MOSES. Arabic Musa موسى According to Islam, he is one of the six great prophets who founded dispensations, and to whom the Taurat was revealed. His special title, or kalimah, is Kalimu ‘llah,” One who conversed with God.” A lengthy account, is given of his intercourse with Pharaoh and his dealings with the Children of Israel in the Qur’an, which we take from Mr. Lane’s Selections, together with the remarks of the Jalalan, al-Baizawi, and other commentators, in italics. (Stanley Lane Poole’s new ed. of Lane’s Sel;ections, p. 97.)
We will rehearse unto thee or the history of Moses and Pharaoh with truth, for the sake of people who believe. Verily Pharaoh exalted himself in the land of Egypt, and divided its inhabitants into parties to serve him, he rendered weak one class of them, namely the children of Israel, slaughtering their male children, and preserving alive their females, because one of the diviners said unto him, a child will be burn among the children of Israel, who will be the means of the loss of thy kingdom ;—for he was one of the corrupt doers. And We desired to be gracious unto those who had been deemed weak in the land, and to make them models of religion, and to make them the heirs of the possessions of Pharaoh, and to establish them in the land of Egypt, and in Syria, and to show Pharaoh and Haman and their forces what they feared from them. And We said, by revelation, unto the mother of Moses, the child above mentioned, of whose birth none knew save his sister, Suckle him; and when thou fearest for him cast, him in the river Nile, and fear not his being drowned, nor mourn for his separation: for We will restore him unto thee, and will make him one of the apostles. So she suckled him three months, during which he wept not, and then she feared for him wherefore she put him into an ark pitched within and furnished with a bed for him, and she closed it and caste it in the river Nile by night. And the family of Pharaoh lighted upon him in the ark on the morrow of that night ; so they put it before him, and it was opened, and Moses was taken forth from it, sucking milk from his thumb; that he might be unto them eventually an enemy and an affliction: for Pharaoh and Haman (his Wezeer) and their forces were sinners, wherefore they were punished by his hand. And the wife of Pharaoh said, when he and his servants had proposed to kill him, He is delight of the eye unto me and unto thee do not ye kill him: peradventure he may be serviceable unto us, or we may adopt him as a son. And they complied with her desire; and they knew not the consequence.
“And the heart of the mother of Moses when she knew of his having been lighted upon became disquieted; and she had almost made him known to be her son, had We not; fortified her heart with patience, that she might be one of the believers in Our promise. And she said unto his sister Maryam (Mary), Trace him, that thou mayest know his case. And she watched him from a distance, while they knew not that she was his sister and that she was watching him. And We forbade him the breasts, preventing him from taking the breast of any nurse except his mother, before his restoration to her; so his sister said, Shall I direct you unto the people of a house who will nurse him for you, and who will be faithful unto him? And her offer was accepted; therefore she brought his mother, and he took her breast: so she returned with him to her house, as God hath said,—And We restored him to his mother, that her eye might be cheerful and that she might not grieve, and that she might know that the promise of God to restore him unto her was true: but the greater number of them (that is, of mankind) know not this. And it appeared not that this was his sister and this his mother; and he remained with her until she had weaned him; and her hire was paid her, for every day a deenar, which she took because it was the wealth of a hostile person. She then brought him unto Pharaoh, and he was brought up in his abode, as God hath related of him in the Chapter of the Poets :Surah xxvi. 17), where Pharaoh said unto Moses, Have we not brought thee up among us a child, and hast thou not dwelt among its thirty years of thy life?
“And when he had attained his age of strength (thirty years or thirty and three), and had become of full age (forty years), We bestowed on him wisdom and knowledge in religion, before he was sent as a prophet; and thus do We reward the well-doers, And he entered the city, of Pharaoh, which was Mutif [Memphis], after he had been absent from him a while, at a time when its inhabitants were inadvertent, at the hour of the noon-sleep, and he found therein two men fighting, this being of his party (namely an Israelite), and this of his enemies, an Egyptian, who was compelling the Israelite to carry firewood to the kitchen of Pharaoh without pay: and he who was of his party begged him to aid him against him who was of his enemies. So Moses said unto the latter, Let him go. And it is said that he replied to Moses, I have a mind to put the burden on thee. And Moses struck him with his fist, and killed him. But he intended not to kill him; and he buried him in the sand, He said, This is of the work of the devil, who hath excited my anger for he is an enemy unto the son of Adam, a manifest misleader of him. He said, us repentance, O my Lord, verity I have acted injuriously unto mine own soul, by killing him; therefore forgive me. So He forgave him: for He is the Very Forgiving, the Merciful.—He said, O my Lord, by the favours with which Thou hast favoured me, defend me, and I will by no means he an assistant to the sinners after this.—And the next morning he was afraid in the city, watching for what might happen unto him on account of the slain man; and lo, he who had begged his assistance the day before was crying out to him for aid against another Egyptian. Moses said unto him, Verily thou art a person manifestly in error, because of that which thou hast done yesterday and today. But when he was about to lay violent hands upon him who was an enemy unto them both (namely unto Moses and him who begged his aid), the latter said, imagining that he would lay violent hands upon him, because of that which he had sold unto him, O Moses, dost thou desire to kill me, as thou killedst a soul yesterday? Thou desirest not aught but to be an oppressor its the land, and thou desires not to be [one] of the reconcilers. – And the Egyptian heard that, so he knew that the killer was Moses; wherefore he departed unto Pharaoh, and acquainted his therewith, and Pharaoh commanded the executioners to slay Moses and they betook themselves to seek him. But a man who was a believer of the family of Pharaoh came from the farthest part of the city, running on a way that was nearer than the way by which they had come; he said. O Moses verily the chiefs of the people of Pharaoh are consulting respecting thee, to slay thee; therefore go forth from the city: verily I am unto thee one of the admonisher. So he went forth from it in fear, watching in fear of pursuer, or for the aid of God. Re said, O my Lord, deliver me from the unjust people of Pharaoh!
