Prophet Musa/ Moses (PBUH) in Islam
Ya`qub (AS) and his grandchildren, known as the Banu Isra`il/ Israelites, settled in Egypt. They controlled the farms and industries, and enjoyed great influence. Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, took pride in his race and material civilisation. He feared the loss of his kingship and thus decided to confiscate the lands of the Israelites, grievously oppress them and enslave them [Qur`an – 28: 1-6]. He once learned that a baby would soon be born among the Israelites who would redeem them and cause his downfall. Pharaoh therefore decreed that any new-born to the Israelites should be murdered and their girls should be enslaved. Several innocent babies were mercilessly killed. However, while he hoped to crush the Israelites, Allah had planned to protect them. [7: 137; 42: 57-9]
There was a man called Imran amongst the Israelites who was from the progeny of Ibrahim (AS). His wife gave birth to a baby and she feared for the safety of her baby. Allah soothed her and inspired to her to place the baby in a basket and to cast him in the river (when she feared the loss of the baby) and promised to return him to her. Thus, the mother left the basket untied in the river and it floated until it reached Pharaoh`s palace. Pharaoh`s wife, known as Asiya, was on the bank of the Nile and ordered for the basket. Once she saw the baby in the basket, she felt a great amount of love for him dearly and pleaded her husband not to kill him but to bring him up until he reluctantly allowed her to keep this beautiful baby. However, the baby would not accept the milk of any of the nurses. Eventually, the baby`s sister, without revealing herself, proposed a family who would breastfeed this child and look after him. Hence, in this manner, the baby returned to his mother for some time. [28: 7-13; 20: 37-40]
Asiya named this baby Musa (also known as Moses). He eventually found out the truth but kept quiet. This child grew up in the palace of Pharaoh but worshipped Allah only. Allah increased him in knowledge and strength. [28: 14] He saw the daily atrocities upon the Israelites and felt pity for them.
One day, Musa (AS) entered the city when he heard someone crying out to him for help. A man belong to Pharaoh`s men was abusive to a man from Israelites. Musa`s objective was to strike the Pharaoh`s man in order to release the Israelite but mistakenly killed him with a single blow. Musa (AS) regretted this and immediately turned to Allah. Allah forgave him. The next day, once again, Musa (AS) was walking when he heard the same voice calling out to him for help. The same man was now quarreling with another man from Pharaoh`s men. Musa reprimanded this man from the Israelite for trouble-making. Musa (AS) was accused of an evil intention by either the Pharaoh`s man or the Israelite. Rumours had reached the palace and the identity of the killer was revealed. A man who loved Musa (AS) rushed to him and advised him to flee Egypt since Pharaoh had ordered his men to kill Musa (AS). [28: 15-20]
Musa (AS) fled Egypt not knowing where to go to. He went seven days without any food or water except for leaves and grass. Musa (AS) eventually reached a well or a spring in a town near Syria called Madyan. He was weary and worn-out. He found some shepherds watering their flocks. He also noticed two women waiting to water their flocks; their father could not come since he was very old.
Musa (AS) volunteered to remove the rock from the well and to water the flocks for them. They thanked him while he returned to the shade and supplicated to Allah. [28: 21-24] When the girls returned home, they told their father what had transpired. Their father requested one of them to call Musa (AS) to repay him for his kindness. This old man was prophet Shu`aib (AS). Musa (AS) told him his story and the old man assured him safety, protection and refuge. The old man knew Musa (AS) was strong and trustworthy and thus proposed Musa (AS) to marry one of the daughters and, in return, to work for him and tend his flocks for a period of eight or ten years. Musa agreed. [28: 25-8]
After his service, Musa (AS) longed to return to Egypt. While travelling in the Sinai desert with his family, Musa lost his way on a cold dark night and he approached a light from a blazing fire inside a bright green bush which brought him in contact with the highest signs of Allah. It was no ordinary fire; it was a gleam of the Heavenly Light. Musa (AS) now directly conversed with Allah. He was declared a Prophet and commanded to go to Pharaoh to invite him to God.
