77. And indeed We revealed to Musa: "Travel by night with My servants and strike a dry path for them in the sea, fearing neither to be overtaken nor being afraid.'' 78. Then Fir`awn pursued them with his hosts, but the sea ﴿Al-Yamm﴾ completely overwhelmed them and covered them up. 79. And Fir`awn led his people astray, and he did not guide them.
Allah, the Exalted, informs that He commanded Musa to journey at night with the Children of Israel, when Fir`awn refused to release them and send them with Musa. He was to take them away from Fir`awn's captivity. Allah expounds upon this in Surahs other than this noble Surah. Musa left with the Children of Israel, and when the people of Egypt awoke in the morning they found that not a single one of them remained in Egypt. Fir`awn became extremely furious. He sent callers into all of the cities to gather together his army from all of his lands and provinces. He said to them,
(Verily, these indeed are but a small band. And verily, they have done what has enraged us.) ﴿26:54-55﴾ Then when he gathered his army and organized his troops, he set out after them and they followed them at dawn when the sun began to rise.
(And when the two hosts saw each other) ﴿26:61﴾ This means that each person of the two parties was looking at the other party.
(The companions of Musa said: "We are sure to be overtaken.'' (Musa) said: "Nay, verily, with me is my Lord. He will guide me.'') ﴿26:61-62﴾ Musa stopped with the Children of Israel and the sea was in front of them and Fir`awn was behind them. Then, at that moment, Allah revealed to Musa,
(And strike a dry path for them in the sea.) So Musa struck the sea with his stick and he said, "Split for me, by the leave of Allah.'' Thus, it split, and each separate part of the water became like a huge mountain. Then, Allah sent a wind to the land of the sea and it burned the soil until it became dry like the ground that is on land. For this reason Allah said,
(and strike a dry path for them in the sea, fearing neither to be overtaken...) This means being caught by Fir`awn.
(nor being afraid.) meaning, "Do not be afraid of the sea drowning your people.'' Then, Allah, the Exalted, said,
(Then Fir`awn pursued them with his hosts, but the sea ﴿Al-Yamm﴾ completely overwhelmed them) Al-Yamm means the sea.
(and covered them up. ) meaning, covered them up with a thing that was well-familiar to them in such a situa- tion, as Allah states;
(And He destroyed the overthrown cities. So there covered them that which did cover.) ﴿53:53-54﴾ As Fir`awn pursued them into the sea, misled his people and did not lead them to the path of correct guidance, likewise, he will go ahead of his people on the Day of Resurrection, and will lead them in to the Hellfire. And evil indeed is the place to which they are led.