Prophet Musa [Moses] & Harun [Aaron] (Peace be upon them)
Musa (Moses) said: "O my Lord! Expand me my breast; Ease my task for me; And remove the impediment from my speech. So they may understand what I say: And give me a Minister from my family, Aaron, my brother; Add to my strength through him, And make him share My task: That we may celebrate Thy praise without stint, And remember Thee without stint: For Thou art He that (ever) regardeth us." (Taha, 25-35)
CHILDREN OF ISRAEL IN EGYPT
The nickname of Hz. Yaqub, who was Hz. Ishaq's son, was "Israel".1 Hz. Yaqub had twelve sons. They lived in Kanan region of Palestine.
The progeny that increased from these twelve sons of Hz, Yaqub, whose nickname was Israel, was called "Banu/Bani Israil" (Children of Israel). Each son of Hz. Yaqub was the ancestor of a tribe; each of them was called "sibt" (grandchild) and they were collectively called "asbat"(grandchildren).
The most populous place beginning from the first ages of history in the world was the Arabian Peninsula and the Valley of the Nile. The country that the Nile gave life to is called Egypt. Children of Israel left Palestine and went to Egypt when Hz. Yusuf was alive and settled there. The kings of Egypt were called the Pharaohs; the king of Persia was called Chosroes; the king of Byzantium was called Caesar and the king of Abyssinia was called the Negus.2
The Pharaohs came from the tribe of Copts. Amaliqas, an old Arab tribe, beat the Pharaohs and started to rule Egypt. This era is known as the Era of Hyksos. They ruled Egypt for 400 years. Their kings were called maliks. When Hz. Yusuf and Children of Israel arrived in Egypt, the ruler was a king called Rayyan bin Walid. It is reported that this king, who treated Children of Israel generously, accepted the prophethood of Hz. Yusuf. After the death of Hz. Yusuf, a revolution occurred in Egypt and the Pharaohs ended the administration of Hyksos. The Pharaohs started to rule Egypt again.
The Pharaohs denied Allah and claimed to be deities. The natives of Egypt accepted the deity of the Pharaohs but they also worshipped the Apis Bull. The basin of the Nile, which was surrounded by vast scorching deserts, had fertile land thanks to the Nile3; therefore, the people living there gave importance to farming and agriculture, regarding them as sacred; furthermore, they accepted bulls and cows, which were the most important means of agriculture, as sacred deities.4
In addition, the people of Egypt and the Pharaohs also believed in "REINCARNATION". Therefore, the Pharaohs built huge pyramids as their graves and had their bodies mummified after death.5
THE PHARAOHS' INFLICTION UPON CHILDREN OF ISRAEL
Children of Israel, who went to Egypt and settled there during the time of Hz. Yusuf, increased in number, obtained vast land and became rich. They lived in peace and got stronger day by day.
This peace of Children of Israel's lasted up to the start of the sovereignty of the Pharaohs again.
* * *
When the Pharaohs came into power again, they started to feel anxious about Children of Israel. They feared that Children of Israel would depose them and end their domination.
They took action to prevent such a possibility. First, they confiscated most of the land and wealth of Children of Israel. Then, they started to oppress and torture Children of Israel terribly. They divided Children of Israel into various classes, making some of them slaves and others workers. They forced Children of Israel to do hard work like removing big stones from mountains and carrying them. They built pyramids, which were the graves of the Pharaohs, sculptors and sphinxes with those stones. Besides, they forced them to work as carpenters and ironsmiths, and to do similar hard work. Thus, they oppressed and dominated Children of Israel.6
Children of Israel tried to return to their ancestors' land (holy land) in order to get rid of the oppression and slavery several times but they could not manage it.7
All of their attempts to leave were suppressed brutally. However, they did not lose their hope. They expected that a savior would emerge. He would save them from the domination of the Pharaohs and take them to Palestine, the land of their ancestors. They regarded this land as sacred and called it the holy land. Every child of Israel had this ideal: to reach the holy land.
Despite the oppression and pressure of the Pharaohs, the number of Children of Israel increased rapidly. The number reached 600 000 just before the death of Hz. Musa (Moses).
Both the Pharaoh of that time and the Copts were worried about the situation.
Soothsaying, magic and fortune telling developed a lot during the reign of the Pharaohs and became prestigious professions. There were soothsayers and magicians in all towns and they were classified. 8
THE PHARAOH'S DREAM
Once, the Pharaoh had a dream. A fire coming from Palestine burned down the Copts, the natives of Egypt. It did not harm Children of Israel.
This dream frightened and panicked the Pharaoh. He summoned the soothsayers. He told them about his dream and asked them to interpret it.
The soothsayers interpreted the Pharaoh's dream as follows:
"A boy will be born of Children of Israel and he will end your sovereignty.9
The Pharaoh had already been afraid of the increase in the number of Children of Israel; when he heard this news, his fear increased. He made a decision quickly. He ordered his men: "Kill all of the boys to be born of Children of Israel."
Nobody dared to oppose this terrible order of the Pharaoh, who was conceited and cruel.
The Pharaoh's wife, Asiya, was a good, merciful, young and beautiful woman. Due to her beauty and intelligence, she was able to affect the Pharaoh from time to time and prevent his cruelty. However, this time, she could not oppose his order and could not say, "Do not kill children." She saw that he was determined and insistent.
Upon this order of the Pharaoh's, a big massacre started. The boys who were born were found immediately and killed mercilessly.10 Thus, the Pharaoh prevented the danger to come from Children of Israel; in addition, he tried to make the women and girls of Children of Israel, who would lack husbands, surrender to Egyptians.
Children of Israel could not do anything against this cruelty.
The mothers whose sons were killed cried and screamed while the men continued to work hard.
BIRTH OF HZ. MUSA
While this massacre of the Pharaoh's was going on, a man called Imran of Children of Israel had a baby.11 They called him Musa (Moses).12
Allah concealed him in his mother's womb before his birth. Nobody noticed when he was born. However, it was very difficult to bring up a son at that time. The mother and the father were really worried; they did not know that Allah Almighty would guard this child, who was born with a mission. Especially the mother was very nervous and did not know what to do. She prayed Allah sincerely to protect her son.
Allah accepted the sincere prayer of the mother whose heart beat with compassion and consoled her as follows with the inspiration He sent to her:
"Suckle Musa. When you fear that your neighbors will hear his voice, cast him into the river. Do not fear that he will be drowned. Do not grieve that he will separate from you. We shall return him to you and you will suckle him again. We shall make him one of Our messengers sent to Egypt and Damascus."13
Upon this inspiration from Allah, the worry and anxiety of the mother were eliminated; her heart felt relieved.
It is stated clearly in the Quran that a feeling of love and compassion is placed into the hearts of those who see Musa.14 Those who saw him felt love and compassion toward him. As a matter of fact, the Pharaoh, who killed thousands of babies mercilessly, was going to be overwhelmed by this feeling. Allah Almighty decreed that Hz. Musa would live in the palace of his enemy and prepared the means for it.
THE SMALL CHEST IN THE RIVER NILE
Little Musa became three months old. It was impossible to conceal him any longer. People might have found out about him. Therefore, Musa's mother decided to throw him into the river.
She had a wooden chest made. Then, she placed Musa in it and wrapped it very well. She went to the River Nile and put the chest on the water. She said to her older daughter, who was with her,
"Watch this chest. Follow where the water takes it. Be very careful."
The water took the chest near the great palace of the Pharaoh by the River Nile. The servants of the palace saw the chest and picked it up wondering about what was in it. They took it inside in order to give it to Asiya, the Pharaoh's wife.15
When Musa's sister saw that the chest was taken to the palace of the Pharaoh, she felt scared. She ran to her mother and said,
"Mum! The chest in which we put Musa went to the Palace of the Pharaoh. The servants found it and took it inside the palace. What are we going to do now?"
When Musa's mother heard it, she became scared too. They sent Musa to the Pharaoh while trying to hide him from the Pharaoh. She spent that night in anxiety.
However, Allah eliminated her anxiety by sending her another inspiration. He repeated His promise before she put the chest in the river.
Thereupon, she felt relieved and said to her daughter,
"Go to the palace and find out what is happening."
Musa's sister was a maid in the palace.
Therefore, it was very easy for her to enter the palace.
* * *
The servants who found the chest took it to Asiya, the Pharaoh's wife. She ordered them to open the chest. They opened the chest. They could not believe their eyes. There was a cute baby in the chest. He was enswathed and sleeping. He was so cute. Asiya loved him as soon as she saw him. However, how was she going to persuade her husband? It was definite that he was going to have the baby killed as soon as he found out about him. She thought maybe he would love the baby when he saw him. She was so cute that everybody loved him when they saw him. Even the cruelest person in the world would not kill him.
Asiya took the child to the Pharaoh. She told him about the issue:
"Here is a joy of the eye for me and for you. We have no children. Let us feed this cute baby and bring him up. We will play with him and be happy. It may be that he will be of use to us."
She offered to adopt Musa.16
The Pharaoh also loved the baby as soon as he saw him. His hard and cruel heart felt compassion toward the baby. He accepted his wife's offer. He accepted the offer that the baby should be brought up in the palace.
When the people and servants of the palace heard that Asiya persuaded her husband, they were filled with joy. Everybody was doing his best to take care of the baby. First, a wet nurse was necessary.
Musa refused all of the women who came to suckle him. He cried continuously. There were no other women left to suckle him in the palace. Asiya felt very sorry: What if something bad happened to this cute baby? What if he died?
Musa's sister said,
"I know a woman who can suckle him. I will call her if you wish."17
The people of the palace became very happy. They said,
"Run and call her. The baby is about to starve."
She ran to her mother and told him about the situation. She called her mother to the palace. Her mother became very excited. They ran to the palace together.
When Musa's mother saw him, she hardly contained herself. She tried really hard to keep her secret. Musa, who had refused to suck milk from the other women, started to suck heartily. Thus, the wet nurse for Musa was found. Everybody was happy and his mother was suckling him happily.
Nobody knew that the wet nurse was the real mother of Musa.
Thus, Allah Almighty kept His promise to the compassionate mother.18
THE PHARAOH TESTS THE LITTLE MUSA
As days passed, little Musa sucked milk from his own mother and grew up.
Once, while he was playing with a stick, he hit the Pharaoh on the head with it. The Pharaoh got very angry and said,
"Is it the boy that is said to harm me?" He tried to kill Musa. His wife Asiya prevented him and said,
"My dear husband! This boy hit you because he cannot distinguish between the good and the bad yet. Do not get angry immediately." However, her words were not enough to soothe the Pharaoh. He decided to test the child.
He ordered his men to bring a piece of fire and a piece of diamond. He put them before Musa. He decided to kill Musa if he took the diamond because it would prove that he could distinguish between the good and the bad. He decided to forgive Musa if he touched the fire because it would show that he could not distinguish between the good and the bad.
While little Musa was about to reach for the diamond, Jibril came to help him without being seen. He made Musa take the piece of fire and put it into his mouth.
Musa got his mouth burnt; therefore, he had a lisp.19 When the Pharaoh saw it, he started to laugh out loud. He believed that Musa could not distinguish between the good and the bad. He gave up the idea of killing him.
THE DUTIES WAITING FOR HZ. MUSA
Musa was living like a prince in the palace of the Pharaoh. Asiya, the wise wife of the Pharaoh, brought up Musa with great care. The Pharaoh stopped killing the sons of Children of Israel but he continued his cruelty and oppression. The people still worshipped the Apis Bull. They kept regarding the Pharaoh as a deity.
Children of Israel adopted some customs of the people of Egypt without being aware of them since they lived together. However, the Egyptians treated them like slaves and the hatred of Children of Israel toward Egyptians prevented them from living like Egyptians. Therefore, Children of Israel did not regard the Pharaoh as a deity and did not worship the Apis Bull. In fact, they did not practice the religion of "Hanif" (Hz. Ibrahim's religion) fully. The long time period after the death of Hz. Yusuf and the slavery prevented them from practicing their religion fully. Since what is not practiced is soon forgotten, they forgot about their religion.
There were three issues waiting for Musa:
1- The improvement of the Egyptians,
2- Saving Children of Israel from being slaves of the Egyptians and taking them to the holy land.
3- The improvement of Children of Israel.
They were three hard issues. When Hz. Musa was 18-20 years old, Allah Almighty granted him knowledge and wisdom like Hz. Yusuf.20 When his cuteness was strengthened by knowledge and wisdom, his honor and prestige increased; he became popular in the palace.
THE DEATH OF THE EGYPTIAN
One night Hz. Musa went out of the palace and started to walk around the streets of Egypt. He saw two people fighting. One of them was an Egyptian and the other belonged to Children of Israel.21
The Egyptian was beating him hard. When he saw Hz. Musa, he asked his help.
Hz. Musa was a strong young man. He could not bear it any longer and decided to break up the fight. He asked the Egyptian to stop fighting. However, he continued to beat his opponent without heeding Hz. Musa. He probably decided to kill him.
Thereupon, Hz. Musa struck him with his fist. It was a bit hard. The Egyptian fell down and rolled. When he fell down, he hit the ground hard. Soon, he was dead.
Hz. Musa did not want or expect something like that. He intervened in the fight in order to help an oppressed person but unfortunately, he caused the death of an Egyptian. He said to himself, "This is a work of Satan for he is an enemy that manifestly misleads." then he turned to Allah in repentance. He prayed as follows:
"O my Lord! You are great! Forgive me for this accident. Pardon me."22
Allah Almighty forgave Musa for this accident.23
* * *
Hz. Musa was worried. He did not return to the palace because he feared that they would hear that he killed a person and tell the Pharaoh about it. He wandered about the streets all night. He thought about what to do.
In the morning, the news of the death of the Egyptian was heard in the city. The killer was unknown. Hz. Musa was still wandering.
Suddenly, he saw the same man fighting another Egyptian. He was being beaten again. As soon as he saw Hz. Musa, he recognized him and asked for help again.
Hz. Musa became angry when he saw him fighting again. He started to scold him. However, he could not bear it when he saw that the Egyptian continued beating him. He walked toward them in order to break the fight.
