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Virtues of Prophet Musa in Quran &

If you study the Glorious Quran with in-depth reflection, youll be struck by how
often Allah mentions Prophet Musa in the Book, in one context or other. From his
infancy to adulthood, to his family and communal life, Allah mentions him a total of
169 times in the Quran! I wondered what qualities this Prophet of Allah must have
possessed that endeared him so much to Allah, that He chose him for Himself, had
a private conversation with him, and granted him Prophet-hood?

And mention in the Book, Musa; Behold, he was a chosen one, and was an apostle,
a Prophet [19:51]

And I have chosen you for Myself [O Musa]. [20:41]

There are, on close pondering, several qualities of Prophet Musa that shine out.

Wasting no time in turning to Allah:

Once a man from the slave-tribe of Bani Israel called out for help as a Coptic
(Pharaohs tribesman) wrangled with him in the street. Musa [may Allahs peace be
upon him] rushed to defend him, accidentally killing the oppressive Coptic with an
unintentionally hard blow to the chest. As soon as he saw what hed done, he
repented, sought forgiveness and vowed future good conduct:

He said: My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself, so forgive me.

Then He forgave him. Verily, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.

He said: My Lord! For that with which You have favored me, I will never more be a
helper for the Mujrimun (criminals)! [28: 16-17]

Upon receiving the news of his eventual persecution by the Copts for this murder,
he once again turned to Allah in earnest supplication, appealing for Divine
deliverance and guidance, as he prepared to flee the town in secret.

So he escaped from there; fearful, vigilant. He said: My Lord! Deliver me from the
wrongdoing people!

And when he turned his face toward Midian, he said: Perhaps my Lord will guide me
in the right road. [28: 21-22]

Hastening to obey Allah:

When Allah called Musa to a meeting on Mount Tr, he arrived earlier than the
appointed time. The reason: to please Allah:

I hastened to You, O my Lord, so that You might be pleased. [20:84]

Hastening to help the weak and oppressed:

As mentioned above, Prophet Musa fled to another town in order to escape

Pharaohs men, after he accidentally killed a man from their tribe. Thus, a shining
quality in his nature is his eagerness to help weak, oppressed people. This quality
again comes forth when he enters a new town and spots two girls in a plight:

And when he came unto the water of Midian, he found there a whole tribe of men,
watering. And he found apart from them two women keeping back (their flocks). He
said: What ails you? The two said: We cannot give (our flocks) to drink till the
shepherds return from the water; and our father is a very old man. [28:23]

His compassionate nature again, after witnessing the girls plight, makes him help
them, despite being on the run for his life:

So he watered (their flock) for them. [28:24]

Putting his trust solely in Allah:

Homeless, jobless, friendless and alone in a strange town, he helped two women
chivalrously, but, unlike most unmarried young men today, he didnt try to hang
around, expecting any favors or friendships in return; rather, he turned to no one
except his friend, Allah. He withdrew under a tree to sincerely call to His Lord for

Then he turned aside into the shade, and said: My Lord! I am needy of whatever
good You send down for me. [28:24]

At such a sincere display of pure trust, his Lord responded to his prayer

Then there came unto him one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: My
father bids you, that he may reward you with a payment for that you watered (the
flock) for us. Then, when he came unto him and told him the (whole) story, he said:
Fear not! You have escaped from the wrongdoing people. [28:25]

One of the two women said: O my father! Hire him! For the best (man) that you can
hire is the strong, the trustworthy. [28:26]

He said: I would marry you to one of these two daughters of mine, on condition
that you hire yourself to me for (the term of) eight pilgrimages. Allah willing, you
will find me of the righteous. [28:27]
In response to his earnest prayers, Allah granted him a recommendation for work, a
permanent job, a considerate employer, lavish accommodation, a chaste wife,
and compassionate in-laws all within the same day!

