Musa is the most frequently mentioned prophet in the Qur’an, so much so that our scholars said, “(It was) almost like as if the Qur’an is about Musa “. The story of Musa is such an amazing and inspiring one that every time I read any part of it, I find solace in it. From his birth till the Exodus from Egypt, and perhaps even after that, he was in grave danger many, many times and Allah saved him.
One such occasion was his escape from Egypt and landing up in Madyan when he makes a beautiful and powerful dua:
رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنْزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ
Translation: My Lord, indeed I am, for any good that you bestow on me, very needy.” (Surah Al Qasas, 28:24)
The words of this dua are words of desperation, words that reflect how lost Musa is feeling, so much so that he can’t even bring himself to ask for something specific, but he still asks and begs for *any* good that Allah can send down upon him.
To have a little background, Musa unintentionally killed a man from the people of the ruling class of Egypt while he was only trying to restrain this man fighting with an Israeli, the slave class in Egypt at the time (also Musa’s people). Now, the murder of a man from the ruling class by a man from the slave class would surely not go unpunished, and so when news reached Musa that they were plotting to kill him in retaliation, he fled Egypt immediately.
Imagine his situation – scared, remorseful, fugitive, alone. What does he have with him? What can he ask for? He arrives in a completely new place amongst unknown people and has no direction to pursue. And that’s when Allah inspires him with these beautiful words:
رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنْزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ
“My Lord, indeed I am, for any good that you bestow on me, very needy.”
No matter how much you sin, don’t lose your connection with Allah:
One very important lesson that I get from this episode of Musa is that no matter how big a crime you commit, it need not be a reason for you to lose your connection with Allah . Even the guilt and remorse we feel after committing a major sin is from the mercy of Allah , and we need to secure that by asking for Allah’s forgiveness and beg for His favors upon us.
Satan, of course, tries to make us think otherwise – after what we’ve done, ‘our connection with Allah is irredeemable’, that ‘we’re evil now’, ‘we’re too low’, ‘we’ve done this way too many times to have lost count’, ‘we’re not any good’.
But here, Musa killed someone by mistake; and was full of remorse. Musa did not drown himself in guilt and regret, he invoked Allah asking for any good because he’s in a situation where he doesn’t even know what to ask for specifically, he doesn’t even know what’s good for him, but he trusts Allah and so he begs Allah for it. How beautiful is this dua’a!
If you’ve ever been so desperate and lost that you can’t even figure what’s good for you and you need direction and help, then make this dua’a, it brings a lot of comfort to the anxious heart.
If you commit a mistake or sin, don’t isolate yourself from the world:
Another inspiring move by Musa is his effort in trying to help the two women with their sheep, soon after arriving at Madyan. Despite whatever he has been through, wronged or committed wrong himself, he doesn’t isolate himself from the rest of the world. When he sees someone in need of help, he gets up and offers it. Again, no sin is big enough to prevent you from doing an act of good.
“Fear Allah wherever you may be; follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out, and behave good-naturedly towards people.” 1
It appears as though Musa is a personification of this hadith, because this is exactly what he’s doing. And this is exactly what we should be doing as well — follow up a sin with a deliberate act of good and serve the people.
Admit your weakness and wrongdoings, but don’t stop doing good:
Even almost a decade later, when Allah bestowed Musa with prophethood and assigned him to go to Firawn and have the Children of Israel released from bondage, Musa expressed his hesitation due to having killed one of their men. Allah assured Musa that He will strengthen him and he need not be afraid. When they meet, Firawn uses this exact weakness of Musa to undermine his Da’wah – reminding him of his past crime, but Musa responds bravely that whatever he did was out of ignorance and now, Allah has guided him, and continues with the work assigned to him. So, there’s no harm in admitting our weakness and wrong-doings, but we shouldn’t let them interfere with our pursuits by falling into despair, we shouldn’t allow them to overwhelm us.
With Allah’s help, you can achieve anything:
Nobody’s perfect. We struggle and seek perfection everyday, although we won’t reach it, we will keep improving as long as we keep trying. We’ll fall and we’ll have to pick ourselves up again. The best part about falling in Islam is that the rising back up is the most liberating experience, it teaches you that with Allah’s support alone, you can overcome anything. Isn’t it funny when someone says something rude and judgmental to us, we retort back with “Allah is my Judge”; yet, when Satan, our archenemy, whispers thoughts to weaken us with guilt and immobilize us from doing any good, we give in and actually expose ourselves to bigger doom by losing hope in the mercy of Allah ?
Problems afflict every one of us. It’s our choice whether we want to be defined by those problems or be defined by our goals. As a Muslim, our motto is إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ [You (Allah) alone we worship and You (Allah) alone we seek help with], this is what should define us and drive us throughout our lives.
I’ve benefited from this dua’a many times, Alhamdulillaah. I hope I get to meet Musain the Hereafter and tell him how the words that he wove together into such an effective supplication brought comfort to my heart innumerable times. What an amazing moment that would be! Looking forward to that, in shaa Allaah. 🙂
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About the Author:
Haya Ismail is a 7th semester BAIS student at Islamic Online University. She has completed the Taalem-ul-Qur’aan Diploma course under Al Huda International. Besides studies, she enjoys baking and writing.
- Tirmidhi ↩