DON’T BE LIKE THE PEOPLE OF MUSA
Almost the entirety of Part 9 of the Qur’an relates some historical accounts that happened at the time of Musa (Prophet Moses). Allah describes the characteristics of that nation, the believers and the non-believers among them. We can learn many things from those two groups of people and there is much for us to reflect on if we want to secure our recovery from addiction and embrace Islam as a way of life. Allah has given these examples so that we can try hard not to fall into the same behaviours that those people did. Let’s look at some of them and try to reflect a little insha’Allah.
Don’t turn away from Allah’s Miracles and Signs. In the state of intoxication or in the midst of our addiction, our hearts became less attuned to the signs of Allah and we gave up on His Mercy and lost hope in Him being able to help us. We knew somewhere inside that it needed a miracle for us to change yet at the same time we gave up that Allah would allow that to happen. Allah tells us over and over again in the Qur’an about the different miracles that His prophets and Messengers were sent with. In this Juz, we learn about the miracles that Musa was given and how many of the people dismissed them, turning away and denying what they saw with their own eyes. Allah sends us signs every day to make us sit up and think, to help us keep on striving towards Him, remembering Him every day. We forget that miracles are all around us. The Qur’an is a miracle in itself, we must hold fast to it and take lessons from it if we want to be guided. Allah does not love those who turn away from His Path.
Do not ignore afflictions When things start getting tough, life is hard, bad things keep happening, we need to stop and reflect. It may be, that Allah is punishing us, or testing us so that we may return to Him. The people of Musa were tested with trials and afflictions. The non-believers among them continued to turn away and the believers among them began to become impatient.
07:128-130 “Musa said to his people: “Seek help in Allah and be patient. Verily, the earth is Allahs. He gives it as a heritage to whom He wills of His slaves; and the blessed end is for the Muttaqun (God-Conscious). They said: “We had suffered troubles before you came to us, and since you come to us.” He said: “It may e that your Lord will destroy the enemy and make you successors on the earth,so that He may see how you act?” And indeed We punished the people of Fir’aun with years of drought and shortness of fruits, that they might remember, take heed”.
So during our addiction, it may be that it felt as though nothing was going right, because Allah wanted us to change our course. And in recovery, it is hardships and tests that make us stronger. The companions of the Prophet would wonder why they were going through ease, worried that Allah had abandoned them. They preferred tests because they knew it was Allah’s way of Him causing us to draw closer to Him.
Keep away from manipulation One thing addicts are very good at is manipulating others. In our addiction, we twisted things and bent the rules to suit our selves. In recovery, that needs to change. To be fully engaged on The Straight Path of Allah we need to submit wholeheartedly to the laws and legislation of Allah. Allah tells us about the people of Musa who were asked not to work on the Sabbath. Allah tested them by ensuring the fish did not come to them on any day other than the Sabbath day. The people fell fall to their temptations and ended up putting out their nets the day before so that they could leave them there for the fish to jump into. “Thus We made a trial of them, for they used to rebel against Allah’s Command” (7:163)
Don’t abandon the ones who are lost Allah describes three types of people in one verse
1 – A group of people who were astray, committing sins and far away from Allah
2- A group of believers who tried to endlessly preach to the wrong-doers even though they did not listen to their advise.
3 – A group of people who mocked the preachers and told them not to bother with the group of wrong-doers. This group kept themselves apart from the rest of the community.
Allah says in Surah Al-A’raf 07: 164;
“And when a community among them said; “Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is about to destroy or to punish with a severe torment?” (The preachers) said; “In order to be free from guilt before our Lord, and perhaps they may fear Allah”.
For a five minute video lecture on this Verse by Nouman Ali Khan click here
In our recovery, we must remember those days that we lost in our addiction and sinfulness. We needed people like the group of advisors to come to us and pull us out of our ways. Perhaps, so many people walked on by, people who thought they were good worshippers of Allah tutted, raised their eyebrows and rolled their eyes at us, writing us off for good, thinking that we were heading for the Fire and no one could say anything to help us. Maybe, if someone had advised us earlier, less people had ignored us, perhaps, Allah Knows Best, we may have entered into recovery earlier. Islam teaches us to be like the preachers in this Verse. The second group of believers were arrogant and Allah was angry with them for adopting this attitude against the sinners. He was so angry with them, that He chose to punish them along with the wrong-doers, and He saved only the preachers!
“…We rescued those who forbade evil, but with a severe torment We seized those who did wrong because they used to rebel against Allah’s Command. So when they exceeded the limits of what they did (manipulating Allah’s prohibitions), We said to them: “Be you monkeys, despised and rejected.” 07: 165-166
Juz 9 illustrates other characteristics of the people of Musa which earned those people the punishment of Allah. Take time out to read more about it yourselves insha’Allah so we can learn not to fall into the same errors as they did. Recovery is about changing ourselves from within. We need to focus on ourselves, change our arrogant ways, stop manipulating others or the laws of the land, and especially the laws of Allah. Recovery on Allah’s Straight Path is about submission. We must submit our heart fully and remain focused if we want to change permanently. And we must abandon others as we head onward, take them with us. Once we accept Islam we must then take the message to others persistently. Allah says;
“And as to those who hold fast to the Book and perform Prayer, certainly We shall never waste the reward of those who do righteous good deeds”. 07:170