We had ordained that he would refuse to feed from wet nurses. His sister approached them and said, ‘Shall I tell you about a household which could bring him up for you and take good care of him?’13We restored him to his mother in this way, so that she might be comforted, not grieve, and know that God's promise is true, though most of them do not know.

14When Moses reached full maturity and manhood, We gave him wisdom and knowledge: this is how We reward those who do good. 15He entered the city, unnoticed by its people, and found two men fighting: one from his own people, the other an enemy. The one from his own people cried out to him for help against the enemy. Moses struck him with his fist and killed him. He said, ‘This must be Satan's work: clearly he is a misleading enemy.’ 16He said, ‘Lord, I have wronged myself. Forgive me,’ so He forgave him; He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful. 17He said, ‘My Lord, because of the blessings You have bestowed upon me, I shall never support those who do evil.’

18Next morning, he was walking in the city, fearful and vigilant, when suddenly the man he had helped the day before cried out to him for help. Moses said, ‘You are clearly a troublemaker.’ 19As he was about to attack the man who was an enemy to both of them, the man said, ‘Moses, are you going to kill me as you killed that person yesterday? You clearly want to be a tyrant in the land; you do not intend to put things right.’ 20Then a man came running from the furthest part of the city and said, ‘Moses, the authorities are talking about killing you, so leave—this is my sincere advice.’ 21So Moses left the city, fearful and wary, and prayed, ‘My Lord, save me from people who do wrong.’

Notes:

a Li here indicates consequence rather than purpose.

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