We would like a brief description of Moosa (peace be upon him) and his people.
Praise be to
Allaah sent revelation to Moosa ibn ‘Imraan (peace be upon him)
and sent him to the Children of Israel to call them to worship Allaah
alone, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
indeed We sent Moosa (Moses) with Our Ayaat (signs, proofs, and evidences)
(saying): “Bring out your people from darkness into light, and remind
them of the annals of Allaah”
And Allaah sent Haaroon the brother of Moosa as a support to
Moosa when He wanted to send him to Pharaoh, to call him to worship
Allaah. This was in response to the request of Moosa:
We granted him his brother Haaroon (Aaron), (also) a Prophet, out of
Our Mercy”[Maryam 19:53]
At that time, the Children of Israel were in Egypt, under the
rule of Pharaoh, who had enslaved and humiliated them. He used to let
their women live but he killed their sons:
(oppressing) a group (i.e. Children of Israel) among them: killing their
sons, and letting their females live. Verily, he was of the Mufsidoon
(i.e. those who commit great sins and crimes, oppressors, tyrants”[al-Qasas
Moosa was born in Egypt, and Allaah willed that he should be
brought up in the house of Pharaoh… So his mother put him in a box which
she threw into the river, and it was picked up by the family of Pharaoh.
His wife Aasiyah rejoiced over him and forbade them to kill him… When
he grew up and attained his full strength, Allaah gave him wisdom (Prophethood,
right judgement of affairs) and knowledge (of the religion of his forefathers,
i.e., Islamic monotheism). (cf. al-Qasas 28:14)
One day a man from among the Children of Israel sought Moosa’s
help against his enemy. Moosa struck him with his fist and killed him
(cf. al-Qasas 28:15). Then Moosa regretted it, and sought the forgiveness
of his Lord, and He forgave him. Then he became afraid, looking about
in the city (waiting to see the result of his crime of killing) (cf.
al-Qasas 28:18). The next day, Moosa found that man fighting another
enemy. He asked Moosa to help him again, and Moosa became angry with
him. The man thought that he was going to kill him, so he said to him:
‘Is it your intention to kill me as you killed a man yesterday?””
That enemy told the people of Pharaoh about that, and they started
to look for him in order to kill him. A righteous man came and told
Moosa what the people were plotting against him. He advised him to leave
he escaped from there, looking about in a state of fear. He said: ‘My
Lord! Save me from the people who are Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers)!’”[al-Qasas
Moosa headed for the land of Madyan (Midian), where he married
the daughter of a noble shaykh in return for working for him for eight
years. When that time was over, Moosa travelled with his family towards
Egypt. When he came to al-Toor (Mount Sinai), Allaah wanted to single
him out, to honour him with Prophethood and to speak with him. Moosa
lost his way, then he saw a fire…
he said to his family: ‘Wait! Verily, I have seen a fire; perhaps I
can bring you some burning brand therefrom, or find some guidance at
when he came to it (the fire), he was called by name: ‘O Moosa (Moses)!
I am your Lord! So take off your shoes; you are in the sacred valley,
I have chosen you. So listen to that which will be revealed (to you).
I am Allaah! Laa ilaaha illa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped
but I), so worship Me, and perform As‑Salaah (Iqaamat‑as‑Salaah)
for My remembrance.
the Hour is coming and I am almost hiding it that
every person may be rewarded for that which he strives”[Ta-Ha
Then Allaah showed him some of the miracles. He commanded him
to throw his stick on the ground, and it turned into a snake; then to
put his hand into his garment, and it came out white. Then He told him
to go with these two miracles to Pharaoh, so that he might accept admonition
or fear Allaah, for he had transgressed all bounds in oppression and
corruption. And He sent with Moosa his brother Haaroon. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
‘Go, both of you, to Fir‘awn (Pharaoh), verily, he has transgressed
(all bounds in disbelief and disobedience and behaved as an arrogant
and as a tyrant).
speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear (Allaah).’
said: ‘Our Lord! Verily, we fear lest he should hasten to punish us
or lest he should transgress (all bounds against us).’
