[Fir’awn]- An Oppressive Disbeliever Who Gave No Importance to the Affairs of a Particular Group of People in His Society
Allaah (The Most High) said:
إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ عَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَجَعَلَ أَهْلَهَا شِيَعًا يَسْتَضْعِفُ طَائِفَةً مِّنْهُمْ يُذَبِّحُ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيِي نِسَاءَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ
Verily, Fir’aun (Pharaoh) exalted himself in the land and made its people sects, weakening (oppressing) a group (i.e. Children of Israel) among them, killing their sons, and letting their females live. Verily, he was of the Mufsidun (i.e. those who commit great sins and crimes, oppressors, tyrants, etc.). [Soorah Al-Qasas Ayah 4]
[إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ عَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ – Verily, Fir’aun (Pharaoh) exalted himself in the land]; (exalted himself)] in his kingdom, authority, army and might.
[وَجَعَلَ أَهْلَهَا شِيَعًا – and made its people sects]; – (divided them into) different groups, behaved towards them in a way that suited his desires and executed his dominance and strength amongst them based on what he wished.
[يَسْتَضْعِفُ طَائِفَةً مِّنْهُمْ – weakening (oppressing) a group among them]; that group was Bani Israa’eel whom Allaah preferred above mankind during their era – who were worthy of being honoured and elevated, however he oppressed them. He neither cared about them nor gave importance to their affairs, to the extent that he [يُذَبِّحُ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيِي نِسَاءَهُمْ – killing their sons, and letting their females live]- out of fearing that they will become many, plentiful in his land and have kingship.
[إِنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ – Verily, he was of the Mufsidun]- those who neither intend rectification in the affairs of the religion nor in the worldly affairs, and this was his corruption in the earth.
[Abridged & slightly paraphrased.. source: Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan’ by Imaam Sadi (rahimahullaah). Publisher: Daar Ibn Hazm 1st Ed 1424AH (Year 2003)]