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Hasn’t his body become a lesson to tyrannical rulers?

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The  Ashura(tenth day of the sacred Month of  Muharram –the first month of the Islamic Calendar) is  a unique date for the entire Ummah. Muslims are recommended to fast on the 9th day(taasua’) and Ashura, or fasting the Ashura and the day after as a way of distinguishing the fast of the Jews and that of the Christians. There are many events in history which have taken place on this date, but in our time remains a very important lesson to be mastered each year.

In a hadith reported by Bukhar from Ibn Abbas: When the Prophet came to Madina, he found (the Jews) fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’ (i.e. 10th of Muharram). They used to say: “This is a great day on which Allah saved Musa(a.s) and drowned the folk of Fir’awn. Musa(a.s) observed the fast on this day as a sign of gratitude to Allah(swt).” The Prophet(PBUH) said, “I am closer to Musa(a.s) than them.” So, he observed the fast (on that day) and ordered the Muslims to fast on it. (Bukhari)

Fasting on this day is  an action that should be lonely performed for Allah’s sake in showing gratitude for saving our prophet Musa(a.s) from the tyrant ruler Fir’awn who persecuted the believers for no other reason than believing in Allah, and sought to destroy his throne of tyranny and corruption. Allah(s.w.t) saved Musa (AS) and the believers and destroyed Fir’awn and his followers.

The story of Musa(a.s) and Firaun has been frequently mentioned in Qur’an to convey great lessons to us. Allah swt says:

نَتْلُو عَلَيْكَ مِن نَّبَإِ مُوسَىٰ وَفِرْعَوْنَ بِالْحَقِّ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

 “We recite to you from the news of Moses and Pharaoh in truth for a people who believe.” [Qur’an 28:3]

One night Firaun had a dream in which he saw his throne will be overturned and therefore decided to seek its interpretation from the magicians.  The magicians told him that the dream meant that soon a male child will be born who will destroy his kingship. Deluded with power, Firaun waged a campaign to kill baby boys in his empire even it was to be born months later. Despite this vicious campaign Allah SWT wished that Musa is raised in the hands of the tyrant!  Allah(swt) wished that Sayyidat Asia convince Firaun that he should not kill Musa.

Allah commanded Musa(as) to go to Firuan with signs and proofs to denounce his transgressions and invite him to worship Allah. Firaun was arrogant and haughty and went by saying:  “I am your Lord Most High’. Quran narrates the dialogue between Firaun and Musa:

قَالَ فِرْعَوْنُ وَمَا رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ

(Firaun) Said: “Who is the Lord of the worlds?”

قالَ رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا إِن كُنتُم مُّوقِنِينَ

(Musa) replied: “The Lord of heavens and earth and whatever between them if you should be convinced certainty.”

قَالَ إِنَّ رَسُولَكُمُ الَّذِي أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ لَمَجْنُون

(Firauni) said to those around him): “Indeed your Messenger who has been sent to you is Mad.”

Firaun was bankrupt in his falsehood and therefore the only tool he used in the face of Musa(a.s) and the believers was brutality and torture. He became enraged thus he gathered his army to hunt down the believers.  Musa along with his believer’s ran away to save their lives.

Allah says: 

فَلَمَّا تَرَاءى الْجَمْعَانِ قَالَ أَصْحَابُ مُوسَى إِنَّا لَمُدْرَكُونَ قَالَ كَلَّا إِنَّ مَعِيَ رَبِّي سَيَهْدِينِ

And when the host’s believers and the Firaun’s army saw each other, the people of Musa said: ‘We are sure to be overtaken. (Upon hearing this) Musa said: “Nay, verily with me is My Lord. He will guide me.

Musa showed his steadfastness and conviction toward Allah swt who then ordered him to strike the sea with his staff and the sea water parted into twelve paths one for each of tribes of Bani Israel who then crossed to the other side safely. Firaun and his army followed them in tyranny and enmity and when the drowning overtook him he said ‘I believe that there is no deity except that in whom Bani Israel believe and I am one of the Muslims.

This was the fate of Firaun upon which Allah says:

اليوم ننجيك ببدنك لتكون لمن خلفك أية وإن كثيرا من الناس عن اياتنا لغافلون

We shall deliver you with your body this day, so that you may be a sign to those after you. Indeed many people pay no heed to our signs

We should learn for this incredible story the following:-

First; No regime nor authority can thwart the will and decree of Allah. The fact the Firaun launched an atrocious campaign killing the children, with his own hands, raised Musa who he later confront his oppressions. In today’s world powers, despite the manifestation of their enmity against Islam and Muslims, we hear the voices of their Muslim citizens opposing their tyranny and oppression.

Second;The path of falsehood is short and those who follow it will never succeed. The righteous always are victorious since they are followers of truth that was sent into the world to vanish the falsehood. Likewise, the falsehood of Capitalism and its corrupt political system of Democracy which brags itself as salvage of the world, yet its debacles are unmasked daily will soon perish.

Third; The Battle and struggle between truth and falsehood and the wrestle between the oppressors and the oppressed will ever cease until the day the Judgment. Musa as entered in intellectual and political struggle with with the aim of making the word of Allah triumph over the oppressive regime of Firaun, he eventually became victorious. Thus, today Muslims should advance intellectually and expose the unjust acts of rulers with aim of returning Islam to lead the world.

Fourth; we must have hope that Allah will help His believers and remove the tyrannical rulers who are the descendants of Fir’awn.

So relate the stories that perhaps they will give thought.

Shabani Mwalimu

Media Representative Hizb ut-Tahrir Kenya