The troubles which afflicted pharaoh and those around him

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Pharaoh and those people close to him were so devoted to their polytheistic system and pagan beliefs that not even message of the Prophet Musa (as), armed with wisdom and spectacular miracles, could soften their hearts and thus turn them away from baseless superstitions. They also openly stated this fact:

They said, "No matter what kind of Sign you bring us to bewitch us, we will not believe in you." (Qur'an, 7:132)

Because of their haughty attitude, Allah sent to them afflictions, described as "Signs, clear and distinct" in one verse, in order to punish them for their haughtiness. (Qur'an, 7:133) The first of these was drought. As a result, there was a fall in production. The relevant verse of the Qur'an states:

We seized Pharaoh's people with years of drought and scarcity of fruits so that hopefully they would pay heed. (Qur'an, 7:130)

The Egyptians' agricultural systems depended on the River Nile and changes in natural conditions did not therefore generally affect them. However, Pharaoh and those around him suffered greatly because of their pride and refusal to recognise Allah's Messenger. Yet instead of "paying heed," they regarded these events as bad luck caused by the Prophet Musa (as) and the Tribe of Israel. Following that, Allah sent a series of tribulations. We are told of these in the Qur'an:

So We sent down on them floods, locusts, lice, frogs and blood, Signs, clear and distinct, but they proved arrogant and were an evildoing people. (Qur'an, 7:133)

In the early 19th century a papyrus dating back to the Middle Kingdom was discovered in Egypt. The papyrus was taken to the Leiden Museum in Holland and translated by A.H. Gardiner in 1909. The entire text appears in the book Admonitions of an Egyptian from a Hieratic Papyrus in Leiden, and describes major changes in Egypt; famine, drought, the slaves’ flight from Egypt with their assets, and death all over the nation. The papyrus was written by an Egyptian called Ipuwer and it appears from its contents that this individual personally witnessed the disasters that struck Egypt. This papyrus is a most significant hand-written description of the catastrophes, the death of Egyptian society and the destruction of Pharaoh.

 

The details in the papyrus regarding the disasters that struck the people of Egypt are just as described in the Qur'an. In the Qur'an, we are told about these catastrophes. This Islamic account of this period of human history has been confirmed by the discovery in Egypt, in the early 19th century, of the Ipuwer papyruses dating back to the Middle Kingdom. After the discovery of this papyrus, it was sent to the Leiden Dutch Museum in 1909 and translated by A. H. Gardiner, a prominent scholar of ancient Egypt. In the papyrus were described such disasters in Egypt as famine, drought and the fleeing of the slaves from Egypt. Moreover, it appears that the writer of the papyrus, one Ipuwer, had actually witnessed these events. This is how the Ipuwer papyrus refers to these catastrophes described in the Qur'an:

Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere.205

The river is blood.206

Forsooth, that has perished which yesterday was seen. The land is left over to its weariness like the cutting of flax.207

Lower Egypt weeps... The entire palace is without its revenues. To it belong (by right) wheat and barley, geese and fish.208

Forsooth, grain has perished on every side.209

The land-to its whole extent confusion and terrible noise… For nine days there was no exit from the palace and no one could see the face of his fellow… Towns were destroyed by mighty tides… Upper Egypt suffered devastation… blood everywhere… pestilence throughout the country… No one really sails north to Byblos today. What shall we do for cedar for our mummies?… Gold is lacking…210

Men shrink from tasting-human beings, and thirst after water.211

That is our water! That is our happiness! What shall we do in respect thereof? All is ruin!212

The towns are destroyed. Upper Egypt has become dry.213

The residence is overturned in a minute.214

The chain of disasters which struck the people of Egypt, according to this document, conforms perfectly with the Qur'anic account of these matters.215 This papyrus, which closely parallels the catastrophes which struck Egypt in the time of Pharaoh, once again demonstrates the Qur'an to be divine in origin.

205. “The Plagues of Egypt,” Admonitions of Ipuwer 2:5-6, www.mystae.com/restricted/streams/thera/plagues.html.
206. Admonitions of Ipuwer 2:10, www.mystae.com/restricted/streams/thera/plagues.html.
207. Admonitions of Ipuwer 5:12, www.geocities.com/regkeith/linkipuwer.htm.
208. Admonitions of Ipuwer 10:3-6, www.geocities.com/regkeith/linkipuwer.htm.
209. Admonitions of Ipuwer 6:3, www.students.itu.edu.tr/~kusak/ipuwer.htm.
210. Admonitions of Ipuwer, www.mystae.com/restricted/streams/thera/plagues.html.
211. Admonitions of Ipuwer 2:10, www.geocities.com/regkeith/linkipuwer.htm.
212. Admonitions of Ipuwer 3:10-13, www.geocities.com/regkeith/linkipuwer.htm.
213. Admonitions of Ipuwer 2:11, www.geocities.com/regkeith/linkipuwer.htm.
214. Admonitions of Ipuwer 7:4, www.geocities.com/regkeith/linkipuwer.htm
215. Rabbi Mordechai Becher, “The Ten Plagues – Live From Egypt,” Ohr Somayach Institutions, www.ohr.org.il/special/pesach/ipuwer.htm.

2010-07-03 00:05:41

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