Prophet Moses (peace be upon him – pbuh) is one of the most prominent personalities mentioned in the Holy Quran and his life is recounted more than any other individual. The Quran states that Moses (pbuh) was sent by God to the Pharaoh of Egypt and the Israelites as guidance and warning.
Prophet Moses has a great honour and privilege, God revealed Torah to him: “…to Moses Allah (Almighty) spoke direct” (Qur’an – 4:164), hence he is also referred as (Kaleemullah). Islam describes Moses (pbuh) as being granted two miracles, the glowing hand and his staff which could turn into a snake. In Islam, Moses (pbuh) is revered as the receiver of a scripture known as the “Torah”. Holy Quran mentions the Ten Commandments given to the Israelites through Moses which it claims contained guidance and understanding of all things.
Prophet Moses (pbuh), born in the family of Israelites, at a time when the rulers of Egypt, Pharaohs proclaimed themselves as Gods. More so, inflicting extreme torment on their subjects, the rulers of Egypt had passed a decree that a son born to an Israelite parent would be put to death; only daughters would be spared to serve the followers of Pharaoh. But, as God had planned, Moses (pbuh) happened to grow up in the household of Pharoah under the benevolent care of his Queen. When Moses (pbuh) was given the divine mission, along with his brother Harun, Moses (pbuh) approached Pharaoh and appealed to him to give up his arrogance and high and mighty ways and to bow before the Lord, who was indeed the ruler of the world.
‘Purify yourself, O Pharaoh, so that I may guide you to the right path’. (Quran – 79:18)
Pharaoh in his arrogance became furious and asked Moses (pbuh) who was this God of his, whose messenger he claimed to be.
Prophet Moses (pbuh) replied:
Our Lord is the one who creates all things; He gives them form and then guides them. (Quran – 20:50)
On being asked to show any proof of his prophethood, Prophet Moses (pbuh) threw down his staff (stick he used to carry to tame animals) and it became a live serpent. He then drew his hand out of the pocket of his cloak, and it shone with dazzling brightness. Pharaoh’s chiefs told him that this was magic and let the best magicians defeat Moses (pbuh) in a competition. Even there, Moses (pbuh) came out victorious and the magicians proclaimed their belief on Prophet Moses (pbuh).
When the torture on Israelites became unbearable, he was told to gather his followers and take them through the midst of the seas,. The Quran mentions God commanding Moses (pbuh) to strike the sea with his staff, instructing them not to fear being overtaken or drowning. Upon striking the sea, it divided into two parts that allowed the Israelites to pass through. The Pharaoh witnessed the sea splitting alongside his army, but as they also tried to pass through, the sea closed in on them. The Quran states that the body of the Pharaoh was made a sign and warning for all future generations. True to God’s word, his body can be seen in a museum in Egypt even to this day.