Question 186: At what age did Nabi Musa (as) die? Please, also Let us know the story of Prophet Musa and Malak al-Mawt?
Answer 186: When the Prophet Musa and Aaron (pbuth) passed away in the wilderness. It is narrated that the Malak al-Mawt (Azrael) shaped in the form of a human and digged the grave of the prophet. That’s why the Bani Israel don’t know the exact place where the prophet (peace be upon him) is buried. The holy Prophet (pbuh) was asked where is the grave of the prophet Musa? He said: it is on a great path by the way near the red sand hill (al-Kathib al-Ahmar). And there was a difference of 500 years between the prophet Musa and Dawood (David) (as) and 1100 years between Dawood and Prophet Isa (pbuth).According to Imam Sadiq of Baqir (pbuth), the holy Prophet Musa (as) passed away at the age of 120 on the 21th night of the holy month of Ramadan.
Arabic version of the Hadith:
مَاتَ هَارُونُ وَ مُوسَى عَلَيْهِمَا السَّلَامُ فِي التِّيهِ فَرُوِيَ أَنَّ الَّذِي حَفَرَ قَبْرَ مُوسَى هُوَ مَلَكُ الْمَوْتِ فِي صُورَةِ آدَمِيٍّ وَ لِذَلِكَ لَا يَعْرِفُ بَنُو إِسْرَائِيلَ مَوْضِعَ قَبْرِ مُوسَى عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ وَ سُئِلَ النَّبِيُّ ص عَنْ قَبْرِهِ فَقَالَ عِنْدَ الطَّرِيقِ الْأَعْظَمِ عِنْدَ الْكَثِيبِ الْأَحْمَرِ قَالَ وَ كَانَ بَيْنَ مُوسَى وَ بَيْنَ دَاوُدَ خَمْسُمِائَةِ سَنَةٍ وَ بَيْنَ دَاوُدَ وَ عِيسَى أَلْفُ سَنَةٍ وَ مِائَةُ سَنَةٍ.
“أَخْبَرَنِي الشَّيْخُ عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنِ الْحُسَيْنِ بْنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ أَبَانٍ عَنِ الْحُسَيْنِ بْنِ سَعِيدٍ عَنْ حَمَّادٍ عَنْ حَرِيزٍ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ مُسْلِمٍ عَنْ أَحَدِهِمَا (عَلَيْهِمَا السَّلَامُ) قَالَ الْغُسْلُ فِي سَبْعَةَ عَشَرَ مَوْطِناً وَ سَاقَ الْحَدِيثَ إِلَى أَنْ قَالَ وَ لَيْلَةَ إِحْدَى وَ عِشْرِينَ أَيْ مِنْ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ وَ هِيَ اللَّيْلَةُ الَّتِي أُصِيبَ فِيهَا أَوْصِيَاءُ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ وَ فِيهَا رُفِعَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ (عَلَيْهِمَا السَّلَامُ) وَ قُبِضَ مُوسَى (عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ”).
It is also narrated that the prophet Musa died, (at the age of one hundred and twenty), three years after his brother Aeron dien at the age of 123.
The Story of Musa and Malak al-Mawt
It is mentioned in some relaible authenitc hadiths that Imam Jaafar al-sadiq (as) said that when the end of Musa’s life approached and the angle of Death came and said: O kalimullah, Assalaamu Alaikum. Musa responded Wa Alaik al-Salaam. Who are you? The angle replied: I am the angle of death. He asked, Why have you come? He replied, To take your soul. Musa aksed, From where will you seize it? He replied, From your mouth. Musa asked, How will you seize it from the mouth when I have conserved with the Allah the Almighty with it? The angle replied, Alright, I will seize it from your hands, Musa exclaimed, How will you seize it from my hands when these hands held the Torah? He said, from your legs. Musa said, How, when I climbed up Mount Sinai with them. Malak al-Mawt said, from your eyes. Musa said, How, when I look towarss Allah, the Almighty in farfetched hopes with them? He said, then from your ears. Musa said, How, when I have heard the words of my Lord, the Glorified and Majestic is He.
So, Allah (SWT) told Malak al-Mawt, Do not take his soul, until he desires it to be taken.
The Malak al-Mawt left then. And Musa remained alive until Allah desired him to be alive, and He called upon Yousa bin Noon and he gave successorship to him. And he ordered him to guard his role and ordered to also later name a successor to guard his role.
Musa went to his occoultaton from his people. While in his occultation he passed a man was digging a grave. So, he said to him, Can I observe you with digging this grave? The man said, Yes. When the grave was dug to its completion, Musa lied down in it to see how it felt so that the veils where lifted and he saw his place in Heaven. He said then, ‘Oh my Lord, take me to you. So, the Malak al-Mawt took his soul and buried him in the grave. And put the dust upon him.
The man was digging the grave was Malak al-Mawt shaped in the form of a Human, and it was in the wilderness. A caller, then, gave a great call to the Heaven, Musa Kaleemullah has passed away.
A man asked The holy Prophet (pbuh), Where is the grave of the prophet Musa? He said: It is on a great path by the way near the red sand hill (al-Kathib al-Ahmar).
For further information in this regards, please read the following answers:
Index: Death of Asiya Bint Muzahim / Pharaoh ordered to kill her, answer 528.
Index: Egyptian Pharaohs / List of pharaohs, answer 246.
 . Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 13, Pg. 364, Chapter 12, death of the holy Prophet Musa bin Omran and Aaron (as), ahadith 1-18.
 . Al-Tahzib, Vol. 1, Pg. 114, H. 34; Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 3, Pg. 307, H. 3718; Yaqoubi, Tarikh al-Yaqubi, Tehran, Cultural and scientific publisher, 1992, Vol. 1, pg. 51.
 . Tarikh al-Yaqoubi, Vol. 1, Pg. 62; Tarikh Tabari, Pg. 347; Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 12, Pg. 368; al-Tahzib, Vol. 1, Pg. 32.
 . Ibid.