Benefits from the Story of the Mother of Moosaa: Imam al-Sa’di

In his discussion of the story of Moosaa and the benefits derived from it, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Naasir al-Sa’di introduced first Moosaa and then summarized and clarified some of the issues related to the mother of Moosaa and the events which occurred during his infancy by writing:

قد ذكر الله لموسى بن عمران ومعه أخوه هارون عليهما السلام سيرة طويلة، وساق قصصه في مواضع من كتابه بأساليب متنوعة واختصار أو بسط يليق بذلك المقام، وليس في قصص القرآن أعظم من قصة موسى؛ لأنه عالج فرعون وجنوده، وعالج بني إسرائيل أشد المعالجة، وهو أعظم أنبياء بني إسرائيل، وشريعته وكتابه التوراة هو مرجع أنبياء بني إسرائيل وعلمائهم وأتباعه أكثر أتباع الأنبياء غير أمة محمد وله من القوة العظيمة في إقامة دين الله والدعوة إليه والغيرة العظيمة ما ليس لغيره ـ

Regarding Moosaa ibn ‘Imraan and along with him his brother Haaroon (‘alaihima al-salaam), Allah has mentioned a long biography, and put forth his stories in multiple places in His Book by various means, both summarized and extended according to what was appropriate for that place. And there is not among the stories of the Qur’an any one greater than the story of Moosaa, because it deals with Fir’awn and his troops, and it deals with the Banu Israa’eel in the most comprehensive treatment. He is the greatest of the prophets of Banu Israa’eel, and his sharee’ah and His Book – the Tawrah – is what the prophets and the scholars of Banu Israa’eel referred back to. And his followers are the most numerous among the prophets other than the ummah of Muhammad, and he had great strength in establishing the religion of Allah and calling to it, and he had great protective jealousy over it which no one else had.

وقد ولد في وقت قد اشتد فيه فرعون على بني إسرائيل: فكان يذبح كل مولود ذكر يولد من بني إسرائيل، ويستحيي النساء للخدمة والامتهان، فلما ولدته أمه خافت عليه خوفا شديدا؛ فإن فرعون جعل على بني إسرائيل من يرقب نساءهم ومواليدهم، وكان بيتها على ضفة نهر النيل فألهمها الله أن وضعت له تابوتا إذا خافت أحدا ألقته في اليم، وربطته بحبل لئلا تجري به جرية الماء، ومن لطف الله بها أنه أوحى لها أن لا تخافي ولا تحزني، إنا رادوه إليك، وجاعلوه من المرسلين. ـ

Moosaa was born in a time during which Fir’awn had created severe difficulties for the Banu Israa’eel; he used to slaughter every new-born male that was born to the Banu Israa’eel and let the women live for servitude and as a test for them. So when Moosaa’s mother gave birth to him, she felt extremely scared for his sake, for Fir’awn used to keep a close watch over their women and their newborns. The house of the mother of Moosaa was on the bank of the Nile river, so Allah inspired her to place Moosaa in a chest and to throw it into the water and she tied a rope to it lest it float away with the current of the water. And from the kindness of Allah towards her was that He inspired to her:

لَا تَخَافِي وَلَا تَحْزَنِي ۖ إِنَّا رَ‌ادُّوهُ إِلَيْكِ وَجَاعِلُوهُ مِنَ الْمُرْ‌سَلِينَ

Do not fear and do not grieve. Indeed, We will return him to you and will make him [one] of the messengers. [28:7]

فلما ألقته ذات يوم انفلت رباط التابوت، فذهب الماء بالتابوت الذي في وسطه موسى، ومن قدر الله أن وقع في يد آل فرعون، وجيء به إلى امرأة فرعون آسية، فلما رأته أحبته حبا شديدا، وكان الله قد ألقى عليه المحبة في القلوب، ـ

So on that day when she put the chest in the water, the chest’s strap came loose, so the water swept away the chest which held Moosaa inside it. And it was from the qadr of Allah that is alighted in the hands of the family of Fir’awn and it was brought to the wife of Fir’awn, Aasiyah. So when she saw him, she loved him with a strong feeling of love, and Allah had placed love for him in the hearts.

