14. The Ethos Of Prophet Moses
Prophet Moses was son of Imran son of Qahath, son of Levy, son of Jacob son of Isaac, son of Abraham, the friend of Allah. His mother’s name was Yokabid. Historians have recorded the date of his birth as 3748 years after the fall of Adam. Moses’s story with Pharoah is very strange which is discussed here briefly.
Some fortune-tellers prophesied of the birth of a baby who would put an end to Pharoah’s reign. Hence all the baby boys were being killed by Pharoah’s agents.
يُذَبِّحُونَ أَبْنَاءَكُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيُونَ نِسَاءَكُمْ وَفي ذَلِكُمْ بَلاءٌ.
This verse refers to the same topic. The night Moses was to be begotten, his father, Imran happened to be on duty as a guard in Pharoah’s palace. At midnight, Youkabed came to Imran for a business but soon they had an intercourse and Moses fetus was made. Yet the signs of pregnancy did not appear in her due to the grace of Allah till Moses was born after six months and two days. Yokabid suckled her baby for three months but she could not hide him.
So Allah inspired her:
فَإِذَا خِفْتِ عَلَيْهِ فَأَلْقِيهِ فِي الْيَمِّ وَلَا تَخَافِي وَلَا تَحْزَنِي ۖ إِنَّا رَادُّوهُ إِلَيْكِ وَجَاعِلُوهُ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
Hence Yokabid went to kharbil, the carpenter asking him to make a box for her. The carpenter came to know what the box was for. So he went to Pharaoh’s palace to inform him of the event but God made him dumb. Upon returning from Pharoah’s palace, he could speak once again and he knew it was a sign of God. Therefore he made the box at once and gave it to Yokabid. She smeared the box with tar, put the baby in it, fastened it tightly and threw it into Nile River. Pharoah’s daughter, called Anissa who happened to stroll on the Nile bank took the box. Opening it, she saw a three-month-old baby. Knowing that he had been thrown into Nile River for tear of Pharoah, she called him Musa meaning, taken out of water. So she took him to Asya whose heart was filled with the baby’s love then they took the baby to Pharoah and told him the story. Pharoah decided to kill the baby but was dis38ed from doing so due to Asya’s intercession.
«And Firon’s wife said: A refreshment of the eye to me and to you; do not slay him; maybe he will be useful to us, or we may make him for a son; and they did not perceive.» (28:9)
وَقَالَتِ امْرَأَتُ فِرْعَوْنَ قُرَّتُ عَيْنٍ لِي وَلَكَ ۖ لَا تَقْتُلُوهُ عَسَىٰ أَنْ يَنْفَعَنَا أَوْ نَتَّخِذَهُ وَلَدًا وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ
This verse refers to the same subject.
Moses’ mother was eventually brought to Pharaoh’s palace as a nurse of the baby.
فَرَدَدْنَاهُ إِلَىٰ أُمِّهِ كَيْ تَقَرَّ عَيْنُهَا وَلَا تَحْزَنَ
Moses was in Pharaoh’s palace for forty years till one day Moses killed a man unintentionally and for fear of being punished, left Egypt for Madyan. He was taking a rest under the shade of a tree when he saw Prophet Shuayb’s daughters whom he helped to water their sheep from a nearby well. He was then taken to the house of Shuayb who was to give one of his daughters to him in marriage against ten years of working for him. Shuayb had seventy rods belonging to the preceding Prophets and gave one to Moses with his choice. Moses became a shepherd of Shuayb for ten years and married Safuara (Zipporah). Moses left Madyan for Egypt with his wife and children at the age of 79 and reached the sacred valley, Tuwa. There was a rainstorm and Moses saw a fire.
He left his wife and children behind and went for the fire hearing the call:
إِنِّي أَنَا رَبُّكَ فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ ۖ إِنَّكَ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى
And he was appointed as a messenger. He cast down his rod and it turned into a big snake which began running. Moses was frightened and stepped back. There was a call:
خُذْهَا وَلَا تَخَفْ
Moses took hold of the snake and it turned into rod. Then there was another call:
وَاضْمُمْ يَدَكَ إِلَىٰ جَنَاحِكَ تَخْرُجْ بَيْضَاءَ
Then god inspired:
اذْهَبْ إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَىٰ
Moses along with his brother, Haroun went to Pharoah who recognized him saying: Are you not the same person who were with us for years killed a man and escaped for Egypt? Moses said: Yes, I am the same man, but now I am God’s messenger and sent to invite you to worship Allah. Pharoah told the courtiers that the man was mad
فَأَلْقَىٰ عَصَاهُ فَإِذَا هِيَ ثُعْبَانٌ مُبِينٌ
Those who were present ran away and Pharoah fell from his throne. Then Moses pressed his hand to his side and his hand flashed with light. Pharoah attributed magic to Moses saying: We can do magic too. Then he gathered 72 magicians and invited people to come to Nile bank to watch their magic works. The magicians cast down their ropes shaped as snakes. People were made to believe that they were snakes. But at this time, Moses was inspired:
قُلْنَا لَا تَخَفْ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْأَعْلَىٰ
Moses cast down the rod. It turned into a serpent which devoured the magicians’ snakes.
