Pharaoh was absorbed in his new problem. A series of serious meetings began in his palace. He summoned those responsible for the army, the police and, what we call today his director of intelligence. He also summoned the ministers, princes, and priests. He called whoever had a powerful effect on the direction of events.
Pharaoh asked his director of intelligence: "What do people say?"
He said: "My men have spread among them that Moses won the contest because of a plot and that a major magician has joined with him in this plan. The plot has been disclosed, and we believe an unknown authority financed it."
Pharaoh asked his director of police: "What about the magicians' corpses?"
He said: "My men hung them in public squares and markets to terrify the people. We will spread a rumor that Pharaoh will kill whoever had anything to do with the plot."
Then Pharaoh asked the commander of the army: "What does the army say?"
He said: "The army hopes that commands will be issued to move in whatever direction Pharaoh desires."
Pharaoh said: "The role of the army has not come yet. Its role will come."
Pharaoh fell silent. Haman, the prime minister, moved and raised his hand to speak. Pharaoh permitted him and Haman asked: "Will we leave Moses and his people to corrupt the rest of the people on the earth so that they leave your worship?"
Pharaoh said: "You read my thoughts, 0 Haman. We will kill their sons, rape their women, and conquer them." He issued commands, and Pharaoh's men rushed to slay the sons, rape the women, and imprison whomever objected to these acts.
Moses stood watching what was happening. He could not interfere, nor did he have the power to forbid these acts. All he could do was to advise his people to be patient. He ordered them to ask Allah the Almighty for a calamity on the Egyptians. He pointed out to them the model of the Egyptian magicians who endured for Allah's sake without complaint. He helped them to understand that Pharaoh's soldiers behaved on earth as if they were its private owners.
Pharaoh's terrorism infused the children of Israel with a spirit of defeat. They complained to Moses: "We (children of Israel) had suffered troubles before you came to us, and since you have come to us." He said: "It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you successors on the earth, so that He may see how you act." Surah 7: 129
Moses began to face a difficult situation. He had to confront Pharaoh's anger and his plots, while at the same time he had to deal with the mutiny of his people. In the midst of all this, Korah (Qaroun) moved.
Korah was a one of Moses's people. He was very rich and lived in a magnificent mansion. He wore only the most expensive clothes. Numerous slaves waited on him and he indulged in every known luxury. His enormous wealth made him arrogant. Korah treated the poor with contempt and told them that their poverty was due to their lack of intelligence. He believed that what he owned was due to his own cleverness and business ability.
Moses reminded Korah to pay alms (zakat) on his wealth, a portion of which was rightfully due to the poor. Alms are compulsory upon all the believers. Korah was annoyed by this advice and told Moses that his being wealthy was proof that he was favored by Allah, Who approved of his life-style and increased his wealth daily. Moses argued with him and warned him of the result of his wicked thoughts.
When Korah did calculate the alms due on his wealth, he was shocked at the large amount he had to part with. He not only refused to give alms, but spread a rumor that Moses had invented the law of zakat for his own gain. He even bribed people to oppose Moses and to spread wicked rumors about him.
Allah warned Moses of Korah's plot. Moses appealed to Allah to punish him for his stinginess and for defying His laws. Allah's anger fell on Korah. The earth opened up and swallowed him, his mansion and all his wealth, as if he had never existed.
Almighty Allah revealed: Verily, Korah was of Moses's people, but he behaved arrogantly towards them. And We gave him of the treasures, that of which the keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men. When his people said to him: "Do not be glad (with ungratefulness to Allah's Favors). Verily! Allah likes not those who are glad (with ungratefulness to Allah's Favors). But seek, with that (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of legal enjoyment in this world, and do good as Allah has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allah likes not the Mufsideen (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupts)."
He said: "This has been given to me only because of knowledge I possess." Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him generations, men who were stronger than him in might and greater in the amount (of riches) they had collected. But the Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers, polyt heists, sinners, etc.) will not be questioned of their sins (because Allah knows them well, so they will be punished without account). So he went forth before his people in his pomp. Those who were desirous of the life of the world said: Ah, would that we had the like of what Korah has been given! Verily! He is the owner of a great fortune."
But those who had been given (religious) knowledge said: "Woe to you! The Reward of Allah (in the Hereafter) is better for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and this none shall attain except those who are patient (in following the truth)."
