Table of Contents
Allah has sent 124,000 Prophets out of which one was Hazrat Musa عليه السلام the brother of Prophet Harun عليه السلام. Prophet Musa عليه السلام was not only a Prophet but a Rasool of Allah.
- 6 differences between a Rasool and Nabi
- Biblical name: Prophet Moses.
- Prophet Musa عليه السلام is also called Kaleem Allah (one who talks to Allah).
- Full Name: Musa Ibn Imran Ibn Qahith Ibn Azar Ibn Levi Ibn Yaqub عليه السلام.
- Brother: Prophet Harun عليه السلام.
Forefathers of Prophet Musa عليه السلام got settled in Egypt in 1706 BC when Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام brought all his brothers to the country. They were called Bani Israel, which means the children of Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام.
However, the Egyptians did not like Bani Israel. With the effect of the new pharaoh, Bani Israel was treated like a slave.
One night the pharaoh had a strange dream. Haman, who was his high Priest, interpreted the dream. He told that an Israeli boy would grow up and would be the cause of Firawn’s death.
Pharaoh got angry and decided to kill all the boys that would be born in Bani Israel and his dream would never come true. Later, he instructed them to kill all the boys of Bani Israel for one year and spare in another year.
Birth of Prophet Musa
Hazrat Musa عليه السلام was born in 1356 BC in present-day Egypt and died in 1236 BC at the age of 120 years. He was 5 years younger than his brother Prophet Harun عليه السلام.
This was the year when all the newborn boys of Bani Israel were to be killed.
Prophet Musa in Quran
The most number of times the name of any prophet is mentioned in the Holy Quran is Prophet Musa عليه السلام with 136 times.
Prophet Musa in Pharaoh’s house
We inspired the mother of Moses: “Nurse him, but when you fear for him, put him then into the river, and do not fear or grieve.” – Al-Qasas 28:7
Her house was on the banks of the Nile, so she took a box and made it into a cradle, and started to nurse her child. When someone came to her that she was afraid of, she would go and put him in that box and put it in the river, and she would tie it with a rope.
One day she put the child in that box and put it in the river, but she forgot to tie it. The water carried him away, past the house of Pharaoh, where Pharaoh’s wife (Asiya رضي الله عنها) picked up the box. Allah filled her heart with love for him when she saw him.
She requested the Pharoah: This baby is a source of joy for me and you. Do not kill him. Perhaps he may be useful to us or we may adopt him as a son. Pharoah agreed to keep Prophet Musa عليه السلام in his palace. – Al-Qasas 28:9
- Pharaoh’s wife name: Asiya bint Mazahim bint Ubaid bint Rayan.
- Rayan Ibn Waleed was the king who appointed Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام as the Finance Minister of Egypt.
Prophet Musa mother breastfed him
They brought to him the wet nurses but he did not accept to take milk from them. So they took him out to the marketplace. When (his sister) saw him, she directed them to her house.
They brought Prophet Musa عليه السلام to her real mother and he accepted to take her milk. Asiya رضي الله عنها called for Musa’s mother, treating her kindly and rewarding her generously without realizing that she was his real mother. This is how Allah returned him to his real mother.
Prophet Musa had a lisp
When Prophet Musa عليه السلام was a child, he held the beard of Pharoah upon which he ordered his execution. Asiya رضي الله عنها sought mercy claiming that Musa is an infant.
Pharoah tested him by placing a date and burning coal in front of him. If Hazrat Musa عليه السلام had picked up the date, he would have killed him. He picked up the burning coal and put it inside his mouth.
Since then, he developed a lisp and used to stammer while talking.
Prophet Musa killed an Egyptian
One day Prophet Musa عليه السلام entered the city unnoticed and saw two men fighting with each other (one from Bani Israel and the other one was a Coptic from the ruling elite). The one from the Bani Israel asked for his help. Moses punched him, causing his death. – Al-Qasas 28:15
Hazrat Musa عليه السلام got scared, he fled from there and sought Allah’s forgiveness for this act.