“And when be was journeying towards Medyen, which was the city of Sha’eb’ (Shu’aib), eight days journey from Misr (named after Medyan [Madyan] the son of Abraham) and he knew not the way unto it, he said, Peradventure my Lord will direct me unto the right way, or the middle way. And God sent unto him an angel, having in his hand a short spear; and he went with him thither; And when he came unto the water (or well of Medyen, he found in it a company of men watering their animals: and he found besides them two women keeping away their sheep from the water. He said unto them (namely the two women); What is the matter with you that ye water not? They answered We shall not water until the pastors shall have driven away their animals; and our father is a very old man who cannot water the sheep. And he watered for them from another well near unto them, from which he lifted a stone that none could lift but two persons. Then he retired to the shade of an Egyptian thorn-tree on account of the violence of the heat of the sun and he was hungry, and he said, O my Lord, verily I am in need of the good provision which Thou shalt send down unto me. And the two women returned unto their father in leas time then they were accustomed to do: so he asked them the reason thereof and they informed him of the person who had watered for them; whereupon he said unto one of them, Call him unto me
“And one of them came unto him, walking bashfully, with the sleeve of her shirt over her face, by reason of her abashment at him: she said, My father calleth thee, that he may recompense thee with the reward of thy having watered for us. And he assented to her call disliking in his mind the receiving of the reward; but, it seemeth that she intended the compensation if he were of such as desired it. And she walked before him; and the wind blew her garment, and her legs were discovered so he said unto her, Walk behind me and direct me in the way. And she did so, until she came unto her father, who was Sho’eyb, on whom be peace! and with him was prepared a supper. He said unto him, Sit and sup. But he replied, I fear lest it be a compensation for me having watered for them, and see are a family who seek not a compensation for doing good. He said, Nay, it is my custom and hath been the custom of my fathers to entertain this guest and to give food. So he ate; and acquainted him with his case. And when he had come unto him, and had related to him the story of him having killed the Egyptian and their intention to kill him and the fear of Pharaoh, he replied Fear not: thou hast escaped from the unjust people. (For Pharaoh had no dominion over Medgen.) One of them [namely of the women] said (and she was the one who had been sent), O my father, hire him to tend our sheep in our stead; for the best whom Thou canst hire is the strong, the trustworthy. So he asked her respecting him, and she acquainted him with what had been above related, his lifting up the stone of the well and his saying unto her, Walk behind me; and moreover, that when she had come unto him and he knew of her presence, he hung down his head and raised it not. He therefore said, Verily I desire to marry thee unto one of these my two daughters, on the condition that thou shalt be a hired servant to me, to tend my sheep, eight years; and if thou fulfill ten years, it shall be of thine own will; and I desire not to lay a difficulty upon thee by imposing, as a condition the ten years; thou shalt find me, if God, please, one of the just, who, are faithful to their covenants. He replied, This be the covenant between me and thee; whichever of the two terms I fulfill, there shall be no injustice against me by demanding an addition thereto; and God is witness of what we say. And the marriage contract was concluded according to this, and Sho’eyb ordered his daughter to give unto Moses a rod wherewith to drive away the wild beasts front his sheep: and the rods of the prophets were in his possession; and the rod of Adam, of the myrtle of paradise, fell into her hand; and Moses took it, with the knowledge of Sho’eyb. (Surah xxviii. 21—28.)
“Hath the history of Moses been related to thee? when he saw fire, during his journey from Medyen on his way to Egypt, and said unto his family, or his wife. Tarry ye here; for I leave seen fire: perhaps I may bring you a brand from it, or find at tire fire a guide to direct me is the way. For he had missed the way in consequence of the darkness of the night. And when he came unto it (and it was a bramble bush), he was called to by a voice saying, O Moses, verily I am thy Lord; therefore pull off thy shoes; for thou art in the holy valley of Tuwa. And I have chosen thee from among thy people; wherefore hearken attentively unto that which is revealed unto thee by Me. Verily I am God: there is no Deity except Me; therefore worship Me, and perform prayer in remembrance of Me. Verily the hour is coming: I will manifest it unto mankind, and its nearness shall appear unto them by its signs, that every soul may be recompensed therein for its good and evil work; therefore let not him who beileveth not in it, and followeth his lust, hinder thee from believing in it, lest thou perish. And what is that in thy right hand. O Moses? He answered, it is my rod, whereon I lean and wherewith I beat down leaves for my sheep that they may eat them; and I have other uses for it, as the carrying of provision and the water-skin, and thee driving away of reptiles. He said, Cast it down, O Moses. So be cast it down; and lo, it was a serpent running along. God said, Take it, and fear it not: we will restore it to its former state. And he put his hand into its mouth; whereupon it became again a rod. And God said, And put thy right baud to thy left arm-pit, and take it forth, it shall come forth white, without evil, (that is without leprosy; shining like the rays of the sins, dazzling the sight;) as another sign, that We may show thee the greatest of Our signs of thine apostleship. (And when he desired to restore his hand in its first state, he put it as before described, and drew it forth.) Go as an apostle unto Pharaoh and those who are with him; for he hath acted with exceeding impiety by arrogating to himself divinity — Moses said, O my Lord, dilate my bosom that it may bear the message, and make my affair easy unto me, and loose the knot of my tongue (this had arisen from his having beers burned in his mouth by a live coal when he was a child),that they may understand my speech when I deliver the message. And appoint unto me a Wezeer of my family, namely Aaron [Haroon] my brother. Strengthen my back by him, and make him a colleague in my affair, that we may glorify Thee much, and remember Thee much; for Thou knowest us.
