Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron)
Description of the Pharaoh
The pharaoh who ruled Egypt was a tyrant who oppressed
the descendants of Jacob (pbuh), known as the children of Israel (Bani
Israel). He used every means to demean and disgrace them. They were
kept in bondage and forced to work for him for small wages or nothing.
Under this system the people obeyed and worshipped the pharaoh, and the
ruling class carried out his orders, thereby authorizing his tyranny
and crazy whims.
The pharaoh wanted the people to obey him only, and to
believe in the gods of his invention. Perhaps, during that time, there
were many classes of people who did not believe in or practice
polytheism; however, they kept this to themselves and outwardly did as
they were expected to do, without revolting or revealing themselves to
Thus, successive dynasties came to Egypt and assumed
that they were gods or their representative or spokesmen.
Visions of Dethroning
Years passed, and a despotic king, who was adored by
the Egyptians, ruled Egypt. His king saw the children of Israel
multiplying and prospering. He heard them talking about a vague vision
that one of Israel' s sons would dethrone the pharaoh of Egypt. Perhaps
this vision was only a daydream that persisted within the hearts of the
persecuted minority, or perhaps it was a prophecy from their books.
Another tradition states that it was Pharaoh himself
who had the vision. Ibn 'Abbas narrated: "Pharaoh saw in his vision a
fire, which came from Jerusalem and burned the houses of the Egyptians,
and all Copts, and did not do harm to the children of Israel. When he
woke up, he was horrified. He then gathered his priests and magicians
and asked them about this vision. They said: "This means a boy will be
born of them and the Egyptian people will perish at his hands.' That is
why Pharaoh commanded that all male children of the children of Israel
Either way, this vision reached the ears of the
Pharaoh. He then issued a decree to slay any male child that would be
born to the children of Israel.
The Killing of the
Children of Israel
The killing of the children of Israel was carried out
until the experts
of economics said to Pharaoh: "The aged of the children of Israel die
and the young are slaughtered. This will lead to their annihilation. As
a result, Pharaoh will lose the manpower of those who work for him,
those whom he enslaves, and their women whom he exploits. It is better
to regulate this procedure by initiating the following policy: males
should be slaughtered in one year but spared to live the next year."
Pharaoh found that solution to be safer economically.
The Birth of Aaron and
Moses's mother was pregnant with Aaron (pbuh) in a year
that boys were spared; thus she gave birth to the child publicly and
safely. During a year in which boys were to be slain, she gave birth to
Moses (pbuh); thus his birth caused her much terror. She was afraid he
would be slain, so she nursed him secretly.
Description of the
Pharaoh and Birth of Moses - Quranic
Allah the Almighty revealed:
"These are Verses of
the manifest Book (that makes clear truth from falsehood, good from
evil, etc.). We recite to you some of the news of Moses and Pharaoh in
truth, for a people who believe (those who believe in this Quran, and
in the Oneness of Allah). Verily, Pharaoh exalted himself in the land
and made its people sects, weakening (oppressing) a group (children of
Israel) among them, killing their sons, and letting their females live.
Verily, he was of the Mufsideen (those who commit great sins and
crimes, oppressors, tyrants, etc.).
And we wished to do a favor to those who were weak
(and oppressed) in the land, and to make them rulers and to make them
the inheritors, and to establish them in the land, and We let Pharaoh
and Haman and their hosts receive from them that which they feared. And
We inspired the mother of Moses, saying: "Suckle him (Moses), but when
you fear for him, then cast him into the river and fear not, nor
grieve. Verily! We shall bring him back to you, and shall make him one
of (Our) Messengers." (Ch 28: 2-7 Quran).
Moses Thrown into the
No sooner had the divine revelation finished that she
obeyed the sacred and merciful call. She was commanded to make a basket
for Moses. She nursed him, put him into the basket, then went to the
shore of the Nile and threw it into the water. Her mother's heart, the
most merciful one in the world, grieved as she threw her son into the
Nile. However, she was aware that Allah was much more merciful to Moses
than to her, that He loved him more than her. Allah was his Lord and
the Lord of the Nile.
Hardly had the basket touched the water of the Nile
than Allah issued His command to the waves to be calm and gentle while
carrying the child would one day be a prophet. She instructed her
daughter to follow the course of the basket and to report back to her.
As the daughter followed the floating basket along the riverbank, she
found herself right in the palace grounds and saw what was unfolding
before her eyes.
The basket came to rest at the riverbank, which skirted
the king's palace. The palace servants found the basket with the baby
and took it to the Pharaoh and his queen. When the queen beheld the
lovely infant, Allah instilled in her a strong love for this baby.
Pharaoh's wife was very different from Pharaoh. He was a disbeliever;
she was a believer. He was cruel; she was merciful. He was a tyrant;
she was delicate and goodhearted. She was sad because she was infertile
and had hoped to have a son. Hardly had she held the baby than she
Pharaoh was much amazed when he saw his wife hugging
this baby to her breast. He was much astonished because his wife was
weeping with joy, something he had never seen her do before. She
requested her husband: "Let me keep the baby and let him be a son to
Moses Finds a Home -
Almighty Allah said:
"Then the household of Pharaoh
picked him up, that he might become for them an enemy and a cause of
grief. Verily! Pharaoh, Haman, and their hosts were sinners. And the
wife of Pharaoh said; "A comfort of the eye for me and for you. Kill
him not, perhaps he maybe of a benefit to us, or we may adopt him as a
son." And they perceived not (the result of that). (Ch 28:9 Quran)
Moses and His Mother
The queen summoned a few wet nurses to suckle the baby
Moses, but he would not take any of their breasts. The queen was
distressed and sent for more wet nurses. Moses's sister was also
worried, as her baby brother was without milk for a long time. Seeing
the queen's anxiety, she blurted that she knew jut the mother who would
suckle the child affectionately.
They asked her why she was following
the floating basket. She said she did so out of curiosity. Her excuse
sounded reasonable, so they believed her. They ordered her to rush and
fetch the woman she was talking about. Her mother also was waiting with
a heavy heart, worried about the fate of her baby. Just then her
daughter rushed in with the good news. Her heart lifted and she lost no
time in reaching the palace. As the child was put to her breast, he
started suckling. Pharaoh was astonished and asked: "Who are you? This
child has refused to take any other breast but yours."
Had she told the truth, Pharaoh would have known that
the child was an Israelite and would have killed Moses instantly.
However, Allah gave her inner strength and she replied: "I am a woman
of sweet milk and sweet smell,and no child refuses me." This answer
From that day onward, she was appointed as Moses's wet
continued to breast-feed him for a long time. When he was bigger and
was weaned, she was allowed the privilege of visiting him. Moses was
raised in the palace as a prince.
Moses and His Mother
Reunited - Quranic
"And the heart of the mother of Mûsa (Moses) became
empty [from every thought, except the thought of Mûsa (Moses)]. She was
very near to disclose his (case, i.e. the child is her son), had We not
strengthened her heart (with Faith), so that she might remain as one of
And she said to his [Musa's (Moses)] sister: "Follow
him." So she (his sister) watched him from a far place secretly, while
they perceived not.
And We had already forbidden (other) foster suckling
mothers for him, until she (his sister came up and) said: "Shall I
direct you to a household who will rear him for you, and sincerely they
will look after him in a good manner?"
So did We restore him to his mother, that she might be
delighted, and that she might not grieve, and that she might know that
the Promise of Allâh is true. But most of them know not." (Ch. 28:
The Qualities of Moses
And when he attained his full strength, and was perfect
(in manhood), We bestowed on him Hukman (Prophethood, right judgment of
the affairs) and religious knowledge (of the religion of his
forefathers, Islamic Monotheism). And thus do We reward the Muhsineen
(good-doers)." (Ch 28:14 Quran)
Moses Kills and
Allah had granted Moses (pbuh) good health, strength,
knowledge, and wisdom. The weak and oppressed turned to him for
protection and justice.
One day in the main city, he saw two men fighting. One
was an Israelite, who was being beaten by the other, an Egyptian. On
seeing Moses, the Israelite begged him for help. Moses became involved
in the dispute and, in a state of anger, struck a heavy blow on the
Egyptian, who died on the spot. Upon realizing that he had killed a
human being, Moses's heart was filled with deep sorrow, and immediately
he begged Allah for forgiveness.
He had not intended to kill the man. He pleaded with
Almighty Allah to forgive him, and he felt a sense of peace filling his
whole being. Thereafter Moses began to show more patience and sympathy
The next day he saw the same Israelite involved in
another fight. Moses went to him and said: "You seem to be a
quarrelsome fellow. You have a new quarrel with one person or another
each day." Fearing that Moses might strike him, the Israelite warned
Moses: "Would you kill me as you killed the wretch yesterday?"
The Egyptian with whom the Israelite was fighting
overheard this remark and reported Moses to the authorities. Soon
thereafter, as Moses was passing through the city, a man approached and
alerted him: "O Moses, the chiefs have taken counsel against you. You
are to be tried and killed. I would advise you to escape."
Moses Kills an
Egyptian - Quranic
Moses knew that the penalty for killing an Egyptian was
death. Allah the Exalted recounted:
"And he entered the city at a
time of unawareness of its people, and he found there two men fighting,
one of his party (his religion, from the children of Israel), and the
other of his foes. The man of his own party asked him for help against
his foe, so Moses struck him with his fist and killed him. He said,
"This is of Satan's doing, verily, he is a plain misleading enemy."
He said: "My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself, so
forgive me." Then He forgave him. Verily, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the
He said: "My Lord! For that with which You have
favored me, I will never more be a helper for the Mujrimeen (criminals,
disobedient to Allah, polytheists, sinners, etc.)!"
So he became afraid, looking about in the city
(waiting as to what will be the result of his crime of killing), when
behold, the man who had sought his help the day before, called for his
help again. Moses said to him: "Verily, you are a plain misleader!"
Then when he decided to seize the man who was an enemy to both of them,
the man said: "O Moses! Is it your intention to kill me as you killed a
man yesterday? Your aim is nothing but to become a tyrant in the land,
and not to be one of those who do right."
And there came a man running, from the farthest end
of the city. He said: "O Moses! Verily, the chiefs are taking counsel
together about you, to kill you, so escape. Truly, I am to you of those
who give sincere advice."
So he escaped from there, looking about in a state
of fear. He said: "My Lord! Save me from the people who are Zalimeen
(polytheists, and wrong-doers)!" (Ch 28:15-21 Quran)
Moses Leaves Egypt
Moses left Egypt in a hurry without going to Pharaoh's
palace or changing his clothes. Nor was he prepared for traveling. He
did not have a beast of burden upon which to ride, and he was not in a
caravan. Instead, he left as soon as the believer came and warned him
of Pharaoh's plans.
He traveled in the direction of the country of Midian,
which was the nearest inhabited land between Syria and Egypt. His only
companion in this hot desert was Allah, and his only provision was
piety. There was not a single root to pick to lessen his hunger. The
hot sand burned the soles of his feet. However, fearing pursuit by
Pharaoh's men, he forced himself to continue on.
