Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of
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Stories from the Life of the Prophet
Put him into a chest, then cast it down into the river. The Holy Quran -- 20:39.
In the later part of the night, when darkness was being replaced by the white rays of the morning sun, the stars were dim and the Capital of the Pharaohs was silent. The city which was spread over several miles, its palatial buildings, broad roads with high trees grown on both sides were as if asleep and dreaming. Sleep had put the rulers and the ruled in the same state of unconsciousness. The breeze which had been playing with the waves of the Nile, had also gone to some unknown place to rest. In this Capital of the Pharaohs if there was life in anything it was in the waves of the river Nile. At this time of solitude a woman was standing on its bank and looking into the river. Hope and dismay played in her eyes.
She had a box under her arm, which she was pressing to her bosom. Sometimes her eyes would rest on the waves which were fiercely running and carrying so many things away with them, and then on the blue sky lighted up with countless stars. But there were fish in the river which gave proof of the fact that God can keep things alive under water also.
The darkness of night was disappearing and the dawn approaching. It was a wonderful scene. Life was coming into the whole world.
She once again lowered her eyes and looked at the box and then towards the sky, with trembling hands she cast the box down - her only hope - into the lap of the Nile. It was carried away by a wave and within a few minutes it was lost to sight. She cried and sighed. She stood there looking at the waves for a long time, and then with a heavy heart she moved away.
The box was carried away by the waves towards the Imperial palace of the Pharaoh.
The queen with her attendants was seated on a beautiful chair, the steps of which descended from the Imperial buildings into the Nile.
She was playing with the waves and enjoying the dawn and early songs of nature. The waves would kiss her feet and fall back. Lo! The queen beheld a box floating on the water. She ordered her attendants to fetch it. In a few minutes the box was lying before the queen. Everybody present was curious to see what it contained. A servant broke open the lid, and to her utter surprise a newly born child wrapped in cotton lay there, smiling. The baby was very beautiful. His face was innocence incarnate. The sun rose from the East as if to give good news of this new born baby.
The queen's heart welled up with motherly love. She took it in her lap and kissed it. The servants and maids present congratulated the queen on finding the child.
The queen was childless. This baby now made her a happy mother. Her joy knew no bounds. After all she did get a child. Thus filled with joy and motherly pride she took up the child and brought it before the king. She wanted him to share her joys of finding the baby, which was brought to her by the waves.
The Pharaoh scowled when he saw the baby, and said, "He is an Israelite! According to the law of the state he must be killed".
The innocent child was smiling in the queen's lap. She kissed his forehead and said, "Who on earth - a stone-hearted - dare kill this innocent child? I have adopted him as my son, and he will be a source of happiness in our lives".
The Pharaoh - the mightiest Emperor of the world - had everything in this world, but a child. His heart was also moved. The greatest of the Pharaohs have sometimes to bow before the law of nature. The queen won and the child was spared. A festival was ordered and the whole palace was soon rejoicing. Now a nurse was needed to nourish the child and servants were sent in all directions.
It so happened that when they went out, they met the sister of that very child who said to them, "Shall I direct you to someone who will take charge of him?" They replied in the affirmative and followed her.
This new found child was in the palace guarded by Nature; but at that very moment hundreds of Israelite babies were being killed. A son, which is considered to be a blessing by us was a source of misery and curse to an Israelite of that age and wherever a child was born it was murdered there and then.
The Pharaoh had divided his subjects into two classes. One were his favourites - the "Copts" - and the other were 'Israelites', who were being persecuted. The latter were kept as slaves and their females were ill-treated. In order to stop their increase in population, the new generation was being killed. The torture to which these unfortunate men were put would cringe one's heart with fear.
Amongst those miserable Israelites who were mourning for the loss of their children, there was a family whose case was quite different. The wife of Amran, an Israelite, was sitting in her home and was thinking of her future. Her heart was aching; although her son was not murdered yet she herself had thrown him into the Nile. Why? A voice from above had enjoined her to do so.
"Put him into a chest, then cast it down into the river. The river shall throw him on the shore" The Holy Quran, 20:39.
She had obeyed the Voice. She was thinking about the miseries and woes of the mothers, who had lost their sons.
She was lost in such thoughts when the door of her house was flung open. Her daughter came in, surrounded by maids of the queen, one of which was carrying a child. The wife of Amran was dumbfounded to see her own new-born. She was beside herself with joy. She was about to rush to her baby, but she was afraid lest her secret should be discovered and the child killed.
One of the maids addressed her, "O! You wife of Amran, this is the son of our Gracious Queen. We want a nurse for him. This girl (pointing to her daughter) guided us here. Try if it takes to your breast?" Her face flushed with joy. She took the child and put it to her breast. The hungry child was soon sucking her mother's breast and then went to sleep in her lap.
The queen was very pleased to find such a good nurse who cared for her adopted son. She named the baby according to her own choice. But the nurse and her daughter called him Moses. This child later became the Prophet of Allah. How he was saved is really a miracle.