We know from the Quran and the tafsir (interpretation of the Quran as explained by Ibn Kathir in “The Exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt”) that the nation of Children of Israel suffered a great deal under the rule of Pharaoh (Firawn) during Prophet Moses time. When these sufferings reached their climax, Allah ordered Prophet Moses to leave Egypt in the darkness of the night and to move away from the lands ruled by Pharaoh. Accordingly, Prophet Moses left with the Children of Israel along with his brother Prophet Harun (Aaron). Later during the day, when Pharaoh discovered that the Children of Israel along with Prophet Moses and Harun had fled his rule, he became enraged and assembled his troops with the intention to pursue and punish them. According to many scholars as explained by Ibn Kathir, Pharaoh’s troops also included prominent members of his government including princes, ministers, and other high profile individuals. This signifies that Pharaoh considered the running away of Prophet Moosa (Moses) and the Children of Israel as quite significant. (See Surah Al-Baqarah pharaoh story)
He was confident that as the Children of Israel were much less in number and power, that he would find them. With his troops ready, Pharaoh went after Prophet Moses and his people (Children of Israel), who were heading toward the Red Sea with guidance from Allah.
Although Prophet Moses and his people had gotten an early start, the Pharaoh had his forces were approaching them rapidly. Once Prophet Moses and his people neared the sea, they reached a point where they couldn’t go any further nor could they turn back as they had Pharaoh and his forces closing in on them. At this point, one of Prophet Moses’ companions, a believer but one from the family of Pharaoh (Yusha bin Nun), asked Prophet Moses if this was the place where Allah had commanded them to come. The inquiry could have been to seek reconfirmation as Prophet Musa (Moses) and his people were between the Red Sea ahead of them and Pharaoh (Firawn) and his forces behind them. This is where Prophet Moses replied with a sense of Tawakkul and confidence that is a trait of the Prophets and true believers. Prophet Moses said (made a Dua), as mentioned in the Quran:
Subsequently, Allah commanded Prophet Moses to strike the sea, which then split with each side towering the size of a great mountain. This allowed Prophet Moses and his nation to cross the sea and saved them. However, Allah drowned Pharaoh (Firawn) and his people in the same sea. (See Prophet Moses in Surah Al-Baqarah)
The prayer (dua) above along with other ‘Du’as and their context (stories) are summarized in the book “Inspirations from the Quran“.
Quranic Verses Related to The Exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt
The above story is in the Quran as mentioned in the following verses of Surah (Chapter) of Ash-Shuaara.
And We inspired to Moses, “Travel by night with My servants; indeed, you will be pursued. (Quran, Surah Ash-Shuaara, Verse 52)
Then Pharaoh sent among the cities gatherers. (Quran, Surah Ash-Shuaara, Verse 53)
[And said], “Indeed, those are but a small band… (Quran, Surah Ash-Shuaara, Verse 54)
And indeed, they are enraging us… (Quran, Surah Ash-Shuaara, Verse 55)
And indeed, we are a cautious society… (Quran, Surah Ash-Shuaara, Verse 56)
So We removed them from gardens and springs. (Quran, Surah Ash-Shuaara, Verse 57)
And treasures and honorable station… (Quran, Surah Ash-Shuaara, Verse 58)
Thus. And We caused to inherit it the Children of Israel. (Quran, Surah Ash-Shuaara, Verse 59)
So they pursued them at sunrise. (Quran, Surah Ash-Shuaara, Verse 60)
And when the two companies saw one another, the companions of Moses said, “Indeed, we are to be overtaken!” (Quran, Surah Ash-Shuaara, Verse 61)
[Moses] said, “No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.” (Quran, Surah Ash-Shuaara, Verse 62)
Then We inspired to Moses, “Strike with your staff the sea,” and it parted, and each portion was like a great towering mountain. (Quran, Surah Ash-Shuaara, Verse 63)
And We advanced thereto the pursuers. (Quran, Surah Ash-Shuaara, Verse 64)
And We saved Moses and those with him, all together. (Quran, Surah Ash-Shuaara, Verse 65)
Then We drowned the others. (Quran, Surah Ash-Shuaara, Verse 66)