We have been reading the story of Musa ‘alayhi salaam in bits and pieces so far, now comes Surah al-Qasas. It is the Surah which contains the most detailed account of Prophet Musa.
Musa ‘alayhi salaam was born at a time when Pharaoh was slaughtering new-born male children. For the mothers, it was a grievous time; to give birth and see their child slaughtered. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala inspired Prophet Musa’s mother to cast him into the river without fear or grief. He assured her that He will return the baby to her and make him one of His messengers. And this did happen, as we read,
“So We restored him to his mother that she might be content and not grieve and that she would know that the promise of Allah is true. But most of the people do not know,” [al-Qasas 28:13].
Allah’s promise is always true. He does not back out of His promises. Another promise mentioned in this story is when Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala promised Prophet Muhammad ﷺ return to Makkah, “Indeed, [O Muhammad], He who imposed upon you the Qur’an will take you back to a place of return,” [al-Qasas 28:85], and we saw this did happen. Another meaning of this ayah could be return to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in Paradise. We ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to grant us the company of Muhammad ﷺ in JannatilFirdous, ameen.
Be Honorable and Dignified
When Musa ‘alayhi salaam was in the valley of Madyan, he found two women standing aside a water well waiting for the men to leave so that they could water their flock. Musa ‘aayhi salaam felt no disgrace in being a Prophet of Allah and reaching out to help them. He made his way into the crowd and watered the flock on the behalf of those girls. When the girls reached their home and narrated the incident to their father and the man’s utmost dignity and respect towards them, the father requested to meet him. He had found the man he would marry off one of his daughters to.
Today, we have made the Sunnah of marriage tough by our unrealistic demands and expectations. The Prophet ﷺ instructed us to marry off our daughters to anyone whose conduct pleased us.
People meet good fellows in the mosque, but due to their financial standing or not having a certain career are refused or overlooked. Similarly, remarrying a divorced woman is looked down upon. Didn’t the Prophet ﷺ marry divorced women? If anything, the divorced man and woman have more experience. Reach out and if you can find suitable matches for the singles, divorced and widowed in your families and communities. Let us save ourselves and our families from secret affairs and that which is forbidden.
Become Strong and Trustworthy
One of the women said,
“O my father, hire him. Indeed, the best one you can hire is the strong and the trustworthy,” [al-Qasas 28:26].
Hard work and trustworthiness are two qualities that can take a person to higher levels. Here we learn a hiring tip: if you are to hire someone for a task look for these two qualities. We ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to grant us these qualities as well, ameen.
The example we have is none other than our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. When Khadeeja radhiAllahu ‘anha was looking for an employee to conduct trade on her behalf, she selected Muhammad ﷺ because of his hard work and trustworthiness. Due to these two qualities, she felt no shyness is offering her hand in marriage to him; to someone who was fifteen years younger than her. And the Prophet ﷺ accepted it because she was a woman of grace and high respect.
Through the stories of Prophet Musa ‘alayhi salaam and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, we learn that there is nothing wrong with the girl’s side offering proposal. If the conduct pleases you, and they are righteous marry your daughters, sisters and even divorced/widowed aunts and mothers to them. Make du’a and also make an effort to help that du’a be answered. A beautiful du’a that we learn in Surah al-Qasas is:
رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ
“My Lord, indeed I am, for whatever good You would send down to me, in need,” [al-Qasas 28:24.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala answer our prayers and grant us peace, ameen.
Don’t Be Arrogant
The Pharaoh and his soldiers enjoyed many blessings of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala but they were arrogant and oppressive. So Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala took him and his soldiers and threw them into the sea. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “So see how was the end of the wrongdoers,” [al-Qasas 28:40]. Arrogance takes us nowhere. Let us, therefore, be humble. If that is not possible then let us be conscious of the fact that we will return to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, one day.
Don’t Let Your Stubbornness Destroy You
Another trait that leads to destruction is stubbornness. Such was the case of the Quraysh of Makkah. While they accepted the truthfulness of the Prophet ﷺ they were not willing to give up the religion of their forefathers because they feared their authority being lost. They said, “If we were to follow the guidance with you, we would be swept from our land,” [al-Qasas 28:57].
They acknowledged that it is guidance, but they were not willing to follow it. Sometimes we do exactly the same in our lives. We know what is right and wrong, but we are unable to display that by our actions.
