Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I know sometimes when I am faced with a huge obstacle, I recently tended to just turn away from it, and give up--sometimes before even starting. I totally lost my drive, my motivation. I would turn my back on something because I thought it was just too hard, and so I'd fail without ever even starting.

So this quote says a lot to me--that I should try because I could succeed. It's worth noting however that success is from Allah. When thinking of an example, what came to my mind was the story of Moses talking to Pharaoh--it is probably the most oft-told story about Moses, that he led the Children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. Amazing. And if you look at the beginning (as in Surah Taha) of his task, when faced with the command from Allah to go to Pharaoh, he starts off by asking for help from Allah.

Here is his du'a (Muhsin Khan translation):

[Musa (Moses)] said: "O my Lord! Open for me my chest (grant me self-confidence, contentment, and boldness).
And ease my task for me;
And make loose the knot (the defect) from my tongue, (i.e. remove the incorrectness from my speech)
That they understand my speech,
And appoint for me a helper from my family,
Harun (Aaron), my brother;
Increase my strength with him,
And let him share my task (of conveying Allah's Message and Prophethood),
That we may glorify You much,
And remember You much,
Verily! You are of us Ever a Well-Seer." (Taha 25-35)
This is one beautiful du'a that any da'ee should know, and even pray before going out to talk to people about Islam. It starts by asking for confidence--which seems to be the first requirement for a person going out on a mission. Not to be confused with arrogance, a certain amount of confidence is necessary to overcome prior despondency and rouse the person to action. And then Moses asks for the task, which in his case is going to talk to Pharaoh, be made easy. Remember that Allah will not try us with something greater than we can bear, but I guess we learn from this du'a that we can also ask Allah to make certain things easy for us. I recall asking Allah to make Islam easy for me very often, especially after wearing hijab and I feared that it would become too difficult. But it didn't--it was easy.

Then Moses asks Allah to be able to speak clearly, which we understand was because of some speech impediment. But since any of us can become "tongue-tied" when speaking about anything, including Islam, it's especially worthwhile to ask Allah to make it easy for us to be understood by our audience.

And then Moses asks for even more help--that his brother can go with him and help him!

Moses didn't say here that this task was just too hard, and he didn't make excuses either, before Allah. He acknowledged his own weaknesses and asked Allah for help. Beautifully the du'a ends by showing the purpose of striving for the objective in the first place, the reason for asking Allah for help and for obeying Allah, which is to glorify Allah and remember Allah. So Allah answered his du'a. The next ayah reads: Allah said: "You are granted your request, O Musa (Moses)! (Taha 36.) And Allah helped him, and what might have seemed a tremendous challenge became what we can call a truly great success of Moses, because he was helped by Allah.

Another example that came to my mind, about fierce enemies becoming strong allies was the example of 'Umar ibn al-Khattab. A man who even harbored murderous intentions toward the Prophet (saws) after reading the Qur'an (according to reports, by reading from Surah Taha which I was just talking about) became softened towards Islam and became one of its strongest supporters.

So what can we learn from this? Don't make excuses--Moses did not make excuses--but try to find a way to accomplish the objective, by seeking help with Allah. Instead of viewing obstacles as dead ends, find a solution and ask Allah for help. Like Moses did not see his speech impediment as a reason to abandon the responsibility Allah had given him, he just asked Allah for help. And that's exactly what we should do.

Anything good is from Allah. Mistakes are my own, so any corrections are appreciated.

1 comment:

sami said...


Machaa Allah, very interesting lesson,
personnally i have a huge consideration to lessons deducted from Quran.

The valuable deductions you mad, are from the magnificent Surat Taha. The content of this sura is soo magnificent with deeper meanings, sense and wisdom. Just by reading the beginning of Surah Taha 'Omar Ibn alkhatab' was convinced by the authenticity of Islam.

About this subject, i notice that it is no coincidence that the word patience has been cited nearly a hundred times in the Koran.
Patience in the sense "Don't make excuses--Moses did not make excuses--but try to find a way to accomplish the objective, by seeking help with Allah"