(Allaah) said: ‘Fear not, verily, I am with you both, hearing and seeing.
go you both to him, and say: “Verily, we are Messengers of your Lord,
so let the Children of Israel go with us, and torment them not; indeed,
we have come with a sign from your Lord! And peace will be upon him
who follows the guidance!”’”[Ta-Ha 20:43-47]
Moosa and Haaroon (peace be upon them) went to Pharaoh and conveyed
the message to him. Pharaoh asked Moosa:
(Pharaoh) said: ‘And what is the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn
and all that exists)?’
Moosa (Moses) said: ‘The Lord of the heavens and
the earth, and all that is between them, if you seek to be convinced
with certainty’”[al-Shu’araa’ 26:23-24]
Then Pharaoh asked Moosa for a sign to prove that he was speaking
(Pharaoh)] said: ‘If you have come with a sign, show it forth, if you
are one of those who tell the truth.’
[Moosa (Moses)] threw his stick and behold! it was a serpent, manifest!
he drew out his hand, and behold! it was white (with radiance) for the
When Pharaoh and his people saw that, they accused Moosa of sorcery.
They brought the sorcerers together and offered them a great reward.
Then they gathered the people together on a feast day. The sorcerers
threw down their sticks and ropes,
“…So when they threw, they bewitched the
eyes of the people, and struck terror into them, and they displayed
a great magic”[al-A’raaf 7:116]
Then Allaah supported Moosa against the sorcerers and exposed
the falsehood of their plots. Then the sorcerers believed in the Lord
of the Worlds:
We revealed to Moosa (Moses) (saying): ‘Throw your stick,’ and behold!
It swallowed up straight away all the falsehood which they showed.
truth was confirmed, and all that they did was made of no effect.
they were defeated there and returned disgraced.
the sorcerers fell down prostrate.
They said: ‘We believe in the Lord of the ‘Aalameen
(mankind, jinn and all that exists).
Lord of Moosa (Moses) and Haaroon (Aaron)’”[al-A’raaf 7:117-122]
When the sorcerers believed in Allaah, Pharaoh cut off their
hands and feet on opposite sides and crucified them. But they bore that
with patience and paid no heed to his threats, until they met Allaah
as Muslims. Then the chiefs indicated that Moosa and his people should
be killed, lest they spread corruption in the land. So they killed their
sons, and let their women live. Moosa urged the Children of Israel to
have patience. Then Pharaoh could no longer bear to see Moosa , so he
decided to kill him:
(Pharaoh) said: ‘Leave me to kill Moosa (Moses), and let him call his
Lord (to stop me from killing him)! I fear that he may change your religion,
or that he may cause mischief to appear in the land!’”[Ghaafir 40:26]
Whilst they were thinking of killing Moosa, chivalry caused a
believing man from among the family of Pharaoh, who was concealing his
faith, to defend Moosa. He said, “If he is lying, he cannot harm us,
and if he is telling the truth, then some of that of which he is warning
you will befall you.” This man continued to advise Pharaoh and his people,
but they did not respond to him:
Fir‘awn (Pharaoh) said: ‘I show you only that which I see (correct),
and I guide you only to the path of right policy!’”[Ghaafir 40:29]
Moosa continued to call Pharaoh and his people, preaching in
a good manner, but it only made them more arrogant in the land and caused
them to oppress and persecute the believers even more. So Moosa prayed
against them, and Allaah punished them with drought, famine, and failure
of the harvest, that they might receive admonition. But they did not
submit, rather they persisted in their evil deeds and transgression.
So Allaah punished them with other kinds of afflictions, so that they
might return to their senses:
“They said [to Moosa (Moses)]: ‘Whatever
Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.)
you may bring to us, to work therewith your sorcery on us, we shall
never believe in you.’