The next day, Prophet Musa عليه السلام saw the same man fighting with another Coptic and he asked for his help again. Moses rebuked him, “Indeed, you are clearly a troublemaker.” – Al-Qasas 28:18
Hazrat Musa عليه السلام tried to help him but he thought he is coming after him so he said: “O Moses! Do you intend to kill me as you killed a man yesterday? – Al-Qasas 28:19
Upon this, the Coptic man got to know that Hazrat Musa عليه السلام is the killer of that man.
Escape from Egypt
Later someone informed Prophet Musa عليه السلام that the chiefs are taking counsel to kill him and advised him to escape Egypt. – Al-Qasas 28:20
Hazrat Musa عليه السلام fled from Egypt and reached Madyan (currently situated in Saudi Arabia).
After reaching the city of Madyan, he went to a well (Moses Well) to drink water. He saw two girls waiting for their turn to fetch water for their herd, Prophet Musa عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ helped them.
After returning to their father who was Prophet Shoaib عليه السلام, they talked about Hazrat Musa عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ and requested their father to reward him.
He saw that Prophet Musa عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was courteous so he asked him to stay with them for 8 years which was later extended to 10 years. Moses was married to one of his daughters. The house of Prophet Shoaib is one of the places to visit in Tabuk.
Allah talked to Prophet Musa
On the completion of 10 years, Prophet Musa عليه السلام left for Egypt with his family. On the way at night time, he spotted a fire on the side of Mount Ṭûr.
Hazrat Musa عليه السلام asked his family to stay there and left towards the fire. When he reached there, he heard a voice: “O Moses! It is truly I. I am Allah—the Lord of all worlds. – Al-Qasas 28:30
Miracle 1: Stick became a snake
Allah gave Prophet Musa عليه السلام many miracles, the first one being his stick which turned into a snake.
Allah asked: What is that in your right hand? – Taha 20:17
Hazrat Musa عليه السلام replied: It is my staff! I lean on it, and with it, I beat down branches for my sheep, and have other uses for it. – Taha 20:18
- Allah said, “Throw it down.”
The stick became a big snake and Prophet Musa عليه السلام ran away without looking back. – Al-Qasas 28:31
Allah said: “Take it (snake) and have no fear. We will return it to its former state.
Miracle 2: Shining Hand
The second miracle given to Hazrat Musa عليه السلام by Allah was his shining hand.
Prophet Musa عليه السلام who was dark-skinned was asked to put his hand under his armpit. When he took it out it was shining white, but not out of a skin condition like melanoma. – Taha 20:22
When Moses put his arm through the opening in his collar again, his hand returned to its original color.
Allah asked Hazrat Musa عليه السلام to go to Pharoah and his chiefs with these two miracles and invite them to Allah. – Al-Qasas 28:32
The prophethood of Harun
Prophet Musa عليه السلام said: I have indeed killed a man from them, so I fear they may kill me. – Al-Qasas 28:33
Hazrat Musa عليه السلام asked for the removal of his stammering so the people would understand what he intended in his speech. – Taha 20:27
Prophet Musa عليه السلام also requested Allah to send his brother Harun as a helper to support what he says. – Al-Qasas 28:34
Allah said: We appointed for him—out of Our grace—his brother, Harun, as a prophet. – Maryam 19:53
Indeed, there is no one who has ever done a greater favor to his brother than Musa did for Prophet Harun عليه السلام for he interceded for him until Allah made him a Prophet and a messenger with him to Pharoah and his chiefs.
Musa and Harun in the court of Pharoah
The Pharoah who adopted Prophet Musa عليه السلام had died during the time he was in Madyan. Now, his son was on the throne with whom Moses had spent his childhood in the same castle.
Hazrat Musa عليه السلام and Prophet Harun عليه السلام went to the court of the Pharoah and invited them to accept the one and only Allah and accept Islam.
