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Prophets in Islam

The Story of Prophet Moses (AS) in the Quran

Basics of Islam: The Story of Prophet Moses (AS) in the Quran

Hazrat Moses (or Musa) is one of the most beloved Messengers of Allah. The story of Prophet Moses (AS) is one of the most oft-repeated tales in the Quran. It is a marvelous story, and it is full of wonders too. But this story also stresses a punishment for those who disbelieve and mistreat Allah’s prophets.

Why this Story?

Of all the prophets in Islam, the story of Prophet Moses (AS) is unique because he is the one who spoke to God on Mount Sinai. He went to the holy valley of Tuwa. This story is also one-of-its-own kind because, when referred to Pharaoh of Egypt and the children of Israel, it is the most frequently told story in the Quran.

Who was Prophet Moses (AS)?

Born in Egypt, Prophet Moses (AS) was one of the most beloved Messengers of Allah. The Quran mentioned his name 137 times and called him a Messenger (Rasool) and a lawgiver. The Torah (Tawrat) was the holy book revealed to him by God.

Prophet Moses (AS) was from the lineage of Levi, one of the twelve sons of Prophet Jacob (AS). His birth year was anywhere from 100 to 400 years after the death of Prophet Joseph (AS). When Prophet Joseph (AS) passed away, the children of Israel were living rather well. But that changed before the birth of Prophet Moses (AS). By then, the king of Egypt was a cruel person who had enslaved many people.

Who was Pharaoh? And How Prophet Moses (AS) Grew Up?

The story of Prophet Moses (AS) tells us that Pharaoh, who ruled Egypt, was a tyrant. He was cruel to the children of Israel, the descendants of Prophet Jacob (AS). The people had to obey him only and believe in the false gods he invented. People thus started worshipping Pharaoh himself as a god.  

Pharaoh was afraid that the children of Israel might take over the Egyptians, and he passed an executive order to kill all the Israeli baby boys. The mother of Prophet Moses (AS), fearing that Pharaoh would kill her baby too, put him in a basket and dropped it in the Nile River so he could float to safety. While his sister Miriam watched from the bank, he got picked up by Pharaoh’s daughter. She then took him to Pharaoh’s palace.

Historians say that Pharaoh’s wife, Asiya, picked Moses (AS) up and later adopted him. She knew the baby was a Jewish boy. So she started looking for an Israeli woman to breastfeed him. Miriam approached Pharaoh’s daughter and offered to find someone to breastfeed him. She found Prophet Moses’s (AS) real mother to do that. He then grew up in Pharaoh’s palace.  

How Prophet Moses (AS) Confronted the Tyrant Pharaoh?

There was a twist in the story of Prophet Moses (AS). And that twist came when Prophet Moses (AS) was on his way back to Egypt from Madyan. The Quran says:

When Prophet Moses (AS) saw a fire.

And when he came close to that fire, Allah speaks to Prophet Moses (AS):

Allah speaks to Prophet Moses (AS)

Allah asked, “And what is this in your right hand, O Moses?” Prophet Moses submitted, “This is my staff. I lean on it, and beat down leaves with it for my goats, and in it there are also many other benefits for me.” Allah said, “O Moses, cast it down (on the ground).” Prophet Moses obeyed. Suddenly, “it became a serpent slithering (here and there).” Allah said: “Catch it, and do not fear. We shall transform it to its former state just now.” And “press your hand in your armpit. It will come out radiant white without any disease. This is another sign.” “We are doing this so that we show you greater signs of Our (might)” (Taha 20: 17-23).

Prophet Moses obeyed. Everything happened as God said. Then, Allah spoke to him again:

Allah sent Prophet Moses (AS) to go to Pharaoh.

Prophet Moses (AS) prayed, “O my Lord, expand my breast for me. And make my task (as a Messenger) easy for me. And untie the knot from my tongue. That people may understand (easily) what I say. And appoint for me a minister from my family. That is Harun, my brother. Provide me strength and backup with him. And make him share my task (of Messenger-ship)” (Taha, 20: 25-32).

What Happened at the End of the Story of Prophet Moses (AS)?

Pharaoh ordered his magicians to beat Moses (AS) with the power of their magic. They met Moses (AS) on the day of the festival. Moses (AS) defeated their magic with a great miracle. And Allah made him win over them. Magicians then started believing in Allah and disbelieving in Pharaoh. Pharaoh got mad and decided to cut their hands and feet. He crucified them on the trunks of the palm trees.

Ten successive plagues started to befall them. Allah inflicted them with the invasion of locusts, lice, blood, and toads that haunted their lives. But Allah kept the believers, who believe in Moses (AS), safe.

Each time, Pharaoh promised to free the people of Israel, Egyptians protested. They complained to Pharaoh about the toughness of life without the people of Israel (aka followers of Prophet Moses), who used to serve them. Thus, Pharaoh reversed his decision every time. He even ordered his soldiers to pursue people Israel and bring them back to Egypt.  

When they reached the sea, Allah divided it into two parts and made a way for Moses and his followers to pass through it. Pharaoh with his army saw the sea splitting. But, as he and his soldiers tried to cross, the sea closed in on them. They all drowned. And Allah spared Moses and his believers.

Did You Learn Anything?

