The Exodus from
Egypt: Part III – The Identity of the Pharaoh
proclaimed among his people, saying: "O my people! Does not the dominion
of Egypt belong to me; (witness) these streams flowing underneath my (palace)?
What! See ye not then?”
The Holy Quran, Surah
This article is the final part of our
“The Exodus from Egypt” series. In the
last article, we analyzed the
historicity of the Exodus story, and showed that it is historically
plausible. Indeed, there can be little
doubt that the Israelites were in Egypt at one time and eventually resettled in
Canaan. In the finale to the series, we
will attempt to determine the identity of the mighty Pharaoh who oppressed the
Israelites, who rejected the warnings of the prophets Moses and Aaron, and who
was ultimately powerless to resist the might of the One God.
the Quran nor the Bible specifically identifies the Pharaoh of the Exodus by
name. However, there are certain clues
which can help us. Here we present the
evidence from the Quran.
the Bible, which describes two Pharaohs, the “Pharaoh of the Oppression” (who
took the infant Musa into his household) and the “Pharaoh of the Exodus” (who
reigned when Musa returned to Egypt as a prophet and led the Israelites to
freedom), the Quran seems to be clear that there was one Pharaoh (who was both the
“Pharaoh of the Oppression” and the “Pharaoh of the Exodus”),
since it does not mention that a Pharaoh died while Musa (peace be upon him)
was in Midian. In fact, the Quran seems
to suggest that the Pharaoh who adopted Musa (peace be upon him) was the same
who later refused to heed the prophet’s warnings to believe in the One True God
and to free the Israelites. This can be
seen from the following verse, where the Pharaoh reminds Musa (peace be upon
him) that he had taken him into his household as a child:
“(Pharaoh) said: "Did we not cherish thee
as a child among us, and didst thou not stay in our midst many years of thy
and Tafsir Ibn Abbas
indicate that the period of time that Musa (peace be upon him) lived in the Pharaoh’s
household was thirty years. Regardless
of whether this figure is correct or not, what is clear is that the noble
prophet had spent a significant amount of time in the Pharaoh’s household,
which explains why the Pharaoh reminded him how he had “cherished”
him “as a child among us”.
Therefore, up to this point, we can say
that there was only one Pharaoh and that he reigned for at least 20-30
years (see note #6 for clarification).
addition, the Quran states that Musa’s stay in Midian lasted at least 8-10
years, for that is how long he was to be in the service of his father-in-law in
“He said: "I intend to wed one of these
my daughters to thee, on condition that thou serve me for eight years; but if
thou complete ten years, it will be (grace) from thee. But I intend not to
place thee under a difficulty: thou wilt find me, indeed, if Allah wills, one
of the righteous." He said:
"Be that (the agreement) between me and thee: whichever of the two terms I
fulfil, let there be no ill-will to me. Be Allah a witness to what we
say." Now when Moses had fulfilled
the term, and was travelling with his family, he perceived a fire in the
direction of Mount Tur. He said to his family: "Tarry ye; I perceive a
fire; I hope to bring you from there some information, or a burning firebrand,
that ye may warm yourselves."”
It has been suggested
by most exegetes that Musa (peace be upon him) completed the full 10 years, but
even if he did not, we can say that at least 8-10 years went by between
his exile from Egypt and his return. So,
we can add at least another decade to the reign of the Pharaoh, since it was
the same one who had adopted Musa (peace be upon him) as a child. Hence, the reign of the Pharaoh must have
been at least 30-40 years long at the very least. It is not surprising then that we find the
following description of him by the classical scholar Al-Tabari:
“Among the pharaohs there was none more
insolent than he toward God, haughtier in speech, or longer-lived in his rule.”
Another clue regarding the Pharaoh’s
identity has been suggested by Fatoohi and Al-Dargazelli, who drew upon some
classical commentaries regarding the Quranic description of the Pharaoh as “ذُوالْأَوْتَادِ” (dhul awtad). They make a compelling case that the Arabic
word “awtad” refers to buildings, a point on which they differ from other
commentators. Therefore, the Pharaoh, they argue, was a
prodigious builder. Of course, even if
this argument could be refuted, the Quran does elsewhere still refer to the
Pharaoh’s propensity for building.
