I remember, when we were told the story of Prophet Moses and Aaron and at the end of the story the Mullah asked any questions. I replied with my hands up saying ‘what right did Moses have to kill a man, there is never an excuse to kill a man. If you see two people fighting you split the fight up not kill one.’ The Mullah replied ‘It was an accident’ and my reply would be ‘How can you kill someone in an accident if you weren’t being violent to start with’ the Mullah’s reply ‘The person who died could have had a weak heart.’ My reply was that ‘Anyone with a weak heart wouldn’t get involved in a fight.’ I ask you what right did Moses have to kill a man? There is no excuse for killing a man and then after he did that he ran away escaping his punishment, should a Prophet act in such indecent manner? And also would it be fair to call Moses a Zionist? It seems that he was all for the Jews having their own nations and was willing to go to war for that fact and risk many lives. Which is no different from the Zionists today.
Of course, no person has any right to kill a human being. The Prophet Moses (pbuh) did not kill the man on grounds that he had acquired some rights to do so. Yes, it was an accident and people can get killed accidentally. This is nothing to be laughed away.
How can you kill someone in an accident if you weren’t being violent to start with?
I am afraid I have failed to understand the reason which must have made you presume that the Prophet Moses (pbuh) became violent first. The truth is that he wanted to split two fighting persons up, which means that the fighters were already enraged. In this boiling rage, the Egyptian must have turned upon the mediator, Moses (pbuh). If the psyche of people belonging to a ruling class is kept in perspective, it is quite likely that the Egyptian lost his temper for being hindered by Moses (pbuh). Obviously, when Moses (pbuh) had tried to stop the fight, he would have turned violent towards Moses (pbuh) – a situation in which Moses (pbuh), who was naturally against the tyranny of the Egyptians, became furious. He thus seems to have hit the person, which caused his death.
This explanation does not make killing a person a virtuous act. Neither does it refute the fact that Moses was extremely disturbed at the outcome of his action. He did not boast neither did he suffer from the delusions of power and grandeur. On the contrary, he humbled himself before his Lord and accepted his mistake. The Lord forgave him. The Holy Qur’an records the words:
He said: My Lord! Lo! I have wronged my soul, so forgive me. Then He forgave him. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. (28:16)
… then after he did that he ran away escaping his punishment, should a Prophet act in such indecent manner?
To give you a better perspective as to why Moses (pbuh) ran away, I would like to remind you that he had grown up among the ruling people. He had an idea what kind of justice was dispensed in the country. He knew that the rulers were already angry at his sympathy for the slaves, the Israelites. Having no hope for justice, he was compelled to leave Egypt. Moreover, you should know that he was not a prophet at that time. He was delegated this responsibility when Allah (sws) talked to Him after he was settled with the family of the Prophet Shuyaib (pbuh). Every normal human being, in fear of being unjustly punished, would have done the same as Moses (pbuh) did. As far as the matter between him and his Just God was concerned, he did ask for forgiveness.
You further ask:
And also would it be fair to call Moses a Zionist?
Of course not! There is a world of difference between the mission of a Messenger of God and of those who want to establish a separate homeland. The life of the Messengers of God is dominated by their pledge of service to God. Moses (pbuh) led the Israelites to Palestine because God had promised Abraham to award this place to his progeny. The Israelites were to settle in Palestine and God appointed Moses (pbuh) for the very task. Zionism, of course, is a new term. Although the Zionists may refer to the same sacred mission of Moses (pbuh) they have not been appointed by God for their undertaking.
August 2, 2003