Prophet Musa (Alaihis-Salam) and Tyrant Fir’aun (Pharaoh), By Murtadha Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Verily, all praise is for Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls (and from our bad deeds). Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, (alone and without any partner) and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” [Qur’an, 3:102]

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women, and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship) Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” [Qur’an, 4:1]

“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (Peace be upon him) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hellfire and made to enter Paradise).” [Qur’an, 33:70-71]

Dear brothers and sisters, Prophet Musa (AS) is the most commonly mentioned Prophet in Noble Qur’an. He has been mentioned 163 times in the Qur’an. Prophet Musa was born at the time of tyrant Fir’aun, also known as Pharaoh. In Islam, Prophet Musa (AS) is loved and respected because He (AS) is the Prophet and Messenger of Allah too. Muslims believed in all Messengers of Allah Almighty and Noble Books which revealed to them. In Noble Qur’an, Prophet Musa (AS) is mentioned most of the time and His story ranges in several chapters of Noble Qur’an.

As we all know, Messengers of Allah Almighty were sent to convey the message of Allah (SWT) to the people of this world. Prophet Musa (AS) was also sent to the people of Israel to make them worship Allah Almighty, and the Noble book which was revealed to Him was Torah. In Noble Qur’an, Allah Almighty says:

“Verily, We did send down the Torah to Musa (Moses) therein was guidance and light, by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves to Allah’s Will, judged the Jews. And the rabbis and the priests too judged the Jews by the Torah for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah’s Book, and they were witnesses thereto.” [Qur’an, 5:44]

Allah (SWT) says that the story of Musa (Moses AS) and Pharaoh in Qur’an is the truth. It is a story of injustice, political conspiracy and of oppression that knew no bounds. In Noble Qur’an, it is mentioned in this way:

“We recite to you some of the news of Musa (Moses) and Fir’aun (Pharaoh) in truth, for a people who believe. Verily, Pharaoh exalted himself in the land and made its people sects, weakening (oppressing) a group (i.e. Children of Israel) among them; killing their sons and letting their females live. Verily, he was of those who commit great sins and crimes, oppressor and tyrant.”[Qur’an, 28:3-4]

Respected brothers and sisters, below I will describe the story of Musa (AS) in detail from the beginning of His birth, how He (AS) brought up in the house of his enemy Fir’aun and other events of His life.

Dear servants of Allah, Prophet Musa (AS) was born at the time of Fir’aun which was the most politically charged time of the history. The Pharaoh or Fir’aun of Egypt was the dominant power in the land. He was so incredibly powerful that he referred to himself as a god and nobody were able to dispute this. He set up class distinctions, divided the people into groups and tribes, and set them against one another. The Jews, the children of Israel, were put at the lowest level of Egyptian society. They were the slaves and servants. The family of Musa (AS) was from amongst the children of Israel.

A short while before Prophet Musa (AS) was born, Fir’aun was told that a boy from the Bani Israel would soon be born and at whose hands Fir’aun’s kingdom would be destroyed. On hearing this, the cruel king (Pharaoh) ordered his soldiers that every male child born to the Bani Israel should be killed. The soldiers of Fir’aun periodically searched the houses of the Israelites so as to carry out Pharaoh’s orders. Musa’s (AS) mother had prepared a plan for him. When she heard the approach of the soldiers, she took Musa (AS) out in his basket and placed him in the river Nile at behind of her house. In Noble Qur’an it is mentioned in these words:

“So We sent this inspiration to the mother of Musa (Moses): “Suckle (your child) but when you has fears about him cast him into the river, but fear not nor grieve: for We shall restore him to you, and We shall make him one of Our Messengers.” [Qur’an, 28:7]

The basket in which Prophet Musa (AS) was put in by his mother floated towards the palace of Fir’aun, where his men fished it out and brought the baby to him. He wanted to kill him immediately, suspecting that he might be a child of the Bani Israel, but his wife Asiyah, who was a pious woman, stopped him from doing so. They did not have children of their own, so she asked him to adopt the child. Fir’aun agreed to his wife’s (Asiyah) request and then called some women to feed the crying child. Yet, the baby refused milk from all the women who came to feed him, except his own mother. In this way, Allah Almighty rejoined mother and child in the palace of Fir’aun who was the greatest enemy of her son.