Moses Helps Women
He traveled for eight
nights, hiding during the day. After crossing the main desert, he
reached a watering hole outside Midian where shepherds were watering
No sooner had Moses reached the Midian than he threw
himself under a tree to rest. He suffered from hunger and fatigue. The
soles of his feet felt as if they were worn out from hard walking on
sand and rocks and from the dust. He did not have any money to buy a
new pair of sandals, nor to buy food or drink. Moses noticed a band of
shepherds watering their sheep. He went to the spring, where he saw two
young women preventing their sheep from mixing with the others.
Moses sensed that the women were in need of help.
Forgetting his thirst, he drew nearer to them and asked if he could
help them in any way.
The older sister said: "We are waiting until the
shepherds finish watering their sheep, then we will water ours."
Moses asked again: "Why are you waiting?"
The younger one: "We cannot push men."
Moses was surprised that women were shepherding, as
only men were supposed to do it. It is hard and tiresome work, and one
needs to be on the alert. Moses asked: "Why are you shepherding?"
The younger sister said: "Our father is an old man; his
health is too poor for him to go outdoors for pasturing sheep."
Moses (pbuh) said: "I will water the sheep for you."
When Moses approached the water, he saw that the
shepherds had put over the mouth of the spring an immense rock that
could only be moved by ten men. Moses embraced the rock and lifted it
out of the spring's mouth, the veins of his neck and hands standing out
as he did so. Moses was certainly strong. He watered their sheep and
put the rock back in its place.
He returned to sit in the shade of the tree. At this
moment he realized that he had forgotten to drink. His stomach was
sunken because of hunger.
Moses Helps Women
Shepherds - Quranic
Almighty Allah described this event:
"And when he
arrived at the water of Midian (Midyan) he found there a group of men
watering their flocks, and besides them he found two women who were
keeping back their flocks. He said: "What is the matter with you?" They
said: "We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take their
flocks. And our father is a very old man."
So he watered their flocks for them, then he turned
back to shade, and said: "My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good
that You bestow on me!" (Ch 28:22-24 Quran)
Moses Finds a Home
The young ladies returned home earlier than usual,
which surprised their father. They related the incident at the spring
which was the reason that they were back early. Their father sent one
of his daughters to invite the stranger to his home. Bashfully, the
woman approached Moses and delivered the message. "My father is
grateful for what you have done for us. He invites you to our home so
that he may thank you personally."
Moses welcomed this invitation and accompanied the
maiden to her father. Moses could see that they lived comfortably as a
happy and peaceful household. He introduced himself and told the old
man about the misfortune that he had befallen him and had compelled him
to flee from Egypt. The old man comforted him: "Fear not, you have
escaped from the wrong-doers."
Moses's gentle behavior was noticed by the father and
his daughters. The kind man invited him to stay with them. Moses felt
at home with this happy household, for they were friendly and feared
Moses Becomes a
One of the daughters suggested to her father that he
employ Moses, as he was strong and trustworthy. They needed someone
like him, especially at the water hole, which was visited by ruffians.
The father asked her how she could be sure of his
trustworthiness in such a short time. She replied: "When I bade him to
follow me to our home, he insisted that I walk behind him so he would
not observe my form (to avoid sexual attraction)."
The old man was pleased to hear this. He approached
Moses and said: "I wish to marry you to one of my daughters on
that you agree to work for me for a period of eight years."
This offer suited Moses well, for being a stranger in
this country, he would soon have to search for shelter, and work. Moses
married the Midianite's daughter and looked after the old man's animals
for ten long years.
Moses Becomes a Shepherd - Quranic
Almighty Allah recounted:
"Then there came to him
one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: "Verily, my father calls
you that he may reward you for having watered our flocks for us." So
when he came to him and narrated the story, he said; "Fear you not. You
have escaped from the people who are Zalimeen (polytheists,
disbeliveers, and wrong-doers)." And said one of them (the two women):
"O my father! Hire him! Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the
strong, the trustworthy." He said: "I intend to wed one of these two
daughters of mine to you, on condition that you serve me for eight
years, but if you complete ten years, it will be a favor from you. But
I intend not to place you under a difficulty. If Allah wills, you will
find me one of the righteous." He (Moses) said: "That is settled
between me and you whichever of the two terms I fulfill, there will be
no injustice to me, and Allah is Surety over what we say." ( Ch
The Ten Years of
Time passed, and he lived in seclusion far from his
family and his people. This period of ten years was of importance in
his life. It was a period of major preparation. Certainly Moses's mind
was absorbed in the stars every night. He followed the sunrise and the
sunset every day. He pondered on the plant and how it splits and soil
and appears thereafter. He contemplated water and how the earth is
revived by it and flourishes after its death.
Of course, he was immersed in the Glorious Book of
Allah, open to the insight and heart. He was immersed in the existence
of Allah. All these became latent within him. The religion of Moses
(pbuh) was the same as that of Jacob (pbuh), which was Islamic
monotheism. His forefather was Jacob (pbuh) the grandson of Abraham
(pbuh). Moses (pbuh), therefore, was one of the descendants of Abraham
(pbuh) and every prophet who came after Abraham was one of Abraham's
successors. In addition to physical preparation, there was a similar
spiritual preparation. It was made in complete seclusion, in the middle
of the desert, and in the places of pasture. Silence was his way of
life, and seclusion was his vehicle. Allah the Almighty prepared for
His prophet the tools he would need later on to righteously bear the
commands of Allah the Exalted.
Moses Decides to
Return to Egypt
One day after the end of this period, a vague
homesickness arose in Moses's heart. He wanted to return to Egypt. He
was fast and firm in making his decision, telling his wife: "Tomorrow
we shall leave for Egypt." His wife said to herself. "There are a
thousand dangers in departing that have not yet been revealed."
However, she obeyed her husband.
Moses himself did not know the secret of the quick and
sudden decision to return to Egypt. After all, he had fled from their
ten years ago with a price on his head. Why should he go back now? Did
he look forward to seeing his mother and brother? Did he think of
visiting Pharaoh's wife who had raised him and who loved him as if she
were his mother?
No one knows what went through Moses's mind when he
returned to Egypt. All we know is that a mute obedience to Allah's
destinies impelled him to make a decision and he did. These supreme
destinies steered his steps towards a matter of great importance.
Moses Begins His
Moses left Midian with his family and traveled through
the desert until he reached Mount Sinai. There Moses discovered that he
had lost his way. He sought Allah's direction and was shown the right
course. At nightfall they reached Mount Tur. Moses noticed a fire in
the distance. "I shall fetch a firebrand to warm us."
As he neared the fire, he heard a sonorous voice
calling him: "O Moses, I am Allah, the Lord of the Universe." Moses was
bewildered and looked around. He again heard the strange voice. "And
what is in you right hand, O Moses?"
Shivering, Moses answered: "This is my staff on which I
lean, and with which I beat down branches for my sheep, and for which I
find other uses." (This question was asked so that Moses' attention
would focus on the staff and to prepare him for the miracle which was
to happen. This was the beginning of Moses's mission as a prophet
The same voice commanded him: "Throw down your staff!"
He did so, and at once the staff became a wriggling snake. Moses turned
to run, but the voice again addressed him: "Fear not and grasp it; We
shall return it to its former state." The snake changed back into his
staff. Moses's fear subsided and was replaced by peace, for he realized
that he was witnessing the Truth.
Next, Allah commanded him to thrust his hand into his
robe at the armpit. When he pulled it out, the hand had a brilliant
shine. Allah then commanded Moses; "You have two signs from Your Lord;
go to Pharaoh and his chiefs, for they are an evil gang and have
transgressed all bounds."
However, Moses feared that he would be arrested by
Pharaoh, so he turned to Allah saying: "My Lord! I have killed a man
among them and I fear that they will kill me."
Allah assured him of his safety and set his heart at
Moses Begins His
Prophethood - Quranic
Almighty Allah narrated this event:
"And has there
come to you the story of Moses? When he saw a fire, he said to his
family: "Wait! Verily, I have seen a fire, perhaps I can bring you some
burning brand therefrom, or find some guidance at the fire."
And when he came to it the fire, he was called by
name: "O Moses! Verily! I am your Lord! So take off your shoes, you are
in the sacred valley, Tuwa. And I have chosen you. So listen to that
which is inspired to you. Verily! I am Allah! La ilaha illa Ana (none
has the right to be worshipped but I), so worship Me, and offer prayers
perfectly, for My Remembrance. Verily, the Hour is coming - and My Will
is to keep it hidden - that every person may be rewarded for that which
he strives. Therefore, let the one who believes not therein (in the Day
of Resurrection, Reckoning, Paradise and Hell etc) but follows his own
lusts, divert your therefrom lest you perish. And what is that in your
right hand, O Moses?"
He said: "This is my stick, whereon I lean, and
wherewith I beat down branches for my sheep and wherein I find other
Allah said: "Cast it down, O Moses!"
He cast it down, and behold! It was a snake, moving
Allah said: "Grasp it, and fear not, We shall return
it to its former state, and press your right hand to your left side, it
will come forth white and shining, and without any disease as another
sign, that We may show you some of Our Greater Signs.
"Go To Pharaoh! Verily! He has transgressed (all
bounds in disbelief and disobedience, and has behaved as an arrogant,
and as a tyrant)." (Ch. 20: 9-24)
Moses and Aaron (PBUT)
Given Their Duties - Quranic
Moses said: "O my Lord! Open for me my chest (grant
me self-confidence, contentment, and boldness). And ease my task for
me; and make loose the knot (the defect) from my tongue, (remove the
incorrectness of my speech) that they understand my speech, and appoint
for me a helper from my family, Aaron, my brother; increase my strength
with him, and let him share my task (of conveying Allah's Message and
Prophethood), and we may glorify You much, and remember You much,
Verily! You are of us Ever a Well-Seer."
Allah said: "You are granted your request, O Moses!
And indeed We conferred a favor on you another time before. When We
inspired your mother with that which We inspired, saying: "Put him (the
child) into the Tabut (a box or a case or a chest) and put him into the
river (Nile), and then the river shall cast it up on the bank, and
there, an enemy of Mine and an enemy of his shall take him.' And I
endured you with love from Me, in order that you maybe brought up under
My Eye, when your sister went and said; "Shall I show you one who will
nurse him?' So We restored you to your mother, that she might cool her
eyes and she should not grieve. Then you did kill a man, but We saved
you from a great distress and tried you with a heavy trial. Then you
stayed a number of years witthe people of Midian. Then you came here
according to the term which I ordained (for you), O Moses!
"And I have Istana'tuka (chosen you for My
Inspiration and My Message) for Myself. Go you and your brother with My
Ayat (proofs, lessons, verses, evidences, signs, revelations, etc), and
do not, you both, slacken and become weak in My Remembrance.
"Go, both of you, to Pharaoh, verily, he has
transgressed all bounds in disbelief and disobedience and behaved as an
arrogant and as a tyrant. And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may
accept admonition or fear Allah."
They said: "Our Lord! Verily! We fear lest he should
hasten to punish us or lest he should transgress all bounds against us."
He (Allah) said: "Fear not, Verily! I am with you
both, Hearing and Seeing. So go you both to him, and say: "Verily, we
are Messengers of your Lord, so let the children of Israel go with us,
and torment them not; indeed, we have come with a sign from your Lord!
And peace will be upon him who follows the guidance! Truly, it has been
revealed to us that the torment will be for him who denies (believes
not in the Oneness of Allah, and in His Messengers, etc), and turns
away' (from the truth, and obedience of Allah)." (Ch 20:9-48 Quran).