When the man who belonged to Children of Israel saw that Musa was coming toward them angrily, he thought Musa was going to kill him. He started to shout,
"Do you intend to kill me like you killed that man last night? Do you want to be a tyrant who kills everybody?"24
Hz. Musa was shocked. Thus, it became clear that he had killed the Egyptian last night. He did not know what to do.
* * *
The news that Hz. Musa killed an Egyptian spread to the whole city. There were some people who started to be jealous of him as he became a young man. Nobody did anything bad to him up to that time because Asiya protected him.
Haman, the Prime Minister of the Pharaoh, was the enemy of Hz. Musa. He feared that Hz. Musa would replace him in the future as he was getting old. Therefore, he bore a grudge against Musa though he did not reveal it.
This incident was an excellent opportunity for the enemies of Hz. Musa. They went to the Pharaoh and told him about the murder. They made the Pharaoh decide a death decree for Musa.
ON THE WAY TO MADYAN
Hz. Musa continued wandering around the streets of Egypt without knowing what to do.
Meanwhile, he met someone from the palace. His name was Sam'an. He was a cousin of the Pharaoh. He was a good man. He liked Hz. Musa. As soon as Sam'an saw Hz. Musa, he approached Musa. He whispered to him,
"O Musa! The whole Egypt heard about the incident. The Pharaoh decreed an order to have you killed. Do not stay here any longer. Leave the city at once.25
Upon this news, Hz. Musa started to run outside the city. He started to cross the desert. He did not know where to go. He just walked. He had nobody else to ask for help except Allah. He prayed Allah while walking:
"O my Lord! Save me from the evil of this cruel Pharaoh and the people of Egypt."26
Hz. Musa was a candidate of a great cause. His life was predestined in the best way for his duty. This direction, which he walked without knowing, was going to take him to Madyan, the country of the Prophet Shuayb (Jethro).(*) He was unaware of the program designed by destiny; he kept saying, "I do hope that my Lord will show me the smooth and straight path."27
HZ. MUSA HELPS SHEPHERD GIRLS
Hz. Musa walked for days. He crossed hot deserts, villages and towns. He reached the land of Madyan. He was very tired due to walking. He was very hungry and thirsty.
He sat next to a well. He wanted to have a rest and drink some water.
There were some people around the well. Some shepherds were drawing water to give water to their sheep. Two girls standing a bit away from the well attracted Hz. Musa's attention. They were waiting there shyly.28 They had sheep with them. They were probably waiting to give water to their sheep. However, they could not approach the well due to the other shepherds.
Hz. Musa pitied them and wanted to help them. He approached the girls and asked,
"Why are you not giving water to your sheep? Everybody is giving water to their sheep. Why are you waiting?" The girls answered shyly:
"We do not want to draw water with the men. We are waiting for them to finish drawing water."
Hz. Musa was surprised by their modesty and chastity. He wondered why they herded sheep. He asked them,
"You are two young girls. Why are you herding the sheep? Are there not any men in your family to herd them?"
"Our father is too old to herd our sheep. We have no brothers. Therefore, we herd our sheep."29
When Hz. Musa found out about their situation, he decided to help them. His feeling of compassion overwhelmed him. He said,
"Wait here. I will water your sheep and bring them back." He took the animals to the well. After a while, he took them back.
The girls became very happy due to Hz. Musa's kind act. They thanked him and left.
When Hz. Musa was left alone, he turned back to the shade of the tree and said:
"O my Lord! Thank you very much for saving me from the evil of the Pharaoh. I am deprived of the facilities in the palace of the Pharaoh and I am poor now but it is of no significance compared to my salvation. I am grateful to you."30
AN HONORABLE GUEST, AN HONORABLE HOST
The girls Hz. Musa helped near the well in Madyan were the daughters of the Prophet Shuayb.
The Prophet Shuayb was old. He had only his daughters to help him.
That evening, Hz.Shuayb's daughters returned home earlier than usual. When he found out the reason, he sent one of his daughters to call Hz. Musa.
Hz. Musa was still having a rest in the shade of the same tree.
She approached to him walking bashfully. She said,
"My father invites you to pay you for having watered our sheep."31
Hz. Musa needed somebody to talk to in this place, where he was a stranger. Therefore, he wanted to benefit from the invitation of the girl. He followed her to their home.
Hz. Musa went into the presence of the Prophet Shuayb. They greeted each other. The Prophet Shuayb asked him who he was what his job was and why he had come there. Hz. Musa told him about everything. He said that he felt worried that the Pharaoh's men could find him there.
After listening to him, the Prophet Shuayb said,
"Do not fear. I am Shuayb, one of the prophets of Allah. You are far away from Egypt and the Pharaoh. It is impossible for them to find and to catch you." Thus, he eliminated all of the worries of Hz. Musa.32
Indeed, Madyan was far away from Egypt. Nobody would dare to come to Madyan from Egypt by crossing vast deserts. Hz. Musa would be safe there.
It was a plan of destiny. A candidate prophet became the guest of a prophet.
What an honorable guest and what an honorable host!
HZ MUSA'S MARRIAGE
Hz. Shuayb's older daughter, Safura, was a wise and sagacious person. As soon as she saw Hz. Musa, she noticed that he was not an ordinary person. She noticed something different in him. His father was old. It was difficult for her to herd the sheep with her sister. Hz. Musa was a strong man. He had no job and nowhere to go. It was possible for him to stay in Madyan. He went to his father to tell him about her opinion:
"O my dear father! We were looking for someone to help us. Engage him on wages: truly the best of men for you to employ is this man, Musa, who is strong and trusty. He is also very modest. He does not look at us when he speaks."33
Hz. Shuayb found this suggestion appropriate. They really needed a worker to herd their sheep. However, how were they going to pay him? They were poor. Suddenly, Hz. Shuayb had a good idea. His daughter, Safura, was single like Hz. Musa. If he accepted, he would marry his daughter off to Musa. He turned to Musa and told him about his idea:
"O Musa! I have an offer to you. I intended to wed one of these my daughters to you on condition that you herd my sheep me for eight years.
If you complete ten years, it will be grace from you. However, it is up to you to decide. If you accept my offer, you will find me, indeed, if Allah wills, one of the righteous who keeps his promise."34
Hz. Musa was looking for a place to stay. He accepted this offer gladly. He said.
"I accept your offer. This agreement is between you and me. Whichever of the two terms I fulfill, let there be no injustice to me. Be Allah a witness to what we say."35
In accordance with the agreement, Hz. Shuayb married his daughter, Safura, off to Musa.
HZ. MUSA'S STAFF (ROD)
Hz. Musa started to serve Hz. Shuayb in accordance with the agreement. He herded the sheep, milked them and watered them. He obtained his staff (rod, stick), which would be a means of miracles in the future, during his shepherding. There are various narrations about the origin of the staff and how Musa obtained it 36 but it is unanimously agreed that Hz. Musa obtained this staff when he was in Madyan and that he herded the sheep with it.
Jabir b. Abdillah narrates the following:
Once we were collecting the fruit of miswak tree with The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) in Marruzzahran. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to the people around:
"Prefer the black ones of this wild fruit. The black ones are the most delicious.” One Companion asked,
"O Messenger of Allah! Shepherds know the good and bad ones of this fruit. Have you herded sheep?” The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,
"It is strange that you ask! All prophets including Musa herded sheep.”37
Hz. MUSA IN THE HOLY VALLEY
When Musa served Hz Shuayb for ten years, he went into his presence. He said to Hz. Shuayb that he wanted to return to Egypt with his family. Hz. Shuayb gave Hz. Musa some sheep and food; then, he saw Musa and his family off by praying for them.38 Musa and his family started to walk through the desert in winter relying on the help of Allah. They walked for days. On a cold and dark night, they felt very cold. It was freezing. They were lost. They did not know where they were.39 Losing the way made them forget about the cold. When they approached Mount Sinai, Hz. Musa noticed a fire. He said to his wife and children joyfully,
"You stay here. I noticed a fire; I will go there; perhaps I can bring you some burning brand from there. We can feel hot with it and cook food. If there is somebody there, I will ask him the way and we can continue our journey.”40 He started to walk toward the fire. The way led to a big valley. As soon as he entered the valley, Hz. Musa heard a voice that he had never heard before
"O Musa! I am your Lord! Therefore, put off your shoes: you are in the sacred valley of Tuwa.”41
The voice that Hz. Musa heard made him shiver from head to toe. He took off his shoes and started to wait in excitement. The voice came from the right side of the valley. When Hz. Musa looked at that direction, he saw a tree. The tree was in fire. However, it was not burning; it was shedding light. When Hz. Musa saw the tree and the fire intertwined, he realized that it was not an ordinary fire but a divine light. He felt that his heart was filled with luminosity and peace. He believed that what he heard was a divine voice. After a short silence, the divine voice was heard again:
"O Musa! I have chosen you among people as a prophet. Then, listen then to the inspiration sent to you and convey it to others.42 I am Allah: there is no god but me. Serve Me only and establish regular prayer for celebrating My praise. Verily the Day of Judgment will definitely come. Let not those who do not believe in the hereafter and follow their own lusts, divert you from it. Otherwise, you will perish."43
MIRACLES GIVEN TO HZ. MUSA
Hz. Musa was overwhelmed by the address of his Lord. He felt endless pleasure. Allah continued to address him:
"O Musa! What is that in your right hand?"
Hz. Musa answered this address of his Lord in excitement:
"It is my rod. I lean on it when I am tired. I herd my sheep with it and beat down fodder for my flocks. And I find other uses in it."
Hz. Musa wanted to speak more due to the pleasure of the divine address but he could not find anything else to say about his rod. Upon his answer, Allah Almighty said,
"O Musa! Throw it!" As soon as Hz. Musa released the rod, it became a snake, active in motion. Hz. Musa was scared and turned his back. He was getting ready to escape. The snake looked terrible. Meanwhile, the divine voice was heard again:
"O Musa! Turn to it and do not fear. Seize it and pick it up. You are under our safety. We shall return it at once to its former condition." Thus, Allah told him that his fear was groundless. Thereupon, Hz. Musa’s fear disappeared. He held the snake. As soon as he touched the snake, it returned to its previous state. It became a rod again. Allah Almighty addressed Hz. Musa again:
"Now put your hand close to your chest; it will come forth white without harm or stain as another miracle.”
Hz. Musa obeyed this order; he put his hand close to his chest and removed it. He saw that his hand became snow-white and shone in the darkness. This is called the miracle of white hand.
* * *
From then on, Hz. Musa had full belief and reliance. After that, Allah Almighty told him what to do:
O Musa! Both the miracles of the rod and the white hand have shown you some of our signs. Now go to the Pharaoh with these two miracles and call him to the true path. He transgressed all bounds. We will support you with some other miracles if it is necessary.”44
These talks between Hz. Musa and Allah Almighty and the miracles given to him were a prophethood contract.
HZ. MUSA’ S CONCERNS
However, Hz. Musa had some concerns. First of all, the risk of being caught and punished because of his previous crime when he returned to Egypt. This being the case, it was very difficult for him to go to the Pharaoh and call him to believe in Allah.
The lisping in his tongue, which occurred when he was a little child, also worried him. He feared that he would not be able to talk fluently and convey his message to the Pharaoh. Suddenly, he remembered his brother Harun (Aaron) in Egypt. Harun was a sweet and fluent talker. It was possible for him to talk to the Pharaoh easily with the help of his brother. Besides, it was possible to encounter the reaction of the Pharaoh more easily as two people. With this thought in mind, he kneeled down and started to beg Allah:
"O my Lord! Expand my breast and give me endurance. O Lord! Ease my task for me. Remove the impediment from my speech so that they may understand what I say. And give me a minister from my family, Harun, my brother because he speaks better than me and will explain our cause better. I fear that they will deny me and that I will not be able to answer them. Besides, I killed one of them by mistake. I fear that they will try to take revenge from me if I go there alone.
O Lord! Send my brother Harun as a prophet, too. Add to my strength through him so that we may celebrate your praise without stint and worship you more.
O Lord! You know and protect us better than us.”45
* * *
Hz. Musa was right in his concern and worry. For, he was going to face someone who claimed to be a deity and call him to the right path. He was going to prove that the Pharaoh's way was wrong. Besides, Haman, who was the minister and consultant of the Pharaoh and who was very intelligent, was going to be against him. He was going to struggle against Haman and overcome him.
Upon these worries of Hz. Musa, Allah Almighty stated that He had saved him from his previous hardships 46 and that He was going to save him from his future troubles.47
Allah told him how to treat the Pharaoh with his brother Harun as follows:
"O Musa! Go with your brother with My Signs, which show the trueness of your cause. Do not slacken while conveying my revelation, which includes orders and prohibitions, to the Pharaoh. Go both of you to the Pharaoh for he has indeed transgressed all bounds. His situation should not activate your feelings and make you treat him harshly. Speak to him mildly. Do not make him angry; he may listen to you. Do not lose hope that he will believe in Allah when you mention him your evidence and the wrath of Allah. If you do not have any hope that he will believe, you will not be able to be successful in your duty of conveying My message.”48
With these words, Allah Almighty attracted the attention of Hz. Musa and Harun to two important issues in calling people to the right path:
a. One of the most important principles in calling people to the right path and guiding them is not to get angry or furious and not to act in rage. For, a call with fury and anger will incite the obstinacy of the addressee and increase his opposition. Such a call will be harmful rather than useful.
b. Even if the person to whom the message of Allah is conveyed is a very cruel person like the Pharaoh, it is necessary to address him without losing hope. If one conveys the message to such a person unwillingly just for the sake of getting rid of the responsibility of conveying the message, it will not be of any effect. It is necessary to be sincere and to do it for the sake of Allah. It is necessary to have good thoughts about the addressee and to convey the message hopefully and wisely.
STRUGGLE AGAINST THE PHARAOH
Hz. Musa enjoyed the most pleasant moments of his life during his talk with Allah Almighty. From then on, he was a prophet appointed by Allah. He had to go to Egypt at once and start his duty. He returned to his family immediately. He set off for Egypt with them without losing any time. Meanwhile, his brother Harun also received revelation and was given the duty of prophethood. He was told what to do with his brother Musa.
