New Year… Follow Prophet Musa’s Model to Conquering any Goal

The New Year is upon us and the topic of goals is on the rise. No matter your goal, given the ongoing global crisis, conquering hardship is always something we strive towards. 

While you decide what you will focus on this year, I want to offer a model of how to do so inspired by the story of our beloved Prophet Musa (peace be upon him).

These lessons can apply to all goals whether they’re mental, fitness, financial or just plain survival.

📚 Read Also: Struggling to Stay Hopeful? Read This

1) Recognize how your actions got you to where you are. Hold yourself accountable.

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Before ever deciding to change your endpoint, you need to reflect on how you got there. What, if anything, did you do (or not do) that contributed to being in the situation you want to change?

If there are things that are truly not your fault, what are the circumstances around you that you have power over to make things a little easier?

Prophet Musa demonstrates a humble approach to this strategy.

{ ˹One day˺ he entered the city unnoticed by its people. There he found two men fighting: one of his own people, and the other of his enemies. The man from his people called to him for help against his foe. So Moses punched him, causing his death. Moses cried, “This is from Satan’s handiwork. He is certainly a sworn, misleading enemy.”

He pleaded, “My Lord! I have definitely wronged my soul, so forgive me.” So He forgave him, ˹for˺ He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful. } (Al-Qasas 28: 15-16]

Musa’s actions led to a catastrophic event. It would’ve served him to cast blame on others. But, he accepted responsibility and prayed for forgiveness. When a similar situation came up later on, he avoided it like the plague.

2) Have hope that when things become emotionally overwhelming, God will help you.

If you ever ask a mom if she could do what Musa’s mom was called to do, the answer is a resounding “never.” The human heart and mind are overwhelmingly powerful, but they are also servants of God when we turn them over to Him.

Musa’s mother wasn’t acting on bravery and false tawakkul when she placed her son into a roaring river without knowing what would happen next. She was terrified, overwhelmed and hesitant. In fact, so hesitant that she had regrets and nearly revealed the plan. Had she done that, Musa would’ve been killed like all the other baby boys of Bani Israel. But Allah says:

{And the heart of Moses’ mother ached so much that she almost gave away his identity, had We not reassured her heart in order for her to have faith ˹in Allah’s promise˺.} (Al-Qasas 28:10)

It was Allah’s divine intervention that tamed her burning heart in that moment. She was only tasked with taking action and Allah took care of the rest.

Know that this blessing is afforded to you too. Whether it’s through positive thinking, mental health counseling or building new habits, assess your needs to transform your mind and heart and take that path. Allah will do the rest.

3) Turn to duaa, even if you don’t know what to ask for.

I’ve had many times where it felt like the challenges ahead of me were so heavy; I didn’t even know what to make duaa for to relieve me of them.

This is the nature of crisis. It catches us so off guard; we don’t know what to say. But duaa doesn’t have to be a beautifully curated monologue. It just needs to come from the heart. Allah says:

{And when My servants ask you, [O Muḥammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.} (Baqarah 2:186)

Being homeless after escaping the guards of his city, Musa makes a duaa so simple but transformative. 

{So he watered ˹their herd˺ for them, then withdrew to the shade and prayed, “My Lord! I am truly in ˹desperate˺ need of whatever provision You may have in store for me.} (Al-Qasas 28: 24)

From this simple but sincere duaa, Musa would be blessed with a home to live in, a wife to marry, a father-in-law to mentor and guide him and much more.

4) Recognize your limitations and seek help.

{And my brother Aaron is more eloquent than I, so send him with me as a helper to support what I say, for I truly fear they may reject me.} (Al-Qasas 28:34)

When Musa is called to prophethood by Allah, he faithfully accepts the duty, but not without understanding his strengths and areas of improvement. Musa made the call to request his brother to join him in this journey. If a Prophet was wise enough to seek help, we are not above it.

Whatever your goal is, inspect your circle for those who can support you. Accountability buddies, mentors, hype men/women… let people lift you up so you don’t fall down!

Apply these prophetic wisdoms to any goal and watch yourself soar!

About Hana Alasry
Hana Alasry is a Yemeni American Muslim community organizer and activist working most heavily with MAS Youth. Her work focuses heavily on Muslim youth development, Islamic tarbiya and the Yemen crisis. She is currently in PA school studying medicine at the University of Detroit Mercy.