Genealogy of Musa and Harun and their merits
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 two 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.4
According to a tradition of Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq the Pharaoh built seven cities and seven forts and was besieged inside them in fear of Musa. From one fort to another fort, there were forests with wild beasts. If anybody entered without his permission, the wild beasts attacked and killed him. Allah sent Musa with special authority towards it. When he reached to the first gate, he cast his stick and the gate opened. Musa entered. When the wild beasts saw him they all ran away. In this way when he reached every gate, it opened and all wild beasts disappeared from there. At last Prophet came to the last gate, he sat there. He was dressed up in clothes woven of hair, and held a staff. A servant of the Pharaoh came out. Musa asked him to get permission from him, to meet the Pharaoh. He didn’t take notice. Prophet asked him again. He said, “Allah has bestowed you with special authority (Prophethood) and why not any other person?”
Musa was very angry and cast his staff so all the gates between him and the Pharaoh opened. The Pharaoh saw him and called him in. Musa came and sat with a group of scholar and learned people. The Pharaoh was sitting on a throne, 80 feet high. Musa said, “I have come from the Wonderful Originator of the heavens and the earth and I am a Prophet.” The Pharaoh said, “If you are truthful, show us your miracle.” Musa cast his staff which had two branches. It became a large serpent and opened its mouth and raised one part of a palace up and remaining part below him. The Pharaoh noticed the flame of fire coming out from his stomach. Another head faced him. Due to fear the Pharaoh urinated in his clothes. He cried loudly and said, “O Musa stop it.” Seeing this the other people ran away. Musa picked up his staff. The Pharaoh came to senses and thought of pledging allegiance to him but his vizier, Haman said, “O my Lord! (the Pharaoh). People worship you as a God and you want to be obedient of an ordinary person?” His ministers gathered and said that Musa was a magician. They decided on a particular day to challenge him. The Pharaoh invited all the famous magicians to his court to challenge Musa. The magicians threw their ropes and staffs in front of him by their magic, Musa also cast his staff towards them, it became a giant serpent and swallowed their magical ropes and staffs. They were in all seventy-two magicians. They all bowed down and made obeisance and said, “He is not a magician. His staff is miraculous.”
Musa gathered The Israelites and moved towards Egypt. The Pharaoh pursued with his army. When Musa and his followers entered in the water it split and made a way to allow Musa to pass. The Pharaoh reached the shore with his army. They were on the horseback. The Pharaoh feared to enter the sea. By the permission of Allah, Archangel Gabriel came on a mare and entered. Seeing the mare entering into the water, the other male-horses along with their riders also entered. Allah, the Great, ordered the water to close on them. They were all drowned. Allah ordered the sea to raise the dead body of the Pharaoh on the water. So the Israelites come to know that the Pharaoh is dead and not hidden anywhere.
Allah commanded Musa to return with his people to Egypt. Then Allah bestowed them all the houses and belongings of the Pharaoh.
Then Allah ordered him to move towards Syria. When he crossed the sea, he saw another community. They all were gathered near an idol and worshipping it. The people of The Israelites saw this. They asked Musa to make an idol like that for them. Musa said, “You are ignorant. Don’t you know that Allah is one and do you want another God like this?”
Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq has stated when Musa reached the gate he was not granted the permission, he cast his staff on the ground. The gates opened and he came to the court of the Pharaoh and declared himself as a Prophet of Allah, and said, “Allah has sent me to you. Release the people of The Israelites to me. I will take them with me.” the Pharaoh said, “I looked after you, when you were a child, didn’t you kill a man and became an unbeliever for me. Do you forget, how I brought up you?” Musa said, “Yes, I forgot the real path. Then I avoided you though I was worried to do so. But Allah, the Almighty gave me knowledge and bestowed me with special authority and made me His Prophet. It is true that you cared for me and provided all comforts. You did so, because you made the people of The Israelites your slaves. You killed their sons.” Then the Pharaoh asked, “Who is your God? What are his attributes?” the Pharaoh wanted to know about Allah, how does He look liked etc. Musa said, “Allah is the Creator of the heaven and the earth. Everything between the earth and the heavens is in His commands.” the Pharaoh wa surprised to hear this and said to his companions, that he was asking about Allah and Musa is talking about the earth and the heaven.
The Pharaoh warned him if he worshipped any god except him, he would punish him and send him to prison. Musa asked, “If I show you an open miracle will you not trust me?” the Pharaoh said, “Show me if you are a true Prophet.” Musa cast down his staff and it became a serpent. Seeing this the Pharaoh’s followers ran away from there. The Pharaoh cried loudly and swore at him, Musa picked up his staff and took out his hand from his pocket, the whole palace was illuminated. When the Pharaoh came to his sense, he thought of becoming a follower of Musa. Haman, his vizier said, “You are the God of these people and they worship you. And you want to believe him? Then all the members of the Pharaoh court said that Musa was a great magician. “He is very clever and wants to evict you from the city by his magic.” the Pharaoh asked what their opinion was about this. They said, “Send your people around the city in search of great magicians.” It is must be remembered that the Pharaoh and Haman both were magicians and hypnotized the people. One thousand magicians were collected. The Pharaoh selected a hundred and eighty were the greatest among them. They asked what reward would they get? the Pharaoh said they would be rewarded from his kingdom. They said if Musa could subdue our magic, we shall become the followers and believers of Musa the Pharaoh said, he would also do the same. “But now you try your best to bring Musa under your control.” They gathered in an open space. Musa was called. A throne was erected for the Pharaoh 50 feet high. It was made of steel and shone brightly in the sun. The Pharaoh and Haman came and sat on a dome-like throne. It was so high so that they could see clearly.
Musa raised his head and was waiting for Allah’s revelation. The magicians saw him watching the sky. They said, “We can’t use our magical power on the sky. We can use our power on the earth only.” Then they asked who would start first. Prophet asked them to begin. They threw their magical ropes and staves towards Musa swore by the name of the Pharaoh that they succeed. The ropes and staves moved like snakes and serpents towards him. Allah revealed, “Musa don’t fear, you will be successful over them. Cast down your staff, it will swallow all the magic and magical things. It is their evil-deed but yours is a Divine miracle.”
When Musa cast down his staff, it became a huge serpent. It raised its head and opened its mouth. It raised its upper side up to eighty feet high where the Pharaoh and Haman were sitting and again bent down his head and swallowed their magic. Seeing this all men and women started running. About ten thousand people including their children were crushed in the stampede. Then the serpent moved towards the Pharaoh and Haman. Their clothes spoilt in fear and hair turned gray. Seeing their condition, Musa started running. Allah revealed to him to pick up the staff and not to be afraid. Allah promised him that He would improve their condition as they were before. Musa wrapped his hand in his shawl and put his hand in serpent’s mouth and held its tongue. The serpent turned into a staff. Seeing this all the magicians made obeisance to him and said, “We believe in you and Allah.” the Pharaoh was very angry and said, “You believe him and accept his religion but I do not allow you to do that. Tell me, is Musa your leader? Has he taught you magic? You will come to know, how, I will punish you. I will cut off your hands and legs and hang you on the date palm.” They said, “We are not afraid of you and your punishment as we have turned to Allah and He, the Great, will help us and forgive us as we have accepted His Prophet ’s faith.”
The Pharaoh ordered his men to arrest them. Allah sent his chastisement on the Pharaoh’s community and revealed to Musa to leave the city along with his followers that night. Musa and The Israelites came to the bank of the river Nile. The water of river split and made a way to cross the river. Musa and his people stepped into the river.
When the Pharaoh came to know Musa’s activity, he also collected his army of sixty thousand people and went ahead and he also came along with his people. In the early morning at the time of sunrise, the Pharaoh and his armies had come near. Musa ordered the river to split. The river said, “I never disobeyed Allah and His commands. You have so many people with you, who were disobeying Allah before.” Musa said, “O, river beware of Allah’s wrath and you know it very well when Prophet Adam disobeyed Allah, Allah removed him from Heaven.” The river said, “My Lord is great. I obey his commands if He orders me.”
Yusha‘ ibn Nun came to Musa and said, “O, Prophet! What is the order of Allah?” Musa said, “To Cross the river.” Then Yusha‘ stepped into the river with his horse and crossed the river safely. He and his horse did not even get wet. The people of The Israelites were afraid to cross the river. Allah revealed to Musa to cast his staff on the river. When he did so, the river split and made twelve ways in it. The sun dried the watery ground. There were twelve tribes in Musa’s army. The people of twelve tribes stepped into the river by twelve ways. A tribe, which was with Musa cried loudly and asked about the other people. Musa said they are crossing the river. The water of river stopped its movement like a mountain on their head and the people were crossing the river. When Musa said they are crossing the river, they did not believe. so Allah ordered the river to make holes in water so that they can see each other and talk.
When the Pharaoh saw the miracle, he said to his people, “He has split the water for you.” But no one dared to enter the river. Even their horses were afraid of water and running when the Pharaoh moved ahead to enter into it. His astrologer came to him and said not to go into the water but he didn’t heed. His horse stopped for a while. All his people were on the horseback. At once Archangel Gabriel approached on a mare and entered the river and the last man of the Pharaoh entered into the river. Allah ordered the wind to move the water and the mountain of water fell on them. This was the great chastisement from Allah. The Pharaoh said, “I believe in Allah. No one is like Him.” Archangel Gabriel took a handful of dirty mud and threw on his face and said, “Now seeing the Divine chastisement, you believe in Allah. Before this you were creating mischief on the earth.”5
‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has stated about the Penitential Verse of the Holy Qur’an, But on account of mercy from your Lord — surely His grace to you is abundant.. The Pharaoh said His community believed him to be their God. There is no God but he. Then he ordered his chief vizier Haman to prepare a high tower made of bricks so that he can search for Musa’s Allah. Haman prepared a high tower. It was very high that no one can climb or sit due to strong wind. He said, he couldn’t make it higher than this. When it was ready Allah, sent a strong wind on it. The wind demolished it and it fell down into pieces.
Then the Pharaoh prepared a large trunk. He towed four young ones of vulture. When they grew up, he fixed some sticks in each side of a trunk. He tied loaves of meat on each of the sticks. He kept them hungry for many days. He tied their legs with the wooden sticks. Then the Pharaoh and Haman both sat in it. The vultures flew high in the sky. The whole day they flew in the sky. The Pharaoh asked his vizier to look at the sky whether they reached to the sky or not, Haman said, still the sky seemed far. Then he asked him to look down. Haman said, he couldn’t see anything except the sea. They flew until sunset. The sea disappeared from their sight. It was darkness everywhere. Haman looked at the sky but it seems very far as before. Again the Pharaoh asked him whether they reached the sky or not. Haman said the stars look very far away from there as if he was seeing them from the earth.
So again both of them came down to the earth.
Shaykh Tabarsi and al-Qutb al-Rawandi have quoted from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir and Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq and many other scholars that Musa’s miracle made all the magicians and astrologers his believers but the Pharaoh was one of the unbelievers. That day about sixty thousand Israelites accepted Islam. Haman, the Vizier of the Pharaoh advised him to arrest those who believed in Musa. Allah sent famine upon the Egyptians. Al-Qutb al-Rawandi has said, when the community of the Pharaoh decided to harm him the Pharaoh ordered his men to build a tall tower so that he would go up and fight with Musa’s God. Haman prepared it with the help of fifty thousand workers.
They built a tower of bricks, wooden sticks and iron nails. It was the highest building of that time. Its foundation rested on a high mountain. When it was prepared, Allah sent an earthquake and the buildings was demolished with all the workers. They, all were destroyed. The Pharaoh said to Musa, “Your Allah is Just and Kind to all. Was this the judgment of your God? Now you get out from here along with your followers and keep up preaching them.” Allah sent revelation to his apostle that he separate from him and leave him to Allah. As he wanted to collect an army to fight you. And decide a particular time with him. Keep your followers separate from him, build houses for the, join with one another. Musa fixed the period of forty days with the Pharaoh. Allah, the Great ordered them for prayer. Allah sent revelation that he was collecting his army for the battle but not to fear him. Musa left with his miraculous staff, which was still a serpent. Musa was walking behind him and the people were surprised to see him running away. Musa came to his army and picked it up. It turned to its original shape. Prophet collected his people and built a mosque for prayer. When the period of forty days was over, Allah revealed to him to cast his staff on the river Nile. When he cast his staff on water it became red like blood.
‘Ali Ibn Ibrahim has stated that when The Israelites became the believers of Musa, the rich people of the community of the Pharaoh asked him, “If you leave them without punishing them, they will create a great trouble. As they do not believe in you and your idols.” The Pharaoh was an idol-worshipper at first. The Pharaoh said, “We would kill their boys and arrest their girls as we are ruling over them.” When the Pharaoh arrested people of The Israelites, they said, “He killed our sons and subjected them to torture.” Musa consoled them and urged them to have faith in Allah. “He would destroy them soon. You will be owner of his land. Remember Him and be grateful to Him.”
Allah, the Most High, sent different kinds of chastisements on them. When they got something good, they said it was due to their good deeds and if they faced any trouble, they said it was due to Musa and his people. Musa went to the Pharaoh and said, “Release the Israelites but he did not obey. Prophet hated them.
Allah sent heavy rainfall and many houses were demolished and many people destroyed. The rest of them went to the forest and built tents for themselves. But the people of The Israelites were safe. The water collected in and around their houses, so the Pharaoh asked Musa to pray to Allah to relieve them from wrath, we will believe in your God and the people of The Israelites who are the prisoners will be released. Musa prayed to Allah, and the rainstorm stopped. But they were the liars. Again Haman said to the Pharaoh if you released them and send them to Musa he will overcome you. The Pharaoh did not keep his promise and did not release them. In the same year, Allah made them prosperous, so they said, this was the blessing for them. They transgressed more.
‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from some other books that Allah sent revelation on Musa and he indicated towards East and West with his staff. Locust gathered from both the directions and the crops and fruits were devastated. Their clothes, doors and other belongings were also spoilt but the people of The Israelites were safe. Then the locusts attacked their bodies and ate their hair and beards. So the Egyptian’s came to him but the Pharaoh sent them to Musa. They requested him to pray for them and said if he released them from this trouble, they will become his followers and the people of The Israelites also will be free from their prison.
Musa went towards the forest and indicated towards East and west by his staff, at once the locust disappeared. Again Haman asked the Pharaoh, not to release them. ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated that in the third month of the same year, Allah sent louses and some says they were tiny locusts without wings, they spoilt their fields and uprooted their crops.
According to another tradition, Musa went to a high mountain of Egypt by the permission of Allah. It is known as ‘Ain-ul-Shams’, and cast down his staff. By the permission of Allah numerous louses came out from the ground and entered their clothes and food. Whatever they ate they found louses in it and they hurt their bodies. Some said that they were tiny worms and spoilt their things. Ever the flour was contaminated with them. In every ten kilograms of flour there were three kilogram worms. This was the severe punishment for them. The worms ate their hair, eyelashes and their beard. Each part of their bodies was filled with it. They could not sleep at night. But people of The Israelites were safe. Again people complained to the Pharaoh. He sent them back to Musa and requested him to release them from this trouble. The trouble was removed, but they did not release the people of The Israelites from the prison. Musa stayed with them for a week but they did not believe him and did not release them. Then in the fourth year or fourth month, Musa came to the bank of the river Nile and pointed to water by the order of Allah. May frogs came out and moved towards the houses of unbelievers and entered their food. Their houses were full of frogs. They entered their vessels and spoilt their food. They hid in their clothes and vessels. All the people were in trouble-all the time.
Whenever they wanted to talk or open their mouth to eat, the frogs entered their mouth. At last they came to Musa and requested him to save them from this trouble. They promised him, they will accept his religion and release the people from prison. After seven days Musa went to the river and pointed with his staff, all the frogs disappeared into the sea. Again they did not keep their promise. Again in the fifth year or in the fifth month Musa came to the river Nile and by the permission of Allah, cast his staff on the water. The water of Nile and canals became red like blood. When they drank, the water to blood. But for the people of The Israelites it was clean. The Egyptians told The Israelites to drop water from their mouths into their mouths. The people of The Israelites did when water was dropped into their mouth it changed into blood. The Pharaoh and his people were very thirsty. They ate the leaves and suck juices of vegetables instead of water, but juice also became blood in their mouth.
al-Qutb al-Rawandi has narrated that the water became salty. Seven days or forty days passed. They were eating and drinking blood only. At last they requested Musa for this and were released but their pride and infidelity increased.
‘Ali Ibn Ibrahim narrates from Imam as-Sadiq that Allah rained red ice on them. They had never seen it before. Many people died in this calamity. Again they went to Musa to pray for them remove this profanity from them. “We will believe in you and release your people,” they said. Again Musa prayed for them and the wrath was dispelled but again their infidelity increased.
Musa prayed, “O Allah. You have given them all comforts. Due to this they make their people tread the wrong path and people follow them. So make their money and all belongings useless.” Allah turned all their belongings into stones. All things became useless but they did not improve their conduct. Allah revealed to him that He would send the chastisement of plague on the Pharaoh’s daughters and all females whether human beings or beasts. They would all be destroyed. Musa conveyed the good news to his community. The spies conveyed this news to the Pharaoh at once. The Pharaoh ordered his men to bring all the women of The Israelites. We shall keep them with our females. “When chastisement will come, they will die and our females will be saved.”
It is obvious that sensible people cannot claim to be God. Allah sent the chastisement of plague on the female species at night. The females of every species perished except the females of The Israelites. In the same night eighty thousand female animals also died. The females of the Pharaoh’s community had so much of precious jewels. After that Allah sent His revelation to Musa that He desires to give all the properties of the Pharaoh’s family to the women of The Israelites as a gift.
Ask all the women of The Israelites to demand for all their properties to give them as a gift. “Due to the divine chastisement, they all are in grief and they will not refuse to give away their women’s belongings.” When they obtained the things, Allah ordered Musa to leave the city with his people.
‘Ali ibn Ibrahim narrates from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir that The Israelites called out for help to Musa and asked him to pray to Allah to release them from the Pharaoh’s harassment. At that time Allah sent His revelation to Musa. “O, Musa collect all these believers and leave the city at night.” Musa said there is a river in between. How shall we cross it? Allah said, “I shall order it to split for you.”
Musa collected his people and moved towards the river. When the Pharaoh came to know, he also collected his army and pursued them. When Musa reached the shore, he asked it to split for him.
The water asked the reason and said it would not be split without the permission of Allah. In the meantime the army chief of the Pharaoh came to them. The people of The Israelites were afraid and said “O, Musa. you have cheated us and brought us here. It was better to be a slave of the Pharaoh than to die.” Musa consoled them and said, “Allah is Great. He is a good Guide. He gives us guidance to follow to the right path.” Musa did not like them talking senselessly. They said, “O, Musa! You promised us that the water, would split and let us cross. Now the Pharaoh’s army is upon us.”
Musa raised his hands and prayed to Allah. Allah revealed to him to cast the staff on water. When he cast his staff the water split and Musa along with his people entered the sea. At that the Pharaoh’s army approached there and saw the sea split. The Pharaoh said that he has split the sea by his order. “Now enter the sea and follow them.” the Pharaoh and his army entered the sea. When they were half way, Allah ordered the water to immerse them. They all drowned. When the Pharaoh was drowning, he cried, “O, Musa! I believe in God. There is not other God except He. I have become a Muslim.” Allah said, “First you were disobedient and created trouble on the land. Now today I will free you from the world.” Imam said, “the Pharaoh and his whole community drowned no one survived. They all were all consigned to the fire (Hell).”
But the Pharaoh’s dead body was left at the seashore. So that the other people of the city can see and recognize him and understand that he is dead because they all believed him to be their God. So that other people derive a lesson and knowledge from it.
It is stated that when Musa gave the news to his people that Allah has drowned the Pharaoh the people had doubted it. They said, “He cannot die.” So Allah ordered the sea to throw his dead body out to the seashore that people can see him.
Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said that Archangel Gabriel was visiting the Holy Prophet in sorrowful condition. Allah sent a magnificent verse of Holy Qur’an to the Holy Prophet. This verse is indicated in the following ayah.
Archangel Gabriel brought this Verse to the Holy Prophet in a happy mood. Prophet asked him why he looked so happy. Archangel Gabriel said, “O Prophet when the Pharaoh was drowning and said he believed that there is no God but He is whom the people of Israel believe and he is one of them. But I threw a handful mud and filled his mouth with it and recited this above Verse. And I recited this verse without the permission of Allah. I was worried Allah will dislike it. But when Allah ordered me to bring this verse to you, I was assured that Allah was pleased with me.”
Imam al-Ridha has stated that when the Pharaoh pursued Musa there were six lakh people in his army and one lakh people in another army. When both the armies reached the seashore the Pharaoh’s horse reared and did not step into the sea. In the meanwhile Archangel Gabriel approached on a mare and passed by the horse and stepped into the sea. The Pharaoh’s horse also followed the mare and then the whole army behind them.
According to a tradition of Imam al-Ridha Allah revealed to Musa, “When the moon appears in the heavens, you should all enter the sea and also take with you Yusuf ’s body from Egypt. So that He can send Chastisement on the Pharaoh. That day the moon appeared late so Musa thought Allah delays to send chastisement because Yusuf ’s body was not taken out as nobody knew the place where Yusuf was buried. The people said that an old woman knew it. When she was brought to Musa. She was very old, weak and blind. Musa asked the old lady about Yusuf ’s grave. She said she knew the place but will not show it until he grants her four wishes. According to another tradition she asked Musa to guarantee a good place in Heaven. Musa was confused.
But Allah revealed, “Give her whatever she wants, I will accept it Whatever you grant her.” Musa prayed and Allah granted her wishes. She indicated the grave of Yusuf on the banks of river Nile. Yusuf ’s body was placed in a marble coffin. Musa took it out and at once the moon appeared in the sky. Yusuf ’s body was taken to Syria and buried there. That is why the people of the book like to go to Syria. Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq has narrated that when Musa called that old woman and asked her to show the place of Yusuf ’s grave she said, “By Allah, unless and until you promise me to grant my wishes I will not show you the place. Allah sent him revelation, “What is the difficulty?” Musa told her to ask whatever she wanted. She said that her desire was to stay in heaven near him.
According to another tradition it is said that the Pharaoh tried to destroy the Israelites. He made a plan to kill all the believers of The Israelites. One day he invited them for a feast. It was Sunday, the day of the Pharaoh’s ‘Id. He mixed poison in their food. Allah revealed to Musa, “Give them some kind of medicine to eat, so that poison will be useless.” Musa attended the feast with The Israelites. He told the women and children to go back and ordered the remaining people not to touch food before taking the medicine prescribed by Allah. The poison was in a small quantity; as little as a hole of a needle. When food was served they started eating as much as possible. Musa, his brother Harun and Yusha‘ ibn Nun and many others were sitting in a special place. Their food was more poisonous. The Pharaoh swore, that he would not allow anyone else to serve them you. He himself served them the poisoned food.
When all were satiated Musa said, “We have not brought our women and children with us.” the Pharaoh said food would be given for them. Musa returned with his people. The Pharaoh had prepared the food without poison, for his people. But when they ate the food they died at once. About 70,000 male, and 1,60,000 women of his community died, except animals. But Musa’s people were safe. The Pharaoh and his close friends were surprised but they did not believe in Allah and His Prophet.
According to a reliable tradition Imam ‘Ali has said that six things were born without a mother. They are (1) Prophet Adam, (2) Hawwa’ (3) Ram of Prophet Ibrahim (4) Staff of Musa (5) She-Camel of Prophet Salih (6) A heavenly bird named Tayur which was made by ‘Isa who came to life by ‘Isa ’s order.
According to a reliable tradition Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq has stated that the people of The Israelites were divided into groups. One group joined the Pharaoh’s army. They thought if Musa will not succeed they shall go to the Pharaoh’s side. When Musa and his community separated from the Pharaoh the people of that group also galloped on their horses and ran towards Musa. But Allah sent His Angels on them. They slapped them and turned them to the Pharaoh’s army and at last they all were destroyed with them.
According to a reliable tradition from Imam al-Ridha one of the companions of Musa’s had his father in the group of the Pharaoh. When the Egyptian army came to Musa, the companion came to his father to persuade him by good words and make him a believer of Musa. While talking, they both entered the water but both of them drowned. When Musa came to know he said, “They died according to Allah’s will. But when the chastisement comes upon the sinners, it destroys both.” the Pharaoh is one of the five individuals that will get the most severe punishment on the day of judgment.
Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq has stated that Allah gave him ample time- forty years. First, when the Pharaoh declared himself God and said there is no other God except he. Second, he said, He is a God, the greatest of all. Due to this he was hated by Allah and His Prophets Musa and Harun. Allah sent the revelation on His Prophet. His prayer is accepted. This revelation came on him when forty years passed after the Pharaoh’s death.
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir has narrated that at the time of the Pharaoh’s infidelity, Archangel Gabriel prayed to Allah, “You give him sufficient time and leave him without punishing him and he (the Pharaoh) claimed himself as God.” Allah said, “This thought is like that of an ordinary person who is afraid that an opportunity once lost never comes back.”
Imam al-Ridha has stated about the land of Egypt, that Allah did not punish the people of The Israelites and was not satisfied until they returned to Egypt.
Imam Musa bin Ja‘far has narrated that Musa was reciting a Dua while entering the court of the Pharaoh. Due to his prayer, Allah changed his happy mind into a fearful person.
Once people asked Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq that when the Pharaoh said let me kill Musa, what stopped him from it? Imam said that he was of legitimate birth and that itself was the obstacle because only a bastard can kill a Prophet and his family members. According to a tradition Imam has stated that when Musa and Harun entered the court of the Pharaoh, they saw that all courtiers were of legitimate birth and not bastards. If any bastard were there, he would have told him to kill Musa. Whenever the Pharaoh sought their advise on killing Musa they showed him another plan to harass him. One who advised to kill was a real bastard.
Hasan, the narrator has stated from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq that when the Pharaoh intended to punish anyone he made him lie down with his face to the ground or on a plank and drove pegs in his hands and legs and left him in this condition until he died. That is why the Pharaoh was known as “possessor of pegs” in his community.
Allah says that He has bestowed nine symbols to Musa. According to a reliable tradition from the Imam the nine symbols were (1) The Staff (2) Luminous hand (3) locusts (4) louses (5) Frogs (6) blood (7) storm (8) Splitting of water (9) and the stone from which twelve streams flow.
According to another tradition from Imam as-Sadiq when Allah sent a revelation on Prophet Ibrahim that He would bestow him a son named Ishaq by his wife Sarah his wife said that her husband had become old and she too. Allah sent a revelation that they will get a son and said, his family will be very big and the Pharaoh will kill many people from his family. “It would happened because Sarah rejected my words.” When the people of The Israelites were in Allah’s chastisement, they recited prayer for forty days and urged Allah to release them. Allah sent His revelation to Musa and Harun to them free from the Pharaoh’s punishment. Due to their request, Allah subtracted 170 years from 400 years. Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq says, “To save yourself from sorrow and unhappiness, request Allah, the Merciful. He will make you free from all the troubles and our last Imam al-Mahdi will be appear soon. If you do not do so, the difficulties will increase.
Imam ‘Ali has stated that Allah takes trial of infidels people by His friends. Musa and Harun came to the Pharaoh in woolen clothes with a miraculous staff and had decided, if he would accept Islam and become a Muslim, his kingship and his respect will remain safe. Hearing them the Pharaoh said to his companions, “They both are giving false advice to usurp my kingdom and sovereignty. See their condition and their dress. They are like beggars. So they are after wealth only.” He said because he was a greedy person himself and felt insulted to wear woolen clothes.
According to a reliable tradition from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq it was Wednesday when he was drowned. It was the same day that he decided to kill Musa and the people of The Israelites and in the same day Allah sent chastisement on him.
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir says when Musa came to his wife she asked him where he comes from? He said, “From the owner of the fire.” In the morning he came to the Pharaoh. Imam said, “By Allah, he came raising his hands, his body was full of hair, his skin was wheatish. He had worn a woolen coat. He had a staff in his hand and a bunch of dates was tied to his waist and his shoes were made of donkey hide. People informed the Pharaoh that a young man was waiting at the door and says that he is an apostle of Allah. The Pharaoh ordered his man (the master of lions) to release the lions on him. It was his habit when he was in anger.
Musa cast down his staff on the door. At once all nine doors opened. The Pharaoh had kept the door closed for his own safety. When the doors opened the lions came out, and bowed their head on Musa’s feet and began to circle him.
The Pharaoh and his men were astounded. Then Musa entered in his court. Allah says in Qur’an about the argument of the Pharaoh and Musa. The Pharaoh ordered his man to hold Musa’s hands and asked another man to kill him. They came to Musa for this purpose; Archangel Gabriel killed them with his sword at once. They were six, who came one by one and they all were killed by Archangel Gabriel. Seeing this the Pharaoh ordered them to let Musa free. Then Musa took out his hand from his pocket. His hand was shining like the sun and nobody could fix his glance at it. Then Musa cast down his staff. It became a large serpent and held the whole palace into its mouth to swallow it. But the Pharaoh asked Musa to spare him time for a day.6
Ibn Babawayh has quoted that water of Nile became lesser. People come to the Pharaoh and asked him to increase the water. The Pharaoh said, he is not happy with them, that is why he had made the water flow slowly. Again the people came to him and complained that their all animals died of thirst and warned, “If you don’t increase the water flow we will search for another God in your place.” The Pharaoh said, “All right, come with me to the forest.” He went aside in a corner, so the people cannot see or hear him. He kept his face on the ground and raised his forefinger towards the heavens and requested Allah and said, “There is no other God except He. And He is only able to make the water flow or stop it. Increase the flow for the sake of your people.” Allah heard his prayer as he is Knowing and Hearing. At once the water of Nile started flowing more as before. The Pharaoh said to his people that he had increased the water flow. Seeing this they made obeisance to the Pharaoh. Archangel Gabriel came to him and said, “I have a claim, so please be impartial.” He asked, what his complaint was? He (Archangel Gabriel said, “I gave the full authority to one of my servants on others. Now he keeps enmity with me and became a friend of my enemy. He is also against my friends. Do justice, and clear the matter.” the Pharaoh said, “Your servant has become disobedient. If he comes under my control I will drown him in the sea.” Archangel Gabriel said give me your assurance in writing. The Pharaoh ordered for a pen and a paper and wrote, “A person who is disobedient to his master and keeps enmity and makes friendship with the enemies of his master should be drowned in deep water.” Archangel Gabriel took his signature.
