THE PROPHET MUSA (AS)

 

God's Discourse With Musa(As)

When Musa went up to the fire on the mountain, he was greeted by a marvellous event. He was addressed by God from a bush. There, he received the first revelations, stated in the Qur'an as follows:

But when he reached it a voice called out to him from the right hand side of the valley in the part which was full of blessing, from out of the bush: "Musa, I am God, the Lord of all the worlds." (Qur'an, 28: 30)

Then when he reached it, a voice called out, "Musa! I am your Lord. Take off your sandals. You are in the holy valley of Tuwa. I have chosen you, so listen well to what is revealed. I am God. There is no god but Me, so worship Me and establish prayer to remember Me." (Qur'an, 20: 11-14)

This was the first revelation Musa received, honouring him as God's messenger, the highest rank that a human can attain in this world.

An important point deserves attention here; God addresses Musa... God had called onto Musa from a tree. God was close enough to Musa as to address him directly. The truth however is, God is always close enough to address anybody. For instance, as you read these lines, God is close to you. He is close enough to speak to you, to hear your voice and make you hear His voice. Even, as explained in the words of the Qur'an, "God is closer to the human than his own jugular vein." (Qur'an, 50: 16) Though we cannot hear God, because He does not speak to us directly, He is always close enough to hear our every word. He can hear us even if we whisper.

After telling Musa that the voice he hears belongs to his Lord, God asked him about his staff:

"What is that in your right hand, Musa?" He said, "It is my staff. I lean on it and beat down leaves for my sheep with it and have other uses for it." (Qur'an, 20: 17-18)

No doubt God had known what Musa held in his hand. However, to edify Musa and make known His wisdom to him, God asked him to throw down his staff:

"Throw down your staff." Then when he saw it slithering like a snake he turned and fled and did not turn back again... (Qur'an, 27: 10)

When Musa saw his familiar staff turned into a snake, he was seized with fear. However, this event was designed to be a lesson by which God taught Musa to feel no fear except for Him, and to submit to no one other than Him:

."Have no fear, Musa. In My Presence the Messengers have no fear." (Qur'an, 27: 10)

He said, "Take hold of it and have no fear. We will return it to its original form." (Qur'an, 20: 21)

In compliance with the command, Musa picked up his staff. This staff would later become a miracle used against Pharaoh. Thereafter, God gave Musa a second miracle:

Put your hand inside your shirt front. It will emerge pure white yet quite unharmed. (Qur'an, 28: 32)

As the above verse informs us, Musa's hand emerged pure white, as a miracle from God. Musa became excited and felt frightened by these things. However God commanded him to pull himself together and go forth with these miracles to Pharaoh:

.And hug your arms to your sides to still your fear. These are two proofs from your Lord for Pharaoh and his ruling circle. They are a deviant people. (Qur'an, 28:32)

Musa (As) Requests Harun (As) As A Companion

Musa's answers to the revelations from God are replete with numerous examples of his sincerity. Musa told God frankly that he was afraid, hesitant, and insecure, and asked for his Lord's guidance. For instance, he expressed his concern that he might be killed by an Egyptian seeking vengeance, for having killed another Egyptian. He also stated that he was concerned of his inability to express himself fluently, fearing not being able to address Pharaoh properly. That is why he asked for his brother Harun, who was better at speaking, to accompany him:

He said, "My Lord, I killed one of them and I am afraid they will kill me; and my brother Harun is more eloquent than me so send him with me to support me and back me up. I am afraid they will call me a liar." (Qur'an, 28: 33-34)

"My brother Harun. Strengthen my back by him and let him share in my task, so that we can glorify You much and remember You much."(Qur'an, 20: 30-34)

Therefore, we should understand that the other reason why Musa asked for Harun as companion was to help him better remember God. He thought the company of another person would make him glorify Him more. Indeed, the company of other believers and their mutual spiritual encouragement are essential in warding off heedlessness, for which reason, in many verses of the Qur'an, God admonishes the believers to remain together. This is another lesson believers must draw from the story of Musa.

Musa's requests were granted by God. God declared that Harun had been allowed to accompany Musa in order to support him in his mission to Pharaoh as well as to give him strength:

He (God) said, "We will reinforce you with your brother and by Our Signs will give you both authority, so that they will not be able to lay a hand on you. You and those who follow you will be the victors." (Qur'an, 28: 35)

Another verse conveys the same event as follows:

He said, "O Lord, expand my breast for me and make my task easy for me. Loosen the knot in my tongue so that they will understand my words. Assign me a helper from my family." (Qur'an, 20: 25-29)

(Moses said) "For You are watching us." He (God) said, "Your request has been granted, Musa." (Qur'an, 20: 35-36)

When we consider Musa's requests, we see that he disclosed all his personal weaknesses candidly to God, and that he prayed and pleaded for God's guidance. The sincerity of his prayer is an example for all people. A human should pray humbly to God with sincerity, aware that he is weak and destitute before the presence of God, Who holds everything under His total control. God knows everything and witnesses every deed a human engages in. Further, He knows inner thoughts of man. This being the case, there is no need to conceal anything from one's Lord.