When Hz. Musa arrived in Egypt, he found his brother Harun first. They started to wait for the hard day, when they would encounter the Pharaoh. They could not get rid of the worries they had due to the terrible oppression and mercilessness of the Pharaoh. Therefore, they begged Allah Almighty as follows:
"Our Lord! We fear that the Pharaoh will hasten with insolence against us or he will transgress all bounds by talking insolently about You or kill us before we finish our talk and show our miracles. What shall we do then?”49
Allah Almighty answered these two sincere slaves of His as follows:
"O my prophets! Do not Fear at all! For I am with you. Go both of you to him without worrying and say, `Verily we are messengers sent by your Lord. Stop oppressing Children of Israel. Let them go to the holy land, their hometown. We have come from your Lord with a sign. Peace to all who follow guidance. We were told by your Lord that the divine wrath that is bound to come will hit those who deny the prophets and do not accept their call.”50
Thus, Hz. Musa and Hz. Harun found out what to do by revelation. Then, they went to the palace into the presence of the Pharaoh.
When the Pharaoh saw Hz. Musa and his brother together after so many years, he was surprised. He did not expect such an encounter. He asked them,
"Why did you come here?" Hz. Musa started to tell the Pharaoh the reason why they came:
"We are the messengers of Allah, who is the Lord of the Realms. Allah sent us to call you to the right path.
Stop oppressing Children of Israel. Let them go to the holy land."
The Pharaoh was leaning on his throne and listening to what Hz. Musa was telling him in astonishment. Was the person who was addressing him like that Musa, who was brought up in his palace? How dare he could say such things? He could not understand it. When Hz. Musa finished his words, the Pharaoh spoke furiously:
"O Musa! What happened to you? Did we not cherish you as a child among us? Did you not stay with us for many years, eat our bread and drink our water? Do you remember you also committed a crime and ran away? Now you deny what we did for you and deny our bounties."51
By saying that he brought up Musa in the palace, the Pharaoh wanted to show his ingratitude and make his speech valueless. Thereupon, Hz. Musa said,
"O Pharaoh! I did it by mistake. I feared that I would be killed before I could prove my innocence. Therefore, I escaped from Egypt when they started to look for me. Then, my Lord invested me with judgment and wisdom and appointed me as one of the messengers. My duty is only to convey the message of my Lord. It is up to you to accept it or not. As for my bringing up, which you reproach me is because of killing the sons of Children of Israel. Otherwise, I would not have stayed in your palace. My mother and father could have brought me up. Would they have allowed me to be brought up in your palace by putting me on the Nile if they had not feared your oppression?”52
Upon this explanation of Hz. Musa, the Pharaoh could not say anything. Hz. Musa was not a person that could be silenced easily.
In order to deepen the argument, the Pharaoh mentioned the phrase "the Lord of the Realms" in the statement of Hz. Musa and Harun: “We are the messengers of Allah, who is the Lord of the Realms.” The Pharaoh said,
"O Musa! And what is the `Lord of the Worlds?' Who is He?”53
With this question, he wanted to put Hz. Musa into a difficult position. Hz Musa answered this question by changing the direction of the question with the style of wisdom as follows:
"If you seek to be convinced with certainty, you will understand that the Lord of the heavens and the earth and all between.”54
The Pharaoh could not say anything upon this answer. He wanted to resort to demagogy in order to eliminate the effect of this answer on the people around. He turned to them and said mockingly,
"Do you not listen to what he says? I am asking something but he is giving me a different answer.”55
Hz. Musa acted sagaciously and did not allow the Pharaoh to use demagogy any longer. He said,
"Your Lord and the Lord of your fathers from the beginning.”56
With this sentence, Hz. Musa stated that the Pharaoh was a human being like everybody else, that he also had a mother and a father, that he ate and drank like them and that he was bound to die. Thus, he wanted to eliminate the idea in the minds of the people that he was an extraordinary being.
When the Pharaoh saw that his demagogy was of no use, he started to insult and slander. In fact, all oppressors that are defeated by the truth resort to insult, slander or force. The Pharaoh said to the people around,
"Truly your messenger who has been sent to you is a veritable madman. You see that he does not answer my question and mentions something else."57 Thus, he aimed to confuse their minds.
Actually, his question was answered in the best way. The existence, power and will of Allah Almighty were mentioned; it was stated that man was His creature and that he had to obey His laws. That was what was necessary for man. It was impossible for man to perceive more. How could man, whose understanding, knowledge, learning, etc is limited and who is weak, perceive the personality of Allah, who is free from all kinds of material conditions and who is free from time and space? It would be something like expecting the whole ocean to be included in a coffee cup.
When Hz. Musa saw that the Pharaoh was in a difficult position, he expanded the issue. He said,
"Oh Pharaoh! Yes, He is the Lord of the east and the west, and all between.”58
Thus, he stated that the whole universe and everything in it belonged to Allah Almighty, showing that the Pharaoh was only a weak creature. Thereupon, the Pharaoh got furious. He said,
"I swear that if you put forward any god other than me, I will certainly put you in prison.”59
Hz. Musa continued to speak without heeding the threats of the Pharaoh:
"Would you put me in prison even if I showed you something clear and convincing?”60
If the Pharaoh had rejected this offer, he would have been in a situation like accepting defeat beforehand. Therefore, he spoke as follows since he did not believe that Hz. Musa could do what he said:
"Show it then if you tell the truth."
Thereupon, Hz. Musa threw his rod on the ground. The rod suddenly turned into a horrible snake.61 Then, it started to move. The Pharaoh and the people around him were terrified. They were speechless. After that, Hz. Musa put his hand close to his chest and drew out his hand as another miracle. His hand became snow-white and started to shine and shed light.62 In order to save the Pharaoh from this frustrating position, his men said,
"My God! He became a great magician. He studied magic for years abroad in order to grab our sultanate. He learnt it well. Shall we kill these two magicians or shall we give them a different punishment?”
At that time, Egypt was a center of magic.
The Pharaoh did not know what to do. He asked his men, “What is your opinion about the issue?” They said,
"Killing them or any other punishment will be of no use. If we do so, people will think that we are defeated and that we are weak. Therefore, it is necessary to organize a competition and humiliate them. We must despise them in the eye of the public. Dispatch to the cities heralds to collect our best magicians. They will show their talents. We will see whether Musa and Harun can resist them. If we act differently, it will be against us.”63
Then, the Pharaoh felt relieved. He liked this idea.
He had the best magicians and sorcerers in the world. It could be easy for them to overcome Musa. With this thought in mind, he said to Hz. Musa:
"Do you want to replace us and overthrow us with your sorcery? We have talented sorcerers. This cause will not be over and you will not be regarded to have defeated us until my sorcerers show their magic. Decide an appropriate place and time so that we will come together. Everybody will show their skills there.”64
Hz. Musa accepted this offer gladly.
Moses thanked and praised Allah Almighty, who gave him the opportunity to talk and compete. They decided the late morning of the day of festival as the time of competition and the square where everybody gathered as the venue.65
THE SORCERERS BELIEVE
The Pharaoh summoned the most skilled sorcerers all over his country to the palace. He was sure that they would overcome Hz. Musa; therefore, he invited the people to come to the place of the competition at the determined time in order to recover his prestige and to strengthen the belief of his people in him. The sorcerers of the Pharaoh made the Pharaoh promise that he would give them great rewards if they overcame Musa.66
On the day of festival, a large number of people gathered in the determined place. The sorcerers declared proudly that they felt confident and that they would definitely win. Finally, the time for the competition came.
The sorcerers turned to Hz. Musa and asked,
"Are you going to start? Or shall we start?" Hz. Musa said,
Thereupon, the sorcerers threw their ropes and their rods; they showed all of their skills. The square became full of snakes and centipedes all of a sudden.
The equipment of magic thrown on the ground seemed like snakes moving to the right and left to Musa and everybody in the square. Everybody was in fear and excitement. When the sorcerers saw this scene, they started to utter cries of victory and said,
"We swear by the magnificence of the Pharaoh that we will overcome Musa."67
Hz. Musa felt worried when he saw what they did.68 However, Allah Almighty consoled and strengthened him by revelation:
"O Musa! Do not fear! You are superior to them. You are going to overcome them. They are sorcerers but you are My prophet. What you have in right hand is a miracle granted to you by Me. Throw the rod in your right hand bravely. It will quickly swallow up the magic of the sorcerers. What they have faked is but a magician's trick. There is no salvation for the magicians and their magic. Their tricks will be revealed and the will be embarrassed soon.”69
This divine consolation increased Hz. Musa's courage; he threw his rod. As soon as it fell to the ground, it became a terrible dragon acting very fast; it swallowed all of the tricks and magic of the sorcerers.70 When the dragon swallowed all of them and nothing was left, Hz. Musa held this terrible dragon with his hand. Suddenly, the dragon was transformed into his rod. The sorcerers were astonished. They used all of their tricks and magic but they were overcome by Hz. Musa. Then, Hz. Musa could not have been a magician but a prophet. And what he did was really a miracle. The sorcerers definitely believed it.71 They kneeled down and prostrated in adoration. They declared that they believed in the Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of Musa and Harun."72
* * *
They all took place in front of the people. When the sorcerers believed in Allah, it became clear that Hz. Musa was right and superior. The Pharaoh became disgraced. Therefore, this declaration of the sorcerers' infuriated him. He started to threaten them:
"How can you believe in him before I give you permission? Surely he is your leader, who has taught you sorcery! I will show you soon. I will cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and I will cause you all to die on the cross. I will show you what it means to be against me and to support Musa.”73
As it is seen, the Pharaoh interpreted the sorcerers' accepting the truth of what Musa said and their believing in him as follows: Hz. Musa was actually the leader of the sorcerers. This competition had been planned before. This was nothing but an excuse made up by his soul and Satan so as not to accept the truth.
The sorcerers who believed in Allah ignored these threats of the Pharaoh’s and said,
"O Pharaoh! We definitely believed in the honesty of Hz. Musa and the existence of our Lord, who created us out of nothing. Now it has become clear that you are a liar. Do whatever you want. You can only take our life in this world. The eternal life and bliss in the hereafter is enough for us. We hope that our Lord will forgive us our faults. We are proud of becoming foremost among the believers."74
This answer infuriated the Pharaoh more. He ordered his men to catch the sorcerers and to put them to prison.
THE PHARAOH'S OPPRESSION INCREASES
When the Prophet Musa overcame the Pharaoh, Children of Israel believed in him altogether. They adopted him as the "savior", whom they had been waiting for years and who would take them to the holy land.
The Pharaoh panicked when they believed.
He increased his cruelty and torture inflicted upon Children of Israel.
The situation of Children of Israel was piteous. They sometimes could not bear the torture and complained to Hz. Musa by saying,
"O Musa! We suffered before your prophethood and we are still suffering. What is the difference?"
Hz, Musa told them to show patience and not to give up hope. He gave them the good news that their suffering would end soon.75
* * *
He sometimes told them that they would go to the Promised Land, the land of their ancestors in Jordan, Palestine and Damascus, trying to relieve their suffering and giving them enthusiasm and hope. Hz. Musa could not put up with the piteous situation of Children of Israel and started to beg Allah Almighty as follows:
"Our Lord! You have indeed bestowed on the Pharaoh and his Chiefs splendor and wealth in the life of the world. Deface the features of their wealth, and send hardness to their hearts, so they will not believe until they see the grievous penalty.”76
Hz. Harun said “amin” for this prayer.77 Allah Almighty said,
"Your prayer has been accepted. So stand straight and do not follow the path of those who are ignorant.”78
SAM’AN, THE PHARAOH'S COUSIN
After the Pharaoh was overcome by Hz. Musa, some of the native Egyptians abandoned the Pharaoh and believed in Hz. Musa; however, others concealed their belief due to fearing the Pharaoh or some other reasons. According to the explanations of tafsir scholars one of them was Sam'an, the Pharaoh's cousin, whom the Pharaoh loved and respected. 79 After he believed in Hz. Musa, he gave some advice to the Pharaoh without revealing his belief. He persuaded the Pharaoh to stop some acts against Hz. Musa. Eventually, he could not put up with the Pharaoh’s cruelty and oppression any longer and started to speak to the Pharaoh openly. He defended Hz. Musa as much as he could. He told the Pharaoh that the cause of Hz. Musa was true and that he would be of no harm to the Pharaoh. However, the Pharaoh insisted on his ideas and said that he guided his nation truly.
The cousin of the Pharaoh told him that the way he followed was the same as the way followed by the previous nations that were destroyed and that he feared that the same calamity would fall on him. He also said the torture in the hereafter would me more severe than the calamity in this world. Then, he mentioned the power and magnificence of Allah, His existence and oneness and that He was dominant over everything and that He was the only owner of knowledge and wisdom.80 The Pharaoh got angry with what he said and said to his minister, Haman,
"O Haman! Build me a tower of observation so that I may observe the skies and that I may mount up to the God of Moses; however, as far as I am concerned, I think Musa is a liar!”81
THE PHARAOH KILLS HIS WIFE ASIYA
After his cousin declared that he believed in Hz. Musa, the Pharaoh felt the changes in the acts and attitudes of his wife; he started to force and oppress her.
Hz. Asiya felt that Musa was going to be an important person when he was a child; therefore, she looked after him and protected him as if he was her own son. When he heard that Hz. Musa declared his prophethood, she believed in him. Besides, she was expecting something like that from him. She could not conceal her belief for a long time like the Pharaoh’s cousin. She defended Hz. Musa heroically in the presence of the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh wanted her to stop believing in Hz. Musa several times but Hz. Asiya did not obey him. The Pharaoh tortured her but she did not give up. When the Pharaoh tortured her severely the last time, she started to pray Allah Almighty as follows:
"O my Lord! Build for me a mansion in Paradise and save me from the Pharaoh and this oppressing nation.”82
Allah Almighty accepted her prayer. While she was dying as a result of the tortures inflicted upon her, she saw her place in Paradise and smiled. She passed away happily.83
Hz. Asiya set an example for women in heroism. That her husband was the Pharaoh did not prevent her from believing in Allah and being persistent in her belief. Thus, if a person's mother, father or husband is not a believer, it does not prevent him from believing in Allah and leading an Islamic life; it cannot be an excuse for unbelief.
