Prophet Musa was born in the land of Egypt and came from the people known as the Israelites. The ruler of Egypt was the Pharoah and he hated the Israelites that were in his land. In a fit of anger he sent an order throughout the countryside that said that all Israelite baby boys had to be killed as soon as they were born. When Musa was born, he was supposed to be killed along with the others but Allah had a plan for Musa. He ordered Musa’s mother to place Musa in a wooden chest in the great Nile River and allow it to float downstream. The mother did what she was told but was afraid she would never see Musa again.
Allah guided the chest down the Nile River and, eventually, it floated into a small stream. The Pharoah’s wife spotted the chest and ordered her servants to bring it ashore. When the Pharoah’s wife saw the baby, she fell in love with him. She picked up the baby and showed it to the Pharoah. “Look,” she said, “Here is a joy for the eye to behold. Please don’t kill him. Instead, we could adopt him as a son for ourselves.” The Pharoah agreed with her and they decided to keep the baby. So Allah spared Musa the death that was supposed to await him and he was raised in the royal court of the Pharoah of Egypt.
In the meantime, Musa’s mother became very sad and wept bitterly at the thought of her helpless little Musa. Allah knows how much a mother loves her child so He made a plan for them to unite. The mother sent her daughter to the Pharoah’s court in order to check on baby Musa. When the daughter came to the royal palace, she found the Pharoah’s wife very upset. “Why won’t this baby eat?” she exclaimed to her servants. “He will surely die unless someone can nurse him.” Then Musa’s sister spoke up. “I know of a people that will nourish the baby and make him strong,” she said. The Pharoah’s wife was very surprised but was desparate, so she agreed to let the baby go to be fed. The Pharoah’s wife never knew that it was Musa’s mother who nursed baby Musa. Thus Allah made the mother happy again because she could see her son every day.
Musa grew to become big and strong. One day he saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite. The poor Israelite asked Musa to help him. Musa stepped forward and hit the Egyptian with such a powerful blow that the Egyptian collapsed and died. After seeing what he had done, a cold sweat broke out on Musa’s forehead. He said to himself, “This is the evil work of Satan. He is an enemy who clearly misleads!” Musa knew it was a sin to kill anyone until he is brought to trial and found guilty. He knelt on the ground and prayed to Allah. “O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul. Do You forgive me?” Allah is the Most Merciful, and out of His mercy Allah forgave Musa. Musa then vowed never to help those that sin and to be in Allah’s service for the rest of his life.
The next morning Musa was still shaken from what had happened the night before. Then he saw the same man he had helped last night being beaten by another Egyptian. Again Musa prepared himself to help the weaker one when the Egyptian said something that made Musa stop. He said, “O Musa! Is it your intention to kill me the same way you killed that man last night? It seems you want to be a violent and unjust man.” Before Musa could reply another man came running toward them saying, “Musa the Egyptian chiefs are coming to kill you. Get away while there is still time!” Musa asked Allah to save him from these sinful people and then headed for the land of Madyan. Though Musa did not know it he was about to encounter many more adventures in his life devoted to the service of Allah.
Musa left the land of Egypt to go to the land of Maydan. He had been traveling for several days when he stumbled upon a small oasis which had several trees and a water hole. The sun was blazing hot, so Musa decided to rest awhile. At the water hole he saw some men who were letting their animals have some water. Waiting behind them were two young women with a tiny flock of sheep. After a long time he called out to the women, “What’s wrong? Why don’t you water your sheep?” The women told Musa that they couldn’t because the water hole was too crowded with the men’s flock. Upon hearing that, Musa got up and steered their sheep toward the water, allowing them to drink. The men grumbled a little at first, but upon seeing how big and strong Musa was, they stopped grumbling and looked down.
The two young women smiled and were very grateful for Musa’s kind help. Musa sat back down under the cool shade of a tree and the women took their flock of sheep back home. A little later one of them came back and asked him to come meet her father Musa agreed and went with her. The father was old and needed a young man to help with the care of the animals. After talking to Musa, the father found him to be a good man, so he offered one of his daughters to him in marriage. Musa agreed and helped the old man for several years. The marriage was a happy one, and they all prospered due to Musa’s hard work and good judgment.
Many years later, Musa decided to travel with his family. He was content with his life and had completely forgotten his troubles in Egypt. One day he saw a small fire far off in the distance. Since it was very cold, he went to go fetch a burning log to warm his family. As he approached the fire, he noticed something strange. The fire was only in one bush and did not spread to other bushes or trees. At the same time the bush didn’t burn up and become ashes; it just stayed there-burning. Then Musa heard a voice say, “O Musa, I am your Lord. Therefore in My presence take of your shoes.” Musa did what he was ordered.
Allah told Musa that he was to be a prophet. His mission was to go to the Pharoah of Egypt and tell him that there is no god but Allah. If the Pharoah and his people did not change their evil ways Allah would punish them.
