Prophet Musa: An Excellent Role Model
If you study the Glorious Qur’an with in-depth reflection, you’ll be struck by how often Allah mentions Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) in the Book, in one context or other. From his infancy to adulthood, to his family and communal life, Allah mentions him a total of 169 times in the Qur’an!
Let’s look at the qualities this Prophet of Allah had that endeared him so much to Allah that He chose him, spoke to him (in fact had conversations with him), and made him a mighty messenger.
“And mention in the Book (this Qur’an), Musa; Verily! He was chosen and he was a Messenger (and) a Prophet.” (Qur’an, 19:51)
Hastening to obey Allah
When Allah called Musa to a meeting on Mount Tur, he arrived earlier than the appointed time. The reason: to please Allah!
“…I hastened to You, O my Lord, that You might be pleased.” (Qur’an, 20:84)
Quick in turning to Allah
Once a man from the slave-tribe of Bani Israel called out for help as a Coptic (Pharaoh’s tribesman) wrangled with him in the street. Musa (peace be upon him) rushed to defend him, accidentally killing the oppressive Coptic with an unintentional hard blow to the chest. As soon as he saw what he’d done, Musa repented, sought forgiveness and vowed future good conduct:
“He said: ‘My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself, so forgive me.’
Then He forgave him. Verily, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
He said: ‘My Lord! For that with which You have favored me, I will never more be a helper for the Mujrimun (criminals)!’” (Qur’an, 28:16-17)
Upon receiving the news of his eventual persecution by the Copts for this murder, he once again turned to Allah in earnest supplication, appealing for Divine deliverance and guidance, as he prepared to flee the town in secret.
“So he escaped from there; fearful, vigilant. He said: ‘My Lord! Save me from the people who are wrong-doers!’
And when he went towards (the land of) Midian, he said: ‘Perhaps my Lord will guide me to the Right Way.’” (Qur’an, 28:21-22)
Helping the weak
Prophet Musa’s shining quality to help the weak again comes forth when he enters a new town, escaping Pharaoh’s men, and spotting two girls in a plight:
“And when he arrived at the water of Madyan (Midian) he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: ‘What is the matter with you?’ They said: ‘We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take (their flocks). And our father is a very old man.’
So he watered (their flock) for them….” (Qur’an, 28:23-24)
Full trust in Allah
Homeless, jobless, and alone in a strange town, he helped two women chivalrously without expecting any favors in return, because he turned to his friend and patron Allah for assistance. He withdrew under a tree to sincerely call to His Lord for help.
“…then he turned back to shade, and said: ‘My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!’” (Qur’an, 28:24)
At such a sincere display of pure trust, his Lord responded to his prayer immediately:
“Then there came to him one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: ‘Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us.’ So when he came to him and narrated the story, he said: ‘Fear not! You have escaped from the wrongdoing people.’
One of the two women said: ‘O my father! Hire him! For the best (man) that you can hire is the strong, the trustworthy.’
He said: ‘I intend to wed one of these two daughters of mine to you, on condition that you serve me for eight years, but if you complete 10 years, it will be (a favor) from you. But I intend not to place you under a difficulty. If Allah will, you will find me one of the righteous.’” (Qur’an, 28:25-27)
In response to his earnest prayers, Allah gave him a long-lasting job, a considerate employer, accommodation, a chaste wife, and compassionate in-laws – all within the same day!
Prophet Musa’s conduct is a far cry from the attitudes of most Muslims today, who put their trust first in their contacts, references and networking tools to get jobs or marriage proposals. Only when all other tangible avenues are exhausted do we weak-hearted believers turn to Allah in prayer. We ask others for help, shelter, food or money before turning to Him, the Creator, Sustainer, and the Source of all provision.