Describing how the Israelites “inherited” the Holy Land (see Part II for
our discussion on this), Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) states in the
“And We made a people, considered weak (and of
no account), inheritors of lands in both east and west, - lands whereon We sent
down Our blessings. The fair promise of thy Lord was fulfilled for the Children
of Israel, because they had patience and constancy, and We levelled to the
ground the great works and fine buildings which Pharaoh and his people erected
(with such pride).””
While this verse
seems to speak of the Pharaoh’s “great works and
fine buildings” in Canaan (as we showed in Part II), it stands to reason
that if he erected monuments in Canaan, he certainly would have done the same
in his homeland.
Finally, both the Quran and the
Bible describe the Pharaoh as a mighty ruler, with a strong military force
ready to obey his commands. For example,
the Quran states:
“But none believed in Moses except some
children of his people, because of the fear of Pharaoh and his chiefs, lest they should persecute them; and
certainly Pharaoh was mighty on the earth and one who
transgressed all bounds.”
Bible describes how the Pharaoh mobilized hundreds of chariots, indicating his
fierce military strength, in order to pursue the Israelites. Since the Pharaoh was obviously not
afraid of mobilizing his army to chase runaway slaves beyond the borders of
Egypt, it seems pretty clear that he was confident in his military prowess.
Based on the above analysis, we can
conclude the following characteristics regarding the Pharaoh of the Exodus:
reigned at least 30-40 years and probably more.
was a prodigious builder.
was a powerful military ruler.
The 1956 Hollywood movie “The Ten
Commandments” has no doubt contributed to the debate regarding the identity of
the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Indeed, it
would not be surprising if most people in modern times would assume that
Ramesses II, played so masterfully by Yul Brynner in the movie, was the
infamous Pharaoh. But what other
candidates are there and is Ramesses II really the obvious choice? Here we present the Pharaohs (in
chronological order) that scholars (both Muslim and non-Muslim) have considered
to be candidates to be the infamous tyrant of the Exodus.
Ahmose I (reigned
1550 -1525 BCE)
In the 2006 documentary “The Exodus Decoded”, filmmaker Simcha
Jacobovici suggested that Ahmose I, who founded the Eighteenth Dynasty after
driving out the Hyksos from Egypt, was the Pharaoh of
the Exodus. The basis for his theory was
the text of the so-called “Tempest Stela” (also known as the “Storm Stela”),
which as Jacobivici asserts:
“…speaks of a tremendous storm that involved
both upper and lower Egypt. It states that this storm displayed the “wrath” of
a “great God”. Notice it speaks of “God”
in the singular. It also states that this God was “greater” than the “gods” of
Egypt. According to the Storm Stela, the tempest plunged Egypt into total
“darkness” for a period of several days.”
He also points out
that the Jewish historian Josephus identified the Exodus with the expulsion of
the Hyksos, which would mean that Ahmose I was the ruler at the time.
However, there are problems with
Jacobivici’s theory. First and foremost,
the “great god” that the “Storm Stela” refers to seems to be the Egyptian deity
Amun, who was certainly not the God of Abraham whom the Israelites
worshiped. As Professor Anthony
Spalinger of the University of Auckland (New Zealand) states regarding the text
of the stela:
“The manifestation of ‘the great god’, clearly
Amun, is placed at the forefront of the literary account. […] The account of
the ‘catastrophe’ was theologically interpreted as ‘a manifestation of Amun’s
desire that Ahmose return to Thebes’.”
notes that the stela associates the storm with “the
Hyksos’ control over the land”. This would of course nullify any association
between Ahmose I and the Exodus, for the storm was not seen as divine
punishment for the Pharaoh’s refusal to free the Israelites from slavery, but
rather for the despised foreign rule of Egypt.
addition, there is also one simple reason why Ahmose I could not have been the
“Pharaoh” of the Exodus. Both the Quran
and the Bible specifically refer to the tyrannical ruler as “Pharaoh”, yet the
title was not used to refer to the ruler of Egypt earlier than the reign of
as we noted in the previous section, the Quran shows that the Pharaoh ruled for
at least 30-40 years. Ahmose I ruled for
25 years, which obviously falls short of this time period. Therefore, the theory that Ahmose I was the
Pharaoh of the Exodus has no merit.
