Treasured Teachings of Prophet Musa (PBUH) -Fahmida Mehreen
Extraordinary and gifted individuals were chosen by the Almighty to be the prophets and flagbearers of Islam. Among the prophets, Prophet Adam (PBUH) was the first and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the last one. The Holy Quran states about 25 Prophets by name, but it is believed that there were many more as the Quran says, “And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger..” (Surah Nahl; Ayat 16). These personalities are messengers sent by Allah to demonstrate model behaviour and spread the word and teachings of Allah among the people on Earth.
Among all the prophets, Prophet Musa (PBUS), also known as Moses, is mentioned more than any other individual in the Quran. He and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) are said to have shared a number of parallels. His life and the approach to inviting people towards Islam were similar to that of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Prophet Musa (PBUH) was one of the greatest messengers who was sent to the people of Israel. After the demise of Ibrahim (PBUH), his descendants were called ‘Israelites’. After about 500 years, they became a large tribe, as promised by Allah. However, the Egyptians had enslaved and subjugated them. This was possible because Joseph, the great-grandson of Ibrahim (PBUH) went to Egypt, and years later, his family followed. Prophet Musa (PBUH) led the Israelites out of Egypt, and Allah commanded Musa (PBUH) to challenge the Pharaoh of Egypt, which resulted in a contest between Musa (PBUH) and the sorcerers of Pharaoh. Eventually came the nine plagues and disasters against Pharaoh. Even though Allah gave these as signs to Pharaoh, he did not submit to Allah’s will and disobeyed the signs.
When Prophet Musa (PBUH) was spreading the message of the religion, the people reacted in the same way as they reacted to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – they were in denial and were disobedient. During Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s Miraj, the journey that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) made up to the heavens and was ordered by Allah to inform his Ummah to pray 50 times a day, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) consulted Prophet Musa (PBUH). He followed his advice to appeal to Allah to reduce the number of prayers. Musa (PBUH) had enough experience with the people of the world to know how the Ummah of Muhammad (PBUH) would not be able to cope with the large amount of prayers that is expected of them. Thus, after several appeals, the number was reduced to 5 times a day, which is now the standard practice in Islam for centuries.
During his lifetime, Prophet Musa (PBUH) encountered many challenges and difficulties. Through thick and thin, he had to hold firm to his faith and never shrivel. His incredible tale soundly represents the everlasting struggle and conflict between truth and falsehood, between tyrants and the tyrannised, and between oppressors and the oppressed. The life of Musa (PBUH) perfectly exemplifies the faultless, accurate, and celestial plans of Allah for His righteous slaves against all odds.
Among many teachings from the life of Musa (PBUH), one of the most mentionable teachings is performing salah and remembering the Almighty. Musa (PBUH) was a mighty character, and from a very young age, he had the courage to face the storm. Under the threat of death, he had to flee from Egypt, go across the desert, and find a new land, only to go back to his birthplace later. In the darkness of the night, a voice came to him, and imagine his utter surprise to be talking to Allah! During this conversation, salah was prescribed by Allah upon Musa (PBUH) and his followers. Allah promises Musa (PBUH) to help him and to support him from unimaginable sources so that he can fight his fears and bring in more people to perform salah. He reinforced that salah forms a connection between a person and Allah, and a person praying with belief will never be away from the protection of Allah. It also brings comfort and joy in times of dire need.
Musa (PBUH) also taught us that Allah hears our prayers and supplications. Musa (PBUH) was a man of honour and dignity. Even when crossing the desert, exhausted and dehydrated, he had the ability to put the needs of others before his own. Instead of resting under a tree, he helped two ladies to get water for their sheep. When his task was finished, he sat under the tree and sought help from Allah, expecting some offerings. While Musa (PBUH) was probably expecting merely a slice of bread from Allah, he received not only food but safety, provisions, and a family from Allah. We can never despair when seeking Allah’s help because His help is sure to come, and He is the most merciful.
Most importantly, Prophet Musa (PBUH) teaches us the importance of patience and perseverance. He was asked to bring the message of Islam to Pharaoh even though he was a tyrant and oppressive person. The Pharaoh’s answer to Musa’s communication was an increase in his oppression and violence against the people. Pharaoh made enough effort to silence the truth and suppress the voices of the oppressed. But the actions of Musa (PBUH) served as a prompt to stand up to tyranny and injustice even when faced with powerful challengers. Musa (PBUH) teaches us that by maintaining unity and solidarity, it is possible to rise against the oppressed. But at the same time, it is required to be patient and tolerant while combatting the evils.
Prophet Musa (PBUH) had a perplexing and testing life all throughout. But, he never faltered in the face of misfortune. He kept rebelling for the truth in the name of the Almighty. Hence, he is an ideal example in showcasing that justice is served and truth wins at the end of the day. As Muslims and believers in all the prophets of Islam, we must take away the teachings of tolerance, faith, remembrance of Allah, and ultimate patience from the life and actions of Prophet Musa (PBUH). May Allah guide us to the right path.