Surah 20


In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful


1 Ta  Ha.

2 We have not sent down the Quran to you to be an occasion for your distress,

3 But only as an admonition to those who fear Allah,

4 A revelation from him who created the earth and the heavens on high.

5 Allah most gracious is firmly established on the throne of authority.

6 To him belongs what is in the heavens and on earth, and all between the soil.

7 If you pronounce the word aloud, it is no matter: for truly he knows what is secret and what is yet more hidden.

8 Allah! There is no god but he! To him belong the most beautiful names.

9 Has the story of Musa reached you?

10 Behold, he saw a fire: so he said to his family, wait, I perceive a fire; perhaps I can bring you some burning brand from it, or find some guidance at the fire.

11 But when he came to the fire, a voice was heard: O Musa![1]

12 Truly I am your Lord! Therefore put off your shoes: you are in the sacred valley Tuwa.


13 I have chosen you: listen, then, to the inspiration sent to you.

14 Truly, I am Allah: there is no god but me: so serve me only, and establish regulate prayer for celebrating my praise.

15 Truly the hour is coming my design is to keep it hidden for every soul to receive its reward by the measure of its endeavour.

16 Therefore let not such as believe not therein but follow their own lusts, divert you, lest you perish!.

17 And what is that in your right hand, O Musa?

18 He said, It is my rod: on it I lean; with it I beat down fodder for my flocks; and in it find other uses.

19 Allah said, throw it, O Musa!

20 He threw it, and behold! It was a snake, active in motion.

21 Allah said, seize it, and fear not: we shall return it at once to its former condition.

22 Now draw your hand close to your side. It shall come forth white, without harm, as another sign,

23 In order that we may show you two of our greater signs.

24 Go you to Firaun, for he has indeed transgressed all bounds.

25 Musa said: O my Lord! Expand me my breast;

26 Ease my task for me;

27 And remove the impediment from my speech,

28 So they may understand what I say:

29 And give me a minister from my family,

30 Harun, my brother;

31 Add to my strength through him,

32 And make him share my task:

33 That we may celebrate your praise without stint,

34 And remember you without stint:

35 For you are he that regards us.

36 Allah said: Granted is the prayer, O Musa!

37 And indeed we conferred a favour on you another time before.


38 Behold! We sent to your mother, by inspiration, the message:

39 Throw the child into the chest, and throw the chest into the river: the river will cast whom up on the bank, and he will be taken up by one who is an enemy to him: but I cast the garment of love over you from me: and this in order that you may be reared under my eye.

40 Behold! Your sister goes forth and says, shall I show you one who will nurse and rear the child? So we brought you back to your mother, that her eye might be cooled and she should not grieve. Then you killed a man, but we saved you from trouble, and we tried you in various ways. Then you stayed a number of years with the people of Madyan. Then you came here as ordained, O Musa!

41 And I have prepared you for myself for service.

42 Go, you and your brother, with my signs, and slacken not, either of you, in keeping me in remembrance.

43 Go, both of you, to Firaun, for he has indeed transgressed all bounds;

44 But speak to him mildly; perhaps he may take warning or fear Allah.

45 Musa and Harun said: our Lord! We fear lest he hasten with insolence against us, or lest he transgress all bounds.

46 He said: fear not: for I am with you: I hear and see everything.

47 “So go you both to him, and say, ‘Truly we are messengers sent by your Lord: send forth, therefore, Bani-Israel with us, and afflict them not: with a sign, indeed, have we come from your Lord; and peace to all who follow guidance!

48 “Truly it has been revealed to us that the penalty awaits those who reject and turn away.”

49 When this message was delivered, Firaun said: “Who, then, O Musa, is the Lord of you two?”

50 He said: “Our Lord is he who gave to each created thing its form and nature, and further, gave it guidance.”

51 Firaun said: “What then is the condition of previous generations?”


52 He replied: “The knowledge of that is with my Lord, duly recorded: my Lord never errs, nor forgets.

53 “He who has made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled you to go about therein by roads; and has sent down water from the sky.” With it have we produced diverse pairs of plants each separate from the others.

54 Eat for yourselves and pasture your cattle: truly, in this are signs for men endued with understanding.

55 From the earth did we create you, and into it shall we return you, and from it shall we bring you out once again.

56 And we showed Firaun all our signs, but he rejected and refused.

57 He said: have you come to drive us out of our land with your magic, O Musa?

58 But we can surely produce magic to match yours! So make a tryst between us and you, which we shall not fail to keep neither we nor you in a place where both shall have even chances.

59 Musa said: your tryst is the day of the festival, and let the people be assembled when the sun is well up.

60 So Firaun withdrew: he concerted his plan, and then came back.

61 Musa said to him: Woe to you! Do not forge a lie against Allah, lest he destroy you at once utterly by chastisement: the forger must suffer frustration!