Moses and Aaron (PBUT) Talk to the
Moses (pbuh) and Aaron (pbuh) went together to Pharaoh
and delivered their message. Moses spoke to him about Allah, His mercy
and His Paradise and about the obligations of monotheism and His
Pharaoh listened to Moses' speech with disdain. He
thought that Moses was crazy because he dared to question his supreme
position. Then he raised his hand and asked: "What do you want?"
Moses answered: "I want you to send the children of
Israel with us."
Pharaoh asked: "Why should I send them, as they are my
Moses replied: "They are the slaves of Allah, Lord of
Pharaoh then inquired sarcastically if his name was
Moses. Moses said "Yes."
"Are you not the Moses whom we picked up from the Nile
as a helpless baby? Are you not the Moses whom we reared in this
palace, who ate and drank from our provisions and whom our wealth
showered with charity? Are you not the Moses who is a fugitive, the
killer of an Egyptian man, if my memory does not betray me? It is said
that killing is an act of disbelief. Therefore, you were a disbeliever
when you killed. You are a fugitive from justice and you come to speak
to me! What were you talking about Moses, I forgot?"
Moses knew that Pharaoh's mentioning his past, his
upbringing, and his receiving Pharaoh's charity was Pharaoh's way of
threatening him. Moses ignored his sarcasm and explained that he was
not a disbeliever when he killed the Egyptian, he only went astray and
Allah the Almighty had not yet given him the revelation at that time.
He made Pharaoh understand that he fled from Egypt because he was
afraid of their revenge upon him, even though the killing was an
accident. He informed him that Allah had granted him forgiveness and
made him one of the messengers.
Moses and Aaron (PBUT)
Talk to the Pharaoh - Quranic
Allah the Almighty revealed to us part of the dialogue
between Moses (pbuh) and Pharaoh:
"Allah said: "Nay! Go you both
with Our Signs, Verily! We shall be with you, listening. And when you
both come to Pharaoh, say: "We are the Messengers of the Lord of the
Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists), and So allow the children
of Israel to go with us.""
Pharaoh said to Moses: "Did we not bring you up
among us as a child ? And you did dwell many years of your life with
us. And you did your deed which you did (the crime of killing a man)
and you are one of the ingrates."
Moses said: "I did it then, when I was an ignorant
(as regards my Lord and His Message). So I fled from you when I feared
you. But my Lord has granted me Hukman (religious knowledge, right
judgments of the affairs and Prophethood), and appointed me as one of
the Messengers. And this is the past favor with which you reproach me,
and that you have enslaved the children of Israel."
Pharaoh said: "And what is the Lord of the Alamin
(mankind, jinn and all that exists)?"
Moses replied: "Lord of the heavens, and the earth,
and all that is between them, if you seek to be convinced with
Pharaoh said to those around: "Do you not hear what
Moses said: "Your Lord and the Lord of your ancient
Pharaoh said: "Verily, your Messenger who has been
sent to you is a madman!"
Moses said: "Lord of the east, and the west, and all
that is between them, if you did but understand!"
Pharaoh said: "If you choose an ilah (a god) other
than me, I will certainly put you among the prisoners."
Moses said: "Even if I bring you something manifest
Pharaoh said: "Bring it forth then, if you are of
the truthful!" (Ch 26:16-31 Quran)
Moses Proves Himself Right
The degree of the conflict expressed in this dialogue
reached its apex; thus, the tone of dialogue changed. Moses used a
convincing intellectual argument against Pharaoh. However, Pharaoh
escaped from the circle of dialogue based on the logic and began a
dialogue of another type, a type which Moses could not bear to follow;
a dialogue of menacing and threatening. Pharaoh deliberately adopted
the style of the absolute ruler. He asked Moses how he dared to worship
Allah! Did he not know that Pharaoh was a god?
After declaring his divinity, Pharaoh asked Moses how
he dared to worship another god. The punishment for this crime was
imprisonment. It was not permitted for anyone to worship anyone other
than the Pharaoh. Moses understood that the intellectual arguments did
not succeed. The calm dialogue was converted from sarcasm to mentioning
charity, then to scorn, then to the threat of imprisonment.
Moses said: "Even if I bring you something manifest and
convincing." Pharaoh said; "Bring it forth, then, if you are of the
truthful!" So Moses threw his stick, and behold, it was a serpent,
manifest. And he drew out his hand, and behold, it was white to all
beholders! (Ch 26:30-33 Quran)
Moses Defeats the Magicians
Pharaoh's amazement turned to terror. Fearing that his
rule was in danger, he addressed his advisors: "These are two wizards
who will strip you of your best traditions and drive you of the country
with their magic. What do you advise?" they counseled Pharaoh to detain
Moses and his brother while they summoned the cleverest magicians in
the country. Then they too, could show their skills of magic and change
sticks into serpents. In this way they sought to reduce the influence
of Moses's miracles on the masses.
Pharaoh detained Moses and Aaron. He dispatched
couriers all o ver the land to enlist the best magicians. He offered
each successful magician a big reward, including appointment as a royal
courtier. On the customary festival day, which attracted citizens from
all over the Egyptian empire, Pharaoh arranged for a public contest
between Moses and the magicians. The people came in droves as near
before when they heard of the greatest contest ever between Pharaoh's
many magicians and a single man who claimed to be a prophet. They had
also heard of a baby who had once floated down the river Nile in a
basket, landed on Pharaoh's palace grounds, been reared as a prince,
and who later had fled for killing an Egyptian with a single blow.
Everyone was eager and excited to watch this great
contest. Before it began, Moses arose. There was a hush in the huge
crowd. Moses addressed the magicians. "Woe unto you, if you invent a
lie against Allah by calling His miracles magic and by not being honest
with the Pharaoh. Woe unto you, if you do not know the difference
between the truth and falsehood. Allah will destroy you with His
punishment, for he who lies against Allah fails miserably."
Moses had spoke sincerely and made the magicians think.
But they were overwhelmed by their greed for money and glory. They
hoped to impress the people with their magic and to expose Moses as a
fraud and a cheat.
Moses asked the magicians to perform first. They threw
their magical objects down on the ground. Their staffs and ropes took
the forms of wriggling serpents while the crowd watched in amazement.
Pharaoh and his men applauded loudly. Then Moses threw his staff. It
began to wriggle vand became an enormous serpent. The people stood up,
craning their necks for a better view. Pharaoh and his men sat silently
as, one by one, Moses's huge serpent swallowed all the snakes. Moses
bent to pick it up, and it became a staff in his hand.
The crowd rose like a great wave, shouting and
screaming with excitement. A wonder like this had never been seen
before! On witnessing the power of Moses, the magicians prostrated
themselves to Allah, declaring: "We believe in the Lord of Moses and
Aaron." Pharaoh was angry and began plotting his next move. He charged
that the demonstration had been arranged secretly between Moses and the
magicians. He demanded that the magicians confess to their scheme,
threatening them with death. They refused to denounce Allah and stuck
to their sincerity of their belief. No longer hiding his cruel nature,
Pharaoh threatened to cut off their hands and feet and to crucify them
on the trunks of palm trees as an example to his subjects.
Moses Defears the
Magicians - Quranic
Almighty Allah recounted this event:
said: "Have you come to drive us out of our land with your magic, O
Moses? Then verily, we can produce magic the like thereof; so appoint a
meeting between us and you, which neither we, nor you shall fail to
keep, in an open wide place where both shall have a just and equal
chance (and beholders could witness the competition)."
Moses said: "your appointed meeting is the day of
the festival, and let the people assemble when the sun has risen
So Pharaoh withdrew, devised his plot and then came
back. Moses said to them: "Woe unto you! Invent not a lie against
Allah, lest He should destroy you completely by a torment. And surely,
he who invents a lie (against Allah) will fail miserably."
Then they debated with one another what they must
do, and they kept their talk secret. They said: "Verily! There are two
magicians. Their object is to drive you out from your land with magic
and overcome your chiefs and nobles. So devise your plot, and then
assemble in line. And whoever overcomes this day will be indeed
They said: "O Moses! Either you throw first or we be
the first to throw?"
Moses said: "nay, throw you (first)!" Then behold,
their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though
they moved fast. So Moses conceived a fear in himself.
We (Allah) said: "Fear not! Surely, you will have
the upper hand. Throw that which is in your right hand! It will swallow
up that which they have made. That which they have made is only a
magician's trick, and the magician will never be successful, no matter
whatever amount of skill he may attain."
So the magicians fell down prostrate. They said :"We
believe in the Lord of Aaron and Moses."
Pharaoh said: "Believe you in him (Moses) before I
give you permission? Verily! He is your chief who taught you magic. So
I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will
surely crucify you on the trunks of palm trees, and you shall surely
know which of us (I Pharaoh,) or the Lord of (Moses) (Allah), can give
the severe and more lasting torment."
They said: "We prefer you not over the clear signs
that have come to us, and to Him (Allah) Who created us. So decree
(regarding) this life of the world. Verily! We have believed in our
Lord, that He may forgive us our faults, and the magic to which you did
compel us. And Allah is better as regards reward in comparison to your
(Pharaoh's) reward, and more lasting (as regards punishment in
comparison to you punishment)."
Allah's Description of Belivers and
Non-Believers - Quranic
Verily! Whoever comes to his Lord as a Mujrim
(criminal, polytheist, disbeliever, in the Oneness of Allah and His
Messengers, sinner, etc.), then surely, for him is Hell, therein he
will neither die nor live.
But whoever comes to Him (Allah) as a believer (in
the Oneness of Allah, etc.), and has done righteous good deeds, for
such are the high ranks (in the Hereafter), - Everlasting Gardens (And
Paradise), under which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever;
such is the reward of those who purify themselves (by abstaining from
all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allah has forbidden and by doing
all that which Allah has ordained). (Ch 20:58-76 Quran).
The People's Non -
Reaction to the defeat of the magicians
The magicians represented the elite of the Egyptian
society. They were its scholars. They prostrated before righteousness,
but the people abandoned them and left them to their fate. The path of
righteousness was plain, but in spite of this, the people did nothing
but stand by and watch.
If every one of the Egyptians had stopped to
pick up a piece of brick and had thrown it at Pharaoh, he would have
fallen dead and the history of Egypt would have been changed.
obviously did not happen. None of the people moved. Each one stood
motionless in his place. The people did nothing but watch, and they
paid the price of this inactivity: they were drowned later as the price
for the cowardice of one day.
The Pharaoh's Reaction
to Moses Victory
Moses and Aaron left, and Pharaoh returned to his
palace. Pharaoh entered to his palace. Pharaoh was completely stupefied
when he faced the two miracles. When Moses went out of his presence,
his emotions changed from amazement and fear to violent rage. He
quarreled with his ministers and men, reviled them bitterly for no
reason, and commanded them to get out of his presence. When he was left
alone, he tried to think more calmly. He drank several cups of wine,
but his anger did not abate.
Then he summoned all the ministers, leaders, and
responsible men for a serious meeting. Pharaoh entered the meeting with
a rigid face. It was obvious that he would never surrender easily. He
had established a kingdom on the basis of his being a god worshipped by
the Egyptian people. Now Moses came to destroy what he had built. Moses
said that there was no Lord other than Allah in existence. This meant
that Pharaoh was a liar.