- Thutmose I (reigned
1504 – 1492 BCE)
The famous Islamic commentator Abdullah Yusuf Ali surmised
that Thutmose I, the third Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty, was the Pharaoh
of the Exodus. He based this on the
assumption that the Pharaoh who adopted the infant Musa (peace be upon him) had
no son, which he had interpreted from the Quran:
“The wife of Pharaoh said: "(Here is) joy
of the eye, for me and for thee: slay him not. It may be that he will be of use
to us, or we may adopt him as a son." And they perceived not (what they
However, there is no
indication in this verse that would allow us to assume that the Pharaoh was
childless. Rather, the indication is
that his wife was the one who was childless.
This is what the 14th-century exegete Ibn Kathir stated in his tafsir:
“She wanted to take him and adopt him as a
son, because she had no children from Fir`awn.”
Hence, the assumption
that the Pharaoh had no children is difficult to sustain.
Furthermore, as we stated in the
previous section, the Quran seems to indicate that the Pharaoh of the Exodus
reigned for a significant amount of time, spanning at least from the birth of
Musa (peace be upon him) to his prophethood.
This would immediately disqualify Thutmose I, since he only ruled for a
period of 12 years. It would seem that
Yusuf Ali assumed that the story of the Exodus spanned the reigns of at least
two Pharaohs, but this assumption does not appear to line up with the Quranic
narrative. Therefore, we must reject
Thutmose I as a candidate. If anything,
Thutmose III should be considered a far better candidate, since he reigned for
a period of 54 years!
Also, as we noted above regarding
the theory that Ahmose I was the “Pharaoh” of the Exodus, the title would not
have been used to refer to Tuthmose I as ruler of Egypt. Therefore, as with Ahmose I, Tuthmose I could
not have been the Pharaoh of the Exodus for this simple reason.
- Tuthmose III (reigned
1479-1425 BCE) –
Due to the length of his reign, Tuthmose III seems like a
good candidate as the Pharaoh of the Exodus.
Indeed, he was sole ruler for almost 30 years (see note #28), which
seems to line up with the chronology of the life of the Prophet Musa (peace be
upon him), and he would have been the first ruler of Egypt to be specifically
referred to as “Pharaoh”. In addition,
Tuthmose III was a successful military leader and builder.
due to the different phases of his rule (first as a young child when his
aunt/stepmother Hatshepsut was regent, second as co-ruler with Hatshepsut and
third as co-ruler with his son Amenhotep II), it seems unlikely that he could
have been the infamous Pharaoh who refused to worship the God of Abraham and to
free the Israelites from slavery.
Neither the Quran nor the Bible suggests that the Pharaoh shared power
with other individuals. It could be
argued that perhaps the events of the Exodus occurred in the period when
Tuthmose III was sole ruler, but the fact is that if he was the Pharaoh of the
Exodus, he would have been the one who pursued the Israelites and who died
along with his army. Yet, in his last
two years, his son Amenhotep II was co-ruler, so it is expected that he too
would have participated in the pursuit and died along with his father. In fact, Amenhotep II would probably have led
the assault anyway, instead of his ailing father. Yet, it is known that Amenhotep II ruled for
another 25 years, until 1400 BCE. Therefore, Tuthmose III could not have been
the Pharaoh of the Exodus.
- Ramesses II (reigned
1279 – 1213 BCE)
The Pharaoh made famous by Yul Brynner’s performance in “The
Ten Commandments”, Ramesses II is perhaps the Egyptian ruler that most people
think of when considering who the Pharaoh of the Exodus could have been. Even among scholars, Ramesses II is most frequently
considered to be a plausible candidate.
The Biblical scholar John Bright stated regarding the Exodus:
“…a date rather well on in the thirteenth
century, perhaps late in the reign of Ramesses II, seems plausible.”
Also, Professor James
K. Hoffmeier has observed that:
“If there is a prevailing view among
historians, biblical scholars, and archaeologists, an exodus in the Ramesside
era (1279 – 1213 B.C.) is still favored.”
it is not only non-Muslim scholars who give credence to the theory that
Ramesses II was the Pharaoh of the Exodus.