فَأُلْقِيَ السَّحَرَةُ سَاجِدِينَ. قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Threatening the magicians, Pharoah said:
لَأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ مِنْ خِلَافٍ وَلَأُصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ
Then the beautician of Pharoah’s family and his wife, Asya believed in the Lord but they were killed at once. Moses had the mission to take the children of Israel form Egypt to Kan’an but Pharoah opposed it. To punish him, Moses struck the Nile with his rod and the water of it turned into blood. Pharaoh agreed to the exodus of Bani-Israel provided that the water of Nile would turn to its normal state. Moses accepted and struck Nile River with his rod making blood turn into water but Pharoah broke his promise. Moses once again struck Nile River with his rod making it to be filled with frogs in way people were horrified. Pharoah agreed to the exodus of Bani-Israel provided that the disaster was removed. Yet he kept breaking his promise when the disaster was removed.
This time, Moses struck the ground with his rod making people to be affected by lice. After seven days, this disaster too was removed. But he was denied exodus. Moses prayed to God to affect them with gnats which filled the whole city. After seven days. Pharoah sent a message saying: I will allow you to make sacrifice for your Lord. But Moses did not accept. Pharoah allowed them to go out but not too far, provided that the disaster of gnats would be removed. But when gnats disappeared with Moses’ prayer, Pharoah denied Bani-Israel the exodus.
At this time, all cattle, sheep and camels belonging to Coptic in desert died all of a sudden. Pharoah was as obstinate as ever before.
At this time, Moses and Haroon (Aaron) brought some ashes before Pharoah and threw it into the air making people affected with a bad smallpox. Yet Pharoah kept on denying them exodus. Moses struck the ground with his rod making a dark cloud appear followed by rainstorm. Pharoah agreed to Bani-Israel’s exodus but as soon as the disaster was removed, he was the same as before.
This time Moses struck the ground with his rod making locusts to eat all plants which was a horror to people. Pharoah asked Moses to remove the disaster. Moses did so but Pharoah did not change.
This time, with Moses’s prayer, dark overwhelmed everywhere in a way that people could not see one another for three days. Pharoah was forced to allow exodus. After finding Joseph’s ark in the Nile River, Moses made their way out of Egypt with the children of Israel by night.
فَأَسْرِ بِعِبَادِي لَيْلًا إِنَّكُمْ مُتَّبَعُونَ
At this time, Pharoah decided to chase and punish them. He moved with thousands of soldiers till he reached the shore of the sea where Bani-Israel had set up their tents. Seeing the army of Pharoah, the children of Israel became anxious. But Moses said:
إِنَّ مَعِيَ رَبِّي سَيَهْدِينِ. فَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ مُوسَىٰ أَنِ اضْرِبْ بِعَصَاكَ الْبَحْرَ ۖ فَانْفَلَقَ فَكَانَ كُلُّ فِرْقٍ كَالطَّوْدِ الْعَظِيمِ
Moses came to the edge of the sea, struck the sea with his rod making twelve gates for Bani-Israel to pass through. Being astonished by the event, Pharoah and his army followed Bani-Israel into the sea. When the last of Moses’s followers came out of the sea and the last of Pharoah’s soldiers entered the sea, the signs of torment appeared to Pharoah who said:
آمَنْتُ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا الَّذِي آمَنَتْ بِهِ بَنُو إِسْرَائِيلَ
At this time, Gabriel threw a handful of dust at his mouth saying:
آلْآنَ وَقَدْ عَصَيْتَ قَبْلُ وَكُنْتَ مِنَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ
مِنَ الْيَمِّ مَا غَشِيَهُمْ
The sea water came back to its former state drowning Pharaoh with his army.
وَأَنْجَيْنَا مُوسَىٰ وَمَنْ مَعَهُ أَجْمَعِينَ
In addition to what was narrated here, there stories a bout Moses and Qarun which are found in the History of Prophets. Moses passed a way 3868 years after the fall of Adam at the age of 120 and his body was buried in the valley of Mavab near Beit-Faqfoor.
وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ مُوسَىٰ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مُخْلَصًا وَكَانَ رَسُولًا نَبِيًّا
قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ اسْتَعِينُوا بِاللَّهِ وَاصْبِرُوا ۖ إِنَّ الْأَرْضَ لِلَّهِ يُورِثُهَا مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ ۖ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ
وَقَالَ مُوسَىٰ يَا قَوْمِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ آمَنْتُمْ بِاللَّهِ فَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلُوا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُسْلِمِينَ
قَالَ رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي. وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي. وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِنْ لِسَانِي. يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي
وَجَاءَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ أَقْصَى الْمَدِينَةِ يَسْعَىٰ قَالَ يَا مُوسَىٰ إِنَّ الْمَلَأَ يَأْتَمِرُونَ بِكَ لِيَقْتُلُوكَ فَاخْرُجْ إِنِّي لَكَ مِنَ النَّاصِحِينَ. فَخَرَجَ مِنْهَا خَائِفًا يَتَرَقَّبُ ۖ قَالَ رَبِّ نَجِّنِي مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ
When Moses helped Shuayb’s daughters with watering the herd near the well in Madyan, he went back to the shade and said:
رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنْزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ
When Shuayb’s daughters told him about Moses’ help with watering the herd, he told one of them to go back and invite Moses to reward him. She came back to him saying: My father invites you to reward you for having watered our flocks.
Moses stood up and she walked in front of him. Wind blew and caused her robe to stick to her rump. So Moses said: Walk behind me and lead me the way. If I take the wrong way, throw a pebble before me so that I may take another route, for we are of the people who do not look at women’s rump. When Moses entered Shuayb’s house, one of the daughter said: Reward this strong and trustworthy man. Shuayb said: I know about his being strong since he drew the bucket out of well all by himself, but what is his being trustworthy for? His daughter told him about what had happened on the way.
فَقَامَ مُوسى عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ مَعَها فَمَشَتْ أَمَامَهُ فَسَفَقَتْهَا الرِّيَاحُ فَبَانَ عَجُزَها فَقَالَ لَها مُوسى: تَأَخّري وَدُلِّيني عَلى الطَّرِيقِ بِحَصاةٍ تَلْقِيها أَمَامي أَتَّبِعُها فَأَنَا مِنْ قَوْمٍ لا يَنْضُرُونَ في أَدْبَارِ النِّسَاءِ.
Moses used to go to a place where no one could see him whenever he wanted to wash himself.
وَكَانَ مُوسى عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ إِذَا أَرَادَ الاغْتِسَالَ ذَهَبَ إِلى مَوْضعٍ لا يَراهُ فِيهِ أَحَدٌ مِنَ النّاسِ.
Moses used to rub his cheeks on the earth immediately after performing his prayer.
فَكَانَ مُوسَى عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ إِذَا صَلّى لَمْ يَنْفَتِلْ حَتّى يَلْصَقَ خَدَّهُ الأَيْمَنَ بالأَرْضِ وَخَدَّهُ الأَيْسَرَ بِالأَرْضِ.
When Moses entered Shuayb’s house, he was preparing the supper. So he invited him to have supper with them. Moses said: I seek refuge with Allah. Shuayb asked him: Aren’t you hungry? Moses said: Yes, I am, but I am afraid you regard this supper as my compensation for having watered for them, and I am from a family that does not sell any deed for the hereafter even if the price was the fill of the earth with gold. Shuayb said to him: No, by Allah, O young man! This is only my custom and the custom of my forefathers. We always shelter and feed our guests. Only then Moses sat and ate with him.
لَمّا دَخَلَ عَلى شُعَيْبَ إِذَا هُوَ بِالْعَشَاءِ مُهَيَّأَ، فَقَالَ لَهُ شُعَيْبُ اجْلِسْ يَا شَابُّ فَتَعَشّ، فَقَالَ لَهُ مُوسى: أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ، قَالَ شُعَيْبُ وَلِمَ ذَلِكَ؟ أَلَسْتَ بِجَائِعٍ ؟ قَالَ: بَلى وَلَكِنْ أَخَافُ أَنْ يَكُونَ هَذا عِوَضًا لِمَا سَقَيْتُ لَهُمَا وَإِنَّا مِنْ أَهْلِ بَيْتٍ لا نَبِيعُ شَيْئًا مِنْ عَمَلِ الآخِرَةِ بِمِلْء الأَرْضِ ذَهَبًا فَقَالَ لَهُ شُعَيْبُ: لا وَاللَّهِ يَا شَابُّ وَلَكِنَّهَا عَادَتِي وَعَادَةَ آبَائي، نُقْرِئُ الضَّيْفَ وَنُطْعِمُ الطَّعامَ، قَالَ : فَجَلَسَ مُوسى يَأْكُلُ.
It has been reported that when Moses was still the shepherd of Shuayb, a he-goat fled from the flock to the top of the mountain. Moses chased him all day long and when he came up to him, he kissed his face, removed dust from his head and apologizingly said: O hapless one, I made you suffer for coming after you but I did not mean to take and sell you, rather I feared wolves might tear you apart. He then put the goat on his shoulders and brought him back to the flock. When Moses’ good temper became perfect, he was inspired: “O Moses, now you deserve to be a messenger. Go to Pharaoh and speak softly to him perhaps he will remember and fear Allah.”
