Water and Prophet Musa: The connecting factor!
Dear sisters and brothers in Islam, Assalamu Alaikum. Bismillah.
1. Musa was born at a time when mass slaughter of the baby boys was going on in Egypt. The cruel King in the name of Phir’oun had decreed that every single baby boy born among the Bani Israel must be killed.
Meanwhile, Allah put a thought in the mind of a blessed mother.
وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ أُمِّ مُوسَىٰ أَنْ أَرْضِعِيهِ ۖ فَإِذَا خِفْتِ عَلَيْهِ فَأَلْقِيهِ فِي الْيَمِّ وَلَا تَخَافِي وَلَا تَحْزَنِي ۖ إِنَّا رَادُّوهُ إِلَيْكِ وَجَاعِلُوهُ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
We suggested to the mother of Musa: “Suckle your child, but when you fear for his life cast him into the river and be not fearful nor grieve, for We shall restore him to you and make him one of the Messengers.” (Surah al Qasas: 7)
So Musa began his life floating in the river!
2. While in his youth, when Musa killed a man by mistake, Allah ordered him to leave Egypt and go to Madyan.
وَلَمَّا وَرَدَ مَاءَ مَدْيَنَ وَجَدَ عَلَيْهِ أُمَّةً مِنَ النَّاسِ يَسْقُونَ وَوَجَدَ مِنْ دُونِهِمُ امْرَأَتَيْنِ تَذُودَانِ ۖ قَالَ مَا خَطْبُكُمَا ۖ قَالَتَا لَا نَسْقِي حَتَّىٰ يُصْدِرَ الرِّعَاءُ ۖ وَأَبُونَا شَيْخٌ كَبِيرٌ
When he arrived at the spring of Madyan, he found there a crowd of people watering their flocks, and he found apart from them two women holding their flocks back. He asked the women: “What is it that troubles you?” They said: “We cannot water our flocks until the shepherds take their flocks away, and our father is a very old man.” (Surah al Qasas: 23)
Historical references establish the fact that Musa later on married one of these two girls.
So Musa met his future life-partner at the waters of Madyan.
3. As Musa was growing up in age and knowledge, Allah wanted him to learn the fact of life: Knowledge and Wisdom is not one’s monopoly and that there are people who know better than you!
Allah, therefore, revealed to Prophet Musa that no man could know all there is to know, nor would one messenger alone be the custodian of all knowledge. There would always be another who knew what others did not. Musa asked Allah: “O Allah, where is this man? I would like to meet him and learn from him.” He also asked for a sign to this person’s identity.
Allah instructed him to take a live fish in a water-filled vessel. The point at which the fish disappears, he would find the man he sought.
Prophet Musa resolved to meet this man.
وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِفَتَاهُ لَا أَبْرَحُ حَتَّىٰ أَبْلُغَ مَجْمَعَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ أَوْ أَمْضِيَ حُقُبًا
“(And recall to them the story of Musa) when Musa said to his servant: “I will not give up (traveling) until I reach the junction of the two seas or (until) I spend years and years in traveling.” (Surah al Kahf: 60)
Musa set out on his journey, accompanied by a young man who carried the vessel with the fish. They reached a place where two rivers met and decided to rest there. Instantly, Musa fell asleep.
While he was asleep, his companion saw the fish wriggle out of the vessel into the river and swim away. However, he forgot to relate this incident to Musa. When he awoke, they continued their journey until they were exhausted and hungry. Musa asked for his morning meal. Only then did his companion recall that the fish they had brought with them had gotten away. Hearing this, Musa exclaimed: “This is exactly what we are seeking!”
They quickly retraced their steps to the place where the rivers met and where the fish had jumped out. There they found a man, his face partly covered with a hood. One could tell by his aura that he was a saintly man. He was Al-Khidr, the guide.
فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا آتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِنْدِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِنْ لَدُنَّا عِلْمًا
“and there they found one of Our servants upon whom We had bestowed Our mercy, and to whom We had imparted a special knowledge from Ourselves.” (Surah al Kahf: 65)
So Musa not only concluded his journey of finding the man of wisdom at the water point, he also started his another journey of experiencing wisdom from the junction of the two seas!
4. Finally, Allah ordered Musa to leave Egypt along with his followers. He started his journey by night. In the cover of darkness, he had lost his way and Lo! he had to confront the Red Sea.
فَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ مُوسَىٰ أَنِ اضْرِبْ بِعَصَاكَ الْبَحْرَ ۖ فَانْفَلَقَ فَكَانَ كُلُّ فِرْقٍ كَالطَّوْدِ الْعَظِيمِ
“Then We revealed to Musa, (commanding him): “Strike the sea with your rod.” Thereupon the sea split up, and then each became like the mass of a huge mount.” (Surah Ash-Shur’araa: 63)
When the Red Sea gave way, Musa and his followers crossed and reached the other side of the shore.
So the waters of Red Sea took the shape of a miracle for Prophet Musa and his followers.
وَإِذْ فَرَقْنَا بِكُمُ الْبَحْرَ فَأَنْجَيْنَاكُمْ وَأَغْرَقْنَا آلَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَأَنْتُمْ تَنْظُرُونَ
“Remember the time when We parted the sea to make way for you and let you pass safely through it and then drowned Pharaoh’s people before your very eyes.” (Surah al Baqarah: 50)
He achieved success witnessing the end of a cruel ruler in the waters of Red Sea.
While an infant, Musa was floating in waters. While being a successful Prophet, he was walking the waters!
5. Prophet Musa and his followers continued their journey, after the Red Sea episode. The heat of the desert made his followers thirsty. Then, Allah revealed this to Musa:
وَإِذِ اسْتَسْقَىٰ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ فَقُلْنَا اضْرِبْ بِعَصَاكَ الْحَجَرَ ۖ فَانْفَجَرَتْ مِنْهُ اثْنَتَا عَشْرَةَ عَيْنًا ۖ قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍ مَشْرَبَهُمْ ۖ كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا مِنْ رِزْقِ اللَّهِ وَلَا تَعْثَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ
“Remember that when Musa prayed for water for his people, We answered, “Strike the rock with your staff”: whereupon twelve springs gushed forth from it; the people of every clan came to know their drinking place. (Then they were enjoined:) “Eat and drink of what Allah has provided and do not spread disorder on the earth.” (Surah al Baqarah: 60)
So Musa’s staff did extra ordinary things, of course at the Command of Allah. First, it took the shape of a mighty snake; secondly, striking with it caused the waters of Red Sea to part ways, and now it brought out twelve fountains of water from a solid rock! Subhanallah!
In the life of Prophet Musa (Peace be upon him), there are indeed signs for the people of understanding.
(Dear readers, we cannot comprehend the Hikmah of Allah. Just a thought came to my mind linking Musa’s story with water. May Allah accept the effort if it is right. May He forgive me if I am wrong. Aameen)…I, however, invite readers’ opinion. Jazakumullah Khayr.