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Genealogy of the Prophet Hazrat Musa (A.S.) and Hazrat Harun (A.S.) and their merits

Hayat Al-Qulub Vol. 1,
By: Allamah Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi

A group of commentators and historians have written that Musa was the son of ‘Imran son of Yushar son of Fahit son of Lawi son of Ya‘qub. Harun was his brother and both of them had the same mother and father. There is difference of opinion as regards the name of his mother. According to some it was Najeeb and according to others it was Faahiya. Some also think it was Yoojaed. The last opinion is more prevalent. We have already mentioned in the first chapter that the inscription on the ring of Musa said, “Have Patience that you may be rewarded. Speak the truth that you may succeed.” It was derived from the Torah.
An authentic tradition from the Holy Prophet says that Allah sent four of the Prophets with sword: Ibrahim, Dawud, Musa and Muhammad. The Almighty Allah has given authority to four families: As mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, Surely Allah chose Adam and Nuh and the descendants of Ibrahim and the descendants of ‘Imran above the nations. (3:33)
An acceptable tradition on authority of Imam as-Sadiq quotes the Messenger of Allah that, “When I was taken on Me’raj (the Night Ascension) and I reached the fifth sky, I saw a man who was neither young nor of old age. He was surrounded by a lot of people of his nation. I asked Archangel Gabriel who was that exalted personality. He said it was one who is the beloved of his community. That is Harun the son of ‘Imran. Hearing Archangel Gabriel’s reply, I saluted him; he also saluted me in return. I sought forgiveness of Allah for him, he also did for me. Then I went to the sixth heaven. I saw a tall, wheat complexioned person there. Though he had worn two shirts, the hair of
his body were apparent. He said, “The people of The Israelites think that I am the best and nearest to Allah, hough Prophet Muhammad is beloved and nearest to Allah.” I asked Archangel Gabriel, “Who is that?” He said, “He is your brother, Musa bin ‘Imran.” I saluted him and he saluted me in return. I sought forgiveness of Allah for him, he too followed suit.
Imam Al-Hasan has stated that the age of Musa was 240 years and there was the difference of 500 years between Prophet Ibrahim and him.
According to reliable sources, Imam ‘Ali has stated regarding Allah’s saying (He will avoid his parents and brother and his family) that it denotes (as cited by Musa Ibn Babawayh) that Musa had not committed any mistake but was afraid that one of the conceited women from the Pharaoh’s family who looked after him in his infancy was his mother, so he avoided her.
Ibn Babawayh has stated that Allah, the Almighty bestowed Musa’s mother with three hundred and sixty blessings. The Pharaoh found the basket between the tree and water. That is why he named him Musa. ‘Mu’ means water and ‘Sa’ means tree.
From many reliable sources Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq has narrated that Allah revealed, “O, Musa! Do you know, why We bestowed you with apostleship?” Musa said, “No.” Allah revealed that He knew every creature of the earth and knew them from head to toe but no one was better than him. “O ‘Musa! Do prayer for Me; put your cheeks on the ground.” Musa bowed his head and made obeisance to Allah. Allah, the great revealed, “O Musa! Raise your head and touch your hand on your face and on of your body, so that you will be protected from troubles, pain, diseases etc.
According to a reliable tradition Allah did not reveal anything for thirty or forty days to Musa. So Musa went to the Oriya Mountain and prayed, “O ‘Allah, if you have stopped sending me Your revelation due to sins of The Israelites, I seek forgiveness on behalf of them. As You are Kind and Merciful. And always seek Your Mercy and Kindness.” Allah sent revelation on him and said, “O, Musa! I found no one better and truthful than you.” Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq has stated that after concluding prayers, Musa always touched his cheeks on the ground.
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir has narrated that once Musa passed along with seventy Prophets near the valley of Roha. They were wearing Kufi scarves and chanting ‘Labbaik’.
According to reliable sources, Imam al-Ridha has stated from the Holy Prophet that Musa raised his hands and said, “O, Allah! Wherever I go, I put myself in trouble.” Allah revealed, “O, Musa! There is a backbiter among your followers.” Musa said, “O, Allah! Tell me who it is?” Allah said, “How can I? It would be backbiting and I Myself hate backbiters?”
According to another tradition Musa prayed to Allah, “O, Allah! Do me a favor; so that people may not think that I am evil.” Allah revealed, “Musa! let them say whatever they like.”
People asked Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq, “Who expired before, Harun or Musa?” Imam said, “Harun. He had two sons, Shabbar and Shabbir. In Arabic we say Hasan and Husayn.” Imam also stated that from Hijr Isma‘il to the Ka‘bah there was a small place of prayer of Harun’s sons, Shabbar and Shabbir.
Birth of Musa and Harun and their early life: Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq states that at the time of the death of Yusuf, Ya‘qub’s family had eighty members in all. He said that the Copts will be successful over them and will put them in great trouble. One of his descendants will help them in their difficulties. His name will be Musa son of ‘Imran. He will be strong, tall and wheat complexioned. From that day the people of The Israelites named their sons ‘Imran, and ‘Imran used to name their sons Musa. They thought, he might be same Musa predicted by Yusuf.
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir has stated that Musa did not rebel against them. Forty persons from The Israelites claimed to be Musa whose information was given by Yusuf. The Pharaoh came to know about this matter by the people of The Israelites that a person called Musa will destroy his kingdom and that he is in search of him. The soothsayers of the Pharaoh informed that that boy will destroy his kingdom and his religion and that he would be born in the Israelites. The Pharaoh
appointed the mid-wives to examine the pregnant women of The Israelites. A midwife was appointed on the mother of Musa. When the Israelites learnt that they killed all male children, they thought the generation of The Israelites would be extinct. The male of The Israelites decided not to have sexual relationship with their female. ‘Imran the father of Musa told the people to continue, so that prediction of the Almighty will come true and indeed the boy would be born. He said, “If you want to give up marital relationships, give up but he would surely come into this world.”
Then ‘Imran established relations with Musa’s mother and she became pregnant. A midwife was appointed to keep a watch on her. When Musa’s mother was sitting or standing, the midwife also did the same. The midwife became attached to her. Once she asked why she was becoming pale and thin. She said not to inquire her condition, “Because when my son is born, he will be killed.” The midwife told her not to worry. “I will keep your son hidden from others.” The mother did not believe her. When Musa was born, his mother was uneasy and the midwife consoled her. She wrapped the child in a cloth and hid him in a room and came out at the door to the watchmen of the Pharaoh standing outside and asked them to go away and said that she has given birth to a girl. Then Musa’s mother fed him but she was worried, what if they heard him crying and came to know the truth?
Allah revealed to her to make a wooden box for a child, close the box and cast it on the Nile. She did as Allah commanded. When she cast the wooden basket into the water, the basket returned to her. She pushed it again but it came back. At last the wind pushed the basket far into the river. She became sad for her child and wanted to cry but Allah gave her patience. She did not utter a word.
Aasiya, the wife of the Pharaoh belonged to The Israelites and was the best woman of her time. She asked the Pharaoh to put a tent on the bank of the river Nile, so that she can pass her time in spring. One day she was sitting, when all of a sudden she saw a basket floating on the river, coming towards her. She asked her maidservants, “Can you see what I she see?” They said, “By Allah! We can see something floating on the water.” When the wooden basket reached her. She stood up from her place and asked her maids to pull it out. They pulled the basket out of the water and opened it. She found a pretty, cute baby boy in it. Seeing the infant she became very anxious. She held him in her arms and said that she would adopt him as her son. The maidservants also agreed and said, “Yes madam. By Allah, you have no children and the king is also without an heir. The child is very handsome and attractive. Adopt him.”
Aasiya went to her husband and showed him the charming baby boy from the sea. “I want to adopt him. So do not kill him,” she said. The Pharaoh asked her from where she got him. She said that she did not know whose child it was. “He was floating in a casket, and I pulled him out from the river.” the Pharaoh was satisfied with the explanation and accepted him. When people heard that the Pharaoh has adopted a son, they sent their wives to suckle the child but Musa did not suck. Then Aasiya asked the Pharaoh to arrange for a wet-nurse for the baby. Many nurses tried but Musa did not suck their milk. Musa’s mother also came to know this. She asked her daughter to ascertain this matter. The sister of Musa came to the door of the Pharaoh and asked whether they needed a wet nurse for a child. She said that there was a good woman staying nearby. She would feed the baby and look after him. The servants informed Aasiya. She ordered them to bring the girl to her. Musa’s sister came to her. She asked that girl which community she belonged to? She said, “She belonged to the family of The Israelites.” Aasiya told her to go away. The maidservants insisted upon her to call that woman and see if the child sucks from her or not. Aasiya said, “Even if the child accepts the Pharaoh might be unhappy. She said the child and the nurse both belong to The Israelites; the Pharaoh will not allow her. Her maidservants said, “Let us first see if the child suckles.” Aasiya told the girl to call the wet-nurse. Musa’s sister ran to her mother. She came and took the child and he began to suck. Aasiya told the Pharaoh that she has found a wet-nurse for a child. The Pharaoh asked which community she belonged to? His wife said that she is from The Israelites. The Pharaoh said, “How can it be? The child and the nurse both belong to The Israelites.” Aasiya asked him why he was afraid of the child? “Now he is our son,” she said. “He will grow up in our care.”
By arguing and discussing she convinced him. In this way he grew up under their loving care. Musa’s mother, sister and the mid-wife kept it secret until the end. The people of The Israelites didn’t know about Musa. They were searching for him and asking one another but it was secret. When the Pharaoh came to know about these activities he subjected them to torture and prohibited them to ask about Musa. Once the people of The Israelites gathered on a moonlit night and went to a learned man staying in the forest. They said that their troubles were increasing more by the day. He said, “By Allah, you will be harassed until Allah sends His Apostle from the family of Ya‘qub. His name will be Musa bin ‘Imran. He will be strong, tall, brave and curly haired.” When Musa came to them on a camel the learned man recognized him by the description given in a Holy book. He asked, “May Allah bless you, who are you and what is your name?” “Musa, the son of ‘Imran,” he
said.
The learned man arose and kissed Musa’s hands. People gathered around Musa and kissed his hands and feet. Musa and the people recognized each other and made them his believer. Musa stayed there for a few days and moved to another city. There he saw two men quarrelling. One was the believer of Allah and other was a non-believer from the Pharaoh’s community. The believer screamed for help. Musa hit the Egyptian on his chest. He fell down dead. Allah gave him the natural power of strength and terror. The news spread that Musa has killed an Egyptian. Musa passed the night in fear. In the morning a believer of Musa came running and asked for help as he had some dispute with another man. Musa said, “Indeed, he is on the wrong.” Musa was angry on this man. He said, “O, Musa if you want to kill me. Kill him as you killed a man yesterday.” He said, “Musa you are supposed to be a superior being on the earth, but can’t rectify the people?”
Another man came running and informed that the Egyptians were discussing about him wanted to kill him. “O, Musa! I am your true believer and request you to go away from this city.” So Musa left the city without any support. He passed through the desert and reached Madyan. He rested under a tree. There was a well and the people gathered to draw water from the well. Suddenly he saw two girls with their animals who had came to draw water for their animals and they stood aside. Musa asked them reason for coming there. They said, “Our father is an old man and we are weaker we did not oppose them so we are waiting until they draw water and go away. Then we will water our animals.” Musa felt pity on them. He took their bucket and asked them to bring their animals near the well. He drew water for them. The girls returned home early. Musa again sat under a tree and prayed to Allah. He had nothing to eat and was very hungry.
When the girls reached home, their father Shu‘ayb asked them reason for coming early. The girls said that a nice man drew water for them. Shu‘ayb asked one of his daughters to call him. She came to Musa modestly and said that her father wanted to meet him. Musa told her to walk behind because the sons of Ya‘qub never see ladies from behind. Musa came to Shu‘ayb greeted him and then explained his condition. Shu‘ayb consoled him. Then one of the daughters asked her father to employ him as he was better than others. Shu‘ayb asked Musa that he wanted to give his daughter in marriage to him, with the condition that he worked for him for eight or ten years. According to traditions, Musa completed ten years in his employment. The apostle of Allah does not wish to get any authority but he does what Allah desires for him.
After ten years, Musa took his wife and moved towards Jerusalem. But he was lost in the desert. At this time he saw a fire at a distance. He asked his wife to wait and went out in search of the way. When he reached there, he saw a green tree lit up as on fire. When he neared, it moved away from its place. Musa turned in fear but the tree moved near Musa and he heard a voice from the right side of its valley. “O, Musa! I am Allah, the Creator of the worlds. Cast your staff on the ground.” Musa cast his staff down. It changed into a serpent. It increased in size like a big tree of dates. Musa heard his hissing and fire came out from its tongue. When Musa saw this, he started running back. Again he heard the voice calling him. Musa came back and was shivering all over. Musa said, “O Allah! Is it your voice?” “Yes, do not be afraid,” replied the Lord. Musa came back. He stepped on the tail of the serpent and put his hand into his mouth, it changed into its original form. Allah ordered him to remove his shoes because they were made of ass’s skin. According to another tradition, he had two fears. One of the Pharaoh and other of the rich people of the community of the Pharaoh. Allah bestowed him two signs and sent him to the people. The first sign was a luminous hand and second his staff.
Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said that Musa went to get fire for his wife and when he returned he came with Prophethood. Allah solved the problem in one night. In this way when Allah wishes Imam al-Qa’im the family of Muhammad will reappear in one night.
Thalabi and many other writers have stated when Musa’s mother feared that the servants of the Pharaoh will find Musa in the house, she put him in the oven and after some time looked inside and saw that Musa was playing with fire.
It is a fact that Musa accepted his mother’s milk. Aasiya, the wife of the Pharaoh asked her to stay on to feed him, but Musa’s mother refused and took him to her own house. When he was weaned, Aasiya sent someone to her and said that she wanted to see her son. When he was sent to the Pharaoh’s house, the people presented him with gifts and showered money and jewels over him.
According to reliable sources from Imam Zayn al-‘abidin at the time of Yusuf ’s death, he called his believers and relatives and praised Allah and informed them that they will be harassed and troubled by the unbelievers. The male will be killed and the bellies of pregnant women shall be cut open to kill the baby inside. Allah will give rights and authority to the son of Ya‘qub to do justice and he will be will-built, tall and wheat complexioned. The people of The Israelites became sad and after that they had to face many difficulties. There were no Prophets at that time. They were waiting for the Prophet for four hundred years. When they heard the good news of Musa’s birth, their troubles increased. The unbelievers harassed them hitting them with stones and sticks. They went to a learned man for guidance. He had also left the city for safety. The people sent him a message to guide them. He promised to meet them in the forest. He told them about Musa and showed them his signs and gave the good news, that Musa will appear very soon and he will meet them in the night. Musa came there on a camel and had been on an excursion and he separated from his slaves on the way and came there. He wore a silky scarf. When the learned man saw him, he recognized him immediately. He arose from his place and fell down on his feet and kissed his feet as a respect and said, “I praise Allah and am very grateful to Him. He has kept me alive for this privilege.” The believers also fell at his and thanked Allah for His kindness. Musa told them, “Allah, the Great, will release you from your troubles and difficulties very soon,” and disappeared from their sight. Musa went to Madyan and stayed with Shu‘ayb. This time the Egyptians put subjected them to more trouble and their difficulties increased. Fifty or more years passed. Their learned man also vanished from their sight. Again they sent a message to him so again be appeared in the forest. He called them there and consoled them. He said that Allah has revealed to him that you will be free from this trouble within forty years. They all thanked the Almighty. Again Allah revealed, “Tell them that Allah decreased for them ten years from 40 years when they uttered ‘Al Hamdo lillah’. They have to wait for thirty years.” The people said Allah is kind and great. All the bounties are bestowed by Him and thanked Him. Allah said, “Tell them again that ten are reduced years. They said, “Allah gives reward for the good deeds and no one else, except He.”
Again Allah revealed, “Tell your people that Allah decreased ten years from the 20 years. Now only 10 years are left.” They all said, “No one can remove the bad thing, except Allah.” Allah said to the learned man, tell them not to stir from their place as He has removed all their troubles. They were discussing about Allah and His kindness. At the same time, Musa appeared. He was on a camel. The learned man wanted to talk about Musa. Musa came near him and salute him. The learned man asked him his name. “I am Musa,” he said. He asked, “Whose son are you?” Musa said, “I am the son of ‘Imran.” The man asked, “Whose son was ‘Imran?” “He was the son of Fahat Ibn Ladi, the son of Ya‘qub,” replied Musa He asked why he had come there? Musa replied, “I have come from Allah as His Prophet.”
The learned man stood up and kissed his hands with respect. Musa got down from the camel and sat with them. He consoled them and by the permission of Allah guided them and didn’t say anything to anyone except Allah. After this incident, forty years passed and during these forty years the Pharaoh was destroyed.
According to a tradition of Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, when Musa’s mother became pregnant the signs of pregnancy became apparent. The Pharaoh appointed midwives to inquire about it and he came to know from the people of The Israelites that a male child will born from their community by the name Musa Ibn ‘Imran and the Pharaoh will be destroyed by him. So the Pharaoh decided to slay the boy so that he would save himself. He commanded the male and female of The Israelites to live separately. He arrested the males of The Israelites and imprisoned them. When Musa was born, his mother became sad and cried. But Allah softened the heart of the mid-wife. She asked Musa’s mother why her face had become pale? She said that she was worried about her son. If they knew learnt they would slay him. The midwife consoled her. Musa was a charming boy and everyone loved him as Allah said, “Allah filled their heart with affection.” The midwife behaved kindly and became a friend.
Allah sent a basket from Heaven and revealed to Musa’s mother to put her son in it and cast the basket into the river and not to worry about him. He will bestow him with apostleship. Musa’s mother put him in the basket, closed it and cast it into the Nile. There were a few tents of the Pharaoh on the bank of Nile. He was sitting with his wife. He saw a big basket floating on the waves and coming towards the bank. He ordered his attendants to bring it to him. He saw a charming baby boy in it. He said, “This child belongs to The Israelites!” But Allah placed affection in their hearts. When the Pharaoh decided to kill him, His wife Aasiya prevented him and requested to let her adopt him as she was barren. She said, “Maybe he will be useful to us.” the Pharaoh ordered his people to search for a wet-nurse. Many women were called whose children were killed. Musa did not accept any foster mother.
When Musa’s mother knew that her child has been taken out from the water by the Pharaoh, she became very sad. She felt like crying and wished to die But Allah gave her patience and she was one of the true believer of Allah. She asked her daughter to go in search of Musa. Musa’s sister came to the Pharaoh’s palace and saw her brother from a distance. They didn’t know that she was the sister of Musa. The Pharaoh was worried Musa did not suckle any woman. The sister of Musa said, “Shall I show a family who would treat the child well?” They said, “Yes.” She went to her mother and brought her to the Pharaoh. Musa’s mother took him in her arm and suckled him. The Pharaoh and his wife became happy and the mother of Musa was highly respected by them. They told her to look after him and said they would reward her well. Allah has stated in Qur’an, “So We gave him back to his mother that her eye might be refreshed, and that she might no grieve, and that she might know that the promise of Allah is true, but most of them do not know.” (28:13)
The Pharaoh slaughtered the newborn of The Israelites but instead of slaying Musa, he was taking care of him and loved him. He was not knowing his future that he had to suffer by Musa. Musa grew up in his care. One day Musa was sitting by the Pharaoh and the Pharaoh sneezed. Musa recited the first verse of Surah Hamd and the Pharaoh became angry hearing the verse of Qur’an and slapped him and asked what he was reciting? Musa jumped from him and caught his beard tight and uprooted it as the Pharaoh had a long beard. He decided to slay him. Aasiya said, “He is just a child. He does not know what he says or does.” the Pharaoh said, “He behaves like a grown up.: Aasiya said, “Test him.” the Pharaoh ordered his men to bring two trays. He put some dates in one and put some fire in other. Both dishes were put forth to Musa. Musa wanted to pick the dates but Archangel Gabriel brought his hand towards fire. He picked up the ember and put it into his mouth burning his tongue. He wept bitterly. Aasiya said, “See! He is an innocent child.” the Pharaoh excused him.
A narrator asked Imam for how many days Musa was separated from his mother? Imam said, “For three days.” He asked, “Was Harun a real brother of Musa?” Imam said, “Yes.” He asked, “Did Allah’s revelation come on both of them?” Imam said, “Allah sent revelation only on Musa, it was narrated to his brother Harun.” He asked, “Did they both obey and carry out the commands of Allah?” Imam said, “Musa conversed with Allah and wrote Allah’s sayings and ordered the people of The Israelites. Whenever Musa was going to converse with Allah, Harun guided the people in his absence.” The narrator asked, “Who died first?” Imam said, “Harun died before his brother Musa in the desert and Musa also died in the desert. Musa had no children but Harun had children. Imam said, “Musa stayed with the Pharaoh until he became a young man. When Musa discussed about Allah, the Pharaoh refused to accept the truth. The Pharaoh decided to kill him so Musa went away. He came to the city and saw two people quarrelling. One was a believer of Musa and other was an Egyptian. Musa came to them and struck him. He fell down and died on the spot. Musa was terrified. The next day, another Egyptian quarreled with the same person. He asked Musa to help
him. The person said, “O, Musa! Do you intend to kill me as you killed a person yesterday?” Musa left him and went away from there. The treasurer of the Pharaoh also became the believer of Musa.
Then he turned his face towards Madyan, which was far away from there. It takes three days to reach there. When he came to the gates of Madyan, he saw a well. A group of people were drawing water for their animals. Musa sat there hungry for three days. He saw two girls waiting with their flocks. Musa asked them, why they did not draw water from the well? They said they could not draw water until the shepherds go away. “Our father is a very old man. So we have come to water our sheep. Musa felt pity on them. He asked the shepherds to let him draw water. Musa said, he would draw a bucket for him and then one for himself. His bucket was so very big and heavy that ten people were needed pull it but Musa alone pulled. Then he drew a bucket for the daughters of Shu‘ayb and watered their sheep. Then returned to sit in the shade and said, “O, Allah! I am starving.”
Imam ‘Ali has stated that surely, Musa was the nearest of Allah. He asked Allah for a bread and not for anything else. On the way he survived on grass. He became very weak and pale. Whatever he ate was visible through his skin. When the girls came home their father, Shu‘ayb asked how they came early. The girls explained. Shu‘ayb asked his daughter to call Musa, so that he may reward him. The two girls came to him happily and said, “Our father has called you that he may reward you for helping us.” Musa stood and walked towards the house of Shu‘ayb. While walking, the garments of the girl were blowing by the wind. Musa asked them to walk behind and guide him and said, “We never see the female at their back.”
So, when Musa came and introduced himself Shu‘ayb said, “Fear not, you are secure from unjust people.” The daughter said, “Father! Employ him. He is much better person than others and strong and faithful as well.” Shu‘ayb said, “We knew his physical power by pulling the bucket out of the well but how do you know about his loyalty?” She said, “He did not allow me to walk before him, so that he cannot see any part of my body from behind.” Shu‘ayb said that he desired to give one of his daughters to him in marriage. But he put the condition that he should serve him for eight years. If he completed ten years, it will be of his own free will. Shu‘ayb said he did not wish to be hard to him; if Allah is pleased he will find him one of the good.
Musa said, “This is an agreement between you and me. Whichever of the wo terms, I fulfill any one term, there will be no wrong doing to me. If I complete ten years or eight years in your employment it depends and Allah is a witness of what we say.”
People asked Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq the term that Musa completed? Imam said, ‘He completed ten years’. They asked that if Musa married before the term or afterwards? Imam said, ‘Before.’ And explained that if anyone desires of a suitable woman and her father put terms of two months, it is lawful. Musa knew that he would fulfill his term. Then the man asked Imam which daughter did Shu‘ayb give in marriage to him? Imam said, “The girl who came to him and invited him to her father for employment as he was strong and faithful.”
When Musa completed ten years, he said that he now wanted to return to his native place to his parents and relatives. Shu‘ayb said, “The newborn sheep are yours, take them.” Musa made pairs and journeyed with his family. Shu‘ayb provided the provisions of journey with them. While leaving, Musa asked Shu‘ayb to return his staff, as he wanted his staff. Shu‘ayb got many staffs as an ancestral property from his ancestors and they were kept in a corner of a room. Shu‘ayb asked him to go and bring one from it. Musa went inside the house where all staffs were kept. The staff of Nuh and Ibrahim moved. He took it and came to Shu‘ayb. He said, “Take another staff.” Musa took it back and kept among the other staff. Again the same staff moved and he brought it back to Shu‘ayb. It happened three times. In the third time Shu‘ayb allowed him to take it and said, “This is Allah’s desire.” Musa started his journey with his family towards Egypt. On the way they had to pass through the desert. It was a cold night and they were shivering. All of a sudden Musa saw a fire at a distant. Allah has stated in Qur’an that Musa completed his term of ten years and started towards his motherland with his wife. He saw a fire to the right side of a mountain ‘Toor’ He said to his wife; wait here, I have seen a fire, maybe I will bring to you from it a brand, so that you may warm yourself.
Musa went near the fire the saw a tree lighted with fire. He went near the tree to take some fire from it but the fire itself came near him. Musa ran in fear. The fire turned towards the tree. It happened twice and the third time Musa turned away and ran. He heard a voice. “I am Allah, they Sustainer, of the worlds.” Musa said, “What is the proof?” Allah said, “What have you in your hand?” He said, “This is my staff.” Allah the Exalted said, “Cast it down.” Musa cast it down and it changed into a serpent. Musa feared and ran. Allah said, “Fear not, pick it up in your hand because you are in safety. Put your hand in your armpit. When you take out your hand, it will be whitish and illuminated without any pain or disease.
As the color of Musa’s skin was dark when he took his hand out the surroundings were illuminated. Allah said, "These two miracles are your proofs. Now go to the Pharaoh and his community. Indeed he is one of the group of unbelievers.” Musa said, “O, Allah, the Sustainer! I have killed one of his man and I fear they will slay me and the tongue of my brother Harun is more eloquent than me. Allow him to come with me so that he may help me in preaching among the people and verify me. I fear that people will falsify me.” Allah revealed, “He will strengthen his arms with his brother and will give both an authority so that they will not harm him with His signs: you two and those who follow you shall be uppermost.”[1]
According to reliable sources Al-Ma’mun asked Imam al-Ridha about the explanation of a verse of Qur’an. Imam al-Ridha said that Musa went to one of the cities of the Pharaoh at night. He saw two persons fighting and quarrelling each other. One was a believer of Musa and other was an enemy. The believer asked for help so Musa overcame him and struck him with his fist and killed him. Musa said that this was on account of Satan’s doing; surely he is an enemy, openly leading astray.
Imam said when Musa said, “My Lord surely I have done harm to myself, so do Thou protect me.” So He protected him Surely He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. Musa said, “My Lord! Because Thou hast bestowed a favor on me, and I have killed a man so I shall never be a backer of the guilty but always I will be the helpful by the permission of yours.” And Musa was in the city fearing and awaiting that enemies will arrest him. He saw the same person who had asked his assistance the day before was crying out to him for aid. Today again he disputed with another and asked Musa to help him. Musa said to him, “You are most surely one erring manifestly. You fought with someone yesterday and today you are fighting with another one. I will give you a strict punishment and was going to give him a punishment.” The man, who was an unbeliever said O, Musa! You intend to kill me as you killed a person yesterday? You desire nothing but that you should be a tyrant in the land and you do not desire to be of those who act aright. Hearing this Al-Ma’mun said, “Allah may protect You.”
Imam al-Ridha said, when he came to the Pharaoh. And said, surely we are the messengers of the lord of the worlds. That send with us the children of Israel. The Pharaoh said, And you did that deed of yours. Which you did and you are one of the ungrateful. Musa said, I did it while I was of those unable to see the right course. So I fled from you when I feared you, then my Lord granted me wisdom and made me of the apostles.
According to another tradition; Allah revealed, “I swear of my glory; a person, you killed, if he may said that I am a Creator of the worlds and a Sustainer of the worlds, surely, I forgave him and would give you a punishment but he did not believe in Me, that is why I forgive you.” Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq has stated that the two pieces of land became proud that they are better than Karbala. Allah revealed to keep quiet and not be proud over Karbala, “as it is the best land from where I conversed with Musa through a tree and there is a canal which flows from the river of heaven. That is the Euphrates. It is the best part of that land. And the tree by which I conversed with Musa was the wonderful illumination of Prophet Muhammad al-Mustafa and his family, Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn.”
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir has stated, when Musa completed his period of employment of ten year, he started his journey with his wife, towards Jerusalem. He lost the way and saw a fire from the distant so he moved towards it.
According to reliable sources a person asked Imam al-Ridha. if Musa married the same girl, who went to Musa and asked him to come to her father Shu‘ayb? Imam said, “Yes, she was the same and after ten years when he wanted to go back to Egypt Shu‘ayb asked him to choose a staff from his collection, for you protection. Shu‘ayb knew about the staff, which Musa selected. Musa brought the same to Shu‘ayb. He recognized it and said to bring another one. He kept it and tried to take another one but that staff moved and he brought it again. Shu‘ayb said, “Did I not tell you to bring to another one?” Musa said, “I kept it aside three times but it comes back to my hand.” Shu‘ayb allowed him to take it because Allah has granted that staff for him.
After that Musa was visited Shu‘ayb every year and served him. When Shu‘ayb ate, Musa stood to serve him.
According to a reliable tradition, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir has stated that, the staff belonged to Adam and from Adam it came in the possession of Shu‘ayb and then to Musa. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir said, “Now it is with us. Whenever I see, it is green and fresh as it was before when it was cut and separated from the tree. If we talk with it, it will talk, and it is kept until al-Qa’im the family of Muhammad will reappear use it as Musa was using. Whenever we want, it comes in motion (as a serpent). It eats when we command it. The lower part of it mouth comes below the ground and the upper part touched to the roof. Its mouth opens forty yards and it swallows up with its tongue
whoever is near it.”
According to a tradition Imam has stated that Adam had brought it from the heaven. It was a branch of an heavenly tree and another tradition states that it was the branch of a date tree or a mango tree. It had two branches. Shu‘ayb always kept it with him and when he slept, he kept it below his bed. One day Musa took it in his hand. So Shu‘ayb said, “I thought you were faithful. Why did you touch it without permission?” “I would not have touched it if it had not been for me.” Then Shu‘ayb thought he touched it by the permission of Allah and he is an apostle. So it was given to him. Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq has stated that the staff of Musa was a branch of the tree of heaven and Archangel Gabriel brought it for him, when he headed towards Madyan.[2]
Thalabi, has stated that the staff of Musa had two branches on the upper side and two curved branches below and the top of staff was strong like steel. When Musa went to the thick forest or desert before sunrise, the branches of staff gave light. When Musa needed water to drink, he cast his staff into the well and water came up. When he needed food, he cast his stick on the ground, and food came out from the ground as usual. When he required fruits, he fixed his stick on the ground. It changed into a fruit tree. When it was needed for a battle against enemies, it changed into big serpents and destroyed his enemies. The forests and mountains moved from his way when he cast his staff on the ground. The water of canals also split and gave him way to pass and from another branch honey overflew. When he was tired of walking, he rode on it and it took him where he wanted to go. It guided him on the way. It attacked his enemies. It spread a sweet fragrance. When it was cast on the ground it became a black serpent with four legs. It’s branches turned into two large mouths with many teeth, twelve fangs and a terribly loud hiss emanated from its mouth. It emitted flames from its mouth. Its wings were shining like stars. Its eyes shone like stars. It exhaled hot air. When it reached to a stone as big as a camel, it swallowed it. Its stomach sounded like stones and removed huge trees from the roots.
The Holy Prophet said that in search of Musa, the Pharaoh cut the wombs of pregnant women and slew infants. When Musa was born, Allah told his mother to place him in a basket and cast it into the river. His mother feared and said, “You may drown into the sea.” Musa said, “Do not fear, Allah will send me back to you very soon.”
She was confused to hear him talking. Musa told her again to cast the basket in the water. Musa did not eat or drink until Allah made him reach the shore. According to traditions, Musa met his mother after seventy days and according to another tradition Musa met his mother after seven months.
Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq has stated that Musa separated from his mother for three day only. When the Pharaoh came to know that he would be destroyed by Musa he called his astrologers and knew that Musa will be born in the community of The Israelites. He ordered his attendants to rend the stomachs of the pregnant women of The Israelites. The Pharaoh killed more than twenty thousand children in search of Musa but he could not slay Musa because Allah protected him.
Imam Al-Hasan al-’Askari has stated regarding the verse of Holy Qur’an, O, people of The Israelites! Remember, We released your fathers and forefathers from the Pharaoh’s tyranny.
the Pharaoh troubled them and made them work hard as a punishment and had them construct huge buildings. He tied their legs with chains, so they cannot run away and wearing the neck brace, chains in their legs they climbed the ladders to the upper rooms and sometimes they fell down and died and sometimes their hands and legs broke, nobody took care of them. Allah revealed to Musa to tell the people, when they start doing the work to send benediction (Salawaat) on Prophet Muhammad and the family of Muhammad so that they can be saved from troubles and difficulties. The people stated sending benedictions on the Holy Prophet and his family, they felt ease.
Allah, the exalted says, And when we delivered you from the Pharaoh’s people who subjected you to severe torment, killing your sons and sparing your women, and in this there was a great trail from your lord.” (2:49)
The women of The Israelites requested the midwife not to declare about their pregnancy and when they delivered the male child, took him to the desert or in cave and recite salawaat ten times on it. Allah appointed an angel for his breeding. By grace of Allah, milk flew from one of the child’s finger and the child was fed with it. Many children were killed and only few were saved, and they kept the women as their servant or keeper. The people complained to Musa that they kept their sisters and daughter as a servant and deflowered them. Allah the Almighty revealed to Musa, “O Musa ask that women, if they intend to do wrong, recite salawaat on Prophet Muhammad and his family.”
When the Egyptians intend to do the wrong, they become sick and nervous or became busy in other work and could not harm them and the women were relieved. This was a test from Allah. Allah, the Almighty says -O The Israelites, remember and think that your father and forefathers were sending salawaat on the family of-Muhammad Allah driven away their troubles and prevented evil due to it. Allah says - When you see Prophet Muhammad and believe him, you will be happy and satisfied with Allah’s bounties.
