When we think of Muslim Heroines, we may instantly think of the Mothers of Believers or the Female Companions رضي الله عنهم around the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. Rarely do we explore or reflect on the lives of the women who were around at the time of the previous Prophets, such as Bilqis – the Queen of Sheba or the Mother of Musa عليه السلام.
Surah Qasas is one that is close to my heart because it highlights the reality of loss, gain, grief, letting go, strength and bravery – all captured in the beginning few verses of the Surah – where Musa’s عليه السلام mother is battling her emotions to make the greatest decision of her life.
It’s the moment where she stands by the river bank. Her baby Musa in her hands. Now, I want you to stop and ponder over this. I want you to imagine you were the Mother of Musa عليه السلام and you had to make the decision to let go.
In life, the more we love something, the more we don’t want to let it go. When we are afraid of something, our immediate instinct reaction is to hold on to it tightly; to attach to it and cling to it more intensely. But here, Musa’s عليه السلام mother is being told to do the exact opposite. That if you want to keep him, then you have to let him go.
Allah instructs her to put her child into the river. Imagine how much strength and trust she had to have to throw her new born into the river not knowing what his fate would be? However, if she had not done this courageous act, she would have lost Musa عليه السلام. He would have been killed. By letting him go, she was protecting him.
This was no easy task for her. By taking it upon herself, by walking into her biggest nightmare – her heart became empty and void of any feeling, like a person who is in shock. The worst of thoughts occupied her mind. Would her child drown? Would she ever see her dear Musa again? Yet, who was it that calmed her heart? Allah. He promised to return Musa عليه السلام to her, if she trusted him at this moment.
He says: “And the heart of Moses’ mother became empty [of all else]. She was about to disclose [the matter concerning] him had We not bound fast her heart that she would be of the believers.” [Surah Al Qasas: 10]
Allah says, He “bound her heart”, meaning He calmed it and strengthened it through faith.
What’s even more amazing is that the same tyrant that the Mother of Musa عليه السلام was fearful of, the same man she was protecting her son against; it was in his house that her baby ended up at. At the feet of the Pharaoh and his wife. Allah took him from the care of his mother into the palace of a man who was slaying new born boys alive.
Also, the women who were supposed to nurse Musa عليه السلام were all rejected by him, and this was part of Allah’s beautiful plan. It was His plan to return Musa عليه السلام to his mother because it was only from her that his thirst would be quenched.
Another beautiful thing is what Allah said when he returned Musa عليه السلام to his Mother:
“So We restored him to his mother that she might be content and not grieve and that she would know that the promise of Allah is true. But most of the people do not know. [Surah Al Qasas: 13]
Look at the reason Allah gives for this return: “that she might be content and not grieve.” He gave her peace because of her sadness. Secondly: “And that we should know that the promise of Allah is true.” Earlier on in the story, Allah had promised to return Musa عليه السلام to her if she let him go in the river and Allah indeed fulfilled his promise.
There are numerous lessons we can learn from the story of this legendary and brave woman:
– Let go, Let God.
Sometimes holding on does more damage to us and those around us than letting go. And sometimes, it is in loss that we gain strength in our Faith and Belief in Allah. Musa’s عليه السلام mother was not a Prophet, she was an ordinary woman with amazing Tawakkul. Although it pained her, she placed her trust in Allah, not knowing what would happen in the future. She trusted in Him that all would be okay and that He would protect her beloved son.
– Allah NEVER fails in His Promise.
Every single one of us will be tested and in different ways. Sometimes we will have to make decisions between what we love and what Allah loves. But when we choose Allah, then Allah will bring back or give us better than what we left for His sake. And we have to believe with full conviction that Allah will do that because He doesn’t fail in His promise.
– Your tears are valuable.
Because of one woman’s sadness, Allah did something that made history. Allah returned her son to her. Why? So her eyes would be cooled. Know that your tears are valuable and that it is okay to be sad. If you turn to Allah and trust Him, He will bring you ease and grant you better than you had imagined.
- Allah will Heal your Heart.
Whatever emotional turmoil you’re facing, whether sorrow, grief, fear or loss: It is Allah who is capable of healing your heart. There is no such thing as “I am scarred for life”, when you truly believe that Allah will bound your heart with the sweetness of Imaan and will soothe your burning heart with the coolness of Faith. Believe that Allah will intervene in your emotional traumas and will give you peace of heart and mind and remove your every sorrow.
– Allah is the Ultimate Protector.
Musa عليه السلام ended up in the house of a murderer, an enemy. Yet, we learn that even if you are in the mouth of a lion, or in the midst of a blizzard or a storm, if Allah chooses to protect you, no harm will come to you. Allah took care of him عليه السلام and so will He of you.
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