THE PROPHET MUSA (AS)

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The prophet most frequently mentioned as an example in the Qur'an is the Prophet Musa (as). Many verses offer detailed accounts of his difficulties with his people and Pharaoh, his struggle in communicating the message to his people, his moral excellence, his faith in and submission to Allah and his sincerity.

Reading these verses about the Prophet Musa (as) ensures following this messenger whom Allah made superior in many ways, and adopting what he preached to his people.

 

The Prophet Musa (as) Told Pharaoh That He

Was A Messenger Of Allah And That If He

Adhered To Him, He Would Be Guided

At the behest of Allah, the Prophet Musa (as) first communicated Allah's message to Pharaoh. Pharaoh was an extremely insolent man who declared himself a deity and his people simply submitted themselves to him because of the material power which he possessed. Allah wanted Musa (as) to go to Pharaoh. This is related in a verse as follows:

 

Go to him and say, “We are your Lord’s Messengers so send the tribe of Israel away with us and oppress them no more. We have brought you a Sign from your Lord. Peace be upon those who follow the right guidance. It has been revealed to us that the scourge will fall on those who deny His signs and give no heed to them.” (Surah Ta Ha, 47-48)

 

In another verse, Allah gave the Prophet Musa (as) the following command:

 

Go to Pharaoh—he has overstepped the limits and say: ‘Do you resolve to purify yourself? I will guide you to your Lord so that you may fear Him.’” (Surat an-Nazi’at, 17-19)

 

Upon Allah’s revelation, the Prophet Musa (as) went to Pharaoh in the company of his brother Harun (as) and conveyed the message to Pharaoh:

 

Musa said, “Pharaoh! I am truly a Messenger from the Lord of all the worlds, and am duty-bound to say nothing about Allah except the truth. I have come to you with a Clear Sign from your Lord. So send the tribe of Israel away with me.”(Surat al-A’raf, 104-105)

 


The Prophet Musa (as) Told Pharaoh That Allah

Created Everything And He Had Knowledge

Of Everything

The following conversation between the Prophet Musa (as)and Pharaoh is related in the Qur’an:

 

Pharaoh said, “Who then is your Lord, Musa?” He said,“Our Lord is He Who gives each thing its created form and then guides it.” He said, “What about the previous generations? "He replied, “He alone has knowledge of them, recorded in a Book. My Lord does not err nor does He forget.” (Surah Ta Ha, 49-52)

 

As the verses above relate, the Prophet Musa (as) answered Pharaoh's questions about the existence of Allah very wisely. He told of Allah’s existence and grandeur first by saying that He is the Creator of everything and then elaborating on His names.

 

The Prophet Musa (as) Declared That

Allah Is The Lord Of Everything

The Prophet Musa (as) told Pharaoh of Allah’s infinite might as follows:

 

Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord of all the worlds?” He replied, “The Lord of the heavens and the Earth and everything between them, if only you had faith!” Pharaoh said to those around him, “Are you listening?” Musa went on, “He is your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers.” (Surat ash-Shu’ara’, 23-26)

 

Musa said, “He is the Lord of the East and the West and everything between them, if only you could understand!”(Surat ash-Shu’ara’, 28)

 

The Prophet Musa (as) Warned Pharaoh And

His Magicians Against Allah’s Wraith

Like all other disbelievers, upon the Prophet Musa’s (as) declaration that Allah is the sole deity, Pharaoh resorted to cruelty. He threatened the Prophet Musa (as), saying that he would be sent to prison. The conversation between the Prophet Musa (as)and Pharaoh is related in the Qur’an as follows:

 

Pharaoh said, “If you take any god other than me, I will certainly throw you into prison.” Musa said, “Even if I were to bring you an undeniable sign?” (Surat ash-Shu’ara’, 29-30)

 

Then the Prophet Musa (as) performed miracles, for which reason Pharaoh, with his unswerving insistence on denial, accused him of sorcery. Believing that Musa’s (as) magic could be undone by sorcery, he called magicians from all over the country to confront Musa (as) and promised them a reward in return for defeating Musa (as).

