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Does verse 25:36 mean that the Egyptians ceased to exist as a people after the Exodus?

And We said, "Go both of you to the people who have denied Our signs." Then We destroyed them with [complete] destruction. (25:36)

And Pharaoh called out among his people; he said, "O my people, does not the kingdom of Egypt belong to me, and these rivers flowing beneath me; then do you not see? Or am I [not] better than this one who is insignificant and hardly makes himself clear? Then why have there not been placed upon him bracelets of gold or come with him the angels in conjunction?" So he bluffed his people, and they obeyed him. Indeed, they were [themselves] a people defiantly disobedient [of Allah]. And when they angered Us, We took retribution from them and drowned them all.(43:51-55)

So Pharaoh pursued them with his soldiers, and there covered them from the sea that which covered them(20:78)

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2 Answers 2

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I am a native Egyptian. I'm not a Sheikh, but I will try to help you. Allah destroyed Pharaoh and his army by drowning in the sea. The verses are talking about them, and the pronoun "They" only means the Pharaoh and the army. The word "Ajmain" is called in arabic an emphasis in the meaning. It emphasizes the pronoun "They" to add the meaning that all of them drowned, and it is known that all those who followed Musa and Bani Israel to kill them drowned. Of course it was when the sea returned to normal after being split into two parts, and that doesn't mean it flooded and killed everyone in Egypt.

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The Quran must be understood in its context. One cannot take an individual verse and expect to understand the full context usually. Verses should be understood in the verses preceding it, proceeding it, the surah it's in, and even the Quran as a whole.

Quran 43:51-56 are a group of verses which recounts the Pharoah's arrogance, ignorance, and his fate which was him and his army drowning in the red sea. If you take 43:55 by itself then it can confuse one on what the word "Ajmaeen" means so you must understand it in the group of verses it is associated with.

Tafsir

So when they roused Our Anger, We took vengeance upon them and drowned them all together.

Quran 43:55

This is one of several references in the Quran to the drowning of Pharaoh and his army; see also 2:50; 7:136c; 8:54; 10:90; 17:102–3; 28:40; 44:23–24; 51:40. The Prophet is reported to have recited this verse after saying, “When you see that God gives a person what he wants even though he persists in sin, that means that God is enticing him into destruction” (IK).

Quran 43:55 Study Quran Commentary

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  • the word for his people is "Qawmaho". So all of his followers/people, those who agree/believed in the Pharoah, pursued Musa along with him. A person who happened to live under Pharoah but was against him wouldn't be a part of his "Qawm" in this sense.
    – YoMango
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 21:23
  • There have been many prophets who appealed to a certain society and some of them believed. Those that believed weren't punished. A non-Muslim living in a Muslim-majority country doesn't make him part the Ummah. So all those that agreed, believed in the Pharoah were his "Qawm", his people in a sense. And they followed the Pharoah to his doom, dooming themselves as well.
    – YoMango
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 21:31
  • I think you're taking the words "his people" too literally. Some verses in the Quran clarify or get more specific in a topic that some other verses we're vague about. So we see that some of the verses say "his people". We also know that the Pharoah's army are a part of "his people". Quran 10:90 explicitly states that the Pharoah and his soldiers pursued Musa and then were drowned. So those who drowned "all together" would be the Pharoah and his soldiers.
    – YoMango
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 23:35
  • For total annihilation, I don't think so, and I don't think that view is prevalent in Islamic classical traditions either. The Pharoah during Prophet Musa's time was most likely one of the Ramses so we know that there were other Pharoah's after them. So if all of Egypt and it's entire civilization was destroyed then we wouldn't have had anymore pharaoah's after the Ramses Pharoahs.
    – YoMango
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 23:50
  • Unless they were part of Pharoah's army that pursued Musa and Beni Israel, then there's no reason to believe anyone else drowned in the red sea.
    – YoMango
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 22:26

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