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Quran and Sunnah

Life Lessons | Tafseer Surah Taha

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The Quran is not a storybook of wondrous tales and ancient fables, isolated from the realities and complexities of real life. Each verse, in fact, each letter is miraculously endowed with precision of meaning, succinctness of message and purity of sound.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/yahya_ibrahim) will have seen my short points of insight (#TafseerTaHa) into Sūrah Ṭāha.  The life lessons that can be taken from any Sūrah are amazing, but Sūrah Ṭāha in particular is unique in this regard.

In the coming days I am about to begin teaching a course discussing the life lessons that can be derived from Sūrah Ṭāha, the 20th Chapter of the Quran which chronicles the life of Mūsa. Commentators point out that apart from two short references to Mūsa in earlier sūrahs (Q. 53:36 and Q. 87:19), the narrative appearing in Sūrah Ṭāha, 20:9–98 is undoubtedly the earliest Qurʾānic exposition of the story of Mūsa.

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Life lessons from the Quran are infinite. The more you look into the Quran and approach it with a sincere heart, give it your attention while assuming its magnificence, the more your heart connects with the Al-Mighty.

9Has the story of Moses come to you [Prophet]? 10He saw a fire and said to his people, ‘Stay here––I can see a fire. Maybe I can bring you a flaming brand from it or find some guidance there.’

Verses 9 and 10 contain many important lessons that I think we can all benefit from.  In particular we can focus on TEN important lessons that impact our family life. This does not limit, of course, business and management applications, educational considerations, and other professional dimensions.

Life Lessons:

1-     Family comes first

Mūsa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) seeks to ensure his family’s safety and comfort by asking them to wait for him in the cold darkness of the night while he departs to investigate the source of fire at a distance from them. Never compromise your family and lead them into the unknown.

2-     Present Danger is better than Hidden Danger

Mūsa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) knows it is dangerous to leave his family in the dark expanse of the desert that they lost their way in. Yet, that is less a danger than walking into a campfire of what could possibly be a group of brigands who would harm him and his family. The known danger is clear and evident, but at least it is predictable.

3-     Danger to one is better than exposing many

Mūsa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) instinctively decides that the danger faced by him, alone, is worth the risk of warmth and guidance to safety. Judgment is imperative when a preponderance of danger exists. The less exposure, whether financially, psychologically, spiritually and physically, the better.

4-     One person takes the Final Decision

In trying circumstances, defined, clear and unambiguous directions can be the difference between life and death, health and sickness, safety and tragedy.  In all decisions, especially within the household, a unified singular voice needs to provide leadership and direction.

5-     Leaders consult & explain their decision making process

Mūsa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) explains, in detail, WHY he has made the decision to investigate the fire and to leave his family behind. It is reasoned, rationale and explicit. Often, complaints arise about a decision being made without consultation and explanation. That contradicts the established Prophetic model. Decisions are not demands and the authority to make them is not inherent to one party over another except by virtue of trust. Trust is lost not by poor decisions but by poor consultation.

6-     Speak to all whom your decision impacts

Mūsa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) spoke to Ahlihi (all his family/people), not just his wife. Taking counsel with your sons and daughters in important decisions is a way of ensuring reciprocation when they reach an age of decision making ability for themselves. If you ignore their voices, then expect them not to share it with you.

7-     Don’t promise what is not assured

Mūsa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) says, “Maybe/perhaps I can bring you” and does not speak in definite.  Nothing undermines credibility of a parent with their children more than unfulfilled promises. The greatest wedge between a husband and wife are vows that are not maintained and assurances not met. Speak the truth and do not embellish.

8-     Maximize your benefit from assumed danger

Mūsa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) calculates what he stands to gain – warmth, light, guidance out of the desert, return with a flaming brand and more.  Always seek maximum benefit, even from precarious situations that others may view as a complete loss.

9-     Prioritize

Mūsa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) speaks about warmth and a flaming brand to return with and provide comfort and light for his family, before he speaks about finding their way. He understands the greatest need and seeks to fulfill it before other essentials.

10-  Take responsibility

Mūsa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) says “Inni (I can)” to legitimize his decision. He assumes responsibility for the decision and intends a positive outcome, even though he does not guarantee it. Families disintegrate due to a lack of responsibility.  Standing up and assuming leadership equally necessitates being responsible when things go bad.

The Quran alludes to all human experience and seeks to enrich the finite time we spend on earth before our return to our Maker the Most High.

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was commanded to follow his predecessors and take heed from their trials while finding inspiration in their eventual Divinely ordained triumph.

Allah, the Most High, encourages us to look into the final Word and take heed of its lessons and parable:

 

“And We have certainly diversified in this Qur’an for the people from every [kind of] example; but man has ever been, most of anything, [prone to] dispute.” Al-Kahf 18:54

 

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Imam Yahya Ibrahim, Director of Islamic Community Service; A/Principal of the Langford Islamic College, Perth & Head of Islamic Studies. Imam Yahya Ibrahim is also Curtin University & University of Western Australia's Muslim chaplain and sits on the Human Research Ethics Committee at St Charles Gairdner Hospital for Western Australian Health Services. Imam Yahya is also an instructor for the world-renowned AlMaghrib Institute. His initiatives in Australia and internationally include diversity training, cultural sensitivity programs, educational lectures, and media presentations. His expertise is sought by schools, universities, and a wide range of government & non-government organizations. In recognition of his valuable contribution, Imam Yahya was awarded the West Australian Multicultural Community Service Award for Individual Excellence. He currently oversees a unique educational Online project through https://YahyaIbrahim.com/School and his social media outreach.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Yusuf

    December 10, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Jazakallahkeir Sheikh! The course was quite inspirational and many valuable lessons learnt! The most beneficial 2 days I’ve had I would say. May Allahswt reward you and your family and enable you to continue to spread the beautiful message of the Quran and encourage other to also!

  2. Aziza

    December 15, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    I always love tafseer because I learn things about the Quran that I never even realized! Beautiful MashaAllah, JazakAllah Khair.

  3. Inshaf

    December 17, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Assalamu alaikum…..

    Jazakallah for giving such Tafseer to the Verses i really Love to Read Tafseer with Simple English That Contains Huge Meaning Like this one . Here tafseer which is given With bulletin points is awe some and it increase the Willingness to Read further ..

  4. Saminu Shu'aibu Garko

    December 22, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    jazakullahu khairan i really benefits from this kind of commentary..may Allah reward you with jannatul firdaus.

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