“God replied, Thou hast obtained thy petition, O Moses, and We have been gracious unto thee another time: forasmuch as We revealed unto thy mother what was revealed, when she gave birth to thee and feared that Pharaoh would kill thee among the others that were born, Saying, Cast him into the ark, and then cast him, in the ark, into the river Nile, and the river shall throw him on the shore; then an enemy unto Me and an enemy unto him (namely Pharaoh) shall take him. And 1 bestowed on thee, after he had taken thee, love from Me, that thou mightest be loved by men, so that Pharaoh and all that saw thee beoved thee; and that thou mightest be bred up in Mine eye. Also forasmuch as thy sister Maryam went that she might learn what became of thee, after they had brought nurses and thou hadst refused to take the breast of any one of them, and she said, Shall I direct you unto one who will nurse him? (whereupon her proposal was accepted, and she brought his mother).. so We restored thee to thy mother that her eye might become cheerful and that she might not grieve. And thou slewest a soul, namely the Copt in Egypt, and west sorry for his slaughter, on account of Pharaoh, and We delivered thee from sorrow; and We tried thee with other trial, and delivered thee from it. And thou stayedst ten years among the, people of Medyen, after thou hadst come thither frees Egypt, at the abode of Sho’eyb the prophet, and he married thee to his daughter. Then thou earnest according to My decree, as to the time of thy mission, when thou hadst attained the age of forty years, O Moses; and I have chosen thee for Myself. Go thou and thy brother unto the people, with My nine signs, and cease ye not to remember Me. Go ye unto Pharaoh; for he hath acted with exceeding impiety, by arrogating to himself divinity, and speak unto him with gentle speech, exhorting him to relinquish that conduct: peradventure he will consider, or will I fear God, and repent.. (The [mere] hope with respect to the two [result is expressed] because of God’s knowledge that he would not repent)—They replied, O our Lord, verily ‘we fear that be may be precipitately violent against us, hastening to punish us, or that he may act with exceeding injustice towards us. He said, Fear ye not; for I am with you: I will hear and will see. Therefore go ye unto him, and say, Verily we are the apostles of thy. Lord: therefore send with us the children of Israel unto Syria, and do not afflict them, but cease to employ there in thy difficult works, such as digging and building,, and carrying the heavy burden. We have come unto thee with a sign from thy Lord, attesting our veracity in asserting ourselves apostles: and peace be on him who followeth the right direction :— that is, he shall be secure from punishment. Verily it hath been revealed unto us that punishment [shall be inflicted) upon him who chargeth with- falsehood that wherewith we have come, and turneth away from it. (Surah ix. 8—50.)
“Then We sent after them, namely the apostles before mentioned [who were Sho'eyb and his predecessors], Moses, with Our signs unto Pharaoh and his nobles, and they acted unjustly with respect to them, disbelieving in the signs: but see what was the end of the corrupt doers. And Moses said, O Pharaoh, verily I am an apostle from the Lord of the world unto thee. But he charged him with falsehood; so he said, I am right not to say of God aught but the truth. I have come unto you with a proof from our Lord: therefore send with me to Syria the children of Israel.— Pharaoh said unto him, If thou best come with a sign confirmatory of thy pretension, produce it, if thou be of those who speak truth. So he cast down his rod;. and lo, it was a manifest serpent. And he drew forth his hand from it’s bosom and lo, it was white and radiant unto the beholders. The nobles of the people of Pharaoh said, Verily this is a knowing enchanter: he desireth to expel you from your land. What then do ye command?—They answered, Put off for a time him and his brother, and send unto the cities collectors [of the inhabitants], that they may bring unto thee every knowing enchanter. And the enchanters came unto Pharaoh. They said, Shall we surely have a reward if we be the party who overcome? He answered. Yea; and verily ye shall be of those who are admitted near unto my person: They said, O Moses, either do thou cast down thy rod, or we will cast down what we will cast down what we have with us. He replied, Cast ye. And when they cast down their cords and their rods, they enchanted the eyes of the men, diverting them from the true perception of them; and they terrified them; for they imagined them to be serpents running; and they performed a great enchantment. And We spake by revelation unto Moses, [saying,] Cast down thy rod. And it swallowed up what they had caused to appear changed. So the truth was confirmed, and that which they had wrought them vain; and they were overcome there, and were rendered contemptible. And the enchanter cast themselves down prostrate: they said, We believe in the Lord of the worlds, the Lord of Moses and Aaron. Pharaoh said, Have ye believed in Him before. I have given you permission? Verily this is a plot that ye have contrived in the city, that ye may cause its inhabitants to go forth from it. But ye shall know what shall happen unto you at my hand. I will assuredly cut off your hands and your feet on the opposite sides — the right hand of each and his left foot: then I will crucify you all.—They replied, Verily unto our Lord shall we return, after our death, of whatever kind it be; and thou dost not take vengeance on us but because we believed in the signs of our Lord when they came unto us. O our Lord, pour upon us patience, and cause us to die Muslims! (Surah vii. 101—l23).
“And Pharaoh said, Let me alone that I may kill Moses, (for they had diverted him from killing him,) and let him call upon his Lord to defend him from me. Verily I fear lest he change your religion, and prevent your worshipping me, – or that he may cause corruption to appear in the earth (that is slaughter, and other offences).—And Moses said unto his people, having heard this, Verily, I have recourse for defence unto my Lord and your Lord from every proud person who believeth not in the day of account. And a man who was a believer, of the family of Pharaoh (it is said that he was the son of his paternal uncle,) who concealed him faith said, Will ye kill a man because he saith, My Lord is God,—when he hath come unto you, with evident proofs from your ,Lord? And if be be a liar, on him [will be] the evil consequence of his lie; but if he be a speaker of truth,-somewhat. of that punishment with which he threateneth you will befall you speedily. Verily God directeth not him who is a transgressor, or polytheist, [and] a liar. O my people, ye have the dominion today, being overcomers in the land of Egypt; but who will defend us from the punishment of God if ,ye kill his favorite servants, if it come unto us — Pharaoh said, I will not advise you to do [aught] save what I see to be advisable, which is, to kill Moses; and I will not direct you save into the right way. And he who had believed said, O my people, verily I fear for you the like of the day of the confederates, the like of the condition of the people of Noah, And ‘Ad and Thamood and those who have lived after them; and God willeth not injustice unto His servant. And, O my people, verily I fear for you the day of calling (that is, the day of resurrection, when the people of Paradise and those of Hell shall often call one to another). On the day when ye shall turn back from the place of reckoning unto hell, we shall have no protector against God. And he whom God shall cause to err shall have no director. Moreover, Joseph (who was Joseph the Son of Jacob according to one opinion, and who lived unto the time of Moses; and Joseph the son of Abraham the son of Joseph the son of Jacob, (according to another opinion) came unto you before Moses, with evident miraculous proofs: but ye ceased not to be in doubt respecting that wherewith he came unto you, -until, when he died, ye said without proof God will by no means send an apostle after him, Thus God causeth to err him who is a transgressor, or polytheist, [and] a sceptic. They who dispute respecting the signs of God, without any convincing proof having come unto them, their disputing is very hateful with God and with those who have believed. Thus God sealeth every heart (or the whole heart) of a proud contumacious person.