وشاع الخبر ووصل إلى فرعون، فطلبه ليقتله، فقالت امرأته: لا تقتلوه.. قرة عين لي ولك، عسى أن ينفعنا أو نتخذه ولدا، فنجا بهذا السبب من قتلهم، وكان هذا الأثر الطيب والمقدمة الصالحة من السعي المشكور عند الله، فكان هذا من أسباب هدايتها وإيمانها بموسى بعد ذلك . ـ

The news spread and reached Fir’awn, so he sought to kill Moosaa, so then his wife said, “Do not kill him! He is a comfort to my eyes and to yours. Perhaps he will benefit us or we might take him as a son.” So he was saved from them killing him for that reason, and that was a good effect that she caused and a righteous beginning of pursuing what is meritorious in the sight of Allah, for this is one of the causes of her [i.e. the wife of Fir’awn’s] subsequent guidance and eemaan in Moosaa.

أما أم موسى فإنها فزعت، وأصبح فؤادها فارغا، وكاد الصبر أن يغلب فيها، إن كادت لتبدي به لولا أن ربطنا على قلبها لتكون من المؤمنين، وقالت لأخته: قصيه وتحسسي عنه، وكانت امرأة فرعون قد عرضت عليه المراضع فلم يقبل ثدي امرأة، وعطش وجعل يتلوى من الجوع، وأخرجوه إلى الطريق؛ لعل الله أن ييسر له أحدا، فحانت من أخته نظرة إليه، وبصرت به عن جنب وهم لا يشعرون بشأنها، فلما أقبلت عليه وفهمت منهم أنهم يطلبون له مرضعا قالت لهم: هل أدلكم على أهل بيت يكفلونه لكم وهم له ناصحون، فرددناه إلى أمه كي تقر عينها ولا تحزن ـ

But as for the mother of Moosaa, indeed she was distressed:

وَأَصْبَحَ فُؤَادُ أُمِّ مُوسَىٰ فَارِ‌غًا ۖ إِن كَادَتْ لَتُبْدِي بِهِ لَوْلَا أَن رَّ‌بَطْنَا عَلَىٰ قَلْبِهَا لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ * وَقَالَتْ لِأُخْتِهِ قُصِّيهِ

And the heart of Moses’ mother became empty [of all else]. She was about to disclose [the matter concerning] him had We not bound fast her heart so that she would be of the believers. * And she said to his sister, “Follow him” [28:10-11]

وتحسسي عنه، وكانت امرأة فرعون قد عرضت عليه المراضع فلم يقبل ثدي امرأة، وعطش وجعل يتلوى من الجوع، وأخرجوه إلى الطريق؛ لعل الله أن ييسر له أحدا، فحانت من أخته نظرة إليه، وبصرت به عن جنب وهم لا يشعرون بشأنها، فلما أقبلت عليه وفهمت منهم أنهم يطلبون له مرضعا قالت لهم: هل أدلكم على أهل بيت يكفلونه لكم وهم له ناصحون، فرددناه إلى أمه كي تقر عينها ولا تحزن

“[Follow him] and keep an eye on him.” And the wife of Fir’awn had offered him [her breast] for suckling but he did not accept the breast of that woman. He became extremely thirsty and began to cry out of hunger. So they went out unto the streets in order that Allah might facilitate [finding] someone for him. So his sister looked on at him with tenderheartedness, so she watched him from a distance while they did not perceive her. So when she drew nearer to them and understood that they were searching for a wet-nurse for him, she said to them:

هَلْ أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَىٰ أَهْلِ بَيْتٍ يَكْفُلُونَهُ لَكُمْ وَهُمْ لَهُ نَاصِحُونَ * فَرَ‌دَدْنَاهُ إِلَىٰ أُمِّهِ كَيْ تَقَرَّ‌ عَيْنُهَا وَلَا تَحْزَنَ

Shall I direct you to a household that will be responsible for him for you while they are to him [for his upbringing] sincere?” So We restored him to his mother that she might be content and not grieve [28:12-13]

ثم ذكر الله في هذه السورة قصة مفصلة واضحة، وكيف تنقلت به الأحوال، قراءتها كافية عن شرح معناها لوضوحها وتفصيلاتها، والله تعالى ما فصَّل لنا إلا ما ننتفع به ونعتبر، ولكن في قصته من العبر والفوائد شيء كثير ننبه على بعضها . ـ

Then in this surah Allah mentioned a clear and detailed story, and how his situation unfolded. Reading it is sufficient without an explanation of its meanings, due to their clear and detailed nature. And Allah has not detailed for us anything other than what we thereby benefit from and derive lessons from, however in this particular story of His there are abundant lessons and benefits, and we will discuss some of them.