Prophet Musas conduct is a far cry from the attitudes of most us Muslims today,
who put their trust first in their contacts, references and networking tools to land
jobs or marriage proposals. Only when all other tangible avenues are exhausted do
we weak-hearted believers turn to Allah in prayer. We ask others for help, shelter,
food or money before turning to Him, the Creator, Sustainer, and the Source of

The best compensation:

However, the ultimate recompense for the inherent good in Prophet Musa was yet to
come. After testing his sincerity and obedience at the highest of levels, Allah chose
him for Himself:

And when he reached it (the fire), he was called from the right side of the valley in
the blessed field, from the tree;

O Moses! I, indeed I, am Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. [28: 30]

What could possibly be better than to be summoned to a private counsel with Allah?
To be hired for the noblest mission?

Surely, in Prophet Musa, there is an excellent example for Muslims to emulate and
abide by in daily life, so that we, too, can become those whom Allah chooses for

Characteristics of the Prophet Musa (Moses)

1. Penitent

When Moses arrived at Our tryst and his Lord spoke to him, he said, My Lord, show
[Yourself] to me, that I may look at You! He said, You shall not see Me. But look at
the mountain: if it abides in its place, then you will see Me. So when his Lord
disclosed Himself to the mountain, He leveled it, and Moses fell down swooning. And
when he recovered, he said, Immaculate are You! I turn to You in penitence, and I
am the first of the faithful. (7:143)

2. Faithful

And when he recovered, he said, Immaculate are You! I turn to You in penitence,
and I am the first of the faithful. (7:143)

They are indeed among Our faithful servants. (37:122)

3. Purified
And mention in the Book Moses. Indeed, he was purified [by God], and an apostle
and a prophet. (19:51)

4. Given wisdom (and judgement)

So I fled from you, as I was afraid of you. Then my Lord gave me wisdom (judgment)
and made me one of the apostles. (26:21)

5. Benefactor (muhsin)

Thus indeed do We reward the benefactor. (37:121)

6. Noble

Certainly We tried the people of Pharaoh before them, when a noble apostle came
to them, (44:17)

7. Trustworthy

[saying,] Give over the servants of God to me; indeed, I am a trusted apostle [sent]
to you. (44:18)


Musa AS stayed in the palace of the Pharaoh until he reached his full age and was
firmly established (Quran 28:14), which according to many scholars, meant that
he stayed there until he was approximately forty years old.

One afternoon, he was walking in the city when he witnessed a fight between a man
from his own people, and another from his enemy, an Egyptian Copt. The man from
Bani Israel pleaded for Musa AS to help, and the latter responded by striking the
Egyptian Copt with his fist. However, this blow was so forceful that the man died,
such was Musas AS strength. This death blow was unintentional, and Musa AS
prayed O My Lord! I have wronged myself, so please forgive me. (Quran 28:16)
Allah forgave him. He said, My Lord, for the favour You bestowed upon me, I will
never be an assistant to the criminals. (Quran 28:17)

He feared exposure for his crime and was walking in the city when suddenly he saw
that the man who sought his help the previous day was in a fight with another
Egyptian man. He cried out to Musa AS again for help. Musa AS said to him,
Indeed, you are an evident, [persistent] deviator. He was about to hit the Egyptian
when the man said: O Musa, do you intend to kill me as you killed someone
yesterday? You only want to be a tyrant in the land and do not want to be of the
amenders. (Quran 28:19)

This stinging statement made Musa AS stop in his tracks. It was evident that the
news of his alleged crime had spread throughout town. According to the Quran:
And a man came from the farthest end of the city, running. He said, O Musa,
indeed the eminent ones are conferring over you [intending] to kill you, so leave
[the city]; indeed, I am to you of the sincere advisors.' (Quran 28:20)

This messenger provided the dreaded confirmation that the news had reached
Pharaoh, and an army of Pharaohs police had already been deployed to capture
Musa AS.

With Pharaohs net closing in around him, Musas AS only option was to leave the
city. Thus his stay at the palace came to an abrupt end. So he left it, fearful and
anticipating [apprehension]. He said, My Lord, save me from the wrongdoing
people. (Quran 28:21) With just the clothes on his back, he fled and headed to
Madyan, where he stayed in exile for over a decade.