“And Pharaoh said. O Haman build for me a tower, that I may reach the avenues, the avenues or of the heavens, and ascend unto the God of Moses but verily I think him, namely Moses, a liar in his assertion that he hath any god but himself. And thus the wickedness of his deed was made to seem comely unto Pharaoh and he was turned away from the path of rectitude; and the artifice of Pharaoh [ended] not save in loss. And he who had believed said. O my people follow me; I will direct you into the right way O my people, this present life is only a temporary enjoyment; out the world to come is the mansion of firm continuance. Whosoever doeth evil, he shall not he recompensed save with the like of it; and whosoever doeth good whether male or female, and is a believer. these shall enter Paradise; they shall be provided for therein without reckoning, And, O my people, how is it that I invite you unto salvation, and ye invite me unto the Fire? Ye invite me to deny God, and to associate with Him that of which I have no knowledge; but I invite you unto the Mighty, the Very Forgiving. [There is no doubt but that the false gods to the worship of which ye invite me are not to be invoked in this world, nor in the world to come, and that our return [shall be] unto God, and that the transgressor shall be the companions of the Fire. And ye shall remember, when ye see the-punishment, what I say unto you: and I commit my case unto God; for God seeth His servants.—’This he said when they threatened him for opposing their religion. Therefore God preserved him from the evils which they had artfully devised (namely slaughter), and a most evil punishment encompassed the people of Pharaoh, with Pharaoh himself (namely the drowning); then they shall be exposed to the Fire morning and evening; and on the day when the hour [of judgment] shall come, it shall be said unto the angels. Introduce the people of Pharaoh into the must severe punishment, (Surah xl. 27-49.)
And the nobles of the people of Pharaoh said unto him, Will thou let Moses and him people go that they may act corruptly in the earth, by inviting to disobey thee, and leave thee and thy gods? (For he had made for them little idols for them to worship, and he said, I am your Lord and their Lord; – and therefore he said, I am your Lord the Most High.) He answered, We will slaughter their male children and will suffer their females to live: and verily we shall prevail over them. And thus they did unto them; wherefore the children of Israel complained, and Moses said unto his people, seek aid of God, and be patient; for the earth belongeth unto God: He causeth whomsoever He will of His servants to inherit it; and the prosperous end is for those who fear God. They replied, We have been afflicted before thou camest unto us and since thou hast come unto us. He said, Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy and cause you to succeed [him] in the earth, and He will see how ye will act therein.—And We had punished the family of Pharaoh with dearth and with scarcity of fruits, that they might he admonished and might believe. But when good betided them, they said, This in ours — that is, we deserve it ;’—and they were not grateful for it; and if evil befell them, they ascribed it to the ill luck of Moses and those believers who were with him. Nay, their ill-luck was only with God, He brought it upon them: but the greater number of them know not this. And they said unto Moses, Whatsoever sign thou bring unto us, to enchant. us therewith, we will not believe in thee, So he uttered an imprecation upon them, and We sent upon them the flood, which entered their houses and reached to the throats of the persons sitting, seven days, and the locusts, which ate their corn and their fruits, and the kummal, or grubs, or a kind of tick, which sought after what the locusts had left, and the frogs, which filled their houses and their food, and the blood in their waters; distinct signs but they were proud, refusing to believe in them, and were a wicked people. And when the punishment fell upon them, they said O Moses, supplicate for us thy Lord, according to that which He hath covenanted with thee namely, that He will withdraw from its the punishment if we believe: verily, if thou remove from us the punishment, we will assuredly believe thee, and we will assuredly send with thee the children of Israel. But when We removed from them the punishment until a period at which they should arrive to, they brake their promise. Wherefore we took vengeance on them, and drowned them in the sea, because they charged our signs with falsehood and were heedless of’ them. And We caused the people who had been rendered weak, by being enslaved, to inherit the eastern parts of the earth and its western parts, which we blessed with water and trees, (namely Syria); and the gracious word of thy Lord was fulfilled on the children of Israel, because they had been patient : and We destroyed the structures which Pharaoh and his people had built and what they had erected.” (Surah vii. 124-138.)
“We brought the children of Israel across the sea, and Pharaoh and his troops pursued them with violence and hostility, until, when drowning overtook him, he said, I believe that there is no deity but He in whom the children of Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims. But Gabriel thrust into his mouth some of the mire of the sea, lest mercy should be granted him, and said, Now thou believest, and thou hast been rebellious hitherto, and wast [one] of the corrupters. But today we will raise thee with thy lifeless body from the sea, that thou mayest be a sign unto those who shall come after thee. (It is related, on the authority of Ibn-’A bbas, that some of the children of Israel doubted his death; wherefore he was brought forth to them that they might see him.) But verily many men are heedless of Our signs. (Surah x. 90-92.)
And We brought the child of Israel across the sea; and they came unto a people who gave themselves up to the worship of idols belonging to them; [wherenpon] they said, O Moses, make for us a god (an idol for us to worship), like as they have gods. He replied, Verily ye are a people who are ignorant, since ye have requited God’s favour towards you with that which ye have said; for that [religion] in which these, are [occupied shall be] destroyed, and vain is that which they do. He said, Shall I seek for you any other deity than God, when He hath preferred you above the peoples of your time. (Surah vii. 134-136.)
“And We caused the thin clouds to shade you from the heat of the sun in the desert, and caused the manna and the quails to descend upon you, and said, Eat of the good things which We have given you for food, and store not up.— But they were ungrateful for the benefit, and stored up; wherefore it was cut off from these. And they injured not us thereby; but they did injure, their own souls.” (Surah ii. 54.)
