Heavenly Staff

It was the holy staff of Sayyiduna Musa عَلَیہِ السَّلَام which is commonly known as ‘Asaa-e-Musa’. Several miracles exhibited by Sayyiduna Musa عَلَیہِ السَّلَام were by virtue of this holy staff. These miracles have been mentioned by the Holy Quran under different topics repeatedly. The history of this holy staff is very ancient and it comprises of hundreds of historical events that impart thousands of moral lessons. Those who possess the spiritual insight can avail the light of guidance from these events. The staff was as tall as Sayyiduna Musa عَلَیہِ السَّلَام i.e. ten arms-length [approx. 15ft]. Its head was split into two branches that would emit the light at night like a lamp. It was made from the heavenly tree of Salvadora Persica [Peelu] and Sayyiduna Aadam عَلَیہِ السَّلَام had brought it with him from the Paradise.

Heavenly Staff
Heavenly Staff

Translation: Five things descended from the Paradise with Sayyiduna Aadam عَلَیہِ السَّلَام: ‘Oud (the fragrant wood), the blessed staff of Sayyiduna Musa عَلَیہِ السَّلَام which was made up of the great wood of Salavadora Persica [Peelu], the leaves of the fig-tree, Hajar-ul-Aswad present in Makkah Mu’azzamah and the holy ring of the Blessed Prophet Sulayman عَلَیہِ السَّلَام.
(Fafseer As-Saawi, vol. 1, pp. 69; Al-Baqarah, verse 60)

After Sayyiduna Aadam عَلَیہِ السَّلَام, the holy staff was passed on as a prophetic heritage to several distinguished Prophets عَلیہمُ الصلٰوۃُ والسَلام one after the other. Then finally, it reached Sayyiduna Shu’ayb عَلَیہِ السَّلَام, who was a Prophet sent to the people of Madyan. When Sayyiduna Musa عَلَیہِ السَّلَام migrated from Egypt to Madyan, Sayyiduna Shu’ayb عَلَیہِ السَّلَام got his daughter, Sayyidatuna Musa عَلَیہِ السَّلَام married with Sayyiduna Musa عَلَیہِ السَّلَام. Sayyiduna Musa عَلَیہِ السَّلَام served Sayyiduna Shu’ayb عَلَیہِ السَّلَام for ten years. He عَلَیہِ السَّلَام would herd the goats of Sayyiduna Shu’ayb عَلَیہِ السَّلَام for ten years. He عَلَیہِ السَّلَام would herd the goats of Sayyiduna Shu’ayb عَلَیہِ السَّلَام during that period. At that time, upon receiving the command of Allah عزوجل, Sayyduna Shu’ayb عَلَیہِ السَّلَام gave the holy staff to Sayyiduna Musa عَلَیہِ السَّلَام.

When Sayyiduna Musa عَلَیہِ السَّلَام left Madyan for his homeland [Egypt] with his blessed wife and reached in the sacred valley of ‘Tuwa’, Allah عزوجل blessed him with the glimpse of His Divine Light and raised his rank by bestowing him with the Prophethood. The Holy Quran describes how Allah عزوجل addressed Sayyiduna Musa عَلَیہِ السَّلَام at that time in the following words:

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Heavenly Staff
Heavenly Staff

‘And what is this in your right hand, O Musa?’ He said, ‘It is my staff; I lean on it, I knock down leaves for my sheep with it, and there are my other works in it.’
[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 16, Surah Taahaa, verse 17-18)

In the context of ‘مَاٰرِبُ اُخرٰی’ i.e. other works that were accomplished through that staff; Sayyiduna ‘Allamah Abul Barakaat ‘Abdullah Bin Ahmad Nasfi رَحمَۃُ اللہ تعالیٰ عَلیہ has mentioned following things in Tafseer of this part of the Quranic verse:

  1. Holding it and walking taking its support.
  2. Talking to it as a pastime.
  3. The staff becoming a tree and providing shade during the daytime.
  4. In the night time, the two forked branches of the staff would glow and provide light.
  5. Using it as a protection against enemies, wild beasts, snakes and scorpions.
  6. At the time of drawing out water from a well, the staff would turn into a rope and its two forked branches would turn into a bucket.
  7. As and when required the staff would turn into a tree and would bear desired fruits.
  8. Water would emerge upon pegging the staff into the ground.
    (Madarik-ut-Tanzeel, vol. 3, pp. 251; part 16, Surah Taahaa, verse 18)

Sayyiduna Musa عَلَیہِ السَّلَام used to perform the abovementioned things with the holy staff. When Sayyiduna Musa عَلَیہِ السَّلَام went to the court of pharaoh to guide him towards the right path, pharaoh denied Sayyiduna Musa عَلَیہِ السَّلَام and blamed him to be a magician. Thereafter wonderful miracles were exhibited through the blessed staff. The Holy Quran has mentioned three of those miracles repeatedly:

  1. Staff became a serpent
  2. Springs emerged by virtue of staff’s stroke
  3. Stroke of staff split the Niles
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