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Prophet Musa (Moses)

Allah's Mercy Comes to them

She Puts him in a Box

The Box is Picked up

At Pharaoh's Place

Musa's Mother Stays with him

Musa Gets in a Tight Spot

Musa in Egypt (Outline)

Musa Leaves Egypt

At the Watering Place

Musa Gets Ready to Go Back

Musa Becomes a Prophet

Musa in Sinai (Outline)

The Big Day

Allah Saves them, The Escape

They are at the Sea

Musa Receives the Law

They Live in the Desert

The Gushing water

You Go Fight, You and Your Lord

Finally, To the Blessed Land

Musa Leaving Egypt:  Is  in Sinai

Questions

Highlights of Musa

 

MUSA

(MOSES)

 

PROPHET MUSA (MOSES)

      After a colorful chain of events Yusuf was united with his family.  His father Ya'qoob, along with the rest of the family, joined Yusuf to live together in Egypt.

      Years passed and the family became large.  The children matured and had many children of their own.  They were called the Israelites, meaning sons of Ya'qoob.  The Israelites lived in Egypt but did not travel much nor mix with other people.  The Israelites preferred living isolated and came to be looked upon as foreigners.

      Egypt used to be ruled by kings called Fir'own (Pharaohs).  They were absolute monarchs and very dictatorial.  Many Fir'owns were conceited, oppressive and arrogant.  Some imagined themselves to be God-like, if not Gods, just imagine! 

      Fir'own and his government were tyrannical.  They did not care for the welfare of the Israelites nor the general public, no matter how desperate the people's conditions were.  Fir'owns were not fair to most people, forcing them to work hard either through slave labor or with

little payment.  They were even chained and whipped if they dared to refuse to work.  The general public felt miserable and were poor and ignorant.  Conditions were atro­cious, people died of malnutrition since they were too poor to buy enough food, and too weak to work efficiently.

       The harsh treatment was worse for the Israelites, the descendants of the family of Prophet Ya'qoob.  (Surah  28:  Ayah  4.)

 

FIR'OWN (PHARAOH) THINKS OF A TRICK   go to top of page 

      The Fir'own of the time, powerful and self-assured, saw that the Israelites were growing in number.  Like other kings he was afraid that the Israelites might one day revolt against him.  He thought that if their number increases further they become so strong it would be difficult to defend against their rebellion.  He knew their living standard was extremely low and that one day this would lead to an uprising against him.

      Fir'own then thought, if he ordered every baby boy born to the Israelites to be killed, then the Israelites would stop multiplying so fast.  He also thought if the Israelites were prevented from becoming so many, they would be too afraid to revolt or cause his government trouble.

      Killing the Israelite boys was only an idea, but it soon became an obsession, and the more Fir'own thought of it, the more he liked it.  And with time this idea grew to such an extent that Fir'own wanted it executed right away.  So Fir'own figured that the sooner he took action the better, and the longer he waited the more likely trouble could arise.  (Surah  28:  Ayah  4-6.)

 

ORDERS GIVEN  go to top of page 

      The following morning Fir'own (Pharaoh) sat on his throne arrogantly, and he was surrounded by guards with shiny armor and swords.  The government dignitaries were around, silently wondering what orders Fir'own was going to give now.  They were silent in anticipation, waiting to hear his proclamation.

  1. Fir'own looked around, proud and confident, and finally he declared, "Every boy born to any Israelite must be thrown in the river to die, the Nile River, no less.  See to it that you carry out my command immediately."

  2. The orders were ominous, the court was taken aback.  They felt for the innocent, helpless babies and their Israelite parents, but no one dared to object,  since Fir'own would put them to death.  The Israelites received the news with alarm, but could not speak out or object or else they would be liquidated.

  3. The soldiers were to carry out the orders if they liked it or not.  They went toward the slums of the Israelites looking for their boys.  They grabbed the babies and yanked them from their screaming mothers, and lent a deaf ear if the mothers cried, begged, or agonized.  Heartlessly, the babies were thrown into the river to die!

  4. The soldiers knew this was awful but who dared to disobey Fir'own? Fir'own ruled with an iron fist and anyone who opposed him was simply killed or liquidated.  Many, many babies died, and many mothers and fathers were in absolute horror!

 

ALLAH'S MERCY COMES TO THEM  go to top of page 

      One Israelite was pregnant, and her mind wondered, "Was it going to be a boy or a girl?"  She was very afraid and quite apprehensive.  If it was going to be a boy, could it be saved, and if so, how?

      When her baby was born, it was a beautiful boy.  But what would she do, she thought, if the soldiers find out?  She couldn't imagine her beautiful innocent baby thrown to the fish in the river.

      Shortly after the birth Allah (swt) revealed to her, "Be patient and fear not, your baby will be saved, and returned to you."  How merciful Allah (swt) was to the helpless, the meek, the fearful mothers! (Surah  28:  Ayah  7.)

      The baby was named Musa (Moses).  He was handsome and appeared strong.  His mother fed him for a few months and he grew nicely.  He smiled and cooed, making her fill with joy.  "Musa is such a dear," his mother thought, "such a lovable baby, but how am I to save him?  I must think of a plan."

