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Hadrat Musa ( - Peace Be Upon Him): Call to Prophethood

This is the second part of the story of Musa . As you may recall, Musa had killed an Egyptian and was thus forced to flee from Egypt. In the land of Madyan he had met a herdsman, who hired Musa for a given number of years. In return Musa was given one of the herdsman’s daughters as his wife.

Our story now begins some time after Musa had completed his contract with his father-in-law. He was traveling somewhere with his family when he saw a fire in the distance. He went to explore in the hope that he might get information or be able to bring back a firebrand for his family to use.

When Musa approached the bush that was burning, he heard a voice coming from it. The voice commanded Musa to remove his shoes because he was in a sacred valley. The voice identified itself as Allah, and reminded Musa to serve Him and to keep up his prayers. The voice told Musa that Allah had made him one of the chosen ones.

Allah then ordered Musa to throw down his staff, which he used as a walking stick and to beat down branches for his flocks. When the staff was flung down, it turned into a serpent. Allah instructed Musa to pick the serpent up, and it again turned into a stick. The voice commanded Musa to thrust his hand under his armpit, and when he removed it the hand was glowing white, yet it did not hurt Musa . Allah informed Musa that these two signs, the staff and the hand, would be signs for the Pharoah, to show that Musa had truly been sent from Allah. Allah wanted Musa to go to the Pharoah because the Pharoah and his people had strayed far from the acceptable ways of Allah. He also wanted Musa to lead the children of Israel away from the Pharoah’s influence.

Musa pointed out that he had killed an Egyptian and that he himself would be killed if he returned to Egypt. He was also unsure of his ability to communicate with the Pharoah. He was not a good speaker and asked for the help of his brother, Harun , who was much more eloquent. Allah reassured Musa on both counts. He promised that Musa would come to no harm at the hands of the Egyptians. And He agreed both to aid Musa in addressing the Pharoah and to send along Harun to help out.

In this manner Musa was called to prophethood, and set out to free the people of Israel from their bondage under the people of Egypt. Insha Allah in the next issue we shall tell of his meetings with the Pharoah.

You can read about this part of the story of Musa in the Quran 20:9-36, 42-48; 26:10-17; and 28:29-35.


Published: September 1992

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Last modified 08/12/05 09:25 AM - Iqra - ISSN #1062-2756