Mozes(a.s) Fleeing into the country of midian and His settlement there




Musa left behind Pharaoh, the person who had raised him, as well as

the Pharaoh's people, and set off to Midian. (Midian is a region beyond the

Sinai desert to the east of Egypt, corresponding to the southern end of

Jordan today.)

At the water of Midian, Musa encountered two women who could not

water their flocks out of wanting to avoid other shepherds. But, as the

verses of the Qur'an relate, outwardly, Musa appeared as a highly decent

and trustworthy person. Thus, the women did not hesitate to approach

him. They explained that they were holding back to guard their chastity,

but that they had to graze their father's flocks for him since he was an old

man. Then, Musa helped the women by leading their flock to the water:

When he arrived at the water of Midian, he found a crowd of people

drawing water there. Standing apart from them, he found two women,

holding back their sheep. He said, "What are you two doing here?"

They said, "We cannot draw water until the shepherds have driven off

their sheep. You see our father is a very old man." So he drew water

for them... (Qur'an, 28: 23-24)

The verses provide an example of the courteous and benevolent

character of Musa; he approaches two strangers, helped them, and earned

their respect. On the other hand, it is to be understood that the men,

mentioned as "shepherds," effected an attitude entirely opposite to the

manners of Musa. This is evident from the fact that the women apparently

avoided them though they chose to talk to Musa. From these above verses

we can well suppose that these men would have been frightful in

appearance, and rude and brutish in behaviour. (God knows best.)

We may continue to conclude that a Muslim must carefully avoid the

manners peculiar to the people mentioned here as "shepherds." Muslims

should look to role models like Musa, who conducted himself kindly,

decently and forthrightly. As the example of Musa suggests, a Muslim must

develop highly cultivated manners, and be trustworthy, qualities that

should be immediately discernible in him.

We need also make note of the fact that Musa is always of a

temperament that exemplifies that wholehearted submission to God.

Leaving everything dear to him in the land of Egypt where he had grown

up, he had no idea whatsoever of what the future would hold for him. The

only thing that was certain was that nothing in his life would be the same

again. However, though it was not known to him, God already predestined

certain events for him. Musa prayed the following:

…and then withdrew into the shade and said, "My Lord, I am truly in

need of any good You have in store for me." (Qur'an, 28: 24)

One's sincerity in one's prayer is evidence in one's grasp of the fact

that God has the power to do anything, that all blessings and adversities

come only from Him, and that one has no other helper or protector other

than God. Musa's prayer quoted in the above verse is the kind made in

complete submission to God, by someone who has a full comprehension

of this truth. Indeed, God answered Musa's sincere prayer and opened His

mercy to him.

The kindness Musa had shown to the two women resulted in the start

of a completely new life for him. While Musa was resting, one of the

women approached him to convey her father's invitation in appreciation

for his help:

Then there came unto him one of the two women, walking shyly and

said, "My father invites you so that he can reward you with a payment

for drawing water for us." When he came to him and told him the

whole story he said, "Have no fear, you have escaped from

wrongdoing people." (Qur'an, 28: 25)

Musa prayed to his Lord sincerely, pleading for any good He would

bestow on him. God answered his prayer and, following a threat against

his life, guided him to the people who would help him and offer him

security. Musa was of a strong character, and person who was trusted

because of his manners. Indeed, the women, despite being cautious

against the shepherds, trusted Musa and spoke to him. Furthermore one of

the women asked her father to hire Musa seeing as he was strong and


One of them said, "Hire him, father. The best person to hire is

someone strong and trustworthy." (Qur'an, 28: 26)

With these words, the woman explicitly expressed to her father that

she found Musa to be a reliable person. Convinced of his trustworthiness,

the old man decided to wed his daughter to Musa. The recognizable

decency of Musa was a major factor in his decision, with the old man

making the following proposal to him:

He said, "I would like to marry you to one of these two daughters of

mine on condition that you work for me for eight full years. If you

complete ten, that is up to you. I do not want to be hard on you. You

will find me, God willing, to be one of the righteous." He (Musa) said,

"That is agreed between me and you. Whichever of the two terms I

fulfill, there will be no injustice done to me. God is Guardian over

what we say." (Qur'an, 28: 27-28)

Musa accepted the proposal of this old man, who we should

understand from the Qur'an to have been a true believer, and began

leading the rest of his life in Midian. Hence, God first delivered Musa to

safety, making the waters of the Nile carry him to the Palace of Pharaoh

without drowning. Then, while his life was in danger in Egypt, He saved

him a second time and led him to a peaceful life in Midian.

Those who perform good actions will receive better

than them and will be safe that Day from fear.

(Qur'an, 27: 89)


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