Pharaoh protested, “Did we not raise you among us as a child, and you stayed several years of your life in our care? – Ash-Shu’ara 26:18
Pharaoh said ˹mockingly˺, “Your messenger, who has been sent to you, must be insane.” – Ash-Shu’ara 26:27
Prophet Musa عليه السلام responded: “He is the Lord of the east and west, and everything in between, if only you had any sense.” – Ash-Shu’ara 26:28
Pharaoh ordered: Build me a high tower so I may reach the pathways leading up to the heavens and look for the God of Moses, although I am sure he is a liar.” – Ghafir 40:36
Pharaoh threatened, “If you take any other god besides me, I will certainly have you imprisoned.” – Ash-Shu’ara 26:29
Hazrat Musa عليه السلام said: Even if I bring you the clear proofs? – Ash-Shu’ara 26:30
Then he threw his staff and it became a big snake. Then he drew his hand ˹out of his collar˺ and it was ˹shining˺ white for all to see.
Although their hearts were convinced the signs were true, they still denied them wrongfully and arrogantly. – An-Naml 27:14
They said: This is nothing but conjured magic ˹tricks˺. – Al-Qasas 28:36
Prophet Musa v/s Magicians
Pharoah discussed with his advisors who proposed to call for the magicians from all around the country and let them try their magic with Prophet Musa عليه السلام as the sorcerers of Egypt were the most skilled in the art of illusion.
So around 80,000 magicians were assembled at the set time on the appointed day when the general public was there to witness their success.
Hazrat Musa عليه السلام asked them to cast their magic first. They were a large numbered group and each one of them threw a stick and a rope until the valley became full of snakes piled on top of each other.
Then Prophet Musa عليه السلام threw his stick, and behold, it swallowed up all that they falsely showed by catching them from every corner and swallowing them up, and it did not leave any of them untouched.
The truth prevailed and their illusions failed. Pharaoh and his people were defeated right there and put to shame. – Al-A’raf 7:118
Magicians accepted Islam
The magicians had realized that it cannot be magic as they knew the limitations of their field. Therefore, they fell down, prostrating and said that they believe in the God of Hazrat Musa عليه السلام and Prophet Harun عليه السلام.
Pharaoh threatened: How dare you believe in him before I give you permission? I will certainly cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, then crucify you all. – Al-A’raf 7:123
Magicians replied: Your rage towards us is only because we believed in the signs of our Lord when they came to us. Our Lord! Shower us with perseverance, and let us die while submitting to you as Muslims. – Al-A’raf 7:126
Why Pharoah didn’t kill Musa?
The chiefs of Pharaoh’s people protested, “Are you going to leave Moses and his people free to spread corruption in the land and abandon you and your gods?”
He responded, “We will kill their sons and keep their women. We will completely dominate them.” – Al-A’raf 7:127
Why Pharoah was ready to kill each and every son of Bani Israel but hesitant to kill Prophet Musa عليه السلام.
When Hazrat Musa عليه السلام was adopted by Pharaoh, he spent his childhood in the palace just like a prince. The Pharaoh of that time didn’t have any children.
Later on, his wife gave birth to a son. So Prophet Musa عليه السلام and the son of the Pharaoh spent their childhood together like real brothers. He used to respect Hazrat Musa and treat him like his elder brother.
That’s the reason he didn’t order to kill him when Hazrat Musa عليه السلام claimed prophethood.
Exodus from Egypt
After that Prophet Musa عليه السلام lived in Egypt for many years and continued to invite people to Islam while Pharoah did not stop persecuting Bani Israel.
In 1276 BC when Hazrat Musa عليه السلام was 80 years old, Allah inspired him to leave Egypt for Syria with Bani Israel at night time. Prophet Musa عليه السلام left for Syria with around 600,000 people of Bani Israel which is called Exodus.
When Pharoah got to know this, he followed them at sunrise with an army of around 1.6 million people.
When the two groups came face to face, the companions of Moses cried out, “We are overtaken for sure.” – Ash-Shu’ara 26:61
- According to Bible, Bani Israel lived in Egypt for 430 years. – Exodus 12:40
- At this time Hazrat Musa عليه السلام also carried the body of Prophet Yusuf عليه السلام with him who had died around 361 years before the exodus.
Pharoah was killed
There was an ocean on one side and the army of Pharoah on the other side. Allah asked Prophet Musa عليه السلام to strike the sea with his staff, and the sea was split, each part was like a huge mountain. – Ash-Shu’ara 26:63
Ibn Abbas said that the sea was divided into 12 paths, one for each of the tribes. There were windows through which they could see one another, and the water was erected like walls.” Hazrat Musa عليه السلام and his followers crossed the ocean safely.
