Fir’oun and his forces in hot pursuit of the fleeing Bani Israaeel led by Hadhrat Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam), finally reached the shores of the Red Sea which Bani Israaeel had just crossed miraculously by the Command of Allah Azza Wa Jal. Twelve huge pathways had wondrously opened up in the Red Sea to accommodate the twelve tribes of Bani Israaeel. Seated on his horse, Fir’oun was rooted and struck with amazement as he beheld the wondrous scene in front of him. He and his forces marvelled at this supernatural enactment of grandeur and awe. The sea had opened up. On each side of the twelve pathways the water had solidified into massive mountains with window-like openings along the entire length of the routes. Bani Israaeel had already reached the other shore. The sea meanwhile retained its marvellous and miraculous stance.
Haamaan, the chief minister, warned Fir’oun against entry into the pathways. He understood that any such action would be their doom. As Fir’oun dejectedly turned his horse away from the sea, Hadhrat Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) suddenly appeared seated on a beautiful mare and entered one of the pathways. Fir’oun’s stallion bolted after the mare. Fir’oun lost control of his horse. The horse with Fir’oun on its back wildly pursued the mare into the sea-path. Despite his desperate struggle, Fir’oun was unable to control his horse.
Meanwhile the army observing the entry of Fir’oun into the pathway, followed him. From the rear, Hadhrat Mikaa-eel (alayhis salam) appearing in human form on a horse, encouraged the army to follow Fir’oun. Soon the entire army had entered the sea. While they continued their march on the dried ocean-pathways, the soldiers expressing their amazement became convinced of Fir’oun’s divine power. “The sea was subservient to Fir’oun, hence it split open so miraculously at his command”, they said.
When Fir’oun and his forces had reached the middle of the sea, the appointed time for their destruction had arrived. With thunderous sounds the solidified sea walls suddenly began crashing on Fir’oun and his army. Fir’oun too understood that this was the ultimate moment of his doom. Hadhrat Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) arrived and showed him the document which he had at one time signed. The declaration read: “The slave who disobeys his Creator should be drowned in the Red Sea.”
As the raging water began the drowning sojourn, the panic stricken Fir’oun cried out in horror: “I believe that there is no deity but The One in whom Bani Israaeel believes, and I am among the Muslimeen.” Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) meanwhile shoved clods of mud into Fir’oun’s mouth and exclaimed: “(Only) Now! Verily, you have been rebellious since before, and you were among the anarchists.” The sea covered Fir’oun and his forces. Thus they became history and a lesson for posterity.
Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Majeed: “Today, shall We salvage your body so that it be a sign for those after you.”
The news of the destruction of Fir’oun and his forces had not yet reached Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) and his people. While the enemy had all perished in the sea, Bani Israaeel was still afflicted with the fear of Fir’oun’s sudden appearance with his army. The news was conveyed to them in a peculiar manner. During the reign of Fir’oun, a lady from Bani Israaeel was subjected to extreme hard labour. She had to wash selected stones brought from the mountains. Fir’oun would not pay her any remuneration whatsoever. For years she slaved washing the stones. This woman ventured alone to the shore of the Red Sea to fill her container with water. Suddenly she saw in the distance a corpse floating. The corpse was drifting in her direction. Soon the body was thrown out on to the shore close to the woman. To her amazement she saw that it was Fir’oun’s corpse. His beard was still studded with the most expensive pearls with which he used to adorn himself.
Hastily the woman tugged at the beard of the corpse and pulled out the hairs with the pearls. As she took possession of the pearls, she heard a Voice saying: ‘You have now obtained your wages for the labour of the stones.’ Delighted, the woman quickly returned to the camp and apprized Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) and Nabi Haaroon (alayhis salaam) of the entire episode. Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) accompanied by the chiefs of Bani Israaeel immediately went to the spot indicated by the woman.
When they reached the scene, there they saw the corpse of Fir’oun lying ignominiously. Wild animals had begun to devour the body. This scene brought tears to the eyes of Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam). He recalled that for thirty years he was reared and nourished in Fir’oun’s palace. Nevertheless, he exclaimed: “O Fir’oun! Alas! You were not blessed with Imaan. You have thus died a humiliating death.”
Addressing Bani Israaeel, Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) said: “He was the one who claimed: ‘I am your almighty god’.” After Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) and his people had seen Fir’oun’s corpse and derived the incumbent lessons from his ignominious fall and destruction, a wave came and swept the body into the sea. The body floated until it reached the other shore in proximity with Egypt.