When the Pharaoh entered the water, Archangel Gabriel approached him with that paper and said, “This is the order for you, you have written it yourself.”
Imam as-Sadiq and Imam al-Kadhim have narrated regarding the verse from the Holy Qur’an-Allah ordered His Prophets Musa and Harun to go to the Pharaoh as he has become an infidel. “Talk to him softly so he would be obedient and fear of My chastisement.” Imam has stated ‘softly’ means, to talk to him with respect by saying My Lord. This word shows respect, but Allah knew the Pharaoh was disobedient and did not believe in them. Besides, he did not like to follow the advise of others. But when he was caught in divine chastisement and was drowning he feared and accepted the truth. He said He believed in Allah and became a Muslim, as the people of The Israelites believe in Him. But it was too late. Allah did not accept his prayer. Allah said, “Now you accept Me as your God, seeing my chastisement. First you were disobeying Me and spreading dispute and disturbance on the land. Now today I shall raise your body from the land so that the new generation will take lesson.” Allah has declared in the Qur’an,
What! Now! And indeed you disobeyed before and you were of the mischief-makers.
But We will this day deliver you with your body that you may be a sign to those after you, and most surely the majority of the people are heedless to Our communications. (10:90-91)
Imam al-Ridha was asked why Allah destroyed the Pharaoh in His Chastisement, what was his fault? In the last moment, he accepted faith and believed in Allah. Imam replied, “He believed in Allah when he beheld the chastisement. Allah has declared clearly in Qur’an about His commands and chastisement. His judgment is equal to all and for the new generations, Allah has stated: O Prophet Muhammad! Say- ‘When the signs of His chastisement came into light, and unbelievers, who were not believing in Me, will not be excused.” In this way Allah did not accept his request at the time of chastisement. Allah said, (to the Pharaoh) his body would be thrown at them, so that the new generations and remaining people will take example from it. The Pharaoh was drowned with the weight of iron from top to bottom. When he was drowned, his body was thrown out to the height, so that the people would see him. It was the example for the people. Due to divine power his body floated on water instead of sinking, first as an example for the people and secondly when he was drowning, he cried to Musa to save him. Allah revealed to Musa not to accept his request because “you have not created him” but He. If he asked Him to help, he would help him but he did not do.7
Imam Al-Hasan al-’Askari has stated that Allah says,
“And when we parted the sea for you, so We saved you and drowned the followers of the Pharaoh and you watched by.” (2:50)
When Musa reached the shore, Allah revealed to him to keep up praying and “recite the names of the Holy Five i.e. Muhammad ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn and pray to Me.”
Imam Al-Hasan ‘Askari has stated, “If you do so, Allah, the Great will change waterways into land and you can pass on it easily.” The people of The Israelites said to Musa, “You always advise us something and we don’t like that. We left the city in the fear of the Pharaoh and you ask us to recite the names and enter into the sea. We are afraid, if we do so, what will happen to us?” At that time Qalib bin Yukna came to Musa on the horseback. They had to cross the gulf which was far from there He asked, “O, Prophet of Allah! Has Allah ordered you to recite these auspicious name and enter?” Musa said, “Yes.” He said, “Do you agree with this and order us to say so?” Musa said, “Yes.”
He obeyed the order and started reciting the names, put faith in Allah and prayed to Allah to help him pass the gulf. He stepped into the water. The way of the sea became hard below the hooves of the horse and reached to the gulf. Again he came back running to Musa and faced The Israelites and asked them to obey Musa. He said, “This is not a prayer but these auspicious names are the key of Heaven and a lock of Hell. This is a good support to earn living and it is a good security for the followers of Allah and makes Him happy.” But the people refused to walk on the water and said they would prefer to walk on the land. Allah sent a revelation on him to cast his staff on water by taking the auspicious name of the Holy Prophet and his family and order the water to split. When Musa did so, a path appeared in water. Then Musa asked them to walk. They said there is dirt and mud on the surface of the sea, if they go in, they will stick into it. Allah revealed to him to pray to the Almighty for the sake of the Holy Prophet and his family, to dry the surface of the sea. “We will dry the surface for the sake of the auspicious names.”
Allah sent favorable wind to dry the surface. Then Musa asked his people to move. They said they were of twelve tribes. If they walk on one path, they will try to go ahead from one another. They doubt they would quarrel among themselves. They wanted to go by different paths. Allah revealed to him to cast the staff by the name of Prophet and his family and pray to him to make the land appear for them and remove their sorrow. In this way the twelve paths appeared and the morning breeze dried the surface. Musa asked them to walk. They said that their twelve groups will walk on the twelve paths, but they will be unknown for one another. Musa prayed to Allah for the sake of Holy Prophet and his family to make holes in the mountains of water so that they can see one another and talk through the holes. When they entered the sea, the Pharaoh came to the shore with his army. Seeing them walking in the sea, the Pharaoh and his army also entered. The Egyptians wanted to come out from the sea. Allah ordered the sea to flow high, so all the people sank into sea and Musa’s followers watched them drown.
In the time of the Prophet Allah revealed to the Jews of that time why they did not believe in him (Muhammad) when they know very well that Allah completed all the bounties on their ancestors as the Sadaqah of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad?
And certainly We sent Musa with Our communications and clear authority,
To the Pharaoh, Haman and Qarun, but they said: A lying magician. (40:23-24)
When Musa came to them with a sign of authority the people said, kill their sons and leave their daughters alive. They were following the wrong path. The Pharaoh cried in anger, “Let me kill Musa. I am afraid of him that he seeks help from his God. He will spoil your religion and will spread mischief on the land.” One of the believers of the Pharaoh who believed in Allah secretly said, “You want to kill a man who believes in Allah, the Lord of the world? Though he has come to you with an open sign of miraculous staff. If he is a liar, he will suffer and if he is true, he will benefit you with his good deeds. Allah does not help the sinners and liars. O, people of my community, you are ruling and enjoying and settled in your land in Egypt. But say, if Allah’s chastisement comes upon us, who will save us? the Pharaoh said, “I know you, what you are and I also follow your advice and respect you.” A man who believed in Allah in private, said, “O, people! Indeed I am afraid for you, as the community of previous Prophets were disbelievers and they all were destroyed in Divine chastisement.
The peoples of Prophet Nuh, Hud and Salih were also destroyed in chastisement. Allah does not oppress the people. O, my people, fear Allah’s judgment, when you will be thrown in Hell and no one will help you from the wrath. And indeed, Allah sent His apostle Yusuf to you, with clear sign but you did not believe in him until he passed away. You doubted that he was a real Prophet and you said, ‘Allah will not send any other Prophet after him.’ Allah also leaves the sinners and doubters in the dark. Then the believer of Allah asked the people to believe in him so he makes them follow the right path. He said life is short and temporary in the world. O, people you invite me to your wrong path and I invite you to follow the right path. You want me to become a disbeliever and give respect to one who has no knowledge. I call you towards Allah, the Merciful and you invite me to your God. Indeed, the disbeliever will go to Hell. I leave everything on Allah, the Great. He is Knowing and Hearing. Allah kept his believers in his protection and involved the disbelievers, in strict punishment.
Allah has given the example of the Pharaoh’s wife. He is quoted in Holy Qur’an,
“When she said, My Lord! Build for me a house in Heaven and deliver me from the Pharaoh and his doing, and deliver me from the unjust people.” (28:11)
The Holy Prophet has said that three persons were the good believers of Allah. i.e. (1) The believer of the Pharaoh’s people (2) ‘Ali Ibn Abi-Talib and (3) Aasiya
The Holy Prophet has said, “Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Fatimah al-Zahra’, Maryam the daughter of ‘Imran and Aasiya, the wife of the Pharaoh are the four ladies of Paradise.”
Imam Al-Hasan ‘Askari has stated that Prophet Hizqil (Ezekiel) invited the Egyptians towards Allah and towards the Prophethood of Musa and declared Prophet Muhammad one of the best from all Prophets and Imam ‘Ali and the families of other Prophets. He advised the people to avoid the Pharaoh’s lordship. The back-biters said to the Pharaoh that Prophet Hizqil instigates people against him. The Pharaoh said, “He is my cousin and my heir. If he is against with me, he will be punished and if you are wrong in this matter, you will be punished.” Then he ordered Prophet Hizqil to be present in the court. The people asked him to appear to the Pharaoh but he refused to accept the Pharaoh as God. Prophet Hizqil said, “O, Lord! Have you ever heard me lying? the Pharaoh said, “No.” Then he asked the Pharaoh to ask his people, who their God is? They said, “the Pharaoh is our Lord.” Then he asked the Pharaoh to ask them who has created them? They said, “Of course, the Pharaoh.” Then he said to ask them who gives them sustenance and other necessities and who saves them from troubles? They said, “the Pharaoh, our Lord.” Prophet Hizqil said, I witness you and all the people of your court that their God, is my God. The God, who provides all the bounties, livelihood to all, is my God. There is no other God, except He. And O, Lord! I make you and all who are present here as my witness, that I am very much annoyed of other gods except He and I do not believe in them.”
Prophet Hizqil told them indirectly that he believes in Allah only and not their Lord. They could not understand what he said and whom he meant. The Pharaoh became very angry and said that they have created a rift between them. They are liable for his severe punishment because they wished to create disturbance in his kingdom and spoil relationships. As a punishment, he ordered his people to make them sleep, putting their legs on their breasts and nailed their hands and legs and sawed their flesh from their bones. Allah, the Great, kept his Prophet safe from the Pharaoh’s punishment.
‘Ali Ibn Ibrahim has narrated that a believer of Allah, from the family of the Pharaoh kept his belief secret for six hundred years. He was suffering some kind of disease. His fingers fell off. He was raising his hands towards the people and inviting them to Allah. so Allah made him safe from their fraud.
Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq has narrated that the Pharaoh gave him much trouble, but Allah saved him.
Al-Qutb al-Rawandi has narrated that the Pharaoh sent two of his men to bring Hizqil. They found him on a mountain in prayer. They saw animals around him and decided to arrest him. But Allah, the Great, ordered an animal as tall as camel to come in between and attacked them until Hizqil was free from prayer. When he saw them he feared and prayed to Allah to save him the Pharaoh’s harassment. “You are my Lord and I trust you. You are my owner and I believe in You. O Allah! I request you, if they intend to attack me, let the Pharaoh come over them and if they are good, help them and guide them.” Seeing him, the two men returned. While returning one said to another, “I will keep secret about Hizqil. What will we get if he is killed.” Another said, “We will inform the Pharaoh about him.” When they came to the Pharaoh, he told him, what they had seen but the first one did not say anything. When Hizqil came to the Pharaoh, he asked his two men, who was their God? They said, ‘You’. Then the Pharaoh asked Hizqil, who is his God? Hizqil said, ‘Their and my God is same’. The Pharaoh thought that Hizqil believed in him. He became very happy and killed the man who had given information about Hizqil. After this incident that man became the follower of Prophet and was killed with other magicians by the Pharaoh’s order.8
Thalabi has written that Prophet Hizqil was one the companions of the Pharaoh. He was the same person who made a coffin for the mother of Musa. Some has said that he was the treasurer of the Pharaoh. He kept his belief secret for a hundred years, until Musa overcame the magicians. On that day Prophet Hizqil declared himself as a believer of Allah. So he was killed by the Pharaoh who killed the other magicians also.
Hizqil’s wife was a dresser of the daughters of the Pharaoh and she was good and believed in Allah. One day a comb slipped from her hand, so she said ‘Bismillah’. The daughter of the Pharoah asked whether she has uttered this word for his father. She said, No. She has uttered this word for Allah, the Great. The daughter of the Pharaoh said she will inform her father and she did. The Pharaoh called her with her children and asked her “Who is her God”? She said “Allah, my Lord and your Lord is same and He has created all on the earth and in the Heaven.”
The Pharaoh ordered a large stove of copper and lighted it with fire. Then he called Hizqil’s wife with her children near it. She said her last desire is that their bones be buried in the earth. The Pharaoh agreed to do so. He put them one by one in the heated stove. The last tiny babe, who was suckling, said to his mother by the permission of Allah. “O, mother! Be patient, Allah is with you.”
Aasiya, the wife of the Pharaoh belonged to The Israelites. She was pious and believed in Allah and she prayed secretly. When the Pharaoh burnt the wife of Hizqil, she watched the Angels taking her soul to heaven and Aasiya’s faith increased. The Pharaoh came to her and told her what had happened. Aasiya became very sad and said to her husband “Shame on you! What a shameful task you did against the law of Allah!” The Pharaoh said, “You have became mad, like that woman. She said that she believes in Allah, who is the Lord of the world.”
The Pharaoh became very angry and called Aasiya’s mother and said that her daughter has become mad. “Tell her not to believe in Musa’s Lord or she will be killed.” Her mother tried but she refused to believe the Pharaoh.
By the order of the Pharaoh his executioner drove pegs in her. Musa passed and prayed for her. Allah, the Merciful relieved her pain and Aasiya prayed to Him to make a house for her in Heaven. Allah revealed to her to look at the sky. She looked up and became happy and satisfied to see her house in the Heaven.
‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated that when The Israelites came out of the river and camped in desert they began to tell Musa that you have destroyed us by dumping in a desert after taking us out of our homes. Now there was no shade nor water so Allah sent a cloud over them. It was shaded during day and descending upon them in the night to become their food settling on grass, rock or tree. Then it was dropping toasted chicken fowls on their tablecloths. Thereby they were eating to satiation. After this the birds use to fly away by the command of Allah. Musa had a stone which he used to put in the midst of his army. Then he used to hit it with his stick thereby flew streams of water for every clan (of an Israel). They were twelve clans. After a period of time they told Musa, “O Musa. We are not content with only one type of food. Pray to Allah that He may create vegetable, cucumber, and wheat.” And some say it was lentil, others are of the opinion it was bread. Musa said, “Do you want to exchange such nice things with ordinary ones? Then go to Egypt or any other city where you will get such things.”
It is recorded in reliable sources from Imam al-Baqir that Almighty Allah commanded to Musa to lead The Israelites to the Holy Land and drive out the disbelievers from there and to reside there. The Population of The Israelites was 600000. Musa told them, “Allah had written and destined for you to go and settle in the Holy Land; do not become deniers and disobedient otherwise you would be in a loss.” They replied, “A group of tyrants lives in the Holy Land whom we cannot confront. Therefore we will never enter that city until they get out of it.” Two persons from them, that is, Yusha‘ ibn Nun and Kaalab said, “Fear Allah. Allah had guided them to obey him.” They said, “The defiant of Amaaliqah have twelve cities. So when you will enter them you will overcome them. Rely on Allah if at all you believe in him.” They replied, “O Musa! We will never enter that city so long as tyrants are living there. You along with your God may go and fight with them. We sit here.” Musa said, “My Lord! I possess power only on myself and on my brother. Separate me from the group of these sinners.” The Lord said, “Since they did not accept the admission to they holy lands I have made it unlawful for them enter it for forty years. They will wander restlessly in this land. Do not sorrowful because of the sinners.”
Imam al-Baqir said they wandered restlessly for forty years in an area of four Parasang (24 Kms), because they rejected Allah’s commandment and did not agree to enter the holy Lands. Every evening an announcer used to announce, “Load yourself.” Then they used to start singing epics and traveled until next dawn. But next morning they found themselves at the spot from where they had started walking and say, “We lost our path.” So they remained in this state for forty years. The Lord used to send Manna and salwa for them. They had a stone which Musa used to hit that stone with his staff when they halted (camped). This caused twelve springs to flow from that stone, that is, every spring flew toward every clan. When Musa wanted to take it (stone) to another place the water used to draw back to that stone. The stone was put on an animal. All except Yusha‘ ibn Nun and Kalaab bin Yuqanna died in these circumstances because these two had not rejected the Divine commandment to enter the Holy Land. Musa and Harun also expired in the desert of Tiyah.
It is recorded in many hadiths from Imam al-Baqir and Imam as-Sadiq that Allah had destined for them the entrance of the Holy land but they denied and it was made unlawful for them and it was decided that their sons should enter it. So all of them died in that very desert. Their children entered the Holy Land with Yusha‘ and Kalaab. Allah cancels whatever he wants and confirms whatever he wills. And he has the ummul kitab. (The mother scriptures). It is mentioned in other narrations that their sons too did not enter but their grandsons did.
It is mentioned in yet another reliable tradition that Imam al-Baqir said, “The land of Syria is very nice and the best but its residents are very bad and Egypt is the worst land because it is the prison of the one upon whom Allah frowns. The entry of The Israelites into Egypt was for no other reason but that Allah had been angry with them because of their sin. Allah had asked them to enter the holy land as it was destined for them, but they declined. So they kept on wandering and moving restlessly for forty years in Egypt and its deserts. They could not come out of Egypt and enter Syria but only after they repented and Allah became pleased. I abhor eating anything in a vessel made with the clay of Egypt nor do I like to wash my head with the earth of Egypt fearing that it might become cause of my disgrace and might snatch away my prestige and honor.”
‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated that when The Israelites told Musa, “Go with your Lord to fight; we shall sit here”, Musa held the hand of Harun and wanted to go away from their midst. The Israelites feared that if he goes away Allah’s chastisement would fall on them. So they went to Musa weeping and requested him to remain with them and to pray to Allah so that He may accept their repentance. Then Allah revealed to Musa, “I have accepted their penitence but I will keep them roaming restlessly for forty years as a punishment for their disobedience.” Then all of them except Harun entered Tiyah for repenting from the night they started for Tiyah reciting Torah towards Egypt. There was distance of four parasang between them and Egypt. When they were reaching the gate of Egypt the earth used to roll back to the point from where they had started.
Similarly there is a narration according to which when The Israelites crossed the river they reached an idol worshipping people. They said to Musa, “Make for us also a god, like the god of these people.” “You are an ignorant people,” Musa retorted. “These people are about to be destroyed due to this deed because their action is false. Should I find out any other god besides Allah though He has given you superiority over the entire world?”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that when The Israelites crossed the river they said, “O Musa! With what strength and power would we reach the Holy land when women and children and aged are also with us?” Musa said, “I do not think Allah has given to anyone more than what he has given you from worldly wealth and means as heritage from the Pharaoh. Henceforth He will manage your affairs. So remember Allah and leave every affair to Him and me as He is more kind to you then you are to yourselves.” They said, “O Musa! Pray to Allah so that now He may give us food and water and clothing and terminate our wandering and give us shade from the sun.”
Allah revealed to Musa, “I have ordered that the heavens may send Manna and Salwa to them from above, that the air may bake Salwa for them, that the stone may gush out water for them and the cloud may give them shade.” He also ordained that the dresses they were wearing should enlarge with the enlargement of their bodies. Anyway Musa turned toward the holy land along with them, which is known as Palestine in the vicinity of Syria.
It is called Holy (Muqaddas) because Ya‘qub was born there and it was the residence of Ishaq and Yusuf and all of them were shifted there after their deaths.
The Tafsir of Imam Al-Hasan al-’Askari says: Allah said, “Remember O The Israelites the time when he had made a cloud give a shade when you were in Tiyah so that it may protect you from the heat of sun and cold of the moon and we dropped on you Manna which is called Taranjadeen which used to drop under the trees and they used to collect it.” And Allah sent for them Salwa which was a bird of the sky. Its meat was better than that of all other birds and they used to catch it without any trouble and were eating it.
In short Allah told them, “eat the pure thing which We have given to you and thank Me for My bounties which I have bestowed on you and give respect to Me and My preferred slaves Muhammad and the family of Muhammad because I have made them honorable. So give them honor, because it is I who has made them great and I have taken from you the oath about their Wilayah (Holy Guardianship). and they did not do Us any harm, meaning they have not oppressed Us, that whatever oath and undertaking We had taken from them regarding those great persons has been changed by them and they did not fulfill the commitment. So the blasphemy of the infidels cannot harm Our Kingdom just as nothing is added to Our Kingdom by the faith of the faithful but they made their own souls suffer the loss means: They have oppressed themselves by becoming infidels and by altering Our commandment.
Remember the time when we ordered your ancestors that: Enter this city Areeha that is a city of the country called Shaam (Syria). This was when The Israelites were freed from the desert of Tiyah. Then eat from it a plenteous (food) wherever you wish, means: Eat the provisions in this city from wherever you please in abundance and without any trouble. Enter this city, means: And enter the gate of the city after making a prostration.
Imam said that Allah had sketched the figures of Muhammad and ‘Ali on the gate of that city and it was ordered that they should prostrate to give respect to those sketches and to refresh their allegiance and love in their hearts and remember the promise and undertaking regarding their Wilayah (authority) and the belief of their superiority which were obtained from them. Then eat from it a plenteous (food) wherever you wish, meaning: and Say that this Sajdah (prostration or bowing) is for Allah and is an indication of honoring the figure of Muhammad and ‘Ali and that the belief of their Wilayah will decrease our sins and scrap our errors. We will forgive you your wrongs. meaning: So that We may pardon your sins. and give more to those who do good (to others). means: And soon We will increase the reward of the righteous, that is, who will do this and who will not have sinned earlier, we will give them higher positions and stations.
But those who were unjust changed it for a saying other than that which had been spoken to them, means: To those who had oppressed themselves changes this word. Imam said, they did not bow as Allah had ordered neither uttered the word as Allah had ordained and they entered the door with their backs towards the door: they neither bowed nor prostrated while entering and said, Why should we bow when the door is so high as it may make us bow for false and senseless things.! So while entering they uttered Hintaa Samqaanaa instead of Hittah meaning thereby that word and deed. so We sent upon those who were unjust a pestilence from heaven, because they transgressed. means: So we, due to the sinfulness of those who had oppressed themselves, sent a sort of chastisement from the heavens because they did not accept the Wilayah of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad.
The said chastisement was such that within one day 120000 persons from them died of plague. They were those about whom Allah knew that they would not be alive nor will anyone be born out of their loins who will worship Allah unilaterally or believe in the Prophethood of Muhammad and recognize the Wilayah of ‘Ali. Allah said, And when Musa prayed for drink for his people, means: O The Israelites’ Remember the time when Musa requested water for his people as they had come to him weeping and crying and complaining that in the desert of Tiyah they were dying of thirst. Musa said, My Lord! Quench the thirst of these slaves of Yours for the sake of the leader of Prophets of Muhammad and the leader of the legates ‘Ali and the leader of the womenfolk Fatimah and the best Wali Hasan and the greatest martyr Husayn and their successors and the progeny who are the best among all sagacious and spotless people. We said: Strike the rock with your staff meaning: Allah revealed, “O Musa! Strike your staff on the stone (rock). When he struck the staff on the stone twelve springs flew from it. Every one of the twelve tribes of the progeny of Ya‘qub recognized their place obtaining water so that they might not dispute and quarrel. Thereafter Allah addressed them: Eat and drink from this provision. and do not act corruptly in the land, means: And do not be of those who spread corruption in the land.
And when you said: O Musa! we cannot bear with one food, therefore pray to the Lord on our behalf to bring forth for us out of what the earth grows, of its herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions. He said: Will you exchange that which is better for that which is worse? Enter a city, so you will have what you ask for.
Means: And recall the time when your forefathers who lived in the days of Musa told him: We cannot remain content with only one kind of food, that is, manna and salwa. We need other foods for variety. So pray to your Lord so that He may provide us with things He grows from earth. Vegetables, cucumber, garlic (or wheat), lentil and onions etc. Musa replied, “Do you wish that a better thing should be taken away from you and you be given which is worse?” Then get down, that is, go away from Tiyah desert to any city where whatever you desire will be made available to you.
It is written, according to reliable sources, that Imam al-Baqir has, in explanation of the verse and enter the gate making obeisance, It is written that this had taken place when Musa came out of the land of Tiyah and the entire The Israelites entered a residential area. They had sinned. So Allah desired to free them from the sin and to pardon them if if they repent. Therefore he ordered them that when they reach the gate of the city they may prostrate and utter Hittah, meaning pardon so that their errors might be forgiven and their sins be blotted out. Those among them who were pious complied and their repentance was accepted. But those who were oppressors uttered hintae humaraa (red wheat) instead so as to obtain wheat. So the divine chastisement descended on them.
Both Shi‘ahs and Sunnis have noted in recurring traditions that the Holy Prophet said, “In this Ummah the example of my family is like the Door of Repentance of the Israelites those who entered were pardoned and those who refused were destroyed. Similarly anyone from this Ummah, who will enter the love of my Ahl al-Bayt and believe in Imamate (leadership), and will abide by their knowledge and consider them as a means of their salvation will get salvation and the one who will defy their obedience and will follow the false world, as did they demanded red wheat, will be destroyed.”
It is mentioned in a reliable tradition that Imam as-Sadiq said, sleeping before sunrise is ominous, it makes your face yellowish and deprive one of his provision, because the Almighty distributes provision between dawn and sunrise. Manna and Salwa was being dropped on The Israelites at this time, and the one who was asleep at this time was not getting his ration, but was obliged to ask for it from others.
It is recorded in reliable sources from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq that when al-Qa’im -the family of Muhammad will appear in Makkah and will intend to turn towards al-Kufah his announcer will announce to his companions that nobody should keep food and water with him. He will be having the stone of Musa with him which will form a camel load. A water spring will gush from it wherever they camp. Every hungry and thirsty person will be satisfied with that water which will be his provision until he with all others settle graciously in Najaf al-Ashraf.9
Thalabi has narrated from Wahab bin Munabbah that Allah revealed to Musa: to construct a mosque for his people so that they might pray in congregation and also build Jerusalem for Torah and Ark of the Covenant and also to built dome for sacrificial rites. He was asked to make curtains for the Masjid and that its front and back must be of skin of sacrificed animals. Their bands (ropes) must also have been made up of wool of sacrificed animals and that women of menses should not touch those bands nor the unclean man should make the skins impure.
The pillar of the mosque must be of copper. Each pillar must be forty yards high and that each should be divided into twelve portions to be lifted by a separate group. The curtains should be 600 yards long. They should make seven domes. Seven of them for sacrificial rites should made of gold and silver and they should be raised on silver pillars. Each pillar must be 40 yards high. Silver tables should be placed between them to put the sacrifice on and each table should be four yard long and one yard wide. The four legs of every table should be made of silver and each should be three yards high so that nobody could be able to pick up anything from it without getting up. The Jerusalem which is the seventh dome must be raised on golden pillars seventy yards high and it should be placed on golden Seebaa, which also should decorated with different jewels. Gold and silver nets must be provided beneath. Ropes should be made up of fur of the sacrificed animals and must be colored in various shades, that is red, green and yellow. All the curtains must be placed one upon another. The lowest must be made up of thick green silk the second of purple, then of fine silk and brocade of white and yellow shade and the topmost seventh of skin of sacrificed animals, which may protect the others from rain and dust. Its width must be seventy yards. The carpets of the domes should be of red fine silk and the golden box should be fixed in that dome which will contain the covenant). It must be decorated with various jewels. Its legs will be of gold, its length 9 yard, width four yards and height equal to Musa. The dome will have four doors. One will be for Angels to enter another for Musa, third Harun and the fourth for the children of Harun who will be in charge of dome. They will protect the box.
Almighty Allah ordered Musa that one mithqal (5 grams) gold should must be collected from everyone from the Israelites for Jerusalem and extra needs should be met within from what has been taken from the wealth and ornaments from the Pharaoh and his associates. Musa did the same. The total number of The Israelites was 600000 at that time. The aforesaid amount was collected from 780 of them. Allah revealed to Musa, “I am about to send down to you from the heavens a kind of fire which will not have smoke. It will neither burn anything nor will extinguish. It will burn only the sacrifices accepted by me and it will light the lamps of Jerusalem.”