When Pharoah and his army tried to cross the sea, they were drowned and destroyed in the ocean. It is said that it was the day of the 10th of Muharram when Pharoah died.
Refusal to attack Jerusalem
After the exodus, Prophet Musa عليه السلام encouraged Bani Israel to perform Jihad and enter Jerusalem which was under their control during the time of Prophet Yaqub عليه السلام.
Bani Israel replied: There is an enormously powerful people there, so we will never ˹be able to˺ enter it until they leave. If they do, then we will enter!” – Al-Ma’idah 5:22
At that time Prophet Yusha Ibn Nun عليه السلام and Kalib Ibn Yufna said: Surprise them through the gate. If you do, you will certainly prevail. Put your trust in Allah if you are a true believer. – Al-Ma’idah 5:23
Upon their refusal, Allah said: Then this land is forbidden to them for 40 years, during which they will wander through the land. – Al-Ma’idah 5:26
When Bani Israel was wandering in the deserts, Allah provided them with a special meal from the heavens called Mann-O-Salwa.
Mann was a kind of sweet, it was like the dew drops that appeared on rocks, trees, and plants, later on, it used to turn into a sweet honey-like substance that they used to pick up and savor themselves with. Mann used to descend on them as snow descends and it used to be sweeter than honey and whiter than snow.
Salwa was a type of bird, basically a Quail. The people use to capture it upon which it would turn into roasted meat.
However, they were thankless and did not like this meal and asked Hazrat Musa عليه السلام to bring them herbs, cucumbers, garlic, lentils, and onions. – Al-Baqarah 2:61
Prophet Harun was left with Bani Israel
Prophet Musa عليه السلام was called on Mount Sinai to take the ten commandments from Allah. He had a direct conversation with Allah Almighty and on his return, he came back with written 10 commandments.
- Mount Sinai location.
While Musa was on Mount Sinai for 40 days, Prophet Harun عليه السلام was alone with Bani Israel in present-day Saudi Arabia.
Samri made a golden calf
Samri who was a magician made a golden calf (cow) made of gold in a way that it used to create a sound like a cow whenever air passed through it. He told them that this is their new God and you need to worship them.
People were misguided and started worshipping it. Hazrat Harun عليه السلام tried to convince them that it is just a trial but they never listened to him. They replied, “We will not cease to worship it until Moses returns to us.” – Taha 20:91
The place where Golden Calf was erected is still protected and can be visited in the Tabuk region of Saudi Arabia.
- Golden Calf Altar location.
Musa grabbed Harun with his beard
Prophet Musa عليه السلام finally returned to his people and got shocked to find them worshipping an idol.
He immediately rushed to Prophet Harun عليه السلام grabbed him by his beard and asked why didn’t he approach him when all this was happening. – Taha 20:94
On learning this, Hazrat Musa sought Allah’s forgiveness and asked the Almighty to forgive him and his brother. He asked Allah to admit them in His mercy as Allah is the most merciful.
Punishment for Golden Calf worshippers
Allah gave a heavy punishment to those who worshipped the golden calf in the absence of Prophet Musa عليه السلام. Bani Israel was asked to kill calf worshippers from within their tribes in exchange for accepting repentance.
According to some historians, as many as 600,000 people from Bani Israel were killed at that time.
Subhan Allah, we Muslims just say أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللّٰهَ and Allah accepts our repentance while Bani Israel had to kill their sons, brothers, and daughters for Allah’s forgiveness.
Sacrifice a Cow to know the murder
A rich man from bani Israel was killed by his nephew, his only heir, and the body was thrown at the door of an innocent man.
After a long investigation, no one was identified as the killer. Prophet Musa عليه السلام prayed for guidance and was told that the only way to find the killer was to sacrifice a cow and strike the victim with a piece of it.
However, due to their soft corner for cows (golden calf), they started asking questions as they did not want to sacrifice a cow.
- Bani Israel asked: Clarify for us what type ˹of cow˺ it should be!”
- Allah said: The cow should neither be old nor young but in between. – Al-Baqara 2:68
- Bani Israel asked: Specify for us its color.
