Surah Ash-Shu’-araa is such a beautiful Surah that I can’t stop thinking about it. I love how Allah SWT strengthens Rasulalah Salahu ‘alayhi wasalam’s heart step-by-step. It really trembles my heart when I listen to it…subhanAllah.
This Surah highlights the struggles of the Prophets, their fears, they and their followers being minorities and social outcasts in their communities, and how Allah SWT aids them and they end up finally being triumphant by the help of Allah SWT.
- verses 10-68 – talk about Musa AS
- verses 69-104 – talk about Ibrahim AS
- verses 105-122 – Nuh AS
- verses 123-140 – Hud AS & people of ‘Ad
- verses 141-159 – Salih AS & people of Thamud
- verses 160-175- Lut AS
- verses 176-191 – Shu-‘aib AS & people of Aykah
Prophet SAW’s Caring Nature, a True Preacher
It may be that you (O Muhammad SAW) are going to kill yourself with grief, that they do not become believers [in your Risalah (Messengership) and in your Message of Islamic Monotheism]. (3)
And then Allah SWT begins the narrative of the Prophets, telling our beloved Prophet SAW that your brothers before you faced the same challenges. They went through the same pains and struggles. They were ridiculed as well…but don’t worry Allah SWT is going to give you victory. SubhanAllah.
Verses from which lessons can be derived:
Display of Weaknesses and Concerns to Only Allah SWT:
He said, “My Lord, indeed I fear that they will deny me. (12) And that my breast will tighten and my tongue will not be fluent, so send for Harun (Aaron) (to come along with me). (13) And they have a charge of crime against me, and I fear they will kill me.” (14) [ Allah ] said, “No. Go both of you with Our signs; indeed, We are with you, listening. (15)
Most Muslims have this image of Prophets as having non-human-like characteristics. Prophet Musa AS displays fear in front of Allah SWT which tells us that there’s nothing wrong to have these fears. Those of you who have stage-fright may be able to relate to what Musa AS means when he says, ‘and my breast will tighten’. It is said that he AS had speech problems and so he sought permission from Allah SWT to have Harun AS with him as support. With all those fears including the charges against him, check out what Allah SWT says,
“No. Go both of you with Our signs; indeed, We are with you, listening.“
So even if you are falsely accused and are ‘the most wanted’, Allah SWT will take care of you if you’re on the Right Path. Notice the presence of ‘Kalla’ or ‘No!’ and ‘we are with you, listening’. It’s almost like Allah SWT is saying. ‘I’m going to take care of everything, just carry out the tasks I’ve chosen you for O Musa! Don’t worry, I’m with you. I have taken it upon Me to protect you!’
Then the Pharaoh tries to blackmail Musa AS:
[Pharaoh] said, “Did we not raise you among us as a child, and you remained among us for years of your life? (18)And [then] you did your deed which you did, and you were of the ungrateful.” (19)
This tells us that people may want to divert us from the Right Path of Dawah by reminding us with what favours they’ve done for us or by even reminding us for the past’s sins that they may have seen us committing even though we may have repented. We mustn’t become pressurized by those statements!
The Composed Attitude of Musa AS:
He AS admits and does not budge from the Task given to Him and doesn’t get frustrated:
Musa (Moses) said: “I did it then, when I was an ignorant (as regards my Lord and His Message). (20) “So I fled from you when I feared you. But my Lord has granted me Hukman (i.e. religious knowledge, right judgement of the affairs and Prophethood), and appointed me as one of the Messengers. (21) And is this a favor of which you remind me – that you have enslaved the Children of Israel?” (22)
The Different Tactics of Fir-‘awn and His Arrogance:
Said Pharaoh, “And what is the Lord of the worlds?”
- Instigating hate (hate-mongering attitude):
Fir’aun (Pharaoh) said to those around: “Do you not hear (what he says)?”
- Character-accusation when nothing else worked:
Fir’aun (Pharaoh) said: “Verily, your Messenger who has been sent to you is a madman!”
