Islamic Web Library

An Islamic Resource Center

10:90 Pharaoh said: “I believe that there is no god except Him Whom the Children of Israel believe in: I am of those who submit (to Allah in Islam).”

11 min read

We took the Children of Israel across the sea: Pharaoh and his hosts followed them in insolence and spite. At length, when overwhelmed with the flood, he said: “I believe that there is no god except Him Whom the Children of Israel believe in: I am of those who submit (to Allah in Islam).”

The Splitting of the sea as tall as a Mountain by Moses (peace be upon him) – Islamic Web Library (Category: the prophets)

Quran 26:61-63:

And when the two companies saw one another, the companions of Moses said, “Indeed, we are to be overtaken!” (verse 61)

[Moses] said, “No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.” (verse 62)

Then We inspired to Moses, “Strike with your staff the sea,” and it parted, and each portion was like a great towering mountain. (verse 63)

The following excerpt is taken from “Tafhim ul Quran” by Sayyid Maududi under the commentary of the above verse note 47:

“Literally, tawd is a high mountain. It appears that as soon as Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) struck the sea with his staff, it tore the sea asunder and the waters stood like two mighty mountains on the sides and remained in that condition for so long that, on the one hand, the Israelite caravans consisting of hundreds of thousands of the migrants were able to pass through safely, and on the other, Pharaoh and his hosts stepped in and reached the middle of the sea. In the natural course, a phenomenon like this has never occurred that due to a windstorm, however strong, the sea should have parted and stood like mighty mountains on either side for such a long time. According to Surah Taa-Haa 20:77 , Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was commanded by Allah to make for them (the Israelites) a dry path across the sea. This shows that the smiting of the sea did not only result in dividing the waters into two parts, which stood like mighty mountains on either side, but it also created a dry path in between without any mud or slush. In this connection, one should also consider Ayat 24 of Surah Dukhan 44:24 , which says that after Moses (peace be upon him) had crossed the sea along with his people, he was commanded by Allah to let the sea remain as it is because Pharaoh is to be drowned in it. This implies that if after crossing the sea, Moses had again struck it with his staff, the two sides would have rejoined, but he was forbidden to do so. Obviously, this was a miracle, and the view of those who try to interpret it as a natural phenomenon, is belied.”


Maududi, Abul Ala (2010). Tafhim ul Quran. (note 47).

Allah will forgive every sin upon Repentance – Islamic Web Library (category: faith)

Quran 4:17-18:

The repentance accepted by Allah is only for those who do wrong in ignorance [or carelessness] and then repent soon after. It is those to whom Allah will turn in forgiveness, and Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.

But repentance is not [accepted] of those who [continue to] do evil deeds up until, when death comes to one of them, he says, “Indeed, I have repented now,” or of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful punishment.

The followig excerpt is taken from “Maariful Quran” vol 2 pg. 363-368:

Repentance was mentioned in the previous verse. Now, given in
the present two verses are conditions under which repentance is or is
not accepted.

Repentance from a deliberate sin

At this point, it should be noted that the Holy Qur’an has used the
words “in ignorance” which apparently gives an impression that the
repentance may be accepted when a sin is committed unintentionally
and unknowingly. But if it is committed deliberately, it will not be
acceptable. However, according to the explanation of this verse given
by the noble Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, the
word, “jahalah” (ignorance) here does not mean that a sinning person
is.not aware of a sin as sin, or has no intention or volition to commit a
sin. Instead, it means that it was the insensitivity and heedlessness of
a person towards the evil end of sin and its ultimate punishment
which became the cause of his audacity to venture into sin, even
though he knew a sin as sin, and had approached it with intention and
volition as well.

In other words, the word, “jahalah” or ignorance used here is in the
sense of carelessness or stupidity. This is supported by an evidence in
Surah Yusuf Sayyidna Yusuf (as) (Joseph) had said to his brothers:
Here the brothers have been called,
“jahilun’, the ignorant ones, although what they did was not the
outcome of any error or forgetfulness but they had done that know-
ingly and with full deliberation. Yet, it is because of their heedlessness
towards the evil end of their act that they have been called “jahil”

Abu al-‘Aliyah and Qatadah report that the noble Companions, may
Allah be pleased with them all, agreed that, that is, ‘any sin committed by a servant of Allah is, anyway, an
act of ignorance, be it deliberate or otherwise.’