Pharaoh opened the session by throwing a sudden
question at Haman: "Am I a liar, O Haman?"
Haman fell to his knees in amazement and asked: "Who
dared to accuse Pharaof lying?"
Pharaoh said: "Has he (Moses) not said that there is a
Lord in the heaven?"
Haman answered: "Moses is lying."
Turning his face to the other side, Pharaoh asserted
impatiently: "I know he is a liar." Then he looked towards Haman (and
"O Haman! Build me a tower that I may arrive at the
the ways of the heavens, and I may look upon the Ilah (God) of Moses
but verily, I think him to be a liar."
Thus it was made fair seeming, in Pharaoh's eyes,
the evil of his deeds, and he was hindered from the Right Path, and the
plot of Pharaoh led to nothing but loss and destruction for him. (Ch
Pharaoh issued his royal command to erect a lofty
tower, its height to reach the heavens. Pharaoh's command depended
fundamentally upon Egyptian civilization and its fondness for building
what Pharaoh wanted. However, he ignored the rules of engineering. In
spite of this, Haman assented (hypocritically), knowing that it was
impossible to erect such a tower. He said that he would issue a command
to build it immediately. "However, your majesty, let me object to
Pharaoh for the first time. You will never find anyone in the heavens.
There is no god but you."
Pharaoh listened to a settled fact. Then he declared in
the famous meeting his historic line:
"O chiefs! I know not that
you an ilah (a god) other than me." (Ch 28:38 Quran).
Pharaoh's Men Spread
Pharaoh was absorbed in his new problem. A series of
serious meetings began in his palace. He summoned those responsible for
the army, the police and, what we call today his director of
intelligence. He also summoned the ministers, princes, and priests. He
called whoever had a powerful effect on the direction of events.
Pharaoh asked his director of intelligence: "What do
He said: "My men have spread among them that Moses won
the contest because of a plot and that a major magician had joined with
him in this plan. The plot had been disclosed, and we believe an
unknown authority financed it."
Pharaoh asked his director of police: "What about the
He said: "My men hung them in public squares and
markets to terrify the people. We will spread a rumor that Pharaoh will
kill whoever had anything to do with the plot."
Then Pharaoh asked the commander of the army: "What
does the army say?"
He said: "The army hopes that commands will be issued
to move in whatever direction Pharaoh desires."
Pharaoh said: "The role of the army has not come yet.
Its role will come."
Pharaoh's Men Harm the Believers
Pharaoh fell silent. Haman, the Prime Minister, moved
and raised his hand to speak. Pharaoh permitted him and Haman asked:
"Will we leave Moses and his people to corrupt the rest of the people
on the earth so that they leave your worship?"
Pharaoh said: "You read my thoughts, O Haman. We will
kill their sons, rape their women, and conquer them." He issued
commands, and Pharaoh's men rushed to slay the sons, rape the women,
and imprison whomever objected to these acts.
Moses stood watching what was happening. He could not
interfere, nor did he have the power to forbid these acts. All he could
do was to advise his people to be patient. He ordered them to ask Allah
the Almighty for a calamity on the Egyptians. He pointed out to them
the model of the Egyptian magicians who endured for Allah's sake
without complaint. He helped them to understand that Pharaoh's soldiers
behaved on earth as if they were its private owners.
Pharaoh's terrorism infused the children of Israel with
a spirit of defeat. They complained to Moses:
"We (children of
Israel) had suffered troubles before you came to us, and since you have
come to us." He said: "It maybe that your Lord will destroy your enemy
and make you successors on the earth, so that He may see how you act."
(Ch 7:129 Quran).
Korah - His Actions and Destruction
Moses began to face a difficult situation. He had to
confront Pharaoh's anger and his plots, while at the same time he had
to deal with the mutiny of his people. In the midst of all this, Korah
Korah was one of Moses' s people. He was very rich and
lived in a magnificent mansion. He wore only the most expensive
clothes. Numerous slaves waited on him and he indulged in every known
luxury. His enormous wealth made him arrogant. Korah treated the poor
with contempt and told them that their poverty was due to their lack of
intelligence. He believed that what he owned was due to his own
cleverness and business ability.
Moses reminded Korah to pay alms (zakat) on his wealth,
a portion of which was rightfully due to the poor. Alms are compulsory
upon all the believers. Korah was annoyed by this advice and told Moses
that his being wealthy was proof that he was favored by Allah, Who
approved of his life-style and increased his wealth daily. Moses argued
with him and warned him of the result of his wicked thoughts.
When Korah did calculate the alms due on his wealth, he
was shocked at the large amount he had to part with. He not only
refused to give alms, but spread a rumor that Moses had invented the
law of zakat for his own gain. He even bribed the people to oppose
Moses and to spread wicked rumors about him.
Allah warned Moses of Korah's plot. Moses appealed to
Allah to punish him for his stinginess and for defying His laws.
Allah's anger fell on Korah. The earth opened up and swallowed him, his
mansion and all his wealth, as if he had never existed.
Korah - His Actions
and Destruction - Quranic
Almighty Allah revealed:
"Verily, Korah was of
Moses's people, but he behaved arrogantly towards them. And We gave him
of the treasures, that of which the keys would have been a burden to a
body of strong men. When his people said to him: "Do not be glad with
ungratefulness to Allah's Favors). Verily! Allah likes not those who
are glad (with wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the
Hereafter, and forget nor your portion of legal enjoyment in this
world, and do good as Allah has been good to you, and seek not mischief
in the land. Verily, Allah likes not the Mufsideen (those who commit
great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, and mischief-makers,
He said: "This has been given to me only because of
knowledge I possess." Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before
him generations, men who were stronger than him in might and greater in
the amount of riches, they had collected. But the Murimun (criminals,
disbeliveers, polytheists, sinners, etc.) will not be questioned of
their sins (because Allah knows them well, so they will be punished
without account). So he went forth before his people in his pomp. Those
who were desirous of the life of the world said: "Ah, would that we had
the like of what Korah has been given! Verily! He is the owner of a
But those who had been given religious knowledge
said: "Woe to you! The Reward of Allah (in the Hereafter) is better for
those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and this none shall
attain except those who are patient (in following the truth)."
So We caused the earth to swallow him and his
dwelling place. Then he had no group or party to help him against
Allah, nor was he one of those who could save themselves. And those who
had desired (for a position like) his position, the day before, began
to say; "Know you not that it is Allah Who enlarges the provision or
restricts it to whomsoever He please of His slaves? Had it not been
that Allah was Gracious to us, He could have caused the earth to
swallow us up also!" Know you not that the disbeliveers will never be
successful? (Ch 28:76-82 Quran).
The Pharaohs Relative
When the Egyptians and children of Israel examined the
miracle, the conflict between Moses and Pharaoh again reached a crisis
because Pharaoh believed that Moses was threatening his kingdom.
Pharaoh was afraid that the people would be misled by
Moses. He suggested to his ministers and notable men that Moses be
killed. We believe that Haman supported the idea along with a front of
disbeliveers. It was on the verge of approval, except for the vote of
one of the notable men of the state, whose name is not mentioned in the
Quran. The Quran says only that this man was a believer.
This believer spoke in the assembly where the idea of
killing Moses had been introduced. He proved that it was not a good
idea: "Moses did not say more than that Allah is his Lord. Later, he
came with clear evidence that he is a messenger. There are two
possibilities; either Moses is righteous or a liar. If he lies, he will
be responsible for his lie. If he is righteous and we slay him, where
is the guarantee that we will be rescued from the torment of Allah?
Either way, he neither says nor does anything that merits our killing
This angered Pharaoh and his counselors and they
threatened to harm the man, but he refused to budge from his stance.
Then they tried to woo him back, but he still warned them that they
were inviting their doom. This angered Pharaoh more, and he now
threatened to kill the man. However, Allah protected His believer.
The Pharaoh's Relative
Defends Moses - Quranic
Almighty Allah revealed their dialogue:
said: "Leave me to kill Moses, and let him call his Lord (to stop me
from killing him)! I fear that he may change your religion, or that he
may cause mischief to appear in the land!"
Moses said: "Verily, I seek refuge in my Lord and
your Lord from every arrogant who believes not in the Day of Reckoning!"
And a believing man of Pharaoh's family, who hid his
faith said: "Would you kill a man because he says: My Lord is Allah,
and he has come to you with clear signs (proofs) from your Lord? And if
he is a liar, upon him will be (the sin of) his lie; but if he is
telling the truth, then some of that calamity wherewith he threatens
you will befall on you. Verily, Allah guides not one who is a Musrif (a
polytheist, or a murderer who shed blood without a right, or those who
commit great sins, oppressor, transgressor, a liar! O my people! Yours
is the kingdom this day, you are uppermost in the land. But, who will
save us from the Torment of Allah, should it befall us?"
Pharaoh said: "I show you only that which I see
correct and I guide you only to the path of right policy!"
And he who believed said: "O my people! Verily, I
fear for you a fate like that day of disaster of the confederate of
old! Like the fate of the people of Noah, and 'Ad, and Thamud, and
those who came after them. And Allah wills no injustice for His slaves.
And, O my people! Verily! I fear for you the Day when there will be
mutual calling between the people of Hell and of Paradise."
A Day when you will turn your backs and flee having
no protector from Allah, and whomsoever Allah sends astray, for him
there is no guide. And indeed Joseph did come to you, in times gone by,
with clear signs, but you ceased not to doubt in that which he did
bring to you, till when he died you said: "No Messenger will Allah send
after him." Thus Allah leaves astray him who is a Musrif (a polytheist,
oppressor, a criminal, sinner who commits great sins) and a Murtab (one
who doubts Allah's warning and His Oneness). Those who dispute about
the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations and signs,
etc.) of Allah, without any authority that has come to them, it is
greatly hateful in the Sight of Allah and in the sigh of those who
believe. Thus does Allah seal up the heart of every arrogant, tyrant.
(So they cannot guide themselves to the Right Path).
And Pharaoh said: "O Haman! Build me a tower that I
may arrive at the ways, - the ways of the heavens, and I may look upon
the Ilah (God ) of Moses but verily, I think him to be a liar."
Thus it was made fair seeming, in Pharaoh's eyes,
the evil of his deeds, and he was hindered from the Right Path, and the
plot of Pharaoh led to nothing but loss and destruction for him.
And the man who believed said: "O my people! Follow
me, I will guide you to the way of right conduct (guide you to Allah's
Religion of Islamic Monotheism with which Moses has been sent). O my
people! Truly, this life of the world is nothing but a (quick passing)
enjoyment, and verily, the Hereafter that is the home that will remain
forever. Whosoever does an evil deed, will not be requited except the
like thereof, and whosoever does a righteous deed, whether male or
female, and is a true believer (in the Oneness of Allah), such will
enter Paradise, where they will be provided therein (with all things in
abundance) without limit."
"And O my people! How is it that I call you to
salvation while you call me to the Fire! You invite me to disbelieve in
Allah (and in His Oneness), and to join partners in worship with Him,
of which I have no knowledge, and I invite you to the All-Mighty, the
Oft-Forgiving! No doubt you call me to worship one who cannot grant me
my request or respond to my invocation in this world or in the
Hereafter. And our return will be to Allah, and Al-Musrifeen
(polytheists, and arrogants, those who commit great sins, the
transgressors of Allah's set limits)! The shall be the dwellers of the
Fire! And you will remember what I am telling you, and my affair I
leave it to Allah. Verily, Allah is the All-Seer of His slaves."