رُوِيَ أَنَّ مُوسى عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ كَانَ يَرْعَى أَغْنَامَ شُعَيْبَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فَانْهَزَمَ مِنْ قَطِيعَةٍ تَيْسٌ فَصَعَدَ الْجَبَلَ فَبَقيَ مُوسى تَابِعًا لَهُ عَامَّةَ يَومِه في رُؤسِ الْجِبالِ. فَلَمّا لَزِمَهُ قَبَّلَهُ عَلى وَجْهِهِ وَمَسَحَ التُّرَابَ مِنْ فَوْقِه وَقَالَ مُعْتَذِرًا عِنْدَهُ أَيُّهَا الْحَيوان أَتْعَبْتُكَ هذا الْيوْمَ مِنْ جِهَةِ الطَّلَبِ وَلا كانَ الْمَقْصُودُ مِنْكَ الْقيمَةَ وَلَكِنَّ الْخَوْفَ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ الذِّئَابِ. ثُمَّ حَمَلَهُ عَلى عَاتِقِهِ حَتَّى أَوْصَلَهُ إِلى الْحَيَوَاناتِ، فَلَمّا كَمَلَ لَهُ هَذا الْخَلْقُ أُوحِيَ إِلَيْهِ أَنْ يَا مُوسى قَدْ صِرْتَ قَابِلا لِلرِّسَالَةِ، فَامْضِ إِلى فِرْعَوْنَ وَقُلْ لَهُ قَوْلا لَيِّنًا لَعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَى.
During his Childhood, when he was with Pharaoh, Moses sneezed and said: Praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Pharaoh was infuriated and slapped him on the face and said: What is this that you are saying?
فَلَمَّا دَرَجَ مُوسى كَانَ يَوْمًا عِنْدَ فِرْعَونَ فَعَطَسَ مُوسى فَقَالَ: (الْحَمْدُ للهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ) فَأَنْكَرَ فِرْعَوْنَ ذَلِكَ عَلَيْهِ وَلَطَمَهُ وَقَالَ: مَا هذا الَّذِي تَقُولُ. (الخ(
It has been reported on the authority of Ibn -Abbas that once Pharaoh was tormenting his wife, Asieh to force her to convert to his religion when Moses passed by her. Asieh complained to Moses with a sign of her finger. Moses invoked God to ease the torment. After this invocation, Asieh felt no pain any longer but she remained under Pharaoh’s torment till she passed away.
عَنْ ابنِ عَبّاسٍ قَالَ: أَخَذَ فِرْعَوْنُ امْرَأَتَهُ آسِيَةَ حِينَ تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ إِسْلامُها يُعَذِّبَها لِتَدْخُلَ في دِينِهِ فَمَرَّ بِهَا مُوسى وَهُوَ يُعَذِّبَهَا فَشَكَتْ إِلَيْهِ بِإِصْبَعِها فَدَعا اللَّهَ مُوسى أَنْ يُخَفِّفَ عَنْهَا، فَلَمْ تَجِدْ لِلْعَذَابِ مَسًّا وأَنَّهَا مَاتَتْ مِنْ عَذَابِ فِرْعَوْنَ لَها.
It has been reported that once Moses said: O Lord! Guide me to an affair in which there is Your pleasure. God inspired: O son of Imran! My pleasure is a difficult task for you and you can not endure it. Moses fell into prostration, started weeping and said; O Lord! You have spoken to me whereas You had not spoken to any human being before. Why then don’t You guide me to an act to win Your pleasure? God inspired: My pleasure lies in that you are pleased with what I have destined for you.
رُوِيَ أَنَّ مُوسى عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ قَالَ: يَا رَبِّ دُلَّنِي عَلى عَمَلٍ إِذَا أَنَا عَمِلْتُهُ نِلْتُ بِهِ رِضَاكَ فَأَوْحَى اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ يَا بْنَ عُمْرَانَ إِنَّ رِضَائي في كُرْهِكَ وَلنْ تُطيقَ ذَلِكَ، قَالَ: فَخَرَّ مُوسَى عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ سَاجِدًا بَاكِيًا فَقَالَ: يَا رَبِّ خَصَصْتَنِي بِالْكَلامِ وَلَمْ تُكَلِّمْ بَشَرًا قَبْلي وَلَمْ تَدُلَّنِي عَلى عَمَلٍ أَنَالُ بِهِ رِضَاكَ؟
فَأَوْحَى اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ أَنَّ رِضايَ في رِضاكَ بِقَضَائي.
It has been reported on the authority of Imam Sadeq that God inspired Moses: O Musa! Do you know why among all my creatures, I have chosen you as interlocutor (one to whom God speaks)? Moses said: No, O my Lord! God again inspired: I did not find on the earth any one more humble than you. So, Moses prostrated, rubbed his cheeks on the earth as a sign of humility to his Lord, the Most Honored, the Most Exalted.