Imam ‘Ali says regarding the ayah, So he watered (their sheep) for them, then went back to the shade and said: My Lord! surely I stand in need of whatever good Thou mayest send down to me. (28:24)
“By Allah, he didn’t ask for any reward as he was eating whatever grew on the ground and looked feeble and weak.” Imam ‘Ali says in his sermon that Allah spoke to Musa what was necessary and Allah gave him one of His signs. Allah is unseen and has no body or limbs. Musa heard Allah’s voice from air.[3]
Thalabi has narrated in his book that Allah sent Musa with special authority in one night. He was dressed in a shirt, a jacket and a gown and a toothpick was fixed in the buttonhole. His jacket and gown were of wool. Allah spoke to him and said, “Go to the Pharaoh with apostleship. I am with you, My help and strength are also with you. I am sending you towards the people as they have become proud and fearless of My wrath. They do not believe in Me. If I wish to chastise them, all things like the earth, the sky, the mountains, the seas, the trees, the animals will become furious. If I order the sky it will shower the stones instead of rain, if I order the earth, it will destroy and demolish them. If I order the mountains, they will crush them and if I order the sea, it will drown them at once. Nothing is difficult for Me. I have given them time to think, to understand My toleration also. I am the Creator of the world and nothing is impossible for Me. I can make the rich people poor and poor, rich and no one is rich in the world except Me. If I give him authority and invite him to worship, and make him fear My chastisement and remember the day of the judgment. No one is superior than Me. Talk to him softly with respect and according to his status talk to him softly with respect and according to this status talk to him softly. Do not fear of him. He can’t breathe, talk or blink his without My permission. Let him know about My authority, My forgiveness, kindness, My wrath or chastisement. Tell him to repent for his sins ask forgiveness. I will forgive him if he repents heartily though he claims to be divine and prevents people from My worship. I tolerated him and bestowed him sufficient food and comforts.” Musa was afraid of His chastisement and also worried for his son. Allah ordered an angel to bring his son to him. Musa circumcised him with a pointed stone and his wound healed at once. An Angel took his son back to his mother. He stayed with his family there. Once a shepherd from Madyan passed by this way. He took Musa’s family to Shu‘ayb and they settled with him until the Pharaoh was destroyed and after that Shu‘ayb sent them back to Musa.[ Prophet Musa came back to his wife].
Notes:
[1] Some people believe that it was unlawful that Musa killed that man. So Musa was a sinner and suppose it was permissible then why Musa said, this is on account of the Satan’s doing and why did he say, ‘Allah I have done harm to myself, so do Thou protect me and when the Pharaoh raised an objection, he has done wrong and became an unbeliever of him. Why Musa said, he was on wrong path. The answer of these questions will be given by other way. First, Musa did not intend to kill him but he wanted to protect an innocent person from his tyranny but people said, his deed was a sin in his part. If a person try to protect himself or others from a tyrant it is not a sin. Secondly, he was an unbeliever. So Prophet Musa said that it was devilish deed. Many thinkers say it was lawful to kill the unbeliever but it was better if Musa kept patience and may did not involve after killing the victim, repenting himself like Prophet Adam that he agreed for doing the wrong deed and requested Allah he had not done any wrong except this as it was the deed of Satan. When Prophet Musa also said, “I fear, I have done harm to myself.” to protect himself when the Pharaoh raised an objection. So Allah helped him the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh said to Musa that he was one of the unbeliever that means he was brought up in the Pharaoh’s care. Prophet Musa said, perhaps he
was on the wrong path or was not knowing.
[2] Maybe, Prophet Musa had two sticks. One, which was given by Prophet Shu‘ayb and other, which Archangel Gabriel brought.
[3] Allah asked Prophet Musa to cast off his shoes and come up as he is in the blessed spot of the in the valley and is Tuwa. A narrator says (1) shoes were made of the skin of animals (2) Imam
Ja’far-al-Sadiq said, shoes were made of a cow and Allah ordered him to remove his shoes so that his feet would touch the blessed spot. And Prophet says that place is called Wadi al-Muqaddas because souls of Prophets and Angels were being exalted and Allah chose the same place to speak to Musa (3) Allah ordered him to come there barefoot to visit the supreme power (4) Prophet Musa put on shoes for protection from serpents etc. (5) Allah says the shoes allude to the world. O Musa
there is no need to put on shoes as you are close to Me. I am Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Believe in Me and love Me. (6) Prophet Musa had came to take fire for his wife and his attention was there so Allah revealed him to remove all the worldly desires from the heart and remember Him and His bounties also not give importance to worldly life. Then Allah said, “One who sees in a dream that his shoes are lost tell him, this is the sign of his wife’s death.”
When our last Imam was very young and was sitting on his father’s lap, a man came and asked the explanation of this verse of Qur’an. Imam al-Mahdi replied at once that Musa’s shoes were made of the dead animal’s skin, that is why Allah asked him to remove the shoes down the hill. One asked what was better. Musa’s shoes or his prayers? Imam said, “One who think or say like this is surely ignorant and does not know when to pray and when not.
The narrator asked Imam to explain the verse. Imam said, “When Musa reached the valley and said, ‘O Allah, my whole attention and affection is for you and nor for others.’ Though Musa loved his wife. That is why Allah asked him to remove his shoes down the hill; means remove your affection towards your wife if you love Me truly. Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq said, “To remove the shoes means to remove his two fears from the mind of Prophet, first he was afraid of his wife’s death because he left her alone suffering with pain. He saw a fire far away and had come there to bring fire to warm her. Secondly he was afraid of the Pharaoh. Allah said, do not fear him, you are quite safe in My protection.’”

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