Those lamps were made up of gold and were hanging by golden chains studded with rubies and pearls as well as different kinds of jewels. And Allah ordered that a big stone should be placed in the middle. A pit should be made in its midst so that the fire coming from the heavens might stay therein. Then Musa called Harun and informed him that, “The Lord had honored me through a fire from the sky so that it will burn the acceptable sacrifices as well as light the lamps of Jerusalem. And He has commanded me about it and I choose you as per that will and I authorize you. So Harun called his sons Shabbar and Shabbir and said to them, “The Lord has authorized and chosen Musa for an affair and has willed in that regard and now I will and authorize you in this matter.” So thenceforth the trusteeship of Jerusalem and protection of the Ark and the celestial fire remained with Harun.10
Allah says in Surah Baqarah,
O The Israelites! “….. And when we appointed a time of forty nights with Musa, then you took the calf (for a god) after him and you were unjust.” (2:51)
“And when We gave Musa the book and the distinction that you might walk aright. And when Musa said to his people: O my people! You have surely been unjust to yourselves by talking the calf (as a God), therefore turn to your creator (penitently), so kill your people, that is best for you with your creator; so he turned to you (mercifully), for surely he is the oft returning (to mercy), the merciful. And when you said, O Musa! We will not believe in you until we see Allah manifestly, so the punishment overtook you while you looked on. Then we raised you up after your death that you may give thanks. “And when we took a promise from you (to obey the commandments in torah) and lifted the mountain over you (saying): Take hold of the law (Torah) we have given you with firmness and bear in mind what is in it (like commands and admissions), so that you may guard (against evil). Then you turned back after that; so were it not for the grace of Allah and His mercy on you, you would certainly have been among the losers.” Then He said, “And most certainly Musa came to you with clear arguments, then you took the calf (for a God) in his absence and you were unjust. And when we made a covenant with you and raised the mountain over you: Take hold of what we have given you with firmness and be obedient. They said, we hear and disobey. And they were made to imbibe (the love of) the calf into their hearts on account of their unbelievers.” (2:52-61)
And it is mentioned in Surah Maidah that
“and certainly Allah made a covenant with the children of Israel, and we raised up among them twelve chieftains; and then Allah said, surely I am with you; if you keep up prayer. Pay the poor rate and believe in My apostles and assists them and offer to Allah a goodly gift certainly cause you to enter into grand beneath which rivers flow, out but whoever disbelieves from among you after that, he indeed shall lose the right way.”(5:12)
And in Surah Al-A‘raf it is stated:
“And we appointed with Musa a time of thirty nights and completed them with ten (more), so the appointed time of his Lord was completed forty nights, and Musa said to his brother Harun; Take my place among my people, and act well and do not follow the way of the mischief makers. And when Musa came at our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said my Lord! Show me (thyself), so that I may look upon thee. He said you cannot bear to see me, But look at the mountain if it remains firm in its place, then will you see me; But when his Lord manifested his Glory to the mountain he made it crumble and Musa fell down in a swoon; then when he recovered he said, Glory be to Thee (You are above visibility) and I am the first believers (in believing that no one can ever see you).
Then Allah said, O Musa! Surely I haven chosen you the people with my message and my words, therefore take hold of what (Torah) I give you and be of the grateful ones. And we ordained for him for the tablets admonition of every kind and clear explanation of all things; so take hold of them with firmness and enjoin your people to take hold of what is best thereof; I will show you the abode of the transgressors (in Egypt or Syria) and he said, And Musa’s people (after he went to tour) made of their ornament of gold a calf after him, a (mere) body, which gave a mooning sound. What! They could not see that it did not speak to them nor guide them in the way? They took it (for worship) and they were unjust. And when they repented and saw that they have gone astray, they said, if our Lord show no mercy to us and forgive us, we shall certainly be of the losers. And when Musa returned to his people, wrathful (and) in violent grief, he said, Evil is it that you have done after me; did you turn away from the bidding of your lord? And he threw down the tablets (of Torah) and seized his brother by the head dragging him towards him. He (Harun) said, Son of my mother! Surely the people reckoned me weak and had well nigh slain, therefore make not the enemies to rejoice over me and count me not among the unjust people.
Musa said, My lord! Forgive me and my brothers and cause us to enter into Thy Mercy, and Thou art the most Merciful of all the Merciful ones. (As for) those who took the calf (for a gold), surely wrath from their lord and disgrace from this world’s life shall overtake them, and thus do we recompense the devisers of lies. And (as to) those who do evil deeds, then repent after that and believe your Lord after that is most surely forgiving, merciful. And when Musa’s anger calmed down he took up the tablets, and in the writing thereof was guidance and mercy for those who fear for the sake of their lord. And Musa chose out of his people seventy men for our appointment: so when the earthquake overtook them, he said, My Lord! If Thou hadst pleased, Thou hadst destroyed them before myself (too): will Thou destroy us for what the fools among us have done? It is naught but Thy trail, Thou makest err with it whom you pleases: Thou art our guardian, therefore forgive us and have mercy on us, Thou art the best of the forgivers. And ordain for us good in this world’s life and in hereafter, for surely we turned to Thee. He said (as for) my chastisement, I will afflict with it whom I please, and my mercy encompasses all things; so I will ordain it (specially) for those who guard (against evil) and pay the poor-rate, and those who believe in our communications. (7:143-156)
By those who guard is meant the Prophet of the last age and his legatees and pious people from his Ummah.
They said, “And when we shook the mountain over them as if it were a covering overhead, and they thought it was going to fall upon them: Take hold of what we have given you with firmness, and be mindful of what is in it, so that you may guard (against evil).
And He has said in Surah Taha:
O children of Israel! Indeed we delivered you from your enemy, and we made a covenant with you on the blessed side of the mountain, and we sent you the manna and the quails. Eat of the good things we have given you for sustenance, and be not inordinate with respect to them, lest my wrath should be due to you, and whomsoever my wrath is due will perish indeed. And most surely I am most forgiving to him who repents and is guided by the Wilayah of the true Imams. (20:80-82)
And Allah said,
“and caused you to hasten you from your people, O Musa? He said, they are here on my track and I hastened on to Thee, My lord, that Thou mightest be pleased. The lord said, So surely have tried your people after you, and the Samiri has led them astray. So Musa returned to his people wrathful, sorrowing. Said he: O my people! Did not your lord promise you a goodly promise: did then the time seem long to you, or did you wish that displeasure from your lord should be due to you, so that you broke (our) promise to you of our own accord, but we were made to bear the burdens of the ornaments of the people, then we made the casting of them, and thus did the Samiri suggest. Samiri also mixed with it what was with him. Then he brought forth for them a calf a (mere) body, which had a mooing sound, so they said, This is your God and the God of Musa, but he forgot (as he had to tour to meet God). What! Could they not see that it did return to them reply, and (that) it did not control any harm or benefit for them? And certainly Harun had said to them before: O my people! You are only tried but by it, and surely your lord is beneficent God, therefore follow me and obey my order. They said, we will by no means cease to keep to its worship until Musa return to us. Musa said, O Harun! What prevented you, when you saw them going astray, so that you did not follow me? Did you then disobey my orders? He said, O son of my mother! Seize me not by my beard nor by my head; surely I was afraid lest you should say: You had caused a division among the children of Israel and not waited for my lord. Then Musa said, What was then your object, O Samiri? He said, I saw (Archangel Gabriel) what they did not see, so took a handful (of the dust) from the footsteps of the messenger, then I threw it in the casting: thus did my soul command to me. (When Archangel Gabriel came so that they may drown the Pharaoh, I saw that the dust of the place where the foot of his horse falls remains moving so I took up a handful of that dust and threw it into this calf and it began to make noise. Musa said, be gone then, surely for you it will be in this life to say, touch (me) not; and surely there is a threat for you, which shall not be made to fail you, and look at your God to whose worship you kept (so long); we will certainly burn it, then we will certainly scatter it a (wide) scattering in the sea. Your God is only Allah, there is no God but he; He comprehends all things in his knowledge.(20:83-98)
There is a difference of opinion about Samiri. Some have said that Musa had ordered all not to sit near him nor to talk with him, nor to give him anything to eat nor should he approach anyone. Some have said it was the divine order according to which whenever anyone sat near him both of them become ill. Therefore he was not allowing anybody to come near him and this effect still continues in his progeny. Whenever anybody touches them both of them become ill with fever. Some have said that he ran away for fear of hell and continued to wander with uncivilized people until he entered hell.
‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated that Allah promised Musa that the Torah and the tablets will be sent to him within thirty days. He gave this information to The Israelites and went towards the mountain of Toor and made is brother Harun his caliph in his community. When thirty days passed and Musa did not return they discontinued obeying Harun and intended to kill him and said that Musa lied and ran away from us. Satan came to them in the form of a man and told them, “Musa has ran away from you and he will not return. So collect your ornaments so that I may make a God out of it for you.” Samiri was the chief of Musa’s vanguard army.
The day on which Allah drowned the Pharaoh and his companions he saw that Archangel Gabriel was leading a mare and at the spot where the mare puts its hoof begins to move. So Samiri took some dust from under the hoof the mare of Archangel Gabriel and saw it moving. He put it into a bag and began to boast among the Israelites that “I have such a dust.” When Satan deceived them they made a calf. Then Shaitan came to Samiri and told him, “Bring the dust, which is with you.” He put it into the belly of the calf. At once that calf moved and also mooed and developed hair and tail. The Israelites bowed before it. They were 70,000 people. Harun admonished them but they paid no need and said, “We will not stop worshipping the calf until Musa returns.” They intended to kill Harun. Harun did not resist. Anyway, they remained on this disastrous path until 40 days passed since the departure of Musa.
Allah gave him Torah on the 10th of Dhu’l-hijjah. It was inscribed on tablets. In them were all things like commandments, admonitions and stories that were required for them. Allah revealed to Musa, “We have taken the test of your community behind you; that Samiri cheated them and misguided them and now they are worshipping a golden calf that speaks.” Musa said, “My Lord! Samiri molded the calf but who made it speak? Allah said, “I, O Musa! When I saw that they have turned their face from Me and have inclined toward the calf and then I also made their trial more difficult.” So Musa returned in anger towards his people. When he saw them in this condition he threw down the tablets dragged Harun by his beard and told him, “What prevented you from coming to me when you saw that they are going astray?” Harun said, “My brother! Do not pull my beard and head. I was afraid that you may say that I have created dissension among The Israelites and did not obey your word.”
Then The Israelites said, “We did not breach your promise willfully. But we had unfathomable wealth belonging to the Pharaoh and his people, (their ornaments etc.) So we melted all of it and it began to speak. Therefore we worshipped it.” Musa scolded Samiri, “Why did you do so?” He said, “I took up a handful of mud from beneath the hoof Archangel Gabriel’s animal. I threw it into the belly of the calf and it began to make noise and my heart made this attractive to me.” Hearing this Musa burned the calf and scattered it in the sea and said to Samiri, “Go away; it will be your routine throughout your life to say, “Don’t Touch!” meaning none should touch you. So it continues until today in his progeny that people may recognize him and not be deceived. People call them Laa Misaa in Egypt and Syria. Musa desired to kill Samiri but Allah revealed not to kill him as he was generous.
According to a reliable narration Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said that Allah did not send any messenger but there were always two devils (Shaitans) to harass them. They (devils) used to spread corruption and trouble among their people and were misguiding people after the departure of the messengers. In the time of Nuh there were Fanteghoos and Hizaam, in the days of Musa were Samiri and Maraqbaa and during the days of ‘Isa were Molos and Marisaan.
It is also narrated that Allah revealed to Musa, “I will send Torah on you within forty days, that is, during the ten days of the months of Dhu’l-Qa’dah and Dhu’l-hijjah and it will contain commandments.” Musa told his companions that Allah had promised to send Torah in thirty days. Allah had commanded him to tell thirty days to the Israelites so that they might not be disappointed. Musa made Harun his vicegerent and proceeded to Mount Toor. When thirty days passed and Musa did not return, The Israelites became angry and intended to kill Harun. They said, “Musa told us a lie or he has fled from us.” They made a calf and began to worship it. Allah sent tablets of Torah to Musa on 10th of the month of Dhu’l-hijjah containing commandments, news, stories and traditions everything, which they needed.
When Allah sent down Torah upon Musa and spoke with him he said, “My Lord! Show me Your Self to me. Allah said, “I am invisible and no one has the power of looking at My grandeur. But look at this mountain. If it remains at its place you can see Me.” So the Lord raised up the curtain and descended one of the sings of His greatness on the mountain. The mountain was drowned in the ocean and will continue to drown until day of the Resurrection Day (the Resurrection Day). Angels came down and doors of the heavens opened up. Allah revealed to the angels to see that Musa does not run away. So the angels came down and surrounding Musa said, “O son of ‘Imran! You have asked a great thing from Allah.” When Musa saw that the mountain had drowned and observed the position of the angels he fell face down and his soul departed from his body. Allah made his soul return to his body. He lifted up his head and said, “I consider You greater than that can be seen, I seek forgiveness and I am the first person to believe that no one can ever see you.” Allah sent a revelation, “O Musa! I have given you distinction over people by making you My messenger and through a discourse with you and I have selected you. So take whatever I have given to you and be of those who are thankful.” Then Archangel Gabriel told him, “I am your brother.”
Explaining the word of Allah,
And We appointed with Musa a time of thirty nights and completed them with ten (more), so the appointed time of his Lord was complete forty nights, and Musa said to his brother Harun: Take my place among my people, and act well and do not follow the way of the mischief-makers. (7:142)
It is said in the commentary of Imam Al-Hasan al-’Askari that Imam said, Musa told The Israelites that Allah will give you salvation. A Book of commandments and admonitions and examples will be sent by Allah (SWT). When Allah delivered them from their troubles, He ordered Musa to arrive at the promised spot, and to fast for thirty days at the foot of the mountain. Musa thought that Allah would give him the Book after thirty days.
So he fasted for thirty days at the foot of the mountain. Musa brushed his teeth before breaking the fast. Allah revealed, “O Musa! Perhaps you are not aware that the smell of the mouth of the one who has fasted (for me) is, to me, dearer than the fragrance of musk. So fast for ten more days and do not brush your teeth at the time of breaking the fast.” Musa complied. Allah had promised that He would give him the Book after forty days. So he revealed the book after forty days. On the other hand, Samiri misguided those who had weak faith making them think that Musa had promised to them to return after forty days; that 20 days and 20 nights have already passed (purporting to say that the total was 40) and the promise of Musa had ended; that Musa did not see his Lord; that he has come back to you and intends to show himself to you as He (Allah) is able to call you to him without the intervention of Musa; so understand that Musa has not been sent by Allah and He did not need him.
Then Samiri presented to them the calf that he had molded. The Israelites said, “How can a calf be our God?” Samiri replied, “Your Lord will talk with you through this calf as he had conversed with Musa through a tree.” Then when they heard the voice coming out of the calf they said, “Verily God has arrived in this calf as he had entered the tree.” When Musa returned and saw this situation he asked the calf, “Was your lord in you as these people say?”
The calf began to talk and said, “My Lord is above the possibility of being within a calf or a tree or a house. By Allah! O Musa! This is not possible. But Samiri made my hind part rest with the wall and he made a hole in the ground from the other side and then made one of his misguided men to hide there who was speaking by placing his mouth from the direction of my tail. Then The Israelites showed laziness in sending Salawaat on Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and they denied his love and deviated from the faith in the Prophethood of the last Prophet and the Imamate of his selected legatee. So they became dishonored and thought that I was their god. Because of this error, Allah’s guidance disappeared from them so much that they forgot the command of their Lord. Almighty Allah said when people became disgraced due to their refusal to send Salawaat on Muhammad and his Legatee, that is, they began to worship calf, then, O The Israelites! How is it that you do not fear making enmity against Muhammad and ‘Ali while you do observe the signs and miracles.”
I forgave your forefathers’ calf-worship earlier, perhaps O The Israelites of the age of Muhammad! Maybe you be thankful for the bounties bestowed upon you and your grandfathers. Imam said, Allah did not forgive them but they prayed through the intercession of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and accepted their affection. Then Allah said His mercy was on them and pardoned their error.
Remember the time when we gave the book to Musa that is, Torah, when we took promise from The Israelites to believe and to obey every command written obligatory from them. And We gave the Criterion which distinguishes between truth and falsehood and it is also a command which makes the true people distinct from untrue people, because when Allah gave order to The Israelites due to their faith in the book (Torah) and obeying its command, thereafter Allah revealed, “O Musa! Those people did put faith in the book but still separates the believers and the true from disbeliever and falsehood. So renew the oath in this regard because I have sworn by My Holy Self that the oath is true in which Allah does not accept anyone’s word and deed until he does not believe in it. (Furqan)” Musa asked, “What is Furqan?” Came the reply, “It is that of The Israelites that Muhammad is best of the creation and the greatest of all the Prophets and their leader ‘Ali is the best of all the successors of the Prophets and that their Legatees will be appointed as their Imams and that those holy personalities are the best of creation and that their Shi‘ahs (partisans) who will follow their commands will be the stars of the grand Firdaus in the heaven and the kings of the Eden gardens.” So Musa took from them the covenant. Some accepted it orally and by heart; some did not believe in their hearts. So they did not gain the light of faith. This was the Furqan given to Musa by Allah. The Almighty said, perhaps you may be guided, that is, you may understand that, in the sight of Allah, a slave’s honor is connected with his belief in Wilayah just as your predecessors were honored.
O The Israelites! Recall that time when Musa told his people; who had worshipped the calf: you have oppressed your own souls and harmed yourselves by making the calf your god. So return and seek pardon of the Lord who created you and set right your figures and kill yourselves, that is, those who did not worship calf should kill those who had worshipped it. This killing of yours is better in the sight of your Lord than your remaining alive in the world and not to be pardoned and the worldly bounties may reach you but you have to enter hell. And when you will get killed and will repent, Allah will make your killing expiation for your sins and will grant you the bounties of the eternal paradise. Allah accepted your repentance and kept you alive for His worship and surely he is the greatest acceptors of repentance and very Kind. It was a fact that when the falsehood of the calf was exposed by Musa and when the calf exposed the cheating of the Samiri, Musa ordered those who had not worshipped the calf to kill those who worshipped it. So Allah ordered Musa to break that calf (statue) into pieces and to throw them in the river and make all of them drink that water. The lips and noses of those who had the worshipped the calf will turn black and thus they will be identified. Those who did not worship the calf numbered twelve thousand. Musa ordered them to come out with their swords and to kill the sinners. The announcer announced that curse of Allah be on those who move their hands and feet. They should get themselves killed silently and from among the killers one who thinks about the person who is being killed and the one who makes distinction between himself and others will also be cursed. Hearing this, the sinners did not rebel and bowed down to be killed. Innocent people came to Musa complaining that we did not worship the calf and yet our punishment is harsher than the sinners (calf worshippers) as we are being asked to kill with our hands our own fathers and mothers and brothers and relatives.
The Almighty revealed to Musa, “I have put these people in this severe trail because they did not separate themselves from those who had worshipped the calf, nor denied them or became angry with them. Well, now tell them to pray to Allah through the right of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad so that I may make the massacre easy for them.” So they prayed to Allah and sought the intercession of the Prophet of Allah and the guiding of Imams. Then Allah made the affairs easy for them so that they did not experience any grief and sorrow due to that killing. When the massacre began Allah guided some of them and so one told the other that: when the intercession of Muhammad and his progeny in such a thing that the one who resort to it never get disappointed and that none of his prayers remain unanswered by Allah and when all the messenger have sought their intercession, why we should not do so? After making joint consultation on this point all of them gathered and complained to Allah, “O Lord! For the sake of Muhammad who is the best and the greatest of creation and for the sake of ‘Ali who, after Muhammad is the best and the greatest of creation and for the sake of their pious progeny we request you to forgive our sins and to overlook our errors and to remove this state of being killed from us.”
Allah revealed to Musa to tell them to put down their hands because some of them has given him an oath. “Had they done so in the beginning I would have given them good guidance and would have saved them from calf-worship. And even if the devil had given me such an oath I would have certainly guided him and even if the Pharaoh and Nimrod too would have done so I would have given them salvation.” So the punishment of killing was withdrawn. They said, “Alas! If we had not been unmindful of the intercession of Muhammad and his progeny in the beginning the Lord of the worlds would have protected us from this trail.
Remember the time when your predecessors said, O Musa! We will not put faith in you until we see Allah with our own eyes. Lightening took them. Then we made your predecessors alive after their death. Perhaps they may be thankful for that life span due to which they could repent before Allah and to turn towards Him and “we made them die”, and it was not a permanent death, which might take them to hell forever. Imam said, “The cause of that lightening was that when Musa intended to take the oath of Furqan from the Prophethood of Muhammad and the Imamate of ‘Ali bin Abi-Talib and all the pious Imams, they said, “We do not believe that this is the order of your Lord. We shall not put faith in it until we see Allah with our own eyes and He may give us the order.” Then the lightning fell on them and they saw that the lightning was falling on them. Allah said, “O Musa! I give honor of those of my friends who testify to my selected salves and in this matter I care for no one.” Then Musa told the remaining people who were not harmed by lightning, “Do you accept and confess? If not, you will meet the same fate.” They said, “O Musa we do not know for what reason the lightning fell on them. If you are true in your word that it fell for not accepting the Wilayah of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad then pray to Allah for the sake of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad so that he may make them alive and so that we may ask them about the reason.” Musa prayed to Allah and they became alive.
The Israelites asked them and they replied that the chastisement overtook them because they had denied the Prophethood of Muhammad and the Imamate of ‘Ali and his progeny. “Then after death we saw the kingdom of our lord in the heavens. We observed curtains, Chair, Throne and hell and we saw that no ones kingdom and rules is greater and more effective than that of Muhammad and ‘Ali and Fatimah and Hasan and Husayn. When we died due to the lightning and when angels began to drive our souls towards hell, Muhammad and ‘Ali called out to the angels to postpone chastisement group saying that these people will become alive again by the prayer of one who will pray for it for the sake of us and our pious progeny.” This voice reached us when we were about to be thrown out in the Haawiya. But hearing it the angels stopped pushing us until we became alive due to your prayer.” So the Almighty said to the Prophet of time: “When our elders became alive through the intercession of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad you too do not deny their right and do not invite the divine punishment by yourselves and be worthy of the divine punishment yourselves.”
Believe for sure of the time when We took a covenant from your forefathers to do as We had ordered them to do through Torah and with that particular message which was sent about Muhammad and the family of Muhammad that they are the best of creation and that they are to rise up in the world with truth, it is incumbent upon you to confess this and also to make your children aware of this command of this Allah and to appoint them on the job of conveying this to their offspring’s. This should continue until the end of the world, that they should put faith in Allah’s Prophet, Muhammad and to accept all that he may say about his legatee ‘Ali bin Abi-Talib and which ‘Ali may say regarding the Imams who are to rise with truth after ‘Ali. So O The Israelites! Your predecessors refused to accept them.
So we ordered Archangel Gabriel to lift from the mountain, a piece equal to the size of the army camp of Musa (one square parasang) and Archangel Gabriel made it hang over their heads. Then Musa asked them, “Do you believe or this will be thrown on you.” They sought shelter and believed for fear to their lives. Allah protected them from their enemies those who believed sincerely. So when they accepted they fell downs in prostration and put their cheeks on the earth. But many of them placed their cheeks on the earth only to see whether or not the mountain falls on them. Very few of them placed their heads on ground sincerely before their Lord.
Take and accept whatever we have given to you from the duties, which we have imposed on you with the strength that we have granted to you. We have given you enough power to obey our commands and we have lifted conditions from you.
We heard your word and we denied, that is, disobeyed thereafter or made up mind at that time not to obey the command. They were commanded to drink the water where the pieces of the calf were thrown so that it may become clear as to who is calf-worshipper and who did not worship it.
They were ordered to do so due to their disbelief. O Muhammad! Tell them that if you have faith in Torah then realized that what they ordered you was a bad thing, that is not to put faith in Musa so that you deny Muhammad and ‘Ali and their progeny but he commands you to believe in those great persons. ‘Ali said that when Musa returned to The Israelites and when those who had worshipped the calf came to him repenting Musa asked, “Tell me who has worshipped the calf so that I may carry out Allah’s command.” All denied and everyone of them said, “I did not do it, others did.” Musa told Samiri “Look at the God which you worshipped as I am breaking it into pieces and throwing it into the river.”
Allah commanded Musa and he broke it into pieces with a hammer and threw it the river, and ordered The Israelites to drink that water. So the one who had worshipped it and who was fair complexioned got his lips and nose black and if he was black colored these parts of his body became white. Then Divine commands were issued to them.
Amir al-Mu’minin says that Musa had promised to The Israelites that when they will be freed from the Pharaoh, Allah would send a Book for them containing commands (orders and prohibitions) and there will be, in it, punishments and duties. When they got freedom and approached Musa he brought the Book for them. It was written in that “I do not accept the deed of the one who does not respect Muhammad and his progeny, and who does not honor their friends and companions as they should truly do. O slaves of Allah! Understand and be witness that Muhammad is the best in My creation and his brother ‘Ali is, in his Ummah (followers) his legatee and the inheritor of his knowledge and his deputy and the best of creation after him (the Prophet). The progeny of the Prophet are the best of the progenies of all Prophets and his companions are the best among the Prophet’s companions and his (Muhammad’s) Ummah is the best of the Ummahs of all the Prophets. The Israelites said, “We do not accept it.” They said, “O Musa! This is very hard to accept. But we accept its conditions as rules as it is easy and how can we accept it when we believe that our Prophet is better than all other Prophets and that his Progeny is better than that of all others and we, who are in his community, are better than the communities of all other Prophets. So we do not accept the grace of that group whom we have never seen nor do we know them.”
Allah ordered Archangel Gabriel to lift a mountain from Palestine having the area of one square parasang, that is the size of the camp of Musa and raised it over their heads and said, “Accept whatever Musa has brought for you otherwise I am about to drop this mountain on you whereby all of you will be crushed and vanished.” Then they became restless and cried, “O Musa what should we do?” Musa said, “Prostrate for Allah and rub your forehead and both cheeks on dust and say, ‘O Lord! We have heard and we have accepted, confessed and submitted and have become satisfied.’”
They did as told by Musa. But most of them did not do it with sincerity and they were saying in their heart we heard but we opposed. Though they put their right cheek on the dust (earth) their intention was not to express humility before Allah and to repent for their past sins. Rather they had done so just to see if the mountain falls on them or not. Then they also put down their left cheek but that too with the same intention. Archangel Gabriel told Musa, “I will destroy most of these people because they have confessed only apparently and since the Lord also deals with people in this world only according to their apparent deeds their bloods is protected and they will live here in safety but, in the hereafter, their affair is with the Lord who will punish them on the ground of their false belief and incorrect intention.”
The Israelites saw that the mountain broke into two, one pieces of white pearl and went toward the sky and, piercing the clouds, disappeared from sight and the other piece became fire, tore through the earth and disappeared from their eyes. They asked the reason from Musa who said, “The piece which went towards sky went up, got appended to paradise and the Lord multiplied it unlimitedly, so much that no one knows its extent except the Lord himself and He ordered that it should be utilized for building mansions, palaces and stations for those who believed truthfully (from heart); that those building will have all kinds of bounties such as gardens, good-natured houries and slaves having permanent beauty who would be like scattered pearls.
They will get all the bounties as promised by Allah to His righteous slaves. And another piece which pierced the earth has got annexed to hell and the Lord added innumerable piece to it and ordered that they should be used for building houses and stations full of calamities like rivers of fire and Ghisleen (the water oozing from wounds) and the tanks of Ghassak (a dirty thing like pus etc.) and canals of foul water and thorny trees and poisonous grass and snakes, scorpions and bullets and pallet bows and chains and all sorts of chastisement and calamities having the angels in charge of hell with clubs in their hands for punishing the disbelievers who denied the orders of this Book. The Lord has provided all these things for the dwellers of hell. The Prophet asked The Israelites, “Don’t you fear chastisement of Allah? While denying the distinctions for which Allah had selected me and my pious progeny?”
According to reliable narrations Tawus Yamani, who is one of the Ulama (scholars) of the Sunnis asked Imam al-Baqir which is that bird which flew only once and will never fly thereafter? Imam said, “It is the Toor mountain. Allah Almighty had raised it up over the heads of The Israelites. There were different kind of chastisement in it until people accepted the word of Allah,
And when We took a promise from you and lifted the mountain over you: Take hold of the law (Torah) We have given you with firmness and bear in mind what is in it, so that you may guard (against evil). (2:63)
In another hadith Imam has said, while explaining the same verse, “When the Almighty sent Torah for The Israelites and they did not accept it he raised mount Toor over their heads.” Musa told them, “If you do not accept the mountain will be made to fall on you.” Then they accepted and put down their heads in prostration.
‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated that when Musa told The Israelites that Allah speaks to him, they did not believe him. He said, “Select a group from your people to accompany me to hear the talk of Allah with me. They selected 70 righteous people from their community and sent them to Musa to hear the divine speech. When Musa went near the place and when Allah conversed to him by creating vibration in the air, Musa asked them to hear and be witness before The Israelites. They said we will not believe that this voice is of Allah until we see him with our own eyes. Then a lightening fell on them and all of them were burnt down into ashes. Musa became sorrowful on seeing this and appealed, “My Lord! Do you kill us all because of what some of our fools did?” Musa has imagined that those people were destroyed because of the sins of The Israelites.
It is recorded in reliable sources that Imam al-Baqir and Imam as-Sadiq said that when Musa requested Allah to show Himself, He revealed to him, “You will never be able to see Me.” But He promised, “I will send My might on this mountain so that Musa might understand that He is beyond visibility (vision).” Musa went up the Toor mountain. The gates of heavens were open, the army of angels came down and began to pass by Musa holding radiant clubs in the big columns along with lightening roars and stormy winds. Every column was saying, “O son of ‘Imran! You have asked a great thing from your Lord.” And Musa was trembling on seeing each and every column. Fire encircled him by the command of Allah due to which he was not able to move out of out of it in any direction until the Allah shed a particle of his radiant grandeur on that mountain. The mountain went down the earth and Musa fell unconscious.11
It is recorded in reliable sources that Al-Ma’mun asked this question to Imam al-Ridha. He replied that Kaleemullah (the one who conversed with Allah), that is Musa knew that the lord is above vision. Yet since the Lord conversed with him and made him His confidant and when he informed his community about this fact they said we will not believe in what you say unless and until we hear Allah’s words just as you heard them. They were 700000 people in all. Musa selected 7000 out of them, then 700 therefrom and thereafter 70 and took them to Mount Toor with him which was the venue of his worship. He made them wait at the foot of the hill and went up and prayed to Allah to speak with him in a way that it could be heard by those 70 at the foothill.