عَنْ أَبى عَبْدِ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ قَالَ: أَوْحى اللَّهُ مُوسى بْنَ عِمْرانَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ أَتَدْري يَا مُوسى لِمَ انْتَجَبْتُكَ مِنْ خَلْقي وَأَصْطَفيكَ لِكَلامي؟ فَقَالَ: لا يَا رَبِّ فَأَوْحَى اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ: إِنّي اطَّلَعْتُ إِلى الأَرْضِ فَلَمْ أَجِدْ عَلَيْها أَشَدَّ تَواضُعًا لِي مِنْكَ، فَخَرَّ مُوسى سَاجِدًا وَعَفَّرَ خَدَّيْهِ بِالتّرابِ تَذَلُّلا مِنْهُ لِرَبِّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ. (الخ(
Ibn-Ammareh quoting his fathers said: I asked Imam Sadeq how Moses had passed away. The Imam said: When his term came to an end and his life was to terminate and his sustenance had been cut off, the angel of death came to him and said: Peace be upon you O one to whom God spoke! Moses said: Peace be upon you too, who are you? He said: I am the angel of death. Moses asked him: What brought you here? The angel said: I have come to take you soul away. Moses asked him: Which part are you going to take away first?
Angel said: Your mouth. Moses said: How so since I spoke to my Lord from it. The angel said: Then your hand. Moses said: How so since with them did I carry Torah? The angel said: Then your feet. Moses said: How so since they trod Mount Sinai? The angel said: Then your eyes. Moses said: How so since they have always been looking to my Lord with hope? The angel said: Then you ears. Moses said: How so since through them did I hear the words of my Lord?
عَنْ ابْنَ عَمّارَةٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ قَالَ: قُلْتُ لِلصّادِقِ جَعْفَرِ بْنَ مُحَمَّدٍ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ أَخْبِرْني بِوَفَاةِ مُوسى بْنَ عِمْرانَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فَقَالَ لَهُ: إِنَّهُ لَمّا أَتَاهُ أَجَلَهُ وَاسْتَوفى مُدَّتَهُ وَانْقَطَعَ أَكْلُهُ أَتَاهُ مَلِكُ الْمَوْتِ فَقَالَ لَهُ: السَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا كَلِيمَ اللَّهِ، فَقَالَ مُوسى: وَعَلَيْكَ السَّلامُ مَنْ أَنْتَ؟ قَالَ: أَنَا مَلِكُ الْمَوْتِ، قَالَ مَا الَّذِي جَاءَ بِكَ؟ قَالَ: جِئْتُ لأَقْبِضَ رُوحَكَ، فَقَالَ لَهُ مُوسى عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ مِنْ أَيْنَ تَقْبِضُ رُوحي؟ قَالَ: مِنْ فَمِكَ، قَالَ مُوسى عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ وَقَدْ كَلَّمْتُ رَبِّي جَلَّ جَلالُهُ؟ قَالَ: فَمِنْ يَدَيْكَ قَالَ: كَيْفَ وَقَدْ حَمَلْتُ بِهِما التَّوْرَاةَ؟ قَالَ فَمِنْ رِجْلَيْكَ، قَالَ كَيْفَ وَقَدْ وَطِئْتُ بِهِما طُورَ سَيْناءَ؟ قَالَ: فَمِنْ عَيْنَيْكَ قَالَ: كَيْفَ وَلَمْ تَزَلْ إِلى رَبِّيَ بِالرَّجَاءِ مَمْدُودَة؟ قَالَ: فَمِنْ أُذُنَيْكَ، قَالَ: وَكَيْفَ وَقَدْ سَمِعْتُ بِهِما كَلامَ رَبّيِ جَلَّ وَعَزَّ.
It was then that God inspired to the angel of death saying: Do not take away his soul till he is the one who asks you to do so. Therefore, the angel of death left him. Moses remained in this world for the time God had destined. He then called upon Joshua son of Nun, the executor of his last will, and asked him to keep the news of his death to himself. He also told him who he should choose as the executor of his last will after him.
قَالَ: فَأَوْحى اللَّهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالى إِلى مَلَكَ الْمَوْتِ: لا تَقْبِضْ رُوحَهُ حَتّى يَكُونَ هُوَ الَّذِي يُريدُ ذَلِكَ، وَخَرَجَ مَلَكُ الْمَوتِ فَمَكَثَ مُوسَى مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَمْكُثَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ وَدَعا يُوشَعَ بن نُونَ فَأَوْصى إِلَيْهِ وَأَمَرَهُ بِكِتْمَانِ أَمْرِهِ وَبِأَنْ يُوصى بَعْدَهُ إِلى مَنْ يَقُومُ بِالأَمْرِ.
