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Verse 12 of Surah Al-Qasas - foster mothers not for Prophet Moses


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Author Topic: Verse 12 of Surah Al-Qasas - foster mothers not for Prophet Moses  (Read 585 times)
Ruhi_Rose
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« on: August 27, 2014, 08:56:03 am »



 BismEm

"And We had before forbidden foster-mothers for him, so she said: Shall I show you a household who will rear him for you and take care of him ?"  28:12.

I need some clarifications to correctly understand this verse. First of all, does it refer that foster mothers were Haram in Prophet Moses' (pbuh) time?  During Prophet Muhammed's (pbuh) it certainly was not forbidden because the Quran mentions that parents can hire nurses to suckle their babies, if the need arises or if they want to.  Secondly, I assume it was the sister of Prophet Moses (pbuh) who mentioned to Pharaoh's household that she could recommend a good nurse for him, that is, her mother and his mother.  Does this mean that Prophet Moses' sister also lived in Pharaoh's palace otherwise how did she make this suggestion to them?


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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2014, 09:18:22 am »



As-salam Alaykum and hi Sister Ruhi. 

No it doesn't mean foster mothers were Haram at the time of Prophet Moses (pbuh).  It simply means that Allah Almighty had not ordained in Prophet Moses' kismet or destiny that he should have a nurse other than his own mother.  Prophet Moses' mother was very worried about him and it was only her firm faith in Allah that helped her to endure the situation.  So, Allah granted comfort to her heart in this manner.

Your second point is a very thoughtful one.  Whether or not the sister of Prophet Moses began living in Pharaoh's palace is not known.  But it's very possible that she was attached to Pharaoh's palace which might be as a female servant or maid attending on Pharaoh's wife or working to maintain the palace.   That's how she suggested to Pharaoh's household that she knew someone who could work as a nurse for the child.  This also indicates that perhaps Pharaoh's family wanted to hire a nurse for the little child which was quite a common custom among wealthy families in those days and also during the days of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), and that gave the opportunity to Moses' sister to recommend their mother.  But quite definitely this was a secret between Moses' sister and their mother.  Pharaoh's family didn't know that the girl was the baby's sister and the nurse was his mother. 

Hope my feedback helps.   Allah bless.
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2014, 09:02:45 am »



Walaykum As-Salam, dear brother.  Thanks a million.  Makes it perfectly clear Smiley  Very helpful feedback !!   Allah bless you my brother.
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Zeynab
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2015, 04:36:18 am »



Salaam sister and brother.  Very well explained Br.TS.   Some people also interpret it by saying that the child (that is Prophet Moses) would not take to any nurse whom Pharaoh's wife would hire for taking care of him.  That gave the opportunity to Prophet Moses' sister to suggest a nurse for him (their mother).  Maududi writes:  "This shows that the sister did not go and sit back at home when she found that her brother had reached Pharaoh's palace, but cleverly hung about the palace to watch every new development. Then, when she found that the child was not taking to any nurse, and the queen was anxious to get a suitable nurse,  the intelligent girl went to the palace, and said she knew the whereabouts of a nurse who could bring him up with great affection. Here it should be borne in mind that in old days the well-to-do and noble families of these countries generally used to entrust their children to nurses (similar to nannies). We know that in the time of the Holy Prophet also nurses from the suburbs used to visit Makkah from time to time in order to take care of infants from well-to-do on rich wages. The Holy Prophet himself was brought up by Halimah Saadiyah in the desert. The same custom was prevalent in Egypt. That is why Prophet Moses' sister did not say that she would bring a suitable nurse, but said that she would tell them of a house whose people would take up the responsibility of bringing him up with care and affection."

Maududi presumes that Prophet Moses' sister was not a worker inside the palace but an observer from outside.  This may also be a possibility, though it's just as possible that she may have been hired inside the palace for doing some odd jobs.  After all, the Quran does not specify this point other than her presence at or around the palace.   


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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2015, 02:45:35 pm »


Wa'salam and many thanks my Sis.  Makes sense.  This explanation is very similar to that of Br.TS with slight variations such as Prophet Moses when a baby wouldn't be comforted with any other nurse or nanny.  That's the way Allah ordained matters to make way for Prophet Moses' mother to become his nurse. And that his sister might have basically stayed around outside the palace yet within close enough distance to observe what's going on by hanging around the premises and talking to various palace workers. 

Thanks again sis.  This was a good additional commentary.
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Zeynab
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2015, 02:47:51 pm »


Exactly. The precise details are only known to Allah Almighty, but yes, we may presume it was probably on the lines as you mentioned.
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2020, 03:47:56 am »



Salams my dear sisters and brother.  I was reading Surah Al-Qasas tonight and this Verse made me think too what might be the reference of the words "And We had before forbidden foster-mothers for him, .."   The interpretations in this post were indeed helpful.   Thanks. 

Just wanted to know ......


Maududi writes:  " ..... when she found that the child was not taking to any nurse, .......  