Some Muslim scholars also support this theory. For example, Fatoohi and Al-Dargazelli state:
“We can, thus, conclude with certainty that
the Qur’an identified the Pharaoh of the oppression and exodus as Ramesses II…”
Thus, Ramesses II has
been widely considered to be a plausible choice. As we will now see, there are good reasons
and foremost, what makes Ramesses II not only the plausible but perhaps the
obvious choice is the fact that he was the longest-reigning Pharaoh in the
history of ancient Egypt. Dates for the
reigns of the rulers of Egypt are often a matter of debate, but there is
virtually no debate as to the reign of Ramesses II. We can confidently say that he ruled for over
65 years. Hence, he fulfills the first
characteristic mentioned in the previous section.
Ramesses II is perhaps ancient Egypt’s most famous builder. As Fatoohi and Al-Dargazelli state:
“This Pharaoh was involved in building
projects more than any other Pharaoh in the history of Egypt. He erected huge statues and built temples
is also known that Ramesses II, along with Seti I (his father) and Merneptah
(his son), were all active with building projects in Canaan as well. According to Professor Shmuel Ahituv of
“Egyptian military activity in Canaan during
the 19th Dynasty is attested not only in inscriptions in Egypt, but also in
Egyptian monuments in Canaan. Stelae of
Seti I, Ramesses II and Merenptah have all been found there.”
Thus, Ramesses II
fulfills the second characteristic as well, though other rulers of Egypt, such
as Tuthmose III, were also prodigious builders as previously mentioned.
Third, Ramesses II is also
remembered for his military activity and power.
As we just mentioned, Egyptian artifacts in Canaan attest to his
military operations there. Indeed, one
of the most famous battles of antiquity was the clash between Ramesses II and
the Hittite king Muwatallis at Kadesh. Hence, there is little doubt that Ramesses II
could boast about his military prowess.
In other words, he meets the third characteristic, though other
Egyptians rulers, like Tuthmose III, Seti I and Merneptah were also known as
conquerors. However, unlike these other
kings, Ramesses II is the only one who meets all three criteria. Hence, he is perhaps the strongest candidate
for the title “Pharaoh of the Exodus”.
- Merneptah (reigned
1213 – 1203 BCE)
Islamic scholars Dr. Maurice Bucaille and Dr. Shauqi
have independently suggested that Merneptah, the son and successor of Ramesses
II, was the Pharaoh of the Exodus.
However, this theory fails because Merneptah only ruled for 10 years,
and was hardly the longest reigning Pharaoh, as Tabari described the Pharaoh of
the Exodus. In addition, the so-called
“Merneptah Stele”, which we discussed in Part II, indicates that Merneptah had
fought against “Israel” in Canaan, which would nullify identifying him as the
Pharaoh of the Exodus, since both the Bible and the Quran indicate that the
Pharaoh drowned during his pursuit of the Israelites. Even if we allow for the assumption that the
“Israel” of the stele was a different group than the Israelites under Musa
(peace be upon him), as Bucaille suggests, it is difficult
to maintain the theory since Merneptah’s campaign in Canaan occurred in the
fifth year of his reign. That would mean
that after successfully completing his campaign, Merneptah returned to Egypt
only to find the Israelites, led by the prophet Musa (peace be upon him),
clamoring for freedom. If his father
Ramesses II had been the “Pharaoh of the Oppression”, then one would assume
that Merneptah would be much more concerned with keeping a close eye on the
children of Israel in Egypt, rather than “Israel” in Canaan.
we have seen, Ramesses II is the only Egyptian ruler who meets all three
criteria we previously mentioned. It
seems a foregone conclusion that he was the tyrant who challenged the power of
Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) and lost everything, including his
life. Therefore, we can now answer the
question posed in Part II. When did the
Exodus actually occur? Since it was most
likely Ramesses II who adopted the infant Musa (peace be upon him), and who
pursued the Israelites to his ultimate doom, we can conclude that the Exodus
occurred around the year 1213 BCE, which is when Ramesses’ decades-long rule
came to an abrupt and humiliating end.
And Allah knows best!