The master of exegesis, Mujahid said: “Every one who is doing anything in disobedience to Allah is, for that
matter, ignorant while doing it,” even though, on the outside, he may appear to be a person of great learning. (Ibn Kathir) ,

In his Tafsir, al-Bahr al-Muhit, Abu Hayyan has said: “This is just
like what has been reported in a hadith – poy 52) | gut , that is, ‘a
person who commits zina (adultery) will not be doing so while in a
state of being a true Muslim.’ It means that the time when he
succumbed to the temptation of this evil act, that was the time when
he was flung far off from the demand of his faith. For this reason,
Sayyidna ‘Ikrimah said : that is, ‘everything one does in
this mortal world – outside the framework of obedience to Allah – is
ignorance.’ The logic is very obvious since the person disobeying Allah
is preferring short-lived pleasures over those ever-lasting; and, anyone
who takes the punishment which will last for ever and ever in
exchange for this short-lived series of pleasures cannot be called
rational, sensible or smart. Such a person would be universally termed
as ignorant, even if he knows the evil of his act and has all the inten-
tion and resolve to go ahead with it.

The gist of the discussion so far is that the sin that a man commits,
deliberately or mistakenly, gets committed due to nothing but ‘jihalat’
or ignorance. Therefore, there is a consensus of the entire Muslim
ummah on the principle that the repentance of a person who commits
some sin deliberately can also be accepted. (al-Bahr al-Muhit)

Incidentally, there is another point worth attention in the present
verse which prescribes a condition for the acceptance of repentance –
that one should repent soon without delaying it. The Qur’anic words
are: “Shortly thereafter.” What does “shortly” signify and how much
time will come within the limit of “shortly” The- Holy Prophet (S) has
himself explained this in a hadith in the following words: The hadith means that Allah Almighty accepts the repen-
tance of His servant until the time he passes into the throes of death and his soul struggles to get out of his rattling throat.

Muhaddith Ibn Marduwayh has narrated from Sayyidna ‘Abdullah
ibn ‘Umar (RA), that he heard the Holy Prophet (S) saying: ‘A believing servant of Allah who repents from his sin a month
before his death, or repents a day or a moment earlier, Allah Almighty
shall accept his repentance, the condition being that the repentance
should be genuine and sincere. (Ibn Kathir)

In short, the explanation of “min garib” (shortly thereafter) given
by the Holy Prophet (S) himself tells us that virtually man’s
whole life-time comes urtder “garib” and, as such, any repentance
which is offered well before death shall be acceptable. However, the
repentance made by man while in throes of death is not acceptable.
Maulana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanavi in his Tafsir Bayan al-Qur’an, has elabo-
rated the subject by saying that man faces two conditions when close
to death. Firstly, there is the condition of utter hopelessness when all
medicines and efforts fail and man comes to realize that death is
round the corner. This is known as the state of “»u” ie., conscious
suffering. The second condition relates to what comes after, that is,
when the pangs of the departure of human. soul begin and the fated
time of ghargharah (the onomatopoetic rattling sound emerging from
the throat, a herald of approaching death) comes close. This is known
as the state of i.e., total despair. The first condition, that is, the
condition of conscious suffering comes within the sense of “min garib”
and the repentance made at that time is accepted; but, the repentance
in the second condition, that is, the condition of total despair, is not
acceptable, for this is a condition when, the angels and things
belonging to the Hereafter may start appearing before the dying
person, and they are not included in the sense of “min garib”.

This explanation given by the Holy Prophet (S) has been
pointed out by the Holy Qur’an itself in the following verse (i.e. verse
18) where it is expressly mentioned that repenting, after the sure signs
of death are visible, is not accepted.

So, in the light of this explanation the addition of “min qarib”
(shortly thereafter) in this verse serves to indicate that the very life-
span of man is limited in time, and death, which he may think is far
away, may actually be quite near.

“Relenting taken by Allah upon Himself” is a form of promise the
fulfillment of which is certain. Otherwise the truth is that Allah
Almighty does not necessarily owe anything to anyone.

The second verse (18) describes those whose repentance is not
acceptable with Allah, those who fearlessly go on committing sins
throughout their entire lives yet, when death stands on their head and
the withdrawal of their soul is set in motion and the angels of death
start becoming visible, they start offering repentance. How could their
repentance become acceptable when they kept running wild with their
lives and wasted all opportunities of repenting while there was still
time to repent. This is very much like Pharaoh and his people who
called out while drowning that they were ready to believe in the Lord
of Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron). Naturally, they were told that
their declaration of faith at that time was of no consequence, because
the time set for it was all over.