We sent on them: the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs, and the
blood (as a succession of) manifest signs, yet they remained arrogant,
and they were of those people who were Mujrimoon (criminals, polytheists
and sinners)’”[al-A’raaf 7:132-133]
When the transgression of Pharaoh intensified, there came the
divine command to seek a way out. Allaah commanded Moosa to leave Egypt
with the Children of Israel, in secret. When Pharaoh found out, he gathered
a great army to catch up with Moosa and his people before they reached
Palestine. Pharaoh and his troops set out, leaving behind them gardens
and wealth. They caught up with Moosa and his people at sunrise, on
the shores of the Red Sea. Allaah saved Moosa and his people, and drowned
Pharaoh and his troops, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
We revealed to Moosa (Moses), saying: ‘Depart by night with My slaves,
verily, you will be pursued.’
Fir‘awn (Pharaoh) sent callers to (all) the cities.
‘Verily, these indeed are but a small band.
verily, they have done what has enraged us.
we are a host all assembled, amply forewarned.’
We expelled them from gardens and springs,
and every kind of honourable place.
[We turned them (Pharaoh’s people) out] and We caused the Children of
Israel to inherit them.
they pursued them at sunrise.
when the two hosts saw each other, the companions of Moosa (Moses) said:
‘We are sure to be overtaken.’
(Moses)] said: ‘Nay, verily, with me is my Lord. He will guide me.’
We revealed to Moosa (Moses) (saying): ‘Strike the sea with your stick.’
And it parted, and each separate part (of that sea water) became like
a huge mountain.
Then We brought near the others [Fir‘awn’s (Pharaoh’s)
party] to that place.
We saved Moosa (Moses) and all those with him.
Then We drowned the others.
in this is indeed a sign (or a proof), yet most of them are not believers.
verily, your Lord, He is truly, the All‑Mighty, the Most Merciful”[al-Shu’araa’
Thus Pharaoh and his troops were destroyed. When he was drowning,
he believed, but that was of no benefit to him. Allaah preserved his
body to be a lesson to those who came after him. The punishment of Pharaoh’s
family in this world was drowning in the sea, and in the Hereafter,
theirs is a painful torment:
an evil torment encompassed Fir‘awn’s (Pharaoh) people.
Fire, they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon. And on the Day
when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): ‘Cause
Fir‘awn’s (Pharaoh) people to enter the severest torment!’”[Ghaafir
The Children of Israel witnessed the miracles of Moosa, the last
of which was their being saved and the destruction of their enemy. These
miracles were sufficient to eradicate the last traces of idolatry from
their hearts, but they still returned to it sometimes, and Moosa was
faced with great difficulties in bringing them back to the worship of
Allaah alone. For example:
they had crossed the sea, they passed by some people who worshipped
idols. They asked Moosa to give them an idol which they could worship
like those people did. Moosa said to them:
“ ‘Verily, you are a people who know not
(the Majesty and Greatness of Allaah and what is obligatory upon you,
i.e. to worship none but Allaah Alone, the One and the Only God of all
(Moses) added:] ‘Verily, these people will be destroyed for that which
they are engaged in (idols, worship). And all that they are doing is
said: ‘Shall I seek for you an ilaah (a god) other than Allaah, while
He has given you superiority over the ‘Aalameen (mankind and jinn of
your time)?’”[al-A’raaf 7:138-140]
Children of Israel were headed towards the Holy Land, and on the way
they suffered from thirst. They complained to Moosa, who prayed to his
Lord and He gave them water:
revealed to Moosa (Moses) when his people asked him for water (saying):
‘Strike the stone with your stick’, and there gushed forth out of it
twelve springs, each group knew its own place for water”[al-A’raaf 7:160]
On their journey, they complained about
the intense heat of the sun, and the lack of food. So Moosa prayed to
his Lord and He shaded them with clouds, and provided them with good
things (to eat), but they did not appreciate that, and they demanded
shaded them with the clouds and sent down upon them Al‑Manna and
the quail (saying): ‘Eat of the good things with which We have provided
you.’ They harmed Us not but they used to harm themselves”[al-A’raaf
they complained and said:
‘We cannot endure one kind of food. So invoke your Lord for us to bring
forth for us of what the earth grows, its herbs, its cucumbers, its
Foom (wheat or garlic), its lentils and its onions””
Allaah had promised Moosa that He would
send down to him a Book containing commands and prohibitions for the
Children of Israel. When Pharaoh was destroyed, Moosa asked Allaah his
Lord for that Book. Allaah commanded him to fast for forty days. He
appointed his brother Haaroon as his deputy to be in charge of his people,
and he fasted for those days. Then Allaah revealed the Tawraat (Torah)
to him at the mountain of al-Toor (Sinai), in which there were lessons
and explanations of all things. When he came back to his people, he
found them worshipping the calf, which al-Saamiri had made for them
from their jewellery and had told them, “This is your god and the god
he took out (of the fire) for them (a statue of) a calf which seemed
to low. They said: ‘This is your ilaah (god), and the ilaah (god) of
Moosa (Moses), but he [Moosa (Moses)] has forgotten (his god).’
