Prophet Moosa (AS) was born at the time of Fir'aun. Fir'aun was a king who hated the Bani Israa'eel, who were the tribe of Prophet Moosa (AS).
A short while before Prophet Moosa (AS) was born, Fir'aun was told that a boy from the Bani Israa'eel would soon be born and at whose hands Fir'aun's kingdom would be destroyed. On hearing this, the cruel king ordered that every male child born to the Bani Israa'eel should be killed.
Prophet Moosa's (AS) upbringing in the palace of Fir'aun
When Prophet Moosa (AS) was born, his mother put him in a water proof box and placed the box on the river Nile . She then sent her daughter to follow the little "boat" and see where it went.
The box floated towards the palace of Fir'aun , where his men fished it out and brought the baby to him. He wanted to kill it immediately, suspecting that it might be a child of the Bani Israa'eel, but his wife Aasiya, who was a pious woman, stopped him. They did not have children of their own, so she asked him to adopt the child.
Fir'aun agreed to his wife's request and then called some women to breast feed the crying child. However, the baby refused milk from all the women who came to feed him, except his mother. So Allah reunited mother and child in the very palace of Fir'aun.
As the years passed, Prophet Moosa (AS) grew up strong and healthy. He then left Egypt and went to Madyan where he married Safura daughter of Prophet Shu'aib (AS). After staying in Madyan for a while, he left to return to Egypt . On their way to Egypt in the severe winter night Prophet Moosa (AS) and his wife who had lost their way, saw a fire in the distance. Prophet Moosa (AS) told his wife to stay where she was and he went to the fire, thinking he would bring some of it back.
When he reached the fire he saw that the flames were coming from a green tree but there was no one present. While Prophet Moosa (AS) looked around in surprise, he suddenly heard a voice saying, "O Moosa, I am your Lord!" The voice then asked him to throw his stick onto the ground. At once it changed into a serpent, scaring him. He was then commanded to lift the snake without fear and as he did so, it changed back into a stick.
Next he was told to put his hand under his armpit. When he drew it out again, his hand glowed with a bright light, like the sun. The Divine voice said to him, "O Moosa! These are the two great Signs of your Lord. Go back to Fir'aun and his people and invite them towards your Lord!"
Prophet Moosa invited Fir'aun and his people to Islam
Prophet Moosa (AS) told Fir'aun that he was a Messenger of Allah and that he had brought clear proofs that he was speaking the truth. He threw his stick on the ground and it changed into a snake. The miracle frightened Fir'aun and he turned to his ministers for advice. They told him that Prophet Moosa (AS) was just a good magician and that their own magicians could easily perform such tricks.
Fir'aun called all the great magicians to his court. When they were told what had to be done, they were not worried. They threw pieces of rope on the ground and these cords began to wriggle like snakes. But when Prophet Moosa (AS) cast his stick down his serpent ate all the pieces of rope. The magicians immediately realized that this was no magic but a miracle, and threw themselves in prostration saying, "We believe in the faith of Moosa".
This made Fir'aun very angry and he warned them that if they did not take back their words, they would be tortured. They did not change their minds and so he cut off their feet and hands and then killed them. Allah told Prophet Moosa (AS) to warn Fir'aun that He would punish him and his people if they continued in their ways. But Fir'aun was too proud to listen to the warning.
Calamity that struck the pride of Fir'aun
Soon the country was hit by famine. Swarms of locusts ate away the crops. The river Nile flooded its banks causing great destruction. The people were afflicted with lice and tumors. When all of this happened the people rushed to Prophet Moosa (AS) asking him to pray for their relief and promised to follow his religion. But when they were cured and the situation improved, they returned to their idol worship.
Prophet Moosa (AS) gathered the people of Bani Israa'eel and left for Palestine . Fir'aun learnt of their escape and followed them with a huge army. When the Bani Israa'eel reached the Red Sea they saw Fir'aun approaching and were sure they were going to be killed. However, Prophet Moosa (AS) struck the waters of the sea with his stick and the waters parted, making a dry path. The people rushed through and crossed safely. When Fir'aun saw the path he entered the sea at the head of his army. But while he was in the middle of the sea the waters suddenly closed around him and his men.