So Allah saved him from the evils that they plotted
(against him), while an evil torment encompassed Pharaoh's people. (Ch
The Plagues of Egypt
Moses repeated his demand that Pharaoh release the
children of Israel from slavery. In response, Pharaoh called his
subjects, including the children of Israel, to a huge gathering where
he reminded them that he was their lord and provided all their needs.
Moses, he said, had no gold amulets nor angels following him; he was
just a poor man.
Being a people who had been oppressed for a very long
time, they lacked vision. Their judgment were limited to what they
could see in the material world. They regarded their ruler to be
wealthy and able to provide all their worldly needs. In ignorance, they
obeyed Pharaoh and ignored Moses's call.
Egypt Suffers a
Drought and a Flood
Allah commanded Moses to warn
Pharaoh of a punishment in this world for his faithlessness and his
persecution of the children of Israel. As a portent of the punishment
which Allah would meet out, the Nile did not flood its banks to soak
the dry land as it normally did. As a result, crops failed, leading to
famine. However Pharaoh remained arrogant, so Allah caused a huge
flood, which devastated the land.
Egypt's Crops are
Destroyed by Locusts
As often as they were troubled grievously, they
appealed to Moses thus:
"O Moses! Invoke your Lord for us because
of His Promise to you. IF you will remove the punishment from us, we
indeed shall believe in you, and we shall let the children of Israel go
with you." (Ch 7:134 Quran)
Moses prayed to his Lord and He relived the suffering
caused by the flood. The surging water ceased and withdrew from the
land, and it became cultivatable. But when Moses bade them to fulfill
their promise to release the children of Israel, they did not respond.
Then Allah sent swarms of locusts which ate whatever
corps they had grown. The people hurried to Moses, asking him to invoke
Allah to remove this affliction and promising they would send the
children of Israel with him this time. The locusts departed, but they
did not fulfill their promise.
Egypt Becomes Infested
Then another sign came, the sign of lice, which spread
amongst the Egyptians, carrying diseases. Their refuge to Moses and
their promise to him was repeated. His prayer to Allah was repeated and
so, too, their breach of promise, as usual.
Egypt Becomes Infested
A sign of frogs was revealed. The land suddenly filled
with frogs. They jumped on the food of the Egyptians, shared their
houses, and distressed them greatly. The Egyptians went to Moses again,
promising him to release the children of Israel. He prayed to his Lord,
and Allah relieved them of the problem of the frogs, but they again
broke their promise.
Nile's water was
changed to Blood
Then the last sign was revealed, the sign of blood. The
Nile water was changed into blood. When Moses and his people drank the
water, it was, for them, ordinary water. However, if any Egyptian
filled his cup with the water, he discovered his cup full of blood.
They hurried to Moses as usual, but as soon as everything returned to
normal, they turned their backs on Allah.
Allah's Punishments on
the Disbelievers - Quranic
Almighty Allah said:
"And indeed We punished the
people of Pharaoh with years of drought, and shortness of fruits
(crops, etc.), that they mighty remember (take heed). But whenever good
came to them, they said: "Ours is this." And if evil athem, they
ascribed it to evil omens connected with Moses and those with him. Be
informed! Verily, their evil omens are with Allah but most of them know
not. They said to Moses: "Whatever Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses,
lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) you may bring to us, to work
therewith your sorcery on us, we shall never believe in you." So We
sent on them: the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs, and the
blood: (as a succession of) manifest signs, yet they remained arrogant,
and they were of those people who were Mujrimeen (criminals,
polytheists, sinners, etc.) (Ch 7:130-133 Quran)
Almighty Allah also said:
" But when We removed the
punishment from them to a fixed term, which they had to reach, behold!
They broke their word! (Ch 7:135 Quran)
Moses' Story - Condensed and Quranic
Pharaoh became ruder and more arrogant. He proclaimed
to his people. "Pharaoh is the only god. Has he not the kingdom of
Egypt and rivers flowing under it?" He declared that Moses was a liar,
a magician, and a poor man who did not wear even one bracelet of gold.
Almighty Allah declared: And indeed We did sent
Moses with Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs,
revelations, etc.) to Pharaoh and his chiefs (inviting them to Allah's
Religion of Islam). He said: "Verily! I am a Messenger of the Lord of
the Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists).
But when he came to them with our Ayat (proofs,
evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) behold! They
laughed at them. And not an Ayah (sign, etc.) We showed them but it was
greater than its fellow, and We seized them with torment in order that
they might turn from their polytheism to Allah's Religion (Islamic
And they said to Moses: "O you sorcerer! Invoke your
Lord for us according to what He has covenanted with you. Verily, we
shall guide ourselves aright."
But when We removed the torment from them, behold!
They broke their covenant (that they will believe if We remove the
torment for them).
And Pharaoh proclaimed among his people, saying "O
my people! Is not mine the dominion of Egypt, and the rivers flowing
underneath me. See you not then? Am I not better than this one (Moses),
and who is Mahin (has no honor nor any respect, and is weak, and
despicable) and can scarcely express himself clearly? Why then are not
golden bracelets bestowed on him, or angels sent along with him?"
Thus he (Pharaoh) befooled and misled his people,
and they obeyed him. Verily, they were Fasiqeen (rebellious,
disobedient to Allah).
So When they angered Us, We punished them, and
drowned them all. And We made them a precedent (as a lesson for those
coming after them), and an example to later generations. (Ch 43:46-56
Pharaoh and his Amry
Perish - Moses Allowed to Leave Egypt
It appeared that Pharaoh would never believe in Moses'
s message, nor would he stop the torture of the children of Israel.
Therefore, Moses prayed to his Lord thus:
"Our Lord! You have
indeed bestowed on Pharaoh and his chiefs splendor and wealth in the
life of this world, our Lord! That they may lead men astray from Your
Path. Our Lord! Destroy their wealth, and harden their hearts, so that
they will not believe until they see the painful torment."
Allah said: "Verily, the invocation of you both is
accepted. So you both keep to the Straight Way (keep on doing good
deeds, and preaching Allah's Message with patience), and follow not the
path of those who know not (the truth, to believe in the Oneness of
Allah, and also to believe in the Reward of Allah: Paradise etc.)." (Ch
Allah inspired Moses to conduct his people of Egypt,
but only a few of his people believed in his message. Allah revealed:
"But none believed in Moses except the offspring of
his people, because
of the fear of Pharaoh and his chiefs lest they should persecute them;
and verily, Pharaoh was an arrogant tyrant on the earth, he was indeed
one of the Musrifeen (polytheists, sinners, and transgressors, those
who give up the truth and follow the evil, and commit all kinds of
And Moses said: "O my people! If you have believed
in Allah, then put your trust in Him if you are Muslims (those who
submit to Allah's Will)."
They said: "In Allah we put our trust. Our Lord!
Make us not a trial for the folk who are zalimeen (polytheists, and
wrong-doing) (do not make them overpower us). And save us by Your Mercy
from the disbelieving folk." (Ch 10:83-86 Quran).
Almighty Allah decided to put an end to Pharaoh's
crimes after He had given him several chances. Allah commanded Moses to
depart, and the children of Israel received reluctant permission from
the Pharaoh to go out of the city for the feast. They prepared
themselves to leave Egypt. This later became known as Exodus. They
carried with them their jewels and borrowed a lot of jewels from the
The Pharaoh Learns of
the Believer's Escape
In the darkness of night, Moses led his people towards
the Red Sea, and in the morning they reached the beach. By then Pharaoh
was aware of their departure, so he mobilized a huge army to pursue
The Parting of the Red
The impatient children of Israel soon became agitated
and Joshua (Yusha), Ibn Nun, exclaimed: "In front of us is this
impassable barrier, the sea, and behind us the enemy; surely death
cannot be avoided!"
Moses replied that he would wait for further guidance
from Allah. These words filled them with some hope, but man is always
impatient for results: they were willing to surrender themselves back
into slavery. At that moment Allah revealed to Moses: "Smite the sea
with your staff!" Moses did as he was commanded. A fierce wind blew,
the sun shone brightly, and in a flash the sea parted, the crests of
the waves standing like mountains on each side.
Moses led his people across. This miracle proved
Moses's oft-repeated claim. "Verily! My Lord is with me!" As they
looked back, they saw Pharaoh and his army approaching, about to take
the very path which had been opened for them. In great fear and panic,
they pleaded with Moses to ask Allah to close the sea. However, Allah
commanded Moses not to smite the sea with his staff again, for Allah's
decree was already in action.
The Death of the
Pharaoh and his army had seen the miracle, how the sea
had parted, but being the pretender that he was, Pharaoh turned to his
men and proclaimed: "Look! The sea has opened at my command so that I
may follow those rebels and arrest them!" They rushed across the parted
waters, and when they were midway, Allah commanded the sea to return to
its former state.
Terror-stricken Pharaoh, realizing his end had come,
declared out of fear: "I believe that there is no god worthy of worship
except Allah in Whom the children of Israel believe, and I am of those
who surrender to Him." But Allah did not accept this declaration from
the tyrant, and the waters closed over him, drowning him and his entire
Almighty Allah narrated:
"And We inspired Moses,
saying: "Take away My slaves by night, verily, you will be pursued."
Then Pharaoh sent callers to all the cities. Saying: "Verily! These
indeed are but a small band. And verily, they have done what has
enraged us; but we are host all assembled, amply fore-warned."
So, We expelled them from gardens and springs,
treasures, and every kind of honorable place. Thus (We turned them
Pharaoh's people) out, and We caused the children of Israel to inherit
So they pursued them at sunrise. And when the two
hosts saw each other, the people of Moses said: "We are sure to be
Moses said: "Nay, verily! With me is my Lord, He
will guide me."
Then We inspired Moses saying: "Strike the sea with
your stick." And it parted, and each separate (part of that sea water)
became like the huge, firm mass of a mountain.
Then We brought near the others (Pharaoh's party) to
that place. And We saved Moses and all those with him. Then We drowned
the others. Verily! In this is indeed a sign (or a proof), yet most of
them are not believers. And verily, your Lord! He is truly the
All-Mighty, the Most Merciful." (Ch 26:52-68 Quran)
Moses' People Escape
and Pharaoh's Death - Quranic
In another surah Almighty Allah narrated:
took the children of Israel across the sea, and Pharaoh with his hosts
followed them in oppression and enmity, till when drowning overtook
him, he sai: "I believe that La ilaha illa huwa (none has the right to
be worshipped but) He, in whom the children of Israel believe, and I am
one of the Muslims (those who submit to Allah's Will)."
Now (you believe) while you refused to believe
before and you were one of the mufsideen (evildoers, corrupts, etc.).
So this day We shall deliver your dead body out from the sea that you
maybe a sign to those who come after you! And verily, many among
mankind are heedless or our Ayah (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons,
signs, revelations, etc.). (Ch 10:90-92 Quran)
The curtain fell on Pharaoh's tyranny, and the waves
threw his corpse up to the western seashore. The Egyptians saw him and
knew that their god whom they worshipped and obeyed were mere slaves
who could not keep death away from their own necks.
