Musa (AS) was given a difficult task by Allah. He responded with a dua and a request for help. How do I respond to such challenges in my life?Think of a current challenge and devise a plan of action.
Before the understanding of the Qur’an, I always had a plan of action according to my own limited wisdom. Sometimes the plan worked, sometimes it failed miserable leaving me feeling very unsatisfied, agitated and always looking someone else to put the blame on. Not a very conducive approach. My instincts were usually: I should do something about this problem.
Now facing I have an absolutely new reference point – the Quran. Alhumdulillah, now when something difficult comes my way, I stop to think about the ayahs I have learned in the Qur’an. Then I stop to analyze the situation in light of the life of Rasulullah (SAW) and whether we have studied any similar cases of the Sahabas in the hadith. With these as the starting point, I feel a sudden guiding factor is there that surpasses all worldly wisdom. This helps pave the way for my strategy and course of plan. I usually quietly make dua for Allah to guide me in the right direction in addressing the challenge.
I don’t know whether the choices I eventually make in handling the challenge work out positively or give a good end result all the time, but I am more at peace with the entire situation at hand whereas before I thought I mishandled the situation, plunged into the face of the challenge without much prep or thought With Allah as the starting point, Allah makes things work out in a way you never thought it would.
Recently, my daughter was having trouble with a very bossy friend who is very jealous and will not let her even talk to other girls in class. She would get very upset when my daughter tried to help others or be friendly with them. My daughter felt bad especially when this girl would clearly show her upset and then later on when my poor daughter explained things to her, this bossy friend would say: I forgive you!
My daughter’s 3 classfriends were planning an Eid day out with the Moms and girls but the bossy friend did not allow their old friends who had been very close for 2 years but this year had changed schools to join in the event. My daughter was looking forward to meeting the one old friend with whom she and the her friends had spend a lot of time and had shared memories. With this girl’s attitude, my daughter also got shaky whether she was doing the right thing in even wanting to meet her old friend. I would throw in my one liner of: old is gold and remember your old friend invited you even though she changed schools and moved on. She could have chosen not to but it was nice of her etc. etc.
Meanwhile, My other instinct was to talk to the girls mother. But the girl’s mother was known to over-react when it came to receiving some constructive feedback about her daughter’s behavior. So I was debating on what I should do. I decided I will help my daughter by bringing Rasulullah’s life in the forefront. So I posed the question: Zainab, do you think Rasulullah (SAW) would have ever been able to spread Islam to the various other places he did to all the different types of people he did had he decided to just continue meeting the same people and not taking along the his old companions? Of course her answer was no. Then we went on to talk about how open and approachable he was as a person so much so that people could easily come and converse with him. People loved him so much. The strength that Islam got was from the dedication of his old companions who were his dearest of friends. Our Prophet (SAW) took everyone along.
She went back and relayed the entire concept to her friend in her own ways. What I found truly amazing was the fact that she didn’t attribute to the story to My mother says: she just went and had the same starting point with her friend: Do you think the Prophet would have been able to spread Islam! Such is the power of our deen subhanallah – it speaks out for itself!
The final outcome of this was when this bossy friend had a play date at her house and she decided to invite the old friend also. So alhumdulillah, the message for 8 year olds was sent across that we cannot own people and we cannot be self centered and live in the current for ourselves only. We need to share and remember if someone has been good to us and if we have shared some happy times with those who are no longer with us. Zainab decided to take some Islamic story books to her friend’s house to give as gifts to her.
A Student of the Quran