The Prophet Muhammad (saw)
Prophethood
 

Prophet Moses

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Moses was a major prophet and a leader who freed the Israelites from the oppression of the Pharaoh; he is not only referred in Judaism and Christianity, but also in Islam. There is information about Prophet Moses in the Quran as well as in the Old and the New Testament.

The Old Testament is almost completely concerned with the history of Prophet Moses and the people he led, the Israelites. Moses is not mentioned in the other sources of this period. The Old Testament presents Moses as a great Prophet (Deuteronomy, 34/ 10). The preeminence of Moses became a principle of faith in the creed formulated by the Maimonides. According to the Old Testament, Moses was a figure par excellence who spoke to God face to face, who was chosen by God to relate His revelation on Mount Sinai to the Israelites, and who became the king of priests and of a holy nation created from the captive people (Exodus, 19/5-6, 33/11; Numbers, 12/6-8).

Moses is mentioned 136 times in thirty-four surahs (chapters) of the Quran and he is the most frequently mentioned of all prophets in the Quran and in the authenticated hadiths (sayings of the Prophet).

His birth, his entrance to the palace, his trip to Madyan, his selection as a prophet, his dispatch to the Pharaoh to save the Israelites, his struggle with the Pharaoh and the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, the revelation of divine commands on Mount Sinai, events in the desert, and his leadership for Israelites are all discussed in the Quran. The Quran also relates the situation in Egypt and that of the Israelites at the time Moses was born; it also mentions that the Pharaoh separated his people, oppressed a weak group from among them, slaughtering their sons and letting the women-folk live. (Al-Baqarah 2/49; Al-A'raf 7/ 141; Ibrahim 14/6; Al-Qasas 28/4).

 In the Quran it is mentioned that Moses was specially chosen and that he became a prophet of Allah (Maryam 19/51). He was chosen above other men with the mission Allah had entrusted to him and the words that Allah had spoken to him (Al-A'râf 7/144). He had the honor of being drawn near to Allah (Maryam 19/52). He was chosen by Allah (Ta-Ha 20/13), and he was covered with the garment of love from Allah, as well as being reared under Allah's eye (Ta-Ha 20/39). Allah prepared Moses for His service (Ta-Ha 20/41) and he was an apostle who most honorable and worthy of all trust (Ad-Dukhan 44/17-18). Moses was honorable in Allah's sight (Al-Ahzab 33/69) as well as being strong and trustworthy (Al-Qa­sas 28/26). He was one of Allah's believing servants (As-Saffat 37/121-122).

In the Quran, Moses is depicted as a prophet who gives glad tidings about the coming of Prophet Muhammad; there is mention of the coming of an illiterate prophet in the Old Testament as well (Al-A'raf 7/156). Moses was given the Book (the Scripture), the Suhuf (tablets) and the Criterion (Al-Baqa­ra 2/53; Al-Anbiya 21/48; An-Najm 53/37; Al-A'la 87/19). According to some Islamic sources the tablets he was given were made of green emeralds and the scriptures on them were written in golden. The revelation of the Old Testament to Moses was completed in Jebel El Tih. Ten pages were given to him at first, and later they became a hundred pages. Afterwards, the Old Testament was revealed to him in Hebrew (Masudi, I, 50). It was commanded that both Moses and Muhammad remain steadfast in the religion (As-Shura 42/13). Moses was criticized by his opponents for turning people away from the religion their fathers had followed (Yunus 10/78), and accused of being a sorcerer (Al-Qasas 28/48).  In Islamic Tradition Moses is called Kalimatullah (the Word of God) because Allah spoke to him directly and revealed His verses to him directly.

Moses is also mentioned in the hadiths. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) saw Moses in the 6th heaven during the Isra and Miraj. When Prophet Muhammad told Prophet Moses that Allah had enjoined fifty rekat (every consecutive circle of bending down and placing forehead on the floor during salah-the ritual prayer) of prayer upon his followers to be performed day and night, Moses told him that his ummah (Muslim community) would not be able to fulfill this duty and recommended that Muhammad return to Allah and ask that the number be less (Al-Bukhari, "Prayers", 1; "Beginning of Creation" 6). Moses is also mentioned in the story of Moses and Khidr (The Green Man) (Bukhari, '"Knowledge", 16, 19, 44). It is also reported that Moses used to fast on the Day of Ashura (Bukhari, "Funeral", 69; "Shavtn", 69; "Beginning of Creation"). It is mentioned in the hadiths that Moses was a tall person, with a dark complexion. It is said that he was a shy and modest person who used to take his baths alone even though the Israelites would take their baths all together (Bu­khari, "Bathing", 20, 7).

 

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