Then Allah said, “What is that in your right hand, O Musa?” He answered, “It is my rod,” Allah said “Throw it, O Musa!” When he threw the rod, it hit the ground and started to move by itself. At first Musa stood there gazing at it. Then he turned and started to run. Allah told Musa not to run because, as long as Allah was with him, there was nothing to be afraid of. Musa came back and looked at the rod again. It had turned into a brown snake, slithering and hissing on the ground. He bent down to pick it up by its tail. As soon as he grabbed it, the snake became rigid and was a rod again.
Then Allah ordered Musa to placed his hand on his chest. When Musa did this his right hand radiated with light. To make his hand normal again, he simply put his hand back on his chest. Allah ordered Musa to go to the Pharoah with these two miracles and to warn him of Allah’s command. Before Musa left the blazing bush, he asked Allah to make him brave and to let him bring his brother Aaron with him. Allah granted both of these requests to Prophet Musa and assured him that he and his followers would win over the Pharoah.
Musa now stood at the royal palace with his brother Aaron alongside him. He had not seen Egypt for many years and he knew that his life was in danger. Nothing could have brought him back except the command of Allah. Prophet Musa could still hear the words of Allah ringing in his ears: “Go to the Pharaoh and tell him to let the Israelites leave the land of Egypt.” Musa climbed the golden steps that led to Pharaoh’s throne. When he reached the top he said, “O Pharaoh, I am the Apostle of the Lord of the Worlds. Let the Israelites go with me and do not harm them. There will be peace to all those who follow the guidance of Allah.”
Musa went on to warn the Pharaoh of all the calamities that would occur if he did not follow the guidance of Allah. But the Pharaoh refused to listen because he truly thought that he himself was a god. He looked about him and saw the riches he had and he was sure that there could never be anyone more powerful than he.
The Pharaoh asked Musa to show a sign from Allah so the Prophet threw down his rod and it began to move and slither. At first the Pharaoh was scared but tried hard not to show it. “Ha!” said the Pharaoh in a prideful way, “I have sorcerers that can match your magic.”
Then Musa showed his radiant hand. It glowed with a shining white light. Still, the Pharaoh did not believe that Musa was the Apostle of Allah. He said, “I can build a throne that is as high as your Lord’s throne, Musa. And I will prove that your power from Allah is weak compared to my power.” The Pharaoh searched the land of Egypt for the best sorcerers available. When he found them, he brought them to his court and told them that if their magic was better than Musa’s they would be rewarded handsomely. The sorcerers readily agreed to the plan because they did not know who Musa was. Musa did not have any magic but he had something that was much more powerful; he had true signs from Allah.
On the day of the contest the Pharaoh’s court was filled with many people. Everyone in the room sided with the Pharaoh and left Musa all alone. But Musa remembered that Allah was with him. The sorcerers assembled their ropes and rods and asked Musa if he wished to have the first throw. Musa said, “No, you have the first throw.” And they did. All of the sudden Musa saw snakes and wiggly things and their magic appeared to be powerful. Allah said to Prophet Musa, “Throw your rod now.” When the rod fell to the ground it turned into a snake also and it swallowed all the ropes and other snake-like objects. After the last sorcerer’s rope had been swallowed, Musa grabbed the snake and it became a rod once again. A hush fell over the crowded court and the sorcerers looked at each other in a perplexed fashion. They turned to Musa now realizing that Musa was not a magician or a sorcerer. They knew that Musa’s power came from something greater than anything human.
The sorcerers then fell on their knees to beg for forgiveness from Allah for their evil ways. Allah forgave them but the Pharaoh grew furious. “How can you believe in Allah before I give you permission?” he said angrily. “If you don’t get up right now, I’ll have your arms and legs cut off and you will be crucified.” The sorcerers said, “Do what you will, but we fear the punishment of Allah much more than any torture you could do to us.”
The Pharaoh now realized he had a problem. Musa once again demanded that the Israelites go with him out of Egypt but the Pharaoh still would not allow it. Then Allah brought down a drought that stopped crops from growing and made cattle die of thirst. The Pharaoh promised to let the Israelites go if the drought would stop. Allah stopped the drought but the Pharaoh broke his promise. Many punishments came on Egypt and during each calamity the Pharaoh would make a promise to Musa. After the calamity had passed, however, he would go back on his word. Plagues, lice, locusts and frogs came, each more horrible than the last. Even the water in Egypt turned to blood, but still the Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go.
Finally, Allah told Musa to take the people out of Egypt during the night. Prophet Musa and the Israelites were well out of Egypt before the Egyptians knew what had happened. When the Pharaoh found out the Israelites had escaped he ordered all his forces to go and catch them and bring them back. He himself climbed into a golden chariot drawn by four white horses. He whipped them as hard as he could in order to catch Musa.
When Musa reached the Red Sea, Allah commanded him to strike the water with his rod. When he did the Red Sea miraculously parted and left a straight and narrow path down which Musa guided his people. The Israelites were awed but ran as fast as they could because they heard the hoof beats of the Pharaoh and the Egyptians.