The Lord conversed with him and all of them heard His words simultaneously from above their heads and from below their feet and from their right and left and front and behind because Allah had created sound in the tree, which spread in all directions. Thus they heard it from every direction so that they may realize that it was the word of Allah, because, had it been the voice of anyone else it would have reached them from only one direction. Those seventy men said we do not believe it until we see Allah with our own eyes. As this demand was made by them was a very unbecoming outrage and harsh rebellion Allah made lightening to fall on them that killed them due to their injustice.
Then Musa said, “My lord! What shall I say after returning to my people, as they will say to me, ‘O Musa! You took our brothers with you since you were not true in your claim of having conversed with Allah you killed them.’” The Lord made them alive as requested by Musa. When they became alive they said, “O Musa all this happened because you had asked for it to show it to us. So now ask Allah to show himself to you so that you may look at him as He will accept your wish. Then you see Him and tell us about it so that we will recognize Him as He should be recognized.” Musa said, “My Lord! You hear the words of The Israelites and also know what is better for them.” The Lord then revealed to Musa, “Ask Me as they ask I will not question you for their ignorance and folly.” Musa said, “My Lord! Show yourself to me.” The Lord said, “You can never see me, however look at the mountain. If it remains at its place you will be able to see me.” Then the Lord shed one of his sign of grandeur on the mountain, which leveled the mountain to the ground and Musa fainted. When he gained consciousness he said, “My Lord! I Praise your inviolability and, O Lord’ I repent before You, that is, I turn my back to my peoples’ nonsense and ignorance and return to Your recognition which was with me earlier. And I am the first person from The Israelites to have faith in You with the belief that you are beyond visibility.”
It is recorded in authentic traditions that Imam as-Sadiq asked the people, “Do you know why Harun said ‘O son of my mother!’ do not pull my beard and head why did he not say: ‘ O son of my father! Then he clarified that jealously takes place among brothers when they are from one father and different mother. When they are from one mother, enmity remains less among them unless Satan creates corruption between them and when they obey Satan.. So Harun said to Musa: O my brother born from one and the same mother! (not from a different mother) Do not hold my head and bread. He did not say: “O son of my father!” because enmity is not uncommon between sons of one father and different mothers, except those protected by Allah.
Then the questioners ask the Imam why Musa held the head and beard of Harun and pulled when he did not take part in calf worship? Imam replied, “Because when The Israelites indulge in calf worship and thus became infidels he did not distance himself from them and joined Musa. Had he separated himself from them joined Musa the anger would not have fallen on him. Do you not see that Musa said to Harun, ‘When you saw them go astray what prevented you from coming up to me?’ Harun said, ‘Had I done so The Israelites would have divided themselves into groups and I was afraid that you would say that I created discord among The Israelites and did not care for you in the matter of their reform.’”12
It is recorded in reliable traditions that Imam al-Ridha said, “People asked Amir al-Mu’minin what is the reason behind that fact that a cow cannot raise her eyes up towards the sky? He replied, ‘As the community of Musa had worshipped calf she keeps her head down being ashamed and does not looks up towards the sky.’” It is reported that the Holy Prophet said, “Love the cow as she is the best among the four footed animals and she does not look towards the sky because she is ashamed of being worshipped (by the misguided).”
It is mentioned in another tradition that when Musa asked and the Almighty shed His radiance on the mountain range seven of them broke up from it and flew away and fell towards hijaz and Yemen. The one who came to Medina was Uhad and Ruqaan and one, which came to Makkah, was Sabeer and Harraa and one, which came to Yemen, were Sabr and Hasoor.
It is mentioned in reliable tradition that Amir al-Mu’minin said, “When you take my bier towards Najaf Ashraf, a wind will confront you and it will throw you down on a ground. So bury on that spot as it is the first mount Sinai.”
According to authentic narration Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said, Najaf Ashraf is the piece of the mountain on which Allah had spoken to Musa.
It is mentioned in another reliable tradition that when the Almighty rained His radiance on mount Toor it began to drown in the sea and will continue to go down until the Resurrection Day.
It is mentioned in yet another reliable tradition that Karroobiyaan is a group of our Shi‘ahs (companions) whom Allah created first and he has placed them on the back of the throne. If he distributes a radiance of anyone of them between all the residents of the earth surely it would suffice for all. And when the Musa asked for seeing the Lord, He ordered one of those Karroobiyaan to shed its radiance on the mount. It complied. The mountain could not bear it and was drowned in the sea.13
‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated that when The Israelites repented and when Musa told them to kill one another (by way of punishment) they asked how it should be done? He said, “You come at Jerusalem next morning and bring with you knives, sword or other arms and keeping your face hidden (covered) so that you may not recognize one another. Start killing when I climb the pulpit.” Next morning the 70000 People who had worshipped the calf gathered near Jerusalem. Musa offered prayers and ascended the pulpit. Massacre started. When 10000 of them were killed Archangel Gabriel came down and said, “O Musa! Ask them to stop killing as Almighty Allah has accepted their repentance by His Grace.”
It is mentioned in a reliable tradition that Imam as-Sadiq said, “Musa has selected 70 person from his community and took them to mount Toor with him. When they asked to see Allah, a lightening feel on them and all were burnt to death.” Musa prayed, “My Lord these were my companions.” Came the divine revelation, “O Musa! I will give you better companions.” Musa said, “My Lord! I am attached to them. I know all of them with their names.” He prayed thrice like this. So Allah made them alive and made all of them messengers.14
It is narrated from Imam as-Sadiq that when the Almighty Allah sent down Torah on Musa which contained information about everything that to be seen until the Resurrection Day and when Musa reached his age (life span) Allah asked him to entrust the tablets to the mountain. Those tablets were made of Heaven’s Emerald. Musa brought them to the mountain. The gap closed in and the tablets disappeared until the last Prophet of Allah arrived. Once a caravan of Yemeni people came to him. When it reached that mountain, it split up and the tablets reappeared. They (caravan) took them up and brought them to the Holy Prophet. “From that time they are all with us until today.”
In another reliable tradition it is mentioned that Imam al-Baqir said when Musa threw the tablets some of them broke and went down that ground (rock) and became preserved there until the holy Prophet Muhammad came. Then that rock sent them to him. There are several hadiths that Allah did not send any book to any Prophet nor gave any miracle to any messenger but that all of them (Books and Miracles) are with the progeny of the holy Prophet. InshaAllah these hadiths will be quoted at their appropriate place.
It is narrated from Imam as-Sadiq that when Musa cursed the Israelites in June, 300000 persons of them died within twenty-four hours.
It is narrated from the Holy Prophet that Qur’an is called Furqan because its chapters and verses came separately without being inscribed on a tablet while Torah and Injeel and Zabur had been sent down inscribed on tablets and written on pages.
According to reliable sources Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said that Torah was sent down on the 6th of Ramadhan.15
The Almighty has said in Surah Qasas,
“Verily Qarun belonged to the community of Musa. 28:76-83”
Imam as-Sadiq is reported to have said that he was the son of Musa’s aunt. Some have said he was the son of his uncle. Fa Baghaa Alaihim (so he rebelled against them and committed excesses). There is a difference of opinion about the nature of his rebellion. Some people say that when they were living in Egypt, the Pharaoh had made him the ruler (governor) of The Israelites and that he had oppressed them at that time. Some say he was keeping his dress about a foot higher than others and some have said that he was proud and showing arrogance because of his richness and wealth.
So he rebelled against them and committed excesses.
There is a difference of opinion about the nature of his rebellion. Some people say that when they were living in Egypt, the Pharaoh had made him the ruler (governor) of The Israelites and that he had oppressed them at that time. Some say he was proud keeping his dress about a foot higher than others and some have said that he was proud and showing arrogance because of his richness and wealth.
And We had given him treasures the keys to which proved difficult even for a strong group to lift.
‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has said Usbah (group) consists of ten or fifteen men. Some have said the number was ten or forty while some others have opined that the number was forty. Some have said sixty and some seventy. It is mentioned in the narrations that the keys of his treasures were being loaded on sixty asses and that no key was larger than a finger but as they were of iron they were very heavy, he got it made of wood. When it too proved much heavy, he made them of leather.
When his community told him, “Do not be haughty and do not show arrogance because of your wealth. Allah does not like those who are pleased solely with the worldly wealth and its beauty.” Some say that Musa had said, “Seek the House in the hereafter with what Allah has given to you. And do not forget your share in the worldly material that is either earned for the hereafter or be content with taking according to your need. And behave benevolently with people and be kind to them, as Allah has been Kind to you. And do not try to create trouble and mischief in the world. Verily Allah does not befriend the mischief-makers. He said no one has given me this wealth. I have earned it with the knowledge, which I possess. ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim says the meaning of what he said was that “I have earned this wealth due to my knowledge of chemistry. It is said that Musa had thought him this Alchemy and according to some his thinking was that his since I was superior to you in knowledge Allah gave me this wealth and status. In the opinion of some he meant by saying Ilm (knowledge) was the knowledge of business trade and agriculture and other occupations. Did he not understand that Allah had destroyed, centuries ago, those who were much wealthier and superior in army? And the criminals and the deniers will not be questioned in the Resurrection Day about their sins because Allah already knows their deeds.
So Qarun came before his community with his adornments, that is he had worn clothes of various colors which he was dragging on the ground arrogantly with pride. Some have said he came with 4000 mounted men and that the saddles of his horses were of gold and red clothes covered them and more than 3000 beautiful slave girls were with him reading Kabood (black and blues) white asses and that all were in red attires. Some have said 70000 persons were with him and that all of them were dressed in red. That those who loved the world (on seeing him) said, How nice would it have been had we also been given what Qarun has been given.
Verily he is the fortunate man in the world. And those were given knowledge by and who believed in the hereafter said, “woe unto you! The reward of the hereafter is better for the one who believes and who does good deeds and such good sense is given to the one who gives up the world and a remains patient.” And so we pushed Qarun and his house in the earth. So there was no group to save him from the Divine punishment and he himself could not remove the chastisement from him. And those who yesterday were longing for the status of Qarun woke up next morning to exclaim, “Verily Allah, according to His wisdom, widens the provision of the one whom he wishes and narrows for one whom He wills.
Had He not been kind to us and had we continued to keep our eyes on his wealth, surely we would have also been pushed into the earth. Surely thankless people do not prosper or the deniers will not get salvation in the hereafter. We build this house of the hereafter for those who do not seek to be high and great nor is spread mischief in the land and the good end only for the righteous.”
‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated that what caused Qarun to be destroyed was that when Musa brought The Israelites from the river and when Allah showered His blessings on them fully, he ordered them to fight with the Amaaliqah. They did not obey. So it was decided that they should wander with anxiety in the desert of Tiyah for forty years. They used to get up in the beginning of the night and to recite Torah and prayers weeping. Qarun was also among them, he was also reciting Torah. No one had a voice sweeter than him. He was called Manonnon because of his melodious recitation. He knew Alchemy and practiced it. When the affair of The Israelites got lengthy, they began to repent and to weep with humility. But Qarun did not like to join them in penitence. As Musa liked him he went to him and asked him, “How is it that your people are busy in repentance and you are sitting here? Go and join them. Otherwise Divine punishment will fall on you.”
He paid no attention to the advice of Musa and began to ridicule him. Musa became sorrowful and returned and sat nearby. He was wearing a gown made of hair and was holding a staff. Musa became very angry. He had hair on his shoulders, which used to become stiff and come out of his clothing. Blood also used to ooze therefrom Musa said, “My Lord! If You do not frown upon Qarun because of me, then I am not your messenger.”
The Lord revealed to him that, “I have made the skies and the land subservient to you. Ask them do whatever you like.” Qarun had closed the gates of his palace for Musa. Hearing about it Musa came there pointed toward the gates and all of them opened due to his miracle. He entered the palace. When Qarun saw Musa he understood that he had come to punish him. So he said, “O Musa! I appeal to you for the sake of my right owing to relationship with you, be kind to me. Musa said, “O son of Laadi! Do not talk with me.” Then he commanded the earth to devour Qarun. So the palace and all that was in it went down in the ground and Qarun was also thrust into the earth up to his things. He began to weep and gave Musa a swearing for mercy. Musa again retorted, “O son of Laadi! Do not talk with me.”
He appealed repeatedly but to no avail, until he disappeared beneath the ground. When Musa came to his place of worship Almighty Allah said, “O son of Laadi! Do not talk with me.” Musa understood that Allah was angry with him for not being kind to Qarun. Musa said, “My Lord! Qarun asked of me without mentioning without Your name. Had he sworn by you I would have been kind to him. I would have accepted it.” The Lord again said the same thing in reply which Musa had given to Qarun. Then Musa said, “My Lord! Had I known that Your pleasure was in accepting his wish I would have accepted it.” Allah said, “O Musa! I swear by My Might, Grace and Greatness, had Qarun begged for mercy from Me as he did from you I would have accepted it. But since he had asked for your help and had resorted to you, I left him to you. O son of ‘Imran! Do not be afraid of death because I have fixed the time of death for every living being and have provided a place of comfort for you. If you see it and reach it, your eyes would become bright.
Thereafter Musa went to Toor mountain one day along with Yusha‘. When they reached Mt. Toor, they saw a man walking with a shovel and a basket. Being asked as to where he was going he replied, “A friend of Allah has died and I want to prepare a grave for him.” Musa asked what he was doing? He said, “I want to ensure that the grave is all right.” Musa said, “I am going therein.” So Musa went in the grave and slept there in and liked it. The angel of death arrived and retrieved his soul then and there. The mountain got leveled and the grave disappeared.
It is mentioned in a reliable tradition that Imam as-Sadiq said, “When Yunus was in the belly of a fish, he reached the spot where Qarun was pushed into the earth due to the curse from Musa, Allah had appointed an angel to push him in the ground daily up to a depth of a man’s height. Yunus was remembering and hallowing Allah in the belly of the fish. When Qarun heard that human voice he requested the angel to give him some respite as he was hearing a human voice. Almighty Allah ordered the angel to give the requested respite. Then Qarun addressed Yunus and asked, “Who are you?” He replied, “I am a sinner, Yunus son of Matta who has erred.” Qarun asked where is the oft-angering, for the cause of Allah, that is Musa son of ‘Imran? Yunus replied, “Alas he has passed away from the world long ago. Then what about that man who was very kind to his community.” That is, Harun. Yunus replied, “He also expired.” Then Qarun asked, “How about Kulthum daughter of ‘Imran who was named (for marriage) with me? Yunus replied, “Alas! No one from the progeny of ‘Imran remains.” Qarun said, “Very sorry for the family of ‘Imran!” Allah liked this sorrow very much and, as a reward, ordered that angel to stop punishing him until the world existed.
Al-Qutb al-Rawandi and Thalabi have narrated that the Almighty Allah revealed to Musa to order The Israelites to stick four blue-black ropes with their sheets in every side and also to hang a heavenly rope. Musa called The Israelites and said, “Allah has ordered that you should stick ropes of sky color to your chadors so that you may remember Allah whenever you see them. Very soon he will reveal his book for you.” Hearing this Qarun said rebelliously, the master (Musa) is saying all these things to his slaves so that he may remain distinct among others. When Musa came out of the river with The Israelites he entrusted the governance and administration of the sacrificial place and its trusteeship to Harun where The Israelites were sacrificing their offerings and were placing them in the slaughter house and where a heavenly fire used to come and burn them. Qarun developed jealousy against Harun. He said to Musa, “You took up Messengership and gave jasoorah to Harun? No share for me even though I recite Torah better than both of you?”
Musa said, “By Allah! I did not give Jasoorah to Harun. Allah gave it to him.” Qarun said, “By Allah! I will never testify to it unless and until you give some evidence or argument.” Hearing this Musa gathered the chiefs of The Israelites and asked all of them to bring their staves. Musa placed all the staves during the night. Next day he ordered them to remove them. When they were brought out there was no change in any of them but the staff of the Harun had become green and leaves like the leaves of almond had sprouted from it. Musa said, “O Qarun! Can you now understand that the distinction of Harun is God-given? Qarun said, “This trick is no greater than magic.” Then he stood up angrily and separated himself along with his men from the army of Musa. Even then Musa continued to behave with him kindly and maintained relations. He continued to give trouble and pain to Musa and his rebellion and ego multiplied daily until he built a house and fixed golden swords on its walls.
The Israelites used to come to him every morning. He was feeding them and all of them were ridiculing Musa. This continued until Allah sent the commandment collecting Zakat on Musa so that he may collect it from the rich among The Israelites. Musa went to Qarun and asked him to give Zakat at the rate of one Dinar for every thousand Dinars, one sheep for every thousand sheep and thus for all of his wealth. Qarun went to home and calculated. He felt that he was losing much money, which he disliked to part with. So he was not prepared to pay Zakat. The Israelites told him, “You are our chief and elder. We shall do whatever you order.” He said, “Call such and such prostitute. We shall hatch a conspiracy in collusion with her so that she may make an allegation of adultery on Musa. Thereby The Israelites will hate Musa. Thus we shall get rid of him.” Qarun promised to give that prostitute one thousand gold coins or a golden plate or whatever she demanded on condition that she makes an allegation of adultery on Musa next day before The Israelites. She agreed.
Next day Qarun came along with The Israelites to Musa and told him, “The people who have gathered at your residence want you to come out and teach them commandments of the shari‘ah (religion) to them.” Musa came out and went up the pulpit, read out sermon and said, “Anyone who commits a theft will get his hand cut and I shall give 80 lashes to the one who commits an indecent deed and if an unmarried man commits adultery I will give him 100 lashes and if he had a wife I will stone him to death.” Qarun spoke up, “Even if it be you?” Musa said, “Yes.” Finally, that woman was called. Musa asked her, “Did I commit adultery with you? Tell the truth swearing by the Lord Who split the river for The Israelites and Who sent down Torah on me.” That woman said, “No, these people are lying. Rather Qarun has lured me with money and wanted me to make a false allegation against you.” Hearing this Qarun bowed down his head and The Israelites were dumbfounded. Musa fell down in prostration before Allah and weeping said, “My Lord! Your enemy is bent upon harming me and wants to dishonor me and give me power over him.” Almighty Allah revealed to Musa, “Lift up your head from prostration and order whatever you wish to the earth. It will obey your command.”
Musa told The Israelites, “Almighty Allah has given me power over Qarun as he had appointed me over the Pharaoh.” Then he ordered them that who is his (Qarun’s companion) may remain with him and who does not like him may get separated from him. All except two persons separated from Qarun. Musa ordered the earth to swallow him. He went down in the ground. Musa said, “Swallow more of him.” He went down up to his thighs. Then Qarun went on giving him the oath of mercy.
According to some narrations he gave oaths seventy times but Musa did not pay attention to him until they were pushed in the earth completely. Allah revealed to Musa, “They requested for mercy seventy times but you did not hear them. By My Grandeur! Had they appealed to Me like that, even once, they would have found My help.” Then The Israelites told Musa to pray for Qarun’s destruction and for his sinking into the earth so that it may take possession of the wealth of Qarun. Musa prayed to Allah, whereby all the wealth and property, mansions, treasures etc also went down the earth.16
It is written in the explanation of Allah’s words in the tafsir of Imam Al-Hasan al-’Askari that Almighty Allah addressed the Jews living in Medina to recall the time when Musa told his people, “Verily Allah orders you to slaughter the cow and to hit the body of the killed person with a piece of the slaughtered cow so that the corpse may become alive by the order of Allah to tell you who killed him.” This pertains to the events when a corpse was found lying among a tribe of The Israelites and Musa had compelled their fifty chief leading men to come up and swear by Allah who is the God of The Israelites and who has given grace to Muhammad and his progeny and solemnly say that they did not kill that man nor do they know the killer. If they swear and pay the blood money it is good, otherwise they should expose the killer so that, that man may be killed in retaliation. If they do not kill him then they may imprison him in a narrow cell. They should do either of these things.
They said, “O Messenger of Allah! We may swear and also pay blood money. But it is not Allah’s command. The fact behind is that there was, in The Israelites, a very beautiful, learned, knowledgeable, respected and modest (veiling) woman. Many men desired to marry her. Her uncle had three sons. One of them was most learned and pious. She agreed and desired to marry him. Her other two cousins were jealous. They called him one night for a feast and killed him. Then they threw out his body.” Next morning the two brothers who were the killers came to Musa tore their collars, threw dust on their heads and complained to Musa for justice. Musa called all the people of that tribe and inquired about the murdered man and they replied, “We did not kill him nor do we know who killed him.” Musa said, fifty men from among you should, as desired by Allah, swear solemnly, pay the blood money or give information about the killer.
They said, “Why do we have to pay blood money even after swearing? Musa said, “All the benefits are in obeying Divine orders. Whatever He commands must be carried out.” They said, “O Prophet of Allah! This is fine and this charge of sin is very grave as no one has any right on our heads. So pray to Allah that He may let us know the real killer so that you may give him a deserving punishment, and we may get rid of the fine and the punishment.” Musa said, “Almighty Allah has given me commands in this cause and hence I have no courage to ask for anything else. It is binding upon us to bow before His command, obey Him, and not raise any objection. Do you not see that He has prohibited us from working on Saturday and from eating camel meat? So we cannot disobey His command or make any changes in it. Rather we must obey Him.”
Musa desired to enforce the command upon them. Almighty Allah revealed to him that He might accept their word. “so that I may expose the killer and others may get rid of the allegations because, in connection with the answering to their request, I will widen the provision of the one who is one of the most righteous people among you and who believes in sending Salawaat on Muhammad and his Progeny and after him, giving respect to ‘Ali, I wish that, in this respect, I may make him needless (rich) in this world so that he may get a part of his reward for sending blessings on Muhammad and his progeny and thereby for giving them respect.”
Musa said, “My Lord! Tell me who the killer is.” Came the revelation, “Allah will intimate to you the killer if you slaughter a cow and hit the corpse of the killed man with a part of slaughtered cow. Then I will make him alive. This will happen if you obey the Divine orders. Otherwise accept my earlier order.” They said, “O Musa! Do you play a joke with us by asking us that if we hit a part of a corpse with a part of another earlier will come to life?”
Musa said, “I seek Allah’s protection from becoming ignorant or senseless, that is, I may attribute a word to Allah even if He did not say it, or I may reject the Divine word by imagining it to be nonsense according to my imperfect intelligence, just as you are denying. Is the seed of the man and the woman not lifeless? But when the two meet in the female womb, Allah creates from the two (lifeless elements) a living man. Is it not a fact that you are sowing a lifeless seed in the dead land and, therefrom, Allah brings out living grass and various trees?” When Musa’s arguments concluded for them, they said, “O Musa! Pray to your Lord so that He may describe the quality of that cow.”
Musa prayed to Allah and subsequently told those people that Allah commands that, that cow should be neither aged nor very young but of middle age. So do what you have been asked to do.” They said, “O Musa! Ask for the color of that cow and that from your Lord.” After asking, Musa said that the Lord says that it should be a yellow and its yellowness should be clear that is, neither so faint as to appear white nor so dark that it may appear blackish. Rather its attractive colors must make the viewers happy.”
They said, “O Musa! Pray to your Lord to describe more attributes of the cow because we have become confused due to the fact that there are many such cows. Now, Inshallah, we will recognize the one which He wants to be slaughtered.” Musa said, “The Lord commands that the cow should not be so much trained that it may plough land or water the fields but it ought to have been kept away from such tasks and that it should not have any defects no should it contain any other color shade except its original one.” Now the attributes of the cow have been described as they ought to have been described. It was not easy for them to carry out the command due to its being very costly.
But then it was incumbent on them because they had made allegation against Musa that he was not able to do what they demanded. So they were obliged to slaughter the described cow. Imam said, “After hearing all the attributes of the cow they asked Musa, “O Musa! Has our Lord ordered us to slaughter such a cow having all these attributes?”
He said, “Yes.” But had they, in the beginning, complied with the Divine order without hesitation, any cow would have sufficed. After their questioning it was not binding for Musa to inquire further from Allah. Rather, in response, he ought to have told them any cow would do. Anyway, when the matter reached a particular type of cow they went in search of it but could not find it anywhere. But there was a youth in The Israelites.
Allah has shown him, in dream, the holy Prophet and ‘Ali and the holy Imams from his progeny and they had informed him that since he loved them and gave them preference over others, they wished to give a part of his reward in this world. “So, when they come to you to purchase your cow, do not sell it without consulting your mother. If you will do so, Allah will reveal some matters to your mother, which will cause you and your children to be rich. The youth became very happy. Next morning The Israelites people came to him for purchasing his cow and asked about the price. He said, “Two Dinars. But my mother may alter the amount.” They said, “We will pay one Dinar.” The youth consulted his mother who told him to sell it for four Dinars. He came back to The Israelites and said, that my mother says it would cost four Dinars. They agreed to give two Dinars. The youth returned to his mother and asked for her opinion. Now she said a hundred Dinars. Then The Israelites said they were prepared to pay fifty. In this way, the price went on increasing with the rise in offer and demand until it reached to the demand that they should pay for it by filling its skin with gold. Finally, they agreed to do so, purchased the cow, and slaughtered it. Then they picked up its tail (wherefrom people are created in the beginning and with which their bodies will be rebuilt in the hereafter) and hit it on the corpse of the murdered man. While doing so they said, “O Lord! By the grace of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad make this man alive and speak out as to who has killed him.” The man stood up by the command of Allah and said, “O Prophet of Allah these two cousins of mine envied me on account of my cousin sister, killed me and threw me in this area so as to collect my blood money from the residents of this area.” Musa executed both of them.
When the corpse was hit with a piece of a slaughtered cow, it did not become alive. The Israelites said, “O Prophet of Allah what about your promise to us?” Allah revealed, “My promise never remains unfulfilled. But until the skin of this cow is not filled with gold and given to its owners this dead body will not rise up alive.” So they gathered their wealth. The Almighty made the skin of that cow larger until it was filled with gold worth 5000000 Dinars. Then after the gold was given to that youth and a piece of dead cow was hit on the corpse of the murdered man he became alive some people of The Israelites said, “Nothing can be more astonishing than the Divine deed of resurrecting this dead man and of making that youth so rich. Allah revealed to Musa, “Tell The Israelites that whoever from you wants that I may grant him a purer and better life in this world and raise his status in paradise and keep him there with Muhammad and the family of Muhammad must also do as this youth did. He had heard the name of Muhammad and ‘Ali and their pious progeny and was always sending Salawaat on them and was giving them preference over jinn, men and angels in the matter of respect. Therefore I gave him so much wealth so that he may deal nicely with people and be kind to his friends and defeat his enemies.” Then that youth said to Musa, “O Messenger of Allah how should I protect this wealth from the enmity of the enemies and envy of the jealous?”
Musa said, “Recite blessings with true faith on Muhammad and the family of Muhammad with true faith over this wealth as you were doing earlier. Allah will protect it if a thief, tyrant or a jealous person intends to harm you. The youth who had just become alive heard this and said, “My Lord! I ask you in the name of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and their sacred radiance that you please keep me in this world so that I may enjoy my marriage with my cousin, dishonor my enemies, and grant me better.
At once Allah revealed to Musa, “Through the intercession of the sacred souls I have granted him a life span of 130 years during which he shall remain fit and healthy will not develop any weakness and will enjoy a married life. At the end of that period, I will call them back to me simultaneously and give them a house in Paradise where both of them will enjoy heavily bounties. O Musa! Even if those unfortunate murderers had asked me in the way this youth did and had they resorted to those holy souls after repenting I would not have disgraced them and would have made content on what they were given and would not have cared for The Israelites in finding out the killer and I would have made people forget this murder and would have made heirs of the victim spare them from retaliation. But I guide whom I wish to love Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and make them resort to the holy souls and I prevent (due to my justice) the causes of the evil of their misdeeds and I am the Omnipotent and the wise Allah.”
The Israelites complained to Musa, “We entangled ourselves in trouble by way of disobedience and gave away all of our provision.” Musa said, “Woe unto you, How much kind hearted you are! Perhaps you did not hear the prayers of this youth and of the murdered man and did not see how much benefit they got. So you too pray like that and resort to the sacred souls of those holy personalities. Allah will end your hunger and poverty and will increase your provision.” So they prayed, “Our Lord! We beg of You and we rely on Your Grace and Mercy. So, by the piety of Muhammad and ‘Ali and Fatimah and Hasan and Husayn and the holy Imams remove our poverty.” Allah revealed to Musa, “Tell them to go to such and such wasteland and to dig out such and such spot and to take out 10000000 Dinars buried there and to return the amounts to those from whom the price of the cow was collected and to distribute the remaining wealth among themselves so that it may add to their property and so also to the reward to which they are entitled as they resorted to the holy souls of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and believed in the superiority of their grace over all creation.”
Remember the time when O The Israelites you killed a man and disputed about his killer and when every one of you absolved himself and made allegation on the other. Allah is to expose what you were concealing with the intention of falsifying Musa imagining that Allah will not except Musa’s request to make the murdered man alive.” So we said strike a part of that cow on the dead body. So likewise Allah makes the dead alive in the world and in the hereafter by the meeting of the lifeless things. That is, Allah brings life from the meeting of the water of men and women in wombs.
The same thing will happen in the hereafter. The water of the sea, which is near the first heaven, is like the semen of man. After the blowing of the bugle for the first time, which will kill all living beings Allah, will drop the said water on the worn and torn dusted bodies of the dead and recreate their original bodies. At the blowing of the second bugle, all will become alive. And this will prove His Oneness and the Prophethood of Musa and the superiority of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad over all the creation. May be you think and ponder that the Lord who makes miraculous things manifest does not order His creation to do anything except that which is for their betterment and that He did not give distinction to Muhammad and the family of Muhammad but only because they are superior to and higher than all the intelligent beings.
‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has related from reliable authorities that a righteous and learned man from The Israelites asked for the hand of a woman of The Israelites and she accepted. She had a cousin who was wicked and a bad character. He also wanted to marry her but she did not accept him. So he envied the former man and went after him until he murdered him and picked him up and brought him to Musa and said, “This is my cousin and he has been murdered.” Musa asked, “Who killed him?” He said he did not know. The punishment of murder was severe among The Israelites.
Eventually The Israelites gathered and said, “O Prophet of Allah! What is your opinion in this matter?” Among them, there was a man who had a cow. He also had a very good and obedient son. He had something for purchasing which people came to him. The key of the place wherein that thing was locked was with the father of that boy. The father was asleep. With an intention of not disturbing his father, he turned away the purchaser. After the father awoke and asked him, what he did with the property? He replied, “It is where it was. I did not sell it because the key was with you and you were asleep and I did not like to disturb your sleep.” The father said, “In exchange of the profit you had to forgo by not selling it I gift this cow to you.” Allah also like this good deed of that boy, and as a reward commanded The Israelites to purchase that particular cow and slaughter it.
Finally when The Israelites gathered around Musa and complained about the murdered man weeping Musa said, “Allah orders you to slaughter a cow.” The Israelites expressed astonishment and said, “Are you joking? We have brought our victim to you and inquiring about his killer and you are telling us to slaughter a cow!” Musa said, “I seek Allah’s refuge from being ignorant or a joker.” They felt that they had insulted Musa so they requested him to pray Allah to ascertain what kind of a cow it should be? Musa said, “It should be neither advanced in age nor too young.” They said, ‘Pray to Allah so that He may tell its color. Musa said, “Allah said it should be yellow and very yellow which may attract people and people may like it to see.”
Then they said, “Pray to Allah to tell us what else distinction it ought to have.” Musa said, “The lord says that it should be a cow which must not have tilled the land nor fetched water; that except being yellowish it should not have any spots or dots of any other color.” Then they said, “Now that you described it, such a cow is only with such and such man who has gifted it to his son as reward of some good deed.” They went to that boy to purchase the cow. He said, “Fill the skin of this cow with gold.” Hearing this, they came to Musa and told him that the owner asked this much. Musa said, “You have to purchase it as there is no alternative. Verily the same cow should be slaughtered. So purchase it for the said amount.”
At last, the people purchased it, slaughtered it, and said, “O Prophet of Allah! What should we do now?” Allah revealed, “O Musa! Tell them to pick up a piece of slaughtered animal and strike it on the body of the murdered man, and to ask him as to who killed him?” They took the tail of the slaughtered cow, stroked it on the murdered man, and asked him as to who killed him. He said so and so son of so and so, that is, the son of his uncle who had claimed his blood money.
It is mentioned in the reliable tradition that Imam al-Ridha said a man from The Israelites killed one his relatives and threw his body in the path of a noblest tribe of The Israelites and then, coming to Musa claimed the blood money. The Israelites told Musa, “Expose to us who killed him.” Musa said, “Bring a cow.” Had The Israelites brought any cow, it would have been enough. But they began to argue and counter argue that is, they went on asking questions after question. So Allah went on getting harsh on them until a cow was pinpointed which was only in the possession of a youth belonging to The Israelites who agreed to sell it only if its skin was filled with gold. Left with no alternative they had to purchase it at that price and to slaughtered it.
Then as ordered by Musa they hit the body of the killed man with the tail of the slaughtered cow. The corpse became alive and spoke, “O Messenger of Allah! My cousin had killed me, not those against whom that he is claiming.” A man told Musa, “There is an event behind this cow.” Being asked about it he said, “The youth who is the owner of this cow is very obedient son of his father. One day he purchased something and went home to pay its price. But he saw his father asleep with the keys beneath his pillow (head). He did not like to awaken his father. So returned that thing thereby foregoing its benefits or profit cancelled the deal. When his father awoke, he described the happening to him. His father said, “You did a very good deed. I have now gifted this cow to you in exchange of the profit, which you missed.” Musa said, “Just ponder, behaving nicely with parents raises man to such height.” There are several hadiths in this regard. As it would be lengthy to narrate them, I suffice with this.
Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’an,
“And when Musa said to his servant: I will not cease until I reach the junction of the two rivers or I will go on for year” (17:60)
Some have said ‘Huqubaa’ means a span of 80 years and some have said of 70 years. The first saying is attributed to Imam al-Baqir. It should be kept in mind that in this verse Musa means Musa bin ‘Imran and his companion is Yusha‘ ibn Nun the legatee of Musa. hadiths of common and distinct groups agree on this meaning. A weak saying of the People of the Book has also been noted according to which here Musa is the son of Yashaa bin Yusuf. He had lived prior to Musa bin ‘Imran and it is popularly understood that the said two rivers are Faaris and Room. Some have said that here it means the rivers of knowledge i.e.. The apparent river of knowledge was Musa and the hidden river of knowledge was al-Khidhr.
‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated that when Almighty Allah conversed with Musa and sent down the tablets that contained many sciences, Musa returned to The Israelites and informed them that Allah had given him Torah and had conversed with him a thought passed through his mind that Allah has not created anyone wiser than him. Allah informed Archangel Gabriel about Musa that such pride might soon destroy him therefore tell him that where the two rivers meet there is a man sitting on a rock who is wiser than him. That he should acquire some knowledge from him. Archangel Gabriel descended and conveyed the divine message to Musa. Musa felt ashamed and was frightened of his mistake and said to his legatee Yusha‘, “Allah has ordered me to go to a man who lives at the junction of the two rivers and to learn from him.” So Yusha‘ took a whole salted fish with him (in his Tiffin) and both started on their journey. When they reached the appointed spot, they saw that al-Khidhr was fast asleep. Musa did not recognize him. Yusha‘ brought out the fish, washed it in water and put it on a rock. The fish became alive and slipped away into the water because that water (with which it was washed) was the water of life (nectar). Then they carried on their journey. When they grew tired they sat at a place and Musa asked Yusha‘ to take out the tiffin so that they could eat as they were tired of the journey. Yusha‘ told him about the fish. On hearing this Musa said, “The man we are looking for is the same one who was asleep at that rock.”
So they returned taking the same path. When they reached that point they saw that al-Khidhr was praying. So they sat down waiting. When al-Khidhr concluded his prayers they saluted him. It is mentioned in some narrations that Almighty Allah revealed to Musa that the desired person will be found where the fish disappears. Musa said to Yusha‘, “Inform me when the fish disappears.” So when Musa and his companion reached the confluence of two rivers (they forgot or left their fish). Musa did not ask about the fish but Yusha‘ told him, “The fish turned towards the sea and went into the water.” Some have said that Musa had fallen asleep and the fish became alive and went into the river due to the miracle of al-Khidhr. Some say that Yusha‘ performed ablution, its water touched the fish and it became alive and jumped into the river.
But when they had gone further, he said to his servant, “Bring to us our morning meal, certainly we have met with fatigue from this our journey.” The servant said, “Did you see when we took refuge on the rock, the fish took its way into the river. I forgot about the fish and nothing except Satan has made me forget to tell you about it.” “What a wonder!” said Musa. “This is what we sought for.” So they retraced their footsteps. There they found “One from among Our servants whom We had granted mercy from Ourselves and whom We had taught knowledge from Ourselves.” Musa said to him, “Shall I follow you on condition that you teach me right knowledge of what you have been taught?” He said, “Surely you will not have patience with me. How can you have patience in that which you have not got comprehensive knowledge?”
Musa replied, “If Allah pleases, you will find me patient and I shall not disobey you in any matter.” He said, “If you follow me do not question me about anything until I myself speak to you about it.” So they went on (their way) until when they embarked from a boat he made a hole in it. Musa said, “Have you made a hole in it to drown its inmates? Certainly you have done a grievous thing.” He said, “Did I not say that you would not be able to have patience with me?” He said, “Blame me not for what I forgot and do not constrain me to a difficult thing in my affair.” So they went on until when they met a boy, al-Khidhr slew him. Musa said, “Have you slain an innocent person other than for manslaughter? Certainly you have done an evil thing.”
He said, “Did I not say to you that you will not be able to have patience with me?” He said, “If I ask you about anything after this don’t keep me \ in your company. Indeed you shall have (then) found an excuse in my case.” So they went on until they came to a certain town (they say it was the town of Antakiyah, Basra or Armenia). They asked the people of that town for food but they refused to entertain them as guests. Then they found there a wall that was on the point of falling so al-Khidhr put it into a right state. (al-Khidhr began to repair it or he propped up a pillar or he just stroked it with his hand and it was repaired miraculously).
Musa said, “If you had pleased you might certainly have taken a recompense for it.” He said, “This shall be the time of separation between you and me. Now I will inform you of the significance of that which you could not have patience. As for the boat, it belonged to (some) poor men who worked on the river. I wished to damage it as there was behind them a king who seized every boat by force. As for the boy, his parents were believers and we feared lest his disobedience and ingratitude comes upon them. So we desired that the Lord might give them in his place one better than him in purity and nearer to having compassion. As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city. There was beneath it a treasure belonging to them. Their father was a righteous man so the Lord desired that they should attain their maturity and take out that treasure. A mercy from your Lord and I did not do it of my own accord. This is the significance of that with which you could not have patience.”17
‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from reliable reporters that Yunus and Husham bin Ibrahim disputed in their opinion about the learned man to whom Musa had gone. Did he know more than Musa? Is it permissible (and believable) that someone can be a hujjah or Imam above Musa who himself was the hujjah of Allah over the creation. Finally they wrote about this dispute to Imam al-Ridha who replied: When Musa went in search of the A’alim and found him on the island, he was sometimes sitting, sometimes sleeping and sometimes reclining. When Musa said Salaam to him that man felt it strange because he was in a land where ‘Salaam’ did not exist. He asked, “Who are you?” Musa said that he was Musa. He asked, “Are you the same Musa bin ‘Imran with whom Allah had conversed with?” “Yes,” replied Musa. Then that person asked what he wanted. Musa said “I have come so that you may teach me from god-given knowledge.” He replied, “Allah has appointed me for jobs which are beyond your power nor do I have the strength for the works entrusted to you.”
Then that A’alim described the calamities that would befall the family of Muhammad. Both of them wept profusely. Thereafter he described the greatness of the family of Muhammad to Musa that the latter repeatedly expressed his desire to be from the household. Then he described the appointment of the Prophet of Allah on their community and how they would deny him and oppress him and gave the explanation of this ayah, meaning: We will overturn the hearts and eyes of those who do not believe on the first occasion. He said, What was meant by the first occasion was the Day of Covenant when Almighty Allah had taken an oath from all the souls before creating their bodies. Anyway, Musa requested the A’alim to let him stay with him. He refused saying, “You have no patience to observe my deeds.”
But when Musa insisted he took a promise from him that he would not object to his work nor create any hindrance to anything he did until he himself explained the cause. Musa agreed. So Musa, Yusha‘ and that A’alim proceeded together and reached the bank of a river. There they saw a ship full of men and goods, which was about to sail when the ship owners said, “Let us take these three persons also with us as they look like gentlemen.
So they also rode the ship. When it reached midstream al-Khidhr rose, went to a corner of that ship, made a hole in it and filled it with old cloth and mud. Seeing this Musa became angry and said, You made a hole in this ship to drown the inmates; you have done a strange deed indeed. al-Khidhr said, “Did I not tell you that you will not be able to bear with me and that you do not have the patience to observe my jobs?” Musa said, “Please pardon this breach of oath and do not put me in difficulty.” Then when they alighted from the ship, al-Khidhr saw a boy playing with other boys. He was handsome lad. There were two earrings of pearls in his ears. al-Khidhr looked at him for a while then caught him and killed him. Seeing this Musa rushed to al-Khidhr and flung him to the ground saying, “How did you kill an innocent child though he had not murdered anyone? You have done a very bad deed indeed.” al-Khidhr said, “Did I not tell you that you would not be able to have patience with my actions.”
Musa ashamedly asserted, “If I ask you henceforth about anything you may separate me from you because then you shall have a cause.” Anyhow, they went further and by the evening reached a village called Naasirah and the people of that village were called Nasaaraa. These people had never before entertained anyone as a guest nor had they ever fed the hungry. The three asked for food but they neither came out of their homes nor fed them. Then al-Khidhr saw a wall nearby, which had become dilapidated. He approached it, put his hand on it and said, “Be repaired by the command of Allah.” It was repaired instantly. Musa said, “It was not proper on your part to repair the wall unless they had fed us and allowed us to lodge in their houses.”
This is the meaning of Musa’s words, “You might certainly have taken a recompense.” al-Khidhr said, “This is the time of parting. Now I will inform you of the significance of that with which you could not have patience. As for the boat, it belonged to some poor men who worked on the river. I damaged it as there was behind them in another boat a king who seized every (good) boat by force. I damaged it so that he may not usurp it and it may remain with these poor people.” This verse is like one in the Qur’an of the Ahl al-Bayt meaning. He said, It was descended like this. It means regarding that boy, his parents were Mu’min (faithful) and he was inclined towards unbelief. al-Khidhr said, “When I saw him I saw the words meaning: It is in the knowledge of Allah that if he remains alive he will be a disbeliever. I feared that his blasphemy might engulf his parents therefore I wished that Allah may give them in place of this boy a child who may be spiritually better and nearer to his parents.” Allah gave them a daughter in place of that boy who later gave birth to a Prophet. According to other narrations, seventy Prophets of The Israelites were born in the progeny of that girl.
It is narrated from Imam ‘Ali, Zayn al-‘abidin, al-Baqir, as-Sadiq and al-Ridha that in the treasure which was beneath that wall belonging to the two boys, was a golden plate on which were written the words: I wonder how the man who knows that death is a true fact remains happy and I wonder how the person who has faith in act of God remains fearful. It is mentioned in other narrations how he becomes gloomy due to calamities. And I am surprised how he remembers Hell and still laughs; and it is surprising that a man sees the world and also how it changes from one state to another and yet he loves it. In another tradition, it is mentioned: I wonder how a man believes in the accounting of the Day of Judgment and yet commits sins. Does it befit a man who had been given wisdom by Allah to understand that whatever is provided to him is from Allah to which he should testify and he should not complain against the delay in getting his provision.
It is recorded through reliable reporters from Imam al-Baqir that, “By Allah! That treasure did not contain gold or silver. It was a plate with the following inscription: I am the God besides whom there is no God and Muhammad is My Messenger. I wonder how a man who has faith in the Day of Judgment shows his teeth while laughing and it is astonishing how the one who has faith in destiny becomes sorrowful when his provision or sustenance is delayed and how is it that a man who sees this world denies the Hereafter.”
It is mentioned in another reliable tradition that the companion of Musa on his journey to confluence of two rivers was Yusha‘ ibn Nun. It is said that the reason why Musa objected to the deeds of al-Khidhr was that the former hated oppression and the deeds that he observed were apparently oppressive.
Authentic narrators mention that al-Khidhr was a Mursal Messenger. Allah had appointed him over a community and he was calling them towards Tawhid (Monotheism) and inviting them to Prophets and divine books. His miracle was such that whenever he sat on earth that piece of earth became green and grass grew on it. If he sat on a wooden plank or inclined over a dry piece of wood that wood would also become green and leaves would sprout from it as well as buds. That is why he was called al-Khidhr (green). His name was Taaliyaa and he was the son of Malkaan bin Ghaabar bin Arfahshad bin Sam ibn Nuh.
When Allah conversed with Musa and scribed every kind of command and wisdom on the slabs for him (Musa) and gave him the miracles of the gleaming hand, staff, locust, bugs, lice, flood of blood, splitting of the sea and drowning the Pharaoh and his community (to help Musa), Musa felt sort of proud (which is natural to man). He thought that Allah has not created anybody more knowledgeable than him. So before pride might destroy him Allah sent Archangel Gabriel to Musa with a revelation, “Go to a worshipper who lives at the confluence of the two rivers and acquire some knowledge from him.”
Archangel Gabriel conveyed Allah’s command to Musa. Musa understood that this revelation was due to the thought he had entertained in his heart. He went to that junction with his young companion Yusha‘ ibn Nun. He found al-Khidhr praying to as Allah says, “Then they found one from among our servants whom We had taught knowledge from Ourselves.” Musa said to him, “I shall follow you on condition that you teach me knowledge of what you have been taught?” He said, “Surely you cannot have patience with me. How can you have patience in that which you have no comprehensive knowledge?” He said, “If Allah pleases you will find me patient and I shall not disobey you in any matter.” He said, “If you would follow me, do not question me about anything until I myself speak to you about it.” So they went (their way) until when they embarked from a boat al-Khidhr made a hole in it. Musa said, “Have you made a hole in it to drown its inmates? Certainly you have done a grievous thing.”
He said, “Did I not say that you will not be able to have patience with me?” He said, “Blame me not for what I forgot and do not constrain me to a difficult thing in my affair.” Imam says, Here ‘forgot’ means giving up or leaving and not escaping the memory. That is ‘do not catch hold of me for the first preferable thing which I gave up.’ So they went on until they met a boy and al-Khidhr slew him. Musa became angry. He took hold of al-Khidhr by the collar and said, “Have you slain an innocent person other than for manslaughter? Certainly you have done an evil thing.” al-Khidhr told him, “Minds cannot comprehend Allah’s affairs, rather divine affairs must command minds. It is compulsory to obey the Divine Wishes even if minds do not comprehend them.”
He said, “Did I not say to you that you will not be able to have patience with me?” He said, “If I ask you about anything after this keep me not in your company; indeed you shall have (then) found an excuse in my case.” Then they went on until they reached the village of Nasirah and asked for food from the residents of that village. They refused to feed them nor lodge them. Near that village Musa and al-Khidhr saw a crumbling wall. al-Khidhr went to that wall and repaired it with his power. Musa took objection to this deed as is mentioned in the Qur’an.
Then al-Khidhr said, “This is the time of separation between you and me. I will now enlighten you on the causes for which you did not have patience. Listen! As for the boat, it belonged to some poor laborers who toiled on the river. I wished to make a hole in it to make it defective so that it may remain with them because a king was arriving (in his ship) confiscating every working boat. So I did this deed for their benefit.” al-Khidhr said, “I wished to damage it so that the deed (of damaging the boat) may not be attributed to Allah. Allah wanted improvement not harm. As regards the boy, his parents were faithful and the boy was born a disbeliever. Allah knew that when he grew, his parents too, due to their love for him would become unbelievers as he would misguide them. So Allah ordered me to kill him as Allah desired that they should reach the point of His forgiveness so that He may improve their future (hereafter).”
Imam said, “At this point al-Khidhr said, ‘I feared that he will make them disbelievers so I wished that Allah may bestow on them in place of this boy, another one who may be better than this one.’ This was the type of human talk that had influenced him because he had become the teacher of a Prophet like Musa. Hence respect demanded that he should attribute fear to himself instead of saying that “We (al-Khidhr and Allah) feared” because fear cannot be felt by Allah. Rather he was fearful that perhaps Allah might cancel the order of killing the boy or some other hindrance may come up from the creation due to which he might not be able to carry out Allah’s command about killing that boy. Thereby he would be deprived of the reward of that deed and also not succeed in obeying the Divine order.
Thus, it was desirable that he should attribute the opposite of it to Allah without including himself in it as he had said “I wished” and would have said “Allah wished” to give a child to them in lieu of him. It was not that al-Khidhr was given the status of a teacher for Musa. Musa (being a Prophet) was superior to al-Khidhr but Allah wished that He should make it known to Musa that knowledge is not limited only to what he knew and also that if he was not to continue getting knowledge from the Lord he would remain ignorant and unaware.
Then al-Khidhr described the reason of repairing the wall. He said that the treasure (belonging to the boy) was not of gold and silver; that it was a golden plate and on it was written: It is astonishing that man, who is sure of his death, remains happy and it is surprising that one who believes in the Day of Judgment commits oppression and it is very wonderful that a man sees the world changing from one state to another and yet is inclined towards it and attached to it. Then he said that there was a time gap of seventy years between those two boys and their parents. Allah (due to their father being pious), preserved the honor of the two boys.
Thus al-Khidhr said, ‘Your Lord desired that when the two boys reached puberty they should obtain their treasure.’ Here he separated his desire and mentioned Allah’s wish as this was the last story and that thereafter it would be known to Musa that nothing else remained about which he had to speak and that Musa might hear him carefully. al-Khidhr wished that he should remove the effects of whatever he had said in the first and the middle parts of the story that he attributed to himself (because of human nature or in order to caution Musa. So now he separated his slavery (of Allah) from his wishes and presented himself like an honest slave of Allah and in doing so descended to the status of an apology from the claim of his intention of which he was while performing his affairs and said, ‘This was a mercy from your Lord that I did not do anything of my own accord but only carried out my Lord’s orders.’
Imam as-Sadiq said that when Musa wished to part from al-Khidhr he requested al-Khidhr to give him some parting advice. So among his admonishments were these words also: Never be obstinate, never walk or travel without need, do not laugh without appropriate reason, remember your errors and do not pay any attention to the sins of others.
It is mentioned in reliable tradition that Imam Zayn al-‘abidin said, “al-Khidhr’s last will to Musa was: Do not reproach others for their sins and that Allah likes three things most i.e.. To behave moderately when rich, to forgive while having power to revenge, to treat Allah’s slaves (people) kindly and mercifully and that if a person behaves nicely with another person Allah surely becomes kinder to the former on the Day of Judgment and that the secret of wisdom is the fear of Allah.”
It is reported in authentic traditions from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq that al-Khidhr said to Musa, “O Musa, your best day is yet to come i.e.. The Day of the Resurrection Day. So think of how it will be for you and be prepared for giving replies when you are made to stand for accounting. Get admonition from the changes you observe in the condition of the world and understand that the worldly life (age) is long for the one who does good deeds and it is short for the one who wastes it.
So act in such a way as if you are seeing the reward of your deeds with your own eyes It is narrated with evidences that Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said, “When Musa was commanded by Allah to meet al-Khidhr, Allah sent him a basket that contained a salted fish. Allah revealed to Musa that the fish would show him al-Khidhr near a stream, whose water makes the dead, alive. It was called the life-giving stream. Musa and Yusha‘ embarked on their journey and reached that stream and the rock. Yusha‘ went to the bank of the stream and washed the fish therein. The touch of that water made it come alive and it began to move in his hands. It struggled so much that it injured his hand and jumped off into the water. He forgot to tell this event to Musa (or did not narrate it deliberately) and they continued on their journey.
Since Musa had passed the venue which was fixed by Allah he became tired soon after walking some distance (he did not feel tired until he had reached the appointed place). He said to Yusha‘, “Bring our tiffin as we have toiled and are tired much with this journey.” Yusha‘ narrated to him the story of the fish. So Musa and Yusha‘ returned to that stream and when they reached the rock they saw the passage of the fish was still visible in the water.
Then they saw al-Khidhr on an island of that rivulet. He was sitting there covered by a sheet of cloth. Musa greeted him with a ‘Salaam’. al-Khidhr responded to the Salaam but wondered at it because he was living in a land where salaam was not used. al-Khidhr asked him who he was and Musa replied, “I am Musa.” He inquired, “Are you the same Musa (son of ‘Imran) with whom Allah had conversed with?” He replied in the affirmative. al-Khidhr asked him why he had come. Musa replied, “That I may acquire some knowledge from you.” al-Khidhr told Musa, “I am entrusted with jobs that you cannot bear.” Then al-Khidhr narrated to Musa the events and the calamities to befall Muhammad and his progeny. Both of them wept much. al-Khidhr described the nobilities and grace of Muhammad, ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn and of the Imams from their progeny to such an extent that Musa repeatedly said how nice it would have been had he too been born in the Ummah of Muhammad.”
Then Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq described the story of the boat and the boy and the wall and said that had Musa been patient, al-Khidhr would have shown him seventy astonishing events. It is mentioned in another hadith that: May Allah have mercy on Musa, he made haste before al-Khidhr. Had he shown more patience he would have seen many more such events, the like of which he had never witnessed.
so that it may increase your longing for the reward in the Hereafter. Verily the one who goes there from this world is like the one who passes away. From that which has passed away nothing remains except your good deeds and this will continue henceforth too.”
According to another reliable tradition, he said, “When al-Khidhr repaired the wall of the orphans for the well-being of their parents, the Almighty revealed to Musa, “I give reward to children for the efforts made by their forefathers i.e.. good for good and bad for bad. Do not indulge in adultery with the wives of others so that others may not indulge in adultery with your wives. If anybody steps in the bed of the wife of a Muslim, the latter too steps in the bed of his wife with a bad motive. Thus you will certainly get the recompense of your deeds.”
It is mentioned in other authentic narrations that he said, “I swear by the Lord of Ka‘bah! Had I been between Musa and al-Khidhr I would have told them that I knew more than both of them and surely I would have enlightened them on matters which were not in their knowledge because Allah had adorned Musa and al-Khidhr with knowledge of the matters of the past whereas we have knowledge of future events until the Resurrection Day which has reached us as heritage of the Prophets.”
It is recorded through Imam al-Baqir that when Musa questioned al-Khidhr he replied, Musa saw abaabeel (a martin bird of the swallow family) flying in the middle of the stream. al-Khidhr asked Musa, “Do you know what this bird is saying.” Musa replied in the negative and asked, “What does it say?” al-Khidhr said, “It says ‘By the Lord of the heaven and the earth and the sea, your knowledge compared to the knowledge of Allah is only equal to the quantity of water which I can take in my beak from the sea or even less than that.’”
It is mentioned in yet another narration that when Musa came back to his people after meeting al-Khidhr, Harun asked him about the knowledge Musa had obtained from al-Khidhr and about the wonders he had observed in the river. Musa said, “al-Khidhr and I were standing on the banks of the river when suddenly we saw a bird come to the river from the air, take a drop of water in its beak and throw it in the east, then it threw another drop towards the west, then one drop towards the sky and one to the earth. Then it took a drop from the sea and threw it back in the river. I asked al-Khidhr the cause of these actions of the bird, but al-Khidhr did not know. Suddenly I saw a hunter fishing on the banks of the river. He looked towards me with surprise and asked, ‘What makes you wonder?’ I said, ‘This bird’s gesture makes us wonder.’
He said, ‘I am only a hunter and I know the cause of these actions of the bird. How is it that despite being Messengers of Allah you two do not comprehend it.’ We said, ‘We know only that which Allah has taught us.’ The hunter said, ‘This is a bird which is known in the river by the name of ‘Muslim’ because it utters ‘Muslim” whenever it twitters. What it points out by its gestures is that Allah will send a Messenger after you whose followers will rule over the east and the west throughout the world, will go up in the sky and will be buried in the ground and that in the sight of that Prophet the knowledge of other scholars will be just like a drop of water of this river (in proportion) and his knowledge will reach his cousin and his legatee as heritage.’ O Harun! At that time, our knowledge felt little in our own eyes and then the hunter disappeared. So we understood that he was an angel sent by Allah to discipline us.”
In a reliable hadith it is recorded that Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said, “Musa knew more than al-Khidhr and it is mentioned in another authentic hadith that al-Khidhr and Dhu’l-Qarnayn were scholars but not Prophets.”18
It is mentioned in another reliable tradition that one day Musa went up the pulpit (which had three legs). At that time, a thought crossed his mind that Allah had not created anyone wiser than him. So the Archangel Gabriel approached him and said, “This pride has destroyed you and has put you in the divine field of trial. So get down from the pulpit because there is a man on this earth who knows more than you. Go and search for him.” Musa informed Yusha‘, “Allah has put me on trial, so prepare a tiffin for me and let us both go in search of that scholar as commanded by Allah.” Yusha‘ purchased a fish, fried it and put it in their basket and began their journey towards Azerbaijan. They reached the banks of a river in that direction. Suddenly they saw a man lying on his back. He had covered his face with a sheet and had put his staff by his side. When he pulled the sheet towards his face, his legs became bare and when he covered his feet, his face was exposed. Musa engaged himself in prayers (prayer) and asked Yusha‘ to take care of their tiffin. Suddenly a drop of water from the sky fell on their basket. The fish began to move and dragged itself to the river. Then came a bird who sat on the bank of the river, took a drop of water in its beak and said, “O Musa! You have not obtained from Allah knowledge equal even to this little drop of water that I have taken from this vast river.” Musa arose and started on his journey along with Yusha‘.
After walking for a while, he became tired though he had traveled longer distances before that without getting tired. That was because a Messenger never gets tired in reaching the venue destined for him. Anyway when Musa heard the story of the fish (i.e.. its disappearance) he understood that they had passed the meeting place fixed by Allah. So they traveled back to that place and saw that man sleeping as before. Musa said to him, “Peace be upon you, O scholar!” al-Khidhr replied, “And upon you be peace, O scholar of The Israelites!” He jumped up took up his staff as if to go away at once. Musa told him, “Allah has asked me to remain with you so that you may teach me from your knowledge.”
After the conditions and promises as mentioned earlier Musa and al-Khidhr proceeded until they reached a boat. The boatmen considering them gentlemen seated them in their boat gratis. When they reached the middle of the river al-Khidhr made a hole in the boat there was a dialogue between Musa and al-Khidhr that has been quoted above. Then they came out of the boat and saw a boy on the bank of the river playing with other children. He was wearing a dress of green silk and earrings of pearls. al-Khidhr pressed that boy under his feet and beheaded him. Then they reached the village of Nasirah on the banks of the river. The residents of that place did not make them their guests though the two were hungry. When al-Khidhr repaired a wall in that village despite being hungry Musa exclaimed, “Had you obtained some remuneration for this job we would have least purchased bread.”
