Skip to main content
qāla
قَالَ
He said,
alqū
أَلْقُوا۟ۖ
"Throw."
falammā
فَلَمَّآ
Then when
alqaw
أَلْقَوْا۟
they threw,
saḥarū
سَحَرُوٓا۟
they bewitched
aʿyuna
أَعْيُنَ
(the) eyes
l-nāsi
ٱلنَّاسِ
(of) the people,
wa-is'tarhabūhum
وَٱسْتَرْهَبُوهُمْ
and terrified them
wajāū
وَجَآءُو
and came (up)
bisiḥ'rin
بِسِحْرٍ
with a magic
ʿaẓīmin
عَظِيمٍ
great.

Qaala alqoo falam maaa alqaw saharooo a'yunannaasi wastarhaboohum wa jaaa'oo bisihrin 'azeem

Sahih International:

He said, "Throw," and when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people and struck terror into them, and they presented a great [feat of] magic.

1 A. J. Arberry

He said, 'You cast.' And when they cast they put a Spell upon the people's eyes, and called forth fear of them, and produced a mighty sorcery.

2 Abdul Haleem

He said, ‘You throw,’ and they did, casting a spell on people’s eyes, striking fear into them, and bringing about great sorcery.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

He said: cast ye. Then when they cast clown, they enchanted the eyes of the people, and terrified them and brought mighty magic to bear.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Said Moses; "Throw ye (first)." So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them; for they showed a great (feat of) magic.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Moses said: 'You throw.' So when they threw [their rods], they enchanted the eyes of the people, and struck them with awe, and produced a mighty sorcery.

6 Ahmed Ali

"You cast it first," answered Moses. When they cast their spell, they bewitched the eyes of the people and petrified them by conjuring up a great charm.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

He said, “You throw”; when they threw, they cast a magic spell upon the people’s eyes and terrified them, and they brought a great magic.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

He said, ‘Throw [yours].’ So when they threw, they bewitched the people’s eyes and overawed them, producing a tremendous magic.

9 Ali Ünal

He answered: "Throw!" And when they threw (whatever they held in their hands to make spells) they cast a spell upon the people’s eyes (i.e. overawed and deluded them), and produced a mighty sorcery.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

(Moses) said, `You may present (first, what you have).´ And when they presented (their devices) they cast a spell on the peoples´ eyes and sought to strike awe into them and they came out with a mighty enchantment.

11 English Literal

He said: "Throw/throw away." So when they threw/threw away, they bewitched/enchanted the people`s eyes/sights and they terrorized/terrified them, and they came with great magic/sorcery. (IF GOD REFEREED TO THE MAGIC AS "GREAT" THEN IT MUST REALLY HAVE BEEN EXTRAORDINARY BY ANY STANDARD)

12 Faridul Haque

He said, "You throw"; when they threw, they cast a magic spell upon the people’s eyes and terrified them, and they brought a great magic.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Said he, "Throw first". And when they threw down their rods, they bewitched (hypnotized) the people´s eyes, and struck terror into them, for they did a mighty magic.

14 Hilali & Khan

He [Musa (Moses)] said: "Throw you (first)." So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them, and they displayed a great magic.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

They said: O Moses, wilt thou cast, or shall we (be the first to) cast?

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

He said: Cast. So when they cast, they deceived the people's eyes and frightened them, and they produced a mighty enchantment.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

He said: Throw! And when they threw they cast a spell upon the people's eyes, and overawed them, and produced a mighty spell.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

He replied, "Throw yours first." Their great magic bewitched people's eyes and terrified them.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

'Throw' he replied. And when they threw, they bewitched the people's eyes and terrified them, and produced great sorcery.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

He [Musa] said: "Throw you (first)." So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them, and they displayed a great trick.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

He said, "You throw [first]!" When they made their cast, they bewitched the eyes of the people and struck them with awe, for they showed a great [feat of] magic.

22 Talal Itani

He said, “You throw!” And when they threw, they beguiled the eyes of the people, and intimidated them, and produced a mighty magic.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

He said, `Cast!', this is a command permitting them to cast first, as a means to manifesting the truth. And when they cast, their ropes and staffs, they put a spell upon the people's eyes, misleading them from perceiving the real state of these [ropes and staffs], and overawed them, scared them, by making them appear to be slithering snakes, and produced a mighty sorcery.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

قَالَ أَلْقُوْاْ

He (Musa) said;"Throw you (first)."

Musa said to them, you throw first.

It was said that the wisdom behind asking them to throw first, is that - Allah knows best - the people might witness the magicians' sorcery first. When the magicians had cast their spell and captured the eyes, the clear and unequivocal truth came, at a time when they all anticipated and waited for it to come, thus making the truth even more impressive to their hearts. This is what happened.

Allah said,

فَلَمَّا أَلْقَوْاْ سَحَرُواْ أَعْيُنَ النَّاسِ وَاسْتَرْهَبُوهُمْ

So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them,

meaning, they deceived the eyes and made them think that that trick was real, when it was only an illusion, just as Allah said,

فَأَوْجَسَ فِى نَفْسِهِ خِيفَةً مُّوسَى

قُلْنَا لَا تَخَفْ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الاٌّعْلَى

وَأَلْقِ مَا فِى يَمِينِكَ تَلْقَفْ مَا صَنَعُواْ إِنَّمَا صَنَعُواْ كَيْدُ سَاحِرٍ وَلَا يُفْلِحُ السَّـحِرُ حَيْثُ أَتَى

So Musa conceived fear in himself. We (Allah) said;"Fear not! Surely, you will have the upper hand. And throw that which is in your right hand! It will swallow up that which they have made. That which they have made is only a magician's trick, and the magician will never be successful, to whatever amount (of skill) he may attain." (20;67-69)

Ibn Abbas commented that the magicians threw,

"Thick ropes and long sticks, and they appeared to be crawling, an illusion that they created with their magic."

وَجَاءوا بِسِحْرٍ عَظِيمٍ



and they displayed a great trick