Sayyiduna Musa tll!J1 4;; preached pharaoh for a long time and showed him heavenly signs and miracles. However, he did not embrace the truth and grew even further in his mischief and stubbornness. The Israelites did not accept pharaoh as their Lord; therefore, he tortured them severely. During this persecution, a Divine revelation was revealed upon Sayyiduna Musa tll!J1 g;; directing him to migrate from Egypt along with the Bani Israel overnight. Therefore, Sayyiduna Musa tll!J1 g;; left Egypt overnight along with the Israelites. When pharaoh came to know about it, he mobilized his army to arrest the Israelites. When the two armies became close to each other, the Israelites shrieked out of the fear of pharaoh and thought they would now be arrested by pharaoh. The prevailing situation for the Israelites was very serious because, at one side, they were confronted by the river with big tidal waves in front of them and the bloodthirsty army of pharaoh on the other side.
Under this alarming situation, Sayyiduna Musa tll!J1 was relaxed and was consoling the Israelites. When they approached the river, Allah jz_;’;i commanded Sayyiduna Musa tll!J1 to strike the river with his staff. Therefore, the moment he tll!J1 «;Ji struck the river with his blessed staff, twelve clear roads developed across the river. The Israelites walked over these twelve paths and crossed the river safely.
When pharaoh reached the river and saw the twelve roads, he went onto the roads along with his army. However, when he and his army reached the middle of the river, suddenly the huge waves rose and engulfed the roads. Consequently, pharaoh drowned into the river, along with his army. The Holy Quran mentions the incident in these words:
فَلَمَّا تَرَآءَ الْجَمْعٰنِ قَالَ اَصْحٰبُ مُوۡسٰۤی اِنَّا لَمُدْرَکُوۡنَ ﴿ۚ61﴾قَالَ کَلَّا ۚ اِنَّ مَعِیَ رَبِّیۡ سَیَہۡدِیۡنِ ﴿62﴾فَاَوْحَیۡنَاۤ اِلٰی مُوۡسٰۤی اَنِ اضْرِبۡ بِّعَصَاکَ الْبَحْرَ ؕ فَانۡفَلَقَ فَکَانَ کُلُّ فِرْقٍ کَالطَّوْدِ الْعَظِیۡمِ ﴿ۚ63﴾وَ اَزْلَفْنَا ثَمَّ الْاٰخَرِیۡنَ ﴿ۚ64﴾وَ اَنۡجَیۡنَا مُوۡسٰی وَ مَنۡ مَّعَہٗۤ اَجْمَعِیۡنَ ﴿ۚ65﴾ثُمَّ اَغْرَقْنَا الْاٰخَرِیۡنَ ﴿ؕ66﴾اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیَۃً ؕ وَمَا کَانَ اَکْثَرُہُمۡ مُّؤْمِنِیۡنَ ﴿67﴾
And then the two groups came in front of each other; those with Musa said, ‘They have overtaken us.’ Said Musa, ‘Not so! Indeed my Lord is with me, He will now show me the way.’ So We sent revelation to Musa; that, ‘Strike the river with your staff.’ Thereupon the river parted, so each part became like a huge mountain. And We brought the others (Fir’awn and his people) close to that place. And We saved Musa and all those with him. Then drowned the others. Indeed, in this is surely a sign and most of them were not Muslims.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)J (Part 19, Surah Ash-Shu’ ara, Ayah 61-67)