 It should be noted that
the identity of the Pharaoh cannot be determined with absolute certainty and
what is presented in this article is merely an educated guess. Using clues taken mostly from the Quran, we
will merely suggest the identity of the Pharaoh. Of course, his identity has been the subject
of much debate and speculation for centuries, and many authors and scholars
have suggested a variety of candidates, from Ahmose I to Merneptah.
course, if the Israelites had been enslaved for a significant amount of time,
as we discussed in Part II, then there would have been several “Pharaohs of the
Oppression”, as each successive Pharaoh would have continued the enslavement of
As-Shuara, 26:18 (Yusuf Ali Translation).
Quran states that the episode of Musa’s accidental killing of an Egyptian
occurred after he had attained “full age”:
“When he reached full age, and was firmly established (in life),
We bestowed on him wisdom and knowledge: for thus do We reward those who do
(Surah Al-Qasas, 28:14).
Scholars differ as to the exact meaning of the term “full
age”. The Tafsir
Al-Jalalayn and the Tafsir
Ibn Abbas both state that Musa had reached 40 years of age by this
time, which actually contradicts their claim that he had stayed in the
Pharaoh’s household for 30 years. In the
of Ibn Kathir, on the other hand, Musa’s exact age is not
mentioned. On the other hand, the
contemporary scholars Louay Fatoohi and Shetha Al-Dargazelli suggest that he “could have been 20-22 years [old] when he left Egypt to Midian (The
Mystery of Israel in Egypt: The Exodus in the Qur’an, the Old Testament,
Archaeological Finds, and Historical Sources (Birmingham: Luna Plena
Publishing, 2008), p. 103). We can only
speculate as to which view is correct.
Allah knows best.
History of Al-Tabari, Volume 3: The Children of Israel,
trans. William M. Brinner (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991),
Interestingly, Al-Tabari even mentioned the Pharaoh’s name,
albeit in Arabic! According to Tabari,
his name was Al-Walid b. Mus’ab.
Unfortunately, it does not help us in determining the actual identity of
and Al-Dargazelli, op. cit., pp.
exegetes have translated the word as “stakes” or “pegs”, which Fatoohi and
Al-Dargazelli disagree with.
Regarding the interpretation of “awtad” as “stakes”, some
Islamic scholars believe that this refers to the act of impalement (a form of
crucifixion). Indeed, impalement was a
common form of execution used by the Egyptians and has been documented in the
reigns of such rulers as Amenophis IV (Akhenaten), Seti I, and Merneptah. See the following for more on the use of
impalement in ancient Egypt: http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Contrad/External/crucify.html
 It is
a near certainty that the Pharaoh of the Exodus reigned for several decades,
and as we will see, it is the single-most important characteristic that will
help us to determine the identity of the Pharaoh and eliminate some of the
 As we
will see, however, this characteristic can be applied to multiple Egyptian
rulers, so it will not be helpful by itself in determining the identity
of the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Only when taken
together with the other two characteristics will it aid in our endeavor.
Bright, A History of Israel, Third Edition (Philadelphia: Westminster
Press, 1981), p. 61.
Flavius Josephus, Against Apion, 1:14.
Spalinger, “The Army,” in The Egyptian
World, ed. Toby Wilkinson (New York: Routledge, 2013), p. 121.
Fatoohi and Al-Dargazelli, op. cit.,
Ali stated in his commentary to 28:9:
“…Pharaoh had apparently no son, but only a daughter, who
afterwards shared his throne. This is on
the supposition that the Pharaoh was Thothmes I…”
 Surah Al-Qasas 28:9.
reign lasted from 1479-1425 BCE. See
note 28 for more.
reign of Tuthmose III includes the periods when his aunt and stepmother, Hatshepsut,
was regent (from 1479-1473) and co-ruler (from 1473-1458) and when his son,
Amenhotep II, was co-ruler in the last two years of his father’s reign (from
1427-1425). Hence, Tuthmose III actually
only ruled by himself for a period of around 30 years.
Describing Tuthmose III’s achievements, the above source
“The great wealth from his campaigns enabled him to build more
than fifty temples in Egypt, Nubia, and Palestine, but he lavished special
attention on Karnak, which he completely rebuilt and expanded, including adding
a sacred lake.”
op. cit., p. 124.
K. Hoffmeier, Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the
Exodus Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 126.
and Al-Dargazelli, op. cit., p. 106.
Ahituv, “Canaanites” in Encyclopedia of
the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, ed. Kathryn A. Bard (New York: Routledge,
1999), p. 189.