It is mentioned in a reliable tradition that Imam as-Sadiq said, “One day Musa was sitting with the nobles of The Israelites. Suddenly a man came and said to Musa, “I don’t think there is anybody who knows more about Allah than you.” Musa said, “I think so too.” Allah sent to him a revelation, “al-Khidhr is more knowledgeable than you Go and search him out. You will find him where your fish will disappear.”
In a reliable tradition Imam as-Sadiq said, “When Musa and al-Khidhr reached the boy playing with other children, al-Khidhr hit him with his hand and he died. When Musa objected to it, al-Khidhr put his hand on the body of that boy and separated his shoulder and showed it to Musa. On it was written: He is a disbeliever and his naturally disposed to disbelief. al-Khidhr said, ‘I killed him because his parents were virtuous. I was afraid he would draw his parents towards disbelief after growing up and that they will fulfill his wish because of their love for him and in this way become infidels.’” Imam said, “The Almighty gave the parents a daughter in lieu of the boy. Seventy Prophets were born in the progeny of that girl. There was a time gap of 700 years between the two orphan boys (for whom al-Khidhr repaired the wall) and their father.” (perhaps several generations had passed-Tr.).
It is mentioned in another hadith that Almighty Allah, as a reward of one good deed done by a virtuous man, grants salvation to his sons and grandsons and his family members and also to his neighbors. Thus, all of them get protection due to the greatness of that faithful person. Then he said, ‘Did you not observe that as a reward for virtuous parents Allah sent al-Khidhr so that he may repair the wall for their benefit.19
Ibn Babawayh has said that his name was Khizruya and that he was the son of Qabil bin Adam. Some have said that his name was Khizroon and some have called him Khaleeaa. He is called al-Khidhr because wherever he sat the ground became green and grassy. His age is more than all the children of Adam. The correct information is that his name is Taaliyaa son of Malkaan son of Aabir son of Fahshad son of Sam son of Nuh.20
It is reliably narrated that Imam as-Sadiq said, “When the Prophet of Allah went for Me’raj he felt a fragrance of musk in his path. He asked Archangel Gabriel about it who replied that the fragrance was coming from a house in which people were tortured and killed for worshipping the One, Allah. Archangel Gabriel informed him that al-Khidhr belonged to the progeny of kings. He believed in Allah and lived alone in one of the rooms of his father’s house and was busy in worship. He was the only issue of his father. People advised the king that as al-Khidhr was his only son he should get him married so that maybe Allah will give him a son and then the kingship might continue in their progeny.
Finally the king married al-Khidhr with a virgin girl. But on the wedding night al-Khidhr did not pay any attention to her. Next day he said to his wife to keep the night affair a secret and that if you are asked whether al-Khidhr approached you at night then say ‘yes’. She did what al-Khidhr asked of her and said ‘yes’. However, the people did not believe her and told the king that this woman tells a lie so have her examined to see if she is still a virgin. When the women saw that she was intact, they taunted the king saying: You have joined two fools. Neither of them is aware of what is expected of married couples. So give him as a wife who has already been married so that she may teach him. When such a woman was brought to al-Khidhr he paid no attention to her and requested her also to keep the matter hidden from his father. She agreed to do so but when the king questioned the woman, she replied that: Your son is a woman. Have you ever heard of a woman getting pregnant by another woman? Hearing this, the king became very angry with al-Khidhr. He imprisoned him and sealed its door with earth and stone. But the next day his paternal love overcame him and he ordered the doors to be opened. When the people opened the door they did not find al-Khidhr there. Allah gave him such a power whereby he was able to take any form of his choice and also remain hidden from the public eye. Then he joined the army of Dhu’l-Qarnayn and became its vanguard until he drank the water of life. The one who drinks that water (nectar) remains alive until the day the bugle of destruction will be blown by Divine Order.
In the meantime, from his father’s city two men boarded a ship and set out for trade. On their way, the ship got wrecked and they landed on an island. There they saw al-Khidhr, busy in prayers. When he concluded his prayer, he called the two men and inquired about their condition.. When they described their accounts, he told them, “If I send you back to your place will you keep my story a secret?” They agreed. But only one of the two had really intended to keep the matter a secret while the other one had already thought of informing the father of al-Khidhr of his whereabouts.
al-Khidhr called a cloud and commanded it to carry the two men right up to their homes. The cloud took them up and carried them to their city that very day. One of the traders kept his promise but the other revealed it to the father of al-Khidhr. The king asked him, “Who will give witness that whatever you say is true.” He replied, “The trader was with me.” The king called for that man and asked him but he denied it saying that he did not know anything about it and that he did not even know this fellow.” The former then said, “O King! Send an army with me so that I may go and bring al-Khidhr back here from that island. Also arrest this fellow so that I may prove him a liar.” The King sent an army with that man but released the trader who had kept the story hidden. Then the residents of that city indulged in many sins so Allah destroyed them and overturned that city.
All of them were annihilated except the man and woman (the woman was the first wife of al-Khidhr towards whom al-Khidhr had not inclined on the marriage night and whom he had asked the next morning to keep the night affair a secret) who had kept the story of al-Khidhr hidden from his father. Both of them got out of the devastated city separately but in one direction. Then when they met one another they told their stories to one another and were convinced that they got salvation only because they had kept the secret of al-Khidhr. Then both of them put faith in the Allah of al-Khidhr. They got married and went to live in another king’s kingdom. The woman gained access to the royal palace and got a job of dressing and beautifying the royal princesses. Once while combing the hair of the princess the comb fell down from her hand and she exclaimed;
“There is no power, except of Allah.”
The princess asked her what she had uttered.
“I have One Allah who has the might of ruling everywhere,”
“Have you any other Allah besides my father?”
“Yes, He is the God of you and your father too.”
The princess went to her father and related the conversation. The king called the lady and ordered to take back her words but she refused. The king asked who her companion coreligionist was. She said, “My husband and my children.” The king called all of them and put severe pressure on them to give up the worship of only One Allah. But they defied him firmly. The angry king boiled water in a big vessel and threw all of them in it and then broke the house on them. After describing this story Archangel Gabriel said, “O Prophet of Allah, this fragrance which you are smelling now is emanating from the house in which those worshippers of only One Allah were killed.”
An authentic tradition from Imam al-Ridha says that al-Khidhr drank elixir of life and will remain alive until the time of the blowing of Bugle and that those who are dying are coming to us and they salute (say salaam) us; then we hear the voice of al-Khidhr but do not see him. He reaches wherever his name is mentioned. So it is necessary that anyone who remembers him should also say Salaam to him. He comes to Makkah in every hajj, performs hajj and stands in ‘Arafat and says ‘Amen’ to the prayers of the faithful; that very soon Almighty Allah will make al-Khidhr confidante of al-Qa’im (aj) the family of Muhammad; that when he (al-Qa’im) will be hidden from the public eye he (al-Khidhr) will be his companion in solitude.
It is narrated with reliable evidence from Imam al-Baqir that when Dhu’l-Qarnayn heard that there was a stream of water of life and that whoever drinks from it remains alive until the day of blowing of the bugle, he went in search of it. al-Khidhr was the commander-in-chief of his army. Dhu’l-Qarnayn loved him most. Finally, they reached a place where there were 360 streams. Dhu’l-Qarnayn called 360 persons from his army. al-Khidhr was one of them. All of them were given a salted fish and told, “Bring them separately to me after washing it in different streams.” When al-Khidhr put his fish in the water it became alive and slipped from his hands.
al-Khidhr took off his clothes and jumped into the water and dived several times in search of that fish and in the process drank that water but that fish could not be found. He came out and went to Dhu’l-Qarnayn. When Dhu’l-Qarnayn counted the fish, he found that one was missing. After inquiry, it came to be known that al-Khidhr had not brought back his fish. When asked al-Khidhr told his story. Dhu’l-Qarnayn asked, “Then what did you do.” He said, “I jumped into that stream to find the fish and also dived many times but could not catch it so I came out.” Dhu’l-Qarnayn asked, “Did you also drink the water of the stream?” “Yes,” he replied. Then Dhu’l-Qarnayn made many efforts to find out that stream but failed. Finally he said to al-Khidhr you were created for that stream and that stream for you.
It is mentioned in many reliable traditions through the holy Imams that when the Prophet passed away from this world and calamities came down on the holy Ahl al-Bayt at that time Amir al-Mu’minin, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn were present in the room in which the holy body of the holy Prophet was laid. Suddenly there came a voice, “Assalaamu alaikum O Ahl al-Bayt! Every living being will taste the taste of death. Your reward will be given fully to you in the Resurrection Day. If anyone dies, verily, Allah is his substitute and successor Who provides patience in every calamity and He is the remover of its harm. He compensates every loss. So rely only on Him because the (real) loser is he who loses the reward of Allah.” Amir al-Mu’minin said, “He (the invisible speaker) is my brother al-Khidhr. He has come to condole you on the death of your Prophet.”
It is mentioned in reliable traditions that Masjid e Sahla is the place where al-Khidhr descends and it is stated at many places in the books of Mazarr etc. That a group of pious people met al-Khidhr in Masjid Sahla and so also Sahsaah etc. in blessed places. Its description will be too lengthy for this book.
Ibn Tawus has related that al-Khidhr and Ilyas meet one another in every Hajj season and that they recite this prayer while departing from one another:
Maasha allaho wa laa h’awla wa laa quwwata illa billaah. Maasha allaho kulle ne’matin. Maasha allahul khaire kullehi be yadillaha a’zza wa jalla. Maasha allaho laa yasrifus-soo-o illallaah.
Many events of al-Khidhr have been mentioned in the chapter concerning Dhu’l-Qarnayn.
It is recorded in reliable sources from Imam ‘Ali al-Naqi that when Musa prayed to Allah, “My Lord! What is the reward of one who testifies that I am Your messenger and that you have conversed with me?” The Almighty replied, “O Musa! My angels approach him at the time of his death and give him good tidings of Paradise.” Musa inquired, “What is the reward of one who stands before You and prays?” He replied, “I feel proud of him along with my angels when that person is in the state of Ruku (bowing) or Sajdah (prostration) or he is standing or is sitting. I take pride in him and also my angels and I do not chastise him.” Musa asked, “What is the reward of one who feeds the poor only to please you?” Allah replied, “O Musa! I will order the announcer to proclaim loudly (so that the entire creation may hear) on the Day of Judgment that so and so man, the son of so and so has been freed from the fire of Hell.” Musa inquired, “My Lord! What is the reward of one who behaves nicely with his relatives?” Allah replied, “O Musa! I prolong his life and make the hour of his death easy for him and on the Day of the Resurrection Day the gatekeepers of Paradise will say to him, “Come towards us and enter from whichever gate you please.”
Musa asked, “My Lord! What is the reward of one who never hurts anyone but does good to all?” He replied, “On the Day of the Resurrection Day, Hell will say to him: Your path is not towards me.” Musa inquired, “What is the reward of one who remembers you both by his heart and his tongue?” Allah replied, “On the Resurrection Day I will keep him under the shade of My throne (the Holy Throne) and will protect him.” Musa asked, “My Lord! What is the reward of one who recites your book both openly and secretly?” He said, “O Musa! He will cross the most difficult bridge with lightning speed.” Musa asked, “My Lord! What is the reward of one who keeps patience just for Your pleasure when people hurt and abuse him?” Almighty Allah replied, “I will protect him from the terror of the Day of Judgment.” Musa inquired, “My Lord! What is the reward of one who weeps due to Your fear?” Allah Almighty replied, “O Musa! I will protect his face from the heat of hell fire and will also save him from the terror of the Day of Judgment.”
Musa asked, “My Lord! What is the reward of one who gives up a dishonest deal being ashamed of you?” Allah replied, “O Musa! I will give him security on the Day of the Resurrection Day.” Musa asked, “My Lord! What is the requital of one who kills a Mu’min intentionally?” Allah replied, “I will not be kind to him on the Day of the Resurrection Day and will not forgive any of his sins.”
Musa asked, “What is the reward of one who invites a disbeliever to Islam?” He responded, “I will permit him on the Day of Judgment to recommend the case of anyone of his choice.” Musa inquired, “My Lord! What is the reward of one who performs prayers in time?” He replied, “He will be granted whatever he asks and I will make My Paradise available to him.” Musa asked, “My Lord! What is the reward of one who performs ablution completely for fear of your chastisement?” Allah replied, “On the Resurrection Day I will raise him. There will be radiance between his eyes (on the forehead) that will light up the plains of gathering.”
Musa asked, “What will be the reward of one who fasts during the month of Ramadhan for your pleasure?” He replied, “I will station him on the Day of Judgment at such a place where he will feel no fear.” Musa asked, “What will be the recompense of the one who fasts during Ramadhan for showing it to others?” He responded, “His reward will be like that of the one who did not fast at all.”
It is mentioned in a reliable tradition from Imam al-Baqir that it is written in Torah: O Musa! I have created you for My Messengership and have strengthened you for My worship. I enjoined upon you My worship and prohibited you from sins (disobedience). If you obey me, I will assist you in my obedience but if you disobey me, I will not help you. O Musa! In obedience you will have My favor and in disobedience My Proof. O Musa! Fear Me regarding your hidden defects so that I may hide your shortcomings from public eyes and remember Me in solitude and in your desires and tastes so that I may remember you during your errors and may save you from slipping. Restrain your anger from those on whom I have given you control so that I may restrain My anger from you. Keep My secrets concealed in your heart and compromise with My enemies outwardly. Do not expose My disposition and secret to your enemy otherwise they will use unfair words for Me and you will be a partner in this evil of theirs.
Then Musa said, “Who will reside in the Holy Precinct?” He said, “Those men whose eyes did not look at stranger women, whose wealth did not get mixed up with usury and interest and who never took corrupt money while dealing with Divine commandments.”
It is recorded in reliable sources from Imam as-Sadiq that Almighty Allah said to Musa, “O Son of ‘Imran! Who claims to be my friend and yet remains asleep at nights is telling a lie. Is it not a fact that every friend wants to meet his friend in solitude? O son of ‘Imran! I am well aware of My friends when night encircles them. I turn their eyes away from others and attract them towards Me and I make my chastisement apparent before them. They address me like those who talk face to face. O Son of ‘Imran! Give the leniency of your heart and meekness of your body and the tears of your eyes to Me in the darkness of night and pray to Me and you will find that I answer you.”
It is narrated from Imam as-Sadiq that when Musa went to the mountain of Toor and spoke with his Lord, he said, “O My Nourisher! Show me Your treasures. The Lord replied, “O Musa! My treasures are that whenever I intend something I merely say ‘Be’ and it becomes. I need no treasures. Whatever I wish, I bring into existence from non-existence.”
In a reliable hadith it is recorded that Imam al-Baqir said, “When Musa prayed, “My Lord! Give me admonition.” The Almighty said, “I admonish you that you should (for your benefit) recognize My right and not disobey Me.” Musa made this request thrice and got the same response thrice. When Musa repeated it for the fourth time the Lord said, “I admonish you to take care of your mother’s right.” He got the same reply to his next request. When he repeated it the sixth time, the divine reply was, “I admonish you to recognize your father’s right.” Imam then said, “That is why it is said that two-third of beneficence is for mothers and one-third for fathers.”
It is recorded in reliable sources that one of the sayings of Almighty Allah to Musa is, “O Musa! Do not have high ambitions in the world otherwise your heart will become hard and a hard heart remains away from Me. O Musa! Be, as I want. I want that my servants should obey Me and that they must not disobey Me. Make your heart dead (empty) of worldly desires due to My fear. Be pleased with old clothes so that you may remain unknown in the world and well known with beneficence among the residents of heaven. Lighten the dark nights with the radiance of worship and recite prayer chanting like that of the patients with meekness before Me. Submit penitence for your sins and all your complaints before Me like a man who has after fleeing from his enemy takes shelter from the Omnipotent and Almighty Allah.
Also, seek My help in worship as I am the best helper. O Musa! I am the Lord who has full control over His slaves. All of my servants are within My might and all are subservient to me. So keep your heart indicted and do not be cheated by it. Let your children become fearless in the matter of religion when your son like you loves the righteous.
O Musa! Wash your clothes and bathe yourself and be in the company of My decent slaves. O Musa! Lead them in their prayers and adjudicate whenever they have any dispute and pass orders in the light of apparent evidence, clear argument and with the light of wisdom that I have bestowed on you. That light shows what has passed and what is to happen in the last age. O Musa! I give you an advice, which is like the advice of a kind friend about a great and noble son that is ‘Isa son of Maryam who will ride a donkey, wear a cap like slaves and possess olive oil, olive and altar. Thereafter I admonish you about the possessor of a red camel. He will have a holy, pious and virtuous nature and will be free of all evils. His virtues mentioned in your Book are that he will believe in all divine books and that he is the one who will give witness and will be bowing and prostrating (before Only One Allah). He will be inclining towards the divine reward and fearing divine chastisement. The poor and needy will be his brothers (in faith). People belonging to other (than his) tribes will be his helpers and companions. His time will face scarcities, hardships, troubles, corruption and dearth of money. His name is Ahmad, Muhammad and Ameen and he will be the epitome of all the past Prophets. He will believe in all the divine scriptures and will testify to all the Messengers of Allah. He will give witness with sincerity to all those messengers and his Ummah is the Ummah on which Allah has showered His mercy and bliss so that it may remain steadfast on the true religion and may not destroy his religion. They (followers of the last Prophet) know some such timings (hours) in which they will perform their prayers (prayers) like a slave who spends most of his time in serving his master. So testify to that Prophet and follow his ways because he is your brother. O Musa! He is Ummi. That is, he will not learn from anybody. He is a My virtuous slave. I will give affluence in whatever he does and I will also increase his knowledge as I myself have created him with bliss.
The Resurrection Day will take place in his time (of Prophethood). I will conclude the world with his followers. So command the oppressors of The Israelites that they should not erase his name from My Books, though I know that they will remove it. His love (love for Me) is a very big virtue (good) in My sight. I am with him and I am among his helpers. He belongs to My army and My army is above all armies. In short, My word and My plan have been perfected that surely I will make his religion win over all other religions so that people may be able to worship Me with integrity. I will descend on him such a Qur’an which will be a compendium of all sciences and which will separate wrong and untruth from truth and which will cure hearts from the mischief of the devil. So, O son of ‘Imran! Send Salawaat on him because I and My angels send Salawaat on him.
O Musa! You are My slave. I am your Lord. Do not consider any poor and troubled person lowly. Do not long for some of those things, which I have given to them from the worldly wealth. Adopt humility while remembering Me. Be hopeful of My mercy while reciting Torah and read out the Torah to me in a voice full of fear and worry. Keep your heart peaceful with My remembrance. I also remember the one whose heart inclines towards Me. Worship Me alone. Do not attribute any partner to Me and continue your efforts for pleasing Me. Verily I am your great Lord. I have created you from insignificant dirty water (semen) and built your foundation from the dust that was taken from various parts of the lowly earth. Then I blew spirit in it and made it a man. Thus I am the creator of the creation and Myself is affluent and My heart is holy and nothing is similar to Me and I am existent forever because non-existence has nothing to do with Me.
O Musa! Be fearful and frightened whenever you pray to Me and put your face on earth before Me and prostrate before Me with the best of your limbs. Adopt humility and meekness when you stand before Me and tell Me your secrets with a fearful heart whenever you submit your supplication to me and keep yourself alive by living with Torah. Teach My praise to the ignorant and remind them of My favors and tell them not to remain in so much disobedience and waywardness because when I will arrest, My arrest will be the severest of all and My chastisement is very painful.
O Musa! If your relation with Me will break off no other relation will be of any avail to you. So worship Me and stand like a lowly servant before Me and condemn your soul because it deserves more condemnation and do not become proud in front of The Israelites because of the Book which I have given you as the same Book is sufficient to admonish you and to enlighten your heart as it is the Word of the Lord of the Worlds.
O Musa! When you pray before Me be hopeful of My mercy. I will pardon you even if you have sinned. The heaven is hallowing me for my fear and the angels continue to tremble because of My terror. The earth goes on praising Me looking to My mercy. The entire creation glorifies Me and is meek before Me. The prayer must seem pleasant to you because it is great in My sight and it has a big covenant with Me because it presents before Me everyone as he should be presented and I forgive. Keep a deed always connected with prayers, which is one of the conditions for its acceptance and its sacrifice, and offer in My path the best of wealth and food because I do not accept anything unless it is legal and clean and is offered with the intention only of pleasing Me. In addition to giving them Zakat also, behave nicely to your relatives because I am Allah, the Beneficent and the Merciful and I have created relationships and have measured it with My mercy so that My slaves may behave mercifully with one another due to that. I will give a kingdom in the Hereafter to the one who maintains kind relations and I disconnect My mercy with the one who will cut off kindness I will deal kindly with the one who will have dealt kindly with others and who will have done good to his relatives and similarly I will do accordingly with the one who will have disobeyed my command.
O Musa! Give respect to the one who asks from you something and give him something when he approaches you, or give him a soft reply because no one comes to you from men or jinn but are angels who test you as desired by the Beneficent Lord. They ascertain as to how you spend from what I have given to you and how you thank Me and how you maintain equity between the faithful. Remain meek before Me with humility and weeping and raise your voice while reciting Torah and while weeping and know that I call you in My presence as a master calls his slave so that he may give him the top position and a high status near him. This is My bounty on you and on your forefathers who have passed away.
O Musa! Do not forget Me under any circumstances and do not feel happy over affluence of wealth as the heart becomes hard with the affluence in wealth and sins also increase with an increase in wealth. The land, sea and the heavens all are subservient to Me but disobedience has hardened the hearts of men and jinn. I am the Merciful and the Beneficent Lord. I am kind to all in every age. I cause ease after hardship and give bounty after scarcity. I bring kings after kings and My kingdom is intact and continuous which never end. Nothing in the earth and heavens is hidden from Me and how can it be hidden when it is I who created them. How can your heart not incline towards my pleasure and reward while your return is only to Me. O Musa! Make Me your shelter and reliance and deposit your treasure of good deeds with Me. Fear Me and do not be afraid of anyone else because your return is only to Me.
O Musa! Be kind to the one who among My creation is lower than you and do not envy those who are higher than you because jealousy consumes good deeds as fire consumes wood. O Musa! Two sons of Adam showed meekness before me and submitted their sacrifice that they may earn My grace and I accept the sacrifice offered by pious people. Hence, the offer of one is accepted and the other rejected. Thereafter to what extent their affair reached is known to you. Then how do you rely on and trust your viziers and companions when a brother did what he did with his own brother. O Musa! Give up pride and ego and remember that you will have to be a resident of the grave. This thought will restrain you from worldly desires.
O Musa make haste in repenting and postpone sinning. Prolong standing before Me during your prayer and attach no hope with anyone except Me. Make Me your shelter in warding off hardships and consider Me your forte for defending yourself against calamities. O Musa! How does a slave fear Me who considers My grace and bounties on him whereas he does not ponder over it and does not believe. How does he believe and hope for reward when he is satisfied with the worldly belongings and has made it his shelter and turns toward the world like oppressors. O Musa! Contest with the virtuous in virtues because virtue is as sweet as its name and leave the evil for the one who is mad after the world.
O Musa! Keep your tongue behind your heart so that you may be protected from the evil of the tongues, that is think before speaking anything and speak only after you understand that there is nothing wrong or bad in it. Remember Me more and more during the day and the night as long as you have the chance to do so and do not follow sins so that you may not have to repent. Surely, the reward of sins is hellfire. O Musa! Talk softly for those who have given up sinning and sit with them and take them as your brothers and try to worship Me with them so that they may also try (to do so) with you. O Musa! Certainly, you will face death, so advance a better provision for the Hereafter like the one who knows that he will get his provision.
O Musa! Whatever is done for My pleasure, its small is big, and whatever is done for other than Me its big is small. Verily your best day is which is to come that is the Day of the Resurrection Day so think how that day will be for you and be prepared for the answers you will have to give on that day because undoubtedly you will be made to stand to account for your deeds. Take admonition from the people of your times. Its secret is minute for the careless and wide open for the obedient. Everything will end, so perform your deeds as if you are seeing their reward so that you may remain inclined more towards the Hereafter because a worldly thing, which is existing, is just like the thing, which has passed away. From the things that have passed away like this, nothing has remained with you except your worship. It will be so in future also and everyone who does anything does it in his interest. So select as your aim everything that is better so that you may get Allah’s reward on the day when the wrongdoers (deniers) will be the losers.
O Musa! Do not feel degraded when standing before Me the degradation that a slave feels when he approaches his master for making some complaint. When you do so, you will find My mercy with you and I am the mightiest of the mighty. O Musa! Seek My grace and My mercy from only Me because both are in my control and none else has any power over grace and mercy. And whenever you seek anything from Me just think how much longing do you have for what is with me. There is a reward with Me for every performer of a deed and I give the reward of a good deed even to the deniers.
O Musa! Give up the world with a happy heart and keep away from it because you are not for the world nor are the world for you. What have you to do with the residence of oppressors. It is for the one who engages in deeds for the Hereafter while remaining here (in the world). The world is a better place for him. O Musa! Listen to what I command to you and keep in your heart whatever I see in your interest and also the truths of Torah, and remain awake with it during day and night without falling in the sleep of negligence. Do not give any room in your heart to the talks of the world-lovers or to their love because it builds its nest therein like the nest of a bird.
O Musa! The sons of the world and the residents of the world are the cause of trials for one another. The world is beautified for those who are in it and for the faithful is the beauty of the Hereafter. So he is always after the Hereafter and never looks at any other thing. The longing for the Hereafter has become a barrier between him and the tastes of this world. So he traverses forests for advancing his status in worship and nearness to his Lord, like a rider who races in a field to overtake others and may win the race and may reach his aim at the earliest but who remains gloomy during his daytime due to his worry for the Hereafter and who passes his nights in grief. What to say about his luck? How much he will he be able to see, if the cover is removed from his eyes, the things that will make him happy?
O Musa! The world is short and will not last nor is it vast enough to accommodate the reward of the faithful nor can it provide sufficient chastisement to the sinners. So the eternal loss and hurt is for the one who sells out his reward of the Hereafter in exchange of the worldly pleasures which won’t last and who sells it in exchange of the tastes of his tongue which goes away soon. So live as I command and whatever I order you will be for your growth and well being. O Musa! When you see that richness turns towards you imagine that you have erred and therefore you are getting its punishment in the world And when you see that distress advances towards you bravo, bravo for the righteous! Do not live like oppressors and tyrants nor approach them or sit with them. O Musa! Life is fleeting however long it may be. A thing that is taken away from you in the world causes you no loss when its end in the hereafter is everlasting bounty.
O Musa! My book calls out to you loudly and warns you of your return. So can the eyes become sleepy in such circumstances. And how can any group enjoy the worldly life. Had it not been so that they have lived in carelessness since long and have been captive of their hardheartedness and habituated to various kinds of desires and pleasures, the Truthful might have cried out in response to a few admonishments described by Me in My Book. O Musa! Ask My servants to confess about Me that I am the most merciful of all the merciful and I answer the supplications of the uneasy souls and I ward off the troubles and turn the conditions of time and I grant bounties after calamities and appreciate even small deeds and give reward generously and turn the needy into the affluent and that I am the everlasting mighty and omnipotent Lord and that they should pray to me. Thereafter if a sinner seeks shelter and approaches you tell him, “Well done! You have stepped in a wider environment and camped therein and have entered the vastness of Divine Might and Mercy of the Lord of the Worlds. Be happy, He will accept your penitence and (O Musa) seek pardon from Me for them and live with them like them and do not be proud of the bounty which I have bestowed on you and ask them to beseech My Mercy and Grace only from Me as none except Me owns My Mercy and Grace and that I possess the Greatest Grace and how lucky you are.
O Musa! You are a shelter for the misguided and a brother for the sinners and a companion of the troubled and the seeker of forgiveness for the sinners and you hold a desired status in My Sight. So pray to Me with a pure heart and a truthful tongue and live as I have commanded you to live. Obey my orders and do not behave with pride and excessiveness with my servants due to the few bounties that I have bestowed on you though they were not initiated from your side. And attain nearness to Me because I am near you. Verily I have not asked from you anything which is heavy for you. I only wish you to pray for me so that I may accept your prayer and then I will grant. And gain nearness to Me by conveying my messages which I have descended (revealed) to you and which I have explained to you.
O Musa look at the earth that will soon become your grave and raise your eyes towards the sky as the kingdom of your Lord is greater. Weep over your soul until you remain in the world and fear the fatalities. Let not the beauty of the world deceive you. Do not rest content on knowledge and do not become an oppressor because I am always aiming at the tyrants and I will make the oppressed overpower them. O Musa! I give a tenfold reward of every good deed but only an equal punishment for an evil. Then the sinners turn it into ten times bigger and got ruined. And do not involve anyone else in My worship and be moderate in every deal and pray like a candidate who is longing for My reward. Be repentant of your deeds because the day removes the darkness of the night. Similarly good deeds obliterate sins and sins darken good deeds just as the darkness of night obliterates daylight.”
It is mentioned in reliable tradition that Imam as-Sadiq said: Once Satan came to Musa when he was praying to his Lord. An angel asked him (Satan), “What do you expect from him (Musa) in this condition?” Satan said the same hope which he had entertained from his father Adam when he was in Paradise.
