After Hadhrat Shuayb (alayhis salaam) had cautioned Hadhrat Musa (alayhis salaam) regarding the significance of the Staff of Nabi Aadam (alayhis salaam) which had now come into Hadhrat Musa’s possession, he (Hadhrat Musa) commenced his duty of tending to the goats of Nabi Shuayb (alayhis salaam). When Hadhrat Musa (alayhis salaam) was about to leave with the goats on the first day of his duty, Hadhrat Shuayb (alayhis salaam) warned him: “O Musa! You may take the goats anywhere to graze, but stay away from a certain location (which he explained). Never go near to that place nor ever turn your face in that direction. It is the abode of an extremely dangerous serpent which will harm the goats.
When he reached the grazing field, he observed that all the goats suddenly turned in the direction of the prohibited location. He repeatedly tried to drive the goats from that direction, but in vain. They ran wildly towards the forbidden zone. In pursuit of the goats when he reached the forbidden area, he observed beautiful lush pastures. The goats were grazing contently. Hadhrat Musa (alayhis salaam) reposing his trust on Allah Ta’ala, sat down on a rock. Soon he was overcome with sleep. He placed the Asa (Staff) by his head and fell asleep.
As soon as Hadhrat Musa (alayhis salaam) fell asleep, the serpent appeared. As the serpent was about to plunge among the goats, the Staff of Hadhrat Musa (alayhis salaam) by the command of Allah Ta’ala became a huge serpent and devoured the serpent of the jungle. The Staff assumed its original form and returned to its position alongside Hadhrat Musa (alayhis salaam).
When Hadhrat Musa (alayhis salaam) opened his eyes he saw some bones and blood of the serpent nearby. Bewildered and surprised, he saw his own Staff stained with blood. This increased his bewilderment.
In the evening after he returned with the goats, he narrated the episode to Hadhrat Shuayb (alayhis salaam). Hadhrat Shuayb (alayhis salaam) realizing the miraculous powers of the Staff was immensely pleased. In happiness he said to Hadhrat Musa (alayhis salaam): “This year all rams born to the flock will be for you, and all females will be mine.” That year, only rams were born. The following year, Hadhrat Shuayb (alayhis salaam) said to Hadhrat Musa (alayhis salaam): “O Musa! This year, all females will be for you, and all rams will be mine.” By Allah’s decree only females were born in the flock that year. The third year, Hadhrat Shuayb (alayhis salaam) said: “O Musa! This year, all goats born with two colours will be for you, and all born with one colour will be mine.” By the command of Allah Ta’ala, that year only two-tone goats were born. The fourth year, Hadhrat Shuayb (alayhis salaam) said: “O Musa! This year all single coloured goats will be for you, and all goats with two colours will be mine.” By Allah’s decree that year only single coloured goats were born.
In this manner ten years passed by. Hadhrat Musa’s (alayhis salaam) goats numbered a few thousand. Hadhrat Musa (alayhis salaam), instead of the agreed 10 years, spent 18 years in Madyan in the service of Hadhrat Shuayb (alayhis salaam). The desire to meet his mother and brother, Haaroon (alayhis salaam) developed intensely in Hadhrat Musa (alayhis salaam). One day Hadhrat Musa (alayhis salaam) approached Hadhrat Shuayb (alayhis salaam) and very humbly and respectfully said: “If you permit me, I wish to make a request.” Hadhrat Shuayb (alayhis salaam) said: “Feel free to say whatever you wish.” Hadhrat Musa (alayhis salaam) expressed his desire to visit his mother and brother. He also requested to take with him his wife.
Hadhrat Shuayb (alayhis salaam) happily consented. Hadhrat Musa (alayhis salaam) set off on the journey with his wife. Ultimately he reached a wilderness which was a journey of three days from Egypt. Here Musa (alayhis salaam) lost the way. At nightfall he was more confused and totally lost. It was actually the desert where Mount Sinai is located. He was at the foot of a huge mountain. It was an intensely dark night. Flashes of lighting appeared in the sky and it began to rain heavily. Hailstones were falling. His wife was expecting, and in this pitiful state she gave birth. However, Hadhrat Musa (alayhis salaam) did not panic. He proceeded fully composed to do what had to be done.
He found a place of refuge in a mountain cave. After settling his wife and the newborn baby in the cave, he set out in search of fire. He struck together stones to create a spark, but in vain. While he was engaged in this exercise, the rain abated. He suddenly saw on the mountain a bright fire burning. On seeing the fire, he informed his wife, and hurried towards it. As he proceeded, he broke some tree branches which he would ignite in the fire. When he finally reached the spot of the Fire, he was astonished to see a very lush tree. Despite the flames of the fire, not a single leaf was burnt. Bewildered, he proceeded to the tree to light his branches. As he stretched his branch towards the flame, it leapt out of his reach. Musa (alayhis salaam) went ahead towards the flame. But again it leapt out of his reach.
Now overcome with fear, he stood riveted. The flame increased so much that it reached out to the sky. Then the flame receded and returned to the tree. He now understood that this was no ordinary fire. He was convinced that it was some divine mystery. Full of fear, he resolved to leave the place. As he was about to leave, he heard the Divine Voice calling him. The Voice said: “Verily, I am your Rabb. Remove your shoes, for verily, you are in Tuwa, the holy valley.”