 

SHE PUTS HIM IN A BOX  go to top of page 

      When Musa became a few months old his mother was very afraid to be discovered, so she thought the time had come to proceed with her plan.

      She made a leak-proof box large enough to hold baby Musa.  She lined the box with a blanket, lifted Musa and kissed him lovingly.  Her heart, beating hard at the suspense of the moment, was telling her to stop, but she was scared and in turmoil—she relied on Allah for strength.  After all, Allah had promised to save the baby, but she did not know how.

      It was before dawn when the mother and daughter took Musa and the box to the river.  They cautiou­sly looked left and right, making sure no one saw them.  They were scared and fearful and their hearts beating hard.

      Finally, they reached the riverside and Musa was tenderly kissed and hugged by his mother many times.  The mother's tears rolled down her cheeks as she put him in the box and pushed the box into the water.

       The box gently floated away.  The sister was told to follow the box at a distance, while the mother, distraught and heartbroken, returned back home. (Surah  20:  Ayah  38-39.)

 

THE BOX IS PICKED UP  go to top of page 

      Musa's sister was hiding from place to place along the shore of the Nile River, watching the box and praying for it not to sink.

      The box moved slowly, floating safely, until it came to the shore.  Baby Musa was not crying nor making any noise.  Darkness dispersed as light of dawn slowly emerged.  Some of Fir'own's household were at the shore, washing.  They saw the box floating and became curious, wanting to find out what was inside.

      When they ran into the water and picked up the box, they were startled to see a beautiful baby, only a few months old, innocently smiling and looking happy.  They were excited by now, and wanted to take it to Fir'own.

 

AT FIR'OWN'S PALACE  go to top of page 

      The atmosphere was filled with excitement, the box was carried by one person and followed by many others.  They were all noisy, talking with excitement.  Musa's sister ran with them although no one knew who she was nor did they seem to care to inquire.

      Fir'own's wife stood tall and dignified, she was surrounded by many women standing in service.  The box was placed on the floor before her as all eyes were fixed upon Musa.  He was captivating and beautiful, and as he smiled they said, "See him smile?  Isn't he wonderful?!"

      Fir'own's wife fell in love with him instantly, and she wouldn't give him up for anything.  Not even her husband, Fir'own himself, could do anything about it.  She wanted to make Musa as her own son and she did!

 

THE BABY IS HUNGRY  go to top of page 

      Baby Musa became very hungry, as hungry as could be.  He wanted his milk and started to cry.  In those days they didn't used to have bottles; babies nursed from their mothers or someone who could nurse.  So, baby Musa, crying with hunger, was given to a nursing woman to feed him.  Baby Musa would not take the breast, refusing it completely.  He kept crying instead, and making so much fuss.  He was given to many nursing women but baby Musa wouldn't accept any.  Everyone became desperate and didn't know what to do.  It was very frustrating!

      Musa's sister was standing by, and at the proper moment she said, "I know of a woman with whom the baby will be happy, may I bring her?"

      "Go ahead, go ahead and hurry!" everyone said, "can you not see we are desperate?!"

      She ran fast toward home, short of breath and perspiring.  She shouted while knocking at the door.  When her mother opened the door, the girl said, "Hurry, hurry!  Musa is at Fir'own's Palace.  They love him.  He refused every nursing woman, he is crying incessantly!  Come with me, nurse him, and they will surely keep you with him!"

      The two of them quickly ran toward Fir'own's Palace, both happy in an­ticipation.  And while running Musa's mother remembered how Allah (swt) had promised to save Musa and return him to her.  She felt so privileged and grateful.

      At Fir'own's Palace, Musa the crying baby, became Musa the happy baby, once taking his mother's milk. His tummy became full again.  On seeing that, Fir'own's wife asked Musa's mother to please, please stay with Musa and be his wet-nurse.  None of them ever suspected she was Musa's real mother. (Surah  28:Ayah  8-13.)

 

MUSA'S MOTHER STAYS  go to top of page 

      Musa grew up in Fir'own's Palace, and as a baby and then a teenager he was close to his mother; he was the apple of her eye.  She was so happy to be with him.

      Musa learned a great deal about Fir'own and the manner in which he governed Egypt.  He noticed the luxury Fir'own lived in as well as the privileged of the government.  He also noticed the common man and the misery in which he lived.

      Musa eventually learned from his mother about the Israelites, and that he was one of them, and how Allah has saved him.  His mother had plenty of time to tell him about his own people, the Israelites.  He noticed how badly they were treated, with living conditions not even fit for animals.  His conscience bled for them and he was very sympathetic.

      Musa became a strong and handsome man.  He learned much about Fir'own and the intricacies of his rule, since he lived in the Palace.  He did not have to earn his living like the common person.  Though Musa lived in luxury, deep in his heart he felt pain; he felt for the poor, the disadvantaged, especially the Israelites.  He wondered often how it felt to live as the Israelites—in fear, poor, and worried most of the time.  He wondered and wondered, especially during his growing years.

 

MUSA GETS IN A TIGHT SPOT  go to top of page 

      Musa was a young man, walking by himself, some distance from town.  Suddenly, there erupted some excitement and con­fusion.  Curious, he went to investigate to see an Israelite in a fight with one of Fir'own's servants, they were hitting each other and shouting.  The Israelite was losing, but on seeing Musa he screamed for help, "Please come and help, I need you, I need you!" he pleaded.