Did you know? Prophet Musa is a prominent and important prophet in Islam. In Islam, all Muslims must have faith in every prophet, including Musa/ Moses. He is an important figure as mentioned in The Qur`an; his name and story is recounted more than any other prophet in The Qur`an.
Musa (AS) was also given two miracles to strengthen his call. When he threw down his rod staff, it would come to life as a frightening python; and when he caught it once again, it would turn back into a staff. Similarly, when he put his hand into his bosom, his hand came out white and radiant without any defect or stain. [28: 29-32]
Musa (AS) had an impediment in his speech and thus he requested Allah to select Harun (Aaron) to assist him in his call. They both went to Pharaoh and the Qur`an [26: 10-33; 20: 49-59; 10: 75-82] records the dialogue between Musa and Pharaoh, including Pharaoh`s accusations, propaganda and threats. Musa introduced him to The `Lord of all the worlds` and requested for the release of the Israelites. Pharaoh claimed to be a God himself. Musa (AS) was assisted by Allah with miracles.
Pharaoh accused Musa (AS) of playing magic tricks and asked Musa to appoint a day on which each group could display their abilities. Musa (AS) chose the day of temple festival and decorations when the people would be on holiday in order to assemble as many people as possible. Pharaoh assembled the most proficient magicians at that time to out-compete Musa (AS). The skillful magicians threw their staffs and sticks and their trickery had a great impression on people who had assumed they moved.
Musa (AS) threw his staff which swallowed all their staffs and ropes. In this way, Allah gave victory to Musa (AS) and proved that the magician`s plot never succeeds. [20: 60-69] The magicians fell into prostration and brought faith in the `Lord of all the worlds, the Lord of Musa and Harun`. Pharaoh was a tyrant and oppressor. He became enraged at this and accused the magicians of having been led by Musa (AS) himself. He threatened them and punished them cutting off their hands and feet, and killing them on palm trees. But they remained firm. [7: 123-6; 26; 46-51]
Allah had sent Musa (AS) with many miracles and signs to guide Pharaoh and his people but they rejected all clear signs. Allah sent drought, locusts, lice, frogs and blood which destroyed their fields and made their lives miserable yet they did not take any heed. When each plague befell them, they came to Musa (AS) and promised to change for good and begged to intercede and cause the plague to cease. But as soon as they were relieved from the misery, they returned to their mischievous ways. [7: 130-6]
When Pharaoh and his men were defeated, they increased in their obstinacy and denial of truth [7: 127-9; 28: 36-42; 43: 46-56] and planned to kill Musa (AS). [40: 23-46] Pharaoh and the majority of his men rejected the call, belied the miracles and signs, and severely tortured the Israelites. Only few including Pharaoh`s wife, Asiya, accepted the call. [28: 83] Musa (AS) instructed the Israelites to exercise patience, keep faith and pray in their homes. He then supplicated to Allah to free them from the tyranny, injustice and oppression of Pharaoh. [10: 84-9]
Israelites went out to attend a festival and discreetly prepared to escape and depart from Egypt. When Pharaoh found out, he was enraged and promised to punish the Israelites. He set out with his army and pursued the Israelites. As he approached them, the Israelites saw that they were confronted by the sea in front and chased by Pharaoh backwards. They were frightened and overcome with terror. They exclaimed, “We have been caught up”. Musa (AS) reassured them and struck the sea with the staff; it split apart into twelve sections, each standing like a large mountain. Musa (AS) and his people crossed the sea safely. Pharaoh and his army saw this and entered the sea. However, Allah ordered the sea to return to its original state and they all drowned in the sea. [26: 52-68; 44: 17: 33; 10: 90]
The story of Musa (AS) teaches us to be grateful to Allah, to keep faith and trust in Him and to be patient in the path of goodness. `With every difficulty, there is ease`. The Pharaoh and his men terrorised the people and eventually they drowned. Remember that `the evil of every bully will end one day, no matter how powerful the bully is or how long it has gone on, ` and that `the power of man is limited while the power of Allah is without limit. ` As someone once said, ` Be kind, be fair, be honest, be true, and all these things will come back to you. `
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Posted in General on 23rd Oct 2016 by Our Imam | 2592 Views