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The Real Lesson From Prophet Moses and Ashura

Among the most difficult of things that we as Muslims have to grapple with is having trust in God when times become difficult; having the trust in Him when things look impossible in human eyes and we see no way out.

Moreover, Satan is always there trying to make us despair from the mercy and help of God.

In fact his name in Arabic, “iblees” comes from “balasa” which means to despair.

However, in this past month we were given a great reminder of having trust in God, and where it can lead us to.

Ashura marks the day that God gave victory to Moses (peace be upon him) by giving him one of the greatest miracles known in human history; the parting of the Red Sea.

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Trust in Allah

While the splitting of the sea is in and of itself amazing, what is even more amazing is the trust and reliance that Moses had upon God as he stood in front of the sea.

He did not look at the sea, rather he looked towards the One who could split it in half.

With the army of Pharaoh behind them, thousands of Israelites stranded in front of the sea many exclaimed that they would be overtaken. But not Moses.

He exclaimed:

{Indeed with me is my Lord, He will guide me.} (Quran 26:62)

It was a level of tawakkul (reliance) upon God that is seldom heard of or known about. But that was Moses and that was what made him among the greatest of our Prophets.

Rather than just fast the day, it is important that we take the lesson from how Moses came to trust in God with this depth and tranquility.

However, how did Moses have trust that was this great?

Four Women Shaped His Life

It is a combination of lots of things among which are the things that Allah gave him, among the lessons and among the people around him.

Importantly and often missed out is the fact that four women shaped his life.

When he was a child, his life was in danger. Allah gave special revelation to his mother to throw him in a basket into the fast-moving river Nile.

She did as she was commanded no matter how strange it sounded.

How can a child not safe in her mother’s hand be safe in the river all alone?

But no, she trusted God and let him into the river, trusting the promise that God had made to her.

His sister watched over him as his basket rolled through the river and shockingly of all places into Pharaoh’s palace. The same Pharaoh who has been ordering their deaths.

As a child, he refused the milk of any lady, and his sister came as the saving grace again and offered his true mother as a “nursing lady” and Allah answered the silent prayers of Moses’ mother, and fulfilled His promise.

And it is interesting that it is in relating this part of the story that Allah says in the Quran, {..such that it be known that the promise of Allah is true.} (Quran 28:7)

Pharaoh and his cronies would have killed him as a child, but the wife of Pharaoh refused to allow that.

She not only saved his life, but allowed him to blossom like a prince in the palace.

She had fallen in love with the little child and refused to allow him to be killed.

Later in life he had to flee and came across a well where he helped two women out.

He did what was right all the time. He helped the women without ever asking for any help.

One of the ladies fell in love with him, and asked her dad for his hand in marriage.

At that time he was feeling helpless and made a prayer: {My Lord I am in desperate need of any good that you may send towards me.}

God answered it emphatically – the lady came back telling him that her father wanted to talk to him.

He was offered her hand in marriage and also a job for 8 years.

Moses & Divine Commands

Later in life, he was asked by God to do things that seemed unusual.

He was asked to throw his stick on the ground, and it turned into a snake. He turned around to run away but was asked to pick up the snake.

He was fearful, but God had ordered it and so he did so and it turned back into his stick.

He was then ordered to call the biggest tyrant on earth to God. The tyrant who wanted Moses dead as well.

He was fearful of going in front of Pharaoh but he did so because God had commanded him to. He trusted God, and his trust was rewarded.

Through his life, Moses kept the command of God as a constant.

Even in things that might have seemed mundane, he kept going at it even if he didn’t quite understand. He trusted that God knew better.

Two very important things that this story taught us: Firstly, that our family and those around us have done so much more than we could have thought about, especially the women.

The work that our mothers especially do for us is something we hardly ever appreciate, myself included.

And secondly, that if we trust God with the smaller commandments in life, and through the smaller calamities then He will be there in the face of the ultimate calamity.

No Complaints

Moses never complained that he had to end up as a refugee.

He never complained that they had gotten lost in the middle of the desert with his family.

He never complained about having to do any of the deeds that God has asked him to do.

He trusted. He trusted in God that all his affairs will be taken care of, and they were.

It is in his lessons from the women in his life and in the lessons from his past that he was taught to have a trust in God that seems for all of us impossible.

So as we come towards the end of the month of Ashura let us remember to honor the people closest to us (especially the women) and to honor the commandments of God.

And when we do it well, He brings miracles, He shall split open the sea of pain, disappointment, difficulty, failure and whatever sea it is that is about to drown us.

(From Reading Islam archives)

About Raiiq Ridwan
Raiiq Ridwan is a Bangladeshi medical student at the University of Bristol, UK. He has a Bachelors In Arts in Islamic Studies at the Islamic Online University. He is founder of "The One Message". He’s certified life coach. He can write on topics related to Quran, dawah, depression, anxiety, achieving goals, productivity etc.