Musa AS’s Firmness and Unswerving Nature
- Recognize how Musa AS continues without responding back to personal insults. The haters are going to try to frustrate you. People want to frustrate you but just ignore them! In the very next verse, Allah SWT tells us:
Musa (Moses) said: “Lord of the east and the west, and all that is between them, if you did but understand!
- Fir-‘awn tries to threat but Musa AS keeps his calm and tries to reason by getting the Pharaoh interested. Even the most arrogant of the arrogant can’t refuse an offer such as that:
[Pharaoh] said, “If you take a god other than me, I will surely place you among those imprisoned.” (29) Musa (Moses) said: “Even if I bring you something manifest (and convincing)?” (30) Fir’aun (Pharaoh) said: “Bring it forth then, if you are of the truthful!” (31)
We learn that during Dawah, we are supposed to be so patient that we ignore all the negative attitude of the listener and try to engage them and by saying something that would interest them/convince them towards Islam.
Attitude of True Believers:When the Truth becomes clear, only the arrogant ones are going to have hard hearts:
And the sorcerers fell down prostrate. (46)Saying: “We believe in the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). (47) “The Lord of Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron).” (48) [Fir’aun (Pharaoh)] said: “You have believed in him before I give you leave. Surely, he indeed is your chief, who has taught you magic! So verily, you shall come to know. Verily, I will cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and I will crucify you all.” (49) They said: “No harm! Surely, to our Lord (Allah) we are to return; (50) “Verily! We really hope that our Lord will forgive us our sins, as we are the first of the believers [in Musa (Moses) and in the Monotheism which he has brought from Allah].” (51)
Faced by Fear, Musa AS has Tawakul:
And when the two hosts saw each other, the companions of Musa (Moses) said: “We are sure to be overtaken.”(61) [Musa (Moses)] said: “Nay, verily! With me is my Lord, He will guide me.” (62)
Also, ignore whatever doubts people cause in your heart! Have reliance on Your Rabb at all times!
Finally Allah SWT ends the story of Musa AS with stating what happened and how He SWT helped the believers by His Special Miracle.
Vase of Beautiful Fragrant Verses (summary):
‘If you enjoy the fragrance of a rose, you must accept the thorns which it bears.’
The following verses can be used as reminders in our daily lives and with every piece of knowledge that becomes clear to us, we must be prepared to be tested with it. These verses can inspire us to not grieve or feel upset. They can strengthen our reliance on Allah SWT even if we do not have the means to face challenges in doing righteousness. Because history proves to us that He SWT does help His slaves! We must also realize that the number one quality of the Prophets was total reliance on Allah SWT at the time when most people would feel doomed. Therefore, the real distinction of true believers is at the most trying of times. Also, these verses show how quick to repentance are people who immediately submit to Allah SWT:
Perhaps, [O Muhammad], you would kill yourself with grief that they will not be believers. (3) If We willed, We could send down to them from the sky a sign for which their necks would remain humbled. (4) And never comes there unto them a Reminder as a recent revelation from the Most Beneficent (Allah), but they turn away therefrom. (5)
He said, “My Lord, indeed I fear that they will deny me. (12) And that my breast will tighten and my tongue will not be fluent, so send for Harun.(13) [ Allah ] said, “No. Go both of you with Our signs; indeed, We are with you, listening.(15)
They said: “No harm! Surely, to our Lord (Allah) we are to return; (50) “Verily! We really hope that our Lord will forgive us our sins, as we are the first of the believers [in Musa (Moses) and in the Monotheism which he has brought from Allah].” (51)…the companions of Musa (Moses) said: “We are sure to be overtaken.” (61)[Musa (Moses)] said: “Nay, verily! With me is my Lord, He will guide me.” (62)
Too tired right now to continue. A very mis-managed post but I hope Words of Allah SWT beautify it enough for the reader and the blogger. Inshaa’Allah will continue in the next few posts to illustrate in more detail why Surah Ash-Shu’-araa is really beautiful to me. But if I’m unable to do so, I hope Allah SWT forgives me of my shortcomings.
Ramadan is the month of the Quraan! Recite more and Ponder over it more while you have the opportunity!
And Allah SWT knows best.