Saturday, November 26, 2011

Moses in Tahrir

Moses in Tahrir,
Comparison Study between the Revolution of Moses and the Current Egyptian Revolution

As I walked through the everyday struggle, something happened and stopped me, a very deep voice which made me leave all the articles and analysis I was working on. This voice conquered my mind, and this is one of the very rare cases that one feels joyfulness for being conquered! As the Egyptian revolution interrupted and overwhelmed the world of politics, international trade, micro economy, human capabilities and left based on the opinion of people, either its divine fingerprints or marked its fathomless scars on the walls of the Earth and the hearts of humankind, it managed to also pierce my mind and create a tunnel between the present and the past, between the current Egyptian revolution and the ancient Egyptian one.

As I watched, listened and spoke with people who carried contradicting opinions about the revolution and about the current circumstances of piracy, I managed to try and create some sort of peace connection, but apparently a peacemaker in a war zone is considered the most wanted enemy, he is considered the taker of their satisfaction, unlike the demons who enhance flames then count who did ignite the most. In this case I, the son of Adam was confronting Satan, trying to wake people up from this new kind of lust he is planting in our lands, and watering the seeds with a fluid that is not from the divine Nile. I sure became his enemy by now, denying his powers, confronting his respectable flames with my sharp words. At this point, when I found some people provoked from me because I speak peace, yet all this inspired me, and opened the gate to the past when Moses spoke to me through the words of the Holy Quran, and thus I left everything I was doing, and immediately couldn’t resist writing this article.

Egypt has always been a debate and a land that carried many troubles although in the end it is a very peaceful country. In the time of Moses, there was a very cruel Pharaoh, the cruelest of all. Moses’s revolution against the system of the Pharaoh should be studied from different angles, apart from the mystifying personality of Moses who managed with his patience and wisdom to become a miracle himself.

One day when Moses was walking, he saw one of his companions of the same sect who were suppressed by the Pharaoh, who was one of the revolutionaries, fighting with one of the Pharaoh’s soldiers. When he saw Moses, and he was known by his supernatural masculinity, he called for his help, and as a gallant brother Moses went to push the enemy away, and so with his superb strength the soldier died. The first thing Moses did was ask for forgiveness and confess that he was tricked by Satan. Afterwards, Moses said, (“My Lord, for the favor You bestowed upon me, I will never be an assistant to the criminals.”) Chapter 28, The Stories, Verse 7. And he tried to be invisible from trouble in order to avoid killing or harming someone else. The next day Moses walked in silence in the city to find the same revolutionary man fighting with another soldier. Moses blamed his companion for the piracy he caused, and yet went to defend him until God spoke to Moses for the first time, but through the tongue of his enemy, and said, (“O Moses, do you want to kill me as you slew a soul the other day? Do you want to become a tyrant in the land, not a reformer?”) Chapter 28, The Stories, Verse 19. And this was the time when Moses departed from the country because the Pharaoh wanted his head.

As I thought about this, and comparing it to the current circumstances of which people want to battle with one another for revenge, ego or freedom, and soldiers are fighting back for social security, justice or lack of control, I was overwhelmed by the wisdom of Moses, and the way he thought about things. Egypt now is in deep suppression, and the people are doing the right thing, fighting for what they believe in, dying for the sake of their country and notions, but after reading these few verses from the Book of Wisdom, I found out the everyone does what they think is right, even the pirates. Perhaps everyone is right when it comes to facing a crisis, but now I am sure that there are degrees for rightfulness, same as there are degrees for heaven. Moses started his journey as a loyal brother and a clever slayer, but he climbed those steps of wisdom, and rose to a level of extreme ambition. When he tasted what the angry revolutionary had, he knew that he was much better than being a killer; same as the enemy.

Another vital element that I must highlight, when Moses spoke to the enemy (soldier), he found out that his words were not ones of an evil man at all, he was only one of the Pharaoh’s soldiers, perhaps a victim too and was attacked as a result of stereotyping. That is why it is very important to consider what is beyond the scene we see, beyond the uniforms, beyond our good intentions, and there we will find the godly light that will inspire us with the answers.

Moses had the strength of ten men, yet he never killed another man in his entire life. He always had the chance to kill the Pharaoh, but he did not. He sure did his plan in a very distinctive way. Moses left the country, and headed towards Palestine where he got married and lived for nearly ten years. He was the key that God preserved for the right time. Through all those years, Moses managed to never forget his mission, and with his determination he abandoned the healthy life he had had in order to face the Pharaoh and bring success to the revolution.

As a leader, Moses returned to confront the Pharaoh alone, along with the company of his brother Harun. He did not get any of his people with him, although they would have followed him. He did not want to make war, he did not want to waste time fighting the soldiers, and ruining everything. He chose the philosophy of walking towards the source of fire… (“Stay here; indeed, I have perceived a fire; perhaps I can bring you a torch or find at the fire some guidance.”) Chapter 20, Taha, Verse 10.