- Allah said: It should be a bright yellow cow—pleasant to see. – Al-Baqara 2:69
- Bani Israel asked: Make clear to us which cow, for all cows look the same to us. – Al-Baqara 2:70
- Allah said: It should have been used neither to till the soil nor water the fields; wholesome and without blemish. – Al-Baqara 2:71
- Bani Israel said: “Now you have come with the truth.” Yet they still slaughtered it hesitantly!
When they strike the victim with the flesh of the cow, the dead body spoke miraculously and said who the killer was.
Meeting with Prophet Khidr
Once Prophet Musa عليه السلام was asked as to who amongst the people has the best knowledge, whereupon he said: I have the best knowledge. However, Allah did not like this.
He revealed to Hazrat Musa عليه السلام: A servant amongst My servants is at the junction of two rivers who has more knowledge than yours.
- Prophet Musa عليه السلام asked: How can I meet him?
- Allah said: Carry a fish in the large basket and the place where you find it missing there you will find him.
Thereupon Hazrat Musa عليه السلام proceeded forth along with a young man (Prophet Yusha bin Nun عليه السلام).
They put the fish in the basket and there went along until they came to a certain rock. – Al-Kahf 18:60
Prophet Musa عليه السلام and Hazrat Yusha bin Nun عليه السلام went to sleep and the fish stirred in that basket and fell into the ocean. Prophet Yusha forgot to inform Moses about it.
Therefore, they kept on walking for the rest of the day until the night. When it was morning, Hazrat Musa عليه السلام said to Yusha: Bring for us the breakfast for we are dead tired because of this journey.
Hazrat Yusha bin Nun said: Don’t you know that when we reached the Sakhra (rock) I forgot the fish.
Moses said: That was what we had been aiming at. Then both of them retraced their steps until they reached Sakhra; there they saw a man covered with a cloth (Prophet Khidr عليه السلام). – Sahih Muslim 2380a
Prophet Musa عليه السلام requested to stay with Prophet Khidr عليه السلام to learn some of his knowledge.
Prophet Khidr عليه السلام said: You certainly cannot be patient enough with me. Do not question me about anything until I ˹myself˺ clarify it for you. – Al-Kahf 18:70
When they boarded a boat, Prophet Khidr عليه السلام made a hole in that.
Hazrat Musa عليه السلام protested: Have you done this to drown its people? You have certainly done a terrible thing! – Al-Kahf 18:71
He replied, “Did I not say that you cannot have patience with me?”
Prophet Musa عليه السلام pleaded, “Excuse me for forgetting, and do not be hard on me.”
They proceeded until they came across a boy, and Prophet Khidr عليه السلام killed him.
Hazrat Musa عليه السلام protested: Have you killed an innocent soul, who killed no one? You have certainly done a horrible thing. – Al-Kahf 18:74
- He answered, “Did I not tell you that you cannot have patience with me?”
Prophet Musa عليه السلام said: If I ever question you about anything after this, then do not keep me in your company, for by then I would have given you enough of an excuse.
They moved on until they came to the people of a town. They asked them for food, but the people refused to give them hospitality. There they found a wall ready to collapse, so Prophet Khizr عليه السلام set it right.
Hazrat Musa عليه السلام protested: If you wanted, you could have demanded a fee for this. – Al-Kahf 18:77
He replied, “This is the parting of our ways. I will explain to you what you could not bear patiently.
Prophet Khidr عليه السلام explained that the ship belonged to some poor people, working at sea. So I intended to damage it, for there was a ˹tyrant˺ king ahead of them who seizes every ˹good˺ ship by force. – Al-Kahf 18:79
As for the boy, his parents were ˹true˺ believers, and I feared that he would pressure them into defiance and disbelief.- Al-Kahf 18:80
As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and under the wall was a treasure that belonged to them, and their father had been a righteous man.
So Allah willed that these children should come of age and retrieve their treasure. Therefore, I constructed the wall. – Al-Kahf 18:82
Prophet Musa tomb
Prophet Musa عليه السلام died in 1236 BC at the age of 120 years in present-day Palestine. He died during those 40 years when Allah forbade the land Jerusalem to Bani Israel.
- Hazrat Musa Tomb location.