Muslims around the world last month celebrated Hajj and remembered Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) and his family.
Many of the Hajj rituals relate to Prophet Abraham, his son Ishmael and his wife Hajar, as pilgrims in Makkah and Mina literally walk in their footsteps.
When pilgrims circumambulate the Ka’bah, they remember Prophet Abraham who rebuilt God’s House with his son, and they strengthen their faith and love for Allah during tawaf.
And when pilgrims go seven times between the mounts of Safa and Marwah then drink from the well of Zamzam, they also remember Prophet Ismail and his mother Hajar and renew their determination to do their best effort and trust in Allah.
At Mina when pilgrims throw pebbles at the jamarat, again they remember the three members of the blessed Abrahamic family and are inspired by their faith when facing life’s temptations.
Allah’s Beloved Prophets
And in this month of Muharram, on the Day of Ashura we are remembering another of Allah’s beloved prophets, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him).
Allah (SWT) loved both prophets so much that He took Prophet Abraham as a close friend (Khalil), and He spoke to Prophet Moses (Kalimul Allah) directly, not through angels.
Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:
And who is better in religion than one who submits himself to Allah while being a doer of good and follows the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth? And Allah took Abraham as an intimate friend. (4:125)
In the same chapter, He also says about Prophet Moses (peace be upon him):
And [We sent] messengers about whom We have related [their stories] to you before and messengers about whom We have not related to you. And Allah spoke to Moses with [direct] speech. (4:164)
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) met both prophets during his night journey and ascension to Heaven. He met Prophet Abraham in the highest heaven, the seventh heaven, and Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) in the sixth heaven.
That’s how close they are to Allah (SWT), and their stories inspire us year after year.
Ashura: Remembering a Strong Faith
When Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and his followers were nearly defeated, Allah’s Prophet did not doubt His promise.
He trusted Allah so much, he knew deep inside that He would never let him down.
When facing the sea and Pharaoh’s approaching army, when all those around him believed they would be dead, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) said:
No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me. (26:62)
And the miracle took place, as a path for their salvation appeared in front of them:
Then We inspired to Moses, “Strike with your staff the sea,” and it parted, and each portion was like a great towering mountain. (6:63)
If there is one main lesson we Muslim should take away from the Day of Ashura it is to trust in Allah’s promise.
When the Mother of Moses (peace be upon him) trusted in God’s promise and threw her baby in the Nile, God fulfilled His promise and he returned to her. It seems this event helped shape the character and strengthen the faith of God’s prophet throughout his life.
When he later on faced Pharaoh and all those magicians, fear entered his heart.
But he trusted Allah (SWT), and threw his staff as commanded:
And he sensed within himself apprehension, did Moses. Allah said, “Fear not. Indeed, it is you who are superior. And throw what is in your right hand; it will swallow up what they have crafted. What they have crafted is but the trick of a magician, and the magician will not succeed wherever he is.” (20:67-69)
And what was the outcome of that moment of trust in Allah (SWT)?
He turned all those disbelievers who practiced magic into strong believers with Allah’s permission:
So the magicians fell down in prostration. They said, “We have believed in the Lord of Aaron and Moses. (20:70)
At the Red Sea, when there was no escape, no bridge and no tunnel to go to the other side, a moment of strong faith and trust in God was key in his salvation and the salvation of his people.
So what about us Muslims today?
Do we have that strong faith to help us out of the difficulties and hardships we face in life?
When we read the Quran, do we really reflect on the stories of God’s Prophets as we should?
Or are they just stories we read over and over again without deep reflection?
The next time you read the stories of Prophet Abraham and Prophet Moses in the Quran, try to focus and do your best to think how these stories relate to your own personal life and challenges.
In doing so, we will find that the Quran will teach us a lot, and the inspiration we get from these stories will help guide us to Allah’s Straight Path.
The sea will not open to save us, but on a smaller scale Allah (SWT) will show us the way.
… And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. (65:2)