Though the battle was a stalemate, Ramesses II, being the
proud and boastful ruler that he was, actually claimed victory. As John Bright noted:
“With no excess of modesty Ramesses tells us how his own
personal valor saved the day and turned defeat into smashing victory. It was nothing of the kind!” (Bright,
op. cit., p. 113)
Bucaille, The Bible, the Qur’an and Science: The Holy Scriptures Examined in
the Light of Modern Knowledge (New York: Tharike Tarsile Qur’an, Inc., 2003),
In fact, Bucaille claims that Ramesses II was the “Pharaoh
of the Oppression” while Merneptah was the “Pharaoh of the Exodus”, an
assumption that is clearly influenced by the Bible. However, as we have seen, there is no reason
to make this assumption, since the Holy Quran does not support it.
Abu Khalil, Atlas of the Qur’an: Places.
Nations. Landmarks, First
Edition (Riyadh: Darussalam, 2003), p. 105.
On a side note, Dr. Abu Khalil puts Merneptah’s reign from
1230 to 1215 BCE, whereas most other sources place his reign from the years
1213-1203. It is unclear what Dr. Abu
Khalil based his chronology on.
It seems that the former opinion is weak. Perhaps it is more the result of the
influence of popular media, such as the movie “The Ten Commandments” (in which
Ramesses II survived the destruction of his army), rather than an honest
reading of the Bible (though one could argue that it is precisely the Bible’s
confusing and inconsistent narrative which is part of the problem). Of course, in either case, the Biblical
version is certainly not the final authority on this matter, given its obvious
status as a man-made book and not the “inspired” word of God, as we have shown
in other articles on this blog, including Part I of this series.
op. cit., pp. 251-252. See note 41 for more.
However, there is still the matter of the “Merneptah Stele”, which describes
how the successor of Ramesses II made war against “Israel” in Canaan. This campaign occurred during the middle of
Merneptah’s reign, around 1207 BCE, a mere 5-6 years after the death of
Ramesses II. Yet it is expected that the
Israelites under the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) would still have been
wandering in the wilderness, so how could they have been fighting the
Egyptians? This conundrum can be solved
in one of two ways. First, it could be
that the “Israel” that Merneptah fought against was a separate group from the
Israelites who escaped slavery led by Musa (peace be upon him). This has been suggested by some western scholars,
such as John Bright and Roland De Vaux. The
latter stated the following:
“In the South, the time when communities related to the
Israelites settled in the Kadesh region is unclear and dates from before the
(As quoted in Bucaille, op. cit., p.
Hence, according to this view, Merneptah had fought against
an Israelite group which was separate from the Israelites under Musa, and thus,
the “Merneptah Stele” actually creates no issues with the theory that the
Israelites escaped Egypt in 1213 BCE and continued to wander for the next 40 years.
The second possible solution is that Merneptah had actually
fought against the Israelites under Musa (peace be upon him). The Quran provides a possible context for
this battle. As Fatoohi and
“As Merneptah’s campaign occurred no later than 5 years after
the exodus, any encounter that his army had with the Israelites must have been
outside the holy land, which is part of Canaan.
If those portrayed in the Karnak battle reliefs as a people with no
fortified city were indeed the Israelites, then Merneptah’s Canaanite campaign
would have occurred prior to Israel’s entry into the town mentioned in [Surah
Al-Baqarah, 2:61]” (Fatoohi and Al-Dargazelli, op. cit., p. 164).
The verse (2:61) which Fatoohi and Al-Dargazelli refer to
states the following:
“And remember ye said: "O Moses! We cannot endure one kind
of food (always); so beseech thy Lord for us to produce for us of what the
earth groweth; its pot-herbs, and cucumbers, its garlic, lentils, and
onions." He said: "Will ye exchange the better for the worse? Go ye
down to any town, and ye shall find what ye want!" They were covered with
humiliation and misery; they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah. This is
because they went on rejecting the Signs of Allah and slaying His Messengers without
just cause. This is because they rebelled and went on transgressing.”
Hence, according to this view, the rebellious Israelites
were punished for their insolence, and this punishment took the form of the
Egyptian army under the new Pharaoh, Merneptah.
Allah knows best.