In the first part of the story, we went through Prophet Moses in Islam and his childhood events, his youth and his journey to Midian (Madyan), where he met Prophet Shu’ayb (PBUH) and married his daughter, and after a few years, he decided to return to Egypt to help his people.
On the way to Egypt Moses and his family got lost in the desert. Suddenly “he descried a fire on the side of the mountain. He said to his family, ‘Wait! Indeed, I descry a fire! Maybe I will bring you some news from it, or a brand of fire so that you may warm yourselves’” (28: 29).
When Moses reached the fire, he was called, “‘O Moses! Indeed, I am your Lord! So take off your sandals. You are indeed in the sacred valley of Tuwa. I have chosen you; so listen to what is revealed” (20: 11-3).
So he became a messenger and was given certain miracles. Then he was ordered to “Go to Pharaoh” as “He has indeed rebelled” (20:24). Moses asked God to appoint a minister for him from his family; his brother, Aaron from his biological mother. And God accepted (20: 29-36).
Still, Moses and Aaron were afraid to go Pharaoh as they knew him and his power very well. It sounded impossible for both of them to go to Pharaoh and try to guide him to the right path and to ask him not to torture Children of Israel (Bani-Israel) anymore. But as God was aware of their fear, so He revealed to Moses: “We will strengthen your arm by means of your brother, and invest both of you with such authority that they will not touch you. With the help of Our signs, you two, and those who follow the two of you, shall be the victors” (28: 35).
One crucial point that the Quran emphasizes is that God even tells Moses and Aaron about how to speak to Pharaoh to make their words effective. God said to them: “Speak to him in a soft manner; maybe he will take admonition or fear” (20: 44). From this verse and the depiction of Moses in Islam, one can learn that if he/she wants to have an influential chat or speech with others, he/she should speak softly and with kindness so that the listener can hear and think in peace of mind .
Moses and Aaron meet Pharaoh and Aaron turns his rod into a snake. Culture Club / Contributor / Getty Images
Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said: “We are the apostles of your Lord. Let the Children of Israel go with us, and do not torture them! We certainly bring you a sign from your Lord, and may peace be upon him who follows guidance!” (20: 47)
As mentioned in the verses of chapter Taha, Moses started a discussion with Pharaoh, mostly based on issues about the unity of God and believing in the hereafter (20: 48 -55). And God “showed him all Our signs. But he denied [them] and refused [to believe them]. He said, ‘Moses, have you come to us to expel us from our land with your magic?” (20: 56-7)
Pharaoh decides to compete with Moses’ miracles with magic. So they set a date to compete (20: 58 -9).
On the day of competition, the magicians said: “O Moses! Will you throw first, or shall we? He said, ‘No, you throw first’” (20: 65 -6). “So they threw down their sticks and ropes, and said, ‘By the might of Pharaoh, we shall surely be victorious!” (26: 44) “Thereat Moses threw down his staff, and behold; it was swallowing what they had faked” (26: 45).
Since the magicians were the best magicians from around Egypt that Pharaoh had gathered, and they had complete magic trainings, as soon as they saw the act of Moses, they realized that it could, by no means, be magic.  “There at the magicians fell down prostrating. They said, ‘We have believed in the Lord of Aaron and Moses!’” (20: 70)
After the magicians believed in God of Moses and other people also became believers, the elite of Pharaoh’s people said: “Will you leave Moses and his people to cause corruption in the land, and to abandon you and your gods?” (7: 127)
It can be driven from the above verse that after Moses’ victory against magicians, Pharaoh might have given Children of Israel (Bani-Israel) some sort of freedom in which they had the chance to spread the religion of Moses. Therefore, the elites of Pharaoh’s people warned him about this issue, and Pharaoh replied: “…We will kill their sons and spare their women, and indeed we are dominant over them” (7: 127) .
As Pharaoh threatened Children of Israel (Bani-Israel), Moses advised his people that in case they wished to overcome the enemy they should “Turn to Allah for help and be patient” and to make sure that “the outcome will be in favor of the Godwary” (7: 128) .
As followers of Moses complained to him about Pharaoh’s torments, he said: “Maybe your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you successors in the land, and then He will see how you act” (7: 129). It seems that they wished by the arrival of their savior, everything would be changed at a glance and they would have no hardship anymore, while Moses informed them that for reaching the success they had to go through hard times, and have patience and piety.
And in the latter verse it mentions that “maybe” your Lord will help you by destroying your enemy, and if He does so, He will do it to test you and see what you will do if you come to power .
During the years that Moses and his people were living in Egypt, God tested People of Pharaoh by many different challenges [ii], so that they might return to God. But they never believed.