When the Pharaoh got to the Red Sea, he paused for a moment. The path was still open and he could see the Israelites just starting to scramble up the other side of the water. “Now we’ve got them,” thought the Pharaoh. He whipped his horses once again and yelled out a savage battle cry which was heard by Musa and the Israelites on the other side. When the last old lady climbed up out of the parted Red Sea, Musa could see the Pharaoh not more than a hundred feet away. The Pharaoh had now caught up to Musa and, brandishing his heavy sword, looked as if he would surely get his revenge.
All of a sudden the mountains of water on each side of the narrow path came crashing down. The Egyptians cried out but their voices were cut off by the splash of water on their helpless bodies. The Pharaoh’s chariot overturned and the brave white horses neighed. A few seconds later, the only sound that could be heard was the calm water lapping lazily upon the shore. Musa and the Israelites had escaped from Egypt with the help of Allah and were now headed for the promised land.
Musa and the Israelites had just crossed the Red Sea and were now beginning their journey to the promised land of Canaan. Allah told them that this was the land of abundance and that the Israelites were to be an example for all of mankind to follow. But Canaan was still far away and the sun grew fierce and hot. Allah, in His mercy, shielded the people from the sun by making clouds follow them wherever they went. As they crossed the desert it was impossible to find enough food to feed all the people. Allah knew this so He created a food called manna and made it fall from the sky as if it was rain. For meat Allah made quails fly to them which they could easily catch. Surely these people were blessed to have Allah as their Protector.
For many days they went without water and they became thirsty. Allah told Prophet Musa to strike a large rock with his rod. When he did water gushed out of it from twelve different places. There were twelve tribes in the nation of Israel and each one had their own fountain of cool clear water.
With all of these blessings it is hard to imagine the Israelites disobeying Allah. Yet they started to complain to Prophet Musa that they wanted to go back to Egypt. They were tired of manna and tired of traveling. They wondered if there was really a land called Canaan after all. They had forgotten that not too long ago they were mere slaves to the Pharaoh and the Egyptians.
Then the Israelites passed through a town. The people of this town worshipped idols like the Egyptians did. The Israelites said to Prophet Musa, “O Musa make us a god like the gods these people have.” Prophet Musa warned them that Allah is the only true God.
Allah commanded Musa to go to the top of Mount Sinai so that He could give Musa the Tablets. The Tablets were stone slabs that had special laws to govern the Israelites. Musa told his brother Aaron that he was to be in charge of the people while he was on top of the mountain. The climb was long and difficult. When he got to the top Musa said, “O my Lord show Thyself that I may look upon Thee.” Allah told Musa that if a nearby mountain could withstand the full Glory of Allah then Musa may look upon Him. Allah showed His Glory to the mountain. The earth began shaking and there was a shining light. Within a few seconds the mountain crumbled to dust and Musa fell over backward. When Musa regained consciousness he prayed to Allah. Allah then gave Musa the Tablets to take back to the Israelites.
After forty days Musa came down from Mount Sinai with the Tablets in his hands. When he came down he was horrified by what he saw. The Israelites had melted down their jewelry to make a golden calf. They molded the calf so that it was hollow inside. When the wind blew through the hollow calf it made strange noises. The Israelites worshipped the golden calf.
Musa became angry. He grabbed Aaron by his hair and said, “Did I not tell you to watch the people in my absence?” Aaron tried to stop the people form worshipping the calf but they didn’t listen to him and threatened to kill him. Musa let go of his brother and asked Allah for forgiveness for himself and Aaron. The one who actually led the people to make the false god was the Samari. He said that this calf was their god and the god of Musa, but Musa had forgotten. When Musa questioned the Samari he said in reply, “I took a pinch of sand from your footstep, O’ Musa, and tossed it into the molten gods as it was being shaped.” The Samari thought this would flatter Prophet Musa but instead Musa became more angry and said to the Samari, “Get out of my sight and from now on whenever someone comes to you you must say, “Touch me not.’” That was his punishment in this life but Allah has a greater punishment waiting for the Samari and his followers in the next life. Musa then seized the golden calf, melted it down, and scattered its gold across the sea.
Still many of the people did not believe in Allah. Musa took seventy men with him to the mountain to prove that Allah did exist. When they approached the holy place the ground began to shake and they started to fall. They cried to Musa to ask Allah for forgiveness for them. But each time Allah forgave the people they went against Allah and Prophet Musa again and again.
Then Allah commanded that the Israelites to sacrifice a cow. Instead of doing it they laughed and told Musa to ask Allah what kind of cow. Then they wanted to know what color it had to be. They kept on asking Musa more and more details about the cow until they forgot that the reason they were sacrificing the cow was for Allah.
In the end, many of the Israelites disobeyed all of Allah’s commandments. Allah said to them, “You are apes, despised and rejected.” Allah broke up the Israelites into many different tiny groups. They never reached Canaan. After the generation of Prophet Musa came another generation. These people thought only of this world and nothing else. They felt that they were the chosen people and that if they would do anything wrong they would be forgiven.
Allah tested the Israelites in times of bad while they lived in Egypt. Allah also tested them in times of prosperity after they crossed the Red Sea. Allah wanted the Israelites to strive for the straight path. Some listened but many did not.