Hidden Birth of Hazrat Musa (as): A Proof for Imam Mahdi (as)

The birth of Hazrat Musa (as) is an important example to understand the circumstances of the birth of Imam Mahdi (as). Our Aimmah (as) have given its example for their followers to understand the birth of the hidden Imam (as). This incident, narrated from Kamaluddin by Shaykh Sudooq (ar), highlights the conditions prevailing at the time of Hazrat Musa (as). It reinforces the fact that when Allah desires something, it will come to pass even though every person may be averse to it.

There are many lessons which can be derived from the incident, including having complete, unconditional trust in Allah and in the power of supplication. Yet the most important lesson is that Allah will do as He wishes without any person to prevent His design.Regarding the birth of Hazrat Musa (as). Imam Sadiq (as) says, “When Firaun discerned that the demise of his kingdom is on his hands, he ordered the soothsayers be called, who foretold him about his lineage and that he will be from the Children of Israel. Firaun did not cease to have his men rip open the abdomens of the pregnant women of the Children of Israel, until he killed in the pursuit of Musa twenty and some odd thousand babies. He was unable to murder Musa, for Allah, the Exalted, protected him.” (Kamaluddin volume 1, page 267, English)

Imam Baqir (as) said, “Musa (as) did not reappear till before him appeared forty false claimants from Bani Israel each of whom claimed to be Musa Ibne Imran.”

Information reached Firaun that people are restless for him (Hazrat Musa) and that they are in anticipation of the advent of this young man. The soothsayers and magicians of Firaun also informed him that that boy would destroy his kingdom and his religion and that he would be born in Bani Israel that year. So Firaun appointed the midwives to examine the pregnant women of Bani Israel and said: Every child born this year should be killed. A midwife was also appointed on the mother of Musa (as). When the Bani Israel saw this they said: When our male children are killed and our women are left alive, we shall be destroyed and our generations would become extinct. So let us decide not to have sexual relationships with our women. But Musa’s father, Imran told them: “No, let us continue it, Allah’s command will come to pass even if the polytheists are averse to it. O Allah I am not with one who has made it unlawful and I shall not consider it unlawful. Anyone else may abstain from it by I shall not abstain from it.” So he established relations with Musa’s mother and she became pregnant.

Firaun appointed a midwife to keep a watch on her with express instructions that if Musa’s mother stands up she must also stand up and if she sat down she must also sit down. Gradually the midwife became fond of her. Once she asked why she was becoming pale and thin. She said not to inquire her condition, “Because when my son is born, he will be killed.” The midwife told her not to worry. “I will keep your son hidden from others.” But Musa’s mother did not believe her. When Musa (as) was born, his mother was uneasy. The midwife consoled her. She wrapped the child in a cloth and hid him in a room and came out at the door to the sentries of Firaun standing outside and asked them to go away and said that except for this bloody lump of meat nothing has come out. So the sentries went away from there.

Then Musa’s mother suckled him but she was worried, what if they heard him crying and came to know the truth? Allah revealed to her to make a wooden box for a child, place him in it, close the box and cast it on the Nile. She did as Allah commanded. When she cast the wooden casket into the water, the casket returned to her. She pushed it again but it came back. At last the wind pushed it far into the river. She became so sad for her child that she wanted to cry out aloud but Allah gave her patience.

The Imam said: Firaun’s wife was a righteous lady of faith and she also belonged to the Bani Israel tribe. She said to Firaun: “These are the days of spring. Put a tent for me on the bank of River Nile, so that I can enjoy sitting there.” Firaun complied with her request and that casket approached her floating on the river. She asked her maidservants, “Can you see what I see?” They said, “By Allah! We can see something floating on the water.” When the wooden basket reached her. She stood up from her place and asked her maids to pull it out. They pulled the basket out of the water and opened it. She found a pretty, cute baby boy in it. Seeing the infant she became very anxious. She held him in her arms and said that she would adopt him as her son. The maidservants also agreed and said, “Yes madam. By Allah, you have no children and the king is also without an heir. The child is very handsome and attractive. Adopt him.”

Aasiya went to her husband and showed him the charming baby boy from the river. “I want to adopt him. So do not kill him,” she said. Firaun asked her from where she got him. She said that she did not know whose child it was. “He was floating in a casket, and I pulled him out from the river.” Firaun was satisfied with the explanation and accepted him. When people heard that Firaun has adopted a son, they sent their wives to suckle the child but Musa (as) did not feed. Then Aasiya asked Firaun to arrange for a wet-nurse for the baby. Many nurses tried but Musa (as) did not suck their milk.

Musa’s mother also came to know about this. She asked her daughter to ascertain this matter. The sister of Musa (as) came to the door of Firaun and asked whether they needed a wet nurse for a child. She said that there was a good woman staying nearby. She would feed the baby and look after him. The servants informed Aasiya. She ordered them to bring the girl to her. Musa’s sister came to her. She asked that girl which community she belonged to? She said, “She belonged to the family of Bani Israel.” Aasiya told her to go away. The maidservants insisted upon her to call that woman and see if the child sucks from her or not. Aasiya said, “Even if the child accepts, Firaun might be unhappy. She said the child and the nurse both belong to Bani Israel; Firaun will not allow her. Her maidservants said, “Let us first see if the child sucks.” Aasiya told the girl to call the wet-nurse. Musa’s sister ran to her mother. She came and took the child and he began to suck.

Aasiya told Firaun that she has found a wet-nurse for a child. Firaun asked which community she belonged to? His wife said that she was from Bani Israel. Firaun said, “How can it be? The child and the nurse both belong to Bani Israel.” Aasiya asked him why he was afraid of the child? “Now he is our son,” she said. “He will grow up in our care.” By arguing and discussing she convinced him. In this way Musa grew among the dynasty of Firaun. Musa’s mother, sister and the mid-wife kept it secret till the time his mother expired and the midwife also passed away. Thus he continued to grow and the people of Bani Israel didn’t know about it.  (Kamaluddin, volume 1, page 156 English)

Both Kamaluddin and Beharul Anwar narrate a multitude of traditions which indicate that Imam Mahdi (as) has a Sunnah (tradition) from Hazrat Musa (as) and that is his hidden birth.

For more details on the birth of Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as), readers can refer to the following articles –

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