According to what is stated in Tabari’s book. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “The best of women are the following four women: The first one is Imran's daughter, Maryam; the second one is Khuwaylid's daughter Khadija; the third one is Hasan and Husayn’s mother Fatima and the fourth one is Muzahim's daughter Asiya.”
Q A R U N
Qarun was a rich person form Hz. Musa's nation, Children of Israel.84 First, he seemed to believe in Hz. Musa but when he was asked to help the poor and the needy, he opposed Hz Musa and those who believed in him. He increased his wealth by collecting goods and property. He became so rich that the keys to his treasures could be carried only by a strong group of people.
Qarun attributed his wealth to his knowledge and intelligence, to his personal efforts and work; therefore, he was very conceited and arrogant; he regarded himself as superior to anybody in his nation. He was harsh and cruel. He belonged to the nation of Hz. Musa but he cooperated with the Pharaoh secretly. Thus, he increased his wealth.
* * *
Along with the Pharaoh and his devilish minister Haman, Hz. Musa had to struggle against Qarun, who was a terrible munafiq from his own nation. Children of Israel were also aware of the situation. Once they said to Qarun,
"O Qarun! Do not feel conceited due to your wealth. Allah does not love those who feel conceited due to their wealth. Seek with the wealth which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the hereafter, by doing charity; do not forget your portion in this world, which is only a piece of shroud. You are not permanent in this world; you cannot take your wealth with you when you pass away. Then, give from your wealth to the slaves of Allah as Allah granted them to you. Do not seek mischief in the land; for, Allah does not love those who do mischief.”86
Qarun did not want to accept that his wealth was given to him by Allah as a means of testing and that he was going to be asked how he earned and spent his wealth. On the contrary, he believed that he obtained his immense wealth through his own knowledge and efforts. He also boasted about his knowledge and efforts.
Therefore, he answered those who warned him as follows:
"This wealth has been given to me because of a certain knowledge which I have. They all belong to me.87 Why should I give from it to others? They have no right in it.”
Qarun did not know that many nations like Ad and Thamud were stronger and richer than him. However, due to revolting against Allah, they could not escape the divine wrath and were destroyed together with their wealth.
Qarun, who did not heed the advice and warnings given to him, walked around pompously and conceitedly, increasing the jealousy of the people. The ignorant people who preferred the attractive pleasures and bounties of the world to the bounties of the hereafter envied him and spoke as follows:
"We wish we were given the like of what Qarun has; for, he is truly a lord of mighty good fortune.”88
Those who had been granted true knowledge and wisdom and who saw the truth addressed them as follows:
"Alas for you! Look at those temporary things that you envy wisely. You are bound to die and they are bound to perish. The reward of Allah in the hereafter is best for those who believe and work righteousness. It can only be attained by those who steadfastly persevere in good deeds and worship and show patience when they are hit by a misfortune.”89
* * *
The Quran mentions that Qarun was swallowed by the Earth along with his wealth, palace and treasures due to his transgression and conceitedness resulting from thinking that he attained all of his wealth through his talents.90 The details of this incident are narrated as follows in tafsir books:
When Hz. Musa was ordered by Allah to take zakah from the rich, he asked Qarun to pay zakah. Qarun did not give anything and encouraged the other rich people of Children of Israel not to pay zakah. Furthermore, once he gave a prostitute some money and asked her to slander that Hz. Musa committed adultery. On a feast day, Hz. Musa was preaching his nation; he mentioned adultery and mentioned Allah's decree about adultery. Thereupon, Qarun said,
"Is it valid for you too?" Hz. Musa said,
"Yes, it is.” Qarun wanted to make use of this opportunity and slandered Hz. Musa. Qarun asked the prostitute to talk as a witness. However, the woman feared Allah and told the truth. Thus, it became clear that Hz. Musa was innocent. Thereupon, Hz. Musa prostrated and asked Allah Almighty to destroy Qarun and his wealth. Almost all Children of Israel joined his prayer. Qarun was swallowed by the Earth as a result of a big earthquake along with his wealth. This incident was narrated by the people as an example for years.91No one from his family remained after his death. All of his property was destroyed.92 Those who envied Qarun's majesty and richness one day ago started to speak as follows after his destruction:
"Ah! It is indeed Allah Who enlarges the provision or restricts it to any of His servants He pleases. We cannot know the wisdom behind it. If Allah had not been gracious to us, He could have caused the earth to swallow us up. Ah! Those who reject Allah will assuredly never prosper.”93
THE MISFORTUNES THAT HIT THE PHARAOH
When the Pharaoh and those who followed him refused to believe, Allah Almighty sent drought to Egypt in order to persuade them to believe.94 Instead of understanding their mistake and finding the true path, the Egyptians thought the good things occurred due to them and the misfortunes that occurred were due to Hz. Musa and those who believed in him.95
Hz. Musa called them to believe thinking that their hearts might have softened due to the drought but it was in vain. The Egyptians insisted on their unbelief. They said to him,
"We will never believe in whatever signs you bring to us. Do not struggle with us in vain.”96 They could not understand that the misfortune that hit them was a divine warning. Due to their obstinacy, misfortunes started to come one after another.
• The Nile Floods:
First, heavy rain caused the Nile to flood and Egypt was covered in water.97 Not knowing what to do, the Egyptians went to Hz. Musa by taking permission from the Pharaoh and asked him to remove this flood. They said they would believe in Allah if it was removed. Hz, Musa became hopeful and prayed Allah Almighty to remove the flood. After his prayer, the water started to recede. Thus, the misfortune ended
However, the Egyptians and the Pharaoh did not believe in Allah. They broke their promise. Besides, they started to oppress Children of Israel and the believers again.
• Locust Invasion:
Thereupon, Allah Almighty sent locusts to Egyptians in order to warn the people of Egypt.98 The locusts invaded everywhere. They ate up all of the crops. A terrible shortage of food occurred.
The people of Egypt were wretched. They applied to Hz. Musa again. They said they would believe in Allah if they got rid of this misfortune. Hz. Musa became hopeful that this nation, which never kept their promise, would improve and prayed. The disaster of locusts was removed by Allah Almighty. However, the ungrateful and obstinate Egyptians did not keep their promise.
• Louse Invasion:
Thereupon, Egypt was invaded by lice and insects.99 The insects harmed the crops in the vineyards and orchards like the locusts. Furthermore, the lice covered the bodies of the Copts. They could not get rid of the lice. They were about to go crazy. Eventually, they applied to Hz. Musa again. The patient prophet, Hz. Musa, prayed in the same way and they were saved from this misfortune too. However, the Egyptians insisted on their obstinacy.
• Frog Invasion:
This time, they were hit by a worse misfortune. This was the invasion of frogs.100 These frogs invaded everywhere including their houses, streets, barns and bedrooms. They disturbed the Egyptians day and night. They harassed the Egyptians so much that whenever they wanted to sleep or opened their mouths to talk, the frogs would enter into their mouths or leapt in order to enter their mouths. The Egyptians became miserable and applied to Hz. Musa again. They asked him to save them from this misfortune and promised that they would believe in Allah.
Hz. Musa still had some hope. He prayed Allah Almighty again hoping that they would improve this time. Allah Almighty accepted his prayer and removed the invasion of the frogs but unfortunately they insisted on denying Allah and refused to obey the compassionate prophet who showed them the way to bliss. They even continued oppressing Children of Israel. They were really ungrateful.
• The Water Turns to Blood:
Thereupon, all of the water in Egypt, including the river Nile, turned to blood.101 The Egyptians could not find even one drop of water to drink. This misfortune was the worst one. The people of Egypt were burnt by the sun and were dying of thirst. Soon, they became so weak and miserable. When it became impossible for them to endure any longer, they had to apply to Hz. Musa again. Their application was accepted as usual.102
As these misfortunes and disasters came one after another, the Pharaoh, who was twisted in the wind and whose prestige was harmed resorted to various ways and did his best to prevent the people from believing in Hz. Musa. He virtually blindfolded the people of Egypt. Therefore, the people did not accept to believe in Allah.
Children of Israel were not affected by these misfortunes and disasters; they affected only the Egyptians.103 The Egyptians saw this with their own eyes but they did not accept the truth. Whenever they were hit by a misfortune, they applied to Hz. Musa and told him that they would believe in Allah if the misfortune was removed but they did not believe when it was removed. Besides, they did not allow Hz. Musa to leave Egypt with Children of Israel.
Finally, a plague epidemic 104 started in Egypt. The people of Egypt were badly affected by it and they applied to Hz. Musa in despair and asked him to pray Allah for the removal of this epidemic. They promised that they would definitely believe in Allah and that they would allow Hz. Musa and Children of Israel to leave Egypt.105 Thereupon, the plague continued for a while and was removed.106
CHILDREN OF ISRAEL LEAVE EGYPT
Hz. Musa believed that there was nothing else to do in Egypt and that the Egyptian would not believe. The misfortunes that came one after another and the last epidemic of plague weakened the Pharaoh and the Egyptians. They had no power to prevent Children of Israel from leaving Egypt. It was a great opportunity for Hz. Musa and Children of Israel. They started to make preparations. Hz. Musa told his nation that they would set off for the holy land. Allah Almighty ordered Hz. Musa to take Children of Israel and leave Egypt at night. He also told him that the Pharaoh would follow them107, that the Pharaoh could not be successful and that they should not fear.108
Together with six hundred thousand people from Children of Israel109, Hz. Musa left Egypt at night. They took their goods, gold and jewelry which they could carry with them. When the Pharaoh found out the next morning that Children of Israel left Egypt, he summoned his soldiers, who were in a bad condition because of the misfortunes and disasters, and set off early in the morning to follow Hz. Musa and those who believed in him.110
* * *
Children of Israel could not move fast because they had their families and goods with them. The Pharaoh moved fast with his soldiers and was about to catch up with them.111 When Hz. Musa and Children of Israel arrived at the coast of the Red Sea112, the Pharaoh approached them. The army of the Pharaoh had arms but Hz. Musa and Children of Israel had no arms. When Children of Israel saw that the Pharaoh and his army approached, they panicked, lost hope and said,
"We are sure to be overtaken. We have no hope of surviving."113
The situation seemed to be hopeless. There was the sea in front of them and the enemy army behind them.
Due to this fear, they started to criticize Hz. Musa:
"Why did you do that? We would have lived comfortably in Egypt."
Hz. Musa was surprised by this ingratitude and inconsiderateness of his nation. They talked as if they had not asked him to save them from the oppression of the Pharaoh. Fear of death made them speak as if they led a nice life in Egypt.
Hz. Musa spoke as follows in order to give them courage:
"By no means! The situation is not like you think. Our Lord is with us! He will hopefully guide me.”114
As Children of Israel approached the Red Sea step by step, the distance between them and the Pharaoh decreased.
Hz. Musa’s uncle was a strong believer but even he spoke hopelessly:
"O Musa! Where are we going to go? How are we going to be saved? There is the sea in front of us and the enemy army behind us.” Thereupon, Hz. Musa begged Allah sadly:
"O Lord! All kinds of praise and thanks belong to You. You are the last resort and the only shelter for the hopeless. We take refuge in You from all kinds of enemies. Power and strength belong to You.”
THE PARTING OF THE SEA
The Pharaoh and his soldiers approached them. 115 Allah Almighty ordered Hz. Musa to strike the sea with his rod. Upon this order, Hz, Musa hit the sea with his rod. Suddenly, the sea was divided into two as if steep mountains give way116; there were twelve dry and wide roads in front of them.117
Hz. Musa started to cross the sea and the twelve tribes of Children of Israel followed the roads in front of them. When the Pharaoh and his soldiers arrived at the coast, some Children of Israel had already reached the other side of the sea coast and some of them were in the middle of the sea. They were terrified by what they saw. After hesitating for a moment, the Pharaoh moved forward with his horse; then, his soldiers started to walk on these twelve roads. When all Children of Israel landed on the other side of the sea coast, all of the soldiers of the Pharaoh were on these roads in the middle of the sea. Just then, the divine decree came to help the believers. The water covered those roads; the Pharaoh and all of his army without any exception were swallowed by the sea.118
THE PHARAOH IS DROWNED
When the Pharaoh was about to die, the veil in front of his eyes was removed and he saw his place in the hereafter in a terrifying way. He realized the bad ending expecting for him. He started to say desperately:
"I believed in the Lord, except whom there is no deity and in whom Children of Israel believed; and I surrendered to Him.”
However, Allah did not except this belief of the cruel and conceited Pharaoh's when he was about to die. He addressed the Pharaoh as follows through Jibril:
"Ah now! Did you realize it now? A little while before, you were in rebellion. Your life was full of oppression and rebellion. You did mischief on earth. Believing at this moment is of no use. However, this day we shall save you in your body so that you may be a sign to those who come after you but verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our signs.”119
THE MIRACLE INFORMED BY THE QURAN 1400 YEARS AGO:
THE PHARAOH'S BODY THAT WAS SAVED UP TO NOW
It is stated in verses 91 and 92 of the chapter of Yunus that the belief of Pharaoh when he was about to die and when he saw his bad ending was not accepted by Allah Almighty and that his body was saved so that it would be a lesson and a sign for those who would live later.
A great miracle is hidden in this news given by the Quran. It is written in the Book of Exodus of the Torah, the holy book of Jews, that the Pharaoh was drowned but it is not mentioned that his body would be saved.
Prof. Muhammad Hamidullah states in his book called "the Prophet of Islam" that the miracle of the Quran was revealed when the graves of the kings were opened and explored in Egypt in 1881.120
The Quran stated that the body of the Pharaoh would be saved after being drowned and that it would not get lost in the sea like the bodies of his soldiers by being eaten by the fish or by being decomposed; contrarily, it stated that his body would be saved as a lesson and sign for those who would live later. As a matter of fact, the dead body of the Pharaoh was found in the Valley of Kings discovered in 1881.
