Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of
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Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of
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Stories from the Life of the Prophet
The sun was shining with scorching heat and it was mid-day. The rays of the sun reflected from the glossy sand and dazzled one's eyes. Through the desert a stranger was travelling. He thought that the sun frowned upon him.
It was all calm. The wind had stopped. There was nothing to be seen but the solitary traveller, who was standing on a heap of sand and looking all around. His eyes were searching for some particular place where water could be found. Near the horizon far away he saw a great lake of water. He approached it, but found that his eyes had deceived him. It was a mirage, which is commonly found in the desert. He looked around more eagerly than before, and at last his eyes rested on a point in the distance. In order, to ascertain if that could be an oasis, he looked more attentively and being satisfied went towards it.
He was perspiring profusely. His throat was parched and he felt very thirsty. He was tired, but he did not lose heart. He walked with quick paces towards the point he had seen in the desert.
He had not gone far when he saw palm-trees at a distance. With fresh courage and full of hope he walked more quickly and reached the green-land. He saw huts and people passing to and fro. It was a village.
He stood near a well, which was surrounded by men and animals. The shepherds were busy drawing water for their animals. He seated himself under a palm-tree and rested for a while. The people were so busy drawing water that none took any notice of the new comer.
In the crowd he saw two young girls keeping back their flocks and waiting for their turn. The sheep and goats were so thirsty that they at times tried to get to the water, but the rude shepherds scolded the young girls for not keeping their flocks under control.
When he saw the girls in such a pitiable plight he asked what the matter was. The elder of them looked up to him and said:
"We cannot water until the shepherds take away (their sheep) from the water; and our father is a very old man." (The Holy Quran; 28:23).
He took pity on them and advanced towards the well to draw water for them. When the shepherds saw a good looking youth of fine physique, they dared not protest. So he drew water for the girls and then went back to the shade.
The girls returned home and told their father all about the young man. He was much pleased with the young man's courtesy and said, "If you would have only brought him here, we would have entertained him, for God's blessings are upon him who entertains guests."
Her father's words inspired the elder girl, for she had returned from the well with a sense of gratitude towards the youth. Now she wanted to repay him. She told her younger sister to cook food while she would go to the well.
The stranger was sitting under the tree, completely lost in his thoughts. He was thinking of his past and the circumstances which had made him fly from his native land.
He was not certain of his future, although his past had been very fine. His thoughts reflected upon his face and he was there under the palm-tree, a picture of utter hopelessness. But self-confidence and perseverance were evident from his face, though the present and future appeared to frown upon him. He looked towards the sky again and again and prayed to God:
"My Lord! surely I stand in need of whatever good Thou mayest send down to me." (The Holy Quran; 28:24).
The stranger was thus meditating when he happened to see a young girl approaching him, and when she came near, it struck him that she was one of those two girls. With down-cast eyes she said:
"My father invites thee that he may reward thee for having watered for us." (The Holy Quran; 28:25).
He hesitated a little and said, "I have not done this for any reward. I have only done my duty."
"But my father wants to see you," repeated the girl, "He is too old, otherwise he would have come himself."
The stranger thought for a while and then decided to accompany the girl. He followed her, still absorbed in thoughts.
The young man entered the house. The old man looked at the youth whose handsome face and good physique were apparently the signs of his good breeding. The old man welcomed his guest and offered him a mat to sit on.
The stranger was much impressed by his manners, whose reverence and old age had exalted him, and whose face was lit with heavenly light.
The old man said, "O my son! I am much grateful to you for the help you have rendered to my daughters. Where have you come from and where do you intend to go?"
Stranger: "I am coming from Egypt and where I am to go, I do not know myself."
Old man: "My son! I cannot understand you. Who are you and why art thou wandering?"
Stranger: "My name is Moses, son of Amran (Hazrat Imran). I am an Israelite. The Pharaoh is very cruel to me and to my community and I have fled from his dominion for my life."
Old man: "My son I knew it well, but what was that particular thing which compelled you to leave your home."
Stranger: "It is nearly ten days when I saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite mercilessly. I came to the rescue of the Israelite and in this struggle the other man was killed. I came to know that the Pharaoh had decided to hang me for the crime. I, therefore, left Egypt and am wandering."
The old man looked at his guest's face and his wise eyes found the statement to be true.
Old man: "My son don't be afraid now. You are in Midian, upon which the Pharaoh has no control whatsoever, and you are safe here."
Stranger: "But my community is not safe."
They were thus talking when the girl who fetched Moses home brought a meal. He was hungry and he ate it up and prayed to God.
The girl who overheard them took pity on him and said:
"O my father, employ him; surely the best of those that thou canst employ is the strong, the faithful one." (The Holy Quran; 28:26).
The old man listened to her suggestion, but did not reply and was lost in thoughts. When the stranger had finished his meal the old man asked him, "Dear son, where dost thou go now?"
Stranger: "I intend to go to Kinan and settle there to live among my grandfather's family."
Old man: "I also belong to Abraham's family, would you care to live in your uncle's house?"
The stranger kept silent. The old man asked her daughter, who was standing nearby, to go and she obeyed. When she had gone the old man continued:
"I desire to marry one of these two daughters of mine to thee on the condition that thou serve me for eight years; but, if thou complete ten, it will be of thou own free will, and I wish not to be hard on thee. If Allah please, thou wilt find me one of the righteous." (The Holy Quran; 28:27).
The stranger agreed upon the terms and was married to one of the daughters.
The old man was Shuaib (Hazrat Shuhaib), the Prophet of Allah and his son-in-law was Moses (Hazrat Moosa/Musa), who after ten year's service to Shuaib was raised to Prophethood.