Muharram, the first month in the Islamic Calendar, always reminds us of the story of one of the great Prophets of Allah عليهم الصلوة والتصليمات, Musa AS. And this is because of the Hadith of Nabi ﷺ explaining the virtues of the day of Aashura.
عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ قَدِمَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمَدِينَةَ، فَرَأَى الْيَهُودَ تَصُومُ يَوْمَ عَاشُورَاءَ، فَقَالَ ” مَا هَذَا ”. قَالُوا هَذَا يَوْمٌ صَالِحٌ، هَذَا يَوْمٌ نَجَّى اللَّهُ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ مِنْ عَدُوِّهِمْ، فَصَامَهُ مُوسَى. قَالَ ” فَأَنَا أَحَقُّ بِمُوسَى مِنْكُمْ ”. فَصَامَهُ وَأَمَرَ بِصِيَامِهِ
The Prophet ﷺ came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of Aashura. He asked them about that. They replied, “This is a good day, the day on which Allah rescued Bani Israel from their enemy. So, Musa fasted this day.” The Prophet ﷺ said, “We have more claim over Musa than you.” So, the Prophet ﷺ fasted on that day and ordered (the Muslims) to fast (on that day). [Bukhari]
So, as this year Muharram corresponds with August, and August is known as women`s month, therefore, this year we will focus on the Illustrious Women Around Musa AS and try and draw lessons from these women`s outstanding character and trust in Allah.
Musa AS`s Birth
The pharaoh who ruled Egypt was a tyrant who oppressed the descendants of Yakoob AS, known as the children of Israel (Bani Israel). He used every means to demean and disgrace them. They were kept in bondage and forced to work for him for small wages or nothing.
Years passed, and a despotic king, who was adored by the Egyptians, ruled Egypt. This king saw the children of Israel multiplying and prospering. He heard them talking about a vague vision that one of Israel’s sons would dethrone the pharaoh of Egypt.
Another tradition states that it was Firoun himself who had the vision. Ibn Abbas RA narrated: “Firoun saw in his vision a fire which came from Jerusalem and burned the houses of the Egyptians, and all Copts, and did not do harm to the children of Israel. When he woke up, he was horrified. He then gathered his priests and magicians and asked them about this vision. They said: ‘This means a boy will be born of them and the Egyptian people will perish at his hands.’ That is why Firoun commanded that all male children of the children of Israel be killed.”
Either way, a decree was issued to slay any male child that would be born to the children of Israel.
إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ عَلَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَجَعَلَ أَهْلَهَا شِيَعًا يَسْتَضْعِفُ طَآئِفَةً مِّنْهُمْ يُذَبِّحُ أَبْنَآءَهُمْ وَيَسْتَحْىِۦ نِسَآءَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ مِنَ ٱلْمُفْسِدِينَ
The fact is that Firoun elevated himself in the land and divided its residents into groups, one group of which he persecuted, putting their sons to death and sparing only their females. Indeed he was one of the mischief-makers. [Al Qasas 28: 4]
This (the killing of the children of Israel) was carried out until the experts of economics said to him: “The aged of the children of Israel die and the young are slaughtered. This will lead to their annihilation. As a result, you will lose the manpower of those who work for you, those whom you enslave, and their women whom you exploit. It is better to regulate this procedure by initiating the following policy: males should be slaughtered in one year and spared to live the next year.” Firoun approved of this solution.
Musa AS’s mother was pregnant with Harun AS in a year that boys were to be spared; thus she gave birth to the child publicly and safely. During a year in which boys were to be slain, she gave birth to Musa AS, thus his birth caused her much terror. She was afraid he would be slain, so she nursed him secretly.
Pregnancy in itself can be very daunting and challenging at times for women. They experience lots of different emotions, go through lots of difficulties and have to bear lots of pain during their pregnancy. The greatest motivation for women is they know that soon they will be blessed with a bundle of joy that no pain in this world can overshadow. But this was not the case for Umme Musa, as she was experiencing all the difficulties of pregnancy, she had the greatest fear – her innocent, new-born baby would be snatched from her by the clutches of Firoun and mercilessly slain before her very eyes.
She could have said, “Why go through the pregnancy, if the baby is going to be killed?”
Did she opt for an abortion? Did she kill her own baby?
You know what kind of a heart it takes, to go through a pregnancy, knowing that your baby will be killed soon after birth?
It takes the heart of Umme Musa, the mother of Musa AS; FIRM, RESOLUTE AND CONVINCED, “I WILL HAVE MY BABY.”