All Our Blessings Are A Special Favor of Allah On Us
In the story of Prophet Sulaiman, we learned about the special gifts that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala had blessed him with. This, however, did not turn him into a haughty man.
Each time that he looked at his kingdom he thanked Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for His special favors upon him. And then there was Qaroon (Korah) who was given abundant wealth but he was a tyrant.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
“Verily, Qaroon (Korah) was from the people of Musa (Moses), but he tyrannized them. And We gave him of treasures whose keys would burden a band of strong men; thereupon his people said to him, ‘Do not exult. Indeed, Allah does not like the exultant,’” [al-Qasas 28:76].
In Islam, we are taught that our wealth belongs to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. We have been entrusted with it to ascertain what we are going to do with it. Will we give the poor their share or hoard all of it for ourselves? We should remember wealth is a test from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Qaroon was so attached to his wealth that he would not give the poor their share and this led to his destruction. Sometimes we deprive our families and the poor from their share in our wealth.
When people asked Qaroon to share his wealth with them, he said, “I was only given it because of knowledge I have,” [al-Qasas 28:78]. He attributed this special favor to his own intelligence and knowledge. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala allow us to remember that everything we have belongs to Him. It is a favor to us and we are not entitled to it by any means.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala asks,
“Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him of generations those who were greater than him in power and greater in accumulation [of wealth]?” [al-Qasas 28:78]
One day people woke up and saw that Qaroon’s palace has been swallowed up by the earth. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “And We caused the earth to swallow him and his home. And there was for him no company to aid him other than Allah, nor was he of those who [could] defend themselves,” [al-Qasas 28:81]. The more we spend our wealth in helping others, the more du’as we will accumulate. People will be speaking good about us even after we are gone and that might become the reason for our entry in Paradise, in sha Allah.
We now begin Surah al-Ankaboot.
We have talked about tests and trials many times in this series. The beginning ayaat of Surah Ankaboot give the same reminder,
“Do the people think that they will be left to say, ‘We believe’ and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars,” [al-Ankaboot 29:2-3].
A person can be tested in any manner. A happily married couple could suddenly be separated through a divorce. Are they still content with the decree of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? A physically fit person goes to work one day and loses his arm in an accident. Is he still content with the decree of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? If they are content with their tests, they have succeeded. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala allow us to pass all our tests with khair and aafiyah, and may He never put us through tests that are too difficult for us, ameen.
True Believers Will Be Distinguished from the Hypocrites
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says He will surely make evident the true believers and hypocrites; those who follow their words by their deeds and those who merely provide lip service.
We have been told a person who invites another to a good deed earns the reward of doing that good deed himself and also the reward of that one more person that he invited. Similarly, we have been warned those who invite towards evil not only carry their own burdens, but also the burdens of others – those who answer their call.
“But they will surely carry their [own] burdens and [other] burdens along with their burdens, and they will surely be questioned on the Day of Resurrection about what they used to invent,” [al-Ankabut 29:13].
Anybody who promises: do such and such and I guarantee you I will get your sins forgiven, is certainly lying. In Islam, we don’t confess our sins to anyone but Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. There are no intermediaries between man and God. Whenever one realizes, he has committed a mistake he can pour his heart out to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, regret his wrongdoing, shed sincere tears of repentance and promise never to repeat it. If Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sees any good in him, He will forgive him and also grant him opportunities to wipe out those sins with extra good deeds.
For Some Allah Delays the Punishment, Don’t Be Deceived
While Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is All-Aware of the actions of His servants, He does not bring His Wrath upon them instantly. We may look at people around us who are haughty and oppressive yet so blessed in their lives. It is not that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is pleased with them. It could be that He is only giving them respite till the time He pulls their rope like He did with other ungrateful ones,
“So each We seized for his sin, and among them were those upon whom We sent a storm of stones, and among them were those who were seized by the blast [from the sky], and among them were those whom We caused the earth to swallow, and among them were those whom We drowned. And Allah would not have wronged them, but it was they who were wronging themselves,” [al-Ankaboot 29:40].
Allah’s punishment can come in any form. We seek refuge with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala from an evil end. O Allah! Recall our souls when You are pleased with us and we are pleased with You, ameen.
(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s Peace of Pearl Series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013.)