So We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place. Then he had no group or party to help him against Allah, nor was he one of those who could save themselves. And those who had desired (for a position like) his position the day before, began to say: "Know you not that it is Allah Who enlarges the provision or restricts it to whomsoever He pleases of His slaves? Had it not been that Allah was Gracious to us, He could have caused the earth to swallow us up (also)!" Know you not that the disbelievers will never be successful? Surah 28: 76-82
When the Egyptians and children of Israel examined this miracle, the conflict between Moses and Pharaoh again reached a crisis because Pharaoh believed that Moses was threatening his kingdom.
Pharaoh was afraid that the people would be misled by Moses. He suggested to his ministers and notable men that Moses be killed. We believe that Haman supported the idea along with a front of disbelievers. It was on the verge of approval, except for the vote of one of the notable men of the state, whose name is not mentioned in the Qur'an. The Qur'an says only that this man was a believer.
This believer spoke in the assembly where the idea of killing Moses had been introduced. He proved that it was not a good idea: "Moses did not say more than that Allah is his Lord. Later, he came with clear evidence that he is a messenger. There are two possibilities: either Moses is righteous or a liar. If he lies, he will be responsible for his lie. If he is righteous and we slay him, where is the guarantee that we will be rescued from the torment of Allah? Either way, he neither says nor does anything that merits our killing him."
This angered Pharaoh and his counselors and they threatened to harm the man, but he refused to budge from his stance. They then tried to woo him back, but he still warned them that they were inviting their doom. This angered Pharaoh more, and he now threatened to kill the man. However, Allah protected His believer.
Almighty Allah revealed their dialogue: Pharaoh said: "Leave me to kill Moses, and let him call his Lord (to stop me from killing him)! I fear that he may change your religion, or that he may cause mischief to appear in the land!"
Moses said: "Verily, I seek refuge in my Lord and your Lord from every arrogant who believes not in the Day of Reckoning!"
And a believing man of Pharaoh's family, who hid his faith said: "Would you kill a man because he says: My Lord is Allah, and he has come to you with clear signs (proofs) from your Lord? And if he is a liar, upon him will be (the sin of) his lie; but if he is telling the truth, then some of that (calamity) wherewith he threatens you will befall on you. Verily, Allah guides not one who is a Musrif (a polytheist, or a murderer who shed blood without a right, or those who commit great sins, oppressor, transgressor), a liar! 0 my people! Yours is the kingdom this day, you are uppermost in the land. But who will save us from the Torment of Allah, should it befall us?"
Pharaoh said: "I show you only that which I see (correct), and I guide you only to the path of right policy!"
And he who believed said: "0 my people! Verily, I fear for you a fate like that day (of disaster) of the confederates (of old)! Like the fate of the people of Noah, and 'Ad, and Thamud and those who came after them. And Allah wills no injustice for (His) slaves. And, 0 my people! Verily! I fear for you the Day when there will be mutual calling (between the people of Hell and of Paradise)."
A Day when you will turn your backs and flee having no protector from Allah, and whomsoever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide. And indeed Joseph did come to you, in times gone by, with clear signs, but you ceased not to doubt in that which he did bring to you, till when he died you said: "No Messenger will Allah send after him." Thus Allah leaves astray him who is a Musrif (a polytheist, oppressor, a criminal, sinner who commits great sins) and a Murtab (one who doubts Allah's warning and His Oneness). Those who dispute about the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, without any authority that has come to them, it is greatly hateful in the Sight of Allah and in the sight of those who believe. Thus does Allah seal up the heart of every arrogant, tyrant. (So they cannot guide themselves to the Right Path).
And Pharaoh said: "0 Haman! Build me a tower that I may arrive at the ways, - the ways of the heavens, and I may look upon the Ilah (God) of Moses but verily, I think him to be a liar."
Thus it was made fair-seeming, in Pahraoh's eyes, the evil of his deeds, and he was hindered from the (Right) Path, and the plot of Pharaoh led to nothing but loss and destruction (for him).
And the man who believed said: "0 my people! Follow me, I will guide you to the way of right conduct (i.e. guide you to Allah's Religion of Islamic Monotheism with which Moses has been sent). 0 my people! Truly, this life of the world is nothing but a (quick passing) enjoyment, and verily, the Hereafter that is the home that will remain forever. Whosoever does an evil deed, will not be requited except the like thereof, and whosoever does a righteous deed, whether male or female and is a true believer (in the Oneness of Allah), such will enter Paradise, where they will be provided therein (with all things in abundance) without limit."