62 So they disputed, one with another, over their affair, but they kept their talk secret.

63 They said: these two are certainly magicians: their object is to drive you out from your land with their magic, and to do away with your most cherished institutions.

64 Therefore arrange your plan, and then assemble in ranks: he wins all along today who gains the upper hand.


65 They said: O Musa! Whether will you that you throw first or that we be the first to throw?

66 He said, No, you throw first! Then behold their ropes and their rods so it seemed to him on account of their magic began to be in lively motion!

67 So Musa conceived in his mind a sort of fear.

68 We said: fear not! For you have indeed the upper hand:

69 Throw that which is in the right hand: quickly will it swallow up that which they have faked what they have faked is but a magician thrives not no matter where he goes.

70 So the magicians were thrown down to prostration. They said, “We believe in the Lord of Harun and Musa.”

71 Firaun said: Do you believe in him before I give you permission? Surely this must be your leader, who has taught you magic! Be sure I will cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will have you crucified on trunks of palm trees: So shall you know for certain, which of us can give the more severe and the more lasting punishment!

72 They said: never shall we regard you as more than the clear signs that have come to us; or than him who created us! So decree whatever you desire to decree: for you can only decree touching the life of this world.

73 For us, we have believed in our Lord: may he forgive us our sins, and the magic to which you compelled us: for Allah is best and most abiding.

74 Truly he who comes to his Lord as sinner at judgment, for him is hell: therein shall he neither die no live.

75 But such as come to him as believers who have worked righteous deeds, for them are ranks exalted,

76 Gardens of eternity, beneath which flow rivers: they will dwell therein forever: such is the reward of those who purify themselves.


77 We sent an inspiration to Musa: travel by night with my servants, and strike a dry path for them through the sea, without fear of being overtaken by Firaun and without any other fear.

78 Then Firaun pursued them with his forces, but the waters completely overwhelmed them and covered them up.

79 Firaun led his people astray instead of leading them aright.

80 O Bani-Israel! We delivered you from your enemy, and we made a covenant with you on the right side of Mount Sinai, and we sent down to you manna and quails:

81 Saying: eat of the good things we have provided for you sustenance, but commit no excess therein, lest my wrath should justly descend on you: and those on whom descends my wrath do perish indeed!

82 But, without doubt, I am also he that forgives again and again, to those who repent, believe, and do right, who, in fine, are ready to receive true guidance.

83 When Musa was up on the mount, Allah said: what made you hasten in advance of your people, O Musa?

84 He replied: behold, they are close on my footsteps: I hastened to you, O my Lord, to please you.

85 Allah said: we have tested your people in your absence: the Samiri has led them astray.

86 So Musa returned to his people in a state of indignation and sorrow. He said: O my people! Did not your Lord make a handsome promise to you? Did then the promise seem to you long in coming? Or did you desire that wrath should descend so you broke your promise to me?

87 They said: we broke not the promise to you, as far as lay in our power: but we were made to carry the weight of the ornaments of the whole people, and we threw them into the fire, and that was what the Samiri suggested.


88 Then he brought out of the fire before the people the image of a calf: it seemed to low: So they said: this is your god, and the god of Musa, but Musa has forgotten!

89 Could they not see that it could not return them a word for answer, and that it had no power either to harm them or to do them good?

90 Harun had already, before this said to them: O my people! You are being tested in this: For truly your Lord is Allah Most gracious: so follow me and obey my command.

91 They had said: we will not abandon this cult, but we will devote ourselves to it until Musa returns to us.

92 Musa said: O Harun! What kept you back, when you saw them going wrong,

93 From following me? Did you then disobey my order?

94 Harun replied: O son of my mother! Seize me not by my beard nor by the hair of my head! Truly I feared lest you should say, you have caused a division among Bani-Israel, and you did not respect my word!

95 Musa said: what then is your case, O Samiri?

96 He replied, “I saw what they saw not: so I took a handful of dust from the footprint of the messenger, and threw it into the calf: thus did my soul suggest to me.”

97 Musa said: “Begone! But your punishment in this life will be what you will say, ‘Touch me not.’ Moreover for a future penalty you have a promise that will not fail. Now look at your god, of whom you have become a devoted worshipper. We will certainly melt it in a blazing fire and scatter it abroad in the sea!”

98 But the God of you all is Allah: there is no god but he: all things he comprehends in his knowledge.


99 Thus do we relate to you some stories of what happened before: for we have sent you a message from our own presence.

100 If any do turn away therefrom, truly they will bear a burden on the day of judgment;

101 They will abide in this state: and grievous will the burden be to them on that day,

102 The day when the trumpet will be sounded: that day, we shall gather the sinful, blear eyed with terror.

103 In whispers will they consult each other: You waited not longer than ten days;

104 We know best what they will say, when their leader most eminent in conduct will say: You waited not longer than a day!

