My comments for The Prince of Egypt
Alert: Shall I warn you that this following writings contains major spoilers. If you haven’t watched the movie yet and can’t afford to get spoiled, then you shall not read further. But if you already have or don’t mind the spoilers, then please enjoy the reading.
Last night I watched the prince of Egypt, one of Disney movie animated which tells the story of Moses the holy prophet. At the beginning of the movie, a disclaimer was shown that they took the storyline according to the exodus book which considered holy by Jewish community and may pose misalignment to other sources like Islam religion. Amid the controversy, I decided to give the movie a chance and see it through from the perspective of a Muslim. The scene starts with a musical drama of working slaves of Egyptian pyramid. They have longed the coming salvation from the deity they worship as Elohim. The scene turns quickly to Pharaoh command to slay all the newly born boys. Moses family wishes to the river to cast him away in order to let the Almighty save him instead. His bigger sister followed to the the place where he finally landed whereis to be the pharaoh wife, along with the little Rameses. Time skipped to the moment when both moses and his foster brother Rameses are racing with carriages for fun and wreak havoc all over the places. Pharaoh then scolded them for being ignorant and irresponsible. The movie depicts two of themas caring brother who look for other throughout their life which is questionable if we want to stay true to history accordingly, but for Disney it would intensify the drama of the upcoming events much later in the movie. Soon enough Moses met a woman which incindentally meet him with his siblings by birth and lead him to the question of his self-existence. Moses finally revealed the dark truth of his origin among the royal family and went through mental crisis which calls him to exile himse9lf out of the kingdom territory. Far away hr wandered and by the bink of hopelessness he was picked up and saved by travelling camel of a family of the woman he saved before. None of the village residents recognize his identity as a former prince but that women. Long he lived as one of the villagers and later married to that woman and spend his days as sheeps herder.
In one fateful night Moses heard a subtle whispers which caught him by surprise and a gleaming light lurem him to approach a peculiar burning tree. He was called to take off his footwear as he was told that he stands on a sacred place. He was given a flashback of his past life and received a revelation of his purpose, as a messenger of the Almighty. So far the scenes are still similar to what we’ve been taught in Islamic teachings, but the Disney has carefully avoided any ties to Islamic or even Christian teachings by not mentioning Allah as the God’s name and vaguely replace it with “I am what I am”. Meanwhile, Moses rushed back to his wife and told her what she saw and acknowledge the holy duti his husband bestowed with. Moses returned to the palace he left long ago and faces his foster broter who become the current Pharaoh to deliver god’s message to free the slaves. This movie depicts both late and current Pharaoh as wiseful and forgiving which I faithfully disbelieve according to Islamic teachings which told them to be ignorant and full of irresponsibility. As was destined, Pharaoh didn’t heed the god’s message and Moses left him with an upcoming warning of plagues in many forms until Pharaoh answer the heed. Lakes turns into pool of blood, river filled with frogs, locusts and other insects drought their food supplies, earthquakes, and even rain of fires. The least punishment from god is to open the gate in the sky to let His army of ‘something’ to take life of those who don’t follow the path of Moses. Finally Pharaoh son’s life was taken away by the punishment and let Moses do his way with the slaves. Moses announced their freedom and lead the way out of Pharaoh’s kingdom. As they reached a sea coast, they sought a horde of Egyptian army chasing them, ready to avenge the wrath of Pharaoh, but was halted by a raging firestorm that gives Moses chance to behold one of god’s next wonders.
Seeing no other way around but the vas red sea ahead of them, Moses was reminded that the walking stick he holds will channel god’s wonder to help him in any way. He made certain gestures with his hands and suddenly the sea was split in to two to open ways for him and his people to cross there at once. as Moses and his people finally reached the other side of the sea, the firestorm which halted Pharaoh’s army has lifted off, as to give the chance to catch up to the slaves and punish them for good. But once the army are in the middle of the sea, suddenly the split encloses and drown the whole army and a great wave throm Pharaoh back to the coast. So far the scenes are doing just fine with the Islamic teaching, where the only caveat is when Pharaoh thrown back is rejectable. Disney is always good at making animated movies that composed of both adequate amount of drama and terrific collosal scenes. The question is, if Disney could pull such memorable scene, how terrific it was of the actual events happened thousands of years ago, when Allah the Almighty himself as the director. We of the current age may only imagin how many magnitudes the awesomeness of the events were amplified actually, but Disney surely has done it’s job well to picture the moments the best they could. Back to the surviving Moses and his people, they celebrates their exodus and freedom and walk further to the place where Moses was stranded and saved before, which is presumably the holy land of Jerusalem. The movie ended with Moses head back atop the crowd of his people bringing a pair of tablets with him that contains more revelation from the god. Disnye’s decision to time the movie’s end to only that point strongly suggests that the whole purpose of Moses existence is to deliver the people of Hebrew to the so called “Promised Land” and nothing else. Shall I warn you that this movie may have sugarcoated the storyline to make it more Disney-like, and cover up other ugly facts.
According to Islamic teachings and other resources I found, as they arrived at the holy land of Jerusalem, Moses left them in waiting for a spiritual journey for acquiring new revelations for about 40 days or so. In their wait for Moses to return, some of the Hebrew people carved a golden statue of a calf. In one particular non-Islamic resource I found, they did that to have a symbolical god which they will temporarily worship until the day Moses return. The article tried to justify such doings as they were mere traditions. Their inpatience drove them to create their own god which symbolized and materialized as a deity. The so called golden calf sculptured in specific ways so that it will make certain sounds that the believers would believe as voice of the god. Upon the return of Moses bringing along the revelation tablets, according to Islamic sources he was shocked of what was happened whilst his spiritual journey that he grabbed the hair of Aaron in anger for letting such traitorous act happened. Unto his ling awaiting people Moses revealed the name of the god they should worship to along with the holy message of god they should adhere to. Most of the Hebrew people didn’t seemed to be appealed to the Moses revelation and rejected them all together. Moses exiled thos who don’t believe an Allah’s words and set the holy land Jerusalem only for those who faithfully accepts Allah the Almighty as the one and only god to worship to. I was born at the dawn of new millenium and can only witness the recent events throughout my life, the only thing I know then was that there is a mosque named Al-Aqsa built on top of Jerusalem land in a country named Palestine, a country of rich Mediteranian culture which filled with tourism worthy spots. The Israel I knew is a community which resides among the Palestinians. But this age, in the online digital map I can only see the Israel word of Jerusalem teritory, no more space for Palestine.
I’m not an expert in both Theology nor History, but I do have great interests in any contexts related to religion, for what we are without someting to believe in. News about the oppressed people of Gaza introduced me to the word of Exodus, and I somehow ended up watching “The Prince of Egypt” to find out what the exodus means from Western perspective in term of the story of Moses and his Hebrew people. Amid the controversy rosen from this movie, I still enjoy the drama and take the storyline with a pinch of salt and finally wrote this piece of mind. The story of Moses the holy prophet shows how connected we are in history, yet diversified by religion. I don’t understand much about politics, and maybe neither you there; but surely it had caused wars and pain all accross the globe and we are all responsible to bring back the peace. Maybe after wathing the movie yourself you will come up to different conclusion than mine. Anyway, thanks for reading, may Allah always protect us all. Assalamualaikum.
Love from Indonesia.