      Musa was carrying a heavy stick and unconsciously he hit Fir'own's servant with all his might.  The stick fell on the servant's head with force and the man went in immediate shock, looked as pale as could be, and sagged to the ground like a wet rag.  Musa and the Israelite rushed to him, but alas, the man was lifeless, dead.

       Musa felt guilty, for surely he didn't mean to kill the man, all that he wanted was to stop him from beating the other and to stop the fight.  Musa was a good man, he never meant to kill.  Musa returned home with a heavy heart, his head was twirling, and feeling as guilty as could be.  He begged of Allah to forgive him over and over again.  In a matter of a few days the news spread.  People learned that Musa the gentleman had killed Fir'own's servant.  Everyone, it seemed, became mad at Musa and false rumors started to spread.  They wanted to punish Musa, even to kill him!  Musa was frightened and had sleepless nights.  He wanted to run for his life and flee to a far away and safer land.  The more he thought about it the more he wanted to leave before anyone could catch up with him. (Surah  28:  Ayah  14-21.) 

 

 MUSA in Egypt  go to top of page 

In Egypt:

  1. Israelite baby boys killed by order of Fir'own

  2. Baby Musa put in a box and pushed in the Nile

  3. Box picked up by Fir'own family, they love him

  4. Musa refuses to nurse, his sister brings mother

  5. Musa grows up in Fir'own's Palace with mother

  6. Aware of Israelite heritage, Musa sympathizes

  7. To stop a fight he kills a man unintentionally

  8. Scared, Musa leaves Egypt to Sinai

Musa leaves Egypt, feeling dejected, frightened, and guilty.  Sinai was far away.

 

MUSA LEAVES EGYPT  go to top of page 

      Musa left Egypt with a camel, taking some food and clothing.  He left in the dark of the night without telling anyone.

      Musa escaped cautiously before anyone could suspect or detect him; he traveled eastward, leaving Fir'own (Pharaoh) and Egypt behind him.  His mother missed him a great deal and so did his many friends since he was well liked by many people.

      Deep in the desert Musa trudged forward on his camel.  At night the desert changed into a beautiful, cool, and quiet scenery, but returned to its windy, hot, inhospitable character during daytime.  Sandstorms made the skin as if pricked by thousands of needles.

      Musa was relieved now that the thought of being chased was behind him.  He had a lot of time to think, about his people, Fir'own, his mother, and the man he killed.  He continued to feel very guilty, and asked Allah (swt) to forgive him.

      Musa traveled for many weeks, and at last he arrived at a town called Median.  His clothes were sandy and he needed a bath, and was short of food.  The place was strange and foreign to his eyes.  He noticed a watering place and rested near it feeling like a fugitive, strange, and dejected.

 

AT THE WATERING PLACE  go to top of page 

      While resting two young women caught his attention; they were waiting at a distance.  Their sheep were nearby but not at the watering place—it looked as if they needed help.

       Though tired and weary Musa decided to see if he could help the women.  Musa was such a righteous man, kind at heart, and always wanting to help people.

       He approached the women and asked if they needed help.  The two were bashful and didn't want to impose, but they said, "Yes," explaining that they were tending their sheep until others finished watering their sheep.  Musa helped with the sheep by directing them to the watering place. (Surah  28:  Ayah  22-28.)

      Musa felt happy, and the women were thankful.  They took the sheep home and Musa was left back to rest.  Musa was lonely, felt very strange, had no job, was far from home, and he had never worked before.  He was accustomed to opulent living and affluence in the palace of Fir'own.  He remembered pomp, wealth, power, and ease.  Suddenly, he was an ordinary man like anyone else.

      He became depressed and felt blue.  Musa prayed deeply for Allah's help; he knew he needed help more now than ever before.

 

ALLAH'S HELP COMES TO MUSA

      While sitting and reflecting, Musa noticed the two women approaching him.  They were too shy to come very near.  Musa stood in respect and went near them.  They invited him to meet their father, Shu'aib, and to be their guest.

      Musa was flattered, he knew it would be refreshing to be in a house for a change and to talk to people.  "What a nice break!" Musa thought.

      Musa entered the house with the two women, and he politely introduced himself.  The warm dinner tasted delicious especially since Musa had not had a good meal since he left Egypt.

      Musa told Shu'aib all about himself, Fir'own and the Israelites.  He also told him about how he unintentionally killed a man, the servant of Fir'own.  The women and their father listened attentive­ly.

      Musa was asked to stay and help raise the sheep.  Musa was strong, handsome, and honest, and the new family liked him very much.  After a period of time Musa married one of the women he met on his first day at Median.  For that Shu'aib asked him to stay with them for eight years, but Musa was glad, he agreed to it but extended it to ten years.  The couple lived happily for the ten years farming and tending to the sheep. (Surah  28:  Ayah  27-28.)

 

MUSA GETS READY TO GO BACK  go to top of page 

      Musa had been away from Egypt for ten years and although he was married and comfortable, he continued to miss his real home, family, and friends.  He did not want to stay in Median for the rest of his life.

