The Mother of Musa

Shaykh Ahmad El Azhary explores the Lessons from the Live of the Prophets in the Quran. He unlocks their aim, which is to direct us towards Allah Almighty and the Day of Judgement. This is the second article in the series.

The Quran mentions three good mothers. The wife of Imran (the mother of Maryam (upon her be peace)), Maryam herself being the mother of Isa, (upon them be peace), and then the mother of Musa (upon them be peace). 

وَأَوۡحَیۡنَاۤ إِلَىٰۤ أُمِّ مُوسَىٰۤ أَنۡ أَرۡضِعِیهِۖ

 “And We inspired unto Moses’ mother to ‘Nurse him yourself” [Keller, The Quran Beheld 28:7]

The Quran indicates the great value of a mother in empowering her child. The Quran says:

فَإِذَا خِفۡتِ عَلَیۡهِ فَأَلۡقِیهِ فِی ٱلۡیَمِّ وَلَا تَخَافِی وَلَا تَحۡزَنِیۤۖ إِنَّا رَاۤدُّوهُ إِلَیۡكِ وَجَاعِلُوهُ مِنَ ٱلۡمُرۡسَلِینَ

“And when you fear for him from them, cast him unto the wide river, nor be afraid for him nor sorrow: Verily We are certain to soon return him to you, and to make him of the messenger.’” [Keller, The Quran Beheld 28:7]

The mother of Musa (upon them be peace) was told to put him in a small basket and let that basket carry him to wherever it went. Her daughter, the sister of Musa comes back to her informing her that the basket has landed by a dwelling, by the palace of Pharaoh. Musa’s mother (upon them be peace) at the end actually breastfeeds Musa (upon him be peace). 


Allah says:

وَأَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةًۭ مِّنِّى

“And I cast upon you a mighty love from Myself in all hearts” [Keller, The Quran Beheld 20:39]

This is one of the keys to Musa’s safety in the house of Pharoah at this time. 

Sura al-Qasas 1 to 13 tell of the early years of Musa (upon him be peace).  Allah reminded Musa (upon him be peace) with that. In Sura Taha 38 to 41, right after Musa (at an old age) confronts Pharaoh, the Quran informs us:

قَالَ رَبِّ ٱشْرَحْ لِى صَدْرِى

وَيَسِّرْ لِىٓ أَمْرِى

وَٱحْلُلْ عُقْدَةًۭ مِّن لِّسَانِى

يَفْقَهُوا۟ قَوْلِى

وَٱجْعَل لِّى وَزِيرًۭا مِّنْ أَهْلِى

هَـٰرُونَ أَخِى

ٱشْدُدْ بِهِۦٓ أَزْرِى

وَأَشْرِكْهُ فِىٓ أَمْرِى

كَىْ نُسَبِّحَكَ كَثِيرًۭا

وَنَذْكُرَكَ كَثِيرًا

“He said, ‘My Lord, open wide my breast, and make easy my whole mission, and free a great knot from my tongue, and they will comprehend all I say. And give me a deputy from my own kin” Aaron my brother. Bind fast the whole strength of my back with him; and let him share my mission, that we may proclaim to all Your incomparable glory above that they utter; and remember You much” [Keller, The Quran Beheld 20:25-34] 

Right after saying to him: 

قَالَ قَدۡ أُوتِیتَ سُؤۡلَكَ یَـٰمُوسَىٰ

“He said: ‘You have been given what you ask, O Moses” [Keller, The Quran Beheld 20:36]

And also:

وَلَقَدۡ مَنَنَّا عَلَیۡكَ مَرَّةً أُخۡرَىٰۤ

“‘And indeed We bestowed on you another time Our incomparable blessing unasked” [20:37]

After this, Allah says:

إِذْ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَىٰٓ أُمِّكَ مَا يُوحَىٰٓ

أَنِ ٱقْذِفِيهِ فِى ٱلتَّابُوتِ فَٱقْذِفِيهِ فِى ٱلْيَمِّ فَلْيُلْقِهِ ٱلْيَمُّ بِٱلسَّاحِلِ يَأْخُذْهُ عَدُوٌّۭ لِّى وَعَدُوٌّۭ لَّهُۥ ۚ وَأَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةًۭ مِّنِّى وَلِتُصْنَعَ عَلَىٰ عَيْنِىٓ

“‘When we inspired unto your mother what was inspired: ‘To toss him into the casket, then toss him into the great river; Then let the waters cast him up on the shore, and an enemy Mine and of his shall take him. And I cast upon you a mighty love from Myself in all hearts, that you might be wrought to full perfection under My very eye.”[Keller, The Quran Beheld 20:38-39]

Here Allah tells Musa (upon him be peace) what was done to him when he was young. Further He says: 

وَٱصۡطَنَعۡتُكَ لِنَفۡسِی

“And I chose you with care for My very Self.” [20:41]

We see that Allah looks after those He creates for Himself. A lesson here for parents is the need to dedicate our children to Allah.

Allah supported the heart of Musa’s mother (upon them be peace). He guided her and inspired her to put him in the river. He has taken him to the palace of His enemy which was the safest place at that time. The wife of Pharaoh had no children. She was in dire need of a child. Allah filled in a vacuum that could not have been filled by anyone else. 

Pharaoh looked at him and could not resist the love of Musa (upon him be peace). Allah supported the mother of Musa (upon him be peace) and she was also reunited with him.


Allah says: 

وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُۥ وَٱسْتَوَىٰٓ ءَاتَيْنَـٰهُ حُكْمًۭا وَعِلْمًۭا ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِى ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ

“And when he reached his full manhood and prime, We bestowed on him great judgement and knowledge; And thus do We requite those who surpass in good.” [Keller, The Quran Beheld 28:14]

These were tools Musa (upon him be peace) was provided with to empower him for his amazing future and mission. One of the meanings of حُكْمًۭا is Prophethood and another is wisdom. Allah empowered Musa at that time with the means of power and of carrying this great mission. 

Seeking Guidance

One of the tools that Allah provided for Musa (upon him be peace) was his keenness to seek Allah’s guidance. 

Allah says: 

قَالَ عَسَىٰ رَبِّیۤ أَن یَهۡدِیَنِی سَوَاۤءَ ٱلسَّبِیلِ

“He said, ‘Haply my Lord may guide me the straightest way.” [28:22]

Allah also says:

قَالَ كَلَّاۤۖ إِنَّ مَعِیَ رَبِّی سَیَهۡدِینِ

“He said, ‘By no means! Verily my Lord is with me, He is sure to guide me right.’” [26:62]