"And 0 my People! How is it that I call you to salvation while you call me to the Fire! You invite me to disbelieve in Allah (and in His Oneness), and to join partners in worship with Him, of which I have no knowledge, and I invite you to the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving! No doubt you call me to (worship) one who cannot grant (me) my request (or respond to my invocation) in this world or in the Hereafter. And our return will be to Allah, and Al-Musrifeen (i.e. polytheists and arrogants, those who commit great sins, the transgressors of Allah's set limits)! They shall be the dwellers of the Fire! And you will remember what I am telling you, and my affair I leave it to Allah. Verily, Allah is the All-Seer of (His) slaves."
So Allah saved him from the evils that they plotted (against him), while an evil torment encompassed Pharaoh's people. Surah 40: 26-45
Moses repeated his demand that Pharaoh release the children of Israel from slavery. In response, Pharaoh called his subjects, including the children of Israel, to a huge gathering where he reminded them that he was their lord and provided all their needs. Moses, he said, had no gold amulets nor angels following him; he was just a poor man.
Being a people who had been oppressed for a very long time, they lacked vision. Their judgments were limited to what they could see in the material world. They regarded their ruler to be wealthy and able to provide all their worldly needs. In ignorance, they obeyed Pharaoh and ignored Moses's call.
Allah commanded Moses to warn 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 Moses thus: "0 Moses! Invoke your Lord for us because of His Promise to you. If you will remove the punishment fromus, we indeed shall believe in you, and we shall let the children of Israel go with you." Surah 7: 134
Moses 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 Moses bade them to fulfill their promise to release the children of Israel, they did not respond.
Then Allah sent swarms of locusts which ate whatever crops they had grown. The people hurried to Moses, 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 fulfill their promise.
Then another sign came, the sign of lice, which spread amongst the Egyptians, carrying diseases. Their refuge to Moses and their promise to him were 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 Moses 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 Moses 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 Moses as usual, but as soon as everything returned to normal, they turned their backs on Allah.
Almighty Allah said: And indeed We punished the people of Pharaoh with years of drought and shortness of fruits (crops, etc.), that they might remember (take heed). But whenever good came to them, they said: "Ours is this." And if evil afflicted them, they ascribed it to euil omens connected with Moses and those with him. Be informed! Verily, their evil omens are with Allah but most of them know not. They said (to Moses): "Whatever Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) you may bring to us, to work therewith your sorcery on us, we shall never believe in you." So We sent on them: the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs, and the blood: (as a succession of) manifest signs, yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were Mujrimeen (criminals, polyt heists, sinners, etc.) Surah 7: 130-133
Almighty Allah also said: But when We removed the punishment from them to a fixed term, which they had to reach, behold! They broke their word! Surah 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 Moses was a liar, a magician, and a poor man who did not wear even one bracelet of gold. Almighty Allah declared: And indeed We did send Moses with Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) to Pharaoh and his chiefs (inviting them to Allah's Religion of Islam). He said: "Verily, I am a Messenger of the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists).
But when he came to them with Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) behold! They laughed at them. And not an Ayah (sign etc.) We showed them but it was greater than its fellow, and We seized them with torment, in order that they might turn from their polytheism to Allah's Religion (Islamic Monotheism).
And they said (to Moses): "0 you sorcerer! Invoke your Lord for us according to what He has covenanted with you. Verily, we shall guide ourselves (aright)."
But when We removed the torment from them, behold! They broke their covenant (that they will believe if We remove the torment for them).
And Pharaoh proclaimed among his people, saying: '0 my people! Is not mine the dominion of Egypt, and these rivers flowing underneath me. See you not then? Am I not better than this one (Moses), who is Mahin has no honor nor any respect, and is weak and despicable and can scarcely express himself clearly? Why then are not golden bracelets bestowed on him, or angels sent along with him?"
Thus he (Pharaoh) befooled and misled his people, and they obeyed him. Verily, they were Fasiqeen (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).
So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all. And We made them a precedent (as a lesson for those coming after them), and an example to later generations. Surah 43: 46-56