Imam said some of the admonitions given by Allah to Musa are these: O Musa! I accept the prayer of the one who adopts lowliness and humility for honoring My greatness and who fills his heart with My fear and spends his day in My remembrance and who passes his night confessing to his sins and recognizes the rights of My saints and friends. Musa asked: By your saints and friends do you mean Ibrahim, Isma‘il, and Ya‘qub? He replied, “O Musa! Of course they are such and are My friends but now what I mean is not they, what I mean is the one for whose sake I created Adam and Hawwa’ and created Paradise and Hell.” Musa asked: My Lord! Who is he? He replied, “Muhammad and his name is Ahmad. I gave him this name that is derived from My name because one of My names is Mahmud.”
Musa said, My Lord! Settle me in his Ummah (followers). The Lord replied, “O Musa! When you will recognize him and understand him and his progeny’s status in My sight, you will be in his Ummah. Surely, the example of him and his progeny among my entire creation is like the Garden of Firdaus among all gardens. Its leaves never dry up, its taste never changes. So whosoever will appreciate his and his progeny’s rights I will for him, bring wisdom near ignorance and light near darkness. I will accept his prayer before he prays and give him before he asks. O Musa! When you see that trouble is coming towards you, welcome it saying Bravo! I am glad to greet the condition of the good, and when you notice that wealth in turning towards you say that its cause is some sin the punishment for which has been hastened for me because this world is a field of punishment. When Adam erred, I sent him in the world as a punishment of his deed. And I have cursed the world and everything in it, except the thing which is for Me, and which involves My pleasure. O Musa! Verily My good slaves have kept themselves away from the world in proportion to their knowledge about Me and many in My creation have loved the world because of their ignorance and because they did not know Me and the eyes of the one who loved the world and considered it great were never brightened nor did they get any benefit from the world and the one who looked down at the world benefited from it.”
In a reliable hadith it is recorded from Imam al-Ridha that when Allah appointed Musa as His messenger and gave him honor and split the river for him and relieved The Israelites from the evil of the Pharaoh and granted him Torah and Commandments, Musa said, My Lord! You have given me an honor that You have not given to anyone before me. Allah said, O Musa! Probably you do not know that Muhammad is in My sight most honorable among all of My angels and the entire creation. Musa asked: If Muhammad is better than all of Your creation then is the progeny of any Prophet better than My progeny. Allah said, O Musa! Perhaps you do not know that the progeny of Muhammad is superior to the progenies of all Prophets just as Muhammad is superior to all Prophets. Musa inquired: My Lord! If the progeny of Muhammad is like that then is the Ummah (followers) of any of the Prophet superior to my followers as You made clouds give them shade and You rained manna and salwa on them and You parted the river for their sake? The Lord replied, “O Musa! Perhaps you do not know that the superiority of the Ummah of Muhammad to all other Ummahs is like the superiority of Muhammad to all other creation.”
Musa said, “My Lord! how good it would have been had I seen them?” The Lord replied, “O Musa! You will never see them because this is not the time of their appearance but you will see them before Muhammad in the High Heavens when they will be given the bounties of paradise and will be enjoying its pleasure. Do you like that I should tell you more about them?” Musa said, “Yes, My Lord.” Allah said, “Then stand up before Me like a lowly slave who stands meekly before a mighty king.” Musa complied. Allah pronounced: O Ummah of Muhammad! All responded from the bellies of their mothers and the loins of their fathers: Labbaik Allahumma labbaik laa shareeka laka labbaik innal hamda wan ne’mata laka wal mulk. Laa shareeka laka.
So the Almighty made it the thalbiya of hajj. Then He announced: O Ummah of Muhammad! My decision and My command about you is that My mercy precedes My anger and My pardon precedes My chastisement. I have accepted your asking before you ask and anyone of you who will come to Me in such a condition that he gives witness (testimony) that I am the Only One Allah and that Muhammad is My slave and messenger and that he is true in his words and deeds and testifies that ‘Ali bin Abi-Talib is his brother, legatee and Caliph and subjects himself to obedience of ‘Ali as he has subjected himself to the obedience of Muhammad and testifies that His selected and sinless friends and saints who are distinct with Divine miracles are the caliphs of Allah, I will admit him to Paradise even if his sins are equal in quantity to the foam of rivers. Imam said, “When Allah appointed our Prophet He revealed to him meaning: O Muhammad! You were on the Mount Toor when I called out to your community with this greatness and you were not on this side of the mountain when We called to him. Say that I praise and glorify the Lord Who is the Lord of the worlds because of the blessing whereby He granted me this grace exclusively and said to his Ummah: We praise the Allah who is the Lord of all worlds because He granted us these graces exclusively.”
And it is mentioned in other reliable traditions that Imam al-Ridha asked Raas al Jalut the greatest scholar among the Jews, “I challenge you with ten verses of Torah revealed to Moses, tell me does Torah not give the news about Muhammad in these words? When the people of the last Ummah will come who will be the followers of a camel-rider Prophet and who will glorify Allah in various ways in new places of worship, The Israelites will take the shelter of their Prophet until their souls will be satisfied (convinced) and surely the swords will be in their hands with which they will take revenge from the enemies of the Prophet in the world. Is this not written in Torah?”
Raas al Jalut said, “Yes.”
Then Imam said, “O Jew! Musa stated to The Israelites in his will that soon a Prophet from your brothers will come to you. So testify to him and obey him. Are there any brothers of The Israelites except the sons of Isma‘il?”
Raas al Jalut replied, “I cannot deny this statement of Musa but I want that it be pointed out to me from Torah.”
Imam said, “Do you deny that it is mentioned in Torah that light came from Mount Toor and gave us brightness from Mount Saaeer and appeared from Mount Paran. So the radiance on Mount Toor was revelation to Musa and Mount Paran is in Makkah and there is a distance of a day’s journey between them and it is the same revelation which was revealed to Muhammad.”
This hadith is very lengthy. We have quoted here in proportion to the need of this occasion.
It is mentioned in a reliable tradition from Imam as-Sadiq that The Israelites approached Musa and said, “Ask Allah for rain whenever we ask for it and may stop when we do not want it.” Musa conveyed this request to Allah and Allah accepted it. They tilled the land, sowed what they wanted to grow and then asked for rains and it rained as much as they wanted. It also stopped raining when they desired so. Thus it continued to rain when they wanted and stopped raining when they so desired until their agricultural products became sound and high. But when they harvested there was no seed in it at all. Everything had become grass. They went to Musa with this complaint and narrated what had happened. Allah revealed to Musa, “I did not decide for The Israelites but allowed what they desired. Since they were not agreeable with My decision, I left them to their planning. The result is what you see.”
In a reliable hadith it is recorded from Imam al-Baqir, Imam as-Sadiq and Imam al-Ridha that it is written in the unexpunged Torah that Musa asked his Lord, “Are you near to me with Whom I can talk softly or are You away from me with Whom I must talk loudly?” Allah revealed to him, “O Musa! I am the companion of the one who remembers Me.” Musa said, “My Lord! Who will be under Your shade when there will be no shade except the shade of Your Throne?” The Lord replied, “I remember those who remember Me and I befriend those who love one another for My sake. So whenever I propose to send My chastisement to earth I do not send it due to the auspiciousness of such people.” Musa requested, “My Lord! Sometimes I find myself in such a condition when I feel You too great to be remembered.” The Lord responded, “Remember Me under all circumstances as My remembrance is good in all conditions.”21
It is mentioned from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq that Allah revealed to Musa, “O Musa! What prevents you from praying to Me?” He replied, “My Lord! The awe of your greatness as to how I can call you with my dirty mouth?” The Almighty revealed, “The odor of the mouth of fasting people is dearer to Me than the fragrance of musk.”
It is mentioned with authentic evidence from Imam al-Ridha that wherever ‘O those who believe’ is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, the Words in Torah are, O Group of the poor and the needy.
According to another narration, it is written in Torah that: If you are friends of Allah, desire death. So Almighty addressed the Jews in the Holy Qur’an,
O Jews! If you imagine that you are friends of Allah and that others are not, then, if you are true, wish for death. (62:6)
It is narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas that the Holy Prophet said, “Allah discussed 1,24,000 things with Musa in three days and that Musa did not eat or drink anything during that time. When he returned to The Israelites and heard the voice of human beings he abhorred it as the sweetness of the Divine voice was still ringing in his ears.”
Amir al-Mu’minin said that Almighty Allah revealed to Musa bin ‘Imran, “O Musa! Learn My will by heart. Four things are for you: First do not be after the sins of others until you come to know that your sins have been forgiven, second do not become gloomy for your provision unless you know that My treasures have become empty, thirdly do not pin your hopes on others except me until you know that my kingdom has ended, fourthly do not feel yourself safe from the conspiracies of Satan until you know that he (devil) has died.”
It is mentioned with two authentic chains from Imam as-Sadiq that four words of wisdom are written in Torah together with four other words side by side. The first four words are: The one who gets up from bed with worldly worries shows anger against his Lord, the one who wakes up in the morning with complaints against what has befallen him complains against his Lord and the one who approaches a wealthy person with the intention of gaining some earthly gains from him destroys two-thirds of his religion and the one who reads Allah’s book and then indulges in deeds leading to Hell has ridiculed Allah and the other four words are: You will get the reward of what you do and the one who becomes a king or gets power wants that he should become the owner of everything and the one who does not consult others in his affairs repents and that restlessness and need is bigger than people.”
It is mentioned in another hadith that Almighty revealed to Musa, “O Musa! I have not created any creation which is dearer to Me than My faithful Mu’min slave and I do not put him into any trouble unless it is in his interest and I do not give him ease but for his betterment and I am more aware of what is in the interests of My slaves so he should be patient during the calamities sent by Me and should thank Me for My bounties and should rest content on My decisions so that I may note (place) him near Me among My truthful ones whenever he works for My pleasure and obeys My Commandments.”
It is narrated by Imam al-Baqir that some of the words given to Musa by Allah on Mount Toor are: O Musa! Tell your community that those who gain nearness to Me do not get the nearness but through weeping and fearing Me and the worshippers who worship me do not do so but by abstaining from the things prohibited by Me and the adorned ones do not gain adornment but by giving up some things in the world which they do not need. Then Musa said, “O Most Merciful One! What reward will you give to them for their good deeds? He said, O Musa! Those who seek my nearness through weeping due to My fear will be in the highest place in Paradise and none will be their partner in that position. And for those who worship Me while refraining from the things prohibited by Me, I will inquire into the deeds of people in the Resurrection Day but will overlook their conditions and for those who seek My nearness by giving up worldly desires I will make the entire Paradise admissible to them so that they may reside therein wherever they please.”
It is mentioned in a reliable tradition that one day Musa was sitting when Satan appeared before him wearing a multicolored cap. He took off his cap and approached Musa. Musa asked as to who he was? He said, “Iblis.” Musa said, “May Allah not give residence to anyone near your residence. Why have you donned this cap on your head?”
He said, “I attract the children of Adam through these colors.” Musa said, “Tell me the sin which if committed by the son of Adam you overpower him fully.”
“When he overestimates his deed and gets vain and then underestimates his sin.”
Then he said, O Musa! Never stay alone with a woman who is not permissible for you. Such people I do not leave to my companions but personally make efforts in misleading them and do not leave his side until he indulges in sin. Also never, give any promise to your God because whoever gives any promise to Allah I do not leave them to my companions but attend personally to him to endeavor that he may not fulfill his promise. And (O Musa)! Whenever you think of giving charity, make haste because whenever one intends to give charity I pay attention to him myself and do not leave him to my assistants. I make maximum efforts to make him regret it.”
It is mentioned in a reliable tradition from Imam as-Sadiq that there was a tyrant king in the times of Musa. At the same time, there was a pious man. He went to the king for fulfilling a need of a faithful man and recommended his case to the king. The king accepted his recommendation and fulfilled the need of that faithful man. That king and the believer died on the same day. People mourned the death of the king for three days and kept their bazaars closed but the corpse of that mo-min remained in his house unattended until the worms began to feed on it. After three days Musa saw it and prayed to Allah, “My Lord! That king was Your enemy yet people gave him a respectful burial while this mo-min is lying in this condition.” The Lord sent a revelation to him, “A friend of mine once recommended the case of one of my faithful slaves to the king and the latter fulfilled that need. So I gave honor to the king in this way. But I made the earth’s insects overpower that man because he made a request before a tyrant king.”
It is narrated from Imam Zayn al-‘abidin with authentic proofs that Musa prayed to Allah, “My Lord! Who are Your selected slaves? The ones whom You will keep under the shade of Your throne. For on that day there will be no other shade except that of the throne.” The Lord responded, “Those whose hearts are clean, empty of condemnable desires and habits and sinful desires and whose hearts are empty of worldly wealth. Whenever they remember Me, My Greatness and Awe is seen in their eyes and they are those who rest content in obeying Me just like a child rests content by suckling. They are the people who take refuge in My mosques just like vultures take shelter in their nests, when they see people disobeying Me they become fierce like an angry leopard.”
In a reliable hadith it is recorded from Imam as-Sadiq that Allah revealed to Musa, “O Musa! Thank Me as I deserve.” Musa asked, “My Lord! How can I thank You as You deserve for whatever thanksgiving I offer will only be a bounty from You because it is You who inclined me towards it.” The Lord replied, “O Musa! When you have understood that you are unable to thank Me fully and that thanksgiving is also My bounty then you have thanked Me as I deserve.”
It is mentioned in a reliable tradition from Imam al-Baqir that Allah revealed to Musa, “Befriend Me and make Me friend of My creation.” Musa asked, “My Lord! You know that none of your creations is dearer to me than You but what control do I have over the hearts of others.” Allah revealed to him, “Make them aware of my bounties so that they may befriend Me.”
According to the same source it is mentioned in this hadith that Musa asked Allah, “Let me know the time of early decline of the sun.” The Almighty ordained an angel to inform Musa everyday. So one day that angel told Musa that the time of decline of the sun has arrived.” Musa asked, “When?” The angel said, “Exactly when I told you, but by the time you made this inquiry the sun had already traveled a distance of five hundred years (westward).”
According to authentic hadith Imam as-Sadiq said, “Once Musa got a revelation from Allah that a certain person from among his friends was backbiting him and conveying his words to his enemies so he should keep away from him. Musa said, ‘My Lord! When I do not know him, how can I keep away from him? So let me know who he is.’ The Lord said, ‘I described the evil of his slander and now you want me to backbite about him too?’ Musa said, ‘My Lord! What should I do then?’ The Lord said, ‘Select ten persons from your companions, then make groups of ten from your men and draw lots. The lot will appear in the name of the group in which that person is. Then draw again a lot from among that group and it will expose that man. When that man saw that Musa was drawing lots and that he was about to be disgraced he arose and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! It was I who did this deed. I will not do so again.’”
It is noted in another authentic hadith that Musa saw a man under the throne of Allah and asked, “My Lord! Who is this person whom you have kept so near to You? So near that you gave him a place under Your throne.” Allah replied, “This man was not cursed by his parents nor did he envy people because of the things I gave them by My Grace.”
According to a reliable narration Imam as-Sadiq said, “The Almighty conversed with Musa telling him that he should not incline towards the world like oppressors nor like the one who had made worldly things his parents. If I leave you, you will surely be attracted towards worldly adornments. O Musa! Leave those worldly things that you do not need and do not look at those who love the world. I have left them. And know that the seed of all troubles is the love of this world. Do you want to be like the one who is liked by masses until you know that I am also pleased with him? And do not long for the position of the man who is being obeyed by people unjustly because he is the cause of his followers’ destruction.”
It is narrated in another reliable tradition from Imam al-Baqir that Musa prayed to Allah, “My Lord! Who among Your slaves is most disliked by you and who you consider your worst enemy? The Lord replied, “The one who drops down in his bed at night like a dead body and passes his day in senseless things.” Musa asked: What is the reward of one who visits a sick fellow? Allah replied, “I appoint an angel to give him company in his grave until he is resurrected.” He asked: My Lord! What is the reward of one who bathes a dead body? Allah replied, “I make him as clean of sins as he was at birth.” He asked: My Lord! What is the reward of one who attends a funeral procession? Allah replied, “I appoint some angels for him bearing flags so that they will escort him in the Field of Reckoning (Mahshar).” Musa asked: My Lord! What is the reward of one who condoles the death of a child? Allah replied, “I will give him a place under the Divine Throne on the day when there will be no shade except that of the Divine Throne.”
According to a reliable tradition Imam as-Sadiq said, “Once on his way to work Musa passed by a man praying to Allah with raised hands towards the sky. When he returned by the same way after seven days he saw that that man was still in the same position, praying and weeping.” Allah said, “O Musa! Even if this man goes on praying until his tongue drops down, I will not accept his supplication until and unless he does not come to Me the way I want him to come. That is, he must love and follow you.” That man wanted to worship Allah in a way other than following the teachings of Musa.
It is mentioned in a reliable tradition through the same source that once when Musa went to Mount Toor he took with him one of his pious companions. He made him sit at the foot of the mountain and he proceeded to the top and began talking with his Lord. When he returned he saw that that man was torn into pieces by a wild beast which had eaten up his face. Allah revealed to Musa that that man had committed a sin against Me and I desired that when he returns to Me no sin should remain with him so I took him thus from the world.
It is mentioned in a reliable tradition of Imam al-Baqir that Allah revealed to Musa, “Sometimes it so happens that a slave of mine seeks My nearness with a single good deed and I issue orders that he may be given a place of his choice in Paradise.” Musa inquired about that good deed. Allah replied, “To undertake a journey for the sake of his brother in faith.”
Reliable sources quote Imam al-Baqir that once Musa asked his Lord, “My Lord! Who among your creations do you consider as your worst enemy?” The Almighty said, “The one who makes allegations against Me.” Musa asked, “My Lord! Is there anyone among Your creation who makes allegations against You?” The Lord replied, “Yes, the man who asks something from Me and I decide only that which is in his interest, but as he is not pleased with it he makes allegations against Me.”
It is mentioned in a true hadith that Imam as-Sadiq said, “It is written in Torah that: O Son of Adam! Make yourself available for My worship setting aside your worldly affairs so that I may fill up your heart with My fear. Otherwise, I will fill up your heart with worldly engagements and will leave you to run after the world and then your need will never be satisfied.
It is recorded in reliable sources that Imam al-Baqir said, “Divine Revelation was stopped for thirty days for Musa bin ‘Imran. So one evening he went to Mount Areeha and said, My Lord! Why have you stopped talking with me and discontinued your revelation? Is it because of any sin that I have committed? So now, I am standing before You. Punish me until You become pleased with me. If you have stopped your revelations due to the sins of The Israelites then I beseech pardon for them. Almighty revealed to him: O Musa! Do you know why I have selected you from among My entire creation for My talks and revelations? Musa said, “My Lord! I do not know it.” Allah said, “O Musa! My knowledge has covered the entire creation. I did not find among them anyone whose humility before Me was more than yours. So I reserved you for My talks and Revelations.” Thereafter whenever Musa prayed he did not rise from the prayer mat until he rubbed the right and left of his face on the ground.
It is reported from the holy Prophet that it was written on the tablets: Thank Me and your parents so that I may protect you from calamities and troubles which cause your destruction and so that I may lengthen your life and keep you alive with a better living and may grant you a life which will be much better after this earthly life.
It is mentioned with authentic evidences that The Grand Names consists of seventy-three letters out of which Allah sent four letters on Musa.
It is mentioned in an authentic hadith from Imam as-Sadiq that it is written in Torah: O Son of Adam! Remember Me whenever you are angry with anyone so that I may remember you when I am angry. Then I may not destroy you with those people who I want to destroy. Whenever someone oppresses you leave its retaliation thinking of Me because My revenge is better than yours.
In another hadith the Prophet of Allah said that Allah revealed to Musa, “O Son of ‘Imran! Do not envy what I have given from My Grace to others and do not look at it with a tempting eye because he who does not remain pleased with what I have distributed among my slaves and becomes envious of it does not remain happy, rather it comes in the way of the right distribution which I have made. Such a person is not Mine nor am I his.”
It is recorded from Imam al-Baqir that The Israelites complained to Musa that many among us have become lepers. The Almighty revealed to Musa: Ask them to eat cow’s meat with beetroot.
It is mentioned in a reliable tradition from Imam as-Sadiq that it is mentioned in Torah: Thank the one who gives you good things and reward the one who thanks you because there is no decline of bounties when they are thanked for. And they do not last when not thanked for and an increase in thanksgiving causes protection from calamities. It is mentioned in authentic hadith from the same Imam that it is written in Torah that if anyone sells any land with water and in exchange does not purchase land and water then its price becomes unlawful and it gives no profit.
It is mentioned in another narration that Musa visited a city of The Israelites where he saw that rich men wearing clothes made of canvas (sackcloth) were standing and throwing dust on their heads and weeping profusely. Tears were rolling down their cheeks. Musa felt pity on them. He himself also wept in sympathy and prayed to Allah, “O My Lord! These people are in the progeny of Ya‘qub who has taken shelter in You like a dove takes shelter in its nest and are crying like the sheep and are barking like dogs.” The Lord revealed, “Why are they doing this; perhaps in their view the treasure of My mercy has emptied or My wealth has ended or I am not the Most Merciful! Tell them that I know what is in their hearts. Though they are calling Me their hearts are not inclined towards Me but towards the world.”
It is mentioned in another authentic hadith that one day Musa was giving a sermon to his companions when suddenly a man got up and tore his clothes. Allah revealed to Musa, “Ask him to tear his heart and weed out from it whatever I do not like. What is the use of tearing his clothes?” One day Musa passed by one of his companions in Sajdah. When Musa returned after finishing his business he saw that that man was still prostrating. Musa told him, “Had it been in my power I would have fulfilled your demand.” Allah revealed, “O Musa! Even if this man prolongs his prostration until his neck breaks, I will not accept his prayer unless he gives up what I do not like and inclines towards what I like.”22
It is recorded in reliable sources from Imam al-Baqir that Musa prayed to Allah, “Of course I rest content on what You have decided and distributed. Do not kill an aged person, let alone a child.” The Lord replied, “O Musa! Are you not happy that I am the provider of provisions and I am the maintainer?” Musa submitted, “My Lord! I am happy; doubtlessly You are the Best Caretaker and the Best Maintainer.”
Imam as-Sadiq said that one day Musa went to Mount Toor with Harun. On the way, they saw a house. There was a tree at its door. Before that, they had neither seen that house nor the tree. Two clothes hung on that tree and there was a couch in that house. Musa asked Harun, “Remove your clothes and wear these, then enter this house and sleep on the couch.” Harun complied with the order. When he slept on the couch, Allah seized the soul of Harun, and that couch and that house went up in the sky. Musa returned to The Israelites and informed them that Almighty Allah had seized the life of Harun and called him up in the heavens. The Israelites said, “You are lying. You killed him because we loved him and because he was kind towards us.” Musa complained to Allah about the allegation made against him by The Israelites. The Almighty commanded and two angels lowered the couch with Harun from the heavens and kept it hanging between earth and heavens until The Israelites saw and were convinced that he had died and that Musa did not kill him.
According to another hadith (narration) Harun spoke up from the couch and said, I have died my death and Musa did not kill me.
It is mentioned in another hadith that the bereaved can tear off his collar while mourning one’s father or brother as Musa had torn his collar at the death of Harun.
According to a reliable tradition Imam al-Ridha said that Musa asked Allah, “My Lord! My brother has died so forgive him. Allah revealed to Musa, “O Musa! if you wish Me to forgive all those who have died and also who are yet to die I will pardon all of them except the killers of Husayn bin ‘Ali; from whom I will take revenge.”
It is mentioned in some reliable and authentic hadiths that Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said that when the end of Musa’s life approached and the angel of death came and said, ‘O Kalimullah (the one with whom Allah conversed)! Assalaamo A’laikum’, Musa responded, “Wa a’laikas salaam! Who are you?” The angel replied, “I am the angel of death.” He asked, “Why have you come?” He replied, “To take your soul.” Musa asked, “From where will you seize it?” He replied, “From your mouth.” Musa asked, “How will you seize it from the mouth when I have conversed with the Almighty with it?” The angel replied, “All right! I will seize it from your hands.” Musa exclaimed, “How will you seize it from my hands when these hands have held the Torah?” The angel said, “I will seize it from your feet.” Musa said,”I have gone to Mount Toor on these very feet to talk with My Lord.” The angel said, “Then I will take it from your eyes.” Musa said, “I have always looked with these eyes hopefully towards my Lord’s Mercy.” The angel said, “Then from your ear.” Musa said, “I have heard my Lord’s Words with these very ears.” Then Almighty Allah revealed to the angel, “Do not seize his soul until he himself desires it.” So the angel of death went back and Musa lived for quite a long time thereafter. Then one day he called Yusha‘, gave his will to him, made him his legatee and asked him to keep the will a secret until the time of his (Musa’s) death. He also asked Yusha‘ to pass on the Wasiyyah (Will) at the time of his (Yusha‘’s) death to someone else as desired by Allah. Saying this Musa disappeared from his people.
During these days of his absence, he once met a man digging a grave. Musa told him that he would like to help him in digging that grave. He said, ‘That is good.’ Musa engaged himself in the digging. Soon the grave was completed by them. The man intended to go and lie in that grave to ascertain whether it was properly dug or not.
But Musa said, Wait! let me do it. Saying this Musa entered the grave and slept therein. Allah removed the curtain from his eyes and he saw his place in Paradise. He said, My Lord Call me back to You. So the angel of death seized his holy soul then and there. That person buried him in the same grave and closed it by filling it with earth. That man digging the grave was an angel in the shape of a man. Musa died in Tiyah. An announcer announced from the heavens that Musa Kalimullah has died and who is he who will not die? (The Imam) said, This is why Musa’s grave is not known to people and The Israelites do not know its location. People asked the Prophet of Allah about the location of the grave of Musa. He replied, “Near the highway adjacent to the red hillock.” After Musa, Yusha‘ became the leader of The Israelites. He was always busy in their affairs and was bearing all kinds of difficulties caused to him by the kings of those days. Three of those kings died. Thereafter the condition of Yusha‘ became strong and be became independent in the matter of law and order (giving orders to do or to refrain from doing things). Then two hypocrites of the community of Musa conspired and took Safra daughter of Shu‘ayb, the wife of Musa with them and revolted against Yusha‘ with 100000 men. Yusha‘ overpowered them. Many groups of them were killed and those who remained alive fled by the Divine Order and Safra daughter of Shu‘ayb became the captive of Yusha‘. Yusha‘ told her, “I am leaving you in this world so that in the other world when I meet Musa the Prophet of Allah, I may complain to him about you and your community about what I have suffered due to you.” Safra said, “By Allah! If Paradise is made open to me so that I can enter it I will feel ashamed of seeing there Musa the Prophet of Allah, as I have torn his veil and thereafter I revolted against his legatee.”23
Sunnis have narrated from ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ud that he said, “I asked the Prophet of Allah, ‘Who will bathe you after your demise?’ The holy Prophet replied, ‘Every Prophet is given a bath by his Wasi.’ I asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Who is your Wasi?’ He replied, ‘‘Ali bin Abi-Talib.’ I asked, ‘O Prophet of Allah! How long will he live after you?’ He said, ‘Thirty years as Yusha‘ ibn Nun the legatee of Musa and Safra daughter of Shu‘ayb revolted against him (Yusha‘) and had said, ‘I am more entitled than you to be ruler of The Israelites.’ Yusha‘ fought her, destroyed her army and arrested her. After capturing her he behaved nicely with her and in this way the daughter of so and so will along with thousands of men of my Ummah revolt against ‘Ali. ‘Ali will defeat her army, make her captive and will behave nicely to her after arresting her.’ This verse has come in that connection:
(O Wives of the Prophet). Remain seated in your house and...... do not come out in a style of olden day ignorance. And said that olden day ignorance means coming out in the field like Safra daughter of Shu‘ayb.”
Authentic narrators mention from Imam al-Baqir that the wife of Musa had revolted against Yusha‘ ibn Nun riding on a giraffe. Wife of Musa had the upper hand on the first day but on the second day Yusha‘ subdued her. Some people said to Yusha‘, “Punish her.” But Yusha‘ said, “Since Musa had rested by her side, I have given her respect due to Musa’s honor. I leave the revenge to Allah.”
It is mentioned in reliable tradition from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq that Angel of Death came to Musa and saluted him. Musa inquired, “Why have you come?” He said, “I have come to seize your soul but I have been ordered to do so only when you so desire.” Then the angel went away. After sometime Musa called Yusha‘, made him his legatee and disappeared from his people. During this absence, he went to some angels who were busy digging a grave. Musa asked, “For whom are you digging this grave?” They replied, “By Allah! For a slave of Allah who is very high in the sight of Allah.” Musa said, “Indeed he must be very great in the sight of Allah because I have never seen a grave better than this one.” The angels inquired, “O Slave of Allah! Do you wish to be the same fellow.” Musa said, “Of course I do.” The angels said, “Then go and sleep in it thinking about your Lord.” Musa went in it and slept and saw his place in Paradise and desired for his death from the Almighty. His soul was seized then and there and the angels buried him. It is mentioned in another reliable tradition that Musa lived for one hundred twenty six years and Harun for one hundred and thirty years. It is mentioned in yet another reliable tradition that the 21st night of the month of Ramadhan is the auspicious night in which the legatees of Prophets left this world. ‘Isa was lifted up on this night and Musa also passed away on this night.
It is authentically narrated from Imam al-Baqir that during the night in which Amir al-Mu’minin was martyred, fresh blood was gushing out of every stone that was picked up until sunrise and that Yusha‘ ibn Nun was also martyred on this night.
It is recorded in reliable sources that Imam as-Sadiq said, “Musa willed to Yusha‘ ibn Nun and made him his successor, then Yusha‘ made the son of Harun his Successor and Khalifah. He did not make his or Musa’s son his caliph because Khalifah or Imam is appointed by Allah and no one else has any authority in this matter.”