      As the ten year agreement came to an end, Musa prepared a caravan of camels and he and his wife completed the chores necessary for travel.  Musa hugged and kissed his father‑in‑law, an old man of superb character, and he bid farewell to everyone around.  Musa and his wife walked with the caravan, heading west toward Egypt, traveling in the desert which was foreboding and difficult.

      But this time Musa was ten years older, wiser, and with a mind of steel.  He had learned how hard it was for an ordinary man to work for a living, to raise sheep, and to care for a farm. "Oh yes," he thought, "the Israelites had worked much harder, nevertheless they were treated like slaves, no thanks to Fir'own."

      They set up tents to sleep in at night, and continued their travel early the following morning.  Twenty-five miles a day was the most they could handle, due to the nature of travel.

      They were near a mountain, called Mountain of Toor when they saw a light from a distance.

 

MUSA BECOMES A PROPHET  go to top of page 

      It became dark and the evening was getting cold.  The caravan had stopped, and Musa had put up the tents.  His wife was getting ready to make supper.

whether it was a fire or not, they weren't sure.  Musa told his wife he was going to investigate and perhaps bring wood from where the fire was burning.  Musa went toward the fire, climbing the rugged terrain, but with stars ever so bright.  The area was quiet, and Musa could hear his foot steps—thump, thump, thump, he went forward. (Surah  28:  Ayah  29-30.)

Suddenly he heard a voice that ripped through the quiet of the night.  The voice was commanding, extremely dignified, and firm; it made Musa's heart beat violently.

The voice commanded: "O! Musa stop, you are in the Blessed Valley, take off your shoes, since I am Allah your Lord!"  Musa was gripped with fear and could hardly believe his ears.  He looked around but couldn't see anyone.  He listened attentive­ly, and to his surprise he learned that Allah (swt) had chosen him to be the Prophet.  Musa was commanded to remember the Lord, Allah, in prayers, and to listen to what would be revealed to him.

Musa was puzzled and apprehensive.  What looked like a fire actually was not a fire, it was the reflection of the Glory of Allah (swt) and the glory of the Angels.  It was the greatest moment in Musa's life; it was a moment of the greatest honor bestowed upon a man, to be a Nabiy, chosen as a Prophet!

Musa though needed assurance of what he heard.  Allah (swt) then asked Musa to cast (throw) his stick (Rod) on the ground.  Musa obeyed, throwing the stick, and to his amazement he saw the stick transform into a ferocious looking snake, scaring him stiff.  Allah then asked Musa to pick up the snake.  Musa was shaky and confused as he slowly put out his hand to touch the snake.  When he touched it, the snake changed back into a stick again.

To make him feel more confident, Allah (swt) asked Musa to put his hand into his pocket.  Musa did, and when he brought it out, his hand was shining brightly, as if it were an electric bulb.  It looked so different from before!  When Musa put his hand back into his pocket, and pulled it out, he saw that it was normal again. (Surah  20:  Ayah  22-23.)

Musa was then commanded to go to Egypt to save the Israe­lites.  Musa was apprehensive, and asked Allah to have his brother's Haroon (Aaron) help.  Allah graciously granted the wish. (Surah  26:  Ayah  10-17.)

      Allah gave inward strength to Musa.  Musa, as the elevated one (Nabiy), needed Prophetic Wisdom and to be very strong inside, since he was going to fight for his own people.  He was to argue with Fir'own (Pharaoh), his administration, the powerful Priests, and the whole establishment.  Musa was to argue with the man in whose Palace he grew since he was a baby, and he was to educate Fir'own about Allah and convince him to free the Israelites.

 

AT FIR'OWN'S PALACE  go to top of page 

      Musa was now a man of a mission, he felt invigorated and powerful inside and traveled quickly with his family to Egypt.  Musa and his brother Haroon confronted Fir'own at his Palace, and argued with him in the presence of his court.  They told him that Allah had chosen Musa as a Prophet to spread His Word and also save the Israelites.  Fir'own (Pharaoh) and his court listened but were not impressed, they made fun of both of them. (Surah  20:  Ayah  49-54.   Also Surah  26:  Ayah  23-33.)

      "They are so powerless!" Fir'own thought, "so helpless!  They had the nerve though!" he also reflected.

      Musa and Haroon persisted but Fir'own refused to free the Israelites, since the Israelites as a man-power were most economical to service country—it was the cheap labor.  Fir'own wanted them to remain under his domain, just as slaves.

      Finally, and in desperation, Musa asked, "Do you want me to show you how true my message is?"

      "Yes, go ahead," answered Fir'own with a cynical, sarcastic smile.

Musa threw his stick to the ground, and lo and behold it changed to a frightful snake.  The audience was amazed and taken aback.  When Musa touched the snake, it became a stick again. "Wow!" everyone said in wonder, "this cannot happen.  Is this real?"

To further show them he was authentic, Musa told the Court about Allah's support, and the miracles Allah empowered him with.  Then he said, "See what I am going to do." Musa put his hand in his pocket, and when he brought it out his hand shined brilliantly as if there was a light bulb inside.  Those watching rubbed their eyes in disbelief wonderment.

Many people then started to turn toward Musa for leadership.  What Musa showed left everyone speechless and dumbfounded.  "Such powers and miracles!  See how great Musa was!" they all thought.