Muhammad Hamidullah writes that the Pharaoh that was drown in the sea was Ramses II while Maurice Bucaille writes in his book called “La Bible le Coran et la Scienne” that the Pharaoh drowned in the sea was Mineptah, the son of Ramses II. Both bodies were found in the same years. (Maurice Bucaille, Kitab-ı Mukaddes, Kur’an ve Bilim, 351-352)
According to another claim, the dead body of the Pharaoh who was drowned in the Red Sea is the body displayed in the British Museum now. This body was found in the same year in the place where the bodies of the Pharaohs were found in the Red Sea. It was taken by the British research group to the British Museum. The dead body is not mummified but all of the organs are in the body. (Zafer Magazine, issue 77)
It does not matter whether the dead body belongs to him or not. What matters is the fact that the dead body was not lost in the sea and was found safe and sound as the Quran states as a lesson and a sign for those who would live later whether it is mummified or not.
Fakhruddin ar-Razi gives the following explanation in his book called Tafsir al-Kabir about the body of the Pharaoh to be found safe and sound:
"Fa’l-yawme nunajjika bi-badanika litakuna liman khalfaka ayah." (This day shall We save thee in thy body, that thou mayest be a Sign to those who come after thee.) (Yunus, 92)
“There are various aspects of this verse:
a.“We shall save you in your body”: That is, we will throw you up to a high place by removing you from the sea.
b. We shall remove you from the sea and save you from the conditions like being lost, being eaten by the fish, decaying and disappearing. However, this saving is only for the body after being drowned, not the soul.
c. Some Quranic scholars pronounce the word nunajjika as nunahhika. Then, it means we shall throw you somewhere on the shore. It means throwing after being drowned.
The phrase bi-badanika (in your body) has various aspects:
a. We shall save the dead body without soul.
b. We shall save the dead body safe and sound.
c. We shall save the dead body naked, without any clothes.
As for the phrase “litakuna liman khalfaka ayah” (that thou mayest be a Sign to those who come after thee):
a. Some people denied that the Pharaoh was drowned because they did not see his death with their own eyes and thought that such a person would not die. Thereupon, Allah removed him from the water and showed his real state. Thus, those who saw the dead body of the Pharaoh believed that he had died.
b. Allah drowned the Pharaoh with his nation in the sea and removed the dead body of the Pharaoh only from the water and threw it on the shore. Thus, He produced evidence for His power and the truthiness of the prophethood of Hz. Musa.” (see Fakhruddin ar-Razi, Tafsir al-Kabir)
Badiuzzaman Said Nursi makes the following significant explanation about the body of the Pharaoh being saved as follows:
By saying to Pharaoh, who is drowning:"Today I am going to save your body which will drown" it is expressing a death-tainted, exemplary rule of the Pharaohs' lives, which was,as a consequence of the idea of metempsychosis andmummifying the bodies of all of them, to take them from the past and send them to be viewed by the generations of the future. And so too this present century a body was discovered which was the very body of Pharaoh, thrown up on the seashore where he drowned. The verse thus states a miraculous sign of the unseen, that the body was to be borne on the waves of the centuries and cast up from the sea of time onto the shore of this century.” (see Said Nursi, Sözler (Words), 373)
He states the following regarding the issue in another book:
"When the Pharaoh, who struggled against Hz. Musa, was about to be drowned, he believed in Allah. In fact, the belief at the time of death is not accepted but Allah Almighty states that He will save his dead body as a reward for the nature of belief of that unaccepted belief. For, according to the reincarnation belief of the Pharaohs, instead of the bliss in the hereafter, they want their mummies and sculptures to live in the future as an indication of love of fame; they think that those sculptures and mummies will find souls; by giving a reward for the apparent but unaccepted belief of the Pharaoh, Allah indicates the rules of mummification based on their principles of reincarnation. As a miracle of this verse, the dead body of the Pharaoh that was drowned was found safe and sound. It is stored and displayed in a museum in London and it is visited and seen by tourists.”
CLOSE TO THE HOLY LAND
After crossing the Red Sea, Children of Israel were saved from the oppression of the Pharaoh and they became free. Hz. Musa reminded them again that he was going to take them to the holy land. However, some other nations and tribes were also living in the holy land. They were strong and well-built people. He also told them that they could regain their land only after beating them. Therefore, Hz. Musa wanted Children of Israel to choose one representative for each tribe to promise him that they would act together and that they would not cause any disagreement. A contract was going to be signed by those representatives and this contract was going to be accepted by all Children of Israel.121
There were three big cities on the holy land at that time: they were Ariha, Nablus and Quds.122 After the hard and tiring journey, Children of Israel settled in a place near the city of Ariha.
Hz. Musa gathered his people and reminded them about the bounties granted by Allah Almighty. He reminded them how they were saved by the oppression of the Pharaoh, how they crossed the sea and that they were sent a prophet among themselves, as the greatest bounty.123 He also gave them the good news that they would attain many more bounties in the future. Consequently, he said it was necessary to thank Allah for those bounties. He continued talking as follows:
"O my people! Enter the holy land which Allah has assigned unto you bravely. Do not turn back ignominiously by fearing the nations living there temporarily. There is no other land apart from the holy land for you. This is your homeland. We left Egypt behind. There is only one thing to do: proceed. This desert cannot be homeland for you or others.”124
GREED TO LIVE AND FEAR OF DEATH IN CHILDREN OF ISRAEL
Children of Israel could not get rid of the fear and anxiety that they felt inherently since they lived under oppression and pressure up to that time. Besides, they liked the worldly life a lot. Even when it was much better to die than to survive, they preferred living in humility to dying honorably; they accepted the sovereignty of the Pharaoh without struggling against him.
Now Hz. Musa offered them an agreement which could make them sacrifice their lives. This offer was too hard for Children of Israel, who were very greedy about the worldly life and who feared death a lot.
Neither the enthusiasm of reaching the holy land, the land of prophets, nor the pleasure of attaining endless bliss by being a martyr could put them in action. Therefore, they objected to Hz. Musa:
"O Musa! In this land, there is a nation of exceeding strength; they are much stronger than us. We will not enter the holy land unless they leave it.”125
This statement showed that they were not willing to fight.
Hz. Musa tried to soothe them. He told them that Allah was with them and what they had to do was to obey his orders and prohibitions. He added that the nation living there was not so terrifying and that they could beat them with the help of Allah. He also said that the representatives they chose could go to the holy land to explore and find out about the enemy. Thereupon the twelve people representing the twelve tribes 126 went to Ariha. Hz. Musa told them that if they saw something bad there, they should not tell it to anybody except him when they returned.127
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE 12 VANGUARDS
The following is stated in some tafsir books about the vanguards Hz. Musa sent to the holy land:
When the twelve people arrived in Ariha, somebody from the people of Ariha grabbed them. He put them in bags and took them to their king with the fruits he collected from his orchard. He said,
"O my king! Is it not strange that these people want to fight us?” The king said to them,
"Return and tell your leader what you saw here.” Then, he released the twelve Children of Israel.
The narration above may seem to be exaggerative but it was clear that they did not see something good for them there.128
Yusha bin Nun and Caleb among those twelve people tried to persuade the other ten representatives not to tell anybody except Hz. Musa about what they saw. The others seemed to be convinced but when they returned, they told the people about what they saw by exaggerating them. Unlike the other representatives, Yusha bin Nun and Caleb 129 said it was easy to defeat that nation and they added that if they attacked the gate of the castle suddenly, they would enter and grab the city. They said what they, as believers, needed to do was to rely on Allah.130 Thus, they tried to encourage their people.
CHILDREN OF ISRAEL REBEL AGAINST HZ. MUSA
The encouraging efforts of Yusha bin Nun and Caleb were of no use compared to the discouraging news given by the other ten representatives. These ten people discouraged and demoralized Children of Israel, who were already afraid of fighting. Children of Israel rebelled against Hz. Musa and said to him,
"O Musa! We will never enter there while those strong people remain there. We do not want to die in vain. If you want to fight so much, go with your Lord and fight them. We will not move even one step forward from here."131 This degree of ingratitude and rebellion was something unheard before. When Hz. Musa heard this from his nation, he started to pray Allah against them. He said:
"O my Lord! I have power only over myself, my brother and very few people. So separate us from this rebellious people and give us and them what we and they deserve.”132
Upon this prayer of Hz. Musa, Allah Almighty made the holy land forbidden for forty years for Children of Israel. During this period, they wandered through the Tih Desert without having a settlement.133 Only the children of these rebellious people would be able to settle in the holy land.
THE MIRACLE OF EXTRACTING WATER FROM THE ROCK BY THE ROD
Hz. Musa did not abandon Children of Israel when he prayed Allah Almighty against them. What he wanted to do was to make them approach the truth and to improve. Since they did not heed his advice, it was necessary for them to suffer in order to find the true path.
As a matter of fact, hunger, thirst and the scorching sun made Children of Israel apply to Hz. Musa. They promised that they would obey him. Thereupon, Hz. Musa cooled off. He forgave them. He struck the rock with his rod (staff). Twelve springs, one spring for each tribe, gushed forth from the rock. They quenched their thirst joyfully.134
Besides, a big cloud started to provide shade for Children of Israel against the scorching sun. Allah Almighty regularly sent down manna and quails to them to feed them.135 Hz. Musa told Children of Israel to eat whatever was sent to them and not to store anything. They only stored some food on Friday in order to eat on Saturday because nothing was sent down on Saturday. 136
THE INGRATITUDE OF CHILDREN OF ISRAEL
Despite these bounties, which had not been given to any other nations, Children of Israel committed another act of ingratitude:
When Children of Israel left Egypt and started to cross the Tih Desert, they saw that a tribe from Amaliqas worshipped a statue of a calf. 137 As we have mentioned before, such a wrong belief seemed to be inherent in them due to living long years together with the Egyptians, who worshipped the Apis Bull and its pictures and statues.138 When they were in Egypt, they did not have this belief because they hated the Egyptians due to their oppression. However, when they attained freedom and peace, this belief, which had settled in their hearts, started to relapse; they wanted to worship a calf like the people of Amaliqa. When they told Hz. Musa about it, he got very angry and reminded them about the bounties of Allah Almighty had granted to them.139 Then, he said,
"How can you ask such a stupid and polytheistic thing from me by forgetting about your Lord, who granted you so many bounties?” He warned them not to attract misfortunes by disobeying the order of Allah Almighty and not to deserve divine wrath. He also told them that he would go to Mount Sinai soon and that the Torah was going to be sent down as guidance. For, Allah Almighty revealed to Hz. Musa beforehand that He would send down a divine book, the Torah, which would contain orders and prohibitions.
Thereupon, Children of Israel started to wait for the Torah.
CHILDREN OF ISRAEL WORSHIP THE CALF
Upon the divine revelation, Hz. Musa set off for Mount Sinai in order to receive the Torah. He appointed his brother Hz. Harun as his deputy when he left. He told him to preach his nation all the time, not to show tolerance to oppressors and not to follow their way.140 For Hz. Musa knew that his nation was ungrateful and was worried about them. He felt that something bad might happen after he left.
* * *
When Children of Israel left Egypt, they took their gold and silver ornaments with them.141 When Hz. Musa went to Mount Sina, a munafiq called Samiri started to deviate Children of Israel, who did not have a strong creed. He was a good jeweler; he made a melting pot and told Children of Israel to throw their ornaments, which were of no use in the desert, into it. He used his skill and made a statue of a calf which produced sounds like an animal when the wind blew.142 Children of Israel admired Samiri due to this statue; Samiri told them that this calf was their god, that Hz. Musa went to Mount Sinai by mistake and that he would return here.143 Then, he started to worship the calf. Almost all Children of Israel started to worship this calf as if they had been expecting something like that.
Children of Israel, who lived among Egyptians for long years knew about the custom of worshipping the bull. Samiri knew about their weakness and deviated them easily.
One of the excuses of Children of Israel to worship the calf was the fact that Hz, Musa did not return at the time he had promised. Hz. Musa said to them, “If Allah destroys the Pharaoh, I will bring you a book from Allah.” Allah Almighty ordered him to fast for thirty days to attain this wish. Hz. Musa told his nation that he would go to Mount Sinai and receive the book to be revealed to him in thirty days. However, Allah Almighty added ten more days to this 30-day period and Hz. Musa’s staying in Mount Sinai was increased to forty days. Children of Israel started to worship the calf during this extra ten-day period.144
We understand from the following statement of Samiri that he made use of this delay in order to deceive Children of Israel, who seemed to be looking for excuses to worship the calf: “This is your god and Musa’s god. He has forgotten about it. He is looking for it but cannot find it.”145
Hz. Harun intervened when Samiri first started to deviate Children of Israel and told them that they were being tested by this calf. He also told them that such a lifeless piece of metal without a spirit could not be a deity and that the real deity was Allah, who created and brought up everything. He told them to obey him and warned them they could be hit by a misfortune otherwise.146 However, Children of Israel did not obey Hz. Harun and said,
"O Harun! We will not abandon worshipping this calf until Musa returns to us.”147 Hz. Harun realized that insisting on more would not be of any use and preferred to wait for Hz. Musa.
HZ. MUSA IS ON MOUNT SINAI
Hz. Musa spent his days on Mount Sinai worshipping, fasting and praying Allah. He waited for days and nights in order to speak to Allah Almighty and to receive the Torah. Finally, when the 40-day period ended, he attained the honor of talking to Allah Almighty and presenting his needs to Him.
Allah Almighty asked him why he had come before settling the affairs of his nation. Hz Musa answered:
"O Lord! They are on my way. I hastened to you because of my love toward you, my enthusiasm to hear your speech and attaining your consent.”148
Allah Almighty told him that mischief occurred among Children of Israel and that Samiri deviated them.149
HZ. MUSA DEMANDS TO SEE HIS LORD
When Allah Almighty talked to Hz. Musa, he became very enthusiastic and joyful; he built up his courage and asked Allah to allow him to see His divine personality.150 Allah Almighty addressed him as follows:
"By no means can you see Me directly. You cannot do it. However, look upon the mountain over there. If it remains in its place, you can see Me."