They kept saying that all the signs were magic
As the first wave of incidents did not bring about a change in the heart of People of Pharaoh, and they said to Moses “Whatever sign you may bring us to bewitch us, we are not going to believe you” (7: 132), God sent down to them harder challenges such as “a flood and locusts, lice, frogs and blood, as distinct signs. But they acted arrogantly, and they were a guilty lot” (7: 133).
It is said in the exegesis of the above verse that People of Pharaoh kept denying Moses and kept calling his miracles as magic. Therefore, God sent them a flood. They went to Moses and said if he stopped it, they would believe in him. But when the flood stopped, they turned their back on Moses. The same happened by sending locusts, lice, frogs, and blood and they kept denying .
After many years that Moses tried to convey God’s messages to Pharaoh and his people, they still kept denying him.
So, Allah Ordered Moses to take his people out of Pharaoh’s land; “We revealed to Moses, [saying], ‘Set out with My servants at night, and strike out for them a dry path through the sea. Do not be afraid of being overtaken, and have no fear [of getting drowned]” (20: 77).
In the next part of this article, we will follow the story of Moses in Islam from the time they were saved from Pharaoh.
[i] Children of Israel (Bani-Israel) were the generation of Prophet Jacob or Israel (PBUH), who at the time of Prophet Joseph (PBUH), migrated to Egypt and settled there for years. (12: 93-9)
[ii] “Certainly We afflicted Pharaoh’s clan with droughts and loss of produce, so that they may take admonition. But whenever any good came to them, they would say, ‘This is our due.’ And if any ill visited them, they took it for ill omens attending Moses and those who were with him. (Look! Indeed the cause of their ill omens is from Allah, but most of them do not know)” (7: 130-1)
- Makarem –e Shirazi, N. Tafseer-e Nemouneh, vol. 13, p. 209
- Makarem –e Shirazi, N. Tafseer-e Nemouneh, vol. 13, p. 247
- Makarem –e Shirazi, N. Tafseer-e Nemouneh, vol. 6, p. 309- 310
- Makarem –e Shirazi, N. Tafseer-e Nemouneh, vol. 6, p. 311
- Makarem –e Shirazi, N. Tafseer-e Nemouneh, vol. 6, pp. 312 – 13
- Makarem –e Shirazi, N. Tafseer-e Nemouneh, vol. 6, pp. 321-3
The Holy Quran is replete with examples of men who stood for the truth and those who opposed it. The former sacrificed everything they had to defend the truth and the latter was ready to destroy everything around them to satiate their greed and selfishness.
The Book of Allah invites us to reflect upon personalities, nations, and events of the past. Whether it is pure men like Prophet Ibrahim (AS), Prophet Musa (AS) and Prophet Isa (AS) or evil men who opposed them and their mission like Nimrood, Firon (Pharoah), or Bani Israil, all of them have a lesson for us. These are not just stories to read and move on, they contain messages for our lives. And rightly so, we read in the Holy Quran:
"There is certainly a moral in their accounts for those who possess intellect. This [Quran] is not a fabricated discourse; rather, it is a confirmation of what was [revealed] before it, and an elaboration of all things, and a guidance and mercy for a people who have faith. (12:111)
Similarly, Imam Ali (AS) says: Learn lessons from past events for future events, because they are similar to one another. (Nahjul Balagha Letter 69)
One such incident of the past that changed the history of Islam forever, is the event of Karbala. No mention of Karbala is complete without Hurr ibn Yazid Ar-Riyahi. He is an example for those who reflect upon his journey, his actions and his martyrdom. He encourages, inspires and motivates the believers through his actions in Karbala.
Hurr literally means a freeman in Arabic, and truly so he lived up to his name.
Hurr Ibn Yazid Ar-Riyahi was the general of the Ummayad army dispatched from Kufa, (Iraq) to intercept Imam Al-Hussain (AS), the third infallible Imam. Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad, the newly appointed governor of Kufa issued the command to guard all entrances and exits to Kufa in order to intercept al-Hussain for an oath of allegiance to Yazid. Hurr was ordered along with his 1,000 soldiers to intercept Imam Hussain(AS) and his followers before they reached Kufa.
When he intercepted Imam Hussain (AS) at Dhu Hussam, Hurr and his men had ran out of water. The Imam(AS) ordered his companions to satiate Hurr and his army, including the cavalry. Hurr and his men offered their prayers with the Imam and listened to his sermons. However, on subsequent orders from the tyrant governor of Kufa, Ubaidullah Ibn Ziyad, Imam Hussain and his family were forced to encamp in Karbala. Hurr was of the notion that the Imam (AS) will not be killed in Karbala, he would somehow persuade him to go elsewhere. But he was perturbed when he realized that Umar Ibn Sa'ad who was sent by Ubaidullah had come with orders to kill Imam Hussain. On one hand was his position, family and wealth and on the other hand was the grandson of the Holy Prophet(PBUH&HP) and the son of Imam Ali (AS) and Lady Fatima (SA), supporting whom meant a certain death. These were the two options left for Hurr, just as the Holy Quran says:
"Indeed We have guided him to the way, be he grateful or ungrateful." (76:3).