How did Maududi know about this?   

The only two Verses in Surah Al-Qasas in this connection are:

"And she said unto his sister: Trace him. So she observed him from afar, and they perceived not.    And We had before forbidden foster-mothers for him, so she said: Shall I show you a household who will rear him for you and take care of him ?"   28:11-12.

V.28:11  speaks of Prophet Moses' mother who told her daughter  (Prophet Moses' sister) to keep observing the course of the floating ark from a distance in which the baby was placed.  Obviously there were people of Pharaoh's household near the banks of the river who picked up the ark but didn't perceive Moses' sister who was watching, as referred in Verse 28:11. 

The only other Surah which speaks of this incident is TaHa (Surah 20), Verses 38 and 39.

"When We inspired in your mother that which is inspired,  Saying: Throw him into the ark, and throw it into the river, then the river shall throw it on to the bank, and there an enemy to Me and an enemy to him shall take him."  ....  (20:38-39).


Please note:  Ark is a noun. It can refer to a chest or box containing valuables. It can also mean a boat carrying cargo.    In this Verse it apparently means a box-like container or perhaps a basket in which the baby was placed and set adrift.

There seems to be a bit of guesswork in Maududi's commentary.  However, whether or not Maududi's guess is right is only known to Allah.  But from the reader's point of view, I think brother TS' interpretation it more consistent with the contents of the Quran.




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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2020, 02:56:44 pm »



You're absolutely right Sister Heba.  To put it plainly, there is some bit of guesswork in Maududi's commentary particularly in regard to the words you quoted.  He does seem to assert quite confidently instead of leaving it open as an opinion or a possibility.
    
Quite obviously the concept of Prophet Moses as a baby 'refusing a wet nurse' comes from traditional stories ... or if there's a hadith in this regard, I wouldn't know.   But the Quran certainly does not mention it.  Wikipedia on the life story of Prophet Musa writes, "The Qur'an states that when Asiya ordered wet nurses for Musa, Musa refused to be breastfed. Islamic tradition states that this was because God had forbidden Musa from being fed by any wet nurse in order to reunite him with his mother."    But the source does not quote any Verses from the Quran confirming the precise occurrence of Prophet Moses as an infant rejecting nurses.  It might have happened which Allah Almighty did not consider necessary to convey in the Quran, but only He knows best. 


Traditional stories have various other presumptions too on the details of this story not given in the Quran.   For example according to the same source, Pharaoh's wife (Aasiya, this name not given in the Quran either), and her maids were bathing on the banks of the Nile when they caught sight of the ark (or basket) floating in the river close by.  Needless to say, the Quran does not say anything about those ladies bathing near the river.  The same source has also put up an old painting from Jami-al-Tawarikh showing Pharaoh's wife and her maid seeing the ark while bathing near the Nile.  Click the Wikipedia link above to view this painting.  That's how traditional writings fabricate and exaggerate, constructing their own details of factual events of history.  Various traditional sources also borrow from each other.  But these details are just hearsay which have nothing to do with the Noble Quran.  Only Allah The Almighty knows the precise facts and details of every event.

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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2020, 03:12:48 pm »



That's a very valid point you brought up Sister Heba which has been helpfully untangled and explicated by Sister Zeynab. 
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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2020, 03:22:14 pm »



For sure Maududi has made certain presumptions about which he sounds quite decisive and confident.  Actually, it's this decisiveness and over confidence of contents by human authors (not confirmed in the Quran) that gets one confused.   But Alhumdulilah, I'm fast learning to nit pick the details of my analysis, separating the established facts from the Quran and weeding out the rest from outside of it.  

Btw, what is Jami al Tawarikh?


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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2020, 03:34:48 pm »



Yes right. 

Jamiʿ al-Tawarikh is an old Persian book of so-called history (traditional stories) by a person named Rashid al-Din Tabib.   Many traditional stories come from this source.  This man was a Persian Jew who converted to Islam at age 30 or so.  He was a vizier during the il-khanate of the Mongols in Persia.  Tabib's book, Jami al-Taawarikh, is filled with traditional stories. I'm not sure to what extent it collaborates with the Hadith but I would view it a source just as unreliable as the Hadith.    

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« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2020, 03:38:07 pm »



I see .... and did the mongols come to Persia as well?   I didn't know that.
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« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2020, 03:42:33 pm »



Unfortunately they did come to Persia as well, but their rule was very brief, from 1260 to 1330 only.  Rashid al Din Tabib was a vizier during the il-khanate of the Mongols (as their empire was called).  Reportedly these Mongol rulers of the il-khanate converted to Islam in 1295.  Rashid al-Din Tabib born in 1247 became a Muslim in approximately 1277.  He died in 1318, a little over a decade prior to the end of the Mongol rule in Persia.

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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2020, 03:47:45 pm »



Many thanks for this useful info dear brother.
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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2020, 03:48:24 pm »



You're very welcomed sister.
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