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Birth of the Prophet Moses (Pbuh)

As related in the previous chapter, the Prophet Moses (pbuh) was born into adversity. Even at the moment of his birth, his life was already in jeopardy. Pharaoh ordered all male children killed and the females spared for slavery. Ensnared by such circumstances, the Prophet Moses (pbuh) was forced to lead his life among the slaves under the constant threat of death. His mother had been concerned about him until the moment she was inspired by Allah:

We revealed to Moses' mother, "Suckle him and then when you fear for him cast him into the sea. Do not fear or grieve; We will return him to you and make him one of the Messengers." (Surat al-Qasas: 7)

Allah inspired the Prophet Moses' (pbuh) mother and told her to put him into a chest and send it floating down the Nile, if the soldiers of Pharaoh ever learned about his birth. As she feared for the life of her son, she followed what was revealed to her. Not knowing where and how the flowing waters would have carried her son, she placed the Prophet Moses (pbuh) into a chest and released him to the waters of the Nile. However, by the inspiration of Allah, she knew he would ultimately return back to her and become a prophet. Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of everything, created the Prophet Moses (pbuh) and his mother and communicated what He preordianed for them. In the Qur'an it is related that some time later, Allah reminded the Prophet Moses (pbuh) about the facts of his early childhood as follows:

When We revealed to your mother: "Place him into the chest and throw it into the sea and the sea will wash it up on the shore, where an enemy of Mine and his will pick it up..." (Surah Ta-Ha: 38-39)

At this point, we should expand on the subject of destiny. Allah, as specified in the above verse, told the mother of the Prophet Moses (pbuh) to leave the child in the water, and informed her that Pharaoh would later find him, and that the Prophet Moses (pbuh) would ultimately return to her as a messenger of Allah. In other words, that the Prophet Moses (pbuh) would be placed in a chest and sent to the river, that he would be found and taken care of by Pharaoh, and that he would eventually become one of the prophets, were all known beforehand. That is because all of these events were predetermined by Allah, according to His will, and which He allowed the Prophet Moses' (pbuh) mother to know of in advance.

Here, we should make note that all the details pertaining to the life of the Prophet Moses (pbuh) were predetermined in the Sight of Allah, and that they had all come true as had been ordained. The fulfilment of the revelation offered to the Prophet Moses' (pbuh) mother was possible through the occurrence of countless conditions predetermined by destiny.

The Prophet Moses' (pbuh) avoiding the soldiers of Pharaoh and his reaching the palace of Pharaoh without drowning were dependent on the fulfilment of certain conditions. They are the following:

1- The chest the baby Moses was placed in would have to have been watertight. Therefore, he who constructed the chest would have crafted it in appropriate manner so as to allow to float. Moreover, the shape of the chest was an important factor as far as its speed on the water; it had to neither flow too quickly, floating passed Pharaoh's palace, nor too slowly, stopping at some point before the Palace. The chest would have to have been crafted into just the exact shape so as to allow it to float at just the right speed. These factors all comprised the numerous details preordained as part of the carpenter's destiny, crafting the chest exactly as he had to.

2- The current that had carried the chest would have to have been neither too fast nor too slow, but just the right speed. This could have only been possible by a precise calculation of the amount of rainfall which constituted the Nile's water volume-intensity per minute. This amount is also part of the intricate details in the destiny predetermined by Allah.

3- The blowing winds must have also affected the chest in the appropriate manner. That is, the winds also blew in compliance with a certain predetermined destiny. They must have blown neither too fast to cause it to drift, nor in the opposite direction, changing its direction, and nor too slow, slowing its speed.

4- When in the Nile, no one could have found the chest. That is, no one, except who should have, was supposed to have come across it or noticed it. Consequently, in compliance with a specified destiny, every one living along the Nile had not been near to or noticed the chest. In fact, these conditions were all part of the destiny preordained by Allah.

5- As well as the life of the Prophet Moses (pbuh), the lives of Pharaoh and his family, were also set to comply with a certain destiny. They would also have to have been exactly at the right place at the right time so as to permit them find the Prophet Moses (pbuh). The family of Pharaoh could have planned to come to the shore earlier. The factor which had ordained them to come there at the precise time was their destiny.