The Moses' People Desire an Idol
In spite of Pharaoh's death, he left a bad influence on the
souls of the children of Israel. It was diffiult for the years of
oppression and intense humilty to pass easily. He had made them
accustomed to humbling themselves and submitting to someone other than
Allah. he had so suppressed their souls and spoiled their nature that
they began to torture Moses out of ignorance and obstinacy.
The miracle of the parting of the sea was still fresh in their minds,
damp sea sands were still stuck on their soles, when they passed by a
people worshipping idols. Instead of manifesting their indignation at
the idolaters' oppression of the intellect by celebrating the
praises of Allah for His guidance, they looked to Moses for him to
specify a god for them to worship as those other people did. They were
jealous of the other people and their idols, and they desired the same.
They missed the ancient idolatry which they had lived with during the
reign of Pharaoh.
Moses' People Desire an Idol - Quranic
Allah the Exalted revealed:
brought the Children of Israel (with safety) across the sea, and they
came upon a people devoted to some of their idols (in
worship). They said: "O Mûsa (Moses)! Make for us an ilâhan (a
god) as they have âliha (gods)." He said: "Verily, you are a people who
know not (the Majesty and Greatness of Allâh and what is obligatory
upon you, i.e. to worship none but Allâh Alone, the One and the Only
God of all that exists)."
[Mûsa (Moses) added:] "Verily, these people will be
destroyed for that which they are engaged in (idols-worship). And
all that they are doing is in vain."
He said: "Shall I seek for you an Ilâhan (a God) other
than Allâh, while He has given you superiority over the 'Alamîn
(mankind and jinns of your time)."
And (remember) when We rescued you from Fir'aun's
(Pharaoh) people, who were afflicting you with the worst torment,
killing your sons and letting your women live. And in that was a great
trial from your Lord." (Ch. 7: 138-141)
The Favours of Allah on Moses' People
The children of Israel were favoured with Allah's grace and
bounty. They were saved from oppression and had witnessed the drowning
of their cruel ruler Pharaoh. When they needed water in the dry land,
Allah commanded Moses to strike a rock, which parted and sent forth
twelve springs of water for the twelve different tribes so that they
need not dispute over a shortage of water. Allah also kept the skies
cloudy to protect them from the scorching sun. To relieve their hunger,
manna (the dried exudate of certain plants) and quail were provided for
In spite of Allah's generousity, the mean spirited ones began to stir
Moses' people to object that they were disgusted with this food; they
desires onions, garlic, beans, and lentils, which were traditional
Egyptian foods. That is why the children of Israel
asked Prophet Moses to pray to Allah to make the earth produce these
foods. Moses again admonished them for oppressing themselves and for
their desire to return to a life of humiliation in Egypt. He also
pointed out that they were ungrateful for the bet and most abundant
food. They wanted the worst instead of the best.
Allah's Favours on
Moses' People - Quranic
Allah the Exalted said:
" Remember when Moses asked
for water for his people, We said: "Strike the stone with your stick."
Then gushed forth therefrom twelve springs. Each group of people knew
its own place for water. "Eat and drink of what which Allah had
provided and do not act corruptly, making mischief on the earth."
And remember when you said: "O Moses! We cannot
endure one kind of food. So invoke your Lord for us to b ring forth for
us of what the earth grows, its herbs, its cucumbers, its Fum (wheat,
or garlic), its lentils and its onions." He said: "Would you exchange
that which is better for that which is lower? Go you down to any town
and you shall find what you want!" (Ch 2:60-61 Quran).
The Cowardice of
Allah had also directed Moses to lea them to the
Promised Land (Palestine) which had been promised to Abraham as a land
in which the pious and Allah-fearing of his offspring would live and
uphold Allah's law. The children of Israel were an ungrateful people.
In spite of all of Allah's favors, they could not stay away from evil
and continued to reject Allah's Laws. When Moses ordered them to
conquer the town of the Canaanites the Hittites (their enemies who had
hounded them), the children of Israel were cowardly and made excuses:
"O Moses, a great people dwell therein, We will not go in unless they
leave." Ancient books tell that they were six hundred thousand men.
Moses did not find among them but two men who were ready to fight.
These two said to the people: "Once we enter through the door, Allah
will make us victorious." However, all the children of Israel were an
incarnation of cowardice and quivered from within.
Allah Keeps Moses'
Moses knew that his people were fit for nothing.
Pharaoh was dead, but his effect upon their souls still remained. Their
recovery needed a long period of time. Moses returned to his Lord,
telling Him that he was responsible only for the actions of himself and
his brother. He prayed to his Lord to judge between his people and
Allah the Exalted issued His judgment against this
generation whose nature was corrupted by the Egyptians: they must
wander restlessly in the wilderness until this generation had died or
become senile and had created another generation, a generation which
had not been defeated from within and which could fight and score
The Cowardice of
Moses' People - Quranic
Almighty Allah revealed:
" And remember when Moses
said to his people: "O my people! Remember the Favor of Allah to you,
when He made Prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He
had not give to any other among the Alamin (mankind and jinn), in the
past. O my people! Enter the holy land (Palestine) which Allah has
assigned to you and turn not back in flight for then you will be
returned as losers."
They said: "O Moses! In it (this holy land) are a
people of great strength, and we shall never enter it, till they leave
it; when they leave, then we will enter."
Two men of those who feared Allah and in whom Allah
had His Grace said: "Assault them through the gate, for when you are
in, victory will be yours, and put your trust in Allah if you are
They said: "O Moses! We shall never enter it as long
as they are there. So go you, and your Lord and fight you two, we are
sitting right here." (Ch. 5: 20-24)
Moses' People are Kept Wandering - Quranic
He (Moses) said: "O my Lord! I have power only over
myself and my brother, so separate us from the people who are the
Fasiqeen (rebellious and disobedient to Allah)!"
Allah said: "Therefore it (this holy land) is
forbidden to them for forty years; in distraction they will wander
through the land. So be not sorrowful over the people who are the
Fasiqeen (rebellious and disobedient to Allah)." (Ch 5:20-26 Quran)
Moses Fasts for Forty
The days of restless wandering began. Each day ended
where it began and began where it ended. They started walking to no
destination, day and night, morning and evening. They entered Sinai.
Moses came to the same place where he had spoke to Allah for the first
time. He appealed to Allah for guidance in judging over his people.
Allah instructed him to purify himself by fasting for thirty days,
after which he was to go to Mount Sinai, where he would be given the
law by which he would govern his people.
The ancients said that after Moses fasted thirty days,
he hated to speak to his Lord because of the odor of his mouth. He ate
a plant of the earth and then his Lord said to him: "Why did you break
your fast?" Moses said: "O my Lord, I disliked to speak to You with my
mouth not having a pleasant smell." Allah said: "Do you not know,
Moses, the odor of the faster's mouth is more fragrant to Me than the
rose. Go back and fast ten days; then come back to Me." Moses did what
Moses Speaks to Allah
Almighty Allah declared:
" And We appointed for
Moses thirty nights and added to the period ten more, and he completed
them term, appointed by his Lord, of forty nights. And Moses said to
his brother Aaron: "Replace me among my people, act in the Right Way
(by ordering the people to obey Allah and to worship Him Alone) and
follow not the way of the Mufsideen (mischief makers)."
And when Moses came the time and
place appointed by Us,
and his Lord spoke to him, he said: "O my Lord! Show me (yourself),
that I may look upon You."
Allah said: "You cannot see Me, but look upon the
mountain if it stands still in its place then you shall see Me." So
when his Lord appeared to the mountain, He made it collapse to dust,
and Moses fell down unconscious. Then when he recovered his senses he
said: "Glory be to You, I turn to You in repentance and I am the first
of the believers."
Allah said: "O Moses, I have chosen you above men by My
Messages, and by My speaking to you. So hold that which I have given
you and be of the grateful."
And We wrote for him on the Tablets the lesson to be
drawn from all things and the explanation of all things (and said):
"hold unto these with firmness, and enjoin your people to take the
better therein, I shall show you the home of Al Fasiqeen (the
rebellious, disobedient to Allah). I shall turn away from My Ayat
(verses from the Quran), those who behave arrogantly on the earth, in a
wrongful manner, and even if they see all the Ayat (proofs, evidences,
verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) they will not believe in
them. And if they see the way of righteousness (monotheism, piety, and
good deeds), they will not adopt it as the Way, but if they see
of error (polytheism, crimes, and evil deeds), they will adopt that
way, that is because they have rejected Our Ayat (proofs, evidences,
verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and were heedless to learn a
lesson from them. Those who deny Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses,
lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and the Meeting in the Hereafter
(Day of Resurrection), vain are their deeds. Do they expect to be
rewarded with anything except what they used to do?" (Ch 7:142-147
The Ten Commandments
The Earlier scholars said that The Ten Commandments of
Torah are included in two verses of the Quran.
"Say: "Come, I will
recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in
worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your
children because of poverty- We provide sustenance for you and for
them; come not near to shameful sins (illegal sexual intercourse, etc.)
whether committed openly or secretly; and kill not anyone whom Allah
has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islamic law). This
He has commanded you that you may understand. And come not near to the
orphan's property, except to improve it, until he or she attains the
age of full strength; and give full measure and full weight with
justice. We burden not any person but that which he can bear. And
whenever you give your word (judge between men or give evidences, etc.)
, say the truth even if a near relative is concerned, and fulfill the
Covenant of Allah. This He commands you, that you may remember." (Ch
The Story of Golden
Calf - Moses' People Turn to Idolatry
Moses (pbuh) had been gone for forty days and his
people were becoming restless, for they did not know that Allah had
extended his time by a further ten days. Samiri, a man who was inclined
towards evil, suggested that they find themselves another guide, as
Moses had broken his promise. He said to them: "In order to find true
guidance, you need a god, and I shall provide one for you."
So he collected all their gold jewelry, dug a hole in
which he placed the lot, and lit a huge fire to melt it down. During
the casting, he threw a handful of dust, making actions like a
magician's to impress the ignorant. From the molten metal he fashioned
a golden calf. It was hollow, and the wind passing through it produced
a sound. Since superstition was imbedded in their past, they quickly
linked the strange sound to something supernatural, as if it were a
living god. Some of them accept the golden calf as their god.
Aaron Tries to Reason
with the Idolaters
Moses's brother Aaron (pbuh), who acted as their leader
in Moses' s absence, was grieved and spoke up: "O my people! You have
been deceived. Your Lord is the Most Beneficent. Follow and obey me."
They replied: "We shall stop worshipping this god only
if Moses returns."
Those who had remained steadfast in belief separated
themselves from the pagans.
Moses Sees the
On his return Moses saw his people singing and dancing
around the calf statue. Furious at their paganistic ritual, he flung
down the Tablet of the Law he was carrying for them. He tugged Aaron's
beard and his hair, crying: "What held you back when you saw them going
astray? Whey did you not fight this corruption?"
Aaron replied: "O son of my mother, let go of my beard!
The fold considered me weak and were about to kill me. So make not the
enemies rejoice over me, nor put me among the people who are
Moses' s anger began to subside when he understood
Aaron's helplessness, and he began to handle the situation calmly and
Almighty Allah narrated:
"They said: "We broke not
the promise to you, of our own will, but we were made to carry the
weight of the ornaments of the Pharaoh's people, then we cast them into
the fire, and that was what As-Samiri suggested."
Then he took out of the fire, for them a statue of a
calf which seemed to low. They said: "This is your ilah (god), and the
ilah (god) of Moses, but Moses has forgotten (his god)."
Did they not see that it could not return them a
word (for answer), and that it had no power either to harm them or to
do them good?
And Aaron indeed had said to them beforehand: "O my
people! You are being tried in this, and verily, your Lord is Allah the
Most Beneficent, so follow me and obey my order."
They said: "We will not stop worshipping it (the
calf) until Moses returns to us." (Ch 20:87-91 Quran)
Between Allah and Moses - Quranic
Allah the Exalted revealed some of the dialogue that
took place between Him and Moses on Mount Sinai:
"And what made you
hasten from your people, O Moses?"
He said: "They are close on my footsteps, and I
hastened to You, O my Lord! That you might be pleased."
Allah said: "Verily! We have tried your people in
your absence, and As-Samiri has led them astray."
Then Moses returned to his people in a state of
anger and sorrow. He said: "O my people! Did not your Lord promise you
a fair promise? Did then the promise seem to you long in coming? Or did
you desire the Wrath should descend from your Lord on you, so you broke
your promise to me (disbelieving in Allah and worshipping the calf)?"
(Ch 20: 83-86 Quran)
Allah the Exalted revealed what happened further on
"Moses said: "O Aaron! What stopped you when you saw
them going astray, that you followed me not (according to my advice to
you)? Have you then disobeyed my order?"
He (Aaron) said; "O my son of my mother! Seize me
not by my beard, nor by my head! Verily, I feared lest you should say:
'You have caused a division among the children of Israel, and you have
not respected my word!'"
(Moses) said: "And what is the matter with you, O
Samiri? (why did you do so?)"
Samiri said: "I saw what you saw not, so I took a
handful of dust from the hoof print of the Messenger (Gabriel's horse)
and threw it (into the fire in which were put the ornaments of the
Pharaoh's people, or into the calf). Thus my inner-self suggested to
Moses said: "Then go away! And verily, your
punishment in this life will be that you will say: 'Touch me not' (you
will live alone exiled away from mankind); and verily (for a future
torment), you have a promise that will not fail. And look at your ilah
(god), to which you have been devoted. We will certainly burn it, and
scatter its particles in the sea." (Ch 20:83-98 Quran)
However, the punishment which was imposed upon the calf
worshippers was severe, death. Remember when Moses said to his
people: "O my people! Verily, you have wronged yourselves by
worshipping the calf. So turn in repentance to your Creator and kill
yourselves (the innocent kill the wrong doers among you), that will be
better for you in the Sight of your Creator." Then He accepted your
repentance. Truly, He is the One Who accepts repentance, the Most
Merciful. (Ch 2:54 Quran)
Therefore, the crime of worshipping the calf did not
pass unpunished. Moses commanded the elite of the children of Israel to
pray to Allah for forgiveness and demonstrate their repentanc. He chose
seventy en out of them and ordered them: "Rush towards Allah and repent
for what you did and ask His forgiveness for what you left."
Moses' People Demand
to See Allah
Moses returned to Mount Sinai with the seventy elders
and there he communicated with Allah. The elders heard Moses speaking
with his Lord. (Allah spoke to Moses directly.) This was, perhaps, the
last miracle that they would see, and it was hoped that it would be
sufficient enough to convey the religion to their hearts forever.
However, the seventy elite who heard the miracles were dissatisfied.
They said to Moses:
"O Moses! We shall never believe in you till we
see Allah plainly." (Ch 2:35 Quran)
This was a tragedy that amazes one. It was a tragedy
that indicated those who were hard-hearted and who continued to hold
onto sensual and material concerns. Their stubborn demand was rewarded
with punishing lightning bolts and a violent quaking that stupefied
their souls and bodies at once, leaving them dead.
Moses Prays for His
Moses knew what had happened to the seventy elite and
was filled with sorrow. He prayed to his Lord, entreating Him to
forgive them, for they were fools. Foolishness is only expiated by
death. Allah forgave the elders and revived them after their death.
Allah the Exalted declared:
"Moses chose out of his
people seventy of the best men for Our appointed time and place of
meeting, and when they were seized with a violent earthquake, he said:
"O my Lord, if it had been Your Will, You could have destroyed them and
me before; would You destroy us for the deeds of the foolish ones among
us? It is only Your Trial by which You lead astray whom You will, and
keep guided whom You will. You are our Wali (Protector), so forgive us
and have Mercy on us, for You are the Best of Those who forgive. And
ordain for us good in this world, and in the Hereafter. Certainly we
have turned unto You."
He said (as to ) My Punishment I afflict therewith
whom I will and My Mercy embraces all things. That (Mercy) I shall
ordain for those who are the Muttaqun and give Zakat; and those who
believe in our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs,
revelations, etc.); Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can
neither read nor write (Muhammad) whom they find written with them in
the Torah and the Gospel, (Ch 7:155-157 Quran , Deut. 18:18; Psl.
118:22-23; Isa 42:1-13; Hab, 3:3-4, Matt 21:42-43, Jn 14:16-17, 26-28,
16:7-14) he commands them for Al Ma'ruf (Islamic Monotheism and all
that Islam has ordained); and forbids them from Al Munkar (disbelief,
polytheism, of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); he allows
them as lawful At Tayyibat (all good and lawful) as regards things,
deeds beliefs, persons, food, etc. and prohibits them as unlawful Al
Khabaith (all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs,
persons, food, etc.), he releases them from their heavy burdens (of
Allah's Covenant), and from the fetters (bindings) that were upon them.
So those who believe in him (Muhammad), honor him, help him, and follow
the light (the Quran) which has been sent down with him, it is they who
will be successful. (Ch 7:155-157 Quran)
The Story of Israelites and the Cow -
The Pious Man and His Son
calling them to
Allah. It seems their souls were uneasy in a way that the observant eye
could not mistake. Their obstinacy and chattering about what has become
known as "The Story of the Cow" was unwarranted. This topic did not
need so many negotiations between Moses and the people, nor did it need
all their bias.
It was said that among the children of Israel there
lived a pious man. He was poor but very careful about how he earned the
living; it had to be honestly earned. Everything that he did was done
for the sake of Allah, never for selfish gain. On his deathbed his last
words were: "O Allah, I place my wife, my little son, and my only
possession, a calf, in Your care." Strangely, he asked his wife to lead
the calf to the forest and leave it there. He did this because he did
not trust the children of Israel, for they were a selfish and greedy
After a few years when the boy had grown up, his mother
told him: "Your father has left you a calf in the trust of Allah. It
must have grown into a cow by now." The son was surprised. He did not
know of any calf all these years and asked his mother where it was. She
replied: "Be like your father and say: 'I trust in Allah,' then go look
With a rope in his hand, he went to the forest and
prostrated himself before Allah: "O Allah, Lord of Abraham and Jacob
and Job, return to me my father's trust. " As he raised his head, he
saw a cow coming towards him. It stopped submissively beside him. He
tied the rope around its neck and led it to his house. The cow would
not allow anyone else come near it except the young man.
The youth was as pious as his father. He earned his
living by cutting wood. Whatever he earned he divided into three equal
portions; one he gave to his mother, one he used for his needs, and the
last he gave as charity. His nights, too, were divided into three
parts; during the early part of the night he helped his mother, the
middle part he devoted to the worship of Allah, and during the last
part he rested.
The People Ask
Questions About a Cow
About this a wealthy man died, leaving behind an only
son, who inherited his father's wealth. His cousins envied his good
fortune, and secretly killed him so that they could inherit it.
The dead boy's other relatives came to the Prophet
Moses (pbuh) and asked his help in tracing the boy's murderer. Moses
instructed them to slaughter a cow, remove its tongue and place it on
the corpse. This would reveal the murderer, he told them. They accused
Moses of joking. He replied: "Allah forbid that I be foolish!" They
questioned him about the type of cow they should slaughter, and he
said: "This cow is neither young nor mature, but in between the two
conditions, so do as you have been commanded."
Instead of following his direction, they asked him more
questions. "What color must it be?"
He replied: "Verily, it is yellow in color."
They still were not satisfied with his answer and asked
for more details. Moses replied: "It is an unyoked cow; it does not
plow the soil nor water the tilth, and is entirely without marks."
Moses' People Find the
They went out in search of such a cow. The only one
that matched the description was the one owned by the orphaned youth.
They met him on the way and asked the price for which he would sell his
cow. He told them he would have to consult his mother first, so they
accompanied him to his house and offered her three gold coins. She
refused their offer, saying that the cow was worth much more.
They were on increasing their offer and the mother kept
on refusing. Finally the urged the son to speak to his mother to be
reasonable. He told them: "I will not sell the cow without my mother's
approval, even if you offered me its skin filled with gold!" On hearing
this, his mother smiled and said: "Let that be the price: its skin
filled with gold." They realized that no other cow would do; they had
to have it at any price. They agreed to buy the cow and paid with its
skin filled with gold.
The People are Asked
to Slaugter a Cow - Quranic
Allah the Almighty narrated:
"And remember when Moses
said to his people: "Verily, Allah commands you that you slaughter a
They said: "Do you make fun of us?"
He said: "I take Allah's Refuge from being among Al
Jahileen (the ignorants or the foolish)."
They said: "Call upon your Lord for us that He may
make plain to us what it is!"
He said: "He says, 'Verily, it is a cow neither too
old nor too young, but it is between the two conditions, so do what you
They said; "Call upon your Lord for us to make plain
to us its color."
He said: "He says, 'It is a yellow cow bright in its
color, pleasing to the beholders.'"
They said: "Call upon your Lord for us to make plain
to us what it is. Verily to us all cows are alike, and surely, if Allah
wills, we will be guided."
He (Moses) said: "He says, 'It is a cow neither
trained to till the soil nor water the fields, sound, having no other
color except bright yellow.'"
They said: "Now you have brought the truth." So they
slaughtered it though they were near to not doing it.
And remember when you killed a man and fell into
dispute among yourselves to the crime. But Allah brought forth that
which you were hiding. So We said: "Strike him (the dead man) with a
piece of it (the cow)." Thus Allah brings the dead to life and shows
you His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations,
etc.) so that you may understand.
Then after that your hearts were hardened and became
as stone or even worse in hardness. And indeed, there are stones out of
which rivers gush forth, and indeed, there are of them stones which
fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.
(Ch 2:67-74 Quran).
The Story of Moses and Al-Khidr -
Moses Informed of a Wise Man
sermon that all who heard it was deeply moved. Someone in the
congregation asked: "O Messenger of Allah, is there another man on
earth more learned than you?" Moses replied: "No!", believing so, as
Allah had given him the power of miracles and honored him with the
However, Allah revealed to Moses that no man could know
all there is to know, nor would one messenger alone be the custodian of
all knowledge. There would always be another who knew what others did
not. Moses asked Allah: "O Allah, where is this man? I would like to
meet him and learn from him." He also asked for a sign to this person's
Allah instructed him to take a live fish in a water
filled vessel. When the fish disappeared, he would find the man he
sought. Moses set out on his journey, accompanied by a young man who
carried the vessel with the fish. They reached a place where two rivers
met and decided to rest there. Instantly, Moses fell asleep.