Then Moses disappeared from his people. He happened to pass by a man digging a grave. Moses asked him: shall I help you dig this grave. The man responded positively. Moses helped him dig it. Then Moses lied down in it to see how it felt to be inside a grave. It was then that the veil was removed from his eyes, and he saw his place in paradise. Moses said: O Lord! Do take my soul to Yourself! the angel of death took his soul right there and then buried him in that grave and turned the soil on him. The man whom Moses had helped dig the grave was angel of death himself who had assumed a human form. Upon his death, a voice from heavens was heard saying: Moses has died, who does not?!
وَغَابَ مُوسَى عَنْ قَوْمِهِ فَمَرَّ في غَيْبَتِهِ بِرَجُلٍ وَهُوَ يَحْفِرُ قَبْرًا فَقَالَ لَهُ: الا أُعِينُكَ عَلى حَفْرِ هَذَا الْقَبْرِ؟ فَقَالَ لَهُ الرَّجُلُ: بَلى، فَأَعَانَهُ حَتَّى الْقَبْرِ وَسَوَّى اللَّحْدَ، ثُمَّ اضْطَجَعَ فِيهِ مُوسى بْنُ عِمْرانَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ لِيَنْظُرَ كَيْفَ هُوَ، فَكُشِفَ لَهُ عَنْ الْغِطاءِ فَرَأَى مَكَانَهُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ، فَقَالَ: يَا رَبِّ اقْبِضْنِي إِلَيْكَ فَقَبَضَ مَلَكُ الْمَوْتَ رُوحَهُ مَكَانَهُ وَدَفَنَهُ فِي الْقَبْرِ، وَسَوّى عَلَيْهِ التُّرَابَ وَكَانَ الَّذِي يَحْفِرُ القَبْرَ مَلَكٌ في صُورَة آدَميٍ وَكَانَ ذَلِكَ في التَّيهِ، فَصَاحَ صَائِحٌ مِنْ السَّمَاءِ: مَاتَ مُوسَى كَلِيمُ اللَّهِ فَأَيُّ نَفْسٍ لا تَمُوتُ.
When Moses was leaving Madyan for Egypt along with his wife and children, he visited his mother’s house as a guest but his mother did not recognize him. On that night, they were having pottage, Moses was sitting in a corner of the house when his brother Aaron arrived. He asked his mother: Who is this man? The mother said: A guest. Then they ate together and while talking, Aaron asked the guest: Who are you? He said: I am Musa. Both stood up and embraced each other. When they showed courtesy, Moses said: O Harun! Let us go to Firawn (Pharaoh), for God has given us the mission. Aaron said: I will come with you. When their mother heard about it, she cried saying: For god sake, do not go to him, for he will kill you. Moses and Aaron did not take heed of her and set out to do what God had commanded.
سَارَ مُوسَى بِأَهْلِهِ نَحْوَ مِصْرَ حَتَّى أَتَاها لَيلا فَتُضيفُ أُمُّهُ وَهِيَ لا تَعْرِفُهُ فَأَتَاها في لَيْلَةٍ كَانُوا يَأْكُلُونَ فِيها الطَّفَيْشَلْ فَنَزَلَ في جَانِبِ الدَّارِ فَجَاءَ هَارُونُ، فَلَمَّا أَبْصَرَ ضَيْفَهُ سَأَلَ عَنْهُ أُمَّهُ فَأَخْبَرَتْهُ أَنَّهُ ضَيْفٌ فَدَعاهُ فَأَكَلَ مَعَهُ، فَلَمّا قَعَدا تَحَدَّثَا سَأَلَهُ هَارُونُ مَنْ أَنْتَ؟ قَالَ أَنَا مُوسى فَقَامَ كُلُّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا إِلى صَاحِبِهِ فَاعْتَنَقَهُ فَلَمّا تَعَارفا قالَ لَهُ مُوسى يَا هَارُونُ انْطَلِقْ مَعي إِلى فِرْعَوْنَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالى قَدْ أَرْسَلَنَا إِلَيْهِ، فَقَالَ لَهُ هَارُونُ سَمْعًا وَطاعَةً فَقَامَتْ أُمُّهُما وَصَاحَتْ وَضَجَّتْ وَقَالَتْ: أُنْشِدُكُما اللَّهَ أَنْ لا تَذْهَبا إِلى فِرْعَوْنَ فَيَقْتُلُكُما، فَأَبَيا عَلَيْها وَمَضَيا لأَمْرِ اللَّهِ تَعَالى.
It has been reported on the authority of Imam Reza that Shuayb (Moses’ father-in-law) used to visit Moses once a year. During the meals, Moses used to cut the bread into pieces for Shuayb.
عَنْ أَبى الْحَسَنِ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: كَانَ شُعَيْبُ يَزُورُ مُوسى كُلَّ سَنَةٍ. فَإِذَا أَكَلَ قَامَ مُوسَى عَلى رَأْسِهِ وَكَسَّرَ لَهُ الْخُبْزَ.