 

Musa said to them, “Woe to you! Do not fabricate lies against Allah or He will annihilate you with His scourge. Impostors are bound to fail.” (Surah Ta Ha, 61)

 

The Prophet Musa (as) Told The Magicians

That Allah Would Render Their Magic Void

As we saw in the life histories of the previous messengers, Allah gave the good news that He would always protect men of faith, and disbelievers would never be able to harm them against His Will. When the time of confrontation came, the Prophet Musa(as) told the magicians that their performance was mere sorcery, which would be rendered void by the Will of Allah:

 

... When they had thrown, Musa said, “What you have brought is magic. Allah will certainly prove it false. Allah does not uphold the actions of corrupters.” Allah confirms the Truth by His words, even though the evil-doers may hate it. (Surah Yunus, 81-82)

 

Despite this, the magicians insisted on struggling against the Prophet Musa (as) and employed all their means to defeat him. The related verses read:

 

Musa said to them, “Throw whatever it is you are going to throw!” They threw down their ropes and staffs and said, "By the might of Pharaoh we are the winners.” (Surat ash-Shu’ara’, 43-44)

 

At this, Allah revealed to the Prophet Musa (as) the following: "Throw down what is in your right hand. It will swallow up their devices for their devices are just magicians' tricks. Magicians shall not prosper whatever they do.”(Surah Ta Ha, 69)

 

Indeed, Allah’s promise came true and the Prophet Musa (as)worked a real miracle by his staff:

 

But Musa threw down his staff and at once it swallowed up what they had fabricated. The magicians prostrated themselves in adoration, saying, “We now believe in the Lord of all the worlds.” (Surat ash-Shu’ara’, 45-47) 

 

At Pharaoh’s Threat Of Murder, The Prophet

Musa (as) Declared That He Trusted In Allah Alone

 

No doubt, the violation of the established system infuriated Pharaoh, for it conflicted with his personal interests. This was the main reason for his threatening Musa with murder, saying, “… Let me kill Musa and then let him call upon his Lord! I am afraid that he may change your religion and bring about corruption in the land.” (Surah Ghafir, 26)

At Pharaoh’s threat, the Prophet Musa (as) showed great resoluteness, as did other messengers, and answered thus:

 

... “I seek refuge in my Lord and in your Lord from every tyrant who does not believe in the Day of Reckoning.”(Surah Ghafir, 27)

 

The Prophet Musa (as) Declared That Pharaoh

And His Inner Circle Would Never Attain Salvation

Pharaoh and his inner circle considered Musa’s (as) miracles granted to Him by Allah as sorcery. Musa (as) answered these people, who accused him of being a magician saying, “…we have not heard of this [religion] among our forefathers:”

 

“… My Lord knows best who has come with guidance from Him and who will have the best Home in the end. The wrongdoers will certainly not be successful.” (Surat al-Qasas, 37)

 

In the Qur’an, Allah tells us about the existence of people who reject Allah’s signs, while in their inner beings they are convinced thereof. Pharaoh was one of the most insolent of such people. Despite the clear evidence brought by Prophet Musa (as), he ignored them. Furthermore, when Allah inflicted upon the followers of Pharaoh a number of calamities, they asked Musa (as) to pray to Allah for them—although they stated that they disbelieved—, declaring that they would believe if their wish was granted. (Surat al-Araf, 130-135)

The Prophet Musa (as) addressed Pharaoh, who arrogantly ignored the truth, as follows:

 

We gave Musa nine Clear Signs. Ask the tribe of Israel about when he came to them and Pharaoh said to him, “Musa, I think you are bewitched.” He replied, “You know that no one sent these down but the Lord of the heavens and Earth as clear proofs. Pharaoh, I can see that you are doomed.” (Surat al-Isra’, 101-102)

