BIRTH OF MUSA (AS)
As related in the previous chapter, Musa was born into adversity. Even at the moment of his birth, his life was already in jeopardy. Pharaoh ordered all male children killed and the females spared for slavery. Ensnared by such circumstances, Musa was forced to lead his life among the slaves under the constant threat of death. His mother had been concerned about him until the moment she was inspired by God:
We revealed to Musa's mother, "Suckle him and then when
you fear for him cast him into the sea. Do not fear or grieve; We will
return him to you and make him one of the Messengers." (Qur'an, 28:7)
God instructed Musa's mother and told her to put him into a chest and send it floating down the Nile, if the soldiers of Pharaoh ever learned about his birth. As she feared for the life of her son, she followed what was revealed to her. Not knowing where and how the flowing waters would have carried her son, she placed Musa into a chest and released him to the waters of the Nile. However, by the inspiration of God, she knew he would ultimately return back to her and become a prophet. God, the Creator and Sustainer of everything, created Musa and his mother and allowed them know their destiny. Some time later, God reminded Musa about the facts of his early childhood as follows:
When We revealed to your mother: "Place him into the
chest and throw it into the sea and the sea will wash it up on the shore,
where an enemy of Mine and his will pick it up..."(Qur'an, 20: 38-39)
At this point, we should expand on the subject of destiny. God, as specified in the above verse, told the mother of Musa to leave the child in the water, and informed her that Pharaoh would later find him, and that Musa would ultimately return to her as a messenger of God. In other words, that Musa would be placed in a chest and sent to the river, that he would be found and taken care of by Pharaoh, and that he would eventually become one of the prophets, were all known beforehand. That is because all of these events were predetermined by God, according to His will, and which He allowed Musa's mother to know of in advance.
Here, we should make note that all the details pertaining to the life of Musa were predetermined in the sight of God, and that they had all come true as had been ordained. The fulfilment of the revelation offered to Musa's mother was possible through the occurrence of countless conditions predetermined by destiny.
Musa's avoiding the soldiers of Pharaoh and his reaching the palace of Pharaoh without drowning were dependent on the fulfilment of certain conditions. They are the following:
1- The chest the baby Musa was placed in would have to have been watertight. Therefore, he who constructed the chest would have crafted it in appropriate manner so as to allow to float. Moreover, the shape of the chest was an important factor as far as its speed on the water; it had to neither flow too quickly, floating passed Pharaoh's palace, nor too slowly, stopping at some point before the Palace. The chest would have to have been crafted into just the exact shape so as to allow it to float at just the right speed. These factors all comprised the numerous details preordained as part of the carpenter's destiny, crafting the chest exactly as he had to.
2- The current that had carried the chest would have to have been neither too fast nor too slow, but just the right speed. This could have only been possible by a precise calculation of the amount of rainfall which constituted the Nile's water volume-intensity per minute. This amount is also part of the intricate details in the destiny predetermined by God.
3- The blowing winds must have also affected the chest in the appropriate manner. That is, the winds also blew in compliance with a certain predetermined destiny. They must have blown neither too fast to cause it to drift, nor in the opposite direction, changing its direction, and nor too slow, slowing its speed.
4- When in the Nile, no one could have found the chest. That is, no one, except who should have, was supposed to have come across it or noticed it. Consequently, in compliance with a specified destiny, every one living along the Nile had not been near to or noticed the chest. In fact, these conditions were all part of the destiny preordained by God.
5- As well as the life of Musa, the lives of Pharaoh and his family, were also set to comply with a certain destiny. They would also have to have been exactly at the right place at the right time so as to permit them find Musa. The family of Pharaoh could have planned to come to the shore earlier. The factor which had ordained them to come there at the precise time was their destiny.
The above are only a few of the factors which allowed Pharaoh find Musa. All of them had occurred exactly as was revealed to Musa's mother. In fact, the promise God gave to the mother of Musa, and all the other events which have happened, have all taken place and been fulfilled as already ordained by God.
The events involved in Musa's destiny were not limited to only those events recounted so far. Each moment of his life was carefully predetermined according to a specific destiny. Neither the place nor the year of his birth, nor the people he was surrounded by, nor his mother or father were designated according to his own choice. It was God who ordained and created each one. This fact was also proclaimed by the Prophet Muhammad (saas) who said "Everything is by decree-even incapacity and ability" (Muslim)
A deeper consideration of these incidents will allow us to have a better grasp of how every moment of our lives is bound within our destiny. Through numerous examples, Musa's story allows one to contemplate the meaning and implications of his destiny. In the various details of the story of Musa, God reminds us that an individual's life, as well as the lives of all mankind and the whole universe, are bound within the destiny he has ordained.
Just as how Musa floated on the Nile in compliance with his destiny, so were Pharaoh and his family made to reach the place where they were to encounter Musa. From the verses related to this subject, we learn that Pharaoh's family had behaved exactly as was previously revealed to Musa's mother, that is, they had taken Musa under their care without being aware of what the future would hold for them:
The family of Pharaoh picked him up so that he might
be an enemy and a source of grief to them. Certainly Pharaoh and Haman
and their troops were in the wrong. The wife of Pharaoh said, "A source
of delight for me and for you; do not kill him. It may well be that he
will be of use to us or perhaps we could adopt him as a son." They were
not aware. (Qur'an, 28: 8-9)
And thus Pharaoh and his family, utterly unaware of what the destiny had in store for them, found Musa and adopted him as their own. In fact, they had decided to keep him in the hope that the child would some day be of some benefit to them.
In the meantime, Musa's mother was concerned about her son since she did not know what had happened to him. To cope with this situation, God strengthened her heart:
Mother of Musa felt a great emptiness in her heart and
she almost gave him away; only We fortified her heart so that she would
be one of the believers. She said to his sister, "Go after him." And she
kept an eye on him from afar and they were not aware. We first made him
refuse all wet-nurses, so she (Musa's sister) said, "Shall I show you
to a household who will feed him for you and be good to him?"
That is how We returned him to his mother so that she
might delight her eyes and feel no grief and so that she would know that
God's promise is true. But most of them do not know this. (Qur'an, 28:
The baby Musa refused all the wet nurses, that is, he did not drink their milk, because, according to the destiny outlined for him, God had ordained him to drink only his own mother's milk. This makes light of the fact that everything human beings wish for are also in compliance with the destiny ordained by God. As had been revealed to his mother, the Prophet Musa ultimately returned to his own family.
In the story of Musa, God illustrates that He often creates what appear to be difficult situation with no apparent way out, and that events which are perceived as adversities may well turn out to actually be wonderful blessings. A mother, fearing the threat of her baby being killed by cruel soldiers, to save him, leaves the child to float in the waters of a river. The same child is then adopted by the most powerful family of the country, who ultimately return the baby back to her mother because he refuses all the other wet nurses… Each one of these events is a miracle in itself, demonstrating the ultimate perfection in the destiny decreed by God. For believers, every detail of one's destiny eventually turns out to be a blessing. As can be seen in the above example, sometimes God prepares such blessings for us through the most unexpected circumstances.