10 Lessons from the Life of Pharaoh


We’re living in times of great strife. The Muslim lands are in turmoil. There’s war, bloodshed, oppression, engineered famine, Syria, Myanmar, Yemen, Palestine the list goes on. We’re in a time of many ruthless leaders. We see and feel it and can do very little about it.

Pharoah & Musa peace be upon him (Moses) are the most quoted individuals in the Quran. I’m going to go through 10 lessons where we can take benefit  from the life of Pharaoh (Ramesses ll).

So this day we shall deliver your body that you may be a sign to those who come after you! And verily, many among mankind are heedless of our evidences. Quran 10:92


Pharaoh’s (Ramesses ll) body, Museum Cairo, Egypt

  1. Biggest lesson we take from Pharaoh is that he was tyrant that had everything at his disposal and would do anything to preserve it. The psychology of people is such that the more power we get the greater the possibility of being corrupted, feeling immune and being toxic with power.
  2. Pharaoh (Ramesses ll) was the most notorious leader in history, he had enslaved the nation of Egypt and was slaughtering all the male babies. He believed his kingdom would be overthrown due to rumour and a dream he had. He also proclaimed he was God. Allah wants to give hope in the story of Pharaoh that he helps the weak/oppressed people “And we wished to do a favour to those who were weak in the land, and to make them rulers and to make them the inheritors“, Quran 28:5.
  3. Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) pbuh had stated that the destruction of  Egypt would come from a Bani Israel, the nation that Pharoah had enslaved. So this became a rumour that reached Pharoah and he also had a dream, he was superstitious so it scared him. He had signs but didn’t reflect. He was too indulgent in this world. When you have a false sense of security, money, friends in high places and not much stands in your way, you forget Allah.
  4. Pharoah had thoughtful and reflective moments but he had an evil minister (Haman) that was sometimes worse than Pharaoh and the minister was the one who used to drive him, so much so he was mentioned in the Quran by name “Verily, Pharoah, Haman and their hosts were sinners“, Quran 28:8. Even tyrants have vulnerable moments and may even want to make a change but power is an intoxicant and seldom change. Do not set up around yourself a false sense of security, when you become successful and are moving in the right circles don’t let that intoxicate you. Look at the past and history and reflect over the stories.
  5. Allah ordered Musa pbuh to go to Pharaoh and to speak to him a soft tone, a tyrant, someone who proclaimed they were the highest Lord to give him an opportunity for change. This is a very important lesson for us as Muslims when giving dawah (talking to people about Islam).
  6. Musa pbuh had a  speech impediment and asked for support from his brother Harun (Aaron) because he was a more effective speaker, we don’t have to do everything alone, it’s okay to ask for help when someone is more effective than you.
  7. Pharoah had enslaved a nation, the Bani Israel, the tribes of the 12 sons of Yaqub pbuh (Jacob). They were a subjugated people and he put them to work as slave labour. Today people are enslaved without even letting them know and them liking it, by using indulgence in this world. Intoxicating them with entertainment, greed sexual indulgence and nobody says anything to you.
  8. When Allah wants to destroy someone he creates a context for it. Generally before a tyrant is destroyed they become more tyrannical and oppressive and Allah allows them to do their tyranny. Allah wants to establish proof against them and then catch them in a very vulnerable situation. Allah doesn’t destroy innocent people. What we learn from the Quran is the principle that it can only get worse to get better because Allah says when things get worse “Verily, with every hardship is relief“, Quran 94: 5/6.
  9. When Allah tells us something it is the truth and what he promises will happen. Pharoah tried to avoid the inevitable but Allah has his way to get these things done. This should not make us passive up hopeful to keep trying, Bashar Al Assad your time will come.
  10. There are many challenges occurring, Eman (faith) is being shaken. Allah is promising the believers but we have to believe in the unseen which is a massive challenge and requirement. Anything besides Allah that you have so much trust in will be difficult to get out of. May Allah strengthen us against all the Pharaonic ideas that will come around us, ameen.

These lessons are not just for hope against ruthless leaders but for us also, to be conscious in our relationships and dealings with others.

To listen to the full lecture click here.

May Allah bring peace to the Muslim lands and free them from tyranny.


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