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The Story of Moses

Question and answer details
Rasha Helmy Ahmed
2014/05/20
I know that we believe in all prophets but I wonder why Prophet Moses (PBUH) is mentioned in the Quran more than any other prophet, almost in all the surahs.
Ahmad Saad
Answer
Salam Dear Rasha,


Thank you for your interesting question and for contacting Ask About Islam.


The Quran, which Muslims consider the ultimate and the final word of Allah, is a source of guidance for all humanity on how to live a perfect and Divinely-guided life.

 

One of the ways to deliver this guidance to us is through giving examples of real people who lived in the past and detailing their life stories from which we can take heed and admonition and plan for the future, for the one who does not have a past cannot have a future.


It is because of this that we will read always in the Quran such a hint after each story, that we should take admonition and learn a lesson. Almighty Allah says what means:


{In their histories there is certainly a lesson for men of understanding. It is not a narrative which could be forged, but a verification of what is before it and a distinct explanation of all things and a guide and a mercy to a people who believe.} (Yusuf 12:111)


In each story mentioned in the Quran, there are loads of lessons, some of which we can discover now and some of them we are yet to discover. The more we live, the more we will be able to discover.


On top of that, each story is very unique in one aspect and has something that does not exist in other stories, and therefore, it is there to deliver that unique lesson. Every time we read a story, we can see that something new clicks in our minds as if it is the first time we are reading it. This is, without doubt, something very special about the Quran due to its being a Divine book.


Of all the stories of previous nations and prophets, the story of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and the Children of Israel has got so many details and a huge number of experiences. Therefore, it is a very rich experience that can benefit people on various levels: on the level of leadership, on the level of individuals, and on the level of the whole community.


The story of Prophet Moses does not only relate to him as a person; it relates to a whole nation that was saved at the hands of Moses from tyranny and humiliation.


The story tells us many incidents on how they were saved, how one individual like Moses could stand against a big tyrant like Pharaoh, and how such a regime tried to tarnish the image of Moses, who was symbolically the only voice of objection in the country.


The story also tells us how Moses won the magicians to his side when they realized the truth, how Moses led the Children of Israel through the sea to the safe abode, how Pharaoh and his guard tried to tarnish the image of such a small believing community and forge lies against them, and how Allah took care of the Children of Israel in the barren desert and disgraced their enemy by drowning in the sea.


The story tells us about the later disobedience of the Children of Israel and their ungratefulness when they asked Moses for the food of Egypt, when they refused to enter the Holy Land and fight beside their Prophet, when they asked Moses to make them an idol to worship, when they worshipped the calf after he went to receive revelation from his Lord.


It also tells us some side events that are very significant including the story of the cow which the Children of Israel were commanded to slaughter and strike a murder victim with its tail to discover the killer, and how they argued with Moses about its color and qualities until God made things very strict for them.


The similarity between Prophet Moses and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them both) is another important reason that necessitates such focus on the story of Moses. Of all previous prophets, no prophet other than Moses and Muhammad led their people and fulfilled their roles as prophets and state leaders who govern a community and lead a society.


They succeeded on both earthly and heavenly levels. This does not mean that other prophets did not lead their people in this life; rather, we are speaking specifically about establishing a state and liberating people from tyranny.


In the life of Moses, Pharaoh represented the tyranny while in the life of Prophet Muhammad, the leaders of the Quraish tribe represented tyranny with their persecution to slaves and weak people.


The power of media at the time of Moses was represented in the evil advisors of Pharaoh who told him to send people everywhere in the land spreading news about Moses and his followers as a group of renegades who have no value and who are very dangerous.


At the time of Prophet Muhammad, the same thing happened in another way when the Quraish were calling him mad or a liar and even a sorcerer and justified for themselves doing so by reasons they fabricated.


Both Moses and Muhammad led their people to deliverance and managed to establish a government: one outside Egypt, and the other in Madinah. In such a similarity, there are many significances, all of which can only be perceived by detailing the story of Moses in the Quran.


On top of that, the life experience of Prophet Moses with his people is such a rich one that can benefit people on various levels. In each sub-experience, we can read a lesson or more than one lesson.


Let's take the story of the cow as an example. It teaches the community as well as the individuals to avoid meaningless arguments and disputes. It also teaches that when people start to argue for the sake of argument, Almighty Allah can make things very difficult for them.


Imagine if the Children of Israel obeyed the command of Allah and slaughtered a cow from the very beginning without further inquiring about its specifications. It would have been much easier for them as any cow would have been suitable.


However, rigidness in asking and arguing led to strictness in the specifications of the cow and therefore, the lesson remains that we should not argue just for the sake of argument and our questions should always be for the sake of getting beneficial information.


The lessons in the story of Moses are beyond counting, but one thing remains: that none of them is a repetition of the other. Rather, they all work to form a perfect and complete picture that can be seen only by reading the whole Quran.


I hope this answers your question. Please keep in touch.


Salam.


Useful Links:


Did Moses and Jesus Exist?


Common Grounds Between Moses and Muhammad


Stories of the Prophets in the Quran


The Story of John


The Story of Jesus


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