Thereupon, Hz. Musa looked at the mountain. He saw that the mountain broke into pieces with the manifestation of the magnificence of Allah Almighty. Musa fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses gradually, he saw that the tablets he had brought with him were next him full of inscriptions. Then, he begged Allah Almighty as follows with the anxiety that he demanded something that did not fit being a slave:
"O Lord! Glory be to you! To you I turn in repentance and ask my forgiveness. I am the first to believe.”151
Upon this repentance and prayer of Hz. Musa, Allah Almighty told him that he had made him superior to other people by choosing him as a prophet; He asked him not ask anything from Him except what He had granted to him and thank Him no matter what his situation was.152 He told Hz. Musa to take the tablets of the Torah, which consisted of advice and orders necessary for Children of Israel, seriously and to convey them to his nation in the best way.153
HZ. MUSA RETURNS FROM MOUNT SINAI
40 days later154, Hz. Musa returned to his nation with the Torah. When he saw them worshipping the calf, he felt very sorry. He criticized them severely. 155 He became very furious. Then, he put down the tablets, seized his brother by the hair of his head and dragged him forward and backward and asked him why he had not prevented his nation from worshipping the calf. Hz. Musa held his brother from a sensitive place and was hurting him. Children of Israel were watching them. Hz. Harun was hurt and felt ashamed of being treated like that in front of his people. He said,
"O son of my mother! Do not get angry with me. I tried to prevent your nation when they attempted to do that bad deed but they did not obey me. They even wanted to kill me. Do not disgrace me in front of the enemy. Do not treat me in the same way as you treat this oppressing nation.”156 Hz. Musa cooled off when he listened to his brother's excuse. His brother affected him by mentioning his mother, whom he loved very much.(*) He regretted his harsh attitude toward his brother Harun and started to pray Allah as follows:
"O my Lord! Forgive me and my brother! Admit us to Your mercy! For, You are the most merciful of those who show mercy!"157
Then, he turned to his nation and asked them why they had worshipped the calf. They told him what had happened. They said that Samiri had deceived them, that he made a calf and deviated them by saying, “This is your god and the god of Musa but has forgotten it; he is looking for it but cannot find it."
SAMIRI PLEADS GUILTY
Then Hz. Musa turned to Samiri and asked him furiously why he had deviated the people.158 His intention was to make Samiri confess that what he did was wrong. Samiri confessed as follows:
"I saw what your nation did not see and knew what they did not know; so, I took a handful of dust from the footprint of the Messenger and kept it. When you went to Mount Sinai, I wanted to be the leader of Children of Israel. I threw the dust into the calf that I made from the ornaments and jewelry, forming a wonderful statue. My soul showed making this statue as something good to me."159
The Messenger Samiri mentioned was Jibril. Samiri knew Jibril when he guided Hz. Musa either while crossing the Red Sea or while going to Mount Sinai. He took some soil from the place where Jibril stepped on and stored it. Then, he put it into the statue of the calf; thus, he deviated Children of Israel with this strange statue.160 Hz. Musa shivered when he saw the situation of Samiri, who became a munafiq despite being given such bounties. He said to Samiri,
"Get out! Your punishment in your life will be to say, `Do not touch me.' For, the penalty for your crime is to live alone and to be away from the pleasure of being together with people. Besides, you will suffer a punishment in the hereafter promised by Allah to the people like you. Now, I will break the statue you made into pieces and throw the pieces into the sea.” Then, he took the statue and broke it into pieces.161 After that, Hz. Musa turned to Children of Israel and addressed them as follows:
"Your Lord is Allah; there is no god but Him. His knowledge has surrounded everything.
O my people! You have indeed wronged yourselves by your worship of the calf so turn in repentance to your Lord and slay your unruly souls.”162
Thereupon, Children of Israel started to go on a strict diet. They did not eat anything for days. Thus, they killed their unruly souls and improved them.163 As for Samiri, he lived alone, away from people till he died. Nobody approached him and nobody talked to him. Thus, he led a miserable life like that and passed away to suffer from the real punishment in the hereafter.
THE SACRIFICED COW - THE DEAD PERSON THAT REVIVED
Once, a murder was committed among Children of Israel. The relatives of the dead person made a great fuss and wanted the murderer to be found. They started to suspect and accuse one another.164 There was a big chaos. Irreparable fights were about to start among Children of Israel.165 They applied to Hz. Musa and asked him to settle the issue.166 Hz. Musa prayed Allah Almighty and asked Him to find a solution. Allah Almighty ordered Children of Israel to sacrifice a cow. Hz. Musa told his nation about the order of Allah.167
Children of Israel were surprised by this order. They could not establish a connection between the man who died and sacrificing a cow.
In fact, Allah Almighty did not need a cow to be sacrificed in order to settle the conflict caused by a murder but this incident became an excuse for fulfilling such an order. The real aim of the order was to sacrifice a cow and to stop the respect and inclination shown to cows by Children of Israel and to make them tend to the belief of oneness.168
Children of Israel, who were surprised by this order of sacrificing a cow, said to Hz. Musa:
"O Musa! Are you making fun of us?" 169Thus, they expressed their anxiety and hesitation sarcastically. When Hz. Musa received this unexpected answer, he said,
"I take refuge in Allah to be among the ignorant people who make fun of others.”170 Then, Children of Israel realized the seriousness of the issue. However, they still had some doubts. They hesitated whether to sacrifice a cow or not. They even asked Hz. Musa some questions in order to make the issue more complicated. They said,
"O Musa! Pray your Lord for us. Ask him to explain its properties to us." Hz. Musa said, "Allah Almighty says, "It is a real cow; it is neither too old nor too young but of middling age; now do what you are commanded!”171
Children of Israel did not find this description clear enough and asked him again; their real aim was to dissuade Musa:
"Ask your Lord to make plain to us its color." He said, "Allah Almighty says it is a yellow cow. It is pure and rich in tone, the admiration of beholders.”172
As Children of Israel asked more questions, things started to be more complicated. Instead of annulling the order of sacrificing a cow, Allah Almighty laid more severe conditions. However, they still asked some questions:
"O Musa! Pray your Lord to make plain to us what kind of a cow it is. We could not understand its type. As we ask about its properties, some properties that are difficult to understand are declared. If it is described clearly, we will find a way of sacrificing it inshaallah."173
Then, Hz. Musa said,
"Allah says the cow is not trained to till the soil or water the fields; it is sound and without blemish.”
This time, the cow was described clearly. There was nothing else to ask about it. Therefore, they said to Hz. Musa,
"Now you have brought the truth.”174
According to a narration, a saint of Allah had a son and a calf like the one described by Allah. He released it in the forest and said, “O Lord! I entrust this child to you until my son grows up." Then, he returned home. After a while, that man died. As years passed, the calf became a cow and the child became a young man. Children of Israel found this animal and paid a good price for it. Then, they sacrificed it.175
Now it was time to find the murderer. Allah Almighty revealed the following to Hz. Musa: "Strike." As soon as Hz. Musa struck the dead body with a piece of the cow, the dead body revived with the permission of Allah and described the murder. It became clear that the murder was committed by those who wanted to cause mischief because the murderer was not found in order to obtain the inheritance. When they were revealed, the conflict was settled.176
Thus, thanks to the sacrifice of the cow, the murder was solved and it was emphasized that a cow cannot be a holy being that is worshipped, aiming to eliminate the feeling and love of worshipping the cow in the hearts of Children of Israel. Besides, an example of reviving the dead was shown by Allah Almighty to Children of Israel as a miracle of Hz. Musa.177
HZ MUSA GOES TO MOUNT SINAI FOR THE SECOND TIME
When Hz. Musa went to Mount Sinai for the first time, he asked Allah Almighty for a second meeting and He accepted it. After settling the affairs of his nation, Hz. Musa set off again. This time he took seventy people from his nation with him so that they would ask forgiveness from Allah.178 All of them made ghusl, fasted and put on new clothes before setting off.
When they arrived at Mount Sinai, they saw it was covered with a thick cloud. Hz. Musa entered into the cloud and disappeared179; before he left, he ordered his friends to pray Allah and to prostrate. They prostrated. While they were in prostration, Hz. Musa talked to Allah Almighty and received His orders. When his meeting with Allah ended, Hz. Musa returned. Children of Israel addressed him as follows:
"O Musa! We will never believe you unless we see Allah openly.”
This demand originated from being impertinent and not realizing that one is a weak creature of Allah. Even those who did not believe in Allah did not ask Hz. Musa to show them Allah in order to believe in Him; this demand by Children of Israel had no connection with belief in Allah or being His slave. Therefore, as soon as they said this sentence to Hz. Musa, a terrible lightning and a severe earthquake hit them. They shivered and feared so much that their joints almost were displaced and their backs almost broke.180
When Hz. Musa saw their piteous state, he shed tears and prayed Allah as follows:
"O Lord! If you want, you will destroy them at once. What shall I say to my nation when I return to them? O Lord! Will you destroy the innocent people because of the crimes committed by stupid people among us?
O Lord! This mischief is nothing but your testing. You will deviate those whom You wish and guide those whom You wish with it. You are our Lord and Helper. You have power over all of our affairs. Forgive us and accept our repentance; show mercy on us. You are definitely the best of those who pardon.181
O Lord! Include us among those for whom good deeds and rewards are recorded in the world and the hereafter. We repent and apply to you. We have come here to offer our excuses for our sins.”
Upon this sincere prayer of Hz. Musa, Allah Almighty said,
"With My punishment I visit whom I will because the land belongs to me and I do as I wish there. However, My mercy extends to all things. I shall ordain that mercy for those who do right and practice regular charity and those who believe in Our signs.”182
THE GREATEST GLAD TIDING
With these statements, Allah Almighty mentioned the people whom He would grant more. It was stated that these people were those who feared Allah a lot, obeyed His orders fully, paid zakah and believed in Allah’s signs sincerely.
There were no people like the ones described by Allah among Children of Israel at that time. Therefore, Hz. Musa was thinking about who these people were. For, they were uttered upon Hz. Musa’s prayer. Allah Almighty stated the following to answer Hz. Musa’s thoughts:
"O Musa! These people, to whom I am going to grant my mercy and grace abundantly, are those who believe in the last Prophet, whom I will send as mercy for all realms and whose religion and call is universal. Those who believe in the Torah will find the name and attributes of that prophet in the Torah.183 That prophet will command his ummah what is just and forbid them what is evil. He will allow some good and pure things that will be rendered unlawful for your nation due to their oppression as lawful. Decrees will be written in their book regarding the issue; clean and pure things will be lawful for them; they will not be punished because of it.
That prophet will render carrion, blood, pork, wine and similar material impurities along with gambling, usury, bribery, seizure by violence and similar spiritual impurities unlawful for his ummah. He will remove some hard decrees like killing their souls through hunger for repentance and cutting off the parts of the clothes that got dirty184; thus, he will bring a shari'ah that is full of easy decrees.
O Musa! Those who are from any nation and who follow the Messenger, who defend him against his enemies, who adopt it as a principle to work in order to spread the name of Allah and who practice My divine decrees, those who truly obey the light of the Quran brought by him and his sunnah will attain the mercy that you want to be recorded for your ummah, the goodness in the world and the hereafter and they will get rid of all kinds of worries. The mercy and salvation that you want will be recorded as general mercy for them.”185
Thus, Allah Almighty gave him some glad tidings about the future and they took place.
MOUNT SINAI IS RAISED ABOVE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL
Thanks to the begging and praying of Hz. Musa, the seventy people around him were saved from death so that they may realize the truth and feel grateful.186 When these seventy people returned from Mount Sinai, they told Children of Israel what happened there in detail. All of them listened to what those seventy people told them in admiration and surprise.
* * *
Thanks to the effect of this incident, Children of Israel lived by obeying the orders of Allah for a long time; however, in the course of time, its effect started to decrease. They started to forget what happened in the past and started to act contrarily to the decrees of the Torah. They even started to say that the decrees of the Torah were very hard and strict and that they could not practice them. It meant rebellion against Allah. For, those decrees had been sent down by Allah. Upon this big arrogance of Children of Israel, Allah Almighty ordered Jibril to raise Mount Sinai above Children of Israel.
Can it be difficult for a power that keeps the moon, the sun, innumerable stars and the world in the sky without any support and makes them travel in space to raise Mount Sinai and keep it above Children of Israel like a cloud?
When Children of Israel saw Mount Sinai above them and in a position that seemed to fall onto them 187, they were terrified. They prostrated on their left eyebrows and started to repent and ask for forgiveness. While they were in prostration, they looked at the mountain with their right eyes and checked whether it was falling onto them or not.
Based upon this incident, today Jews prostrate on their left eyebrows and look using their right eyes. According to their belief, such a prostration saved them from the wrath. 188
While Children of Israel were breathless under Mount Sinai, which was about to fall onto them, Allah Almighty got a promise from them through Hz. Musa that they were going to obey ten orders. These orders, which are known as Ten Commandments are as follows:
1 — You shall not worship anyone except Allah.
2 — You shall obey your father and mother, and treat them kindly.
3 — You shall treat your relatives kindly like your parents.
4 — You shall do favors to orphans.
5 — You shall do favors to the poor and the needy.
6 — You shall speak to people nicely.
7 — You shall perform prayers steadfastly.
8 — You shall give zakah.
9 — You shall not shed no blood among you.
10 — You shall not turn out your own people from your homes.189 After these commandments were conveyed to Children of Israel, Allah Almighty declared the following to them:
"Hold firmly to what We have given you and fulfill them seriously. Memorize those decrees and think about the deep meanings in them so that you will be saved from wrath and attain bliss both in the world and in the hereafter.190
Children of Israel promised that they would obey the ten commandments given to them. Besides, they had to promise because Mount Sinai was standing above them as if it was going to fall onto them. However, when the danger was over, they said, “We listened to (obeyed) it with our ears but we disobeyed with our hearts.”191
HARDSHIP AND SUFFERING INFLICTED UPON HZ. MUSA BY CHILDREN OF ISRAEL
As we have mentioned before, Children of Israel were sent manna and quail regularly from the sky as a grace. Hz. Musa told them to eat them and not to store them. However, they were a greedy nation and liked worldly things more than other nations; though sufficient food was sent down every day, they did not feel contented and stored some of the food. The food they stored started to stink and go off after a while
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) stated the following in a hadith:
"If it had not been for Children of Israel, food would not go off and meat would not stink.”192
Children of Israel got tired of wandering in the desert for years. They forgot about the torture, oppression and misery they suffered in Egypt and started to say, "We wish we had never left Egypt."193
Besides, they got tired of eating manna and quail every day. They started to give up thanking Allah Almighty for sending them such nutritious food. Finally, they applied to Hz. Musa and said to him,
"O Musa! We cannot endure the same food every day; we are tired of eating manna and quail. Pray your Lord for us to produce for us of what the earth grows: vegetables like zucchini, cucumbers, garlic and onions."
