What are the lessons we should take from the parable of Moses (peace be upon him) and Pharaoh?

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What are the lessons we should take from the parable of Moses (peace be upon him) and Pharaoh?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

There is a great deal of wisdom in Moses’ (peace be upon him) parable., Displaying a bit, a part of this parable in different surahs, the Qur’an gives us one or some of these lessons. With his supreme morals and sincere belief he displays, Moses (peace be upon him) is one of the prophets lighting our way through the time. Like all the prophets informed by the Qur’an, the life of Moses (peace be upon him) is full of wisdom from which we should learn lessons. Some of these lessons are:

a. First of all, the repetition of this parable which provides information on Moses’ (peace be upon him) life, is aimed at consoling Muhammad (peace be upon him). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was granted consolation by means of these parables recounting the harm and injustice that both Pharaoh and the Jewish did to Moses (peace be upon him), in order to ease the sorrow because of the torments mushriks (polytheists) and members of Quraysh tribe did to Him and because he was accused of being a liar even though he was called Muhammadu’l Amin (Muhammad, The trustable One).

b. Moses ( peace be upon him ) is the first prophet to whom a holy book was sent and Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him) is the last one. The common point of both of these religions is that both have regulations which lead human life in every respect by embracing social life.

c. At the time when Islam emerged, except for a few remainders Hanif religion of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), divine messages which had been sent to previous prophets had already been lost. In this case, Moses (peace be upon him) whose religion was still prevailing at that time is considered to be an establisher of a brand new religion for the Jewish. Especially during the Madinah period, the Muslims who were living together with the Jewish were required to be acknowledged correctly about this religion – less they should be deceived and tricked by them due to their own poor and deficient knowledge on religion.

d. Especially regarding changing the negative and hostile attitudes and manners of the Jewish against Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), they were reminded of the calamities they experienced due to the complaints and rebellion against the previous prophets and especially against Moses (peace be upon him) and they were warned and - so to speak - intimidated against this issue.

e. The Jewish have always played an active role throughout the history of the mankind, and they caused depression in the social life with their negative attitudes wherever they were. And here in these parables, these features of the Jewish are pointed out and generally people especially Muslims are suggested indirectly to take lessons out of these parables. ( regarding the issue, see the Words, Twenty-Fifth Word, p 401-404)

f. Not everybody can afford to read the whole text of the Qur’an. However, the Qur’an is present for the guidance of all the people to the right path. For this reason, in order to provide people who can only read certain surahs with this guidance, the parable of Moses (peace be upon him) is included in different surahs along with the belief in the oneness of God and in the Resurrection Day, which are among the basic purposes of the Qur’an. (The Words p 242. Also for further examples, see The Words, p 245-251)

g. In the struggle between denial and belief, which has been going on since Adam (peace be upon him), Abraham’s (peace be upon him) struggle against Nimrod and Moses’ ( peace be upon him) struggle against Pharaoh represent a climax. Whether small or big, little or much etc, the reflections of this struggle are always visible. From this point of view, it is of great importance that we recognize the Moseses and Pharaohs of our time and determine our sides according to it.

h. The most distinctive weapon of Pharaoh was bringing out a disorder and disagreement by inciting segregation among the people. (see the surah Al-Qasas) It is the prior duty of all the believers to close their ranks, to remove conflicts and disorders by strengthening physical and spiritual contacts and to implement alliance and union. With his statement “Our biggest enemy is ignorance, poverty and disagreement”, Badiuzzaman pointed out that the struggle against pharaohs can only be successful – in this century – with knowledge, alliance and hard work to get rid of poverty. Today, the pharaohs of the West, who are making good use of these three weaknesses of ours have made us become slaves for them.

i. Against Pharaoh’s magicians, Moses (peace be upon him) displayed miracles of the same kind. His hand turning into a white sparkling form and his staff into a slithering snake shows that we should never neglect to have the same weapons as our enemies. The weapons that Pharaohs utilize to spread their “anti-religion” campaign consist of issues like technology, positive knowledge and acting in the form of committees, etc. Allying within Islamic fraternity and by learning about positive knowledge well, and integrating science with religious knowledge and as Badiuzzaman suggests “by allying with pious Christians if necessary”, believers should defend the basics of the Divine religion – against the pharaohs’ campaign of anti-religion – under guidance of the Qur’an.

j. This struggle must be carried on by integrating Moses’ (peace be upon him) hot-temperedness with Aaron’s (peace be upon him) graceful attitudes. While representing Aaron (peace be upon him) with the norm “we are the guards of love and we have no time for enmity”, Moses’ (peace be upon him) hot-tempered attitude must be brought up against them with the principle “Showing mercy to a hungry wolf will not bring out his compassion but it will whet his appetite and he will ask for more.”.

It is important to be careful with the language while preaching. Allah provided Aaron as a helper for Moses and commanded them to go to Pharaoh, the ruler of the Egypt. He informed them that Pharaoh had gone far in his arrogance and denial, and yet He ordered them to use a gentle language while they were preaching him the high ethics of the religion: “Go, both of you, to the Pharaoh for he has exceedingly rebelled. But speak to him with gentle words, so that he might reflect and be mindful or feel some awe (of me, and behave with humility).” (the Qur’an, Ta-Ha 20:43/44).

As pointed out in this verse, uttering gentle words is very important in preaching the high ethics of the religion. In a number of verses, believers are advised to choose gentle way of speaking among themselves and when they preach. Here, to use a gentle language is commanded no matter how wild and ferocious the one who is addressed is; and this shows us once more how important the gentle use of language in preaching the high ethics of the religion is.

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