The Surah is named after one ant which was concerned about the rest of her tribe, “Till, when they came to the valley of the ants, one of the ants said: O ants! Enter your dwellings, lest Sulaiman (Solomon) and his hosts crush you, while they perceive not.” (An-Naml 27:18)
Dua is directly proportional to closeness to Allah (swt)
If we Muslims concern about one another’s well-being just like the ant our lost peace would return. Prophet Sulaiman (as) who was given the miracle of communication with the humans, as well as, other creatures like the ant. He smiled, amused at her speech, and said, “So he Sulaiman (Solomon) smiled, amused at her speech and said: My Lord! Inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favours which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous slaves. ” (An-Naml 27:19)
He right away acknowledged Allah’s (swt) special favour upon him and expressed gratitude. Let’s memorise this Dua and be grateful to Allah’s (swt) blessings upon us and our parents. Dua is a means to get closer to Allah (swt). The more we make Dua, the closer we get to Him. And the more effort we make to get closer to Him, the more He will run to us for He is a loving and compassionate Lord.
We have been reading the story of Moosa (as) in bits and pieces so far, now comes Surah al-Qasas.
Story of Moosa (as)
It is the Surah which contains the most detailed account of Prophet Moosa (as). Moosa (as) was born at a time when Pharaoh was slaughtering new-born male children. For the mothers, it was a grievous time; to give birth and see their child slaughtered. Allah (swt) inspired Moosa’s (as) mother to cast him into the river without fear or grief. He assured her that He will return the baby to her and make him one of His messengers. And this did happen, as we read, “So did We restore him to his mother, that she might be delighted, and that she might not grieve, and that she might know that the Promise of Allah is true. But most of them know not.” (Al-Qasas 28:13)
Allah (swt) keeps His promise
Allah’s (swt) promise is always true. He does not back out of His promises. Another promise mentioned in this story is when Allah (swt) promised Prophet Muhammad (sa) return to Makkah, “Verily, He Who has given you (O Muhammad (sa)) the Quran (i.e. ordered you to act on its laws and to preach it to others) will surely bring you back to the Maad (place of return, either to Makkah or to Paradise after your death, etc.). Say (O Muhammad (sa)): My Lord is Aware of him who brings guidance, and he who is in manifest error.” (Al-Qasas 28:85), and we read it did happen. Another meaning of this verse could be return to Allah (swt) in Paradise. May He grant us the company of Muhammad (sa) in Paradise. Ameen.
Moosa (as) and the valley of Madyan
When Moosa (as) was in the valley of Madyan, he found two women standing aside a water well, waiting for the men to leave so that they could water their flock. Moosa (as) felt no disgrace in reaching out to help them despite being a prophet of Allah (swt). He made his way into the crowd and watered the flock on the behalf of those girls. When the girls reached their home, they narrated the incident as well as the man’s utmost dignity and respect towards them to their old father; the father requested to meet him. He had found the man to whom he would marry off one of his daughters.
Current matrimonial facts
Today, we have made the Sunnah of marriage tough by our unrealistic demands and expectations. The Prophet (sa) instructed us to marry off our daughters to anyone whose conduct pleased us. People meet good fellows in the mosque, but due to their financial standing or not having a certain career, are refused or overlooked. Similarly, remarrying a divorced woman is looked down upon. Didn’t the Prophet (sa) marry divorced women? However, the divorced men and women have more experience. Reach out and see if you can find suitable matches for the singles, divorcees and widows in your families and communities. Let us save ourselves and our families from enjoying secret affairs which are strictly forbidden in Islam.
Hold on to trust and zest, let all else rest
One of the women said, “And said one of them (the two women): O my father! Hire him! Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy.” (Al-Qasas 28:26) Hard work and trustworthiness are the two qualities that can take a person to higher levels.
Here we learn a recruitment tip: if you are to hire someone for a task look for these two qualities. (May Allah (swt) grant us these qualities too. Ameen.) The example we have is none other than our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sa). When Khadijah (ra) was looking for an employee to conduct trade on her behalf, she selected Muhammad (sa) because of his hard work and trustworthiness. Due to these two qualities, she felt no shyness in offering her hands in marriage to him; to someone who was fifteen years younger than her. And the Prophet (sa) accepted it because she was a woman of grace and high respect.
In the story of Prophet Moosa (as) and Prophet Muhammad (sa), we learn that there is nothing wrong with the girl’s side offering proposal. If the conduct pleases you, and they are righteous; marry your daughters, sisters and even divorced/widowed aunts and mothers to them. Make Dua and also make an effort to help that Dua be answered. A beautiful Dua that we learn in Surah Al-Qasas is:
رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ
“…and said: My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!” (Al-Qasas 28:24)
May Allah (swt) answer our prayers and grant us peace. Ameen.
(Adapted from Mufti Ismail Menk’s “Pearls of Peace” series, Cape Town, Ramadan 2013. The lecture can be listened to at this link.)