Imam al-Sa’di went on to list numerous benefits extracted from the story of Moosaa in the next chapter. What follows is the first section of that chapter in which he mentioned those points specifically related to the story of his mother and his early days. The reader is recommended to read and refer to surah al-Qasas 28:1-13 to fully benefit from these points:

منها: لطف الله بأم موسى بذلك الإلهام الذي به سلم ابنها، ثم تلك البشارة من الله لها برده إليها، التي لولاها لقضى عليها الحزن على ولدها، ثم رده إليها بإلجائه إليها قدرا بتحريم المراضع عليه، وبذلك وغيره يعلم أن ألطاف الله على أوليائه لا تتصورها العقول، ولا تعبر عنها العبارات، وتأمل موقع هذه البشارة، وأنه أتاها ابنها ترضعه جهرا، وتأخذ عليه أجرا، وتسمى أمه شرعا وقدرا، وبذلك اطمأن قلبها، وازداد إيمانها، وفي هذا مصداق لقوله تعالى: { وَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَ‌هُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ‌ لَّكُمْ } [ البقرة: 216 ]. ـ

And from the benefits is the kindness of Allah to the mother of Moosaa with that inspiration which thereby saved her son, and then the glad tidings to her from Allah that he would be returned to her, such that were it not for that, then she would have been stricken with sadness for her child. And then He returned him to her in order for her to care for him due to him being prevented from all wet-nurses. So these things and other than them make it known that the kindnesses of Allah towards his allies cannot even be imagined by the mind nor can it sufficiently be expressed. So reflect on the circumstances of this glad tidings, and that Allah brought her son openly to her so that she could wet-nurse him and take a salary for that, so that she would be called his mother both legally and biologically. And with that he brought peace to her heart and increased her in her eemaan. And in this is the confirmation of the statement of Allah:

وَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَ‌هُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ‌ لَّكُمْ

But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you [2:216]

فلا أكره لأم موسى من وقوع ابنها بيد آل فرعون، ومع ذلك ظهرت عواقبه الحميدة، وآثاره الطيبة . ـ

For there was nothing more hated to the mother of Moosaa than her son falling into the hands of the family of Fir’awn, however this manifested into a wonderful outcome and its effects were good.

ومنها: أن آيات الله وعبره في الأمم السابقة إنما يستفيد منها، ويستنير بها المؤمنون، والله يسوق القصص لأجلهم، كما قال تعالى في هذه القصة: { نَتْلُو عَلَيْكَ مِن نَّبَإِ مُوسَىٰ وَفِرْ‌عَوْنَ بِالْحَقِّ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ } [القصص: 3]. ـ

And from the benefits is that the ayaat and lessons of Allah regarding the previous nation are meant to be benefited from and for the believers to be enlightened thereby, for Allah mentions the stories for their sake, just as He said in this story:

نَتْلُو عَلَيْكَ مِن نَّبَإِ مُوسَىٰ وَفِرْ‌عَوْنَ بِالْحَقِّ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

We recite to you from the news of Moosaa and Fir’awn in truth for a people who believe. [28:3]

ومنها: أن الله إذا أراد شيئا هيأ أسبابه، وأتى به شيئا فشيئا بالتدريج لا دفعة واحدة. ـ

And from the benefits  is that when Allah intends a thing [to happen], then he prepares and arranges its means, and He brings it about little by little in stages, not all in one installment.

ومنها: أن الأمة المستضعفة، ولو بلغت في الضعف ما بلغت، لا ينبغي أن يستولي عليها الكسل عن السعي في حقوقها، ولا اليأس من الارتقاء إلى أعلى الأمور، خصوصا إذا كانوا مظلومين، كما استنقذ الله بني إسرائيل على ضعفها واستبعادها لفرعون وملئه منهم، ومكنهم في الأرض، وملكهم بلادهم. ـ

And from the benefits is that in regards to a vulnerable nation of people – even though they have reached what they have already reached of weakness – it is not befitting for them to be overtaken by laziness from even seeking their due rights, nor by despair of moving upwards to better conditions. This is especially the case if they are oppressed, just as Allah rehabilitated Banu Israa’eel from their weakness and separated them from Fir’awn and his people, and established them on the earth and giving them rulership over their land.

ومنها: أن الأمة ما دامت ذليلة مقهورة لا تطالب بحقها لا يقوم لها أمر دينها كما لا يقوم لها أمر دنياها. ـ

And from them is that as long as a nation remains humiliated and over-powered without pressing for their due rights, then the affairs of their deen will not be established, just as the affairs of their dunya will not be established.

ومنها: أن الخوف الطبيعي من الخلق لا ينافي الإيمان ولا يزيله، كما جرى لأم موسى ولموسى من تلك المخاوف.  ـ

And from them is that the natural fear of the created beings does not negate al-eemaan nor does it remove it, just as occurred of fears to the mother of Moosaa and to Moosaa.

ومنها: أن الإيمان يزيد وينقص لقوله: { لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ } [ القصص: 10 ]. والمراد بالإيمان هنا زيادته وزيادة طمأنينته. ـ

And from them is that al-eemaan increases and decreases according to His statement:

لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

…in order that she would be of the believers. [28:10]

And the intended meaning of al-eemaan here is its increase and an increase in peace of heart.

ومنها: أن من أعظم نعم الله على العبد تثبيت الله له عند المقلقات والمخاوف، فإنه كما يزداد به إيمانه وثوابه فإنه يتمكن من القول الصواب والفعل الصواب، ويبقى رأيه وأفكاره ثابتة  ـ

And from them is that one of the greatest blessings of Allah upon slaves is the steadfastness of Allah for them in the face of troubles and fears. For indeed, just as one’s eemaan and rewards increase thereby, so one is also enable to have the correct speech and the correct actions, and his views and thoughts remain steadfast.

وأما من لم يحصل له هذا الثبات، فإنه لقلقه وروعه يضيع فكره، ويذهل عقله، ولا ينتفع بنفسه في تلك الحال . ـ

But as for the one who does not achieve that steadfastness, then indeed his troubles and terrors diminish his thinking and bewilder his intellect, and he does not benefit himself in that situation.

ومنها: أن العبد وإن عرف أن القضاء والقدر حق، وأن وعد الله نافذ لا بد منه، فإنه لا يهمل فعل الأسباب التي تنفع، فإن الأسباب والسعي فيها من قدر الله، ـ

And from the benefits is that the slave – even though he knows that the Qadaa’ (Divine Decree) and  Qadr (Divine Pre-ordainment) is true and that the promise of Allah is without doubt going to happen for him – then he must not neglect taking the means which benefit him. For indeed the means and hastening upon them is part of the Qadr of Allah.

فإن الله قد وعد أم موسى أن يرده عليها، ومع ذلك لما التقطه آل فرعون سعت بالأسباب، وأرسلت أخته لتقصه، وتعمل الأسباب المناسبة لتلك الحال. ـ

For verily Allah had promised the mother of Moosaa that He would return Moosaa to her; however none-the-less when Moosaa was picked up by the family of Fir’awn, she hastened to take the means and sent his sister in order to search for him and to take the appropriate means towards making that situation a reality.

ومنها: جواز خروج المرأة في حوائجها وتكليمها للرجال إذا انتفى المحذور، كما صنعت أخت موسى وابنتا صاحب مدين. ـ

And from them is the permissibility of a woman going out in regards to needs and [the permissibility] of her speaking with men so long as she omits the forbidden actions, just as the sister of Moosaa and the daughter of the inhabitant of Madyan did.

ومنها: جواز أخذ الأجرة على الكفالة والرضاع، كما فعلت أم موسى، فإن شرع من قبلنا شرع لنا ما لم يرد من شرعنا ما ينسخه. ـ

And from them is the permissibility of taking payment for acting as a legal guardian or wet-nurse, just as the mother of Moosaa did. For verily whatever was legislated before us is legislated for us so long as there is nothing from our sharee’ah with abrogates it.

 [Taysir al-Lateef al-Manaan pg. 322-326]

For an excerpt from this same chapter on the benefits from the story of Moosaa, see: Four Means of Attaining Allah’s Forgiveness: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: The Sharee’ah of Moosaa and the Sharee’ah of Muhammad

For more on the stories of women in the Qur’an, click here.

See also: The Story of Ayyub: Imam al-Sa’di

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4 thoughts on “Benefits from the Story of the Mother of Moosaa: Imam al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: Benefits from the story of Moosaa and al-Khadr: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: The Story of Qarun: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Banu Israa’eel’s abuse of Moosaa: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: The Story of Ayyub: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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