“Remember, O children of Israel, wisest ye said. O Moses, we will not bear patiently the having one kind of food, the manna and the quails; therefore supplicate for us thy Lord, that he may produce for us somewhat of that which the earth bringeth forth, of its herbs and its cucumbers and its wheat and its lentils and its onions :— he said unto them, Will ye take in exchange that which is worse for that which is better? — But they refused to recede; therefore he supplicated God, and He said, Get ye down into a great city; for ye shall have therin what ye have asked.—And the marks of abjection and poverty were stamped upon them: so characteristics necessarily belong to them, even if they are rich, as necessarily as the stamped coin belongeth to its die; and they returned with iudignation from God. This was because they did disbelieve in the signs of God, and slay the prophets (as Zechariah and John) unjustly: this was becauae they rebelled and did transgress.’ (Surah ii. 58.)
“And remember when Moses asked drink for his people, who had become thirsty in the desert, and We said, Strike with thy rod the stone. (It was the stone that fled away with his garment: it was light, square, like the head of a man, marble or kedhdhan.) Accordingly he struck it: and there gushed out from it twelve fountains according to the number of the tribes, all men (each tribe of them knowing their drinking place. And We said unto them, Eat ye and drink of the supply of God, and commit not evil in the earth acting corruptly. (Surah ii. 57.)
“Remember also when We obtained your bond that ye would do according to that which is contained in the Law, and had lifted up over you the mountain, namely Mount Sinai, pulled it up by the roots and raised it over you when ye had refused to accept the Law, and We said, Receive that which We have given you, with resolution, and remember that which is contained in it, to do according thereto: peradventure ye will fear the Fire, or acts of disobedience. — Then ye turned back after that; and had it not been for the grace of God towards you and His mercy, ye had certainly been of those who perish. And ye know those of you who transgressed on the Sabbath, by catching fish, when We had forbidden them to do so, and they were the people of Eyleh, and We said unto them, Be ye apes, driven away from the society of men —Thereupon they became such. and they perished after three days—And We made it (namely that punishment) an example unto those who were contemporary with them and those who came after them, and a warning to the pious (Surah ii. 60-62.)
“And We appointed unto Moses thirty nights, at the expiration of which We would speak to him on the condition of his fasting during them; and they were [the nights of the month of] Dhu-l-Kaadeh; and he fasted during them; but when they were ended, he disliked the smell of his breath so he used a tooth—stick whereupon God commanded him to fast ten other nights, that He might speak to Him with the odour of his breath, as He whose name be exalted hath said, and We completed them by adding ten nights of Dhu-l-Hijjeh: so the stated time of his Lord was completed, forty nights. And Moses said unto his brother Aaron, at his departure to the mountain for the private collocation, Be thou my deputy among my people, and act rightly, and follow not the way of the corrupt doers by agreeing with them in acts of disobedience. And when Moses came at Our appointed time, and his Lord spake unto him without an intermediary, he said. O my Lord, show me Thyself, that I may see Thee. He replied, Thou shalt not see Me: but look at the mountain, which is stronger than thou: and if it remain firm in its place, then shalt thou see Me. And when his Lord displayed Himself to the mountain (that is, when there appeared, of His light, half of the tip of His little finger, as related in a tradition which El-Hakim hath verified). He reduced it to powder, levelling it even with the ground around it; and Moses fell down in a swoon. And when he recovered he said, Extolled be Thy perfection! I turn unto Thee repenting, and I am the first of the believers in my time.—God said unto him O Moses, I have chosen thee above the people of thy time by honouring thee, by My commissions and by My speaking unto thee; therefore receive what I have given thee, and be of those who are grateful. And We wrote for him upon the tables of the Law (which were of the lote-tree of Paradise, or of chrysolite, or emerald; in number seven, or ten) an admonition concerning every requisite matter of religion, and a distinct explanation of everything; and said, Therefore receive it with resolution, and command thy people to act according to the most excellent [precepts] thereof. (Surah vii. 138-l42.)
“And the people of Moses, after it (that is after his departure for the private collocation) made of their ornaments (which they had borrowed of the peoplec of Pharaoh), a corporeal calf which Es-Samaree cast for them, and which lowd: for he had the faculty of doing so in consequence of their having put into its mouth some dust taken from benearth the hoof of the horse of Gabriel; and they took it as a god. Did they not see that it. spake not to them, nor directed them in the way? They took it as a god and were offenders. But when they repented, and saw that they had erred, which was after the return of Moses, they said, Verily if our Lord do not have mercy upon us and forgive us, we shall assuredly be of those who perish. (Surah vii. l46—148.)
