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Spiritual Lessons From the Story of Prophet Moses

Prophet Moses is known and revered as a Prophet in all three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  In Islam Moses is a Prophet, messenger, lawgiver and leader.

Islam teaches us that he did not introduce a new religion; but rather taught and practiced the religion of his righteous predecessors and confirmed the scriptures of those who came before him, including Prophets Abraham and Joseph.   

The Quran states that Moses was sent by God to the Pharaoh of Egypt and the Israelites, to both guide and warn them and mentions Moses more than 120 times.

His story is told over several chapters and is the longest and most comprehensive story of any prophet in the Quran because Moses’ life is discussed in great detail.

Spiritual Lessons From Prophet Moses’ Story

There are many spiritual lessons to be learned over Moses’ lifetime. However, one lesson stands out among all the others and that is trusting in God. It involves understanding that God will never let us down. There are no circumstance or events that can override that truth. God is the Most Trustworthy and wants us to succeed.

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The lessons from Prophet Moses’ life begin when he is a newborn baby.  His mother’s behavior after his birth teaches us to put our trust in God.

When Moses was born, Pharaoh was on a killing spree, slaughtering the newborn sons of the Israelites. Guards roamed the streets, not to protect citizens, but to search for pregnant women.

Moses’ Mother’s Firm Trust

Moses was born into this dangerous and frightening scenario. His mother was a pious and God-fearing woman, therefore in her hour of need she turned to God and He inspired the actions she took to save her son from the daggers of Pharaoh and his guards.

And We inspired the mother of Moses saying, suckle him, but when you fear for him, then cast him into the river and fear not, nor grieve.  Verily! We shall bring him back to you, and shall make him one of (Our) Messengers. (Quran 28:2-7)

Moses’ mother wrapped him tightly and placed him in a reed basket. She let the basket drift into the current of raging river Nile.

Moses’ sister followed the basket from the reeds and watched as the Nile cast the tiny baby onto the shores of Pharaoh’s private beach.  

At this point how could Moses’ mother imagine God’s promise coming true?

However, God’s promise did come true and within hours of casting him adrift, Moses’ mother was appointed as wet nurse for her son, who was now considered to be the adopted son of Pharaoh.

… And whosoever fears God and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).  And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in God, then He will suffice him. Verily, God will accomplish his purpose. Indeed, God has set a measure for all things. (Quran 65:2-3)

A Lesson to Learn

When we ask God for help, we must be prepared for that help to materialize from places we could never have imagined. God is able to do all things, under any circumstances, and putting our trust in Him should come as naturally to us as breathing.

However, the life of this world, especially in the twenty first century, continues to trick us into believing that there is something other than God that is deserving of our trust. This is not true, God says that:

This worldly life is nothing but diversion and amusement. Verily, the home of the Hereafter is the true life… (Quran 29:64)

As Moses grew up, it is likely that he understood his origin and knew about his deep connection to the Israelites.

Did he learn to trust God because of conversations with his birth mother? That is something we cannot know, but certainly, when his young life began to spin out of control, he automatically trusted his life to God.

Lessons from his Adulthood

By the time he was a young adult, Moses was known throughout the city because of his connections to the royal house and because of his physical strength. On one particular occasion Moses intervened in a fight between an Israelite and an Egyptian, inadvertently killing the latter.  

Quran tells us that guilt consumed Moses and he asked God to forgive him; yet still fearing for his life, Moses fled the city and migrated to Midian, where he found refuge in a household by marrying one of the daughters and serving her father. (Quran 28:14-28).

Listen to the Chapter:

Moses had walked across the hot desert sands for more than a week with no provisions and inappropriate clothing. Under these circumstances one could expect that the expedition would be doomed to failure. 

But no, here the story of Moses restates the lesson we learned from his mother.  If a believer submits fully to the will of God, God will provide for him from unimaginable sources. God replaces weakness with strength, and replaces failure with victory.

As Moses sunk down onto the ground under the shade of a tree, he called out to God, whom he trusted completely, saying:

My Lord!  Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me! (Quran 28:22-24)

God hears our prayers and supplications, and He answers. Sometimes the wisdom behind the answers is beyond our comprehension, but God desires only good for us. Putting our trust in God and submitting to His will allow the believer to weather any storm, and to stand tall in the face of adversity. 

We are never alone, and Moses was not alone when he trudged across the desert, fleeing the only life and land he had ever known. God was with him every step of the way, gently guiding him to the right decisions or correcting his path.

Difficult Mission

In the dark of night, in the shadow of a mountain, God conferred Prophethood on Moses. God’s first command to Prophet Moses required him to once again trust God and face his biggest fear. That command was to go to Pharaoh.

Go to Pharaoh!  Verily!  He has transgressed (all bounds in disbelief and disobedience, and has behaved as an arrogant tyrant). (Quran 20:24)

Moses understood that God was able to provide him any support he needed for this mission that appeared to be virtually impossible. Therefore, Moses supplicated to God, begging for strength and ease. He also asked God to open his chest, and grant him eloquence, self-confidence, and contentment.

In these brief glimpses from Prophet Moses’ life, we can see that human beings plan and scheme, but it is God’s plans that triumph, they can overcome any achievement, test, or trial. 

The story of Moses teaches us that the torments of this world can only be overcome by remembering God and seeking to be close to Him.

The long life of Prophet Moses is filled with spiritual balm for the believer. At every junction in his life, Moses trusted God and followed His commands without a shred of doubt.

(From Discovering Islam archive)

About Aisha Stacey
Aisha Stacey is the mother of three adult children. She embraced Islam in 2002 and spent the next five years in Doha, Qatar studying Islam and working at the Fanar Cultural Centre. In 2006 Aisha returned to university for a second time and completed at Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Certificate in Writing. Aisha is also a published writer in both internet and print media and in 2009 -10 she was the Queensland editor at a national Australian Islamic newspaper ~ Crescent Times.