       Fir'own noticed that he was dwarfed since the people were very impressed by Musa and the new miracles he was showing.  People started to believe in him.  Fir'own had a sinking feeling and worried that he could lose his grip on power.  He worried about his kingdom, his power, and the God-like image he lead the people to believe.  Because of that, Fir'own said, "Musa must be doing some form of magic.  Therefore, let us have a special day for a contest between him and other magicians."  (Surah  7:  Ayah  109-110.)

  

MUSA (a.s) in Sinai.  go to top of page 

 In Sinai:

  1. Musa gets married

  2. As agreed, stays in Median for ten years

  3. On way to Egypt sees fire at a distance

  4. Musa becomes a Prophet

  5. Shown two miracles he could perform

  6. Goes to Fir'own to free the Israelites

  7. Argues with Fir'own, shows the miracles

  8. The snake from a stick, Pharaoh in a bind, Israelites believe in Musa, and they are led by him

Musa's challenge to Fir'own produced social upheaval, eventually leading the Israelites from Egypt to Sinai.

 

THE BIG DAY  go to top of page 

      It was a clear day with blue skies, cool and nice.  Thousands of people gathered, creating an excitement in the air, with everyone anxious to see what the magicians of Egypt were going to do.  Many had already seen what Musa had done, be it his stick or his hand, and began to believe in his message.  But now they wanted to see the contest.

      Fir'own walked with an air of superiority and arrogance.  He was surrounded by his guards, moving with showiness and pomp.  Fir'own sat on a specially prepared seat and was dressed impressively, but looked worried and preoccupied.  The nobility were surrounding him, and the guards were at attention.  The people bowed low when Fir'own presented himself, thinking of him God-like!  Actually he himself thought he was the people's God.

      The people hushed waiting to see what was to come.  The magicians were actually the Priests themselves and they were close to Fir'own.

      Fir'own thought to himself, "This act will finish Musa and it will be the end of him."  But in spite of this Fir'own was still worried.  Then he resumed his wishful thinking, "The act will make the people believe in me even more.  I will show them!"  Little did he know...

 

THE ACT

      Fir'own nodded and his magicians (priests) walked forward, dressed very elegantly.  They asked Musa who to start first, and Musa requested they do first.  They threw their sticks and made them move as if they were snakes.  It was not real of course, only an illusion tricking the eyes from a distance.  The people watching from far away saw moving sticks and were pleased.  Fir'own thought his magi­cians were clever and very smart.

      Musa advanced, invoked Allah's help, and by Allah's command, he cast his stick to the ground.  By Allah's power and wish the stick changed into a terrifying snake.  The snake wiggled and moved like a dart.  Musa's was real, it was not a trick.  Musa's snake swallowed and gobbled every moving stick in a terrifying way, every stick the magicians threw.

      The audience was dumbfounded, stood unexpectedly in fear, in an uproar. "Look, wow!  What is it we see?" they shouted in wonderment.  The people were amazed and scared, could hardly believe their eyes; it was miraculous.

      The priests, dressed up as magicians, were even more astonished.  They knew that Musa was not bluffing and that he and his brother Haroon were for real.  They knew that such a miracle could be done only by the Supreme One, Allah, and it must have been the same Allah that Musa was talking about.

      The priests didn't care about Fir'own by now, and they wanted to be on Musa's side.  They wanted to be with the truth, with Musa and his Lord.

      They rushed to Musa, all wide-eyed in wonderment, hearts beating violently, and they bowed to him.  Pleading, the priests said, "Ah! We have witnessed the truth, and we believe in the Lord, the Lord of Musa and Haroon."  The priests  have acknowledged, they have submitted, since they saw no tricks, only the real thing! (Surah  7:  Ayah  109-124.)

 

FIR'OWN REACTS  go to top of page 

      Diminished, Fir'own became red in the face—knowing he was defeated.  His kingdom was at stake, he was very worried that his people follow Prophet Musa and his new religion.  He was worried that his powers as Fir'own were going to be weak and perhaps worthless.

      Fir'own's conclusion was right.  Many, many people began to listen and learn from Musa and they became believers.  This was more true of the Israelites since Musa was one of them.  They were awakened to their senses, wanted to uphold and stand up for their rights, and hated Fir'own for his terrible rule.

      Fir'own did not change and he became more brutal and oppressive toward the Israelites.  Inwardly though, he was scared of Musa and his followers.  Musa's followers were the believers, the corner stone of the new religion, theirs was an ever enlarging number.

     Musa the Prophet, along with the believers, began to worship and glorify Allah the Almighty in their homes.  They prayed to Allah for strength, for His help, and to save them.  The corner stone for the religion was being laid, and it was rapidly growing. (Surah  7:  Ayah  127-129.   Also Surah  20:  Ayah  84-89.)

 

ALLAH SAVES THEM:  THE ESCAPE  go to top of page 

      Fir'own continued in his ruthless, dictatorial rule, and the Israelites suffered.  It was near impossible to stand it any longer.

      Allah then commanded Musa to lead the community out of Egypt, promising them safety.  Musa secretly told the community of the plans and, most impor­tantly, Fir'own was not to find out at any cost. (Surah  20:  Ayah  77.   Also Surah  26:  Ayah  52-66.)