The late Sayyed Nematollah Jazayeri while narrating it said: This proves that the host must serve the guest.
It has been reported on the authority of Imam Sadeq that when Moses decided to depart from Khidr, he asked him to give him pieces of advice. A few words of advice by Khidr were:
Stop being obstinate;
Do not go after anything unless you need to,
Do not laugh without reason;
Have your errors in mind and beware of people’s errors.
عَنْ أَبى عَبْدِ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ قَالَ: إِنَّ مُوسَى بْنَ عِمْرَانَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ حِينَ أَرَاد أَنْ يُفَارِقَ الْخِضْرَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ، قَالَ لَهُ أَوصِني، فَكَانَ مِمّا أَوْصَاهُ أَنْ قَالَ لَهُ إِيَّاكَ وَاللَّجَاجَةَ، أَوْ أَنْ تَمْشِي في غَيْرِ حَاجَةٍ أَوْ أَنْ تَضْحَكَ مِنْ غَيْرِ تَعَجُّبٍ، وَاذْكُرْ خَطِيئَتَكَ، وَإِيّاكَ وَخَطايا النّاسِ.
When God drowned Pharaoh and his army, Moses and Israelites (Bani-Israel) praised God.
وَلَمّا أَغْرَقَ اللَّهُ فِرْعَوْنَ وَجُنُودَهُ حِينَئِذٍ سَبَّحَ مُوسى وَبَنُو إِسْرَائيلَ بِهَذا التَّسْبِيحِ لِلرَّبِّ وَقَالُوا: (نُسَبِّحُ الرَّبَّ الْبَهِيَّ، الَّذِي قَهَرَ الْجُنُودَ وَنَبَذَ فُرْسَانَها في الْبَحْرِ الْمَنِيعَ الْمَحْمُودَ.(
God inspired Moses by asking: Do you know why I have made you supplicate and appointed you as a messenger towards people? He said: No, O my Lord! God said: It is because I have tried my servants but found no heart as humble as yours. For this reason, I loved to give a sublime position for I am to be found in the broken hearts.
أَوْحى اللَّهُ تَعالى إِلى مُوسى عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: أَتَدْرِي لِمَ نَاجَيْتُكَ وَبَعَثْتُكَ إِلى خَلْقِي؟ قَالَ: لا يَا رَبِّ، قَالَ لأَنّي قَلَّبْتُ عِبادي وَاخْتَبَرْتَهُمْ فَلَمْ أَرَ أَذَلَّ لِي قَلْبًا مِنْكَ فَأَحْبَبْتُ أَنْ أَرْفَعَ مِنْ بَيْنِ خَلْقِي لأَنّي عِنْدَ الْمُنْكَسِرَةِ قُلُوبِهِمْ.
Moses said to Khidr: I would like you to give me an advice whereby God will benefit me. Khidr said: A speaker is less bored that a listener. Hence, when you are speaking take care not to be boring. Know that you heart is as a Container. Therefore, take note of how you fill this container. Also detach from the world and leave it behind, for the world is not your abode nor a permanent resting-place for you, but a place for promoting the servants to sublime positions and attaining a provision for the Day of Judgment. Deny yourself’ to be rescued from sin.
O Moses! Prepare yourself for knowledge if you wish, for knowledge belongs to one who has prepared himself for it. Neither speak too much nor be an idle talker, for speaking too much does not befit the scholars making them appear ugly and silly. But observe moderation, for it is both a success and rightfulness. Keep away from ignorant ones and be patient towards them, for this is what the wise men do and an ornament for them. Keep silent when an ignorant person swears at you, be patient and pass by him cleverly. Add to your patience and cleverness if he keeps on swearing at you.
قَالَ مُوسى: أُرِيدُ أَنْ تُوصِيَنِي بِوَصِيَّةٍ يَنْفَعَني اللَّهُ بِهَا بَعْدَكَ، فَقَالَ الْخِضْرُ(ع): يَا طَالِبَ الْعِلْمِ إِنَّ الْقائِلَ أَقَلُّ مَلالَةً مِنَ الْمُسْتَمِعِ، فَلا تَمُلَّ جُلَسائِكَ إِذَا حَدَّثْتَهُمْ وَاعْلَمْ إِنَّ قَلْبَكَ وِعَاءٌ فَانْضُرْ مَاذَا تَحْشُو بِهِ وعَائِكَ وَاعْزفْ (وَاغْرِفْ) عَنْ الدُّنْيا وَانْبِذْهَا وَرَائِكَ، فَإِنَّهَا لَيْسَتْ لَكَ بِدارٍ وَلا لَكَ فِيها مَحَلُّ قَرَارٍ: وَإِنَّما جُعِلَتْ بِلْغَةً لِلْعِبادِ وَالتَّزَوُّدِ مِنْهَا لِيَوْمِ الْمَعَادِ وَرَضِّ نَفَسَكَ عَلى الصَّبْرِ تَخْلَصْ مِنَ الإِثْمِ.