The same thing has been pointed out in the last sentence of the
verse which says that Allah also does not accept the repentance of
those who die while they are still disbelievers. What is the worth of a
declaration of faith right in the middle of one’s match with death
facing the pangs of the withdrawal of the soul from the body? This
confession or this declaration of faith is out of tune with the time and
quite worthless now as their punishment stands prepared for them.

What is repentance?

After the literal explanation of these two verses, it seems necessary
to define Taubah or repentance and determine its real nature and
status. In his ‘Ihya’ al-‘Ulum, Imam al-Ghazali has identified three
different situations with regard to committing sins:

The first state is that of total sinlessness, that is, no sin has ever
been committed. This is either the hallmark of angels or that of the
prophets, may peace be on them. The second stage of getting involved
in sin comes when one takes the initiative and ventures into sin and
then repeats and persists with it, never feeling ashamed or regretful
and never thinking of stopping and abandoning it. This is the degree of
the satans and the devils. The third station belongs to human beings,
the children of Adam who, immediately after having committed a sin,
regret it and resolve firmly not to go near it in future.

This tells us that failing to repent after committing a sin is the
style of devils exclusively. Therefore, it is the consensus of the entire
Muslim ummah that Taubah is obligatory. The Holy Qur’an says:

(O those who believe, repent before Allah, a sincere repen-
tance; may be your Lord removes from you your sins and
admits you to gardens beneath which rivers flow.) (66:8)

How generous is the mercy of our Lord! A man spends a whole life-
time in disobeying Him. Nevertheless, when he repents sincerely
before his death, not only his sins are forgiven, but he receives much
more when he is admitted into the circle of favoured servants of Allah
and made an inheritor of Paradise. –

In a hadith, the Holy Prophet (S) has been reported to
have said: that is, ‘one who repents
from sin is loved by Allah and one who has repented from sin is like
one who had never committed a sin.’ (bn Majah)

According to some narrations, if a servant of Allah repents from a
sin and his repentance finds acceptance with Him, he is not only
absolved from having to account for it, but the very record in writing
posted by the angels is erased out from his book of deeds so that he
may not be disgraced either.

However, what is necessary is that the repentance is genuine and
is offered in sincerity. This repentance stands on three pillars. Firstly,
one should regret over and feel ashamed about what he or she has
done. According to hadith, that is, ‘Taubah is (another name
of) remorse’. Secondly, one should immediately leave off the sin he has
committed and he should, for the future too, firmly resolve to stay
away from it. Thirdly, one should think of making amends for what
has gone by, that is, he should try to take measures to rectify what
has happened in sin to the best of his ability. For example, if he has
missed a prayer or a fast, he should make up for it by doing what is
known as gada (compensatory worship). If one does not remember the
correct number of such missed prayers and fasts, he should think,
calculate and come to an estimated number and then go on to offer
qada for these in all seriousness. If one finds it impossible to do so all
at one time, he could offer, with each salah due at its time, one gada of
each salah he missed throughout his life, which is commonly known as
‘umri qada. In the same way, one should do his best to make up, as and
when convenient, for obligatory fasts he missed by offering gada fasts.

May be one has not paid the obligatory zakah due on him; he should,
then pay the zakah due on him for previous years as well, paying it all
or paying it gradually. God forbid, if one has usurped someone’s right,
he should return it back to him and if he has hurt someone, he should
seek his forgiveness. But, should it be that one does not regret what he
has done, or, despite being regretful, he does not leave off that sin for
future, then, this repentance is no repentance even though it may be
said a thousand times, as so delightfully put in verse by a Persian

Repentance on the lips, rosary in hand
and a heart full of the taste of sin
Sin laughs at my style of seeking forgiveness!

The point being made here is that man, once he repents as stated
earlier, and despite having been in all sorts of sins, becomes a servant
dear to Allah. And should it ever be that, out of human weakness, one
does fall into sin yet another time, he should immediately renew his
repentance in the fond hope that this time, like every other time, Allah
Almighty shall, being Most-Forgiving, relent towards him. Let me
conclude with yet another Persian couplet which says:

This is the Court of My Presence,
not the Court of Despair.

Even if you have broken (the promise in) your repentance
a hundred times, come again!

Download Link


Shafi, Muhammad (2008). Maariful Quran. (Vol .2 pg. 363-368).

About Post Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *