“We granted Moses nine clear signs. Ask the Children of Israel about it: when these signs came forth, Pharaoh said to him: ‘O Moses, I think that you are bewitched’. Moses replied: ‘You know well that no one but the Lord of the heavens and the earth has sent these as eye opening proofs. I truly think, O Pharaoh, that you are indeed doomed’.”
( Qur'an – 17:101-102)
The Makkan polytheists would often brand the Holy Messenger Muhammad (may Allah bless and greet him) as one afflicted by sorcery. This allegation has already been mentioned in the verse 17:47: ‘You are only following one who is bewitched’. Here it is being emphasised how very similar were the people of Pharaoh who had hurled exactly the same charge at Moses (may Allah bless and greet him). The Qur'an states clearly that Pharaoh’s allegation that Moses was affected by sorcery is false.
The reply of the Prophet Moses to the people of Pharaoh was to emphasise the fact that the calamities which befell people could only be from God. There was widespread famine across the land. Frogs in large numbers infested a vast area, covering hundreds of thousands of square miles. Food stocks in the barns throughout the land were eaten up by weevils. Calamities such as these could not be the result of some magician’s sorcery, or the manifestation of some human being’s extraordinary power.
It is also significant that each calamity which befell the people did so after Moses had warned Pharaoh that such things would happen if he did not give up his obduracy. In such a case, only a lunatic or an incorrigibly obdurate person can entertain the belief that such calamities could have been brought about by anyone other than the Lord of the Universe. The Prophet Moses had stated quite clearly and while he was not afflicted with sorcery, that Pharaoh was doubtlessly doomed. This was evident from the latter’s total obduracy, and his firm refusal to accept the truth.