The above are only a few of the factors which allowed Pharaoh find the Prophet Moses (pbuh). All of them had occurred exactly as was revealed to the Prophet Moses' (pbuh) mother. In fact, the promise Allah gave to the mother of the Prophet Moses (pbuh), and all the other events which have happened, have all taken place and been fulfilled as already ordained by Allah.

The events involved in the Prophet Moses' (pbuh) destiny were not limited to only those events recounted so far. Each moment of his life, as in the case of lives of all human beings, is predetermined according to a specific destiny. Neither the place nor the year of his birth, nor the people he was surrounded by, nor his mother or father were designated according to his own choice. It was Allah Who ordained and created each one. This fact was also proclaimed by the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) who said "Everything is by decree—even incapacity and ability" (Muslim)

A deeper consideration of these incidents will allow us to have a better grasp of how every moment of our lives is bound within our destiny. Through numerous examples, the Prophet Moses' (pbuh) story allows one to contemplate the meaning and implications of his destiny. In the various details of the story of the Prophet Moses (pbuh), Allah reminds us that an individual's life, as well as the lives of all mankind and the whole universe, are bound within the destiny he has ordained.

Just as how the Prophet Moses (pbuh) floated on the Nile in compliance with his destiny Allah preordained for him, so were Pharaoh and his family made to reach the place where they were to encounter the Prophet Moses (pbuh). From the verses related to this subject, we learn that Pharaoh's family had behaved exactly as was previously revealed to the Prophet Moses' (pbuh) mother, that is, they had taken the Prophet Moses (pbuh) under their care without being aware of what the future would hold for them:

The family of Pharaoh picked him up so that he might be an enemy and a source of grief to them. Certainly Pharaoh and Haman and their troops were in the wrong. The wife of Pharaoh said, "A source of delight for me and for you; do not kill him. It may well be that he will be of use to us or perhaps we could adopt him as a son." They were not aware. (Surat al-Qasas: 8-9)

And thus Pharaoh and his family, utterly unaware of what Allah preordained for them, found the Prophet Moses (pbuh) and adopted him as their own son. In fact, they had decided to keep him in the hope that the child would some day be of some benefit to them.

In the meantime, the Prophet Moses' (pbuh) mother was concerned about her son since she did not know what had happened to him. In the Qur'an the state of the Prophet Moses' (pbuh) mother after putting him in the chest and Allah's revelation to her is related as follows:

"Go after him." And she kept an eye on him from afar and they were not aware. We first made him refuse all wet-nurses, so she (Moses' sister) said, "Shall I show you to a household who will feed him for you and be good to him?"

That is how We returned him to his mother so that she might delight her eyes and feel no grief and so that she would know that Allah's promise is true. But most of them do not know this. (Surat al-Qasas: 10-13)

The baby Moses refused all the wet nurses, that is, he did not drink their milk, because, according to the destiny outlined for him, Allah had ordained him to drink only his own mother's milk. This makes light of the fact that every moment of human beings' lives are also in compliance with the destiny ordained by Allah. As had been revealed to his mother, the Prophet Moses (pbuh) ultimately returned to his own family.

In the story of the Prophet Moses (pbuh), Allah illustrates that He often creates what appear to be difficult situation with an easy way out, and that there is good in events which are perceived as adversities. A mother, fearing the threat of her baby being killed by cruel soldiers, to save him, leaves the child to float in the waters of a river. The same child is then adopted by the most powerful family of the country, who ultimately return the baby back to her mother because he refuses all the other wet nurses… Each one of these events is a miracle in itself, demonstrating the ultimate perfection in the destiny decreed by Allah. For believers, every detail of one's destiny eventually turns out to be a blessing. As can be seen in the above example, sometimes Allah prepares such blessings for us through the most unexpected circumstances.

He (Allah) has given you everything you have asked Him for. If you tried to number Allah's blessings, you could never count them. Man is indeed wrongdoing, ungrateful.
(Surah Ibrahim: 34)


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