form a row; for he is prosperous to-day who has the upper hand.’
Said they, ‘ O Moses ! either thou must throw, or we must be the first to throw.’
He said, ‘ Nay, throw ye !’ and lo! their ropes and their staves appeared to move along. 70 And Moses felt a secret fear within his soul.
Said we, ‘ Fear not ! thou shalt have the upper hand. Throw down what is in thy right hand; and it shall devour what they have made. Verily, what they have made is but a magician's trick ; and no magician shall prosper wherever he comes.’
And the magicians were cast down in adoration ; said they, ‘ We believe in the Lord of Aaron and of Moses !’
Said he, ‘ Do ye believe in Him before I give you leave ? Verily, he is your master who taught you magic! Therefore will I surely cut off your hands and feet on alternate sides, and I will surely crucify you on the trunks of palm trees; and ye shall surely know which of us is keenest at torment and more lasting.’
75 Said they, ‘ We will never prefer thee to what has come to us of manifest signs, and to Him who originated us. Decide then what thou canst decide ; thou canst only decide in the life of this world ! Verily, we believe in our Lord, that He may pardon us our sins, and the magic thou hast forced us to use ; and God is better and more lasting !’
Verily, he who comes to his Lord a sinner, — verily, for him is hell ; he shall not die herein, and shall not live.