I'm a big fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs. On the team, there's a player named Phil Kessel and he's known to be one of the better goal scorers in the NHL. Last year, he came in 5th place for the most goals during the regular season, which is a big accomplishment because there are hundreds of NHL players. However, during the beginning of this year's season, he went through a bit of a goal scoring drought. In the first ten games of the season, he didn't score; Phil Kessel scored 37 goals last year, but it took until the eleventh game [of this season] for him to score. I may be the only person in the world to have made this connection, but the period of Kessel's scoring drought reminds me of a story in the Qur'an that involves Moses [peace be upon him] and his mother, so I've decided to do a layman's commentary on this wonderful story of a brave woman and her pious son.
Thousands of years ago, there lived an evil egyptian ruler known as 'Pharoah' [or 'Fir'awn' in arabic] who captured the Israelites/jews, took them into Egypt and used them as his slaves. Surah 28:4 of the Qur'an says "Truly Pharaoh elated himself in the land and broke up its people into sections, depressing a small group among them: their sons he slew, but he kept alive their females: for he was indeed a maker of mischief". He continuously murdered the male children of the jews because he wanted to control their population. If he let the male Israelite children live, there would eventually come a time where the population increase would be very fast and their numbers would be too big for Pharoah and his empire to contain, which would result in the Israelites overthrowing Pharoah's empire. Since Pharoah was profoundly evil, as is seen in countless Qur'anic verses, it wouldn't surprise me if one of the reasons why he [Pharoah] allowed the female children to live was so that he and his soldiers could have more and more girls to rape.
Soon after Moses [peace be upon him] was born, Allah told Moses' mother to put Moses into a basket and to throw him in a local river (possibly the Nile River, Yusuf Ali's tafseer says). In the vision of the burning bush, Allah reminds Moses [peace be upon him] of this event; in surah 20:37-39, Allah says [to Moses] "And indeed We conferred a favour on thee another time (before). Behold! We sent to thy mother, by inspiration, the message 'Throw (the child) into the chest, and throw (the chest) into the river: the river will cast him up on the bank, and he will be taken up by one who is an enemy to Me and an enemy to him': But I cast (the garment of) love over thee from Me: and (this) in order that thou mayest be reared under Mine eye". Surah 28, which has the parallel of this story, adds, in verse 7 "So We sent this inspiration to the mother of Moses: 'Suckle (thy child), but when thou hast fears about him, cast him into the river, but fear not nor grieve: for We shall restore him to thee, and We shall make him one of Our messengers'". Why did she throw her son in the river? remember, all of the male children were murdered by Pharoah, so to avoid this, God told her to do it, but He assures her that everything is going according to plan.
Subhanallah! imagine the level of stress that fell on Moses' mother! Can you imagine that the life of such an important baby was at the mercy of a river? but remember, Moses [peace be upon him] was in God's hands; He had already told the woman "..but fear not nor grieve: for We shall restore him to thee, and We shall make him one of Our messengers". Indeed, Allah says in surah 28:10 "But there came to be a void in the heart of the mother of Moses.."; she missed her beloved son. It might've been a few days before she heard anything about him at all, but I'm sure that every minute felt like hours. Being the loving Lord that He is, Allah says in that same verse that He strengthened the mother's heart so that she would remain a firm believer in Allah's promise.
After a given amount of time, baby Moses was found. Surah 28:8 says that Moses' enemies found him and just three verses later, in verse 11, it suggests that it was Moses' sister who found him, but there is no contradiction. All along, it was God's plan that Moses [peace be upon him] would be raised by the egyptians, so God knew that Pharoah and his wife would adopt him, as verse 9 says. Moses' sister was basically a representation; she found Moses and brought him to the egyptian palace on behalf of Pharoah. If Moses' sister finds Moses [peace be upon him] on behalf of Pharoah, it's basically the same as if Pharoah himself had gone to the river to get Moses. When Moses' sister had come to the palace to present what she found in the river, Pharoah's wife marveled and suggested that this baby boy should be allowed to live.
Surah 28:9 says "The wife of Pharaoh said: '(Here is) joy of the eye, for me and for thee: slay him not. It may be that he will be use to us, or we may adopt him as a son.' And they perceived not (what they were doing)!" The verse says that Pharoah and his wife were unaware because they had no idea that this baby was the son of one of the israelite women that lived there. If Pharoah was aware that this boy came from one of jewish women, Pharoah would have killed Moses (like every other male israelite child). There were, no doubt, plenty of wet nurses who could've breast baby Moses, but Allah made Moses [peace be upon him] refuse to latch onto them. Seeing their dilemma, Moses' sister suggested a certain someone who would nurse baby Moses. Surah 28:12 says "And we ordained that he refused suck at first, until (His sister came up and) said: "Shall I point out to you the people of a house that will nourish and bring him up for you and be sincerely attached to him?".
Just who was the woman that Moses [peace be upon him] was sent to to recieve milk and care? his biological mother. Pharoah and his wife were unaware that this woman was the mother of the baby, but the woman was well aware that this was her son. Surah 28:13 says "Thus did We restore him to his mother, that her eye might be comforted, that she might not grieve, and that she might know that the promise of Allah is true..". Just as Allah had said, Moses [peace be upon him] was restored back to his mother; you can find that promise in 28:7 where Moses' mother is promised that her son would one day return to her and that her son would be used by God as one of His messengers. This is the plan Allah used in order to to let Moses [peace be upon him] escape assassination and wind up back into his mother's arms where he belonged.
1) Abdullah Yusuf Ali's english translation of the Qur'an
2) The Complete Life of Krishna by Mataji Devi Vanamali
3) Book 1 of Rigveda (Rigveda is the oldest of the Hindu scriptures. I'd like to read through the whole Hindu canon, but that's going to take forever. Lord help me!)
4) The Alchemy of Happiness by Imam al-Ghazali [may Allah have mercy on him]
I just finished:
1) Perished Nations by Harun Yahya (A good read that presents archeological evidence for the authenticity of the Qur'an's narratives)
2) Sufism by Carl Ernst
The series about Lao Tzu [that I said I would do ] will be done when it's done. I've just been preoccupied with other things