So what have you learned from the story of Prophet Moses (AS)? We’d love to have your thoughts on it. And if you want your kids to learn from such stories of prophets in the Quran, we can help as well. 🙂

The story of Prophet Shu'ayb (AS) in the Quran

Basics of Islam: The Story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS) in the Quran

How do your kids think? Are they unaware of the world around them? How do they respond to situations and analyze events? What’s going on inside the little mind? As a parent, these were some of the questions that floated around your mind. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get inside their heads and see what they are seeing, recognize what they are feeling, and appreciate why they are responding to you in a particular way? Kids love to learn from a stories. But instead of reading to them about made-up characters like Superman or Spiderman, why not make good use of that time? Your kids need to hear the narratives of our real-life heroes while they are young. And the best ones are the stories of our beloved prophets in the Quran. This article is about the story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS), who is one of the best role models for us and our kids to follow.

Why the Story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS)?

Muslim kids these days are confused about right and wrong. How can your kid growing up in a Muslim home where the Quran is central be that confused? Good question. Maybe you assumed that you knew right from wrong. But that’s the wrong assumption to make in this day and age.

We’re all in trouble that comes from our surroundings. We’re being raised in a wilderness that is both moral and spiritual. Believe it or not, our kids can survive in such a state even when a society has largely rejected the notions of truth and morality.

So can our kids survive? You won’t believe how easy it is to get started. Just open the Quran and read the stories of our prophets to your kids. Why?

Allah sent messengers to us to teach us the purpose of our lives. The Quran mentioned only 25 out of 1,24,000 prophets. But their stories were full of lessons.  Take, for example, the story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS). Allah sent him to the people of Madyan, a tribe of Arabs who lived from Ma’an (a present-day Jordan) to the Gulf of Aqaba.

Who was Prophet Shu’ayb (AS)?

Prophet Shu’ayb (AS), known in Biblical literature as Jethro, was the messenger of Allah. His mother was a pious and Allah-fearing daughter of Prophet Lut (AS), and his father was a direct descendant of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). Prophet Shu’ayb was also an eloquent orator. Muslims honored him as “the preacher of the prophets.” His story is vital for our kids because it enlightens and enriches people of all ages.

Allah sent Prophet Shu’ayb (AS) to reform Madyan. Throughout his blessed life, he advised the people of Madyan to improve their behavior and give up their evil practices. Allah says:

Allah sent Prophet Shu'ayb (AS) to Madyan

 Most of them were proud and corrupt. They robbed each other and considered immorality as their birthright.

The story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS) also tells us that there was no discipline for kids and no respect for the parents. They refused and ignored Prophet Shu’ayb (AS). Many even ridiculed him. And some of these men waited outside his house to harass him, his family members, and his followers, visiting him for guidance.

Who are the People of Madyan?

Allah gave the people of Madyan strength and power. Their area had been rich with fertile lands. The abundance and varieties of food enriched the nation. Most of them were traders, and their clients came from the surrounding areas of the desert. But, instead of thanking Allah for such blessings, they disobeyed Allah. They followed Satan and started worshipping idols. They had many gods.

As well as worshipping false gods, Madyans did other shameful things. The free flow of wealth made them arrogant and deceitful. They demanded money to let traders pass through their area. If the traders stopped in the markets to buy and sell, the Madyan traders cheated them. Sometimes the traders wanted to buy or sell grain, or precious metals like gold and silver. Then the Madyans secretly fixed their scales in their favor to deceive traders. This way, traders did not get a fair price. They lied about the quality of goods and hid their faults to fool foreign traders.

The story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS) in the Quran also tells us that he called on his people to stop cheating, taxing travelers, and barring people from coming to him to learn:

Give full measures of weight with justice

He promised that if they’d accept his advice, Allah would bless their trading and make them even more rich and successful.

Madyans did not pay heed to him. They were so used to lying and cheating that they thought everybody else was a liar too:

People of Madyan called Prophet Shu'ayb (AS) a liar.

So, foolishly, they trusted nobody. Allah says:

The story of Prophet Shu'ayb (AS): People of Madyan said to Prophet Shu'ayb (AS).

Prophet Shu’ayb said, “My Allah knows very well what you’re doing.”

The Conclusion of the Story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS): A Terrible Earthquake


The leaders threatened Prophet Shu’ayb (AS). They hated him, and they were not patient. They also threatened the people of the town to stay away from the Messenger of Allah and not to believe him. One day, they seized all the belongings of Prophet Shu’ayb and his followers and drove them out of the town. Then the Prophet Shu’ayb prayed to Allah to judge who was truthful.

Then, the weather in Madyan became scorching hot. People tried to shelter in their houses. Some went out into the hills to try to cool down. But nothing worked. A billowing black cloud appeared in the sky. Madyans thought it would shade them from the sun. But there was a sound like thunder, and the earth began to shake violently. Burning rocks flew out of the dark cloud, and everyone was gasping for breath. By the next morning, they all lay dead, face down where they had fallen in their homes.

Bottom Line:

So what we have learned from the story of Prophet Shu’ayb (AS)? We’ve read that the people of Madyan and their arrogant leaders refused to listen to the prophet. The corrupt chiefs even summoned Prophet Shu’ayb and threatened him to stop preaching. Madyans were worried that the wealth they had accumulated would diminish if the nation reformed. And Prophet Shu’ayb (AS) and his followers had to leave Madyan and settle in a place where they were welcome. Allah punished people of Madyan, and Prophet Shu’ayb (AS) and his followers were remained unharmed and protected.

Read this story to your kids. You’ll see that it will shape their minds, thinking, and value system.