يَا مُوسى: تَفَرَّغْ لِلعِلْمِ إِنْ كُنْتَ تُرِيدُه، فَإِنَّما الْعِلْمُ لِمَنْ تَفَرَّغَ لَهُ، وَلا تَكُنْ مِكْثَارًا لِلْعِلْمِ مِهْذَارًا فَإِنَّ كَثْرَةَ الْمَنْطِقِ تَشِينُ الْعُلَماءَ وَتُبْدي مَساوئ السُّخَفَاءِ وَلَكِنْ عَلَيْكَ بِالاقْتِصادِ، فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ التَّوْفِيقِ وَالسِّدادِ وَاعْرِضْ عَنِ الْجُهَّالِ وَمَاطِلْهُمْ، وَاحْلُمْ عَنْ السُّفَهَاءِ، فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ فِعْلُ الْحُكَماءِ وَزَيْنُ الْعُلَماء وَإِذَا شَتَمَكَ الْجَاهِل فَاسْكُتْ عَنْهُ حِلمًا، وَجَانِبْهُ حَزْمًا، فَإِنَّ مَا بَقِيَ مِنْ جَهْلَهُ عَلَيْكَ وَسَبَّهُ إِيّاكَ أَكْثَرُ وَأَعْظَمُ.
Son of Imran! You do not know that you have been given but a little knowledge. To quarrel with someone and to commit cruelty is a source of hardship and trouble. O son of Imran! Never open a door you cannot close and never close a door you cannot open.
Son of Imran! How can one — whose greed of the world never comes to an end and whose love of world does not expire, who is mean and is not content with God’s — be pious? How can one — whose carnal desires control him — check his lusts? How can one who is overwhelmed by ignorance benefit from knowledge? How can one endeavor for the hereafter while he loves the world?
Mosa! Practice what you have learnt. Never learn in order to relate, for it will bring ruin for you and light for others. O Musa, the son of Imran! Make piety your garment and knowledge and God’s remembrance your discourse. Do good deeds as much as possible, for you are exposed to evil things. Let your heart beat with the fear of God, for it will please your Lord. Perform good deeds so that you will not do evil acts. This is my advice if you wish to act on it. Then Khidr turned his back and left and Moses became sad and started weeping.
يَا بْنَ عُمرانَ:وَلا تَرى إِنَّكَ أُوتِيتَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ إِلا قَليلا، فَإِنَّ الانْدِلاثَ وَالتَّعَسُّفِ مِنَ الاقْتِحامِ وَالتَّكَلُّفِ.
يَا بْنَ عِمْرانَ: لا تَفْتَحَنَّ بَابًا لا تَدْري مَا غَلَقُهُ، وَلا تُغْلِقَنَّ بَابًا لا تَدْري ما فَتْحُهُ.
يَا بْنَ عِمْرانَ: مَنْ لا تَنْتَهي مِنَ الدُّنْيا نَهْمتهُ وَلا تَنْقَضي مِنْها رَغْبَتُهُ، وَمَنْ يُحقِرُ حَالهُ، وَيَتَّهم اللَّهُ فِيما قَضى لَهُ كَيْفَ يَكُونُ زَاهِدًا؟ هَلْ يَكُفُّ عَنِ الشَّهَواتِ مِنْ غَلَبَ عَلَيْهِ هَواهُ؟ أَوْ يَنْفَعُهُ طَلَبُ الْعِلْمِ وَالْجَهْلُ قَدْ حَوَاهُ؟ لأَنَّ سَعْيَهُ إِلى آخِرَتِهِ وَهُوَ مُقْبِلٌ عَلى دُنْياهُ.
يَا مُوسى تَعَلَّمْ مَا تَعَلَّمْتَ لِتَعْمَلَ بِهِ، وَلا تَعَلَّمُهُ لِتُحَدِّثَ بِه فَيَكُونَ عَلَيْكَ بَوارُهُ وَلِغَيْرِكَ نُورُهُ، يَا مُوسى بْنَ عِمْران : اجْعَل الزُّهْدَ وَالتَّقْوى لِبَاسَكَ ، وَالْعِلْمَ وَالذِّكْرَ كَلامَكَ،وَاسْتَكْثِرْ مِنَ الْحَسَنَاتِ فَإِنَّكَ مُصِيبُ السَّيِّئاتِ، وَزَعْزِعْ بِالْخَوْفِ قَلْبَكَ فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ يُرْضِي رَبَّكَ، وَاعْمَلْ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّكَ لا بُدَّ عَامِلَ سُوءًا، قَدْ وَعَظْتُ إِنْ حَفَظْتَ، قالَ فَتَولَّى الْخِضْرُ وَبَقى مُوسى مَخْزُونًا مَكْرُوبًا يَبْكي.