     The escape occurred in the dark of night.  The Israelites bundled their belongings and carried them on their backs or heads.  Only a few animals were available to carry the load since most of the Israelites could not afford them.  The huge crowd moved cautiously and as fast as they could—eastward.  They were very scared and worried about what would happen if and when Fir'own finds out about their escape.

      They moved as fast as they could, hardly resting, or taking the time to eat.  It was true that Musa had said they would be saved by the Almighty, but no one knew how.

 

FIR'OWN FOLLOWS

      The town was unusually quiet the next morning.  Somehow there was something missing.  Then it was noticed that the slums of the Israelites were empty!  No more noise nor people!  It was an eerie feeling with the Israelites gone.

      Excitedly, the guards rushed to tell Fir'own.  He became as mad as could be. "How dare they!" he thought, "How dare they leave without taking my permis­sion!" He wanted to teach them a harsh lesson to remember the rest of their lives, to be the example in the future.  "No one defies me.  No one!"

      Immediately, Fir'own called for a council; they decided to chase the Israelites and bring them back.  Fir'own was very angry, and intended to punish Musa and his community most severely.

      Fir'own and his soldiers rode their horses, galloping as fast as they could.  They headed east to catch up with the Israelites, the sooner the better.

 

THEY ARE AT THE SEA  go to top of page 

      Fearful, scared, worried, and hungry, the Israelites marched forward.  A whole community walked forward, the children and elderly, men and women, the sick and healthy.  After many days, with hardly any rest, Musa and the community were exhausted and weary.  Finally, they approached the sea.

      Suddenly the Israelites heard clamor and noise from far away.  Fir'own was closing in!!  Oh, how scary, how frightening!  The Israelites were alarmed, Fir'own was catching up, and they knew very well the severe conse­quen­ces.  Fear, alarm, and mixed emotions occupied the minds of everyo­ne.

  

THE ROD AND THE SEA  go to top of page 

      At that moment, the Israelites had reached the shore of the sea.  Allah (swt) ordered Musa to strike the sea with his rod (stick).  Musa, not knowing why, did just that.  And lo and behold, the most extraordinary happened.

      With a great uproar that shook the area, the water of the sea swelled up, high on one side, and high on the other.  The water solidly stood still, as if it were a mountain, one on each side.  The bottom of the sea became a hard land.  A miracle from Allah it was, to save Musa and his community.  Just imagine, the sea water holding still, looking like two mountains, with a dry path in between.  It was not a fantasy, it was true.

      Musa and his community desperate only a moment ago, felt relieved.  They ran between the two solidified waters as fast as they could, having no time to think and wonder.  Run, run, run, for Fir'own and his mighty army were closing in, approaching.

      Musa and his community finished crossing the sea and were on the other side.  Fir'own and the bulk of his forces were in the chase between the two mountains of solidified waters.

      It was precisely at that moment, that with a deafening roar the mountain of waters collapsed.  The solidified waters suddenly liquefied, fusing the two sides of water together.  Musa and his people watched in sheer awe and wonderment, what a scene!

      The waters drowned Fir'own immediately, and his forces were completely destroyed.  As he was drowning, Fir'own said to himself, "Now I believe in the Lord of Musa and Haroon!"  Such witnessing though is not and was not accepted by Allah, since it was under duress and the pressure of dying.

      Musa and his community were saved!  What a great scene to see, the water rushing, engulfing Fir'own and his mighty soldiers.  Ah, Allah works miracles, glory be to Him! (Surah  26:  Ayah  52-66.   Also Surah  20:  Ayah  90-92.)

 

 FREE AT LAST  go to top of page 

      Prophet Musa and the believers were stunned, standing silently, and gratefully, looking at the sea.  They had witnessed yet another remarkable miracle.  Afterwards, the sea looked the same as it was before the miracle.  The water was deep blue with large waves chasing each other.  Musa and his community were free, free at last.

      There would be no Fir'own any more, demanding, ordering, or dictating.  They could now do and say anything they wished.  At the same time, it felt strange to be that way, since they were enslaved for so long.  To be free was wonderful, but they were not accustomed to managing their own affairs, the sudden respon­sibility was scary since that could lead to failure or success.

 

MUSA RECEIVES THE LAW  go to top of page 

      Allah commanded Musa to go to a nearby mountain.  Prophet Musa prepared everything and informed the people that his brother Haroon would temporarily be their leader.

      During those forty days Allah (swt) revealed great reli­gious knowledge to Musa, as well as much wisdom.  Allah gave Musa the tablets which contained the ten commandments. (Surah  7:  Ayah  142-145)

      When the forty days were over, Musa returned to his people to teach them some of what he had learned.  He became angry when he noticed that the Israelites, led by the Saamiri, had made a golden calf and began to worship it, as if the cow was their God!

Haroon told Musa, that in his absence, the Israelites almost killed him when He tried to stop them from praying to the golden calf.  Haroon said there was a great deal of commotion and arguments, and many people became mad at him.

After learning what had taken place Musa gave a speech, telling them how foolish and senseless it was to pray to a cow.  He reminded them of Allah and the miracles of the sea, stick, glowing hand, and the righteousness Allah wants for them.  He reminded them of how Allah had saved them from slavery and of Allah's many favors upon them.