Moses Finds Al-Khidr
While he was asleep, his companion saw the fish wriggle
out of the vessel into the river and swim away. However, he forgot to
relate the incident to Moses. When he awoke, they continued their
journey until they were exhausted and hungry. Moses asked for his
morning meal. Only then did his companion recall that the fish they had
brought with them had gotten away. Hearing this, Moses exclaimed: "This
is exactly what we are seeking!"
They hurriedly retraced their steps to the place where
the rivers met and where the fish had jumped out. There they found a
man, his face partly covered with a hood. His bearing showed he was a
saintly man. He was Al-Khidr, the guide.
Moses Finds Al-Khidr -
Allah the Almighty narrated:
"And remember when Moses
said to his boy servant: "I will not give up (traveling) until I reach
the junction of the two seas or until I spend years and years in
But when they reached the junction of the two seas,
they forgot their fish, and it took its way through the sea as in a
tunnel. So when they had passed further on (beyond that fixed place),
Moses said to his boy servant: "Bring us our morning meal; truly, we
have suffered much fatigue in this, our journey."
He said: "Do you remember when we betook ourselves
to the dock? I indeed forgot the fish, none but Satan made me forget to
remember it. It took its course into the sea in a strange way!"
Moses said: "That is what we have been seeking." So
they went back retracing their footsteps.
Then they found one of Our slaves, unto whom We had
bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us. (Ch.
Moses Speaks to
Moses said to him (Khidr) "May I follow you so that
you teach me something of that knowledge (guidance, and true path)
which you have been taught by Allah?"
He (Khidr) said: "Verily! You will not be able to
have patience with me! And how can you have patience about a thing
which you know not?"
Moses said; "If Allah will, you will find me
patience, and I will not disobey you in aught."
He (Khidr) said: "Then, if you follow me, ask me not
about anything till I myself mention it to you."
So they both proceeded, till, when they were in the
ship, he (Khidr) scuttled it. Moses said: "Have you scuttled it in
order to drown its people? Verily, you have done Imra- a Munkar (evil,
bad, dreadful) thing."
He (Khidr) said: "Did I not tell you, that you would
not be able to have patience with me?"
Moses said: "Cal me not to account for what I
forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair with you."
Then they both proceeded, till they met a boy, he
(Khidr) killed him. Moses said: "Have you killed an innocent person who
had killed none? Verily, you have done Nukra a great Munkar
(prohibited, evil dreadful) thing!"
Khidr said: "Did I not tell you that you can have no
patience with me?"
Moses said: "If I ask you anything after this, keep
me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me."
Then they both proceeded, till, when they came to
the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to
entertain them. Then they found therein a wall about to collapse and he
(Khidr) set it up straight. Moses said: "If you had wished, surely you
could have taken wages for it!"
Khidr said: "This is the parting between me and you,
I will tell you the interpretation of those things over which you were
unable to hold patience.
"As for the ship, it belonged to poor people working
in the sea. So I wished to make a defective damage in it, as there was
a king after them, who seized every ship by force.
"And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and
we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief. So we
intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in
righteousness and near to mercy.
"And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys
in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and
their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they
should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as
a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the
interpretation of those (things) over which could not hold patience.
(Ch 18:66-82 Quran)
Moses Seeks Al-Khidr -
The story of Moses and Al-Khidr is also told in a
hadith. Said Ibn Jubair said: "I said to Ibn' Abbas, Nauf Al Bukah
claims that Moses, the companion of Al Khidr, was not Moses (the
Prophet) of the children of Israel, but some other Moses.' Ibn Abbas
said: 'Allah's enemy (Nauf) has told a lie. Ubai Ibn Kab told us that
the Prophet (pbuh) said: "Once Moses stood up and addressed Bani
Israel. He was asked who was the most learned man amongst the people.
He said: "I." Allah admonished him as he did not attribute absolute
knowledge to Him (Allah). So, Allah said to him: "Yes, at the junction
of the two seas there is a slave of Mine who is more learned than you."
Moses said; "O my Lord! How can I meet him?" Allah said: "Take a fish
and put it in a large basket and you will find him at the place where
you will lose the fish."
Moses took a fish and put it in a basket and proceeded
along with his servant boy, Joshua (Yusha Ibn Nun), till they reached
the rock where they laid their heads (lay down). Moses slept, and the
fish, moving out of the basket, fell into the sea. It took its way into
the sea straight as in a tunnel. Allah stopped the flow of water over
the fish and it became like an arch (the Prophet pointed out this arch
with his hands). They traveled the rest of the night, and the next day
Moses said to his boy servant: "Give us our food, for indeed, we have
suffered much fatigue in this journey of ours." Moses did not feel
tired till he crossed that place which Allah had ordered him to seek
after. His boy said to him: "Do you know that when we were sitting near
that rock, I forgot the fish, and none but Satan caused me to forget to
tell you about it, and it took its course into the sea in an amazing
way?" So there was a path for the fish and that astonished them. Moses
said: "That was what we were seeking after."
So both of them retraced their footsteps till they
reached the rock. There they saw a man lying covering with a garment.
Moses Talks to
Al-Khidr - Hadith
Moses greeted him, and he replied saying: "How do
people greet each
other in your land?" Moses said: "I am Moses."
The man asked: "Moses of Bani Israel?" Moses said:
"yes, I have come to you so that you may teach me from those things
which Allah has taught you." He said: "O Moses! I have some of the
knowledge of Allah which Allah has taught me and which you do not know,
wyou have some of the knowledge of Allah which Allah has taught you and
which I do not know." Moses asked: "May I follow you?" He said: "But
you will not be able to remain patient with me, for how can you be
patient about things which you will not be able to understand?" Moses
said: "You will find me, if Allah so will, truly patient, and I will
not disobey you in aught."
So both of them set out walking along the seashore. A
boat passed by them, and they asked the crew of the boat to take them
on board. The crew recognized Al-Khidr, so they took them on board
without fare. When they were on board the boat, a sparrow came and
stood on the edge of the boat and dipped its beak once or twice into
the sea. Al Khidr said to Moses: "O Moses! My knowledge and your
knowledge have not decreased Allah's knowledge except as much as this
sparrow has decreased the water of the sea with its beak." Then
suddenly Al Khidr took an adz and pulled up a plank, and Moses did not
notice it till he had pulled up a plank with the adz. Moses said to
him: "What have you done? They took us on board charging us nothing;
yet you have intentionally made a hole in their boat as to drown its
passengers. Verily, you have done a dreadful thing." Al Khidr replied:
"Did I not tell you that you would not be able to remain patient with
me?" Moses replied: "Do not blame me for what I have forgotten, and do
not be hard upon me for my fault." So the first excuse of Moses was
that he had forgotten.
When they had left the sea, they passed by a boy
playing with other boys. Al Khidr took a hold of the boy's head and
plucked it with his fingertips as if he were plucking some fruit. Moses
said to him: "Have you killed an innocent person who has not killed any
person? You have really done a horrible thing." Al Khidr said: "Did I
not tell you that you could not remain patient with me?" Moses said:
"If I ask you about anything after this, don't accompany me. You have
received an excuse from me."
Then both of them went on till they came to some people
of a village, and they asked its inhabitants for food but they refused
to entertain them as guests. Then they saw therein a wall which was
just going to collapse and Al Khidr repaired it just by touching it
with his hands. (Sufyan, the sub-narrator, gestured with his hands,
illustrating how Al Khidr passed his hands over the wall upwards.)
Moses said: "These are the people whom we have called on, but they
neither gave us food, nor entertained us as guests, yet you have
repaired their wall. If you had wished, you could have taken wages for
Al Khidr said: "This is the parting between you and me,
and I shall tell you the explanation of those things on which you could
not remain patient."
The Prophet (pbuh) added: "We wish that Moses could
have remained patient by virtue of which Allah might have told us more
about their story." (Sufyan, the sub-narrator, said that the Prophet
(pbuh) said: "May Allah bestow His Mercy on Moses! If he had remained
patient, we would have been told further about their case." (Sahih
Death of Moses - Moses' Suffering
Moses (pbuh) suffered terribly from his people and
endured much for the sake of Allah.
Abdullah Ibn Umar narrated: "Once
the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) distributed something (among his
companions). A man said: "This distribution has not been done (with
justice) seeking Allah's Countenance.' I went to the Prophet (pbuh) and
told him of that. He became so angry that I saw the signs of anger on
his face. Then he said: 'May Allah bestow His Mercy on Moses, for he
was harmed more (in a worse manner) than this; yet he endured
patiently.'" (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
The children of Israel mistreated Moses (pbuh) a lot.
His agony was not limited to mutiny, stupidity, chattering, ignorance,
and idolatry; it exceeded this and went as far as inflicting personal
harm on him.
Almighty Allah commanded:
"O you who believe! Be not
like those who annoyed Moses, but Allah cleared him of that which they
alleged, and he was honorable in Allah's sight! (Ch 33:69 Quran).
Allah Clears Moses of
Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah's Messenger Muhammad
(pbuh) said: "Prophet Moses was a shy person and used to cover his body
completely because of his extensive shyness. One of the children of
Israel hurt him by saying: 'He covers his body in this way only because
of some defect in his skin, either leprosy or scrotal hernia, or he has
some other defect.'
Allah wished to clear Moses of what they said about
him, so one day while Moses was in seclusion, he took his clothes and
put them on a s tone and started taking a bath. When he had finished
the bath, he moved towards his clothes so as to take them, but the
stone took his clothes and fled. Moses picked up his stick and ran
after the stone saying: 'O stone! Give me my garment!' till he reached
a group of children of Israel who saw him naked then, and found him in
the best shape of what Allah had created, and Allah cleared him of what
they had accused him of. The stone stopped there, and Moses took and
put on his garment and started hitting the stone with his stick. By
Allah, the stone still has some traces of the hitting, three, four, or
five marks. This was what Allah the Almighty refers to in His saying:
O you who believe! Be not like those who annoyed Moses, but Allah
cleared him of that which they alleged, and he was honorable in Allah's
sight!" (Ch 33:69 Quran) (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
The Death of Aaron
Aaron (pbuh) died shortly before Moses (pbuh). His
people were still wandering in the wilderness when he died.
The Death of Moses
Abu Hurairah narrated: "The Angel of Death was sent to
Moses (pbuh). When he came to Moses, Moses slapped him on the eye. The
Angel returned to his Lord and said: 'You have sent me to a slave who
does not want to die.' Allah said: 'Return to him and tell him to put
his hand on the back of an ox and for every hair that will come under
it, he will be granted one year of life.' Moses said: 'O Lord! What
will happen after that?' Allah replied: 'then death.' Moses said: 'Let
it come now!' Moses then requested Allah to let him die close to the
Holy Land so that he would be at a distance of a stone's throw from
it." Abu Hurairah added: "Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said: 'If I were
there, I would show you his grave below the red sandhill on the side of
the road.'" (Sahih Al Bukhari)
Moses (pbuh), Prophet of Allah and the one to whom
Allah spoke to directly, met his death with a contented soul and a
faithful heart that looked forward to righteousness and made haste to
meet with Him Who bore tidings of peace.