As all the verses mentioned so far relate, extensive references to the Prophet Moses (pbuh) are found in many parts of the Qur'an. His life is an example that abounds with lessons and reminders for believers, beginning with the early part of his life, and some of these lessons and reminders we have dealt with in this book.
Reflecting on the meaning of these lessons leads us to recognize the extent to which destiny completely contains a man's life, and the blessings it implies for a man of faith.
The lessons to be drawn from the Prophet Moses' (pbuh) life can be summarized as follows:
1- Destiny and its Divine purposes
By the time the Prophet Moses (pbuh) was born, his prophecy and the struggle he would pursue in the way of Allah were all predetermined. In fact, this was all ordained even before his birth. When we look at ourselves, we should also realize that we lead our own lives within a certain destiny. This destiny is what is best for us. It is ordained by Allah, Who is our Creator and our Lord. He has infinite knowledge and mercy. That is why we should submit ourselves to our destiny, and embrace whatever befalls us with joy, knowing that it is a part of the destiny our Lord has created for us.
2- Trusting Allah and placing faith in Him
The story of the Prophet Moses (pbuh) greatly emphasizes the notion of placing one's faith in Allah. Allah warned and educated the Prophet Moses (pbuh) on the need to put his trust in Him, despite the fact that it was in his nature to feel excited from time to time. In those situations he encountered throughout his life, the Prophet Moses (pbuh) always acknowledged that Allah exercises absolute control over everything, and that he should trust Him unconditionally.
In order to place one's trust in Allah, one needs to appreciate Allah's Might with due extent and recognize Him according to His true power. A believer is guided to such a knowledge through reflection upon Allah's attributes: Allah is the Creator of all life, He is the One that takes back one's soul, He exercises absolute power over everything, He encompasses everything, He needs only command "Be" and it is, He is the absolute and sole controller of all things, He is the Beneficent, He is the One Who answers all prayers, and He guides whom He wills to righteousness. All deeds go back to Allah. If we could fully comprehend the might of our Creator, and appreciate His power, then we would come to realize that He is the only One to turn to and to put our trust in.
3- The temporary nature of the life of this world and of possessions
As we have explored in the example of Karun, death renders void all the benefits of worldly possessions. Furthermore, unless spent for the cause of Allah, these possessions could well be a reason to exacerbate torment, both in this world and beyond. Material possessions should never be the object of man's envy. Allah grants a greater abundance of His blessings to whom He wills. Prosperity is worthless if not put to use for the sake of Allah. On the other hand, for someone compliant to the will of Allah, poverty is by no means a source of misery. Therefore, one should neither be remorseful nor boastful about his possessions and wealth in this world. Only living for the cause of Allah, and fear for Allah, should be the criteria upon which to base one's life.
4- Ignorance and self-purification
As related throughout this book, some of the Children of Israel embraced the religion the Prophet Moses (pbuh) brought, without entirely abandoning their ancient ways. Moreover, with great ignorance, they attempted to merge their errant ways with the revealed religion. This is an important point all should be cautious of. It may be that, during the development of his personality, an individual could have inculcated some improper ways of thinking. Accordingly, after having accepted the right path, he may still keep some old beliefs and thoughts.
Also to be found in the story of the Prophet Moses (pbuh), idolatrous practices of the tribe encountered on their journey became a matter of temptation for some of the people of the Prophet Moses (pbuh), who were of poor faith and who had failed to cleanse themselves from the ways of ignorance. This instructive incident demonstrates that adherence to the Qur'an and the Sunna is the sole way of eliminating beliefs and thoughts that are rooted in ignorance.
5- Hypocrites and their attitudes
In the story of the Prophet Moses (pbuh), we find the example of hypocrites lurking within a community, and the great harm they can bring to a society. For instance, we can discern attributes peculiar to hypocrites in Samaritan:
Hypocrites are found among believers. In the time of the Prophet Moses (pbuh), for example, Samaritan was among the Children of Israel. In order to stir trouble, hypocrites look for when the believers are at their weakest. Only at that point they, with their foolish minds, feel they will be most successful do they take action. They make use of people's shortcomings to lead them astray. In pursuit of their cause, they appeal to man's base natures. They offer empty promises. They may never openly express unbelief in the religion or in Allah, but rather, try to bring attention to their supposed piety. They even go to such lengths as to claim they understand the religion better than anyone else, and that therefore, are the most capable of guiding others to the right path. However, they can never attain success, they only give harm to themselves and in the Hereafter, they are repaid by remaining at the lowest level of Hell. Samaritan was such a historic hypocrite who possesed all these attributes.
6- The story of the cow and excessive concern over details
This story reveals a specific mentality plaguing some of the Children of Israel: man's tendency to concern himself excessively over details… Despite the easy, uncomplicated and pure nature of the religion, some people seek to make the religion difficult, by introducing needless details into it, and by shifting the focus from its true essence to trivial issues. However, Allah explains that the true religion is as easy as the religion of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh). The story of the cow brings to light the error of inquiring needlessly into details. It also shows that the pursuit of trivial details only causes difficulty for people, and may ultimately lead them away from the commandments of Allah.
7- The story of a wise man and wisdom from Allah's Sight.
This story conveys to us that there may well be wisdom underlying certain events that is not immediately apparent. This knowledge is a special sort of wisdom granted by Allah's Sight. This is explained with examples that even seemingly disastrous events may not actually be adverse, and that, on the contrary, there may be some reason behind them we are incapable of recognizing.
To conclude, the most important lesson for believers were the good morals exemplified by the Prophet Moses (pbuh) and the Prophet Aaron (pbuh). Both of them were prophets of Islam, to whom scriptures were granted.
Although Prophet Moses (pbuh) strove in the way of Allah thousands of years ago, his conduct and manner of speech remain exemplary for us. Allah chose him for Himself, spoke to him and appointed him as a messenger to convey His message to the people. These noble men are remembered in the Qur'an as follows:
And left the later people saying of them, "Peace be upon Moses and Aaron!" That is how We recompense good-doers. They truly were among Our servants who are believers. (Surat as-Saffat: 119-122)
Allah was pleased with them, as He is with all His messengers. May our Lord bless us with the wisdom to better understand the lives of these messengers, and to be one of those with whom He is pleased.