After the departure of Fir’oun and his forces, there were still people of the Qibti and Aad nations in Egypt. A variety of rumours was circulated about Fir’oun. Some said that Fir’oun together with his army had drowned. Some said that he and his army had gone to the mountains and islands. While they were conjecturing, some fishermen arrived with the information that they had seen Fir’oun’s corpse on the shore. In haste a crowd of people accompanied the fishermen to the spot. When they reached the place, they were shocked and astounded to observe that indeed it was Fir’oun’s corpse which the vultures were devouring. Now all the people conceded that Fir’oun was defeated and Musa (alayhis salaam) was victorious.
When Bani Israaeel was convinced that Fir’oun and his forces were totally defeated and obliterated, they requested to be allowed to return to Egypt to take possession of Fir’oun’s land and wealth. They argued that since they had suffered in humiliation for a considerable period, they should now be installed with honour in Egypt. Granting their request, Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) placed 24,000 men under the command of Hadhrat Yoosha’ (alayhis salaam). This army was dispatched to Egypt. The army captured the land of Fir’oun and sent all the spoils of war to Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam).
Among the remaining Qibtis (the people of Fir’oun) there was one Qibti who had accepted Imaan during the time of Fir’oun. Hadhrat Yoosha’ (alayhis salaam) appointed him the king while he returned with the army to Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam). In compliance with the command of Allah Ta’ala, Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) with his entire nation set off for the Land of Shaam. Along the journey through the desert and wilderness during the extreme heat, a huge cloud providing shade would move with the vast concourse of Bani Israaeel. At night, a miraculous pillar of celestial light would appear, brightening up the darkness for the people. In this wonderful manner, the nation of Bani Israaeel proceeded along the journey stage by stage.
On the fourth day of the journey which was along the shores of the Red Sea, they reached a place where the water was extremely brak and undrinkable. As a result of the Dua of Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) the water became sweet and fresh. After journeying on, they arrived at a place inhabited by a community of the Amaaliqah race. These people were worshipping golden and silver calves. Attracted by the glitter of gold and silver, the ignorant masses requested Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) for permission to make similar calves of worship. Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) was extremely infuriated by this request of shirk. In the words of the Qur’aan, Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) castigated them: “What! Shall I search for you a deity other than Allah while He has honoured you over (the nations) of the world?” Threatening them, he said: ‘Beware! Never ever utter such notoriety again.” They sincerely regretted, repented and promised never to make such ridiculous requests. Allah Ta’ala accepted their Taubah.
Finally Bani Israaeel arrived in the Land of Shaam. They settled in an extremely fertile place. Here Allah Ta’ala blessed them with a variety of fruits and a variety of bounties. When they had settled in that place, Allah Ta’ala summoned Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) to go to Tur Saina’ (Mount Sinai). Hadhrat Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) arrived and said: “O Musa! Allah Ta’ala conveys His salaams to you. A Kitaab will be revealed to you. You have to proceed to Tur Saina’.”
Before departing for Mount Sina’, Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) promised his people that he would be bringing to them a divine scripture which would narrate the episodes of Fir’oun and his destruction. Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) had instructed Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) to immediately begin a fast of thirty days. After the thirtieth day, he should depart for Mount Sina’. After completing the 30 days fasting, Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) departed for Tur Saina’. On his way to the Mountain, Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) felt the need to cleanse his mouth with a miswaak. After he used a miswaak, Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) arrived and lamented: “O Musa! Before you used the miswaak, the fragrance of musk was emanating from your mouth (as the effect of the 30 days of fasting). Now you have eliminated that fragrance. Allah Ta’ala therefore commands that you fast another ten days to gain that sweet fragrance of musk.” Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) halted at the spot and fasted for ten days. Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Qur’aan the thirty days of fasting as well as the additional ten days.
At the time of departing from his people, Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) appointed Haaroon (alayhis salaam) as his Khalifah (Representative). When he reached Mount Saina’, Musa (alayhis salaam) removed his shoes, and proceeded up the mountain with great humility and reverence. Suddenly he observed huge multitudes of Malaaikah in space. All were reciting the Tasbeeh: Subboohun Quddoosun.. Then in amazement he saw the wonderful and majestic Arsh of Allah Azza Wa Jal. In this rapturous state the Divine Talk with Musa (alayhis salaam) took place. According to some narrations 24,000 words were spoken with Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) on this occasion. The Divine Communion with Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) was for forty days.
It was during this state of ecstacy that Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) requested: “O my Rabb! Show Yourself to me so that I see you.” Came the Divine Response. “O Musa! Never can you see Me.”