Hz. Musa answered their request as follows:
"You mean you want to replace nutritious food like manna and quail, which are sent from the sky, with food like onion and garlic, which grow from the ground. Then, go to such and such city. You can find anything you seek there.”194
* * *
Children of Israel disturbed Hz. Musa all the time with incidents like that and harassed him. Despite what they did, the great prophet showed patience. His nation even wanted to infer different meanings from the fact that he covered his body with clothes due to the requirement of his shari'ah. They started to say that Musa had a disease that he wanted to hide from them on his body.
This example is enough to show what a worthless and dishonest nation they were. No nation in history slandered and gossiped about their leader let alone their prophet like that.
Once, Hz. Musa was having a bath; the stone that he put on his clothes started to roll toward the stream with his clothes. Hz. Musa ran after them in a naked state to catch them. Children of Israel saw him like that and understood that there was no disease on his body. Thus, they stopped gossiping about him.195
The hardship and suffering inflicted on Hz. Musa by his ungrateful nation is indicated as follows: in a hadith:
According to a narration from Ibn Mas’ud, the Prophet Muhammad distributed the booty after the battle of Hunayn. A bedouin or a munafiq who thought the share he was given was too little said,
"This distribution was not made based on the consent of Allah.” Abdullah bin Mas’ud informed the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) about what the man said. When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) heard it, he got so angry that signs of fury became apparent on his face. Then, the Messenger of Allah said,
“May Allah show mercy on Musa! He suffered more than I did because of his ummah but he showed patience.”196
DEATH OF HZ. HARUN
Hz. Harun was Hz. Musa’s older brother. 197 He died toward the end of the forty-year period Allah Almighty condemned Children of Israel to live in the Tih Desert due to their ingratitude; he died a few years before Hz. Musa. He was buried in a cave in Mount Murran near Mount Sina. His grave is well-known today. It is narrated that he died at the age of 120.198
Children of Israel, who did not appreciate him when he was alive, became very sorry when he died and mourned for him.
DEATH OF HZ. MUSA
Hz. Musa was appointed to take Children of Israel from Egypt to the holy land. However, due to the ingratitude of Children of Israel, it took place forty years later. After forty years, a new, energetic generation grew up. Hz. Musa started to make preparations in the desert in order to go to the holy land. Upon the death of Hz. Harun, Hz. Musa chose Yusha, who was going to be a prophet afterwards, as his assistant. When forty years passed, Children of Israel were ready to fight the enemy. Hz. Musa took his nation to the south of the Dead Sea. Then, he beat the enemy king Uj bin Unuq and arrived at the shore of the River Shari'ah. He climbed a mountain in order to make a plan of besieging the city of Ariha, one of the three big cities of the holy land.199 Just then, Azrail (the angel of death) appeared.
Hz. Azrail told Hz. Musa that he arrived to take his life and that it was necessary for him to accept the invitation of his Lord.
Hz. Musa got very angry. Was it an appropriate time for death now? He was about to go to the holy land. He had some more duties to do.
Therefore, he got furious when he heard what the angel of death, who came to end his duty of prophethood, said. With fury, he slapped the angel. This slap blinded one eye of the angel.
Thereupon, the angel went into the presence of Allah Almighty and complained about Hz. Musa:
"O Lord! You sent me to a slave who did not want to die. He blinded one of my eyes.”
Allah Almighty healed the angel's eye and said to him:
"Go to my slave and say to him, 'Do you want life? If you want life, put your hand on a bull and you will live as many years as the number of the hairs your hand covers.'”
When Hz. Musa heard this offer from the angel, he asked,
"O Lord! What will happen after that?” Allah Almighty said,
"You will die after that.”
When Hz. Musa felt that he was bound to die and that it was not possible to escape death, he spoke in reliance to Allah:
"Then, let death come now.”200
He chose Yusha to replace him and prayed Allah as follows:
"O Lord! Make me die in a place as near as throwing a stone to the holy land.”
The angel of death took Hz. Musa’s spirit in the place where he wanted.
Hz. Musa died three years after his brother Hz. Harun. After narrating the incident above, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,
"By Allah, if I were near Musa now, I would show you his grave near a red sand hill by the road.”201
Four hundred years passed between Hz. Yusuf’s arrival in Egypt and Hz, Musa’s departure from Egypt with his nation. Hz. Musa’s ancestors go back to Hz. Ibrahim.202
Hz. MUSA’S MIRACLES
There are nine well-known miracles of Hz. Musa. They are as follows:203
1 — His rod turning to a dragon.
2 — His hand becoming white and giving bright light (White Hand).
3 — The invasion of locusts.
4 — The invasion of lice.
5 — The invasion of frogs.
6 — Water turning to blood.
7 — Twelve springs gushing forth when Hz. Musa hit the stone with his rod in the Tih Desert.
8 — The Red Sea being torn into two and Children of Israel crossing the Red Sea.
9 — Mount Sinai being raised above Children of Israel.204
Hz. Musa’s miracles were not limited to the ones listed above. There are some other miracles, too. However, the ones listed above are the most famous ones.
* * *
Western historians divide the world history into certain ages but Islam has a division of his own. According to Islamic history, the period between Hz. Adam and Hz. Musa becoming a prophet and the Pharaoh being drowned is called the First Age (Qurun al-Ula). The period between Hz. Musa and Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) is called the Middle Age (Qurun al-Wusta) and the period between Hz. Muhammad and the end of time is called the Last Age (Qurun al-Ukhra).205
STORIES AND NICE SAYINGS ABOUT HZ. MUSA
Allah Almighty asked Hz. Musa,
"O Musa! Have you done any deeds for my sake?"
"Yes, my Lord! I performed prayers, fasted and gave sadaqah for your sake." Allah Almighty said,
"O Musa! They are for yourself. Did you accept a person as a friend for me and an enemy as an enemy for me?"
After that, Hz. Musa knew that to love someone for Allah and to hate someone for Allah are among the best kinds of worshipping.206
* * *
Once, Hz. Musa went out to pray for rain. He prayed for three days but it did not rain. When he asked Allah Almighty why it had not rained, He said,
"O Musa! There is a talebearer among you. I will not accept your prayer as long as he is among you."
Hz. Musa said,
"O Lord! Tell me his name so that I will send him away."
Allah Almighty said,
"O Musa! I prohibit you from being a talebearer. Do you want me to be a talebearer now?"
Thereupon, Hz. Musa addressed his nation as follows:
"O my nation! Repent Allah for the sin of bearing tales." They repented Allah all together. Then, Allah Almighty accepted their prayer and sent them rain abundantly.207
* * *
It is narrated that Hz. Musa stated the following while praying Allah one day,
"O Lord! Who is the most beloved person for you?
"O Musa! The most beloved person among My slaves is the one who feels as if a thorn has pricked his own foot when a thorn pricks the foot of his believing brother.”208
* * *
Once Hz. Musa saw a man whose abdomen was ripped by wild animals. He recognized the man. He stood by the man and asked Allah,
"O Lord! He is an obedient servant of you. What is the wisdom behind this terrible situation?”
Allah answered him as follows:
"O Musa! This servant asked from me a degree that he cannot reach through his deeds and worshipping. I gave him this trouble to make him attain the degree he asked.”209
* * *
Allah revealed the following to Hz. Musa:
"O Musa! I got angry with my slaves due to four things. I granted many things to them and when I asked them to lend me something, they refused. When I ordered them to avoid Satan, they did not keep away from him. I invited them to Paradise but they did not come. I warned them about Hell but they committed things that would lead them to Hell.”210
* * *
Ibn Abbas narrated:
Allah revealed the following to Hz. Musa:
"O Musa! The person that I hate the most among my slaves is the one who has conceitedness in his heart, severity in his tongue, stinginess in his hand and harmfulness in his nature.”211
* * *
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) stated the following:
"Hz. Musa's pages were full of lessons and examples. He said,
'How can a person who believes in Hell laugh? How can a person who sees that the world changes all the time rely on the world? How can a person who believes in death act in a spoiled way? How can a person who believes that he will be accounted for being heedless and lazy?'”212
* * *
Hz. Musa was sitting with a group of people. Satan approached him and greeted him. Hz. Musa asked him,
"Who are you?" He answered,
"I am Satan." Hz. Musa asked,
"Why have you come?" He answered,
"I know your high rank in the eye of Allah. Therefore, I have come to greet you."
Hz. Musa asked,
"Tell me such a sin that when man commits it, you overcome him."
"When man likes himself, when he thinks he has served and worshipped a lot and when he forgets about his sins, I overcome him."213
* * *
Hz. Musa asked Khidr,
"In return for what deed did Allah give you the secret knowledge?" Khidr said,
"I showed patience for Allah to avoid sins."214
* * *
Hz. Musa said to Allah,
"My thanking you is a bounty given to me by you, which necessitates a separate thanking." Allah revealed to Musa as follows:
"When you know this, you will have thanked me."
In another narration, He said, “When you know that all bounties come from me, I will accept this knowledge of yours as thanking.”215
* * *
Ka’bu’l-Ahbar narrates: “Allah said to Musa,
"O Musa! When you see that poverty comes toward you, greet it by saying, 'Welcome! O sign of righteous people!'”216
* * *
Ata al- Khurasani narrates:
Once, Hz. Musa went to the seaside. He saw a man fishing. The man said 'Bismillah' (in the name of Allah) and threw his fishing line into the sea but he did not catch any fish. He saw another man a bit away from this man. He said 'Bismishshaytan' (in the name of Satan) and threw his fishing line into the sea. He caught so many fish. Hz. Musa was surprised and asked Allah,
"O Lord! How come they happen despite Your power?"
Allah says to the angels,
"Show this prophet the ranks of these people in My eye." When Hz. Musa saw the rank of the person who could not catch any fish, he said,
"O Lord! That is enough. I am pleased with it."217
That is, worldly achievements of unbelievers and sinners do not mean that they are praiseworthy in the eye of Allah. Similarly, failure of believers does not mean that they are worthless in the eye of Allah. It is a testing. Unbelievers and sinners spiritually descend due to their unruliness and debauchery while believers ascend due to their patience.
* * *
Musa asked his Lord,
"O Lord! Who are the ones that You love among your slaves? Tell me about them so that I will love them too." Allah answered,
"Every poor person. Every poor person."
The second poor may have been used to confirm the first one or to mean poorer.218 Besides, it is possible that a person who feels that he feels his weakness and poverty toward Allah is meant by it.
* * *
Hz. Musa prayed against his nation. Allah revealed to him that unintelligent people were appointed as administrators of his nation. Hz. Musa said,
"O Lord! I asked you to send Your wrath quickly." Allah Almighty said
"O Musa! Is there a wrath quicker and more painful than this one?"219
* * *
According to a narration, Hz. Musa looked at a man who suffered a big misfortune and prayed Allah:
"O Allah! Show mercy on this man!" Allah said,
"Can there be a bigger mercy than this one?" With this misfortune, I eliminate his sins and elevate his degree all the time.”220
If man could realize the otherworldly rewards he would get due to the misfortunes he suffered, he would never complain about a misfortune and would regard it as the greatest bounty; he would pray for the continuation of the misfortune, not for its elimination.
* * *
Allah revealed to Hz. Musa as follows:
"Remember that you will enter the grave; this will prevent you from many lustful desires."221
* * *
Allah revealed to Hz. Musa as follows: “The last person to enter Paradise is the one who repents of and gives up backbiting. The first ones to enter Hell are those who keep backbiting.”222
* * *
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,
“Musa asked Allah: 'O Lord! Who is the worthiest person in Your eye?' Allah answered: 'A person who forgives when he can take revenge.'"223
* * *
According to a narration, Hz. Musa saw a man sitting in the shade of the Throne (Arsh). He envied the man. He said to himself, "This man is a good man in the eye of Allah." Then, he asked Allah: "O Lord! Who is this man? What is his name?" Allah did not say his name. He said, "He reached this high rank through three deeds: He was not jealous of anybody. He did not disobey his parents. He did not bear tales among people."224
* * *
Safiyya, our mother, told the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) about an incident before she married him as follows:
Once, my uncle and my father met you and when they arrived home, my father asked my uncle,
"What is your opinion about this man?" My uncle said,
"He is the prophet mentioned by Musa." My father said,
"What will be our attitude toward him?" My uncle said,
"Enmity until death!"
An exemplary anecdote showing how jealousy keeps man away from the truth.”225
* * *
Allah said to Hz. Musa, “O Musa! Do not incline to the world and do not attach your heart to it because you cannot come into My presence with a sin worse than it.”226
* * *
When Allah sent Musa and Harun to the Pharaoh, He said to them,
"Do not let the pomposity, magnificence and worldly possessions of the Pharaoh surprise you. His life is in My powerful hand. He can talk, open and close his eyes, breathe in and out only with my permission. His wealth consists of worldly ornaments. If I willed, I would give you more ornaments and jewels than him. However, I forbid you from temporary worldly ornaments. I protect you from worldly possessions like a shepherd protects his sheep.”227
* * *
According to a narration, Hz. Musa asked Allah,
"Which one among Your slaves is the richest? Allah said,
"The one who is the most content with what I have given."228
* * *
Hz. Musa asked Allah,
"O Lord! Show me the ranks of Muhammad (pbuh) and some of his ummah in Paradise."
"O Musa! You cannot realize all of that rank. I will show you only one part of it. I made him superior to all creatures with that part."