Despite all odds, Hurr left the Army of Yazid, joined Imam Hussain (AS) and won the honor of being the first martyr of Karbala. All the glitter of the world, his power, rank, wealth and children did not stop him from joining his master Hussain(AS).
Ashura and Karbala were not be bound by time or geographical location. Almost 14 centuries have passes by but human beings from different parts of the world, belonging to different races and religions continue to mourn for Imam Hussain(AS) and take inspiration from him and his mission.
Just as Karbala continues to inspire us, the magnanimous personality of Hurr continues to inspire and guide us. Hurr chose good over bad, truth over falsehood, hereafter over the transient world. If we claim to be followers and lovers of Imam Hussain(AS) we need to turn towards the Hussain of our time and follow the teachings of Imam Hussain(AS). Imam Hussain(AS) gave everything he had to protect and preserve the teachings of Islam and by helping Hussain(AS) in his cause, Hurr achieved this lofty position of being Imam Hussain's(AS) helper. Thus, if Hurr truly motivates us, we need to mend our ways and make ourselves capable of helping Imam Mahdi (AJ) the true inheritor of Imam Hussain's (AS) legacy.
The Hurr of Karbala teaches us that true love is incomplete without sacrifice.
But, is the Hurr inside us ready to listen?
- A Probe into the History of Ashura, Ibrahim Ayati
We are far ahead of the time when people lived in actual social networks. People living in a town or village were in a strong relationship with one another, and of course, it served them well.
But, maybe people were too closely related back then. And it had its downsides, too. “Give me a break, please, I need some privacy!” That’s what we said to the social life of the past times. The modern way of life ascribed so much importance to our privacy. This, too, had its downsides and sometimes made us feel so lonely. It didn’t quench our need to see and be seen. We needed to share more.
But, modern life and technology also had the answer to that. They provided an unaccountably cheap and easy way of making relationships, without the need for getting quite out of our private zone; virtual Social Networks!
Well, that’s great! We can get to know about our family and friends without spending much time or money. We can easily make thousands of friends from around the world. We can share our ideas and lifestyle with them and get to know about theirs. Like all other inventions, there are many good ways to benefit from social networks. And there being many good ways to benefit from something, is somehow equal to its lawfulness in Islam.
“… who bids them to do what is right and forbids them from what is wrong, makes lawful to them all the good things and forbids them from all vicious things…” (7:157).
But is using social networks in Islam forbidden? Does Islam have any special resistance to these networks? Well, not really. And the rules on what we should do and what we should try to avoid are pretty much the same as the ones we need to observe in actual communications.
Therefore, as we are always careful to avoid any harm in our actual relationships , we should also do the same in these virtual sites of getting together, and try not to go for the bad things that might be found in there, nor spread things that might do more harm than good to others or to the society.
That means even if it is a boy-girl or man-woman relationship, there is nothing wrong with it as long as it is an upright, righteous, and honest one, and as long as you observe modesty and the rules of covering, the same way as a relationship between men and women in the outer world.
Also, Islam very much calls us up to mind the circles we move in , which are, more or less, a representation of our character and inclinations! Do our friends and groups in social networks –as well as in the real world– help us and change us for better? Or that they are just fun for a short time and may bring us lasting sorrows and regrets? 
You might have noticed that conventional social networks, being inherently so cheap and easy, tend to make everything cheap and easy in all respects… and maybe too much so sometimes!
Suppose you share a highly valuable and precious post on Facebook –which is the easiest way to share it, of course– and your friends would barely spend five seconds to look at it!
We are in the habit of taking everything easy in these virtual places; even our relationships. We don’t care that much about what we see or share, and sometimes about the kind of relationships we are making, while, to the contrary, a Muslim is always required to be watchful of his or her doings! 
So, apart from the benefits of being cheap and easy for use, they also make it easier to lie, to pretend, or to do any wrong. We may not be quite conscious that some of our relationships in the social networks could be, more or less, a kind of betrayal of our wedlock! Or a little too open to be modest and righteous! For, according to Islam, a husband’s level of modesty affects that of his wife and vice versa.  That means, the more righteous a spouse, the more so will be the other! That’s why it is even more important here never to forget that, little as it may be, a wrongdoing is always wrong, whether in a virtual social network or out there in the real world.
“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” (99:7,8)
- Wasa’il al-Shi’a, vol. 26, p. 14, Al-Mu’jam al-Awsat, vol. 1, p. 90
- Al-Amali, p. 518, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, vol. 4, p. 167
- Quran, 25:27,28
- Quran, 59: 18, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 74, p. 349
- Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 5, p. 317