Prophet Musa (AS) grew up in Fir’aun’s home and was familiarised with the state affairs. When He (AS) reached adulthood, once involved in a fight between an Israelite and an Egyptian, results in killing the latter recklessly. Prophet Musa (AS) went to the Madyan where he married Safurah, daughter of Prophet Shu’aib (AS) (or a righteous man). After staying some time in Madyan, he left to return to Egypt. On their way to Egypt in the severe winter night, Prophet Musa (AS) and his wife who had lost their way, saw a fire in the distance. Prophet Musa (AS) told his wife to stay where she was and he went to the fire, thinking he would bring some of it back. When Musa (AS) reached near the fire he saw that the flames were coming from a green tree but there was no one present. While Prophet Musa (AS) looked around in surprise, he suddenly heard a voice saying:

“O Musa, I am your Lord!”

The voice then asked him to throw his stick onto the ground. At once it changed into a serpent, which scared him. Musa (AS) was then commanded to lift the snake without any fear and as he did so, it changed back into a stick.

And then he was told to put his hand under his armpit. When he drew it out again, his hand glowed with a bright light, like the sun. The Divine voice said to him:

“O Musa! These are the two great Signs of your Lord. Go back to Fir’aun and his people and invite them towards your Lord!”

After getting these signs from Allah Almighty, Musa (AS) went to the Fir’aun and told him that He (AS) is the Messenger of Allah Almighty for that He has proofs. Musa (AS) threw his stick on the ground and it changed into a snake. The miracle frightened Fir’aun and he turned to his ministers for advice. They told him that Prophet Musa (AS) was just a good magician and that their own magicians could easily perform such tricks.

Then Fir’aun called all the great magicians to his court so that they could do the same tricks as Musa (AS) did. When they were told what had to be done, they were not worried. They threw pieces of rope on the ground and these cords began to wriggle like snakes. But when Prophet Musa (AS) cast his stick down his serpent ate all the pieces of rope. The magicians immediately realised that this was no magic but a miracle, and prostrated saying:

“We believe in the Lord of Musa.”

Allah Almighty told Prophet Musa (AS) to warn Fir’aun that He would punish him and his people if they continued in their ways and don’t accept your faith. But Fir’aun was too proud to listen to the warning.

So, for punishing him and his followers the country was hit by famine. Swarms of locusts ate away the crops. The river Nile flooded its banks causing great destruction. The people were afflicted with lice and tumours. When all of this happened the people rushed to Prophet Musa (AS) asking him to pray for their relief and promised to follow his religion. But when they were cured and the situation improved, they returned to their idol worshipping.

Prophet Musa (AS) gathered the people of Bani Israel and left for Palestine. When Fir’aun learned of their escape he followed them with a huge army. When Musa (AS) with people of Bani Israel reached the Red Sea they saw Fir’aun approaching towards them and were sure they were going to be killed. Yet, Prophet Musa (AS) struck the waters of the sea with his stick and the waters parted, making a dry path. The people crossed safely. When Fir’aun saw the path he entered the sea at the head of his army. But while he was in the middle of the sea the waters suddenly closed around him and his men. In this way, Fir’aun and his army drowned and died in the river.

Dear brothers and sisters, wallahi in this story of Prophet Musa (AS) and tyrant Fir’aun (Pharaoh), is a great lesson to us and any unjust politician who want to destabilise the unity of the society!

“…Inna Rabbaka Labil Mirsad…”

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: or +2348038289761.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Rabi’ul Thani 16, 1441 A. H. (December 13, 2019).