Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded that Ma`diykarib said: "We came to `Abdullah and asked him to recite to us:
(Ta Sin Mim.) the two hundred. He said, `I do not know it; you should go to someone who learned it from the Messenger of Allah Khabbab bin Al-Aratt.' So we went to Khabbab bin Al-Aratt and he recited it to us, may Allah be pleased with him.''
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
(1. Ta Sin Mim) (2. These are the Ayat of the manifest Book.) (3. We recite to you some of the news of Musa and Fir`awn in truth, for a people who believe.) (4. Verily, Fir`awn exalted himself in the land and made its people Shiya`a, weakening a group among them: killing their sons, and letting their females live. Verily, he was of the mischief-makers.) (5. And We wished to do a favor to those who were weak in the land, and to make them rulers and to make them the inheritors,) (6. And to establish them in the land, and We let Fir`awn and Haman and their armies receive from them that which they feared.)
We have already discussed the significance of the separate letters.
(These are the Ayat of the manifest Book.) means the Book which is clear and makes plain the true reality of things, and tells us about what happened and what will happen.
(We recite to you some of the news of Musa and Fir`awn in truth,) This is like the Ayah,
(We relate unto you the best of stories) (12:3). which means, `We tell you about things as they really were, as if you are there and are seeing them yourself.' Then Allah says:
(Verily, Fir`awn exalted himself in the land) means, he was an arrogant oppressor and tyrant.
(and made its people Shiya`) means, he made them into different classes, each of which he used to do whatever he wanted of the affairs of his state.
(weakening a group among them.) This refers to the Children of Israel, who at that time were the best of people, even though this tyrant king overpowered them, using them to do the most menial work and forcing them to hard labor night and day for him and his people. At the same time, he was killing their sons and letting their daughters live, to humiliate them and because he feared that there might appear among them the boy who would be the cause of his destruction and the downfall of his kingdom. So Fir`awn took precautions against that happening, by ordering that all boys born to the Children of Israel should be killed, but this precaution did not protect him against the divine decree, because when the term of Allah comes, it cannot be delayed, and for each and every matter there is a decree from Allah. Allah says:
(And We wished to do a favor to those who were weak in the land,) until His saying;
(which they feared.) And Allah did indeed do this to them, as He says:
(And We made the people who were considered weak) until His saying;
(they erected) (7:137). And Allah said:
(Thus and We caused the Children of Israel to inherit them) (26: 59). Fir`awn hoped that by his strength and power he would be saved from Musa, but that did not help him in the slightest. Despite his great power as a king he could not oppose the decree of Allah, which can never be overcome. On the contrary, Allah's ruling was carried out, for it had been written and decreed from past eternity that Fir`awn would meet his doom at the hands of Musa.
(7. And We inspired the mother of Musa: "Suckle him (Musa), but when you fear for him, then cast him into the river and fear not, nor grieve. Verily, We shall bring him back to you, and shall make him one of the Messengers.'') (8. Then the household of Fir`awn picked him up, that he might become for them an enemy and a (cause of) grief. Verily, Fir`awn, Haman and their armies were sinners.) (9. And the wife of Fir`awn said: "A comfort of the eye for me and for you. Kill him not, perhaps he may be of benefit to us, or we may adopt him as a son.'' And they perceived not.)
It was mentioned that when Fir`awn killed so many of the males of the Children of Israel, the Copts were scared that the Children of Israel would die out, and they themselves would have to do the heavy labor that the Children of Israel used to do. So they said to Fir`awn, "If this continues, and their old men die and the young men are killed, their women will not be able to do the work that the men are doing, and we will end up having to do it.'' So Fir`awn issued orders that the boys should be killed one year, and left alone the following year. Harun, (peace be upon him) was born in a year when the boys were not killed, and Musa was born in a year when the boys were being killed. Fir`awn had people who were entrusted with this task. There were midwives who would go around and check on the women, and if they noticed that any woman was pregnant, they would write her name down. When the time came for her to give birth, no one was allowed to attend her except for Coptic women. If the woman gave birth to a girl, they would leave her alone and go away, but if she gave birth to a boy, the killers would come in with their sharp knives and kill the child, then they would go away; may Allah curse them. When the mother of Musa became pregnant with him, she did not show any signs of pregnancy as other women did, and none of the midwives noticed. But when she gave birth to a boy, she became very distressed and did not know what to do with him. She was extremely scared for him, because she loved him very much. No one ever saw Musa, (peace be upon him) but they loved him, and the blessed ones were those who loved him both as a natural feeling and because he was a Prophet. Allah says:
(And I endued you with love from Me) (20:39).
When Musa's mother became so worried and confused, it was inspired into her heart and mind what she should do, as Allah says:
(And We inspired the mother of Musa (telling): "Suckle him, but when you fear for him, then cast him into the river and fear not, nor grieve. Verily, We shall bring him back to you, and shall make him one of (Our) Messengers.'') Her house was on the banks of the Nile, so she took a box and made it into a cradle, and started to nurse her child. When someone came to her that she was afraid of, she would go and put him in that box and put it in the river, and she would tie it with a rope. One day someone that she was afraid of came to the house, so she went and put the child in that box and put it in the river, but she forgot to tie it. The water carried him away, past the house of Fir`awn, where some servant women picked the box up and took it to Fir`awn's wife. They did not know what was inside, and they were afraid that they would be in trouble if they opened it without her. When the box was opened, they saw it was a child with the most beautiful features. Allah filled her heart with love for him when she saw him; this was because she was blessed and because Allah wanted to honor her and cause her husband's doom. Allah says:
(Then the household of Fir`awn picked him up, that he might become for them an enemy and a (cause of) grief.) Allah says:
(Verily, Fir`awn, Haman and their armies were sinners.)
(And the wife of Fir`awn said: "A comfort of the eye for me and for you...'') means, when Fir`awn saw him, he wanted to kill him, fearing that he was one of the Children of Israel. But his wife Asiyah bint Muzahim came to the child's defense and tried to endear him to Fir`awn, saying,
(A comfort of the eye for me and for you.) Fir`awn said: "For you he may be, but not for me. And this was indeed the case: Allah guided her because of him, and destroyed him at his hands.
(perhaps he may be of benefit to us,) This is indeed what happened in her case, for Allah guided her through him and caused her to dwell in Paradise because of him.
(or we may adopt him as a son.) She wanted to take him and adopt him as a son, because she had no children from Fir`awn.
(And they perceived not.) means, they did not know what Allah planned for them when they picked him up, by His great wisdom and definitive proof.
(10. And the heart of the mother of Musa became empty. She was very near to disclose his (case), had We not strengthened her heart, so that she might remain as one of the believers.) (11. And she said to his sister: "Follow him.'' So she watched him from a far place (secretly), while they perceived not.) (12. And We had already forbidden foster suckling mothers for him, until she said: "Shall I direct you to a household who will rear him for you, and look after him in a good manner'') (13. So We restored him to his mother, that her eye might be comforted, and that she might not grieve, and that she might know that the promise of Allah is true. But most of them know not.)