Musa then ordered the golden calf to be destroyed, and he began teaching the Israelites what he learned from Allah during the forty days' experience. (Surah  7:  Ayah  148-151.   Also Surah  20:  Ayah  85-98.)

 

THEY LIVE IN THE DESERT  go to top of page 

      Living in the desert was new to the Israelites, however, Musa and his community had no other choice.  The desert was a spacious vast land.  The air was fresh and pure, and the terrain was rugged, with sand everywhere.  There was hardly any vegetation and the people had to live in tents.

      Because there was no established city, the Israelites roamed from one area to the other, looking for water and a few plants.  There was little food and the conditions were harsh.

      Musa tirelessly taught Allah's new Law.  The people listened and learned while adjusting to their new life of freedom.

      The Israelites now depended on them­selves for a change, finding grazing areas for their sheep and work for their own living.

 

QUAILS AND MUN

      One time there was little food to eat and the people were almost starving as they faced more suffering than before.  They kept looking for water and food, but there was little to be found.  Then Allah, through His mercy, sent flocks of birds called Salwa (quails).  They flew in the thousands, and the Israelites used them for food, and gathered a large supply for the future.  In the area they also found sweet plants called Mun which produced sweet juice.  The Mun plants were sweet and juicy, they also provided much nourishment. (Surah  20:  Ayah  57.)

 

THE GUSHING WATER  go to top of page 

      At one time there was little water in the desert and the Israelites requested Musa to pray to Allah for a Miracle.  Musa prayed very hard and Allah directed him to hit with his stick a nearby cliff.

      Prophet Musa stood by the cliff with the people waiting to see what would happen.  Everyone waited silently hoping for a miracle to save them from their thirst.  Their tongues were dry and the sun was hot.  Musa touched the cliff with his stick, saying, "By the name of our Lord, Allah, Almighty."  With that, the cliff gushed with water.  The water flowed from twelve places, each gushing cool clear water.

      The Israelites were of twelve branches, each a descendant of a son of Prophet Ya'qoob.  Consequently, each branch drank from one of the springs.  They drank and drank until their thirst was quenched.  They didn't have to shove and push, since abundance of water gushed from twelve springs, one for each of their branches.  What a marvelous experience; the quail, the Mun, and now the gushing water! (Surah  20:  Ayah  60.)

 

TO THE BLESSED LAND

      Having lived earlier in the desert Musa felt that it was time to reach the blessed land of Palestine.  After all, Allah (swt) had promised Musa this land.

      Musa sent twelve men to investigate the area, the blessed land.  Many days passed and the people grew anxious to hear from the twelve men.  Finally, the men returned, exhausted but excited.  They went directly to Musa and his followers to share with them their experience.

     They described the blessed land as very plush with many farms and abundance of greenery.  There were many rivers and plenty of water.  The weather was pleasant and the land attractive.  Everyone became anxious and eager to go.

      "But wait!" the twelve men warned, "The people in the blessed land are powerful.  They have large armies and many guards.  You will have to fight to live there since they won't just let you go and take over.  You will have to force your way through."

 

YOU GO FIGHT, YOU AND YOUR LORD  go to top of page 

      The Israelites worried and argued about whether or not they should fight.  Musa and a small group from the community preferred to go and fight.  Most Israelites, however, didn't have the courage and were too afraid to chance a fight.  They said to Musa, "You and your Lord go fight.  We will stay here and wait."  Musa was disappointed, and rightfully so—his people were still of the slave mentality, still cowardly.

      As a result, the Israelites did not fight, at least not at that time.  They chose to live in the desert for forty long and hard years.

      During the forty years, a good many children were born, and the children were raised in the rugged ways of the desert.  They were different from their parents, tough, daring, and ready to die for the right cause.  They were well trenched in Musa's teachings and the Divine Guidance.  This evolved into a completely different community from the previous one.  

 

NEW GENERATION  go to top of page 

      The new generation learned much about the slave life of their parents under Fir'own.  They had an idea of it but without experiencing or tasting it. "Life without freedom is sick," they would say, and imagined how bad life was without their liberties.  They heard how Allah (swt) had saved them by choosing Musa for a Prophet and they learned of the past and its miracles.

The Israelites who left Egypt grew old, and eventually died.  The new Israelites who replaced them were different, with stronger minds and hearts, thanks to Allah's planning and the desert.

Above all, the preaching of Musa influenced them the most.  They all worshiped Allah and prayed to Him.  They became good people, Allah fearing, and lived decent lives.

Allah's Directives were obeyed well and the Israelites became a truly new people, righteous, strong, tough, with good hearts, people of goodness.  They were ready to go to the blessed land, far more ready than their parents.  The time seemed ripe for the great move.

 

FINALLY, TO THE BLESSED LAND  go to top of page 

      Finally, the Israelites formed their own army.  They crossed the desert to the blessed land.  With the desert behind them and faith filling their hearts, the Israelites  marched to the rich, blessed land.

      It was not easy but they fought hard and won many battles.  It made them confident in themselves gaining self-respect and control of their own destiny.  Later, the Israelites became the rulers of Palestine with the faith of Musa and Allah's Directives.  The people of the land lived in peace and harmony with the ruling Israelites.