God commanded Moses to go - along with his brother - to the Pharaoh and speak calmly to guide him. The main concern of Moses was not the suppression they lived in, but it was for the sake of the Pharaoh too, to guide him to the right path. His request was not to become the king of Egypt or even to let the Pharaoh abandon his throne. His request was to just leave with his people safely, leaving behind a piece of advice for the Pharaoh that might make him a better person sometime in the future. Can you see the difference between the two revolutions? Moses used all kinds of logic to convince the Pharaoh, but he was very arrogant. Yet, Moses did not fight the Pharaoh in the name of freedom, but he treated him with mercy in the name of God. Moses was a true Sufi, no wonder Egypt has a very deep spiritual sort of power…

None of the followers of Moses killed any of the soldiers of the Pharaoh after Moses started his revolution, on the contrary they were only escaping from their attacks. The only ones who got killed within the revolution were the Pharaoh’s sorcerers who were executed because they believed in the message of the prophet. They were martyrs indeed, and their lives were sacrificed for the sake of their message, and to my surprise they accepted it with their wisdom too and with no violence as they said to the Pharaoh, (“We prefer you not over the clear signs that have come to us, and to Him (Allah) Who created us. So decree whatever you desire to decree, for you can only decree (regarding) this life of the world...”) Chapter 20, Taha, Verse 72.

Moses had the power of angels, miracles, people and his own physical power, yet he left the death of the Pharaoh and his soldiers a choice made by God, until the Red Sea swallowed them all.

Another enigmatic fact which occurred, and is also contradicting lots of the opinions of Egyptians, is that Moses was raised in the palace of the Pharaoh, and Moses before he became the leader of his people lived out of the country for ten years. This is a lesson contemporary Egyptians should learn, the leader should be elected on who he is and what good would he bring, even if he was unwillingly a part of the old system, and even if he spent the last dozen of his years outside the country! And even if he was a killer, like Moses was when he first departed Egypt and escaped from the Pharaoh!

An Australian writer and a friend of mine, who is a resident in Cairo, highlighted something very important as I was speaking about Moses. She said that his peaceful revolution took him dozens of years perhaps, well this is true, but it was the nature of that age that everything took years in order to shape, due to the lack of communication, transportation, and technology. However, though Moses still played it slowly but surely, yet in the end his people and his coming generation conquered the world and were kings, this was when prophets David and Solomon ruled. And this all happened without a single murder.

Overall the main concern for Moses within his revolution was the safety of everyone and the guidance of those who damaged the country. He was advising the ruler of the country although he had no intention to even stay in it! That is why his revolution turned into a message, and messages do not fade away with time, they are left to us, to learn from, to study and to put them in comparison with our current world and attitude. We owe our thanks to God who bestowed upon us His Holy Books, not only to read the stories of those whom we miss and wish to meet, and feel a pinch of spiritual and nostalgic sentiments, but to repeat those beautiful stories and not deprive history from witnessing them. And in the end, the Stick of Moses defeated the Sword of the Pharaoh…

Now we are all sons of Moses, and we have no superb prophet among us to reach and talk to the current ruler. That is why now I believe that the only solution to speak to the ruler is to protest, peacefully, and if any harm was to be done, then we should try to avoid it, and then resolve later, in order not to harm our brothers or our enemies, same as Moses did. Egyptians have several miracles too, of which they use in their demonstrations. The meaning or purpose of protesting is advising the other side, more than attacking them, it is to deliver our intentions and words to those who have authority and responsibility. Protesting can be done through walking in a demonstration, publishing an article, documenting a movie, speaking in the media or being interviewed, these are all different ways for delivering the message to the other side, and same as the anonymous people that are exposed to danger in the demonstrations, the public figures are exposed to the danger of being found in their own homes. All Egyptians equally share the effort and threats as long as they are participating in some way or another.

As for the officers, they must do like the wise soldier of the Pharaoh, and remind the unstable revolutionaries that they must not fight one another, for officers have the right to protest and speak up too! And the officers who were ordered by their superiors to kill the innocent people protesting in front of them should always remember and imagine when the brave Moses stood among the followers of the Pharaoh, including the sorcerers, who were his most powerful soldiers, defending his beliefs against the snakes (bombs) they threw and warned them: (Then, when they had cast, Moses said, “What you have brought is sorcery; God will assuredly bring it to naught. God sets not right the work of those who do corruption.”) Chapter 10, Jonah, Verse 81.

And as our political and spiritual master Moses taught us to be patient, and by being patient is remaining on the right track: (Said Moses to his people, “Pray for succor to God, and be patient; surely the earth is God’s and He bequeaths it to whom He will among His servants. The issue ultimate is to the god-fearing.”) Chapter 7, The Heights, Verse 28.

Our Revolution is not only watched by the entire world, but by the ones living in the heavens above too. God gave us the power to control the circumstances as much as we can. God believed in us, as when He first created us the angels asked Him about the reason He created human beings that would kill one another and cause destruction to the environment, yet God almighty believed that there will be few of us who will do otherwise. God believed in humanity although lots of us still do not believe in Him or implementing the wisdom of His Book.

We are all one now, asked to do the best for this country, with our unity and understanding, we will do the right thing. We should always work for our strength, but always allow our wisdom to be the one in control.

As a conclusion, what should we do with our Revolution, how to play it right? After this article, every reader will be able to rethink everything, and everyone will be able to come up with a different philosophy, and everyone now knows that there are levels for rightfulness, we just have to do our best to rise and help others rise too, and never fight with one another, nor apply stereotyping. We should let our Father Moses proud of us, and we should give ourselves the honor to inherit his wisdom, and revive it in the memory of his name, and the name of Egypt, and the undying name of Allah.

                                                                                                                             The Native Writer,
                                                                                                                              Mahmoud Mansi

Authors’ Note:
I know some people might hate me because of this article. I know my readers might lose interest in me for speaking a different philosophy, but this was an inspiration from God, and I was the one chosen to see it this way, and it is my duty to reveal this message.
Sometimes a writer is not a creator, but the Pen of God.
To Prophet Moses, To Egypt, To those who seek Wisdom all over the world.
To Writer, Architect and Artist Mostapha Halim, for taking the picture and for writing the title.

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