Moses Begins His Prophethood

Moses left Midian with his family and traveled through the desert until he reached Mount Sinai. There Moses discovered that he had lost his way. He sought Allah's direction and was shown the right course. At nightfall they reached Mount Tur. Moses noticed a fire in the distance. "I shall fetch a firebrand to warm us."

As he neared the fire, he heard a sonorous voice calling him: "O Moses, I am Allah, the Lord of the Universe." Moses was bewildered and looked around. He again heard the strange voice. "And what is in you right hand, O Moses?"

Shivering, Moses answered: "This is my staff on which I lean, and with which I beat down branches for my sheep, and for which I find other uses." (This question was asked so that Moses' attention would focus on the staff and to prepare him for the miracle which was to happen. This was the beginning of Moses's mission as a prophet -pbuh).

The same voice commanded him: "Throw down your staff!" He did so, and at once the staff became a wriggling snake. Moses turned to run, but the voice again addressed him: "Fear not and grasp it; We shall return it to its former state." The snake changed back into his staff. Moses's fear subsided and was replaced by peace, for he realized that he was witnessing the Truth. Next, Allah commanded him to thrust his hand into his robe at the armpit. When he pulled it out, the hand had a brilliant shine. Allah then commanded Moses; "You have two signs from Your Lord; go to Pharaoh and his chiefs, for they are an evil gang and have transgressed all bounds." However, Moses feared that he would be arrested by Pharaoh, so he turned to Allah saying: "My Lord! I have killed a man among them and I fear that they will kill me." Allah assured him of his safety and set his heart at rest.

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