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 Moses (AS)
Main article: Moses

Moses (Arabic ???? Musa) is considered a prophet in Islam. He is also referred to by the title Kalim allah meaning "He who spoke with God." The Qur`an recounts more stories of his life than of any other prophet.

Early years

In Islamic belief, Moses was born into a family of Israelites living in Egypt. The ruling Pharaoh, on the advice of his soothsayers, ordered the killing of all new-born Israelite males. To protect her son, Moses` mother put him in a basket and set him adrift on the Nile. He was discovered by the Pharaoh`s wife, Asiya, who adopted him.

Moses grew up as a member of the Pharaoh`s household. However, this changed when in rescuing an Israelite from an abusive Egyptian, he accidentally killed the Egyptian. Due to this incident, Musa was deemed a criminal and was to be punished, but escaped into the desert. After traveling the desert for a long time, he arrived at a place called Madian and came into the company of the prophet Shoaib (Jethro, in Biblical traditions), who recognized Moses as a man of God. Shoaib arranged a marriage between his daughter Safoorah (Zipporah in Biblical and Hebrew tradition) and Moses.

God calls Moses

Moses eventually decided to return to Egypt. On his way back, he stopped at Mount Sinai and noticed a fire upon the mountain. When he came to the fire, he heard a voice calling him by name. This voice then commanded Moses to remove his shoes, as he was standing on sacred ground. It is stated in the Qur`an: "Has the story of Moses reached thee? Behold, he saw a fire: So he said to his family, "Tarry ye; I perceive a fire; perhaps I can bring you some burning brand therefrom, or find some guidance at the fire. But when he came to the fire, a voice was heard: `O Moses! Verily I am thy Lord! therefore (in My presence) put off thy shoes: thou art in the sacred valley Tuwa.`" (Qur`an 20:9-12)

God ordered Moses to throw his walking stick onto the ground. As a sign to Moses from God the staff was transformed into a snake. Musa became scared, but God ordered Moses to pick it up, as it would change back to its original form. He also ordered him to press his right hand to his left side and it would shine in a bright, white radiant light. Moses admitted that he was afraid of getting arrested on the previous murder charge, and also because he could not speak fluently due to a speech impediment. He prayed to God to grant him fluency of speech, and grant his brother Aaron (Harun in Arabic and Aharoun in Hebrew) the gift of prophecy so that he may help him and be a deputy to him in all his tasks ahead. God granted Moses his requests and told him that he could take his brother along with him, and told him to be gentle in his language and be patient in all his dealings.

Moses thus embarked for Egypt and faced the Pharaoh. Moses and Aaron arrived in the court of the Pharaoh and admonished the Pharaoh by informing him that his claim of godhood was false, for there is but one God who created both the pharaohs and their subjects. He controls all that is in this world and beyond. Moses told the Pharaoh that the only reason for his return was to obtain the release of his people from their bondage in Egypt.

Moses warned the Pharaoh of God`s punishment. To intimidate Moses, his magicians threw strings on the floor which turned into snakes. Moses threw his staff to the floor. It transformed into a serpent and devoured all the wriggling snakes.

Although the magic of the Pharaoh was