“And Moses returned unto his people enraged against them, exceedingly sorrowful. He said, I. my people, did not your Lord promise you a good true promise, that He would give you the Law? But did the time of my absence seem tedious to you, or did ye desire that indignation from your Lord should befall you, and therefore did ye break your promise to me, and abstain from coming after me? — They answered, We did not break our promise to thee of our own authority; but we were made to carry loads of the ornaments of the people of Pharaoh (which the children of Israel had borrowed of them under pretence of [requiring them for] a wedding, and which remained in their possession), and cast them into the fire, by order of Es-Samiree. And in like manner also Es-Samiree cast their ornaments which he had, and some of the dust which he had taken from the traces of the hoofs of the horse of Gabriel; and he produced unto them a corporeal calf, of flesh and blood, which lowed, by reason of the dust, the property of which is to give life to that into which it is put; and he had put it, after he had moulded the calf, into its mouth. And they (namely Es-Samiree and his followers) said, This is your god, and the god of Moses; but he hath forgotten his lord here, and gone to seek him, God saith, But did they not see that it returned them not an answer, nor was able to cause them hurt or profit? A Aaron had said unto them, before the return of Moses, O my people, ye are only tried by it: and verily your Lord is the Compassionate; therefore follow me, by worshipping him, and obey my command. They replied, We will by no means cease to be devoted to the worship of it until Moses return unto us. Moses said after his return, O Aaron, what hindered thee, when thou sawest that they had gone astray from following me? Hast thou then been disobedient to my command by remaining among them who worshipped another than God? He answered, O son of my mother, seize me not by my beard (for he had taken hold of his heard with his left hand), nor by [the hair of] my head (for he had taken hold of his hair with his right hand, in anger). Verily I feared lest if followed thee (for a company of those who worshipped the calf would inevitably have followed me.) thou shouldst say, Thou hast made a division among the children of Israel, and hast not waited for my sentence. Moses said, And what was thy motive for doing as thou hast, O Samiree? He answered, I saw that which they saw not: therefore I took a handful of dust from the foot-marks of the horse of the apostle Gabriel, and cast it into the molten calf; and thus my soul allured me to take a handful of the dust above-mentioned, and to cast it upon that which had no life, that it might have life; and I saw that thy people had demanded of thee that thou wouldst make them a god; so, my soul suggested to me that this calf should be their god. Moses said unto him, Then get thee gone from among us, and [the punishment] for thee during the period of thy life [shall be], that thou shalt say unto whomsoever thou shalt see, Touch me not;— (so he used to wander about the desert, and when he touched anyone, or anyone touched him, they both became affected with a burning fever:) and verily for thee is a threat which thou shalt by no means find to be false. And look at thy god, to the worship of which thou hast continued devoted. We will assuredly burn it: then we will assuredly reduce it to powder and scatter it in the sea. (And Moses, after he had slaughtered it, did this.) Your deity is God only, except whom there is no deity. He comprehendeth all things by His knowledge.—Thus, O Muhammad, do We relate unto thee accounts of what hath happened heretofore; and We have given thee, from us, an admonition; namely the Kuran. (Surah xx. 88-99.)
“And they were made to drink down the calf into their hearts (that is, the love of it mingled with their hearts as drink mingleth,) because of their unbelief. (Surah ii. 87.)
“Remember, O children of Israel, when Moses said unto his people who worshipped the calf, O my people, verily ye have injured your own souls by your taking to yourselves the calf as a god; therefore turn with repentance unto your Creator from the worship of it, and slay one another: (that is, let the innocent among you slay the criminal:) this will be best for you in the estimation of your Creator, And he aided you to do that, sending upon you a black cloud, lest one of you should see another, and have compassion on him, until there were slain of you about seventy thousand. And thereupon He became propitious towards you, accepting your repentance; for He is the Very Propitious, the Merciful. (Surah ii. 51.)
“Remember, also, O children of Israel, when ye said, having gone forth with Moses to beg pardon of God for your worship of the calf, and having heard his words, O Moses we will not believe thee until we see God manifestly :—whereupon the vehement sound assailed you, and ye died while ye beheld what happened to you. Then We raised you life after ye had been dead, that peradventure ye might give thanks. (Surah ii. 52. 53.)
And Moses chose from his people seventy men, of those who had not worshipped the calf, by the command of God, at the time appointed Us for their coming to ask pardon for their companions’ worship of the calf; and he went forth with them, and when the convulsion (the violent earthquake) took them away (Because, saith Ibn-’Abbas, they did not separate themselves from their people when the latter worshipped the calf), Moses said, O my Lord, if Thou hadst pleased, Thou hadst destroyed them before my going forth with them, that the children of Israel might have beheld it and might not suspect me; and me [also]. Wilt Thou destroy us for that which the foolish among us have done? It in naught by Thy trial: Thou wilt cause to err thereby whom Thou pleasest, and Thou wilt rightly guide whom Thou pleasest. Thou art our guardian and do Thou forgive us and have mercy upon us: for Thou art the best of those who forgive: and appoint for us in this world what is good, and in the world to come, for unto Thee have we turned with repentance. – God replied, I will, afflict with My punishment whom I please, and My mercy extendeth over everything in the world; and I will appoint it, in the world to come, for those who fear and give the legal alms, and those believe on Our signs, who shall follow apostle, the apostle the illiterate prophet, Mohammad, whom they shall find written down with them in the Pentateuch and the Gospel, by his name and his description. He will command them that which is right, and forbid them that which is evil; and will allow them as lawful the good things among those forbidden in their law, and prohibit them the impure, as carrion and other things, and will take off from them their burden and the yokes that wore upon them, as the slaying of a soul [for an atonement] in repentance, and the cutting off the mark left by impurity. And those who shall believe rim him and honour him and assist him and follow the light which shall be sent down with him, namely the Kuran, these shall be the prosperous. (Surah vii. 154—156.)
“And remember when Moses said unto his people, O my people, remember the favor of God towards you, since He hath appointed prophets from among you, and made princes (masters of servants and other an attendents), and given you what He hath not given any other of the peoples (as the manna and the quails and other things). O my people, enter the Holy Land which God hath decreed for you (namely Syria), and turn not back, lest ye turn losers.—They replied, O Moses verily there is in it a gigantic people, of remains of the tribe of ‘Ad, and we will enter it until they go forth from it; but if they go forth from it, then we will enter. —Thereupon two men, of those who feared to disobey God, namely Joshua and Caleb of the chiefs whom Moses sent to discover the circumstance of the giants, and upon whom God had conferred favor, and who had concealed what they had seen of the state of the giants, excepting from Moses, wherefore the other chiefs became cowardly, said unto them. Enter ye upon them through the gate of the city, and fear them not, for they are bodies without hearts; and when ye enter it, ye overcome; and upon God place your dependence, if ye be believers —But they said, O Moses, we will never enter it while they remain therein. Therefore go thou and thy Lord, and fight: for we remain here.— Then Moses said, O my Lord, verily I am not master of any but myself and my brother: therefore distinguish between us and the unrighteous people.— God replied, Verily it (namely the Holy Land) shall be forbidden them forty year’s; they shall wander in perplexity in the land: and be not thou solicitous for the unrighteous people.—The land through which they wandered was only leagues in extent. They used to journey during the night with diligence; but in the morning they found themselves in the place whence they had set forth; and they journeyed during the day in like manner. Thus they did until all of them had become extinct, excepting those who had not attained the age of twenty years; and it is said that they were six hundred thousand. Aaron and Moses died in the desert; and mercy was their lot: but punishment was the lot of those. And Moses begged his Lord, when he was about to die, that He would bring him as near as a stone’s throw to the Holy Land:, wherefore He did so. And Joshua was made a prophet after the forty [years], and he gave orders to fight against the giants. So he went with those who were with him, and fought against them: and it was Friday and the sun stood still for him awhile, until he had made an end of fighting against them. (Surah v, 23—29.)