To conclude, every one needs to turn to God, with the sincerity and candour that he would otherwise not show to other human beings.

The Story Of Musa (As) And The Mystery Of Destiny

On Mount Sinai, God gave Musa the good tidings that He would grant him his brother Harun as a companion. Then, God reminded Musa the blessings He previously granted to him:

We were gracious to you another time when We revealed to your mother: "Place him into the chest and throw it into the sea and the sea will wash it up on the shore, where an enemy of Mine and his will pick it up." I showered you with love from Me so that you would be brought up under My supervision. When your sister went and said, "Shall I direct you to someone who will take care of him?" that was how We returned you to your mother so that she might delight her eyes and not be grieved. You killed a man and We rescued you from trouble and tested you with many trials. You stayed some years among the people of Midian. Then you arrived at the pre-ordained time, Musa! I have chosen you for Myself. (Qur'an, 20: 37-41)

These verses reveal the mystery of destiny, of which many a people are unaware or hardly understand. From his babyhood to the time he was chosen as a messenger, Musa spent every moment of his life in line with what was predestined for him in the eternal past. Within this destiny is nothing but the fulfilment of the will of God. For instance, as stated earlier, thousands of minute details ordained by God in Musa's destiny rendered possible the arrival of the chest to the family of Pharaoh.

It is also possible to see the extent to which the latter stages of Musa's life were within the confines of his destiny. Musa became involved in a fight and fled from the city to Midian, where he encountered two women. These women could not water their flocks because they avoided shepherds. Upon this situation, Musa offered help. Musa earned the trust of these women, and in return for his kindness, started a new life in Midian upon the proposal of their old father. When the appointed time came, Musa left Midian with his family. On his way back, he saw a fire where he was addressed by God and chosen to be God's Messenger.

The chest carrying the baby Musa floating randomly down the Nile, his being picked up by Pharaoh's family, his being raised in the palace, the unintentional murder he committed, his flight from Egypt, his encounter with the two women, the many years spent with the old man, the way he started a family, the journey back to Egypt, God's address to him, and countless other details which are not referred to in the Qur'an, all happened according to Musa's destiny, already ordained before his birth. Not a single one of these events could have been omitted or have occurred differently. Because, our lives are similar to a film recorded in a video-cassette; it is impossible to remove even a single scene in one's destiny, just as how it cannot be done with a scene on a filmstrip. The destiny of a man, with each and every moment in it, is an intact whole.

Also in the verses quoted above, there is mention of the fact that Musa's journey to the holy valley of Tuwa was in conformity with his destiny:

.Then you arrived at the pre-ordained time, Musa! (Qur'an, 20: 40)

This matter needs to be given special attention. The destiny referred here is not peculiar to Musa only. Giving birth to Musa was part of the destiny of Musa's mother. That she would give birth to Musa at a certain day, and even at a certain hour, was also part of her destiny. But the mother of Musa had parents as well. It was the destiny of the mother of Musa's mother to give birth to her. This line of thought also holds true for Musa's father and for the rest of his family.

The carpenter who made the chest which carried Musa down the river also constructed it because he was predestined so in his destiny. His building of that chest was predestined for him even before he was born. The parents of this carpenter also led their lives in compliance with a certain destiny.

Let us consider the fight Musa was involved in. This fight took place on just the moment Musa happened to be there. From a simplistic point of view, one could say, "if it was to happen at a different time Musa would not have been there and events could have taken a much different course." However this would be an incorrect evaluation. The fight took place just at the moment it was supposed to occur and evolved in the way it had to evolve. The reason being, this fight was also predestined by God. The same rule of destiny also holds true for the other parties involved in the fight, the reasons which led to the fight, as well as the man who advised Musa to flee from the city, advising him that people were conspiring against him. Ultimately, the shepherds near the Midian river, as well as the two women Musa encountered, had all constituted indispensable parts of this destiny.

It is God's prophets who best understood the fact that everything takes place within the decree predetermined by God. The Prophet Muhammad (saas), in whom there is an excellent example for all believers, said:

If any adversity comes to you, do not say: "If I had only acted in such-and-such a way, it would have been such-and-such;" but instead, say: "God has decreed (it) and what He willed, He has done," for verily, (the word) (if) opens the way for the work of Satan." (Muslim)

When all these points are considered together, it becomes clear that, not only Musa, but also everything about his life, formed part of his destiny. A deeper and more detailed consideration would allow us to understand that we are all parts of the same destiny. In our own lives, we are also exposed to events predetermined in the eternal past by the all-mighty God. We were all bound by a destiny ordained for us. The moment of our death will also be a part of the same destiny. Destiny is, in reality, a divine knowledge encompassing the whole of existence. Just as how all the details of Musa's life, including his becoming a messenger, were predestined for him, all the details pertaining to the lives of all mankind, as well as your own lives, are all predestined. Furthermore, that you would read this book and become knowledgeable about the life of Musa were all predestined for you long before Musa was born. Destiny is an entirety in itself and covers everything. Immune to the will of any being other than of God, destiny is only determined by Him. (For more information please refer to Timelessness and the Reality of Fate and Eternity Has Already Begun by the same author).

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