105 They ask you concerning the mountains: Say my Lord will uproot them and scatter them as dust;

106 He will leave them as plains smooth and level;

107 Nothing crooked or curved will you see in their place.

108 On that day will they follow the caller straight: no crookedness can they show him. All sounds shall humble themselves in the presence of Allah most gracious. Nothing shall you hear but the tramp of their feet as they march.

109 On that day shall no intercession avail, except that of one[2] to whom permission has been granted by Allah most gracious, and whose word is acceptable to him.

110 He knows what appears to his creatures as before or after or behind them: but they shall not compass it with their knowledge.

111 All faces shall be humbled before him the living, the self-subsisting, eternal: hopeless indeed will be the man that carries iniquity on his back.

112 But he who works deeds of righteousness, and has faith, will have no fear of harm nor of any curtailment of what is his due.

113 Thus have we sent this down an Arabic Quran and explained therein in detail some of the warnings, in order that they may fear god, or that it may cause their remembrance of him.


114 High above all is Allah, the king, the truth! Be not in haste with the Quran before it is completed, but say, O my Lord, advance me in knowledge.

115 We had already, beforehand, taken the covenant of Adam, but he forget: and we found on his part no firm resolve.

116 When we said to the angels, Prostrate yourselves to Adam the prostrated themselves, but not Iblis: he refused.

117 Then we said: O Adam! Truly, this is an enemy to you and your wife. So let him not get you both out of the garden, so that you land in misery.

118 There is therein enough provision for you not to go hungry nor to go naked,

119 Nor to suffer from thirst, nor from the sun’s heat.

120 But Satan whispered evil to him and said, O Adam! Shall I lead you to the tree of eternity and to a kingdom that never decays?

121 They both ate of the tree, and so their nakedness appeared to them: they began to sew together, for their covering, leaves from the garden: thus did Adamdisobey his Lord, and allow himself to be seduced.

122 But his Lord chose him for his grace: he turned to him, and gave him guidance.

123 He said: Get down, both of you, all together, from the garden, with enmity between you.[3] But if, as is sure, there comes to you guidance from me, whoever follows my guidance, will not lose his way, nor fall into misery.

124 But whoever turns away from my message, truly for him is a life narrowed down, and we shall raise him up blind on the day of Judgment.

125 He will say, O my Lord! Why have you raised me up blind, while I had sight before?


126 Allah will say: when our signs came to you, you disregarded them: so will you, this day, be disregarded.

127 And thus do we reward him who transgresses beyond bounds and believes not in the signs of his Lord: and the penalty of the hereafter is far more grievous and more enduring.

128 Is it not a warning to such men to call to mind how many generations before them we destroyed, in whose haunts they now move? Truly, in this are signs for men endued with understanding.

129 Had it not been for a word that went forth before from your Lord, their punishment must necessarily have come; but there is a term appointed for respite.

130 Therefore be patient with what they say, and celebrate constantly the praises of the Lord, before the rising of the sun, and before its setting; yes, celebrate them for part of the hours of the night, and at the sides of the day: that you may have spiritual joy.

131 Nor strain your eyes in longing for the things we have given for enjoyment to parties of them, the splendour of the life of this world, through which we test them: But the provision of the Lord is better and more enduring.

132 Enjoin prayer on your people, and be constant therein. We ask you not to provide sustenance: we provide it for you. But the fruit of the hereafter is for righteousness.

133 They say: Why does he not bring us a sign from his Lord? Has not a clear sign come to them of all that was in the previous books?

134 And if we had inflicted on them a penalty before this, they would have said: “Our Lord! If only you had sent us a messenger, we should certainly have followed your signs before we were humbled and put to shame.”

135 Say: “Each one of us is waiting: wait, therefore, and soon shall you know who it is that is on the straight and even way, and who it is that has received guidance.”


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[1] Compare the same incident in the Taurat, Exodus, chapter three.

[2] Al-Kitab identifies only one person as having the power of intercession–Prophet ‘Isa al-Masih. The Taurat says prophetically that ‘Isa “bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Shaya 53:12). The Injil plainly teaches that ‘Isa “is also able to save completely those who draw near to Allah through him, seeing he lives forever to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

[3] This “enmity” is explained in the Taurat‘s account of this event. In Genesis 3:15, Allah says to Satan, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” Satan is our avowed enemy, but one day he will be defeated by the “offspring of the woman,” that is, the only man to be born of a woman without a human father, ‘Isa Ibn Maryam. This theme of ‘Isa al-Masih’s victory over Satan is prominent in the holy Injil. He came so that “he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, Iblis” (Hebrews 2:14, see also 1 John 3:8).