It is mentioned in some reliable traditions that when Musa and Harun were appointed by Divine Mercy in Tiyah, Yusha‘ ibn Nun prepared The Israelites for war and marched towards Syria for the battle of Alqalama. He conquered every town on his way towards Syria until he reached Balgaa. The king of that place was called Baalaq. There were several battles between him and Yusha‘ but neither was killed. People asked for its reason. It was replied that as neither of them possessed a flag neither got killed. Then they made a treaty and marched forward to another city. When the king of that place knew that he did not have enough strength to confront Yusha‘ he sent someone for Bal-am Baoor so that he may pray with The Grand Name so that they may win. Bal-am thought of going to the king riding his donkey. The donkey became so overjoyed that he fell down. When he asked the ass the reason of doing so, the animal by the power given to it by Allah replied, “How can I not become overjoyed when this Archangel Gabriel, holding a weapon in hand prevents you from going to fight with him?” This did not impress him and he went further.
When he reached the king the latter asked him to recite the Grand Name and to curse the people of Yusha‘. Bal-am said Allah’s Prophet is with him and therefore no curse will affect them but I am planning differently for your sake. Decorate many beautiful women, send them to their army under pretext of sale, and purchase so that when presented to men they may indulge in adultery because Allah sends the disease of plague to those people who make excess in adultery. When he did so the community of Yusha‘ indulged in much adultery. Allah revealed to Yusha‘, “These people have angered Me much by doing such a heinous deed. Now if you desire I will have them subdued by the enemy or if you like I will have them killed through famine and if you so desire I may destroy them with a hard and quick death.” Yusha‘ said, “My Lord! They are the children of Ya‘qub and therefore I would not like the enemy to control them nor would I like them to be killed by famine. So if you so desire you may punish them with instant death. Then seventy thousand of those people died within three hours of the plague.”
It is mentioned in the narrations of Shi‘ahs and Sunnis that, thereafter when Yusha‘ fought with them and was about to overpower them the sun set. Yusha‘ prayed to Allah and He made the sun reappear by His Might and kept it shining until they won the war. Only then did the sun set. Likewise the sun reappeared for the successor of the last Prophet, Amir al-Mu’minin.
It is recorded in reliable sources from Imam al-Ridha that Allah had given Bal-am Baoor the Grand Name. Every supplication made by him was accepted because of it. At last, he inclined towards Pharaoh. When the Pharaoh intended to follow Musa and his people, he requested Bal-am to pray to Allah so that he may detain Musa and his men thus enabling him to reach them. Bal-am rode his ass to lead the Pharaoh following Musa’s army but his donkey stopped and did not budge thought he kicked it much. Allah made the animal talk and it asked: Woe unto you! Why are you hitting me? Do you want me to be with you so that you may curse the Prophet of Allah and the faithful? Then he beat the donkey so much that it died and went away from him. It was wiped out from his heart as has been mentioned by Allah in Qur’an,
“(O Prophet!) Tell your people the tale of the one whom We had given our signs, that is Our evidences or arguments, then he came out of those signs and sciences and was taken back from him, then he obeyed the devil and became misguided. Had We wished, We would have raised him high with the same signs but he leaned down towards the earth, preferred the world, and followed his desires), his example is like a dog. It brings out its tongue if you attack it and also if you leave it unhurt. It is mentioned in narrations that the tongue of Bal-am was hanging out of his mouth like the tongue of a dog reaching up to his chest. Imam al-Ridha said, No animal will enter Paradise except three-the donkey of Bal-am, the dog of the people of the cave and the wolf (the story of which is that a tyrant king sent his cattleman to fetch a group of the faithful with an intention to punish them. The cattleman had a son whom he loved very much. The said wolf came and ate up the boy which made the cattleman very sorry. Therefore Allah will admit that wolf in Paradise as it made that wicked cattleman sorrowful).
It is recorded with many evidences that in the night wherein Amir al-Mu’minin was martyred, Imam Al-Hasan went up the pulpit and said, “O People! That night was also like this one when ‘Isa son of Maryam went up the heavens. That night was also like this one when Yusha‘ ibn Nun was killed. That is the 21st of Ramadham.”
It is mentioned with authentic evidences that Imam al-Ridha said, “A companion of the holy Prophet got a letter, which was brought to the holy Prophet. The holy Prophet had an announcement made that all should be present in the mosque. Then he went up to the pulpit and said, ‘This letter has been written by Yusha‘ ibn Nun the legatee of Musa. The subject matter is like this: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Surely your Lord and your Friend is kind to you. Verily the best among all the slaves of Allah is the unknown pious and the worst among the creation of Allah is the one who is conspicuous with his wrongful power (state). So whosoever wants to get full reward and wants to be thankful to Allah should recite this supplication daily:
Subhaan Allah kama yambghi allaaho laa ilaaha illa kamaa yambaghi allaaho wal h’amdo lillaahe kamaa yambaghi allaaho wa laa h’awla walaa quwwata illa billaahe wa s’allallaaho a’laa jamee’il mursaleena wan nabeeyeena h’atta yarz”allaaho.
It is mentioned in another reliable tradition that among The Israelites were four faithful persons who were connected with one another. One day three of them gathered in a house for some work. The fourth one also arrived and knocked on the door which was opened by a slave. He asked him, “Where is your master?” He replied, “He is not in the house.” So that person went back. The slave returned to his master who asked him, “Who knocked the door?” He replied, “He was so and so and I told him that the owner of the house is not at home.” The owner of the house and his friends did not say anything about this and kept quiet. They did not care about the going back of the faithful. They resumed their talks. Next morning he returned and saw them coming out of the house. He observed that they intended to go to the farm of one of them. He saluted them and asked whether he too could accompany them.
They said, ‘All right! Come along.’ But they did not express any sorrow for the previous day’s incident when he had returned. He was a poor man among them. On the way, a cloud appeared in the sky and came over their heads. Thinking that it would start raining they started to run. Suddenly a voice was heard from the cloud: O Fire! Burn them away. I am Archangel Gabriel, the Messenger of Allah. All of a sudden, fire separated from that cloud and fell on those three men. The fourth became astonished and also fearful. He could not understand the reason of what had happened. He came back to the town and went to Yusha‘ ibn Nun and narrated the whole happening to him. Yusha‘ said, “Allah punished them due to you, despite being pleased with them.” Then Yusha‘ told him the previous day’s incident. The man said, “I condone their deed.” Yusha‘ said, “Had this happened before the Divine chastisement fell on them this pardoning by you would have benefited them. Now it is of no use in the worldly life. Perhaps it may give them some benefit in the Hereafter.” It is mentioned in a narration that Yusha‘ lived for 133 years and he made Kaalab bin Yuqanna his successor and caliph.
- 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.’”
- 4. Prophet Musa came back to his wife.
- 5. There are different opinions about the fear of Musa -According to another tradition Musa thought that people will think he is a magician like other magicians. Imam ‘Ali quotes Musa was waiting for Allah’s revelation. It was rather late so Musa was afraid that people would think that the Pharaoh’s magicians were true. But it is doubtful matter whether the Pharaoh killed all the magicians or not. But it is true, he hanged them and cut off their hands and legs. Indeed they all were magicians and unbelievers. But in their last time they became loyal and faithful to Musa According to another tradition, they all were arrested and were involved in divine’s chastisement and were released with the people of The Israelites. The people said to the Pharaoh not to taunt them. Then they prayed to Allah to give them patience against the Pharaoh. In another tradition it is stated that the Pharaoh said to his magicians that Musa has taught them magic power and he is their leader. He said they would be hanged on the date tree and then realize whose chastisement is severe. The people said, “Allah, the Almighty has created the world and all of us. We do not believe in you. Therefore do whatever you like. Life is very short and your order is also temporary. We believe in Allah. Indeed He is great and we have faith, He will forgive our sins you compelled us to use magic power on Prophet. But Allah is Kind and He is immortal.”
- 6. There are different opinions about it. Some say that the Pharaoh wanted to threaten him and some says, he wanted to kill him. Some says it is possible that he wanted to threaten him only and not to kill him.
- 7. Regarding the reason of repentance of the Pharaoh that Allah did not accept his repentance on account of final Chastisement some writer says He did not repent by heart but he was pretending to save himself from divine wrath. Another writer says: He believed in Allah but he had to accept the Prophethood of Musa.
- 8. There are different opinions of different authors. In many books it is recorded that there were three people who verified the Prophets. They were Mu’min Ale the Pharaoh, Mu’min Ale Yasin and best of them ‘Ali Ibn Abu-Talib
- 9. Commentators have differed in their opinion about the Holy Land as to what place is it. Some have said it is Jerusalem (Jerusalem), Some have said it is Damascus and Palestine. According to some it is Syria and some say it is the land between Toor and the land around it. Traditions regarding this have been quoted earlier. Similarly there is difference of opinion as to whether Musa had entered the Holy Land or not. But reliable traditions mentioned that Musa expired in Tiyah and that his Legatee Yusha‘ ibn Nun took out The Israelites from Tiyah. It is also not unanimous weather or not the Bab al-Hitta was in the desert they faced it after getting out of it. Most of the people are of Tiyah desert The Israelites were ordered that they should enter the gate of Jerusalem or of Areehah in the aforesaid manner. According to this belief Musa should not have been with them at that time. Some have said that Musa had made a Qubbah (cupola=dome) in Tiyah and he was praying Salat facing it. The Israelites were commanded to enter the gate bowing and requesting Divine pardon for their sins in a state of humanity. It might have meant Ruku (Bowing). Some have said, prostrating after entering means seeking pardon. The earlier hadiths make these two reasons preferable) Saalaba has narrated in Araais that Lord Almighty had given a promise to Musa that He will grant him and his community the Holy land of Syria as their place of residence and will destroy the community of Amaalaqah who were then ruling over Syria. When The Israelites entered Egypt after the Pharaoh was drowned, the Lord Almighty ordered them to turn toward the city of Areeha in Syria because “I have decided that it should be your residence. So go, fight with Amaalaqah and occupy Areeha. And He ordered Musa to appoint twelve Naqueeb (chiefs); that every Sabt (tribe) should have one Naqueeb who should be their chief. The Israelites said, We will not proceed to fight with them until we know more about them. Musa sent those Nauqeebs to ascertain about Amaaliqah. When they arrived near the city of Areehaa they met with a rebellious man Auj bin Unnaaq. It is narrated that he was 23330 hands tall and that he used to catch fish himself from the bottom of the sea and to bake it high in his hand and then eat it. Water had reached only his thighs during the flood of Noah. His age was 30000 years and his mother khunnaaq was the daughter of Adam. It is said that he fetched a mountain rock equal in size to the camp of Musa so as to throw it on them. Allah Almighty sent the bird The hoopoe, which made a hole in that rock which turned into a yoke for his neck and felled him down. Musa came to him. His height was ten yards and his stick was also 10 yards long. He (Musa) jumped to the height of ten yards and struck Auj with that stick. It hit his ankle and killed him. When Auj saw the Naqueebs he lifted up them and placing them in his lap took them to his mother. He told her that this group had come to fight me. He intended to crush them under his feet but his mother told her to free them so that they would tell his story to others. They returned from there and roaming around the city collected information. A bunch of their grapes were so huge that five men from The Israelites were required to lift it with its branches. Their pomegranate was so big that four man could sit on half of its skin. When the Nauqeebs started for their people they consulted among themselves as they were of the opinion that if they said all that they had observe to The Israelites they (latter) would doubt the word of Musa and would become infidels. So it was to keep this information secret and to inform Musa and Harun privately so that they may do as they think. They agreed and made a covenant among themselves on this point. They went to Musa after 40 days and narrated to him whatever they had seen. Then every Naqeeb went back to his tribe and, breaking the aforesaid covenant, told their clans everything about the Amaaliqah and made them fearful of jihad with them. But Yusha‘ and Kaalab remained firm on their promise. Musa’s sister Maryam was wife of Kalab. When this information went around The Israelites they began to cry loudly and began to scream that: It would have better had we died in Egypt or in the desert without entering this city so that our wealth and wives and children would not have been caught by the fierce Amaaliqah. Then they talked among themselves: Let us make one of our chief and return to Egypt. Musa repeatedly advised them saying that the only one Allah Who made you win over the Pharaoh will also enable you to overpower the Amaaliqah as He has promised victory and as He never breaks his word. But they did not need and intended to return to Egypt. Seeing this Yusha‘ and Kaalab tore up the collars of their shirts and said to them: Fear Allah Almighty and come along with us to the city of these rebellious people Amaaliqah and come along with the help of Allah. We have tried them. Though their bodies are strong their hearts are very weak. So do not be afraid of them and rely on the Lord. The Israelites did not pay attention to their words and intended to stone them to death. They told Musa: We will never enter that city. You may go their with your God and fight with them. We will not budge from our place. Musa became very angry and cursing them said, My Lord! I am the owner of only myself and of my brother. My Lord! Discount me from the sinners.
- 10. Though the narration of Thalabi is not quite reliable. We have quoted it as it talks about some strange events and so that the wise can understand that it was on the basis of the traditions of the Shi‘ah scholars. The Holy Prophet had told Amir al-Mu’minin that: your relation with me is the same, which was of Harun with Musa. But there will be no Prophet after me. Likewise what has been narrated through the Shi‘ah scholars and the Sunni is that the holy Prophet named Imam al-Husayn and Imam al-Husayn in the Arabic language like the name of the names of the sons of Harun because, just as the trusteeship of Jerusalem, which was the Kiblah and an honored place of The Israelites and the protection of the Chest, which was the treasure of their spiritual knowledge and the celestial fire, which was the criteria of the acceptance or rejection of their deeds was according to Thalabi who is one of their great commentators and hadith scholar was related to Amir al-Mu’minin and his progeny pious; that these personalities should be the centre point of the raining of divine Radiances and the treasures of the spiritual knowledge and secrets and that the acceptance or rejection of the deeds of the creation ought to be in their hands and that their obedience and prayers of this Ummah must be connected with their radiant Wilayah. Rather the Jerusalem of this Ummah is the Wilayah of these great personalities.
- 11. It should be remembered that it is the part of the religious beliefs of the Shi‘ahs that Allah is invisible: that His holiness cannot be viewed with an eye, rather the inward eyes of the heart and mind too are unable to comprehend the self and attributions of the lord. How can He be seen when He does not posses either a body on an environment or a place (space) nor can he be in any direction. Then how did Musa despite being greatest messenger put such a question before Him? This doubtful question can be answered in two ways. First: the asking of Musa was not for seeing with the eye and that he wanted to comprehend Him and His attributes through understanding and that at the same time he may also attain the maximum limit of the human understanding. Since the first wish was prohibited and the second was above his status, the lord, by shedding the particle of His greatness on the mount and by making Musa unconscious, made it clear that no one has the strength to comprehend his grandeur and that no one has ability to of reaching the maximum of state of understanding because it is only for the Prophet of the last era (Muhammad saw). Second the asking by Musa was on behalf of his community and he was appointed to take care and to cater the needs of their including to declare whatever they asked for, he made this question on the demand of his people even though he know that it was impossible thing and a prohibited affair. But he wished his people should also understand this truth. And this second cause is clearer as will be seen from the following hadith of Imam al-Ri¤a
- 12. This story is one of those which concern those who are in doubt about the sin or error of Messengers because both Musa and Harun were great messengers. If Harun had done a thing which angered Musa so much that he held his head and bread and pulled toward himself and made him talk very harshly with him then Harun had committed a sin. And if he did not commit a sin then it was a sin or an error on the part of Musa to insult his brother who too was a Prophet, especially the former’s gesture of throwing the tablets of Torah. Some reasons can be given for this: First: which is most clear is that this was a dispute between two Prophets for reforming their people and to make them repentant because when The Israelites indulged in such a heinous sin and considered it is a light one it was necessary for Musa to expose the evil of that deed perfectly and no way was more perfect than to deal harshly with his great brother who besides having a blood relation with him was a great messenger and to throw the tablets on the ground thus hinting that he had abandoned the work of reforming them and that bringing the Book to them was of no avail so that they too might realize that they had surely done a gruesome deed which became the cause of such strange happenings and which ended the patience of Musa and verily Musa did not err nor he intended to harm Harun. It is a common diplomacy of rulers when the near ones are being punished so that others may be warned. Allah Almighty too has, on a number occasion in Holy Qur’an, used angry words for the Holy Prophet but the main aim was to discipline the Ummah as will be described hereafter in the events of the Holy Prophet-Inshallah. The second reason is that these gestures of Musa were due to his extreme anger against the Ummah. Just as a man bites his lips or pulls his beard when very angry Musa did so to Harun who was near to him like his own life. And Harun requested Musa not to do so because, he thought that The Israelites might not understand the main reason and mistake them for enmity and its blame might fall on him Musa. The third reason is that he pulled the head and beard of Harun by way of love and affection so that the community would draw some other meaning out of it. So he requested him to stop doing so, so that somebody may not think bad about Musa. The fourth cause is that what Musa did to Harun or the deeds of both of them were a sort of Tark al-Awla (giving up the desirable), which did not amount to a sin or disobedience, which could be contrary to Prophethood. Other reason also have been mentioned besides these but the first one is the clearest and as regards throwing of tablets it is possible that they might have dropped from his hands due to extreme anger and hence unintentionally or perhaps they were thrown to show Divine worth or toughness in religion or a refutation of the opponents and that such throwing cannot be regarded as a disrespect. It should be borne in mind that there are various and varying hadiths about Musa’s promise to his people. Most of them mention that Musa had promised that he would remain absent for thirty days but that the Almighty, due to some contingency, by way of Badaa (novel gesture) turned that promise into that of forty days. The 30-days promise had a condition attached to it and that condition was not fulfilled and this appears from some verse and also some hadiths that Musa had given them a promise of 40 days and it was merely due to the length of time those people did like that until Satan misguided them so they made a count of days and nights separately and at the end of 20 days they said that 40 had passed away. It is easy to connect the verse, as the Ayat is not specific that the promise was definitely of 30 days. Even if it had been specific the connecting is possible because it was told Musa that the promise would be of 40 days and it was due to some strategy that he was asked to give them a promise of 30 days. Thus it is possible for yet another cause too that Musa’s promise to his people might have been for 40 days in this way that he might have told them: I will not be present among you until 30 days and it is possible that some of the hadiths might have been based on Taqiyyah.
- 13. Maybe that mountain range was divided into several pieces and part might have gone down in the earth and some pieces have been flown onto various directions in the world and some might have turned into sand grain. Hence it is also mentioned and it requires lengthy discussion in the matter of raining of Radiance on the mountain for which this book is too short.
- 14. According to Shi‘ah belief it is difficult to believe them as messengers because apparently they were sinners and their asking was the sin due to which they were chastised. How can then they be messengers despite committing such a sin? Its reply is possible with such causes: first: The description of their becoming messengers might have been by way of Taqiyyah because most of the Sunni (non-Shi‘ahs) have related like that. Second: when they died their first (earlier) life with sin had ended and they might have been innocent in their second life, which is sufficient for their Messengership. There is scope for discussion in this cause. Third: Their asking might also have been behalf of their community and the chastisement might have been by way of disciplining the community. This also appears difficult to believe. Fourth: The word ‘messenger’ might have been used figuratively, that is to convey the sense that after being alive they turned pious like Prophets. But the first cause is clearer. It must be understood that this event is to give witness the truth in the belief of Raj‘ah (resurrection); that as it is in this event, in the time of the al-Qa’im (al-Mahdi). Some have said that what has happened in The Israelites will happen in this Ummah also, which will be mentioned in a following chapter-Inshallah. It should be remembered that it was according to these repeated hadiths about the repetition of what had happened in The Israelites, that the holy Prophet had told Amir al-Mu’minin that you are for me as Harun was for Musa. And in this Ummah the story of the first oppressor, like that of Samiri and the calf and he was worse than the calf and the second was more cunning than Samiri and as they did not obey Harun, these did not obey the last Prophet’s rightful Legatee and when they dragged the Emir forcibly to mosque so that allegiance may be obtained from him. ‘Ali facing the grave of the holy Prophet addressed him as Harun had addressed Musa. And when the era of caliphate passed away which was like that of the calf and Samiri and Qarun and when people gave allegiance to Amir al-Mu’minin, swords came out of their sheets like The Israelites and they began to kill one another. Just as The Israelites remained restless in the desert of Tiyah for apparently forty years, this Ummah also will, by the command of Allah, due to their own selection, remain restless in their worldly and otherworldly affairs until the time of al-Qa’im aale Muhammad Many things have been narrated about each of these affairs through Shi‘ah and non-Shi‘ah sources which will, Inshallah, be mentioned henceforth in their appropriate place.
- 15. Possibly Torah began to come down in Rama¤an and was concluded in the month of Dhu’l-hijjah or may be the tablets had, after being broken, sent (down again).
- 16. It is mentioned in many tradition that Amir al-Mu’minin and all the pious Imam have said that the Pharaoh of this Ummah was the first oppressor and the second was its Haman and third was Qarun and this hadith also support those traditions according to which what had happened in The Israelites will also happen in this Ummah too. A little pondering will show how similar is the state of those three hypocrites to the aforesaid three person because, if the Pharaoh claimed to be God without right the first grabbed Caliphate and it too is sheer Polytheism and it is a confrontation with the holy and the sacred God and just as the Pharaoh intended to obey Musa but Haman obstructed him likewise he was saying AQEELOONI (lift up hands from me) and was apparently showing repentance but the second hypocrites was coming in the way. Just as those along with their companions were drowned in the apparent sea and were openly destroyed likewise all of there drowned themselves in the ocean of deviation and blasphemy and were caught by eternal destruction and in the time of Raj‘ah will get drowned in the water of sword of al-Qa’im the family of Muhammad. And the similarity between the third hypocrite with Qarun in the matter of mutual gathering of wealth, temptation and worldly decoration and adoration etc is not hidden from any intelligent fellow. If Qarun had blood relation with Musa, he too was having casual rather apparent family relation with the Prophet of Allah and if he was pushed in the earth due to the curse of Musa along with his wealth so this was also destroyed due to the curse of Amir al-Mu’minin and the Emir said in his first sermon after getting back Caliphate that Almighty Allah destroyed the Pharaoh and Haman and Qarun. If you ponder over their conditions you will also find other similar causes also which will be, God-willing- described at appropriate places. I suffice here only with some hints.
- 17. This is the translation of the verses was according to the commentators. Explanations of Ahl al-Bayt will follow.
- 18. Maybe what is meant by this is that al-Khi¤r was not a Prophet when he was with Dhu’l-Qarnayn). It is mentioned in yet another tradition that Imam al-Sadiq said, In this Ummah the example (or likeness) of us (i.e.. ‘Ali and me) is like Musa and al-Khi¤r. When Musa met with him and talked with him he wished to remain with him. Thereafter what happened is as mentioned by Allah in the holy Qur’an that the Lord revealed to Musa that: I have made you superior to other people with My Messengership and by My talking with you. So now take up whatever I have given you and remain thankful to Me. He also said: We have written for Musa the description of everything in the tablets and have inscribed admonitions. And certainly al-Khi¤r did possess the knowledge which was not written in tablets for Musa and Musa had imagined that all the things required by man are there in the Torah and that the tablets contained everything. It is similar to the claim of the group which says that they themselves are faqihs (jurisprudents) and scholars (Ulama) of this Ummah and that everything required by this Ummah and this religion is with them and that they have got it from the Prophet and they have imagined all this though they are lying. They do not know all that the Prophet knew nor have they understood everything. There are many problems wherein they do not know what is permissible (Halaal) and what is prohibited (haram) and they do not like that people should approach them for clarification lest they be called ignorant. This is because they do not seek knowledge from the real treasure and they interfere in Allah’s religion through their personal guessing. They have left the Prophetic signs and worship Allah through self-made rituals even though the Messenger of Allah has said that every innovation is ignorance and deviation. Enmity towards us and jealousy has prevented them from seeking knowledge from us. By Allah! Musa despite his high status did not entertain jealousy towards al-Khi¤r and his great knowledge also did not prevent him from asking questions to al-Khi¤r. When Musa desired from al-Khi¤r that he may teach him knowledge and since al-Khi¤r knew that the former did not have the patience required for his company nor was he able to observe events (coolly), he told him (Musa): How can you be patient at observing those things over which you have no power and which are beyond your circle of knowledge. Musa tried with total humility to make al-Khi¤r kind to him and to allow him his company. So he said, Allah willing, you will find me patient and I will not disobey you in any matter. al-Khi¤r did know that Musa had no strength to know those things (which he was to see) nor was he able to attain that power. Accordingly Musa did not remain patient at the knowledge of that A’alim when he saw the jobs that he did not like though Allah like them. Similarly our knowledge is disliked by the ignorant but it is liked by the Lord of the worlds.
- 19. Satan has many ways to misguide those who are less intelligent concerning this strange story). But an honest believer must not try to delve deep into its cause especially into everyone of them lest they may slip. He should from the beginning tell Satan that it has been proved on the basis of sound arguments that whatever Allah says is justice and wisdom and strategy and that whatever the Messengers of Allah do is correct and appropriate even if our intelligence fails to understand some of their special affairs. Regarding the detailed replies to doubts, the first doubt is that a Messenger must be the wisest person of his time then how can it be that Musa who is a Messenger should need the guidance of anybody else? Its reply is that a messenger must be the most knowledgeable person of his time and al-Khi¤r was a messenger of Allah. Maybe he was not in the Ummah of Musa. Further the knowledge in which a messenger must not need anyone else’s help is the knowledge of religious laws and rulings. There should be no objection if Allah teaches a messenger some such things through a man as He does through an angel. So it is not to be imagined that al-Khi¤r was superior to Musa if the latter needed guidance of the former in some matters. It is possible that a kind of knowledge was exclusively with Musa and it was not known to al-Khi¤r and vice versa as is mentioned in some reliable traditions. Secondly how did al-Khi¤r kill a boy who did not commit any crime. The reply is that maybe he had attained puberty and might have opted for Kufr. It is also possible that he might have been called a boy in the holy Qur’an as he was just entering the age of puberty and hence might have drawn the punishment of killing. Above all, even if he had not become a major Allah had the right of taking back the life which He had given in view of some strategy (known only to Him) just as even today the angel of death has the authority to retrieve the souls of people. But the apparent Prophets have normally been assigned (by Allah) to deal on the basis of apparent things. However, intelligence does agree that Allah may appoint some of them (messengers) with the factual (though unseen) knowledge and that they may act according to that knowledge. Thus they may kill some disbeliever on the basis of the knowledge which they possess because it is as a matter of fact only in the interest of the one who is killed not to go to Hell by committing blasphemy. Moreover it is better for others also so that they may not misguide others. The third point is that how did Musa make haste in objecting to the acts of al-Khi¤r when he already knew the supremacy of the former and how did he tell al-Khi¤r that ‘you have committed a sin?’ The reply is that possibly Musa was made responsible only for apparent (visible) knowledge because it so happens that a deed which is a sin apparently, and as the main factual cause behind it is not known to one, he abhors it. When Musa told al-Khi¤r that: You have committed a Munkar (detestable deed) what he meant was that you did a thing that apparently is a Munkar. Some have said that the words of Musa were conditional to express that you have done a thing that astonishes and confuses the mind. The fourth objection is that when Musa had given a promise that he would not take any objection nor ask any questions until al-Khi¤r mentioned the causes, how did he make a breach of that word of promise. It reply is that it is not known for sure and that the keeping of the word was obligatory, especially when it might have been based on the Will of Allah. When he had in the beginning said Inshallah it was not obligatory to keep the word under all circumstances. Hence it is no sin if it was not kept.. Fifth, how did Musa say LAA TU AA KHIZ NEE BI MAA NA SEETU, because ‘Nisyaan’ means forgetting and according to the Shi‘ah Ulama a Prophet cannot forget anything. Reply to this objection is that It is mentioned in traditions that at this place and also when Yusha‘ has said IN NEE NA SEETUL HOOT the meaning of ‘Nisyaan’ is giving up or leaving and the meaning of this word is found in the Arabic vocabulary also. All other replies to these objections and doubts have been mentioned in the book Behaarul Anwaar and as this book has no room for including all those replies I have not written them here. Now I am writing all events of al-Khi¤r. Most of it has been included here in this story so I have not formed a separate chapter for al-Khi¤r.
- 20. Some have said his name was Yalbaa and according to some others al-Yasa‘. Others say it was Ilyas.
- 21. Perhaps what Musa meant to convey was that He might inform him about the etiquette of calling Him, that is, whether he should call him in a low voice like those who are near or in a loud voice like those who are far away. The Lord responded: Consider Me your companion and pray in a low voice. Otherwise Musa did know that the Lord Almighty is, from the viewpoint of knowledge and greatness near to everything and maybe he asked this question also like the question on behalf of his community.
- 22. Maybe this was about his wrong beliefs which Allah knew better.
- 23. If pondered over it will be seen how similar the state of this Ummah is to that of Musa, as the holy Prophet has (according to narration of both the Shi‘ah and the Sunni written that whatever has happened in The Israelites will happen to this Ummah. Just as Yusha‘ was apparently overpowered by three kings so Amir al-Mu’minin was also apparently overpowered. Thereafter when those people proceeded towards the Hereafter he came to caliphate. Then two persons of this Ummah viz Talha and Zubair revolted against the along with the holy Prophet’s wife himyarah It was just like the deed of two hypocrites of that Ummah who had revolted against the legatee of Musa along with Safra wife of Musa. Likewise as they were defeated and Safra was made captive and Yusha‘ did not take revenge from her in this world, similarly Amir al-Mu’minin also won the war and when he caught himyarah he gave respect to her and postponed the revenge until the Day of Judgment.