Did they not see that it could not return them a
word (for answer), and that it had no power either to harm them or to
do them good?
Haaroon (Aaron) indeed had said to them beforehand: ‘O my people! You
are being tried in this, and verily, your Lord is (Allaah) the Most
Gracious, so follow me and obey my order.’
said: ‘We will not stop worshipping it (i.e. the calf), until Moosa
(Moses) returns to us’”[Ta-Ha 20:88-91]
Moosa came, he got angry with them and rebuked them, and explained the
truth to them. Then he burned the calf, and threw it into the sea. He
punished al-Saamiri and he subsequently felt pain from anything he touched.
Children of Israel regretted having worshipped the calf. Moosa chose
from among them seventy men and took them to the Mountain (al-Toor/Sinai)
to worship Allaah and show their regret for what they had done. There
Allaah spoke to Moosa, but some of them did not believe that Allaah
was the One who had spoken to Moosa. So they disobeyed him and said,
Show us Allaah plainly.
“And (remember) when you said: ‘O Moosa
(Moses)! We shall never believe in you until we see Allaah plainly.’
But you were seized with a thunderbolt (lightning) while you were looking.
We raised you up after your death, so that you might be grateful”[al-Baqarah
Moosa came back to the Children of Israel with the Tawraat, they refused
to accept it and complained about its rulings. So he threatened them,
then they accepted it, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And (O Children of Israel, remember)
when We took your covenant and We raised above you the Mount (saying):
‘Hold fast to that which We have given you, and remember that which
is therein so that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).
after that you turned away. Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy
of Allaah upon you, indeed you would have been among the losers”[al-Baqarah
Then Moosa commanded the Children of Israel
to go with him to the Holy Land in Palestine, so they went with him,
then they became afraid of its powerful inhabitants, so they disobeyed
Moosa and rebelled against him:
said: ‘O Moosa (Moses)! We shall never enter it as long as they are
there. So go you and your Lord and fight you two, we are sitting right
Moosa prayed against them, and Allaah answered his prayer. He told him
that the Holy Land was forbidden to them, and they would wander in the
land for forty years, so he should not grieve over them:
“He [Moosa (Moses)] said: ‘O my Lord!
I have power only over myself and my brother, so separate us from the
people who are the Faasiqoon (rebellious and disobedient to Allaah)!’
said: ‘Therefore it (this holy land) is forbidden to them for forty
years; in distraction they will wander through the land. So be not sorrowful
over the people who are the Faasiqoon (rebellious and disobedient to
Moosa bore with patience the many complaints of the Children
of Israel. During that period of wandering, Haaroon died, then Moosa
died, and most of them also died. When that time came to an end, Yoosha’
ibn Noon (Joshua the son of Nun) led them into the Holy Land and besieged
it until he conquered it. He commanded them to enter the land prostrating,
but they did not obey him, and entered it on their backsides.
Allaah bestowed great blessings upon the Children of Israel.
He saved them from Pharaoh, and provided them with good things to eat.
He made Prophets and kings from among them, and favoured them above
all other people, but they were ungrateful for those blessings and did
not appreciate them:
(remember) when Moosa (Moses) said to his people: ‘O my people! Remember
the Favour of Allaah to you: when He made Prophets among you, made you
kings and gave you what He had not given to any other among the ‘Aalameen
(mankind and jinn, in the past)’”[al-Maa’idah 5:20]
The Jews say and do evil things which bring upon them the wrath
and anger of Allaah.
