One day when Hadhrat Musaa (alayhis salaam) was 8 years of age, and sitting very respectfully in the presence of Fir’oun, the latter instructed a slave to open up his fighting cocks. When the first cock which was a massive bird, was released, it furiously flapped its wings and crowed very loudly. Immediately Hadhrat Musaa (alayhis salaam) responded: “You have uttered the truth.” Astonished, Firoun said: “O my son! What did the cock say?” Musaa: “The cock recited the praises of Allah Ta’ala.” Fir’oun: “What relationship has the cock with this type of issue? My son, you are merely being witty and fabricating such stories.”
Immediately, Musaa (alay-his salaam), the 8 year old boy, said to the cock: “Repeat in our language the very same praises of Allah Ta’ala which you had proclaimed in your tongue.” In obedience the cock recited the praises of Allah Ta’ala in human language. Musaa (alayhis salaam) again said: “You have stated the truth.”
The colour of Fir’oun’s face changed. Full of fear he said to Haamaan, his chief minister: “Musa has bewitched this cock. Slaughter it immediately.” The cock was slaughtered instantaneously. But, Allah Azza Wa Jal restored the cock to life. Coming to life, the cock repeated its proclamation of Allah’s praises. It then flew in Fir’oun’s court which was crowded with noblemen and dignitaries, and disappeared from sight.
When Musaa (alayhis salaam) was nine years of age, Fir’oun seated him along his side on the throne. All the court dignitaries were present. Fir’oun arrogantly commenced a discourse of his greatness, uttering many statements of kufr. Musaa (alayhis salaam) could not tolerate all the kufr which Fir’oun was gorging out. In anger he leapt off and kicked at the throne. By Allah’s Qudrat two legs of the throne broke. The throne collapsed and Fir’oun fell to the ground in humiliation. Blood trickled from Fir’oun’s nose.
The court personnel were enraged. As they attempted to grab Musaa (alayhis salaam), he fled into the palace to Hadhrat Aasiyah (rahmatullah alayh) and apprized her of the situation. He took refuge on her lap. Fir’oun, overwhelmed with rage, pursued Musaa (alayhis salaam) into the palace. When he saw Musaa (alayhis salaam) sitting on the lap of Hadhrat Aasiyah, Fir’oun bellowed: “O Aasiyah! You had prevented me from killing this child. Today he has wounded me and broken my throne. In the crowded court he challenged my godhood.” Hadhrat Aasiyah softly said: “He is still a small child. He is only being mischievous with his parents. In fact, his attitude displays signs of future greatness. He will be such a courageous man who will safeguard your land after you.”
Aasiyah’s pleadings and assurances dispelled Fir’oun’s fears and anger. In reality, Allah Ta’ala was blinding the intelligence of Fir’oun. The hearts of people are in His control. He protects His servants in the lion’s den and even in the lion’s mouth.
One day when Musaa (alayhis salaam) was ten years old, he was sitting for meals with Fir’oun. A whole roasted lamb was brought to the table. Looking at the roasted lamb, Musaa (alayhis salaam) commanding it said: “Get up by the permission of Allah!” Instantaneously, the lamb became alive, stood up and ran about the hall. Fear overcame Fir’oun. With fear in his eyes and dumbfounded, he stared at Aasiyah who said: “O Fir’oun! This son of yours is marvellous. He will bring great fame to you. The world will admire this wonderful son of Fir’oun.” Aasiyah’s assurance allayed the fears of Fir’oun. However, Fir’oun despite sensing the danger which Musaa (alayhis salaam) posed, irrationally accepted the assurance of Hadhrat Aasiyah. Taqdeer was taking its course. Regarding the protection of Musaa, the infant, the Qur’aan Majeed states: “…My enemy and your enemy (O Musaa!) will take you (from the floating casket), and I have cast My Love on you so that you may be reared under My supervision.” Despite Fir’oun’s misgivings regarding Musaa (alayhis salaam), he relented and felt convinced of the far-fetched explanations which Aasiyah offered for the ‘insubordination’ and ‘rebellion’ of the child, Musaa (alayhis salaam).
When Musaa (alayhis salaam) was 20 years old, he began to clandestinely perform Salaat. One day while performing Salaat on the banks of the river, a companion of Fir’oun saw him. He threatened to report to Fir’oun that Musaa (alayhis salaam) was worshipping a Deity other than Fir’oun. In anger, Musaa (alayhis salaam), commanded the ground: “O earth! Swallow him!” The earth split open and the man sunk in until his knees. The earth gripped him tightly. He screamed and pleaded, promising not to mention the Salaat of Musaa (alayhis salaam) to anyone. Musaa (alayhis salaam) supplicated to Allah Ta’ala, and the man was released from the clutches of the earth.
Since Musaa (alayhis salaam) was regularly performing Salaat, the news spread and finally reached the ears of Fir’oun. Fir’oun instructed his people to report to him immediately they see Musaa (alayhis salaam) performing Salaat. On one occasion the spies reported to Fir’oun that Musaa (alayhis salaam) was engrossed in worship. Fir’oun immediately went to the scene and found Musaa (alayhis salaam) absorbed in Salaat. Fir’oun stood watching in amazement until Musaa (alayhis salaam) completed his Salaat. Then he interrogated: “O Musaa! Who were you worshipping?” Musaa (alayhis salaam) responded: “I was worshipping my Master Who nourishes me and who has nutured me.”
Fir’oun said: “Musaa, you have spoken the truth. It is I who nourishes and nurtures you. I have reared you since infancy. But people are falsely misconstruing your actions. You are my beloved son.” Musaa (alayhis salaam) remained silent. Fir’oun was satisfied and Musaa (alayhis salaam) accompanied him back to the palace.
At the age of 23 years, Musaa (alayhis salaam) began to associate with his oppressed people, Bani Israaeel. The elders of Bani Israaeel poured out their grievances to him and narrated the episodes of Fir’oun’s oppression and cruelty. The following discussion took place between Musaa (alayhis salaam) and the elders of Bani Israaeel at this first meeting:
MUSAA: “Since when is Fir’oun oppressing you in this manner?”
ELDERS: “Long before you were born. The oppression is continuing unabated to this day. When will there be succour for us? When shall we be saved from this punishment?”
MUSAA: “This oppression is the consequence of your transgressions. Allah Ta’ala is not unjust to anyone. Supplicate to Allah Ta’ala that He should release you from this punishment and pledge that you will express your gratitude to Him.”
ELDERS: (Unanimously pledging said): “We wholeheartedly accept. We shall fast for Allah. We shall feed the poor for His Sake.”
MUSAA: “This is insufficient. Repent for your fisq and fujoor (rebellion and immorality). It will then not be surprising that Allah Ta’ala will remove your hardships. He is the Hearer and The One Who Accepts.