 

The Prophet Musa (as) Enjoined Patience

And Trust In Allah

The Prophet Musa (as) told believers to remain patient in the face of Pharaoh’s accusations and attacks, and gave the good news that Allah would grant absolute victory to believers over disbelievers:

 

They said, “We were oppressed before you came to us and oppressed we shall remain.” He said, “It may well be that your Lord is going to destroy your enemy and make you the successors in the land, so that He can see how you behave.”(Surat al-A’raf, 129)

 

In yet another verse, the Prophet Musa (as) admonished his people to trust in Allah:

 

Musa said, “My people! If you believe in Allah, then put your trust in Him, if you are Muslims.” (Surah Yunus, 84)

 

When people face a difficulty, acting with patience and trusting in Allah, as the Prophet Musa (as) advised his people to do, and, owing to this sound mindset, taking rational decisions and being moderate always bring success to believers.

 

The Prophet Musa (as) Set An Example To

His People With His Patience

In compliance with Allah’s command, the Prophet Musa (as)and his people secretly left Egypt. Pharaoh thereupon mobilised his soldiers and set out after the children of Israel.

By the time the children of Israel had reached the banks of the Red Sea, Musa’s (as) people said they had no place to escape:

 

“… Indeed, we are to be overtaken...” (Surat ash-Shu’ara’, 61)

 

At that very moment, the way Musa (as) conducted himself is an example for all believers. He remembered that he should never lose faith in Allah’s help:

 

Musa said, “Never! My Lord is with me and He will guide me.” (Surat ash-Shu’ara’, 62)

 

This committed attitude, assumed by the Prophet Musa (as) at such a time of difficulty, no doubt sets an example to all Muslims. No matter what a person encounters, he should never forget that Allah has control over everything and that everything happens as He wills.

Indeed, in return for this profound faith, Allah divided the waters of the sea, leaving a dry path in the middle, which the children of Israel immediately followed. When Pharaoh and his soldiers blindly set foot on the path that divided the sea, the waters suddenly began to close in on them and they all drowned. This event is surely clear evidence that Allah’s help and support is always with believers.

Reminding his people about Allah’s blessings upon them, the Prophet Musa (as) warned his people about not being ignorant. After Pharaoh and his soldiers were drowned in the sea, Musa (as)set off with his tribe to a safer place where they met some people who practised a polytheistic religion. They thereupon asked the Prophet Musa (as) to give them a god just like those people had and thereby displayed their deviant understanding of faith. The Prophet Musa (as) described the situation of people who worship beings other than Allah, and reminded them about the blessings they enjoyed, so as to prevent them from displaying ingratitude:

 

Musa said, “You are indeed an ignorant people. What these people are doing is destined for destruction. What they are doing is purposeless.” Then he asked, “Should I seek something other than Allah as a god for you when He has favoured you over all other beings?” [And he reminded them of this word of Allah.] “Remember when We rescued you from Pharaoh’s people who oppressed you cruelly, killing your sons and letting your women live. In that there was a terrible trial from your Lord.” (Surat al-A’raf, 138-141)

 

Allah grants countless blessings: being able to think, speak, see, the beauties surrounding one, the way the world is created in a way to meet all one’s needs and hundreds and thousands of other blessings that are impossible to count here… Feeling grateful for these blessings is a form of worship for believers. One who ponders upon them and is able to see Allah’s mercy to him becomes more devoted to our Lord and can never dare to be ungrateful towards Him. For this reason, messengers reminded their people about Allah’s blessings and, in compliance with Allah's commands, reminded them to remember them, as the Prophet Musa (as) did:

 

Remember when Musa said to his people, “My people! Remember Allah’s blessing to you when He appointed prophets among you and made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other nation!” (Surat al-Ma’ida, 20)

 

The Prophet Musa (as) Warned His

People Against Being Ungrateful To Allah

After saving the Children of Israel from Pharaoh’s cruelty, Allah granted them many material and spiritual blessings. In the Qur'an, the blessings given to them are enumerated as follows:

 

And We shaded you with clouds and sent down manna and quails to you: “Eat of the good things We have provided for you.” They did not wrong Us; rather it was themselves they were wronging… Remember when We said, “Go into this town and eat from it wherever you like, freely. Make your way reverently through the gates and say, ‘We repent!’ Your mistakes will be forgiven. We will bestow abundance on the righteous among you.”(Surat al-Baqara, 57-58)

 

And when Musa was looking for water for his people, We said, “Strike the Rock with your staff.” Then twelve fountains gushed out from it and each tribe knew their drinking place. “Eat and drink of Allah’s provision and do not go about the Earth corrupting it.” (Surat al-Baqara, 60)

 

However, his people turned ungrateful; they told Musa (as)that they would no longer put up with a monotonous diet and asked him to implore Allah for green vegetables, grains, lentils and onions. In return for this ungrateful attitude of his people, Prophet Musa (as) said the following:

 

… And when you said, “Musa, we will not put up with just one kind of food, so ask your Lord to supply to us some of what the earth produces—its green vegetables, cucumbers, grains, lentils and onions,” he said, “Do you want to replace what is better with what is inferior? Go to any town, then you will have what you are asking for. "Shame and misery were stamped upon them. They incurred the wrath of Allah. That was because they rejected Allah's Signs and killed His prophets without any right to do so; and because they rebelled and went beyond the limits. (Surat al-Baqara, 61)

 

As we see in this story about the Prophet Musa (as), Allah's messengers always reminded their peoples to feel grateful for the blessings they had and warned them against a terrible scourge if they failed to carry out divine worship. Those assuming a contrary attitude should fear facing the end that befell those ungrateful nations of the past. The Prophet Musa (as) reminded his people who swerved from the right path about Allah's promise and His punishment, and summoned them to ask for repentance.

Upon Allah’s command, the Prophet Musa (as) left his people behind and headed for Mountain of Tur, leaving his people in the care of Harun (as). However during his absence, his people were lured away from the remembrance of Allah by a man named Samiri who built a statue of a calf for them to worship. When Musa (as) returned to his tribe, he asked them:

 

"My people, did not your Lord make you a handsome promise? Did the fulfillment of the promise seem too long to you in coming, or was it to incur your Lord's anger that you failed me?” (Surah Ta Ha, 86)

 

The Prophet Musa (as) summoned his people to repent one by one. After explaining to them their wrongdoing, he told them that it would be better for them if they repented:

 

And when Musa said to his people, “My people, You wronged yourselves by adopting the calf, so turn towards your Maker and kill your own [guilty] selves. That is the best thing for you in your Maker’s sight.” And He turned towards you. He is the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful. (Surat al-Baqara, 54)


 

The Prophet Musa (as) Humiliated the Samiri

Who Forced His Tribe into Idolatry, and

Glorified Allah

 

“Begone!” cried Musa. “An outcast shall you be in this life, nor shall you escape your appointed doom. Look at your god which you served with such devotion. We will burn it to cinders and then scatter its ashes far and wide over the sea.” (Surah Ta Ha, 97)

 

As seen in the above verse, the Prophet Musa (as) took a definitive precaution against a hypocrite who had led his people astray. He drove Samiri away, so as to hinder him from causing further corruption among his people. To this end, Musa (as) burnt the idol Samiri had built and then scattered its ashes in the sea. Thus, nothing remained of this statue. This attitude of the Prophet Musa (as)also gives a hint about how believers should take action in such situations. This aside, the Prophet Musa (as) told Samiri about the kind of torment he would face both in this world and beyond. Then, the Prophet Musa (as) reminded his people that their god was Allah alone:

 

"Your god is Allah alone, there is no god but Him. He encompasses all things in His knowledge.” (Surah Ta-Ha, 98)


2011-01-24 03:32:57
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