Having killed a man, and knowing that the Pharaoh and his men were hot on his
heels, Musa AS escaped Egypt. He did not know exactly where to head, for he had
never stepped outside of Egypt before. Nevertheless, he went towards Madyan, and
said that I hope that my Lord will lead me to the right path. (Quran 28:22)

He had no mode of transportation, cash or any provisions. He only had the clothes
on his back. Imagine if we were in his position, fleeing without credentials, money,
or even an ATM card to pay for the next meal! Ibn Abbas RA reported that Musa AS
went from Egypt to Madyan eating only plants and leaves. He was barefooted and
his stomach was stuck to his back as a result of his hunger, a direct contrast to the
palace luxuries.

When he reached the wells of Madyan (if we recall, it was the same location that
Shuaibs AS community used to live before they were destroyed), he observed a
group of shepherds watering their flocks. He also spotted two women modestly
keeping themselves and their own flocks segregated from the men. He enquired
what the matter was, and the women explained that they were sisters and to
protect their chastity and personal security, could only draw water from the well
once the men had dispersed. Their father was elderly and unable to perform the
task himself.

According to reports, once the men were done, they would cover the mouth well
with a big rock to protect it, leaving the women the only option of using the leftover
water from the previous flock. According to Umar RA, the rock was so heavy that it
required the strength of ten men to carry it, however, Musa AS had been bestowed
with exceeding strength. On this day, Musa AS removed the rock and helped the
sisters water the flock.

Then, tired and hungry, he went into the shade and said My Lord! I am in need of
any good that You may send to me! (Quran 28:24) This humble manner was
befitting of a Prophet and teaches us how to ask Allah for help.

When the sisters came home from their daily tasks earlier than usual, their father
was surprised. They related the incident to him, upon which he asked one of them
to fetch Musa AS and bring him home. According to the Quran, one of the two
returned to Musa AS, approached him with shyness, and explained that that her
father had invited Musa AS to reward him for his kind act. Musa AS complied, and
explained his circumstances to their father. The latter, who himself was a righteous
man, reassured him not to be afraid, for he had done well to escape from the


While Musa AS was in conversation, one of the sisters hinted to her father that he
should hire Musa AS. She suggested that he should Engage him on wages, surely,
the best of those you can employ is the one who is strong and trustworthy. (Quran

She was alluding that because of his character, Musa AS was a choice prospect for a
son in law. Musa AS was without any means of providing for his future wife.
However, he was clearly of sound character. Therefore, in consideration of marrying
his daughter, the father offered Musa AS employment for eight years, and if Musa
AS felt gracious, for an additional two years. However, the older man clarified that it
was not his intention to impose hardship upon Musa AS, and thus Musa AS could, of
his own volition, work either duration. Musa AS agreed to the terms, and most
reports say that he worked for the entire tenure of ten years. He had remained
employed for that time, solely for food and for his modesty, and not for wealth.

All Prophets and Messengers have to spend some portion of their lives as
shepherds, to isolate and sever themselves from the distractions of the worldly life.
Tending a flock requires the type of patience and vigilance that can only be learnt
on the job rather than through observation. This patience and self-awareness is key
for them to focus on their relationship with God as a preparation for the difficult task
ahead. This time is also known as the waqfat tarbiyah, the time and place for Allah
to teach them of His Oneness and to train their manner and character. This was the
kind of training that cannot be gleaned from books. Musa AS was no different, and
further, his time in the desert eradicated the influence that the corrupt lifestyle at
the palace might have had on him. This stage of his life was the final preparation for
his great destiny as one of the mightiest Prophets and Messengers of Allah.

In the final year, as a reward for his hard work, his father in law offered that for the
next breeding season, all lambs born with a particular rare colour would belong to
Musa AS. According to some reports, by the will of Allah, the next season, every
ewe bore twins, and each alternate sheep was of that rare colour. Therefore, from
owning virtually nothing, he amassed a modest amount of wealth.