 

MUSA LEAVING EGYPT: in Sinai  go to top of page 

Leaving Egypt:

In Sinai

  1. Musa leads the Israelites out of Egypt

  2. Fir'own chasing, almost overtaking them

  3. Allah Commands to touch the sea with the Rod

  4. Sea solidifies, Musa goes through, Fir'own drown

  5. Musa receives the Ten Tablets

  6. Israelites roam in the desert for forty years

  7. Mun, Salwa (Quail), and gushing water

  8. Israelites conquer Palestine, rule well and prosper

Musa's challenge to Fir'own produced social upheaval, eventually leading the Israelites from Egypt to Sinai.

 

QUESTIONS  go to top of page 

  1. Who is Fir'own?

  2. Who are the Israelites?

  3. How did Fir'own rule, especially when dealing with the Israelites?

  4. Explain why Fir'own wanted every male baby Israelite thrown to the river.

  5. Describe what Musa's mother did for baby Musa.

  6. How did baby Musa travel down the river?

  7. Who picked up Musa from the river?

  8. Who fell in love with baby Musa and wanted to keep him?

  9. How was baby Musa united with his mother?

  10. In whose house did baby Musa grow and learn?

  11. How did Musa get involved in the fight between the Israelite and Fir'own's servant, and what happened?

  12. When the news of Musa's killing spread, what did Musa do?

  13. Which town did Musa go to after he fled Egypt?

  14. What did Musa do with the sheep of the two bashful women?

  15. Who invited Musa for dinner in Median?

  16. Whose daughter did Musa marry in Median?

  17. How long did Musa stay in Median tending to the sheep?

  18. In Sinai, Musa saw a bright light from a distance.  What is the importance of that light?

  19. How was Musa chosen to be the privileged one, i.e., Nabiy?

  20. What two great miracles did Allah allow Musa to perform?

  21. Was Fir'own convinced by Musa's argument?

  22. Describe the competition ordered by Fir'own to defeat Musa.

  23. 24. Describe the feeling of the magicians and priests after seeing Musa's snake was real.

  24. How did Fir'own react at the big day of the challenge when he lost?

  25. How did Allah save Musa and the Israelites?

  26. Which direction did Musa and the Israelites go when they left Egypt?

  27. What miracle happened at the sea when Musa and the Israelites arrived?

  28. What happened to Fir'own's forces when they were very close to the Israelites?

  29. What did Musa do for the 40 days and what are the tablets?

  30. What did the Israelites do in the absence of Musa?

  31. Did the Israelites listen to Haroon (Aaron) in the absence of Musa?

  32. Why did the Israelites worship the golden calf?

  33. What are the Mun and Salwa?

  34. Explain the importance of the twelve springs of water from the cliff.

  35. What did the Israelites say to Musa when he was inclined to enter the Blessed Land for the first time?

  36. How many years had the Israelites roamed in Sinai desert?

  37. How did the Israelites settle in the Holy Land?

  38. What are the differences between the new Israelite generation and the one which left Egypt with Musa?

  39. What kind of rule did the early Israelites conduct in the Holy Land?

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF MUSA   go to top of page 

1

 

      2

 

      3

Early

years

 

In

Sinai

 

Away from Egypt

ØFir'own decrees Israelite baby boys to be thrown in Nile River

ØBaby Musa is put in a box and pushed in the Nile

ØBox is picked up by Fir'own's family, they love him

ØMusa refuses to nurse, his sister brings his mother to nurse him

ØMusa grows up in Fir'own's Palace with mother

ØMusa is aware of Israelite heritage, he sympathizes with their plight

ØTo stop a fight Musa kills a man unintentionally

ØScared, Musa leaves Egypt to Sinai

 

 

ØIn Midian Musa helps two young women with their sheep

ØInvited to their house then staying in, Musa agrees to the terms of marriage

ØAs agreed, Musa stays in Midian for ten years

ØOn the way to Egypt he sees fire at a distance

ØMusa goes to investigate and bring fire-wood

ØMusa hears Allah's Command and becomes a Prophet, he is shown two miracles he could perform (Rod and hand shining bright)

ØMusa Goes to Fir'own to free the Israelites

ØMusa argues with Fir'own and shows him the miracles, the snake from a stick, and the hand shining bright

ØPharaoh is in a bind, asks for contest, but loses

ØIsraelites believe in Musa's Message, and they are led by him

ØAfter a lot of turmoil and suffering, the Israelites leave

Egypt

 

ØMusa leads the Israelites out of Egypt, at night

ØFir'own and his forces chasing, almost overtaking Musa and the Israelites

ØAllah Commands Musa to touch the sea with the Rod

ØThe sea solidifies, making a path of dry land.  Musa goes through

ØFir'own and his forces follow, the sea liquefies and they drown

ØMusa leaves for forty days, receives the Ten Tablets and Directives from Allah

ØIsraelites worship a golden calf.  On his return, Musa finds this out so he destroys the calf

ØAllah's favors, Mun, Salwa (Quail), and Gushing water

ØThe Israelites roam in the desert for forty years, new generations are the result

ØThe Israelites conquer Palestine, rule the area well and prosper.

 

 

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