Story of Prophet Musa/Moses and Haroon/Aaron (pbut)
The pharaoh who ruled Egypt was a tyrant who oppressed the descendants of Jacob (pbuh), known as the children of Israel (Bani Israel). He used every means to demean and disgrace them. They were kept in bondage and forced to work for him for small wages or nothing. Under this system the people obeyed and worshipped the pharaoh, and the ruling class carried out his orders, thereby authorizing his tyranny and crazy whims.
The pharaoh wanted the people to obey him only, and to believe in the gods of his invention. Perhaps, during that time, there were many classes of people who did not believe in or practice polytheism; however, they kept this to themselves and outwardly did as they were expected to do, without revolting or revealing themselves to anyone.
Thus, successive dynasties came to Egypt and assumed that they were gods or their representative or spokesmen.
Years passed, and a despotic king, who was adored by the Egyptians, ruled Egypt. His king saw the children of Israel multiplying and prospering. He heard them talking about a vague vision that one of Israel' s sons would dethrone the pharaoh of Egypt. Perhaps this vision was only a daydream that persisted within the hearts of the persecuted minority, or perhaps it was a prophecy from their books.
Another tradition states that it was Pharaoh himself who had the vision. Ibn 'Abbas narrated: "Pharaoh saw in his vision a fire, which came from Jerusalem and burned the houses of the Egyptians, and all Copts, and did not do harm to the children of Israel. When he woke up, he was horrified. He then gathered his priests and magicians and asked them about this vision. They said: "This means a boy will be born of them and the Egyptian people will perish at his hands.' That is why Pharaoh commanded that all male children of the children of Israel be killed."
Either way, this vision reached the ears of the Pharaoh. He then issued a decree to slay any male child that would be born to the children of Israel. This was carried out until the experts of economics said to Pharaoh: "The aged of the children of Israel die and the young are slaughtered. This will lead to their annihilation. As a result, Pharaoh will lose the manpower of those who work for him, those whom he enslaves, and their women whom he exploits. It is better to regulate this procedure by initiating the following policy: males should be slaughtered in one year but spared to live the next year." Pharaoh found that solution to be safer economically.
Moses's mother was pregnant with Aaron (pbuh) in a year that boys were spared; thus she gave birth to the child publicly and safely. During a year in which boys were to be slain, she gave birth to Moses (pbuh); thus his birth caused her much terror. She was afraid he would be slain, so she nursed him secretly.
Allah the Almighty revealed: These are Verses of the manifest Book (that makes clear truth from falsehood, good from evil, etc.). We recite to you some of the news of Moses and Pharaoh in truth, for a people who believe (those who believe in this Quran, and in the Oneness of Allah). Verily, Pharaoh exalted himself in the land and made its people sects, weakening (oppressing) a group (children of Israel) among them, killing their sons, and letting their females live. Verily, he was of the Mufsideen (those who commit great sins and crimes, oppressors, tyrants, etc.).
And we wished to do a favor to those who were weak (and oppressed) in the land, and to make them rulers and to make them the inheritors, and to establish them in the land, and We let Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts receive from them that which they feared. And We inspired the mother of Moses, saying: "Suckle him (Moses), but when you fear for him, then cast him into the river and fear not, nor grieve. Verily! We shall bring him back to you, and shall make him one of (Our) Messengers." (Ch 28: 2-7 Quran).
No sooner had the divine revelation finished that she obeyed the sacred and merciful call. She was commanded to make a basket for Moses. She nursed him, put him into the basket, then went to the shore of the Nile and threw it into the water. Her mother's heart, the most merciful one in the world, grieved as she threw her son into the Nile. However, she was aware that Allah was much more merciful to Moses than to her, that He loved him more than her. Allah was his Lord and the Lord of the Nile.
Hardly had the basket touched the water of the Nile than Allah issued His command to the waves to be calm and gentle while carrying the child would one day be a prophet. She instructed her daughter to follow the course of the basket and to report back to her. As the daughter followed the floating basket along the riverbank, she found herself right in the palace grounds and saw what was unfolding before her eyes.
The basket came to rest at the riverbank, which skirted the king's palace. The palace servants found the basket with the baby and took it to the Pharaoh and his queen. When the queen beheld the lovely infant, Allah instilled in her a strong love for this baby. Pharaoh's wife was very different from Pharaoh. He was a disbeliever; she was a believer. He was cruel; she was merciful. He was a tyrant; she was delicate and goodhearted. She was sad because she was infertile and had hoped to have a son. Hardly had she held the baby than she kissed him.
Pharaoh was much amazed when he saw his wife hugging this baby to her breast. He was much astonished because his wife was weeping with joy, something he had never seen her do before. She requested her husband: "Let me keep the baby and let him be a son to us."
Almighty Allah said; Then the household of Pharaoh picked him up, that he might become for them an enemy and a cause of grief. Verily! Pharaoh, Haman, and their hosts were sinners. And the wife of Pharaoh said; "A comfort of the eye for me and for you. Kill him not, perhaps he maybe of a benefit to us, or we may adopt him as a son." And they perceived not (the result of that). (Ch 28:9 Quran)
The queen summoned a few wet nurses to suckle the baby Moses, but he would not take any of their breasts. The queen was distressed and sent for more wet nurses. Moses's sister was also worried, as her baby brother was without milk for a long time. Seeing the queen's anxiety, she blurted that she knew jut the mother who would suckle the child affectionately. They asked her why she was following the floating basket. She said she did so out of curiosity. Her excuse sounded reasonable, so they believed her. They ordered her to rush and fetch the woman she was talking about. Her mother also was waiting with a heavy heart, worried about the fate of her baby. Just then her daughter rushed in with the good news. Her heart lifted and she lost no time in reaching the palace.
Allah the Almighty narrated: And the heart of the mother of Moses became empty (from every thought, except the thought of Moses). She was very near to disclose his (case, the child is her son), had We not strengthened her heart (with Faith), so that she might remain as one of the believers. And she said to his (Moses's) sister: "Follow him." So she (his sister) watched him from a far place secretly, while they perceived not.
And We had already forbidden (other) foster suckling mothers for him, until she (his sister came up and ) said: "Shall I direct you to a household who will rear him for you, and sincerely they will look after him in a good manner?"
So did We restore him to his mother, that she might be delighted, and that she might not grieve, nor that she might know that the promise of Allah is true. But most of them know not. (Ch 28:10-13 Quran)
As the child was put to her breast, he immediately started suckling. Pharaoh was astonished and asked; "Who are you? This child has refused to take any other breast but yours."
Had she told the truth, Pharaoh would have known that the child was an Israelite and would have killed Moses instantly. However, Allah gave her inner strength and she replied: "I am a woman of sweet milk and sweet smell,and no child refuses me." This answer satisfied Pharaoh.
Fronward, she was appointed as Moses's wet nurse. She continued to breast-feed him for a long time. When he was bigger and was weaned, she was allowed the privilege of visiting him. Moses was raised in the palace as a prince.
And when he attained his full strength, and was perfect (in manhood), We bestowed on him Hukman (Prophethood, right judgment of the affairs) and religious knowledge (of the religion of his forefathers, Islamic Monotheism). And thus do We reward the Muhsineen (good-doers)." (Ch 28:14 Quran)
Allah had granted Moses (pbuh) good health, strength, knowledge, and wisdom. The weak and oppressed turned to him for protection and justice.
One day in the main city, he saw two men fighting. One was an Israelite, who was being beaten by the other, an Egyptian. On seeing Moses, the Israelite begged him for help. Moses became involved in the dispute and, in a state of anger, struck a heavy blow on the Egyptian, who died on the spot. Upon realizing that he had killed a human being, Moses's heart was filled with deep sorrow, and immediately he begged Allah for forgiveness.
He had not intended to kill the man. He pleaded with Almighty Allah to forgive him, and he felt a sense of peace filling his whole being. Thereafter Moses began to show more patience and sympathy towards people.
The next day he saw the same Israelite involved in another fight. Moses went to him and said: "You seem to be a quarrelsome fellow. You have a new quarrel with one person or another each day." Fearing that Moses might strike him, the Israelite warned Moses: "Would you kill me as you killed the wretch yesterday?"
The Egyptian with whom the Israelite was fighting overheard this remark and reported Moses to the authorities. Soon thereafter, as Moses was passing through the city, a man approached and alerted him: "O Moses, the chiefs have taken counsel against you. You are to be tried and killed. I would advise you to escape."
Moses knew that the penalty for killing an Egyptian was death. Allah the Exalted recounted: And he entered the city at a time of unawareness of its people, and he found there two men fighting, one of his party (his religion, from the children of Israel), and the other of his foes. The man of his own party asked him for help against his foe, so Moses struck him with his fist and killed him. He said, "This is of Satan's doing, verily, he is a plain misleading enemy."
He said: "My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself, so forgive me." Then He forgave him. Verily, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
He said: "My Lord! For that with which You have favored me, I will never more be a helper for the Mujrimeen (criminals, disobedient to Allah, polytheists, sinners, etc.)!"
So he became afraid, looking about in the city (waiting as to what will be the result of his crime of killing), when behold, the man who had sought his help the day before, called for his help again. Moses said to him: "Verily, you are a plain misleader!" Then when he decided to seize the man who was an enemy to both of them, the man said: "O Moses! Is it your intention to kill me as you killed a man yesterday? Your aim is nothing but to become a tyrant in the land, and not to be one of those who do right."
And there came a man running, from the farthest end of the city. He said: "O Moses! Verily, the chiefs are taking counsel together about you, to kill you, so escape. Truly, I am to you of those who give sincere advice."
So he escaped from there, looking about in a state of fear. He said: "My Lord! Save me from the people who are Zalimeen (polytheists, and wrong-doers)!" (Ch 28:15-21 Quran)
Moses left Egypt in a hurry without going to Pharaoh's palace or changing his clothes. Nor was he prepared for traveling. He did not have a beast of burden upon which to ride, and he was not in a caravan. Instead, he left as soon as the believer came and warned him of Pharaoh's plans.
He traveled in the direction of the country of Midian, which was the nearest inhabited land between Syria and Egypt. His only companion in this hot desert was Allah, and his only provision was piety. There was not a single root to pick to lessen his hunger. The hot sand burned the soles of his feet. However, fearing pursuit by Pharaoh's men, he forced himself to continue on. He traveled for eight nights, hiding during the day. After crossing the main desert, he reached a watering hole outside Midian where shepherds were watering their flocks.
No sooner had Moses reached the Midian than he threw himself under a tree to rest. He suffered from hunger and fatigue. The soles of his feet felt as if they were worn out from hard walking on sand and rocks and from the dust. He did not have any money to buy a new pair of sandals, nor to buy food or drink. Moses noticed a band of shepherds watering their sheep. He went to the spring, where he saw two young women preventing their sheep from mixing with the others.
Moses sensed that the women were in need of help. Forgetting his thirst, he drew nearer to them and asked if he could help them in any way.
The older sister said: "We are waiting until the shepherds finish watering their sheep, then we will water ours."
Moses asked again: "Why are you waiting?"
The younger one: "We cannot push men."
Moses was surprised that women were shepherding, as only men were supposed to do it. It is hard and tiresome work, and one needs to be on the alert. Moses asked: "Why are you shepherding?"
The younger sister said: "Our father is an old man; his health is too poor for him to go outdoors for pasturing sheep."
Moses (pbuh) said: "I will water the sheep for you."
When Moses approached the water, he saw that the shepherds had put over the mouth of the spring an immense rock that could only be moved by ten men. Moses embraced the rock and lifted it out of the spring's mouth, the veins of his neck and hands standing out as he did so. Moses was certainly strong. He watered their sheep and put the rock back in its place.
He returned to sit in the shade of the tree. At this moment he realized that he had forgotten to drink. His stomach was sunken because of hunger.
Almighty Allah described this event: And when he arrived at the water of Midian (Midyan) he found there a group of men watering their flocks, and besides them he found two women who were keeping back their flocks. He said: "What is the matter with you?" They said: "We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take their flocks. And our father is a very old man."
So he watered their flocks for them, then he turned back to shade, and said: "My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!" (Ch 28:22-24 Quran)
The young ladies returned home earlier than usual, which surprised their father. They related the incident at the spring which was the reason that they were back early. Their father sent one of his daughters to invite the stranger to his home. Bashfully, the woman approached Moses and delivered the message. "My father is grateful for what you have done for us. He invites you to our home so that he may thank you personally."
Moses welcomed this invitation and accompanied the maiden to her father. Moses could see that they lived comfortably as a happy and peaceful household. He introduced himself and told the old man about the misfortune that he had befallen him and had compelled him to flee from Egypt. The old man comforted him: "Fear not, you have escaped from the wrong-doers."
Moses's gentle behavior was noticed by the father and his daughters. The king man invited him to stay with them. Moses felt at home with this happy household, for they were friendly and feared Allah.
One of the daughters suggested to her father that he employ Moses, as he was strong and trustworthy. They needed someone like him, especially at the water hole, which was visited by ruffians.
The father asked her how she could be sure of his trustworthiness in such a short time. She replied: "When I bade him to follow me to our home, he insisted that I walk behind him so he would not observe my form (to avoid sexual attraction)."
The old man was pleased to hear this. He approached Moses and said: "I wish to marry you toone omy daughters on condition that you agree to work for me for a period of eight years."
This offer suited Moses well, for being a stranger in this country, he would soon have to search for shelter, and work. Moses married the Midianite's daughter and looked after the old man's animals for ten long years.