Thereupon, a door opened from the realm of spirits. When Hz. Musa saw the light of the rank of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) and his closeness to Allah, he almost fainted. He asked Allah Almighty,
"O Lord! With what did you elevate him to this rank?" Allah answered,
"Thanks to a high characteristic I gave him." Hz. Musa asked,
"What is that characteristic?" Allah answered.
"It is altruism (caring about the needs of other people more than your own). If anyone comes to me with this characteristic, I will feel ashamed of accounting him; I will settle him anywhere he wishes in Paradise."229
* * *
Hz. Musa said to the Pharaoh,
"Believe in Allah and I will allow you to keep your property and sovereignty." The Pharaoh said,
"I will talk to Haman first."
"How can you be a slave that will worship a Lord while you are a Lord that is worshipped?" Thus, he dissuaded the Pharaoh from being a slave of Allah and a follower of Musa.230
* * *
When the Prophet came to Madinah, he started to fast on the 13th, 14th and 15th of every month and ordered the Muslims to do so. He said, “It is like fasting the whole year.”
When he saw that the Jews fasted on the day of Ashura, he asked, "What is this?" They said, "It is a good day. It is the day when Allah saved Children of Israel from their enemies and when Musa fasted to thank Him.” Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) said, “I am closer to Musa than you are." Then, he fasted on the day of Ashura. He also ordered his Companions to fast. (Bukhari, II, 251).
1 Bilmen, I/46.
2 Yazır, I/347.
3 The following is stated in a hadith: “The River Nile is one of the four rivers that originated from Paradise.” (Muslim trnsl., III/365-366.) The phrase "originating from Paradise" in the hadith indicates that the River Nile is sacred, that its water is abundant and useful, that it transforms a big part of the desert, which is hot and dry like Hell, into Paradise for people. (For detailed explanation, see Sözler (Words), 232-233; Şualar (Rays), 97).
4 Sözler (Words), 229.
5 See ibid, 373.
6 M.H.Yazır, I, 346; M. Vehbi, I,122.
7 A.C. Paşa, ibid, I, 28.
8 ibid, I, 29; M. Vehbi, ibid, V, 1719.
9 Bilmen, I, 51.
10 Bilmen, I, 51; al-Baqara, 49. "They slaughtered your sons and let your women-folk live." Through an event in the time of a Pharaoh, the slaughtering of the sons of the Children of Israel and the sparing of their women and daughters, it states the numerous massacres which the Jewish nation has suffered every age, and the role their women and girls have played in dissolute human life.” (Sözler (Words), 373-374)
11 Bilmen, ibid.
12 It is said that the word Musa is a combination of the words mu and sa. In the ancient Egyptian language, mu means water and sa means tree. It is also stated that it is derived from mus, which means child in the Egyptian language.
13 al-Qasas, 7.
14 Taha, 39.
15 al-Qasas, 8.
16 al-Qasas, 9.
17 al-Qasas, 12.
18 al-Qasas, 13.
19 Bilmen, IV, 2067.
20 al-Qasas, 14; M. Vehbi, IX/4075-4076.
21 There are various narrations that this person was Samiri, who was going to cause Children of Israel to worship a calf in the future. (M. Vehbi, X, 4077)
22 al-Qasas, 15.
23 al-Qasas, 16.
24 al-Qasas, 18-19; M. Vehbi, X, 4082.
25 Çantay, II, 842, note:49.
26 al-Qasas, 21.
(*) Madyan is a place at the northern tip of Aqaba Bay.
27 al-Qasas, 22.
28 M. Vehbi, X, 4087.
29 al-Qasas, 23.
30 al-Qasas, 24; Çantay, II, 692, note: 32.
31 al-Qasas, 25.
32 al-Qasas, 25.
33 al-Qasas, 26; M. Vehbi, X, 4090.
34 al-Qasas, 27.
35 al-Qasas, 28.
36 M. Vehbi, X/4092.
37 Tajrid trnsl., IX/146.
38 al-Qasas, 29.
39 Çantay, II/565, note: 6.
40 Taha, 10; al-Qasas, 29.
41 Taha, 12; al-Qasas, 30.
42 Taha, 13.
43 Taha, 14-16.
44 Taha, 17-24; al-Qasas, 31-32.
45 Taha, 25-35; ash-Shuara, 12-14; al-Qasas, 33-34.
46 Taha, 37-40.
47 Taha, 36.
48 Taha, 44; al-Qasas, 35.
49 Taha, 45.
50 Taha, 46-48; ash-Shuara, 16-17.
51 ash-Shuara, 18-19.
52 ash-Shuara, 20-22.
53 ash-Shuara, 23.
(*) Answering a question in a way that shows the groundlessness of the question and the uselessness of the answer to the person who asks the question and taking into account that it is not understandable by changing the direction of the question and giving the answer in a way that the addressee can understand is called the style of wisdom.As it is seen, the Pharaoh asked Hz. Musa about the nature and personality of the Lord of the Realms. However, it was impossible for a creature to understand and perceive the personality of the Creator. Therefore, Hz. Musa used the style of wisdom and started to tell him about the deeds and attributes of the Lord of the Realms. That was necessary and useful for man.
54 ash-Shuara, 24.
55 ash-Shuara, 25.
56 ash-Shuara, 26.
57 ash-Shuara, 27.
58 ash-Shuara, 28.
59 ash-Shuara, 29.
60 ash-Shuara, 30.
61 al-Araf, 106-107; ash-Shuara, 31-32.
62 al-Araf, 108; ash-Shuara, 33.
63 ash-Shuara, 34-37.
64 Taha, 57-58.
65 Taha, 59.
66 al-Araf, 113-114; ash-Shuara, 38-42.
67 ash-Shuara, 43-44
68 Taha, 67.
69 Taha, 68-69.
70 ash-Shuara, 45.
71 Kısas-ı Enbiya, I, 29.
72 al-Araf, 120-122; Taha, 70; ash-Shuara, 46-48.
73 ash-Shuara, 49; al-A’raf, 124; Taha, 71.
74 ash-Shuara, 50-51; al-A’raf, 125-126; Taha, 72.
75 al-Araf, 128.
76 Yunus, 88.
77 Çantay, I/321.
78 Yunus, 89.
79 Çantay, II, 942; note: 49.
80 al-Mu’min, 28-35.
81 al-Qasas, 38; al-Mu’min, 36-37.
82 at-Tahrim, 11.
83 Tajrid Trnsl., IX/149; Muhammed Hamdi Yazır, ibid, IV/5132; M. Vehbi, XIV/6008.
84 al-Qasas, 76.
85 M. Vehbi, X/4141-4142
86 al-Qasas, 77.
87 al-Qasas, 78.
88 al-Qasas, 79.
89 al-Qasas, 80.
90 al-Qasas, 81.
91 M. Vehbi, X/4150-4151.
92 al-Qasas, 81.
93 al-Qasas, 82.
94 al-Araf, 130.
95 al-Araf, 131.
96 al-Araf, 132.
97 al-Araf, 133; M. Vehbi, V/1736.
98 al-Araf, 133.
99 al-Araf, 133.
100 al-Araf, 133.
101 al-Araf, 133.
102 For those disasters, see: M. Vehbi, V/1736-1737; Bilmen II/1078, Muhammed Hamdi Yazır, III/2266-68.
103 Bilmen, II/1078.
104 Çantay, I/235, note:37.
105 al-Araf, 134.
106 al-Araf, 135.
107 ash-Shuara, 52.
108 Taha, 77.
109 M. Vehbi, VII/2585; Bilmen, IV/2091.
110 ash-Shuara, 53-60; Yunus, 90.
111 Taha, 78.
112 Kısas-ı Enbiya, I/30.
113 ash-Shuara, 61.
114 ash-Shuara, 62.
115 ash-Shuara, 64.
116 ash-Shuara, 63.
117 Çantay, III/660, not: 32.
118 ash-Shuara, 65-66.
119 Yunus, 91-92. In the ancient Egyptian papyri, it is stated that the Red Sea was separated into two as a miracle of Hz. Musa and that the Pharaoh was drowned in the sea. (For detailed information, see Adnan Oktay, Yeni Nesil Newspaper, “Arkeoloji İlmi Kur’an’ı doğruluyor”, 1.12.1980, page 8)
120 İslam Peygamberi (Prophet of Islam), I, 393.
121 Bilmen, IV/2091.
122 Kısas-ı Enbiya, I/31.
123 al-Maida, 20.
124 al-Maida, 21.
125 al-Maida, 22.
126 al-Maida, 12.
127 Bilmen, II/741-742.
128 Muhammed Hamdi Yazır, II/1643-1644.
129 Muhammed Hamdi Yazır, II/1643-1644.
130 al-Maida, 23.
131 al-Maida, 24. Those words reflect the bad character of Jews in the best way. They want Hz. Musa, Allah’s prophet to fight the people in the holy land alone with the help of Allah and to expel them and to tell them, "I have expelled the enemy; come and settle in the holy land." The Quran describes the incident in detail in order to attract our attention to this character and lack of understanding, forbidding believers from being like them.
132 al-Maida, 25.
133 al-Maida, 26.
134 al-Baqara, 60. According to what is stated in this verse, one of the important miracles of Hz. Musa was to extract water from stones by hitting them with his rod. There are several lessons to be taken by the people living today from this miracle. (For detailed information for this issue, see: Sözler (Words), 237, 238).
135 al-Baqara, 57; el-A’raf, 160.
136 M. Vehbi, I/132.
137 al-Araf, 138; Çantay, I/137; Kısas-ı Enbiya, I/30.
138 al-Baqara, 93.
139 al-Araf, 137-141.
140 al-Araf, 142.
141 Taha, 87; Kısas-ı Enbiya I/31.
142 al-Araf, 148.
143 Taha, 88; Kısas-ı Enbiya, I/31; M.Vehbi, I/126.
144 Çantay, I/237, note:64.
145 Taha, 88.
146 Taha, 90.
147 Taha, 91.
148 Taha, 83.
149 Taha, 84-85.
150 al-Araf, 143
151 al-A’raf, 143.
152 al-Araf, 144.
153 al-Araf, 145.
154 al-Araf, 146.
155 Taha, 86.
156 al-Araf, 150; Taha, 92-93-94.
(*)That Hz. Harun addressed Hz. Musa as "O my mother's son!" played an important role in soothing the fury of Hz. Musa. The mother is the symbol of love, compassion and mercy. Hz Harun aimed to soothe the fury of Hz. Musa by reminding him his mother.
157 al-Araf, 151.
158 Taha, 95.
159 Taha, 96.
160 Bilmen, II/2101; M. Vehbi, I/126.
161 Taha, 97
162 al-Baqara, 54
163 Çantay, I/22; note: 29
164 Bilmen, I/70
165 al-Baqara, 72
166 M. Vehbi, I/47
167 al-Baqara, 67.
168 Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Sözler (Words), 255-256.
169 al-Baqara, 67
170 al-Baqara, 68
171 al-Baqara, 68
172 al-Baqara, 69
173 al-Baqara, 70
174 al-Baqara, 71... Children of Israel were asked to sacrifice an ordinary cow. However, instead of fulfilling this order immediately, they wanted this order to be annulled due to their inclination to cows in their hearts; so, they asked several questions. However, the result turned out to be against them. With each question they asked, a cow that could not be found easily was described. Finally, when they did not have any other questions to ask, they had to find the described cow and sacrifice it. The Quran used the phrase "they scarcely did" to describe their hesitant attitude causing difficulties.
175 Bilmen, I/69; M. Vehbi, I/151.
176 M. Vehbi, I/152-153
177 al-Baqara, 73
178 al-A’raf, 155
179 Bilmen, I/55
180 al-A’raf, 155; al-Baqara, 55.
181 al-A’raf, 155.
182 al-A’raf, 156.
183 For the verses indicating Hz. Muhammad (pbuh), the last prophet, in the Torah, see Mektubat (letters), 150-155.
184 al-An’am, There are some of these hard decrees in146.
185 al-Araf, 156-157
186 al-Baqara, 56.
187 al-Baqara, 63.
188 M. Vehbi, I/145.
189 al-Baqara, 83-84
190 al-Baqara, 63
191 al-Baqara, 93
192 Bukhari, IV/103.
193 Kısas-ı Enbiya, I/34; M. Vehbi, I/40.
194 al-Baqara, 61
195 Tajrid trnsl., IX/147.
196 Tajrid trnsl., IX/147-148; Çantay, II/756, note:117.
197 Tajrid trnsl., IX/144
198 Bilmen, IV/2031.
199 Kısas-ı Enbiya, I/32.
200 Muslim Trnsl., VII, 256.
201 ibid.For detailed information about Hz Musa’s slapping Azrail, see: Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Mektubat (Letters), 360-362.
202 Muhammed Hamdi Yazır, I/351; Kısas-ı Enbiya, I/36.
203 al-Isra, 101
204 Bilmen, IV/1323-24; Çantay, II/530, note:93
205 Tajrid trnsl., IX/144.
206 Tanbihul-Mughtarrin, 53-54.
207 ibid, 89-90.
208 ibid, 152.
209 ibid, 235.
210 ibid, 179.
211 ibid, 321.
212 Mawardi, 121.
213 Tanbihu’l-Ghafilin, 656.
214 Ihya Trnsl., IV, 97.
215 ibid, IV, 163
216 ibid, IV, 361
217 ibid, IV, 361
218 ibid, IV, 362
219 Mawardi, 477
220 Ihya, IV, 522.
221 Ihya, III, 208
222 Ihya, III, 319
223 Ihya, III, 408
224 Ihya, III, 428
225 Ihya, III, 428
226 Ihya, III, 466
227 Ihya, III, 477
228 Ihya, III, 529
229 Ihya, III, 570-571.
230 Ihya, III, 744
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- Prophet Yusha [Joshua] (Peace be upon him)
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- Prophet Ibrahim [Abraham] (Peace be upon him)
- Prophet Ilyas [Elijah] (Peace be upon him)
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- Prophet Khidr (Peace be upon him)
- Prophet Yaqub [Jacob] (Peace be upon him)