“Karoon [or Korah] was of the people of Moses (he was time son of his paternal uncle, and tire son of his maternal aunt, and he believed in him); but he behaved insolently towards them: for We had bestowed upon him such treasures that their keys were heavy burdens for a company of men endowed with strength, in number, as some say, seventy; and some, forty; and some, ten; and some, another number. Remember when his people (the believers among the children of Israel) said unto him, Rejoice not exulting in the abundance of thy wealth; for God loveth not those who so rejoice; but seek to attain, by means of the wealth which God hath given thee, the latter abode [of Paradise], by expanding thy wealth in the service of God: and neglect not thy part in this world, to work therein for tire world to come; but to beneficent unto mankind, by bestowing alms, as God hath been beneficent. unto thee; and seek not to act corruptly in the earth; for God loveth not the corrupt doers. He replied, I have only been given it on account of the knowledge that I possess. For he was the most learned of the children of Israel in the Law, after Moses and Aaron. God saith, Did he not know that God had destroyed before him. of the generations, those that were mightier than he in strength, and who had amassed more abundance of wealth? And the wicked shall not he asked respecting their sins, because God knoweth them; therefore they shall be sent into the Fire with a reckoning. And Karoon went forth unto his people in his pomp, with his many dependants mounted, adorned with garments of gold and silk, upon decked horses and mules. Those who desired the present life said, O would that we had the like of that which hath been bestowed on Karoon in this world! Verily he in possessed of great good fortune! — But those unto whom knowledge of what God hath promised in the world to come had been given, said unto them, Woe to you! The reward of God is the world to come ( which is Paradise) is better for him who believeth and worketh righteousness than that which hath been bestowed on Karoon in the present world; and none shall receive it but the patient in the service of God. And We caused the earth to cleave asunder and swallow up him and his mansion, and he had no forces to defend him, in the place of God, nor was he of the [number of the saved. And the next morning, those who had wished for his place the day before said, Aha! God enlargeth provision unto whom He pleaseth of His servants, and is sparing of if unto whom He pleaseth! Had not God been gracious unto us, He had caused [the earth] to cleave asunder and swallow up us! Aha! the ungrateful for His benefits do not prosper! (Surah xxviii. 76—82.)
“Remember, when Moses said unto his people (when one a them had been slain, whose murderer was not known, and they risked him to beg God that He would discover him to them, wherefore he supplicated Him), Verily God commandeth you to sacrifice a cow. They said, Dost thou make a jest of us? He said, I beg God to preserve me from being one of the foolish. So when they knew that he decidedly intended what he had ordered, they said. Supplicate for us thy Lord, that He may manifest to us what she is! that is, what is her age. Moses replied, He saith, She is a cow neither old nor young; but of a middle age, between those two: therefore do as ye are commanded, They said, Supplicate for us thy Lord, that He may manifest to as what is hem colour. He replied, He saith, She is a red cow her colour is very bright: she rejoiceth the beholder’s. They said. Supplicate for us thy Lord, that He may manifest to us what she is, whether she be a pasturing or a working cow; for cows of the description mentioned are to us like one another; and we, if God pleases shall indeed be nightly directed to her. (In a tradition it is said, had they not said, ‘ If God please,’— she had not even been manifested to them.) He replied, He saith, She is a cow not subdued by work that plougheth the ground, nor doth she water the field: [she is] free from defects and the marks of work; there is no color in her different from the rest of her color. They said, Now thou hast brought the truth. And the sought her, and found her in the possession of the young man who acted piously rewards his mother, and they bought her for as much gold as her hide would contain. Then they sacrificed her; but they were near to leaving it undone, on account of the greatness of her price. (And in a tradition it is said, Had they sacrificed any one whatever. He had satisfied them, but they acted hardly towards themselves; so God acted hardly towards there.) And when ye slew a soul, and contended together respecting it, (and God brought forth [to light] that which ye did conceal – that is the beginning of’ the story [and wars the occasion of the order to sacrifice this particular cow,]) We said, Strike him (that is the slain person) with part of her. So he was struck with her tongue, or the root of her tail, or, as some say, with her right thigh; whereupon he came to life, and said, Such-a-one and such-a-one slew me,—to the two sons of uncle. And he died. They two [the murderers] were therefore deprived of the inheritance, and were slain. Thus God raiseth to life the dead, and showeth you His signs (the proof of His power), that peradventure ye may understand, and know that He who is able to raise to life one soul is able to raise to life many souls. Then your hearts become hard, O ye Jews, so as not to accept the truth, after that, and they [were] as stones, or more hard: for of stones there are indeed some from which rivers gush forth and of them there are indeed some that cleave asunder and water issueth from them; and of them there are indeed some that fall down through fear of God; whereas your hearts are not impressed, nor do they grow nor do they become humble. But God is not heedless of that which ye do: He only reserveth you unto your time. (Surah ii. 63-69.) “Remember when Moses said to his young man Joshua the son of Nun, who served him and acquired knowledge from him. I will not cease to go forward until I reach the piece where the two seas (the Sea of Greece and the Sea of Persia) meet, or travel for a long space of time. And when they reached the place where they (the two seas) met they forgot their fish: Joshua forgot to take it up, on their departure; and Moses forgot to remind him, and it made its way in the sea by a hollow passage, God withholding the water from it. And when they had passed beyond that place, and proceeded until the time of the morning meal on the following day, [Moses], said unto his young man, Bring us our morning meal: we have experienced fatigue from this our journey. He replied, What thinkest thou? When we repaired to the rock to rest at that place, I forgot the fish, and none made me forget to mention it but the Devil; and it made its way in the sea in a wonderful manner.— Moses said, That (namely our loss of the fish) is what we were desiring for it is a sign unto us of our finding him whom we seek. And they returned by the way that they had come, following the footsteps, and came to the rock. And the, found one of Our servants (namely El- Khidr) unto whom We had granted mercy from Us (that is, the gift of prophecy in the opinion of some, and the rank of a saint according another opinion which most of the learned hold). And whom We had taught knowledge firm Us respecting things unseen.—El- Bukaree hath related a tradition that Moses performed the office of a preacher among the children of Israel, and was asked who was the most knowing of men; to which he answered. I:—whereupon God blamed him for this because he did not refer the knowledge thereof to Him. And God said unto him by revelation, Verily I have a servant at the place where the two seas meet, and he is more knowing than them,. Moses said, O my Lord, and how shall I meet with him? He answered, Thou shalt take with thee a fish, and put it into a measuring vessel, and where thou shalt lose the fish, there is he. So he took a fish, and put it into a vessel. Then he departed, and Joshua the son of Nun departed with him, until they came to the rock where they laid down their heads and slept. And the fish became agitated in the vessel, and escaped from it, and fell into the sea, and it made its way in the sea by a hollow passage. God withholding the water from the fish so that it became like a vault over it: and when Moses’ companion awoke, he forgot to inform him of the fish.