They accused Allaah of being stingy:
Jews say: ‘Allaah’s Hand is tied up (i.e. He does not give and spend
of His Bounty).’ Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what
they uttered. Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends
(of His Bounty) as He wills”
By virtue of this serious lie, they became disbelievers:
Allaah has heard the statement of those (Jews) who say: ‘Truly, Allaah
is poor and we are rich!’”[Aal ‘Imraan 3:181]
They attributed a son to Allaah; Allaah’s curse be upon them,
how they are deluded away from the truth!
the Jews say: ‘Uzayr (Ezra) is the son of Allaah…”[al-Tawbah 9:30]
When the Tawraat reached them, most of them disbelieved in its
rulings. They turned away from the path of Allaah, and regarded wrongdoing
as permissible, so Allaah punished them for their sins. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):
“For the wrongdoing of the Jews, We made
unlawful for them certain good foods which had been lawful for them
— and for their hindering many from Allaah’s Way;
their taking of Riba (usury) though they were forbidden from taking
it and their devouring of men’s substance wrongfully (bribery). And
We have prepared for the disbelievers among them a painful torment”[al-Nisaa’
Among their lies is their claim that they are the sons and the
beloved of Allaah:
(both) the Jews and the Christians say: ‘We are the children of Allaah
and His loved ones.’ Say: ‘Why then does He punish you for your sins?’
Nay, you are but human beings of those He has created”[al-Maa'idah 5:18]
And among their lies is the following:
they say, ‘None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.’
These are their own desires. Say (O Muhammad), ‘Produce your proof if
you are truthful’”[al-Baqarah 2:111]
And among their fabrications is the following:
they (Jews) say, ‘The Fire (i.e. Hell-fire on the Day of Resurrection)
shall not touch us but for a few numbered days.’ Say (O Muhammad to
them): ‘Have you taken a covenant from Allaah, so that Allaah will not
break His Covenant? Or is it that you say of Allaah what you know not?’”[al-Baqarah
An example of their plots and betrayal is the way in which they
distorted their Book, the Tawraat:
those who are Jews, there are some who displace words from (their) right
Among their crimes are their disbelief in the signs of Allaah
and their killing the Prophets unlawfully, so Allaah will punish them
for their sins. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
they were covered with humiliation and misery, and they drew on themselves
the Wrath of Allaah. That was because they used to disbelieve the Ayaat
(proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations etc.) of
Allaah and killed the Prophets wrongfully. That was because they
disobeyed and used to transgress the bounds (in their disobedience to
Allaah, i.e. commit crimes and sins)”[al-Baqarah 2:61]
Because the Jews have committed so many wrongful actions and
evil deeds, fabricated so many lies and spread so much corruption on
earth, Allaah has created hatred and enmity among them, and they will
never have lasting power until the Day of Resurrection:
have put enmity and hatred amongst them till the Day of Resurrection.
Every time they kindled the fire of war, Allaah extinguished it; and
they (ever) strive to make mischief on the earth. And Allaah does not
like the Mufsidoon (mischief‑makers)”[al-Maa'idah 5:64]
The Jews are weak and divided, each of them with different desires:
“They fight not against you even together,
except in fortified townships, or from behind walls. Their enmity among
themselves is very great. You would think they were united, but their
hearts are divided. That is because they are a people who understand
The Jews are the most hostile of all people towards those who
believe. Because of their transgression and corruption, the Jews hate
death because they fear what comes after death. Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning):
(O Muhammad): ‘O you Jews! If you pretend that you are friends of Allaah,
to the exclusion of (all) other mankind, then long for death if you
they will never long for it (death), because of what (deeds) their hands
have sent before them! And Allaah knows well the Zaalimoon (polytheists,
wrongdoers, disbelievers)’”[al-Jumu’ah 62:6-7]
The Jews persisted in their corruption, transgression and deviation.
Allaah sent many Prophets and Messengers to the Children of Israel,
to bring them back to the Straight Path, and some of them believed in
them and some disbelieved… until Allaah sent ‘Eesa ibn Maryam (peace
be upon him) to them.