“Moses said unto him [namely El-Khidr]. Shall I follow thee that thou mayest teach me [part] of that which thou hast been taught, for a direction unto me? He answered, Verily thou canst not have patience with me. For how canst thou be patient with inspect to that. whereof thou comprehendest not the knowledge?—He replied, Thou shalt find me if God please, patient:, and I will not disobey any command of thine. He said, Then if thou follow me, ask me not respecting anything but be patient until I give thee urn account thereof. And Moses assented to his condition. And they departed. walking along the shore of the sea, until, when they embarked in the ship that passed by them, he, El-Khidr, made a hole in it, by pulling out a plank or two planks from it on the outside by means of an axe when it reached the middle of the sea. Moses said unto him, Hast thou made a hole in it that thou mayest drown its people? Thou hast done a grievous thing.— (But it is related that the water entered not the hole.) He replied, Did I not say that thou couldst not have patience with me? [Moses] said, Chastise me not for my forgetfulness, nor impose on me a difficulty in my case.— And they departed, after they had gone forth from the vessel, walking on, until, when they found a boy who had not attained the age of knowing right and wrong, playing with other children, and he was the most beautiful of them its countenance, and he (El-Khidr) slew him. Moses said unto him, Hast thou slain an innocent soul, without his having slain a soul? Thou hast done an iniquitous thing.— He replied, Did I not say that thou couldst; not have patience with me? [Moses] said, If I ask thee concerning a anything after this time, suffer me not to accompany thee. Now hast thou received from me an excuse for the separating thyself from me.—And they departed [and proceeded] unitl, when they came to the people of a city (which was Antioch), they asked food of its people; but they refused to entertain them; and they found therein a wall, the height whereof was a hundred cubits, which was about to fall sown; whereupon he [El-Khidr] set it upright with his hand. Moses said unto him, If thou wouldst, thou mightest have obtained pay for it, since they did not entertain us, notwithstanding our want of good. El-Khidr said unto him, This shall be a separation between me and thee; but before my separation from thee, I will declare unto thee the interpretation of that which thou couldst not bear with patience.
“As to the vessel, it belonged to ten poor men, who pursued their business on the sea; and I desired to render it unsound: for there was behind them a king, an unbeliever, who took every sound vessel by force. And as to the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared that be would transgress against them rebelliously and impiously , for, according to a tradition related by Muslim, he was constituted by nature an unbeliever, and had he lived he had so acted; wherefore we desired that I their Lord should create for them a better than he in virtue, and [one] more disposed than he to filial piety. And God created for them a daughter, who married a prophet, and gave birth to a prophet by means of whom God directed a people to the right way. And as to the wall, it belonged to two orphan youths in the city, and beneath it was a treasure buried, of gold and silver, belonging to them. and their father was a righteous man and thy Lord desired that they should attain their age of strength and take forth their treasure through the mercy of thy Lord. And I did it not (namely what hath been mentioned) of mine own will, but by direction of God. This is the interpretation of that which thou couldst not bear with patience. (Surah 59—81.)”
The following remarks are taken from Sale’s notes of at Baizawi and other commentators:-
There is a tradition that Moses was a very swarthy man; and that when he put his hand into his bosom, and drew it out again, it became entirely white and splendid, surpassing the brightness of the sun.
Moses had an impediment in his speech, which was occasioned by the following accident. Pharaoh one day carrying him in his arms when a child, he suddenly lurid held of his beard and plucked it in a very rough manner, which put Pharaoh into such a passion, that he ordered him to be put to death but A’siyeh, his wife, representing to him that he was but a child, who could not distinguish between a burning coal and a ruby, he ordered the experiment to be made; and a live coal and a ruby being set before Moses, he took the coal and put it into his mouth, and burnt his tongue; and thereupon he was pardoned.
—This is a Jewish story a little altered.
It it related that the midwife appointed to attend the Hebrew women, terrified by a light which appeared between the eyes of Moses at his birth, and touched with extraordinary affection for the child, did not discover him to the officer, so that her mother kept him in her house, and nursed him three months; after which it was impossible for her to conceal him any longer, the king then giving orders to make the searches more strictly.
“The commentators say that the mother of Moses made an ark of the papyrus, and pitched it, and put in some cotton and having laid the child therein, committed it to the river, a branch of which waist into Pharaoh’s garden: that the stream carried the ark thither into a fishpond, at the head of which Pharaoh was then sitting with his wife A’siyeh, the daughter of Muzahem; and that the king, having commanded it to be taken up and opened and finding in it a beautiful child, took a fancy to it, and ordered it to be brought up. Some writers mention a miraculous preservation of Moses before he was put into the ark and tell us, that his mother having hid him from Pharaohs officers in an oven, his sister, in her mother’s absence, kindled a large the in the oven to heat it, not knowing the child was there; but that he was afterwards taken out unhurt.”
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam